Thursday, March 24, 2011

Making Decisions

Is every almost-three year old so indecisive?  Ingrid is horrible at making a decision.  She finds it too overwhelming to pick something if given a choice. the same time finds it heartbreaking to have decisions made for her.

Every morning we go through the same struggle--what do you want to drink?  Apple juice or milk?  You would think it was Sophie's Choice up in here!  It takes that girl so long to choose!  Apple juice, no milk, no apple juice.  I take out the apple juice, "NO!  I want milk!"  I poor the milk, "NO! I said I wanted apple juice!"

Just now I asked her what she wanted to eat.  "Nothing."  Five seconds later when I'm sitting here at the computer drinking my coffee (which I had no problem choosing, thank you very much) she starts going on and on about how she's "really really hungry" as if we are starving her. 

OH MY GOD, she just tests my patience so much these days!!!

From my nannying days I remember to avoid a struggle you were supposed to offer a choice of two things.  That way they feel like they have a say in what goes on, but aren't overwhelmed by too many options.  But Ingrid takes those two options and goes back and forth and cannot decide.  She ends up freaking out because I end up saying I'm counting to three and then you have to choose or I will.  The scenarios here are:  I choose for her, she freaks out.  I let her choose, she can't make a decision and we end up in front of the refrigerator cooling off the whole kitchen.  I count to three and make her decide and she freaks out.  What gives, it's just juice!!

Any tips?  Anything you find that works?  Do they grow out of this (PLEASE SAY YES.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sleepy Sleepy

Guess what?  Otis is a sleeper!  Hot damn.  It's made me think a lot about kids and sleeping, all the things I've read on the subject, how hard I've tried to get Ingrid to be a sleeper. 

Ingrid was an okay sleeper when she was a baby.  She'd go to bed around 7pm, wake up at 3am, then sleep again until 7am.  I was okay with that, it became totally normal and if she didn't wake up at 3, I still would.  It was always a quick bottle and back to sleep, it never dragged out or anything. long does that need to go on for?  All these other moms would talk about their kids sleeping through the night and when did Ingrid start to and what are you doing about it?  Blah blah blah.  I would just tell myself that it was sort of like she was sleeping through the night.  The technical term was for sleep between midnight and five am, she just did her five hour stretch earlier. 

Alas, it went on and on and on.  Ingrid never got out of that middle of the night waking.  After she stopped having bottles, it was calling out for her nuk.  After we got rid of the nuk, it was that she needed her blanket on.  Now it's anything--her blanket, a drink of water, her pillow, she's lonely, a simple "I need you so much, mama!"  But it is still going on, wake ups at 3am and she's almost 3 years old...

And then there's my Fat Man.  This kid amazes me!  He usually naps until 6pm, then wakes up and has alert time where he loves to be talked to.  He does that until about 9pm, then I put his pjs on, a clean diaper, swaddle him up, and nurse him to sleep.  He sleeps in his bouncy seat right next to our bed and will fall asleep around 10pm.  Most nights he sleeps until 5-5:30am.  Without a PEEP all night long.  And I heard breastfed babies wake more often because the milk is more easily digested! 

So here's the thing--what have I done differently?  Nothing that I can think of.  We started a bedtime routine of bath, books and bed at 2 months old with Ingrid.  We had a fan in her room, we had low lights, we were quiet.  She's just always been a really light sleeper.  With Otis I do the same thing, he has a fan on, low lights, the house is quiet because Ingrid's already in bed.  He just ends up staying asleep.  Is it luck?  Is it the gods showing us not all kids are as complicated as our little Ingrid?  Is it second baby syndrome, where they just go with the flow because they have to?  Who knows!

All I know is that it's even harder to get up with Ingrid at 3am now because her three month old brother is sleeping through the night like she never has!  Last night after the fourth time of her crying out for something I got mad and told her to be quiet and go to sleep, NOW!  She said "Mama, be nice to me!"  I was about to scream, be nice to ME.  SLEEP.  FOR ONCE. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Day

Just thought I'd post that I had a great day today.  It started out early as hell, but I had coffee all ready to go and Ingrid was in a good mood.  So, it was doable.  I had my bathroom and kitchen cleaned, Ingrid had breakfast, I'd had two cups of coffee, and Otis was down for a nap all by 9am.  Sheesh.

Ingrid played by herself for a long time this morning, she got into my button stash.  It's amazing how simple things like buttons or scraps of fabric can keep her occupied for ages!  I used the time she was busy and Otis was sleeping to make my living room curtains. 

We had new friends over to play after lunch.  It's great to be back in Milwaukee because everyone had kids while we were gone.  So instead of being the only parents, we now have a great support group of others with kids and there are a lot of moms around during the day to have playdates with.  Ingrid's not too sure of her new friends, she seems rather pushy with them--to see what she can get away with maybe?  I don't know what it is, but with her old friends in Michigan she never seemed this bossy/grabby/pushy.  Hopefully this too is a phase that she will quickly outgrow!

I can almost feel spring coming.  I can't wait.  The lake is a couple blocks away and there's a great park there I can take Ingrid to.  I will be so happy when we can just get outside and I can let Ingrid run her energy off instead of her breaking down at 4pm every day because she's been cooped up with a tired mom and a colicky little brother.  It's so close!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cry Baby.

I'm having a serious issue here, people.  Otis is a cryer.  He has to be held at all times, night included.  At first I was okay with it, he was so small and new and I believe babies cry to communicate they need something, not just to cry.  We never really let Ingrid cry much, I always always went in to get her or give her whatever she needed, I still do actually.  And Brendan and I talked about it a lot, since he was more prone to let her cry, let her soothe herself.  I always always said no way, I won't abandon my baby.

We just had that talk again about Otis.  He is a clingy baby, for sure.  I don't remember Ingrid ever being that needy.  I wear Otis in the Ergo or sling 90% of the time, or put him in his bouncy chair if he's sleeping peacefully.  But lately he falls asleep in my arms and when I set him down, he starts screaming.  So I pick him up, he falls back asleep.  It gets a little tiring.  And it's not really practical for me to be holding him all the time.  I have another kid to take care of, I have my own personal needs, like eating and going to the bathroom and showering.  And frankly, I don't always want to wear or hold him.  Wearing him is better than holding him, as I have both hands, but I still can't always do what I need to do, especially amidst all the unpacking we're doing right now.

So yesterday and today I have been going crazy because it starts at 4am.  He cries, I pick him up, feed him, change the diaper, and he falls alseep.  Until I lay him down, even right next to me in the bed.  This goes on all day long.  He cried in the car seat, he cried in Target, he cried when I made lunch, he cried when I was trying to do something for Ingrid.  I'm trying to multitask, but come on!  Give a mama a break, just be quiet for like two seconds while I get stuff done!

Just now I had him laying in his crib while I sewed, he was fine for awhile.  I was really close to finishing something so I just let him cry for a bit while I got done.  And what do you know?  He fell fast asleep, he's still sleeping right now, he looks really peaceful and has been quiet for more than 15 minutes!!  I hate the idea of letting him cry but it seemed to work. 

HA!  No it didn't, he's up again...What do I do??  How do you balance a needy kid and everything else???