Still sleepy

So, the big-girl bed transition for Lucy… God. I swear this child is going to be the death of me.

On the upside, she doesn’t climb out of the bed or anything. She goes to bed easily. As long as she has her Yo Gabba Gabba dolls to cuddle with (specifically Muno and Foofa, I don’t know why they’re the chosen ones, but whatever), she settles down and goes to sleep when I put her in the bed.

But she still wakes up at least 2 or 3 times demanding the bottle. She doesn’t climb out of the bed, she just sits up and screams until I come to her. (I’ve started packing a mini-cooler with an ice pack & a couple of bottles to leave in my bedroom, so at least I don’t have to run downstairs to the fridge. Small things, I guess.)

Bedtime prerequisites: bottle & Yo Gabba Gabba dolls.

I took the advice of y’all who suggested an extra bedtime snack. She usually has some fruit before bed (usually blueberries or grapes or whatever fresh fruit I happen to have in the house), but the idea of extra protein hadn’t occurred to me. So I’ve been giving her whatever I can entice her with – leftover rotisserie chicken, bologna, cheese, etc. – and I’ve tried adding more simple carbs (usually Ritz crackers or something similar) to see if maybe it would keep her full longer. So far, it hasn’t helped.

As for co-sleeping, I would TOTALLY let her sleep in the bed with me. It’s a king-size bed and I’m the only one in it, so it’s not like I’m hurting for space. But she cannot seem to sleep with me. One night I tried it, and she squirmed and thrashed around for nearly an hour, then finally she sat up crying and screamed, “Nigh-niiiiiiight!!!” She was exhausted but couldn’t get comfortable in my bed. I said, “You want to go back to Lucy’s bed?” And she said, “Yah!” So I took her back to her bed and she was asleep in about 20 seconds.

To be fair, Lucy has never been a co-sleeper. I wanted her to be. When she was a tiny newborn and Dave was sleeping down the hall in the guest room and I was all alone with her, I desperately wanted her in the bed with me so I wouldn’t feel so lonely and isolated. But she couldn’t sleep there. Every time I moved, it woke her. She couldn’t even sleep in the pack & play next to my bed. She was in her crib in the nursery with an air filter for white noise by the time she was 6 weeks old.

Oh, I also tried taking the girls to the playground after daycare in the evening to see if maybe a little evening fresh air would help her sleep better. Or if, at the very least, she might burn enough energy to really exhaust herself. No luck there either.

As for the bottle issue? Ok. Yes, I know that she’s 16 months old and should be weaned off the bottle now. I know this. Catie was off the bottle by the time she was 14 months old. But with Lucy… no. I don’t have the internal resources to wage that battle. She doesn’t get the bottle during the day at daycare, because they don’t give bottles once the kids move up to the toddler room. And she’s adjusted fine to that. But when I go pick her up, I better have a bottle with me or she is going to FREAK THE EVER-LOVING HELL OUT for the entire drive home.

The bottle is her comfort thing. And you know what? It’s FINE. I don’t care. I don’t have the energy for this fight. I can almost guarantee you that she won’t still be asking for the bottle by the time she’s in elementary school. So for now, I don’t really give a crap about the bottles. She can keep them as long as she wants.

So… yeah. Meanwhile I’m still being woken up multiple times a night and I feel like death.

This too shall pass, right? I mean, eventually? She has to sleep through the night SOMEDAY, doesn’t she? (Please say yes.)

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.

random Monday thoughts

My head is kind of a mess of different things right now, and I feel like I should blog since it’s been a week. (I know y’all probably don’t care, but when I look at my archives and see barely anything written, it tends to be because those are the times when my brain was too preoccupied to say anything.) So, a few random things happening here.


* Dave is in town for a visit. He hadn’t seen the girls since March, so I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was quite honestly a knot of anxiety about the whole thing. Six months is a long time, especially when you’re a little kid. So far, it’s going pretty smoothly. Catie is obviously thrilled to see him. And Lucy didn’t really remember him, but she warmed up to him quickly, probably (at least partially) thanks to sibling rivalry. (Catie is sitting on someone’s lap? Lucy wants to be on that person’s lap too, dammit.)

