Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Roll over milestone!

I left Maddie on the floor today playing with some toys on her tummy and went to the fridge to grab some yogurt. When I came back to the living room, there she was on her back! I put her back on her tummy and after a few minutes she had managed to roll over onto her back again.

I know I said she had rolled over before, but it was always when I was playing with her, trying to show her how. This was definitely unassisted and uncoached. Yay - milestone day!


Have we turned a corner ...

s...or is it just a blip? I'm not sure - but I put lil miss Maddie down for her morning nap at 9:30 sharp - she went down in just 6 minutes (as in, went so asleep that her binkie fell out of her mouth and she didn't care) and she's STILL asleep!?! It is now 10:45 and counting...

I usually have a quick bath or shower while she has her morning nap - and so for the past 45 minutes I've been sitting here in my bathrobe deathly afraid of going into the bedroom to get clothes in fear of waking our little sleeping beauty up.

Instead I uploaded all my recent photos to Walmart for printing, checked my email, posted on friends' blogs and am now posting this. About 20 minutes ago I heard one loud cry and I thought that was that, but she seems to have fallen back to sleep...

Sorry to ramble - it's just so shocking, and a little unnerving... but don't worry, I'm not going to do anything crazy like go in and check to see if she's still breathing. At least not until 11:30...


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New pics posted ... oh and still no sleep

I'd love to give you all an update on the sleep and say that my 'tactics' have started to succeed ... sadly they have not. In fact I have given up entirely on the crib as I didn't want it to have a negative association for her and that seemed to be the direction we were headed in. So she takes her morning nap in the cradle and all subsequent naps have either been in my arms, on me, beside me (in the bed) or in the carseat (while we're out). I took the advice of a few friends and decided that I'd worry about breaking bad habits later and just do whatever it takes right now to get some sleep - at least for the next couple of weeks until we're all back on an even keel. So for now, we're back to getting her more sleep and hopefully we start to see that positively affecting her nighttime sleep ...

As promised, here's a few pics from the past couple of weekends (lots more uploaded on our Flickr account)....
Big smiles for her Auntie Liz

And more big smiles for Auntie Steffie (she loved all the attention for girls' weekend)!

And last, but not least, here's Maddie in her brand new baby sled (a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Vallier) - we pulled her around the backyard in it last weekend...

Maddie and I went to a movie today (love the movies for mommies idea - although I missed a bit of dialogue from all the screaming babies, but couldn't really be annoyed as Maddie was one of them a few times) - Definitely, Maybe - good chick flick. That's all the updates for now, nothing much more to tell.


Friday, February 22, 2008

It is a battle and I WILL win...

We continued our quest for sleep this week - and as I realize that one can never go into battle unarmed, I decided to educate myself re: baby sleep as much as humanly possible. Apparently there is a 30 min 1st sleep that is light (i.e. easily woken) and many babes have issues falling back to sleep when they wake from this 1st cycle. However if you can get them into the 2nd cycle, it's often 1.5 hrs of a deeper sleep (that is also better for them on the growth/development shiznay). Add those 2 cycles up and what do you have? The long-lost, coveted 2 hour nap!

Okay - so now I knew what I was working towards (and knowing that this was a better sleep for her development we've now added guilt to the mix - along with frustration should I fail). Tactics that were employed include the following:
  • room darkening (using both the roller blinds and dark brown drapes on her windows to block out any potential waking daylight)
  • white noise (using a space heater, I would get the room nice and warm and then switch to "fan only" to keep the noise consistent)
  • swaddling (was doing this arms-out for most naps before, have started to employ the arms-in approach - same as she gets for nighttime sleep)
  • rocking (getting her close to sleep, droopy eyes, relaxed body - but not entirely asleep so she knows she's going to bed)
  • shhhhhh-ing (both while rocking and after she's been laid down in her crib)
  • lovey (not sure what this does, but has been recommended by a few ppl, so started putting her to bed with this stuffed-animal-head-with-a-blanket-body thing)
  • music (Bob Marley to be specific - and only while she's being rocked to sleep - it gets turned down after she's laid down. Why Bob you ask? I'm not sure - never was a huge fan myself, but happened to put it on one day and she fell asleep magically. I understand the fact that we're all individuals in regards to taste in music - so I'm following my daughter's lead. And to be honest, Bob's growing on me now. Wow - tangent.)
This nap routine sounds a lot more complicated than it really seems to be when I'm doing it. Usually we have success in getting her to sleep in about 15 mins if I catch her right at the yawning, tired eyes stage. If I let it get to the rubbing-eyes stage I'm absolutely screwed - it then takes about 45 mins to get her to sleep.

Then, when she wakes up in 15 mins or 30 mins (depends on her mood) I rush back upstairs, pick her up, and rock her back to sleep. Then we get a bit of a longer period out of the 2nd sleep (haven't got the full 1.5 hrs yet, but hopefully soon).

