Saturday, May 17, 2008

Colin discovers grass!

I sat Colin outside this afternoon to get a little fresh air and I did not bring out the slew of toys that I normally bring when we hang out in the backyard. Therefore, Colin discovered grass for the very first time. He was digging in it for a good while and I am guessing that I will find out shortly if he is allergic! :-) He was so enthralled that I had to get the camera. The pictures turned out so cute...I love the look of concentration!

The Nap

Colin slept through the night again last night and let me tell you, I am one happy camper. I am slowly starting to become a normal woman is amazing what a few consecutive nights of sleep will do for you. I am embarrassed to say that I went almost 10 months without more than 3 hours of sleep. So I am really glad that things are finally coming around. My new problems is naps. Everything I read says they are critical and super important. The good nap is the cornerstone of a well rested, happy, smart child. Now that Colin is getting such good sleep at night, he is really confused about nap time. I now see that he was taking such great naps during the day because he was getting horrible sleep at night! His naps this week have been all over the place...some 20 minutes long, others 2 hours. He took a two hour nap this morning and is currently crying in his crib rather than take his afternoon nap. After I finish this post, I will go to him and I guess this nap just ain't happening! We will keep at it....I know I can somehow get this all figured out. Is sleep this hard for anyone else?!

Don't get me wrong...I will take nap problems over night sleep problems any day of the week!! THANK GOODNESS!! :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Colin Fun Facts

New fun Colin tidbits:

1. He now likes to climb me like a mountain. All of my t-shirts get stretched out like crazy because he pulls himself up to a standing position using them (and the skin around my neck! OUCH!)

2. He only wants to stand up. He thinks he can walk on his own (which he can't) and therefore my days are spent following him with one hand on his back while he is playing standing up because he will try to take off and he will fall. Hard and face first no less. I am really wishing that I had my stupid old carpet back. This house is an injury waiting to happen!

3. He loves tots from Sonic. Very healthy, indeed.

4. He loves to play on the ceramic tile kitchen floor. I think it is because the tiles are cool to the touch. He likes to slap them as hard as he can. I, of course, do not want him to play on the tile floor because of the obvious safety concerns and he, of course, begs to differ.

5. He has found his first no no...he constantly tries to play with the fireplace!!! He pulls open the screens and grabs at the gas logs...not good. I tell him "NO!" and he has the decency to look at me, and then go back to doing it. I have to figure out a way to cover the fireplace now. At the moment we have the bar stools lined up in front of it. This fix is not going to last long!

Turning a Corner!!

It has been a rough week here, but things are turning around in a big way. After reading all the material on infant sleep (from the "no cry" Dr. Sears book, to the "some crying" Kim West book, to the "let cry" of Dr. Weissbluth) and I made up my own plan using all the knowledge that I gained. I liked the Kim West plan best on paper...she advocates putting a chair beside the bed while the baby goes to sleep. Every few days you move the chair further from the bed until you are out of the room. I really liked that one...Colin would cry, but I would be right beside him and he would know I was there. That is until I tried it in practice. Colin freaked out, and I mean freaked out, to see me sitting there right beside him but not picking him up. I tried for three days and he would stick him arms out of the bars and scream like you would not believe. I decided this method was torturing him, but it helped me see what would work. Dr. Weissbluth said that it was fine to keep using the soothing method that I had been using to put Colin down as long as I was consistent and did not pick Colin up every single time he cried during the night. This is where I was confused...I was walking, rocking, and singing Colin back to sleep each time he stirred during the night. The book said that I had basically trained him to do this. He had also still been eating once during the night and the way to tell if he needed that food was if he fell right back to sleep after he ate it. The answer to that was no...the feeding no longer put him back to sleep. He just kept crying and was always awake for an hour at least with each night waking. So last weekend I started to cut it all out. I have been rocking, walking, and singing him to sleep just like he loves, but I have not been responding to every single whimper he makes during the night. And it is working! For the past few nights, I would just listen to him every time he got up and he has gradually been going from all out screaming for me to lightly crying to little whimpers to no crying at all last night! He went to bed at 7pm, woke up screaming at 8pm (I had forgotten Motrin and immediately went to him and gave him some) and then he slept until 5:30am!!! Without waking up once!!! It has been a nightmarish few days, but I have been keeping a sleep log and you can clearly see the changes in the right direction. Dr. Weissbluth's preferred method is to put the child in their crib, shut the door, and not go back in the room until 6am. That doesn't work for us either, so I have really just modified everything into the plan that works best for us. So Colin still gets the rocking and loving to sleep that he enjoys, yet I am still teaching him to put himself back to sleep during the night. I am now also paying attention to what the cries actually sound like. When he started screaming last night about an hour after I put him down, I could hear the pain in the cry and could tell it was not just him stirring. I won't promise not to go to him in the night, but I can now see that if I just wait 10 minutes or so, he will go back to sleep on his own and does not need me most of the time. I used to run to him as soon as I heard a peep, thinking if I caught him soon enough, I could get him to stay asleep. What I had really been doing was waking him up at times when he was just stirring and would have naturally gone back to sleep!! I think what really helped me to move forward with this was all the reading about how important it was for Colin to get good sleep and that I had actually been harming him with all the picking up at night. He needed a lot more sleep than he was getting and I am helping him get it now, rather than hindering it. He is so happy today...he finally woke up smiling! His naps are still a complete disaster area...I guess he was taking such awesome naps before because he was getting horrible sleep at night. So now I am dealing wtih that, but it is okay. This is so hard on embark on this mission when I am already so sleep deprived has not been easy, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Day with a Twist

