Sleep Props (for the win)

My children are crazy. They whine, they destroy, they conquer (things they shouldn't), they cry, they drive me completely nuts (which I think is already apparent), but there is one thing my children do right. They SLEEP. (Well, they are also really cute and sweet, but that's not my point.) So if we have a day where everything goes wrong, I can count on the fact that they will go to bed and sleep for a long time. I have two secrets. Well, okay, they're not really secrets. They're things that work for us. And I will be the first to say that what works for me does not work for everyone else. I hate when a book title reads "How To Get Your Child to Sleep in Six Weeks and How I Did it in Five," and if your baby fails to do that, you also think you've failed as a parent. Dumb.

I did read a couple books, took the helpful information, and threw out the rest. But here, my friends, is how I get my children to sleep and stay asleep.

Sound machine. Rain. As loud as possible. In a mini metal red wagon so it sounds even louder.
(Note: I've tried a couple different brands, but so far, this one is my favorite. It's Homedics brand and I have invested in three).

No, we are not trying to hide drugs. That is a blanket over blinds, an actual blackout curtain, towels hanging over the top to cover the light coming in through there, AND a black comforter to get even more light out. And wait, in case you missed it, have a closer look...

Yep, you saw that correctly. His blackout curtains are pinned to the wall

Now, before you tell me I'm ghetto, yo... remember, I don't care. My children sleep for 12-14 hours every night. And they nap (well, Landon is getting around to losing his nap, but he still rests if he doesn't sleep - aka whines). 

[I did find Colton dying giggling in his crib around 8:30 this morning because he'd torn down the blankets and window coverings. LOL I'M SO FUNNY MOM.]

Do they sleep when we're out of town? Nope. We're not really big fans of those things they call "vacations." But since that's approximately .00005 percent of my year, that's okay. Sleep props, baby. All the way!

One more thing. My kiddos started sleeping through the night at around 2 months, but they had regressions. I promise that there will always and forever and ever be regressions (and usually there's this awesome one right before you have your second kid). You will feel like you are dying, you will wonder if you will ever sleep again, you will Google every possible reason as to why "my 6 month old is not sleeping," you will finally figure out it's teething, but then it's not, you will cry, and then, suddenly, they'll go back to sleeping normally. Usually, there is no rhyme or reason to it. Isn't that all of motherhood?

So... there you have it. My name is Becca, and I'm a sleep prop parent!


It Takes Two

So, I just want to be the first person to say that it did not snow here in Florida. It iced. A lot. In fact, there was so much ice that it actually looked like it snowed. Grocery stores closed, Firehouse Subs closed (and I'm pretty bitter about that), schools closed.  I really, really, really hate cold. But the ice was kind of pretty.

See? Dead grass, ugly bush, pretty ice. But this post isn't about the weather. I've been meaning to (my famous four words in blogging) write about having two kiddos for while. Just a little snapshot in our lives for the fun of it.

After I had Colton, my midwife said, All right! Now you've done the hardest work of parenting! I'm sorry, what? Although my memory of the pain is a bit (a lot) hazy, I do know this: I would take my 7 hours of contractions with Landon and my 3.5 hours of contractions with Colton instead of taking both of them to Walmart. True story.

[I mean, Walmart is bad enough without children. Truly, I'm convinced they only make broken carts. And no matter how well I wipe them down with Wet Ones, I get the heebie-jeebies when my boys put their hands on the bars. Gross.]

But anyway. I think my midwife must have kind of forgotten how crazy these young years are. Either that, or she was trying to make me feel awesome after giving birth. And the only awesome part about giving birth is holding that baby. End of story. Now, truth be told, I am one of those strange mamas who found the transition from one to two ridiculously easy. It actually kind of scared me. Now that Colton is older and mobile, however, things are getting trickier. Like, for instance, I totally forgot how awesome a 10-month-old finds the toilet. And how they eat everything they see - flip-flops, dirt, plastic wrap......scissors. When they're infants, you stick them in the swing and they don't move. It's awesome. And then they grow up and start crawling at 6 months (really, kid?) and then your life is basically over. In a good, crazy, non-stop sort of way. Also, there's this whole new "possessive" thing Landon has going on. He's never acted jealous of Colton, but holy cow, if Colton gets near a toy that he's playing with - He asks me to put Colton in his room so they can play together, but then a few minutes later I hear a scream and a "bye baby, bye baby, BYEEEE BABYYYYYYY!!!!" It gets louder and louder and more and more desperate. I find it hilarious in a non-funny way. However, Landon has this innate desire to please. So we're working on sharing, and it's getting better. For the time being.