Yes, this is my life. Full-on strategic battle against poor napping habits. I'm hoping this whole routine, kept consistent, will eventually teach her how to nap for longer periods and that we'll figure out an actual schedule. Who knows. I know when my mom reads this she will tut to herself, thinking, you're spoiling this child. Just let her fuss and she'll eventually go back to sleep. Lay her down on a schedule and she'll learn that it's nap time.

Well, let's face it, I'm a bit of a softie apparently (who knew - I thought the cast iron bitch in me would extend to all facets of my life, guess not). And I'm hoping, much like dog-training, that the consistency of the above routine will eventually work.

Yes, I just compared child-rearing to dog-training. That's right. I said it...

xxoo - S.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleep ... ha! What's that?

Yes, we are once again sleepless in our household. Naps are a thing of the past. Our bedtime routine is shot to shit. Sleeping > 3 hr chunks seems a ridiculous pipe dream.

I don't think it's the crib that did it, as we were having nap issues before that. But adding crib transition to the mix? Yeah, didn't work out so much.

Madds nighttime sleep was pretty regulated at bathtime ~ 7:30pm, massage and then sitting on my lap doing a double feed ~ 8:30pm, sleeping in a deep sleep ~ 9:30pm. From there, we'd get an uninterrupted 6 hours, and she'd get up around 4-ish for another feeding and come into bed with me to sleep until 8.

Yeah, so now we're bad to random wakings at 1am, 3am, 5am and up for the day by 7am. Wha? Oh, and with zero propensity to nap during the day (honestly - she went for 6 hours yesterday afternoon/evening without napping AT ALL) - that means I can't get a nap either, so am quickly regressing to sleepdeprivedwalkingzombie state that I was so accustomed to only a few short months ago.

So, needless to say, as of last night, she's back in the cradle beside our bed. And while she did wake up a lot last night, I was able to soothe her by a) reinsertion of binkie; b) shhhhhhhhhh-ing her; and c) rocking the cradle. It definitely helped me as I can do those 3 things in my sleep (no pun) whereas actually getting up to try to do those things in another room wakes me up (and a non-rocking crib means she has to be lifted out to be soothed, and then she refuses to go back in - why don't they make cribs that rock??).

In my desperation to figure out why we were going through this torture yesterday, I did find a website that outlined a "4 month sleep regression" stage that babes can go through - something to do with both physical and mental developments beings so fast + furious right now, that they just find it hard to sleep and life generally just sucks for a few weeks to a month. Then things get better. Then things get worse. Then things get better. Then things get worse. Then they graduate and go away to school...

xxoo S.

PS - as a side note - Seth went ice fishing for the weekend and I had my friend Stef up to visit - we had a blast and it was nice to have a girls weekend. Will post some pics soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Today's the big day...

We're going to put Maddie in her crib tonight to sleep. I've been putting her in her crib for naps this week - well, when she DOES nap. Which this week, isn't very often at all. And not for very long either. But I'm trying to stick with it as I'm told consistency is the key.

So I fully expect that tonight is going to be a pretty sleepless one, but we'll see how it goes. I'm not sure what's going on with our little girl this week, but it seems like her schedule was blown completely off since the weekend. She hasn't been napping properly (now I'm lucky to get 30 minutes out of her - before she was at least consistently napping 45 mins), I have to put her down asleep, not awake like I was able to before and her bedtime routine was messed up too. Luckily (knock on wood) I think we've gotten a better handle on it - at least her bedtime routine seemed back to normal last night.

She was crying a lot (poor thing) and chewing like crazy on anything we gave her, so I wonder if it was a teething episode - although it seems to have gone away and no teeth popped through (you can't even feel any buds), so that explanation doesn't make much sense anymore. Oh well, they do say once you get a routine down and working for you that they go and change things up again - maybe that's all this was? Who knows - I'm certainly no expert, just trying to follow her lead.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Enjoy the people you love today (and every day after). We're forecast to get more snow tonight just in time for Seth's drive home ... which will make for another late night (3 in a row - as if he doesn't get home late enough, now he doesn't get home before 8pm).

Love to you all!


