Every year before the new year begins, I look back at past recorded years. Earlier entries have been edited for length. Current year’s at the bottom if you want to skip to that.
I’ve finally gotten Owen into the Christmas spirit a bit. Only had to watch three Christmas movies. He loved Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. I actually thought it was pretty good too. This kid adores Mickey Mouse. Every day, “wear Mickey?” “see Mickey?” “watch Mickey?”
Sunday, our town’s Emergency Squad brought Santa around and well, we had an awesome time just waiting for Santa. Owen hasn’t seen his friends in a while, and they were all out waiting too. Plus, splashing in puddles in the rain is super fun. I was worried he would be scared of Santa, but he was so excited to go in the ambulance and to finally meet this Santa guy everyone’s been going on about. It was magical.
Meanwhile, I think everyone is ready to say goodbye to 2016. One of my friends had a particularly bad year so I hope 2017 goes more smoothly for her. And Syria had an extremely bad year. Seeing tweets and videos out of Aleppo is absolutely heartbreaking :'( Feel very lucky everyone I love is safe and healthy.
Today is my last half day of work until the New Year. Looking forward to the break and hanging out with Owen. Oh and sleep update: he’s been putting himself to sleep at the beginning of the night without me in the room. If only he could do that at 4am, we’d be all set.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Left Owen overnight for the first time. Took my baby to Disney World!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year I wanted to get more than three hours of consecutive sleep. Took, almost a whole year, but I did. I also wanted to be a good bridesmaid for Julia, I think I did a fine job. And to stay out after 6. I think I did many times since Owen can stay out past 6 now :D
Next year I want to find an awesome assignment and jump in. I want to finish learning Spring. I gotta clean this house at some point.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nitika and Ishrat
4. Did anyone close to you die? no
5. What countries did you visit? None
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? the energy to learn new things
7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 9/25/16 When Julia and Jason’s wedding and Owen’s second birthday, so that’s an easy one
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Our team got a fancy TD President’s Award
9. What was your biggest failure? I think there was a collective oops with some modeling information
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? We haven’t gotten sick since we quit Gymboree
11. What was the best thing you bought? Fitbit Charge2 or iPad
14. Where did most of your money go? new car
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Disney World!
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
l. happier or sadder? happier, I don’t think I ever once said sadder, that’s positive, right?
ll. thinner or fatter? same?
lll. richer or poorer? Poorer, I’m never poorer. It’s been an expensive year
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Hanging with my friends
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Facebook
20. How will you be spending Christmas? not sure
24. What was your favorite TV program? hmm… Gilmore Girls or Timeless or This is Us
26. What was the best book you read? Effective Java?
28. What did you want and get? to keep my job
29. What did you want and not get? for all my coworkers to keep their job
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Interstellar
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I’m 31 der… I took off work? Or was it a weekend? I can’t remember
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? for something to have worked out for one of my friends and I hope it happens in 2017
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? stitch fix
34. What kept you sane? breastfeeding while simultaneously driving me crazy
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Hartley? Who knew we’d see Fox again?
36. What political issue stirred you the most? the worst election ever in the history of ever
37. Who did you miss? My friends, family out West
38. Who was the best new person you met? I didn’t meet too many people… my mentee?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016: Taking my child to Disney was just as wonderful as I always imagined it would be
41. Summarize 2016: Everyone is really down on 2016, but it came with some very happy memories
42. What are you most looking forward to next year? Disney again? ha ha
43. What were your predictions last year? Yes, he is finally sort of sometimes sleeping through the night once in a while. Twos so far not as terrible as I thought, but, yeah, kid can throw a tantrum. We did have an amazing time in Disney. Best week ever.
44. What are your predictions for 2017: Someone is always having a baby. We better be weaned by this time next year. Insert clever joke about Trump possible destroying the country here but not really joking because it’s actually something I’m concerned about.
