Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Co-sleeping

There's a whole parenting "argument" out there nowadays. On crib-sleeping vs. co-sleeping. Before Henry was born I was 100% on the crib-sleeping side of things.
After Henry was born? I slowly changed my opinion.

There are three standard qualities of babies in my opinion:
Good vs Not Good Eater
Good vs Not Good Sleeper
Good vs Not Good Temperament

If you only have one child and they fall into the Good category for all three... Just stop now. Because you have a miracle child on your hands.

If you have a child that falls into the Not Good category for all three, well my prayers are with you and you are a saint. Because I would lose my mind.

But I figure most people get two out of three Goods. Henry happens to fall into the Not Good Sleeper group. At least not Good in his crib. Everywhere else, we're golden.

I could count on one hand the number of nights in his first year where he slept more than 8 consecutive hours. In fact I remember the first time he did. We had just watched Limitless, and I pretty much felt like the main character when I woke up the next morning. I was Wonder Woman that day. That's what 8 hours will do to you have months of sleeping in 2-4 hour increments.

I tried the cry-it-out method, but honestly anything over 8 minutes just breaks my heart. So as soon as I deemed Henry old enough to be "un-squishable" I ended up throwing him in bed with us when he cried in the middle of the night. Or at 5 in the morning. Because I just can't get up that early.

I know co-sleeping can be unsafe. But at 2 AM I just didn't have the drive (or heart) to wrestle my 1.5 year old into bed. In our bed? He sleeps until 7:30 or 8. In his crib? He cried until you came and got him.
Until recently. A couple of months ago, he didn't mind being in his crib by himself after he woke up, as long as it wasn't in the middle of the night. I could here him talking to himself in the mornings for fifteen minutes or so before his squawks of "Mom" and "Up" required my attention. While its all baby babble I imagine him to be saying...

Good morning self. 

When I have a better grasp on language I'm going to have to ask what this dreaming business is all about. 

I'm going to avoid head-butting Mom today. She didn't seem to like that yesterday. Or maybe I'll try one more time just to make sure she doesn't like it.

Etc.

And then miraculously in the last few weeks, Henry doesn't mind being in his crib before he falls asleep. In the past I had just read him a couple of books until he passed out, which usually never took long. Then I quietly backed out of his room like a ninja (on rare occasion stepping on a loud toy, and re-starting the bedtime process.)

It's like all of a sudden, he likes being in his crib. I can say "Okay, love you see you after nap." And he just smiles and waves bye-bye.

But really it's been like HALLELUJAH. We must be doing something right. Maybe once a week he wakes up in the middle of the night, and I go get him and put him in bed with us, but mostly he sleeps 9-7 or later with a 2-3 hour nap during the day.

My point? There's no right or wrong way to do your parenting, as long as your heart is in the right place. On paper one thing may look like the safest, most practical option. But in practice? Things are totally different. Would it be the end of the world to have a 5 year old in my bed a few nights a month? No. And totally worth it to me to have those precious extra hours of sleep now.

What's your opinion on co-sleeping vs crib-sleeping? What worked for you?

Sidenote: Sometimes when I write posts on parenting, and parenting-topics I have to laugh. Since when am I a parent? And a good-enough one that I think I can give people advice? Especially when Henry does things like this.



Apologies for when I forget to video in landscape :)


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Missing: Mama's Boy

So, I want to start this post off by saying that today my husband dressed himself and Henry to match. With no prompting from myself. Which I thought was ridiculously adorable. This fact has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but I just thought it worth noting.

No, this post is about... you guessed it. Henry. Particularly on his current "stage." At least I'm hoping it's a stage.

You see, he just seems to want nothing to do with me. Which pretty much breaks my heart because all I want is Henry hugs and kisses.

A couple of weeks ago I left Henry with my parents while I went to Nashville for a few days to work. "Can I have a hug?" I asked before I left. Head shake no. Okay, well then I'm just going to have to force you into a hug, because it is more for me than it is for you. He waved bye-bye as I left, which is great because it means he's independent, and loves my parents. But my heart totally broke a little bit.

Then yesterday I got back from a 5 day trip out west. I was so excited to see my little nugget Henry who got to spend these days with Grammy and his Daddy, as Grammy came to our house for this one. Hiiiiiiii Henry!!! I missed you!!! Can I have a hug???

That's you in my belly, Henry. I brought you into this world, kid.
This time there was an audible no, to go along with his head shake. At least the kid knows what he wants. You could tell my mom felt a little bad because she's all "come on Henry give your mommy a hug." As he buries herself inter her neck to avoid me.

When Grammy's not around, Daddy is Henry's clear favorite. Can Mommy hold you? No. If I ask for a "smoochie" he runs and gives one to Daddy instead. Little heartbreaker.

