Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well Visits

Ian had has 3 year well visit at the pediatrician yesterday. He is 32 pounds and 37 inches tall. He's doing all the things he should be & all is well.

Aaron had his 18 month well visit yesterday and weighed 22 pounds and was 32 inches tall. He is finally gaining weight! The pediatrician attributed that to his asthma and allergies being well controlled now.

Both boys had to get one vaccination each and we went on our (not so) merry way.

Later on, since Aaron is still a peanut, (and Ian is too, actually) we made rice krispy treats.

Aaron helped.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Turning 3

Friday morning while Grandma & Papa Miller were still here, we lit Ian's candle and sang to him again. Friday eveningwe had dinner issues due to a freak storm with 80 mph winds that passed though... we were going to go to CiCi's Pizza, but the power was out. We ended up going to Red Robin. Ian enjoyed his birthday immensely!







^waiting for our table


^playing with Buzz Lightyear


^The look on his face while the servers were singing to him was priceless!

Sleep Update

It's been about a week since I posted the Bedtime Battles update about Aaron's sleeping. I'm back to report that the past 7 nights have been great! Aaron seems to have taken to going to sleep on his own and sleeping in his bed through the night. He sometimes still cries a bit at bedtime, (I'm talking like 5 min or less... usually less than 30 seconds if at all.) but I haven't had to revisit his room at bedtime a single time in more than a week. For awhile since we started sleep training he would cry at the mere mention of "bed, crib, nap, bedtime," but that reaction has now passed too.

I think it has now been 5 nights that Aaron has slept through the entire night. Perhaps a whimper around 3:30am (he must have a regular sleep-cycle waking around that time), but if we listen for more than one whimper, there is not another one. He's putting himself back to sleep!

He has started waking rather early... today it was 6:48am, but I'd rather have an early waking with a full-night's sleep than sleeping later in the morning, but up all night long.

Aaron's daytime anxiety seems to be improving a bit too. Perhaps he's just reached a new milestone entirely and is coming to the "end stages" of the anxious period that all toddlers go through. Perhaps teaching him to self-soothe in the night has given him some extra confidence during the day. He's still my cuddly little guy who prefers I stay nearby, but he's becoming more open to mama being out of sight for longer periods and to being comforted by others who are not mama.

We've made serious progress. I'm so delighted! Praise the Lord that we've made it (mostly) through another period of "difficult parenting" and lived to talk about it! I say "mostly" because we are realists when it comes to parenting in this house and know that there are always setbacks when it comes to milestones and stages of development. There will be times to come when Aaron resists bedtime again and wakes in the night. But I'm going to declare this hurdle "mostly" crossed and look forward to the next challenge!

Friday, April 16, 2010

3










The weather is supposed to be rainy today and cold this weekend (like it always is on Ian's birthday it seems) so we decided last night was a better night to give him his "big" gift and have cupcakes. Roger was having some of his friends over to play a game and grandma and papa happened to be here. We had an impromptu birthday party! Ian's pirate party is coming up next weekend, but for his "official" birthday we will go to CiCi's Pizza (just the 4 of us tonight) and maybe get another small gift... new jammies or maybe a DVD.

Happy Birthday, Ian! I can't believe you're three already!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Asparagus

25 weeks

We have 15 weeks to go. Can you believe that? Well, that's actually if we go all the way to the due date... and you know how that goes.

I had a doctor's appointment today:

+ 1/2 pound (+3.5 overall) <--I know, that's insane.

Baby's heart rate was 146bpm

Belly measuring right-on (25cm).

I got my orders for the Glucose screening test & will go back in 4 weeks.

Monday, April 12, 2010

7 Years

I would post a picture, except, all of our "old" pictures are packed away on our server in storage. Good place for them, right?

Today is Roger & my 7th wedding anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, Roger! We're old. I can't believe we've been married for 7 years!

:-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bedtime Battles

About 2 weeks ago, Aaron decided that he was no longer going happily to bed and no longer going to sleep in his bed at night. He wants to be held. All. Night. Long. Being that I am 24 weeks pregnant, with two active young boys, and that Roger works out of the house every day, there's just no way that we can hold Aaron all night long, even if we want to.

