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24 October 2008 @ 11:32 pm
Thanks to frankieb_sq87 and good ol' trusty Snopes.com, I have found out that the e.l.f. $1 cosmetics deal I mentioned in my previous entry is a hoax. Sort of.

Here's the deal: The cosmetics really are $1 each, and they're full-sized items, not sample sized. The "CAROLINA" coupon code really does work as promised. But the trick is that the cosmetics always are $1. Nordstrom is not buying e.l.f., and there is no label/branding change, so there's no need to rush and get this stuff now before it's all bought up. e.l.f. is simply an independent retailer committed to selling makeup at extremely affordable price points.

So overall, it's no big deal. Makeup can be very expensive. I got conjunctivitis several months ago and, upon the advice of my doctor, had to throw out all of my makeup in case it had become contaminated, which meant I needed to replace everything. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but to replace what I do wear/use (eyebrow powder, foundation, powder, mascara, eyelash curler, eye shadow) plus a few extras in case of special events (different eye shadow, eyeliner, liquid eyeliner) cost me nearly $100, and I was shopping at CVS, not Shiseido. One of those eight-color eye shadow variety packs alone runs around $5 to $10. So to get makeup for $1 per item is still incredible, and I could have saved between $70 and $90 had I bought from e.l.f. instead of CVS. But it's irritating that this hoax is going around (apparently since October 2006, according to Snopes) and prompting people (including me!) to stock up on more than they normally would buy because they think they are taking advantage of a one-time-only sale. I actually went ahead and requested that my order be cancelled, if it hasn't shipped out yet. I still want to get some e.l.f. stuff, but I don't need 45 items coming to me at one time like a makeup apocalypse kit.

It's just been one of those days, you know? Meghan apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, because she's been in a shit mood all day. She napped only 15 minutes in the morning and, probably because of that, was a whiny mess all day -- and not just fussy, but demanding and bratty. I'm starting to think she's purposely crying when she doesn't get what she wants so that she can manipulate us into giving in. She's only 7 months old, but she's a smart little bugger. She's Mr. Hyde when she's frustrated, but the moment she gets what she wants, she's all Dr. Jekyll and smiles again. And she tires herself out to the point that nothing makes her happy...least of all being put down for a nap! On top of all that, she's been really finicky about eating solids lately (as in, she doesn't want to eat much of anything), so she's running on very little sleep and almost only breastmilk. My child is a robot!

I got fed up with it earlier, when she woke up from her second 15-minute nap (or maybe she was refusing to nap...I don't remember, since she does that a lot) and was all fussy and unhappy again. I put her in her highchair, and she started to complain bigtime, and so I stuck my face up in hers, put on the sternest look I could, and said, "Meghan" really forcefully. To my surprise, she actually stopped crying and sat still. She tried fussing again maybe 30 seconds later, but I did the same thing, and she calmed down enough to eat some carrots and barley cereal with applesauce/apricots. So I'm thinking that I need to start setting limits and showing her that there are some things I won't take. It's hard to know when babies cross the line from having no real understanding of what goes on in their lives to getting that their actions lead to reactions and thus that they can try to sway circumstances according to their desires. Which means it's hard to know when your baby is no longer just "being a baby" and when you should start setting limits and enacting discipline. You don't want to be one of those people who lets their kid get away with everything because you assume the kid doesn't understand you anyway, but you also don't want to be the person who looks like a mean bitch because she talked sternly to a poor little baby who had no clue what the hell was going on. I'm starting to realize that motherhood is about feeling one's way in the dark, only to find out that you crossed a certain line months ago, but had no idea.

