Tag Archives: illness

Bedtime Redemption?

(Notice the question mark… after the past three months, I’m unlikely to be declarative about most things…)

As noted, the Pacifier Fairy (and some other things that are still being sorted out) had some unintended consequences in our house. Namely, Boopsie’s ability to fall and stay asleep disappeared. Gone.

At first, we tried to soldier on as we had… two books, potty and brush teeth, one book, go to sleep with some books in bed to look at. And it didn’t work. We tried putting her back in bed without talking to her (one night we did that 32 times). We tried doing bed checks (she would scream bloody murder and kick her closed door). In desperation, we began laying on her floor while she fell asleep, which could regularly take 75 minutes or more.

Reacting how I normally do when faced with a parenting dilemma, I reached for my old standby — books. I re-read pertinent sections in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Family, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, and The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight. I also hired a parenting coach, who suggested that Boopsie may have some sensory integration dysfunction.

In the interim, Daddy-o and I were having to stay in Boopsie’s room until she fell asleep and then we were often  called back in there in the middle of the night to sleep on the floor (in the middle of the winter, in the northland, as an alternative to having her end up in our bed). It. Was. Hell. This was all additionally complicated by travel and tantrums and being generally shell-shocked by the changes in our kid.

So we tried the “sleep shuffle” from The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight. And it took about three weeks. And it worked. Sort of.  But our kid still wouldn’t really nap and was waking still in the night. Oh, and she wasn’t actually falling asleep (usually) until close to 10 p.m. (Side note: Sleep deprived preschoolers and having one parent “booked up” with a kid until 10 p.m. every night are not great marital aids.)

Man and child outside Build A Bear Workshop

Daddy-o and Boopsie with the bunny.

We got a new night light. We got a new clock for her room. We tried letting her color in bed. We started playing music in her bedroom.We tried a reward chart. It took her 42 days to earn 15 stars. She earned a trip to Build A Bear workshop and was so overwhelmed by the crowds that she didn’t want to build a bear. So she picked a bunny she was thrilled about.

Then she got sick (and then we got sick).  And she needed more help falling asleep and we were back to sitting in the rocker in her room, trying to get her to stay quietly in bed, often threatening to leave and do checks (and sometimes leaving and doing checks). I felt like a hostage.

Finally, last week, with help from the parenting coach, I re-made bedtime again. The first two nights were tough, with tears and me having to prove to Boopsie that I would not come back to her until 9 minutes was up (she was gated in her room), no matter what she said. But then I made a little tweak and bedtime has gotten much better. In fact, one night my kid fell asleep on her own before 9 p.m. And she’s consistently falling asleep on her own (okay, is six days enough to say “consistently”?). Without tears. I won’t bore you with the details of her new bedtime routine because what works for one kid has no guarantee of working for another kid. I will say this: I cherish the time and mental energy I’ve gotten back. Getting 1-2 hours back into our evening has made Daddy-o and I much happier people. We can do little things around the house. We can have uninterrupted conversations. We can watch a TV show. We can work if we need to. We can just freaking be.

You may be wondering why we didn’t have her “cry it out.” I was actually very close to doing this in December. I queried other parents via Facebook and got a lot of support and tips. Here’s the thing: One thing that has been reinforced for us over the past three months is that Boopsie is an incredibly intense kid. And with the question of sensory issues still on the table, along with her the length and strength of her tantrums, we truly did not have any confidence that it would work. If anything, we figured she’d cry for hours until she passed out. And that wasn’t going to help her re-learn to relax and fall asleep. I don’t begrudge anyone who tries the “CIO” approach, but for our kid, it was a no-go.

So here I am… enjoying a whole hour of time I didn’t have this night a week ago, feeling like maybe, just maybe, we have found the bedtime promised land again. (As a superstitious person of Irish descent, I’m almost certain that by talking about this it’s all going to hell in a handbasket. Let’s hope not.)

Sweet dreams to you and yours…


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Filed under books, creativity, drudgery, lessons, relationships, sleep

Potentially Cheesy Thankfulness Post

The last few weeks have been tough. Not seriously tough, like terminal illness or death or any really horrible things. Just day-in, day-out, demanding job and sick toddler and traveling husband and multiple expensive house repairs tough. We’re tying to juggle our jobs and Boopsie’s multiple (mostly not serious) illnesses and still trying to have a life… not easy. Oh, and I’ve been peed on twice in two days.

This afternoon I almost cried. At work. About things like PowerPoint slides and an over-abundance of meetings. And because Daddy-o and I had to split the day to stay home with a sickly Boopsie. And because I didn’t know which dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free sweet potato recipe to make for Thursday. I think it’s safe to say my priorities have been knocked out of whack.

