Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Random Act Of Kindness

Last week we were eating at our new favorite pizza place and a man came up to our table and handed Stephen a gift card. He mumbled something about "it has $35 on it, but their machine was not working, thanks for your service" {Stephen was in uniform}. He quickly walked away. We thought it was originally a $35 card, and he was giving us the change that was left on it. Still a nice gesture.

We thought nothing more of it until yesterday. Yesterday the pizza place posted this on their Facebook page:

“So we had a family eating at one of the outdoor picnic tables and the dad was dressed in his military uniform... Another man walks in and buys a $35 gift card and then walks outside and hands the card to the soldier and says Merry Christmas and thanks for your service and then walks away... Huge brownie points to this man for the anonymous gesture!!! God... I love this country”

I called Stephen and asked him to check the gift card out, that the restaurant was posting about it on Facebook and it should have $35 on it. He looked into it, but the card was originally bought in June and had $10 on it. Some was spent in June, and the card was zeroed out in October. Talk about confusion.

I went back and forth for an hour with myself about contacting the company. I decided to contact them so they would know there was a mistake. Maybe their machine WAS down, or the man was just mistaken. I emailed them and explained that we were that family they were talking about on Facebook and that we had checked the card and it had nothing on it. I said that maybe the man was mistaken (like he had 2 cards, and gave us the wrong one maybe) or maybe their machine messed up. I was not expecting anything in return, just wanted them to know, incase their machines were malfunctioning.

Imagine my surprise when the owner of the company replied and said “I would love to fix this for you. The man did buy the card and we must have messed up somehow”. There was a new gift card waiting for us in the register.

I don’t really know why I am sharing this story other than to praise the anonymous man who gifted us with the card and also to praise the restaurant for fixing a mistake. It was such an odd thing, the man mumbling and handing the card over and leaving just as quickly as he came, then the restaurant posting about it almost a full week later and being so willing to fix something that they did not have to do.

We are so blessed by people in our lives, be they anonymous or ones we know.

Thank you to everyone.


Little Miracle, My 'Going to Sleep' Fighter

Little Miracle has always needed help falling asleep.

When he was a baby he would nurse to sleep while swaddled. When he weaned we would swaddle him and rock him with a bottle of milk for him to go to sleep.

When he was about 17 months, I was swaddling him for nap, he screamed “UP” and immediately gave up the swaddle. Now I was worried about how to get him to sleep.

We started lying him down in his crib with his milk at nap time, letting him put himself to sleep. This worked from day one for naps.

Bedtime was a different story.

He flat out refused to be left in his room at night to put himself to sleep. He would SCREAM and beg us to get him before we had even left his room. I know many people who believe in the “cry it out” system, but it is not something that I believe in for my family.

So, for about the past year, Daddy has been sitting downstairs while Little Miracle lay next to him on the couch and fell asleep. Then Daddy would have to lug the sleeping boy upstairs and lay him in his crib. It was a lot of work, but it worked for us. He would sleep all night once he was in his crib.

We have wanted to change this habit for a while now. With him falling asleep downstairs, I am forced to stay upstairs. This was nice while I was pregnant, because I would just lay in bed and relax. But Little Miss is a night owl, not going down until around 10. I had to stay upstairs with her while Daddy got him to sleep on the couch. All of her "stuff" is downstairs, so if she needed a diaper, I had to sneak down and get Daddy to toss me one. If I needed to do laundry or tidy up I had to wait until Little Miracle was asleep.

We wanted to be able to lay Little Miracle down in his bed, tell him good night and walk out; having him put himself to sleep quietly.

For the past few weeks we were talking about starting to lay him down and leave the room, just to see how he would take it. We planned on going into his room and rubbing his back, rocking him or getting him if he fussed and putting him on the couch like we had been doing. We had decided on a start date of Monday for this.

Seems he got the memo.

