Sunday, October 28, 2012

No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 20--More Sleep? Really?

In the past 10 days we have not been quite as strict on protecting Quinn's sleep schedule and we had a mild set-back with the pacifier. I suppose that's par for the course in this sort of thing.

Pantley recommends being very careful to not upset the baby's sleep schedule while you're working on achieving more sleep. Once success has been achieved, then you can be more flexible. But we're having a hard time with that. Being here in California with no car means that when we go somewhere to do something it's going to take a long time. Public transit around here takes 3-4 times longer than driving directly does, so it's really hard to plan around naps. Some days I'd rather get out of the house and risk messing up naps a bit, so we haven't been quite as strict as we probably should be. Thus, this sleep change will probably take us longer than it would have otherwise.

And the pacifier...oh, the pacifier. Whenever we consistently removed the pacifier from Quinn's mouth, his sleep would degrade over the course of several days. He would start waking up every 30 minutes, inconsolable. It got to the point where, after several days of being consistent with removing the pacifiers, I couldn't rock him to sleep--at all, even with a pacifier in his mouth. At the same time, he was vehemently rejecting the lovey we were trying to get him attached to. He knew what he wanted and was feeling very deprived. I ended up giving two additional pacifiers--one for each hand--and then he relaxed and fell asleep.

That was a lightbulb moment: What if pacifiers WERE his lovey? What if they were more than just suckling comfort?

After talking with several other mothers, many of whom have older children, I came to the conclusion that Quinn is very young to try weaning from the pacifier and that if his sleep degrades that badly and he becomes that difficult to comfort without the pacifiers but improves quickly with the pacifiers, that maybe it's not time to fight that battle. And so we retreated and regrouped. Looking at the pacifiers as his comfort object, his loveys, gave me a new perspective. He has always loved holding and manipulating pacifiers and I hadn't considered that he would find comfort in that.

I wasn't ready to give up the goal of getting him attached to a "real" lovey, though, so I decided to combine the two items. Inspired by Wubbanubs, I stitched a pacifier onto the face of the lovey we want Quinn to become attached to.

I was shocked when it was an instant success. He had been actively rejecting the lovey and refusing to have anything to do with it. Once the pacifier was sewn onto it, Quinn was happy to hold it and carry it around. I have allowed him to have it during the day (but no other pacifiers at all except at sleep times) and he will often go find it when he needs a little bit of comfort. Of course, he's going for the pacifier, but hopefully he is now beginning to connect the whole lovey to comfort. When he sleeps, he often has a pacifier in his mouth, the lovey pacifier in his hand, and his other hand holding another part of the lovey. I regard this as a grand success.

So that's what we've been up to in the past 10 days. Now the real question: are we getting more sleep?

Day 20 Sleep Log Summary

Nap(s): 2 hours, 45 minutes
Last time: almost 2 hours
Night time sleep: 10 hours on the dot
Last time: 11 very restless hours
Wakings: 4
Last time: 8

Total sleep per day: close to 13 hours
Last time: almost 13

So the answer is a definitive "maybe." Actually, I can say that last night's sleep was definitely better than it used to be. Only 4 wakings is absolutely amazing, a nap of almost 3 hours is incredible, and (I haven't reported this in the summaries but I will comment on it here) his longest sleep span has improved from just over 2 hours to over 3 hours this time. I can definitely say that he is on the road to sleeping better...but me? I need to stop waking up every time he wiggles. He was only up 4 times last night but I was awakened at least twice as many times as that. :-/ Hopefully once he consistently sleeps longer, I will get used to sleeping longer as well.


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In Aurora's Words: Making a Kaleidoscope

Regina: Would you like to tell the story of making your kaleidoscope?
Aurora: No. That's not a real game. Let's do something else on your computer.
R: I wanted to have you tell the story....
A: I'm ready for quiet rest time!

