Monday, November 30, 2009

More Turkey, Mr. Chandler?

Yes, I am posting.  I am foregoing the dishes and sleep and watching Christmas Vacation to post about our Thanksgiving.  Contain your enthusiasm.  Last Thanksgiving I was pregnant, and I took full advantage of my elastic wasted pants.  I could also blame my unrelenting eating on the child growing inside me.  This Thanksgiving that child was enjoying his life outside the womb, and my pants had no give. 

We went to Ben's Aunt Pat's house for Thanksgiving Meal, Round 1.  It was a house full of 35 Italians (give or take).  There was  A LOT of food.  I held off (knowing that the Rick Thanksgiving would be next) and allowed my boys to get their fill.  Eli tried mashed potatoes and a roll.  He thoroughly enjoyed the latter.  We then cruised on over to Concord for Thanksgiving Meal, Round 2.  Smaller gathering, but so much fun!  Ben left from there to go down to Reading to hunt.  I stayed at my parents and tried to watch Star Trek (the movie), but was too busy keeping Eli away from electrical outlets and fireplaces to really get into it.

The next day, Ben called to say he "caught" a deer (okay, he didn't say "caught"... when we were first married, as he was leaving to go hunting, I shouted, "Be safe...I hope you catch a deer").  Ben shot a "spike".  I think that's what it's called.  So now we have meat a plenty.  Not going to complain about free ground beef.  We likes our beef here in the Parker house.

I invite you to take a pictorial stroll through our holiday.  (P.S. I just read this post...yawn)

Eli and Grandpa Parker

Thanksgiving with Ben's family

Mmmmm, mashed potatoes

Eli, Poppa and Lucy  

Eli and Aunt Carrie  

Ritz Crackers, just like the first Thanksgiving

Family Picture

 Standard Ben and Jeanette picture

A man and his deer (picture quality poor due to camera phone)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dante's Forgotten Circle of Hell

I am the type of person who needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep.  I know there are those out there who thrive on 4 - 5 hours of sleep.  It is my belief that these people collect other people to make skin suits.  Okay, not really, because I actually do know people who don't have to sleep that much in order to function in the human world.  Before I had Eli, I was aware that sleep would often be fleeting in his first few months of life.  I had read, though, that around six or seven months, babies typically will sleep through the night.  Oh baby books, I scoff in your general direction.  Now I know why my parents would shoot each other a knowing glance whenever I said, "I read it out of this baby book."

Enter Elijah Parker.

Eli actually slept pretty well his first 7 months of life.  We chose to co-sleep with him until he was 6 months old.   Since breastfeeding was a hit and miss for us, we felt like this would be a great way to bond with him.  When he turned 6 months, we transitioned to the crib.  This change went pretty well for us.  It was a little rough the first couple of weeks, but we made it.  Then October came.  About a month and a half ago, Eli stopped sleeping through the night.  He would usually wake up around midnight, 3:30, 5:00 and then around 6:30.   At 6:30, he was up for a few hours.  When he woke up we would go in and rock him, and he would go back to sleep pretty easily.  However, our sleep was interrupted, and Ben and I were always tired.  I kept saying, "Oh, he's just teething," or, "Oh, this is just a phase," or "Oh, he heard that Glee wouldn't be on T.V. for two weeks and couldn't sleep because of it."

Then we entered into Dante's forgotten circle of Hell.  This past week, Eli would go to sleep when we rocked him, but would immediately wake up when we put him in his crib.  Also, rocking him to sleep would take longer.  I was venting to my mom (certified pediatric nurse practitioner) and she said it sounded like Eli had gotten himself into a pattern and needed to learn how to soothe himself to sleep.  And  even though she didn't explicitly say it, by saying "Eli had gotten himself into a pattern", she meant "Ben and Jeanette allowed Eli to get into this pattern."  And then she said the five words I dreaded to hear: LET HIM CRY IT OUT. 

When Eli was a wee baby, we said that we were not fans of the cry it out method.  How could parents do this to their children?  Won't it scar him somehow?  But, Internet, I have not slept an entire night  in nearly two months.  And, Internet, I may just accidentally run someone down with my car.  I am at my wit's end. 

So, I did it.  Last night, I put Eli into his pjs, fed him a bottle, read him a couple stories, prayed with him, put him in his crib and WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM.  And he cried...and cried...and screamed...and coughed....and cried.  I sat outside of his room praying that he would just lay down his head and go to sleep.  Then I started to cry.  Surely, this would send him straight into therapy at the young age of 2.  His first word would be 'neglect'.  After 10 minutes, I walked into his room, rubbed his back and tried talking to him.  I then WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM AGAIN!  And he cried again and he screamed again and he told me he hated me and he called Larry King to give him the first interview and then Oprah and then the police came to cart the very horrible woman off to jail.  It was horrible.  He cried for a total of 25 minutes.  "Pbbt, 25 minutes," you scoff.  Internet, that was the longest 25 minutes of my life, and I was in labor with him for longer than 25 minutes. 

His sobs tapered off into those sniffs you get after crying really hard -- you know, when your whole body shakes as you sniff and your bottom lip is sucked into your head.  I walked in and he was scrunched into one corner of the crib in the frog position.  My heart broke for the third time that night.  He was asleep, but was it worth it? 

