Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer

Ideal summer for me.

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[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer]

Spiders on windows
Pesky flies in the kitchen
This is summer to me.

Sleeping in later
Is a myth with a toddler
This is summer to me.

Red, chaffed, chubby thighs
Too-easily sunburned skin
This is summer to me.

Parties on my block
Obnoxious noise in the streets
This is summer to me.

Half-filled kiddie pools
And mosquito bites galore
This is summer to me.

Blasting the cool air
Binge-watching Netflix online
Ideal summer for me.

Jan

Alone

I’ll never understand just how single parents do it. They are honestly superheroes. I’m not even a single mother, but I feel like I am more often than not. Since day one, I have changed every poopy diaper (yes, every poopy diaper), and most of the wet ones. I have cooked and fed every meal. I have executed every bath, and read every story. Given every dose of medicine. I have put him down for every nap, and every bed time. I have woken up with him night after night, and rocked him back to sleep. I am the one who wakes up with him every morning. Just last night, he woke up at 1:30, and would not go back to sleep, not matter what I did. We spent hours rocking, and got nowhere. My back was on fire from the crappy, old rocking chair, and I was so exhausted that I was fighting the urge to throw up all over his sweet face. I ended up lying down uncomfortably on the couch in the living room around 3:00 in the morning, and he fell asleep on top of me from 5:00-7:30. All I could do was try to cry silently, like I’ve been doing most nights lately, and try not to wake him up. I got no sleep. None.

His separation anxiety is so extreme this time. It has never been this bad. He screams and screams and screams when I try to put him in his crib, if I even lean over it. He wakes up the second I put him in there, even if I’ve been rocking him for an hour, and he was passed out. He open his eyes, stand up, and scream.

This morning, he refused to nap, just like every day for the last week. This sleep regression/cold/ear infection/teething/separation anxiety has hit him like a ton of bricks, and it is wearing me thin. He has been so fussy during the day, and it has been so hard to get anything done, whether at home or in town, because he is just so clingy and upset. I tried to leave him with his father today, so I could try and get a few moments of sleep, but honestly, I don’t trust him with him. I know he would probably never hurt him, but he has a very short fuse, and a very bad temper, and often raises his voice at him, or cusses at him, and it makes me so angry. Sure, I get angry sometimes, and I’ve raised my voice more often than I’d like to admit in just the last week, but he just gets ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that our son is barely over a year old, and doesn’t even understand what is going on, but what reason does HE have to be upset? He doesn’t DO anything. He has never spent a night, getting zero sleep, rocking in a creaky rocking chair for 3 hours. He got 10 hours of sleep last night! So, I do everything. I sacrifice sleep to make sure his diaper is always clean, or that he gets his meals on time, because Kyle always seems to “forget” or “lose track of time” when I leave him alone with him, even for an hour, so I can sleep, even though he is just sitting on his ass playing a game, or watching TV. I hate it.

I made a comment out loud to my son today, a bit passive aggressively, about how I was too exhausted to make lunch, but that I had to, because no one else would, and Kyle stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, to play his Gameboy (yep, talking about a grown man here). He gets so upset when I voice my frustration about doing 90% of the work when it comes to our son and our household, yet he throws these tantrums, and shuts himself in the bedroom for hours, leaving me even more alone. Proving my point. I’ve been asking him to get out to the laundromat for the last three days to do some laundry, since we are completely out of clean clothes, and he just keeps forgetting. A few days ago, I asked him if he would help me with the dishes, not DO the dishes, just help me, since I had already done nearly half of them, and our son was clinging to me, whining to be picked up. He just ignored me.

Last night was trash night, one of the only chores he will partake in, if I don’t do it, and he always waits until we are going to bed to do it. I was already under the covers, with the lights off, and with my glasses on the end table, when he came in and asked me to get the kitchen garbage out, and empty Liam’s diaper bin for him, which is something I always seem to end up doing for him. I stood my ground, and told him to just do it. He made sure to make as much noise as possible, sighing and gagging dramatically, cussing at the garbage bin when he dropped it and made noise. Then he came to bed, in a huff, and rolled over angrily. Absolutely unnecessary. And I get bitchy, and I get passive aggressive, and he brings out the worst in me. I don’t mean to, but I just get so upset. He doesn’t fight, we never fight. And that is a problem. He doesn’t talk back, because he doesn’t talk at all. He just shuts off, often storming off to the bedroom. And nothing gets done. I am so tired of it.

I love him, I really do, and I know he loves me and his son, but this is frustrating, and it is destroying me. I am exhausted, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I have been so, so depressed. I am tired of the bullshit excuses, and the immaturity. I want him to grow up, but he just won’t. I want him to listen to me, and understand how hard this has been for me, and what I am going through. The only reason I keep going is because I know that my son needs me, and no one else will take care of him.

But I’ve been having days lately, where the prospect of simply disappearing, leaving everything behind, seems more and more tempting.

I shouldn’t feel like this. I shouldn’t feel this overwhelmed, and this alone, when his father is RIGHT THERE. He doesn’t even work this week. He has been home for days, and will be home for the rest of the week, but… nothing. He won’t help me. It honestly feels like he doesn’t care.

I am at the end of my rope. I just want a break. A nap. Some quiet. I need help, and I have no one. Some days, I feel like it would be better if I actually were alone, then I would only have one toddler to deal with. Only one person’s messes to constantly clean up.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends. Thank you for letting me vent. I’m off to feed my overly exhausted kiddo a snack, and try to get him to take a nap, even though I know it won’t happen.

