Thursday, February 28, 2008

And the sleep saga continues...

Well...Scott, Ada, and I survived one of the worst nights yet. God continues to humble me in this position as Ada's mother. I think I have things all figured out, and here we are at 7 months, and Ada's sleeping habits are worse than ever. As I mentioned yesterday, her new thing is to flip onto her stomach and cry hysterically until we turn her over. Well, at 9 pm last night, when Ada had been asleep for only one hour of the entire day, I called my mom desperately seeking advice, and she suggested to try letting Ada "cry it out" on her stomach. We tried this, and it seemed to work for about an hour, but then when Scott and I went to bed at 11:00, she began to wake up crying every ten minutes. At first she would wake up, cry for about a minute, fall back asleep, wake up ten minutes later, and repeat the process. However, at about midnight, she woke up and would not fall back asleep. At this point, we both got out of bed prepared for a very long night. Around 1 am, we let her cry for ten minutes (it was a very hard cry that was miserable for all involved--it is just a mother's instinct to want to comfort a crying baby), and then I practically ran in there, picked her up, comforted her, and put her down on her back. At that point she was so worn out from crying--we all were worn out from her crying--that she finally, finally fell asleep, and slept from 1:30-7:45. This was not a bad night's sleep for me, six hours--a really full night back in college--but for little Ada, this was only half of the sleep she needs in a night. As a result, she has been such a grumpy little thing today, and we are into our second round of trying to get her to nap. I put her back down at 9 am, knowing she needed the sleep, and we did the cry on her stomach for five minutes routine. It didn't last too long, and she eventually fell asleep on her stomach for about 45 minutes, and then she woke up crying. I got her up, tried to feed her, she continued to be fussy, and now, at 11:10 am, she has finally settled back down for a nap. Maybe this one will be longer. I don't really count a nap a success unless it lasts at least an hour. It just makes me feel very helpless because I know she is so tired, I know the only thing that will help her is for her to sleep, but she can't seem to settle into good sleep. In reality, I know that this is not suffering, but because I am terrible at keeping up with Ada's baby book, I use this blog as a way to record these early days of her life, and I want to remember these moments for later. I know there are many more sleepless night ahead, and suffering much greater than this, and I willingly take all of it in exchange for getting to be Ada's mom. But in the daily grind of being a mom to an infant, it helps to have a place to vent. I am praying for grace for this day--for patience and perspective. I want to glorify God even in this daily stuff. Because if I can't glorify Him in this, in this tiny inconvenience, what about when I face the real suffering in life? How I am faced with the reality of my sinful, selfish nature!! How desperate I am for God's grace and patience with me!!! I need Him every second, even in life's daily grind.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My homemaker husband and other news from the past few days

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the majority of Saturday training for my new tutoring job with Educate Online--a division of Sylvan. I started out the day feeling completely normal, but by the time my four hours of training were up, there was no doubt that I was not feeling normal, and so began my four day battle with a mysterious sickness. In that four days I spent the majority of time sleeping, and Scott took on the role of homemaker/stay-at-home dad. When I woke up at 8 am Sunday morning to get ready for church, Scott took one look at me and told me to get back in bed. He promised that he would take care of things, which is exactly what he did. Apparently, while I soundly slept away the morning, Scott faced the task of cleaning up one of the dirtiest diapers Ada has ever had. I don't know all of the details, but I do know that the clean up involved wiping under her armpits. Poor Ada. Poor Scott. Not wanting to wake me up, and not wanting to end up with a ruined onesie, Scott called my sister, Ann, to find out how to deal with the stained onesie. He really should be awarded some medal for how he conquered that dirty diaper catastrophe. He also stayed home from work on Monday and Tuesday, as I continued to fight off the sickness, and he managed to not only single-handedly take care of Ada, but he also washed, dried, and folded at least four loads of laundry. He really has been super dad over the past few days. I think he was fairly burned out, though, and ready to get back to work, so Ada and I are going it alone today, and I do feel lots better, though I don't feel 100% back to normal.

