Flying by the seat of our Christmas pants

by Lesley on December 18, 2013 · 15 comments

in christmas

cookie girl

They say the best bloggers stick to a posting schedule so their readers know when and what to expect. That plan and sentiment is really lovely but totally unrealistic for me during this season of cookie baking and diaper blowouts and sleep deprivation. Since a lot of you are also moms to young children, I’m just going to hope everyone is so scatterbrained and tired that you don’t notice my blogging schedule is called flying by the seat of my pants.

Speaking of schedules, do you want to know who else doesn’t believe in them? MY SON. My sweet, smiley, wonderful, drooling infant son. The kid is napping better than his early months, but he doesn’t sleep through the night and it’s KILLING ME. Some of you probably think I’m a dummy for expecting him to do so, and some of you think I must be doing something wrong because, WHAT? 5 months old and still waking up in the night?!

Sadly, poor Owen has an older sister who slept through the night at 10 weeks old. The bar was set REALLY high but he doesn’t care. He will eat when he wants to eat, and that’s typically between 3:00am and 4:00am. Sigh.

My instincts (and the scale) tell me Owen is a growing boy who needs extra feedings. I wish I could say I always have a good attitude about his growling stomach—some nights I do, other nights I’m a hot mess.  But I will say this: middle-of-the-night feedings equal perfectly plump cheeks and thighs that might have him contesting for “Cutest Baby Ever Award.”

Oh, and he just figured out how to put his toes in his mouth. I die.

Anyway, it’s almost Christmas and I’ve LOVED the last few weeks even though exercise, writing and showering are on the back-burner. Our last three Decembers weren’t exactly restful (closed on a house in 2010, chemo in 2011, and pregnancy hormones in 2012) so it’s an understatement when I say just how wonderful it is to have a normal holiday season.

Because I’m all about simplifying this year, about 90% of my shopping happened online (the mall is for dummies!) and I’m wrapping EVERYTHING in bags because spending several hours wrapping odd shaped boxes sounds terrible. I said NO to Christmas cards (sob) but YES to fun activities with Anna like baking and gingerbread house decorating and Christmas light viewing and a terrifying Santa visit.

gingerbread house

scary clause

Meanwhile, Owen has been sporting his Santa hat every single day because it accentuates his cheeks in a way no other accessory can.

santa baby 1

Anna in the same hat, two years ago:

IMG_1929

The holiday season with children is truly, truly magical and also truly, truly exhausting.

Last night I snuck out for a few incredible hours alone. Anna Q (GOD BLESS HER) offered to watch my kids so I could get a few things done. (Christmas miracle!) Then, Jonathan came home early and I snuck off to a Pilates class and dinner where I wrote this blog post and soaked up 1.5 hours without anyone interrupting me.  I feel like a new woman!

I hope to be back soon with a few more “Christmasty” posts—I have so many things I’m dying to share with you—but I make no promises. We’re taking it one day at a time over here.

Ho, Ho, Ho and Hugs and Kisses. I’ll chat with you soon.

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15 comments
Sarahkerner
Sarahkerner

Merry Christmas to you too!  I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants this year too -- perhaps having a new baby in the house will do that to you.  We haven't even gotten Santa pictures yet!  Will it happen in the next two days?  Who knows...  I'm guessing not.  We are having a fun Christmas season though.


Oh yeah-- tooooootally normal for a baby that age to want middle of the night feedings.  

ChristinaKiefer
ChristinaKiefer

First things first LOVE this post for so many reasons! The biggest takeaway for me was remembering we don't have to do it all, do what we can and what we love. After all, the pressure that comes with the holiday season is generally what we put on ourselves, right? And let me tell you, I completely understand what you're going through with Owen and struggling with him still not sleeping through the night. Benjamin didn't sleep completely through the night until 7 months. It took us (what felt like forever) to drop that 4 a.m. feed time. I think two things helped. First, I really do think solid foods at 6 months helped, but what really did it, (and I took this from a girlfriend who suggested it) was instead of me going in to get him and nurse him, my husband would go in with a bottle. We did that for three days, then switched from BM to water in the bottle (he had zero interest in that) and then three days of going in briefly to soothe him or offer him his paci (not pick him up though) and then that was it. We finally dropped it and he slept! Maybe it could help?


Happy Holidays! Love all the pictures of the kids, especially Owen in his bowtie and Santa hat! :)

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@ChristinaKiefer First, thank you for making me fell less alone in my quest to perfect Owen's sleep habits. My hunch is the solid foods thing...in fact I started him on rice cereal two weeks ago as an experiment but he got so constipated that I stopped. I'm planning to make a bunch of baby food next week and then go for it, even though he's still a bit on the early side of things. (We've tried to offer his paci instead of a feed, and he won't often go for it...which is why I've continued to feed him, but as soon as I'm a bit more confident he's getting his calorie needs met, well, I'm for sure taking your bottle weaning advice!)  Thank you for your help on this! I appreciate it so much! And Happy Holiday to you guys. I hope it's a very special week. :)

tim_fall
tim_fall

Those Santa hat pics are totally adorable, Lesley, just like your kids. I am so glad you had a smidgen of time to write and let us in on what's happening. Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to you and Jonathan and the kids.


Tim

Bronwyn Lea
Bronwyn Lea

Blogging on a regular schedule? As beloved Friend Phoebe would say "THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION!" Haha. Love you and your seat-of-your-pants schedule (which I emulate). Merry Christmas, friend!

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@Bronwyn Lea Merry Christmas to you too, Bronnwyn! Love the Friends reference. ;) 

caramac541
caramac541

Oh friend, hang in there!  And those cheeks: TO DIE FOR.  You're right - the hat accentuates them perfectly.  :)

marisaloper
marisaloper

We are doing an e-card this year... both for cost and the insanity of getting 100+ cards in the mail! We are finally sleeping through the night over here but it took force feeding Aria solids; I see rice cereal and sweet potatoes in your future! glad you are enjoying your Christmas season and activities though!! 

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@marisaloper YES! Funny you should mention solids. I broke down and gave Owen rice cereal last week in hopes of it helping his sleep but all it did was make him constipated! Dang it. I'm taking a little break this week while we travel for Christmas, and then planning to start up again Jan 1. I'm hoping it will help! I like your e-card idea. :)

Bone_Claire
Bone_Claire

I can relate so. I haven't blogged lately because I feel like it would just be the literary version of the meltdown I am careening towards in real life. I haven't done a lot of things lately. Like respond to the text ypu sent me weeks ago, but I just saw yesterday because I'm buried in texts, emails, whining, tears (which may or may not be my own). I am the worst and have added curtain guilt to my food delivery guilt.

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@Bone_Claire Don't let guilt enter the picture! Just sit by your tree and enjoy the season and we'll hang out soon for a therapy session. :)

reliasen
reliasen

Amen, amen, amen. Over here we are not sleeping through the night, we didn't send Christmas cards, but we are LOVING the fact that this year Christmas won't be spent throwing up in the bathroom. :)

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@reliasen I feel both comfort and sadness that you're not sleeping through the night either. That being said, lack of sleep is better than morning sickness so MERRY CHRISTMAS, Mama! We're in this together.

beccagarber
beccagarber

I can totally relate... I feel like my blogging has gone with the wind recently!  This is such a busy season, though, and we ought to focus on our families first.  Thank you for your honesty!


beccagarber.com

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@beccagarber I keep reminding myself of that truth, Becca! I think it's important for us mamas to have an outlet (like blogging) but I don't want it to ever be more important that my kids. Merry Christmas!