Mommy Milestone: Aaliyah sleeps in her Crib

From the day she was born, Aaliyah has been my pride and joy. It’s rare that she is ever out of my sight. George spent a week getting her nursery together and it is perfect. But having her sleep in there just wasn’t an option for me. In the beginning, it was because I didn’t want to let her out of my sight. I was too afraid that something might happen to her and I wouldn’t know it. Yes, I was the typical hysterical first time mother. After awhile I just got attached to her. I liked having her sleep in the play yard right next to me. And so seven months rolled by and she was still sleeping in our room.

George and I had never formally discussed moving her into her crib in the nursery.  It didn’t really seem like an issue.  Recently, at about 7 months old, she hit a roadblock with her sleeping once again.  She was in the middle of learning how to crawl and it seemed to be on her mind at night.  She began rolling onto her stomach in the middle of the night and then waking up on all fours.  I think it must have freaked her out, because she would start crying hysterically.  Then it would take me forever to calm her down.  This was happening every 30-40 minutes every single night.  As you can probably imagine, this presented somewhat of a problem for us.  Especially since George had to get up early every morning, and I was working late three nights a week.  We were beginning to get a little sleep deprived.

At first, we thought it might pass after a few days.  We were sorely mistaken.  So then we tried to put her to sleep without swaddling her.  She didn’t really care for that.  About the only thing that worked, was putting her to sleep on her stomach.  Which of course is discouraged by our pediatrician and just about every book out there.  So we continued trying different things, but absolutely nothing we tried worked.  So, feeling a little defeated, we made the decision to let her sleep on her stomach.  But we didn’t feel 100% comfortable with our decision.  Even though she was sleeping only a few feet away from me, I worried she might stop breathing in her sleep.  George had purchased an Angel Care monitoring system for this very same reason when Aaliyah was first born.  But due to the way her play yard was built, we were unable to use it successfully.  It only worked in her crib, because it has a flat mattress.

So two weeks ago, we were forced by our circumstances to move Aaliyah to her crib at bedtime.  A tough move indeed.  I’m not sure that it presented as much of a problem for George as it did for me.  He is far more stoic than I am.  Bottom line, I barely slept the first few nights.  I was worried that I would miss something.  But by the third or forth night, my exhaustion took hold, and I slept like a baby.  So well, I’m afraid I didn’t hear her crying over the monitor right away when she did wake up.  A reality that made me feel a little guilty.

I am sorry to say that I still struggle with our decision.  She is almost eight months old and I know she couldn’t sleep in our room forever.  But I did like having her close to me.  I really do.  She is a part of me, and I am having a hard time letting go.  Apparently being a clingy mother is also a part of my Mommy Identity.  But I am okay with that.

Mommy Milestone – Aaliyah starts sleeping in her nursery at 7 1/2 months

Dada wins! Aaliyah’s first words

I have really been enjoying the different phases that Aaliyah has been going through. My heart melted when she first began to coo. It was just the cutest thing. I laughed when she began to do her raspberries. I even got excited when she began her A-gah stage, because it meant that she was making progress. Secretly I have been patiently waiting for her to reach the point when she finally said Ma-Ma and Da-Da. And of course, despite all the warnings from the books, I was hoping she would say Ma-Ma first. Every mother does.

Unfortunately, she said Da-Da first. Now, I am okay with this, because she hasn’t officially said her first words yet. She is just making the Da-Da sound at the moment. The really funny thing is if you asked George what Aaliyah’s first word was, he’d tell you she said “Harley” at about 4 months old. He posted it on Facebook one night while I was at work. He seemed so excited about it, I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was a fool. So I kept that little tidbit to myself.

My little brother Cory also thought she said his name about a week before George said anything. He is convinced that her first word was Cory. Unlike with my husband, I have no problem telling Cory that he is wrong. I feel like its my sisterly duty.

So stay tuned. I will let you know what Aaliyah’s

Easiest French Bread Recipe

I have always loved to bake. I mean who doesn’t, right? Pies, cakes, cookies, brownies – you can’t go wrong with any of it. When it comes to baking, I’ll try just about anything. But I must confess, I have always been a little afraid of working with yeast. It always seemed too complicated. So I avoided any recipe that called for it. It was kind of a bummer though, because I love to eat bread. And nothing is better than fresh baked bread.

As a part of my New Year’s resolutions, I promised myself I would try new things. Making bread became my something new in January. With a little coaxing from my mom, I dug our brand new breadmaker out of the garage (a wedding present from 4 years ago) and tried making bread for the first time ever. For those of you who own a breadmaker, you know it takes absolutely no skill to make bread this way. But I really enjoyed it anyway. I was proud of myself for attempting something new. But I still didn’t feel brave enough to try making bread from scratch by hand.

I had expressed my apprehension to my sister-in-law. She is a wonderful cook and a fabulous baker. She told me that she had the same reservations regarding yeast that I did. It made me feel a little more normal. That’s when she told me about her French bread recipe. She said it was incredibly easy to make. And it made two huge loaves of bread. I had tried her bread before, and it was delicious. So in the spirit of trying new things, I decided to make her French bread recipe. I figured it would be disastrous, but what the heck! So I tried. Believe it or not, it turned out really good. I even surprised myself.

Over the past few months, I have made that recipe almost every week. The bread is that good. Plus, my husband eats it so quickly, it only lasts for a few days. So I feel like I’m becoming an expert. As a matter of fact, I have made a few other recipes that call for yeast since then.

Now to my point. I know that a lot of you feel the same way I did about yeast. But don’t let that hold you back. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. And just so you can begin with something easy – I’m sharing this French bread recipe. I think you’ll love it!

Happy Baking!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ c. warm water
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too stick – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times.

Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal.

      

Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough.

With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!