Tag Archives: sleep

Welcoming Baby Z: Coming Home!

Before arriving home, Tim and I only thought we were prepared for what life would be like with a newborn. But we were so wrong! 
It’s been much, much better! 
My Recovery
With the Little Man, I had to recover from a 4th degree tear. I spent the first few nights at home sleeping in a recliner in the living room because I wasn’t able to lift my body into our bed or get out of it to be able to nurse or change his diaper. Tim suffered beside me by sleeping on the couch and helping me at all hours with what he could so I didn’t have to move. 

I’m pretty sure I took pain medication for about 2 weeks, and it was at least 4 weeks before I was feeling back to normal. 

With this birth, I was feeling like myself the day we arrived home! Although I was slightly sore, I was down to only 2 hydrocodone a day, and was doing laundry that night. I’ve been sleeping in my own bed the whole time, and have actually managed to sleep at night. 

Baby Z is now 8 days old, and while we’ve been home we’ve gone out to eat, purchased a car, and made a trip to the mall. I’m even off my pain medication with the exception of a pill that helps with the cramping. I’m still “suffering” from a small side effect no one warned me about after a C-Section; swelling. For 5 days my feet have looked like an elephant’s, which has been great entertainment for my husband. But even now, they’re starting to go back to normal.

Unlike with the first, we actually might remember a lot of this experience and it won’t be all a blur of bad memories! 

What We’re Doing Different
Adjusting to being a family of 4 hasn’t been easy. Tim and I have basically split up parenting duties. He’s taking care of the Little Man while I take care of the baby. Of course, I’m feeling some slight guilt with this arrangement because I miss hanging out with my little guy. (But now I know how my husband feels working 5 days a week and missing out on all of the things he’s doing.) We try and switch it up when we can, but Baby Z is basically eating every 2-3 hours which means he’s sort of attached to me. 

Which brings me to our other change. . . we’re trying the co-sleeping arrangement for a week or so until he gets adjusted; something we never did with our first. This child must be addicted to my smell because he knows the minute he’s away from me! He’s also had some terrible tummy issues and gas (our fault) which has made swaddling really uncomfortable for him. 

So, since his birth, he’s spent most lights laying next to me or on me while we’ve gotten some much needed sleep. Right now because of the co-sleeping he’s only waking up every 3 1/2 – 4 hours for a feeding, and then sleeps the rest of the time. 

Being a Big Brother
The Little Man has adjusted REALLY well to being a big brother. He comes running into our room each morning to give his brother a kiss and hug. He just wants to touch and look at him whenever he can. 

I was prepared for him to be resentful and stand-offish, but he’s been anything but. We were even surprised when we brought him to the baby’s first doctor’s appointment, and he got very protective when the doctor was doing his exam. He does not want anyone hurting him! 
And that’s it! 

We’re now a family of 4, and adjusting to our new life! 
Stay tuned to this blog for more adventures to come! 

Wrapping Up November

It’s been awhile since I’ve just talked about my family in a blog post, but since this is what I’m especially thankful for this month, I thought it might be fun to do a little update on where we are and what we’ve been doing in the month of November. 

There’s been a lot of growth (not just in my belly!) and I want to make sure to write about all the changes before they become a distant memory. 

I’ve already shared with you some of the extracurricular activities we’ve been doing such as Ice at the Gaylord Texan with Chevy and our Austin weekend away, but what I haven’t told you too much about is what we’ve been doing at home. 
Sleep Training . . . Again!
Over the last few weeks, we’ve had some major projects get underway. We’ve almost completed the Little Man’s “Big Boy Room” with the exception of the closet, but he’s officially moved out of the nursery and is now a full time resident in his toddler room. 

Last Tuesday, we went cold turkey and he hasn’t been back to his crib since except for one brief nap on Thanksgiving day. His first night wasn’t as horrible as I’d been imagining it would be. It took almost 2 hours to get him to fall asleep. No crying. No fussing. Just running around and exploring with lots of reinforcement to get back into bed. Then he slept until almost 7:30 the next morning; almost 30 minutes later than normal! 

