Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Sleep Issue (again)

After the last post, my heart went out to the commenter who wondered if her son will ever, ever sleep.

Oh, how I remember those days.

I believe it was mostly in my other blog, (or was it here? I can't remember... I'm sleep deprived). But basically, I've given a thorough account of Anna's sleep issues over the past year and a half.

I remember trying absolutely everything to get her to sleep. I tried putting her to bed with a night light, without a night light, feeding her cereal right before bed, rocking her, letting her cry it out, lavender creams, singing and shh-ing her while standing over her crib, gradually tiptoeing slowly towards the door, so she wouldn't notice I was gone, putting one of my shirts in her crib so she could "smell" me.

I even remember lying on the floor (before Anna could stand up in her crib) so she couldn't see me, but could hear me shh-ing her and saying things like "Mommy loves you. It's just bed time".


Desperation (and lack of knowing anything else) makes you do silly things.

It was a long 13-15 months. It was 13 months before Anna slept through the night finally. And it was around 15 months when she started going to bed easily. Now? We brush her teeth, read her a book, put her to bed and leave and that's it. She's out.

It's freaking bliss.

Of course, she still wakes up around 4 or 5am and needs to be soothed back to sleep with a bottle of warm milk... but there you go. I'll take it.

The point is this. I tried absolutely everything I could think of to get her to sleep. And, as frustrating as it is, it just took time. That's all she needed.

Just like with rolling over, crawling, learning to walk (and just as learning to talk will be), Anna figured it all out on her own. With time.

So if you're struggling right now with the lack of sleep, I feel you. I feel your pain big time. And I know it doesn't help much right now... but one day, your little one will probably just figure it out on their own as well.

At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel, right?

Until then - I strongly suggest you do whatever it takes (whether it's what you're "supposed" to do or not) to get the little ankle biter to sleep.

Save your sanity.

That's all us Mamas can really do, right?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily routines

Anna slept until 7am today.

I will repeat this for emphasis... 7am.

As in, 7 in the morning. Not 5. Not 5:45. 7.

Needless to say I'm pretty happy. I've had my breakfast and my coffee and with a good night's sleep, I'm rarin' to go. Woo!

So - onto the topic for the day.

Daily routines. For those of you that stay home with your kids, or even for those of you that work... what does your day look like when you're home with the kiddies? I'm interested in hearing what other Mom's do.

Here's our daily routine (roughly).

Wake up time (anywhere between 5-7am): Get up, go downstairs and watch a few cartoons while I have my coffee. Or, depending on Anna's mood, we'll have breakfast together right away.

8:00-8:30am-ish: Anna plays in the living room/downstairs TV room while I clean up the breakfast dishes. Then we'll play together for a bit. (Usually means me chasing her around the house trying to tickle her or "helping" her colour).

8:30am: We go upstairs, get Anna dressed, then I put her in her crib with some books or toys while I have a quick shower.

9:00-10:00am: Go outside - either to the park, or to the backyard to play in the water table and kiddie pool.

10:00am-ish: Come home for a snack (usually because I'm hungry!)

11:00am: Play a bit more... either around the house, or outside. Anna's new favourite thing is to play in the car. Bizarre. Or we'll run an errand or two...

12:00pm: Lunch.

Anywhere between 12:30 and 1:oopm: Anna goes for her nap. I do my work, clean up the house, do the dishes, sometimes put on a load of laundry, make any calls or appointments I need to do... etc. etc.

2:30pm: Anna wakes up - and usually has a little snack. Then we have to try and find a way to fill the rest of the afternoon. Yesterday we went to an Early Years Centre. Sometimes we go back outside (it's been SO hot this week though). I've really got to think of some things to do to keep her occupied in the afternoon. (Tips? Advice? Info?)

4:00-5:00pm: Andrew comes home. (Yay!) We start getting dinner ready. Usually eat around 5 or 5:30 so Anna doesn't get too hungry.

After dinner: Lately Andrew and Anna have been going for a swim together while I do some work. Last night, we all went together. Anna loved it. Too cute.

6:45pm: Bath time.

