Steve got up with Ryan this morning, allowing me to sleep in. Both boys are taking long morning naps while I slowly drink a mug of steaming coffee. The house is clean and there are few to-dos nagging at me; instead I’m dreaming up fun ways to spend the day. Life is good.
I barely watch TV these days, hear you on the too busy part. Did you do sleep training earlier and then things changed? Just curious because I’m a sleep nazi and totally tell myself that means Ry would be a great sleeper FOREVER! :)
Ali, i was just going to send you this in your ask box but figured maybe i have a chance to help other moms out there (hee hee). I too was very practical about Cash’s sleep habits as a baby. no co-sleeping, no long cuddle sessions before bed, stick to a nightly bedtime routine, put him in his crib drowsy but awake - the whole 9 yards. it was text book and i was an A student. and it paid off big time. Cash was a perfect, beyond perfect, sleeper. everyone was jealous and my sisters wanted very bad things to happen to me they were so jealous. for over 2 years Cash slept from 7pm to 7am (he started sleeping through the night at 9 months). we were so happy and very smug about it. Cash turned 2 and we moved him into a big boy bed (and we also had another baby). Still, he was perfect. we could do the bath, teeth routine, read a few books, say prayers, turn around and turn off the lights and hear from him at 7 the next morning. and to make things even more unbelievable, he wouldn’t get out of his bed when he woke up in the morning. he would call from me from his bed, “mommy, i awake. get me.” perfection!
and then it all went to shit. at about 2 and a half Cash started feeling his independence. he realized he could get out of bed and it was downhill fast from there. and we did a lot of things wrong. we started letting him stay up later - big mistake. my philosophy has always been a well rested child sleeps better. staying up later definitely wasn’t getting him the rest he needed. we also let him start watching more tv (sesame street, toy story, etc.) and he was asking to watch that before bed. we thought ok, that is good “quiet time” before bed. not so, it has a reverse effect and wires kids (so they say). and we loosened up on the routine, some nights we would take a bath, some nights we would read books, some nights we wouldn’t. anyway, all these things lead up to Cash thinking to himself (i assume) “this place is a free for all, lets party” and just like that our good little sleeper had turned dark.
Chandler and i realized this pretty quick and tried to do something about it but we were our own worst enemies. Cash is a smarter than the average bear 2 year old and can manipulate us like a pro. it takes a really strong parent to go through sleep training. crying it out isn’t for us - we are just too big of suckers and the kid can seriously cry for hours on end. the problem we were having was choosing a method - whether it be cry it out, choices, stay up all night - and sticking with it. we were giving ourselves one night and saying, ‘welp, that didn’t work, lets try something new tomorrow.’ but really they say that it can take up to 2 weeks to re-train a toddler sleeper. so that’s where we are. we are giving Cash choices. do you want your door open? yes, then you have to stay in your bed. if you get out of bed we close your door for 5 minutes. he has been getting out of bed so we tell him that he will have his door closed (and locked from the outside or he would just open it) for 5 minutes. he usually cries for those 5 minutes. but then we go back in and open his door and tell him to stay in bed or we will close his door. next time it will be longer. and so on, and on.
tonight we only closed the door for 5 minutes and the very next time he stayed in bed. fingers crossed. its going to be important that if he does well tonight, but not tomorrow night, to not give up because i feel like it isn’t working. i have committed to this for 2 weeks. wish us luck.
so to answer your question - all bets are off when it comes to these little darlings. we call Cash a werewolf because he is seriously God’s gift to the world until the sun goes down. and then he is so hard to handle. but he’s so cute.
Life lessons, people. I could have written Carolyn’s first bit, including the part about being smug (there! I admitted it!). I guess there’s only so much we can do to mold our little monsters’ habits.
Right before bed tonight, Ryan crawled all around his play room, scooping up toys and bringing them to his toy box. He dropped them in one by one, straightening up the room. My child is a genuis. A neat and tidy genuis.
*I realize he was only intrigued by the novelty of watching toys disappear after he dropped them into the box, but a mom can dream.
If two weeks counts as a tradition, tonight was our second traditional Koper Family Sunday Dinner. We’re beginning to incorporate more family meals, both to show an example of eating the same food, and also to teach that meals are social and time for conversation. And simply because it’s fun (though Mommy and Daddy dinner alone after baby bedtime is also fun). Before it got too hot this morning, I did some prep for tonight’s chicken and corn enchiladas. I roasted a whole chicken, rubbing some spices and garlic under the skin, and roasted tomatillos that we picked up at the farmers’ market yesterday. Putting the rest of it together was easy this afternoon while Ryan napped. Something makes me very happy about the three of us all having the exact same food on our plates and sharing a meal together under the summer sun.
