Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed

Saturday we took the step to transition Abby from her crib to a twin bed.  It was necessary to change because while she still fit in the crib and never (to my knowledge) tried to climb out, she was getting big enough to be too heavy for me to lift over the crib rail and my belly is now too big to comfortably and easily lift her over the crib rail.  

Abby was so incredibly excited when she saw her new bed.  Immediately she wanted to jump on the bed, play with her toys in bed, read books in bed, and pretend that she was sleeping in bed.  The one thing she hasn’t wanted to do is actually sleep in bed.  At least, not alone.

Therein lies the problem.  Each night I have put her to bed she has refused to sleep alone.  If I put her to bed already asleep, she often wakes as I am leaving the room or shutting the door.  If I lay with her until she falls asleep, most of the time she will wake as I get out of bed.  Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  If I try to put her in bed awake she will get right up and try to follow me out of the room or bang on the door and throw a fit.  She refuses to let Dad lay with her, so each time it is me.

None of the conditions of her room have changed, other than the bed.  I still have her nightlights positioned in the same spots.  I still play white noise to help her sleep.  I still close the door so the noise from the TV or me doing chores does not wake her.  

When she still slept in the crib I could put her in bed wide awake or drowsy and she would lay right down and go to sleep without any problem.

I know that Abby is adjusting to something new and will take time for her to become comfortable with sleeping in her new bed, but it is currently a frustrating situation. 

I spoke with my coworker Sammy about it yesterday.  She said her son had done the exact same thing when he was transitioned from a crib to a bed.  Each time she would put him to bed she would set an alarm and go in two minutes later to put him back in bed.  Gradually she would increase the number of minutes waiting to go back into his room until he learned to stay in bed.  This is basically the same approach I took when I began to place Abby in her crib awake at night.  It sucked for a few nights but eventually got better.  I think I may suck it up and try it again.

Have you ever been in this situation before?  What helped?  What advice would you give?  

It’s a… Whole New World

Photo by Aditya Romansa. From http://www.unsplash.com

At my 19 week prenatal appointment my OB/GYN ordered a sonogram.  I was very excited to finally get our first look at our new little one.  Later that week we went to the radiology department of the hospital.  The technologist asked if we wanted to find out the baby’s sex, which we did.  

It’s a boy!

Boy, was I not ready for that surprise.  No pun intended.

I always thought I would have another girl.  I never considered the fact that it could be a boy.  I mean, I knew it was technically possible, of course.  I just never thought it would happen to me.  

When I was a kid and played house I never pretended to have a boy baby.  I grew up with just a little sister and thought that boys were weird and gross; they talked about poop and farts and boogers and liked to burp, kick each other in the crotch, and to scare girls.  I never even considered what it would be like to have a boy until my amazing nephew came along nine years ago.  He made me think thay maybe a boy wouldn’t be so bad.

I had just naively assumed this baby would be a girl too.  I thought I was ahead of the game and so prepared because I wouldn’t have to buy any clothes.  I would have everything I needed for the baby.  I would have two girls that could play together like my sister and I did.

I am not trying to be silly or dramatic, but it took about a week for me to process and for reality to set in.  I’m having a boy.  Abby will have a little brother.  

I am totally not prepared for a boy!  I don’t have any boy clothes.  I don’t know how to take care of a little boy.  All I know about is being a girl.  Boys are so much different than girls!  Over Memorial Day weekend we took Abby to the zoo.  When we were looking at the giant tortoise exhibit a little boy yelled, “Did you see his butt hole?  Did you see it?  COULD YOU SEE IT, MOMMY?”  Oh Lord, am I ready for this? 

It’s a whole new world.   Ready or not, here it comes!

A Step in the Right Direction, a Weaning Update 

Photo: Ricardo Pilati/Unsplash

Initially, I took a slow and step-by-step approach to weaning Abby from breastfeeding.  When that sort of came to a standstill I decided to take a leap and quit cold turkey; while not offering to nurse, I would not refuse if she asked. 

Today is day twelve of my full time weaning efforts.  I am happy to report that Abby is doing fantastic!  I am really proud of how well she has done.  She has accepted drinking milk out of a cup at night if she asks for milk.  

Abby has not once asked to nurse, which really has surprised me, but just goes to prove my suspicion that she was wanting to breastfeed at night out of habit and for comfort rather out of necessity. 

It is so nice and so much more convenient to not have to pump each day.  Since I was taking certain medications I would have to pump before coming home to Abby or if I had a migraine I would have to pump if I took my migraine medicine.  

It feels very liberating to no longer be breastfeeding.  After so long it really began to feel like a chore.  I loved to do it, and I am happy I was able to do it for so long, but it wore on me after a certain point.  

I thought that perhaps my breasts would become engorged and I would feel uncomfortable,  but that has never happened.  I noticed when I became pregnant again that my nipples were constantly sore, no matter if I used ice, lanolin, or time without nursing pads or a bra, nothing I did made them feel better.  Now all the soreness has completely disappeared.  I think my body was as ready to quit as I was mentally.

I’m really happy with how we are progressing, but we’ll continue to take it one day, one step at a time.