7:00pm: Quality time with the Wiggles. Anna has a little snack again if she wouldn't eat much dinner while she watches a bit of Wiggles.

7:30pm: We go upstairs, brush our teeth, get Anna's room ready for bed (fill up the humidifier, etc.) Then we read a story or two, and at 7:45ish, Anna goes to bed.

That's my day. I'm finding the mornings are alright - but the afternoons seem LONG after her nap. Most play date things are in the morning... so what do you do with your kids in the afternoons?

Let's hear it, Mamas. What are your days at home with the kidlets like?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh, Anna... You're driving me crazy!

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly take one more temper tantrum...

Just when I thought this stage was never, ever, ever going to end...

Just when I thought Anna was never going to wake up happy or be in a good mood in the morning again...

Just when I thought her new normal was slightly miserable off-and-on all day...

... I went in to get her up this morning and found a happy, smiling baby. She wrapped her arms around my stomach before I even had a chance to pick her up and rested her chin on my chest as she looked up into my eyes and grinned.

All is forgiven.

(For now...)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eff you, happy sigh

Oh. My. F@#$*'n. Goodness.

The *happy sigh* from last post is over. It's so over. It ran out the door as soon as it possibly could. It laughed at me on the way out, even.

Why's that, you might be wondering?

Well. I can answer that with a number.


That's the number of tantrums Anna has had today. The last one - and the worst one - was just a few minutes ago. Great way to end the day.

I would love to say I'm a perfect Mom who did everything right. But I lost my cool, yelled at her, and (of course) made it worse. Sigh... (And now I have intense amounts of Mama guilt. Ugh. Worst type of guilt ever.)

Naturally, the evening got even better when I happened to come across an article that explains why toddlers have tantrums and what NOT to do. (Lose your cool and yell at them? Yeah, don't do that. That makes them feel rejected and awful and it's not their fault and yeah, you suck, Mom.)

So that's my day and evening.

If I weren't crazy and preparing to do this all over again, I would SO be running for a glass of wine right now.

*Tired sigh*

Surviving the road trip

Here's something I advise against:

Taking your 17 month old on a 6-hour car trip, then getting to your destination and making that child sit in the car the next day for another 2+ hours or so and not letting the poor thing play outside at all because the mosquitoes are so bad they might carry him or her away.

Phew. Quite the weekend.

I'm glad we got to visit family and all. But it was a tough way to find out that Anna does not take kindly to being forced to travel.

She was MISERABLE the first day we got there. The next day, she was the happiest kid ever. She basically cheered up just in time for us to make her get back in the car the next day and do the 6 hour car ride all over again.

However, I must say a HUGE thank you to everyone who gave me advice and tips on travelling with your toddler. The DVD player was our saving grace. And the goldfish. The goldfish were awesome at keeping her quiet.

(Thank you to Mamasmacks for saying that "good parenting" can go out the window on these kinds of trips because we basically sat Anna in front of the little TV and stuffed her full of snacks. Woo! We rock at this parenting thing.)

I'm concentrating on the Wiggles here, Ma. Leave me alone. Oh, and don't expect me to blink. It won't be happening anytime soon.

So today, Anna's grouchy as ever. And I'm exhausted. Safe to say that travelling with a toddler ain't easy. And it appears to take several days to recoup.

Of course, being pregnant can't help. Last night I had the worst sleep ever because my sciatic pain started acting up. And my back sort of hurts from carrying Anna around. Last time I was pregnant - I felt awesome. This time - I pee every time I sneeze, I'm achy and more tired than I ever thought possible.

Is it just me? Other Mamas... how did you fare in your second pregnancies?

Anywho. Andrew's home from work, we've had dinner and now he's taking Anna down the street for an evening swim.

And I'm putting my feet up for a second.

*Happy sigh*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer fun

Were you aware that a water table and a kiddie pool were this amazing?

