Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A day in the life of a mom with a teen, a tween, and a toddler

Zachariah awoke at 5:11 with a twinkle in his eye that said "I'm up, Mom!"  I snuggle up to him and nurse, hoping he will fall into a milk induced coma, but to no avail.  Not wanting to fight for the next hour to get him back asleep, I opt to get up, knowing that he will crash in a couple of hours and we'll take a mid-morning nap.

I stumble out of the bedroom with a skipping Zachariah, let the dogs out for a morning potty break, mash the start button on the coffeemaker, and turn on Z's favourite Veggie Tales in hopes that he will cuddle and watch the tele while I have my morning cup.  No such luck.  When I open the freezer to get ice for my water bottle, he spots the Blue Bell and starts stomping his feet and screaming.  I scream.  You, scream. Zachariah screams for ice cream!  I try to redirect with grapes, one of his favourite snacks, but he will not be distracted from a sweet, creamy treat by mere grapes.  I open the produce drawer, which is full of tomatoes from our CSA box and he dives in.  Whew!  I get him a cup of water, pour myself a mug full of steaming coffee, and collapse into the rocking chair with my Kindle, but the cantankerous toddler is not in a mood to let me wake up slowly.

Jonathan emerges from our bedroom and Z decides that now is a good time to throw another fit, this time demanding a fortune cookie sitting on the kitchen counter.  Deciding that this is a battle I am not ready to fight so early in the morning, I break open the cookie, retrieve the fortune and hand him half.  I can almost hear Jonathan thinking "He needs to go back to bed."  Wisely, after more than twelve years of living together, neither of us says much beyond "I love you" and "Have a good day."  Early morning conversations aside from those phrases are not likely to turn out well.

Once Jonathan walks out the door for work, Zachariah makes it clear that he wants to P L A Y!  We sit down on the kitchen floor and play with his Transformers pull-back Optmius Prime and I begin to emerge from my early morning stupor and enjoy myself.  Veggie Tales ends and Z asks me to start it again.  I'm house-sitting for a friend this week, and it has gotten a little lighter outside, so I tell Zachariah that we're going to go for a walk and let doggies out first.

On the way over, I see my neighbour taking his rubbish out and remember that it's trash day, so we will need to take care of that when we get home.  Once dogs have been let out, we walk back to our house and Zachariah helps me push the garbage can down to the curb.  We go back inside to collect the rest of our rubbish and Z drags the bag down to the can.  I lift him up and he throws it in.  Again, I realise how much I'm enjoying the little things in life.

When we finish our chores, I restart Veggie Tales and try again to have a cup of coffee.  This time, I've also gotten myself a Luna Bar to share with the boy.  He shares my breakfast with me, and dances around the room for a while.  It becomes evident that our mid-morning nap is soon to be forthcoming.  I grab diapers to throw in the wash because it's diaper laundry day and Jonathan is leaving later in the week, so I need to make sure all his clothes are ready to pack.  I have lots to wash today, but I'm ready to rest and diapers are the easiest laundry I do.  No separating, just toss it in.

8:15 blissful nap time.  Z and I snuggle up to nurse and this time, he does sleep.  I am thankful for the respite, as he didn't sleep well last night, and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold.

When we get up again around 10:00, Celestia is up.  I turn my computer on so it will be ready if I need it - I schedule appointments for a psychologist - and it gets stuck in a boot cycle.  It is a new box, and I have a feeling that Zachariah, a notorious button-pusher, has probably already located the power switch and wreaked his havoc on it.  I call Jonathan several times trying to get the problem sorted out and it finally gets up and running.  Somewhere in all this, Tatiana also graces us with her presence.

Zachariah is now gazing longingly out the back door at his wading pool.  I enlist Celestia's assistance in watching him while I go outside to wipe down the pool and fill it with fresh water, only to discover that the dogs have decided that they should explore this strange object in their yard, and torn holes in it.  Frustrated, I return to the house and again call Jonathan to vent about things not working the way they're supposed to, and being broken.  We've been talking about putting a little fish pond in the back yard since we moved in eight years ago, and I debate ordering a "fish pond" for Z to play in.  Upon contemplating the work that installing a pond will entail, I decide that a mere wading pool is not going to defeat me, and return to the backyard with scissors, duct tape, rubbing alcohol, microfibre towels and fierce determination.  The pool is a "slide and spray" with a little inflatable slide and dragon that sprays water out of its mouth.  The landing pad for the slide has been destroyed, so I cut into it with the scissors to make a patch for the part on the bottom of the pool that is also damaged.  After much cleaning, cutting and taping, I declare it repaired, and start it filling.

