Sunday, October 31, 2010

More than a weekend of trick-or-treating...

...though we did go!  Our neighborhood did trick-or-treating tonight, and our plan was to skip it this year. But when Jasmin said she and her little cousin, Chase, would be in town for a birthday party, and would stop by and trick-or-treat with us, of course Morgan and I were all over it!


Morgan and Chase did great and were very nice to each other for the most part.  I mean, everyone takes toys and sippy cups from other people every once in a while, right? :)  On the walk back home, Morgan kept asking to get out and Chase was super-sleepy, so the timing was just right.  Fun Halloween evening!

This weekend brought about some major changes in our household.  Bittersweet changes, but needed changes.  Morgan slept in her own room.

Let me back up.  So, remember about a year ago I mentioned that we let Morgan sleep with us a few nights?  And how I was afraid it'd become a habit because she didn't want to nap in her crib one day?  Well, that habit turned into a year-long habit. :) 

When she was a baby-baby, co-sleeping was a no-no in this house.  But when she was about 10 or 11 months old, pretty much out of that SIDS-risk age, I was couldn't wait to snuggle up with my sweet girl for the whole night!  Which is why I never had a problem when our bed turned into a family bed.  The time at night when she'd snuggled with her daddy and me was just PRICELESS.  We both loved every minute of it (well, most of it -- when she wasn't kicking us in the face).

So why would we move her to her bed now?

Well, let me start with a little timeline:

Early Fall 2009 - Great sleeper (in her own bed).  Great sleep schedule (7 PM to 7 AM). Needed me to rock her to go to sleep, but I loved that! 

Late Fall 2009 - Started sleeping with us.  Still a perfect sleep schedule.  No more rocking needed -- just needed me right there next to her to fall asleep.  I loved that, too!

Spring 2010 - Early Summer 2010 - Still sleeping with us, still needing me (or anyone, really, but preferably me) right there next to her to fall asleep.  Still on a decent schedule.

Mid and Late Summer 2010 - I sort of let up on the "sleep schedule" thing.  Started being a little more flexible (hey, it was summer!).

Early Fall 2010 - She wanted me right there next to her still, but she wanted to PLAY, not sleep...and that's where the problems began...

I was used to staying with Morgan until she fell asleep and then getting up and doing my housework and whatever else needed to be done.  Well, when she wouldn't fall asleep for two and three hours (I'm NOT kidding), it became a problem.  Of course around that time, I'd be exhausted, too.  And that meant two things:  I'd become really frustrated because she wouldn't go to sleep or when she did go to sleep, I'd be too tired to get up and do what I needed to do afterwards.  But I'd have to, anyway, and I'd be groggy and feel like crap the next morning.  I had another word, but crap works.

But that was not the defining moment for me.  She started having little nightmares.  She would go through these little whining episodes in the middle of the night.  So much that Danny or I would have to soothe her.  I didn't like that.  So I looked it up, and found that although it's common, it's usually caused by sleep deprivation or a broken sleep schedule.  And I'd have to say I am guilty of both.  If we were in bed by 7:30, and she'd stay up playing (in the dark, mind you -- I'd have the lights off), it would be 9:30, 10:30, sometimes later that she would go to sleep.  Not okay.

So when I realized my sweet baby was having nightmares because I wasn't the mama-who-insists-her-baby gets-enough-sleep anymore (because I was definitely that mama -- very strict about her sleep schedule), I had to make a change.  This major change.

And it's bittersweet.  I was ready to let her sleep with us until she didn't want to anymore.  I didn't care what people said or thought about not-letting-your-child-sleep-with-you-or-you'll-breed-a-monster.  I knew she wouldn't come home from prom and crawl in bed with us, so it just wasn't that big a deal to me.  Her daddy and I both work, so those quiet times at night in bed were very special to us.

But when it started affecting her in that way, there was no question that it was time to let go.

This past Friday night, during a typical night of her not going to sleep, it just came to me -- put her in her bed.  Let her fall asleep on her own.  So I did.  Did she cry?  Of course.  For about 20 minutes.  When she was a little baby, that 20 minutes would've seemed like 20 hours.  But Friday night?  It was over before I got emotional.  Maybe it was God's way of helping me let go because I promise you, I didn't feel bad AT ALL.  I told her "you're okay" a few times through her door, but I did not break.  Maybe because I felt like I didn't have a choice.

