Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keeping things interesting...

Never a dull moment around here. I don't say that lightly either. I'm still trying to figure out how we managed to make one of what should have been our easiest moves one of our most difficult. As tough as it has been to get all our ducks in a row with this latest move, we really are finding that our new assignment is pretty fantastic. The house has a ridiculous amount of space, the town is darling, and many things are falling into place for us on this end. But it has been a rough transition. It seems nothing about leaving our prior post has been easy nor has it gone smoothly at all. No clue why things need to be so difficult, but we truly have had the worst luck. Everything from having our orders cut exceptionally late to sitting in our new house waiting for a delivery of our household goods that would never arrive, we have been wrought with frustration.

Colorful row of buildings in the center of Erbendorf
Locals have a beautiful decorating touch

After accepting that a miscommunication would result in not having our household goods for another couple of weeks, we embraced our minimalist situation and decided to make the best of it. We visited the local garden center to help the outside of our home come alive, and spent the weekend enjoying the town. Aside from having an empty house, everything else is coming together well. My two biggest sources of angst have been diminished as we had internet the day after we moved in, and little r is registered to start kindergarten here in Erbendorf in September.

lilacs and golden bells to help us relax
flower pots decorating our entry way
more welcoming flowers
The pool is a short 5 min walk from home

Everything was apparently going too well though, so little r decided we needed to spice things up a bit. Yesterday, with nothing but some errands on the necessary agenda, I decided to take the boys and Lando for a walk to discover some of our new town and the network of trails nearby. All was well until we got home from our nice long morning walk. Little r has insisted on walking Lando lately. Something I find endearing, if not cute and totally adorable, but it can also be insanely annoying. He did a great job on this particular walk though, and Lando was very patient and actually listened for most of our excursion. Little r went to open the gate to our house and all hell broke lose. This is one of those moments when being a mom defines new meaning. When you watch something happen and you can do nothing to stop it. My sweet little boy reached through the gate to open the door. As the door opened, Lando immediately bolted for his soccer ball. All would have been ok had little r dropped the leash, but he held on and went for a ride that I wish never happened. The poor kid was caught up in the gate and thrown against the wall of our garage. Big ouch!

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure how things unfolded immediately thereafter. I had Baby C in the stroller fast asleep, and little r was so hysterical he wasn't even making a sound through his sobs. The neighbors were quickly at my aid because when little r did manage a cry, it was an ear piecing sound. He was in pain - gut wrenching, shocking, and horrible pain. I couldn't even peal the kid off of me long enough to assess the damage. So, I just held him close until he was ready to tell me where it hurt.

These are the moments you discover how amazing your new neighbors are, but it also throws you into the reality of knowing you are in a new place with no knowledge of how to deal with a true emergency. I had a similar panic when we first moved here and Big R had an accident riding home from work on his bike, but this was a completely different level of anxiety. That said, I was surprisingly calm. Kids get hurt all the time, and in the realm of accidents, this was pretty mild. Once I got him inside, my biggest fear was that he broke his arm. Our neighbor reminded me that the German Red Cross was literally next door, so he ran to get aid.

Before I knew it my empty house was full of German men wearing bright orange with red crosses, little r was holding an ice pack on his arm supported by a new teddy bear and tear stained cheeks. I was on the phone, my neighbors cell phone because mine conviently decided to "die" right as all this was happening, talking to a tricare representative to get a nurse's assessment of little r's condition. My neighbor is doing all he can to console Baby C who has at this point decided he has had enough, and then Lucy cat starts howling. Really, Lucy?! I'm giving my information to the woman on the phone as I'm pacing the outside of my house calling for my cat that I am positive got outside in the middle of all this craziness. We don't need a repeat of our cat disappearance. I realize at this point I must have looked like a mad woman, but whatever. Somehow the neighbors are still talking to me and we even exchanged contact information. Maybe they find my maniacal behavior amusing - haha.

