9.30.2014

awkward & awesome tuesday





Awkward

Writing a post about how well your baby sleeps the week before your baby decides to not sleep well.  I'm not sure if that was karma or just bad timing, but fortunately we seem to be getting a handle on things again thanks to this article from the Pregnant Chicken.  

Tapping your neighbor's car first thing in the morning.  I'm beyond grateful that there wasn't even a scratch (I meant "tap" in its most literal sense) but WHOA sleep deprivation.  Not cool.  

Matching your baby every day, not on purpose but because you have a serious obsession with stripes that you apparently have no control over.  I get told on the daily "aw, you match"  and then my response is inevitably "oh yeah, we do I guess."  

The never ending bra size changes that come with getting pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding & beyond.  I have a drawer full of bras and legitimately have no idea which ones will fit me each morning.  I just start trying on and land on whichever one works.  

Awesome

This ridiculously adorable print my friend Joanna made of a song that our friend wrote for his niece.  He graciously allowed her to use it for a print for Claire and we love seeing it hanging in her nursery.  My favorite things in that room were all from friends; a sweet monogram C, a woven wall hanging in the nursery colors by my friend Jess, a small jewelry box that used to belong to her Godmother and this print are just a few things that make me smile each time I notice them.  

Runs getting longer - it is so satisfying to be able to pop out the door and run 3 miles again.  Such a quick (and mentally rejuvenating) workout.  

Probably related to the running, my closet is slowwwwwwwly becoming accessible again.  

A slightly earlier bedtime for Claire means a little more hangout time for Darrell & I in the evenings. 

Going on a long walk just in the name of getting a chocolate chip cookie from my favorite bakery (which happens to be just around the corner from my house.)  Dangerous, but always so so so very worth it.  I'd also be lying if I didn't tell you that half the fun of going in there is everyone coo-ing over Claire.  

Blue Apron - there will be a more full review of this service very soon, but I am pretty well obsessed with their recipes and can't believe what we've been eating for dinner the past few nights.  

9.29.2014

the weekender





yes, that is a cupcake with glitter on it.  


This was such a great weekend that I just can't even stand it.  On Thursday, I got to attend a beer and cupcake dinner.  Did you hear me?  BEER AND CUPCAKE DINNER.  It was as amazing as it sounds, and a total treat to be invited.  Goose Island treated some local bloggers to some amazing beer and pairings from Jilly's,



Friday night I attended the STL Fashion Blog Awards, and although Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer didn't win I was so appreciative of the nomination and one of my good friends totally swept all her categories, so that was so fun to see!  I definitely plan to include more fashion & style in the upcoming year, but I've taken a little break from it to focus on being mom lately.  I'm really excited to get inspired by the upcoming fashion week events, and have an excuse to break out of my mom uniform to get glammed up for some parties.  (Spoiler: my fashion week outfits do not fit into my capsule, they will mostly be borrowed dresses!)


She is just the BEST in the mornings.  There is just this unbridled excitement for each new day when you're a baby, and getting in on a little bit of that is one of the best parts of being a mom.  



I think the best day of the whole weekend was Saturday.  I woke up on Claire time, had coffee with my family, and went to a wonderful yoga class with my sister.  I came home to hang out with Claire while Darrell went to see a co-worker's band play (metal.......so not really my bag!) and we took a blissful little walk down to our coffee shop for chocolate chip cookies & iced coffee, which was munched down in the midst of a pretty epic Real Housewives marathon.



What wasn't so fun?  The evenings.  Claire has hit the 4 month sleep regression pretty hard, and although I knew it was coming I can't say I was wholly prepared.  She used to go down easily, drowsy but awake between 8-9 but now when we attempt that we're met with.......screaming.  Saturday night I caved and allowed her to sleep in bed with me after struggling for a few hours, but Sunday we persevered until she slept in her crib, staying there until 4 am for a total of 7 hours and 3 more hours in our bed.  I'm fairly determined to not let this developmental milestone undo all the work we put into making her a baby that sleeps well.  If you have any experience/tips with this PLEASE share in the comments!  The response I've gotten so far is that about 50% of babies get over it and pick up their good habits right where they left off, and the other half.......well, they lose it and parents have to start all over again, often resulting in a few rounds of cry it out.  

9.26.2014

friday link love



It's time to pop the cork!  We're officially kicking off Fashion Week tonight with the St. Louis Fashion Blog awards at the Public Media Commons.  If you don't have plans, tickets are still available here!  It will be so fun, and I can't wait to see who wins.  Other than that, we won't be doing much this weekend, probably staying in Saturday night after the big party because the rest of STLFW will get going next week and I need to rest up!  

Here are a few fun links from this week: 

Lena Dunham gives amazing advice about practically everything.  

Daphne Oz's view on losing the baby weight is so refreshing, especially considering she's on TV every day!  


Apparently exercise makes beer taste better.  But who didn't know that already?  

This is perhaps the funniest tumblr I've ever seen about parenting.  

The minute it turns to fall, all I want to eat is soup, and this one sounds unbelievable!  

Emma Watson continues to be a fantastic role model.  Her speech at the UN was so inspiring.  

9.25.2014

capsule outfits/1



Okay, getting this show on the road!  

Outfit # 1: Striped dolman sleeve Forever 21 top & scarf, American Eagle cutoff denim shorts, Sam Edelman fringe booties, Ray Ban aviators.  

9.24.2014

Claire's Sleep Secrets



Since Claire has been born, we've been extremely fortunate to have her on a pretty great sleeping routine.  She basically was sleeping at least one four hour stretch from birth, and that + naps meant that Darrell & I have mostly always been able to get enough sleep to function.  Rested parents = good parents, in my mind.  Although I COULD just say that "we're so lucky" (and of course, I do believe that is a part of it) I've had more than one person ask me what we did to get her sleeping through the night be now, so I thought I would share some of what worked for us!  Read on for the things I think have really made a difference.*  


See those little half open eyes!  