I think that it would be much easier to get past the sickness if I could get a full night's sleep, but Ada continues to wake up at night. To make matters worse, her new way of dealing with anger over going "night-night" is to flip herself over onto her tummy and cry out in absolute hysterics until we turn her back over. So this is our new routine, I put her down, walk out of the room, by the time I make my way downstairs, she is crying in such a way that I know she is on her stomach, I go upstairs, flip her over, leave the room, and we continue to repeat the process over and over. I really have no solution to the problem. For example, she is in desperate need of a morning nap right now, but she can't fall asleep because she keeps flipping over. It is wearing both of us out!! I have tried rocking her, singing to her as she lies in bed--nothing works. Any and all suggestions are welcome!! Any mothers out there, did your babies do this, and, if so, what did you do?

On a completely, completely different note, I am so excited over the fact that Dwellstudio now has a line for Target. Just one more reason why I love Target so much!!

I am posting a picture of what I woke up to Sunday morning--Ada after the diaper situation--her pants were too small and the outfit very mistmatched, but, hey, she was clean, and what more can I ask for?
One last thing--in the time it has taken me to post this, I have probably tried to put Ada down for her nap about six times, and it looks like she is finally asleep--VICTORY!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random thoughts on a Thursday afternoon

So...tonight is Lost, which always makes Thursday an exciting day!! And, we get to find out another member of the Oceanic 6--yea. It is also the results show for American Idol. I am giving American Idol another shot this year. I watched it last year and didn't love it, but since the judges promise this is the most talented season ever, I am going to hold out for one more season. If I don't love it this season, I may no longer be an American Idol fan.

I am actually typing this from Scottsboro. I took a very last minute, very impromptu trip home this week, mainly because I was needing some daytime companionship. Scott is wonderful company at night, but the move has made things extra lonely during the day, and I had not been home since Christmas, so I loaded up the car and headed home for a few days. I am returning to McDonough tomorrow morning. Ada has been a good sport this trip, and for the most exciting news of all, she has slept through the night the past four out of five nights!! We may have broken through to the other side. Granted, she was wide awake at 5 am this morning, but I'll take it.

As for other news, I will spend the weekend training for my new online tutoring job through Sylvan. I am fairly excited about this. The job only requires ten hours a week, so a few nights a week Scott will watch Ada, and I will go online to earn a few dollars in order to support my ever growing clothing habit. Plus it will give me an opportunity to do a little "educating." There are actually several online highschool teaching opportunities, but most require at least two years in the classroom, and I only spent one short year in the classroom before I became a stay at home mom. I think I am going to apply anyway, and just trust that if this is something the Lord wants me to do, then the lack of experience will not matter. I really think that I would love to continue teaching American and British Lit., and teaching online allows for a VERY flexible schedule. The tutoring will be good, but it is not the same as actually teaching literature. We'll see what happens.

And last but not least. For all you women readers out there, have you heard anything about the new trend of using deep cleansing oil to clean your face? I have read about it in a few magazines, but I have not really paid attention because I did not believe that oil could actually clean my face. However, while in Scottsboro, I found a facial products catalog that was sent to my mother that advertised deep cleansing oil as their best selling product. I went online and asked for a sample because I feel like I need to at least give it a try. It is made from extra virgin olive oil, and all of the antioxidants are supposed to be great for "age-fighting." I would love to hear if anyone has more info. about this new trend.

Well, happy Thursday, everyone, and to all you Lost watchers, only four and half more hours to go!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Today's favorite website

While doing a search for a recipe for blueberry cobbler, I stumbled on some very interesting information--The Massachussets Institute of Technology offers full courses online completely free of charge. (I am not sure of the connection between cobbler and MIT, but somehow the internet connected the dots) Obviously, the student recieves no credit or recognition for taking these courses, but the courses do serve as wonderful resources.

I realize that the majority of Americans do not have time to add more work to their already crazy schedule, but imagine the freedom that comes with a completely voluntary college course. You can read books, listen to lectures, and complete assignments all at your own pace. If you want to take a year to complete a course, so be it. This is wonderful news for this stay at home mom who often forgets that she has an identity beyond being Ada's mother. On those days that I need to be transported back to the basement of Haley Center where I sat, furiously taking notes as Dr. Hammersmith explained the intricacies of Shakespeare's early work, I can download a lecture from MIT, and I am transported back to college again. I think I will start with Writing about Literature. I had already planned to order a book a week off of Amazon, this will simply guide me in my ordering, and it will give me purpose as I read.

