Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dylan!

We had a wonderful time celebrating Dylan's second birthday with all our family {and friends, too}. The rain held off, for the most part, and everyone had a blast!

The birthday boy...Here's Anna Claire getting to know Mrs. Lori, who will be her play~school teacher next year. This is a good sign! The children loved the pinata ~ and the fruit chews inside even more!
Mallory thought she was hot stuff riding Dylan's new scooter ~ even though she needed some help from Cousin Danielle.
Cousins on the back porch...
My sweeties...

On an unrelated note, it has to be noted that Mallory has taken to calling me Lisa at bedtime when she isn't exactly getting her way. Stinker!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hanging In There

I will not dare say the sleep situation has gotten better for fear of early-calling it again, but we're not ready to throw in the towel...yet.

The napping situation this weekend was a fiasco, as expected, with this girls not falling asleep until between 2:30-3:00. This is typically the time they are waking up from their naps. As a result, I had to wake them up for fear if they slept too late in the afternoon then we really would have our hands full at bedtime.

I do think we've made some gains at bedtime, though. Mallory was asleep tonight in under thirty minutes after only leaving the bed maybe twice which is a vast improvement. Anna Claire was asleep in under an hour; however, I think she may have left the room somewhere around 20 times. I am not joking. And, while Anna Claire has slept all night long since night one and has been the last one up in the morning, Mallory has been waking up around 3 am since night two {taking about an hour to get back to sleep} and has been the first one up each morning ~ around 6:30 am.

As exhausting as it is to do this Super Nanny-style, the girls are making it easy on us in one way ~ by not crying!!! I think this has made it a little easier for us to stick to our guns because I think it is so important they learn to fall asleep on their own in their new beds ~ just like they've always done in their cribs. Nevertheless, any and all advice is welcome!

An "Incident"

That's what Walter called it. While I was at Publix, Cody knocked down Anna Claire while they both tried to get through the porch door. Apparently she landed face~first on the concrete. I wouldn't be surprised if she had Pooh in one hand and Piglet in the other ~ you know she's got to protect those lovies!

I'd like to say it looks worse in the picture than in real life, but that wouldn't be true...
Walter said there was only a little blood and she didn't cry for very long. Her little nose and forehead look awful, but she seems just fine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Good Night's Sleep...Finally

We made a plan, stuck to it, and it worked!

The girls went to bed at 7 pm. This time both Anna Claire and Mallory were up and out their beds. Both girls would take their turns opening the door, though only Mallory would come out the room. I think I walked her back to her bed no less that 157 times last night over about an hour and a half. No crying, NO temper tantrums, just some fussing, whining, and moaning. Never anything but giggles from Anna Claire. Both girls always got back in their beds willingly, even if they didn't stay there long.

The door stopped opening around 8:30ish, and by 8:45 all was quiet. We went in to check on them at 9pm ~ Anna Claire was asleep in her bed and Mallory was asleep in the rocker. Sweet girl, all she kept asking me to do last night was rock her.

It's 6:30 am and they are still asleep. That's right, we slept all night long. Yay, Anna Claire and Mallory! Mommy is so proud of you!

I've always believed in the three day rule when it comes to establishing new routines with the girls, and I'm counting last night as night #1. Thankfully the weekend is here, though it does Bring with it the challenge of nap time in their new beds.

We're not home free yet, but I hope we're on our way. Last night was so encouraging {and so much easier that I thought it would be}, and I am so proud of the girls! I think we can do this!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Girl Beds

The girls' cribs {which I love, love, love and already miss so much} do not convert, and I didn't feel like we had time to order something and wait for delivery with Mallory so skillfully able to get out of anything we tried to corral her in, so after coming to the swift decision early Wednesday morning {after very long Tuesday night} that we needed to move the girls into toddler beds immediately, I went out yesterday to see what I could find.

Note: If you need a toddler bed {or two} in a hurry and live in the Charleston area, your choices are severely limited.

My advice: Order your bed{s} before you need it! If you're anything like me, you like to do your research and want to have plenty of time to make an informed decision, and you'll want to save yourself the frustration I went through yesterday.

