Monday, 24 July 2017

One Week Later...

Thank you to everyone who gave advice about our big girl bed transition. Husband consulted a few of his colleagues with kids and received much of the same recommendations; skip the toddler bed, involve her in shopping for the bed and blankets. Maybe hold off on setting up her kitchen to avoid inviting distractions during bed time. As my parents are due to visit in just two weeks, I figured we would put this transition into action during their stay. Kate, of course, had other plans.

It had been a busy weekend; I had a swim meet, one of Kate's playmates had a birthday party and Husband had to do all the grocery and farmer's market shopping, which took me more time to write lists and instructions than it does for me to do the actual shopping. We were all really tired on Sunday night. Kate and I did our usual bedtime routine. While we were snuggling on the glider, she pointed to her bed and I kissed her good night and placed her in the crib. As I joined Husband in our room, we could hear her talking to her baby doll and stuffed animals as she was drifting off to sleep. Husband commented about how awesome she was and how we were so lucky to have a baby who went to bed so easily. Basically... he jinxed us.

I went into the kitchen to do my meal prep for the week. It was nearly ten o'clock and I heard her wake up. She'll occasionally wake herself up and then quickly go back to sleep. This was a more urgent cry and I had the feeling that she wasn't going to fall back asleep. I went into check on her and discovered her diaper had leaked and her shorts were soaked. (as it was really hot, we skipped putting her in the sleep sack that night) Fortunately, her sheets were still dry, so I didn't have to strip her bed. I changed her, cuddled on the glider for a few minutes and then tried to put her back in her crib. She stood up and started crying immediately. I kissed her good night and left her room, closing the door and preparing for a Cry-it-Out session. I returned to the kitchen and suddenly the crying became louder as did the noise from her sound machine. I was familiar with the sound machine becoming louder. Often it indicates that Tyler entered in her room. Yet, he wouldn't enter her room while she was crying, especially in a full on melt down. I knew what this meant.

My suspicion was confirmed when I went into the hallway and saw her walking into our room. Oh shit. The moment (one of many) that I've been dreading. She can't be contained by her crib. As it was hot and we were so tired, we decided just to let her sleep with us. Of course, no one sleeps well when she sleeps with us, and I think the last time she slept with us was when she had an ear infection just before New Year's Eve. At one point, she kicked me in the head and Husband eventually went to sleep in the guest room. As were comiserated in the morning, Husband and I hoped this was just a one-off and she would go back to sleeping in the crib like the little angel she has been.

Ha! Yeah right. The next night I went through our routine (I even ditched a department dinner meeting so keep her routine on track or at least help Husband with a toddler who won't go to sleep) but when I put her into the crib (using the sleep sack again) she stood up and cried. I left her room and went into mine. She joined me a few minutes later. In one of her blog posts Jamie Glowacki discussed the crib to bed transition and her super nanny recommendation is to keep bringing them back to bed [when they come into your room] without talking or engaging with them. She described the first night with her son, he popped up about 20 times, then next night only 3, and by the third night didn't wake up at all. Three nights? I could deal with that. So Husband and I took turns silently carrying Kate back to her crib. The only trouble was that she was getting out of it before we had even left her room. The sleep sack didn't slow her down at all. She was like an Olympic gymnast on the pommel horse; quickly swinging her legs over the side and sticking a graceful landing. We must have tried to put her back over 20 times in a 15 minute time period. It was absolutely futile. Husband decided to close our door, thinking it would at least delay her from getting in our room, although it wasn't locked, she couldn't open the door and cried outside our door for about 20 minutes before falling asleep.

Meanwhile, I texted my cousin and inquired if the crib converted to a toddler bed. She responded quickly and confirmed that it did, but I was contemplating taking a hacksaw to the front panel if it didn't. Earlier that weekend, I found an Allen wrench while sorting though Kate's drawers and at that time, I couldn't figure out was it was for. Now I knew. A few minutes later, I took off the front panel to her crib and we had a toddler bed. I picked Kate up off the floor and successfully transfered her to the bed, where she stayed the night.

