For the past couple of years, I have avoided making resolutions. I hate setting myself up for failure, and I hate resolving to do anything differently just because it’s that time of year again. But this year, I had three specific resolutions in mind that I wanted to hold off until after the craziness of the holidays settled down. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to resolve to start something in December, when your schedule is going to be thrown off, you’ll be at a million Christmas gatherings, and you’ll be traveling, etc. So…big breath…here it goes:
- Sleep Training Teddy
For the first six months of his life, this is the only way that I was able to get Teddy to sleep. And I didn’t mind it so much. It’s nice to snuggle with this sweet little guy. But sometimes, there are other things that I really need to do (like use the bathroom! Or help Jake with something), and I can’t just hold a baby for a morning nap, afternoon nap, and bedtime. There’s also been an issue with Teddy waking up more and more often in the night to eat. He used to just wake up once. But lately he’s been waking up 3-4 times each night, and wanting a bottle to go back to sleep EVERY TIME.
So sleep training has definitely been on our horizon. But OH, how I’ve been dreading it. And I didn’t dare try to sleep train him before Thanksgiving or Christmas, when he would just get thrown off schedule again! But as soon as January rolled around, and I met with his pediatrician and got Doc’s okay, I decided to start. And honestly, it wasn’t that bad.
Sleep training Jake was a bit of a nightmare. It fully took two weeks for me to say with any confidence that he was trained, and that was still with him crying for about 30 minutes before falling asleep (he did that for months afterward). But thankfully, Teddy was easier. The first night was the worst. He cried for two hours. I knew from experience that it was a good idea to keep myself busy and out of ear shot for several minutes at a time (washing dishes, taking out the trash, etc….basically our house got really clean during those two hours), and I would watch the clock and check on him every 15 minutes on the dot. I wouldn’t pick him up; I would just walk in and talk to him a bit, and rub his back (since he inevitably kept rolling onto his belly) and tell him to go to sleep, and start his lullaby music again. He would stop crying, and start again, and stop and start…but by the time we hit two hours, I went to check on him and he was asleep for good.
The following night, Teddy cut his crying time in half and cried for one hour. Still a long time, but a drastic improvement! (Considering that on Jake’s second night of sleep training, he upped his crying from two hours to three. It was awful!) On night three, Teddy cut his crying time in half again to 30 minutes. For the next few days, he cried about 25-35 minutes each night before falling asleep. And for the last three or four nights, he hasn’t cried at all before falling asleep, even when I laid him in his crib wide awake. We follow the same bedtime ritual (pajamas, milk while rocking in the glider chair, and lullaby music), so I think he’s starting to get it now. It feels amazing to have my nights back again! Naps are still a work in progress, but we’re getting there.
Waking up in the middle of the night is still occurring, but Teddy’s doctor told me that he really doesn’t need to eat in the middle of the night anymore as long as he’s getting plenty of calories during the day. Now I have him on a daily schedule that I borrowed from Moms on Call so that he’s getting 24 oz of milk a day (sometimes an extra 2-4 oz as a bedtime snack if we’re thrown a little off schedule) and 12 oz of baby food throughout the day. For the last couple of months, I was kind of inconsistent on how much milk and baby food he got each day, so I think this is helping us with nighttime. So far, he’s been waking up, and if he cries for 15 minutes, then I go check on him and soothe him (but I don’t go to him immediately, in case he’s able to put himself back asleep). One night he cried for a long time, so I caved and gave him a bottle. But for the last 3 or 4 nights, he’s been waking up and crying (not wailing, mind you…just “fussing”) for 5-8 minutes, and then falling back asleep on his own. I’m hoping that with more time, he’ll grow out of crying in the night altogether. (Though of course I know that it still happens from time to time with everyone. Even Jake still has bad dreams sometimes or doesn’t feel well and cries in the night and needs to be comforted.)
So all in all, resolution #1: accomplished! 🙂
2. Potty Training Jake
I’m not going to post any pictures of Jake sitting on the potty, because I feel like that would be an invasion of his privacy. But we may need to take a few to print out and put in his baby album, so that years from now we can pull them out and show future girlfriends. 😉
Oh, how I wish potty training happened as quickly and easily as sleep training Teddy! We are 10 days into potty training Jake, and I can’t say that I feel that we’ve been particularly successful. And at least once a day, I throw a hissy fit and swear that I’m done trying to potty train him. And then, inevitably, I resolve to keep trying the following day.
