Monday, December 29, 2008

Greener pastures

The midwife and I got a run in today. Nothing fancy, just 30 minutes out and about (me with the stroller that pulls so hard to the left I'm beginning to not enjoy running with it). She stayed for tea after, and we got chatting, as we're apt to do. I'm struggling with heading back to work post-baby - and not so much because of leaving the Chou, because, frankly she's so bored of me. So, so, so bored and half a day playing with her peers is going to be so good for her, and me, probably, once I get over my separation anxiety.

What I'm struggling with is this: I think I'm totally sick of my job. Sort of. See how convincing I am? (oh, and Dave B - let's keep this between you and me, OK?)

My problem is several layers deep. I'd rather not be desk-bound for my job, or at least not all of my day. In fact, I promised myself that my LAST job was my last 100% desk job. Then there's the monotony of what it is I'm doing; I'm going on six (seven?) years of essentially doing the same thing over and over. And I'm working from home, which is lovely in so many ways, but some days I crave the everyday interaction that is the office. And, quite frankly, there are so many things I'm interested in and want to do that I start looking at the calendar thinking - there's so much more I could be doing.

And then the midwife steps in and offers up a very real and much needed reality check. My job is pretty sweet for a new mum. I've been able to freelance and make some extra cash while on mat leave and that's not possible for most career types. I can work from home, adding a level of flexibility in my schedule. My job is mobile; something that means the world right now to Mr. Wumpus's job. And while I may be desk-bound, my job is intellectually stimulating, interesting and sometimes even fun. I've met some magnificent people and feel honored to have told their stories. I've traveled with this job, and it's provided opportunities to experience places and conferences that would have been out of reach if I were only freelancing.

In short, my job is a really good fit for us right now. Maybe that will change in 6 months or a year or never, but right now, it's pretty sweet.

The midwife added that we're a rather blessed generation, too. And she's right. Our grandparents, heck, our parents had one job and stuck it out, whether they really enjoyed it or not. Our generation's mentality is so different - we feel we should be happy in our work (and I think we should) and that we should find that balance between life and work. I'm blessed because a) I have a job and b) I feel like I could change careers, experience something new or do anything I really wanted to do. Not everyone has that luxury.

I'm content for now, and even looking forward to work in some ways. The office here is a little quiet, but the coffee is good and the dress code is very, very informal. Instead of focusing on what I'd change, I'm going to dive head first into what I have in front of me to do and give it a good go.

I could love writing people's stories again. I think.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Redux

We drove on a beautiful sunny Christmas day.

We got books! Lots and lots of amazing books.

We got spoiled, and Chou ate paper.

We got a Christmas dress and looked adorable in it.

Oh, and? I have no pictures of it (and only one poor video) but wee Chou started STANDING on her own on Christmas day. She pushed up with legs (no arms) and balanced for a good few seconds, and then did it over and over. Eep. She also started playing drums on the pots and pans. Now that's fun!

As for me, I missed my WW meeting because of our delayed visit down south. I did ok, but ate far too much anyway. Today, in the 9 degree warmth I shall run. Or at least marvel at the 9 degrees in late December that is turning all our snow to ice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Baby

We're weather delayed here Chez Wumpus. We were supposed to have headed out for a 5 hour drive to see Mr. Wumpus's family, but freezing rain and yucky snow at our destination has us holed up here for the day. We'll head out early Christmas morning and get there in time for dinner.

Hope you're all safe and happy with your loved ones today and tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

And a Happy 2nd Birthday to Newt, Chou would like to add.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nine months of Chou

I'd say she's been out as long as she's been in, but that point will come some 12 days from now...nonetheless, Chou is in fact a nine month old baby as of today. I look at her these days and realize all too quickly that she's racing towards being a toddler and a child and leaving the lazy days of infanthood behind. It's frightening and exciting all at once.

But on to what this is really supposed to be: a peek into Chou's life at this time, so I don't have to keep a baby book.

Dear Petit Chou,

These last few weeks of being 8 months have been ones of acquiring all sorts of new skills. So many in fact, that your sleeping has been all messed up. Thankfully, last night was a return to "normalcy" (maybe average is a better term), you were up only once after 9:30 and didn't truly wake until 7. I needed that, so thank you.

And just what are all these new tricks? For starters, you made a total liar out of me when I told everyone at playdate that you weren't into finger foods and didn't seem to have any sort of chewing/gnawing instinct when it came to food (causing major heart attacks for me at every feeding). And then sweet little Naya promptly handed you a rice rusk and you grabbed it, gnawed and chewed it and didn't once even gag. Right.

