Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reason #567 that I'd rather be in Michigan for the summer

Imagine my disgust when upon making breakfast, this nasty creature decided to crawl into my sink from the drain.

I just about threw up.

This is the time of year in St. Louis when these little guys rear their ugly heads if you live in an old house. And we do. I've been told that they eat other more harmful bugs, but come on. Aren't good things suppose to also look good?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wonder of Wonder...

Miracle of miracles: the girl slept from 8pm (no crying) to 5:30 am, ate, went back to sleep until 8:15, THEN, went down for nap 1 and ALL WITH NO CRYING!!! I love, love, love it. After a week of this schedule I think I could tackle all of my "should be doing" tasks in the day.

Gina's Should-Be-Doing-Daily Task List
1. Exercise
2. Take kids to park if nice
3. Vocalise/practice music
4. Plan/work on a good evening meal

Even if I added two of the four things to my daily tasks I will be happy.

What a difference a good night sleep makes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ferber Update

Night 1 recap:
You'll recall that our first night of doing the Ferber method with Eva was not that wonderful: after taking 30 minutes to fall asleep (which was pretty good considering it was our first attempt at letting her cry) she woke a half hour later (not good), cried for an hour, slept for an hour, cried for an hour and repeated this process until 4:30 am at which point we fed her and she slept until 7am. *note: those who are unfamiliar with the method should know that you do not let them cry without checking on them at increasing intervals, assuring them of your presence and you of their safety and well-being (you can touch, talk to and sing to them, just no picking up and for no longer than 2 minutes). I do not advocate letting babies cry on their own without reassurance.

Day 1 (or day 2, whatever- you get it):
That following day I was a walking zombie and Eva was not happy either. She took 3 naps that lasted each no longer than 40 minutes (a change from her 1-2 hour napping norm) and that night at Bach Society rehearsal I had to really concentrate hard on what Dennis was saying because every time he talked or gave directions it felt like I was listening to a foreign language (I'm sure the people sitting next to me were thrilled with my lovely and accurate singing- note sarcasm).

Night 2, day 2:
Rodney informed me after I got back from rehearsal that she fell asleep in 20 minutes and he hadn't heard a thing from her since. She did not wake again until 2 am and it took her an hour to fall back to sleep. She slept from 3 to 5:45, got fed and slept till 8. You can imagine how much better we all felt yesterday. Her naps took on the same format, 3 of them lasting only 40 minutes, but each time no crying.

Night 3:
Eva slept great last night. It took her 15 minutes to fall asleep, she slept from 8:30 pm to 4:30 am, ate and went back to sleep until 7. She is now taking her first nap. I think it's safe to say that she is now sleeping on her own. No swaddle, no pacifier, no rocking (well a little bit as a part of the bedtime routine, but not to fall asleep). Thank you Ferber.

Trading S's: Giving up the Swaddle and Suck for Sleep Sack and Snuggly

Monday, April 20, 2009


We decided to bite the bullet and start Ferber just a few days earlier than planned. Originally we wanted to wait until Tuesday night because she's been fighting a cold, but it seems to have cleared up pretty much and we would like to sleep again (I'm sure it can't hurt Eva's overall wellness either to get good sleep).

How we did it- The Set Up:
It was a little tricky trying to figure out how to do this with Will and Eva sharing a room but this is what we came up with. Eva is going to be sleeping in the pack 'n play until Will is ready for a big boy bed (maybe sometime this summer?) so we set it up in their room (which has been Will's room up until now) with Eva alone in there until she's sleeping well. Will is in a borrowed pack 'n play in the living room for nighttime sleep and in our room for naps. We put him in the livingroom so he wouldn't be disturbed by us getting up frequently to reassure Eva of our presence during crying jags. Also, the dining room and living room can be closed off from the rest of the house by a door thereby giving him more quietude. Every sleeper has a fan too (it could be argued that this is an unecessary crutch that should be gotten rid of as well, but we are fan sleepers in this house and there's no reason in my mind that it shouldn't continue).

Ferber-Night 1, Day 1:
Will went down easily in the living room due to a skipped nap and a little later bedtime. Eva went down easily as well due to the same circumstances. Will stayed asleep through the night (phew) and Eva woke every single sleep cycle (just about every hour). During the day Eva has taken 2 short naps and is only happy during waking hours when being held. I am trying not to hold her too much as it is a.) exhausting and b.) not aiding in the forming of the self-soothing techniques that Ferber instills. Will went down for his nap but not without a fight. It's been a hard 16 hours.

I am looking forward to the positive report that I will be giving in a day or two. Until then, I'm trying to hang in there.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nothin'. What's up with you?

Time for updates. We'll start with the little people and then move on to the big people in the house.

