Saturday, December 29, 2012

The little man turns 2

Hard to believe it, but my little man has officially turned the ripe old age of 2.

It's been a busy couple of weeks (in between the not-sleeping stints)...First, T's birthday party was a couple weeks ago at a kiddo gym. Thanks to the hubs' convincing, we decided to do the party out of the house this year --- and it was a fabulous decision if I must say so. An hour and a half of 15 kids under the age of 3 running around in controlled chaos for an hour and a half...followed by pizza and cake...without any clean up.  T was a bit hesitant to let loose at first (me thinks there's something a little overwhelming about a roomful of people all about celebrating you) -- but I think he had a good time.

Flying high-birthday boy!

His 2-year doctor appointment and first dentist appointment came this week. 80th percentile for height, 83rd for weight ( little chicken-legged child is sturdy-boned!) and a zillionth for head size. Ok, maybe his head isn't quite that big - but he takes after both his daddy and mommy, so it's up there.  T flirted a little with the doctor and showed off his truck book, so the appointment was a success.   Next came the dentist. The waiting room was pretty much the hit of the day. T managed to find every single toy with wheels and lined them up across the room. I think the kid would have stayed in that waiting room all day long if he could've.  However, he wasn't really into the idea of the hygienist all up in his mouth, but we got through it.

Just halfway through the "line up" exercise.

And yesterday -- that was T's actual big day. So we spent the day doing T-focused stuff. Starting with opening some Christmas gifts he didn't quite have the patience for on Christmas day. Next, we trekked to the Science and Nature Center, where he got to see all sorts of animals and dig for dinosaur bones. Adorable. Lunch, was pizza -- where T re-established his love of ranch dressing on pizza (gross) but this time without the allergic reaction.  Dinner, was nachos -- topped off with the largest bowl of ice cream that I've ever seen -- and the most adorable sugar high to follow.

Digging up some dino bones

What better way to cap off a birthday than double-spooning 10-scoops of ice cream?

So a great year, capped off by some pretty darn cute celebrating. Happy birthday to my sweet, patience button-pushing, snuggle-bunny, independent, momma's boy, clone of his daddy -- little 2-year old man!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The toddler bed change-up

So, we did it. We switched T's crib over to a toddler bed. How's it going? A work in progress, we should say. Saturday was the first night. He was so tired after his birthday party* that he went to bed without a peep and didn't give the open side a second thought.** Tonight, same thing.*** The nights in between, however, have been filled with varying degrees of tears, lying down on the floor by the door, with fingers peeking underneath. However, huge improvements from last week: the tears only lasted 30 minutes or so at the most -- and, when he was ready to give up, he actually got back into his bed (thank you toddler rail!) and went to sleep.  Glorious, peaceful, night-long sleep.

In his bed.

I think this is going to work out.

*Recap to come eventually...

**Of course, that was following nap time, which was his first time in the toddler bed and hilarious to watch on the monitor. Before finally settling down to sleep, he climbed out the high sides and back in through the open sides again and again as if to say, "Why are they making this so easy for me?"

***Update 6:25am: I jinxed us. He went to bed without a peep but proceeded to stand up and turn on his little aquarium on the crib for soothing noises from 12:30-1:30 constantly...and continued through the night....culminating with nonstop tears a little before 6 until it was time for him to get up for the day. Darn powers of jinxing!

The hubs making the big switcheroo.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sleep boycott update

How did last night go, you ask?

We’ll break it into two parts 

Part 1: Bedtime
Crib escaping.
Hour and a half of hysterics.
No sleeping on the floor like I had hoped.
Mommy fail – I couldn’t take the screaming and caved. Went back in, and put him back in his crib. Four times. While yelling.  
Wouldn’t listen to me. Wouldn’t listen to grandma.
So my dad goes in. And T lies down for my dad to rub his back, stops crying, and is literally asleep in about two minutes.
Partially infuriating, partially heaven sent.

Part 2: Through the night
My mom and dad took one for the team and took the video monitor so I could attempt to get more than 2 hours of sleep in a night.
T slept.
The dog slept.
The cats (seemingly) slept.

I might just consider begging them to stay over one more night...Obviously this week has turned me into a wuss of a mom and I cannot seem to handle the toddler and pets without reinforcement. Hubby, come home soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tonight's plan of attack

This week’s peaceful evenings of solitude aren’t quite coming to pass the way I’ve expected. No, they’re pretty much continuing to be a continuation of Sunday, where the child and the animals united in a cluster of sleep boycotting that lasted most of the night. Last night, my dad sat in the room with T until he fell asleep (aka, an HOUR AND A HALF past his 7:30 bedtime) so he wouldn’t continuously hop out of the crib and then cry that he couldn’t get back in it. Not an ideal situation, by far, but desperate times call for desperate measures. That this particular boycott was followed by both the dog and cats on a 2 hour rotating “on the prowl” schedule all night long (interspersed by toddler tears) isn’t the point of this post.

