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Sleeping
Category

  • A Baby Can Make You Mad

    Close your eyes and picture a baby. Now open them because how are you going to read this with your eyes closed? Remember that baby you saw in your mind’s eye? Wasn’t it soft, cooing, sweet, innocent, and angelic? You wouldn’t think that a darling baby could ever make you mad right? That is preposterous. It is just a baby… a harmless adorable lovely little baby. Well let me tell you that sometimes you can get so mad at a baby you want to punch them in the throat.

    So The Munch is learning how to walk right? Now, the rational side of me knows that is a lot for her little brain to process and I should be empathic to all this change she is going through. But for the past week she has not only been having fitful violent sleep, but the only way she will go back to sleep is if I get up and walk around with her. She will push up against me and pull my hair while I wrestle her to try and get her to calm down. When I finally feel her relax and try to put her down on the bed, she wakes up to yell at me, roll around, grunt, moan and cry. Then she tries to sit up and stand, gets confused and tired, and yells some more.

    It is hard to deal with that in the middle of the night. You are tired, and don’t feel like walking around with a thrashing lunatic. The other night I got so frustrated I looked her in the eye and asked “What the fuck do you want from me?” She was quite for a moment, and while she thought it over flopped back and fell asleep. Then when I finally fell back asleep, she woke up and we did it all over again.

    In the morning when she wakes up, she pats me awake and gives me baby hugs that melt my heart like a grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmmm that actually sounds delicious… but is official…The Munch is an emotional terrorist!

    “I’m sorry mama for keeping you up… can you forgive me?”

    July 22, 2011 • 9-12 months, Mommy Mind, Parenting, Sleeping • Views: 2407

  • Dreams Are F’d Up!

    What makes a dream different than a memory? Okay fine smarty pants, a memory you actually experienced… but what about right now? Both dreams and memories are just images in your head. Ethereal happenings behind your eyelids dancing through the waves of your efforts to recall. What makes one any more real then the other when the only way to connect to them is through thought?

    Have you ever been dreaming and in your dream you have one of those moments where you say to your self “man, this is really weird.” It is like your conscious self has a moment to observe the dream, or replace your dreaming self long enough to recognize that breastfeeding a T-rex is just too bizarre to be real. But then you go back into the dream world and morph into your 3rd grade gym teacher and start tap dancing on a spider web.

    I am starting to really fear the person that dreams the crazy f’d up dreams that I dream. Maybe because I wake up so many times throughout the night, and remember my dreams like never before, but let me tell you, whoever dreams up that stuff in my head is one deranged person. I am not going to go into the intricacies of my dreams, because hearing someone else’s dreams is almost as boring as listening to their problems. But let me just say, sometimes I wake up and have to bath in holy water to wash away the lingering visions of what happened while I was sleeping.

    May 10, 2011 • 9-12 months, Mommy Mind, Musings, Sleeping • Views: 1584

  • Baby Ambien

    Have you ever heard that it is our brains that need to sleep and not our bodies? Or that sleep depravation is an actual form of torture?! And how come we have to “fall asleep?” Isn’t that so dramatic? Why don’t step into sleep… or cruise there? Maybe all the knowledge of the universe is in our dreams, and the price we pay is waking up.

    Oh sleep… how do I miss thee… I would count the ways, but I might pass out.

    I get that every parent has an issue with their baby… mine just happens to be sleep. It is not that I have a problem getting her to sleep, it is that she wakes up almost every two hours… every hour if I am lucky. She doesn’t cry… she doesn’t even wake up. She just grunts. She grunts and grunts and thrashes her head like Stevie Wonder in search for my nipple. Now I don’t know about you, but I find sleeping while someone is sucking on my boob next to impossible.

    Point is I wake up a lot… meaning I have to “fall” back asleep a lot too. I can acknowledge that part of this is my own doing. She does sleep right next to me, and from what I understand, breastfed babies usually do wake up more. Those are choices I made, and I can’t blame The Munch. If I was sleeping next to a pizza all night chances are I would wake up for a few bites too.

    I tried complaining to my mom about it, who suggested that I “Put her in a crib in an other room like I did with you. You were down stairs so you really had to fuss to get my attention.” Well, now that my life long battle with insomnia is solved, I am still not sure what my best strategy is. Sure baby Ambien would be great, if I could get my hands on some.

    So what I am telling myself is that even though I never get more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep, the fact that I am sleeping so close to her little mind makes me feel that maybe our dreams our melding together. That we will forever have a connection in the astral plane of our slumber, so even when we are apart we can always visit in our unconscious.

