I know its pretty much a given that when you are single mom that money will be tight. Living in the most expensive city in the U.S. doesn’t help and I pay an amount for daycare what most people pay for their mortgage. I have a decent-ish salary (especially for a nonprofit) but things have been touch and go since I went back to work. One big stress is that I have been expecting to have to get rid of my car. (In CA you have to have a smog test for emissions every two years and if your car doesn’t pass you can’t renew your registration). I’ve had a check engine light on in my car on and off for over a year and was told that my catalytic converter (the thing that reduces pollution) was dead and would never pass the smog test. But, a few days ago I took my car in for the test and it passed! Then I found out I am getting $9K back on my taxes! I am so so relieved! Here is a cute picture to celebrate:
Sleep training is going great! For the last two days, Arya has fallen asleep on her own with no crying. I just give her a bottle until she is sleepy, put her in the crib, and say goodnight. I feel very lucky to have gotten to this point so quickly and relatively painlessly.
Naptime is still much more challenging. She does great at daycare but when she is with me on the weekends she resists napping with every fiber of her being. I’m trying to keep her on the same schedule as daycare and while she looks tired (yawning, rubbing eyes) she still cries for about 30-45 minutes, when I put her down, before falling asleep. But she will sleep for about an hour-so I suppose we are getting there.
Also, my mom had a stroke. It was really mild but scary. Especially given that my parents have both been in and out of the hospital since November. And she had the stroke in the morning and didn’t tell anyone or go to the hospital until that night. Its so frustrating but she is just going to do what she is going to do. As of now, it looks like she will make an almost full recovery so I am relieved but cautious-waiting for the next shoe to drop I guess.
I’ve been doing pretty good at eating better to control my blood sugar. I’m just generally trying to cut down carbs and sugar and to eat more veggies. I’m definitely feeling better so i hope its working.
Arya is at an amazing age where she seems to do new things almost daily. She is also getting really fast at crawling and is obsessed with books. We were given a membership to a kids amusement park called Fairyland that we can literally walk to from our house. Its old and kitschy (so right up my alley) and is rumored to have inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. A lot of the stuff is for bigger kids but she has been having a blast exploring:
Things are definitely progressing. On the second night Arya fell asleep with no crying after 20 minutes of me rubbing and patting her back. Unfortunately, she woke up at midnight and I noticed she had a fever so I had to pick her up to give her tylenol. I put her back to sleep with a bottle and put her back in the crib. She woke up two more times (once i’m pretty sure was due to an earthquake that I didn’t notice) but she put herself back to sleep pretty quickly both times. She was fine in the morning so I’m thinking the fever was due to some teething.
Last night I patted/rubbed her for ten minutes but left the room after she seemed to be getting more riled up from me being there. I let her cry for ten minutes, went in to comfort her for five minutes, and then she cried for ten more minutes. When I went back in the room she almost immediately fell asleep and she slept through the night until 6:30!
I’m thinking this quick success is due to her already being a good sleeper but I won’t count my chickens before they are hatched. I will say it feels great to be getting a more normal night of sleep again!
I’m also completely amazed at how much she seems to be developing these days. She is crawling everywhere and is talking almost constantly with more and more complex sounds. Yesterday she started clapping and today she figured out how to push herself back up to a sitting position from her tummy. She still has little interest in pulling herself up and walking (which is fine by me).
Arya was a bit of a mess when I picked her up from daycare. They said she had been cranky and tired all day and felt a bit warm. They were thinking she was either getting sick or teething.
She was in pretty good spirits for the walk home,babbling and laughing at me. When I got home I remembered I had to move my car (street sweeping) so I had to load her up in her cars eat, move the car, and walk home from the lot (the joys of single parenthood). She was also in a pretty decent mood through this debacle. When we got home I wolfed down some food while giving her one of those food pouch things. Then I got her in pjs/sleepsack and took her temperature. It was slightly elevated at 99.8 but I decided she seemed OK and forged on with my sleep training plan.
I rocked her with a bottle until she was sleepy and put her in her crib. She immediately flipped to her belly and started babbling. I rubbed her back/tummy/head and she would put her head down for a few seconds and pop up. I rolled her onto her side a few times (her preferred sleep position) but she wasn’t having it.
Then the crying started. I continued the rubs and soothing shush’s and told her I loved her. I felt like a monster but trudged on. After an hour, I laid on my bed next to her crib and told her I was still there. Then I went back every 5-10 minutes for rubs and pats. The screaming didn’t stop. When we hit hour two, I was starting to doubt my plan but she did show some tiny signs of slowing down. About thirty minutes later, she rolled onto her side and fell asleep.
