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Well. That sounds like a lovely topic, doesn’t it? But I wanted to address it because if you’ve experienced a rash under your rings, you’re probably frantically searching for a solution. I know I was.

In September of 2011 we were moving into our new house. After loading up the moving truck, I noticed I had some irritation under my rings. Figuring I scraped myself somehow, I put some antibacterial lotion on it and went about my business. Instead of it clearing up, however, it got worse. Within a week the skin was dry and itchy, and not long after that it was bright red and bumpy.

I tried it all — creams, lotions, you name it. Nothing worked. I was getting desperate and was about to go to a dermatologist for a steroid cream when I became pregnant and didn’t want to risk using it. And so the rash continued for over a year. It was painful and itchy and really ugly. I felt like freak and worried that it would never go away.

I was embarrassed by it, but finally started talking to friends and realized I wasn’t alone. So many friends had the exact same rash! Knowing now that it was pretty common, I started researching a solution. Below is what has worked for me. I did it once and noticed an immediate change and only just did it again almost five months later when I noticed some irritation. This procedure has caused no change or damage to my rings.

How to get rid of ring rash: (DISCLAIMER: I found this solution somewhere on the depths of the Internet. I no longer remember the original source. Some have claimed they had some tarnishing after using this — especially if their rings were sterling silver. Mine are white gold and I have had no problems at all. But to be safe, use at your own risk.)

Step 1:

Combine 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup white vinegar. Drop rings in and let soak for at least 30 minutes, but longer won’t hurt. Those little bubbles you see are from the peroxide doing it’s thing and killing germs and bacteria lurking on your rings. Ewwww.

photo 4

Step 2:

Use a soft toothbrush (I used a kid’s one) and a little bit of dish soap and give your rings a good scrub. Get into all the nooks and crannies. Rinse in warm water.

 

Step 3:

Boil some water and suspend your rings over the top of the pot. I rigged up this contraption using a chopstick and a hair tie. You want your rings submerged, but not touching the bottom so they don’t bounce around.

photo 1

Boil for 20 minutes. The water will kill whatever the peroxide/vinegar mixture didn’t.

Annnd…you’re done. Dry your rings and admire how sparkly they are now!

afterlight

After your rings are pretty again, you should probably get rid of your chipping nail polish…meh.

Some notes:

 

– After cleaning your rings, you still need to let your rash completely heal, otherwise it will just continue to get irritated. That means no rings until the rash is gone. When mine was really bad, I left them off for almost two weeks, unless I was going out.

– Like I mentioned above, this caused no harm or discoloration to my rings. I would double check the pot of water before you dump it, though, just in case you had a loose stone that came off. Actually, if you had a loose stone, I wouldn’t recommend doing this!

Ring rash, be gone!

 

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My house is completely overwhelming me. Let me be honest about something here — I’m a cluttered person. I make piles (of mail, books, and mostly clothes), and available surfaces, be it a kitchen table or a ledge, tend to never stay clean.

It’s something I’m aware of, and I’ve worked hard to get better at it, especially since Michael is the complete and total opposite. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to break the clutter habit, no matter how many organization blogs I read or storage totes I purchase. I don’t like this aspect of myself, but I can’t seem to break free from it.

It’s genetic. I’m not blaming my mom here, but there really is no question that I inherited the clutter gene from her. She often complains to me about how she just can’t get it all together and her house is overwhelming her — and I TOTALLY get it. My sister has it too — possibly worse than the rest of us (her bedroom floor is a mine field of laundry. Thankfully I’m not that bad!) and I’m starting to worry I will pass it on to Owen.

Like I said, Michael is the opposite. He is so neat. His closet is immaculate. When I met him back in college he was living in the tiniest room I’ve ever seen and everything had a place. So specific a place, that he would notice immediately if something was in the wrong spot.

He has been so patient with my clutter and while he does eventually snap (there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve found my piles dumped squarely in the middle of our bed. Basically, deal with it now, or don’t go to sleep), he loves me despite the fact that I just can’t get it together.

