Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Two things about McBean

One highly irritating, one very cute.

Let’s get the irritating one out of the way first.  Lately, Clark or I – or FenFox to some extent – can’t sit down without McBean being all over us.  And try using the netbook while he’s around.  The amount of times he’s shut programs, pages or even the whole machine with a few well placed keystrokes beggars belief.  He has a talent.

For the first five minutes it’s not so bad, he’s all snuggly cuddly and there’s lots of hugs and kisses which is always very lovely.  But then after that early grace period it degenerates into lots of throwing things and hitting and climbing and generally being obnoxious.  And god forbid if you’re not focussing your full attention on him.  He’s liable to go and attempt to de-pelt the dog, or tear pages out of the photo albums or something equally and knowingly naughty.

It’s getting a bit old.

The cute new thing that he has picked up is requiring a blanket to go to sleep.  He has, since we stopped swaddling him, been sleeping in sleep sacks, so blankets have never really been essential, and until recently have been something we’ve put over him once he’s gone to sleep.  In the last week or so he now demands a blanket before he will settle down to sleep.  He has no sign for blanket yet, so it’s been a bit of a hit and miss process working this out.  It is somewhat endearing now that we have, that he snuggles down and makes his happy little chuckle when we put on his blanket.  And he’ll call you back and ask for it if you forget.

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100% complete

Heh, I finally finished a craft project I have been working on for far too long.  It is a gift for Turkey‘s first birthday – which was back in August (or maybe July, but I know the party was August and because I hadn’t finished the gift yet we had to go and find another interim gift).  I am moderately pleased with the finished product.  Of course, the framing is a bit of an amateur job, given that I used a picture frame which is a little too big and did it DIY, but for all that I think it turned out quite well.  I also think Owlie and Pcat will probably appreciate it more than Turkey, but hopefully she will like it as she gets older.

It’s a little daunting giving a craft oriented gift to them actually – I had to think hard about whether I was up to the challenge.  Their clothes and stuff that they sew are amazing and beautiful.  The book that Owlie made for Turkey’s birthday is so unbelievably awesome.

For those of my more craft minded friends I will post a photo in a couple of days, once we’ve seen Turkey and actually given her the gift.

Now that I’m done with that I feel more inspired to continue with a project that I started for McBean which was supposed to be finished and framed and hung on the nursery wall before he was born.  Hah.  Too bad he’s now 13 months old.  My goal is that it will be up on the wall by the time he’s two – I think the completion won’t be too big a deal as it’s probably around 2/3 to 3/4 done already, but finding the $$ to get it framed nicely might be a deal breaker for a while.

A piece of good news:  McBean’s sleeping habits seem to be reverting back to normal.  Clark suspects that it was one of his bottom teeth coming through that may have been causing the issues, but who really knows.  All I know is that I resettled him in his cot last night, and he did not end up in our bed at all.  Better nights sleep had by all.

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I must preface this with the disclaimer that we have, on the whole, been incredibly lucky with McBean and his sleep habits.  After he summarily decided that cosleeping wasn’t for him (which made me oh so sad and Lazyboo more than a little relieved), he has been easy as pie to get to sleep.  99% of the time, we have been able to just put him in his bassinet in our room, then later his cot in his own room at the end of the somewhat haphazard sleep routine and he’ll chat and drift on all on his own. And if not, he would only need resettling once or twice.   This has been wonderful for me especially, because I just cannot, and will not, leave him to cry.  Now frequent waking is another story, but he’s mostly been easy to quickly resettle (usually with milk), even if he does wake up a few times a night.  I also have to say that it is Lazyboo who does the bulk of the night parenting given that she is a light sleeper and I am an incredibly heavy one.  Most times, she has responded to him before I’m even awake.  All this has worked for both night sleeping and naps, especially since he dropped to one nap a few months ago.

Lately things have changed.  Now McBean does not want to go to sleep, no matter how tired he is.  He stands up and cries and cries and just wants out of that cot.  This is happening both for his nap, and when going to bed, and during the night too.  The night waking isn’t so much a problem (for me) – I’m very happy to just bring him to bed, and for the first time since he was few months old, he resettles quickly snuggled between us.  This has led to two nights (so far) of bliss for me and discomfort for Lazyboo. The boy is a wriggler and a snorter and a poker and a kicker and apparently a bed hog like his Mama.  This does not go well with a light sleeping Baba.

