Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

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Hi! How was your week? Mine was pretty good. Highlights: Drew and I saw Willie Nelson Tuesday night at Coney Island (that’s us afterward, on the subway home). It was, I think, our fifth time seeing him together, and this one was one of the best. Definitely in the top five. On Wednesday we got great news that Miles’ diabetes, which he was diagnosed with five years ago, is in total remission and he no longer needs insulin (which we were giving to him via shots twice a day). And this week, I also started volunteering in the cafeteria at Jackson’s school during kindergarten lunch period, which is equal parts kind of gross (have you ever witnessed over one hundred 5-year-olds eating BBQ chicken at the same time?); totally sweet (one little girl I hardly know gave me the biggest hug because she was sad that she was away from her 6-week-old baby sister); pretty funny (another little girl looked me up and down, narrowed her eyes, pointed to the massive amount of freckles on my chest, face and arms [see photo above for evidence] and said, quite concerned, “What happened to you?! What are all those DOTS all over your body??”); and rewarding (there were at least twenty kids who probably wouldn’t have eaten any of their lunch if I hadn’t helped them cut their food, open their utensils, open their tupperware containers, etc., and two kids who might have peed their pants if I hadn’t been available to run them to the bathroom). Anyway, it’s good to feel needed, is what I’m saying. Plus, Jackson got a kick out of seeing me at his school. I hope to volunteer during his lunch and recess period once a week if my schedule allows (the kindergarteners are new to the cafeteria and especially in need of lots of assistance).

And now the weather has finally started changing — yesterday I even got to wear a new (short-sleeve) sweater I got on sale earlier this summer (from LOFT, but it’s sold out now) — and it’s almost my very favorite month in NYC. I visited New York for the first time during the first weekend of October, and I moved here three years later during the first weekend of October. If you’ve never been here — or even if you have — I recommend coming in October. There’s nothing better than autumn in New York (except maybe Chicago in the summer, but even then I think New York has a slight edge if only because the season’s shorter, which makes it seem more special).

Anyway, enjoy your weekend!

26 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran September 16, 2016, 3:07 pm

    “Plus, Jackson got a kick out of seeing me at his school. I hope to volunteer during his lunch and recess period once a week if my schedule allows (the kindergarteners are new to the cafeteria and especially in need of lots of assistance).”

    THIS! My sister usually signs up for lunch duty the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for her two girls… BUT she asks (really makes) my other sister and I do it instead. The nieces love that their aunts are there at their school helping.

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    RedRoverRedRover September 16, 2016, 3:24 pm

    Holy crap, I totally forgot that it was Friday! Last week I hired a sleep consultant. Best. Thing. Ever. If any of you saw my rant about my daughter’s sleeping a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that it’s been absolutely insane. Well, this week, she’s started napping as soon as I put her down, and napping for a good 1-2 hours at a time! It’s quite a change from taking an hour to put her down, and then only getting a 1/2 hour nap out of her. It’s literally changed my life (at least this little sliver of my life). Night-times are still a huge struggle, there’s been lots of crying and she still won’t settle for the night till 1am. But I’m hoping she’s getting there. I feel like I can see the light, where I could actually get a sitter and go out in the evening with my husband. Or ditch him at home and go get a massage or something. 🙂 Oh it’ll be heaven when I can actually get a few hours away from her, something I haven’t done for the last four months! So yeah, pretty happy with the sleep consultant experience so far. 🙂

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      RedRoverRedRover September 16, 2016, 3:24 pm

      And yay for Miles, that’s amazing!!! You should post a pic of him sometime soon. 🙂

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      Anonymousse September 16, 2016, 3:39 pm

      So what did the sleep consultant do? I’m fascinated!

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        RedRoverRedRover September 16, 2016, 5:01 pm

        Basically, my daughter never developed the age-appropriate sleep schedule. You know how when they start it’s basically random, and then they figure out day and night, and then they go to bed around 9-10pm, and then they move it earlier? She never did that. She did figure out day and night, but she decided 1am was her bedtime and she wouldn’t budge. Even if I got her up early, she didn’t care. She’d just have 6 hours overnight and that was fine with her, apparently.

