Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to my igloo!

Seriously. Our apartment reaches absolute zero at least fifteen times a day. Here's why:

1. We have no heating system. Chinese apartments come equipped with... well... nothing. No heating system, which means you can definitely forget about having AC in the summer. But no heating system means we have to go buy an electric heater. Last winter we borrowed one, but that option doesn't look doable this time, so we need to get a heater for ourselves. And being the procrastinators that we are, we still haven't gotten one. Which means we are freezing.

When you live in America, or most Western countries, you really take it for granted that you have heat in your home. Sure, it makes the bills go up a bit, but at least you don't have icicles instead of eyebrows.

2. We have "wood" flooring. No carpet or rugs to keep our tootsies warm. Carpet is like a big deal here for some reason. Rarely do you come across an apartment with carpet, and when you do, it's like heaven. I'm not joking. But you know what? At least we have wood and not tile like most Chinese apartments have. If we had tile, then not only would we have no need of a refrigerator, but we would have frostbite up to our knees. 

3. Our apartment is built from cement. That's all. No fancy schmancy insulation or two-by-fours. Just plain, cold, calculated concrete.

4. Our windows are single-paned. If there were any heat in the house to be found at all, the menacing (and LARGE, might I add) windows would sweep it up into their frigid grasp and cruelly switch it out with the freezing air from outside. Evil windows.

Even if we have a sunny and relatively warm day (like this morning), it doesn't mean a thing. It honestly takes two full weeks of fabulous weather to warm up our apartment. But you get even one cloudy day, and it's all over. 

I can't imagine living somewhere in China where the weather actually does get pretty cold. Here I am whining, and the coldest Kunming gets is probably around 35 deg F. That's not unbearable. 

But since whatever temperature is outside means that it's inside as well, it's pretty... uh... frustrating. Unbearable? No. But definitely annoying.

Maybe I should just stop complaining and go out and buy a heater.

Eh, maybe not. I don't wanna go outside. 

Too cold.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

But what about ME?

I never knew that taking care of a baby would be SO time-consuming.

Seriously. I feel like I have no life at all. And I'm sure all you moms out there are smirking and saying to yourselves, "We coulda told you that." In fact, many of you probably did, in one way or another. The thing I remember hearing the most was, "Having a baby changes your life!" Indeed it does. Indeed it does.

There are so many good and wonderful things about having a child. The love you feel for them is unequal to any other, the joy you get when they smile and laugh...

But they require so much attention! At least, mine does. It's a rare occasion when we leave Liam alone to play by himself and he doesn't cry. Today was one of those days. He can sit up now by himself, which is marvelous, so we had him playing with his toys for a good half hour without a whine. (There was drool, however, and LOTS of it. I've started putting bibs on him during the day to catch all the drool so his shirts don't get soaked.)

Anyway, it was really nice for me that I didn't have to hold him or pick up his dropped toys for him. He did good all by himself. A rare occasion.

I wish this behavior would continue. I want to do other things sometimes, like reading or crocheting or learning how to sew. Honestly, there are so many things and ideas in my head about what I would like to do, but I can hardly do any of them. I'm lucky if I get the dishes or the laundry done. I feel so exhausted at the end of each day. And I feel like I haven't really accomplished anything at all.

Do I sound selfish? To me, this sounds a little selfish. Aren't I supposed to be attentive to my baby's every need? Sometimes I feel like a lazy mom because I would rather be doing something else than wiping the cold spit off his chin while he's crying miserably at me.

I don't know where the balance is. I hear about all these moms who have anywhere from 2-7 kids, who are doing a fabulous job being a mom - teaching their children creative things, going on outings, etc. - but who also have their own lives. To me, that sounds like the ultimate. How do they do it? 

Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself. Obviously Liam is too young to do art projects now. Will these desperate thoughts disappear once Liam starts being able to do more things on his own? But then at that point, isn't it about time to get pregnant with number two?

AAAAGGGHHHH!!! It never ends. For now, I guess the only thing to do is just do my best to love Liam and give him what he needs. 

I suppose I can be content with only crocheting two rows a night.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Be imperfect!

I've realized that changing your mind and stance on some things is pretty common when you're a parent.

Some things, little things. Definitely not things like: "Don't worry about brushing your teeth, kids! Woo-hoo, sugar is GOOD!!"

