Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sleep Training

I am in the middle of sleep training Kayden. Like literally, right now, it is 2:23am and Kayden has been crying for over 2 hours because I won't feed her back to sleep. This is, by far, the most difficult part of parenting for me: The lack of sleep from getting up with kids who don't sleep through the night..the sleep training and not knowing if I just need to tough it out and let my kid cry or if they are crying because they actually NEED something and I'm being a bad mom by not meeting their needs. Having a three year old who doesn't always understand why he needs to listen is hard. Having a baby whose naps dictate my schedule is sometimes inconvenient. But being exhausted from not sleeping...that is the hardest. 

So what does sleep training look like?  Well this time around I'm doing it a little differently than with Levi because...
a) Kayden is a different kid than Levi was
b) Kayden and Levi share a room
c) we sleep trained Levi and he seemed traumatized by it and wasn't a good sleeper until he was almost 3 so...don't want that again!

Sleep training this time around is more like weaning Kayden off of night feeds. She's been up more during the night in the last couple months than she was in the first few months of life so I'm quite certain we have a case of her just wanting to be nursed back to sleep whenever she wakes up. To wean her, I'm trying to be very hands-on. With Levi, we eventually just let him cry for hours in his crib because going in to him just made him more and more upset each time. I'm convinced that's part of the reason he hated his crib so much and cried himself to sleep for every naptime and bedtime until he was almost two years old. With Kayden, I go to her often and stay with her until she's calmed down. I'll pick her up if she's just not calming down. I'll change her pj's if they're wet (apparently you get really hot and sweaty when you cry for hours on end!). I do not want her to feel like I've left her to just cry. The goal is to wean her of feeds, not to get herself to self-soothe when she's screaming her lungs out. 

Being awake for hours in the middle of the night is not my most favourite activity (though I do come up with some clever Facebook statuses in the wee hours of the morning! I did say clever and not cynical, right?  Oh good... None of these get posted, just in case you're wondering how you missed these entertaining tidbits). But if it means that I can maybe, just maybe, start sleeping through the night again in the near's worth a few sleepless nights. I never thought I'd be able to handle the lack of sleep that comes with parenthood. I've always been someone who needs more sleep than most. I'm miserable when I'm tired. By the time Levi was born, I'd already been through a few months of waking in the night but naively thought that I would have a good sleeper and that surely by 8 weeks old my boy would be sleeping through the night. 8 weeks came and went. 4 months came and went. 6 months...8 months...a year...two years. Still my boy wasn't sleeping through the night and baby number 2 was getting close!  By the time Nathan started getting up with Levi, I was up due to pregnancy again. It's been a long haul with the no sleeping thing but I must say...the body adjusts!  It's hard. Every once in a while, it all catches up and I feel desperate for sleep. But then that feeling passes and I'm good to go again for another few weeks. God really does give you what you need. It's quite amazing, really. So, while I'd love to be sleeping through the night before Christmas, I know that whatever happens, I'll make it through. 

Well, the girl seems to finally be asleep. Three hours after waking. It's 3am and I think I'll try to catch some zzzz's before she wakes and we start this whole crazy thing over again! 

Goodnight, all!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

The move...thoughts.

Well, it's official. The conditions have been removed on the sale of our house and we are moving. In just under two weeks. Bring on the packing! (With two little ones...gulp!)

I'm actually feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, there have been moments of "what are we doing???" and "are we sure we want to do this?" but now that the house is sold and the moving date is set, the excitement is just building and I'm getting ready to spend our first winter on the farm!  Well...acreage...

