Sneaky sleep snuggles

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our weekday morning routine involves me going to wake up The Big Sis first so she can start getting ready for school, since she has a bigger time pressure to get out of the house on schedule. After I’ve roused her, I go wake up The Little Sis so she can go to daycare/preschool. (The Husband is busy making the girls’ breakfast during this time, then he comes in to finish the wake-up process while I go get myself ready.)

But from time to time and for the last couple of mornings, I’ve encountered possibly The Cutest Thing Ever.

I go into The Big Sis’s room to wake her up, and I find our two little girls snuggled up together in the bed.

Oh, my heart!

I always pretend to be a little bothered by it, but mostly in a joking way because I really think it’s incredibly sweet. The Little Sis says that she wakes up during the night and wants to snuggle with someone, so she heads over to Big Sis’s room and settles right in. As long as she doesn’t wake up and/or disturb The Big Sis, then I have absolutely no problem with it.

With a 4 1/2-year age difference, their bond is sure to change over the years, so if they can have a few stolen moments of snuggle time overnight, then why not? We do let them sleep together on weekends, but the going-to-sleep process is often a disaster, as sleeping seems to be at the bottom of their to-do list, so we can’t really let them do it on weeknights.

Sneaky sleep snuggles seem like a very reasonable compromise for all.


Putting the crib to bed

Monday, July 7, 2014
We switched The Little Sis’s crib to a toddler bed several weeks ago, but we still had a futon in her room (in couch position, which is where we’d read bedtime stories), and that’s where The Little Sis was choosing to sleep probably 95% of the time. We finally decided to move the futon to a bed position (mostly so we could more easily put a mattress protector on there), and it occurred to me that I should probably start floating the idea of getting rid of the crib, just in case it took her a while to warm up to the idea. Years ago, I knew The Big Sis wouldn’t have an issue getting rid of the crib when it was her turn, but The Little Sis can become sentimental and attached to some unexpected things, so I wasn’t sure how this would go.

I mentioned it to her for the first time on Sunday before nap, and she was actually very excited about getting rid of the crib. In fact, I almost wondered if she understood what I really meant by it. No more crib ever. Bye-bye, crib. Adios. But she still agreed that she was okay with the crib being taken down and removed from her room.

After she woke up from nap, she said the same thing, so I asked The Husband if he’d mind going ahead and taking it down, which he did before the girls’ pre-dinner bath. The Little Sis stayed in her room and watched the dismantling process, acting as a very good helper by putting the hardware into the bag for The Husband. He finally got all of the parts disassembled and we started moving them out of the room, and I knew everything was going to be okay when she started jumping up and down where the crib was and said excitedly, “Yay! Yay! It’s open! It’s open!” We moved the futon to the far corner of her room, and she was very excited to sleep in her “new bed” last night. At some point we’ll get her a real bed, of course, though The Big Sis slept with the futon for a while before we got her a bed; I like that the futon is pretty low to the ground, just in case she rolls off.

Knowing that this is our last child, and the last time taking down the crib, I think I’m supposed to feel sad or, at the very least, bittersweet about this transition. But I truly have no such emotions attached to this milestone. Yes, time continues to escape into some unseen vacuum that hovers around us at all times, but I have to admit that I find it a little exciting that she’s reached this point. If she embraces this change, then why shouldn’t I?

(This futon, given to us by a friend/co-worker 14 years ago, has certainly gotten plenty of use in our family. First it served as The Husband’s bed in the two years before we moved in together [at which time I brought a proper bed to the apartment]. For a while it was in our guest room [when we had such a room!], then it was in The Big Sis’s room, first as our nightly reading spot and then it turned into her transitional bed between the crib and a real bed. Finally, it was moved to The Little Sis’s room and served as our reading spot with her, and now it’s her transitional bed. I swear I’m going to be more emotional when it’s time to get rid of the futon than I was with the crib!)


Wordless Wednesday: First night in the toddler bed

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Wednesday roundup

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

*The Big Sis lost tooth #6 (lower right lateral incisor) on April 22. This permanent tooth is going to be met with quite a bit of crowding and most likely won’t be coming in straight at all. Like The Husband and me both, she has quite a small mouth, so we will likely be headed to The Orthodontist at some point. I got lucky, however, and never did need braces (though you’d never think that if you saw my mouth when I was a kid).

*The Big Sis had a fundraiser, Jump Rope for Heart, for the American Heart Association at school recently, where she raised $405. And guess what? That ended up being enough to make her the leading fundraiser at her school, which I could tell made her so proud. She did a little movie where she was jump-roping and asking for donations, and I posted that on my Facebook page, so she really did help with the effort. A huge thank you if you were one of those friends or family members that donated!

*I think we’re on the verge of converting The Little Sis’s crib to a toddler bed. For the past week or two, she’s been asking to go to sleep on the futon in her room, which we’ve been letting her do, then we move her to the crib before we go to bed. Last night we let her sleep on the futon for the entire night and she did well; I think this is a good way to ease her (and us) into the freedom of a toddler bed.

*The Husband is scheduled for gallbladder removal on June 11 after having issues for a few months now. This cannot come soon enough for either one of us, as his attacks have been pretty miserable. (Mostly for him, of course, though I do know the misery of that pain. His attacks are more just inconvenience for me.)

*I’m heading to NYC this time next month, and I am crazy-obsessed-over-the-top excited.

 


The accidental CIO

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just as background for this story, I’ll say that I’m not really a fan of the cry-it-out method of sleep training a baby. I won’t go into my reasons why, as that’s not relevant at the moment, but I just want to establish that it’s an approach that makes me uncomfortable personally.

However, I found that when The Husband was out of town over Labor Day weekend and I had to put both kids to bed by myself, there were a small handful of times that I didn’t have much choice but to let The Little Sis cry while I tended to The Big Sis (otherwise The Big Sis would freak and I’d have two crying children on my hands). At no point did she cry for any longer than 10 or 15 minutes, which is still outside of my comfort zone, but it was necessary in this situation.

As additional background, I will offer up the fact that bedtime with The Little Sis often took at least an hour — I’d nurse her for probably 20 to 30 minutes then have to walk around her room rocking her in my arms until she fell asleep — and the concept of putting her down drowsy but awake (as you’re “supposed” to do ) was completely foreign to us. She had to be completely asleep before I could put her in the crib, and even then I risked waking her up when I set her down in the crib (especially since lowering the mattress).

But boy wasn’t it interesting that she went to sleep well each of those nights and didn’t wake up once overnight. Quickly I realized that when I was done nursing her, she was leaning toward the crib, so after The Husband had returned from his week away, I started putting her in her crib awake but drowsy. She protested with a couple of halfhearted cries, rolled over, and went to sleep nearly instantly. Huh. Interesting. But also: Yay!

Additional background: The Little Sis still used a pacifier for going to sleep at night and for naps. She never used it during the day (it stayed in her room), but she did require it to go to sleep. I was trying to figure out how to get rid of it, as I personally don’t care for older children with pacifiers, but I found it tricky to formulate a plan since I wasn’t comfortable with taking it away and making her cry for it, but she’s also too young to make up a “paci fairy” or something like that.

Last Wednesday night, I realized that I gave her the pacifier at bedtime merely out of habit; she hadn’t really asked for it that night. So I figured I’d play with fire and try to not offer the pacifier the next night. She fussed for about the time it took me to walk out the door after I put her in the crib, but she went to sleep fine and didn’t wake up for the paci during the night. (She didn’t much before, as she usually found it herself, but sometimes she’d throw it out of the crib and she needed our help retrieving it. Thankfully that wasn’t a regular thing, though.) The same was true for Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and all naps over the weekend.

Looks like we got rid of the pacifier, as we just experienced night five of no paci last night, and we’ve met no resistance. Her bedtime now takes about 20 to 25 minutes total, with me nursing her for most of that time, snuggling with her for a few minutes, then placing her in the crib and leaving with her still awake (a couple times pretty wide awake). Most nights she rolls over and goes right to sleep, though sometimes she’ll lie there with her eyes wide open but she remains calm and quiet before finally zoning out and going to sleep.

So: Yay for The Little Sis. Even though we used it very minimally, I was ready to be done with paci use LONG ago. And it’s good timing too because she’ll be moving to the toddler room at daycare next week and I really wanted to have her off the paci by then.

Next up: Weaning her from nursing. Right now I nurse her when she wakes up in the morning and when she goes to sleep at night. Truthfully, I think she’s started the weaning process on her own over the past month or so, as she loses interest in nursing now pretty soon after she starts. I nursed The Big Sis for 14 months, and I’m still aiming for that with The Little Sis. It’s a complete mind game, I admit, but I’d like to hit that age so I feel like I did the same for both girls. Will it be a “failure” if we stopped with nursing today? Of course not! I’ve nursed her for 13 months, and what’s a difference of one month? Not much. I didn’t say it made logical sense, but I’d still like to hit that 14-month point if I can, if The Little Sis doesn’t completely lose interest in the next month. At this point, though, it seems like weaning is going to be a mutual decision, which I think is overall a good thing.


In da crib, yo

Monday, February 6, 2012

We tried to put The Little Sis in the crib over Thanksgiving weekend, and that worked well for a couple of weeks, but then it all went downhill quickly, so we moved her back to the trusty swing. Then she started waking up again overnight even in the swing (darn you, four-month sleep regression!), but thankfully that phase got better — but then the swing broke and we had to order a new motor, so we were without the motor for a couple of weeks. We managed with the swing, but we had to go in and manually push the swing whenever her sleep cycle would change and wake her up.

