Tag Archives: baby

Sometimes You Get the Opposite of What You Expect

I love my children.

I love playing, reading, and snuggling with them.

But you know what else I really love?  Naptime.

These moments allow me to rest and recharge for more playing, reading, and snuggling.

Matthew chose not to nap today.  It could be his teeth that are bothering him, or perhaps the ever-present reflux, but he absolutely refused to succumb to a good afternoon nap.

Fearing the worst–a crabby, clingy baby–I somewhat begrudgingly retrieved him from his bed. I was rewarded with hugs and smooches and we ended up having a wonderful time together.

He was calm and happy, interactive and pleasant.

Obviously, he and I don’t have as much time alone together as I had with Katie when she was small.  But this afternoon it was just the two of us.

It was one of those small moments that I speak about so often…and though I am still a huge fan of naps, I have to admit that having him all to myself wasn’t so bad.

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It Might Be Time To Let Her Grow Up…Just a Tiny Bit

If I could freeze time and forever keep my kids little, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do so.

I love the squishiness of their little bodies and the wonder that they see in everything.  I love holding them and feeling the way that they just melt into me.  I even love the way that they are still dependent upon me for so many things.

I won’t even pretend that I’m one of those moms who eagerly awaits the first day of school, sleep away camp, proms, graduations, and weddings.

I’m the mom who truly mourns the end of babyhood and toddlerhood and I’m often in complete denial that my children are getting older.

I’m starting to realize, however, that it might be time for me to fully acknowledge that Katie is a preschooler and as such, she is ready for some big girl stuff.  (Thank goodness for Craig’s calm demeanor and his encouragement to let them grow and change.)

This is a picture of Katie’s bed:

Katie's bed as it was when we brought her home from the hospital and as it still is.

Yep, our three-year old still sleeps in a crib (and yes, we still use a video monitor on her).

I’ve often joked that we were going to keep her in her crib until college. And while that’s clearly an exageration,  we did plan to keep her in her crib until Matthew was sleeping through the night, as we thought it would be easier to handle one nighttime challenge at a time.

Well, that day has come.  Matthew’s been consistently sleeping through the night for a few weeks now.

My list of worries for why making the switch from a crib to a toddler bed worries me is long.  Here are several of them:

  • Will she still nap?
  • How will we make sure she stays in her bed?
  • Will our great sleeper suddenly start waking in the night?
  • Will bedtime be stressful?
  • Will she wake us up at say, 5:00 am, by standing at the side of the bed and giving me a heart attack?

Although my worries are plentiful, I’m beginning to feel that the list of benefits to her being in her own big girl bed is growing longer.

And as much as I dread the switch, there’s also a tiny part of me that is eager to see her face as she realizes that she’s being given a bit more independence.

There will be tears…and they will all be mine.

If any of you have any tips on how to make the transition go smoothly, I eagerly welcome them.

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A Repeat Performance and Separation Anxiety

We have always gloated about loved the fact that Katie is a champion sleeper.  If there was an Olympic event for sleeping, she would take the gold.  She goes to bed at 7:30pm and doesn’t wake until 7am.  She also still naps from 1pm-3:30/4:00pm.  We are blessed.  {Please don’t hate us–Matthew is another story entirely.}

She used to lunge for her crib at bedtime and has always put herself to sleep.  For the first couple of years of her life, we lured her into her bed by making it the only place where she could have her pacifier.  When we took her pacifier away at 21 months, we replaced it with a little pillow, her first blanket, and some stuffed kitties, all of which we allow her to have only while in bed.  Things have been smooth sailing until about a month ago.

Now there is major drama every time we put her down to sleep.  She’s doing this new thing where, when I leave the room and I am closing the door, she says, “Goodnight, Mommy.  I love you.”  I then tell her goodnight and that I love her too.  I close the door and she repeats the process.  At first I indulged her, thinking that she would tire of this routine once she knew I was on the other side of the door.  But it has completely gotten out of hand.  One night I did it nine times.  NINE!  We now tell her that we’ll say it once and then we’re going downstairs to “pick up” (code for relaxing.)

When we don’t follow the script the second, third, and fourth times, she flips out, and goes from choked up to bawling in 3.2 seconds.  While she typically only cries for five to ten minutes and then falls asleep,  nothing makes me feel worse as a parent than having her cry herself to sleep.  We’ve always tried to ensure that her bed is a safe, secure, and happy place.

She’s also showing some distress if she thinks that one of us may be leaving to run an errand or something.  She  quickly escalates from nervous to panicky.

We’ve had an emotional, chaotic past couple of weeks, with uncharacteristic breaks in our routine, but these insecurities were present prior to that.

{We have chosen not to speak with her about Craig’s mother’s death, as we don’t believe that she is emotionally mature enough to process that yet.  Since she is incredibly attentive and observant, we have been careful to shield her from our discussions.}

I distinctly remember when I was a child, I was fearful to be the last one awake.  I would call to my mother repeatedly to ensure that she hadn’t fallen asleep.  I’m still this way.  When Craig shows signs of being tired, I stop whatever I’m doing and hurry to bed.  I’ve not really analyzed why I am this way, I’ve just accepted it.

But this thing with Katie is sudden and intense.

Has anyone else gone through this?  We never saw any anxiety in her when she was younger and we thought that we might be out of the woods now that she’s three.

