Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sleep Woes

So last night my husband was so sweet and volunteered to take over the night monitors so I could get some rest.  We are really trying hard to wean our daughter off the middle of the night feedings.  We had to sleep train her back around age 8 months and it was a huge ordeal for me, as I did not think it was a good thing for her, but it only took her crying off and on for about 8 minutes until she was asleep, and we never had to do it again!  It was a miracle!!  Thanks Dr. Ferber :)

And after last night's events, my friend sent me this blog link below and I just about died!  It was the funniest thing ever and really sums up how this past year's lack of sleep has been for us (minus her 4.5 year old).  If only I could draw like she does, or let alone know how to use the software she has. Her blog is Amber Dusick at:


what it is like to (not) sleep at night - illustrated with crappy pictures™

INTRO: Here is installment #2 in my "real life parenting" series.  I draw crappy pictures because I don't have actual photos of these experiences.  Here goes...


I've always been jealous of my husband's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It isn't his fault that he is a deep sleeper.  But I can't help it.  It totally pisses me off.

We climb in bed at 9:00PM...


By 9:03 my husband is completely asleep.

I'm nursing my youngest and haven't even begun to think about sleeping yet.  I lay there motionless, pretending to be calm and relaxed so he'll fall asleep. Anyway, I'm cold since the blankets aren't on my top half.


So I pretend to be sleeping but really I'm going over the "to do" list or re-winding conversations from earlier.  Or having pretend conversations that might happen in the future.  On a good night the baby settles pretty fast.


Finally, around 10:00PM he is asleep.  Success!  He rolls over and my body is my own for the first time all day.  I can pull up the blankets a little.  I close my eyes for real.  Start to relax and let go...


Until I hear a noise.

Becoming a mama has given me heightened spidey senses.  A tiny noise a mile away wakes me up like a mama bear, ready to protect her young.

My husband did not inherit this quality with parenthood.

Wide-eyed, I strain my ears to hear.  This particular noise is one I'm all too familiar with.


Enter 4.5 year old.  I thought he was asleep by now.  He has no concept of being quiet while people are sleeping, so he barges in loudly asking for random shit.  I have to jump out of bed and rush him out of the room so he doesn't wake the baby.  This attempt is successful about 50% of the time.  Lets assume it was successful tonight.


So now I'm in the hallway, hearing my 4.5 year old's demands and bargaining with him.  Water, bathroom or covers on or off, etc.  I have no real power here, I'll agree to anything to get him back in bed quietly.  When he has exhausted all the standard stuff, he finishes by needing to tell me something very important, like "I saw a rock today on the ground and it had dirt on it and I forgot to tell you! " and I steer him back to his room.


By the time I head back to my bed, the baby has turned into a starfish.  Legs and arms stretched out, taking up my whole side of the bed.


I slide next to and under him being careful not to wake him.  I can't move.  I'm scared to breathe.  This is a very delicate situation.  I have to move him.  I have to risk it.


The first attempt to move him just makes it worse.  He swings both arms and legs on top of me.  He is stirring now so I can't move a muscle.  I'm like a statue while I listen to his breathing to hear when he is in a deep sleep again to move him.


Finally, it is midnight and I've successfully moved him.  I haven't heard my 4.5 year old in a while so he must be asleep too.  I fall asleep for the first time!


Until I'm woken by a foot in my eye.  I try to ignore it.  A foot in the eye is a sign that he is starting to move into a lighter sleep.  This means he'll wake up completly to nurse soon.


So we're nursing again.  I'm half asleep but not mostly just feel like a zombie. My mind wanders to weird stuff.  I close my eyes and see flashes of people and places like a dream except I'm awake.


Finally he settles again and rolls away.  It is 2:30AM and I can finally get some real sleep!  It is very unlikely that either kid is going to wake me up again. Sweet sleeping bliss.


Until the two cats come in at 5:00AM and announce that they are hungry.  They continue make this announcement every 15 minutes or so.  I ignore them.  But they know.  They know I'm their target. They know I'm awake no matter how hard I pretend.  They finally settle on my feet so that they will be alerted the moment I stir.  I get a few more minutes of sleep.