So, it’s fine, but it’s also a weird topic that I don’t really feel comfortable talking about here. I’m bracing myself for next weekend when he leaves, because that’s essentially when I have to go into grief counselor mode for Catie. It’s going to suck, but it is what it is and there isn’t much I can do about it, other than to try to keep her routines in place so she feels as safe and secure in her world as possible. Which is what I do anyway.

[Ok, fine, here’s where I’ll be snarky and admit that when he texted me to tell me that he took both kids to IHOP yesterday and the food took an hour and both kids had simultaneous meltdowns in the middle of the restaurant? Yes, I did derive a tiny bit of satisfaction out of that. If that makes me a petty, horrible person, so be it. Also, later on, Lucy puked on him, but it was at my house and I had to clean up the floor, so that was less funny. Still, it did feel a little bit like, “Oh hey, welcome to MY world, buddy!”]


* I took advantage of the kids’ time with Dave this weekend to try to reorganize the house and clean out my office. That was possibly the most gratifying thing I’ve done in a long, LONG time. I made about 6 trips to the recycle bin and hauled out a couple of giant lawn-size hefty bags of trash. It felt so good to unload all of that stuff. I keep looking around my office and feeling like a weight has been lifted off of me. I can now watch “Hoarders” without nervously looking around my own house. It’s very freeing.


* Lucy. My god. This child.

She is how I know without a doubt that I’m done having babies, because I am quite certain that I would never survive another toddler. The tantrums and the drama, plus the fact that she still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night, and she howls every time I try to put her in her car seat… it’s like somebody crossed a newborn with the terrible two’s and came up with this hellspawn hybrid demon baby-toddler.

But then, you know, she’s also a toddler, and therefore completely hilarious.

Someday she is going to outgrow that tummy. And I will cry.

I took this picture because I wanted to capture THAT TUMMY. Which I kiss about a million times a day. And when I say, “Lucy, where’s your tummy?” She pulls up her shirt and rubs her little Buddha-belly like she’s all proud of it, and it makes me sad that we don’t keep those body image ideals as we get older. She’ll outgrow that tummy someday, and I’ll be heartbroken when she does.

Also, one of my friends pointed out that in that picture, she looks like a tiny David Lee Roth. And she totally does, except I think Lucy might have more hair on top than ol’ David Lee has these days.


* On a sad note, my great uncle Numa passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, and we’re all relieved that he isn’t in pain anymore. I don’t really have the words to sum up my uncle Numa here. There’s a really nice obituary that covers what an amazing career he had. (How many people can say that the guy who played Newman on Seinfeld played them in a movie? Random, right?) I knew him as the guy who was completely smitten with his wife, my great aunt Connie, even after 50 years of marriage. He was hilariously funny and told the greatest stories.

He had been ill for a very long time, and he hadn’t wanted visitors around when he was sick, so I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I remember in 2004, when Dave and I were still just dating, we were in New Orleans at Christmas, and I called Numa. I don’t remember why I called him, I think I was asking him for a restaurant recommendation. But that was the last time I spoke with him. At the end of our chat, I remember him saying, “Darlin’, if you get into trouble in the Quarter tonight, just tell the cops my name and they’ll take care of you.” Always good to have a name you can drop when you get arrested for drunk & disorderly on Bourbon Street, right?

He was a wonderful man who’ll be very missed by so many.


* It was 50 degrees outside when I woke up this morning. The high today is 72. Hey there, September, you’re looking lovely.

single vs solo parenting vs OMG shut it already

This thing came up online a couple of days ago and it’s been gnawing at me ever since.

So, my friend Katie – do y’all know Katie? Because you should, she’s awesome – she had a baby recently. And then her husband went out of town for a week and she was on her own with the baby for a week. And she wrote a post about how difficult it was.

And then a whole bunch of commenters showed up and basically blasted her for not having a clue how difficult it is to really be a single parent. They said she was a spoiled brat and a rich lazy housewife with an easy little life (none of which are things that are true if you know anything about Katie, but I digress).

Here’s the thing: I’m a single parent, and I read the article and found absolutely nothing offensive about it. But it’s another example of something that seems to be a very common phenomenon online, particularly among the parenting blogs, and it drives me bonkers. Here’s the thing, y’all: IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.

Is life generally harder for me as a single parent compared to other moms with spouses? I don’t know. Probably, I guess.

