Baby

Nora is not a good sleeper. There I said it. It is the first time in my 7 year career of motherhood that I have utter the phrase “My child is a bad sleeper.” Not because I had bad sleepers and didn’t want to admit it. I have been able to avoid it because my girls are good sleepers. Well, at least until the last 6 months or so with Nora. The last 6 months or so have been rough to  say the least. Nora isn’t sleeping well, which in turn means I am not sleeping well. A sleepy Lisa makes for a grumpy, impatient Lisa, which, as you can imagine, makes things a little crazier around this already crazy house.

When Nora was a wee baby, really for the first 9 months or so, she was an excellent sleeper. She was sleeping through the night, like 10-12 hour stretches kind of sleeping through the night, at 6 weeks old. She always went down easily and sleep like a charm all night, rarely waking and if she did usually only once and then right back to sleep. She even slept in a bit in the morning a lot of the time. It was fantastic. It made me so incredibly grateful and I didn’t talk about it much for fear I would jinx the perfectness of it.

When she started teething things began to take a turn. She began to wake at night more often but at first she always returned to her good sleeping habits. Then something happened. I don’t know what. It began one week when she was working on her first molars and had a cold all at the same time. She was so obviously not feeling well and was grumpy pretty much all day long. I did what I could by giving her tylenol for her teeth and setting up the humidifier for her stuffy nose. It didn’t help much. She began waking up 2, 3 and even sometimes 4 times a night. It went on for weeks. Long after the cold went away. I figured maybe it was the teeth more than the cold. The frequent night wakings continued. Month after month, tooth after tooth.

And here we are a good 6 months or so later and Nora is still waking up 2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a night. It is beyond exhausting. Now that she is fairly vocal she no longer cries, she stands up in her crib and screams, I mean screaming at the top of her lungs kind of screams, for me. I am rudely awakened by the sound of a blood curdling “Mooooommmmm!” at all hours of the night. She won’t let me just rock her, I have to nurse her every time. It is maddening and exhausting.  She is hard to resist though in all her cuteness!

I’m ready for something to give. Something has to give, I need more sleep. I know at some point I’m going to have to play the bad guy and refuse to nurse her or let her cry it out or something. I obviously haven’t hit rock bottom yet because I’m not quite ready to do that.  Plus, given the volume of her screaming if I let her cry (or rather yell) it out she is bound to wake up the rest of the house and the only thing worse than being up with one child multiply times a night is being up with more than one child multiply times a night! So, I guess for now we will carry on being sleepless in Seattle until she final returns to sleeping well (I secretly hold out hope that she will) or I hit by breaking point and force nudge her in that direction.

 

It is seriously laughable how difficult it is to find time these days to sit down and bust out a blog post. I think one of my resolutions for 2015 needs to be to do a better job at churning out new content for this here blog!

Anyway, a little over a month ago our Miss Anna took a big step into the world of becoming a big girl, she started preschool!

She had been saying since before Maya headed back to school this year that she wanted to go to preschool. She would tell anyone who would listen that she was going to start preschool (even though I hadn’t signed her up or planned on sending her this year). My original plan for this year was to do some at home preschool type stuff with her, sign up for a few classes like gymnastics and then send her to preschool next year. She still seemed so little to me. After much bugging I decided she was ready and I needed to get her into a program. A friend of ours recommended their program to us and they happened to still have an opening in their 3s class so we I looked into it. We did a tour and we loved it! She started class the following week.

The first few weeks were a little rough. She was shy and sad every time I dropped her off and begged not to go back :( I was surprised by her reaction given how much she begged to go and how not shy she usually is. But, the last couple of weeks have gone really well. She doesn’t cry at drop off anymore and is all smiles and full of stories when I pick her up. Progress!

The program is only twice a week for 2.5 hours, similar to what Maya did her first year of preschool. I think it is a good way to start. I can’t believe she is already at this stage. She is growing up so fast.

It is no secret that Maya loves all things art. She spends a good portion of her free time creating things. So, when she requested an art themed party for her birthday I wasn’t surprised! My mission to throw her a birthday party to remember began. After I got over the fear of completely failing at throwing a decent party I set to work hunting down the perfect ideas on Pinterest. I found a few project ideas I thought would be perfect and some decor ideas I hoped I was capable of pulling off. With me to do list in hand I set to work creating what I hoped would be the perfect Art Party for Maya’s 7th birthday.