Only to be woken at 7:00AM for a new day.  My 4.5 year old skips into our room and gleefully sings, "Morning!  It's morning time!"  Which wakes up the baby who replies with "Mownin!"  Then they start jumping on our bed.

Even this doesn't wake up my husband.  He is sound asleep. Sometimes I look at his chest rising and falling with his breath to confirm that he is alive before unleashing the kids on him.

"Go see Papa" I grumble.


They have to poke his head and repeat "Papa!" over and over and he finally wakes up.

And what is the first thing out of his mouth?  The one and only thing I DON'T want him to say?



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Open Ended

Why do parents ask their kids open ended questions when trying to get them to do something? They know what the answer is going to be, a big fat "no!"  Like asking your child, "do you want to put your toys up now?" Uhm, no way jose!

Tonight I actually asked my baby during bathtime, "are you ready to get out now?" I started to laugh at myself.  She is still non-verbal but I was thinking, "what kind of choice giving am I teaching her?"  I know the ins and outs of choice giving and getting your child to cooperate.  Making mistakes as a counselor parent is one reason I started this blog, to talk about the silly mishaps that a child counselor who knows better, will still make.

But when we want our kids to do something, we have to state it as a fact such as, "okay, it's time to get out of the bathtub now."  There is no option. And we can't go back on our words, that will just fuel inconsistency and more temper tantrums.  I also usually give a 1 or 5 minute warning before I give a command.  That way they know what to expect and no surprises.

And what about giving a choice? I have talked before about how to give choices when setting limits here. The best example is the Cookies and Choices theory.  It goes like this: When your child wants the whole bag of Oreos, you give them 2 choices: "You can choose to have 1 Oreo or no Oreos, what do you choose?" Not 3, 4 , or 6 choices. And you have to use the word, "choice" in there too.  That way they feel that they are making the decision and not being told what to do :)

So the next time I want my child to cooperate or do something, I will definitely make it a statement!  No open ended questions for me.  And if something requires a choice like what to wear for the day, or what to eat for breakfast, you give them 2 choices.  And remember to be 'silly' with them too if they start to show signs of frustration.  Silliness prevents a lot of fussies :)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Baby Activities

I have volunteered to be my neighborhood PTA association's playgroup coordinator this year.  What does that mean? Well first off, I have to say I am super happy and impressed with my neighborhood and the PTA group they have. My neighborhood is in a part of town in Dallas called Lake Highlands and it has a great small town feel to it.  I grew up in Dallas and didn't really spend any time in this part, so it feels like a new place to me. Plus it is one of the more laid back, less pretentious areas of Dallas, so that automatically means I love it!  (trying to get as close to that Austin laid back feeling as much as possible living here :)

Anyone living in the Lake Highlands area is welcome to join the 'before your kid reaches Kindergarten' PTA (AKA Lake Highlands Early Childhood PTA).  This past year we were in the Baby group and this next year we will move into the Toddler group. Each age has its own group and the moms volunteer hosting play groups at their homes and meeting at area places for fun play dates.  We are all stay at home moms with a few part timers, and have developed a really close group. We all admit we feel like we are back in college with a good group of girlfriends!

As the playgroup coordinator, I come up with activities for us to do each week in addition to the playgroups at some of the mom's homes.  I have come across a pretty good list of places in Dallas so far, and I hope to find more cool places to take kids.

If you need something fun to do this summer, here is the list of places I have found:

  • Pump-it-Up on Forest Lane has open play on Tuesday/Wednesdays 10am for $7

  • Walnut Hill Rec Center on Walnut Hill and Midway Rd. has open play for Toddlers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am for $5

  • Splash Parks at various Dallas Recreation Centers, free!:

  • Northpark Bookmarks Baby Bounce music and story time on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at 12:30pm

  • Arboretum picnics in the morning (before it gets too hot)

  • Launa's Little Library in Lake Highlands (a library in a retired librarian's home upstairs, open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am-5:30pm)

  • Top Golf putt-putt

  • Science Place Children's Museum has an indoor play area, sensory exhibits and lots of hands on experiences for 10$ admittance for adults and children under 2 are free (they have great membership deals too)

