Working it Out

Finding time these days is tough.  Especially time, I can commit to a regular workout schedule.  We have belonged to the YMCA since Charlie was a baby, but I’ve really only used it for Maria’s swimming lessons and the occasional workout.

Weeknights are hard, because either the kids spend the time they should be with us in the childcare.  Or I’m working out late at night when I should be getting ready for bed. And I also have the guilt of having Chad be responsible for both kids bedtimes.  But now I figured out a way to give him some time he wanted and get the time I wanted.  Saturday mornings at Kids Stuff!

So I go twice a week. One evening and then Saturday mornings.  Saturday mornings, I take the kids to Kids Stuff and he gets to sleep in… aka “Daddy Time”.   I am not doing any extensive cardio, but instead doing some brain-settling yoga type stuff.  Yoga Fitness & BodyFlow.  I love love love BodyFlow!  I think if I can get these incorporated regularly  in my routine too, I may cut out visits to my chiropractor!

My Happiness Project- Chapter 1

I blogged last month about the book the Happiness Project. I enjoyed the book and it was filled with lots of good ideas for self fulfillment and improvement. But it was a lot to consume in a short amount of time. So yesterday I starred over with the intention of reading a chapter at a time with the intention of applying some of that to my life for a month (or so) before reading on.

So from the introduction and chapter 1, here is what I am taking away:

  • make myself a priority
  • my gut instinct is pretty good. Don’t agonize over small decisionstaking risks is good. Allowing yourself to fail will allow myself to take risks
  • perfection shouldn’t always be the goal. I.e.Wiping the bathroom counter with a clorox wipe may be a better decision than trying to find time to “properly clean”
  • I don’t have the bandwidth for a massive overhaul of my habits so starting small and incorporating into my existing daily life.
  • this isn’t purely selfish, people enjoy being around happy people.
  • establish higher energy : get more sleep and find ways/time to exercise
  • clean out clutter : tackle nagging tasks and take small steps to literally clean out clutter.

 

There you have it. I hope I can follow through now… Wish me luck.

Self-Service

All those times my mother told me to do it myself… now is payback.

Last night around 9, I was in the kitchen and Maria comes out of her room. 

Mommy, my lovey fell out of bed, and I’m tooo sleepy to pick it up myself.

Even though I’m so tired of stall tactics, I kept my cool, walked her back to her room. Got her back in bed, and picked up her lovey off the floor, while she proceeded to (animatedly) tell me about the dream she was having.  While I focused on the fact that this was all a ploy that she just needs to be reassured that I am here.  (reading a lot about separation anxiety)

Then at 2 a.m. I woke up to a crying Charlie, but when I got out of bed, I decided that I drank too much water before bed, and Charlie would have to wait a few minutes while I got rid of that water! By the time I was in his room, he was reduced to a whimpering and was looking around his crib for his sleeping needs. I helped him find his pacifier and he found 1 lovey, but didn’t realize he was sitting on the other. Again, not sure why he can’t figure out to just look for them right away without getting upset and waking all of us! 

Self-Service needs to be better enforced in our house!

Sneaking Out

Separation Anxiety. Wow. It is almost suffocating at moments. The hardest is getting out of the house anytime without Maria. Even at 6 in the morning. I get ready in the downstairs bathroom. I don’t eat breakfast at home. And I literally creep so slowly by her bedroom door so she doesn’t hear my footsteps. But she usually catches me at least one day a week. And the first thing she says:

I don’t want you to go to work

Heartbreaking because why I work is tough to explain to her. And it is tough to explain that my commitment to work is not optional.

I am sure this is why bedtimes are tough right now. I just don’t know anything else but to reassure and remind her of the fun we have when we come home (and that when I pick her up she isn’t usually ready to leave). Unfortunately all the reassuring isn’t enough to get through the goodbye. Although I do know (thankfully) that after the goodbye she bounces back quickly. I can’t even imagine how I would deal with this if she was miserable all day.

