Listening and Trusting

When my daughter turned one I thought our sleep issues were  behind us.  She slept through the night on her birthday and continued to do so for a few days following.  Then some time in the last few weeks things began to fall apart again.  She started waking once, then twice and is often up for hours in the night.

My son was a horrible sleeper too, but only for the first few months of his life. He slept through consistently from 10 months on, but my daughter is different.  She’s extremely attached to me and soooo inconsistent.  What works one day doesn’t work the next.

I think the hardest part in this whole sleep thing is not so much the exhaustion (and that shit is brutal) but the constant questioning.  Constantly trying and wondering: What am I doing wrong?  I’m always thinking of ways to ‘fix’ it and that in itself is exhausting.

Yesterday I picked up a book I haven’t looked at in a while – Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child – and became convinced that I needed to do something (again) about our situation.  I decided I needed to just let her cry.

And so last night I did just that.  And she cried.  And she cried.  And she cried.  After half an hour I was so agitated.  My stomach was in knots and I could feel the stress seeping out of  my pores.  After an hour I started to feel sick.  And angry.  And annoyed.  And sad.  I questioned my decision but didn’t want to go in and “teach” her to cry for an hour.  After 1.5 hours I couldn’t stand it any longer and I went in and nursed her to sleep.

Now, just so you don’t think I’m  totally heartless, she wasn’t scream crying the whole time.  It was a lot of protest crying and it was kind of on and off.

Today is another day and I don’t want to do that again tonight.  But I don’t know what to do.  And so I meditated on it, because at the end of the day, no matter what the books say, I need to do what feels right for me.  And last night did not feel anything close to right.

After I put her down for her nap I sat on my bedroom floor.  I closed my eyes and took five deep breaths.  I then posed the question: How can I get my baby to sleep better at night?

And I listened. And this is what I heard:

Go to her.

Comfort her.

This phase may be extremely difficult but it will not last.  She will eventually sleep through.

I will not be breastfeeding her forever.  For not much longer in fact, so relax into these final late night nursings.

She is my last baby.

And she is growing so fast.

I opened my eyes and felt my eyes well up.

Yes, I’m tired.  I’m also confused and conflicted.  The books tell me that I am not helping her by nursing her in the night.  Her paediatrician suggested sleep training.  My husband wants me to let her cry.

But my heart tells me otherwise.  And as a mother I trust that more than anything else.

At least I’m trying to.






Working on our Marriage

After what I considered to be one of our worst fights yet, we have decided to give marriage counselling a try.  The main reason is that we just keep seem to be having the same discussions over and over again and nothing is changing.  If anything things seem to be getting worse and worse.

After that fight I started to seriously think about our options.  Stay? He go? I go with the kids? I thought for about two days that it would be best if we took a break.  A little space from one another.  Then this morning when he said ‘I think you’re right, I think we should separate’ the reality of the possibility set in.

I don’t want to separate.

But we both agree that we can’t keep on like this.  It’s too much work.  And not the good kind of work that brings us closer.

So I called a therapist today and left a message. Hopefully we can start soon because things are falling apart fast.


A Little Birthday Tradition for my Kids

My baby girl turned one yesterday!!!!  We had a such a great day and I only had one, ok maybe two, emotional moments.

Ahhhh one years old.

Longest and yet shortest year ever.

Also, she slept through the night last night.  After a few weeks (months?) of pure torturous sleep, we all finally slept.  Yes, I slept too.

So all I need to do is throw a party, change her sheets, run the humidifier in her room, and let her take only one nap – every day.

For real though, we are now on a one nap schedule.  Hopefully this fixes all of our sleep problems.

And so yes ,she’s one now and we had such a perfect day celebrating her.  The house was full with family (so many cousins) and friends.  She devoured her cake. Oh man, that girl went. to. town.  Made me a proud mamma haha.

Before I went to bed I wrote her a letter, as I’ve done for my son on his birthdays.  I wrote to tell her how much she is loved and how truly amazing she is.  I also wrote her things like where her dad works, what our days look like, what her favourite foods are and things like that.  On her 18th birthday I’ll give her the box of letters.  I hope it gives her some insight into what she was like at each age growing up, what our (me and my husband and our family in general) lives were like and most of all, how much she is loved.

That girl is so loved.

Happy birthday sweet baby girl.

New Years Intentions

Happy new year!  I like new years,  though now that I am a mom of two young kids, the big eve is not what it used to be. What used to be a night of partying is now a quiet night at home reflecting.  Once the kids were in bed, I swept the floor (for the 20th time that day), I put away all of their toys and changed into something a little more comfortable.  (Not that my yoga pants and tshirt weren’t comfortable.)  I enjoyed a glass of wine and the quiet that surrounded me and then my husband and I stayed up ‘late’ watching the new Dave Chappelle special on Netflix (which was terribly disappointing).

And now here we are…new years day.

I have to say so far it has been pretty terrible.  My son…oh my god that boy.  He’s nearly 3 and is just so difficult.  From the moment he wakes up it’s work.  This morning in particular.  Every little thing is a meltdown.  Toys thrown.  Milk purposefully poured on the floor.  The hitting.  The biting.  It’s out of control.  He’s out of control.  And I don’t know what to do.

