Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peter Says

He makes us laugh frequently, but a lot of the best out-takes are visual. For your reading enjoyment, though, here are few stand-alone gems:

My mom often greets Peter by saying, "How's my boy?" Copying her inflection exactly, Peter said to my husband, "How's my Jeremy?"

Tonight, talking to his stuffed animal consolingly, "Poor little llama. You want to play with you toys! You are too small."

He's also started using full sentences he's learned from books or our conversation in novel contexts. For example... me: "Time to use the toilet, Peter." "How can that be?" or, my husband to me: "I need to go to the post office tomorrow." "I have heard of that."

After eating my breakfast of toast with peanut butter, I scraped the jar clean and ate a little bit of peanut butter directly from the spatula. Peter looked quite taken aback. "Mommy! No toast! Has no toast, Mommy!"

Build big tower with blocks. Don't forget base, Daddy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taken for Granted

Lying on the floor, listening to the wind, watching Twitter and Facebook for interesting storm updates. So far, we haven't had any complications, but a few friends have already lost power. Storms like this make me realize how many things we take for granted in our lives until we might not have them.

Electricity to do laundry, keep our cell phones charged, run our computers, read after dark, cook food, keep cold food from spoiling... Running water (although odds are slim that we'll lose that, since we're not on a well) for showers, toilets, drinking, cleaning... Weather-proof home to protect us and our belongings from rain, cold, wind, debris...

Say a prayer tonight for those who have already lost these luxuries.

Lower Manhattan goes dark, via @silviakillings on Twitter

Friday, October 26, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 14): Perks of Pregnancy

-1-
I'm not one who just glows with the joy of pregnancy. In fact, my favorite pregnancy blog is I Hate Being Pregnant. But even I will admit there are some perks to being a human incubator for awhile.

-2-
For starters, there's enjoying the belly comments. Not the weird "You look like you're about to pop," which in my mind is rather gross. No, I'm talking about out of the mouths of babes... "Is that really all your stomach?" You've gotta love that honesty!

I'm looking about this pregnant again. Except in winter clothes this time.
-3-
I have a renewed appreciation for good health. I failed my first gestational diabetes test, so I had to take the long one. Another bottle of that glucose drink and four blood draws in three hours. Thankfully, this one came back clean - no diabetes! I can continue to eat fruit and carbohydrates. Phew!

-4-
Pregnancy is an excellent excuse to only wear comfortable shoes. Not that I own many pairs of shoes that aren't comfortable, but often wearing a dress comes with the expectation of wearing shoes with heels. I think pregnancy entitles me to wearing flat sandals rather than heels. (I can easily either kick off or run in all my shoes. Heels, by their very nature, are in the former category.)

-5-
Speaking of excuses, pregnancy is also a great reason to take regular naps. Actually, I don't think I ever really got out of the habit of napping at least once a day while Peter napped, but now everyone thinks it's commendable. I'm taking good care of myself instead of just being lazy.

-6-
I get to sit down a lot. Waiting at restaurants, preschool open gym, talking with friends, the list continues. I can sit pretty much wherever I want and not get judged. Because, hey, I'm pregnant!

-7-
I also have a free pass to have snacks. We keep granola bars in the car. I have fruit and juice and milk throughout the day. I even take an apple or something in the car just to drive the two hours to visit my in-laws. So pregnancy isn't the best time of my life, but it's not all bad.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Parenting Advice, Round 2

When I was pregnant with Peter, everyone had advice for me. People I barely knew felt the urge to strike up a conversation and tell me what I absolutely had to do with my new baby, or what I should avoid at all costs. This time around, the parenting advice is almost non-existent, which I think is a little funny.

Does having one child mean that I no longer need advice? Have I mastered all there is to know about child-rearing? Or was the one hard-and-fast rule shared during last pregnancy the only thing I needed to remember, so these people feel their job is done? Whatever the reason, I'm happy to avoid conversations that I never learned how to politely escape.