I wish I could say the next few nights were just as amazing, but thanks to a terrible cold, we spent 2-3 nights with him waking up while we helped him back to sleep. Then he’d be awake the following morning anywhere from 5:30-6:15am. 

It hasn’t been until recently that he’s gotten some relief from the cold and is once again sleeping through the night. We’ve got bedtime down and we’re back to the old routine. Nap times are still work, but he’s at least now sleeping in his bed! 

If we could only get him to wake up after 6:30am on average, I’d be much happier. But I guess I’ll take what I’m given!
Sporting the ‘stach for Movember.
(Donate to Tim’s cause here!)
A Joint Thanksgiving
This year, we were technically with my family for Thanksgiving, but since my family and Tim’s family all live within a half mile of each other, we decided to plan a joint Thanksgiving for everyone who was available; which ended up being. . .everyone! 

We hosted all of Tim’s family (Dad, Mom, 2 Brothers, & a Sister-In-Law) plus my family (Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister-in-Law and my Grandma). 

It was a Thanksgiving feast if you ever saw one!

There were 3 types of turkeys; fried, smoked, and baked. Over 6 different sides. 3 types of desserts. Rolls, Pumpkin Muffins, you name it. . .we had it! 
And since Tim and I were the hosts, we had the privilege of assigning seats. So we came up with the perfect table combinations. . . 
The Kids’ Table
The Grandparents’ Table
(+ Grandchild/Great-Grandchild for entertainment!)
At the end of the day, we went outside to take some impromptu pictures, and were able to witness the Little Man’s first rainbowThis was sort of a neat time for us as parents since his current favorite book is a pop-up version of Noah’s Ark.  

He’s read all about rainbows for awhile, and was finally able to see his first one! 

I’ve mentioned this before, but my sister-in-law and I are exactly 4 weeks a part in our pregnancies (to the day), so we captured some shots of us for our baby books. I’m at 32 weeks, and she’s at 36 weeks. 

And if you can’t tell from the belly difference, she IS expecting twins. I am not! :) 
The Little Man’s Milestones
I also haven’t shared much about his growth lately, but over the last month, my baby boy no longer seems to be a baby. From about 17-20 months, it didn’t seem like he was having major changes in his personality or in his learning, but over the last few weeks, it seems like he’s just exploded with changes! 

Here are just a few of the differences I’ve noticed:
  • He randomly came home one day from Mother’s Day Out and started going in circles. It took me a minute to realize what was going on, but he was shouting “Posey” as he ran. Since then, “Ring Around the Rosy” has been his favorite activity. 
  • Just this week, he asked for a tissue and actually blew his nose! We’ve come a long way since using the nose bulb! 
  • Every object has become attached to a person. It can’t just be a “mixer,” but “Mommy’s”. 
  • Then, literally overnight a few weeks ago, he began putting the words together. “Mommy and Daddy’s,” “Mommy’s Car,” “Daddy’s bed,” “red truck,” “hot air balloon,” etc.
  • THEN the next week came broken sentences. Me: “What are you doing?” LM: “Standing on a box.” And it’s been chatter ever since! 
  • He’s currently in love with all of his stuffed animals. I think it’s just a comfort as he transitions rooms, but he currently sleeps with a penguin, Lucy the pug, Brobie, Elmo, Clifford, Cookie Monster (the side of a pillow!), and a lovey. He’ll go looking if one is missing! 
As I said, we’ve got several project underway. From making the nursery transition from toddler to infant again to converting our office into a functioning playroom, you’ll start to see several home improvement posts pop up during the month of December as “nesting” turns into panic. 

With less than 7 weeks to go until we become a family of 4, 
I’m trying to cherish every moment! 

How’s your family doing this November? 