With some miracle, my child did not appear to have broken or dislocated anything. He was thrown against a wall and walked away with a nasty wound on his forehead and a sprained wrist. Amazing. The tricare nurse told me to treat him at home. I thanked the German Red Cross fellas ecstatically, and I promptly returned my neighbor's phone gushing with gratitude. Another crisis averted.

The rest of the day, the poor kid was super accident prone. If there was a way to hit his head or crush his hand, he found how to do it. At one point he even fell out of the car. He looked up at me with a wince in his face and said, "what is going ON?!" The completely inappropriate response was to laugh, but I couldn't help it. My kid might be a big pain in the tush, but he's also hilarious. When he fell into his train box hitting his head and smashing his hand for one last time at the end of the day, his reaction was to hold back tears, look at me and say, "I'm ok, mom, I am OKAY!" Then we both laughed so hard we cried. It was awesome.

At some point next week, we'll have furniture, and then hopefully little r will calm down some when things in his life have a taste of normalcy. Until then, I'm keeping my fingers crossed he doesn't truly break something or crack his head open. Wish us luck!

I just love this kid :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moving madness

Sometimes the stress of life gets to a point where things just start to seem comical, and it's easier just to laugh at it all. That's about where I am at this point. I've moved so many times in my life, but for some reason this move has been unusually tasking. My friend, K, believes that moves don't necessarily get harder, but that life gets more complicated for us as we get older. I think she's absolutely right. Whatever the reason, my mind has been spinning so hard the past couple of weeks that I'm dizzy.

The Army never seems to make things simple for anyone. But as soon as I start to get cranky about it, I remember that this fantastic opportunity wouldn't even enter my life if Big R wasn't a Soldier, and I grow a little perspective. That said, these perspectives are easy to forget in the thick of another move with painfully uncoordinated logistics, two small children, a loyal guard dog, and two crazy cats. Let's just say life is never boring in our corner. I suppose for that I am grateful. But yeesh, it could maybe slow down a tad. I'm sure Big R and I wouldn't complain if something could go smoothly for a change.

At the end of the day, we will be in our new house and quickly making a home for ourselves in a new German town. We will have said good-bye to the place we called our home for two years. Seems just about everywhere we live, regardless of how long we are there, we make unforgettable attachments. This place was definitely no exception. It'll be tough to leave, that is no lie.

The logistics of an Army move are painfully confusing, so I won't even try to go into it here. Just know that it was an especially tasking transition for us this time around. The movers did come today as scheduled. They didn't show up until nearly 1 pm though, and then they worked like animals to get everything packed and loaded onto the truck before 6 pm. Unbelievable. It was almost fun watching them work. I guess all our pre-organizing and planning paid off this time around. Unfortunately, even though we were technically supposed to be reserved on the schedule for tomorrow, the truck crew is not available, so they will be delivering our household goods on Friday. The good news is, that's going to work out pretty great on our end, and considering it could have been two weeks, we can certainly live a day without our things. No problemo.

So, Big R has to be at an important meeting early tomorrow for his new job, so he took a carload and our crazy cats with him. I'm hanging out in our empty house with my boys - all of them. After Big R left, bathtime became mayhem. It was pure awesomeness. Every hoot from little r or cry from Baby C is amplified in this empty space. Little r was in heaven racing his cars in the big open rooms. The crashing noises were undoubtedly experienced by all the neighbors on every floor of our building. Fantastic.

Knowing life is kind of upside down right now, I let little r snuggle with me on my air mattress and watch a movie after bath time. I finally got little r settled down and got myself into a position where I could nurse my little one that was screaming as if life were ending. It is hot as balls in this house, so I have us set up in the living room with the air mattress, toddler tent, and travel bassinet. All of the windows were open in an attempt to cool things down since our fans and transformers are all packed. The boys were calm and snuggled in and then a huge gust of wind whipped through the house. One at a time each window slammed shut and then the doors followed. Holy bananas, have you ever heard doors slam in an empty house? Yikes!

