February 25, 2015

When Your Toddler is Having Nightmares

I have so many posts that I want to write, but today my mind is foggy from lack of sleep. It's going to be a real awakening (ha) feeling like this again in a couple of weeks! I'm not sure what's going on- if it's due to the lack of the paci or what, but Miss A is having nightmares. :( Every night for the last four or five days, after about an hour of falling asleep, she will wake up screaming, crying, and very upset. She won't go back down unless one of us goes into the room and tucks her back in. Last night was the worst, she was visibly scared and shaking. ;( I'm not sure what is causing these dreams. She refuses to tell us and I wish she would instead of saying she doesn't know. It's so horrible seeing her so upset.

I have a feeling it does have to do with the pacifier, seeing as that was her source of comfort in the middle of the night, and now without it, it is much harder to settle. She has been sleeping with a bear since we took away the paci and that does seem to help. It is so soft and cuddly and she wraps her arms around it to fall asleep. I'm thinking she needs a new nightlight, the one we have isn't very bright and she has asked several times to turn on her lamp, but then can't fall asleep with it on. Any recommendations on a nightlight?? 

I hope your week is treating you better than mine. Yesterday we had another snow day, complete with crafts and cookie baking, and we are expected to get more snow tonight. 

It's starting to feel like I never left Michigan. Ha! I know that's not true, as my friends there have told me how much snow and ice they've had this year, and I've only dealt with it for a week and a half. ;) What can I say, I'm a Florida girl at heart and I can't wait until warmer temperatures! 

February 20, 2015

Five Friday Shares

1. I have a running to-do list hanging on the fridge that I add to every time I think of something I want to accomplish before baby. Which means I have things on there like "finish baby album" and "dust cobwebs." A mixture of nesting, random projects I've put off finishing, and of course, things that actually have to do with baby. If there's one good thing about being cooped up all week due to extreme cold and snow, it's that I've been able to tackle the list. Miss A's baby shower scrapbook is almost done (can you believe it's taken me almost THREE years to finish this?!), I dusted those cobwebs, cleaned behind every kitchen appliance, and ordered a few final things for the nursery.

2. This extreme cold and snow. I feel like I'm back in Michigan. Okay, not really, I know it's much worse up there for my friends who are dealing with temps in the negative with crazy wind chill. Today is the only morning we've seen negative temps...and that's a pretty big deal for this neck of the woods! It was fun watching the snow fall on Monday and Wednesday. Miss A loved it and we went outside multiple times to stand in it and try to catch flakes in our mouths. Ice settled over the snow overnight on Monday, making it impossible to play with the next day. I'm so not a fan of ice. I'll take the snow if I have to, but ice? No thanks. I'm ready for winter to end now, even though we only really experienced winter for a week. I would've died from cabin fever with a toddler if we still lived in Michigan! I don't know how northerner's do it!

3. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen a crazy amount of sweets being pinned to my "baking" and "dessert" board.  I've had a thing for peanut butter most of this pregnancy, especially now that I can't have sweets. We have jars of peanut butter in the house, jars. Because when I ran out a few weeks ago, I stood in the kitchen crying, looking for more. My sweet hubby totally saved the day and went out to buy several jars so this doesn't happen again. :) Total pregnant moment. When I no longer have GD, I'll be baking these peanut butter smore's bars, peanut butter cup cookie bars, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Nursing burns extra calories after all!

4. All that energy I had at the start of the third trimester is waning. I'm 35 weeks now and feeling it! I've been so tired, not a normal "I'm tired", more like why am I so sleepy at 5:00 in the afternoon? Seriously, I could have easily fallen asleep at 5:00 yesterday, my eyes were so heavy. Baby boy is taking all that's left of me, which is good, considering I was doing so well until this point!

5. Question for mama's of two or more- what tips or advice can you give me for preparing your first child for the arrival of a brother or sister? We'll be doing a big sister gift after baby is born and have read lots of books and talk about it all the time. Is there anything else I should do?

Linking up for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday, and Friday Favorites

February 19, 2015

Toddler Transition: Taking Away the Pacifier for Sleep

Our most dreaded toddler transition came upon us last week, when it was time to say goodbye to the pacifier. I've wanted to do this for a long time now, pushing it back to be our last big change before baby. The transition to her big girl bed went smoothly, potty training went well, and now it was time to ditch the paci. I knew this would be the hardest transition for us. Just so you know, Miss A only used her paci for sleep- naps (when they happen) and at night. We stopped using it during the day shortly after eighteen months and she did well with that back then. So, sleep was easy for us, as it meant she could have her beloved soothie, and even if she didn't nap, she'd willingly go into her room because she knew she'd have some time with her paci!

...I wasn't ready to give that up. 

It so happened that the last and final pacifier we had in the house broke. It was obviously a sign...I wasn't about to go buy new ones if we were going to take it away anyway. So, fate decided for us.

