Friday, May 24, 2013

She Screams, you scream, we all scream for.......sleep!

So Leah has decided to change up our usual nap/ bedtime routine.  What we have done in the past is either my husband or myself would lay Leah down in her crib, put a blanket over her and give her another one, kiss her forehead, turn off her light and turn on her sound machine to white noise (alright it's really just static on the radio but same thing).  Then our youngest would drift into slumberville for the night.  Yes, I loved it.  I would say thank you every night for two kids who loved sleep as much as I do and feel sorry for those parents who weren't as lucky as I was.  Joke's on me, I might become one of those parents. These days either my husband or myself lay Leah down in her crib while she screams.  We try to put a blanket on her as she kicks her feet saying "no!".  We try to give her another blanket while she yells "no!".  We try to kiss her on her forehead as she shakes her head back and forth.  We flick off her light and turn on her white noise and close the door as fast as we can before Leah stands up in her crib screaming.  Ok, it's not like that every night, sometimes we can read Goodnight Moon to her while she is calm before she stands up screaming.  It took me the longest time to figure out what my youngest daughter's problem was.  She wasn't teething. She couldn't have been hungry with the amount of food she normally eats.  She had already gone poop.  She had her friends in bed with her.  Sometimes, when I myself wasn't plugging my ears and hoping the neighbours weren't calling the cops on us, I would start to cry.  I didn't know what to do.  I was scared that if I constantly went into her room and calmed her from what ever was scaring her, I would then be starting a bad habit!!!  My daughter would never learn to sleep on her own.  She would always need me to help her fall asleep.  She would never be able to have a normal childhood, one full of sleepovers with friends or family members.  She would never leave home to go to college.  She would never get married, or if she did I would still have to help her fall asleep while her husband tried to sleep himself.  Forget that my husband and I would never be able to go away somewhere, alone, just the two of us.  No one would want to watch Leah if this was how she was before she fell asleep.  There was no way I could start this horrible habit that would never be broken, even though Leah is only 17 months old!
Well, I would go in and check on her, my heart just couldn't take it. And most times I would find her standing up screaming and once she saw me she would calm down.  And during the early, early, not even close to be morning times when she woke up and screamed, I would take her back to bed with me (gasp!) where she would fall asleep.  It was actually my husband, (I think he reads parenting books when I'm not looking because he is the voice of reason), who suggested that maybe Leah is going through some type of separation anxiety.  Impossible since I am with her all, well most of the time.  But she doesn't have all of my attention the time.  Well Dr. Spock (my husband) was on to sometimes since there is something called nighttime separation anxiety ( I will throw in naptime separation anxiety as well).  Sadly, I beleive Leah suffers from that which means I have to go to her pretty much anytime she screams to assure her that everything is ok.  Hopefully the books are correct when they say most kids outgrow this by 2 years....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day