PS - you'll notice I changed the signature to "S" as opposed to "S&S" ... let's face it - we all know Seth isn't writing any of these. He doesn't even check this blog, so he has no idea what is being written on here. Haha.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Things I will miss

One of the girls in the online community I'm part of ( posted an interesting topic the other day - about the little things that she hopes she'll always remember about her little one. It was sweet and a lot of us joined in listing the various things that we will miss as our babies get older - there's so many, but I wanted to write some of them down on our blog so I would actually remember them (for sure this blog is going to be better for memories than the baby books). So here is my list - I will miss...
  • Her little coughs she makes to get attention
  • Kicking my belly as I dry her off after her bath and get her dressed
  • Her sour milk breath in the mornings
  • Her perfect gummy smiles - I keep taking pictures to make sure I don't forget what it looks like!
  • The way she reaches out to touch my face with both her hands when I lean over her (that one is new and I love love love it)
  • Her phantom sucking when she's in a deep sleep (that's her mouth + tongue doing the sucking thing, after her binkie has fallen out)
  • The way her mouth drops open when she's totally passed out
  • Her giggles - when you can get one out of her - I love these first laughing sounds
  • The way she reaches out to pet the cats when they walk by now - she's finally discovered they exist!
  • Her huge happy grins in the morning - I've never been a morning person but that can't help but make you smile when you see how happy someone is to see you when they wake up - makes me feel like the centre of her world
She has a few more sleepers that she's grown out of - which makes me so sad. I love seeing grow and learn new things, but it's also sad to see how quickly this time goes. I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy this baby stage so much, and now that I am, it's hard to see how quickly the time goes.


Teething + roadtrips = cranky baby

Well this past weekend wasn't one for the record books. We traveled to Kingston on Thursday evening as we had a funeral to attend on Friday morning - Seth's (maternal) grandmother passed away. It was a sad reason to have to travel that is certain, but I think Maddie's grandma Vallier enjoyed seeing her - hopefully it cheered her up some.

We had to head home on Friday night as Seth worked Saturday morning - which was a bummer. I think the trip really tired her out (and all the visiting with many relatives on very little sleep), as she ended up having a 3 hour nap on Saturday morning. I should say 'we' actually - she was acting sleepy but very cuddly around 10:30 in the morning, having been up for a couple of hours, so I brought her up to the bedroom to put her down and laid down beside her to help her settle. Well I guess I was a little tired as well, as I fell fully asleep and the next thing we knew it was 1:30 pm and Seth was home ... oops! At least she was in better spirits on Saturday with all that sleep.

Too bad we can't say the same for Sunday. We had her down for several naps in the morning, so I'm not sure what happened. I left with Liz to watch a movie (27 Dresses - it was good, but definitely rental material) at 1:30pm and when I got home at 4pm, Seth was a little down. Apparently Miss Maddie wasn't very happy most of the time and fussed a lot and generally just made it very tough on Daddy. So we let him go play video games while we played quietly upstairs.

Nothing else to report - well, except that the bookshelves are almost done. Working on getting the doors on today - which means then I can start loading them. Very exciting. It's so funny to think that Maddie will never know that front room without those bookshelves. Strange.

Gotta run as I hear rustling - she only slept for 20 mins, the little bugger. She's being fussy again today a lot - I really think she is teething now. Not sure how else to explain this behaviour, and the drooling, and the rash on her face, and the constant chewing of things...


Thursday, February 7, 2008


We have had a tonne of snow dumped on us in the past 36 hours - once again we look like we live in a Norman Rockwell painting - it's nice actually. I just wish Maddie was old enough to go outside and enjoy it.

After we got back from our mom group today, Madds was asleep in her carseat, so I quickly took her upstairs near the monitor and hightailed it outside to attempt to clear off some of the driveway. Seth had cleared it last night when he got home from work, but of course it snowed another 6 inches overnight. It was heavy work, but I got about 1/2 of the driveway done before I heard Maddie crying over the monitor (handy that they have a good range on them!). So I went upstairs to get our little munchkin and bundle her up for some snowy photo ops. One of our neighbours was out shoveling her driveway as well, and took this pic of me and Madds:
And after some digging in the snowbank ... here's my little snow angel:
Maddie has been really great this week - I think we are finally past whatever was bothering her last week (growth spurt? teething? who knows). She's been sleeping so well - going down for naps regularly in her cradle and sleeping for up to an hour sometimes (doesn't seem like a lot, but she's a habitual 30-minute napper, so this is a big step!).

I tried her in her Jolly Jumper yesterday (again, had tried a couple of weeks ago and she was still too small for it) ... she's still a little tiny in it, but she seems to like it and is learning quickly how her legs make her bounce!

And lastly, I'll leave you with the promised pic of our little girl in her cute little sweater dress that she wore to the Superbowl party last weekend - honestly, I know I'm biased, but does it get any more adorable??
Love to all...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

4 month shots

Poor lil miss. She had her 4 month well-baby check up today, which included the 2nd round of immunization shots. I had prepared this time by giving her a dose of baby tylenol before leaving the house, but I'm not sure it helped dull the pain that much. Our poor little Madds just screamed her head off when the nurse gave her the 2 shots. She actually turned purple and stopped breathing in order to scream - it was not fun at all.