A week ago, The Husband was talking with The Daycare Teachers. They were saying how The Little Sis pushes with her feet against the side of the crib and rolls over to nap on her belly. To say we were shocked was an understatement, especially considering she had rolled from back to belly just once for us.

That night, we tried something different. We decided to unswaddle her (she was sleeping in the Miracle Blanket still, with just the arms swaddled) and try to let her sleep on her belly. Of course, it’s not recommended at this age for them to sleep on their bellies, but we made the decision to give it a try. She has been sleeping in her crib ever since, still using a pacifier and now sleeping with a frog blanket cuddle toy**. That’s another crib no-no, the cuddle toy, but I needed to try something to keep her from taking her pacifier out of her mouth with her hand and waking herself up, and that did the trick. She’s had two nights in the past week where we didn’t have to go in there at all until time to wake her up. The other nights we’ve had to go in there a couple times to replace a pacifier or pat her back for a bit, but you can tell she’s doing much better with self-soothing when she does have those sleep cycle changes. I’m not quite ready to put up the Miracle Blanket for good, but I did wash it and tuck it away in the drawer. Oh, and we’ve not changed the swing motor yet even though we’ve had it for a good week or two, as this helps us avoid the temptation to just plop her in the swing if she wakes up. Still, it’s nice knowing it’s there, just in case…

Here’s hoping we don’t even need it, though!

**********

**Funny story about the frog blanket cuddle toy. Once I saw that The Little Sis was developing a fondness for the frog blanket, I decided we needed to buy an extra as a backup. I was having trouble finding an exact replacement, which didn’t surprise me since we actually received the blanket when The Big Sis was a baby but she never used it. Well, some more poking around the Internet revealed the fact that this blanket had been recalled — so nowhere can you buy it. Of COURSE that’s the one that The Little Sis has started to get attached to. I contacted the company, and they can send me a replacement frog blanket (that doesn’t look the same), but we are supposed to send the recalled blanket to them first and then they ship out the new one. I’m trying to track down a local retailer for it so I can buy a new one to use once we send the old one back, so we’re not without a frog blanket for at least a week or two, but so far I haven’t had much luck with that. They’re looking into it for me, though, so here’s hoping they find a retailer here!


Catching up

Friday, January 6, 2012

*The whole sleeping thing really came unglued with The Little Sis earlier this week, culminating in a night in which she didn’t get to sleep until 12:30 a.m. and then I had to wake her at 6:30 a.m. Not nearly enough sleep for most people, let alone a baby her age (and one that routinely sleeps 12 to 14 hours consecutively at night). At that point we were pretty much at the end of our rope, unable to solve the sleep mystery that had gripped our house. The next night, I made a big effort to get her to bed even earlier. We’d had a consistent bedtime of around 6:30 or 6:45 p.m.since I returned to work, but the craziness of the holidays made us a little lax in that area, and I’m wondering if that’s what caused the issue…the past two nights I got her to bed at 6:15 p.m. and 6:05 p.m., respectively, and she slept through without a peep until we woke her at 6:30 a.m. And right now, night three, I got her to bed at 6:15 p.m. and so far she’s been silent for five hours — quite a departure from how things were earlier in the week. Getting her to bed that early presents definite issues on weeknights, mainly getting dinner made on time since we usually don’t get home until between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. and The Husband isn’t home until at least 6 p.m. and sometimes closer to 6:15 p.m., but I’d much rather deal with that than the sleep issue. I don’t know if the problem has been solved permanently, but I’m appreciating it for the moment.

*The Husband picked up The No-Cry Sleep Solution from the library on Thursday. So far it seems as though just having the book in the house has made her sleeping better. (Score!) Seriously, though, I plan to read through the book so I’m armed with some tips for the next sleep regression phase, whether that’s tomorrow night or in a few months. Side note, though: Why in the WORLD is there not an audio version of this book available at the library? Aren’t sleep-deprived parents a bit short on time to be reading such a book?

*I’m feeling very good about my milk supply at this point. I now have just over 1,400 ounces of milk in the freezer, and each day I’m able to bag up about four or five 4-oz. bags of milk beyond what The Little Sis gets each day. I know this could tank at any moment, but here’s hoping that’s not the case. For the record: I still hate pumping, but I must say it’s not nearly as bad with the pumping bra that I fashioned myself from an old too-tight bra that I should’ve gotten rid of long ago.

*The Little Sis is starting to get stronger with sitting in a tripod stance, though she’s still pretty wobbly when she tries to sit unsupported without putting her hands on the ground. Still, it’s neat to see her getting stronger with this every day. In other milestone news, she still hasn’t rolled from back to front yet, but I suspect that’s coming any day.

*The Little Sis will be five months old tomorrow. How is that even possible??

*The Big Sis started a drama class at the Y this week. She attended her first class on Thursday, and so far so good. It’s taught by the same woman who taught her ballet class over the summer, and we liked her a lot, so I’m optimistic that this will be a good thing. I’m not sure how regular a thing we can make it, though…the only time the class is offered is Thursdays at 4 p.m., and The Husband asked his boss if he can leave early that day for the eight weeks of the class. His boss has been flexible and agreed to the arrangement, but I doubt it could be a permanent thing. Still, I’m glad he’s able to work it out for her to attend this class, and we’ll see where this goes.

*The Big Sis has been doing AWESOME with her bedtimes over the past two or three weeks. I don’t know what clicked for her — I don’t know if she took pity on us for dealing with The Little Sis’ sleep disaster or what — but I’m so glad it clicked, whatever it was. Fingers are majorly crossed that this continues.

*The Big Sis will be five years old in three weeks. Three weeks! Five!

*Kindergarten registration starts next month. The Big Sis will begin kindergarten in just seven months. Oh my!

 


I give

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I give up. We have tried to get this baby to sleep for more than 2 1/2 hours tonight.

We’ve tried nearly everything we can think of, including a very, very modified “cry it out” while checking on her at intervals, and nothing has worked.

She fell asleep within seconds of being put in the swing. And will likely sleep there until 8 or 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The crib is impossible and isn’t conducive to sleep now that her sleep cycle has changed. I really don’t know what to do anymore. Nothing works. Except the swing.

So apparently the swing it is.

I guess she’ll be sleeping in the swing until she’s 12.

At least.

Won’t that be awkward for slumber parties.


Regression

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The four-month sleep regression. The four-month wakeful period. I always heard these interchangeable terms mentioned by other parents, but we never really experienced this with The Big Sis. Basically the gist is that babies’ sleep patterns change around the four-month mark, and they begin a sleep pattern more like an adult’s. At this point they do not enter a deep sleep immediately like they had before, so if you put them down to sleep before they’ve reached that deep sleep, they can easily wake up and you have to begin rocking them again (or doing whatever it was that got them to sleep in the first place). Also, a child’s sleep cycle is about 45 minutes to an hour, so often after that first hour after they’ve gone to sleep at night, they wake up and can’t get back to sleep if they’re missing any of their initial sleep associations like motion or a pacifier.

I won’t go into the mind-numbing details of our situation, but that pretty much describes it to a T. It takes a while for The Little Sis to get to sleep, then we lie her down and her eyes pop open immediately. Once we finally DO get her to sleep, she wakes up about an hour later and we have to start all over. At this point, this usually ends with us trying to get The Little Sis to sleep in the crib again but ultimately putting her in the swing, where she happily snoozes the rest of the night because she has her trusty sleep association of motion all night long, so if she does wake up between sleep cycles, she can easily get back to sleep. This obviously can’t be our long-term solution, and I’m not sure yet how we’re going to deal with it, but for now it’s a matter of trying our best and seeing if we can wait it out. I’m thankful that at this point we’re just dealing with this at bedtime and not overnight, but I’d love to move past this stage soon because it eats into what little free time I have in the evenings, meaning I stay up longer than I should and I’m very sleepy the next day even though I didn’t have to deal with a baby overnight.

We’ve tried nearly every combination we can think of: swaddle, no swaddle, pacifier, no pacifier, sleep sack, no sleep sack, nightlight on, no nightlight, etc — and multiple combinations of those things. So far we haven’t hit upon the right sleep association to replace the motion thing, but we’ll certainly keep trying. (I know many people will point out that she’s old enough for cry-it-out methods, but I’m not quite willing to try it as a first option. I’m not ruling it out for good, as I try not to ever say never, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for us in our situation at this time.) She does seem to like the wave sounds on her crib aquarium, and she often wakes up seconds after that kicks off, so I picked up a white noise machine that stays on longer than the crib aquarium (which shuts off after about 7 minutes). I’m not expecting that to be the miracle cure, but I’m hoping we can begin the process of switching to that sleep association rather than the motion. It won’t be an instant success, I’m sure, but we’ll figure it out eventually.


Of course!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And guess who busted out of her Miracle Blanket last night, just after I said something about it here. Too funny! We’ll see how this goes and decide whether to de-swaddler The Little Sis officially.


Christmas is coming

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yikes, it looks like we’re already halfway into December. After the daily writing of NaBloPoMo, I usually need to take a break from blog posts, and that I did. My motivation still isn’t quite there yet, but I also don’t want it to be too long between posts, either. So that means one thing: bullet points! I know you’re totally psyched, so enjoy!

