Our first car trip with Simon was definitely a learning experience. He's not one to particularly like his car seat and doesn't fall asleep like most babies do in a moving vehicle. We've since learned that if we had to drive somewhere to get him to fall asleep, we might actually make it to Portland before he'd give in to slumber!
While he slept pretty well at the hotels and took a few small naps in the car, his system is definitely out of sync and he's paying for it now. As are we! It took a good hour to get him to settle down for his first morning nap, and tonight it was a 3 hour endeavor to get him to go to bed for the night. I'll be curious to see how he sleeps overnight, and I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be another adjustment day trying to get back into the normal rhythm of things.
We had our first family vacation - a long weekend in Portland. We had a nice time despite the less than ideal weather. Highlights for me were the tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, seeing "Bob, the perpetually masturbating otter" at the aquarium (we named him Bob), and our lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Jeff did a much more extensive recap that can be found here.
When it comes to our eating habits, Jeff and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I like to cook, Jeff cooks when he needs to. I like to try new foods & new flavors, Jeff prefers ones that he knows he already likes. I eat all types of protein, Jeff only eats poultry. Dinner is a time where we sometime make completely separate meals, or different variations on the same meal.
The food choices we make, up until now, have only affected us individually, but things have changed now that we have a child. Something that I've been concerned about even before Simon was born is instilling healthy eating habits. There are so many kids in the world that are overweight and obese due to the parents' lack of responsibility most of the time. I'll be the first to admit that some of my food choices aren't as healthy as they could be. My downfalls are my fondness for butter, bacon, and eggs. In that respect, Jeff is great. He avoids real butter, doesn't eat bacon, and always uses egg beaters instead of real eggs. I think I do very well with eating a variety of fruits and veggies, and that's probably Jeff's downfall. That, and portion control. But portion control is something that is a problem nationwide. We live in a society that wants to supersize everything. My portion control is pretty good except when it comes to ice cream.
When Simon gets older, I really want to encourage him to help me in the kitchen. I know I say that now, and I'm sure there will be times where I won't want him under foot, but some of my fondest childhood memories were spent in the kitchen. Watching my grandmother make fried bread dough on Sunday mornings, making jelly with my mom, having pasta at my grandparent's house every Thursday night, making ravioli as a family. Here's a cooking school that is designed specifically for children to get them on the right track. I can't wait to do this with Simon when he's older!
A Miracle Blanket, that is! Our little one is a world class squirmer and can get his way out of the various swaddle blankets in a matter of minutes. I'd started calling him Little Houdini until someone recommended this blanket to me. Now he stays swaddled up all night long. Happiness is a burrito'd baby!
Actually, in my case it's too easy to be green - when it comes to vegetables. I'm not sure when it happened or if I've been like this my whole life but when it comes to vegetables, I mostly eat just the green ones. It's not intentional, it just is. On any occasion you can look in my fridge and find at least one green variety, whether it be lettuce, zucchini, avocado, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, you get the idea. I wonder if this is a bad thing...
After not playing tennis for 7 months, I was asked to sub for a working women's double league tonight. I was excited to get back out on the court again and although I was a bit rusty I felt like I held my own against most of the other players. There was a total of 12 women (3 courts) and they had a very precise system for rotation which really kept things moving along. The 75 minutes went by very fast. My body is already protesting very loudly at how out of shape I am, and I'll be lucky if I can lift the boy tomorrow, but it's really made me aware of how I need to get more exercise again and lose the baby weight. I hope I get to sub again soon.
I think the biggest hurdle that I've had to overcome with Simon is the sleep deprivation. I know that as the little one gets older, he'll sleep longer, but it doesn't make my frustration any less. During the work week, I take any feedings that happen after midnight - so basically it amounts to me caring for Simon on my own from 12am until 5pm or so. It wouldn't be so bad if Simon was a good napper, but he's not. I'm trying to read up on ways to improve his napping but so far I haven't been able to figure it out. I know Jeff thinks that I read too much, but he only sees a glimpse of what I go through day in and day out. When Simon doesn't nap, he's cranky most of the day until he crashes from exhaustion. Then I'm cranky because I'm at my wits end dealing with a cranky baby and can't get a nap myself to recharge.
On the weekends, I'm desperately hoping to get a bit more rest by having Jeff take at least one of the night time feedings, but he and I sleep very differently. I wake up at the slightest sound even with Simon's bedroom being down the hall. Once Jeff is asleep, he doesn't seem to hear him even when there's full-blown crying. This was even the case when Simon was in the bassinet in our room. This baffles me because he can hear his alarm on his iPhone without any problem. So, even though Jeff will take a middle of the night feeding, I'm still having to wake up in order to wake Jeff up. Once I'm awake, it's always hard for me to fall back to sleep right away so then I wonder what's the point? I'm still not getting any more sleep even with Jeff taking a feeding.
I guess I'm not alone in this scenario because there was a huge topic on one of the baby forum sites that I visit (www.thebump.com). It seems like other moms experience the exact same thing. Someone even posted this interesting article which states that research supports the theory that sleeping men can't hear a baby's cry.
I'm just trying to get to the point that Simon sleeps a consecutive 9 hours so that I can hopefully get 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Soon... it has to be soon.
Given some of my health issues while pregnant, I was restricted from playing tennis back in October. I found a tennis community out here in Seattle and was put on a sub list for a working women's league. I was asked to play this coming Wednesday night and have accepted. HOLY CRAP!!! It's been 7 months since I've played, I hope I remember how. More importantly, I hope I can fit into a skirt!
