in dire need of Mr. Sandman

Ok, this might make me a terrible person, but I’m going to complain about my baby here for a minute.

Back before I got pregnant with Lucy, I used to joke that Catie had such horrible sleep habits as a baby, that God owed me a good sleeper on the second kid.

You know what? GOD STILL OWES ME. Only I don’t want more babies, so maybe He can make it up to me another way. A million dollars and a weekend spa retreat would be a good start.

Lucy's big grin
Don’t even try to act like you’re all sweet and innocent here, missy.

Back in January, I let Lucy cry it out a few times, and it seemed to work. We had a few blissful months at the beginning of the year where Lucy slept great. We eventually settled into a pretty predictable routine – I’d put her down around 8 or 8:30, then she’d wake up around 10:30 or 11 for what I call her “bonus bottle” before she’d settle down to sleep for the night.

I’m not sure exactly when it all changed, but it was a couple of months ago. She started freaking out when I put her down and waking up several times a night. At the advice of our pediatrician (who gave me a good long lecture about how learning to self-soothe is a skill that has to be taught), I managed to bust out some CIO techniques again to get her to go to bed without screaming.

The problem is, she’ll go to sleep with no problem. But she wakes up every 3 hours or so, screaming, “Mama! BAH!!” (Translation: Bottle!). And I don’t know what to do about that. It’s not like she’s up for very long. She sucks down her bottle and goes straight back to sleep. But the sleep interruptions are KILLING me.

I’ve tried out a few different theories. Is she teething? I tried some baby Motrin at bedtime. Didn’t help. Is she waking up because she peed and it feels uncomfortable in her (cheap, Target generic) diapers? I invested in some expensive Huggies Overnights. While they do help with leaks, it hasn’t helped with her sleep at all.

A couple of nights ago, she woke up & started to fuss right as I was walking past her door. I crept in & saw that she had rolled over and banged into the railing of her crib. (Her crib doesn’t have a bumper – partly because the AAP says not to use them anymore, but mostly because the one from Catie’s bedding set ripped and I was too lazy to buy a replacement.) I rolled her back over and patted her until she went back to sleep.

So, I thought… Maybe the problem is that she’s just too big for her crib? It certainly makes sense, right? She’s only 16 months old, but she’s wearing a 2T (and a 3T in some things), so girlfriend is *big*.

I threw the question out on Facebook (is 16 months too young to move up to a regular bed?) and got lots of positive feedback from my friends & family. That helped me feel a little bit validated.

My parents had a spare twin-size bed in their attic, so yesterday, my dad and I got it down, hauled it to my house, disassembled the crib, and set up Lucy’s bed. (I’m not using the frame because I want it low enough where she can climb in & out herself. It’s just the mattress & box spring on the floor with a guard rail to keep her from falling out.)

When Lucy got home, she seemed to dig her new big-girl bed.

Lucy was very excited about her big-girl bed when she got home tonight.

And she went down for the night with no problem at all.

Tiny girl, big bed.

So, I thought, oh see? This is just perfect. We will all sleep blissfully well through the night from now on! Huzzah!

Then Lucy woke up basically every hour on the hour last night. She never tried to climb out of the bed, she just sat up and screamed. Over and over. All night.

My guess (because, really, all I have are guesses when it comes to this kid) is that she woke up and everything looked unfamiliar, and that’s why she freaked out. So maybe tonight will be better? Because I’m not putting the crib back together. I’m not. I refuse. I hate the crib, I’m so done with it.

Hopefully this phase will pass quickly, for my own sanity if nothing else.

And if anyone has advice on what to do with a child that seems to wake up “needing” a bottle every few hours (and believe me, it’s not that she doesn’t eat enough during the day because OMG she can out-eat her big sister any day), please let me know.

This week in Lucy-ness

So. Lucy. This freaking kid.

On Tuesday, I went to pick the girls up at daycare (Catie goes there for after school care), and the new daycare teacher mentioned that Lucy seemed kind of sleepy after she woke up from her nap and she felt a little warm. Which is a little weird for my normally hyperactive wild child.

[Side note about the new daycare teacher: she seems nice and all, but my favorite daycare teacher – the one who has taken care of both of my girls for the past 2.5 years, and who baby-sits them on a regular basis, and is the only person other than my parents who has kept both of my kids overnight? She got fired last week. Don’t even get me started on THAT, because it pisses me off to no end.]

