Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hiring Out Services

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For some reason my new job has taken me to a new level of busyness and stress. Maybe its the fact that I can't slack off as much as a I was able to do with a company that I'd been with for 9 years. Maybe the work is more time consuming? Or it could just be because it's new. In addition, my little boy is getting older and needing MUCH more attention. This has led to NO time after work for things like cooking, cleaning, yard work, showering, etc.

I know I can't hire out showering...but what about the other stuff. I got to thinking, how much is our time worth? How much money do we have in the budget to bring in some help occasionally. How do you decide if it's right for you and your family?

We're a very frugal family. DIYer's if I may. My DH can really do anything, learn anything around the house. He re-did our roof, he just finished our deck. He does all the remodeling, fixing, repairs, and yard work. We never call a serviceman. Our furnace goes out...he fixes/replaces it that night. He fixes our cars, changes our tires/oil, etc. I have a handy-man available and I'm sooo greatful! However it does make it more difficult in deciding whether to pay someone to do things we're capable of doing ourselves. It really comes down to time for us.

What do I want to spend the few hours I have afterwork-with my son doing? Cleaning?? NO! Long story short-I thought it would be extremely helpful to hire out some help. Possibly someone to come in a do a clean once a month? Maybe someone to mow the lawn for my hubby every other week?

We NEED my income-at least part of it. Since I have a good job though, we usually have a little extra-we normally like to save it, but I figured that I'm a working mom. While I'm making good money, having to leave my baby during the day, I should at least get to spend quality time with him when I get home and not worry about the house.

In addition, we lost our new sitter-so we had to start looking for one. What an opportune time to consider a nanny. Someone to come watch our baby, and tidy up a little. We checked out the budget and it would work. I could still come home and feed him (it's even closer to my work!).

So now, we have a nanny, and I'm just scheduled my late mother's day gift-a cleaning service. Just one time for now, but I'm trying to find a way to make it monthly!

Now just to convince my hubby to hire a kid to mow our lawn...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

8.5 Month BabyWise Update

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Another 2 months has passed. It's been a lot of work, but his schedule is finally on a good track again!

After finally realizing that this learning thing doesn't end-I hopped on the BabyWise forum to get some help (a blessing straight from God!) along with purchasing BabyWise II for 5 month-12 month babies. Why didn't I do this months ago???

As I said in my last post, the CIO worked to get him sleeping through the night again. It's been great! I also didn't pick back up the MOTN pump, so I've been getting sleep! 8 hours again. Finally. Really, it's priceless.

After starting Babywise II and getting ALOT of advice from the forum, I realized that Elijah needed more wake time, more food, and he needed the dreamfeed and late afternoon nap dropped. Within about 2 weeks, we implemented all of it. It's worked WONDERS! He started his 2 hour naps again, he's eating SOOO much better, sleeping SOOO much better. He's well rested and happy again.

Here's his new schedule now:
7:30 Wake, Nurse
8:30 Solids
9:30 Nap
11:30 Wake, Nurse
12:30 Soilds
2:00 Nap
4:00 Wake, Nurse
6:00 Solids
7:45 Nurse
8:00 Bed

There's still a few little things that need worked out, but I have a plan and we're starting it today. He's still waking pretty consistently at 6:30 a.m. My late bed time helped for a while, but then dropping his 3rd nap through that off a little. He's getting much better at staying in his crib and being happy. He'll usually cry the last 20-30 minutes though-but he stays in until his desired wake up time. So to fix this, I'm going to try extending his wake time between his morning and afternoon nap. So his wake time amounts will be 2/3/4. I think this will work great!! He's usually REALLY tired by 2 p.m., so I may increase it in 15 min. increments. We'll see how he does.

I'm also going to increase his food by an ounce. He's usually comfortable after his 4 oz, but he seems he could eat more-so perhaps this will help with his sleep as well. I always sleep better once I'm full.

So I'll hopefully update again soon and let you know how it worked. It seriously feels like it changes once you finally get it. Oh well, the life of parenting right??

A few notes:
1. We keep him in his crib until his scheduled wake time. He plays and jabbers a lot of it. He still cries some of it though.
2. We now go more by the clock that we used to. Not so much the wake, eat, play schedule. He's old enough I feel comfortable with him waiting to eat. I want his body used to normal eat/sleep times. It is still parent-directed though-meaning I use my mad mommy skills to interpret what he needs (even if it's outside the schedule). The schedule is there to help us, not rule us.  LOVE Babywise.