Here I am with a screaming baby and a three year old in my lap as I'm trying not to cry because my nerves are on end. My butt is completely numb because the air mattress is pitiful and already flat. I get my boys snuggled back in and take a swig of wine straight from the bottle because all the glasses are packed and in these conditions, it's just a shame to let an open bottle of wine go to waste. I finally gave in and let Lando onto the mattress with us with the undying hope that his weight would displace some air and get our butts off the floor. Nothing like sleeping on a hard surface to make you aware of how old you are. My bones are going to be happy tomorrow.

I'm happy to report that all the boys are asleep and snoring. It's kind of awesome. In the empty house I can hear everything. Every breath, every sigh... I'm giggling at the situation knowing it could always be much, much worse.

I'm living more stories to share with my friends as we lament about our PCS adventures. These stories never disappoint. We like to complain, but in the end, we end up laughing about the adventures the Army puts us through. Somehow we all manage to live through the nonsense, and we quickly become anxious to make our new place a home. We try to explain to our kids that we have to leave behind our friends and the routines we've grown comfortable with and hope they don't cry, we snuggle our newborns and pray that they sleep, and we calm our pets and hope they get a sense of security just by knowing they are with you. It's a dance we readily repeat, yet never seem to get used to...

So, I'm going to attempt sleep on this hardwood floor because, quite frankly, calling this a mattress would be a crime. I'll be dreaming about my new house. We'll be spending the rest of the week making it our home.

Hopefully we won't be offline for too long. Until then, stay cool and be awesome. We'll be back soon!




Friday, July 19, 2013

Potty train fail...

I have a confession to make. My child is not yet potty trained. It's probably not something I should write about on my blog, but quite frankly, it has mandated a huge chunk of my life these days, so it seems only appropriate to give it at least one entry in this adventure I call my existence.

It's true, I wrote a blog post back in February exalted in praise that my stubborn little man was finally out of diapers. It was the honest-to-God truth that he was fully trained. He hadn't had an accident in over a month and it was nearly effortless. Then life happens, and there isn't much we can do about it. My dad passed away and we flew back for his funeral. The whole ordeal set little r off course, and we haven't been able to get back on since.

The whole potty training thing is easily the most stressful parenting responsibility I've had yet. No one prepares you for this. A good friend of mine said that she used to lock herself up in the closet and eat dark chocolate to deal with the stress. I have been there. Lots of tears, frustration, need I say anger? I'd like to think it's because my child is brilliant. He's too smart for his own good, so it's a game for him. It's a miserable game though. I often think this potty training bit is going to be the end of me. Did I already say they don't prepare us for this? They really don't...

We have good days and bad days, and awesome weeks and horrible weeks... Losing Papa was really hard on him, and it really set the timing off. One of the biggest pieces of advice is never to potty train your child during a life changing event. Well, at this point, I was massively pregnant, which meant little r's entire world was about to change pretty drastically. And then we had the big move this summer including a transition to a new school that is mostly likely going to require that he be completely out of diapers.

We can do this... That's my mantra. And we have tried everything - literally everything. I could create dozens of blog posts telling fantastic stories about where and when my little man has decided to have an accident. Ikea, Ramstein Airport, local biergartens, just to name a few. All experiences were classic and humbling. I'm certain there is no other experience that reminds you that you are human than dealing with the dreaded accident. Moms really do earn their badges when it comes to cleaning up poop. Man, do we ever...

Today we had an epic potty training fail. It was seriously collasal in every way. Little r's kindergarten had prearranged an afternoon picnic where all of the parents could come enjoy an afternoon with the kids all together. We ended up at a park in our little town because the sun was far too hot for the kids to take the long hike to the original location. So, little r played his heart out in the park. He was a classic boy getting into mischief by exploring trails behind bushes and hanging out with the older kids (I am in so much trouble when he gets older). He was also spending a lot of time rolling, sliding, and throwing dirt. Finally, after a couple hours of constantly searching for him, he came to me whining about his back end being all wet. There is no water in this park, so what the heck?!

