Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Cheese is apparently Bean's new favorite food. She gobbles it up like its going out of style. I am so glad she is doing better with her finger foods, and that I have gotten over (or at least am not as freaked out about) my fear of her choking on something. Mostly she has been eating little sticks of cheddar cheese but today she tried some of my string cheese. Her first taste was met with a look of "eeeeww" but once I started eating mine she was suddenly more interested in the bit she had in her hand. Then she realized that string cheese is, in fact, quite delicious. So delicious that she managed to get the whole bit I had given to her in her mouth all at once. While I was trying to "help" and get a bit of the cheese out of her mouth so clamped her mouth shut like "No mommy, I like my cheese!!" and then gave me the hugest, silliest grin I have ever seen. With a little glob of cheese hanging out the side, of course. It was priceless.


I have come to the realization that frustration itself is not a bad thing. I don't need to be beating myself up & feeling like a horrible mommy because Beans is frustrating me lately. It is normal for there to be times of frustration; its how you deal with them that matter. Beans has at least 3 teeth coming in. Now she's rubbing her bottom gums with her tongue too so I wonder if there might be more. She doesn't want to sleep, nap, or chill out...she wants to be cranky most of the time and has resorted to making what I can only describe as "wild animal" groans. Then she'll look at me, smile and blow me a kiss & the frustration subsides, even if its just for a minute or two.

You can't feel like a bad parent because you are getting frustrated. I have questioned myself as a mom, wondered how in the world I could make it work when we have #2, been mad at my husband's work schedule, etc etc. I think it would be abnormal not to be frustrated with a little one who was crying for a good 2 hours before wanting to go to bed the other night.

So, yea, I'm frustrated. I can't wait for these damned teeth to cut through finally and to have my happy little baby back for awhile. But I'm over beating myself up over my frustration. I'm a good mom, and all in all I think I'm handling this worst-ever (well, worst-ever so far *crossing my fingers*) teething episode pretty well.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I see it.

The left front tooth. Its there. There is some answer to this craziness of the last week. The days I have questioned how much more of Beans' endless crankiness I can take, the nights of no sleep whatsoever, the tears (on my part and hers). I have seriously wondered whether I want another baby (okay, not really, I do...but days like today sure make it hard to think about having two little ones). I feel bad because I feel like I shouldn't be so aggravated by her crankiness, but I am seriously at my last nerve. Her little smiles still melt my heart, but they have seemed so few and far between the last few days. My mom told me that teething didn't bother me a bit, that her and my dad didn't even know I was teething until a relative pointed out that I had a tooth. I guess I didn't pass that ability onto my little one.

On a brighter note, my heart absolutely melts as I lay next to her while she's sleeping. Especially the last few days when it seems that when she's sleeping is the only time she is calm and happy. She is learning how to blow kisses and it is hands down the cutest thing she has learned so far. I love her so much. I'm glad there are so many ups to outweigh the week or so of crankiness that comes with teeth. Each tooth. Four down, how many more to go?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Third place.

As a wife and mom I put everyone's needs before mine. I make sure the little one is taken care of, I try to take care of the chores around the house (okay, I have been seriously slacking in that department lately), I try my hardest to make my husband happy, etc etc. So here I sit, my hair hasn't been cut in almost a year, my legs need to be shaved (I mean really need to be shaved), my eyebrows need waxing, I need new socks, I've got one pair of jeans that fit well. I could go on, but you get the picture.

I know I should take the time for myself, but for some reason I don't. Maybe because when there is a little bit of free time I feel like I should be vaccuming, dusting or doing dishes. I imagine this is a pretty normal phenomenon of motherhood, but I do think it is important to try and find some time for myself too so I don't lose that "self" that is somewhere within this wife and mother.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I am happy that progress has been made with Miss Beans the last three days. I know it is a process and that it will take awhile. It would be way too easy if there was just some one-day fix or something. Way too easy, but nice nonetheless. On night two she didn't go to sleep right at the end of our routine, but she fell asleep before midnight so I'll call that progress. Last night she went right to bed after the routine (and went down in the pack and play) but she woke up an hour later. We are currently doing some work in the kitchen and one big bang woke her up. She wouldn't go back down for quite awhile. I joked that she wanted to say "Geez mom and dad. If you hadn't been making so much ruckus I would've slept through the night." Yea right, but I can dream.