    March 17, 2011 • 5-8 months, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Sleeping • Views: 8292

  • The things I do not to wake her

    When you are tired, are you in a good mood? Neither is my baby. Being around a tired cranky baby is about as fun as hanging out with drunk college girl, and the only relief is for them to pass out. That is why once she is asleep, I will literally do anything… and I mean ANYTHING not to wake her up.

    Example 1: She was on my lap, and I had cradled her to sleep. The problem was every time I tried to put her down, she instantly woke up and started grunting. I picked her back up faster than a trophy wife does bon bons. Great. I had to pee. Let me paint a picture of what I did without going into too much detail making this awkward… but the contortions my body had to go through to pee in the sink without waking her would make Cirque du Soleil blush.

    Example 2: I get in the car to drive from Boston to New Hampsha. I had a cup of water and a smothie for breakfast. Why I chose to drink my meal before a two-hour car trip I will never know, but that was the unfortunate decision I made. The Munch falls asleep. I have to pee. Bad. If I take her out of the car to go into a Dunkin Doughnuts, she will wake up. “If I leave her in the car and lock the door, child protective services will come after me. If I could only pop a squat in this persons lawn…. Whoops, someone is in the living room. Perhaps if I peed in one of her diapers? Great they are in the way back and I can’t reach them.” These were my thoughts for the entire duration of the ride until she finally decided to wake up 2 minutes from home. Nice nap for her, the makings of a bladder infection for me.

    March 14, 2011 • 5-8 months, Parenting, Sleeping • Views: 1487

  • The Little Accomplishments

    Last night The Munch had a hard time falling asleep. She was fighting it. Writhing around, whining, tossing her head back and forth. I knew she was tired. I knew it because I wanted it to be so… but also, it was nighttime. She is a baby. She needs to go to bed.

    Part of me just wanted to put her down and let her fight herself. I was hungry. I was sick of her trashing around on my boob. I just wanted a moment to myself. But there was this other part of me that just decided to wait it out with her. So I repositioned her… pat her back… she let out a burp that would put a frat boy to shame and a fart so powerful it ricocheted against my hand. She almost head butted me in the nose twice. She drooled on my face trying to gum it. Farted. Another writhe… a cry in my ear… nestled her little face into my neck… coughed… looked at me… sneezed in my eye… and then rested her head on my shoulder. I sat for a moment prepared for another assault, but then I heard it. The deep, erratic, struggled breathing of a sleeping baby.

    I felt such relief. I sat and rocked her to make sure she was totally coated in sleepy dreamingness. I put her in my bed, and made my way to eat feeling an intense sense of accomplishment. Now, did I really accomplish anything in the grand scheme of things? Did I find a new particle to further demystify quantum physics? Did I come up with a solution to use mushrooms as a means to clean environmental catastrophes? Not exactly. But I still felt like I did something meaningful. Why?

    Nobody cares that I got my baby to sleep. She is not going to “remember” that night I made sure blissfully rested in my arms. So why do I do it?

    I guess because feel like I am building her personality right now. Of course there is the nature / nurture debate about what makes you you, but I am working on the nurture part. Even though these moments we are having are technically only imprinting into my conscious memories, they are what are helping to form her unconscious self. Her way of relating to the world, to other people, to herself is being influenced by the way I treat her everyday.

    Maybe the greatest thing I can do for her is to make sure she feels totally loved by me. Because a person that feels loved is best able to give love back.

    January 26, 2011 • 4th month, baby brain, Parenting, Sleeping • Views: 2242

  • I Wish There Was an On/Off Button For My Brain

    As a new mom, sleep is a huge issue. The advice I keep getting is to “sleep while the baby sleeps.” Okay, that is good advice. But I have never been the best napper, and often want to do things when the baby sleeps. So it is a hard decision for me when I put her down. Do I try to do something, or do I try and sleep?

    This is my issue with the napping. I cannot just fall asleep within minutes like she can. It takes me a while to shut my brain down. Often times I bring the conflict of “should I nap or not” into my napping session, which only makes falling asleep harder.

    The worst thing that happens is that by the time I finally do fall asleep, she wakes up! Then I am all groggy from just waking up, and she is up and ready to go. It is almost worse than not sleeping at all. And then I feel guilty for not having done something else, if I wasn’t going to get a good nap in anyway.

    I wish I had a button I could just press to turn my brain off so I could insta-nap. Or a big giant adult size nipple that would put me asleep like it does her. Then I wouldn’t have to stress out about whether or not I should be napping, and I would get the optimum naptime in.

