Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome, precious darling!

Audrey Gayle Cerna
Born at 12:14pm Pacific Time
8 pounds 15.8 ounces (holy mackerel!)
19 inches long

For you fellow mamas out there, one more statistic: head circumference 14 inches.  O. M. Bleepin G.

Pics to follow!

And to sum it all up: "If there's a next time, I want DRUGS!!!!!!" Lol. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Time Out

So you probably know that I'm a big fan of the concept of "Positive Discipline," which I learned about from Katie's co-op preschool. At first I was really skeptical, but the more I use the techniques, the better they work. Yesterday I found myself trying a new one, without any advance planning. In fact, it was a technique that I thought sounded a bit weird and unnatural, so I surprised myself when I heard some of the words coming out of my mouth.

I think most parents have heard of "Time Out," even if they don't use it. Long before I had kids (you know, back when I thought I was an expert) I thought Time Out made a lot of sense. It certainly seemed better than spanking. But I hadn't had any real exposure to it - I hadn't watched a parent actually use it on their child. The first time I saw a Time Out used, I was at the park on a playdate with a mom I really like. It's clear to me that she is a really good mom with a good attitude toward parenting, and her three kids are incredibly well-behaved to boot. Her three year old did something that required correction, and she calmly sent him to a corner of the playground for a Time Out. He wailed and howled the whole time. Finally I guess he must have gotten over it, because he was allowed out and continued playing. He seemed unharmed, but I couldn't really see that anything beneficial had taken place. But I thought to myself, "It must work, because her kids are awesome."

Months later, I watched another family use Time Out on their 18 month old toddler. He was doing something typical for a toddler (can't remember what) and the parents were getting more and more upset, raising their voices and threatening "If you do that again, you're going to get a Time Out!" I'm really not sure if the toddler understood the threat, but I'm sure he understood the angry tone of voice. And of course, he continued to do whatever it was (because that's what toddlers do) and he was summarily carried from the room and left to scream alone in his bedroom. The whole scene just felt so ugly to me. Again, it's a lot better than hitting, but I just didn't feel comfortable with it.

I didn't think much more about it until I started reading the Positive Discipline books. In a nutshell, they categorize Time Out as a punishment; a nonviolent one, to be sure, but a punishment nonetheless. And their hypothesis is that punishment, in general, makes kids feel bad. I mean, that's kind of the point, right? "Sit in this corner and think about how bad you've been!" The authors feel that when kids feel bad, they act out, but when they feel better, they do better. So they propose a different twist on Time Out. They say the parents should take a minute or two in a quiet place, not the child! Or, that the parent should accompany the child into Time Out. Their idea of Time Out is just that - a little break from whatever drama is going on.

Like most of these new parenting concepts, I thought going with your kid into Time Out sounded pretty useless. But yesterday, Katie and I got into some drama. She wanted me to fill her bubble fan with bubbles. When I got the big 2-liter vat of bubble solution down from its hiding place, she immediately wanted that instead. I'm all for being flexible most of the time, but I said no. I couldn't stomach 2 liters of bubble solution all over the floor. But I filled up the bubble fan, brought it outside and turned it on for her. She was momentarily diverted while I put the bubble solution away, but soon she was back inside, and somehow managed to turn the bubble fan upside down. Bubble solution everywhere! But I kept my cool, and handled it just like we handle every other spill. I said, "Oops, the bubbles spilled! Let's clean up!" and I got a cloth for myself and one for Katie. We sang the clean up song and got most of the bubbles cleaned up. Then she decided she wanted to mop. I got the mop for her, but instead of mopping, she started waving it in the air and banging it on the sliding glass door. I asked her to stop, telling her that the mop belongs on the floor, but she ignored me. I took her arm and looked her right in the eye as I repeated myself, and she started to squirm away and scream.

And I just looked at her and said, "Do you need big hugs?" "No! No hugs! No!" But I could tell that this wasn't really about mopping or bubbles. So I gathered her into my arms anyway and said, "Let's go take a Time Out so we can both feel better." I was kind of stunned to hear myself saying it, but it felt right. We went into the den and read a book on the couch. I gave her lots of hugs and kisses. And when we both felt better, I asked if she was ready to try mopping again. She said "Yesh" and slid off my lap. We went back into the kitchen and cheerfully finished cleaning up.

I don't know if I did it right, or if it will work every time (nothing else does) but I kind of enjoyed Time Out yesterday! Somehow it felt really good to meet a tantrum with love. I know that my pregnancy is getting harder and harder for Katie, both physically since I can't be as active with her, and emotionally because she knows something big is coming. I wish the baby would hurry up so we can all wrap our minds around what it's going to be like as a family of four! It's hard enough for me to wait, I can't imagine what it's like for Katie, who doesn't have a real sense of time yet. She must think we're winding her up about a baby coming!

