Friday, March 28, 2008

Busy busy

Just a mini-post as it's been a busy couple of weeks - Seth was off last week, which was really nice. Nice for me to have someone share the 'parenting' with all day, and nice for Maddie because they really got some bonding time together. Because of the crazy hours that he had with Enterprise, he really would only see her for an hour every day before she was off to bed - which isn't a lot, especially to a young baby. But after this past week, Seth can now pick her up when she's upset and comfort her (instead of having to hand her off to me) - that makes us all feel a lot better.

Debbie & Shorty came up to visit over Easter weekend - Maddie got quite spoiled by everyone (including Auntie Liz) - here's a few pics...
Maddie with her new bunny

Maddie in her bunny outfit (from Grandpa + Grandma Burke)

Maddie in her Easter Dress from Grandma + Grandpa Vallier - and her homemade sweater from Ireland! Look at those shoes - too cute! (Yes, that's a mustache you see on Seth - don't ask...)

I've uploaded more pictures to our Flickr page too if you're still dying for more pics (and I know you are!).

This weekend is Seth's 30th birthday party - I'm making tonnes of appies and we have some good friends coming over to chill, party, play some guitar hero - that kind of stuff. Let's just hope that Maddie is able to eventually sleep through it...


Thursday, March 20, 2008

She's a genius!

It's now been 4 nights of straight crib-sleeping for Miss Maddie. It is getting better and while I'm still up 6-7 times in the night, I was able to get her back to sleep last night without picking her up out of her crib (for those of you w/o babes reading this, that is a BIG deal for us). So it seems we are on our way to happy crib sleeping days, slowly but surely.

Now onto the genius part ... :D

On Tuesday night at some point, I think 3am-ish (the mind gets foggy and its hard to remember times when you are up and down 6+ times in the night), I heard her fussing over the monitor. It was turning into actual cries, so I got up - but had to stop in the bathroom first. That little detour meant by the time I was on my way to her room, she had stopped crying. I stood in the hallway, listening to her grunt a bit. I'm like, huh - she's doing something. So I tiptoe up to the doorway and peek in. My little genius is on her side reaching for her binkie - as I watch, she grabs it, and clumsily manages to get it into her mouth (after several attempts). She turns her head to the side, happily starts slurping away, and falls back asleep.

I was so impressed I woke Seth up to tell him how smart she was - she can self-soothe. She found her bink and put it back in her mouth on her own! We are on the road to full-nights sleep! He was a little less excited than I was. So last night, I threw 4 more binkies in her crib, thinking as long as there was one within reach, she'd do the same thing.

She didn't. But like I said above, it was a lot easier to get her back to sleep, so that is what I'll be celebrating about instead.


PS - it's now 8:15am and she's still sleeping. I wish I could still be as well, but she's trained me to be awake at 7am everyday, so I couldn't sleep in past 7:30...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shhhhh - she's sleeping

Okay - so the naps haven't gone all that well today - but we have been *trying* to keep to the Baby Whisperer schedule (feed at 7, play, sleep 9-11, feed at 11, play, sleep 1-3, feed at 3, play, sleep 5-6, feed, feed, feed, bath at 7, bed by 8) ... the only thing is that she didn't sleep for 2 hours at 1. She slept for less than 1/2 an hour. And then fussed for an hour until we 'got' her up again at 3. Makes for one tired little monkey. So by 4, I was doing everything humanly possible to make her happy while still awake. My goal was keep her awake until 4:30 (5 is what I should have been reaching for, but come on - it's the first day on a 'schedule' - we need a little flexibility). It didn't matter anyways as things went TNT by 4:15 no matter how many nibbles and butterfly kisses I gave her feet and tummy.

Knowing that all she was crying about was a little sleep, I decided not to fight her and put her in her crib. She's like, what the?!? Mom - you always ROCK me to sleep, then transport me carefully into the crib where I will sleep fitfully for 1/2 an hour. What the hell is the in the crib AWAKE shite?

And so she cried. And cried. And wailed. And screamed. And I did what the Baby Whisperer tells you to - I picked her up to soothe her and put her back down once she stopped crying. Of course she just started crying again when I did that. So then I did what my gut told me to do - I left the room and stood in my bedroom and had a little cry of my own. Then went back in and soothed her some more.

What absolutely shocked me is that she went from wailing to snuffling to asleep within 15 minutes. I mean, she was super over-tired already, but really - from wailing to snuffling to asleep in 15 minutes. I honestly would never have thought that possible. Now we just have to see how long she'll be asleep for...


PS - I know this blog has turned into a mini-obsession with Maddie's sleep habits. I'm sorry about that - but honestly, that's what is plaguing my mind day and night right now. Hopefully we'll get them straightened out and my posts will become a little less one-minded and more interesting. Fingers crossed!

The cradle is officially gone

We have had Maddie sleeping next to us in our room in her cradle since the day we brought her home. I liked it at first because I could hear/see her at any point during the night, so for my new-mom-anxiety, it meant that I didn't have to get out of bed to ensure she was still alive. Then I liked it because it was a hanging-style cradle, which meant I could rock her back to sleep with some 'shhh shhh-ing' quite easily - again without having to get out of bed.

