Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Downtown Joy

Sneaking up on an old friend of mine, I discovered that (unbeknownst to me) she has taken up a new hobby and joined the blogging world! (The real blogging world... not the one that I am in). She has officially released her blog, offering readers a unique look at what Jamlando...uh, I mean, Orlando, has to offer. I must admit, I was surprised to see just how downtown savvy she is! She created a site that I thoroughly enJOYed reading and will be adding to my favorites! So if anyone is looking for fun, relaxation, or good food off the beaten Orlando path, you can find the downtownjoy scoop here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Does sleep really have to be so complicated??

I just laid my baby girl down for the night and can't help but wonder if how she got to sleep is really all that important. I've been thinking and reading A LOT about babies and sleep for over a week now and have come to only one completely conclusive point. It is incredibly important that babies get adequate sleep. A well rested baby = a happy baby. This was my mantra from the time Grace Louise was born and my motivation for using the Baby Wise routine (eat-play-sleep). I couldn't imagine that there might be bumps in the road as Grace Louise approached the infant/toddling transition. Bumps? Surely not! With her growing knowledge has come growing preferences. Who knew? Up until about two weeks ago, Grace Louise was truly the happiest baby I had ever come in contact with... and I'm not saying that just because she's mine!

While cutting her top teeth (she has five total now!) she decided that she didn't want to just rock to sleep, she wanted to now nurse (whereby changing our routine from eat-play-sleep to eat-play-eat-sleep). No big deal... UNLESS YOU'RE THE ONE FEEDING HER! In just one short week, it got so bad that I literally could not put my own daughter to sleep without nursing her (despite the routine we had all been enjoying for 6+ months!). It didn't help that I had become a bit lax on how much sleep time I offered. Overly ambitious about our summer fun, I planned too many outings too close together for my light sleeper (who rarely sleeps in a car seat). The long and short of it... she was one fatigued (and grouchy) baby! One night I fed her 3 times in 2 hours! And rocked all the time in-between. And still, no sleep! CIO method, here we come! With Jimmy's support, I put the crib rail up and let her cry it out. She was asleep in less than 30 minutes. I was in the office... crying.

After being out all the next day with a terribly fussy (sleepy) (poor) baby, I came home a nervous wreck and at my wits end with what to do with her. She was the poster child for fatigued babies and could not go to sleep with or without my help. Sounds torturous, doesn't it? (You're probably thinking I deserve it for taking my baby out all day following such a restless night. Hindsight's 20/20). Sleep had to become a priority again.

Last week Grace Louise and I were little hermits, not straying too far from the house. I held fast to our faithful eat-play-sleep routine with no more than two hours of wake time. I pushed through the first signs of resistance at the beginning of nap time and put her to sleep successfully with rocking and her paci. By the second day I saw dramatic results in her disposition (and probably in mine too!) My happy baby is back!

We let Grace Louise cry herself to sleep four nights. I was never completely comfortable with letting her "cry it out", but admit that she has benefited GREATLY from learning some self-soothing skills. Believe it or not, I think she is an even more secure child because of it. Nap times have been like clock-work, without even a whimper from the sleepy bambino. Since CIO, putting her to bed at night has been a breeze! And she's sleeping even longer hours! I'm thinking this is a Win-Win for everyone!

Night. Night. Sleep tight.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Memorial Day

Sporting Red, White, and Blue! And making sure we have fresh breath before our big day!

Grace Louise outgrew her swing months ago... or so I thought. I've been storing it in the garage, waiting for someone to give it to, when I discovered that it came in handy when working outside or in the garage. I figured out how to sit it up right, and Grace Louise just loves it now!

Spending time with cousins at the lake. I love this picture.

It's fun being 7 months!

Some random pics of Grace Louise enjoying her 7th month of life! I love to see all the new things she's learning to do. She is discovering so much right now... a variety of foods- most recently, whole wheat pasta...what it feels like to stand hard it is to sit back down...putting herself to sleep...what water in her mouth feels like...swimming...playing in the tub...talking in her own language (and a little in ours)...SWINGING!!!

pLaY dAtEs aT ThE lAkE!!! J

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My Birthday Face Lift

Happy Birthday to me! I've taken a new approach to celebrating my birthday this year. Not sure if I'm feeling a need to appreciate myself a bit more now that I'm a busy mommy or if this is me staking claim on my identity ... whatever the case, I've been celebrating my birth for an entire week! And it feels GREAT! Inspired by some friends, I've made a list of things I would like to do (or eat), chosen something small to do everyday, and prioritized that which makes me happy... starting with a Birthday Week Eve steak dinner on Sunday night. Mmmm...Gotta start things off right! Monday we spent the day with family on the lake and I went kayaking with my brother in the evening. So much fun! Tuesday I got to sleep in and read for pleasure during Grace Louise's nap. Wednesday I got a massage- need I say more??? Today is my actual birthday, and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast, hot tea, and time to browse the internet while Jimmy watched the baby. Now she's napping, and instead of my usual work routine, I've given my blog a face lift and am writing about random things like my birthday week. How crazy is that?!?!

I've got a few more things on my list that I would like to accomplish- oops, I mean enjoy- before the end of my Birthday Week. Supper at my mom's tonight, lobster prepared by my hubby tomorrow, and a hike and tiramisu some time before Sunday. My husband is going to be glad when this week is over ;-)

"Happy Birthday, Dear Emily, Happy Birthday to ... ME!"