Antepenultimate Day

Today is Murray's antepenultimate day of work. I know. Shocking. I haven't blogged about any of this. We have known for a while that Murray would be losing his job, and about a month ago, we decided that he'd be finished by the end of this month. And about a couple weeks ago, Murray decided that would be the 25th, and earlier this week, he decided that it would be the 28th. So. There it is. After Monday, Murray will be unemployed.

Which is pretty much awesome.

Why? Well, because it means I get to be his boss! Thankfully, we have procrastinated filing the papers that we need to to make us a legitimate business. This has allowed us time for extra thought, and my brother Captain Fabuloso suggested that it actually makes sense for me to own 52% of the company and Murray to own 48%. He still would have an equal say in everything, BUT as a woman-owned business, we'd be entitled to more benefits.

In all seriousness, we are actually excited at the idea that Murray and I can work together full time on our business. This was actually our 10-year plan and it has now been bumped up to our immediate plan. We have so much to offer and we already know that we work great together. Here are the things we're looking forward to:

Saving money because we'll both be eating at home every day for lunch.

Having Murray home with Gulliver. What a treat for both of them! This also frees me up to go run errands and have business meetings, etc. during the day. We can switch off on Gulliver-watching duties depending on what either of us has going on at any given time.

Both being able to do what we love for a living and be our own bosses and decide for ourselves what we'd like to do. There is a lot of freedom in that!

Growing and exploring new options and finding new successes.

And of course we're not naively excited about this opportunity without being scared out of our wits of what it also could mean. Here are some things we worry about:

Not a steady source of income. Good months and bad months---can we pay the mortgage every month?

Healthcare and children. Did you know that individual plans don't cover maternity? There is a separate $6500 deductible for maternity and childbirth. So basically you pay for the whole thing unless something goes wrong. And of course you can work the system with supplemental insurance, but still. The whole insurance thing is a beast. (And Obama is our only hope!) Also, our original plan was for me to get pregnant in September. Now we have to wait until we find the right insurance to get pregnant.

Being in charge of paying taxes instead of having them conveniently come out of the paycheck.

I'm sure there are many other perks and a few other worries that aren't coming to mind right now. In any event, we're more excited than we are nervous. And to leave you on a high note......

Miracle of Google Street View

So I needed an address of a couple who I loved on my mission. They happened to live right behind our apartment. I could see their apartment from my bedroom window and balcony. They could see our balcony from their bathroom window and a bit from their balcony. So every day, as I was in my bedroom or on my balcony, I'd look over at their apartment to see if I could catch a glimpse of them. And every day, the mom would gaze over at my bedroom window and balcony to see if she could catch a glimpse of me. One day, I saw an arm, and I happily reported that to her that evening. One day, she saw my luggage out on the balcony (I was doing a thorough cleaning of our apartment) and she expressed concern that night that I might be packing my bags. Finally, we actually one day saw each other. We smiled at each other and waved like fools, and then ultimately realized that, seeing each other across what was still a large distance, didn't leave you with anything else to do but smile and wave. Still, it was the highlight of my week.

So as I was saying, I can never remember if their street number is 114 or 112. So I decided to look up their address on google maps to see if I could figure it out visually, and what do you know, I was able to use street view to see not only their street number (112) but also my balcony and bedroom window. There is a bright white figure in the bedroom window. I'm sure it's me.

So then I decided to start poking around my old street using street view---take a stroll down memory lane, as it were. Google maps didn't accurately find my address, so I had to just keep "strolling" down the street until I recognized it. I saw several bus stops I was familiar with. I saw the Trattoria where I'd go for pizza a taglio. I saw my old dry cleaner's. I found what I was pretty sure was the lane down which my old apartment was (I couldn't actually use street view to go to my apartment since it was at the very end of a lane). And just to be sure, I thought to myself, "Now, if I'm correct, there should be a bus stop directly across the street from this apartment..."

I "looked" across the street in Google maps, and this is what I found.

Do you think I found the right spot?

The Report

So here's how it went:

6:30: Wind down time. Murray and I take Gulliver for a walk so that he gets fresh air and we get a little exercise.

7:15: Gulliver gets a bath by Murray while I prepare his bedroom so that it is a tidy, sleep-inducing place of serenity.

7:30: I nurse Gulliver while Murray reads a story. Gulliver falls completely asleep. I can't remember what my book says about nursing to sleep at night, so I have Murray fetch the book, but I can't find what it said. So we decided since he was asleep anyway, we'd just put him down sleeping. We put him in his crib, he continues to sleep, and we quietly sing "It's in Every One of Us," since we'd like that to be a part of the sleep ritual.

8:00: We come downstairs and start making dinner.

8:15: Gulliver wakes up and starts to cry. We ignore, but it is extremely painful. I hate it, hate it, hate it. We get dinner ready and put on a movie. For the most part, the air conditioning and movie drown out the crying sounds. Which makes me even sadder and more guilty that I'm drowning out the sounds of my crying babe.

9:15: Gulliver stops crying. Wow! We did it! We've arrived! We now have a baby on a perfect sleep schedule!