Our house isn’t gross or anything. I’m not a hoarder and having a dog like Kodiak means the vacuum comes out multiple times a week. But I just can’t get a grip on the clutter.

HELP ME.

Are you organized? How do you do it? Where do I start? I have a small goal: we are hosting a holiday party in just nine short days and I’d really like to feel in control of the mess. I know everyone says do a little at a time, but as soon as I start I just want to stop again and curl up into a ball of denial.

Michael is reaching his breaking point again; I can feel it. I might be sleeping on top of Clutter Mountain next week if I don’t get my act together.

Please, please, please share your organizational tips with me. I’m begging you!

In lieu of a real post, I’m asking for your help today. I’m hosting my first-ever holiday party for a small group of friends and have decided to make it an all-appetizer affair.

Just the words “all-appetizers” make my heart go pitter patter.

Anyway, if you share my affinity for All Things Apps, I’m hoping you’ll share a suggestion for one I should make for the party. Included recipes are appreciated!

Thanks, and we’ll return to regular scheduled blogging tomorrow.

xo

Yesterday, reader Rachel said, “I’m having trouble packing for a one-week vacation with a toddler in the house…how on earth do you pack a whole house with a toddler around?!?”

Well, it’s been an experience, that’s for sure. But we’re making it through with equal parts creativity and crazy — and a dash of humor. Here’s my tips on packing to move with a toddler that go beyond “pack when he sleeps”, because, yeah. Right.

Give them someplace “off limits” to play.

In our house, this is the Tupperware cabinet. To be honest, this is never really off limits, because it’s safe, easy to clean up, and will keep Owen occupied when I need to do something like start dinner. He tears through it like the Tasmanian Devil, but no harm comes from it. By letting him “unpack” that cabinet for me today, I was able to pack up a lot of the kitchen.

Let them have their own box.

Owen is totally enthralled by the amount of boxes in the house right now. “Box! Box! Box!” has become his word of the moment. He loves them so much, that any time I would put something in a box, he would take it out. Not very helpful. The solution? Give him his very own, of course. It’s taken residence in our living room and has become a fort of sorts. He sits in it, crawls in and out of it, and puts toys and books in it.

Let them watch a little TV.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have a problem with Owen watching a little Sesame Street. I’ll put it on in the afternoon so he can wind down a little before napping. Usually, if he watches more than 10 consecutive minutes that’s a lot, because he’s much more interested in his blocks and books. But, if a song comes on, he’s into it, and I’m guaranteed enough time to eat something, fold some laundry or, you know, use the bathroom alone. If you add his box into the mix, well, I might even get fifteen minutes. Whoa. And if you would never dare let your child watch some TV, well, more power to you. You must have one of those genius toddlers who practice a foreign language while mastering how to play the harp.

Accept help.

I would love to fancy myself Super Mom, but let’s be honest, I only have two hands. There’s no shame in accepting a little help so when a friend offers to move some boxes for you or your mother-in-law offers to take the kid for a few hours, let them. That’s what grandparents are for, after all. My MIL took Owen for about five hours the other day and I managed to pack almost our entire upstairs without having to worry about what Owen was up to. And when he came home from grandma’s he was exhausted. Another plus! I also got to sneak in a little zen time for me.

Take a break.

I think this is the most important step of all. Packing a whole house can get overwhelming, so giving yourself a breather is important. It’s also important to make sure your toddler is getting enough attention and isn’t being neglected because of the big task in front of you. Try to keep their routine as close to normal as possible, and make sure you’re doing something fun together each day. Yesterday, I packed all morning, then put Owen in a stroller for a walk to the park. We played on the swings, took a walk by the river, and met another boy his age. He was happy, I was happy, it was all good.

In the end, it’s going to be a bit chaotic, but you’ll get through it. I hope.

We are currently deep into round two of trying to sell our home. It’s frustrating. The market is tough and trying to keep a home show-worthy with an 11-month old and a giant, hairy dog is even harder. But we do it, because we’re motivated and will do what it takes to sell.