Aurora: That's at the very end.
Regina: It is?
Aurora: Yes. You flipped through it to the very end.
Regina: So where's the beginning?
Aurora: Up there!
Regina: So this isn't the first picture?
Aurora: Yes it is. There I am making it.
Aurora: I'm making it.
Regina: What's Quinn doing?
Aurora: Quinn's watching. That one is watching.
Aurora: Me lookin' through it.
Aurora: Me lookin' inside it. That's still me looking inside it.
Aurora: *laughs* The kaleidoscope...I wanna see the next picture!
Aurora: Quinn playing with it.
Regina: Is Quinn careful with it?
Aurora: NO! Quinn is all! May I have my tiara and wand?
Regina: Hold on, we aren't done!
Aurora: Inside that kaleidoscope. That's a funny one because of....all the stickers that I put on. It's funny. The stickers are funny. It's a funny picture!
Aurora: Insiiiiiide!
Aurora: Um...inside.
Aurora: Inside the kaleidoscope. Is that the last one. Is there any more pictures? I want more. Can I do another thing on your computer?
Regina: In a moment.
Regina: Want to say anything at the very end?
Aurora: Yeah....
Regina: What?
Aurora: I don't know....I love princesses. I want to say I love princesses. Did you write it?

If this doesn't make any sense, let me explain: We have started receiving a monthly craft box from Kiwi Crate. Each box contains 2 or 3 age appropriate crafts for kids and their parents to do. This was our very first craft: making a kaleidoscope. Aurora wasn't very into it at first, but she has been talking about it quite a bit so I think she must have enjoyed it. If you're interested in more information about Kiwi Crate, you can go here. If you sign up, you get a $10 discount and so do I! :)

Hope you enjoyed Aurora's narration. She's starting to get into telling stories, so I hope we'll be able to have her tell more blog posts in the future. :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Talking? Not Quite...

Quinn is so close to talking. He often jabbers off long sentences of complicated sounds that really mean something to him, but we don't understand. However, some of his words are getting very, very close to being real words. Here's what I'm understanding currently:


(Note that he doesn't actually have a "k" sound, but it's close enough that that's the best way I can represent it here.)
He often combines these words with signs, which is what allows me to actually understand what he's saying. However, these do seem to be the ones that are consistent.

His favorite sound, however, is growling.  He does it when he's frustrated, he does it when he's playing, he does it when he wants me to wrestle-tickle him. It's pretty funny. :)

That's my cutie!


Sunday, October 21, 2012


Quinn got his hair buzzed a few days ago. I set him up in his booster seat with the tablet playing the movie Jonah. As you will see, it didn't work too well...

That's all for now! ~Regina

Thursday, October 18, 2012

No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 10--Baby Steps

"I'm still tired!"

Our ultimate goal for this "no-cry sleep solution" is to get Quinn sleeping through the night. However, that goal feels like a loooong ways off, so I'm focusing on smaller goals. I'd be happy to get down to only 2-3 wakings a night. Yes, that sounds lovely, which tells you how bad our nights are.

Pantley has many suggestions to help parents make a plan to help their babies learn to sleep better. We have taken several of her suggestions to form our fairly basic plan to help Quinn sleep better. We are still at the beginning of our sleep solution and it will probably take several more weeks before we see any huge success, but there should be consistent, small successes along the way.

Our current goals (these will change or be modified as we move further in the direction of all-night sleep):
-Reduce Quinn's dependence on the pacifier for soothing himself to sleep by removing it from his mouth once he has mostly relaxed to sleep (but is still lightly asleep).
-Be consistent on Quinn's bedtime. We realized that we had been so focused on Aurora's bedtime that we have been completely forgetting to pay attention to when Quinn needs to sleep. Guess what? He appears to need to go to sleep at about the time we are putting Aurora down.
-Reduce the length of our nighttime soothing-back-to-sleep routine. Given that this is routine is mostly nursing and Quinn unlatches himself pretty quickly once he's done actively nursing, I'm not quite sure how to go about this. I want him to eat if he's hungry (and he is quite the hungry fellow) but I'd love to ditch nighttime feedings all together...eventually...