Jealous of Dad

Photo: Louis Blythe/Unsplash

When I became pregnant I began to prepare for the possibility that my firstborn would become jealous of the new baby.  It’s only natural, it happens.
I remember being jealous of my little sister when she came home from the hospital.  I was so excited to have a sister to play with, but I soon realized that she was too small to play, she cried a lot, and everyone paid a lot of attention to her and I felt left out.  I cut all the hair off of my Fraggle doll, Wembley.

I have had conversations with her about how when Mommy and Daddy bring the baby home the baby will require lots of our attention, but we will still love Abby just the same, always have time for her, and will still give her all the attention she needs.  I don’t think she really understands yet, but that’s OK.  

What I didn’t prepare for was the possibility that Abby would become jealous of my husband.  

In the past couple weeks she has gotten upset when Mommy and Daddy hug or kiss.  If we hold hands in front of her she will try to pull them apart.  When we sit next to each other or try to snuggle together on the couch she will act angry and try to hit my husband or push him away.

We have both tried to explain to Abby that hugging, kissing, and holding hands is how Mommy and Daddy show our love and affection for each other, just as we hug, kiss, and hold her.  I’m not sure how to get through to her that Mommy isn’t just hers.  Nothing we say seems to make a difference. 

I know and try to reassure my husband that this is just a phase she is going through and that will not last too long, but it is frustrating, especially for my husband. 

Has this ever happened to you?  How did you handle the situation?

The Joys of Being comfortable 

Photo: Andrew Branch/Unsplash

I hate wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes.  Sometimes dressing up for work each day becomes unbearable by quitting time at five o’clock.  

I have always been the type to come home and instantly become as socially unacceptable as possible.  Ciao, shoes!  So long, bra!  Goodbye, pants!   The first thing I try to do is change into a more comfortable outfit right away.  

I can’t imagine living in a time where women were expected to wear incredibly restrictive undergarments like a corset or girdle.  Heck, I can’t even figure out why some women choose to wear Spanx or thong underwear on a daily basis.  I am super excited about Abby being fully weaned so that I can quit wearing nursing pads and finally sleep without a bra again, for a few months, anyway.

Lately with the body changes I have noticed due to pregnancy, I have put much more emphasis on comfort.  My pants have been fitting more snugly… my underwear have been feeling too tight… anything around my tummy feels uncomfortable.  

I feel as though I am in an awkward stage because I don’t really look different, other than maybe looking like I have gained a little weight.  I don’t have a baby bump.  Some of my clothes are feeling too small but I am not ready for maternity clothes yet.

I have pulled some of my old “fat pants” out of the closet.  They don’t fit well and are too baggy since they are too large, but they fit more loosely around my waist and feel better.  I’ve tried to wear longer and looser shirts, so hopefully the poor fit is not too noticeable.  I have been rolling down most of my yoga pants and workout pants lower around my hips to avoid feeling like they are too suffocating around my abdomen, even though they are not too tight.  I even went shopping for new underwear and what a difference it makes to not feel like you have a wedgie all the time!  

Everything seems so much better when feeling comfortable.  I can breathe easier.  It’s easier to relax and unwind.  I feel happier and less irritable.  Instead of focusing on how much my shoes are pinching my feet or how the underwires in my bra are digging into my sides, I  can more clearly focus on what’s going on around me.  

A more comfortable momma is probably a more fun momma.  Feeling comfortable is more accommodating to getting down on the floor and playing, chasing a kid around the house, or getting up and dancing when Abby comes and pulls me by the hand.  And that’s what really matters.

Working on Weaning

Photo: Averie Woodar/Unsplash

I have slowly been working on weaning with Abby and I think we are almost done.  I wanted to breastfeed for at least a year and this week Abby will be turning 20 months old, so we’ve really surpassed my hopes and expectations.  Weaning hasn’t been something that I have really been looking forward to, in fact, the prospect of weaning has seemed overwhelming and made me hesitant to start.  A couple months ago I stopped her first nursing session when she wakes in the morning.  She didn’t like it too much but accepted drinking her morning milk from a cup without much difficulty.  Then I stopped her first evening nursing at 5:30 p.m., the time when we arrive home, so she jad been drinking whole milk from a cup from the time she awoke until going to bed at night.  

I thought that she would have a hard time when stopping breastfeeding before bed around 7:30-7:45 p.m., but she handled it like a champ after a couple days.  After this she got a cold and was teething, so I was hesitant to continue dropping another nursing session until she felt better. 

Finally this week I let the other shoe drop and decided to try and not breastfeed at night, if possible.  I hid the Boppy pillow in my room, thinking that if she saw it that it might trigger her to insist on getting Mommy’s milk.  I then made sure she had a sippy cup of water in the corner of her crib and also on my nightstand and the side table in the living room at night.  My goal was not to tell her no; if she asked I would let her nurse but I wasn’t going to offer it.  

