Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘bedtime

With preschool just around the corner, I’ve been working on training M to have an earlier bedtime.  We’ve been making good progress and she’s usually in bed by 8:30pm and asleep by 9:00pm.  Of course, I’m with her until she falls asleep.  Once she’s asleep, I get to go downstairs and hang out with Hubby.

By the time I get downstairs, K is either on her last bottle, or asleep.

Once the kids are asleep, Hubby and I get to spend time together.

It feels like it’s been YEARS since we’ve had alone time together.  We actually talk about things, sometimes its the kids, sometimes it’s about TV, sometimes it’s about his work…

The point is… we talk!

It’s pretty refreshing and it’s been a great relationship booster.

I think we get so consumed with parenthood and just trying live our lives from day to day that we’ve forgotten about us.

I’m glad that these early bedtimes are allowing us to reconnect.

I watch my girls when they sleep.

No, not creepy.

I watch my girls when they sleep.

I look at them, and I can’t believe they are mine.

I look at them, and I can’t believe they were in me.

I look at them, and I can’t believe I made them (with Hubby’s help.)

I look at them, and I can’t believe that I’m a mother.

They are so peaceful when they sleep.  Their faces are so calm and sweet.  I forget the crying.  I forget the tantrums.  I forget the difficulties of parenting when they are sleeping.

When they sleep, parenting feels easy.

When they sleep, I feel like I have this whole “parenting thing” under control.

I watch my girls when they sleep and it makes proud to be their mom.

I watch my girls when they sleep and it reminds me just how much I love them so…

There is a list of books that sit by her toddler bed that must be read every night..

Go, Dogs Go!
I Will Teach My Dog A Lot of Words
Leap Frogs “Dora 1,2, 3!”
Leap Frogs book about Disney Princesses
A small book about Beauty & The Beast
I Love You Through & Through

Every night it’s, “read the book, go dogs..” then, “read the book, lot of words..” et cetera..

We have read these so many times that most times, she’s reading them to ME!

There are times when I just want to breeze through the book, skip a few pages.. or just say “not now.”

But I don’t.

For one, if I skip a page, she knows the books so well, she knows and corrects me..

Secondly, this is her routine.  She looks forward to this time.  She doesn’t know that I’m too tired.  She doesn’t realize that we’ve been reading these same six books for months and months.  She doesn’t even care that it’s the same story over and over again.  She likes it.  It’s mommy and M time. 

How could I breeze through these books when every time I turn a page, her face lights up as she recites it back to me?

How could I feel too tired to read through “Go, Dogs Go” when she and I have special actions we do during parts of the story?  It’s like we have our little inside jokes to go along with the story.

How can I brush that off like its trivial, when it’s so important to her?

So every night, I pull every little ounce of energy I have left, grab the stack of books and just power through it.

It’s tough at first, trying to have energy when I feel like I’m running on empty.  But by the time I get to the final book, I’m so glad to have that moment with her. 

What books do you read during bedtime?

Sunday night, M slept in the toddler bed.

I have to admit, I cheated a little bit.

M skipped her nap on Sunday, so she was super sleepy by about 9:30-10pm.  I had her on my lap on the recliner until she fell asleep.  Once she fell asleep, Hubby and I tucked her in her little bed.

I could not get a good peaceful sleep!  Every little move jolted me awake.  Even the silence would jolt me awake and I’d have to look over and see if she was ok.  Hubby would also get up and look at her at the slightest sound.  He says it was because he took a nap during the day and was unable to sleep, but I think it was because he missed her in the bed also…

Halfway through the night, maybe around 1-2am, M started rustling in her bed.  Of course, Hubby and I woke up to check on her.  She seemed fine until she popped up and started to look around.  

“Mimi?”

She was looking for me. 

I told her that I was right there next to her and of course she raises her arms up for me to carry her.  Immediately, I picked her up and brought her to the big bed. 

She spent the rest of the night snuggled up against me and we all were able to fall asleep.

It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us. 

I thought that Hubby would have been so relieved to have her out of the bed.  He wasn’t 100% on board with the whole co-sleeping arrangement I was so comfortable with, but I know that as time had gone on, it was something he had gotten used to. 

We just have to learn to get used to this new arrangement… maybe.

A few months or so ago, we mentioned toddler beds.. I knew it was an inevitability, but I just figured we’d cross that bridge when we get there..

We got to the bridge this weekend.

Saturday morning, I woke up wedged (literally) between Hubby and M.  They were pressed up so much against me that I had no room to move.  It was uncomfortable, but I felt loved.  Who wouldn’t want the two people you love the most being so close to them?!

Anyway, we all woke up and Hubby and I were having a conversation about how squished I was between them.  Hubby mentioned toddler beds, and I brushed it off.  I didn’t want to deal with that yet.

