Quickies

It has been 16 days since my last cigarette. I still think about it a lot. It helps that the weather is bitter cold. I still haven’t settled on something to replace it, per se.

**

It has been six days since Bun has given up the binky. I still am quite surprised at how easy it was (knock wood). Nap time on the weekends is not going very smoothly (she’s napped one hour or two — down from three hours — or declined to nap at all), but bedtime is pretty easy. She cries a little extra as I’m putting her down in her crib, but she is usually sleeping by the time I’m singing Monkey lullabies.

**

The girls were noisy tonight. So.Frickin’.Loud. Happy loud: singing, laughing, banging maracas together. Unhappy loud: crying, screaming. From the time I picked ’em up at daycare until about 8:15 p.m., when I got them in bed.

Instead of the vacuum game (where I “chase” them around the room with the vacuum — it’s the only way I can get my rug vacuumed) we played the “march straight upstairs, I’m reading you three books” game. Monkey seemed to like it fine, but that Bun. She cannot sit still or stop babbling for anything.

I love her spirit, but, man, I wish she would give it a rest.

**

I know I have written a ton on Bun lately. She is, right now, my more challenging and changing child. Monkey is well, though, and proving to be whip smart. I hope to have more to say about her soon.

**

Remember how long it took me to get Christmas up around here? Well, it’s taking about that long to come down too.

Sometimes Your Kids Can Surprise You

Some time around Christmas, I decided that Bun was going to be weaned from the binky (her pacifier for those of you who use a different term).

And I dreaded it. But I had done the research; I had gotten lots of opinions (thanks, all!) And I knew it had to be done.

I didn’t want to do it right on her birthday — happy birthday, give me that #%$* binky!

So I decided to do it the day after. I gathered up all the binkies that morning in a special “Binky Fairy” box. Bun was supposed to help me with this activity, but she ended up with one in her mouth and two in each hand. So that part of the plan didn’t work out so well. But eventually, I got them all in there.

I let Bun know that the Binky Fairy was going to come get the binkies and leave her a toy. We had been talking about this for a few days already.

I dreaded nightfall. First of all, it was the same day of my Uncle P’s funeral, and I was wiped out. Second, I just thought she would be crying all night long, and we would have a repeat of Monday night. Third, I thought it was going to take a few nights.

At the wake, I mentioned binky-weaning to a few of my cousins. Some of them had gone through it with their kids, too. The prevailing attitude was: it’s tough, but stick to it. One of my cousins said, “That was a long two weeks.”

“Two weeks!” I cried. “I read two to five days!”

She considered. “That’s probably right,” she said. “But it sure seemed like two weeks.”

B-Day came. I had already thrown away all the binkies at a remote location (the same place the Binky Fairy picked up Bun’s new toy, coincidentally enough). At bedtime Bun climbed up in my lap for her book.

I started to read.

“Binky,” Bun said. As in, “Just a gentle reminder, mommy dearest, but at this time of night I usually get a pacifier to go with my bedtime story.”

“No binky,” I said as matter-of-factly (if that’s even a word) as I could.

Bun started to slide out of my lap. “Binky!” she said more firmly. As in, “I think you misunderstood me, mother. Or you clearly as losing your wits. I get a binky, woman, and I get it now.”

I pulled her back onto my lap. “Do you want a book, or do you want to go to bed?”

“Binky?” with hope in her little voice.

“No binky,” I reminded her gently. “Book?”

So we read a book. She needed to be rocked an extra 10 minutes. And then, after I got Monkey in bed, another 15 minutes. And then she cried piteously for half an hour.

And then she fell asleep. And although I heard her fussing a couple of times in the night, she did not wake up screaming for her binky.

Last night, she asked for her binky once. She didn’t need any extra rocking. And she just fell asleep.

I am sure that by writing about it, I will have jinxed it.

But maybe not. Maybe I overestimated the role of the binky in Bun’s life.

We’ll see. Could it really be this easy? Oh, man, I hope so.

Wake-Up Call

I went for the fourth cup of coffee this morning. I have been successful to cutting down to three cups — I was actually toying with the idea of starting to go to half regular and half decaf. Not today.

Why is it that my children can blissfully sleep in until 7:30 or 8 o’clock on the weekends (sometimes even 8:30)? But during the week, they wake up five minutes before my alarm goes off??

This morning, Bun was screaming at 5:25 a.m. Binky replacement and a little rocking got her back to dozing at least. However, in the meantime, Monkey had awoken and was now perched on the edge of my bed. I got her to lay down, but snooze time was lost to elbows, knees, and deep sighs.

I am seriously dragging here. I am trying to get to work around 7 a.m. for the next week or so. I have a lot of details to take care of to get Monkey all set for school, so I’m trying to leave around 3:30 in the afternoons. Yesterday it was her varicella vaccination (that’s chickenpox to you and me) and school supply shopping (let’s see if those supplies actually stay out of Monkey’s hands for a week. I’m betting against it). Tomorrow it’s a visit to the new daycare.

In the meantime I have to clean my house, because my brother, sister-in-law, and their three boys are staying the weekend there with my children. This is good, though, because DearDR and I are celebrating our anniversary — not in our house! (Honestly, our plans are so very lame, I’m not going to even mention them.)

I will get sleep this weekend. I hope I make it to then!

