I've had some readers ask for tips on how to move their baby to a big boy/big girl bed. The thought to ask me is very sweet, but also please remember that we just started this a few days ago with our own little Cub, so I am by no means a pro. Maybe we totally did it wrong! Who knows!
But, I can tell you what we did. So, here you go:
First of all, Cub sleeps with his trusty Mr. Lion and we also have a sound machine going while he sleeps. Some people hate the idea of sound machines and some people also hate the idea of a sleeping toy. Like I said, you just have to do what works for your little one. So. We have a sound machine for Cub (it plays a rain-ish sound) because we live on the corner of a prominent street in our neighborhood, so there is a substantial amount of traffic noise. And, Mr. Lion, well, we just innocently tossed him in Cub's crib one day and the rest is history. That kid is IN LOVE WITH MR. LION.
So, when Cub hears his sound machine come on and when we hand him Mr. Lion, he knows it's time to sleep. These are his "cues" so to speak. I'm kind of big on not having anything attached to the crib, like mobiles or toys and such, so Cub was used to not having a playground in his bed. So, that first night, we turned on the sound machine in his new room, handed him Mr. Lion (who we now keep stashed in his closet, so he's only out during sleep times), and laid him down in his new bed.
And he looked at us like we were on crack.
It took a couple of times of going back in his room and putting him back to bed, but he eventually fell asleep. We let Cub cry it out when he was an infant, but let me tell you, hearing my little toddler cry in his big boy bed was one of the hardest things for me. He loves his new room and he loves to play on his bed, but it's still all very new. Each time we went in to put him back to bed (he crawled out about three times), we'd kiss him and soothe him before laying him down. The next day, he took his nap without a problem. And the next night, he went down like a dream. He actually did great with it for a while, until yesterday afternoon, when he fought it again with his nap. So, like before, we did our little dance of me going in there and putting him down every time he got up (again, three times). I wasn't as sweet this time--he knew he was supposed to stay in bed and he has proven to us that he can, so my expectation was higher now. I mean, I wasn't MEAN, but you get what I'm saying. It was still hard for both of us, but after about ten minutes, he went to sleep. (And then I cried. Because I'm an emotional pregnant woman.)
And then last night he laid in bed and chatted to himself for a few minutes before falling asleep. That was awesome because he never got out of bed. He can chat as long as he'd like at this point, as far as I'm concerned, as long as he's not playing in his room and as long as he is in bed.
So! That's how it went for us.
And now, for the advice part. Eh .... each child is different, so I definitely can't tell you when you should move your baby. There are several factors that play into it. We moved Cub out of necessity, of course, but also because we knew he could handle it. You just kind of know your child and your gut tells when it will be okay. And even though we've fought it twice so far, we haven't fought it the other eight times he's gone down, for naps and bedtime. And really, by "fight", I mean having to lay him down a few times. It really isn't much of a battle!
I realize that Naomi isn't coming until June, but we wanted Cub to not only be in his new room when she was born, but we also wanted his new room to be his new kind of normal by the time she arrives. We wanted him to be 100% comfortable in it, giving him plenty of time to know that that is his own space and that he wasn't kicked out of his nursery! By the time Naomi comes, Cub's nursery will be old news to him. And that was our goal.
I think the only "advice" I could really give is to stay consistent. If you are set on your child moving, then be set on it. Don't revert. Don't give in and put them back in their crib. The reality is, they can sleep in their big bed. It isn't an impossible task you are asking of them. It is new and it is an adjustment, so be kind, but be consistent. Just because they might cry does not mean you are being unkind. Chances are you don't remember being put in your "big" bed and your baby won't, either. It's just kind of something that has to be done. Babies show displeasure through crying, kind of like adults when they have to move and meet new people. We don't cry, but we kind of get a knot in our stomach and we feel uncomfortable with transition. Babies are the same way. Transitions can be hard. But, really, like I said, be kind about it. Make sure your baby is worn out by bedtime (or nap time, whenever you choose to put them down in their big bed first) so they will want sleep.
And then be resolute that you will get up and put them back to bed as often as it takes before they really understand what is expected of them.
So! That's my advice. Right now I can hear Cub babbling over the monitor, playing happily in his room, and I need to go make breakfast! But I love that he can get up and start playing in the mornings. It's so fun. The reward is worth it, trust me! Just stick to your guns, follow your gut, and go with it.
Last night, I dumped the linguini in the sink on accident. It wasn't just in the sink, it was partially down the garbage disposal, so any bit of noodle that may have been recoverable therefore wasn't, and the incident made me cry.
Like, ugly cry. Where your shoulders heave.
My husband laughed in surprise and told me it was okay, and through muffled sobs I tried explaining that it wasn't okay, that I had worked so hard to have the house clean and dinner ready for him, that I was just so tired, and on and on, and, ultimately, FAILURE. I'm just a big fat failure.
He shrugged and said he didn't think so and then we ate Subway.
