Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dads are great

Dads are great. They provide balance in the family unit.

Moms: safety
Dads: reckless fun

Moms: moderation
Dads: excess

Moms: rules
Dads: breaking or bending rules

You get the point. I know first handed that Dads are great...because I have a great Dad. I can vividly remember many Friday or/and Saturday evenings when my sisters and I would snuggle up to Dad, stick our lips out, give our best puppy dog eyes and ask "Daddy, can we please get some Dairy Queen? (or TCBY, before they sucked). Please Daddy. And 9 times out of 10 we were in the car on the way.

Dads always give you an extra $5 or $10 spending money and don't mind picking up a round of drinks in celebration...well in celebration of anything! Maybe it's a father/daughter thing but Dads always seem to go a little farther, do a little more when there daughter is concerned.

I witnessed this first hand tonight during bath time. I did the dishes, Phillip gave Sophie a bath. About midway through bath time, he hollars "Why do bubbles always get bigger the longer they sit?" It isn't that they get bigger the longer you leave them but the more you agitate them. Sophie was in a pool of luxurious bubbles. Smothered by thousands of tiny bubbles and loving every minute of it. I picked up the bottle of bubbles and laughed- it is nearly 3/4 empty and last night when I poured the bubble bath the bottle was about 1/4 empty. "Well, it didn't seem like they were doing anything."

And that is just one reason Dads are great...the indulge their little princesses in luxurious bubble baths.




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Follow up to Night Night

"Good, you've pinpointed it. Step two is washing it out."-Tommy Boy

Well we don't have to wash it out but we do need to figure out the solution to the problem. I think the issue with Sophie not wanting to go night night is that she doesn't want to go to sleep in her bed. While gathering up her items for sleep tonight she was laying on our bed and said "night night" like she meant it. I then picked her up and she fought me to get out of my arms. The crying and screaming started immediately on the walk across the hall to her room.

We haven't really ever been co-sleepers. When she was an infant she had only slept with us occasionally and that was usually in the middle of the night when she would NOT go back to sleep. Lately when she has seemed to wake in the middle of the night particularly distressed I let her snuggle with us but she never falls back asleep and just plays with my nose and mouth so I eventually put her back in her bed.

I guess wanting to go night night in our bed is just so she can be with us. But I need my beauty sleep so that's not going to happen if sleeping in our bed becomes a new habit. I wonder if it's time to upgrade to a big girl bed so she feels the same level of comfort she has in our bed? Hmmm What do you think the solution is?

Diaper Stations

This doesn't really fit into to any specific theme or chronological, timely post but I've been thinking about it a lot lately as we have had a few weekends away from home from Thanksgiving until now-I want to talk about diaper stations.

Changing a baby/toddler while traveling can be a bit of a hassle. First you have all the stuff-diapers, changing pad, wipes, fresh clothes if there was a leak, diaper bag, etc. Plus you may or may not have a child who can stand up while you are preparing everything or heaven forbid-you have to use the restroom yourself! On most car trips Phillip takes care of the dog and I take care of the diaper changing. A "rest stop" takes fifteen minutes to an hour depending on if we are stopping for gas and food too.

What frustrates me is when we do stop and a) the bathroom is disgusting, b) there is no "changing station"c) both. So it is my new found passion to report out to you on different places we stop and rate the facilities. For now, I'd like to share two local places that get a "Clean Diaper Award"!

1) Wegman's grocery store, Lake Manassas. They have TWO Family restrooms. One is an independent room the other is a separate room in the main ladies room. (I guess I should ask the husband if the men's room has a separate stall for changing diapers.) The family restroom is large and has all the necessary equipment. A changing station, a seat for a toddler while you are using the facilities, a large sink, and a step stool for the wee tots. It is ALWAYS clean, has soap and hand sanitizer.

2) Clydes of Reston-This surprised me. I entered the ladies room and was surprised to find a special stall just for changing a diaper-I have been to Clyde's many times before I had Sophie and obviously needed to use the bathroom but never noticed this special stall. The stall is longer than most, has a metal counter with a sink. Small space but better than a changing station in the main part of the restroom. The toilet and counter were close enough you could probably keep your kiddo on the counter while you did your business.

