Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Controlling Control and Controlling My Hair (Help, Please)

Sundown officially happens at something like 8:09 p.m. but it our house it is more like 6:30. Thank you, black-out curtains, for tricking my daughters into believing that 6:30 is the day’s end.

We are having good and bad sleep issues. First, the good: Avery sleeps like it’s her job. She actually lunges for her crib at bedtime. She sleeps 12 to 13 hours without a single peep. Sometimes I have to hasten her morning awakenings my opening her bedroom door. Naptimes are regular and solid as well. It is amazing and I am so grateful for that. This is the sort of sleeper than parents dream about.

Madeline is not as enamored with sleeping as her sister. For the past few nights she does not want to go to bed at night, even though she is clearly tired. She yawns and rubs her eyes and burrows into your shoulder for split seconds, but put her in bed and she rages. Ad she knows we will not only get her, but cuddle with her together on our bed ad spend the entire night sleeping with her. Our little princess.

Two nights ago, she cried for a half hour. Then we got her, and Nicole layed with her in our bed until both she and Maddie fell asleep (at 7:45). Last night she cried for 40 minutes before she settled down. We didn’t get her and it was torture, for her and us. The only person in the house not suffering was Avery, who is in the same room, but did not stir once, even with all that screaming.

I am not a fan of cry-it-out and if we had one child I am pretty sure we would be much more into attachment parenting. We would turn their bedroom into an office or something and all sleep together. But that just isn’t possible with two babies. Listening to your baby cry and not getting her, under the guise that she is learning to soothe herself and all that, is just plain awful. Madeline, thank goodness, isn’t always like this. It seems to come in small waves, which usually coincide with teeth coming in (she has her molars popping up now). But still. I hate that she is unhappy and that she is crying.

Avery’s roseola seems to have dissipated and Madeline, amazingly, remains unscathed. After a few feverish and clammy days she has returned to normal temperature….and no bumps. They may still be coming but right now she is in the clear.

Maybe Maddie doesn’t want to sleep because she is discovering the joy of walking. She staggers around the room, like a mini baby Frankenstein, with her hands out in front of her. Sometimes she gets across most of a room before she falls. Other times it is three or four steps before she falls on her chubby butt. And once, she did this crab walk: Hands and feet on the ground and butt way up in the air as she scampered to the steps. Nicole and I just looked at each other in shock because she was so fast. I have a feeling that once she masters the walking thing she is going to start running.

Currently on my need-to-get-under-control list are my control issues. Is that possible? To control control? I feel like I am getting this parenting thing finally. I feel capable and confident and secure. I can get around the city with two babies. I can take them shopping or out to run errands or for walks. I have them on a schedule of two naps a day and their mealtimes occur within the same half-hour span every week day. It works so well and the three of us are happy.

My huge issue is taking them to other people’s houses. Parenting on the road. I want so badly to visit my friend, who just had a baby, but I can’t let go of the control. Her house is child-friendly but all I can think is I will be chasing two babies who will be going in two different directions. They won’t nap and they won’t eat as the normally do ad chaos will ensue. And I will be hapless and unnerved and insufficient and then I will feel like a failure.

So every week I think, OK, I am going to do it this week. And I don’t. I have no excuses. I have a car in a garage so I can’t use the I-don’t-want-to-lose-my-street-parking-spot excuse. The schedule is my security and my comfort zone. I have a feeling I just need to push through it once and then I will get a lot easier. And once I do I feel like our day-to-day will get a lot better.

But what is not going to happen, at least this year, is a trip to China. My dad is trying to get us to come out a visit him, and it is very, very tempting. He is all excited and talks about going to the Great Wall (a three-hour flight from his southern China locale) and days trips to Hong Kong, just an hour away. But I just can’t wrap my mind around that, not when the girls are just a year old. I hope we don’t regret this someday. It would be so great to go to China. Not to mention the crash-diet impact: I would lose probably 20 pounds in two weeks because I would eat almost nothing, such is my pickiness.

And now, hair help. I know I have asked before, but I can’t remember what to do. I can’t be making appointments every six weeks to get highlights or have my roots done. I think I need to move to boxed color. It is easy and convenient and cheap. Perfect.

My hair is multi-color. Medium-light-ish brown I guess is the best description. It turns blonder when I am out in the sun for a season. The issue is highlights on me tend to eventually turn reddish. I didn’t want that.