About a week after Jeff set up this new blog for me, he sent me an email telling me that my formatting was all messed up. I couldn't seem to figure out what the problem was though. Apparently in the modern computer age that we live in, you no longer have to (or are expected to) double space at the end of a period while typing. As hard as I try, I can't seem to break that habit. For the last few posts, I've tried to adhere to the single space rule, but it's too ingrained and I end up wasting more time deleting the extra space that I originally inserted. I don't really see that much of a difference and since this is only a blog it's not that critical in my opinion. It's only really noticeable if you look at the text in HTML format. So consider this forewarning - this is one habit I won't be breaking so people will just have to get used to weird spacing on my posts.
And in no particular order...
Today ended up being a very pleasant day overall. Simon was an angel and let me sleep in until 7:15am and never protested for his first morning nap. That's always a good thing! The rest of the day was pretty laid back and relaxed. We watched the SNL episode from the night before, hosted by Betty White and then watched the Cavs game. We'd intended to go out for an early dinner, but since Simon was still sleeping from his afternoon nap and my allergies were bothering me we opted for some chinese take-out instead. The evening ended in typical Sunday fashion with Jeff recording the CoasterBuzz podcast while I had some quality time with Simon before putting him to bed.
Of course, I can't forget to mention the beautiful necklace that Jeff and Simon got me for Mother's Day!
One of the things I miss about not living at my old house was my herb and vegetable gardens. Especially my herb garden. I love being able to cook with fresh herbs. When I moved in with Jeff, I tried planting a few herbs in a pot on the patio but they quickly died. Luckily for me, I could still harvest my herbs from the old house. Now that we live in an apartment, I'm still determined to try and maintain fresh herbs so I went to Home Depot this afternoon, got some miracle grow soil, a large pot, and some of my favorite herbs - sweet basil, greek oregano, and thyme. I also picked up some cilantro for Jeff. The big challenge is that our patio is north-facing and we only get a little bit of sun in the morning hours. I don't know if that's enough sunlight for the plants to thrive, but I'm going to do my best.
Out for an afternoon stroller ride!
It has begun - the great bird watch of 2010. Outside our apartment is a cute little tree with very compact leaves and a pair of robins have begun making a nest. For the past few days they've been flying back and forth between our living room windows and our spare bedroom window gathering up twigs and bits of twine for their upcoming eggs. This has put the cats on high alert and they tend to run from room to room to watch them. Oh the excitement for the kitties in springtime.
Shortly after moving to Seattle, a knitting friend told me about PEPS and encouraged me to join a newborn group. The acronym stands for Program for Early Parent Support and is a way for new parents to meet weekly with other new parents that live in your area. It's a 12 week program and there is a group leader who guides the weekly get-togethers and allows for time to play with the babies, discuss highs & lows of the week, and any other topics of group interest. And, of course, there's the social aspect. In a nutshell, it's my lifeline as a new mom. Meeting 12 other women today was the best feeling in the world!! Looking forward to the next 12 weeks.
I'm still trying to find some sort of balance in my day to day life with a new baby. At 2 months of age, Simon is doing much better during his waking hours but still fights sleep and melts down every so often. The books all say that every baby is different, I get it, but when it comes to feedings Simon is still rather unpredictable and it makes for unpredictable sleeping patterns. The "sleep when baby sleeps" motto makes me laugh because it never really happened - I never knew if he was going to sleep for 20 minutes or 2 hours. I try to catch a nap and he's up in 20; I figure he's only going to sleep for a short time, and he ends up sleeping for 2 hours (or gets up the moment I try to take a nap).
Then there's the regular house stuff that needs to get done. Jeff is always encouraging me to not worry about the house work and I try leaving it, but sooner or later, I'm gonna have to do it anyway. Either we run out of bottles (and I may as well do the other dishes), or Simon runs out of clothes and I have to do laundry. If I don't try and get some of those things done during the day, once Jeff is home and spending quality time with Simon, I'm running around trying to do all then. And since Jeff's time with Simon is so limited because of working, I don't want him to have to do mundane house work stuff when he gets home - that's his time to be with the boy. In the end, it basically amounts to me being dead tired by nightfall. I want to spend quality time with Jeff, but if I don't get to bed by 9pm, trying to function the next morning is so hard because of the broken sleep from the overnight feedings. I can't remember when I got 6 consecutive hours of sleep.
I know, I know, every parent goes through this. I'm just ready for it to get easier.
With all the new responsibilities of motherhood, I haven't had much time for knitting but I did start this project just after I came home from the hospital. It's actually a hat for me. It's the Selbu Modern pattern - for those who are on Ravelry, you can see it here. I'm almost halfway done. I'm using Sugar Rush yarn, which is made from sugar cane, and is very soft. I'm really liking the way it's turning out.
One of my goals at the JBF consignment sale that I attended yesterday was to find an exer-saucer/activity center for when Simon gets to be a bit older (4-6 months). The sale was in a large warehouse and was very organized and easy to find things. They had the large items when you first entered - cribs, bassinets, high chairs, bouncy seats, and activity centers. I wish I could have gone to a sale like this before we had Simon, as there was a lot of nice things and in great condition too!
Within the first 5 minutes of them opening up the doors, the big ticket items were being scooped up within a blink of an eye. One exercise center I had my eye on disappeared the moment I turned my back to look at another. I'm very excited to say, though, that I got a GREAT deal on one. I was able to snag a Baby Einstein Discover & Play Activity Center for $20. I looked it up online to see how much they cost new - $78!! All I can say, is DAMN! I ROCK!
A bubble bath. That's the one thing I want to accomplish this weekend. I realize it's been more than 2 years since I've taken one. Not because I don't like them, but when you have a hot tub they just aren't necessary anymore. Now that we don't have one, a bubble bath is definitely in order.