March 31, 2014

the death of the crib: tips for transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed

Saturday morning we made the switch from the boy's crib to his toddler bed (we bought a convertible crib/toddler/full bed before he was born and are still hoping it makes it through all three stages). It was just a matter of removing the front, and installing two front posts and the toddler rail. I did a bit of internet scouring for tips on the transition, and so far so good.

I started talking to him about the transition the day before, mentioning it a couple of times. When I was installing it, he came into the room and saw me working on it for a while so there were no surprises. When it was done, I happily showed it to him and he was excited to start playing on his bed. Since he naps on a cot on the floor at daycare, I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to do this. Mostly I was right.

Naptime is funky - since it's daytime, he can't resist getting out of bed and coming to see what's going on in the living room. My husband, smart guy, tucked him back in and then locked the door (no, he didn't scream at being locked in -- he must have figured it wasn't an option anymore and gave up). Overnight he's slept just fine. I think he likes his new big boy bed.

I'll admit that it makes me a little nostalgic for his baby days. In hindsight, those days were simpler. More exhausting without a doubt, but simpler. However, I really like the fact that I can kiss him goodnight once he's settled in again -- something we lost when we lowered the mattress. Give and take.

If I were to give a short list of tips for transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed, it would be this:
  1. Do it on a weekend so there's plenty of time to adjust to naps and overnight (and when things are stable at home).
  2. Talk about it in an animated manner ahead of time so the child knows what to expect, or at least knows something's about to change.
  3. Let the child see the transition as it's happening so there are no surprises.
  4. Celebrate a little when it's done so the child can get excited about it.
  5. If the kiddo wakes and walks, gently but firmly tuck him back in. Lock the door if you can. Buy one ahead of time if you can't.
Next item on the worry agenda: traveling with toddlers. Bed rails? Inflatable toddler mattress? Hmm...

March 27, 2014

the next milestone - the death of the crib

Today's early morning conversation went like this:

DH: "Look." (points into son's room)
Me: "Oh shit... Well, good morning son!"
Son: "Hi!" (son is standing in the middle of his room, having evidently decided he could climb out of the crib)
Me: (to DH) "Uh-oh. We're in trouble now!"

How long do you suppose I can procrastinate in transitioning him to a toddler bed? Sigh... not long enough. I was intending to put this off until mid-May, after the husband and I spend a night in a cabin in the mountains while the boy stays with his grandma. Granted, he has his own room there too. We just weren't quite ready to have her worry about midnight wanderings. Of course, it's possible that he'll still sleep as soundly as he usually does and I'm worrying about nothing.

Hahahaha... I crack myself up.

March 26, 2014

grocery shopping and the working mom

I made a list, and apparently it was too short.

You see, there was a time when I could go through the store on my own and build a menu out of things I found appealing combined with my mental inventory of what's currently in the freezer. I am no longer able to accomplish this feat of brainy multitasking. I had no idea what a talent this was.

I walked in, got some of the things on my list, and got confused. No, not confused. Dazed and confused. I had no idea what to buy. Do we need bread? Do I want English muffins? Shouldn't I just eat toast and forget the many ways to eat bread-like items? Why don't they have smooth whole wheat bagels? (Seriously, I really want smooth whole wheat bagels.)

I walked down the aisles, turning my nose up at the meat-helper stuff and refusing to buy what I thought I already had. No potential dinner menus were manifesting in my mind. Half an hour later, I still had only 6 items in my cart and no clue what to feed my family for the next week. So, I did what any confused working mother would do, given the opportunity: I called my mom. I figured, if she could help me shop for clothes (which she can), surely she can help me shop for groceries and kick my brain back onto the track. She reminded me that I am an "excellent" cook, and that all I need is to think about things I would enjoy. Never mind the kiddo - he'll eat if he's hungry.

Why do I forget this stuff? Why do I think the only food I can reliably feed him is fish sticks, mac & cheese, and a veggie? I know this is wrong. In fact, I've seen him purposely try spicy food and then continue to eat it (makes me proud). It is also a fact that working just part time has splintered my attention span enough that thinking about what to make for dinner feels like too much effort, and I scare myself just a little. If only they didn't need to eat dinner every. single. day.

I need to let go of trying to make my two-year-old son the center of the meal, and focus more on gathering family at the table for something that tastes good. Period.

After reviewing the many cuts of beef that are adequate for a slow cooker meal (not the stew meat they sell), I ended the call and wrapped up my shopping trip. Oh, I still had a paltry number of items. But I also left with a right perspective on food and feeding my family as well as my love of cooking.

random thoughts: good beverage habits

I gave my son a bit of soda the other day. He drank it, put down the cup, and immediately demanded "More beer!"

I'm sure this won't come back to bite me in the butt someday.

March 20, 2014

day 5 of my ear infection

It's 6:39 a.m. and I'm blogging before my son and husband get up. Not that I can't wait until my son goes to school, but I'm antsy anyway. I've just left an update on Fa*cebo*ok requesting prayer, as I'm genuinely surprised that I still can't hear, still can't chew food, still have plenty of pain (including the roof of my mouth and even my teeth), and still can't work. I've lost a week's wages, but that's not what upsets me so much as missing out on life in general.

Oddly enough, I can hear a bird singing outside right now as it welcomes the dawn.

Last night I started thinking about what I might learn from this experience. I guess I'm learning what it's like to be in pain to some degree all day, every day, trying to stay ahead of it with medication and slowing down life to its most basic elements. This is useful in helping me to empathize with my dear husband, who has been unfortunate enough to suffer from tendonitis in both wrists -- first the left, shortly after our son was born (because of the way he was holding him) -- then the right, which was brought on by wall-mounting our TV by himself. The left one took a year to go away with therapy. Who knows how long the right will take?

For whatever reason, it has taken me until this morning to really seek God in this. I've barely prayed in almost a week. Not that I blame Him. He certainly wouldn't bring about an injury or sickness. But He has opted to allow me to go through this, and that's why I need to pay closer attention.

March 18, 2014

sick sucks

Last Saturday we had a housewarming party. The house was full with a dozen adults, half a dozen kids, and catered barbecue. Then, that evening, I came down with an ear infection. It took me down like a prize fighter.

My mother took me to an urgent care clinic Sunday morning where I had this confirmed along with strep throat. Good grief. I joked with the doctor, saying "How about a hat trick? Is there a third coming?" (I tend to crack jokes when I feel like death is knocking at the door) 

Fast forward three days. My ear is still giving me lots of pain, can't hear out of it, and am wondering why I'm still miserable. So I went to my regular doctor today, where she declared I have both a middle ear infection and an outer ear infection. She re-worked my regimen to a stronger medication and added antibiotic ear drops. By the time my husband got me to Target for my meds, my OTC painkillers had worn off completely and I was in absolute agony, trying not to cry while waiting for the prescription to get filled. This afternoon though, I've graduated to a state of relatively comfortable numbness with 90% of the pain blocked by alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Taking a shower with half your head numb and deaf is an interesting experience... but I digress.

The first day of my sickness, my son determined to help me feel better by putting his toy truck on my legs as I lay helpless in bed. Sweetie pie. Yesterday I was feeling well enough to interact with him so he kind of hogged me for attention, though I declined to put him to bed as I didn't have the strength to carry him. Tonight, I think I'm strong enough to be all his. As long as the drugs continue to keep the horrific pain at bay.