Sunday, August 30, 2015

Working moms - the struggle is real, amiright?

I hide it poorly. Or not at all.

Although technically I've been back at work full time for two weeks, last week was the first week with the kids, and that's a whole different ball game. I had a good week though. After a decade of teaching, I've finally developed some confidence. I still have plenty of days where I feel like I suck and have tons to learn, but the confidence is there. Without having to be chained to the pump, I felt like I had so much glorious freedom.

We went out for ice cream to celebrate the first day being done.
I thought I had a few more years before this, but no.

However, this is my first school year that I've started things off as a mother, with an actual house to deal with, and that was a bit of a shit show. 

As I've mentioned, we never sleep trained. During periods where sleep is going well, I get to smugly announce that sleep training totally isn't necessary. And during weeks like the previous one, I get to white knuckle my coffee cup while desperately wishing for a time machine so I can go back 8 months and bitch slap myself. 

Dalton has been waking up more and more frequently, probably every 2-3 hours although I really have no idea because I don't look at the clock and it's all a blur. It's a lot though. Bringing him into bed and shoving him on the boob has allowed us all to get some sleep. Until this week. Wednesday night, he was up on and off, but more on, from 10:30-4:30, very agitated, and nothing would calm him. An organized mom would have just got some infant Tylenol from the medicine cabinet, got the dispenser from somewhere logical, given him Tylenol and been done with it. I, on the other hand, was stumbling around at 4am, holding an angry baby and using my cell phone flashlight to search for it and cursing under my breath and finally giving up and telling Eric to take him downstairs so I could at least get an hour and a half of sleep before work. He actually slept great sitting upright on Eric's chest. (I did spot a tooth under the gum later.)

I bought Tylenol on my way home from work the next day, and when Dalton woke up that night, Eric went in and kept him downstairs (his bedroom is downstairs), away from me. This worked much better and is, apparently, a thing. Other moms I know say their kids lose their minds seeing them in the middle of the night but with dad, they easily go back to sleep. 

In my humble opinion the problem was partially teething, and partially the ongoing separation anxiety. When he sees me, he WILL NOT SLEEP. He will fight it to the death, constantly dozing off only to force himself back awake. Cue the mom guilt for being away from him during the day.

My little shadow, chasing me whenever I leave a room.
Then there's the never ending problem of a work - life balance. Dalton can't even stay awake until 7pm these days. So I jet out of school the second the kids leave to at least get 2 hours of time with him. 

I'm starting a new Friday "happy hour" tradition of doing some fun baby activity.

Then once he goes to bed, I'm doing whatever work I neglected to do when I left school, cleaning the kitchen, packing lunch and the diaper bag for the next day (which is much easier though now that I just pack one sippy cup of breast milk for Dalton and I'm not storing milk and washing bottles and pump parts), attempting to pick up toys (but let's get real, that's like 1-2 nights a week max), and trying to get into bed by 9 or so in order to be up at 5 to run, get ready, and be at work hopefully by 7:15. Rinse, repeat the next day.
I did get in four early morning treadmill runs this week!
I was supposed to have my first all out, balls to the wall girls night on Saturday.

I forgot the selfie stick
When I woke up Thursday morning feeling like absolute death, I knew that wasn't happening. The hormonal, sleep deprived non-logic took over, and even though I'd just had 6 + hours of after dark, "quality" time with my son, I didn't want to miss out on more time with him. The weekend is the only time when I feel like I can just relax and enjoy playing with him, and I'm not trying to cook dinner, get ready for work, do laundry, clean up, etc, etc.

Plus, there was no chance I could spend Sunday hungover. I'm hanging on by a thread during the week, barely managing to do the minimum to prepare for the following day, and living in a disaster zone. In addition to wanting to feel 100% present with my family on the weekend, that's the only time I can grocery shop, do laundry, clean, meal prep, etc, etc. Eric does a TON to help, but now that we have a house, there's more to do. He's had to take over putting Dalton down for all naps/bedtimes, for the above stated reasons, he does all the lawn care, and general house maintenance, which is quite time consuming, so I try to take care of the indoor general housekeeping tasks.

