Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hitting the Bottle

Or not.
It's been two weeks since we gave up, well, I took away, bottles from the boys. While the bottles only came out for naps and bedtime, it wasn't an easy change. I'd like to say it was all sunshine and lollypops, but it was more cloudy days and lemons. I guess it could have been worse and on occasion got close to thunderstorms and liver.
Before I go on, let me explain what I was setting the bar against. Naps and bedtime were about the same. Either prompted by one of them, or by me, we'd go to the kitchen, fill two bottles with milk. They'd take the milk and walk quite happily into the bedroom. Music would go on. They were put into pjs and after some playtime went into their cribs. They would lie down, and hand me the blanket to get tucked in. I'd tuck them in, tell each I loved them, out with the light and leave the room. And that was it. Seriously. Sometimes one would wake during the night. I'd make about 4oz formula (they liked it room temp if they woke up). He'd be sitting or standing the crib waiting, with the empty bottle held out. I'd take it, give the new one, he'd lie down, and that was it.
So the target was set high to what bedtimes could be like.
The first three nights sucked, and sucked the big one. I don't subscribe to cry it out, but I wont respond to temper tantrums and that is what I got the most. If they had bigger vocabularies, I think I was being called every name in the book. It took at least an hour for them to fall asleep. Then if either woke, both were awake and awake again for at least an hour or two.
Once, I offered Corwyn a sippy cup with water and you would think I had insulted him. The cup was thrown so hard and so fast, I barely had time to duck and I checked the wall for a dent. Nathan took the cup, tried to press the spout down (like he'd do with the nipple) and when he couldn't, he casually dropped it over teh side of the crib and screamed like a banchee.
 As hard as it was on them, it ripped my heart out over and over.
Naps were easier, so much easier. They would have probably given bottles up at nap time on their own around then. Maybe. Or maybe just having the bottles in the apartment and visible would be too much of a temptation for them to give up. The first day I was back at work, they tried to convince my nanny that they needed bottles for naps. But she didn't go for it.
We've altered our bedtime routine. Now I will ask if they want to go into the bedroom. They stop at the washroom to brush their teeth and wash their hands (or if its bath night, have one of those). Then they extend the play in the bedroom for as long as possible. Eventually I get them changed and into bed. Sometimes they start protesting but stop once I pull the book out. I read a story then they each get a book and 'read' to themselves for a few minutes while I get ready for the next day. One the really good nights, they will lie down and wait to be tucked in when done the book. Other nights, well, lets just say tantrums are being perfected. But the light goes out and both are typically asleep within 5-15 minutes.
There are good nights and great nights, mixed with a few bad nights. The good nights seem to be more frequent. I'm really happy we did this before I moved them out of cribs. I think I might have been slaughtered in my sleep, or at least abused. I'm also happy I put all the bottles away right away. I was tempted so many times.

It's a good thing they're cute

Friday, March 25, 2011

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

I first found this at Role Playing with Kidsand tracked it back to Soulemama. I’m not sure who really started it, but I like it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?

2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
Have never been married so I'll have to say no for this one too.

3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
Not really. I tend to live in the moment wherever I happen to be.

4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
That had been the plan, but no. They are not 'sleep in one spot' kids and beds are only so big.

5. Do you watch late night TV?
I sleep on a sofa bed in the livingroom. I usually put the TV in sleep mode so I guess in theory I watch late night TV

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


No, I'm not a stay at home mom, but I was lucky enough to have a week of it when my caregiver was sick for a week.

It was wonderful. I loved having the entire day with my boys for more than just the weekend, which always seemed rush. Don't get me wrong, it was physically exhausting, but still so wonderful. Yeah, if I had the option I could do it full time.