So yeah, not the most positive start to the day.  To the year.

BUT he’s out with his dad now and the baby is napping so I’m enjoying a little peace and quiet.  I’m having a coffee thinking about this past year and the year ahead.

This past year was pretty special.  My baby girl was born at the end of January and she, my friends, is a game changer.  She has made everything in my life better.  I feel like I know her, like down to her soul.  Like I’ve always known her.  Her first year has gone by so fast and I already feel myself mourning the baby phase, which is just crazy because as amazing as she is, I’m really fucking tired.

It’s been a challenging year, but one filled with so much joy.  Having both my son and my daughter home with me over the summer was pretty special. He was happy and napping and we had an awesome routine.  I was tired but so fulfilled.  God I love my babies so much.

As for 2018, this is going to be a year of SLEEEEEP.  I can’t wait to catch up.  Lame, I know, but I am in serious need.

In all seriousness though, I do like to make a plan for the year ahead.  Not so much resolutions as intentions.  And my intentions fall into 4 categories – home, love, wellness and family.  So without further ado, here are my new years intentions:

Home: Simplify.  Environmentally conscious.

I want to continue to declutter.  Give a lot of stuff away.  Stop buying things.  I am taking 4 months off work with no pay so my husband and I have decided to stick to a pretty lean budget.   I also want to start using our compost.  Continue to buy/use environmentally friendly cleaning products and just be mindful of how much waste we accumulate.

Love: Prioritize.  Rekindle.

My husband and I have been talking a lot about how we need to put our marriage first.  Even before the kids.  So we’re going to do that.  We’re also going to work at just getting back to us as a couple.  I’m hoping that includes us sleeping in the same bed again, but as I said at the beginning of all this, sleep really does come first – so if us sharing a bed means we’re keeping each other up then maybe we’ll have to just wait until our sleep tanks are fuller.

Wellness:  Nurture.  Loving kindness.

I am in rough shape and have been pretty  much all year.  The stress of the year has manifested in my body and I want to do a better job of taking care of my self this year.  I want to nurture both my body and soul with good whole food, less meat, massages, and acupuncture.  I want to be kind to myself and do things that get me back in touch with who I am as a woman, not just as a mother.

Family: Joy. Gratitude.

So much work to be done here.  I know my son is just going through a phase (that seems never ending) but even with all that there still exists so much joy.  You are only as happy as your unhappiest child – and so it’s hard when he’s so miserable.  But it’s not like this all the time and I want to focus on the positive.  Continue to do the work to bring him around, to calm him and comfort him when he’s having a difficult time.  And continue to be grateful.  So much to be grateful for!  I’m sure that every age comes with it’s own challenges and I want to try to make it through this challenging one with as much ease, grace, and gratitude as I can muster.

I wish you all a very happy new year!!



He Can’t Do Anything Right

My husband took this week off from work and he’s kind of driving me crazy.

It’s little things.  Yesterday I came down after putting the baby down for a nap and every. single. cupboard door was open. Why?! Is it so hard to shut the door when you’re done? And once again there was a spoon on the counter with peanut butter on it.  I put the baby down for her nap this morning and as I am laying her down I can hear him slamming the bathroom door downstairs.  I don’t know why he feels the need to slam it.  In fact, he’s a bit of a bear.  Everything he does is so loud.

And it’s the bigger things.  This morning my son was having a meltdown while I was feeding the baby and my husband was downstairs on his computer.  I went to comfort my son and the baby started crying.  I know my husband could hear all this but he didn’t come up to help.  I ended up yelling “can you come help me” which I hate doing. I hate asking and I hate the way I ask.  So he comes up and says, what do you want me to do? So I say, can you feed the baby. So he stands above her, doesn’t even sit down, tries to give her one spoonful and says ‘she doesn’t want to eat’.  She starts crying and he WALKS AWAY.  OK, if she doesn’t want to eat, that’s fine, then PICK HER UP.

I’m cranky now and feeling like my poor husband can’t do anything right.  And this is just not true.  He does a lot of things right.

Like the little things.  He brought home starbucks for me yesterday after he went to the gym.  He folded the laundry I had sitting in the dryer.  He made a super yummy dinner yesterday and insisted on doing the clean up.  He reads ‘many’ stories to our son at bedtime.

And it’s the big things. After walking away from the baby he went to comfort our son.  He sat with him on the couch and talked to him about the lawnmowers outside.  As soon as he walks in the door after work he gets down on the floor and plays with our son and gives our daughter kisses. He encourages me to take time to myself and go out with friends.

I’m sure there are things that I’ve been doing that drive him crazy too.  And I know for sure he feels like he can’t do anything right.  We went shopping for clothes for the kids and I criticized a lot of stuff that he picked out.  Why? Why do I do this? That’s one little thing that I can definitely work on.

But honestly, my biggest issue is how he is with our daughter.  But that’s a post for another day.

Two and Through?

My husband wants to get a vasectomy.  He’s actually wanted to get one since the day we found out I was pregnant with our second baby.  I was like, slow down buddy.

