Labels and More

~~I try not to use labels for myself. I see a lot of people introduce or identify themselves by labels. Crunchy. PickYourFavoriteCauseActivist. Liberal. Frugal. Junkie. I'm just me. If you want to know about me, just ask or spend some time with me to learn about me. You, the final 12 readers of Pleonast, probably couldn't care less. Labels tend to get judged. I think people are more complex than finite labels. And complex is more exciting.

~~I am le pooped this week. Grant is KIND OF a better sleeper than Elinor, as in he was a beautiful, glorious sleeper for about the first 8 weeks of his life. Nice 6-7 night stretches, 4 hour naps...ah. We got along fabulously. Then my husband had surgery. And the sleep broke. Possibly forever. This week his afternoon nap has gone from 45 min - 30 min - 15 min - 5 min. After today's "nap", he just chuckled at me. I don't want to whine about fatigue. Like, dude, I have a baby!! I knew I would be tired. I can handle it so much better this time. But I do feel like I'm on a long roadtrip and the gas gauge is approaching E and there are noooooo gas stations anywhere in sight. He's a sweet lil fella, though. I do lub baby head smell.

~~It is like so hot. But August is here and fall is so close I can taste it. I love fall. I love to make my house clean, cool and decluttered. You can laugh now.
  • wifelet
    I still read! I just don't post much anymore. :)

    I have been so blessed with good sleepers - Marky has put himself to sleep from day one, to the point where now I *can't* rock him to sleep - he won't go. I totally get the gas gauge approaching E, though.

    I like fall, too. Except for the part where fall gives way, all to quickly, to winter. And I am NOT a fan of winter. This summer has been so unbearably hot up here, though, that I'm ready for fall. Good luck with the decluttered-with-2-kids part, though.
    by wifelet at 08/03/12 9:12AM
  • nthnswmn
    Take comfort that fall is coming - cool weather! I'm with you on that one. I can't wait.
    I hope your little man gets to napping better soon, and you can get some rest. :-)
    by nthnswmn at 08/03/12 9:53AM
  • mjintexas
    A post! Wheee!

    And a funny post at that. :)

    I think I label myself as a Schientist, but that one amuses me. I don't feel very particularly "active" about anything these days. I think the world is so FavoriteCauseActive that I'm burnt out on activism. Relax, peoples.

    Sorry Grant is not sleeping as well! I'm glad you at least got a little extra in those early days. Baby head smell cures many things though. Joshua is starting to not smell as much like baby anymore, which makes me sad. But the fat "pick me up" arms kinda make up for it. :)

    I'm sooooooo thankful we haven't had as many 100+ days this summer as last summer. I've read some interesting reports about how it really IS that hot though... it's not just that it's summer- we're breaking records all over the country again and again for the last few years. So a little complaining is probably in order. But I, like you, am definitely looking forward to fall. I love decorating for fall. Plus it's a veritable string of fun holidays after August is over.
    by mjintexas at 08/03/12 10:13AM
  • stylinmama
    Love this! :)
    by stylinmama at 08/10/12 12:15AM
  • joy_hawthorne
    Hi fellow sleep-deprived-Mommy!
    You are right, labels are unpredictable things...
    I have gained a new label. I am now "Katie's Mom." (Of course the label of "Mrs Koltenbah" rolls off the tongue like spinach puree in the mouth of most toddlers.) I have heard that after a while, we no longer have a first name to every one the age of our kids and younger. Has this happened to you yet?
    by joy_hawthorne at 11/23/12 11:51PM

Well, why not, since I'm here!

Greetings, Pleoland! I don't know exactly what possessed me to log on tonight, other than semi-regular stalking of a few people I don't keep up with on FB.

What's new with me? Well, I'm a mommy of two now - Elinor (3) and Grant (5 months). I stay pretty busy and kind of wonder how exactly my house was not TOTALLY SPOTLESS before I had kids. It's amazing how much you can wring out of 24 hours. At least I get to ramp up gradually. :)

For a few weeks, we have been working towards the goal of cleaning out our freezers. I love to buy in bulk on sale, i.e. meat, and I did a fair amount of freezer cooking before Grant was born, and it is time to clean it out! It started because we heard some gripping, raw, personal accounts of people actually starving to death in Africa (or meeting other cruel fates due to the strain), and we thought...we grumble when we have a freezer-valanche because I have too many frozen vegetables! How sad is that?! So we decided to see how long we could go just buying the minimal items at the store (produce, milk, coffee, dry goods as I run out). I have been making our bread in the breadmaker and that has been a treat. We pledged to go a week buying almost nothing and only eating out once with our friends on Sunday night. We've been doing it for three weeks now, and it is kind of fun! I love getting creative with what we have! We have been so overwhelmingly blessed...we have so many options, and have barely made a dent in the food available. Don't know why I got off on that story, but it was on my mind!

