Saturday, December 24, 2011

This morning

I was awoken by a 5 year old telling me he needed to pee at 5:30am. Just as I got back to sleep, the baby woke up, fussing in his room. I stuck the paci back in his mouth and patted his butt for a few minutes. That didn't work. So, I threw him (not quite literally) in bed with hubby and I. Again, just as I was almost asleep, the 5yo came back, “uh, momma, I’m pretty sure it’s time to wake up now. Right?”. A quick look at the clock, confirmed that it was not even close to time to get up (hello 6am). I growled at him to get back in his room. Tried to get back to sleep -again. Awoken by baby smacking me in the face. But then he smiled, nuzzled his head under my chin, sighed with contentment, kissed my cheek and said, “wub ewe”. Then the 5 year old came barreling back into the room, hurdling himself onto the bed. Screaming, "good morning, Momma!!!!!!!!!!".

So I sighed and got up.

It’s was 645.

I wouldn't change it. Except maybe the time. A couple hours later would have been fabulous. But, still. I'll take it.

Happy Christmas Eve, friends!

Today's lesson: Kids don't care that parents have the opportunity to sleep in. They just don't. Deal.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh, there's that Christmas Spirit

So I've finally found a bit of Christmas spirit. And it's all thanks to two of my dearest friends.

JE actually likes wrapping presents. No, idk what the heck is wrong with her, but I'll take it. Because do you know what this wonderful woman did?? She wrapped nearly all of my Christmas presents. She spent 2 (that's right -2!) of her evenings at my home, wrapping presents in my cold basement. I mean, whaaaaat?! Who does that?! My awesome friend JE, that's who. And it's not like she had nothing else going on. She works 3 (yes, that's right 3) jobs and has this kind of awesome husband at home who adores her company. And yet she still found - made - time to take this huge task that I heartily abhor off my list of things to do.

And then, my BFF came over and helped me with this super cool fort hubby and I (and the BFF) have made for the kid for Christmas (pictures to come soon, hopefully). I'm pretty sure I'd still be down there measuring and cussing if she'd hadn't come to help me. And then - I know, how could there be more?? - she came and took the kid yesterday to give hubby a break and get the kid out of the house for awhile. She subjected herself to Bounce U (you know, one of those places where the kids run around screaming at the tops of their lungs, throwing themselves onto these enormous inflatable things. It's fun for them. Not so much for any adult unlucky enough to be accompanying them). So, after that, she took him to lunch, then to get ice cream. And THEN, she spent the afternoon with us, helping to decorate cookies (it was loud and crazy up in here, y'all). And, to top off her cake of awesomeness, she cleaned up my kitchen from dinner.

I mean, really, what else could a girl ask than to have such wonderful and giving friends?? I am blessed to have them. And I can only hope that I am half as loving and supportive as they have been, especially in the last year. So, today I began to feel some of that Christmas spirit I have so been lacking. And I have my wonderful friends to thank for that. Love you girls!

Today's lesson: Where would a girl be without her friends? I mean, really, who else would wrap your presents, or clean up your dinner dishes? Girlfriends are a must for any emotionally stable momma.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I've done ICLW several times, though I guess I've never done a synopsis "this is who I am" kind of post. And, since that seems like something I can do relatively quick, here it is. Oh, yeah, and if you have no idea what ICLW is, click here for more info.

Hubby and I have been married for 11.5 years and experienced unexplained infertility for several years. We have 2 boys who joined our family through adoption. Both are open, domestic, transracial adoptions. I was present in the delivery rooms of both my sweet boys. We adore both of their birth families, though our relationships have not always been smooth or easy. My kid is 5 and a half and in Kindergarten. Baby E is nearly 15 months and still doesn't sleep for crap at night. We're exhausted. All. the. time.

