Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free Range Chicken 4...Silence of the Lamb

Bedtime stories over by 8:35...Cuddle time lasts for 10 minutes...Minimal protestation on getting in the toddler bed.

By 9:15, Gregg's already asleep and I'm downstairs alone in the darkened family room enjoying a glass of Malbec and hard Bavarian pretzels while watching the season premiere of Dexter (again) on DVR.  Ah, pretzels, quiet, wine, and a serial killer.  Who could ask for anything more?

**And she slept all night, but I did find her on the futon again this morning.  Works for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Range Chicken 3...The Toddler Strikes Back

OK so here's the thing.  There's something about that toddler bed she doesn't like.  I think it's the feeling of being more exposed.  She's OK laying in there as long as we're near her but if we attempt to leave the room, she jumps off and runs over to us.  Last night, after a story on my lap, we tried it again.  She'd lay down and look like she was drifting off, but as soon as I got up to leave, bam, here she comes.  At one point she got up and went to the futon on the other side of the room and I thought OK, I'll leave her there and see what happens.  A minute after I left the room, she started crying.  We went back and forth on this for about an hour and a half, after which Gregg took over.  Eventually, he took her in bed with him trying to just get her to fall asleep.  By 11 PM he came downstairs with her, saying "Not only is she not going to sleep but now she's bouncing off the walls.  She needs some activity time to drain the battery".  Was she ever.  For an hour, she was buzzing around the living room, climbing, jumping, and chatting non stop.  Does she have an espresso machine hidden up there someplace?  Eventually we snuggled up on the couch and by midnight she fell asleep hard.  I put her back in the toddler bed and there she stayed until 5:30 when Gregg checked on her before leaving for work.  When I peeked in at about 6:30, she had moved to the futon and was sleeping there.

We'll try it again tonight.  We talked about putting the crib back together, but it's just too dangerous having her climb out of it.  We don't want to push her, but we think she's ready, and she'll get it soon enough.  She'd better; I'm running out of pithy titles for these posts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free Range Chicken 2...Return of the Toddler

Forget all the happy talk in last night's post about getting her to sleep at 10:30.  At about 3 AM, Gregg woke because he heard a noise and looking at the video monitor, noticed she was not in the bed.  Apparently, she was on the futon that is in her room "la-la-ing" into a toy microphone.  Yes, not only does she wake up but announces it to the world.

She ended up back in bed with us, which means of course it's time for gymnastics class.  Bed jumping, tumbling, kung fu grip neck hugs, all the best moves until sometime around 5.  I'm not sure he even got back to sleep, because that's about when he gets up for work.  I on the other hand happily hit snooze until I was late for work.  Miss Thing?  Woke up chipper and happy.  I'll put a stop to that tonight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Free Range Chicken...The Toddler Bed Experiment

Ready for a close-up

Saturday was the big day.  Down with the crib, up with the toddler bed.  When Gregg finished putting it together, we presented it to Sabrina, who decided it was the best play toy she's had since, well since the last play toy about 20 minutes ago.  A great place to jump, bounce, climb on to climb off, and all other manner of activities.  But would she sleep in it?

Sabrina is a good sleeper, and very rarely doesn't sleep through the night.  So if we could get her to sleep theoretically we should be golden.  Keeping with routine, we read one bedtime book on my lap, and I thought the second one should be read from the bed.  I sat on the floor and had her climb in.  I tried to get her to lay down and suddenly, she becomes made of wood.  Unlike earlier where this bed was Playtime Central, now she'll sit up in the bed but is adamantly not laying down.  The first tinge of dread creeps up my spine.  OK, we'll read sitting up.  I had to concentrate because my lips are reciting Grumpy Cat but my brain is asking what I'm going to do once the book is over. 

And Cat was never grumpy again.  Well, almost never.  Book's over, she's sitting, and we seem to be at a bit of an impase.  She's not trying to jump up and run around the room; instead there's a look of uncertainty in her face which I didn't expect to see.  She does so well with each new thing that sometimes I think it's a little too easy for us to push her a bit without realizing it if she's not ready for something.  This was one of those times.  I got her to lay down by sort of leaning in and laying my head down with her.  But no matter how long I stayed that way, she'd be up and doing a little whimper as soon as I moved.  We moved to various different positions, from her laying on my chest while I lay on the floor to eventually moving into the bed in the spare room.  But she's keeping an eye open so we don't get back to her bed. 

By 10:30, Gregg tried giving it a whack.  He got her to lay in the bed and rubbed her back until about 11:30 when he was finally able to sneak out of the room.  Of course, I took the credit for wearing her down in the first place, but she was asleep and stayed that way all night.  In the morning, she got up around 8:15 for a few minutes but then went back to bed until about 9.

Tonight was about the same, but this time I got her to sleep by about 10:30.  She just doesn't want to lay in there by herself.  It's a lot more open and visual then being in the crib, as well as lower to the ground, and it can't feel as secure.  I'm sure she'll adjust pretty quickly, but we were ready to fight the battle of getting up to play, not being clingy.  I think with some love and patience, we'll be switching battles before we know it.

