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...