Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bribery



So bribery has started working again in our house.  In order to get rid of the nonsense that goes along with bedtime we've begun a sticker chart with all the steps to get ready for bed on it, and filling in the stickers as he goes.  It's been a success for 2.5 weeks (and counting, I hope), he's earned a leaf blower and a remote control monster truck.  This week he's aiming for a butterfly net.  I know this isn't ideal parenting but spending some bucks on stuff is WELL worth getting rid of the agony of his bedtime antics.  The plus side is these are more toys he actually wants to play with- always a bonus!  

We are considering starting a separate chart for eating breakfast.  Anyone have tips out there?

Monday, July 29, 2013

She's Really Lucky

Emily is really lucky that Nolan is her big brother.  I'm sure there will be times when it's not great but when he plays with her it just melts my heart.  Even if it's not the most baby-friendly playing.  Here he's making the dragon eat her pudge little legs.  Check out Nolan's face while he makes the sound effects.  
And below he was giving her hugs and kisses and she was just enjoying the attention he was giving her.  It just about melts my heart how sweet he is to her.  And she's pretty tough, thank goodness.  Though lately she's screaming when she's startled- like when I sneeze or when Nolan yells.  That's not good, she's going to have to get over that.  We're a loud bunch, well, Nolan and I are anyway. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nolan's Cleaning

Nolan (jumping around excitedly): Mommy!  Daddy!  Come quick!  Come see how I cleaned up ALL of the basement.  Come!  Come see.  Come!

Mom and Dad:  Oh wow, Nolan, this looks AMAZING!

Mom and Dad: (Laughing uncontrollably) What a great job cleaning up buddy.  Except for this giant pile of toys.   
 Good Effort though!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Big Boy Problems

Nolan has some big boy clothes that are obviously a tad too big.  Doesn't stop him from working hard.  I just love how his football underwear is hanging out.  Looks hysterical.  He proceeded to 'prune' all the chives in the herb garden.  good thing they grow quickly!  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Picking

 On Sunday we went peach and blueberry picking.  It was one of the coolest days this month, about 88 degrees.  It being in the 90s for so long we (foolishly) thought it'd feel cooler.  It did not.  It was HOT.  Emily was just thrilled to be catching some zzzzs, despite it being so darn hot.  Nolan really enjoyed blueberry picking and even asked if he could go again.  Later that night when asked what his favorite part was, he said it was throwing the rocks into the pond.  My favorite part was riding on the tractor.  I was surprised the tractor ride wasn't his favorite, he was pretty excited to guess which color tractor we'd be riding on (there were two making the loop from the base to the peaches to the blueberries).  


Monday, July 22, 2013

Abandon Ship!

How pissed does she look?  Yeah, it was miserable.  We couldn't do it anymore.  She's not ready.  We are not ready.  Dave and I got into an argument about whether she needs the swaddle or the pacifier more and 'decided' about 8 different times about a different way to do it.  What we ultimately decided was the way we were doing it didn't feel right, for now.  So onto something else.  Or maybe I'll just hold her for another month or two and Nolan can watch lots of TV.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sleep Training, Night Two

Oh My Dear, this little one is having a rough time learning to fall asleep.  We decided to do Ferber sleep training to help get our little one to learn how to fall asleep.  It was at the point we were giving her the pacifier, swaddling her and rocking her for up to 45 minutes to get her to fall asleep.  Sometimes she'd even wake up after all that within 10 minutes, we were lucky if we got her to nap for 45 minutes.  We know the importance of good sleep and had some awful times with Nolan so we went for it.  Yes, it's a bit earlier than they recommend but we delayed with Nolan and he 'took' to it right away.

Sadly for this little dear it has not/is not so easy.  She is terribly dependent on the pacifier- her whole body can be rigid and you pop it into her mouth and she just collapses into calm lump of baby.  This is great for when she's screaming but we can't continue our nights of waking up to put the pacifier back into her mouth, especially since she's growing out of her bassinet and living on a different floor from us.  The 'easy' task of replacing the pacifier has just been made into a huge process, especially when it's every 20 minutes.  SO we decided to sleep train her.

