Two! 2! Two! 2!

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TWO! 2! TWO! 2!

Ale, my baby, is now two years old! Well he is really no longer a baby he is a full fledged toddler.

Turning two was easy for Ale. He had a Thomas & Friends themed birthday party. The guests came with so many toys that it looked more like Christmas. There were cupcakes, pizza and lots of silly laughs. For me on the other hand Ale turning two was a momentous day that marked so many new things to come that I was feeling a mix of happiness and sadness.

Two big changes were coming with Ale turning two years old. The time had finally come for 1- a haircut and 2- Ale sleeping in his room in toddler bed ALL night.

1- The Haircut

We had never cut Ale’s hair. His long curly locks were just darling. Recently Friends and family began to constantly ask when and if we planned to cut his hair. We just smiled and watched his hair blow in the breeze. Then last week during the bath we noticed that while his hair was wet it reached the middle of his back. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew it was time. He then went for the scissors. Chop! My husband cut straight across the nape of his neck. Good thing Ale is not vain. We gave him a lopsided bowl hair cut! I’m saving the little locks in a ziplock bag.

2- Sleeping In The Toddler Bed.

We have been co-sleeping with Ale since he was born. There was a little stint at an attempt to have him sleep in the crib in his room when he was about eleven months. We tried the cry it out method. That was torture for us all and back to our bed he went.

At the end of the summer I knew that Ale would have to transition to his crib at some point. I then moved Ale from his bouncy chair that he outgrew to his crib that we converted into a toddler bed for naps. That worked well but he was not yet ready for the long haul through the night.

Just before he turned two I saw that he was sleeping longer stretches at night without wakening up. I had the feeling that he could be moved from our bed to his toddler bed. I, however, was not ready. I did not want to loose the closeness and the snuggles at night.

Last week I knew I had to try it despite the sinking feeling in my heart. My husband and I went out and bought him new dinosaur sheets and his very own pillow. We also installed a side rail on the bed. Later that day we showed him his room with the “new” bed and he loved it! Since then he has been sleeping either through the night or he wakes up just once. The first night I was awake listening out for him. He woke up at 4 am and I tried to bring him to our bed. Ale cried when I tried to lift him out. He wanted to stay in his little bed.

It’s fantastic! — Right?? We waited so long for him to reach this goal instead of forcing it upon him. I’m so happy and proud. My husband and I have our bedroom back to us. However, I can’t say that I’m not sad or that I don’t miss my Ale at night. Now that I have my big little boy, my heart melts when he sees me enter his room in the morning and says “Hi Mama!”. I then shower him with even more kisses than before as I bask in his bright smile.

Only Child

Last Friday I did a guest post on my thoughts about being an only child and my decision not to have a sibling for Ale on Chasing After a Daredevil and Twins. I wanted to repost this as this is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I have also included links to two articles published in July of this year. One from the New Yorker the other from The Week.
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Ale is quickly approaching two. As for me, lets just say I’m closer to 40 than 30. The big question on everybody’s mind (friends, family, strangers, mom’s at the playground) is “So, When are you going to give Ale a sibling?’ Or the comment is, “You should now try for a girl”. My response is always a smile and a nod yes while I try to change the subject.

Who knows what will happen in the next few years but I’m happy right now where my family is at the moment. Is that so bad? Am I selfish for not jumping to get pregnant again? Does this make me a bad mom? Will I harm Ale emotionally if I don’t provide him with a sibling?

“Only child” is such a heavy title and it carries so much negativity. Do mother’s of more than one child love one more than the other? If they were to loose one child is there a sigh of relief that there is another child there? Should I have another child just so that Ale has someone else to play with? It seems that the idea of having more children is to round out the numbers in the household. Its just something that should be done- no questions asked.

Let me confess- I am an only child. I am happy and well adjusted. I am not lonely. I would not go back and change a thing. And no- I was not a spoiled brat. I was quite the opposite. So why would this not happen to Ale?

To be honest when I was around 10 years old I did pine for a brother or sister. I pined for one like a child pines for a new toy. Growing up I learned that everyone’s family is different and family can be made up of many different kinds of people. Some people had more while others had less people around their dinner tables. That did not make one family better than another. My family consisted of myself, my mom and my dad. My dad said we were the trinity. I thought we were the perfect family.

My goal now is to replicate that feeling for Ale. I am trying to teach him the importance of friendship and how to to tighten the bonds with our extended family. All the while I hope that I am constructing a safe and nurturing home with my husband. This is what is important to me regardless of how small or big our family may become.

Onliness- Alexandra Schwartz New Yorker July 18, 2013

The Case For Having An Only Child- Jenine Holmes, LearnVest | July 31, 2013

Tuesdays With Ale: Toddlerwearing

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This Tuesday was a typical summer Tuesday. Ale and I met up with two other mamas and their little boys at a pool. So much fun was had laughing and splashing in the cold water. What made this Tuesday special was that I decided to get the Ergo carrier out of the closet and catch the bus over to the pool. Our car was getting serviced, the subway called for too many transfers, and the stroller is too cumbersome on a NYC bus. The ergo was the best option for travel with Ale.

Right before we left our apartment I showed Ale the Ergo and explained to him that he would not ride in his stroller. He was so happy to see it again that he began jumping up and down saying “Yeah! yeah, yeah!”. He climbed right in. I was worried he would not remember the carrier or would not want to be carried in it. Recently I have only used it as a restraint on airplanes.

