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    Sleep training the pre-school crowd

    February 27th, 2012

    I can’t remember when it happened exactly, or for that matter how, but somewhere along the way we broke G… from getting to sleep 1) early; 2) on his own. I think the first part we screwed-up when we got back from Europe. He never acclimated to the BG time-zone, so he’d be up until 10-11pm, and then sleep until 9-9:30 every morning. He truly embraced European living! Yet somehow, it never got back to normal when we got home either. #2, I believe came to pass when he got really sick right when we had to bring S2 home from the hospital, and S spent a lot of time with him in his room.

    The end result? A child that was up until 9:30pm every evening, and required one of us to comply with his “I want to snuggle witch you” demand nightly. This was brutal because after 8pm his bed was somehow endowed with the magic properties to suck all energy to get up or stay awake if you are over the age of 18. Often times, we’d be asleep in his bed before he’d be asleep. If by some miracle we weren’t, the bed’s energy black whole would instantly turn you into a blubbering idiot able to only waddle over to our own bed where we would instantly crash. In other words NOTHING got done after G’s bed-time, and S and I hadn’t actually experienced sleeping in the same bed together for any extended period of time for about a year.

    Clearly this had to stop, but where do you start? Sure there are Ferber techniques for the infant/toddler crowd, but the pre-school age? The one that can get out of bed, march to your room, or sit there and scream and chuck things at the door??? I wasn’t sure where to start on that one.

    However, as luck would have it, one of G’s tantrums forced my hand. About a week and a half ago (maybe two?) G decided he was going to be a royal pain, and after multiple requests, warnings and threats, I realized I’d had it, and I just had to follow through. So off to his room he went, and he was to spend the rest of the evening in his room on his own. He marched out twice, only to be escorted back with little fan-fare, at which point he just curled up in his bed and fell asleep. S and I were shocked. Shocked, I tell you!!! So we decided to give it a try the next night. This time without any tantrum cause, he did it again! Granted we’ve been rewarding him for staying in his room for the night every morning, but hey, we’ll take it.

    There’s actually a semblance of productivity in our evenings now, and S and I don’t have to draw straws, or end up begging on who puts G down.

    Next up? Moving his bed-time to a reasonable hour. A miracle would be 8pm, but I’ll settle for 8:30. Can we do it?

    Hi Mamma bootie!

    February 25th, 2012

    G: Hi Mamma! Hi Mamma!  … Hi Mamma Bootie!!!

    Uhmn… my bootie is no where near big enough to require it’s own call-out, thank you very much!

    G’s father has been in an accident!!!

    February 23rd, 2012

    Poor Ressia — she hasn’t had a run of luck lately. Apparently she forgot to stop at the light and was hit by a bus, a truck AND a bear!

    Sometimes I wonder if there is some Freudian stuff I need to worry about with G and his imagery demise of parental figures…

    So long pump!

    February 15th, 2012

    Yesterday marked the end of an era: my pump and I bid each other adieu. 15m14d into our second go-around relationship, we’re done.

    I had told myself I would keep pumping as long as I had enough milk to send to daycare for S2 for one bottle. Well, my freezer stash dried up today, and I was producing so little, that I was really only topping off a bottle.

    I remember when I stopped pumping with G, I felt so liberated. Free. Today, as I packed up my pump and brought it home for the last time, I felt sad. Nostalgic.

    It’s been good to me. It kept my kids happy. And mean to me: because it only pointed out my inadequacies. It’s definitely showing it’s use (and abuse), as it’s routine lugging around have pulled apart the seams, torn the zipper pull, and exposed the wires of the AC adapter. It’s traveled to Europe, and to the East Coast. It’s helped me collect over 65 gallons of milk for the boys, and suffered through over 600 hours of run time. Trust me it’s WAY more than paid itself off.

    So now it will retire to the corner of the cabinet underneath my bathroom sink. I’m still nursing and will bring it out if needed when I can’t feed S2. And when that’s over? Well, then I don’t know. The PISA’s are not recommended for use beyond a single person since they are not a closed system machine. Maybe I’ll dissect it ;p

    Movie Monday

    February 13th, 2012

    C’mon… you know you want some baby giggles to start off your Monday…


    Every day should be a train/sparkly ring/grilled cheese/gymnastics day

    February 11th, 2012

    We had a very family-oriented day today. And it was awesome! I know not every day (or even every week-end) can be all about hanging out together, avoiding chores altogether, but it’s fun to do it once in awhile.

    It all started with my engagement ring. It’s been in dire need of a cleaning, and an appraisal. Plus after some nagging reminders from friends, a check that the tension is set just right. So S took my ring in and dropped it off earlier this week, but it wouldn’t be available and ready for pick-up until today. To which S suggested “Why don’t we all go to The City and pick it up. And then maybe we can stop by The Melt and try it out”. You see The Melt is a grilled cheese place that we’ve been talking about for what feels like a year now, but we never have cause to go to the city together, so it’s always one of those “sounds-good-in-theory-but-isn’t-realistic-to-happen” discussions.

