Friday, July 29, 2011

Recommended Reading

(and also, I want this. In my home. Someday. When the Owlet is not pulling everything off the shelves.)

It's rare that I have time to actually finish a book these days, what with working and dealing with an almost 11 month old. But the owlet has finally learned how to nap in his pack-n-play, rather than on someone which frees up my arms for other things. (hurrah!)

I should spend the time being productive and cleaning the house/doing laundry/etc., but his pack n play is in the living room and he would wake up, so instead, I read.

Working at the library has its perks. In addition to not coming home so stressed out that I just want to sit in the corner in a little ball and cry, I also get to check out an unlimited number of books!

(well, technically, I can check out 99 items, because that really is the limit. but you get what I mean.)

Currently I have the following books checked out:

Bossypants by Tina Fey. I actually JUST finished reading this one. I read it in two days, more or less. It is hys-ter-ical. And sweet. Read it. It's good for more than a laugh or two. And let's face it, Tina Fey could write a manual for building your own oven and I'd read it.

The Other Mother. I'm almost done this one, but I've had to renew it once already, I've had it out for so long. I'll be honest, I checked it out because it had "mother" in the title and was about two moms, one who works out of the home, one who is a stay-at-home mom. It's actually pretty good, although it's taken me about a month to decide that.

Freedom. I have not read this one yet, and I checked it out at the same time as The Other Mother. It may get returned before it gets read. I checked this one out because there was a bird on the cover. Yep. I'm awesome like that.

It's A Boy. I have read about 3 pages into this one. Not because it's boring or anything, but because I've been reading 3 other books at once. It's about the psychology and the development of boys from itty bitty to 18. So far it's pretty good. But again, I'm 3 pages in.

Baby Led Weaning (and the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook)-I've read the cookbook, and I've tried a few recipes. I understand the basic concept of BLW. I have not gotten far in the main book, however.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I love me some young adult and juvenile fiction, provided it's not Twilight and it's well written. (that could explain why I don't like Twilight). This book is a super fast read, because it's primarily pictures, and it has a great little twist at the end. It's being turned into a movie, and I hope they do it justice, although they probably won't because they're making a book into a movie.

Sisterhood Everlasting. It's a continuation (10 years later) of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. Haven't started it. Came in the same day as Bossypants, and as I've mentioned, I'm reading like, 800 other things.

Flight 8-a graphic novel of sorts. Basically it's a bunch of amazing comic artists various little stories in one larger book. What do you call those? I've only read the first couple stories in this one too.

Owl Howl- a book for my little owlet about an owl who can't stop crying but can't remember why she's crying. :) It's sweet and a great nap time read.

The Littlest Owl. -Another book for the owlet, about, you guessed it- the littlest owl in the family, who, just because he's little, can still do great things.

Baby Love baby food cookbook-Mostly purees, which we're past, and a few good finger food recipes. I don't think we've tried anything from this one yet.

The Best Homemade Babyfood On the Planet- We've done a few recipes from this one so far the owlet's really liked the "lentils and potatoes" and the "Red Light, Green light" green beans and red bell peppers.

No Cry Nap Solution, from the same lady who brought us No Cry Sleep Solution. We actually didn't need this one afterall, I should probably take it back.

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett. So far I've really enjoyed Pratchett's books, especially the Tiffany Aching sub-series of the Discworld main series. I have not read this book yet either. (see above re: 8,000 books)

I should also mention that I borrowed The Help from my sister-in-law. I do not know when exactly I will get around to this book, because as you can see, I am currently reading or am about to read a trillion books all at once.

While taking care of an almost 11 month old.

And working a part time job.

And planning a birthday party for the almost 11 month old who will be, in less than a month and a half, a one year old.

Maybe I should be spending some time reading, instead of blogging?



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mommy Meltdown


"No one could feel all that at one time. They'd go insane." Ahh, Ron Weasley. He speaks the truth there.

I had a bit of a meltdown earlier today. I've been feeling a touch under the weather and a touch more frustrated at the owlet's temper tantrums and increasing realization that throwing said tantrum will eventually get him what he wants. Or, not what we wants really, but will get him attention.

But how am I supposed to ignore this screaming, writhing, almost toddler on the floor/pulling on my leg/screaming in my ear?

Anyway. I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, frustrated and under the weather and then suddenly:

WHAM-O. Full. On. Mommy, Meltdown.

After telling the hubs that I was feeling frustrated at some silly little thing he did (sighing when I asked him to do something), I lost it. I told him that I was mad at myself for feeling ungrateful for how much he actually does do (like working the overnight shift to actually bring some money into our house) and a host of other things such as feeling like the worst mom in the world, and feeling upset at myself for feeling mad at the owlet's temper tantrums when there are hundreds, thousands even, of women who desperately want a baby, and why can't I just enjoy every single moment of life with him, because these little moments are going to go by so fast, and...

what was I talking about?

Anyway.

I do not do well with little sleep (although the owlet IS sleeping better-hurrah!) or with feeling unappreciated.

Because that's what it is. I'd love to hear some "thank you's" now and then.

Thank goodness for Gilmore Girls and a brand new bottle of wine. They can always make me feel loads better.

Monday, July 11, 2011

dreaming of sleeping

The owlet turned 10 months old yesterday. I cannot even fathom this. Time has really flown by. It's so ridiculous. It feels like just the other day he could barely hold his head up, and now he's crawling around with a vengeance and getting in to ev-er-y-thing.