Of course, you learned to clap, give fives and are learning the signs for all done, more, mum, dad and thank you (all done you've nearly got down pat).

You're a mime of the highest order these days and want to do everything mummy and daddy do. You've even started drinking straight out of our mugs and glasses. We're only allowing you water, although at the donor clinic that mummy passed out at you not only drank from a straw the first time, you also sampled orange AND apple juice (you preferred orange).

Furniture cruising is a fine art for you, crawling is a messy, topsy turvy affair, but either way, you are one mobile baby. You pull yourself up on something as thin as our lamp (maybe an inch across) , and the bookshelf (of which you pull nearly everything out of), mum's computer chair, the bed, your crib, the wall, the dining room table, chairs...the list goes on. You love to destroy any and all paper and have a fascination with specks of everything on the floor.

My favorite things you do are turning the pages on your books as we read them and your bouncy, boppy dancing. You seem to love a wide variety of tunes, from the music to the Nutcracker to Beyonce, Kanye and the ABC song. Whatever gets you moving is fine with me. We dance together to Elvis's Blue Christmas too. You like to be dipped, of course. In fact most things that involve any sort of physical are your favorite: tickle fights, wrestling, pony rides on mum's knee, dancing, flying, cruising, standing, it's all your favorite. You are never idle. Ever.

Christmas should be a treat as you love to destroy all things paper. Already, the few gifts you've opened have been absolute entertainment for us and you - although really crinkly tissue paper makes you crawl up on my lap and play with it from the safety of this perch. That was funny.

As for eating, you've finally decided to like solids, but you're not a big volume eater. You love spice - you've eaten ginger chicken (your favorite), curry, spicy lentils, and prefer strong tastes; blueberries and prunes to apples or bananas. You'd also prefer if you ate everything out of my hand or off my plate. Apparently my food tastes much better than yours.

You've slimmed out and stretched taller this month, and tiny perfect curls are collecting at the back of your head, ready to grow and build into a giant white afro like I had, I'm sure. Your face has changed, becoming more of your own and less of either your dad's or mine. You've got an ever-expanding vocabulary of sounds (the latest sounds like Darth Vader). You certainly know what Stop and NO mean, but it doesn't mean you listen. But your gummy smile (still no teeth!) lights up a room, the grocery store, our WW meetings, or anywhere else we go.

I love the sleepy moments of you curled in close, suckling away, your hand twisted in your curls, opening and closing as you nurse. As much as I'd love a full night's sleep some day, this middle of the night or early morning snuggle and feed is probably my favorite, when the whole world is quiet and you're mostly asleep and I simply stare and marvel at the perfectness that is your rounded cheek, your pudgy hand, your long lashes. I try to memorize the size and shape of you at this age, knowing that all too soon you'll be on your own more, too busy for me. But I don't wish you to stay just this way, that would be selfish. You love to explore and learn new things, and I love watching your face light up as you learn each new skill.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter running

Winter running is not easy, but it is fun. Especially without a stroller or windchill of -37. The midwife and I headed out for my first real winter run. The air was chilly, -15, but the sun was out, the wind none existent and the roads were clear for half of the run. I learned a few things.

1. Wool mittens are only warm if they're lined.
2. Running Room hats make even the nicest shaped skull look like a penis
3. Long vests/jackets are a must or your ass WILL freeze
4. Cameras kept in front pockets (not against your skin) will NOT work after a 3 mile run

And due to number 4, I don't have the wonderful post-race photo I was hoping for. Instead, you get me, grumpy (and making a mad face) because my head looks like a penis. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

WW Week Two Report

Weigh-in: Down 1.2 lb
Total loss to date: 2.6 lb

I don't know what I'm prouder of - that I still lost this week in the face of delicious cheesecake and gingerbread or that I ran today, on snow and ice, WITH the Chou. Have I mentioned my midwife rocks? Yeah, she called last night, said "I'm coming over to run." There's not much to do but run with her, I guess. And so we did.

I learned a few things this week. One, that I should choose my treats at parties and then savor and enjoy them fully, but then step away from the treats. On Saturday, I had been doing really, really good and then the cheesecake came out. I didn't even want it and yet, I took a piece and ate the entire thing. WTF? And then, at yesterday's playdate I went back into the kitchen twice to graze. I wasn't hungry. Again, what? With one more big week of eating to go (two if we do anything for new years), I've learned that I really have no will power when it comes to grazing. My new strategy? Try and get Chou to nap on me. That worked the first time!

