Tuesday, January 31, 2012

And so it begins...our sleep training journey

I was honestly hoping that we wouldn't get to this point.  I was hoping that Natalie would miraculously reverse her bad sleep habits and sleep through the night.  Obviously, that hasn't happened.  She is 9.5 months old and as of late, is sleeping worse than she was at one month old.  At one month she was waking on a consistent schedule, every 3 hours.  Now every night is a guessing game, she is up once Tuesday night followed by five times Wednesday night.  A mommy-blogger/twitter friend Sarah recommended Sleep Easy a few months back.  She had wonderful success and swears by the sleep training methods.  It took me a couple more months of no sleep, waking multiple times to nurse Natalie, bringing her into our bed where no one really got quality sleep before I actually purchased the book. I can't put it down, every chapter has something that helps me understand why I need to improve Natalie's sleep habits and to do so I must make some changes.

The principle is to not 'reward' the crying at any point.  Tonight I am planning to attempt to beat Natalie to the 'wake up' punch by setting my alarm and dream feeding her.  If she wakes before the scheduled times, she will have to cry.  We will go in and check on her at consistent intervals so she knows we haven't abandoned her, but we will not reward her behavior by giving in and picking her up.  Part of the problem is that we have always given in with her, it is the easy way out at 2:00 am, she eats for 5 minutes and drifts back to sleep.  More sleep for all, win-win right?! Not at all since she has increased the number of feedings at night, relying on me to help her back to sleep.  It's now time for her to learn to put herself back to sleep.

I put her to bed an hour earlier than normal, she went to bed wide awake.  She cried hard for 5 minutes then fussed for another 6 minutes before drifting off to sleep.  This was nearly two hours ago.  She is still sleeping, She has always been able to initially go down on her own, the problem has been in the middle of the night.I am praying harder than ever that it is only a few days of torture training for her and she will have successfully learned how to put herself back to sleep.

I have all my supplies ready, my journal, clock and book (it has a section for panicking, it's bookmarked).  I would really appreciate prayers and encouragement as we begin what we hope will be better sleep for all.

Wordless Wednesday :: When did she get so big?!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top 5 Saturday Laughs

Happy weekend!  It is a snowy Saturday here once again, but the sun is shining.  This was the first week I have worked five consecutive days since before Christmas.  I didn't have to take any time off for sick kids!!  Natalie is improving, however she still has rash flare-ups on occasion.


I am thankful to have had lots of laughs to choose from this week!!

5.   We had gone out to dinner one weeknight this week {gasp!} and our server had asked Claire her name.  Without missing a beat, she responds, "Violet."  When I questioned her about it, she said that she was Claire at home and while away from home or daycare she was Violet.  Turns out, she asks her friends and daycare provider to address her as Violet most days.  She has a HUGE imagination!

4.  Natalie has discovered the art of being chased.  She loves it.  She screeches in delight as you chase her.  This also goes for the times where you need to get her to change her diaper, get her to eat or put her coat on to leave the house.  I can't help but laugh, she has so much joy when crawling away!

3.  The girls and I were playing in Claire's room, when Claire opened her closet door.  In a very excited tone, she exclaimed, "What do you know, Belle is in my closet?!"  After she says silly things such as that I often respond with, "You crack your mother up."  After her Belle statement, I started laughing to which she responded, "I know, I crack my mother up!"  Ryan was downstairs and wondered what I was laughing so hard about.

2.  I took Natalie in our room to the full length mirror, she was so excited to see her reflection.  She squealed and eventually started saying "be-be" while touching the mirror.  It was seriously adorable!  Claire came in to see what we were doing and exclaimed, "That's the funniest thing I ever saw!"  My girls make me laugh!!

1.  Often when I'm making dinner I put Natalie in her highchair with a snack to contain her.  One evening, Claire wanted to feed Natalie.  Typically she gives her a few puffs on her tray, however this night she got the idea that Natalie needed the ENTIRE container of puffs on her tray.  I didn't realize what was going on, but looked over to a mound of puffs.  I took this photo after some had been cleaned up.

Notice our chubby beagle waiting for puffs to fall :)

Happy weekend everyone!!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 5 Saturday Laughs


Happy weekend.  What a trying few weeks we have had in our house.  Natalie has been sick the last couple weeks.  Just when I thought she turned the corner, she came down with a low grade fever and became very lazy for three and a half days.  On Thursday she began to perk up, only to break out with a rash today.  Poor little girl can't catch a break!!

On a happier note, I was able to celebrate my best friend's 30th birthday today.  We had a delicious lunch, afternoon at the spa and ended the day with pizza and cocktails.  I am very thankful to have Jen in my life and so happy to celebrate together!!  While we were out, I realized that I didn't have five laughs and today provided me with two otherwise this would be the top three laughs :-)

5.  Claire has started to act very grown-up lately.  I guess that she knows she'll be three here in about 6 weeks.  Ryan came home from work on evening and was greeted by a very emphatic Claire, "Hi Daddy, how was your day today? How was work?"

