Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's a good thing they are so darn cute!

Ok, So I've been too depressed to write. We had 4 perfectly good nap days after the whole climbing out of crib incident and I thought we were in the clear. Then Ethan decided nap time was play time and wreaked as much havoc in a child proofed room as possible. I actually caught him climbing up the drawers of his dresser!! Thank God Seth had already anchored it to the wall, but I was furious. I have NEVER yelled at Ethan like I did that afternoon and it scared the living daylights out of him (and me!). I knew I had done the right thing, but I have never seen that look on his face. I wanted him to fear the act of climbing, not of me! On the bright side, I did get a nap out of him after that. Then we had 5 no nap days in a row and Ethan was miserable, and I was miserable because I just can't let it go! He needs his naps. I finally got a short nap out him yesterday (after 3pm), but that's because I bribed him with a star on his new star chart and a trip to the ice cream store:) Ok, So I know I can't take him for ice cream every day, but I needed a way to get a star on that chart!! The idea is, if he earns 3 stars he gets a treat (like ice cream or a new hot wheels car). So I figure if I bribe him enough, 3 times, to get those 3 stars and he gets a car out of it or something better, than he'll get the idea. Hopefully...

To answer Kelly's question in her last comment, no we have not moved him to a big boy bed. We are thinking, since night time sleep is still no problem, that we don't want to throw another wrench in the system and screw that up too. Once we have nap time down again and he's proven himself a "big boy" than we will reward him with the upgrade. That, at least, is the current plan. As I should know by now, I don't have control over everything (or anything?!) and plans could easily change...

In the process of writing this post, we have gotten nap number 2 started. People, bribes really do work! He's getting a "treat" (i.e. candy) today and another star on his chart towards earning a new car. (I think he may have thought he'd get a car for this nap...oops, my bad!) Hopefully, I can explain that he needs just one more star for the car and then, just maybe, I won't have to bribe him everyday. Maybe the idea of the star chart will sink in and we'll be back on track!

That's all for now, time to rescue Salla from the excersaucer...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Oh Dear God,

The inevitable thing that I've been in denial of actually happening, has actually happened. Our 2 1/2 year old son has figured out that he can climb out of his crib on his own. It happened during nap time today. We had done our normal routine and he had been in there talking to himself for awhile, close to an hour, when my hubby heard a suspicious jingling sound coming from his room. He opened the door and, sure enough, there is Ethan rolling balls down a ramp on the floor. Oh crap. I am not ready yet! Sure, lots of people (many of my dear mommy friends) have already moved their little ones to big boy and girl beds. I was just hoping I could stretch him out a little longer, (at least until Salla stopped giving me sleep trouble), because I don't think I can handle two kids waking me up at night. So, needless to say, there was no nap to be had today, and I am truly fearful that there will be no more naps from here on. My husband thinks I'm being slightly irrational and overreactive, but with the combination of his new "rebellious" attitude and the recognition that he now has the option to get out of bed, I just can't see it turning out any other way. Thinking about the big picture, I suppose I could handle giving up naps if we got him to bed earlier at night. But I think I might actually have a break down if I start seeing his face next to my bed at 4am every night. This whole sleep deprivation thing is for the birds...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Dear Sweet Child

Oh, wonderful, sweet, contented son, where have you gone? Someone came in the night and replaced you with a stubborn, cranky, and down right ornery little boy! OK, so I know he is 2 (2 1/2 really), but I can't believe this is just an age thing. I think he must be sick. Sure, he's not running a temperature, he's not complaining of ear aches or tummy pains, he's eating like a champ, and seems well enough to run around at the park for an hour. But I still think he MUST be getting sick. That's the only explanation. I even gave him a dose of Tylenol, sure that it would improve his mood. Nope. The rest of the day was still full of incessant whining, screams of "Noooooooooooooo!" and many many crocodile tears. I can now admit that I am praying for my son to get sick, hoping for a fever tomorrow, a reason to call the doc and prove he has a double ear infection, just so I can exhale and say "See? I knew that was it, poor thing..." and not have to keep him in time out all day, every day for the rest of his toddlerhood. Here's hoping!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Daylight Savings Ended, where's my extra hour of sleep??

I have to say, I used to really look forward to the end of Daylight Savings and setting the clock back an hour. For some reason, that extra hour of sleep always hit the spot. I had no idea the impact a 1 hour time change would have on my children. Since Sunday morning, Ethan has been waking up at 5:30 instead of 6:30. Not only did I not get that extra hour, it almost had the opposite effect when I looked at the clock and read "5:35". It felt like I got an hour less. Now Salla, on the other hand, can't seem to shift her schedule either and is exhausted by 5:30pm. It's no fun keeping her up, she makes it impossible to cook, clean, deal with Ethan, talk, think, etc etc. Seriously, it's an hour! How hard is it to stay up a little later and sleep in a little longer?? I know, I know. The day will come when they want to stay up too late and sleep in too long. I'll be ranting then as well, I'm sure.

And, here's a question to anyone who's "Ferberized" their kids. When does the training period actually end? I've been doing it for weeks now and Salla is doing very well at night, almost always no crying going down and only every so often more than 1 wake up at night. But she still cries for nearly every nap. Do I just always do the progressive waiting (checking in after 5,10, 15 min) every time she cries before sleep? I feel like she will be "in training" forever...

Ok, that's it for tonight. Hubby is still working, so I'm going to crawl in bed and watch Ugly Betty on the DVR until I fall alseep! night night

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Much Ado about Nothing

I seem to be in a bit of a "rantless" state at the moment. I suppose that's a good thing, no real complaints. But I feel like I've been neglecting my blog this past week! I figured, if I just started typing tonight, I could probably come up with something.

Let's see, what did we do this week?

Last Sunday, we hopped in the family truckster and headed into Pensacola for the "Big Fair". We paid $5 to park 1/2 mile away, $10 to get in, $12 for ride tickets, and waaaaay too much for standard "Fair Fare" (i.e. pizza and ice cream), but it was all worth it to see Ethan have so much fun! He rode on his first rides , a train ride with Daddy and a car ride with Mommy. The car would zip around the corner real fast and he just laughed his little head off on every turn. We left smiling and thinking about how much more fun it will be for him next year when he's brave enough to ride some bigger rides (Lord knows he's already "big" enough).

Halloween was fun. We went trick-or-treating with our next door neighbors and Ethan was a pro. He knocked on doors, said "trick-or-treat", sometimes said "Thank You", and stayed with our little group even though there were hundreds of people out in the neighborhood. Really, I've never seen anything like it! It was like a block-party. Salla got to get a bit of fun in too, though, sleep nazi that I am, I was in a rush to get her home and ready for bed close to her normal bed time so as not to undo all our hard work for one night of fun! I think Ethan's favorite part was being outside in the dark. The next couple nights he wanted to go knock on doors. We'll do it again next year baby, I promise...

I got my act together this weekend and painted Salla's room. FINALLY. We moved in in, what, February? But I suppose I should give myself a little break, I mean I was very pregnant and then, you know, had a newborn and stuff. So I guess now is an appropriate time to do it. It really does look nice though. I was going for a muted light blue and ended up with more of a periwinkle (the difference in lighting in Salla's room vs. Home Depot). The color is Behr "saltwater" and I think it's perfect. I finished with some cute flower and bug wall decals to add to the garden theme. I will post a picture when I think about it.

A brief update on the Salla Sleep Front. She's doing AWESOME! We had one rough night this week when she woke up a couple times early in the night and then and wouldn't fall back asleep on her own for about an hour. I eventually chalked it up to teething, gave her a dose of Tylenol at 2am and didn't hear from her again until it was time to eat around 4. On most nights I don't hear from her until sometime between 2 and 4. I am still feeding her once per night, because I think it's appropriate even though she's plenty big enough (over 18 lbs now!). Naps are still very short, BUT she is falling asleep on her own with almost no protests (unless I push it too long and she's already crying). Needless to say, it's a vast improvement and Dr. Ferber is still my best friend.

