Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sykes visit the Nation's Capital for the 4th

Can you tell I am catching up on blogging? So earlier this year (I think before we even had Mack) some of my college friends came up with the idea of getting together. I was pretty pumped about it because I had proposed something like that years ago as I had seen other friends of mine do it with their college friends and it had really helped them to keep in touch. But as with every friend group, there were several hold-outs and those finally got their gums in gear as most of us are married - and really, after weddings , what reasons do you have to get together with old friends unless you make a reason?

So, we all agreed to get together in DC over the 4th of July. Two of the group live in the D.C. area and another lives in NYC and three of us are in Texas (although one of the Texans couldn't make it anyways due to work).

So this was Mack's first airplane trip (see picture)! He did so well. He was really a pretty great baby and whenever he would get fussy, I would just feed him :-). Of course, I also realized another negative no one ever tells you about parenthood - say 'goodbye' to pleasure reading on a plane for the next 4 or 5 years :-). Small price to pay for such joy, eh?

In any case, it was so much fun to see everyone and to see the D.C. area over our nation's birthday. We spent the first day on the National Mall. We went to the spy museum which we have been wanting to do for quite a while and it was really good (top pic). It is private so it cost money, but it was worth it. We also visited the Air and Space museum which was great (and free!). We spent the actual 4th in Annapolis which was great. We saw the Navy band play, there was a parade, great fireworks and just a really cute town.

All in all, Mack's first airplane trip was very much a success. And it sounds like we are going to do something like this with my college friends a bit more frequently and so we are pretty doggone excited :-). I really love my college friends and love seeing them and catching up!

Yay for Addison

It's funny how having a child gets you more involved in the neighborhood. Before Mack, Andy and I worked and slept - with some hanging out sprinkled in there somewhere. We are both such workaholics, it just felt like we didn't have much time left over for other activities (although we did pretty consistently run or work out). But as a result we didn't do much as far as neighborhood activity.

But having a kid has made me realize how much is offered. We already knew our neighborhood Athletic Club was awesome. Basically any Addison resident gets a lifetime membership for a one time $10 payment as long as you live in Addison. And it is nice - not junky like most neighborhood/apartment things. Great equipment, really well maintained, friendly staff who know your name - really really great.

But it gets better! They have a nursery where you can bring your 3 month to 8 year old while you work out. It is great. It is a small nursery with one woman so it feels more neighborly than institution. They only take 2 infants under 12 months at a time so you do have to make a reservation, but it is SO great. You get 2 hours - 2 hours! - to work out sans baby. It's also fun b/c you run into the other moms who are there working out and dropping off their baby. Through that I have discovered there is an Addison mom's group, but I haven't been able to make the play date yet b/c they are on Friday and I always seem to have some rental business or we are going out of town or something else happening on Friday :-).

We also have discovered all these neighborhood events/offerings we never realized existed before. Like every Thursday night in the summer there is hot dog night at the pool. For $2, you get a meal (including hot dog, chips and strawberries - but just 5 as we discovered when Andy loaded his plate up with like 20 :-)) and get to hang out by the pool. It is really pretty fun as the pool is pretty hopping with families bustling around. Like with most kid stuff, Mack is too young to really enjoy it, but we do :-).
I don't really know how we were so unaware of all this stuff - it's like our heads are finally lifted out of the sand :-).

Time for momma to get some ZzzzZzzzz's

I don't know if I am pushing my luck by posting this, but Mack has slept from 8 to 8 for 5 days in a row now! Yes, that is 12 hours a night.

Did you know that when people talk about a baby sleeping through the night, that technically only means they sleep 6 or more hours in a row? I don't know about you, but that is not sleeping through the night for me. So sure, Mack did start doing that around 7 or 8 weeks. And I'm not complaining - after 3 or fewer hour stretches being the longest amount of sleep I had had before then - 6 hours was feeling pretty great. And supposedly there are moms and babies out there for whom even that doesn't happen (although all the moms I talked to seemed to have babies sleeping through the night at 4 weeks). But honestly, it just made me greedier for more sleep :-). I'm such an ingrate ;-).

Mack is such a joy when people ask me about him, I am quick to respond that he is an easy baby. But I think I just had low expectations and so all my expectations have been surpassed :-). Don't you find that is the trick to happiness? To not expect much and then everything comes out so much better than you imagined? Because as I think about his sleeping, he really hasn't been that easy. I think just because he wasn't up all night screaming, I was thinking I have it pretty good!

Mack hasn't been the most consistent sleeper. When I put him down for bed at 10, he would sleep until 4 - which is good. But eventually you like to get some couple time alone and try for the earlier - say 7:30 or 8:00 pm - bedtime. So then he was waking up at like 1 or 2 am- which for me was only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Then I would feed, he would wake at 6, feed again, sleep and wake sometime b/t 7:30 and 8:30. Sure he would start to skip the 1 am feeding for a couple of nights, but then all of a sudden he would start waking up again - and there was still the 5/6 am feeding - blech!

In any case, I am praying that this is the new norm and I might start to get a caught up on the sleep debt I have racked up over the last 5 months.

That's another thing I learned about sleep. Without it, I am an idiot. Literally when I talk, I think one thing and say another. I probably don't make sense to anyone. I don't remember anything. I make the stupidest mistakes. I bang my head into everything. I feel like I am a zombie when out with other people and none of my dazzling personality is left ;-). I ramble on in blog posts without correcting run-on sentences... You get the picture.

But it is also amazing how your body adjusts to little sleep and you can still operate without it. I still feel really tired, so lets hope that's just because my body has had the taste of sleep and wants more... and not because I have something like cancer.

I also have to brag on Andy that over the past 5 months he would always get up with Mack on Saturdays and let me sleep after I fed him. Those Saturday mornings really kept me going, honey! I love you :-). (Of course, I would wake up to see Mack wide awake but still swaddled in his swing. Or after I explained to Andy you should unswaddle the baby after he was awake, I would find Mack in the swing about to fall out b/c he wasn't buckled in, but you know, daddies have a learning curve too :-).) And I have to confess that despite my lack of sleep, I still never napped - that whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" never really worked for me - I am just not a napper and can only sleep at night. And I also never went to bed at 8 with the baby which would have seemed to be the logical thing to do. I think you crave (I apologize in advance b/c I really hate this expression) "me" time where you can read a book, watch a show or do whatever you feel like doing sans baby... So some of the lack of sleep was/is self induced. Poor Mack can't take all the blame!

5 months already?

So our big boy is 5 months old now - how did that happen? Time really does fly :-). At 4 months it felt like Mack came into his own. He started showing so much personality, showing preferences, and just all around became so much fun. Sure he was cute, cuddly and fun before. But at 4 months his personality just started shining through. At 3 months he stopped being such a blob, but I really think I entered baby nirvana with month 4.

This is a picture of us at the grocery store. Mack was in a great mood and playing with his feet and throwing his hands up in delight when he would catch the smile of another shopper. He LOVES people. He looks at everyone hoping to catch their eye and get a smile. He loves to smile and look away all bashful. He's a ham :-).

He is such a fun baby I can't stand it.