Saturday, January 31, 2009

5 months






Luke weighed in at 19 and 1/4lbs yesterday and about 26.5 inches. He took his two shots very well, but his little leg was hurting him last night. :( I am amazed at how fast he is growing. Here are some random pictures from this past month:































With Mommy and Daddy at Denny's


















With Clara Lee

























Typing with Daddy

Friday, January 30, 2009

This Little Face...


is the reason I sent in my notice of resignation today.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Night Owl

Last night I woke up at 12:40- Luke was awake for his first night-waking. Instead of getting up right away, I listened. He wasn't crying. He wasn't grunting in frustration either. He was cooing and babbling. I decided to try to sleep some more and then get up when he was getting cranky. At least fifteen minutes went by until he started sounding frustrated and started calling for me.

He did this again when he woke up at 4:45am. He is really beginning to like his crib. Maybe someday he will even feel comfortable enough to fall back asleep. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thanks

Thanks for the comments. They were encouraging and I do enjoy hearing from other mothers.

Last night we swaddled Luke again- and I might mention that only his arms are swaddled. His feet get to kick about freely. He slept 8 and 1/2 hours straight! He must have been tired from the past few rough nights. Also, we put him to bed at 7:30 instead of 8:30, which the sleep book recommends. Establishing an earlier bed time was a good suggestion. I think in the past, Luke has been needing to go to sleep earlier, and I hadn't noticed.

In my last post, I did not mean to disparage the sleep book itself, but rather to say that my reading of it was the problem.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Transition

Or perhaps I should call this post "Why I should be careful when reading parenting books"

I am a bit obsessed with sleeping right now. This is partially due to the fact that Luke is now waking up 3-4 times a night, and due to my reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. The premise of the book is that you can get your child to sleep through the night, or sleep better at least, if they are not developmentally ready, without crying-it-out. I read most of the book while Luke was bouncing in his jumper the other day. We are doing a couple of things that she says not to do, and are also practicing some positive sleep routines as well.

Bright Spots:

1. Luke can sleep in the car, in the swing and in his crib without much trouble.

2. We put Luke down before he is totally asleep and let him get the rest of the way on his own.

3. We have a bedtime routine- bath, nursing, swaddle, rock and sing In The Bleak Mid-Winter and some part of the liturgy or a hymn.

Trouble areas:

1. Pacifier- Luke uses his trusty old pacifier. He loves to suck and always has. Though he uses it only minimally during the day, he feels that he NEEDS it at night, especially when being put to bed.

2. Swaddling- From the time he was 3 weeks old, Luke has been swaddled when going down for the night. He seems to be unable to sleep through more than one sleep cycle if his hands are free to flail about. Since modern baby experts say that babies need to be placed on their back to sleep safely, we chose to swaddle. Also, it helped him sleep longer. To wean them from swaddling, you are supposed to let one arm be free and see if they can tolerate that. If they consistently wake themselves up, they are not ready. So far, Luke has not been ready measuring by this standard.

Thoughts:

I know the pacifier use and swaddling cannot go on forever, but for now it is what he likes and what helps him sleep. Reading the sleep book, however, and perhaps a greedy desire to once again sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time, made me want to cut these things out. I wanted him to be able to soothe himself. So, I decided to rock the boat and let him sleep unswaddled for a couple of nights, and remove the pacifier on occasion.

The result so far is that he does not sleep. He wakes himself up over and over again. Part of me thinks that I just need to be patient, that the teaching him to sleep without these comforts will help him sleep better in the end. The other part of me thinks that he will probably grow out of swaddling at some point, and we can wean the pacifier later (basically- wait, he is only 5 months old).

Trying to wean him from these things now makes me feel good in a way. I can learn patience and he will sleep through the night. He is certainly big enough. :) I can make him into the perfect baby ( boy am I a perfectionist... if I didn't think so before, having Luke sure has pointed that out with an exclamation mark. I hear myself sometimes and cringe).

Trying to wean him from these things and implement a new and improved sleeping plan, in reality, is making me crazy. My day seems to hinge on whether he sleeps or not. I measure my success as a mother on this. I am more irritable, sleep deprived, frustrated with him and with Nathan (why doesn't he get up with Luke? Why does he get to sleep while I slave away. Its not like he anything better to do, like be rested for work in the morning! -oh wait, he does).

