Coffee Break #11
Happy “Coffee Break Friday” friends! This is one of my favorite days of the month when I can sit down with a (very large) cup of coffee and
ramble chat about our life behind-the-blog! While there isn’t much going on because of the Coronavirus crisis, at the same time, there is so much to say, right?!? Read on to find out how I’m handling the home-all-day munchies, what we’re (now) doing to to have fun as this situation drags on, as well as some ideas for keeping idle hands busy!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
Sleep Training…3rd Times a Charm, Right?!?
Our sweet little Jack just turned 8 months old. As a newborn, he practically slept through the night, and it was ah-mazing. I even remember the Pediatrician saying “Thank your stars because you are so lucky!” Well…our luck must have run out because now…NOW!!!…he’s sleeping like a newborn. Seriously. Around 3 months old, he “regressed” to waking up 2 times/night. But in the last 6-8 weeks, he’s regressed even further to waking up 3 times a night, practically every 2.5-3 hours on the dot. And it’s killing me.
As an “experienced” Mom (ha!), I was like “Okay, we need to sleep train this baby since I know he can sleep through the night.” So we tried the Ferber method (which we used with Sam and it worked brilliantly in just 2 nights). By Day 6, Jack was still screaming for 4 hours straight before I gave in and fed him. So we took a break.
After meeting with the Pediatrician a month ago, she recommended we try the same method again but have Greg do all the checking in. It worked for 3 (oh-so-glorious) nights, then Jack went back to waking up 3 times/night and no amount of “checking on him” was getting him to sleep.
Being with kiddos all day long and all night long was/is really starting to take a toll, so we’re trying again. (I am nothing if not persistent!) We think the “checking” method just tortures Jack. He sees us come in and thinks we are going to feed/cuddle him. But when we just pat his back and leave, he’s literally beside himself and gets even more worked up. So this time, we’re trying a more typical “cry it out” method. The last few nights, we’ve let him fuss himself to sleep, without even going in the room. It takes about 30 minutes but he doesn’t spin up the way he did before. Last night he only woke up once and fussed for just 20 minutes (progress!) so fingers crossed this third attempt is a charm. Cross all your fingers and toes for us because this Mama needs some sleep!
Fighting the “Quarantine 15”
I keep seeing memes and news stories about people having trouble keeping their weight in check while being home right now. And while it can be really hard to keep the snacking and munching at bay when food is so accessible all day long, I would offer that this is also a great time to focus on your eating habits and maybe even lose weight, since the temptations of restaurant food, big gatherings and holidays are significantly reduced!
Many a military spouse (myself included!) will often use deployments as a time to lose weight because it’s a finite, unusual time, void of many the social/celebratory events that can make dieting so challenging. It also gives you something to work/focus on while enduring a really, really tough situation. Sound familiar? While the end of quarantine life may not be finite, this is a great time to hunker down and take off a few pounds you might be adding/carrying around.
So now you’re probably thinking…”Yea…Sure, Megan. Like life isn’t tough enough as it is right now…plus…I can’t get to the gym!”
I’m going to say something you probably don’t want to hear: losing weight is actually more about diet than it is about exercise. Seriously. Exercise is important for improving/maintaining health and fitness, but when it comes to actually losing weight, changes to your diet will have the most impact. In fact, I am working out less than I ever have (because it’s just too hard to fit it in right now with homeschooling, kids and the daily chaos)…but I’ve been able to (again) drop almost all of my postpartum weight using the exact same tactics I outline in the post below. If you’re needing a little motivation to shake up your eating habits, I encourage you to check it out!
FUN FACT: I realize I almost never talk about health and fitness around here, but I actually do have some “street cred” on this topic. In my pre-blogger life, I was a personal trainer and group-ex instructor, and I have Masters degrees in both Exercise Physiology and Nutrition!
More Quarantine Survival Ideas
Last month, I shared a bunch of art kits and projects that my kids were loving (you can see them here). As this situation continues though, we keep reaching for new and different things to provide that “novel” factor when we can’t really get out of the house. So here is another roundup of some things we’re loving right now!
- Great Drawing Tutorials – My 9 year-old is suddenly into drawing cartoons…a lot. I have little papers and notebooks all.over.the.house. Here are some of our favorite tutorials so far:
- Dav Pilkey – At Home | Library of Congress
- Let’s Draw LEGO (I suggest playing at 1/2 speed!)
- Get Kids Moving – My boys (especially my 3 year old) are obsessed with this fun workout channel.