We went to my parents’ house for dinner. Normally Lucy would be all over the place, making a mess of my mom’s kitchen cabinets, playing with some awful loud toy that’s been banned from my house, or demanding to go in the backyard to explore.

Instead, she lay down on the floor and tried to go to sleep. She had a fever and was obviously miserable.

Fever baby does not care that we're late this morning. (Poor girl.)

The next couple of nights were rough. She had me up basically every 30 minutes to an hour, and it was pretty clear that she felt awful.

Since I couldn’t send her to daycare with a fever, she spent Wednesday and Thursday at my parents’ house. Thank god they live nearby and can take over when I have a sick kiddo so I can still work.

By yesterday afternoon, she seemed fine when I went to my parents’ house to pick her up. I mean, other than being spoiled rotten by them.

Just drinkin' my "bah-bah," drivin' a plane. As you do. No big.

Since I had suffered through two miserable nights with her, my mom came over and spent the night to help out. She said that she would get up with the baby so I could actually function at work today.

Of course, since my mom was on standby, Lucy slept through the night. Little shit.

Long story short, I still don’t know what that was. Teething, a virus, some random WTF-itude to keep me on my toes.

I do know, however, that this kid might well be the death of me.

One of the 2 reasons I can never sleep late on weekends.

Rotten, I tell you. Just rotten.

13 months and change

In the past month, Lucy has had this amazing baby-to-toddler explosion. I don’t really know what else to call it. I vaguely remember this happening with Catie, it’s like a whole bunch of things suddenly change all at once, and it’s usually right around their first birthday.

She isn’t walking yet, but I guess she’s decided she’s tired of crawling too. So now she does what we call her “downward-facing dog crawl,” with her tush in the air. Like so.

(I would like to state for the record that my voice in this video is not an actual representation of my accent. I was being silly to make the kids laugh. I don’t actually use words like “git” instead of “get.” Honest.)

She also figured out this weekend how to crawl up and down the stairs. Which meant that she wanted to do it about 20 times in a row. (On the plus side, it’s good exercise for me, I guess?)

She loves the swimming pool, and has no hesitation to leap out of my arms face-first into the water. It scares the crap out of me, and I catch her before she goes under every time, but she’s gotten a nose-full of pool water more than once.

We've discovered that Lucy REALLY likes lemonade.

Although she prefers to mooch her Mimi’s lemonade while hanging with her Pop-Pop.

Walking with only Pop-Pop's thumb for support

The child is fearless to the point of having a death wish. I never really had to childproof anything for Catie (I would point at something and say, “don’t touch that,” and she actually listened to me and never touched whatever the thing was), but I basically have to tie down everything in sight when it comes to Lucy.

A little morning couch dancing.

She seems more precocious than a lot of babies I’ve encountered. I think a lot of that is because she wants to imitate everything her big sister does.

Lucy coloring with Mimi

Of course, this also has its downsides: she’s officially reached Tantrum Age. If you tell her “no” or take away something dangerous that she’s managed to get her hands on, she will throw herself face-down on the floor and scream like she’s being tortured. Most of the time I walk away (it’s my general rule for dealing with tantrums: don’t feed them more attention), but I can already tell that this girl’s toddler years are probably going to kill me.


She’s damn lucky she’s cute, that’s for sure.

Lucy at One

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday, you turned one year old.

This is a happy birthday baby right here.

I suppose I should’ve written this post yesterday, but Mommy was a little bit distracted with her friends being in town.

You see, baby, you won’t understand this until you’re a lot older, but this past year? Has probably been one of the hardest and longest years of my life. And that’s not your fault at all, that’s just life. But this was the week that I needed my friends around me to help me celebrate the fact that I survived this past year.

Lucky for you (and your sister), this means that you get a whole bunch of bonus honorary aunties who absolutely adore you.

It's @amazinggreis and the birthday girl.

Sometimes they even bring you Abby Cadabby dolls for your birthday.

A few months ago, someone (I won’t say who, it doesn’t really matter) unthinkingly told me that I shouldn’t have had you, because your birth happened right around the same time that your dad and I separated. That blew my mind.

