Thursday, July 28, 2011


i probably really shouldn't post in the middle of the night when i'm not sleeping well and anxious about not sleeping well and trying to use my blog as journal therapy for my middle of the night anxiousness...

as evidenced by the last two posts. :P

suffice it to say, i got better sleep last night than i have this entire past week, and this "sleep lady shuffle" i've been using for milo's random middle-of-the-night wakings seems to be working, and my hope is that eventually we'll get back to where he doesn't wake up at all during the night.

and with focusing on being more consistent and giving milo wind down time for naps and bed-time, he's getting better, longer naps during the day, so he's not over-tired and over-cranky, which totally helps the day go so much smoother. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

orrrr not.

last night was another sleepless night.

i made sure to give myself wind down time. i didn't feel stressed or anxious about anything. ben and i even had some good laughs over pillow talk, which was nice.

i was exhausted, but i think it was the laughing that did me in maybe?

i found this article here on sleep issues, and so i thought i had it figured out i knew what i needed to do: eat better during the day/before bed and give myself time to unwind after getting milo to sleep. so i did that on sunday, and i actually was able to fall asleep sunday night and even fall back asleep after milo woke up at 3:30 AM and wouldn't go back to sleep for over an hour (ben finally got him back down, because i was too tired and just couldn't do it.) i did that yesterday, too, but then for whatever reason, i couldn't fall asleep. and i try not to let myself get frustrated or anxious as i wait to fall asleep and it just doesn't happen.

so i decided to get up and i wrote the last blog post thinking, "this is what's on my mind, maybe i need to share it? maybe someone somewhere out there in blog-land will benefit from hearing/reading it? etc..."

still couldn't sleep.

i haven't slept all night. i didn't sleep all night on saturday night either... and i slept very poorly last wednesday through friday night. and then milo wasn't napping well, so i couldn't get in a nap, and then i just started pushing through it, because really, what else can you do?

but i'm not sleeping. and milo's not napping. and the cycle just continues.

i've been reading Good Night, Sleep Tight on sleep training, and it all makes sense to me... so i try and follow the directions she gives, but it's hard to figure out how to adjust it appropriately to our needs, where we're at, smaller house, varying schedules, etc.

and so my biggest struggle is staying consistent. or i'll be consistent with something for a little while, and it'll work for a little while, and then something changes, and we get all out of whack, but i think this is the worst it's ever been.

even after milo was first born, and i was having difficulty nursing, and he was waking up every few hours and i was trying to do too much then, too, at least i was so exhausted that i couldn't even think, and i was able to sleep and basically function.

my parents are coming in tomorrow to help out for a few days. that should help... but this morning i decided i was going to try and sleep train milo to sleep until 6 am, since he keeps waking up over-tired, and clearly isn't getting enough sleep, and then is ready for sleep when i give him a bottle barely half an hour after he's gotten up, probably because of sunday's decision to use a bottle to help him sleep...

all these negative sleep associations that "the sleep lady" talks about, and i want to break them all at once so the whole process is quicker. i want to be consistent, but it's so hard to do when i'm going on nothing.

milo is playing contentedly in his pack n play, and that's the problem, too.... he's also learned how to push through it.... and him being over tired, it's difficult to get him to eat a full meal, it's tempting to just keep pushing formula so that i know he's eating enough, but that just leads to grazing. and again, all these "negative sleep associations" that are described in the book....

how i wish i'd had this book and read it before milo was born - but as the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20. i read very few of the books i had before milo was born, except for happiest baby on the block, which was very helpful for when milo was a newborn, but does little to help me now...

okay, i'm done, he's getting antsy and i need to sleep.

i know it will get better, i just wish i knew how to get there, and had the energy to do it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


i've finally decided to start doing "signs" (my own basic, made-up sign language) with milo, as i know both ben's mom and a friend of my parents' use sign-language with their babies/toddlers.

i just started it, so i doubt he'll pick it up any time soon, but from what i've read and just watching him, he does seem to know what's going on and understand what i'm trying to ask of him or tell him.

and then after church today, i was letting him crawl around on the floor with a little girl who's just over 1, and they totally love each other. they both squeal and try to poke at each others' eyes and it's fun to watch. but when she lost interest, and he was getting bored of the floor, he crawled over to me, pulled himself up to standing by holding onto my pant-leg, and then reached his other hand up towards me. this is one of the earliest "signs" that i'd been doing with him, reaching my arms down towards him before picking him up and asking, "do you want to get up?" that and "come here" by holding my hand out and waving towards myself, and - until he gets distracted by the cat or some other shiny-pokey-non-baby-proofed item - he'll start to come towards me and i'll cheer and clap and keep repeating the motion and the command.

this is most exciting to me, as his pterodactyl squeals only tell me that he's excited about something, but for all i know, it could be that either he finally pooped his pants or that the cat is making faces at him again. i'm looking forward to the life-time of communication that's only just beginning with the little man... and to have him be able to simply tell me he has a poopy diaper as opposed to having to check up-close and personal, was that nostril-full of wonderful aroma just a toot or the real deal. the "sign" for that is icky face. ;P

a-ha moments

i haven't been sleeping well, and neither has milo. i've been convinced for awhile now that he hasn't been getting enough sleep, and even though the idea was out there that maybe he just doesn't need as much sleep, i think last night went to show that he does need more sleep:

last night, at around midnight, a huge thunderstorm started rolling in, i mean HUGE. i kid you not, the house was shaking and the windows were rattling; i was convinced that the angels had decided to place all their bowling pins on the lane above our house, and were just chucking their bowling balls all down that same lane, all at the same time. (it is angels bowling, right?)

milo slept through the whole thing.

i've been trying something new, though, the past couple of days. frustrated and tired at both our inability to sleep (his during the day, mine at night), out of desperation, i decided to bring back the bottle right before nap-time. i decided i was going to help him wind down. i decided i wasn't going to let him cry it out, because that just wasn't working anymore. he would only get more frustrated and more upset and that wasn't helping him calm down to take a nap.

ben also helped me realize the importance of as quickly as possible, darting out of the room as soon as we lay milo down and he's out of our hands. like super sneaky black belt ninja - HI-YAH! (but quietly.... hi-yah).

lastly, i decided i was going to let him be over-tired, but not let him get cranky by playing with him and distracting him when he's getting into stuff he shouldn't and letting him chase the cat around the house because he finds it hilarious (even though she's now terrified of him - you can see it in her eyes, poor cat), and i'm learning to control my own emotions so that even if he's cranky, and even if i've gotten no sleep, i decided i wouldn't get frustrated with him, because that was only adding to the crank-o-meter of the household, and that wasn't doing any of us any good.

in all of this, i feel like i have finally found the schedule/routine i was in need of, with the flexibility that everyone has been telling me was necessary:

he wakes up, i give him a little bit of bottle for a snack, i let him play. i try to get him to eat some solids, i play with him some more. then, usually at about two to two and a half hours after he woke up, he starts getting the droopy eye, so i go into his bedroom and put up the airline blankets that we're using to help block out more of the light. then i make him a bottle, and we sit on the couch, and as mister rogers - cool, calm and collectedly - as i can, i explain to him while he's eating that we're going to wind down and it's time for a nap. then we go into his bedroom, i read him a book, i sing the twinkle song, he starts rubbing his eyes, and i know i'm winning. i put him down, i ninja out of there, and he hums a little bit and goes to sleep. then we repeat the process. twice more, once for the second nap of the day, about 4 hours later, and lastly for bedtime, shooting for 7:30 tonight, since he couldn't even make it to 8 pm last night.

he still wakes up earlier than i would like, although today he managed to make it till 6, but he sleeps through the night, and he's generally happy, even if his eyelids are drooping down to his knees, so i can't complain.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

things i have strongly considered since becoming a mother:

  • chopping all my hair off.
  • baby straight jacket?
  • covering everything in plastic.
  • getting rid of any potential baby hazard. including the tv? yes everything. we could totally be those crazy people on the block who pretend they're from 10,000 years ago, but really they have no possessions other than food and loin cloths and maybe a bowl or two. milo can't choke/scratch himself/etc. with a bowl.
  • finding the cat a home where she's loved and appreciated instead of chased around in terror by the squawking, scratching, pinching, tail-pulling baby-monster of the house.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

so sweet, it'll give you a toothache.

this morning i sat in milo's room on the floor with him while he played by his bookshelf and i ate my bowl of cereal.

he had already pulled a few books from the middle shelf, and stuffed animal or two off the top shelf (that 30 inches of height has really come in handy for him).

on the floor was one of his favorite books, sandra boynton's Moo Baa La La La (his other favorite is donald crews' Freight Train... both of which are also my favorite to read to him, so i've read them to him a lot, which is probably why he likes them so much? but that's neither here nor there.)

anyhow, so he see's the moo, baa, la la la book, picks it up and then scoots back to sitting in front of me. it almost felt like a very deliberate interaction. "oh hey! it's that book i love! i'll pick it up! okay mom, i'm sitting in front of you, with my book, can you figure out what i want?"

and of course, i'll take any opportunity i can to have milo sitting peacefully in my lap. so i pulled him over and started reading, and he of course burst into a huge grin - although he usually does when we read the moo book and the freight train book, which is how i know they're his favorite.

Monday, July 18, 2011

time heals all wounds.

over 9 months since "the great PUSH" and i think i'm finally at the point where the thought of birthing another child doesn't totally petrify me.

stretch marks, swollen ankles, itty-bitty bladder, gargantuan belly, stretchy pants, preggo brain, nausea, food aversions, not to mention hot flashes, body parts expanding well beyond anything reasonable, the list goes on, but i think i could do it.

NOT that we are currently pursuing the option of getting me fertilized. figured i should probably clarify that one.

granted, it would be nice if i could fit into my summer shorts again before i'm reassigned to the land of stretch-panel waistbands and extra-long maternity shirts that still aren't long enough.

i'm currently still exiled on the island of skirts, and it's summer, so it works, but i miss wearing shorts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

40 weeks...

milo has been out of the womb a full week (minus 9 hours, 2 minutes) longer than he was in the womb.

today we tried using some of my hair mousse styling product and gave him a faux-hawk. it was pretty cute, but he was also in desperate need of a bath, so it didn't last long. (he still doesn't like the chicken noodle dinner mush... about 90% of it was on his face, belly, high chair tray, etc. he did however, absolutely love the mixed veggie and roast beef combo. ate that junk right up.)

after the successful trip to the lake, we've also graduated milo to the full size tub. of course we only fill it so it comes to about his bellybutton when he's sitting, but he loves to chase his toys around and splash about and have the extra room to move and play.

next thing you know, he'll be giving swim lessons to michael phelps.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


so for two days, milo slept from 8 pm - 7 am... that was an amazing treat! (especially since one of the days was ben's day off, so we both got to really sleep in.)

now he's back to 6 am, but we haven't had any more middle-of-the-night freak outs like the last post, and i can definitely sing praise for that.

i think we've finally got a pretty decent schedule going - three meals a day, two naps (a one hour little ditty in the morning, roughly 2 hours after he gets up, and usually a two hour stretch in the afternoon after he's had his lunch.) it seems to work, and yet there is still a little bit of flexibility with it, so i think we'll try and hold onto this one for awhile until he finally drops that morning nap.

today, milo has been on a standing streak. i've counted at least four times where he pulled himself up on something (the laundry basket, the rocking chair, the side of his crib), completely let go of that something, and stayed standing. i think 5 seconds was the max, but this boy is on a roll.

monday was also milo's 9 month check up.

he currently weighs 20 lbs 7 oz (48.75 percentile), and is 30.5 inches long, which puts him in the 97.04 percentile for height. meaning he's taller than 97% of the caucasian, male, 9 month olds measured in the 70's. yowza! NBA and ceiling painters, eat your heart out!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

between a rock and a hard place... kinda.

last night milo woke up at 1 AM. for months now, if he even wakes up in the middle of the night at all, he'll let out a cry, and within minutes go right back to sleep. last night he was up for two and a half tortuous hours.

worried that maybe he was teething or sick or something was terribly wrong, since this is unusual for him, i rocked him and sang to him and cuddled him to calm him down. that took awhile to even work, and once he seemed calm enough, i would lay him back down in his crib, and he would just start wailing again.

finally, after we'd been at this for over an hour, ben came in to give it a try. when nothing was working for him either, i told him to go ahead and give him what was left of the bottle in the fridge. milo ate it, but he still wasn't happy.

at two hours, even though he didn't feel overly warm, i tried to check his temperature telling him, "sorry milo, but when you keep us up for two hours in the middle of the night, we're gonna stick you in the butt to make sure you don't have a sneaky fever." only to discover that the battery in our vick's baby anal thermometer is dead. so i used the forehead scanner one, which supposedly isn't as accurate, but several readings confirmed that he was in perfectly normal temperature range.

at two and a half hours, after one and a half bottles, we were done and frustrated and had no clue what the little man wanted, except maybe to play or be held and rocked all night - which, while i love him dearly, i'm not going to get him into that habit, and even last night i worried that all we were doing was reinforcing more bad habits.

we let him cry (on and off, he would stop for a moment, and then start back up again) for twenty minutes, i went in to check on him, laid him back down, as he was standing at the foot of his bed, and that made him even madder. i left the room, closed the door and told ben that this just confirms it for me, he needs to be on a more regular schedule/routine. (yesterday was completely out of loop for him, as we went to a friend's first birthday party. milo was over-tired and wired at best, excited with all the new people, but sorely in need of a nap, as he hadn't slept well that morning.) ben and others have reassured me that it's okay to not have a routine or schedule because that's not how life works. which is true...

after i had left the room, with milo still upset, he cried for maybe two more minutes, and then finally just stopped, and it was pure silence, except for the sleep-lamb sound-thingy. he slept until 7:30, and when he woke up, he just played in his crib and talked to himself. when i went in to get him, he was sitting at the other end of his crib, facing away from the door, but as soon as he heard my "goodmorning!" entrance, he let out a squeal and raced to the foot of the crib to meet me. it was encouraging to see that letting him cry last night didn't seem to have any ill effect on him.

but as i sit here typing this now, milo is still awake in his crib, mumbling to himself. he hasn't gotten a nap yet today either, and i'm debating whether or not to get him up in ten minutes to drive the half hour to church, for him to play in the nursery for an hour and fifteen minutes, to socialize for maybe fifteen more minutes, and then drive the half hour back home... which would mean he'd be up the whole morning without a nap...

if i don't go, he'll have a better chance of falling asleep and getting a nap in... maybe?

if i do go, it's a guaranteed no-nap (unless he falls asleep in the car, which i was hoping for with the 45 minute drive to the party yesterday... overtired, he screamed and cried for almost the entire ride there, and only slept for maybe twenty minutes on the way back... so suffice it to say, i no longer have any hope that he'll sleep in the car.)

he's been up for almost 3 hours now, and is fussing in his bed.

i hate missing church, but the lack of sleep from last night is starting to hit, and i'm hitting a wall.

this is my rock and a hard place...

do we live our lives and try to get milo to be flexible enough to sleep and eat around our schedules, or do i put my life on hold while i get him into a more predictable and set schedule.

or maybe there's some middle ground, but until we figure out what that is or how that works (or if it'll even work for the little guy), i'm ready to embark on the life of a hermit while we get the schedule thing ingrained in him.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

aint no mountain high enough.

over the holiday weekend, we visited some of ben's family in red wing. they have stairs in their home, and while we do, too, ours are creepy gross icky-pooh basement stairs. i will not subject milo to our dungeon basement with creepy gross icky-pooh basement stairs.

but uncle john and aunt jodie's house is a split level, with beautifully finished basement. the stairs are this lovely wood, of even height, and not surrounded by spiders and other dungeon-esque qualities.

so ben sat at the top of the steps, while i brought milo to the bottom of the stairs, and in mere minutes, he had reached ben. seriously, it took him maybe a minute to figure out the first step, and once he had it figured out, he had the polished off those steps like he'd been doing it all day long.

he's also getting better at figuring out how to use his teeth for chewing things like the baby rice puffs so that they don't make him gag, which makes for happy entertainment for both of us. i put him in his high chair with a handful of rice puffs. he likes to double fist it, having a rice puff in each hand, and he eats them one by one. sometimes his finger gets in the way and he bites down a little too hard maybe? but for the most part, i can let him feed himself those puffs while i get other stuff done, like food in his bowl, or dishes put away, or going out for a movie. (ha! not quite...)

lastly, it has become a prerequisite for the changing table that we have an exciting toy to entertain him. otherwise (and even still) he flips over, and gets frustrated when i try to hold him down to finish attaching his diaper, this boy just wants to move, and he is ever so determined to do so.

with that, i'm learning to rotate his toys so he gets excited when he hasn't seen one in awhile and we bring it out again. speaking of which, i think it's time for another rotate.