But, the innocent mistake of dumping dinner down the drain continued to bug me all evening. I realized that it was just the stress of the week manifesting itself through much-needed tears. I am tired. I am tired and I am not sleeping. I am tired and I am not sleeping and I am caring for a one year old all day. I am tired and I am not sleeping and I am caring for a one year old all day and I have photos to edit and shoots to schedule. I am tired and I am not sleeping and I am caring for a one year old all day and I have photos to edit and shoots to schedule and several last minute tasks that need to be done for our women's retreat this weekend. FAILURE.
Please note that nowhere in that little run-on did I mention the menial housekeeping chores that still need to be done.
What's bad is that this tailspin of self-defeat spirals to the point of no return, where, regardless of my efforts, I am unable to see the positive productivity that has been accomplished. I see the bathrobe tossed on our bed as evidence of a hurried morning, but I fail to see that nicely made bed underneath it. I see the crumbs on the kitchen table, but not the wiped down countertops. The pile of laundry, rather than the organized closets. Feeling fat and unattractive, not seeing the image that is fearfully and wonderfully made staring back at me in the mirror.
I'm in this really great Bible Study on Tuesday mornings and this morning we discussed Ephesians 2, specifically verse 10 where it talks about being God's "workmanship". The New Living Translation says "masterpiece". Through God's gift of salvation through faith, and through nothing of our own, we are His masterpiece.
I think it's safe to say that I haven't exactly felt like a masterpiece this week.
I haven't allowed myself to feel like a masterpiece. I've been focusing so much on my petty shortcomings that I haven't taken the time to really step back and see what really matters. The opportunity to stay home. The privilege of serving on Women's Ministry. The joy of cooking in a kitchen with a roof over my head, for the two most important guys in my life. So, today, after a night of not sleeping well, I had a renewed perspective. If I really believe that I am God's masterpiece, it's probably high time that I started acting like it. So, I humbly passed the burden on and quit demeaning myself to something way less than God ever intended. Yes, there is still a large list of things for me to do. But, the check marks next to each item do not define my value. I needed that reminder today.
So, friends, be encouraged that regardless of the tasks that stand before you this week, you are a masterpiece because of who God has created you to be in Him. Those un-mopped floors and late arrivals to meetings have nothing on you. Sit back and remember who you are. And with your renewed perspective, get after it.
The "Honest Scrap Award" comes with a caveat or two. First, you have to tell your readers ten things about you they may not know, but that are true. Second, you have to tag 10 people with the award. Third, let all the people you've given the award to know they've gotten in (comment on their blogs or something). And, finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you (Thanks, Christen!).
Okay. Here it goes:
1. I am extremely stressed right now. My to-do list has officially surpassed the roofline of my house and the time with which I have to accomplish that list is growing smaller by the minute. Why blog? You ask. Because the stuff I have to do can't be done at 10:03 in the evening, I reply. I've cried once today and I intend on crying every day until this weekend. It's just necessary at this point.
2. I can play one song on the piano upside down.
3. The man in the Starbucks drive-thru gave me a free brownie last week. It was for my friend for her birthday.
4. I don't mind cherry flavoring, but I hate cherries.
7. I didn't get my ears pierced until I was fifteen.
8. I ate goat brains once. On a tortilla chip in Mexico.
9. I feel that I have awful penmanship.
10. My husband is the funniest person I know. I say this because, if you were to meet him, you might think he is quiet, or serious. He is, but he is also hilarious. And my favorite physical feature about him is the deep blue of his eyes. Cub's got his Daddy's eyes.
I'm going to be a stinker and tag 5 people. I need to go to bed!
I very distinctly remember a conversation I had with my Mom when I was engaged. I sighed and frowned and confessed that I did not, in fact, particularly like children. I'm the youngest in my family and one of the youngest cousins in my family, so I simply didn't grow up around kids. I was the kid. I never had the desire to babysit or work in the nursery. I told her that I always had wanted children, but I was a tad worried, seeing as it might be a little important to actually like kids before having your own.
Then she confessed that she, too, had never particularly liked kids, either.
I was astounded. My Mom? The sweetest, most nurturing person out there, didn't like kids?
Then she leaned over and let me in on a little secret. "Don't worry," she said, "You will love your own children. Whether you have your own or adopt, you will love them."
And she was RIGHT.
My husband and I are both ridiculously in love with Cub and having children has also made me more compassionate and sensitive to other kids, too. I'm starting to like kids I don't know and I'm loving the kids of my friends. This is good.
I'm not sure where I want to go with this, except that I've seen myself grow through this whole mothering process. Not only do I like kids now, I'm also adapting to the world of primary colors. This is kind of a big deal. If you had asked me a year ago if Cub's room would ever house primary colors, I would have gagged and said, "NO!" in my most disgusted voice. And then the Katie now would crawl through time to the Katie then and bonk her on the head. Because, oh my word, you never say never when you become a parent. You will always prove yourself wrong.
Hence, Cubbie's new room.
The theme of his room (I'm kind of a theme nerd) is "Go!" because this baby is on the go. Whether it's our daily outings or planned vacations, he's seen the western deserts, toddled into the ocean, and ridden a boat across the lake. Planes, trains, and automobiles. He's seen it all. I wanted his room to reflect that, so you will see a common thread of cars and such in the room. We found his bed (and bedding and such), cube storage, and his little red table at IKEA (full assembly required!), while everything else came from Target and Hobby Lobby, respectively. We are going to add a map above his cube storage and plan to mark where Cubbie has been. We also have three clocks to hang on the wall, to show the three time zones in which his extended family lives. Those will get done in due time. For now, this is what we've got!
