August 30, 2017

Diary of a Mom: Sleep 'Training' Edition

So we have all read the books, watched the videos, overheard the mom who brags about her success with training her baby to sleep. I am not a first time parent, yet many days I completely forget everything I once 'learned' about motherhood from my first born, as I'm lulled into dreamland by the gentle coos of my 7 month old falling asleep on my arm, head nestled against my shoulder.

On Day 1 of the decision to craft some semblance of a schedule for our precious bundle, its all good. I wake with a purpose, dedication to the mission, and images of going to sleep in my own bed. Spacing daytime feeds out to 4 hour intervals can't be that hard, right? Step 1 seems like a breeze.

By the end of the 1st day we're in one piece, baby is satiated, finished most of his 4 bottles more completely than when I let him snack on no predetermined regimen. Naps  are the same, sporadic and in varied places from the crib (25 minutes) to my chest (1 hour during a conference call).

Night 1 is a shit show. The 8:00 pm 4-hour interval bottle was too late and he was too hungry, yet hes not ready for bed after guzzling down 7 ounces either. We rock. We try the crib. We cry. We come out of the crib. We dance, we sing, we bounce, we rock again. An hour later, we're both asleep in the bed as all nights prior to the sleep mission. He eats at 12:00 am, and 4:00 am and goes through many restless wake ups in between.

Day 2 starts off with mostly despair, and 3 coffees. Work is busy, my hair is messy, and there wasn't time for a shower because the 8:00 am 4-hour interval bottle is due. He takes only 2 ounces. But the books say have him finish the whole feed! Now what?

By night 2 I'm done with this crap. Still no shower because these damn 4 hour intervals, which sounded easy  (much like how a 5 year old looks like a real grown kid minutes before he throws himself on the ground in the supermarket and you pretend not to know him) are actually miserable and deceiving.

So my advice is this. One day, babies become kids, and kids go to sleep (this I know since I have one). It might be months or years, so survive while you can, and spend your money on good shoes and vodka, not sleep training books.

August 28, 2017


Working full time, raising children, taking care of a home and all that goes along with it, these are things most of us do on a daily basis without complaint (or maybe that's not entirely true- I grumble about no less than 4 things every day). But the days seem endless when, by 8 am, 2 cups of coffee are already digested, the arts and crafts bin is half empty, 3 episodes of paw patrol have already been watched (more than once) and the sun is barely out. I start eating dinner at 3:30 some days when the baby sleeps (on my  shoulder) and there is a lull between conference calls. But older, wiser people tell me these years are actually short (can you imagine?) so capture it and drink it in like a round, balanced cabernet while you can. And share those snaps with me!

August 24, 2017

Back to School!

First grade class assignments went out this summer and the frenzy that ensued brought me right back to the early days where we knew no one, and Connecticut felt like a foreign land. Seeing messages on the Facebook page about who was in class with who, and which moms already knew each other felt overwhelming. We have come so far, made so many amazing friends, had such a wonderful year, yet the sight of the start of the year chaos brings an onslaught of those familiar feelings, as if we're back in middle school ourselves, holding a lunch tray and desperately panning the room for an empty seat next to an inviting soul.

As I've mentioned before, my (almost) 1st grader is not a team sports kind of kid. Legos, trains, used book shops, and antique stores (yup, that's right- antiques) these are more his jam. The whole wearing of a uniform, 'winner' and by default 'loser' associated with most organized sports are just not his speed. I wont force participation in something that's supposed to be 'fun', even though it often means we are declining the 'see you at the game?' or 'is he doing soccer? t-ball? [insert kids' sports]' this season?

So lets all remind our littles that as they embark on this next year of their journey, we are right there with them, empathetic to their struggles and proud of their courage. I definitely vote for kind over gifted, inclusive over exclusive, and effort over results.

August 18, 2017

Thoughts on a Friday

This has been a very challenging week, the kind of week I noted in my last post that is designed to make you grateful for the good days, and shake you out of any malaise you might suffer in your daily routine.

Our amazing neighbors had us to their Rhode Island beach house, and watching Tucker navigate a boogey board on the substantial waves for the first time ever was a moment of joy for both of us.

The 1st grade back to school letters arrived, and the familiar anxiety and panic are washing in like waves in the wake of a small sailboat (for me) while Tucker just wants to be sure I have his dinosaur backpack ready (which I do of course).

A week ago the baby started shimmying across the floor in small increments, and today he races across the room in 5 seconds flat. This is of course amazing to witness first hand (and not have to hear about second hand from a caretaker), but also complicates the delicate work from home stasis both me and Tom balance most days.

I gave up wine on weeknights for health (and to help with those extra 3 pounds I cant seem to shake since having Wells this winter), and by Tuesday this week it had already gone out the window as I filled a glass with a nice, earthy Cabernet to pair with my whole food, low sodium, vegetarian dinner.

August 4, 2017

Summer Stresses

We're 7 weeks in, and I can see the light (school) at the end of the tunnel (summer). For working parents like us, summer is just an extension of the everyday, filled with heat, humidity, complaints, and pressure to fill the days with fun. Summer camp is a necessity, not a luxury for us, as we both juggle deadlines, meetings, clients, and a 6 month old on a daily basis and rarely do any of these tasks run on the 9-5 clock I so often hear fellow working parents lament.

But its not all bad of course. The baby is a slice of heaven on a silver platter I get to enjoy daily. No, he doesn't sleep through the night, in fact he wakes to eat at least 3 times between 9pm and 7am, so I haven't slept more than a 3 hour stretch at a time since December. (Take pity on me when you see my under-eye circles and wonder if I've ever heard of concealor- I have 3 coats on already). But he is pure joy so Ill take it.

And then of course the 6 year old just gave me a week in which I swore I'd send him to reform school as soon as he turned 8, and then wondered if they take children as young as 6. The kind of week where you sit at night, and your insides feel like old wallpaper peeling in on itself when the glue has long worn away. But immediately after the low point he gave me a high point as if he felt my inner most despair. He woke up on the right side of the bed, and flipped the switch from antagonistic villain to compliant cherub (though 'compliant' may be an overshot, you get the picture). And just like that hes back to his joyful, spirited self. Helping pick up leftover food from Panera for the soup kitchen, happily cleaning the basement with a smile. Perhaps these weeks are plucked from above and delivered to remind us what challenging is, in case were have grown complacent, jaded or even worse, discontented.

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