Friday, November 5, 2010

The circle of life and love that extends beyond

Last August I was battling the first trimester zombie syndrome and dealing with my overly excited mother.  One ordinarily typical day my phone mom.  I considered not answering it since I was exhausted and her excited chatter was more than I wanted to deal with at that moment.  I answered anyway.  She was walking home from the mechanic after dropping her 14 year old car off yet again.  I offered to get her and run her home but she said she needed the fresh air.  Then her voice caught and my heart dropped.  Something was wrong.  My mind went blank as she told me that my grandmother had just called her.  Then she told me that my great uncle had passed away at 64 years old...completely and utterly unexpectedly.  The details were still muddled, but the bottom line was clear.  I fell into a hormonal, grieving mess as my hubby rushed to my side not knowing what my mom had told me.

The next week was difficult between traveling and the funeral and getting sick (from traveling) and the first trimester zombie syndrome.  The one thing we knew for sure was that if we had a boy, he would have my uncle's name as his middle name.  It honors both my uncle and my husband's grandfather.  Fast forward a couple of months and that tale tell ultrasound had us scrambling to pick out a boys name.  I hadn't really paid much mind to the fact that my uncle actually went by his middle name.  When we announced Squirmy's first and middle name to the family, my aunt choked up.  My late uncle and Squirmy would share the same first 2 initials.

My aunt and cousin threw a lot of their attention into my pregnancy, giving them something positive to focus on during that first, oh-so-hard year without my uncle.  My uncle always wore Polo shirts to work...always Polo.  So amongst the many odds and ends they spoiled us with, they were determined to find something Polo for Squirmy.  The day they set out to buy the outfit proved fruitless, at first.  Nothing was particularly attractive; nothing quite fit what they were looking for.  They gave up and vowed to look in other department stores or come back another day.  My cousin went to another rack to browse for other outfits to send us.

There in the middle of the rack, in the middle of the non-Polo section of the store, was 1 outfit.  The perfect outfit.  They hadn't seen anything like it and couldn't find where it would have come from.  My cousin insists her father picked it out and put it there for her to find.

It was a touching story that warmed all of our hearts...but we didn't realize the story wasn't finished.

When Squirmy was 6 months old, we asked our dear friend Kerri McConnell to help us capture pictures of our sweet boy in 2 heirloom outfits (one from my family, one from Hubby's family) and in his Polo outfit.  The shots of the heirloom outfits were for Squirmy's grandmothers' birthdays which were right around his 6 month mark.  The Polo outfit was, of course, meant for my aunt and cousin, just because.  I bought the frames and has the prints made.  The birthday gifts were in pretty bags with tissue while the Polo outfit picture sat wrapped in paper.  I, of course, forgot to get a padded envelope to mail it.

As life often does, it got busy.  So much happened so quickly, and I repeatedly forgot to pick up an envelope to mail off the photo.  It sat in the utility closet...and sat....and sat.  This weekend I finally had an envelope on my list for Target (you know 1.5 months later)!  I packaged it up, addressed it, and had it waiting for the chance to run to the post office.  Well, Tuesday was election day.  Since I'd forgotten to mail in our ballots, I had to run them to the local library where they were collecting them.  The library is on the same block as the post office, so I grabbed our ballots, the package, and a check I needed to deposit along the way.  I smiled to myself, knowing how unexpected a package from me would be.

My phone rang last night and I smiled when I saw who was on the line.  I could hear the catch in my aunt's voice and was glad she like the picture.  Then she started crying: "Did you know that today would have been our anniversary?"  My eyes filled with tears.  I never had any idea when their anniversary was, not even a general time of year.  I wouldn't have been able to pull that off if I'd planned it.

Who knew that one little outfit could hold so much magic?  Or perhaps divine intervention?  Or just love reaching beyond the grave?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(And I'm glad I did!  Our gubernatorial race is so close here that results are still not in.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

sleep update

Here's an update to the post I wrote a couple of days ago.   I think I've figured some things out with this whole sleep thing, but I'm still not sure what to do about what I've figured out.

For starters, last night I was thinking about how well Squirmy used to sleep, then when he slept okay but not super, then when it all went to...well...hell.  Here's a little time line for you.

  • 0-2 months sleeping all night long, waking several times a night but going back, to sleep after being fed and changed, napping okay, always swaddled and held while napping
  • 2-4 months, sleeping through the night in his bassinet next to our bed, waking at like 6/7 and sleeping until 10 or so, still swaddled at night (can't remember for naps), basically always being held for naps.
  • 4-5 months, still swaddled at night, waking a couple times a night, a lot more co-sleeping, started watching another child during the day, still being held for a lot of naps, but not all
  • 5-6 months, swaddling is hit or miss at night (every time I think he's fine without it, I try it again and he sleeps better), started watching a toddler (so 2 kids plus Squirmy during the day), not swaddling during the day, nights and naps progressively getting worse, sleeping in his vibrating chair for naps, spending a good portion of the night in bed with me, moved his crib into our room, took the front off and pushed it up against our bed
  • 7 months...SLEEPING SUCKS!!!  We've gone back to fully swaddling every night, most of the night in our bed.  Naps are a terrible fight, TERRIBLE, and he's consistently sleeping 30 min for naps.
Here's the kicker, though.  A couple of days ago, I started holding Squirmy for his naps again, mainly by accident.  He went from screaming and 30 min to no screaming and 2 hours of sleep.  We went from 5-6 naps a day to 2-3.  AND he started sleeping significantly better at night (longer and more time in his crib/cosleeper).

So now what?  I can't realistically hold him for every nap.  Some have suggested that the vibrating chair has become uncomfortable for him.  Some have suggested getting a mattress for the Pack and Play so he'd actually sleep in it for once.  I've wondered about getting an Ergo so I could "hold" him and still be mobile and have my hands free (jury's out on if he'd sleep in it).  Some have suggested swaddling for naps again.  Some have suggested me sleeping with his nap time toys/blankets to get my scent on them.  Some have insisted I "break" him of me holding him for naps (which I don't think it's a habit since I haven't done it for months).  Some have suggested wean him from nursing to sleep (which he does often but not always).  Some have suggested I always nurse him to sleep.  Some say swaddle as long as he needs it.  Some say swaddling has become a crutch and I need to wean him out of it.

I feel like I'm being torn in so many directions and I don't know what to do.  I don't want to do the wrong thing, but I don't know the right thing to do.  I've been trying to follow my instincts as much as possible with everything we've done with him.  Now I feel like mother nature is out to lunch and left no instructions.

Anyone have any advice?  Any suggestions?  Any connections that you see that I haven't noticed?  Help!