All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


BIG Boy Changes

Bryson has been an amazingly easy kid to put to, and keep in, bed. He tells us when he’s tired, asks for naps and bedtime, and sleeps 10 hours each night and 1.5-2.5 hours each day. Hottie has been suggesting for months that we convert his crib to the toddler bed so that he can get himself out in the mornings and I’ve refused because, “why would we do that? He doesn’t climb out yet.” I said we’d convert the crib once it became a necessity.

It’s become a necessity!

Two mornings in a row, he’s shown up beside my bed asking to, “snuggle buggle in your bed.” I had him show me how he climbs out and he’s quite nimble, but I don’t want him slipping and falling off the rails in the dark (5:45, good god). So… I braced myself for hell and converted his crib.

No hell. No hell at all.

He napped there for 2 hours and went to bed tonight without a problem. At this point, the only problem I foresee is that there is no guard rail because I broke it today while putting it on. So, the floor is covered with pillows in case he rolls out. He stays pretty put at night, so I’m betting 50/50 odds where Matthew would have been 99/1 odds that he’d fall out (the kid has always rolled around all night long)! 😁

Hoping hoping hoping I’m right!


Matthew’s Room Is D.O.N.E.

So this is embarrassing, but this little project has been started for well over 1.5 years, and it’s been hanging over me.  I sold all of my craft stuff in February because there’s no point in hanging onto things that don’t interest me anymore, but I kept this project because I knew I wanted to finish it.  This was the final touch for Matthew’s room and the wall above his bed has been so bare compared to the rest of his room.

Until now.

It’s done… and I LOVE it!

Finally... it's done!

Finally… it’s done!

I stood in his room to see his reaction.  It was almost as awesome as his excitement over the Halloween decorations yesterday  😉

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Another Night of Painting!

This one is for Bryson’s big boy room, which isn’t even close to being started but the theme is planned.

“Things that Go.”

This will include cars, planes, trucks, trains, etc.  The boy loves, loves, LOVES everything that goes, and he is our favorite “thing that goes!”

Plane Sept 21


This is my 8th project in less than a year, all with the same gal.  I just love working with Marcy because she is a retired art teacher who is also a very successful artist here in the area.  Her art sells for thousands of dollars a piece, so I really feel that I’m learning a lot every time I go and paint with her!  I noticed tonight that I was doing a lot of the work on this painting before she got to instructing the technique, and I was spot-on.  I AM LEARNING!  I have another one scheduled for later this month for our wild Halloween decorations – we LOVE Halloween around here!

Here is a gallery of what we have in our house from my painting adventures so far… only one piece is not hung yet and that’s just because it needs a “clear coat” applied to it before it goes up in the guest bathroom.

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Emotional Limits

You’d think that after selling every last piece of baby gear, that I’d no longer have any emotional attachments to the past.

But I do.

I was inventorying the nursery decor that will be sold when we convert the nursery to Bryson’s big kid room, and I’m having a hard time imagining handing those things over to someone. The perfect mobile, the original artwork, the deer prints, the garland I made from leftover first birthday decor, the bookends shaped like animals. My heart is in each of those items.

I’m keeping them, most of them, and putting them up in the kids’ reading nook. My heart can’t take letting them go right now. I know my emotional limits.

For now, they stay.


The Moose!

I’ll start by saying that I’m not 100% thrilled with how this turned out. It’s cute and all, but I didn’t use enough paint for the sky and I forgot to paint a tiny part (oops – I didn’t even notice it!). But I am happy with it, even if it’s not perfect. 😉

I will get it hung this week in my big kid’s room. When Matthew saw it, he exclaimed, “it’s a moose! A moose on the loose!” Ha ha!



The Monday Snapshot – I Can’t Quit!

It’s official… I’m hooked on this painting thing. It is so calming and so fun, I feel like I just got out of a great therapy session. I could do this once a week.

Matthew loves all sports and has quickly latched onto the two big Iowa teams. Iowa is his all-time favorite, but Iowa State is right behind the Hawkeyes. I went to Iowa, Hottie went to Iowa State. Because I furnish their rooms, he has a couple of Hawkeye decorations up that are quite bold and noticeable. But being the good Iowa girl that I am, I support all Iowa teams and only cheer against Iowa State when they play the Hawkeyes and honestly, I could care less who actually wins that game every year. So, it was time for some Cyclone power in Matthews room so I went to a painting session tonight to take care of that.

I can’t wait until he sees it in the morning!

(That’s my friend, K, who came with me. She painted hers for her husband for Christmas. Mine was supposed to be for Christmas, but I’m no good at holding surprises!)


If You Don’t Try, You Can’t Succeed… Or Fail

I’ve droned on and on and on and on about Matthew’s sleep, and our challenges with it, on my blog.  I kept a very detailed account of our experience with the Fer.ber method after trying everything else to help him sleep.  I’ve vented about naps and his attempts to stop napping altogether.  I’ve talked too much about bedtime routines taking  too damned long each night and my frustration with having to lay with him for 30-60 minutes each and every night until he falls asleep.  To say that Matthew has been a challenge in the sleep department is an understatement (until you talk to someone who’s had a more difficult time with babies/toddlers and sleep, but it’s all relative).

