Saturday, September 3, 2011

Secret Readers

There are several people who I know follow my blog and read it on a regular basis.  Usually, I get comments, messages, etc. from them either on each blog or on one every now and then.  But it has come to my attention, that there are several "secret readers" out there.  Yes, they are those people who are not listed as following my blog nor do they leave comments on the blog or Facebook.  And it doesn't cease to surprise me when I find out about one of these secret readers.  Sometimes, somebody will mention to me on the phone "oh I was reading your blog..." or somebody else will tell me that someone else was reading.  

I am flattered that my blog is enjoyable that there are as many people out there reading it  as there are.  So, if you are one of those secret readers, thanks for reading.  I somehow feel the need to write on a variety of more interesting topics now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Planet of the Apes

Now that I have been given permission to start exercising again, I am wanting to kick it into overdrive.  I cannot even begin to explain how depressed I get at the state my body has been left in post pregnancy.  A lot of this is my fault anyway because I should have been in better shape BEFORE I got pregnant and not caved to so many cravings I had during pregnancy. 

Anyway, during the pregnancy, I was working out and it was so hard.  I mean, you can't help but gain weight.  So, it just gets harder and harder to exercise.  I figured that it would be easier to exercise post pregnancy because at least then I wouldn't be gaining weight each time I worked out.  And I could actually feel like I was working towards something instead of against it.

Well, I only just started working out yesterday.  I am SUPER motivated because I cannot stand the condition I am in now.  I am completely driven to work hard.  My husband and I have worked out a nice deal that I will head to the gym when he gets home from work.  It's nice.  I get to burn off some extra energy and I only take about an hour.  

So, I'm starting out doing a lot of strength training.  And I completely shocked myself yesterday with how LITTLE I was actually able to do (only more motivation for me to keep at it at this point).  I struggled to lift half the weight I used to and my legs felt like jello walking out of the gym.  

I went back today to work on upper body only to discover that I am completely intimidated by the men at Gold's Gym.  At any gym, the men dominate the free weights as though that is their territory and some never work out anywhere else.  However, Gold's Gym (at least the one here) seems very much different.  The free weights are swarmed with men strutting around in their he-manness (yes I'm aware that's not a word).  And while I should be seeing this.
I'm seeing something more like this.
I get this whole "My Territory: Keep Out Because I Have Big Muscles" vibe--whether that is real or imagined.  And I get the feeling all of the other women at the gym feel that way as well.  Because I haven't seen even one woman over there..not one.  

When I used to work out at the YMCA, the majority of the people in the free weights was also the male population.  However, they didn't seem to clog it up and strut around as if they owned it.  And there were always a few women over there.

And, of course, I feel like you can tell my looking at me that I clearly have not been working out and I just "don't belong."  So, I resigned myself to the "women's" weight lifting machines tonight because I felt that was where I felt the least intimidated.  But I know I'd get a better work out with the free weights.  

I'm thinking I will just have to get over my whole intimidation (I'm even afraid to look at them) of these men who look like they could bulldoze a bus with their bare hands...and step in there, pick up my 12 lb dumbbells and do what I need to do.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Letting Sleeping Babies Lie

Continuing with my series of things that I didn't really discover until after Gordon Lee got here, my topic for this week is SLEEP.

I knew I'd lose sleep.  I expected to have to get up with him during the night.  But what I did NOT expect was that it would be so hard to get him to sleep this early.  For about one blessed month, he slept a lot.  It didn't matter what was going on or where he was.  If he was tired, he'd just sleep anywhere and for as long as he wanted.

Well, now that we're rounding out the 2nd month, that is no longer the case.  Getting him to sleep is not so hard.  He can be rocked to sleep.  He'll fall asleep after eating.  It's actually getting him to STAY asleep that is the challenge.  Anything and everything wakes him up from his sleep.  He wakes up for every little noise.  He wakes up if he farts, pees, poops, etc.  You get the picture.