When the Lights Go Out

One of the biggest struggles with blogging is whether to keep my posts real without sounding too much like a “Debbie Downer.” I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who only showed one side and made you jealous or envious of the life I live because let’s be honest, there’s not a lot to be jealous or envious of. Instead I wanted to show you the raw side of being a mom. Not as raw as Jenny McCarthy might reveal, but, nonetheless, honest. 

Lately, I’ve found myself uninspired to write. When I sit down to type about what’s going on in my household, all that comes to my mind is hopelessness and negativity. And who wants to hear that? So, I simply leave Blogger, and move on over to Pinterest to try and drown my worries and frustrations in DIY design tips and ideas.

It occurred to me today that by not blogging, I’m letting myself down. I was so good in the beginning about sharing the positive with the negative, but lately, all I’ve wanted to do is show the positive. 

Is that real life? No. 

So instead of trying to keep up with appearances, I’m going to let it all out. Bare with me if you’re a happy person and hate to hear negativity. I promise I won’t do it often.

Since we came back from New York, the Little Man just hasn’t been the same. Although I’ve been told he had trouble sleeping in the Pack ‘n Plays set up at our parents’ homes, he didn’t ever experience any anxieties or attachment issues with us being gone. Since we’ve been back and life has been more stable, it seems like he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

His sleep patterns and eating habits were the first thing I noticed that seemed to have changed.  He’s always been a great eater with the exception of teething. So when I noticed he wasn’t eating as much, I naturally assumed he was beginning to get his 2 year molars early. This wouldn’t have been a shock to me considering he’s been an early budder with all of his teeth; however, when I started paying closer attention, I noticed a lot of the other teething symptoms weren’t appearing. There wasn’t swelling, excessive drooling, or biting. I figured he must just be going through a phase. 

The next unexpected change came literally overnight at bedtime. Normally we’ll give him a small glass of milk while Tim reads a bedtime book to him. Once he finishes, he goes right to sleep without any issues and will sleep until 6:30 or 7 the next morning. One night while Tim was getting ready to read his book, he started freaking out about going near his room. He refused any of his milk, and when we tried to put him down he started getting hysterical. When he finally did fall asleep, it was almost an hour later than his bedtime, and we were completely exhausted from all the comforting. 

We thought it was just a one time thing, but he was up bright and early at 6 the next morning. Usually, whenever he wakes up early, I’ll give him a little milk to help him go back to sleep and he’ll almost always get another good hour or two in before officially waking up. But this morning, when he finished his milk, he went ballistic. Almost like he was afraid to be in his bed! 

This continued at nap time, and for the next few days with each bedtime. Nap times slowly became easier on Sunday, but there’s been a few times since then I’ve had to completely wear him out before even going near his crib without crying. Bedtimes haven’t been easy; especially when I tried to go out on Monday night for Book Club. Even though I tried to sneak out at dinner time, he heard me open the garage and started screaming for me. Around 9:30pm, Tim texted me and said he was still awake and had been basically crying for me the whole night. It took 3 tries to get him to bed, and even then it ended in tears before he finally fell asleep. 

Thankfully, last night was a good night, but he was up at 6:30 this morning, 5:40 yesterday morning, and 6 the last 3 mornings before that. It’s been iffy whether he’ll even go back to sleep and when he does wake up, he’s in a terrible mood. 

In general, he no longer wants Tim to hold him unless I’m within eyesight, and if he even thinks I might be leaving, he’ll attach himself to my leg afraid to let go unless he’s extremely distracted. 

I don’t know if it’s separation anxiety or just a toddler stage. I’m not sure if the sleep problems and eating problems are related to separation anxiety or something completely different like teething or growing or who knows what else. My first instinct would be to assume that he was afraid of us leaving again, but he had a few great days once we were back at home before all this commotion started going on. 

I’ve read when some toddlers begin acting this way towards their cribs it’s because they’re ready to transition into different beds, but at 17 months, this seems too soon. 