  • Fellowship Bible Church as an indoor playground that is open to the public, call to see what days they are open at: 214.739.3881

  • Playgrounds that have padded surfaces are Scottish Rite Hospital's playground and Coffee Park at Hillcrest and Northwest Highway

  • Storytimes at Skillman Library at 10:30am on Thursdays, It's a Grind Coffee Shop at 11am on Tuesdays

  • Cry baby movies at the Angelika recommended for babies under 6 months on Wednesdays at 1:30pm. Studio Movie Grill has Summer Kid Movies Mon-Friday at 11am for 1$ kids and 2$ adults, check the schedule here.

  • Indoor Playgrounds at Galleria Mall and Willowbend Mall

  • Best indoor restaurant playground is at the Chick-Fil-A at Southwestern and Central Expy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



So I came across this cartoon the other day while reading some fellow blogs (Mama B) and I died laughing.  This cartoon just about sums up my life at the moment.  I have heard so many 'veteran' moms out there tell me that even when your child sleeps through the night, they will still be waking up for different reasons as they get older (sick, nightmares, potty training, etc.).  That a full 8 hours of sleep will be a blessing.

I also found her 10 ten things you used to take for granted to be classic:

1) Going to the bathroom in peace. And alone.

2) Sleeping through the night.

3) Eating hot dinners.

4) Date nights with your husband.

5) Running into the store really quickly.

6) My figure.

7) Clean, wrinkle and spit up free, clothes.

8 ) Quiet time.

9) A spotless house.

10) Watching “grown up” TV and having adult conservations.

I think my husband and I have decided to just give in and have that always messy house, cold early dinners and 'free time'. I for one have given up and realized I am always going to have that ever lasting flab of a figure :)  These little things are our battle scars for having children but it is so worth it!
Monday, June 20, 2011

Power Struggles

I can just foresee my child one day having a power struggle with me.   It is inevitable I know, but so not looking forward to it.  So far, her beginning 'baby' power struggles have started with a whine and cry when she can't have what she wants.

Here is what it looks like:

I am feeding her lunch... she is Miss Independent and likes to eat her own finger foods and not be fed by me except for her yogurt.... So I start feeding her yogurt with a spoon and she wants the spoon....ugh.....What do you think she will do with the spoon?...... Fling it, swirl it around her high chair tray, throw it over the edge of her chair, sometimes she puts it in her mouth, but the worse case scenario would be for her to poke her eye out.

And if I decide not to give it to her, what does she do?......  She has a look that seems to say, "Give me that spoon, I want it now, how dare you not give it to me!".......  I know that to her it's something new, exciting and she wants to explore it- put it in her mouth, touch it, figure out what the heck it is and hopefully use it correctly soon, but she is just not quite there yet.

So she whines....cries.......and moves her head back and forth........Of course I am there setting limits, expressing her needs and wishes, empathizing as play therapists do so well, but since she's still a baby (almost toddler), she's just not there yet....So I usually let her explore with it for a bit at the end of the meal, and then tell her that it is time to put the spoon up (some limit setting here) and get cleaned up...(repeat if needed)...she usually stops fussing at this point..and we get up to wash her hands.

Ok, so what about real power struggles with toddlers, preschoolers and school aged kids?

Remember my post awhile back on the Goals of Misbehavior? Basically, the theory goes that children act out because they are doing it for 1 of 4 reasons: attention, power, revenge or feelings of hopeless (in-adequateness).  They don't necessarily have a conscience goal in mind as they act out, it's more of a underlying feeling.

And when the goal is power, a power struggle will definitely be in progress.  I have seen them before in my experiences as a nanny.  A good example was when I was feeding a child once and asked her to eat her broccoli. What did she do?

Preschooler: "No, you can't make me!"

Me: "Please, please have just one bite"

Preschooler: "No!"and kicked me as she ran off (oh my!!)

And this dialogue can go on back and forth. It will then escalate into the young child hitting, biting, running off, or throwing self on the floor and having a full on temper tantrum.