        So with the consultant, she gave me the age-appropriate schedule, and we have to “force” her onto it. It’s also got additional sleep time built in, to help her catch up on her sleep since she’s so overtired now. It’s a bit counter-intuitive because it says to keep her up till her next scheduled naptime, whereas all the other advice seems to say to not let them get overtired and put them to bed immediately when they show signs of sleepiness. Basically with a normal baby, you follow their internal schedule, which did work with my son. But she’s just something else. Her schedule was just crap, she had no idea what she was doing, lol.

        Besides that, what I really love is a) the moral support, and b) having someone else make the decisions. Like I said, I did try to put her on a schedule myself, but I didn’t know what to do if she skipped a nap, or had a short nap, or what. Do I try in 45 mins? Do I go to her next naptime? Do I just keep trying to put her down because she hasn’t slept in 4 hours? And then the evening was such a mess, I had absolutely no idea what to do there. Now, I keep a log for the consultant and she tells me what to do. If she skips a nap, the consultant advises what changes to make for the day, for example. It’s soooo nice. Really takes a load off.

        She’s still not good in the evenings, first night was 3.5 hours of crying. 🙁 Not just crying, but outright screaming. Next night was 1.5 hours, then last night she was up and down every 15 mins or so. Awake, asleep, awake, asleep. Not much crying/screaming, mostly whining. And at least I’m down in the living room, free of her, instead of trying to figure out what to do or actively trying to get her to sleep. And hopefully tonight will be even better. She learned the naps so fast! Now she does 3 naps a day, for a total of like 5 hours of naptime, when before I’d be lucky to get 30-60 mins all day! She’s just got to learn night-time now, and then we’ll be all set.

        That was a novel, but I’m soooo excited about this! I can taste the freedom! 🙂 And then soon I’ll be able to start her on food too, which will be great because she doesn’t take a bottle, and that will lessen her dependence on me. And then she can maybe start a sippy cup a few months after that! Can. Not. Wait!!!

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny September 16, 2016, 5:13 pm

        Whoa! That sounds like a total transformation! I hope things continue to get better!

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      • othy

        othy September 19, 2016, 12:26 pm

        I’m so happy she’s sleeping better! How’d the last couple of nights go?

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        RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2016, 12:43 pm

        Pretty good! She’ll go to sleep for 2 hours or so, then 1.5-2 hours of crying on and off, then sleep through the night till 7am! So she’s usually asleep for good at 10. And she doesn’t even wake up to feed! She’ll go a good 13 or 14 hours without eating. The sleep consultant says she’s done with her night feedings, because if they do that 2 or 3 nights in a row, it shows they’ve already shifted their calorie intake to get enough during the day. Which is absolutely fantastic!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray September 19, 2016, 1:18 pm

        Oh wow, all that screaming must be hard! Did the consultant say was causes the screaming?

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        RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2016, 1:30 pm

        She’s just angry because she wants to sit for 6 hours and clusterfeed, and I won’t let her anymore. I know you don’t want to cry it out, and you don’t have to, but seriously look into sleep training (a non-cry method, which my sleep consultant also does). You should see how much sleep she’s getting now, and how tired she clearly is. It’s not good for them to not get a lot of sleep.

        By the way, being in Chicago, there’s a great sleep doctor there. The son of the doctor who wrote the book I’m always recommending. The author is Marc Weissbluth, I forget the son’s name but last name is the same. He has a clinic there, you could see about getting in. If I lived in Chicago I would have gone in a hearbeat! Or if you want to try a consultant, I used Good Night Sleep Site and it’s been fantastic. They’re Canadian but I’m pretty sure they take US clients because their form asked which country you’re in. It’s all remote, over the phone/texting/email. They also have an interactive sleep schedule where you log progress and they write back with suggestions, encouragement, etc. I’m really really happy with it. Cheapest plan is just under $300 CAD, which will be even cheaper in USD. I got the 2-week plan but I really didn’t need it, it’s been a week and she’s doing so well!