Fortunately, I was off the next day, so Kate and I went to a baby supply store for a bed rail and gate for her door. I should mention that I was a bit rushed during this trip as I forgot the diaper bag. If she had an accident, the only thing I had for her was one of her sweatshirts to tie around her waist. I should have had more faith in her (she used the potty at the store twice and stayed dry) and should have been more careful with my purchases as I came home to discover that I had picked up the wrong size bed rail and the box for the gate had previously been opened and re-taped (indicated a returned item) and was missing the installation instructions and a few necessary pieces. [Face palm] #MomFail.

However, I remembered that when we visited one of Kate's school friends who has a twin bed with a bed rail, Kate was having quite a bit of fun diving over the rail, so maybe that rail wasn't such a good idea. I picked up a pool noodle during our shopping trip, so I decided to give that a try. I was particularily drawn to this idea as the noodle is one of my least favourite training tools, so maybe I can make some peace with the noodle. Or at least it was satisfying when I did used the saw to create a custom fit. We had an extra mattress, as my cousin gave it to us with the crib, but we decided to get a new one for Kate. The original one has been stored under her crib and I soon discovered that it easily slides in and out. The spare mattress could be pulled out to offer extra protection, should she roll over the noodle.

I was feeling pleased with this set up and was really hopeful that it would work. Maybe for 6 months, so we can defer the twin bed transition to the end of the year? I can keep my baby's room set up the way I arranged it for her just a little bit longer. Emotionally, I look in her room now and I still see the crib. She's still my baby. Logistically, I haven't figured out what we want to do with the glider. It's so comfortable, but we don't have room for it in the living room. The other functional piece of furnature is the changing table. Although we are only diapering at night now, it's still useful for getting her dressed an applying sun screen in the morning. Plus it contains her hamper and a few other storage drawers.

The first night I put her into the newly converted toddler bed, I laid down on the mattress next to her bed (after explaining that I would only be staying on the pull out mattress while she is getting use to her new bed) She fell asleep quickly and I was able to leave quietly. Then she woke up at 2:30 in the morning. We tried just putting her back in bed, but she kept getting up over and over agian. We both had busy days ahead and really didn't have the energy to keep going back and forth. Husband and I took turns lying on the toddler mattress while she fell asleep. It wasn't ideal, but we figured this way, she's sleeping in her bed and we're sleeping (sort of). There were three wake-ups on the first night, and one every night after that. Even if she goes to back to sleep quickly, I sometimes truggle to fall back into slumber as I'm waiting to see if she wakes up again. It hasn't helped that Tyler is still incessently meowing arount 4 AM. In fact, I'm writing this at 4:30 in the morning after I finally fell back to sleep after being woken up by Kate at 2:30 and then again at 4 AM by my FUCKING CAT! I can handle one of my children waking me up at night, but now both. I decided to put Tyler back on kitty Prozac and he's been quiet for the past two nights.

We picked up a gate (with all its pieces) over the weekend, so we can at least contain her in her room. She's still waking up once a night. I'm hoping she'll magically stop these once a night wake-ups and go back to sleeping though the night, or else I have to figure out how to get her to sleep without me (or Husband) laying down on the spare mattress. I have one idea I'm trying for tonight. The other transition we addressed last week was switching from whole milk to 2%. She really wasn't eating well last week and maybe was needed more calories at night. So I gave her a cup of whole milk before bed (even though she ate a decent dinner). We shall see.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Big Girl Bed Advice

Pausing from our regularly scheduled programming: I have a few posts in progress; Kate's 2 Year Update, a review of her party, a situation involving a messy house and feelings of jealousy toward pregnancy announcements that I hope to publish before those babies are actually born. However, I could really use some guidance from my most trusted counsel right now.

As I've written before, I'd like to keep Kate in her crib a long as possible. Like until she starts Kindergarden. I fear bedtime will be much more difficult if she can get out of the crib, I fear her waking up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning... Yes, I know these fears will need to be conquered, but I was hoping to delay as long as possible. As Husband and I have observered Kate try to climb out of her crib while she is not in her sleep sack, we acknowledged that we should start researching toddler beds and ideally purchase it and have it ready to go for that day when she climbs out. I figured I would start the process after Kate's party. Well, the second morning after her party, I went into her room and found her leaning over the corner of her crib while trying to swing her legs over the edge. Yikes.