I went everywhere I could possibly think to go {do not tell me if I missed somewhere we did not think of} and ended up getting the only beds I could find that were not Cars, Spider~man, Barbie, or plastic ~ two basic white wooden toddler beds from Babies 'R' Us. They're cute and match the girls "cottage" style furniture just fine, but they're not what I would have chosen if I'd had more time {heck, if I'd had more time, either the girls would be old enough for bunk beds, or we'd be living in a new house with bedrooms big enough for the two twin beds I would have already ordered from the same store I got the girls' furniture}.

We got the beds all set up and made up for the girls' when they got home from my parents' house, and the only thing I didn't have time to do was hem the bed skirts we had on their cribs. I bought them each a bed pillow, and we pulled down the quilts and throw pillows that go with their crib bedding in addition to two embroidered pillows they were given as newborns and lots of lovies! I'll have to take a proper picture of their new beds all made up later because they were all over those beds before I could even get my camera out.

Here they are having a blast wallowing all over their new beds...

And here's the great news...Anna Claire stayed in her bed and slept peacefully all night long!
And here's the not~so~great news...Mallory did not.

It took Mallory from 7:00 to around 8:30 pm to fall asleep which isn't too bad considering the past couple nights. Sadly though, she was up from her bed around 12:30 am and did not go back to sleep until 5 am...exhausting for us all {except for Anna Claire who slept through everything}. At least now that Mallory is in a bed where she is safe we can work to teach her to stay in her new bed and reteach her to sleep through the night once again. Lord, help us!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh, What a Night, Part 3

Welcome to the world little Finley Lennox! Anna Claire and Mallory's first girl cousin arrived last night {or early this morning, depending on how you want to look at it}. I think Mallory and I may have actually been awake around the time she was born. Interesting how the last few nights have been reminiscent of the girls' sleeping patterns as newborns.

Oh, What a Night, Part 2

Another long night...taking the day off to shop for toddler beds!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh, What a Night

Last night Mallory figured out how to get herself out her crib. Oh, goodness, I'm afraid it's all over but the shoutin' ~ literally!

The evening got off to a bumpy start when it took us an hour to get home from my parents' house because of a car accident and a totally ridiculous detour {should have seen this as a sign}. As a result, dinner, bath, and bedtime were a little rushed because I needed to get to a budget meeting. I got home around 9pm to find out Mallory had just woken up screaming {not at all typical, but it happens} and Walter was rocking her back to sleep.

Thirty minutes later she was still awake, so I offered to take over...

An hour and a half more of rocking including a quick switch off with Walter and she was still awake ~ totally content to lay in my arms and be rocked and completely unwilling to be placed back in her crib. But two hours of this??? It was time for her to get back in her crib and go to sleep. My fear was that I could be sitting there rocking her all night, but that maybe if we put her in her crib, she would just cry for five minutes or so and put herself to sleep. While I really do not like to let the girls cry-it-out, at this point, I thought that might actually mean more sleep for us all in the long run.

So I put her back in her crib, and to say she totally freaked out and screamed her head off until she gagged and heaved would be an understatement {but that would not have been the first time that night ~ and it would not be the last}.
After putting her down, I walked out to the kitchen to talk to Walter and find out what he thought we should try next if she didn't fall asleep quickly since it really didn't seem like anything was wrong with her. I think I was out there less than a minute when we realized the screaming we were hearing was no longer coming from the monitor on the counter but was coming down the hallway instead. To say I totally freaked out would also be an understatement because upon realizing she actually got out the crib by herself, I was sure she had either a broken bone {or two, or three} or a concussion.
Now, those of you who know Mallory well also know she is one tough little girl. After a very close inspection of all body parts with not a single bump, bruise, or sore spot in sight, Mallory was all smiles asking to be rocked and even wanting to get down from my arms so she could let Cody out. Seriously!
Back to the nursery for more rocking and a hour later {three hours total} she was finally asleep at midnight...until 5:15am when she was up screaming again and out her crib and down the hallway before Walter and I even realized what was happening.
So, where is this all coming from? Tummy ache? Bad dream? Separation anxiety now that spring break is over? As far as I know, she has never tried to get out the crib until last night and she's really been keeping that little temper of hers in check lately. But to be so upset over something that she had to propel herself out her crib to get to us...?
I don't know if this was a good idea or not because I certainly do not want to encourage her to climb out the crib, but I had her show me how she was getting out because, for my peace of mind, I needed to know if she was clumsily falling out or if she was somehow carefully climbing out. Let me just say the method this girl has for getting herself up, over, and out is purely acrobatic. I think we have a future gymnast on our hands; imagine Shawn Johnson hoisting herself up onto the uneven bars, and gracefully hopping down again...terrifying when it's your almost-two-year-old.