*The Little Sis continues to do well in the crib. She is still swaddled and so far isn’t showing any signs of breaking out of the swaddle yet, so we may just keep going with it until she does break out (or until she begins rolling regularly and it’s no longer safe to keep her swaddled).

*The Big Sis is a master burper. I can attempt to get a burp from The Little Sis for five full minutes and come away unsuccessful. But if I ask The Big Sis to do it instead of me? She gets one out of her after two or three pats. She’s kind of magic.

*Like with The Big Sis, we plan to wait on solids until six months, though we’ll be getting her a new highchair for Christmas so she’ll be able to practice sitting at the table with the rest of us.

*The other day, I showed The Big Sis her own four-month picture, but I pretended it was a picture of The Little Sis. The Big Sis asked when it was taken — today or yesterday? I asked her what she thought; she said she thought it had been taken the day before because she was wearing a different outfit then. I then told her, “You know what? It’s actually a picture of YOU when you were The Little Sis’ age. Doesn’t she look like what you did when you were that age??” You know what she did? She got MAD at me, because she thought I was tricking her about THAT. She really thought it was a picture of The Little Sis. Their physical similarities certainly continue.

*We didn’t have the video monitor when The Big Sis was a baby; we got that when she was 2 1/2 years old. But I have to say…while I still think the video monitor is a luxury item that’s not really necessary, I do find it VERY useful to have, and it’s hard to imagine not using it before.

*The Big Sis’ visit with Santa went very well this year. She said she had so many things to ask for and was afraid she would forget them all. So to help her narrow her focus, I had her cut gift ideas out of store ads, and I let her pick three pictures to tape onto a piece of paper she could take to Santa. She was a little quiet when talking to him, but she did get across her gift wishes: a princess tent, a set of princess Barbie dolls, and a dog carrier/purse thing. As much as the princess thing bothers me, we did get her the first two items from Santa, and I know she will love them.

*I think Christmas inflatables are tacky. There, I said it. But what is ultra tacky? Our next-door neighbor’s inflatable snowman dressed in hunting cammo complete with a huge rifle taller than the damn snowman. Love being greeted by Hunter Snowman when I come home. (Not.)


Some hodge and some podge

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

*For the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing the postpartum hair shed. This is not something I experienced with The Big Sis, so it’s totally new to me. And a little freaky. Normal, but freaky.

*I have spotted in some form every single day since having the Mirena put in. For those counting, that would be over 5 weeks. I’m unsure at this point how patient I want to be with this to see if it goes away.

*Our latest approach to bedtime woes: The Big Sis has to be asleep by 9 p.m. if she wants to watch her TV show (“Wild Kratts”) in the morning before school. We’ve done this for about a week and a half now, and wouldn’t you know she’s been asleep by 9 p.m. each night. Of course, with each new approach we try, we have immediate success and then it all seems to fall apart sooner or later, so I can’t say I’m expecting long-term success with this, but you never know. We’ve got to do something.

*This happened a while ago (November 20), but The Little Sis did her first REAL laugh. The Big Sis and I were doing a bath in the tub with the Little Sis, and they were facing each other. The Big Sis was making silly faces at her and out came her “ha ha ha.” Love it!

*The Little Sis did perfectly in the crib last night. Getting her to sleep tonight took about an hour, but I think (hope) she’ll last the night now. That’s the hope anyway!


In the crib, yo

Monday, November 28, 2011

With much nervousness, we decided to make the switch from the swing to the crib overnight for The Little Sis during the Thanksgiving weekend. Our general approach was to put her in the crib to start with, make an effort to get her back to sleep in the crib if she woke up, but put her in the swing if that didn’t work within a reasonable amount of time. This is how it went:

Night 1: She settled pretty well, and it took maybe 30 minutes to get her to sleep. (Not a continuous 30 minutes of rocking her or anything, but going in every 5-10 minutes to replace the pacifier and turn on her crib aquarium wave sound.) She slept until about 3:30 a.m., a reasonable effort was made to get her back to sleep in the crib, but she was moved to the swing for the rest of the night, where she slept just fine.

Night 2: She settled about the same as Night 1, then woke up around 1:30 or 2 a.m. Almost no effort was made to get her back to sleep in the crib, and she slept fine the rest of the night in the swing.

Night 3: She settled very easily, requiring just one or two pacifier replacements before going to sleep at bedtime. She fussed a couple times during the night, but each time one of us just had to go replace the pacifier and turn on the waves and she was back to sleep without us having to pick her up. She slept until about 7 a.m.

Night 4: Just perfect. She required only one pacifier replacement when going to sleep, then she slept all night in the crib until she woke up at 6:30 or 7 a.m. She did fuss a couple of times during the night, but each time she was able to get herself back to sleep within probably 20 or 30 seconds and didn’t require us to leave our bedroom at all. Yay, Little Sis!

Night 5 wasn’t so great, unfortunately, with it taking her much longer to get to sleep, then waking up at 4 a.m. and not going back to sleep in either the crib OR the swing, but I think that was a result of not getting a great afternoon nap and then me not pouncing on her sleepy window when it hit a little earlier than normal. (I didn’t want to put her to bed too early because I was afraid she’d wake too early — ha! Turns out that’s what happened anyway. I should’ve just put her to bed when she looked sleepy instead of waiting until her usual 6:30 p.m.) Still, Night 5 wasn’t a disaster or anything, just not as great as the night before. Bedtime tonight was much better, with about 7 or 8 minutes of rocking her (while standing; we don’t have a rocker in her room), then I put her down and haven’t heard a peep from her yet. I am hopeful that things will continue to improve.

We’ll continue our current approach of putting her to bed in the crib, making a reasonable attempt at putting her back to sleep in the crib, but using the swing if it comes to that, and eventually we won’t have to use the swing at all — at least, that’s the hope! I’m also trying not to nurse her if she wakes up because she’s made it clear that she can go just fine overnight without eating. Now, there are exceptions to that — like if she’s giving actual hunger signs or if she’s frantic and otherwise inconsolable, but so far that hasn’t been the case. Mostly I just don’t want to restart the habit of waking up to eat if she really doesn’t need it. (But again, that sounds kind of mean, so I just want to reiterate that I will feed her if needed. It just won’t be my first go-to trick.)

Once we get this figured out, next up will be Operation: Ditch the Swaddle. But first things first, of course.


I love sleep

Friday, November 11, 2011

I’ve been very sleepy all week, to the point of almost falling asleep sitting at my desk at work while reading. (I swear the more sleep The Little Sis gets, the less I get!)

So it’s Friday night. The Little Sis has been asleep since 6:30 p.m. I sent out The Husband and The Big Sis after dinner to go to an indoor playground.

And I’m going to bed. At 8 p.m. Lame? Maybe. But I love sleep!


On the upswing

Monday, October 3, 2011

So here’s the rest of the story from Sunday night’s bedtime swing debacle.

We reached about 1 a.m. and The Little Sis was still awake. Not always necessarily crying or anything, but definitely not asleep. We’d been trying to get her to sleep for nearly five hours, and apparently that was our breaking point, as we started looking at swing prices online. The Husband had originally planned to call Fisher Price to see about getting a new motor head, but that was obviously going to entail even more of a delay and probably even more sleepless nights before it arrived.

Unacceptable.

In basically an act of desperation, he headed out to Walmart (and not just any Walmart, but the one we lovingly dub Crazy Walmart, as it’s crazier than a normal Walmart, if you can believe it) to see what swings they had there. He called me and said they had the Luv U Zoo cradle swing that was basically exactly like our aquarium swing (with the exception of it having an AC adapter, which is a major bonus because you can probably imagine how many batteries we went through with running the other swing all night long. Thankfully we had a gift card that cut the price in about half, and he came home and had the swing assembled by 2 a.m.

I re-swaddled The Little Sis, rocked her a little to get her sleepy again, and put her in the swing, holding my breath to see if she’d go to sleep. She was out for good within probably two minutes, and I immediately proclaimed my love for the swing and declared she was allowed to sleep in it as long as she wants, as long as she sleeps at night. If the swing is the key to our nighttime sleep success, then so be it!

It’s sort of frustrating that this is the second major baby item that has given out on us this time around (following the pump). So much for saving money by reusing baby gear. Granted, they have both been items that we’ve used heavily, which I’m sure has contributed to it, but still frustrating to scramble for replacements. At least I was able to get a pump from a friend for just the cost of shipping, and we should be able to sell the swing to recoup the out-of-pocket expense on that. Of course, last night, after trying to get The Little Sis to sleep for five hours without the swing, I would have paid major bucks for something — anything — that worked! Already it was money well spent.


Not in the swing of things

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Little Sis has been a great sleeper for a couple of weeks, giving us an average of 8 hours of consecutive sleep per night. The Big Sis slept in the swing until she was 8 weeks old, then we moved her to the crib successfully. I didn’t really have a specific plan for moving The Little Sis to the crib, but she needs to do better in the next month before she starts at daycare and needs to sleep in the crib there. They do have a swing there, but there are also 7 other babies vying for swing space, so it’s not always guaranteed she’ll have it available.

Unfortunately, the motor on our swing broke last night. We will contact Fisher Price tomorrow to see about getting a replacement, but in the meantime, we are without a swing that works. (There’s a drawback to a bigger age gap: Baby gear is older and more likely to give out. This is the second thing we’ve had give out, the first being the breast pump.) Since we will be traveling to Maine in two weeks and won’t have a swing available, I figured tonight might be as good a time as any to attempt the switch to the crib.

