November 29, 2012

Baby Sleep

A coworker recently had her first baby and a few of us got together last week to catch up and enjoy baby snuggles. She mentioned how elusive sleep is with baby feeding every hour and I felt so bad for her. Unfortunately I didn't gain my first-hand knowledge of sleep deprivation from parenting as both my kids slept through the night at five weeks. Yes, you read correctly. 5 weeks. Both. We were blessed. I know how difficult sleep deprivation is due to more recent circumstances ...makes it hard to enjoy anything/anyone. Isn't that what prisoners are subjected to when they won't give up their secrets?! Are you holding something back? After our visit my coworker reached out for advice. I don't know how wise I am, I just know what worked for us. Two kids, one boy, one girl, six years apart. Could be genetics ... maybe Hubby passed on the good sleep gene :) Anywho, following are my two cents worth on getting baby to sleep and restoring parent sanity.

Our method was routine and we never deviated except to adjust as baby grows of course. Our theory was they are smart little creatures of habit and like knowing what to expect. Same time every night - Food, Play, Bath, Book, Bed. No sleeping one hour before food or between food and bedtime - keep baby up so they want to sleep for a l-o-n-g time and recharge for more fun the next day.

We also believed in a full tummy. This is hotly debated in the parenting/medical community. We didn't do demand feeding past a certain time so baby was good and hungry for dinner; also supplemented at 3-4 weeks with very weak cereal (gradually increasing as needed). Both our kids were big at birth (Sassy 8 lbs; Chunky 10 lbs - ouch!) so we were comfortable with them being developed enough to handle it and both our moms said they did cereal early - it doesn't appear to have scarred us too badly, though that's certainly up for debate :)

We also used a crib aquarium - best buy ever!!!!!!!! Everyone should get this as a shower gift. We turned this on religiously as we left the room at bedtime and back on for soothing if needed. The key for us was no talking or picking up - don't engage or they get their little hooks in you. Even in the middle of the night, we turned on the aquarium and left. The theory again was routine and learning to self soothe.

We made a very big deal about waking up in the morning (aka 5 am diaper change and breakfast) and sleeping through the night. Super happy (sickeningly so). Part of the whole routine thing.

That's it. No judgement - you have to find what works best for you and yours. If you're sleep deprived, may the force (and sleep) be with you!

November 23, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey

I am thankful for friendship and leftovers this day after Thanksgiving. I had lunch with my BFF whom I haven't seen in almost six months and love that we are always able to pick up where we left off without skipping a beat. Hubby wanted straight up leftovers for dinner but I couldn't do it so made PDub's turkey and swiss panini with a couple of modifications ... no fig jam, spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon and walnut halves instead of pecans. Fabulous!

I only have three assignments left for my International Business course and one of them is a group paper on a country (the other two are short paper on international expansion and a 50 question exam). Guess which country my group selected? You got it, Turkey! Each of us is researching a separate topic and we'll conclude with how to do business in Turkey. I am researching the country's government and legal & political systems (the other topics are culture and the economy). I found a website with information on Country Commerical Guides prepared by the Department of Commerce. All I had to do was email the Turkish representative and he sent the entire PDF ... score!

As the world’s fastest growing economy during the first quarter of 2011, Turkey represents a market with great potential. Turkey has been designated as a priority market under President Obama’s National Export Initiative and has, as a result, been the focus of sustained International Trade Administration and U.S. Government efforts, including targeted trade promotion. U.S.-Turkish trade grew by 34 percent last year, reaching a record high of almost $20 billion. Furthermore, U.S. exports to Turkey rose 38 percent, totaling $14.6 billion and making Turkey one of the top 25 U.S. export markets.

Fun facts:
• The Republic of Turkey is at the "crossroads" of Europe and Asia
• Depending on how you define continents, Turkey is either part of Eurasia or part in southeastern Europe and part in western Asia
• The part of Turkey in Europe is called ‘Thrace’ while the part in Asia is called ‘Anatolia’
• Turkey was the center of the Ottoman Empire with Constantinople as its capital (now Istanbul)
• If you subscribe to the seven-continent definition, Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents
• 98% Muslim - Turkey is the only secular Muslim country amongst all the Muslim countries in the world (separation of church and state)
• The Turks introduced coffee to Europe and tulips to the Dutch
• St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born in Patara and became the bishop of Demre, on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast
• Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey
• It is only 577.36 miles or 929.15 kilometers from Istanbul to Sochi, Russia - the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics (only 440 days away!!!)

November 14, 2012


Seems like it was only yesterday that I wrote this post about Chunky turning 10. Where does the time go?
Loving the new hair cut!

November 4, 2012

Christmas Wish List

My MIL advised she is no longer going gonzo for Christmas. It figures as this is the first year I started my list early since she historically asks for one on Halloween. I can hardly blame her ... no little kids to get excited about the simple things, busy lives, a lot has changed, etc. So this is the list I may be gifting myself this year -

Bathrobe - boring but necessary; the challenge is finding just the right one as I'm super picky about length and weight

Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson - I've wanted to make these since I found this shop on Etsy

Kate Spade Twirl perfume - LOVE the description ... captivating day-to-night fragrance where pink watermelon mingles with blackberry and red currant finished with luminous musks and a touch of French macaroon cookies

Rabbit bottle wine opener - my sister in law loaned me hers for Sassy's grad party and it was life changing

Kindle or Nook Tablet - for to read 50 Shades of Grey over and over as well as all the empowerment and self help books I should be reading; On second thought, I may avail myself of Chunky's hand-me-down iPad he received from my mother - I totally approve of re-gifting