Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Family Bed

Let me be quite clear. This is not a post about whether babies should or shouldn't sleep in "the family bed." To each his own. This is a post about my last hold out, the last sliver of myself pre-baby, the last thing I said I wouldn't do that I actually hadn't ... until now.

One of my last posts was about all the things I swore I'd never do, of which I've now done all. Jordan and I had a very short, very clear-cut discussion when I was pregnant about whether we'd have Addie sleep in our bed. The answer, from us both, was a resounding no. Mostly because we were afraid we'd squish her. And as someone who's had a lot of experience sleeping in a bed with Jordan Page, let me tell you, he'd squish her. He's a thrasher and an arm-flinger. And a ridiculous snorer, if you want to know. Several times very early on in our marriage, I woke to him putting his pillow over my head and then lying on top of it. All in his sleep, or so he claims.

And then beyond the squishing fear, we clung to the fact that it was virtually the only baby-free zone in our house. We REALLY like our sleep. And that was the one place we wanted to actually be able to enjoy our sleep. Or for at least one of us to enjoy sleeping while the other was trying to convince the baby to sleep.

We put a twin bed in Addie's room for this very reason, and we've both spent more nights than I'd like to count sleeping with her in that twin bed. Especially when the colic was really bad and the only way she'd go to sleep was on her tummy. I've crashed in that bed when I've finally gotten her to go back to sleep in the middle of the night and the 12 steps back to my own bed might as well be 1200 miles.

It started innocently enough. Kind of like when we let our cute new puppy cuddle in bed with us on a Saturday morning. (By the way, that little puppy is now 65 pounds with approximately 12 legs that stretch in every direction when she sleeps with you.) Addie's wake time was getting earlier and earlier. When she started waking before 6:30 a.m., and then before 6 a.m., Jordan would attempt to go in and convince her to go back to sleep. Which clearly would never happen since we could hear her happy little voice singing and laughing over the monitor. So, he started bringing her to our bed and I'd nurse her there. Then we'd all three hang out and play for a bit before we got up for the day. This has become a daily routine that we cherish - a few minutes to delight in our beautiful baby before tackling the day. And drinking lots of coffee.

I think it was during the last ear infection that I officially gave in. When she wakes in the night and is really upset or hurting, she wants me. And she usually wants to nurse. Yes, I'm aware that she's 10 months old and doesn't need to nurse during the night. But I've said before and I'll say it again, if I can give that baby a boob and get her back to sleep in 15 minutes rather than stay up for another hour, I'm choosing sleep. So I hear Jordan trying and trying and trying to calm her down and get her to go back to sleep (Have I mentioned that I have an awesome husband who is almost always to first to go to Addie during the night when she cries? Until I hear him give up by saying "Erin. Boob."). And I know it's not going to work. So I raise the white flag of surrender. And I say it. "Just bring her in here." I nurse, she goes back to sleep. In our bed.

And you know what? We don't squish her. And she snuggles with us as she sleeps. And makes sweet little noises. And says her favorite word, ball, and smiles, in her sleep. And she thrashes a bit and flings her limbs (yep). So I don't get much sleep. (Snore-y McSnorerson can saw logs through anything). And I hardly even care. When she wakes up, she's so happy and sweet and says ma-ma, da-da like she's so delighted and surprised to see us there.

So we've repeated this scenario a handful of times. And I have discovered how sweet it is to snuggle with my precious, sleeping girl, who prefers to take over my pillow and most of my side of the bed. As my friend wisely pointed out to me this weekend - "You haven't completely given in. You're not starting out with her in your bed every night. And really you're just trying to get some sleep for a few more hours and save some sanity." So true.

