Sunday, May 24, 2009

What on earth is sleep training

Holy cow I am learning so much from reading blogs!
So many terms I had never heard of - in life and in parenting.
Thanks to Loren at SweetenedTaters I now know about donkey shows! (thanks, therapy is twice weekly)
And now, thanks to Jenny's link to Motherhood Uncensored I heard about sleep training. What on earth is THAT? And why is there a PhD for every flippen stage of childhood but not parenting?
So MU had a link to someone who WROTE THE BOOK on sleep training. WOW! the scales are falling from my eyes!
Kat went from sleeping in a nightstand drawer to sleeping in a bassinet with scarcely a howl. She moved from the bassinet to the crib with frequent screams and yells for attention. (which we gave her. still do, come to think of it)
Now I find that if we take Kat and move her to a toddler bed and move Kyle to the crib (not Kat's crib - the crib belongs to cousin Jane, Karl made it for her originally) then KAT will have fits at night and not sleep for months just to make us pay for giving her sleep habitat to the unsurper.
Not to mention that according to the experts, Kat might be a little to young for a T-bed.
So I am asking for help and suggestions - What to do, what to do!?

Seriously, Mrs. 4444, Surprised Mom, Jenny, Loren, even Mrs. Weasel (if she reads this blog), Mom, cousins, Triplet Mom in LV, Nevada, anyone - shoot me some suggestions. I don't want to traumatize or set my children back potty training or disrupt Kat's " major cognitive-emotional transition period."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NEW wake up call

This morning marks the sixth consecutive day where I have either woke up due to my own crazy head or been woke up due to my loving and enthusiastic children.
Lets see
Friday, 15th = Work
Saturday 16th = Work
Sunday 17th = shooting match preparation
Monday 18th = Kyle
Tuesday 19th = Work
Wednesday = Mommy playing patty cake with Kyle in our bed because Kyle woke mommy up and wanted to play so mommy thought, OK, lets play here in bed next to daddy!
I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

family night

Last night was GREAT! I got home a few minutes after Jill and found the family seated on the front porch having a picnic of chicken and baked beans.
"DADDY!" Greeted me as I got out of the truck.
We all had supper on the porch in an absolutely beautiful evening. Kat of course likes the food off of my plate better than her plate... And, of course, Mommy has the best food on her plate... So she had to hop and shuffle between the two of us to steal our food... Cause food tastes better off of someone else's plate. (Jill did this to me ALL THE TIME when we were dating)
Jill took Kat to the garden after dinner to play in the dirt. They stayed out there for nearly an hour while I bonded with the boy on the porch. He snoozed for a while on my chest, then he drank half a bottle, and snoozed some more. He woke up after a few minutes to spew into my shirt pocket. Amazing how much that will hold.
Jill came back in around 7 to give Kat a bath. I brought puker inside and we watched antique roadshow together.
We got Kat down to bed just before 8 and then Jill and I put Kyle to bed. Once he was down we looked at each other with that special look of lust that parents of children under two often share...
"I want... sleep!" we said at the same time.
So we were sleeping snuggled together by 830. And I slept til 330 without waking up more than 3 times.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waking up CRANKY

Lets see... wouldn't eat supper and got to bed late last night.
This morning was LOADS of fun.
Daycare says the little girl ate two bowls of macaroni at lunch.
Thank goodness she eats there, she ate only the green beans from her supper and wanted down.
wash, rinse, repeat.

Summer Fun

I have a feeling that the daughter is giving her mom and I a glimpse of what this summer is going to be like.
I found myself last night at 820 trying to convince her to eat something before I put her into bed. And she was WAY too tired to eat.
When she got home with Jill yesterday, she hopped out of the car and began to explore the yard, the shed, the water pump, the radio tower, the bushes, the woodpile, the cows next door, the barb wire fence, and on and on and on. We interrupted her activity to bring her in and TRY to feed her - she would have none of it. She howled as we brought her in and wouldn't eat a thing. "Down.... Down... Down!" So we let her loose again in the front yard. Explore the bushes, the trike, the porch, the rocks, the grass, the dandelion...
She didn't stop until we finally brought her inside. I should have just given her a bottle of milk and thrown her in bed. But I tried to get her to eat something. Nope, too tired.
It is going to be fun waking her up this morning.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

Stardate Log – Mother’s Day, 2009; the boy woke his mom up at 550 – he was all happy and just wanted to play. The girl, she slept in until 7am – she was mildly cranky and wanted all of Mom’s attention. Then at 8am, the boy went down for his first nap of the day. Girl still wants all of the attention.

