Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sleep Deprivation

It's 1:30 in the morning.  Carter is having a dance party and I'm invited.  My baby boy is not much of a sleeper.  I've read that the average 6 month old sleeps approximately 14 hours per day.  I'd like to meet these babies.  I listen in disbelief as my friends talk about how their little ones have been sleeping about 8 hours per night since they were just 8 weeks old.  I've stared in amazement as my friends' babies take a nap for several hours while out and about.  This has not been my experience.

It's a funny thing when you tell someone that your baby doesn't sleep.  Trying to be helpful, they offer any number of suggestions.  Have you tried a white noise machine?  How about a swing?  Perhaps a bedtime story?  I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep in 6 long months.  You name it, I've tried it!  Elevating one side of the crib slightly.  Check.  Swaddled, unswaddled, swaddled with arms out.  Check, check, and check. I have tried introducing  a lovey, a pacifier, a bath before bed, cry it out, and my favorite pearl of wisdom: put the baby to bed drowsy, but not asleep so he learns to self soothe.  Does that actually work for anyone?  I'm seriously curious.  Carter just wakes up immediately and is not happy to find himself in his crib.  I have read books, prayed to God, and made a bargain with the devil, all to no avail.

I look like the walking poster child for chronic sleep deprivation: red glassy eyes, lines on my face, delayed response time, and that far off look as my brain slowly fumbles for words.  In the early hours of the morning, as I look down on my wide eyed son who is squirming violently in my arms, I realize that someday I'm going to miss this. When he's all grown up, I'm going to wish for just one more sleepless night of snuggling with my baby.  I'm exhausted.  I'm in love.  I'm a mom.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Always Be Prepared

"Always be prepared" may be the official motto of the Boy Scouts of America, but I have a theory that it was coined by a den mom.  Need proof?  Let's take a look into the average diaper bag.  The diaper bag is something of a cross between Batman's utlilty belt and Mary Poppin's bottomless carpet bag.  It defies the laws of physics, gives moms the tools to handle any weather or sticky situation, and it's heavy enough to double as a weapon.  Inside you will find:

                        Sun glasses for mom and baby
                        Blanket and/or nursing cover
                        Portable changing pad
                        At least one change of clothes for baby
                        Sweater for mom
                        Burp cloths
                        Bleach pen/stain stick
                        Plastic bags for that dreaded poop explosion on the go
                        Antibacterial hand sanitizer
                        Enough diapers to last a week
                        The oh so versatile wet wipes
                        Sippy cup
                        An emergency flask for mom when she's having a particularly rough week.

Ok, probably not that last one, but it wouldn't be a bad idea... Alright, veteran moms, am I missing any necessities from my list?  Help a rookie mom out here!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Story of my life

I believe that everyday we write our own story.  The narrative often looks unclear in the monotony of day to day life.  It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, but decisions add up and the plot takes shape over time.  The decisions we make are balanced by the twists and turns of chance.  The way we respond to these challenges says more about us than the plans that we've laid for ourselves.  It's funny how some of the people that you thought would always be there slowly fade into the background, or how a minor character introduced in the early chapters can resurface as a major player a decade later.  Just when I thought I'd figured out my path, a plot twist changed everything.  I call him Carter and I am thankful for him everyday.  He has brought me to a wonderful new home and we have been blessed to meet incredible people along the way.  He has created a tender place in my heart and refreshed my spirit.  He has brought new joy to my marriage as I watch my wonderful husband take on the role of Daddy.  My life is nothing like I had envisioned; it is immeasurably more beautiful.