I only wish I had known about this website last year. It would have been a wonderful resource as I prepared lesson plans for American and British Literature. I often struggled to explain literary ideas to my students that I didn't even fully grasp myself, and it would have prevented many a late night if I had had this website to go to as a reference.

I have to be honest, the odds are good that I will never get around to completing any of these courses, but it is encouraging to know that the option is out there, and hopefully I will be able to take advantage of it if I ever do go back to teaching.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day '08

I am slightly late with my Valentine's Day reflections, but I feel like I should say something since it seems to be the trend in the blog world right now. Having a six month old really limits the celebration possibilities, but Scott did come through with some nice gestures. He brought me three red daisies, the book Atonement, the movie A River Runs Through It, the soundtrack to Once, and sour patch kids (during pregnancy I developed a deep love for all thing sours--candy, slushies, etc). And I, in an uncharacteristically cheesy move, bought Scott a Valentine's card "from Ada." I thought it was cute, and I thought it would be something nice for the baby book. And that was about as far as the celebrating went. We put Ada down, I cooked dinner, and, in our pajamas, we sat down in front of the television to eat. In honor of Valentine's Day, I did make a blueberry cobbler for us to eat as we watched Lost. Overall, a perfect night, and I went to bed feeling extra full thanks to eating dessert at 9:00 pm.

The night was nothing like the first Valentine's we spent together--my senior year of college-when Scott took me to a surprise dinner at the Red Bar. We left Auburn at noon, drove all day, ate dinner, walked on the beach, turned around and drove back. We were in those early stages of the dating relationship when we were still "swoony," and I just thought it was the sweetest thing ever. He thought of every detail and completely swept me off my feet. After he dropped me off, I stayed up late going over every detail of the day with my college roommates. I am sure I confessed that I thought he might be the one.

Four years later we share a house, a child, and we are certainly not trying to impress each other, but I think a night of good dinner and good television with my husband is just as good a Valentine's Day as the Red Bar.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Reasons it has been a great weekend, and it's only Saturday night...

1. We had our first dinner with a McDonough couple last night.

Scott works with the husband of the couple. They have a two month old son, which means I have an instant connection with the wife. It's amazing. Once you have a baby it is as if you join this worldwide mom club, where you have instant conversation with any other mom in the world.

2. After dinner, Scott and I watched the newest episode of Lost.

We went to community group Thursday night, and we missed seeing it. Yes it was confusing, but, to me, just as good as always.

3. Ada slept all night!!

We did not hear from Ada until 6:45 this morning. We gave her a bottle at that point, put her back down, and she slept until 10 am. It was amazing. It was like Scott and I slept until 10 am!!

3. The weather was in the mid-60s.

4. Because the weather was so nice, Scott and I walked around the square in McDonough for about an hour.

This made me feel much more connected to the town. We discovered three different restaurants that are perfect for dates. Now, we just have to find a baby-sitter. Plus, I found an adorable children's shop with all the smocked dresses I could hope for. Finally, I had an iced chai from a coffee shop on the square that was just as good as a chai made by Jan Taylor.

5. The weather made for a perfect run.

I am still only running 1.5 miles, but today's run was much more pleasant than the past runs. I am slowly shifting from miserable to slight enjoyment.

6. I found a $5.00 jogging stroller on craigslist. It is old but still in working condition. I plan to pick it up tomorrow.

7. While I ran, my sweet husband gave Ada a bath, so I came home to a clean baby. Very exciting.

8. And the last thing that makes the weekend so great, I finally watched Annie Hall.

I have been meaning to watch this movie forever, and for one reason or another have never gotten around to it. I loved it as much as I thought I would. It made me feel very nostalgic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy 6 Month Birthday, Ada.

In honor of turning six months this past Tuesday, I am posting some recent favorite pictures of Ada. She is such a fun little girl these days--smiling, laughing, and saying "mamama" and "bababa" over and over all the time. I like to pretend that she knows that I am mama:) She doesn't say "dada" yet, but we are working on it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Half-Marathon Training Continues