Obviously, if I’d had a crystal ball and knew how things would play out, then no, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to get pregnant with you, because being a single parent to one kid is hard enough, let alone two. But now that you’re here? I cannot imagine our lives without you in it.

Lucy splishing and splashing.

You are just pure light and joy and laughter and sunshine. You probably helped me through this past year more than anything else. You showed me that I can handle pretty much anything.

One year old seems pretty young, but in so many ways, you’re already becoming a big girl. For one thing, you can communicate like crazy. You point at whatever you want and say, “Dat?”

When I get you from your crib in the morning, you point at the door and say, “Ba?” I know that means you want to go downstairs and have a bottle.

You call your sister, “Tay-tee.” She loves that. She loves YOU, even though she’s already getting cranky about having to share her toys with you.

Day 1: morning. TGIF, y'all. #photoadayjune

You know your grandfather is Pop-Pop (although you say it more like Bop-Bop). You call your Mimi, “Meemuh.” You even know the cat’s name – every morning, you say, “Hi, Buh-muh” to Beaumont.

You sometimes call me Mama, but it’s rare. It’s ok, though, because I know when you want me.

Right now, Pop-Pop is your favorite person in the world. When I take you to their house, you lunge out of my arms toward him. He spoils you rotten, he carries you around all the time; he knows you’ll fuss if he sets you down, so he just doesn’t. He lets you nap on him and insists he can’t possibly put you down in the Pack & Play to sleep.

Wearing Mardi Gras beads & Pop-Pop's MS State hat. And no pants. As you do.

You cry when he carries you out to my car because you know that means it’s time to leave Mimi and Pop-Pop’s house.

You’re sooooo close to walking, but you can get where you need to go by crawling at top speed for now. I’m reasonably certain you’re going to figure it out sometime in the next month.

Lucy & Beaumont are workout buddies. (It was unplugged, I promise.)

You are just so delightful. I cannot believe in the past year, you’ve gone from being this wide-eyed tiny newborn…

Lucy late at night

…to this sweet baby girl with a million miles of personality.


We love you so much, my sweet Lucy-girl, Lulubelle, Little Lulu. Happy first birthday.


six things for Friday afternoon

Ok, I have to get that picture of Alice Cooper off the top of my blog.

So! Moving on! Here’s a bunch of random kid stuff.

1. Words of wisdom from my 5 year-old: “In China, they eat their food with Chapsticks.”

There is a very important vowel distinction that needs to be made there.


2. She also informed me, after watching perhaps one too many episodes of Dinosaur Train, that she is an omnivore.

“That means that I eat both meat AND vegetables.”

Why, yes. Yes it does. Slow down, kiddo. You’re getting too smart. Kindergarten doesn’t even start for another 2 months.

(Related: holy crap, she starts kindergarten in 2 months!!)

I can almost never get a picture of Catie smiling for the camera. Victory!
(No reason for this picture except I can never get one of her smiling at the camera.)


3. Speaking of my kids growing up too fast, this just started happening.

So, this is happening. Holy Moses.

That right there is an 11 month-old baby, walking. And yeah, ok, she needs to use her little push car for support and balance, but still. WALKING. I am so completely not prepared for this.

And look how pleased she is with herself!

Did ya see me walking with the car, mama? Did ya?



4. Maybe because of the almost-walking milestone, or teething, or maybe it’s just a standard-issue sleep regression, but Lucy’s sleeping habits lately have been horrific. A couple of nights ago, she was awake every hour from when she went to bed (at 8:30 p.m.) until 3 a.m. And you know, I don’t get to take a day off work just because I’m tired, so that was awful.

At some point, I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore and I left her to cry it out in her crib. It was after midnight, and I hadn’t had a chance to take a shower because she’d been awake so much. I figured that in the 10 minutes it takes me to shower, surely she’d give up and fall asleep, right?

She was still screaming when I got out of the shower. I gave up and walked into her room. The smell hit me before I even turned on a light, and I knew (even in the dark) that she’d puked. And yep, I was right, she’d screamed so much that she made herself barf. Fabulous.

Because, you know, cleaning up a puke-soaked sobbing baby and changing crib sheets is TOTALLY what you want to do at 1 a.m.

(Plus side? Catie slept through all of it. Small favors and all that.)


