Friday, January 28, 2011

Some Thoughts on Sleep and Babies/Toddlers

I am positive that I have mentioned that BBZ is not a fantastic sleeper.  As an infant, he was stellar.  He'd sleep for 12-13 hours without even a peep.  When he woke he'd find his sweet, chubby little thumb and fall right back to sleep.  After his surgery at 9 months, all of that changed.

Up until this week, we have been fighting a battle with him and the big-boy bed, which we put up around his 2nd birthday.  At my whit's end, I posted a message to my online LLL yahoo group for some thoughts.  I don't think I really even wanted advice, but I sure wanted a place where I could go and get some clarity about what I was feeling and my back and forth about how I wanted to address is.

I sent copies of the emails to a friend who had also been struggling lately with some sleep issues with her baby.  She appreciated it so much, I thought I would share it here as well.  It is very long, but the ideas are so in line with the way I want to support my child all of the time, especially at night, that I think it might be helpful for other moms too.

I have heard tales of LLL being called La Leche Nazi's, but my experience has been quite the opposite.  While they do hold strong to certain ideals, the members of my group have always held true that we as moms know our babies best.  Perhaps these responses will shed a new light about this group if people have heard negative things about them.


BBZ has never been a fantastic sleeper. He was great as a tiny infant, but a surgery at 9 months left him more than needy at night, and his close call left this scared mama willing to do anything at any time for him. I always nursed him to sleep and would never hesitate to give him whatever he needed at night time. While we had some rough times, each battle ended up fading away into restful nights for all of us.

He is now completely weaned, something that was 100% child led. While it was a slow process, the actual end occurred very quickly as the first time he ever fell asleep without asking to nurse was during Thanksgiving break and he was completely done 3 weeks later. This coincided with him going into a big boy bed, which is the full size his crib converted to and I would lay down with him until he fell asleep.

He would fall asleep and wake once or twice at night and I'd go in and lay down again. After a month or so and it didn't let up, I told my husband something had to change. I thought of moving our room closer to his (we are now on the lower floor) which would allow him to just crawl in with us, but my husband didn't love that idea. So when I said something had to change, my husband volunteered to be the one to go in, something that I had done for his whole life until then.

At first, BBZ resisted his daddy coming in, which was actually a good thing because he would go back to sleep immediately after learning that I wasn't coming. This didn't last long though. He then started asking for my husband to lay down with him, something that N had never done as I was always the night comforter. And of course, N loved it. Who wouldn't love sweet toddler cuddles at night?

So now he still wakes up at least once or twice and gives us both a hard time about laying back down.

I have started a new routine of reading for about 15 minutes, then getting out of bed and sitting in the rocker until he falls asleep (instead of staying in bed until he is completely asleep). This works, but he still wakes up. I got up the first time with him last night and he went back to sleep, but woke just a few minutes later. Nate got up the second time and did the same thing. He went back to sleep easier for Nate, so I think I will just let him keep up with it.

I should add that we also have a tension gate at the doorway so he can open the door, but he can't leave his room. Since our room is quite a ways away, he has been known to wander around the house looking for us, which makes me more nervous than the risks of having the gate up.

In times like this I find myself finding articles that say let him cry, lock the door so he can't get out, and other things that really don't match the way I want to meet his needs while giving us all good nights of sleep.

Does anyone have any gentle suggestions for us? Do some children just always need to check in with mom or dad at night? Some books say that kids manipulate, is that what he is doing? I have always met his needs and the need goes away, but this has been going on for 4 months (since he moved into the big bed) and it just doesn't seem to be letting up.

