Thursday, February 27, 2014

How NOT to Night Wean 101

I am exhausted.

Lucas, at 9.5 months, is crawling, standing, smiling, walking with a walker, blowing raspberries, smiling, eating, nursing, smiling, standing on his own, and, most of all, not sleeping.

Ok, so he gets up about twice a night. Some parents may think that that's awesome. Except he is a super restless sleeper until about 11pm, then sleeps until 1:30-ish am, then wakes up again at about 5:30am, then sleeps until 7:30am when I wake him up. Oh, and don't forget my daughter who wakes us up at 5:45am.

Not only that, but when Lucas DOES eat, lately he's been projectile vomiting all over everything. Is it allergies? Is it a sinus issue? (his nose is constantly full, and I started to wonder if he was swallowing mucous and snot and therefore getting a sore tummy.) Is he just over full? We seriously have no idea what is causing this! (we're trying him on Benadryl at night, but his second half of the night is so bad that I should be giving him a second dose; it does get rid of his super runny nose, but I don't particularly enjoy drugging him!)

I hate this schedule. I am exhausted. And since my beautiful redheaded daughter likes to wake up at 5:45am, regardless of her GroClock that tells her she needs to stay in bed, it makes for a very long, frustrating day. Oh, the bunny is still asleep? Well, let me serenade you at the top of my lungs until the bunny is in the sun. 

Every. Morning.

[If you saw our GroClock, you'd understand that when the bunny is sleeping in bed, she is to stay in bed. If the bunny is frolicking in the sun, she's allowed to get out of bed to pee. It's set for 6am. Yeah. 6. A. M. Yet 5:45 comes around and there she is next to our bed.]

But I digress.

Due to my extreme exhaustion, and extremely low level of patience, and serious lack of humour, and being on the brink of a nervous breakdown, I got the brilliant idea to night wean. This is how it went.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself.
I psyched myself out. I decided to give Night Weaning 6 nights. I knew the first 3 nights would be awful, and hopefully they'd get progressively better. If on the 6th night it still was unsuccessful, I considered faking spontaneous deafness... or, I'd give up and try again in a few weeks, or even a month. 6 nights of hell for a lifetime of sleep. I was ready.

Step 2: Put Plan into Action.
And here we go.

Night 1
Lucas woke up at 1:30am, just like I suspected. I picked him up, I walked around the room, I patted his back, I shushed him, I walked, and walked, and walked. He cried, he fought me, he bent his body down to eat and was thoroughly pissed off when he was denied.

2 hours later, he was back to sleep. I laid him down in bed, tiptoed out of the room, and went back to bed. I woke up at 5am to pump a bit just for some relief, and then went back to bed.

Lucas slept until 8am. Then ate a little bit, we went downstairs for breakfast, then he nursed at nap time at 9:30am and napped for 2 hours.

Cue zombie acting.

Night 2
Lucas woke up at 12:30, but didn't fight as hard. It took an hour and a half to get him back to sleep, doing much the same I did the night before. I laid him down in bed.

Parent Mistake #1: false hope.

Oh, it took an hour and a half this time instead of 2 hours? Wait until you lay the kid down. Then they wake up. Then you have to spend another 30 minutes putting them back to sleep without feeding them.

2 hours and 20 minutes later, I was back in bed. I did have to get up and pump again a bit at 5am, but Night 2 was over.

Night 3
Lucas slept until 5:45am. I was so ridiculously uncomfortable I had to go downstairs and pump a bit first. Then I went into his room, and stood there like an idiot trying to decide: to feed or not to feed.

I fed.

Parent Mistake #2: don't ever give in!!!

I gave in. I fed him. He fell right back to sleep, and slept until I woke him up at 7:30. Aryn woke us up at 6:03. Sweet thing slept in. Cue sarcasm.

Night 4
Lucas was up every 40 minutes until 11pm. Finally, at 11, I fed him. Then he slept until 4:30. Again, I stood at his crib, thinking about my options:

If I feed him, he'll go back to sleep and sleep until 7:30. If I don't feed him, I'll be fighting with him up to 2 hours. If I feed him, I get to go back to sleep. If I don't feed him, I need to walk around the room with him for 2 hours. 

Parent Mistake #3: YOU IDIOT!!!!! DON'T GIVE IN!

Night 5
Lucas woke up at 1:30am. I fed him. Then he was up at 5:45am. I fed him then too.

Night Weaning: FAILED.

So... tonight should be night 6. I have given up. I will attempt night weaning in a few weeks again. Until then, I will continue to be exhausted, and continue counting down to the day Ryan and I leave to go to Hawaii in February 2015.

341 days until I can sleep.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Lukey Pookie Man - 9 Month Update

Right now, I find myself going back to old blog posts, reading about what we did with Aryn at each development that Lucas hits. "What did Aryn do at 9 months? Was she crawling? Was she sleeping through the night? What was she eating?"