Afterwards she slept like a maniac in the drive out of Toronto - and we headed to a mommy + me movie date (saw Dead Like Her - not good). She woke up at the theatre and started to get a little scream-y there, so I gave her a dose of baby motrin and she went right back to sleep (after a little cry). Since we got home at 3:30 she's had 2 naps. I'm guessing tomorrow is going to be a quiet day for her.

She got weighed and measured at this appointment - according to their scale, she's 12 lbs 9 oz (obviously their scale is weighing her a little lighter than the one at the breastfeeding clinic - although I don't get her naked for that weigh in so perhaps that can account for the discrepancy?). And her height is now 24-1/2 inches (just over 2 feet!). The doctor is happy with her growth - she's around the 60th percentile for height and growing right on the curve for the 25th percentile in weight. So she's a bit taller than average, but much lighter than average. She's a tiny one (just like her mom ... er ... used to be).


Monday, February 4, 2008

Busy weekend, busy baby

We just got through one of our busier weekends in a while. Spent Saturday doing stuff around the house and trying to convince Maddie to sleep. I don't know what was going on this past week with our little girl, but she was really out of character. A lot of crying in the early evening. Some temper tantrums. Weird feeding habits (one day going for 4 hours at a time without eating, the next day eating every hour on the hour). In general when she wasn't sleeping or feeding, she was whiny. Like half crying, half moaning, half squealing (but not in a good way usually). And hard to console. Try to give her more food, she'd get angry. Try to cuddle her to sleep, she'd get angry. Try to leave her to play on her own, she'd get angry.

I tried using Camilia a few times (it's a homeopathic remedy for teething that has been suggested to me by a lot of moms) - I think it worked. Or we started using it just as she was coming out of this weird phase she was in.

Saturday evening we had plans to go to a friends house from some poker playing and getting together with a few couples with babes (or ones on the way). It was good, except for the first time, like ever, Maddie was not the most well-behaved person in the room. In fact, she was the crying, fussy baby. Not that I care, I realize we've gotten it super easy so far, so a few fussy nights when we're out should be expected. It's just a bit disconcerting when you're in a strange house and she's wailing and you can't do anything to calm her down ... fortunately Seth seemed to have the magic touch that night and was able to get her chilled out enough to fall asleep for a little bit. She didn't want anything to do with me - that's okay, I wasn't offended... ;)

But since we got home kinda late on Saturday night, her sleep schedule was thrown right off on Sunday and she slept most of the day away. In my lap - ha. Which means I didn't get a whole lot done around the house like I wanted to before we headed out to a Superbowl party at a friend's house. Another child-friendly event, and this time Maddie got totally dressed up for it. Will have to post the pics soon as her little sweater dress is the cutest thing you've ever seen.

The party was good and we got to see a bunch of friends we haven't seen in ages, which is always fun. Maddie was behaving much more normally last night, so she wasn't too whiny and didn't have one temper tantrum (yay!). And even though she was out later than her bedtime again last night, she seems to be back on her sleeping schedule now. Currently down for her morning nap - actually I think I hear her waking up on the monitor.

So this week we have all sorts of things on our to-do list. Her doctor appointment is tomorrow - 2nd round of immunization shots ... scary! We were planning on going to the movies (mommy + me movie thing) tomorrow afternoon, but I had forgotten we had the dr appt in town, so we'll see what kind of mood she's in afterwards. Although this time I'm going to be smart about it and give her some tylenol BEFORE she gets the shots, which will hopefully help ease up the discomfort that she felt last time.

My plan for this week is to FINALLY finish the thank you cards for all the baby presents we received. Yeah, she's four months and I still haven't sent those out - yikes. Better late than never though I guess?

At last thing on the agenda - we are truly going to attempt to get Maddie sleeping in her crib this week. For naps to start with. We'll see how that goes. I'm silly nervous about it. Maybe because I realize that it's the first step to her leaving our room and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. I fully expect that she'll take the transition like a champ and I'll be the one sleepless and upset. Sad mommy.

Anyways - she definitely is awake now so I better go get her. We'll post more updates soon. Love to all!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Squealing ... oh yeah

So our little girl has more than found her voice. Lately (this week) she's really started to squeeeeeeeeeeeeal. Yeah, it's great. I don't know what makes me a worse mother...
  • the fact that her squeals sometimes grate on me like fingernails on a chalkboard (only in the early evenings after a long day ... or late afternoon ... or if she has been doing it for like an hour straight)
  • the fact that these new sounds mean that I can't sometimes tell if she's happy and having a grand old time, or if she's in fact, annoyed and getting angry
Now I feel like I have to work harder than before ... no fair. I thought it was supposed to get easier! ;)


PS - weighed our little Madds in at the mom group yesterday - she's up to 12 lbs 14 oz - gained 4 ounces in a week - goooooooo weight gain!