Firstly, a little peek into the room before we changed it. It served as a guest room/catch-all for our stuff. We were just about to give the bed away when I took the picture, which is why the bed isn't made!
My husband chose the bedding and the tent canopy. The bed can actually flip over to form a loft, hence, the ladder you see against the wall! We opted to splurge on the grey paint, making sure to buy paint that could withstand the usual toddler antics: Sharpies, grape juice, etc.
I found this little wooden step stool at Hobby Lobby and Cub uses it to climb into bed!
The wall looks blue here. It's grey. That's what you get with a flash! Anyway. This is the cube storage. It is taller than Cub. It's actually pretty big, but I realize you can't tell that in this picture! Oh well. Also notice that the toys are not perfectly organized and the books are not perfectly stacked. This is because, as I've mentioned in previous posts, Cub puts his own stuff away--and how it looks is good enough for me!
The red car under the red table is a bean bag chair. Cub LOVES the alphabet canvas he's touching in the picture. He loves to identify the picture for each letter. I told him to find the yo-yo, and that's what he's doing here!
A photo collage on one wall. I hope to add to this as he grows. They are pictures of Cub on his adventures! These show him on various trips to Arkansas, Aruba, Arizona, and the lake. The bottom large picture you see is of he and his cousins in Arkansas. His older cousin is driving his Power Wheels tractor, while Cub and his other cousin ride in the bucket. How cute is that??
And, lastly, I shall end this post with a picture I took of Cub this morning:
My little sixteen month old, in his big boy bed! AH! He slept there for the first time this weekend. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. He wasn't sure about it at first, but he's warming up to it. I'm sure there will be more challenges ahead, but for now, he stays in bed and sleeps all night. We're crossing our fingers!
When I was a sophomore in high school, my French teacher hosted a Mardi Gras party for those of us in French Club. It was my first experience with the tradition of Mardi Gras and I FOUND THE BABY IN THE KING CAKE! SWEET!
And, that might not make any sense at all. So, let me explain a brief history of Mardi Gras and how I like to celebrate.
*Disclaimer: This is a hodge-podge of information I've gathered over the years. It is not exact and is explained in a fun and light-hearted way. If you find any of my information incorrect, then refer to this disclaimer where I am claiming that the information might not be exactly spot-on. JUST ENJOY THE CAKE.
Way back in the day, as in, you know, CENTURIES AGO, Mardi Gras was called something else hard to pronounce and was a pagan holiday full of revelry and such. BOO. Then, the Romans came along and decided to "Christianize" everyone (ha ha) but, being the sweet little empire they were, they allowed the people to keep some of their pagan holidays. Go figure. Mardi Gras (or whatever it was called back then) stuck. Over the years, the holiday has evolved as most holidays do, and in recent history as it traveled across the ocean to Louisiana, it has earned the name "Mardi Gras", which means Fat Tuesday. The slogan of Mardi Gras is Laissez les bon temps rouler! which is translated Let the good times roll! In European countries, it is referred to as Carnaval (Car-neh-vahl). There is still a lot of revelry and such. But, in keeping with Catholic influence, Mardi Gras falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, thus giving Lenten observers one last night to party before they begin a period of abstaining. Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter and is originally a Catholic tradition, although many Protestant denominations have adopted it as well. During the period of Lent, believers essentially "give up" something that serves as a vice to them (sweets, television, etc.) until Easter Sunday (different traditions observe it differently). The purpose is to cause observers to be reminded of Easter when they reach for whatever it is they have decided to give up and through your self-control, you reflect on Christ's sacrifice and the glory of His Resurrection.
A pretty good idea, in my opinion.
Okay, back to Mardi Gras.
My favorite tradition in Mardi Gras is the King Cake. A King Cake is basically a huge danish that can be flavored several different ways (I like cinnamon). Within the King Cake is buried a bean, traditionally, although several traditions now use a tiny plastic baby (I prefer the bean myself). Whoever finds the said potential choking hazard in their piece of King Cake is dubbed the King of Mardi Gras and is basically responsible for supplying the cake the following year. If you choose to do it that way. The King Cake is decorated with gold, purple, and green sugar, the traditional colors of Mardi Gras.
So, that is Mardi Gras a la Katie.
Now. Why do I even do a little celebration of Mardi Gras if it seems like it kind of goes against my general values, seeing as I'm basically a straight and narrow person?
I liken it to Halloween. See, Halloween is kind of an evil awful holiday when you really think about it. One only has to shop at any grocery store during the end of summer to be barraged with skulls and devils and tombstones. Some really get into Halloween and all of the creepy stuff it can entail, while others just like to dress up and eat candy. Even churches sponsor events like that. That's how I view Mardi Gras. I don't indulge in revelry. But I like to get friends together and eat funky cake and wear masks and beads. So that's what we do.