Sweet little Eva has decided that sleeping long stretches is not for her anymore. She was giving us 8-9 hours at night from about 3 months of age until last month. On her 5 month birthday she started waking every 3 to 4 hours again (not as bad as our little friend Claire, but still not great). We've chosen this week to do Ferber so we should be getting our Z's back (thank God) by Friday (she'll be 6 months old next week). Besides sleep, she is growing and learning lots about her environment. The biggest thing we've noticed lately is how much she's fascinated by her brother. She will watch Will intently as he plays and turns her head to follow him whenever he motors by. She also likes the exersaucer a lot and the activity mat (grabbing toys is fun) but still doesn't love being on her tummy, so I don't think she'll be an early crawler.

Go Cards

Watching internet TV and eating ice cream with Mom and Dad

I absolutely love this age. He will be turning two at the end of May and he's learning so much so fast. His favorite things are balls (everything is a "basseh ball") and he loves hearing his dad play the guitar (ta-tar) and the piano (pano). One funny little thing is that he's been calling Rodney and me (but mostly me) by our first names quite a bit lately. I try to ignore it until he says "mama" or I say "I'm mama" and then he stops, but it's kinda funny. He's talking more and more lately and trying out new phrases daily it seems. Some of his favorites are "there it is," "I see it," "time to eat," "have it, want it," "shoot it (the ball)," and "you do it." Sometimes when we leave someplace he'll name all the people he can think of that were there and then say "that was fun." If we're leaving the house he'll say "bye bye Che, little bit" which means "bye bye Che (our dog), see you in a little bit." The one that was cracking me up yesterday was while we were driving he said "moon, where are you?" He's also fascinated with bikes and even tried to sequester a little toddler's bike-type ride in the park a little while back (much to the potential friend's dismay).



He has accepted a job at Lift for Life Academy in Soulard for the fall. This is a humongous blessing due to the turmoil at his current school, Imagine College Prep. He is very excited about the change and would start teaching there tomorrow if he could. It also doesn't hurt that the school is right across the street from the Soulard Market (my husband is as white as it gets when it comes to farmers markets). He's also getting ready to teach a May term class at Greenville (in Godfrey, IL at an extention campus) that will last 3 weeks. The class is called Christian Ethics, which is a new one for him. He'll also be teaching a night class at SLU in the fall, so he's getting some college teaching experience under his belt.

I just finished concert week with the symphony with two performances of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust on Friday and Saturday. It was really amazing. We have one more performance left for the season which is Beethoven's 9th, and if it's anything like my first two concerts with this incredible group of musicians I should be in for some more greatness. I have a Bach Society concert on Sunday, the last of our season and we're performing Mozart's Vespers and Bach's Jesu Meine Freude at St. Xavier Church on SLU's campus. It should be a very good concert as well. Poor Rodney has been a little worn out becuase he's on single-daddy duty just about every night during concert weeks and to have two back to back should not be fun. But, he did secure a babysitter and was able to attend last night's performance at the symphony so he got a little "second wind" so to speak. I am truly blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and still pursue my musical career goals. Even though it can be tiring, it is extremely rewarding.

Monday, April 13, 2009

*Holy* Week

And it was. In past years I've taken singing jobs at different churches during this week because it's pretty good money. But, since the family is growing I've decided to say no to such offers in order to spend time together. Boy, am I happy this decision was made. Instead of spending the week hoarse and otherwise physically done-for we played, rested, ate, and played some more. Now that's what I call *holy*

The week (or really extended weekend) was packed with goodness. The fun began with an awesome outing to a Cards game on Thursday. Yes it was cold, rainy and wet, but Rodney came home at 11:30 and we spent the rest of the day together which was quite the treat.

Then, I had completely forgotten that R had Good Friday off, making Thursday the unexpected beginning of a little much needed vacay. That night I requested a night out with M for some mommy pampering time (sans babes) and we headed to the mall. I came home to a happy hubby with chillins snuggly tucked-in. Could it get any better?

Yes. Friday we had a BBQ with Kendra, Mike and Jesse and Saturday we headed over to Mike and Kendra's for brunch along with a little egg dying and hunting. Will had way too much chocolate and stained hands by naptime. He was hilarious.

We were invited back to M and K's house for Easter Dinner on Sunday along with the Brower-Tolands, Jesse Walls, and Mike's collegue Kara (whom I sure Will had a little crush on). The food was delicious and the kids were amazing. Such a good time.

I didn't take many pictures on Easter Day (doof) so I'm scrounging

Mike and Eva

We are now all enjoying some solitude with kids a-nappin' and mom a-bloggin.' Just maybe I'll get to practice today. I've decided not to hold my breath, however.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lost in Translation

For those who know my son, you know that he is quite the communicator. He does have some words however, that do not sound much like the word it's intended to be and only those closest to him know what he's saying. Lately I've noticed he's trying to be more accurate with certain words and this through me for a loop the other day.

Will, approaches me and says with expression (he even used his hands): "Tightay?"

Me: "What?"

Will: "Tightay!?!!"

Me: "I'm sorry buddy, I still don't understand."

Will: "Sasa!"

Me: "Oh! Ricecake!!"

Will: "Oh! Sasa!!!"

So much for accuracy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mystery Revealed

Re: my last post- It was baby spit, Ya'll. Pretty gross, eh?