The decor came together so well. I had so much fun creating this party. From the mini easels, to the mini paint cans, to the rice crispies paint brushes, to the “Maya’s Art Studio” sign it was all so much fun to create and put together.

I decided to make a couple of examples of the art project we had planned for the party and display them along with a “Maya’s Art Studio” sign I made. I figured this would give the kids a chance to see what the project looked like once completed and it gave the party a nice artsy feel.

Since we were going to be painting had aprons for each girl and I bought fabric markers so they could decorate their own aprons. I had a friend of mine put each girl’s name on an apron with puffy paint to personalize them a bit for them. I also made a mini easel out of popsicle sticks for each of the girls. During the party it held their name tag but I figured it would be a fun way to display their artwork at home.

Decorating and personalizing their aprons was a great way to kick off the party and the girls had so much

fun. Each girl did a great job making their apron their own and using their creativity.

Once everyone had finished their aprons we moved onto the main project. I chose a watercolor project for the party. I provided each girl with a canvas and some watercolors. The idea of the project was to saturate the canvas with as much color as they could, once their painting was complete we sprinkled salt on the canvas to create some starburst effects and drizzled a little glue to create further unique effects on the art work. The girls did an amazing job and created some beautiful pieces of art. I hope they are proud of their pieces and are displaying them at home on their little easels!

This is Maya’s finished artwork. I love the tie dye effect created with the watercolors and the starburst created by the salt. I opted for sparkle glue and that was a big hit with the girls. This project was so fun and so easy. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good kid friendly painting project.

After the art work was completed we moved on to eating. The rice crispies paint brushes were a big hit and so fun and easy to make.

I had a lot of fun coming up with creative food and drink ideas for this party. Turns out an art party is a great way for the host to channel their creativity as well :)

The final art spin of the day was with the cake. I opted for cupcakes and picked up some paint trays with a large center. I placed the cupcake in the middle and filled the paint tray with sprinkles of various colors, sizes and textures and had the girls decorate their own cupcakes. It was another huge hit!

This party was so fun to throw. The birthday girl was very happy with how everything turned out, which is the most important thing!

At 11:30pm on this day 7 years ago I heard the cries of my first baby as she came into this world. I cuddled her soft baby skin against mine and basked in the glory of brand new motherhood.

The last 7 years have flown by. My first baby has gone from a helpless bundle, to a waddling toddler, to a rambunctious preschooler, to a full of life first grader in the blink of an eye!

Maya, you are one heck of a little girl. You are smart, creative, loving, fun and passionate about life. Your favorite things right now include reading, gymnastics, dancing, playing with your friends, and being artistic. You crave knowledge and spend so much time reading and learning. You want to be either a teacher or an author when you grow up, or both. You are a good friends and your friends love spending time with you. You are a good big sister, you set a good example for your little sisters (most of the time!) and they both look up to you and love being around you and playing with you. 7 years ago when you came into this world I could hardly imagine you were finally here let along imagine that one day you would be a big 7 year old! I’ve loved watching you grow up and can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.

Happy Birthday, Maya!! Love you to pieces.

This past weekend Maya hit a big milestone, one she has been waiting a long time for. She lost her first tooth!!

The story behind how she lost her tooth is one that will keep us laughing years to come. Her tooth had been wiggly for a few weeks but late last week it started to get really wiggly and it was apparent that she would have her first encounter with the tooth fairy in the not too distant future. All weekend she was fiddling with it and asking over and over again when it would finally fall out. Sunday evening, at that twilight part of the day when the sun is going down and it can be hard to see, the kids were out front playing with a few of their neighborhood friends. They were all horsing around and one of Maya’s friends jumped up and started to run without realizing that Maya was right in his path. He ran right into her, the top of his head hitting her mouth. You can imagine where this is going, right? Maya started crying and trying to spit something out, that was her tooth. The impact had knocked out her tooth. At first she was really mad and upset but then it hit her that her tooth had finally fallen out, the thing she had been waiting forever for! She was all smiles after that!

She put her tooth in a little baggie with a note to the tooth fairy that this was her very first lost tooth and hung it from her bed post. That night the tooth fairy crept into her room and left her an adorable, mini sized note and $5 dollars (she got a little extra since this was her first lost tooth and the circumstances were a little out of the ordinary). She was so excited the next morning to find the treasure in her little baggie :)

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