Saturday, May 28, 2011

The (not so) great nap transition

Yup, I'm writing about sleep once again.  It's pretty much our obsession in my house.  How to help Bean sleep and stay asleep.  How to get some sleep ourselves.  Someday I'm hoping we can move on to new obsessions, but for now, this is what we've got.  We had a really nice daytime routine going for the last couple months, which included an hour to hour and a half nap, twice a day.  Then Bean started having trouble falling asleep for her naps and at bedtime.  It got worse and worse and finally I had to accept the fact that she was trying to tell me that she might be ready to try one nap.  Even if I'm totally not.  So we've been trying it and some days it seems to work, some days it doesn't.

On the good days, she sleeps until 7:30 or 8 in the morning and takes a two hour nap early in the afternoon.  This has happened maybe twice.  On days like today she sleeps until 7:30 or 8, takes a one hour nap early in the afternoon and gets pretty fussy about a half hour before dinner time.  Other days she refuses to take any naps and falls asleep two minutes after we starting driving somewhere in the car, or she wakes up at 6 in the morning and we end up going back to two naps again.  Our daily schedule and routine is totally out of whack and I never know when I'll be able to go anywhere or do anything until I see what time she wakes up in the morning.  I never know how much to try to do during her nap because I have no idea how long she's going to sleep.  I have no idea if I can get dinner made because that's about the time that she just wants to be held if she hasn't slept enough. 

I hate messing with the status quo, but when it clearly isn't working any more, I know that I have to.  So I'm hoping that this period we're in now is just a transitional one.  I'm hoping that all of this will get figured out and we'll be back to some kind of a routine and some idea of normalcy.  I'm excited about the possibilities that one nap hold, but am honestly missing my morning time to myself a little bit.  I really enjoyed that few moments at the beginning of the day to get myself in order and get ready for the day.  We will get through this of course and there are worse things that could happen in the world (by far!) but right now, I'm hoping this won't last too long.  It will get better right???

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bean's second first birthday and good news

Sorry that I've been absent for so long!  This last weekend was super busy but a lot of fun.  My girlfriends from college all came to visit and we celebrated Bean's first birthday again.  This time it was much more of what I had in mind.  First of all, Bean wasn't sick and I didn't have anybody that I had to worry about pleasing except her.  My friends are really amazing, more like sisters really (I think anyway, I don't have any sisters so I can't tell you for sure) and I always love it when they're here.  It feels totally easy and not like I'm entertaining at all.  So we got to spend the day doing things that Bean really likes, like being outside and going to the library.  She LOVES the library which I totally love too.  The one in our town is a little sad and doesn't have anything for kids before they turn 2, so I found one in a neighboring town that we went to check out on her second first birthday.  It was perfect and she had a blast.  We all did.

While my friends were here we also went to a wedding.  The wedding was for one of my dear friends from college and it was so nice to see him so incredibly happy.  Technically kids weren't invited but we didn't have anybody to watch Bean, so we took her to the reception (I cleared it with him beforehand) and she did so great.  I didn't get much sleep while all of this was happening but the weekend certainly recharged me in a way that I really needed.  It reminded me that there are a lot of people in the world who love me and who love Bean.  I know that my family loves us, but right now, that relationship is really draining.  The relationships that I got to enjoy this weekend were exactly the opposite.  It was so nice to not have to worry about every single detail, to let other people carry some of the load, and to just soak up the lightness and fun.  

I've spent the last couple days getting my house back in order, running all the errands that didn't get run, and trying to figure out the whole two nap to one transition (more to come on this soon because advice is needed!) but I'm finally feeling like I'm getting caught up.  I'm thrilled that everyone was here but I'm so happy to get back to our routine, get back to focusing most of my attention on Bean, and figuring out what the summer holds for us.  We have a lot of obligations, but also a lot of potential for fun and that's what I'm going to focus on now.  