I blog about parenting, the funny crap my kid says, things we try that don't get baby E to sleep at night, life in general, social work, breastfeeding (oh yeah, I induced lactation and have been breastfeeding baby E since he was born), milk sharing, random stuff, and I don't really know what else. Even though I'm now parenting the best kids ever (pretty sure I'm not biased about that), I continue to deal with the affects of infertility. It's still something that pops up at the most unexpected moments. So I guess that is something I also blog about. Something else I write about is that my MIL was killed in a freak accident a few months ago. So, any references to grief, mourning ,etc... are about her. It was such a shock. We're mostly still reeling from it. I write about her to try to process it all. Also, usually what I write is more interesting than this post. I think. I hope.

Today's lesson: Apparently sometimes a person just has a song in his soul and he has to sing it out. At bed time. Because that's when it's aching to get out. At least that's the story my kid told tonight. It seems possible that it's also a strategy to delay bedtime.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Period of Mourning

Back in the day, and still today in other cultures, there was/is this assumed, almost mandated period of mourning. There are physical indicators that the family is mourning the loss of a loved one. They may cover all the mirrors in the home. Or wear black. Or abstain from certain social situations. In some areas of the world, widows or widowers wear black for the rest of their lives. Some cultures have different customs depending on what part of mourning the family is in (black clothes at first, switching to grey half way through the mourning period). Grief is experienced on the biological, neurochemical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual levels. There are hundreds of other ways people around the world do/have mourned their loved ones. Often the time period is at least a year.

While perhaps to some it seems silly to need/want this "how-to" of grieving, this makes so much sense to me. It gives you some direction in how you should act, when heaven knows you're feeling a million things, but none of them are what you should do next. It gets you through all the holidays. All the birthdays. All the seasons. So many of life's events. It gives you a chance to truly grieve. It gives you permission to withdraw some and really deal with the loss. Without outside pressure to "move on".

And, yet, for some reason, this is a cultural practice that we for the most part no longer share in (at least here in the US). And so there is this enormous ambiguity to grief and loss. When should one be ready for this or that? When should we move on? How are we supposed to act? How do we know when we're ready? Or what the hell that even means.

It's all so damn complicated. And I think that sometimes we are compelled to rejoin life well before we're ready, simply because others tell us we should. Or because others force us into it because they have their own ideas of when we should be ready, or what we should be doing. And we, simply because we have no idea ourselves how to grieve,  no frame of reference in which to put our own experience, just go along with it. Even while our guts are screaming that it's wrong. That it's awful. That it's the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

But none of us really know what we should do. (And have I mentioned before how much I really hate the word "should", and yet it's sometimes the only appropriate word to use). Should we simply allow others to grieve and move on how they need to, regardless of how it is affecting us? But, what if their way of doing it is truly causing additional harm to us, or others we love, or hell, even themselves? What if we see them avoiding, not really grieving? Or is that simply a way of judging someone else, assuming we know what's best for them?

Grief is so complicated. And though I'm sure it always has been very personal and individual, it also seems like it used to be something that people knew how to do. This grief, it isn't something we know how to do. And that leaves us feeling lost. And even more sad. And, in some ways, even more alone in it all.

Today's lesson: Sometimes progress really isn't that at all. Sometimes the "old ways" of doing things are really the best.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mean Girls

So in addition to all the stuff with Mrs L, the kid has also been dealing with a bully in his class. Well, really, the one in particular and her little friend. They're a couple of mean girls(MGs). I can see into their future. Middle school. High school. They are going to make others' lives more miserable. Well, the potential is there. I hope with all I am that something or someone will turn that around for them.

But, it's so interesting to hear the kid talk about them. On the way to school Friday, I brought up to him the possibility of switching classrooms after break (this was before we'd had a decision from Mr P). I told him it would mean a new teacher and kids, but he could still see his friends from his current class at recess, etc... He said, "well except for MG1". I asked him what he meant. He said, "I think I'll avoid her. I mean I like her, but she's kind of a bully to me and some of my other friends". I asked him to explain to me what that means. He said (verbatim), "Momma, lets just say she's kind of complicated to get along with. MG1 is difficult to communicate with effectively quite often. I think it's in my best interest to just avoid her if at all possible". He'd also said earlier in the week that both of the MGs were beautiful on the outside, but not very pretty on the inside.

