crying it out: one week in

Leave a comment: 14 comments

30 June 2011

disclaimer: this will probably bore everyone that ventures to read in it's entirety to tears and then death and will make any seasoned mother roll her eyes at how much thought, anxiety and anxiety and anxiety went into this whole shebangy ... be forewarned

I'm typing this out mainly so that when the next baby becomes a little night and nap tyrant I will remember how horrible it doesn't have to be...

short versh: she cried a lot, I almost cried a lot, it got a lot better, her sleep to awake hours ratio went from 1:1 to 2:1, happy bebe and happy ma regime now reign supreme

long versh: (grab your morning coffee, five hour energy and evening tea for the ride)

the why: It wasn't the bi-hourly wake up for the four comfort sips of bottle and replacement of pacifier that made me want to drink ugly amounts of something potent every night, it was the ridic nap and bedtime routine. It went a little something like this: I would pray that Julia was tired (at nap and bedtime), take her into her room, rock and feed her a bottle until her eyelids were heavy, replace the bottle with her pacifier and v-e-r-r-r-r-r-r--r-y gingerly try to lay her in her crib with her blanket just so against her cheek and pray she would stay asleep. Occasionally it would work but usually as I was walking out...she would wake up and cry and I would repeat the rock and feed over and over and over and over. Sometimes I would just give up and her naps would be postponed or canceled for that morning or afternoon OR if it was bedtime...she would just stay up until 10 or 11 with me and Simon. My days were completely unpredictable and scheduling anything was next to impossible because there was no way of knowing if Julia would be sleeping, too tired to function and refusing to sleep or happily awake. I was also starting to selfishly crave a littttle bit of quiet in the evenings to read or chat with Simon or you know...weave a basket and I began to bang my head against the wall at every failed attempt to put her peacefully down each and every night. During the day, I would try and tire her out with trips to the park, pool, grocery store or liquor store which worked sometimes but there was never a surefire way to get Julia to just go down and take a nap or go to bed for the night. She had been sleeping through the night before we moved but ever since she was moved from her portacrib to a normal baby crib she began waking up pretty consistently every two hours...sometimes every five minutes which was tolerable but not pleasant and made for a grumpy grace. I was super, super, duper, duper opposed to letting her cry it out...I just couldn't bear the thought of voluntarily letting her be so upset but something had to change.

the how: the final fat and ugly straws that broke all humps on the herd of camels' backs last week were on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when Julia refused to go to sleep after repeated efforts by myself and Simon. I actually did bang my head against her bedroom wall and our bathroom wall as I prayed for one more iota of patience with the little monster. As soon as she finally, finally, finally fell asleep both nights...I collapsed into bed, all but cried myself to sleep out of frustration only to be awakened a mere 45 minutes later by princess J beckoning for her comfort sips and pacifier. I was becoming a huge b during the day due to the series of little naps I was getting at night and at how little control I had over the situation. So...on Thursday I randomly decided to let her cry it out for a few minutes. I did the whole bath, bottle, rock, bed routine and she cried...and cried... and cried...and cried. I clutched my phone as I watched the minutes tick by, dabbed my anxiety ridden brow and eventually looked up the Ferber method online which said to go in and comfort her every 5 then 10 then 15 minutes which I did but it seemed to just give her false hope that I would be gallivanting in on my steed to save her.  I think she finally went to sleep after 30ish minutes. I still went in whenever she woke up throughout the night to give her bottle and pacifier because I felt so guilty about letting her cry herself to sleep initially. On Friday I did the same thing with the periodic comforting and it took a total of 25 minutes for her to fall asleep and I did go in again throughout the night when Julia requested. I enlisted the advice of some veteran moms who swore by the straight up cry it out routine with no checks at all...all night. I tried it over the weekend and this past week. The first night she cried for 20 minutes and then woke up every two hours and it was so hard not to go in and comfort her but she shocked me by falling back to sleep after fewer than 5 minutes each time she woke up. The next night she only cried for 15 minutes and then woke up twice and has since only woken up once a night for a total of three fussy minutes. She has been staying steady with 12-15 minutes of crying before falling asleep but last night she went to bed (weirdly) happily with zero crying. Her naptime cries have been whittled down to a mere three to seven minutes before she settles down to a solid two hour nap if she even bothers to cry at all. There were a couple of nights that we were out (getting c-r-a-z-z-z-y I'm sure) and she fell asleep in the car seat but made an easy transition into her crib. 