Bedtime

How do I get Maria to go to bed without laughing at me? Any advice? She just laughed at me tonight. So frustrating because it makes me mad and then I also know I can’t give in to that behavior? She lost tv for the weekend and thought it was funny. Although I am sure tomorrow mornin she won’t find it funny. Ugh and then I will have to battle that…

Also any one have advice on how to catch a mouse?

The Happiness Project

A book by Gretchen Rubin.  And inspiration to some changes in my life.

I recently finished this book.  It was really good and has inspired me to challenge myself to stretch my limits a little.  I wasn’t really prepared for that insight, so after reading the couple chapters, I actually walked away from it to take some time to make improvements.  Her project broke out different areas by month and she worked on something different each month. I’m going to try and re-read a chapter of her book every month (or so, permission to miss a deadline, so if I miss one, I don’t just quit!)

Funny, I have no reason to be unhappy, but know that I don’t always appreciate everything and I know that my sarcasm and nagging and complaints probably wear on some people (even outside my husband).  She also addressed how we need to appreciate the seemingly sunshiny people in our lives and not be cynical about their disposition, because it is hard to always be sunshiny!

So here’s what I took away from this:

  • being happy takes work for some people
  • be true to yourself
  • take care of yourself
  • “The days are long and the years are short”

Here’s what I’ve done:

  • Started working out. Completed 9 weeks of Couch to 5K training, running a 5K next week. (yay, me!)  Taking care of myself!  Fixing my lunches and planning dinners.  but also giving myself some flexibility on what we eat at home.  Nothing fancy, keeping it simple.
  • Acknowledging that I don’t have a lot of time, but I can manage my priorities to take care of myself and being happy.  I gave up A LOT when I was pregnant with Charlie. Trying to regain some aspects of life prior to having kids.  Exercise is the big one for me, and career development is the other space I’m working on.
  • Not caring what people think, I’m speaking up more at work, asking questions, pushing some points – for pete’s sake, I’m a business analyst. This is what I’m supposed to do!
  • Trying to spend more time with my kids. If Maria wants to play Chutes & Ladders, I try to tell myself that even though my day has been long, I don’t have endless opportunities with her at this age.  “The days are long, but the years are short.”
  • Taking a break from facebook.  Not sure if that was a conscious decision or not. I’m on it, but just not every day and almost never more than once a day.
  • So my decision with blogging, I’m keeping it. I may be using it more as a journal so that I have a record of life or as my new category reads (moments).   But what I did decide about my blog was that I’m not maintaining the framework. I’m hosting it via wordpress.com instead of the host I have been using since I moved to this domain.  2 reasons, because it’s cheaper AND the last time I upgraded wordpress, I had to move and edit files manually because the script my host provided didn’t work. And then the next day a new patch was released!  I do like to geek out a little, but that’s just frustrating and I lost about 3 hours doing that!

So that’s it. In a nutshell. I’ll try to keep you updated when I start the re-read and what I decide to do going forward. Oh, and another thing, going to bed early… huge difference in my attitude every day. Anyway, I recommend this book. You don’t have to be unhappy to improve your happiness.

Mother’s Day

Last night Charlie slept through the night! Happy Mother’s Day to me!  I still woke up tired.  Not sure why, but I did. And I was crabby. I think the whole idea of Mother’s Day just reminded me how much work being a Mother is. Even though there was this whole day to celebrate “me” and this role, I didn’t get a break from it to celebrate. Kids still need to be fed. Groceries still need to be bought (with kids, because the lawn still needs to be mowed!)

But after taking 2 kids to Target, I was feeling better prepared for the day.  We came home, Chad grilled burgers for lunch.  Charlie napped for almost 3 hours.  Maria fell asleep watching a movie. I took a nap, then headed to Menards to buy mulch. And then I put out 25 bags of mulch in the rain.  I don’t know why, but it made me happy.  After coming in from the rain, I tried to teach Maria some games on the Wii (MarioKart and golf)  She needs some more practice, but it was still fun to see her so excited, even though she kept coming in last!

Dinner we had sloppy joes and sweet corn.  Followed by hopscotch in the driveway.  All in all a fairly good day until bedtime.  Maria’s bedtime that is.  Now looking forward to a week without TV or the CD player, as privileges were lost with bad behavior.

