Thursday, August 21, 2008

Calling all parents--I need help!

About ten days ago, we had a very rough night with Niev. She was not wanting to sleep in her crib and just cried. It was literally an hour and a half and she still was not calm or asleep. Now Niev has never really had a problem sleeping. She has slept through the night at 8 weeks old and then been a dream to put to bed since she was a babe. This was a rare incident with her not going to bed as she should. Both Ian and I were fried with no patience or sanity. We were grasping at straws. We had talked about moving Niev into her big-girl bed (a mattress on the floor), but the conversation always went the same way:

"When do you think we should move Niev into her big bed since we now are expecting this new baby in December?"

"I don't know."

End of conversation. (Note to reader: Most of our conversations do no go this way. We do make headway, but on this topic both of us were clueless.)

This night really had us trying all sorts of tricks and having her "cry it out" was not working. So we decided to try her big-girl bed. It was still a pain to get her to sleep, but eventually she fell asleep with Ian lying next to her (Trust me, neither of us liked this, but we were desperate. We had tried everything else). Of course this only made her ask for us to sleep with her. Our solution was that each night after this, we would set a chair in the room and each night the chair would get closer and closer to the door until finally we were sitting in a chair outside her door. Then for two or three nights, we could just do our routine, plop her in bed, leave the door slightly ajar and viola! she was back to our dream sleeper.
First night in her big-girl bed!

Now I have a few question/problems:
1) She can climb out of bed so the past two nights, the minute we put her in the bed, she starts climbing out of bed.
2)She wakes up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep for over an hour! Just cries and cries unless we lay down next to her in her bed.

Now I have read several articles on this (which tell me that I did EVERYTHING wrong leading up to the transition) but none of them talk about what to do if your child gets out of bed right as soon as you start to leave the room. I don't really know how to put a child back into bed when their body hasn't touched the bed for more than a split second. Or how do you get them to lie down long enough to stay in bed without rewarding their behavior by giving them the attention that they are desiring at that moment? She hates her crib now. She cries if we even mention her having to sleep in it. So I know she wants her big bed. I am at a loss as to what else to do.

Stay on a routine--check.
Let her sleep with a favorite blankie/doll--check.
Have a nightlight--check.
Let her read in bed--check.
Make a big deal of her sleeping in her big bed--check.

Ian does remind me that this hasn't been that long since we put her in her new bed, but I just have been really spoiled by Niev. She has raised us as parents way more than we have raised her as our daughter. I just am tired of dreading bedtime. Plus, in 16 weeks, we will have a new baby on our hands. I am not very good at multi-tasking so I need this problem to be solved. If you have any advice (or even some empathy) this would be much appreciated. Just consoling me that this will pass and I won't have to do this with our next one because they will share a room, etc. will almost make the last several night worth it.

Just so you know that we still love our daughter and think she is the cutest! In case you were worried.

Eating something chocolaty--I had just asked her if she wanted me to eat it because it was too gross. Hence, the face!

Her jammin' to her tunes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Now I am married to an old fart

Today is Ian's 28 birthday. Can I just tell you how hard it is to be married to an artist? Creative things just seem to ooze out of him where as for me they are a struggle and something I stress over for as long as I know about them. And of course, what does Ian want for his birthday? A cake that requires me to be creative.

For Mother's Day, Ian bought me a quilt for Niev's big-girl bed. It has an alien theme which you might be thinking, "Okay, that is really bizarre and next you will be dressing up Niev as a gothic maiden", but seriously it is really cute. Ian and I both thought this could make a really fun kid's room.Back to Ian's birthday...he wanted one of the aliens on his cake. Now you have to understand for most moms who quilt, cook, sew and can get any stain out of clothes, this would be...a piece of cake. I am not one of those moms. When I was teaching, Ian had to come to my classroom and do my bulletin boards so that they looked good (and of course I left them the same all year long!). I am not one for presentation. Who cares what dinner looks like as long as it tastes good! (Please forgive me, Melinda, I know this goes against everything you stand for!) I stressed about what to do with his cake from the moment I was told about it until I got it done this morning. I had never done a REAL birthday cake. Remember Niev's???
And I was pretty excited about her cake and how well it turned out (for me and my skills!). Anyway, I knew Melissa (my sister) would understand my conundrum and would empathize with me and the demands of my husband. Her words--"Does he understand what a tall order this is?" Exactly the right thing to say! As soon as Niev was down for her morning nap, I set to work. Voila!
I do have to say, I am pretty proud of myself!!! I was almost in tears when I saw the finished product because I knew Ian would be so proud of me.

