Project Life 365 – Day 3 – Optimistic

Nothing can throw a wrench in your plans like having kids.

Now before you get all Supernanny Mary Poppins crazy on me, let me explain.

I’m not talking about having a “Holy shit! I’m pregnant! My life is over! What am I gonna do?” moment. And I’m certainly not saying that I hate kids. Quite the contrary. I love kids. I love my kid. But I would like to go on record and say that kids–those adorable little bundles of unbridled energy–are a freakin’ mess, and they are absolutely hardwired to make a task as simple as going to the grocery store into an Olympic event.

Some days, you’re lucky to even make it out the door.

You’re in a hurry, already running late,  and they decide it’s time to fill their diapers with something that smells like the place where death must surely go to die. You have an early morning meeting or a big project due and they decide to have what sounds like a Bachelor Party-style house party in their room down the hall. You finally make it out the door and into the car and the screaming starts because you forgot the sippy cup or the favorite toy or because it just feels good to see how long and how loud they can scream before the run out of oxygen and pass out in their carseats.

Today was one of those days.

My goal today–besides making it through Day 4 of my Insanity workout, Day 3 of this photo blog project, and catching up on a little correspondence– was to get the Christmas decorations put away.We’ve hit the point where our dry, sagging Christmas tree still sitting in our living room is getting depressing. Plus, Cadence’s new art easel from Santa has been patiently waiting to take its spot. The dead needles are piling up on the floor. Our Yoda topper is drunkenly leaning to the left, and I fear one of these days he’s going to unexpectedly drop into my lap.

Oh Christmas Tree, it’s been lovely having you, but I’m afraid it’s time to go.

Yes, today I was optimistic that I could put Cadence down for a good nap (she’d gone to bed late and gotten up early, so I figured it would be a piece of cake), and then I could tackle the tree and have it ready to haul out by the time Steven got home from work.

Cadence had other plans…

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She started out singing along with Castle on a Cloud and then Please Read the Letter as they came up on her Ipod. There were a few moments of silence, before she launched into a few verses of Old McDonald Had a Farm. After that came the jumping–20 or so minutes of bouncing so hard I was waiting for her crib to fall through the ceiling and land in the middle of the kitchen. Shortly after the bouncing stopped, she started chattering to her stuffed animals, which quickly led to her acting out scenes from Toy Story and Cinderella. About the time she got to the scene where Cinderella gets locked in the tower by her evil Stepmother, Cadence decided that she, like Cinderella, just wanted out.

“Mommy! Mommy! MOOOMMMMEEEEEEEE!”

And then, she really got into character…

“Oh, let me out! Please let me out! You can’t keep me in here!” Over and over and over, punctuated by bouts of fake sobbing and an occasional break to bounce around in the crib again.

I tell you, folks, if she keeps this up, she’s a shoe-in for an Academy Award someday.

I was just checking the clock and deciding that she had about two more minutes of shenanigans before it was time to give up completely on today’s nap and pray we could make it through the evening without an epic, overtired meltdown, when I noticed the tide beginning to turn. And, as I finish this post, I can finally hear her winding down. Club Cadence has closed for the afternoon and my tired girl is settling in to sing a few last songs to her animals before finally giving in for a nap.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get this tree done yet.

I’m still optimistic.

365 Project – Day 247 – Sleep

Since Steven and I made a conscious effort to improve Cadence’s sleeping habits several months ago, she has been sleeping like a champ. She generally wakes around 8:00 or 8:30 a.m., goes down for a nap between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., sleeps for 1-3 hours, and then goes down for the night between 8:30 and 9:00. Except for the occasional bad day where she either skips a nap or awakens during the night and refuses to go back to sleep without a fight, we have been very pleased with the routine we’ve established.

Then, we leave home, and all hell breaks loose.

Cadence was actually thrown off schedule the day before we left for Arizona when we spent the day celebrating her cousin Korbin’s 1st birthday. She caught a 5-minute catnap in the car on the way to the party, and then didn’t sleep at all for the rest of the day. By the time we returned home, the big black bags under her tired eyes were making her resemble a very young Wednesday Addams. Yet, she refused to give in, and actually fought bedtime until nearly 10:00. She also woke two times during the night, and woke up the next day just before 8:00 a.m.

I was hoping that she might catch a little nap as we drove to Omaha to catch our flight. No such luck. And if you read yesterday’s post, you know that she napped for all of 5 minutes as the airplane was landing and taxiing to the gate. By the time she got wound down and it got dark here in Arizona, it was already an hour past her normal bedtime. to make matters worse, she woke around 2:00 a.m. and decided it was time to play.

I tried bringing her into the bed with me to sleep. When all else fails, snuggling with Momma, usually does the trick. But Cadence was having none of it. She spent a good 45 minutes sitting up, lying down, sitting up, standing up, flopping down, sticking her hand inside my collar and sleeves, standing up, bouncing on the bed, lying down, snuggling close, and trying to impress me with an impromptu anatomy lesson as she jammed her little finger in my face and said, “Eye. Eye. Noh. Teeh. Hah. Noh.” = “Eye. Eye. Nose. Teeth. Hair. Nose.” until I finally got fed up and put her back in the Pack ‘n Play.

I expected a revolt, but she just continued jabbering, and picked up the anatomy lesson with one of her baby dolls where ours left off. Once, she stood up and asked for milk, but I told her no, it was time for night night, and she accepted that news without a fight as well. I guess she really was tired. Another 20 minutes later, and she was sound asleep again.

Cadence woke for a the day just after 7:30 Arizona time, about an hour later than usual. Considering her 2-day lack of naps and late bedtimes, I was certainly hoping for a whole lot more sleeping in, but my little Energizer Bunny was having none of it.

After a whole lot of playing and running errands, we finally arrived back at Nonna’s house in time for a nap (about 2 hours later than usual, but better late than never I guess). So overtired by that point, Cadence did everything she could to fight sleep. She cried, whimpered, hollered, whined, demanded tissues to blow her nose, asked for more milk, tossed her baby dolls out of the Pack n’ Play, and then cried to get them back, tried to crawl out of the Pack ‘n Play, laid down, talked to her babies, sang, called for Dada, kicked her legs, rolled around, rearranged the blankets, demanded another tissue, and talked to her babies some more.

Just when I thought it might be getting to the point were it was too late for her to even have a nap, the room grew suddenly quiet.

I glanced slowly over at the Pack ‘n Play. Cadence had been lying on her back, holding her new baby doll up and jabbering away, and had apparently fallen asleep mid-jabber. I stifled a laugh and grabbed my camera. Finally, my little Energizer Bunny’s batteries ran out…

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to my going going girl. Here’s hoping we’ve got a good night’s sleep in store for both of us!

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