Tuesday, November 29, 2011

and you will be my guiding light

a little surprise for a friend I owe a wedding present to...inspiration here

this hat will be in her Christmas photos...isn't outrageous!

Someone is excited to turn 1!
too busy to breathe it seems...preparing for a Children's christmas party at work this weekend (I am in charge of decor for the Winter Wonderland Soiree...okay so I added the "soiree" part, I doubt the kiddos care), my nephew's motorcycle themed 3rd birthday party,  then Sloane's sesame street birthday next weekend, a much needed girls weekend in Kansas City the following weekend and then Christmas!  What.the.frank?

Of course I am planning to make a whole bunch of handmade goodies, plus need to create our family Christmas card between now and then.  I am notorious at biting off more than I can chew.  But my perfectionism will not allow me to sit by and buy everything from a party store (even though I wish it would). 

Cheers for your holiday season! 

title courtesy of Kate Rusby: Farewell

Friday, November 18, 2011

I remember the sound of your November downtown

So it has been about 2 weeks since I introduced the Ferber sleep method/night weaning to our household and I couldn't be more pleased.  Sloane and I are both sleeping so happily.  Sloane now grabs her blankie and crawls into my lap for naptime and waves goodbye to me.  At bedtime she sometimes still fusses a bit when I lay her down, but before I have even gotten to the doorway she is quiet.  Most nights she turns over happily after I cover her up and closes her eyes.  She also wakes up happy in the morning, instead of screaming.  She is not afraid of being in her crib/nursery alone anymore, I hear her for awhile in the morning babbling and laughing and she has a huge smile when I walk in to greet her. 

It was about 3 nights of using the Ferber intervals of time.  I didn't think I could bear 5 minutes of crying so I started at 3 minutes and then 5 and then 7 and so on.  She fell asleep at 15 minutes with 5 night wakings, which was typical for us (it was awful it broke my heart, and so many times I wanted to "rescue her" but during my checks & reassuring of her I could see that she was okay and that she was more mad then sad, there weren't tears just yelling).  The next night she fell asleep at 7 minutes with 2 night wakings and the next night at 3 minutes with no night waking.    Naps worked even more easily...she never cried over a couple minutes for a nap.  I have put to bed the worries over whether I did the right thing...I could continue to allow myself to feel guilty over the crying but I know that she is okay and that she seems happy about her newfound independence.  I am feeling like a new person. Maybe I will be able to put down the Zoloft someday soon (of course after I've spoken to a physician and gotten a titration plan).  I think I will get through the holidays first.

before Ferber cooed, coaxed, coddled and cuddled to sleep and then transferred to her bed...(after viewing this picture I note how many prints are shoved into my mother's spare bedroom)
now...bliss  (you can buy this here:  via )

title courtesy of my favorite November/winter song: Winter by Joshua Radin

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

you can't please everyone so you gotta please yourself

OK so I started to feel like a real hypocrite trying to get parents of children with autism who I work with to tow the line with their children when I go home and get manipulated by a tiny drooling baldy myself.
MOM!  I need you...you and I are ONE!

Sloane had been stretching out the night routine of holding and rocking for well over an hour and then was still sleeping poorly after that waking up to nurse numerous times a night and not sleeping well unless she was in bed with me.  I had to draw the line and I wanted to draw it before she could crawl out of her crib (she already pulls herself up and stands there).  Enter Dr. Ferber's Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (revised 2006 edition). 

I wanted to be one of those awesome Dr. Sears (author of, Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep, The Attachment Parenting Book, and The Baby Book, among several others-- like that highly controversial Vaccine Book) moms all the way.  But in all honesty my sanity was suffering.  I haven't slept for longer than 4 hours in almost 1 year. And frankly, Dr. Sears method was awesome for my preemie, for my newborn, for my infant...but for my emerging toddler it wasn't working. 

This is one of those topics. You know the ones, the ones that start mom wars and mompetition (see also bottle or breast, private or public, stay at home or work outside the home, cloth or disposable, vaccinate or not, etc ad nauseum.

Immediately when I read the Ferber method the scientific language appealed to me i.e. "gradual extinction".  It also sparked my interest in the area of separation anxiety.  Part of the reason I keep Sloane with me so often is that I can't bear not to nurse her, hold her, sleep next to her because she is SO anxious, after I read the book I began to see this anxiety from a separate viewpoint. 

Ferber asserts that Sloane needs to see her and I as two separate people and the nursing and sleeping relationship (that we have) may be hindering that and that she needs my help to learn that gently (although that does involve some tears, which hurts).  Also I had the "cry-it-out" fears in my head, that I was just going to have to close the door and not open it til morning.  But gradual extinction involves leaving her for longer periods of time and going in frequently (and fading that) to reassure her that I am still there (easing the separation anxiety and feeling of abandonment).  I liked that part because my other worry was "what if she is crying for a reason?" (my mind goes right to the craziest most unlikely scenario: kidnapper). 

Also I wasn't sure that I should continue night nursing (upwards to 6 times a night!).  Ferber has a way in his book to continue but I found that it might be too confusing for her (since she does not understand time she would not understand why sometimes I come in and pick her up to nurse and other times I come in only to comfort her briefly).  She is not nursing for nutrition at night she is nursing to comfort herself and have herself drift back to sleep.   

She does not seem to have "shut down syndrome" as Sears cautions in his Sleep Book   (the reason I have tried to avoid any and all tears for eleven months, which is frankly exhausting) although it's only been 2 days of this method.  She did not cry at all for naps today.  She snuggled in to me and I said "it's nap time." took her to her bed and laid her down.  She gave me an anxious look and I reassured her that I would see her in the afternoon.  She rolled over quietly and closed her eyes.  This.is.huge.

For us this is working, now.  I fully expect that no one method is a cure all. 

And now, something non-controversial....

how cute am I?

And a series of shots of Sloane and her cousin (14 month old) Kolten....

trust me, I'm a doctor

this is your first problem

It's not a tumor

I'm going to listen to your heart

Don't cry
You were a good girl for your exam
title courtesy of Ricky Nelson: Garden Party

Thursday, November 3, 2011

her hair is always a mess...she's beautiful

So I am a bit of a (faux) single mom these days and it seriously makes me want to bow down (Wayne's World style) to all the kick @ss real single moms and declare "We're not worthy...we're not worthy!" Keenan is in & out doing theatre. I am lucky to have my family to help me, and of course Zoloft. 

I have only been at this for a few days but I have been using the 2 hours that she is asleep and I am not to do some projects.  I touched up some of her things from the nursery that got scratched in the move.  And I did two projects from my holiday Pinterest files (ahem, addiction)...


Here is my version for Miss Sloane, and chef Dudley

I made an ornament based on the one above for a "first Christmas/gee I never sent you a wedding present?how embarrassing! gift".  I need to get a ribbon and a little charm to finish it off...and then off in the mail.  By Emily Post's etiquette guidelines I still had until April 2012 to get them a gift...but the early bird does catch the worm, so I won't wait the full year since their wedding. 

Hopefully my new found loneliness will help me keep up my crafty distraction so that I can get a few more projects on my to-do list to-done.  It's better than copious amounts of liquor, tears and kleenex...although I can't promise that I will make it through the next two months without a night or two like that.

Linking this up to the un-official Fall pinterest challenge on YHL. <3

title courtesy of Train: Meet Virginia (classic)