Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 50--I Hate Teething

I don't think anyone enjoys teething, really. We're no different. We had gotten a couple good nights, Quinn even slept through the night one or two times and put himself to sleep a couple times. But it was all just a tease! Teething kicked back in and unless I give him painkiller, poor Quinn is a mess. Last night he was up more times than I could count. I gave up tracking it when he would fall asleep and I would roll over to mark the time and he'd wake right back up again and start crying...and did this for two hours in the middle of the night. Then he did it again after finally sleeping for two hours.

Once we get past these lateral incisors (I think that's what we're working on) and molars, then we should have nice sleep...but that's 6 more teeth to go! So, for now, we shall stock up on painkiller and dream of sleep during our sleepless nights.

Day 50 Sleep Log Summary

Nap: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Last time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Night time sleep: 7 hours, 40 minutes
Last time: 10 hours, 10 minutes
Wakings: too many to count
Last time: 2

Total sleep per day: 10 hours, 25 minutes
Last time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

I think this will also be the last update on Quinn's sleep for a while. We're in a pretty good pattern of doing the "right" things but sometimes there are things that are going to block progress (like teething). These 10 day updates have been good accountability for helping us get into better habits but until these teeth have come in, I think it's just going to be frustrating. So...next update sometime when something good is happening! :)


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 40--What in the World?!?

The past week of sleep has been crazy. What is this kid up to? Is he dropping his one nap? He's too young for that, isn't he? Am I letting him sleep too late? Is he working on something developmental, like talking, so he's just too excited to sleep? Is it teething? Is he sick? Why can't he tell me what's going on????? Argh!

Quinn has kept us guessing this week. He definitely had teething pain for a while but then he seemed to come out of it and even put himself to sleep all by himself for a nap. I was delighted...but then he decided he didn't really need naps anymore. He would either take a very late nap or not nap at all. When he did nap, he would go to sleep very late and then sleep in in the morning. His night sleep hasn't suffered (more than normal), so I can't complain too much, but we've gotten way out of any sort of standard schedule. The insanity may be over but I don't think it is...

The best answer I can come up with is that he is going through a mental leap in development. I knew one was supposed to be coming up and I wondered if it would mess up our sleep work. I guess I was right. It's frustrating but not quite as bad since I know a bit of what's going on thanks to a wonderful book call The Wonder Weeks. The Wonder Weeks is a book based on years of research on babies' development. The researchers found that babies tend to go through predictable mental "leaps" at certain ages. These mental leaps create all sorts of havoc in the babies' equilibrium as they work on sorting out all the new things they're learning. They have been pretty dead-on for Quinn and I highly recommend this book to new mothers. I just wish I'd had it when Aurora was a baby!

Anyways, now that I've ranted about confusing baby sleep stuff, here's where things have gone right:
-Quinn had been going to sleep very easily. I was almost ready to start changing how he goes to sleep (me laying down next to him) to work on him being more independent on going to sleep.
-He has started communicating when he wants to be put to sleep. We often have a couple false starts (tonight he asked to go to sleep 3 times before he finally did do it), but it's nice that he's beginning to recognize that.
-He also communicates when he isn't ready to go to sleep. Of course, him jumping around on the bed might be a dead give-away, but not always. We just have to ask him to give us his pacifier if he's all done with going to sleep and he'll hand it over. Then he goes to the end of the bed and bounces up and down until we carry him out.
-All pacifiers except the one connected to the lion lovey are limited to the bedroom.
-The lion is becoming a favorite. He might even be trying to talk about it. "I-en" sounds pretty close to me! :) He also is starting to remember to grab the lion before he asks to go to sleep.
-He's been restless at night, but he's only been truly waking up and nursing around 3 times a night. Once I can get used to his wiggling without truly waking, then we'll (I'll) be sleeping pretty well.

How I want to change things:
-Get Quinn to fall asleep while I'm in the room but not next to him.
-Have a more regular, quieter bedtime routine.
-Figure out how to get Quinn to sleep more quietly at night (or me to sleep more soundly...)
-Get Quinn napping again...or doing quiet rest time or something.
-Eventually ditch the pacifiers and night time nursing but we'll work on those later.

So how did we sleep last night? Pretty well! Actually, I think it's the best night we've had in months!