And, I'm a fan of Lent. And while I don't revel in self-indulgence, I do savor every bite of cake, knowing it will be my last for a little while!
The three masked pregnant ladies.
The King Cake. I ordered it from a local bakery this year and it was DELICIOUS!
I have nothing thrilling to write except that I almost passed out at Red Lobster on Sunday. I was standing in the waiting area with our group, listening to my husband tell a story, when suddenly this immense heat crept up my body and I felt myself go numb. The room started spinning and I put my hand on my husband's shoulder.
(And he promptly asked, "What? Am I talking too loud?")
I told him I thought I was going to pass out, so the group sat me down and started fanning me (thanks, group!). I sat there with my head down, hoping the feeling would either stop or that I would just black out already. I finally started to cool down and tears rushed to my eyes (why does that always happen?). I stifled some sobs before sitting up and trying to act like nothing had just happened. Meh, I'm fine! Just pregnant.
Folks, it was weird.
I felt queasy the rest of the meal and kept trying to pinpoint what could have made me feel that way. I had felt queasy that morning, too, which was odd, since I hadn't been nauseous in weeks. My final guess was dehydration. My secondary guess is blood sugar. I'm guzzling water like it's going out of style and I'm still parched most of the time, which either means it's winter time and everyone's dry, or my blood sugar is messed up, which the glucose test will reveal in a few weeks.
Or, I'm just pregnant. And our bodies do weird things when pregnant.
So, that's my exciting story for the weekend! A little side of blackout with my shrimp, thank you very much.
(At least I didn't actually fall over in my dress. Besides obvious humiliation, the sheer weight of my pregnant body would have sent ripples through the foundation and tilted the restaurant on its side, thusly ruining everyone's Valentine's Day.)
I have a desk that I sanded and stained in college. My husband helped me, in fact, and I remember sitting in my parents' garage in the summer heat sanding and sanding and sanding. It's one of my favorite pieces of furniture, one that helped me finish college and start a new life as a married woman. It's sat in our living room, our office, and, most recently, our guest room.
But, today my desk got moved back to our living room. It was the final piece left in the guest room that needed to be removed before we can begin the transformation of turning that room into Cub's new big boy room. I stood in the living room and scratched my head, trying to figure out where in the world it should go. I scooted it into the last space available, placed some candles and picture frames upon its smooth top, and called it good. My husband came in from organizing the garage and nodded in approval. We both looked around at our newly empty guest room (with the exception of Cub's toys) and our living room that adopted a few of that room's pieces of furniture. I sighed. He sighed. And then he threw his arms in the air and said, "We're out of room!"
And then it hit us. Both of us.
We are now that family. Those people I've heard about and seen on HGTV who have to shuffle their belongings around as children get added to the mix. The ones who have a toy poking out here or there, who have to roll up their sleeves and shift around their lives in order to make room for sound of little feet running on the wood floors. The ones whose cupboards house sippy cups alongside toasting flutes. If you peek in our garage you will see strollers and Cub's caboose attachment to my husband's bike. Our car has a lost toy or two wedged underneath one of the seats.
We've officially stepped out of the Newlywed Phase and into the Family Phase.
Those months I spent languishing on how to decorate my new home when I was a new wife are a distant memory now. When purchasing home decor, my mind now wonders, "Is this breakable?" if I find something that could be placed in Cubbie's reach. Even if he knows not to touch it, chances are he will at some point, and, if it breaks, is it something I can live without? How odd it can be to buy something because you are okay with losing it.
My husband and I went to IKEA this weekend to purchase Cub's big boy furniture. The toddler zone that would normally be intimidating was, instead, fascinating, and both my husband and I were like kids ourselves, testing out the furniture. Rather than trying to figure out what furniture would match our home's general decor, we instead chose things that we knew Cubbie would love. And we had a blast doing it.
And so, today, in the living room, it hit us.
We're growing up.
Ever since Cub's birth and again with this pregnancy, we've been carving out a space in our selfish lives to be filled with the giggles and tears of our precious children. And the things, the inanimate objects, that once held such high importance to us, have begun to fade away for the sake of them ... only the most precious objects remain.
And so, my desk will stay in its new corner for now. And, like that desk, my husband and I will continue to move our lives around to match the rhythm of this new dance we're living in. And we'll keep loving every step.
I received an e-mail from a reader the other day that made me laugh out loud. This reader is from the west coast and had just finished a photo shoot close to where I live, and after the shoot she and her colleagues came across a bit of a conundrum. Being the giver of wisdom that I am (ha, ha), she decided to ask me for some clarity. Here you go:
When the shoot was over and we were driving through Oklahoma to the airport we saw multiple signs that said something like "do not drive into the smoke". We were really curious what this meant...where does the smoke come from? Obviously it happens often enough to have a permanent sign on the freeway. If there is smoke, do you just have to pull over on the side of the freeway until it goes away? We were perplexed, and of course forgot to ask anyone while we were still there. I'm sure you are busy so thanks in advance if you take the time to answer this :)
Do not drive into smoke. Yes. I've seen a sign like that once AND yes, I've actually driven through smoke. I know that the roads in Oklahoma have undergone some pretty hardcore construction lately, so my only guess is that this elusive smoke would be a byproduct of much-needed road repair. When I was visiting my boyfriend (now husband) in college, I drove from Arkansas to Oklahoma and sure enough, due to some road construction, there was a ton of smoke pouring across the highway. I drove through it. It was stupid, given that there is zero visibility with smoke, but really. The option of pulling over and waiting for the construction to be done would mean that I would still be sitting on the side of the road today.
