theo’s struggle

When Theo was about 6 months old, we decided it was time to stop swaddling him at night. He loved it, but if I remember right, he was just getting too big for even the largest size and was strong enough to bust out of them.  He loved his pacifier more than he loved being swaddled.  Little did we know, there would be something he loved more than both of those things combined.

His thumb. 
As soon as he broke out of those swaddles, he found his thumb, dropped the pacifier, and never looked back.  Initially, we half-heartedly pulled his thumb out of his mouth whenever he started sucking, but what can you really do?  A kid that wants to suck his thumb is going to suck his thumb.  He was just a baby, after all.  
Until he wasn’t.

Last year right before his 3rd birthday, he visited the dentist for the first time. We’d noticed that his front two teeth were being pushed forward gradually. The dentist noticed too, but told us that he just needed to stop by the time he got his permanent teeth.  No pressure on us and little to no pressure on Theo.  We started talking to him about it regularly but didn’t push. Just told him that he needed to stop because it was going to hurt his big boy teeth. We also pointed out that his left thumb is dry and calloused as a result of all the sucking.  
In the past couple of months, he’s said that he wants to stop sucking his thumb. He even asked us to put a band-aid on it before bed a couple of times, but then took it right off.  We didn’t want to do anything mean in order to make him stop.  We explained that thumb-sucking is typically considered something that babies do and even though we know he’s not a baby, there might be kids at school or other places that say mean things about it if he continues.  Normally, he’ll grab his favorite blanket, put it near his face and start sucking his thumb while holding a bunched section of the blanket in the same hand.  When asked why he’s sucking his thumb, he’ll say “because my blanket’s fluffy.” The soft texture of his blanket goes hand-in-hand with this urge to suck his thumb.
As his 4th birthday is approaching, we’ve been talking about it with him. He’ll say “when I’m 4 years old, I’m gonna…” We’ll say “you know what else is going to happen when you’re 4?  You’re going to stop sucking your thumb! Yay!”  He’s agreed to stop, but never showed any signs of being ready. 
Until last weekend. 
While I was out of town, he told Ryan to throw his favorite blanket away because he wants to stop sucking his thumb, but the blanket makes him.  Ryan put the blanket away in our closet and Theo never asked for it the rest of the weekend.  On Monday night we were heading home from the gym when Theo said to me, “Mommy, I miss my green kanket.”  I played dumb. “Oh? What do you mean? What happened to it?” He told me that he’d given it to daddy because he wanted to stop sucking his thumb. I asked what daddy did with it and he replied “I told him to throw it away but I don’t think he did because every time I look in the trash, it’s not there!”  
My heart melted, picturing my sweet kid quietly and secretly checking the trash several times a day to see if his favorite blanket had been thrown in with the garbage.  I asked him what he thought happened to his blanket and he said he didn’t know but that he was going to talk to Daddy about it. 
He didn’t mention it the rest of the night Monday but Tuesday morning, he asked Ryan for it.  He promised he wouldn’t suck his thumb and that he just wanted to hold green kanky while watching a movie. Ryan quickly gave in. 
Tuesday night after the boys were fast asleep, I snuck into their room to steal a peek at them.  Theo wasn’t sucking his thumb. I felt incredibly proud and a little emotional to think that he was taking this seriously, like such a big boy.  He suddenly seemed so mature and dedicated to his goal.  I kissed both of their heads and went back to the living room to report my findings to Ryan. 
Thursday night, I did the same, but my findings were different. Theo was sucking his thumb. I pulled his wrist and instinctively, he started sucking and pulled his thumb back into his mouth.  In a split second, his eyes shot open and he pulled his thumb out of his mouth and stuck his hand under his pillow.  He looked at me and said “I wasn’t sucking my thumb!”  I told him it was okay and to try again.  He said “I’m still tired, mommy,” and I reassured him that he still had plenty of time to sleep. 
So in almost a week, that’s the only time I’ve seen him sucking his thumb and the only time I’m aware of him sucking his thumb.  I asked him once or twice if he sucked his thumb at naptime and he denied it so although I really have no way of knowing, there’s just something about this process that’s bittersweet. 
I’ve had people suggest putting little braces or gross tasting solutions on his thumb.  I know that he does this for comfort and self-soothing, and while I know he truly needs to stop, I couldn’t bring myself to use anything but reason to help him.  He genuinely wants to stop, and based on what I have seen so far, I think he will.  
Was your child a thumb-sucker? Until what age?  
How did you help him/her stop? 

catch the moment: week eight

Another fun week with the pictures to prove it! 8 weeks down…44 to go.