Help? Reassurance? Tips?

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Sixteen Random Thoughts From the Past Six Days

1.  There are many kind people in this world.

2.  Katie has astonishingly bad morning breath.

3.  Sharing a hotel bed with a three-year-old child is equal parts bad idea and effective means of torture.

4.  You can, in fact, get sick of eating out.

5.  Katie has consumed a steady supply of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil over the past six days.

6.  I don’t handle death well.

7.  You probably can’t run out of tears. I’ve tested this out this week.

8.  Three cups of coffee each morning is my new minimum.

9.  Babies don’t always smell good.

10.  Craig and I need a will.

11.  Never travel without nail clippers when you have children.

12.  Always overpack.

13.  I am eternally grateful that my grandmother insisted that she teach me how to wash my panties in the sink.

14.  I’m not young anymore.

15.  Pack way more diapers than you think you could possibly use.

16.  Hotels are the perfect place for Play Doh.

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Gender Disappointment, Unanswered Prayers, and Getting Lost

Today I looked at my sweet boy and I realized that there is simply no way to express just happy he has made me.  He is sweet, he is soft, and he is incredibly affectionate.  I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him and to be the mother of this baby boy.

I haven’t always felt this way.

When we had our nuchal translucency test at twelve weeks pregnant, the sonographer was certain that we were having a boy.  I remember feeling as though she had punched me in the stomach.  {I had honestly never even contemplated having a boy.}  I was choked up, but managed to hold it together until I was safely in the hallway with my husband, at which point I completely fell apart.  I had just been told that we were having a healthy child and I was crying like a lunatic because that healthy child was a boy.*

Then I remembered reading that those early ultrasounds were unreliable, and we couldn’t possibly know for sure what we were having until we were eighteen weeks along, at the earliest.  I told myself that if the baby was, in fact a boy, we would, of course, accept him and love him.

A friend of mine, when her child is pouting or having a tantrum over something, says, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”  This is the mindset I had, I reminded myself to be grateful, but it the back of my mind, I prayed that we would learn that we were having a girl afterall.

Then, at the eighteen week ultrasound, the sonographer showed us the irrefutable proof that we were having a son.  There was no doubt. 

As I was coming to grips with the idea of having a boy and grieving the fact that we weren’t having another girl, I told myself that we would have to try for another baby.  I felt as though I wouldn’t be complete until I had another daughter.

Then, after a long pregnancy and many difficult months after his birth, I grew to love this little boy every bit as much as I love his sister.  This didn’t surprise me, as I never questioned whether or not I would love him.  I had just always questioned whether he would be enough.  Day by day, the love I feel for him has grown to a point where I shudder at the idea that I was ever disappointed. 

In the About section of this blog, I described my love for my children this way:  “Katie is everything I always knew that I needed and Matthew is exactly what I always needed, without knowing that I needed it.”  I couldn’t have known how my heart would swell at the thought of him.  

There is a part of Garth Brooks’ song, “Unanswered Prayers” that speaks beautifully to the way I feel now.  He sings:

     Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
     Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
     That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
     Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

This is exactly what Matthew is–one of my greatest gifts.  I could have never imagined just how much I needed him and how much he would fill a spot inside of me that I didn’t realize was empty.

When I was young, my mother used to say that the best part of going on a road trip was getting lost.  She said that when you stray from your route, you see and experience amazing things that you hadn’t planned for.  She couldn’t have been more correct. Though Matthew wasn’t on the route that I had mapped out for us, he has proven to be the most amazing of surprises.

Would I trade him for a girl? Not in a million years.

We never lost sight of just how fortunate we were to be having a healthy baby.  We miscarried a child just three months prior to getting pregnant for Matthew and we were so incredibly grateful to be given another chance.

 

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Small Moments With Baby Katie

Katie was nearly a year old when this photo was taken…

I still miss these moments that we spent nursing.

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Taking a Closer Look…How Safe are your Baby Products?

From the moment we found out that I was pregnant with Katie, I became obsessed with researching the ways in which I could give her the best possible start in life.

One of the most helpful resources I found in those early days was Skin Deep, an amazing database that ranks the safety of cosmetics and personal care products in the following categories: skin care, makeup, hair care, nails, eye care, feminine hygiene, dental and oral hygiene, and fragrances.  One of their main goals is to provide information to protect children, babies, and infants in the womb from harmful toxins.

The Skin Deep database,  put forth by the Environmental Working Group, utilizes an easy to understand traffic light system that helps you to rather quickly learn whether a product is safe, if you should use it with caution, or if you should avoid it completely.

In those early days, I had visions of Katie fresh from the bath, with that familiar Johnson & Johnson scent.

A quick search of the Skin Deep database for Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Head to Toe Baby Wash was shocking.  Skin Deep gave it a yellow light, with a ranking of 4, which they call a moderate hazard, since the fragrance used raises neurotoxicity and allergies/immunotoxicity concerns.  Yeah, no thanks.

The point?  I would have trusted that Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash would be a safe choice for my baby.  The simple bottle leads you to believe that it is gentle, formulated for babies, and completely safe.  We ended up choosing California Baby products for our kids, but there are many other safe choices.

Grab your products and visit the Skin Deep database and see how they’re rated–you might be as surprised as I was.

I’d love to hear about any surprises or confirmations you come across if you’d like to leave a comment.

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