bedtime routines

It’s been awhile, but I’m linking up again this week with Melissa over at Growing Up Geeky.  The topic this week is bedtime routines.  Hmm….

This is one of those deals where it’s different with baby number two than it was with number one.  With Theo, we were always so good about bath, rocking chair, bottle, bed and all by a certain time.  With Dexter, it was all about not waking up Theo.  So we would hold him out on the couch while we watched television and rock him to sleep, then go lay him down.  We rocked him to sleep until he was over 8 months old.  I think we started laying Theo down awake around 6 months.

Things have changed as the boys have gotten older.  Their bedtime used to be a pretty strict 7:30, which was nice for me, since I have to leave for work at 9.  It gave me time to pack my lunch, watch one t.v. show on DVR and chit chat with my husband for a bit at the end of a long day. Well, the end of his long day and the beginning of mine, I suppose.

Theo has been staying up a little later… and even a little later than that lately.  Like getting in bed around 8:30. And lots of times, it’s after he’s watched one episode of Doodlebops.  I don’t mind him watching 30 minutes or an hour of television every day, it kind of helps him unwind.  But I don’t feel so proud of myself and I’d rather spend that time reading or playing with him.  But I still have to pack my lunch and clean up dinner or switch the laundry and get Dexter in bed and blah blah blah.  So our routine has been a little relaxed lately.  I must say though, he knows when we tell him it’s time, it’s time.

I grab his favorite blanket, “kanket,” and carry him back to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He sits facing the mirror and I brush all those pesky dinner crumbs off his teeth.  If he wants to brush his teeth, I give him a couple minutes to do so.  Can’t hurt, right?  Then I carry him to his room and hold him like a baby (which is getting pretty dang challenging at this point) for a minute or two before laying him in his crib.  Changes coming soon there, I think.  Maybe.

With Dexter, he starts showing signs of being ready for bed a little earlier. He gets fidgety and clingy and whiny. But you can’t hold him when he’s tired like that.  He must be afraid he’ll fall asleep if he gets still.  So I sit in the rocking chair with him and he takes his last bottle of the day.  Sometimes he falls asleep as soon as it’s gone, other times he thinks about fighting it.  Usually I can rock him for a few minutes, other days he won’t let me.  So I put him in his bed and it’s lights out.

Both boys are super easy to put down 99% of the time, for which we are very lucky and grateful.  Now if we could just get Dexter to sleep past 5am.  Eek.


i hope i give them something good.

I’m linking up with Mama G over at Growing Up Geeky for this week’s Toddle Along Tuesday.

The topic is traits that you hope you pass along to your child (or hope that they don’t inherit from you). 

It’s so tempting to spill out a big list of things I don’t like about myself, things I think I do wrong, or inadequacies I see in myself.  When I was throwing ideas around for this post in my mind, those were the things that I thought of first.

With that being said, I hope my boys don’t inherit my self-doubt.  I hope they aren’t too critical of themselves.

I hope my boys inherit my laid-back personailty.  Since having kids, I have become a much more anxious person.  But in general, I don’t worry too much about things I can’t control.  Marrying into a family of worry warts, I realize what a blessing that is.

I hope they inherit my dream and mission of tolerance and acceptance.  Gay couples, multiracial families, people with developmental disabilities…I don’t want my kids to stare or have a single negative thought about people that so often get stereotyped and discriminated against.

I used to worry before I had kids that they wouldn’t be cute, because honestly? R and I are both pretty much chin-less.  I thought maybe their lips would just be somewhere in the middle of their necks.  So I hope as they get older, they each grow a better chin than I did.  I love that Dexter inherited my blue eyes and that Theo inherited his dad’s brown eyes.  I hope they inherit their dad’s athleticism and willingness to try new sports, games, activities, etc., regardless of whether it makes them look like a fool.  I’m not too good at that.

I hope they inherit both me and their daddy’s common sense.  We are both down to earth, logical people.  Despite our little Dexter suprise, we’re planners.  We like to know what’s going to happen.  I hope they are able to be responsible, but adventurous and spontaneous at the same time somehow.  Is that possible?

