Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

Good morning, and Happy May Day to everyone! We're celebrating by leaving a surprise for Amie and Boppa at their house when Katie wakes up and then having a special dinner... I am sure I will post more about this sometime later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Eric is exactly 24 weeks old today! He is starting to put on his baby fat, and I feel him happily kicking around quite often. I've been so lucky to feel him kicking for many months now: maybe we get more sensitive with a second pregnancy?

A couple of days ago, my mom helped me finish moving my girlhood desk out of Eric's room and one of our (now empty) bookcases into his room. She and Katie also put together his bassinette, and Boppa reassembled the crib. His room is coming closer to fruition, though I am still waiting to receive the new wallpaper sample I ordered and I am trying to decide about a dresser and changing table. I know for sure that I will buy him a tall dresser (the style and color depend somewhat upon what I think of the wallpaper). I am undecided, however, about a changing table. Katie's changing table was the top of my short dresser. Also, I want to paint the bookcase (probably a dark or royal blue), yet again, the color depends upon the wallpaper. I love decorating kids' rooms, though, and part of the fun is pondering...

We've (well, my dad mainly to be honest) also been working on the garage. He keeps some of his extra tools in the third bay. We also have some of David's excess furniture and one of my parent's chairs. We don't really need much of the 3rd bay ourselves right now, so this arrangement is fine; however, we are trying to make the space more streamlined because there are a few items I do need to put over there. My dad added some new shelves, and I have been trying to whittle away items that I realize I don't particularly want or need.

Katie has been loving her big girl bed! The first two nights I slept with her to help her adjust, but the past two nights she has slept there very happily all on her own! She is waking up less in the middle of the night, as well, perhaps because she has more space to roll around. We have been big co-sleepers in our family, and I have enjoyed it. We tried on four separate occasions in Katie's development to let her "cry it out" in her crib, but that doesn't work with our child. It worked for me when I was a baby, but with Katie, she never gave in. Each time she cried herself into a frenzy, vomiting and making herself way too anxious and sick. I know that our decision to co-sleep her is not a popular one right now in child-rearing theories, but I also know that, for our first child, it was the right decision. Like her father, she is incredibly sensitive and sentimental, startling easily, showing high degrees of empathy (even when someone is frowning in a book), and several other traits. Her stress levels in her crib, especially while "crying it out" were way too high, and I did not want those stress hormones affecting her brain. In fact, one of the most challenging issues for me as a mother has been figuring out the right ways to discipline her without introducing too much conflict. I have really had to work on keeping my voice on even keels, taking much emotion out of the assignment of consequences, and making sure to diffuse her stress first. (This could probably be its own blog, actually). Conflict, stress, and anxiety are all emotions my husband and firstborn feel very, very deeply, even more deeply than I do. I have believed for a long time that, when the time was right for us to have her sleep alone, we all would know. So far, the past two nights, she has done really well.

We have made a HUGE deal out of her big girl bed. We read there first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, we cuddle there before sleeping, we spent a long time together cuddling and talking about each and every item in her room and who gave it to her. We talked about all the gifts Amie has made (quilt, birth announcement crosstitch, blankets, etc), the chandelier Boppa installed, the books her daddy and I gave her, how she was using all of my childhood furniture, etc. I know she is proud of her big girl bed. I also know that, for her, a big part of liking it is not feeling trapped in it as she felt with her crib. She was so pleased to give her crib away to her brother! I hope her transition to her bed continues to be so smooth... Although if there is one thing I have learned about children it is this: just when you think you have something figured out about them, you don't.

We've had our usual busy week this week! Art class, gymnastics, music... We found some time to bake orange-cardamom madeleines a couple of days ago. Katie enjoyed them the second day, and it was fun to use our madeleine pan again. It's one of those kitchen tools that has a very specific use, so we don't see it all that often. Madeleines are easy to make though, and one recipe never makes too many (like other cookie/cake recipes). I might look up some other varieties to try.

Well, I'd better wrap this up before Katie wakes up. She's sleeping in this morning, it appears!

Hope everyone has a beautiful first day of May!