This is yell-your-face-off fun, yo.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


In no particular order, a list of new things I feel you should know:
  • I think I've crossed over to the dark side. Yesterday I actually picked up "The Best of the Wiggles" DVD. 12 non-stop songs sung by incredibly annoying grown (yet, rich) Australian men.
  • I tricked Anna into eating veggies big time - in both her eggs and her her pasta. MWA HA HA... Screw you, scurvy!
  • Back to the Wiggles. I've created a monster. Anna insists on watching TV when she gets up in the morning. If I don't give in to her and put the Wiggles on, there's no way I can make my breakfast or coffee or her breakfast. So I let her. And now she expects it every, single day. Mama guilt.
  • A friend of mine who's also pregnant told me that her OB said with your second pregnancy, "you feel like it's going to fall out of you onto the sidewalk in the end." Awesome. That will be pleasant.
  • We're going on a 5 hour car trip on Friday. Any tips/advice on travelling in the car for that long with a toddler? We're going with Grandma and Grandpa too. Grandpa just isn't as used to the toddler stage (read: patient) as the rest of us are.
  • One more question... how old was your toddler when you transitioned them to a bed from the crib? And how did you do it? What worked?
Okay. I have to go get more coffee... The Wiggles are now singing about a dancing dinosaur. Anna's smiling and pointing, but it's just too early for me.

Must have coffee.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back again. This time for real.

Whew. It's been a bit of a sad, stressful, busy, etc. etc. time lately.

Sadly, my wonderful father-in-law has passed away. His funeral is over. The hubster's back to work. I'm at home again with the buttertart. Much change going on.

So we'll see what the near future holds for all of us.

I haven't worked from home in so long, it'll be interesting to see if I can get some freelance jobs here and there again. I really do prefer to work at home - despite the fact that my last in-house job was awesome. So right now, I'm happy.

I'm jobless. But, I'm happy.

What else? Oh yes... and I'm pregnant! So the buttertart has to make room for buttertart #2 (arriving just in time for buttertart season, in fact... December 20th is my due date. Christmas baby!)

I have been seriously sick and tired with this pregnancy. I'm still not completely out of the woods, despite the fact that I'm 16 weeks now. Kind of annoying since I expected this pregnancy to go like last time. (Anna only made me sick for 2 weeks... then it was pretty much smooth sailing).

Alas, no 2 kids are the same, are they? Anna's a total soother baby. I bet the next one won't want anything to do with it. Anna wasn't a great sleeper. This next child WILL SLEEP. As god as my witness, MY SECOND KID WILL SLEEP. (Or Andrew and I will not survive. I swear, if I have to experience 13 months of sleep deprivation again... you may want to pretend you don't know me and avoid me at all costs.)

Anywho. So hopefully I'm back to regular blogging. All you Mamas out there need to know that you're not the only one who can't get your toddler to eat anymore. (Anna used to eat everything. Now she shakes her head, scrunches up her face and says "No... no... no" to almost all healthy foods. Chips, on the other hand, are apparently the most amazing thing that was ever created. Chips are a big-time Anna pleaser.)

(On a side note: I learned a nifty little trick for getting her to eat. It's called ketchup. Seriously... dip their food in ketchup and suddenly the kid will eat anything. And lots of it.)

You also need to know that other Moms won't be calling Child Services on you because of the ridiculous amounts of bruises and scrapes on your kid's legs. (I know, because Anna is a walking/running hurricane who is constantly skinning her knee and bruising her legs. Somehow, I'm still allowed to be her Mom. Who knew?)

(On yet another side note: At the splash pad this morning, Anna fell exactly 4 times onto the concrete in front of the same Mom. She didn't even bat an eyelash. I was all prepared to hang my head in shame and hustle out of there with Anna, until her little boy showed up with bandaids on his legs. We exchanged knowing smiles at each other.)

You also need to know that if you're pregnant with your second (or thinking about becoming pregnant)... your belly will pop out WAY sooner, you'll be WAY more tired than last time, you won't have any interest whatsoever in "What to Expect While You're Expecting" or other pregnancy literature and you'll probably eat sushi and drink diet soda like nobody's business.

So... that's all I've got for today. Anna's napping now. And since I'm wiped ALL the time (and yes, I am taking my iron pills, Mom...) I think I'll go lie down for a quick snooze while I can.

Ah, the joys of working from home. Especially when you don't actually have any work to do at the moment.

(We'll worry about the whole money thing later... for now, I must nap.)