Saturday when I put her down for her nap, she cried about five minutes.  Same thing Saturday night at bedtime.  Tonight after I kissed her and told her I loved her and put her down, she didn't contest.  I turned on the monitors and turned out the light.  I went in there 15 minutes or so later, and she was asleep.  GOD IS GOOD.

I was prepared for at least a weeklong battle because I've heard all the horror stories with these situations, but it went extremely well.  I prayed about this weeks ago...He never ceases to amaze me.

If you've made it this far, sorry for boring you with sleep talk.  This is such a pivotal event in my house, so it's really important to me (blog/"scrapbook" worthy).  Danny and I will miss those little feet kicking us, and the pillow-hogging, but every one in this house will be happier.

She's slept GREAT and has woken up well-rested each time.  As for the night whining/nightmares, we haven't experienced them at all the last couple of nights.  I hope it stays this way.

Here are some random pics of my little sweetie from the last few days.

Walking around so casually in her daddy's shoes.  No shoes are safe in this house.

Friday morning before school (fall festival day).

This is the second time she's climbed in the tub fully clothed.  Too funny.

I hope everyone has a great week! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Extravaganza with a Gnome!

Yesterday evening we went to the UA Athletics Halloween Extravaganza with Morgan's Auntie Ash.  This is the second year we've gone.  Last year, Morgan wasn't even walking.  This time -- totally different. :)  She was all over that place...



Most of the time she was walking/running around or kicking soccer balls!  They had little stations with games for the kids. Morgan wasn't interested in most them, but she did enjoy the one with the girls soccer team. 
 

 
Like I've mentioned before, her daddy bought her a soccer ball back in the summer.  She loves to dribble! :)



Looks like she's getting some pointers from one of the soccer players.


Like I've mentioned before, my baby girl has quite a head on her (literally).  Look at her hat -- I had to cut openings on both sides so her head could fit!  :)



Pumpkin or soccer ball -- she doesn't care.
Not sure when was ever still enough for me to get this shot, but I think she looks so sweet here!


Not sure what she was doing here, either, but Ash got this shot.  Funny!


Somebody came up and asked if Morgan could be in the picture with this guy (PR stuff, I guess).  And judging by his height, I'm going to say basketball team.  I looked it up -- I think this may be Tony Mitchell, a forward for the Tide.  He was very nice and patient while my toddler was squirming to get back down to play.


Then she got a picture with Big Al.  She did NOT want to leave him...


...so she falls out.  I do not condone this behavior, but there's something very funny about seeing this little gnome on the ground. 



Our little munchkin had a great time.  We couldn't take Big Al home with us, but I think she got over it. 

Hope everyone's having a good week! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I went on vacation!

Well, sort of. :)

I got some me time this weekend!  Danny went to the Auburn game, and Morgan stayed the weekend with her Auntie Ash.  A while back, I probably would have missed her too much to enjoy the time by myself, but I guess I'm over that!  Plus my sister-in-law takes plenty of pics, so I get my "fix" without having to clean spaghetti off the floor or explain why jumping on the bed isn't "fun" (safe).

Morgan had a great time as usual:

She had plenty of shoes to play with.

I see she chose the sneakers.



She went to the park.


And got new shoes.

Okay, okay -- she HAD to get new shoes.  Her, um, mama sorta forgot to pack shoes for her.  :) So Auntie Ash took her to get these.  Baby New Balance -- adorable!

So, what did I do this weekend?  Did a lot of things that I haven't done in a long time!

  1. I slept eight hours Friday and Saturday night.
  2. I cooked without trying to time it to be hot and done when the hubby gets home.  And I did it at my own pace -- not timing it with the little one's bath, nap, or bedtime.
  3. I went to Target and BROWSED!  I checked out the clearance stuff, talked myself out of buying some things I didn't need from the clearance stuff, spent 10 minutes deciding which cookies to take to Morgan's school's fall party, and got everything I needed without rushing to get a squirmy toddler home.
  4. I didn't clean.  And I didn't care.
  5. I got some uninterrupted Bible-reading time.
  6. I got on the computer without a little person insisting she control the mouse or keyboard.  I rarely even get on the computer at home unless my child is napping (like she is now) because she does not understand that the computer is just for Mama and Daddy.
  7. I watched a lot of DVR!  There's no way I could have watched everything I had saved, but I caught up on my absolute favorites -- which is more than I could have asked for.
Yep, that's a vacation to me!  :)  But boy was I happy to see my little monster again Sunday morning.  One day of "vacation" was all I needed - I wouldn't trade my fun, busy days with the funniest little girl in the world for anything!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!