It’s Thanksgiving week. What better time to try and get my head put on straight again? So here we go…. the many things I’m thankful for (in no particular order…):

Thankful? Hell yes.

  • It’s almost time to listen to Christmas music (day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day)
  • A healthy family
  • A healthy me
  • A job that enables me to afford (mostly) to pay for the raft of unexpected home repairs
  • Recovery (I think) from a sh&tty knee injury without surgery
  • A little girl who love, love, loves Christmas lights
  • My Amazon Kindle. (Geeky, I know.)
  • Having a two-car garage (Holy moly! No scraping the windshield!)
  • Raspberries
  • My favorite afghan
  • Friends… old ones, new ones and all the ones in between
  • Health insurance
  • Along that line, living in a city with rapid emergency response and not just one, but three children’s hospitals to choose from (more on that another day)
  • Having my parents around. Grammie and Grampie are not only fun to be around but they also save our butts on a regular basis.
  • The marriage amendment was defeated in Minnesota… woot woot!
  • The Amazing Race — Daddy-o and I watch it (via iTunes) every week. It’s the one TV show we both enjoy and we have fun watching together. Totally worth the $20 iTunes season pass. Plus, I wager on it at work. Go Dave and Abba!
  • Listening to Boopsie sing. The current repertoire: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, Rock-a-Bye Baby, Old MacDonald, De Do Do Do, Skip To My Lou… I can’t wait to introduce her to Christmas Music.
  • Red wine
  • Our cats… even though they puke on the carpet and meow when we’re trying to sleep
  • Movember – all those moustaches crack me up
  • The Internet. Seriously, how did we function before we had all that information at our fingertips?
  • Clean water, accessible and affordable food
  • Working with people I like to be around
  • Travel, especially to visit loved ones
  • Daddy-o. With Boopsie. With me. Funny and kind and a great partner.
  • Hot tea on cold days
  • Sleeping through the night (usually… how cool is that?)
  • Fitting into (finally) my most unforgiving pair of skinny jeans. Shallow? Yes. But still reassuring.

There. Not an exhaustive list, but just some of the many reasons I’m feeling thankful these days. Here’s to not crying about PowerPoint slides and conflicting demands.

What are you thankful for?

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Filed under adventures, mom guilt

Catching up…

Pfft… Where did the last month go? I’m delinquent on a whole bunch of things in my life, not the least of which is this blog. All I can say is, “Get in line, Yo.” Here are a few randoms, in the hope of making up some ground:

1) We switched Boopsie’s car seat so she faces forward in the car. NHTSA may hate us, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun, especially because she is a big-time backseat driver. She likes to yell “Stop” on the freeway, and “Go” at red lights and “[Th]at way, mama!” It makes me laugh every day.

2) In October, I’m doing this “October Unprocessed” challenge. Why? Erm….well… I mostly  want to drop my “Diet Coke every day” and my “full bag of cinnamon bears” habits. Time to clean it up. I’m on day two and eating a LOT more fruits and veggies… so far so good. (We’ll see what I’m saying in about two more days.)

3) Last week Boopsie had the stomach flu. And refused to throw up into a bucket. We went through nearly every towel we own, and I sympathy puked once. It was a bad night that made me think it’s way too early for stomach flu. And I still have PTSD from last winter’s illnesses.

4) In what can only be described as a major score, I picked up a big bag of used Duplos from a thrift store for a mere $6. I was hiding them in my trunk (very sneaky, right?) but Boopsie spotted them and yelled “My blocks! My blocks!” Christmas surprise, fail #1.

5) Cutest thing ever… EVER. Just saying.

Boopsie with Owl Backpack

My baby with her first backpack. And pink Chuck Taylors.

6) And finally, I tried to make applesauce…while doing other things. Including playing outside with Boopsie. Whoops.

Burnt apples in pan

I don’t know how I’m ever going to get the 1/4 inch of burnt apples off the bottom of that pan. But I bet it’s going to take a really long time. Boo.


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Filed under adventures, mom guilt

More First World Problems

We are in the throes of preparing to move. We’re only moving about two miles away, but damn it, we still have to pack up all of our stuff.

On top of that fun, the Boopsie has an ear infection and bronchitis. She’s also decided that dinner is for suckers and drinking milk a couple of times a night is where it’s at. I know I can’t hold it against a kid who’s sick, but we will be seeking a remedy to the “night time milk” as soon as she’s better. It’s going to require some serious backbone-building for me and Daddy-o.

I will say, I’m glad my mama instinct wasn’t totally whack. Her cough, which came on pretty suddenly just as a cold was winding down, sounded different than any other cough she’s had. I was certain the doctor was going to tell me she had a virus today, and relieved when we got the diagnoses. Treatable with something other than time. Because I’ve got to tell you, this getting up a couple of times a night business is just wrong.