Jan

Our Baby Schedule (7 Months Old)

All babies and situations are different, so whenever I looked online to try and find any kind of schedule that we could try, it just never felt right. Either the posts were written by working moms on a tight schedule, or involved multiple children, or other things that didn’t really pertain to our situation. It just wasn’t right for us. So we figured it out on our own.

I’m a stay-at-home mom to a sweet, brilliant, 7-month old boy. Besides my fiance, my support system includes very few people, spread out across the country. I’m not very close with my mom, and have very few friends with young children. I’m an avid forum reader, and I’ve had to learn A LOT of things on my own (with the help of a couple million internet searches), since I don’t have access to a doctors office or clinic whenever I have a question. One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with is how much to feed my baby, and when. All babies and situations are different, so whenever I looked online to try and find any kind of schedule that we could try, it just never felt right. Either the posts were written by working moms on a tight schedule, or involved multiple children, or other things that didn’t really pertain to our situation. It just wasn’t right for us. So we figured it out on our own.

My kid is weird. He doesn’t cry unless he’s really tired (or really wants to be held), and that’s it. He’s never really cried from hunger, not even as a tiny baby, so I’ve had to learn to pay close attention to his little queues, like sucking his fingers, or opening and closing his mouth. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if he is hungry or not, but he definitely let’s me know when he is full.

First off, my son is 7 months and 5 days old. At his 6 month checkup, he weighed 19 pounds, and was 28 inches long. He’s grown since then! He wears 12 month shirts and onesies, and 9 month pants. Size 4 diapers. Size 4 shoes. He’s tall, skinny, growing like crazy, and has an appetite to match. We started him on baby food at 4 months old, because he was drinking over 32oz. of formula a day, and still wanted more. He also presented with all of the signs of readiness for baby food. Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t present with signs yet at 4 months, a lot of babies aren’t ready until 6 months. Also, don’t worry if your baby doesn’t eat as much as him, or maybe eats more. All babies are different. They know how much they need and will let you know when they want more, or have had enough. This is just what works for us! Okay, now keep in mind, this is not rigid and it is not set in stone. Sometimes he wakes up at 7:30, sometimes 8, sometimes not until 9. I also included his general nap times. Sometimes he wants to sleep immediately following breakfast, but sometimes he doesn’t get tired until after his second bottle. Here’s a general idea of what our day looks like:

8:00: Wake up, drink an 8oz. bottle.
8:30: Breakfast, 1tbs of oatmeal cereal, mixed with formula and a fruit or vegetable. I also put out a few Cheerio pieces for him to practice picking up.
10:15: Mid-morning 6oz. bottle. (Usually, when he takes his first nap)
12:30: Lunch, 3-4oz. of pureed fruit with a finger food on the side, usually Cheerios or tiny pieced of fruit, but sometimes we use leftover veggies from the day before.
2:45: Afternoon 6oz. bottle. (Usually when he takes his second nap)
5:00: Dinner, 3-4oz. of pureed vegetable with finger food on the side, preferably another vegetable.
7:00: Bath time!
7:30-8:00: 8oz. bottle while we attempt to wrestle into bed.
8:00: Bed time… preferably. Sometimes it doesn’t happen until later. Sometimes earlier.

Like I said, it’s not set in stone. Sometimes, his naps run long and I have to push back his meals, and move some things around. At the moment, he takes 2 (occasionally 3) naps a day, ranging from 45 minutes to 2.5ish hours long. He also almost always falls asleep in the car, and when we go for walks. You just never know with this kid.

In case anyone was interested, here’s a list foods he will actually eat so far (there are some things he has tried that he HATED, so they didn’t make the list), in ranking order. Some of the lower ones he will only eat if it’s mixed in cereal or something else (he’s a GOOD eater, haha). And no, I don’t make my own baby food, these are all either Gerber or Beech-Nut 2nd Step foods.

Jarred Vegetables:
Squash ***
Sweet Potatoes ***
Sweet Potatoes & Corn ***
Mixed Vegetable ***
Carrots ***
Peas ***
Garden Vegetables **
Green beans **

Jarred Fruits:
Pear Pineapple ***
Pear ***
Apple(sauce) ***
Apple & Cherry ***
Apple & Blueberry ***
Apple Strawberry Banana ***
Apple & Prunes **
Bananas **
Banana Mixed Berry **
Banana Orange Medley **
Strawberry Banana **
Apricot **
Apricot Mixed Fruit **
Yummy Mango **
Banana Plum Grape *
Peaches *

Jarred Fruit/Vegetable Combos:
Pear Zucchini Corn ***
Banana Carrot Mango **
Apple Peach Squash **

Cereals:
Oatmeal Cereal **
Rice Cereal *

Finger/Real Foods:
Cheerios ***
Black Beans ***
Kidney Beans ***
Plain Hummus ***
Peas ***
Green Beans ***
Pineapple ***
Blueberries ***
Mashes Potatoes ***
Spiral Pasta **
Pieces of Plain Toast *

(His favorites seem to be more on the side of veggies! He absolutely loves black beans and peas as finger foods!)

We have not tried any jarred meats or jarred meat meals. Gross. Just… so gross. We will be giving him small bites of chicken in the next month or two when his chewing is a bit better. We just started finger foods a few weeks ago, and will continue to introduce more as he develops.

That’s it! I hope this helped out a few moms and dads out there, or maybe gave you a few ideas on what foods your baby may like. Mine likes… basically everything. Except for avocado. Oh man. He puked everywhere.

Thanks for reading!

Jan