Cross your fingers and think labor-y thoughts for me! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lolli lolli

Katie never ceases to amaze me. Today we were out grocery shopping. I'm not gonna tell you which store; if you've ever read this blog before you're undoubtedly nauseated by all the times I've mentioned it. Suffice it to say, they have mini shopping carts for Katie, and a find-the-hidden-stuffed-animal game. :) Today, the lady at the sample counter gave Katie a huge hint about where the stuffed panda was hiding, so Katie got to collect a prize. In the past, we've gotten clementines and apples, but this time the prize basket was full of candy. Oh dear.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Oh no, is she a Sugar Nazi in addition to being a weird crunchy hippie?" The answer is, sort of. For myself, I have a bigger sweet tooth than Buddy the Elf. But for Katie...well, I don't want her to grow up to be as sugar-addicted as me. I don't believe it's the root of all evil or anything, but sugar is so ubiquitous that I feel like it's a slippery slope if I even let her have a little. After all, she doesn't really know about all the sugary goodness that's out there, and she's a super happy kid, so isn't ignorance bliss?

When she's older, of course I'll let her have sugar. And to be honest, she actually is eating plenty of sugar now - the past two mornings we've had blueberry muffins for breakfast. Her yogurt has sugar. There's sugar in her peanut butter AND her jelly. Graham crackers? Hellooo, sugar! The orange chicken I made last night had a very sweet, sticky, sugary sauce. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Sugar is everywhere!

So I've just been trying to avoid giving her blatantly obvious sugar, like candy. She's 2 1/2 and she's only had ice cream twice (both in the past month, and both from IKEA. Now she thinks IKEA is a huge, blue-and-yellow ice cream parlor.) She only drinks water or milk, never juice or soda. And we don't do dessert after dinner. (Anthony and I do, after she's asleep.) Am I depriving her of one of life's simple pleasures? Maybe. But she's a toddler, and toddlers find pleasure in such a wonderful variety of things (playing in the mud, swinging on swings, spilling bubble solution all over the kitchen floor, squirting Dada with the hose, to name a few). Does she truly need sugar to be happy? I say she doesn't.

However, someday she will probably LOVE sugar, and I won't stand in her way. I would be the world's biggest hypocrite if I did. I had friends growing up whose well-meaning parents made them eat carob instead of chocolate (my mom even tried it with me!) To this day, Anthony loves sugary cereal because his mom never allowed it. I don't want for there to be that kind of backlash with Katie. I'm just putting it off until she actually starts to notice and care.

Anyway, today Katie was presented with a big basket full of salt water taffy and lollipops. She's only ever had one lollipop in her life, and it was this past Memorial Day. I'm not sure what she loved more, the candy or the fact that she got to imitate the "big kids," who were all eating Dum-dums. Either way, it was pretty cute. But I was surprised today when she went for a lollipop instead of the taffy. After she said "thank you" I put her down and she proceeded to tear off the wrapper and stick it in her mouth like she'd been eating 50 lollipops a day since birth. Even the guy giving out the candy was impressed with her unwrapping prowess!

My little cutie! I hope she continues to be ignorant about sugar (and enthusiastic about broccoli) for a long time yet!

Monday, June 17, 2013


Okay. So I know it's only 2 days past my due date. And I've had a relatively easy pregnancy so far (although not nearly as easy as my first!) But come on, baby, let's get cracking! It's not so much that I'm excited about the pain of labor (I'm not!), but I just want to get this whole thing over with. I'm so tired of worrying about what time of day it will be when labor starts! My mind keeps going over and over what time would be best, spinning in circles until I remind myself that it's going to happen in its own time, no matter what time I think would be most convenient. Ugh!

For example, sometimes I think it would be best if labor started just after dinnertime. Then Anthony could give Katie a bath (one of the few things she will "allow" him to do) and I could still be present (although probably breathing funny) for the bedtime routine. I could kiss my little sweetheart goodnight and give her extra hugs and squeezes (which I've been doing every night anyway). Then I could go downstairs and wait for the doula and my mom to come. My mom wouldn't have to do anything except wake up with Katie in the morning. Katie won't like it one bit that I'm not there, but she's usually in such a good mood in the morning that I think it would be the best time for her to have to deal with me not being here. Plus there are yummy breakfasts to be eaten, and then maybe a visit to the hospital, assuming we're ready for that.