In other first-world dilemma news, we are hunting for a new day care. The move gives us a nice opportunity to change. Now that we’re looking I’m feeling all unsure about changing her day care — it’s the whole “devil you know” versus the one you don’t business. We’ve interviewed a nice woman with a home day care, and are checking her references. I was hoping for some divine sign that she’d be a better place for Ruby and I haven’t received it yet. I’ve also got a tour lined up at a Montessori school on Friday, but it’s 75 percent more expensive than our current arrangement. And while our current arrangement isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not the cheapest option either. I don’t know what we’re going to do, and of course, I’m torn.

So sick of germs. So happy we changed health insurance to a kind where we pay co-pays instead of out-of-pocket for every office visit. Phew.

And that is the latest dispatch from the land of the privleged. I hope you’ll forgive me.

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Filed under day care, drudgery, medical, mom guilt, problems middle class parents have, problems white parents have

The Stomach Flu Came and Got Us (Again)

Poor Boopsie. On Tuesday she threw up 12(!) times. Then I threw up all day yesterday. Now she’s at Grammie and Grampie’s and I’m trying to stay awake until the handyman leaves and I can go back to bed. And fervently hoping Daddy-o doesn’t also get sick.

Here’s an overheard conversation from last weekend. I was in the kitchen and Boopsie was bouncing up and down on Daddy-o, who was laying on the couch.

Daddy-o: Boopsie, what does a cat say?

Boopsie: Maowh.

Daddy-o: And what does a horse say?

Boopsie: Nay!

Daddy-o: What does a cow say?

Boopsie: Mooooooo

Daddy-o: What does a sheep say?

Boopsie: BA.

Daddy-o: And what does a Boopsie say?

Boopsie: (pause…pause) NO!!!

Yep, kiddo. That’s about right. (Although “mine” is a new favorite in the repertoire…)

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Filed under adventures, medical, relationships, Stuff Toddlers Say

Mom Karate: Advancing to the Red Belt

Today at work I actually gave myself a paper cut on my nose while reading through printed out PowerPoint slides. And that just about totally sums up how things have been going.

Friday night Boopsie had a fever. Saturday morning her fever was much worse. So we went off to urgent care, for the third time in four weeks. (Winter is FUN!) Boopsie came out with a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic for a sinus infection (?!?). Things were on the upswing until last night…

I got home from a work function at about 9:45 p.m. At about 10:15 p.m. Boopsie woke up whining, so Daddy-o and I decided to give her some Tylenol. We gave her the Tylenol and Daddy-o was going to fill the humidifier. He was passing Boopsie over to me, when WHAM. Full frontal barf attack, direct hit on the front of my shirt. It was gross, to the nth degree.

But here’s the amazing thing: I didn’t barf. Can you believe that?? I. didn’t. barf. (Even though I was literally dripping in her dinner.)

In karate, they have different belts that correspond to different levels of ranking or achievement. They start at white and go through black. Generally the belts go white, yellow, green, blue, purple, red, brown and black. (Sometimes there are less, and sometimes there are more.) I figure last night’s episode got me into at least a red belt. I haven’t quite figured out what it would take to get into a black belt, but I’m pretty sure that one (generally) healthy kid can’t get me there.

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Filed under adventures, drudgery, medical

Someday I will be able to laugh about this…

Oh what a weekend!

Friday I picked Boopsie up from daycare and learned that she naps in an armchair. And frequently falls asleep in a Johnny-Jump-Up. WTF? How tacky is that? Since when is it okay first for a tot to get so tired that she falls asleep in a bouncing toy? (JESUS that sounds bad!) And since when is it cool for a 17-month-old to sleep in an armchair?

Oh goody! So begins another daycare hunt! (Except that we might move… and we don’t know where… so how do we pick a day care?)

Saturday I was spending time with some friends when I got an SOS from Daddy-o. Boopsie puked. Everywhere. She had the stomach flu. Luckily, she seems to be on the mend. And luckily for me (sorry Daddy-o) I missed the big first barf. Have I mentioned lately that my husband is a trooper?

Today Boopsie woke up… with a head cold. She is sneezing and snotting all over the place. Poor kid. I hope the antibiotics she’s still on for the ear infection help keep her from getting another one. Crikey!

On the upside:

  • I grocery shopped, made dinner tonight and am making this for Tuesday night. (Because I am planning ahead! FTW!)
  • Boopsie signed “more please” today. I nearly peed my pants.
  • She got the stomach flu in the daytime, rather than in the middle of the night.
  • Today we went to the coolest book store ever.


Filed under adventures, books, day care, problems middle class parents have, problems white parents have