Wednesday, September 25, 2013

a major career change.

big news: i officially let my employer know that i'm leaving to be a stay at home mom! my last day of work will be december 19th. while that's still almost 3 months away, i'm so excited to have it out in the open! well, mostly. i still have to tell our daycare provider. i'm for sure more nervous to tell her than i was to tell my boss! we've only had bennett in her care for 2 months, so i feel badly that we're going to be leaving so quickly. fortunately, in-home daycare for kiddos under 2 is in high demand, so i'm certain she won't have any problem filling his spot.

i'm looking forward to having a few months home full time with bennett before baby #2 comes along in late-march. it'll be helpful, i think, for both of us to adjust to being with each other day in and day out before we add a new friend to the mix. i know that this new "career" will bring with it many challenges, as does any job, but i'm excited and thankful for the opportunity to truly soak up the time with my babes while they're little. all i've heard is how fast they grow up and i've already learned how true that is!

practicing his lion roar
speaking of growing fast... i'm 14 weeks pregnant today and officially into the 2nd trimester. [insert hallelujah chorus here.] i'm feeling so much better (minus coming down with a cold) and feel like i got some of my energy back finally. it's a beautiful thing.

baby: size of a lemon. 

cravings: nothing major. yogurt is still sounding really good.

aversions: none, really! you know, except pickles and olives, but those are gross even when i'm not pregnant.

aches/pains: just have a cold. mostly i can't complain!

body: in the last week or so i've started feeling some little movements! i don't think i felt bennett move until more like 16-18 weeks, but now that i know the feeling i think i'm more aware. oh, and i've gained 10 lbs. already. awesome.

boy or girl? scheduled my ultrasound for november 7th! just 6 weeks til we find out! we're both still thinking  it's a girl!

as for bennett and our adventures with nighttime waking, we're still working on it. he's continued waking up about half the nights. finally yesterday we brought him in to see our pediatrician as a last ditch effort to get some answers. our pediatrician is great- very thorough, reassuring, and tells it like it is. she did an exam and said bennett looks great. she didn't see any signs of teething, his ears were clear, and there was no indication of any other physical issues. she basically explained to us that because he seems to be waking up around the same time of night (between 4-5am), she thinks it's habitual. she said it's a very remote chance that he'd be hungry and there doesn't appear to be any other reason he'd be waking up consistently.

so, dr. berry's suggestion was that we let him cry it out. she said bennett's a determined little guy (so true!) and that he knows that if he cries long enough and hard enough, we will come. we need to help him learn that he can put himself back to sleep without us and that we aren't going to come in despite his persistence. she said to think of it like a tantrum. he's not getting his way and he doesn't like it. we need to be a "wall" and make sure he learns that we're not going to budge. it sounds harsh, but i think it's what we needed to hear. we've let him cry many nights, but only for so long. she said it's essentially a battle of willpower at this point and that to get it to stop, we need to outlast him. fortunately she said this will only take 3-4 nights max.

while this might not be the right thing for every child or every situation, it's right for us. because this has been going on nearly 2 months and it's clear there isn't any organic issue going on, we need to break the habit for the sake of his need for sleep (and our's too!).

wouldn't you know it, bennett woke up last night at 1:20am, cried (more like moaned softly) for less than 5 minutes and then slept until after 7am. our little buddy sure has a mind of his own... i'm not counting my chickens that we're done with sleepless nights, but i'm thankful we have a plan in place if/when we need it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

sleepless nights.

i haven't been sleeping well at all lately. partially this is because i have to get up to go to the bathroom at least once, if not multiple times, during the night (thank you, pregnancy). i'm also already struggling to get comfortable at night, tossing and turning for what seems like hours.

on top of my own issues sleeping, bennett has been waking up during the night on and off for 8+ weeks (basically since we moved into our new house). i'd say at least 4 nights per week he's been up crying between 4 and 5am. the most difficult issue is that bennett is nearly impossible to soothe. he's always been fairly independent- never really a snuggler, never really liked being rocked, rarely has fallen asleep in our arms since he was around 3 months old. this is a major blessing in some ways- that he can fall alseep on his own without any help from us.