What now?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

At Least They Tried to Clean Up Their Mess

Here's what I found the girls up to a couple days after Easter...
They had already seen me vacuum up the Easter basket grass once; needless to say, the baskets were put away as soon as I finished helping them clean up the mess they had made.

Spring Break '10

The weather this week has been gorgeous, and we've spent every possible moment outside enjoying the sunshine!
Sadly, tomorrow I'm going back to work, but the nice weather isn't going anywhere, so the girls will be able to play outside all week. I'm already looking forward to the weekend!

Friday, April 9, 2010

We Love the Zoo!

We've been trying to get to Riverbanks ever since it started to warm up, and we finally made it Monday. The girls had so much fun. There was so much for them to see their little eyes could hardly take it all in! These are just a few of the many, many animals we saw...

Anna Claire and Mallory both almost flipped over all the monkeys!

Anna Claire, Mallory, Connor, and Dylan each patted the giraffe on the nose. Anna Claire could have fed the giraffe lettuce from her hand, but she just threw it at him instead.

Taking a train ride...

We had a perfect day at the zoo, and I cannot wait to take the girls back. We left right after breakfast, got there about 10 AM, visited almost all of the exhibits, had lunch, and we were pulling out the parking lot at 1 PM. Perfect timing!
The 1 1/2 hour drive home...

She did eventually fall asleep.

Snappy Strap Cover

I take a lot of pictures of the girls ~ almost daily. Earlier this week, for example, I pulled 600+ pictures off my camera from the last three months {of course, only a small number of those end up here, but I can't delete anything!}. Needless to say, I love my new-ish camera and especially love taking pictures of Anna Claire and Mallory.

I also love browsing the Internet for camera accessories and had been admiring cute camera straps for the longest time when it dawned on me just yesterday that I could make one for much less than I could buy one. I googled "camera strap tutorial" last night and, sure enough, this is what I found {among many others}.

This is the easiest thing I have sewn from scratch, by far {as one might expect, I guess}...
my new camera strap slip cover
I followed the directions almost to a T ~ I serged the seams/raw edges and used my gathering attachment to add the gathers to the solid pink so it has some texture {I saw a strap on-line with similar gathering and thought it was cute}. You might say making the strap cover was a snap!from start to finish, I completed this in under 45 minutes, and like the directions said, the hardest part was turning it right~side out! Now, I'm off to snap some more pictures of the girls...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dying Easter Eggs and Watching the Grass Grow

The girls and I finally had the chance to dye Easter eggs together...what a mess, but so much FUN!With Spring Break being after Easter, the girls and I didn't have much time to get crafty before Easter, but we did make a nifty centerpiece for our kitchen table. I don't think the girls were as fascinated watching grass grow as I was, but they did enjoy the quiche! ;-)

A Little More Easter Fun...

We do holidays BIG, so I just had to share a few more pictures from Easter Sunday.

Cousins on the trampoline... Getting their feet wet...
No, it wasn't that hot on Sunday...
But the girls couldn't resist the kiddie pool...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Fun!

The Easter Bunny came and brought the girls all sorts of goodies...including LOTS of chocolate! The girls ate a few m & m's and some chocolate eggs Easter morning, but they did not like the jelly beans. Don't worry, Mommy has already taken all the candy and hidden it away from the girls in the pantry. ;-)
Checking things out...
Hmmm...I wonder what could be in these eggs?

First taste of Easter chocolate - not so bad...
Mallory loves her rain boots...
...and Anna Claire loves her harmonica...

Again, happy Easter, everyone!