When I was pregnant, I would read SO many books and articles about parenting. It is a big deal to take care of a child and train him/her to become a responsible adult. I wanted to be as prepared as possible for when Liam came into the world. So I (and my husband, but mostly I) read books like The Baby Whisperer, thinking that I would have the best routine ever for my baby and he would never cry because he would know what was coming next. Ha.

Now, don't get me wrong. I actually really enjoyed The Baby Whisperer, and I thought it had a lot of good advice and information. And we did incorporate many things it suggested into taking care of Liam. But, you can read and prepare all you want, but you'll still never be fully ready for the child that God gives you. 

Especially with us traveling so much, there was never really a chance to establish a good routine with a set bedtime and everything for the first two months of Liam's life. And I don't really regret anything at this point either, because hey -- he's sleeping 12 hours a night and takes decent naps during the day. What more could I ask for?

I used to think, Oh my gosh, he's crying! We just fed him two hours ago! Why would he be crying? He can't possibly be hungry - that's what the books say! And I would be a little scared to feed him thinking that his routine would be so thrown off. Well, I realized that sometimes babies are hungry before they're "supposed" to be. Just like adults. So I would give in and feed him. By the time we left the States to come back to China, I was a lot less rigid about Liam's feeding times. Especially, especially, on the flight here.

Those Korean Air flight attendants, man -- they will stress you out! Any time Liam started crying, they would bustle up in their little blue pencil skirts and lean into our aisle, saying, "Oh! What's wrong? Is there something we can do? Does he need a snack? You can feed him now."

But once jet lag was over and we weren't traveling around anymore, Liam, all by himself, got onto a nice routine with eating and sleeping. He'll eat about 5 times a day, bedtime at 8, wake up at 8. With long and short naps in between meals, usually. It's quite lovely, now that I think about it. In fact, he's taking his first nap of the day right now. This one is usually the longest, so it's the best time for productivity on our part. Hence the blog writing.

All this to say, it's okay to change your mind while parenting on the little issues. Some people are really cut out for scheduling and strict routines, and I really admire them. But if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or stressed about the things you're trying to do to make your child perfect, take a step back and say, "Is this really necessary?"

And it's really okay to trust the Lord that He will take care of your children as well. Where you fall short, that's where He comes in. If we were perfect parents to begin with, what appeal would the Father, who is perfect, have to our children?

Alright, Liam is whimpering from his room now. I'd better go get him and be an imperfect mother. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Learning what not to do (the hard way) while traveling...

Hello from the land of smiles -- that is, Thailand! It's hot and humid, but I guess it's fairly tolerable compared to the summer.

Our visit here is twofold: we had to leave the country for our visas (our allowed stay is only 60 days at a time in China), and Liam needed to get his 4-month immunizations. (China does not have vaccines). However, we have learned a lot in the span of just two days about traveling to Thailand to get your baby vaccinated.

1. Do not attend church the morning of your flight. We were thinking, Oh our flight's not 'til 6:00 pm... We can handle going to church. No. We should have remembered that Sundays are not the easiest of days for babies. There are no naps in their own bed, just short little shut-eyes in Mama's arms between worship and the sermon. By the middle of the afternoon, they've had it, and it's hard to relax. This was the first ingredient in the recipe of misery.

2. Do not drink coffee the morning of your flight (if breastfeeding). I love coffee. But I haven't really drank it since Liam was born. I guess I don't like the idea of having a caffeinated baby awake at all hours of the night, but I will have it occasionally when I'm feeling particularly dangerous. Days of planned travel are not days to feel dangerous.

3. Bring the Infant Tylenol with you to Thailand. What was I thinking? I actually considered bringing the Tylenol, then I thought, Psshh, no... what are the chances of Liam coming down with a fever on this short trip? He was going to be vaccinated, hello!!

4. Or better yet, just bring the blasted vaccines back with you to China, have them administered there, and then you can actually enjoy your trip to Thailand without having a cranky feverish baby! This one pretty much explains itself.

So, the plane trip was awful. Liam was all hyped up from the caffeine and cranky at the same time from the lack of sleep that day. He couldn't settle himself down for a good nap at any point in the journey. Good thing it only lasted a couple hours.

And for the rest of the time, he was irritable and was running a pretty good temperature for a couple days.

As you can see, I have taken away much from this short trip. 

And if we need to do this again, I will know exactly what (not) to do.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Phantom Cries are real.

Last night we went to some friends' house for dinner and games. 

(We're game people. Not everyone enjoys playing games, but we do, and that's good because our friends do also.)