Oh, and I did make it back to the gym a couple times this week. I figure 3 or 4 times a week is worth it and much better that nada! Thanks to everyone who's congratulated me on getting that part of my life back. It really does feel good to take that time to take care of myself....

Ok, I'm pooped and gotta recharge for this week. Seth has classes on Friday night and all day Saturday so it's a 6 day work week. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kelly's Polymer Clay Creations!

So, I decided I'd use tonight's post to brag about and advertise for my dear friend Kelly. In her "spare" time (with 2 kids the same age as mine, I can't imagine when that is) she creates these amazing little clay scultpures. She makes statues, magnets, pins, ornaments, beads, and barrettes. She does them for all different holidays and occasions and each one is unique. Some of her scenes include Witches and Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, Turkeys
with pumpkins and footballs for Thanksgiving (she even takes requests for school names, mascots and sports!), and elves, Santas, snowmen, penquins and reindeer for Christmas and items for pretty much any other holiday you can think of. She makes the cutest magnets for new baby gifts (we got one when Salla was born!), both swaddled babies and older babies with blocks that have initials on them. The statues are about 3 inches high and run from about $10-$20. The magnets and pins are about 1 1/2 inches high and are generally $7

(price depends on the complexity of the design). You can email Kelly at if you are interested in viewing some of her other creations or placing an order. She has a lot of fun making them and obviously puts a lot of time and detail into each one. Email her and support a fellow stay-at-home mom!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

How Was Your Day?

What happened today you ask?

I joined a gym and worked out for the first time in over a year at 6:45am this morning, it was pure bliss!

Salla took a 1 hour and 15 min nap in the morning! I am still in shock. On the downside, all the crying seems to have taken a toll on her voice. My 5 month old baby is hoarse! As if I don't feel guilty enough...

I mowed the front lawn (don't ask where I found the energy, I am regretting it now...)

Ethan got a small berry stuck up his left nostril right before dinner. It was so far in, I couldn't see it and almost didn't believe it was in there. It almost required an emergency room visit, but luckily I was able to work with him to blow it out...

I managed to get both kids to bed tonight by myself without a whole lot of chaos and zero crying

When Seth got home I went to visit with my friend and the most precious little babies I've ever seen! She delivered twins on Wednesday afternoon, a boy and a girl. They are soooo tiny and soooo perfect!

I ended my day with a cup of sorbet/frozen yogurt and now I'm going to sign off and go snuggle in bed.

Just another day in the Stegmaier house...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dr. Richard Ferber, My New Best Friend

So, yesterday, on a whim (or perhaps on a tiny bit of Mother's intuition) I headed over to Barnes and Noble to see if they had a copy of the revised edition of Dr. Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. I bought it, came home and started reading during every little 3 min break I could. After picking it up just a couple times I was ready to toss my copy of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child out the window! Why didn't I just do this before? Why did I make both Salla and myself suffer for the last month when the solution was just a 20 min drive and $16 away?? I LOVE this book. Everything is explained so well. He makes it easy to figure out EXACTLY what the sleep issues are (not just that she's night waking and a horrible napper, but that she's developed an unhealthy sleep association with my boobs (mostly my left one, I think) and by eating as much as she is during the night she's arousing all her internal systems which is screwing with her circadian rhythm, etc etc.) and how to fix them (stop nursing her to sleep, let her fall asleep alone in her crib, and gradually decrease the night feedings until there are none). His program is layed out in black and white in very precise steps, which I apparently needed since I never knew what my next step was before, and we put it to the test after bedtime last night. It was a long night, she still woke up crying as much as before, but TWICE she fell asleep awake, by herself, without the boob. My dear husband was a real trooper and went to her during the times I elected not to nurse her so I wouldn't be tempted and she wouldn't smell me. Overall, we woke up exhausted, but hopeful. I continued the program today for naps. She fell asleep after 30 min, by herself, without the boob for a morning nap and then after only 3, ya, you heard me, 3 minutes of protesting in the afternoon. Tonight, Seth was working so I had bedtime for both kids all to myself. I nursed Salla while Ethan was playing in the tub so I wouldn't have to give her a full feeding immediately before bed. After Ethan was tucked in, I took Salla in her room, read her a story, nursed her for like 2 minutes but NOT until she fell asleep. I layed her down in her crib, she threatened to cry as I left and not 1 minute later all was quiet. I LOVE LIFE!