So it’s been over a year since I started night weaning and we’ve gone from nursing 8-15 times a night to once in the “morning” at 5:30am :) I thought I would share the resources and tips that helped me. I read a lot of parenting books and articles and basically take what works for us.
The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley: I think her methods are a little too gentle for a kid like Owen, but her advice laid the foundation for some good sleep habits- like having a bedtime routine and not letting him fall asleep nursing at the beginning of the night which I think sets the tone for the rest of the night. I was never able to get him attached enough to a lovely to replace me and the sleep cues never caught on. In fact, I am no longer allowed to sing the “sleepy Owen song” as it just makes him angry.
Jay Gordon’s Gentle night weaning method: this was the basis for our night weaning method with a few tweaks. When I first tried, I had to go a lot slower and there was a ton of screaming directly in my ears. I was wearing earplugs to bed for a while because I feared for my hearing. Eventually, I gave up on dropping the 1am feed and decided nursing one time at night wasn’t so bad. This made things much more peaceful. When he was sick and when we were on vacation, I’d nurse him as much as he wanted, and then used Gordon’s method again to reintroduce night weaning to get back on track. Teaching him to fall asleep without nursing was definitely worth all the screaming in the beginning. Even though it took him a long time to go all night without nursing, he went for much longer stretches. We went from nursing 10 times a night to four times most nights.
The warning: He came up with this one himself. We count to three before we do anything upsetting or exciting so he can prepare himself. I let him know before I’m going to unlatch him and count to three and this has helped a lot. Instead of crying, he’ll smile and he’ll often count to three on his own. This was also useful in Disney when we were getting off rides.
Fill him up before bed: this advice came from one of my coworkers, but it was hard to implement. I can’t force him to eat, but once he realized he wasn’t getting anymore milk at night, he started eating giant meals at dinner. Smart kid. Screw the “you eat your veggies or no more carbs” rule. If cheeriowens are all he’ll eat at dinner, I’ll just keep piling them on and sneak spinach into his smoothie in the morning. We’ve also been day weaning as well the past few months. He’ll nurse in the morning and before bed, sometimes after his nap, but that’s all. This helped a lot in getting him to eat enough food.
No sneaking out: several books mentioned this as a no no. I do think it gave Owen some anxiety as when he woke up, he immediately would go looking for me. This stopped when I started leaving him to fall asleep on his own some nights after nursing. Surprisingly, he cried for about 20 seconds and then got comfy and fell asleep more quickly than if I stayed and nursed or cuddled him. He can also put himself back to sleep if he wakes in the middle of the night sometimes. I’ll also send daddy in when I know he wants milk and mommy and no milk will just upset him more.
Janet Lansbury: Her advice showed up on my newsfeed just at the right time. Be decisive. That’s exactly what I was missing. I thought, well, I’ll nurse him if he really needs it. As soon as I made the decision not to nurse him back to sleep under any conditions, I finally had some success. Taking away that option made it easier for him to give in and just fall asleep. He went from protesting for hours to ten minutes. He sometimes still puts up a big fuss, but we don’t nurse until…
Nursies when the Sun Shines: I’m not sure if he really understands what this book is about, but it definitely helped him get the idea that he can’t have milk until the morning. It also taught him about night and dark and morning and light. This is a problem in the winter though because it’s dark until pretty late in the morning, so with the advice of the badass breastfeeders, I bought a color changing clock. He knows he doesn’t get to nurse until it turns green. I’ve been slowly creeping that time later and later.
I hope this helps other sleep deprived mamas out there <3 Remember, they all sleep through the night eventually!
Hands down, best trip ever! I knew going with Owen would be more fun, but really, everything went perfectly and having our extended family there made it even more special!
Owen was a bit scared at first of pretty much everything, but he warmed up after a couple of days. We had to come back to the hotel around noon every day for a nap, but we all really needed a nap and it was nice to avoid the hottest part of the day too. Speaking of which, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
We did everything I wanted to do and more! We even fit in some pool time and family reunion hotel room party :D it was so hoppin, some other guest called the cops. The kids were having a little too much fun running around I guess. I think that was Owen’s favorite part of the trip, playing with all of his cousins! It was so much fun watching them. They had a blast.
