Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day in the life

Because for some reason I periodically feel the desire to chronicle just how much I *don't* get done.


1:00 a.m. - nurse nurse nurse

3:00 - nurse nurse nurse

4:00 - nurse nurse nurse

5:00 - nurse nurse nurse

5:30 - I reflect on how I know now why I'm so tired all the time. I get annoyed by the fact that when the baby gets tired he pops on and off repeatedly but refuses to just stop nursing and go to sleep.

5:40 - Endless comfort sucking is finally over; I get up to use bathroom and then flop tiredly into bed for about 20 minutes.

6:00 a.m. - Time to get up. Ping Scott.

Get Scott's lunch and both our breakfasts together. Realize that our leftover situation is dire. Again. Realize I'm going to have to go grocery shopping. Again.

6:10 - Ping Scott, sit down to eat breakfast.

6:20 - Really, Scott, get up.

6:30 - Ping Scott again, finish breakfast, throw on some real clothes. Scott finally gets up.

6:40 - I fold a bunch of our cloth wipes. This probably seems like a waste of time, but having all the diaper supplies organized makes changes a lot less harrowing, so. I also hung up assorted diaper parts for drying, since I did a load of diapers last night.

6:50 - I attempt to make heads or tails of the dirty dish situation. Not even washing dishes, just sort of rearranging them so it's possible to wash something. I put a couple of pans in the sink to soak.

7:00 - Internet break! How is the baby still sleeping?

7:10 - And he's awake. Change his diaper and wrestle him into his car seat. Make Scott carry it down to the car. Drop Scott off.

7:55 - Tad and I are home from the bus stop.

8:00 - nurse nurse nurse. While he's nursing I renew library books and check DMV hours.

8:05 - Tad is done nursing so I set him up with some peas and collect receipts out of my purse. I find a bunch of appointment cards while I'm in there so I update the family calendar and rotate out all the old appointment cards on the fridge.

8:12 - Tad has finished his handful of peas; instead of being lazy and giving him more I scramble an egg in the microwave.

8:15 - I remember why I don't give him cooked food--it's hot! I give him a cup of water and handful of raspberries to tide him over. Then I log on to our banking website so I can balance the budget like I meant to 10 minutes ago.

I need to ask Scott what he's been doing with his allowance; there are a bunch of transactions with websites I don't recognize.

A couple of Kroger receipts give me trouble; I finally realize they're pharmacy transactions and the receipts are in the pile o' doom by Scott's place at the table.

8:30 - The baby has eaten all his raspberries and his egg is definitely cool, so I give it to him.

I continue balancing the budget while Tad repeatedly tells me about his cup. (smack smack smack)

8:38 - I have $66.43 left in my grocery budget for the month, which is going to get eaten up fast (ha ha) given that we have two birthday parties ahead of us. Still, it's something. I start working on a grocery list.

8:42 - Tad is fussing. I get him down and put the uneaten half of his egg away for later.

9:00 - Now he's full on crying. I use the bathroom by myself over his loud protests. Then I pop him in the mei tai to wear him for his morning nap. While he is nursing I sneakily eat some leftover Halloween candy.

9:20 - He's asleep! I waste time on the internet during the brief intervals when he allows me to sit down.

10:30 - Tad's awake and not happy about it so I nurse him some more to ease the transition to wakefulness. Then I change a very wet diaper and waste some more time on the internet.

11:00 - Tad falls and bumps his head. I soothe his feelings with a little nursing. Then we eat lunch. (He mostly throws his food around but eats at least one bite of egg and about a tablespoon of *my* oatmeal.)

11:50 - I write down my grocery list and look up what I need to bring to the DMV.

12:00 p.m. - I change a poopy diaper and get the baby dressed in real clothes and so on.

12:20 - We leave for Aldi, where we spend about $30 buying out the dairy section. (Not really, but we got a bag of shredded cheddar, a bag of shredded mozzarella, a bunch of ricotta, a box of butter, and a carton of heavy cream. Plus some bananas and tomato sauce and whatever.)

