Big thumbs down

When Kalena and Will were toddlers, bedtime was easy. So easy that any time someone watched us put them to bed they’d say, “That’s it? They just go to sleep?” And yep, that was it. Sure, they got up at the crack of dawn, but bedtime was easy and early, so it was fine by me.

Then Daniel came along, and he was the kind of baby who, if you were 10 minutes behind schedule putting him down for a nap, would just fall asleep on the floor.

And then we got Lydia. And apparently she is hell-bent on making us pay for EVERY SINGLE EASY BEDTIME WE EVER HAD. I hate it so much you guys. What she wants is for someone to lay with her until she falls asleep every night. Which takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (OR MORE, depending on how determined she is to stay awake) Turns out I can’t lay still on a bed in a dark, quiet room for that long without falling asleep. Then I’m essentially taking an 8:30 pm NAP which totally ruins my own sleep schedule and GAH. Anyway it’s terrible and I’m writing it all down so that when she’s older I can complain to her every day about what a terrible sleeper she was. (I say was because this has to end at some point, RIGHT?! I don’t even know if I believe that any more, since I’ve been saying it for over 2 years now.)

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Bedtime shenanigans 

A while back we switched up the kids rooms so that Daniel & Lydia are sharing a room. Now, Daniel goes to bed at 6 and Lydia does not, and this worked out REALLY WELL for about 3 days. We could take Lydia in, tell her she had to be quiet because Daniel was sleeping, and she would! But seriously, only like 3 days. Then she started crying when we put her down. Crying loud enough to wake Daniel, who would then growl at her, causing her to cry more. SUPER FUN CYCLE. This led to us going to get her when she started crying. Of course, that’s what she WANTED, so it was a pretty terrible solution. So in order to not reward the tantrums, we started getting DANIEL out when Lydia started crying. Then she could just cry and not bother him. However, Lydia just gets more and more worked up when she cries, so that was also pretty disasterous. 

ANYWAY. After many miserable nights of just letting her stay up until all hours, we came up with a new plan. First, shorted naps. We tried no naps, but then she’s a meltdown-mess by about 4 pm. Second, we bumped her bedtime back by like an hour and a half. Third, instead of trying to get her down quietly in a room where Daniel is asleep, now we move Daniel down to the guest bed in the playroom when it’s time for Lydia to go to bed. And then there’s lots of singing, and laying with her, and trying to leave by telling her I’ll be right back, and buying her one of those music-playing light-up stuffed animals. And sometimes it’s STILL a disaster, but at least not every day. Sad how low the bar is set anymore. 

Today I was letting her skip nap since last night was a mess, but clearly that backfired. 

Accidental 4 pm nap is never good. 

Sleep. *sigh*

I thought I’d be done blogging about sleep issues by the time my youngest child was 3 1/2, but NOPE. Here I am. It’s Lydia, of course, as she remains our worst sleeper. It’s getting better! Ish. But it’s still a struggle many, many nights. Tonight, for example. 

And every night now basically involves a game of musical beds, but it is LATE and I am tired, so I’ll tell you about that later.

Lydia, still with the not talking or sleeping

I was going to write about Daniel first, but there is sooooo much to say & I’m on my phone. I’m going to need a real keyboard for his shenanigans. So today you get to hear about Lydia. She’s been doing speech about once a week since January, and she IS making progress, but it’s slow. Slow because she is stubborn as a mule. She CAN talk, she just WON’T. Still. 

She can imitate words (when she feels like it) and all the sounds are there. She can say whole sentences “where did it go?” “Oh! What is that?” But again, only when she feels like it. And almost all her speech is imitating, not spontaneous. Anyway. The point is she is still FAR behind what is developmentally appropriate and she will be 3 in 4 months (😳 HOW) so that means it’s time to transition to preschool! She’ll be in the same program as Daniel and I’m very excited, because I love them. (Before the speech stuff started, I wanted to apply to see if she could be a peer model.) So YAY! Likely she’ll start sometime in January. I really think being around kids her age who talk will do the trick. 

Sleep. Yeah, she still doesn’t like it. It’s okay sometimes. It’s crap a lot. She’s awake right now, even though she is exhausted from being awake from 11 to 2 am. But you know, at least it was happy times! 

BIG SIGH. 
P.S. In the time I was typing this, Daniel escaped his bedroom like a dozen times. Childproof door locks get here tomorrow!! 

