Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Random Thoughts

I realize the whole random thought deal is something many of you do on Tuesdays, but it's all I have the energy for today.I suppose a "Wordless Wednesday" post seems even easier, but see then I would have to walk upstairs to the desktop computer as it is where all of my pictures are stored. Yes, ALL the way upstairs. So, staying on the couch wins.

-Chris and I have this ongoing battle about the bedroom window being open during the night. I like it closed because I am an incredibly delicate sleeper, and I don't like the noise from the freeway, and I hate the sound of chirping birds at 5 A.M. I hissed at Chris for opening it when he got home from work in the middle of the night. Normally, he would concede, knowing how hard it is for me to sleep. But, this time he very firmly told me that since the entire apartment smells like fish, he's keeping it open. Confused, I rolled over and went to sleep. But, when I came downstairs this morning I could smell that he was right. I hunted for the smell in the fridge, the trashcan, and the counters before finding a pan I had used to cook mahi-mahi on...Monday, I think it was? It had been "soaking," and I forgot about it, I guess. Clearly, I am an excellent housekeeper.

-I just found a stray ant crawling on my leg. Fucking summer.

-Why is it so hard to get my child out the door to do anything? Even stuff she claims to really want to do. She'll be all excited about the pool or the library, but the second I start to initiate getting dressed or putting on shoes, or whatever needs to be done to leave, she starts whining about how she wants to stay home. We spend lots of time at home, but if I listened to her every time she claims she wants to stay in, I would never go anywhere, and then I would go crazy and drink even more wine than I already do. She always enjoys herself once we're out, and then she doesn't want to go home. It's more than a little maddening.

-Also maddening? The WHINING. Oh, GOD, THE WHINING! It's her default. She doesn't even try to get what she wants in a reasonable fashion before resorting to the grating and soul-crushing whining.

-My mom and her friend, Lynn, both loaned me a bunch of books because I was complaining about not having the money to buy new books. I have plenty of books on my shelf that I have yet to read, but they are mostly classics, and I realized I need to start reading more contemporary stuff so that I won't get overwhelmed and just stop reading all together like I do when I try to read only dense, period literature. And also because I realized I was missing out on good stuff. So, I'm reading The Help right now. I figured I'd give it a whirl since the movie is coming out soon. I'm liking it. It's not blowing my mind so far, but it's an easy and enjoyable read. And it didn't start out really slow like a lot of books, so I was able to dive right in.

-I'm starting to panic a little about BlogHer next month. I guess when I signed up in January, I figured I'd have my blog together a little more by now. I haven't even picked out my panels and figured out my schedule. I guess I'll just hope to have a good time, meet some new people, and learn what I can. I don't see this being a huge networking opportunity for me since my blog is still so...undefined. And, sporadically updated, too.

-I will be meeting Ginger on Sunday, and I am ridiculously excited about it. Well, there's nothing ridiculous about my excitement. Ginger is awesome.

Okay, that's enough randomness for now. Especially since it is now Thursday morning at 10 A.M. and my kid is still asleep. I could be reading! Or screwing around on Facebook. Whatevs

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Sleep and Summer

First things first: I will update you on the sleeping situation. I decided to try being a little firmer about Charlotte going to sleep in her room by telling her very matter-of-factly that she was going to have to sleep in her room, I loved her, and so on, before walking out even as she was protesting. I knew if she screamed and got really upset, I would come back to her shortly, but if she settled down quickly enough, I wouldn't have to go back in. I was surprised at how well it worked. Sometimes I have to go back in, and other times she gives up and goes to sleep almost right away. It still makes me feel icky to leave her in there when she's crying, but then again, I guess I know her well enough to know when she really needs me, and I always respond to those cries.

Having said all that, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she is usually upset, and I always take her to my bed at that point. But, I don't really mind that, as long as I get my evenings to myself. I feel comfortable with what I'm doing, but I also don't regret listening to her when she asked me not to leave her for those few weeks. She IS having some separation anxiety, and I'm trying to be as attentive as possible during the day because I think it alleviates some of the tension when it's time to put her to bed.

An example of her separation anxiety: today I was looking at a text from a friend on my phone. Charlotte walked up to me and hugged my legs. because I'm trying to be more attentive, I immediately put the phone down (instead of first finishing the text)and knelt down to hug her. She made a sort of whimper, and I asked her if she was okay. She said "yes," but she didn't seem okay, so I said "What's wrong?" She started bawling. I asked her once or twice what was the matter, but she didn't answer me. So, I just let her cry while I held her, and when she was calm I suggested we have a snack together. Having my full attention cheered her up right away. And bedtime tonight was a breeze. This isn't to say that I won't ever ask her to wait while I finish a conversation or a task, just that I am trying to be more sensitive while she is going through...whatever she's going through.

In other news, it's summer, and we've been enjoying ourselves. We haven't been to the beach yet, but we will hopefully be remedying that soon. We've been taking lots of trips to the pool, playing with bubbles and sidewalk chalk, taking walks, and going on day trips to the zoo and museums. It's funny how summer feels different, more leisurely, even when you aren't getting a break from anything. My life today is, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same as it was three months ago, but I feel like I'm on vacation. I guess it's all the sun.

