December Reflections

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

I am so happy to have the past year to reflect on. Some goals I achieved. Some I did not, but that is okay. It is all a step in progress and something I will continue to work on in the new year. I highly recommend setting these goals for yourself and checking in each month. It really has helped me to be accountable and achieve more than I would have otherwise.

Now, on to my goals.

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal for December was to stick to our holiday budget and hopefully even come out a little under. We did very well! We came under our gift budget (by $3.61!) and managed to be significantly below budget on all other holiday related expenses such as hosting parties, holiday cards and traveling. Wahoo!

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

No. My sweetie DID get me a fitbit for Christmas, though, and that has made me feel much better.My first day wearing it, it was a very rainy day, so we just hung out at home. That all being said, at the end of the day, I had walked an estimated 2.6 miles and burned over 1900 calories! I do not have a large house by any means, just a VERY active toddler.

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

I put this on the back burner. It just became too busy to keep up!

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

CHECK! I did night wean her earlier in the month and it was such a good decision. I have been sleeping better, which makes a much happier mommy!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

For the holidays, we went back north and were able to see her again. Yay!

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

I had one can of Coca-Cola. After months of a strong aversion, it tasted good! However, I barely could drink the whole can and my few sips satisfied my desire for soda for quite some time.

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My goal for December was to manage the holiday craziness and keep the house in order for the many events we have. Check! The house managed to stay relatively clean throughout the holiday.

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for December was to start researching activities for the cold winter months so we do not rely on TV once winter hits! I found a great resource online that I will be implementing in the new year. It is essentially a homeschool preschool, and right up my alley. It gives me a chance to be more intentional in my time with Cupcake and provides plenty of great activity suggestions. I cannot wait to get started!

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.

CHECK!

Adventures in Nightweaning 

My dear sweet Cupcake has always been an avid nurser. She suffered from reflux and I think this just served to increase her frequency. All throughout the first year of her life, I would rise several times throughout the night to breastfeed my little girl. It was our special quiet time together. 

Sure, I was tired. There were days that I’d get frustrated, but overall it was a great experience. In the dark she’d need me, her mama, and nothing else could soothe her. As she got older she developed the habit of gently rubbing my arm or twirling my hair as she drifted back to sleep. 

Before Cupcake was born, I had no expectations for breastfeeding. I thought I’d try it and take it day by day. Weeks passed into months and then a year quickly arrived. Cupcake was still nursing 3-4x a night. I was exhausted. 

I was too tired to enjoy the nighttime feeds, but also too tired to cope well during the day. I was suffering. This was when we decided it was time to nightwean Cupcake. I researched various methods and decided that Ferber seemed like the best fit for us. 

I channeled my former elementary teacher self and drew a big poster. I included the “rules” and room for us to record what happened. The first few nights were horrible. Cupcake didn’t sleep. We didn’t sleep. She was a mess during the day and was extremely clingy. Her naps got all screwed up. I pushed on. This had worked for so many people and I knew that if I just pushed through, we’d get through this sleep-deprived tunnel. 

After a week, Cupcake still showed no improvement. Things just were getting worse. I had followed the plan perfectly and it had not worked. She was not ready. I returned to nursing her on-demand at night and my happy little girl returned. 

A few months later I was done. We had just moved several states away from all of our family and friends. My husband had started a very demanding job and I felt alone. I was tired and stressed out and again found myself pouring over parenting websites looking for help. 

I learned that it was normal for babies to still wake through the night at this age. I searched some attachment parenting sites, found support, and resumed nursing her through the night with lifted spirits. I was tired, but not alone. 

As Cupcake grew, we had a few nights where she’s sleep for four hours straight, but those were rare. I was starting to really not enjoy nursing Cupcake all night long. So, I again turned to the Internet and found reference to Dr. Jay Gordon and his method for sleep training.

This is the general idea: The parents select a seven-hour window where they will not nurse. He suggests 11p-6a. On nights 1-4, mom will nurse the child anytime before 11p. If the child wakes up between 11-6, mom will nurse, but will put the baby down awake in his/her crib. Mom will hug/cuddle/sing and comfort baby. The baby cannot get more milk unless they fall asleep. If they fall asleep and rise again, mom repeats the process. After 6am, mom resumes breastfeeding as normal. On nights 5-8, mom will NOT nurse baby between 11p and 6a. She should still comfort baby, but not offer milk until 6am. After night 8, mom will continue to NOT breastfed between 11 and 6. Additionally, she will not pick up baby if (s)he wakes up during those times. Mom can still rub baby’s back and continue to talk or soothe baby. Overtime, baby should stop requesting milk and will hopefully stop waking up during that time. 