And now for the good news.  My aunt got all of her test results back and the cancer has not spread at all. They're able to use the lowest levels of chemotherapy and she'll get started on that next week.  As scary as this all has been, so far it's looking like it's the best outcome for a terrible situation.  I can't thank everyone enough who has had us in their thoughts and prayers.  I know there's still a long road ahead, but I have faith that we'll get through it and that my relationship with her will be stronger at the end.  It's never good when something like this has to happen to really be a wake up call about how much someone means to you and I'm going to take that lesson with me going forward.  No more taking things for granted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to think

Poor Bean, she's had trouble getting to sleep lately.  I'm thinking she might be ready to go down to one nap.  The question is, am I ready for that?  I've gotten so used to our schedule and she's been sleeping so much better, I hate to mess with things.  But it's taking her a long time to get to sleep and I just don't think she's tired enough.  The good thing (besides getting lots of time to snuggle) about her taking a long time to go to sleep is that it gives me time to think.  The rest of the day is so busy, it's hard to have a calm moment to let my brain work, so it's nice to have those moments while I'm rocking her.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my aunt and my family in general.  My aunt seems to be doing pretty well all things considered.  I talk to her a couple times a week and she sounds like herself.  Tomorrow we find out the results of the scan they did to see if the cancer has spread.  Obviously, we're hoping desperately that it hasn't.  While I've been thinking about all of this stuff I realized that the only person who is putting so much pressure on me to take care of everyone, is really me.  My family was an odd place to grow up and while I won't bore you with the details, in a lot of ways I raised myself.  My mom had a very hands off approach to parenting and my dad was away for work a lot.  I learned to take care of not only myself, but of a lot of stuff around the house because my mom had some health problems.  As my parents have gotten older, they just have seemed less motivated to do things for themselves, so I've jumped in.  My brother isn't that kind of person.  He says he's willing to help if asked, but he's never asked.  I'm the one who does get asked if need be.  So I've taken it upon myself to do more then I'm asked to do, because somebody has to do it and my parents don't seem to be motivated.

I realized though that if that is causing me stress, it's my own fault.  I can't blame anyone else for it.  So I'm going to stop as much as I can.  I'm going to ask my brother for help.  I'm going to focus on my family.  My wonderful little family.  I still have responsibilities towards my parents and my aunt and I will fulfill them, but not at the expense of hubby or Bean.  For all I know, Bean could end up being my only baby and I refuse to miss or not be able to enjoy her childhood because I'm busy trying to fix things for other people.  I already feel like the last year has gone by so fast and I know it's only going to get faster.  I hope this doesn't sound callous or selfish, it's taken a lot of thought and emotional soul searching  to get to this point.  I just feel like I have one chance at this life and while I want to make everyone happy and do it all right, I deserve to be happy to.  I deserve to enjoy these things that I've worked so hard for.  I just have to remind myself of that every time I start to feel overwhelmed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

So thankful and a question for the mama's

Bean is finally starting to get back to herself after being sick for the last week and a half. I know that I am very blessed that she made it this far in life without being really sick but I have to say, that I am so thankful to have my baby back to her normal self. I was really starting to worry that all the fussiness was going to be part of her life now that she's not "officially" a baby anymore, but am thankful to say that my happy-go-lucky baby girl is back. I think one of the hardest things I've experienced so far as a mama is watching her be sick. I would much rather have it myself then watch her have to go through it. We made it though and I know this is a good experience because it's going to happen over and over again in her life and I need to be prepared. Now our attention is back to food! Bean is a very silly eater right now. One day she loves something, the next day she doesn't. It's a huge guessing game every time we sit down to eat. Luckily she'll eat any piece of fruit that you put in front of her so we have that to fall back on. Any advice from the mama's out there? Is there anything that your little one always liked to eat or any tricks at figuring out what's going to be the next favorite thing?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ordinary Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my birthday. I spent years while we were trying to conceive hating my birthday. It meant another year without a baby and another year older. The older I got, the farther away from my family plan I was and the more desperate the situation felt. There's such a focus on age with infertility that it's hard not to get caught up in it. I had this obsession with having my first baby before I turned 30 and I made it, by a week. By the time Bean got here though, it just didn't matter anymore. Yes, I still have some anxiety when it comes to age and growing our family, but I'm more at peace with it now. So last year I was still recovering from my c-section on my birthday and while I had the best present in the world, I didn't even realize what day it was. This year, I could actually enjoy it a little more. So I took a step away from everything else that was happening in my life (which I think I've started to have a different, more peaceful perspective on anyway, more to come) and just focused on the day. Sadly, we were all sick on my birthday, but it didn't even matter. Hubby took the day off of work and it was just a wonderful day with our little family. There weren't any big parties or major happenings, but it was my favorite birthday in a long time. I'm going to take the peace and love that I felt yesterday and channel it into all parts of my life because that's what I so need right now. So here's to another year! So far my 30's have been more amazing then I ever could have imagined. I can't wait to see what's next!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I admit it, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed lately. I had a little bit of a breakdown last week and you know what, it felt good. It felt good to admit for a minute that I can't do it all and that I can't shoulder everyone's problems. It didn't last long and I'm back trying to balance my life and lots of other peoples now, but briefly, I got to let it all go.

