Sunday, May 30, 2010

Catching Up

My brain is going at a pace that prohibits me from keeping up with it.  It almost hurts.  David and I recently cleaned up the office, turning it into a bit more of a comfortable environment to work in.  Me being sort type A, who is pro “throwing out / giving away what I haven’t used in over a year” – with occasional relapses resulting in clutter – and David, the artist, holding on to nearly everything.  Need I say more? A match made in heaven :-)

In line with the “clean the house frenzy” of a couple of weeks ago, I hosted a multi-family yard sale yesterday. To give you an idea of how much crap I had collected together with my mommy friends: 2 days ago I had to create a path from the door of the office to my desk.  That should explain.  Now here is the awesome cause for which we did this yard sale: our Annual Mom’s Weekend Out.  Last year we left Los Angeles behind us for a weekend in Palm Springs.  Go figure: 10 moms, no hubbies, no kids, 1 house, a pool and BYOB!!  Awesome!!  This year’s destination: Santa Barbara!!  Sweet!!  We’re going to stay at a B&B in the heart of Santa Barbara, which includes breakfast and a daily wine & cheese reception.  The yard sale went okay, we didn’t make as much as I had hoped, mainly due to one of the street signs that had blown off / been ripped off.  BUT, at the end of the morning, we were left with more money than we had started out with, yet I still have 1/2 an office of stuff that I am donating to Goodwill this week.  I want my office back.

Today marks one of the first really warm days in LA.  We’ve had a few, but for some reason this one really feels like the beginning of summer.  I don’t know if that is because it’s Memorial Day weekend, or what the logic is, but it really feels as if summer is starting.  I started cleaning the patio today.  The bar was dirty, the candle holders needed to be washed, the walls of the house needed spraying off, so now, all there is to do is the patio surface (a job in and by itself).  All I say is “some other day”.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, dunno, it greatly depends on when I have time.

‘Time’ is such a difficult concept in my life at the moment.  I was relieved to read that one of my followers is going through a similar thing of “where did the day go?” as she commented to my previous post.  I find myself incredibly busy during the the day, only to ask myself at the end of it “What all did I do?” and often I am not even able to answer that question.  Frustrating!!!  I really don’t waste much time, but most of the time is consumed taking care of the boys, which really doesn’t leave much time for anything else.  I have mentioned it before, but that’s why the afternoon naptime for the kids is so incredibly sacred to me.

That brings me to one of the big challenges that I am faced with these days: Ryder and his sleeping habits.  Oh lordy, where do I start?  I’m incredibly happy that I was able to wean him off the night feedings when he was 8 weeks old.  It went fast and easy, in 2 days they were over and done with.  Wahoo!!  But...we’re not sleeping through the night.  Oh heavens no!!  If only!!!  There are more things involved in order to master that:
  • the pacifier
  • the swaddling blanket
  • falling asleep (Ryder, not me, I have no problems with that)

“To Pacify or Not To Pacify?  That Is The Question”
The paci was oh so handy when Ryder was younger and he loves it.  It soothes him right away.  He has started finding his thumb (Mommy thinks: “Yeah!!”), but is not able to find it consistently.  So, now when the paci falls out, it lands next to him and when he turns his head, it gets stuck between his neck and the mattress, which wakes him up.
Option 1 (The quick-fix): pop the paci back in, but then within an hour we’re back to square 1.  This will get me up between 6-10 times a night and obviously ain’t working so well for Mommy.
Option 2 (the longer fix): pop paci in, rock him into a deep sleep, take paci out and transfer back into his crib.  This way I get up about 2 times a night, but the process takes longer.

LOVE LOVE LOVE swaddling, but I gave life to 2 Houdini’s who did not last long in swaddling blankets.  Ryder is now out with hands and feet, but I still wrap the swaddling blanket around his waist as he likes the snug-fit.  I would like to wean him off that as well, as temps are going up and it might be getting too warm for him.

Falling asleep:
Contrary to Kai, Ryder loves to snuggle and cuddle.  I’ve been rocking him to sleep, merely because we both love it.  I never got to do that with Kai (he still isn’t big on snuggling), so I’m getting that fix through Ryder.  I taught Kai to fall asleep on his own when he was 4-5 months.  It went pretty easy and ever since he has been an amazing sleeper, in every way: I can put him down wide awake, give him a kiss, walk out and he is fine.  Hardly ever a problem, he’s awesome when it comes to falling asleep.  I would like to do the same with Ryder, but I also don’t want to give up the snuggling yet.  See my dilemma?