We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of showings lately and have our fingers crossed that one of those showings will lead to a buyer, but nothing yet. The experience has opened my eyes a lot to the whole buying/selling process, though, and I thought I’d pass on what I’ve learned to make the process go (mostly) smoothly for both parties. Some is a little snarky, I’ll admit, but most is just some good ol’ advice.

* If you’re the buyer:

– Know that the seller is rearranging their lives to show their house. This includes serious cleaning and hiding of every day items such as toiletries, dish drainers, and other items that you wouldn’t think you need all the time, but you do. Not to mention, they might have young children on schedules, pets that need to be removed, etc. Because of this, making an appointment to see a house in an absolute necessity. Preferably at least a day in advance. Sellers are well aware that this isn’t always possible, but it should be attempted most of the time. When you do make an appointment, try to have a back up time just in case the seller isn’t able to show that house at that time.

– Try to view the house with an open mind and know your market. I think HGTV has seriously skewed potential buyers and has given unrealistic ideas of what homes offer. I’m a House Hunters junkie too, so don’t think I haven’t been lured and teased by the pretty, pretty pictures of granite countertops, big bedrooms with master baths and giant, walk-in closets. But here’s the truth: your price point will offer more or less depending on where in the country you are. $300,000 in the Midwest will go a lot farther than it does in New England. You might not get that granite countertop today, but you can always put one in later. Instead, look at the great property, the spacious living room, the great light, whatever. I’m not saying to compromise on everything you want, just know that some things can be added (additions, hardwoods, etc.) and some things can’t (big property, great neighborhood, easy commute, etc.). Try and look at the big picture and if it’s not perfect to you today, think about whether it could be your dream home down the road. (I’m not saying settle, but you get my drift.)

– Following that same idea, paint colors can always be changed. Seriously. If your biggest complaint about the house is the paint colors, that’s a pretty good house.

– Sellers understand that you might be looking at their house even if you’re not totally ready to buy. I mean, we do that. We’ve toured potential houses even though we can’t put in an offer yet, because if our house were to sell, we’d like to know what’s out there so we can move quickly. This is all well and good and part of the house-showing process. However. If you’re not buying any time soon, don’t stay for an hour. Don’t tell the realtor how much you love it and how you would put in offer in today…if only you didn’t have to wait an entire year before you move. Don’t put yourself in a position where the realtor has to kindly push you out the door. You’ve wasted a lot of people’s time by doing that.

– Don’t go #2 while you’re there. Seriously, that’s just gross.

* If you’re the seller:

– Be as flexible as possible. I know I just went on and on about how buyers should be courteous of their showing times, but as the seller, it’s your responsibility to make showings as convenient as possible for all. After all, you want to sell the house. You’re really at the buyer’s mercy, not the other way around.

– Keep the house clean and remove a lot of personal items. Since we’re not only sellers, we’re  also potential buyers, we’ve been inside a lot of other people’s houses and I can tell you, if the floor isn’t vacuumed, the bathrooms are dirty, there are dishes in the sink or random crap on the counters, it takes away from the house. Not all people can go into a house with a critical eye and see the potential. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great at it, but with the coaching of my mom (who is GREAT at seeing house potential), I’ve gotten a lot better at looking past the obvious. However, some people will just see the mess. Or smell…the smell. A house can go from a possibility to a big fat no in a heartbeat. Don’t make it too easy for that to happen.

– If you have a pet, do your best to remove the evidence. That means no pet hair and no…pet. Whenever possible, make sure the pet is gone, or at least completely out of site/earshot when the house is being shown. You might be a dog person, but certainly not everyone is. (Kodiak’s toys and bed are always put away and Kodiak is loaded up in the car with us whenever we show the house.)

– Here’s where I get all contradictory again, but hear me out. If you’re serious about selling, sometimes doing some small repairs can make a big difference because buyers will see it as one less thing they have to do themselves. (And it’s one less reason for them to offer less money!). To go along with that, painting can do wonders as well. That magenta bedroom that you love so much? It can be a real deterrent for potential buyers. Painting over it in a neutral color gives the buyer a blank canvas in which to imagine themselves living in your home.

