Monday, January 31, 2011

Wish Me Luck

It's crazy cold here. OK, I do recognize that's a relative claim, and highs below zero were not unheard of where I grew up, but I think it's the first time it's happened in the eight years I've lived here.

So, anyway, I took the kids outside to run around in the snow for about 20 minutes before lunch, and after that it was too cold to play outside. And preschool's canceled tomorrow, and we'll definitely not be leaving the house. If I can't take the kids outside to play on a given day, I try to at least take them somewhere where they'll see or do interesting things (this, too, is relative, since running errands can qualify). But it looks like neither one will be an option tomorrow. So wish me luck in keeping the kids entertained tomorrow!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Big Move

We did it! We moved Sarah into Nick's room today.

Nick was so excited, and as soon as we had her crib put together, he threw in a pillow and then emptied the stuffed animal shelf into the crib for her. As we were listening to their looong attempt at taking a nap, we could hear him over the monitor saying "Sarah's bed right here! Nick's bed! Sarah's bed! Nick's bed!"

We decided to start with naptime, which was a bit disastrous, but I'd rather have a disastrous naptime than a disastrous bedtime. After almost two hours (and several visits from me and Mr. X to say "No jumping in the beds! Time to lie down!") Sarah conked out, and then Nicholas fell asleep about half an hour later. Ten minutes after that, Sarah woke up, and then I went back and woke Nicholas up twenty minutes later so he wouldn't sleep too late.

But at bedtime, I tucked them both in and walked out of the room at 7:20. Mr. X went back in five minutes later when they both cried, but he was able to reassure them and was only there about a minute. By 7:26 they were both quiet, and I heard one last little whimper from Sarah at 7:34. I can't believe it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making Friends

Why is making friends so hard as an adult? I went to a women's one-day retreat at church today. I was excited to go, but I just hate going alone. I only knew for sure that one newish friend of mine would be there. But--and this is my goofy shyness talking--I knew that she would know a ton of people there and I didn't want to be the clingy, needy friend. It feels like when I was in junior high and got to be friends with a popular girl in art class but then couldn't hang out with her on the playground. (Totally my issue--she's a good friend, but I'm just weird about it!)

So, I walked in, expecting the room to be set up in rows of chairs, but instead there were tables, which just seemed so much more intimidating to me. And most of the tables were full. I was hoping that two women I know a bit from church (they're sisters with kids the same age as mine) would be there, so I looked for them a bit. I didn't see them, so I decided to get a bagel from the breakfast table first to stall before sitting down. I felt like a dork looking around the room, so then I decided to walk through the tables for a minute and look a little more for anyone I knew.

Then the organizer (whom I also know slightly) saw me and said, "Oh, I'll make an announcement for people to raise their hands if there's room at their table." So then I was embarrassed. I said a quick prayer and told myself to just bite the bullet and sit down. The organizer made the announcement, and I saw my friend raise her hand. I decided to stop being stupid about it and just go sit with her. But then I passed the table next to her and there were two women sitting there alone and I felt like maybe it would be rude to walk by them and go sit at my friend's table. Gee, overanalyzing much? So I sat with them. And it was awkward. I got back up and went to get a cup of tea, at which point I saw the two sisters sitting across the room. Argh! So I went back to my awkward table.

And slowly our table filled up. And the talks were good, and during lunch I had a nice conversation with the two women next to me. One of them is new in town and expecting her first baby. We were the only ones who stayed for the Q&A at the end, and I sucked up my courage and told her I'm thinking of getting together with some other moms of young kids (which I am), so we exchanged numbers. And afterward, I talked to my friend and her husband and they invited us to a party they're having. And I found the sisters and chatted with them too. So, overall, it was a great day for me on a lot of fronts. I wish I wasn't so paralyzed by shyness, but I'm trying to be a big girl and force myself to take the first steps. I wish it didn't make me feel like I'm back in the lunch room, stepping out of line with my tray and facing the long rows of tables, hoping to find someone who will eat with me!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Tonight in the bath, Nicholas lined up all his Little People on the side of the tub. Then he took them down, said to me "Pushin' me. Kids. Time out." and put them facedown on the other side of the tub. Hmm. Maybe the discipline is starting to sink in. (Though, for the record, I don't put him facedown when he has a time out. I presume that was the Little-People-in-a-tub version of sitting on a chair.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've Got Nothin'

My mind is a blank! But I said I'd post every day for a month to get back in the habit, and I don't have time to write anything big . . .