The first hour went great. She was all swaddled up, I nursed her, and she was pretty asleep when I moved her to the crib. She occasionally stirred but managed to stay asleep. But for the next hour and a half, she’d start crying, we’d try the pacifier and the crib aquarium sounds, and she’d settle a bit, but then a few minutes later we’d go through the same thing again. At that point we moved her to the defunct swing, pushing her manually, but every time the swing comes to a stop, she wakes herself up.

It’s been almost three hours since I tried putting her to bed the first time, and she might be asleep, but I’m not holding my breath that it’s going to be for long. I really don’t mind her sleeping in the swing at night if that’s what she needs for a bit longer, but I have no idea what we’re going to do in Maine where we’ll have only a pack ‘n play available. Her sleeping in bed with us isn’t a realistic option for a variety of reasons, so I picture her sleeping in our arms while we’re there, which isn’t exactly ideal. Of course, two weeks can be a world of difference for a baby, so I’m trying to stay optimistic about it, but after trying to get her to sleep tonight without the aid of a swing, I’m not so convinced.


Sleep and showers and such

Sunday, September 25, 2011

*On Friday night, The Little Sis slept for almost 10 consecutive hours (about 8:15 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Last night was about 9 (9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.). I’m then usually up with her for about 45 minutes to an hour, then put her back down for another 2 or 3 hours of sleep. Perhaps it’s not a fluke and she’s really at the point of sleeping well. I’d like to think some of it is things we’re doing to help encourage her to sleep at night, but I’m not naive enough to think that it’s JUST us, and I realize there’s some element of that just being her nature (with a healthy dose of “we got really lucky” in there). Whatever the reason, we are very appreciative.

*I’ve figured out how to make sure I get a shower each day: take it at night. Ever since getting the clearance to exercise again, I’ve done so each night, and then I take a shower right after, covering my bases in case I don’t get a chance to shower during the next day.

*As I mentioned, I’ve finally made the return to real exercise, and it feels good to do so. It’s always been a good stress outlet for me and a way to dedicate some time specifically for myself, and I’m glad to have that back now. I’m trying to make sure I do a variety of activities (generally some running and a rotation of DVDs) to ensure I don’t get burned out on any one thing.

*I took The Big Sis to see “Charlotte’s Web” at our local children’s theater yesterday. We continue to make sure she has good, quality alone time with each of us. Next up: She and The Husband will go see the touring Broadway musical “Beauty and the Beast” next weekend. While not my favorite story (Stockholm syndrome, anyone?), I’m a little jealous that she’ll have a Broadway musical she’s seen that I haven’t, but I’m also excited for her to see it. This is one of her favorite Disney movies (and as princesses go, I guess a book-loving one isn’t that bad), so I’m hoping she’s going to enjoy it.

*My pumping output has indeed been much better since acquiring this latest pump. I still hate pumping with a passion, but I know it’s just a short-term annoyance and there’s good reason to do it.

*The Little Sis has been a lot more smiley in the past few days, and I even managed to capture a smile on camera for the first time. (Stay tuned to Wordless Wednesday this coming week for the pic.)


This and that

Thursday, September 22, 2011

*We finally turned a corner with breastfeeding around four weeks, and things became greatly easier after that. The main thing was that my nipples were no longer nearly as sensitive, so feedings weren’t the torture they were before. I’m very glad we stuck with it and finally reached the point at which it’s much easier.

*The Little Sis slept for 8 consecutive hours last night (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.), and 8.5 hours the night before (9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.). I secretly love her just a tiny bit more for this. Now, granted, she’s still sleeping in the swing at night (and in my arms for naps — putting her down only serves to wake up her), so we’re not quite where we ultimately need to be with sleep, but we’ll get there.

*For a while I’ve suspected something was off with my pump, as I wasn’t getting nearly as much milk as I did last time. I began to think that maybe I just didn’t have an oversupply this time around, but then the suction started feeling less strong (though I questioned myself on that). When the rhythmic sucking of the pump starting having some “hiccups,” I knew something was off. However, not really knowing if that was the problem, I wasn’t too keen on dropping another $300 on a new pump. (Side note: It’s a shame that most insurance companies do not cover pumps as a medical expense unless the baby is premature. I suppose I have the choice to feed her formula, and I allegedly have the choice not to work, I guess, but it seems like insurance companies would be all over it considering all of the known health benefits of breast milk. Even just avoiding one or two trips to the doctor could pay for the pump on their end.) Thankfully a girl on my parenting board came to the rescue and offered to let me have her pump for just the cost of shipping it to me. I received it yesterday and I’ve used it only a couple times so far, but the output has been much better. (For example, I got about 2-3 ounces in a five-minute test after I’d been feeding The Little Sis all day long, compared to getting less than half an ounce yesterday morning when I was super full after not having fed her or pumped for about 6 hours.)

*I confirmed with The Daycare Director yesterday that we will indeed have a spot for The Little Sis when I return to work on Halloween. I was a little nervous about the timing of it and not having a space despite being assured that would be the case, so I’m relieved to find out all is well with that. Another younger sibling of a former student (he’s in kindergarten now) will also be starting on the same day. That will make at least four of the eight babies in the class younger siblings of current or former students. (Interestingly, all of them are girls.) No wonder it’s sometimes impossible to get into a daycare and they frequently maintain long waiting lists.

*I’m really enjoying my leave much more this time around. Not that I didn’t enjoy it with The Big Sis, but I remember being under a lot of stress and just counting the minutes until The Husband got home some days. I’m not sure if it’s the difference in baby or the difference in me — maybe both — but I’ve not really had any of those moments. I think I also feel less isolated from society this time around since I’m able to sit in the recliner in front of the laptop and keep in touch with the world via Facebook when I’m nursing. Last time I felt like a pretty boring person since all I had to talk about was baby poop and spit-up and other related things, but Facebook has allowed me to converse with a variety of actual adult humans, so I feel like my brain isn’t turning to mush. (Well, not any more mushy than Facebook itself makes it.)


Sick of it

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Didn’t mean to take a week away from blogging, but that’s what ended up happening. The Big Sis got a cough and chest congestion on Sunday night, and even though technically she didn’t have any fever or anything else to keep her home, I went ahead and had her stay with me on Monday so she could rest up and feel well for the rest of the week. I was unsure how it would go taking care of a sick Big Sis as well as The Little Sis, but it was just fine. (Of course, there may or may not have been much TV watching involved.) She was well enough to return to preschool on Tuesday, but then Tuesday evening I felt the initial sting of a cold and deteriorated quite quickly overnight on Tuesday with sinus pressure, sneezing, and a lot of head and chest congestion. My nervousness then turned to how I would survive Wednesday with being so sick myself while trying to take care of a newborn. I won’t say it was an easy day (I also somehow managed to take The Big Sis to the dentist that morning), but I pushed through and then went to bed early that night. I’ve steadily improved each day, and we were all able to attend The Big Sis’ field trip to the apple orchard yesterday, and we had a great time. Knock on wood, but so far The Husband and The Little Sis have managed to avoid getting this crud, though I suspect they’re not out of the woods quite yet.

Aside from The Sick, we’re doing quite well. The Little Sis fought going to sleep on Thursday night, so that was a frustrating time, but aside from that, she’s rocked the sleeping thing. I am currently writing this after getting up to feed her at 5 a.m. — after she was sleeping for nearly eight consecutive hours. Rock on, tiny girlfriend. I’ve just put her down again and I’m hoping for another three or four more from her (though two or three would be fine too).

On that note, it’s back to bed for this mama!


Close-up: The Little Sis

Monday, August 29, 2011

*The Little Sis is just wonderful. I think we’re going to keep her.

*On Friday night, she put in 5 1/2 hours of consecutive sleep, went right to sleep after her feeding, then got another 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I’m not expecting this all of the time, of course, but it’s nice to see.

*She really is a pretty good baby (knock on wood!). When she cries, she’s pretty loud, but generally she calms down once we fix what’s wrong (feed her, change her, etc.).

*She is very resistant to taking a pacifier and chooses to use me as a pacifier instead. Over the weekend I was able to get a pacifier in her mouth and she kept it there for maybe 5 minutes, and this happened a few times, so that was a success. (Usually I can’t even get it IN her mouth, and if I do accidentally, she makes a face that indicates she feels as though I dipped it in raw sewage.) I’d say she still refuses it from me about 90% of the time, though. (The Husband is a little more successful with it, but she still refuses it more often than not with him.)

*She is starting to have more moments of alert time, and she’s starting to notice things around the house, especially lights.

*The Little Sis does spit up, but it’s not very much at this point and it’s more likely to happen if I didn’t get a good burp from her after a feeding. The Big Sis had reflux, so I’m really hoping that’s not something we repeat this time around. What’s funny is that she’ll make noises that sound like she’s for sure spitting up, but nothing is there. But then when she does spit up? It just comes out unexpectedly, with no warning sign.

*Following in her sister’s footsteps, The Little Sis currently sleeps in the swing at night, swaddled in the Miracle Blanket. We’re practicing sleeping in other places for naps during the day, but I generally only get about 15 minutes of sleep out of her then. Still, that’s how we started with The Big Sis, and we eventually worked up to her sleeping in the crib overnight.

*A lot of people have asked me how it is being a second-time mom. I can definitely say that I’m more confident this time around. I still might not know what I’m doing at times — a lot of it is just such guesswork — but I think I know better the kinds of things I need to check and go down the list of possibilities faster. Also, I am forever thankful that my oldest is capable of doing most things for herself, though. That really does make most things much easier.

