Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Love-Hate Relationship

Waking up to an already brewed pot of coffee (thanks, baby)
Watching my dog romp around the backyard like an elated school-pup

Unexpected gifts
Bright and sunny fall days
A clean house

This smile

Water: swimming, sun-bathing beside, even drinking

This man

This show

These people

This picture

This face

Rodney’s daily morning kiss (as I sleep soundly in bed)

Not finding time to practice voice/music
When dog and baby are both crying
Not getting out of the house
When I don’t exercise
The procrastinator in me
Not being in Michigan in the fall or summer
Being so constantly worried about money
Trying to live up to expectations of what my material possessions should be
Always wanting what others have
When I’m not organized

Getting slap-happy during the last ½ hour of Bach rehearsal with Sarah
Preparing for our Candlelight Christmas concert at Powell Hall
Getting paid to do what I love (sing)
My voice teacher
Spending holidays with family

That my parents are so far away
Hearing from my brother un-expectedly
When my car gets stinky
Road trips with Sarah and Lizzie
Getting sick on road trips with Sarah and Lizzie (I think we’re cursed, girls)
Seeing these ladies at homecoming and other important/random events

When I lack motivation to do really important things
Not knowing what gifts to get for others

My church
Blogging: writing, reading, stalking
My new love affair with this author

Tri/bi-weekly phone calls from Laura
Tri/bi-weekly phone calls from Audrey
Comparing baby/life situations with Marisa
Getting a heavy dose of baby-empathy from Earon
Comparing Malone-boy traits with EJ
Having so many other moms of new babies to talk to and share stories with

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

As You Wish

Last night I actually felt like Rodney was my husband instead of co-parent to my child or helper in my daily affairs. Thanks to Michael, Erin, and Yuri (who stayed with Will) we went to a Nickel Creek concert (which was amazing). And, as we were waiting outside the Pageant (way cool venue- last night was my first experience) in the cool evening air, we actually cuddled. What began as a practical way to stay warm and do something as we stood waiting for our friends, became a good old-fashioned lovers' moment. It had become apparent in that little outdoor hug, that I had forgotten the goose bumps that Rodney used to give me. Instead of a lingering hug in the kitchen, lately our interactions consist of requests and occasional notices: "hey, can you...," "the lightbulb in the hallway...," "this Wednesday I have..." Basically I'm Robin Wright Penn and Rodney is my Wesley. Except, he most often turns into "inconceivable" guy after the barrage of requests and wishes he could poison my glass of cheap wine.

We have always tried to make 'date night' a priority ever since we got married (this coming summer will be 7 years), but it's gotten kind of rare. And when it does happen, it often turns out to be Rodney reading while I do a crossword puzzle to a few lit candles and 2 glasses of the aforementioned cheap wine. I decided right then and there, outside of the Pageant, that we needed a REAL date night. Complete with a babysitter. Who knows about the practicality of this, because honestly, where would the money come from for a babysitter AND a night out (those of you with parents or in-laws in town to watch your kiddos, be very thankful). But, I've been pleasantly surprised at the recent response for a babysitter request on Monday nights until Rodney is done with his class in Greenville. Also, our friends, Amy and Jimmy (parents of 1 yr. old twins) have recently set up a babysitting-exchange of sorts. Maybe the idea isn't too far fetched afterall. Perhaps it's worth getting something arranged for a weekly date so that we can "remember Rio".

remember Rio?

Onto an anectdote from last night. So, as we were walking out of the house I asked Rodney: "I don't need anything for tonight, do I?" I really didn't want to take a purse, so I just grabbed my keys and cell phone. Turns out I truly did need my wallet because they were carding people (duh) to be in the sections where alcohol was served, which I initially didn't think was a problem, except that I really wanted a beer. So, I got a huge red X marked on my hand:

huge red X

And entered with my friends (all of whom remembered their IDs). Then, we tried to go upstairs where our seats were and the stupid little 18 yr. old bouncer said to me: "No minors upstairs." Ahem. I'M 29, YOU IDIOT!*$$#$%%!! Of course I didn't say that, I was just so embarrassed. The good thing is we had some time before the show started and Rodney (Wesley) drove home to get my ID so I could be an adult with the rest of the group.