Sorry for the long email, but I am at a loss!



though we moved away some time ago, i still hang out in this group and really felt a personal call to respond to your message.

i hear your struggle and frustration with the sleeping situation. you have listened to your heart and to your child and met his needs in loving, gentle, respectful ways. and you are continuing this style of parenting by searching for ways that you can recognize and honor your family's nighttime needs.

i assume that, as part of your reading, you have come across the sears family books (i feel comfortable mentioning the sears family, as so many of their books are in LLL group libraries). i have also found some personal comfort in reading their thoughts, reflections, and suggestions on sleep at their website, their assessment of what is common infant and childhood behavior, plus their approach of attachment parenting and gentle discipline, fits very much in line with what my husband and i practice with our own children.

they note that "nighttime can be scary for little people," "physical contact at night gives you and your child a chance to reconnect. The desire for nighttime contact may be particularly strong if your child had little or no contact with you during the day." this could explain his happiness to have a parent who has not spent the day with him to spend time together snuggling at night. in referencing a question about a a 3-year-old girl who wanted contact with her parents upon waking at night, the dr sears' response included: "Eventually, your daughter will spend more time in her own bed...a change in schools or friends, a move, or any of life's little upsets that can disturb children's sleep. Above all, don't feel you are spoiling your child or that she is psychologically disturbed because she can't sleep on her own. Many emotionally healthy children simply enjoy the nighttime security of sleeping close to their parents. When it comes down to it, the time your youngster spends in your room (or in your bed) is relatively short, but it encourages a positive life-long attitude about bedtime, conveying that sleep is a pleasant – rather than fearful – state to enter."

by this, i am not advocating any specific change in your sleeping location or habits - it's more to let you know that you are not alone in wondering what's going on with bbz's needs or when/how they will change.

i understand your reaction to and reluctance to follow the "advice" offered by "sleep training" approaches, many of which are variations on the age-old cry-it-out approach. i like to think of what we talk about at lll meetings: "mothers know their own babies best. some ideas may be new to you. take what seems right and leave the rest." when you look at the articles that recommend locking his door so he can't get out or letting him cry rather than responding to him, how does the information sound to you? does it seem sensible? does it fit your child's temperament? do you envision it fitting in with your parenting approach? again, from the sears website, they get at some important issues to think about: "Use discernment about advice that promises a sleep-through-the-night more convenient baby, as these programs involve the risk of creating a distance between you and your baby and undermining the mutual trust between parent and child. On the surface, baby training sounds so liberating, but it's a short-term gain for a long-term loss. You lose the opportunity to know and become an expert in your baby. Baby loses the opportunity to build trust in his care giving environment. You cease to value your own biological cues and judgment and follow the advice of someone who has no biological attachment, nor investment, in your infant. "

keep in mind that although bbz is no longer an infant, he is still very young and still needs you. he is still making the adjustment to a big change in his sleeping location - the "big boy bed" - which can be very exciting for many parents and for many kids - but some kids may initially be gung-ho about the change and then lose enthusiasm after it really sinks in. and although he is no longer nursing, that doesn't mean his need for you has diminished - it has developed into something different. i have heard many stories from mothers whose children have weaned (at various ages) about new forms of connection being created. he has moved beyond his need to be nursed back to sleep at night, but he still craves - and needs - physical contact or reassurance from the parents he loves and trusts so much to help him back to sleep. this is normal and natural. as you have found in your other experiences with him, you have met his needs and the needs go away, and this will, too.

another specific resource that may be of some help to you is elizabeth pantley's the no-cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers. she is the author of the no-cry sleep solution, found in many LLL group libraries, and this newer book is targeted especially for the age range where bbz finds himself. further proof that your family is not alone in wondering how to answer sleep questions! i have found that her approach towards this developmental area is realistic, individually-oriented rather than one-size-fits-all, thorough, and practical.

as to the "manipulation" question - there is no lack of people who will tell you, at any and all stages of parenting, "that child is just manipulating you to get what he wants" and encourage you to think that you need to be strong or the child will win and you will lose. ugh. parenting doesn't need to be a competition or adversarial - there is another way of looking at it. i have another website that i use for gentle parenting perspectives, the author, scott noelle, wrote this about manipulation: "The word manipulate means "to handle skillfully." Since the main function of childhood is learning how to handle life skillfully, a "manipulative" child is only doing what comes naturally." your son is learning how to handle his nighttime needs skillfully, and right now that means he manages getting back to sleep with some help from a parent. trust your instincts. you and your husband, by responding to bbz's needs with love and respect, are teaching him that he is capable and you are there to guide him and support him while he finds his way.

i wish you calm and peaceful thoughts as you find your own way in this aspect of your parenting journey.