So here is where I need your help. I don't know where to start even doing research on beds. There is a Mom and Pop children's furniture shop near us, and although I'd love to shop local, I think this store mostly does fancy bunkbeds. What kind of bed? Low to the ground? A Day bed? Bed edges -yay or nay? Does using a swim noodle really work? Am I totally overthinking this?

Then there is the grandparent effect. My parents will be visiting during the first two weeks in August. I have been planning to remove the changing table from her room and replace it with the Ikea kitchen I got her for her birthday/finishing potty training. I wanted to have my Dad help me set up the Ikea kitchen, as I know Husband won't get around to it for a while, and I can bill it as a Daddy-Daughter project. Now I'm also thinking it would be helpful to have my Dad on hand to set up the new bed, as we may have to re-configure her whole room.

However, is it going to be harder to train her to use the new bed while my parents are there as a distraction? It is harder to get her to go to bed while we have visitors as she senses that everyone else is staying up having fun without her. Usually my parents attend to her when she wakes up so we can sleep a little longer (the benefits of having relatives who are early risers and are still on east coast time) Will this encourage bad habits? Where do you get that clock that changes colour when they can get out of bed?

So I'm feeling so overwhelmed by this, probably because a fellow blogger prepared me that it's going to be an emotional event. My baby isn't a baby and is officially a big girl. I'll be getting rid of the crib for good as I won't need it any more (I know it's my choice not to try for another baby when I have embryos available, but it still makes me feel sad) Anyway, thanks in advance for any words of wisdom anyone can share.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Whoa! We're Half Way There!

As this year has reached the half way mark, I thought I'd look back at my goals and write an update:

1. Continue Whole 30 lifestyle. I did two rounds back to back and was very successful (Ugh, that sentance sounds like Donald Trump). I gave up Coke Zero, I stopped adding Spend.a in my coffee or tea. I learned how to make better food choices. I lost weight and felt good about myself. I had the confidence to wear a two piece not only to swim practice where there are really fit twentysomethings; but also to Baby Swim -where there are judgy moms. I managed to hold most Whole 30 principles even while I wasn't constrained by the rules. I had a necessary drink on election night, but brought my own paleo food to Thanksgiving dinner. Then I really got derailed in December. I feel like I'm starting over again. 
I did another Whole 30 in January but was disappointed that I only lost 2 pounds. I did it again in March and lost a little more weight. I had a horrible GI virus in early May and lost more weight, which I was able to keep some of it off, but I'm also learning the number on the scale is merely a number.

2. Improve my score on the Body Fat Test. I have this coming up and I'm clinging to hope that I made some improvement since October, but I'd really love to achieve a personal best by the end of the year and improve from where I was in 2014. Update:  I dropped 3 pounds of fat and added 2 pounds of muscle even after my holiday indulgences; my personal best is insight for my retest in June. 
So, my restest in June was essentially the same as it was in February (actually it was slightly worse). It was the wake up call I needed to turn the train around. Husband and I recently met with a nutrition coach at our gym, who designed a program of counting macro nutrients for us. It's even a bit harder than Whole 30 (although it allows a little more freedom) as you have so plan what you are going to eat for the day ahead of time and absolutley stick to that plan or have alternatives lined up. I am determined to reach a new PB by October.

3. Maintaining friendships. My challenge for this year is that at least once a month I have to reach out to someone and plan an activity. I also need to send more emails to connect with people who are important to me. Liking pictures are dropping the occasional comment is not enough
I got together with two friends in January, and I was going to be cheeky and count all the friends we met up with during our visit back to England in February. The we just got really busy, between swim meets, and our LA trip, and various picnics and parties, we haven't had much time, but it seems that we're being really social, right? Still need to make more of an effort.