As soon as he got back, I showed my "beer ticket" at the door and got a few black stamps over the huge red X. Upon getting upstairs I promptly walked over to the bar and bought a beer. I'm sure someday I'll be excited when others think I'm a minor. But for now, I'm glad to have access to the "grown-up" areas. Funny: Brent and Susan told me I should show them my cesarean scar. Surely only adults can have babies- especially via c-section. Hah.

I'll leave you with a tooth (teeth) picture of Will. I can't believe he has 2 teeth already.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday's Post Finished

Ok. Before I actually finish the thoughts from the other day, I thought I'd start this post with some pretty funny pictures. This is Will after I put him in his crib to watch his mobile for a bit while I putzed (I believe this is a technical term) around the house. He had on a new pair of jeans that are slightly big on him. He managed to squirm them right off his little booty while I did my putzing. This also revealed a very shady diapering job by Dad (aka Rodney).

So, I know I said I'd write yesterday, but I started and there was too much to write and too many pictures I wanted to post that it took me till today to finish.

Let me start with #2 from "know this" (Sunday's post).


I've described the Ferber method briefly in a previous post, but here is a recap.

-Dr. Richard Ferber: leading scientist in the field of sleep training/disorders in children
-Holds that if babies are not "settled" (sleeping through a good portion of the night on their own) by 3-4 months of age they need to be taught new sleep associations through the "progressive waiting" method.
-Consistent day/night napping/sleep schedules help set rhythms that encourage nighttime sleep
-Bedtime/naptime routines also help
-All sleep should be in the same place as much as possible

So here's the "progressive waiting" method in a nutshell:

-After bedtime routine, put baby sleepy but awake in crib
(commence crying)
-Leave nursery and wait 3 minutes before returning
-Return after 3 minutes, reassure baby you are there (pat, tell them
you are there, you love them but no picking up)
-Leave nursery (crying continues) repeat above steps by waiting:
5, 10, 10, 10 minutes (until baby falls alseep on his own)
-Second night starts at 5 minutes, third at 10, etc.

Here's what happened for us:

baby cried for total of:
Night 1: 3 1/2 hours
Night 2: 13 minutes (wow)
Night 3: 1 hr. 40 minutes
Night 4: 21 minutes
Night 5: 8 minutes

Now he cries for 2-5 minutes tops when we put him down and sometimes not at all. When he wakes in the night he's usually back to sleep before it's time to check on him (about 10 minutes) unless it's been 7 hours since our last feeding. With such an early bedtime, that means we're up around 3 am for that feeding. I have been trying to brainstorm how to work with this. Should I wake him around 11pm and feed him and get up at 6 so that it's more like a full night? Or, do I keep it the way things are and eventually push that 3 am feeding to 6 and then 7? I'm kind of inclined to do option two because it seems more naturally locked in to his hunger rhythms. How did the rest of you moms and dads work with this? I would love some advice/feedback.

I guess the best thing is that he's actually sleeping on his own. Thank God for Ferber!!! Thanks to all who suggested their favorite sleep book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby". This book also got a great rating in "Baby 411" (A) and I'm sure I would have used it if I hadn't already purchased the Ferber book. I would love to hear more about your sleep stories and how your methods worked for you. This has been one of the biggest challenges (along with breastfeeding) we've been faced with since little Will has entered our lives.

On to other things:
Here is the "undeniably" cute picture we took of Will at Eckerts last weekend (and some other pics from the same trip). Also, I added a cute picture I took while he was hanging in his crib.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today is a Day for Singing not Blogging, Unfortunately

Geez. I have so much to write about it's not even friggin' funny. But, as the title indicates, it will all have to wait until Will's afternoon nap tomorrow. Just know this:

#1. The Eash Family and the Malone Family went to Eckert's yesterday and I took the most undeniably cute picture of William (you'll see it tomorrow).

