Sunday 13 December 2015

Five Months

Well, I've managed to survive one month as a working mom. Going back to work wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. After a few days, I didn't feel as rusty, and while I won't say I'm enjoying being back at work, I discovered there were some aspects that I missed. In some ways, it's easier. I've been doing my job for thirteen years, I've only been a mother for five months. It feels more comfortable, so much so that I actually don't think about Jate too much during work. Wow, that sounds like a horrible thing to say. I do feel a greater sense of urgency to get out of the office each day, so I can go home and soak up every minute with her. I've lamented that I don't have the type of job that allows me to work from home, but that's not entirely accurate. For years, I've resisted having access to our EHR from home, as I didn't want to cross my work life and my home life. Now it's a necessary evil. I can catch up on my charting after she goes to sleep and when the clock strikes five-thirty, I'm out of the office like Fred Flinstone leaving the Quarry.

In her book, Bossypants, Tina Fey reveals how she resents the question, 'how do you juggle it all?' as she feels it's code for 'you're fucking something up aren't you?' So here are my failures as a working mom. We've been eating more processed food. On Sunday I'll try to make something like a meatloaf or a Sheppard's pie, so we'll have leftovers for another meal. I also made a double batch of beef stew and chicken Chipolte stew over the Thanksgiving break, so we can just defrost one of those for an easy, but homemade dinner. My friend Amy gave me the tip of using frozen vegtables; because, hey, they're still vegtables.  Sadly, Skillet Sensations and Safe.way frozen fish can become weekly staples. I haven't made it to the pool since I left for Connecticut. I don't think it will happen until she can reliably sleep later in the morning. I'm telling myself that I wouldn't want to swim because it's so cold, but I really do miss it. I also haven't made it to the gym in a while. I had negotiated to reduce my lunch to half an hour, so I can leave by 5 PM, but that won't take effect until the new year. I went last week when I was still in the thick of my cold, and the workout kicked my ass and then came back to kick it some more. The holidays are also consuming quite a bit of time. In addition to doing our usual weekend errands, Jate and I spent last Sunday stopping for Myrtle's family. My evenings were spent making photo collages for the grandparents, and wrapping the presents to prepare for shipping. Husband offered to take the packages to the post office, so he can say that he helped with Christmas. Not that I'm sounding ungrateful, as I appreciated having one less thing to do. One less. Okay, time to stop whining and remember how fortunate I am to have this wonderful little person in my life. These five months have been awesome.

Nicknames: Button, Muffin, Little bunny, Cup Kate, Beef Kate

Stats: 15 lbs 11 oz height 25.5 inches

Eating: We are dragging our heels on starting solids, but we're finally gearing up for it. As in, we're finally getting the required gear. I picked up some bowls and spoons and a box of rice cereal. We ordered a high chair from Ama.zon, and the box is still sitting in the hallway. Maybe we'll get around to it next weekend, or maybe we'll wait until my parents arrive. There have been a few occasions when I've kept her on my lap while I'm eating, and she seems interested, but not overly keen. I've decided I'm not going to do the Baby-led Weaning thing. Mostly, because I don't fully understand it, and when I was reading about it, the source said it can involve wasted food and can make a mess. Two things, I don't really like. I spend about an hour each week preparing my lunch by chopping up veggies into snack baggies and scooping yoghurt and jello into plastic containers, so preparing baby food will fit into my routine.

Teeth: None yet. Not anxious for this either.

Sleeping: Every night leading up to her four month birthday was met with trepidation, when would we stumble into the Four Month Sleep Regression? We got our first glimpse while we were in Connecticut, on my mother's projected "night of hell". She would wake up, we'd pick her up and she'd fall asleep in our arms within seconds. Then, the moment we placed her back in bed, no matter how gingerly, her eyes opened wide and she would start to wail. This went on for over two hours, before we were finally able to put her down without the rebound wakefulness. The next night, she went back to sleeping through the night, so we figured it was a fluke, or she and my mother are conspiring to make me crazy. However, when we returned to California, she gave us another night of waking as soon as her head touched the bed. After an hour of this fight, I surrendered. We were scheduled to take her for her baby photo shoot and I didn't want a cranky, overtired baby on the set. I took her to bed with me and let her sleep on the, while I dozed as well. Later that day, we took her for her four month vaccinations and she slept through the night. Now, I finally understood why some parents want to space their kids shots, it's so everyone can get some sleep. The night leading into my first day back to work, she started waking at least once during the night. We did our usual routine, Husband gets up to change her and then I feed her. She would fall asleep rather quickly and then easily transition back to her bassinett. One morning while Husband was reminiscing on how nice it was when she slept through the night, I had to remind him that we were spoilt, and honestly getting up once during the night isn't too bad.

