Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh the Thinks you can Think

I did it! I held the line on bedtime while Beau was out of town! HOORAY! Each night got progressively easier on both of us, thankfully. Last night, after all the good nights-one last hugs-one more kisses-sweet dreams-etc, I went downstairs and Bryn snuggled in to go to bed without protest.

I had barely gotten settled on the couch when I heard:

"Mommy. Mommmmmmy. Mom. Mommmmmy."

I wend to the bottom of the stairs and asked what she needed. My mother absolutely HATES "hollering" but I didn't want to engage her in person for fear we would start completely over. At first she was quiet, so I asked again: "What do you need, Sweetie?"

"I was just thinking."

"What were you thinking?"

"I was just thinking that I could ask and you could let me get up."

"Oh. No, honey, it's bedtime. Time to stay in bed and go to sleep."

"I was just thinking that."

"I know, but it's really night-night time, so go on to sleep. I love you-love you. Sweet dreams."


"See you in the morning."


and not another peep was heard. Good girl!

UPDATE: As I was writing this, Bryn called. "Mommmmy. Is it time to get up now?" She's getting good at continuing in the morning a thought she has as she's going to bed. Yesterday, it was the apple she wanted to have in her lunch. Today, it was confirmation that she could get up. I just love her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Two points make a line

That is, two data points make a pattern. (she says hopefully).

Bryn has slept by herself two nights in a row. Technically, she's slept by herself more than that, but not knowingly, and when she would wake to discover it, we would hear considerable commotion.

We were wondering how to turn the corner on this "have-to-lay-with-her-until-she-falls-asleep-and-likely-fall-asleep-myself-in-the-meantime" situation that we had fostered over the years.

One night, Beau just did it. First, a couple of nights he read stories and then said he would come back to check on her in a little while, after needing to clean the kitchen or something. She started to get used to the idea that the day was coming. Then Sunday--it happened--no pretense, only mild protesting--just books, lights off, night-night, love you, sweet dreams. Done. Not a peep afterwards. We laid in bed for about 15 minutes just talking about how proud we were of her.

Beau was out with a friend last night at bedtime, so it was really a big test for me to hold the line. Bryn, rightfully, views me as a bigger pushover, but I was determined. We wouldn't be able to recreate this momentum for awhile, so it was important. (Kind of like the time I rounded up cattle with Beau and his uncle...but the story of that character-testing moment another day.)

As we walked up to bed after dancing the evening away in her Cinderella gown and glass slippers, Bryn gave a casual pitch on arrangements: "Maybe you can sleep with me, Mommy." "Well, Bryn, I'm going to read you stories, but then you're going to sleep by yourself again tonight. You did such a great job last night." "Yeah, Daddy was proud of me," she says. "Yes, we were both very proud of you. I hope you were proud of yourself, too."

So, after two books and lights out and night-night and all that, I went back downstairs and she went to sleep. As I was heading to bed, I checked on her and she was all the way scooted onto "my" spot on the bed with the quilt all catty-wonkus. I tried to straighten it up, but must have disturbed her a little. After standing statue-still for a few minutes, all was well again. Got ready for bed, snuggled in myself, and about 10 minutes later...


Bryn had imaginary-snuggled herself right off the bed. Ouch. Fortunately, she wasn't all the way awake so I rocked her a little bit and then laid her in the MIDDLE of the bed this time.

About 1:30, I hear, "Mommmmmmy. Mama. Mommmy. Mommy, I need to show you something." I try to lay very still through all of the calling, thinking she'll go back to sleep when denied other stimulus. But it was the "I need to show you something" that piqued my curiosity, so I got out of bed to discover that she just wanted to ask again if I wanted to sleep with her. There was really no "showing" involved. Duped.

She woke up again in the 4:00 hour, but I ignored the calling that time.

The lesson here (again based on two data points) is that she sleeps like a rock when Daddy puts her to bed and very restlessly when I do. I think we should continue to test the theory some more to be sure, but Beau may have just inherited the task permanently.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Our Disney trip in 15 pictures or less

The fun really started at the airport...

Polite signage notwithstanding. (Come on, you don't build a bench that allows little girls to sit with Snow White and then not let them climb on it. That just doesn't make sense.)

The weather was slated to turn cold during our trip, so we struck out for the Magic Kingdom the only day that was planned to have reasonable weather. And it was GORGEOUS...not too hot, humid, or sunny. Just absolutely delightful for trekking across the many "lands" and standing in lines to meet and greet characters.

This is literally Bryn's reaction upon seeing Cinderella's castle. It was priceless. I think she even said, "Oh, my gosh!" before covering her mouth in disbelief.

First up was the carousel....good times for Bryn, me, and Beau's mom. Beau sat it out, and his stomach thanked him profusely.

It was lunchtime, following the horsey ride. But..uh-oh.....can you say "happiest place on Earth?"

Bryn was VERY sad because she wanted to ride the elephants. (Dumbo ride) She was outvoted and very sad about that.