Why does a child have their goal as 'Power'? They want to be the boss; They operate on the faulty thinking that, "I only count if you do what I ask you to do" or "If you don't do what I want, that means you don't like me."

What does the goal of Power look like? The more 'active' type displays temper tantrums, argues, lies, refuses to do what they are told and is sometimes openly disobedient.  The 'passive' power seeker will not do their chores, homework and looks more lazy or they 'forget', they become stubborn and passively disobedient.

How does an adult feel when the child is exerting power? You know you have a child with power as their goal when a parent feels threatened thinking, "who is the parent here, me or them?" and thinks, "She can't get away with that!" But an adult's efforts to control a power child can be futile and the child will win 99% of the time when bantering back and forth with them.  And the more this goes on, the more the child will think that power has value. Yikes!

What to do?  Don't get into a power struggle in the first place.

-First try to empathize with them: "I know how frustrated you are, and you don't want to clean your room."

-Try to limit set and appeal for their help: "It's time to clean up your room, and I know I can't make you do it, but I could really use your help"

-Then try to do something silly to break the power: Laugh and say, "I just know your little Mickey Mouse wants to help too!" and start having their stuffed Mickey pick up the room, while still giggling.  In this example, you can also give little baby chores like just asking them to put the blocks up or the books up instead of the entire room.  Hopefully this will break the ice.

I remember learning about power struggles while working at the Easter Seals preschool during college. The teacher and the aides were very strict in our classroom. They kept enforcing all of the rules over and over, such as making them sit down during story time and any time one of the 3 year olds stood up, they would immediately make them sit down.

My first week there I kind of fell into this pattern too, but soon realized that so many power struggles would begin if I followed the teacher's leads. Especially with this population of kids because most of these children either had autism, severe ADHD, etc. and the staff felt the kids needed that strict structure.  But by the middle of my first week, I realized that it was much better to act silly and fun to get them to do what they wanted.  I would laugh with them and just be goofy such as telling them the tickle monster would get them if they did not put up their art paints.

Let me tell ya, it was amazing how things changed. These kids actually started to like me and some of the moms started telling me that their child would come home and I was all they would talk about, and adored me.  What a great feeling that was!!!

Now of course as parents you still have to make sure to not reinforce negative behaviors, set your limits and be consistent, consistent, consistent. But I think being fun and silly will bring your children much more happiness, and they will be more willing to listen to you and do what you say. Plus, you will create many more happy memories for your child. You want them to look back and remember you as a fun mom, not the strict, rule-oriented one :)
Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big Smile


I just love how babies smile all the time!  They are so innocent, sweet and are loving little creatures.  They giggle non-stop and have such cute little bouts of laughter all day long.  It is so sweet to see the little things that make them smile. Like when they find a little crumb on the floor and just burst into laughter. I wish more of us grown-ups had such happy outlooks on life!

That's why all of us adults just adore babies.  When you are having a bad day, all you need to do is see a little baby and a smile comes across our faces too.  Their ever lasting happiness is super contagious.

While seeing how happy my little girl was today and smiling from ear to ear, I stopped to think that I don't ever want her innocent smiles to end.  I have seen too many kids in therapy who have lost that infectious smile and have taken on too many adult problems at such a young age.  Problems children should not have to endure, but sometimes life just throws you these challenges and as parents we can't always protect them and be there for every bump in the road.

As a parent, I know I will try hard to teach my child how to survive in this harsh world, while at the same time making sure she still laughs and enjoys the little things in life!  I don't ever want her to lose that constant giggle and lust for life.  Just love those smiles :)



Before I had kids, I did not understand how you could be a stay at home mom AND have a housekeeper.  You're at home all day, so why do you not have time to keep a house?

Well, I was doing pretty good at the laundry, vacuuming, dusting and kitchen duties as my child was a newborn, and right up until my child started crawling.  Now, she wants my attention 24/7 and does not want me to clean, dare I take any attention away from her.  She wants me to hold her while I vacuum- yeah, not going to happen. And it is too loud for me to vacuum while she sleeps. So my husband and I have to coordinate vacuuming when he is at home with me.

