sleep

Babies and Sleep

Hi lovely dreamers!

Next week, my sweet baby girl turns 10 months old. I’m still not sure where the time went, but it’s going way too fast and I don’t like it. Ah well.

Before she was born, I had a lot of parenting goals, and I was really banking on instilling good sleep habits from the beginning. Easier said than done though, considering that the sleep deprivation was real and tiny babies are too cute not to be held all the time.

I read multiple books and scoured so many websites about babies and their sleep habits, and quite honestly, I got way too caught up in the various steps I should be taking to ensure the happy sleeping baby that I was wanting.

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She slept really well for the first three months and then started waking up sporadically throughout the night. Since then it’s been anyone’s guess how well she’ll sleep during the night. We’ve had some stretches of co-sleeping, issues with what seemed to be night terrors (not sure though?), and some short stretches of great nights where she only woke up once to eat. Right now we’re in the middle of what seems to be some kind of sleep regression where she’s up as many times a night as she was as a newborn. Thank heavens for coffee.

So yeah, this post is not about how to sleep train a baby or some kind of success story because as much as my goal is to have a baby that sleeps through the night, my real goal is to have a happy, healthy baby. That is the most important thing. Even if I miss my sleep something terrible. But either way, I wanted to write a little about the process so far.

Adaline has become very skilled in putting herself to sleep. She knows when nap time is, she might fuss because she doesn’t want to go to sleep, but 9 times out of 10, once I turn off the light and leave the room, I don’t hear another sound for at least an hour or two. The same goes for bedtime at night – she’s usually a perfect little angel. I love not having to spend a huge chunk of time trying to put her to sleep every day. We worked hard at those skills, using a very controlled version of Ferber sleep training. Not everyone agrees with letting babies cry on their own, and neither I nor The Husband could deal with the wailing and screaming. By the time we started working on this, I was very familiar with her different cries and could tell when she was actually upset and when she was just annoyed or fussing because she was tired. It probably took about two weeks total for her to really grasp the concept, but once she did we’ve never looked back. If she does have trouble putting herself to sleep its usually because I kept her up too long or something else that threw her routine off.

Nights like the last few where she’s up at all hours of the night make me seriously consider extinction methods of sleep training, but honestly, I would end up crying whether I was in the room with her or not, so I would much rather try to help her figure it out than just leave her be. She still strongly prefers to nurse back to sleep at night, so I’ve been attempting to wean her off of that since I know she is capable of going without the night feedings at this point. But when its 3am and you’re falling asleep in the rocking chair, its so easy to just do whatever works in the moment. Hahahh sleep deprivation. Yeah, anyways, we’re working on that. I’m preparing myself mentally to actually try and work with her during these night wakings next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve found myself wishing sometimes that people would be less judgmental about things like how babies sleep. Different things work differently for everyone. I really thought we would have it figured out by now too, but right now she still needs me during the night so that’s the way it is. I fall back on attachment parenting styles when I need the support and it makes me feel like a much better mom. I know I’m doing what’s right by my own child and regardless of what others might think about my parenting, she is happy, healthy, developing beautifully, and could not be more perfect.

That’s as much as I can find the words for on a coffee-fueled brain this week. I hope every other mom finds the support they need to feel like they are crushing it at this parenting gig!


Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2020, Parenting, 0 comments

the night owl life

Hi beautiful readers!

This is our third (fourth?) week of social distancing and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve been getting a little bored around the house. Of course, having a 7 month old who is trying to explore keeps things interesting, but still. We have found ourselves unsure what to do after 8pm when she’s asleep, and yet, somehow staying up until ungodly hours because I guess we have too much energy from not doing anything? I don’t really know. There’s a lot of things I don’t really know right now, I guess!

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I have always had a tendency to stay up late and sleep in. But I’m not all that great at being productive late at night – if I can drag myself out of bed in the morning, then that’s usually my most productive time of the day. And since the Tiny Princess came along, I have had an easier time getting up early because if I don’t get up before she does, I won’t have any time to myself during the day. And that is actually very important to me.

Despite loving to sleep in though, I’m never excited about going to bed in the evenings. Weird, I know. It might be my OCD perfectionist thing, but I don’t like the process of going to bed. Maybe because as soon as I lay down I think of the million things that I did NOT do that day. Or because I never fall asleep easy. Who knows, but even though I rarely do anything after 10pm other than watch tv, I’ll probably stay up late doing that instead of going to bed like a sane person. Ah well.

Apparently most people who are known for being determined and productive and successful have something in common – they are all disciplined in the art of getting up early. And I totally see why that’s true. But there are very different aspects of my brain that are working at different times of day. I will never ever wake up in the morning and be able to jump headfirst into a creative writing idea or an art project. Just won’t happen. But I can organize a blog post, or clean up the house, or something more on the logical side of my brain. And I’ve talked to a lot of people who seem to be the same way.

Would I like to be the person who wakes up early every single day and gets a whole bunch of stuff done before 8am? Yeah, that sounds really productive and nice and also completely not for me. I’ll stick to getting up early enough to have alone time before the Princess wakes up and staying up later than I probably should. Because I can!

