Thursday, May 28, 2009


I just returned from a bulk shopping trip to Costco with the little guy. Our awesome new babysitter was with the babe at the park, so I was free to do my thing. I've only made it out there once since the little guy was born as it's a 40 minute drive and I just can't handle 2 kids there. So I have been making a HUGE shopping list (in my head) for a few months. Today was the day to make it all happen.

While I was there I spoke with 2 other Mamas. One was struggling to get a baby in a car seat into the top portion of the cart and I asked if the carts were difficult to use with the car seats as I was about to do the same thing. We briefly chatted about our babies and she then informed me she had 3 more kids in the car to deal with. Wow. And I can't handle going shopping with 2! I saw her later getting juice samples for 2 of the 4 kids and it looked a little crazy. I don't know how she could manage to shop and keep an eye on all of them. Madness, I say!

The next Mama was in front of me in the check out. She had a 10 week old and a 2 year old. I told her she was stronger than I as I had left my 2 1/2 year old behind. She then told me she had 2 other kids at home and shopping with just 2 was a treat. Yikes. A treat indeed.

So, I guess what my morning shopping trip taught me is that I need to keep things in perspective. Although having 2 kids is a constant challenge for me, it could be way worse!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Memories

Another long weekend has come and gone. Is time passing ridiculously fast these days, or is it just me? The days can seem so long, but the weeks and months are zooming by. The little guy turned 5 months old on the 24th and I am wondering where my little baby has gone? He's growing bigger and smarter every day. It is awesome to watch and as excited as I am for him to be more capable, I am saddened by the fact that he is changing so fast and we will never have a little baby again.

So, to kick off the long weekend, we decided to move into "sleep training part 2." This involved losing the swaddle blanket and no scratch mittens, and stopping our kazillion trips a night to put the pacifier back in the little guy's mouth. It hasn't been all that bad. We had to let him cry for 30 minutes on Friday night when we put him down to sleep. On Saturday night he actually slept an 8 hour stretch (I got 4 hours of that, but whatever). Sadly last night we had to let him scream from 3-4 am. I knew he'd stop if I just gave in and fed him, but I stuck it out. It was also in the middle of a serious torrential downpour/storm so we just listened to the screaming baby and pounding rain waiting for it all to pass. Two steps forward, one step back, right?

The babe continues to be a serious challenge and I am desperate for a new way of dealing with her. I hate that I have such a short fuse and know that I have to work on my patience with her. I do have high expectations of her and have to stop and remind myself that she's only 2 1/2. I also have to learn to pick my battles as I can't always be fighting. Life is too short.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The main female character in the book I am reading, Meri, is pregnant. She is not enjoying the experience and is very apprehensive about motherhood. It is a negativity you don't usually see in a happily married and relatively successful fictional character.

I read a chapter in bed last night (which was delicious). Meri explained that she had never had the need to wear a bra and was now, in her pregnant state, having to wear a bra all the time. She said she thought having cleavage was only good for catching sweat and crumbs. I laughed when I read this as she obviously has no idea what she is in for.

Earlier this week I went to pick up the little guy from his Bumbo chair in the kitchen (where I place him for brief moments when I need to do/get something quickly). As I hoisted him into the air, he managed to produce a huge spit up which spilled directly into the front of my shirt. It quickly pooled in the cleavage of my nursing bra. Nice. I wiped it up with a paper towel and headed outside with the babe and the little guy as planned. As my husband said later that evening when I told him the story, "Hard core Mommy."

Anyway, my very dear friend wrote a great post on her blog about how you have to surrender to motherhood. I've been thinking about the idea of surrendering since reading her entry and I think it has a lot to do with just accepting that you have spit up in your bra.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Testing Me

The babe is challenging me constantly. And not in a good way. I am very ready for her to go to school in September. Despite the fact she may one day read this, I have to admit I am loving my time with the little guy, and enduring the time with the babe. Some people love the toddler stage, whereas I am quickly realizing that I do not have the patience required. I know I need to try harder, be more calm, and try to be a bit more creative with her, but most of the time I'm just trying to get through the day without losing it on her.

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday night and while we sat at the table eating, the babe (who was supposed to be watching "educational" cartoons) took a crayon and drew on the living room wall and then on the front door. Last week she hit her brother (still a baby) on the head 3 times. Yesterday morning she hit me. The day before she tried to bite me. She has kicked me countless times (intentionally I might add) while I am changing her diaper (which I am very sick of doing). She can also be abusive with her little friends. Last week she bludgeoned a worm to death with a stick. That can't be a good sign, can it?