Linking up for week 8 with Stephanie @ Behind the Camera and Dreaming, Mindi @ Simply Stavish, and Sarah @ Nurse Loves Farmer for Catch the Moment 365.

50/365: February 19th. My lunch at work.  Salad with deli ham, a little shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette dressing.  Recognize the background on my monitor from ctm365: week one?

51/365: February 20th. It’s okay that Christmas was 2 months ago – Dexter doesn’t mind toting this book to the babysitter’s house every day!
52/365: February 21st. My friend Whitney and I took a road trip down to Nashville, TN to visit my best friend and her girlfriend. We saw Brett Dennen in concert Friday night and this was us before we headed out. I think this is my first appearance in Catch the Moment 365…only took 52 days. 🙂

53/365: February 22nd. We had big plans of hitting the honky tonks Saturday night but we were all kinda zapped and decided to head back to the house after discovering that all the boot shops and the majority of the tacky souvenir stores were closed. 

54/365: February 23rd. Dining at a local hot spot, Edley’s, for lunch before returning to cold Indiana. I really felt like I was on vacation in Florida as we were eating an early lunch outside in 70* temps with the warm sun on my face.  

55/365: February 24th. Playing at the gym after a day at the sitter to burn off some energy. 
56/365: February 25th. Fresh fruit salad for dinner with friends.
So it was a great week – even got to experience some nice weather for a change. No complaints, except having a hard time choosing my favorite photo this week. So I’m not going to – I like them all! Which is your favorite? 

music city getaway

My best friend Emily and I have known each other for over twenty years. We met early in high school and became inseparable almost immediately.  She was a year ahead of me in school so went off to college and we briefly lost touch.  It wasn’t long before we found each other again and our friendship has just continued to grow as we move through various stages in life.  She’s been there for me through some tough and triumphant times and I’m so thankful for her.

I moved to Indiana when I got married in 2003 and a few years later, Emily began travel nursing as an RN. She moved to a different part of the country every few months for several years.  This was while I was in my baby-making hay day so it was hard to make time to see each other for awhile. She’s settled down in Nashville and now we have come up with a little way to stay involved in each other’s lives and see each other face to face a few times a year. We take turns visiting each other every 3 months. We’ve been doing this for a year and a half now and I love having our visits to reflect back on and look forward to.  I love that she will be active in my kids’ lives and memories as they are growing up.

A good friend I met in Indiana during undergrad went with me to visit Emily and her girlfriend, Lauren, this past weekend. Usually Ryan and I take the boys but this was a girls’ weekend bonanza extravaganza.

Whitney and I Friday night before heading out to see Brett Dennen live at 3rd & Lindsley. (Such a great show!)

Super awesome coffee mug Emily & Lauren got me for Christmas from a shop in Chicago. They know me so well! I adore it.

Heard that saying about a really good restaurant…”the line was out the door”?  Well, it was. Brunch on Saturday at Mas Tacos Por Favor was out the door and out of this world.

Whitney, Lauren, and Em waiting on their food.

My food: The chilaquiles special and iced coffee y horchata.

After brunch/lunch, we went to a flea market at the fairgrounds that comes to town once a month. Whitney found some weights. I window shopped and enjoyed the warm (hot) weather.  It was magnificent! We saw lots of neat things. I didn’t buy anything but enjoyed the vibe and scenery.

After shopping around the flea market, we went back to the house for some rest and to get ready for Saturday night. We had talked about going to several honky tonk bars on Broadway but we all ran out of steam. We’re not 21 anymore after all…

Of course, another highlight of the weekend : Eating more food at The Family Wash.

I love this lady.

And I love these lovelies!

After dinner we stopped at a local brewery’s taproom to try one of their signature beers.  Sorry, I didn’t like it. I’m a huge beer wuss. The more it tastes like water, the better.  

Broadway was busy!
The one open souvenir shop had some real treasures…
We went home and went to bed after briefly walking around downtown.  Sunday morning it was time to pack up and get ready to head back to cold Indiana. But not before eating some more good food.  

My Bed and Breakfast suite 🙂

Chicken n’ Biscuits at Edley’s. I can’t wait to go back and take the boys to this family friendly and delicious local restaurant. It’s a bbq joint with amazing atmosphere. As much as I love a pork bbq sandwich, I couldn’t pass up that amazing biscuit and local honey. It was my favorite part of the whole meal. Aside from the part where I was basking in 70 degree weather. I thought I was in Destin for a minute.
Whitney and I made it back to my house by about 7:30pm.  Just in time for me to play a few games and read bedtime stories with my sweet boys, who were very excited to have mama back home.  It was a perfect friend-filled, fun-filled weekend. Wouldn’t trade the memories for anything and can’t wait til I see them again in May!