Preggo Belly: 14 weeks (and 4 days).

Image from pregnancycool.com/ 14-weeks-pregnant/

It’s been a big couple of weeks for us.  Since finishing up with SXSW (I think?  Not sure if I need to do wrap-up stuff.  Will update on this later), I have had time to actually do things for this business Hubs and I started.  Like design work, organizing the Institute, putting up curtains (X2), and directing boys moving around bookshelves.  We also got a new work truck that will blow your mind.  This needs its own post I think.  It’s so rowdy and fun.  And by new, I mean old but in good shape and easy to fix by Hubs.

While work stuff has been occupying my every thought, we’ve had some forwards/backwards on the EB front.  Literally, she likes to go forwards and backwards and tell us which is which, yes, of course, but this gal is hating potty time.  Mostly the taking on or or off of pants and pullups.  She yells bloody murder that a pullup can’t go on right now because she needs to use the potty, but she won’t sit on the potty unless I’ve got some good distraction (read: bribe) like a banana in her future or I’m about to turn on Sesame Street while we’re getting ready.  Maybe it’s sticker time?  I need help from those of you who’ve potty-trained and had a remission.  And wearing undies confuses her because she thinks it’ll absorb it.  Well, more that it’s the same as a diaper.

That is the backwards.  The forwards is three-fold.  One, I am completely comfortable with my kid getting super dirty during playtime now.  I used to go after her with a wash cloth to get the dirt off of her hands and face, but now I just let it ride until it’s time to do something that requires cleanliness.  Because playtime should be dirty, you know?  I had to wash an elephant’s worth of dishes yesterday (and yet, the elephant is back) so I went outside and filled up all of our watering cans and buckets with water from the hose so EB could “water flowers” aka my buffalo grass.  I scooted her all over the yard so we didn’t exactly have a mud pit slash the grass actually got watered.  I got 3 minute intervals of running inside and loading the dishwasher, then EB yelled through the front door that she needed more “water flowers.”  Way dirty and way cute.

EB’s forwards is getting her toddler bed!  We have had this for a while as a hand-me-down from a friend who’s kids Hubs and I used to babysit.  I got the spidey sense that they might be upgrading to a big girl bed (aka awesome bunk bed with a slide) and asked what they were going to do with the bed.  It was perfect timing because they were switching out that week, even though I didn’t need to upgrade EB for about 6 months.  I like to be prepared.  So I’ve had this toddler bed out in the hill country and my nephew had been using it when visiting Hubs’ bro on the weekends.  They moved back in to Austin and brought the bed with them to return to us.  Mid-length story short, we brought the toddler bed in yesterday morning and EB was so excited that I found her sprawled on the uncovered mattress when I came back into the room with her sheets.  We moved the bed over and EB handed me the bedding so I could set it up.  It wasn’t even naptime – we had 2 hours to go, actually – and EB got under the covers with a book that she could reach easily from her new spot.  I got under the covers with her (this was a feat in and of itself) and we read for a while.  She was adamant about sleeping there for her nap when it finally rolled around, and she loved being able to get up and tell me her milk was empty.  I, however, did not enjoy finding her wandering through the house and questioned whether or not we were ready for this upgrade.  After the refill, she stayed in bed for the whole nap.  Perfect.

So happy!

Which makes me happy!

I haven't shown y'all this angle of the room yet. The shelves on the right were recently spray-painted to match those hanging shelves from a recent post.

Then she wanted to do the same for bedtime and just wouldn’t stay in bed, so I had to forgo the newness and plop her back in the crib.  I think a slow transition to the bed, don’t you think?  I don’t want to discourage her from the excitement she feels from her new bed, but the gal’s got to sleep and not wander at her leisure, right?  I have mixed feelings about this one.  Advice is requested, Intertron.

The last forwards is that EB didn’t cry when I dropped her off at daycare this morning!  She actually didn’t cry the whole first week when she started here and now freaks out when I leave her.  Her sweet teacher assures me it’s for less than a minute and then she’s on to playing.  And I’ve actually seen her scoot off in a car once I pass the playground on my way out, not a second thought given to our parting.  But today, she walked up to her teacher and didn’t even say bye to me (and I didn’t sneak off, which makes me feel terrible).  Progress!

This is how I saw her in the window of her classroom when picking her up recently. I still don't know where the other sock is.

Oh, and the belly feels good.  I’ve been moisturizing and crossing my fingers for no stretch marks.  I was good last round, but I also was much more diligent about skin care.  And I think I’ve been feeling slight movement even though I heard it was too early to tell.  So I’ve either been hallucinating it, having some indigestion, or know what to look for.