He went on to explain some of the behaviors MGs 1 and 2 are exhibiting. And I would agree wholeheartedly that they are indeed bullying the other kids. Of course later that afternoon the parent I had lunch with confirmed that she, too, had seen MGs 1 and 2 bully the other kids. She has brought it up to Mrs L. Who knows whether or not Mrs L addressed it in any way. I - and all the other parents whose kids will ever come into contact with these girls - can only hope she will handle it better than she's handled many other issues.

Pretty amazing that a 5 year old knows a bully when he sees one. And even more amazing (aka sad) that they exist already in Kindergarten. Also, take that, Mrs L. My 5 year old obviously has deficiencies in his vocabulary. (eye roll) And, I am now done talking about her.

Today's lesson: Apparently, Kindergarten is not too early to talk with your child about bullying.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In the principal's office twice in one week

Okay, so after I posted last night I simply couldn't sleep. My brain was running a mile a minute. For TWO hours. So I got up and decided to write an email. I didn't send it last night, just in case it actually sounded crazy. I did send it this morning. Anyway, here's what it said.
Mr. P-
After talking with my husband and processing some of our meeting Wednesday and phone call yesterday, I feel like there are a few things I neglected to explain effectively. One of those are the behaviors and symptoms we are seeing from the kid while at home. Understandably you were focused on school behaviors, but it is ultimately the changes in his behavior at home that are most concerning to us, and led us to try to talk with Mrs. L, then me to talk with the counselor, and finally with you.
First, the kid has always been an outgoing and relatively easygoing child. What we've seen from him in the last 3-4 months is a marked decrease in his frustration tolerance. He has never been a child to have tantrums, but we've started to see some and though they are minor (especially in comparison to those I see in some of my clients), they are absolutely not "normal" for the kid. Additionally, he has always been a confident child; that confidence is lessening and he is often heard to say "I can't do that", which is never something he's said before. We're also seeing his confidence in interacting with other people diminishing. It is only in the last few months that I have heard him say that someone doesn't like him. The kid has started to exhibit some signs of anxiety and increased worrying that we find very concerning as these, too, are completely abnormal for him.
All of these behaviors are what led to the Adjustment Disorder - not the talking out of turn in class. I realize these behaviors may not be ones you all at the school has noted. We have the advantage of having a "before and after" picture of the kid.
I would never presume to tell Mrs L, or any other teacher, how to manage or structure her/his classroom. I recognize that her highly structured classroom works well for some children (indeed, many of my clients greatly benefit from that type of environment). However, it does not for our son. He needs less structure, more freedom of movement, increased opportunities for socialization, and a nurturing authority figure. We are aware that public school is not Montessori school. However, these are the characteristics of his previous classrooms that allowed him to be successful, both academically, socially and emotionally.
In my and my husband's opinion, the kid and Mrs L are like a square peg and a round hole. And that isn't something that can be worked out. So, while I am more than willing to meet this afternoon, and certainly understand your desire to make it work as is, we don't feel like that is possible. We feel that it is in the kid's best interest to be moved to a different classroom.
Please let me know how you prefer to proceed. 
Thank you. We both so very much appreciate your willingness to listen and work with us. I know your priority is the same as ours - that kids (including the kid) be successful at school.
So, after all my own anxiety in how to word this and deal with it, the response I got from him was "okay, you know your child better than we do. No problem. We'll switch him". I was like, "whaaaaa....??? I mean, great!". He said he's talk to Mrs L and it would be taken care of when I got there for his classroom Christmas party this afternoon. Well, apparently he wasn't able to get around to it before then because she was all "I really want to meet with you all, but I simply can't do it today. But I really do want to talk. So, what other day in January will work?". I assured her not to worry and that I was going to check in with Mr P on the way out and he could get back with her on that. The middle of chaos, I mean the classroom, wasn't the time to do it. Also, not MY job to tell her. Thankfully.
So, we checked in with Mr P on the way out and he assured me again it wasn't a big deal. He said he'll make sure the kid's stuff magically appears in his new classroom Jan 2nd. He'll let us know early next week whose classroom that will be.
I am still a little worried about how the kid will handle this transition, but I'm feeling pretty confident he'll be okay. I'm grateful that it's "over" insofar as we at least have a decision and know what's happening and it's what we wanted to happen. I will pray with all that's in me that this will work for my sweet boy. I do love him so.
Today's lesson - sometimes it's a heck of a lot easier to advocate for someone else's child than it is to do so for your own. And certainly much less anxiety-ridden.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last time I was in the Principal's Office I threw up on her shoes.

