Monthly Archives: April 2009

Sleepless days and nights

I have read just about every sleep book recommended on the market today – Sears, Pantley, Weissbluth, 90-minute sleep solution, Ferber method, and the controversial method of Baby Wise. I have read about it all and read 6 books including one from Pantley on toddler sleep because I have two that do not sleep. Of course, the infant is only 9 weeks old. My first born did not sleep well either – she would take cat naps as well but eventually after 4 months, she started taking 1 hour naps.

This past weekend, Sunday, after our house guest left, I decided to try some of the techniques I have read about from Pantley, Weissbluth, and the 90-minute sleep program. So far, nothing is working. My child, like clock work goes to sleep within 90 minutes of waking, but is up within 15 to 45 minutes and I know is not going enough sleep but there is not much else I can do. When she wakes up from these “cat naps”, she is alert, often crying and even with nursing and/or rocking, does not go back to sleep. It is quite unnerving. I have read about other kids who do this as well – generally lasts until about 4 months of age or longer.
In any case, the research out there is daunting and it is overwhelming. What does not help is when people are bragging about their sleeping kids – their kids are the wonder ones who sleep all the time even after 4 weeks of life. But reading about all the kids out there who are in the same boat as ours does make me feel like we are not alone in our struggles. There is no cookie cutter approach to raising a kid-same goes for sleep training but we will soldier on. I am a zombie and my mother who is helping right nowa and my husband – we are all exhausted!

In any case after three weeks of sleepless days and night, I will soldier in with the methods I learn (and there are a billion out there) and try every piece of equipment I own but in the end, may just have to accept my fate. If you read this and have any suggestions please share. If you are writing to just brag, please save it for your facebook page – I do not want to hear it.

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Since when did obesity become a good thing?

Since the birth of my first daughter I am just amazed at how obsessed pediatricians and parents alike are obsessed with the weight of their kids. I mean my kid is already in the 1 percentile and that ain’t good. She is only 23 months old and because she is thin, and was born tiny, she is basically getting failing grades already. If she were fat though, she’d be in the 90 percentile and yes, that is considered good. So, if my child were fat and chunky and at risk for diabetes and other diseases that strike the obese, I would get a pat on the back- good job! Sure, your kid is almost 2 and not walking because of the giant fat legs but hey, at least he or she is well fed. What?? Are you kidding?

I am amazed in this day and age that doctors and parents alike are concerned with how fat their child is and not in the way you think- it is all about how much weight they can put on and how fast. Even though my toddler eats reasonably most of the time, she does not gain weight. She is, however, taller than her peers. She towers over even kids her own age or older than her. However, that is not something to be commended. Rather, the doctor focuses on weight. My mother in law is obsessed with it as well and while she is always comparing all her grandkids even though each is unique, I find it humorous that she really takes pride in calling the two grandkids who are good eaters from HER side of the family. I do not know if I would brag about the fat kids being from my side of the family- I do not think that is a good thing. Needless to say, the battles rage on and I too have fallen prey to all the rhetoric and tend to weigh my newborn all the time. It is a sickness really. I want to win the competition after all even though I really do not think it is a healthy competition to begin with… nonetheless, like everything else in life, it is a race to the finish!

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So many books so little time

These days it seems there is a book for everything. “How to sleep train your child” will bring up about a thousand results – not every book is worth your time. If you ask one mom, you will get referred to Book X, but then you talk to yet another mother, and she will swear by Book Y authored by the best author on this topic. And yet another mom will recommend Book Z. Another mom will tell you Book X sucked and swears by Book A. What?!! How is a mom who is already sleep and time deprived supposed to read four books on how to get her child to sleep. Isn’t that the problem to begin with here…. too much to do and not enough time?

I am on my fourth book already on how to get your child to sleep through the night and I am not even close to getting my 2 year old to sleep through the night. I have bought two books on the topics and checked out the other ones from the library. Dr. Sears, Elizabeth Pantley, Weissbluth, Ferber – you name it, I have read it. I now have two additional books on hold at the library- the 90 minute sleep solution and Baby Wise. All because someone made me feel bad by posting on my wall on facebook that her child is sleeping twelve hours at 2.5 months old. WHAT? Are you kidding me? Ironically, this girl is a doctor herself so I wonder if she missed that portion of medical school when they discuss how sleep patterns change in kids almost daily so 7 to 7 will not necessarily last. But then again, what do I know? I have only read these four books and each one says something different. So, I have decided to take what works from each and make my own book on the topic. Only I will not be published.

So, from Book X, I will take the fact that food and types of foods definitely affect how a child sleeps especially toddlers. Then from Book Y, I will take that you should respond to infants after 4 months of age in time intervals and you increase that time interval so that the child learns to self soothe and sleep on his or her own. From Book Z, I have learned that you should respond differently to the different cries exhibited by an infant- there is a distinct difference between a cry for hunger for example than a cry for being held or for attention. So, depending on the type of cry, you can respond accordingly. Out of the two books I have not read yet, I hear one is quite controversial and involves starving your child through the night. In either case, I look forward to reading more things I may not implement or implement successfully. On the other hand, maybe nothing is working because of the hodge podge or potpourri implementation of this and that. Maybe I need to pick one book and just stick to it.