1:00 - We leave Aldi and head toward the DMV. You might think it would have been better to go to the DMV first and Aldi second, but I figured that at 12:00 a lot of the people with Real Jobs might be trying to run errands on their lunch break. And it was cold enough that my groceries could survive in the trunk for quite a while anyway.

1:30 - We're home again (see, it didn't take long at the DMV at all!)

1:40 - Baby is whiiiining so I nurse him again and he promptly falls asleep. Okay then.

2:20 - I finally stop fooling around on the internet and try to transfer the baby to bed so I can nap too. He nurses off and on but doesn't sleep much. I doze for not nearly long enough.

3:20 - Nursing isn't working to keep Tad half-asleep anymore. I change his diaper, he whines while I sit around tiredly, I serve him some cooked carrots and eat the last slice of leftover pizza. Lots of staring dully at Facebook thinking I should be doing something productive.

4:15 - time to get Scott. It takes a while to get out the door because I have to change a poopy diaper first. This kid loves to poop in dry diapers.

4:45 - We're home. I do some more glassy-eyed staring at the computer while Scott gets changed out of his work clothes and stuff.

5:08 - Start a small flurry of productivity that involves rotating the hang-drying laundry and putting a few more things in the dishwasher and taking out the trash but mostly just rearranging the kitchen so I can cook.

5:35 - Husband and baby are both sounding a little frazzled, so I grab him and nurse him. (The baby, not the husband.)

?? - I go back to frantically doing stuff

6:10 p.m. - Scott has a chiropractor appointment, so we all pile in the car. The baby falls asleep on the way so I sit in the parking lot and read. He wakes up again as we're leaving.

7:20 - Home again. I put some muffins in the oven. (I made the batter before we left for chiro.) Tad bumps his head *again* at one point and therefore requires nursing.

7:45 - Muffins are done. I break one open and put it in the fridge for Tad. He cries and paws at me because I won't share my nice hot muffins with him.

7:50 - Tad is in his chair with a muffin. He is happy.

8:15 - I start NaNoing and Tad starts dropping things over the side of his high chair. I get him down shortly thereafter and he crawls around amusing himself while I type rapidly. (I get about 1500 words in 45 minutes, so not too shabby, but not quite my quota either.)

9:03 - The baby is starting to smell again and I realize I haven't changed him in a while (the chiro and dinner craziness threw me off). I change a slightly poopy diaper and then eat a pork chop because they are finally ready. (I threw them in the crockpot on high before we left for the chiropractor.)

9:40 - I put Tad in the mei tai again in an attempt to get him to sleep. He nurses for a while but remains wide awake thanks to his 45-minute car nap.

10:00 - Scott and I do the de Montfort Consecration prayers while Tad climbs all over us. Then I brush my teeth and otherwise get ready for bed.

10:45 Wear-to-sleep attempt #2.

11:05 - He's asleep. THANK YOU JESUS. We transfer to bed and he nurses some more before finally falling into deep sleep and staying that way until 4:30 the next morning. THANK YOU AGAIN JESUS.


Andrea said...

I know different parents have different methods, but you are going to wear yourself out with all the night time feedings and baby carrying! Especially once more kids come, you are going to exhaust yourself! At your baby's age, he is definitely able to make it through the night without eating. Baby's sometimes automatically wake up in the middle of the night, but they don't necessarily need to eat. They have to learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep.

We started teaching our baby how to fall asleep on his own when he was around 5 - 6 months old. I hear one can even start at one month.

For naps, when we could tell he was fussy and tired, we'd put him in another quiet room and let him cry, going in every 5 - 10 minutes to quickly soothe him and then leave. If he doesn't settle after 20 - 30 minutes, I will scoop him up.

Once he gets used to this during the day, you can also do this method at night. Let him cry for 5 - 10 min and then soothe. Don't necessarily feed him right away. Otherwise, they become dependent on the nursing to fall back asleep as opposed to learning to soothe themselves.