*I’m pretty sure The Little Sis has a blocked tear duct, which should be helped by squirting breast milk in her eye. That’s something I never thought I’d be doing ever. Check that one off the ol’ Bucket List. LOL

*We tried to give The Little Sis her first real bath last week. That was a pretty big FAIL. We got everything ready, put her in the warm water, she cried for a minute, I lathered up the sponge and started to wash her belly, then there was poop in the water. Abort! Abort! I got her out, The Husband went to clean the tub, then we tried again. Put her in the water, she cried for about 30 seconds, then more poop in the water. Abort! Abort! I declared that good enough and said, “Eh, babies don’t get THAT dirty.” We shall try again tonight.

*I love her little squeaks and coos.

*The Little Sis is still basically a little mini-me of The Big Sis, which is kind of freaky.

Next time will be Close-up: The Big Sis.


Eating my words

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You know, I should really know better than to jinx myself by telling multiple people that things are going well and we’re adjusting just fine, thanks. Because then it brings about a night like last night, where it’s the complete opposite of how things had been going. All day yesterday, The Little Sis was asking to eat quite frequently, so my first thoughts were either growth spurt or she just wants to use me as a pacifier (she’s not really taking the paci from me). Okay, fine, not a big deal. However, last night she also decided she wanted to sleep only after nursing, and only while still touching me, so I was largely unable to move her elsewhere after feeding her, which isn’t particularly conducive to me getting sleep. But then she kicked it up a notch overnight, somehow forgetting how to get her latch and waving her head around acting like there’s not a nipple right in front of her mouth, so hello, take it and drink! Then once she would latch on, she’d come off a few seconds later and pretend not to know what to do again, to the tune of doing this for a good five or ten minutes before each feeding — not a particularly fun treat for my still-sensitive nipples.

I thought this morning would be my redemption. The past two mornings, The Little Sis and I have said goodbye to The Husband and The Big Sis as they’ve left for work/school and then we’ve gone into the bedroom, laid on top of the covers, and she’s nursed and then dozed for two or three hours, allowing me to sleep as well. No such luck this morning. She kept acting like she’d never latched on before in her life, then pulling off when she finally did get it. I started dozing just a bit when the phone rang, with a reminder from the pediatrician about our appointment tomorrow. Repeat the whole latch confusion thing, and I finally began dozing again when the phone rang again, this time it was daycare telling me that The Big Sis’ shoe broke and I needed to bring her a new pair of shoes.

Are you freaking kidding me? I give up. No sleep for me today, apparently.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that somehow yesterday I mysteriously pulled a groin muscle despite the fact that 98% of my day was spent sitting in a recliner. (I suspect I overcompensated when briefly carrying the infant seat when picking up The Big Sis from school). Thankfully that feels mostly better today, but certainly didn’t contribute to any comfort overnight.

On a good note, I’ll have some cute pics for Wordless Wednesday later, if I don’t fall asleep getting them ready.


A whole new world

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve given an update just on Baby B, so I’ll focus today’s post on her.

*You know how dogs sometimes do this crazy run around the house, running at full speed from wall to wall for a few minutes just before settling down for some rest or sleep? (Well, our dog does that, at least. I can’t speak for all dogs.) Baby B has taken to doing this, as well, usually when she’s naked before a bath or before putting on her pajamas at night. As she runs at top speed from one end of the house to the other, she always proclaims, “I have to get my energy!” I’m working on breaking it to her that she means to say, “I have to get my energy OUT,” but it’s kind of cute that she thinks that’s how she gets her energy, by running around like that.

*Baby B has shown some signs lately of not wanting to be alone. For example, I’ll tell her that she can play on her new swingset in the backyard while I’m getting some things done around the house, and sometimes she’ll go out there without a problem, but sometimes she says she’s scared. I ask her why, and she always says eagerly (not in a scared way), “Because of the tornado!” Naturally, no amount of explaining tornado conditions — and why a tornado is very unlikely with a perfectly sunny sky — seem to settle down her imagination. (Generally we come up with some sort of compromise, that if she will go out there for five minutes, then one of us will come out there to spend time with her.) We are also working to make it so The Husband doesn’t have to stay in her room with her until she falls asleep at bedtime since she says she’s scared with one of us in there. Now, if staying in there involved 15 minutes of our time, no problem, but it takes two hours or more. It’s definitely a fine line between giving your child the comfort and reassurance they need and making sure these master manipulators don’t play you for a fool.

*Baby B is enjoying her new swingset and has really mastered getting herself started and pumping her legs to continue swinging without need us there for that. For whatever reason, this is something she couldn’t quite get on park swings, so it’s nice to see some development in that area. At parks, though, she still prefers the bucket swings because we’re able to push her super high, which just isn’t possible on regular swings without the fear of us pushing her out of her swing onto the ground. (And yes, that has happened. Multiple times.)

*The Husband has started to introduce Baby B to non-princess Disney movies such as The Sword in the Stone, The Black Cauldron, and Pete’s Dragon. Although they don’t have nearly the production quality that current movies have, that hasn’t bothered Baby B one bit and she’s enjoyed all of them — and has enjoyed asking all the new questions that arise.

*Speaking of movies, she was asking me about magic, like the kind that happens in movies. “Like in Shrek when Fiona turns into a yogurt.” “An ogre?” I clarified. “No, a yogurt.”

*Baby B is quite familiar with Disney songs, so I wasn’t surprised when she started singing along with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin when it came on during dinner last week. What did surprise me was when she started doing choreographed hand motions to the song. I thought, “Why in the world does she know something like that?” Then it dawned on me. Her class is preparing to do the preschool graduation program at the end of the month. I asked her, “Are you all doing that song for the preschool graduation?” She said they were. Listening to the lyrics in that context, I immediately started tearing up. And my kid isn’t even graduating from preschool this year!! I’m going to lose it next year, it seems! A whole new world indeed.

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
Now I’m in a whole new world with you

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world
Don’t you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath – it gets better
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me


Scrambled brain

Monday, March 28, 2011

The move to a Monday press day is overall a good thing, especially for spending time with my family, but it means that Mondays are now insanely busy and hectic, made even more so when certain co-workers don’t do their jobs in a timely manner, creating more of a time crunch for my part of the work. I’m beat.

**********

I’m curious to see if it’s confirmed on Thursday that I do indeed have an anterior placenta, as I feel very little movement at this point. Really just a few times a day I’ll feel something just barely long enough for me to think, “Hey, was that…?” and then it’s gone. Thank goodness for the doppler…and thank goodness for being able to borrow one this time instead of renting it; last time we had to return it earlier than I’d wanted because The Husband had been laid off and we had to cut out that unnecessary cost. I’m very thankful for that’s not the case this time around.

**********

Not the best timing (but is it ever?), but our dryer went out over the weekend. Not the kind of expense we want to be dealing with at this point. The Husband looked at a price list of parts, and with him guessing what we’ll need and going by the age of the dryer, it’s going to make more sense to just buy a new one instead of get it repaired. Thankfully we may have a friend of The Husband’s who is going to give us their unused dryer, as they have to clean out their storage unit next month anyway. As long as we’re able to find someone with a truck to help us get it, we might as well give that a try. Maybe it can help us get by in the interim until we have two full incomes again.

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We had originally pondered a trip to Disney World in May for our family, but for a variety of reasons did not follow through. (A major reason being the cost.) Since we weren’t doing that trip, I decided to surprise The Husband and Baby B with tickets to Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes over the weekend. (Yes, bought right before The Layoff.) I’m definitely glad I decided to do that, as both of them were very surprised by it, and we all had a great time. Sometimes, to a four-year-old, it doesn’t really matter that you can’t afford to do something as major as Disney World. Sometimes a two-hour show is just as good — maybe even better — in their eyes.

**********

Baby B will start swimming lessons again on Saturday morning. (Once again, paid for prior to The Layoff.) She will be repeating the same class she took in May 2010 (for ages 3-5), and I’m curious to see how much stronger she is this year compared to last year.

**********

I am still taking Zofran daily and Unisom and B6 at night. I threw up multiple times just over a week ago while on the meds, so I’m not too eager to try going off again. I may try again this weekend, though. Or bump down to 4 mg again to see how that goes.


The return of The Night Fairy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bedtime battles had reached an ear-shattering crecendo in the few months after Baby B turned three, and we got to the point where something had to give. With a feisty three-year-old, we had plenty of other battles on our hands at the time, so we temporarily shelved the bedtime battle, taking turns each night lying with Baby B until she fell asleep, even though that meant sometimes we were stuck in there for up to two hours as she tried to settle in.

Knowing that we couldn’t (or rather, didn’t want to) keep this up long term, the initial plan had been to break the habit by associating it with a big milestone instead of just randomly. So we had decided that when Baby B turned four, we would use that birthday as a reminder to her that four-year-olds don’t need their parents with them to go to sleep. We had not mentioned this plan yet to Baby B since it’s still three months away and I didn’t want to induce anxiety too soon about the upcoming change.

On Saturday, out of the blue (so much from three-year-olds is completely out of the blue), she asked me, “How come The Night Fairy doesn’t come here anymore?” We’d used The Night Fairy as a tool for getting her to stay in her room at the end of last year, but with the amplified three-year-old battles, that became a lost cause and she stopped coming to our house. I wasn’t intending to introduce the Night Fairy again, but I went with it.