Forwards and Backwards,

Jells

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Ask Mama Jells: Am I Giving my Kid Too Many Bottles in the Night?

I'm comfortable with sippie cups during the day, and bottles when she's trying to sleep.

See yesterday’s post for the catalyst for this week’s string of advice.  I tackled hitting then, and another question I brought up in Carrie Contey’s Toddlerhood Parenting Workshop was about giving EB bottles in the night.  I really appreciated her answer, because she asked how it made my body feel.  And it has nothing to do with whether or not other kids were still getting bottles at night to go back to sleep.

EB is a champion sleeper.  She demands to go night-night, sometimes foregoing her rocking and a book to help settle down and get sleepy.  She climbs on the side of her crib and looks at me like I’m crazy for not just putting her in there.  I know we are lucky that the bedtime routine takes 1 minute sometimes.  And that there is no resistance.  I appreciate EB for her sensibility.

I sleep-trained her at around 5 months with the Extinction Method.  See this post for getting your kid into the crib.  she used to sleep in a bassinet in my room and I would nurse her on demand.  I just couldn’t sleep with her in the room because every little tiny baby noise she made put me on red alert.  Once getting her in the crib in her own room, I would go in there if the cry was more energetic than say, a wah! for just waking up and I would nurse her.  She weened herself at 13.5 months and now I just hand her a bottle and cover her up.  About half the time she goes back to sleep on her own if I don’t go in there.  The other half of the time, I go in there.  We’re still stuck at one to two times a night needing her bottle refilled.

About to drive from Houston to Austin. I'm ok with EB having a bottle so she sleeps.

The thing is, I don’t really mind it.  If I were mad about it, or exasperated that I had to keep going in there, it might be one thing.  The Hubs and I take turns all night, even though he wakes up earlier than I do and works every day of the week while I work just 3.  And sometimes the dogs are whining about wanting to go out or Duna wants to be covered with her blanket again.  So the dogs can be more frustrating than being awoken for a bottle.  And with all the bottles, she needs a couple diaper changes.  We do overnight diapers, which were really a godsend.  Before it was the leaking that woke her up.  Now it’s just not being able to go back to sleep sometimes.

So until I feel like my body says, “I just can’t do this anymore,” I can keep getting her the nightly or bi-nightly bottle of mostly water and a dash of milk.  I don’t know when we will make it to all water to protect those poor little toofers.  But it made me feel better knowing it was up to me, and not up to some chart that says by a certain age they shouldn’t still be getting bottles or help at night to soothe.  Eventually she will be a teenager and not need a bottle.  It won’t last forever.

Slee-EB

Again, if there’s some topic you want me to cover based on what I’ve absorbed from the parenting classes, write in the comments.  Or go to her classes!  They were the best ever.  But I would rather you do both!

x to the o

jell

Ask Mama Jells: How Do I Get my Kid Into the Crib?

A friend recently sent me a sweet email.  I shall now share her compliments and question:

Confession

So, I have totally been reading (stalking) your blog. It’s great! And I’m sure you know what its like with a baby….I spend HOURS rocking/nursing.
I need some advice about sleep….M is 3 mos old, and she is still sleeping in her swing. We are also still up frequently during the night. I swaddle, etc. When did u start sleep training and what did u do? I really wish she could sleep in her crib!
Thanks for the quality reads ;) :)

EB's nap time with Gram Gram during Wedding Weekend 2 of 3

I remember taking EB in to the pedi when she was 5 mo old for something that turned out to be nothing (figures) and after her pedi told me she was fine, she asked how I was sleeping.  I said my nights mostly consist of not, so there’s that.  She said EB was ready for sleep training.  It can be done as early as 4.5 mo, and I had a friend that did it at 4 mo, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to get her to sleep through the night at 3 mo.  She is still growing and needs breast milk at regular intervals.

BUT.  That’s not to say she can be trained to sleep in her own crib instead of the swing, or in our case, a swing, then bassinet, then swing, all in one night.  I was so super sensitive to hearing EB in the room with me that the slightest rustle of a blanket, smacking of lips, sigh or whimper, my adrenaline would wake me up 100% and EB would still be asleep.  So by the time I’d go back under, she’d be up and ready to nurse.  Endless cycles of torture.