One of her new favorites is, "No, YOU don't talk to me that way." I have replied that I can talk to her any way I want because I am her mother. She replies, "No, you're NOT my mother."

When asked why she did something (always a naughty something), she will usually reply, "Because I DO THAT sometimes."

What happened to my sweet little baby girl? Is this going to happen to the little guy as well, or is this just the babe's personality coming out in full force? No one told me having a baby was easier than having a toddler (except for the continued sleep deprivation). Does that mean it's just going to keep getting harder and harder?

She makes me want to run back to the land of the employed (gasp)...but that would mean I couldn't be with the little guy, and I can not even ponder that possibility. I suppose I must soldier on until school begins. I think we will all be ready when it does.

But it's not all bad. The babe can be really sweet to me at times and she is really cute when she's sleeping. Count my blessings, right?

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's Getting Better All the Time

Training children to be adult-like is difficult. Between sleep training and potty training, my patience is being tested.

We are, however, making progress. Last night the little guy slept from 7:15 pm to 11 pm, woke to eat, slept till 3:30 am, woke to eat, then woke up at 7 am. Not bad, eh? The night prior he clocked from 7:45 pm to midnight and then woke at 5 am to eat again. I think we're getting the hang of this.

My crazy daughter, the babe, went poo poo on the potty for the second time in three nights (she also removed the potty seat and put it around her face thinking it was funny...ha ha ha). We let her stay in a poopy diaper for about half an hour so she could feel how gross it is. By the time we put her on the potty for round 2, she seemed to understand how yucky it is to poo in your diaper. We have to master the potty by September or no school for the babe. And that would make us both sad!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh Those Nights

Well, I'm still super wiped out. We've done 3 nights with no feedings after the 11:30 pm meal. We've been making it until after 5 am, but it hasn't always been pretty. Last night was the least pretty with much too much crying and waking. I am going to use my super swaddler tonight, not allow a late afternoon nap (5:30 pm was a tad late for his last nap) and avoid my 5 pm (which was actually a 5:45 pm) tea break. Fingers crossed it will go better tonight. So much for quick fixes. Guess you can't learn to sleep in only 7 days after all.

Mother's Day, however, was lovely. I slept until 10 am, had some coffee and chocolate croissant on the porch with a book, enjoyed a 2 pm massage, and a BBQ celebration with my little family. It was a lovely day, and I'm grateful to my family for supporting my leisure. Now if only we could arrange for more than 1 Mother's Day a year??

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Night 2 and 3

First of all, I love all your comments. Keep 'em comin.

Second, I think we're getting the hang of this whole "in your own room" thing. We've now made it through 3 whole nights with the little guy in his crib. We have also established a bit of a pattern already:
  • 8:00 pm - asleep without much fuss
  • 11/11:30 pm - wakes to eat
  • 3:00/3:30 am - wakes to eat again
  • 5:00/5:30 am - wakes to eat AGAIN
  • 7:30/8:00 am - wakes for the day (and to eat, of course)

SO, tonight, to bring in Mother's Day in style, I'm going to knock out the 3:00/3:30 am feeding. I will give him his pacifier and check on him, but he will have to cry it out tonight. It could be bumpy, but it's what's best for all.

In other news, I just had the most awesome pre-Mother's Day dinner with my hubby. Fillet Mignon on the BBQ, sweet potato, salad, olives, french bread with fancy olive oil/balsamic vinegar. The kids up in bed, and us at the dining room table with a candle and some wine (well, Heineken for the husband and left over Chardonnay for moi). I've even got some cupcakes in the fridge for desert. Now it's time to kick it in the La Z Boy and catch up on Lost.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Last night was the first night the little guy spent the whole night in his own crib in his own room. Major achievement. I left him to cry himself to sleep at 8:00 pm. This is what followed (after 30 painful minutes of screaming):

  • 8:30 pm - asleep
  • 10:15 pm - awake to eat
  • 12:30 am - awake to eat
  • 3:30 pm - awake to eat
  • 5:00 am - awake to eat and a diaper change
  • 8:30 am - awake for the morning

I am going to have to do the cry it out thing, or "extinction" as Dr. Weissbluth calls it. Or Richard Ferber's method. But I figured I'd start with getting him in his own room. Tonight I should start with the crying. It's just not easy as the babe's room is right next to the little guy's room and noise travels. The whole family may not be getting much rest for the next few days. But something has to give.