Day 40 Sleep Log Summary

Nap: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Last time: 1 hours, 45 minutes
Night time sleep: 10 hours, 10 minutes
Last time: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Wakings: 2 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Last time: 8

Total sleep per day: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Last time: 13 hours, 15 minutes

However, since he napped, he went to bed late and is lacking about 1.5 hours of sleep that he "should" have (kids his age should have 13-14 hours of sleep per day). He only awakened TWICE but he did wiggle enough to wake me two other times. Even still, that was an excellent night. If only we can combine the regular schedule of two weeks ago with the good sleep of tonight, then we'll be set! :)


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In Aurora's words: A Visit to the Beach!

Aurora: There's the water!
Regina: The beach we visited was famous for this stone "bridge" formation and for being an excellent place to see the sunset. It was somewhere near Santa Cruz...I think.
Aurora: Us eating....! I'll tell the rest of the story!
Regina: We decided it would be fun to eat dinner on the beach while the sun went down. It worked out....OK-ish.
Aurora: Me eating.
Regina: What are you eating?
Aurora: Pizza.
Regina: Was it yummy?
Aurora: Yes. I like that pizza so much. That was from Little Caesars. I think it was from Little Caesars. I like Little Caesars so much.
Regina: Actually it from...I can't remember the name of the restaurant. It was a wood-burning oven place in Santa Cruz.
Aurora: Quinn eating his pizza!
Aurora: Me saying "yay!" I like it so, so much.
Aurora: Quinn...
Regina: What is Quinn doing with his pizza?
Aurora: Putting sand on it! Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck! Yucky pizza!
Regina: Yes, Quinn was more interested in the sand than in his pizza...but he didn't seem to mind mixing the two together! He would take a break from eating, drop his pizza in the sand, play, then come back to his pizza and eat it--crunchy sand and all! It was pretty disgusting.
Aurora: The sunset! Us going towards the water!
Regina: We sat back from the ocean to eat our dinner so that the kids wouldn't try to run in the water while we had food out. Once we finished dinner, we went down to the shoreline...Quinn was very excited!
Aurora: Us going for the real water.
Regina: Quinn was absolutely fascinated. He was probably saying something like "woe" (with a very drawn out long O sound) which is how he says "wow."
Aurora: Quinn...at that park that's actually.
Regina: No, this is at the beach.
Aurora: Quinn in the water.
Regina: Quinn really loved watching the water go in and out, in and out.
Aurora: What's that? What are we doing? Us riding in the water?
Regina: We were standing in the wave that came in onto the shore.
Aurora: No, we aren't in the shore, actually. We are in the sea!
Regina: I was surprised that Quinn didn't mind the cold water very much! You can see Wil and Aurora's feet in the background here. Most of my pictures are of Quinn because I was in charge of him while Wil trailed Aurora.
Aurora: I didn't want everything to get wet! All my beautiful clothes to get wet!
Aurora: Quinn running!
Aurora: Quinn with his feet in the sand.
Aurora: Quinn walking
Regina: And cute little footprints in the sand (kind of).
Aurora: Us waiting for the sea. I like that picture.
Aurora: Us wading in the sea.
Regina: At this point, Wil and I traded charges so that I could get some photos of Aurora...but she really didn't want to go in the water.
Regina: That's you.
Aurora: That's me....What does that arrow mean?
Regina: It's pointing you out. This is what I saw of you most of the time while we were at the beach. Why did you stay out of the water?
Aurora: I didn't really want to get all my beautiful and fancy clothes wet.
Regina: This is most of what I saw of Aurora while we were at the beach. She kept running away from the waves rushing up on shore yelling, "The water is attacking! It's attacking!" She was having a great time. :)
Aurora: That's me lifting my clothes up.
Aurora: Us riding...
Regina: I think she means "wading" but it definitely sounds like "riding."
Aurora: The sunset!
Regina: I actually took this last photo from up where we parked our car above the beach. The sun was already below the horizon and that's when the colors got especially beautiful.
Regina: There we go. That's the last picture!
Aurora: I like that picture very much!
Regina: Oh! But we have a video!
Aurora: ANOTHER video! I want to watch another video!
Regina: This is the only one we have....sorry.

Regina: And that's all! Hope you enjoyed our story about going to the beach. :)
~Aurora & Regina

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Quinn has been teething and not sleeping as well as he had been. When he was up for like the 6th time last night to nurse, I tried to stick to our standard plan and only nurse him on one side. At first he seemed OK with it, but then, after resting for a few moments, I heard his tiny little voice: "Uhoh, uhoh, uhoh, uhoh, uhoh!" over and over again until I let him nurse on the other side. Then he went back to sleep. Well, saying "uhoh" about not getting the second side is way better than crying about it! Hehe.