Then one day, Lena, my swim teammate who has a baby exactly one month older than Jate, shared how they successfully sleep trained their baby to sleep 12 hours straight. She relayed that her pediatrician said since she could sleep through the night, the nursing is more for comfort and habit. This made sense, so we tried to put her back to sleep without nursing one night and fought with her from 2:30 to 3:30 before I gave in and offered the boob. She chomped down as if she hadn't eaten in days. Then I remembered that she did miss a feeding that day. It was 4 AM by the time I successfully got her back into her bed. I climbed into my bed and Tyler decided to walk in circles around me. After twenty minutes of waiting for him to settle, I kicked him off the bed and it took me another 30 minutes to finally fall asleep -for a restful 45 minutes before my alarm rang. I kept thinking that I could have had a decent night's sleep if only I nursed her right from the start. I contacted the nurse who ran our new parents group and she thought that Jate may be hungrier as she is more active during day care and is going through this developmental leap. This also made sense, but I had confess that we may just be taking the easy way out and may pay for this later.

Thus, we came up with a new strategery. If she wakes up before midnight, we'll sleep train her until she goes back to sleep; if she wakes up after midnight, we'll feed and hope for a quick transition back to her basinett. We felt this was a good compromise as she would be learning to put herself back to sleep, and we'd make sure we got some sleep after the wee morning hours and would keep our sanity. Then one night she woke up at 11:30. We got so close to achieving slumber by the arbitrary midnight deadline; she would sleep for a few minutes, then wake up again. We gave it to 12:30, before I gave in and nursed. I thought for sure this inconsistent action would totally set her back, but at press time, she's slept through the night for the past two nights. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Likes: My in-laws got her a new activity centre, which she really enjoyed the first time we placed her in it. However, she's caught on to us. She's figured out that we're hoping she entertains herself so that we can get some chores done, so it has fallen out of favour. In turn, she's developed a new appreciation for the Baby Bj.orn as it allows her to stay close to Mummy while she's cleaning. She's reached out and pet Tyler a few times, so I think we can add him to the likes column.

Dislikes: Socks. She really can't stand wearing socks or anything on her feet. She's figured out how to brace the toe of the sock with one foot and pull her foot out, or she'll grab the sock with her hand and will wiggle her foot free. Since it's been pretty chilly, I've been keeping her in pants that have covered feet. I'm waiting until she figures out how to take her pants off.

Diapers: Still size 3 Pamp.ers and still in cloth during the day. Every evening when I have to scrub her diaper covers, I feel reminded that there is a not so glamuorous aspect to saving the planet.

Clothes: Solidly into 6 month size. I finally cleaned out all the three month onesies from her dresser.

Milestones: Finally rolled over from back to front! After getting so close for so many weeks, at last she figured it out. Husband was changing her, when she rolled on to her side and then decided to grab the edge of the changing table and used her upper body to pull herself over. The next day, I was out running some errands and she fell asleep in the car. I attempted to transition her from the infant seat to her crib. She woke up, but was quietly playing with her Wubanubb, which allowed me to put away the groceries, so I considered it a win. I went out to the garage to throw some milk in the chest freezer when I heard her start screaming. I ran into her room and found her faceplanted. Okay, now that we can check off this milestone, you don't ever have to do it again.

Health Issues: We made it four weeks into day care before she contracted her first cold. I was really trying not to make a big deal out of it, but Husband and my aunt convinced me to take her to the pediatrician. I felt validated when our pediatrician shared that he once thought his son merely had a cold, but when his wife took him to be evaluated, he was admitted with pneumonia. As to be expected, Husband and I both got sick as well. My mother commented that she and my father had some of their worst colds when I was little; you have to build up immunity to day care germs. She wasn't kidding. This cold knocked me on my ass. We had to keep her out of day care until she was afebrile for 24 hours, and since Husband had a day trip to Denver, I had to stay home with her. The concept of taking a sick day was blowing my mind. If I didn't have her, I would have pushed on and went to work.

