Archive | February, 2013

Sleep at 17 months

16 Feb

The last time I did a sleep update was back in September when N was just over a year old. We had just moved into a house and finally N had his own room. He seemed ready to sleep on his own and I couldn’t keep the milk buffet open all night–I needed sleep and more than that, I was experiencing painful nursing (and bloody milk!) from side-lying nursing + teeth. So we did a very mild version of sleep training and N began to sleep alone.

It was a great transition and it dropped nighttime feeds down to once a night, if that. We have been in a cycle since then of a couple nights of sleeping all night, then a nighttime waking, then more sleeping thru. However, for the past couple weeks, N has been sleeping all night every night. Now that we’re in a new phase, I figured it was time for a full update.

1) Bedtime routine: I am proud that we have created a nice bedtime routine that seems to work for N every night. There are even nights now where he starts to gesture to begin the routine if I don’t notice how late it’s gotten. Generally, bedtime is somewhere between 9 and 10 pm, depending on when he woke up, what his nap was like, etc. We begin by brushing his teeth with a little finger brush. N doesn’t love it, but I can usually get him to open wide with a bit of the kids’ toothpaste, my tooth-brushing song, and some giggles. Then, we shut his bedroom door and N turns off the light himself. We go to the glider and read books together. The last few weeks I give him a choice between 2 books, read it, and then he chooses another. We do that for 3-4 books. Then, I roll him up in a blanket (a big-kid version of a swaddle) and lay him in the crib turn on the sleep sheep and his glow seahorse and tell him how much I love him. He then plays a bit by himself, talks to himself, and usually within a few minutes he’s asleep.

Then, he sleeps until 10 or 11 am. Yay!

2) Nursing: Now that babe is sleeping all night, we’ve been down to 1 feed/day. I feed him when he wakes up in the morning and it is really nice cuddle time. He’s sleepy and warm and cuddly and I just love pulling him to me in the glider and letting him snuggle, drink milk, and slowly wake up (which usually means the nursing gymnastics begin–a foot in the face, a punch in the chin…). Since I sometimes wake up and leave before he gets up, I’ve started to add an after-nap feeding back in whenever I’m home. Again, when he wakes up he’s sleepy and a little cranky. Feeding him after a nap gives us snuggle time and also helps him wake up. The snack also buys us some time to get his dinner ready. I almost think he could wean entirely off breastmilk without a care, but I’m definitely clinging to it. I like my one-on-one cuddle time, I like that I can still physically care for my boy, and I like that he’s getting all the health benefits. I fear the day when he gets really sick, hurt, or upset–and I hope that we’ll still be breastfeeding so I can physically put him at ease.

We are so happy that N has such a nice routine. It makes our lives very predictable and N seems to be thriving on his current schedule. He eats well (avoids fruits and vegetables, but I hear that’s a toddler thing!), sleeps well, and he’s so happy! We’re so lucky to have him in our lives ❤

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Valentine’s Day / 17 months old

16 Feb

I’m not going to do a formal 17-month old post (I’m saving up for the big 18 months!), but I thought it would be fun to remember how N celebrated his 2nd Valentine’s day.. . and a little comparison with last year.

My little heart-breaker at 5 months:
NikitaValentine

And at 17 months!
017018
Such a big, curious, boy! He LOVES his heart balloon. If he had his way, he would eat with it, sleep with it, and play with it. The first night after I gave it to him he actually fell asleep holding onto its string and I had to sneak into his room and pull it away (safety hazard!). Best $.99 I ever spent!

Mom and dad tried to have a nice dinner – Hubs found a recipe for steak with potato “croquettes” and cooked dinner for me. It began with a nice start–the potato croquettes were amazing. . but then he burned himself on the oil and then the steak was tough….. We ended up doing a re-do yesterday after we got a refund on the bad steak and went for mashed potatoes instead of fancy fried potatoes. It was yummy! Moral of the story: buy quality meat, don’t try new recipes after a long day working, and don’t make things too fancy.

13 Feb

It’s been a busy week, but in a good way. I’ve spent a lot of time on campus taking care of various tasks and trying to move forward with my dissertation planning. I got a ton done today and tomorrow is another busy day! I just might have to write a post about my plans soon – I think it’s good to put ideas out there into the universe as the first step to making them happen.

But until then, my baby boy! (I cling to his baby-ness since he’s turning into SUCH a toddler!) 002Bath time! Not sure if he’s investigating the cup (it has holes on bottom) or preparing to drink the water…013This is why we live in a house with a yard!025 So N. can play in the yard and play with sticks and beat the cat 🙂 This weekend we had fun exploring the yard and N and Simon had fun playing together. I looked over at them and it looked like N was beating the poor kitty, but it turned out that as N whipped the branch, Simon was batting right back at it. It was really cute and really funny!028026027My love bug!014

The past month . . .

5 Feb

It has been a month since I last posted and there’s a myriad of reasons why… recovering from the holiday festivities & getting back to the daily grind … stresses as we figured out parenting an increasingly energetic toddler… working and teaching and gray gray weather. January has been full of the blahs!

031But not for my baby boy! This has been a fun month for him – he’s gone from just barely walking to running all over. He walks forwards and backwards and hops on one foot. He falls and gets up all on his own. He squats to investigate and pick things up.  He’s off running and it is so fun to have a little companion, but hard to believe that this active little boy was once my helpless baby!

003 My funny, funny boy!

This past weekend we had a mama/baby boy date and it was really fun! We went to lunch in a restaurant! We played at the park! It was nice to go out and just focus on my baby boy. Since I’m doing my usual RA-ship and teaching a class this quarter, my focus is distracted. I always have a list of things to do that is much too long. It is nice to really focus on my boy. Now that he’s walking, I’ve been really turning my attention to talking. He still has only one word (mama) but he does make many sounds and mimics us when we make funny sounds (like snoring noises–so funny). The other “word” he has is the funniest “ffffff” when he sees the cat! Not sure where he got it, but it is ONLY used for the kitty.018 029 030  032We’ve worked on some gestures, too. N. waves (though more of a hand-folding that he does to himself and not the person waving). He also claps his hands – together – we’ve played hand clapping games for months but he only recently spontaneously did it for himself. I see his understanding really growing, so I know that like with walking, when he’s ready he will talk.014The only complication we have with talking is language. We’re raising N. to be fully bilingual (Russian-English) and I’ve been thinking a lot about how we talk to him. Right now our method of anything goes works well–most of our daily talk is in Russian but bedtimes stories are in English as well as some teaching speech (like when I’m intentionally asking him about his day or telling him what we’re doing step-by-step). As he grows we may need to be more intentional about our language use. I’m reading a good book on the topic now, so I may post what I’ve learned sometime in the future. That’s it for now. I’m glad it’s February, but I’ll be even more glad when we get into March and the winter grays fade away…