Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WW and Thanks :)

Future Starbucks Employee of the Month :)  He makes our coffee for us every morning!!!

I want to Thank Annie from Santiago Twins and Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations for the fabulous Easter goodies I won :) 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleep, Vampires and Elephants

Last night I finally got a chance to sit down and watch New Moon :)  I was pretty tired but the video was already a day over due so I grabbed a big pile of laundry to fold and spent two hours with Bella, Edward, Jacob and S's laundry.  Now I am a big fat chicken when it comes to "scary" movies....I don't watch them.  This movie was not necessarily scary but even though I had read the book twice, I still found myself cuddling up w/ my pillow :)  S was on the phone w/ a friend so he was not available to  snuggle with (I know he was avoiding the movie) so it was just me and the couch pillow. 

I enjoyed this movie much more than the first and went to bed just before 11 with my mind buzzing.  I tossed and turned for hours, trying to get to sleep but I could not shake the images of vampires and werewolves.  At 4:45 AM I woke w/ a jolt to the baby crying.  I stumbled into her room and realized that I had not seen her since 9 PM!!!   She slept for 7 1/2 hours (she usually does 3 hours) on the night where I couldn't figures!  Sleep was very segmented after this point, after all C was well rested but I am so proud of her and hope it happens again soon.

Lil' C took a 90 minute nap today to make up for being wide awake at 4:45 AM and as I put her down to sleep, all I could hear was the heard of elephants that were running around downstairs.  It turns out it was only Z but he is so heavy footed, he sounds like 20 people!  My mom often asked me to walk lighter when I was a little girl and told me I sounded like a heard of elephants.  Now I finally understand what she meant because God has sent me my own little elephant :)

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Say It With a Song Sundays :)

The fabulous BJ Mama over at For What It's Worth is starting a new Sunday Party called, "Say it With a Song Sundays".  Since we sing all day long over here at the Raising Z house (unfortunately I don't sing very well but the others have talent) I thought it was a perfect fit for us.  

Lately I have been talking with Z about the 3 R's (Reducing, Reusing and Recycling).  He loves to recycle and I have been teaching him how we reuse things in our house to reduce our waste :)  They are fun lessons and we love this song by Jack Johnson.  This song is also perfect because we had a Family Movie Night last night and the Curious George Movie was our special flick.  This song is from the AMAZING soundtrack!  Enjoy and keep on Singing :) 

Oh and Good Luck Uncle M.  We know you will play well and help the Police win the Battle of the Badges today :)  We are very proud of you and can't wait to watch!!!!

"The 3 R's"
sung by Jack Johnson

Three it's a magic number
Yes it is, it's a magic number
Because two times three is six
And three times six is eighteen
And the eighteenth letter in the alphabet is R
We've got three R's we're going to talk about today
We've got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you're going to the market to buy some juice
You've got to bring your own bags and you learn to reduce your waste
And if your brother or your sister's got some cool clothes
You could try them on before you buy some more of those
Reuse, we've got to learn to reuse
And if the first two R's don't work out
And if you've got to make some trash
Don't throw it out
Recycle, we've got to learn to recycle,
We've got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Because three it's a magic number
Yes it is, it's a magic number
3, 3, 3
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36
33, 30, 27, 24, 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, and
3, it's a magic number

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleep Training---Baby Bootcamp

Where have I been this week???  Well I have been deep in the trenches of sleep training Lil' C.  We started Tuesday night and it has been quite an adventure.  S and I are now even more sleep deprived and trying so hard to be pleasant.  We hope that all of this craziness will pay off :)

Z was sleep trained at 6 months and my goal was to wait until then for Lil' C but our crazy schedule and having to balance two children made it impossible for me to wait any longer.  We let Z cry it out (the extinction method) and it worked in about a week (you can read all about Z's sleep problems here). 

