Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Binky Intervention

I actually wasn't going to write about the Binky Fiasco -- I mean, our experience attempting to get J to stop using the binky cold-turkey. However apparently alot more people read this blog than I thought because I have had several people ask me how it went. It went....okay. In doctor-speak I would say our effort was moderately successful despite having to make unexpected adjustments to the treatment plan.

Looking back on it I know what the big mistake was. What I SHOULD have done was wait for J to wake up from a nap, and after making him "put the binky in the bed" (which is where it's supposed to stay when he's not sleeping) THEN cut the end off the binky so I could show it to him and say it was "broken." Instead, in my excitment that we were Finally Getting Rid of the Binky, I stupidly waited until right before naptime when he was overtired, snuck into his room, cut the end off the binky, put it back in the bed, and let J find it that way. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: Big mistake. Big.

When I put J in the crib for his nap, he immediately reached for his binky. He put it in his mouth, pulled it out with a puzzled look, looked at me, and said, "Binky?" "Uh-oh," I said cheerily (another mistake, I should have acted more sad about it), "Your binky looks like it's broken. I think we'll have to put it in the garbage." When I said that, the most horrified look I've ever seen came across his face and he started sobbing. Not throwing-a-tantrum- mad-crying, but oh-my-God-my-best-friend's-dead crying. He looked SO SAD. He actually cradled the binky to his chest going, "Binky, binky, no, no, no." Then he held it out to me with the biggest trusting eyes and said really pitifully, "Mommy, pease fix it." When I told him I couldn't fix it, he really started weeping. I felt TERRIBLE. He continued to cry for 10 minutes during which he alternately clutched his blanket and tried to suck his fingers, then started softly weeping again.

So being the sucker I am, I found another unbroken binky, gave it to him, and he fell asleep for 3 hours. I don't know why this bothered me so much. It was just different than anything I'd seen from him in the past. When he was ten months old and we used the "cry-it-out" method for 3 nights to get him to sleep through the night, I was bothered but determined to see it through and never once did I waver or back down. Somehow his sad crying over the binky for 20 minutes was worse. I felt like I introduced my kid to grief. And then I started questioning my own motives: Why was I so determined to get rid of the binky RIGHT NOW? Does it really bother me that much? Or is it that I'm bothered by other people's comments about J still using the binky? It's not like he's speech delayed, or has dental disease, or even uses the binky much except for sleeping. Seriously, this whole episode turned into one of those times when you have to ask yourself if what people are telling you you should do is what you really feel in your heart is best for YOUR kid. here's where we are now. We stopped taking the binky to daycare and all week he's done great taking naps without it. We'll see how naps go this weekend when he's home with me. If he asks for it at night we give it to him (which he has for the last 5 out of 7 nights). However...we have had 2 nights where he wanted to sleep with the football so bad he forgot to ask for the binky and slept just fine. This slower, easier approach to getting rid of the binky feels more right to me and less traumatic for J, which after all is the most important thing.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Best Month Ever

You know that show, The Best Week Ever? Well so far May has been like an episode of The Best Month Ever in our house, except without the flashy graphics and witty commentary. Memorial Day weekend was one of the most awesome weekends we've had in awhile, and it basically capped off a pretty stellar month. I am SO SAD to be going back to work tomorrow. The past few weekends have been how I envision we'd spend our time if I ever finally hit the MegaBucks jackpot at the casino and could stop working. This month:

  • The month started off on a great note May 1 as J turned two and TH and I clocked in two years as parents. We're still kind of newbies but settling into our roles fairly comfortably...even thinking about having another. And so far 18 months was alot more "terrible" than 2 has been. (I know, I know, "wait until he turns 3," I'm going to gag if someone else says that to me.)

  • We paid the first mortgage and didn't go (totally) broke. What do you know -- budgeting works! I guess we're *really* homeowners now.

  • Over the past 3 weeks we've had visits from both of my sisters, my mom, TH's sister and nephew, and dear friends of ours who moved away to Georgia a few months ago. We've literally had guests every weekend this month and it has been so much fun.

  • We've entered that era where the kid has a busier social schedule than the parents. Not only have we had guests in the house spoiling the crap out of J, but he's had a birthday party to attend every weekend this month. Somehow he and all of his little friends were born in May.

  • Now that the weather is warmer (but not yet scorchingly hot), J has REALLY been enjoying the backyard, even though it's still just rocks and dirt. This month he's learned to hit a tee-ball, ride a 3-wheel scooter, ride his tricycle (finally),....and how to dump out the water table on the puppy. Good times.

  • Just this past weekend alone: We had a cookout, I got to stay out all night at a friend's bachelorette party, we went to another birthday party where J discovered the wonderful world of bouncers and trampolines, and on Sunday he got to ride a carousel for the first time. Life totally rocks right now.