And, #2. My son, perfect little darling that he is (I'm totally serious, I honestly could not love him more), IS PUTTING HIMSELF TO SLEEP AT NIGHT!!!!

Now, 3 am is not exactly for sleeping yet because he still needs to eat once in the night (more on that later), but the rest of the night is! Ahhhhh. I hope to add a few more "h's" to that lenghty 'ahhhhh' in about a week. We'll see (like I said, more on this later).

Today I have a master class and I will be singing 'Voi Che Sapete' from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which is a "pants part" (woman playing a young man/boy). Lately I've been kind of excited about opera, even though I have almost no experience with it. This is mostly due to the fact that my voice teacher, Carol, recently told me she thought my voice was suited for it. She also recently told me she thought I could be famous (delusional? this will have to be a whole new post- perhaps nap #3 tomorrow). So, as I wish I could write more, today is a busy singing day. But, now that you're totally interested, stay tuned for the next post when I can actually finish these stories/thoughts/anecdotes/recountings, blah blah blah...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Very Soon 3 am will be for sleeping. Ahhhhhh.

So, last night we started Ferber. For those unfamiliar, it is a sleep training method created by the noted sleep scientist, Dr. Richard Ferber. He is considered to be the leading individual in the field of sleep disorders and sleep training in children and adolescents. He published his book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" in 1985 and has recently come out with a new edition. Dr. Ferber created the progressive-waiting approach in which you put your child sleepy but awake in bed/crib and allow them to cry at increasing intervals before going in to briefly check on them (sorry, no picking up). Each night you increase the number you wait to go in by a few minutes and anywhere from 1-7 nights your child is sleeping through the night without your aid. Here's what happened last night:

First of all Will's nap schedule was all funky yesterday, so he didn't get an afternoon nap and went down at 8:30 VERY easily (didn't even cry). But, then he was up at midnight and cried for 2 hours, slept for 30 minutes, then cried for and hour and a half, at which point I fed him (it had been 7 hours between feedings) and he went right back to sleep (laid him awake in crib, no crying) until 7:40 this morning. It was so hard. The funny thing is that the hardest part was not actually listening to him cry for so long, but it was not falling asleep while he did because I had to go into to his room every 5-10 minutes. I wanted to sleep so badly. Technically last night should be the worst of it, so that's good, and today naps shouldn't be too hard since he's pretty tired from crying a good portion of the night. I'll keep you posted.

Here's an update from the weekend.


Well, it was actually proven that they can't because, as you may know from hearing the news over the weekend, they ended up calling off the race after 4 hours and one guy even died. Michael and Paul finished with amazing stamina and Lena had to stop due to extreme exhaustion and injury. I am so amazed and proud of the three of them. Here are some pictures. I'm mad because I didn't get any of Lena or Erin (Paul's girlfriend), but here are some from the race and also some random photos from the weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today was a glorious day-

Rodney stayed home from work today which meant I could sleep a little longer while he played with the baby. Which also meant that, because for him being home was a bonus due to a doctor's appointment for his knee, he took a lot of responsibility for Will. He held him whenvever he could, took him for a walk when he got fussy, and got him ready for bed. He also got up with him a few times last night (our weekend schedule screwed us/Will up, so he's back to getting up every 3 hours or so).

It's so crazy how this parenting thing has been so completely life-changing that it takes two people for it to feel like you're not losing your mind sometimes. It definately refreshed me having Rodney's help today.

I think I feel like I needed it lately because I've come down with a cold over the past few days. Usually this would not be a big deal (and it still isn't really), but I think due to lack of sleep my body is trying to pull all the energy it can to repair itself so I feel REALLY slow and tired. I even felt a little achy/sore yesterday. Today is better (I had Rodney get me some Claritin and I took a long afternoon nap).

