Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

The Only Thing I Want to See at 5 am is the Inside of my Eyelids

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Things I Have Tried To Get My Three Year Old To Sleep Later:

Shortened naps

Dropping naps

Feeding him more before bed

Feeding him less before bed

Letting him stay up later

Putting him to bed earlier

Telling him he can’t get up until the sun is up (but the damn sun comes up at 5:30)

Blackout shades

Doing LOTS AND LOTS of walking, playing, and running all day so he can barely keep his eyes open by 5 pm

….and right now as I type this he is totally passed out on the couch. It’s 11:50am. I heard from a couple people on Twitter that melatonin supplements can help with wacky sleep schedules but Dr. Google is split about 50-50 on whether or not that’s a good idea (WebMD votes no, LiveStrong and MayoClinic vote yes with caution). I should talk to the pediatrician before trying it, but I feel like an idiot calling and saying “I’m not disciplined to go to bed before midnight so I’m REALLY TIRED when my kid wakes up at 5 so how about them pills?”

But like any parent will tell you, having a kid who isn’t getting enough sleep is way more than just being a tired parent. He’s grumpy and emotional and irritable and has trouble controlling his impulses and can’t make up his mind so he refuses thing he actually wants and then cries because he doesn’t have them.

I feel sort of like a jerk complaining at all since on the scale of sleep problems this is not actually that bad. Even on his WORST nights he only gets up once or twice to ask for a drink and goes right back to bed. It’s the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep enough days in a row that’s driving me bonkers.

Here’s my idea: everyone say “IT’S JUST A PHASE”. Because, yeah, but it will make me feel better.

Don’t Wanna

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Diagnose me, interwebs. I need you to tell me I’m normal. Or maybe just a quick kick in the ass and someone to drag me out of this giant hole of ennui and laziness I’ve fallen into. I don’t really feel like doing anything anymore. And I really mean anything. Getting dressed is boring. Going to Stroller Strides is too much work. Taking the kids to the grocery store is exhausting. Washing my hair is pointless. My diet plan sucks. Talking to people is hard. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I don’t wanna and this couch is so comfortable and no one actually cares if I get off it.

As a stay at home mom, I have the option to just…stay home. And lately that sounds more and more appealing.

I can complain about being So Busy with the best of them – “Oh yes! I’m So Busy! I’m on a diet and exercise plan, plus I’m really into making soup from scratch these days. And the blog! People are counting on me to…write stuff!” – but really? Besides providing basic food stuffs and making sure the laundry piles don’t get too high (and you know, keeping two children alive) I have no mandatory activities. So when I’m exhausted and in bed at 9 pm it’s my own doing. I’m not busy. I MAKE myself busy to make myself feel more important.

(Insert paragraph about how raising human beings IS important! I am creating loving, kind, functional adults who might cure cancer or fly to Mars or invent calorie-free dark chocolate! Now insert massive eye roll because all I’m actually doing these days is wiping butts and filling sippy cups.)

Lately, when we’re on our way to somewhere I start fantasizing about how I could just NOT. I can seeeeeeee us, all NOT DOING THINGS, and we are are enjoying it. I can feel my desire to be still and quiet pulling on me, whispering in my ear that my kids are too young to even remember these places so why bother? For the blog pictures? That’s stupid.

I’ve given in to my laziness a few times over the last few weeks and it is kind of fantastic. Kid’s TV for the toddler, stretchy pants and a Diet Coke for me, grapes and a teether toy for Caroline and we can all do nothing until E gets home from work. But it makes me sort of nervous because there is a fine, well walked line between taking a few days off from regular life and becoming a shut in whose kids no longer know how to interact with the general public. How deep can I let my hole get?

Also, my desire not to do stuff has also started creeping into stuff that’s slightly less optional, like dinner and laundry. How about pizza for dinner? Why put these clothes away when they’re just going to get dirty? Who cares if the half of the house we don’t use is a mess? None of the other people who live here seem to. And then a teeny tiny thought that says Why don’t you just not get up with the baby? You can let your husband do it. You can just stay in bed. He would HAVE to deal with it eventually. It only takes a few seconds for me to shake it off, but the idea showing up in my head at all is like having your grandma show up in your sexy dream about George Clooney. That’s weird, Grandma. Go away.

I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse, since the colder weather means fewer places to go (mall, aquarium, children’s museum, mall, aquarium, lather rinse repeat) and bundling up two kids is about as much fun as bundling up two rabid badgers. And when it’s snowing, staying home is allowed – encouraged, even! – so the people I see on a regular basis won’t even start to wonder where I am. Which might be nice for a while, since I can’t seem to hold a normal conversation without talking about my toddler’s potty training efforts or my baby’s habit of biting my nipples and NOBODY wants that mom at their party.