I'm not trying to win the busy Olympics by any means. I'm certainly not doing anything more than any other parent. I'm really grateful that my job is flexible in some ways, like being able to leave at 4 and do some work from home after bedtime. Still, I maintain that the struggle is real.

Then I felt guilty for wimping out on girls night, because I value my friendships, and I think it's really important to devote time to them, not to mention that I really enjoy that time. And wine.

Beyond delicious.
The benefit to an early bedtime is that I can still go out with friends early on a Saturday, and barely miss any time with this guy.

Of course, friends always understand, so we still had a fun night together going out to dinner, then having a drink at a quiet-ish bar and chatting the whole time. Casi was even nice enough to finish my drink for me so I could drive home. Taking one for the team.

I stayed out until past 11. Considering I was out by 9pm Friday night, this was a huge accomplishment. Then I slept until 7:45, and didn't even hear Dalton wake up (although granted, I turned the monitor off, but even so it's still unprecedented) . I woke up to the perfect picture of domestic bliss: Eric cooking eggs while Dalton happily ate cheerios in his high chair. It's amazing how good sleep can make a person feel. I wish babies could understand that. Mine, at least, the rest seem to already know.

Where do you feel like you are failing at life? I would say basically all areas. I'm ignoring a huge pile of laundry to blog at this very moment. When I called to make an appointment for a hair cut, I found out my stylist no longer works weekends, so I was just like never mind and hung up the phone figuring I'll get it cut next summer.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Times have changed

Friday afternoon used to mean one thing: happy hour. 

Times have changed. 

A different kind of after work watering hole. 

My handsome date. 
I'm not saying I'll never go to another happy hour, but I don't recall them ever being quite THIS much fun.

How long do I have before I have to stop dressing him in silly outfits?
Today is Eric's 35th birthday. We met when he was 25. This just occurred to me and kind of blows my mind. Just two kids, hanging out at the bar, being wild back then.

And now, we have our own kid.

As a model wife, for his birthday, first, I took his son from him to meet my friend Jen and her kids for a 7 mile stroller run.

Nailed it.
I made it up to him by bringing him a bagel with the wrong kind of cream cheese because I got confused.

Can you see the quinoa in his hair?
Everyone knows Sundays are lame, so we had the big celebration on Saturday. Our absolute favorite type of food is Ethiopian. We suspected Dalton would be a fan, and this kid went nuts for it.

The spread

Couldn't get enough.
Naturally we had to take a family photo to commemorate the occasion.

They all turn out so beautifully.
We did round two at home with our new, beloved selfie stick.
But everyone knows you need to take the picture from as high up as possible to make it the most flattering.
Eric's wasn't the only "birthday" today.

Classic Dalton face. "What's going on over there? Something I need to know about?"
He's grown a bit. 

Also, his llama sheep changed colors.
Last monthly picture until his actual, real birthday. All the feels. 

There was no real point to this post, other than me living in denial that school starts tomorrow. 

Where were you ten years ago?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My crazy, hippie mom life: an update

While on a playdate at the park, I was changing Dalton's diaper. I pulled out the cloth diaper, cloth diaper bag, and a little mason jar of coconut oil to use as diaper cream. It was at that moment that I was like...WHO AM I? I got an epidural. I drink diet coke. I mainly recycle, but sometimes if there's like a peanut butter jar with a narrow lid that would be a major PITA to wash out I throw it away. I'm not a hippie. But I do have some hippie leanings as a mom, apparently. I've discussed them before, but someone actually requested I discuss my cloth diapering experiences! It was so exciting to have a reader request! Additionally, I want to talk about some other hippie stuff, including breastfeeding. Because I don't do that enough. But in my defense, it's all I have to share. Other than that, it would be cute stories about what my kid did that are cute to no one who hasn't provided his DNA, or talking about how I moved desks out of my classroom to provide more room for reading nooks. NO ONE CARES.

