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Archive for February, 2011

Making Progress

We’ve made a lot of progress here this week in terms of sleep. After a few rocky nights getting to sleep, Noah now goes down all by himself! He’s waking up a couple of times every night, but I can live with that since he can now put himself right back to sleep. Me, on the other hand…. While he falls right back to sleep after nursing, I lie in bed staring at the ceiling! I don’t know why, but it leaves me pretty sleepy. I just can’t blame Noah for it now! 🙂

I’m off tomorrow to spend a few days with my family while Dave is off on business. I’m excited to see my grandparents. My grandfather is having surgery today and my grandmother has been really sick these past couple of weeks. I know it will help them both to see their great grandson!

I also get to have my hair cut since I have my mom to hold Noah while I get pampered! It’s a long time coming! One thing they don’t tell you is that several months after giving birth your hair starts to fall out! After having thicker hair while pregnant, the hormones start to shift and you lose all the extra hair. I feel like I’m balding and I can’t wait for a new haircut to make me feel pretty again!

Noah and I are off to our last “mommy and me”-type class today. It has been such fun watching Noah James interact with other babies. And I’ve gotten to know some other moms too so we will have more playdates in the future. Being a stay at home mom is a dream come true for me, but making connections outside of the house is so important. It can be scary and lonely to be home alone with questions and concerns and no one to talk to who is able to talk back. Especially as a first time mom. Having the support and friendship of other moms makes all the difference!

Time to start the day. It’s 5:30 am and I have a good hour to get in a treadmill run before this little darling wakes up….

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Emerging from a Fog

I feel like we have been in a fog for the past month or so. Noah James went from being a super sleeper who needed to nurse once in the night and then going right back to sleep…. To a cranky baby who woke several times during the night (claiming to be hungry) and wouldn’t go back to sleep easily. He was exhausted and so were we!

This happens at about 4 months for many babies. Their sleep cycle changes, and at the same time they are learning to be a little manipulative. Example… Noah will scream in his swing beside the dinner table while
we eat. But as soon as you look at him, he smiles and laughs! He knows his cries work!

Normal or not, what was going on was not sustainable. So last weekend we began sleep training. There are many viewpoints on how to best teach (or reteach, in our case) a baby how to sleep. Some say crying is inevitable, while others say that allowing a child to cry scars them for life. I fall somewhere in the middle. Noah James had learned that all he had to do was cry and he would get to be held and nursed, even if he wasnt hungry. I knew a little crying would have to be involved, but there was no way that I was going to be able to let him cry endlessly either.

We settled on a moderate CIO (cry it out) plan. We would put him in his crib drowsy but still awake. All of the sleep experts agree on this… If the baby is placed in his crib already asleep he doesn’t learn how to fall asleep on his own. He needs the rocking, nursing, or whatever else mom used to help him fall asleep. The idea is for baby to learn how to sooth himself to sleep, both at bedtime and when he awakens in the middle of the night.

So into bed drowsy, but awake. Of course Noah James starts
screaming the moment he is put down. On night #1 he was to cry for three minutes before someone went in to sooth him. Then we would pick him up, pat his back, say “I love you,” then put him back down. Many people
say you shouldn’t pick up the baby, but because Noah has reflux issues we felt it was important that he got a few pats on the back in case he had to spit up. Next, we waited 5 minutes before going to him and repeating the process. The next interval was 10 minutes. The intervals have gotten slightly longer each night.

Last night was night #3. He screamed for the first 5 minutes. Stopped when we picked him up and patted him. Screamed for the next 10 minute interval. Stopped again when he was picked up and patted. And then, miracle of miracles, he stopped crying 11 minutes in to the 15 minute interval. He slept until 12:30 when he awoke, legitimately hungry. I fed him and he soothed himself right back to sleep. When he started crying at 4:30, I was afraid we were up for the day, but he fussed for less than 5 minutes and soothed himself back to sleep….until 7:00! 11 1/2 hours with one feeding. That is something we can sustain!

Best of all, because he was well rested, he took a nice long morning nap and has been in a great mood today. Sleep begets sleep. It is much easier to get a well rested baby/child to sleep than one who is overly tired. Best piece of baby advise I got! In fact, he is now taking an afternoon nap…a good sign for tonight!

I know we will still have rough nights, but the past 3 nights have shown us that Noah can sleep through the night like he used to… And we are strong enough to stick with the program!

My mom came to help us with the first couple of nights of sleep training. She also babysat so we could have a Valentines Day date night. When you don’t get out much (or at all!), dinner and a movie is thrilling!!

I feel so lucky to have such a special Valentine in my life. Dave, I couldn’t ask for a better partner or friend than you. And seeing you sharing special times with Noah James, rocking him to sleep or making up silly songs, makes me love you that much more.

I leave you all with a few pictures of our newest little Valentine (who is still napping!).

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This is my first attempt to blog from my iPod Touch word press app. Bear with me 🙂

This has been a nice week. More snow meant that my mom got stuck here for an extra day and Dave had to work from home one day. I don’t mind the snow when I can be snuggly indoors with the people I love.

My mom has been coming to visit every week to allow me time to study for my biochemistry course and Dave has been taking Noah James on adventures ( some might call them errands) on Saturdays to give me quiet time too. I’ve been really lucky with all the support. Unfortunately, I am just not understanding this material. Trying to teach myself through dvd’ed lectures an online notes is just not working. So this week I made the difficult decision to quit the course. I have always been the straight A student and have never quit anything academically related. But I feel like I am just missing precious time with Noah James and with my family because I am not taking in the material. Theres no payoff for the sacrifice. So I’m done!

If I am honest with myself, I don’t know for sure if a dietetics program is right for me at this time in my life. With a baby I just don’t know if I want to make that financial and time commitment. I want to work with kids and families around healthy living. Since I have degrees in counseling, I thought nutrition counseling would be a way I could do this. But perhaps I can do the same thing without having to do such a long program. Personally training? Health/PE teacher? Since I am doing my dream job now, staying home with my darling boy, I have some time to think about it.

It’s a good decision right now in particular because studying is even harder with no sleep. Noah James is hitting that 4 month growth spurt/sleep regression. Nighttimes and naps are both challenges. he is also spitting up a lot which makes it hard for him to get back to sleep at night after nursing. But like the good times, this is also a phase, and once we get through this we should be on to another calmer stage. On a more positive note, Noah is now an expert at tummy time and can roll very easily from belly to back! My little man is growing up!

Despite the lack if sleep (both his and mine!) we spent my second day without the obligation to study doing something fun together. Grandma Jan (Dave’s mom) sent me her recipe for Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies. There are few foods Dave actually craves. But cookies are one of them. Today Noah and I did our first baking project!

Before anyone calls child protective services over Noah sitting on the counter in his Bumbo chair, I pulled out all if the ingredients ahead of time so my back was never to him. He loved watching the process!

I am looking forward to a weekend free of studying. Unfortunately, we have more snow on the way. But I’m excited to spend time relaxing at home with my boys.

I’ll leave you with a few more shots of the snow since last week’s additional foot!

Our icicles from the outside ( these have been chopped down and have reformed already!)

The view of our driveway from the livingroom (what driveway!?)

And out the guest room window…

Enough snow please!!!

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