Today it seems three steps forward and one step back. Miss Beans has been a bear (with a capital B) all day long. I see her top left tooth about to cut through and her right incisor is VERY swollen. She was a major crankpot all day (Seriously, I joked I was going to need a beer to make it through the evening with her) and went down at 5 o'clock. Way before our routine and bedtime, but, you know what?, I wasn't going to fight keeping her awake for an hour so I could fight through the routine with her. Was I wrong? Maybe. But I do need to be a little flexible and, trust me, my sanity couldn't have taken trying to keep her awake. I would rather backtrack tonight honestly. I still think the last four days have been good for us. It is the first time I have stuck with a bedtime routine for her at all. We will follow the routine when she wakes up from her late-late nap.

Progress with flexibility. I know it will take a while, but I am trying to be prepared for the hurdles and optimistic about the future.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Someday my little one will sleep through the night. Someday she won't want to nurse to sleep. Someday she won't want to cuddle up right next to me to sleep. Someday she won't turn to the boob every time she needs comfort. And when this someday comes I know I will miss the little cuddles, the sweet little smile as she's nursing, the kicks to my abdomen while she's sleeping (okay, in all honesty I won't probably miss that last one). Knowing that when all these things are gone I will miss them, why can't I just enjoy them all for the time being? For the most part I do, but there are nights when I just wish she could lie down and put herself to sleep, that she would sleep for more than five hours at a time (on a good night), and that sometimes when she cried and needed comforting she would call "dada dada" instead of "mama mama". Just some nights.

Last night was one of those nights. She woke up shortly after I finished my blog last night & was up until midnight. Eek. She went back and forth from playful and babbling to smooshy face and obviously beyond tired. By midnight we were both in tears, me from frustration and her from being about 5 hours beyond her usual bedtime. She slept until a little before three when she woke again. She was up until 5. Luckily the hubby, who was going to get up at 5 for work anyways, got up with her for an hour at 4. That gave me an hours time to get a little sleep & by five she was ready to go back down again.

In that hours sleep (well, realistically only about 1/2 hour) I dreamt that hubby was bringing her to me at 4:56am so he could get ready for work and that she smiled a big toothy grin at me. In my dream she had cut 6 or 7 teeth over night. Wouldn't it be nice if it actually worked that way? That you could have one horrible, sleepless night and wala! all of their teeth would have cut through?

Here's to crossing my fingers that tonight goes a wee bit better!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happily Surprised

Night I of our new bedtime routine:

Well, here I sit at the computer typing with both hands as Beanie is sleeping in her pack and play. It has been almost 50minutes now (not long I know, but for us it is definitely a step in the right direction). I am happily surprised *knocks on wood*.

I did learn something already tonight. The bedtime routine is going to need to start earlier than 6:30pm. My planned routine is bath-read-nurse-lullabies (if needed)-sleepy time. Tonight we skipped the bath because she had one earlier after a BIG dirty diaper, so we started with reading. Well, we only got through one book before Beanie was done and ready to nurse and go night-night. I should've known as she usually does fall asleep between 6:30 and 7. I was mostly being selfish wanting to start at 6:30 because then I could watch the national news before bathtime. Guess I'll be switching to the ABC news which is on at 5:30 instead of 6.

So we read Moo Baa LaLaLa (her favorite, and mine too) and started Big Bear, Little Bear, but she had had enough and was ready for boob and bed. She nursed, I unlatched her and replaced my boob with a pacifier for her to suck on. I held her for a short while to make sure she was good and sleepy & laid her down in the pack and play. She did not even rustle!! Usually as soon as I start lying her down she is crying, fussing, rooting for the boob, but not tonight. I am so proud of my Beans. And proud of myself too for actually lying her down.