Okay, so you know we love Yo Gabba Gabba in my house. If I had not recently joined GabbaFriends, I wouldn't have known that Birmingham was later added to their 60-city tour! Whew!  I mean I never saw any advertisements or anything!


Anyway, so after I found out it was coming to town, I initially said we'd "catch it next year" because I thought Morgan was "too young" this time around.  I thought I had a couple more years to go before I had to buy tickets to any children's event at the BJCC!  Boy, was I wrong.  I started thinking, "What if they don't come back?"  And "Why would I NOT take her?  She LOVES YoGabbaGabba!"  I also found out they had a package where you could meet the characters and have a little play and eat time after the show.  Then I got to thinking...hmmm, she might like that.  Long story short, I decided that we would go.  And when I say we enjoyed it, WE ENJOYED IT!

This was shortly after getting in the door.  Morgan immediately said "Brobee!" when she saw this pic of him, so we took this promotional pic by the company that does the Party in My Lunchbox campaign.  The YGG crew also came up to us right after this asking if they could get a picture of Morgan in her shirt.  Why?  Because they knew it was handmade (by her mama, by the way), and wanted to get pics of the "best dressed kids" (translation: crazy fans/parents who love YGG enough to hand-do something). I know it's more of a promotional thing for their Web site, but hey, I thought, "Why not!"

This was us before the show started.  Row 5, middle section = PERFECT SEATS.

DJ Lance Rock about to introduce the Gabba Gang!

They did the whole boombox thing from the TV show (where they transition from dolls to real things), but I was too busy trying to watch rather than get pics.  This was shortly after they came out, though.  So exciting!

I absolutely love Muno.  Morgan didn't start showing a favorite until we saw them in person, and it turns out she really likes Brobee and Toodee.  One of them will be on her shirt next time.  :)

During intermission, they released a million balloons from the ceiling.  Perfect for keeping the little ones entertained while the Gang took a break.

They also kept the parents entertained during intermission.  Check out the screen (bottom right area). It says, "Hey, Morgan K!"  They had it where you could send in a text and it would display on the screen.  How fun is that! :)


Dancey Dance guest was Leslie Hall (from a couple of episodes).

Then Biz's Beat of the Day was first made to seem like he wasn't there for the show, so they showed him on the big screen.  Of course only the kids were fooled -- the parents knew he was there! :)

So after saying how much he "wished" he could be there with the Gang, he appeared from behind the screen.  He did a fun beatbox session and even sang a little bit of "Just a Friend" for the parents. :)

Party in My Tummy!  If you don't watch YoGabbaGabba, then you wouldn't understand how huge this song is. :)  That's "Chicken" sliding down!

Then Cheese!

Then Juice!

Carrots and Green Beans crying because they wanted to go to the Party in the Tummy.

So they were invited and everyone was happy!

Later it was time to say (and sing) "Goodbye."  Toodee cried like she always does!

And that was the end of the show.  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

In the lounge afterwards. Morgan "freezing" during the Freeze Game song.

DJ Lance reading a story.

Mo and the coolest DJ on the planet!

With Leslie Hall

Giving Biz a high-five. :)



During the show, she just watched in awe.  She really liked it, and boy did that make me the happiest mama in the world!  There were so many highlights from the night:  Meeting DJ Lance Rock, meeting Biz, the amazing show with all of Morgan's favorite songs, Muno blowing Morgan a kiss (after we told him hi and to look at her shirt with his pic on it), or the fact that we took a picture with the Gabba Gang.  But my absolute favorite part of the night was when they were singing "Hugs Are Fun," and Morgan turned around and hugged ME! Oh, my God -- PRICELESS!

I am so glad we were able to go.  We highly recommend it and will go again if/when they come back (if Morgan still likes them)!  We'd been looking forward to it for weeks, and it was worth every penny!