Today my aunt had two doctors appointments to talk about the cancer diagnosis. For those of you who didn't see my previous post, my aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We didn't know anything really until today and I have to say, that I don't know much more after talking to her. She's the kind of person who hates doctors and doesn't want to know any more then she has to. It scares her, so she figures it's better if she doesn't know. I'm the opposite. I want to know everything, all the details. I ask tons of questions. So it's hard for me to not know more about what's going on with her. My mom went with her to the appointments, so I'm hopeful once I talk to her, I'll learn a little more.

What I did learn is that my aunt is going to start by having chemotherapy. This worries me because my aunt lives alone. She's spent her life taking care of other people. Since I've known her, she's lived with my grandparents. She was there when my grandfather took care of my grandmother until she passed away and she took care of my grandfather until his p.arkinson's disease caused some serious side-effects that made it too dangerous for her to do that. When my grandfather passed away, she was on her own and has been since. Now I worry that there is nobody there to take care of her. My parents live a half hour away and I had just talked to my aunt about six months ago about the idea of her moving down here when they did. She was really happy that we wanted her close by and wanted to do it. I have to admit that the task of getting two houses cleaned out and all of them moved down here, was really overwhelming. Now, it feels worse.

My aunt has my parents to help when they can and she has a couple friends, but I feel like she's going to need more then that. I have no experience with chemotherapy, but from what I can tell, it's not easy. I can't imagine her living by herself with nobody to help her get through this. My mom and her friend are going to help take her to doctors appointments, but she said that she's planning on staying in the house by herself. I just feel so helpless from here. I wish we had gotten her moved already. I wish so many things were different. I want to be able to help but I don't know how. I don't know what I can do from here and I don't know how much time I can spend there. I feel like I have so much to do that has nothing to do with my own life and so much to do that does, that I can't imagine how I'm going to keep my head above water. I'm trying to be tough and think positive, but I feel like the weight of all of my family is on my shoulders alone. I know it's childish but there are moments where I just want to hide. I just want to be able to be Bean's mama and nothing else. She still isn't back to herself and I miss her. I miss our normal routine and I feel like we may never get it back again. I just don't know how to be the person that all these different people need me to be.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bean's First Birthday

It's so hard to believe that my little baby is a year old now. I have to say that her birthday wasn't anything like I had imagined in my head. I wasn't planning a big party because I figured we could save that for when she got older and would remember more, but my parents had come in from out of town and my mother-in-law was coming over too. We were making all of Bean's favorite foods, including homemade birthday cake. I had planned to spend the day doing all of her favorite things and then after dinner with the family, we'd open presents, have cake, and just try to make it a special day from start to finish. It didn't quite work out that way.