At least much of the day was good…

Soothing & Sleeping

We have had 3 nights in a row with no feedings. Yes, I still was up 3 times. But I didn’t make any bottles, change any diapers or even sit in the rocker. That is progess! And I am feeling well rested (especially considering I was up late for a “school” night).

Charlie is catching on. The last time I was in there he lunged at me so I had to pick him up to avoid him falling into the railing (which was down so I could find his nuk). But he didn’t cry for long when I put him immediately back down.

Good stuff. I like progress!

Embracing Sleep

Last night was not a normal evening. I could tell both kids were tired when I picked them up. They had been outside much of the afternoon. Fresh air is good!

Charlie got fussy after dinner and he was apparently tired enough that he didn’t even mind me cutting his bath short. I believe he was in bed by 6:15.

At 6:30, Chad and I were sitting in the living room playing Words with Friends on our phones. (Great game, send me a note if you want to play) I decided Maria was being awfully quiet in her room. Poor girl was sound asleep on her bed. Dirty feet and face, unbrushed teeth and all. We let her sleep. She woke up around 10:30 for a snack and to put on her pajamas but wanted to go straight back to bed after that.

Last night was also Night #2 of crying it out. (CIO). No idea there was an acronym for this but there is. It’s a mom-thing.

Charlie work up twice 12:40 and 1:30. Both times I “re-Nuk”ed. The first time he cried for less than 5 minutes. The second before I even shut his door. And again he was fast asleep when I left this morning.

Progress! We have progress! Glad he is catching on so quickly! My smart kid!! Here’s to night #3 and to embracing the sleeping process a little more!

Crying it out

As fast as the last 14 months have gone, it is not because I have slept them away! With less than 5 nights of sleeping through the night, Sunday night probably “woke” me up to the problem we were having.

Sunday night I lost track of how many times I got up. I believe it was not less than 10. I worked from home on Monday because I was a walking zombie. Tuesday night wasn’t much better.  

I hadn’t pushed the issue earlier. Not before Charlie developed an attitude, a mild temper or the bad habits of wanting mommy. I don’t think I knew how to deal with it. (Maria slept through the night at 12 weeks. Thanks thumb!) And I didn’t know how much was the habit of getting up or Charlie being uncomfortable due to the ear infection plague this winter. Tubes helped make him more comfortable but the bad habits were already established. Habits. Plural. His and mine. It seemed easier to get up make a bottle, change his diaper and rock him than to listen to him cry and worry about waking his sister in the room next door.

Yesterday I did something I am not good at. I asked for help. In the form of advice from a Mommy online discussion board at work. I got it. Now I was not alone. Sure I already knew friends who dealt with this issue. But sometimes it is easier to take a push from an unfamiliar person. Strange but true for me.

Then on the advice of a friend I took Charlie to get his ears checked. Just to be sure. And our pediatrician, who I adore, and who was unavailable for most of Charlie’s ear infections and 12 month wellness appointment laid it out for me. (She also confirmed his ears were clear.)

He’s reached the separation anxiety stage. (big time!). He wakes up he wants to know I am there. So I just needed to go in and remind him “Yes, I am here.”  It was good for me to hear this (even though I can now expect a doctor bill), because I know me. I would have found an excuse.  His stuffy nose or the fact that his 5th tooth just poked through.  But there it was. I trust my doctor. 

Now I don’t know why I didn’t remember to turn on the monitor last night. But I didn’t. So when I heard him crying at 3:40 this morning I just jumped out of bed not knowing how long he had been crying and made him a bottle. But before I got back to his room, I decided to not take it in. Never let him see it and just lay him back down with a pacifier.

He cried for 20 minutes after that. Then I went back in and gave him his “loveys” which he had thrown on the floor. (I blame his daddy for that temper) Laid him back down and went back to bed. He cried for 7 minutes.

Thirty minutes later he was crying again. Repeat. Cried for less than 15 minutes. One more time 30 minutes later with crying less than 5 minutes. He was asleep when I left this morning.

I am nervous for tonight. Could be worse. But hopefully better. Stay tuned…