May 2008

MyHeritage: Look-alike MeterFamily reunionDynasty

To those folks who are convinced that Emma looks just like me…I guess you are right, but just barely!

I always knew it would happen. The minute I gave birth to Emma I began bracing myself for the moment when Mike became the parent of choice. She has consistently chosen me over Mike for the last 18 months but every time he starts to look sad about this I have reminded him “Look, I get a year, maybe two, and then she will be all about her daddy, for the rest of her life.”

Since she has had such trouble going to sleep lately, I have been the only one putting her to bed for a few weeks while we try to establish a consistent routine and figure out what works. Even though she has gone to sleep with no problems at all for a week or two, we have been afraid to jinx it by switching it up and start having Mike put her to bed too.

Tonight, after I brushed her teeth and washed her hands, we were on our way to the bedroom when Emma suddenly veered off towards the kitchen. She found her Daddy there and reached out for his hand and led him to the bedroom, where the two of them got her pajamas out and started the routine for bed. Mike and I looked at each other over her head with our eyebrows raised, and I took a step back and let Mike take over.

I thought when this happened I might feel pangs of jealousy or sadness. Instead I feel such joy that Emma has two parents she loves and feels safe with. No doubt the jealousy and sadness will rear their ugly heads at some point, but for now I am just happy to have a night off.

Update: Tonight, one night later, Emma went to kitchen, found her Dad, took his hand, then turned and took my hand and led us both to her room to get ready for bed. To say we were both little puddles on the floor would be an understatement. We just can’t believe this kid is for real sometimes.

I have heard a lot of people talk about the fact that when you have kids you become abnormally obsessed with their poop and love to talk about it with anyone who will listen.

Actually, not so much for me. My obsession is with Emma’s sleep. I think about it, worry over it, dream about it and talk to everyone about it as if it is the most important thing IN THE WORLD. Last week I went into a 20 minute description of Emma’s sleep issues with an unsuspecting but very nice mother at the park. Oddly, as I write this, I realize I haven’t blogged about it too much. Lucky you.

For the last two months, Emma has gone from being a model sleeper to my worst nightmare. She used to go into her crib drowsy, look at us as we said goodnight and left the room, and then roll over and go to sleep without a peep. We rejoiced, we high fived, we secretly thought we were the best parents in the world.

On the day she turned 15 months, she decided to make it very clear who is the boss when it comes to her sleep. Only once in the last two months has she gone to sleep without crying. Sometimes it is a quick, whimpering cry – those are happy times. Other times it takes us two hours to get her to sleep – those are the why-did-we-decide-to-have-kids-we-obviously-are-the-worst-parents EVAH times. We aren’t really sure what happened to cause her hatred of sleep. There have been a string of events that might be behind it – vaccinations, teething, sickness, travel, weaning from the nighttime bottle (which is uh, not going so well. Please don’t tell our ped…I plan on lying about it when we see him in a month.) If anyone knows about a 15 month old “screw this sleeping thing” phase that kids go through, I am all ears.

But maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just now, not 20 minutes ago, my old Emma came back to visit. I put her down for a nap, she watched me leave, and rolled over and went to sleep. Aaaaahhhhh.

No doubt she will bring me back down to earth tonight – bedtime seems to be worse than naps for some reason – but I can always hope that the stage has finally come to an end.

And also, if anyone has any tips about weaning off a bottle at bedtime, please let me know. We have been able to switch her from the bottle to a sippy cup with milk at bedtime – but really isn’t that just cheating? Still milk, still the sucking action. I am torn about whether to go cold turkey on the sippy cup or whether to just go a little more slowly and trust that she will wean herself when she is ready. In the past we have leaned more towards trusting that she will do what she needs to do when she is ready, and it has worked, but I don’t want to set my kid up for future therapy centered around dependence issues just because I didn’t know how to take the bottle away. Which is not to say I am under any illusion that she will not already be in therapy for something else I have done to her…

Dear Interwebs –

I have been a huge slacker. I haven’t posted a real post in over two weeks. I have no excuse really, the time has just slipped away from me. Please accept my sincerest apologies and my assurance that it won’t happen again. For a while. Maybe.

In my defense, I haven’t been completely MIA. While I haven’t been writing, I have been reading. I know that Catherine at Her Bad Mother has been having killer false labor, and OH MAH GOD, I feel so bad for her (although maybe not so false as of today? Fingers crossed). I know that Doodaddy hit his 500th post, Jessica and A Parent in Silver Spring were featured in the Washington Post Express and over at My Merry Way June gets cuter every day. I have been hanging on every word written at Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper, and have been holding Dawn at Alex Year One (Two!!) in my heart.

I’m gonna go sleep now and dream of all the posts I am going to write.

Talk to you soon.

Emma turned 17 months old today.

Her separation anxiety continued this month, with the most difficulty being Monday mornings at day care. Leaving her wailing in the arms of Miss Kathy made me want to quit my job at least four times this month. Somehow the knowledge that she is developing appropriately is no consolation on those mornings.

Sleep became a challenge for her this month (and last month too really) in a way it has never been before. And by *challenge* I mean *nightmare*. Our once rock-star-sleeper now cries every night before finally falling asleep. We don’t let her go too long before going back in and rubbing her back, and she eventually falls asleep, but it is so hard to watch her having such difficulty with something she used to do with such ease.

Besides the challenges, this month had its share of fun and adventures for her too.

Emma’s Grammy and Grampy from Massachusetts visited for a long weekend this month. She blew bubbles with them, and took them to Ikea and Mayorga Coffee and Red Dog Cafe and just generally hung out and had a good time. She can’t wait to spend a whole week with them at the beach this summer.

Emma also traveled to New Jersey this month to see her Poppy and Nonnie, Aunt Lexi, Great Gram, Aunt Sally and Uncle Bill and Uncle Tim and Aunt Elvie. She loved meeting Aunt Lexi’s new *baby*, Mowgli – a French Bulldog – and spending time with everyone. I think the highlight of the trip though was the grandfather clock that chimed every hour, causing Emma to run to the living room to watch it.

We have had hundreds of gypsy moths in our yard this month, and Emma can’t get enough. She runs to the back door every morning looking for them and whenever we go outside she finds them and waves at them as though they are BFF.

She also became obsessed with The Wheels on the Bus this month. She moves her hands in circles and looks at us with her eyebrows arched, waiting for us to start singing. She loves when the doors go open and shut and likes to jerk her hand behind her when the driver says “Move on back”. Cutest thing ever.

She is still playing with sound combinations, and although we recognize words occasionally there is nothing that she says with regularity. She continues to pick up sign language though – please and thank you! – and this month signed “more milk”, her first phrase.

We continue to be amazed at her bravery and determination and how much she understands about her world. We love her with all our hearts.