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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sleep Woes

Holy man, after hitting the jackpot in sleep with Evan, we were spoiled. He slept through the night at about 6 weeks and never stopped. Yes, we've had our issues here and there: there was a period where it took a long time to get him to go to sleep at night, or when we had to drive him around for naps - but otherwise, it's been pretty smooth.

Carter has been a different story, and I am running out of ideas. Here's a brief history:

- As a newborn he'd wake up every 3 hours to eat (as expected)

- He slept through the night for the first time at about 6 weeks - we thought we'd hit the jackpot again!

- After that he'd sleep through the night probably about 70% of the time. Otherwise, waking up once to take a bottle in the middle of the night.

- At about 4-months, he started sleeping less soundly. He wouldn't wake up to eat, but we'd have to go into his room multiple times a night to sooth him back to sleep. We chalked this up to the 4-month sleep regression.

- After 2-3 weeks of that, he slept through the night for a couple weeks and it was glorious.

- Then it all went to hell. Going back to sleeping less soundly and us needing to go sooth him back to sleep multiple times a night, like during the regression. This went on for a few weeks.

- Then, he got a bad cold and was absolutely inconsolable 1-2 times per night. At this point, one of us started sleeping with him in the guest room. This helped him sleep a bit better, but still not great.

- About a week ago now, he started to wake up every 3 hours and wanted to eat (the only thing that would calm him down would be to give him a bottle). He would sleep well in between feeds, but only in bed with one of us. We chalked this up to a 6-month growth spurt.

- Now he seems to be cutting back on his night feeding, but he's still not sleeping soundly, and we are alternating who spends the night in the guest room with him.

I don't know what to do anymore. We know he's able to sleep through the night, but it's been so long that we're at the end of our ropes. We thought things would get better after the growth spurt, but don't know if it's still going on or not. Even though he wants extra milk at night, he refuses to take extra milk during the day instead. He's also started solids and is clearly ingesting some now. So, we thought this would help too, but it hasn't seemed too.

This is more of a rant, but if anyone has any advice or suggestions, please let me know. We've been trying to avoid the cry-it-out method, but we're getting to the point where we might want to try sleep training. If anyone has used techniques that worked for you, please let me know that too.

Sleep is like water to survive, and it's been really tough the last few weeks. With the stroke, fatigue hits me worse than ever. It was so bad about a week ago that I felt like I was spiralling into a depression.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Weekend

We just had an awesome weekend spent with family!

BIL, SIL and our niece came to visit from Thursday until Tuesday! BIL's cousin is also in town and she and her daughter spent a lot of time with us too! It was so great to have family around and really made us see how amazing it would to be closer to them.

Our niece is the same age as Evan, so it was awesome to see them play together the whole time! It was so nice for Evan to have other people, especially kids, to play with. It was also great to have lots of people who wanted to play with and hold Carter. It was just nice to feel like we had a support system, if only for a little while.

We went to several playgrounds, to a local children's theme park, did an easter egg hunt (and decorated some of our own), played tons in the backyard, went to a swimming pool, and just had some good food, drinks, and laughs.

It was amazing. We really need to figure out how to move closer to family.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekday Meals (2)

I'll be doing a couple post on this theme in the next while! 

Here are some meals I typically pull out on weeknights. I make no claim that they are healthy or that you/your kids/your spouse/your cat will like them. What you see are not the full recipes. If you'd like the full recipe with measurements and everything, just send me an email! 

What are your go-to weeknight meals?

Beef & Broccoli

Ingredients
- Head of Broccoli
- Beef strips (or steak to cut up)
- Raisins
- Sunflower seeds or cashews (or nut of your choice)
- General Tao Sauce (should be able to find in the Asian sauce section of the grocery story)

Directions
Cut beef into strips if you didn't buy strips. Dribble some oil in a pan and cook beef for a few minutes. Cut up broccoli into small pieces. Put those in the pan with beef. Add sauce and cook for a few minutes until broccoli is tender. Add raisins and nut(s). Stir to coat. Serve with rice.


Patty Melts

Ingredients
- Ground beef
- Onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Handful of cilantro (fresh or dry)
- Half a palmful each  of oregano, cumin
- Salt & pepper
- Swiss cheese slices
- Lime juice

Directions
Grate about 2-3 tablespoons of onion and mince/crush garlic. Add that and spices to ground beef and mix well with your hands. Split into patties. Cook in pan on med-high for 5 minutes. Flip. Squirt each with lime juice and top with cheese. Cover pan with tinfoil and cook for 3-5 minutes until burger is done to your liking. Serve on nice bun/break (I toast them quickly in the over) and with coleslaw or other favourite salad.


Beef Dip Sandwich

Ingredients
- Beef roast
- Rosemary
- Garlic powder
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Soy Sauce
- Water

Directions
Crock pot fun! Put the beef in the pot (I cook from frozen). Add as much garlic and rosemary as you'd like and bay leaves. Add 1 cup of soy sauce and 6 cups of water (or enough water to cover beef). Cook all day :) When you get home, shred beef with two forks, and serve on a bun with salad/fries. Use leftover liquid as dip (au jus) for sandwich.



Pulled Pork Sandwich

Ingredients
- Pork tenderloin
- 2 cans of root beer (or Dr. Pepper)
- Water
- BBQ sauce of your choice (I use a hickory smoke)

Directions
More crock pot fun! Put tenderloin in pot (frozen or fresh). Add root beer. Add enough water to cover the pork. Cook all day :) When you get home, shred beef with two forks. Add enough BBQ sauce to coat. Serve on a bun with salad/fries.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Actions are not Judgements

I think as a general rule, we (myself included) need to remember that someone's actions are not judgement of our own.

Here are some personal examples that have come up in my life:

- Just because I had a natural home birth, doesn't mean I think anyone who had an epidural or a c-section is weak.

- Just because I had a stroke doesn't mean I'll minimize your health issues or concerns.

- Just because I hated my PhD and left academia and speak of the "hazards", doesn't mean it won't work for others.

- Just because I have 2 children, doesn't mean I judge you for having a different number (including zero)

- Just because I like to dress up for work/school, doesn't mean I judge your preferred style.

- Just because I eat meat, doesn't mean I think vegans/vegetarians/etc are crazy.

- Just because I don't believe in God or pray, doesn't mean I don't value other belief systems.

What it comes down to is we each have our own set of experiences and values, and we make decisions based on what's best for us. If it works, that's all that matters!

What are some examples that you've been accused of, or have witnessed?

Happy Friday!!!