At C's 4 month appointment, the doctor and I agreed that C was a little young for that method and she suggested the gradual extinction method (a lot of people know this as the Ferber Method).  She suggested not trying this though until C was sleeping in her crib full time and eating every 4 hours.  Well we tried to do this but then C went through her growth spurt and all went out the window....she was back in her chair and eating every 2 hours!  So I got out my sleep bible (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child), borrowed another great read from a friend (sleeping through the night) and read like crazy.  I made a plan and discussed it with S.  The plan meant that we would not be able to sleep away from home for at least a month, which meant only going down to his parents for the day on Easter and no trips to the lake until the month was over.  We both agreed that C's sleep was very important and agreed to make these sacrifices and truly commit to my well researched plan :) Here was our Plan:

Starting Monday
      -Start nursing her downstairs 
      -bed routine
      -rock her to sleep
       -she sleeps in the crib
      -Bed routine, 
      -put her in her crib drowsy but awake 
      -let her cry for 5 minutes, check and console her without picking her up 
      -check on her 10 minutes later, then 15, 20 etc. until she fell asleep
      -Bed routine
      -let her cry for 10 minutes and then check and console and then 15 minutes etc.

Continue doing this every night until she falls asleep on her own.  I planned to go and nurse her to sleep if she woke up during the night.  We would then wait two weeks and then start nap training in the same fashion.

What actually happened????
     -cried for 40 minutes and then threw up!  S picked her up, cleaned her, rocked her a bit and put her in drowsy but awake.  She fell asleep in 2 minutes but then woke up an hour later.  I nursed her back to sleep.  She was up every 1-2 hours after that!!!

      -cried for 2 minutes, fell asleep 3 minutes later!!!  She woke up 30 minutes later.  We let her cry it out again.  She cried for 20 minutes and then stared at the light on her video monitor for 30 minutes before falling asleep.  She woke up 90 minutes later and I nursed (she uses me as a pacifier) her to sleep.  She was up about every 2 hours after that.

     -cried for 5 minutes and fell asleep within 10.  Slept for 30 minutes but this time I caved and rocked her back to sleepShe was up every 3 hours after that.

     -cried for 10 minutes and fell asleep within 15 minutes.  She slept for 90 minutes and then S checked on her (I was out to dinner) when he felt it was right and she cried herself back to sleep :)  She was up every 3 hours after that. 

     -We started nap training because we couldn't wait any longer!!!  Her first nap she cried for 40 minutes...we didn't check on her (we are so mean!) and fell asleep for 20 minutes.  Her second nap, she cried for 4 minutes and fell asleep within 15 minutes and is still sleeping right now!!!  It has been 45 minutes....well an ambulance just went by and now she is up but good job C :)

All in all she has been doing very well.  We are making small gains each day and I am so proud of us for sticking with it even though it is so hard to listen to someone you love cry.  Sleep training is a bit of controversial topic but we feel it is just like teaching C how to walk or talk....she (like many children) need to be taught how to fall asleep on there own.  Once she has mastered this skill, she will be better rested and so will we!

Happy Slumbers!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Facebook Killed the Reunion

This past weekend S and I headed south for a bit of a college reunion.  Many of my college friends were meeting at a benefit party for one of our friend's sons.  The poor little guy has been in and out of the hospital and the benefit was to raise money for the family.  Our last reunion had been 3 years ago and so I was really looking forward to seeing everybody, especially those who didn't make it to the last reunion :) 

My stomach was filled with butterflies as we approached our destination.  I was having a pretty good hair day (I recently had it highlighted), was wearing a new sweater and was feeling pretty good except for the last of the baby weight hanging out on my belly.  I figured I would just strategically place the baby (yes we had to take her but the event was from 4-8) in front of my "pooch". 

The first person I ran into was my best friend L and her husband.  I see them often but it was so nice to walk into a big crowded room and see her beautiful, familiar face.  After greeting her, I put on my perma grin and got ready to make small talk.  Now I have to admit that I am pretty good at making small talk.  I hate silence and love to talk which means I can talk to just about anybody.  I ask about their lives, jobs, where they live, their kids if they have any etc.  They usually do the same and then once we are comfortable we chat about the "good old times".  I usually love these events.....except this time FACEBOOK RUINED EVERYTHING!!!!

