Tag Archives: toddler

Things Can Only Get Better

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I always amaze myself, even if it’s only a few days, in how much I fret and have anxiety over things. Although I do “learn” every time a new event arises that causes said anxiety, I always tell myself “no, this one is DIFFERENT.”

Current example is my daughter moving into a “big girl” bed a couple weeks ago. There’s so much that has gone on in the last couple weeks where I should have written, but it always felt like I didn’t have the energy.

I did post questions about this in a number of different places and got some great advice, but I just didn’t bother to put it here for some reason.

In any case, I thought the “move” would go much easier. My daughter has always been a great sleeper (please don’t hate me other parents) and she was excited about the new bed, but there were SO many change factors that I really wasn’t conscious of how it would affect her.

It started with my husband being sick, but then it was having to continue with the switch as Thanksgiving weekend was the only weekend to really get most of it done. Although I’m glad now it happened, I felt so guilty that my husband was doing it all while sick (painting, moving furniture, etc., etc.) that I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I did what I could as far as running to Home Depot for paint and other items and keeping Jackie busy, but I wanted to do more.

The initial stage was completed and we were happy–but Jackie was not. Why? Well, I didn’t think about this ahead of time, but here were all the factors:

  • Her Dad was sick
  • New bed (we didn’t convert her crib)
  • New room
  • New room looked entirely different due to painting
  • Bed in different place
  • New sheets
  • Room not completely done
  • Most of house in disarray where she couldn’t get to toys
  • Our full bed (her initial “big bed” that she called it) had been taken down
  • Mom anxious

Wow. If I had made this list during this project, I probably could have calmed down. Any normal human being would be a bit challenged by all of that, but then take a kid who only knows her same environment for as long as she’s alive.. well, that would freak anyone out.

The first couple days were hard and she was basically back in the crib, but luckily she liked the bed and the room. It was just hard to get used to. Then I got the brilliant idea to move her stuffed animals in there and some toys like I was going to do anyway. That helped, like 50%. I was happy, but it was still tough. At around day three,  I was able to get her to take a full nap in the crib.. SUCCESS! But the main issue was: when could we get her out of the crib officially and out of our room?

We were sleeping with her in the same room now and I thought this would go on until we had to leave in another week or so. I just didn’t know what to do with all of this regret, sadness and anxiety, but I kept moving forward.

After a couple days, I wrote my mom’s lists, talked to friends, and got some wonderful advice. I felt better and now had some tools to work with. I brought out my trusty “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” book that hadn’t been opened in a year and a half, and that was helpful too, but still not helping the situation 100%.

After talking to my husband, he had the idea to sit in the room with her until she fell asleep. I was VERY leery about this as so many people told me not to do it at all as then they expect you to be in there and you are back at square one. But I let him take the lead on this one, as I was getting somewhere with the naps, but not overnights. It was time to pass the torch.

That night Jackie slept thru the night in her own bed and didn’t get up once! Joe was in there for almost an hour an a half, but he calmed her down and she felt comfortable enough to sleep. But the big question was, would it continue?

We were highly successful on naps, which was great, and continued our own methods for the overnights. Last night, which I believe was night 7, we had success. My husband put her to bed, she only came out once and then she was out.

During all this time, I had also been playing with the length of her naps and activity during the day. At least it was all becoming clearer.

So now, we have a solid plan, her room is almost fully completed, most of the house is liveable and I’m not anxious anymore. As with all of these things “this too shall pass,” but as I’ve been telling everyone.. I get it, but WHEN??

I guess there is no answer to that and for the next big transition I just have to remember that it will pass and we will work it out. I just have to keep my mind in check when it fast forwards weeks and weeks of misery and it hasn’t even happened yet!

For those that are reading this and I’ve reached out to you, THANK YOU for your advice, kind words or just checking in. Although this wasn’t a huge ordeal, it could have been and I’m thankful that I’m not ashamed to ask for help. This is definitely one place where I have grown throughout my years and thankfully it allowed for some great success this week.

Onward and Upward!

Life without our Bird

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This weekend I got a major dose of reality regarding how I feel about my daughter. She’s basically part of my soul now.

I knew I had a major connection with Jax, but it wasn’t until my husband and I had a “staycation” this weekend (thanks to Aunt Babs) that I got to actually FEEL that connection.

