Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sleep Training's Good, and Other Happy Things

So yesterday didn't go swimmingly, although I did finally get the little guy down for both naps. It just took some doing! Turns out he must not have been feeling 100% because he woke up this morning with a runny nose and a little bit of sneezing and I have a little cold as well. No one else seems bothered by it yet.

Last night went well in terms of his going to sleep without crying. He slept 3.5 hour (or less) stretches, though, probably again because of the cold. But he slept until 7:40 AM this morning and then was ready for a nap again by 9:40 AM and is still asleep nearly 2 hours later. Poor little man!

This boy, though, is so sweet and yummy. I feel like I don't/can't say enough about what a smiley, lovey, cheerful guy he is and how much we all adore him. His smile about cracks his little face in half, it's so big and wide. He smiles it at all three of us now, too. He is madly in love with Bean - whenever she's around he LEANS in her direction with his eyes all lit up and his smile from ear to ear and he just stares at her, enraptured. Precious!

He also has this thing he does when he's all well-rested and has a contentedly full tummy. He forms his little mouth into a smiling little O and sort of whispers happily, "Oh, oh, oh!" over and over again. He has this beautiful husky boyish tone to his voice, too, almost like he's hoarse, and when he OH OH OHs in that tone I just get all squishy inside. I can't believe I have a little husky-voiced boy to call my own.

Let's see. Peanut's eyes are still beautifully blue, and his eyelashes have thickened and are long like Bean's, so the blue is framed nicely. My heart aches for the women in his life when I look at his sweet little innocent but handsome face. I fear the worst for them! Hee hee! (Bad mama.)

He's sitting up with support more and more. On a few occasions we've had him with us at the dinner table in the little portable highchairish seat we've put into a regular table chair. He can sit there and enjoy it for about 10 minutes and then he gets tired out from having to support and balance himself. But it won't be long until he can sit there longer and I LOVE the look he wears when he's there with the other three of us at the table instead of on the floor in his exersaucer. You can see by his face that he feels so happy there! It's nice to have him getting a bit older so he'll be able to be one of US more and more. This is the right season for that "all of us together" feeling, for sure. And more and more the stress of having a newborn is unwinding in me and I'm getting to enjoy my family more. Though I will say I have a long way to go in that department - there are days when I just think this intense phase of motherhood is going to do me in for sure.

I don't know why I can't just relax. I thought I would be able to this time around but no, I must torture myself and the people around me by being a basket case of stress and neurosis. It's all just so hard for me. No part of the baby stuff (except the love part) comes naturally to me. Why is that?

But it's coming. I think by 6 months with Bean I was chillin' a little more. (Crosses her fingers.)

So the sleep training is going well. I need to let him be a bit MORE awake as I put him to bed, over time. Right now he's awake but nodding, and sometimes I even have to WAKE him before I put him down, and I'm not sure that counts as putting him down awake. But I'm happy with where we are now. I hear him wake occasionally between ACTUAL wakings at night and go back to sleep, so we ARE getting somewhere in terms of his being able to settle himself. That's the ultimate goal.

I'm hoping to wrangle both kiddos into their Christmas pajamas today and get some nice pictures of them. I'd love to make that a Christmas card photo but I'm not even sure I'll get around to sending cards this year. I haven't even done a birth announcement for Peanut yet. I suppose I could combine the two somehow, if I were clever enough.




Mari said...

You need to post another picture of Peanut. I want to see those baby blues!

Tequilamonky said...

He really is so gorgeous! I think you must be incapable of producing an ugly child ;)

I'm sure you'll feel more settled soon. To be honest I didn't enjoy the newborn stage a huge amount either. I loved my babies, but I wouldn't mind missing that part either.

Aw yyour first Xmas as a four! When you say about "all of us" it reminds me of those little trains you put out last Xmas and how you said this year there'd be one for your boy :) Little things like that are so lovely!

Isn't it lovely to see siblings bond. Jove used to do that besotted gaze at his sister too and even now he gets so excited at the sight of her still. I'm sure Bean and Peanut will be best buddies!