It’s true that Matthew sleeps, usually uninterrupted, for 9-10.5 hours each night.  That’s a great thing!  But the truth is, 9-10.5 hours of sleep just isn’t enough for a kid his age (well, 10.5 hours is enough, but he rarely gets that much). He doesn’t go to bed until 8:45 and then I’m in his room until somewhere between 9:15 and 9:45.  I’d love to put him to bed at 8:30 and walk out after tucking him in, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for us.  He just isn’t ready to settle down at 8:30 unless he’s had no nap, which is not an option in this house.  He now wakes up between 7:00 and 7:45 each morning, which is a huge improvement from the recent days he’d wake up at 6:00.  Holy hell, those were hard mornings – and they lasted for months and months and months.  I am now awake before him which means I’m a rested, happy mom when he wakes up.  I make a point to rush to the hallway to get him (we keep a gate up so that he can’t accidentally fall down the stairs if he walks in his sleep) and I always flip on the lights and celebrate the morning.  When he was getting up at 6:00 AM, there was nothing to celebrate.  HA!

Just recently, Matthew started making bedtime a bit easier on his old mom.  Instead of laying with him for 30-60 minutes each night, that dropped down to 15-30 minutes each night.  I was more than happy with this, and honestly, I do love snuggling with him.  When he dropped down to only needing 15-30 minutes of my time, he also started shushing me when I’d try to sing to him.  I don’t remember the exact last time I sang to him, but I do know it was when B was out-of-town on one of his work trips.  I bet it was almost a month ago now.  That makes me sad, but again, I’m out of his room after no more than 30 minutes, so I’ll let the shushing slide!  The one thing that he’s been doing that bothers me, though, is pushing me aside after a snuggle or two.

Matthew loves to pull my arm over him and tuck it in really tight under his left shoulder.  He’ll turn onto his left side but I sure better keep that arm under him (not easy)!  If I move my arm – we start all over.  Lately though, he only lets me hold him for a bit before literally tossing my arm off of him while saying, “no!”  REJECTION!  He’ll go so far as pushing every part of me far away from him so that not even a finger of mine is touching him.  I was offended by this at first, but then thought, “are we on our way to him wanting to go to bed without me?”

Cue happiness.

And sadness.

I ignored the thought for a long time, only mentioning it once to B that maybe Matthew was moving in the direction of really putting himself to sleep.  This all started when he began napping in our bed – when prior to that – I had to rock him to sleep before putting him in the crib.  As I look back on it now, I’m thinking that moving him to our bed for naps, where I just sit next to him as he drifts off, started teaching him sleep independence.  Each and every nap gets easier, to the point that it doesn’t even matter what I put on the TV (super low volume) as long as it’s not a cartoon.  I keep it kid-friendly, but honestly, he doesn’t care anymore what’s on.  The minute the TV goes on with something that has to do with construction trucks (that’s my go-to theme), he settles down and drifts off within a few minutes.  Nap time has never been easier.

And now bed time is way easier.  Go figure!

So getting to the point of this post.  I only mentioned once to B that maybe Matthew was getting ready to go to bed by himself because of his independent actions each night.  I said that once we’re back from our Colorado trip after Christmas, that that’s when I’ll push the issue of getting him to go to sleep on his own.  The conversation was over with a plan in place.  But I kept wondering each and every night if I could have left the room earlier, after he rolled to his left side after tossing me aside.  But I’ve not had the guts to try.

Until tonight.

Last night, there was a bit of an accident in our house.  I had hung up some glass prints of Matthew from his 1-year-old session above his closet and they’ve been there for a month or so.  I hung them with temporary nails just to be sure on the spacing before putting the screws in the wall that came with the prints.  However, the nails seemed to work just fine and after opening and closing the closet doors several times to check stability, I figured the nails would work.  B came home from his trip to find the prints up and was OK with the nails since I said I tested them.  He did say that screws would be better, but meh, if nails work, they work.  They worked – until last night when I was getting clothes out of the closet for the next day and the biggest print (16 X 24 or so) fell on my face – splitting the bridge of my nose open.

It was a pain, and shock, like I’ve rarely known (much like when I took a water ski to my nose several summers ago) and I wasn’t even sure what had happened.  I just held my face and cried, literally cried, for B.  He told me not to look at it and to get dressed (I was in my jammies).  I listened to him and didn’t look until I heard him on the phone with someone, asking them to come to the house so he could take me to the ER for stitches.  Then I looked, and I sobbed some more.  My face, my face, my face!  I couldn’t stop sobbing.  HA!  Anyway, the neighbor ended up taking me to the ER (no stitches, just a butterfly bandage) leaving B at home with both boys – awake at bed time.

When I got home from the ER, B told me that he left Matthew in the room, resting but awake, because he was worried about Bryson.  WHAT?  He said that he stayed in bed.  WHAT?  He said that he didn’t cry.  WHAT?  He said that he watched on the monitor as he tossed and turned, but didn’t move from his pillow.  WHAT?  I chalked it up to it being B, and not his beloved mom, leaving Matthew and him being OK with it because, well, it wasn’t Mom.

But I also figured I’d give it a try tonight because if this was our window of opportunity to do this without a struggle, then why not try?

And try I did.

And I (we) succeeded.  I laid with Matthew for 10 minutes exactly (that gave him time to tuck my arms around him, and then toss them off of him!), tucked him in, said goodnight, and walked out.  Not a peep.  I quickly grabbed the monitor and saw his little eyes glowing in the night vision view.  But he didn’t move much, aside from a flip from side to side.  Within 20 minutes, he was asleep.

It was that easy!

How could I have not read the cues sooner (like a few weeks ago)?  Why did it take an emergency to figure out how to put my kid to bed?  I suppose it doesn’t matter – because all that matters is that for two nights in a row – Matthew has put himself to sleep without even attempting to get out of his bed!

I tried, and I succeeded!

(Unlike how I tried to securely hang those pictures, and failed.)

It took a painful injury to convince me that my son was ready to go to bed on his own!

It took a painful injury to convince me that my son was ready to go to bed on his own!

My hope is that this is my LAST post about Matthew’s sleep habits.  Let’s all cross our fingers!