Thursday, November 3, 2011


From the beginning, we had a schedule with Brenden. (A bit strict...okay a lot strict, but we're better now!) There was a method to our madness and a goal: a happy baby. He was a good eater, a happy napper and slept through the night at 8 weeks.

Note: I don't think what we did is the end all, be all to raising a child. It won't help any kid sleep better or make a colicky baby happy. It just worked for Brenden and I'm grateful we figured him out.

I thought we would continue that with Lauren since we had such great results the first time around. Of course we didn't take into account the fact that there would be another child in the mix, which can throw even the easiest task into a tailspin.

What I've come to realize is that both of my children respond really well to routine. Brenden's bedtime routine, from the time he was little bitty, always included a book. It has evolved into something he really enjoys and the slightest variation gets a stern look and "Mommmmyyyy...." It consists of, in this order:

Brush his teeth.
Change his clothes.
Read a book in our bed.
Tim picks him up, he grabs at me and pretends to be upset.
He hides under his comforter and then I pretend to not know where he is.
He asks me to sleep with him for "just one minute".
He begs for Tim to come tell him a Power Rangers story. (Tim makes up a different one every night. I am impressed!)

Annnnnd we're done!

It took over a year for us to really establish a good routine that would help Lauren realize that it was time to sleep. It was long after the pacifier went away, well after her 1st birthday, and I'm realizing now that we are super lucky that she ever slept at all! Her's is much shorter than Brenden's - for now - but it makes her happy. It consists of:

Change diaper/clothes.
Put her down on the floor, hand her a cup of milk, and wait for her to sit on her rug.
Read 2 books (must be 2, and at least 1 must be Dora).
Grab her baby and push the hand on her lion that sings.
Dance and sing "Sunflower" by Glen Campbell.
Say goodnight, I love you, and lay her down.

She loves to sing with me and has recently started hugging me tightly, giving me her biggest smile and and planting huge kisses on my cheeks when there is a break in the song. This is my most favorite thing she has ever done...ever. :)

I know that in a few months they could both completely change their minds, hate all of these stories and songs, and spend the entire night kicking the wall. Still, I will always have these moments saved in my mind. Brenden saying, "Snuggle, mommy!" Lauren laughing and then laying her head on my shoulder while she pats my back.

This - these moments of complete happiness - is why having these kids is, and will always be, the most amazing thing I have done with my life.

<3 I love them. <3

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