Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Falling Behind

I feel a bit behind on life lately.  I feel it most acutely in the lack of pictures.  I just can't seem to pick up my camera when I really should, as evidenced by the near total lack of pictures from this glorious holiday weekend.  Some dear friends of ours were in town, and I don't think I got any pictures of our adorable children playing together.  Ugh.

Additionally, Greta has become less of a lump.  Which I love, except when it comes time to try to get things done.  She's not much for being set down or ignored, so I must accomplish things in 5 second increments.  Okay, except for all of those little projects I mentioned I've been starting.  And it feels a bit lame to be a stay at home mom who can't find the time to do much cleaning or cooking.  I guess I could if I really wanted, but...

As for those projects.  Landlording has taken a step up this week as I play the find-a-tenant game.  It's a weird position to be in, as I still feel like the college student who should be out looking for places to rent.  I feel like I'm in an unearned position of authority, deciding who we deign worthy to take possession and give us money. 

But life is good.  I'm so happy to be home with Greta.  Made all the more so by some of her very early bedtimes (6:30 tonight)!  If I was working and missed all but 2 of her waking hours I would be so sad.  Nursing is a continued roller coaster.  My supply still isn't great, so I spend a LOT of time nursing and she spends more time than she should being grumpy and vaguely hungry.  I think my supply would be ideal for a baby that only wants small amounts at a time.  But if she had her way she'd tank up and be set for a few hours.  So her and I have a bit of a disconnect.

And tired.  After that last post (that very night) her sleeping went to he!!. It's up and down, but usually up at least twice a night.  It's catching up with me, particularly when coupled with crappy napping and the desire to get things done after bedtimes.

That's about it.  The holidays are upon us, which I love.  I struggle to find patience when pitted against fatigue and a 3-year-old.  I have been losing that battle too much lately. 

One of the few photos I did manage to take this weekend.  The quest for the tree.  It was met with a lot of tears from Greta, as she decided she was hungry the moment we were on the tractor.  And MJ, who decided she HAD TO PEE the moment DH started cutting.  Screaming infant, crying toddler.  It was a memorable quest that I'm sure someday I'll miss. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Life in these parts.

Every morning I vow to write a post after the girls go to bed.  And every evening after the girls go to bed, I sit down to watch crappy TV and do little else.  Every morning I also vow to go to bed early and every evening I stay up a little later than I should, because it's the only time I'm just allowed to sit.  It's so peaceful.

Life in these parts has been good.  Tiring, but good.  Greta has been sleeping very well at night.  Better than many older babies.  She generally goes to sleep sometime between 7 and 8 and will then sleep until about 5 am.  She'll then eat and sleep for about another hour or so.  Sometimes she wakes up at about 1, but that has become more and more rare.  And sometimes she wakes up about 1, lets out one short wail and goes back to sleep.  We haven't yet hit the four month sleep regression so I don't even begin to expect this to last.  I'll enjoy it while it does and cross my fingers.

Shockingly, nursing has been going really well.  A total rollercoaster, though.  Last weekend Greta was fussy all weekend.  I could tell she was teething, because she was a spigot of drool and chomping down on anything she could get her little jaws on, usually my finger.  So I thought perhaps the grumpiness was due to teething, but she also wanted to nurse non-stop and wasn't pooping.  So I thought she may not be getting enough, and the stress of it all really made me want to stop nursing.  Just go to formula and have a happy baby that I can enjoy again.

But then, throughout the week, nursing went great.  So well, in fact, that we went a couple days earlier this week without bottles.  We've done that in the past and then she'd be up all night nursing to catch up on calories.  This time she was still sleeping all night, plenty of dirty diapers and very happy.  However, after a few days, we had a date night.  As we were getting ready to go our beloved baby sitter tried to give her a bottle and she wouldn't take it.  Ugh.  She was freaking out, and it took me half an hour to calm her down.  The only way to calm her was to nurse her.  So I worried throughout the whole date night that she was a total mess.  Since then, I've been trying to give her a bottle a day, just so we don't get into a refusal for a bottle.  Some days she's fine with it and some days she's reluctant.  So she's getting a bottle of formula a day (so much for the virgin gut!) but I'm managing to keep some sanity.

Despite sleeping well at night, she is napping not as good.  She's been an excellent napper for a while now, and has gotten fairly consistent.  Short nap at about 9:30 or 10:00, longer nap at about 1:00 (sometimes up to 3 hours) and sometimes a short nap in the evening. That longer nap has become shorter, and if the evening nap is short that means she's only napping an hour or an hour-and-a-half throughout the day.  That's less sleep than MJ gets.  So I guess it's good she gets a little more at night.

