All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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UPDATED: My Style – PAIL Theme Post

What is my parenting style?  I have no idea!  I can tell you what I thought it wouldn‘t be before I got pregnant with Matthew:

  1. I was NOT going to partake in attachment parenting in any way, shape, or form – no way!
  2. I was going to pump exclusively instead of nurse my baby.
  3. I didn’t consider cloth diapers.
  4. I insisted that wearing your baby made them needy.
  5. I wouldn’t even consider being a SAHM.
  6. I stated several times that my kids would not sleep with us – in our bed or in our room.
  7. I was not interested in making baby food – store-bought would be just fine, thank-you-very-much!
  8. My baby would sleep through the night by 3-4 months of age.
  9. I figured we’d do whatever our doctors told us to do in regards to vaccinations.

Guess how all of that is working out for me?  HA!  So far:

  1. In regards to attachment parenting, I dabble in a few of the B’s, and believe wholeheartedly in a couple of them (breastfeeding, birth bonding, babywearing)
  2. I am still breastfeeding my 9 month old – he has only had about 10 ounces of formula in his entire life.  I pump every night after he’s in bed to store up milk for the future.  I am a human cow and Matthew always gets it straight from the source!
  3. We did cloth diapers for 7 weeks.  The only reason we stopped was that I made the mistake of buying the one size diapers and they were just too bulky for him when he was so tiny.  We will go back to them when he gets bigger and ready to potty train.  Right now, I’m being lazy and really like the disposables.
  4. We loved the Moby Wrap and have just started using our Ergo quite a bit.  I mowed my lawn the other day with Matthew strapped to me.  The Ergo goes everywhere the stroller goes for when he wants out of the stroller.  We love it!
  5. I asked B 2 weeks before going back to work if he’d be open to me staying home.  He said he was hoping I’d want to.  I went back to work for 7 weeks just to get a promised bonus and to make sure I was making the right decision.  Best decision I ever made!
  6. Matthew slept in our room for 4 weeks in a pack-and-play.  There were nights we tried desperately to get him to sleep with us. In bed.  We still try sometimes to have him sleep in bed with us – but he is not at all interested.
  7. I make all of Matthew’s food from scratch* (and usually organic and hormone free) – even his breakfast.  He has never had a “puff” or a cheerio – and we are trying to raise him on a paleo diet for all practical purposes.  He is the best baby eater I have ever known.  He eats everything – because I cook him everything (even the stuff I don’t like).
  8. If you read my blog at all, you know that Matthew’s not sleeping through the night yet – and he’s 9 months old!
  9. We are vaccinating on an alternative schedule.

I asked B on Easter Sunday if he was surprised by how “granola” I am as a mother.  To my surprise, he said, “no, not really.”  I am surprised by how “granola” I am – I never saw ANY of this coming. And while I am still nursing my 9 month old, wearing him as I mow the lawn, and making all of his food – I totally believe in structure and boundaries and everyone sleeping in their own beds.  Most importantly, I believe in doing what fits best with your child and family.

I am a blend of parenting styles.  I think we all are.  If we try to be just one style, we’re bound to find something within that style that we don’t agree with and then where does that leave us? I say, ‘throw out the labels and just parent the best way you know how.’  After all, no one knows how to parent your child (not even your MIL – HA!) better than YOU do yourself!

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*  All food is made from scratch except his baby yogurt (Yo Baby!).  This does not fall into the paleo lifestyle but I think we need to let the boy have a treat every now and again.  After all, the government says that dairy is important!

Addendum/Update:  I was just sent this link by a friend of mine.  I suggest reading it – it is hysterical!  This pretty much describes my parenting to a T.  Particularly #30 (including the use of one of my favorite words of all time – the F WORD!):  “Don’t listen to anyone. Other parents will dispense advice like candy (see: This post). F*ck ‘em. You’ll figure it out on your own. Somehow, we all do. Read the books, don’t read the books. Follow whatever parenting method you’d like, or no parenting method at all. Do whatever it takes to work. There’s a study that will validate everything you do, and another study to tell you what you’re doing is wrong. Just f*cking love the kid like you’ve never loved anything, and everything will turn out well. “


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It May be Coming Together

Last night and this morning were better than even the night that Matthew slept all the way through!  My little sweetie woke up earlier than normal (2:32 AM) but was only up for 16 minutes!  He stood up and cried, laid back down, and stood back up before the 10 minutes were up for me to come in to check on him.  I could hear him winding down before it was time to come in, so when I did come in, I just hugged him really tight (I’d been forgetting that the other recent nights – I feel terrible!), laid him down, patted him a couple times, and just stood there – and watched him fall asleep on his own!  Now we just need to get him to lay himself back down, and I think we’ve got it.   Honestly though, getting up for 15 minutes in the night to lay him down is a non-issue – I will do that any night of the week!