We are not always successful in meeting the steps to achieving these goals every day. Thankfully, this isn't a do-or-die system for getting a kiddo to sleep. Throughout the book, Pantley reminds parents that if their child isn't doing well with whatever step the parent is trying to accomplish, that it's OK to back off and give it a break until next time. Slow, steady, and gentle will do the trick.

So are we getting any more sleep around here? Well, I think we're headed in that general direction but last night (the SLEEP LOG night) was one of the worst we've had in a while...however, even with that, it's an improvement from last time, so we are getting there.

Day 10 Sleep Log Summary

Nap: close to 2 hrs (1 nap a day)
Typical naps for his age: 2-3 hours (1-2 naps a day)
Night time sleep: approximately 11 very restless hours
Typical night time sleep for his age: 11 1/2 - 12 hours per night
Wakings: 8 with long spans of not-quite-asleep-but-drowsy restlessness before sleep finally returned
Wakings typical for age: anywhere from 1-3 (or whatever the parent is willing to tolerate)

Total sleep per day: close to 13 hrs
Total recommended sleep per day for age: 13-14 hours


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Walk with Aurora and Quinn!

It's been a while since I've done one of my "a walk with..." posts. This one lets you see more of our little neighborhood.


Monday, October 8, 2012

No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 1--Nap Success!

Day 1 of “Pantley-fying” Quinn: Managed to put Quinn down in his crib for a nap without his pacifier in his mouth. He used the pacifier until he was almost asleep and then I was able to remove it (it took 5 tries, though). Yay for a success!

If you’re curious about what “Pantley-fying” is, it’s a word I made up referring to The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. She gives parents specific ideas on how to teach babies to fall asleep and stay asleep without leaving them to “cry it out.” It takes several weeks but we’ve survived a year of bad sleep, I think we can do a couple more weeks while teaching Quinn some good habits. I should have done it long ago, but, well, life’s been a bit crazy.

Our first step is to help Quinn break the habit of depending upon sucking comfort to go to sleep (nursing and pacifier). The recommended plan of action is to allow the baby to suck/nurse until almost asleep and then to remove the item. If he reacts negatively, give it back and let him settle again. After several tries, you should be able to get it out and have him still go all the way to sleep. Eventually he won’t need that comfort item at all and that’s the first step towards better sleep. :) We also need to work on a more consistent bedtime routine and quieter evenings with him, but those are quite a bit easier than the pacifier/nursing thing.

Baseline Sleep Log Summary
(How he's been sleeping without us doing anything to help him sleep better)

Naps: approximately 1 1/2 hours (1 nap a day)
Typical naps for his age: 2-3 hours (1-2 naps a day)
Night time sleep: approximately 9 1/2 hours a night
Wakings: around 7 per night
Typical night time sleep for his age: 11 1/2 - 12 hours per night
Wakings typical for age: anywhere from 1-3 (or whatever the parent is willing to tolerate)

Total sleep per day: approximately 11 hours
Total recommended sleep per day for age: 13-14 hours


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our Home Away from Home

Several of you have expressed a desire to see our little apartment here in California. I'm happy to oblige--as long as you're willing to put up with my excitement over the massive closets (seriously, who shows off the closets in a video of their house? Me!) and Aurora's refusal to fully cloth herself before I took the video. Someday that kid will grow a sense of modesty...without further ado, here's my rather long video of our little apartment.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Long Day of Travel!

Last Saturday, September 29th, we embarked on our trip to California. I decided that it would be a fun day to take a picture every hour. I ended up taking way more pictures than that, so we'll see how long this post is. :)

Hold onto your hats, it's going to be a loooong post for a looong trip! I started off the time notation in Eastern time and then switch to Pacific time when we land. Confusing? Yes. But that's how we felt too. ;)

