Jul 30

Conversations with Har

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A little more than  year ago I took Harlan to American Girl for an afternoon of girl time. While we waited for our food in the cafe, they had these little cards with questions on them. I started asking the questions to Harlan and was so surprised by her answers that I started writing them down. It turned out to be a quirky little post that I still love looking back on.

Most afternoons Har and I are by ourselves while Macks and Avery sleep. It’s fun to get that one on one time with her, especially before she starts kindergarten in the fall. Last week as I was looking back at that post, I decided to see how much Harlan’s answers have changed to those questions. It’s only been a year, but I think I might like her answers even more this time.

Question 1: What food would you never give up?

Harlan: Peas……wait……. a turkey sandwich.

My thoughts: Peas? She hates peas. I would’ve thought candy. Maybe she didn’t understand the question. 

Question 2: Who is the smartest person you know?

Harlan: Daniela

My thoughts: So sweet. Daniela is her friend from preschool. She misses her so much. Still waiting for her to say mommy, though. ;) 

Question 3: If you could choose to fly or be invisible what would you be?

Harlan: Invisible. Because I could move and no one could see me.

My thoughts: Yeah I probably would have chosen the same thing. 

Question 4: What is the most beautiful animal in the world?

Harlan: Butterfly. That’s an easy one. That’s the easiest one I ever heard.

My thoughts: She’s been obsessed with butterflies lately, so I wasn’t surprised by this answer. They are beautiful. 

Question 5: Would you want to live on a space station or underwater station?

Harlan: Underwater Because I want to see all of the creatures.

My thoughts: I would have thought she would have said space because she is terrified of anything under water. 

Question 6: Why do you like being the oldest in your family?

Harlan: Ha! Did you make that question up? That is a tricky one. I guess because I was born first.

My thoughts: LOL. I guess she’s right. She doesn’t have control over being the oldest. But I thought she was going to say so she could boss everyone around, because she’s doing that quite a lot lately.

Question 7: If you could start a club, what kind of club would it be?

Harlan: Princess Club

My thoughts: Some things never change. (This was the same answer as last year.)

Question 8: What is the biggest dream you have?

Harlan: That I can watch Netflix all day.

My thoughts: Oh gosh. ::hangs my head in shame:: I need to get this girl out more.

Question 9: What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

Harlan: Smart. Because I remember stuff in from a long long time ago.

My thoughts: Very true. She has the sharpest memory. She’s always saying, “Remember that time…..” 

Question 10: What is the earliest memory you have?

Harlan: Remember that old house with that piano….?

My thoughts: Nope, I don’t remember that. Good memory indeed.

I’m thinking about starting this into a little series. Different questions each month with the same quirky answers from my Har. What do you think?

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Jul 28

House Tour: The Girls’ Room

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You might remember at the beginning of the year I showed you the girls’ room makeover in our apartment in the city. Not only did I fall in love with everything that the ladies from Bellini and the amazing talented artist Sam Simon did for the room, but the girls loved it as well. It became their oasis. The room that they told stories in each night in their bunk beds. A place for them to have tea parties with their dolls. A space just for them.

When we were house hunting, one of my must-haves was to find a room that could accommodate their bunk beds. We saw several houses that we loved, but the rooms were situated weird and the bunk beds would have to have been taken apart, which wasn’t an option for us.

Thankfully the house we fell in love with was perfect for all of the furniture in the girls’ room. Although I couldn’t move the amazing plaid wall from Sam Simon, I did paint the room gray similar to the color in their old room.

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The girls love to read, especially at night, so my dad helped put these Pottery Barn Kids Collector’s Shelves on the wall of each bunk so they can easily grab a book before trying to fall asleep.

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I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to find the perfect spot for my favorite piece of art from Sam Simon, but I love the way it looks on this wall.

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Their closet is HUGE compared to our apartment and has so much storage space for all of their clothes. I love the old door knobs too. So much character in this old house and I am so grateful for all of it.

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Another book shelf on their wall so that they can sit down and read together during the day.

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One of their favorite things to do is play dress up. I am always finding them upstairs dressed in their favorite princess costume and doing some sort of princess role play. It’s the sweetest thing to watch their relationship from the outside. They are so thankful for each other and it’s always so apparent.