Babywise has taught me MANY things. One thing that has stuck out to me lately though is that it really never ends. Parenting isn't just learning the basics with a new born. As soon as you get comfortable, you baby grows, his needs change, and you change with it. I thought I was 'done' learning once I got the hang of things around 4 months. NOT A CHANCE!!! That's when things went haywire. Now we're in the disciplining stage-which I get a feeling is training me and Tyler just as much as it's training us.

We've also started transitioning to baby led weaning. So instead of using purees, were trying to feed more finger foods so he controls how much he eats. It also gets him ready to eat on his own. We're doing more a combination right now, but he loves it.

I know BW isn't for everyone. I know some people CRINGE at the idea. I can't help but notice the difference though in the way Elijah sleeps compared with other babies though. He goes to sleep in his crib, happily-even excited at times, he sleeps 2 hours for nap times, 11.5 hours for night times, wakes up happy (most of the time), I honestly believe it's healthier for mom, dad, and baby parenting the babywise way. It's been ALOT of work. We're not 'lucky'. It's been so worth it though. The way I see it is you're exhausted and it's a lot of work no matter how you parent-so I would rather my exhaustion and work be directed towards an end goal that is the best for the family as whole. If you ask me 8 hours of sleep is an excellent end goal for mom and baby ;).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crying It Out

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It seems I've taken about a 2 month break from blogging. How did time go so fast!! I'll talk a little more about that later, but for now-I hope to be a little more consistent-once a week blog at least.

Being in the 'mom world' now I hear a lot of things about how each mom and baby are doing. It's not surprising that one of the biggest things spoken about is sleep. If they're sleeping well, through the night, longer than 5 or 6 hours without waking, how tired mom is, etc. My little guy has had his ups and downs with sleep. He started sleeping through the night around 11 weeks (just in time for me to go back to work-good boy!). We've followed Baby Wise sleep training and it's worked wonders. He's of course had wakings when he was having a growth spurt and occasionally he will wake early-but this momma is one rested momma.

Before you jump to conclusions that I'm so lucky, or have such a great boy who sleeps well-I'll tell you that isn't the case. It's taken A LOT of work on our part. A lot of training was involved. We let him cry it out when necessary. He, like any other baby, wakes out of habit, cries if he wants to get out and play,  & cries because he wants to see mom. For me, I had to decide what reason for waking was acceptable. Sleep is important for him, and very important for me. If I'm going to be a rested, happy, not-frustrated mom I need my sleep. Good sleep for him is a cycle. If he sleeps well-he'll eat well-which will help him sleep well. He needs to learn good sleep habits now, which will help him for the rest of his life-at least until he's a teenager and will sleep 24 hours without stirring.

I find it interesting that most mom's-especially with a baby past 4 months-fit into 2 categories. CIO and WILL NOT CIO. I can usually bet which category they're in based on their first few words. I'm not saying CIO is always necessary or will work for every baby. I know for my baby the first 10 weeks it wasn't right for him. Any amount of crying just made him hysterical. However it got to the point where CIO was necessary and it helped him immensely. I wouldn't go back!

I see posts on forums like "I can't take it anymore, so tired" or "baby just won't sleep! I have to rock him all night". But they will not even consider sleep training, CIO, putting them in their crib, not feeding them at every peep, etc. To me that's saying something like "I want it fixed, but it needs to be magical with no uncomfortable work on my part."  They just do not seem like they're willing to do what it may take, to just try it out for a few weeks. I completely agree that I do not know these situations and truly believe that you must walk a mile in their shoes to understand-but I can't help but wonder, would CIO work? If they were willing to try it, and it worked-where would they stand then? It's fine if someone doesn't feel comfortable with sleep training, but it does get frustrating that they complain a lot about it, but aren't willing to try a few different things to fix it.

I don't want to be misunderstood-I feel for these women. I do know that waking 6 times a night is completely uncomfortable, and they don't like it one bit (neither did I!)! I'm sure they wouldn't choose this-however it just seems to me when you're not trying some very supported tactics-you're not trying as hard as you could.

There is also some good research on the subject, I'm not going to post it because I feel my rant has gone on long enough, but feel free to visit this link for information:

I really don't mean to offend anyone. Every mom and baby is different. CIO is not for everyone, but I think it could be worth a shot.