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Sunday, September 26, 2010


Just asking for prayers. I knew a regression would happen, but these last 2 days have been awful. Tonight he took 2 hours to go to sleep and has been up at 11:45-12, 1-1:15, 2:30-2:50, 4-4:30 and is now crying again. I think I'm delirious from lack of sleep and my well of patience is running dry.

Any good sleep training success stories out there to keep me going?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

why sisters are great

I had fun today catching up with my sister over lunch. And then she got these beauties. Aren't I a lucky gal to have such a talented sister?!

And an outtake:


Why does posting things on the blog always mean that it won't be true anymore. Haha. His last nap and bedtime were really rough tonight. Maybe that regression is happening a bit early? That's ok, we press on. And Grammy gets to tackle one nap tomorrow so that will be a nice break!

sleep training update

Just thought I'd update on how our sleep training is going. For the record, I will say that I'm more exhausted doing this than I ever was on my lack of sleep. But I know it's worth it in the end. If you ever do this, just be prepared to 1) cry yourself, 2) almost give up, 3) have a very sore back (from all the pick up/put downs as they're called), and 4) eventually fall asleep on the floor of the nursery.

I've kept explicit notes the last 4 days and plan on doing so for the next 2 weeks just so I can get a really good picture of this kid and his patterns. I made a log in excel created. (side note: why does Google docs turn everything into ugliness?) Anywhoo. Check out the binder that now holds all of these said logs:
Day #1 - Saturday
On our very first attempt at a nap on Saturday morning, I prayed and then geared up for a long haul. And it was. It took over and hour and 35+ pick up, put downs. I shhhed him and also repeated over and over "mommy loves you but it's time for you to go to sleep." His longest nap was still only 45 minutes though. Already by bedtime that night, the number of pu/pd was down to 3! He went to bed at 7:30. I tried to wake him for a dreamfeed, but couldn't get him to wake up. He woke to eat at 1am, 4:50, and then was "talking" in his crib at 6:05. I let him stay there until he got grumpy at 6:25 and then got him up for the day. Total sleep time for the day=14.4 hours.

Day #2 - Sunday
This day was kinda hit or miss with success. His second nap of the day was 45 minutes, but I went back in and did 2 pu/pd and he fell back asleep for another 45 minutes! That was his first nap of more than 40 minutes. But then I let him stay awake too long and had to do tons of pu/pd for his next nap in order for him to settle down. I was really nervous all day about taking him to small group because of all the work we had done in the 2 days. I'm realizing how many decisions parents have to make about what is best for them vs. best for baby. We decided that small group needs to be a priority for us (yeah Jesus) so we would deal with the ramifications of sleep later. I'm so glad we went (more on that in a later post). It was an awesome time and Owen took a short cap nap, but was not grouchy at all. He fell asleep on the car ride home and then after eating went back to sleep around 10ish. Total sleep time for the day=11.7. :(

Day #3 - Monday
Monday we started working on extending naps. The Baby Whisperer has 2 main solutions for doing this. Her basic premise is that our human sleep cycles are about 45 minutes. Most babies who are short nappers can't transition from the first to the second sleep cycle without waking themselves up. So, her first solution is called Hold Through the Jolts (httj). This means that I got in a few minutes before he usually wakes himself up and apply soft pressure to his arms and legs. This prevents him from jolting which is what usually wakes him up. You can release when his breathing has calmed down and for Owen, when his hands stop moving. The other strategy that we did today was called Wake to Sleep. A few minutes before he usually wakes up I go into his room and gently stir him. For us, that means rubbing his cheek. What this does is re-start his sleep cycle. I also hold with this one. If he becomes fully awake, then you have to go back to the pick up/put down which usually means another 20 minutes. Total sleep time for the day=15.9 hours!

Day #4 - Today

This morning he got up for good at 6:45 (still working on extending that to 7 or 7:30) and I watched the clock like a hawk. I'm learning that 1h15 min is the optimal time for him to be awake first thing in the morning. Then we did our wind down routine (turn lights low, 2 books, sing Jesus Loves Me, give him a kiss and lay him down. What did he do. . .rolled on his side and went to sleep. I had to do 0 (yes that's a zero) pick ups/put downs and even though I stayed in there 10 extra minutes, I didn't even need to hold his arms through any jolts. And for his second nap, after I held him through a few jolts, he slept for 1 1/2 hours and got up happy ready to take pictures with Auntie Jenna.

