Archive for February, 2010

Progress

This must be short so that I can get a nap in while Eli is down.  Just wanted to report some good progress on Solly’s part.  Last night he slept 8 hrs and the night before that, 9 hrs!  I got him down to sleep 45 min. late last night and I expect that’s why he slept only 8 and not 9 again.  But that’s the first time he’s been consistent in his waking time, 3:58 am.  Hopefully this will stick.

Also, last night in desperation I put Solly in the swing while I cooked dinner and he liked it!  He was in the swing for about 45 minutes just talking to his fish.  He’s been in there a while this morning too while I cleaned the very dirty floors.  He even fell asleep in there for a bit.  This from the kid who would tolerate the swing for about 5-10 minutes for the first month of his life!  Yea!!

Ok, off to nap with the wee one.  He still needs me to hold him during naps so I have to take naps too.  Bummer. ;)

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Coaxing a smile out of Solomon

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Little Boys Blue


Little Boys Blue

Little Boys Blue

Despite some unsuccessful attempts at sleep training, Solly has been taking a regular nap this week.  He goes down when Eli goes down and sleeps in his bouncy seat for a good 3-4+ hrs.   He also usually sleeps a 6-8 hr. stretch at night – although we still have the occasional night of waking every 3 hrs. or less.  Wednesday night Solly slept from 8 till 4 am and Eli slept through the entire night.  That was our best night so far!  So thank you to everyone who has been praying for us to get good sleep this week.  It’s helped a lot. :)

I wanted to post some fun experiences that we’ve had this last week.  I fear that I get bogged down with the negative and that’s what I project on the blog.  Times are hard for us right now but I believe both Nathan and I are very aware of how blessed we are and we linger as long as we can in those priceless moments of laughter and joy.

Solomon has been practicing his smiles this week.  At least every morning I get to have a little conversation with him while he coos and grins at me.  Those few minutes help carry me through the day.  Eli really adores Solomon and always talks of sharing his toys with him.  Its a little sad because he doesn’t understand that Solly is just too little to really enjoy the sharing.  Last night I asked Eli to go get Solly’s Monkey toy to entertain him while I finished dinner.  I was not specific enough because when I turned around I saw the 16″ stuffed monkey in the bouncy seat! Solomon was buried underneath.   I know that when Solomon is a bit older and those smiles are near constant that Eli will find much more pleasure in their relationship.  Part of me can’t wait for that to happen and the other part of me wants to just be in the moment with no wishing for the future.  They do grow up to fast.

I think last Sunday was the best day of our week.  It was Solomon’s first day to really shine the smiles and he, Eli and Daddy had a great time while mom tried to get some more rest in the morning.  Later, before church, Daddy and Eli played baseball in the house and I think we may have a slugger in the family.  Eli hit 5 or 6 balls!  One right after another.  We were pretty impressed with the improvement in his hand-eye coordination.  Then when Eli dropped a book on his foot (OUCH!) he and dad had some snuggle time and Eli said he needed a band-aid.  Nathan said his foot wasn’t bleeding so he didn’t need a band-aid but snuggling would make it better.  Eli said matter of factly, “No, that does not work but Band-aids ALWAYS work.”  A good laugh had by all.  He catches us off guard with the things he says, the logic that comes out of his head.  And EVERYTHING he says contains a hyperbole. ;)

Eli’s favorite thing to do these days is to help us cook.  This is a love hate thing for us.  He’s a 2 yr. old (almost 3 yr. old) and that doesn’t leave room for much patience on his part or our part.  But we do try to involve him with little projects that are appropriate for him and try not to blow our tops when he has his hands in everything while our backs are turned for 2 seconds.

Monday morning (or was it Tuesday???) Eli and I got to sled outside together.  Solly was down for a nap and Eli was out playing in the snow.  He needed help sledding so I put on all my snow gear and we went down our little backyard slope several times.  Wish I could have stayed out longer with him but couldn’t leave Solly alone for too long.

