drum roll please…

Our roof is leaking in three places, our bathroom is moldy, I just worked for 10.5 hours, I’m sleep deprived, it’s 11:00 and it’ll be another 30 minutes before I’m in bed, my work future is uncertain at this point, I’ve done very little Christmas preparations…but I made it through NaBloPoMo. I skipped a day, but I did a make up post, so I think I’m still a member of the club.

And tomorrow is December. I will break out the Christmas music, pull out the Christmas decorations, give my kids their Playmobil advent calendars (which reminds me I still have to wrap them) and enjoy the festive season. Oh, and I’ll celebrate the fact that Movember, like NaBloPoMo, is over.

Happy December.

sleep deprivation

I wasn’t going to blog about this because I thought I’d come to terms with it, but after the last week, something HAS to be done.

Amy hasn’t been sleeping well for the past few months. First the problem was just that she’d get up really early and want to be up for the day (like 4:30, 5:00). We wouldn’t go in and get her until 6:00, but there would usually be multiple trips into her room to tell her it wasn’t time to wake up, or else we’d be yelling from our room the same thing. Occasionally we ignored her but she’d end up screaming and we were worried that Elliot would wake up. Having one child up early is bad enough. Having two, one of whom is VERY grumpy in the morning, would be hell.

It got better for a while, and she started sleeping past 6:00, occasionally even to 7:00, and the problem morphed into her waking up in the middle of the night asking us to put her bopp (her blanket) back on, and asking for her music on. This was actually better for me because it was usually just once in the middle of the night, and I’d quickly get up and put her bopp on her. We also started playing her music all night. Things were very manageable for a while, and we even had some nights where she didn’t call us at all, and she’d sleep past 6:30. On those mornings, we were quick to praise her for “sleeping in”, and for putting bopp on by herself during the night. She was happy to hear the praise.

I did question whether we should try to wean her off waking us up in the middle of the night, but I thought that she probably needed the comfort, and seeing as I was still getting quite a good sleep (usually), I left it as is.

Until the last week. She has been getting up at least twice a night, and last night I lost count. And last night was by far the most frustrating night for me. It’s a bit of a blur, but it went something like this:

At 2:00 she woke up asking that bopp be put back on, then just as I was finally falling back asleep at 2:30, she yelled out that she needed to pee. (It’s rare that that’s the reason she gets up, so I don’t think that’s the issue.) Then two hours later she’s up again, asking for bopp to be put back on. I did, and then 15 minutes later she’s telling me she can’t find the “hole” (the specific corner of bopp that she likes to fondle). I drew the line on that one, and we had a yelling match, the three of us (Greg, myself and Amy) until she gave up. Then she was up at 5:00 cheerfully asking if it was time to get up. NO. It’s not.

Greg and I cannot go on like this. However, the only thing I can think of doing (apart from one of us sleeping downstairs every second night, which is not desirable) is to talk to her about it, tell her we’re not coming in until a certain time, and then stick to our guns. This will mean a lot of screaming. I have a suspicion that this will eventually work, but I’m not sure I can stick to my guns. I’m not sure it’s the “right” thing to do. We’re basically letting her cry it out, something I never did when my kids were babies. But she’s almost three!

It has occurred to me that we could try getting rid of her nap, but she does miss it some days, and it doesn’t seem to affect her sleep patterns. And she doesn’t seem to have trouble falling asleep (apart from the usual stalling tactics), it’s more that she can’t stay asleep. Maybe it’s all related. But even if it was the nap, she’ll still nap at daycare, so we’re back at square one.

Another thought I had was around getting her out of the crib. She’s mentioned to me a few times that “when she’s older, she’ll have a bed”. We haven’t even considered it because with all the drama that’s going on now, I think it would be pure hell if she wasn’t confined. However, I was wondering if we could use that as a carrot for her. If she can get through the night without calling us for a week, then she can move into a bed. Or maybe 10 weeks. 🙂 But then what happens if she starts doing it again? Do we throw her back in the crib?

I’m open to suggestions.

it’s no wonder i want to nap

I just put Amy to bed for her nap. We were outside playing for over an hour, and when we came in Greg had the heat on in the house and it was very warm and cozy. Amy put her cozy fleece pajamas on, the ones with feet, and we sat down to read books. She cuddled with me and her bopp while I read to her. I put her in her crib and sang a song, and then started her CD. I sat in her rocking chair, rocking myself, as we listened to the CD for a bit. Before I left her room, I stood by her crib, rubbed her head for a bit and tucked her tightly under her two fleece blankets. When I left she was curled up on her side, thumb in mouth, all tucked in.