It Sucks.  SUCKS.  When Emily was born she screamed and screamed for seemingly no reason so we created all sorts of habits not wanting to 'make' her cry for any reason we were making.  So if she started to cry at all for something that we could 'fix' we fixed it.  Seriously, the girl cried constantly for like the first 5 weeks of her life.  By then things started to get better with her screaming and she was such a happy baby that we prevented any situation which she cried at.  And then all the processes of preventing her from crying got worse and worse and worse.  

The hardest part and the deciding factor for me to sleep train Emily this early is Nolan.  Nolan is missing out on attention from us.  During the day when I'm not feeding Emily or trying to get her to fall asleep (which requires no interaction from Nolan b/c he's a terrible whisperer), the whole process takes 30-45 minutes.  And then she naps for 30-45 minutes?  It just doesn't seem fair to him.  And he doesn't either because he behaves in a way which indicates he thinks life is unfair.  He's been acting out, hitting us, banging on Emily's door when I'm trying to get her to sleep, skipping naps, telling me he's 'mad at me' and just being really defiant.  Or seeking attention.

AND HE SHOULD have our attention.  He absolutely should.  He is such a good boy, he dotes on Emily and he loves her so much- we are so thankful for that.  But days are so hard when he's in a bad mood or 'mad at me'.  He doesn't understand the reasons for whispering, not stomping in the kitchen, not running around the house and not yelling when she's sleeping.  He doesn't realize that no matter how mad he is, he can't bang on her door because that just restarts the 'cycle' and keeps me away from him for longer.  And I need to stop being mad at him and start enjoying him.  He is SUCH a sweetheart and frankly, I miss him so so much.  SO rather than stop breastfeeding which I thought about we realized Emily needs to improve the sleeping situation which takes for some hard measures.

So we started sleep training her.  Dave has done most of it because I'm a wimp and terrified she's too young to handle this and it's not going to 'work' or she's just not going to figure it out or whatever. I know it's for the best for her.  I know it is.  And it's the best for our family.  Sometimes we as parents need to do something we don't want to do for the better of our family, our children or the harmony which makes our family function.  We haven't had much harmony and we know it can be easier and a lot more fun.  So send in the moral support people.  This is an awful process.  Horrible.  But when you come out of the other side with a happy baby who can fall asleep on her own and stay asleep, everyone wins.  Everyone.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Three Months

Where did the time go?  Wow, 3 months really flew by!
I guess I can't really say I have a newborn anymore.   
 She's so big, she's getting so strong, holding her head up and doing crunches to sit up when laying on a slant (like in the tub).  She prefers to look around when being held, facing out and has been able to get her hand into her mouth, even if she kinda throws it up near her face hoping it lands in her mouth.  
She had a ball watching Nolan today which is so fun.  Nolan loves Emily so much despite how much attention she gets and how he doesn't get as much.  It's so precious to see how much he dotes on her.    

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

makes me out to be a liar

When I said she wouldn't fall asleep with other stuff going on, what does she do?  Fall asleep in her bouncy chair.  Her hands never stopped moving from to her head to her legs but I'm pretty sure she was asleep.  

We decided, and I am agonizing about it, we will do Ferber method with Emily starting on Friday.  She will be just over 3 months old.  I'm sure this is 'too early' however we did it with Nolan at 4.5 months and both said we should have done it so much earlier, when his sleep problems began.  I must confess, I'm terrified about it.  Emily can be cranking up, body firm, muscles flexed and you pop the pacifier in her mouth and she just crumbles in relaxation.  Sadly you can't sleep train with a pacifier so that will be going away.  I think it's going to be awful while we're doing it but it is absolutely necessary since her napping is awful.  She can't get herself to sleep and I can't spend all that time rocking her to sleep while Nolan is getting zero of my attention.  I considered quitting breastfeeding so we could cut back on time I was missing out with him.  Instead I decided that if we could just plop her into her crib for sleep instead of rocking, shushing, swaddling and then sneaking the pacifier out of her mouth and placing her OH SO Gently into the crib without her waking up it'd be better for all of us.  Also, she's not staying asleep in the wee hours of the night.  She wakes up around 2:30 and then I put her down at 3:30, she's up again 2-4 more times between then and 6.  If we pop the pacifier into her mouth she's quiet/asleep? but we can't do that anymore.  We're tired and she deserved a better night's sleep. So do we.  And we know we can get there.  