Oh! So I took the kids for flu shots yesterday. I took them to a different HMO location than we usually go to (which is also different from our usual NaPro family doctor, who's out of network). It was nuts! I got one, too, and it was kind of hilarious. I went first, and it freaked Sarah out to see me get a shot. Then Nick got the flu mist, which he thought was really weird, and he protested quite a bit and then seemed really surprised and confused once it was done. Sarah went last, and the poor little thing tensed her leg before the shot, and the nurse kept going on about how strong her legs were.

I always get really sore from the shot--my arm seems to hurt forever! But today I also have body aches like the actual flu. I looked up side effects online, and that seems to be a common one (I had to look it up online because they actually didn't give me the literature on it, and I'm one of those people who reads every word of the warnings. I only realized it as I was walking out the door with the kids, and there was no way I was going back in to get it. So, anyway, I'll blame my lack of brainpower today on that and call it a night!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

She Did It!

Hallelujah! Tonight was Night 13 of sleep training, the first night of tucking Sarah in and leaving the room. She did great! For the first time in the whole 13 nights, she was asleep before 8:00--and for the first time ever, we put her to bed and she fell asleep in her crib, by herself! Hooray!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sleepy Post

I had spiritual formation class tonight. Man, it rocks! I finally feel like I understand what people say when they talk about having a personal relationship with God. So, I'm working on it . . . slowly, but (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course) I'm working on it.

At our class last week, we received copies of the personal revelations to Catalina Rivas about the mass (you can find it here if you click the "View PDF" link under The Holy Mass). I've started reading it, but haven't finished yet. It's pretty amazing so far, though.

OK, that's it for tonight!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just in case . . .

Today was Sarah's 18-month check-up. She did really well. She's still in about the 80th percentile for height, which clearly comes from Mr. X, because I'm 5'2". The assistant took her temperature, and when she (the assistant) said "thermometer," Sarah repeated it--not very clearly, but we all understood her. Apparently, she told everyone in the office, because when the PA came in, he had the following conversation with Sarah:

PA: So, I heard you said thermometer!
Sarah: Yeah.
PA: Did you say thermometer?
Sarah: Yeah.
PA: Can you say thermometer?
Sarah: Yeah.
PA: Can you say thermometer again now?
Sarah: Yeah.

And that was all she would say about that.

Tonight, I read Nicholas one of his favorite books, Goodnight Goon, as a bedtime story. It's a parody of Goodnight Moon (we actually sent him that book, along with video and audio recordings of us reading it, in a care package while we were waiting for the adoption to go through) with monsters. Our friends sent Goodnight Goon for Halloween, and it became an instant favorite. And just in case I'm ever feeling vain, I can just pull that book out, because both kids almost always point to Frankenstein's monster and say "Mommy!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Couch is Getting Old

The sleep training is going well, thank God! But I want my bed back! Today, I was folding laundry on the bed (since we're not sleeping in the bed while we do Sarah's sleep training, the bed was actually made for a change!) and first Sarah wanted to sit on my lap and nurse, then Nick wanted to climb up and play, and then Mr. X came in and joined us, so we all lay on the bed for a few minutes. The couch is getting old! I have actually been sleeping on the guest bed the last two nights, because Mr. X has taken the night wakings for the weekend.

