Monday, September 27, 2010

us

I spent my third night ever away from my child Saturday. Ray and I went to a (fun) wedding in Stillwater Saturday while our little Lola stayed with my parents.

Of course, we did get a few family pictures before Ray and I went out.





We had a good time at the wedding and reception. We talked up a good game, telling everyone that we left the 2-year-old with her grandparents so her parents could have a night out. We so rarely take time away from her.

But it wasn't too long before Ray leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I miss Lola."

And we did.

Friday, September 24, 2010

We won!!!



Ray won with a 126-pound pumpkin to his boss' 86 pounds!



The guys also weighed for a cumulative weight of their five pumpkins - and it only took us four pumpkins to out-weigh Ray's boss' five.

Yay Wesleys!

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"my" time



I went to my first belly-dancing class last night.

I am not a dancer. Never have been, don't particularly enjoy it. But a friend of mine and I saw a belly-dancing demonstration a few weeks ago and talked about how it would be way out of our comfort zones - but didn't it kind of, at least a little bit, look like fun?

Before we knew it, we were signed up.

And walking, tentatively, into an elementary school gymnasium last night, tying scarves around our waists, kicking off our tennis shoes and walking in socked feet.

Nervous giggles.

Then class begins. And ends, 96 minutes later.

And I absolutely LOVED it.

Now I want to buy one of the scarves that have the bangles!



- Bethany :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The perfect day (Saturday)

7 a.m. – Lola wakes up.

7:11 a.m. – I drag myself out of bed.

7:15-8 a.m. – Lola and I watch some Dora, have some breakfast, just slowly wake up together.

8-9 a.m. – Lola and I have playtime.

9 a.m. – I wake Ray up, telling him I need to go pick up the cat (she was in surgery Friday and has an overnight stay). He surprises me and says we are all going to go. Cool.

9:30 a.m. – Leave.

9:32 a.m. – We realize that, like most of Bethany’s planning attempts, we’re going to be 22 minutes early for our 10 a.m. appointment. So we go to the bakery and get some donuts and coffee cake.

9:47 a.m. – Go to Dunn Bros for some coffee.

9:56 a.m. – Get to the animal clinic. Now this was Lola’s first-ever trip to the vet. We walked in and saw a dog, “Puppy!” Soon she saw the two friendly cats that wander around the place, “Kitties!” And, then, there was a puppy, a very excited puppy, “More dog!” Next, a young couple came in with two cats and a dog. Now things were getting a bit out of control. “Mommy! Kitties! Daddy! Puppies! More puppies! More kitties!” And she is Out. Of. Control. Matters are made a little worse when the puppy tries to give her kisses, "Mommy! No puppy kisses!"

10:24 a.m. – Finally leave animal clinic and go home with Lucy. Lucy sits on the backseat in our borrowed cat-carrying case. Which was enough to put Lola in another tizzy because the cat is next to her. And Lola wants to play. And Lucy is, well, in pain and wants to do nothing. Lola is shrieking with excitement and Lucy is crying because she hates the car. And is in pain.

10:30ish-11:30ish – Home Depot. Carpet considerations. Fun times. Get more paint. (Why does it seem like we always need more paint!?)

11:30ish-2ish – While Lola naps, Mom works, Dad paints, Lucy cuddles.

2:30ish – Lola wakes up. We want to do something fun. But no more driving around. So we decide to play in the backyard. But Lola insists on wearing her tutu. We play bocce ball, badminton, Frisbee, tag. Best. Afternoon. Ever.





5ish – Go to dinner (no one wanted to cook!).

6:30-7:30 – Playtime at home with Lola. Fun.

8 p.m. – Lola bedtime.

8-12 – Bethany kicks Ray’s butt in Wii. Lots.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A big number: 780

On Sept. 2, Lola left babyhood behind her.

The very last connection she had to babyhood was her parents’ long-hated attachment to her “baba,” or bottle. We switched her, begrudgingly, from warm milk to a warm water less than a year ago. We figured, like the stupid books say, that once the milk was removed from the equation, that the child will lose interest in the bottle.

That never happened.

We blame ourselves, of course. Had we never took the nuk away a year ago, she probably wouldn’t have grown so attached to the stupid bottle. But she did. And we weren’t going to re-introduce the pacifier!

So we endured it.

Until it got to the point where Ray and I were, daily, telling each other we had to get that kid off of the bottle.