    Plus given the fact that 1) G loves trains; 2) has been asking to take a train to San Fcansisco for ages (and we tricked him once), I thought it was a great chance to combine that into the day. So S and G took the train, S2 and I drove and picked them up at Caltrain, and headed to the Jewelery Center. Since S2 woke up right as we parked, I agreed to haul the kids into the store. Because, you know, what’s better than a 3.5 yr old and a 15m year old sitting in a store surrounded by millions of dollars worth of small, sparkly items? I was pretty surprised how long this event took. But the kids did awesome and there were lots of ladies oogling the cute, (shockingly) well behaved boys. The last time I was in this place was when S and I were picking out my engagement ring. There’s something poetic about coming back with the family that resulted in that proposal.

    Then came grilled cheese. OMG, holy good. I’m glad there’s not one of these places in our near 5mi vicinity, because I’d be in trouble. G ate 1/2 his sandwich, after he claimed all our chips bags, and then had an incredibly delicious choco-chip cookie to follow. My only complaint about the SF location was the lack of kid seating. However, given that they’re located in the heart of the financial district, where children are more or less mythical creatures, it’s kind of excusable. Hopefully their Palo Alto location (damn cashier had to tell me there was one reasonably close to me after all) will be a bit more child-acknowledging.

    As we finished lunch and exclaimed how we were deprived of a $50 in quarters to pay for parking (I’m exaggerating… but not really — downtown SF is $.25/3 min worth of parking), we debated whether or not to hit up the Yerba Buena playground. It’s something S has been asking to do, and it’s literally blocks away from where we were. But given that it was now 12:30 and I was hoping I would not battle kids asleep IN the car, I asked to go home. It was well timed with the following G conversation:

    G: Daddy! Look at that clock (pointing to a tall outside clock on one of the SF skyscrapers)
    S: Yeah, that’s right
    G: Is it saying it’s time to go home???

    Today, yes, it was.

    We managed to have both kids stay awake the whole drive home. From time to time, I’ll take a car nap, but I result to car naps as a last resort. The boys will sleep in the car, but no more than an hour and we HAVE to drive for them to stay asleep. This means that nothing gets done while this sleeping happens. On the other hand, if they manage to sleep at home, we can still get 2-3 hours worth of napping out of G, and 1.5-2hr out of S2. And quiet. At home. So I’m willing to act like a fool in the car just to keep the monkeys awake.

    By 2pm they were both down in their beds and asleep. Until almost 4 when it was time to leave and head to  one of my mom’s club annual events: The Winter Family Gymnastics Event. We did it last year, G had a blast, and we ended up signing him up for gymnastics for awhile following. But even though we have no plans to re-enroll him back in gymnastics, we went anyway, because 1) it’s free; 2) it’s a TON of fun. Both boys had a blast. I was a little worried that S2 would be pretty pissed off because he’d either not be allowed to participate since he’d be too young, or there wouldn’t be enough for him to do, but that was certainly not the case: he really stuck in there. We ended up with pizza (provided by the event) which S2 devoured, and two pooped out kids.

    Major success of a day.

    Foto Friday

    February 10th, 2012

    Yeah, being up a tree is no fun

    My littlest handy-man

    Yep, still adorable while sleeping (and yes, is is creepy taking a photo of someone while they’re asleep)


    Shawn is mesmerizing

    Yogurt. Staple in this house

    G’s father hurt her leg

    February 7th, 2012

    I hadn’t heard G talk about his father lately, so I asked him about her.

    He then proceeded to tell me a concerning tale that she was hurt. You see, she was climbing on the monkey bars, and fell and hurt her leg. Even though the doctor said not to climb on the monkey bars.

    Where does he get this stuff???

    Parenting: Dirtiest Jobs anyone?

    February 6th, 2012

    I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Discovery Channel show Dirtiest Jobs, but after the week I’ve had, I’m ready to submit one: parenting. Of a stomach flu ridden child.

    This post, as you can imagine, is not for the faint-hearted. If you are a train wreck lookie-loo you probably won’t stay away, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    You know what sucks? Being puked on. I mean physically, all over, you are the target of it all, puked on. You know what also sucks? Having to clean up a diaper blow out that is SO bad that it ends up in between the kid’s toes. Yes, you are correct, toes are generally not in the same vicinity as the butt, but when shit travels south there’s only so far it can go. I’m pretty sure I just used up half a container of Costco wipes just getting to a surface I can handle enough to escort to a bath-tub.

    So Mike Rowe, are you ready to take on a pukey-then-diarrhea stricken baby?

    Parenting for sure has its FAR from glamorous notes.

    And with this post I’ve pretty much re-assured my sister in her choice to never have kids… End scene

    G chats

    February 3rd, 2012

    (stolen from S’ FB wall) A conversation at bed-time

    S: G stop playing around and get your Jammies on.
    G: Daddy look at the clock! It says it’s No Pants time.

    This kid still loves his nekked time.