Some of my married friends have husbands who are useless pieces of crap (sorry, truth) who do absolutely nothing to help out with the kids and who basically function as an extra (very large) child that they have to clean up after and take care of. I imagine their lives are probably WAY more frustrating than mine.

(Note: I’m not saying that’s true of all of my married friends. I know plenty of awesome husbands/dads too.)

Some of my single parent friends don’t have the support system around them that I’m very lucky to have. I imagine that’s got to be really hard too.

So Katie had a rough week. Why jump on her case for it? Taking care of a 4 month-old is HARD. I would so much rather deal with my toddler and 5 year-old together than one tiny newborn. (Another reason I’m definitely done having kids – I mean, besides the whole divorce thing – is that I’m pretty sure I would never survive another newborn baby. I love my kids to the moon and back, but I am SO GLAD to be past that stage.) She didn’t claim that she was a “single parent” because she took care of the baby by herself for a week, just that she could sympathize with single parents because she had a taste of what it’s like to do it on your own, and she saw how hard it is. Can someone tell me what’s offensive about that? Because I just don’t see it.

I don’t sit around thinking about who has it easier and who has it harder than me. Because it’s none of my business. And I prefer to just go ahead and live my life rather than thinking about what everybody else is doing.

And I think that if you DO sit around thinking about other people’s lives that much, maybe it’s time to turn off your computer and go find yourself a nice hobby. (I hear knitting can be very relaxing. Or maybe go pet a horse.) Because life is too short to sit around feeling all “woe is me” all the time. There’s no medal for winning the Adversity Olympics.

bouncing babies

I’ve been so exhausted lately (due to Lucy’s sleep issues, which is a subject for another post) that I haven’t had the energy to do fun stuff with the girls, so I was determined to make this holiday weekend fun for us.

On Saturday, we went to the pool, which was a lot of fun because my parents and brother came with us, and the girls had a blast. I didn’t take any pictures because, well, my iPhone isn’t waterproof and I barely ever got out of the water. (If it’s over 85 degrees and I’m outside, I better submerged in a cool body of water or else I’m gonna be CRANKY.)

Saturday night, we all had a break. Catie went to spend the night with my parents, Lucy spent the night with her favorite baby-sitter (and she didn’t have to share the sitter’s attention with Catie, so that was a HUGE win for Lucy), and I had a date with The Guy. I got a good night’s sleep for the first time in weeks, the girls had a blast, and everybody was happy.

Sunday, we were planning to go to the pool again, but there were thunderstorms, so that was ruled out. Instead, I decided to take the girls to a bounce house place called Monkey Joe’s. Catie loves it there, but this was the first time Lucy had ever been.

(Ok, not true, she was there for Catie’s birthday party, but she couldn’t even crawl then, much less walk, so she wasn’t allowed to bounce at all.)

When we first got there, she was clearly super-excited.

Lucy was so excited to get the bounce house

(Note to self: maybe plan the outings after naptime. Oops.)

After she woke up, we had to walk around to check everything out.

Lucy scoping out the bounce houses.

She was really unsure about the bounce houses at first, so I crawled into one with her and Catie. (Adults are only allowed in the bounce houses if they’re assisting kids, and I was definitely assisting.) She sat in my lap and clung to me for a while, but after a few minutes, she ventured out on her own & decided that it was pretty fun.

Lucy & me in the bounce house. The extra pair of legs there belong to Catie.
(The extra pair of legs there belong to Catie.)

I have no idea what Catie just said to me, but I love this picture so much.

After a few minutes, she was a pro. She was all over the place and I had to stop her from climbing up the really big slides a few times.

Lucy playing in the bounce houses

So, yeah. Bounce houses are basically the greatest thing in the world for both of my girls. And bonus: that much jumping wears them both out so they actually slept really well last night for a change.

(Random, but it’s worth noting that Catie was terrified of bounce houses until she was about 3 1/2. Just goes to show how much tougher second-born children are. She sees her big sister doing stuff, and she’s determined that she’s going to do it too.)

Of course, as soon as we got home, I immediately dunked them both in the tub because those places are crawling with germs. I actually saw Lucy licking one of the inflatables at one point, so if we aren’t all sick in about 24-48 hours, I’ll be stunned.

Now, to figure out what we’re going to do with our last day of the holiday weekend. Hmm…

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.