Usually when we're over there, Liam will end up taking a nap on a bed in the apartment at some point in time. We kind of lay him in the middle of the bed with pillows making a fortified wall all around the unfamiliar blanket he is plopped down on. Crying is definitely expected. But sleep, most times, will come around eventually.

Not this time.

The crying would not cease. I interpreted his screams as, "I'm not taking this anymore! Put me in my own bed! I refuse to sleep anywhere where the sheets don't smell like drool!!!!"

So, after much of this kind of dialogue -- "Should we go get him?"  "But I feel like he's really tired and just needs to sleep."  "Maybe we could put him in the Moby to help him fall asleep."  "I think he'll calm down soon."  "He's not calming down."  -- I went in and got him.

He was completely fighting sleep -- his eyes were red (probably from the crying as well), they were droopy, and he was all-around cranky. And the one saying in our household (that we have so far) is "Cranky babies go to bed." But, like I said, he wasn't having any of it.

Even all wrapped up and close to Mama, he still refused to miss out on any possible action. His watery eyes were wide open and staring.

Later that night when we got home and finally put him to bed, sleep came like it usually does: quickly and peacefully.

But at 3:49 am......

I was abruptly awoken by very loud crying.

Liam had flipped himself over in his sleep, which is something he's been doing lately, and he doesn't exactly love it. So I went in and quietly turned him back over. He kept crying for a little while, then finally found his thumb and took a trip to dreamland.

I, however, found myself craning my neck and ears once I got back into bed. I could have sworn I heard him crying. And I would tiptoe out to the living room, being very still so that I could hear for sure.... and.... nothing. He was completely silent. So I would go back to bed, and there was that incessant crying again! Tiptoe, nothing, back to bed.

This went on probably four times before I reassured myself that it was just "phantom cries" in the end. My mind was playing tricks on me. I have encountered phantom cries many times before, and it's so weird how I really think that my child is crying. It's quite annoying because I can never relax until I'm absolutely positive that my brain is just being ridiculous and playing jokes on me. "Ha ha! Amy tiptoed again... let's do another cry." *giggle*

Have any of you experienced these phantom cries with your children?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Leave the baby at home once in awhile

The other night our friends babysat for us while Drew and I had our first night out together since we'd been back in China. 

It was a little surreal, to tell you the truth. Us, with no baby attached? It was kind of nice for a change. Not that I don't love Liam with all my heart, of course! But, you know.

We went out to eat downtown at this place called Salvador's -- pretty good Western food, they make their own coffee and everything. We had a really good time. 

By the time we got home, Liam was a wreck. Mary was warming up Liam's milk, while John attempted to keep both Liam and their daughter Adaline happy. Liam was crying pretty hard, but once I sat down and fed him, he was a goner.

I think we will definitely need to get out by ourselves at least once a week. It's really tough to work on your marriage when you've constantly got a baby around. I'll definitely say that marriage doesn't get easier when you have a baby. Yes, there is that common goal of raising a child and you're partners working together and all that. But the romance? Pretty much not, and it's especially difficult to feel romantic while you're breastfeeding. That's why it's so important to have quality time alone together. That's when you can really dig deep and talk to each other (and about things other than your child!).

Hey, I'm in this for life -- I'm not planning on going anywhere, so I know that if I want to be happy and want Drew to be happy (let alone have happy children), I need to work on being the best wife to my husband. That's what God would want too, I think.

Okay, enough with the lectures... see you next time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is what we experience EVERY DAY.

Construction, dirt, noise, and stares. Enjoy!

The Vegetable Nazi

At the vegetable shop again.

This time it's both Drew and myself with Liam. We're on the way home from our teammates' house, and I remember that I need some vegetables for the ratatouille I will be making that night. So we have Liam in the stroller, and Drew waits with him while I run around the shop finding all the veggies for dinner. 

Mrs. Chinese Vegetable Shop Owner (or the Vegetable Nazi) is there, of course. This time Liam is dressed semi-warmly, since it's kind of a chilly day. She walks over to where Drew and Liam are, and looks at the baby for a minute... asks how old he is. Comments on how big he is for only 4 months old (not in a nice way, more like she thinks we're lying). 

Then I go "check out" with my merch. Drew goes back outside with Liam to wait for me. The Vegetable Nazi takes my money and says, "He looks like you." 

I smile and say in a friendly way, "Oh, I think he looks like my husband."

She briskly hands me my change. Shakes her head once and smirks, "No. He looks like you." 

Okaaay..... whatever you say.

Just give me my vegetables, lady.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Everyone loves a laowai baby!