I too wanted to write to you. My daughter is now 6, has long been weened and sleeps through the night, though falls asleep with either me, my husband or both of us. I have just continued to receive the emails as well, and I benefited immensely from LLL and the encouragement I received from other mothers including D during those breast feeding years. I really appreciate all of what D just wrote and hope you continue to find what works for your son and your family.

My daughter was never what one would call an easy sleeper, and sleeping through the night eluded us for may years - for many reasons hers, mine and my husbands (easy wakings, my trying to work from home while she was asleep, my husbands stress at work . . .!) I don't remember all of the specifics about her sleep, though is was huge in my thinking and heart. We valued co-sleeping and had to try different ways of getting the most sleep for everyone. I'm very thankful for our 2 queen size beds! Knowing my daughter now - her temperament and personality - I see that having the contact as night was important to her, and still is. She just lost her first tooth Friday and woke up calling for me. Poor thing, she was not excited at all and was very upset - she hates change!

It sounds like BBZ is responding well to the change to the big boy bed and falling asleep with you across the room after the story (he's willing to go along with it at the beginning of the night) - take courage with that!. It does sound like he just needs that comfort, what a blessing for him that both you and your husband are willing to try to meet that need - even though it is costly to your sleep! I too echo D's encouragement to try to stay away from thinking in terms of him manipulating you. When I began to listen to the advice that said my daughter was manipulating me, it kept me from responding to her as she truly needed and as I would truly want to respond. Sometimes all it would take for her to sleep again through the night was for me to sleep with her a couple of nights to bring that calm back to her and then she was able to sleep through the night again with out it becoming a battle.

I hope this brings you some encouragement, or at least comfort in knowing that you're not alone in these issues. Blessings to you and your family as you persevere through this time. Enjoy!

I second everything D wrote in her thoughtful message. I will add a bit from my experience.

My boys are now 4 and 8 years old. We have had musical beds from early on, and it continues today. The boys have their own beds now, and we have our mattress and box springs back up on the frame. Looking back, our sleeping situation has gradually changed over the years. At times, my husband would complain and talk about other families where the children were not allowed in the parent's bed, but he never made a specific demand, and we kept it flexible, mostly following the children's lead. I know it was difficult at times, but looking back, it doesn't seem like any trouble at all.

Today, my 8-year old wants to snuggle with me as he falls asleep. I was complaining about this, thinking I should be able to tell him goodnight and leave the room and do my own stuff. Then his teacher sent me something he wrote after learning about Martin Luther King -- he wrote that he feels peaceful when he snuggles with me at night - he feels loved and that is a peaceful feeling. So, I no longer resist that precious snuggle time, especially during a phase of development when he is resisting me so much during the day. He sleeps through the night, and sometimes will crawl into our bed in the early morning. My 4-year old likes me to rub his feet as he falls asleep, and sometimes calls out for me in the night and I lie with him and we both sleep together. The children's bedroom is directly across from ours, and there's no door, so it's easy access both ways. Their waking doesn't affect my sleep - in some ways it's good, because I will fall asleep with them instead of staying up doing other things.

The other thing I remember is that when the night waking seemed too much for me, like you I reached out to LLL members, and usually I learned something that gave me an insight about why the child may be waking so much, or somehow just telling my story to understanding mothers took the edge off, and things seemed to get better.

Thanks for sharing your story, and wishing you peaceful nights,


So there it is.  This is support.  Not once did these women say that I was doing something wrong, or even tell me what I should be doing.  They offered their experiences and validated what I was feeling.  I felt so much peace after reading their responses.

I hesitate to say (in fear of jinxing myself) that each night after I wrote this (this past Saturday), he has slept all night.  He woke at 6am a few mornings, but from 8pm - 6am is certainly sleeping through the night.