I was lucky to have 11 months off for maternity leave. I loved watching them grow and develop in that first year. But lets face it, toddlers are just so much fun! And I'm missing so much of it. Here's an example of one of our weekdays

I get up at 7. The boys get up somewhere between then and 8. During that time I have to get ready for work, when they get up get them changed and dressed. Then its time for me to leave for work. I get home from work at 5. They go to bed at 7. In those 2 hours, I make and feed them dinner, get them ready for bed, bath if it's a bath night. Once in a while we can make it to the park for 30 minutes (now that its lighter at night) but they are getting tired and cranky and ready for bed. So weekdays, I have at most 3 hours a day with them.

I loved having those other 8 hours with them (even though they sleep 2-3 of those too). I took them to their playtime drop ins and played with them and their friends. We did crafts. We read. We played with any and every toy. We went to the playground. We went for walks. We had a great time. I miss it.

I knew when I made the choice to be a single mom, that I couldn't be a stay at home mom. Well, if I won the lottery, maybe, but otherwise no. Someone has to work and it can't be the kids, so that leaves me. Obviously we can live on one income, since we do. We're comfortable, but not well off. I have to squirrel away every spare penny to save up to move us out of a one-bedroom into a two-bedroom sometime in the next 5 years.

So for now, I do what I can to make the most of our time together. I do any housework, laundry etc after they've gone to bed. I get everything ready for the next day so I wont miss any of those precious minutes with them. I make their lunch for the nanny to give them (we're vegetarian, she's not so isn't sure what to make or how to make it). I make dinners that are more instant than I'd like so we have more time together. Besides, Corwyn wont let go of me when I get home, he wants me for quality time too. The picture is today's dinner, frozen pizza with fresh fruit. Yeah, its not unhealthy, but its not great. And I occasionally make peanut butter sandwiches for them too.

I treasure each and every moment with them. They are growing so fast and I miss so much of it. Some of my friends don't understand why I wont get a babysitter to go out with them now and again. Its not so much the money, but I'm not going to voluntarily miss out time I could be spending with them.

I could go check my lottery ticket now, but I think I'll wait so I can dream tonite that I'll be able to stay home with my boys.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wish me luck

We are giving up bottles completely today, cold turkey. At least that's the plan. A plan I came up with 15 minutes ago.

They only have bottles before our afternoon nap and before bed. Well, if anyone wakes up during the night, they can get a refill, but in general, its two each a day. Daytime is all about cups and sippy cups. I was planning to let them give them up on their own schedule. They stopped using soothers around 3-4 months on their own. They kept a morning nap until 19 months then, boom, gave it up (together, at the same time). So I thought they would do the same with the bottles.But they showed no sign of letting up.

Bottles get thrown, and it isn't empty, it will crack and break the collar for the nipple. I cant count how many Ive replaced. And now, the nipples keep getting replaced because they chew on them and they have holes.  Today they pushed the limit and no more bottles (I hope).

They were in cribs, diapers changed and getting ready to nap. Nathan pushed the nipple down in the bottle (his latest trick) and spilt the entire bottle in his crib. I moved him over to Corwyn's crib and started to change the sheets. He stole Corwyn's bottle. When Corwyn tried to get it back, he tossed it over the side onto the floor and broke the collar clean in two, sending the other full bottle of milk over the floor. Sigh. While hunting for a non-broken collar and non chewed nipple, I decided that enough was enough. No more bottles. I put some milk in a couple of no-spill sippy cups. And offered them. No go. The cups got tossed, the monkeys and blankets got tossed and the verbal protests began. I waited a minute, gave them back the monkeys blankets and cups. Cups were tossed before I could leave the room. I kept going. There was some crib banging and kicking, some more protesting but now, 15 minutes later, I think they are completely asleep. Wow. That was better than I thought.

One nap down. We have to see how it will go at bedtime and during the night. If we can make it through tonite and tomorrow then I'm not going to be worried that the nanny will break down during the week and give them one at nap time (although if it goes well enough, I will put them away). I'm going to have to make sure they get more milk during the day now.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. I think I have some wine in the fridge that I may need to break into tonite.