Forget brown paper packages tied up with strings. FORGET 'EM, YALL. Here, not that you asked, are a few of my favorite things of late.
The Ok to Wake clock.
Courtesy of Amazon.com, found here.
You guys. Those 5am-ish wake ups were getting so bad I seriously, truly thought I was going to have to be committed. Especially when they were combined with a two hour bedtime "routine". And by "routine" I do mean my kid not staying in his &^%$#@% big boy bed, instead choosing to open and slam his door a bajillion times, empty his dresser drawers, strip naked and yell "NAKED!" over and over again, etc. So a few hours missing sleep at night, a few hours missing sleep in the morning, combined with naps that lasted barely long enough for me to feed the dog, much less eat lunch in peace and read 29 blogs ... and it was all very bad. Crabby kid, crabby mom, people dashing off in the opposite direction when they saw this crabby hot mess coming. UNTIL! This clock! It's a lifesaver. My boy likes very clearly defined expectations - ambiguity doesn't a happy Bug make. Case in point: our last visit to CA. Remember? When he woke up at 3am? The next night at bed time, I told him he wasn't allowed to get up until the lights came on outside. Done deal, he waited until sunrise, then yelled "mama, LIGHTS!" and on with our vacation we went. So this clock is pretty much the same idea, in $30 form. No getting up until the green light comes on. We wrapped it up in gift wrap and made a big show of giving him this superawesome gift, then explained he wasn't allowed to get out of his room until the green light came on in the morning. I set the 'wake up' time (starting way earlier than I wanted to, but working our way up by 10 minutes each morning), he understands we won't be coming for him until the green light, so he may as well a) stay asleep or b) find something quiet to do in his room. And it's WORKING! He's sleeping later each day, and if he does wake early, he's looking at books quietly (if nakedly) in his room. And there's a nap timer too! My only tiny slight beef with it is that the face plate I wanted to use (it comes with two) was a green bug. But, hello? Tell a 2.75 year old to wait for the clock to turn green when part of it is green? Confusing, right? So pink flower it is. Whatever. It could have a purple sparkly Minnesota Viking helmet on it, for all I care, as long as it keeps working to restore sanity to our home.
The Ferbs Book.
Oh, Ferbs. You were good to me in Winter 2009 when a 6 month old Mister A was waking every 90 minutes to feed, you were good to me in Fall 2010 when an 8 month old Vivi thought she was a newborn, and low and behold, you came in quite handy here in Summer 2011 when the toddler bed made mommy a (temporary semi) alcoholic. It was kind of a duh moment, reading through chapter 5 on limit setting. You remove the bars of the crib, and this removes a representation of the parents' authority, so new limits must be set and held firmly to. Just as you once limited your baby to a crib and helped him learn that crib means sleep and no amount of protesting will change that, you limit a bed-sleeping toddler to his room and don't give in to his attempts to push those limits and gain control. Pretty much what I'm saying is we made his room one ginormous uninteresting crib (minus a few books and his fancy new clock), and left him in there. (Pretty much what Anne told me to do, but it was Dr. Ferber who finally got it through my head.) So we don't go in to put him back in bed, we don't go up if he's taken his shirt off, we ignore his requests for cookies. And eventually, he crawls in his bed and goes to sleep. I mean, duh? I also came to learn we were likely expecting too much sleep from him at this age, so we're following Dr. F's advice and correcting the timing and distribution of sleep. In English, that means we're putting him down later and not expecting naps to last longer than two hours. Though we can still pray they do, I mean, it can't hurt.
Courtesy of my friend Megan, who I'll have to thank when I'm 200 pounds on a skinny day.
Um, it is SO GOOD. Since leaving Texas, where I had Iron Cactus guac and MIL's guac, I've had a hole in my heart where good guac once lived. Hole filled. Chop up a ripe tomato, stir it in, and devour it while you blog. Which I just did, and had scraped the bowl clean before I knew it. Oops.
Move it, Move it
Courtesy of Reel 2 Reel, 1994
Bug heard this playing in the car a few weeks ago and is ob-freaking-sessed. I love watching him move it, move it.