I know we will be doing some roadtripping in the future and I look forward to reporting out on my findings of where to stop and where to avoid at all costs! I will simply tag all of these posts as Diaper Stations for easy reference in the future.

Let me know if you have a place to add to the list!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Night Night

Night night is a new favorite game for Sophie to play...at all hours of the day. Get her up from her nap and she says night night, slams her head against her mattress before I even have a chance to get her out of the crib. While changing the sheets on our bed- she will grab our pillows and go night night in the warm downy soft pile of bedding on the floor. If only actual night night was this easy.

Sophie's first few months on this earth were not easy. She supposedly had "her days and nights confused" whatever-she was an infant- don't they all do that? She started out rough but somewhere around six or seven months she was sleeping through the night and it was bliss. 13, 14, 15 hours at a time. A new mother's dream. For about the first 9 months of her life she would head off to the land of nod after breastfeeding or a bottle, nestled on one of our chests while we rocked her and her lullaby soundtrack gently played on iTunes. Sure it wasn't always bliss but looking back it seemed pretty easy. For a while between her first birthday and 18mos. she would nearly jump out of my arms and into the crib! She wouldn't make a peep and to me it was MAGIC.

Now I approach night night with anticipation and trepidation. On a regular day I don't get to see my lovebug before I head out for the Battle of the Beltway at 6:00 a.m. When Sophie and Phillip arrive home in the evening we have a little play time, dinner, bath, books, and bed. I have to squeeze all that into a three hour stretch: 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. That leaves 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. for "me" time. It's not easy, but it's what we do.

Sophie's bedtime used to be 7-7:30 p.m. but due to the aforementioned schedule that just wasn't working out and wasn't enough family time. So we've pushed the bedtime to 8:00 p.m. -remember I only get about an hour of downtime a day! For about the past two months on a pretty consistent basis when we put Sophie to bed she SCREAMS! Crying, tears, kicking, and screaming. It breaks my heart every time. I'm being a bit selfish in that 8:00 p.m. is MY time and she is intruding on it by screaming and crying. I often just wait outside her door and listen and pray and sometimes cry myself that she will stop quickly. Sometimes she only cries and doesn't scream but it still doesn't make it that much better.

I don't know what to do. It upsets me and frustrates me. I have taken to giving her a quick hug and kiss and I love you and leaving the room abruptly because I want to get over the screaming part as quickly as possible. Tonight she went to bed at 8:17 p.m. and screamed and cried until 8:24 p.m. That doesn't seem like a long time but when all you can hear is screaming a crying it seems like an eternity.

We do the routine thing. Dinner, usually straight to the tub, play in the tub, jammies, brush teeth, read or play quietly and then 8:00 p.m or a bit later bed time. We both hug and kiss her and wind up her musical bear and lights out...and then the screaming.

I don't know what else to do. I sometimes just go to bed then too listening to her across the hall and asking myself what I'm doing wrong.

What is your nightly routine? How well does your toddler go to bed and sleep? Any advice?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love...

Piggybacking on an idea from a blog I follow (it's full of whit, emotion, humor, and strength-a bit hard to read at times but the parents and kids are amazing-very inspirational.) Anyways, she responded to a blog she reads and a post all about "Showing the love." So since it's Valentine's Day I thought I would follow suit and share somethings I love.

Love: The house is 95% clean and all of the laundry is done.

Love: Clean sheets on the bed makes me want to take a nap right now.

Love: I just ate ice cream as my lunch dessert.

Love: The quite of the house as both Sophie and Dolly sleep.

Love: I have another day in my weekend tomorrow.

Love: That I have gotten back to contributing to this blog and finding time for idle web browsing.

What do you love today?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More snow and cabin fever

When we returned from our much needed retreat we came home to more snow than I have seen in at least twenty years. We delayed our return because we knew that the DC/MD/VA area had been blasted with a blizzard and upwards of 20 inches of snow. We were smart to buy supplies such as wood, water, and propane in NC before heading north. During hurricane Frances when we still lived in NC Phillip and I took the power outage as a challenge and testament to our strengh. We boiled water for sponge baths and used the horse wash rack at the barn to do so. We played Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, and Hungry Hungry Hippo by candle light. We cooked meals on the camp stove. It was camping indoors and we loved every minute of it.