It has been a good night. A good step in the right direction. I was thinking of scrapbooking a little or maybe reading some more of the No Cry Sleep Solution. We'll see. Maybe I'll play on the computer more; I can type so much faster two-handed.

Milk Supply.

In the beginning I was never one of the those moms that would worry I wasn't making enough milk for my baby. I trusted my body would do what it needed to. I nursed on demand & must've been doing something right because my little beans gained 3lbs in her first month of life. The last few days I have been wondering if I am keeping up. Mostly on the right side. I feel like there is nothing there. Most of the time after she is done nursing I can hand express some and it shoots pretty far (lol...nice mental picture there I hope), but the last two days there is nothing. Is she literally sucking me dry? I have kept nursing on demand, I've been drinking my mother's milk tea, eating oatmeal, granola bars & cookies. I just have to keep trusting in my body. It knows what to do. But my mind is the thing challenging me. I know it could very well be that she is getting two (possibly three) teeth on top. It could be a little growth spurt. It could be that she is burning a lot more calories tearing around the house lately and needs more caloric intake. I don't know what it is, but I am hoping it will pass soon. For a mom that doesn't pump, my mind is the biggest challenge when we go through times like this. I question myself, suck down the mother's milk tea and bake oatmeal raisin cookies. And then it passes. I am trusting that it will this time as well. She is almost ten months old and I am happy to say she has never had a drop of formula (not knocking my formula-feeding mommies out there). I would like to keep it that way. I would like her to be nourished by breastmilk only. So, I sit here, drinking my tea, trusting my body & hoping for a good healthy squirt after the Beans nurses next time.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It is so amazing to watch Bean's personality develop. She is really becoming her own little person, not just a baby anymore. I can't believe how fast it has gone. Most of the time her personality is cute -- her funny faces, her scrunchy smile, her laugh. Other times, the other side of her personality comes out and its not as cute. haha. Well, actually, even when she's cranky she's cute as all get out, but she sure does try the nerves sometimes. Its amazing how fast they develop and learn. Pretty soon she will be walking (and soon thereafter running, I'm sure) all over the house and talking up a storm. She's almost a *gasp* toddler. Its hard to believe how much she's changed physically, developmentally & personality-wise over the last 9 1/2 months. It truly amazes me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


One day when Beans was about 6 weeks old I realized the ease of comfiness of cosleeping. One night she was hungry & just brought her to bed with me, she nursed and we fell asleep together. I don't really understand the big deal that people make out of cosleeping. If you don't want to do it, don't. Beans isn't going to be sleeping with me until she's ready to head off for college. Someday she will sleep in her own bed. For the last 9 1/2 months I have loved cosleeping with her and wouldn't change it for anything. It has been easier for us; we both sleep better. Granted, now that she is bigger it is a little hard to get so comfy on that small twin bed in her room as she takes up a lot more room. Admittedly, I probably never would've started cosleeping if my husband didn't work at night. It wasn't something I set out to do. It was something we had discussed as something we wouldn't do. But, there it was...that one night and the realization that both Beans and I could get a lot more sleep this way. Most animals sleep with their young. I find it odd that there is such emphasis in American society that a young infant should be placed in their crib in a room by themselves to sleep. I don't think this practice is so prevalent in other socieities and definitely not with other mammals. So, yes we cosleep. It works for us.

