Monday, October 21, 2013

Sleep, School, and Blow Up Cats

It gets darker earlier now.

All summer, we never once went for after-supper walks. Neither myself nor Ryan even knows why - we ask ourselves every night WHY we waited until we had to bundle up to start going for evening walks. But it's become our ritual - Aryn with her popsicle (yes... a popsicle with gloves and winter coat...) and Lukey in 3 layers - we head out for a twilight walk. Every day it gets darker earlier and earlier.

One of the main reasons we've been going for walks is because of the Halloween decorations out there. Aryn loooooves those big blow up cats. She pets them, hugs them, talks to them. It's too bad she doesn't have a pet of her own to show that love to.

Oh wait. She does. He's just a big jerk and doesn't want anything to do with her.

But I digress.

At Walmart yesterday I saw a blowup cat for $20. I was thisclose to buying it so we could blow it up in front of our house and Aryn could love it to pieces. But then I wondered if our evening walks would get less frequent because she wouldn't want to go see the "big kitty cats" so I put it back on the shelf. Yet every evening, when these darn cats aren't blown up because the owners have actual lives that don't revolve around my 3-year old's obsessive compulsive disorder, I contemplate again running to Walmart to grab that big 4-foot tall blow up cat for $20.

Anything to make that little ginger snap happy.

When Lukey was 3 months old, I had spent about 3 months bragging about what an amazing sleeper he was. I never knocked on wood because he'd always been really good! He went to bed at 8pm, woke up once at around 4am, ate, and then slept until 9am. Every single night, without fail. It was glorious. He was a light eater, and just all around a really great, easy baby.

Then...  he turned 4 months.

I talked about the 4 Month Sleep Regression in my last blog post, and now that we're in Lucas' 5th month, things seem to be "improving". I use that term extremely lightly.

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Mind you, he is upstairs extremely pissed off at me right now because I won't come get him after his joke of a 40 minute nap. I'm leaving you until you sleep longer, mister! (FYI, I most definitely lost that battle. I don't win a lot of battles with this kid.)

... seriously, should I go buy Aryn that blow up cat??

It's been a fairly uneventful month, because I am up at the crack of dawn, then go to bed at about 9pm after both kids are asleep and am up anywhere from 2-15 times a night, with one or both of the kids. It's been fun. The zombie apocalypse is upon us in our household.

Every once in awhile, I get a clear realisation that things will be ok and we can handle this. In those moments, I stand here in the ray of the beauty that is my life and just soak it in.

Then one of them wakes up.

Despite our regular battles with sleep, Lukey really is a fantastic little bear. He smiles at anyone and everyone, he rolls around like a champ (except whenever he rolls onto his stomach, he gets seriously pissed off and just flops around like a fish out of water until I flip him over. Never mind that he can roll over from front to back all the time on his own; , holding himself up, getting his bum in the air (I am certain that within the month he will be crawling of some form), and has even begun eating a few kinds of food like rice cereal and random things that we're eating. I know, I know - he's not 6 months yet. But he takes my arm and shoves whatever I have in my hand into his mouth, and eyes up whatever I'm eating. So I'm taking his cues and letting him try it out. Nothing enough to fill up his tummy but enough for him to test it.

We did go through Lucas' first ever cold. It wasn't fun. He had a tough time breathing through his nose and he was coughing a lot. I am chalking it up to the fact that he has no hair so his head gets cold. Oh and Aryn started school so there's germs galore in our house.

Yes. Aryn started school.

It's preschool. She goes Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-11:30.

In my sleep deprived state, I have both forgotten to take her to school and forgotten to pick her up. On more than one occasion. But somehow, we are there around 9am and I somehow make it to pick her up around 11:30am. All in all, it's been a success. She is thriving - and doing remarkably well. She loves everything. She has friends, she is a little teacher pleaser, and she is known in class as the "class mommy" - meaning she is always looking out for everyone.

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Yes... Woody... from Toy Story...

"Mrs. Ericson, Jacob needs help opening his lunch."
"Mrs. Ericson, Carys needs help putting her shoes on."
"Mrs. Ericson, someone pooped and is stinky."

Never mind that no one asks her for help. But she's there to offer it.

And this kid is funny.

Like, hilarious. She makes us laugh every day.

Her latest hilarious comment?

"I no want bacon, mommy. Bacon isn't good for me."