The high today was in the upper 60's, so I decided it was time to lace up the running shoes once more. And again, I was humiliated as I dragged myself through a measly one mile run. However...I do have a plan that should get me to thirteen miles by October. I will start by training for a 5k. I have found a training plan that will have me running the 5k distance in 8 weeks, and from there I will begin a 10k training plan. This week, I have to run 1.5 miles on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and I have to crosstrain on Wednesday and Sunday, which means either my 30 minute Shape video or a long walk with Ada. In the past, I have not followed any plans when running a 5k, but I have never been able to run farther than four miles because my knees always begin to bother me as I increase my distance. I am hoping that by going really, really slowly with the training, my body won't desert me, and I will be able to finally reach the half-marathon goal. I have run many 5k's, but I have never run a 10k, so I plan to find both a 5k and 10k to run in order to keep me on track with the half-marathon training. For all you running experts, any advice for the knee trouble? It happens every time, and I really want to prevent the problem this time, if possible.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Random Updates from the Past Week

As I type this, I am as tired as ever. Saturday night Ada woke up every two hours, which was quite tortuous, and last night, she took forever to fall asleep and then woke up at 4 am. She cried and cried and cried when we put her to bed, but magically she would stop crying the second that we picked her up. She finally fell asleep, and when she woke up at 4 am, it felt like we had not been asleep at all. The circles under my eyes are getting darker and darker. It's not the most attractive look I could hope for.

As for the half-marathon training, I am sad to say that I have not run since last Sunday. Now, not to make excuses, but my sister, Ann, and my niece and nephew were in town all week, so I put off the training for another week. It was such fun to have them here, and the house was so lively with all the little ones running around. Ada wasn't running around, but she seemed to enjoy all the action that Ellie and Luke brought to our normally drab routine. Ellie was so sweet to Ada, and she wanted to help me with everything. We did have a minor fiasco when Ada began to pull Ellie's hair and Ellie decided to hit Ada to get her to stop. It was the first fight among the cousins. It was quite funny, and it really does hurt when Ada pulls your hair--or your earring, for that matter. Ann brought an exersaucer for Ada to borrow, and Ada is loving it!! It really frees up time for me to get things done around the house. As for other Ada news, she is still not sitting up, but I am hoping it will happen soon. She will sit up for a few seconds, but then she falls forward onto her stomach. She does like to pull up if we let her hold onto our fingers. That is her favorite thing to do these days, and it keeps her very entertained.

(L-R) 1. Luke "kissing" Ada, 2. Ellie and Ada playing with Ada's toy--this is where the hair pulling/hitting incident took place, 3. The three cousins watching Praise Baby, 4. A favorite of Scott and Ada, 5. Ellie very excited about the Valentine's cupcakes that Ann made.

As for other news, Scott and I have been half-heartedly searching for a church to attend in McDonough. We absolutely love the church we currently attend in Atlanta, and our original plan was to make the 40 minute drive each Sunday in order to stay involved with that church. However, we have both been convicted that if God lead us here, we should get plugged into a church here. The problem is, we cannot find anything that we love as much as Intown, and this leads us to the question, what exactly are we supposed to look for in a church? What are the guidelines, and how do we know if God is calling us to a specific church? When Scott moved to Atlanta, we found Intown's website online, and from the first time we visited, there was no doubt in our minds that it was the church we wanted to attend. Though we have not been super involved in the year that we have been attending Intown, we do have a community group that we love, and we really, really love the Sunday services. I would love feedback on what guidelines we should use in looking for a new church--the big question being, are we looking for a church where we can serve, or church that serves us, and what is the line there?

Finally, as I posted last week, my plan for dealing with the no cable situation is to order a book off of Amazon each week, using any money leftover from the week's grocery budget. However, formula and diapers are doing a number on the budget, so I have very limited funds this week. The challenge is, if I can find a book for less than five dollars, including shipping and handling, I may order it. A difficult task, yes; impossible task, no. I have had so much fun searching the website and compiling a wish list, and I will let you know if I am successful in my bargain book hunting.

One last thing--Ann and I are both Lost fans, so we were fired up about the season premiere, and discussed the show and anticipated its premiere all week. I was not disappointed. I have to say that I have never watched better television. I was a huge, huge lover of Felicity, and I have yet to see anything by JJ Abrams that I don't love. Lost continues to live up to those high expectations. I was so very sad, however, to deal with the fact that Charlie is no longer with us. I really loved his character and the relationship between Claire and Him.

And that is our week in summary. We are suffering from Atlanta withdrawals and starting to miss the fellowship we had there, but we are excited to see what God is going to do here, in this new place where He has landed us.