Each time we make it through a tough time, or I feel like I need to go outside of what feels right to find something that works, things do finally change.  Now of course this isn't perfect.  I had a dear friend tell me more than once that sleeping is not in the mothering contract.  While sleepless nights are certainly difficult, I wouldn't change having those wakeful nights for anything.  While I appreciate sleeping all night until the sun comes up, I do at times miss seeing him in the middle of the night while the rest of the house is fast asleep.  Those days will be once again, as we begin the cycle with our next child.

I can't decide if I should wish for this child to be a great sleeper as an infant or not.  BBZ sure was, but it wasn't a very accurate account of the kind of sleeper he'd be long term!  I guess I will just work with whatever happens, and hope that I feel as connected to this next baby as I do to BBZ.  I almost always know what he needs from me.

This connection is the key to our mother/son relationship, and what I rely on to help us all through tough times.  I think that connection is what I value most in out relationship, and I need to trust it as much, if not more than, my sweet BBZ does.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Happened in Walgreen's

I entered Walgreen's today to purchase some things that I hoped would alleviate some unwanted pregnancy symptoms.  I am being purposefully vague as to try and avoid sharing too much about my nether regions than I would like for perhaps, my father to know.  Or worse, my father-in-law, both of whom read this blog.

Not that I care that much since I am, ahem, posting this after all.

So anyway, I'm in Walgreen's and couldn't find what I was looking for.  I wandered around for a while hoping that I wouldn't have to ask someone and then of course it happened, a woman walked around the corner and said in her much too perky voice..

"hi, are you finding everything ok?"

"Actually", I replied, "do you guys have those round pillow things?"

"Oh for traveling you mean?", she asked back.

Total silence.  I stared at her and couldn't get the words out.  My eyes begged for her to know what I wanted and not to make me actually say the words myself.  Thankfully, she finally broke the silence...

"Oh, do you mean for (insert dirty little word that makes me want to curse everything imaginable about being pregnant and what the previous pregnancy which included 2+ hours of pushing and a 4th degree tear did to my body)".

"Yes." I simply replied.

So I found the round pillow and cream that I was looking for and headed to the counter.  As I carried these items to the front I hoped that the woman who helped me as well as the person who was going to ring this up would assume I was purchasing such embarrassing items for my grandmother, or better yet my grandfather because there is no way I would have to deal with something as bad as (insert dirty little word again).

When I got to the counter there was a woman checking out and a woman behind her.  The woman behind was checking out all of those little items that you think you can't live without and the store knows it which is why they stock the isle full of these things.  She was also on the phone.

I was completely focused on no one noticing what I was purchasing and when the woman in front of me moved to the far side of the counter giving me the impression that she had finished her transaction, I placed my 2 items on the counter.  Then it happened.

She stepped back to the counter and still had to pay.  So there were those embarrassing items just screaming at everyone in the store...hey look, that woman has (you've probably figured it out by now).

She stepped back in line and apologized for having to come back and I apologized for jumping the gun and laying my items down.  She looked at what was there and said...

"Does that thing work?"

"I'm not sure, I hope so." I replied.

"Because I have (those evil little devil dirty words) and have since my baby was born".

Then the flood gates into my issues opened as I replied...

"Well I had trouble right after my son was born after a traumatic birth and then I was fine and I'm pregnant again and only 9 weeks and I can't believe I have to deal with this and what if it lasts all through the pregnancy and how miserable is this and how do we cope and isn't it just amazing what we do to our bodies for our children?"

"Yes it is," she said, "we give our bodies to give them life and we are forever changed".

I left the store feeling much more proud of what I am accomplishing.  I am suffering from this because I want another life in this world.  This is happening because of the 2.5 hours of pushing I did to bring my first baby boy into my life.  This sucks, and there's no arguing that, but the satisfaction I will feel to meet this baby, and make my beloved BBZ a big brother, will make it all worth it.

