pre-christmas post

I really like fall for a couple of reasons. Football. Back-to-school. Changing leaves, changing weather. Halloween. Thanksgiving. My birthday. And an evolution into cold weather and Christmas.

I have mixed feelings about Christmas, and the older I get, the more mixed up those feelings get. A holiday that has so many values mixed in. There is the Christian aspect and the symbolism of Jesus’s birth, the changing of our modern world. There is the family aspect… the tradition aspect… the gift aspect… the money aspect… the food… the stress… the expectations. The older I get, the more Christmas, the monster that we have created, not the Christian birthday, stress me out. Having child and deciding how to let Christmas shape him makes it worse. I want him to grow up knowing that wanting things, needing things, and receiving things are all separate entities. I want him to know how to maneuver through all of those feelings. That, I suppose, must mean that I should first know how to maneuver through them. He needs nothing material. He only wants attention and food and love. He receives so much more than that. How can I teach him what is important if the values I teach him are undermined by the world around him? So stressful.

BUT… one part of Christmas, one tradition I value and look forward to, is the outpouring of glad tidings. Every year I anticipate the mailbox filling up with cards. I love to see the changes of the last year. I post those cards and pictures of our families and friends all over the refrigerator. I add the birth, graduation, and wedding announcements as they come throughout the year. And then, before the next Christmas I take them all down and start over with a fresh slate. And I keep all of the old cards. Not exactly sure why, but it feels wrong to toss them out.

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I also LOVE to send out a Christmas card. I used to love the letter part too, but it almost seems silly to write a letter to the group of people who are already my friends on Facebook and already know the highlights of the past year of my life – I will, instead, write a letter in my own penmanship to my grandparents who are Facebookless. That would be a better use of my time, I suppose.

The orange Shutterfly box came. And so, I am prepared, in at least one way, for Christmas to come. As I took down the pictures of my closest friends and their babies (or dogs) and packed them away yesterday, I was struck by the nostalgia of how everything changes. I can’t wait to re-place the white space with new pictures this year… and send out our glad tidings, as well 🙂

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sleep in heavenly peace? i wish.

merry christmas.

Jackson is now 15 weeks old. We continue to struggle with reflux. We’ve fixed the constipation issue (thank you God!). And we are “eh” in the sleep department. Okay, we suck in the sleep department.

We tried putting him in his crib. And for that one night I stuck to it. And did not hardly sleep at all… between my anxiety about him being in a different room, and me actually having to get out of bed to nurse him, and him being in the running for the world’s most light and fitful sleeper… well it was a bust, and he’s back to the co-sleeper in our room. Mommy and daddy flunk.

Still, his sleep has been horrible. He seems to have colic pains in the evening that we have to bounce out until he’s exhuasted and passes out in our arms. And if we’re lucky he doesn’t immediately wake up when we lay him down. For a couple nights last week he WOULD NOT SLEEP. Jesse and I were at our exhausted wits end, and one of Jesse’s co-workers suggested chiropractic, saying it worked for his girls’ sleep issues. So, Jackson went to the chiropractor. Twice. He’s sleeping slightly better since – at least one 4 hour chunk, then usually 1-2 hour segments and finshing the night inclined in the bouncer with me sleeping next to him on the couch. And most nights I feed-him-to-sleep. Let’s just say he has a big potential to be an obese little man with all of the feeding-to-sleep going on around here. On the bad nights, I feed him side-laying, and let him sleep snuggled in my arms. Bad, bad habbits. Bad, bad mommy. He HATES being swaddled, despite my multiple attempts for him to like it. (And now he’s a little too old to be swaddled anyway). But he LOVES sleeping in peoples’ arms. Bad. Oh so bad.

I thank God we have a healthy little boy… because, truly, he’s fine. He just is not a sleeper right now. Someday he’ll sleep. I keep telling myself that. It is the only thing sustaining me.

And really, babies, especially breastfed babies, aren’t really meant to sleep through the night at 3-4 months old. However, if he DID sleep through the night I would consider it a Christmas miracle.

look… he slept for 10 minutes… just long enough to snap this picture.

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tears

there have been alot of tears this weekend from me.

first of all, our daycare gal, where Jackson was due to start attending in January, emailed me Friday to let me know she’s pregnant and is no longer willing to take Jackson for daycare. CRAP. Crap because A) she’s a responsible person with whom I trusted my care of my son, and B) because January isn’t very far away. Crap, crap, crap. He’s to scrambling for plan B. (our nanny is moving in January, so we can’t even do an extension of her care).

second of all, I go back to work Tuesday.  I know it’s been 12 weeks and boo-hoo me, right?? but still, my current job is not my favorite job (it totally has nothing to do with actually being a nurse either), so i’m kind of dreading going back.

most importantly, my hubby just left for the week for work. The last time he was gone for work, i was 37ish weeks pregnant. Life has changed alot since then, and i don’t like being here without him, especially on my first week back to work. Luckily, my mom is headed out to help tomorrow, so it’s only one night “alone,” but I spent last night pretty much constantly crying because I was feeling overwhelmed – all of that crying wasn’t very fair to him. He can’t help that he has to go. For all of you gals who fly solo, either because your hubby is out of town for work, or because you’re a single mama, hats off to you. I hate this. And to add to the awesomeness, it’s been negative 10 degrees all week, not looking to warm up much, so it takes out any prospect of taking out the jogger with the baby for a little change of scenery when Jackson is bored and i’m going stir crazy.

Jesse and I had a good heart-to-heart last night. We promised to do our best for our family and for each other and just push through the next 9 months of school. Really, that’s all we can do. And when I’m done, something awesome will happen… I’ll have an 8-5 job, no nights, no weekends, none of the craziness that can accompany hospital nursing. They’ll be new challenges and new craziness, but it will be WITHOUT the background noise that graduate school makes. I’ll be done with school forever if I want to. And I’ll be able to focus on my family more. I’ll have more time for them. More time for me. IT. WILL. BE. AWESOME.

anyway, leaving you with a little holiday inspiration. loving this right now…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pQVRyPGTEc