Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mason's mullet

This boy was born with a ton of hair. And I love it. He instantly looks like a mini Greg: dark brown in color. Stick-straight ends. Complete with sideburns.

see the matchy sideburns?

How cute are these two boys? Tall, dark and handsome. That's how I roll...

It's been 7 weeks since he's showcased his manly dark locks, and BOY has it grown! So much, in fact, he was starting to sport a mullet.

But, after a quick snip...

He's back to his ruggedly handsome good looks (I mean locks...tee-hee).

Ok, that was lame. But, that's all I had for material today, ok?

I'm so blessed to have a son. Especially one that reminds me of my hard-working husband every day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The great sleep debate...

There are lots of opinions out there on sleeping (in regards to your baby). You may have heard some of them:

Rock your baby to sleep.

Let your baby cry it out.

Keep your baby up as long as possible so they will sleep longer.

Never wake a sleeping baby.


The purpose of this post is not to debate which opinions I disagree with (even though I do disagree with some). I will, however, tell you what works. Really works. People have been recently asking about how Kensie is such a great sleeper. I wish I could take all the credit, but really it's because I'm a firm believer in this book...

Before I get into the details of the book, here is our testimonial:

Kensie is currently 19 months old. She goes to bed between 7-7:30pm and sleeps until 8:30-9am. We have never had a bedtime battle. Not once. Even when she's in the middle of playing, or visiting with friends. When I say it's time for "night night"...she willingly walks down the hallway and into her room. We get into her P.J.'s and grab her blankie. After a quick kiss goodnight, I lay her in the crib, flip off the light and shut the door. She might babble for a while, but then quietly puts herself to sleep. Nap times are the same. She will sleep from 1pm until 3-3:30pm without a fight.  Sure, there are times when she gets fussy and irritable because she is tired, teething, or sick. But, as soon as she is in her crib the fussiness stops immediately. It's as though she is relieved to be going to bed. There are also occasional shifts in the schedule with holidays and vacations, but she easily adjusts back to her normal routine. All in all, she expects to sleep and accepts it.

(Kensie at 5 months--after a full night's sleep)

"If you start early with sleep training, you will be well along the path to preventing sleep problems." --Dr. Weissbluth

The first half of the book seeks to educate the reader on sleep using studies, charts, and testimonials. The second half is divided into Chapters for different age groups. Once you "buy into" the philosophy of creating healthy sleep habits for your child, you are given some tools to use depending on your child's age.

So, what does this look like? Here are some concrete examples of what we are implenting with Mason right now.

Five to Eight weeks old:
{1} Try to meet your baby's need. If he's hungry, feed him. If he's tired, sleep him. Mason started smiling last week (which indicates he is more socially aware), and also means he would rather enjoy our company instead of sleep! It takes some practice but, we try to "read" his tendancies--taking note of when he becomes fussy. Did he just eat? Does he need his diaper changed? This sounds like common sense. But, really staying in tune with your baby's rythyms is a great start. You will soon notice which cry means, "I need to sleep!".

{2} Let him stay awake for no more than 2 hours.  That's about the max that most babies can endure without becoming overtired. We try to soothe him to sleep before he becomes overtired--before he becomes slightly crabby, seems irritable, pulls his hair, or bats his ears. This does not mean he should be up for 2 hours and then down for 2 hours. Rather, 2 hours is the time interval during which we expect to put him to sleep.

{3} When we decide he is showing signs that he is tired, we lay him down--even if he does not want to sleep. Sometimes, he falls asleep and sometimes he won't. When he doesn't, we pick him up (after 5, 10 or 20 min.) and soothe him. We may try again after several minutes to see if he will fall asleep on his own. Or, we might try again another day. "But, remember that if your baby cries hard for three minutes, quietly for three minutes, and then sleeps for an hour, he/she would have lost that hour long nap if you had not let him/her alone for six minutes."- Dr. Weissbluth

{4} Keep a log or diary to see if there's any improvement. When we see success, no matter how small, it is motivating to persist despite some crying and inconvenience we have to endure.

"At those times when your baby needs to sleep but wants to play with you, your playing with him is robbing him of sleep. "- Dr. Weissbluth

I return to this book time and time again. I'm already looking ahead to when Kensie is ready to switch to a big girl bed. There's lots of good advice for that too! Other methods may work great. But, this is the one we chose and it has worked amazing for us! I think the key to anything is consistency.

If there is a lot of feedback, maybe I'll do another post in a couple months on Mason's next phase...

Monday, April 4, 2011

New flooring and a room switcheroo...

After 4 {lonnnnnng} weeks, our floors are done! Thanks to my hard-working, staying-up-til-midnight, learn-as-you-go, persevering is finished!

I cannot tell you how rewarding a project like this feels once it's done. Ohhhhh, so good.

And since I'm a sucker for BEFORE and AFTER photos, I thought I would sneak a few in...



I also did some redecorating....surprise surprise. I have always wondered what the fireplace room would look like as a dining room, and vice versa. Once the floors were finished and cleaned, it was a good opportunity to try it out.

I'm pretty sure I broke some cardinal decorating rule by putting the hutch in front of a window...but honestly, it was the best spot. Now, if I can only convince my hubby to move the chandelier into there for more lighting, all will be well. If not, then I'm going to need to find some wall sconces or something.

And, I absolutely LOVE this space now. A sitting area in the kitchen....where we spend a lot of our time. Coffee chats with friends, a play area for the kids, and free traffic flow to the mudroom/ garage. {The space under the painting on the right will soon be the perfect spot for Kensie's new kids size table I found on craigslist.}

I'm thinking a slim sized coffee table would be nice in front of the couch. Or even a weathered looking bench that can double as a coffee table. We'll see. It just needs a little something extra.

I will leave you with a sneak peek into the mudroom....more on that later.

Time to go run laps with Kensie on the new floors! Peace out!