Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dinnertime battles

I have come to dread dinnertime. Lately I never know when I meal I make will meet with my children's approval. Fortunately for me, I've stopped caring!

Long ago I decided to stop being a short order cook; my girls would have to eat what I make, or not eat. I often modify what I serve them so that it was more palatable for them. For example, If I were making Balsamic chicken, I take some chicken out of the pan before adding the balsamic sauce. My standard rule is that they must try a bite, if they don't like it still, they can have a bowl of cereal but then no dessert. I think it is a pretty fair system. My children, usually Megan, don't agree.

The other night I made this yummy lime chicken taco recipe I found here. I served the girls theirs without the salsa and corn. Sarah ate her taco and didn't complain. I don't think she'll want to eat one again, but I was so proud of her for trying something new. Megan was a different story. She refused to eat it before she even saw it. She immediately requested a bowl of cheerios for her dinner. I told her that she had to try a bit of chicken first. She sat on the table complaining and refusing to eat anything.

By now the rest of us were done eating and I was cleaning up the kitchen. I told her that if she hadn't eaten anything by the time I was done, she would get nothing to eat until breakfast. Megan was steadfast in her pursuit of a bowl of cheerios. This was a battle of wills and I was determined not to back down. Little ms. headstrong finally decided that she would try the chicken. I popped a piece in her mouth, she chewed, swallowed and announced she didn't like it and said, "can I have my cheerios now?"

I reminded Megan that she would not be able to eat dessert later in the evening. Upon hearing that she told us that she would skip the cheerios and eat her dessert later. I reminded her that since she did not eat the dinner I made she can't have dessert. She was absolutely devastated and collapsed into a tantrum. She eventually came around and decided that she would eat her cheerios.

She ate the cheerios and the rest of the evening continued as usual, until just before bed. When her sister was having her dessert, Megan kept telling us that she was starving, "starving to death". She even fell out on the floor and played dead! The melodramatics continued for some time. She was being so noisy and difficult. When I asked her to stop talking so I could listen to the presidential news conference her response was, "If you give me dessert I'll stop". Oh sure, let me just give into an almost 5 year-old's irrational demands in the midst of a tantrum!

She eventually calmed down and crawled into my lap. Within 10 minutes she was fast asleep. I have a feeling that Megan is really struggling with this whole growing up thing. She is desperately trying to hold onto being a little kid and trying so hard not to grow up, but then at times wanting to be a big girl. I know that this roller coaster ride has only just begun so we have a long road ahead of us. It may kill us both!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tough Love- update

Well, after a few nights of Crying-It-Out, I think we have reached a milestone. Emma has been sleeping through the night almost every night!

Since I last posted, her new pattern seems to be sleep through the night for two to three nights in a row and then she'll have a "bad" night. Usually she'll just get up once at some point halfway through the night.

I really wasn't expecting her sleep issues to resolve so quickly! The funny thing is Pat and I were just discussing this yesterday morning. He asked me if I felt anymore rested during the day. Unfortunately for both of us, the answer is no! Not sure why my back still hurts and I feel tired still, but hopefully that will resolve itself too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tough Love

Six months ago I committed one of the cardinal sins of parenthood - I starting bringing Emma, then almost 6 months old, into our bed at night. I knew exactly what I was doing, especially since I'm not a first time mom. I started bringing her in the bed shortly after my meltdown because neither of us was sleeping and I was beginning to lose my mind. She would wake every few hours and it was taking it's toll. My rationale behind this strategic move was that I could just nurse her in the bed and she and I would be able to get back to sleep more quickly. Don't get me wrong, she didn't spend the whole night in our bed. She would start out in her crib and sleep from about 8:30 pm to around 12:30-1:00 am. I would then get her out of the crib and bring her back to bed with me.

I mentioned it at her 6month doctor's appointment and the pediatrician made sure to let me know that this was going to be a habit that Emma would not break on her own. I convinced myself that it was a temporary fix and as soon as she was old enough to sleep through the night, we would be ok.

At her 9 month appointment, the pediatrician asked about it. Evidently she had written in her notes "tell mom it's time to cry it out". I actually saw it written in the file! I hadn't intended to still be doing this at 9months, but I hadn't prepared myself for the battle needed to break the habit.

Well, this past week was all it took to help push me over the edge and decide once and for all to get Emma out of my bed! Sunday night, she tossed and turned and seemed to want to nurse all night. Monday night, it got worse. I only got about 4 hours of sleep and I'm not sure Emma did much better. Tuesday night was the last straw. She fought with me all night. She wanted to nurse, but didn't want to nurse. She rolled around and I was unable to sleep. Finally at 2:30, when I broke down in tears, Pat took her downstairs where she was unable to smell my milk and fussed a bit until she fell asleep. The two of them slept in his recliner for a few hours while I got 2 hours of sleep upstairs before my alarm went off at 4:45am!

It was Wednesday morning that the two of us decided we needed to stop the madness and we were going to practice tough love! That night she got up a few times, but I only went in twice. We let her "cry it out" a bit and I am proud to say that she slept all night in her own bed. It has gotten better each night since. I hope that by her 12 month appointment I can tell the pediatrician that Emma is sleeping all night in her own bed!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

I've skipped a few weigh-ins lately, but am back in the saddle! Now that February is over, my major stress at work has lessened and I feel "normal" again. Just thought I'd pop in and comment that I have finally lost 5lbs! It has only taken 2 months, but I did it!

I decided that I would give up something for Lent this year. I didn't do it last year because I was pregnant, but since I am trying to lose a few, this was a good year to "sacrifice". When I began to think about what to give up I immediately thought of ice cream or chocolate. I pondered these two things and decided that I am not a total glutton for punishment and could not do both. Then I realized, I am a wimp and can't handle the thought of no chocolate. So my idea of sacrifice is to give up my nightly bowl of ice cream.

I announced my plans to one of my girlfriends at work and she then decided that she would give up chocolate. Another co-worker got in on the whole "lent" thing and she decided no chocolate too. Yesterday we were all talking and they decided to broaden it to all sweets. I felt totally guilty with just giving up my ice cream. So now I have relented and am doing my best to go along with them on the whole non-sweets thing.

I may regret this later when I'm totally jonesing for my chocolate fix.