Although a lot of the time, the 11-12 hours of sleep that the Tiny Princess is getting sounds really really amazing, don’t you think?

And yes, I absolutely just made a blog post rambling about sleep and early mornings. Quarantine is getting to me, y’all.


Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, Life in 2020, mental health, 0 comments

routines at home

Hey there wonderful dreamers!

Today marks four weeks – basically a month since I left my full time job to stay home with the Tiny Princess. it’s been a huge blessing and a pretty big shift in our lives. but it’s been really really good, despite everything.

There’s a lot i could talk about on this subject, and I have shared some on social media, but today I wanted to talk about some of the things I’ve been doing to help schedule out my time at home so that I can feel the most productive and take care of both Adaline AND myself in the best way possible.

Note that I said the goal was to FEEL more productive, not necessarily BE more productive. This is an important note. Mental attitude is everything. I am awful at minimizing the things I do get done in favor of stressing over all the things I didn’t. My therapist and I have talked at length about this and it’s something I have a hard time with, but it’s slowly getting better. I’m learning to see each day as it’s own unit instead of comparing it to yesterday or last week or whatever.

Sometimes, when I look at the last few weeks, it seems like it’s just been one thing after the other. First I had to decompress a little from the stress of my previous routine. Then the teething switched into overdrive meaning I could hardly set the poor girl down for very long at one time. Then one by one we all got some variation of a cold and in the middle of that, it felt like nobody slept for at least a week – in reality it was probably about four or five days where she refused to sleep anywhere that wasn’t upright on my shoulder. So that was fun. The Husband and I are kind of almost recovered now and the Princess is feeling much better too.

At first, it felt like I was still playing catch-up with the house. Just could not get to everything in one day. Now, everything actually feels more or less in order and I can do little things throughout the day to keep the place clean and tidy. That in and of itself is a huge stress reliever for me – I’m not exactly a neat person, but chaos annoys me to no end.

Anyways, most days I’m able to get up by 6:30am and I have a pretty good morning routine going on – something that I’m going to explore in more depth next week! – that I can usually get done before the kid wakes up. That 1-2 hours in the morning is my sanity right there. Maybe some moms can do it, but I just can’t handle never ever being alone. The Husband leaves before 6 and she usually doesn’t get up until at least 7:30, usually later, and that window of time is MINE.

That morning routine, though, is probably the only consistent part of the day. Her naps are a little all over the place because I think we’re in some sort of transition period, and everything else is usually all up in the air. But that’s just the way life is right now, I suppose!

How is your life going right now? Hopefully a little less chaotic-feeling than mine!


Love, light, and loads of kindness!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, mental health, Parenting, Setting Goals, 0 comments

Thoughts for November

Hello dear lovely readers,

I definitely have not been keeping up with my usual blogging schedule this month. The first half of the month I was very distracted with getting words written on my Nanowrimo project and now I’m just having trouble getting any words written at all.

This past week has just been really rough overall. Even though the Tiny Princess still wakes up at night to eat, we had been more or less on a routine and I was getting decent chunks of sleep in between her feedings. And then, for no apparent reason except the fact that she’s a baby, she decided to wake up at completely random times for a whole slew of different reasons other than being hungry. It’s taken almost a week at this point but she is FINALLY settling back into a rhythm so maybe I can stop feeling like a zombie again soon? I don’t know. Now I just need to get her back to her wakeup time being 8am and not 7am. I love you, munchkin, but I desperately need that one hour to myself first thing in the morning, thank you very much! <insert slightly delirious laughter here>

We are also coming up on the holidays. Thanksgiving is next week (Whaaaa? How!) and then it’s Christmas time and then suddenly it’s going to be 2020. I would be one hundred percent okay with time just stopping for a hot minute, but sadly that will never be the case so I guess I just need to get my life together and enjoy the holidays. Which I always do, of course, although this year I’m probably putting some extra pressure on myself to get some family traditions started with the Tiny Princess. I’m awful at putting excess pressure on myself when I shouldn’t, isn’t that right? Something else to work on, I suppose.

It’s been a challenging week in terms of mental health too. It’s a little ironic though, since at the end of last week I was just thinking about how good I had been feeling and things were going well. Ha ha ha… every time I notice that things are good is when they take that turn again. Anxiety was the first one to rock the boat and then, especially with the lack of sleep factored in, things just devolved to where I am now – an uber fragile emotional state wherein one random word can bring on tears and completely ruin my day. I’ll be the first one to bring up the fact that we have the strongest influence on our own moods, but to me that’s the difference between just a bad day and a day where my brain is short circuiting: how well I can control my own moods and feelings. And this week it’s definitely been the brain. Well, and the not sleeping. That too.

In case you can’t tell how much sleep I’ve been lacking, this post has just become a rambling mess at this point. But that’s okay, I haven’t done one quite like this in a while.