Upon returning to the house, I find Zachariah dancing at the back door in contemplation of a splash in his pool.  I bring all my tools back into the house, and tell Tatiana to take off Zs diaper and turn him loose.  I turn around just in time to see a dirty bum trotting across the yard to play.  Oops!  Potty break!

Bum cleaned, we turn Z back out into the yard to splash, get muddy, and play drums on the side of the pool with sticks.  While we're playing in the wading pool, Celestia has decided she will bake some peanut butter cookies for Daddy to take on his next trip.  I call Tatiana to take some pictures of her brother and I since I have a history of drowning phones, and would very likely drop it in the water if I tried to take them myself.

All played out, I bring Zachariah back into the house to get a dry diaper on and have some lunch.  As I'm washing my hands, I remember that the humidifier needs cleaned out, and figure that the girls will keep an eye on their brother for the minute it will take me to do that, since I had forgotten to shut my bedroom door and he has already run out.  No sooner did I get the lid unscrewed than I hear Tatiana shout "Zachariah!!!  MOM come quick!"  Judging by the laughter, I am more curious than worried as I make my way into the kitchen to see what had transpired.  Apparently, I had also forgotten to lock the back door, and Z has bolted outside and slipped in the mud.  He is not a happy camper.  Laughing, I grab the hose, spray him off and leave the muddy diaper on the porch to be rinsed out once Z is once again dried off.

Muddy boy and diaper taken care of, I look at the clock and decide that it's about time to get my friend's dogs inside to cool off.  Zachariah and I again take a walk and discover that one of the dogs had pooped in her crate overnight.  In my early-morning fog, I hadn't noticed.  We make the walk back home, and I tell the girls what has happened and ask them to watch their brother.  I return and clean the most monumental cow-paddy-sized poop I have ever seen come out of a dog.  She still refuses to go back to bed, probably because the crate now smells like what I had cleaned it with, so I send her back outside.  Her bedding has also gotten soiled, so I bring it home to wash.  Another load of laundry.

When I get home, Tatiana tells me that they have put my lunch in the microwave to stay warm.  I thank them and take the dog's bedding outside to spray off before I wash it.  I do some shuffling of laundry from washer to dryer and toss the now dripping bedding in to wash.

Lunch time!

Celestia is now baking the cookies, having mixed the dough and waited patiently for it to chill.  I wander to the coffeepot to pour myself another cup, and realise that after playing in the mud and cleaning up the poop of the century that I feel gross.  I turn to her and say so, and she tells me that I should go take a bath.  I take her up on that offer because I really do feel disgusting.

Laying back in the tub, I relax with my Kindle for the first time all day.  I reflect on the morning (and early afternoon) and feel the urge to blog about it.  Quickly, I discover that Blogger and Kindle do not play well together.  Bummer.  About this time, I hear Tatiana shouting at Zachariah.  Not good.  I wrap myself in a towel, open my door and call Z back.  Tatiana tells me that Z had been chasing Arynson in his crate, and Aryn was none too happy about it.  Looking at the clock, I decide that it is about nap time anyway, so I will try to get Zachariah to sleep.

Once again, Zachariah does not want to go to sleep.  A recurring theme in our day, apparently.  I try, but quickly realise that it's just not going to happen, so instead, I get dressed and go back out of the bedroom.

The rest of the afternoon flies by in a blur.  Celestia manages to get Zachariah down for a nap.  I take the now clean and sun-dried bedding back over to my friend's house and the dog finally goes back to bed.  I get another load of laundry washed.  And another one.  Jonathan comes home.  The dishwasher is filled, run, emptied, and loaded up again.  Five people generate a lot of dishes.  Supper is made and we all gather on the sofa to eat and watch a silly show together.  Zachariah climbs all over Jonathan and I as we try to eat, and gets cheese sauce everywhere.