Now for the picture overload:

Further proof that J is truly TH's son. A basketball in one hand, a football in the other.

It should be illegal to have this much fun. Yes, that is TH in the bouncer with J.

Again with the football. Old lovey at naptime: Binky. New lovey at naptime: Football. He is actually sleeping with a football now. We only take pictures like this so when he becomes an NFL star we can be interviewed going, "He ate, slept, and dreamed football as a kid. He loved it so much that he even slept with one from the time he was two years old. We have proof -- look at this picture."

After a "mom" haircut looking all grown up and like Daddy.

Trying salad for the first time. Maybe the last time. We'll see.

Playing in the mud I inadvertently created when I was hosing off the patio without realizing the hose behind me had a major leak. Mimi (the puppy) looked like one of those pathetic oil-spill animals after this little episode.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wish us luck.

The big project for the long holiday weekend....kicking the binky habit. I've gathered alot of advice and tips on how to go about this, and today's the day. I'm going to try the ol' "binky's broken, we have to throw it away" routine. We've been making pretty feeble attempts at limiting the binky use ("Binky goes in the bed. Binkies are for sleeping.") which have been moderately successful, but yesterday morning I got a whiff of J's first-morning binky breath and decided an intervention is needed ASAP. Wish us luck!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This past weekend my mom was visiting us from Alaska. We had a great time - shopping, gambling, eating, watching movies, eating. J's starting to be able to call people by name who he hasn't seen in awhile. I think he was a little confused because my sisters were here a couple of weeks ago for his birthday and while they were here he learned to say "Auntie." So while my mom was here he kept calling her Auntie, then correcting himself: "No...Granny! Yeah! Granny!" Very cute.

I'm starting to miss being back home ALOT. We've been in Vegas for four years now, and we just bought a house here, so I guess we're staying awhile longer. This is one of my biggest internal struggles right now. I like the life we've created here, the friends, the jobs, the good daycare...but I miss being around family like crazy. When I was growing up both sets of grandparents lived within a few blocks of each other, and we were surrounded by extended family -- aunts, uncles, cousins on both sides. My childhood memories are full of parties, barbecues, game nights, movie nights, or just hanging out spending the night at a cousin's house. I feel bad that J is not experiencing any of that. He's closer to the other daycare kids than he is to any of his family (one reason I love the in-home daycare). He actually calls his daycare lady's mother "Grandma."

I don't know what our plan is at this point. When I talk to my twin sister who has 2 kids, I feel like I'm missing out on their whole life, and she feels the same way about J. But of course it's not that simple....we bought a house. We both have great jobs. The pay for veterinarians is much better here than in Colorado. We have good friends.

Then I'll see pictures of the Rocky Mountains and I'll want to run home. I miss the mountains, the clear air, the weather (I can't describe how much I hate desert heat), the trees and parks and trails, movie theaters that aren't inside casinos...but most of all I miss being around family. And yes, I'll admit it, the help that comes with being around family - babysitting, having someone nearby to give you a break when you're trapped in the house with a screaming infant.

What to do, what to do. I guess we could always expand our own family...(ducking if TH is reading this).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday Randomness

It's been a super crazy week at work and I haven't had much time to post, although alot has been on my mind lately. So today just a few tidbits of what's been floating around in my brain recently:

  • Other than the diapers, J really isn't a baby anymore. He can talk so well now (recent sentence: "Mommy look, a big truck moving the dirt."), he can sing (see previous post), he can count to 20 without prompting, he can jump with both feet and run and kick a ball, he can pet the cats without strangling them...

  • J is starting to like superheroes. We got him a Spiderman scooter last week which he LOVES, and when I pointed it out in the store he said "Hey! Piderman!" although we've never watched the movie or cartoon with him. He also somehow knows about Superman.

  • I'm in love with Alicia Keys. We went to her concert last week and it was FANTASTIC. She's my new girl-crush. Today at work I had a 3 hour surgery during which I played her most recent CD over and over again, until my techs started making the "gag me" gesture when I asked them to press repeat for the 4th time. Hey, whatever it takes to stay in the zone.

  • I just had the 4th anniversary of my graduation from vet school. Kinda weird. I still feel like a new grad alot of the time, and there are days when it seems like the cases only get harder and harder. But maybe that's because I take on more and more complicated cases now that I have some experience. I still love it, though, which is a good thing. They did a poll a couple of years ago with vets who were 5 years out of school, and over 20% (!!!) said if they had to do it again they would choose a different career -- most people don't realize how much this can be a burnout job.

  • The new commute is killing my commitment to going to the gym. It takes 25 minutes one way to get there now, and my motivation to make that drive at 9pm after a long day is dwindling away. I haven't regained any weight (yet) but I guess I've got to start running more or something because I've only made it to the gym twice in the last 8 days.