I miss those days when my newborn just slept all day in the swing or bassinet.  Now I can barely get my breakfast, lunch or dinner prepared as my child wants to be in on ALL the action.

During nap time, it is easier for me to get a few things done, but it is also the time I shower, eat, pay bills, do household duties like call the city about my water bill account. And hopefully while she still sleeps, I can get a nap in myself as I still don't get a full night's rest.

I know the toddler stage is just a phase, and then she will be more self sufficient and let her momma clean the house soon.  Getting a housekeeper would be a dream, but I have to choose between getting a massage (or mani/pedi), paying for a mommy and me class or a maid. Hmmm.  I usually choose the class or a relaxing pedicure.  Would rather scrub the floors on my hands and knees so I can go and get that massage.  But I think having a maid is totally worth it for those stay at home moms!

How do you moms manage running a household?  Any good tips??
Monday, June 13, 2011

Play Therapyisms

For those play therapists out there, you know all too well how much we joke around with our play therapy 'talk.'  Or as I call them, "play therapyisms."  Play therapy is for sure a different language, and I've had many children clients tell me I talk 'funny.'

So now that my child is now understanding more of what I say, it is so cute to start using these little 'play therapyisms' and see how she reacts.

What are play therapyisms?

Well, by now I'm sure you've heard me go over and over the limit setting techniques play therapists use, so it's really just a shortened version of them. We don't use the word "don't" (pun intended here). And we try not to start a command with "no!"

When your baby doesn't know any better and starts hitting their friend, we say: "Hands are not for hitting"

When your child stands up on their chair, we say: "Chairs are for sitting in"

Or, in my home, the following:

"My computer is not for eating"

"We sit down in bathtubs"

"Sippy cups are not for throwing"

"We use soft touches to pet Honey Bear (our dog)"

See the difference between a harsh "No standing up!" vs. "we sit down in bathtubs" or "bathtubs are for sitting in"?  That's why most kids think I talk so funny, because they are not used to hearing such warm, positive directives.

By the way, it works great on husbands too, "we put dirty dishes in the dishwasher" :)





Thursday, June 9, 2011

No No!

(found this adorable book on Amazon, pretty much sums up a toddler)

As parents, we think it is so cute when our children first assert their independence and say the word, "no!" But then after a few more times, it gets to be not so cute.  My child now is shaking her head back and forth as a "no" and is definitely letting us know what she wants!

Our kids are showing us that they are on their way to being autonomous and that they can decide on what they want to do, or not do.  We want our children to learn to be assertive, but also not to defy us either. Power trips with a toddler is not fun.  (More on power trips next week) :)

But as parents, we also use the word "no" a lot.  As we child proof our homes, we are also beginning to set limits for their safety and use this word to save them from dangerous situations.  We also are teaching them right from wrong, how to control their actions (no hitting your friend's face), and learning how to respect the possessions of others (no touching the highly breakable and expensive vase at Grandma's house).

Little toddlers still just don't quite understand how their hitting is not a 'soft touch' and they surely don't understand why they can't touch Grandma's pretty vase.

So as parents, we use the word 'No' a lot.  But how do we use it effectively?

Make sure that when you use the word 'no' they know it means to "stop what you are doing now!" and use it when you really need it.  If you use it too much, it will go in one ear and out the other and won't mean anything to them.  When they hear it, they need to know it is serious. So in other situations when it's not an immediate danger, use the Limit Setting techniques I have posted about here.  State the desire, state the limit and GIVE AN ALTERNATIVE.

I hear so many parents say, "that is not a good choice" but then never tell them what the choices (alternatives) are.  So make sure you give them those choices of what to do instead.

And for all of those moments when we are trying hard to teach them right from wrong, soft touches and no grabbing. Just keep modeling, modeling, modeling.  Remove them from the situation if needed.

Little toddlers are so busy learning the names of objects, what they do, how they are used, what can be touched and not touched, what objects are to be pushed, shoved, thrown, pulled and sat on or jumped on.  So much to learn, it can be overwhelming for them sometimes. Definitely something to remember when they are having a meltdown and in the middle of a power struggle.  :)
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mommy and Me

Don't you just love the quality time you have with your child, whether you are a SAHM or a working mom, quality mommy and me time is priceless.  That's why I signed up for Kindermusik last semester.  I looked forward to our little class each week and really enjoyed watching her learn and grow in them.

