Monday, December 29, 2008

R.I.P. Naps

So the big news around here is that as of last week Sam has officially and seemingly permanently given up naps. A year ago, in a stupified zombie-like state, that possibility seremed unthinkable. I assumed that when it eventually happened, there would be great wailing and rending of garments in the Leen household. Lo and behold, though, at least so far, I not only don't miss them but am actually preferring the no-nap day.

Mostly the reason is that sleep time in general had become a huge power struggle between me and Sam, involving cajoling, bribing, yelling, and sometimes actually holding him in place in bed before he eventually succumbed to sleep. This delightful sequence of events took up to an hour a day. Twice. I was usually so wired after putting him down for a nap that it was almost impossible for me to relax, let alone sleep. And bedtime...oh, boy. He usually would fight and fight until 9:30, and then Mark and I would be so tired we'd just drop off to sleep ourselves.

Now, though, not only has bedtime become almost an enjoyable time of day, I find that when I'm not spending those two-plus hours a day locked in battle with Sam I actually enjoy spending time with him more, and he with me as well. In addition, when the 5:00 crazies roll around for both of us, I can look at the clock and think about how I can get him in the bath in about 2 more hours, followed by almost guaranteed sleep and the rest of the evening to myself by about 8:00. Delightful, restful, and rejuvenating. If I really, really need to nap, Sam has gotten really good at entertaining himself in his room, and I'll just lay down on his bed for a quick 20 minute doze at some point that perks me right up. I also no longer have to worry about how I'm going to get him down for a nap with a new baby to take care of.

Speaking of...I am definitly feeling ready to give birth. Not that I will probably any time soon (got about 5 more weeks until my due date), I'm just getting to that point where I'm ready to just move on, already. She's kicking a lot, although not as hard or as often as her brother did, and her most common annoyance seems to be if I'm particularly active she'll sort of float up and stick a body part into my rib - sort of a "Hey, mom, I'm still here...Could you slow it down for a sec?"

In general, this pregnancy has been easier and less all-consuming than Sam's. Of course, how could it not be? I was laughing about this with a few other moms at the community center play time today, right after I did a full-on dive into the bouncy house to pull Sam out in time for him to not run over another child. We all talked about how our second pregnancies hadn't provided the luxury of sitting on the couch eating, and how we'd all been chasing after toddlers or preschoolers to stay in shape. Every single one commented on how she had gained less weight and been in better shape, something I can relate to.

I'm gathering that this baby's babyhood will also be less all-consuming. Not because she'll be different than any other baby, but because it simply can't consume me. I have no doubt that I'll love her just as much as Sam, but she'll be beginning life as an appendage in a sling as I go about my life with him, not the sole and obsessive single focal point that Sam was. Also, one of the biggest shocks of a first child is simply the idea that your life, and your husband's life, is no longer your own. Everyone tells you that, but I don't think there's any way to really understand that without living it, and that's a hard adjustment. But, it's an adjustment that we've already made and have lived with for two-and-a-half years. I'd also like to think I know a little more about what I'm doing this time than last. We'll see....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Day(s)

We're getting pretty sick of snow here. Seriously, what did the pioneer women do? Not only did they have to be housebound about 10 times longer in smaller quarters, they also had to keep their toddlers from jumping into fires, didn't have Teletubbies and couldn't just take their SUV to the Thriftway when they ran about of food. Hats off to you, ladies.

However, we got some pretty darn great pictures of Sam in the snow. Here they are...

Big Boy Bed

These are actually from a few weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to posting them. He's doing great in his new bed!

Mr. Social

I think that one of the greatest pleasures I've gotten from motherhood so far is watching Sam start to view other children as friends rather than indistinct blobs that take his toys. Since our little preschool ordeal a few months ago, so much has changed. We went to the playground a few weeks ago and were walking down the hill and met up with a father/daughter pair heading there as well. Sam ran up to her with a giggle, and when she smiled back, he took her little hand in his and walked with her to the playground saying, "I'll show you the sandbox." The dad and I looked at each other with some serious raised eyebrows. "You'll have to look out for that one," he said. "Oh, no," I replied with a grin, "YOU'LL have to look out for him."

It's become glaringly apparent that he likes girls. A lot. And preferably a little older. Way to go, Sam. One four-year-old in the cry room at church got the Sam treatment a few weeks ago when he took her hand and led her to his train, then they rolled around together under one of the pews, giggling crazily.

All he wants these days is to interact with kids and make friends. Sometimes, it's heartbreakingly poignant to observe, as I think about all of the social gamits he'll be running in the next few years. At REI a few days ago, he found a group of older kids huddled together in a little fort, and started playing peekaboo with them. "Go away, baby!" they yelled at him. Sam just laughed at their enthusiasm for insulting him, and continued to play. One day, though, he'll hear what they're saying and understand it. And then, my precious, outgoing little boy may have some questions.


Boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do! Since it's the night before Christmas eve and there's lots of packing a wrapping to do, this will have to suffice.

Mark was teaching Sma to do knock-knock jokes tonight, which was hilarious. He even made up his own:

Sam: "Knock-knock!"
Mark: "Who's there?"
Sam: "Banana!"
Mark: "Banana who?"
Sam: "Banana sock!" (Falls down in helpless laughter)