Since my parents don't come to visit very often, we had to make this a trip for Bean's birthday and a trip for them to look at apartments for the move down here. So because of limited time, we ended up having to go look at an apartment on Bean's birthday. Not only that, but two days before her birthday, she started having a low grade fever. The fever didn't go away and she really wasn't acting like herself. By the time her birthday rolled around, she certainly wasn't in the mood to party. Instead of doing special things, we got her as much sleep as possible and snuggled a lot during the day. We had her dinner, but sadly she didn't even want to try her birthday cake. The only part she perked up for a bit was opening presents. It was far from what I had imagined.

At first I was pretty bummed about the whole thing. Bean's been so healthy that this is the first time she's really gotten sick and I was sad for her that it happened on her first birthday. But then I started thinking about it more. It certainly wasn't what I had imagined, but I thought back to two years before her birthday and I couldn't have even imagined having a birthday party for my baby girl at all. If someone had told me that in two years, I'd be celebrating our baby's first birthday, I don't know if I would have believed it. So yes, it's sad that she couldn't enjoy the day, but we don't just celebrate her on this one day of the year, we celebrate her every single day. I hope she feels that as much as we do.

Plus, I feel SO lucky that Bean hasn't been sick more. I cannot imagine the lives of parents whose children have chronic and serious health problems. My heart hurts for them. After seeing Bean as a shadow of herself the last few days, I just feel incredibly blessed that she's gotten this far without really being sick. She still isn't totally better, but we're hopeful that she's on the way. There will be more birthdays, holidays, and special days. The only person disappointed about this one, was me, and I was just disappointed for Bean, who didn't know any better. When I stopped and took a step back to really look at it all, I realized how silly it all was and how blessed I am. As soon as Bean's feeling better, we'll have a special day just for her where we can do all of her favorite things. And hopefully this will be a reminder to me to forget about expectations and plans and just enjoy each day for what it is.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The post that I want to write.. about Bean and about how tomorrow is her first birthday.  I want to write about how last year at this time I was in labor and was so close to meeting the little baby that I had longed for.  I want to write a tribute to the journey that was her arrival into the world.  And that's what I'm thinking about in my heart tonight, but my head is someplace else.  I found out that yesterday my aunt, who really is more like my second mom, had both of her breasts biopsied and it doesn't sound good.  It's amazing how quickly life can go from easy thoughts of happy times to the far end of the spectrum.  I've learned that before and yet it somehow still catches me off guard.  I have a lot going through my head right now, but mostly I'm just praying that this isn't going to end up the way it feels like it's going to end up.  I'm praying for good news at the end of this week as the results come in.  So tomorrow, I'll put this aside and think about cupcakes, and party decorations.  I'll be busy finding a way to get Bean's new play kitchen setup as a surprise for her.  I'll try to make the day as special for her as she's made the last year for me.  But not tonight, and I so wish that were different.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Wow, I am so tired, but I wanted to let everyone know what I've been up to.  I feel like I'm totally out of the loop as I've been away from the computer for a few days.  That hardly ever happens.  Even when things are really crazy, I usually manage to find a few minutes at some time during the day.  This weekend though we actually went out of town, to somewhere besides my parents, for the first time since Bean was about three months old.  We went to visit the college where hubby got his PhD and spent some time with his advisor.  We also had a whole day to do anything that we wanted.  We didn't have errands to run, things to clean, laundry to do, or obligations to others.  A whole day just for us.  It was really nice and I'm so glad that we did it.  I have to say though, I missed having a routine for Bean!  She did AMAZING but you could tell that things were slightly out of whack and of course, most of that showed up in the way she slept.  She did okay, but not wonderful.  So I didn't sleep too well either and am feeling like I need a weekend to get caught up from my weekend.

That's not coming my way though.  This week is going to be totally nutty.  My parents are coming in to town for Bean's first birthday!  I can't even believe that my little one is turning a year old this week. Time goes by so quickly!!!!  So I know I'm going to be super busy and trying to focus on remembering every single detail of this time, but I'm hoping to have a little time to get caught up on the things that have been running through my head and everything that's been happening with everyone else.  I just need to find a few extra hours in the day!