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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There's a new sheriff in town

Naps.

I love them. I try to at least lay down for a little while every day. (No, this does not include the 2 hours I spend on the couch in the morning some days.)

Naps.

Blake hates them. He pulls out all the stops when it comes to nap time. "Mommy rock?", "Change diaper?" "Eww yucky!" (This one is to get me to come into his room to see what is yucky. Usually there's nothing yucky.) Blake used to be so good at just laying down and taking a nap. He would drift happily off to dreamland and would be out for a good 2 hours. Our recent visit to VA has wrecked any hope of those days returning. Now he cries for about 45 minutes until I come in and rock him to sleep. Then he sleeps for about an hour.

And it's killing me. Mean, scary, I'm-going-to-lock-myself-in-the-bathroom-and-turn-the-hair-dryer-on-to- drown-out-the-sound-of-him-screaming mommy is making a daily appearance and I hate it. I try to be upbeat about nap time. I try to just act like he's going to go down easily. But 45 minutes of screaming every day at nap time really wears on a person. And there's no way in you know what that I'm about to let my 26 month old give up the one nap he takes a day. He definitely needs a nap. This is not a case of me just needing a break and forcing him to take a nap.

I've been hesitant to seek any advice for the situation online. I feel like I was always on the computer researching how to solve some sort of issue when Blake was little or trying to find out if he was hitting his milestones. I'm kind of over that 2 years into motherhood. But today I decided to google, "2 year old refuses to nap" and even though the advice was exactly what I thought it was going to be, it was comforting. It's not out of the ordinary for toddlers to refuse to nap. And you just have to be consistent, calm, and firm. (I've been lacking the calm and exhibiting extreme firmness.) 

So, it's going to end. Well, the screaming will continue, but the coddling when it comes to nap time is ending today. I have a plan. It does not involve rocking because that's one way Blake stalls. It will mostly likely involve lots of crying and screaming. But that's no different than what's been going on the past 3 weeks, so I've got to change something.

My hope is that he'll remember with this new routine that nap time is for sleeping and that if he isn't going to do that then he'll have to sit in his crib until nap time is over.

Heaven help us, because if this doesn't work, I may just have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs. Maybe my old neighbor will be able to recommend some... ;)

Monday, May 28, 2012

New game

Blake has reached an age where he's started to pretend. And it's kind of the cutest thing ever. When he plays with his trains he gives a play-by-play of what's happening: "Thomas puffs away", "Thomas push cars", or "Oh no! Crash!" are common phrases in our house these days.

But in the last 2 weeks Blake has started playing a new game. It's called "baby sleeping" and it's a pregnant mother's dream.

baby sleeping

baby awake
Basically the game consists of Blake, who is pretending to be a baby, laying down and being tucked into bed with a blanket. Then he pretends he's asleep. He wiggles around and makes noises, waiting for me to ask if he's awake. When he pops his head up that means he's awake.

Besides watching Blake shut his eyes as hard as he can to feign sleep, the best part of this game is that I get to lay down while we play. And some days laying down is all I want to do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thoughts on pregnancy

After finally coming to terms with Blake's birth and growing tired of putting my life on hold because of where we live, I felt ready for baby #2.

With several symptoms of early pregnancy evident, I went to the drug store to buy a test. I also thought I might as well get some prenatal vitamins while I was there, just in case. As I was walking home from the store I wasn't really sure how I felt about possibly being pregnant. Honestly, it kind of scared me. I thought I was ready, but then thinking about the logistics of raising two kids in Brooklyn suddenly was the last thing I wanted. By the time I got home I had almost convinced myself that I wasn't pregnant. Maybe I wasn't ready.

When I took a pregnancy test to see if I was pregnant with Blake, a positive result showed up immediately. I wondered if the same thing would happen this time. Before taking the test this time around, I suddenly thought, "Don't be disappointed if you aren't pregnant." With that I took the test and got an immediate positive result.

And then I grinned. And that grin turned into a smile.