– If at all possible, do not be home when there is a showing. We once saw a house and when we walked in, the tenants were sitting on the couch with their feet on the coffee table, eating food and watching TV. They grunted at us as we walked around. Now granted, it’s not their house, they were just renters. But still. Not only is it awkward, (and it would certainly have been more awkward if it was the owner watching us instead), but just like crazy paint colors, it makes it hard to envision it as your home when other people are right there, occupying it.

Those are my tips from me to you. I hope they can help a little. Feel free to share your own home buying/selling tips in the comments!

And, um…anyone want to buy a house? I’ve got a cute one for you.

There is no perfect way to parent. Sometimes I want to shout that from the rooftops. THERE IS NO PERFECT WAY TO PARENT! You just have to do your best, you know? And most likely, you’re going to screw up a few times. You’ll bump their head while putting them in the car seat, or not realize they’ve been sleeping in soaked jammies from a full diaper. You’ll mis-understand their cries as whining, when they’re really hungry and just wait until they get older and you have to teach them life lessons. Whoa boy, does that leave a ton of room to screw up, I’m sure.

But the thing is, you figure it out. And you become the best parent you can be. It’s probably not the same type of parent your parents were, but if you’re lucky and you had good ones like I do, you have some great examples to follow.

I’ve found that sometimes I have to defend my parenting choices to people. Giving reasons for why I’m feeding him (or NOT feeding him) certain foods, explaining my reasons for the way I deal with night wakings or why I put Elmo’s World on YouTube during a screaming fit on a three-hour car ride. Most of the time I respond in a light, laughing manner when questioned because, why argue? It’s not their kid. But other times I feel like I really have to stand up for my choices.

Case in point: extended breastfeeding. Owen will be 11 months old next weekend and he’s still nursing like a champ. I had hoped to nurse him to a year to give him as much nutritional and developmental benefits from it as I could, and it looks like we will meet this goal. He’s always been a big nurser, both for food and for comfort, and up until recently, I really saw no end in sight for our breastfeeding relationship. The kid likes the boob.

Over the last month or so, however, I’ve noticed him slowly decreasing his time nursing, and today we’ve arrived at about a four times a day schedule. He nurses first thing in the morning, before both naps and again before bed. Sometimes there’s one or more sessions thrown in during the day depending on what’s going on (maybe he falls during a standing attempt and needs comfort, or whatever), and if he wakes at night I nurse him back down. He always lets me know if he wants to by grabbing at my shirt,rubbing his head on my chest, or pointing at my breast and saying with a laugh and a smile, “AH!!”

For us, 4-5 times a day is a major decrease. But to others, apparently this is shocking. You wouldn’t believe how many people have expressed surprise…and then concern!…when I tell them that he’s still nursing that often. “Four times a day? That’s a lot for almost a year!”

Says who?

I’ve read a lot about breastfeeding past a year and the decision of whether to wean or not. I understand and agree with points on both sides of the fence. I’m not totally ready to wean. As a matter of fact, on Mother’s Day, he refused my breast and wanted to be rocked to sleep instead. It was a little step of independence that left me dripping tears onto the top of his head, but in the end, it was what he wanted and it worked just fine. Sometimes he still does that, and other times he still nurses.

While I’m not TOTALLY ready to wean, I’m getting there. He has teeth now that often pinch and leave indentations on my areola (OW). He gets distracted and pulls off to look around or play with things. It makes it difficult for others to put him down for naps because he is so accustomed to our routine. My period has also yet to return, and while I’m not anxiously awaiting its arrival, I’m slowly starting to get the itch for another baby and would like to have a few cycles under my belt before we go down that road so I see how my cycle acts post-baby.

I’m letting him lead the way, and kind of using a “don’t offer, don’t refuse” nursing tactic that is common for weaning. If he wants to, he can, always.

