Posts Tagged ‘favorite things’

Enter Sandman

Exit light | Enter night
Take my hand |We’re off to never-never land

Dreaded Sleep. Everyone I live with is terrible at it. She may be cute as a peach, but Maisie is the worst at night, and daytime naps are a gamble. Wesley has “a scary imagination,” in his own words, which keeps him from resting peacefully. Some nights he’s up for two hours trying to settle himself into slumber. Steven is the lightest sleeper you’ve ever known, startling at any noise (ahem, my snores) and tossing around.

Every night I pray for stamina and endurance and to not get annoyed. I’ve adapted enough that either I 1) drift off quickly (and have one ear open) or 2) function enough on adrenaline to get by. But lately I feel like my life is spent trying to get these three people to sleep, and I’ve tried SO MANY PRODUCTS to survive aid us.

BOOKS
The Natural Baby Sleep Solution (fascinating and pretty accurate)
The Wonder Weeks (just as helpful as with Wesley!)

IN THE BED
Angel Dear lovies (Wes named his “Didi” and so naturally that’s what Maisie will call hers)
Cloud B Twilight Turtle (Wes still sleeps with it at night)
Weighted blanket (A perfect Christmas present! Seems to work well!)
Nested Bean Zen Classic weighted swaddle
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit (it’s helping, a little)

BED ACCESSORIES
DreamTents bed tent (makes him feel cozy and safe)
Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother (seems to be more distracting than soothing)
Marpac Dohm sound machine (hands down the best)

SLEEP AIDS
RMO Counting Sheep essential oil roller (if nothing else, he smells good)
Lavender essential oil in a difuser
Nuby Soothing teething tablets
Melatonin (so far, this has helped Wes tremendously, but I am cautious about its regular use)

This list looks crazy long. While some things work for a time, the one thing that works every time is, well, time. And proximity. That is, every family member sleeps if they’re physically touching me.

We’re trying a secondary self-soothing technique for Maisie, since I can’t handle another night of crying-it-out. (Steven wins all the awards for his stubbornness. It’s because of ME that we’re even in this mess!) It involves fading – staying right by her side as she falls asleep and slowly moving further away each night. I haven’t yet made it past the crib because she loves holding my hand and trying to grab the hair that falls as I lean into her crib.

My aching back and nearly-numb limbs get a good stretch as I make my way back to our bedroom throughout the night – sometimes as many as four times.

And then there’s sweet Wesley, who hates to be alone, fears the dark and works himself up over strange outside noises. Steven helps get him ready for bed, and I’ll pop in to say goodnight after Maisie’s stable. Some nights it’s thirty minutes before I can calm her down, and I’ll later find Wes with a book and a flashlight.

“Mama, can you stay with me?”

He prefers that I crawl into his bed tent with his comforting lights and weighted blanket and stuffed animal friends and pray and talk until he gets drowsy. Some of the best conversations happen under that tent! I used to get so upset over his dependence; I now (usually) cherish this time.

After I’ve comforted the two kids, there’s hardly an evening left for me to enjoy. Many nights I don’t have the right attitude and grumble over the sacrifice. I sigh and complain and throw the bedcovers to the side. I pray with desperation and plead, “PLEEEEEEASE let us sleep tonight!”

Instead my focus should be praying for discernment. I recently heard a speaker share a few best practices for mothers. Turn my worries into prayers. “What do I do now?” becomes “Show me how to _____ “

This season will pass. Someday. My kids will likely never know how their concerned mother worried over their sleeping habits. I hope they only know how well we loved them.

[With wisdom and understanding] 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. -Proverbs 3:24

Posted: February 27th, 2019
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Confessions from an Aging Off-Brand Consumer

tasteeosI’m one of those people who buys things on sale, uses coupons and frequently purchases store brand items to save some money. This is one of the things that drives Steven most nuts because he has a specific preference on many items. Throughout our marriage, I’ve learned it’s best to go ahead and buy the $4 box of Cheerios, but I still skimp on products that only I use.

The ironic thing here is that I’m an advertising graduate in a marketing and communications career. You’d think I would be highly brand loyal, but with the exception of make-up and soda, I’m all over the place.

However, the last several appointments to the dentist, eye doctor and hair salon have led me to make major changes, including brand non-loyalty. I realize I’m not old, but man, I’m starting to feel oldER based on the scolding I’ve received in the last few months. And everyone asked me what products I was using.

“Your teeth are fine, but you have gingivitis pretty bad. If you don’t change your dental hygiene, you could lose your teeth in a few decades or less.”

I guess I’ve always known that I could treat my gums better, but this was a wake-up call. I ditched my 6-month-old toothbrush and bought an electronic Sonicare 2 Series with plaque control. I’ve liked it so well that I bought the kids’ version for Wes (and it has an app, of course!). Twice daily I use dentist-recommended POH dental floss and follow up with Listerine mouthwash, which replaced my Target brand substitutes.

“Your corneas are pitted along the bottoms of both eyes. It’s reverseable, but if you don’t change your habits…this is how people lose their eyes.”

I was floored. I’ve never had eye health issues other than needing contacts/glasses. I started to blame it on my 2-month delayed appointment and I made my contacts last that much longer, but this new eye doc quizzed me well. How long do you wear your contacts? How much screen time in a day? How long do you use the same contact lens case? She asked these AFTER she noted my pitted eyes, and then firmly told me to change what I was doing.