out like a light
however, when he wakes up crying, there's pretty much nothing we can do to help him. he doesn't want to be rocked, doesn't want to be held, doesn't want his back rubbed. nada.

therefore, we are left with two options: give him milk (which we've determined is more about calming than about actually being hungry) or let him cry. neither really seems like a good option. we don't want him to get used to getting milk at 4am when he cries because it seems that would just perpetuate the pattern. this has been going on for longer than the 1-2 weeks that would typically constitute a growth spurt and since he's 14 months old, he should be able to go all night without eating. we give him milk and a snack (usually yogurt) before bed each night. plus, on the couple of early mornings that we've finally given up on him going back to sleep, he's gotten up and been happy as a clam without us feeding him. if he were truly hungry, he wouldn't settle down instantly when getting out of his crib.

the other option, letting him cry it out (CIO), worked great for us when sleep training around 6 months. however, it doesn't seem to be working in this case. it's not meant to be something that you have to continually do night after night, but rather a short-term means to an end. listening to my 14 month old cry for as much as an hour and a half 4 nights a week isn't something i'm willing to do [anymore]. if it were just a couple of rough nights followed by consistent all night sleeping, sign me up. but that hasn't happened. we've had full nights of sleep here and there, but many nights joe and i wind up awoken around 4:30am looking at each other asking, "what should we do?"

so it seems we're in a lose-lose. we don't want him to cry night after night, but we don't want to give him milk each night for fear of creating an even bigger monster down the road. we've done both, and neither has seemed to be a true fix for the problem.

naturally, we've been racking our brains trying to figure out what it is that's causing him to wake up. ear infection? teething? hot? cold? missing nuk or binky? it's anyone's guess. for a while i was sure it was just adjusting to a new room and new house, but it's been 2 months now so i have a hard time believing he's not adjusted to his room by now. we moved his bedtime back from 7:15 to 8pm, but that hasn't helped. he's usually only taking one 1.5-2 hour nap during the day, so i don't think too much sleep is the issue. maybe he's overtired? several nights (though not each night he's woken up), he's soaked through his nighttime diaper. that's what the issue was this morning- his jammies and sheet were wet. so remedying that is going to be our next plan of action.

i've read a lot online and it seems that the consensus is that huggies nighttime diapers are far superior to pampers. also, many suggest going up a size in nighttime diapers from what your child normally wears during the day. apparently i'm an idiot because it seems this is common knowledge to every mom everywhere. anyone want some pampers nighttime diapers in a size 4? we're going to try huggies nighttime diapers in a size 5 and see if that will keep him from leaking through at night.

also, i realized this morning, when telling a few coworkers about our struggles, that we had music (disney lullabies) playing in bennett's room all night from the time he was about 3 months old up until we moved. we didn't set the ipod dock up in his new room, assuming he didn't need the music anymore. but that's about when the sleep issues started. so, we're going to put the music back in his room tonight to see if that helps soothe him back to sleep [if and] when he wakes up.

my last thought is to bring him in to see his pediatrician. that way we can rule out an ear infection or something else organic that could be causing this. i haven't noticed that he's teething, but i guess that's always a possibility. plus, maybe she'll have some insight or ideas we haven't thought of. i'll try anything...

any suggestions? i'm interviewing night nurses as we speak. i wish...

it's a good thing he's so darn cute!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

bump-date: 12 weeks.

well, we made it to the 12 week mark! that always (i say always like i've done this a thousand times) seems like a big milestone to me.

baby: size of a plum. baby has developed reflexes. baby is 2" long and about 1/2 oz.

cravings: yogurt. green grapes.

aversions: chocolate. ice cream.

