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Too Tired For Words…

November 28th, 2008

… but pictures I can do!

Cooper at the Siesta Key beach on Thanksgiving day…


Kenny with his big cousin Ryan…


The “daughters-in-law” cleaning the carnage from the Thanksgiving feast, and  looking sassy…


Cooper, out to breakfast and holding court…


Kenny, proving that a 65 degree day is still a beach day…


… and Casey and Kenny in the post-family-photo-shoot sunset…


I haven’t had a chance to download the pictures from the first half of our week in San Francisco yet… I’m still recovering and who knows when I’ll even start unpacking.   But we’re home at last!   Happy Thanksgiving!!

Battles Waged, Which War to be Won?

November 17th, 2008

Battle one: to eliminate Kenny’s growing obsession with getting to watch TV every day.   Call?   Victory!   We just completed 11 days of no TV watching, and we celebrated by letting Kenny watch  an episode of Boz while I was busy with Cooper.   Though it took several days of him still begging for a cartoon, the simple answer, “It’s No TV Week!” quelled him and eventually he stopped asking.   Not only that, but he’s been playing 100% better by himself when I’m with Cooper.   He’s back to his imaginary games and looking through picture books and such, and not so much getting into my hair and begging to be entertained.

Battle two: Get Cooper to nap longer than 45 minutes.   Call?   Lost.   Still no napping longer than 30 to 45 minutes, though I have at least moved most of the naps to his bed instead of the swing.   As for letting him go to sleep at naptime on his own, that’s still a failure, too.   Our pediatrician said to let him cry for up to an hour.   So I did, and still no nap.   But I pick him up, jiggle him for a minute and set him in the swing and it’s snooze-ville.   For 45 minutes.

Battle three: Get Cooper back to sleeping through the night.   Call?   So far so good!   I’ve had much better nights since putting him down later (after an evening nap from 8 to 9 or s0, then nursing and putting him down for good at 10), and last night he slept for 10 hours straight.   Yahoo!

Ah, but today was a sleepless one for the Mini Coop.   He took ONE nap (of 45 minutes) and he’s still up.   It’s 8:00 PM now.   Actually, he’s starting to doze on Casey’s chest in front of Monday Night Football.   I’m emotionally wrought, as much of the day was spent listening to him wail and cry… even the jiggles and the swing were no help today.   Hm.   Maybe the 10-hour night was all he needed???   right.

We actually had quite a scare today with Kenny.   We were in the midst of making dinner and Cooper was being such a  pill, I took him upstairs to try again to put him down, and left Kenny downstairs with Casey.   Casey had to take a business call, but Kenny was playing in the room with him, so all was fine.   Until suddenly as I came downstairs and Casey hung up the phone and we both looked at each other and said, “Where’s Kenny?”   We raced through the house, looked outside (Casey had been grilling) and we couldn’t find him or hear him.   Finally, Casey walked into the guest room where our washer and dryer are, and heard a muffled whimper.   Kenny had crawled into the dryer to hide, and managed to shut the door and was stuck.  

Talk about stopping your heart.   He was probably in there no more than three or four minutes, but who knows how long before he would have suffocated??   Casey gave him a huge hug of relief, then a sound spank, which Kenny almost seemed happy to get after his scare.   Then we went over where he is NEVER allowed to hide, and reminded him that when he wants to play hide-and-seek, he needs to make sure that we know he’s hiding.   My heart is still pounding.

And Cooper is wailing again, so off I go…

By the way, my writing will be fairly sporatic over the next two weeks… we are going to California for my grandma’s memorial service, then off to Florida to be with Casey’s family for Thanksgiving.   I don’t know how much computer time I’ll find over the next two weeks, but stay tuned!

But Sometimes You Let Me!

November 10th, 2008

Kenny.   My sweet negotiator.   Relentless in his pursuit of winning his way.

I used to let him watch TV (or more accurately a DVD) three or four times a week for no more than 30 minutes, usually while I made dinner.   Then we had Cooper.   I didn’t increase the  length so much  (ok, sometimes I slipped into the hour-long Sesame Street), but it turned into everyday.   Mostly so I could either shower while Cooper took his morning nap without risking Kenny waking him up, or so I could pump milk in the morning without Kenny staring nose-to-nozzle with the pump on my nipple.   Anyway, it had gotten to the point where every morning, Kenny would ask me when he could watch his show from the moment he got up.   Then keep asking me over and over until the allotted time.   Something like this:

K: When can I watch a show?

Me: You can watch Curious George when I take a shower.

K: When are you taking a shower?

Me: At 7:30, when Curious George is on.

K: Can I watch it?

Me: Yes.

K: Is it 7:30 yet?

Me: No.   I’ll tell you when it’s 7:30.

K: When can I watch a show?

And on it would go over and over until the magic hour arrived.   Finally Friday, I cracked.   I said, “Kenny, you can watch Curious George today, and then I’m unplugging the TV for a week.   No more TV!”   And Lo.   A new state of panic settled in.   “But sometimes you let me!” he said over and over the first day.    But, we have successfully completely day three and there has not only been no permanent scarring, but he has started to play better by himself when I can’t be there with him.   Ah.   The TV just may stay unplugged.