Not until I'm good and ready...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Florida: Slowly Becoming Livable

Anita Bryant.  Hanging Chads.  That Koran burning guy.  Pastel colored linen pants.  These are all things that make Florida America's most visited cultural wasteland.  Oh sure, that Mouse and his friends have set up shop in Orlando but let's face it, when you're surrounded by alligators, pigeon sized mosquitoes, and NASCAR, even that seems like paradise.  But for families, Florida is known for one other thing--banning gay people from adopting children.  There are other states that make adoption by gay people difficult but at least Florida is straight up about it.  Mississippi bans "same gender couples" (but strangely, not singles) and Utah bans unmarried couples (when you first outlaw "gay" marriage, that equates to "no fags") but The Sunshine State specifically calls out homosexuals. 

In a nutshell, the 33 year old ban was called unconstitutional by a state appeals court when a gay couple, which was legally fostering two boys, filed suit in order to adopt.  I can't imagine being an approved foster family and knowing that at any time your kids could be taken away from you.  How could it possibly be good for anyone to have kids growing up for years in a loving family and then being ripped away because their parents happen to be fans of Bette Midler and collect Wizard of Oz memorabilia?

All kidding aside, Florida has taken a step towards the 21st century with this ruling.  There are many couples who live there that have wanted families but couldn't have them.  I personally know a couple who moved from Florida, leaving family and friends, to go to California for the purpose of adopting.  Leaving your extended family behind to have kids.  Yup, that promotes family values.

On another note, the pastor of a mega church has been accused of going after 17 and 18 year old boys attempting to "seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities".  Wow, he had me at cars and money.  Proving once again that religion is more dangerous to our children than a loving same sex family.

Doing Just Fine With Those Two Loving Daddies

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Toddla Please!

Well after sleeping like an angel both through the night and when we first put her down, this last week or so has been murder.  Sabrina has decided she doesn't want to go down easy, and we've been staying up later and later.  Sometimes it's crankiness, sometimes it's screaming, and sometimes it's just wanting to play.  Putting her in the crib and letting her cry it out doesn't work because she's out of there in an instant.  Trapped like a dog and barking at the gate, she wants out of that room.  Then there's the getting up in the middle of the night and eventually coming to bed with us.  Acrobatic gymnastics for two hours, laughing, and babbling, then finally sleep.  I blame it on the molars that are coming in on both sides of her mouth.  We'll see what happens in a few days when her new toddler bed arrives.  I just hope it lets us all get some more sleep!

Side note, we tried on her dress for the wedding we're going to in mid October, and it fits perfectly.  I'm sworn to secrecy, so you'll have to wait until then for the big reveal. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'll Tumble For Ya

Toddlers.  Growing so fast, hitting what seems like a new milestone every day.  Running.  Learning to use crayons (sometimes on paper).  Beginning to talk.  Understanding two step instructions.  Climbing.  Ah yes climbing.  It started by climbing onto the couch.  Followed by jumping on the couch.  Then came climbing the stairs.  Not particularly caring about carefully coming back down the stairs.  Then she conqured pulling out a dining room chair and climbing up on that.  But this week, at about 16 1/2 months, she completed her ultimate challenge.

No not that.  Although we will be in New York next month so we better not leave her unattended.  On Monday morning I woke up because I heard footsteps on the bedroom floor.  I opened my eyes and saw Sabrina standing there holding her blanket looking at me.  Funny, why is Gregg letting her run around at 6 o' clock in the morning when she should still be asleep.  Wait, 6 o' clock?  He leaves for work before 5:30.  He wouldn't leave her out of the crib alone.  He must have--Out of the crib?  She climbed out of the crib by herself?! 

She's been working on this little trick for a while now.  We've already lowered the crib mattress but she's able to shimmy up the rails and then swing her legs over the top.  How do we know this?  Gregg caught her trying it about a week ago when she wouldn't go down for a nap.  And of course, there's last night.

It was around 4 AM or so, and strange noises were coming from the video monitor in our bedroom.  Gregg yelled out "She's starting her shenanigans!" and jumped out of bed.  We had taken some precautions, like piling pillows on the floor next to her crib, and making sure we locked the safety gate on her door so she couldn't get out of her room.  Gregg got her in mid climb while she was still straddling the crib wall and brought her back into bed with us.  Based on the fact that she didn't fall asleep for another two hours and had a screaming fit, we think her new teeth are bothering her.  She has two back teeth coming in on the bottom and we think some on the top.  Once her screaming was over and the ibuprofen kicked in she fell back asleep.  She never wakes up in the middle of the night; she sleeps right through.  We think her teeth hurt and she wanted to come find us for comfort.

We didn't think we'd be dealing with this for a little while.  But if she's going to be able to escape her crib, we'll have to make sure she can't get hurt.  So today we ordered her a toddler bed.  I didn't realize that they had such things.  But it is low to the ground and has guardrails to keep her from getting hurt.  She can't get out of the room because there is a pretty good gate on her door, and another one at the top of the stairs just in case.  The bed won't be here for about a week, so we'll just have to keep on top of her until it arrives.  There's always Plan B: