Day 1: post a picture of yourself and share how your day was.
Cool, I can do that. First, picture. Please know this is not easy for me. Posting? No sweat. I mean getting a good picture of me. And I don't just mean photogenically. If you see a smiling picture of me, it's probably a fairly worthwhile picture (I've learned to take other people's word on that). But I am (practically) world-renowned for getting HORRIBLE candid pictures taken of me. Announcement: I have very expressive eyebrows. Therefore, I usually look mad, annoyed, half-asleep, bewildered, astonished, or perplexed. I'm not kidding. You should see some of the slideshows from family birthday parties. BUT! I managed to get a decent picture where, at the most, I look tired. That's not unusual, and it's almost 10:30.
Second, my day. It was a pretty good Saturday. No shower, but I'm getting more okay with that (the presence or absence of a shower used to literally decide the fate of my day...poor hubby). Plus, a little later, I did manage to stick my head in the shower and wash my hair quick. (Sooooo glad I decided to buy a 2-in-1 for just such moments as these.)
I had a good cup of coffee, hubby drove MIL to work and FIL to pick up a part for their car. There was a small
Ahhhhh....another farmhouse piece drops into place.
Or...it will. Maybe tomorrow. When we put it together.
But oh, it was fun, just piling the kids in the car and driving the hour-and-a-half to the furniture store. (It was the closest one to us that wouldn't charge us tax. Tax-free New Hampshire, woot woot!) It is - no joke - the closest thing to a family vacation that we've...well, ever had. Hubby fussed at me since I was taking too long for his liking by trying to clean a little more trash out of the car, get a little better set up for a road trip, knowing where the toys were, getting bottles in the right place, etc. I told him he has his hobby trips, this is mine. Patience, my love.
And OHHHH, speaking of bottles. I'm done with those. My 2yo might not agree, but I'm dialing down his right to an opinion in the matter. It's my fault, totally. I made my bed, and now I'm lying (but definitely not sleeping) in it. I take total blame. But I stand by my decision, because it was the decision I needed to make at the time. When children are babies, their moms have two choices: a) feed them a bottle at night, then lay them down without it, and continuously reassure their child, when he/she cries, that they are okay, and let them cry/comfort themselves back to sleep, orrrrrr...2) give the kid the bottle and let him fall asleep that way.
I've always done option 2. I'm horrible, wretched, lazy, and should not be trusted with other human lives, I know. I mean, my children could have died!! And not to mention the damage I have inflicted on their teeth... (shudder)
But I was TIRED, man!! It's so much easier - chronically sleep-deprived moms can attest - to give the kid what they want! And I remember making that conscious decision, "I will do this now, I will deal with [read: pay for] it later."
Trumpet fanfare: It's LATER!!!! I am in full-swing of Dealing With/Paying For It. Have been for a while. And it's not that I'm not ready to deal with the fall-out of Dealing With It, but Big Brother is in the same room (who, thank the Lord, has trained himself to sleep like a dead person...gee, wonder why, when your brother wakes up at least once or twice a night for two years demanding the continuance of a very bad habit), and Big Sister is...well, it's across the hall, but there's only a headboard and a sheet and a chimney between them. And I can't stand the thought of making them suffer while Little Brother has to cry it out.
Sigh. So on we've gone, perpetuating Mumma's mistake. I was thinking I'd have to farm out my older children to sleepovers so Little Brother can complain his little heart out and not ruin anyone's sleep but mine. (I probably would've had to send Hubby away that night, too.)
Till. Tonight! I have epiphed. I have had a brainstorm. It's not rocket science. But it's working rather well! Morgan likes to have me snuggle with her on her bed. This is when she completely debriefs me on all her thoughts from the day, plans for the future, and very deep theological questions. (The other night we discussed why Satan fell from Heaven.) Well, as I was lying on her bed tonight, discussing homeschooling (grin), Migs pipes up as usual. So, to help him along, I simply tell him to lie down and go to sleep. This works temporarily, then not so well. But I continue. And eventually he quiets down. When I left Morgan, he heard me on the stairs (silly old New England stairs, but they are my Kid Alarms, along with squeaky doors that I will never oil) so he ramped up again. So I sit down on the stairs and start in again on my matras..."lie down, Matthew...quiet, Matthew...go to sleep, Matthew..." very calmly, while reading Read-Aloud Puppy Stories to myself that I find sitting nearby. Eventually he calms back down and I manage to make it downstairs. (Incidentally, I have a very good dog. It was, at that point, around 9:30, and he was waiting relatively patiently for this ordeal to be over so he could have dinner.)
Success!!! Right? Of course! That part, anyway. We have not made it through the night. But I figure I can't lose much more sleep than I already do. And we have made it through one more cry session. I knew that would be the tricky part. The kids are all asleep, it's much later, do I still go up there and sit on the stairs, calling out to be quiet? Why, yes. Yes, I do. And it works. And no one wakes up.
I imagine I will be spending quite a bit of time sitting on his stairs over the next few nights. Maybe even just over this night. I will be remembering to take my phone with me so I'm not just sitting there counting the seconds. (I'm so grateful for my phone, and the Bible app that gives me reading plans. Perhaps this will be a blessing in more ways than one.) But I also figure that taking the time to retrain one's synapses, however much sleep I lose, is much better than indefinite sleepless nights, not to mention the toll it takes on our milk supply. Besides which, his newest trick is standing at the edge of his crib, turning his bottle upside down, and squirting it at the floor. The carpeted floor. Wow. GAME OVER, little buddy.
So there, I have done the challenge! Wonder what Day 2 is. :)