Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Party - One Year Old!

Our baby girl is now one year old. As is tradition in the Pauli family, birthdays last for weeks. That being said, this was just the first round of partying with the immediate family.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Cousin Michelle

In October of 2000 (maybe September) my cousin Michelle and I moved into the first floor of a two family home. The two family belongs to my parents Carl and Susan Pauli.

I remember Michelle and I us scheming to move in together when I graduated from college. Upstairs, in my old bedroom, talking on the futon of my parents home, the home I grew up in (for clarity, not the two family). I remember the conversation I had with my dad. He said, practically, "well, check back in with Michelle, make sure she wants to do it, and then we will ask the downstairs tenants to move out." I told him, I did, it was done and we were moving in together. So exciting! We moved in and we lived together for 6 years. Those were an awesome 6 years. We talked and talked, laughed and knew how to take care of each other in small ways, that others may not notice. We supported each other through stress, sadness and tough days. I loved our mornings, Saturday or Sunday. Chatting at the kitchen table. It was awesome. I even had pet names for her. I call her "cousin" or "favorite" (short for favorite cousin, of course). When I got married, I did not move out - I moved up! Jeremy and I took up residence on the second floor. Michelle stayed down. We visited often. We fed Michelle (as she only has soup, smart ones and diet coke in her fridge - lets not forget the kashi!) and we still saw one another lots. When Elliott was born, of course, we were spoiled, Michelle came up even more - and we loved it. All three of us. Because Michelle is awesome.

Early this summer Michelle bought a house. It is a great house about 10 minutes away (and very close to an ice cream show and bakery with good pizza). She has been looking at houses for years - waiting for the perfect fit. I, of course, poked around many houses with her, sharing thoughts, offering support. She found one. It is awesome. It IS perfect for her. I love it. I love being in it. It is SO her! I am so proud of Michelle for saving her money, living wise, working hard, and achieving her goal of becoming a homeowner. She is a true example to me in this regard and in so many others...because, like I said, she is awesome.

About 3 weeks ago, The moving started, the packing, the paper passing, it was all a whirlwind really. A very exciting time of change. Around that same time, I developed a twitch. I squinted my nose, kind of like when you squint your eyes in the sun, but minus the eyes. I noticed it when I was working with my clients. I was concerned that they would think I was making a funny face at them. I did not know what was going on but I was concerned. I had a twitch, how bizarre! The past two days, emotionally, I have been going down hill, I have been worried about myself: stressed, anxious, shortness of breath, depressed. I have been thinking about how maybe I needed to get away, get a facial, do something to try and fix this funk I am in. I was trying to rack my brain to figure out what was wrong - and what is with this twitch?! Today in the car, on the way home from a mini celebration of Elliott's first birthday (of which Michelle was a guest) I figured it out! I was sad. I MISSED MICHELLE. Now I can finally cry. I know what to cry about. I miss my sweet cousin who I love so much. She is close by - so I will get used to it, I know, but for now, I finally know what is "wrong". Change is hard. As exciting as it is - it is hard. As much as I am happy for Michelle, I miss her downstairs and it will take some adjustment. Maybe I will still get the facial (although Michelle may not approve :) to be nice to myself as I adjust. Because, really, it is hard not having that much awesomeness so close. Her neighbors better know how lucky they are - (even if her grass is brown!)

I love my favorite cousin, Michelle.

Now I am in this weird place, where, as a therapist, I know I just "have to feel" and allow my feelings to exist and healing can naturally occur. There is no quick fix. I am just hopeful this silly twitch will go away in due time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Crying it Out (otherwise known as: I am dying inside)

So, this is the end of the innocence. Elliott is just about to turn one and last night we let her cry it out. I have been vehemently against this method throughout Elliott's young life so far. I was Dr. Sears all the way. A good friend of mine with a baby just a few days older than El let her babe CIO eons ago. She would sympathetically smile as I spoke to her about my 2 + wakings a night. She respected my POV, I respected hers, but for our babes we chose different paths. Jer and I changed as Elliott changed. She is a energizer bunny - non stop action - and now she was not stopping even AFTER I nursed her to sleep. She sprung back up. On one occasion I compared it to a zombie flick - she just keeps coming back - and we were all tired like zombies. It was getting worse and worse. Till a few nights ago all she wanted to do was sleep but she could/would not. We decided it was time for her to learn, gulp, all on her own. I could not believe it but we were ready for a change. We were about to Ferberize our baby! "Isn't it child abuse?" I wondered. I even asked Jer "What Would Jesus Do?" (is Ferber Satan?). Jer said Jesus would use some awesome calming power to put the baby to sleep. I concurred. The only super power I had in momma's milk was no longer working. It was time.

I called the doctor.
I emailed Flurg's mom.
I webbed it up.
I discussed with Jer.
I talked myself though.

  • The doctor advised: this is the first of the many times your will will go against the will of your baby. It is ok, she will be ok. She needs to learn.
  • Flurgs mom gave info and support.
  • The internet made me dizzy
  • Jer was ready. He was going to be the expert and executor (sounds so scary, and it was)
  • I told myself "this is just like when the baby is in the back of the car crying and there is nothing I can do".
The time approached. Elliott has a fantastic dinner. Yummy spaghetti with asparagus. She had a good evening played tons, was a happy little girl. I became progressively more anxious and upset inside. She was even cuter than ever. I felt pain in knowing what was about to happen. Then was the time. Tub, dark room, quiet play, nurse - no sleep. 9:00 pm put her down.

She screamed. 3 minutes pass. Jer goes in, reassures her, gives her some love with out picking her up and leaves. Jer then sets the timer for 5 minutes. I freak. 5 minutes! That's Ferber. 3, 5, 10, 10, 10 to infinity! Jer and I got in a fight about nothing until I started sobbing and dealing with the real problem. My baby was crying. Really crying. I had never heard that before, really. Maybe when she got a shot, but it was different, a pain cry versus I want my mommy and daddy cry. Jer goes in at the 5 minute mark. She is screaming, choking, gagging. I stood outside the door and sobbed. It was so very sad. My baby wanted relief, but she needed to sleep. We all needed to sleep! Jeremy came out of the bedroom, as the baby still sobbed, hugged me in the hall. I felt badly that he needed to support me, because I know it was hard on him too. He joked that he needed to check on both of his babies in 10 minutes. 10 minutes!! I did not think I could make it. I did not have to. She fell asleep. Beautiful sleep. And she slept from 9, say 9:20, until 1:30. WE WOULD HAVE TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN. But we did not have to. She woke at 1:30, cried for a min and a half and went back to sleep, She woke at 3:00 squawked and went right back down, Again at 4ish, 5ish, 6ish and went right back to sleep. I woke HER up at 7:00am.

Elliott did not hate me. Although I still feel bad. I think Jer was right, she was ready, she was not ready before but she is ready now. I was ready. I needed a change. Jer was ready too. We are ready for our whole house to get some real sleep.

It is now nap time. I did the same routine myself at my mothers house. It was hard. I went in at the 3 min mark. She groped at me. Screamed and cried. It was good that my mom was here to support me. Elliott was asleep in 5 min and 30 seconds. But who's counting?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

uh oh...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


This morning Elliott got her hands on her favorite breakfast.