But seriously, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Who knows what the night will bring and she'll probably be angry when I take out another night feeding, but I'm confident within a week or so there will be no more late night snacking and substantially less wake ups! I'll let this be the end of my sleep rants for a couple days...thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So here it goes

My first blog! Wait, no, I had one for work a few years back, before I changed career paths from hot (in a nerdy sort of way) software developer to still hot (in a frazzled, frumpy sort of way) stay-at-home mom. So that means, technically, this is my second blog. But on this one I can actually write whatever I feel like!

So let me just get right down to it. I have a "Spirited" (love that term) 2 year old son, Ethan who lights up my day every morning (before the sun has a chance to!) and a 5 month old Sleepless Beauty of a daughter, Salla, who is a serious drama queen already. She's either cooing, laughing, and squealing, or screaming her little head off like I'm pinching her all over (which I swear I'm not!) Anyway, my son was not such a great sleeper as an infant and at 5 1/2 months my husband and I decided, after reading (and re-reading over and over again) Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, to finally let him cry-it-out. Now, I know it was not fun, and it probably took longer and was much more painful than I remember (kind of like childbirth...) but for some reason, in retrospect, it wasn't so bad and he took to it quite well. Now, my dear daughter slept 8-9 hours a night for the first 3 months (tightly swaddled, which I still use as a crutch today...). I said "Thank you God! You've blessed us with an "easy" baby!" Hmm. I take that back now. Something happened around 3 1/2 months and it all went down the toilet. Night sleep AND day sleep. I was SO frustrated, number one because I knew I had to wait AT LEAST a few more weeks to start any kind of sleep training (and that seemed like an eternity), and second because I was all proud of myself and thought I was the baby sleep guru and I was shocked that I could have screwed up so bad the second time around! (Gotta love mommy-guilt). I lasted about 2 weeks before I just couldn't take it anymore (mind you, my husband was away for 3 weeks while all this was happening!) and had to let her cry. It had gotten to a point where my sure-fire soothing method (i.e. nursing) wasn't working and she would just cry when I held her and cry when I put her down. I felt hopeless and completely inadequate. I was miserable and I don't know how I was able to keep up with my 2 year old during the day. So, there began the crying. And it worked! sort-of...Now, a few weeks later is seems to be getting worse again. And I think the culprit is her day sleeping (or lack there of!) She hardly naps at all. Most days she'll get 2 35-40 min naps in. That's it. I just have not been able to let her cry for naps! The 2 times I tried she cried for the full hour. Maybe it's because I have another child who has to listen to her cry too, but I just don't have any will power during the day. And now I'm losing my will power at night. I feel like someone flushed the toilet again. I need to take a DEEP breath and re-group. I probably need to start over and this time, suck it up, go outside with my son, and let her cry for naps as well.

On the up side, I am officially working on getting her to sleep unswaddled. I was very reluctant to give it up since it's certainly a sleep cue for her and helps her fall asleep for the evening. But, the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it could be a hinderance to the sleep training since it certainly limits her self-soothing options (i.e. hand sucking or moving into more comfortable positions). So, tonight, she is officially sleeping with one arm out! HA! I did it! I thought it would be much worse, I couldn't quite get her to sleep before she finished nursing so I had to lay her down sort-of awake (which typically does not go over well with Salla) But I also gave her a little blankie/animal thing that she grabbed onto. She protested for a couple minutes and then went to sleep....(and I started breathing again). The rest of the night remains to be seen, but hopefully tomorrow night, both arms will be free!

Wish me luck! I'm done tonight's rant...