The STRANGEST thing ever happened to me today. I mean really REALLY strange. Today had not been a very good day in general. Jer is out of town and I have been on my own all week. Colin is not himself at all right now. He used to wake up by smiling into the video monitor and babbling happily. For the past several days, every single time he wakes up, no matter what, he is screaming bloody murder. I have done everything that I can for him, and it makes me really sad that he is so unhappy right now. Colin had woken up from his afternoon nap upset, so I decided that he needed some fresh air and we headed out for a spin. I had not eaten all day, so on a whim I pulled into the Whataburger drive thru. I was third in line behind a huge truck and a minivan. The truck was at the window for awhile (Whataburger is a notoriously slow drive thru) and finally he left. I then saw the woman in front of me start a discussion with the girl at the window and then she left. I pulled up and the girl handed me my food and I handed her my debit card. She said, "No...your meal has already been paid for". WHAT? I looked at her like she had two heads and asked her what she was talking about. She said, "The big truck that was ahead of you...he paid for all three of you in line behind him.". I still stood there dumbfounded. He just randomly paid for all the food behind him in line?!? I asked again if she was serious and if he gave an explanation. She said he would not elaborate and just asked to pay for everyone behind him in line. Never in my life has something like that happened before. I pulled away with my free meal and have been left wondering about that man for the rest of the afternoon. It was such a random thing to have happen...I almost did not even turn in there because we are trying not to eat out very often to save money. I was just so tired and hungry, so I turned in. And proceeded to get a free meal on a day when I was really in need of some kindness. It made me smile and perk up...I ate my meal there in the parking lot while telling Colin all about what happened. We then went for a cruise around the pet store to look at the bins of puppies and kittens. That made Colin perk up! :-) I can't seem to stop thinking about this random act of kindness. I feel like it is my turn now...kind of a pay it forward thing. I am going to give some thought to what I can do to give someone else a smile in the middle of a storm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Changes are a brewing!

Changes are afoot with Mr. Colin. I know something big is about to happen...I am just not sure what it is. I don't know if he is getting a big molar or about to walk out the front door, but something is going on with him. My man is a champion have never heard me complain about that one...but now he won't even take his naps. I can sense this is beyond sleep issues and I have a feeling that he is getting ready to make a big change. It could be just a growth spurt or something bigger...but mark my words...changes are coming. I just feel it in my gut.