With aching hearts (and heads, and backs) we decided it was time for Aaron to sleep train. Now, before you go off all half-cocked about sleep training, or Ferberizing, or Cry-it-Out... just know that in our 3 years of parenting terrible sleepers we have already tried (ha ha I just typo-ed "tried" with "tired," isn't that telling?) everything to keep from getting to the crying-it-out method of sleep training. I'm talking everything. When Ian was about 15 months old, I kept a journal of what pajamas he would wear and how he slept in each pair. And what exactly we did in the way of bedtime routines on nights he slept well. What he ate the days he slept well, what order we went about our day, how long his nap was, etc.

I made myself crazy trying to "figure it out" and I still ended up rocking him for hours on end. I think we own every single book written on infant/toddler sleep and I've read every page of them all. One night, about a month after Aaron was born, right around 19 months old, we just could not take holding Ian in 4 hour shifts all night long anymore and we had to let him cry. It was the best thing we've ever done for him. The first night was horrible. He cried for an hour and 45 min, and we checked on him every 10 or so. But in less than a week he was sleeping through the night and going to bed without being rocked to sleep. An entirely new bedtime routine developed and we were all sleeping better, feeling better, loving each other a little more.

Regretfully, Aaron was born a crappy sleeper too, and for 17 months we have done the same things as we did to get Ian to sleep, knowing from experience that the day would come when we had to sleep train. Nobody wants to do it. For us, it is a decision made out of desperation after months of consideration and trying other no-cry methods. No-cry methods don't work in this house. For whatever reason our children suck at sleeping. I'm not entirely convinced it isn't something I did along the way to make them that way, but I'm also not entirely convinced it is.

It has been even more difficult for me to make the final decision to sleep train with Aaron because of his health problems. It just breaks my heart to let him cry even for one second because he's been through so much already at just 18 months. Before he was even born I had a special place in my heart for this sweet boy who has only one kidney, breathing issues, asthma, allergies, has had pneumonia more times than I can even remember, has spent time in Children's hospital, has had surgery, is on 4 regular medications, etc. I just feel so bad for him. Letting him cry to sleep was the last thing I ever wanted to do because I don't want him to feel bad about anything. He's sick so much, the least I can do is hold him, right? That is my mother's guilt with Aaron. It really gets to me.

Anyway.

Two weeks ago, Aaron cried all night long unless I was bent over the crib rail so he could hold onto my arm while he slept. It was the last straw. His sleeping had been getting progressively worse for several weeks and all of a sudden he decided he just wasn't going to sleep anymore unless I was touching him. Aaron won't even accept Roger as a stand-in for mommy. Aaron wants only mommy in the night. (And most other times too.) I just can't do it any more... be up all night long and all day long, running after 2 crazy boys, keeping up with the house, the finances, the doctors appointments, the shopping, cooking, etc. Not without sleep. You just cannot do it without sleep. So I told him I loved him and I walked out the door. Night one of sleep training for dear Aaron. And it was heartwrenching, just like it was with Ian. My only comfort this time was that we'd already been down this road before with Ian...with a positive outcome. We went into it knowing Aaron was going to be a tougher nut to crack and we were not expecting any overnight miracles. But the one thing we knew is that he was going to benefit from learning to sleep on his own... and we were too.

Fastforward 2 weeks. (Two weeks with a lot of crying, a lot of praying, a lot of lying awake in bed listening to my sweet baby cry over the monitor.)

No crying from Aaron at bedtime tonight! Like the good old days, in bed drowsy but awake, told him I loved him, patted him, he turned over and went to sleep.

Uhm. Awesome.

I'm certain it means nothing for the middle of the night, which we're still struggling with (although it IS getting better... slowly), but I'm seriously encouraged by the return to (mostly) happy bedtimes.

Please take a moment, if you would, to send up a little prayer of thanksgiving for this small victory. And go ahead, while you're at it, and ask for continued comfort for Aaron during the night and at naptime, and continued strength for his parents during those times as well.

In other news:

Today we cleaned our garage. It took 2 hours. By the time we were done I was having major Braxton Hicks contractions. We had a house showing at 3:00 and we really wanted to make the house shine since it was our first Saturday request since like October and we had lots of time to do it... but I had to sit down and drink water and fold laundry for about 45 min before the CX subsided. It kinda scared me.

So most of the hard housework (cleaning floors, etc.) fell on Roger today. He didn't really appreciate it when I apologized for not being able to do more and then reminded him he was *partially* responsible for the problem I had today. I've also had really yucky sciatic nerve pain on my left side today and have been pretty much "walrussy" all day. It's too early to start feeling like a beached whale. I will not succumb. I will not waddle until at least 34 weeks. Ha ha.