1.  Putting baby down when awake.  

This is something that we've done since Claire was born, so if your kid is already used to being rocked......this is probably a useless tip.  We started putting Claire down in her crib awake when she was a newborn, because they are SO sleepy then that they fall asleep on their own a tad easier.  They might make a little noise, fuss a bit (this is not full on crying) but let them go.  Claire almost always fell asleep on her own without fully breaking into a cry, because like I said, newborns are super sleepy.  I know it's going to be really tempting to let your teeny, precious newborn fall asleep in your arms every time, but try to resist.  It'll create a better bedtime habit for the future.  Now Claire goes down for bed every night when she gets tired (sometime between 8-9:30) on her own.  



2.  Swaddle, and when that stops working, Magic Sleepsuit.  

Claire LOVED being swaddled from birth - in fact, the first two months of her life she didn't really like to be unswaddled at all, which means I have very few pictures of the cute clothes she wore during that time.  I firmly believe that swaddling helped her to sleep for longer stretches because she wasn't startling herself awake, so she only woke up when truly hungry.  Unfortunately, around 2 months old she started breaking out of her swaddle, and then we started to have a little sleep regression.  Re-swaddling a baby at 2 am is not so easy, especially when your eyes are barely open.  I got in touch with the Magic Sleepsuit people around this time and they sent us one to try.  It was instant love.  I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's "magic" (maybe it is for some people, I just don't want to make that claim because Claire was already sleeping well) but it definitely works wonderfully as a swaddle transition.  It got Claire sleeping through the night again, and she can't roll over in it because it's so fluffy, so I don't have to be stressed about her sleeping on her tummy.  Some naysayers think that much fabric will make baby too hot, but I can honestly say we've never had that issue, Claire's hands and feet are always quite cool when we get her in the morning.  



3.  If baby is having a bad night, don't be too proud to co-sleep.  

This is SUCH a personal preference and I realize this advice may be controversial, but some nights you just have to cave and let the baby come into your bed.  Claire is sometimes just in need of some closeness, or maybe more frequent nursing, and at that point it's just easier to let her come into bed with us.  We always start Claire off in her crib, but there are of course the random nights that she wakes up at 1, 3, 4:30, etc, and at that point the important thing is really just that everyone gets some sleep.  This advice is connected to my next point: 

4.  Follow baby's cues.  

This might sound insane, but babies are actually pretty smart.  A few anecdotes to prove it:

  Claire was sleeping through the night (8 hours) at about 2 months old.  She did this on her own - no cry it out, she just stopped needing a night feeding.  I figured out that she didn't need that feeding by popping a pacifier into her mouth at 2 am when she normally woke up instead of nursing her, and what do you know, she just started sleeping right through that time.  Then about 2 weeks later, she stopped.  She started needing that pacifier replaced at 3 am, 4:30 am, 6 am, etc.  I was about to lose it - convinced we had sabotaged ourselves by every starting her on the pacifier, we even resorted to trying to let her cry through it, which didn't work at all.  Then, she just stopped.  Started sleeping through the night again no problem.  

A few weeks after that, she started waking up at 4:30 am wanting to eat - nothing else would put her back to sleep.  I was annoyed, because she had dropped her night feeding a month before and now she wanted it again?  What?  But after only a few nights of this, she started sleeping through the night once more.  She just needed an extra feeding for a week or so, to do a little extra growing, and that's fine!  Honestly, it takes 10 minutes to feed her, and she's right back out.  No big deal.  

Currently she's sleeping through the night, but if she has a little regression again I will be choosing to just follow her cues.  She almost always gets over it, and going with her flow has proven to be MUCH easier than attempting to force her back to an uninterrupted night's sleep.  

5.  The Pause.  

When Claire wakes up at night, we wait a minute before picking her up.  This is not cry it out - I'm talking maybe 5 minutes of waiting - but it's an important technique.  We've done this with her since birth (more like 2 minutes when she was a newborn.)  If you pick baby up right when they whimper, I really believe they'll never learn to self-soothe.  Why would they - they've been trained to need you to do it for them!  I would say about 50% of the time, Claire goes back to sleep on her own.  Beyond 5 minutes though, if baby is under 6 months, you can consider any reason they're crying a "need" not a "want," and go pick them up.  

6.  Ignore the things that don't work!  

I cannot tell you how many people have given us the crazy advice of "keep the baby awake, they'll sleep better at night!"  This is just NOT TRUE.  It might be true for a toddler or older baby, but it's definitely not true for an infant.  All this will do is give you a baby that's overtired, and overtired is BAD BAD BAD.  Overtired babies are much harder to get to sleep and beyond cranky.  If an infant needs a nap at 6 pm, and bedtime is at 8:30, do not interrupt the nap.  I repeat: do not interrupt the nap.  As a testimony to this, Claire took a nap from 5-7 last night and then fell asleep at 8:30 pm and slept  until 8:30 this morning.  

*Disclaimer - ALL BABIES ARE NOT ALIKE.  Maybe some, maybe NONE of this will work for your baby.  Maybe your baby needs to cry it out.  Maybe your baby needs to sleep in bed with you full time.  Whatever you do, I place no judgement on where or how your kid sleeps - as long as your family is getting rest, that's all that's important!

Also, we were given a Magic Sleepsuit to try for free, but this post isn't "sponsored."  We actually loved it so much that we went out and bought extras on our own.  
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