Parenting expert! (10/31/2011)

And if you came here hoping to find a pearl of wisdom, here is my favorite bit of parenting advice: Never say never. As soon as you do, a situation arises in which you have to do what you said you would never do and then you are surrounded by people reminding you, "You said you'd never do that!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Freedom of Simplicity Giveaway! CLOSED

Last week, I mentioned that I have been rereading Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster. I contacted Renovaré, a ministry he founded, to ask if they would be willing to share a copy of this fantastic book with one of my readers. They said yes!

Freedom of Simplicity explores intentional living through the grace of a simple lifestyle. Foster provides a road map of how choosing to live with joyful, generous hearts opens us to discover God working in our lives. This is not a manual or another list of rules you must follow, but an explanation of the good things God has prepared for us when we embrace simplicity.

If you just can't wait to get started, Freedom of Simplicity is available through Amazon and Renovar√©'s online store, among other retailers. OR you can enter below for your chance to win! This contest ends at midnight (EST) on 10/29 and is open to US residents only.

To leave a comment for your mandatory entry, scroll down PAST the Rafflecopter box to where it says Post a Comment. You can comment as "Anonymous" and leave your name (whatever you entered in the Rafflecopter box) along with your comment about Renovaré. You still need to click "+1 Do it!" and enter your information in the Rafflecopter box!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 22, 2012

Alternatives to Anger

For the third or fourth time in his life, Peter had to be taken out of Mass on Sunday. Most of the comments afterwards fell into two categories: "that's what kids do" or "just wait". I suspect the former was meant to make me feel better, but that's not what my kid does. I didn't want him to get the impression that everyone else was OK with his misbehavior. I honestly don't know what the motivation for the latter was. I've posted before about my strong feelings against that kind of nay-saying, so I won't get into it again.

I know. Hard to believe he is ever less than angelic.

Instead, I'll spend this post trying to do something more productive than dwelling on how frustrated I am. What are my alternatives? How can I respond without getting angry or defensive?

1. Smile and say thank you. I can assume the best intentions of the person commenting. If they are trying to be helpful, this is completely appropriate. If they're not, maybe my response will make them think about what they are trying to achieve.

2. Focus on the future. "Today was less than ideal, but we've always got next week to try again!" Not only does Peter need a new start next week, so do I. I can be grateful for God's forgiveness and try again.

3. Ask for help. I can ask people to pray for me. Certainly children respond to their parents' moods and behavior. It's quite possible I unwittingly triggered this outburst and need to examine my own Mass behavior. Prayer never goes amiss!

Do you have more ideas for responding positively in trying situations?

Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 13): Brain Dump! (& giveaway announcement)

-1-
How is it possible to start putting a little boy to bed around 9:30 - a boy who had a short nap, I might add - and for him not to fall asleep until 11:45?! Granted, a thunderstorm kept him awake for 20 minutes or so toward the end, but come on. Kids these days. :-)

That's it, little one, no more sugar for you. ;-)

-2-
In the "can-you-believe-it" train of thought, the waitress at the pizza place tonight was cleaning with Windex approximately 10 inches from where I was eating. Yuck. No one else seemed to notice, though, so maybe it's just my super sense of smell.

-3-
I love thunderstorms, as long as I'm not in a tent camping. They smell good and are incredibly powerful and just so wild! I once had a thunderstorm party, complete with a thunder soundtrack and dark clouds cut out of construction paper. My parents are very accommodating.

-4-
One of my friends today was speculating about how to store two kayaks and two cars in her garage. Do you have any ideas beyond overhead racks or hooks on the wall?

-5-
Peter got a pumpkin at a fall festival. I suggested displaying it in the front yard, either on the steps or in the front garden. He opted for the back yard, inside the gated vegetable garden. He wanted to graft it onto the dying tomato vines, but we were able to convince him to just put it next to them.

-6-
"Peter, don't push on your Spiderman chair like that. You could break it." "Then... have Thomas chair instead!" "If you want your Thomas chair, you can just ask for it. You don't need to break your Spiderman chair." *looking happier* "Thomas chair, please!"