I sure as hell hope so anyway.  This dramatic shopping trip forced me to forget my other 2 needed items.  There's pregnancy brain for ya!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You know you are a pregnant mom of a toddler when... 8 Week Edition

The blog world is a funny place.  My real-life friend, Gina, writes a blog.  She and my other real-life friend Laura read a blog by Brittany.  Brittany wrote a blog yesterday that talked about some interesting similarities between she and another blog friend, Brittany.  I meandered over to the other Brittany's blog and discovered that she and Gina are crazy good blog friends too!  I had visited the second Brittany's blog a few times a long time ago, so it was fun to see that she is pregnant too!  Coincidentally, she and the other Brittany are due just days apart!

So anyway, that whole explanation brings me to this point...Brittany and Brittany have both written "you know you're pregnant when" posts, so I thought I would join in.  So here it goes.

You know you are a pregnant mom of a toddler when:

On the first snow day of the winter, it is YOUR idea to make the brownies that have been sitting in the bottom of the pantry for weeks.

When making those brownies, you get into a little disagreement about who should be able to lick the chocolate covered spoon.  After caving and letting the toddler win, you get the last laugh as you know he cannot get all of the chocolate off of the spoon after all.

You drool over sloppy chocolate spoon seconds and enjoy every minute of it!

You are much more concerned about him getting his nap than being able to squeeze on in for yourself.

Washing cloth diapers, a previously fairly enjoyable task, now causes such a gag reflex that the thought of hiding those cute, colorful diapers until the next trimester has been considered more than once.

Wishes of a good through-the-night sleep are replaced with prayers that the next one will be a good sleeper.  You can't sleep through the night anyway because of the ridiculously small apparent size of your bladder.

The idea of making another human being with your husband truly takes your breath away.

The fear and uncertainty of the upcoming birth is replaced with the worry of where the children's rooms should be in relation to yours.

You feel some serious excitement about breastfeeding again, which includes the fun task of seeing how far you can shoot milk out of your breast while in the shower.

You swear that your child has some magical 6th sense when he suggests that you try "owange jwuice to help yowr tummy" and it actually works!

Your child has watched as much TV in the last 3 weeks at home as you said he'd be allowed to watch in his first 5 years.  But a quiet house and a comfy couch go a long way after a long work day.

You cry like a child when your toddler notices the ultrasound pictures next to the computer, picks one up and lovingly says "baby sister!"  Yes, that really happened :)

You wonder if he or she will look like your first born.

You are thankful everyday for the lives you are growing both inside and outside of your body.

You daydream about your complete family.

You wonder how much more full your heart can get.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Boy Z or Baby Girl Z???

On December 26th 2010, we were surprised with a late Christmas present...a positive pregnancy test!  I was not particularly jumping for joy when I saw that second line on the test.  Let me back up.

Last November right before Thanksgiving while visiting my parents, I realized that I was 4 days late to start my period.  I told N and suggested that I take a pregnancy test because the month before my cycle was exactly 28 days.  I bought a 2-pack and took one.  It was negative and I started the next day.

I was poking around the kitchen and noticed the calendar.  I knew that my period was due soon, but I wasn't sure exactly when so I counted.  I was 4 days late again.  I didn't really think anything of it since I was late last month.  I figured that this was my new cycle.  My periods have been all over the place anyway since I got it back in the spring.  So I remembered that I had this other test and figured I would take it and put my mind at ease while I waited for my period to come.

I never expected that it would be positive!

I felt a huge rush of emotions when I saw that positive line.  I have heard that people who have their second child worry most because they cannot understand how they will ever love anyone as much as the first one.  That wasn't how my mind reacted.  My biggest worry was...what if I loved this baby more than BBZ?  How would I possibly deal with my little boy not being my one and only focus?  Weird I know, but that was what I felt.