Diapers: We switched to cloth in April. I love Earth. But I love money more. And I'd like more of it, which was the driving force. I thought cloth diapers were these (and they were, when I was a baby).
Now, it's a burp cloth, for me at least.

Turns out, now they can be these

Way cuter, and more importantly, easier.

Cloth diapers were insanely overwhelming for me in the beginning. There are tons of types, tons of brands, tons of acronyms, and the feeling of I do not want to be scrubbing crap on a daily basis. Once you get past the learning curve though, they really aren't any more work (trust me, I'm not trying to add that to my life). We use pocket diapers (they have an outer waterproof cover and an insert that soaks up the pee), whatever brand I can find cheap in good used shape, don't judge me, it's a thing. They basically snap or velcro on like regular diapers, no pins or covers or anything.

The main difference is, obviously, washing them rather than throwing them away. Doing an extra load of laundry every other day doesn't really bother me, and then I just quickly get them ready for the baby bottom out of the dryer and throw them in his drawer. At first I was wary about using them whenever we left the house or overnight, but now we've been doing both for a while with no issues. Daycare doesn't love it, but has compromised and does a combo of disposable and cloth. The grossness factor is a huge turn off to people, myself included before I dove in, but I really don't think it's any worse than changing diapers in general.

Breastfeeding: Society is weird because the expectation is you breastfeed for one year or else you suck.
Yes, a lot of this is self imposed, but it's out there, and nothing could have prepared me for how intense the pressure would be. But, for the love of God, DO NOT go past that one year mark by even a day or you're a weirdo. I'll admit, I thought the same early on, but as the year went on, I wasn't planning to breastfeed while packing up for the kindergarten bus, but I also could kind of see Lysa Arryn's point of view.

But I swear I won't go this far.

At any rate, I really had no intention of weaning at one year on the dot, and figured if we continued to nurse at night a couple months past I would enjoy that. But, I think we are weaning. I have been really opposed to using the W word, but I think it's time to call a spade a spade. Dalton will literally nurse for 1.5 minutes then drink one gallon of water (he is his mother's son, I'm known for my hydration). I've read tons of about how babies don't self wean before a year, and how to bring them back to loving the teat, but really, at this point, I've experienced one too many watermelon sized boobs and bloody nipples from being at the mercy of tiny razor sharp teeth. I'm trying to just let the chips fall where they may.

Nothing really prepared me for the emotional aspect of breastfeeding. Despite the many times I've complained, and the recent pain and fear that makes it not even enjoyable, I'm hanging on for dear life and not ready to stop. And I could just stop, I have enough in the freezer to get to that coveted one year mark. I just don't want to, somehow. Sign me up for My Strange Addiction: Breastfeeding.

Babywearing: I have literally only ever used my stroller for exercise purposes (although maybe if I'd had my baby during the hot summer months this would be different). For all practical purposes, I wear my baby. I also wear him just for fun.  I have the classic "hold me all the time and then hold me some more" baby, he has the softest, most beautiful skin on earth, and he's the one human in this world I actually like touching. I like it, he likes it, and I get two hands to get stuff done. Win win.

Baby Led Weaning: This is how we approached solids, except that when we actually began, I didn't even know what it was. It wasn't until we were doing it that I understood what it meant and realized it described us. In my opinion, it was invented by people like me, for people like me. I really like to find the most efficient, least time consuming route to the same quality result. You'll never hear me bragging about how late I stayed at work, but you might hear me bragging about how early I got to go home and still got my job done well. Baby Led Weaning (BLW) can be summed up as follows: don't make fancy baby food, don't buy overpriced jars, just keep eating as normal, but throw some of your dinner on your baby's high chair tray while you're at it. I assume some yuppie was like "hey, let's invent some fancy name for this and pretend it's some new movement instead of letting everyone know I like doing things in the laziest way possible". Thus, BLW was born.

It's messy, but in a hilarious way.

I started out attempting to puree foods, except I did it wrong, and it was a lot of extra work, and then we realized we were blessed with a baby who would eat literally anything. Now we haven't changed our eating habits at all, and Dalton eats what we eat. Spicy food, ethnic food, vegetables, meat, quinoa, stinky cheeses, whatever we're having, he's having. We're going out for Ethiopian this weekend for Eric's birthday, and we won't be bringing separate baby food.

Co-sleeping: Sleep became a HOT MESS this summer.

Side note: We got a selfie stick.

We traveled twice, got four teeth, separation anxiety is off the chain and probably some other stuff was happening over there in baby brain land that he can't explain to us yet. I texted everyone in my phone freaking out when bedtime became an hour long scream fest last week and everyone assumed I was texted for support to stay strong during CIO (cry it out). But no, it was a scream fest WHILE I was holding him.

He would bite me during nursing, so I'd put him in the crib, and walk out for a minute to discourage that (nothing else worked). That would cause him to become completely hysterical and he would fight sleep. Even on nights that didn't happen, he would still fight sleep so hard with me because he didn't want me to leave. That sounds arrogant, but really, he's as obsessed with me as I am with him. When I use the bathroom, he crawls over and sits outside the door and yells until I come out.

This week we switched things up and started nursing earlier in the evening, and Eric puts him to bed. So far, knock on wood, it's improved bedtime. He is still up a lot throughout the night. We usually stay strong until the single digit hours and then get too exhausted and just bring him into bed and give him the boob and everyone sleeps happily then. Which is another reason I don't want to wean yet. I need what little tiny broken pieces of sleep it helps me salvage.

That's what's been going on over here. To summarize: I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent, but  my kid will eat ethnic foods at a young age so that's fun to experiment with.

Which of these hippie things do you find the most weird and/or stupid? Pre-mom me probably would have said cloth diapers, although I would have thought they were all pretty dumb.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Some running news

A while ago, I announced I would be running the Baltimore Half Marathon in October.'s time I started training for that?

I wouldn't say I've been a complete bum. I've steadily exercised 5-6 times a week for the past ten months. I've very, very slowly been coming back with my running endurance and speed, although they are no where near they were in 2013 and might never be again. But I'm not completely out of shape.

I printed out a training plan and hung it on the fridge.

Even hung it up with a half marathon magnet.
It was supposed to start 3 weeks ago. Then boob debacle 2015 happened. I didn't nail training. But today was my first time ever going to work, as a mom, and NOT pumping, and I didn't even notice! Can we all say a prayer that boob emergencies won't derail my training and/or life in general any more, at least with this child?

The following week, I was in New York. I ran Monday and Tuesday, but really had no intentions of doing anything in NY other than eating and baby snuggling. I did nail that plan.

Which brings us to last week - my official first week of training. I didn't do terrible. I ran 20 miles in all, although 12 of them were on the treadmill. It's just so glorious to run and watch TV. In addition, I went to a spin class and a strength training class.

I was really spoiled this summer. I was home from work by 3:30 at the absolute latest most days, usually before that, so I was able to work out in the afternoon during nap time. That brings me back to my plan before Dalton was born, work out during nap times. Then he arrived and I was like WTF IS THIS "NAP TIME"??? All he does is sleep on me 23 hours a day? How do people work out with babies?

But now naptimes do exist, and during summer I could use it to run on the treadmill, and life was amazing. Although I miss those sweet chest naps. That also allowed me to sleep in until he woke up, and that too was a dream come true. This all contributed to last week's success.

In other news, buying baby toys is stupid.

But now I'm back to the cold stark real world of adulting and that's over. Exercise will take place at 5am or not at all. I was all set to start this year off on the right foot and had the alarm set and everything laid out to hop on the treadmill before the sun came up.

