Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sleep Diaries: Two Steps Forward

After that relapse described in my last post, sleep has been decent with some breakthroughs here and there. Bedtimes have returned to being pleasant. There has been an off night here or there... but then last night...

2/27/2013 I had test I had to take. It started at 5:30, so I went there right after work. I did not know how long it would last but was guessing an hour, and that I would be able to do it faster than that. Well. I couldn't, and it was long, and I did not get home until 7:30pm, 30-45 minutes after Benjamin's normal "lights out". I walked in to DH sitting on the laptop. Benjamin had gone to bed with no problem, even with my absents, even without breastfeeding! This is very exciting and makes me much more comfortable about my scheduled trip in April.

Benjamin woke up at 9:20pm and I fed him then, and he went right back down, no problem (which is usual). I told DH at that time that I wanted to work on pushing out the feedings to five hours (we have been at four hours for quite some time), and that therefore I was planning on not feeding him until hopefully 2am.

We went to bed a bit early, I was asleep by 10:30pm. The next thing I know, its 4am and DH is up changing the alarm clock, not a peep from Benjamin. I go back to sleep, Benjamin finally wakes up around 5:15am and I feed him, he goes back to sleep until 6:15am and gets up like normal.

Thats right folks, SEVEN HOURS. Please please please let this become a pattern.....

2/28/2013 One thing I forgot to mention, he has been napping horribly at daycare. I am not sure how much of it is him refusing and how much is the daycare folks not trying. Who knows. I am giving it a few days before I speak to them about it, especially in light of last nights successes. Anyways, a little funny thing happened at bedtime. I will remind you of the routine. Change him into Pajamas, lotion him up, and head upstairs. Then we read/play in his room for a bit. Then we tell him its time to turn on the projector. We let him press the button to turn it on (up on top of a shelf), and then we let him turn the light switch off. I feed him and then let him do what he wants while the projector plays, but encourage him to do calm things, like sit on my lap and rock, listen to me talk, hug stuffed animals, or even cuddle on the floor. He was on my lap reading a book when he asked to be put down. I put him on the floor, and he went to sleep. LOL. Normally he wants down because he does NOT want to calm down yet and is going to find a toy, but tonight he wanted down because he wanted to get busy sleeping on his stomach, and he was not comfortable on my lap on his back. It was pretty awesome. I am hoping he repeats last night. If he does, I will expect him to wake up around 2am to eat, and then sleep again until we get up! Cross your fingers....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day

Today was President's Day. It made for a goofy schedule. DH stayed home with DS in the morning, and of course I was working from home.

I like working from home. I like it even more when DS is here being watched by someone else and wonders in from time to time to give mama a hug.

Halfway through the day, DH took DS to my parents house to be babysat so he could work the afternoon. It was a productive work afternoon but very relaxed. Work in general was just very focused and quiet. It was nice.

In the evening, we met my family at Buffalo Wild Wings for a charity dinner. It was a lot of fun.

I am not sure why I am telling you this. Because I feel like posting and am not sure what to post about? Because it was just a nice relaxed day, but my head is going 1 million miles a minute anyways?

Hmm. I don't know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sleep Diaries: One Step Back

I think the saying goes "You don't realize what you got until its gone".

Except what I am talking about is the opposite of that. You don't realize how bad something was until it gets better.

And then worse again.

Where did I leave off? Last time I posted he had been sleeping well, up every 4 hours or so, easy bedtimes, besides some issues with a stuffy nose. I know it has not been that long. Two weeks with better sleep maybe? Maybe three.

Then, the last 2-3 nights, waking more. Longer bedtimes.

February 11th - He took awhile to go down. Overnight I totally failed at night weaning. I was tired and not paying attention until it was too late. As in, I got up because he woke up, and fed him, then looked at the clock and realized it had only been 2 hours. He was up and eating every 2-3 hrs. Total regression.

February 12th - Bedtime was longer again, but not horrible. He at again at 10:30pm, which is normal. Then he got up at 1am. I was very conscious of night weaning and did not want to feed him. 1-2am I slept in his chair occasionally getting up to comfort him while he whined and did not quite go all the way back to sleep. 2am DH took over. Changed hid diaper and again tried to put him down. 2:30 I fed him and he went down finally. I hope its worth it in the long run.

February 13th - Bedtime was not fun tonight. He would NOT let me leave the room. A week ago, I could leave the room right after I put him in the crib without hiding it, and he would self soothe to sleep. Tonight he could seem very asleep and wake up screaming at the slightest sound of me leaving.