Two mouse clicks and I have my answers. Aryn was being dream fed at 10:30, sleeping straight until 8am, she was spinning on her stomach (NOT crawling) and eating mostly homemade pureed fruits and veggies with a little meat, but was not big on eating meat.

Aryn at 9 months was 22 lbs 9 3/4 ounces, 30.5" long
Lucas at 9 months is 19 lbs, 3 ounces, and 31.25" long

I have NOT been blogging the same with Lucas. I don't have weight updates on my phone for every month he turns. I do not have a tally of foods he loves, foods he hates, or recipes tucked into a pile on my kitchen island for fancy purees I can barely wait to feed him.

Aryn's life was chronicled week by week, month by month, sometimes day by day.

Yes, Lucas is the bonafide second child, with second child's syndrome. But, 3-years-from-now-self, here is what you need to know:

- Lucas does not get the fancy homemade purees. He gets the organic, pre-made pouch meals. This is a daily "I'm the worst mom ever" mama fail feeling, and every day, I leave the organic sweet potato in my veggie bowl, just to open another pouch. Because pouches are cheaper... and easier... and oh-so-much-tastier than anything I can make. Oh and Aryn loves them too. Each kid gets a surplus of veggies and fruit from a little pouch. Mama fail, perhaps... but hey, it's also a win.

- Lucas IS crawling. And standing. And holding onto one object and stepping over to another. He stands for seconds on his own. He is a speed demon crawler. He's on one knee, and one foot. Always.

- He does not sleep. He cries out in his sleep. He wakes up anywhere from 2-4 times a night. Every night. The times he wakes up way later than normal (like, 4am for his first wakeup), he's also up at 5am, then 6am so it still constitutes as 3 wakeups.

- He is not a great nurser any more. I nursed Aryn for 18 months, and loved every moment of it. We snuggled, we held hands, we breathed each other in. Lucas grabs my back fat with his knife-like dagger fingers and pinches so hard it brings tears to my eyes. He sticks his fingers in my nose and pulls anything he can. He grabs my hair with his velcro hands and rips it out by the roots. He slaps my chest hard enough to show hand prints afterwards. Oh, and then after all of that, he gets over excited and pukes up all the milk he just ate and cries for more.

And this is one for the baby books. Lucas, for the past 2 weeks, has been a terror at night. He wakes up at 1am-ish, nurses like a fiend, then proceeds to projectile vomit everything he just nursed. Over and over. Until everything he just ate is gone. Then he wants to cuddle. Then he falls asleep, only to wake up a couple hours later, seemingly starving, only to not want to nurse. I am worried our nursing days are coming to an early end. But we're persevering... and getting a little checkup on Monday with the doctor to find out if this is something to be really worried about (he also lost half a pound in the last month so that is another concern I'd like addressed). Lucas... you always keep us on our toes!!

- He is SO BAD and so effing cute while being bad. He crawls around, ONLY going for things he knows he's not allowed to have. Like standing on Aryn's painting easel (it falls really easily... and has fallen on top of him 3 times now). Or going after Bauer's food (his favourite thing). Or opening the drawers only to slam his fingers in said drawer. Or eating boots or shoes that are accidentally left on the rug. Or trying to climb up the stairs. 15 billion toys laying around, and he wants the dog food.

- He gives the BEST hugs. I mean, real, heart-felt "I love you sooo much" hugs. He sees me, gets all squealy and excited, lifts his hands to be picked up, puts his head on  my shoulder and pats my back. And every time - no matter what time of night it is, or how hard I've been fighting him to get him to sleep, that back pat melts it all away and I'm left hugging and snuggling him back. He plays dirty. And he knows it.

Lucas really is a fantastic napper some days... (probably due to his awful sleep the night before!) for a couple hours in the morning, and a couple hours in the afternoon. And we've got his afternoon nap coinciding with Aryn's, so I often have a couple hours to myself in the afternoon to get work done. It's actually been really nice! I wish I could nap during that down time, but woah is the working mother - I have to get work done!!

Lucas is also hilarious. He has a very different sense of humour than Aryn. She was giving cheesy grins and playing funny games with us when she was this age. Hiding behind curtains and clacking her tongue. Lucas has a different sense of humour. He does things, then laughs. He laughs at noises, and thinks everything his sister does is funny and something he must try himself. He wants to move, he wants to run, he wants to keep up with his big sister. He jumps on us like he's a big kid, then kind of freaks himself out that he's doing something he may be too little and young to do (which is the same reaction while trying to climb up the stairs). Which could be why he's such a bad sleeper - there is just too much life passing him by during the night that he has to get up and see if anyone else is enjoying life without him!!

We love you, Lukey Pookie Man!! You've made our lives so much better just knowing you!!