What I Know Today

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Little Butterball

I haven't posted here in awhile, so I thought I'd better share something! Here is a picture of Jack taken a few weeks ago. He loves to sit on the couch with his big brother. If I prop him up right, he'll be content there quite awhile. Despite the sleeping issues, I really am blessed to have such well behaved and (generally ;o) ) content kiddo's!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Day On The Farm

We took Henry to A Day On The Farm on Sunday. This was the first time we'd ever been to the event, and we all enjoyed ourselves! I would have liked to have stayed longer, but given Jack's current sleep situation, we wanted to try our best to adhere to our sleep schedules. We'll make up for it next year, I'm sure!

Here are some pictures from our day:

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Big Boy

Here is a picture of Henry taken yesterday at the playground by the tanks (i.e. Red Arrow Park). He's getting to be such a big boy, and we've had so much fun going on our weekend adventures this summer.

This morning, Darrin and I were getting dressed for the day when we heard a loud crash come from upstairs. I raced up the stairs, only to find Henry there on the floor in front of his crib, holding his head and saying, "OWW!". He's fine, but it just marks the beginning of another era in his life... the big boy bed. Once we were all ready for the day, we went and picked up some breakfast before heading to my Mom's (to pick them up for yet another of our adventures). When we sat down to eat, and tried to get him into his high chair he said no, and pointed to a regular chair. *sigh* So, he sat in a big boy chair (no booster, just him) and ate his breakfast. He didn't squirm or wiggle, he just sat and ate. On one hand it's exciting to watch him develop, on the other it makes me a little sad to think that he is just a little less dependent on me now. But, I guess that's all part of being a parent.

After we finished our breakfast, we headed out to Pickett for A Day On The Farm. Henry had a blast. I have more pictures to share from that later this week. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pool Time

Henry loves to splash in the water. It doesn't matter if it's the tub, the pool, or a tiny little puddle. If he finds it, he'll splash in it! So does it make me a bad mother for not bringing the pool out until Labor Day weekend? LOL! Ok, maybe a little. Here is a quick slideshow of his two swimming weekends this summer - Labor Day weekend, and the weekend after. Hey, at least he got to do it a little bit anyhow! ;)

As a point of reference, here is a picture taken one year earlier. Isn't it crazy how much growth can happen in one year?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday's Wedding

This past Friday, September 12th, was the wedding day for my cousin Brandon (second cousin, to be exact) and his bride, Kati. Here are a few pictures from the day. I wasn't able to get many, as Jack started to fuss shortly after the ceremony began and I had to take him to the van (it was an outdoor wedding at a park in Appleton).

This is my favorite picture. Here we have Brandon and his son Gage waiting for Kati to walk down the aisle. Gage was the best man at the wedding, but I think he was a little intimidated by the whole thing. He didn't quite know what to make of everything. This picture just touches my heart because as cheesy as it sounds, I can feel the love...

I photoshop'ed the background of that picture above to get out the big white Lamers bus that was sitting in the parking lot behind them. It's the first time I've ever done that, but I don't think it turned out *too* bad. So what if the tree leaves go all the way to the ground? hee hee. Here we have Kati as she approaches, arm in arm with her Dad. Check out the look on Gage's face. LOL! That made me smile. :)

Brandon and Kati prepare to take their vows...

Aaaand that's when I had to leave. Argh. I took Jack to the van and nursed him quick, then came right back and it was over. I think the whole thing must have lasted all of maybe 15 minutes. It was an insanely short ceremony (though my husband thought it was just perfect - MEN!). I was sad that I missed the good parts, but such are the joys of parenthood I guess.

Here is a quick shot of Henry after the ceremony. He had a tummy ache that day and was being a stinker when I wanted to take a picture of him, so hubby had to help.

Shortly after that picture was taken, the boys headed off to the playground. :)

So, that was our day on Friday. The reception was nice, but we weren't able to stay for much of that either. The boys were both in a mood that day and I was sleep deprived, which didn't help my patience levels at all. We ended up leaving shortly after dinner.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Like Mother, Like Son

I used to love to walk around the house in my grandpa's shoes when I was Henry's age. It made me smile to see him come around the corner in my Crocs the other day. :o) He's such a cheeseball when it comes to taking pictures though. As soon as he sees the camera he gets this crazy look on his face. What a nut! :o)

Anyhow, I promised pictures so that the blog didn't get dragged down with all the NCSS stuff. Here is one, and there are more to come this week!

NCSS: Night -Waking Log

Date: September 11, 2008
Age: 5.5 mos

Six items were logged:
  1. Time
  2. How baby woke me up
  3. How long awake; what we did
  4. Time baby fell back to sleep
  5. How baby fell back to sleep
  6. How long of a sleep stretch since fell asleep

7:40 - Jack fell asleep at the end of our nursing session and I moved him to the crib

8:30 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 8:40 while nursing. Sleep stretch (SS): 50 mins

9:10 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 9:20 while nursing. SS: 40 mins

9:30 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 9:40 while nursing. SS: 20 mins

10:55 - He woke, grunting. Fell asleep on his own a minute or two later. SS: 1 hr 25 mins.