So, I realize I left you hanging. I promised to let you know what happened with yesterday's school meeting. But I fell asleep last night on the floor of baby E's room with my arm in his crib and only woke up an hour and a half later. My arm was still asleep and I just went to bed. So, here it is.

Settle in, this is gonna be a long one. Although, since we've had stuff happen today, and will again tomorrow (to be further explained at the end), this may be lacking in some details.

Alright, so basically this is how yesterday's meeting with the counselor and principal went. P (principal): So, tell me what's been going on. Me: (blah, blah, blah - all that stuff y'all already know about). P: So, is he kicking, or hitting, or biting, or throwing desks? Me: Good, lord, no!!!!! P: So, I don't think he has this disorder. Let's call a spade a spade. Basically, what you're saying is that you don't like the way this teacher treats your child and that's why you wanted a 504 plan. Me: Um, well, he does meet the diagnostic criteria for an Adjustment disorder. P: (cuts me off) But all he's doing is just talking in class? So, obviously there's not big behavior problems. Me: Right, hitting and biting, etc... are not the diagnostic and behavioral features of this disorder. That might be oppositional defiant disorder or ADHD, or something else. This is Adjustment Disorder, and again, he does meet the diagnostic criteria. But, no, I don't like how she's treating my child. And yes, the 504 plan was a way to get my child's needs met, with trying to preserve our relationship with the teacher as best possible. P: Yeah, so, basically what you want is for her not to take away your kid's recess, not make him write sentences as a punishment, her to communicate regularly and for her to like him? Me: Yeah. P: That's reasonable and I expect that, too. Me (enormous sigh of relief, thankyoubabyjesus) Yeah, I thought so, too.

Then he said he'd like to talk to Mrs L before deciding what to do. He said he'd do that Friday afternoon because "I know all you parents think that if I talk to a teacher she'll treat your kids different". Me "I don't think it matters a bit what you say to her. She's not going to treat my child any differently. And I'd prefer that if we're going to switch him, it be decided by tomorrow, so we can discuss it with him and he can have Friday to process this change and say goodbyes to his classmates and teacher (and the assistant). "Oh. okay."

The plan was then that he'd talk with her today and call me and let me know what his decision was. According to him - and I don't know whether this is per policy or what - he has the final say so regarding whether or not we can get the kid's classroom changed. Overall, though I'd felt a little defensive and that he was pretty ticked off, I came away feeling like it was Mrs L he was irritated with (not me) and fairly satisfied with the whole thing.

So then I waited all day to hear from him. By 330 (school was out at 230 and the office closes at 3), I called to leave a message. He actually answered and said he hadn't had a chance to talk with her until the end of the day. He said she was "quite surprised and taken aback" by much of what I'd said. She didn't remember the emails we'd sent (other than one) or either of the notes I put in his folder for her. She confirmed that the reasons the kid gets in trouble is for talking when he isn't supposed to be. She was so confused because she assumed that "no news is good news", I guess as far as her not getting communication from us (though that's not accurate, as we made several attempts) and as far as her not contacting us.

P said he's not ruling out changing classrooms, but would like us to sit down with her tomorrow to talk. I want to do this even less than I want to get a shot. And the dear lord knows how much I hate me a shot. At this point, I don't care what she has to say. I want him in a different classroom. Nothing P says, nothing I say, is going to make Mrs L nurturing. Or like the kid. I like conflict as much as the next girl. So if this is going to get us nowhere other than in an extremely uncomfortable spot, what's the point?