-7-
Come back Tuesday to enter to win Richard J. Foster's book, Freedom of Simplicity. It's about joy and intentional living and an open heart. What's not to like?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Public Service Announcement Regarding First Niagara Bank

Our tale of woe, written by my husband.

For those of you who aren't local or don't care, here's your obligatory picture of Peter:

2012-10-03_10-24-19_155.jpg
Feel free to skip the rest. The rest of you are welcome to stay for my tale of woe. It could happen to you!

The year is 2008. You can still hear the rush of the housing bubble bursting if you listen hard enough, and interest rates were at "historic lows" of less than 6%! Catholic Mommy and I were engaged, and had originally planned to rent for a few years after the wedding, but decided to take advantage of said interest rates before they went back up. Our attorney recommended working with First Niagara, and so we did.

The very first question I asked the bank rep on our first meeting was as follows: I was purchasing the house in my name only. CM was not my wife yet, she was not going to live there immediately and she was not going to contribute to the payments. With my income alone, we qualified for a New York State reduced interest rate mortgage that beat out everyone. If her income was considered, it would put us into a different state program with a competitive, but not stellar, rate that also came with more paperwork than most banks. Are we going to qualify for the lower rate, or should we just go with a more traditional mortgage?

The answer? Yes, of course you qualify. She's not your wife or on the application or going to be living in the residence, so it's not relevant. This made sense to me, and so we continued. Our offer was accepted, closing was scheduled for the end of February, and everything was going great.

At the risk of stating the obvious, there was a problem.

We'd already had one delay in closing, to late March, because First Niagara was having difficulty getting the paperwork together. We'd pooled the money for the wedding and put it into a CD in my name (since my bank was offering better interest rates at the time). After discovering this, First Niagara, no longer assuring us it would be OK, now demanded to see CM's income information. Even though she was not an applicant. Even though we were not married. Even though she was not going to be living there. Even though we were explicitly told it didn't matter. By this point, the sellers were getting anxious, so rather than risk losing the house (there were only 2 others for sale in the area we were looking in at that time) by starting over somewhere else, we decided to just take it on the chin and accept the higher interest rate. Closing was moved to mid-April.

We actually closed a month after that, after our attorney got involved on yet another paperwork holdup on First Niagara's part.

Since then, we've mostly had minor annoyances with them. I was unable to pay my mortgage online, and when I contacted customer service, I was told that online mortgage payments are only available to customers who have deposit accounts with First Niagara. As you might imagine, I was not inclined to give them a single cent more than I had to at this point, so I declined, at the expense of having to actually go there each month. One somewhat amusing story from that: one month, we had a few checks we'd been meaning to deposit, so since I was going to that bank anyway, I decided to just put them toward the mortgage rather than making a seperate trip to our bank. One of them was made out to CM rather than me, and she was not with me. They would not allow me to cash the check (which was something like $10) because she was not there and her name was not on the mortgage. It was all I could do not to laugh at the manager (who was very perplexed by my reaction - "This is the least of my issues with your bank").

Anyway, fast forward to 2012. Interest rates are at more historicer lows, and we realize we can refinance down to a 15 year mortgage without significantly raising our monthly payment. You're probably wondering how we can refinance with the New York mortgage, but the second question I asked at the outset was if we would be restricted on prepayment or refinance, figuring we might want to cut down to a 15 year at some point in the future. I was told that there was no prepayment penalty and that we would be free to refinance. In fact, in this case, I was better than told; in writing, in multiple places on my closing documents it said in no uncertain terms that this was the case.

At least, I found the terms to be certain. In many areas of my life, the lack of reading comprenhension I encounter is nothing short of astonishing. Unsurprisingly, this also extends to First Niagara.

Before the closing was even scheduled, we had a little issue trying to track down the abstract of title from our purchase. I will admit there is a slight possibility that I lost the document; however, it's a ~40 page binder on nearly tabloid-sized paper, so I find it much more likely that I never received it (given that all the other papers are together in my filing cabinet). First Niagara was precisely no help in trying to track this down, but eventually our attorney from last time was able to get a new one drawn up.

