happy birthday to Troy

We very much enjoyed the long weekend last week. Did you? We didn’t do anything special, just relaxed, tried to catch up on housework and errands, all that stuff. Then on Tuesday, Troy turned 42. His birthday was rather meh, since he had to work late (as usual) and we didn’t get to have a birthday dinner. I made coffee cake in mugs, at his request, and we ate those while he opened a few presents after he got home from work. Then we did baths and put the girls to bed. Not exciting, but not a bad day.

Thursday afternoon, we had the house cleaned which was utterly wonderful. We decided it’s worth it to us to pay for a professional housecleaning about once a month. It makes such a difference and is worth every penny, and every movie we don’t see in a theater and every coffee we don’t buy at Starbucks.

sleepover morning

Thursday evening, we picked up our friend Rebekah and her kids at the airport. They were flying back from visiting family, and since one of the kids had an appointment with her eye doctor just up the road from us (they live in the same small Southern Maryland town we used to live in, which often means going to D.C. for specialists) they stayed the night at our house! Bek said she couldn’t believe it took them two years before they finally got to stay the night with us. We’ve tried several times before but illness or weather or something always messed with our plans. Annalie was over the moon to have her friends stay the night.

Friday morning we enjoyed our friends’ company. The kids took advantage of the mild weather and played outside. After lunch Bekah and her kids headed home. Since it was raining, and I was in a good mood and Annalie was a little sad to say good-bye to her friends, we stopped at the bakery for cookies. That evening, it took Troy almost two hours to get home from work thanks to horrible traffic. I spent those two hours feeding the kids and getting them ready for bed, silently reciting to myself the list of reasons I am thankful that we aren’t leaving D.C. till August. If I remind myself often enough, think I’ll start to believe it?

hogging the cat bed TARDIS shirt

I think I mentioned before that Elliora’s sleep habits had become atrocious since we were in Omaha. She was teething something fierce when we first got there, and being in a different place and a different bed was not okay with her. She spent about an hour or two in the middle of the night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT we were in Omaha and Texas, all 25 nights, letting us know how upset she was about it all. It was stressful and exhausting and it got so I dreaded nighttime. In Texas things were a little better because Troy was there to help out, but she was still awake and mad in the middle of the night. It suuuuuucked.

We thought things would improve sleep-wise when we got home, but they didn’t, not really. And nothing we tried helped—not back-patting, not singing, not cuddling, not nursing, not sitting in the room with her. After a few nights, we realized we were going to have to leave the room and let her cry. When she woke up in the middle of the night, we checked on her and reassured her and then gritted our teeth and left her alone. We’d go in and check on her every few minutes, but only stay a minute or two and then leave again. The first night, she cried for about an hour before going back to sleep. The second night it took about a half-hour. Every night since then, if she’s awakened, she’s gone back to sleep within a few minutes.

bananas are her favorite bananas are her favorite

I’ll be honest: it’s a relief that she’s not up crying for hours anymore. I still hate listening to her cry knowing she’s in the room by herself, even for a few minutes, even though her crying is clearly pissed-off, not scared. For heaven’s sake, when we ask Elliora to pick up her applesauce pouch and take it to the trash can in the kitchen and throw it away, she does it. If she can follow three-step directions, I know that she understands us when we tell her that it’s nighttime, time to lie down, time to close her eyes and go to sleep. She’s 15 months old, not 15 weeks. Knowing all of that still doesn’t make the crying any easier to listen to, but I’ll live. It’s easier to live with guilt when you’re well-rested, apparently.

stripey coffee cup sleeve football can cozy

crocheted golden snitches
Free pattern for crocheted golden snitches. Thanks, Deborah!

You know that whole do what you love philosophy that I talk about from time to time? Apparently right now I love crocheting and cooking meals and taking photos and watching Downton Abbey with Troy more than I love blogging. I do miss blogging, though. I write posts in my head all the time. I look forward to having the time to actually type those posts out again someday, and then actually edit and Flickr photos on the same day I take them so they’re not three weeks old by the time I post them. Sigh.

sidewalk chalking scootering sisters

How did it get to be almost March already? How is 2012 treating you all so far?

17 Responses to “life, the universe, and everything, plus a sleeping baby”

  1. Erin L. says:

    Great! We MIGHT eventually get a house, the bebe is a dream come true, and eh, trying to find that work-life balance that doesn’t leave anyone feel like I am totally sharking my duties. Love the snitches and love that Annalie got to have her buddies over.

  2. Melissa says:

    Pretty good – definitely can’t complain. But it’s definitely going a little too fast for me. I’m kind of wishing it would slow down since Isaac is getting to an age where he’s becoming more enjoyable. Not that he wasn’t enjoyable before, he’s just much easier to care for than he was a few months ago in my opinion. The picture of Elliora with the half smile and the banana is just precious!

  3. a chris says:

    Great pics as always. The kids look healthy and happy. Very impressed by the snitches.

    I can always cheer myself up by looking at my best pics of the kids. Can make things look idyllic by choosing wisely…

    We’re still staggered by becoming parents of two, and we’re far from sleeping through the night. Hoping for great developments later in the year though.

  4. Sheryl says:

    Glad to hear from you. Love that top pic, you’re such a cute family.

  5. bekah says:

    Really well! Heck, I just had a shout-out in your blog, didn’t I? You should really hang out down here more often. It should be easy to get home before Troy does!

  6. Sonja says:

    I’m glad Elliora is sleeping better! It’s truly amazing how much more bearable life becomes when you (and those around you) get enough sleep!
    By the time you move back here, chances are the as-of-yet-nameless baby will have become a decent traveler and we’ll get to hang out lots. And lots. :)
    (Noah misses the kitties, haha.)

  7. Leta says:

    Oh, I remember the sleep training days all too well. They aren’t very fun. But! Everything is better when you are all getting the sleep you need. I can’t believe she is 15 months already! I am hoping and praying number 3 sleeps as well as our oldest did (and nothing like number 2, please, please, please). This mama isn’t ready to be up all night again, but I suppose that goes with the territory for a while, anyway. Good to see your smiling faces!

  8. Susan:) says:

    We are totally into Downton Abbey right now too! And I’ve been trying to teach myself to crochet. I can knit fairly well, but crocheting is proving more difficult. Love the snitches!

    Summer in DC is a good thing! I used to visit my sister there every summer. I loved visiting all the museums and monuments. Have you taken the girls to mount Vernon? And Williamsburg? I love Williamsburg! I made sure to visit there again when we were living in DC for six months. I bet Annalie would like it.

    Your post title made me laugh because I am currently re reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And I realized that the description of the book being an electronic one that you press buttons to find what part you want is kind of like our kindles and iPads and such! I need a cover that says Don’t Panic!

  9. Susan:) says:

    Oh, I just got the 42 reference, ha ha.

  10. bonnie says:

    I think you know how I feel about CIO and sleep training and, honestly, I think you handled the whole thing beautifully and perfectly. You are such a good mama. And I’m so glad you got some rest. Hugs!

  11. Rachelskirts says:

    Oh my goodness, your crocheting projects are adorable and perfect. Not at all surprising, but it needed to be noted. :)

  12. Rena says:

    Got inspired by your birthday cake and made mug cake for the first time tonight – turned out perfect! Love the snitches! Elliora is too cute in the banana pics! Hang in there. :-)

  13. Brooke says:

    Hiya, I know I’ve commented on the baby sleeping thing–but I’ll say it again–I k now where you’re coming from! It’s not something you can talk a bout to someone who has a baby who was born knowing how to sleep. We fiiiiiiinallllly got Nora to sleep through the night other than a 5 AM waking just before she turned two. But then when she turned 2 (Valentine’s Day) I weaned her AND we went on a trip back home to Idaho. She did the same thing you described every night. Awake for hours screaming. Waking up my in-laws. I came home so stinkin’ tired. But, home seems to agree with her and the weaning anger seems to be ending and we are back to sleeping again. Praise the Lord! Now to get her out of our room and into the room with her sister…I just don’t want to mess with the fact that I’ve gotten to sleep the past 5 nights through : ) Good job dealing with the crying–you are an amazing woman!

  14. Mrs. Wilson says:

    1. This: “and is worth every penny, and every movie we don’t see in a theater and every coffee we don’t buy at Starbucks” — gets a big HECK YES! from me. :)

    2. The banana photo of Elliora, the one on the right? Probably my favorite photo ever of her.

    3. Sleep is wonderful. I cannot wait to know that wonderfulness again. Preston nurses a LOT at night — full feedings — so I’m waiting a month or two before I start sleep-training him. When he’s a year old. I’m already dreading it. (But looking forward to SLEEP.)

    4. You are incredible with a crochet hook.

    5. 2012 is not too shabby so far, save for last week, which SUCKED. All five of us with gastroenteritis? DO NOT WANT. This week is much better. :)

  15. Krista says:

    Oh the sleep wars! My second was an awful sleeper…she’s the reason there isn’t a THIRD! Lol Good luck. :)

  16. Kuky says:

    Hearing a crying baby is so hard. I can’t recall any specific sleeping issues with the kids. And I can’t remember what else I was going to say because the kids are pulling me away as usual. Sigh.

  17. Deborah says:

    Yea!!! You made the snitch pattern! Yours turned out even cooler than the original because you used sparkly yarns. More pizazz with the sparkly. They would make excellent Christmas tree ornaments! ….and I love that photo of E. Such a cutie! I *might* be heading up your way again shortly…still standing by for a decision. My brother was admitted to the hospital last night – large abscess in the back of his neck that they are trying to attack with antibiotics – possible surgery. If they do the surgery, my SIL may need help with their boys. I’ll let you know if I get called up. Maybe you’ll have some time for me to come see you. :)