So we tried the Extinction Method (or cry-it-out).  The Ferber Method, both of which were suggested by the pedi, didn’t work for us because every time we would go back in to reassure her that we were still nearby, she would get hysterical, and cry harder than she was while settling down.  So for three days, we would put EB down at 7 after rocking, reading, and soothing.  She wasn’t fully asleep and I’d tell her good night, I love her, I’ll be right outside, etc.  I didn’t just sneak out (it’s very tempting to put down a sleeping baby and run for it before they realize and wake up) but they understand more than we give them credit.  So I told her what’s up and gently left.  EB cried intensely that first night.  And the pedi reminded us that she’s fine, she’s not hurt, and 45 min is fine, but maybe by then go in and check.  So I went back in and nursed her a little bit and put her back in and gently left again.  She cried for maybe 15 min and was asleep.  Hallelujah!  She woke up several more times during the night and we let her cry herself to sleep again.  We did this on a weekend because it’s really hard to sleep through.  If the cries got frantic, we went in there, because maybe she needs a new diaper or is scared, you know?  But if it’s a cry like, I’m tired and no one is making my eyelids close, then she’s ok and is learning to soothe herself.  By the third day, 15 min of crying was standard and would go to sleep for HOURS.  Totally worth the crazy 3 days.

Of course, this is all different for us now.  We still do the rock, bottle, get sleepy routine and she blows kisses when I’m leaving the room.  It was all worth it to have such a short bedtime routine.  And she can go down with dad, an EBsitter or a grandma.  She knows what’s happening and can predict it.  She does, however, wake up 3 times a night right now.  I think it’s because of the teething.  I have gotten in a bad habit of bringing her a big bottle of milky water (trying to ween her from night milk) and change her diaper (it’s a lot of liquid at night) and maybe rock her if all that has woken her up too much.  It’s quicker to rock her for 5 min than to wait in my bed for her to stop crying.

I think that when I wean her from milk totally I can leave a bottle in her bed and she can wake up, grab the water, and go back down on her own.  And maybe I need to invest in some overnight diapers because she’s lying in an inflatable pool of pee around her.  Who could sleep with THAT?

So for M’s age, I would suggest training her to go back down in her crib after nursing.  She still might wake up to nurse during the night for the next month or so, but it’s a good time to start her getting comfortable with her room and crib now.  And if she’s just nursed and has trouble falling asleep, you can try either of the two methods I mentioned above.  Ferber just means you go back in at longer and longer intervals so they know you’re still there.  It depends on how delicate your M is.  EB is NOT delicate.  But that’s also how I know she’s OK in there.

Readers, please leave me questions in the comments that you have about pregnancy, infants, toddlers, whatevs.  I will be answering questions regularly because I get it a lot of those in my real life and I freely talk about cooters and boobs (because they’re awesome and make/feed BEBES).  You can also email me at ill.sleep.when.theyre.grown (AT) gmail (DOT) com or ask me on Facebook.  I honestly love talking about this crap and you can’t gross me out with mommy/baby stuff.  If I get my period this month, I’ll be talking about the Diva Cup next week and how to use it without going crazy from a piece of rubber in your cooter (I was recently asked this and I thought I’d share).

Happy sleeping,

jell jell

How Much Baby Crap to Have On Hand: Bedding.

I spy 3 blankets--EB's 1st day home from the hospital.

There are a lot of new and almost mamis and papis in my group of wonderful friends.  When I was preggo, I didn’t know how much or what I should get for the nursery.  Today’s topic is…BEDDING.  (I totally just changed EB’s crib sheets after 4 days so I felt I should write about it.)

At first, when EB was in the bassinet in our room, I thought one set of sheets for the crib in her room was plenty.  Well, one, and a backup so I don’t have to do laundry immediately.  And I thought one mattress cover would be plenty, too.  Der.  There are nights of pee-poo-barf-sweat.  Multiple sessions.  I have literally gone though 4 sets of sheets and mattress covers.  It’s incredible.  Mostly from surprise barf nights that involved both EB and me in the shower in the middle of the night.  They’re not super frequent, but holy majoly, I am very appreciative of my plethora of bedding.

Eebs at 4 mo with her Sleep Pig.

And I am a huge fan of hand-me-downs, garage sales, clothing swaps, consignment stores (are you surprised?).  There’s no need to get all brand new bedding when kids sleep on them for two or three years and then move on to a reg length bed, in my frugal opinion.  And I have a dillion blankets, most of which are handmade.  Especially when they’re infants, and they nap anywhere and everywhere, you have blankets in the car, at the grandparents, in the diaper bag, at daycare, in the rotation of bedding (they need to match the sheet sets!).  And I have one blanket for when I tuck her in, then the backup for when she’s inevitably laying on top of the first blanket.

So at the bare minimum, 4 sheets, 4 mattress covers, 8 blankets (thin and thick).  Pillows are less important now, but we have a thinish adult-sized pillow for one sheet set that has a pillowcase for it.  Helpful?  Let me know if you are registering for a shower/nesting/getting your nursery ready and need an opinion on baby crap.  I’ve got one.

Saving you money,

jells