Now this is our first reunion since we all jumped on facebook and I have to say, facebook made it really awkward for me.  FB has helped me to learn a lot about these people and the fact that they may or may not know information about me made small talk very unnatural.  Once I started talking, I realized that I didn't have too much to ask since I knew most of my usual questions but I wasn't yet comfortable to jump into the "good old times" so I floundered like an idiot!  I also didn't want to offer up any info about myself because what if they already knew??  I didn't want to bore them, but then again what if they didn't know anything because they don't really follow me on FB???  And then there was the problem that I have been away from FB for the last month because I gave it up for lent.  Many people were talking about things that they thought I should know about but didn't because I have been away.  It was all just socially awkward!!!!!!

At one point I sat down at the table with my BF and another friend and expressed how much I now hated small talk.  My face was bright red from the last embarrassing conversation I had just had and I decided not to pursue any other people alone.  There is, after all, safety in numbers :)

The entire way back to S's parents house, S and I talked about how facebook is taking the fun and gratification out of being social.  Facebook gives you all of the intelligence and knowledge of things that are going on in your "friends" lives (as if you were in the CIA) without ever having to sit down and talk with anyone.  Now don't get me wrong I have enjoyed my time on facebook, I like being able to reconnect with people and read about what is happening in peoples lives.  It is just unfortunate that I already know everything about people when I sit down to have a conversation with them.....sometimes I wish it were just like the old days.  What do you all think???  Are you on FB?  Have you run into similar problems? mom joined facebook over the weekend and after not even 48 hours realized that it wasn't for her and asked me to deactivate her account.  Have you ever deactivated a FB account??  It is pretty darn funny.  It is kind of like a drug dealer begging you not to stop using their services.  Try it sometime :) 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy "Leprecod" Day!

Z was a little freaked out about all the talk of little "Leprecods" running around today (can't you just imagine little fish in bowler hats).  I am so glad I didn't have a chance to dye the milk green this morning.  I told him not to worry, that the lepracods don't like to be seen by people and after he told me he didn't want green pancakes....we dropped the subject.

When we walked into school there were little green footprints everywhere.  At first Z didn't notice and I didn't bring any attention to it.  When we got into the bathroom 3 boys were screaming and pointing out each footprint.  Z looked at me and panicked..."No Leprecods mommy....I don't want any Leprecods!"  I assured him that they had left the building and not to worry. 

When we got into his classroom the group was going wild following the footprints.  The boy in the class that Z loves the most came running up and screaming in his ear about the prints.  Now as many of you know, Z does not respond well to sound and is a little anxious in general....he looked at me and said, "Are you staying today mom?".  I bent down, told him he had nothing to worry about and to have fun.  It was all just a silly game.  I gave him a hug and pulled his teacher aside on the way out.  I told her about his anxiety over the "leprecods" and she assured me that she would show him the footprints by the window and tell him that they had left for good.  Poor guy :(

Come to find out they told the kids on Monday (thank goodness we don't go to school on Mondays) that if they didn't wear green that the Leprechauns would come and pinch them!  This made quite a few kids very anxious and they insisted that the entire family wear green.  We are all in green anyway but I am so glad that Z didn't have that to worry about. 

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sibling Love

Z has definitely come along way from the early days of C's life where he locked himself in his room and would not come out.  He now loves his sister (when it is convenient for him) and SHE lights up whenever he comes into view.  Over the last few weeks Z has had some cute and funny comments when it has come to his sister and I wanted to share those with you now :)

1.  "Mom, this baby is good for us, really good for us."

2.  "Mommy the baby is soooooo cute, well when she's not crying."

3.   A Recent Conversation

   Z--"Mommy, when C gets a little older we will build her a house next to our house  
             and she can live there."

    Me--"She will live all alone??"

    Z--"Yes, we will build her a house". 

    Me--"Where will you live?"

    Z--"With you and daddy in MY house!"

    Me--"Why can't C live with us?  Won't we miss her if she lives next door?"

    Z--"She will be older and will like to live in that house".

    Me--"How old will she be??  Will she be married?"
    Z--"She will be 7 and will not be married mommy!"

4.  "C says she wants to go nap so that you and I can play by ourselves".

5.  "C drinks milk from your boobs mommy?  She likes to drink milk from your boobs, it's good." 


