Saturday, May 18, 2013

Adventures In Sleep Training

I'm not sure how I managed this, but I think this past week was even less productive than the week before.

Remember I was planning (somewhat) our wedding reception and Pokeroke night and coordinating with relatives in town. (Did I mention all that on the last post?) I also was dealing misdelivered wedding gifts and an EZ Pass bill in collections even though I have an EZ Pass transponder, oh and the huge corporation that owns the apartment we rent is looking for a 14% rent increase. Well all those things were still going on. And it was my birthday last Thursday and I decided that birthday breakfast is more celebratory than birthday lunch, so I got to work at 11 or so and then proceeded to generally not work for the rest of the day. I have been daydreaming about creative projects, running for office, helping to create a climbing gym, and other things that do not resemble practicing law in the least. I haven't even been doing this a year.

So, since I seem to be neglecting it, let's talk about the mom part of my life for a bit instead of the lawyer part.

My sweet boy is seven months old. Against the recommendation of the books (mainly Weissbluth), I have been putting him to bed while sound asleep. He nurses, falls asleep in my arms, and at some point I carefully stand up and slowly walk to his crib and gently, oh-so-gently, lay him down. But recently, after a week of depriving him of regular sleep due to such things as a Friday night wedding reception, visiting with family, and getting shit done, the bedtime routine was starting to wear on me too. Senior and I had been talking about getting on a regular nap schedule. And then one night I sat and nursed and nursed and sat and sat and nursed get the idea. For an hour and a half I was putting the baby to bed. So the next night, just like that, we decided it was time to stop putting him down dead asleep.

And he cried and cried, but not that long. It was about 45 minutes. I put him in his crib about 8:15 I think. He immediately rolled onto his belly and screamed his head off. Senior went in after awhile and rolled him onto his back again. More crying. One more flip back from his belly. A little longer and the crying stopped. I didn't cave in! I definitely almost did. The book says at night you have to just let him go until he falls asleep. For naps they can cry for an hour. An hour! That was news to me and sounded like a long time. Letting him cry until he stopped crying seemed like a really long time. But it worked! He finally fell asleep around 9, on his belly (we checked), and stayed that way until 8 in the morning. 8! He used to sleep until 8 but as he started going to bed earlier the time moved to about 7 and sometimes a bit earlier. It took a few months before he started going to bed before 10 or even 11. But the thing was, he started sleeping eight hours at night about two weeks after I went back to work. So at three months almost like clockwork. I didn't really care that he was up until 11, or going to bed dead asleep, when we all got our eight hours in. And he has typically been sleeping ten hours a night since about four months. (I know I am so lucky.) But now it seems he needs more scheduled sleep. Kind of a drag to be putting the baby to bed at 7:00 in the summertime, but I guess this is parenthood.

So today, you must be wondering what happened. He woke up at 8, like I said. We went across the street to the Wegmans because his right eye was swollen and I wanted to talk to the pharmacist. And get bagels. The pharmacist said check with the pediatrician because she would need to tell me the dosage of baby Benadryl since J (that is now le bebe's blog name/initial) is under age 2. Checked with doctor and did not give him anything. Ate a bagel. I am not usually in charge of naps but Senior worked today--damn it! J is making sounds. It's 10:47. He never does this. Wait, I think he's quiet again.--so I was in charge of naps. Put him down awake at 9:59. Cried. Asleep at 10:05.--He's definitely awake and fussing now. Wait, maybe not.--J slept until 12:30!!! And woke up happy and playing in his crib. And soaked through his diaper, outfit, crib sheet, mattress cover, etc. Changed him, fed him, washed all that stuff and took him to visit my uncle who is recovering from a stem cell transplant for myeloma. --J is definitely crying now. Not sure what to do. Seriously, this never happens.--Deprived him of second nap because visit went too long. He fell asleep in the car on the way home and stayed asleep for only about 30 minutes. I would probably be mad at Senior for doing this. Didn't tell Senior that I did this. Then I started the night routine (there's not really a routine) at 7:15 and J was dead asleep in my arms at 7:50. Called that a victory! Did some bloggy stuff, 25 minutes of self-led yoga, read some New York Times non-news articles, ate avocado with carrots, and more blog stuff. You can get a lot done when the baby goes to bed before 8! But now he's awake.

Admitting defeat...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


So I went apeshit and washed the baby's toys tonight. Do other people do that? They do, right? I also spot-cleaned his tuxedo. That's right, my six-month-old has a tuxedo, and he's wearing it to his mom and dad's vows ceremony on Friday night. More on that later. I've had this little chore hanging over my head and it feels good that it's done. Taking three and a half minutes to clean the tuxedo sure took some pressure off. Okay.

I thought I was going to get a pedicure after work so that my feet will look pretty in the whatever old shoes I wear with the Macy's Juniors dress I just ordered that seems to work well for my wedding reception. More on that later. But I came home instead so I could take the baby for a walk, which is something I call exercise these days, but then he wanted to nurse as soon as I came home and then it rained so those plans were scuttled. It's probably for the best because by some act of living and breathing I strained my back the other day and should let it rest for a few days. And that allowed me to wash the toys.