She seemed to like being able to see me when she woke up, probably also that she could hear/smell me in the middle of the night as well. For several months she slept like a dream in that cradle - I would nurse her 2-3 times a night, put her back down and back to sleep she'd go like a little princess.

Then Valentine's Day came - we decided to try to 'transition' her to the crib. That night didn't go so well, and since then, her sleep habits have been atrocious. Resulting in her going to sleep in her cradle every night like usual, but then usually coming into our bed at some point during the night - sometimes as early as midnight, sometimes not until 4-ish. I think partly to do with her age (the "4 month sleep regression" is getting a lot of blame at this point), partly to do with her size (getting too big for that little cradle), and partly to do with her growing awareness of what's around her as well as cause and effect (hey, Mommy's up there, I want to be snuggled up there too - if I cry and fuss she'll eventually break down and bring me up there!)... regardless, we finally have gotten to the point that we realize she needs to move to her own room.

Yes I said "we" up there. It's not just been crazy Mommy that's been adamant about keeping Maddie in our room so long. Daddy really likes her being in there as well. It's a cozy little family room, he says. In hindsight, we should have made the move before she hit 3 months (and got a lot more aware of things around her) - it probably would have gone completely smoothly at that point. But we didn't, so now we have the task of moving a 5+ month old out of our room, out of her cozy cradle - into her big-girl crib. Fun.

At least Seth is off this week - which will hopefully make it a little less hard on us both, since we know there will be plenty of tears throughout the night. And to prepare for it all - Seth moved the cradle out of the room into the basement yesterday. Seeing that empty space beside my side of the bed made me well up a little. But it was a good thing, didn't want the cradle still there for a fall back.

So last night was the first night of crib-only sleeping. Well - she went down at 8pm, slept until 10:30 - up for a feed. Awake again at 2am for the mid-evening party that only she was attending (that means she wasn't crying, she wasn't hungry, she was just awake and ready to play play play!). After an hour of shushing and patting, I thought I had convinced her to go back to sleep, but the minute my head hit the pillow I heard rustling over the monitor. 30 minutes later the 'playing' had escalated to crying and I had now been awake for an hour + 45 minutes. Exhaustion and weakness of character saw me picking her up and taking her into bed with me, feeding her and sleeping for another blessed 3 hours.

Okay, so not a total success story - but a good start. Okay, an 'OK' start. We'll see how the naps go today - it's now 9am and someone's fussing, so it's time to get back on schedule.

Love to all - xxoo.S

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Update post

It's been a while since I posted an update and as opposed to laziness being the reason, it's actually because we've been very busy these past few weekends.

The first weekend in March we hosted friends for dinner on Saturday night. I made roast beef, whipped potatoes and a broccoli dish that turned out quite well. We hoped that Maddie would cooperate (especially as we planned on dinner at 6pm, so that we could still do her bath routine at 7:30 like always). Unfortunately the little miss was incredibly grumpy while we ate dinner, took longer than usual to go to sleep after her bath and then awoke every 45 minutes afterwards until our guests left at around midnight. It was pretty frustrating, and even after they left it took me another hour to get her down to sleep for the night.

Another *fun* turn of events that started that same Saturday was a lovely nursing strike that miss Maddie decided to go on. This means that every time I knew she was hungry and it was time for her to feed, she would start crying her head off and fight me like crazy. It took a little bit to figure out that she would fight less if I laid down with her in the bed to nurse - which is what we had to do for almost every feed for the rest of the week. Yes, that's right, this fun little nursing strike lasted a full week. I was ready to quit breastfeeding altogether and as quickly as it started, it (knock on wood) went away. I think it was probably teething (we went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't an ear infection) - but no teeth have popped through yet, and so we wait some more...

Thursday that week, we had a visit from Grandma Thompson - she came up until Monday morning, so it was a nice long visit with Maddie. We did a bit of shopping, but mainly stayed around the house. On Saturday night Grandma babysat little Maddie while Seth and I went out to dinner. We had a great dinner (even though the restaurant was surprisingly packed for all the snow we got that night). Unfortunately Maddie gave Grandma a pretty hard time the entire time we were gone - although she was asleep by the time we got home, doing little sobs in her sleep and all that drama! Oh well, as sad as it was to hear that she cried almost the entire time we were gone, on Sunday was when she gave up her nursing strike - so while it was a traumatic night for Grandma and Maddie, it was a happy Sunday for all of us as she was back to feeding properly.

After spending practically the entire week sick and in bed as much as Maddie would let me, this past weekend was again busy. I had lunch with the girls on Saturday afternoon, and then went out to dinner with Greg & Liz that night (shout out to Rob & Vone - thanks again for babysitting - woot woot!). After dinner, we headed back over to Rob & Vone's to have a few drinks (well, not me, the DD) and play some Guitar Hero. I was so nervous leaving Maddie a 2nd Saturday in a row, and apparently she did cry a fair bit, but not as much as the previous Saturday. She was actually cuddling in sleeping on Kelly when we got there - with a little homemade sign on her back that said "FURNACE!". Too funny. She is a little heat box - she gets that from her daddy!