  • We're keeping the puppy I was fostering. Her name is Mimi. She's a pomeranian. I can't believe that I have a "purse dog." But I love her anyway. So now in our house it's 2 adults, a kid, 2 cats, and a puppy. Me likey.
  • I really miss Colorado. For alot of reasons, too numerous to list now. I'll probably write a really long sad post about it when we get back from our trip there next month (woo-hoo! Cabin in the mountains! Can't wait.)

Pictures of Mimi the Wonderdog (and yes, she really is as tiny as she looks):

Friday, May 9, 2008

The next American Idol...

I could listen to this all day long...I especially love the part where he replaces "diamond" with "airplane" ("like a airpane in da sky....").

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Pledge

I just copied this from my twin sister's blog. We had an interesting conversation this past weekend about the "Mommy Wars" and long story short, she hit the nail on the head. So here is the pledge she wrote and I think every mom should post it where she can see it, especially before talking to or dealing with other moms:

I will not sit in judgment of other mothers.

I will be supportive and understanding when I see someone else having a bad day, struggling with their child’s behavior, etc.

I will acknowledge that we all love our children and we’re all doing the best we can to raise them, but we will all make mistakes sometimes.

I will remember that parenthood is a journey, not a race or contest, and it is full of twists and turns, and more than anything else, full of lessons to learn.

I will remain strong in my faith in myself as a mother and not let others make me feel incompetent or unsure.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What a difference a year makes.

It's of May 1st J is now 2 years old!!! He may still wear a diaper, but he's a baby no more. The last few days have been fantastic. Both of my sisters came down to Vegas from Denver just for J's birthday, which was so great. I think it's the first time the three of us have been able to get together as adults without a funeral or wedding being involved. When we weren't doing party stuff and hanging out with J we went out on the town a little bit (on Friday we actually closed a restaurant talking and drinking wine - nothing like girl's time), and stayed up laughing and acting like sisters.

On Saturday we threw a little Sesame Street party for him with about 8 other 2 to 3 year olds. Now I know what my daycare lady's day is like, only more wild thanks to the influences of sugar and balloons. Big hit: the new water table. After a couple of hours we actually had to drag it around the corner of the house and hide it from the kids because they wouldn't do anything else. Big miss: Both of the bubble toys I got to "entertain" the kids. One was broken and the other was extremely messy and led to J having a super tantrum in the middle of the party.

I was going to write a long sappy post about J turning 2 and all of the growth I've had as a parent over the last year, but instead, I'll just post a some pictures and you can see for yourself what a difference the last year has made.

Parties like this are a great outlet for me to be a crafty mom. This is the table before the party started. The night before the party we decided to make cupcakes instead of a big birthday cake which was SUCH a good idea -- I'm doing cupcakes every year from now on. My twin sister who decorates cakes as a hobby made and colored the frosting from scratch and decorated all of them.

Close-up of our cupcakes. It's supposed to be Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch. I'll admit the Oscars look more scared than grouchy but otherwise, not bad for amateurs, eh?

The famous water table. As soon as J saw this on the patio (we put it out there while he was napping) he actually ran into the patio door (LOL) trying to get outside and play with it. Makes me wish we had grass so a kiddie pool could be more feasible. Also note my other crafty mom project on display -- I made this t-shirt for him using iron-on printable transfers. Super cute, super cheap -- always a good combination.

Front view of the birthday shirt.

The kids eating their cupcakes. Kids are so funny - they were eating them by hand, then one little girl randomly asked for a spoon and suddenly everybody had to have a spoon to eat their cupcake. Too cute. I can't emphasize enough how much easier it was to deal with cupcakes than slices of cake.

The patio set my sisters got J, also a huge hit. Since we don't have grass put in yet, at least now J will have a place to sit outside. (It looks overcast but being Vegas it was pretty warm.)

J and a friend using the water table to fill up their water pistols. I found them at Toys 'R Us 3 for $1.00 so I bought a bunch for the party. The jury's still out on that one. Definitely a winner for the kids, but from the parent perspective the water pistols led to a level of wildness and chaos I wouldn't want to repeat again LOL.

Blowing out the candles on his cupcakes. What a bittersweet moment for parents -- where's my little baby who couldn't blow out candles last year? This picture really makes me realize how fast time is flying by. (Yes, he is inadvertently making me flash everyone. I guess that's the price for trying to be a "cute mom.")

J eating his cupcake in his chair in front of the cool Sesame Street mural we found at the party store. I think we'll leave that up for awhile, it makes our living room kind of festive :P

Me, my sisters, and J rollin' with the homeys in the car after going out to breakfast. He LOVED having his aunties here -- he keeps asking where they are and pointing to the couch saying, "Aunties sleepin." (Sorry, D and B, by the next time I swear we'll have the guest room set up.)

"The Divas." Getting ready for girl's night. I'm the one on the left, younger sister in the middle, twin sister on the right. Daaaang we look good! Hehe.