Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Lot to be Thankful For

I know my post yesterday was a little down but I have so much to be thankful for. As difficult as Evan is being right now he really does make up for it with his sweetness. It seems like I tell him he is adorable about 20 times a day for all the things he says and does. And he is so kind and sweet to Erin. It just melts my heart.
Today and yesterday we did a lot of coloring and painting to keep busy. I haven't had both kids at home by myself for consecutive days since maternity leave, so I knew Evan would get bored real quick if I didn't have him some stuff to go.
Lots of coloring.
And he got to paint for the first time (at home anyway). He painted this tractor for papaw.
And this cute little cow for mamaw. I love his little determined face and the concentration (see the tongue sticking out?)
And I am so thankful for Erin. My sweet sweet Erin. She is still the BEST baby.
She still rarely cries, although she has started to get a little fussy when I put her down for a nap. I think she is realizing she might miss something when she naps. I'd say at most she cries for about 2 minutes and then gives into her nap.
She still hates tummy time but she is getting a little better and will tolerate it a little longer.

I feel like Erin is getting a raw deal lately because we have to spend so much time and attention on Evan.
I wish I could get more one on one time with her, I love to snuggle her and smell her sweet baby head. She loves to be held and really loves to sit anywhere or do anything. Have I mentioned she is awesome? And when I put her in this little dress and tights on Thanksgiving I have to admit, I got all emotional. I just adore my little girl!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Terrible Two's and Terrors

I will not sugar coat it. Two is pretty terrible right now. I use this blog more as a way to remember all the little bits of our lives that we may inevitably forget some day. I already look back on it when I can't remember when Evan hit his milestones and always find my answer.
Well at 2 years and 5 months Evan is a tantrum throwing toddler and he is driving his mama crazy. It's really nothing I can't handle during the day. I can take the tantrums that he throws over being told he can't wash his hands for 30 minutes, or drive the car home, the list goes on. What I can't handle are the tantrums he has when I wake him up in the morning or when I put him to bed at night. For two years and 4 months Evan was the BEST sleeper. Sleeping 12 hours a night and a problem free 3 hour nap per day. Well ever since the big pacifier take away that went out the window. He refuses to settle down for a nap or go to bed when he is told. Most of the time it's fits of screaming, flailing, screaming, moaning and did I mention screaming?  And in the morning he is so tired from fighting sleep the night before that when I have to get him up to get him ready for daycare he is not having any of it. He fights every step of the way, diaper change, changing his clothes and all the way to the car seat. But hopefully we might have solved this little issue because a friend suggested we play a movie to distract him while I get him ready. I tried it Wednesday and it worked like a charm!(thanks Jennie!) We'll see if it works on Monday when I got back to work, fingers crossed.
So sleep issues are really prominent in our lives right now. Tantrums and fits don't really worry me though.
But the thing that concerns me the most is the night terrors.
Ever since Evan was about a year old he has had night terrors. For the longest time we didn't know what was wrong with him when he would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. It was as if he was in a zombie trance, still sleeping but screaming his head off and thrashing around in his crib. This happened about once a month so we did some research and consulted our pediatrician. The trigger for his night terrors is almost always lack of sleep. If he misses his nap or goes to bed really late we can almost always count on a 2am night terror. And they are so hard to watch. They can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Most research I've done says to just stay with him and make sure he doesn't hurt himself. They recommend you do not try and wake the child up. But on a few occasions (only after more than 30 minutes of screaming) we have taken Evan outside and usually that will wake him up and he snaps right out of it like nothing happened. Some nights nothing works and I just have to sit and listen to his horrible screams - I always feel so helpless and more often than not sit next to his crib and cry right along with him.
When he turned two we didn't see a night terror until we took his pacifier away. Without that to soothe him to sleep he has missed many naps and bedtimes. And in the past two weeks he has had one almost every night. I have no idea what to do. I've tried modifying his bedtime but no matter how early (or late) I put him down he is defiant and will not sleep until he has exhausted himself by screaming and crying.
All that said today has been an exception. He quietly went down for his nap and take his normal 3 hours and I had to wake him up. He was in a great mood when he woke up and we only had one small tantrum tonight - pretty good considering some nights he can have 4 or 5. And we just put him down for the night and no screaming yet. He did have us go through a 20 minute ordeal before he would go in his crib. I asked him why he didn't want to go night night, I asked if he was scared and he said yes. I said what are you scared of and he pointed to the window and said "outside". So I asked if he would feel safe if we covered the windows with blankets and that seemed to make him happy. I really hope we are turning a corner here and these sleep issues will be gone soon. It's so draining both physically and emotionally.

Friday, November 4, 2011

He May Look Sweet and Innocent

This boy is testing the very limits of my sanity. The tantrums have been in full force since we took his pacifier away. Is it related? I'm not sure, it doesn't seem like it should be since he only took his pacifier at naps and bedtime. It could be he doesn't rest as well now and he is more grouchy. I sure hope it's a phase. A very short one.
A typical tantrum from Evan can last anywhere from 15-30 minutes. No amount of reasoning will snap him out of it. He just has to cry it out until he decides he's done throwing a fit. His triggers seem to be anything we tell him he can't do. And also naptime and bedtime. Some nights bedtime is fine, he lays down and goes right to sleep. But others he cries and cries until he finally falls asleep, exhausted I'm sure. I try and tell myself he's two and a half and it won't be like this for long, it's so hard for me though. He screams and screams and there's no consoling him.
The worst is getting him ready in the morning. He is NOT a morning person. I try and wake him up at least 20 minutes before I have to get him dressed but he doesn't usually budge. I have to physically pick his limp body out of his crib and put him on the changing table. That's usually when he wakes up and a full on struggle ensues. Thrashing and kicking he does not want his diaper changed or to get dressed. Then I have the task of getting him into the carseat while he's stiff as a board and refusing to bend. All really fun at 6:30am with a 4 month old to think about as well. Thank goodness Erin is such a good baby or I would have gone crazy long ago.
Now don't get me wrong, the tantrums are a pretty small part of our day. He is still the sweet good natured boy he has always been but sometimes his crazy tantrum side decides to show up.
It's been a challenging couple of weeks. It's hard to know how long it will last. Most people with two year olds have told me to "get use to it". Sounds fun.