I feel like sleep training is the first of many harsh realities of parenting. It's all ruffles and bows and snuggles and cuddles until about 3 months.  Then it starts turning into 'when is she going to sleep through the night, why can't I get her to take a nap, if I hold her she naps and is in a great mood...'  You see where I'm going with this, right?  She's so much happier when she sleeps well.  I just wish she could sleep well on her own.  So that's what she'll learn this weekend.  Send in the moral support people, it's awful but necessary.    

Friday, July 12, 2013

Is the Big Girl Bored?

I thought Emily might be bored so this week we took out a bunch of baby toys to see if she's interested.
She is!  She made tons of new moves like holding toys and chewing on some (with the help of big brother). She's also discovered her hands and feet which is hysterical when she just stares at her closed fist.  I'm not sure she realizes that tight fist can do something other than hold onto lint but she's learning.   
 She's been batting at toys and even reaching out to take hold of them, at a snails pace but you have to learn somehow!  She looks so teeny in this exersaucer but I think she'll like it.  


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keep Trying

We are trying to get Emily on a schedule.  It seems to help her stay on track with sleeping and eating.  The trouble is when she has a difficult time sleeping I get lax with the schedule and that ends up throwing the rest of the day off.  So yesterday she was too excited with all the activity to sleep in the morning.
Seriously, how cute is this outfit.  Capri pants for a 3 month old?  So darling!
 Then she took a marathon nap, which is to say she slept for 4 hours with 2 wakings and one feeding.  As a blessing, this happened during Nolan's nap so I fell asleep too (thank goodness!) but then I woke up at 5 and she and Nolan were both still asleep.  OH NO.  Nolan normally wakes up at 4, or later if he gets a late start on his nap but 5??  I paid for it (and so did Dave, poor guy having to pay for my mistakes- sorry honey!).  Emily had a very restless sleep last night waking up within the hour she was finally put back down into the crib or basinnette.   
It's hard to get her to sleep.  Just like Nolan was, she wakes up to be part of the activity.  She doesn't want to miss out.  She startles at the smallest noises (which makes having a rambunctious 3 year old a real challenge) and we still swaddle her which adds a step between getting  her sleeping in my arms and sleeping in her crib.  BUT she is merely 12 weeks old today (can you believe it?) and while 4 months can't come soon enough (when we can sleep train her) we are trying to be patient with this process and trying to establish a daytime routine.

At this time with Nolan we began switching him over to formula due to my breastfeeding issues.  We also started Nolan on solids at about 4 months. Thankfully I've encountered only one issue thusfar (of course that was last night) and I hope to keep nursing Emily for 12 months.  Though I'm unsure if that will affect her restfulness.  On some nights she's doing a great job sleeping.  Other nights, not so much.  Though her demeanor is much more pleasant (when she takes naps) which makes our days a lot better than they used to be.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Big Week for Big Boy

Nolan started camp yesterday, it's every day for a week from 9-12.  I got really emotional when dropping him off yesterday because there were SO many kids around, probably 50, and he seemed really timid, or even scared.  He knew one of the teachers which makes things easier but he still seemed nervous.
By pick-up he seemed back to normal, like he gets this whole 'camp' thing now.  I hope he loves it and isn't too tired by the end of the week.  Above is a great photo of Nolan hiding during some hide-and-seek playing.  Sometimes his hiding spots are like this and other times he can be hard to find, like when he tucks himself completely under his bean bag chair!
Aunt Judy is leaving today leaving me running solo with the two kids for the rest of the week.  I hope it all goes well!  It's been a blessing having her here!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Egg Head

Oh my dear Nolan.  You MUST slow down.  Here's his newest injury after a trip and forehead smash on the garage floor.  Poor guy.  At least he's happy! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Anniversary

It was our anniversary and we spent it at Elizabeth Park having a breakfast picnic.
It was nice to get out.  It's been HOT and HUMID lately and I haven't been braving the weather with the two of them.  So we tried it.  It was pleasant in the shade. 
 Bagels and Scones made up the menu.  Below is a picture of Nolan taking a moment enjoying the day.  
And here's a picture Nolan took of us. He's quite the photographer.  It was a nice day.  Far different than what we'd desire but for now, it was lovely.