- Tate Paint – Not only is this site/app just plain fun, but it’s the perfect tool for playing Pictionary on Zoom calls (just share your screen) and/or if your child needs to do some drawing for a school assignment. There’s no need to print or take a photo…you can immediately download the PNG and upload it wherever you need it!
- Zoom Fun – Speaking of Zoom calls, if you’re looking for new fun ways to interact with friends and family via Zoom, here are some things that work great:
- Story time (for toddlers and preschoolers mostly)
- Pictionary (use Tate Paint listed above)
- Battleship – both people need to have their own version of the game
- Guess Who – both people need to have their own version of the game
- Campfire Games
- The Green Glass Door Game
- 2 Truths & a Lie
- The Umbrella Game
New Shopping Guides
Quite often, I get emails or comments asking where certain items are from or what I recommend, so one of my projects during this most recent break was to put some shopping guides together. These are linked up in my sidebar and/or toolbar (for easy access); and now that they are built, I will (try to) be diligent about adding items to them. If you’ve been wondering about things you see in our homes or items we use personally, these pages are a great place to check first!
Projects to Keep You AND the Kiddos Busy!
Feeling crafty? Feeling desperate? Looking for new ideas to keep kids busy or playing? Here are some of my favorite crafts for babies & kids!
Next week, I’m sharing a really fun update in Sam’s “Super Hero” bedroom, as well as our newly organized Front Hall Closet! I can’t wait for you to see these projects!
So how are you doing, friends? Chat with me!
9 Comments on “Coffee Break #11”
Good Luck with the sleep training. I could never get my kids to sleep thru the night until they were almost 1. It was a long year. 🙂 So I wish you much luck!
Thanks for sharing advice on diet and exercise. I need all the help and motivation I can get! And usually the simple things are the things that work. I know I read your article forever ago. Time to go back and reread it and apply it again!
I’m going to re-read it too!
I couldn’t get Henry to sleep through the night until he was weened either, Sam took right to it, and Jack (obviously) needed a lot more trial and error. We’re going on nights 5 or 6 strong now with him, so fingers crossed the worst is behind us!
So nice to hear from you!!! Hope you’re hanging in there in this recent situation!Megan
Ugh, sleep training. You’re preaching to the choir, sister. The most effective sleep training I did was the cry it out method. I found it devastating but by that stage it was his mental health or mine. It worked a treat, took (comparatively) no time at all, and he never regressed. Unlike the next two where I took a more gentle approach 🤦♀️.
We’ve spent this time finishing off toilet training and we’re nearly on the other side. There’s light at the end of the tunnel! Once that’s done, my next isolation task is to drop the baby weight (Jude’s two already). I’m in the process of going over my recipes and finding a meal rhythm that works with our schedule. Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch is my secret weapon.
Yes – we’re going on nights 5 or 6 now and he’s practically going all night long now – thank goodness! But now my body doesn’t know what to do with all this sleep! It’s so funny…this situation taught me (yet again) that every child is just so different (I already knew that but clearly needed a reminder) and what works for one won’t work for another. We also introduced a “lovey” so now he has something to suck on, which is helping a lot too!
Congrats on the potty training – perfect task for quarantine time since you’re practically stuck at home during that process anyway!
I’ve GOT to find a workout routine soon. Now that I’m not waking up at all crazy hours of the night, I know the morning will be the ticket…just to get into the habit.
Hang in there my friend…happy to hear from you!Megan
Hi there ,
Love your website! I’d like to read your “Losing the Baby Weight” post, but when I click on the picture above I just get another picture. Could you let me know how to find it?
Oh I am so sorry! Thanks for letting me know the link was broken! I’ll fix it now but you can see the post here:
Thanks and have a great weekend!Megan
Playing pictionary on Zoom?! Can I do it without a child? Seems so much fun! My girlsfriends are going to love the idea! 😀
About sleep training – I would recommend using something different and GENTLE. I used the book How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone (from parental-love.com blog) and I loved it! it’s a step by step guide basically, but the main point is you don’t leave baby alone to cry. For us it worked great and for few of my friends as well.
Thanks so much for weighing in! I had read a little bit about that method and were going to try that next. Thankfully, letting him fuss himself to sleep without going in at all seemed to do the trick and we’re going on almost a month of not feeding him at night!!! I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that we’re over the worst of it…but you never know with these kiddos 😉
Hope you’re having a great week!Megan