Thursday, November 10, 2011

Weaning, Exercise, and Other Updates on Things That Aren't Going As Well As I'd Like

Thanks for all the sympathy and ideas on my last post, everyone. The cold is receding, albeit slowly, so things don't look quite so grim. But I still don't feel up to writing any of the "real" posts I have queued up, so I'll give you some updates on a few things.

First- weaning. As you probably guessed, I am too adverse to being screamed at to go hard core at this. I also have noticed pronounced effects on my mood as I drop feedings, so I go very, very slowly for my sanity, too. You'd think this would be easier the second time around, but I weaned Pumpkin when I was about three months pregnant with Petunia, and I was probably helped by the changes in milk supply and composition that brought on. Certainly, my resolve to wean was helped along by the fact that nursing exacerbated the queasiness I felt almost constantly in the first trimester. Even so, I remember having to back off for awhile and then try again. When I did try again, weaning was very easy.

I have no real reason to wean Petunia right now, other than that I'm ready to do it. I've set myself an arbitrary goal of being done by the end of the year. We'll see how it goes. I started following the "don't offer, don't refuse" method about four months ago, and now I'm in the actively distracting/trying to substitute method- but I'll usually go ahead nurse her if she won't be distracted, except when I physically can't do it, such as when I'm trying to cook dinner. I've substituted a bowl of her favorite cereal (Oatmeal Squares) for the after day care nursing, and mostly that is working out OK, particularly if I start a DVD or TV show ("Doh!" in Peunia-speak) right as she finishes her cereal.

The first thing in the morning nursing looks likely to be the next one to go. I am intrigued by the fact that she's following the same pattern Pumpkin did as far as dropping nursing sessions. I'm hoping that means she'll drop the middle of the night one soon, too....


Next- exercise. A couple of weeks back, I realized that even if I succeeded in convincing Petunia to let me go for a decent run on Thursday nights, it was soon going to be dark by the time we got home, and the thought of running in the dark just didn't appeal to me. So I needed another plan.

I've never been a big fan of exercise DVDs (or videos- this aversion goes way back, although I do remember doing Jane Fonda's workout with my Mom and liking it). But I was out of other ideas, so I went looking for a likely DVD on Amazon. Petunia likes to dance in her cute toddler way, so I searched for a dance workout. I settled on 10 Minute Solution: Fat Blasting Dance Mix. It came over the weekend, and I was planning to try it out tonight.

I stuck with that plan, even though I'm still not 100% over the cold and even though I got home late thanks to the extra traffic that the Chargers-Raiders game provided. I started with the simplest workout. It wasn't what I was expecting- I thought there would be actual songs and we would dance/exercise to those. Instead, there was just a techno/dance beat. Still, Petunia was intrigued- but then decided that she wanted me to hold her while I did the routines (we often dance with her in our arms). So that didn't go so well. Then she decided she wanted more cereal, and I decided I wanted a chance to get some exercise more than I wanted her to wait for her dinner, and let her have the cereal, which allowed me to do the second half of the 10 minute routine unencumbered. It wasn't bad.

When the first 10 minute routine finished, Petunia decided she wanted to watch another routine, even though I thought I would turn it off and get our dinner heated up (hooray for leftover night), so I put on the abs routine, and even tried a little bit of it while I shuffled dishes in and out of the microwave. Also not bad.

So the jury is out on this one. I like the 10 minute workout idea- I'm already scheming about how I could maybe squeeze one in on one of the nights when Hubby is giving the girls their bath- and the workouts I tried weren't bad. But it is still an exercise DVD.


Next- big girl bed. Remember way back in August, when I said that I thought we should get Petunia a big girl bed? Well, we finally did it. The one we'd bought for Pumpkin was no longer available (both the store we bought it from and the manufacturer are now out of business), so we had to shop for a new one. This was a major undertaking- Hubby doesn't make furniture decisions lightly. Unfortunately, we couldn't find many beds like what we wanted: with a bookcase headboard and under-bed drawers, but not a tall captain's bed, since Petunia is not that big. We finally ended up ordering the bed and headboard on Amazon. (Why not? We buy everything else from them...)

They arrived last week, and we set the bed up over the weekend. When I say "we," I really mean Hubby. I took the crib down and eventually put the sheets and duvet on the bed, but he did all the hard work. Petunia LOVES her new bed, which is no surprise, since (1) she likes to get on everyone else's bed and (2) she likes anything that her big sister has. I had hoped that the bed would make bedtimes easier, and maybe it will. So far, though, it hasn't. My plan was to continue to rock her to sleep in her rocking chair, and then lay down with her and thereby do away with that annoying thing where she's asleep, but then wakes up when we put her down. She won't have anything to do with her rocking chair, anymore, though. She insists on climbing into her bed- by herself, thank you very much- and going to sleep that way. The first couple of nights were disasters. But then I thought to tell her that Pumpkin goes to sleep by getting her back patted. I asked Petunia if she wanted to try that, and she said yes- and amazingly, that is working. Our bedtimes are back down to 30 minutes, which is a big improvement.

The bed is definitely making it easier to get her back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night (I just lay down next to her), but has yet to work the magic that Pumpkin's big girl bed worked, and do away with those night wakings altogether. Its still early days, though, so I continue to hold out hope.


Finally, an update on something that IS going as well as I would like- Pumpkin's reading. My Mom came over when Petunia got sick last week and stayed for the weekend. She took Pumpkin to the library to pick out some new books to try reading. Our library didn't have most of the things that you all recommended, but they still found some good books. Pumpkin really likes reading Hop on Pop right now. I'll probably order some of your recommendations soon, either from Amazon (of course) or via interlibrary loan, but for right now she's happy with what she has. She definitely prefers to read one book over and over until she basically memorizes it, which is fine with me- it gives me more time to get my act together and get some more early readers on hand.

That's all the updates I have right now. Is there anything I missed that you're wondering about? Ask away in the comments.


  1. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Hop on pop is a good one!

    The step into reading books I mentioned are cheap-- $4 or less!

  2. Anonymous4:47 PM

    btw, Cat Traps is the other well worn early step 1 favorite.

    Cat wants a snack.
    Cat sets a trap.
    Cat gets a...

  3. the milliner6:23 PM

    Hop on Pop is a big hit around here too. (And I have very fond memories of reading it as a kid as well). Although DS is memorising it so I'm not sure it'll work for us as a book to learn how to read, when he's ready.

    Weaning & The Big Boy Bed are on the table here too. BBB was installed 2 nights ago, and so far, bedtimes & wake-ups are as per usual. His crib converted to a day bed, so the change was less dramatic. And he wants to use the plastic guard rail thing for the open side. I'm not even sure he realises that he can just get out when he wants in the am. We'll see tomorrow.

    I had wanted to start weaning about a month ago so we could be done by xmas, but haven't given it the big push yet. I find it takes so much mental energy for me to get geared up to do it. Probably anticipating DS being very, very upset about weaning. Crossing my fingers it will go much more smoothly. I definitely distract when I can now, and sometimes it works (mostly for after daycare or when he's upset about something and wants to nurse). I think we'll definitely cut out after daycare first, then prob. am feeding second and the last to go at night.


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