11:20 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 11:30 while nursing. SS: 20 mins

1:15 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 1:30 while nursing. SS: 1 hr 55 mins

4:00 - He woke, crying. Fell asleep again at 4:10 while nursing. SS: 2 hr 45 mins

7:00 - Up for the day. SS: 3 hrs.

Asleep time: 7:40p.m.
Awake time: 7:00 a.m.
Total Number of Awakenings: 7
Longest Sleep Span: 3 hours
Total Hours of Sleep: 11 hrs, 15 mins

Well, there you have it. This was a somewhat rougher night that usual, but not by much. When he falls asleep nursing I try everything I can think of to get him to wake up and nurse longer but nothing works. Yet, when I move him to the crib his sleep doesn't last long.

If I remember correctly, my next logs will be done in ten days (from 9/11/08) to monitor progress. I'm still reading the book though, so there might be other stuff between now and then too. So far the biggest suggestions seem to be that there has to be a set bedtime time and routine. And I knew that, but honestly wasn't using one. We didn't get Henry into a routine until he was older - maybe 9 mos, and yes, I do remember him sleeping better after we did so don't ask me why I didn't do it right away this time. I am also being more aware of sleep cues and taking Jack up to bed as soon as he appears tired. Last night I put him down at 7:00 p.m, and he slept until about 9:30 this morning, but there were TONS of wake ups in between. Like, an ungodly amount. I can handle every 3 hours or so. It's the 30 minute cycles that get me.

So, that's that. Stay tuned for progress reports!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NCSS: Prebedtime Routine Log

Name: Jack
Age: 5.5 mos
Date: 9/11/08

Key (from book):
Activity: active, moderate, or calm
Noise: loud, moderate, or quiet

Light: bright, dim, or dark

I am logging five points:

  1. Time
  2. What We Did
  3. Activity Level
  4. Noise Level
  5. Light Level

Here are today's results:

5:30 p.m. - Worked puzzles with Henry. Calm activity. Moderate noise (he is a toddler after all!). Bright light.

6:00 p.m. - Misc.... read some books, watched the news, watched Henry play while I did a little baby massage. Moderate activity. Moderate noise. Bright light.

7:00 p.m. - Jack sat in his bouncer while Hubby, Henry, and I ate supper. Moderate noise, Calm activity (for him). Bright light.

7:20 p.m. - Took Jack up to his bedroom to change diaper and nurse. Calm activity. Quiet. Dim light.

Q: Do you have a formal, consistent bedtime routine?
A: Yes, from the time we get into the bedroom we go through the same routine every night. Before that, no.

Q: Is the hour prior to bedtime mostly peaceful, quiet, and dimly lit?
A: Umm, no, is it supposed to be?

Q: Does your bedtime routine help both you and your baby relax and get sleepy?
A: No, it's not really long enough to do that.

Q: Any other observations about your current bedtime routine?
A: It is difficult to get in a routine before we get to the bedroom because often times we are just getting home from my Mom's, etc. It seems every day brings a new adventure. It is also hard to convince a two year old to be (relatively) quiet... though he tries. I always put Jack down first, while Henry plays with his "Pa" . When I come down, if Henry is noisy I will say, "Shhh, honey, we have to be quiet." in a calm voice and he'll say, "Bee?" (his name for Jack - short for baby). So he *kind of* gets it, but not entirely.

I'll log the overnight routine tomorrow. I have some new pictures to post too, so don't get all skeered thinking it's all business from here out (coughChriscough). ;o)

NCSS: Nap Log

Here is the info with guidelines from Pantley's NCSS book for Jack's Nap Log:

Age: 5.5 mos
Date: 9/11/08

I am logging five points...

  1. Time Baby Fell Asleep
  2. How Baby Fell Asleep
  3. Where Baby Fell Asleep
  4. Where Baby Slept
  5. How Long?

Here are the results for today:

11:20 a.m. - Jack was lulled to sleep by the movement of the stroller as we walked through the zoo. He fell asleep in the car seat (which was in the stroller), and slept there for the duration of his 30 minute nap.

1:25 p.m. - Jack was nursed to sleep on the couch and slept in that position and location for one hour before waking.

2:30 p.m. - Jack was again nursed to sleep on the couch and slept in that position and location for another 1 hr. 40 mins. before waking completely.

Q: How many naps should your baby be getting?
A: 2 (according to chart in book)

Q: How many naps is your baby getting now?
A: 2

Q: How many hours should your baby be napping?
A: 3 - 4 hours (according to chart in book)

Q: How many hours is your baby napping now?
A: Today it was 3 hrs, 10 min total.... yesterday it was 1 hr, 25 mins.

Q: Do you have a formal nap routine?
A: In the morning, no. In the afternoon, yes.

Q: Are your baby's naptimes/lengths consistent every day?
A: The time he goes down for his afternoon nap is consistent every day, but the answer is no for everything else.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

by Elizabeth Pantley

I am not a big fan of self-help books, but I thought I'd give this one a try. It's not that Jack doesn't sleep, it's more that he doesn't stay asleep for long (or so it seems). He seems to do a lot of cluster feeding in the beginning of his sleep cycle, waking to nurse a number of times between 8-12, and then sleeps in longer stretches from 12-8. He will not go back to sleep unless he is nursed... even if it's only for a few minutes (I let him go as long as he wants/needs too, but he typically falls asleep within 3-10 minutes).