He looked like something the cat dragged in. Covered from head to toe in dirt and sand. He even had sand in his eyelashes and buried deep into his hair. It was kind of awesome, I'm not going to lie. I went to reach for my camera, and then I smelled it and my whole mood shifted. I haven't a clue how long the poor dude let himself run around with a mess in his pants. It was long enough to make a ginormous disaster of a mess and give him a horrible rash. Putting him in the stroller in this condition was not happening and it was far too hot to make him walk, so I had to change him in front of all of his friends and their parents. He screamed bloody murder and you really would have thought the kid was dying because his little behind stung so bad. Baby C decided the world had to be ending, so it was time to scream, too. All my mom friends can vouch for me on this, when the baby and the boy are both screaming, your nerves stand on end and your heart strings are pulled.

After I got things all cleaned up, I plopped him into the stroller wearing nothing but a diaper and hid my face as I scooted out of the park and headed home. A necessary shower later, and little r was begging to go to bed. Poor kid was completely worn out. I have to give it to him, this has been a stressful couple of weeks with the move and all the pending life changes. He also played super hard with his friends all day in the heat. That was not exactly a restful way to end his afternoon or mine.

I'm staring at a bottle of wine wondering whether I should relax on the porch and enjoy the sunshine or make myself do a session of yoga. Both sound fantastic, so maybe I'll squeeze it all in.

We are going to survive this somehow. Big R and I might not have any hair left or we may have turned a little batty, and that dark and lonely closet cetainly looks tempting from time to time... But I know we'll get there. My hat goes off to all my friends that had a wonderfully successful go at the potty training ordeal. I wish this on no one.

So, that's my confession. I have no reason to believe this story will not end successfully. It'll happen when he's ready I suppose. Until then, cheers, I'm having another glass of wine.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finally in bloom...

This summer my flower boxes are in a sad state. Knowing we were going to be moving this summer, I didn't want to spend a substantial amount of money on flowers we would only be able to enjoy for a little while. Not knowing where we'd be moving to or if we'd be able to use our flower boxes at our new place, I wanted to keep things simple. Almost too simple...

I thought I was being clever. Let me tell you, when you come up with what you think is a great idea that NO ONE else has ever thought of, it's probably because it's really not a terribly great idea after all. My genius plan was to plant wild flowers in my flower boxes. Yes, wild flowers. Not only plant them, but plant them from seeds. Truly genius, right? I'm shaking my head at myself... What's even better is that I roped my mom into it all. Poor woman was probably afraid to argue with her postnatal and hormonal daughter and just rolled with it. Why not?! Well, this is why not...

and here's another reason...

When you plant wild flowers in a flower box, you end up with weeds... Ok, they might not really be weeds, but honestly, they seriously look like them. I really though I was being brilliant. I mean, the flowers on the seed packet were gorgeous with all these beautiful colors. I thought we'd have the beauty of the nearby farm fields right at our doorstep. I should have thought about that for a second and remembered that those farm fields have wild flowers that stand over two feet high. Yep, that's what my wild flowers are attempting to do here as well. It looks truly bizarre.

We do finally have a bloom. After a month of a cold snap delaying all the flowers in Germany, and my brilliance of planting wild flowers from seed, it only took two months to get a flower. Hahaha, I crack myself up.

Where I am a teeny bit proud is of my garden. I planted my little garden from seed this year as well. Although I don't have a single tomato or pepper yet, I'm impressed by how well it's all growing. Hard to believe they started off as little seeds just a couple months ago. And my herbs are super green and they smell incredible.

Here's how they started....

And this is what I have now...

cherry tomatoes (back left), orange peppers (back right), and beautiful herbs up front

Impressive, right? You can easily tell that I am new to this, and my green thumb is practically non-existent. But it's fun to grow your herbs and veggies from scratch and actually have something edible. Next year I need to plant things much, much earlier. Big R had a grandfather who was an amazing gardener, and he was definitely questioning my timing to grow these veggies. But I'm determined to find at least one harvest of tomatoes before the summer is over.