4. Be more politically active. Contact representatives, do some work with local activist groups. Attend the next protest rally. Do more than just posting links on as most of your friends already share your opinions. 
OMG, I haven't done anything. Yeah, I was hoping Trump would be impeached by now.

5. Read at least one book a month, which must be purchased at a local book store. I think I struck out for January. The only new book I picked up was The Whole 30 Cookbook (which I picked up at Costco)98. I flipped through it cover to cover, but I didn't make anything. 

I read Harvey Karp's Happiest Toddler on the Block and the Tiny Potty Training Book, not sure if they count. Insane Clown President by Matt Taiebi (which was really a collection of his published articles for Rolling Stone). When ther was a renewed interested in George Orwell 's 1984 around the inauguration, I picked up a copy. I read exerpts of the classic in college and I always acted like I had read the whole book, so I decided it was time to acutally read it. I aslo picked up Al Franken's Giant of the Senate.

6. Keep up with blogging. I started this blog over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 and submitted 34 posts. I wrote 160 in 2013, 91 in 2014, 48 in 2015 and 21 in 2016. This blog means so much to me and I want to continue with it. 
With this post I've reached 13 so far, so I'm on track to top the number from 2016.

7. Spend more 'Face Time' with Husband and make sure we spend less time on devices while we are together. Although as I write this, we're in bed; me typing on the iPad and he's finishing work on his lap top
As I type this, I'm on my iPad and husband is asleep. We're going to try to have 'Wine Time' in the evening, where we sit and chat without devices or the TV. It's a bit of a throwback to my parents who would spend 1-2 hours each night drinking wine and chatting each night (when I was growing up, sometimes we didn't eat dinner until 8 or 9 at night). Technically, we're not drinking wine due to our new diet plan, but 'Wine Time' sounds better than 'La Croix Sparkling Water Time!'

1. Hit my metrics for responding to messages, reporting results and closing charts
So far I've been reaching my metrics and haven't been fined for deliquent charts

2. Submit a proposal for a lecture and next year's conference
I'm still a little disappointed that I wasn't chosen last year, so I have a bit of a 'why bother' attitude, but I think I'll do a little more research into topics that have been covered recently and I'll see if I can hook them by coming up with something original.

3. Write an article for a peer reviewed journal
I actually received an invitation to write an article, so now I need to select a topic, oh and find time to write.

1. Be able to do 5 strict pulls up and 10 kipping pull ups I'm actually close to this one, but I'll be away from the gym for nearly three weeks while we go to England and then I'll have to start all over again.
I actually didn't loose too much while I was away. I've been able to maintain doing 5 strict pull ups, but max at 7 or 8 while kipping. Still working on building up to 10 and achieving a strict chest to bar. Every year on Memorial Day, our gym has us do "Murph" a hero WOD named after a soldier who was killed in action in Afghanastan. It's one mile run, then 100 pull ups, 200 push ups 300 air squats and another mile run. The true way to do it is to do the pull ups, push ups and squats in order (while wearing a 20 pound vest) but we're encouraged to partition the work. I did 20 sets of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats. I thought my pull ups would bail on me around 60 or so and I would have to use a band to finish. I was surprised when I reached 70 still maintaining by groups of 5. Then I started breaking into 3 and 2, then 2-2 and 1, and finally 2-1-1-1, but I managed to do all 100 pull ups. It was a huge PR for me and was made sweeter by having Kate watching me.

2. Work up to doing a WOD at the Rx weight. Increase 1 kilogram at a time
I need to push more on this. Recently, while I was setting up for a WOD, a fellow mom came over to me and have me her weight (which was heavier than mine) as she was going to get something heavier. "Here" she said handing it to me and picking up my selected weight to bring back to the rack, "you can do this weight," she encouraged. She was right and I thanked her for giving me the push I needed.