Needless to say, he’s done with having babies.

I think I am.

I’m pretty sure I am.

But when my husband told me that he wanted to make his appointment for the snip snip I felt a little funny.  A little something that confused me.

I felt sad.

When I think about having more babies I do think, rationally, that we’re done.  I’m so happy with our family.  I feel like we are complete.  I also don’t want to be pregnant again.  I’m going to be 36 this year and, not that women can’t have babies closer to 40, but oh man I am tired.  And my body is kind of falling apart.  I hurt somewhere every day – my hips, my shoulders, my neck – and I just don’t know if my body can handle another pregnancy.  I also don’t want to be pregnant with two other littles around.  That shit is exhausting.  And then there’s the whole birth thing – been there, done that.  Not to mention all the challenges that come with the baby stage.

And then there’s the emotional side of me that cries at the thought of no more babies.  My baby girl is 7 months and the time is just flying.  She is just the happiest, sweetest little thing and now that her sleep in getting in check (thank you sleep training) life is starting to feel a whole lot easier.

Honestly if we could be guaranteed another baby like her (plus an easy pregnancy and another zen birth like I had with my son) I would be more inclined to argue more! more! babies!

You just never know what you’re going to get.

Some people say the more babies you have the easier it is and I can see that.  I mean, we’ve been through it all before and the confidence is definitely there now.  But let’s be real, the more babies you have, the more complicated life gets too.

My husband and I like to keep things simple.  We like simple routines.  We’re kind of home bodies.  We don’t like a lot of stuff.  We like quiet time.  Alone time.  Time together would be nice too.

But one more wouldn’t complicate things too much, right?  My son is now in daycare and will start kindergarden soon.  My daughter will be in daycare at 16 months – if we were to do it again I would for sure keep her in because having my son home with me with the baby was no walk in the park.

Gah no!!  No more babies.  My head kind of spins at the thought of it.

But imagine all that added love in the house.

There would be so much love.  And kisses.  And hugs.  And smiles.  And little toes to tickle.

…and diapers. And crying.  And spit up.  And cracked nipples.  And sleepless nights. And worry.  And laundry. And tantrums. And food on the floor that mom has to clean up.

So yeah, I’m on the ‘no more babies’ team, but I think I need a bit of time to come to terms with it.


Where We’re At on this Chilly Morning

It’s 7:33 am.  I am currently sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee to my left. I turned the heat on this morning because, even thought it’s August, it was freezing in the house when we woke.

Today pretty much started at 4:45 when my sweet baby girl woke – who by the way is almost 7 months old – how did that happen!!!??  I spent 30 minutes nursing her back to sleep, which is pretty much the norm these days, but she was up again at 6 am.  I brought her back to bed with me in the hopes of getting a bit more shut eye, but she was not having it.  So we cuddled in bed until 7.  She is now roaming around on her playmat and has been for the past 30 minutes.

This baby, I tell ya, she’s something special.

Her 2.5 year old brother is still sleeping.  He’s been sleeping pretty late – usually till about 8.  I could hear him chatting earlier but he must have gone back to sleep.  Yesterday morning was pretty rough.  He’s been waking up from both his naps and night sleep pretty frantic.  I had night terrors as a child and I fear I may have passed that along to him.  Sunday was the worst I’ve ever seen him.  If he wakes up crying (which he almost always does) we usually give him about 20 minutes to sort himself out, and then he’s happy.  But the baby was sleeping and my husband didn’t want him to wake her so he went right in.  Rookie move.  I joke, but it was not funny.  He was thrashing, screaming, didn’t want to be touched, didn’t want us to talk to him.  Not even a show or a movie would snap him out of it.  That went on for an hour.  I feel a bit sick to my stomach just thinking about it.  Poor little dude.

I have a week and a half left with him at home with me before he starts daycare.  I still have mixed feelings, but I am in serious need of a break.  I know it’ll be good for him too, but my husband said last night “I think he’ll be happier in daycare” and that made me feel so sad.  So sad that I cried a little.  I just kept thinking, I’m doing my best.  I felt in that moment that I was failing my son.  That his tantrums are somehow my fault.  But I get what my husband was saying.  He will love the socialization and I really do think it’ll be fun for him.  So it’s not that he’s not happy now, it’s that he will have a different kind of experience there.  One that I can’t give him.

I know my sensitivity to my husbands comment comes from pure exhaustion.  I’m up 2 or 3 times a night with the baby and every day I’m faced with a challenge that brings me to my breaking point.  Whether it’s both kids crying, or one starting to whine to moment the other stops, my son throwing toys or slapping/biting his sister (yes, that is happening now), or the baby refusing to nap.

I haven’t had an easy day in a long time.

But you know, I write all that but I’m still so grateful.  I still feel happy.  Maybe not all day, but every day I feel happy.  My kids are so amazing.  They are both doing some pretty cool stuff – my son is talking so much more now and oh my god he’s funny and my baby girl is on the move and discovering her world.  I am extremely lucky to be able to be here for all this.

And the baby is starting to cry, so that’s my cue.