Did you know that you’re supposed to use a different contact case every two months? I’m also guilty for keeping solution in the case for far too long. I swapped out my off-brand solution for her recommended BioTrue and now regularly insert Refresh Tears eye drops to keep my eyes moist until they heal.

“Yeah…your hair could be healthier.” (This was the nicest of the recent “fear tactics” by far.)

I don’t often get my hair cut, but I’ve had an unusual amount of breakage that I’ve never attributed to less-frequent trims. I blame it on last fall’s Atlanta escapades, where I lost my toiletries and had to use hotel products that possibly ruined my hair. Possibly my hair was already ruined?

This week I started a hair repair strategy with Argan oil – replacing my drugstore, whatever’s-on-sale shampoo. It involves a hair mask procedure, which tacks on an additional 10 minutes, but until I chop off several inches later this year, my fingers are crossed that it will help. I’m using nothing fancy here, just something I found on Amazon, but again…hopeful. I also pulled out some (rare, in the cabinet name-brand) products I haven’t used in a while – Kenra Blow-Dry Spray and Silkening Gloss.

Never have I felt dirtier and more embarrassed. Each doctor/specialist assured me that my hygiene wasn’t bad, per se; rather my body has been able to tolerate a lot over the years, and now, well, it can’t. Next month is another birthday, and I’ve got to get my body into shape by changing not just the routine, but the things I use. Did you SEE all the name brands above?!

Steven jokes that my time spent getting ready in the morning and before bed has more than doubled, but I’m really trying to make good, healthy choices before things get out of control. This extends into other areas of my life, too, as I leave my early 30s and enter mid 30s. Somehow that slight age difference seems older, scarier and more permanent.

My hope is that next appointments will be full of praise, but I’ll probably still buy off-brand cotton balls and bandages and the occasional “Tastee-Os” to offset the cost of my new splurges.

Do you have experience with any must-have product I need to try?

Posted: April 10th, 2016
Categories: Leah
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Favorite Things: Wes Edition

Few words but many smiles

I still haven’t taken his Month 8 photos, so instead, here’s a list of The Favorite Things of Wes.

Food – This kid eats a lot. Well, I guess I don’t really know for certain, but he seems to eat more than the other kids his age. This isn’t saying much because the 2 little people his age that we see most often are teeny tiny girls somewhere between the 15-25th percentiles. A typical day includes: 8 oz bottle for breakfast, smaller bottle mid-morning, with a few snacks in between. 4-6 oz of solid, pureed food for lunch, followed by another bottle. Then a late afternoon or evening bottle comes before a dinner of another 4-6 oz of pureed food.

I really like making his food. I’ll order specific veggies and fruits from our Green B.E.A.N. home delivery service and plan out my Sunday afternoon of food-making. I skip making apple sauce and just buy a huge jar of natural stuff at the store, but man, I love scooping out the tender flesh and juices of squash and sweet potatoes, steaming greens, pears and coming up with interesting combinations. He’ll pretty much eat it all – given it’s got some sweetness to it.

  • Bananas – STELLAR
  • Apple sauce – Love it, like whoa
  • Pears – It’s sweet, so therefore, he’ll eat it.
  • Green beans – Yes.
  • Broccoli – Amazingly, positive.
  • Squash – Meh. Only good when “hidden” within others.

I use a Ninja food processor and loooooove it. It’s fast, easy to clean and only has one button (on the top!). We make smoothies with it, and I’ve also been treating myself to “ice cream” (frozen banana + peanut butter + cocoa) on these unseasonably warm nights.

Then, I freeze the food in one-ounze cube silicone trays, pop them out into freezer bags the next day and store them in my deep freeze, all labeled and ready to go. It’s super fun to pick out the menu for the day.

Baby Mum-Mum – We recently rediscovered these rice husk crackers. Meaning, I had bought them and Wes wasn’t ready for them and it was a waste of his time, but now he squeals at the sight of the bag. They’re great. Fast-dissolving, I don’t worry about him choking on these things, and he loves to grasp it. I usually have to fight off the dogs when he’s eating one, however. And I love hearing that sweet little noise of cracker scraping against his bottom teeth. He feels like hot stuff when he eats one of these babies.

Vtech Baby’s Learning Laptop – This was a Christmas present from Pa & Nana. If he sees it across the room, he grunts until you bring it to him. With the lights, sounds and music, who could resist pounding it?

Ambi Twin Rattle – Another Christmas present, but from Grandma and Grandpa. I find myself playing with this addictive & captivating gear toy.

OBall – Easily picked up and thrown by little hands, Wes can’t get enough of this ball. We can spend 10 or more minutes rolling it back and forth. You can see the excitement he feels as his arms and legs spread wide and his hands open and close quickly. Can’t go wrong with an Oball or two!

Taggie Blanket – This small blanket is quickly becoming Wes’ lovie. He instantly relaxes and sports sleepy eye when he grabs it. The little silky tags around the sides find their way into his mouth, in his grasp and over his face. It’s a perfect size, and it probably should be washed.

Homedics Soundspa Projector – Once all snuggled in his jammies, tucked into his crib with his lovie, Wes enjoys a light show on the ceiling as he falls asleep. I did a lot of research on baby projectors, and this one seems to be the best in most categories: price, timer, movement and interchangeability. He cranes his neck to see the display even before he’s lying in his crib, so I know he likes watching the jumping sheep fly across his ceiling. We’ll be taking this with us when we travel this summer.

My kid has good taste.

Posted: March 27th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.


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