Thursday, June 15, 2006

Another Good one from Grandma

Friday, June 09, 2006

Babies on the Brain

Disclaimer: This post does not mean that I am pregnant, or that I am considering becoming pregnant. It simply means that I miss my child because she is out of town, and so therefore, I've been thinking about her a lot lately.

When I was pregnant, I befriended a neighbor who had a newborn daughter. She in turn befriended someone who had an infant son. So, I got to hear about what to expect from someone with 6 months more experience than me and someone with 12 months more experience than me. I then told what I learned/experienced to my friends Raquel and Aimee who were just a few months behind me in the process. What a great system! 5 woman all sharing this information about this alien thing that has invaded our lives.

The first couple of weeks after Emily was born, I was so frazzled. I didn't know what I was doing! The only "rule" that I followed was that Emily was nursed every 2 1/2 to 3 hours and my entire day revolved around that and napping when I could and learning to eat with one hand. My neighbor saw my frustrations and let me borrow a book and told me to take out of it what I wanted. Sorry folks, I don't remember the name of the book, but I do remember reading it and this huge LIGHT coming on in my head. Basically, it suggested following a simple routine. Eat, Play, Sleep. Then it gave suggestions on how often the cycle should be repeated. Here is how it went (I think, I am doing this from memory and that is the great thing about being a mom, most of the bad memories get erased).

0-3 months - 3 hour cycle - 1 1/2 to 2 hours of feeding followed by playing followed by 1 hour of napping. Repeat 8 times a day (except for the 12 hours of night, eliminate the playing portion). So a typical day for me went:

8 AM - Feed, Play, Sleep
11 AM - Feed, Play, Sleep
2 PM - Feed, Play, Sleep
5 PM - Feed, Play, Sleep
8 PM - Feed, Play, Sleep
11 PM - Feed, Sleep
2 AM - Feed, Sleep
5 AM - Feed, Sleep

Wait, don't give up, it gets better!

3-6 months - 4 Hour Cycle - 2 1/2 to 3 hours of feeding followed by playing followed by 1 hour of napping

So, now I'm feeding her at 8 AM, 12 NOON, 4 PM and 8 PM, putting her down for naps around 1030 AM, 130 PM and and 5 PM (we always tried to get that last nap in earlier than later for night times sleeping sake).

Here is where it got tough. Around 4 months I got tired of having a baby right next to my bed. Sure, it made nursing easier, but it didn't help me sleep and it sure wasn't helping my relationship if you know what I mean.... So, I moved her into her bedroom. Gone were the days of her napping wherever she fell down. I even took the big step and started to put her down for a nap when the clock/cycle/her baby signals told me so instead of rocking her or nursing her to sleep. YIKES!!! We handled the nap times ok because it was daylight out and I was learning to keep my own eyes open for most of the day, but the night time was bad, very bad for a few weeks. The books that talk about this "Ferber" method tells you it will be days. They lie.

Here is how we survived: Routine, routine, routine. We told the world that we no longer ran our lives, our mega baby ('cause she was a 10 pounder at birth) was now in charge. That meant that we had to be home by 7 PM every night no ifs and or buts. The television was turned off. A nice leisurely bath was given followed by some playtime between Emily and Daddy (Jer was working 3rd shift at the time, and unfortunately, since one of her naps was during his awake time, he really only got to see her for about 3 hours a day), then the last feeding of the day was at 8 PM followed by almost immediate bedtime.

After listening to her scream, you really start to learn that all cries DO mean different things. The first couple of nights were so hard that I would sit on the couch with headphones on and read a book with the clock turned around. We had to work our way up. The first night we let her scream for 5 minutes then I rescued her. Then 10 minutes, then 20, then all of the sudden, she hit her maximum and would fall asleep. We quickly learned that it takes our Emily approximately 25 minutes to fall asleep once she is put in bed. That is still true to this day. The screaming lasted for several weeks, then it was over. Our baby had a bedtime, we had a life again!

I'm so proud of me, of us, of Emily. We had our doubts and our doubters. I remember many people thinking I was crazy to let my baby scream and we had to talk to our neighbors and let them know what we were doing so they didn't call the cops on us, but today I have an almost 2 year daughter who goes to bed around 8:30 every night and sleeps until at least 7 AM, plus takes a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon. It is recommended that all children under 5 get a minimum of 11 hours a sleep, but the more the better. Their little brains are developing in overdrive and they need their rest! I cringe when I see small babies out in public after 9 p.m. or I overhear someone say that their little one "missed" their nap today because they were at the mall or something else not important. So what if I've missed out on a few things because it was time for me to get her home for nap or bedtime, she is my legacy and the most important thing in my life!

P.S. The rest of the schedule follows:

6-12 months:

Feed every 4 hours, attempt to eliminate 3rd nap of the day by lengthing the other two naps.

8 AM Feed
10 AM Nap
12 Noon Feed
2 PM Nap
4 PM Feed
8 PM Feed, Bedtime

Sometime in the first to second year, the morning nap will get dropped, along with the mid afternoon feeding. It didn't happen for us until around 18 months, and then our schedule looked something like this (and still is today)

8 AM Feed
12 Noon Feed, Nap
6 PM Feed
8 PM Bedtime

Whenever someone compliments me on how happy and well behaved my daughter is, I feel justified in taking the credit for putting her on a schedule. It doesn't have to be a strict schedule, just have some consistency in your daily activities on MOST days and everyone will be happier.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

No Balls

So, I am getting fired Friday (in two days). Everyone (including me) knows it, but my boss has NO BALLS and won't tell me. I think I know why (and yes, some of it is my fault, but not all of it). Maybe I'll get into it later....not now.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Since most of you know that I'm new to Poker as of Dec 2005, you'll be proud to learn that I'm expanding my horizons outside of No Limit Texas Hold Em. Lately, I've found myself bored with the game - or maybe just the players in the local league Seriously, I play twice a week if I'm lucky, and I'm not trying to brag, but why am I still in top 20 of points? These folks play every night of the week and twice on Sunday! I don't win everytime I play, but it's usually because I get bored too quickly or everyone plays retard cards so I bust out. And those of you that I play with who happen to read my blog, it's them, not you I promise.

Anway, back to the Topic: Omaha. The other night after Jeremy did some dealing (aka, made some $$$), it was such a slow night that the cash game was only running with two players. We decided to take his measly $40 in tips and sit down and see what we could do. The dealer was our buddy little Rob, and one of the other cash players was our good friend Matt. So, we decided to experiment with some of the other games, playing with the cards face up since nobody really wanted to take each others money. We tried a few games, but it seemed that every time we played Omaha (and none of that hi/lo crap), I was winning! So tonight to pass the time, I'm playing some free Omaha on Full Tilt and taking everyone's chips.

Maybe it's beginners luck. That's why I hid the credit cards....