Monday, November 30, 2009

You'd Look Like Crap Too!

My kids are champion sleepers. They need no rocking, patting, or seeing Mommy jumping through flaming hula hoops before they close their eyes and journey to slumber least that's how it was until MONDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gibson is now 18 months and mastering the art of communication with words, high pitched squeals, and some sign language. He typically takes two naps during the day, each at about a two hour clip. He's usually ready for bed around 8. When I ask if he's ready for nite nite, he walks to the stairs and points up, then waves at the dog. He has to have his Pup Pup and fleece blue blankie (a gift from his birth mom) and his paci....the Holy Trinity of baby sleep. He sleeps soundly through the night until Sean is showering the next morning. At around 7 or 7:30 Gibby wakes happy and jibber jabbering in his crib.

Then Monday dawned............................

He was overly clingy that day, wanting to be picked up and climbing into my lap at every chance. He would try and push the dog away from me and pull on my legs for attention. It was nice, having him in my lap and content with stories and picture books. His usual bedtime rolled around and he gathered Pup Pup, Blankie, and Paci and waved nite nite to all. I changed his diaper, dressed him in his jammies and gave him a kiss.

Lola was wrapping up her cartoons and coloring in the computer room and Sean and I were rewinding the day with a glass of wine. Not much later Lola was in bed after brushing her teeth and a story. I followed soon after with a book in hand and crawled under my comforters. Sean finished a movie and eventually the house was sharing a unanimous snore.

"AAAAAAHHHHHHH WAAAAHHHHHHHH AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" I sat bolt upright in bed then pole vaulted across the hall into Gibby's room. He was screaming wildly and his nose was running. He was having such a fit that he moved his crib several inches down the wall. He had thrown all his stuffed animals onto the floor and lost his paci under his crib. I gave him back his beloved three, rubbed his back and closed the door behind me. He would have no such abandonment tonight! So, from 10 PM to 3 AM I rocked, patted, sat downstairs with him. I changed him again, gave him a sippy cup, again rocked, rolled, rubbed, soothed....Every time he returned to his crib he screamed bloody murder! I then did the unthinkable...I brought him into our bed so I could maybe sleep even for a few minutes.

We hold the belief that the kids should sleep in their own beds. At 2 AM nothing makes sense, so Gibby spent the greater last hours before dawn alternating between sleeping on top of me to scooting down to the end of the bed to squeezing between Sean and I and burrowing under the covers. No one really slept. Tuesday dawned and my parents would be visiting from Pennsylvania in about 8 hours. Somehow Lola slept through the entire night, thank God!

Tuesday was cleaning and pre Thanksgiving groceries. Not much was accomplished with a cranky 18 month old clinging to me. I felt like a mommy Orangutan! Around 4:30 my parents arrived from Pa. By Thursday night we were all fried by lack of sleep. Sometime around 2 AM my mother rocked Gibby to sleep after a two hour marathon. By Friday I knew I had to get serious or at least have all of us get some sleep.

I googled sleep patterns and babies and separation anxiety. My God, what scary information can be found with a few taps on the keyboard! So, I deduced he may be suffering from seperation anxiety. We tried a method recommended for babies who won't sleep on their own. I placed him in his crib in the routine he's accustomed to and shut the door. Of course he screamed! I was waiting for one of my neighbors to call the cops. We let him argue for about five minutes then I entered his room and patted him on the back. He was sooooo happy to see me! He grabbed Pup Pup and Blankie and thrust them at me, expecting to settle into his rocking chair again for the night. I said good night and closed the door. Screams lumbered down the stairs, angry loud why are you abandoning me screams...10 minutes went by and Sean went upstairs to soothe him. Again the door was closed, again those guilt inducing cries. 15 minutes, batter up, my turn. His cries were less demanding but still as heartbreaking. After about an hour, quiet, all was quiet......

It's amazing how smart babies and toddlers are. He may have realized his screams would bring us, but could not keep us in his room all night. I hope he knows we are there for him even at the slightest whimper. I hope he knows we love him and want only slumber wumber sleepy time for him. A well rested Gibson is a happy Gibson. A happy Gibson makes for happy well rested parents!!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wasn't Halloween Just Last Week?

It's that time of year. Lola wants, no needs, no HAS TO HAVE everything she sees on TV. "Mommy, can I have that?" The Christmas commercials are streaming into our living room. Pixos, didn't kids eat those and they caused a catatonic reaction a few years back? Might be an incentive to parents....hmmmmmm...... There are the Disney Barbies, the baby Disney dolls, the Barbie Camper with flushing toilet, the talking doll house with the British accent, The Easy Bake Oven! I had that! I remember the packets of cake mix, you added water and poured it into a little cake pan. You would slide the mix under a super hot light bulb and in a few minutes, a hot little cake! Everything is high tech. Now you can buy a frosting pen to decorate your cake. There's the candy jewelry design machine. You make candy necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Crunch crunch crunch. Let's visit the dentist for the new year!