My second choice would be going into labor around 5am. Katie's been waking up at 6:15 every morning, so I'd still be there when she gets up. Anthony wouldn't have left for work yet, so all I'd have to do is call the doula and my mom. My mom knows she has carte blanche when it comes to taking care of Katie on "The Day." She can feed her whatever food she wants, take her wherever she thinks will be fun, and it's even OK to skip her nap. Hopefully by evening we'd be ready for a hospital visit. Bedtime could be put off too, which might be a good idea so she'll be tired enough to go to sleep instead of crying for mama. And (hopefully) if I start labor that early in the morning, I'll be done and settled into the maternity ward so Anthony can go home, put Katie to bed, and sleep in a real bed instead of that ridiculous hospital chair that they claim "folds out into a bed." Dude, no it doesn't. Nobody could sleep a wink on that thing! (Especially my now-Ambien-deprived husband.)

But, like I said, it's gonna happen when it happens. Today, as I was pushing Katie on the swings at the park, I thought it was starting! I got so excited! It felt kind of like period cramps that lasted a couple of minutes and then went away. Then they came back! WOOHOO! And then they went away again. I hustled Katie into the car and drove home, but that was it. They haven't come back. BOOOOOOO! Stupid Braxton-Hicks!

Let's get this show on the road, sweetheart! I can't wait to hold you!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

At the risk of jinxing it...

...I think Katie's sleep regression is just about over. For the past five nights and naps, she has gone to sleep with no crying at all! She doesn't fall asleep right away, of course, but then again, she never used to do that in her crib either. She likes to roam around, talk, sing and entertain herself before she finally falls asleep. That's perfectly OK with me! No tears!!! WOOHOOOO!

One thing she is still doing, though, is taking off her undies. I have no idea what this is about. I thought it was a protest against our leaving her alone in her room, but now she's totally comfortable with that and the undies are still coming off! I just looked at her on the video monitor - she's lying down, kind of rolling around, and her little tushie is in the air, completely bare. I would post a picture - it's hilarious - but she would seriously never forgive me! She won't use a blanket, or the mattress, for that matter, so we started putting her in leg warmers overnight. At least she's not totally naked from the waist down! Thank goodness it's summertime.

Anyway, she's sleeping through the night without crying. I cannot even express how wonderful this is! She does wake up occasionally and make little noises (once she started giggling) but no crying! I've spent the past week's worth of nights in my own bed without interruption! (Well, aside from having to get up to pee. Thanks, pregnancy!)

There were many, many nights during this sleep regression when I thought it would never end. I thought we would never get through the crying, the screaming, and the pooping on the floor. But we did, somehow! All it took was Katie finally seeing that we were serious about bedtime. It was not easy. I think I may have made the process even longer by "caving" a couple of times. It's so hard not to give in when your precious darling is screaming that she has to go potty! But I know now, with the benefit of hindsight, that she was full of it (or, more accurately, not full of it at all!) And when I stopped letting her use the potty after "Last Potty", she finally stopped testing me.

And she's going to bed without a struggle! The last couple of nights, she's even gone back to giving us good night kisses! Ohhhhh, I missed those so much! I am so thankful that we've solved this problem before the baby is born. I know we could be in for more sleep regression after the baby comes, but at least Round 1 is over.

Speaking of baby, we are getting really close! My due date is Saturday. WOW! I have two bags packed (labor & postpartum), my mom is (supposedly) leaving her phone on all night long, and I'm feeling as ready as I'll ever be. The baby's room isn't done, but there's a bassinet and a changing table. That'll probably be good enough for the first 4-6 months or so. We did paint it and put a really pretty tree decal on the wall. Really all that's missing is blackout curtains, and if all goes well, I might be able to get those tomorrow.

Whee! Can't wait to hold my new little one!

Monday, June 3, 2013

4am musings

Sometimes I'm awake at 4am for no reason whatsoever. Despite our recent bedtime woes, Katie slept all night long last night. I, on the other hand, woke up with a head full of thoughts and the beginnings of a migraine. So here are some of those thoughts, in list form. Enjoy!

Stuff I'm really looking forward to after the baby is born:
The baby herself (well, duh!)
Being able to lie down on my back or stomach!
Smoked salmon
Not having to obsessively wash my hands after touching deli meat
Being able to eat deli meat without microwaving it first (ew!)
Not bonking Katie with my huge belly and knocking her flat
No more swollen fingers, feet and ankles! (I hope!)
Weight loss without really trying (let's hope this happens again!)
The absence of worrying about Katie during labor & delivery
Being able to reach the upper kitchen cabinets without squishing my belly
Wearing the baby in a wrap carrier
No more heartburn!
The ability to take a few approved OTC medications for colds & such
Having Anthony home for six weeks! (even though they may not be consecutive weeks)
Cloth diapering and EC
Being able to get up off the floor without a struggle
Being able to hold Katie in my lap while I read to her, instead of awkwardly sideways

Stuff I'm really NOT looking forward to:
Insane sleep deprivation
The return of real migraine headaches
Less time to spend with Katie
No more "Expectant Mother Parking"
Trying to juggle TWO kids' sleeping/feeding schedules
No more baby kicks in my belly  (I really like these)