The morning I saw that it was broken, I showed her and explained that she couldn't use it anymore. It was no good. I told her she could get a new toy instead. She was excited about that and seemed to understand that it was broken. So she threw it away, and I knew that was waaaay too easy. Later on that morning we went to Target and she picked out a Doc McStuffins toy, a full set of the characters from the show. She's been asking for them for awhile now, so I knew that was a good choice. At home she happily played with them and went to her room willingly for quiet time, asking for the paci, but not getting too upset about it.

Well. Bedtime rolled around and I was pretty nervous. As soon as we went to her room she asked for her pacifier. She was so upset when I reminded her we had thrown it out and said we needed to go find it in the trash can. It was so sad, I felt so terrible, and she cried and cried. I went along with the rest of our bedtime routine, reading her books, tucking her in, and sang some songs to try and calm her down. She didn't want me to leave the room for the longest time. When I finally did, I had to go back in several times because she was so upset. It was hard. I was alone, as hubby had a night shift that day, and I was this.close to throwing in the towel. Texting him was the only way I could communicate with him and he kept saying we had to do it, so I stuck it out until she finally fell asleep, an hour later. She woke up soon after, wailing for her paci, and I had to go back in to soothe her again.

I was expecting multiple wake ups that night, and she did wake up once. She cried and cried; I felt like I was sleep training all over again. Ugh. It was SO hard. Eventually she went back to sleep and woke up very early the next day. Every night since then (I believe we're on night six now), it has gotten easier, but our bedtime routine is longer than what it used to be, and she hates it when we try to leave the room. She sleeps with a teddy bear now that I encouraged her to snuggle and hug to fall asleep, her Minnie light that casts stars on the ceiling, and an assortment of toys, books, and stuffed animals that changes every night. Songs are now a part of our bedtime routine- she asks for four songs, and I'm trying to cut that down, as well as how many books we read. I can't imagine having a bedtime routine this long once her brother is born, especially on any nights I'm alone. Slowly but surely, we will try to cut it down, and hopefully this weird fear that she has when we leave will go away. Last night she fell asleep within ten minutes of me leaving, a huge victory! She's waking up earlier than she used to, 7:00am most mornings, so that is also a change. Not a welcome one, I liked sleeping in till 7:30 or 8:00!

Nap time, which is more like "quiet" time now, is also really hard. Some days she has flat out refused to go to her room. Yesterday she did, and actually fell asleep for 30 minutes, then woke up screaming bloody murder. Waaay to short of a nap, obviously, and she was not happy. Still, I'm doing my best to try to get her into her room for just a few minutes of peace, or at least, just so I can lie down for a minute.

My advice for taking away the pacifier- don't do it during any other transition. I mean, I can't imagine doing more than one big change at any time, it's too stressful for Mom and child alike. Taking things slow always seems to be the best way to do any transition. I'd also say have lots of wine...I wish I could have had a glass or two that first night!!

February 17, 2015

Baby #2 Wishlist

I love reading what other moms have loved or deemed necessary for having a baby. Now that we're getting down to the wire, I'm scrambling to make sure we have everything we need. Soon I'll be picking up diapers, diaper cream, wipes, and other small essentials, just to have them stocked and ready to go. It's crazy thinking about all this- on one hand it feels like we still have so much time, and on the other I'm starting to freak out! I'm 35 weeks today and before we know it, it will be March!

We are fortunate not to need very much; most of our big ticket baby items that we used for Miss A are in great condition. We'll be using her rock and play, with a new appropriate boy cover, her crib, changing table, bouncer, and pack n play. We received many beautiful baby boy outfits at our shower in Miami. Of course, I'm slowly adding to his wardrobe, seeing as it's impossible to resist adorable new baby clothes. He still need socks, some basic newborn onesies, and mittens. His nursery is almost done! I can't wait to show it to you. I'm waiting for the mobile to arrive and looking for the perfect white shelves to display small trinkets and photos. I've wanted to share what we wished for this time around, a few new "essentials" for our baby boy.

Baby #2 Wishlist

1. The first is the highly rated Mamaroo. I was able to find it through a buy/sell Facebook group in my area for a great price. I'm hopeful this will help in those early months with sleep. It has five different settings, various music options, including one that sounds like the womb! I wish I had it for Miss A when she was a baby, we used an older swing gifted to us, which doesn't have a buckle anymore, so I figured we would benefit with a replacement. I love it and I hope baby boy does too!

2, These mittens are beloved by many bloggers and by reviewers on Amazon. I remember having to constantly put on Miss A's mittens, they were always falling off. Maybe these will live up to the hype and stay on!

3. An Aden by Aden Anais swaddle. I'm a fan of their blankets, some of my favorite baby blankets of Miss A's are by them and we have several new ones waiting to be used. I was not aware they also made swaddles. We used velcro ones with Miss A which made swaddling so easy. Of course all of hers were in pink, so we needed some new ones!

4. A nursing bra. All my previous nursing bras are from Target. While they did the job, they are certainly not great quality and the cups were in bad shape by the time I was done nursing. I'd love some new bras, and this one from Cake has amazing reviews. The only thing I'm not loving..the $50 price tag. :/

5. Can you believe we did not have a Sophie for Miss A? She was never into teethers to begin with, so I didn't look around much for something to give her. I'd like to have one for her brother just to see what all the fuss is about!