The overnight issues, plus the poor bedtime tonight, made me realize something. It sucks. It is draining. I don't know how to say this without sounding foolish...

When Benjamin's sleep was bad, my basic schedule was to put him down for bed, and then come downstairs and veg out on the computer for 2 hours, and then go to bed myself. I did not do any housework. I did not do anything creative. I did not do anything productive online. I did not interact with DH more than minimally. I really did not want to call people or do anything. In the last few weeks that changed. I was doing more house work, getting things done, doing stuff with DH more, spending less time senselessly browsing the interwebs, I was just generally in a better mood. I did not associate this with the better sleep.

Until tonight, when he would not go down. And then  remembered/realized just how DRAINING a bedtime fight is. It just sucked the life out of me tonight and I have been vegging on the computer ever since.

So, Benjamin, if you could please go back to sleeping decently, and not fighting bedtime, so I can go back to being not totally emotionally and physically drained in the evenings, that would be great.


(PS: on the positive side, since I finally managed to sneak out of his room at 7:50pm, he has not been awake again. Maybe tonight will go OK? *crosses fingers*)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two Good Movies

DH and I watched two good movies already this weekend.

Last night we watched Seven Psychopaths. I had never heard of it, but DH had. Neither of us really knew what to expect. As it turns out. it was quite good. It had moments that had me squawking with laughter, and other moments that really got both of us thinking. It tells the story of a guy who is trying to write a screenplay about  seven psychopaths. His movie intertwines with his real life and you can almost feel the direction the movie wants to take. It is the kind of movie where the characters spend a lot of time talking about it as if it is a movie. It is not for the faint of heart, as the name suggests contains significant violence, but not of the normal variety I would say.

Then, this morning while Benjamin was down for his morning nap we turned on Beasts of the Southern Wild, and so Oscar season begins! It is up for many awards, and I can see why. This tells the story of a little girl who is living with her ill father in a bayou community faced with flooding. It really got the wheels turning in my head both about America and about how we define a good life. Is a long life automatically better? Are their joys as well as miseries that our "modern conveniences" keep us from experience? Have we disconnected with reality of life and death?

Quite the good picks after last weeks disastrous viewing of Cosmopolis, which no one should bother seeing.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Snow Baby

Last weekend we finally found Benjamin shoes. We had issues finding size four shoes with hard souls for him to walk outside in. I am not sure why! Now he has a spiffy pair of grey, orange and lime green tennis shoes. He loves walking in them! Now that he has shoes that are made for walking (his previous boots kept his feet warm but were NOT made for walking), I have been letting him walk in and out of daycare. It is crazy adorable.

The Up-Down Game - Sometimes he is more interested in vocabulary than walking. He will ask for "up" and then after I walk a foot or two day "Da da da" and kick his legs. The thing is, he says "da" for everything. So I ask "do you want down?" and he laughs/smiles/wiggles and I put him down. 2 feet later its "up". Tonight I asked if he wanted down and he said "Daod" ... we are getting there maybe?

Face Plant - Tonight when we were walking out he wanted to touch the snow. He was trying to lean forward/crouch to touch it and he totally lost his balance and face planted into the snow. I was ready for waterworks, but he did not even whimper. He lifted his head and licked the snow off his bottom lip... and proceeded to try and grab more. He kept sitting down after that to try and grab snow!

Now that he is more into exploring snow, and better at standing/walking with something attached to his feet, I am looking forward to trying sledding and skating a second time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

13 Months

This month has felt like years. DH and I agree. I have no idea why! Maybe because Benjamin is changing so fast, so there is NO WAY that his birthday was only a month ago. But its more than that! It could be because we were sick, because we were both busy with work... I really do not know.

So, a bit about the boy at 13 months, now that we made it here.

He walks, he runs, he climbs. He stands on his rocking chair. Yes, he does. Pretty incredible.

He likes to stir. He will take any bowl like container and a spoon and just walk around pretending to stir it. Occasionally I show him how to pretend to feed his doll, but mostly he just stirs.

He likes to read books. He LOVES to read books. Right now his favorites are Baby's First 100 Words, Jemima Puddle Duck (a sound book), Pride and Prejudice Counting Book, and anything that has flaps or pieces for him to move. He will look at them on his own. If he wants you to read it he will bring it over to where you are sitting and turn around and back into you, trying to sit on your lap (or if you are on the couch waiting to be pulled up onto your lap. It is adorable.

