3 Things on Sunday

1. My PhD research proposal was accepted!! I waited a month for my advisory committee to come together for a meeting, and the meeting went amazingly well. I can finally – after 3 years and 2 other proposal attempts that fell through for different reasons – finally, move on to actually DOING THE RESEARCH and finishing this f-ing degree and get a job.

2. I had my first me-time in a long time getting my hair done this weekend, but thoughts of how expensive it was going to be and how much I just wanted to be home with my little family made the whole 2 hour process unenjoyable. It’s funny how you can be at your wit’s end with trying to keep up with your demanding toddler’s needs and then in only 5 minutes of being alone feel like your heart is aching from missing that wonderful, demanding toddler.

3. Night weaning is going really well, but sleep isn’t… It’s complicated. Avery has been sick forever and the cough still keeps her up at night. The doctor assures us it’s normal for kids her age in daycare to be sick for this long, and for things like runny noses and coughs to linger well beyond the duration of the actual bug. She’s also struggling with yet another itchy post-viral rash (apparently she’s prone to them). So she does a lot of crying through the night, and I used to be able to make her feel better by nursing. Now we just put a hand on her back and lay next to her while she fusses, and she doesn’t even ask for milk to help her get through it. She just deals with it. It makes me proud of her, and also sad that the instant comfort phase of her life is over. She makes her own comfort, now. That said, last night she was really upset, and I brought her into our bed to sleep on top of me. Just because we’ve night weaned doesn’t mean we’ll let her suffer all night or go without sleep.

The good news is, she usually goes from 7pm to 4am with only one wake up that we need to go to her bedside for (that one wake up takes 2 minutes for my wife and an hour for me, though). The bad news is, 4am is when she wakes up for the day now… We’ve let her have an earlier nap to compensate, but that just messes with her afternoon energy levels. Can’t wait for her to settle into the new normal without night (and morning) nursing and hopefully find a good rhythm we can all be happy with.

Weekend Update

For Valentine’s Day my wife surprised me with a spa day, which I redeemed this weekend while visiting my mom in tourist country, where all the good spas are. 

Talk about #selfcareformama. I left Avery with my mom and wife, and had full confidence that she’d be content with her two trusted caregivers. When I arrived at my appointment I somehow managed to bring up the fact that I have a baby, and the masseuse, a fellow mother, was concerned with how I was feeling being away from my baby. I loved the understanding and empathy, and also felt really good about myself that I was doing just fine away from her. I always trust that she’s OK with her other mother now. 

My treatment involved an exfoliating scrub, a deep sea clay body wrap, a moroccan oil head massage, and a full body massage. I barely even thought about my baby. I thought a lot about how my wife and I should do this together and then stay at a hotel some night. Pampering myself, really taking care of my body, made me feel like I had something to give to my marriage again. If I know an expecting mother in the future when I have a disposable income, I’d totally give a post partum spa treatment as a shower gift. 

When I got back from the spa, we hung out at my mom’s place and, because my mom was working late, we totally messed with Avery’s bedtime. We did her normal routine at the normal time, but then I wore her in the Moby wrap while we ate dinner and hung out for a while. Luckily she slept, but she kept opening her eyes and squinting, as if to say “shut up and turn off the lights, I’m trying to sleep here.” By 10pm we took her to bed where she slept between us. She didn’t fuss at all, all weekend. 

On Sunday we went to my cousin’s baby shower, where Avery met most of my cousins for the first time (I have 12 cousins). Some family members tried to hold her right away and that didn’t go terribly well, but other family members acknowledged that they didn’t want to get up in her personal space before she got to know them. Again, I really felt validated and understood as a parent. It was really refreshing. 

We spent 4 hours in the car this weekend and Avery slept for 3 and played quietly for 1. It was a huge success for a baby who used to have complete meltdowns on any trip further than the grocery store. She’s really changing fast into more than just a scared, frail little blob. She’s my little person. 

Once we got home Sunday night we sat in our back yard and had a beer. It’s the first day this year that it’s been warm enough to sit outside with her. My wife cleaned up our patio furniture, and we played nosey neighbours to our recently deceased neighbour’s open house / estate sale. My wife snuck in for a snoop. 

It was a good weekend. Relaxing, full but not overwhelming, and most importantly, spent together as a family.