Ok, I have a little who needs me...till next time!
  • stylinmama
    You win. 2 years since your last post. Let's bring Pleo back!! :) I tried Blogger but I always feel like I have to be super cutesy and creative in my writing because only clever people get other people to follow them. I don't care about followers, I just want my friends to tell me what they're doing and read about what I've been up to. Pleo is better for that.

    Anyway! Glad to hear you're doing well! I hadn't seen you on FB for a while either. Good for you. I keep telling myself I'll take a break from FB for a while but I usually think "Just a peek.." What is it with that?? You sound like a happy mommy, I love that!
    by stylinmama at 07/26/12 12:39AM
  • sparker
    thanks for the update :) who did you hear speak? I know the Maydells are/have been in the states - did Les preach at Twin City?
    by sparker at 07/26/12 6:58AM
  • spike427
    We heard a letter read from a member in Africa. As a congregation, and individuals are welcome to contribute, we have sent money. The letter was from someone the money had gone to. I cannot remember the name!
    by spike427 at 07/26/12 9:12AM
  • mjintexas
    Neat idea! It's pretty easy to lose track of how blessed we are here, for sure. :-/

    Glad to see you back again. :) I've been laughing about faith is the nectarine all week.
    by mjintexas at 07/27/12 12:59PM

So Long

Ok, I don't have time for this anymore. When I do get on here, I just get frustrated by people.

It took forever to clean out my friends list. Which should probably let you know why I was so awful at keeping up with everyone's blogs.

Toodles!
  • sallyanne
    I'll miss your blogs, too! Enjoy that sweet baby!
    by sallyanne at 07/17/10 12:37AM
  • mjintexas
    Oh no! :(
    by mjintexas at 07/17/10 1:00AM
  • heatheronthehill
    I'm sad. :( I always enjoy reading your blogs and keeping up with you and your family. You'll be missed!
    by heatheronthehill at 07/17/10 7:07AM
  • bjcrumpton
    I do hope you'll come back.
    by bjcrumpton at 07/17/10 7:21AM
  • skidget
    aww, I enjoyed reading your blog!
    by skidget at 07/17/10 8:53AM
  • meditationis
    Thanks for the good times. Hope all continues to go well with you.
    by meditationis at 07/17/10 9:34AM
  • juliagulia
    :( guess we'll have to track you on facebook...
    by juliagulia at 07/17/10 12:18PM
  • bekahv
    :(
    by bekahv at 07/17/10 1:41PM
  • alegna
    boo! I will miss your updates and pics!
    by alegna at 07/17/10 3:40PM
  • ladidodd
    dislike :(
    by ladidodd at 07/17/10 10:26PM
  • littlelamb
    Oh no! As long as you keep posting on facebook you'll be forgiven. :)
    by littlelamb at 07/17/10 10:36PM
  • linz_foster
    Bummer! :(
    by linz_foster at 07/17/10 11:45PM
  • sarahphim
    Oh, I'll miss you!
    by sarahphim at 07/18/10 4:05PM
  • curlie
    I'll miss you! :(
    by curlie at 07/19/10 1:33PM
  • gracie03
    Sad. :( You'd better stay in touch! :)
    by gracie03 at 07/20/10 3:05PM
  • sharon
    I'm kind of tired of pleo in that I have to click on everybody's names. Get's old. Quickly just getting more hooked on FB. Am I allowed to say that on here? ;)
    by sharon at 07/25/10 3:22PM
  • motherinisrael
    Although I will miss reading your updates, I completely understand. For those who are committed to being good parents, rearing children is hard work and time-consuming, even with the most placid of children, and though Elinor is a good baby and thoroughly adorable, she is also very active, intelligent, and inquisitive. (As you have pointed out, a Nana is often the first one to note that her grandchild is a genius!) Pleo and Facebook can be put on hold; Elinor's childhood cannot.
    by motherinisrael at 07/25/10 5:19PM
  • flyonthewall
    Amen, Debbie!
    by flyonthewall at 07/30/10 2:24PM
  • firebolt
    Nah, I wasn't offended at all. That's not the first time that comment has been made to me, nor will it be the last. It was just the most recent so I used it as an example. :)
    by firebolt at 08/11/11 7:27PM

Sleep when your baby sleeps

People always tell you that - sleep when your baby sleeps. I don't know about you, but I used to think it was just for those first few weeks, when you are stumbling about unaware of what time a day it is, or even WHAT day it is.