We’ve been following the advice of friends and tips that we’ve read online, but I can’t say that I’ve been potty training “by the book” because I didn’t read a book on it. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been working?! Here’s what we’ve done so far:
For the first two days, Jake went completely bottomless. I allowed him a shirt, of course, but he wore no pants and no underwear, and we stayed inside the house all day. I set a timer to remind me to take Jake to the potty once every hour, and if I saw him having any accidents in between, I was instructed to carry him to the potty to finish his business there (though it was hard to catch him at it–he’s sneaky and usually waited until I was busy feeding Teddy or changing Teddy’s diaper to go pee in the corner). Every time I took Jake to the potty that day, he peed on it. And I would give him high fives and fist bumps and congratulate him, and we had a pretty positive experience.
Beginner’s luck. 😦
On day three, Jake got to start wearing big boy underwear and his normal pants. Unfortunately, the novelty of using the potty (and using it every 55 minutes) had started to wear off, and Jake began refusing to use the potty. Or he would sit on it but he wouldn’t go because he was mad about having to pause playtime. And then he would in his underpants two minutes later to show me who’s boss.
On days four through six, I started getting really tired of cleaning up messes all over my house. I also realized that we may need more than five pairs of underwear if Jake is going to soil 2-3 pairs a day. I sat down face-to-face with Jake and asked him if he wanted to be a big boy and use the potty or if he wanted to go back to being a little baby and use diapers. He enthusiastically replied, “Use diapers!” I hope he was just doing that thing where he parrots back the last few words of whatever I say. He has, to date, only been able to anticipate needing the potty (and vocalizing it) three times…successfully.
It’s going to be an ongoing challenge, and I’m sure I’ll keep cycling through the many emotions of hope, determination, disappointment, frustration, anger, defeat, and hope again. I’ll keep you posted.
So, resolution #2–a work in progress.
3. Completing a Whole 30
I’ve been making some good progress at the gym lately, but I know that if I really want to see some results, my diet has to change too. I can’t go run on the treadmill and then come home and eat Cheetos and wonder why my jeans from two years ago still won’t fit. Reality check.
A lot of people at my church have been doing Whole 30, which is great because I can lean on them for questions and support throughout my Whole 30. A bunch of people also told me that I didn’t even need to read the book because there are so many resources and recipes available online. But I’m a good little student, so I used a B&N giftcard that my sister-in-law gave me (Thanks, Tina!) and purchased the book. And I have to say, I think this plan is the real deal.
I haven’t actually STARTED it yet, so I may change my tune. But I’ve checked into a few different diet plans, and this seems like the best one. I briefly considered doing something like Nutrisystem just because it would be easy. They ship you frozen, prepackaged meals and you just eat them and you lose weight. But how healthy is that? On the Whole 30 diet, you eat only whole foods that you get at your local grocery store–organic, cage free, grass fed meats and produce, etc. You cut dairy, wheat/gluten, anything with added sugar (though fruit in reasonable portions is okay), beans, alcohol, and peanuts. You’re basically loading up on protein and vegetables for every meal, and eating healthy fats (like avocado! I can still eat guacamole!:-) ), and figuring out healthy portions for what you eat. You’re cutting out foods that have no nutritional value (like my Cheetos and my cookies), which are inevitably foods that you just eat and eat and eat and EAT without putting on the brakes. But really, you’re only meant to restrict yourself like this for 30 days, and then you slowly add back in some of those other food groups (like grains and dairy) to see how your body reacts to them, and to see if you even want to incorporate them back into your diet. You may find that dairy makes you really gassy and bloated and you want to go dairy free from now on. But essentially, it’s only 30 days–like a food detox.
I have to say, I’m not just trying this to lose weight. Lately I have just been feeling gross about the food that I’m eating (I’m talking to you, Cheetos). It happens like this: I’ll crave some Oreo cookies, so I’ll go to pantry to get the package, and I think I’ll eat a few–maybe 4 or 5. What really happens is that I sit there in front of the TV like a zombie, and forget to even count how many I’m eating, and before I know it, the entire SLEEVE is gone. And then I should be feeling good, like I’ve satisfied a craving, but instead my body feels like garbage. And on top of that, I feel guilty for eating the entire sleeve. No one is winning (except the Nabisco company). 😛
So I want to try it. I want to see how differently my body will feel after eating only fresh meat and produce and good things for thirty days. I’m cutting out all of the extra additives and chemicals. I’m making my own sauces, people. This is going to be crazy difficult. But I hope I can at least last for the month. After that, I can reevaluate and see if adding the Oreos and Cheetos back into my diet is really worth it, or if I enjoy not feeling like garbage for a change. I’ll keep you posted!
Resolution #3, set to start on Monday. But the grocery shopping, meal planning, and pantry cleaning is already in full swing!