Friday, August 26, 2011

H - A couple of thoughts on our ever changing, delightful toddlers

It's been ever such a long time.... so sorry. Summer totally flew by.

Here are some random thoughts on beds, deep breathing, holidays and anything else that comes up.

So we bought a big girl (full size, single bed which she'll have till she's 18!) today. It should be delivered any moment. On holiday F slept in 5 different beds, mattresses on the floor, a pack and play when camping (oh yes - not much sleep) and a full size bed. She did incredibly well and adapted brilliantly despite frequent changes. So we're going for it and changing up her room. We've gone straight for the big bed, with drawers in the bottom so she can tidy her toys away, which are spreading across the bedroom big time, it's her playroom too.

Travelling on the plane was not as hellish as I thought, she slept on the way there and she coped on the way back. But I did a terrible, but effective, thing on the way back. So we took her car seat on the plane and she sat it in, a very good idea because she loves it and sleeps well in it. However it meant she could very efficiently kick the seat in front. And she did, sometimes deliberately because I told her not to and at other times she just did it without thinking. So I resorted to tying her legs to the car seat with string. Loosely of course. She could move them a bit and they came loose if you pulled her out of the seat so it wasn't dangerous. And it totally worked!

Gravol was useful, 'nuff said.

2 year olds have jetlag, this I now know to be true.

We bought a tall seat for F to sit on for meals now and she is loving it. There's a little bit of, 'don't get down from the table we haven't finished' but it's not bad. And the high chair may be banished to the garage. Hurrah.

Tonight F got upset at bedtime, I decided to follow through on a 'if you don't sit still and stop messing about I will not read this book' threat. Yes I know, bad time of day to do this. Anyway, she escalated. I had to go and calm her down and I decided to introduce slow breathing as an idea for de-escalating. So I put my hand on her tummy and told her to breath and push my hand out whilst I demonstrated and she didn't really get it but tried and focussed on it, which helped her to stop crying. Then she turned on her tummy and started doing longer breaths. I was amazed. And so I was able to leave her to sleep and listen to her bedtime CD and breath evenly. I do believe she is in slumberland now!

Well that's all folks. Hope everyone is well.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

M - Travel Bags!

When talking about an upcoming roadtrip, a friend directed me to some cool web sites like this one and this one. I find the idea of simple, travel activities each individually packed into a ziplock bag to be completely brilliant!!! Maybe it's the wanna be organized gal inside me!
So this got me thinking. I would love to whip up a dozen of these activities but like all of you, I don't have a heck of a lot of free time on my hands. So why don't we do a swap???? I know some of you have some really, really long car/plane rides ahead of you!!!
Here's my idea: Those interested in swapping let me know (either by email or comments on here) and we each make one activity in a ziplock bag (make one for each person signed up). This way, we instantly get lots of activities! There are tons of simple ideas on the two links above so you don't have to be a super crafty person like some people on here (cough pink brain cough. I suggest that each activity be flat enough so that it can be mailed in a manila envelope if some of our out of towners (sob! M & S!!!) wish to participate, that way it would only cost two stamps or something like that to send.... I think we have each others mailing addresses but that info would obviously be kept private - seriously, it's just us here right??
So let me know what you guys think! If interested, please let me know and I will organize it all. The activity is up to you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

H - Bed time revisited

We were forced, today, into a mattress on the floor, dismantling the crib situation. This is not how I would plan it, I'm a planner, regimented at times when it comes to our tout-petit. And given her desire to climb anything in sight, including her crib, we were really hoping that she wouldn't have this desire during the night or during a nap until we return from the UK in late August. We didn't want an unsettling chaneg in the midst of lots of changes (housesitting for 3 weeks in July whilst renovations in our house were being done) followed by a 3 week trip to the UK. You can see why.

Plus you know, there must be books out there that you can read to prepare your little one for a big bed. And there's this great idea that you buy the bed and install it in the room next to the crib and your child decides when to switch.

Ha ha.

She climbed right out after nap today, and when I went into her room to get her up she's standing behind the door. Looking a little dazed, rubbing her leg and forehead. Right then my husband and I took an executive decision - take the cot down. And we did it with her watching and she got to make up her bed on the floor with her crib mattress. Luckily she has been napping on a mattress on the floor at daycare for a couple of weeks so it's not a huge shock, but it seemed sudden to us.