It is not easy raising children much less in a time when we are bombarded with so much internet information and literature on how to. “How to raise children for Dummies.” That is the book I need to purchase.

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It puts the EX in the … past

Back in March of 2008, I wrote a blog called “The Ex Factor”- check it out:
http://cluelessincolorado.blogspot.com/2008/03/ex-factor.html

Needless to say, this issue has arisen again and I am convinced more than ever that friendship with an ex could spell trouble. I am not talking about the occasional keeping in touch. By occasional, I mean once or twice a year, not every other month or calling. In short, I am skeptical when it comes to keeping in touch with an ex. Whether it is an ex-spouse or an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend. Now, of course, it depends on the people and the extent of the relationship but I always think that people are people and while they intend to or not, they could revert back to old feelings, old times, and what is comfortable especially when things get uncomfortable in the present. It is very easy to fall prey to memories and old times and if you are keeping in touch with an ex regularly, I think it is that much easier to do so.

So, when I talked with a friend yesterday and she relayed a story to me so you can imagine my concern that my husband still keeps in touch with his ex-girlfriend. You read stories on-line too of such cases- the wife finds love letters between the ex and her husband, telephone calls on the cell phone, evidence of secret meetings, and credit card bills but alas, that is the old way of emotionally cheating on your spouse. Now, there is technology and even more for spouses to contend with. There are text messages to contend with, pay as you go cell phones (even terrorists use those), e-mails, chats and of course, Facebook. In this modern age of keeping in touch with every Tom, Dick, and Harry you ever knew, who is to be faulted for hooking up with an ex on-line? After all, you had a history with this person and it is so easy now- with a click of a mouse and a button, you are reviving old memories, updating each other on what is going on, sharing pictures of your private family moments, and texting. It was never so easy to physically and emotionally cheat on your spouse. Frankly, I am surprised I do not hear more stories like this. Fortunately, most of my friends are “happily” married – at least I do not hear about it.

But I could not help but wonder when I heard this, what is the necessity of keeping in touch with the past? What is so wrong with our present that we tap into the past to keep ourselves sated? Some people like to blame the marriage – maybe the wife isn’t keeping things exciting enough- WHAT?! Are you kidding me? Some will blame the other party – why is “she” writing him back? Perhaps the problem is with your spouse’s self image, insecurities, and lack of self esteem not to mention lack of self control. I firmly believe that when you look to someone of the opposite sex for comfort, to talk about things, or just wish to rekindle memories, you may be unhappy with your present. You feel you are lacking something and look for it elsewhere when you should be trying to work on your marriage. After all, that person you chose to be your life partner should be the one you confide in about such things. In the end, I think it is important to be honest with yourself and your spouse especially if your spouse objects to these “ex” communications. That is where mutual respect enters the equation and trust flows both ways. It takes two of course, to make a marriage and unfortunately, just a few minutes to destroy it or erode that trust completely. Trust, I like to think, begets trust.

Of course, one could also say with all that is going on in the world, what’s the harm in keeping in touch with someone who was once so dear? The key words there are “once” and I also think it is a matter of trust and if that is established and lays a solid foundation for the marriage, then it would not matter if the spouse communicated with Tom, Dick, Harry, or even the ex. But if that trust is eroded, it may be in your best interest to just leave that ex in the past.

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Hair can really make the person

I recently learned that a bad haircut can really make a person feel like crap and look bad too. My hair artist (as I call her) is a little ways from the house so I just ventured out the 2 mins to the local salon (we will leave the name out to protect the guilty). Needless to say, since I am nursing and my mom was watching the baby, I make quick trips and run quick errands around this area. The longest I was away the baby was with me so I could feed her on demand. Needless to say, I went to the local salon to get a quick trim and things went bad. the hair got cut a little too short as a result and looks like a salad bowl around my head. I figure I can put barettes in and try to make things better but until you get a really bad haircut, you do not realize how much the hair makes you as a person. For a woman, when her hair looks good, she feels good about herself. Just like wearing a nice business suit can perk up a woman’s performance in a business meeting or courtroom, hair can really make a difference too.

I feel very vulnerable and extremely self conscious as a result of my hair not looking good. It did not help that my husband also agreed that my hair looked horrible and did not suit my face. He is right because a good haircut can really make your face look better. Just like clothes and make-up, if done right, can really accentuate a face and a body. Needless to say, for now, I will deal with a bad haircut with grace and dignity knowing that it will grow back. From a positive perspective, the bad haircut has certainly afforded us all with a good distraction from the other stressors right now in life – newborn and all 🙂

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