Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Day

For three nights in a row this week, Harry did not nap. Each of those nights, he went to sleep between 6:30 and 7:00 PM with no fighting and slept until 6-7 AM the next morning. Yesterday, he seemed tired, so we let him nap for 90 minutes, from 12:15 to 1:45 PM. That should be early enough not to mess with bedtime, right? HA! He didn't go to be until 9:45 PM and was hell on wheels.

Daddy and I have decided: No more naps. We just cannot abide this late night schedule. He gets worked up and overtired and everyone gets cranky and miserable. The only fly in the ointment is that he sleeps really deeply when he goes down late and is a bit restless in his sleep when he goes down early. We'll take that over the late nights, though. My job has an early schedule (8-4) and I have to be in bed early and up early. We are not night people around here.

So today is a new day. Here is our routine model:

Toddler Schedule - No Naps

7:00 - Wake
7:00/7:30 - Breakfast
9:30 - Light snack
12:00 - Lunch
1:00 - Quiet/Rest time (45 minutes to 1 hour)
3:30 - Afternoon Snack
5:30 - Dinner
6:30 - Begin bedtime routine
7:00 - Bedtime

He was up at 6:45 today, so we are on track. Those of you who know me well, know that I thrive on this kind of stuff. I'm sure some of you have guessed by reading this that I probably have made lists of meal/snack ideas and activity ideas for each part of the day. You are correct. I have had enough of this haphazard life being held hostage to an unpredictable sleep schedule. It's really demoralizing to think at the end of every day, "Ugh. Do we have to do battle tonight? Is he going to fight or give in? Can I handle 3-4 hours of trying to get him to bed?" It is especially hard when he gets worked up and energized when I'm home alone. Pregnant Mama can't take much of that.

We are also changing up his going to sleep routine. No more bedtime video. He can have that for quiet time and after his bath, but bedtime will be rocking and books. Plus, I cannot spend 45 minutes wearing him in a baby carrier to get him to sleep. My back cannot take it. He's not going to like any this, but if we are consistent, I hope we can change. We have 5 days until Irving leaves for SF. They will not be easy. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Harry Joseph, Seventeen Months Old

(Sorry for the late post!)

Dear Harry,

Today almost passed me by without my realizing that you are seventeen months. Time seems like it has either sped up or stood still. I can't tell which. We've all been sick for about a month, off and on. I haven't been "stay-in-bed" sick since before you were born, until this week. It's been rough. You have your usual amount of energy, and it's just Daddy dealing with you. I know he is tired and has a cold too. If you could just slow down a bit, that would be nice. The other day, I was trying to catch a nap and every time I dozed off, you started shrieking as you ran around the house. Happy shrieks, but still, noisy shrieks.

You are such fun to be around, Harry. Everything is exciting to you and you just overflow with joy when you get excited. You've had your first experience playing in the snow, which you thought was delicious. You've gotten into "cooking" and "cleaning" which means a lot of noise and distraction in the kitchen. You are really interested in animals and the sounds you make. You insist that horses say, "moo" no matter what we tell you. It's pretty cute. You love to help yourself to snacks in the kitchen whenever we turn our backs. One of your habits is taking us by the hand and leading us to whatever it is you desire: the refrigerator, the TV, the front door, the computer. You may not say much yet, but you know how to get your point across.

Speaking of words, you have given me the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. Even better than the 10-speed bike when I was 10 years old. You said "Mama" and gave me a big hug. I know you have been able to say it for many months. You said it at around 8 months and then very infrequently since, and it was rarely specific. It was just part of your babbling on occasion. Now, you say it more each day and you have given it real meaning. I can't think of anything I have ever wanted more. Thank you, sweetie. I hope you are just as happy with your Christmas gifts this year.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Night night, nursies.

Dear Harry,

As I write this, you are doing something we never thought possible: You are letting Daddy put you to sleep. Very suddenly, last Tuesday, November 25, 2008, you weaned yourself from breastfeeding. I'm talking cold turkey, man. You have not asked for it since. You have been very sick with an ear infection and I thought maybe you were refusing to nurse because of pain when you lay down. But nursing has always been your comfort. I've been your "binky" for 16 months. It seemed like you would need me more than ever with your first real illness.

On Tuesday, I was putting you to bed. We laid down and put "Charlie Bird" on the iPod, like always. You were fine through at least "Four Funky Fish Play Fiddle" and then you popped off, sat up and leaned against the bed rail. You sighed and rubbed your eyes. I knew your ear was hurting you, so I sat up and said "Come to Mama." You came and put your head on my shoulder and fell asleep almost instantly. You have never done that. I eased you onto the bed after a few minutes and you stayed put. You didn't nurse all night and have not nursed since.

The next few days were full of illness, the harrowing kind with high fevers and severe congestion. You didn't even want me to comfort you. All you wanted was Daddy. I'll admit that that made me very sad. When you let me hold you, it was for snuggling and sleeping only. No nursies. You spent the better part of 4 nights in my arms while I lay awake listening to your labored breathing. After 3 doctor's visits, you are finally on the mend, but still not nursing.

Last night, you slept with Daddy all by yourself. I haven't slept all night without you next to me since before you were born, but I had only slept an average of 3 hours a night for 4 days and needed some rest. You didn't wake once and were just as pleased to cuddle with him. I never thought I'd see the day.

I had heard terrifying tales of night weaning, involving several nights of crying and fighting, but you did this all on your own. Just like everything you have done - rolling, crawling, walking - once you decide to do it, you just take off. I guess you decided that nursies were "ALL DONE!" (your favorite exclamation) and that you didn't need to look back. I'm still kind of in shock. Keep in mind that, until September when we day weaned you, you were the baby who never went more than 2-3 hours without your milkies. Ever. Never mind what the books and doctors said. At the beginning, we were nursing 12 out of 24 hours a day. Needless to say, we were experts. I thought you would be very tough to wean, since you were so hooked. As usual, you proved me wrong.

I'm very happy I was able to give you the best of what I had for so long. I'm also very sad that it ended before I knew what was happening. I know I've complained about your booby-monster ways, but I really cherished our special time together. You have just grown up so fast that I kind of liked that you were still a baby in that one way.

So, before I start weeping, here is a funny story that really shows just how done you are with this whole breastfeeding thing. The other morning, I was getting out of the shower. Sometimes, you like to come in and say hi to me (and your bath toys). As I wrapped up in my towel, you looked at me and signed "milk." I smiled. You then proceeded to pick up my bra from my pile of clean clothes and hand it to me, as if to say, "Geez, Mom. Put those things away, will ya?" I get it, Harry. "ALL DONE!"