He woke up later that night at 3:30. Ben went in his room and rubbed his back, but didn't pick him up, which caused him to pull a Linda Blaire.  And he cried off and on for an hour.  A defeated Ben walked into our room and said he didn't know what to do.  Desperately wanting to hold onto my sanity, I broke.  I changed his diaper, fed him a bottle and held him until he went back to sleep.  I know, I know...I just wrecked any progress we may have made, but I was tired and Ben was tired and the college students whose rooms are next to our apartment were tired.  He finally fell back asleep around 5:00...and then woke up at 5:50.  Ben, again, went in and tried talking him down off the ledge.  At 7:00, as Ben's alarm was going off, he brought our very awake child into our room.  I then took him out so Ben could try to get some sleep. 

As I write this, he is refusing to take a nap in his crib.  He'll sleep if we rock him and are holding him, but the second we put him in his crib, he voices his complaints...loudly.  I am at a loss.  I'm not sure if what we're doing is right or if my name will be sent to the proper authorities after people read this.  We just want to sleep.  If you have suggestions, please send them our way.  If you are going to chastise us, please send your complaints to your mom. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My List of Favorite Things-Sarcastic Edition part deux

I created this charming little Pollyanna list a few months ago.  You would think that a list of such sarcastic proportions would keep me going for the rest of the year.  However, you would be wrong.  I once asked my holy friend Heather (who is equally sarcastic) if she thought sarcasm was a sin.  She then proceeded to ask her even holier youth pastor husband who said without blinking, "Yes."  As I stood open-mouthed waiting for my rebuttal to work its way to my frontal lobe, a little piece of my heart broke.  How could the ONE THING that I am good at be a sin?  Looking into it, I suppose it's probably not God's favorite thing.  That being said, I think you have to (with any situation) consider context.  Yes, sometimes my sarcastic tone is not very nice.  However, I feel that when it's not directed at a particular individual, it is a healthy medium through which I can let off steam.  So there. 

Aaaanyway, I have been working on the second edition to "My Favorite Things-Sarcastic edition" for the last couple months (mostly whilst driving).  So, despite the fact that many of are judging me right now, I will proceed with the list. 

1. People (who may or may not be associated with SAU) who saunter out into the road in front of my car --  EXCUSE ME...I'm driving in this big box...hard to miss.  You're not even using a crosswalk.

2. (sort of tied into number 1) People (who may or may not be associated with SAU) who walk in the middle of the road oblivious to the car behind them even though there is a perfectly good sidewalk 5 feet to their right

3. (tied into 1 & 2) People (who may or may not be associated with SAU) who walk AT NIGHT, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD wearing dark colors.  I understand you want to take a romantic walk by the retirement home with your girlfriend, but please invest in a reflective vest so I don't face 5 - 10 for running you over.

4. Curt drive through people at Tim Horton's -- All I wanted was a doughnut; I'm sorry I didn't want to add a need to sigh into your headset. 

5. Sleeping only 6 hours or less a night (for the last two months)

6. Small sinus cavities that make that squeaking noise when you try to blow your nose

7. Swine flu...sorry,  H1N1

8. People who go out into public when they have fevers and hacking coughs --  STAY HOME!!!  This world will not cease to exist if you don't make an appearance for a couple days. 

9.  Those commercials that have that theme song "Hey ladies, who wants a deal?  I do, I do."  I love these so much that they make me want jam a screwdriver in my ear.

10.  Blooming Onion gas

11. The $5 footlong theme song  (I know I put this on last time, but I feel it warrants a second appearance because of how much I loathe it.)

12. People who don't know how to use a semi-colon correctly (I know that this will probably offend a lot of people, but if you don't know how to use one, please avoid them...they are avoidable.)

13. The smell of formula after it has sat in a bottle for too long

14. Stale fries

15. People who refuse to use cruise control on the free way.  I understand that older cars may not come equipped with this option; my comment is not directed to them (I just used a semi colon to separate two independent clauses).

16.  People who sing harmony to every song on the radio

17.  Getting sweaty while drying my hair...why do I sweat when I dry my hair?  I'm 28.

18. Cleaning out the fridge (especially when the tuna noodle casserole leftovers have sat in there a little too long)

19. Shaving my legs (another 2nd appearance)

20. Facebook quizzes

Okay, looking back at this list, it does not focus on what is good or pure or praise worthy.  Nor does it speak volumes for the positive words that I let come out of my mouth.  So, yes, this is probably not the best spiritual exercise.  However, it does help me to get past the petty things that take up space in the recesses of my brain.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is Halloween...

Here are some pics from Eli's first Halloween. I have to admit, it was a bit anticlimactic. I mean, he didn't know what was going on, it was freezing outside and he growls without a Tiger costume. But, it was definitely fun for his mama to get him dressed up. I mean that's what it's about, right--the parents. Anyway, here are some pics to commemorate the experience. I would like you to pay particular attention to his overwhelming enthusiasm in most of the pictures.

Dancing to "Thriller"

I'm cold...are we done?

Fine, I'll wave