Closing was scheduled for tomorrow morning, and I went to First Niagara on Saturday to get the payoff balance faxed to the attorney. I was told someone would take care of it Monday. On Tuesday morning, our attorney called and said she hadn't received it. I called First Niagara and was told they would take care of it by the end of the day. Yesterday morning, our attorney called again; she still hadn't received it, and needed it by noon in order to close. This time I physically drove to the branch and informed them that I wanted to watch them put the balance into the fax machine. The person I spoke with called the main office, who relayed the following:

1) They never got the request from Saturday. (The person I spoke with: "I see it right here in the system...")
2) They wouldn't be able to get it until the end of that day.
3) They were waiting for me to give them a whole series of documents, which I'd already been informed about.

I'll share my second reaction first, which was that #1 and #3 cannot possibly both be true.

My first thought was regarding the documents they were asking for: a copy of the new appraisal, a copy of the new estimated closing costs, and receipts for all capital improvements to the property. The reason these were needed in order to provide a payoff balance were because they needed to determine how much of my closing cost assistance loan I needed to repay.

This would be reasonable, except for one detail: we did not take out a closing cost assistance loan. I have no documentation about this whatsoever. When I confronted the bank about this, I was assured that I was correct, but that they still needed to file paperwork because that was "the procedure," and they stuck to that line even after I provided a document from the state's own lender services website stating they only needed that information if the loan had been taken out. So, we missed our first closing date, and it's looking possible we'll miss our second one as well.

I certainly have heard worse stories than the one I just told. (I actually lived through a messier one with my parents when I was a kid.) However, in my adult life I've had accounts at over a dozen banks at various times. From small credit unions, to other regional banks, to huge, faceless ones like Citi and Chase, and I've never had a single issue of significance with any of them. Time and again, whenever presented the opportunity, First Niagara lets me down. I cannot recommend them to anyone, and as soon as we do close and I (hopefully) never have to set foot in there again, there will be a huge smile on my face.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Simplicity versus Minimalism

You may have noticed that most blog posts have labels at the bottom, helpfully collected for you on the right sidebar for browsing. One of my labels is minimalism. I do not have a label for simplicity. The reason is that I am much better at working toward the former. What's the difference?


I have been re-reading Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster, a book I highly recommend. He describes the quest for a simple lifestyle (minimalism) as a good starting point, but ultimately lacking. Paring down our possessions and cutting back our schedules becomes another set of rules to follow. We replace one standard with another, but still feel as if this life is artificial, without a deeper meaning. Minimalism is a behavior change.

In contrast, simplicity is much richer. It is both a grace bestowed upon us by God and a discipline we must follow. As a grace, it is something we cannot earn or attain by doing the right things. It is a gift, freely given when God calls us to it. It is also a discipline, so the outward appearance of simplicity may be identical to minimalism. Simplicity is a discipline because it calls us to action. Foster writes, "What we do does not give us simplicity, but it does put us in the place where we can receive it." In this, it is much like faith.

Letter of the law? Check. Spirit of the law? Working on it...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not Too Good to be True

There are some moments in life that, if written in a novel, would seem unrealistic. You know, like the heroine who cries without getting a runny nose or splotchy face. People would read it and think, "Yeah right. That would never happen." But those moments do happen! Like having your first-ever boyfriend ask you out while riding a Ferris wheel. Or this one:

My dad and I were driving home in the dark from somewhere far away. I think we had been visiting my brother at college, which makes me wonder where my mom was, but at any rate it was just the two of us. We were driving along a highway with minimal traffic and no street lights. My dad has an excellent sense of direction; I do not. I mentioned that I was unable even to find the North star on a clear night like this one.

My dad pulled off onto the shoulder and taught me. Just the two of us, somewhere in upstate New York, looking at the stars as he patiently explained something that I probably should have learned long before that moment. I've never forgotten. Never forgotten how to find the North star, never forgotten that there are constants to help us on our journeys, never forgotten how much I am loved.