Don't Stop Believing

Last fall, I failed. I failed completely and it cost me a LOT of time and some money. Hours and hours of time and a few hundred dollars.
That was the cheap cost of failure. This failure was so unexpected that I went through all of the stages, or most of them. Denial, Rage, Acceptance, and Defeat.
As I continue to deal with that failure, I have been trying to learn from it. I am not used to it so it has been hard to be positive about it.
My failure was in making a batch of biodiesel. A hobby that typically saves me a couple of thousand dollars each year. Rather, the failure wasn’t in making the fuel, but in making sludge. I didn’t intend to make sludge. I filled my processor with sludge the consistency of thick pudding. Color of chocolate. Chocolate pudding.
As I look back on my failure, it was interesting that I had no fear of failure. I had been successful in making fuel nearly a hundred times. I had started taking everything for granted. I knew what I was doing. I knew each step, I knew what the material looked like at each step, I knew what to expect. (As I watched “Meet the Robinsons” with Kat this morning, I agreed wholeheartedly with the line, you learn from failure – success, not so much) When my mix turned to sludge, I started with denial. That lasted a while, about a week. I went over all of my steps in my head. Where had I gone wrong? What did I do? In the end, the only thing I could think of was the vegetable oil was from a new source that I had never tried before and it was bad contaminated oil. I had to assume that was the problem because I couldn’t think of anything else. I wasn’t 100% sure as the oil was mostly used and I couldn’t isolate the oil and get rid of it.
Then came rage. The rage really hit when I had to shovel out the pudding from my processor. That was hard enough to work with but then I had to disassemble all of the hoses, pumps, valves and tubes and clean them out. These are all parts that are sealed together so that they won’t leak. Sealing everything does not lend itself to taking it apart. Yeah, I raged all right.
And still, I wondered, did I miss something? Did I have bad oil or did I do something else? In my mind, I accepted it. That had to be it.
The weather turned cold not long after this event, so I wasn’t able to make fuel anyway, it was too cold. All winter long, I collected oil. Jill, who NEVER STOPPED BELIEVING IN ME, (definition of AWESOME wife) encouraged me to keep collecting lots of oil because we would need it come spring. I could make fuel again when it is warmer.
By the time Lent came around, doubt and fear had settled in. I never talked about it, I always carried a positive attitude. (but inside, I knew that I didn’t know for sure what had gone wrong) During Lent, I collected a couple hundred gallons of oil.
The weather in Iowa finally warmed up and I kept hearing of others running their cars on home brew. I on the other hand kept myself busy enough that I ‘couldn’t find the time’. About that time I finally admitted to myself that I was afraid to try. WHAT IF? I was afraid to fill up the processor and make pudding. I was afraid that I didn’t really know what went wrong. I didn’t really know if it was the oil, maybe it was me?
Eventually, I finally worked up the courage to tell Jill what my problem was. I was afraid. She is my best friend. I can tell her everything, can’t I?
She once again demonstrated that she is my best friend. “Kevin, you have made fuel a hundred times. You have been successful for years. Don’t focus on one disaster, focus on your track record. You have made a TON of fuel. Make sure your equipment is clean, use the new oil from Lent and believe in yourself. You really know how to do this, just go and make it.”
So I put one foot in front of the other, so to speak. I got all of the ingredients together to make a test batch (something I should have done last fall) and had everything in place. All that was left was to make test fuel. I still was afraid it wouldn’t work, but I had no more excuses.
Last night I made a one quart test batch. The process is such that you mix it up and have to wait about 8 hours to see if it is working. I found myself not sleeping last night. I was so worked up, wondering if I was making pudding or fuel.
But the important thing is that I did it. I faced my fear and did what I was afraid of doing. To borrow a line from the Robinsons, keep moving forward. I cannot stop with one failure, I have to keep trying.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Visitor IRL!

I called the phone number in the email, the one that advertised "Hot COED science majors will visit you"... Sure enough, a week later she showed up... As she eased herself out of her swanky sedan?
Wait a minute, I am confusing this story with a dream I had 20 years ago.
Actually, I am terribly remiss in telling the story of being visited by the Microblogologist from Iowa State. And while she is a very lovely co-ed science major, and I did call her, none of the entire visit was as sordid as the story I started to tell.
MicroBloggy emailed that she would be in the neighborhood (sort of)and that if Kat and Kyle were willing, she would stop by and visit them. She made sure they asked their parents if it was Okay, first. Well of course it was Okay with Wife and I so on the day she was to arrive, Blogology lady arrived at our house precisely at the time she said she would. Kat took one look at her and decided to play 'shy' for the evening. This resulted in me talking MB's ear off all evening long.
Wife and I bribed her with supper and conversation on a wonderful Friday night and stayed up past our bedtime to talk to her about everything under the sun. Wife went so far as to make blueberry banana walnut bread in order to make sure that MB was fed and nourished. (Funniest thing in the world, I actually heard wife utter her mother's nag "if you go hungry, it is your own fault! we have plenty of food here!")
In all honesty, it was the most exciting Friday evening that wife and I have shared in years if not decades. Adult conversation with someone neither of us was married to! It doesn't get much better than that! We talked about family, politics, gun control, and, um, lots of interesting stuff that I cannot remember.
All I really remember is that I was so happy to have company that I don't think I shut up the entire time MicroWoman was here.
I want to thank her for coming to visit and letting us know that there are real people connected to these blogs. We really enjoyed having her over for dinner and Kat wants her to come back again this summer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stop the MADNESS!!

Seriously. No, really, I mean it. THANK GOD IT IS FRIDAY! If I have one more emergency clown race at work I think I am going to lose it.
The latest one was along the lines of...
"Kevin, QUICK! Here are 20,000 lines of data! Match them all up to the best skittles color! By 5 pm! Hurry - I have a hunch, and I want you to validate it!
Don't whine about the rest of your job - JUST GO GET SKITTLES'