Dora is grown up, a tween? You plug a USB cable into her butt and you can interact. There is the toddler bike you also plug into your TV. Somehow it teaches your kids counting, the alphabet, an interactive learning world where your little tyke peddles along and learns. I remember playing in the woods with my brother Joe. We built forts. We would run in open fields of Lazy Susans before the neighborhood was built up. We would play cars in the dirt piles at the end of our dead end road. We would collect berries and mash them and make soup in our Mom's old mismatched Tupperware bowls. We would ride our Big Wheels for hours. When it was time for lunch, our mom would lean out the patio door and ring a bell. We would hear it tinkering and abandon our pirates play.

The impending holidays make me homesick, nostalgic for a simpler time. There's that indescribable day, the air is just right, the dusk just settles, and it FEELS like Christmas. It happens to me every year. It a crack, a peek, a small glimpse of magic. It's like a celestial portal that I just happen to be attuned to. The heavens open and feathery drifts of snow gently fall. It's a spark that gets me excited, stirs my kid wanderlust.

I have this urge to shop, wrap, make holiday lists. I'll unbox all my holiday CDs and begin listening to them in the car. I'll dust off my recipe books and muse over cookie recipes, I'll go online and drool over Epicurious and Food Network. I eagerly await the Norelco Shaver commercail with the Santa gliding over the show. I get teary eyed over the Time Life Boxed Collection of holiday classics. Everytime a bell rings, an angels gets his wings. I look forward to the Christmas songs we sing at Mass. Lola and I will make another gingerbread house this year. We'll visit Santa and have holiday photos taken for a Christmas card. I already see Gibson tearing ornaments off the tree.

Thanksgiving is only a few days away. I should verify my turkey order and clean the house. Maybe I'll treat myself today and the kids and I will watch It's A Wonderful Life. The laundry can wait.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fickle Facebook Fascination

It's finally happened.....I've fallen out of love with Facebook!

Of course it was fun at first, the reconnecting of old high school mates, seeing how everyone has gained weight and lost hair, gained children, step children, pets, mortgages, real jobs, real worries.

It was fun to post pictures of my children, my husband, smugly laud the fine attributes of the town we live in. The many highbrow colleges, plentiful arts and roster of hipsters, writers, poets, and rock starts who we rub elbows with.

I log in every few days to reconnect with maybe three or four of my fifty plus "friends." I really don't give a rat's ass about how my high school chum, who isn't anything like the fun girl I remember my senior year, runs 5.9 miles in under three minutes. I'm not fascinated with my friend who now lives in Tokyo who photographs strippers for a living. FACEBOOK UPDATE.....he now has a job as a photographer for The New York Times. I'm bored with school photos of Johnny's first day with his new backpack waiting for the "big boy bus." Thank God no one pokes anyone anymore. That was annoying!

I log into my e mail and most of it is Facebook sludge. I don't post photos of my kids anymore or what we do on the weekends as family. Sean says photos of his kids floating in cyber space is creepy. Sure, my photos are under privacy view for just a few friends. Do we really know who has access to my pictures?

Want to know something else disturbing? If I log onto my Facebook page, there's a certain someone who chats immediately with me. I hear that little "pop" sound and there is this person in the lower right hand corner of my screen wanting a bit of cyber affection. The other day I received a friend request from a high school pal. She was sleeping with my boyfriend and she didn't know I knew. I broke up with that boyfriend. They married several years later. He died of a heart attack in their third year of marriage. I hold no bitterness toward her. She did me a big favor, I just don't want to reconnect with her and share her sadness.

I think today if I have a moment, I'm going to delete most of my "friends." I know there will be sadness, crying, wondering why, why, why? There will be no instant thoughts of what I'm doing right now, what I'm making for dinner, what cute antics the kids are up to. No one will know I'm on my third cup of coffee, that I've submitted several stories for publication, that we're planning a family cruise.

At last it has happened, I have fallen out of love with Facebook.

Her First Library Card

My little girl is growing up......FAST!!!!!!!!! Everyday she is seeking and gaining more independance. We walked to the library the other morning. I thought she should have her own library card. She thought that was the "best idea in the universe!" The librarian filled out some paperwork and then handed her a yellow laminated card with a sketch of the library on the front. Lola was beaming! She loudly proclaimed "now I feel so accomplished!" She told me I could check out any book or DVD I wanted to with her card. Then she said we should go to the grocery store and buy groceries with her new library card. The mind of a four year old, what a glory to behold!