It's interesting to me how I have all these things I want to do with my day and it never ceases to amaze me how I can never seem to accomplish them all. Here's my ideal schedule:

7/7:30 am- up, breakfast, read, baby plays
8:30- walk/run
9/9:30- baby naps, I take a shower, get ready for the day
10:30- baby up, playtime, run errands
12:30ish- baby naps, I sing, work on Bach Society music, cook/clean
3:30ish- baby up, play, get baby ready to go with Rod while I go to: Bach,voice,etc.
6:00- home for the night, have dinner with Rod, get baby ready for bed
8:00pm- baby to bed, relax for a few hours before going to bed myself

Most days we can pretty much accomplish these things, but some days are harder than others. Usually that means Will was pretty fussy and wanted to held quite a bit, OR we were up a lot the night before, so I try to sleep when he does which means I get very little done that day. On these days I usually have to prioritize. Sometimes that means I don't get a shower or take a walk. Sometimes I just have to be O.K. with a messy/dirty house. The only non-negotiable for me right now is singing everyday. I should really add some sort of exercise to the list of non-negotiables, too.

Recently I have taken to marveling at women to have multiple children and seem to have such smooth-running households, not to mention look showered, make-uped, and generally rested. Maybe this is a facade, or maybe they are just so intune to the rhythm of their daily lives with a family that each moment of the day has a purpose and that purpose is fulfilled.

As I reflect on this a bit more I think of some pretty amazing moms I knew growing up. I think of Julie Fritzsche, the mom of my best friend from elementary school, Dawn. She had 4 kids, 2 biological daughters and 2 foster children which they adopted. Her home her home was ALWAYS a place of warmth and love where her children came first. I spent as much time as possible with Dawn and her family because it always seemed like their house was a center for their kids. I NEVER felt like I was a burden, and I suspect neither did her children. I'm pretty sure her house wasn't always clean and picked up either. I think of my friend Ashley's mom, Trina. I met Ashley at community college my first year after graduating high school and we spent gobs of time at her house. Trina's home was so light and loving and filled with good food, good music, and a hearty love for God and her children. I think of Sue Cornell, another mom of a friend growing up. Her home was the meeting place after school. She gave us jobs so we could have extra spending money, she gave us advice on school and boys and life and we were ALWAYS welcome in her home. I think of my own mother, who was not always patient with us, was uptight about the way her house looked and ran, sometimes didn't let my brother and sister and I just be kids. But, she prayed with us, sang to us, cooked us the BEST food, believed we were the most beautiful and talented children she could have asked for, and wouldn't let others tell her how to be. She was, is, a strong woman.

I aspire to be all these women.

Will I ever get there? Who knows. I suppose it helps to remember to take each day, each moment, as it comes and rely upon my intelligence to work through each problem as it occurs, all the while reminding myself that life is too short to get caught up for too long in any one episode or issue. It also helps to keep my sense of humor, read a book that's not about solving my baby's latest issue, and keep my girlfriends close. Some days will suck, some days will be good. Still others will be great.

I take heart in knowing that today was good (thanks to Rodney) and tomorrow is another day.

Now to bed...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Drumroll please....

Well, the numbers are in. Today was Will's 4 month check up, and besides getting a heavy dose of immunizations, we got his measurements and percentiles:

Head: 43.4 (cm? i don't know)- 75th %
Length: 26 inches- 90th % !!!
Weight: 16 lbs. 4 oz- 80th %

O.K., so it's confirmed that we have a MONSTER on our hands! No wonder my back aches!!

Here's the boy, post-shots nap, in his new fall football look:

We just got back from McPherson last night and here are some pictures from the weekend. Happy birthday to Grandpa Bill and Cousin Logan!!! We had such a great time in Mac-town. We love you guys.

Crystal, Eddie and Cousin David

Crystal, Aunt Joan, Cousin David and Will

Cousin Yuri, Will, Grandma Malone and Aunt Joan

Great Grandparents and Great Grand Children

Logan: stone-angel, skater

Grandpa Jerry and Will

Grandma Nancy reading Will a bedtime story

Pinata fiasco

Newell Cousins

Aunt Cheryl and Will

Grandpa Jerry grillin' and Uncle Mendel hangin'

Yuri and the activity gym

Grandpa Bill (namesake)and Will

Cousin Adison cutely farting on the dining room table after a filling meal