Now I’m off to tuck myself in.

some spontaneity would be nice

I haven’t lived in the same city as any of my family members since I was 17 years old. Part of that is my own doing — I left my “hometown” to go to university and I never went back. But even if I’d stayed, it’d just be my mum there. My three siblings all live elsewhere now, and so does my dad. I love living in Victoria and it definitely feels like home to me, but there are times when I envy my friends who have weekly dinners with their parents, or who can just drop by and visit a sibling on a whim. To visit any of my siblings requires a lot of planning, a lot of money, and usually some vacation time from work.

Tonight as I was making dinner I realized there was going to be a lot extra, and thought how nice it would be if I could just call up my sister and have her, her husband and my nephew come over and join us for dinner. I actually did call her to tell her that, and her response was that they definitely would have come, as they had had frozen calamari and raw veggies for dinner. I can tell you with certainty that my dinner was far superior. We proceeded to have a very pleasant 30 minute conversation, which was great, but it obviously wasn’t the same as seeing her.

My mum is planning on moving over here at some point, so some of my need will be fulfilled, but I doubt any of my siblings will ever live here, and I don’t plan on living anywhere else any time soon. So this is something that I’m just going to have to live with. And the up side of it is when I do visit my siblings, my sister especially, it’s for an extended period of time, in a city that is nice to visit, and we really get a chance to reconnect. But it would be nice to not have to plan everything in advance.

worry

I had a post in the making about friendships, and when I started reviewing it I realized it needed some polish, and it’s 11:30 pm. Not the time to polish. I’ll save it for when I have a bit more time and when I’m thinking more clearly.

Instead, I’ll write about what is worrying me right now, in the hopes that I can empty my mind of stress and go straight to sleep.

– Making a decision on a bathroom reno. We’ve sort of been in flux for a while and I’d like to just go forward with getting it done.
– Why the heck Amy gets up so much at night, whether we should try to do anything about it, and when will it end.
– When am I going to find the time to go through our 2010 pictures so I can start making calendars for Christmas.
– My weight. Yes, I know this may sound crazy, but even people who don’t have a weight problem worry about their weight.
– Leaving Heart alone next week for long periods of time — it’ll be her first week without one of us being at home.

And the big one:
– Wondering what our mandatory 8:30 am staff meeting is about on Tuesday. We’ve never had one that early in the morning, and we’ve never had a mandatory one. It can’t be good news.

Not sure that helped at all. But perhaps I’m tired enough to go straight to sleep anyway. And I’ll cross my fingers that Amy sleeps through the night. Fat chance.

reflection

I know I said this last year, and I probably said it the year before, but I don’t think I’m going to do NaBloPoMo again next year. I’ve managed to get through it for two years, and I will again this year, but it’s definitely a stretch. And this year especially I feel like it’s cutting into time that could be better spent doing other things. Namely work. I work pretty short days so I can pick the kids up at a decent hour and not have to race to get dinner on the table. This means I have to work at least three evenings a week. And if I add a daily blog post to the mix (which takes me anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour), it just makes me feel too stretched. And the posts aren’t fun.

On the other hand, I do love clicking that NaBloPoMo tag and seeing so many posts. And I love re-reading them, even the lame ones. So I want to do something to continue blogging regularly. Just not every day. Not even close. Instead what I’d like to try to do is keep track of a pool of blog post ideas that I want to write about, and set aside a couple of hours every two weeks to actually produce something regularly, if not very frequently. I’m kind of doing that on Awesome Mommies, but those posts are all parenting related. And, believe it or not, I have more to say!

And I’ll be taking December off…unless the mood strikes.

blah

I’m feeling under the weather with a nondescript bug — general lethargy, a bit of nausea and a bit of a headache. I started feeling crappy yesterday morning and I’ve gone up and down over the past couple of days. I had the kids on my own today and we had a better day than I expected given how I’m feeling. It was helped by a nap this afternoon while Amy did the same and Elliot watched TV. Napping on the couch while he’s watching TV isn’t the best nap in the world because he often chats with me, but it’s better than nothing.

I don’t like being sick like this — I’d rather just have a full-on cold where there’s no question about whether I’m fit to go to work or fit to take care of the kids. I just head to bed and forget about everything else. (Although it IS better than I full-on stomach bug. I never wish for those.)