Whoever taught her that - you will suffer my wrath!

And obsessed with ladybugs. If there is a ladybug in the vicinity of her field of vision, two of two things will happen:

1. That ladybug WILL get caught.
2. That ladybug WILL die.

She doesn't murder them on purpose. It's purely by accident. She just loves them to death. Either way, those little ladybugs experienced a love like no other before they were squished.

RIP, ladybugs. And run. And hide.

Life is good. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Aaaaaand we're back!

I know, I know. I've seriously been slacking in the blogging department.

It's been like 2 months since I updated my blog. I hope you can forgive me. Life with 2 kids, a needy dog, a job, and a book for sale have really all taken over my life.

When Aryn was a baby, I blogged about everything - when she first smiled, rolled over, bad nights, good nights - everything. Poor Lucas... I haven't written anything down, no blogging, barely any photos (my camera broke a couple of weeks ago at a photoshoot and I need to bring it in to get fixed... however it's going to cost more to fix than the lens is worth so...). I haven't taken many photos lately except with my cell phone! Whoops!

I have written and deleted the next part of this blog post about 7 times now. Nothing seems right. We are in the midst of the 4-month regression phase... where babies scream all night, refuse to sleep, roll over and wake themselves up, don't nap, cry for no reason, and all around make you question why you decided to do this again.

Right when I thought something has to be wrong for Lucas to be the way he's been the last few weeks, I decided to read my blog posts from when Aryn was the same age. Yeah... babies are just terrors at 4 months. They're all the same.

I believe that the 4-month stage is God's way of getting you ready for the rest of parenthood. If you can make it through this phase - without ending up in a mental institute - you are set for life. Parenthood can only get better after that 4-months. I'll take fits and temper tantrums in a crowded mall over the 4-month age any day.

Reading my blog from when Aryn was this age, things started getting better at about 5/5.5 months. So I have a couple of weeks to go. We can do this.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. 

Strangely enough, I feel better knowing Aryn was this way... even though I seriously don't remember. She's a great sleeper. She's a sweet, sweet little girl. She's hilarious, and kind, and compassionate, and has never thrown a bona fide 'temper tantrum'. There's hope left for Lucas.

I have been referring him to being "5 months old" lately... because he's 4 months, 4 weeks. But he's not 5 months for another week and a half. But I have found myself comparing these 2 quite regularly.

For instance...

Aryn on February 14 (5 months): 16 lbs 1.75 oz, 26"
Lucas on September 30 (4 months, 2 weeks): 14 lbs 15 oz, 25.5"

See how they're wearing the same shirt?

I'll do a better comparison on the 16th, but for the most part, these 2 are pretty much identical in weight and length. However, Aryn always seemed "solid", and Lucas just seems so "small". Maybe his 2 chins weigh more than his skinny little legs.

Tonight, we start a wee bit of sleep training. Mama is exhausted; last night I got up with Lukey every 2 hours. I didn't check the clock but I realized this morning every time he made a fuss, I fed him to knock him back out. Bad mommy! So tonight, the monitor is getting shut off. He's going to be put to bed on his back (he needs to learn that if he rolls onto his back while sleeping, he doesn't need me to roll him back over).

Oh yeah... he sleeps on his stomach... Bad Mommy #2...

I am pretty sure tonight is going to suck. I am expecting we wake Aryn up. I am preparing for a tired husband (although, I don't really have much sympathy for him!). I am planning on being a zombie for another week until we get this figured out. I'm all for feeding him 1-3 times a night. It's the 6 times that needs to be canned. Tonight begins that process.

Wish us luck. Wish me luck.

Once we get this sleep thing figured out, I'll come back with a funny post about all the craziness we encounter in our day. I'll talk about how Aryn has just become the sweetest, most tender little girl - no more toddler tornado for her. I'll talk about how Aryn started pre-school, how Lukey tasted rice cereal last night (and did not like it), about how Aryn's 100% potty trained, how Lukey rolls like a maniac, how Aryn loves playing, how Lukey laughs - like real, true belly laughs - at his sister, about how Aryn loves Doc McStuffins and has become our family doctor, etc. etc. etc.

Just you wait. Once we get this settled and I'm getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a matter of a week, I'll blow your socks off with the most awesomest blog post ever. Just you wait. And keep waiting. Because it may be awhile.

In the meantime, please buy my book.