aches/pains: i feel quite a bit better! i'm really tired most of the time, but other than that i'm actually feeling pretty well! i mostly only feel nauseous when i'm getting hungry. i have noticed, though, that i'm really sensitive to smells. yesterday at work someone heated up something super garlicky for lunch and it made me want to lose mine. also, someone warmed up or brewed coffee and i swear it was like someone was roasting coffee beans AT MY DESK. gag.

body: i think my post on pregnancy weight gain pretty much sums it up. nothing too new in that department. i'll be weighed at my appointment on friday. yay.

boy or girl? won't find out til my 20 week ultrasound, but i'm convinced it's a girl. neither joe nor i have a really strong preference either way, but i just have that feeling it's a girl. we'll see!

names? we've been talking a lot about names and we've come up with one girl name in particular that we both love. not much in the way of boy names so far though. i think we're going to keep our names to ourselves until he/she is born this time around. we've had a few comments already that have bothered us when discussing names with people, so we'd rather just keep it between us until it's actually his or her name. then there's no debate :)

last night joe had a work dinner, so my friend katie came over to our house to hang out with me and bennett. it was so nice to catch up with her- we definitely don't get together often enough. between work/family for me and work/school/newlywed-dom for her, it's hard to find the time. but it's nice to have a friend where you can totally pick up where you last left off like hardly any time has passed. i guess that's the perk of 13 years of friendship!

bennett loved having auntie katie over! he made her read him his favorite book a hundred times, which she did patiently (like everything else she does).

he also was kind enough to show her his favorite move (which happens to be dramatically throwing himself to the ground when he's told no). awesome.

we're having a bunch of my friends and their families over to our house tomorrow for a barbecue. it'll be the first time most of them have seen the house (or at least since we've made a lot of changes!). it's fun to finally have the room to have a big group over! i'm bummed because we wanted to have patio furniture before then, but it didn't work out. so, i'm not entirely sure where everyone's going to sit to eat, but i guess we'll figure it out!

joe spent most of the day yesterday (he stayed home so we could have our directv installed) putting in a new floor in our laundry room. it looks great in there and makes the room feel so much cleaner and less like a dungeon. here's a picture as he was partway through the process of laying the new floor. keep in mind the old floor was dirty/faded mauve. i'd say this is a vast improvement!

so tonight we'll be cleaning a bit to get the house ready for tomorrow. and then probably watching several episodes of homeland season one. A-DDICTED.

Monday, September 9, 2013

14 months and weekend recap.

bennett turned 14 months on friday. he is a little spitfire and such a ham. i feel like he has changed so much in the last couple of months! he's starting to talk, which is so fun! he says "mama," "dada," "ball" (sounds like "ba"), "book" (sounds like "buh"), and "hi." we thought he said "binkie" yesterday, too (that's his blankie). we love that he's starting to be able to really communicate with us. he'll also mimic us a lot and only usually needs to be shown something once before he's doing it on his own. he laughs when we laugh. he holds his play cell phone up to his ear and says "hi." he pushes the button on his elephant ball popper to make the music start and dances by turning around in circles (no clue where he figured that one out!). he grabs a "buh" and backs his little buns up to us to sit in our laps so we can read to him, although he rarely makes it through a whole book before he's on the move again. chicka chicka boom boom and goodnight gorilla are his current faves. he puts my stretchy headbands over his head and wears them around his neck.

notice the headband
we were having some issues with sleep over the last several weeks- he was waking in the night or early in the morning (4am) crying and was nearly inconsolable unless we'd give him milk. for a little while i just thought it was a growth spurt so i didn't have a problem feeding him (i'd just gave him a sippy with some warmed up whole milk, he'd drink it in his crib and go back to sleep). but after a while it seemed like it was becoming a habit more than a necessity. but joe and i weren't consistent about our response when he'd wake up (some nights we'd give him milk, other nights we'd say "he needs to cry it out."). naturally, the early waking persisted. it is easy to see now that our inconsistency was the issue, but at the time we were at a loss of what to do.