Anyway, Meghan's crappy mood has continued into the evening. I put her down for bed just before 8, and she's woken up three times since then, right now (11:15 pm) being the third time. The first two times, she cried it out after Jack and I tried to soothe her with no results. I refused to give her more milk; she had just had her fill before bedtime, and she wasn't really looking for it -- she just wanted a breast to help her sleep; I'm positive of that. And she won't take a pacifier anymore, so that won't help. Last night, she woke up too early as well, and Jack let her suck on his shoulder until he got a hickey there! Now...OK, a few minutes have gone by, and she seems to have stopped crying, or at least is dialing it down. If she starts again, I'll let her nurse, but I don't really think she needs it. She's frickin' 7 months old. She should be able to go for more than 3 hours without nursing. This is ridiculous. I don't mind nursing her when she needs it, but now she's just playing me. I want to be responsive to her needs. I want her to know I'll always be there for her. But I also can't allow her never to learn how to be independent and get herself to sleep when she's tired. I can't be a permanent crutch for her; at some point, she needs to learn how to do some things on her own. And it's so hard balancing these two needs. I never know for sure whether I'm leaning too far one way (capitulating to her every desire and thereby preventing her from becoming independent) or the other (being cruel and not soothing her when she cries for me).

I'm going to wait it out several more minutes, and then I'm taking a nice bath, with some BPAL bath oil. I need to destress.

...Yep. It's now 11:30 and she's been sleeping for well over 10 minutes. I didn't even go in there to check on her, although I did listen closely to her waning cries to make sure they didn't sound urgent. I hope she sleeps for a good several hours or more. She really needs it. And so do I (and my fading sanity).

But there was one good accomplishment of the day, which is that I made cupcakes for a Halloween party some good friends are throwing tomorrow. Behold prototypes of my spooky accomplishment:

The spider is made from a peanut M&M and a regular M&M, and its legs are Cheerios that I cut in half. The eyeball is a starlight mint with a regular M&M in the middle.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Lucretia my reflection: mother Crowagameofthree on October 25th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Could she be having a growth spurt? Boo would always nurse more before/during one, and would always regress a little right before some big developmental milestone. Maybe that's what's going on with you, in which case (and even if not in this case ;): this, too, shall pass.

ETA: those cupcakes are cuuuuuuuute!

Edited at 2008-10-25 03:49 am (UTC)
Spicedogsspicedogs on October 25th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
But, if I remember my early motherhood days correctly, at 7 months, the growth spurt is taken up by the solids as well. But then, I told miss_sophia long ago that parenthood is the most difficult job I ever had. You never know the script quite well enough.
Lucretia my reflection: wacky fun Wash Fireflyagameofthree on October 25th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
Too true! I'm sure each child is different. In my case, my daughter didn't start solids until 6 months so wasn't yet eating a lot of solids by 7. And there's the regression thing -- she would temporarily revert back to an earlier stage if she was sick, teething or about to hit the next stage.

I think the problem is, is that despite what the "experts" want us to think, there is no script. It's all ad lib. ;)

Edited at 2008-10-25 04:14 am (UTC)
Miss Sophia: Seinfeld - Serenity nowmiss_sophia on October 25th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
I feel like my script must have fallen down a gutter and gotten washed away!
Spicedogsspicedogs on October 25th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Will this make you feel better?

Miss Sophia: Twilight - Edward Maybellinemiss_sophia on October 25th, 2008 10:39 am (UTC)
HAHAHA yes. That poster is so awful. I still love how my Photoshopping of yellow eyes onto a celeb (for RP purposes) is way better than in that poster. See for yourself:

This is the original:

This is my Photoshop job:

Yes, I'm too lazy to make the original the same size as my icon, or vice versa, but I think the point still stands.

And yes, it is 6:30-ish am and I am up. Meghan is all awake right now, and because Jack hasn't lowered the crib yet, I can't just let her play without supervision (even though I did take out the bumper and she's wearing a sleep sack, so nothing's likely to happen). So here I am, awake. And less than thrilled to be so.
Miss Sophia: Seinfeld - Serenity nowmiss_sophia on October 25th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
It could be, although I feel like Meghan's regression just...keeps on regressing, if that makes any sense. There was a while, when she was around 4.5 months old, that I was getting 5-6 hours straight from her a night. Now I'm lucky to get 4 hours in a row, and it's been like this for ages. And whenever she wakes up, she wants to nurse, but a lot of the time, I think she's just looking for pacifying. She'll eat some, but it's not a ton, and then she'll go back to sleep. Half the time, I don't even have a clue what's going on because I fall asleep in the chair with her on my breast and wake up with a crick in my neck an hour or more later. I'm considering letting her spend an entire night in my bed, just to see if I sleep better. I don't want to start that trend again, because it means I'll have to go to bed when she does, but I'm just curious to see if that helps.

