The Tuesday I Quit Sleep Training
For the past month, we have attempted to transition Olivia from co-sleeping to her crib. She was almost 11 months old and she was still waking up to comfort nurse 3-5 times a night. After researching and reading and talking with other parents, we chose our method of sleep coaching, created a schedule and a routine, and started putting her in her crib - as everyone encourages - drowsy but awake.
The past month has been one of the hardest of parenthood and, possibly, my entire life. Olivia is not sleeping better; in fact, she cries more and is harder to put to sleep now than she was just a few weeks ago. I am more stressed and less happy. I found myself facing the same feelings of depression and anxiety that I had felt in the months after Olivia's birth. I dreaded nap time and hated the bedtime fight.
Today, when she was ready for a nap, I put Olivia in our bed. I nursed her and sang to her and stroked her hair. Within minutes, she was asleep. I lay beside her and remembered the struggle we had to even breastfeed in the beginning. I felt comfortable and content; I was again the mother I wanted to be - a mother who did not feel resentment or anxiety, but who cherished these simple moments.
Today, I quit sleep training. Someday, Olivia won't even want me to look at her, let alone comfort her to sleep. We will face many struggles but today, sleep training won't be one of them.
Finger Painting, Mess Making
This sensory paint is safe for babies and toddlers to put in their mouths and Olivia loved the feeling of squishing it between her fingers. I taped a piece of paper to her high chair and let her go crazy. The paper got soggy and ended up tearing; next time, I will take this outside and let her play around on some plastic.
Store in glass jars!
Make Your Own Love Map
The 13 months of long-distance that we survived when Boneto and I first started dating (and as we got pregnant and got engaged and started planning a wedding... ) have actually become a huge advantage to our relationship. We spent so much time talking and getting to know each other that we built a really strong foundation for our marriage.
We are slowly working our way through the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. (See my post about Exercise 1 here!) Principle 1 is Enhance Your Love Map and for the second exercise in this chapter, you are encouraged to make your own love maps. Taking turns as listener and speaker, you interview your partner and record the answers to the topics below. This is a judgement-free zone and while our love map is pretty up-to-date, you can definitely learn some things about your partner and spark some interesting conversations!
We spend an enormous amount of time and money preparing for weddings, which are just a single day in the grand scheme of things. It should be equally (or, really, much more!!) important to prepare for your marriage, which will - hopefully - last the rest of your life.
So, take some time and make your love map with your partner! Make it fun and enjoy the conversation. Whether you are dating, engaged, or have been married for 30 years, it can't hurt to sit down and work to understand each other.
The cast of characters in my partner's life
Rivals, competitors, "enemies":
Recent important events in my partner's life
Upcoming events (What is my partner looking forward to? Dreading?)
My partner's current stresses
My partners current worries
My partner's hopes and aspirations (For self? For others?)
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Falafel
Nutrition per serving: 595 calories, 80g carbs, 17g fiber, 21g protein, 24g total fat, 3g saturated fat
Curried Coconut Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. spicy/hot curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 pound (455 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish (optional)
1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until they turn pink and are completely opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut water and mix well.
4. In a small bowl, dilute the flour in the water. Add this to the skillet and mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
5. Stir in the coconut milk and shredded coconut and serve, garnished with extra shredded coconut, if desired!
The Love Map 20 Questions Game
Boneto and I are coming up on 1 year of living together and we're at just over 2 years of knowing each other; our wedding is less than 3 months away! Our story is not traditionally linear.
See? Not your typical love story! But we love each other; he's my best friend and my person.
Last night, we started reading the first chapter of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. (I'm into personal development, so why not some couple PD!?). The first chapter is about Love Maps and really knowing your partner. We played a 20 questions game and there were only 2 questions that we couldn't immediately answer about each other.
Interested in seeing where you stand with your partner. Play this game on date night!
Together, randomly decide on twenty numbers between 1 and 60. Write the numbers down in a column on the left-hand side of a piece of paper. Beginning with the top of your column, match the numbers you chose to the questions below. Each of you should ask your partner this question. If your spouse answers correctly (you be the judge!), he or she receives the number of points indicated for that question, and you receive one point. If your spouse answers incorrectly, neither of you receives any points. The same rules apply when you answer. The winner is the person with the higher score after you've both answered all twenty questions.
1. Name my two closest friends. (2)
2. What is my favorite musical group, composer, or instrument? (2)
3. What was I wearing when we first met? (2)
4. Name one of my hobbies. (3)
5. Where was I born? (1)
6. What stresses am I facing right now? (4)
7. Describe in detail what I did today or yesterday. (4)
8. When is my birthday? (1)
9. What is the date of our anniversary? (1)
10. Who is my favorite relative? (2)
11. What is my fondest unrealized dream? (5)
12. What is my favorite flower? (2)
13. What is one of my greatest fears or disaster scenarios? (3)
14. What is my favorite time of day for lovemaking? (3)
15. What makes me feel most competent? (4)
16. What turns me on sexually? (3)
17. What is my favorite meal? (2)
18. What is my favorite way to spend an evening? (2)
19. What is my favorite color? (1)
20. What personal improvements do I want to make in my life? (4)
21. What kind of present would I like best? (2)
22. What was one of my best childhood experiences? (2)
23. What was my favorite vacation? (2)
24. What is one of my favorite ways to be soothed? (4)
25. Who is my greatest source of support (other than you)? (3)
26. What is my favorite sport? (2)
27. What do I most like to do with time off? (2)
28. What is one of my favorite weekend activities? (2)
29. What is my favorite getaway place? (3)
30. What is my favorite movie? (2)
31. What are some of the important events coming up in my life? How do I feel about them? (4)
32. What are some of my favorite ways to work out? (2)
33. Who was my best friend in childhood? (3)
34. What is one of my favorite magazines? (2)
35. Name one of my major rivals or “enemies”. (3)
36. What would I consider my ideal job? (4)
37. What do I fear the most? (4)
38. Who is my least favorite relative? (3)
39. What is my favorite holiday? (2)
40. What kinds of books do I most like to read? (3)
41. What is my favorite TV show? (2)
42. Which side of the bed do I prefer? (2)
43. What am I most sad about? (4)
44. Name one of my concerns or worries. (4)
45. What medical problems do I worry about? (2)
46. What was my most embarrassing moment? (3)
47. What was my worst childhood experience? (3)
48. Name two of the people I most admire. (4)
49. Name my major rival or enemy. (3)
50. Of all the people we both know, who do I like the least? (3)
51. What is one of my favorite desserts? (2)
52. What is my social security number? (2)
53. Name one of my favorite novels. (2)
54. What is my favorite restaurant? (2)
55. What are two of my aspirations, hopes, and wishes? (4)
56. Do I have a secret ambition? What is it? (4)
57. What foods do I hate? (2)
58. What is my favorite animal? (2)
59. What is my favorite song? (2)
60. Which sports team is my favorite? (2)