Friday, July 28, 2017

Favorite Things

There have been quite a few things I have been loving lately and really wanted to write them all down in one place in an effort to share their awesomeness with anyone else that may be interested/sleep deprived. The first few are related to toddler sleep.

 My very favorite thing in the world right now is the OK to Wake Clock.
 I seriously cannot say enough about this thing. We started using one with Finn back in the Spring before switching him to his big boy bed so he could get used to it. Now that he's in his bed, he waits for it to turn green at 7:15 before sitting up and looking into the monitor and saying "mommy! my clock's green"- at which point, I waddle up to his room to get him. Knock on wood- he has never has an issue with getting out of bed on his own. Now, he is almost 4 so it's a little easier to understand that, BUT the real miracle in all of this is that we recently got one for Ryder.

If you know anything about this kid, you know he's been pretty consistent at waking up between 5 and 5:30 since he was about 12 months old. Letting him "cry it out" didn't work much either, because he would get to a screaming level so loud that he would ultimately wake up Finn (in the next room with a sound machine) or gag and throw up. So for the past year and a half, our days have started at 5:30 around here. We got him the clock- not really expecting him to "get it" yet since he wasn't even two and a half.

The first day I set it to 5:45. He woke up at 5:30 and cried for 15 min. I went in when it turned green at 5:45.

The next day was the same.

The next day, he woke up at 5:30 but rolled around quietly until it turned green. Then he stood up and looked into the monitor yelling" my tick tock geen! my tick tock geen!"

Little by little, I've been pushing it back and getting the same response. Now- a few weeks into it, he will stay in bed until 7:00! GLORY GLORY. He'll still roll around and make some noises before then, but the screaming as if his crib was sinking into the Atlantic has stopped. And I feel like a brand new person.

In a very close second place, would be these blackout shades from Amazon.
 You guys. Our boys go to bed between 7:30 and 8 nearly every night. This is super difficult when it doesn't even come close to getting dark until 9PM in the summer. Not to mention that naps in the afternoon may as well look like they're outside. I've looked at about a million different blackout shade options and this one does the trick. You can't beat the price, as you get 6 of them for under $30. They're marketed as "temporary" only because they attach to the inside of your window frame with double sided tape essentially. AND THEY WORK. Their rooms always look like it's the middle of the night and are even a good bit cooler thanks to the sun being fully blocked. They have had very little trouble going to bed since it looks like it's "darky outside" (Ryder's words). The downside is that they are not pretty in the least bit. For both boys, we have them behind the "real blinds", but we never even open the curtains in their rooms so you never see them anyway. I will warn you that from the outside, the windows look black- but both of theirs are on the back of the house, so you'd never see them anyway. Since they're "temporary" and installed without any hardware I would imagine you could even take a couple on vacation with you if your destination has a super early sunrise or you're in an earlier timezone (I'm lookin' at you, Seaside) since 6 come in a pack and they're so cheap.

Next are a few skincare products that don't require as lengthy descriptions but equally qualify as current favorite things.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask- I use this as moisturizer after I wash my face at night and my face still feels the same in the morning. My skin is soft and doesn't feel dried out. Win. Win.
Clinique City Block Sunscreen for the face- keeping with the "anti-aging" theme here, I wear this everyday either by itself over my regular moisturizer or under make-up. Let's be honest, most of my days are spent at the park or the pool so this makes me in need of some serious SPF so I don't age faster than the tiny humans are already causing me to do so.
Clinique All About Eyes De-puffing Serum- I actually got this as a free gift with purchase a couple months ago, but have been using it every day and love it! I keep it in the fridge and it's like the little metal roller ball just wakes my eyes up and shrinks away all signs of pregnancy sleeplessness. Also, it makes me feel like I'm putting on (colorless) football eye black in the morning to gear up for the big game-- aka my normal day with toddlers.
Thayers Witch Hazel- I bought this a year ago when I started using essential oils to use as a mixing agent or base, and it's been sitting in a cabinet since then. I recently started using it as a toner in the morning after I wash my face and it has done wonders for my pregnancy acne and skin discoloration caused by pregnancy- not to mention is is just so refreshing and makes my face feel clean.

That's it for now, friends. Finn starts school in a couple weeks so we're busy trying to soak up these last weeks of summer before the glorious cool days of Fall are here- also our last weeks of being a family of four.
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