Thanks, Dad.

Friday, October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 12): Counting Blessings

-1-
All three of us have a cold. But it's not a stomach bug! And we have a humidifier! And Peter's been pretty happy-go-lucky throughout the whole thing!

My little cool dude

-2-
After singing two lullabies, Peter told me, "That's it!" and decided he wanted me to go downstairs rather than sitting outside his room while he fell asleep. Much more comfortable and means my little guy is happy falling asleep.

-3-
The other night we heard a dog barking outside. "Doggy! Dog say, woof." "Yep, I hear the dog, too." "Ketchup say..." "Ketchup says?" "Ketchup say *squirting, suction noise*."

-4-
We had a lovely dinner last night with plenty of leftovers, then tonight our friend treated us to dinner. So much good food, so few dishes!

-5-
Last night, my husband had a meeting at church he needed to attend before we could go out to dinner. Thankfully, it was held in the same church as Adoration. It's the first time I've been to Adoration for any significant amount of time in quite awhile (through my own negligence). What originally seemed like an inconvenience ended up being quite a blessing.

-6-
That friend who treated us to dinner? Also brought me chocolate from Dairy Queen last night. And played with Peter for hours this morning. Best house guest ever. ;-)

-7-
When I'm sick, it's tempting to look on the dark side of everything. Counting my blessings makes me feel better already!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Your Husband or Your Kids?

Why do we polarize everything? (Relevant opening sentence on debate night, no?) I have read many blog posts and magazine articles about balancing your relationship with your husband and that with your kids. Except that none of these posts are actually about balance. Every author has come to the table with an agenda, your husband or your kids.

Who could choose?!

The pro-husband argument goes something like this. Your relationship with your husband is the primary relationship in your life. You need him for support and stability. Your marriage should take precedence over your children because your kids depend on you to model healthy adult relationships. If you cater to your kids, you teach them to be selfish. You also send the message to your husband that he is less important. The most extreme version of this position argues against making any significant changes to your social life. After all, your husband was there first.

The pro-children argument is focused on an adult's ability to understand more than a child can. Your husband can deal with delayed gratification, even if it must be delayed for years. By surrendering his place to the children, he models humble servanthood, as you do by caring for the kids. He is an adult and can deal with disappointment. The most extreme version of this position argues against ever going on a date just as a couple; that sends the message to your children that they are not an integral part of your family.

This evening, as we do once every month, my husband and I went out to dinner. We left Peter with my parents for a couple hours. We had fun, they had fun, Peter had fun. Tonight we have a friend visiting. He and my husband are socializing while I sit on the floor outside Peter's room, continuing our slow process of getting him to fall asleep alone.

I've never felt that I have to choose between my husband and my son. If Peter has a pressing need, my husband or I respond immediately. If it's something that can reasonably be delayed and I'm doing something for my husband (or myself), I include Peter in what I'm doing or suggest another activity for him until I'm available. When we have free time as a family in the evenings, we often let Peter pick where we're going, among a variety of choices that we adults enjoy. It's just not an issue. We're a family.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Irony of "Cafeteria Catholics"

I know many people who attend Mass regularly and identify themselves as Catholic, but regularly decry the Church as oppressive, reactionary, fearful of change, ignorant and prejudiced. They vocally oppose Church teachings on homosexuality, New Age healing, female ordination*, capital punishment, the sacrament of Reconciliation, refusing Communion to some, reincarnation... the list goes on. In some cases, it seems they do not believe that the Church possesses any valid teaching authority.

USCCB Logo
Good place to find what the Church teaches, rather than what some blogger says about it...

Before continuing, let me first acknowledge that the Church has made errors in her teachings in the past. Although she is protected from error on matters of faith and morals, many of her teachings are on less important matters (i.e. whether priests can marry). Also, there have been popes throughout the years who have not upheld Church teachings, fled their responsibilities, and used their position for personal gain. So faithful Catholics are not required to mutely accept all that comes from their bishops and the Vatican.

