So the long and short of it is that the nap plan failed. Elijah was sleeping good in his bouncy chair so it was working for awhile, but then he outgrew his chair, so we're back to the terrible 30-40 minute naps. Also now night sleep is getting bad again because I think he's teething. So I give up and am just going to try to wait it out. In the meantime, though, I don't want to just be in survival mode and be hoping for him to get bigger. I want to enjoy him at the age he is. I feel like too often I'm just waiting for the next stage of my life and thinking that once I get there, everything will be okay. And then I don't savor the place I am in. I did this in college and then in law school. I do feel like I did a decent job enjoying my time as a young professional and a newlywed, but once I started trying to get pregnant it became another situation where I just had to get where I was going before I could be happy. And now that I have my son, I am happy to be a mother, but it gets very tiring never having any time to myself and such. I am trying to keep perspective, though, since his life as a baby will only be a year or two of his life. But I want to keep that perspective while still enjoying his time as a baby. It's a difficult balance.
We stayed the week between Christmas and New Years and got to see some long distance friends of mine that I hadn't seen in a really long time. We didn't get to spend much time with them but it was lots of fun and I think we get to see them again in May. Two of them just had a baby so the babies got to meet each other and play together--at least as much as a five month old and an eight month old can.
After that on New Year's Eve we drove back home with my mom and stepdad following us home. They came to help with some projects that needed to be done around my house. Most of the projects got done, but not until after I nearly had a nervous breakdown from the stress of having multiple projects going on at once and not getting finished at a pace that I preferred. Plus, all the changes, I think, stressed Elijah out too much. He did not sleep well the few days we got home. I think all the activity and people being around just got to be too much for him. The past few nights he's slept better now that we are kind of getting back into our routine (of course, I'm using the word "routine" very loosely here since his erratic napping really does not provide us with any kind of a normal routine). So even though I have many other things around this house that need to get done, I'll probably just have to stick to taking care of Elijah myself for several days until he feels semi-normal again.
On the plus side, several of the difficult projects I needed done are now done thanks to my wonderful stepdad. And Elijah now has several new toys, including a walker that he can almost use--his legs just need to grow like one more inch. I feel certain that next Christmas will be even more fun--and possibly more stressful, but hey, what is parenthood if not stressful?