Now it's not that I didn't expect these things to happen at some point.  I just really didn't think they'd happen so early.  I figured that young babies have a much easier time sleeping (and I'm sure they still do).  So, I've tried many ways to get him to stay asleep.  The one place where he will sleep for the longest is his carseat.
I think he stays asleep in the car seat because it is snug and he feels like he is being held.  When he starts waking up a little bit, rocking the carseat gently gets him to go back to sleep until he is in the deep sleep he needs to be in for refreshment.

BUT I don't want him sleeping in his car seat because he has got to learn to sleep elsewhere.  So, this week, I started trying him out in his crib for naps.  Thanks to some very helpful advice, he has taken a few decent naps in his crib.  It is still a challenge, though, because if he does start to wake up, you can't just gently rock the crib.  And even rocking him gently in the crib does nothing to get him to go back to sleep.  

He's gotten very attached to nursing as his method of going to sleep.  He's like a little addict.  He will fall asleep nursing and if he wakes up to find his milk source is gone, he gets very upset.  I felt like I needed to break him of these habits quickly because I can foresee a real problem developing if I let them continue.

While he was napping this morning, I took some time to read The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which I happened to have on hand.  The lady who wrote the book experienced the same issues with her son that I am seeing in Gordon Lee.  At first, I thought he wasn't sleeping well due to some problem that made him not feel well.

But when I noticed that he was sleeping just fine in my arms, next to me, or in his car seat, I realized his problem was becoming that he thought he needed to nurse, be held, or be rocked in order to sleep.

So, this week, he's getting weaned to his crib.  In the book, she does say it is okay to give the baby a little bit of what he/she wants and then put him/her down.  But the baby has to learn to sleep without all those extra things.

So, so far, I've had to go to Gordon Lee quite a few times to settle him down and get him to sleep.  But we are getting there.  He is sleeping a little bit more in his crib each day.  Today he took one 2-hour nap in there, and we are working on getting him to take a second nap right now.  I will have to post updates on how we're doing, but I am going to keep at it in hopes that he can start learning to sleep "on his own."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Soothing a Baby in Under 1 Minute?

After hearing several people refer to "The Happiest Baby on the Block" books and dvds as a necessity, I finally decided to look into it.  I was definitely a skeptic; I am not sure why.  I suppose I just feel reticent to ideas that people say will work "across the board."

But now that I have tried it, I am a believer!

First, Dr. Harvey Karp has 5 S's to success in calming any baby down who is crying/screaming.  In this video, he does explain that if the baby is really in pain this won't work.  But the thing is babies often cry like they are in pain.  So, it can be hard to tell sometimes what the reason for the baby's crying is.  Gordon Lee loves to let his annoyances with life be known. ;) He cries when he has to poop, he cries when he is not near mommy, he cries when hungry, wet, you name it, he gets upset.  So, it's even trickier figuring out with him what the purpose of his crying is.  

Dr. Karp's 5 S's are
1.) Swaddle
2.) Side/Stomach position
3.) Shushing
4.) Swinging
5.) Sucking

As I said, I was a skeptic, so I decided to look for a "sample" of this dvd on youtube.  I came across the following video where he is seen at work with babies and explaining his concepts.  It is very interesting!

Literally, just a few minutes after I finished watching this video, I heard Gordon Lee starting to work up to a fit in his crib after napping for only 30 minutes.  Wanting to test out the theory, I followed the 5 S's and INCREDIBLY he was calm in under 1 minute!
Don't believe me? Here's the proof!
He has been like this for an hour now.

Previously, I would have swaddled him, rocked him a little until he started to calm down some, place him back in his crib only to have him burst out of the swaddle and start up again.  Or, he'd be sucking at his fists, nurse, want to nurse some more, and still stay awake.  

This time, I went in, swaddled him (as I normally had before), turned him on his side in my arm, swung him gently just like in the video, while shushing near his ear, and he was calm instantly.  I offered him his soothie to suck on, but he didn't even want or need it.  He was right back to sleep and has stayed that way.  

I cannot even explain how many other methods of soothing I have tried only to find this one work quickly and continue working! Everything else that calms him down initially becomes ineffective a few minutes later.  But, as he said, all of these things are common.  It is just the order and the way they are done that make the difference.  I certainly agree now.  I will keep trying these things and I may be tempted to check out his book or dvd.