I guess I broke the rules.
That's the best answer I've got. I hope it will suffice!
Okay. After reading her e-mail again, I decided to go to the Place of Never-Ending Useless Wisdom: Teh Internets. According to some random site that I will not link to because I did not like the content on the site other than the fact that it did address the issue of smoke signs in Oklahoma (PHEW RUN-ON SENTENCE): Apparently, a farmer was burning some fields one day close to the highway, cars drove through the smoke, and a large pile-up quickly ensued. Hence, do not drive into smoke. Or burn fields close to highways, for that matter.
And, of course, the ever-obvious conclusion that Where There is Smoke, There is Fire.
I'm not sure if I believe that story. Because I actually drove through smoke in Oklahoma and it was due to road construction. I mean, COME ON.
Okay. Firstly, can any true Oklahomans out there validate the farmer story? Secondly, I'll go ahead and open this up for you to tell me the dumbest signs you've ever seen. Because while the story of a pile-up is not in and of itself funny, the idea that a permanent road sign should be placed along the highway because of it, is. They might as well add "Use Blinker When Changing Lanes" signs, too.
The time has flown. I knew it would. These letters usually consist of your latest developments and behavioral patterns and such, so, here it goes:
1) You sleep great.
2) You eat great.
3) You play great.
Does that sum it up enough? Your favorite foods still fall under anything that can be categorized as "food", you go to bed and take a nap like a champ and if you aren't tired or if you wake up early, you simply play in your crib until we come and get you. You play well on your own and play well with others. I love sneaking into the children's wing at church and spying on you in the nursery. It's too cute. You smiled and chatted and cooed at your check-up. The pediatrician said you're doing great. You even made him laugh. Way to go!
Now. Just because, as your parents, we think you are a glowing pile of amazingness, does NOT mean that we don't face the necessary challenges that accompany toddlerhood. For example, just a few nights ago, you decided you did NOT want to pick up your legos. Putting our toys away is a pretty big deal, something we strive for every day, and yet, you randomly decided that you had better things to do. Like play with a ball. So, Daddy had to sit you down and lay out our expectations for you. You did not like it, not one little bit. But, he sat there with you the whole time until every last lego was picked up. You cried. He was resolute. The job got done. Two minutes later you were laughing and toddling around. With your ball.
And today? Your picked up your legos like it was no big deal. Ah, the joys.
We are currently learning our manners. You still sign for "please", but are able to say "thank you" and "excuse me" (I DID ask your doctor if it was okay that you still signed for some words and he said that yes, it was, and that it wasn't a sign of developmental delay--communication is communication!). As with the legos, sometimes your manners are flawless, and sometimes you burst into tears as if to say MANNERS?? I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING. It's comical. Stressful at times, but comical. You test new boundaries every day, but you also learn every day. It's all about consistency, Cub.
And, we have so much FUN. Toddlers have always intimidated me, but now that we are facing that stage, I can honestly say that Yes, it is challenging (as is every stage, to some degree), but it is also FUN. The laughter and the stomping of little feet and the running on tip-toes--it's all kinds of fun. Your limitless energy can be exhausting, but in a good way. I love ending the day feeling tired. It's been a little tough with all of the cold weather, which confines us to the indoors for the most part. But, thanks to play groups and our own little family dance parties, we're able to come up with creative ways to expend energy inside. But, I'm not gonna lie--springtime can't come soon enough!!
You have a little sister on the way, and you love to come up to my tummy and exclaim, "Mimi!" You pat my belly. You have no idea what's going on in there and let me tell you, things are about to change big time. But, the change will be good. You will be a great brother. Just try not to make her eat butter by convincing her that it's ice cream.
Your Dad and I are so proud of you. Your Dad beams every time he walks in the door and you exclaim "Dadda!" and toddle to him. You two are quite a pair. I love it.
Every morning, I set Cub on the bathroom countertop while I get ready. The other day, my husband walked in as Cub picked up my blush brush and began brushing it on his cheeks. My husband paused, sighed, and declared I'M GLAD WE'RE HAVING A GIRL.
Good thing he didn't see him trying to apply mascara earlier.
I remember when I was pregnant with Cub, I had conversations with Moms who were pregnant with their second or third child and I was kind of amazed at how NOT excited they seemed. They were just pretty laid back about the whole thing, while I, on the other hand, spent every free second scouring our Target registry online to check which items we still needed to purchase. I knew exactly which colors I wanted to use in the nursery, I knew exactly which Travel System I wanted and why (COLOR), I knew I wanted the neutral papasan chair and the white shelving to counterbalance the espresso crib. I constantly checked Restoration Hardware's Baby and Child line to see make sure the bedding I had selected was just what I had in mind.