But even though I'm a little bit sad about not having Sarah cuddling with me at night, it will be really nice to have our bedroom back again! The plan right now it so finish up the sleep training (right now, whichever of us is putting her to sleep--usually me at naptime and Mr. X at bedtime) is sitting right outside the door, with the door open so she can see us, until she falls asleep. After two more nights of that, we'll start tucking her in and then leaving the room and checking on her every 5 or 10 minutes until she falls asleep. And if that goes well, then after three nights we'll move her crib into Nick's room and reclaim our bedroom! I can't wait!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


We had friends over for dinner tonight. It was the typical scenario. We woke up, figured out shopping lists, got ourselves all stressed out, and spent the morning running all the errands. I got the kids down for their naps, at which point Mr. X got back from his half of the errands. We started in on the cooking, got the kids up from naps and let them watch the new Thomas the Tank Engine DVD we got from the library this morning while we did the panicked cleaning. By the time our friends arrived, the house was not totally embarrassing, the dinner was just about ready, and we were exhausted!

I'm glad we did it, though. It's so nice to get to spend some time with friends. We had a nice time, we've got lots of leftovers in the fridge, and the house will be in much better shape for relaxing tomorrow. Now I'm going to go collapse!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Indispensable Baby Stuff

I've been buying baby shower gifts lately, which has me thinking about what baby items I think are fantastic.

I'm getting everyone I know the DVD of the Happiest Baby on the Block. Oh my goodness, this saved our lives. I never would have thought to turn on the hairdryer to calm a newborn, but it worked! (But not as immediately as the "womb noises" sound tracks on the DVD!)

I've also been buying swaddlers (this was our favorite, though if we're blessed with another baby, I want to try this one and this one, too). We swaddled Sarah for a looong time.

Speaking of swaddling, it was so frustrating to try to swaddle a baby in a standard size receiving blanket! Sarah is tall, but I think it would be hard even with a shorter baby, especially once the baby starts to grow. If we have another, I might just make my own.

We borrowed a swing and a co-sleeper, both of which were great, and I shudder to think what I would have done without a swing. Given that we immediately (well, once she was four weeks old, but close enough!) had a second, older child, having a place where I could put Sarah down and she would be happy for a little while was wonderful, especially since she would only sleep on me or in the swing for quite a while.

Hmm. That's all for now. We just got our first wool diaper cover (my mother-in-law bought it for us), and I'm really curious to see how it works. For now, I've got to sleep. Last night was really windy, which disturbed the kids, and I went in to Sarah three times and Nick twice between 3:15 and 6:00 this morning, so I'm beat!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Baby's Growing Up

I've sung Sarah the same two songs while I'm nursing her every night. Tonight, I sat down with her in the rocking chair and started singing. While nursing, she starting making little "mm-mm" sounds of protest. Finally, she pulled off, looked at me, and said "ABC song." So I sang her the alphabet song. She sang along for a while, and then nursed some more. When I was done, I asked if she had any other requests. She said "happy song." It took me a minute to realize she meant "Happy Birthday." So, I sang "Happy Birthday" to Sarah, Nicholas, and Grandpa at her request. I don't know why it struck me so funny, but it cracked me up to have this little person nursing and throwing out song requests at bedtime.

Last night, she slept just as well as the night before, so we'll see how tonight goes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Peaceful Night

Last night was night 5 of the sleep training with Sarah. In our spiritual formation class last night (Mr. X stayed home to put her to bed, and our babysitter came and helped with Nicholas), I was reminded that we need to ask in order to receive, and so I prayed specifically for a peaceful night's sleep for all of us. This might sound odd, but I also heard from someone I know slightly that she had been told that one of the ways Satan works against parents is through lack of sleep, so I said a spiritual warfare prayer, too. And she slept through the night! She made noises a couple of times, though once I could tell they weren't waking noises, and the second time I went in and rubbed her back, but she was actually asleep. She woke up and called me at 7:00, and when I walked in, she smiled, waved, and said "Hi Mommy!" Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Shortly before Christmas, I went to pick up Nick from preschool, and his teacher said, "Are you, by any chance, Catholic?" I said, "Yeeessss . . . what did he do?" It turns out he had been walking around the room, holding a book over his head and singing "Alleluia." And it turns out both his teachers are Catholic and finally figured out what he's doing!