So Mother's Day has come and gone.  A day when mother's all over the world, or maybe just in places that celebrate the day, are suppose to be pampered and spoiled.  A day when all children are suppose to shower their mother's with love, kisses, hugs, presents and be on their best behaviour. A day when the sky is blue, the weather is warm and it's just over all beautiful.  Well, it's suppose to be like that because that's how it is in the movies and movies are suppose to show what real life is always like right?  My mother's day started out well, Grace woke me up early to give me her card which I can tell she actually did spend some time on - her hands were the flowers in a flower pot (she had given me a gift already from school - a pansy in a pot).  She was very excited and proud of her self and I was too.  Then her and her daddy brought in my gift, something that Grace picked out on her own - a Magic Bullet.  So the day started out well, sure I didn't get to sleep in but eh not a big deal.  My husband made breakfast while my daughter's played in my room.  Then the plan was for Grace and I to go to Huntsville- do some shopping and have lunch.  The two of us did it last year and had some fun, I assumed that it would forever be repeated.
So my oldest daughter and I bundled up and headed to Huntsville.  I needed to pick up a swimsuit, and if you saw what I wore last year you would agree with me (no one told me I had been wearing a suit much, much too old for me.  I swear one time I think a 70 year old was wearing the same one as me.)
So after I found a suit that wasn't too old and actually fit me, Grace and I went to the kids section to pick out some shirts for Leah so of course Grace needed some clothes too.  I couldn't turn down my daughter and said ok she could pick out a shirt too.  Of course she picks a shirt on the regular priced table and started to pout when I said no, it costs too much, if you want a shirt it has to come from this table.  A little pouting and then she miraculously found a shirt.  Then she wanted a skirt to go with it and some leggings.  Skirts and leggings were turned down but she did mange to get a pair of shorts from me.  After shopping, we headed over for some lunch.  While we were waiting for our meals, another family came in and Grace started staring at them.  I quietly asked her to stop staring at them to which she replied she couldn't help it.  We switched seats and waited for our food.  When our waitress came over to see if we needed anything I told her, yes, our food please' and as she walked away she said, 'yea we are really busy today'.  Now, I worked in food service before and I know rule number one, the one thing that would soothe most customers over, even if it's not your fault, even if every person in town was in your restaurant eating is you apologize for having to wait.  I get that kitchens get busy but I don't understand servers not being sorry for it.  My mood started to change.  So there Grace and I were waiting for our meals and I started to feel like I was on a first date with my daughter , just making conversation.  When our food finally did arrive we quickly ate it and then started to leave but not before making one last stop in the ladies room where Grace kept touching the tiles even after I told her to stop.  Her ignoring me for the pleasure of touching nasty public tiles was beyond annoying.  We left the restaurant and was greeted, after a week or so of beautiful, hot weather with a snowstorm.  The drive home was nice, because Grace slept but once she awoke she was crabby, complaining about how her water bottle wasn't working right (what?).  Once we arrived home, I told my husband maybe next year I go out alone.
I know Mother's Day is one day and being able to spend it with Grace was the idea, sure it didn't go perfectly and maybe I set myself up for failure because last year was really nice.  I didn't expect a parade, although that would be nice - where us mother's can sit on top of floats and have chocolate and flowers thrown at us.  I guess I just expected my ordinarily behaved daughter to well, behave on that day.  I felt some what alone, especially after checking on Facebook at how many other moms out there were having the perfect mother's day - given they were spending it with adults but still.  It wasn't until I spoke with other moms who said their "special" day wasn't really that special.  Yes, I know I am whining but I like that there is one day where we show gratitude and appreciate to us moms (and next month dads) for all the crap we deal with, all the tantrums, all the poop we clean up. A day to just say thank you, even though it should be said every day but one day where you have to say it is nice too.  And the homemade cards aren't too shabby either.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It happened.....

So, it happened today - I think Leah secretly reads this blog when I'm not looking, but she is finally, finally walking on her own.  Yup, no assistance from mommy either.  Just Leah, putting one foot in front of the other.  It just happened too.  The two of us had come home from volunteering at Grace's school, something we do every Thursday and I lead my youngest into the house and well, she just kept walking.  That's all she did while I got lunch ready and that's all she's been doing since.  Just walking - into all the rooms of the house.  All over the backyard.  In her bare feet, in her sandels.  Wearing a hat, without a hat.  Without her diaper on.  Just walking.  She hasn't figured out how to get up on her own just yet, so there is some knee walking action but I think that won't be around for long.
I should also mention that Leah has also started to get comfortable climbing onto things - couches, picnic tables.
I am biting my tongue against saying, for the moment, I miss the non-walking you.  I'll let my daughter enjoy her new found freedom of walking....where she wants to - for now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Leah turned 17 months the other day, don't worry I will stop counting her age in months pretty soon - as soon as she reaches two years (or 24 months).  Anyway, Leah turned 17 months the other day and she is still walking on her knees!  Yes, my darling baby girl, who talks non stop, can pick up glitter from the floor with her chubby fingers, pretends to read and enjoys lineing toys up is still prefering to walk on her knees.  She doesn't crawl - she's moved past that and prefers to use her knees like they are her feet.  I've read the books, I know it's a confidence thing because she can actually walk on her feet, on her own, without holding onto my finger for dear life.  She teases me with it by walking a few steps on her own every now and then and then it's like she decides the joke is over and she returns to her knee walking.  When she does take her "baby" steps, I cheer her on like she was competing in an olypmic sport but she still choses to cut up her knees instead of using her feet.  I wonder if this is a sign that my daughter will always have a confidence problem, will I constantly have to be cheering her on the sidelines as she builds a tower, or eats on her own, or puts her shoes on, or wipes her bum - Way to go Leah! You wiped your own bum!! Rar rar!!  Oh, please I hope not!
I try not to carry her around and in fact she doens't always want to be carried either.  She's barefoot pretty much all the time now that the warm weather is here or she's in sandles outside because I wouldn't walk either if I had to walk barefoot on gravel.
Sometimes I think she is dragging this next step (no pun intended) on just to mess with me.  Other times I think she is being really nice by giving me a long rest before she starts running and climbing all over the place while yelling "I miss the days when you couldn't walk!!"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Late Night Follies