the good: (I'll admit that I will probably be singing the successes' praises a little too loudly and maybe this whole thing has just been a flukey farce)...My initial anxiety (which was miserable and almost worse than the marathon bedtime routines) over approaching nap and bedtimes knowing Julia would have to have a cry session has all but disappeared. Of course I don't like listening to her cry and maybe I am making this up in my head but her cry is more of a, "I need to calm down and go to sleep" cry rather than a, "I hate you mom I hate you dad I hate my life I hate hate hate everything" cry (which is exactly what it sounded like the first two nights...serio). She wakes up in a much better mood and doesn't want her bottle right away when she wakes up and is content to play a little bit in her crib before I come and get her (this has n-e-e-e-e-e-v-v-v-v-e--e-e-e-r happened before). She gets visibly fussy and tired exactly two hours after she wakes up in the morning and is clearly ready to nap and then again 2.5-3 hours after she wakes up from her morning nap she is ready for her afternoon nap and then about 3.5-4 hours after her afternoon nap she is ready for bed! Knowing when she will go down and stay down is so, so, so nice.  She also doesn't require a pacifier to fall asleep anymore which means that her pacifier no longer needs to be clipped to her person 24/7...which is nice and makes for less bullying on the playground from her peers.

the good 2.0: Julia hates her car seat and driving anywhere alone with her is usually avoided which has turned me into an unhealthy hermit. Whenever Simon and I drive anywhere together I always sit in back with her to entertain her whims and keep the tantrums to a minimum which drives me nuts and makes me carsick and cranky and caustic after especially long trips. Since she has been crying it out...she has magically fussed for a little bit in the car and then calms down and decides to entertain herself....even while I'm in the front seat with Simon like a normal adult. Pure coincidence? perhaps but I'll give the crying the blame and credit.

the bad: Let me say that I felt realllllly guilty while Julia cried and kicked and cried. I didn't want to go outside because then I felt guilty for not listening to her but the listening to her was torturous. Simon isn't bothered as much by the crying and was nice enough to stay inside and listen while she fell asleep if I needed to go sit outside for a little bit. She now flips over and prefers to sleep on her stomach which is fine but I made the mistake of Googling "SIDS" the other night and (only because I am a good mother and not a looooon)...

(playing possum)

I am now petrified that she is going to bury her face in her mattress and stop breathing. For the first few nights that she cried in the middle of the night I would wake up and listen...then go in and make sure she was still breathing. I am now enjoying my sleep so much that I haven't even been doing that after she has her one wake up....bad, heartless mother. 

in conclusion: totally worth it. My days are much more pleasant and regimented, my teeth are whiter, my hair is glossier and my smile is brighter. I only wish I had done it sooner to save Simon from my daily, nasty, exhausted and frustrated moods. Julia is sleeping a total of almost 12 hours at night whereas before she was sleeping about 8 or 9 on a really good night.

I can't believe I just typed a novella about the sleep habits of a nine month old. Next thing you know I'm going to be listing her favorite table foods for you as they are introduced (hot salsa and salty margaritas are the most recent and most favored) and giving you her growth stats (110% across the board).

 Cruella and her poor, spotless Dalmatian

Hopefully tomorrow brings a little more'll just have to wait and seeeee. 

Jace or Grulia

maternity shirt fix and more

Leave a comment: 3 comments

29 June 2011

When I was pregnant with Julia I ordered a few maternity tops online similar to this one:

(minus the attached mini skirt)

and this:

thinking they would be oh so cute....dropped waist y todo....
no. no. and no.
not cute.
very unflattering.

the dropped elastic waist always seem to ride up and give a little maternity pants panel show or just sit and highlight the hippiest part of za bod...

I was particularly disappointed about this shirt as I loved the floral pattern and lightweight material:
but the fit was just too fugly for me

so...I decided to take matters into my own swollen hands and rip out the elastic living in the hem, rehem, and relocate the elastic to a new empire waist home:
giving me a slightly less unflattering product:
to the left...discovering and staring at something I will show you momentarily
to the right...maybe I overestimated how low the elastic needed to proven by the upper bubbling...whatev

I highly doubt this will last me the full nine months as it just isn't long enough for the likes of the growing tum but....I would venture to say that this might make a trip out of the closet and into the wild of the public...
we'll see.

um...anyone care to take a gander at what on God's green earth this fowlness might be?