Yooooooooo Gabba Gabba!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Surprise Party and "Down Time" with MeMaw

We had a surprise party for my Aunt Elida on Saturday! Her son, daughter, and daughter-in-law came down from Virginia and put the whole thing together (with her youngest son, who lives here).  They arrived in town on Friday and worked hard to make their mom's day special. They were out Saturday morning getting the last minute things together, and that made me nervous! :) The Lincoln/Pell City area isn't that big, so I was afraid Aunt Elida would see them out somewhere (she had no idea they were here).  Someone who called and wished Aunt Elida a happy birthday Saturday morning slipped and said something that made Aunt Elida suspicious, so she had an inkling that a surprise "something" was happening on her birthday.  But she had NO CLUE her kids had come home!


Walking into the room -- she was already crying. :)



Then she saw one of her children and was so surprised!

Here's the son and daughter-in-law.

Aunt Debra's three girls, Mary, Cassie, and Shawn.

My brother, Clif, and his two girls.

My Aunt NeeNee and Grandma (and that's Morgan clinging to Grandma...more on that later).

Aunt Debra and Horace

Aunt Elida and her best friend, Carolyn.



Someone pinned a $100 bill to Aunt Elida'a shirt!


Elisha and me (way too close, but too fun not to post)!


Pooney and her mom, Ms. Gail.

My Aunt Elida's husband, James, and his daughter, Shala (plus two grandskids).

Sharon and Me

Some of my mom's friends.  Mama, just two days post-surgery, wouldn't have missed her sister's party for the world.  She stayed in that little corner with her arm propped on a pillow the whole evening.  

That's Aunt Elida's baby boy, Shaka, on the far right.  

Pooney and Clif

Cassie and Me

I remember when these two were born.  Now they're 16 (and dating)!

YES, this is my child, Little Miss Independent, clinging to Sharon.  She wasn't too fond of the loud music at first.


But that didn't last long.  She danced her little heart out!


She partied like it was 1999!  I had to drag her off the dance floor when it was time to go.  Literally!


Cake!


Not sure who was more excited, Aunt Elida or the kids!  I had to back them up after this picture so they wouldn't breath all those kid germs on the cake! :)


Aunt Elida got lots of nice gifts, but this one was probably the most special.  My Grandma (her mom) put together a few pics of Aunt Elida as a young'un (high school age, I think) and then her three kids' baby pictures.


Out of all the people there, these five mini-people probably made her day the most -- her grandbabies. :)

Here's her newest grandbaby, little Kinsley Marie!  So sweet!

I tried to get all the mini-cousins together in a picture.  This was the best shot. :)

It was fun to see my Aunt Elida being celebrated by friends and family on her birthday!

My mom stayed with us a few days to recover from her arm surgery.  Morgan and I stayed home from school two days and had a good time taking care of MeMaw.  Here are some things the Monster did around the house:  

 She insists on going in the diaper drawer and trying them all on.



 She likes to walk around the house in our shoes (these are her daddy's game shoes).

Ford was giving out these scarves at Race for the Cure last weekend, and I tied it to Morgan's head for fun.  She loved it and a couple of times insisted I put it on after it'd fallen off.  Oh, and she's saying "cheese" in this picture.  Not sure where she got that from because I never ask her to say cheese. Apparently she's heard it somewhere else, which is so funny to me.

Anyway, we've had a great week and weekend.  The class I'm taking is going great, by the way.  I don't want to speak too soon because it's only Week 2!  It's been great, though, networking with other teachers across the state.  As far as the coursework, I've managed to get it done -- even if it is 2:00 AM (on the weekend, of course -- that won't be happening during the week!).  Friday night after my mom and Morgan were both down for the night, I had plans to log onto the computer for a few minutes to check a few things and then watch some DVRed shows.  When I signed in, I realized that my assignments for the next week were posted, so I stayed up all night getting those "out of the way."  Never made it to DVR.  And I didn't last weekend, either, when I said I would.  I've had DVR for about a month now (yes, ONLY a month -- I'm sure I am the last person EVER to get it), but I haven't had the chance to watch any of the shows.  I know DVR is there for when you can't watch a show when it airs, but what happens if you don't even have time to watch the recorded ones??  I'll guess get around to it one day. :)

Hope everyone has a great week!

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