Chinese people love my child. LOVE. 

We had to run some errands today. It takes forever to run errands here. First we had to catch a bus (15 minutes), then we had to ride it to pay the water bill (30 minutes), then wait for another bus to go do our other errands, etc. I had Liam in the Moby, and he was pretty tired, so he was just kind of looking around docile-like at everyone.

On the way to the water bill place, an old granny sat down next to me. She couldn't stop smiling and staring at Liam. And then this random girl who was standing near us reached across the old granny's lap and held Liam's hand for probably a good 6 stops. Even when more people crowded and pushed their way onto the bus, this girl held on to Liam's hand for dear life as she was drowned in the sea of people.

Everyone would ask how old he was. In my poor Chinese I would say he was about 4 months old, and they would smile. One old man even said in broken English, "[something, something, something] little boy!" How sweet...

Did I mention the fact that I will always have a seat on the bus when I have Liam with me? Even if the bus is completely crowded, someone (and for some reason, it's always a female) will get up and offer their seat to the poor, weighted down mother. Hey, I don't object! Well, I do at first, but that's just the Chinese way.

Not many Chinese see laowai (foreigners), let alone a laowai baby, with their big blue eyes. So they are enraptured at first glance. I do consider it a joy to share Liam's cuteness with them. The new and improved happy stares are much better than the old ones.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Putting a baby to bed on time is VERY important.

I never realized just how important it is for Liam to get to bed on time until two nights ago. 

We were over at some friends' house, which is a nice treat for us since it doesn't happen that often. Our friends have a 7-month-old baby girl, so it's fun to get together with them. It's nice to see that there's "hope" for Liam as he gets older -- one day he will sit up, eat solids, grow some hair, etc. :)  So anyway, we stayed there a little longer than we should have.

Liam usually goes to bed around 8 every night without any trouble, but we stayed at our friends' until around 9. Then we had to catch a taxi, so we ended up getting home at around 9:30. When we arrived at our apartment, Liam was currently asleep in the Moby. How nice. But the story doesn't end there. Liam had a poopy diaper, and I didn't want it to get all crusty and stuff all night long (not easy to clean up).  So I tried as hard as I could to change him without waking him up too much. But alas -- the poo had already began the crusting process! So I had to wipe a bit harder than normal. Before I knew it, Liam's eyes were as wide as serving platters, just staring at me as if to say, "" 

After the diaper change, I tried to put him to bed. But he wasn't having any of it. There he was, propped up on his arms, staring around like he wanted to play. By the time I shut the light off and closed the door, he was wailing. And it only got worse and worse. He was crying his loudest and hardest, for a long time. To us, it was very long. We tried to ignore it, but like I said, it only got worse. Finally, after about 20 minutes of enduring it, I went in and got him.

Poor thing. As I held him and shhh'ed quietly to him, he tried his best to calm down. But he had been crying so hard that it was hard to breathe in without a sob escaping. (You know what I mean -- all of us have cried that hard, even in our adulthood -- or is it just me?) I felt bad, and I knew he was just overtired and didn't know what to do with himself. He didn't know that if he just calmed down he would fall asleep, which would solve all his problems. So I held him close against my chest and walked around the house, saying "mommy" things in his ear. He finally calmed down and found his thumb. I walked around as long as my arms would let me (he's almost 14 lbs now), and then as softly and quietly and I could, I laid him down in his bed. No protest, no sign of distress, just peaceful silence. *sigh of relief*

Even though it was a stressful night trying to get Liam to just go to bed already, it was kind of nice knowing that I'm his mother and he finds me comforting. I felt like it was my first mommy test, and I passed. 

On the other hand, I think we'll be sticking to the 8:00 bedtime from now on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I hate colds.

Still sick.... I hate it. Now the stuffy nose and sneezing fits have been replaced by coughing my lungs out. I'm not sure which I dislike more.... probably the coughing. Early this morning Drew had to move out to the couch to get some sleep because I was experiencing a coughing fit. And, to top it off, Liam also has the same thing now! We noticed it two days ago when he was extra noisy breathing through his nose. It hasn't progressed really beyond a stuffy nose, so that's something to be thankful for. Maybe the coughing part will just bypass him altogether, now wouldn't that be nice?