The next issue is what to do about going to bed at night and at nap time when he’s just refusing to settle.  My instinct is to either stay with him until he falls asleep, or if he’s insistent and distressed, then to just get him up and try again a bit later.  I figure that if he’s that adamant that he’s not going to sleep, then there must be a good reason and we should listen to him.  Lazyboo doesn’t necessarily agree with me though.  She’s a little more routine bound, and doesn’t want to give in to him, fearing that if we get him up he’ll be up all night and never properly settle, or will skip naps altogether and thus turn into a little monster that nobody wants to be around (which is what invariably happens when he doesn’t get enough sleep.  he’s just like his mama that way).  She’s happy to let him cry a little, responding often to resettle and reassure.

So two dilemmas.  The first – is it fair to cosleep when it’s working for two of us, but making sleep almost impossible for the third?  The second – how do we reconcile the different approaches that we have to settling to sleep?  Until now the compromises of these differences in parenting styles have largely gone my way because I’ve been home with McBean more and thus have had to deal with the consequences of those choices (and probably because I feel more strongly about things). But soon that is no longer going to be true, and tables will be turned.  I don’t know how I’m going to cope with that (yes, I admit I’m more than a bit of a control freak).  For this issue though, it all comes back to my heart breaking into a million little pieces when he cries.  I am simply incapable of not responding.  Lazyboo reassures me on this that she doesn’t want to ignore his cries, just give him a little time to self settle before we swoop in again.  But it still breaks my heart and goes against all of my instincts.  And I don’t know how I’m going to deal with the thought of this happening when I’m not around.  But it’s not my role to tell Lazyboo how to parent, and I need to learn how to relinquish some control now that things are changing.  For now, while the status quo remains, we’re going to try my approach for a few days to see how we go.  Then we’ll review.

This is so very hard.


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A good night’s sleep

What I wouldn’t give for one.

McBean is waking multiple times in the night, every night.  He woke up twice last night, before it was even quarter past ten.

He’s gotten into the habit of having a bottle to settle back to sleep, so it is causing us some consternation when he wakes up repeatedly.  The other night he had three bottles in four hours.

Its all a bit of a balancing act really.  While he was sick he was refusing to have bottles in the daytime, so we didn’t mind that he was getting so much at night, but now he’s back to speed on his daytime bottles, and is still wanting to drink at night.

Of course, he’s still sick and I think that’s most of the problem.  He has a terribly blocked nose – sounds like a blocked drain when he’s having a bottle.  He was waking up through the night while he had swine flu, and then as he recovered he got closer and closer to sleeping through.  We had him back to a dream feed, and then sleeping through until at least 6 or 7.  And then he caught FenFox’s virus (whatever the hell it was), and went right back to square one.  So I have hope that once he recovers, he’ll go back to sleeping through.

Of course, even if the boy sleeps through (which he did in the end last night after his early night fussing), then the damn animals contrive to wake me up anyway.  At around 3.30 Charlie decided that he was going to help himself to the meat I had defrosting under a plastic dome on top of the microwave – and then of course the dog objected vociferously, and I had to go and rescue the meat and kick the cat out the front door – not literally, though I felt like it.

Ah, to have a good nights sleep.  Seems like some unattainable bliss.

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9 hours!

That’s how long our precious boy slept for without waking last night – from 10pm to 7am! Amazing.

Unfortunately, I was in quite some pain by then because someone had swapped my breasts with rocks but it was worth it for such a long uninterrupted sleep.

Well almost anyway. We both woke at 5am panicking and had to check that he was still breathing…

And after his long sleep and massive feed (he had work to do to drain today) he played happily for an hour then went floating off back to sleep all calmly.

Today is a good day.  So far at least.

We’re thinking of Tiff and Chips right now – and anxiously awaiting news of both Nessy and Squeak!

Random cute faces:

mcbean-9-dec-08 fizzy-mcbean

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Last week, we had numerous conversations with various people about how well McBean sleeps.  He was consistently sleeping 3-4 hours at night, feeding, then going back to sleep for another 4-5 hours.  Or vice versa.  Consequently, we felt fantastic and were extremely happy with this unexpected turn of events.  I was actually sleeping far better than I had been while still pregnant.

