Friday, October 16, 2009

Cute Things She Says Shorts

I love all the cute things my girl says. She's 2.5 years old now, and I've missed recording so many of the adorable ways she says things. So I'm going to do some snippets of things she's said recently and some from way back.

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I read a lot of books child development and communication. A few of the communication books mentioned that when a child wants something, sometimes you can just acknowledge the want by saying that you wish they could have/do that, and that is enough to satisfy them.

I like this technique and have used it a bit. For example, if she says she wants a cupcake, I'll say, "I wish you could have a cupcake! But we don't have any in the house. I want one too." Or something like that.

So the other morning, this was the conversation:
caramama: Oh, Pumpkin, we still have to brush your teeth.
Pumpkin: I'll do it all by myself!
caramama: Well, Mommy has to do it.
(I have to at least "take a turn" or else she just sucks on the toothbrush and doesn't get any brushing done. She knows this, but often wants to do it herself only.)
Pumpkin, said in a perfect imitation of the tone I use: I wish you could, Mommy. But I'm gonna do it by myself.
caramama (trying not to die laughing): Well, what if we do it together?
Pumpkin: OK!

And we did it together while singing the WonderPets' teamwork song.

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The other morning I called out to her, "Pumpkin* pie?" She replied, "Yes, Mommy pie?"

She did it again this morning when I said, "I love you, Pumpkin pie." She said, "I love you, Mommy pie."

I just love that!

*I used her real name with "pie" after it.

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Back in January or February of this year, she used to say "Where oh where is _____?" when she was looking for something. She ddn't just say "where is ____." She'd say "where oh where is ____" or sometimes just "oh where is ____." I think she got it from the song "Where oh where has my little dog gone?" which I sing to her on occassion.

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Just recently she seems to have the names of colors right. But she used to not say a few colors correctly:

-Yellow: When she was very young, she'd say "lello." But over the last year and a half, she's been calling it "yea-yo."
-Orange: She'd always called it "or-jas" with the soft j sound like you say "je" in French. And it was always plural.
-White: For a long time, she would call things that were white "black." She would just mix up the name for white, although she always got black correct.

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Until just a week or two ago, the Pumpkin would say the word ravioli as "laliloli." It was sooooo cute!

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Last January, I tried to teach the Pumpkin to say Obama and who Obama was. She did not get it. Instead, she started occasionally calling me O Mama or O Mommy. Londo incouraged this behavoir. And though I tried to get her to, she would not say O Daddy.

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I know there are more. Hopefully I'll remember to write them down and share them another time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And I Thought Some Parents Were Lying

As I'm sure you all well know, the Pumpkin was and is not a good sleeper. I have gone on and on about it. It's a central theme in my life, and has been for 2.5 years. There are more and more nights when she sleeps through the night, in her own bed, by herself (minus the sick nights we had over the last week). And lately, with her lack of napping at pre-school, she is not taking long to put to bed. My experience with putting my child to bed and her sleeping at night has probably jaded me in my opinions about kids and sleep.

But today, my post isn't about the Pumpkin. I just started it that way to give the frame of reference.

Today, on the Pookie's four-month birthday (can you believe he's four months already? I can't!), I'm going to tell you how the nights had been going, and then tell you about this crazy thing that's happening over the past few nights. And yes, I know that I'm going to completely jinx myself. I figure we're about to start in on the four-month sleep regression anyway, so I should document the current happenings before it all goes to hell.

To put the Pookie to bed, I do the follow:
1. Bring him upstairs in the bedroom and dim the lights.
2. Change his diaper.
3. Swaddle him in the straight jacket Miracle Blanket.
4. Nurse him, rock him, walk him or any combination there of to sleep.
5. Hold him for at least a half hour, possibly an hour and a half(!), until he is in deep sleep.
6. Put him down in the cosleeper next to my side of the bed.
7. Quietly sneak out of the room and pray that he stays asleep.

Historically, he sleeps for 2-4 hours--usually right about 3--when I first put him down. When he wakes up, I usually bring him to bed with me (this is often when I'm going to bed or within an hour of me going to bed) and nurse him back to sleep lying down next to me. And I fall asleep. Cause I'm seriously tired, people. I tend to not wake up until he wakes up again, and then I nurse him back to sleep and I fall asleep. Unless he has a fart or poop or I think he's going to or his diaper is very full, and then I get up (or occassionally wake up Londo) to change his diaper, reswaddle and then nurse him back to sleep. So he pretty much sleeps with me most of the night.

Over the last week or two, he has spent many nights waking up every hour or less. Until I give up somewhere around 4 or 5 or 6 in the morning and stick him in the swing, where he'll sleep for a solid 2 or 3 hours more, and I actually get to sleep by myself for a few hours. Oh, and he's also taken to nursing for an hour or more while sleeping. I guess since it's right there, he thinks hey, why not!

Did I mention I'm tired? And sore! And exhausted! And my poor nipples need a little rest too!

And none of that even takes into account the Pumpkin's coming to our bed and coughing all night long so my sleep is even more disrupted!

But... but... but... get this: Now, the Pookie doesn't have to be in deep sleep to be put down in his cosleeper!

Not only that, but... get this: The Pookie can actually fall back to sleep on his own!!!!

I'm not kidding! It really does happen for some kids! It looks like the world isn't full of people with their pants on fire!