But it was as if M was listening in on our conversation and actually understanding what we were saying because she suddenly said, “Sleep in small bed?  Yes?”

Me:  “You want to sleep on a small bed?  You want your own bed?”
M:  “Yes.”
Me:  “You will sleep in a small bed?  Where will me Mimi and Daddy sleep?”
M:  “Big bed.”

Well.. later on that day, we purchased a toddler bed.  Yes.

We looked at Babies R Us and priced them.. The frame alone was $119, while the mattress cost anywhere between $199 to $79!  That didn’t include any sheet sets, we didn’t bother to look.

Luckily, next door to the Babies R Us was a Target.  We found a cute bedframe that looks almost like our bed for only $79.  The mattress we chose was $69.  The sheet set we purchased (Sofia the First) was about $12.  We have the Target card, so we have a 5% discount on all our purchases AND we  had gift cards.

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself for not wanting to get the most expensive, like I used to.. I think I’m finally growing up!

We assembled the bed and put it in our bedroom.

It’s one thing to get her a toddler bed.. it’s another issue for me to deal with to get her out of our bedroom!  Baby steps..

Bed time came and she went straight to the toddler bed, which she called “sofia bed” because of the Sofia the First sheets.  She put the comforter around her and asked for the lights to be off.   I really thought she was going to go through with it.

I go up into my bed and she follows.

Me:  “Aren’t you going to sleep in the sofia bed?”
M:  shakes her head “No, sleep in mimi bed?”

Ok..

So, as much as she loves her toddler bed, at this moment, she thinks its just another new toy.

We’ll try again tonight, but I won’t force it.  I will put her there for naps, but bed time will be a process..

I guess having a toddler bed isn’t so bad after all..

 

 

The other night at bedtime, it came time for M to brush her teeth.

We gave her the toothbrush and she was going at it.  Because she has so much more teeth now, she actually brushes teeth!

It came time for me to actually do the real brushing, so I started going for the toothbrush.

She resisted and pulled away, thus keeping the toothbrush.

I told her that it was my turn to do it, but she wouldn’t give me the toothbrush.

I reach for the toothbrush again.

This time, she pulls away from me and says, “Mine!”

Where did she learn that?!  Is that something that just comes to kids?  Since she’s not in daycare, she wouldn’t have learned that from another kid.  Hubby and I don’t say that to each other.  Is this just some sort of behavior that just comes when a kid hits this age?!

Well, I don’t want that sort of behavior to perpetuate and possibly get worse.  So, as much as I wanted to laugh and say “Hubby!  Look what she learned!” I didn’t.  I didn’t want any sort of positive reinforcement to come out of that behavior.

So, I gave her a stern look and told her calmly, “You don’t say that to Mimi.”  I did let her keep the toothbrush though.  Since she always has two toothbrushes out, I took the other one and brushed her. 

Sigh.

M brings lots of her stuffed animals to bed with us.  She calls them her friends.  Her favorite friend is a cat she picked out from the Disney Store.. it’s the white cat from the Aristocats.. I dont’ know the name..

She also plays with an empty Glossy Accents (crafty glue) bottle and pretends its a baby bottle.

Last night, when we were in bed getting ready to go to sleep, she suddenly sits up.

I look over at her and she’s feeding her cat the bottle Glossy Accents!  Then, she lays back down hugging the cat and falls asleep.

I wish I could have taken a picture, or captured the moment in video.. it was such a priceless memory.

I’m so happy that the love we have for her is projected in the love she has for her “friends” and for others…

Last night, after M took her bath, she wanted to go to bed.  That was about 9:30pm.

Ok.. an early night.. that’s great!

So we went to bed, she played around with the millions of stuffed animals she’s accumulated on our bed.. suddenly, she got antsy..

She started whining and I couldn’t figure out why..

I told her that she had to tell me what was wrong but she just kept whining..

I started listing off all these things that it could have been.. milk?  potty? more toys? something hurt?  teething?  daddy?

Nothing.

Suddenly, these exact words came out of my little girl’s mouth:

“Carefoo hawt watch pew-tah, yes?”
Translation:  “Be Careful With My Heart.  Watch on the computer? Yes?”

I looked at the time and it was a little passed 10pm, that’s when the next day’s episode of BCWMH shows on the computer..

I didn’t even think that it’s become a part of her little routine, but it has! 

The other night, we had watched it on my laptop in the bed, but my laptop has since lost it’s charge, so we had to go to the living room desktop computer.. I know she kind of wanted to watch it in bed, but at least she wasn’t super fussy about that detail.

She actually stayed on my lap for the most of the episode and when it was over, we went right to bed.  She fell asleep shortly after..