So, as it turns out, our new house has a yard - both front and back - and a cute porch and garden level walk-out. These areas all need a lot of work because they've been neglected for quite awhile.

our new porch - starring little r
view of our front yard

Considering it might take a week or more to get our furniture delivered, our plan is to have some fun at the garden center in town making our new home beautiful. I can't wait to get some real flowers for my flower boxes, and find some other things to help pretty things up. I'll bring you an update after we get things in presentable shape.

I'm starting to get really excited about this move :)






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A season for change

It's PCS season. For my military friends, you know exactly what this means, and those of you that don't, think of it as pure mayhem as the Army uplifts your life, spins it around several times, and lets you go. PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station. This is the time that nearly everyone leaves their current assignment to head to their next, wherever that may be. For those that are leaving, it can be a wee bit stressful, and for those that are staying, it can be tough having to say good-bye to close friends.

So, here we are in the thick of PCS season and the universe is seriously playing games with us. Our post here is closing, as is the one about 45 minutes away, and it's creating a bit of a mess for those trying to get all of the Soldiers and their units assigned to other locations. Some folks were scheduled to PCS back to the States, and those that are scheduled to stay in Europe are being sent to other posts "in theater". I'd like to say this process has been going smoothly, but honestly, it's lacking in that regard more often than not. As a result, we are all working hard to keep our heads together and just go with the flow. We are used to this anyhow, so bring it on!

For our family, we have been in a limbo for awhile. It took quite a long time for Big R to get his Orders to our new assignment, and without them, not much could be done. As soon as those Orders were in hand, he got the ball rolling and that's when we entered the crazy game.

Think of the Army as a major control freak. There are checks and balances in place for everything to make sure things are accounted for and that everyone follows the system. In theory this should make things go seamlessly, but in reality every post has a tendency to do things slightly different enough to make your world go into a frenzy. This latest assignment for us is no exception. Trying to figure out who to talk to next or what order we need to do things in is not much different than playing a game of treasure hunt.

So, orders in hand, we were finally on a housing list, and have been waiting anxiously for an address for the place we are to call home for our last year here in Germany. But that's just one of the many things that tend to happen this time of year, and it all likes to happen concurrently. Add into the mix a newborn and all the paperwork and coordination involved in having a baby in the military overseas, and you instantly have a full deck.

The universe tends to keep things interesting for our little bunch. Things like realizing that the tires on the car will never pass inspection not two weeks after having a new tire order and installed for a flat (and a week before inspection is due - yikes!). Or having our only computer die on us in the middle of our crazy schedules adding a new layer to filling out paperwork online and all those fun and games. It would also help if we would just buy a back up hard drive already. This is the second time in the past several months that our computer has crapped out, so you'd think we'd learn to protect our prize photographs. But we enjoy adventure too much apparently :)

I'm happy to report that as of today we now have housing at our new location. It's not as close to post as we had hoped, but it's in a sweet little town about 20 minutes away, and the house is much larger than the one we live in now. The extra space will be nice, and Lando and little r will really enjoy having a yard. The small porch will pale in comparison to the large deck we have enjoyed here. And we'll certainly miss our incredible views of the Bavarian countryside. All that aside, we have done the big moves before, and although there is never a lack of stress that goes along with picking up your life and moving it to a new location, it can also be really exciting. We are hearing good things about our new neighborhood and the town we'll be living in. How soon we forget the struggles we go through to make our current homes the comfort that we've grown to love.

So, things are now in motion. We are relieved housing came through so quickly. We are also now faced with the reality that the movers will be here in less than two weeks and we have sooooo much to do before they get here. I was hoping to share stories and photographs from our awesome weekend in Poland, but alas, our computer (and our pictures) are currently out of commission. Hopefully we'll be able to remedy that situation before too long. Until then, I'm certain I will be able to keep you informed with how our PCS is going. Lord knows the Army loves to keep us all entertained.

A picture of our new neighborhood



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life with two

This picture makes my life look like pure chaos. I just love it. That was an especially trying day, but when it happened and little r was in hysterics because everything crashed down on top of him, I found that I couldn't stop laughing. The whole scene was absolutely hilarious. I mean, isn't it? This is what happens when you have a newborn in the house and try as you might you just can't watch your three year old every single solitary second. Funny, but little r calmed down quite a bit after that incident. Maybe he realized that being a crazy man only led to trouble and it was "scary" trouble.