9:16: I start to think that I need to just check on him, because what if we actually let our baby cry himself to death!? (See this post.) I tiptoe up the stairs. I carefully and almost noiselessly turn the knob of his bedroom door and open the door ever so slightly. I squeeze my body into the room so that I can get a look at my child, and what I see is the saddest, most pathetic thing I have ever laid eyes upon. There was my baby, sitting right up against the crib bars, slumped over, head resting on the crib bars. What do you even do in a situation like that? You can't in good conscience just let him sleep like that, can you? So I make a move to go into the room a little farther, and his head pops up immediately! Maybe he wasn't sleeping at all! Maybe he had just given up on the crying, but wasn't actually asleep! In any case, he saw me, which basically makes it impossible for me to leave him alone in his room again.

9:17: I come down the stairs with Gulliver.

10:00: Gulliver nurses himself into a deep sleep. I hold him for an entire half an hour as penitence for the horrible mistreatment of earlier in the night.

10:30: I put Gulliver down in his crib. He's there for the night.

So during the night, Gulliver woke up and cried out a few times, but was never crying for more than five minutes, so I never went to him. I'm really pleased about this, and it gives me hope. What I'm not pleased about is how many times I woke up during the night and went to the room to see if he was still alive. I did not get a good night's rest. I clearly have to get used to my baby sleeping in the other room. It did not help that I also had nightmares that Murray and I were kidnapped and held in this awful, dirty apartment, and had to find a way to get rescued, and we could see and hear the people who were trying to rescue us, but they couldn't find us. (Please note: The separation of me and Murray from Gulliver, due to kidnappers. Also note: Seeing and hearing the people who are trying to rescue us is like Gulliver being able to hear us in the house, but we never go to him. So cruel!!)

7:00: Gulliver woke up on his own (at 6:58) and was crying, but this time I went to him because it was time to get up.

THE END (of day 1, beginning of day 2)

Sleep Schedule

I know it has been a shamefully long time since I have posted and I apologize. The real reason is that I felt I should do a travel log of our trip to San Francisco, but sometimes travel logs become so tedious! So anyway. It's mostly written. I just need an extra push to get back to it and publish it sometime soon. But I should not let that deter me from my regular posting duties!

Like today. Today I'd like to post about Gulliver's sleep schedule. I know that it's finally time to actually implement it for good. We need to stop being lazy, wussy parents, and I need to start getting a good night's sleep. When we were in SF, Gulliver basically slept in the bed with us. By the time we got back home, he was too developed for the bassinet beside our bed because he could pull himself up to sitting and could potentially launch himself from the bassinet to the floor. And his rolling, while before was easily thwarted by a pillow, was now unstoppable! I know, because he rolled off of the bed and into the bassinet (or baby trough) two times. And the sleeping in the bed with us was not great because I'd wake up every morning with all manner of soreness from the contorted positions I was sleeping in to avoid rolling over my first born.

My mom was staying with us, in Gulliver's room, for the week after we got back. So he was sleeping in a pack and play (i.e. the pack and play for 1 hour and our bed for the rest of the night). And in the following week, I've just been lazy.

So. Today is the day. I have read 2.5 books about babies and sleep and I feel well equipped. And Jenny, you're never going to get your sleep bible back. Okay, maybe you will when I buy my own copy. So this is what we've done:

Last night I just followed Gulliver's normal sleep schedule, which meant he went down to bed at around 10:30 or 11 (which is normal, but early for him). I nursed him to sleep and then successfully set him in the crib where he stayed asleep.

He woke up and was crying around 2:00 a.m. I went into his room and nursed and rocked him for about 10 minutes.

I put him back in his crib where he stayed asleep.

He woke up at about 4 or 5 or 6 or maybe all of the above, and he cried a little bit, but not real crying, and like a loving mother I kept myself awake to listen to it all, but he just went back to sleep without me having to go into the room.

I woke him up at 7:00, according to my book's instructions.

I fed him and played with him in a well lit room until 9:00. I did not take him outside where the Utah smoke air would pollute his baby lungs, but I will do that in the future when there is no smoke air.

I put him down in his crib awake at 9:00. Okay, so this is revolutionary for me. I went into my bedroom (for a much needed nap of my own) and listened to him crying for only ten minutes. It was never very hard or earnest crying, and he easily calmed down and went to sleep on his own. Whoa. I know.

Now it is 11:00 and he still is not awake from the morning nap. I think I'm supposed to just let him wake up naturally... but how long will he sleep? He should go down for the second nap around 1:00. If he sleeps a while, maybe we'll have to make it 2 or so. And then maybe he'll do another nap in the later evening, but maybe not.

And then, we're supposed to put him in his crib at 7:30 (totally unprecedented) and let him cry it out forever. I'm very very nervous. But I will be strong and carry on* and eventually we'll have a baby who knows how to soothe himself to sleep. Right? Right??

So then, to my understanding, we need to basically be home at 7:30 every night for the rest of our lives. Is that correct? So now, either we have to find a babysitter to come to our house, or we have to go to matinees, right? I'd love advice, feedback, personal narratives here.

I went shopping with petit elefant to get Gulliver out of the house for a bit and came back home and put him down for nap #2 successfully!! Hooray! I am going to have a sleep-successful baby!

*A few days ago, Murray and I were talking about how much we love being parents, and how much we love Gulliver, and how our lives would just end if something ever happened to him, and then Murray told me that Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton was written for his 4-year-old son who died, and then Murray and I totally started crying because we were both thinking through the lyrics of the song. I don't know that I will ever be able to just lightly listen to that song again.