"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Anniversary #4

Well, Zach had to leave on our anniversary again this year, so nothing too exciting was able to go down. However, a pleasant mishap left him without a flight and we were able to go to a very nice, quiet dinner and enjoy one more evening together than planned. Terran joined us and we had a little family time. It was a nice surprise.

I have to say that I hope Zach is around for our five year......

7 Months

Terran is keeping me extremely busy! He likes to walk everywhere, with me holding his hands. When he is with someone else who isn't walking him, he reaches for me because he knows that is what we do. He is dang close to crawling. He can get up on his hands and knees, move backward a little bit, but he hasn't figured out how to move his arms to get going forward.
He is our little explorer baby who cares more for anything outdoors versus any kid toy I can offer him. He loves swimming - he kicks like crazy and has a little doggy paddle going on.
He has recently started throwing fits when something happens he doesn't like, most often me trying to make him take a break from walking and sit down for a minute. But, also included in that is getting in his car seat or putting on his PJ's. Instant, loud, bloody-murder screaming ensues. I'm learning to handle that okay I think.
Still a terrible sleeper. When we get home (I have been in Hurricane for almost two weeks while Zach is in Missouri) I am thinking more intervention will occur. However, he has lengthened his naps for the most part. He generally takes three naps a day. One or two will be about thirty to forty minutes still, with another being about an hour and a half, as long as I am there to feed him when he wakes up thirty minutes into it.
How else can I describe our amazing child? He lights up everyone's day with his scrunchy-nose smile, he just got his top two teeth in, he lays his head on my chest when he gets tired, he loves peek-a-boo, he loves anticipating someone coming to tickle him, he is a thrill loving daredevil, he loves breastfeeding - more to fall asleep than to actually eat I think, he is a blue-eyed, strawberry-blonde haired heartthrob, he is a little baby genius - extremely aware and observing, he looks at things and figures out how they work, he knows where the fun is at and how to get there. Little T-Dub is a big handful of work but a chunky bundle of joy and laughter.

Loves the tub toys Grandma got him - the crab and turtles are his favorite.

Loves my green smoothies!

Prefers to drink his rice cereal than to use a spoon.

My snuggle bug

Tropic 2013

As a last minute decision, we decided to join Zach's family for a couple days of camping at Tropic in the end of July. I was dreading the drive, but it was okay. We stopped for a break and let Terran try out his new shoes. I knew that if we were going to be in the mountains, he was going to be exploring and would need some shoes, so we picked some up on the way out of town.
Nobody knew we were coming, so when we pulled up and Zach said "We heard there's a party...." the people who could see us freaked out and were so excited. Terran was able to meet his two cousins that are his age and Zach was able to fish - a ton. I was able to help Terran explore the rocks, weeds, dirt, and bugs and hike all over the pasture by the campsite. Zach and I got to clean up our tent in the middle of the night when Terran peed through his night diaper onto our blankets and sleeping bags, and then we got to clean up his spit up the next night. Terran actually slept about as well in the tent as he does at home, but his naps were miserable.

It was so fun to have Terran meet his two cousins and compare them all. Even though they are all related, they don't look alike at all! Terran is bigger than both of them and has a totally different personality. They were both happy to hang around the camp and play with their toys, but Terran had exploration on his mind!

One afternoon we went to Bryce Canyon with Zach's parents. I had been there once before, but forgot how awesome it really is!

Even though it was an extremely quick trip, we were glad we went. Hopefully, as time goes on, we can start camping more than once a summer!






Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sleeping Frustrations

The frustrating moments in my life have mainly stemmed from the sleep problems I have been encountering.
Ever since we returned from Southern Utah, Terran has been a horrible sleeper. I'm talking waking up almost every hour, only can be consoled by nursing, bawling every nap time. Granted, his nap times have never been what I would call easy, but they have gotten really bad.
I'm constantly running on four or so hours of sleep and I am developing sleep problems of my own. I have a really hard time falling asleep, and I'm talking like, hours! Right when I'm about to fall asleep, I realize Terran is probably about to wake up and my sleep is going to get interrupted. I am having some mean headaches again. Ugh! I have been pretty miserable.
I have read almost a dozen books on sleep training, blogs, articles, anything. Sometimes I would reach for my phone at 2 in the morning after he had woken up again and I was so frustrated and google something to do with "sleeping through the night" or "crying it out" or "no cry sleep solution."I would rephrase the search in hopes of finding a new article that would be my sleeping Bible that would solve our problems. My head was becoming filled with the knowledge and opinions on both sides of the spectrum.
I was really hoping to avoid letting him cry for long periods at a time, but I have been doing the gentle methods this whole time. For us, there has not been that magical night where he decides to cut out a feeding session, or combine his naps, or decide to sleep through the night.
Part of what has made me so frustrated is that I have tried from the very beginning to have a consistent schedule that is flexible with his needs to gently guide him into being a wonderful sleeper. I almost never used the swing, I avoided the vibration setting, tried not to have him nap a lot in the car. Now, ironically, some of the things I am reading say that you should do those things, where before everything I found was agreeing that you shouldn't! As if there have not been enough instances so far to make me never want to judge another mother or think to myself, "It's common sense, it should be done THIS way." There are too many options and opinions out there, as well as so many babies that are completely different than others that there really is no room for judgment.