Friday, March 12, 2010

Living in a Paperless Kitchen

We have done it, we have a paperless kitchen!!! It has been over a month and I have to say that we don't even miss our paper towels or napkins.  I had been contemplating this change for years but it was this article by Simple Mom that finally convinced me to do it :)  I want to thank S and Z for jumping on board and understanding that this not only helps our planet but also our wallet! 

So what have we done to go paperless???  I collected all of my cloth napkins (I had about 12 of them) and purchased 10 more.  These are all kept in a drawer in our dining room and Z loves to go and get new napkins out when we need them.  Z and I painted napkin rings (one for each member of the family) and so we save our napkin for the next meal if it is not that dirty, this saves on laundry.

On the kitchen table I have a bucket of baby washcloths.  These are for quick spills, wiping of faces etc.  Z has easy access to them and goes to these whenever he needs to clean up something.  Under the sink I have a bucket full of microfiber cloths, mopinas and everything else I use to clean with.  I only had to buy a few more of these, I had already collected quite a few.  Finally we have our stash of dish towels that we use to dry dishes etc. 

I keep all of the dirty towels in their own bin in the closet and wash them along with the rest of the I don't have any extra laundry.  If a towel is really dirty then I will soak it in the sink before putting it in the bin.  We do have a roll of paper towels stashed away for when we are dealing with raw meat, grease and other bacteria ridden things but other than that we are paper free.  It has been working out really well and our next project is to get rid of all of our plastic bags and reduce our use of tin foil....I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sleep Impossible

This has been a tough week for sleep in the Raising Z house.  On Sunday night I thought it would be a great idea to have Lil' C sleep in her crib for the first time....little did I know she was about to start her 4 month growth spurt!  Lil' C had been sleeping in her little rocking chair since she got sick in the middle of February.  Rather than transitioning her back into her bassinet and then move her to the crib, I decided to cut out the middle man :)  I nursed her to sleep (exactly what the books tell you not to do) and softly placed her into her crib (I had elevated it a bit to help with her reflux).  I snuck out of her room, took a deep breath and prayed that she would sleep for a few hours.  S and I were amazed that it worked and we snuggled in to watch the Academy Awards pre-show stuff :)

About an hour and a half later, she woke up and stared at the video monitor camera.  She did not make a peep and eventually put herself back to sleep.  We gave each other a high five, made a comment about how this was so much easier than Z's transition and went back to watching TV.  An hour later she woke again and demanded to be fed.  From that point on she woke every hour and on the alternate hours demanded food.  The little thing acted like she had not had a meal in days....she was so ravenous!  S and I alternated going in to soothe her and neither of us slept very much.  Our last attempt at sleep was at 6 AM when S returned to bed after rocking Lil' C.....we had at least an hour before Z woke up.  WRONG!  For the first time ever, Z came running into our room at 6:05 saying..."George gets out of bed by himself mommy".  Z usually wakes at 7 and waits for us to come in and get him, Thanks Curious George!

Monday night was almost a carbon copy of Sunday night and then last night it started off the same.  At 3 AM S went into rock Lil' C and I snuggled in to catch a few minutes of sleep when I heard the pitter patter of little feet.  Z had had a bad dream (his 5th bad dream about robots) and so I ended up in his room rubbing his back.  No sleep for me.

So now S and I are running on auto-pilot, like two zombies going through the day.  We hope that C is at the end of her spurt and will now get some sleep.  We need to also fix Z's digital clock and tell him to play quietly in his room until 7 :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

All About MeMe Monday--Self Portrait

with MommyBrain and SupahMommy

Self Portrait Day

It's been said that a picture is worth 
a thousand words.

Okay, I didn't take this photo myself but it is one of my favorites.  This is probably because I look nothing like this in real life.  You see, I was cursed blessed with naturally frizzy curly hair and this new and improved me was after one hour at the hairdresser for my sister in-laws wedding.  I had more compliments on my appearance that night then I think I have had any other time (well maybe I had more on my wedding day, but that is because I was the bride ;)).   On this day I was at my goal weight, in great shape and feeling soooo good.  It was the first time in a long time that I felt was nice. 

