Mama Monday: Sleeping with an almost 11 month old and three year old!

I don’t think I have had a decent night’s sleep in close to four years. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but probably not. My girls are only two and half years apart. I had about six months in-between pregnancy/breastfeeding and getting pregnant again. We planned this so I knew it was happening but the funny thing about kids is that even when you plan you have no idea what you are getting yourself into!

Here is my current situation and I happily solicit any and all recommendations. The baby is still nursing throughout the night! Ok, before you judge, let me give you some background: My girls share a room and it is a lot easier to have one baby up in the middle of the night than two. So we have not tested the “cry it out” method as we did with my first daughter because of the baby possibly waking up the three year old. However, mama has just about reached her limit and if I don’t get some sleep I don’t know how I am going to continue to function. This is how a typical night goes….

Dinner/bath/bed – sounding pretty familiar I am sure.  My husband (when he is not traveling for work) usually takes the three year old for teeth/hair brushing, story and bed. Most nights she goes to sleep but sometimes I will have to lay down with her for “one minute” after I get the baby down. As my husband gets the three year old down, the baby and I lay on my bed and I nurse her to sleep. Wondering where the problem is? It starts anywhere from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am. The baby wakes up and starts crying. I drag myself down to their bedroom and retrieve her so she won’t wake her sister. I have tried to nurse her quickly and lay her back down but she always wakes up and starts crying as soon as I put her down. So now I just bring her back to bed with me…. Yes, I can hear the tongues clicking at this. I nurse her back to sleep in our bed and she falls asleep….For like, 15 minutes and then it starts again. And again. And again… This continues until the alarm goes off or our three year old comes in to wake us up.

Obviously, my quick fix solution isn’t working for anyone. I am not sleeping, the baby is not sleeping and my husband may be pretending to sleep but probably isn’t. How do I get this baby to sleep in her crib through the night?

Proof that she does sleep….

Mama Monday – One less thing!

This is how my Monday morning started:

This is everything that needed to be packed and brought to school/work this morning. Notice it doesn’t even include the baby (in an infant car seat) and the three year old! What is all that you ask? Let’s see, a school bag for each girl, my laptop bag, breast pump, lunch, grocery bags from last night and my purse!

When I saw that ridiculous pile this morning I realized that I might be taking things a bit too far and need to figure out how to consolidate. If anything, to make things easier for myself. Realistically, all I could have removed from that pile are the grocery bags but where can I simplify my life in other parts?

The first thing I can do (and my husband reminds me to do this all the time), is to simply do one thing at a time. I know it sounds crazy, right? But it’s true —  I get super stressed out and it’s because I am trying to do three or more things at once and not very well. For example, last night instead of holding the baby, cleaning up after dinner, and making zucchini & carrot bread (check back on Wednesday for the recipe… It’s delish!), I probably could have just held the baby and done the other things after bedtime. I tested this new approach out this morning after seeing that pile and mentally drafting this post…. The three year old was asking for milk, oatmeal, a specific song from the CD we were listening to, and I was trying to get all three of those things done plus make oatmeal for the baby and pack her lunch. I took a deep breath (key for most things) and told the three year old mommy can only do one thing at a time. I finished the oatmeal (for both girls), got the milk, changed the song, and sat down to breakfast. All without freaking out – yay me!

So, I did schlep all those bags out to the car but I didn’t try to do it all in one load like I typically do. I did it in two while the girls were finishing their breakfast and then I only had to carry the baby! That felt like a refreshing change. My “Zen” morning lasted about 10 minutes but I will take it. Let’s see how “Zen” after work can be…. Fingers crossed!

Mama Monday – Mommy Resolution!

I was driving to work this morning and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wondered who that was looking back at me? Ever have one of these mornings? You are going about your day and all of a sudden you realize that your eye brows need to be desperately waxed and your roots are exposing a look similar to Madonna’s in the 80’s! Ok, I exaggerate, but not much.

I decided that I am making a mommy resolution right then and there! I will get my eyebrows waxed every 2-3 weeks (I have found a great deal at the local nail salon and maybe if I am feeling really lucky I will get a pedicure too)! I will get my hair trimmed and colored every 6-8 weeks as needed and feel fantastic when I leave the salon. I don’t know about you but a good couple of hours at the hair salon and I feel like a new person. But my hair dresser is also pretty fabulous and always is there with the customary, “you look so beautiful!”….”you are absolutely shrinking” (I had a baby six months ago)….”Yes, your hair is falling out but look at all this baby hair growing in” (Well, that one is questionable but at least he is honest .) And he fluffs my hair, washes it with extra time for a head massage and then does a beautiful blowout, just in time for me to get home, get the girls in the bath and fall into bed….but I sure feel gorgeous when I do.

Yes, just writing them makes me want to go to the salon right now for a full treatment…hmmm, I think Mother’s day is coming up soon – maybe I will have to get a day at the spa!

How do you treat yourself? What is your mama resolution?

3.15.11: The Second Time Around

It is so different the second time around when having children! I was much more relaxed in my pregnancy and felt less afraid of “what was going to happen”.  You wonder what it will be like with having two children, everyone tells you it is not double the work but ten times the work…so far it just feels like double the work but she is only six months. We are still in the honeymoon period…she isn’t crawling yet – but she is close!

With my first daughter, you feel so proud and want them to be making all the milestones and early even! I wanted to make sure that she was crawling, walking, talking at all the appropriate times and even encouraged her to hit these marks. The second time around…it’s different! You now know that as soon as they are crawling/walking that the honeymoon will officially be over.

I am definitely proud of the baby but I can’t believe that she is almost crawling already…she has been getting on her hands and knees and scooting backwards for a couple of weeks now! Everyone told me that the second one would do everything sooner than her sister, I just didn’t realize how much sooner! I realized the other night that the reason she must be doing everything faster. One she is in love with her big sister already and is trying to mimic and two, I have had to put her down on the floor much sooner and for longer periods than I did with my eldest.

How you can feel so different about the same milestones with your children? The first one you want them to do everything right away and the second one you want them to slow down. I think this might be some good insight for me to be cautious in my parenting of them.

Do you find yourself parenting your children differently, not just by who they are but by their birth position?