However.

Many of the teachings people don't like are issues of faith and morals. The Church has spoken with authority on these matters. When people routinely reject the teaching authority of the Church, I begin to wonder why they identify as Catholic. One reason people often give for staying despite all they despise about the Church is the Eucharist. They value the Real Presence of Christ that is not found in Protestant churches.

The irony is that some Anglican churches (and possibly other denominations) do believe in transubstantiation and the Real Presence. The reason Catholics do not acknowledge the validity of this claim is that, from a Catholic perspective, these churches have broken unity with the Church founded by Christ and so their priesthood is not valid. Without a validly ordained priest, the miracle of transubstantiation will not occur.

See the problem? The reason these churches are not considered valid is because the teaching authority of the Catholic Church has declared it. So, if you don't accept the teaching authority of the Church on "modern" issues, why would it matter what is taught about Protestant churches? My goal here is not to drive dissenters out of the Church, but to call people to think critically about the teaching authority of the Church and what it actually means to them. Intentional faith, if you will.



*I read an article in passing recently that cited Blessed Pope John Paul II's writings (particularly about the valued role of women) as evidence in favor of female ordination. Allow me to point out that he specifically said this issue is resolved and not open for further discussion. Check your sources, folks. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Peter of the Silly Faces

Doing my picture post today, as it is too late to devote enough time to a detailed post. Enjoy these shots  from a birthday party this weekend!




Monday, October 8, 2012

Prayer for my children

Heavenly Father,

I am awed by your confidence in me, entrusting these souls to my care. You know my failings, my struggles, my constant battles against sinful habits, and yet you chose me. I do not understand, but may it be done to me according to your word. Recognizing my own weakness, Lord, I offer my children back to you.

I pray for spiritual protection, that they may not be drawn away from your love. May their souls be strengthened with every necessary grace to stand against temptations and spiritual attacks. May their first desire be always to please you and grow closer to your love.

I pray for emotional protection, that they find joy in life. May they always cast their cares upon you, confident in your love for them. May their trust in you save them from worry and anxiety. May their hope in eternal life protect them from being unbalanced by the hardships they face in this life.

I pray for physical protection, that they may use their bodies always to glorify you. I praise you that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. May they always appreciate that their bodies are temples of your Holy Spirit and treat them accordingly. May they revel in good health and maintain habits that show them to be good stewards of your gifts to them.

Bless them and keep them, Lord, and may your face ever shine upon them. Amen.

Happy mommy of two little blessings

Friday, October 5, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 11): Are homeschoolers socialized?


-1-
Between a friend unexpectedly flying into town and Peter not falling asleep until 10:45, last night's post didn't happen. So instead you get it tonight, in just seven quick takes! Woah!

-2-
I know of a boy who is absolutely miserable in school, whose teacher is (by all reports) spiteful and deceitful. There is only one sixth grade class, so he can't request a different teacher in the school. It was suggested that his parents consider homeschooling for a year or two. His grandmother, who was telling us about him, responded, "Well, they could, but he needs to be socialized." I think I managed not to visibly cringe.

-3-
First, from a mainstream perspective: although many people believe traditional school is important for good socialization, most of them picture elementary and high school. I don't know anyone (although I'm sure they're out there) who thinks that middle school is full of positive social opportunities that just can't be missed. Middle school is nearly synonymous with cliques, bullies, and insecure adolescents. How much would this boy really miss by being out of that type of socialization for a year or two?
-4-
There is also research showing that people homeschooled as children are engaged in their communities, successful in their jobs, happy, and fulfil their civic duties. In other words, by adult measures of socialization, homeschoolers are doing quite well.
-5-
A counter-criticism points to the false, overly structured social setting provided in traditional schools. Children are largely confined to interacting with same-age peers with very limited times to freely socialize. (That's why you get in trouble for passing notes or talking during class.) In most workplaces, employees can choose when to schedule meetings, when to take a break, and talk with people both older and younger than themselves.