But 6 months later, it still holds true. I get the best sleep when I sleep when my baby sleeps.

Elinor really didn't improve on her crib sleeping habits. I was pretty tired of shuffling to the nursery 2-3 times a night, so I brought her to my bed. I resisted that for a long time despite wisdom of older mothers telling me to do it. I was worried about the battle later to get her to her own bed, my mind filled with images of a whiny 5 year old clinging to me, begging me to not leave her in her own room. But...who knows if that will happen. All I know is that I get sleep now. And it is grand.

Elinor has also entered a clingy phase of life. So her attachment to Mommy (and can you blame her? The little tiny thing lived inside my tummy for longer than she's been on the outside of it) + sleeping in the big bed (for night and most naps) = I am holding or actively caring for her upwards of 22-23 hours a day. I usually get a shower later in the day, when Aaron finishes work, or in a brief break when she will take a very short nap in her crib. It's ok, since I shower fast.

It's amazing how non-stressed it makes me, though. I don't dread bedtime - I used to start the night with optimism, but it was dashed completely by the 2nd trip to the nursery. I go to bed LOTS earlier, which is better for me. I get to watch my little sweet thing drift off to sleep right next to me. I get to watch her wake up - so sweet - her long dark lashes against her chubby little soft cheeks. Watching her expressions is like watching time-lapse photography of clouds in the sky - all sorts of emotions flicker across her face, wrinkling her brow and changing her breathing. My favorite, of course, are little lingering smiles. Those few minutes make the whole experience worthwhile.

There is much less crying in the house - no sad baby crying out for me in the middle of the night or the morning. She sometimes protests if I put her down to go do something for a few minutes, but today was better. I don't know what her little baby needs are, but I try to meet them. She is happy when she goes to sleep and happy when she wakes up. That's a good thing in my book.
  • firebolt
    I love co-sleeping. We only get to co-sleep for naps since Andrew *normally* sleeps through the night (in a pack'n'play next to our bed) but when he DOES wake up in the middle of night, he gets to spend the rest of the night cuddled up in my arms and we sleep very well.

    I'm glad you have a happy baby girl!

    Mommas and babies just shouldn't be separated...you know? :)
    by firebolt at 09/17/09 11:19PM
  • sallyanne
    Lovely blog! I loved snuggling and co-sleeping with my babies. Before you know it, they are all grown up!
    by sallyanne at 09/17/09 11:59PM
  • bonnyswan
    awwwww...baby snuggles! you know, you slept in mom and dad's room for a while...in fact, they had a toddler bed in their room. i can't remember how old you were when they moved you upstairs.....
    by bonnyswan at 09/18/09 8:30AM
  • mjintexas
    You are a good mommy, and I'm glad you are flexible and will change plans when they need changing.
    And I love love love her little sleepy face. And I love watching her wake up happy. So precious when she smiles and grabs your face.
    Now I need to come hold her.
    by mjintexas at 09/18/09 9:21AM
  • kimsisco
    i don't think you'll regret snuggling with that sweet girl! glad things are happier at your house!
    by kimsisco at 09/18/09 9:49AM
  • meditationis
    I'm happy to hear you are sleeping better and crying less. You too, Elinor. ;-)