One could say, I was on it.
This time, well, things are different.
My friend and I were discussing this today and we joked about how laid back our responses might seem to our second pregnancies. We're both excited to decorate our baby's nurseries (and I'm thrilled to start Cub's new room), but the hurried anticipation isn't there. And why is that? Why do we come across as not being as excited this time around?
And friends, I GET IT. I get it now. The excitement is there, but it is a much more developed and understood excitement. This time I know what I'm getting into. The first time around, I think I cared so much about bedding and a pack-n-play that matched my home's decor because, really, those were tangible items, while Cub, honestly, was not. I mean, I felt him kick and punch and I knew he was there. And I knew I loved him. But during that first pregnancy, baby items were the primary way that I could feel connected to Cub. I could hold his blankets and see his curtains, when I couldn't hold or see him.
Now that I've gone through it, I know what's coming. I know there is nothing like it. And I could care less if our stroller is brown or pink or green--I'm just ready for the baby. I'm ready to meet Naomi. And so, I'm feeling pretty laid back about it. There's not much I can do to hurry the process, you know? I was excited during my pregnancy with Cub, but I was very, very nervous, too. This time, I know what to expect, so my excitement is different and stronger. I know having two children will be crazy, but I'm ready to meet the challenge head on and I'm more confident this time around. And now I understand that that confidence is what I saw in those veteran moms. It isn't at all a representation of under-excitement, instead, it's a strong and beautiful peace. The late nights. The multiple feedings. The spit-up. The challenge of two or more kids at once. The labor. The delivery. The hard times, the fun times. We know what's coming.
And we know it is good.
We're ready to have our baby girl.
Am I the only one who feels this way? How did you, friends, feel during that second pregnancy?
This weekend was packed. I mean, packed. At the end of each day I flopped into bed exhausted. And it was great. Because it was packed with FUN things and GOOD things. The two biggest things had to do with friends and their babies on the way, which is just always all kinds of fun. So! Here you go.
Maternity photo shoot for some friends! Yay!
(He is SO TALL.)
A wonderful shower for a dear friend! I'll let her post pictures and write her own post about it, since it was her shower and all, but I will tell you about my particular role in the shower: DECOR. And I did some diaper cakes. Which I think I've documented before on my old old blog. BUT, I'll document them again. Because I excel in over-documentation.
Diaper Cakes a la Vase
(For Those With Skinny Vases On Hand And Not a Clue What To Do)
Firstly, find the cutest littlest most precious diapers you can and roll them up, beginning from the top and rolling towards the bottom. Make sure the diapers you select are white. Unless you want a Sesame Street or polka-dot themed diaper cake. In that case, may the force be with you. Secure with a rubber band.
Nextly, after you have acquired enough rolled diapers to evenly surround the base of your vase, secure them together with a large rubber band.
Roll another bunch of diapers, enough to comfortably surround your existing layer. You will want the bottom later of diapers to be two diapers thick, since you will be placing a single layer of diapers on top. Secure the next layer with an even bigger rubber band.
Repeat the previous steps for your next layer of diaper cake, making this layer only one diaper thick. Now you should have two tiers. Then select your ribbon of choice.
Cut the appropriate length of ribbon and secure. I secure with tape. Some secure with glue dots. I did not have glue dots. If the ribbon gaps a little, you can also use tape to secure the ribbon to the diapers. I didn't want to use anything that could damage the diapers, and tape is flimsy. Functional, yet flimsy. I appreciate that in a temporary adhesive.
And, Voila! The finished product(s). So fun.
There you have it! It's funny how, when I type this post, it looks like a simple and short weekend. And yet I sit here EXHAUSTED. If only blogs had the ability to properly display EXHAUSTION.
You'll have to take an exhausted smile instead. And believe that after this picture was taken, that girl promptly fell into bed.
I'm copping out and doing a survey I found on Sassy Times' blog. :) I've been on the go all week and I needed a way to decompress! So, survey it is!
1. What is your name and do you have any nicknames? Kathryn. My nicknames are Katie and Kate. My friends call me Katie, my family calls me Kate. Nobody calls me Kathryn! :)
2. What color are your socks right now? No socks. I do not like socks.
3. What are you listening to right now? A brownie throwdown with Bobby Flay on TV. It is a good thing there are no brownies in the house right now.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A piece of dark chocolate.
5. Can you drive a stick shift? If necessary, but I'm less than graceful at it.
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My husband!
7. Last place you went on vacation? Out of country: Aruba
8. What Hobbies do you have? Blogging, photography, reading cardboard books about ducks that quack and wheels on busses that go 'round and 'round.
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Football
10. What is your favorite drink? The Best Drink I've Ever Had: Raspberry Mocha from Nordaggio's. My Favorite Drink On a Regular Basis: Ice water or Dunkin' Donuts coffee with a splash of Italian Creme creamer. YUM.
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, since I was twelve. As soon as my naturally blonde hair turned brown, my parents gave me the go-ahead to start highlighting it. I'm just a blonde. There's no way around it.