He slept until 6:35.  SIX THIRTY-FIVE!!!!  All other nights, I’m up for at least an hour with him and he gets up just around 6:00 (or 5:00 the night he slept through).  I will take a 15 minute waking any night if it means I only need to be up for 15-30 minutes and that I get to sleep until 6:30!


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Short Lived

It’s 3:23, and I’m up with a crying screaming baby.  I knew that the other night was too good to be true and wasn’t the end of this little project, and I even said in my post that I knew we still had work to do, but I was hoping maybe I was wrong  😉

In my slumber, I forgot that yesterday was when we started over on the day 2 schedule, so I did it again tonight.  Oops.  I did watch him on the monitor and at one point in the first waiting period, he put himself back down and tried to go back to sleep, but that didn’t last long.  It did give me hope that he can do it (which of course – we all KNOW he can, but like a good mother, I’m making excuses for him).  He is currently more calm and standing on the rails – waiting for me.  Poor little guy.

B was out of town last night and said when he came home that maybe the trick was him being out of the house.  I quickly said, “oh no, that’s not what got him to sleep!”  But… I’m starting to wonder  😉

What I’m NOT wondering about is when we’ll do this if we have another baby.  For those of you reading this who are planning to sleep train your babies – please do it before they can stand up in their cribs.  I know in my heart of hearts that he would be asleep, or at least calm, by now if he couldn’t stand up.  This whole mobility and independence thing really messes up this plan.  I lay him down, he stands right back up, without fail unless he’s beyond exhausted.  If he has any willpower left in him, he’s standing back up.  We will be doing this at 4-6 months next time if we are lucky enough to have another baby.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

Since it doesn’t look like we’re near the end of this little project, I thought it may be worth posting a snapshot of my spreadsheet every now and again so that there is a visual of what our nights look like.  Here it is, updated with tonight’s info (he was asleep at 4:07 – but I’ve been up reading blogs.  Ugh!).  Yes – it is getting worse before it gets better.  HA!


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Extrovert

We are going through the much anticipated 9 month-old separation anxiety.  Matthew LOVES everyone and is a very social baby, but when we’re home, he wants to be with me all the time.  He will not let me out of his sight.  However, if we’re away from home, he is his normal, outgoing self and those times make this trying time not so trying, actually.

I’m very proud of Matthew for loving to engage others while we’re out.  He will pretty much go to anyone who shows any interest in holding him.   We were at Target today and he was calling out to complete strangers.  He does this cute little fake, LOUD laugh to get people’s attention, and it works every time.  Who doesn’t look for the cute laughing baby?!  He engages kids, men, women, ANYONE and I just love it!  I beam with pride because I think this may mean that he has his father’s outgoing personality which is how I prefer it.

I am severely introverted.  You would not know it if you met me because if I know you or know of you, I’m very chatty.  But if I don’t know you, I most likely won’t cross a room to introduce myself.  I take that back.  I most definitely won’t cross a room to introduce myself.  It just isn’t in me and it’s the one thing I despise about myself.  Even being fully aware of it, I find it very hard to change.

B, on the other hand, makes it a point to engage every person at a party (it doesn’t have to be OUR party) in a conversation.  He will make every person he talks to, which ends up being everyone in the room, feel like the only person in the room while they have his attention.  He is a fabulous listener and gives you his full attention when he’s talking with you.  He will not hijack the conversation, or jump in to say, ‘uh huh, I’ve done that too.’  He just listens and asks questions about what you’re telling him.  He can know everything about the thing you’re talking about (cars, vacation spots, technology), and you would never know it because he doesn’t ever say, ‘yeah, I did that too.’  I find it amazing – and it’s a wonderful thing.

As I walked through Target with my very engaging, seemingly extroverted baby, I found myself hoping that he ends up like his dad.  I hope he makes everyone he talks with feel special and like the only person in the room.  I hope he crosses the room to introduce himself or talk to the person who doesn’t seem to know anyone at the party.  From what I’ve seen so far, he will be that person.

I haven’t posted pictures in a while – so here are a few pictures from today.  We had a great day  🙂

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He Did It!

Imagine my surprise when  I heard Matthew stir on the monitor, rolled over to take a look to see that he was definitely getting up, and then looked at my watch and saw that it was 5:08!  Holy sh*t – he slept through the night!!!!!!!

Ferber says that if you want their wake up time to be 7:00, that you should just get them up for the day if they get up after 5:00.  So that is what I (sort of) did.  He was awake – no question about that – so I put him in bed with me to do his morning nursing and  he did that without dozing off.  Then we got up at 5:42!

We are both noticeably tired, but also noticeably HAPPY  🙂  I think Matthew knows what he accomplished – he is in happy, proud baby mode!  I am in happy, proud mama mode!

I know we’re not fully over the hump yet – that this will still take work – but for now, I am savoring this HUGE victory!!!!