Ryan devoured the enchiladas and chayote! Little guy got a second serving.
We’re eating out tonight for the first time since Ryan made the switch to big people food. We’re going to somewhere very nearby, Five Spice, for ease, and because we’ve heard it’s good. According to the menu, they have selections for children, but I think I’m going to try to talk Ryan into sharing the smoked pork dumplings with carrot salad as a starter, and the sturgeon with black rice mushroom risotto for our main.
I’m listening to some DMB and getting all nostalgic about summer, even though we had a fairly tame one this year. I didn’t even get to a river or lake! So, I’m officially saying that on the docket for next summer is Crater Lake, Lots of reading in the park and…
Looking for a new blog to follow? Beth is the answer to that question. Great posts on fashion, travel, just being awesome. Love this girl!
Planning for Ryan’s first birthday party is in full swing. I’m starting to see just how close he is to being one. In the way he babbles on and on, talking with his hands, as my mom pointed out. The growing number of words he understands (including “no,” which he disregards with a knowing smile). It’s starting to sink in.
First Sunday family dinner was a success! Ryan loved his meal and ate heartily. The best part is that since he’s still not the most adept eater, dinner was rather leisurely.
I wanted to keep things simple, so made a pasta bake. Penne, ground turkey, broccoli and mozzarella with homemade marinara sauce with fresh basil. Pretty safe foods, though I wasn’t sure if he’d like the fennel seeds I couldn’t resist adding, among other herbs, when I browned the turkey. Didn’t seem to bother him.
We had some laughs.
We traded deep thoughts.
Some of us were even caught licking our fingers. It was that good.
After we’d had our fill, we were “all finished.”
And, the chef received a round of applause. Here’s to many, many more dinners together as a family of three.
I decided that today would be the day that we’d all eat the exact same thing for dinner for the very first time. Ryan’s first Sunday family dinner. I didn’t expect to have to wake him for it! Poor teething baby has reverted to three naps a day, however, and has been asleep for the past hour and 15 minutes. Fortunately, the two top teeth coming in haven’t bothered him too much otherwise.
I have to gush, I love the schedule Ryan’s eased into. He’ll be up from his first nap soon, which allowed me to shower and put on makeup, and then we’re off to the farmers’ market with friends. Another nap after lunch, followed by a special little train ride we have planned for him. We’ll put him to bed tonight at 7pm as usual, though with help from a sitter. Dinner resos at 7:30; we can go out on a real date, but don’t miss singing him his lullaby.
Before long he’ll drop that first nap of the day. It’ll be a tough adjustment for the rest of us…
Ryan has transformed this month, more so than over the previous month. While he’s still my little baby, I can see early signs of him becoming a kid in the way he plays, babbles and interacts with people.
He crawls all over the place, a standard crawl on his hands and knees. My very favorite is when he crawls to me, sits up on his knees and reaches up for me to hold him.
He LOVES to eat. He’s gained a pound in the past month and is now over 18 pounds! At every meal he feeds himself things like chicken, banana pieces, ground turkey, bits of cheese and cooked carrot. We feed him purees mixed with chunks of food, as well. His favorite is grilled cheese. He can put it away like nobody’s business.
You’d think he were running for mayor, which was true for his daddy as a baby, I hear from my mother-in-law. He smiles and waves, and claps if he really likes you (especially for my mom).
We’re working on signs. He mastered “all finished” a while ago, but we’ve not been good about adding others. I’m now trying more, milk and sleep.
His favorite toys are trucks. He makes a vroom vroom sound when he plays with them.
Some thing haven’t changed so much. Dada is still his favorite word, he’s an incredible sleeper and likes to cuddle. He loves his friends at daycare and his family.
Ryan is such a lovey, happy boy. He brings immeasurable joy and love into our lives. Only two months until his first birthday. I can’t remember life without him, and yet I feel like it was so recent that we were eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Yesterday, Steve and I celebrated seven years of marriage. The years have passed so quickly. What better way to celebrate than by watching our close friends C & B exchange vows of their own? It was a beautiful wedding - both in the meaning, and simply the aesthetics. Pictures to come once the photographer posts some!