It's just hard to be patient when you haven't had more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep in a row for well over a year and all your friends' kids of similar age sleep like 10+ hours in a row and have been doing so since 3 months old. I guess the real upside is that there's no way any future kids I have could be this difficult in terms of sleep (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!), so they'll seem like a breeze.

And thanks -- I'm quite proud of the cupcakes and now want to make some for the trick-or-treaters next week, but I know that won't go down, b/c of fears about razor blades and all that. Maybe I'll just make some for my husband and parents to bring into work or something. :)
Lucretia my reflection: mother Crowagameofthree on October 26th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
I totally understand, and I'm sorry if I didn't sound sympathetic. We've had sleep issues more or less from day one, and I know how frustrating and hard it can be. To be honest, while we co-slept from the beginning, the thing that really sold me on it was the fact I got more sleep. It's definitely easier to night feed, especially if you're like me, and have a hard time falling back asleep if awake for too long. You have to do what's right for you and your family, of course, but it did help me get more zzzs.

I only mentioned the growth spurt/regression thing because it helped me knowing that whatever problem I was currently having was just a phase and would eventually pass. Honestly, they're changing so much at that age that very little (I found, at least) lasts for any length of time.

Yeah, probably best to hand out the cupcakes to people you know. They'd make cute gifts, though, for friends' or family's kids. :)
Miss Sophia: Seasonal - Pumpkinsmiss_sophia on October 26th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Oh, no, no offense at all was taken. :) In many ways, the sleep issues are more mentally frustrating than physically so. I end up racking up enough sleep in the end, because around Meghan's 6 am-ish wakeup, I pull her in bed with me, and we snooze together until 10 or 11. I love those morning snuggles, but I'm not exactly thrilled that I have to keep the schedule of a college freshman! I'm no early bird, but waking up that late means my days seem to pass me by. After feeding and playing and showering/bathing and all that, it's already early afternoon by the time I've "started" my day. Anyway, so I end up making up the sleep, but it's just so frustrating not to be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel after so many months.

The co-sleeping thing is definitely an interesting issue. Meghan's bigger and less fragile now, so I'm not worried about her sleeping on our soft mattress so much anymore. And we've got a king-size bed, so there's plenty of room (even with our cat and 50-lb dog sharing it). The main problem is that I don't want to go to bed when she does. That's what I did when we co-slept for the first four months, and it meant I was in bed by 9 or 10 every night...and now she goes to bed between 8 and 9, and those nighttime hours are the best shot I've got at...being on the Internet, heh heh. And just having "me" time. I also have to limit my sleep positions when she's in the bed, so that (a) I can make sure she's not sleeping on her stomach (I've got no problem with that when she's in her crib, but my mattress is a pillowtop, so I worry about her smothering herself) or getting lost under our comforter, and (b) she can nurse. It's fine for several hours in the morning, but not the whole night. Maybe I'll pull her in bed during her first post-midnight wakeup (which is typically around 1 or 2) instead of around 6 and see if that helps. Just thinking out loud here. :)

How have you worked out your bedtime vs. Erin's with respect to co-sleeping?

I totally know what you mean about having a hard time falling asleep after being awake for a while. I call it Momsomnia, and fittingly, I never had that problem before Meghan was born. I've not had it too much lately, probably because I conk out while nursing her in the glider chair, but when it does happen, it sucks.