So that’s what we’re doing. And it works for us. It’s not weird, it’s not abnormal, it’s just fine. Maybe I should refer people to this post when they express shock and concern over my baby still nursing, hmm? I know there are years ahead of us where people will question our parenting and I should just prepare myself for it, even though I can’t see how it’s anyone else’s business but ours. But I will also be less quick to judge other parent’s choices, that’s for sure!

Well, hello! It has recently come to my attention that this little post of mine has been pinned over 30,000 times. With a picture of my face hours postpartum, none-the-less! HA! I figured that since so many people are benefiting from it, it only made sense I pop in and say hello. Since writing this post, I’ve had a second baby boy and am pregnant with my third little guy, due in June 2014. If you’re curious whether or not I would change anything in this post having been through it again, my answer would be no. I stand by it all, and am thrilled at the outpouring of comments it has received. You should definitely take the time to read through them all.

Thank you for visiting These Little Moments. Be sure to hop over to the homepage to read about my adventures in motherhood (I’m pretty brutally honest…), find some yummy recipes and share in my little community. Good luck with your pregnancy, and happy packing!

~

 

Asked on Formspring: Hi Molly! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now (pre-wedding!) I’m 30 weeks with my first baby now and remember you having done a post on what to pack in your hospital bag but I can’t seem to find it! Can you repost it?

Congrats on the almost-arrival of your little one! The original post was a list of things I had already packed and I asked for advice from those who had gone through it before me. So I’ll do you one better than reposting it, I’ll give you an updated one now that I’ve done it too. There are great compilations out there already, but here’s my two cents.

Paperwork:

– Birth plan, if you’ve written one. I didn’t, but I discussed it with the nurse when I arrived.

– If you haven’t filled out admission papers prior to arriving at your choice of hospital (Ours sent us the information to fill out and send in during the pregnancy), you or someone with you will most likely have to fill that out when you arrive. Have proper identification and health insurance information on hand.

– A pen. They always come in handy.

For you:

– Toiletries. Bring the whole shabang — shampoo, conditioner, soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, razor, face wash, make up, hair product, brush, hair dryer (if your hospital doesn’t already have one in the bathroom.) The first shower after a vaginal birth (I can’t speak to a c-section…anyone?) is awkward and uncomfortable. You are sore and exhausted and will most likely be instructed to shower sitting down. Don’t worry, you’ll want to! For me, the first shower was just a get clean situation, but my second shower felt wonderful and I wanted to look as happy as I was feeling. It felt great to “dress up” for guests and the thousands of photos that were being taken. (Also might want to bring toiletries for your partner. We lived close enough that Michael went home to shower, but you might not have that option.)

(Post-second shower. Well worth it.)

– Clothing for you. When you arrive you will change into a standard hospital gown. I’ve heard of some women bringing their own fancy birthing gown, but I personally think it’s a waste of time and money. Here’s the thing about birth; there’s a lot of fluids. A LOT of fluids. So my recommendation for clothing is:

– Dark colors. (See: fluids). I wore a thigh-length black sleep shirt that unbuttoned in the front right after my first shower. It was comfortable, allowed for easy access to the bits that needed lots of ice and attention that day (it’s a true fact), and was easy to open for breastfeeding.

– Stretchy, comfortable pants. I wore (black) yoga pants and a (black) nursing tank on day two. Remember, you will still look at least 6-months pregnant, so you want things that stretch and give.

– A lightweight robe, zip-up sweatshirt or cardigan. Hospital temperatures can vary and you will be losing a lot of fluids. Again, with the fluids!

– Slippers (ones that you don’t care too much about) and flip flops, for walking around/taking showers. Socks.

– Nursing tanks. You most likely won’t want to bother with a bra during those early days, so a nursing tank provides coverage and support without being binding.

For baby:

– Going home outfit. A general rule of thumb is that baby will need one more layer than you do. Owen was born during a very hot June and came home in a onesie, long-sleeve jammies and a hat. I also used a lightweight blanket over him in the air conditioned car. Make sure you bring at least one outfit in the NEWBORN size. I know, they look so small you can’t imagine anything fitting in it, but trust me. Unless you have a really, really big baby, yours will most likely fit in the newborn size. For like, a minute. Bring a 0-3 as a backup.

