Ok. Well, the title of this blog post is a little cheesy, I’ll admit it. But since I’ve committed to titling everything “adventures in…” I had to think of something. And in my defense, I’m currently suffering a huge and awful allergy attack that has stole my brain and is why I’m typing this post instead of cleaning something. Anyway!
Again, and again, I apologize for Not Having Blogged in a Very Long Time. I have started a YouTube channel for our family, and have uploaded some random and not at all in any order, vlogs. Yay me. And then I kind of forgot I had a blog. Oops. But now, I Have Remembered. And I ought to catch up a little, I guess!
Anna is now five months old. What what?!?!?! I’ve successfully kept a tiny human alive and happy for five whole months??!?! 😀 She is SUCH an EASY baby! I say this, as I’ve been reading forum after forum, mommy blog after mommy blog, in my Quest to Not Feel So Isolated as a Stay at Home Mom, and I’ve concluded that my baby is the Best.
Let’s start with sleep. This precious baby, my wondermous daughter, spoilt her father and I by starting to sleep through the night (and by through the night, I mean 10-12 hours!!!) at about 2 months old! Prior to that, she’d wake up to eat and then go straight back to sleep. She’d fall asleep for naps throughout the day as she was tired. So it never occurred to me to put her down for naps. She slept in my arms, her bassinet, the bouncer, the sofa, the car seat, the swing, wherever. It. Was. Awesome! Then when she started sleeping so long at night, I freaked out, spent an afternoon Googling “is it ok for my two month old to sleep 12 hours straight?” and concluded I was very lucky. She did this for a month.
THEN, she suddenly didn’t want to fall asleep just anywhere anymore. So around three months, I thought, hunh. Maybe I ought to establish a naptime. So I Established A Naptime. And she slept fine at the Established Naptime, in her bassinet, with the Established Naptime Routine. Great! I felt like SuperMommy.
Well, then at about three and a half months, so only like two weeks later, Anna decided she didn’t like Established Naptime. She also decided to wake up and cry during the night three or four times. This was right around the time my parents came to visit! They flew halfway across the world to visit their first and only grandchild, and then said grandchild was horribly grumpy and overtired the whole week. GRrr… Anyway, side note here, that was a wonderful week! Mom and Dad LOVED seeing Anna and even though she was a grumpy gus, she still had enough moments of Charm to get some good photos. 🙂 I’ll put in some photos at the end of the post.
Anyway, long story short, after reading five books on baby sleep (Yes! Five!) and countless articles online, I decided that I must sleep train. This involved choosing a consistent wake-up time, establishing three set naptimes, a naptime routine that didn’t involve nursing (sadness and sorrow, but Anna just wasn’t nursing to sleep anymore and would get all mad when I’d have to put her down in her crib, then when she’d finally fall asleep after all that, she’d wake up 20 minutes later all mad that I wasn’t still nursing her. Boo…), and weaning her off the swaddle.
I tried a few gentle methods of training her to fall asleep on her own, but my presence in the room with her didn’t really seem to calm her down. What I found actually worked, was just letting her cry and fuss by herself. It sounds awful, but she actually never screamed herself into a tizzy (well, once, yes. That nap never actually got taken), but I think she just needed to let off steam for a bit before falling asleep. She would fuss and babble for up to half an hour, then drop off to sleep, usually for about 45 minutes.
Now, she takes three naps a day, nap routine takes about 10 minutes, she babbles to herself for about 10 minutes, and sleeps beautifully. 45 minutes in the morning, 2 hours in the early afternoon, and 45 minutes in late afternoon, bedtime at 7 pm. I couldn’t be happier! However, I’m not holding my breath that this Will Last Forever. Her next naptime could be the worst ever. For now, I’m just thankful for every successful nap. She wakes up happy and cheerful, and we’re all much more relaxed. Sigh..
She started teething a couple of weeks ago, too! She has two bottom teeth poking through, though not all the way out yet. Last week, she figured out how to roll over. And a little over a week ago, we started her on rice cereal!
I decided to start her on it because when I’d eat dinner, I’ve been putting her in her highchair to get her used to it, and she’d play with her stuffie. But two nights in a row, when I was eating dinner, she watched me greedily. She watched EVERY BITE! and she screamed. She screamed, she made chewing motions with her mouth, she reached for my food, she shoved her stuffie in her mouth then flung it away, apparently in disgust that it wasn’t Real Food. So I thought, hmm… maybe she’s ready to try eating from a spoon…
So when I fed her for the first time in her highchair, I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting a large sticky mess and I definitely wasn’t expecting much cereal to actually get inside of her. But she actually ate about half of the cereal, and the other half didn’t get finished. But her bib was fairly clean, and she figured out how to open her mouth to take the spoon. And now, a week later, we give her cereal at dinnertime once a day, and she eats it all (we put a pinch of cinnamon in it and she loves that!), and most of the time, her bib and highchair are still clean afterwards! I guess she was ready. 😀
So lots of big Anna Adventures lately! I feel so blessed to have such an easy baby. I’ve been thinking a lot though about my role as a ‘Stay at home mom’. Right now, I teach two nights a week, so I’m practically a full time stay at home mom. Next year, I won’t be teaching at all. I had a friend come over one evening after I put Anna down at 7pm, and Aaron was at work until 9pm. She asked me “So what do you do all evening after Anna goes to bed without Aaron?” I know it was a harmless question, but it still threw me off. I think I said something about watching Netflix, which is retrospect was dumb because I almost NEVER watch Netflix!! What I usually do in that window of time is eat my dinner (because I didn’t have time earlier to do it), and take a shower!
So I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a stay at home mom, and considering this is now my job. Aaron considers it my job too. And it IS a job! Even though I only have one relatively easy baby, there are so many other things to consider in running a household, especially if you want to do it well.
My responsibilities include not only taking care of Anna (feeding, playing, changing, putting to sleep, watching, comforting, etc.), but also managing the home so Aaron only needs to go to work and not worry about stuff here (except bringing up the water jug. That thing is HEAVY!). Things like cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. I want our family to eat healthy yummy meals, so that means I cook 6/7 days of the week. This involves finding recipes, menu planning, shopping accordingly, budgeting accordingly, hauling the groceries home, meal prep, actually cooking, getting the dinner to Aaron at school, and cleaning up. I also have a cleaning schedule where I do a different area of the house each day. But that’s the big cleaning things. Stuff like dishes, counters, sweeping, general straightening, those things get done every night after Anna goes to bed.
I also do all the laundry, at least one load a day, which involves not only starting the wash, but hauling it up four flights of stairs, hanging it up, taking down and folding dry clothes (I hate piles so I always do this immediately) and since we’re cloth diapering, it also involves stuffing the pocket diapers (also done immediately depending on Anna’s mood).
I do have at least one naptime where I’m caught up or have a pocket of “free” time, and this usually I spend reading stuff online, eating my lunch, lesson planning (if it’s a Monday or Thursday) for that evening’s class, or in the case of today, blogging. 😀 Occasionally I’ll take a nap with Anna, but usually that makes me feel more groggy because it’s too short for me. Heh.
Anyway, this post is becoming way too long, but sometimes I feel guilty for being a stay at home mom, like I should be doing something “real”, etc. But I think a stay at home mom is a real job! At least, it is for me! So I’m currently working on getting over the guilt I feel sometimes. And I will learn how to appropriately answer questions like “What do you do all day?” from those who perhaps don’t understand how taking care of a baby and running a house is actual work.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings! Here are some pictures! 😀