So that catches us all up - except on the most important news. Well, 2 things actually. First - Maddie has learned to roll from her back to her front - she started doing it on Sunday, March 2nd - Seth witnessed this milestone first when she was on her playmat, reaching for one of her blocks. She doesn't do it regularly, but definitely more often than she has rolled from tummy to back.

The 2nd big news item for us is that Seth got a new job! He starts on March 24th as the District Sales Manager - Ontario for Columbia Manufacturing Ltd., a maker of skylights. So he will be taking care of all the Home Depot, Rona etc. accounts across the province after a week of training in BC. His last day with Enterprise is tomorrow morning - he should be home to us by early afternoon and then he has the rest of the week off to spend with his girls.

We have some errands we want to get done around the house this week, and Seth is going to see what he can do about buying a car. We're also planning on trying some 'sleep training' with Maddie - starting tonight actually. I expect it will be a long week - but hopefully it will be successful... yes, as you can see - we're still obsessed about the sleep here! :)


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dear Miss Maddie,

Today is your 5th month birthday and I can't believe how much you have grown! I already have a list of things that I miss about you - stages you've past and I know we'll never see again. It's a cliche and I'm sure when you are getting ready to have a baby far too many people will tell you this - but it's true - enjoy every moment, because they pass quickly and you'll wish you could turn back time.
  • The number one thing I miss right now is just how tiny you were. It seemed like forever I could carry you in one arm, and then *poof* you were too big for that.
  • Growing so big means that you don't fit into the sling in a cradle anymore - and that used to be the surefire way for you to catch some zzzz's and for me to get some stuff done around the house. Now trying to wrestle you into the sling just results in a lot of tears usually, unless we do the sit up position, then you're happy as a lark.
  • Again, on the size thing - how you used to fit perfectly, laying down, onto a pillow. Anyone (you weren't picky) could cuddle you on their lap laying on that pillow.
  • How easy you were to keep happy - you didn't have much interest in doing a whole lot except eat, sleep and eat some more - and you'd sleep on (and for) anybody. Now you're very mommy-centric, and while I'm flattered, it makes me sad for daddy - who very much misses his naps with his little girl. And I very much miss his ability to get you to sleep back then - it's a tough job now, especially when it lies fully on my shoulders to do so.
  • How arching back or crying usually just meant you were gassy - not that you wanted out of my arms (you never wanted that!) and down on the floor to play by yourself. Yes, you've grown into a very independent-minded young miss, especially for just 5 months!
  • Sleep - ah, the lovely rhythm we'd fallen into - getting you into bed by 10pm, you waking up at 4 for a feed, 6 for a feed, then up by 8. It was short-lived and I didn't appreciate it enough while it lasted.
  • Saving the best for last ... your regular once a day poops. It was like clockwork, I'd sit you up on my lap for a bit in the morning and you'd go, we'd change the dipe, and be done with it for the day. Now I wait in anticipation if today will be the day and because it's usually every 3, 4, sometimes even 5 days you go - if today is the day, it's a nightmare mess resulting in the usage of at least 5 baby wipes.
Don't get me wrong - I'm loving all these new developmental milestones that you are approaching - you know your name now (that's sooooo cool I think) regardless of who says it. You smile at absolutely everyone. You giggle (if I work really hard at it). You play play play as much as possible - grabbing at things (including the kitty), trying to roll from your back onto your stomach, sometimes achieving the tummy to back rollover. You can sit up now so well in your bumbo - no more slumping. In fact, you can almost sit up by yourself - I just help you with your balance now. You talk a lot - including screeches when you want something that you can't get/reach/have. You've started drinking from (read: playing with) a sippy cup. You started solids this weekend (rice cereal) and loved it. You wake up in the best mood - so smiley. And you smile at me from across the room if I say "hi Maddie!".

I know that in a few months I'll look back at some of these things and miss them because you'll have continued to grow up and leave some of these quirks behind. I can't believe that I thought of going back to work at 6 months - you couldn't tear me away from taking the entire year off now. I absolutely love watching you grow up and learn something new every day and am so glad that we have 7 more months of this. But am also completely blown away at how quickly these 5 months have gone.

So happy birthday sugar pop!

Love Mommy.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Irony is...

... a baby that sleeps 1+ hour (and counting) on a day when you actually were depending on the 1/2 hour nap. Our household is currently on hold, as we had planned on being out of the house by now - on our way to Costco to do some errands/grocery shopping. A later than usual nap, combined with longer than usual, means that we are just that - on hold.

To the babysleepgods: Not that I'm complaining. Honestly - I'm not...


PS - Am in the midst of reading "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and plan to start it on Monday. Will keep you all informed of the progress. This may be the future baby shower present to everyone I know... here's hoping!