Kenny negotiates on everything.   On naptime, mealtime, bedtime, tv time, what to play, where to go, when to go there, and in what order I put he and Cooper into carseats.   If he asks for a snack and I say ok, the bantering begins.   He starts with chocolate cake and I counter with yogurt.   He counters with Goldfish and I respond with Tricuits.   It’s maddening.

(Actually it’s kind of cute when I think about it later when he’s asleep and not chattering in my ear…)

But seriously, I’m making it a goal this week to be firm and clear and consistent and work to break this pattern of constant negotiation.   To paraphrase Dr. Dobson, I will not negotiate with a three-year-old!!   I will prevail!   I will be in charge!

Now if I could only get Cooper to nap longer than 45 minutes at a stretch, I’d be Super-Mom!

All in the Timing

November 5th, 2008

I don’t know if I mentioned this in all the chaos for our MommyBlog family in the last two months, but Kenny is completely potty trained.   Finally!   I happened in about two days during all the packing madness – I don’t know if he was looking for some positive attention or what, but he just started doing his business in the toilet and wearing “unders” and having no accidents.   In fact, he even started going without telling us throughout the day.   He will occasionally tell me what he’s going to do, but usually announces it after the fact.   Hurray for Kenny!

Ah, but his timing is sometimes cruel.   Possibly on purpose, but hopefully just coincidentally, he ALWAYS has to poop when I’ve just settled in to nurse Cooper.   He can get in there and go by himself, but still needs help to wipe, so he’ll cheerfully announce, “Mommy!   I have to pooooooop!” and scamper off to the bathroom, then return minutes later, bare-assed and adorable, sing-songing, “Wipe me Mama!”  

It gets worse.

I’ve finally gotten Cooper on a decent nap schedule – in the swing in our bathroom (hey – it’s dark and cool and the exhaust fan is the perfect noise-maker).   He’s been taking four 45 minute naps a day all week… I’m hoping to now move him to his bed, now that he’s getting used to going to sleep at certain times.   Anyway, there is only one bathroom on our second floor where our room and Kenny and Coopers rooms are… and it never fails that just as soon as I get Cooper strapped in the swing and off towards slumber, Kenny opens the door and stage-whispers, “Mommy!   I have to pee pee!   I’ll be reeeeeeaaaaaalllllly quiet!”   And he does an exaggerated tip-toe to the pot and carefully aims his willy, then tip toes out.   Hm.   Someone looking for attention??

Today I realized that my reaction has been pretty consistant, as this time Kenny whispered, “Mommy!   I have to pee pee!   I know, I know: I always have to go when Cooper’s in here, but I just really have to!”

(Speaking of realizing that this kid not only hears everything we say, but thinks about it, this morning, Kenny noticed the news on the TV (which is very rarely on in our house during the day).   He looked at me and said, “Mommy, did Obama win?   I thought you said that ‘Cane would!   Oh my goodness, Mama-bama.”)


November 1st, 2008

Ok, so as soon as I wrote about Cooper not being a good napper, but being a great nighttime sleeper, he decided to show off and have TWO totally sleepless nights in a row.

Not entirely his fault, to be fair.   For one, Casey was out of town, which means that Dudley turns psychotically protective and prowls the house all night, checking on his babies compulsively and he woke up Cooper at least twice with his ear shaking and licking.   Then there is Kenny’s three-week-old cough (allergies) that has been keeping all of us up.   He and Cooper share a room, so I finally brought Kenny in with me last night, but at that point I guess the damage was done.   Cooper was up every hour from then on, desperate to nurse, then vomiting all over me.   I think I’ve logged in eight hours of sleep total for the last two nights.     Not so good.

Does this lack of nighttime slumber cause him to nap more?   Of course not.   Three thirty-minute specials was all I got today again.

Now the exhausted  mini creature is sound asleep (at 7:45, darnit), and you’d better believe I’m waking his cute little baby hiney up in a few hours to drink drink drink.     What’s going on with him?   He’s such a charming, sweet, animated baby when he’s happy, and so miserably cranky when he’s not… it’s like living with a mini Jekel and Hyde.

Thanks to all who commented  for the book references.   Ironically, I own nearly all that were suggested, but they are who-knows-where in as yet unpacked boxes in the garage.   Come to think of it, we were going to unpack the books last, so I may have to buy a few extra copies in the mean time…

Ok, here is the question du jour: How do you let a baby “cry it out” at night when they share a room with an older sibling??   I remember getting to the point of letting Kenny cry at night (he slept through the night very early, but had a few months in there where he was waking up constantly), and just turning off the monitor and compulsively checking on him.   But how can I subject Kenny to the torture of Cooper’s wails?   Do we just let Kenny bunk with us until Cooper learns to put himself back to sleep?   Do we bring Cooper back in our room?   Yikes.

Hm, I just realized that Cooper has never had to put himself to sleep.   I always rock him to sleep.   Bad Mommy.   No wonder he needs me in the wee hours to comfort him.   What have I done?   I also need to wean him off the swaddle.   I stopped swaddling him three weeks ago, and that’s when he started waking up at night (for the first time since 6 weeks), so I resumed the swaddle, but now it seems to make no difference.   Hm.   Maybe tonight no swaddle.   But what if he gets cold?   I can’t just put a blanket on him – that’s a baby no-no.   Maybe an extra set of pj’s?

I’m starting to sound insane.   Excuse me while I go eat some cookie dough…




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