Liam's getting pretty good with his hand coordination these days. Every time I change his diaper, he's got an iron grip on one or both of his feet. And he tries really hard to put his feet in his mouth, but he's not quite there yet. It's really cute... and I can't believe how fast he's growing! His eyebrows are even starting to be more defined -- he's looking more and more like a little boy. He's 3 1/2 months old now. I think he should probably be laughing pretty soon, but all we've gotten so far are little squeals of delight, which are still very endearing.

I've been going to visit Simple Mom pretty often this last week. It's an awesome blog website written by a mom of two who lives overseas (kind of like me!), and she writes about everything from organizing to decorating to budgeting. It's really helpful. I've taken her advice about envelope budgeting to heart, and we now have envelopes for all our monthly expenses. It's really eye opening actually, to try and cut down on your spending, especially groceries. Before I don't think we paid too much attention, but right now we only have $48 left for the rest of the month.And it's only the 7th!! So I've been making meal plans each week, trying to get the most bang for our buck. Potatoes are a favorite right now, since you can do so much with them, and they're incredibly cheap. At Wal-Mart they're only 30 cents a kilo (about 15 cents a pound).

Well, I better go and start on dinner. It's cheap chicken tonight!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Under the weather

I'm sick today. Blah.

On top of it, Drew left to go to the villages today, so I'm all by myself with Liam. Did you hear the part about me being sick? Not fun.

So, I'm trying to sort of get simple things done (such as writing this entry) while Liam's awake and distracted by his toys. Soon, hopefully, he'll get tired and need a nap... then I will have a little nap of my own. I am so exhausted.

Fortunately, he has been a wonderful baby today. Hardly any crying, or even fussing, for that matter. The good mood started this morning when Drew went in his room to get him, and he had rolled over onto his back just cooing to himself and waiting patiently for us to come get him. I think he woke up on the right side of the bed. Ha. Ha.

So I could not be more grateful for his pleasantness today. I can't imagine trying to calm a crying baby while blowing my nose simultaneously. Thank you Lord.

Today I got some scolding from the lady at the vegetable shop. I took Liam in the Moby wrap (love it, by the way) on some errands, sick as I was. The last stop was the veggie shop, so of course his arms were a little cool by then. Well, Mrs. Chinese Vegetable Shop Owner was feeling his arms and saying how cold he was and how the color of his skin wasn't so good and that he would get sick if I didn't put more clothes on him. I just kind of smiled and nodded. There's really no use arguing with these people. But I did feel kind of bad because his hands and arms really were cold. So I took him home and he warmed up right away.

Now Liam's playing with his "jungle friends" as we affectionately call them. It's like a little "gym" (I guess that's what they're called) that we borrowed from a friend, and it has three little colorful creatures hanging where Liam can bat at them. When he does a particularly strong bat, the creatures do a little song and dance. It's pretty awesome, because he gets distracted by them for at least half an hour.

I think I'm gonna try and put him down for a nap now. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Word on Diapers

Okay, diapers.

I love them. Not in such a way that I absolutely want Liam to wear them forever. Nooo, no no. But in such a way that they are in the top category of convenience as far as babies pooping goes. 

I use disposables. Cloth did have its appeal as far as low cost went, but then I thought about how crappy our washing machine is. Too bad.

Here was my other "option." And it's the option that most Chinese choose for their babies. Split pants. What are split pants, you might ask? Well, thank you for asking -- they are exactly how they sound. They are pants with a very large slit in the crotch. Large enough to not have to remove said pants while taking a squat. And take those squats they do.

In China, if you're a baby or even just a child, anywhere is a good place to take a squat. And I mean anywhere. It could be a street, or a gutter, or near a tree. One time we were coming up the stairs to the elevator from our apartment's parking garage, and there was a mother and her daughter (probably 3 or 4 years old) at the top of the steps -- little girl was taking a pee right there, and it was making a miniature waterfall down each of the steps. Drew and I just tiptoed around them, trying our very hardest not to step in the pee. Lovely.

The only good thing about these split pants is that the kids are potty trained at an incredibly early age. This is how they do it: when they're really young babies, the moms or dads or grandmas will sit with the baby on their lap with the baby's butt between their legs pointing towards the ground. When the baby makes a pee (or whatever), the adult will whistle. The baby learns that the whistle is associated with bathroom time, so then later when they hear the whistle, they will go on command. Pretty cool. The bad thing is the whole use-the-world-as-your-toilet thing. Plus the baby's you-know-whats are out in the open for everyone and their dog to see. Not very modest.

So, I'm grateful for diapers. Expensive? Yes. But so worth it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We're so very different, aren't we?