Thank you Jesus. I feel empowered and am so thankful that my little man is going to start getting the sleep his body needs! I know that there is a regression coming (I've been warned around day 6) but I'm ready. This is working!

Monday, September 20, 2010



OK, here is my situation. The first few months I was here were great - I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few days, she has been trying to get me to sleep thru the night. At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I have talked to other babies, and it seems like it is pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 3-5 months.

Here is the thing: these Mommies do not really need to sleep. It is just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just do not need it anymore. So, I am implementing a plan. I call it the Cry-baby Shuffle. It goes like this:

Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you are fed. I know, it is hard. It is hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it is for her own good.
Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you are fed.
Night 3 - every hour.

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Do not give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT IS HARD! However, she really does not need the sleep; she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with:
  • My sleep sack tickled my foot.
  • I felt a wrinkle under the sheet.
  • My mobile made a shadow on the wall.
  • I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn't eaten pears since lunch, what is up with that?
  • The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day.
  • Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room.
  • I heard the grass growing.
  • Too hot, too cold, just right--does not matter! Keep crying!
It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4 am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30 am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

P.S. Do not let those rubber things fool you; no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

so much for no TV (just kidding, I'm not that mom)

So, thought I'd check out the movie Baby Noah (from Baby Einstein) we got from a shower since I'd never seen that one. Here's what's on:Here's my kid:
These videos are like crack.

I think we may be onto something

First night of sleep training:

7:35 - Owen asleep
9:40 - tried to dreamfeed, but he never woke up enough to eat so I just laid him back down and then went to bed myself
1:03 - woke up and ate
4:50 - woke up an ate
6:15 - babbled in crib and got up for the morning at 6:30

Who is this kid? Count them: I got almost 8 hours of sleep with basically 2 interruptions. And he's back down now for a nap (we're being bad and missing church today since we're going to small group tonight and I didn't want to totally screw him up.)

So far I'm a believer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

sleep, or lack thereof

This week, I'm thankful this week that I'm a quick reader. And by quick I mean that I've plowed through about 11 books on sleep. They range from Babywise, Great Sleep Habits Happy Baby, SleepEasy, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The No-Cry Nap Solution, Good Night Sleep Tight, Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old, and a few more. No area has caused me more grief over what to do than sleep. I feel really good about most other things about parenting, but with such varying beliefs about sleep training and the like, I feel like I was drowning in everyone else's opinions... even those people who don't have kids yet. Before Owen arrived I full believed in crying it out. And then I tried it once and about died listening to my little man's screams. He cried so hard he threw up. So that was out.

But he doesn't sleep. And now that we're going on 100 days of not getting more than a 3-4 hour chunk of sleep, you can tell why I'm feeling desperate. And when logging his naps, he's only getting about 1/2 the sleep most of the books says he needs. He wakes up groggy, with rings under his eyes and overall, he's just not a super happy kid because he's always fighting sleep.

But I still really believe in not being a "baby-led" household. NO offense whatsoever if this is more your philosophy. One of the biggest things I'm learning as a mom is that you know your kid and your personality as a mom the best. So do what works for YOU and never apologize for that! Sorry, I digress.

So after my months of research, I think the book after my own heart is The Baby Whisperer. I've actually only read her handbook called The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems By Teaching You to Ask the Right Questions.
I know, obnoxiously long name. She's not a sleep doctor and she's from England so when I read it, I picture the Super Nanny reading it to me with an accent. :) Now I read the book in one sitting, so now I'm going back and re-reading and scouring the forums at Her main approach is using the EASY (eat, awake, sleep, you) approach. And since we've already followed that routine from day 1, this book makes sense to me.

Here are my 3 main goals of "sleep training":
  1. Owen will be able to lay down for a nap or bedtime without the 20-30 minutes of rocking/walking that we've been doing.