The thing that isn't working is that when Beans was about 5 or 6 months old she decided it wasn't as fun to sleep in her crib for the period of time between her bedtime and mine. While we were cosleeping for most of the night, there was a good period of time that I could lay her down in the crib at her bedtime and then have some time to myself for a few hours until I went to bed. She would sleep soundly and rarely wake up. Maybe a little stirring her and there, but she would sleep for a good 4 hours or so in her crib. And I could have a little time to myself. It was, in one word, amazing & just what I needed. Until she decided that wasn't so great anymore. Something changed and somehow I found myself getting into the bad habit of letting her sleep in my arms until I went to bed. And that is the way it has stayed. Now that she's going to bed earlier, I have been letting her sleep in my arms for a good 3-4hours before I go to bed myself. Here's the thing -- I can't take it anymore! I need Beans to sleep in her crib or pack & play until I go to bed. I need that time to myself. And she needs to be able to sleep without being in my arms or snuggled up right next to me. I love it at night when I am asleep too, but during the day I need that time. I need to tidy up around the house, I need to be able to spend time with my husband, I need to scrapbook,read, listen to music (okay, loose translation of need on that last one, but you know what I mean).

I have come to the realization that in order for Beans to sleep in her crib for naps and for the time between her bedtime and mine she is likely going to need to be in her crib ALL night. For her, its either all or nothing. She made that clear 4 or 5 months ago. I am so jealous of the mommies who write about their babes sleeping in their cribs for the first part of the night and then snuggling into bed with them later. I want the best of both worlds too. I still might attempt the crib parttime thing & see how it goes. In my mind, that would work best. We'll see what Beanie thinks.

I cannot let her Cry-It-Out (no offense intended if that is your practice, but that does not, will not work for me) so a while back I bought The No Cry Sleep Solution. We'll see if that works. I am going to establish her routine starting on Sunday and see where we go from there. I know it will be hard in the beginning, but the rewards will be great. I think it makes it harder because she sleeps wonderfully in my arms. Seriously. I know when we start transitioning to the crib she will wake much more often. I suppose that is the price to pay. I tried the "you're going down in your crib no matter what" at the beginning of March but I only lasted one night. We started her routine that night...she was up until 3 in the morning when I caved and brought her to bed with me. I wasn't on board. Her routine wasn't established before we moved to the crib. I couldn't do it. I need to realize it is going to be a slow process. I need to be on board fully. I need the support of my husband, even though he isn't home to help at the time.

I know she won't sleep as well for awhile as I am changing it up on her. That is what makes it the hardest. If she slept like crap with me then it would be easy to try and change it. Save the nights when my hubby is home and the three of us sleep together, she sleeps very well. Very well if she's in my arms, in my get it. In order to change the "where" of her sleep I imagine the quality is going to have to change for a bit as well. That is what conflicts me. What else conflicts me is how much I have come to love cosleeping with her. For now, I can sleep on the twin bed in her room right next to the crib. I am hoping that will make things easier as well.

Well, wish me luck. I think my conflicted brain has finally made a decision and I am hoping that the transition will be smooth for all involved.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Me. A Mommy.

I have always looked to writing to get my feelings out. It always seemed to be the most cathartic method for me. When I was younger I would write in my journal every single day. As a teen, I would sit in my bedroom and write, write, write. I probably have about twenty-plus journals that I have filled with my thoughts. In the past ten years or so I have rarely kept a journal. I can't put a finger on why, just that I haven't. I have been thinking about starting this blog for a little while. I started my other, more random blog, but I thought this would be a good way to express my thoughts about being a mom...what it means to who I am, what I do, and how I think of myself. A more personal look into who I am perhaps, at least as personal as I feel like getting with the internet.

I'm Kristen, my daughter was born June 2007. She is my everything. It is hard to remember what I was like before I was a mom. Its not that who I am has changed so much, I am still, in essence, the same person I was before mommyhood but so much else has changed. Mostly the changes have been good (read...GREAT) but there have also been changes that, while I wouldn't call them bad by any stretch of the imagination, have affected me differently. I guess its to be expected. Before you are a mom, everything can be about you. When you're pregnant, everything definitely is. People ask, "How are you feeling?"...they want to know about you, they dote on you. The moment you give birth to your precious little one that all changes. It is no longer about you. Will it ever really be again? Like I said, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, its just something that happens and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.