I went in for the blood tests my doctor ordered after my last miscarriage. I don't remember what all the tests were, but there were ten vials of blood when I left there. Hopefully, I either find out that everything is fine, or we determine the problem and find a way to fix it. I have a lot of thoughts about getting starting to try for another baby, (which won't happen until next month at the earliest) but I guess I'm not quite ready to delve into them yet.

My brain feels like it's on vacation, too. So, instead of a proper closing, here is a picture of Charlotte showing off her haircut and style last week.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Child is Broken. Help Me Fix Her.

This morning, at 10:45 to be precise, I woke up in my bed, stretched my arms, and rolled onto my right side to find that my daughter's brilliant blue eyes were open.She smiled at me, gave me a hug, and we agreed to go downstairs to watch a little Toy Story 3.

Sounds heavenly, right? I'm sure to those of you whose kids wake up with the sun no matter how late they stay up, it sounds downright luxurious. Sleeping in till almost eleven? On a Wednesday? It's a dream come true!

Except it is more of a nightmare. While I am glad that after passing out from sheer exhaustion at 11 P.M. Charlotte didn't decide to greet the day at her usual time of 8 A.M., I am dismayed by the fact that she has been cranky from the moment she woke up and will most likely take a 2-3 hour nap to make up for how poorly she slept, then be up all night once more.

Or, there's the even more dire possibility that she will NOT nap, and STILL be up until all hours. It can go either way with her. And, yes, the nap would save me a lot of sanity (though from the sounds coming from upstairs, I'm not optimistic) but what I really need is for her to be on something resembling a toddler's schedule, as opposed to that of a teenager on summer vacation.


Okay, many hours have passed since I started this post. Update: she did not nap. And she was less than pleasant for the remainder of the day. It was quite the debacle. Chris usually has great luck with putting her down for naps and even sometimes for bed. But, lately she has been freaking out if I'm not around, and once I am in the room with her, there is little chance of me leaving it without her.

So, here's what's going on: I take Charlotte up to her room for her vitamin and to have her teeth brushed. We read a couple stories. I sing her a couple songs. We turn out the light, she gives me a big hug, I put her in her crib, tell her "Goodnight" and walk out.

Or, at least that's how it used to happen. The last week or so has gone more like this: Charlotte prolongs story time as long as possible. Even after I tell her the story we are reading is the last one, and she agrees to this, she says "Again?" or "Different book?" as soon as I am done reading. She starts whining about wanting to come to my bed before I even sing her songs. We turn off the light (after much cajoling,) and right as I am about to put her in bed, or right as I am about to leave, she starts crying.

I struggle with this part a lot, but sometimes I walk out anyway. If the crying abates within a minute or two, I don't go back in. I feel guilty for the rest of the night, but I am glad that she's asleep. If, however, the crying doesn't stop and gets more intense as the seconds pass, I go back in.

I hold her. I rock her. I tell her that I know she can go to sleep in her crib. That she's a big girl. It doesn't matter. At this point, I'm basically stalling because she WILL end up coming to my bed. She cries so hard and asks so pitifully, that not only do I end up caving, I also feel like a horrible parent for even trying to get her to sleep in her own bed in the first place. I know. I'm a huge wimp.

But, seriously, the crying is very unsettling. And she says things like, "Don't leave me here!" Or, she'll ask (through sobs) "Can you go get your bed ready?" I know it sounds like I'm being a wimp, but I get the feeling she's going through something. If I'm rocking her to sleep in the rocking chair, which doesn't work anymore, by the way, and she starts to doze off, she will startle herself awake, and her eyes will frantically search for me. Only after she is sure I'm still there will she start to doze again. But, once I try to lay her down in her crib, even if she appears to be asleep, she'll cry and cling to me.

Once I acquiesce and bring her to my bed, a new battle begins. She tries to talk to me and play. I tell her it's time to sleep and try to ignore her. She nudges me with her elbow or drapes her entire body over me. Anything to get my attention. Last night we were in my bed for an hour, after being in HER room for an hour, when I gave up. I know how stupid it is to reward her for not sleeping, but I hadn't eaten dinner, and I needed a break. So, I brought her downstairs and let her watch a little bit of a movie while I ate and tried to psyche myself up for the next round.

By the time we went back upstairs to my room (She started hyperventilating at the very thought of going to her room, so I didn't even try) she was so exhausted that she passed out in five minutes. Then she slept so restlessly that no one really got enough sleep. She talks in her sleep. Sometimes she laughs, but usually she seems upset. She calls for me a lot in her sleep. Sometimes she wakes up and has to find me and be touching me in some way before she will go back to sleep. Once, she woke up, and I was in the bathroom. She SCREAMED.

So, what do you guys think? Am I being a big wimp, or does she really need me? And, in either case, what can I do about this since it is clearly not working? Any and all opinions are welcome.