I missed her from the minute we dropped her off. She was only to be about 5 minutes away, but two days without her was now feeling like an eternity. Don’t get me wrong.. I’ve had afternoons and probably up to 8 hours away from her, but it was the special times like waking in the morning, naps and putting her to bed that caused me some pain. My heart was heavy with sadness, like when I was in my 20s and broke up with someone. I never thought I would feel that pain again. Although it obviously wasn’t the same context, it definitely was the same pain.

My husband and I had fun hanging out, celebrating his birthday and sleeping in, but honestly, I was waking up at the same time those two mornings and just going back to sleep. The place was quiet and other sounds around the house made me think of her.

This entire expeirnece was one I partially expected, but not at this level. Although I was sad and wondered why I was putting myself thru the stress, I also am so fortunate that I have this type of love in my life–unconditional. And, it was great to reconnect with my husband. It had been over 2 years since we had an entire weekend “alone,” and by today (Sunday), I was actually getting used to our “old life” again 🙂

Picking up Jax, though, was fun and exciting. My heart raced as we drove to go get her. My husband and I were both overflowing with joy. And then to see her, she was excited too wanting to show us all the drawings she did during the weekend and then giving us hugs. She even said “I missed you Mama.” Fairly amazing for an almost 2.5 year old.

I’m glad I had this experience, but wondering what other vacations will be like without her (if we choose to do that) and if it’s even worth the stress. This was such a wild experience as it really took me this long to fully bond with her. I’m not a “baby person” I always say, and although I loved her dearly as she was growing, we had done a few overnights without her and I was just fine. A bit choked up initialy, but nothing like this weekend. I literally lost it the first night and sobbed for a good 15 minutes.

My little Bird is spreading her wings these days. She’s still two, but getting very communicative and independent. It’s cool to watch, but daunting too. I’m wondering if I can keep up with her learning and growth. All I know to do is take her lead and I’ll be fine. I’m just glad that she had a blast with Aunt Babs this weekend and I heard there were no tears. I hope she stays that happy forever.

“Still They Ride” always reminds me of kids and their freedom. I always think of myself riding my bike fast down the road with no care in the world, and as I wrote this, all I could related this song to was Jax.. enjoy.

Down with the Sickness

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So much for blogging daily.

My entire family has been sick for what seems months. Either allergies or just a full blown head cold, I can say, this is getting old.

So of course when I set a new goal to blog daily, BAM, we all get sick. I was doing OK after about 24 hours and thought I kicked it quickly, but this nasty thing grabbed a hold of me Monday and I was in hell. It’s sad to say you’re doing worse off than a toddler. I literally couldn’t get myself out of the house to DRIVE to the park. Oh yes, it was bad.

Luckily after that 24 hours I was much better and thankfully, almost a week out, I’m about 97% there.

On top of all that, Jackie has been showing us a few new things we haven’t expected. For about 4 days now, she doesn’t want to sit down in the bath and cries that she wants out. This is a kid who has been a fish  since birth. We think it’s due to a scrape she had on her knee and that it may have stung a few days ago when she took a bath, but she’s not at the point to tell us.

My husband said that it could be her ears. Since she’s been sick for about 2 months (or really just a runny nose and low grade fever last week), it’s possible that her ears may be a bit clogged, but not infected. She’s not showing any signs that she’s in pain and is generally in good spirits during the day. She even is happy to get ready for the bath, but when we go to put her in, she cries. She’s also been complaining about things being “too loud” lately. She has great hearing but this is a bit over the top.

We think she’s remembering that her knee stung the other day, or if it is the ears, she ‘s afraid to lay back (she floats on her back in the tub) as she’s been putting her head almost all the way down to get her hair wet. I did some research last night and most people say it’s a phase, which I’m really hoping, as she has loved the water so much and it’s been tough to get her out.

I have noticed that there’s a lot of change going on right now with her. Her language exploded yet again in the last couple weeks. She’s really able to let us know what she wants and how she’s feeling (with exception to this issue). She’s trying to do a lot of stuff on her own to show to us and herself that she can do it. So all of this may be just a growth spurt in a number of areas. I just wish it was a bit easier to figure out.