I have a few thoughts about this move:

First, moving in October isn't ideal.  I didn't think much of the fact that we might be moving in fall as this whole deal was coming together but now that I'm packing up, I feel like it's going against the grain of what my body is naturally wanting to do. Fall, for me, is a time of settling into routine, of making sure everything is ready for winter, of putting down roots and buckling down for the cold winter months ahead. I am very much a squirrel in that sense. And I never realized this about myself until this year, when I'm very much doing the opposite. For me to be putting everything into boxes and taking them to a new house in body/mind doesn't know what to do with itself! I'm excited about the move yet I feel myself hanging back and wondering if I even really want to move. This concerned me a bit (um, not wanting to move when you are, in fact, moving is a terrifying feeling!) until I realized the squirrel thing, and then it made complete sense to me why I might be feeling more apprehension than expected. My subconscious is wanting me to stay and buckle down while my body is physically putting everything into boxes and getting ready to move.  Weird feeling, people. But it's all good. I find that often once I have words for how I'm feeling, once I can understand why I'm feeling the way I am, I can deal with it and let myself feel it.

Second, I'm a person who likes to know details and how everything is going to work out. Well, actually now that I write that, that doesn't feel quite right. I don't actually care about the details. There is a sense of adventure in not knowing the details and I'm good with adventure and spontaneity. I feel a bit suffocated if there's pressure on me to figure out all the details ahead of time. I honestly don't care much about the HOW. What I want to know is that it will, indeed, work out! If I know that, I have no problem letting the rest fall to whatever happens, happens.  My biggest worry is that somehow we'll just have so many unexpected expenses that we just simply won't be able to make it work. Cause really, we've never owned an acreage before so there could easily be expenses that we just didn't expect or plan for. We've done our research, but there's always SOMETHING that comes up and when you pay for your own water and sewer...there's alot more to go wrong to add unexpected expenses! The way this whole move has come together, though, has had God written all over it and I doubt He would lead us into financial ruin, so I guess I just need to trust that it will work out.  God has always provided in the past. ie: Hello, having an unexpected (prayed for and hoped for but unexpected nonetheless) baby right in the middle of two years of zero income while Nathan was a student. It worked out and I wouldn't change a thing!  It was an adventure! We just learned to trust that we would have what we needed, to be generous with what we were given, and to live on absolutely nothing. And it was quite an amazing time in our marriage! So I'm sure this will be good too ;)

I started packing today. I'd rather not rush so I'm giving myself two weeks to get everything moved. Yeah, sounds nuts and maybe it is. I've never packed a house with two kids but I've packed a house with zero kids in two days and one kid in under a week, though, so two weeks with two kids should be perfect!  Here's hoping!  And I've never had a helpful three year old packing with me so I'm sure that will speed up the process all the more!  Right? ;)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Town House Tour!

When we first moved to this house, I posted pictures and promised that I would continue to post pictures once I completed each room so you could see how we were making it ours.  Well...I'm pretty sure I haven't posted any house pictures since then, probably because I haven't felt like any room has been ready to be labelled "done!"  But we have made some changes in the two years we've lived here so I figured I'd share pictures of the house as it was when we listed it!
Dining Area - beautiful south facing windows in dining room and living room, possibly my favourite part of our house!  They let in the most beautiful light!
Kitchen - new white cabinets - love it!
More of the kitchen
Living room - this is only half of it!  But there's not much on the other half.  It's just a long, rectangular hard to put furniture in but nice to have extra space for toys!

Main floor bathroom - teeny tiny...but it works :)
Main floor laundry...I will miss this! :)  We also painted these cabinets when we were doing the kitchen.
Master bedroom - we did the least to this room, I think.  We finally printed some pictures this summer to hang, but realized as soon as we hung them that it still needed something to make it look "finished."

Master bedroom
Kids' Room

I decided to do Dick and Jane pictures on their walls.  Kayden's walls have pictures of little sister Sally.

Levi's walls have pictures of big brother Dick.

Love the rocking horse my dad built for Levi's second birthday!
Screened deck off main floor

Back yard

Perennial Garden I dug and planted this summer
Basement guest bedroom - we did the least with this room, though after 8 years of having guests, we've FINALLY gotten an actual box spring for our mattress!  Next up?  Maybe a bed frame??