Mark's parenting advice: Why don't you give him a cookie? He really likes cookies.

You should write a book, hunnie.

At playgroup, Henry wants every other mom to hold him. Which they totally love, but come on kid, I'm your Mommy!!

Basically I just want to say that I totally wasn't expecting this stage until Henry was a rebellious young man in high school. You know, 15 YEARS from now. So, am I alone? Will my sweet little mama's boy come back to me?

Because if not, I'm going to have to work on a replacement. Thats not a threat Henry, I'm just sayin'.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

A few of my favorite things

I turned 27 last week. Which is weird because last I checked I was 18, and so I must have blinked or something, because really... where has the time gone?

I don't know if there is such a thing as an "exciting" birthday after 21. So I just revel in the whole "another year older, another year wiser" mantra. So I'm 27 years wise now.

Basically I know I lot.

Sort of like I know to get ever drop of the chocolate syrup out, you have to fill it a little ways with milk and then shake it up and squeeze into your cup. You're welcome. That's the sort of wisdom that comes with age. Though admittedly, I've had this figured out for a couple decades now. But it's the kind of knowledge that just can't go unshared.

Anyways, I thought I'd ALSO share with you a few of my favorite things, in honor of my birthday. (Full disclosure: anything that links to Amazon runs through my Amazon Associates account. So basically if you buy something I get like five cents. I just figured if I'm going to share with you all of my materialistic secret products, that I might as well get something out of it.)

SukiFace Exfoliate foaming cleanser. This facial cleanser is the bomb. It smells delicious, and cleans and scrubs like the best of them. And it's just my favorite.
There's also a 1 ounce to-go option, if you wanted to just test it before spending $30.



Hot Rollers. I have been a serious, serious fan of hot rollers since I was in college. They are so easy, and once you learn how to use them, they are quick, too! If you haven't invested in some, you need to. Unless you are a man. Then of course you probably don't need hot rollers. Maybe I'll get fancy sometime and even show you the best hot roller arrangement on your head.


Ring Holders and jewelry storage from Urban Outfitters. I have a pair of little bunnies to hold my rings, but I recently discovered this Unicorn Ring Holder and I just think it's pretty awesome. Especially for $14







Billy Joel: Love Songs I love, love, love Billy Joel and that's why this collection of love songs is currently on my Amazon Wishlist. I expect to move it to my cart soon.




These Trudeau Water Bottles Part of my New Year's Resolution was to drink more water. And I figured I needed a super sweet water bottle to help me achieve my goal. These are totally it.




Chai Latte K Cups I'm the proud new owner of Keurig and I'm so excited (thanks, Mom and Dad!) When I'm not drinking Iced Coffees, these Chai Lattes are pretty good!





The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I'm sort of a nerd at heart. And the Big Bang Theory totally makes me okay with it.  I'm currently into book two of this series and loving it. Here's the shortest book review ever: A humorous science fiction novel, with plenty of imagination.



In addition to Science Fiction literature... I also am hugely obsessed with The Walking Dead comics (the first comics I have ever read in my whole life,) which of course stems from my obsession with the TV series. This is a Compendium of the first 8 volumes, which happens to be exactly how many I've read so far. So you have to catch up.


I think that concludes my very assorted list of favorite things for now. I think I'll do something like this every once in a while. What are you loving at the moment?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Will you be my Valentine?

Photo Credit: Full Bloom Photography, Valentine's edits: Moi.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dear Me

This post is part of 20in13. For more information or to participate, check out this post. It's a lot of fun, so you should join me!