The other favorite was definitely the new Frozen ride. I’m now totally OK with them replacing Maelstrom. It was that good. And Owen’s reaction <3 this photo, priceless. He was so upset when it was over, he threw a tantrum.
Food was excellent as always. Owen was scared of the characters, so wasn’t sure how Boma breakfast was going to go, but he loved meeting and dancing with the characters. Oh the dancing! He loved the drummers in the Animal Kingdom and some of the other live music in Epcot. The belly dancer in Morocco too. He loves music so much.
I loved how he said “bye! Bye!” To all the characters, even the ones he was afraid of. Tigger took his little Pooh and Owen said “thank you, thank you ve much” when he gave it back :D
He loved Small World and Little Mirmaid, Pooh and well, basically all the rides except Pirates maybe. I think we had to wait a little too long for pirates. I ended up nursing him the whole time.
Weaning when we get back will be a problem. He nursed so much on this trip. I’m not looking forward to that. Not looking forward to much about going home. Can we stay here forever please?
My baby is two! And we’re having more and more fun each day. Studying up on his Disney and singing along to all the tunes :) Playing with the neighborhood kids who just adore him.
Yesterday, his actual birthday, was Jay and Julia’s wedding. I was gone all day doing bridesmaid things, so we celebrated on Saturday with a family party. He had so much fun with Cousin Penny! They’re going to have a blast in Disney!
The wedding went very well. I sang Defying Gravity which went fairly well too. The venue was beautiful as was the bride! The food was great too. I had brought some leftovers from Saturday’s party which was much appreciated in the morning, but gad I left room for the good stuff. Yummmm! And of course there was much fun dancing!
I’m off work today to make up for yesterday. Owen and I went to his favorite park this morning, saw the animals, twice, and played on the playground with a bunch of other kids his age. Everyone is always very impressed with his bike riding and social skills :D Two things he doesn’t get from me!
We went to sesame place last week. We thought it was a disaster at first. It was super hot when we got there and it was just before his usual nap time, plus we had to wait a little bit for Carolyn, Tom and Connor. The first thing he we saw was Grover and we asked him if he wanted to get out of the stroller and take a picture with him and he flipped out. We’re pretty sure he thought we went there to feed him to giant, blue, furry monster.
So we decided to go in a gift shop to cool off, but he saw the merry-go-round on the way, so we had to do that first. Waiting was torture. We had to wait through three rides, the last of which, the line was cut off just in front of us. Owen was crushed, but he waited pretty patiently, which bodes well for Disney. He was so excited when he finally got on. His friend, Connor though, was about at nervous Owen was his first time, and had to be nursed through the whole ride, poor guy.
Connor did better with the water. I had to convince Owen it was like running through the sprinkler. He spent a lot of time on my back. By the time we got to the Count’s Splash Castle, he thought it was pretty great running and splashing through the water. After that, the boys were pretty tuckered out.
We decided to do a couple more rides. Owen went on with Bryan, Connor fell asleep in line :D Owen had a blast. We decided he was too tired to stay for the parade and made our way home. He fell asleep in the car for a little bit which he never does anymore. Overall, a successful trip.
Bryan introduced Owen to Frozen this week and he’s been walking around chanting, “music, of Frozen?” And singing “Let it go! Let it go!” And “deep, deep, deep, deep snow.” It’s too cute. We got him an Olaf and now he cuddles with Olaf and Pooh before bed. He’s going to love Disney so much. I can’t wait.
I love hearing him singing downstairs while I’m upstairs working :D he likes to sing along with Scout. So cute. We also have real conversations now, mostly about the “ammals.” We go to the park to see them every weekend and he finally got to the zoo this week with Bryan and his little friend.