My 7 month old now sleeps from about 8:00pm - 6:30 am. Once in a while he will wake at 4:30 am or 5:30am and may be hungry, but not too often.

Also, feeling the need to carry him to soothe him does not help him to learn this skill himself. It's definitely ok for a baby to fuss.

Sometimes, if my baby is fed, changed and doesn't necessarily seem tired but he is fussing away and driving me crazy, I put him in another room and let him fuss. He learns that he can't always get what he wants and learns to entertain himself.

Anyways, that's what has worked for us. I know the big thing going around is the whole attachment parenting thing, but I honestly don't think a lot of that is all that feasible for us Catholic women who tend to have lots of kiddos.

At least it would wear me out too much and make me way too crabby and tired.

In any case, if you feel like you need more sleep, give it a try! :)

jen said...

You do realize that you just inadvertently shared your son's name online, right?

The Sojourner said...

Oops. Don't stalk us, okay? ;)

jen said...

It'll be hard but I won't stalk you. Because, you know, southern California is SO close to Ohio, right?

The Sojourner said...


Sheila said...

Andrea, I know you mean to be helpful, but it can be kind of hard on mamas of higher-need babies to be constantly told we're doing it wrong. Some babies easily adjust to your methods, and some just scream their heads off. And some of us just aren't comfortable doing that anyway. Up to us to decide, but when and if we want to use crying it out methods, advice is very easy to find.

Yes, if you have three kids and they're all terrible sleepers, you'll have a breakdown (I know, because I do), but sometimes the only cure is to wait a little longer before having another kid if you can.

Sojourner, I am actually amazed at how much you do. When I had one pretty easy baby, I hardly did anything. Somehow the more trouble your kids give you, the more productive you are. I think it's because you learn not to procrastinate because chances to do stuff come some rarely.

The Sojourner said...

I think I produced the illusion of getting a lot done because we were running errands. The seat of the grocery cart is one of the few places he can be contained and happy. (Though he's started standing up in the cart--yes, even with a belt holding him down!--so my days might be numbered there.)

It's much trickier on stay-at-home days when I have to attempt to do all the backlogged dishes and cooking and cleaning during the brief periods he's sitting in his high chair.

Andrea said...

Sheila, I wasn't telling her she was doing wrong, just that she doesn't need to feel compelled to nurse so often, carry him so often and wear herself out. And for a Catholic (not sure if you are one or not...) having a demanding baby in that way really isn't a valid reason for delaying another pregnancy according to the Church.

I just see a lot of guilting online for mothers to always be available to nurse their baby (even when they aren't hungry) and to carry them constantly. I don't think that pressure is healthy for mama or baby.

I think it is ok for a baby to scream their heads off once in a while (as long as there is nothing wanting or wrong of course). Put 'em in a room and let 'em go at it. As they get older, they start to get the picture that they aren't the center of the universe and Mom and Dad are not their servants :)

And yes, Sojourner, you do get a ton done. :)

The Sojourner said...


Trust me, I don't feel guilted or pressured into parenting the way I do. Thanks for the sympathy, but your suggestions do not fit in with the way I view my particular vocation. Nor do they fit with my perception of how my son's temperament works and how he responds to different methods.

You are allowed to have your own opinions of how parenting works and how Catholic parenting works. You're allowed to share them here. Engage in debate. Have fun. :)

However, when you start telling people that their discernment of child spacing is invalid you come very close to crossing the line of what is and is not acceptable in my comment box. The Church does not give us a list of valid reasons for delaying pregnancy, and she does this for a reason--precisely because every situation is unique and parents have to carefully discern what is good for their family.

Andrea said...

The internet is quite an awful forum for these topics. However, with the misguided push for NFP to be a normal ingredient in a healthy marriage, there is a ton of misunderstanding out there about how to even begin discerning. The basic starting point for delaying a pregnancy is a grave/serious reason.

There are plenty of Catholics I've come across that discern with every single cycle as to whether the time is right to have a baby. This strikes me as a Protestant way of thinking in that they feel like God will tell them each time yay or nay to a baby.