This week's challenge? Run, run, run.

See, Mummy? These only help if you USE them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Work widow

Being a new mum can be isolating enough, but being a new mum in a new city with a husband whose job is demanding evenings and weekends is down right shiterific (hey! a new word!). Here I was, all thinking that hey, I'm a grown woman with her own interests and life and I really don't depend on my spouse to have a life so I'll be totally OK with him working until 6 every night and at least one full day on the weekend.

Hmmm, not so much.

It's not like he's around during the day, and that's okay. Chou and I have our routine, and more often than not, we both get a little put out on the weekends when Mr. Wumpus is here disrupting things. Still, we like him so we make the effort. But evenings? Evenings he's always been home for, usually by 5. It's been a month now of more like 6 pm, and seeing as wee Chou starts her bedtime routine around 7 to 7:15, that doesn't leave much time for daddy daughter time (or sans-Chou time for me, but that's secondary).

Yesterday, it all sort of smacked me around. We had temps nearly in the double digits (ABOVE Celcius. In December. I know, weird), and all I wanted to do was get in 3 miles sans-Chou. My last two runs have been really disappointing - first with the stroller and feeling like I would collapse, then in the snow and slush and ice sans-stroller and feeling about the same. I just wanted to get out there and knock out a feel-good few miles in celebration of my signing up for my second half marathon.

By nearly six at night, with no sign of the husband, I knew I wasn't going to be running. I was also bored out of my face and tempted to eat every last cookie in my freezer. I was pissed off that I hadn't worked out earlier in the day, and kicking myself for being stupid enough to think I'd get a run in with at least half light (the sun sets by 4:30. Stupid winter).

And maybe that's part of the problem. I wake up in the dark, I head out for some sort of errand or visit, I work out while the Chou sleeps, then I twiddle my thumbs around here, make dinner in the half dark and then, boom, it's dark and my husband isn't even home from work. Have I mentioned it's dark at 4:30? Yeah, next week's solstice couldn't come soon enough.

What's really getting me worked up is that apparently it's one particular person at the hubby's work that's creating this need for so many hours, and not everyone else has to do it. It's this lopsided time demand that's really getting under my skin. Well, that and my lack of running, combined with wanting to eat everything in sight while being bored.

Hey, at least I've got a cute kid. There's always an up side, right?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party at my place, you're all invited

I got the best, best, news this morning.

Check it out at Decaf Please.

That's right, kick ass momathlete Jennifer P has chosen my sweet new home as the site of her first ever full marathon. And while the whole full marathon thing is enough to celebrate on its own, what's more is it means she'll be coming to visit me the third week in May. I'll have my running buddy back! She'll of course bring along her wee Newt and hubby to keep my hubby and baby entertained. What fun they'll have cheering us on for hours on end (according to the fantasy in my head).

Sundays just don't get any better than this.

The next finishers medals we'll be sporting together will be for a full and half marathon...and hopefully this time neither of us will be carrying a 4 week old fetus-Chou, like I was in this picture.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Five things I did today

Call it a Friday Five, if you'd like. You're welcome to do one too.

1. Had a dance party with the Chou. She likes Beyonce and Christmas carols to groove to

2. Ate and drank plenty in anticipation of number three

3. Gave blood

4. Finished giving my two cups, and promptly passed out

5. Saved three lives anyway because I had finished giving when I took the unscheduled nap

Oh, and as a bonus:

6. Ate way too many cookies and OJ post-pass out. There goes the "no flex points this week" goal

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WW Week One Report

Weigh-in: Down 1.4 lb.

I'll admit I was cranky this morning. I didn't feel any different or that I'd made any progress. I was happy with how I did at both parties in managing my food intake, but I was already beating myself up for not doing as well as I had hoped.

Then I got on the scale and was totally encouraged. Over a pound! Since the meeting (all two hours hence), I've been going over the good things I did this week and I'm focusing on them instead of feeling like I could have done better.

1. I ran. In a lot of snow, on uncleared sidewalks during a storm. I kick ass.
2. I also worked out two other times (50 mins) each and was darn sore the next day.
3. I managed to eat half decently at not one but TWO parties, one of which was named "Cookie". Enough said.
4. I've yet to feel deprived or famished. I'm eating filling, nutritious foods and not mindlessly snacking for the sake of putting something in my mouth.