– Car seat.

– Honestly, that’s really all you NEED for baby. The hospital will provide diapers, wipes, lotions, creams, receiving blankets, hats and t-shirts. I brought all that stuff from home, and didn’t use it at all. If you feel like dressing up your little one before on the days before you leave, by all means bring extra clothes. Owen wore the hospital-issued hats and tee’s and stayed wrapped up in blankets for most of our stay.

Electronics:

– Cameras, camcorder (if you’re so inclined), lap top (you will have down time, believe it or not) and cell phones, as well as any needed chargers, batteries and memory cards.

Extras:

– Boppy or My Brest Friend pillow. Great for early nursing and visitors who want support while holding baby.

– A pillow and pillowcase for you. Hospital pillows are flat as pancakes. Bring something that makes you comfortable.

– iPod, photos or anything you think you want to use during birth. I brought my iPod, but it never made it out of the bag.

– SNACKS. I cannot stress this one enough. Yeah, yeah, for everyone else, but bring snacks for YOU. I was famished after birth and it felt like just moments before I was asking to eat something. My first food post-baby was a Kashi granola bar and holy cow, was it delicious. Hospital food, well…it’s about on par with airplane food. Bring take out menus or at least the number to a good pizza place if your hospital doesn’t already provide them.

Also, since we’re taking hospital setting here — you most likely will not be able to eat once things get rolling. My hospital had popsicles on hand that were fabulous, but if yours doesn’t, see if you can bring your own.

Note: You will notice I didn’t mention anything about bringing underwear. That’s because you will be introduced the infamous mesh undies and lo, they are divine. Mine were boy short-style and they stretch to massive lengths, which is good, because you will be wearing sanitary napkins the size of down comforters. Again, fluids.

That being said, when you leave the hospital, take everything you can get your hands on. Seriously. Receiving blankets, diapers, baby toiletries, EXTRA MESH UNDIES, the perry bottle (I hate to tell you, but you won’t be using toilet paper for a while), numbing spray, extra pads, etc. The hospitals actually encourage it and will mostly likely give you more of whatever if you just ask. I asked for more mesh undies. Seriously.

Now, I’m sure I forgot something because jeesh, that’s a lot of stuff. So feel free to comment and tell me and all moms-to-be what you couldn’t have lived without during your birth stay.

Happy packing!

I had read about it, this thing called sleep regression. I heard rumors of it happening around the four month mark, but was optimistic that the O Man would sail right by it.

Ha. Hardy har har.

No.

There’s a ton of definitions about how long constitutes sleeping through the night at this age, but there’s a general consensus that a 5+ hour stretch before eating is pretty good. Up until about a week ago, we were doing just that. Even more, actually. I’m hiding under the table whispering this…but we actually had some seven and nine hour nights in a row. Sure, I woke up panicked and engorged at 4 a.m., but in a really blissful way. And truth be told, I got used to sleeping more than three hours at a time.

I got used to it real quick.

Then a couple of nights ago, it was a five hour stretch. Then the next night, it was three. And now we’re back to waking almost every hour and a half after 11 p.m. and guys….I AM SO TIRED. I’m dragging myself out of bed each morning and self-medicating with budget-busting chai purchases. And I can’t be mad at him, because he’s four months and is not purposely trying to drain me of all sanity. At least, I don’t think so.

I’ve read the books. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child sits on my nightstand with dog-eared pages. I believe the teaching that sleep begets sleep and have worked diligently to get him on a bath-book-massage-boob bedtime routine. When he would only sleep in a swing and I asked you guys for sleep advice, you all reassured me that I needed to relax because he would eventually give up the swing for the crib (he did) and to try and adopt the this-too-shall-pass mentality.

So I’m trying, again. I mean, I get it. He’s learning new skills that make his brain work overtime. His sleep patterns are starting to mimic those of an adult’s, but he hasn’t yet mastered soothing himself back to sleep all the time. And on top of that, he’s teething, so we have a whole grab bag of fun to work with.