So, I don't know how many of you have been to a foreign country where the people are totally different from yourself and they just can't help but stare as you walk by, but let me tell ya --  it gets old. Really old.

In our part of the lovely city of Kunming, there is probably one foreigner to every 1500 Chinese. So when we walk down the street, or sidewalk, every eye is pinned on us as if we had an arm coming out of our foreheads (or six arms, for that matter). We can't help but feel like we're on display to the whole world, kind of like a medical phenomenon on 20/20. Sometimes the people look us up and down as if we not only look different in the head/facial area, but in the legs and feet too. And if this isn't enough, add a baby to the mix.

It's kinda nice, actually. Everyone has taken their eyes off us, and Liam is now the "medical phenomenon." And instead of bewildered looks that say, "Wow..... what ARE those people?!" the looks are ones of happiness and amusement. I mean, come on, everyone likes babies to some extent.

Sometimes, the old grandmas look at us like we're possibly THE worst parents in the world. Why, you may ask? Well, because we don't dress our child for Arctic weather when it's summertime! It's been 80-85 degrees every day, and Liam inherited Drew's genes for being perpetually hot all the time. So we dress him in simple onesies most of the time. Compare this with the Chinese babies: they have probably 20 different layers on, consisting of socks, 2 pairs of pants, 10 shirts, and a hat. I'm surprised they don't keel over and die of heat stroke by the dozens. But -- that's China. That's how the Chinese dress from birth to old age, and it's because of their fear of getting cold.

What's the big deal about being cold? Well.....

If you get cold, you could get sick, and if you get sick, you could die. So, there you go: dress warm or die!

It's an interesting place we live, that's for sure...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Like I said before...

To further emphasize the oddness of my child, let me tell you how he slept the last couple days...

The night after I posted (you know, where he was sleeping ALL afternoon), he woke up three times during the night instead of his usual one. Man, did that throw me off. He woke up at 1 am, so I fed him and put him back to bed. Then at 2, he woke up again and wanted to play. So I groggily entertained him until he was tired again. Drew never even wakes up for this stuff, lucky guy. After gingerly putting him back to bed, praying that he would sleep for a full 12 hours after that, he woke up again three hours later. What happened to 12?? Anyway, it was a long, looooong night.

However, last night he slept a full 12 hours! Praise the Lord! Will this become a habit? Please say yes. I am tired of waking up in the middle of the night. I am tired of having fun and interesting dreams being interrupted by the shrill sound of crying in the otherwise peaceful night. 

So let's see what the next night brings, shall we?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why are babies so odd?

My husband and I have a son, Liam. He is almost 3 months old, and probably the most adorable child I have ever seen. I don't think I'm biased -- this is cold, hard truth! At the moment, the little cherub is fast asleep in his Pack N Play, which brings me to the subject of all this.

He has been sleeping ALL afternoon. Now, I know babies are supposed to sleep a lot, blah blah blah. But not Liam. He doesn't sleep all afternoon -- ever. EVER. Usually he's awake and either hungry/alert/crabby, but never sleeps more than 2 hours or so. So what's going on here? Growth spurt? Maybe. I doubt he'll make this a habit. Which brings me to my next subject.

Before Liam was born, I read a few books on the whole routine/schedule thing. Drew (my husband) and all his six siblings grew up on strict schedules, and his mom says they're a God-send. So I thought it would be a piece of cake -- just follow what the book says, right? Oh, so wrong. The books I read were all about first Eat, then Play, last Sleep. Well, the eating thing is no problem. And neither is the playing. But the sleeping? That's another story.

Liam doesn't want to go to sleep every time after the Eating and Playing. Sometimes he just wants to keep playing. Or he'll want to sleep immediately after (and sometimes during) eating. At times he'll sleep for hours and hours (like now). And the rest of the time he'll sleep for like 30 minutes and then want to play. It is not organized by any stretch of the imagination.

But it's not that big of a deal, either. He eats at pretty much the same times every day -- wakes up once during the night around 2 am, wakes up for the day at 6:30, and so on...  And he's still getting over jet lag and all that. (To clarify, he was born in the States and we just got back to China a week and a half ago.)

Here's my conclusion: Do I care? Will it really matter if I try to get him on some sort of sleeping schedule now when another trip or a cold will just throw him off again? My answer is no. I do NOT care!! Well, I kind of do. But not enough to try and force him to sleep at certain times and keep him awake at others. It would be kinda nice to know when we can go out and when to bring him home after an outing, but... in the end, he's a baby.

And babies are odd.