7 AM EDT--I'm getting ready for the day
and the kids are still sleeping.
7:05 AM EDT-- The kiddos wake up.
7:15 AM EDT--Ready for breakfast time!
7:40 AM EDT-- Breakfast! I love the faces in this photo. :)
8:00 AM EDT-- Taking all of our stuff down to the airport shuttle!
8:20 AM EDT-- On the shuttle to the airport! We were very crowded in this little shuttle.
9:00 AM EDT-- All checked in at the airport and in the security line. Things in security went so smoothly, I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. This was one of the things on this trip that I was most nervous about.
9:30 AM EDT-- At our gate, looking at all the airplanes!
10:00 AM EDT-- Playing on a tablet with our boss's daughter. We had just found out our flight was delayed by an hour due to heavy fog in San Francisco.
10:05 AM EDT-- Checking out the lovely smoothie that Wil brought for me.
11:05 AM EDT-- We were boarding right at 11 AM and I couldn't get a decent photo as we walked down the ramp to the plane. This was the first good picture. Quinn was quite interested in everything on the plane.
11:10 AM EDT-- In our seats! I love this little face. :)
Quinn learned how to pull down the window shades pretty quickly and that proved to be quite annoying for the entire trip.
11:15 AM EDT-- Aurora realizes that the boss's daughter is sitting right behind us. They proceed to talk like this for most of the trip. :) I'm so glad the 6 year old girl gets on well with Aurora.
12:00 Noon EDT-- Look, we're on an airplane!
Aurora teaches Quinn how to unlatch the seat trays--another annoying skill. LOL.
And I'm about ready to go crazy after only about 45 minutes into the flight.
12:15 PM EDT-- Aurora plays with a felt cupcake game that my mom made for her. She enjoyed this way more than the princess felt storyboard I made for her. Go figure! :)
12:30 PM EDT-- I get Quinn to sleep. Yay!!
1:00 PM EDT-- We're feeling tired...and we still have a loooong ways to go.
But I'm happy because Quinn is still asleep!
2:00 PM EDT-- Quinn is still asleep. Yay!! My arm might be nearly dead from holding him, but keep sleeping baby!
2:10 PM EDT-- Rats! He woke up. But that was a pretty decent nap for being in a strange place. I love Aurora's face in this shot.
3:00 PM EDT-- Two hours left to our flight and Quinn is enjoying his favorite snack: fish crackers! Wil and Aurora were at the bathrooms for this shot. Aurora did GREAT with the airplane potties. I am very proud of her for that. :)
4:00 PM EDT-- Quinn is getting quite restless and fussy. Only an hour left but it's going to be rough.
Aurora is happy with the tablet.
5:00 PM EDT-- We've landed!! We're waiting for most of the crowd to get off before we even attempt it. At this point, I turned my cell phone back on and so we will be switching to Pacific time from here on out.
2:40 PM PDT-- Waiting for Daddy to get here with the van.
3:00 PM PDT-- Still waiting with all of our junk (also known as luggage). Not all of that is ours, though. About half of it is the boss's family's stuff.
Quinn kept bolting for the automatic doors, which led straight out to the pick-up lane. Why must they make those things so sensitive that they open to 22 lb babies???!
And I'm super-duper tired and annoyed at this point. Thankfully, Wil showed up about 30 minutes later.
5:00 PM PDT-- We're on the road heading to our apartment!
6:00 PM PDT-- We're picking up dinner after FINALLY finding a fast food restaurant (those things are scarce around here) and Quinn is very, very done with traveling.
But Aurora is still doing fine.
7:00 PM PDT-- Quinn is happy again and helping unpack.
Aurora is arranging the most important aspects of her bedroom. :)
And the master bedroom is a huge mess.
8:00 PM PDT-- We declare that it's bathtime and Aurora melts down. I love Wil's pose in this shot. Can you tell we've done this a million times? LOL.
Poor little thing. She's just exhausted. :( It is, after all, 11 PM EDT, so it's extremely late for us.
But Quinn is happy and clean! Well, I'm happy and Quinn is interested in something else. Hehe.

So there you go! That was our day of traveling. We are now getting settled in and slowly adjusting to the time change. Once we're less tired then I'm sure I'll have lots of fun things we're doing to share with you! :)