This summer we signed up for a few other mommy and me classes as well. We started swim lessons at the YMCA this week and she is loving being in the water and splashing around!

We also signed up for an art class next week for babies called Scribbles and Dribbles.  Art for babies? They have to start learning how to express themselves at some point, right? I am picturing a lot of finger painting and play-dough.  The more babies and children can release themselves creatively, the more their self esteem increases and the more they can release any frustrations, anxieties and baby stress.  Yep, you heard correctly, baby stress.  Growing at such a fast rate is sure stressful and they need a good outlet to let it all out!

I am so excited to participate in these classes and be a part of her growth!  Because one day very soon she will be in school all day long, and I won't be able to participate like I am now. Sad. I have to cherish these moments while she is young.  Just not fair how fast they grow up.

I realize she won't remember these classes, even though she is gaining a lot from them.  She will just have to watch them on video and see the pictures we took, so she can see how much fun she had. And then one day when she is a teenager screaming at me and being snotty, pulling out these pictures will bring me back to peaceful days and remind her that yes, back in the day she loved spending time with me and we had a great bonding experience. Awh.

And I just know that she is gaining a special attachment bonding experience from these classes.  Or whatever you want to call it.  I just know they have caused a warm fuzzy feeling in her (and me) that will carry with her throughout her life :)
Monday, June 6, 2011

First Time Away

This weekend marked my first time away from my sweet angel baby girl Luna. Yes, it was my first time away from my child.  First time of being away from her for over 5 hours!  I had not left her yet overnight and luckily my sweet husband was going to watch her for me so I could get a little R & R with some girl friends.

I was going to miss this sweet face, that's for sure!

I definitely think it is a good thing for parents to spend some time away from their children, because they need to get used to being with other people.  But I think it's best to do it in baby steps because young babies have the whole attachment thing to process, but being gone here and there helps them get used to spending time away. It's good for the child and good for the parents too.

The tricky part for me this past weekend was that I am still breastfeeding, AND that my child still wakes up once or twice to nurse back to sleep.  Now that she is 12 months old, I nurse her at breakfast, lunch and dinner so it's not an every 2-3 hour thing that it used to be.  But with the night feedings, it kind of makes things tricky.  So we tried a few trial runs before the big night away.

Did it work?  Not so much.  My husband tried to give her a bottle when she woke up at night, but she refused.  Now-my child can go to sleep on her own awake, and wakes up here and there on her own throughout the night and goes back to sleep on her own. BUT, when she is standing up in her crib crying, that is when I know she is hungry and after I nurse her, she goes back to sleep for hours.  I know you think she might just be wanting comfort right?  But I swear she is still hungry.

So since my child was not taking a bottle from her daddy, I was scared to leave her one night alone. But everyone told me that if she was really hungry, she would take the bottle or sippy cup from him.  It would just mean a LONG night for my husband :)

So off I went and drove out to meet the girls.  At first was hard, but once I was driving alone, it was nice. I felt so much freedom!  It was nice to be out for a drive alone. But it was kind of strange to think I was driving the opposite direction away from Dallas, away from my child. But knowing it was only 45 minutes away made me feel better.

Once I arrived it was pure heaven!  Relaxing with some girlfriends who are also all mothers to young toddlers, was amazing.  We were having a play date with ourselves, and it was awesome :)

After a fun night with the ladies, it was time to hit the sack.  Going to bed without having to put my child to sleep was crazy and I all of a sudden forgot what it was like to just take care of one person.  And then I had to breastpump, joy joy, but glad to get it out of the way and off to bed.

Of course I could not fall asleep. As tired as I was, I was restless and started worrying about my child. I also think because it was my first night away and looking forward to a real night's sleep, I jinxed myself.

Apparently I finally did fall asleep because then I awoke worried, wondered if my snoring, hard sleeping husband had heard the night monitor or slept through it. Luckily he texted me bright and early that everything was good and she was eating breakfast.