(I should note now that we are only talking about nighttime. During the day, she has always drank milk, juice or whatever out of a sippy cup, but at bedtime – or during sleeptime – she likes to have water. A lot.)

About 3 months ago, I took away the “real” (Avent) bottle and replaced it with a Nuby bottle, which has removable tops for a fake nipple/bottle top and sippy cup. And we would exchange the tops throughout the day.

But on Thursday, Sept. 2, I had had enough.

I put her to bed that night and handed her a sippy with water. She screamed and fought it. and I just set it by her big girl bed (ironic, eh?) and said that was all she got.

After about three minutes of crying, she picked it up and rank it.

And that – after 780 days of life – was the end of the bottle.

***

Post-script: This did not solve the big problem, though.

Lola, also, wakes up sometimes (read: often) during the night. The best way to get her back to sleep is to give her more warm water. It takes all of two minutes, but of course, if the 2-year-old is getting a sippy cup every 2-3 hours, you are also changing diapers every 2-3 hours.

And Ray had enough of not getting sleep.

So last on Monday, Sept. 6, we stopped.

And the screaming returned.

We, reluctantly, did the crying it out thing in her first eyar of life, when we forced her to sleep in her crib. We braced for it again, about a year ago, when we took away the nuk (but Lola just whimpered once or twice and didn’t much care – probably because she still had warm milk bottles then and those were much better!).

But this third time has been difficult. It’s hard to listen to your 2-year-old cry. To not run in and comfort her.

The first three nights were awful. Fortunately, I have a very committed husband who just plainly gives me a choice: I can go in and give her water, but I can do it every night. Because he is done.

The next two nights were better. Every time she would cry, we would let her be. If she shrieked or screamed, Ray (because I’m a pushover apparently) would go in and ask what is wrong. If she just wants water, he told her know, kissedher good night and told her to go to sleep. And she did.

Now Lola whimpers once or twice a night, but we don’t go in at all. She gets herself back to sleep.

I think she has actually slept through the whole night two or three nights.

Victory.

- Bethany :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

meet Lucy



Lucy is Lola's newest best friend. She joined our family Sunday after she wandered into our yard and would not leave. She was, obviously, a former house cat at some time recently and wanted a family.

So we let her stay.

We're still adjusting to our new addition, but Lola is thrilled. She squeals, shrieks and follows Lucy throughout the house.

Too cute.

- Bethany :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just like Mommy



(OK, it is too early to even be wearing slippers. Just sayin'.)


- Bethany

Thursday, September 2, 2010

bye-bye crib!



This was taken on on Sunday, Aug. 22. It was Lola's last moment in her crib.

With all the changes in her room, we decided to just jump in and convert the crib into a "big girl bed."

Ray and I had been butting heads over the toddler bed conversion for a few months: I thought she was ready; he did not want to deal with her pounding one the door at 2 a.m.

But he finally just said, "Let's do it."

And we did.

We made one mistake: Lola needs to be told in advance what to expect, what will change. So we told Lola that she would be moving into a "big girl bed" like Mommy's and Daddy's and she freaked out. Probably because we have a king that is high up and intimidating t such a little girl.

But when Ray actually got started, Lola saw that he was, really, just removing the bars from her crib.

And she started to get interested.




She was happy.



Once all said and done, she immediately fell in love with her toddler bed. She loved it and kept talking about her "big girl bed" and where she would sleep with an actual pillow!



While her excitement was fun, Ray and I still were not so sure how that first night would go.

But, as luck would have it, she went to bed that night and never made a peep.

Or the night after.

Or the night after that.

After about a week, though, she did begin realizing she could get out of bed. I was watching her this past weekend while Ray was in the Cities and I heard a strange "tap-tapping" sound about 45 minutes after I supposedly put her down for a nap.

I walked into her room and found her coloring on the chalkboard. She grinned at me, held out a piece of chalk and asked, "Mommy color too?"

Um, no.

The chalk has since been put out of reach and she is learning that if she is going to resist bedtime, that she better do so quietly.

Of course, she is also getting smarter: Two nights ago I heard another noise and found her in bed surrounded by her baby dolls and stuffed animals.

When I frowned, she just smiled, "Lola in bed, Mommy."

Well, yeah, but not correctly!

But, really, she is doing great.

Just as long as she doesn't realize she can actually open the bedroom door...

- Bethany :)