Looking forward to: This is after the fact, but all week I was looking forward to date night on Saturday! Our day care provides baby sitting one night a month. 5:00-10:30 for $40. It's a steal compared to the rates of most local sitters. We decided to do the classic, dinner and a movie, so we could finally see the latest Bond film. We tried a new restaurant only to discover that the food wasn't great. Spectre was rather disappointing, and the Warriors lost. Still it was great to have some time just for ourselves. I'm looking forward to my parents visiting for Christmas. I know Jate won't be aware of what is going on, but it will be fun to see my parents with her. Okay, I also admit that I'm looking forward to having them watch her so I can go the the gym and to swimming. Oh, while I'm confessing, I'm also looking forward to having some home cooked meals by my parents. It's going to be like having a personal chef for two weeks! Just one more full week of work, then I'll have a four day week, a three day week and a two day week. Not that I'm counting down or anything...


  1. I'm super jealous of Jate's sleeping abilities. While Q isn't bad, he's only slept completely through the night a handful of times and none of them recently. He still wakes to feed at least once, which isn't overall bad but man would I like 8 straight hours some night! We also had a date night to see Spectre and were disappointed. After the gritty Bond re-do of the past few films, it felt like a bit of a return to the kitschy-wacky Bond of the Roger Moore years, no?

  2. Don't feel bad about not thinking about Jate while you are at work. I find that the same thing happens to me- that means that you are comfortable with your daycare and efficient at work.

    We do big Sunday meals that we can then eat for 3-4 days afterwards so that we don't have to cook again. There is nothing wrong with frozen veggies- they are probably fresher than anything in the grocery store right now anyways because everything is coming from Chile or somewhere very far away.

    FYI- you don't have to start Jate with rice cereal. It's obviously up to you but you can start her with steamed fruits and veggies (they take to them better if you add some breastmilk in them as well!). We waited until 6 months and didn't do BLW either because it just sounded silly.

    Daycare germs are the WORST. CP and I were healthy people that maybe got colds once a year. With Izzy in daycare now HA HA HA HA HA we all three seem to have constant colds. I'm pretty sure that CP contracted the CMV from Izzy as well. I'm hoping that it gets better next year.

  3. Ah, we were going to see Spectre for date night but maybe it's not worth it. Wasted food: I'm afraid there will be plenty of that whatever way you feed her lol. Although it's not too much when you consider that they are baby sized portions. Sleep is crazy; try a few things, stock with what works and don't suppose everybody else has it figured out: they don't. AJ started sleeping through the night (more or less) at about 10 months. And it wasn't anything we did. It's ok to breastfeed and it's ok to sometimes let cry for a few minutes.

  4. Sounds like you've hit a nice stride, save for the occasional late night disco parties. What a treat it will be to have your mom in the house to pamper you! I have to apologize in advance for getting preachy, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding and delaying all solids until 6 months. So you're not lagging at all. And I agree, rice cereal is frowned upon nowadays in favor of more nutrient dense foods like sweet potatoes and avocados. Baby led weaning is very messy and time consuming, but eventually you'll end up doing it anyway as you transition from spoon feeding her to her feeding herself. For now, have fun. They say something like "food before one is just for fun." Having her in daycare will help her learn to eat since they'll be more regimented about it, and potty training too.

  5. I love these monthly posts! I have to say, at almost two, my two kiddos are still struggling to sleep through the night! Knock on wood, but we've actually had 3 nights in a row now that they've slept all night, by themselves, until at least 6:30am. Maybe it just seems like they are such poor sleepers because they take turns usually. I don't know, but the last 3 nights have been heaven. Good luck as you transition to solids! It was so much more confusing than I ever thought it would be. Seems like it shouldn't be that big of a deal, but most moms seem to worry and stress about the process a lot. Looking back, it really ISN'T that big of a deal! Lol. I wish I had t worried about it so much because they DO eventually figure it out. That will be so nice for you to have your parents visiting again so you can enjoy some time for yourself. It's so hard not to feel guilty about that, but nobody would ever question how much you love your little girl, even if you do enjoy time away occasionally. I love my grocery shopping days! It also helps that I completely trust my husband to take care of our babies while I am gone, so I don't have to worry about them and can just enjoy having some me time, even if it's only shopping.