Ahhh, sigh of relief.  I got up all excited it worked and started making breakfast.  Was I able to sleep in? Nope. Could not sleep past 8am. Plus, I was super engorged and had to pump.  Have I mentioned before how much pumping is not fun?  The only thing I can compare it to is like having to go to the bathroom and urinate, but not completely emptying it- I know, gross comparison, but it's true.  Pumping works but I just don't feel the engorgement 'relief' when your baby actually does it.

As I was chopping fruit for breakfast, I realized I did not have to prepare a meal for my baby.  She is normally super hungry at breakfast and I am scrambling to get her food prepared as she is crying and pulling on me.  It was so nice to not have to worry about anyone else.

So after our yummy breakfast of fruit, migas, cinnamon rolls, hashbrown casserole, biscuits, mimosas and some more R and R with the girls, I headed out to get back home at 11:30am. Of course everyone else left later at 4pm, but I needed to breastfeed and could not bare to pump again, plus my hubby and I had a much needed date night lined up.  Can you believe we had not seen a movie in 4 months!

I was also secretly anxious to get back to my little girl. I guess I have to do time away in baby steps.  Next time I think I will definitely last longer, and hopefully not be breastfeeding as much and have to pump!  I am sooo looking forward to the next girls trip or hubby and wife night away time.

So the overall outcome?  Overnight success!  Can't wait to do it again :0
Friday, June 3, 2011

White Noise

The secret to my child's sleep success at home and on our recent vacation trip? My white noise machine.  Ever since I can remember, I have needed some sort of quiet hum to get me to sleep and this machine has been a lifesaver for me and now my child.

As a young child, I remember that I used to love when the air conditioner came on or when the dish washer started running- I would close my eyes and fall right to sleep.

Then as I got older, I needed something stronger and something that lasted longer.  I found something better, one of those little desk fan things.  It worked for me all through high school and college.

There were times when I didn't have it, such as a hotel stay or spending the night at a friend's house and the 'so quiet I could hear a pin drop' deathly quietness was pure torture for me.  It would take me hours to fall asleep.

I realized that fans are not the best to carry around and travel with so I began trying many sound machines and most of them had these little annoying background noises or little 'clicking' sounds.  And they were worse than having silence.  I know, I am really picky. I am one of those that gets annoyed when a faucet is leaking and I swear I really can hear a pin drop a mile away.

But then, I found the granddaddy of them all: the Marpac sound machine!

(For ordering info, click here: Marpac SleepMate 980A Electro-Mechanical Sound Conditioner)

These are the machines us therapists use outside a therapy room so that people can't hear what is being said behind closed doors. I bought one for myself about 12 years ago and although they are a little pricey (50$)- they are the best white noise machines out there!  No little annoying sounds in the background and no clicking.  Just constant white noise.

(Oh, and by the way, I am not getting ANY payment whatsoever for talking about this lifesaver brand, Marpac.  I wish they knew I was advocating them, maybe they would send me a free one :)

I highly recommend them for your child's room too.  Right now, in addition to this sleep machine, we also are using a floor fan by the door to block out the creaking of our hardwood floors. Hopefully she will not get too used to it and we can take it out soon.  That's all we need is our baby needing 2 sleep machines to get her through life.

And I know- sooo many sleep books tell you to NOT have your child have a sleep association such as a noise machine or a paci, or a bottle at night. Well, I am here to say that yes, I have a sleep association as a grown adult and it's not so bad. Hey, if it helps your child get better sleep then the parents get better sleep, and everyone is happy!

Has anyone had any issues with sleep and sleep machines saved the day??  What do you need to get to sleep?
Thursday, June 2, 2011

My River Rat

My little girl LOVES the water and had such a great time 'floating' the lazy river on our vacation this week.  I was so excited to see her swim as this was her first real swimming experience.  I was worried she may be afraid of the water, but so glad she loves it so much.  We got through this hurdle and a few weeks ago we got through the peanut butter hurdle with flying colors.. No reaction AND she loves it, so we are good to go!