There's also this scenario that happens before we walk out the door. Without fail. Which is why, in part, I'm not a fan of going to Walmart with them. "Landon, go get your shoes so I can put them on." Okay, cool. Shoes on. "Wait. Did you seriously POOP AGAIN??" Shoes off. Diaper change. Shoes back on. Now let's get Colton up from his nap since he just fell asleep 7.3 minutes ago. Now Colton is mad. And then he also remembers that he's hungry for yogurt. Then he starts crying louder and is hyperventilating while I change his now-poopy diaper. Oh wait, no, it's a blow-out. Okay. New outfit. LANDON WHY ARE YOU EATING CANDY? Colton is now screaming. Can't find the paci because it's somewhere under his crib with all the other pacis that he's thrown under there. LANDON PUT YOUR SHOES BACK ON. (even though he hasn't mastered that skill yet, I feel like saying it will somehow teach him to perfect it.) Sorry, Colton, no time to eat. Landon asks for a drink. Can't find his sippy cup. Run around the house and finally find it in the bathtub. Also find five pacis along the way. Landon, which toy do you want to take with you? Okay, your car? Cool. Oh, look, yay, Colton spit up on his outfit. Oh well. Finally make it in the car. Two minutes down the road, "Mee Mow?" (Mickey) "You chose the car, baby, though... remember?" "MeeeeeeeMowwwwww!" "Mickey is taking a nap. Do you want to take a nap?" Yeah... that one works exceptionally well. And don't worry, I do eventually feed Colton. I have to say, I think the hardest part about having two, hands down, is taking them out places. Thank goodness for baby carriers.

The last couple weeks, I have felt like I was going a bit cray cray. I mean, why do these children even need to eat? Can't they find food on the floor? I mean, like, nutritious food? Randy was insanely busy with flight school, Colton had the sickies, and I was exhausted. You know, like so tired that when you go to do the dishes, you start crying. However, I feel like a tiny bit of sanity is returning because Randy has finally finished intermediate training (woohoo!). It's supposed to take six-ish months, but it took him nearly two years. And this, my friends is the way of the military. Hurry up and wait. But that's for another post. Anyway, now that he's not studying/flying around the clock, I feel a bit more relaxed. And we actually got to go on a date for the first time since before Christmas. We went to see a movie and ate dinner without refereeing. That felt... weird. But nice weird.

this is how we feel when we're out by ourselves.

I know, I know - those of you who aren't mothers are probably thinking, and why on earth would I ever want to be a mom? But in reality, all those crazy mama moments don't mean a hill of beans when I go in to kiss those sweet boys good night, or when I watch them playing peekaboo and dissolving into a puddle of giggles together, or when I get sweet, spontaneous hugs from Landon, or when he says a new word (clearly!), or when I see them playing with their daddy, or when I'm rocking Colton before he goes to sleep and he gently pats me on the back (I guess I need soothing too), or when I get to see them do all their "firsts," or when I get to hear "mama" for the first time.

Yes, of course this thing called mommyhood is hard. It is exhausting, it is overwhelming, and there are days I call my mom and say, "How on earth did you do this with seven?" [She's totally my hero.] But it is absolutely worth it, and I have no doubt that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And honestly? I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so thankful for sticky, chubby fingers, for little voices calling, "Mama!", and for babies who need me. (I'm not so super thankful for the diaper changes. Is that okay?) These moments will be gone all too soon, and I'm going to cherish them while I can.

[Okay, so I might not cherish the moments in Walmart, but that's why we avoid it at all costs.]

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