Furthermore, whereas she used to put herself to sleep readily, she will now only be nursed to sleep.  And she wants nothing to do with the pacifier.  She's still swaddled in the rock 'n play for sleep.  I know I need to get her out, but she sleeps so good... I fear we're establishing some bad sleep habits, but I also believe not to make a big deal of things unless they become a problem.

Overall, Greta is just a happy, mellow baby.  She's not much for being alone.  I'm not sure if this is accurate, but I seem to remember MJ at this age being content to entertain herself for fairly long periods.  Greta freaks if you leave the room she's in or she thinks she's alone.  And she basically just wants to be toted around all the time, which I kind of love.  I can set her down for short periods if I need, but she'd much rather be held.  I love me a cuddly, squishy baby.

MJ is being very 3, but a bit less tantrum prone than she was a month ago.   I've decided I need more videos of her, because looking back at videos of her from just a few months ago shows how much she's changed, even though it doesn't seem like she has.  Everything is much more gradual now, fewer concrete milestones.  She continues to be an excellent big sister, loving and helpful all the time.  Sometimes a bit rowdy for a 3.5 month old, but that's to be expected.

It's late.  I'm too tired say much else.  Or even to edit this beast.  My hair is coming out in clumps that seem to never end (post-partum hair loss combined with fall hair loss.  ugh.)

Rambling...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Growing Up.

This morning was our first (real) snowfall.  By real, I mean it actually stuck.  When Greta first woke me up, it was just a dusting, but by the time MJ woke up it was a full on snowfall.  She announced her wake up by screaming

"SNOOOOWWWW!!!"

down the hallway.

She then wandered into the bathroom while I took a shower, parked herself on the radiator and stuck her nose to the window.  When I finally told her she had to tear herself away to go potty, she asked

"Mom, can you pause it?"

Meaning, can I pause the snowfall so she didn't miss any of it.

A very fitting question this morning as I ponder the anniversary of my own birth.  One year older and still haven't figured out how to "Pause It". 

One year older and so-totally-blessed.

One year older and some big changes.

Quit my job a couple weeks ago.

And started this project:
http://www.growingupminnesota.com

I have a couple other projects I'm thinking about, but they're longer in the making.  I'll stick to these little ones for now.   By little ones, I mean the big little ones (MJ & Greta) and the little little ones (a website). 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Only my fourth.

Only the fourth time I've had the opportunity to vote for president, that is.  That makes me feel pretty young, because when MJ and I were talking we determined that there will be four more presidential elections until she can vote.  I started running through past presidential elections in my mind.

2000:  I remember sitting in my tiny dorm room, watching my tiny TV that we bought at Best Buy and transported via T for an hour to get it back to our room.  I remember staying up much too late watching results roll in, and watching Dan Rather get loopy as the the tallies went into the wee hours.  I figured if I went to bed the election results would be figured out by the morning.  As many of you remember, that wasn't true.  That was the election that just drug on and on.  I even had the opportunity (curse?) to attend G-Dub's inauguration in January 2001, because my Dad was living in DC at the time.  Memorable, at the very least. 

2004:  A friend and I (the only other Democrat I found while deployed to Bosnia) went to a party hosted by the Dems Abroad in downtown Sarajevo.  We brought cheez whiz and oreos (the most American food we could find) and stayed up all night to watch results roll in.  I returned to base in the early hours and got a couple hours of sleep before starting work for the day.

2008:  We had been in Minnesota for one year.  We went to a party at our friend's house, ate good food and watched results late into the night.  Children?  Not yet a consideration.  MJ was not in the picture yet (though it wasn't long after...).

2012:  Despite having had a no screen time rule this week, we switched on the TV tonight to watch the returns roll in.  We brought MJ and Greta to vote with us this morning.  One of the most remarkable things to me was when it became clear that MJ vaguely remembers the last time I voted with her, 2 years ago!  She kept demanding to walk to the polling place, and I kept saying it wasn't going to happen.  Then she said "Last time we walked!", which we did.  How could she remember that?  She was a little older than one!  I guess taking your children to vote really does leave an impression.

So I sit here with my glass of wine, children sleeping, so happy to see results come in as I had hoped.  Thankful that I won't feel compelled to stay up far past my bedtime to get an idea of the future that awaits us tomorrow.  Thankful for the future elections I get to watch with my children, regardless of whether they agree with me.

P.S.  I have big news to share with you.  A big project I've been working on.  I'm excited to share it with you.  I'm not good at keeping secrets, I don't think it'll be long.