I don't think it's Lucy vom as we had an orange variety in the front yard when we first moved in. 
Is it mold? 
Have we struck natural resource gold in our very own suburban yard?
Foamy cat urine?
A rare breed of mushroom?

I don't have a hazmat suit and would prefer not to touch it in my delicate condition but I would like to identify it before I let Julia and Lucy loose on all fours near the nasty.

and get excited....
because tomorrow I'm going to tell you alllllll about how crying it out has been going ... and maybe talk about curtains. ...

exclamation points

Have a lovely day.

swess or dratch and 22 weeks

Leave a comment: 3 comments

28 June 2011

Remember this dress from seven lo-o-o-o-o-ng weeks ago?
of course you do. you remember all of my masterpieces.

Well I haven't had worn it in public aside from slumber parties because it just kind of looks like pajamas.

So....I didn't exactly rectify the pj situation but I tried ...

remember these:
(changeable watch bands)

well...I followed suit with a similar cutting out the cinder block tank but keeping the belt ties intact and throwing on any old non-maternity shirt I pleased...

don't worry...I took some nice photos for your viewing pleasure:
(mirror left to right)
1. she who covers those shoulders, naturally gazes out into distance and walks into wall whilst wearing strappy skiis
2. she who shows off shoulders and right wrist any chance she gets
3. she who is so pretty

At least little J got a sweatband out of a project scrap:

and Simon tried to get a picture of the 22 week bump-o-love last night 
before I went wild in a self-serve frozen yogurt establishment...filling a bucket that outweighed and outpayed the combined buckets of the couple ahead of me in line. . .
with subpar results

we'll try again next week


hodge usual

Leave a comment: 6 comments

27 June 2011

Hello Monday. 
My favorite. 

Items of business on the Julia front:

-her new favorite pastime is to go through the trash and eat whatever treasure she finds. Her latest jewel was a banana peel which she coated with sugar from the remains left in a discarded bag. While this is disgusting...I find it hard to say no because the digging keeps her occupied for weirdly long and wonderful amounts of time. The excitement around these topping.

the oompa loompa and her loot:

-never one to be melodramatic..the crying it out is going horrendously. I am fresh out of knives to pierce my heart with every morning nap, afternoon nap and bedtime. The anxiety that nap and bedtime brings is at an all time high and I've worn a large grace-sized mark into the basement carpet away from where I sit rock back and forth while Julia's cries claw at my heart strings. I'll let you know if it gets any better but I'm not crossing any appendages.

-the priest at Mass yesterday approached me, Simon and a ruffly dress wearing Julia and asked if, "he was walking or talking yet?" and "what is his name?" ... I said, "no and no and um her name is Julia...but everyone makes that mistake!" ... a little nosy nelly lady piped up, "well you'd never know according to her outfit!" .... cue confusion and polite chuckle and more confusion

him and his muscle dress:

and onto a minor alteration in which the before betters the after:

I've been avoiding the old maternity pants up until this point but have grand plans to pull them out later on today. I remember buying these Gap capris on clearance many years ago in three colors and three different sizes thinking they were the coolest thing since whiskered denim .... although they are obviously just flared floods (these are the largest pair of course)

black bells with flash and without...both with Lucy doing some inappropriate licking

 I made the mistake of wearing a flesh-colored lycra top which highlighted just how snug the waist was and the baby rolls:
 to the left...disciplining the pants' snap that was very tempted to cave to the "this lady is too large for the likes of me'' pressure, a pot with a weed and someone else's large deck

I'm pretty sure I can fold these neatly into the pile of...probably will never, ever wear but will save for a million years just in case

and on the Lucy front...she has proven to be a lovely little pet as she tolerates Julia's chasing and batting and does not let my ankles get lonely for one sweet second...even when they traipse into the bathroom at 3 am.
(top photo...Lucy's good side)

Have a great day.

7 (official) Quick Takes Friday Volume XII

Leave a comment: 12 comments

24 June 2011

Let's see if I can finaggle this into some quakes...

Congratulations to Jen on her new little lady!
Go visit BettyHallie for more exciting posts!