He is getting so big...lots of his 12 months clothes just won't snap anymore or they are too tight to be comfy. The main problem is the jumpers, which I love to dress Colin in. They are simple and comfortable for lounging around the house all day, but still look extra cute when we go out. I bought several of them when JC Penney was having a sale in was the Okidokie line, which I think runs really really small. Those are all way too small now and I am wishing that I had not stocked up on them! The Carters 12 month line just fits, so I am trying to wear the heck out of those right now. We went to JC Penney this afternoon to look at the 18 month outfits and I walked back to the baby section where I always go...and noticed after a couple of minutes that we can no longer shop in the "baby" section. I had to go across the aisle into "Toddler Boys". Of course, me being me, I had to stop at the edge of the baby section and take it in for a moment. There I was, standing in a sea of baby blue and tiny little outfits and across from me loomed the bright reds and blues and the huge "TODDLER" sign with pictures of boys playing in sandboxes. I know I am a huge sap, but I could not help but thinking that it was another one of those moments that you look back on...another rung on the ladder.

Anyway, Colin went down again tonight at 7:20...I am trying to get him down by 7pm, but it is hard to time it right to get him bathed, fed, read to, snuggled, and asleep by then. He is responding really well to the earlier bedtime, so I am going to keep going with it. He took an extra bottle today, so I think we may be heading into a growth spurt. Like he needs one of those!! :-)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Runny Noses and Sleep Books

Well, Colin still has his cold that started back on 5/3. It has not gotten worse, but he is still so snotty! Yesterday he was grabbing at his right ear all day, so I decided to take him to the pedi just to be sure it had not escalated into an ear infection. We just got home and I am glad to report that he is just fine with no infection. Our clear record of no ear infections remains! I feel very lucky that Colin has been so many of my friends babies are battling ear infections and six of them (including my nephew) have gotten tubes put in within the last few months!! I feel so badly for them! Colin is a very healthy baby...he weighed 23 lbs, 2 oz this morning! The pedi had him open his mouth and his exact response was, " is your problem!". Apparently my little man is still in teething hell...not only is he cutting those top two teeth, but his gums are bright red and swollen all the way around his mouth. The poor guy is getting all of them at the same time!! He thinks this explains why Colin has been so upset and needy the last few weeks and it certainly makes sense. I wish I could take the pain away for him!

The main reason that I wanted to check with the doctor is because it looks like Colin is going to have to do some crying at night and I wanted to be sure that he was not in pain from an infection before I began. I am going to give the cold another couple of nights to go away...I tried to start our sleep plan, but with Colin's cold in full swing, after a minute or two of crying, he is covered in snot and can't breathe. I can't start this when the little guy is just won't work. So I am hanging in there for a few more days. I am about half way through with the Weissbluth book and let me tell you, I am learning A LOT. I had no idea how much I had to learn about sleep...I am not only learning about Colin, but myself also. I can't tell you how much I recommend this book to all of my mommy friends...even if your child is sleeping through the night, it is well worth the read!!! I was way WAY off in a lot of my perceptions about sleep and I am so glad that Dana told me to get this. Almost immediately, I learned that I have been putting Colin to bed too late. He has been going down at 8:00 or 8:30 and that is far too late. I had no clue!!! The doctor suggests that babies should be going to bed by 6:30 or 7:00!! That hour difference seems like no big deal, but just that short amount apparently changes a lot. He suggested that night wakings and early risings can result from a too late bedtime. So last night I put Colin to bed at 6:45 with no problem (I thought he would not go for it)...and he slept until 6:00am as usual. He really did need that extra hour!!! He woke up briefly at 11:00 and he put himself back to sleep and then he woke up crying at 1:00. I fed and rocked him (since he is sick) and put him back to bed and he slept until 6:00. That is a really good night for fighting me at all. So the good doctor is apparently right about something! I am going to keep reading and try to soak up all the information that I can. Hopefully Colin will be much better soon and we can really start our plan of getting him more sleep!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My First Mother's Day

Well, my first official Mother's Day has come and gone and it was a wonderful day. A cold front came through last night, so it was only about 70 degrees all day and very sunny. We had an early lunch with Jer's parents and Colin ate a whole plate of guacamole as usual. We ate at our favorite little dive Mexican place and even they were packed! They handed out roses to the mommies and it felt so fun to get handed one. I am a mom! :-) I got cards from Jer and Colin and it was just a nice peaceful day. Colin and I ran to the grocery store after his nap, but that was pretty much it. Happy Mother's Day, everyone!
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