6. Another item beloved by many are these washable nursing pads. I used disposable ones last time and they were great, however I'd love to save some money by not having to buy several boxes. I love that these are washable and from what I've heard hold up well after being in the washing machine. They're cute too, and colorful!

So there you have it. A few of my wishes. If there's anything you've absolutely loved and found essential for baby (or for YOU postpartum), please share! I love learning about new baby items, there's so much out there, it's impossible to know about it all!

February 16, 2015

Weekend Review- My Sweet Valentine, Occupy the Toddler, and FreezerMeals

That's a long title for a post- pretty much explains it all. A crappy weekend in terms of family time; I saw my husband for about a total of three hours this weekend. He was on nights and worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Ugh. I loathe night shifts. Loathe them.

So it wasn't Valentine's Day for us, we'll be celebrating later in the month. A scheduled date night, yay! He's been so exhausted, night shifts really take a toll, not just physically, but mentally too. I had dinner ready for him by 4:30, he'd eat, we'd chat and catch up on the important things, and off he went. I was definitely feeling down on Saturday, missing him and wishing we were spending the day together and that I could make us something special that night to celebrate. But then, I got this email from him at work:

My sweet wife,

It's been 13 (or maybe 14?) years since you first called me to tell me that you loved me, and each year has been better than the last. We've had countless adventures, experienced immeasurable joy, and have grown into two halves of one whole. You are part of me, as much as anything possibly could be, the same as my arms or legs, as my beating heart or annoying intestines. We are inseparable, and I could never imagine my life any other way.

In these last 13 (I think it may be 15 actually) years, we've carved out our own path through life, one that requires nothing except being together. We've traveled through the country, lived in teeny tiny apartments and beautiful houses, and every place has felt like home as long as we were with each other. We've learned about the world together. We discovered who we were, in the process growing ever closer, realizing what we always knew: that nothing could ever come between us. We created a gorgeous, perfect little girl, a reflection of her mother, the strongest and most compassionate woman I've ever known. She will grow up looking at you as I do, with love and admiration. She will aspire to be like you, and I have no doubt that you will be her hero. No one else is more deserving of the title.

My sweety. You will always be my number one priority in life, long after we are both wrinkly and smelly. I will always hold your hand. I will always buy you peanut butter late at night. I will always give you foot rubs, even when your feet are gross. I will watch girly movies with you, and have dance parties in the kitchen, and be your little spoon. I will think of you, constantly. I will save dumb videos on reddit for weeks on end, waiting for the opportunity to show them to you. I will see your amazing qualities every time I look into the eyes of our daughter. I will kiss you, and hug you, and cuddle you, and tell you how beautiful you are when you're wearing fat pants and a cookie shirt. I will sometimes let you down, and I will often annoy you (like really often), but I will never do it intentionally, and I will always do my best to continue to be the person that I know you deserve.

Our story is still in its infancy. We have a long life ahead of us, years that will be full of love, and I couldn't be luckier to get to share it with you. Our adventures are just beginning.

And I was dying. Tears streaming down my face. So not something to read while pregnant! I loved it so much. In case you're wondering- we've been together for 13 years, but he has the tendency to exaggerate, about A LOT of things, and fat pants are definitely yoga/pajama pants, that he makes fun of me wearing all the time. He summed up our life so perfectly, from where we've been to where we will go.

Okay. No more sappy talk. I hope you had a better Valentine's Day! I love making a fun breakfast for holidays, so of course I made heart shaped pancakes for Miss A, complete with hot pink sprinkles, and set out a Valentine activity book to color (which I found here) and a Valentine bingo sheet (found here). I may have stolen a bite or two. ;)

 The rest of the day didn't go exactly as planned, but I did manage to make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough for the freezer. I really want to try and make several meals (and treats) to get us through the days after our families leave. First and foremost- chocolate chip cookies, right? I'm sure I'll need them for those middle of the night feedings. 

I also had to get creative with how to entertain Miss A. She was really demanding of my attention so I gave her a bag of dried beans and pasta to "cook" with. That kept her occupied for a long while.

I cleaned out the freezer, tossed out old and expired food, and cleared a shelf for freezer meals. I'm hoping to make the following meals:

Meat Lasagna
Pancakes, waffles, muffins

We made the cinnamon rolls yesterday after making a trip to the store for what we'll need. I bought aluminum pans with lids for freezing. I plan to make one meal at a time, making a double batch- one to eat that night, and one for the freezer. Do you have any experience with freezer cooking- any tips or recipes to share? I'd love some more ideas that are not pasta or casseroles! 

excuse her crazy hair, it was full of static ALL day!

Other things we did this weekend included making heart shaped pasta necklaces, watching Cinderella on repeat, embracing my nesting instincts to clean (cobwebs and every nook and cranny of the kitchen), and breaking Miss A out of the pacifier at night. That, my friends, is a post for another day. 

Here's to a good week- with possible snow in our forecast tonight!