To anyone who is not a mommy, these things probably don’t mean a thing (I’m surprised you’re still reading at this point), but to other moms this may sound familiar.  These may look like insignificant things that you ‘just do / deal with’, but as a mom who wants to keep her household running as peacefully and happily as possible, these are things that take up a lot of time in our minds trying to figure out.  “When is the right time to do what” and honestly I don’t know.  I have no idea how I am going to go about this, but I trust that I’ll figure it out.  I did with Kai, so I will with Ryder.

Kai is doing well.  Though he is the one experiencing toddler hood first hand, David and I have a first class ticket as VIP passengers on the toddler hood train.  And sometimes it’s a darn bumpy ride, which really makes me want to request a refund.  But then there are also the journeys that are delightfully smooth, so smooth that I am convinced I got an awesome deal!  In other words, he really goes from the devilish (but cute) toddler one day to an angel the other.

At the moment we’re facing the “struggle with the tooth brush”.  To most parents who are facing toddler hood (through their kids that is), or who are just coming out of it, this may sound like a familiar story.  Brushing our teeth is a daily challenge at the moment.  Shaking our head, sucking the tooth paste of the brush, squirming away, throwing fits, you name it, we’ve had it or been through it.  I don’t know if he doesn’t like having his teeth brushed, or if it is just a control issue, but I hate those 2 times a day with a passion.  He’ll happily run into the bathroom when we announce that it is time to brush our teeth, plops down on the toilet seat cover, but then it goes South from there.  We’re still in the process of figuring this one out.

Up until last week, Kai was all about testing limits, being defiant, not listening, in other words, real devil at times.  Having said that, it seems as if over the past few days he has done a complete 180: he’s incredibly loving, wants to help in the kitchen, gives hugs and kisses, and is overall incredibly sweet.  He still tests the “No’s” at times, but overall, he’s really good.  He’ll bring things when I ask him, helps put the laundry in, wants to give the bottle to Ryder, is very concerned about Ryder when he sleeps and wants to constantly check his brother out on the video monitor.  Adorable.

I have to admit, the kid knows what he wants and is very smart in making subtle attempts to get it.  Here’s an example of what happened after dinner the other day:
Kai: “Kai and papa in auto” (‘auto’ is Dutch for ‘car)
David took him to the car, thinking he wanted to sit on daddy’s lap to play with the steering wheel.
Kai: “Kai sit in car seat” [pointing at his seat]
David opened the door and Kai climbed in.
Kai:  “Papa strap Kai in”
David strapped him in.
Kai: “Now, papa sit over there” [pointing at the driver seat]
David got in the driver seat.
Kai: “Now, papa and Kai go to Mak and Nini” (Mike & Nina are his godparents)

This is the alternative to the incessant “Kai go see Mak & Nini” that he sometimes gets obsessed about.  Smart way of trying it differently, I have to admit.  If one way doesn’t work, why not try it differently?

There is so much more going on, but at the moment my brain is fried of thinking about it, and Ryder is (once again) awake.  So...time to do some soothing.  Hopefully I’ll be back a bit more again this week.  New month, new chances.



WonderWomanWannabe said...

Unless you REALLY want to keep using the pacifier, my mom says that if you can live through THREE nights of no paci AT ALL, you will have the habit broke. I haven't attempted this yet, by the way!!!


Renate said...

Send them out for the night. The youngest was using one, but I couldn't let him cry (and still can't). But after 2,5 years they stayed a night at my parents and they are not used with the pacifiers, so they just forgot and he went to sleep with no comments. The next night at home, we didn't give him the pacifier, he asked for it, but we said it was gone and that was that!

So if he still needs it to calm down and get to sleep, why not? I think it's really cruel to let the kid cry and get upset over something he doesn't understand, just because it doesn't fit in our standerds!

Dagmar said...

Norah hates having her teeth brushed as well. I now let her have my toothbrush to brush my teeth and I try to get her toothbrush into her mouth. I know exactly what you mean when you say you dread those 2 times a day. Lets just hope it's a phase they grow out of quickly (probably won't but oh well, it's worth hoping for...).

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