I take Zachariah to our bedroom to begin his routine.  Bath.  Massage.  Brush teeth.  Read a book.  Nurse.  Again, he fights sleep.  I sit on the edge of the bed and bounce him, looking at his sweet little face as he stares at me and think about how quickly it passes.  I can hear my big girls in the front of the house listening to music.  Arguing with Daddy.  Weren't they babies yesterday?  Ultimately Jonathan comes in the bedroom to relieve me, and finally Zachariah gives in.

Now?  Now, I am going to pour myself a drink, curl up on the sofa next to my husband and enjoy my last night off of work before he leaves town.  It was such a busy day, in such a beautiful life.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Night weaning, week two!

I've been a picture-taking slacker, so there aren't too many new ones.  Especially of sleeping and nursing! So enjoy some random cute pictures!  lol
Zachariah got his very first sno cone!
Day 8 - Sunday, July 8
Another rough night.  I'm really not sure this is helping me get any more sleep.  If we get to the end of the week and it hasn't gotten any better, we're going to have to do something else.
Little drummer boy!
Day 9 - Monday, July 9
Tonight, I had to work, and Jonathan had JUST managed to get Zachariah to sleep when I walked in the door from work at about 9:45.  Pretty rough, considering that his normal bedtime is between 8:00 and 8:30.  Zachariah slept until 2:30 when he came to bed with us and nursed.  At 5:15, when the alarm went off for Jonathan to go to work, I hit the snooze button a few too many times.  Oops.  When I got up at 6:00 to help get Jonathan out the door, Zachariah woke up and was ready to go.
Bwahahahahaha!  Managed to sneak a shot of Tatiana...  Sort of.
Day 10 - Tuesday, July 10
I worked again.  Zachariah went to sleep easily, and slept until 2:30, when he came to bed with us and nursed.  He woke up for the day at 6:30.  I think this may be the longest block of sleep I've gotten since the end of the second trimester or so of my pregnancy, when I began waking regularly to have to use the restroom.  I could get used to this.
YUM!  Cherry tomatoes!
Day 11 - Wednesday, July 11
I was able to nurse Zachariah to sleep in about 15 minutes or so.  He woke up once about 9:45 and Jonathan bounced him back to sleep.  Again he slept until 2:30 and woke for the day at 6:30.  Three nights in a row!  I sure hope this is going to be a new routine.  I'm feeling like this is a comfortable place for me, and I probably won't try to stretch it to 6 hours at this time.

Day 12 - Thursday, July 12
Last night, I cheated.  I was a super zombie when Zachariah woke up at 12:30 so I brought him to bed.  He woke about every two hours after that point, but went right back to sleep.  I obviously needed the rest, so I'm OK with it.
Necklace fun!
Day 13 - Friday, July 13
Cheating probably set us back a bit.  At 1:30 Zachariah would not go back to sleep without nursing.  I let him slip into bed a half hour early.  He woke up at 4:00 and didn't get back to sleep until 5:30, the stinker.
Yum-o tomato!

Day 14 - Saturday, July 14
I was gone all day long seeing Ina May Gaskin speak SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!  That has absolutely nothing to do with night weaning, except I was super ready to nurse when I did get home at bedtime.  Zachariah went to sleep quite easily and stayed in his hammock until 2:30ish, waking once afterward and was up for the day at 7:00.

Bonus! Day 15 - Sunday, July 15
Zachariah came to bed around 2:00 and woke sometime in the night.  I didn't even roll over to see what time it was.  Jonathan snapped some pictures of us snuggling before he went to work.  <3 
This is why I love co-sleeping!  Zachariah burrowed himself under my cheek, and I fell asleep with the sound of his breathing in my ear.  <3

At this point, Z is sleeping so much better that he was before, and I'm no longer perpetually exhausted.  Even with the very, very busy week I had last week, it took until Sunday for it to catch up with me.  I'm pretty consistently getting a good four hour block of sleep, and for now, that's good.  Although we're not up to the full eight hours, I am going to declare partial night weaning a success and leave it at that for now.  :)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The "W" word!