4.  Natalie is becoming quite the little monkey.  She loves to climb on anything in sight.  Her favorite obstacles as of late are the little chairs.  She climbs up, stands on the seat, squeals while jumping up and down.  She is so proud of herself!

3.  Jen told me the story that during a road trip one day, her daughter Addison (who will be three in May) passed a police officer who had his flashers on while assisting a broke down car.  I honestly don't remember all the details to the story, but it went something like this:
 Addison (from the backseat), "Mommy that guy is naughty!"
Jen: "The police officer is just helping since that guys' car is broken down."
Addison: "That guy is naughty.  That pisses me off!"
I seriously laughed until I cried!

2.  Claire still has her pacifier at naps/night and we often allow it first thing in the morning when she's laying on the couch watching cartoons.  I am really over that thing and cannot wait for the paci fairy to visit.  I often refer to it as "your stinkin' paci" since it often gets lost and we are looking for it at the most inconvenient times.  One night before bed, we were looking for the said paci and Claire busts out, "Where is my stinkin' paci?"  She mimicked my tone perfectly and I thought Ryan was going to fall out of his chair laughing.

1.  The last laugh is from today.  At lunch we went dutch, both pulling out our (same) bank debit cards to pay our respective half of the bill.  Then we went to a local sports bar for pizza and cocktails after our spa day.  I was planning on treating Jen since we hit happy hour prices. When I got the receipt copy to sign, I realized Jen's name was on the signature line.  We laughed that she actually treated us to dinner and drinks.  We were quite thankful that we figured out our cards had been switched at that point as well.  Then as we were leaving, I had the realization that I used 'my' bank card to pay for our spa afternoon, which of course meant that Jen had funded her own birthday celebration!  I haven't laughed that hard all week, it brought me to tears!

Hope everyone has a good weekend!  We have swimming lessons tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening birthday dinner with my younger brother - he's turning 21!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Top 5 Saturday Laughs

I am so excited to focus on some laughs of the week!  Natalie came down with a nasty cold, ear infection and croup.  The poor girl was totally miserable.  In my human nature, I would have only remembered this from the past week if I had not been documenting our laughs.  After reviewing my list, I was so excited to actually have enough laughs where picking five is hard!  Yet one more reason why I LOVE these posts!!

5.  Changing Natalie's diapers these days is nothing short of trying to put socks on an octopus (thanks Ryan for the metaphor).  For this reason, I often take the changes in steps.

  • Step 1. Diaper off, wiped off and clean diaper on (this is a victory if she hasn't rolled over at least once in this process or I have her dangling by her ankles pleading to stop moving) 
  • Step 2: Break for both of us 
  • Step 3: Pants back on.  

Often times, step 2 is quite long since getting her to cooperate is so challenging.  I had left Natalie's pants on the floor and when I went to put them back on her, I couldn't find them.  I asked Claire where they had gone and she throws her blanket off her lap to reveal that she had put them on.  I couldn't stop laughing and both girls started laughing too!

4.  This one requires a little history.  I have a younger sister and when we were kids, I would often pretend she was my dog.  She had a cage (either a laundry basket or small flower fencing) that she lived in, she had special food (cold water with oatmeal - not cooked) and a leash.  So it was especially funny when Claire pretended that Natalie was her dog this week.  She ran from room to room, calling Natalie, "Come here silly doggy, coommmee here."  Natalie thought is was so fun getting undivided attention from her sister and crawled her little heart out.   I, of course, took a video and sent it to my sister :-)

3.  I have blogged about this before, but my dad loves to do this chant, "Grandpa is great!" Claire always comes back with, "Mommy is great".  They were going back and forth with this, when my dad changed it up saying, "Mommy is great".  Right on cue, Claire exclaims "Grandpa is gr- ... HEY you're not great"

2.  One evening before bed the girls were eating their snacks and Natalie was having a fruit pouch (which we call smoothies).  She had put her pacifier back in her mouth while Ryan was in the process of feeding her.  Ryan told her if you want more smoothie you have to take out your pacifier.  He hadn't even finished the word pacifier when she projected it out of her mouth.  I guess she wanted more!

1.  When my sister was pregnant, Claire gave the baby a womb-name of Boots.  Throughout Andria's pregnancy, Claire repeatedly told us that Aunt Andria had Boots in her tummy and she had baby Dora in her tummy.  After Boots was born, we explained to Claire that his name was Tyler.  Baby Boots may have made an entrance, but baby Dora is still in Claire's tummy.  This week she made the following statement in her most matter-of -fact voice:  "On my birthday, baby Dora is going to turn into a baby Tyler and come out."  I don't know where she comes up with this stuff!

Make sure you come and join the fun, or at least laugh with us this week!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy 9 Months Natalie Sue!

Wow, Natalie is 9 months old!  Lately, she seems so old to me.  It could be because I have a three week old nephew Tyler, it could be that 9 months is only 3 months away from the big first birthday {gasp!} or it could just be the fact that she's hardly doing any baby things any longer!

Photo property of  Photography by Jen

Here are some of Natalie's milestones:
  • She is pulling up and cruising on everything!  She crawls super fast when necessary, but prefers to be standing and walking.  She knows how to get back down rather gracefully as well.  
  • Natalie took steps on two separate occasions.  Only one step before she fell and Ryan and I were both home to witness it!  She sometimes forgets that she can't walk and takes off like her legs will do what her brain wants to.  
  • Not that she's ever enjoyed baby food, but she loves to eat whatever we are eating and in massive amounts.  She's starting to handle larger pieces.  She can also take bites out of crackers and softer foods.  Her nursing sessions are getting more like quick drinks and she's taking less milk during the day from her bottle. She loves drinking water from straw cups too.
  • Natalie is no longer toothless!  One of those two nasty bottom teeth that has made its way through.  However, that second one is just an inflamed mess.
Photo property of  Photography by Jen

  • She is mimicking like a parrot.  If you cough in the same room, she coughs.  When Claire shrieks, Natalie is right behind her mimicking tone and duration.  If we want her to do something, we have to convince Claire to do it first.  
  • She said "be-be" once, but hasn't said it again.  
  • Natalie will also wave bye-bye.  It is super adorable, I really hope to get a photo sometime soon
Photo property of  Photography by Jen

  • Natalie had her first ear infection this past week, poor thing was miserable.  We are hoping she doesn't follow in the footsteps of her big sister with chronic ear infections. 
In case you wondered, I am still waiting for that sleep through the night milestone.  I am hoping that 2012 is my year to get a full nights sleep!

*I would like to give a special thanks for the spectacular photos featured in this post!  They were taken by my wonderful friend, Jen. Stop by and 'like' her Facebook page, Photography by Jen.  I will post more photos at a later date from the session.  Also, both outfits are from Sofia Bella Couture my new favorite place to look for adorable outfits for both girls. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top 5 Saturday Laughs

Hi all!  I am beyond honored that Melissa asked me to do a guest post on her blog while she is away! (Thanks again Melissa!!) So these laughs will be posted here and on The Mommyhood Chronicles site.  If you haven't before, check out some of the awesome giveaways she has going on.

We had lots of choices for our laughs this week, but here are our top five:

5.  For Christmas, Claire received the Little People nativity scene.  She has been obsessed with nativity scenes since last Christmas, particularly Baby Jesus. So this was a perfect gift for her - one she can't break!  All week it has been a requirement that she sleeps with Baby Jesus.  On Tuesday, she went to bed without him.  Of course, this didn't fly and she had to have him in bed with her.  She then proceeded to send me out looking for him while describing what I was to be looking for; "He's got white clothes, yellow hair and lays in the hay."  Thankfully, her description allowed me to find Baby Jesus, I don't think I would have found him otherwise.

4.  Natalie has figured out how to push her older sister's buttons already.  The favorite thing of the week is to crawl down to Claire's room and steal her pacifiers from her bed.  (Yes, we still have those retched things, but they have to stay in her bed - that's our next battle!)  Natalie knows just what she is doing as she squeals in delight while crawling down the hallway with Claire's pacifier in her mouth!

3.  I am unable to wear most jeans without having my 'coin-slot' (aka butt crack) exposed while sitting on the floor to play with the girls (please tell me I'm not alone here!).  Claire took notice one day and unbeknownst to me played me like a slot machine.  When I used the restroom later, I discovered a small hair-tie in my undies.  When I asked Claire if she had put it down my pants, she giggled and ran away.

2.  Natalie is getting even faster at crawling and cruising.  If you turn your head for 2 seconds she's out of the room headed for something that she's not supposed to get into.  Ryan and I were in the kitchen one day while keeping a watchful eye in the living room for Natalie.  Or so we thought.  Claire soon exclaims, "Hey Natty, you can't have chips!"  Claire had left a small bowl of Pringles withing reach of her sister.  Natalie decided that she didn't need small bites anymore and a giant Pringle was more her speed!  She really just wants to do whatever her big sister is doing :-)

1.  I can't do this laugh justice by just writing, so I must show the video:

"How do I look?"  We seriously laughed until we cried!

It's hard to believe that we are able to say this is the first Saturday Laughs of 2012.  Thank you for letting me share our laughs with you!