As Catholics, we say "yes" to babies and a family when we got married. That's the default. If for some reason, the parents encounter a grave reason during their marriage to delay, then of course that is their call.

Objectively, babies are always needy. Unless that neediness is pushing the mother to some extreme mental distress, needy babies objectively are not reason alone to delay another pregnancy.

I am not personally attacking anyone. What an individual mother decides is ultimately based upon the unique knowledge she has of her family.

But I do think these topics should be able to be discussed without people taking them as a judgement upon their personal decisions.

I promise I am not judging your decision nor Sheila's to do what you would like with your families. Honest.

But as a fellow Catholic, who also has a motherhood vocation, life can feel overwhelming at times and there are ways to make life easier in terms of caring for the babies we do have. That's all. I wasn't trying to tell you what you are doing is wrong nor that there is some "Catholic" way of raising babies. There is no right "method" for raising babies and each baby is different of course.

Anyways, that's all just a long winded way of saying, "Hey, I'm honestly friendly and I'm not here to start a mommy war."

Sheila said...

Andrea, believe me, I do understand where you're coming from. When I got married, we planned never ever to use NFP. (And we still don't, but there's always abstinence ... an age-old "method" which good Catholics have used from the very beginning when their families couldn't handle another child for whatever reason.)

However, I can't see what sort of reason is more grave than "We can't adequately care for more children than this right now." Our vocation as parents calls us to not just keep our kids alive, but also give them the love and care they need. It's up to each family to discern what the kids need -- each has a different temperament, for one thing, but we also seem to have vastly different ideas about the goal. (You think it's important to "teach the baby he's not the center of the universe," while I think the most important lesson a baby could possibly learn his first year of life is that there is no shortage of love, and he is totally and completely loved. Part of this is that I know the way I love my kids is all they know of God's love, and I want to imitate the way God loves us as closely as I can. But that's neither here nor there....) But once we've made that discernment of what our children need, then we can move on to the discernment of whether or not it's time to get pregnant again. And yes, it is a discernment -- choosing not to treat it as a discernment just means that you are making a positive choice to have kids. (At least, in my case it does -- I'm pretty dang fertile. YMMV.)

This is kind of close to my heart because I have been married five years and have three kids. The second was very high needs and really wasn't ready to be a big brother ... but I thought it was un-Catholic and selfish to delay having kids, so we got pregnant again. New baby's here now, and, sure, it's hard on me, but what really hurts is the knowledge that my two-year-old isn't getting what he needs. His behavior is getting worse, he's constantly begging for lap time and attention, and as his mother and the person who knows him best, I KNOW what he needs is more attention. But it's a little late for that, I'm spending all my time dealing with his sister.

And because of this, we decided we'll wait longer next time. I want to have all three kids sleeping through the night before having another. That's just good sense. But because of the research and study and prayer I've put into this issue, I'm not going to have them cry it out to get to that point.

Now maybe I'm wasting my words because you know all this, or at least you understand that we all are discerning this stuff in our own ways. But I have some doubt, because of this sentence: "Unless that neediness is pushing the mother to some extreme mental distress, needy babies objectively are not reason alone to delay another pregnancy."

Says who? The Pope? No, no one has said that. We aren't. given. a list. So really you can't go around telling people what is and isn't an "objective reason" to delay pregnancy.

And why do we have to wait till we're in extreme mental distress before we admit it's time to wait awhile? If you're just barely keeping it together with the number you have, one more probably WILL cause extreme mental distress .... at which point it will kind of be too late to think, "Maybe this wasn't such a hot idea." Anyway I think it would be a pretty awful deal, as a woman, to be told "you must always be in a state of *mild* mental distress, but don't worry -- you can stop if it gets extreme."

At this point I'm just going to have to refer you to my blog post on this topic, because there's nothing more to say that I haven't already said at length .... if you're interested in my opinions (which, y'know, it's okay if you're not) here they are: