Monthly Archives: March 2007

meat paper

Ben, Matt, Jeremy, Seth and Camie at the Meat Paper party, SF, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Even though Matt and I never do anything chic and urban and cool anymore, we still managed to be at the coolest party in San Francisco last night. (Nevermind that we left the party, so proud that we had had a “night out on the town” and looked at our watch and saw that it was only 7:45pm)

The party was a celebration of the release of my dear friend Sasha’s magazine called Meatpaper. Her site will give you a better description than I could, but it is about art, ideas and well, meat. You can see more photos on my flickr page here.

In other news, Ben is sleeping well, totally rockin the naps these days. I realize I hadn’t updated you guys and many were left to think that he was still crying and I was still meditating and trying not to go crazy. Really, it only took a couple of really hard days for him to break the habit of napping in motion all the time (swings, strollers, slings, walking) and now he is a reluctant, but ultimately good little napper. He is also smiling and laughing SO MUCH MORE now that he is rested. Our next adventure will be consolidating the nighttime feedings (they are still every 2 hours) but we’re taking one step at a time. As long as he’s sleeping during the day I am happy, and hoping that the good daytime sleep will eventually translate into longer night stretches.Thank you again for all of your support!

no absolutes

self portrait with Ben, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

So I have to admit that I’m not sure it was a good idea to share our sleeping woes in real time… and was naive not to realize that it would be such a sensitive topic. (I’m obviously a new parent!) A friend of mine read my last post and said, “Uh oh…. Andrea doesn’t know this is a landmine…”

I appreciate how respectful and supportive this community is (thank you for your support!) and also noticed how hard it was to hear anything at all that cast doubt on the way we were doing things. This parenthood business is full of insecurity and vulnerability… And there are clearly no right answers.

One of the most helpful things that someone said to me lately was this: “There are lots of methods. Any of them will work if you do it consistently. Just pick the one that feels right for you and your baby.” I realized when she said that that I had been looking for the RIGHT method, the one that would be the PERFECT solution that I would feel completely confident about. I read and read all of the books and got “>more and more confused. We finally got some help and went with it.

A few months ago, I saw an Oprah episode where stay at home mothers and working mothers talked about their respective choices. There was a lot of debate/judgment on the show about which way was the best, everyone trying to defend their position. The most interesting thing about it however, was that in the end, there was no right choice or rather lots of right choices, all unique to each family.

The good news is that with no absolutes, there are lots of right ways. And maybe we can’t screw this up so bad after all…

please sleep little baby

getting him ready for Burning Man, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Okay. So I guess I had a wee little fantasy that maybe this nap training thing wouldn’t be so hard. When I spoke to the supenanny sleep lady she said that she didn’t believe in letting them cry it out. I guess I thought that meant that he wouldn’t be crying at all. Ha!

Teaching a baby to sleep is not an easy task no matter how you do it. The method was gentle and involved sitting with your babe until they fall asleep, maintaining eye contact and using comforting touch (no picking up) when they fussed and cried. Can you imagine the torture of sitting and staring in you baby’s eyes while they plead with you to pick them up? Oy.

And get this. They cry for over an hour sometimes. I thought sitting on a cushion was hard! This is the most intense meditation I can imagine. It’s hard not to question yourself the whole way through… am I torturing him? maybe I should just pick him up… looking at him seems to be agitating him… but she said to look at him…. touching him seems to really agitate him… but she said to use touch… Ack!!! Then I would get really sweaty and nauseated. Then I would cry. Then, just when I couldn’t stand it anymore, he would fall asleep.

For 20 minutes.
If I was lucky, 45.
I couldn’t bear to start the process over again. So we’d try later.

I did have a little breakthrough yesterday. As I sat next to his bassinet, I placed a cushion there and pretended that I was actually meditating. It helped calm me down. When I looked at him something amazing happened. I suddenly understood what I was doing. I was teaching my baby to sleep. I sent him telepathic messages, “You are doing so well Ben! You are learning to put yourself to sleep. Some adults can’t even do that! And you are doing so great. I know it’s hard now, but this skill will serve you for the rest of your life…” In that moment I understood what a privilege it was to be the person who can teach him. Somehow this thought moved me to tears.

We’re still in the throes of it. I think it’s more difficult because we’re working with a deficit of sleep
to begin with (his and mine) but he’s doing great. I look forward to seeing that smile (in above photo) more often in the coming days.. Go Ben! You little sleep machine!

p.s. The hat Ben is wearing was made by my friend Jay. She makes really amazing stuff.

happy buddha

happy buddha ben, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

I’ve noticed that we are using a lot of war metaphors around the house lately. Things like, “Still in the trenches..” “Shell shocked” or “just soldiering along…”

I also think a lot about how sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

And then there are those little moments in a day (like the photo above) when our joy is just bursting and everything melts away with a smile.

We have a consultant coming over this week to help us create a plan for sleep. There is so much information out there but in the end I am feeling more overwhelmed and confused by all the reading and research. Cross your fingers that supernanny will come to the rescue!

3 months

little froggie, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

I am slowly becoming insane from lack of sleep. I hope to write more soon when I can take a breath. My life consists of walking four hours a day (the only way the kid will nap) and feeding him every hour at night.

He is three months today and lucky he is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life.

we just couldn’t resist

ben in mama’s glasses, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Inspired by Mighty Girl and her beautiful baby Hank Mason.