Conclusion:

So is it worth it? That is my question. He is only 5 months old, but he is 5 months old. He is not a newborn anymore, but he is still an infant. We are in transition and I want order, clear guidelines. I want a book to tell me what to do. But truly, I know that any parenting book will be limited in its usefulness. Though Luke may share similarities with the whole spectrum of babies, he is is own person with his own unique needs.

Writing all this down helped me process a bit. Maybe I will go take a shower so that I will be somewhat awake for Church this morning. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sitting up to Eat

Two very new and exciting things have happened:

1. Today at playgroup, Luke sat up unassisted for the first time. He flopped over after a bit, but he did sit up all by himself! Way to go little man! :)

2. Last night Luke had some rice cereal for dinner. We took a video and some pictures (see below). Originally, I wanted him to be solely breastfed until 6 months. However, Luke was meeting all the criteria for a baby who is ready for solids, so we thought that we would try it out. He can sit up with minimal support, he wants to eat what we are eating, he has been wanting to eat more than I have had to give him for a few days now (probably due to the calorie-burning bouncing), and he does not have a strong tongue thrust reflex which prevented him from taking food.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sleep Regress + DMV

So, due to the teething issue, sleep has once again become hard to come by. When I go in to see why he is crying, he is vigorously shaking his head back and forth (much like in the video we just posted). Poor thing!

I think it was easier to deal with not sleeping when I was expecting to not sleep. Since I became accustomed to only waking up once or twice a night (and for only a short while when I did get up) it is hard to go back.

I think that it is also because I have been living in the land of "shoulds" instead of the land of reality. The baby should begin to sleep through the night. The baby should take about 3 naps a day. He should be able to do x,y, and z. When Luke can't or won't do something, I begin to have self doubts.

In the Orthodox Church, we fast on Fridays and during the penitential seasons from certain foods and in the amount of food consumed. I have not been able to fast much because of Luke. But, I have been fasting from an uninterrupted, decent night's sleep for 5 months. I have a friend who worked nights for a while and said that she tried to pray and see each night as an all night vigil. Well, maybe I will work towards that- I am certainly not there now! :)

Also, the DMV sent me a flyer saying that they had some trouble processing my license, asking me to kindly come down again so that they could try to process it again. (Great...) So, I will drag my sleep-deprived self and the wee one down to the DMV after our morning nap.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Drooly Baby

So it looks like his first tooth is coming in. He's been drooling like a firehose for the last few weeks, and then tonight he was especially agitated...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sleep Progress

As I write, Luke is taking his 3rd nap of the day. This is amazing considering that 2 weeks ago he was taking 6 half-an-hour naps a day. Really, you could set a clock by him. The only way to get him to sleep longer was to swaddle him, which I did not want to do during the day so that he can distinguish daytime naps from nighttime sleep.

It is so wonderful that he is now taking longer, less frequent naps. I didn't realize how exhausting it was to put him down six times a day, or how much more I can get done when I have a whole hour instead of a half.

Night time sleeping patterns remain unchanged since he was 2 months old. He has good nights and bad and still wakes up 1-3 times during the night. I have tried several different positions, routines, etc... to get him to sleep longer, but to no avail. Maybe once he begins eating solid food this will change. One nice thing though, is that he does not wake up for long. He wants to be fed, rocked, and put back to sleep. Sometimes all he needs is a little rocking.

Also, Luke never cries when he wakes up. Usually I hear a little "goo, gooo, ooohaaa" coming from his room instead. He is awfully cute!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Home


Not us. Luke and I are still in Escondido, but Bethany is now home from the hospital. She is resting right now and trying to eat some. Hooray! She really looks good for having surgery only a few days ago. Clara was overjoyed to see Mommy again and squealed when she saw her. She loves her Mommy very, very much!

Today Kathy and I cleaned and fixed up a room for her and bought a mattress topper for the bed that is 3 inches thick. It is very comfy and was a great deal from Costco. We bought some flowers too to cheer up the room and create a bright, peaceful space.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and please continue to pray for a smooth recovery.