WW launched its new Momentum plan this week. Really, it's more along the lines of how I eat anyway (it focuses more on whole grains, filling vegetables and using your points for maximum fullness), but I like the new recipes and suggestions. This week's meeting was a good one. It helps that Chou is a favorite attendee and manages to yell at all the wrong times making everyone laugh. Oh, and one thing that I had questioned was the amount I'm to eat while nursing - Chou is still mostly nursing, but is eating more solids. The older she gets, the less she'll nurse and so I had an issue with the blanket 10 points you get for nursing. They've since changed that. Now, a baby that also receives solids or formula only sucks 5 points out of you, not 10. I (rather arbitrarily) gave myself 8 instead of 10. If after the next few months I'm not making progress or plateauing I may kick that back to 5. We'll see.

I'm so encouraged for this week. Only one party to contend with and now I know that's not a death knell for my progress.

This week's goals: one to two runs, one to two cardio workouts (plus abs) and one to two weight workouts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Give her a hand, folks

Yesterday went better than planned. Sure, I ate two more delicious treats than I would have liked, but I managed to fill up on veggies and yet still enjoy sampling some of the amazing cookies put together by my lady friends. I now have a freezer full of (to name a few) mudslide cookies, truffles, banana bread, iced sugar cookies and, yes, bourbon fudge. Oh cripes it's good.

I tallied up my points for the afternoon and was surprised to see that I was actually still within my daily allowance. The day wasn't a write off after all! I had a yummy dinner and a snack and managed to come in at just 2 points over (and I'm now OK with that). As Manateemomma pointed out, before WW, when she'd go to a party she'd consider the day a write off and just continue to eat junk for the balance of the day, whereas now, she realizes that she can work that party binge into what's reasonable for her to consume and still salvage the day and week's work of losing. I like that. Yesterday was the first day I felt like that. It's liberating and empowering and encouraging.

And then there's the Chou's big achievement - clapping. She discovered this trick on her own, for the most part, and it was truly hilarious to watch the understanding dawn on her face. The face quickly turned into a scrunched up grin, then came the screech of delight. Goodness is she proud of herself for this one. She now claps for everything, including her ability to clap. We've created a monster.

On a training note, and because this post seems to be entirely random, I've officially signed up for my next half marathon. It's May 24th, which seems really far away, until I count the 15 or so weeks of training, and then, well, it's not far away at all. Of course, as I look out my window at the fresh foot of snow covering the world, I wonder how I'm ever going to really train in January and February. I need Speedo Steve to come shovel the local track. I wonder how much he'd charge?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Further to being stupid

I'm so stupid.

I joined WW the week of a) a giant, food-centered Christmas party and b) a cookie exchange party - one where I come home with SEVEN DOZEN DIFFERENT KINDS OF COOKIES.

In the past, I would have told you I'm a salt lover, not sweet, and that I could take or leave cookies, cakes, pies and baked yummies. I would have also said that chips held no sway over me, but cheese and snacks woo me. All of that (except for the chips part) was wishful thinking. The truth is, all snacks, sweet or salty, are my favorite. I just like snacking. And if it's in front of me, on the table, out for guests, on the doesn't matter...I will eat it. All of it. In little nips here and there. A bite, one slice, one cookie, one dip, one cracker at a time.

This has been one of several realizations this week while having to chronicle every single morsel I put in my mouth: I'm a mindless eater. I never realized just how much I put in my mouth while baking and cooking. I also am now hyper aware of just how much grazing at a party adds up to and it's not pretty.

I did okay at the party on Saturday. It helped that a post-vaccination Chou fell asleep on my chest and conked out for a solid half hour. You can't eat much when you're weighted down by 21 pounds of slumbering infant. I used 10 flex points (you're allowed 35 in a week), and have worked off 8 of them (my goal is to workout the equivalent of flex points I use, to a minimum of 10 points per week). But now comes the cookie party. I really don't want to use ANY flex points as I'm already just barely going to work them off by Thursday.

Here's where will power comes in, something I don't really have when it comes to parties. Shit. Are there any places that do emergency mouth wiring? No? Double shit.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You've got to be joking

The Chou is loving her new routine.

I realized some time ago that as much as we don't do much in a day, I also wasn't paying enough attention to what she needed in her day to help her sleep. I'd sometimes take an hour of trying to lay her down for a nap, only to be frustrated when she'd have none of it. Night time wasn't all that difficult, but the waking every 2 hours some nights was wearing me down. I read two or three books, all of which had some good points but a lot of rubbish I couldn't wrap my head around.