I explained to her that for a while she’s had trouble going to sleep by herself, and The Night Fairy comes only when she doesn’t come out of her room and goes to sleep on her own, so she hadn’t been to our house in a while. She declared, “I want her to come again!” so I said that I would give The Night Fairy a call to see if she’d be willing to come back if Baby B did well at bedtime. I made this faux phone call in front of Baby B, who then listened to me explain the rules as told to me by The Night Fairy: At bedtime, she gets to read one story with both of us, then she’ll go potty and go back to her room to read one more story with one of us (alternating each night so we get some alone time with her), then she had to let us leave without any resistance and had to stay in her room the whole time until she finally fell asleep, even if it was really hard to fall asleep. I asked if she was willing to do that, and she said yes, though of course I was skeptical.

But I’ll be damned if she didn’t do perfectly on Saturday night. And Sunday night. And Monday night. Tuesday night she had two times where she called in The Husband for random, unnecessary things, but it was still a success, and on Wednesday night she was perfect. We can watch her on the video monitor, and she “reads” in her favorite storybook for a bit (translation: she analyzes all the illustrations in the book and concocts approximately 15,345,657,378 questions that she asks us next time), then tries to settle in to sleep. She has some tossing and turning, but you can tell she is trying so hard, and I’m so proud of her. We also get to observe some funny moments again as she does things like encourage The Dog to lie down “because if you don’t, then the Night Fairy won’t come to our house!”

I’m certainly not declaring the problem solved quite yet — in fact, I’ve probably jinxed it just by writing this! But it’s yet another reminder of a few key facts in parenting: Do what you have to do. Trust your instincts. And things always change — often for the better.


Brain dump

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just some updates/follow-ups from recent posts:

*I’m not ready to declare bedtime issues solved quite yet, but the past three nights have been MUCH better in that department. On Friday night, she came out of her room twice, both to ask for legitimate things (including socks since her feet were cold). Saturday night she went to sleep while The Husband was still in her room. (We thought she was getting sick, but at least as of this morning, she seems to have fought it off.) Then last night, she didn’t leave her room once. Since I couldn’t see her on the video monitor, I took a peek a little while later, after I knew she was asleep, and found her sleeping on the floor at the foot of her bed, right next to The Dog. This was the first night in probably a couple months (at least) that she hasn’t left her room at least once. We’ll continue to take our same approach and hopefully it’ll reinforce her boundaries, though I have no doubts that she’ll continue to test them.

*Big Buddy’s last day at daycare was on Wednesday, and I was glad to see her that evening when I picked up Baby B. I sat down on the floor and she sat in my lap, and I just wrapped my arms around her and held her tight. I stayed probably 15 minutes, then when it was time to go, Big Buddy didn’t want to get off my lap or let me get up, then she started clinging to my legs to keep me from walking to the door, which made me start tearing up a little. We’ll miss her.

*Looks like we’ve got another trip planned, this time for Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis. I’ve only driven through St. Louis once, so I’m looking forward to the chance to see and do some of what the city has to offer. I love playing tourist.

*At least in our presence, we haven’t had problems with Baby B using foul language learned from Potty Mouth. I’ve not been told of anything by her teachers, either, so here’s hoping that issue is on the back burner for now.

*Less than two weeks until my half marathon. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Bring it on.


Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the Baby B bite

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Age 3 is exactly like age 2. Except on steroids. And not in the good way.

Actually, overall, age 3 really isn’t that bad (though I know we have a long way to go). Probably 98% of the time she is super sweet, funny, cooperative, helpful, and everything else you could want in a three-year-old.

Then bedtime hits and she turns into a completely different child.

I should note that we’ve always been fortunate with sleeping. She slept through the night very early and always went to bed with ease. We’re very thankful that she still sleeps through the night (except those nights she wakes up to use the potty, but it takes approximately 2 minutes to take care of that and then she’s right back to sleep, if she even really woke up in the first place, so it’s a non-issue).

But, as three-year-olds are inclined to do, Baby B has decided to start testing us with bedtime, a time of day I used to look forward to, but now the thought of it fills me with dread. On a good night, she zonks out an hour after her bedtime, and on a bad night, up to three hours.

We take the general Positive Discipline approach of returning her to her room, attempting to do it without saying a word. I’ve since learned this is also a Supernanny technique, but I’ve never seen that show so I can’t really comment further on that. The thinking is to kindly and firmly (and calmly) return them to their rooms — even if it takes hundreds of times — so they can see the boundary you’ve set and that you’re going to stick to enforcing it.

Which all sounds good in theory, and for the most part we follow that. But it’s hard to ignore some of the stunts that she pulls (“No, you cannot hit The Dog in the head with your ball.”)

Some recent highlights:

*Two nights ago she took her two canvas totes, which are filled to the brim with stuffed animals, and emptied them, scattering the animals across nearly all of her floor. Then she came out of her room to say, “Come look at this! It’s a mess! YOU clean it up!” Um, no. I’m not cleaning it up. You messed it up, you can clean it up. Needless to say, a fit ensued at that bit of information. (I never did give in and clean it up for her, and she didn’t clean it that night. She did, however, help clean it up the next night.)

*The goal is to get her to walk back to bed on her own, but sometimes she fights this, so I have to pick her up and carry her. And I now have to carry her at arm’s length or else she will bite me.

*When I’m carrying her back to her room, I place her on the bed. Just as she’s about to touch the bed, she thrusts herself backwards to where she lands hard on the bed, sometimes even bonking her head on the wall. She then accuses me of either throwing her or pushing her onto the bed, neither of which is true, of course. Fit ensues because I “threw’ her.

*She’ll talk to herself, proclaiming how bad I am. “She’s not even listening to me! Is she going to listen to me? NOOOOO!” “I thought you were my FRIEND. I don’t want to be friends anymore! I swear I get visions of the kinds of things she’ll be crying in her room when she’s 12 or 13.

*My favorite is that she’s now locked me out of her room multiple times each night, which is unacceptable. I’ve tried to avoid doing it, but I think we may have to end up turning around the lock so she can’t lock us out. My hesitation is that I know I would then lock the door from the outside to prevent her from getting out, but I hate the idea of doing that because it’s just not very respectful of her.

*Last night she insisted on having her door open, which I did not want (as I knew it would provide more distractions for her). So we spent 15 minutes with her opening her door all the way and me standing there and closing it. And 15 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time for that, but when each cycle of actions takes about 5 to 10 seconds, that’s a long time.

So far what seems to work best (most of the time, at least) is to use The Dog. We normally let him stay in her room as she goes to sleep. Having The Dog in her room is not a right, but a privilege, so I have no problems taking that away when necessary. When we’ve had enough of the delay tactics, we give her one warning and the next time he has to come out of her room. (We’ve tried doing that from the beginning, but it’s not nearly as effective and she tends to blow her second chance very quickly.) Seeing as how she and The Dog are inseparable, this is not acceptable to her and she’s got more motivation to do as we say. We set a timer, usually for 5 minutes (but I’ve started increasing the time a little), and the rule is that she has to stay in her room until the timer buzzes, after which we let The Dog back in her room. If, at any point, she comes out of her room, the timer is adjusted and she has to start her waiting period all over again.

Last night, she asked for a snack out of the blue. I should mention that we have never given her a bedtime snack; since starting solids, she’s never eaten anything between dinner and breakfast. Never even milk. (Though she does have a cup of water available in her room.) Naturally, I assumed it was a new delay tactic and did not give her the snack. But she kept asking every once in a while and starting asking in a way that didn’t seem like she was trying to be manipulative. Then I reminded myself of what I’ve always said about her picky eating: If she’s hungry enough, she’ll let us know. So I reconsidered and got her some cheddar bunnies, which she ate pretty quickly. She asked for more, but I did put my foot down about that and told her that her belly might hurt when she was sleeping if she had too much to eat. She seemed satisfied with that answer, closed the door, and pretty much immediately went to sleep on the floor with The Dog. Oh, hrm. I guess she was hungry. (Or just needed to feel in control, and she was satisfied after I got her what she wanted. But I’m going to ignore that and pretend she was really just hungry and not manipulative.)

So, even though it’s still endlessly frustrating, I think it’s getting a little better. (Maybe?) Last night took her an hour to finally stop stalling and get to sleep, which is much better than the three hours she pulled one night last week. And honestly, I don’t even really care what time she goes to sleep. She can read in her room until midnight. Heck, she can play with her toys until midnight. I just don’t like the whole coming out of her room thing. After she goes to bed is my time. It’s my time to finish chores. It’s my time to catch up with friends on the computer. It’s my time to spend with The Husband. It’s my time to read. We don’t have that time anymore on the weekends now that she doesn’t nap, so bedtime is the time to myself that I don’t want to lose. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I get up at 4:15 a.m. to run or go to the gym. I HATE getting up that early, but now I don’t have to work out in the evenings, so I get that time back for doing other things.

And chasing a three-year-old back to her room for the 547th time is not one of those things I’d like to be doing.

It’s a good thing the other 98% of the time is beyond awesome.


Catching up

Monday, January 4, 2010

I had a nice little break from blogging over the rest of the New Year’s weekend, but since I’ve taken a step back, I feel like I’ve got so much to say now — yet can’t think of how to start! I’ll just start typing randomly and see where it gets me.