The first night she wanted to be held and fell asleep quickly the first couple times she woke.  The third time she saw her sippy cup full of water next to me and asked for it instead for milk.  The time she woke up after that she again asked for the water, so I think that perhaps the last few weeks (or more) that she has continued to want to breastfeed at night she may have just been thirsty instead of actually hungry.  Last night she only got up three times.  She never asked for milk.  Once while I was holding her while sitting on the couch she patted my breast a couple times then lay her head in that spot and snuggled in before falling asleep.  Once she took a few swallows from a cup of milk but otherwise she just cuddled with me.

I am really surprised that it has been so easy this far, but we are only two days in.  Hopefully she will continue to do this good and doesn’t regress. I’m going to miss our special time spent together, but I know it had to happen sometime.  

Cravings

I haven’t had too many cravings thus far in my pregnancy, but today I went to a clinic to train a couple associates and the manager made me try this delicious spicy dip she made.  It was so good, but after I left it left me craving the Spiderman Roll from my favorite sushi place.  

On my lunch break I didn’t have enough time to run all the way across town and then wait for a roll to be made so I went to our local Kroger store where they will make fresh sushi to order. It’s nowhere as good as from my favorite sushi restaurant, but it will do in a pinch.  I ordered a spicy crab roll (don’t worry, it’s cooked!)

Oh my gosh, it hits the spot. Yum!  

Our First Prenatal Appointment 

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This week marks my 11th week of pregnancy.  I attended my first prenatal visit on Wednesday.  My babysitter’s grandfather passed away, so I had the day off and took Abby to my appointment.  My husband met us there.  

Abby has a severe dislike of doctor visits.  I’m sure most of this comes from getting her immunizations, but they don’t even have to touch her- usually just getting on the scale makes her upset.  She was fine the whole time we were in the lobby, but as soon as the nurse took us back Abby began to cry and did so until I was finished with getting my weight and giving a urine sample.  She wanted to sit on my lap the whole time I was on the exam table.  When the nurse was finished and the doctor came in the room she sat on my husband’s lap, but eventually whined enough for me to hold her that I did.  The doctor left the room so I could change out of my clothes for a pap smear, pelvic exam, and breast exam.  I changed into the charming little sheet like cover and then had my exams and paper smear, during which Abby removed her socks and shoes and threw them on the floor.  Luckily she didn’t scream or act too rowdy, but having a pap smear and pelvic exam is already embarrassing enough, let alone doing it in front of your husband and kid.

Otherwise, my appointment went well.  We were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat, which was 163.  When the nurse was looking for the baby’s heartbeat, my husband asked Abby if she was excited to be a big sister she said, “No!” which made the nurse laugh.  My blood work came back normal, but my platelets were low.  I had gestational thrombocytopenia the last time I was pregnant, so hopefully when they recheck my labs in a few weeks my platelet count will be higher.

Other than the morning sickness and heartburn, I can’t really tell that I am pregnant. There’s no tangible baby bump yet, but my pants are fitting a bit more snugly.  Now that we’ve had our first visit and heard the heartbeat I suppose it makes the whole pregnancy seem a bit more real. 

Working on my Patience 

Photo: Elizabeth Lies/ Unsplash

Forgive me for ranting a little.  The last couple weeks have been rough.  First trimester exhaustion has hit big time.  I am always either voraciously hungry or feel like I am going to throw up- isn’t “morning” sickness great?  I have been battling a head cold and although it has mostly resolved, I still have a bilateral ear infection.  I have begun to wean Abby from her nighttime nursing and she’s not happy about it, plus she’s still waking up multiple times a night (maybe it’s teething again?  I don’t know.) and only wanting to snuggle with Mom, not Dad.  Needless to say, no rest for the weary.
I have tried to stay upbeat and positive but Mommy’s patience is starting to wear a little thin.  

Each morning as I get ready for work I put Abby in the Pack and Play in my bedroom.  This is apparently now viewed by her as a new form form of torture, judging by the constant screaming, crying, and whining that begins the moment I put her in there until the moment I take her out.  Whereas she previously didn’t mind and used to play or look at books during that time, I think she doesn’t like being in there any longer because at daycare she is now one of the “big kids” and there is a new baby who uses the Pack and Play that she used to use.  I can’t tell you how it has grated on my nerves hearing non-stop screaming the whole time I brush my teeth, put in my contacts, and take a shower.

Multiple nights in the last week Abby has ended up sleeping in bed with us after about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. It is something I swore would never happen before I had a kid and while I was pregnant, but after getting up seven or eight times a night I have given up and placed her in between us so I get a little more sleep.  It works great… until you get poked in the eye or kicked in the nose out of nowhere while sleeping.  

Her daily temper tantrums have continued.  This morning it happened three times: once because she knew it was time to get in the Pack and Play, the second time was because I put on brown boots, the third was because I wouldn’t let her eat a banana as we were getting in the car.  What was wrong with my brown boots?  I don’t know.  As soon as she saw them, Abby began trying to unzip them and pull them off and then cried when she couldn’t do it.  “Don’t you like my boots?” I asked her.  “Uh-uh, no-ey!”

Normally patience is not an issue for me, but when you don’t feel good it is so much harder to take things in stride.  I am trying hard to be more patient.