After telling Evan once he got home (which I did a way better job of this time than the first time), we decided to wait to tell our families until each family could be together.

video

We skyped with our families and watching them try to figure out what Blake had handed Evan in the video was fun and made us even more excited.

And then the nausea hit. Probably for the first 3 weeks after finding out I was pregnant I'd wake up nauseous, eat breakfast, feed Blake, and then lay down on the couch until noon. The thought of moving made made me want to cry. Blake enjoyed watching an inordinate amount of TV during those few weeks. Now any time I lay down on the couch he says, "No nap, Mommy!" Poor kid.

The nausea is slowly getting better, but it's still hanging around. I don't remember being really nauseous every day with Blake, but I think that's because I was so busy getting ready for my first year of teaching. I do remember eating practically all the time in order to avoid the nausea and that's exactly what I have to do this time around. And as fun as that sounds, eating is usually the last thing I want to do these days.

Normal smells bother me and sometimes I gag to think about eating the dinner I just spent an hour preparing. I remember cooking bacon one day and the smell was equivalent to burning flesh in my mind. I love bacon, but I haven't been able to eat it or even think about cooking it since I found out I was pregnant.

Oh and here's something I forgot about: weird dreams. I have very weird, very vivid dreams a few times a week. I recently had a dream that I witnessed a horrendous plane crash. I couldn't look away and I felt like I should go help the people on the plane, but I was too scared to see what their mangled bodies might look like. I woke up from the dream with my heart racing and totally out of breath.

I'm really hoping that the second trimester will come with less nausea, more energy, and fewer scary dreams. All in all I'm really excited to be expecting a baby in November. I have no idea how I'll manage city life with 2 kids. In fact, there's a good chance during those first few weeks postpartum when your hormones are trying to regulate that I'll scour craigslist for a place in the 'burbs and tell Evan we have to get out of here. And then hopefully I'll gain control of my emotions and realize I can do this. I can raise 2 kids here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good times in Virginia

Our recent stint in Virginia was filled with water sprinklers, bounce house visits, playing tickle toes with Grandma and riding the lawn mower with Grandpa.







But perhaps the most exciting thing I did while visiting my family was wean Blake from his pacifier. I told myself that when Blake turned 2 it would be bye bye binky. But his second birthday came and he seemed even more attached to it. And I'll be honest, having the pacifier around to comfort Blake at bedtime was very nice. Secretly I hoped he would lose his pacifier and then I could just explain to him that it was gone. Weaning him seemed almost impossible if I had to throw his pacifiers away and then tell him they were gone. But him losing it and me honestly not knowing where it was made it seem easier in some way. And that's exactly what happened.

Day 2 in Virginia and the bink was gone. We think he may have flushed it down the toilet because we searched high and low for his binky and couldn't find it. At bedtime I took a deep breath and tried to explain to an inconsolable and exhausted Blake that blue bink was gone. He cried as I held him and rubbed his back, but eventually went to sleep. The next day nap time and bedtime were hard without a pacifier, but once he fell asleep, he stayed asleep. A week later I was worried when he'd occasionally say, "blue bink gone!", but he wasn't crying about it anymore and seemed to be able to drift off to dreamland rather easily.

Now we're home from Virginia and we are still binky free! Our problem now is weaning Blake from sleeping with me and going to bed at 10pm like he did when we were in Virginia. I'm sure in a few days he'll be back to his old schedule. In the meantime I'll try to keep from pulling out my hair when he decides to scream at the top of his lungs as he rebels against any form of sleep. You win some, you lose some. But at least there's no more bink!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Family: It's About...

For some people, going home means sitting around with family, laughing about the good old days, reminiscing about what life used to be like before everyone lived so far away. For us, it means reenacting the Hunger Games in our front yard. Yep, there's a flaming arrow, too.

ferocity
courage













family traditions
retrieval party

















Can you spot the arrow?
Flaming arrows will be his legacy.


















Impromptu fire dancing
In all honesty, I rarely do anything related to archery when I see my family. And there is lots of laughing. And reminiscing. And reenacting (just not of books made in to movies).