Our two biggest projects that we’ll be taking on very soon, however, is to get rid of the paci and potty training. Both of these have been going on for several months, but nothing hardcore. I stupidly tried to deal with the paci situation the day I was really sick = BAD IDEA. When I wouldn’t give her the paci for nap, she literally cried and screamed for an hour.. ONE HOUR. I couldn’t believe it. This kid definitely is her mother’s daughter. And I have the audio recording to prove it. I realized that this was not going to be an easy task and it’s actually hard for me too. Not becasuae I don’t want to put the “baby phase” behind me, but because I know she’ll suffer a bit. Knowing that life gives us enough to suffer about, why start now? But she’s also acting older than she is and still has a paci to sleep. It just doesn’t make sense.

She’s also not old enough to really say “now let’s give your pacifiers to a baby that really needs them”. She’s not there yet. So it’s really just about going cold turkey. I’ve done research on this as well and most parents say that their kids cried for like 10 minutes and just went to sleep. Yeah, right. I’m trying not to be pessimistic, but it’s hard to hear her plead and cry over something that is really a small thing. But I also know, that this is the time that she really needs to find her own strength to deal with upsets. Although I know we, as parents, are here to protect our children, our main purpose is to teach them the coping skills to lead happy and successful lives. Although this may sound like a small thing, I do find she is addicted to it when she’s upset. And, good news is that we have worked with her and she can calm herself down without it (and we’ve acknowledged her for that), but SHE really needs to get that she did it on her own for it to stick.

The potty training has been going well but we haven’t been full force on that either. I did get some good ideas from her Isis teacher today which gave me some hope (just some other structures to put in place to help all of us), so that will be happening soon. I don’t want to bring on too much all at once as it will all backfire, but all I can say is that I’m learning on the job as well.

I’m just glad she’s happy, fulfilled and having fun. Although sometimes, it is hard to be Two.

Are You Ready for Some Football??!

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Ahhh Football Season. How I love thee.. let’s not count the ways.

Every year at this time, my husband has that gleam in his eye, huge smile about his face.. and the jerseys come out to play. That’s how I know it’s Football Season. Well, actually, I know a bit earlier as he watches the draft in the Summer and runs a Fantasy Football League that starts in August, but I mostly know when there’s the first Thursday game and he’s counting down the days (or minutes) till kick off.

It’s always been a mixed blessing for me. I definitely like my “me” time and this extra time has allowed me to do things I wouldn’t normally do, or basically I don’t have to “ask” to go do whatever it was because he was in front of the TV all day on Sunday watching games. But now, things have changed a bit due to Jax.

For example, last year was interesting. Jax was a newborn and I basically thought I’d be imprisoned here in the condo, forced to watch football on the only TV we have, while waiting to see when she wanted to be fed. It turned out that my DH was more than willing to share time, and in fact, she was  with him upstairs at our neighbors much of the season. (So, yes, people that are anti-TV, my little, baby daughter logged over 100 hours of prime time sacks, but at least Mom got some time to chill out!) Granted she slept a lot of the time, but overall, it was good for everyone.

Fast forward to this year, we now have a full-blown Toddler (yes, the capital T is intentional). She’s still awesome as ever, but now, really doesn’t sleep 20 hours a day. She’s got her naps, but this year will be challenging. Luckily, my DH’s best football buddy is also our upstairs neighbor, so that means she’s there, or she’s sleeping here in our place while he has the monitor upstairs (yup, we have a small place).

In the end, it really says a lot about our partnership and marriage. Rarely do either of us say no to requests and when a “no” does come up, it’s discussed. It still may be a mixed blessing and I’ll continue to get some of my “me” time, such as tonight. Baby is sleeping, DH is upstairs–I get to write a blog. Not that it wouldn’t have happened anyway, but hearing the crickets outside our window on this almost Fall night vs. hearing screaming fans on TV and watching my husband be Jr. Field Ref makes it a much easier environment to write in.

Part of me feels badly by writing all this.. I don’t mean to make my husband look horrible in any way. Football is his passion and I’m glad he has one. I’ve got my own passions (or heavy likes) and 99% of the time I get to do them, even during football season. I am very lucky that I have a man that respects my time and space (seeing that we live in such a small one), so I really can’t complain.

Luckily for him though, the Red Sox season is basically over (don’t even talk to me about that) so sharing the TV after a couple weeks won’t be much of a problem and we won’t have to throw down to determine who will watch what at what time. But like I said: “mixed blessing.” I’ll continue to create “being surprised” at what may come up this season and maybe I’ll have that gleam in my eye and smile on my face sometime this Fall, but unfortunately for my DH, it won’t be about football 🙂 Sorry, honey!