Swinging the Day Away

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bethany is ok!..... What a Day!

First and foremost: Bethany came through surgery very well. The surgeon removed the cyst from her liver using laprascopic technology and a small incision, without complications. She needed no blood transfusions (1-2 units were predicted). The surgeon was so pleased in fact that he thinks Bethany will be able to come home in 2-3 days (half the time originally estimated). Praise God for his blessings!

Also, today I watched Clara and Luke and we all three had colds, Clara's being the worst. I was very worried that both of them would need me at the same time and I would go crazy. As it turned out, Luke had a looooong nap this afternoon (very unlike him), Clara woke up happy after her nap (very unlike her right now), and Kathy Huff- a family friend came to help from 3-6pm.

While Kathy was here and Baby Luke was sleeping, Clara, Kathy and I all cleaned house. We did laundry, dishes, vaccuming, and mopping the floors. The video below shows Clara pretendng to be Cinderella with the little duster. She had a grand old time!

After Kathy left at 6, I was tempted to have a melt down. Luke was fussy, Clara missed her mommy and repeatedly asked for mommy, daddy, Grammy.... anybody but me. But in the end, she got her bath, Luke got his bath, the dog was fed, and the two little ones went off to dreamland. Whew! Hats off to mothers of two. One keeps me busy enough. It was cute though- when Clara cried a little (I got water in her eyes during the bath), Luke stopped to watch. I looked at him and told him that he could not cry if she was crying and stuck a binky in his mouth. He gace me a pouty look, but then accepted his lot.

Things I have been reminded of tonight: Bethany and I have great kids. God is good and gives enough strength no matter what the situation. God answers prayers both big (Bethany's surgery), and small (watching 2 kids).

Right now I can not sleep because of all the unfamiliar noises in the Jones house and because I am paranoid about not hearing Clara or Luke. The mild earthquake a few minutes ago isn't helping my nerves either. Whew again! Maybe I will just rest here on the couch....... :)

For Bethany:

Get well soon! Here are some shots of our day:

Sleeping in the Jumper



How cute! He just tired himself out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slow Growing for our Little Jumping Bean

Yesterday was Luke's 4 month appointment. He weighed in at 17lbs, 25.5inches, with a head circumference of 17.5 inches. So, Luke has only gained half a pound this month. He is now only in the 90% percentile. :) That is usually the way things go for breastfed babies- they plump up early and gradually thin out.

I think that Luke has not gained much this month mainly because of all of his activity. He LOVES the jumperoo. This morning he jumped for 20 minutes. It looked like a workout, and he smiled the whole time. I am away again at the Jones's to help out, but I will try to get Nathan to post his latest jumping video.

I am not sure yet if I am too fond of the jumperoo however. Now when I try to feed Luke he jumps against the chair. When I hold him on my lap he gets fussy until I let him stand up so that he can bounce on my legs. I am getting great arm muscles holding him like this. He just wants to jump all the time. :)

Luke also can sit up now with very little support. He may sit up on his own by the end of the month. So many changes!

Home for Now

Bethany is home for now with surgery scheduled for Thursday at 2:15pm. Evan, her husband, has a full update here: www.bevany.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Prayer Needed

Please pray for Bethany, Nathan's sister, who has been sick since Christmas. Right now she is in a UCSD hospital waiting to get surgery to remove a cyst that formed in her liver. Please also pray for the rest of the family too, that we can keep up our strength to help out as needed- especially in taking care of he little daughter Clara, who misses her mommy very much!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years' Resolutions

Here are mine:

1. Attend Tuesday morning liturgy on a regular basis (it begins with morning prayers at 7, so sometimes it is just not possible to make it with Luke).

2. Have a regular prayer routine in the evenings with Nathan and Luke.

3. Eat less sweets.

4. Eat something it if is offered to me. (Sometimes I try to find something that I want that meets my personal nutritional regimen, instead of taking what is offered- this is part of a greater control challenge that I have)

Anyone want to share? Thoughts on the larger idea of whether or not to have resolutions in thew first place?