This post contains lots of talk (and pictures!) about boobs and breastfeeding.  You have been warned.

From the day he was born, Zachariah has been a boobie monster.
He's absolutely never slept through the night, which I was OK with, because he's grown so beautifully.  He's not too fat or too small, so I've always felt like if he was nursing that frequently that his body and his metabolism probably needed it.  As we near his second birthday, however, MY body needs sleep.  I'm quickly turning into a basketcase.  So this week, we began the process of night weaning.  Because Zachariah sometimes wakes up every single hour, I began with a shorter time period than suggested - four hours - between 10 PM and 2 AM.  Once we've got that down, I'll stretch it to six hours, and then eight.
Day 1: Sunday, July 1
Zachariah woke up almost every hour between 10 and 2.  Jonathan bounced him in his hammock a couple of times and I bounced him a couple of times.  All of the times he woke, it didn't take very long at all to get him back to sleep.  Maybe between five and ten minutes.  He woke just after 2:00 and I brought him to bed and nursed.
Day 2: Monday, July 2
I worked and got home maybe 9:30ish.  Zachariah woke up shortly thereafter, and I nursed him until a little after 10:00.  He woke up once at about 1:15 and Jonathan bounced him back to sleep very quickly.  At 2:30 he woke and came to bed to nurse.  Only problem I had was that he woke up for the day at 5:13.  Ugh.  I am not a morning person.
Day 3: Tuesday, July 3
Basically the same story as Monday.  I did, however, notice that Zachariah only woke a couple more times in the night to nurse after coming to bed with me at 2:30, which is a vast improvement over previous nights.  He woke up again at 5:15 or so and it took a good hour and a half to get back to sleep.  I probably wouldn't have bothered with continuing to try if Jonathan wasn't off of work for the 4th.
Day 4: Wednesday, July 4
I expected this night to be goofy.  We went to see fireworks, and didn't even attempt to begin putting Zachariah to bed until we got home at around 10:15.  He went down fairly easily, but woke several times before 2:00, and continued to wake throughout the night.
Haha!  I tricked you!  This is neither a boob nor a sleeping baby!  ;)
 Day 5: Thursday, July 5
This was the worst night so far.  I had to work, so didn't get home until around 10:00.  Jonathan said that Zachariah had woken up four times between going to sleep at 8:30 and when I got home.  When he woke again at 10:15, I nursed him.  I'm beginning to think I should switch our block of time from 10:00 - 2:00 to 11:00 - 3:00.  Although unless we really continue to back-slide, I want to increase to six hours next week, so it would not be as big of a deal.
After nursing at 10:15, Zachariah continued to wake up frequently.  At 12:45, he woke and I noticed that his diaper was especially wet, so I changed him and held him to bounce and sing to him, instead of leaving him in his hammock to bounce.  After probably 20 minutes of this, he looked at me and asked to nurse, so I did.  For probably 30 minutes.  FINALLY, at a quarter to two, he went to sleep and slept for a couple of hours.  This was the first time since night weaning that I needed to nurse.  We're not doing full on don't offer, don't refuse weaning yet, as I do still offer sometimes when I can tell that he's overwhelmed or exhausted, but I definitely don't refuse when he asks.  Sure do hope Friday is going to be a better night.
Day 6: Friday, July 7
A much better night.  I did not have to work and was able to nurse Zachariah to sleep.  He woke up about 9:30 and I nursed him one last time before we went into the four hour weaning block.  During that four hours he woke up once, and easily went back to sleep.
Day 7: Saturday, July 8
UGH!  Zachariah woke up a lot.  I mean really, a lot.  At 1:45, he awoke, and it was evident that he was not going to go back to sleep without nursing, so I let him go ahead 15 minutes early.  He continued to wake up throughout the night, and awoke about 3:00 for an hour and a half.

After a week, I'm not sure how successful I feel like we've been.  I suppose, if you're only looking at weaning, we're not doing too badly.  Unfortunately, it's not the nursing that I have a problem with, it's the frequent waking, which I'm not sure has abated.  I'm definitely going to stick with the four hour time block and not go to six just yet.