He's also STILL not sleeping through the night. We've been on a new routine where he wakes up at 10:30, 2:30 and 5:30. Everyday. Like clockwork. Babies can't tell time my ass. He sure seems to be able to.

We have been trying something new lately. Thanks to my library job, I checked out a book called "The Sleep Lady's Goodnight, Sleep Tight" book. It's sort of like no cry sleep, without the picking up and gradual settling down. He's 10 months old. He needs to learn how to self-soothe, without cry it out. We're making a little bit of progress. He still woke up 3 times last night, but at least I was able to sing him back to sleep, rather than having to pick him up. Yay!

Last night though, as I was lying in bed, waiting to see if he would stay asleep or start screaming again, slowly falling into sleep, I remembered how it was when he was a teeny tiny little guy, and I would dream that I had fallen asleep holding him or nursing him.

I'd wake up when he cried, and would look around for him, under the blanket, in my arms, sometimes even moving my arms as if he was still lying there.

Ahh, sleep deprivation. It does wonderful things to the mind, doesn't it?

On more than one occasion, I even asked the hubs to reswaddle him, because I had heard him fussing, only for the poor hubs to get out of bed and check on the owlet who was not unswaddled, nor was he crying.

I don't think I imagined way back then that we'd still be having problems with sleeping. That the owlet would still be waking up so often during the night.

The hubs keeps reminding me that we're not alone in this. That there are tons of babies who don't sleep through the night, because if there weren't there wouldn't be all these books about helping kids and toddlers to sleep better.

I like this thought. Especially when I hear that a friend's baby is sleeping through the night at just a week old. (I'm really happy for her, by the way, but seriously?)

One of these days we'll all be sleeping better and all this will be but a distant memory. Something I look back on fondly.

At least I hope so.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Month with ISR

I enrolled the owlet in a program called Infant Swimming Resource, or ISR. It's a 4-6 week long program for kids ages 6months and up. And it's not your typical "swim lesson" for babies or toddlers. What I mean is, rather than just getting the babies comfortable in the water, blowing bubbles or "paddling" they learn survival and self resuce skills. Not that there's anything wrong with those lessons, by the way.

Survival skills? for a 9 month old baby? Yup. You read that right.

The thought behind ISR is "not one more child drowns." That's a stance I can get behind.

No, we don't have a pool in our backyard. Heck, we don't even have a backyard. But there are two pools in our complex. There are also random bodies of water all over the place here in Denver. Rivers, ponds, pools at the mini-golf course. Whatever. Water is everywhere, and I decided I wanted the owlet to be safe in it. And near it.

After I signed the owlet up for his lessons, I panicked slightly and decided I should do a little research beyond the ISR website, and the website of my instructor, Kim Roundtree.

Big mistake. The internet is full of information. It is also full of idiots.

On one message board I visited (of which I don't remember the name, thankfully) one woman said that she didn't believe in ISR because "they let your kids cry and I don't ever want my child to cry."

.... Umm. I dont ever want my child to cry either, but he does. Especially when I don't give him something he wants. I realized then that these people were idiots. I don't want my owlet to cry unnecessarily either, but I also don't want him to fall into a pool and not know how to save himself because "I didn't want him to cry."

While no child can ever be "drown-proof" we can certainly do all we can to help teach them what to do to be safe. The same way we put them in car seats, or make them wear bike helmets, or sunscreen, or vaccinate them. (Hot topic, I know.)

Anyway, enough rambling. This is what you really came to see.


video

This is one of the early lessons. He's a little fussy, but I think he's more frustrated than scared. His instructor was amazing, and she worked with him so well, really learning what worked with him and what didn't. For example, she discovered that she couldn't really ease him into things, she just sort of had to go with it, because otherwise he kept his hand in his mouth and had a hard time floating.

The way they work these lessons is in 10 minute increments everyday for 4 weeks (for the little ones, it's 6 weeks for the older kiddos). They start out pretty simple, just getting them to float for longer and longer periods on their backs. Then they move to putting them down face down in the water so that they roll over onto their backs, then she sort of flips him upside down so he does almost a summersault. The last couple things are sitting him on the wall and putting him in face first and then backwards, all of which helps simulate what it would be like if they fell in the pool.


The final 3 regular lessons are done in clothes. Summer clothes, fall clothes and winter clothes. This helps prepare them for what it would feel like if he fell in with his clothes on, since it's more likely that he would fall in water wearing clothes, rather than in his bathing suit.

He did phenomenally in his "clothing" lessons, adjusting so well to the weight of the clothes. I was amazed everyday watching how well he progressed.



People have asked me how I wasn't completely freaking out during his lessons, partly because I think that it's just not normal to see a baby floating on his own in a pool of water. And it's true, it's really not. But after the first lesson, when I saw how great Kim was with the owlet, and how well he was doing, any fears I had (and there were quite a few) simply melted away, and instead I sat in awe of how well he was doing.

Today I got to go in the pool with him so that I could learn how to play with him in the water without undoing everything that Kim has worked so hard with the owlet on (and that the owlet has worked so hard learning!) before we go back in 4 months so that he can learn their next step: swim-float-swim.

This has been such an amazing experience for both the owlet and I, and I'm actually a little sad that our lessons are over, for now, anyway.