And just for fun, a short video of Quinn (and Aurora) saying "uhoh!"


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No-Cry Sleep Solution Log: Day 30--Bad Nights Happen

We made a few more changes in the course of our search for more sleep and this past week or so I've felt like we're actually making progress...though our sleep log for last night won't show it. Last night ended up being one of the worst nights we've had in a the past couple weeks. I almost decided to wait and do a day 31 sleep log update instead but ultimately decided that would be a bit dishonest. Even when there is steady progress, there will still be bad nights.

Our biggest change is a change to our sleeping arrangement. We had been putting Quinn to sleep either in the pack-n-play (in our room) or on our bed. Then when we went to bed, he would start the night out in the pack-n-play and eventually move up to sleep next to me in our bed. This was not working well AT ALL. I could not fall asleep if he was in the pack-n-play but when we brought him to bed with us, he would want to nurse frequently throughout the night and he took up a HUGE amount of space for the size he is.

Aurora, however, inspired a solution. Since around mid-October, she has refused to sleep on her twin bed. We finally set up a little "nest" for her in the corner of her room and the bed has been completely ignored since then. A week ago, we moved the twin bed into our room and wedged it in the corner so that we have one big bed for the three of us to share. (Safety note: We are very, very careful that no gaps develop that Quinn could become stuck in! If you're bed-sharing, you've got to be careful of these things. Quinn is almost 14 months old and I'm not sure I would be comfortable with doing this sort of arrangement with a baby younger than a year.) So now Quinn has his space to sleep in but can easily get to me when he needs to. It's working far better than I could have imagined.

Quinn now is put down to sleep on his bed and stays there for most of the night. He does not need (or want) to be rocked to sleep anymore. He likes to be nursed if he needs it, wants me to sing to him, then he wants a pacifier and the lion lovey with the pacifier sewn onto it. He lays down next to one of us (usually me--he strongly prefers me right now) and quietly falls asleep. Sometimes he needs to be patted on the back, but most of the time he just wants someone laying next to him. It's fun to watch him slowly fall asleep as he plays with the lion/pacifier with his hands. He still takes around 30 minutes to fall asleep, but it's not a huge effort anymore, just time.

In just the past week, he has started indicating he's tired by grabbing one of our hands and pulling us down to the bedroom. Then he'll stand at the door and point at the bed until we take him in. Sometimes he just wants to nurse, but most of the time he'll lay down and rest or actually fall asleep (about half the time he'll actually go to sleep). Then, when he's done resting or sleeping, he pops up and yells until we come to get him. He'll hand us his pacifier and point at the door until we take him out. These "I need to sleep/rest" and "I'm all done sleeping/resting" indicators were initiated by him.

At night, in general, he is only nursing 4-5 times and that's usually only on one side (so a "half" feeding). Just two days ago, I actually woke up feeling rested and I'm pretty sure Quinn only woke up 4 times. It was wonderful. That's becoming close to the norm. I'd love to get down to only 2-3 wakings consistently but I'm happy to at least see progress. Hopefully we won't go backwards....like last night....

Day 30 Sleep Log Summary

Nap: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Last time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Night time sleep: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Last time: 10 hours on the dot
Wakings: 8
Last time: 4

Total sleep per day: 13 hours, 15 minutes
Last time: close to 13 hours

So it wasn't completely backwards. He is sleeping longer and is finally within "normal" range for his age (13-14 hours) and his longest sleep segment was almost 3 hours long. But he woke up 8 times! That's a lot. That means he woke me up at least that many times and more often because he was so restless. There was one time last night he wiggled up the bed and rammed into the headboard. It made me jump but he never appeared to wake up! Hopefully nights like these will become less common and he will start to consolidate his sleep into longer segments.


Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Sweet Kids--What They're Up to

Aurora (3.75 years):

Aurora is a sweetheart and a challenge. She's got a will of iron and once she has it in her mind to do something one way, she won't listen to reason until she's tried it her way. But she's also beginning to ask all sorts of wonderful questions and create fun stories for us. I often feel overwhelmed with her. If we can manage to direct and shape her, then she's going to go places when she grows up.

She loves playing alone. She's happy if she has a set of toys and no one to mess with them (which is a problem with Quinn running around). She does prefer to have people around watching her, so she doesn't want to be completely alone, but she prefers to not have people messing with her elaborate worlds. We try to make sure she can go in her room to play if she needs to get away from Quinn, but she rarely takes advantage of that because she likes having us around.

