October 21, 2010

Sleep Logs


So I need something to keep me accountable as I try to regain some control over Everly's sleep. Ironically the last post I made in here was about my desperation. Clearly something has to change!

Everly is still waking up 3 times every night and sometimes four. She wants to nurse and nurse and nurse when she wakes up. When she is sleeping she is pushing me over and insisting on pressing her bum (barebum) right up on me. If I move too much it wakes her up and she is angry. Maisie sleeps on my other side and luckily she is really easy. Everly also wants to nurse A LOT in the morning.

I tried nightweaning her... but it was HORRIBLE!! She basically would lose her mind and I would have to take her down to the basement while she went crazy. After a week of that I was going to lose my mind from lack of sleep and stress so I gave up.

After reading a bit of the No-Cry Toddler book I have decided to put her little toddler bed next to mine, and encourage her to sleep in there so at least we don't wake each other up when we move. At night I am going to do the pull-off technique described in the book. I started this a while ago and it did seem to help. I also say "roll over" as a cue for her to finish.

I am moving her bedtime up as suggested to 7:30 and trying to keep the room darker.

For Maisie I am going to try to get her sleeping in the side-carred crib, and to not let her nurse to sleep. Only let her nurse until drowsy. She basically does this most of the time anyways. For naps I need to get her sleeping in her bed.

Night #1
Everly went to bed just before 8 but didn't fall asleep until after 8:30. We only read one quick book because she said she was tired. Her bath was pretty exciting so perhaps that wound her up a bit. Jeff brought her in to me and I briefy nursed her and she went into her little bed. I think she woke up and went back in one more time. At 1:30 she nursed and wouldn't go back in at all. Although I am against rewards I do think we might need to implement something in this situation.

Maisie
She fell asleep for what I think should of been the night around 6:00 but woke up when I had to pass her off to Jeff. Then she was up from 8-9:30 crawling around and being cute. She fell asleep and I pushed her to the other side of the bed. She woke up 2-3 times to nurse. I need to keep better track! Once Everly is sleeping better I want to see if I can gently encourage Maisie to drop one feeding at night. She is on the chubby side so she can handle longer stretches.

Back after almost a year

I can't believe it is nearing a year since I touched this blog. Life just got too hectic. To sum it up... we decided to move. Our house was on the market for a couple months which was so hard. Trying to keep it clean and look after Everly AND be pregnant. UGH! Finally it sold and we found a new home close by... but it needed a kitchen reno.

I had my beautiful baby girl Maisie at our old home on May 26th. It was all I could hope for. I almost didn't call the midwives in time because I was so comfortable in the tub. I gave birth and seconds after my mom and Everly were there in the room sharing that special time with me. I wish more women would consider the home birth option. I wish I had done it with Everly.

A few weeks later we had to move our of our home but our new house wasn't ready. So for all of July and most of August I lived with my SIL, my parents and up at my parents cottage. Poor Everly was having SO many meltdowns it was really tough. Luckily Maisie is a super easy going baby so that made it easier.

Mid-August we moved into our newly renovated home, and got settled. I love our new home! Everly started in the Casa program at a Montessori Preschool in September, 3 full days a week so that I can work from home and have time with Maisie. She seems to be enjoying it. She has made a lot of progress with knowing her letters and their sounds. It seems like she really enjoys the sandpaper letters. :)

Everly is still a TERRIBLE sleeper, which is what has lead me to come back to this blog. I need something to keep me accountable as I try to get both my girls sleeping soundly in a gentle way.

January 22, 2010

I am scared

Everly has been waking up EVERY NIGHT since August. This was when her 2 year molars started coming in. The last one came through 2 weeks ago and she is still waking up. Granted there have been a couple of better nights but overall I haven't seen an improvement. I should be clear that she has slept-through the night maybe twice ever... and I am fine with that. What I can't handle is her waking up and screaming, and wanting to eat, and watch TV etc.. That is what is scaring me so much.

Two nights ago we were up for 2 hours while she threw a huge violent tantrum because she wanted to watch TV. I just sat there with her in the basement, trying to stay calm, then crying and then finally she calmed down enough she would allow me to nurse and comfort her.

I feel so incredibly alone in this. I have posted several times on MDC about it and mostly get no responses. My husband is totally unhelpful with this kind of thing and in fact just makes me feel more stressed out about it. However in order to keep him calm I feel like I can't show my concerns and fears. I have 18 weeks until my due date!!! If Everly doesn't start sleeping through the night.. or rather staying in bed all night I don't know what I am going to do. I think I could handle it if my husband had his own sound-proof room to stay in, so I didn't have to stress about him feeling stressed.

Since I am mostly a stay at home/ work at home mom I have always felt it should be solely my job to parent Everly at night. Of course there are times my husband will help out but mostly I try to let him sleep so he can function at his job. The problem is even when I am doing it all myself if Everly is screaming no matter where you go in the house it will be heard, so then I am left feeling I am not doing a good enough job.

I just don't understand how she can be so incredibly easy and sweet during the day and then nighttime is HELL!

January 18, 2010

On the same team

Although we have our fair share of tantrums and difficult days, overall I feel like Everly and I are on the same team. Lately I have really tried to keep this in mind at all times, and it is making things go even more smoothly.

When we are out at our various activities a lot of the time I see parents struggling to get their kids to cooperate. They use yelling, threats and time outs... and each week things don't improve. I often wonder if that would be me if I hadn't come across the Dr. Sears Baby Book, which opened my eyes to attachment parenting and from there to gentle discipline. I have read so many awesome books that have helped fill my parenting tool box, so I feel better able to cope with the difficult times.