Following promised she and I rode the pink Dumbo. And all was again right with the world. Fortunately, that was the only melt down of what could be a torturous day for a three-year-old. We didn't get a stroller, so she was on her feet all day. Clearly, with so much to see and do, she didn't get a nap, and don't get me started on lines. By all accounts she was a trooper and I've never experienced Disney as I did through her eyes.

(While we're on the subject of lunch, I've got to give mad props to Disney nutritionists for figuring out how to feed children responsibly. For kids' meals, you had to opt in to french fries and sodas. Bryn had PB&J, grapes, applesauce, and milk. I was eternally grateful that we didn't have to layer crappy food on top of an exhausting day. I believe in my heart that that meal gave her the energy she needed to keep going...and going...and going.)

Following Dumbo, we took off to stake out a location for the afternoon parade. Again, I alternated between pictures of the parade and pictures of Bryn's reactions to seeing her favorite characters. Whenever I was pointing the camera at her, she would just about come unglued trying to get me to focus on the parade. "MOM...Look! Look, Mom. Mommy. Look, it's Cinderella's mice! Look, Mom." I could hear her gears turning while she thought, "geez, woman, you're missing the whole thing. Turn around! It's THAT way! Why do I have to keep telling you that?" Of course, she had a pretty sweet viewing spot...atop Papa's head. So she could see the floats well before any of us could--and let us know that.

Bryn was also pretty excited about the fireworks. (Yes, we stayed until the fireworks. Like I said, she was a total trooper.) Her reaction to the firework display (besides "oh my gosh" and hand-over-mouth) was the very descriptive observation that "they are painting the sky." Indeed, Bryn.

The next night we were fortunate to be able to go to a Character Dinner hosted by Cinderella and Prince Charming. The prime rib wasn't bad, but it was totally awesome to see Bryn interact with the characters. She told Cinderella she was a ballerina, so after she made the rounds of the dining room, Cinderella came back to Bryn to dance with her. Prince Charming (AKA "Cinderella's special boy") was also in attendance and was moving in on Beau's territory a little bit.

One of the other highlights of the trip was a little place called the Bibbiddi-Bobbiddi-Boutique. One of Bryn's requests for Santa was to dress up as Cinderella (her aforementioned favorite princess). Santa didn't bring her a blue dress as she expected, but he (through GG) did line up a makeover fit for a princess.

(A little stage-setting may be in order. We had a 10:10 appointment for which we had to be there by 9:50. We were cutting it close when we pulled out of the driveway. Got about a half mile away and the tire pressure light came on. So we turned around to switch cars, but that also required moving the car seat. The transfer speed would have made any pit crew proud, but we were now on the later side of fashionable. Fast forward about 15 miles, and I look down. Bryn is staring off into space turning an unfortunate shade of green. This isn't my first rodeo with this girl, so I start looking for something to catch the breakfast that was shortly to reappear. As always, my hands seem to be the only tools that present themselves. Maybe fortunately (if you squint enough) Bryn had only had water and juice to drink, so no milk was in there to curdle on the way back up--which if you've not lived it is unpleasant to say the least. So, all that came up was liquid and some poorly chewed blueberries. Beau says I have an iron stomach, and in many respects I must. HOWEVER, my breaking point is when otherwise unoffensive liquid starts overflowing my hands and running down my sleeve. Bryn felt better when we got to the place, but was--shall we say--in need of some freshening up before her princess transformation. Thanks, in part, to a similar scare the night before on the way to the character dinner, I had the foresight to pack a change of clothes in my backpack.)

She had an absolute blast getting her hair done, nails done, makeup done by Nelly, a (I swear this is her title) fairy-godmother-in-training. She had lots of choices--type of hairstyle (fortunately she thought better than to go with the "Punk Princess Diva" 'do), colors of eyeshadow, nail polish, lip gloss, and stick-on face decoration (they must have a name, but can't think of a more sophisticated name at the moment.)

You may wonder how Nelly got Bryn's hair to stay up in a neat Princess bun when she's only in training as a fairy godmother and Bryn has pretty short hair. The answer, my friends, is hair gel and loads of hairspray. Bryn had a hard time figuring out the clever face shield, but when it was all over....her hair was up there to stay, dadgummit. Notice in this picture, the small tiara that hugs the sweet bun Nelly carefully crafted. In the next photo, that adorable (small) one is dwarfed by the Miss Universe crown.

All dressed up and no place to go.

Or so one might think. Turns out that is the perfect ensemble for TGI Friday's for lunch on the way home. (Have to say I offered up many prayers on the way home, that lunch would not be revisited all over the "do not clean" princess gown.) Fortunately, following a day of beauty, Bryn was appropriately tuckered out.

Bryn lost the huge tiara in exchange for Minnie Mouse ears (a nice touch with the princess gown) for our dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. She likes to share.

And if you wonder what hair gel and spray look like the next day on a busy sleeper....wonder no more.