Wednesday, February 16, 2011

~ LOOKING BACK ~ What I've Learned in Six Months

One of the things I feel strongly that should happen with blogging, as with any form of writing, is reflection. I want to frequently take the opportunities that I'm given to reflect and learn from the experiences that I have. Being a parent has been one of the most challenging, life-changing, and rewarding experiences I've ever had, and it's only been half of a year. So, here are some things I have learned in the last six months, as a mommy to Micah.

  • I don't need as much sleep as I thought I did. If you know me well, you know I'm not a morning person. (My college roommates would tell me they were afraid to come into my room in the morning, as I wasn't very happy to get up...) At this point in my life, after waking up four times a night, it's still hard to get up (I'm not so grumpy now though), but once I've gotten out of bed in the morning, I'm able to function pretty well. I do appreciate help of a cup of coffee, preferrably a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, if you're wondering. I've never really been much of a napper, so that hasn't been an option for me. I end up feeling nauseous. I don't really find myself feeling tired all day, but when it's time for bed at night, I'm ready!
  • Poop is not that gross. It hasn't really bothered me (or David, for that matter) to change diapers, even the really gross, sticky, and stinky ones. There have been a few "accidents", where we didn't get Micah's diaper on soon enough, and we had quite a mess to clean up! That mostly happened when he was smaller, and less mature. :) As he's eating more solids, they're getting to be more smelly and have a gross consistency, but I'm still not really all that bothered by it. It's probably a good thing, since when you use cloth diapers, you deal with the poop much more than with disposables.
  • Laundry is not a once-a-week chore. It used to be that one time a week was often enough to wash clothes, but with diaper leaks, spitting up, and now starting to eat solids, like avocados and carrots, our laundry has doubled! It's amazing how those tiny clothes take up so much space, and how many blankets I'm washing! What a messy little guy... Add cloth diapers into the mix, and we have WAY more laundry to be done than we ever had before!
  • We can no longer just go where we want to, when we want to. No longer can we just decide to go to Tri-Cities, hop into the car, and go. We now have lots of planning ahead, packing up supplies, like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for Micah (and I really should bring one for me, because it's embarrassing to be in the mall with a spit up spot in the middle of your shirt...), toys, the car seat, the Baby Bjorn (great for Costco!), and blankets.
  • Just because your baby will take the bottle once at five weeks old, doesn't mean he always will!  When you try again a month later, he just might not want it. At five weeks, Micah happily slurped his milk from the bottle, but never again has it been so easy. I didn't think I needed to practice often and consistently, because he had it down. Now, I've tried every brand of bottle, have tried when he's tired, when he's awake, when he's hungry, when he's full, in his bouncy chair, and in our arms, when I'm around, or when I'm not even in the vicinity. He chews on the nipple of the bottle like it's a toy, but doesn't really eat anything.
  • Our dog is an awesome dog. (Please excuse my lame sense of humor.) I was a little apprehensive that when Micah came and "uslurped" Maverick's role as the center of our attention, we would have a big jealousy issue on our hands. Maverick has surprised me, though, and has adapted really well. He loves Micah! He lays on the floor, as close to Micah has he can get, or even on the blanket with him if he can. When we stop for gas, Maverick now growls at the attendant (pretty fiercely), as though he has to protect his baby.
  • I need to learn all of the words to "It Is Well."  There was a period where Micah would stop crying if I sang that hymn, but I could only remember the first verse and the chorus. Consequently, I sang them over and over and over and over. It seemed like no other song would calm him down as well - which is very fitting, as it's a great, soothing song!
  • I don't know what I'm doing. Every day I feel like I just take a guess about what might work, and a lot of times I feel like my guesses are competely wrong. I'm struggling to get Micah to be able to go to sleep on his own, without having to be rocked, held, fed, or driven around in the car. Nap time has been a huge frustration lately, leading to a lot of tears (some from Micah, a lot from me, and none from David - he's tough!). I need to spend a lot more time praying and seeking God's wisdom on what to do. I've also invested in some books to see if I can't get a better idea of what to do. Seasoned parents, what did you do? How did you get your baby to sleep?

The last six months feel like they've gone by in a whirlwind. I look at our little boy, who is getting so big, (and really heavy), and am amazed at how much I love him! It has been a challenge, to be certain, but it also has been worth every tear, yawn, smile and laugh. I know that the next six months with him will be great too!


  1. Tricia, it's great that you are writing these things down, and I love your puns (uslurped) and perceptions. You and David are doing great in this amazing, humbling, frustrating, fulfilling thing called parenting--I know God will continue to give you wisdom specific for your needs. As for getting kids to sleep, the first several months with Silas involved lots of walking and bouncing, then holding our breath and hoping he would stay asleep when we put him down. Sitting and rocking was not an option (neither was letting him cry for long, living with grandparents and great-grandparents...). Sara didn't fight sleep nearly so much, which we were grateful for. Know you will get this figured out, but glad you are able to get by with less sleep. {{hugs}}

  2. If he likes the singing you may try a cd player in his room, it worked for Sierra after a lot of trial and error

  3. Hi,
    I still say poop other kids' poop is gross! I still have a hard time changing a dirty diaper from a child who is not my own. Maybe because you know what went into your child!

    I remember trying to get Samantha to sleep by herself. It was tough! I was never one for letting her cry it out but I really think that is probably what worked the best. I would set the timer and not go to her until the time was up. If she was still crying I would assure her that everything was okay and set the timer again. I didn't pick her up. I think we learned with our boys to make them soothe themselves to sleep at an earlier age. Do you have a swing, will he sleep in there? I know some moms get a white noise machine, maybe that will help.