Oh, yes, and the (very important!!!) thing I forgot to mention, is that I did meet with that other parent. She confirmed nearly everything the kid's been telling us. (And I really liked her, too! And not just because she said what I wanted to hear either, lol.) The short of it is that Mrs L has little group of her favorites, and her little group of not favorites. And she treats the two groups very differently.

So, if an independent set of eyes is getting this same thing - the exact same thing my 5 year old is telling me - seems like there's about a 99.9% chance that it's true. Not that I can/should say that to her. But I'm pretty sure it's all I'll be thinking about.

Okay, so here's what I've come to after an hour of talking all this over with my mom and hubby. I will be going in and flat out saying that I'm not interested in making things work for the kid in Mrs L's room. her environment is not in which my child is being successful, or happy. I am going to ask and if necessary demand that he be moved to another room/teacher. I can only hope that it will be that easy. I know it won't. It's going to suck. Mostly I know that I don't want to cry.

Today's lesson: Sometimes you really don't know how much you'll miss something til it's gone. For us, that means the kid's Montessori school. Dear lord how I miss that place and the wonderful people in it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finally, a school meeting is scheduled

Okay, so here's the latest in the school drama department. Friday we finally got a response from the school counselor regarding getting the 504 meeting set up. 2 weeks later than she said she'd get back with me. (insert picture of my head exploding here) And here's what she had to say - um, I think we should do the meeting in January when we're all fresh and ready to start using it. (insert picture of my head - not exploded - dropping onto my desk and smacking it hard)

Yeah, that's just not going to work for me. I mean, the whole point of the 504 was to try these modifications now, and then transition to a new classroom in January, if needed (i.e. if the modifications didn't help). Well, at this point, that's obviously not going to happen. Which of course isn't completely the school's fault. I mean, if we'd contacted them sooner, we'd be further in the process. But, it's still frustrating.

Also, I'm really feeling like no matter what we put on that 504, we're still going to need to end up switching to a new teacher/classroom. I mean, nothing on a piece of paper is going to make this woman nurturing. And that is what my baby needs. After Christmas break is just a natural time to make that transition. So, I responded to the counselor telling her that things seems to have gotten even worse and we were leaning heavily towards switching so I'd like to meet to talk sometime this week so we can (all) make that determination. She didn't seem thrilled. but agreed.

The other part of this is that I've had a wonderfully lovely offer from another parent whose kid is in Mrs L's class, who spends a lot of time in the classroom, to sit down and talk. I'm hoping she can offer me a more accurate picture (than my 5yo can) about what is actually going on. She may tell me that my kid's a hellion in the classroom (and if that's the case, I really hope she will tell me!), but I'm open to hear whatever insights she can offer.

So, I'm going to talk with this other parent tomorrow. And then to talk with the counselor, and principal (!) right afterwards. I wish hubby could come, but has to teach. So, it'll just be me. Send me supportive vibes tomorrow about 1:30, okay?

Today's lesson: Getting called into the Principal's office is just a scary for the "good kid" at 33 as it was a 9. Gulp...

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Help in the Christmas Spirit Department

A quick post to share a sweet story.

I was sitting with baby E tonight, reading him his requisite two books (they're part of our new bedtime routine, which I hesitate to "put out there", but appears to be going well). One of the books was a Christmas story. At the end is a big picture of the baby Jesus, up close of his face and his little hand. It's pretty much the same size as baby E. He sat through the whole book, which let me just tell ya, is a bit of an accomplishment. Even if he was babbling and trying to get me to turn the page before I'd finished reading it. To be fair, the text isn't all that great, though the art is quite beautiful.

Anywho, at the end when we got to the head and hand of the infant Jesus, baby E carefully stroked his face. Then leaned in and planted a big wet kiss on right on the baby's mouth. I think there was tongue. Then he repeatedly high fived baby Jesus. And then repeated the whole thing all over again. I do think the kissing was sweet as could be. But, the high fiving was my absolute favorite. While it was all a bit sacrilegious, I'm pretty sure the Savior would approve. You know, he did say to bring the children to him. Not sure he thought there would be tongue involved, but, well you know, I'm sure the high fives at least were more than welcome.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Today's lesson: Sometimes the Christmas Spirit comes from the most unexpected sources. Or at least in the most irreverent ways.