Dealing with high wind, lots of snow, and power outages in Boone, NC we were the same way. Huddle up by the fire, pour a glass of wine and thank your lucky stars for your granddad's old WWII military sleeping bag, down, and wool.

We figured this would be the same way. Fire, food, wool and down, and each other. When we pulled up to the driveway we couldn't even attempt to pull in the snow was so high. Phillip jumped out and quickly carved a spot for me to park. Sophie and I got inside and assessed the amount of rotten food due to the power being out for several days. Next chore, build a fire. I was so proud of myself for the blaze I created. We were going to be fine in the 40 degree house until the power came back on. Then Phillip came in and asked "What's that smell?" I thought it was just regular fire smell. Turns out we had a bit of smoke and the fumes from the fire coming right into the house instead of up and out the flue. Crap. I drove over to the church behind our house because we don't get good cell phone reception here - and by this time it had started snowing...again...and it was coming fast and furious. I called my parents to take them up on their offer to stay at a hotel.

Off we went...warm, dry, a place to cook and one cranky baby. I think Sophie was just stressed out from being in the car all day, coming home, packing up and leaving again and being in an unfamiliar place. I wish I would have thought to bring our swim suits but when there is nearly two feet of snow in your yard swimming is a far off thought. The one thing that did keep her happy was a tour of the hotel. We walked every hallway on two floors. To make it more fun for me I decided to take photos of the "tour stops." Sophia's favorite thing was the "choo choo" what we adults call a luggage cart.

Enjoy the slideshow-snow, the tour, Sophie's crazy nappy hair the next morning and more snow!
video

Nana Time

During the first weekend of February my husband and I packed up the car complete with dog and baby and headed south. We had reservations at Butterfly Gap Retreat in Maryville, TN. This getaway was as much for me as it was a 30th birthday present for him. We were originally scheduled to head there in December prior to Christmas but had to postpone due to the 18 inches of snow that fell the day we were supposed to leave. The staff at BGR was excellent and so understanding and simply allowed us to book a different date which was easy since the first week of February was ski week at Phillip's school.

I was nervous we would have to postpone again or outright cancel when we woke up to 6 beautiful inches snow! Phillip got right to work shoveling the driveway so we could escape.

This trip also marked the first time we would leave Sophia alone for more than a few hours. We have both spent a few nights away from home in the past two years but never have both of us been away from her at the same time. All was easy going until we put her down for her nap. I'm sure she could sense something was different about this nap time as we both gave her extra squishes and kisses. I will be the first to admit that it wasn't easy leaving her but our trip was needed and deserved. I knew she was in good hands with Nana and would fare just fine.

There days were filled with watching Sesame Street on tv (a luxury since we don't subscribe to cable service) watching the horses in the neighbor's pasture and at Nana's own barn, feeding Nana's horse, and flipping through the many horse related magazines within arms reach. Sophie indulged in being rocked to sleep
and I'm sure some sweet treats that only Sophie and Nana know about.

Nana reported that she only asked for us a few times and went down for her naps and bedtime flawlessly. She didn't use her binkies except for when it was time to sleep and didn't throw any fits. Of course when we returned home and Sophie wanted to eat a snack every five minutes and I wouldn't let her Nana responded "we didn't do that when you were gone" or when I tried to rock Sophie to sleep and she insisted that she giggle and play with my face Nana again responded "we didn't do that..." The power and magic of a grandmother.

It was great to get away and I think in the end it did everyone good.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Snow Day

Being a Capricorn born in January during the "Blizzard of 1978" (or close enough) I love snow. I love the soft quiet as it falls, the way it dresses up an evergreen, and the feeling of being enveloped by nature. On Saturday we had our second snowfall of the season. The forecasters couldn't seem to determine if we were going to get just a dusting or some actual accumulation. Lucky for me we got about 6 inches of snow. We ended up staying inside most of the day while the snow fell. But what better to do on a snow day then make up fun games to play with your kid. So Sophie and Phillip played Jump Baby-simulating Sophie jumping out of a B-52 bomber. video video

On Sunday we suited Sophie up and headed outside. She had no idea what to do in the snow and was "frozen" in the snow. After a bit of encouragement she bent over to pick up the snow and throw it at dad but she still didn't quite understand it. We are due for more snow tonight and maybe this weekend. We'll see if she is more eager to discover the fun snow brings.