10 Things You Would Tell Your 16-year Old Self if You Could.
  1. Pay better attention when Mom's in the kitchen. She's a really good cook and you could learn a thing or two. You may as well just follow her around for a week and learn all of her secrets. Because for the rest of your life you will be constantly calling her for help.
  2. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but your Dad really is trying to help keep you on the right path. He may seem like the bad guy now, but in just a few years you are going to have a great relationship, and I'm pretty sure you're just taking some years off his life at this point. So just listen to him, okay?  Also he totally knows when you are lying. Just a heads up. If nothing else find comfort in the fact that you are just making the path for Ian and David a little easier. Superhero big sister.
  3. Speaking of your little brothers. Hang out with them a little more often. You are only going to live with them a couple more years, and then it really is hard to find the time to all be together.
  4. Take a good guy friend (or girl friend!) with you to your Senior Prom. You'll probably have more fun.
  5. Just keep swimming. I know its difficult now being a big fish in a small pond, but someday it will be the other way around and hanging in there is just going to make you better in college.
  6. Don't stress so much about schoolwork. Is it important? Absolutely. But its okay to struggle with the tough stuff. Spoiler alert: you graduate with a 4.0, so just keep that in the back of your mind.
  7. Respect yourself and your body. Make healthy choices. You only get one you.
  8. Wear your seatbelt always. I know for some reason you never made it a habit. Someday you will, but better to start now.
  9. Figure out who your forever friends are now and work on those relationships. There are just a handful of people who you are still really close with, but they are totally keepers.
  10. Enjoy the journey. I know how much you can't wait for the future to hurry up and get here, how you're always looking to the next thing. Another spoiler? In ten years you are exactly where you want to be with a beautiful family and it's just pretty perfect. But, I want you to enjoy all the fun little things along the way. It's cliche, but it really does go by so fast, so stop and appreciate your life every now and then.
#20in13
20 Things You Should Know About Me.
  1. 10 things you would tell your 16-year old self if you could.
  2. Describe your relationship with your significant other. No one in your life? Describe your dream companion.
  3. 20 random things about you. Include a few things no one knows.
  4. What is your dream job? Why? If you're not already there, do you plan on getting there? How?
  5. A Genie dropped by. You get three wishes. What are they?
  6. What's in a name? Where did your name come from? Your children's (if applicable?)
  7. We're going old school. Write an autobiographical haiku. Hint: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.
  8. List 10 people who have inspired you. How? Why?
  9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years. 10? 20?
  10. What popular notion does the world have wrong? Explain.
  11. Describe a typical day in your current life.
  12. 5 teachers that influenced you growing up. How? Have you told them of their influence?
  13. What is your favorite part of your body and why? Favorite part of your personality and why?
  14. You're throwing a dinner party. You can invite 3 people living or dead. Who's invited? Why?
  15. Describe when you knew your significant other was the one. And/or how you fell in love.
  16. What are you pet peeves?
  17. How did you feel the moment you became a parent? Not a parent? What do you expect?
  18. What has been your favorite trip, or travel destination?
  19. Do you have any interesting stories about your ancestors? What are they? 
  20. What do you want to be remembered for?
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

20in13

Here's the deal. I've seen a lot of journaling ideas on Pinterest (are you following me?) lately. Topics to journal, and then share with your spouse. Or topics to journal now and share with your children when they are older. And I thought to myself... why not create a list of topics and blog them. My husband can read them, my children can someday, and you can join in the excitement, too!

Feel free to steal this icon. It's all yours. Just give credit, where credit is due! 

If you have a blog please feel free to play along! The more the merrier. Tweet your posts with #20in13 because I definitely want to know what you have to say! And for you at home watching (i.e. blogless) why not start a journal with the topics? OR this is a great way to start if you've always wanted to be part of the blog world... it really is a lovely place!  It'll be great to share with your spouse now, new friends (what great conversation starters) or you children when they are older.

The only rule is our deadline is this year. 2013. (Get it? 20in13?)

Here we go. 20in13 Topics.
Don't like one? Skip it. Want to see something on the list next year? Tell me!

#20in13
20 Things You Should Know About Me.


  1. 10 things you would tell your 16-year old self if you could.
  2. Describe your relationship with your significant other. No one in your life? Describe your dream companion.
  3. 20 random things about you. Include a few things no one knows.
  4. What is your dream job? Why? If you're not already there, do you plan on getting there? How?
  5. A Genie dropped by. You get three wishes. What are they?
  6. What's in a name? Where did your name come from? Your children's (if applicable?)
  7. We're going old school. Write an autobiographical haiku. Hint: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.
  8. List 10 people who have inspired you. How? Why?
  9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years. 10? 20?
  10. What popular notion does the world have wrong? Explain.
  11. Describe a typical day in your current life.
  12. 5 teachers that influenced you growing up. How? Have you told them of their influence?
  13. What is your favorite part of your body and why? Favorite part of your personality and why?
  14. You're throwing a dinner party. You can invite 3 people living or dead. Who's invited? Why?
  15. Describe when you knew your significant other was the one. And/or how you fell in love.
  16. What are you pet peeves?
  17. How did you feel the moment you became a parent? Not a parent? What do you expect?
  18. What has been your favorite trip, or travel destination?
  19. Do you have any interesting stories about your ancestors? What are they? 
  20. What do you want to be remembered for?
Have fun! Remember to let me know if you blog about any of the above, and I'll create a link up here!


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Monday, February 11, 2013

On Prayers for Blizzards

All the snow here has officially melted. All of a sudden it was a little warmer, and rainy and just like that, the giant snow we received is literally down the drain. I don't know what its like on the East coast, but I'm assuming all the kids who enjoyed a marvelous snow day or three are all back in the classroom.