Since I can remember, I always wanted two. Probably because I grew up with my sister and it was always just the two of us and it felt so perfect in many ways. Honestly though, there were times when we'd go through a particularly rough phase with little r that we would find ourselves questioning whether we could even HANDLE two. But the more time I spent watching little r, the more I knew he'd truly love having a brother or sister to grow up with. Maybe I just wanted to give him the opportunity to have someone special in his life like I do with my sister.

Fortunately for us, life decided it was a good idea to bring another little one into the world as well. I had so many friends seriously freaking me out with how much work having another child would make for us and for me especially. And it's true, it is a lot of work, but it's not without its rewards. I feel pretty lucky. As spirited as little r might be, he is a fantastic big brother. The first couple of weeks were a little rough as we were feeling out boundaries and settling into a new routine. We are finally starting to getting into a small groove, at least for the time being. I have no doubt that this will change on a near weekly basis as Baby C's demands grow. For now though, life is looking a little more like this...

cheesy grin :)

and this...

he fits in nicely with our outings!

and this...

not sure Baby C knows what to think here - hahaha
and this...
me and my boys!

Little r is a child that truly needs his routine. This can be a huge challenge when you bring a new baby into the mix with his own needs. I thought it was going to be impossible to get them onto a routine of any sort. The sleep thing is still a work in progress, but I'm doing what I can to bring as many of little r's routines into Baby C's world. My favorite part of this has been the nighttime routine. I got brave awhile back and decided to give them a bath together. My mother-in-law bought me this great bath pillow that cradles the baby while he is in the bathtub. It makes a perfect prop for helping me bath the boys together. Baby C is also a doll and loves the bath, which makes this process infinitely easier. We get cleaned up, little r races to try to "beat" Baby C into his pj's (something I find super cute and hilarious), and then we settle in together to read a book. More often than not, little r will read a book to all of us. Baby C just watches his brother in awe. He must truly think little r is the most fascinating creature.

So, this is now a common scene in our house around 7 p.m. and I just love every minute of it...

One of our more fun challenges has been learning how to travel as a family of four. So far Baby C has made this relatively effortless, and our hope is if we keep on traveling like we do that we'll adjust and adapt as we the kids get older and Baby C becomes more demanding with his needs. On our last two trips, we've had some extra help from our parents. This weekend we embark on a trip all on our lonesome with the kiddos. All bets are off, and the moment of truth lies ahead. Let's just see how we roll!

We have a year full of adventures planned, and we know having two in tow will might make this a bit tricky. But we are too determined to take advantage of the incredible opportunities we have for travel while living here that we refuse to let anything hold us back. It'll be fun to share photos, memories, and my blog posts with little r and Baby C when they are older. If nothing else, we are hoping it'll provide fodder for some awesome blog posts! hahahahaha. I have no doubt our adventure this weekend will not disappoint.

Have a great Fourth of July everyone! I'll be in touch when we get back and tell you all about the shenanigans we got ourselves into.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Too many rules...

As a new mom, life can feel downright overwhelming. I remember reading everything in sight trying to absorb all the information so I could be sure not to do anything wrong. Then the information started to conflict. I mean, seriously conflict, and it was pure madness trying to figure out what to do right. How many rules do we need? Science is telling us one thing, judgment is telling us another... Our mothers put us to sleep on our stomachs, now we have to put them to sleep on their backs. Pacifiers are good, pacifiers are bad. Don't let your child suck their thumb, thumb-sucking is a natural thing they develop to comfort themselves. Breast feed, bottle feed. Never wake a sleeping baby, never let a baby sleep more than a feed cycle during the day. I feel like I could go on and on and on... Yeesh, this is exhausting!