I really don't believe that he is hungry every time he wakes up (and neither does the author), it just seems to be his only mode of comfort. Given what I've read so far, it seems this book will help me to change that so he can more easily soothe himself to sleep when he stirs at night. I've already read interesting info about sleep cycles, and why/when babies wake. One interesting thing Pantley noted was something about how she'd cry too if she woke up in the middle of the night and was laying on the kitchen floor. I didn't get her point at first, but she went on to explain how baby falls asleep all nice and cozy nestled next to mum and nursing, and then wakes alone in a crib. He probably wonders how he got there, and where his mum went (by the way, Henry calls me "Mum" so that's how I refer to myself ;o))!

I have let Jack cry it out a few times, but it never sat well with me, and I always caved long before it worked. The results were just more agitation and an even longer time to settle. Not fun. Pantley quotes another author (Jean Liedloff) and her desciption of a baby waking in the middle of the night:

"He awakes in a mindless terror of the silence, the motionlessness. He screams. He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience. He gasps for breath and screams until his head is filled and throbbing with the sound. He screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore. He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside. He listens. He opens and closes his fists. He rolls his head from side to side. Nothing helps. It is unbearable. He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops. He waves his hands and kicks his feet. He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope. He listens. Then he falls asleep again."

Yeah, so, anyway... pretty sure we'll never be trying the CIO method again. Like, ever. That paragraph almost moved me to tears. I can't even imagine doing that to a baby. I know people have had success with this method, but it is not for me. Just like some of the things I choose to do with my children may not be for them. We all have to find our own way, and this No Cry Sleep Solution is mine.

I've read as far as I can for now. I'm to the "homework" part of the book (this is where the self help books always lose me, but I'm sticking with this one). I have to log his sleep patterns three times. At naptime, before bed, and through the night. I will do separate posts for each of them as I'm planning to use this not only for information to any readers who might drop by, but also for my own reference as I work my way through the program.

From now on, I will refer to the No Cry Sleep Solution as NCSS, and will also make a separate label for these posts in case you'd like to track the progress in one place.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My First Hickey

The Evidence

The Culprit

The Proof

Yep, he does it to himself too. It has only happened these two times though. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Story Time

Henry has always loved his books. To this day, he'll sit and "read" for 30-45 minutes at a time. We also do story time multiple times each day, and it's one of my favorite things to do with him. My grandmother instilled a strong love of books in me, and I hope to do the same for my boys! As you can see, we're already getting Jack in on the action!

Henry's favorite books are these "If You Give A..." books by Laura Numeroff. We have four of them so far (Mouse/Cookie, Moose/Muffin, Pig/Pancake, Mouse/Movies), and he loves them all. I actually have memorized If You Give A Moose A Muffin, so we can even tell that story in the car.... and we do. A lot. I'm just glad he likes his books so much!

Friday, September 5, 2008


It is a rare feat these days to get Jack to sleep (for naps OR bedtime... long story). It is equally rare to find Princess within about 25 feet of either child. It seems she will throw caution to the wind if she is hungry, or if the child in question happens to be sleeping though. :) I saw her snuggle up on the next pillow over and had to snap a quick photo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day in the Saucer

Remember that scene in the movie E.T. where he's hiding in the middle of all the stuffed animals? That's kind of what this reminds me of (lol!):

When Henry was a baby, he loved (and I mean LOVED) sitting in his bouncer. We could leave him in there for hours if we wanted to (which, of course, we didn't). He loved it so much, that he actually wore it out. We had to replace it when Jack was born. Sadly, Jack is not a big fan of the bouncer. He prefers to be upright instead of laying back. I've been waiting and waiting for his trunk strength to be strong enough for him to go in the saucer, and the day finally came. Well, technically it probably came 3 weeks ago or so, but it took me awhile to get around to cleaning it out (all of Henry's puzzles and little people were stored on/under it) and cleaning it up. I have no excuses, it just kept getting put off.

So, here are a few pictures from Jack's first saucer experience. And in case you missed it, here is a close up of those chubby little thighs!

hee heeeeee!

Enjoy the day!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Picnic on the Porch

We had to take a trip up to Best Buy in Appleton today to get a new DVD player. Our 5-disc changed fried on us a few weeks ago, and Henry has been asking for his movies on a daily basis (mainly the one of all the animals at the San Diego Zoo - go figure) so it was time. By the time we got back to town it was almost nap time, so we stopped for a quick bite at McDonald's, and the boys had a picnic on the porch when we got home.

I just love how little Henry looks sitting at the table in this big chair! I tried to get him to smile for the picture, but he would only give me his cheesy smile. Darrin thought bribing with a french fry would work, but that just made Henry want the french fry. LOL! Duh! ;)

It's hard to believe he has gotten this big already. It seems like he was just born! Pretty soon it will be time to move from high chairs to boosters at the restaurant (and at home). Ugh. I'm not sure I'm ready for all of this growing up!