Monday we were at urgent care all afternoon (Little Miracle took to stage diving Sunday, and was still limping pretty well on Monday, so we went in for x-rays ~ nothings broken, just a strain, sprang, tear or pull). By the time we ate dinner and got home, it was bedtime. We put Little Man to bed and then changed Little Miracle to get him ready for bed. It was such a long day I had all but forgotten about him going straight to his crib. Seems he knew what was up though. Without me saying anything, he walked over to his crib with his milk, and pulled on the side, as to say “I want in please!!”. I asked him if he was ready for night-night and he said “yes”. I picked him up, kissed him goodnight, laid him down and left the room. I walked down the stairs and waited for him to start fussing.

It never happened. We didn’t hear from him until about 4 am, when he needed a diaper change. He went back to sleep after that and got up around 8 am for the day.

Last night was the same thing. We changed his diaper, and he ran over to his bed. Put him in, tucked him in, and left. Again, didn’t hear a peep till this morning.

I feel like that was too easy. He is such a strong willed, independent child that I fully expected a fight. I envisioned telling him over and over that it is night night, rubbing his back, laying him down over and over and over in his crib. I guess he was ready to give up using the couch to fall asleep on.

We shall see how tonight goes.

Wish us luck!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

To My Little Miracle On Your 2nd Birthday

To my Little Miracle…

You are now 2 years old. I can’t believe you made it to two. You were the fussiest new born EVER. You screamed for 11 weeks straight. Non stop. SCREAM. Night and day. Day and night. We tried reflux meds, gripe water, catnip tea, every trick in the book and they did no good. IT.WAS.HELL.

But now. Now you are a somewhat different child. You don’t scream as much because you are working on learning to use your words. You are VERY independent and strong willed, you know what you want, and you want it NOW.

You were my toughest newborn. And my hardest toddler. Separation anxiety hit you again, for the 3rd time, after your sister was born and it has not ended at almost 4 months. You still LOVE.YOUR.MAMA.

Nothing wrong with that. You are a lover. Buy only on your terns. Mama wants to snuggle? No way. Only when Little Miracle is ready to snuggle. But when you are ready, you pile on the love, hugs and kisses. Then as quick as you decide it was time to snuggle, the snuggle is over. You love your brother and sister with all your heart. And the Christmas tree. “Night Night Is-mis”. You say every day before you lay down for a nap.

You LOVE cars and trains and balls. You ask for a sucker every time you get in the car. You want a soccer ball from Santa. You will sit and play with cars on the floor all day if I let you.

You wanted nothing to do with your sister when she was born but now you are in love. You giggle and she giggles. You love to look at her and laugh. She laughs right back at you. You have always been in awe of your older brother. You want to do everything he does. He’s jumping off the couch, you are right behind him.

You were swaddled until around 17 months, and then as I was swaddling you to put you down for a nap one day, you screamed “UP” and pushed your way out of the swaddle and never looked back. I am hoping you will do the same with the bottle here soon. You nursed until you were 14 months, and then Mama was pregnant with your sister and got the flu. You took milk in a bottle that week and never looked back.

You are fiercely smart. You knew all of your colors and letters by 18 months and now at 24 months you know some of the letter sounds. Your brother loves teaching you what he learns at preschool and you soak it up like a sponge. You are my cleaner. You love to help pick up and will pick up every piece of dirt off the floor if I let you. You let me know when its time to vacuum.

You are a sugar addict. I blame this on your older brother who gave you a sucker when you were a tiny newborn and Mama left you on the floor to run to the potty. You eat cupcakes by the icing only, love suckers and think Halloween is the best holiday EVER. You don’t like it when Mama says no to sugar. But Mama knows best.

You will always be my middle child. We conceived you on St. Patrick’s day shortly after a molar pregnancy. We found out you were going to be a big brother on your first birthday. Middle child syndrome hits you hard.

You are finding your way in this world. I are so proud of how far you have come and I can’t wait to see what you will do!

I love you.