So you know how I like to have morals to my stories. WHO CARES what I said I was or wasn't going to do? It's nice to have an idea of what you'd like to do and not do as a parent. But you have to give yourself the flexibility (and permission) to change your mind when you're in the middle of it. And who has time to worry over it or beat yourself up about it? I don't know about you, but I've got a baby to chase.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Addison Mae - 10 months

This baby girl spent 10 months (approximately) in my belly and has now spent 10 months making my life complete. The best way to describe her is ... everywhere. She is on the move constantly. Even when she's nursing, she is doing toe-touches, pulling on my necklace, looking for the dog and talking (yep). Speaking of talking, Addie has about 4.5 words thus far. The one she uses the most, that she starts saying the moment her eyes open in the morning, that I swear I've heard her say multiple times in her sleep and that she must say about 876 times per day is BALL. But it's more like ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ... With a few inserted "Izzy"s every now and again. My favorite is when we go outside and tell Izzy to get her ball and Addie says Izzy ball Izzy ball Izzy ball. The girl has beach balls, bouncy balls, plastic ball-pit-like balls ... they're her favorite toy by far. In addition to her two favorite words, she says ma-ma and da-da and sometimes hi and bye. The past month has been absolutely incredible watching her hit one milestone after another after another. She also hit her fourth (maybe fifth?? I can't remember) ear infection - another double one. We've got an appointment next week with an ear/nose/throat specialist and are hopeful that will give us the go ahead to get tubes in her ears. Our ped told me he's never seen a mom quite so insistent on getting tubes in her baby's ears (I'm sure he was trying to say that nicely :)), but it just pains me so much to see her in pain, and the antibiotics practically cause more harm than good to her. So, yep, bring on the tubes. Speaking of tubes, remember that one in her eye? Yeah, she pulled it out a bit so we had to go in and have it removed completely. Thankfully it seems to have done it's job and her symptoms have disappeared. When our doc said about 5 percent of babies pull their tubes out, Jordan and I looked at each other and said that will be our girl.

When I look into Addie's sweet face, it looks more and more like a big girl and less like a baby. Exciting and sad all at the same time. Though we miss little things about her being a tiny baby, Jordan and I are just holding on for dear life and trying to enjoy every moment while we look forward to all the fun times ahead.

Weight: approx 18 pounds
Length: approx 28 inches

New things this month:
  • Perfecting the army crawl and occasionally crawling up on her knees. She looks like a baby sea turtle. And she is FAST
  • Pushing herself from tummy to a seated position.
  • Pulling up on everything. And cruising around the furniture. Sometimes pulling up on our pant legs. Sometimes pulling up and letting go of everything and forgetting she can't quite stand on her own yet.
  • Saying ball, bye, hi and, finally, da-da
  • Looking up and pointing when we ask "where's the fan?"
  • Clapping. So very cute.
  • Waving. With both hands. At herself. Even cuter than the clapping.
  • Sticking out her tongue and/or blowing raspberries when we ask where her tongue is. Baby girl's got tricks!
  • Sleeping with her bottom sticking up in the air. Be still my heart.
  • Wanting to eat anything and everything we're eating.
  • Clearly developing a stubborn, I-want-my-way streak. We have no idea where she got this ...
  • The ball. Any variety or size. And she wants to talk about it a whole lot.
  • All four-legged friends. Whether they want to be her friend or not, and that includes the two she lives with. Any and all four-legged friends are named Izzy.
  • Eating. New favorite foods have been pineapple, hamburger and brisket.
  • Playing pattycake. Especially since she can now clap.
  • Dancing and bouncing to music.
  • Swimming. She is crazy about being in the pool.
  • Playing peekaboo with her own shirt.
  • Typing emails. Well, really she just likes to punch all the keys on my computer.
  • Watching videos of herself.
  • Other babies. She's just started to really notice other babies when we're out and about, and she'll strain and wiggle to watch them as long as possible.
  • Giving slobbery, open-mouth kisses. And getting slobbery, open-mouth kisses from Izzy
  • Her mom and dad. It never gets old that she likes us so much. She's been reaching for us to pick her up for quite awhile, but it's much more insistent now. And if we're not paying attention or she really means it, she crawls over and pulls up on our legs.
  • Riding in the backseat alone. We have made this a little easier by putting a carfull of toys in the backseat with her.
  • Being interrupted while playing for something ridiculous like a diaper change or meal or nap.
  • Her stationary jumper. Much too confining for a girl who can crawl everywhere (hence why we want to put her in it ...)