Friday, January 30, 2009

I like sleep, so why don't the kids?

My kids have stopped sleeping. When the kids stop sleeping, we stop sleeping. (Correction: I've stopped sleeping. Jason is recovering from bronchitis, so I've taken pity on him and let him sleep.) It's not fun. I miss sleep.

The other night, Patrick came into our room at around o'dark thirty (I didn't put on my glasses to see the actual time) and asked if he could get up yet. He was unhappy when we said no.

Two nights ago, I didn't get to bed until about 1 because I was doing work. Within a minute or two of getting into bed, Kamu started saying "Mama. MaMA. MAMA!" He's like a metronome and can do it forever, or at least for as long as I can take it before going in. He has figured out that the magical word to get him out of his crib at any time is "Potty?" Finished that and went back in. "Water?" Drank some and laid back down. I stroked his head for a bit, then kissed him and headed out of the room...and he started crying. 10 minutes later, I finally got him to relax enough to go back to sleep so that I could get into bed for real.

15 minutes of calming a child is not so long. 15 minutes of calming a child when it's already 1 a.m. and you're afraid you'll fall asleep leaning on the crib is an eternity.

Last night, Kamu fell asleep pretty quickly but Patrick asked if he could read for a while. I said yes, so he got a Calvin and Hobbes book (my child has awesome taste in books!) and read in the hallway upstairs for...well, until I went up at 9 p.m. to get my slippers and found him still sitting there. Usually, he'll read for 10 or 15 minutes and then go to bed. Not so last night.

About 15 minutes later, Kamu started crying. Really crying, like scary dream crying. When I went up to get him, Patrick sat up and said "He's scared of the dark." Maybe that was it, I don't know, but I do know that Kamu could NOT be comforted in his crib last night. He pulled the same "Potty? Water?" routine from the other night, but only did it between sobs. If I stroked his head, he was OK but if I tried to leave the room, he'd start crying hard again.

Finally, I brought him downstairs to cuddle for a bit so that he wouldn't keep Patrick awake. Then Patrick came downstairs, very upset because his little brother was out of bed and he had to stay there. I persuaded Patrick back up and Kamu and I cuddled for 45 minutes or so. But he started crying again in his bed, so I gave him to Jason and they laid in our bed for a while. Jason came back downstairs and said that Kamu was going to sleep in our bed.

About an hour later, I went up to bed. Walked into the room and the first thing I heard was "Mama!" At least he was still in our bed. I laid down with him and have no idea if he fell asleep quickly because I'm ridiculously sleep-deprived at this point and fell asleep in 0.2 seconds flat. All I know is that Jason moved him back to his own bed at some point and we woke up at 7:15 a.m. when Kamu started yelling and Patrick came in to get us. Good thing, too, because I forgot to set the alarm.

Please, oh please, let my kids start sleeping again. I liked taking it forgranted that my kids slept pretty well, but won't do it again.

Next time, pictures for sure.

Monday, January 19, 2009

National Day of Service

I was so happy to be able to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. national day of service today. Patrick came with me and helped out as well, which was a great mitzvah that he really enjoyed.

I started the day by going through my dresser and closet for clothes to donate to Goodwill. I came out with an entire garbage bag full of them. Just my own clothes. Eeps. So I brought them over and stopped at the grocery store on the way back to pick up meat, cheese, and sandwich bags for our main project. We went to a church and, with at least 100 wonderful people, helped make sandwiches for the homeless. Patrick, who looked very funny with enormous plastic gloves on his hands, took bread out of the bag and put on a slice of cheese. I put on the meat and mustard and bagged it. Patrick helped assemble a good 40 or 50 sandwiches!

It was great to see how many people had brought their children with them, many of them around Patrick's age. They even had a table set up with crayons, coloring pages of Dr. King, and some activity sheets that the kids could do when they got tired of making sandwiches.

They reached their goal of 2,000 sandwiches in less than 90 minutes! We left at that time, happy that we'd been able to do something worthwhile. I think it's so important for children to understand the importance of giving their time and energy to help others, and I'm really glad that Patrick is old enough to get involved now. I'd like to do some community service activity at least once a month if we can.

One of the local churches is having a blood drive today and it goes until 7:45 tonight. I'm planning to go over once Jason gets home (right now I've got our boys + a friend of Patrick's here, so I can't go now) and am hoping that, unlike the last two times I've tried to donate, I'm not anemic and am set to go.

It's been a good day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sharing a room

Good parts about the kids sharing a room:

1. Have you seen how cute their room is? There's no way we could make two rooms cute like that. And that's even without it being painted!

2. I genuinely think they're closer because they share a room. We'll see how long that lasts, but it's great for now.

3. At the rate that Melkamu's growing, they'll be sharing clothes before long (Melkamu has recently started wearing 3T shirts, though he's still in 2T pants).