Yeah. At 1:30 am when I was STILL AWAKE, I turned the alarm off. I definitely haven't had insomnia in a hot minute, and it was weird because I wasn't stressed about the school year at all, or so I thought. I was just reading a really good book and couldn't stop. Naturally, as soon as I finally fell asleep, Dalton woke up and then I decided I was going to miss him too much during the school year so I brought him into bed and snuggled him and creepily stared at him from 12-1am. Normal. Finally I told Eric to take him away because I was staring at him and preventing myself from sleeping. I AM the mom in "I'll Love you Forever" and I will drive to his house to stare at him in 30 years. I get that mom.

Touch me. LOVE ME.

Today was a wash, but I did spend it in a sweatbox moving heavy furniture and books, so at least I got some movement. I have committed to at least two glasses of wine tonight, but just to help me sleep so I can think better at work tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another day, and my running just got some great news. My running buddy, Lily, is moving only four miles away from us! She just got engaged to an absolutely wonderful man and I am so excited for them, but selfishly also really excited for me that she's moving back from Delaware to run with me.

I'm mad we didn't get a better picture, my hair looked amazing that night.

I have no idea how I once trained for marathons. I am super proud of managing a 20 mile WEEK when I only worked four days, how did I once run 20 miles in one fell swoop? I would like to do a marathon again maybe in 10-12 years. Right now, the idea of doing those long training Workouts must either fit into nap time or be able to be done with the stroller. By the time I get my bearings as a working mom so that things like putting away a load of laundry doesn't feel overwhelming, I'll be baby crazy for number 2.

"Another baby, you say?"

And....that's the story of the half marathon training. Stay tuned. 

Confess...when did you last act like a creeper? Just today I openly eavesdropped on a private conversation, then admitted it.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rambling: mainly whining, a little trying to be positive

The school year starts tomorrow and the cliche we all say every single August has never been more true: where in God's name did summer go?

Loves being dunked!

So proud of himself.

I'm trying to focus on the positives of a new school year beginning but there's definitely a struggle. Mainly, missing my babies. I've mentioned on here before I was with my previous class for three straight years (I looped with them from 3rd-5th grade) so this will be my first time greeting a new class in quite a while. I was kind of attached to those guys (the looping was at my request/begging).

I'm about the least touchy feely, warm and fuzzy person out there (the reason I'll never win teacher of the year), so it's a big deal for me to say things like "my babies" and "I'm attached". My friend just pointed out that I am Ranger Roy from Full House, best known for having panic attacks where he stopped breathing if someone tried to touch him. Yes. This is me. I hate human contact.

It worked out great because the whole class was trained to understand that I will not hug anyone but they understood that I loved them all anyway. I'm not thrilled to have to retrain a whole new bunch.

That's how I feel about it.
Naturally, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I'm devastated to leave my actual baby full time again. I know I have been super lucky to have had extra time with him this summer. (But keep in mind, even if you don't get that at your job, you probably get things like raises, a desk, and air conditioning.) Summer school was part time, so I picked him up before lunch each day. It was glorious. And I did some curriculum writing/professional development/planning, but even though those were full days, they weren't nearly as long as full days during the school year.

I even had a handful of week days completely off. I think my favorite feeling in the world is waking up and going to get him (or, let's get real, sometimes waking up and rolling over to see him) and knowing that we get the entire day together and I don't have to be away from him at any point.

Waking up next to this face...I don't hate it.

Days of nothing but playing are the best

This is why I'm insanely jealous of stay at home moms. I know I'm supposed to be rah rah rah yay strong women and I'm grateful I have a job I enjoy and I'm proud that we're setting the example that we work as a team to provide for the family in our household. BUT I would give anything to have that feeling every morning (but maybe I need to spend time away from him to fully appreciate it? I can tell myself that at least). I'm just greedy and there's never enough time with him. Side note - my friend Jessy just wrote an excellent post about being a working mom.