Friday, December 9, 2011

His First Tooth

My baby lost his first tooth. It was the first tooth he got as a 3 and a 1/2 month old. It is the first tooth for him to lose, at 5 and 3/4ths years. That tooth was a surprise. We were camping and I looked down in that little mouth finding, much to my surprise, a pearly white sliver in his little mouth. I was shocked. I mean, he'd had no signs of teething and he was so young. Yet there it was. My tiny baby, was growing up. Getting teeth. Shortly thereafter he got another, and soon 2 more. He looked so different. The gummy grin was gone. It changed his looks so much. It changed the way I thought about him. He went from newborn baby, to baby-baby. The first of many changes.

This tooth, it's been wiggling for a couple of weeks. He's said it felt funny. Then, tonight, once I showed him the tooth fairy pillow his Gram got him several years ago - it has Superman on it - he went straight to the bathroom and started working on it. He managed to finagle it out of his mouth almost all on his own with only a little assistance from his Poppa.  I walked into the bathroom and he was grinning, with red-tinged spit trailing down his chin, holding that tooth in his hand. Immensely proud of himself.

I never imagined that my baby losing a tooth would be such a big milestone. That it would be such an emotional milestone for his momma. He looks different already. So very different. And I think he is different. Even more so than Kindergarten, losing teeth is apparently such a passageway from little to big kid-ness. At least for this momma.

As I kissed him good night, he asked, "Momma, are you sad?". I told him I was, but it was happy-sad. He smiled and kissed my cheek. He whispered, "I know. Love you, Momma" and laid down. I warned him not to touch that pillow or the tooth fairy wouldn't come. He laid so still, hardly breathing. Still, I'm pretty sure I'll go in there to exchange tooth for money and the tooth will be missing due to him having played with it. Because even if he's growing up, he's still my little boy. And even something a momentous as losing his first tooth, won't change the essence of who he is.

He will always be my little boy. Even without those original, tiny teeth.

Today's lesson: Sometimes the important moments are small and unexpected. They sneak up on you in a wonderful way. They change not the way things are, but the way you see them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Spirit

I'm finding it really hard to get "into" Christmas this year. I know it's still a couple of weeks away, but I'm just not feelin' it. Maybe it's because the weather's been nothing Christmas-like at all. Or the pure exhaustion from cumulative lack of sleep the whole live-long year. Or the stress related to the kid's school crap. Or the daily (big) changes at work. Or the anxiety of starting a new job (this will be the 3rd year I've gone into the new year about to start a new job - oh, I hadn't told you about that? Another day, promise). Or just that it's been a challenging and sometimes painful year all 'round. I don't know. But whatever the cause, I haven't yet found my bag 'o Christmas Cheer.

I've tried. I've made and decorated homemade ornaments with my kiddo. I've put on the Christmas music. I've sung Christmas songs to the boys when I'm putting them to bed. I've done some shopping (though heaven knows I still have tons to do, which isn't typical for me). I've made some homemade gifts. I've watched (uh, several) Hallmark Christmas movies. I made for and watched with the kid a Santa video from Portable North Pole (which was priceless). But mostly, it all seems forced. Except the Hallmark movies. Those I kind of love. Don't judge. (I can't be the only one, otherwise there wouldn't be a whole channel. So fess on up, people.)

And of course I know that Christmas is about the baby Jesus and all that jazz. And I'm trying to connect with that, too, but it just ain't happenin'.

So it all makes me wonder, why do we have such high expectations for the holidays? That they're supposed to be this joyous, magical time of year? And maybe that's what I feel like the expectation is supposed to be, and it's just my issue. But I seem to see/hear a lot of people talk about everything the holidays are supposed to be. And do I want my kid to have that magical experience? Well, of course. But it just seems unrealistic. And pretty impossible. Or at least I have no idea how to do it. It feels like another parenting "FAIL". Which I feel like I've had a lot of lately. And that defeatist attitude probably isn't helping me any either.

Today's lesson: magical-shmagical. Sometimes the best you can do it simply get through something. And the holidays may just be one of those things for you, too. And that is okay. Or at least that's what I'm going to tell myself until I find that elusive holiday spirit. Or the holidays are over. One of the two...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

And then, we still weren't sleeping

So, maybe it  feels like I'm beating a dead horse with this topic, because really what else could I have to say, and yet here it is... We're not sleeping here at my house. Yeah, still. It's been more than a year and this crazy baby is still up every 2-3 hours. Thought lately it seems like it's been more like every 1.5-2 hours. It's the epitome of awesomeness. Or the antithesis. One of those. Although one night recently he did sleep 9 hours straight. I'm betting it won't happen again for another month. 'Cause that's how things roll at my house.

And I'm just tired. I'm beyond tired. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. I have moments where I am on the brink of a breakdown. The moments seem to come more often of late. They're moments when I just can't deal with whatever it is that's going on, which is usually related to my sweet kid. He is getting the brunt of it. I sort of hate myself for that at times because I know it's not his fault. I know he's innocent and already struggling himself because of all the ridiculous school stuff. (Sigh) But, it is what it is right now.

So, I'm feeling desperate. Like almost to the point of going the CIO (cry it out) route with baby E, because, seriously, I just don't know what else to do. I've been sleeping on the floor of his room with my arm in his crib for much of this week. Because, sadly, I still seem to get more sleep that way than if he's in there alone, or even in our bed. It hurts, as in I can hardly move today because my back hurts so much. However, I'm at a loss of what else to do.

Everything we did with the kid and all the suggestions I've given to other parents, none of them have worked. Sometimes he'll sleep 7-9 hours (though those are rare, like once every couple of weeks), but most of the time he's up several times a night. And those times he's up, he lately is crying, not screaming, but crying, just until we either pick him up or pat on him. He'll eventually for back to sleep, but it's short-lived. Up until a couple of months ago, he was just grunting and it was only minutes til he was back asleep. Now, though, it's more like 10-15 minutes. Long enough that I'm fully awake and it takes awhile to get back to sleep.

And I can't pick out any kind of a pattern as to when he does sleep. I mean, it's usually when he's had 2 good uninterrupted naps in the day, but getting those naps is by no means a guarantee that he will sleep all night. On the nights he does sleep, he's usually taken 8+oz while nursing just before bed, but, again, just because he does have that much doesn't mean he'll sleep. But those two things are about the only factors I've identified. Beyond that, I got nothin'.  Other than frustration and exhaustion. Those I've got a-plenty.

Today's lesson - the baby knows when you're complaining about him and will inevitably wake up and fuss. Just to prove to you that he knows you're talking about him and doesn't appreciate it. And that you'd better get in there and pat his butt before he screams, and wakes up his brother. Because that's even less of a fun party.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Pictures

I thought it might be nice for you for me to share some pictures, ya know, since I've been so wordy and whiny lately. My fabulously talented friend Misty at Something Borrowed Photography took these pics for us about a month ago. If you're local and in the market for some pics, you should check her out!!

So, here's my boys and my momma. Love this one! It may be my favorite out of the whole group.

Oh, be still my heart! I mean, look at that handsome face! How could someone be so mean to that beautiful little boy???

And this one, such a dear, funny little creature. Now, if only he'd start to sleep in more than 3 hour chunks...

Me and my kiddo.

Me and my babe.

The fam. Not too terrible, if I do say so myself!

Today's lesson - it's interesting how pictures can teach us things about ourselves. It's interesting how we can fool ourselves by looking in mirrors. Fool ourselves into only seeing what we're comfortable with. It's interesting how pictures, somehow, seem to make it harder to continue to live ostrich-like. It's interesting how those 2 dimensional representations of us, can sometimes be more realistic than our 3 dimensional selves that we live in every day.