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Occam’s Razor & Our Toddlers’ Sleep

You know about Occam’s Razor? In my own words, it’s basically that between two options the one with the fewer assumptions, the simpler solution, is better. Oh, if only I had applied this principle months ago to the little dudes’ sleep issues.

You see, we’ve been in toddler sleep hell for about 3 months. For a couple weeks prior to the boys’ two-year well child check, their sleep had been pretty off. Elliot especially was having a hard time. It would take him much longer to fall asleep or he would wake up in the middle of the night and just be awake for a couple of hours. At their appointment, we brought up the sleep issues, talked about their allergy meds and slightly increased the dosage, explored their language development and all the other typical things that happen at these appointments. Our pediatrician thought their sleep cycles had just gotten a little off and recommended we use liquid melatonin for no more than 4-6 weeks to help reset their circadian rhythms. We started using the melatonin, and it was like a dream. They were actually tired at bed time. They went right to sleep. They slept like beautiful little angels all night long, and their parents rejoiced. Then, the day came when we had to say goodbye to our magic sleep potion. And, friends, it was bad. So, so bad. That very first night both boys took a full two hours to fall asleep.  They didn’t fall asleep until about 10 p.m., after many trips into check dirty diapers, tell them to lay down, tell them to stop jumping in their cribs, etc., etc. The next day went the same: it took a full two hours for them to calm down enough to finally fall asleep even though we knew they were exhausted. They acted happy and hyper and they just could not fall asleep no matter what.

Thus, started the next two months of trying bloody everything to get them to go to sleep. We moved naps earlier. We cut naps to an hour. We moved bedtime earlier. We moved bedtime later. We made our bedtime routine even more specific and added an extra song to really give them a chance to relax before laying them down. We went into the room to tell them they had to lay down and not talk. We stayed out of the room in hopes that the lack of our “visits” would keep them from getting worked up again. I googled “2-year sleep regression.” I googled “toddler sleep.” I reread the toddler sleep sections from every sleep book we have. Nothing worked. Nothing even fazed them. No matter what, it took at least two hours to go to sleep. We started putting them to bed as early as we can so they would hopefully be asleep before it was too late. Even so, seven o’clock was about the earliest we could get them to bed, so they were always going to sleep an hour late, best case scenario. The loss of sleep built up until all of us were hating life every day. Mr. Blue kept asking if I wanted to go back to work because I was so stressed out by the end of the day every day. I kept telling him I knew this was just a phase and that I would be much happier when my days weren’t filled with two toddlers who were absolutely exhausted and therefore, whiney and tantrumy every single day. Not only were my days stressful and exhausting, but the two hour stretch of trying to get them to sleep kept me on edge all evening, too.

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Find Your Perfect Summer Footwear

For many people summer has pretty much already arrived, and you may or may not have already done a bit of summer shopping. I am personally a very strategic shopper; I only buy what I need and love and what will be super versatile in my closet. I find when I have too many options I just get overwhelmed and then end up wearing the same thing everyday anyways, especially when it comes to shoes. Before I even attempt to shop I think of all my needs and our needs when it comes to family shops. This spring I was left pretty shoeless, since I wore everything out last year — that’s another thing, I like to wear items into the ground before I replace them. So buying good quality shoes is important, because this helps avoid possible foot issues later in life (but that’s another responsible story). I thought of all my possible needs when it comes to footwear for the spring and summer: everyday wear, work wear, weekend and maybe evening out wear and realized I had 5 shoe categories I needed, a couple I already had filled which was pretty great. It’s always a nice idea to break things down before shopping to avoid an overwhelming overlapped closet — plan plan plan.

I decided the 5 summer shoe categories were: A great pair of comfy everyday sandals, a pair of everyday sneakers, a pair of sockless shoes, a pair of short or open booties and a pair of dressier sandals. And then the goal is to find one pair you totally love within each.

Your summer shoe categories might be different based on your lifestyle, but generally this list might be helpful for you as well, so here’s a fun breakdown of each with a bunch of different styles that fit into each category.

everyday-sneakersA Great Pair of Everyday Sneakers – that can be worn with or without socks (or with those no show socks), and can be worn with jeans, skirts, dresses or shorts. The casual kind of sneakers that might be a classic pair of Converse, a more trendy casual trainer or a pair of slip on sneakers.

1. Toms – 2. Adidas – 3. Vans – 4. Palladium – 5. New Balance – 6. Converse – 7. Superga – 8. Asics – 9. Native

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Dealing with Defiance

It happened. Little Lion finally found a way to push my buttons to the point of turning me into the ragey steam-out-of-the-ears mommy that I hoped to never become.

It all started so innocently… I would give directions and Little Lion would ignore me. I told myself he was too young. I told myself he didn’t understand what I was asking. I told myself he didn’t hear me. But then, disaster. Little Lion heard me, looked directly at me, and proceeded to do exactly what it was I told him not to do. Remember that scene from Finding Nemo where Nemo touches the boat after his dad tells him not to? It was like that. Pure, intentional defiance.