We have been working on hugs. DH calls them "wrap ups". Sometimes Benjamin will go around and find all the hugable things in the room (his doll, stuffed animals etc) and hug them all in turn, or give them to one of us to hug. He likes it when he hugs a teddy bear while we hug him.

Sleep has been going much better. I won't post much about it because you see it in the sleep diaries.

His comprehension of what we say is mind boggling. Its so cool to have him actually understand us when we say things like "Lets go upstairs" "Sit down" "lets put on your shoes" "Go get your X" (teddy bear, cup, pacifier, block, ball, etc).

His vocabulary is still pretty much "Up", "more" and occasional attempts at other noises. I really am pushing for Mama... but no luck yet. He can make the sounds, but he does not use it to refer to me yet. He has tried to say other words like "out" "eye" "bear" and many others.

He eats like a champ, pretty much anything we give him. He still loves Pizza. His latest favorite food is oranges. He chugs whole milk like its going out of style. I still breastfeed him in the evenings and nights. He tries to use his fork some, but also just bangs his fork a lot.

He likes to chase the cats and try to tackle them.
He makes us laugh ALL the time.

We just love him!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sleep Diaries: Weekend Flexing

One of the hard things about setting a sleep schedule is that its hard to be able to sleep in on weekends or do stuff in the evenings. I have heard horror stories about over tired babies going beserk when kept out past bedtime.

So I was cautious about "changing things up" when Benjamin's sleep had been going pretty well. But we needed some social time that was not dominated by baby. So, Friday night we decided to stay later than normal at my parents. We go over their for dinner quite frequently (averaging about once a week I would say), but normally we leave their house by 6:45pm. Benjamin goes to sleep in the car on the way home, and usually stays asleep as we transfer him to the crib (if not we do a normal bedtime routine). But we wanted to stay later than 6:45pm, so we decided to plan on doing bedtime their. We used to do this all the time. I mean, we lived with them until Benjamin was 6m old. When we moved out it seemed perfectly normal to go over there for a family BBQ or whatever and put Benjamin to sleep in one of the spare bedrooms. We even keep our PNP there are a crib now. But, as his bedtime got harder, we stopped doing it. With bedtime better, I thought we might give it another try.

February 1st 2013
Dinner was a bit late, so as the adults sat around finishing up dinner and talking, Benjamin was playing with magnets on the fridge, and I realized it was already 6:55pm! We gave him a bath and then started the normal bedtime routine as best as we could construct it in their guest bedroom. I had brought - a polar fleece blanket, his projector, the baby monitor, the seahorse, and a handful of pacifiers. I turned on the projector and fed him. (BTW, this is our projector, I know someone asked about what kind we have. We got it on big sale on Cyber Monday. It is fine for our purposes, I am actually shocked by how much he likes it give how simple it is). ANYWAYS. I did the projector and fed him, then when the projector finished, put him in the PNP (on the polarfleece) with his pacifier and seahorse. It did take longer than normal. I played the seahorse three times, but that is really only 15 minutes, so no biggie. He went down and stayed down throughout the evening, giving DH and I a chance to play some board games, hang out and have fun. When it came time to move him it went a lot better then expected. In fact he pretty much did not wake up at all, either when being put in the car, or being taken out of it and transferred to his crib. The rest of the night went smoothly.

February 2nd 2013 (Saturday) - He slept amazing! Napping etc was normal during the day. Over night he slept 7-10:45, 10:45-4:45, and 4:45 to 7. That is pretty darn good. He has been waking up at 7 or 7:20 on weekend. During the week we have to get him up at around 6:20am. I wish we could let him sleep in everyday!

February 3td 2013 (Sunday) - He would just NOT go down for his morning nap, so we through him in the car to go grocery shopping. He of course fell asleep right away. The weird part was he did not wake up when we got to the store! I carried him in fast asleep, when we laid him in the shopping cart. He slept the entire trip, including the car ride home. Pretty crazy that he slept through it all! In the afternoon, I made sure to put him down for a nap nice and early so  we could go to my brother's puppy bowl party. It went fine. He did wake up one extra time overnight compared to what has become "normal" (i.e. he ate at 11 and then woke up at 12:45, I love that that is no longer normal!). I think he probably woke up due to the stuffy nose.

February 4th 2013 - He did not nap well at daycare today, and we put him to bed a bit early.  I expect he will be waking up a couple extra times tonight for the same reasons as last night - stuffy nose.