I've heard about the growth/development spurt + regression theory before. I thought we were going through that sort of pattern, but then the regression never ended. She seemed to be improving through July and the beginning of August, but ever since then, it's been the same or worse. I think the real problem is that she's a very light sleeper, and I have no idea how to fix that.
Lucretia my reflection: evil momagameofthree on October 28th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, the sleeping (or lack thereof) issue is incredibly hard emotionally and mentally. As a mother, you need that time to yourself so much, especially in that first year or so. I seriously thought I might go nuts at times. The naps were just the worst!

I know what you mean about the day passing you by. Both Boo and I are night owls, so we typically get up around that time, too. But it makes it hard to get as much done as I feel like I should, and it means we have to pass on certain activities. As hard as it is to get her to sleep, it's almost equally hard to get her awake! You probably don't have that problem, since Meghan is a light sleeper. One of the only good things about Boo's sleep habits is that once she was (is) asleep, she's out for the count. Which is the reason she's still in Pull-Ups at this age. *sigh* But once she's awake, she's awake. Just like me. I think that's probably what frustrates me the most -- I have no one to blame for her bad sleep habits but myself. :P

The experts say that once a baby can turn over, the risk of suffocation in bed or crib is greatly reduced, but I still worry even now, sometimes. For the night nursing, though, I was never readily available -- she'd wake up, I'd turn over (or whatever), drowse while she nursed, and then cover up and go back to sleep. But yeah, co-sleeping isn't the answer to everything. For me, though, if I don't get enough sleep, I'm cranky and irritable and plain bitchy. Sleep, to me, was more important than "me" time so co-sleeping worked for that. Plus, Boo would (and could) sleep with the light on, so I usually read (or early, early on, watch tv) while she nursed to sleep and stay up for awhile after that. Once she weaned herself, my husband took over the bedtime duties. So I would stay up and be online or read, and they'd go to sleep. It was nice in Hawai'i, because I had another room where the computer was set up. Here, the computer is in the bedroom, but they just turn off the lights, I type in the dark, and they ignore me. ;)

The light sleeping does sound like it might be the root of your problems. Have you tried white noise?

I think eventually you'll stumble upon a solution that works for you. I know it's hard now, but it tends to work out somehow. Nothing stays the same that first year, either during or after, so hopefully the problems you're having now will be a distant memory in a few months. You might still have sleep issues, but they might be completely different sleep issues. Or hopefully, none at all.
Miss Sophia: Meghan - Sweet potato smilemiss_sophia on October 30th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
To be honest, I think the SIDS thing is really overstated in the media, and it gets new moms paranoid. Mommy common sense deserves more credit, you know? Like today, we went ahead and flipped over Meghan's crib mattress from the "Very Firm" newborn side to the "Medium Firm" toddler side. It's still quite firm, and I think it'd be very very very difficult for her to suffocate herself with it, especially given her mobility (she's now all-out crawling and pushing/pulling up into standing positions on everything she can get her hands on), but of course I felt a twinge of guilt when I flipped the mattress over. I'm hoping that might help her sleep better, though; I wouldn't want to sleep on a mattress that's superfirm.

I'm starting to think that the night nursing in bed is really a bad idea for Meghan. For the second time now, my husband got confused about what time it was and brought Meghan to our bed around 2 am. He normally does that around her 6 am wakeup, but for whatever reason, there have been two times now where he thought it was 6 and brought her over when she cried, even though it was 2 and I was going to go over to her room...and I was too lazy to say anything about it, so I just let her stay in bed with us. I had wanted to try it anyway. And the upshot was that she pretty much had her mouth on my boob for...I'd say 3/4 of the night. There were too many times I woke up to her snuffling around for the nipple. She'd start to fuss if she didn't get it, and I was quite sure she had already fed and was just looking to keep it in her mouth. I'm afraid we're starting some really bad habits here, and I'm too sleepy when all this is going on to make sure that she has the nipple only when she's eating from it. But I still want to allow her to come in the bed around dawn...just not the whole night.