Here’s what happened in our house:

Night 1- Cupcake woke up at 10pm. I nursed her as normal and she went back to sleep. She woke up at 1:30a. I briefly nursed her and put her down awake. She called out for more milk, but I told her that “milkies” were sleeping. She cried and asked me to hold her hand. It took her about an hour to fall back asleep. She woke at 6:08 and I nursed her as normal. We survived night 1! 

Night 2: Her first night waking wasn’t until 1am. I was scared of this scenario, since now she was going to be going from 7p-6a without milk. But it was only day 2, so I decided to push on. Again, some (a lot of) hand holding did a lot of good and she slept until 6:30am! Wahoo! 

Night 3: She was really hard to put down for bed tonight. She kept screaming for more milk and wouldn’t settle. I prepared myself for a long night. It was also my husband’s first night back home after a week of night shift. Cupcake woke at 10 and I nursed her. She woke at 2:30 and would not go back to sleep. After trying to console her for over 45 minutes, I walked out of her room. I put on my headphones and listed to a nighttime meditation to block her out. She must have fallen back asleep because I didn’t hear anything from her again until 5:15. In my half-wake state, I picked her up and started nursing her. Whoops! She was then up for the day! Yuck! 

Night 4: huh?! She nursed at 10:30 and then slept until 7! This was great! I was a bit bewildered  by the extra sleep! I was happy, but also a little sad because this was the last night we’d be night nursing and she slept  through it! 

Night 5: I was so scared of this night. No night nursing. How were we going to manage that? I decided I’d offer her a sippy cup of water so I didn’t have to worry she was thirsty. She woke up 10:59 and I dashed to her room to fit in one more session. I kissed her little baby face a million times and may have gotten a bit emotional. I knew this was the right choice. I was happier and more well-rested. I needed this, but it was also sad to see that part of her babyhood end since I knew it was me that was pushing for it. She woke at 12:30. I went in with her water and she cried for milk, but after a few minutes settled for cuddles and water. She woke at 5:47 and I rationalized that she couldn’t tell time so I went to go nurse her. I was greeted by a happy little girl saying, “Hi mama!” Success! 

Nights 6-8: I adjusted her times from 11-5a, since she wakes almost every day in the 5 o’clock hour. With a quick nursing, she goes back to sleep for another hour or two! 

Tonight I supposed to be night 9, where I stop picking her up. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet, so I’m going to continue what we’re doing because it works for us! 

She has been so much happier these days. I think she is benefitting from the extra sleep. I think having a well-rested mommy is also helping! While this method certainly won’t work for everyone- it worked for us! 

  

November Reflections

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

Ugh. I am SO late on this. The holiday craziness has set in and while I am totally loving it, I am definitely having less time these days!

Now, on to my goals.

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal was to set a budget for the two week vacation we had in November.  We did wonderfully! We were able to eat out and with all of the saving we’ve been doing all year, I even managed a great surprise for my hubby’s 30th birthday. We got massages, went out to his favorite upscale restaurant, and then spent a night at a hotel while my sister watched Cupcake. It was HEAVEN!

My goal for December is to stick to our holiday budget and hopefully even come out a little under. I’ve been making many gifts from scratch, so I am excited to see how well we do!

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

No. Just a big no. It’s cold and I have no motivation. I am my own worst enemy here. I think it was too big of a goal for me with no gym membership or warm weather to go out in!

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

I am putting this officially on the back burner. I hope to return to this in 2016!

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

CHECK! We did spend one night away as mentioned above, but otherwise we’re trucking along just fine!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

We got to see her in PERSON twice this month, which was awesome! I LOVED it!

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

I had no soda in November.

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My goal for November was to continue to work on my cleaning schedule as we have several visitors coming for a weekend this month and I want to be on top of the situation so there isn’t a mad dash to clean the house. I was successful and had a clean house!

My goal for December is to manage the holiday craziness and keep the house in order for the many events we have.

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

 

My goal for November revolved around trying to find ways to get Cupcake involved in the cooking process on some evenings so that way I can eliminate that TV block! She has become quite a good cook and helps often. I will post a blog about this soon!

My goal for December is to start researching activities for the cold winter months so we do not rely on TV once winter hits!

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.

A few days late, but check!