fortunately, after a looonnngggg morning (can you really call 4am morning?) of crying, it seems the early waking has ceased. the last 3 days ben has woken up at his normal time between 6:30-7. we've been intentional about giving him a snack before bed and we've put him to bed about 30 minutes later than his usual bedtime. he was going to bed between 7:15-7:30, but we started putting him to bed more like 7:45-8. except yesterday when he didn't take an afternoon nap at all (what?!). i think we're starting the slow transition from two naps to one, so his schedule may be a little wacky for a while. honestly, as long as he seems happy during the day and is sleeping well at night, i don't care if he does one nap or two.

we had a great weekend this weekend. we got our new appliances delivered (though that was a bit of a headache) and they look great! it honestly completely changes the feel of our kitchen and makes it seem so much more sleek and modern.

the cabinets are all on now, but we took this picture before then...
we have to get a plumber to come out to replace the faucets in our laundry room so we haven't gotten to use our new washer and dryer just yet. although apparently joe watched some youtube videos and is going to attempt to replace them himself. can i move in with you when our basement floods and/or we don't have running water? kidding. i hope...

i went to a cooking class at cooks of crocus hill with some of my girlfriends on friday night. it was fun, though i must say i wish it would've been more instructional on skills than it was. oh well- i learned how to correctly dice an onion, which i've been doing wrong for years. money well spent. saturday morning i went out to breakfast with girlfriends to celebrate my friend missy's birthday. we went to good day cafe and it was delicious. joe and ben had some good bonding time together this weekend!. he took ben to get a haircut (my least favorite thing to do) and then i took him to get new shoes at stride rite while joe went to home depot. that afternoon while ben napped we got some things done around the house- joe finished hanging the kitchen cabinets, i touched up the paint around the trim in the kitchen, etc. the house is really coming together and starting to feel settled.

saturday night we went to church for the first time in WAY too long. it was nice to be back and bennett loved playing in the "walkers" room. after bennett went to bed, joe and i started the first season of homeland which we borrowed from a friend. OMG. addicted. it's soooo good. although it is making me suspect that joe could be a terrorist (it could be anyone). i'll keep you posted. we're getting directv on tuesday and thank goodness we get a free 3 month trial of showtime so we can keep watching.

sunday i ran a few errands with ben and joe cleaned around the house. my brother and his wife and my parents came over sunday afternoon to watch the packer game.

the packers lost, but considering they played the 49ers who went to the superbowl last year, i'd say they played pretty well. we're heading to lambeau field for the game next sunday- our annual pilgrimage. can't wait.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

pregnancy weight gain.

my baby bump (more like carb bump) popped in the last week. i'm only 11 weeks, but i think you can already tell i'm pregnant. i for sure can.

and i'm already wearing maternity pants (which are heavenly, by the way). as much as i know you're supposed to gain weight and get bigger when you're pregnant, this is the second time around and it's just as tough to accept this time as it was the first. maybe harder because it seems to be happening faster, which i heard is pretty normal for a second pregnancy.

it'd be one thing if i was eating well and exercising and my weight was going up. then at least i'd be able to say confidently "it's the baby." that's, unfortunately, not the case. i'm not eating well or exercising, and the baby is the size of a lime. my bump is shaped more like a bowl of pasta (ha).

my eating has been all out of whack. this is partially because i've been nauseous and it gets worse when i'm hungry, so i swear i'm eating all. the. time. but if we're being honest, it's partially because i [without initially realizing it] gave myself a pass. i said, i'm pregnant and don't feel good so i can eat whatever sounds good whenever it sounds good. that might be fun for like a week, but it's had a negative impact on me- both physically and emotionally. don't get me wrong, i'm not sinking into a deep depression or anything. but i don't feel good.

i do so much better with a structured "plan" (this applies to anything- not just weight control). but there's so little information out there about eating while pregnant. everything just says "eat healthy." i'd love to know: how many calories should i eat in a day? a lot of things i've read have said pregnant women require 300 more calories per day. 300 more than what? 300 more than the number of calories i was shooting for when trying to lose weight? 300 more than the number it would take for me to maintain my weight? i'm really not sure.

