Once Upon a Tanbo


Posted on: August 15, 2009

Well… almost 3 weeks in now… and life is so different than it was a month ago. My little petunia can be a nightmare sometimes especially at night. I would have to say thank god my mom was here the last two weeks as there were points where Ryohei and I just couldn’t deal with it and had to just give her to my mom for an hour or so while we calmed down. My mom is leaving tomorrow morning which means from now on we are on our own…

I wish I could say I felt prepared for it but I don’t at all… and I really don’t want to have to go stay at Ryohei’s house for a couple weeks although that is an option. Sakura was horrible at Obon – not really her fault though since I’m sure being held, poked, and proded and NOT ALLOWED TO SLEEP by all her Japanese relatives didn’t help at all. If she doesn’t nap well in the afternoon she goes insane at night from crankiness and being overtired and then when all those relatives are gone its just me and Ryohei trying desperately to get her to sleep while she wails like a banshee and makes the two of us regret ever touching eachother roughly 10 months ago.

When we DON’T go anywhere during the day shes a bit better – actually she was very happy and in good spirits yesterday and it was actually really fun to be with her. Somedays it frustrates and even scares me to have to deal with her – I’m not ashamed to admit it. Its such a huge loop you get thrown for that of course adjusting is so difficult especially when your boobies are being sucked dry every couple hours and your sleep is unpredictable and troubled at best.

On the upside – she does sleep really well at night – WHEN she gets to sleep. She’s been going about 4-5 hours and then wakes up for a feed and then most of the time will go back down for another 2 hours which means that in the mornings I’m semi well rested… but I haven’t been able to nap much during the days so when night comes I am exhausted again and 3 out of 4 nights we have a huge bed time struggle.

My mom has been helpful with cooking and laundry but once she is gone I am pretty sure those will fall by the wayside since it seems i’m pretty much glued to my chair or the sofa with the baby trying to feed or comfort her. Its just so hard to know what to do with her sometimes.

Anyways the weather has been really nice lately so we took another walk to the station today and had a last Starbucks with my mom. We were out about 2+ hours and Sakura slept the whole time, but I was so tired – guess I’m still not fully recovered from pregnancy/birth. But glad to be getting some exercize. I still look like a fat blob monster in all my pictures but I can def. feel myself losing weigh although I don’t have a scale to see how much has come off so far.

Anyways heres a pic of my little devil/angel to tide you over til next time!! Sorry for all the sleeping pics – most of her awake ones she is bright red and screaming – when will I have a happy awake and alert baby I wonder 😦 Shes so pissed off most of the time that its hard to believe she came from two easygoing people like Ryohei and I ((lol))



15 Responses to "Killer"

Awww, well she looks like a little angel in the photo anyway : ) I have to say I’m surprised at how much Ryohei’s family expects you to participate in gatherings and such considering how little Sakura is. Although I hate to admit it, I definitely think there is something to be sequestered at home for one month after birth. Not so much for mommy, but I definitely think it helps baby get comfortable with her new surroundings. Sara was only 2 weeks at New Year’s and we didn’t go to my IL’s, in fact they told us NOT to come, and if people wanted to see Sara, they would come over to our apartment, which they did.

I wish I could tell you that it gets easier, and it probably does for women less domestically challenged than myself, but Sara will be 8 months next week and we have just now FINALLY figured out a rhythm for her that kind of keeps us all happy. And that’s Sara, forget about housework or cooking or whatever. I’ve just completely given up on that altogether. And of course I’m throwing a wrench into the works by whisking her off to America with me for a month in two weeks anyway. Okay, sorry these are my woes, not yours. Anyway, no advice, just feeling your pain 🙂 Let me know when you’re up for a chat!

*sucks in breath like japanese inaka men* 8 months and just getting a ryhthem?? oh that sounds like me… I’m surprised people say it only takes 2-3 month – I can see myself being a mess for quite a while

just hope when she gets a bit older i won’t feel so bad since she’ll be *less* helpless and no more scary floppy neck!

i still want to chat!! will try and get to that soon i hope. with my mom here we’ve been pretty busy but as of tomorrow onwards i’ll probably be taking things more easy

ps – i agree with you on taking the baby places… it really does not help and the two days weve taken her out have been the two WORST nights we’ve had… i dont think we have anymore engagements with the inlaws for a while though… really hoping that the rest of the month is quiet.

Sounds like “fun,” or an interesting challenge at least! It must be hard to watch your little one screeeeam all the time, but hopefully she gets over that soon. You’re lucky to be getting a couple chunks of solid sleep though! That’s good to hear.