Oh, man, during those early months, I was happy to go to sleep when Meghan did. I pretty much didn't touch the Internet for 4 months! Once Meghan moved to the crib, it was like I got my life back. She started sleeping longer hours, too, probably because she was rolling over on her tummy for sleep.

I've tried white noise in that we have this space heater that can be set to a fan setting, so during the summer, when it was a little hot in Meghan's room, we'd flip the fan part on, and it would make a bit of white noise. I don't really think it did much for her sleeping, though. I'm considering putting a set of MP3 speakers in there with an old iPod with classical music or something playing on repeat to see if that works, since the mobile shuts itself off after a while. Actually, what I really need to do, I think, is somehow train her to go back to sleep when she pops awake randomly. One of the books I have says that at night, I should put her down when she's not entirely asleep, so that she learns how to fall asleep without the aid of a breast (which is what I use to get her to sleep now; she's almost always passed out when I put her in the crib) when she wakes up on her own. I guess it's just trial and error at this point. I want the light at the end of the tunnel to show up already!
Marie of Romania: *meep* by rjcardinalmiss_daizy on October 25th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
My girls used to get their growth spurts first and then fill out. They looked undernourished in between!
Miss Sophia: Meghan - ROFLmiss_sophia on October 26th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
I've definitely noticed the little fat roll above Meghan's knee getting thicker and then thinner as she grows and gets longer. It's amusing what the body has to do to accommodate crazy-fast growth rates (although far less amusing when the growth is due to pregnancy - my poor, flabby belly!).
st_aurafinast_aurafina on October 25th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC)
Those cupcakes are adorable! I love the eyeball.

Sympathies on grumpy!baby - maybe she's getting a tooth? I hope she's feeling a bit better soon.
Miss Sophia: Meghan - Sweet potato smilemiss_sophia on October 25th, 2008 10:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! I got the idea on ol' Google Images, but the execution is all mine. :)

If she's getting a tooth, I'm not seeing or feeling it yet, but it could be. I'm still feeling around in the dark here on some of this mommy stuff. Right now, it's 6:40 am and she's all awake and happy. I'm not thrilled about the awakeness, but the happy is good.
Marie of Romania: swear word by grn_mouse_iconsmiss_daizy on October 25th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
Love those cupcakes! I think I recall that 6 months is when babies start to learn cause and effect. Really, I think it's easier to teach them it won't work when they're younger, because not sleeping is miles better than chronic temper tantrums. If my "OMG-how-can-anyone-cry-that-loud-and-that-long" daughter had temper tantrums they were so mild and so infrequent that I can't even remember her having one.
Miss Sophia: Meghan - Sweet potato smilemiss_sophia on October 26th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
I feel like Meghan is already throwing early versions of temper tantrums. There are definitely times I know she's faking her crying. Maybe we're going through the terrible twos REALLY early and she'll be the most angelic toddler ever. Or at least I am telling myself this so I can stay optimistic!
I am not a number; I am a free man!arxev on October 25th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I was wondering about the e.l.f. thing! I was like "isn't it always that cheap...?"

I'm sorry about the cranky baby. It may be premature (I have no idea, I know nothing about babies) but have you talked to her doctor about the sleeping issues?

Miss Sophia: Seinfeld - Serenity nowmiss_sophia on October 26th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
LOL, I can't believe I fell victim to an urban legend. Still, it's freakin' makeup, not a chain letter or a picture of a shark eating a book. My "check Snopes" siren definitely didn't go off.

Yeah, I've mentioned the sleep issues to the pediatrician before, but this was earlier, at ages more babies are likely to have sucky sleep, so there wasn't a lot she could tell me. My next appointment isn't for another two months, but I do have a nurse's visit for some shots this week, so I'm going to bring it up then, and I'm going to buy some books on babies and sleep. People keep assuring me it does get better, but it often feels like I'm never going to get a full night of sleep again!
jennso_severus on October 26th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
those cupcakes look awesome and yummy!
Miss Sophia: Seasonal - Pumpkinsmiss_sophia on October 26th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D They are devil's food cake and "funfetti" flavored.