I now look at this picture with my big hair, my 15 extra baby pounds, huge bags under my eyes and my sorry out of shape self who is out of breath when I run for the phone and think......someday.....someday I will feel pretty again.  Until that day, I am going to enjoy the two little cherubs who are right now calling my name :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trying Not To Cry Over Spoiled Milk

The RaisingZ household was one of the 400,000 homes without power this past weekend.  It all started on Thursday night with the one of the craziest windstorms I have ever experienced.  S and I were amazed at the fury mother nature was throwing our way with winds gusting over 70 was a bit scary. 

We lost power around 10pm and managed to keep everybody reasonably warm over night.  The next morning I called around to my family to see if anyone still had power.  Everyone was in the dark and so I drove the kids to my mother's house so we could huddle around her gas fireplace.  Remembering the craziness of last years ice storm, I begged S to find us a hotel room near where he worked (he works in a different state and they had power).  He tried to convince me that we should wait as long as possible before getting a hotel and suggested hanging out at the mall.  This suggestion would have been fine if we didn't have a 4 month old but I wanted a place to relax, feed her and not be searching for a hotel room at 8pm.  I begged S to get a room and so he was able to secure a suite in the hotel that his company uses at a very discounted rate :)

I drove the kids to the hotel and met S there.  Just knowing that we had a warm place to lay our heads helped to melt away the stress of the day.  Z was so excited that the hotel had a pool and spent 20 minutes exploring the room.  "I love our new house mommy!"  he said over and over.  Note to need to spend a lot of money on a vacation, just take Z to a local hotel with a cool toilet and a pool!  We got take out, watched the Olympics and had a nice relaxing evening.  It was just what we needed. 

As it turns out my mother did get her power back on that evening but S and I agreed that this little night away was like a mini vacation....the perfect thing for our family.  After a swim in the pool and a delicious breakfast (it was included in our rate), we headed home to see if we had power.  It was back on!!!  We were one of the lucky ones, many people in our area were out for days. 

I spent a good portion of Saturday throwing things out from our fridge and freezer and scrubbing our fridge.  I tried not to cry as I got rid of the 18 oz of liquid gold that I had collected over the last few months.  It was so sad to see all of that hard work go down the drain.....I guess our attempts at bottle feeding are officially over :( 

I am so grateful that we live so close to our town center and thus power is always restored within two days.  I am also so lucky to have such an amazing husband who is always so calm in stressful situations and does all he can to make sure we are safe and happy.  Losing the power turned out to be a wonderful family adventure!

The Happiness Project: Week 1


This is a new project that Leigh is starting up.  Click on the button above if you want to play along :)

A sunny, crisp fall day

Monday, March 1, 2010

Focus On The Family--March

Once again I did not complete my entire list of things that I wanted to do (you can check out how I did here, the things I accomplished are in red).  Between two sick kids and C refusing the bottle, I didn't have as much time as I had hoped.  I only worked out 4 times :(  Oh well, a new month means a new plan!  I do hope to finally accomplish something in the Mama and Papa category.  If you would like to participate in "Focus on the Family" head over and visit Connie at the Young and the Relentless

Family Time
*Family Adventure Day
*Get to Church
*plan our family garden

Z and C Time
*Create a plan for C's sleep training
*Continue my one on one playtime w/ each child, every day 
*Conduct some fun science experiments w/ Z
*get outside to play
*get Z out of sippy cups for good

Momma Time
*Organize a mom's night out
*Work out 10 days this month (at least) 
*Call my doctor for a physical
*Finish one of my many self-help books
*Work on my time management

Momma and Papa Time (I'll keep this the same)
*Have a home date night at least twice this month
*Start our workout plan
*go out for a meal w/ one of our gift cards

Home Time
*Continue Project Declutter The House-finish at least 2 spaces
*Continue to work on living frugally--love this cruise ship
*Sign up for our CSA
*Order our compost bin

This month I am grateful for my friends.  I am so blessed to have a great group of girls who I consider my close friends.  I have been MIA over the last 4 months and I hope they know how much I love and miss them.  Life will settle down soon....I hope....and we will be able to hang out once again!

Happy March Everyone!!!  What's your family plan this month??