This past week I realized I can't continue on like this. Zach isn't really able to help much because he has been working late days, has school, is in the middle of a military course, and just left and will be gone for four of the next six weeks. Good timing, right?
I decided that some form of crying it out was the answer. But what? And when?
My pediatrician said there are two ways - put them to bed and don't get them or comfort them until morning (I knew I couldn't do that!) or you can set a timer and go in every twenty (or whatever you feel comfortable with) minutes. The thing you don't want to do is let them cry one night, decide you can't handle it, go pick them up, then do it again the next night. Terran was basically forcing me to do this with his naps because he would cry if I was holding him or not, rocking him or laying in his crib.
So that made things more complicated. How would I handle all the little bumps and random awakenings and do I feed him in the night? He was used to at least twice but lately four feedings a night!
I fought with myself for a couple days of whether or not I really wanted to do this. Was it going to be best for Terran? I decided yes, then no, then yes, then no. Over and over, every nap time and every moment I didn't have enough energy to play with Terran the way he really wanted me to.

Now I am continuing this post a week or two after beginning it. Zach and I decided we needed to do something and made a plan. We would help him fall asleep on his own, then deal with his night awakenings the same way as usual. This was a method I found that I thought I could handle. That first night I did the same night routine, but instead of letting him nurse until he was completely asleep, I paid attention to when he stopped eating and just was suckling and took him off, and laid him in his crib. I got in the shower, but Zach was in the kitchen and could hear him scream. 14 minutes, then he was out. Not too bad, I thought. He still awoke three times to feed, so I just fed him and he went back to sleep.

The next two nights he was extremely tired and fell right to sleep. Again, self doubt would creep in. Am I letting him nurse too long again? The third night he was a little more awake, but I put him in his crib and left. He cried for five minutes, then asleep. This was definitely a step in the right direction, but his night awakenings were not changing, neither were his naps.

We decided to go camping, and I stressed that it would mess with his schedule. He didn't nap well, but he didn't change much with his night sleeping.

Today I decided it is time to work on bettering his nap times. He still takes 30-40 minute naps, but going down for them has become very difficult. Even nursing and the car don't work like they used to. Zach and I have observed that his body really doesn't know how to fall asleep. He is also such a curious, alert, observing child that he will fight sleep if there is anything going on. So, I am doing a little nap routine and then I put him in his crib. He immediately cries, and hard, and since this breaks my little heart I pick him up for a quick snuggle and another little bounce, then set him down, kiss him, and leave. First nap, ten minutes. Second nap, he went down without crying but fussed then quiet then cried, but was asleep within minutes. I didn't exactly count that one because I knew he was going to go down. I am going to plan my days to be home at nap time for the next several days and continue doing things the same. I have hope that he will quickly evolve to just falling asleep on his own, with no tears.

There are more hopes here as well. Lengthening his naps, sleeping through the night, etc. But let's not get crazy just yet. :)

6 months...T-Dub is half a year!

There is so much I want to blog about right now, but I am having a really hard time getting to it. Plus, a lot is happy but then there is some frustration mixed in and I'm not sure that I can just bounce back and forth in a quick post. By the time I am done, this probably won't be a quick post, but that is partly the point, right? I am going to read this with our next child and learn from it.
Let's start with happy:
Terran's hair is getting long enough to be styled.
Terran cut his first two teeth when we were in St. George. He was really fussy, waking every hour and crying, and rubbing them back and forth on his Bumbo. It was really taxing on me physically and emotionally, but thankfully Zach took over and put him down for naps or would take him when he was fussing for a long time. Once he finally cut the first one, it explained everything. The second one wasn't near as bad. Now, he likes to chew on everything and uses them to eat fruit and chew cereal puffs.
He also:
Stands for a few seconds
Pushes my hand away
Started reaching for me, particularly when he is tired or hungry. It makes me feel so mom-like and loved. :)
Clings to me when he is tired and doesn't want to be put down
Rolls on his stomach all the time and gets frustrated because he wants to move but can't quite yet. However, this past Sunday he did figure out how to scoot backwards and he has been working hard on pulling himself up on his knees.
Likes dance parties. This is Zach's go to calm-down method. I use it to, but usually more for fun. Terran likes to swing and sway.
He recently learned how to blow raspberries - he does it on his plastic toy octopus, my leg, the air...all day long.
Pulling himself up on stuff.
Likes stuffed animals now - wraps his legs around his monkey. Seriously the cutest thing.
He discovered stairs and decided that he likes them. He likes to bounce down them, and if he is walking and I try to steer him away, he flexes his body so he can't be turned. He is definitely getting a hang of controlling his body according to his wants.
Terran is a boy all the way! 
He tries to eat grass, wants to crawl on rocks and get into our bark, he likes to watch bugs and try to pick them up. He is a little explorer. It is actually awesome to watch him sometimes. He will be walking around, look up, see something he wants to explore, then head straight for it.
He plays in bed with me in the morning, usually for about half an hour. It is one of my favorite parts of the day because he will snuggle me for a minute and give me smiles and touch my face. Then I give him a few toys and we just enjoy the morning.
At his 6 month checkup, Terran was 21 lbs 9 oz (95%) and 29 inches (98%). He is a tough guy with his shots and only cries for about thirty seconds.

I have long hair and can hold and drink from a cup!

Check out my teeth!

Waiting for the doc at his 6 month checkup. Such a happy babe.
Stay tuned for the more frustrating parts of our recent days.