Usually somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m., I bring him in bed with us to nurse lying down and get a couple extra Z’s. While I’m not anti-cosleeping, it’s not something I wanted to do exclusively, as while dad and baby snooze just fine, I sleep lightly, constantly checking to make sure the covers aren’t close to his face and because of that, I’m always freezing because the days of snuggling under my down comforter are long gone.

At his four month appointment, he clocked in at 27 inches and just under 20 pounds. The kid is in the 97th percentile and eats like a champ. We’ve decided to wait on all solids, including rice cereal, until he is six months. He’s definitely a boob man, and he wants it all night long, even if he’s not hungry. He’s using me as a human pacifier to fall back asleep. (And no, he won’t take a real pacifier, because that would just be too easy, now woudn’t it?)

Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for sleep training.

I’ve been resistant to full-on doing it until now because I really felt he was too young, but it’s time. He’s shown  he can sleep for longer stretches and the pediatrician says that at his size, he can absolutely go five (or more) hours at night without eating. I’ve dabbled in it here and there, and always wait a few minutes when he wakes at night to see if he can settle himself back down. Sometimes he can. More than often, he can’t. He’ll be screaming like a banshee until I walk into the room, where I swear he smiles, winks and laughs to himself.

So I get up. At 11, at 1:15, at 3, 4 and 5:30. I soothe and nurse and while I truly love the quiet moments nursing my sweet baby boy, I’d love it even more at say, just 2:30. Or just 4.

Out of all the sleep training methods I’ve read up on, I’m most comfortable with doing a modified version of the Ferber method. If you want to know all about it there are tons of websites, but it involves letting him cry for short periods of time before going in to soothe him. This is of course assuming that nothing else is bothering him (pinching clothes, soiled diaper, actually time to eat) and that he’s not sick.

I’ve heard from fellow mothers that in anywhere from 3 days to one week, their babies really got it and they were blessed with better sleep until the next growth spurt/illness/what-have-you. I know there is no recipe for a perfect night’s sleep — especially at this age — but there has got to be better than what we have now, which is basically the sleep pattern of a newborn!

I’ll let you know how it goes, and I welcome feedback and stories of personal experience; just none of this “your child will hate you forever because you let him cry alone for 10 whole minutes you horrible, horrible mother” stuff. I’ll be telling that to myself when I’m lying in bed on my hands forcefully willing myself not to get up for another six minutes because OOOH THE CRYING.

– Thank you all so much for your sleep suggestions. I decided to RELAX about the whole thing and let him just do his thing. You’re right, he’s only 10 weeks old and it’s not like he’ll be sleeping in the swing when he’s four. (I mean, I hope not.) He has no  interest in the pacifier, and I have to admit, when you were all suggesting swaddling I was all, yeah, NO.

Owen started busting out of his swaddle at about three weeks old and wanted nothing to do with it. NOTHING. Even if he was wrapped tightly, he would grunt and struggle until he freed his arms, so it was a big old waste.

But then.

Then, I read your comments and thought, what the hell. I’ll try it again. So I nursed him, turned on the sound machine, swaddled him TIGHT and put him in the crib.

He slept for three hours.

THREE HOURS IN THE CRIB.

And it wasn’t a fluke, because he did it again last night, and is currently going on hour two tonight as I write this. He certainly doesn’t sleep as long in the crib as he does in the swing, but he’s asleep. IN the crib. After that first stretch he wakes up around 11-ish to nurse and then I do put him in the swing to get a long stretch (as much for his well-being as for my sanity), but I would say this is progress.

(Even though I keep tip-toeing in to make sure he’s breathing because I just can’t believe it.)

So thank you, all mighty mommy geniuses.

– We were in the garden center at Lowe’s today snatching up some drastically reduced (60 percent off!) patio furniture and there were birds everywhere. Birds. Flying around in Lowe’s. Crapping on the patio furniture.