One of the best things about being a parent is watching your children sleep.  Not necessarily because they are down for the night and you hopefully have a few hours to yourself, or because they are quiet.  But really because of how cute they look.  Have you ever seen a sleeping kid and not have your heart melt a bit?
Well, I love watching my girls sleep, and while it may sound like I am a little crazy, I do check on them before I go to bed and really whenever I wake up during the night.  It calms me.  I make sure they are under their blankets or still on their beds.  I remove Leah's blanket from her face, I give them nighttime kisses.  I wonder what they are dreaming about. Are they re-living the day they just had or inventing a new one?  I especially love it when I just happen to check on them and they start talking or mumbling during their sleep.  Leah has done that a few times only it's not really words she is saying but pretending to have a conversation which leads to even more heart melting.  Sometimes Leah is actually awake and wants to have a conversation with me.
I love watching my girls sleep so you can imagine how much I loathe it when my kids don't sleep during the night.  Not only because I myself don't get any sleep but because if they aren't sleeping, I don't get to part take in my favourite past time- watching them.  This reminds me of the other night.  Leah is now hopefully at the end of teething (just awaiting those molars to poke through) and had a really bad night.  She was hot and just plain miserable.  If you don't remember, teething is a bitch - I hate it and I'm not even getting teeth in.  She just wasn't herself and being a pretty easy going toddler, when she is miserable I feel it's even worse because it's the opposite of who she really is.  So after a cool bath and a bottle, I put my youngest down for hopefully the night.  She was fine.  Gave her some tempra to help with her fever and tooth pain and crossed my fingers.  Right before I myself went to bed, I checked on both girls- sleeping like angels!  Then I myself go to sleep.   Maybe an hour after I passed out, Leah woke me up.  I went in to check on her, she was still a little warm but I changed her diaper anyway.  All seemed ok but an hour after that, Leah was up again.  I calmed her down and prayed that her fever would break soon.  I had left her window open a bit to help keep her cool but she was still upset.  An hour or so after my last visit I was up again, It's around 3am if you are keeping track and not to brag or anything but the days of me being up all night for fun or for feeding have been over for a while.  My body has gotten use to actually sleeping  all night and has been enjoying it.  At my 3AM visit, Leah was really upset.  So, I went in and took her out of her bed.  I offered her a frozen chew toy, which she promptly pushed away and said "no!"  I calmed her down and gave her another dose of tempra.  Once calm, I tell her it's time to sleep and Leah says "ok" (as if she actually understands me).  I crossed my fingers that this is it for the night and quickly calculated that if I went to sleep now, then I would have about four hours of sleep - I might be able to get through the day on four hours.  I checked on Grace who is passed out.  That kid can sleep through anything.
An hour later, Leah is up again.  I lie in bed wondering if I should let her cry or actually go in and see if she is ok.  My guilt kicked in and I went to check on her and find her completely fine once she saw me.  So I went back to bed, tossed the blankets back on me, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out again.  I lay still for a few minutes and hear my daughter start cry/talking, something that sounds like "Elvis is dead".  I wait a couple of minutes.  Now Leah sounds as if her beloved friend Grover is being butchered in front of her.  I go in, expecting to see my daughter sitting up or worse standing up, with her arms out for me, and tears pouring down her face.  No, I find my daughter right where I left her, on her back with a blanket on her.  Her face is dry and she actually feels cooler. I tell her, because I am starting to get delirious with the constant up and down, that this is the last time I am coming in here, "You are fine, it's time to go to sleep".  Leah says "ok".  I tell her I love her, she says something that sounds like I love you too. And I sort of close the door behind me.  I creep into bed because now I am afraid that Leah can sense when my body is actually relaxed before she starts to cry.  I exhale, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out.  I wait.  She gets louder. I tell myself, she is fine.  Her fever has broke (finally!) and she is fine.  She keeps crying.  I wait.  I wonder if I should just grab my pillow and a blanket and sleep on her floor.  She stops crying.  No wait, that was just her taking a breathe.  I wait.  She really stops this time.  I wonder if I should go and check on her.  She gives out a little cry.  No, she's fine.  I eventually pass out and so does Leah. 
The next night, Leah lets me watch her sleep.