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        RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2016, 1:34 pm

        Oh and Dr. Weissbluth also has non-cry methods that he recommends. So again, if that’s your fear, don’t worry about it. No one will try to make a parent do cry it out if they don’t want to, because the parent probably won’t be able to do it.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 16, 2016, 5:05 pm

      I had the opposite thing over here. Joanie skipped her afternoon nap today, which she’s never done, and it made me remember the awful days of Baby Jackson pulling this shit all the time and it made me think of you and how rough you’ve had it. I can deal with one day of it, but she better be back to normal tomorrow!

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        RedRoverRedRover September 16, 2016, 5:14 pm

        Yes, I’m really looking forward to just a day here or there of crap sleep. 🙂 Hopefully it was just a blip.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray September 19, 2016, 1:16 pm

      That’s good to hear! What is the sleep consultant’s trick????

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        RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2016, 1:32 pm

        It’ll be different for you than for me, because of the different ages of our kids and different issues/temperaments. There’s no one size fits all answer. If there was this whole thing would be a lot easier! 🙂

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    Anonymousse September 16, 2016, 3:47 pm

    I was always jealous of my cousins who were totally freckled, while I have just a sprinkle.
    Helping out at school sounds really fun!
    My son and my husband are going on a boys only camping trip tonight! They are both really excited. All week he’s been talking about it and checks in to make sure, “No mommy, no Ellie. RoRo and daddy.”

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 16, 2016, 5:06 pm

      Hope you can enjoy a little down time while they’re away!

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        Anonymousse September 17, 2016, 3:07 pm

        Thanks, Wendy!
        I did have a nice quiet night to myself. And wine, delicious wine.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny September 16, 2016, 5:19 pm

    I’m going on a trip next week! Well, next wednesday. (I’m going to New Mexico.) In the meantime, I’m house/cat sitting for my parents, and I’m going to be taking Kitty to the kitty hotel for the time I’m gone. My mom scheduled her to be dropped off tomorrow since she didn’t want me to have to potentially struggle to get the cat in her box before I have to rush off to work. Poor kitty is shy, but she’s been before so I think she’ll be fine. The cat hotel has themed play rooms for the cats- one is circus themed- and they take good care of all of their vacationing kitties!
    Sunday I’m going to an alumni “homecoming” event at my high school- and I’m hoping to find out what their plans are for future construction (specifically a gym) so my office could possibly get on their radar as a company to work in the future.
    Regarding freckles- my cousin and I used to have a competition when we were growing up to see who could get the most freckles. She won. But I have a bunch too, and get more on my face and arms/hands during the summer!

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    Ange September 16, 2016, 6:02 pm

    You guys, I love New York. I LOVE IT. I’m so sad to be leaving tomorrow for Pittsburgh, it’s been such a fantastic week. We’ve done all the touristy things we wanted but also just had a blast wandering around Manhattan and figuring out the subway. Last night we found a bar near Penn station to watch the football and got talking to the owner and a regular until like 2 in the morning. And thanks to football specials our bar tab was only $23. $23!!!!!! How is that even possible???!?! Then today we went to the feast of San Genarro in little Italy and had delicious cannoli and I’m so sad and I don’t want to goooooooooo…. 😭

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      Ange September 16, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Oh and whoever recommended Sunnyside pizza in the forums way back when thank you, it was the bomb. Plus the owners were super flattered we made the effort to go and it was all very sweet.

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      Kate September 18, 2016, 8:27 am

      Oh honey. Why Pittsburgh?

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        Ange September 18, 2016, 8:00 pm

        I have a friend that lives there plus my husband is a huge Steelers fan so we went to the game. It’s a really pretty place actually.

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        Kate September 19, 2016, 5:58 am

        That makes sense. Pretty – really? I’ve been there a few times on business and because my mom is from there.

        Did your husband get a “Terrible Towel?”

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        Ange September 19, 2016, 12:10 pm

        Oh yeah we had one before we came over. He’s been going mad purchasing merchandise ever since, I think we have a terrible towel linen set now.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark September 19, 2016, 10:41 am

        Actually, a friend of mine is living there for three months — working on a tv show — and has been raving about how unexpectedly fabulous Pittsburg truly is…

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