Fortunately, we’re not traveling anytime in the near or distance future, so hopefully his worries of us leaving for a long time will go away if that’s what this is; however, he starts Mother’s Day Out next week and MOPS the week after that and I’m nervous he’s going to meltdown. 

So, this is what’s been on my brain the last few weeks. Life hasn’t been easy in our house, and it makes everything that much more stressful. I’m hoping there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but right now I can’t see it. 

Molars, I Surrender!

For the last few days, I’ve been covered in snot and drool. 

There are tissues thrown about our house like confetti.

Sounds of moaning and crying fill the house at 5:30 in the morning.

. . .and no, it’s not me!

The poor guy has been working on more teeth since he was 9 months old. He still has just the 8, and the way he’s acting I’m guessing we’ll wake up one day and there will be 4 more. I assumed before his 1 year molars came in that some of the teeth on the sides would show up, but maybe not. 

Here’s to hoping the suffering will end soon. . .for all of us!

Do Over?

If there were ever a day to have a redo, today would be that day. 

It started off really well. 
Everything was going to schedule, and the Little Man was in a pretty decent mood.

We registered for Mother’s Day Out, and headed straight to Baby Boot Camp
We had a great workout, and even had time to play afterwards. 

(Maybe I should have come home sooner.)

The bottle before nap was downed, and he went out fast! 

Unfortunately (but happily!) only an hour later, we were headed out the door to have lunch with some MoPS friends at a new restaurant around the corner. 

Everything looked promising! 
The waiter was kid-friendly, and he loved entertaining our kids. 
And then, every mom’s worst nightmare. 

The waiter took FOREVER. 

By the time we’d finished our meal, an hour and 45 minutes had passed. 
If you’ve ever taken a child to a restaurant, then you know you have about an hour at the most before everything starts to go downhill. 

(The company and the food was amazing by the way, but I’d be nervous to go back with a little one.)

By the time I returned home, I had less than 2 hours before I had to head back out the door again to take Bailey to the vet. In hindsight, I’d wished I’d put him down as soon as I got home, but I mistakenly thought he’d be fine with a late nap. 

And I think he would have if we’d gotten home on time as planned. 

I arrived at the vet around 4pm, and I watched as the clock kept ticking away. 
Thanks to the guy in the next room who spent 45 minutes asking the same questions over and over, I had an over-energetic dog and a very annoyed baby. 

We didn’t make it home until almost 5pm, and trying to get the Little Man to take a nap that late in the afternoon was wishful thinking. 

So, for 2 hours I attempted to entertain a food throwing, temper tantrum, whining 11 month old.

And what do you do when you run out of ways to entertain?

Draw a bath. 

 Like magic, this Little Devil was washed clean and transformed into a Little Angel. 

And at the end of the day, we sat down in the rocker, pulled out Goodnight Moon, and as he gently rested his head on my shoulder and listened while I read, I realized I wouldn’t have traded that moment for anything. 

Sleep Intervention: 1 Week Later

It’s been a little over a week since we started the Ferber sleep training, and a week since my last posting about it. I’m happy to say by Night 5 & 6, Mark was officially sleeping all the way thought the night. And I’m not just talking the medical sleeping through the night of 6-7 hours. He now sleeps from 8pm to 6am. Occasionally, we’ll hear a whimper in the night, but he goes back to sleep pretty quickly. 

Nap times are also on schedule. He goes down at 10:30am and 3:30am with a little bit of fussing, but once he’s asleep naps range from 1-3 hours. 

He’s even napping right now!

Words cannot describe how much of a difference this has made on our lives. Leading up to the sleep intervention, I’m not ashamed to say that I was not enjoying my son. Anytime I was around him, he would scream and cry in my ear. He was just fussy all the time. Naps times were a beating. I was convinced I was going to break my ankle at the rate I was having to rock him; or at the least he was going to fly out of my arms. 

And now, he’s a completely different kid! He’s happy during the day, and loves to be around me. We’ll have “giggle time” in the afternoons, and he’s just so sweet. I feel like I have my Little Man back. Another benefit is that I’m not falling down exhausted anymore. I’m getting continuous sleep, and I have time to myself during his naps.   