I haven't commented for a while, partly because my laptop keyboard died (got a spare one plugged in the side tonight yay!) but also because I didn't know what to say on the sleep training thing. I'm not going to interfere as you seem hell-bent on the cry it out stuff and I do believe you will have made the decision you have to after lots of thought... but I would say it's well worth having a look at The No Cry Sleep Solution if you haven't already. It takes longer that is true, but it has so much less heartache for the poor mama (and her baby) xxxxx

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Thanks for your comment Jemma! You know I know where you are coming from on the sleep-training issue. I'm so far from hell-bent on the crying it out thing! I've battled hard to try to keep from it, but in the end I'm not the only parent here and I just saw things happening to my family I didn't like as a result of my refusal to follow any of Al's advice or preferred methods of doing things. I HATE CRY-IT-OUT. I would have a bumper sticker that said that if I could find one. Were it just Peanut and me, alone, I'd still be rocking him off to sleep for hours until he was 18 if necessary, but I had to take Al and Bean into consideration and after months of debating and agonizing and living in a sort of (sometimes) pressure cooker, I decided to just grit my teeth and do this, as painful and awful as it is and as much as I DID NOT want to go this route. I will likely always REGRET this, in a sense, but hopefully will also see that in retrospect, it did work, and quickly, and it brought about many GOOD things, many benefits, to everyone. That's my hope. Peanut won't remember this past week, but believe me, I will never forget it, and it'll probably remain a sortof blot on my record as a mother, much as my breastfeeding issues with Bean have.

It's not a happy thing for me, personally, but I hope it will be a good thing and a peaceful thing for my family, in the end.

I hope that makes sense to you, and to any of my other friends out there who (completely rightfully) have been observing my actions here with less than supportive hearts. I get it. I SO get it. And I don't blame anyone a bit for feeling negative about it. Not one bit. I feel negative about it too.

But I'm trying to get Peanut and me out from between a rock and a hard place.

If we're all smilin' and not in therapy in 10 years, will you all forgive me? Please?

Tequilamonky said...

Oh sweetheart! Nothing to forgive at all! For starters it isn't my place to forgive or not forgive or judge in any way whatsoever! You are doing the best job you can as the mother and wife to keep your WHOLE family happy and healthy.

My heart aches for you, please don't ever see this short time as a blot on your parenting at all! This is our lot as mothers, we are destined to feel guilt for the rest of our lives over something we did or didn't do.

Please be assured that you are the best mother that could ever be for your gorgeous two and that all the ups and downs level out at a hell of a lot of love and two very lucky children to have you as their mother. xxxxxxx

Melissa said...

(my first comment): If we lived closer, well, and didn't live in a country and culture that forbade it, I would pledge my daughter in marriage to your son. He's dreamy. :o) Thanks for the new pictures!

(my second comment, after reading the last few paragraphs and the other comments): I really hope that none of your readers feel any negative thoughts towards you for how you are training Peanut to sleep. I don't know ANYONE who is 100% pleased with how they did it and never had a second thought. Cry or no-cry. Rock or no-rock. It's hard on EVERY mama worth her salt. And, personally, I don't remember how my mom got me to sleep at night, but I know that I sleep pretty good now! In fact, I don't have any memories of her rocking me to sleep even as late as 3 years old (my first memories). So, maybe, just maybe, you're safe! :o)

I think it's really hard to be a perfectionist and a mama all in the same day, but I do believe that God is using these moments in our mamahood to draw us closer to Him, to help us release those things we feel compelled to do that are not His will, and to help us to rely on Him more and more.

Please don't let this week blot your memories of this sweet baby's newbornness. You are an awesome mother, and everyone at FriedOkra Manor is lucky to have you.

Heather said...

I think you can totally combine a Christmas card and birth announcment...I did!! I took a picture of my oldest daughter holding her new baby brother and the caption said Santa Came Early This Year!!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Jemma - Thank you lovey!

Melissa - And thank YOU too, sweetest Mama!

Heather - GENIUS! Thank you THREE.

Anonymous said...

Wow! He's looking so mature and grown up already. I hate that they grow up so fast!!!

I was looking at Ava today and was shocked to see such a little lady. A naughty little lady, but still a little lady. I hope yall have a restful night!

Corey~living and loving said...

my heart goes out to you and the peanut. I'm sorry it isn't so hard to get your family where it needs to be sleepwise.

I would never judge you or your decision. I am here rooting for good sleep, but I am sorry your heart can't be 100% into the method you are having to use.


Kathy said...

What cute pics! Do you think they would put his picture next to mine on a cereal box someday?(oops, he's already 6!) He's adorable. Enjoy, and don't forget to fill 'er up with high octane grace daily!

My Lil Family