Preparing for Lent

For the past few years, I’ve made a practice of giving up something for Lent.

I’m working towards a couple of financial goals this year, so when I started to think about what to give up for Lent, I strongly considered giving up spending money online. My rationale is this: there are few (anticipated) online purchases that are truly so essential that they can’t wait until we run errands the next weekend. I have already done my special occasion shopping for the next two months. We newly have to pay taxes on (some) Amazon purchases. And frankly, it’s just too easy to decide that we need something and then order it without stopping to justify why we need it.

However when I put this idea forth to the internet, a number of people wisely suggested that life with a new baby is hard enough without taking away conveniences, and that if I’m actually after a reduction in spending, I should look to those luxuries where I could reasonably cut back. Point taken.

So what I’ve decided to do is this:

  1. We’re going to give up ordering delivery/take-out. We order in about once/week, almost exclusively on days when I’m just too tired to think about food. This means we’ll both have to put more effort into cooking because if we’re too tired to think about food, the baby is almost certainly too tired to be dragged out for a meal.
  2. I’m going to give up buying coffee and sweets (or second breakfast) at work. I make coffee at home most mornings, but I often want a second cup. And I’m often hungry enough (or feel like it, anyway) to want something between breakfast and lunch. And so I spend $3 at Ex Libris for coffee and a donut, which is $3 I don’t need to be spending. So I’ll be making my second cup in the office suite kitchen, and bringing treats from home if I need them.
  3. If online purchases are really necessary, I’m going to document why. I was encouraged to think about this with regards to the hidden costs of NOT shopping online: gas, price differences, taxes, and my time. I’ll report back!
Advertisements

Five Minute Review: The Four Month Sleep Regression

People (and books, and the internet) warned us about the four month sleep regression.

At four months, babies’ sleep starts to change in tandem with a big growth spurt. They stop sleeping like, well, babies, and start sleeping more like adults. This is great, right? This means that they’re going to sleep 8 hours (or more?!) like the rest of us civilized people?

No. It actually means the opposite, at least in the short term.

Our son slept through the night* for the first time somewhere between 2-3 months, but has generally been what can generously be described as a reluctant sleeper.

So take our pretty difficult sleeper and add to his schedule the four month sleep regression and you get a baby who wakes up every 45-90 minutes All. Night. Long. For. Weeks. On. End. And you get parents who are so sleep deprived (or sleep interrupted) that they might as well be walking around drunk, except without any of the fun parts of being drunk.

So that is how I feel about the four month sleep regression. Two big thumbs down. Thankfully, four months is otherwise an awfully cute age AND ALSO he will never be four months old again.

*For those who don’t have kids, “sleeping through the night” is defined as sleeping 5 hours** without waking.
**Please note that I fed him at least once during this 5 hour period, so it’s not like I slept for 5 hours. Ever.