For the record, he did tell me last night that I didn't HAVE to make a "special" cake for his birthday. But how could I disappoint a man on his birthday! And I knew it would make him super proud and very happy.

Enough about me. Ian is a fantastic father. He plays with Niev so well and has so much more energy (and patience) with her than I do. I feel so blessed to have him as my husband, best buddy and greatest love. He truly has made me so happy being married to him these two and half years. He is a hard worker, a great provider and a fabulous confidant. My greatest times are spent talking to him and making each other laugh until tears are running down our faces. I look forward to many more birthdays together. I hope you always know how much I love you and adore you, Ian!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Count Dracula

WARNING: Major bragging is contained in the following post. If you do not want to think that Niev is an amazing girl and her mom is very proud, do NOT read!

While we were at my parents' house visiting, I noticed my mom teaching Niev to start counting. She started off by my mom saying, "One..." and then teaching Niev to say, "TWO!" I thought my mom was amazing for doing this and Niev was even more amazing for accomplishing it. So throughout the past three weeks, we have been working on counting. She is quite advanced in my opinion, but maybe someone else would think differently.

Here is a video of her counting (please excuse my obesity on the couch--remember, I'm pregant!):

We have reached up to five, which I am so stinkin' proud of her for. I feel like she is a genius and am so impressed with how quickly she learns new things. I do always have to prod her to say one, but that will come.

Niev also has learned from Ian how to talk to the baby:

We never quite know what she is telling the baby, but hopefully it is good! She will often come up to my belly and kiss it or give it "pats". Niev is adorable!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My mommy is a dog

Niev loves to play with my wallet. She pulls all the cards out and then tries desperately to put them all back into place.

Yesterday, she was in my wallet (because I didn't put it away in its hiding spot) and it was the first time that she had actually made comments. Normally, she is very focused. It's pretty bad when your 19-month old daughter points to your driver's license and says, "Doggie!" She did this twice yesterday. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but today she saw my picture on my license and again said, "Doggie!" I think I might need to cut my hiar!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lora OR doing the dishes???

Lately, I have read just for a few minutes after climbing into bed. Therefore, Ian has fallen asleep just a few minutes before me. Several nights in a row, after I close my book and lay down to sleep, Ian has wrapped his arm around me and said, "Goodnight, Lora, I love you." Now normally this would be an "Awwww, how sweet," but you have to realize that Ian talks in his sleep so I know that he is not consciously expressing love--it is just his dreams talking.

Well the other night, I closed my book as usually, climbed under the sheets and snuggled up to Ian. He very clearly says, "I love you, Lora...almost as much as not doing the dishes." I was laughing so hard that it woke him up and I told him what he said. His reply? "It totally made sense in my head a few seconds ago and it was a compliment!" I guess I have asked him to do the dishes too often around here.

I love sleep-talking!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Baby names...Drum roll, please!

As mentioned in my previous post, we are deciding upon two names. Let me preface a little bit. We need a name to go with Niev so it can't be Jill or Megan. Ian and I still really like original, unique names, but hopefully not weird names. We really like the names Rowan and Ainsley (not sure on the spelling yet), but we don't like how they fit together (first and middle) especially with Strawn as a last name. We are still bouncing both names around and will hopefully come up with some middle names before the baby comes in December. We are very excited about our little girl.

Niev is a little dare devil lately. She has found that she can really scare Daddy by jumping from the coffee table to the couch and finds this hilarious. We are both enjoying the stage that she is in right now. She is a crack-up! Life is good!