Today was our last day with the babysitter we've had since January. She's done the semester and is heading home for the summer. The babe decided to say goodbye in an inappropriate fashion.After refusing to help with clean up time, the babe got a time out (from the babysitter). The babe, who didn't like this, slapped the babysitter in the face. I'm too tired to even get into this today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bad Mama

My regular Tuesday morning babysitter (who we hired in January to help out) has a concussion from being dropped on her head at a bar last Saturday night (at least she's honest). She wanted to work less hours today so I told her not to bother coming in and to take care of her head. That left me alone with the kids for another gray, rainy day. I decided we'd go to a Gymboree class to get some of the babe's energy out. She has been bouncing off the walls with all the bad weather we've been having.

She had a great time at the class, but when it came time to go, she started acting like a brat. I dealt with the fact that she opened the bathroom door (attached to the play space) before I was done. I dealt with the fact that she ran off from me in the play space about 3 times before I got her to the entrance. I dealt with the fact that she then ran off into the art class when we were putting on our shoes. But I didn't deal so well when she ran off again and pulled off her rain jacket. The little guy was crying, I was lugging the car seat (with child in it), my very full diaper bag, and my grocery bags (I was about to hit the store in the complex) when she bolted for the last time. And out of my mouth came: "If you don't start listening to me, I'm going to jump off a bridge." OK, so maybe that wasn't the best thing to say in public (or private, for that matter). The Gymboree desk staff stopped what they were doing and gave me the "I'm going to call child protection services" look. That look is still bugging me 2 1/2 hours later.

I suppose it doesn't sound good to say that sort of thing. And the fact that my nerves are shot and my patience is gone is not an excuse. But I'm guessing those Gymboree staff don't have kids. If they do, they don't have 2 kids. If they do, their kids aren't rambunctious and challenging like the babe. I'll try to stop saying stuff like that, though. I agree that it isn't really nice for a Mama to say.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Some Random Updates

I broke down and swaddled the little guy last night. I thought it would be the answer to my prayers. It wasn't. He did a 3 hour stint (I gave up my shower so I could crash at the same time), and then proceeded to get up 3 or 4 more times before morning. Ugh. I am getting tired of writing about it and you've got to be tired of reading about it! Feel free to share your thoughts/suggestions with me.

In other news, our family has been bonding over BBQ. Last week we invested in our first real grown-up BBQ (a lovely Weber), and we celebrated with BBQ on Saturday and Sunday nights. All 4 of us sat at the table and had a few meals together. Eating with kids is rather distracted and at some points I had a baby hanging off me while I tried to consume overly dressed cheeseburgers. But that's OK, because it felt like we'd reached this new level of being a family of 4...we'd created our own family BBQ ritual that will carry us through the years. How lovely.

I had the kids Sunday morning (my husband also deserved a nice sleep in). After a little cartoon watching and Cheerio eating, I decided it was time to trim the babe's bangs. She's never been to a hairdresser and I've only ever cut her bangs when they get in her eyes. By yesterday, they were seriously in need of some snipping. A friend had just told me about an "easy" technique to cut children's bangs so I thought I'd give it a shot. It didn't work for us....most likely because the babe won't sit still. Needless to say, the bangs got shorter and shorter until I just had to stop. Those bangs are definitely out of her eyes now (similar to Jeannine Garofolo in one of my fave movies, Reality Bites). I take comfort in the knowledge that they will grow back. I was not destined to be a stylist of any kind.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

This is a shout out to my loving husband. By yesterday I was a complete mess. I was so exhausted I had just given up and accepted that I may not sleep more than a few hours at a time for the foreseeable future.

Our doc apt. on Thursday did not give me any answers other than I shouldn't start sleep training right after the little guy had just had 4 immunization shots. The doc said we need to do what "we feel comfortable with." I must admit to you that part of the little guy's excessively frequent waking is that I have not swaddled him for the past 3 1/2 nights. I have decided that he needs to get used to being free, despite the fact he scratches the hell out of his head.

Back to my loving husband. So last night he said that I could sleep in and he'd watch the kids in the morning. The little guy was up every 2 1/2 hours to eat, which was better than the previous night where he'd only been clocking 1 hour stretches of sleep. At 7am, the babe was in our room wanting to hang out. Hubby took our daughter downstairs and I continued to doze for about half an hour until the little guy woke up wanting to eat. I fed him, changed his insanely full diaper, and tried to get him to go back to sleep. It didn't work so I brought him downstairs and dumped him in my husband's lap. I climbed back upstairs to try and get some more shut eye.

At 11:48am I woke up and realized I had probably slept over 3 1/2 hours straight! AMAZING! Talk about feeling like a million bucks. The little babe even downed a 3 oz bottle of hypoallergenic formula while I was in sleepy time land.

I must say I am a much nicer person today. Our family is having a lovely day, despite the fact the sky is gray.