It’s that I have a plan.

I cracked Toddler 411 last night and read about toddler delay tactics. My child has apparently decided to start using some of these on me. Not cool, kiddo. Tonight, I fight back. Tonight, I will remove the toys from the room (though Toddler 411 does say it’s ok if they play if they get out of bed….). Tonight, I will leave an extra blanket on the floor by the door so that if T climbs out and lays down in that spot for the zillionth time this week with his fingers peeking out from under the door, hopefully he’ll take a moment to cuddle up to the blanket while he’s at it and sleep through the night. Tonight I will ignore the "mommy" cries and not go back in.

Oh, and tonight, I will pass the video monitor off to my parents, who sensing my zombie-like desperation, nicely offered to sleep over and take over the monitor duties. It might be easier for me not to go into his room if I can’t actually hear him…*

Wish me luck! 

Tonight, I'm attempting to take action on this page of the book.

*And I might not actually become a full-fledged crazy girl if I get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

My poor lacking Zzz's

The top 3 reasons why I want a do-over on last night’s beauty rest.

  1. The child. After a seemingly peaceful and content bedtime (pat on the back, mommy! With the hubs out of town all week, I really wanted to start out the week on a good note.), T started crying for mommy about 2 ½ hours later. Since this isn’t a daily occurrence, I decided I better go up and rub his back to calm him down. If only I could get in the room, that is. Somehow, during what I thought was his deep slumber, the child had climbed out of his crib and laid down smack up along the doorframe to his room. So when I went to open the door and go in, I couldn’t get past the lump that was my child on the floor blocking my entrance. Don’t you have a video monitor, you ask? Why yes, yes I do. And T tends to like to sleep in the one blind spot of the crib where we can’t see him with the monitor – but he doesn't usually make a peep, so it's not a big deal. But last night, I never even knew he wasn’t in there. Freaked. Me. Out.
    So, I had to go through the whole bedtime routine all over again with him, because he spooked himself out (probably by waking up smushed up against the door and NOT in his crib). And then it took him a good hour to get cozy again. No more tears, but moving around a lot, standing and sitting and kicking and rolling. Not exactly the start off of a relaxing night that I was hoping for. So you can be sure that I had my eyes glued to the monitor afterwards to track his escape plans. Didn’t really help my slumber that I was sure every noise I heard was my kid catapulting out of his crib again. Luckily, he stayed put for the rest of the night.*
  2. The dog. After the kiddo finally settled back down, cue the dog waking up. Our ever-lazy, always-sleeping dog got some sort of burst of energy at 1:30am and decided he wanted to play, pee, and venture outside. Seriously, pups? Not cool.
  3. The wind. I am not a Texan. So, when these cold fronts come through every once and awhile, they startle me awake and keep me up All. Night. Long. Cold weather does NOT show up this way in the Northeast. Along with the 40 degree instant drops in temperature, I become convinced that the wind bringing in said weather at 3am is also going to burst my patio furniture straight through my bedroom window at any given moment. So I wait and wait for the inevitable crash. I make a crazy action plan in my head that consists of garbage bags stapled to window frames at 3am to prevent the cats from escaping through soon-to-be-broken windows. Generally, I hear the (massive) dog house blowing over – it’s like Oz vs. Kansas outside my window. Strange panics to have at 3am, I admit, but luckily, no flying patio furniture this time around.

And each one of these “events” had me out of bed, with the lights on, moving about. And double checking the locks while I was at it. Oh yea. And NOT sleeping.  See why I need a do-over? These bags under my eyes are so not flattering.

*Me thinks that it’s finally time to admit the time has come to move T into a toddler bed.

Shopping and the mail

With the holidays (and T’s birthday) rapidly approaching, I’ve done most of my shopping online this year. Ok, this isn’t a new thing - I do pretty much all of my shopping online. Between working and parenting and trying to keep my house halfway clean, malls aren’t usually open when I’ve got some free time to shop.  The only problem? The package deliveries.