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One of Baby B’s favorite phrases right now is, “Don’t worry.” As in: “Don’t worry, I’ll feed The Dog.” Or: “Don’t worry, I won’t fall off the bed if I’m jumping.” Or: “Don’t worry, I’ll pick out my clothes.” I like to respond with, “Oh, don’t worry…I won’t worry.”

**********

It looks like Baby B really has dropped her naps for us on the weekends. She has napped one time for us since early November. She still does quiet time in her room, but I already miss the days of an uninterrupted nap. πŸ™‚

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Baby B has resisted bedtime at night lately, so The Husband built her a fort out of pillows and blankets on her bed, and she sleeps in there now (and often reads in there during her quiet time). I bet it’s even warmer in there for her, which comes in handy right now when we’re experiencing single-digit temps at night. We’ve never really done bedtime in a conventional manner (reading stories with her snuggling on our laps? ha! rocking her? not since she was a few months old), so why should this be any different?

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I’ve started reading Positive Discipline A-Z, and so far I think it’s a book that fits with our general philosophy and will give us good reminders as we delve into the preschool years. I’ll be picking up the version of the book targeted to preschooler behavior as soon as it’s returned to the library. I like that the approach encourages you to be firm but kind and to empower your children to make their own choices. One thing it brings up is that it’s not our job as parents to fix our child’s problem; it’s our job to give them the tools and skills needed to solve their problems on their own. I also like the approach’s view of timeout, which fits very well with how we use it — that it’s not a punishment but a means of taking a break from a situation so you can collect yourself and then deal with it more effectively. I’m also partial to the thinking that with tantrums, we don’t need to react to the tantrum itself (frustrating as that behavior may be) but instead focus on finding out the reason behind the tantrum and instead working on that. So far I’ve not read anything ground-breaking and it’s not going to turn our parenting approach completely upside-down, but it’s good to see something where we agree with most points and can use it as a reminder of things we could be doing better right now. I’m looking forward to reading the preschool-targeted book when it comes in.


Nap wrap?

Monday, November 30, 2009

As I mentioned last week, I was wondering if Baby B was dropping her nap on the weekends for us. When we were in Oklahoma, The Husband and I tried an experiment to see if she really didn’t need her naps. We decided we’d give her an opportunity to sleep if she was showing signs of being tired, but as long as she wasn’t, she was allowed to stay up and visit with her cousins. We basically felt like we didn’t want to ruin the short visit with a daily two- or three-hour struggle to get her to nap if she was doing okay without them.

The good news: She did great without a nap.

The bad news: She did great without a nap.

I think our approach on weekends will be this. We’ll institute a quiet time (need to come up with a catchy name for this to make it sound more appealing…any ideas?) that she spends in her room, and it’s up to her what she chooses to do during that time, but she must spend the time in her room. If she doesn’t sleep, no big deal. I suspect sometimes she will, other times she won’t. I just want to make sure we give her the opportunity just in case she still does need it.

My only concern is that without a nap, she’s not getting the amount of sleep that’s recommended for her age, which can start to affect things other than just mood. So we’ll just keep an eye on things and reassess our approach later if needed.

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Today ends NaBloPoMo, and I was once again successful!! Hooray!


Crap. No nap?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last weekend, Baby B nearly skipped both of her weekend naps. She played and read in her room, but didn’t go to sleep until really late, and thus didn’t sleep that long before we had to wake her up.

I thought the big reason was because she’d been away from daycare for two weeks, so she was out of her regular routine, and I was hoping that getting back on her regular routine would help. She napped fine this week at daycare, so I was hopeful this weekend would be good with naptime.

Not so much.

Yesterday she was in her room from 2 p.m. until we finally let her up at 5 p.m. because she wasn’t going to sleep. The Husband reported that she did not take a nap today, either.

Around age 4 seems to be when kids give up their nap on average, so I’m not ready to declare yet that she’s giving up her nap, but it’s not looking good based on the last few weekends.

Thing is, I’m not really freaking out about it; even if she doesn’t take a nap, we’re going to make sure she spends quiet time in her room to give her a chance to unwind. Even right now our basic theory is that as long as she stays in her room during naptime, we don’t care what she does. That is her time alone and that is our time alone.

Even when she doesn’t nap, she’s not extra grumpy or anything, and our efforts to make her actually sleep never succeed, so that’s what we’ve found works best for us. I find that, much like the food battle, the sleep battle is another that I’m not going to let myself get stressed over as long as she seems to be thriving and doing well.


Show me!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baby B was going through a separation anxiety thing a couple weeks ago at daycare where she didn’t want The Husband to leave when he dropped her off. He would always do what you “should” — say goodbye, but don’t draw it out, never sneaking out, etc. But she still had issues.

That is, until he started saying, “It’s time to show me out, Baby B!” She LOVES doing this. She gets a big smile on her face, holds his hand and walks him to the door, opens it, gives him a big hug and kiss, and then shuts the door for him and he leaves with no problems.

It’s been so successful that she’s started doing it at bedtime, too ( so that might be another idea for those of you with kids out of the crib who don’t want you to leave at bedtime). Baby B is so happy to show us out that she’ll do everything I listed above, then go right to her bed and tuck herself in (we watch her on the video monitor) or play with her baby dolls sitting on the futon for a few minutes before deciding to lie down and go to sleep.

I think it really plays to her desire to be independent and self-sufficient and gives her some control over the situation. We haven’t had separation issues at daycare since she started doing this, and bedtimes are so easy with this approach. (They weren’t hard before, other than her asking a couple times for us to stay [which we didn’t give in on], but this has made them even easier.)

I think it’s so sweet to see her do this. Every time she grabs my hand and walks me to the door after I said, “Baby B, show me out,” I have visions of taking her to school for her first day of kindergarten, with her eager to give me a kiss so she can rush to join those kids who will become her new friends. I know that so many of the things we’re doing now are preparing her for situations she’ll encounter in the future, and it’s times like these when I can’t help but think we’re doing a good job.


Crib notes

Monday, May 25, 2009

The end of an era is upon us. The end of the crib era (at least for Baby B).

Since she had been doing so well sleeping on the futon with apparently no desire to sleep in the crib since making the switch a month or so ago, we decided to try to take the crib out of her room this weekend. If she wasn’t cool with it, we’d leave it there.

I thought it would be important to have Baby B help us take down the crib so it wasn’t too drastic of a change. (Toddlers aren’t so big on the whole change thing, that much I know, if nothing else.) We let her get in there one last time, jumping up and down holding onto the front rail like she used to do with The Husband right before laying down. We took off the front rail and let her lie in it like a toddler bed (it does convert to a toddler bed and then a full-size bed, but for a variety of reasons, we decided not to do that), then put the mattress on the floor and let her lay on that.

A couple times in the process, she was unsure of what we were doing, despite being excited at first when we asked her if she wanted the crib out of her room. But she wasn’t having a freakout about it or anything, so we continued the process and explained things to her along the way. I vacuumed the room once the crib was down, and then we enlisted Baby B’s help again to move the futon to a slightly different spot in the room, closer to where the crib was. She was more than happy to jump up on the futon once it was in place to make sure all was well.

No problems at all with the first night in the cribless room. I really don’t feel sad or bittersweet about this change at all, either. Yes, she’s growing up — and very fast — but with each passing day, I can see success in my job as a parent. My duty is to prepare her for life as an independent, self-sufficient, kind, caring, well-adjusted young woman, and so far we’ve got a good beginning.

Last time in the crib:
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Where’s the crib?
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Futon in place:
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Seven minutes

Friday, May 8, 2009

On weekdays, The Husband gets up first, takes his shower, then goes to wake up Baby B. He brings her into our bedroom, where I’m still asleep and hitting the snooze button at seven-minute intervals, and he lies her down on the bed beside me. He takes his glasses off, climbs into the other side of the bed, and pulls the covers over all three of us. At this point, my alarm goes off yet another time, and we snuggle in for one last snooze cycle.

Sometimes she’ll snuggle up with me. Most of the time she snuggles up with The Husband. But either way, she’s still completely zonked out and enjoying the extra sleep in our bed between her two favorite people in the world. We’re very strict and have literally never let her sleep in our bed during the night, as that’s a habit we didn’t want to have to break down the road, though at wake-up time is our only exception. For the one snooze period each weekday, we get seven minutes together.

For those seven minutes, rushed schedules, battles of wills, and tummy issues aren’t in the picture.

For those seven minutes, nothing else in the world matters.

Those are the best seven minutes of my day.


And then what happened?

Monday, May 4, 2009

I’m kind of brain-dead from finishing one of our biggest issues of the year at work, so I don’t have much left in me to compose a coherent post from scratch, so I figured I’d update on a few things I’ve mentioned recently.

*Potty training: This has slowed down quite a bit, ever since Baby B’s cast came off. We’re not sweating it, as I’m sure part of it is because she has some newfound freedom without the cast and doesn’t want to waste it sitting down. πŸ™‚

*The post-cast era: Baby B still has a very, very tiny limp that I’m pretty sure that only I notice, so it seems like her recovery is going well. We have a final follow-up at the orthopedist a week from tomorrow to make sure things look good in their view.

*Ditching the crib: Baby B has not returned to her crib since she started sleeping on the futon a week ago, and even both naps this weekend were on the futon. When she doesn’t go to sleep immediately, so far she hasn’t gotten up from her futon and gone to play blocks (for example) or anything else. She’ll just stay on the futon and play with her baby dolls or read a book she has with her.