Good luck on your own, I’m sure you’ll be fine without your mom now ❤ Cooking and laundry is overrated anyways.. let it pile away! =P

I seriously wonder how I'm going to manage on my own at first….not sure I'll be getting any help at all. Kill me before it starts? lol

will your MIL be helping you out at all? maybe see if you can recruit Lulu or another nearby friend to come over and keep you company – i guess it just depends on ponyo’s little personality

I think Sakura is quite… ahem.. spirited and sometimes i just need a BREAK from her already!!

i will TRY to keep up laundry and cooking – we will see… as long as cupcake doesnt keep up the banshee act I should be able to get at least a little bit done

she IS a challenge though – hard to believe that someday it will… should? get easier… im sure at this point you are thinking “bring it on!” though lol. i know at 38 weeks + i certainly was

Can you really blame her for crying and being upset when people (annoying relatives, not mom and dad) just won`t let you get some zzzz`S? I know I feel the same way towards Dh when I start getting tired.

I`m sure you are doing great (even if it may not seem like it).

I agree with Khea, just let the laundry and dishes pile up, who really cares about a little dirt. Its suppose to be healthier for kids (less asthma, allergies, etc) when they grow up in slightly(I know I don`t know the last time I dusted was….) dirty environments than it spotless clean ones.

And btw Sakura is absolutely adorable in that picture.

Oh yes, I don’t miss those days AT ALL. The first months when you can never ever have a meal with your significant other because someone has to be holding the upset baby…as for the needing to walk away and calm down part – 10 months on and I still find myself putting Charlotte in her cot to just let her tanty it out for 5-10 mins while I go outside and take some deep breaths!

I agree with Brenda – the staying at home for the first month would be GREAT for getting a routine sorted. Took me until the 3 month mark to work that out and then we stayed home for a week straight and BINGO – beautiful sleeping routine and happy baby = happy Mum and Dad.

Babies – if we knew what we were getting ourselves into sometimes, we’d probably think a lot harder about going there??!!

Gorgeous photo – love her wee outfit 🙂

Yeah, newborns need a LOT of sleep, and they get really angry when they don’t get it! I’ve mentioned before that we did the whole month inside the house thing (Chinese people are hardcore about it, probably a lot more hardcore than Japanese people) and even though I was going totally stir crazy by the end of it, it was definitely a nice transition and it was really nice not to have to worry about any obligations besides the baby. I would hold off on going to Ryohei’s house to stay, just because it is probably important for you and Sakura and Ryohei to get settled into your own routine in your own space, without “outsiders” and as little as she is, she’s probably already comfortable in your house at this point. But that’s just my take, you do what you have to do! I still think you guys are doing a great job already. The fact that she does sleep such long stretches when she sleeps is pretty great. I don’t know how moms with the colic-y babies handle it — there were women on my baby board whose babies literally did not stop crying for like 3 months. Now that is intense! At least Sakura, while spirited, is capable of being chill. And adorable. 😀

Wow! Three weeks! That is almost a month. Hopefully, when you can go out for walks on a regular basis, the sleeping will start to regularise (is that even a word?!) itself, or at least some kind of routine will start to materialise that suits you and little Sakura. I used to go out and walk a lot with Hannah in the autumn, and although she used to sleep for most of her outside time, ironically it did make her sleep better at night.

Unfortunately, and I am talking from experience here, it seems that breastfed babies don’t sleep as well as bottle-fed ones do. All to do with the digestion, I suppose. I am still waking through the night with Luka, but (and it’s a big but), my body is well used to the hours of sleep I get. When he wakes in the night, I lift him out of his cot, and he lies in bed with me and feeds. In the morning, I rarely remember him waking, and I think he often helps himself to the grub while I am asleep. So even if your baby is feeding during the night, once you have mastered the lying down feeding, and even better, once she has learned to help herself, it is a lot more restful. I have to note though, that I really regret feeding my baby to sleep, because I am still doing it, but looking back, I was just so exhausted in the newborn stage, that the feeding was the only time I could get some sleep myself!

Luka used to scream and scream all the time, but he is MUCH better now. In fact, he used to sleep in the same kind of pattern that you are describing with your little one. I think newborns are just getting used to their situations, and finding your routines will come with trial and error. I found the bedtime routine the most important with both of mine. They soon learned to associate it all with long sleep.

As for being glued to the sofa, I would say go with it! If she’s a cuddly baby like my youngest, I’m sure she is just happy being close to you.

I feel your pain with the well-meaning relatives too. Did you get, “if she sleeps too long in the day, she won’t sleep well at night”?!? I got that ALL the time, and of course you are right about the overtiredness. Sometimes babies just sleep all day and night, and sometimes they don’t, but I swear they NEED naps! Maybe now Obon is over, you can spend some time just as your family? I know it seems daunting at first, but if a fool like me can do it, you will have no problem 😉 She is beautiful x

Sara, first babies are overwhelming so you can give yourself a break.