Tuesday evening I had a hair appointment.  Nothing like a new do (& an hour out of the house) to lift a girl’s spirits.

There’s our week in a nutshell.

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Breakthroughs & Breakdowns

Our lives are full of these lately.  Luckily though, we’ve had no break-ins or break-ups.  Also, no break-dancing.  However, I suspect that the later would greatly reduce our cortisol levels… and probably leave us in the hospital.

Last Thursday, after basically holding Solomon for 24 hrs. straight, we’d had enough.  Any time we put him down, within 2 minutes he was wailing.  So, we let him wail in his crib.  I believe the phrase is “cry it out”.  It was heart wrenching for me.  Nathan said he’d lost his compassion.  Because Sol was in his 6th week and that’s supposed to be the “turning a corner” age when fussiness reduces and sleep organization begins, we decided we could let him “cry it out” for a bit.  He needed to get some good uninterrupted sleep.  Also, it was probably the best decision for everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical health.  My back was in a lot of pain from carrying Sol in the Moby wrap all day and there was a monster growing inside of me that wanted to throw him across the room.  Gruesome, I know.  Not easy to admit on a blog for all to read.  However, I want to be totally honest about how easy it is to become the “monster” that shakes the baby or hits the baby, etc.  All those “monsters” you see on the local news could so easily be you or me.  I don’t want to hide the truth or sweep it under the rug until it over comes me.  God’s grace is good and sufficient and he provided what we needed to get through the rough times (that still happen from time to time).

After Sol cried for a while, it was time for him to eat and we decided to try to put him down to sleep through the night in his crib.  I needed to have some good undistracted sleep (i.e. not sleeping with a baby in my arms).  So we did a gradual extinction method, letting Sol cry for 5 minutes and then going in to sooth him, letting him cry for 10 and then soothing him, etc.  Near the end of the 15 min. cry he stopped and fell asleep.  Glorious!  He slept for 4 hrs. and then woke for a feeding and then slept until 6-ish a.m.  We were amazed!  The following day he took naps in his crib with little fuss.

Since that night we’ve had a couple nights when Solomon woke every 2 hrs. to eat (growth spurt??) and Eli woke up in between Solomon’s wakings.  Those have been our worst nights, getting only 45 min -2 hrs. max sleep at a time.  Fragmented sleep is just as bad as little sleep.  The days following those nights are almost as rough b/c I have 2 over-tired boys who can’t settle themselves and a mom who is hardly functioning herself.  However, inter-mixed with those really hard nights we have nights when Solomon sleeps for 7-8 hrs. straight and an occasional night when Eli doesn’t wake up wailing at 3 a.m.

At this point I am devouring our Happy Sleep Book (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth) – the book that worked like magic when Eli was 4 mos. old.  However, my main concern at this point is not with Solomon’s sleep habits but with Eli’s.  Solomon is young and still working on his schedule.  That will get better as he matures.  I understand that and am patient.  But Eli is perplexing.  We’ve already pulled his bed time to an hour earlier.  He seems much better tempered during the day but it’s not helped his night waking(s).  Anybody have any ideas???  Like I said, I’m getting through the Happy Sleep book as fast as I can to try to find an answer or another suggestion to try.

After the first 3 nights  of Solomon’s sleep training, he’s gone to bed without any crying!  We have a routine; bath, baby oil massage (Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Apricot Baby Oil is my favorite), pj’s, nurse, burp and then to bed.  We’ve gotten pretty religious about it.  Also, I’ve been able to watch and recognize his sleepy signs to find the perfect bed time for him (for now).  AND he’s replacing those extra fussy evening hours with relaxed, alert & happy spells where he sits in his bouncy seat while we fix dinner and eat.  So, as you can see, we’ve nearly balanced out our breakdowns with breakthroughs and that feels good.

Special thanks to our friend Young who sent me links to these nifty youtube videos of escape proof swaddling techniques.  They really work!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOnsKlluHIg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K4VdZxwsu4&feature=related

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