Greg and I got the kids to bed a bit early and decided to sit down and watch Survivor on the electronic box that sits in the corner of our living room, for once, instead of downloading it. Turns out it’s a recap episode. Blech. But since the kids, between the two of them, yelled for us about 76 times, it probably was for the best.

They are quiet now, and I think I’ll head to be early. Hopefully I can sleep this thing off.

take a deep breath

I seem to be having a lot of parenting moments lately where after the fact I realize I could have handled the situation more…shall we say maturely. I don’t know if the kids are actually acting any differently or if I just have less patience. I haven’t been sleeping well due to Amy’s frequent wake-ups, so it very well could be the latter.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but these are very small incidents where right after I react (and the child in question reacts to my reaction) I realize I haven’t handled things well. Tonight there were two good examples. The first was when Amy hit me (she’s a bit of a hitter) while I was putting her pajamas on. Now I’m not saying hitting is okay, but there was a reason she hit me. I had irrationally got mad at her for taking her pj’s off while she was on the toilet. She almost always does this when she’s having a poop and I don’t think I’ve ever got mad at her. But tonight my patience was down and as soon as she did it, I got mad. And she knew I was mad. I whipped her off the toilet and shoved her in her pajamas. And she hit me. My reaction? I pretty much pushed her out of the bathroom, pajamas half on, and told her to go to her room. Okay. So first off, how about chill on the whole taking the pj’s off issue, since it’s never been an issue before. Second, how about recognize there was a reason she was frustrated and mad, acknowledge her feelings, and tell her it’s not okay to hit. And then continue to put her pj’s back on and get on with bedtime.

The second incident was with Elliot. He was brushing his teeth and I asked him to let me finish, which we do every night. He started goofing around and running away from me. Again, patience wearing thin, I reacted by taking away the cars he was playing with. This may sound minor, but taking away his cars is a HUGE deal to him. And I know this. Not a good consequence for merely goofing around. He got angry and threw his toothbrush at me. Then he started screaming. I started putting more cars away, and he screamed louder. Great. I felt like screaming too. And right away I knew I could have easily avoided the escalation if I had just ignored his goofing around.

Like I said, this seems to be happening a lot. Tomorrow I’m off and have the kids with me, and I’m feeling under the weather. I’m hoping that by writing this I have made myself more aware of what’s going on, and I can remember to just take a moment before reacting…and then hopefully react a bit more constructively. It’s not that these things shouldn’t be addressed, it’s just that I’d like to be able to feel good about how I’ve handled it, not feel like I’m the same age as my children.

i got my snow day

I had a 9:00 meeting this morning in a room without windows. As I was walking to the meeting it started to snow. 60 minutes later I walked out of the meeting room and saw a winter wonderland.

I walked back to my office in my west coast-issued high heels and fall jacket and got all set up to start working. Then Greg called — worried about how I was going to get home. I had driven our truck in, which is terrible in snow, and he had the CRV, which is awesome in snow. After some discussion we decided that I’d drive up to his office, work there, and we’d drive home together in the CRV, leaving the truck at his office (much better than leaving it in a parking lot downtown).

We got a call from the kids’ daycare asking us if we’d pick the kids up early so they could send their staff home before it got dark. No problem. Then we offered to pick up a friend’s son from his downtown school as they would have had to come in from Thetis Lake. So we ended up leaving work at 2:00, prepared for a bit of a trek home. It turned out to be no problem — as I said the CRV is good in the snow, and we didn’t come across any idiots. Well maybe one, but he was well ahead of us.

So. I was home by 2:45, the kids were home just after 3, and Elliot and I spent the next 90 minutes outside. I shoveled the driveway while he played in the backyard, then he hopped on the neighbour’s slide and I pulled him down to the boat park with our neighbours. Along the way we slid down a small hill together. On the way back, as we were walking up the same hill, he told me that had been his favourite part of the day, sledding down the hill with me. I asked him if he wanted to go find a good hill to toboggan on, and he was game. We headed over to the middle school and found a perfect Elliot-sized hill. Steep enough to get some speed, small enough to not get too much, and no obstructions. After two or three slides, he told me this was also a favourite part of his day.

I loved seeing how much fun he was having. And not only did he slide down on his own, he insisted on walking back up the hill, pulling the sled by himself. I actually got cold because I was doing no work, so I started running up and down the hill beside him. We headed home after about 30 minutes and I pulled him along in the sled on the road — the road was super-slick and great for running with a sled behind you. Again, he was having a great time. And so was I. My work day was cut short and I’m going to have to make up the hours at some point, but it was so worth it.