Now, I’ve been pretty lucky this year that most of the things that I’ve ordered have come when I was at work*. Because there are two things you should know about me. (A) I hate going to the mailbox and (B) I hate when the doorbell rings and I’m not expecting it. Yes, I am that person that hides behind a chair and goes completely still when the doorbell rings, in case the person at the door has x-ray vision and can sense movement inside the house. Open the door? Of course not! I wait in silence (aside from my dog, who may just be going berserk at the sound of the “stranger alarm”) until I think enough time has passed for the door-ringer to leave. Then, I creep over to a window and pull up the blind ever-so-slightly (you know, like in horror movies when someone *thinks* someone might be watching them, but the window looks dark?) and then, when the UPS truck starts to pull away, I begin to breathe again.

Is this weird?

*The other day’s nap mat sheet delivery did not….and since my peephole is now covered in a holiday wreath, the delivery almost gave me a heart attack.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Here we go again...

The long-dreaded day is here and we are officially off to Brazil in about 5 hours.  I know I should be working, or packing, or doing anything other than blogging but I won't have Internet access while we're gone and frankly I'm still trying to get my heart rate down to normal after the past few hours I just spent at Audrey's school. 

Today was Teacher Appreciation Day so that meant the teachers went to a catered lunch by themselves while moms fill in in the classroom.  I really did not need to add this to my "to-do" list for the day, but of course out of the entire class no one else agreed to do it.  I was *supposed* to have the help of one other person but she canceled on me this morning so that's when the panic really set in.  It was me versus an entire classroom of 2-3 year olds.  Everyone's dream, right?  Things started off calmly enough on the playground, but soon spiraled into this scene:

- Audrey clinging to my leg and screaming if I so much as talked to another child
- One boy peeing his pants
- One boy throwing sand in another's face; sand recipient screaming
- One boy and one girl fighting over one of those Little Tikes cars with me refereeing while Audrey still clings to my leg.
- Me smiling and waving to the other moms in the neighboring playground, prentending that EVERYTHING IS FINE!  I'VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL!

Ha ha.

Next was hand-washing, which we sort of half-assed.  Then I forgot to lead them in prayer before lunch.  Oops.  Finally we sat down for lunch and that's when the sh*t really hit the fan.  The boy sitting closest to me was eating salami for lunch (yes, really) and promptly smeared me and the table with grease.  Another boy told me his mom was picking him up early and ran and hid in the school office, causing 2 other kids to follow him.  A 3rd kept asking me where the teachers were, to which I told him to pray for their speedy return.  It was about this time that a school employee started giving me the evil eye and saying things like, "what exactly is going on here?" to which I really wanted to let her have it but instead told her to watch the remaining kids while I went to the office to the retrieve the missing 3. 

Needless to say I might have shed a tear or two of joy when the teachers finally walked through the door.  I'm sure they were less than thrilled with my performance but honestly, the fact that all the kids were still in the building with all of their limbs in tact was success enough for me.  And now I get to reward myself with 12 hours of international travel.  Santa really has been reading my wish list this year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday dining

The hubs and I had a long-planned date night on Friday night and got out for an extremely glamorous night on the town. Ok, we went to Wal-Mart. And almost went to Olive Garden too -- if I had gotten my way -- as I was craving some salad and breadsticks. Alas, the two destinations were in opposite directions of town. Don’t even ask what is wrong with me. Wal-Mart and a potential Olive Garden visit in the same night? I know. I know. It’s embarrassing. Utterly embarrassing. My least-favorite-place-on-earth was where we spent our long-awaited babysitter-enabled night out. However, to be practical, we (read: I) looked at the calendar and we (read: I) deduced that we have zero weekend days between now and Christmas to get holiday and birthday shopping out of the way. There was no other choice.

Anyway, over dinner, we started discussing hosting Christmas dinner. It’s our second time hosting Christmas dinner, but our first time to host when I wasn’t 9 ½ months pregnant and had a good excuse to cater it out entirely. So, I want it to be nice. I want to make (most-of) the meal. And I’d like to start to establish a few traditions. What traditions? I’m not sure – but I don’t think we’ll be incorporating my hubby’s ideas into the day:

In response to my idea about setting up the card table for extra seating:  
Hubs: “If it’s nice out, we’ll just set up the card table in the garage and people can eat in there.” 

In response to my thought that we’ll probably need to borrow folding chairs from my parents:
Hubs: “Why? We have those camping chairs we can set up.” (Yes, the ones people use at tailgates with cup holders in them.) 

In response to my push back on the horridness of serving Christmas dinner in the garage with camping chairs:
Hubs: “Well, it doesn’t really matter. I figure you and I will sit with T by ourselves in the kitchen anyway.”

You think I’m joking. 

 Pull up a chair to our tailgating Christmas extravaganza!