12. Favorite food? Seafood or anything with too many carbs.
13. What is the last movie you watched? P.S. I Love You.
14. Favorite day of the year? This is a tough one. I'm going to have to say that my favorite day is any day I get to wake up and find a snuggly Cub asleep in his crib. Waking up to that beats out any holiday!
15. How do you vent anger? Aggressive cleaning. And exercise.
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Breyer horses. I have a huge Breyer horse collection.
17. What is your favorite season? Spring. Bring on the promise of summer!
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries. I kind of hate cherries, unless they are in pie. Or cobbler. Or anything else with a crust and obscene amounts of sugar.
19. What is your occupation right now? I almost wrote "unemployed", but it's by choice, so I guess I have to say "Stay At Home Mom". Or "Homemaker". Both of which crack me up. Or, rather, the stereotype cracks me up. It makes me feel ... old?
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Whatever God call us to next wherever He call us to next.
21. What state (or country for our international bloggers) do you live and what State or Country would you like to live some day? I live in Oklahoma. If I could, I would hoist all of our family and friends here and drag them to the east coast and we would settle there. I need a beach close by.
22. Living arrangements? Baby in belly, husband and son in house. And dog in house.
23. Do you have any pets? Yes, Bailey, a Boston Terrier Pile of Hyperness.
24. What is on the floor of your closet? Too many shoes.
25. What are three of your favorite items at the moment? Our new mattress (SO COMFORTABLE!), my camera, and my car. I use my car all the time and I'm really glad I love it. Honda CRV. Love.
26. What did you do last night? Hung out with small group girls and gave one of them lots of tips on how to style her hair (she asked, don't worry). It was hilarious. I forget how much I love hair stuff. ("It's just as important what you put on your hair before you blow-dry it ...")
27. Any news you want to share? I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
28. What do you like on your hamburgers? Cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, mustard, ketchup.
29. Favorite dog breed? Doberman Pinscher.
30. Favorite day of the week? Sunday.
31. How many states have you lived in? Three. (I spent a summer in Vermont, but I'm not sure if that counts ... if it does, then four.)
32. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls, but only when I'm vacuuming. Ha, ha.
33. What is your favorite flower? Alstroemeria. Funny name, beautiful flower. Behold:
34. Favorite meal you have ever had at a restaurant and which restaurant was it? My first ever wienerschnitzel at a pub in Salzburg.
35. What music are you currently listening to? On our iPod in the living room we have Needtobreathe and in our car I have Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama. And Baby Einstein Traveling Melodies.
36. What is one fun thing you are looking forward to in the coming year? Watching Cub meet Naomi.
Leslie asked me a good question yesterday on what I thought about keeping your newborn in your room for a little while versus moving the baby to the crib immediately.
And ... it really depends on the baby!
And the parents!
Okay, here it goes: You will just know. Sigh. I said it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry to give you "that" answer, that blanket answer that covers everything from "When will I know I'm in labor?" to "When will I know I'm done having kids?" You'll just know. Really. Because, the reality is, it's different for each family.
I can tell you what will influence your decision, though, to at least give you a heads-up! Or, rather, I can tell you what influenced our decision.
First of all, I knew I didn't want Cub in our room very long before he was even born. I know that might sound harsh and horrible, but I kind of have this opinion on boundaries and our room being our room and his room being his room ... and I wanted to be able to transition him to his crib sooner rather than later. BUT, "sooner rather than later" is a tad relative in and of itself, so I figured we'd bring him home and go from there.
Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, we put Cub down for naps in his crib from Day 1. The way our house is set up, Cub's nursery is close to the living room, so we could lay him down in his crib and leave the door open and have easier access to him during the day than if he were in our bedroom. Looking back, I'm glad we did that, because Cub never had to adjust to being in his crib--it was already familiar to him, even though his night sleep still occurred in his pack-n-play in our room.
Secondly, I had to decide whether I liked feeding Cub in our room during his middle of the night feedings. And this is where a lot of moms differ, because every mom is different and every mom has different strengths and weaknesses. For me? STARING AT MY SLEEPING HUSBAND WHILE I'M AWAKE TRYING TO FEED A BABY IS A WEAKNESS.
I mean, I'm not bitter. Really. I knew that was part of breastfeeding. But.
(Okay seriously, I wasn't bitter. Because my husband had to get up and go to work while I could at least catch up on sleep during the day. So we did not share in nighttime feedings.)
I just could not feed Cub in our room in the middle of the night! It was too hard for me to stay awake. So, the act of having to get out of bed, walk across our living room to the nursery, pick up Cub, carry him into the living room (back when his feedings were really long, it was easier to do it in front of the TV) was really good for me. It woke me up enough to be coherent. This is a good thing. You have to remember--those first few weeks of breast feeding (should you choose to do so) take a LONG TIME. Also, for me, during those first few weeks, breast feeding literally physically drained my body of energy. So, you can understand why perhaps I couldn't lay in bed and attempt to nurse Cub for an hour next to my snoring husband while the energy is draining from my body. And it's pitch black. And I'm exhausted anyway.
It would have made for two sleeping parents and one hungry baby.