  2. Owen will extend his naps from one sleep cycle (45 minutes) to 2 sleep cycles (1 1/2 hours)

  3. Owen will sleep for a 4-5 hour chunk at night and then be able to go back to sleep. Also, Owen will only need 2-3 feeds at night, instead of the 6 he wants right now.
We jumped in headfirst today even though I don't know exactly what I'm doing. While it's much more involved than this, here is what the basic premise is for going to sleep. She says to have a wind down routine and then kiss and put your baby down. If he starts crying pick him back up, pat and shh until he calms down. The minute he calms, lay him back down in the crib. Even if the minute he leaves your shoulder, he starts crying lay him all the way to mattress before picking him back up. Also keep a hand on him at all time and talk softly (I repeatedly said "Mama loves you, it's time to go to sleep.") Repeat until asleep. That is way oversimplifying things, but that's the general jist I used today. I felt like it was a good middle ground approach.

Our first nap, I was in his room for about an hour. I picked him up and put him down about 30 times. But the second nap, I picked him up 4 times. And for bedtime tonight, I picked him up once before he turned on his side and went to sleep. She recommends staying with him for 10 minutes repeating your phrase to be sure he's truly asleep. While it was an exhausting day, I think I'm going to stick with this. She's got some good strategies to extend naps which is what we'll start to tackle next. I've canceled many of my normal activities this week so we can really focus on this. I'll keep you posted on the results and if I would recommend this method to any other sleep deprived momma.

Happy 3 Months!

So, this is a little late, but I kept coming to the sleep section and not wanting to write about it. But happy 100 days on earth little man!

At his
vaccination appointment on Monday, I had the nurse weigh and measure him. 15lbs, 6 oz (a 2lb gain this month) and 25.4 in (a 1.15" growth this month)! Man, my little guy is growing fast!


  • His head control is awesome. He rarely loses control of it now. He gets tired after awhile in his Bumbo. He still doesn't love tummy time, but sitting up time with the boppy pillow is becoming a favorite time:
  • We're not using the infant sling in the bathtub anymore and Owen loves it! A daily bath is now a part of his bedtime routine and he loves learning how to kick his legs and make the water move. He has no problem with us washing even his hair and doesn't even get mad when water gets in his eyes. Here's a video of him kicking. Standard video comments apply (meaning he stopped kicking hard as soon as the camera came out):

  • The drool has begun! He's been putting everything in his mouth (when he can get the object there), especially his hands. He doesn't quite realize how far to put his hands in and often chokes himself. He's been blowing little bubbles as well. We've stopped swaddling his hands in because he uses them sometimes to self-soothe.
  • He likes to "stand up" with help of course. But those legs are getting stronger.
  • We can, in rare moments get him to laugh! Be warned you may get sea sick watching this as he was swinging.

We're working on it. That's all I can say about that (see future long post about sleep and schedule). He's taking 5 naps right now because they're so short, but this is the schedule we're working towards and then I'd LOVE to get him on a 3 nap schedule. Baby steps.
7 - wake up, eat, play
8:30 - nap
10 -
wake up, eat, play
11:30 - nap
1 -
wake up, eat, play
2:30 - nap
4 -
wake up, eat, quiet play
5:30 - short nap
6:15 - wake up and eat
6:30 - bath and bedtime routine
7:00 - bed
10 - dreamfeed

He's becoming more picky about his setting when he eats. I cannot talk when I'm breastfeeding and there can't be many distractions or he'll pull off and look around. He's still only nursing for 7-10 minutes on one side and will NOT take any more. I'm assuming this is fine because he's growing, but I'm wondering if eating more would help with his sleep. Hmm.

Let's just say that we're not sleeping more than a 3-4 hour chunk at night and then up every 1-2 hours after that. I've created a monster. :) And he doesn't nap more than 40 minutes. Much more detail on this on coming post.