Her memory is amazing. She remembers things from even a year ago (when she wasn't even three) and talks about them. Two specific memories are when she spent the day with her/our special friends while Quinn was born and the Halloween party we had with those same friends. Certainly, we've helped her remember, but the important things that she remembers are things we either didn't know or haven't emphasized in those memories.

She loves, loves, loves stories. She's only just beginning to tell her own, but if we would read her stories all day, she would be happy. She loves looking at books by herself and that's the only time she actually sits still. Her own story-telling is more of pretend play right now. She does build elaborate stories in which she is an active part. Some days she's a princess, other days she's a fairy, other days...she's a bad guy. Those days with the last one are not good days. *sigh*

She is very, very energetic and is still learning how strong she is. Poor Quinn often gets a bit banged up due to her enthusiasm in play. I feel like I tell her 10 times a day that if Quinn is making unhappy noises, that she needs to back off because that's how he says "stop!" Eventually she'll get it. But she's also the one who starts the giggling chase games that Quinn so loves. She adores playing with Quinn but gets frustrated that he's not quite big enough to do what she wants to do. She also would love for him to be her willing slave, but Quinn has other ideas. Hehe.

She's recently been experimenting with calling Wil and me "Dad" and "Mom." I'm definitely not ready for her to drop the "mommy" so we struck a deal with her: when she can read me (and Wil) a story book all by herself, then she can call us "mom" and "dad." She has to be reminded of this, but she seems happy with it. She also sometimes calls Wil "dear" (that's what I call him a lot) and Wil finally told her, "I'm not going to answer you when you call me that. I'm daddy!"

A recent fascination of hers is hearing stories of "before there was _______." We've had stories about before there were cars, windows, curtains, parking lots, light bulbs, computers, and books. Often we focus on how the specific item she's asking about came to be, so these are more of invention stories. It's a lot more fun than telling her the same princess story or Thomas the tank engine story over and over and over again.

Quinn (almost 14 months):

Quinn might just be at the perfect age. The only complaint I have about him is his sleep and we're seeing slow improvement in that area. He giggles easily, plays simple games, loves to tease and get a reaction from whoever will play along, and his interests are becoming apparent.

He's right on the edge of talking and thinks that we can understand him. He babbles off these long sentences (or tirades) and expects us to understand him. Sometimes we can, but it's only because he's getting the syllables right, not the sounds.

He LOVES music. "Music" or "sing" is one of the signs he has picked up really quickly. When he hears music start, he'll stop what he's doing and start bouncing up and down--his "dancing." In recent days, I have heard him hum and almost sing actual tunes, though none of them are any real songs. He loves it when we sing with him and sometimes will ask to sing by grabbing my hand and humming.

He's finally understanding the give-and-take of simple games. He understands that if he throws a ball, someone will throw it back to him. Then if he chases it and throws it back, it will happen again. He also loves being chased and just yesterday figured out that he can chase someone else. Another favorite game is wrestling, though as the littlest, he doesn't come out too well if he tries to do it with Aurora. But with mommy and daddy he has a grand time because we let him knock us over. :)

One of the cutest things he does is smack some kisses whenever he hears "I love you." SO SWEET. Now he's started doing it when he hears "kiss", too. The other day as we were all waking up, Wil gave me a kiss as he got out of bed. Quinn saw him, crawled over to me, and gave me a kiss on my cheek too. That made my mommy heart very happy. Wil laughed because Quinn has started trying to imitate him and, maybe, compete with him for mommy's attention. If Wil hugs and kisses me, then Quinn has to, too. If Wil and I are cuddling on the couch, Quinn has to crawl up between us. I don't think there's any jealousy there, but Quinn definitely wants to do what daddy does. :)

Another interesting thing we've observed is that Quinn notices where things go and will often put them back. We were out on a walk one day and he stopped to examine something on the ground. He moved a small stick out of the way to look at the item. When he was done, he put the stick back in the same spot. Just this morning, he decided he was done playing with a toy and took it back to the toy closet all by himself. Then he asked me to open the door and put it back in it's spot! I LOVE this. :D

Finally, Quinn seems to be understanding a lot more of how things work. If he sees us putting on his shoes, he'll run and get his. If he wants to go outside, he'll pick up his shoes and stand at the door. If he's fighting us over putting his pants on before we do go out, he'll calm down and cooperate if we explain that we're putting his pants on so we can go outside.

That's all for now!