Thursday, October 20, 2016

Trick-or-Treat Practice

Today we started playing "Trick-or-Treat."

Barker thinks it's just a fun game, but in reality, it's accomplishing so much!

1. He gets used to wearing a mask
(because toddlers don't like to keep hats, masks, sunglasses etc on their heads for too long)

2. He becomes comfortable and familiar with the concept of Trick-or-Treating
(He is typically pretty shy)

3. He practices good manners and is taught what is expected from him

I often try to prepare Barker for new situations, but there are also many times I don't even think about what is completely new to him because to me, it seems normal.  How can I expect Barker to follow directions in a new setting when everything is new and overwhelming to him?

Back when Barker was an infant, I read an article about practicing opening presents and saying thank you whenever Christmas and birthdays are coming up. Basically, teaching your child to be grateful and thankful and not make faces if they don't like whatever is in the package. Now that Barker is just shy of 3, I can actually execute this idea!

First, I peaked his interest by putting masks on his stuffed animals. (And Little Brother)

Then we got out his new bucket. (Thank you McDonald's!)

Next, I set up the closet door like a house. I told Barker to knock on the door and say, "trick-or-treat" then I would give him pretend candy. After receiving the candy, he would say, "thank you," and I'd close the door.

At first he just stood there. So I prompted to get him to talk to me a little. He also thought it was super fun to pretend Legos are candy and to put them in the bucket.

Next, I let Barker be the person at the door and I was the trick-or-treater. This is where he really had fun. He liked answering the door and putting candy in my bucket. Then, I started acting whiney, mean or demanding. I taught him to say, "no candy for you" if I was not nice. Naturally, that then became his favorite part. haha

So there you go, we practiced our manners and discovered what trick-or-treating is all about. Barker has a new favorite game, and hopefully he won't be too shy as he goes out on the 31st.

Now, let's keep our fingers crossed that he is happy to be Gekko that day! Lately, he has started to choose Catboy over Gekko, but the costume is already ordered! lol We'll practice dressing up once it arrives...

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Sleeping Through the Night

With baby number 1 people started asking me if he was sleeping through the night when he was just 4 weeks old. It became one of the most asked questions when people would see him. Even strangers would ask about how he was sleeping.

In the end I didn't let it bother me too much. But, I wondered, what does sleeping through the night even look like for a one month old? Is my infant supposed to be sleeping 12 hours already even though I'm nursing?

Getting my little one to sleep through the night became this momentous task and finally, by 9 months I got him to sleep through the night. It took some work, but we got there.
Naturally, it ended shortly after he turned one and he's never been the best sleeper. He is now almost 3 and still wakes up almost every night. (Not necessarily crying, but he just doesn't want to be alone.)

When baby number 2 came along, people asked different questions. I actually can't remember anyone asking me if he was sleeping through the night etc.

I did get a lot of strangers mentioning how I had my hands full when they saw me wearing an infant and holding the hand of a 2 year old, but that was mainly it.
(I just want to formally apologize here for any time I may have said that to someone over the course of my life. Personally, I love big families and kids close in age, so whenever I said it, I was coming from a place of "your heart must be overflowing" and thinking "I hope my hands are just as full one day." But after hearing it so many times, I totally understand how annoying it can get! It also feels a bit judgy.)

Anyway, I didn't put much pressure on sleeping through the night for baby 2. I guess I was just used to getting up anyway and nursing the baby back to sleep was easy compared to trying to get our toddler to sleep in his own bed or not wake up at 5:30am.

Beckett (babe #2) has also been a rather inconsistent sleeper too. He slept through the night a few times when he was 5 months old, but it never stuck. So, I just figured he must be going through growth spurts and teething and didn't worry too much about it. I knew he's get there eventually.

With #1 he woke up at the same times every night so I knew it was out of habit. #2 is all over the place so it's hard to know if he really needs to nurse or not. Especially because I know he has had to go through transitions like moving. Plus, I'd rather nurse him to help him sleep that give Tylenol when he's teething.

Anyway, all this to say... This week I decided it was finally time to really work on getting Beckett to sleep through the night. He is 11 months now so...he really shouldn't need to wake up at night.

Sunday night I went to bed ready to let him cry it out and push him to sleep then...nothing happened. He slept through the night all on his own! Not a peep!
Monday- same thing.
Tuesday- not a peep...

Now he has gone 5 nights in a row without waking up! Seriously! Apparently all I had to do was decide it was time and he just did it!

Whatever the case, I am thanking God for answering my prayers and enjoying this new sleeping through the night transition. (Also praying he'll keep it up!)

Sweet Dreams!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Morning

The boys have actually been sleeping in until 7 lately which is awesome! I've allowed myself to sleep in right along with them. My excuse is that the 2.5yr old has made his way into our bed nearly every night so I don't want to wake him up while sneaking out. ;)

After a long week with Hubby out of town and a sick baby (most likely just a virus that is leaving him with a temp between 100-101) I decided to set my alarm and get up before the boys. I needed some alone time to start my day. Being a morning person, I find this especially helpful to start my day off on the right foot.