I watched a bit of TV, ate some celebratory ice cream, and went to bed early expecting a bunch of wake-ups. But, she slept through the night as wasn’t up until after 6! I’m not sure if she was just so exhausted from screaming (or if my plan is working) but we will see tonight!
My amazing (sleeping all night since six weeks old) baby is backsliding. First I thought it was jetlag from going home to NY. Then I thought it was teething. But I now have to accept that we have a sleep regression in our midst-with 2-3 wake-ups every night. Due to thinking it was jetlag and teething I have gotten into the habit of bringing her into bed with me for a bottle in the middle of the night. She is so cute and snuggly that I’ve kept her with me until we wake up. Now it has definitely turned into a bad habit that she expects.
After talking to friends and a bunch of research I have decided that due to her new found crawling skills, she get really excited when she wakes up and night and doesn’t know how to get herself back to sleep. I have always rocked her to sleep with a bottle and it works great. But now, she is getting a bottle every time she wakes up because its the only way she will sleep causing her diaper to leak because it is way too much liquid for a baby (or an adult) at night.
My plan is to follow this simple schedule that I modified on a friend’s advice (and the website Mommy My Way):
Days 1-3: give her a bottle and rock her until she is sleepy but not asleep. Put her in the crib and stay with her until she falls asleep patting and rubbing her and making singing/shushing noises.
If all goes well..
Day 4-6: do the bottle and rocking until it is done, put her in the crib and hang out for five minutes and leave the room. Go back every 20 minutes for five minutes until she stops crying.
Day 7-9: bottle, rock, put her in crib, say goodnight and immediately leave the room. Go back every 20 minutes for five minutes until she stops crying.
Keep your fingers crossed for me! I’ll try to update with my progress.
I finally took another blood test and i’m (again) officially a pre-diabetic. I should admit that this I have (maybe subconsciously) known this was the case for a while and just didn’t want to deal with it. So, I’m proud of myself for asking my doctor to order another test so I can take steps to address this before it gets out of control. I just read that 70% of people with PCOS have insulin intolerance that leads to pre-diabetes. This makes me feel slightly better but I hate that I feel stigmatized for having a “fat people’s” condition. I definitely feel like I would have dealt with this earlier had I not felt this stigma and body shame and it feels shitty. I definitely identify as a body positive anti-body shaming, proud plus size lady-but I’m still affected by all of this anti-fat BS and I’m worried that having to regulate what I eat will bring these feeling more to the surface. I guess it may be time to start therapy again.
I spent the better part of the morning looking up the glycemic index of different food (yipee!) and now I’m going to dive into a big work project to get my mind off of the lack of pizza I will soon be facing.
Here are some amazing pictures from our trip to Buffalo that my super-talented friend took at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery:
Almost everyone I see asks me how I feel being back to work and I’m finding it hard to answer. I’m so so proud I’m making this work and it seems do-able. And if I’m being honest, Arya being such a chill and easy baby is probably 95% of why this feels so manageable. She still mostly sleeps through the night so I’m getting about 7 hours of sleep a night, she goes to bed around 7-7:30 so I have a few hours at night to myself, she is perfectly content hanging out with most people, and she is able to entertain herself for decent stretches of time. And yes, I am fully aware of how lucky I am and I tell Arya every day how grateful I am for her.
But I have a constant fear of money hanging over me. We are just barely squeaking by. We are completely living check to check and we would be completely screwed if I were to ever lose my job (or our rent controlled apartment). Not only is this terrifying but it also makes me so angry. I’m an attorney and I make almost six figures. And while this pales in comparison to what many of my classmates (who chose much more lucrative legal careers) it shouldn’t be this hard..right? So fuck capitalism and can we please get universal free childcare, healthcare, and education already?
On a very unrelated note, I had the weirdest interaction with Arya’s daycare yesterday. When I dropped her off she was wearing a onesie and baby leg warmers. The outfit looked a lot like this:
One of the teachers was like: “look at you today!” I assumed she thought the outfit was cute. Later, when I picked Arya up the same teacher was like: “today we called her sexy girl!.” Um what? I didn’t ask her to elaborate and just responded “oh haha.” I’m thinking she thought the legwarmers looked like women’s thigh high stockings or something. It was so weird and a bit gross and I know this wouldn’t have happened if she was a boy. Can you please not sexualize my six month old?
Despite the weirdness, I decided not to say anything. I have been super, duper happy with how they are taking care of Arya and she is so happy when I drop her off and pick her up. I have to pick and choose my battles and this just isn’t worth it. But WTF?