    I haven’t quite figured out the solution to this problem. Maybe I just have to really commit to my nap. Not feel pressured to do anything else, and just do it. Maybe laying with my eyes closed even though I don’t always fall right asleep is good too in some respects?

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings, Sleeping • Views: 3009

  • Sleeping with Baby

    Sleeping with the baby is a controversial topic. There are legitimate concerns regarding the safety of the baby. I can’t speak to those with any authority, and of course think the safety of your baby is TOP PRIORITY.

    I happen to be a really light sleeper. I also have a big bed, and have chosen to sleep with my baby. It makes waking up at night much easier, because she is right there, and I can just breast feeder her side-lying.

    If you want to sleep near your baby but are nervous about bringing them into your bed I would look into Co-Sleepers. They are like a temporary crib that parks right next to your bed and basically serves as an extension of your bed. That way you have all the convenience of having your baby near you, but you do not have to stress about their safety!

    Here is a good place to find potential co-sleepers
    http://www.armsreach.com/

    January 20, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby gear, baby products, Sleeping • Views: 2560

  • The Difference Between a Poo and a Fart

    If you sleep with your baby, or near your baby, chances are you are going to hear ever gurgle, sigh, and breath that comes out of their body. I think this hyper awareness has to do with the mother instinct, and you just have to accept it. From this point forward, you are going to sleep with one eye open, and with the ears of a wolf.

    As such, I think one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to distinguish the difference between the sound of a poo, and a fart.

    When I am sleeping, and I hear what I think to be a giant poo, I immediately feel the pressure. No matter how tired I am, or how little I want to get up, I really don’t want my baby sleeping in poo. It just doesn’t seem right.

    So, I get up, bring her to her changing table, un-swaddle her, and take off her diaper, and low and behold nothing. Sure, there is some pee, but no poo. False alarm. It was just a fart.

    Now she is awake, and I am awake, all because of a fart. An ethereal fart… that could have just been an accent to our dreams. The punctuation to our slumber. But no. Now we are both up, and I have to rock her to seduce her to sleep so she doesn’t feel like it is time to party with Vince Vaughn.

    After a few too many times of this happening, I decided the best thing I had to become a vigilant listener to what he poos and farts sounded like. This is my research.

    1) A fart has a more pronounced sound. It is louder.
    2) A poo has a more gurgling sound. You can sometimes here the moisture.
    3) A fart comes with noises of discomfort, but they vocal grunts.
    4) A poo comes also with noises of discomfort, but they are more guttural.
    5) A poo is accompanied with pushing noises that exceed the original noise. The pushing at times leads to more farting/pooing sounds.

    January 14, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby body, Sleeping • Views: 4040

  • Swaddling

    So if I was tired, and wanted to go to sleep, and you grabbed a giant blanket and tried to wrap me up so my arms and legs were completely disabled… I would not be psyched. I would not sleep better. I would not feel calm and cozy. I would probably think I was in a Turkish Prison.

    But even though the idea of being restricted for you as an adult feels like torture, I am a HUGE believer of the swaddle for babies.

    I notice it all the time, when I put my baby down, her arms and legs will shoot out like she is falling through the earth. This reflex supposedly dates back to when we were monkey’s and had to hang on to our mom’s fur for dear life. So it is cute, but totally unnecessary, because I am pretty sure I don’t expect her to hang on to my sweatshirt as I swing down my stair case. I got you kid… with my opposable thumbs and all.

    So when you swaddle them, you may notice they thump and wiggle around in there, but these movement do not seem to disturb them in the same way as when they are totally exposed. In a way, it makes total sense. Besides the whole feeling like she is back in the womb thing, I think people need some restrictions in life to feel safe. When life is too limitless, it feels almost manic. I think we all can get over-stimulated if there is zero regulation. Bounderies are healthy. Think of how important they are in relationships.

    I digress… point is, I was already swaddling my baby at night, but I was not during the day. As I have mentioned before, I didn’t have a set schedule for her, so I wasn’t anticipating her need for a nap. I would just notice she was tired, and then pick her up and rock her, and before I knew it she was sleeping in my arms. If I tried to put her down, she would wake up.

    But then, I got this brilliant idea!

    If I know my baby is tired, I swaddle her before I rock/nurse her. That way, she is already all contained, and when I try to put her down, she actually stays asleep! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? IT MEANS THAT I CAN DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH MY TIME WHILE SHE SLEEPS! This was a huge revelation for me!

    My favorite swaddling blanket is “the miracle blanket” http://www.miracleblanket.com/index.htm

    January 13, 2011 • 2nd Month, baby gear, baby products, Sleeping • Views: 1736