For a week or so, my stern teacher voice was enough to put a stop to it. But then, one day as I was trying to feed Baby Lion, things took an ugly turn. When telling Little Lion to put his feet on the floor for the 100th time that morning, he climbed back on top of the entertainment center, turned to look me in the eye, and laughed at me in this manic laugh that I had never seen or heard before. Not only was he disobeying me directly, but he thought it was hilarious.

I would like to be able to tell you that I kept my cool, but, alas, I didn’t. Feelings of frustration, anger, and panic flowed through me and overwhelmed my good sense. The stern teacher voice wasn’t cutting it…so I yelled that time. And the time after that. And the time after that. Within the course of 30 minutes I had yelled at him more times than I could count. I was distraught and confused. What on earth had gotten into this child? What was I doing wrong?

This went on for another week…defying, yelling, defying, yelling. It was a horrible cycle, one that I could not for the life of me figure out how to get out of. These behaviors tended to occur when I was feeding the baby or rocking her before her nap, and this left me feeling helpless. Trying to distract him with special toys didn’t work. I can only be in one place at once. How can I take care of both of my children when one of them is clearly possessed!?

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Allergen-Free Fudge Brownie in a Cup – Elimination Diet Friendly!

When I first started my elimination diet journey I was really into figuring out what kind of treats I could make that would still be okay for Baby Brother Stroller’s tummy. I made dairy-free versions of my favorite lactation cookie using coconut oil (best stored in the freezer) and then gluten-free brownies using Bob’s Red Mill mix and coconut oil. But by the time I got to the bottom of all eliminated foods, there was little left except Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips.

One night I stumbled on a single serving brownie-in-a-cup recipe that looked promising. With a little tweaking and minimal time in the microwave, the perfect sweet treat for my elimination diet was born. This recipe is free of dairy, soy, egg, nuts, corn, rice, wheat, and gluten. I’ve made it a few times and last night decided that it’s good enough to serve myself for my upcoming birthday with some dark chocolate sorbet on top – although I think Mr. Stroller and Little Stroller will get real deal brownie sundaes with ice cream and all the delicious toppings.

Allergen-Free-Brownie-In-A-Cup

You could leave out the chocolate chunks on this one, but they’re essential for me. Keep the cooking time to a minimum – 30 seconds on high in the microwave leaves me with a gooey delicious brownie just perfect for a little treat.

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Easy Ways to Display Family Photos

I’ve always been a photo-taker. I love to have photos of the various events throughout my life, and I’ve always been big on keeping scrapbooks and photo albums (and, of course, it’s only gotten worse now that I’m a mom). I love having all of these photos, but I have to admit that I struggle sometimes to find creative ways to display our family photos. I’m constantly snapping photos of our day-to-day lives, but I often feel like they all end up living on my computer and never really get enjoyed or looked at. We don’t have a ton of wall space in our home for hanging pictures, and I’m more prone to hang art or other decorative objects rather than family photos on the wall. So, without that as an option, it’s pretty challenging to find a way to show off our cute little family!

Over the years, though, I’ve become more and more determined to actually use the photos that I’m taking, and I’ve found a few simple ways to make sure our photos are seen.

IMG_1347

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My Hospital Bag The Second Time Around (And What I Actually Used)

I thought I was prepared this time around for my postpartum stay at the hospital. Last time around I packed everything but the kitchen sink, and while it was nice to have anything and everything I needed, I really didn’t use a whole lot. For round two, I tried to pack less—way less, but I still over packed…go figure.

So here’s a look into what I took and what I actually used. Keep in mind that this was for a med-free birth, and I was only at the hospital for a little more than 24 hours.

HospitalBag1byJessicaLynn

For Mama Rabbit:

  • Toiletries in one small bag. I basically raided the travel-sized section at Target, and I used pretty much everything for that first shower after delivery: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofa, toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant.
  • Nursing tanks x2. I only wore one out of the hospital, so I could’ve left the other at home.
  • Long sleeve sweater and cardigan. I brought these in case it was chilly in my room. It wasn’t, but it was slightly cold when I left, so I wore my cardigan out of the hospital. Could’ve left the other at home.

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Transfer Day

After months of anticipation it was finally embryo transfer day! I was scheduled for an 11am transfer on January 18th. Mr. P and I woke up around 9 that morning and had breakfast at our hotel. I started my least favorite task, filling my bladder, and took the required medications at 10. I was prescribed albuterol and valium for that day to relax my muscles and the rest of me.

We arrived at the clinic at 10:30 and were called back 15 minutes later. Mr. P and I were led into a large prep and recovery room. There were three beds total separated by curtains. There were two other couples there, but we didn’t really notice them other than when we walked by. I still felt like we had privacy even though we were sharing a room.

We were greeted by a very sweet nurse who gave me a gown and a blanket and pointed me to a restroom where I could change. She told me to just ignore the toilet the best I could. It was difficult because my bladder was already feeling too full, despite drinking much less that I did for the consultation appointment. I changed and then the nurse helped me get settled in a bed. She gave me a mesh hat to put over my hair. Mr. P had to put it on me. The valium had kicked in and I was having a hard time getting all my hair underneath it.

loopy but excited
loopy but excited

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