So when I thought I might be in November, I admit that I was a little disappointed when it was negative.  But a lot has changed since November.  I got a new job.  I want to be on my a-game for this job.  This is truly my dream job, and now it has to take a back seat to the baby developing in my body.  No matter how much I want this job, this baby is on my mind, and will be somewhat of a distraction.  That is my worry anyway.  My dear friend Laura says that this new job will probably make the difficult first trimester fly by.  I sure hope she is right!

I went to the doctor on 12/31/10 and he confirmed that I am pregnant.  He called it an early pregnancy and said that I could come back in 3 weeks for an ultrasound that will give me a due date.  I went to that appointment on Monday and saw his or her little heartbeat!  What a precious sound it was!  It really made all of this finally real.
Another thing I cannot figure out is when the heck we made this baby.  I don't keep track of every single time N and I do the deed, but unless I am completely forgetting one passioante night together, his sperm would have had to stay alive for a while before when I possible could have ovulated.  I wasn't on birth control (it really messed me up when nursing after my period came back) so I kind of payed attention to when to be extra careful, and there was no risk then, so I am stumped.

I am finding some peace in not understanding how this happened though.  All early pregnant moms think about losing the baby.  I have been thinking just that, even though I try to stay positive.  But this baby, literally made against any fertile odds that I can fathom, is determined to be made.  I find peace in not knowing and like the loss of control it gives me.  I feel free.  Free from having to understand everything that happens and free to love this baby freely, without witholding emotions out of fear of what may happen.  I am already in love with our baby!

And I would bet money that it is a girl!  Remember when BBZ asked for a baby sister???  This baby was likely made within days of that request.  Crazy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Week's Vacation!

We had an absolutely wonderful winter break this year!  I kept BBZ home with me all week, and while we had a great time, I truly appreciate what SAHMs (stay at home moms) do.  He wore me out!  The fact that he completely refuses naps doesn't make things any better either.  He sure is stubborn...I wonder who he gets that from :)

On Monday, we ran some errands and played at a local store that has a huge play space for little ones.  BBZ and I spent a lot of rainy Wednesdays playing there when I had that day off.  It was nice to be back again.  N's sister watched BBZ in the afternoon so I could go and get my haircut.  He loves going to their house because "they have Lego's!"

Tuesday was a kind of quiet day...we ran some more errands and hung around the house.  Today I found out that the founder of the agency where I worked died yesterday.  Click here to read a nice tribute to him.  I feel so lucky to have known him, and extremely honored to be in a position to continue to his vision of independence for all people with disabilities.  On Tuesday evening I went to have dinner with some girlfriends.  BBZ's no nap business took a toll on him and me that evening as he was quick to tears and I was short of patience.  We didn't stay as long as I hoped we could...but the pizza and salad and conversation was wonderful!

On Wednesday we went back to the Magic House!  We went with my new boss and her little boy who is just a couple of months younger than BBZ.  It was super crowded, so pretty much impossible for us moms to talk or for the boys to play together, but we were able to visit when we sat down for a snack.  It was a super fun day!  Both boys crashed in the cars before we even left the parking lot.  I actually drove around for an hour to let BBZ sleep.  I should have just parked in the car port and taken my own nap!

Here are some pics from the Magic House:

When we got home, we decided to break out the paint!  My parents got BBZ this awesome table top easel and all of the painting accessories to go with it.  Paint is definitely messy, which is why we waited so long to set this up, but BBZ did great!  It was much less messy than I expected...

This picture makes me think that he is inches away from ripping his ear off!

On Thursday, N was off work too.  In the morning we went to the Botanical Garden to see the Christmas train display.  We went one other time and it was pretty cool.  This time was also fun, but the line was crazy long!  We waited about 20 minutes in line, and BBZ actually did pretty well.

After the trains, we went to a delicious Italian restaurant on the Hill for some pasta.  BBZ had some spaghetti.  Why do we always do something messy when I put a white shirt on him??  Good thing I don't bring a bib with me anymore either (insert sarcastic smirk here).

BBZ fell asleep on the way home again, so he was bale to squeeze about an hour of a nap in. It's better than nothing I suppose!