A boring story about a bed

I’ll spare you the (rather long & involved) backstory here, but we had a full size mattress with no bed to go with it. Just the mattress. It’s been on the floor in the basement with sheets on it (I’m willing to be “mattress on the floor” trashy but not “BARE mattress on the floor” trashy. Apparently that’s where I draw the line.) Anyway, it’s actually been used quite a bit- for company, for Kalena when we’re trying to sleep train Lydia and there is much crying, for an extra bed for “quiet time” when all the kids are home. I’ve thought several times that we should get some kind of frame for it, since that seemed like the responsible adult thing to do, but thinking that was as far as I’d gotten. 

Then this week my parents came to visit and my dad asked what I thought about getting a frame for that mattress. Obviously I thought this was a great idea. (Previous visits he’s slept on one of our couches, because apparently he thinks he’s too old for a floor bed.) And when my mom and I were at IKEA we picked out a bed frame that seemed like just what we were looking for. Plus, BONUS, no need to buy a box spring! So the next day we sent my dad and Brian to IKEA to pick up the bed. They were confounded by IKEA and the trip involved one phone call (my dad, reading product names to me, “all these words sound Scandinavian”) and multiple texts (Brian: this place is hard) but in the end they got home with all the right pieces. They got everything set up in a jiffy (and with no swearing! That I heard anyway.) And TADA! Beautiful new basement bed. 

 Except after all that? My dad decided that the couch is so comfortable that he’ll just continue sleeping there😂😂😂

But I’m pleased, because now it’s an actual BED and it looks so much nicer than it did. Also, come visit me! We don’t have a guest bedroom, but we do have a guest bed😊

Breakfast candy

The Royals won the world series! You probably knew this. BUT, as a result, many school districts around here cancelled school for the celebration/parade. This included our district, so we ended up with a random day off. Since no school means we don’t have to get up so early I told the kids the night before that they were welcome to watch Netflix when they woke up, and that they could also have a couple pieces of their Halloween candy and they didn’t need to wake us up. Obviously they loved this idea and it had the desired result- Brian and I got to sleep later than 6:30.

Fast forward to the next morning, when, after a terrible night of sleep, Lydia got up for the day just before 5 am. I got up with her and took her downstairs where I discovered Will and Kalena, already awake and watching Netflix, surrounded by candy wrappers. Apparently I needed to specify that this wasn’t the new daily routine. 4:30! They got up at 4:30 in the morning to watch TV and eat candy. Totally killing it at this parenting thing.

Lydia at 18 months

Yeah, yeah, Lydia actually hit 18 months in August. Whatever. Anyway, her 18 month well check was interesting- she’s jumped WAY up on the growth charts. She’s 33 1/2 inches tall (90%) weighs 27 lbs 3 oz (90-95%) and her head circumference is 19 1/2 inches (>95%.) Continuing the tradition of huge heads. Anyway, if you’ll remember (or possibly I never wrote about it here) at her 2 month appointment she was TEENSY. Like, 5% for weight and height. So yeah. BIG CHANGE.

The pediatrician asked if she’s saying 10 words- No. She uses some signs, but she definitely doesn’t say 10 words. And he asked if we’re limiting pacifier use, which HA! NO. I mean, Lydia has like 3 things that comfort her: Me, her bear, and her binky. So until she’s easier to comfort I’m sure not going to remove any of those things. Also, she doesn’t suck on her binky constantly. Mostly she uses it when she’s sad or tired. (OBVIOUSLY she would not let me take it out of her mouth when I took her to get her 18 month pictures. She was sad AND tired, so I wasn’t surprised, but man she is a pain to get pictures of in a studio. (At her 6 month pictures she cried so much that in the end they put a blanket OVER ME and she sat in my lap for the pictures.))

Anyway. Sleep is still…eh. Getting better I think? Maybe? Hopefully? Surely I’ve guaranteed us a sleepless night with that. We’ve been working on a couple things, sleep-wise. For one thing, she had been going to bed with a sippy of milk and sometimes if she cried in the night we’d give her a cup of milk or water. We’ve stopped both those. It hasn’t stopped night wake ups, but they were bad habits anyway.

Beyond her comfort objects, Lydia has 3 favorite things: A tiny black purse, pictured here:

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Cooking utensils, both play utensils and real ones, although the real ones are better, obviously. And last, but not least, diaper cream. Any time she’s in the vicinity of the basket where we keep diapers, wipes, and diaper cream she goes straight for it. Then she carries the tube of cream around as long as you’ll let her.

(She’s already been up once, while I was writing this! Can’t ever say sleep might be getting better!)

It’s a good thing she’s cute.

Happy Halloween!

