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Archive for January, 2012

Big changes around here.  Life altering changes…both for the little gal and her parents.  Molly is no longer in a crib.  And Molly no longer has her ga-ga (her paci).

We decided to make these changes right after Christmas.  December 28 to be exact.  And today is January 23.   And we are still fighting her on it.  Here’s a little summary of our journey.

I had the brilliant idea that we should take away Molly’s ga-ga at the same time that we moved her into a big girl bed.  I thought we could help her see that she’s now a big girl in a big girl bed and big girls don’t use ga-gas.  At first it seemed brilliant…but that was before bedtime.  We also had heard of friends who’d used the strategy of snipping the ends off the pacis instead of just taking them away cold turkey in hopes that it would help wean the child off the paci.  That’s the strategy we chose to employ…for better or for worse.  We sat her down and explained the excitement of the big day.  She seemed cool with it all.  She didn’t even freak out at all when Travis snipped the ends of her precious ga-ga.  Inwardly I was praising my wisdom as a mom…I’d waited until she was ready!  I’d come up with a master plan about ga-ga removal and big girl bed transition and the child understood it!!  This was going to be the smoothest transition yet!

And then it was time for naptime.  She didn’t sleep.  Not a wink.  She screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed.  We heard her sobbing these words, “WHY DADDY CUT MY GA-GA????” It broke my heart.  Poor kid had never known a night without her beloved ga-ga and was having to learn to sleep all over again.  But naptime only lasts a couple of hours and then they get up and life goes on.

But then came bed time.  And it was ugly.  UGLY, I tell you.  The child had become a monster.  She didn’t just sob in her pathetic little sad voice about her grief over her chopped off ga-ga.  She screamed.  Like a big old lion roar of a yell.  “NNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!”  And it wasn’t a sad yell…it was mad.  The girl was furious with us.  She kicked the wall.  She threw her stuffed animals across the room.  She threw any and everything she could get her hands on.  And she just kept on going.  The first night lasted 2 hours.  And then she slept.

This pretty much has continued for the past 31 days.  It’s gotten better.  In retrospect, I’m glad we did both big transitions at once.  At least we didn’t have to get all the way through ga-ga removal only to enter a new level of parenting insanity and transition to the big girl bed.  We just did them both at once.  She really stays in her bed quite well.  That was only a problem for the first few days.  But when faced with the consequences of getting out of bed to announce to us that she was “going to wake up now”, she really hasn’t done it since.  And nap time has gotten so much better.  I was worried that she wasn’t ever going to sleep during the day time again.  And this made me very very very sad.  And tired.  But the naps have returned.  They’re much shortened…going from close to 3 hours to an hour and half tops.  But I can’t complain.  I know there are kids out there that are done napping by 2 and a half.

But bed time.  It’s still nightmarish.  There have been a couple of nights in the last 31 that she’s gone to sleep without crying, but I’m pretty sure the only reason for that was pure exhaustion.  Every other night she’s screamed for up to 2+ hours.  I’d like to say that I feel like it’s getting better because the crying will only be 10 minutes one night, but then we’ll have another 2 hour night and we’re back.

We’ve tried having her take a special toy to bed in place of the ga-ga.  She gets excited to pick it out.  But then that fun ends quickly.  We actually let her have her ga-ga in her bed with her and she clutches it in her hands.  That doesn’t seem to help.  And the thing about it is, I know she can go to sleep on her own.  I KNOW she can. She’s done it for 2 and a half years.  She just hasn’t done it without her ga-ga.  So now that it’s been 31 days, I feel like my little stubborn, strong-willed daughter is making this into a power thing.  Because I’ve caved on many nights just to get her to STOP YELLING, I’ve gone and sat with her until she fell asleep.  Now she wants this every night.  I’ve created a monster!

We’ve also learned another fun fact about our little gal, without the paci in her mouth at night…she talks in her sleep.  But it’s not really talking…she yells.  Loudly.  She screams NO! in a very defiant voice while she’s sleeping.  We’ve run in her room numerous times at night to see what’s wrong only to find that she’s sound asleep and yelling NO! in her dreams.  I think she’s dreaming about ways to challenge me…little stinker.

So…this explains the lack of blog posts.  We’ve just been dealing with our head-strong daughter.  And trying to catch a few winks of sleep between her sleep-yelling sessions.  Parenting…it’s not for the weak.

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Thanks to Pinterest, my Christmas budget was a bit more frugal this year.  Because I think it’s fun to see what other people create, I’m going to share what I’ve created with you!  If you have no interest, just skip this post.  But some of you crafty types like this kind of post, right?

Here we go…

First, Owen made a handprint Christmas tree on a 16×20 canvas for Mimi and Dada.  And Molly made a footprint/handprint reindeer for them with a red thumbprint nose.

Next, the kids and I made a handprint/footprint wreath platter for Nana and Bubba.   Owen’s handprints were in dark green and Molly’s handprints and footprints were in lighter green.  Then I drew the bow and q-tipped the holly berries…and voila!  I had a hard time giving this one up…I may need to make one for myself.

Last, Abbey and I got together and made presents for friends and teachers.  My mom and mother-in-law were also the recipients of these presents.  We made neckwarmers and handwarmers out of flannel material stuffed with rice that we scented with peppermint essential oil.  And we also made sugar body scrubs for the shower.  These were SO easy and I love the way they make your skin feel in the shower!  We made peppermint body scrub, lavender body scrub, and brown sugar spice body scrub.  These gifts were so easy, fun to make, and budget-friendly.

There you go…crafty Christmas 2011.

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christmas!!

It was two weeks ago, but it was great.  Christmas Eve started off with church and then dinner at my parents’ house.  We came back home to get our cookies out for Santa.  We made sure to leave a carrot for Rudolph, and the kids really wanted Santa to have a piece of Jesus’ birthday cake.

On Christmas morning, we woke up at our own house.  The kids were super excited to see what Santa had brought them.  They were excited to see that Santa ate their cookies and cake and that Rudolph gnawed on their carrot.  But they were even more excited to see the presents under the tree.  It was like a hurricane of presents…fast and furious.  And with crazy bedhead.

My parents and brother came over for Christmas breakfast and then we all headed to church.  Afterwards it was time for Christmas at Mimi and Dada’s house.  Here’s a family shot pre-presents:

After attempting to let everyone have a turn opening presents, we opted to let the kids go crazy and the adults would open presents during naptime.  This proved to be much more relaxing for the adults!  This was one year when I didn’t go crazy with picture-taking during present time, but here are a couple of my favorites…

Owen was so proud to give his handprint Christmas tree to Mimi and Dada:

Uncle Nate’s gifts were a big hit.  Molly’s princess tent was probably her favorite gift of Christmas.  She loves to make the adults go in and play with her.

The SWAT team costume and nerf gun Uncle Nate gave Owen were a favorite of his, too.

Christmas with my family was so much fun.  And then the day after Christmas we had Christmas #2!  Jeff, Julie, and Grandpa Lane drove in that morning bringing a whole lot more presents for the kids.  But the major present was…..

…a trip to Disney World!!!!  They are taking us over Molly’s birthday week in April!  We are so excited.  The kids don’t really know what to expect, but they really loved all their Disney-themed presents!

Christmas was fabulous.  It was the first Christmas in our married life that we stayed in St. Louis and didn’t travel.  It was so relaxing and being in our own home was so special.  But goodbye 2011…hello 2012!!

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