Now that Everly is getting closer to the preschool age, discipline tends to come up more in conversations with other moms and I often have a hard time joining in. It seems most people use time outs and/ or punishments. I usually just smile and nod. I am not the type of person to launch into a mini-lecture on why punishments & rewards don't work, or what my approach is. If someone asks me directly I obviously tell the truth.

So what do I do when Everly does something that might warrant a time out in someone else's house? First of all if she is really mad and out of control I give her time and space to calm down. Adult or child, who is able to absorb information when they are feeling so upset? Once she has calmed down we will talk about the incident. For example if she hit me because she was mad that I wouldn't let her play with sharp scissors, I will first explain that I love her and that I don't want her to get hurt and sharp scissors could hurt her. Let her know I know it made her mad but she can't hit me and that it hurt. Then I will ask her what she could do to make me feel better... and she will almost always apologize and give me a hug. I don't know if this is the perfect GD way of doing things, but it has worked well for us, and at this point Everly will often apologize on her own once she has calmed down.

In terms of other "naughty" things like drawing on the carpet (UGH!). We just point it out and explain that she can't do that because it might not come off etc.. She actually does seem to listen and a lot of the time she won't repeat the "offense". Usually in these situations I am to blame for example I left a marker out when I knew she has been tempted to draw on "unapproved" surfaces.

I feel really positive about how we are dealing with Everly right now and feel like the bond her and I share is extremely strong.




Not So Spirited

Everly has always seemed a bit more alert, energetic and intense then most of the other kids we encounter. At the same time I usually have been able to keep her happy and cooperative while we are out. We have only had 1 bad tantrum (so far) while out in public and it was easily explained (she was tired and hungry).

I had read a lot about the book "Raising Your Spirited Child", on mothering.com and after 2 difficult weeks with Everly at home I went out and bought it. Of course the two days before I got it were good ones... and it seems her last tooth has come in and she is as sweet as can be.

Anyways after reading the first 2 chapters, I was pretty confident Everly is NOT spirited, so I don't think I will read the whole book. There is some great info in it though and I definitely read the chapter on tantrums which reinforced everything that I do. Basically it encouraged you to first of all try to avoid them by knowing your child's triggers. If one occurs you should stay with your child and do what you need to do to help them come out of it. For Everly that means just staying close by until she starts to wind down and then offering hugs and "boo boos". If I try to touch her or talk to her while she is in it, it makes things much worse. It felt good to have my approach reinforced.

The other chapter I enjoyed was on intensity and how to help lower it. Some of the suggestions were play-dough, which we play with often, sensory activities (like water, sand etc.), reading, back scratching etc. I found this all really useful because I do find that Everly is more balanced when we have enough down time each day. It is easy to forget about when you have a kid that is so energetic.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who thinks their child might be spirited (more intense, persistent, hard time adapting to change etc.)

January 14, 2010

Concoctions

video

Currently there is nothing Everly enjoys doing more then making concoctions. I try to avoid giving her a drink with dinner because inevitably it will end up being the base for "soup". Every chance she gets she is squirting soap or cream into containers.

My approach to this has been to hide away all the soap, cream etc. from her reach so I don't have to say no. I am torn between setting up a table with lots of stuff to concoct, and trying to avoid encouraging this. My thinking is this, concocting is a creative thing and I want to encourage her creativity. She enjoys it and I am sure she is learning about volume, texture etc. while doing it. At the same time I don't want her thinking concocting anything and everything is OK, and I have noticed that if we avoid a certain activity eventually it loses it's allure. I suppose I will lean towards doing some structured mix making for her, and just be really diligent about hiding away things I don't want her messing with.

The video from above was taken one morning. I went upstairs to put my hair in a ponytail and left her playing in the living room. Our kitchen was pretty messy and had lots of inviting things on the counter. So I came down to her making "ice cream" for her best friend Amelia. It was so gross!! Anyways I just asked her about what she was making and then redirected her to another activity. I don't see the sense in getting mad. Everly is a smart cookie but I can't expect her to not get into stuff, when I leave it out. I just have to make a note to self - "clean up kitchen unless you want a bigger mess to clean up!"

Home Birth

When I was pregnant with Everly I did a ton of research on pregnancy and child birth. After all my reading I knew that I wanted an all natural birth with no interventions unless absolutely necessary, and that I would prefer a home birth. Well I go the all natural birth but my husband was really against a home birth. At the time he said it was because we were in a small condo with paper thin walls.

Now we live in a town house with thick walls and lots of space comparatively. My husband is still really apprehensive about a home birth, but in my mind that is what I am having. We are going to go to a home birth seminar at the midwifery clinic, and hopefully that will get him on board.

So why do I want a home birth?

1./ I don't want any pain medicine or other interventions the hospital might have to offer.
2./Labour tends to be quicker. You are at home and comfortable.
3./ I will feel more in control. Last time I basically lost my mind when I got to the hospital and totally lost control on my pain management. Luckily I was only there for 3 hours before Everly was born.
4./ Less exposure to germs
5./ I won't have to endure a painful car ride while in labour, and won't have to wait around until I can pee to go home. Last time it took 3 hours after Everly was born before I could go because I couldn't pee. I was able to pee a little bit and that got me out but when I got home I had no problems.
6./ I can just relax after the birth in my own home.

Hopefully everything goes well and I am able to have a home birth. Everly's labour was really hard but other than the cord being around her neck (which is very common) everything went smoothly.