For most of his naps, I just nurse him to sleep and when he seems asleep enough I put him down. It hadn't worked so well at night, but three nights ago, I thought I'd give it another try at night. And it worked! I nursed him to sleep and 5-10 minutes later, I put him down! And he slept about 3 hours!

Two nights ago, he woke right up. But we had an overall tough night, I believe because of gas and poop that didn't get all out until the next morning--all over the swing, which was especially fun to deal with.

And last night? I did it again! Not only that, but once the other night and twice last night I was able to put him in his cosleeper after nursing him lying down. I've been going to be in the 9:00 hour, so I think I'm not so exhausted that I just fall completely back to sleep when I nurse him to sleep. I'm able to either stay awake-ish or wake back up and put him back in his cosleeper. And it works!

But it gets even better. Last night when I first put him down, I had to get the monitor from another room and plug it in and I ended up jostling him somewhat awake. His eyes were open and he looked at me. I ducked out as quickly and quietly as I could. When I went downstairs and turned the monitor on, Londo and I heard him fussing a bit. I thought it was all over. For the Pumpkin, it would have been. I headed back upstairs, but it was quiet when I got up there. I listened at the door, and I heard some more fussing. But then? Nothing! He had fallen back asleep! By himself!

I think this is what people mean by "self-soothe."*

And at least one of the two times I put him back in the cosleeper last night, he was not fully asleep. His eyes were that fluttering-open and he was tossing and turning his head. But? HE FELL ASLEEP! IN HIS COSLEEPER!

So we may have one of those previously-believed-to-be-mythical-by-Londo-and-I children who self-soothe! I have hope for regaining some of my sleep prior to his turning 3!

Now, if only he could teach his sister...

*The Pumpkin has never really been able to self-soothe. When she sleeps through the night, it is completely because she doesn't wake up enough to have to get herself back to sleep. When she wakes up enough to require getting back to sleep, she comes in our room or calls for one of us. She just has not developed this capability yet, and we are working on it with her.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DC Area Meet Up - 10/17 Museum with Hedra and November Meet Up

If anyone is interested, hedra and her family is going to the National Museum of Art (West Building) for the armor exhibit this Saturday. They will get there about 12:30. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it, but she was wondering if anyone else wanted to meet up. Send me an email if you are interest, and I will hook you up with hedra for any other details.

I still want to do an adults get together (so long as no one minds my 4 month old along). My September and October got really crazy really fast, so how about early November? I'm thinking of dinner, or maybe even lunch, on 11/7 or 11/8? Post a comment to let me know if you are interested, or email me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Question of the Week - Fall Activities

It's that time of year again. Autumn is falling down on us. Here in the DC area, we just started getting some cooler weather, leaves changing colors and that crisp smell in the air.

With my Seasonal Affective Disorder, fall fills me with anxiety and starts this ticking clock of doom. Right now, as I'm writing this, I'm sitting in front of my therapy light. I started it early and am doing a good chunk of time already. I plan to go on medication again, but I was late in finding a doctor to prescribe it and don't have an appointment until next week. I believe that the light therapy (which worked so well for me for years) can get me through until I ramp up on my medication. So far, I seem to be doing alright. I don't anticipate this year being as rough as last year, because the pregnancy really made things extra hard for me and I'm not pregnant this year. But I will have to plan for the sleep deprivation that I'm already deep in.

I'm actually feeling a bit positive about getting through this winter. This time last year I was already so exhausted from pregnancy that I didn't want to do anything. It helped a lot to hear everyone respond to a post with great things about autumn, in fact I just reread it and have gotten excited about all of those things!

This year, I've already started doing and planning fall activities! Just this past weekend, we looked at Halloween costumes for the kids (haven't picked any out yet, though) and went to an Oktoberfest! The Pumpkin and I went to the neighborhood across the street for food, fun and music. One of my best friends, her husband and their son, who is a few months older than the Pumpkin, went over with us, and I met up with my parents there. I gave Londo a pass to watch football and keep the Pookie home. It ended up being a great time for the Pumpkin and I to spend together.

The Pumpkin had her first pony ride! It was cut very short, which was fine. I was holding her and walking next to her, and just a few paces in she looked up at me and said she wanted to get down. She's not scared of many things, but she had this unsure look on her face like it was a little scary. I asked her if she wanted to try a little more, but after another two steps, she said she wanted to get down again. So I picked her up, we patted the pony and thanked him for the ride, and that was that. My friend's son loved his ride and went around the whole way, which was very cute to see.

The Pumpkin went in the "bouncy house," which was fun. We watched the children's choir sing. We had lunch while listening to German music played live. We got ice cream cones. And most fun of all, we went on a hay ride! She sat in my lap, and we went around the lake and part of the neighborhood. It was a blast!

There are a lot of great activities that are special for the fall. And this week's question of the week is:

What fall activities are on your agenda?

We are also planning on going to the petting farm next Saturday (anyone else want to go? Email me if you do!), a Redskins game on Sunday, a Halloween party the following Saturday, possibly another fall festival, possibly pumpkin picking and hopefully camping out in the backyard one of these nights (when the Pumpkin doesn't have a cough or runny nose... so maybe not this fall...).

How about you guys? Any good fall activities? How are you planning to enjoy the nice autumnal weather?