Every day with this guy - living the dream

Back to the positive. I love my coworkers, and I got to know some students in summer school and they seem pretty cool. It's not like I'll never see Dalton again and there are worse problems to have than being obsessed with your child and missing him while at work. New beginnings are always exciting, and I'm feeling like it will be a good year. Especially since I'll be leaving this life sucking machine behind.

I kept wavering back and forth like crazy but about an hour ago I decided it's official. Dalton only nurses once during the daytime lately, generally barely even that. He's way too busy exploring, playing, and being a wild child.

In an effort to save some of our precious time together, I made some crock pot freezer meals. I did this last summer, because it's the thing to do while pregnant. Then I realized it's just an awesome idea in general, and doesn't have to be limited to huge life changes.

Did you know babies can't have honey until they are a year old because of botulism? I had to label certain recipes for after September 23 when it's safe. 

As much as I'm struggling with going back to work, I'm not exactly nailing it on the parenting front either. We have new teeth, which has led to biting, which has paired with separation anxiety, and bedtime has become a complete and utter cluster. Seriously, it's a nightmare. Except not, because that would require sleeping.

On that note, onward to my most hated task in all of life: setting up a classroom. I would truly rather spend the week cleaning toilets. Teaching, I like. Decorating, I freaking despise.

What's your absolute most hated task about your job?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Baby books for new moms and moms to be evaluated by a very slightly less new mom

Dalton is turning one next month! I've finally figured out the real reason breastfeeding is recommended for a year. It's so sappy mothers like me who tear up at the mere thought of "my baby isn't going to be a baby anymore!" can be consoled by the fact that soon he can drink cow's milk and stop scraping the ever loving crap out of my nipple. 

I'm on to you, American Academy of Pediatrics
No babies were harmed in the taking of this photo
Anyway, I THINK that means it’s safe to say we have survived the newborn period. I’m not going to spend time rejoicing though, because that means something far more terrifying is coming…toddlerhood.

And I think there's going to be a lot of "thank god he's cute" moments.

I don’t think anyone would argue that caring for a newborn is easy, but it is fairly simple. In my experience, the goal was keep the kid alive and pack some weight on him, and try not to lose your mind or burn down your house due to sleep deprivation in the process. There’s a lot of hands on experience, but not a ton of thought that goes into it. Shove boob in mouth, wipe butt, repeat.

But now, we have to actually think about turning this sweet little baby into a decent person who doesn’t suck and isn’t a drain on society. That sounds so much harder. Sure, I may get more sleep (key word: may) but I have to do really challenging things, like teach compassion.. And tantrums are coming. I can deal with a crying baby, it’s their only way to communicate, it’s not like they are doing it to be annoying. A tantruming toddler…I’m not so sure.

Much like when I was pregnant, I started some research. Reflecting on things, I read a lot of books while pregnant, but very little material that actually helped when the baby arrived. Here’s my thoughts. (I was going to link to them on amazon but I don't know how to profit from that using affiliate links or anything so if you want to read any of them just google it yourself.)

The Happiest Baby on the Block: This was one that really worked wonders on Dalton. I'll spread the gospel of the 5S method until I die, or have another kid that hates it. Naturally, I turned to The Happiest Toddler on the Block to prepare for what’s coming down the pike. I’ll report back on how that works out in 2-5 years. Right now, Dr. Karp, you are my God.

A Panic – Free Pregnancy: This book was awesome. There’s a lot of fear mongering while pregnant. And being pregnant is FREAKING TERRIFYING. It’s not like giving a baby peanut butter fear that right away you can see the outcome. You just have to hope things are A-ok with your fetus. What I found was that if someone heard something once from someone about not being allowed to have something while pregnant, they just took it as the law, and felt free to let you know they were judging you if you did otherwise. This book has actual research on what’s safe and what’s not safe and the varying degrees and basically tells you what you can and can’t do better than Facebook or annoying people.

