I believe this will be a multi-topic post. I don't normally like to do that much but it has been a while and I have a lot to share!
First, I'd like to explain the reasons for the long delay between posts (besides me just being lazy and feeling like watching a TV shows on Netflix on demand with Average after Sweet Pea falls asleep at night, rather than blogging). I had bronchitis for A MONTH. It has been awful. I am still coughing a tiny tiny bit but I have gone running twice in the last few days and didn't die or need to use my inhaler so I think I am pretty much better. I used a variety of homeopathic remedies, took vitamins, and ended up also taking antibiotics, Robitussin with codeine, and using my albuterol inhaler multiple times per day. I drank a gallon of elderberry juice. Nothing seemed to really work more than anything else, except the inhaler, which would allow me to breathe, without coughing until I gagged (I even vomited one time), for a while. During this bout with illness I took three days off of work. I worked the rest of the time, including weekends. Hmm, perhaps what I really needed to get well was rest? Yes, I am lucky to work part-time, but for me being a part-time teacher means that I only work 5.5-8 hours per day instead of 9+ hours per day. I was working on the weekends this month making an extra paycheck by scoring the Oregon state writing tests. Sunday was the last day of that and I am so glad! I worked while being sick, and worked through Sweet Pea's second birthday and my 6-year wedding anniversary.
Here is my self-care lunch tray I made one of my days home from work:
Mmm, naps. Sweet Pea now takes a nap only every few days. We got to the point where it was very difficult to get her to sleep for naps, and then even more difficult to get her to sleep at night at any kind of a reasonable time. We aim for 9:00-9:30 and some nights she was up until 11:00 or later. So, we discovered if we skip naps then she falls asleep easily before 9:30. She generally gets up between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning, as hubby works 10AM to 6PM in the winter. I didn't think that we would be done with naps this young! Many kids her age are sleeping 3 hours in the middle of the day but we are not so lucky. I have recently been reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and the self-test in there shows Sweet Pea to be an "angel/textbook" baby combined with a "touchy" baby. I broke down the results and she is touchy only in areas of eating and sleeping, and always has been. That book could be an entire blog post of its own, as I have very mixed feelings about it. I am learning some things, and also completely disagree with some things. So anyway, most days we have no nap but if she seems tired then we of course will let her have a nap, as long as it is before 4PM or so.
Sometimes Sweet Pea seems so grown up for a newly 2-year-old: not napping, using the potty, talking in full sentences and using "I" correctly. Strangers consistently guess that she is three years old. Of course, not everything is going perfectly and I do have doubts about some of my parenting choices, particularly on those days when all she wants is to be held much of the day (have we held her too much? or is she clingy because I've been working so much? or do I need to be firmer with her? or do I need to pay more attention and play with her more? Or, maybe this is just completely normal and part of being a toddler). I tried a time-out with her the other day and I have no idea if it was good or not. She threw a bunch of stuff from a drawer onto the floor and refused to pick it up. Usually she's pretty good at picking things up when we ask and I just was not in the mood to back down on my request. I tried a few creative ways of getting her to do it, then decided to give the whole time-out thing a shot. I took her to her room, explained what this was, set her down and walked away for a minute. She cried nearly the whole time, but not with tears, which generally means crying on purpose to just tell us she's upset. What do you do, readers, friends, and family? Do you like time-outs? Or time-ins? Purely natural consequences? I had recently seen about 5 minutes of Super Nanny on TV and she is big on time-outs so the idea was maybe more fresh in my mind.
All of this is just rambling related to the fact that my little baby turned two years old! I was sick, exhausted, and distracted, and trying to pretend I wasn't and be a good host during the party so I took very few and mostly poorly focused and framed photos, but I will share what I got. We had the party at a local place that has indoor mini golf, laser tag, an arcade, and most importantly for us, an indoor playground. We reserved tables in front of the playground and Sweet Pea loved it! We had Elmo balloons and hats, pizza, fruit, and cake. Sweet Pea had a mostly fantastic birthday except when she had an accident during the party and had to get a new outfit.
That's all for today. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any comments or advice on the time out thing.