1. Set a PB in any Free or Fly distance (note, picking a new distance to enter for the first time doesn't count)
Leading into my Short Course Yards (SCY) Meet in April, I hit a PR by attending 4 practices a week for 4 consecutive weeks and this practice stuff must really work as I achieved 4 PRs at that meet. I had my fastest times in the 50 and 500 Free as well as my 50 and 100 Fly. I was really happy with my times in the fly as I've been working on developing and maintaining an over-under pattern (breathing every other stroke). I know it's not necessarily the key to being fast as Michael Phelps breathes every stroke, but I dropped 4 seconds in the 50 and 7 seconds in the 100. I've extended these goals to get PBs in both the Long Course Meters and Short Course Meter Championships.

2. Swim the 100 Fly in Long Course Meters
Just signed up! Yikes! I've also decided to do the Brute Squad Challenge in November. It's a 200 yeard Fly followed by a 400 IM and then 1650 Free. My main motivation is to earn the T-shirt they give to finishers.

3. Attend a clinic to work on starts and turns
I haven't seen any clinics that have been offered, but I watched some videos on you tube and was able to make some adjustments in techniques which have improved my turns.My coach recently issued a rare compliment on my turns, but I'm hoping it will show in my times.

1. Try running 5Ks with Kate
We did a race in March. The greatest challenge with running with her is keeping her in the stroller as she wants to get out and walk herself. Fortunately, the race had an Alice in Wonderland theme and many runners were dressed in rabbit costumes, as well as some wore the shirts that were distributed on race day, which also had pictures of rabbits, so I was able to distract her for most of the race by trying to have her find the rabbits. We were signed up for another race, but it was over the weekend of the GI bug, so we gave it a miss.

2. Do some practice runs in my neighbourhood
This has not happened.

3. Run a half maration (I acknowledge this is the one goal I probably won't reach)
Not even close.

1. Accomplish potty training by the end of the year
Hopefully we'll be completely diaper free for day time and napping by the end of the year. I feel she's about 75% potty trained at this point in time. She is completely using the potty at home and is getting better with outings. We've had two successful dinners out where she has stayed dry. We worked our way out of a slight regression and I'm trying to find a balance between making sure she has access to the potty, but not over prompting. The other challenge is Day Care. I send her off in her undies, but if she has an accident, they put her into pull-ups. They don't start working with potty training until kids are 2, but as I know she can do it at home, I'm really keen for her to use the potty regularly at day care.

2. Work on language aquisiton with her, continuing signing and introducing Spanish
She going through another language burst and I'm sometimes surprised with the words that come out of her mouth. Although she only knows a few verbs, she is starting to make short sentences. Most of them start "I want ..." She isn't speaking many Spanish words, but we read a lot of books that are in Spanish and English, so she recognises the words. We'll look at her picture book and I'll ask "Donde esta el perro?" and she'll point to the picture of a dog. Sometimes she needs a little prompting with signing. She doesn't sign too much on her own, except the 'more' sign, but she'll sign with me if I sign to her, so that's a prompt for me to do more signing.

3. Send my in-laws photos and updates on a regular basis. I was sending her monthly photos to them, but as I'm not doing monthly photos any more, their updates have dropped off.
Oh shit. I don't think I've sent any photos since I sent them the photos from our trip. Wait, did I ever send them those photos? Oh fuck. Going to send a photo dump right now.

4. Host a successful birthday party for Kate
Working on this one! I spent hours trying to tidy up our back garden to make it look decent for our party, which included an ill-fated attempt to grow some grass in the back garden. I ended up developing rapidly progressing cellulitis in my thumb which required a trip to the ER for IV antibiotics and an Incision and Drainage with irrogation. I borrowed a bouncy castle from my cousin (as the ones from most rental companies were too big for our yard) and even with her smaller sized one, kids could be bouncing off the sides of our house or into a stone wall. It would take a big arguement with Husband before I finally arrived at the conclusion that we couldn't have the party at our house. I also discovered, that while last year I bitched about having to do everything myself for her party, I never involved him in and of the decision making as I incorrectly assumed that he wouldn't care anyway. It turns out, he actually has some good ideas (like finding a different venue) and can do things like calling around and making reservations. Husband also offered that he would rather get catered food, so he can enjoy the party without the pressure of cooking. I still feel like I'm writing endless lists and always thinking of things I need to do, but so far it hasn't feel too overwhemling. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks.