Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Self Soothing

Last weekend I went to a Hanscom Spouses Club meet and greet...yes I went. If you know me you know that is so not my thing. But I actually had a good time and meet some nice people! It is always nice to meet new people...and drink wine :) I met up with a friend first at her house where she was waiting on her sitter to arrive. I stopped and listened to her explain to the sitter everything about her son and heard her say "just put him down to sleep, don't rock him he will just put himself to sleep." Her son is 8 months old. This made me realize something, I have always rocked Adrianna to sleep before putting her in her crib. Every nap and every bedtime was the same. I would bring her upstairs, read her a story then rock her to sleep and slowly put her down then sneak out of her room. Lately she has been fighting me when I try to rock her and I just thought "wow she is really fighting her sleep today." It never even crossed my mind that MAYBE just MAYBE it may be time to start letting her self sooth to sleep. I should have done this months ago but for some reason I have been having a hard time letting go of the fact that Adrianna is not a baby anymore. 
This same friend was mentioning to me that she sometimes lets her baby "cry it out." I have never even thought of doing that with Adrianna simply because I just always had a fear of her crying so hard she throws up...which she has done....but back when she had reflux as an infant! She is not a baby anymore. She is not so delicate anymore. I also noticed this same friend's video monitor and noticed that she couldn't even SEE her son sleeping in it. She mentioned that since lowering the crib she hasn't been able to actually see him but she mostly uses it just to see when he actually gets up and to hear his cry. I, on the other hand, still wake up once a night to stare at the monitor to make sure she's breathing or I walk into her room to check. I guess it's because of having to be so careful when she was first born. She was a 5 week preemie born at 4lbs 4oz so she was tiny! She never had issues breathing but the NICU nurse always made sure to drill it into my head that I needed to check on her and make sure she was always on her back because she could stop breathing especially because she was so little. I guess I forgot to stop STOP checking, Ha! Well I always kind of knew I should really stop being so scared of something bad happening...especially since my husband had been pointing out my obsession with the video monitor lately and been telling me to turn it off at night and I refused. 
Listening to my friend talk about her 8 month old and how laid back she was with him made me stop and think. What was I planning, rocking Adrianna to sleep until she was 2 or 3 years old?! So a few days ago, Monday actually, I decided to read her a bedtime story, kiss her goodnight and put her down to let her cry it out. She cried for about a half hour....I know because I looked at the time, it really felt like 2 hours. She then laid herself down and fell fast asleep. She didn't even wake up in the middle of the night like she sometimes did! Tuesday I tried it again and she fell asleep in, I'm not kidding, 3 minutes! A little crying then she laid down and hugged her teddy and fell asleep. I guess I have been holding her back from being a big girl and I wasn't listening to her demand to let her be and do things on her own. So I have put away all bottles, let her feed herself, sometimes with a spoon if it's not too messy, and I must say I feel better about her being more independent! This crying it out thing was much easier than I thought it would be, I'm sure it wont be this easy with my future way am I going to be blessed with such easy children! Well you never know, guess I'll just have to wait and see ;) 

Friday, September 9, 2011

We are quite the travelers...

As I hear from many of my friends, we travel A LOT! I know but we can't help ourselves...we just love taking trips and experiencing new things with Adrianna! We have always been this way. We are not rich, trust me, we just plan trips ahead of time and shuffle our finances around accordingly. It also helps that we have a lot of Hilton Honors points and sky miles (thanks Joe!) so we take full advantage. Although, I think this time we bit off more than we could chew. It all began with Joe going to his SOS training (squadron officer school) in Montgomery, AL. I had to pack for us three to head down to my parent's house in NY then drop Adrianna off with them and take the drive with Joe to Alabama. We planned on taking 2 days to drive to Atlanta then I would fly back to NY, he would head of to his final destination, I would sleep at my parents one night then spend the rest of the 5 weeks he would be gone back at our home in MA. When I got back to NY I just decided it would be easier to spend a few weeks in NY then head back to MA for a week or so and then go back to NY where Adrianna and I would fly out to AL to meet up with Joe again and begin the drive back up to MA. I'm exhausted already just typing this and at the same time thinking "Are you crazy?! Woman relax with your child at home and take it easy." So anyway, I stayed with my parents. On my final week there, they were planning on heading to my aunt's 40th birthday party for the weekend in Miami. You think I would pass up a weekend in Miami....a FREE weekend in Miami? No. So off Adrianna and I went on an adventure. Connecting flights there and back. First a frantic drive back to MA to pack real quick for our extended trip to Miami and then 3 days after we return we were due to head out to AL to meet up with Joe. How do I even pack for that? I amaze myself sometimes because I was surprisingly organized and didn't forget anything! We had a blast with my family in Miami and were excited to reunite with Joe in AL but after so many plane trips in one week and the diaper bag, stroller, car seat, all of which I had to carry around, I am done with plane trips without Joe for a while. I don't want to see another plane for a long time in fact!

Best part about meeting up with Joe and making our way back north was our road trip adventure. In 6 days we drive to our old base in Warner Robins, GA to see some good friends, stopped in Myrtle Beach, SC for 2 nights then drove straight to right past Washington DC for the night and the next day made it to Joe's parent's country house in Livingston Manor, NY. It was stressful and tricky at times. We have a very picky eater so trying to figure out where to stop and eat according to what she will actually EAT was tough. We made it, unscathed. Apparently Adrianna loves chicken now and she even tried mild wings from Buffalo Wild Wings and loved the spiciness! Which doesn't surprise me, I couldn't get enough spicy food when I was pregnant with her. Except I was going for full on hot wings back then....I can't tolerate that now. Funny how your body changes with pregnancy. Our last adventure of the summer road trip took us to Yankee Stadium for Adrianna's first Yankees game (or is it Yankee game, I don't know I always drop the "s"). Of course that day was one of the hottest days for a while....upper 80s but it definitely felt like 90s. Adrianna was a trooper and she had so much fun! She was cheering the whole time, looking behind her because that is where all the people were and she loves attention! We had great seats too, 5 rows back from left field.

I remember telling Joe that I was a little bummed because we weren't going to do all the "summery" things I hoped to do with Adrianna because of his training. By the looks of things, we crammed our "summer" into two long, exhausting, but fun weeks. The memories we made I will never forget. And now we are back home in MA. We have a routine again, Adrianna learned how to fully walk more crawling (hardly) which is a nice, anticipated achievement! But boy is it harder to entertain her. She is just such an adventurous, curious, intelligent little 14 month old. I can't wait to do fall'y' (autumn'y'? whatever) with her now and make more precious unforgettable memories. Here are some (LOTS!) of pictures from our trips:
Waiting for our flight to Miami, she loved the planes

With her Tia Wendy

Park play date with her bff

summer picnic

Birthday twin Weslynn

Her friend Eli

Wearing a very appropriate "southern like" dress

Name in the sand

She loved the ocean

A not so relaxing dinner experience 

She was not happy

Stepping on a bug

A hot day at Yankee stadium 

But we had a great time!