    I do have a serious comment/question based on one of the PSA-type commercials I saw recently, which comment/question is not meant to offend. Is co-sleeping safe? Are there dangers?
    by meditationis at 09/18/09 11:22PM
  • meditationis
    :-) Thanks!
    by meditationis at 09/19/09 8:30AM
  • stylinmama
    After 6 months of little sleep, I can definitely understand bringing her to bed with you. It's not for us (though we've never been in a situation where we've had to consider it), but that doesn't matter. I'm so glad she and you are getting more sleep. You sound much much happier. And a happy and calm mommy means a happy and calm baby. I'm thrilled you found what works for you.
    by stylinmama at 09/19/09 11:24AM
  • kiss_the_rain
    This makes me really happy :)
    by kiss_the_rain at 09/19/09 11:31AM
  • sarahinthesun
    yes, letting Grace sleep in our bed saved our lives. We could have killed each other over all the crying she was doing anyway, but bedtime was always great when she dozed off next to me. and no crying in the middle of the night! We successfully moved her to her room at 13 months. She cried a lot the first 2 nights, and it got much better after that. It was not nearly as big a deal as my mother kept telling me it would be. Glad you have some peace!
    by sarahinthesun at 09/21/09 12:34PM
  • gracie03
    I'm so glad you are so much less stressed and that things are better! I know that is a huge relief to you!
    by gracie03 at 09/21/09 1:47PM
  • tortilla
    :) That is nice!
    I love her name! :)
    I TRY to sleep IF the other 3 will let me. They usually do. They are good. BUT, you KNOW I'd be sleeping SO much more if I could! :)
    by tortilla at 09/21/09 2:32PM
  • tortilla
    She is SOOOOO sweet and cute!
    by tortilla at 09/21/09 2:33PM
  • firebolt
    I think part of it was definitely a growth spurt, but I had no milk. I was devastated. I had worried about it before the trip because I REALLY stress out when I travel, but it ended up okay.

    Thanks...I got my hair done while I was here!
    by firebolt at 09/21/09 8:48PM
  • sharon
    I just could not ever bring myself to waste away that perfectly good time that I could be doing chores! lol :)
    by sharon at 09/23/09 12:47PM
  • spike427
    ^^believe me, i am still gradually getting over the desire/idea that i need to do all my chores while baby is sleeping. she just won't sleep well by herself, so we have a new order. :) she'll be big so fast and then i'll have all the time i want!
    by spike427 at 09/23/09 1:42PM
  • timstarr
    When Leila slept in bed with us, she'd be the only one who slept well. April and I ended up with sore backs for the next few days. We really don't do that anymore, though. There are ways to break them of dependence on sleeping with Momma and Daddy. Right now part of the bedtime routine is some snuggle time in the big bed where we read some books and/or sing some songs, but then she's sent to her bed for the night. It's really cute when we tell her that it's bedtime and she starts pleading "Want 'nuggle Momma? Want 'nuggle Daddy?" Hard to resist... :)
    by timstarr at 09/25/09 12:18PM
  • christina
    What a happy post! I'm glad you have found something that works for you and your family!
    by christina at 09/28/09 9:42AM
  • mjintexas
    In case A didn't tell you, I have bebe-in-a-basket as a desktop background. It makes me need to hold her everytime I see it!
    by mjintexas at 09/28/09 4:09PM
  • caraboo
    i just clicked on your blog from the pregnancy group and this made me tear up! just last night i laid down with Bodhi next to me in bed and he was still awake (which hasn't happened a lot yet). i just laid there, knowing i needed to get to sleep, entranced in his face. watching him alert, then snuggle next to me with his eyelids getting heavy, then finally in a deep sleep, is one of my favorite times with him. they really are too precious, aren't they?
    by caraboo at 10/06/09 4:09PM

A Bloggy Break

So...I'm busy. I don't have time to keep up on here like I used to. I don't want to fritter away the tiny baby moments killing time on the interwebs. Not falling off the face of the planet just yet but revamping online communication. The new version of Pleonast will take getting used to anyway, and I just don't have the time. I'm also on Facebook!
  • runforrest
    Elinor is sooooooooo cute:) She really looks like a Holladay!
    by runforrest at 05/04/09 2:59PM
  • littlelamb
    I laughed at your post below- dressing the baby is the very last thing we do before we walk out the door. :)

    Enjoy your baby! She'll be big too soon!
    by littlelamb at 05/04/09 10:23PM
  • ladidodd
    happy mothers day!! :)
    by ladidodd at 05/10/09 2:39PM
  • flyonthewall
    Happy Mother's Day!!
    by flyonthewall at 05/10/09 6:25PM
  • kiss_the_rain
    Make sure you still post pictures for us :-)
    by kiss_the_rain at 05/14/09 8:36AM
  • 23_bravo_7
    Yep being a mother is a full time job. When we babysit our little niece it is a remeinder of times past. Oh yes, in the words of your MIL, "The baby's nap is not for the baby, it is for the mother".
    by 23_bravo_7 at 05/17/09 11:58AM