Then I found Tracy Hogg. Again, there are a few things I don't agree with, but for the most part her philosophy is: feed your baby, have play and activity time, then they sleep and you have time for yourself. She explains the entire theory of course, and never, ever suggests a schedule for babies - but a flexible routine so they know what to expect.

Reading the book I realized a few things - I jump to Chou's aid at every noise, day or night, and I should first stop and listen and try and figure out what she's saying. In just a few days, I've figured out just how different her boredom, hunger and sleepy sounds are. I thought I had it figured, but alas, I did not. I've also always nursed her right before putting her down for naps or night time. Hogg's suggestion? Nurse, then have activity (bath, stories), then bed. You're still having a night time nurse, just not RIGHT before nodding off. Same goes for nap time; feed her when she wakes up, play and then when she shows sleepy signs (that I now notice) lay her down after a cuddle and let her drift off on her own. And if she cries? Go in and reassure her, stand by her crib and pat her back until she calms - pick her up if you must. No crying it out, no scheduled leaving/returning. This I could do, I thought.

And after two days? Chou put herself to sleep in 32 minutes the first nap, 20 the next, then 10, then 7 - and never cried and I didn't nurse her to sleep.

Last night was the kicker though. I thought naps were an anomally in that I don't typically nurse her to sleep during nap time anyway. Instead of bath/stories/nurse, we did nurse/bath/stories and Mr. Wumpus put her to bed. I expected tears, I expected crying, I expected an hour of reassurance and staying by her crib.

Instead, she laid her head down, grabbed her Cuskie and her sucky and nodded off to dreamland without a peep or nipple in sight. And then she slept for five hours straight.

You've got to be joking.

I love you, Tracy Hogg. I love you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First I thought I was dumb, but it turns out I'm just stupid

I've been a bump for the most part all week (so much for my three times a week idea), but today I was determined to get out there. The Chou went down for her nap (we're sleep training with much success but that's another post), leaving me free to run sans stroller. I headed outside in the midst of a low-grade blizzard. The wind was howling, the snow blowing and the car was under at least six inches of snow, but that didn't even slow me down...until I tried to clean off the car before driving to the midwife's. I felt a snap and then a sharp prick in the shoulder. WTF? Sure enough, my sports bra strap had given way. I nearly burst into tears - it's bloody hard to find the time let alone the motivation to run IN A BLIZZARD - and there I was about to go, when the bra broke.

I went upstairs, lip trembling, defeated. The husband took one look at me and asked who died. "My bra broke," I said. "The world is conspiring against me to run! I'm never going to get fit. I'm never going to train! The world as I know it is ending!" (there may be a bit of editorializing going on here...)

I took off my shirt to survey the damage. That's when Mr. Wumpus started laughing. Turns out, my sports bra is very adjustable - the straps end in velcro, go through a metal guide and stick back onto themselves. I've owned this bra for two years and I had no idea. All that had happened was the end had come off and slipped through the guide, scratching me.

I'm so stupid.

Either way, I raced back downstairs, hopped in the car, and was running within 30 minutes.

And then we ran...the slowest I've probably ever ran. But you try running in slush/snow six (and more) inches deep, sliding the entire way. The wind was gale force, straight off the river, icy cold and unforgiving. We did 33 minutes and I won't tell you how dismally far we went, because it doesn't matter. We got a good workout in and I'm pumped for the week ahead. Go me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Swim

In the past week, wee Chou has learned to crawl. She's been threatening to do so for some time, but was waylaid by her new skill of pulling herself up and walking along furniture. I mean, who needs to crawl when you can walk, she says.

But necessity got the better of her when I left her on the floor dangerously close to a bookcase and didn't hand her The Art of War. She must read it, apparently. And so she crawled over and grabbed it, and then moved on to Dickens. Since then it's been a slippery slope to more movement, except that we have hardwood floors. So while her first few crawling steps were a more textbook crawl, she's since discovered she can get around far more quickly on her belly, one sock off and by using a sort of one-sided front crawl swimming motion.

The scary part? She's wicked fast. I left her for a few seconds happily playing on the floor, turned around and there she was on the other side of the room - reaching for a most inappropriate plaything. What was it, you ask? You'll have to watch to find out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Putting points where my mouth is

Today is the day.

I'm joining Weight Watchers.

It's something I've looked into more times than I can count, something that I've avoided doing just as many times. Except this time. This time I feel like it's something I need to do, and that my goal is a manageable one. When I had 50 pounds to lose, it felt like an insurmountable task and therefore why bother starting something I had no hope of accomplishing? That was my thinking then. Terrible, I know, but true.