One of Nick's favorite things to do is to play priest. He started out pretty simply, late this summer, singing "Alleluia"--interestingly, he sings the "Celtic Alleluia" beautifully, even though the parish we're currently attending doesn't use that setting. Then, one day, Mr. X draped a blanket around Nick's shoulders. Nick looked at it, then folded his hands and started slowly walking around, singing "Alleluia."

At this point, he sings the Alleluia, Amen, parts of the Sanctus and Gloria, and the Memorial Acclamation. He'll hold processions carrying a book over his head, a block or stick (which, he will tell me, is a candle or a cross), or his sippie cup. Sometimes, he convinces Sarah to join in, and she either holds a book and sings Alleluia or folds her hangs and sings Amen. He turns over boxes to make an altar, and then he'll put blocks (as candles), cups, and books on top. Sometimes he kneels in front of the altar. He shakes hands and says "peace-a-lou." In the past week, every once in a while, he'll say "Jesus Christ. Lamb of God. Take away sins of the world." He'll lean over to me at dinner and hand me a little piece of food (usually a pea) and whisper, and I finally realized a couple of weeks ago that he's whispering "Body Christ." But probably the most entertaining instance happened last week when he was standing in front of his "altar," chanting, and I was talking to Sarah. He stopped, looked at me, and said "Shh. Priest talk."

So, I think I'll choose to interpret the incident this morning, when he figured out how to open his sippie cup and ran through the kitchen, living room, and hallway splattering apple juice everywhere, as his version of a sprinkling rite. If only he had really had holy water, I wouldn't have had to wipe the floor down twice!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's Give This a Try . . .

Well, here I am again. The goal this time is to post something, ANYTHING, every day for a month and then re-evaluate. I'll try for something a bit deeper later this week (maybe about why I haven't been posting, ha!), but for now . . .

I'm on a second maternity leave (the complicated policy at work meant that I could take one maternity leave when Sarah was born but couldn't take leave for Nick's adoption till now), hooray!

I'm feeling proud of myself because today we made it to daily mass (well, communion service), I got the kids to the park, I baked two dozen cupcakes from scratch for Sarah's preschool class tomorrow (with real buttercream frosting, thankyouverymuch), both kids napped, I vacuumed our disgustingly dirty carpets, I threw the dogs disgustingly dirty bed in the washer, and I caught up on dishes. Unfortunately, I forgot to wash any of my own pants, so I'll be wearing slightly dirty dress pants to be the parent helper in Sarah's class tomorrow. I am, however, feeling like a slug because I still have I-shudder-to-think-how-many Christmas cards sitting downstairs waiting to be sent. These are cards with this year's picture AND last year's BABY ANNOUNCEMENTS inside them. They WILL be sent, even if I end up writing "consider this a Valentine" on the envelopes.

We're on night four of sleep training for Sarah. Why, oh why did I wait till she was almost 18 months old??? The first night was pretty rough, but since then she hasn't cried at bedtime or naptime or night wakings for more than a minute or two at a time. We're using The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight, which Jennifer at Conversion Diary recommended. The first three nights, you (Mr. X in our case) sit beside the crib until the baby's asleep, then over the following days you move further away. She's doing so great. Of course, her crib is still in our room, and we thought it would be lunacy for us to try to do this while we're sleeping in there, too, so we're sleeping on couches for the time being, but the end is in sight. I think we'll finally be able to move both kids into the same room soon.

Speaking of which, I should jump into bed onto the couch since I am on duty for night wakings. There have been none so far tonight, but who knows what's in store.

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