Here are the afor promised Easter pics I managed to take of Gigi in her dress. Gabe, true to form, wouldn't look in the camera. His outfit was super cute though.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Yay for moving!
Mikal and I have moved a TON over the last two years, but never have I looked forward to a move as much as this one.
Our last place served it's purpose. It was dirt cheap, allowed us to pay off lots of debt, and was super close to Mike's work. However, it was SOO tiny! We were busting at the seams in that place. Gabe's toys took over every tiny room, and Gianna was left sleeping in the kitchen.
We took more time finding a place than we ever had before. We, finally, had a specific criteria in which to fill. Thank you, God, for three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a garage, and storage, storage, storage!! What a relief to finally have room to put things away!!
It's been, almost, two weeks since we got the keys, and we are mostly unpacked. I still need to put together Gigi's crib, but I can't wait to decorate their rooms for them!
The kids, the dog, Mikal and myself are all adjusting great!
The commute is a bit longer for Mike than the four blocks he's been driving, but he's handling it like a champ and says he "actually enjoys the quiet time in the car." Our new address puts us in South Hill, which could be a traffic nightmare, but from our location, is not bad at all. We are within blocks to accessing the back roads that take us off Meridian to the other ways to cut across the valley. And, lucky me, we are right next to the new "Sunrise Village" which has a Target, PetSmart, The Ram, and much more. Not to mention, the newer WalMart, and all your other major grocery stores including Winco...WOOHOO! I don't ever have to battle South Hill Mall traffice... unless, that is, I'm actually going to the mall;)
Gianna, my good child, is adjusting flawlessly. Never even a bad moment in her room on the first night. She quickly learned how to maneuver stairs from watching her brother and has now seen a baby gate for the first time in her little life. She's really coming along with her walking; getting braver everyday. She only chooses to crawl if she's in a hurry.
Gabe...ahhh Gabe, has SO much personality. He, too, is enjoying the new place. He loves the freedom of going places that Gigi can't get to. He teases her from the other side of the gate. He has also been granted "big boy status" and gets to eat most meals sitting at the table instead of the high chair, which he thinks is pretty cool.
The first few nights here, he was allowed to sleep with us. You may or may not know, but this just DOESN'T happen with us.
Now, before you think I'm mean, it's not us who say "no" to him, it's him that REFUSES to sleep with us. Mike would absolutely LOVE for him to sleep with us on a regular basis, however the kid can live off, seriously, NO SLEEP. Whenever Mike tries to bring him to bed with us, we spend an hour telling him to lay down, 30 min tackling him and trying to pin him down and and the next 30 trying to settle down the tears that come from the wrestling. By this time, usually Mike has fallen asleep and I get sick of the struggle and put him in his own room. OR, we both fall asleep, and he gets up, puts on a movie in the living room and starts to play. Then, he climbs in Gigi's crib and tries to wake her up. NOT Fun.
Anyway, after 3 nights of this, I was more than ready for him to be in his own bed. Then came the question, "to duct tape or not to duct tape?" The next 3 nights involved me laying in bed with him until he fell asleep, usually singing 90's Disney songs to him. (He probably fell asleep to get away from my horrible voice and missed lyrics.) But, like I previously stated, the kid can stay away FOR-EV-ER! So, laying in bed often lasted 45 min-1hr and on the third night, I actually fell asleep, too.
Enter, "The Spoon." Again, don't hate on me for being the meanest mom in the world. I spank only when my kid deserves it. I have been super frustrated with his temper tantrums and have been reading up on ways to deal with "The Strong Willed Child" (there is a book by that title. I highly recommend it.) My child needs structure and discipline. Not only will it make my life easier, but it helps him to be a happier, more well adjusted and socially behaved child and adult. (and, come on, that's what parenting is really all about, not my sanity...that's WAY down the list.)
The first night of the spoon went fairly well. He was very tired and didn't put up much fight anyway. He slept, for the first time in a full year, with his door open!! (He started crawling out of his crib at 15 months old.)
Night two was a different story. He was grumpy, Mike was gone, and I was stressed. It was a two hour battle. And, please, don't think that I spent two hours beating my child. It would start with ten minutes of attempted cuddling. To which, he would push me away or throw a pillow at me. I would then lay him down, yet again, kiss him good night (while being head-butted) and walk out of the room.
I held his door handle for 25 minutes, and he never stopped screaming or kicking the door. Never once. Then, I'd go back in and try to settle him down again...
At the hour mark, I broke out the spoon. I stood beside his bed, and everytime he stuck his leg over the side, towards the ground, he got a swat on the thigh.
This was a long hour.
I don't like spanking him, in fact, it breaks my heart to hear him cry, but I was determined to make it work. Once he was in bed, with both feet up, I would slowly back towards the door. If he tried to follow, I'd go back in and swat his leg. I'd make it out the door and wait for him there. This took so long, and I was afraid I'd lose it. Thank God for Christia, who by the hand's off God, was awake at 1 or 2 am in Iowa, and let me vent my frustrations to her.
After two FULL hours of G screaming and crying, he finally wore himself out and I was able to tuck him in, one last time, and scratch his back, for 5 last minutes, until he fell asleep.
I was DREADING bed time again. But this time, a miracle happened: Gabe respected The Spoon! It took 5 min and 3 swats and he was in bed and asleep in minutes!
I know, SHUT-THE-FRONT-DOOR!
I was so shocked! And, get this, he's done that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT SINCE! No duct tape. No severe screaming, and no 2 hour bed time routines! I, simply, carry him upstairs (in tears, still) and lay him down. We do a quick bed time routine that involves a Lion King/Little Mermaid song or two and the tucking of the blankets. I kiss him good night, which is where he starts to freak out and I have to be very careful of avoiding fat lip causing head butts. Then I take out the spoon and start to back away. He starts flailing and kicks all his covers off, but if he sticks a leg over the side, he gets a swat. Now, however, after one, he pulls his legs up if he sees me coming. Then I back out of the room, door open, and he calms down within 30 seconds. He then pulls up his own covers, rolls over and FALLS ASLEEP!
I am SO amazed at how well it has worked for him. I love that, eventually, bedtime can be a nice time for he and I, and it might not be too far off.
Tonight, I heard Gigi fussing on the monitor and went to check on her. He heard me, sat up and said, "hi," but when I told him to lay back down, HE DID, without a single peep!
I feel so much better about him right now, I was started to get pretty down on myself.
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, I am SOSOSO excited to go with my bestest BFF, JEN, to her BIG ULTRASOUND this week! Yay, Yay, Yay! I'm so happy that she lets me be so involved with everything. She really lets me play my annoying know-it-all role without complaint! I can't wait to find out what's she's having and then impose my over-opinionated names upon her. ...and then there's the shower to start planning.... so much to do!
Soon, I'll post some of the super cute pics of Gigi from Easter!