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Well Baby

I am a bit embarrassed by the fact that this is my THIRD post today – but I’m not embarrassed enough not to post it anyway.  HA!

Matthew had his 9 month well baby check today – and he is doing very well.  He is rather proportional when it comes to weight (64%) and height (67%), but he has a huge head (97%).  We knew all of this already – this is how he’s been since he was born.  We talked about his eating since we’re pretty much raising him on a paleo diet (and our doc fully supports that – yay!), his development (he’s a bit ahead on his motor skills – I credit baby gym for this), teething (still only 2 teeth and the others aren’t making an appearance just yet), vaccinations (she is very open to the alternative schedule which is why we chose her as our doc), and his sleeping.

I love Matthew’s doctor – she really believes that the parents know best and supports what they want to do.  She did say that there are a couple things that she does not believe should be a fight between parents and children, which are eating and sleeping.  I wasn’t sure what she meant by this and feared that she meant that we should let Matthew call the bedtime shots.  Quite the contrary.  She feels that parents need to make the decisions that are best for them when it comes to eating and sleeping and conform their babies to those decisions.  In other words, if you want your baby on a paleo (or vegetarian, vegan, etc.) diet, then do it and just make sure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need.  If you want your baby sleeping through the night (and she agreed that he should be at this age), then she suggests the Ferber method and said to stick it out.  I told her that I’ve tried everything and she said that when her patients try various techniques, they usually end up with Ferber because it’s the one that works the best and most consistently.

I told her how things are going and she said that she does have some patients who get worse before they get better with the Ferber method and to keep on keeping on.  She did say that I need to be prepared for this to take a full two weeks.

OK.

So I’m going to keep on keeping on.  I started tonight at 8:19 when Matthew went to sleep in his crib as I covered him with his blankie.  I woke him up from his nursing slumber and laid him down as he cried a bit.  I patted his back just a little, tucked him in, and said goodnight.  He was asleep before I shut the door behind me.  Call me crazy, but I’m hoping for a decent night.


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I am the Problem

I am re-reading the chapter on creating new sleep associations and reviewing my notes from each night.  The first night, he put himself to sleep entirely – he got down from the crib rails, curled up on his lovey, and whimpered himself to sleep.  Only after he’d been asleep for a few minutes did I go back in to cover him with his blanket.  I did not pat his back or do any shhh-ing.

The second night, I had to take him off the rails and lay him down.  I did that each time I went in.  I would then pat his back.  If I remember correctly, he started to calm down as I patted his back and then took a few minutes after I left to really fall asleep.  But I was creating a new sleep association with the back patting.  Last night, I admit that I did pat his back until he was asleep – even if it did only take a minute (I was just trying to calm him and he was asleep before I knew it).  I patted his back off and on while I was checking on him, and I’m not supposed to be doing that.

I did it again today for his nap.  WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?  I know that I’m not supposed to do it, but I do it anyway.

There won’t be a proper nap later today because we have Matthew’s 9 month doctor visit right when he’d be falling asleep, so I’m sure he’ll fall asleep in the  car on the way home.  But tonight?  Tonight I will put him in his room and NOT pat his back as he falls asleep.  I will not pat his back during his awake periods tonight.  I will simply go in, remove him from the crib rails, lay him down, give him a quick pat on the back to help him settle into the mattress (I can’t just walk away!), and then say, “night night,” and exit.  I will not stay in his room for more than ONE minute each time (Ferber says 1-2 minutes but I clearly can’t be trusted with 2 minutes).  And I will NOT do what I did this morning and let him sleep with me once he gets up at 6:00 (he was just so tired and I couldn’t let him struggle like that to stay awake).

What I’m trying to decide is if I should go back and start with the second night’s schedule (5, 10, 12 minute wait periods) instead of the forth night’s schedule (12, 15, 17) since I’m the one who screwed this up?

Uh oh… I just came across a statement that I shouldn’t be using a sound machine for Matthew.  That little tid-bit is on page 96.  Why wouldn’t they put that earlier in the book, like on page 74 where they tell you exactly how to do this process?  I’ve been wondering about that as I’ve been reading but assumed all was fine because there was no mention of it.  Matthew sleeps with a VERY LOUD sound machine all. night. long.  In fact, we have a couple sleep sheep that we used when he was very young but they stopped after 45 minutes and that was all well and good (Matthew stayed asleep just fine after they shut off) until we had a party one night.  We went in to reset the thing every 40 minutes and decided that he sleeps best with the continuous noise.  So I got one that stays on all night.  I actually love it and rely on it via the baby monitor at night to fall asleep (I used to sleep with ear plugs prior to Matthew’s arrival – I’m a terrible sleeper!).  I think that is one association that I am NOT willing to break for Matthew at this time.  That would be pure torture for him!