true story.
i guess i'll just stick with this (my current plan)
i'm confident that i've gained more than just a couple pounds at this point, but i can't be sure how many because something's wrong with our scale. no, really. i stepped on and almost had a heart attack. then joe stepped on and said there's no way the scale is right because it said he'd gained like 9 lbs in one week or something. thank goodness we're sure that's not the case, because it's not outside the realm of possibility for me right now...

i lost all my baby weight plus ten more pounds in about 9-10 months after bennett was born and before i found out i was pregnant again. so, maybe i shouldn't worry so much and just trust that after the baby comes, i can lose what i gained all over again.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

labor day weekend recap.

we had a great labor day weekend- very relaxing and lots of time spent together. we left friday afternoon for the cabin. joe's brother and his wife, jake and allison, joined us there for the weekend and we had a great time. lots of lounging, laughing, and [of course] eating. this girl loves catching up on dateline episodes that my mom dvr's, so i marinated on the couch watching several of those throughout the weekend. yes, i'm 87 years old and totally fine with it.

we had an amazing day on the lake on saturday! it was warm enough to jump in the lake a few times, but not so hot that we were miserable. and it was gorgeous- barely a cloud in the sky :) it was nice to get some sun and relax. bennett didn't want to swim this time (i think the water was a little too cold for him), but he enjoyed walking around on the boat and then went in for his afternoon nap with grammy while the rest of us took a long cruise.

joe and jake made AMAZING burgers saturday night for dinner and we watched the big wedding. it had an all-star cast and was ok- not great but not bad. i'm just proud i stayed awake for the whole thing (no small feat these days). speaking of movies- if you haven't watched 42, you need to. today. it's in redbox. and it's super good.

bennett was a complete gem this weekend, which was really fun. he was just in a great mood all weekend, probably because he was getting TONS of attention from his grandparents, aunt and uncle, and mommy and daddy. he doesn't have too many weekends where he gets ALL of that undivided attention, and this little ham ate it up. naturally, super mom didn't take any pictures of him at the cabin. i need to find the dang camera charger. it's driving me crazy. i went to the garage yesterday to look for it, but gave up after seeing a ginormous spider. sick. i'm never going out there again. instead i just texted a friend who has the same camera and am borrowing their charger today after work. that'll hold us over until joe can find ours in spiderville.

we came home from the cabin late sunday afternoon. yesterday, we went to the state fair. we were going to go last weekend, but it was like 96 degrees, so we spared ourselves. yesterday it was in the mid-60's out, so it was a great day to be there. we usually go with a group of friends, which is fun, but honestly we really liked being there on our own and setting our own pace. we hit all our usual food stands- cheese curds, roasted corn, sweet martha's cookies, fudge puppies, corn dog, pizza on a stick, and 1919 root beer for joe/fresh squeezed lemonade for me. yum. let's just say bennett was a fan of the fair foods...

cheese curds
sweet martha's cookies
this little boy was in heaven
he also liked seeing all the baby animals in the miracle of birth building. he pet a bunny, a lamb, and a baby pig. all the training we've been doing on being gentle with george (instead of hitting him or pulling his fur) paid off and bennett was very nice to the baby animals. parenting score.

baby lamb
i must admit, i'm excited for fall. i can't wait to make pumpkin everything and pull my cute boots out. unfortunately bennett is not so ready for fall, since we own zero long-sleeves, pants, and sweatshirts that fit him right now. after work today, we are going to the mall to do bennett's "school shopping" :)

we have tons going on this fall, so we're gearing up for that. we have a trip to lambeau field for a packer game with my family, a visit from my cousin and her husband from denver, a trip to chicago with jake and allison, and joe has a few work trips. we even have a potential new york trip in november if joe can get a doctor on board for a training his company is hosting there. please believe i'm jumping on that bandwagon. NYC is my happy place.