Which reminded me of the time I prayed for a blizzard and got one. I love reliving stories from my childhood because you still have the same thoughts and feelings you did as a youngster, but with the grown-up perspective to make these things seem silly. Sort of like the time I thought my mom was trying to Poison us (if you haven't already read that one, it's worth it.)

Photo Found: http://es.123rf.com/
I say the same prayer every night. I'm not going to tell you how it goes, because I'm superstitious about it-- I think that if I say it out loud my prayers won't be answered (I even feel a little queasy about sharing this story just because it has to do with my prayers, but I trust you with this information, and I trust God will understand.) But it is ultimately give or take, the exact same prayer I have said every night since I was probably 8. There have been amendments to the prayer over time, as certain people come into my life, but ultimately is remains the same juvenile prayer I've said for nearly 20 years.

When I was young I decided that since there were a lot of people in the world, it was probably very difficult for God to hear every single prayer, every single day. So I chose to believe (and to a certain degree still do) that God just drops an ear in when he can, and does what's within his power to answer your prayers. That's why I say the same thing over and over. It's consistent. If he listens tonight, or tomorrow, next week or next month, God will hear the same sentiments from me.

I also decided at some point that I shouldn't pray for silly things, or those things within my control. Not a new kitten, or a best time, or a good grade. I thought I should save my prayers for the "bigger picture" things, further beyond my control. What can I say? I was wise beyond my years.

So there was this one night I was going to sleep, I'm pretty sure it was a Sunday or Monday and I was probably around ten. I hadn't done one of my homework assignments. I probably could have finished it the next morning on the bus, but who wants to do that? So instead? I broke my rule and added a little "P.S." to my prayer.

Please let us have a snow day tomorrow.

The next thing I know I'm waking up to the chimes of my brothers' excited voices, "Snow day!" "Snow day!" "Snow day!" Apparently God had chosen last night to listen in.

No way! I thought to myself, thinking it was a cruel joke. So I ran to the window.

Ohmigosh. God, please don't be mad. I didn't meant to prayer for something silly.

With that apology, I quickly made myself feel better as any child would: God knows what he's doing. He'd want me to enjoy this. And enjoy it we did.

Snow day was an understatement. What started as a day full of romping in the snow turned quickly into a blizzard. I think we ended getting four or five days off of school, and like any child I was in heaven. At some point there was no power. But with all of my clothes piled on, under blankets in our living room, with the fireplace blazing, roasting hot dogs on sticks, I failed to notice any negatives of this particular situation. Blizzards are awesome.

And just for the record I was definitely doing that homework assignment on the bus on the way to school when it finally did resume.

I'm still pretty sure that Karma owes me for that blizzard. That's what you get when you pray for silly things. I'm fairly certain it will come in the form of a week-long blizzard when I have a bunch of kids myself. Because while blizzards still make me secretly very happy, I'm sure its a different story when you have a house full of hooligans, with no where to run.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'll show you winter

This past week I worked for a couple of days in Nashville. As I made the drive down from Chicago I watched the thermometer go from 25 degrees up to 45.

I pretty much stayed "indoors" in the beautiful Opryland Resort for most of my trip, but I did venture out for a meeting.

It was 65 degrees and sunny. The valet guys were wearing winter coats. I wanted to kick them. If I had brought my suit I'm pretty sure I could have handled laying out. That's what Northern winters will do to you.

And it got me to thinking... isn't it funny how quickly we adjust to weather? The first spring-like day thats 50 degrees and I'm all tank top and flip flops.

But in the summer, the first fall like day of 60 and all of a sudden I'm pulling out my winter coat.

I met one gentleman from Nashville, who told me he loved living there. "It's beautiful, everyone's friendly, and you get all four seasons."

I sort of smiled and nodded but in my head I was sort of like which four seasons are those? Summer, Post-Summer, Halfway to Summer, and Pre-Summer? My cold-blooded heart just can't understand.

Then on my way home I drove through a blizzard. Not as bad as Nemo in the Northeast, but bad none the less. It took me 4 hours to drive what normally takes less than 2. Maybe 8 inches of snow in 3 hours? Very pretty-- but not fun if you had to leave the house.

And I found myself wishing this particular gentleman was with me, so I could show him what "winter" is really supposed to be like. Or I could send him to good old Chardon and let him experience what its like to live in a snow globe (that's how I felt when I lived there, it literally snowed all the time.) But I wouldn't send him straight into Nemo, warm-blooded beings like that need to ease into these things.

This is winter folks*

*Yes, there is probably someone in Alaska, or the Antarctic laughing at me, saying-- "If she thinks she knows winter, she should take a trip here."


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