Now I have between 10 and 25 pounds to lose depending on which healthy weight range guide you subscribe to. Personally, my goal is more a size/fitness goal, but tracking weight will help me get there. I would agree that a 10-pound weight loss puts me at a healthy weight, so we'll start there.

Every other time I've considered joining WW, I've been going it alone. I could have named maybe one person I knew on the program. But this time, not only do I know two or three people who have had great success, I've got three friends who are tackling WW right now. My amazing midwife is one of them - she and I are nearly the same height and weight (she's now about 5 pounds lighter thanks to her last few weeks with WW) - and we've both committed to May half marathons. She's also a major details stickler and shopping with her at Costco yesterday was like having my very own WW fairy listing off the points value of everything I picked up. While it'll be tough to run with her regularly (being a midwife, she's on call a lot), we're already sharing recipes and getting out for some running.

Then there's my newest mummy buddy, Manatee Momma, who has been doing WW online for a few weeks to no success. But she's done WW before with great success. What's different this time? A new city, a 10 month old underfoot and a real winter to contend with (their last home didn't have one to speak of). Manatee and I are very similar - we have similar workout loves and hates, have babies, are nursing and are generally uber hyper, loud, ridiculous and love to snack. Between the two of us, we should be able to motivate each other to move and move away from the binge eating over coffee. Um, right.

Then there's the pioneer for me - Jennifer P - who no longer blogs and lives far away and that makes me sad, but at least we can talk. She's a WW veteran, both pre and post baby, and a triathlete to boot. She's got tonnes of tips and offers me a very real reality kick in the pants when I need one; as in, it's not easy but it works. I do need the meetings, I think, and Jen P would agree. And heck, it gets me out of the house one more day a week, and that's a good thing.

Today is the day. Weigh-in is at noon. I won't be posting my weight for a whole host of reasons, but I will be posting progress. My greatest hope is not so much for pounds lost, but for a real incentive to keep moving. The more I move the more I get to eat, and, well, I really like to eat.

Yours in point counting, Ms. Wumpus.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maybe she can read? Maybe.

And then last night she slept 5 hours, then 3, then 3 again. Hmmm.

And I ran yesterday.

A good day. A good day indeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple sleep

The Chou is not a bad sleeper by any stretch. She's taken to twice daily naps, sometimes as long as two hours. She's caught on to the night time routine quickly and goes down without a fuss 99% of the time. She's back to her long stretch of 3-4.5 hours sleep on the beginning and end of her night. She's no longer getting us up before six.

But the middle of the night? Sometimes it's not so fun. She can sometimes wake up five or six times in a two hour stretch. She's not really fully awake, just fussing, and once in a blue moon she wakes entirely, although never to play or chat, just to look around and drift back to sleep.

Some will say it's teeth. Or she's growing. Or she's not tired...or, or, or.

I can't complain much. I seem to function just fine on short stretches of sleep. Compared to some babies, mine is a peach who, on average, gets enough sleep and lets me get enough too.

But I also see the beginnings of patterns I don't much like, and that leads me to start reading books. And books are wonderful things until you're drowning in advice that all seems wonderful on the page and then doesn't really work in real life.

And what of real life? I want to start some basic sleep training to help Chou get more like a 5-6 hour stretch at least once a night (12-6 am would be nice). Yes, I said to help Chou, not me - sure, I'll enjoy the sleep, but I think she needs it more than I do. All the books tell me this is reasonable and super easy in just seven to 10 days of sleep training! Right. But how does one person sleep train? I'm not calling down the husband. I recognize that he's got to be up at 6 for a 10 to 12 hour work day. He's working 6 days a week, too. I'm at home and can nap and therefore I get up at night with Miss Wumpus. Always have.

Sleep training is tough and it's draining. The trick is to always be consistent (as an aside, the more I read about raising kids, the more similarities with horse training I see. Funny, no?). But it's tough to be consistent when your partner is a) not really part of the sleep training and b) doesn't actually read the books himself. And it's not that he doesn't want to help, he does, but his help usually only happens on weekends, which by definition isn't really consistent.

I'm not uber tired. I'm not at wit's end. I'm just finding this task of most wondrous sleep training a big, fuzzy world of not necessarily knowing what I should be doing and I hate that. I like reading up, tackling a problem, solving it and moving on. Nothing about this is going to happen that way. And so we go back to the pages of the book, the timer on the microwave and the fuzziness that is 2 am wake ups.

There's a reason they come out adorable.