So I set my alarm for 6:15am. 
Beckett woke up crying at 5:56am. I went in there, nursed him and got him back to sleep. By then it was already 6:15 so I went to the bathroom and started to think of what I would do with my alone time. (I had already read my Bible and prayed when the sickie baby had me up earlier in the morning.) 
Unfortunately, I didn't even get to wash my hands before a little person had opened the bathroom door and groggily walked in. 
Then he wanted to be held. I could tell he was still sleepy so I somehow convinced him we should go back to bed. I laid down with him for about 10 minutes when the baby let out a loud cry. Barker sat up and announced, "Beckett's waking up!" So I told him I was going to the baby and asked if he wanted to stay in bed. He did.

When I went into Beckett's room, the poor punkin was in the fetal position, facedown and whimpering. As soon as I picked him up I could tell his fever was back. 
We made our way to the family room to rock and about a minute later we were joined by the 2.5yr old. It was about 6:45 by then.

For some reason I had a hard time waking up and keeping my eyes open this morning...

After lots of cries over minor incidents (like Mommy not allowing him to chew on the remote) Beckett got to go down for an early nap. 

Say a prayer for the little guy and also that the toddler (who likes to chew on Beckett's teething rings and drink from his sippy cups) won't get sick too.

I think we are all looking forward to Daddy's return tomorrow morning.

On a Happier Note: After pretty much taking a potty training break this summer, Barker has initiated going to the potty all on his own twice in the last 24hrs!
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Special Moments

Written 8/12/16 but apparently didn't publish:

This summer Barker has been playing with a little road from a Lego set. He loves to prop it up like a ramp and just run all his cars on it. He knows each piece and every single piece must be connected. He calls it his "path."
 But as you can see, this path is small with only 3 tracks.

Yesterday, as he walked out of his office at the end of the work day, Brett declared Barker needed a new path. 
So after getting shoes on and loading up into the van we headed out for a quick dinner and a family trip to Toys R Us.
Naturally, the first exciting thing we saw there was a giant Paw Patrol display.
No time for pictures with his favorite Characters though, these toys needed to be inspected.
We also saw Thomas and his interactive display.
Then we finally found the Hot Wheels aisle and some "paths" to try out right there!
After a little playing while Daddy selected the perfect starter set, it was time to take it home.

By the time we got home it was past 8:00 (bed time is usually 7:30) but Daddy & Barker were too excited to be thinking about bed times.
I quickly put the baby to bed and then we let Barker stay up playing with his new tracks and cars until 9. (He still asked for "five more minutes." ;)) 
As I watched him jump with excitement and begin to experiment with the tracks and cars, I was happy to give him this special moment.
Staying up late on a summer night, building paths and playing cars with his Dad. :)

Then in the morning it felt like Christmas morning. Barker bounced on our bed asking if we could go play with the path. As I got up he cheered and then took off down the hallway. It was time to play with his special new toy.

I love this kid.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Riverboat Dinner Cruise

As I mentioned in my previous post, we celebrated my mom's 60th Birthday this weekend!
The main event was a Sunday night dinner cruise on the BB Riverboats in Cincinnati.

 We invited family and close friends to join us as we dined and took in the city view on a 2.5hr riverboat ride.

Barker started out a bit wired and had us all over the boat looking at things. I then remembered he hadn't eaten anything since our early lunch.
Once he was fed he slowed down a little. Haha He did manage to sit through dinner and he was very sweet. But after that he was ready to explore and pull along Daddy, Mommy, Aunt Starla or anyone else that would come with him.

At least the boat wasn't too big, so it would have been hard to lose him. ;)

Beckett was wonderful! He happily visited with whoever wanted to hold him as he inspected their jewelry and got his cheeks kissed.

It's hard to believe how fussy (colic) and clingy he started out. He is so chilly and just happy now!

The food was pretty good, but the best part of the cruise was the view.

The weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cool. Everyone was outside, chatting and taking pictures.

They also had some music. It wasn't much to really write about, but Mom & Dad did get in one impromptu dance. =)

Overall, it was a nice evening to enjoy with family and I think Mom had a happy birthday.

The boys were pretty tired by the end because it was 2hrs past their bedtime, but all things considered, I was happy with how well they did.

Now we can look forward to being together again with my parents and sisters on a Carnival Cruise in mid-September! At least then there will be plenty of places to roam and explore; also our room will be nearby for breaks. I can't wait!
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Painting! (With adults?!)

(oops, thought this published 3 days ago but it didn't go through)

While I do not have an actual "Bucket List" there are somethings I've always though would be fun to do and I hope to one day do them. One of the things on my mental to do wish list was to go to a recreational 2hr class and paint something. Last weekend, I finally did it!

My Mom turns 60 this week so we had an entire celebratory weekend. On Saturday, the girls got to go painting! Mom, myself and my two sisters. 

None of us had done anything like this before so we were all excited and a little nervous. 

It ended up being so much fun and not nearly as hard as you might think. 

I really enjoyed starting with a blank canvas and learning how to blend and take simple steps to make something pretty cool.

Sometime it looked a bit odd and I'd think, "what did I do?!" 

But in the end it turned out really well and I'm kind of proud of it. ;)

One of the coolest parts is when you get to the end and see how everyone followed the same steps but has something that is uniquely her own.

I will definitely be doing this again. :)
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