It was so wonderful to be out and about with Ale close to me in the Ergo. We could talk to each other easily and I could feel his happiness. On the bus he sat with me and looked out the window. He commented on the passing vehicles.

On the way back home Ale took a 20 minute nap. There is nothing as sweet as having a sleeping baby( toddler) close to you. I was in mama heaven.

For Ale’s first year we almost never used the stroller. It was just easier to go out with Ale in the Ergo. It made me feel independent and its was reassuring to have him so close. Ale now weighs around 25 pounds. I was surprised as to how comfortable it was to still wear him in the front. When he can follow commands a bit better he can be carried on my back.

I’m looking forward to more toddlerwearing days!

Tuesdays With Ale: A Day of Firsts

At night Ale sleeps with us in our bed. Nap time since as long as we can remember has been in his Baby Bjorn bouncy chair. He loves sleeping in it. If he could sleep the night in it, I think he would. Ale is growing- tall. He is as tall as some three year olds. In fact many people think he is three and he is only 21 months old. I digress, – Ale is too long now for his beloved bouncy chair. Ale needs a new nap location. How about his crib in his bedroom? Perfect! We can get him used to sleeping in his bed now at nap time and when he is ready he can sleep there at night.

So Tuesday morning I took Ale to the music class at the YMCA then we headed to the park for extra long swing, sprinkler and jungle gym time. By 12:30pm he was tired. So tired that he walked right over to our stroller and asked to go home.

Once at home I got Ale ready for his nap. He wanted his bouncy chair but I redirected him down the hall to his room. We settled in with a book, blanket, 5oz of milk and the shades down. Ale only comes into his room to play for short periods of time so he thought it was party time. He asked for the large wooden pirate ship, some trains, and another book. I was persistent and he never left his crib. Finally after only 20-30 min he fell asleep in his crib for two hours! Victory!

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The next accomplishment is a toddler show of strength. After Ale's nap and lunch we headed back out to another park. This park has a few different slides. What all the kids love to do is hang on the bar above the slide before going down. Ale would watch the other kids in awe. Yesterday, he did it! He was so happy with himself.

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Daily Prompt: Success!

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Yesterday Ale and I went to see his pediatrician for his 18 month check up. For the first time at the pediatrician’s office I had nothing to ask and no concerns to mention. I knew Ale was on target developmentally, healthy, and happy. Ale eats broccoli, scribbles on paper, says a few words, and sleeps through the night. I felt like I finally succeeded as a new parent!
I was always a great parent but I never gave myself credit for it. I fell into the new mommy trap of reading on line (The joys of Crying it Out), listening to other moms tell me what I was doing wrong (What! Your son does not eat a peanut butter sandwich by himself at 8 months! My kid eats everything!), and taking into consideration what strangers said to me (You should do xyz, and xyz, and don’t forget xyz….). What was wrong with this was that I was not listening to myself or my baby.
Sleep was a huge issue. Ale was always easy to put to sleep. The problem was that he would wake up up to six times a night on the worse nights. This occurred until he was over a year. At night I hated him, my husband and myself. I would wake up exhausted and enraged. We tried all the methods. It disturbed me to see Ale cry, vomit and poop on himself when we did not come to console him. Then one night at about 13 months, he climbed out of his crib, and walked to the bathroom and banged on the door looking for us. That was when I knew we had to make a change. This is when we fully embraced co-sleeping. Since then he has slept through the night. My husband and I also get to sleep more which makes me a happy mama. It was a win win. I still get odd looks, and reprimands from people but you know what: I. DON’T. CARE! Since I stopped caring what others think of my parenting style I knew that I excelled at parenting.
The last few days I have been going through various mommy blogs and the topic of mommy bullying has come up a lot. So here is my two cents: STOP! We are all in this crazy chaos of mamahood together. There is no book, website, friend or stranger who can tell you what to do. There is no one size fits all parenting style. Just support and encourage the mamas that you know. Do not belittle them.
Daily Prompt: Success!
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.

The Wild Beast

Putting Ale to sleep is like putting down a wild animal.

Bedtime begins with the brushing of teeth and a round of kisses to papa. Ale takes his 10oz bottle laced with rice cereal and we march to the bedroom. We climb into our bed and depending on how sleepy he is we read one or two books. We always finish with Goodnight Moon. After counting the three bears on chairs, locating the tiny mouse on each page and saying goodnight to the noises everywhere, I turn off the light. This is when the wild beast comes out. Ale will try to find the most comfy position in a queen size bed. To find this he will bang his head at least twice against the headboard- depending on how hard and how sleepy he will or will not cry. Then he flings and twists himself on the bed. He may even do a 360 spin- twice. He will grab his bottle again, or reach out to me to go to my breast. When finished with drinking or nursing for comfort he will do another twist and lay flat. He will then stick out his butt and the propeller legs come out. His legs do crazy high kicks while laying on his stomach. He will kick the mattress, the pillows, me, the blue stuffed dog next to him. This is like the grand finale of getting comfy on the queen sized bed. A sock will be flung off and the propeller legs will finally begin to slow to a halt. Then a toe will twitch, a final kick, his breathing evens out, the butt goes down, and then calm. One final kiss from mama and then pillow walls go up around him.

Sleep well my little beast, sleep well.

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Crying it out: Apparently Supported by Everyone & Their Grandmothet

After reading this. I’m going to hold Ale closer. He is 16 months old and cherish each kiss, hug, and sweet smile. I want him to know & remember that we spent so many beautiful days together so when he goes off on his own he will have a solid foundation based in his family.

Crying it out: Apparently Supported by Everyone & Their Grandmothet