***************

Okay, I keep hoping my camera will be resurrected. In the meantime, what would you suggest I get? I would like some inexpensive, user-friendly options, but you can go ahead and tell me what you would buy if price were no object, too. (Price is definitely an “object” — a big, fat obstacle-type object.)

Random Thoughts: Really Random

Bun had this again — or something like it, anyway. Her throat was covered in sores.

This type of virus is an enterovirus. Know what that means? Means it lives on poop.

Now I know that Bun puts a lot of stuff in her mouth, but I didn’t think much of it was covered in poop.

I suspect the joint baths will have to come to an end. See, Bun drinks any type and form of liquid she can get to her mouth, including bath water.

And Monkey, as a fairly new potty user and as a 3-year-old, isn’t the best at wiping the hind parts. I try to help her out, but — as per the age — she is pretty insistent at “doing it by myself”.

So, yeah, my evenings just got even more difficult! But it will be worth it if Bun never, ever gets another virus with throat ulcers.

*******************

Bun said Monkey’s name, finally. I just about melted from the adorableness.

*******************

Remember my brilliant solution to getting Monkey to sleep in her own bed?

It worked for less than two weeks, peeps. She’s back in my bed.

I need a Plan… D or E. I forget what I’m on.

********************

And because of how sick she was, Bun had the binky all the time for about five days. So now I’m re-weaning her off of daytime use. It sucks. If that girl sees a binky, she is miserable. Sigh.

Onward and upward I suppose. Although I’m not sure what that means in this context!

To Binky or Not to Binky?

Actually, I know the answer to this question.

I know I should wean Bun from the binky (what I call the pacifier– also known as a paci, nuk, etc.). I know I should.

She only gets it at nap time and bedtime, so actually we are doing pretty good. Oh, and on long car trips.

When she is awake, when/if she sees it, she freaks out when I don’t give it to her. But I don’t. So I’ve been dealing with those tantrums. (Not always well, but dealing.)

Given her history of ear infections, she especially should be weaned, because sucking on a pacifier at this age seems to add to the risk.

I’ve had two doctors tell me to wean her immediately, one who encouraged me to wean her when she was feeling better (one of our sick visits), one doctor (on her 1-year-old well visit) tell me that a binky at bedtime was fine until about 4 years of age, and a chiropractor who told me the binky was just fine because the sucking helped the cranial adjustment (or something like that).

The unvarnished truth is: I don’t want to wean her. I don’t want to deal with the crying and the loss of sleep. I don’t want the fight.

I’m a tired mama.

Here’s the thing about being a mother in your late-30s to young children: It is physically harder, because you don’t just bounce back from stuff the way you did in your 20s. I would contend that it’s emotionally harder, too, because you’re a little more selfish. Up until you had kids in your 30s, it was mostly about you (and depending on when you partnered up, about your partner) and your needs.

My best friend N made the same point on the phone the other day. She has a very active 2-year-old boy (which may be the most redundant phrase I have ever typed on this blog), and she said playing with him is exhausting. She would rather he just play by himself.

I, personally, find playing with very young children boring. How many times can we do that puzzle? How long do I have to blow bubbles? Well, okay, I actually like bubbles because they look adorable while they are chasing them. But I get lightheaded after 10-15 minutes! How much longer are we going to play with that ball popper? Can’t you just play by yourselves while Mommy reads on the couch? See? Selfish!

And we haven’t even started with board games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, which N referred to as “Just Shoot Me” and Ladders.

This “tired” excuse is also why I don’t fight with Monkey about going to sleep in her own bed. I would be up and down those stairs at least five times if I put Monkey in her own bed at bedtime. She would need to go potty, she would try to climb out of her room, she would cry and wake up Bun, she would do pretty much anything to stall bedtime. Whereas, I read her a book and sing her lullabies to her in my bed, and I don’t have to run upstairs once after kissing her goodnight and turning off the light. I can clean my kitchen, fold clothes, and/or read a book until I go to bed. (A little selfish.)

It takes her between 10 and 30 minutes to fall asleep, and when I go to bed, I just move her into her own bed.

If I’m running up and down stairs after my children go to bed, it’s to perform BRT (Binky Replacement Therapy) for Bun. Usually, BRT needs to be done at least once a night. We seldom make it through a night without BRT, although she is usually well-settled by the time I hit the hay. This is what makes me so hesitant to complete binky weaning. I would be up late and/or often with a crying Bun.

Here’s a couple other things I found on the ‘net:

Moxie sez, Wait until the child is 2 or 3. (Full disclosure: Like Moxie, I sucked my thumb for a long time, so clearly I had oral fixation issues as a child, too.)

This site agrees with Moxie: Actually, most of what I read was along these lines. A lot of the strategies they propose are for older toddlers.

And then there is this fun fact: Pacifier use is linked to a 50% increase in ear infections as compared to babies that don’t use pacifiers.

On the plus side, Bun does not have the binky all the time (she did this weekend though — I had to stop the insanity). Obviously, I will have to talk over strategies with DearDR. Part of me thinks we should wean in September, before cold/ear infection season starts again. The other part of me thinks that maybe we can hold off until January, when Bun turns 2.

It has to be done. Now or later? Anyone else dealing with this or know anyone who is?

Countdown to Girlie Weekend: 7 days