Now, to be completely fair, he did have 2 top teeth come in right around the weekend we started the sleep training. Tim will tell you his behavior was 80% teething. I’ll slightly agree with him, but I think it was more like 40%. I only feel this way because he never slept this way before he started teething either. Nap times were no where near as good as they are now. At the most they were 30-45 minutes.  

I hope by blogging about this it helps a few people. I know the Ferber method hasn’t worked for everyone, but I will say it’s at least trying if you can stick to it. 

In the end, here’s a few of my personal tips I have if you’re interested in making it work:

1) Read the book Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (New,Revised and Expanded Edition) by Richard Ferber. I tried to cheat several times by picking up pieces of information here and there and letting him just “cry it out.” You should really understand the way your child sleeps and the correct process before going forward. It’s a very easy read! 
2)  If you give in one night, don’t give up! Pick up right back were you started. 
3) Make sure that you can apply naps to your sleep training. Getting good sleep during the day helps to get good sleep at night. (It’s all in the book!)
4) Remember, it’s just one week! Each time I felt terrible for letting him cry, he’d wake up smiling at me in the morning and have no recollection. If it doesn’t work, it’s only a week of his/her life, and you can move on and try something different. You haven’t scarred them for life!

And please, I’d love to help if you have any questions!
It has definitely changed my life!

Sleep Intervention – Night 4

Last night (or should I say this morning) was definitely a step in the wrong direction. 

Going into last night, I knew he was either going to do one of two things; either he’d continue the pattern of the last 3 nights and go all the way until 7m, or he’d regress and wake up early again. I was guessing between 3-4am. 

Sure enough! I was right! 3:15am rolled around and he woke up screaming. His screams slowed as time went on, but by 5am, I caved. 

Now, in all fairness, the night didn’t start off right, and the minute he woke up crying, I had 0% confidence. Being Halloween, he’d stayed out way too late! When we got home, he was falling asleep while nursing and didn’t eat as long as he normally does. In hindsight, I should have kept waking him up to make sure he nursed fully, but I thought I’d be okay. 

So, when he woke up at 3:15am, my first feeling was he’s waking up crying like this because he’s hungry. And this feeling continued for the entire time before I finally gave in. I was so worried he’d continue to cry through the rest of the night simply because he was hungry. 

Again, looking back, he may have been a little hungry, but didn’t he NEED to eat? Probably not. And if I’d had a support system laying next to me, I could have been reassured, but Tim left town yesterday. It just all seemed to work against me. 

But tonight WILL be better! I now know what I need to do, and will go into tonight with more confidence. 

Parents: 3 – Mark: 1

Sleep Intervention – Night 3

Last night was . . . awesome! I’m saying that without trying to get my hopes up. :)

Yesterday was a little chaotic, but when Mark did go down for a nap around 1:30pm, he slept until almost 4pm! Although this was fabulous, it did make us late for Trunk or Treat; which is why our trunk was so poorly decorated (if you saw us.)

We made sure he went to bed on time to make up for his one nap yesterday, and within 2 minutes, he was out like a light again. So it looks like we have the nap and bedtime thing down! 

I was even more thrilled when he slept through the night and didn’t wake up until (dun dun dun) 5:30am! I tried to keep him down until 6:30am; going in every 10, 12, 15 minutes. At that point, Tim and I turned on all the lights and got him out of bed as if it were his normal wake up time. We didn’t want him to think he’d won the battle. We just needed to get up early to head to the airport, so having him stay in bed until 7:30am just wasn’t possible. 

I hope this is a turn for the better! We’ll see how today and tonight go when I’m on my own. 

Sleep Intervention – Night 2

Here we are at night 2. For some reason, this one seems worse than last night, and I think it’s because he seems to always be on the verge of falling asleep, and then wakes himself up again. 