-6-
Children who are homeschooled have many opportunities to socialize with their peers from traditional schools. Scouts, church activities, community theater or art classes, music lessons, summer sports, town rec programs all provide ample opportunities to have non-homeschooled friends. Also, since they have more freedom during school hours, homeschooled children have time to interact with adults in their community and explore different walks of life.

-7-
Finally, for your reading pleasure, one homeschooling mom's explanation of why her kids will never be socialized. They're just too busy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Farm Festival!

We went to a little local farm festival with Peter's friend L and her family on Saturday. It was perfect for the kiddos. There were about ten craft vendors, a few food vendors, and a mini petting zoo. There was a hay maze with enough turns and tunnels to be an adventure without scaring the little ones. I can't imagine it being much fun for kids over the age of six or so, but our families had a great time. AND we took a wagon ride to tour Worm Power, the largest vermiculture facility in the world! ;-)






Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sleep Training, Again

Back in February, I spent about a week getting Peter to fall asleep on his own. No tears, no pushing him past his comfort zone, just slowly adjusting our bedtime routine until he could fall asleep without me in the room. This had two great outcomes: he began sleeping longer stretches overnight and fell asleep independently for a month or so. One of those is still in effect. :-)

Peter began regularly sleeping through the night in early June, I think, a month or so shy of his second birthday. Now he only wakes during the night a few times a month, which I suspect will continue for years.

He almost never falls asleep independently, though. We got out of the habit when he got a cold, then we were traveling, and just never got back into that routine. Now he does bath, story, and prayers with Daddy, listens to me pray the Rosary (he says the Glory Be for each mystery), then takes about 20 minutes to fall asleep. His bedtime routine is often over an hour long.

I don't mind cuddling with him, snuggled under the sheets as he slowly falls asleep. He regularly talks to himself as he's drifting off, which is always fun to hear. Truthfully, this new round of "sleep training" is probably harder on me than him. I don't like the idea of him growing up, preferring his llama to me as he falls asleep (which is already happening).

Llama has been a bedtime constant since early infancy.

I wouldn't reintroduce this routine at all, except for the new baby coming. I don't want to be committed to a 45 minute bedtime if the baby decides five minutes in that it's time to nurse. And I want this new routine to be well-established before the baby arrives so Peter doesn't think the baby is stealing me from him.

So tonight we started step one, as I sat next to his bed while he fell asleep. He didn't seem to mind in the least. I was cold and a little lonely.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Feast Day to Me!

Today is the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who is my patron saint. I completely forgot it was her feast... you know, because that required turning the calendar page on the first day of the month, and who has time for that? Regardless, I had a good feast day.

My mom came over with a collection of maternity clothes for me to try on, which she had bought from the clothing charity where she volunteers. I got some new shirts, pants, and even two dresses. My thoughts trying on the first dress: "Hm, this doesn't look that good on me. Well, wait. Does it actually not look good, or do I just think it looks weird because I'm pregnant and wearing a dress?" In the end, I decided it was just that I'm not used to wearing dresses while pregnant. :-)

Ignoring the fact that I'm exhausted, what do you think? 

This evening, we decided to go to Taco Bell, which is one of my favorite places to eat. I know, I just got kicked out of all natural parenting blog lists. But it was tasty and fun to go out with Peter and my husband. We had a pretty good evening once we got home; the two of them played while I sorted Peter's clothes to put away things he has outgrown and summer clothes. (I like sorting things, so this was a good time for me!) Fun fact: We have 5 pairs of 24-month pants, none of which are even close to fitting yet. Guess we're set for next fall! ;-)

Tonight was... not as great. Although we started bedtime at the usual time, Peter was apparently already too tired. It was one of those nights when the smallest disappointment, trouble, or surprise results in him collapsing into a puddle of sad. Like Alex Mack, but not glowing. Anyway, after an hour he finally fell asleep, as I hope to do soon.

Hope your October is off to a great start!