Ina Mays Guide to Orgasmic Childbirth and Graphic Pictures of Women who Need Razors: No. Just no. My view of delivery (while pregnant) came down to one question: what do I hate more, needles or pain? And all these people (like my mom) were all like natural childbirth yay it’s the best! So I had this brief moment where I lost my mind and was like maybe there’s something to it, how bad can the pain be? I use LOL too much, like many of us, but I swear I actually did laugh out loud while typing that. This book came advised as the bible for people who love pain so I checked it out of the library and read up until the part where they talked about how birth can actually be orgasmic, NOT painful, and there were pictures. At that point I returned the book and solidified my position on team epidural. I think maybe a teeny tiny part of me held out hope that I would have one of those orgasmic deliveries but I wasn’t so lucky.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Word on the street was to ignore the stupid title and just dive in because it’s worth it. It did have some useful information but reading a book on breastfeeding while pregnant is like studying for the MCAT on your first day of undergrad (probably, I’m just a simple schoolteacher, but it sounds like the same idea). Most people need some help with it but it’s really not a good use of your time to read up on every possible problem and solution because it’s too much for a pregnant brain to retain. Just use the nurses and LCs available to figure things out once the baby arrives. 

Personally, I think they would do better just posting this on the first page and then "the end".

I did reread some of it when I was looking for new positions as Dalton got older and good thing I didn’t retain it from the first read because it would have made me feel terrible about having a c-section and not getting skin on skin time immediately. And having my baby born “drugged” just so my pansy ass could get some pain relief. I also don't seem to recall a chapter on what to do if your boob blows up like a balloon. Do not read.

But if I'd had a vaginal delivery, this picture would never exist.
What to Expect: This one was fun to read while pregnant, but it got a little redundant, and there’s too much information about what could go wrong. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t necessary. I have the one for the first year and I think I read like 3 pages at the end of pregnancy. Pointless. There’s really no reason to read what the baby is supposed to be doing at 3 months old, in my opinion. Just look at your baby and see what he or she is doing. If there’s a problem, the pediatrician will let you know, I’m sure. Otherwise, there’s such a huge range that I think my time is better spent either reading Where's Spot or books on toddlerhood in a likely futile attempt not to ruin my kid.

He's kind of fun to be with.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: I borrowed this from two actual real life friends (one had passed it to the other) and it came highly recommended. Not to sound completely stupid and it’s not like I had to have a parent read it for me and explain it, but I struggled here. I would reread paragraphs over and over and be confused about what I was supposed to do. The book says to read it before the baby is born, and I probably should have done that instead of read about orgasmic births. But I tried when Dalton was 2 weeks old and I was all like I’m not sleep deprived and stupid I can totally read. In retrospect, that may not have been the case. I got some good info out of it, like learning his cues and not keeping him up more than an hour, but overall it made me cry because I was doing everything wrong and Eric threatened to throw it away.

And as a result, we have been cursed with a miserable child.
The Sleep Lady: Things were all well and good here until she started being all smug and braggy about how both her kids slept through the night by 8 weeks old. Then she starts in with all these detailed nap plans that you need to do in order to get your kid sleeping through the night. Good, thanks, I'll be sure to do all that while I'm at work and he's at daycare. I pretty much stopped there. It might be a good read if you are going to stay home, and I might return to it if I ever sleep train since she has a gentle method. I'm going to write a sleep book for working moms and be a billionaire.

Wonder Weeks: Ok, in all honesty, I perused the book at a friend's house but only actually bought the app and never read it fully. Still, I swear by it. In a nutshell, it explains what in God's name is going on in your infant's head (based on tons of research about brain development) and predicts when they will go through "leaps". Leaps are times when their perception of how the world works changes, and, as probably most of us would, they act bonkers because that's freaking scary. The leaps are based on due dates, and maybe because Dalton was born right on his, it has been extremely accurate for us. If nothing else, it's a much more scientific way to deal with a fussy baby by dismissing everything as just a phase.

That's all that I recall reading, so I'll call it quits here.

Opinions on any of these books, or any other baby books, or how to books in general?

Who out there has had that perfect orgasmic birth? I need to hear about it!