Basement Pantry/Storage room OR potential bedroom


Other side of basement

Basement hallway (bedrooms at end, stairs to right of this picture, bathroom through door to left)

Basement Bathroom
And that's our house!  Lovely isn't it?  We're sad to leave it but SO excited about the next place we're going that it's a small price to pay for 10 beautiful acres of Saskatchewan back country! :D  I'll be sure to introduce you to the next house just as soon as it's officially ours...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Eight Months Old

Eight months might be my favourite age.  Well, one of them.  Newborn is my favourite.  Eight months is my favourite.  Two is my favourite.  You get the idea.  I enjoy every stage, but eight months feels like a sweet spot.  Personality is blossoming every day.  Communication is really starting to come.  I feel like I'm really getting to know who Kayden is these days, beyond just a baby who has certain likes and dislikes.  It's hard to describe.  But I'm loving this age!

Kayden is such a content, easy-going girl.  I traveled out to Ontario this month with her to visit my sister(s) and she was so busy taking everything in that I don't think we heard a peep out of her for at least 18 hours into the visit.  And there wasn't any crying until a couple days in.  When she's in a new situation, she just zips her lip and watches.  She takes it all in before starting to really interact with her new surroundings. (remind you of someone else you know??)

Kayden is definitely starting to thin out and lose some of her baby fat.  Though she's still got rolls and folds and the most kissable cheeks!  She hasn't been weighed officially since August but home scale says she's around  16-17 lbs.  She's definitely getting taller too as she's almost outgrown her 6 month pants.  She's wearing mostly 6-12 month and 9 month clothes.  She still has a bald spot on the back of her head but it seems like the rest of her hair is finally starting to grow :)

Interesting random 8 month fact...we bought this house when Levi was 8 months old and sold it when Kayden is 8 months old.  Cool, no?

As I mentioned earlier, Kayden had her first trip to Ontario this month.  She had her first four flights.  She met her great grandma Irish for the first time (while in Ontario).  Kayden got her first pet kitties this month (family pets) and she LOVES them!  She just sits there and flails her arms and squeals.  Or she'll just have this quiet little "heh heh heh" laugh.  She's not very gentle, obviously.  The kittens have lost some fur to her grabby little hands.  But just now I turned around and she was mauling one but it didn't seem to mind! She has also started to raise her arms to be picked up this month...that's always a milestone I'm excited to reach.  I love those little chubby arms reaching up to be picked up!

Kayden enjoys playing in/with her Jolly Jumper, exersaucer, floor gym (sitting in front of it), books, brother, and Levi's toys.  She decided that she loves to eat solid foods this month.  I made the mistake of not packing snacks for our trip when we flew to Ontario because, frankly, she's never wanted snacks before.  But on the plane, she chewed on some of my in-flight cookie and when it was gone, she flipped.  She was so upset that there was none left for her.  Oops!  We quickly went out and bought her some Cheerios and baby cookies when we got to Ontario and she has LOVED eating ever since.  She kinda skipped the pureed food stage and just wants whatever we're having.  Too bad I made all that babyfood... :P  I must say, though, it is alot easier to just put whatever we're eating in front of her, rather than having to feed her separately.  She also knows how to use a straw sippy cup, though I'm pretty sure she figured that out before this August I think.

Kayden is STILL not rolling over, nor moving around at all.  She can now pivot around a bit while she lays on her back but for the most part, we know that we'll find her exactly where we leave her.  I think she's just too content to explore the moving around thing.  Why move when she can watch what's happening from where she is and has a brother to bring her toys when she cries?  She sits like a pro, still. :)  She hates tummy time so we don't force it (never have with either of our kids).  Her little legs are getting strong and she can easily support her own weight when we stand her up but she has no concept of balance or pulling/holding herself up yet.

Kayden still has no teeth.  She doesn't talk/babble much at all.  Every once in a while she'll get going, but she's got such a soft voice and is mostly just content to observe and listen to everyone else.  With a brother who talks SO much, it'll be hard for her to get a word in edgewise!  Her eyes are still blue-ish, though are taking a turn for grey-ish hazel.  I noticed the other day that they are exactly like her daddy's!  All those months of wondering whose eyes she got and the answer was right beside me!  They are more like Nathan's than anyone else's.  I can't believe it took me 7-8 months to realize that she has her daddy's eyes.  Sheesh.

Kayden goes to bed perfectly every night (SUCH a nice treat after tears at bedtime for Levi's first two years of life) and does pretty well with naps.  She does cry a bit before falling asleep for most naps but if she's insistent, it's usually because something is wrong.  Kayden has a morning nap (45min-1 hour) and an afternoon nap (1-2.5 hours) every day.  If she has a short afternoon nap, she will still sometimes nap in the late afternoon to tide her over to her 7-8pm bedtime.  She isn't sleeping through the night yet, though she does occasionally go 8-9 hours between feeds which I guess technically is "through the night" even though it means a 4am feed for me.  Most nights, though, she's up 2-3 times to eat and then goes straight back to sleep.  She still wakes up with a smile every time :)

Kayden is such a blessing in our family.  She's a perfect fit and so much fun to have around!  We love you Kayden Grace!  Happy 8 months, Girlie!

Friday, October 4, 2013

What's new?

There have been interesting things happening for the McCorkindale family lately and I figured I should probably share before the rumours get out of control.  ; )

Nathan and I have always dreamed of living on an acreage one day.  We weren't sure if it would ever be possible because being a pastor often means that you don't stay in one place long-term, not to mention the simple fact that living in the town where the church is often just makes sense.  People can drop in, you can easily make it to church-related events, etc.  It's easier to be a pastor when you live right there.  So, after having been pastors/students for our entire married life thus far, we had pretty much put the thought of an acreage out of our minds.  Retirement, maybe, but not now.

Jump to this summer. We've lived here for two years now and haven't really felt like living IN town was a huge advantage in the pastoring game (the church is about 15 minutes from town).  That said, we weren't looking for a new place when we happened to hear about an acreage that was for sale. We went to look at it but mostly just put it out of our minds because it was a big chunk of change and the house didn't seem workable for our family.  But a month later we started thinking about it again and couldn't get it out of our minds.  We went to see the house again and, with fresh eyes, it seemed very workable indeed!  We fell in love with the yard and location all over again (between town and the country-church where Nathan pastors - perfect!) and really started looking into how we could make it work.

We had the dreaded meeting with the bank and they gave us the go-ahead to pursue this property.  All we needed was to sell our house.  The market in town seemed to be at a stand-still with around 80 properties for sale in a 10km radius of town and few of them moving.  But everything so far had been falling into place so we decided to list our house and see what happened.  We met with an agent a week ago today, Friday.  Our house was listed the next day, Saturday, with one showing that day and another one the next.  Low and behold, Monday afternoon came and we had an offer.  Now, if all goes well, conditions will be removed in a few days and we will be moving to the country at the end of the month!

So that's what's happening.  If you've noticed that our house is on the realty site, no, we're not leaving town...well, we ARE...but not really. : ) No, we're not building.  We're just living the dream!

This just seems to be such a God-thing.  We had a dream; God knew that dream.  He brought the perfect property at the perfect time.  Our house sold in record time for more than we'd been hoping for.  And now we'll be spending Christmas in our new home.  What a blessing!*

Today I took Levi and we picked out kittens that will become farm cats once we move.  But they were available now and my inner child came forth and claimed two of the cutest little 8 week old kittens for my very own.  I had been hoping that Levi would just be naturally gentle and nurturing with them.  He loves animals so much so I'd love to see him be good with animals...a born animal-whisperer if you will...but alas, it has been a day of explaining time and again how kittens don't like to be fenced in, how they don't like to be picked up by the tummy all the time, how they don't want to be forced to eat or forced to sleep or forced to do anything.  He'll learn.  Maybe.  Hopefully before we move out to the farm cause otherwise it'll be a long month!

*Yes, I realize that there are some questions that come up when God makes some people's dreams come true while others are praying for more "serious" things with (seemingly) no answers.  I've got nothing except that I can't NOT thank God for this blessing when it seems so much like He's making it all come together.