*Be polite: “Get out of my face” has morphed into, “Get out of my way.”

*Running/exercise: I’ve lost an additional ten pounds since the start of the year, so I’m very pleased about that. That brings my total to about 42 pounds. I’ve been doing the 30-Day Shred workout DVD most of the time, and now that the weather has gotten warmer, I’ve added in some running once or twice a week. I think I may do a 5K this coming Saturday, as long as the weather cooperates. No real goals or anything, just want to go out and have fun with it. (Who am I kidding? I’m sure I’ll have a time goal in mind, but the main point is to have fun.)


Video killed the audio monitor

Friday, May 1, 2009

I’ve liked the idea of a video monitor for a while now, but the fact that most video monitors on the market didn’t have a private digital signal made me uncomfortable. The thought of a neighbor intercepting the signal and watching my daughter (and the rest of us when we are in the room) was a bit unsettling to me, so a private digital signal was a must for me. At the time of our initial monitor purchase, Graco did have a digital video monitor available, but reviews on it were so-so, thus we chose to purchase an audio one instead. Every few months, I would check the latest monitors to see if a digital one because available AND got good reviews.

I checked again recently and was pleased to see a couple new options for digital video monitors that hadn’t been available previously. After some research, including reading a ton of customer reviews, The Husband and I decided to purchase the Summer Infant Best View Digital Video Baby Monitor. I knew it would be particularly useful once Baby B wasn’t sleeping in a crib any longer, but the main thing that sparked the purchase was the fear of her attempting to climb out of her crib with her cast on, which of course added additional weight and changed her center of balance, making climbing more dangerous.

I have to say that this week I’ve definitely come to be a fan of the digital video monitor with Baby B sleeping on the futon instead of in her crib. And The Husband even told me on the night that he had to put her to bed alone this week that he hadn’t been sold 100% on the video monitor before, but he was convinced this week that it was a good purchase. She makes all kinds of noises when she’s going to bed, and it’s nice to see if they’re normal noises that we can ignore or if it’s something more pressing that we need to intervene with. I hate the idea of checking on a minor disturbance and turning it into a major one.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the video monitor is a necessity and that I couldn’t live without like like many people say. But I will say it’s a nice luxury and I’m very glad we made the purchase. It’ll help keep our mind at ease some as she gains this new freedom of sleeping outside of her crib.


The girl who cried poop

Monday, April 20, 2009

I will start by saying that Baby B has gone to bed easily for as long as I can remember, and for that I am very thankful and it is not something I have ever taken for granted.

So I would call last night — when she was 100% awake and still muttering to her baby dolls as late as 10:15 p.m. when she’s usually asleep by 8:30 — a bit of a disaster.

The problem?

The Potty.

[sigh]

We’ve got this conundrum where we’re teaching her to use the potty, and so part of that is taking her when she tells us she needs to go. However, I think she’s started using this as a delay tactic at bedtime, and she’ll request to go after we’re well into the bedtime routine, even though she already went before putting on her pajamas. Sometimes she does pee or poop, other times she does nothing but still insist she has to.

So the mostly rhetorical question becomes: Do we let her go to the potty to continue encouraging that behavior at the risk of her using this as manipulation to avoid bedtime, or do we put our foot down and not allow it after a certain time to establish that this is bedtime only, at the risk of a regression in the potty-training process? It’s a difficult one. At this point, since she’s not fully trained, I feel like we do need to take her when she asks because we do need her to know what to do when she feels the urge. If she were fully trained, I wouldn’t be as hesitant about putting my foot down and saying she has to hold it. But at the same time, we can’t let her constantly ask to use the potty if it’s just to delay bedtime, as last night she had to use the potty THREE times during our bedtime routine (again, after going right before putting on pajamas…though she was productive each time).

Our approach so far is to take her to the potty, but give her a time limit (three minutes right now) that we count down, and if she doesn’t do anything in that time, then it’s back to bed. We don’t make it fun or appealing to be up; it’s her on the potty and us counting down, making sure she gets to the business at hand.

It’s a tough situation, deciding which of the issues is more important at the moment because by default one temporarily needs to take a bit of a backseat to the other, but of course they are both significant issues that we need to have control over as parents. And it’s not necessarily and either/or situation, but a matter of finding the best balance for teaching both of these lessons.


It’s a fact of life

Monday, February 9, 2009

You take the good,
You take the bad,
You take them both and there you have the facts of life.
The facts of life.

Let’s just say that it’s nearly impossible for an evening to turn out well when the high points are a report of no nap today from daycare and a 10-minute standoff (literally 10 minutes…I looked at the clock in the car) with your daughter face-down in the floor of the backseat, refusing to get into her car seat. And that was only just the beginning of our fine evening.

I love her so much. I do. I really do.

I cannot imagine life without her.

But if she doesn’t drive me insane by the time I’m 35, then it’s going to be quite miraculous!



Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is how bedtime songs went tonight:

Me: [singing] I had a little turtle…

Baby B: No turtle!

Me: [singing] His name was Tiny Tim.

Baby B: No turtle!

Me: [singing] I put him in the bathtub…

Baby B: No bath!

Me: [singing] To see if he could swim.

Baby B: No swim!

Me: [singing] He drank up all the water…

Baby B: No wah-wuh!

Me: [singing] He ate up all the soap.

Baby B: No soap bubbles!

Me: [singing] And now he’s stuck in bed…

Baby B: No bed!

Me: [singing] With a bubble in his throat.

Baby B: No soap bubbles!

Me: [singing] Bubble, bubble, bubble…

Baby B: No bubble!

Me: [singing] Bubble, bubble, bubble…

Baby B: No bubble!

Me: [singing] Bubble, bubble, bubble…

Baby B: No bubble!

Me: [singing] Bubble, bubble…POP!

Baby B: No pop!

Um, contrary much?


For sale Free to a good home

Friday, November 21, 2008

Item: 1 un-napped toddler. Almost 22 months old. Girl. Light brown hair, dark brown eyes. Up-to-date on all immunizations.

Standard features:

  • Cries for hours at a time after daycare for either no reason or at the slightest provocation
  • Wants nothing to do with Mama other than pushing her away and making her feel bad
  • Eats almost none of her dinner after you spent a lot of time to prepare it
  • None of the usual activities are acceptable to her in any way
  • Prefers Daddy, though is a grump for him too

Any takers?

(Deal not valid if my sweet toddler returns in the morning after a good night’s sleep.)


Where is her snooze button?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ha ha…it looks like I did irritate the sleep gods last night after my post! Baby B slept fine overnight, but we’re used to her sleeping until 9 a.m. on average (and 10 or 10:30 a.m. some recent weekends), so The Husband and I stayed up last night until about 1:30 a.m. (I was working on a Christmas project) because we figured we’d be able to sleep in. Turns out Baby B woke us up at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t want to go back to sleep. (We couldn’t be too upset. She had a dirty diaper, then ran straight to the kitchen and pointed at the counter for us to make her breakfast, so obviously she had a need to get up.) It ended up being fine and we got a few errands done before lunch that we wouldn’t have if we’d slept until 10, but it’s just funny that it came the morning after making that post. πŸ™‚ I know that 7:30 is still sleeping in for some kids (and really, it’s sleeping in compared to our usual weekday 6:30 a.m. wakeup call), but I’ve got my fingers crossed that we make it until at least 8 or 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. πŸ™‚ Perhaps I won’t be staying up until 1:30 a.m., however.


Probably not in the sleep training books

Friday, November 14, 2008

Most experts recommend doing a calm bedtime routine in order to make sure your child is properly prepared for going to sleep, and that was true for Baby B when she was a baby. But she hit toddlerhood and all the rules flew out the window; sleep experts would probably cringe at the pre-bedtime antics we’re up to each night. It may come back to bite us in the butt at some point, but it works for now, and so we go with it.

Bedtime consists of one of us reading stories while Baby B runs around the room doing various things. Sometimes she’ll pull out all of her towels and put them on top of the non-reading parent and make them go “night-night.” Sometimes she’ll go hide behind her crib and pop out to surprise us. Sometimes she’ll purposely get herself stuck behind the futon. Sometimes she’ll “wrestle” with the cat. Very rarely does bedtime involve her sitting calmly in our lap listening to the story being read. She’ll occasionally do that, but it’s pretty infrequent. It feels like a pretty foreign concept in our house.

Before she goes into her crib, we do what we call “upside-downies,” where we flip her upside-down, much to her delight as she squeals and giggles. Once she’s in her crib, I usually leave the room at that point, but The Husband stays in there with her, and she usually holds the side of the crib and jumps up and down in there. To watch this activity, you would swear there’s no way this child is going to sleep anytime soon. But every night, The Husband asks if she’s ready to go to sleep, and she lies down immediately, he covers her up and says goodnight, and he leaves the room and we don’t hear another peep from her. Sure enough, she’s asleep almost immediately.

I don’t see how she can go from extreme energy to being asleep in less than 2 minutes, but somehow she’s mastered it. Even though she was a horrible napper until she hit 11 months, overall we’ve been VERY lucky with her sleep, especially her nighttime sleep, so she’s probably just a freak of nature in that regard. I think some of it was things we did to help encourage/teach her, but I also recognize that some of it was just built into her, so we can’t take full credit. I just want to tell the kid sleep gods that I don’t take that for granted one bit and we don’t need a lesson to put us in our places whenever mythical child #2 is in the picture. Hear that, sleep gods? Are you listening?