My mom thought this whole deal was insane. I remember her telling me to just listen to my instincts. We know what to do, right? I found one book that I truly liked because her approach to taking care of a baby made sense to me. The Baby Whisperer. The title itself was more comforting than "Baby Wise," although I wouldn't be surprised if they taught very similar principles. I just couldn't handle taking severe approaches to bringing up my baby. I certainly wasn't going to sleep with him, and the whole Ferber method is just plain cruel. Hey, to each his own, but these approaches are not for me.

I remember following rules to the letter regardless of how contrary they might have seemed. Little r had such a sensitive tummy and horrible acid reflux. We would put him to sleep on his back and he would scream and scream and scream. We had his bed elevated on one side to help, and would often put him to sleep on his side, but never EVER on his tummy. And I was adamant about making sure he slept in his bed instead of on my chest, and that he never nursed too close together. Just thinking about all this is wearing me out. Being a mom is hard enough without all these insane rules. And all the advice! Holy bananas, do we really need all this advice from everyone?

I'm guilty of offering it far more than I should have. How I ever felt I was anywhere near qualified to offer advice to someone about raising a baby the "right" way is beyond me. Every baby is so painfully different that we can't possibly think we have the answers for every baby issue presented to us. One of my friends posted an article on Facebook the other day from one of my favorite bloggers about how the best advice to give a mother is not to give any advice at all. Most mothers just need to talk it out to prove to themselves that they have the answers after all. Or for me, I think I often just need to hear other mothers tell me that they experienced something similar so I don't feel so alone in my struggles. We've all been there, and company is comforting...

So, with a new baby coming into our lives, I decided I was going to follow my instincts and use rules as guidelines instead of making myself crazy trying to follow them to the letter. I might end up regretting some of it, I have no doubt, but I feel like I was so focused on trying to do things the "right" way that I completely missed all the other amazing things about having an infant. All those little things that you'll never have again. Like having a baby fall asleep on your chest.

Baby C has some tummy issues, too. No where near as horrible as poor little r did, but enough that I have to be careful what I eat and his poor tummy can be so uncomfortable sometimes that he has trouble sleeping. Sometimes I've noticed that he'll fall asleep better on his tummy, so I'll put him there first until he falls asleep and then roll him over. And the whole, "never poke a sleeping bear" theory has kept me from waking him up when he has good naps during the day (even though I am rarely joining him). I also let him sleep on my chest as often as I can because they grow up too fast, darnit!!!

But I have to confess that the books can be useful. I'm running on an empty fuse right now because Baby C is eating every couple of hours at night, and little r is an early riser. That's a tough combination and the lack of sleep eventually catches up with you. So, I found myself turning back to that trusty book to see what the Baby Whisperer might suggest I do to help. She has some great advice, and it turns out that many of the approaches she suggests are coming naturally to me by following my instincts and listening to what Baby C needs. I still need help though. A lot of help. Natural or not, there has to be an approach to guide me to train my baby how to sleep longer periods through the night so we both get more sleep.

I'm going to give the Baby Whisperer's suggestions a try and see if it gives me a break to help turn Baby C's sleep schedule around. I'm sure I'll vent my cunundrum to as many friends as possible first and read far too many blog posts about the issue as well, just to make myself feel like I'm in common company. I'll also go on and on about it to my mom because, bless her heart, she'll listen to it all and then tell me that she doesn't know what I can do (when all along she knows my instincts are going to give me the right answers).

I'm going to end with a quote from Mommastery on her blog about advice that I mentioned above. My friend shared this quote the other day as well. I think we are both saying the mantras in our heads as we work through our current baby struggles and trying to find our sanity.

"I just want us to remember that when we became mamas we didn't change species. We're still humans. I mean, we're badass humans, for sure, but humans nonetheless. We make mistakes, all day, and that's good. We want our children to see that. We want them to learn how to handle mistakes, because that's really the only important thing to learn: We expect to make mistakes, we say we're sorry, we forgive ourselves, we shrug and smile, and we try again.




It's a good system. It creates graceful, interesting, peaceful, forgiving, jacked-up humans.

And don't forget ... in this forgiveness system, we get forever tries. We never run out of tries.

Parenthood is Forever Tries."

From "A Little Advice" by Glennon Melton.