The boys only had car naps when we left at 2:45 and we drove around the city for a little while looking at the flowering spring trees and tulips, down to the South Side and then the Hofbrauhaus for dinner. We even got dessert. The Apple Streudel was delicious. Then we walked around the little "crafty craftsmen" festival they were having on the South Side... the boys danced to the live music and made everyone around us smile and giggle, with their electric air guitar playing and headbanging. (Seriously, where did they learn that?!)

I bought some organic goat milk and almond soap from a girl with a booth who lives on the North Side and makes the soap in her garage. LOVE small, local businesses like that. The cake of soap was $4 and if I like it, I will definitely start buying it from her!

Home to a clean house and this awesome bedtime!

I'm in a lovely mood! Exhausted, but very happy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DEAL of the DAY!

Today, on a whim, the boys and I packed up and went to Grove City to meet Emily & her boys for a little sun, shopping, and playing.

We didn't find many great deals and of course, I could've probably spent $1000 and still not gotten everything I was drooling over for Little Miss... anyway...

We did find ONE super deal. (And Only on my way home did I think, "duh, I should've picked up 2 additional ones for Molly Piper!" Mommy Brain is REALLY frustrating sometimes.)



I know you can't see the tags on these, but the tag says $29.50 on each. And the final marked-down price was $2.99. That's right. $2.99. I am tickled pink...literally! Adorable AND inexpensive. Awesome.



They had a TON of them and even some blue ones, in size 0-6 on the bunting and 6-12 on the coat... I seriously suggest checking out to see if your Children's Place has them. And... if you really ask me nice, maybe I'll send my parents over to pick one up for you. (Or two, if you're Molly!)

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Adventurous Eating

We have never forced our kids to eat anything, really, but we've offered and encouraged adventurous eating. If we're eating it, we offer a taste to the boys. Sometimes they'll try it, sometimes they won't. Most of the time, when they DO try it... they find they like it.

Ian's favorite food right now is Asparagus.

When we go to the store, his first question is can we buy fruit? I *always* let him. I guide him to a "good" one for our house for that day and he picks which he wants and we put it in the cart. Then we move on to the veggies and he picks one of those. A couple weeks ago, he had a huge tantrum because I wouldn't buy carrots. We already had carrots at home, but that didn't matter, he wanted them. (Don't worry, the tantrum stopped when we got to the bakery and he got his free cookie.)

Yesterday, we were out and about and had lunch at a little (read: 5 tables) restaurant called Kous Kous Cafe. It is Morrocan cuisine. First, Roger ordered the mint tea, served over ice. Ian tried and liked it. Next came Roger's soup: harira. Aaron asked for a taste and then proceeded to finish Roger's bowl for his lunch.



Ian had several bites of my side salad, with lemon mint dressing. He was tired, though, and didn't eat much...sure did enjoy the Izze Peach Soda, though!

A couple weeks ago, Ian & Aaron both ate their hearts out at Sushi Too. Aaron's favorite part, of course, was the miso soup with tofu & mushrooms. Ian ate some of grandpa's vegetable sushi, chicken katsu, soup, rice, steamed edamame, etc. It was probably a year ago that Ian ate his weight in tabbouleh at Aladdin's eatery.


Of course, just so you don't get the wrong idea... As I'm writing this, Ian & Aaron are charging through their Easter Baskets eating all things chocolatey & sugary.

Aaron already asked for his milk cup, though, and they'll beg for fruit at lunchtime.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feeling the Love!



Lately we've been getting a relatively high volume of packages! Some are things we've ordered for ourselves (like Ian's new car seat, courtesy of Roger's car getting smashed), but most of them are completely unexpected gifts!

We're being SHOWERED with the love of our friends and family and I have to tell you, it is NICE! We've had a rough couple of months and several disappointments and disasters (the gutter/fascia ripping of the side of our house, Roger's car getting smashed, Aaron's health, our house not selling yet, etc.) and I am ever so thankful for these random gifts that are timed perfectly to keep our spirits up!

Thanks so much to all of you! (You know who you are.) I'm trying, really trying to get thank you notes written and mailed, so bear with me. They're coming.

Today's completely unexpected, completely delightful gift?

Some sweet pink stuff for Little Miss! Thank you Rachel, Brian, & Chloe for celebrating all things girlie with us!