Such a funny story.  M really loves to keep my life interesting..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, I picked up M early from work.

We had a cute little lunch date at Boston Market, then we went home because it was her afternoon nap time.

We got home.. and she was just not sleepy.. not even a little bit.  She never yawned, sucked her thumb, or gave me any indication that she was tired.

She was just so excited to be home with me, all she wanted to do was play..

I tried to hold her and sway her.  I tried to lie down with her and tried to get her to wind down.  I tried to turn all the lights off and turn the tv off.

None of it worked.  She just wanted to spend time with me.

So.. I gave in. 

We had afternoon snacks, and we played.  We colored.  We sang.  We danced. 

I was hoping to tire her out so she could take a quick nap.. but she never did.

I was anticipating a very grumpy, tired girl by dinner time.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how great she was.

I thought she was going to go to bed by 8 or 9 pm.  She was starting to show signs of sleepiness by then.  Her eyes were getting droopy, she was yawning more.. but still not a grumpy outburst at all.

Eventually, by 10pm, after her bath and night time routine, she looked at me and said, “go bed?”

So, she had some milk and off to bed we went.

It didn’t take any more than 5 minutes and she was out!

It was awesome!  She didn’t stall at all!  It was a wonderful feeling!

Ok.. I know naps are still important at this age.. but her lack of afternoon nap resulted in the best bed time ever!

It’s nice to get those little breaks in the system..

 

The events of The Elmo Adventure have been occuring every night since that first time.  But last night seemed to have reached its pinnacle point.

By 11:00pm, the whole family was in bed and M began to ask for Elmo and the potty.  By this point at night, she had already gone twice.  She had only pee’d on one of those visits.

I started to suspect that she only wanted to go there to play around and wash her hands and stall going to bed.  So I told her that Elmo and the potty was sleeping and she needed to sleep too.

She wasn’t having that at all.

She cried.. and cried.. and cried.. it was a tantrum cry, complete with the whole scream/cry/hyperventilation.. the works. 

It wasn’t a violent temper with kicking and flailing.  It was more like a “please let me go to the potty and wash my hands, I don’t understand why you won’t take me” kind of desperate cry. 

I didn’t lose my patience.  I stayed calm.  It’s easy for me to stay calm during these situtations because she really isn’t blatantly misbehaving.  I talked to her calmly.  I tried to sit her up, carry her and walk her around the room, or take her in the hallway to calm her down.  She still wasn’t having it.

Through her desperate cries I can make out the words potty, hands, Elmo and please.  She really wanted to go..

So a few things entered my mind:

Is she doing this because she really DOES have to go?  Is she just stalling?  What if she needs to go and I’m hindering her training?  Am I spoiling her if I take her there again?

By this point, she’s pretty much inconsolable.. poor thing.

So I took her to the potty, but I didn’t take her diaper off and didn’t sit her on the potty.  I just took her there and told her that Elmo and her potty needed to sleep and that she can say “good night” to it.  I thought if she got that sort of “closure,” that she would calm down. 

Nope.  She stood still despite her tears because she wanted me to take her diaper off to sit on the potty.

So, I did. 

She finally started to calm down a little bit and I thought our night was finally over.

Then she started getting hysterical again because she wanted to wash her hands. 

So I stood her up on the stool and turned the water on.  I ran her hands through the water and also washed her face because she was so full of tears.

She stopped crying hysterically, but because she cried so hard, it was difficult for her to stop completely.   She was still a worked up and tense.

I took her into our living room and sat her on the recliner.  She noticed her iPad and was beginning to work herself up again.  She was so upset.

So I decided to give her the iPad in the hopes of letting her have a few minutes of playtime to calm her down.  It was a rough time us to deal with all the crying, so I could imagine how rough it was on her.  It would be had to get to sleep after being worked up so hard, so I figure a little down time on the iPad would help.

Well, it did.

Within the first 5 minutes, I noticed a more relaxed M.  So I let her play for about 10 more minutes before I told her that it was time to sleep.  I was soooo nervous that the waterworks were going to begin again, but thankfully, they didn’t.

I gave her some milk and then she hugs my arm.  She falls asleep in an instant.

This all ended at 12:30am.

It was a pretty rough night, and I handled it the best way I could.  Thankfully, I didn’t lose my cool or get mad at her or the situation.  I think if my emotions rang high, things could have been so much worse. 

What would you have done in this situation?  What would you do to prevent something like this from happening again?  Is this “potty thing” of hers just a phase?  How do I get her to understand that she can’t just go and sit on the potty repeatedly before going to bed?  Do you really think she has to go, or it’s just a whim of hers right now?

I’d love some answers to these parenting questions!  Please leave them in the comments section!


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