So what do I need to look for in a color? One with the word “ash” in it? Or one with the word “golden?” Does anyone have any experience with hair coloring in a box? Good brands or bad? Are the results good? My hairdresser warns me not to do it, but I can never tell if that is because he wants my business or he really thinks it is awful. But highlights with him cost almost $200 a shot. A box is, what, $10? And I don’t need to sit in front of a mirror and make small talk for two hours. Sign me up. But any advice is most appreciated. And I apologize for making some of you reiterate!

Pictured above, Miss Avery, the little sleeping genius, with Mommy. And Avery with the magic curtains. Look how excited she is. Below that, the curtains double as a toy, proving once again that anything from a toy store is not nearly as appealing as things not designed as toys.


BA said...

As for your hair - you can always start with a color that washes out to see what you like. That way you're not totally dedicating yourself to a color. Or you can use it on some of the bottom of your hair to give you an idea before you do your whole head. As for the CIO thing, IT SUCKS, there is nothing worse than listening to hearing your baby cry and intentionally not doing anything about it. If you decide to do it, it usually works (it worked for my son), but once you get over the first time, it doesn't mean you aren't going to have to do it again. It might have something to do with her walking. Sometimes sleep issues rear their ugly heads when they learn something new. Not sure why, but it's true. My son who is now 2, used to go to bed easily after going through CIO, and is now giving us a hard time. It's a lot easier this time around because we know he understands what he's doing (trying to get us to come back and give him toys or the blankets, etc that he threw out of the crib). If CIO isn't for you, don't feel bad, it's definately not for everyone (plus you have twins which is a COMPLETELY different story). Good luck!

judy said...

Look for "cool" and "ash." Stay away from "warm" and "golden."
Love the little tush sticking out from the curtains.

calliope said...

man I need to get some blackouts for GM's room. We had some that got left at our old house and with her going to bed at 5 now she will wake up at 7 to pee and think it is time to get UP. at 7pm.

I have been so behind on the blog reading, but I am very curious about your doctor's appt. & her bugging you with the gym questions. That would have made me so paranoid.

I think for hair color you should start with something in the semi perm color world. It may not do diddly for roots, but you would be able to see if the base is what you want (golden vs ash) without a big commitment.


Audra said...

I really like feria for hair color. And revlon's okay too. I don't know which color choice to recommend, but I very much recommend getting 2 boxes at a time! It's much better to have an extra if you need it, than to not have it!

Anonymous said...

I agree totally about the semi-perm. kind of hair dye,.... Especially if you are just trying to cover the gray. I don't have a ton of gray, but enough, and I usually do it about every 4-5 weeks. It also helps to even out the areas (the ends) that tend to lighten in the sun and never match my true color. Good Luck, E.

gypsygrrl said...

when i started nursing school last fall, i decided i wanted something *new* and that was hair-color. several years ago i went for highlights and the stylist fried my hair. imagine dark dark brown hair with platinum blonde streaks (NOT wanted - i asked for *subtle*) and so it took me a long time to get over that.

and because i didnt trust anyone not to kill my hair, i did it myself. with the length and thickness of my hair, it takes 2.5-3 boxes. but i did it. and the woman who does my hair (and who would tell me if it was truly better for HER to do it instead of me) saw it and said i did a FABULOUS job. :)

be careful with the doing of it - i cant seem to get my hair all full of the product without splattering the stuff in places i dont see until i get out of the shower from rinsing it out, at which point, the colour has seeped into whatever it was on. NOT GOOD.

those girls of yours are sooo adorable and i cant believe they are getting so big and have been here for nearly a year :)

Homestead Mom said...

All the 'golden' and 'warm' blondes make my hair reddish, so I stick with cool blonde. When my hair was longer, at the suggestion of my stylist I would apply the dye to some thin bundles of hair from the crown to the bottom of the strands - a la highlighting - about 10 minutes before dousing the rest of my head with the remaining dye of the same color. It worked like a charm to give some depth to my hair without the streaking that is so popular now and which I don't care for.

Our babes are 19 mos and 11 mos and sleep is sucky right now. The 11 month old is learning to walk and spend the hours from about 3am til morning practicing the goosestep on my thighs and bladder. We have defaulted into a version of the family bed but I am too tired to keep on like this. I think we're going to have to toss them both into their own room and do the CIO thing once the younger hits the 12 month mark [as we did for naps and bedtime with his sister]. I have palpitations about them screaming each other into a frenzy and no sleep happening at all. The fact that Avery sleeps through her sister's crying gives me a tiny shred of hope that we'll be ok, but we're still intimidated by the whole process [and so we're still wicked tired.] Listening to a baby cry in their crib makes us both crazy. The thought of having to listen to both going at it and do nothing has kept us all squeezed in a queen-sized bed every night.