You know how sometimes you make plans and then nothing goes like you expect? That was me and Halloween this year. It all started with Will wanting to be Luke Skywalker. I thought, “that’s perfect for coordinating costumes!” Daniel and Lydia are too young to care, and Kalena agreed that Princess Leia would be a good costume. I thought maybe Brian & I would dress up too, but Brian is not big on Halloween, so even with BEST THEME EVER he opted out. I didn’t want to dress up if he wasn’t going to, but figured it was still fine- Daniel would be Darth Vader and Lydia would be Yoda.

I’m not a huge fan of the weeklong ordeal that Halloween has become (why so many events?!) but I figured we’d have 3 places the kids would be wearing the costumes:

School on Wednesday, for class parties.

Church pot-luck & trunk-or-treat on Thursday night

Trick-or-treating in our neighborhood on Saturday

Here’s how that all went. On Wednesday Kalena decided she didn’t want to be Leia at school, she wanted to wear her pioneer costume (my grandma made me a whole outfit when I dressed up as Laura Ingalls Wilder once.) Which, fine (a little annoying since I wanted her to wear the costume I bought, but whatever.) I was planning to go to the boys’ parties, both of which were in the morning and not Kalena’s since hers was in the afternoon when the other kids usually nap. Instead, I ended up with a migraine Tuesday morning and didn’t go anywhere.

On Thursday Lydia refused to nap, so while Brian took the other 3 kids to the church party I stayed home and put Lydia to bed at 6:30. Party only started at 6. (They had a good time, so I shouldn’t complain.)

And then yesterday there were more nap shenanigans. We got all the kids dressed and ready to go around 6, took some pictures, and then Brian left with the 3 older kids and Lydia was done with her costume. (Daniel only went up and down our street then Brian dropped him off and went back out with the older kids.) So, Lydia wore her Yoda costume for all of like 7 minutes, so we could get a bunch of pictures that look like this:

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I need to remember that lowered expectation is the key to happiness.

Oh sleep. Always with the sleep.

Or maybe NEVER with the sleep is a better title. Back when Lydia was a tiny, reflux-y, non-sleeping infant I comforted myself with the knowledge that it would pass. Eventually she would get bigger and she would outgrow the reflux, and she would sleep. Well. We’ve hit 2 of the 3. At her 18 month appointment her measurements charted in the 90-95th percentile! A far cry from her teensy 5% weight at 1 month (or whenever that was.) And she outgrew the reflux long ago. But sleep? Is still bad.

Some nights she sleeps through. Sometimes even a couple nights in a row. After a couple nights I find myself hoping that finally, FINALLY we’ve hit the sweet spot and she will sleep through the night regularly. So far, that has yet to happen. She’ll have streaks of good sleep, sometimes even a week or 2 of sleeping through every night, but then it gets bad again. I suppose “bad” is relative. Some nights it’s only a quick wake up. Other nights it’s multiple wake-ups or being awake for hours. Sometimes there is a LOT of crying. It’s exhausting.

I don’t know where I was going with this. Apparently I’m just here to complain? (I mean, it’s my blog I’ll do what I want.) Anyway. Maybe if she started sleeping I could manage to post here more than once every six months. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Sleep. Or lack thereof.

Brian had Lydia sleeping through the night and I broke it. I don’t know what I did, but SOMETHING, apparently. See, at the beginning of last week (Sunday, actually) I left on vacation. It was a trip with my mom and my sisters, out to visit some of my mom’s family in California with the main purpose of picking up some boxes of things that my grandmother had left my mom. It was a great trip, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is, Brian was here alone with all the kids and we decided he should do some sleep training with Lydia. We figured it would be easier without me here because a) he can sleep through crying better and b) uh…I’m not sure there was a b.

We’ve never had to do serious sleep training before. We’ve done some bedtime fussing, but the other kids started sleeping through the night on their own, without any intervention from us. (Kalena at 7 months, Will at 10 months, Daniel at like 3 weeks) Lydia, on the other hand, was clearly not headed that way. She HAD slept through the night a handful of times, but always just randomly. And at 13 months old she was still waking and wanting milk usually at least twice a night. So Brian did some cry it out. He tells me there was LOTS of crying the first couple nights, but less the third night, and only when he first put her down, so by the time I came home on Friday, she’d slept through the night three nights in a row.

However, it seems my mere presence was enough to screw up all his work and in the 5 nights I’ve been home there has been quite a bit of crying. Sometimes it’s crying at bedtime, sometimes it’s during the night, never is it any fun. Also, she seems to be transitioning to one nap, except it’s not every day. (Today, for instance, she was exhausted and crying by 8 am. Definitely a 2 nap day.) I’m not sure what to do to fix it, since I’m not even sure what I did to mess it up in the first place! I’m just hoping that she’ll get the hang of sleeping through the night SOON.