The tide has now turned.  After a couple of nights of 2-3 hours sleep, feeding then another 2-3 hours sleep, we were starting to feel a bit sorry for ourselves and finally experiencing the expected sleep deprivation associated with new babies.  Then something else happened.  We’re really not sure what.  McBean has now gone 36 hours only sleeping no more than 45 mins at a time.  And most of that is in our arms, or in a sling or baby carrier (we have both).  He’s now asleep against my chest in the sling.  He’s been mostly feeding every hour.  A couple of times he’s gone 2 hours.  All day yesterday and all night and again all day.  We’ve even resorted to trying harder to get him to take a dummy (with limited success), which is something I thought I wouldn’t want to even try.  He’s had bottles of EBM, and we’ve even offered formula.  He drinks a little, then half an hour to an hour later, is demanding the breast again.  At least this has been having a positive effect on my milk supply!  I start to feel full and uncomfortable after about an hour and a half.

As for the milk issues, they are ongoing.  But I feel like there’s been some improvement.  Jenny is coming to visit tomorrow so we’ll have some more answers then (and hopefully he’ll at least be at birth weight).  The whole thing is so bloody tiresome.  I’m sick of talking about it, sick of thinking about it.

In this amazing period of wakefulness (accompanied by surprisingly little crying), McBean has been absolutely adorable when we haven’t wanted to throttle him a la Ho.mer and B.art.  He’s had a few periods of tummy time, and today even moved his head from one side to the other (small steps!)  He’s been playing on his playmat (thanks to Nic for that one!) and kicking and cooing and generally loving it.  He’s been chatting back to us and copying facial expressions.  But those beautiful eyes just refuse to stay closed!  Surely he’s got to fall into an exhausted slumber for a LONG time soon!?

It’s a really good thing that FenFox has gone away on her school camp and doesn’t have to deal with thoroughly exhausted Mama and Baba.  She was so excited about this camp – it was the first thing she said every morning for a whole week – counting down the days.  She methodically packed all the things that she thought she’d need, and did a really good job too!  She bounced all the way to school yesterday morning and didn’t even look back to say goodbye when getting on the bus.  We didn’t even get goodbye hugs!  Lazyboo is loving the break, and knowing that she’s having such a good time too.  Me, I’m far more conflicted.  I miss her.  And I can’t help but be anxious.  The very thought of 12 little girls left to their own devices in a cabin with no adult supervision (only for sleeping but still!) just freaks me out.  And even though we’ve had discussions with the teachers about her food issues, I can’t help but be worried.  And what about showering and brushing her hair?  How is she going to cope doing that by herself?  And won’t she need goodnight snuggles?  The answers to all this is of course that she’ll do fine, in fact, far better than I do!  I thought that my overprotective tendencies for FenFox would be somewhat diluted with the arrival of McBean but no, they’re still very much there!  She’s not back until tomorrow afternoon – and I’ll be really glad when she’s back.  I am glad, though, that she’s no doubt having such a wonderful time.

True to form, McBean is now stirring.  Here we go again…

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Ah, sleep

Last night was the first night in about 7 or 8 weeks that we have had what you might call a decent night’s sleep.  Clark and I both woke up amazed at how much better we felt – for about 30 minutes.

I don’t know if Clark’s uterus was taking a break after its ridiculous amount of over-exertion the previous days, but the contractions have eased right off – a few Braxton-Hicks’ now and then, but that’s about it.  Which made for a much more pleasant night.

It was getting to the point where Clark was getting anxious about going to bed, because it’s been so unpleasant each night.  Hopefully last night will make that abate somewhat.

In McBean news, he’s still moving around in there, though not as much since the contraction extravaganza – I think it wore him out too.  He also seems to be dropping into Clark’s pelvis more and more, which is good in terms of labour being closer but bad because Clark is in the bathroom every ten minutes or less.

Today we have had a scheduled pajama day.  That is, we’ve hung out in our pajamas and just rested and read and played computer games and generally relaxed.  Princess has had a very busy school holidays and it has been good for her just to chill out and rest in preparation for term 4 starting Monday.  Last term of grade 3 – she’s now officially more than half way through primary school.  That’s a kind of scary thought, as we have set ourselves a goal of leaving the country at the end of her grade 6, and that seems to be approaching quite rapidly.

Clark has played on her DS and read and eaten the food that I have cooked.  I have actually not stuck to the pajama day but went out to buy bacon and eggs to have with pancakes for brunch.  Yum.  And a massive lamb roast for dinner.  Now I have to go make rice pudding.  That being said, I did spend several hours playing a computer game, which I don’t often get the chance to do – and I have read a little bit, and played with the dog for a while – so I have had some down time too.

Once McBean arrives we won’t have the chance to really do this anymore – so we’re enjoying it while we can.

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