5. Last night, I had a really hard time getting Lucy to sleep (again) and she was up until almost 10 p.m. But, once she was out, she actually slept all night. So, I guess we could call that an improvement? Maybe we turned a corner? Fingers crossed.

I have to say I find both of my kids to be way cuter and more endearing after they let me get a full night’s sleep.

Even if this morning, Lucy did crawl over to me to give me a kiss, and she Alicia Silverstone’d me with a mouth full of chewed-up Cheez-Its.

Kids are disgusting creatures, man.

(And yes, I used Alicia Silverstone’s name as a verb. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it. And prepare to be grossed out.)


6. One baby milestone that I fully endorse?

This self-feeding thing is my favorite. She's all, "It's cool, mama. I got this."
“It’s cool, mama. I got this.”

Self-feeding FTW! This has got to be my most favorite thing ever.

Yeah, alright, I guess I’ll keep her around. For now.

Random Sunday stuff

Lucy made a joke! We were playing upstairs in my room, and I tossed her onto my bed (which she loves).

She crawled up to my pillow, lay her head down, then looked at me, waved and said, “Ni-ni, bye-bye.” Then she cracked up laughing at herself.

I mean, ok, she’s only 11(!) months old, so it’s pretty amateur humor. And I don’t even think it’s the first time she’s done something like that, it was just the first time I noticed it. Like, whoa, she’s this whole little person instead of just a blobby baby.

And I know that it’s kind of a minor development, really. But, y’all! Baby made a joke! I’m so proud.

Lucy playing on my bed before church.


Speaking of 11 months old: holy Moses, Lucy is going to be one year old next month. I just… I can’t even.

We aren’t really doing a big thing for her birthday. We’ll do a family thing, and I’ll probably bring cupcakes for the staff at daycare. But, you know, she’s one. She isn’t going to remember if there was a party for the occasion or not.

I, on the other hand, feel as though I deserve a party for surviving this first year. Because this has been undoubtedly one of the most difficult years of my life – which of course is not Lucy’s fault, just circumstances, but still.

To that end, the lovely Greis will be coming here that weekend, and I believe the equally lovely Dawn will also be in town then, and I am planning on a girls’ night out of epic proportions. (If you’re local and around the first weekend in June? Let me know!)


Yesterday I took Catie to get a haircut from my hairstylist. Her first real, grown-up, non-Supercuts haircut. She was so excited.

Catie's getting a grown-up girl haircut. She's psyched.

She was even more excited about the fact that there was a bakery two doors down from the hair salon, so we stopped by there for a cupcake after her haircut.

Enjoying a post-haircut cupcake. That's how we roll.

That’s just how we roll.


Another random Catie aside – I know that she picks up on everything from me. Really, I do know this. So you’d think I’d be more careful about what I let her overhear, right? Well, I recently found one area where I’ve been failing at that.

Lucy loves to follow me into the kitchen and pull stuff out of the lower cabinets while I’m busy. There’s nothing dangerous that she can access, so I don’t worry about it too much.

Anyway, Catie came into the kitchen and asked why there were sponges (like, unused, still-in-cellophane kitchen sponges) on the floor. I said, “Oh, Lucy must have pulled them out of the cabinet.”

Catie gave this big heavy sigh, and said, “Ahh, dammit.”

Which is basically exactly what I say when I’m annoyed about one of the kids making a big mess. So, pretty much no question as to where she learned that. Big ol’ guilty finger is pointing right at me.

I knew that making a big stink about it would be the exact wrong thing to do, so I just kind of mildly said, “You know, sweetie, that’s a grown-up word that Mommy really shouldn’t say, so I don’t want to hear you say it either, ok?” She said ok, but now I’m waiting for that phone call from daycare.

Oh well, it could’ve been worse, right? At least it wasn’t an F-bomb.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: "Happy Birthday, Pop-Pop" edition

Today is my dad’s birthday. This picture of him with Lucy makes me smile every time I see it.

Lucy & Pop-Pop going for a walk

And so does this one of him with not-quite-2 year-old Catie.
Pop-Pop and Catie

And as a throwback – this picture of me with my dad makes me smile too. But in this case, it’s more because of his sideburns and maroon leisure slacks. (Thank you, 1976!)
1976 - me & my dad

Happy birthday, Dad. Your girls love you very much.