What do you hope your kids inherit from you?


meet Daddy in the Midwest

I remember sitting in birthing class when I was pregnant with Theo, anticipating my turn to introduce myself.  You were supposed to say your name, if you were having a boy or girl, and what you were looking forward to the most about having your baby.  I’m sure I answered with some sort of rosy, sappy, hormonally driven response.  R said “when I can play video games with him.” 

Uh.  Yeah.  It’s gonna be awhile before that happens, buddy.  Two years later, here we are.  Our visions of what having kids would be like has certainly gone through a few transformations.  There is no doubt in my mind that he is still looking forward to playing video games with the boys, but between now and then, there are plenty of things that we have learned to look forward to each day.

Mama G’s Toddle Along Tuesday topic this week is “Babies and their Daddies.”  Bounce on over there and see what other mommy bloggers have posted about their baby daddies.  I’ve suggested to R before that he write a guest post on Mommy in the Midwest but he’s been reluctant.  What better time than now?

Without further ado…an interview with the Dada.


You and Mommy in the Midwest don’t have a typical schedule.  How do you really feel about being home alone with the babies at night and getting them ready for the day all by yourself?

Most nights it’s fine.  Most of the morning is fine, until Theo starts throwing fits or they wake up in an inconsistent order.  The nights when they wake up multiple times in the middle of the night are not good.  Like when they’re sick – those nights are rough.  It’s gonna be more stressful when Dexter is as old as Theo is now because then I’ll have two kids running around.  

Honestly.  How did you feel after Mommy in the Midwest told you she was pregnant again when Theo was just 6 months old?

(Laughs).  Devastated.  Scared.  Helpless.  Guilty.  Regretful.  Worried.  (Laughs some more).  I felt like it was something I was always going to look back on, feeling like I ruined everything.  I felt bad for you and I felt bad for Theo because I felt like he wasn’t going to get as much attention as he should have. 

And now?

Now I feel like I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I’m excited for them to grow up together so close and be friends hopefully.  I’m excited to move past some of these early stages and not have to go through it again.  

Do you want to try for a girl?

Uh-uh.  Not right now.  I don’t think I do. I wanted a girl but now I’m really happy we have brothers and I think a family of four is good.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?


What’s your idea of the perfect day with your family?

Everything revolves around eating, sleeping, and playing.  They don’t wake up before us.  Theo is happy to see me in the morning.  I’d like to have some sun-gluss (Theo’s way of saying snuggles) in the morning, followed by breakfast.  Follow that with some play time with the kids, outside time would be nice.  Go on a walk or go to the park.  Then we’d go eat lunch.  The kids take a nap while mom and dad catch up on DVR or play the Wii.  Then repeat everything that happened between breakfast and lunch.  Maybe we take the kids shopping.  Theo says some funny stuff and we have a laugh or two.  We come home and eat dinner then go back out for some frozen yogurt.  We’ll come home and get ready for bed. 

So far, are you the kind of dad you thought/hoped you’d be?  Is there anything you would do differently as a parent?

Hmm.  I never really pictured myself being a dad at this stage.  I think I’m a good dad so far.  I just never pictured myself playing with babies.  I always pictured myself playing with older kids.  I wish I would take more video and pictures. 

Do you have any advice on keeping the spark in your relationship, while balancing all the day-to-day responsibilities?

Yeah, find time to be alone.  Find time to go to dinners together.  Find time to do the things you had fun doing alone before you had kids.  Also, learn to support each other and work together.  Don’t let the responsibilities of parenthood stress you out because stress leads to fighting. 

What’s your favorite thing Theo does right now?

My favorite thing is when he just snuggles with us.  This is bad, but he will now watch an entire 30 minute show on t.v., and he’ll just sit there and snuggle and suck his thumb and hold his Elmo doll.  My second favorite is listening to all the cute things he says and how he comes up with new things every week.  Like “who’s that name” when he wants to know what something is called and “talk about….(fill in the blank)”  He says it while he’s examining something. 

What’s your favorite thing Dexter does right now?

I think my favorite thing about Dexter is that he’s so easy to make happy.  It’s easy to make him laugh.  

Will you ever write a guest post on Mommy in the Midwest?



That’s about all I could get out of him!  Hope you enjoyed meeting the Dada!