The irony of all these words is that I didn’t explain myself very well, but because I am so filled with ennui I can’t be bothered to explain any better, which might actually be the perfect example of what I meant in the first place.

Monster Makeover!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The inspiration for Little Evan’s room makeover was this piece of art:

Evan the Nap Monster, by ModTots.

I ordered a monster – any monster, since they didn’t exist yet – as soon as I heard ModTots would be releasing them. So I actually bought half the stuff for the room before I knew what this piece would look like. But I knew it would be adorable so it wasn’t exactly a hardship.

I thought monsters would be a super easy theme for a kid’s room. I was wrong. Everything was Monsters, Inc the Pixar movie themed – and even that was hard to find. But I’m going to predict right now that monsters will be big by the end of 2011. Just watch.

Before pics. The nursery theme was “nautical” slash “tropical island” slash “Where the Wild Things Are”. And also very messy.

View from the door

Left hand wall

Right hand corner

Right hand wall

And after pics:

View from the door (I know it looks like a different wall color, but that's just because I rolled up the black-out shades...something I forgot to do for the before pics)

Left hand wall (extra lines added by one very excited 2 year old)

Right hand corner

Right hand wall

Adorable monster prints from Lulufroot on Etsy (I think I need the green monster one too!)

Bookcase

Best bed friends - he kisses them both good night

Snake from Taradara, Bear handknit by me.

Daydreaming in his big boy bed

The rest of the details:
Bed: Ikea
Monster sheets & duvet cover: Garnet Hill
Dresser: Ikea
Ceiling lamp: Ikea
Standing lamp: Target
Rug (moved from our family room): Target
Curtains: Ikea
Bookcase: Target
Rocker: Ikea
Book caddy: P’kolino from Amazon.com

Close up of the book caddy because it's so freaking cute. Oh and also, when I bought it it was like $10, not $30+. Don't buy one until they go back on sale.

I’m sort of ashamed that the curtains are 84 inch curtains that you’re supposed to hem (and by hem I mean use the iron-on adhesive tape they came with) and yet I did not hem them. The problem is the radiator is right below the window on the right hand wall, so I’d have to cut them REALLY short to be safe. But I don’t want to hem the other set that short and I still want them to match, so I just tied them up. And truthfully, I kind of like how they look.

Also, we have a bed rail for the side of the bed so Little Evan doesn’t roll out while he’s sleeping. Not that I think he would – he’s not a super rolly sleeper – but he likes pushing his feet against something while he’s trying to fall asleep and since we took the crib rails away I thought it would be a good substitute. I just took it down for the pictures.

Night night!

So far, we’re having about a 75% success rate with the big boy bed. Wednesday was the first day nap time didn’t happen AT ALL, but he’s been pushing them back later and later since we made the switch. He does get out and run around and pull things out of the drawers and read all his books and climb in the chair…but when he gets tired he puts himself back to bed. And it’s nice that he can get himself out of bed and play in his room in the mornings so I have time to brush my teeth and get dressed before he starts yelling for me. But sometimes he cries a little because he misses his crib. I think he’ll get over it pretty soon though.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored in any way. All items were paid for with my own cash money.

Advice is for suckers

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I’m going to give you the most important piece of parenting advice you’re ever going to get:

Don’t listen to parenting advice.

At best, what you’re getting is someone’s own personal experience with a very limited number of children in a closed set of circumstances that you cannot possibly replicate exactly. At worst, they’re suggesting your dip your kid’s binky in Jack Daniels to deal with teething pain. True story.

Of course, no mother ever in the history of the world has managed to have a baby without getting some advice, whether she asked for it or not. For the most part, it’s all really well-meaning and kindly and just a way moms connect to other moms. It’s practically an automatic response, just like saying “Fine” when someone asks “How are you?” Someone holding a baby says “Jeeze, these diapers I’m using keep leaking” and BAM! I’m spewing word vomit about brands and sizes and cloth diapers versus disposables all over their face. I am totally guilty of the unwanted advice attack, even as I tell myself to stop.

The trouble is, it’s so damn easy to mistake advice for guidelines and guidelines for rules and as soon as something starts feeling like a rule the mommy guilt kicks in when you break them. When you’re exhausted and bleary-eyed and someone at playgroup says “You should put the baby to sleep in the crib so he gets used to it right away. That’s why my kids are such great sleepers!” suddenly everything you’ve been doing is wrong and those naps the baby’s been taking in your lap have doomed you to never sleeping through the night again. You’re a terrible mother!

Or when you mention in passing that you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to be doing with your infant all day long. I mean…she just lies there. Sometimes she smiles, but since she can’t even get her own hand in her mouth yet it seems a little early for baby signs or story time at the library. “Swim lessons!” says one mom. “Kindermusik!” says another. “Read her War and Peace!” says another mom, “Even though she can’t understand it it’s never to early to start the classics!” And then there you are, suddenly doubting the happy cooing and peek-a-boo games you’ve been playing aren’t doing enough to enrich your baby’s teeny tiny mind and she’s somehow falling behind the other babies before she can even hold her head up. Terrible mother!