1. Well...we have a new camper in our midst:

2. Bringing Camp Patton's total eyeball count (including the in utero member) to nine:

3. Yes...our ferocious and saddle ready Cockapoo (trailing in second place to Shih-Poo for worst mixed breed name ever) only houses one eye...
(the price was right: no lettuce and she is house broken, tolerant/good with little monsters and has an oddly deep, frightening bark)

4. The owner did not disclose Lucy's (her name...for now....courtesy of the former owner) handicap but after Simon's close inspection of the photos the owner sent

I received the following email with name suggestions 
(PETA avert your eyes):

(clops being short for cyclops, susan for one eyed susan and jackie for one eyed jack and Guida being a girl's name that Simon strongly dislikes and I strongly love)

I think my fave is probably 10/20

5. So...any names we're forgetting? 

6. And as suspected...Julia is loving her perpetually winking furry older sibling 

and cares little that while her overeager PDA is tolerated it is mostly unrequited thus far...

and one dogless take
7. We tried exploring downtown St. Louis last night but ran into flocks of Cardinals' fans and only had one quarter to feed the strict parking meter...

so we successfully squeezed as much people watching/staring, speed walking and placard reading as possible into our precious 15 minutes...

Have a lovely weekend

~Simon, Grace, Julia and Lucyclopsusanjackiewinkiepatch10/20oldkeller Patton

casserole of fun

Leave a comment: 9 comments

23 June 2011


We've been contemplating getting a dog for several weeks but after looking at the reality of Simon's work schedule and alllllllll of the nights he won't be here I decided that I need a dog. I need a guard dog to chat with and be an older sibling to Julia and to be properly saddled up so that I might ride him or her to the hospital when I'm in labor because the negative nancy that dominates my being says that Simon will be busy tending to other laboring ladies when my shining hour arrives. Craigslist I turned. After weeding through the ads for a mini alligator, an opossum ('friendly little buddy that goes anywhere!'), 100 crickets at the bargain price of 5 cents a pop, and a trio of bearded dragons I finally found a few promising pups. Unfortunately...I've only gotten two responses to my inquiries. The first was a 'short three hour drive' away and the second came for 'a small rehoming fee' equal to half of a mortgage payment. No thank you and no thank you again. At this success rate...we might just have to settle for the clean and empty bird cage that is free to a loving home...

yee haw

Perhaps I will be successful in convincing Simon that a trip to a shelter this evening might be the way to go because in addition to being a nasty pessimist I also have zero patience and would like a dog now... not tomorrow or the next day or the next. 

Virtueless, pathetic soul.

I'll keep you posted on our findings...don't worry.

moving right along...

Shockingly enough, it has been insanely hot here lately. So hot that even with the air conditioning on, Julia tends to wake up from her naps in a little vat of sweat droplets and emitting a little odor that might just prompt me to add 'deodorant application' to her morning chore chart. I can only wear my casual black dress that could probably pass for a nightgown so many times and I've been enjoying these shorts but was in a scandalous mood this morning and wanted a shorter pair. 
I thought these were super cute and got allll excited that there was a tutorial on how to make them but felt a litttle bit stupid when the tutorial told me to: cut jeans...get shorts. 

So....I cut these jeans which I found while unpacking a stray box and didn't feel bad about cutting as they are fully whiskered and have this faux patch bologna on one knee. Not sure what idiot thought it would be smart to purchase these bunnies back in 2004:
and tried to make this maternity v-neck a little less capital V-neck and a little more lower case v-neck

(camera still dead...forgive the uglies)

I rigged Julia up on the picnic table with an old tennis shoe holding the phone in place and before a blade of glass blew by and zapped her attention snap, she snapped one photo in which I was looking at the camera and one in which I was making sure my zipper hadn't fallen down with the belly bulge:
you get the grainy gist...short and scandalous paired with fiesta on my footwear

I'm not ready to type about it yet...but we're on day twoish of letting Julia cry it out. Day one brought my resignation as Julia's mother and day two hasn't been much better but with another sleep sucker on the way...I am desperate. 

cute but not at 11 pm, 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am and finally in our bed at 5 am...

again...I'll keep you posted on our progress. 

Off to make some comfort pizza and continue to Google "non-shedding, good with kids, free, house trained, saddle ready dog in St. Louis"

until tomorrow,


the grace and julia no variety show

Leave a comment: 3 comments

22 June 2011

When we were in Colorado my Grandma generously gifted me with an old dress of hers to do with what I pleased:


 oh. nope. not it.

we are having a little issue with a small someone biting a large someone when a larger someone isn't home
and so this is what Julia and I did for a l-o-o-o-o-n-g time yesterday to try and distract the little cakepop to keep her tantrums and nasty bites at bay
take photo
look at photo
identify "Julia" and "Mom" in photo (I prefer "Mother" but we're setting the bar low at 9 months)
take again
look again
try and explain why biting leads to bleeding which really hurts
take photo
look at photo
 identify "Julia" and "Mom"
take again
look again
try and explain what the word "consequence" means

I think she was maybe switched with a monster at birth...
and by maybe I mean definitely

I would showcase some photos of my wounds but this blog is rated GV for Gratuitous Vapidity not Graphic Violence

ok....back on track with the gifted frock that was softly singing, "I'm not a maxi dress ... but not yet a sun dress...":
(forgive the phone photos in mirror...I laundered our camera along with Julia's clothing in a stupid stupor and I'm praying that it just needs a few days to recover and that it has not actually died)

As usual...nothing terribly fancy:

to the attempted 21 week bump photo...I think Simon was saying something about the neighbors thinking I'm crazy for photographing my clothing all the time...
and when I replied,
"you're a jerk"
he countered,
"no, I'm a truth"

he wins

and for a little surprise dessert we have some notable quotables:

1. At a recent gathering a brand new acquaintance alluded to Julia and said, "she may make some want to have babies but she makes me want to wait at least 10 more years"


2. Out in public...a mere stranger said to Julia, "I just want to KISS your fat jowls!!!"

3. Simon said, "Things have been kind of quiet on the Kelly Clarkson music front lately..."

all I wrote for today

Have a good one.

dance, die or step aside

Leave a comment: 4 comments

21 June 2011

 I really, really, really love to dance

and I am a really, really, really bad dancer
(sweating hard, dancing pretty...I'm sure)

Luckily, I married a nice gentleman that turns a blind eye to my awful dancing... and favorite rug shearing go-to's:
 I always, always turn to the pointer-pinky in the air wave...
 (complete with banana curl rat tail)
 schooling Simon on our first night out on the town in South Bend

or pulling out of an instrument and bringing all my loved ones down with me:

but Simon is always quick to ask, "do you know what the lyrics to that song say?!?!".....

to which I generally reply, "nope. . .whoops."

that's nice ...

who cares and whats your point grace?

Since being pregnant, sober when pregnant and guardian of Julia I haven't been able to hit the floor as much as my little heart might like. I made the mistake of bounding out to dance at a wedding when I was 7 months pregnant, nearly knocked all innocent dancers out with my flailing, swollen ankles and enormous stomach and severely depressed my dancing spirit.
So at the wedding this weekend when Simon and his fellow groomsmen performed a little YMCA routine:
 (glitter cap...front and center)

I felt the balls of my feet get a little antsy...

so I got cray, slammed my last sip of Diet Coke and took Julia out to the floor:
 "...them beans and rice din't miss herrrrrrr"
100% unimpressed and safely gnawing on a kid friendly glow stick

and then when Julia graciously fell asleep in her car seat half way under table #11
 my sober, big bellied self sat at the table and felt a small piece of my being wither away as the other wedding goers got down to the always classic "Yeah" by Usher.

Simon was a dear, shoved Julia fully under the table, and pushed me onto the dance floor just in time to 'milk the cow'....
(not pictured for your consideration)

We neglected our sleeping babe for the better part of the night and in true Simace form...he perfected his mocking of my full body tantrum dance and I got down to his cautious two step rhythm default. 

We came up with two new moves:
the careful opening and tasting of a fine bottle of wine to the ditty "Bottoms Up"
and some alien antlers for Katy and Kanye's "E.T"

good, clean fun. 

um. that would be allllll I have to say about that. 

first and last post on dancing...I almost promise. 

In other fun news...
Simon started his residency this morning which is exciting but selfishly mildly depressed me and Julia:
 (refusing to face the day even after I attempted to get her dressed)

annnnd I went running this morning, got stuck behind a pungent garbage truck, caught in the pouring rain many blocks from home and spewed a litany of bad, loud words on my attempted sprint back.

I pray you have a more tolerable dia.



Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger