Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sooooo tired...

Actually, I'm not talking about me. :)  My daughter is the MOST ENERGETIC CHILD I KNOW.  She is the kind of child who gets hyper when she's tired.  My mother commented once that Katie wasn't tired when I was trying to put her to bed.  The truth is, Katie has not been tired for FIVE YEARS.  As a baby, she could only go to sleep when there was nothing else to do.  I couldn't rock her to sleep, or hold her or even be in the room.  She wouldn't sleep in the car seat (at least, not long enough), or in the pack and play downstairs or out shopping or anything.  I had to put her in her bed, close the drapes, turn on the music and leave the room.  If I did that, she would move around and fuss for 5 minutes (the equivalent of turning around 3 times and then flopping down) and then she would crash and sleep.  She slept through the night early and, after she was 3-4 months old, she slept two hour naps twice a day.  Like clockwork.

But she's never tired.  She never rubs her eyes, or droops sleepily or plays until the battery finally winds down.

Until now.

Katie is tracked out this week and I sent her to a gymnastics camp that I purchased on Living Social for a steal.  $80 for 5 days 9-3.  When I picked her up yesterday on day two of camp, I wish I had had a camera and been thinking about taking a picture.  Half of her hair was falling limply around her face having given up on the ponytail I so carefully put in that morning.  Her face was haggard and unsmiling and her feet barely lifted off the floor as she walked.  She didn't look like she could pick her feet up off the floor.  I finally found something that completely, totally tuckered her out.

It's good to know that the Energizer Bunny does, eventually, run down. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

So how ARE you doing, really?

So, my new year's resolution to write more on my blog (new school year) is not faring so well, but, as always, I have a very good excuse.  I had hoped by this point, to have Christian on a more predictable schedule but that remains a lofty, seemingly unattainable, goal.

Katie's infancy was very rough, for 3 months.  At three weeks, she stopped sleeping during the day except for small cat naps of 15 minutes or less.  That was just enough time for me to drift off on the couch before being summoned.  I didn't know how to set up a sleep routine with her.  From 3 weeks to 6 weeks was the hardest time ever since she wasn't sleeping through the night, she wasn't sleeping during the day, and I had no one around to help (Jim went back to work and all the family went home).  Those were very tough days for me.  At 6 weeks, it got much better when she started sleeping through the night but it was still difficult.  At 10 weeks, a friend gave me some advice on how to set up a sleep/nap routine with her and by 12 weeks she was a champion 2 hour twice a day napper.  Once I gave up nursing at 3.5 months, I felt completely liberated.  We could finally go places, do things, and rejoin the world.  (We were never very coordinated at nursing outside the house.)  After that, Katie was an easy baby who would talk when she woke up, not scream and cry.  She was happy when she was up and she took those clockwork 2 hour naps.  As long as I was home and she was in bed, I could count on those naps pretty much every day.

I knew the beginning would be hard with Christian as well but it has been much harder than I expected.  I really expected that it would be easier because I have so much more knowledge and experience than I did with Katie.  In some ways it has been easier.  I am more pragmatic about the problems and finding work around solutions than I was with Katie because I have tried some of them before and I am confident enough to try ANYTHING to see if it will work.  That has really helped because Christian could be referred to as a colicky baby.  He hasn't been diagnosed as colicky and he isn't completely inconsolable but I have found myself having to hold him, in some fashion, from about 12-6 each day, or listen to the screaming.  He has had really bad reflux that causes him to choke and gag, even while nursing.  He can spend hours some afternoons choking and spitting up on and off for hours.  I have even resorted to letting him watch TV with Katie when I really needed to do something and I needed him to stop fussing for a short time.  The reflux wakes him up from his naps after 20-45 minutes and then he is cranky because he is overtired.  If you feed him, it calms him but he might spit up more because his tummy is too full...We can't seem to win for losing some days.  I have watched a lot of Netflix as I can do the rock and sway for hours in front of the TV without going completely crazy.  Occasionally he has watched a bit of an episode of Charmed with me.  I'm working my way through season 3 now...

As I said, I am more pragmatic about parenting and fulfilling everybody's needs.  I do what I need to do to get done what needs to get done.  And I'm okay with that.

Christian has recently started turning a corner, I hope.  Yesterday and today his first nap was a full TWO HOURS long.  I wanted to cheer!  Today, his 2nd nap was short but I was able to soothe him back to sleep and he slept another full hour before waking up to eat again.  He also ROLLED for the first time!  Back to front going to the right.  He then got properly stuck but that was great! :)  I had asked the doc just last week if I should be concerned about the fact that he wasn't even showing interest in rolling.  The doc reassured me that his muscle development is just fine but that 18 LBS 2 OZS is a little much for a not quite 4-month-old to move just yet! :)  Not to worry, he is moving now, and showing real interest in toys and getting to them.

He is putting everything in his mouth, his favorite chew toy is human fingers, his or mine.  He is starting to fuss in the bouncy seat, although he is supposed to sit up after each meal to help with the reflux, but he seems to prefer being held or lying down.  Since he is becoming a little more mobile, he may feel confined in the seat.  He is also getting a bit heavy for that (need to check on the weight limit...), when he kicks he bounces a LOT. :)  I am encouraging sitting on his own and he held himself up for probably 30 seconds this afternoon before diving to the right.

His smile warms my heart and enchants everyone around him.  He loves to watch big Sissy dance and sing and she is getting better at entertaining him.  He looks at me like I hung the moon and that is the most amazing feeling.  He loves to hear me sing and will smile in response.  On occasion, it has even stopped the mid afternoon crying jag and put him to sleep.  (SCORE!)  I have taken a few good pictures (he is not especially interested in smiling at the long black nose when I point it at him so he has been tough to photograph) and I will endeavor to post them this weekend. His 4 month doctor visit is next week so official stats to come!

If you are my friend or family member and I have forgotten your birthday, the gift you brought, the thing you asked me to do or bring, or something else of extreme importance, please forgive me.  I'm doing my best to get the most important tasks accomplished and sometimes the most important ones don't get remembered long enough to get written down.  Please feel free to pester me as necessary if you need me to do something.  My brain and sanity will return, but it might be awhile. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Late flight

Katie sits at the controls of the B737-300 we took from KPHX to KRDU.
We had a fantastic time at Katie's uncle's wedding in Phoenix. Katie's energy level goes up when she's tired, and she demonstrated extraordinary energy at the reception! The next morning, she was awakened about 8:30 Phoenix time. She hadn't slept enough, and what with the 3 hour east time change coming, we didn't want her to nap (though she still needs to), nor was there any time she might have, except on the plane leaving Phoenix at 4:20 p.m. and arriving in Raleigh at 11:40.

I asked her to sleep on the plane. I sang to her. She covered my mouth and told me to stop singing. Then she laid her head on my lap and begged me to sing again, promising to listen and rest. 3 bars into that song, she interrupted me, so I stopped, and she begged me to sing again. And so it went, with her changing positions, me singing, and her changing positions again. She was wired. Before long, she got to wailing. On the plane. For everyone to hear. Then she cried out, full volume, "I am NOT TIRED!" Several of our fellow travelers laughed, and that made me laugh.
I gave her my phone and she played with it peacefully until we had to put it away for landing, and she behaved just looking out the window until landing. We stopped at the cockpit for a quick tour on the way out.
On the way home, she was quite excited to report speed and speed limit as reported by the GPS and visible to her in the back seat. She's learned to read numbers reliably lately, and she loves to practice. Liz, who was driving, asked her to report the numbers silently. 30 seconds after the second request, Katie was sound asleep.