Am I the only one who thinks this is weird and actually pretty gross? It’s not an arboretum or the rare birds display at the Bronx Zoo…it’s Lowe’s. I guess they get in through the loading docks or something, but all big stores have loading docks. I’ve never seen birds flying around Kohl’s or the grocery store. I spent a good portion of the time there peering suspiciously at the ceiling to make sure one didn’t poop on Owen’s head as he hung out in the Baby Bjorn.

– When I asked you all for lunch suggestions a few months ago you gave me such good ideas. So I need your help again. Six o’clock or so is the witching hour and that means fuss, fuss, fussing (the baby, not me), (OK, sometimes me too); so I need make-ahead dinner ideas. Meals I can prepare when the baby is sleeping during the day and just pop in the oven (or onto the stove top, whatever) at dinner time. We eat just about everything and yes, I have a Crockpot, although I don’t want to use it every day.

– If I was a single gal and could pick a TV character to date, it would be Jim from The Office. The way he loves Pam is just too freaking sweet.

For the non-moms reading, I apologize for isolating you in this post, but I wanted some mom opinions and what better place to reach out to a bunch at one time? (Also, as a side note, I know I haven’t been posting much and when I do it’s all baby this, baby that. I’ve said before that I don’t market These Little Moments as anything other than my life, and well, this is my life now. I will still write about random topics, but I think it’s fair to expect a heavy dose of motherhood to be thrown in there too!)

Ok, so.

Owen is nine weeks old (how did THAT happen?) and had finally settled into some semblance of a sleeping routine. By “routine”, I mean he goes down around 8:30 p.m-ish., sleeps for 5-6 hours, and is up twice, every 2.5 hours or so after that to breastfeed (about 2:15 a.m., then 5:30 a.m.), at which point he comes in bed with us where we all doze until about 7 or 8-ish. I’m thrilled he’s doing so well, as for his age, that’s technically considered “sleeping through the night”, and I can only imagine the stretches of sleep with get longer as he continues to grow. (He’s already 14 pounds, the chunker!)

Mmmm, chunky legs.

However, he will NOT sleep in is crib. Not for naps, not for bed. Instead, he sleeps in his swing. Before anyone feels the need to start shouting about how this is bad for his spine, I will say that I’ve discussed it with my pediatrician, and she says that it’s perfectly safe and will not damage his spine at all. She is of the mindset that as long as he’s sleeping, it’s good, and he will naturally transition into his crib when he’s ready.

The thing is, I’d like to get him used to sleeping in the crib, even if it’s just for naps right now, because I’ve read that motion sleep doesn’t put babies into the deepest sleep they need. I just don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried to get him nice and drowsy and put him in the crib in a darkened room with white noise, hoping he will self-soothe and drift off, but it doesn’t work.

Instead, he SCREAMS.

The only time he’s slept in there is around that 2:30 a.m. wake-up, where he’ll sleep in there for a few hours only if he’s out cold after nursing. Which, ok, fine, but he’s not learning to go to sleep in there, he’s just being placed in while already asleep.

Today during his morning nap I decided to just try it and see if he would go down. I knew there would be crying, so I prepared myself and allowed one hour to try it. If he cried, he cried, but after that one-hour mark if he didn’t settle, I would take him out, soothe him, and let him sleep in the swing.

He napped in the swing today. And I felt horrible and guilty for letting him cry on and off for an hour beforehand.

Well, how about I get around to my question(s), eh?

How do I get him to transition into the crib? Should I continue to let him sleep there until he’s no longer interested, or start trying to get him to do it on my own? Is nine weeks too early to worry about this?

Has anyone been in this situation?

Some notes:

– He was sleeping in a bassinet in the early weeks, but not great (he would usually end up in bed with me). He has since outgrown the bassinet. (See chunker, above.) 

– We do have a bedtime routine that he enjoys (bath, book, boob, bed).

– Other than the trial today, I’ve never really let him “cry it out”. I’m not really sure it’s something I want to do, but I’m open to hearing advice from mother who have had success (or failures!) with it.

Thank you in advance to any and all that can offer advice!