He first woke much later than last night; a little after 3:10am. After 5 minutes of crying, he went back to sleep! I couldn’t believe it. But of course, just as I was getting settled and falling asleep myself, he woke up again, and has been awake ever since. We’ve been following the 12 minute intervals tonight, and there have been several times I’ve delayed going in there thinking he’s almost out, and then the wailing will start again. I felt so much for confident last night than I do tonight. Yesterday was such a great day though, I HAVE to stick with the program. 

After being awake for over 2 hours last night, we all slept in slightly later than usual (8am). Ferber wants you to wake them at their normal time no matter what time they ended up falling asleep so that they won’t be making up that lost sleep during the day, and carrying it into the following night. So, we did. 

We decided on 2 nap times for Mark based on Ferber’s recommendations, and stuck with them. We ran some errands in the morning, and at 10:30am put him down for his first nap. It only took 4-5 minutes of whimpering before he was out. He slept for an hour and a half! His longest nap in days. 

His next nap came around again at 3:30pm. Again, he slept until a little after 5pm. 

Not only was he napping well, but his attitude was a complete 180 degrees. I couldn’t believe this was my child! Now, I will be honest. I’m not sure if it was 100% Ferber because yesterday morning his 3rd tooth broke through, so I’m sure that had something to do with it, but I’m hoping it was a little bit of sleep too. 

…. And at 5:14am, he’s out!

Sleep Intervention-Night 1

The last 5 days have been a serious wake-up call for me.

Just a few weeks ago, I had struggled with our pediatrician’s recommendation to break his night time feedings. At the time, Mark would go down for the night around 8pm, wake up once (no more than twice) a night to eat at 3am, and then sleep until 6:30 or 7am. Although this wasn’t ideal, and was slightly unpredictable, I had decided I was “ok” with this because whether he woke up at 3am or 5am, he was going to have to wake up for a nightly feeding anyway. I was under the impression after 8 hrs, all babies need to eat. Why listen to him “cry it out” for a 2 hour variation? Plus, this pediatrition was new to me, and didn’t know Mark. I’m sure he was just telling me what I wanted to hear, but I know what’s best for my son.

Then came the double ear infection.

For a week, I was up anywhere from 1 to 3 times a night comforting or nursing Mark back to sleep. And just as the wake-ups seemed to be dwindling back down to once a night, the teething began. And to top it off, Tim and I left Mark for 4 days for his corporate retreat.

Upon returning, you can imagine what awaited for me! (I say “me” because Tim sleeps through it all.) I’ve been up on average 3 times a night, but it’s now begun to affect nap times! There have been days where he’s only gotten 30 minutes of sleep instead of his usual 2-3 hours. He’s also fight me when he gets near our rocking chair or crib; full out exorsist behavior.

So, I decided I’m not just “ok” with this anymore, and it’s time for a sleep intervention.
I’d played with the Ferber method before, and knew the basic principles of how it worked, but had never been able to follow through. We accomplished getting him to sleep on his own for bedtime, but night wakings and naptimes had been an epic fail. So, I smartened up, and bought the book to do it right this time.

In the one day it took me to read this book, I immediately saw that some of what I thought was Ferber actually was bad information. For example, you’re not supposed to just cover your head with a pillow and let them “cry it out;” it’s controlled crying. I also had been taking him out of the crib to try and comfort him if he cried for too long. I’d also heard that for some kids, Ferber just doesn’t work for naps; however, the process extends into naptime. If you’re not following through from from night into day, then the exercises are ineffective.

So here I am . . .3am. Night 1. Mark’s been crying since 1:51am. I’ve been going in every 10 minutes to pat his chest and then leaving quickly.

I’m surprisingly more calm than I have been in the past. I know the plan and the structure. Thanks to the book, I know understand what’s going on in his head which is also helpful. Each time I feel like giving up I refer back to the basics of what I know. He’s safe. He’s not in pain. He’s just mad, and that’s okay.

Finally. . .4:04am. . .he’s asleep.