Now about the wedding reception. My son looks so much like my husband that I am going to call my husband Senior. Which is also a bit funny to me because when I was a senior in high school, for example, he was in fifth grade. Senior and I met through mutual friends and of course it's a long story but we got married in NYC at the Marriage Bureau when I was 16 weeks pregnant, not because I was pregnant but because we wanted to get married. Neither one of us has been married before but we just wanted our own special day. Even though I had lived there for a few years and he never had, it became "our" special city to me too. We didn't invite anyone but a witness, one of my law school friends. Another friend of mine since sixth grade who still lives in the City (I say that because most people I know have moved out) told me she wouldn't miss my wedding which was sweet so I didn't tell her she couldn't come, even though it did make me a bit uncomfortable that two of my friends were there and none of Senior's. We also had a photographer and a co-worker of mine from snowboard instructing (did I mention yet that I graduated law school in 2010 and it took me two years to get a law job?) who helped us carry our crap around Lower Manhattan so we could take a bunch of awesome pictures.

Like this one:
And this one:

So anyway, it was very, very small and intimate and we did not have a party because I wanted to focus on starting my job and having my baby and we planned a reception for our first anniversary. We are going to recite vows and exchange our rings again so our friends and family can be part of our union, if you will. Our mutual friend who introduced us will be making a best man speech. Really all I wanted were speeches. And gifts.

I've been quite distracted at work the past few weeks planning the parties (Fri night reception hosted by my parents and then Senior and I are hosting a Sat night poker and karaoke party we are calling Pokeroke that was my idea of which I am quite proud. You know, you say you're not going to have a wedding because you don't want all the hassle, but then you have a party that's supposed to be just like your wedding and then you have all the hassle. (It's not that bad actually and I've only had like two fights with my mom over it.)

Oh yes, and then today I got an email from my boss telling me to get my hours up because so far this year I am only on track to bill 1,896 hours and my requirement is 2,000+. I actually thought this pace was pretty good, especially since I have not even been at the firm a year. I responded to this admonishment by requesting to take off the entire day on Friday instead of just the afternoon as I had originally planned. Who was I kidding, really? But in addition to spending time with family in town for the wedding reception and going to breakfast with Senior for our anniversary, I now have to get a pedicure.

Maybe I should take off tomorrow afternoon, too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Monday: The Donna

A law school friend of mine posted on Facebook one day that "In the spirit of Crossfit," he was going to "start applying names to small collections of various activities." Last Sunday, he did Steve, which involved waking up hungover and reading and marking up a stock purchase agreement for 74 minutes. One repetition. The next day, he did Stacy, which included waking up 20 minutes late, tripping over the cat in the kitchen while trying to grab an untoasted English muffin for breakfast, and various encounters with characters old ladies and messenger bags on the NYC subway. (Oh, I do not miss that place!)

So, in the spirit of my funny law school friend Peter C., last Monday, and every Monday, I did/do Donna. It seems to me that if you are a woman who is going to end up litigating a workers' compensation claim with your employer, you have about a 23% chance of being named Donna. (No disrespect to my mother-in-law.) Not sure why, but we have a number of female comp cases against claimants named Donna.

So here's your Donna:
Wake up at some varying degree of lateness, because even if the baby woke you up early, then it was probably too early, and as you fed him you both fell back to sleep. Wake up again, rouse husband from child-like deep slumber to take care of baby. Dress in uniform of snap-strap nursing tank top, pants that at 6-months postpartum you are no longer permitted to close with a BeBand, and 3/4-sleeve cardigan from Target.

Fill breast pump bag with supplies. Turn on BlackBerry. Finish packing lunch, which is weight-aided by husband who makes your sandwich. Kiss baby and husband good-bye and exit home carrying two to four bags for all your crap. Forget to check emails at red lights. Dutifully drive past Starbucks due to lateness. Arrive at office 32-44 minutes after staff arrives.

Debate whether to drink hot coffee or iced coffee. Decide on iced coffee, which involves multiple trips to the kitchen to brew, chill, ice and pour coffee. I told you this is a workout. Return to kitchen to make oatmeal for breakfast. Return to office. Boot up computer. Talk about kids with office neighbor while computer boots up. Close office door for pumping session. Look at pictures of baby on iPhone. While on iPhone text husband to send more pictures of baby. Check Gmail. 

Stuff, stuff, stuff and stuff. Close vertical blinds because afternoon sun obscures computer screen. Stuff, stuff, stuff and stuff. Describe stuff in overabundant detail in one-tenth of an hour increments on time sheet. Print something to read in case you might "work from home" later or feed baby while awake tomorrow morning. Power off computer.

Open vertical blinds so tomorrow morning it looks like you were there before staff arrived. [end workout]*

*But don't forget to cool down with various chores around the house, which don't include washing dishes, and a three-hour feeding and bedtime routine.