Thursday night was the first of a 2-night run of one of our favorite bands, Yonder Mountain String Band.  I don't know if it was getting away from the world, or perhaps it was reminiscing about the way things once were, but the music I heard Thursday night gave me an overwhelming sense of peace about my life that translated into more patience with my child, more connection to my husband, and overall a more positive outlook on my world and on my life.  How can it be that music can have such a powerful pull on me?  I may never understand, but I sure hope that I don't forget how much the world made sense as I stared at these young men, nearly the same age as me, in perfect unison as they performed what I saw as a perfect masterpiece.

Thursday night, BBZ spent the night at N's sister's house.  I missed him so much!  I worried a little about how he would do, but he was asleep by 8:30pm!  That is one good thing about him no longer napping, he goes to bed pretty easily!

I picked him up early on Friday and brought him home for some house time since he was spending the night away from home again on Friday.  I sure feel like we messed him all up to go to these shows, but I am so proud of him for rolling with life!  I literally forced BBZ to nap on Friday.  Yes, I said forced.  I held him close to me "snuggling" until he finally crashed from pure exhaustion (caused only partially from fighting me).  I knew he was tired and he just wouldn't go to sleep calmly.  Once he did he slept for 2 hours!  I thought of waking him around 3pm since N's sister planned to pick him up around 4pm, but I knew it would be another late night, so I left him alone.  He did fine with N's parents too!  I'm so proud.

Our New Year's Eve celebration was fantastic!  I volunteered a few weeks back to be the DD, so myself and many of my friends made it back to our house safe and sound.  Everyone crashed here, so there was no drinking and driving!  I was surprised not to see many crazies out on our drive home.  It was only a 5 mile drive though.

The show was great, but not as good as Thursday night's show.  It was way more crowded and it seemed that most people were there just to party rather than to hear the music, so it was a little distracting.  I am still so grateful for them coming to St. Louis for New Years!

This weekend has been as quiet as one can be with a 2-year-old.  He still on;y naps in the car between activities, so hopeful this hasn't messed up his school nap schedule.  Hopefully he will easily go right back into the routine.

In case you are wondering, the potty training boot camp was a complete failure.  He is just not ready.  Although, he did tell his grandpa on Friday night that he wanted to try the potty!  He seems much more interested in talking to men about potty activities, so N has been really encouraging him.  I'm trying not to push it!

I feel great about what 2011 will bring!  I officially start my new job tomorrow and am really excited to be there and get going!  How weird to be so ready to return after a long vacation, but I am ready people!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve was spent with family, and what a wonderful day it was!  We are a family with traditions and we followed the same ones this year.  We went to N's sister's house in the early afternoon then my aunt's house afterwards.  We didn't take any photos at my aunt's house but managed to leave my camera behind.  Lucky for us, we had a back-up for Christmas morning pictures.

This is my favorite picture, taken at our house before we left.

N brought BBZ some snow and he felt the need to eat it...with gloves and all!

He sure was a great helper handing out the presents!

He LOVES his "tent" (aka tee pee) from Grandma and Grandpa Z

With his cousin J

Christmas day was about as special as a day can be.  We woke up and had a lovely Christmas morning together as a family.  We skyped with my parents and got to see them open their presents and they got to watch BBZ open his.  It was as though we spent the morning together!  BBZ took his time opening presents and didn't really want to stop playing with a new toy long enough to open another one.  It was quite nice to watch him so excited, yet so focused on what he was doing.  We did have to speed things along though.

His most prized gift...a remote control firetruck!

And the animals he asked for.  All lined up!

A fire station from my mom and dad.

A kitchen, a barn with animals, and plenty of other lovely things from family.

The tabletop easel perched in front of the gorgeous view of our white Christmas.

He definitely needed this nap after the great morning we had!

And no Christmas day is complete without oyster stew and a "snow fight" at Grandma and Grandpa Z's house!

We all had such an amazing Christmas!  I did a little shopping the day after while N watched football with some friends.  The mall was crazy crowded, but once I found a parking spot I was good to go.