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Even Macks loves hanging out in his sister’s room.

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So does Toby.

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More rooms in our house tour coming shortly. Macks’ nursery is almost complete. Just waiting on a couple more pieces. I can’t wait to show it to you!

{For full details on products in the girls’ room, visit this post.}

 

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Jul 23

It’s Time to Sleep Train (+ How We’re Doing It)

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Let me start off by saying that there is no perfect way to sleep train. Some people are completely against the idea and I totally understand their perspective. One thing that I’ve learned between all three of my children is that all babies are different. Harlan was a horrible sleeper from day one and continues to wake up in the middle of the night at nearly five years old. I won the lottery with Avery. She slept well from the beginning and continues to do so. She will take 3-4 hour naps everyday and will still go to bed with no problem. That little girl loves her sleep. Macks has and continues to be my biggest challenge. He’s never slept well and until a couple of nights ago, the longest stretch he’s ever done is five hours. I had him sleeping in our bed (which is something I said I’d never do) because the only way that I could get any sleep was with him laying next to me nursing nearly the entire night. It wasn’t ideal, but it was enough for me to be able to function the next day.

When I was pregnant with Harlan I read all of the sleep books. I tried all of the techniques and tactics to get her to sleep through the night, but none of them worked. It wasn’t until she was nine months old that she started doing it on her own. When Avery was born, I’d met the ladies of Dream Team Baby a few times through my work with Big City Moms. They had just released their book, The Dream Sleeper, and because Avery was on the cusp of sleeping through the night, I figured I’d read it and give it a try. It wasn’t just about telling me what to do to get her to sleep through the night, but taught me more about the science of sleep and what to listen and watch for when your baby is tired. Within two nights of trying their method, Avery was sleeping through the night.

I was optimistic with Macks that it would work the same way. Earlier this month I decided on a whim to give sleep training a try with Macks. Before bed, I fed him, put him in his crib, turned the sound machine on, and he cried for about five minutes before falling asleep. That night he woke up crying and not just crying screaming, so I went in and grabbed him and immediately put him in bed with me to nurse so that we could  both go back to sleep. This continued for a couple of nights. I was convinced that he just wasn’t ready (and secretly I don’t think I was either.) It was then that I decided to wait a little bit before trying again. We continued with our normal routine of having him sleep in our bed while I nursed him beside me throughout the night.

Last week Macks wasn’t sleeping well at all in our bed. The usual of nursing him during the night turned into him kicking and squirming everywhere. I wasn’t getting any sleep and neither was MacKay. It was then that we decided to try sleep training again. I’d put him in his crib at 7 (after a good feed) and he’d cry for a couple of minutes before falling asleep. Then right before I went to bed (around 11pm) I went into his room and fed him while he was sleeping to try to push him over into the morning. I went into bed that night expecting to be woken up at 3am like he always does and I woke up at 5am realizing that I didn’t hear a peep from him in the middle of the night! It finally worked.

He’s not consistent with sleeping through the night, but we are making progress. For now, I am putting him to bed around 7pm, feeding him again right before I go to bed, and then wait and see what happens. If he wakes up in the middle of the night after I’ve done the dream feed, I’ll listen to see if his cries are more whine like (a sign that he’s just tired) or more scream like (a sign that he’s hungry and just wants comfort). If it’s the latter then I will go in and bring him in bed with him. If it’s that he’s just tired, I’ll let him cry for a little bit and he eventually falls back asleep.

We are only a week into this, so this is our first step to trying to get him to sleep through the night. This is what’s working for us right now. Next week it might be something completely different (and he might be back in the bed with us again.)

Like I said at the beginning of this post, there is no perfect way to sleep train. You just have to find what works for you. I found that using some methods from a book that I read and tweaking it to fit the needs of my child worked the best. Eventually I’m hoping to wean Macks off of the dream feeds and really have him sleeping through the night. But for right now I am enjoying those extra minutes of bonding time before I head off into dream land.

What sleeping tips worked best for you?

 

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Jul 21

Turning it Off

Sometimes it’s okay to turn it off. You aren’t missing anything by doing so, you’re missing more when you don’t. Pin It

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Jul 10

Settling Down

It’s been a month since we moved our family from city life to the suburbs. An update on how suburban life is treating us.

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