With one week left in November, this is usually the time when I start to focus on what’s coming up in the next year and brainstorm new goals and all sorts of new crazy s*$! I can plan to do. Sometimes I even ruin my holiday moments with all of that. But not this time.

I’ve earmarked a page in my planner and labeled it “2020”. Now, for the next 4-5 weeks (or until Christmas is over) whenever an idea or a thought pops into my head about the future, I’m jotting it down on that page. Once I go back to work after Christmas, then I’m going to actually take a look at that page and figure out what next year might hold.

For right now I want to focus on making memories and enjoying the holidays, bonding with my family, my husband, and my sweet baby girl. Time goes by way too quickly and right now I’m tired of wasting it by focusing so far in the future. Adaline is never going to have another first Thanksgiving or another first Christmas and even though she won’t remember it, I intend to enjoy it with her as much as possible.

I’m going to go ahead and scale back my blog posts for the rest of 2019, depending on how I’m feeling on any given day. I suppose we can consider this my winter break – the intention is to come back in full force once January arrives.


All the love and kindness for the season ahead!

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, mental health, 0 comments

Mindful Monday: Survive

Hello dear readers!

I’m actually back today with a semi-normal rendition of my Mindful Monday blog post series. I know, shocking! But trust me, no one is more surprised than I am.

Everything is starting to go much more smoothly at home. I think I’m slowly getting my brain back, everyone is kind of getting a little more sleep again, and we’re learning how to be a happy little family, whatever that means for us.

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Appreciating the stillness sometimes is what we’re learning to do.

What’s been happening…

I have two more weeks of maternity leave and I’m feeling the time slipping through my fingers so I’m trying to soak up everything I can before I go back to work. Thankfully my mom is the one who will be taking care of the Tiny Princess so I don’t feel quite as much stress, but it’s still not easy. I’ll miss getting to snuggle with her while she wakes up from a nap and playing with her after she eats. It’s the little things and the sweet moments that make me love being a mom.

Very slowly, I’m starting to get back into a routine. We’re working on sleep training with the Tiny Princess and I have to make a big effort to get her eating full meals instead of snacking, plus I’m starting to pump to get ready for going back to work, so it’s not like I have loads of extra time on my hands. But I’m definitely trying to use her good naptimes and whenever The Husband isn’t at work to catch up on the housework and get things done on various projects. Life is starting to feel more “normal” again, even though that normal is insanely different from what it was a month ago.

I am also ridiculously happy that fall is finally here, even if I do live in the state of Texas, which apparently hasn’t gotten the memo. But I know the cooler temps and gorgeous days are on their way and it’s so exciting to me!! I love the fall season for so many reasons, and it thrills me that we’re so close.


What’s Coming Up…
  • Chiropractor appointment for the Tiny Princess.
  • Keep the floors swept.
  • Stay caught up on the laundry.
  • Keep all of us on a bedtime schedule – sleep is a priority!
  • Figure out daily routines to prepare for going back to work. Exciting.
  • Go to our local community theater’s next production one night.

What’s On My Mind…

My brain is constantly on a timer right now – how long since she last ate? how long since I last ate? How long was that nap? When did I put that laundry in the washer?

Since we’re sleeping training the baby, I’m also always analyzing how that process is going and making sure we’re on track. Not an easy task, for sure.

I’m also ridiculously excited about spending time with the ponies again. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I’ve been more or less banned from it for most of the year. I’m still not able to ride (thanks, childbirth!) but I can definitely start doing other things with the ponies and I fully intend to get to it.


What’s been going on with you? Let me know in the comments below!

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments

Introductions

Hello all you lovely, amazing readers!

If you were paying any attention at all, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in about two weeks… not here, not on my Facebook page. And for good reason…

The final stretch of pregnancy is crazy. And painful and stressful and just really tiring. In a lot of ways I was very ready to be done, but in some ways I was also sad to see that season end. That’s the way life works though, right? One season ends and another one begins.

What I’m trying to say, albeit very clumsily, is that our new season – the one we’ve been anxiously waiting on, is finally here.

Our sweet daughter, Adaline Nicole, was born the morning of September 9th.

Obviously we are completely head over heels in love with her. I know I am a little over-attached and obsessed with her, even when I’m delirious from the sleep-deprivation and exhaustion. I just can’t get enough!

She was ten days early and I don’t think any of us were really expecting that, but we’ve been so blessed to have family and friends helping us make the adjustment to… well, everything. This is our first baby, we don’t exactly know what we’re doing, right? Ha!

Thankfully, there is no super dramatic birth story or craziness. I am so happy with my midwife/birth center experience – I was able to have the natural, unmedicated birth that I wanted with the people I knew and trusted around me.

So far, Adaline has been an absolute joy to have around. We’ve had a few rough nights of course but she definitely tends to be a happy, content baby – probably not that hard when you’re as adored as she is though.

My time management is a little all over the place at the moment (still adjusting!) but I will definitely be sliding right back into my writing projects as soon and as much as I can in the next few weeks. Now that my brain is slowly resurfacing, I’m missing it!

I’ll see you all early next week!


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments