I'm having a rough time being a mom today. Natalie was up and down, but mostly down today. That made me up and down. A lot of our problems center around sleep: Natalie is not sleeping well because she doesn't like being on her tummy. This is causing her to wail instead of taking a nap and sleep uneasily during parts of the night. She's waking up earlier messing up our routine. This morning, she got up at 545 after a great night's sleep. I figured she's fall back to sleep after she ate, so I can out to the living room to nurse her so I could be comfortable and sleep, too, but she wasn't tired. I tried to nap on the couch while she was in the play pen, but she was too fussy. It seemed like all day she really didn't want to play. I feel like it couldn't all be tiredness, because even after sleeping she didn't last that long.
Also a problem today was that it was 80 something out so it got to be 80 in the house. Since its only May 2nd, we don't have out AC's in yet. So, like us, she was hot and kinda sticky. I offered her her cup with water, but she doesn't really know how to drink it yet and gets distracted by chewing on it. (Maybe her top teeth still coming down are also bothering her on top of everything else). Although, she loves being outside. Even when it was warmer inside than out, she calmed down when we took her outside. We decided to drive out to Fat Boy's in Brunswick for lunch. It turned out to be the easiest part of the day because Natalie slept the whole time in the air conditioned car. But even with a two hour nap, things fell apart again by 415 and we had to give her a nap where she cried herself to sleep (only ten minutes, but man they were a long ten minutes) after flipping over and wiggling around the crib. At bed time, we put her down in only a short sleeved onsies. It is still 80 in her room, with no windows open, but I'm still worried she'll be freezing in the morning with so much of her skin exposed. The only thing that made me feel better was remembering that I've read its better for her to be a little cold than to be overheated. Please, don't let it the house temp drop below like 73 tonight. Oh, even as I think about it now, I feel like I've made the wrong choice to leave her skin exposed...
Also bad news today was that she gagged on her morning cereal. I didn't get a chance to pump this morning because first I was watching her, then when I put her down for a nap, I took a nap, then Mike got up with her for a bit and I stayed in bed a little longer. I guess part of the problem was Mountain Due. See, I like the blue Mountain Due and yesterday it was warm out, so I knew the car would be really warm after grocery shopping. So, I bought one. I guess the caffeine kept me up. At midnight, when the second airing of Dirty Dancing was over, I still wasn't tired. Neither was Mike, so when we went to bed, we stayed up talking for a while, too. Then, Natalie gets up like 5 hours later. So, maybe my moodiness is rooted in lack of sleep, although I don't feel tired. Anyway, being tired this morning was because of not sleeping last night, hence the Mountain Due caused me not to pump :P So, I tired to use the frozen breast milk in the freezer. (I have about 40 oz stored). I only needed 1 ounce, so I warmed up the container in a bowl of hot water and mixed it up. It was a little thick, but she has had really thick rice cereal, so I thought thick oatmeal would be okay, too. Well, that was a big fat no. She gagged. In some ways, I can't blame her. I think oatmeal is disgusting myself, but Mike likes it. So maybe its just that she is going to take after me in that aspect. Even when I thinned it up a bit, it was a no go. So, I gave her a little applesauce instead. But, Mike said maybe the frozen breast milk tasted gross and that was the problem. I already felt bad about not pumping and then giving her something that made her gag, and his suggestion that she doesn't like it frozen just upset me more. It makes me feel like all that milk is going to waste. Not just the time of pumping and energy of bothering, but that milk from my body.
Today was just rough because there seemed to be so little time of smiles. Even after sleeping and eating, it was like the happy time was so short. Mike thinks its funny I say this because we got the most awesome smiling picture of her showing her teeth today. Then, I thought maybe it was because Mike had her a lot more today than yesterday and that he saw a lot of the smiles. I guess that's the trade off of having him help out, but he felt he hadn't helped that much today.
After we put her down, I came in here and wrote the first portion of this post. Having this blog to vent that kind of thinking was a comfort. Mike meanwhile went out to shoot some hoops, but when he came back in, we talked about it some, which was very nice, too. During bedtime, while Natalie was still fusing a little while she was eating (which she hasn't done in a very long time), he said that we just have to accept that this might be how it is now and it won't go back to how it was before. That made me really unhappy. We talked about it and he more meant that she won't have the same routines and might be more fussy. I'm alright with that, but at the time I took it as she is going to be my happy smiling little girl anymore! I want her to be easy going, but as long as she is happy, I will find a way to manage.
As we were talking, the list of reasons why she might have had such a rough day just got longer and longer. It included:
- messed up sleep due to flipping over on to her tummy and not knowing how to flip back over. Also, due to the stress of crying over it.
- being hot
- something she ate is bothering her such as the wheat in the oatmeal or the apple juice
- she needs to poop more than she did today
- she has gas from crying and / or chewing on her cup nipple
- she is frustrated with not being able to move on her own
- she is frustrated with not being able to communicate with us, especially about how she wants to move
- she had no routine today
I hate how sometimes I get impatient with Natalie. I try to tell her on those days that I'm sorry so that it will be a habit for when she is older. I also told her today that I'm sorry to get frustrated with her, but that I'm pretty sure she gets frustrated with me, too! Sometimes, Mike makes me feel like I'm overreacting, and that makes me feel bad, too, because I sometimes feel that way myself. But, tonight, he said that he knows its different for me because I'm with her during the day all week and he sometimes feels his patience waning when dealing with her on the weekend. His saying that made me feel much better. I mean, sometimes I feel that I don't do anything special being Natalie's mom. She is usually so easy to care for. Then a day like today comes around and I often don't handle it as well as I feel I could. I have this back and forth in my mind about motherhood being difficult because sometimes the smallest things feel very stressing while large things don't at all.
I want to end on a positive note. Even though Natalie had already rolled onto her tummy before I even started writing this post, she is still sleeping as of right now. (Sleeping on her tummy worries Mike because is isn't safe, but me more so because of her waking up). And, we did have some positive fun things today. While Mike was on the phone talking with his mom, we played with the books in Natalie's room. These are picture books for older kids mostly or ones that I read to her in a couple of sittings. Well, we read Llama Llama Red Pajama, and Natalie seemed to really like it. Usually she won't sit still for a book that long and she was trying to pick up the baby llama in the pictures. That one will be read again! We also had fun looking at the Harry Potter pop-up book I have. At another point in the day, I brought Natalie to the front yard to look at the blossoms on the crab apple tree. She reached up and tugged on a branch. Lastly, there is almost always a time every day when Natalie shows me how powerful it is to be Mommy. Today, it was the usual: When Mike holds up her hands to walk and she tries to run to me.