Even really benign comments, like “I always put on make-up in the morning, no matter how busy my day is. It’s important to me to make the effort” can sound like “Look at you, you slob! I am judging your unwashed hair and pony tail and yoga pants! Obviously you’re just too lazy to make an effort!” especially to a new mom. Hell, you don’t even have to be a new mom, since every single stage of motherhood is challenging, every single time. A sleepless toddler thanks to his new big-boy bed is just as exhausting as a colicky newborn. An infant having trouble nursing is just as stressful as a 2 year old who won’t eat anything besides Goldfish. We’re all scared of making mistakes, all unsure about some of our choices, all blaming ourselves for every cough and sneeze and bump and bruise, so we turn to those around us, desperate for that one mommy secret everyone but you must know. But when well-meaning advice makes us feel even worse it is no longer helpful. You are the parent, you get to make the decisions, even if it is the total opposite of what your best mommy friend told you worked for her.

Of course, some advice is good. I want to kiss the person who suggested stickers as toddler entertainment right on their mouth. I’ve gotten great advice when it comes to breastfeeding from my (now defunct) nursing moms support group. And the internet has helped me in countless ways when I needed to connect and get a new perspective on what’s going on with my crazy toddler.

But in the end, don’t let anyone’s advice get in the way of your happiness.

23 Months

Monday, March 7th, 2011

I didn’t miss Little Evan’s monthday on Saturday, I was just too busy enjoying spending time with him this weekend to bother to sit down and write an update. He’s turning into a little person more and more every single day and it’s an amazing transition to watch. Just this week he found two of my vintage doll house people – the father and the little boy – and he’s been carrying them around making up pretend stories and adventures. They rode on cars and rode on the dog and sat in chairs and ate stuff and talked to each other. I named the father Joe and after Joe told Little Evan to be nice to his mommy Little Evan gave me a kiss. I think maybe next time Joe is going to tell him to pick up his toys, eat his vegetables, and take more naps.

Although really, naps aren’t our problem. Anytime between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm that he starts looking tired he’s more than happy to head upstairs for some shut-eye. A sippy cup of milk and a blankie are his only requests, although if I let him take a book to bed he’ll “read” it before he zonks out. Bedtimes are almost the same, but Daddy does bath and pj’s first. It’s nice to have at least one consistently easy toddler thing – and for it to be such a BIG thing – especially on days when everything else feels like a battle.

Speaking of battles, we’re currently in the middle of one involving food and how it is prepared/served. It all changes daily, which is beyond frustrating. The whole apple he loved yesterday gets thrown across the room today or the yogurt he was eating from the container 30 seconds ago is suddenly not good enough unless it’s in a BOWL. I have to let him choose his own utensils or nothing gets eaten at all. If I put the plate on the desk and he wanted to eat at the counter the meal is ruined. I try to be accommodating because I know he’s just trying to control one of the few things he can in his great big world but food isn’t optional. He HAS to eat. The worst part is I doubt “picky eating” is a phase that ends anytime soon.

Little Evan’s favorite things this month include the dog, the cats, his vintage wooden desk, his alphabet flashcards, sitting on the couch with mama or daddy, coloring with chalk, reaching things he’s not supposed to touch, and getting anyone who comes into the house to pick him up. His least favorite things include leaving anywhere he’s having fun, being told “no”, and sitting in the shopping cart. All those least favorites makes taking him on errands all sorts of challenging, so my evenings and weekends are now busy with those sorts of things.

I’m excited about Little Evan’s upcoming birthday but of course sad that his days of being 1 are numbered. 2 is going to be a whole new adventure!!

23 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Names simple picture in a book – Yes! He’s very good at this now, especially the books with animals. Maybe exclusively books with animals. I’m not actually sure we own any books that don’t contain animals.
• Uses 50 to 70 words – I never did get around to making a list of words but I would say we’re up to about 60 or 70 on a regular basis. Plus he’ll repeat almost anything and picks up new words on a daily basis.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Opens doors – Yes, including our back door which is going to be a problem.
• Sings simple tunes – If by “simple tunes” you mean “the theme song to How I Met Your Mother or Battlestar Galactica”, then yes. In case you think I’m a horrible mother, he can also sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. And several Ke$ha songs. Maybe I am a horrible mother.
• Takes more of an interest in playing with other kids – He has ALWAYS liked playing with other kids. He’s very good at sharing too, which always makes me a proud mama.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Talks about self (likes, dislikes) – No. I’m not sure he even knows what he likes or dislikes. It changes on a minute by minute basis.
• Asks “why?” – Not yet. Can I add “thank god”?

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