We also finally got to the beach, but he was too scared to walk in the sand.mthe water was also scary. He asked to be put down, but cried when we did. He was very happy on my back though.
His favorite thing is still playing with the big kids in the other court. Oh gosh. He was trying to hard to get them to play ball the other day. And trying to ride his bike and keep up with them. <3
Julia’s bridal shower was a hoot. Her sister threw a lovely party. Unfortunately, my bridesmaid dress was a bit tight,Mao I’ve been working on losing weight. I’ll have to try on the dress again to see how I’m doing. I also found out this week that I need a new bathing suit because the elastic on mine is no good anymore. I guess it’s older than I realized. I also really need to get on buying new sneakers and getting a haircut.
I did see a movie this week though. Saw Bad Moms with Carolyn. Was better than I expected. A lot of fun. And it was a matinee at the dine in theater, so super cheap, but comfy seats and quesadillas :D I also went to the Star Trek Experience at the Intrepid with Rachelle last month. Not as good at the thing in Vegas, but still a lot of fun.
Work, oy. everyone voted no-go for deployment and they still deployed. Such a mess. We’ll be cleaning up production for the next few weeks. I’ve been doing a lot of singing as part of the ATT Cares Band too which is a lot more fun.
Owen reaches new levels of adorable every day. Bryan’s step mom was here last week and she got him a balance bike. He loves it. His determined face is so cute. He’s gotten very good very quickly. We’ve also been having a lot of fun at various parks on the weekend. He says new things every day. I love it when I catch him “reading” aloud to himself. He finally says his own name now too.
He loves, loves, loves playing with other kids. He’s been visiting the court next to ours every afternoon in the hopes he’ll find kids playing outside. They were so nice the other day to play ball with him. He had such a good time, I couldn’t get him to sleep. He was going on and on about the “balls” and “catch.”
Yesterday morning he asked to go in the car when I brought him outside for our walk. I told him no, we’re going to the park behind our house. He got very upset, went into my purse, grabbed my keys, found my car key and started trying to open my car door. Well, after that I had to take him to the other park :D He doesn’t back down easily that’s for sure.
Warning, this post contains TMI.
Those of you who knew me as a teenager know I suffered quite a bit during that time of the month. Especially whenever I went on vacation! It wasn’t just the terrible, terrible cramps, I was tired and cranky and I dreaded it every month. The final straw was my 20th birthday. I was in bed for a week and couldn’t eat anything and it took me a month to feel better. Looking back, I probably had an ulcer from the aleve I was taking, but I’ll never know because I was too stupid to go to the doctor.
So I went on the pill, the magic, wonderful Seasonale. I still had pretty bad cramps for about three years after, but nothing like it was. The doctor thought I might have had endometriosis, seems likely. I eventually had to stop taking pain killers during my period because they gave me terrible stomach aches, but after a couple more years, I didn’t need them anyway.
Then, a few years ago, we decided we wanted a baby. I went off the pill in April and my period slowly came back to something that resembled a cycle around October. Super light and not crampy. I also felt a lot better emotially and my skin improved a bit. Apparently the pill was making me overly hormonal. I also felt way less sleepy all the time.
By December the cramps had returned, but still very short and the period of time between ovulation and my period was still to short to conceive. I told my doctor and he basically said, yeah, you’ve only been tying like a month, come back in a year if you’re still not pregnant. Of course, three weeks later, I was pregnant.
My period returned last December, again super light and without cramps. This past period was heavier, but still my heaviest day was like a medium day from when I was in high school. Still no cramps :) Mildly concerned that if I did have endometriosis, it will return or that I’ll suffer from fibroids like generations before me, but I’ll take feeling like a normal woman for now. I fully appreciate all I learned about my body when I was charting while trying to get pregnant too. I know exactly when I ovulate even without taking my temperature. I highly recommend any woman chart her cycles for at least a short period of time, you’ll learn so much.