Anyway, I'll let you know what happens tomorrow morning.... so far, one waking as a result of rolling out of bed onto the blanket. She was easily comforted, didn't fully wake and we tucked her back in (something she's not used to) and added more cushioning.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

M - The one tooth biting wonder

Hi Ladies! Long time since someone has posted! Wish I had a funny story to share...I'm still in denial that the first yoga baby has turned 2!! Where on earth has the past 2 years gone?

Today's cry for help relates to breastfeeding....I'll be honest...right now, I want to stop. I want to stop right this second! I want to have stopped weeks ago. Why? Because Loïc feeds every 2 hours at night, he only calms for the boob, he only falls asleep on the boob. I know the benefits of breastfeeding and will keep it going because of that....and it is an easy way to calm him....but I am burnt out. I could deal with the lack of sleep and the constant need for him to take milk....but the new development is that he is constantly biting me with his one tooth. So far, I've been bitten about 6 times since Saturday. Sometimes it seems accidental, most times seem deliberate. Every time he bites me I instanty put him down and let him cry for a few minutes. Now, I'm super nervous everytime I feed him which he probably senses..

Loïc is starting solids. We had planned a baby led weaning/puree hybrid approach this time...and it's funny, he does great with whole hunks of food- the kid will not take a spoon from us!!! He's pretty much eating what we are...not enough to replace feeds yet though but it's starting! He's starting to take some water from a sippy cup but will absolutely not take a bottle.

So ladies, any advice? Anything to help me either get him to stop biting/eating constantly or even on how to start weaning??? HEEEELP!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A million magical little things and not much at all

Well, hello, all! It's been pretty quiet on our blog lately. I keep meaning to write a post but somehow I never get around to it. I think there are two main reasons for this.

Reason number one, which is obvious enough, is that I spend the vast majority of my time with a 20 month-old. She has a big personality and rather strong ideas about what she would like to do and how to do it, so even when she's asleep and I should have time to write, my brain is usually kind of fried.

Reason number two has been floating around in my head lately as a way of describing my current reality as mother of said small person: our days seem to be filled with a million magical little things and not much at all, both at the same time. Little A is in the midst of a language explosion, and it's amazing to witness her learning to express herself with so many new words and short phrases. I marvel at this learning on a daily basis, as well as at the new skills she's acquiring so rapidly. For instance, when exactly did she learn to pour water from one cup to another? And the other day, she walked up a kids' play structure, holding onto the railing, with one foot in front of the other for the very first time, but she looked like she'd been doing it forever. These are all special milestones for me to witness, but I feel like when I write them down, they come out as little snippets that simply don't capture the magic that happens every day as my girl grows and learns. And when I zoom out from the new words and skills, I see a blur of playgroups, park outings, errands and nap times that are hard for me to even remember come the end of the week, let alone find a way to write about that wouldn't put us all to sleep.

My life right now is mundane and magical all at once. I suppose the two balance each other out and keep me from being overwhelmed by either extreme.

Friday, April 22, 2011

H - Temper tantrums - terrible 2s

It's me again, sorry to bore you all.

They have arrived, with full force and power. The irrational, unprovoked, make-the-oak-tree-run-away tantrums of my daughter. They began rather suddenly and shockingly on Monday night with a full on screaming match, the work 'no' bandied around as though it were in fashion and an inconsolable, but hungry, tear-stained little F. This one was provoked only by an inability to convey quiche from fork to mouth 3 times in a row. It led to at least 15 minutes of screaming and 2 bewildered parents. Somehow, with no rational theory behind it, she began eating again and with that came calm.

On Thursday night, the same thing happened at bedtime.

Today on waking from her midday nap, the same thing happened. And my existence was clearly an insult to her. Any and all suggestions were refused, my presence was needed and rejected. Hugs were impossible, time alone was useless, time together was pointless. We were going to a friends and I thought about cancelling but then decided to go in hopes that the change of scenery would help. It did, but only gradually, she was still crying when we got there and only slowly lost her indignation.

Help! What is this developmental stage? Why do they explode? How can you make them feel safe and able to express themselves without falling apart?

I was looking for something to read on the web that included details on the psycho-social development that goes on at 18-24 months but nothing really went into detail frustratingly. I know there are no solutions but trying to understand what she's going through might at least help me empathise with her frustrations.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Relationship Rescue Remedy

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr Sue Johnson is a fantastic book for couples to read together and discuss.

That's it, that's all.