Other things that have happened:

  • He had his 2nd and 3rd shots (Pc and Hib). His nurse, Stephanie was super speedy but he still turned beet red and screamed really good for about 10 minutes. He wouldn't even nurse he was so mad.
  • We took out the 14 lb newborn insert in his car seat.
  • He does much better in the stroller if he isn't in his bucket, but in the "big boy" part.
  • He definitely knows who his momma is. We had the inlaws here last week and he definitely settles down when he comes to me. While I want him to be a kid who goes to different people, there's that small part in my heart that loves that I'm his favorite. :)
Here's a few more pictures of that sweetie:
I love my giraffe:
I wanna be like Daddy:
Lovin' his bath time:
Getting ready for his first Illini game with Uncle Casey and Grandpa (via TV):
Look how much I'm growing:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Grandma and Grandpa Pool were here for 5 days last week. We had fun showing off all the new things Owen can do! Here's a few pictures from their visit (we didn't get many, but that's ok because they're coming back in just a week)!
Hanging out with Grandpa on the porch:
Getting a bottle:

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Thanks for the prayers! My Grandpa went to be with Jesus early this morning. I'm realizing that this is my first "real loss" even though it hasn't really hit yet. I decided I won't be flying out to Denver with a 3 month old. Just be praying for my mom, Grandma Joyce, Aunt Becky, Uncle Matt, and Uncle Mike and their families. It will be a rough week for all of them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

3 months

Owen's 3 months post is ready to go, but we're going to wait until we go to the doctor on Monday for his newest set of measurements. I cannot believe he's already 1/4th of a year old. WHAT?! Here's a little preview of some of his new noises:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

what a week

Just a quick note to ask for prayer for my grandpa (on my mom's side). He had a massive stroke this morning and they don't know if the outcome will be good or not as he is still not conscious. I'm praying we hear good news tomorrow instead of booking plane tickets for Denver.

Thanks for all your words of encouragements. One final down, one to go. I think I can, I think I can.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I know I'm slacking in the blogger world this week. I won't lie, it's been a rough one. I keep repeating the mantra "this too shall pass." My kid won't sleep and it's VLI finals week which means 2 finals that I'm really not ready for and a leadership project report which always takes me longer than it should. So, instead of any more complaining, here's a video of my cute kid with some of his new skills. . .making tons of adorable noises and getting really great at holding things and getting them to his mouth. He's also developing a fake cough which I think is pretty stinkin' cute:

Friday, September 3, 2010

we have blast off

Thank you ladies for all the poop suggestions! Right after I called the doctor one more time (because I wanted to try and avoid giving him prune or apple juice) we had success! Who knew I could be so excited over poop?!


I laugh when I think of my child as "cat napper." What I wouldn't give for my child to sleep as much as Sophie, our orange tabby cat. This is how Sophie spends a majority of her day:My child does. not. sleep. Ok, that's an exaggeration because I know Owen's friend Cohen really doesn't sleep. But my child didn't get the memo that things were supposed to start mellowing out around 3 months and they're supposed to be giving their mama's more time to snooze. My child is loving his 20-30 minute naps. It's like he has an alarm clock, because they're never longer than that. And we've tried everything. Swaddled, unswaddled. Room darkening shades. White noise with a fan. White noise with a CD. Nursed, un-nursed.

And his night sleep isn't that much better. He'll sleep from 7-11 but then we're up every 2 hours. We're vaguely falling into a time routine (finally), where he's up at 7 or 8 for the day (minus today when he though 4am was a fun time to be up for the day). Then we nap around 9 or 10, again around 2, around 5, and then in bed by 7. But those naps are usually only 20 minutes. Talk about getting nothing done. I feel like I'm living in his room trying to get him to go to sleep. Any suggestions? Or is my kid just going to be a short napper?

And oh yeah, we're also going on one week with no poop. I found this quote online from The Scoop on Poop:
There is a difference between constipation and infrequent stooling. Infrequent stoolers are gassy and have a large, soft bowel movement every three to seven days. If your baby's poop is soft and he's not overly fussy, his digestive system is doing its job.
That's totally Owen. Awful gas that makes even William wrinkle his nose. I called the doc and she's not worried as it doesn't seem to be upsetting him much. I'm just dreading leaving the house because when it comes, I know it will be massive and definitely require a bath versus wipes. Yuck.
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