Watching Little House on the Prairie at 2:00am in our living room while nursing Cub was much more successful for me. Plus, there's nothing like watching life in the pioneer days to give you a kick in the pants and realize how easy you have it now. Shoot fire.
So, Cub went to the nursery after five days and we never looked back. And not being in our room did not make him a miserable, grumpy, non-affectionate child. He is the snuggliest of Cubs and my friends even comment on how much they love to hold him. He's a good hugger. So be encouraged that whatever decision you make will be the right one. You will know what works best for you. Some moms love to roll over, grab the baby, feed the baby, put the baby back in the pack-n-play/cradle/co-sleeper, and go back to sleep. And other moms are like me and need to actually get out of bed to stay awake long enough to feed their baby.
And, as far as whether or not you should even get a cradle, that decision is up to you (I saw that in your comment, too). Our pack-n-play came with a bassinet, so we used that. Other people have cradles and love them. It's really up to you. Either will work, and cradles are just so gosh-darn cute, anyway, that you can't go wrong either way. :)
As I'm sitting here typing this post, I hear a little Cub babbling over the monitor. He went to bed almost an hour ago, and yet sleep has eluded him thus far and he has chosen to respond by chatting it up with a few stuffed animals in his bed. I'm sure the conversations are thrilling.
A bit one-sided, perhaps, but thrilling nonetheless.
It's really quite nice to realize how much Cub loves his crib. I remember a few days during my first trimester when I just needed an extra break and I could stick Cub in his crib for 30 minutes or so and he'd play contently by himself while I passed out face-first into my bed for a quick snooze. So nice.
But, now we are embarking on a new stage in life. We have a new little one on the way, which means big changes for all of us, but especially for Cub. From the moment Cub came home from the hospital, we put him down for naps in his crib (and bed time in his pack-n-play) and then he moved to the crib for good five days after that. We all slept better then.
Which means, if Naomi follows suit, then Cub will have a new bedmate come June.
So, naturally, it's time for us to consider the next step. We have some options. I am going to list them because writing a paragraph on random sleeping arrangements might seem a bit tedious.
1) Cub in crib, Naomi in pack-n-play
2) Cub in pack-n-play, Naomi in crib
3) Cub in big boy bed, Naomi in crib
Okay. So. Cub will be moving into his big boy room at the end of the month (hopefully). When Naomi is born in June, she will move into his nursery. The crib is wonderfully solid, which makes it a bit tough to take down and take apart and transfer. So, I just assume leave it in the nursery, since Cub will need to phase out of it eventually, anyway. I want to move Cub into his new room sooner than later, simply because I want his big life changes to happen in small increments, rather than "NEW BABY! NEW ROOM! BIG BOY BED! ADJUST!!!!"
That might be a bit rough on the little kid. Not that he wouldn't eventually just deal with it, but, you know. If we can be nice about it, I'd like to be nice about it.
So. If Cub is still too small for his big boy bed, then I plan on setting up the pack-n-play in his new room and letting him sleep in that, so we aren't fighting the big boy bed transition whilst also dealing with the whirlwind of New baby! Toddler! In the same house!
Then we can wait a few weeks while Mommy re-attaches her head and try again.
But, these all might be horrible ideas. Because I've never done this before. Some Moms advise to move toddlers ASAP into their "big" beds before they actually realize what's going on. Then some say to wait until they're almost three. I'd rather try sooner than later, since we have a bun in the oven and that tends to hurry things up a bit.
So. Have any of you Moms out there dealt with this? What advice do you have?
Great question! I love to write. It's my way to de-frazzle after a long day. So, I make it a point to sit down at the computer and write my thoughts every evening after Cub goes to bed. I don't always have fresh thoughts (hence, some stale posts, sorry), but just the act of sitting down and typing away is a huge release for me. Sometimes I share deep thoughts or personal growth, and sometimes I write about finding sippy cups in the Diaper Genie. Whatever the topic, I know that it will help me relax, plus it will help me possibly connect with some other moms out there. Sometimes I have deep thoughts and funny stories all in the same day, so I type them out and schedule them to post later in the week so I don't have several entries in one day.
And it doesn't take me much time to do it--I average 97 wpm! Woot!
Writing is a release ... and writing on a blog is just fun! :)
Have you ever thought about putting ads on your blog? What factors influenced your final decision?
There are a couple reasons why I do not have ads on my blog. Firstly, my blog is more for fun and that's it--I never intend on it growing beyond my small sphere of influence. Secondly, while I know I may have limited control over which ads will run on my blog should I elect to do so, I'm just a bit wary of potentially (indirectly) endorsing something that I do not know everything about. I would really need to know everything about any company that would show up on my blog before accepting money for running that ad on my site. And that is impossible! So, no ads. But, I totally understand why other people run ads and I have no problem with it. It's whatever floats your boat.
(Sorry for the cheesy cliche. But I can already sense a flood of comments disagreeing with my position!)
(Which is fine. We can disagree! As long as we can sit down have some Starbucks afterwards.)
(Speaking of Starbucks, did you read my aforementioned post that included the Starbucks White Hot Chocolate?? YUM! I'm loving it.)