4. Patrick will sometimes entertain Melkamu for a little while in the mornings before they wake us up.

5. Only have to keep one room clear of clutter in case of nighttime trips to the bathroom!

6. The giggles that sometimes come down the stairs as they're supposed to be falling asleep.

Bad things about the kids sharing a room:

1. The giggles that sometimes come down the stairs as they're SUPPOSED to be falling asleep (though it really is hard to mind that).

2. If one kid wants a drink, then they BOTH want a drink. We just keep cups of water on the windowsill now.

3. If Patrick gets up to go to the bathroom, it sometimes wakes up Melkamu--who, since he is pretty well potty-trained, often wants to get up to go to the bathroom.

4. The other night we heard a very whiny "Kamu, please be quiet! I'm trying to go to sleep!"

5. Patrick is apparently insomniac extraordinaire tonight, because he WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP. Jason ran out about 30 minutes ago to get some dog food and took Patrick with him so that poor exhausted Melkamu could finally fall asleep. It's 10:20 and they're still out. It's a good thing Patrick can sleep in in the morning!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Indeed, it IS my birthday

And Jason's present rocks: the first two seasons of Duckman on video! If only I didn't have to turn 31 to get it :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

The time has come...

The time is now...

Just comment, comment, comment! I don't care how.

You can comment with your name.

You can comment with your blog.

You can even comment with a pet green frog!

Listen all you readers

Don't you know?

It's time to start commenting--yo yo YO!

(OK, my ending was a little weak. And my apologies to Dr. Seuss for the lame entry. But it's National Delurking Week--won't you make me happy and let me know that you're reading? And, as a bonus reason to comment, I'll donate $1 to AHOPE, an orphanage for HIV+ children in Ethiopia for each person who comments.)

And really...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So I don't normally watch this kind of show

But I am totally into Superstars of Dance. I've never watched So You Think You Can Dance? or Dancing with the Stars or any of those shows, but this one is really cool.

Anyone else?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Totally jinxing this...

Melkamu is potty training this week. (Stop reading now if you don't want more details.) He went half-nak.ed for the first two days, then we started using underpants. They have Elmo on them and are a BIG incentive for him. If he has an accident in them, he can't have new ones until he's successfully used the potty the next time he needs to go. Since he loves them, he really wants to get them. He gets stickers every time he successfully uses the potty. There were several accidents on the first few days, and we're still working on pooping in the potty--which is odd, because that's what he was doing first.

Wow, I don't even want to write this because I KNOW I am jinxing it. But here goes:

Patrick potty-trained for days at about 27 months and nights at around age 3. I think Kamu's going to have him beat. He's had two completely dry days in a row now, including naps AND nights. Two dry nights in a row. At 25 months old.

We haven't been restricting fluids at all; if anything, I've been encouraging him to drink more than usual so that he'd get more practice using the potty. He often has a drink of water before he goes to bed at night. Each morning he's woken up with a dry diaper; we've taken it off of him and he's immediately gone in and used the potty. I ask him frequently if he needs to go potty during the day and will take him if it's been a while since he's last gone.

He will also tell us if he needs to go. We went out for dinner last night and twice while we were there, he said he needed to go potty. I took him into the restroom and he went both times. The boys and I went to lunch with friends today after synagogue and he did the same thing while we were there. Sometimes he'll tell us and not need to go, but I'd much rather have him err on that side!

Mind you, I'm not convinced that he's really got it enough to let him leave the house in underpants--we're using pull-ups for excursions, just to be on the safe side. Even though I am extremely impressed with him, I'm not insane.

It remains to be seen what happens when he starts daycare again on Monday. He'll start using pull-ups at school instead of diapers. There are potties in his classroom and the teachers do take the kids, but I don't know if he'll tell them the way he tells us or if they'll ask him often enough. They normally change the kids every 90 minutes; I'm going to ask them to ask him if he neds to go every hour, and definitely take him about 15-20 minutes after he eats or drinks something (that seems to be his "critical need" time). Jason thinks they'll be very much on board with it since diaper duty is one they don't particularly like. I really hope so.

Whether school works or not, I think we'll have him in underpants at home and continue working with him.

A big incentive for Melkamu is that he wants to do everything that Patrick does. He genuinely does not seem to realize that he's 3 years younger than Patrick. I think he's figured out that this is another thing that Patrick does that he can do also.

Two dry days and nights in a row. Wow. Go Kamu!

*Edited to add that I did jinx it. Not 30 minutes after I posted last night, and fresh out of the bath, Melkamu had an accident. Oh well, I can deal with one in two days. And while he wasn't dry last night, he was barely wet. Have you seen A League of Their Own? The scene with Tom Hanks in the locker room before the first game? That was Kamu this morning. Thankfully on the potty.