Good morning, Internet! It's 6:30 here on the West Coast and I've been up for three hours. That sounds bad, but it was actually a pretty good night. The baby is hanging out with me in a borrowed bouncy seat (our third and best one so far) and he's making as much noise as my friend's three-legged pug. (Yes, a three-legged pug. Poor dog.)
Anyway, I thought I would take this cheerful moment to tell you all about what we do in an average day, even though there is no average because MIL was here for two weeks straight and I could pretty much do whatever and go wherever I wanted. But I will give you my best guess because you guys will undoubtedly tell me that I am doing fabulously, AND that I look like Gisele Bundchen. Because I have, like, the OPPOSITE of trolls. Kisses!
Without further ado, A Day In The Life Of Mister Jack
We'll start around 9 in the morning, because he usually wants to eat around 9 or 10 ish and I rarely go back to bed after this feeding. (And I'm lucky if I get to go back to bed before this feeding, but anyway. Good place to start.) He eats, he burps, he gets walked around upstairs for forever to try and get the bubbles and/or poop out. (And I have now lost every reader who does not have a kid.) And then I start trying to figure out how to take a shower. I know that some people are okay without a shower. I know that some people do not wash their hair every day, because this is good for their hair. I am not one of those people. I can be up all night, but if I am able to take a shower, all is well in the world. And my hair? Needs to be washed about four times a day, but that's another post.
Some days I can accomplish the shower with ease, other days I am in and out of there in two minutes so I can pick up my unhappy baby. Since his most awake time lately is about 5 to 10 am, he's rarely unhappy and content to sit in his car seat or the bouncy seat in the morning. (Like right now. Very happy. Except for the hiccups. Damn hiccups.)
Then I start trying to figure out how to eat breakfast. Breakfast is almost as important as the shower. Remind me to tell you sometime about the Great Forgetting to Eat Disaster of June 16, 2007, in which I become dehydrated and shaky and feel as though I am going to die. Sometimes breakfast is one of the sugary baked goods that keep appearing on my counter, sometimes the baby is really happy by himself and I cook some eggs and pretend I am doing South Beach again. Hee.
I can usually stuff my face before it's time to feed the baby again. Eat, burp, bounce, repeat. And right about now is when I bust out the Moby because Jackson, if he is not in a cheerful mood, becomes quite the indignant offended baby when he is put down. So I stick him in the Moby, because he wants to be held and I want to hold him.
So begins a long stretch of laundry, dishes, decluttering, blog reading, emailing, phone call returning (because people only call me when I am feeding the baby and can't get up to answer), TV watching, reading, cat napping, looking at the floor and bemoaning my lack of initiative with the Swiffer, plant watering and bed making. All this in addition to the feeding, burping and bouncing.
By late afternoon I'm a bit stir crazy and that's when we walk to the grocery store, or the ice cream shop by the lake or we run some errands in the car (although I have yet to drive anywhere with just me and the baby.) At the very least, Jackson and I walk out the front door, down the little walkway and over to the driveway to get the mail out of the mailbox.
He's at his most alert in the early morning and gets progressively sleepier and sleepier, right about until Phillip gets home, when he is (lately, at least) Mr. Crankypants. I don't know if his indigestion builds up all day or if he saves up the hard stuff for his dad or what, but by the time Phillip walks in the door, I am often ready to pass off the baby and escape. Not all the time. Sometimes we sit on the couch and put the baby between us and gaze at him adoringly. Barf.
Then we attempt a nighttime ritual. Sort of. Dinner must be eaten somehow as Phillip gets even crankier than me if he doesn't have something in his stomach. There's usually something edible in our fridge, thanks to the people who keep bringing us food. (Mainly MIL. Want some fried rice? I've got heaps.) Sometime after we eat, Jack gets a bath. This is Phillip's job. He fills the tub with water at the absolute perfect temperature. He gets all the little wash cloths and soap and towels and the little hairbrush we use to scrub his head and then I stand in the wings with the hooded towel, ready to retrieve the dripping baby and rush him upstairs for a fresh diaper and pajamas. Then he eats. Then I read him a story which is pretty fun now that he's actually looking at the pages. Then I rock him to sleep. Then I put him down in his bed and I get ready to go to bed too. By this time it's around 10 and right when I'm ready to get in bed, the baby has figured out that his parents have put him DOWN in his BED and he is expected to SLEEP and now he must phone the U.N. because this is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.
That's when Phillip picks him up and takes him downstairs and works his crazy daddy magic while I go to sleep.
This is what I think happens when I'm asleep: Phillip bounces Jack until he's sufficiently placated. Phillip sticks Jack in the bouncy seat. Phillip bounces Jack with his foot while he plays games, I mean, works on the laptop. Around midnight Phillip gives him a bottle and puts him to bed. This is really our only calculated survival tactic. We started giving him one bottle a night when he was about two and a half weeks old and it's been AWESOME. That bottle means I get to sleep more than 2 hours at a time when I'm at my most tired (end of the day) and makes sure I can get through the rest of the feedings when Phillip is at his most tired (early morning). I'd have no problem giving him a bottle sometime during the day as well, but that means more pumping and I'd rather eat fistfuls of dirt than pump more than absolutely necessary.
For some reason Phillip can get Jackson sleepy enough to put him in his bed without him waking up again. I don't know how he does it. Jack wakes up around 3 to eat again and I almost always lift him out of his bed, as opposed to my bed where he usually ends up after his 3 am snack. I think the trick is rocking and walking and bouncing to sleep, but my endurance for that sort of thing is in short supply at 3 am and it's much easier to stick him in bed with me. Not that that means he is sleeping. Sigh.
He'll eat again around 6 and after that he is up. Good morning! Most of the time I'm super tired and Phillip is waking up for work and feeling sorry for me, so he'll watch Jack for a little bit so I can get a little more sleep. But then Phillip is off to work and Jackson and I are on our own. Aaaand repeat!
Now that MIL is not here every day, I'm planning to get out a little more. I have people to visit and places to go. I have a lake that must be conquered by my post-partum butt. Phillip wants us to meet him downtown for lunch. My parents are here (yay!) and all the grandparents must have their visiting hours. So getting out- that's the first thing.
The second thing is I need to make sure I'm putting the baby down during the day. I KNOW he can sleep alone in his bed. I've SEEN it. And while I would wear him all day if possible, it's probably good to give him some alone time. This week I'm going to try putting him down when he's in a good deep sleep and see what happens. My mom thought he was in a deep sleep, but when she put him down to nap on the bed, he woke up 5 minutes later. I'll try his bed and the playmat and my bed and the Pack n Play where he's supposed to be sleeping at night. I am not going to be all Sleep Nazi on him, I'm going to think of it like I think of tummy time. Something he doesn't like that must simply be endured, even if it's only for five minutes.
Now it's 7:30. The baby is sleeping on my chest in the Moby. Phillip is taking a shower. I am appeasing my stomach with spoonfuls of peanut butter. I don't know how I'm going to take a shower. I need to catch up on my email. It looks like November outside. I wish it was Saturday. I'd hand my sleeping boy off to Phillip and go back to bed.
Next time on MIghty Maggie: A smile! Captured, digitized and posted for all the world to see!