Have you read Baby Whisperer? She recommends a “schedule” called EASY. E is for eat, A is for awake, S is for sleep and Y is for you. Before you get to the one month mark it’s a good idea to ease into this program because it’ll make everything easier (as japanmama referred to). All four of my girls have wildly different personalities but just following EASY gave me more control over our day. I knew what they would be doing so I could plan what I needed to do. To be honest for the first few months I made one chore my goal for each day and sometimes I couldn’t even get it done. If we had a bad day or got off of our schedule then I just started anew the next day. Even such a simple program meant my girls started sleeping through the night 7-8 hours at 2 months, 10 hours at 4 months and then 12 hours at 8 months without much nudging from me.

Also, babies have a growth spurt at 3 wks, 6 wks, 3 mos and 6 mos and they’ll just want to eat more. I had to switch from a 3-hr schedule to a 2-hr schedule for a few days and then I produced more milk and we could go back to our 3 hr schedule. I absolutely loved it when we could switch to a 4 hr schedule (around 6 months). It frees up a lot of time.

If the screaming starts to get to you, put her down in her crib and leave the room. She’ll be safe there and you can calm down. I used to chant to myself, “She’ll grow out of this soon, she’ll grow out of this soon” until I felt better!

That’s a lovely pic Sara! 🙂 Love the Pooh outfit, and boy doesn’t she look just like you! 🙂

Sorry can’t offer advice on dealing with a baby, but hopefully even when your mum has gone home you can lean on your friends for a bit of support. 🙂

I hope you get some proper sleep soon 🙂

OK, I’m liking what Sarah said. EASY.

Ryu and I are a bit far from that though!! I have a generally good seven thirty pm till about one pm sleep now – and then a one or two feed thing until wake up. Still better than Shou or Marina were. During the day – lots of sleeping but also some very alert awake time’.

I also sometimes wonder why I let hub get a leg over ever – surely life was more fun when I was single as opposed to being married in a strange land with three under three.

I get scared too sometimes – scared that I might do something I regret. It never gets that far and usually it is the two older kids wearing me thin that get me to this point of thinking.

We’ll get through it Sara and in twenty years we’ll be telling them they were such good babies. In my case the wine needed to get me through to the twenty year mark will have jarred my memory no doubt!!

Somewhere around 5 or 6 weeks I found that we had eased into the EASY routine that Sarah mentions – more by accident than anything else. But it worked great for us and had the added benefit of keeping us from falling into the “eat to fall asleep” association & pattern.

I can safely say that I didn’t accomplish much besides baby care in those first few months. I was either (1) too tired to do anything else (2) too interested in spending time with my daughter vs. doing laundry again – ugh. Those were choices I made and we survived. Whatever choices you guys make will work for you too!

She is just so cute I want to gobble her up. Of course, I won`t….probably.

The “Easy” system that Sarah talks about sounds interesting- will need to do a google.

I am so grateful that my mum is coming for three weeks after baby comes- and after that my MIL said if I want her to come here to help with chores then she will (and as much as I don`t want her to see a dirty house I will let her come)

Shun is good with dishes, vacuuming and putting on laundry (but crap at hanging it out) even if he is working so I will just get him to do that stuff maybe. I know your Ryohei is a cleaning freak (much better than Shun, or me for that matter) so when he is around I am sure he could pick up the slack. His hours are not so bad at work so I am sure he can lend a hand once you mum leaves.

Not sure what Shun & I will eat- I will need to continue to cook. I think we will live off pasta……..hahahahahaha. Or I will eat sandwiches and Shun can eat Ramen…..probably not the best diet hey.

No real advice since no baby myself except get Ryohei to do some of the chores if needed!

I found that going from having one kid to having two kids was rather insignificant, evne though our first two were close in age. And going from having two kids to three kids was also relatively insignificant — some things got a little harder, but much was the same.

However, going from having NO kids to having ONE kid was a massive sea change. It was the hardest transition I ever made in my life, and I think lots of people feel the same.

I tried to tell this to a friend of mine in San Francisco who had her first baby a few days after I left there, but unless you actually go through it, it’s hard to imagine why someone is telling you to change your expectations.

But now she gets it — I just got an email from her and she said, “If there are no dirty dishes in the sink and I have brushed my teeth and am wearing deoderant, then it’s a GOOD day.”

Just keep trying different things, go easy on yourself and keep trusting your instincts. You’ll keep figuring out what works best for you and your family.

I am glad that your mum was able to come and help out for the first 2 weeks of Sakura’s life. It must have been a godsend to have someone to hand the baby to when you needed a break. I can totally understand having to get away from a screaming baby… especially one that you can’t just give back to the mum when you have had enough!

But I am sure that you will be fine without your mum there. Don’t worry about the washing and stuff if you find it too hard. I would just concentrate on getting Sakura into some sort of routine – any routine is fine, whatever works for you two!!

You have had so much great advice already for all those mummies out there 🙂

Btw, my niece just looks gorgeous in that little outfit 😛

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