Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just a Couple More Pics...

I don't have much time before Hannah wakes up from her morning nap but I had some other pics on my camera I'm gonna try to post in between bites of my egg sammy.

It's been a while since we've taken any bath time pics...

She's not sitting up on her own yet but she's close enough to hold herself while Eric washes her hair.

Eric dries her off in his lap and then uses toilet paper to clean out her ears. (Yes, we have Q-tips....He cleans his own ears with toilet paper too...)

I love this one.  In the Johnny Jump Up...

Sorta got the nose scrunch...cute, eh?
She's up now so it's time to go! She just took an awsome 90-minute nap which was preceeded by an awesome 11-hour night of sleep! She slept from 8p-7a only waking up twice (once at 2a and once at 4a) but never for more than a couple minutes and never requiring me to get out of bed. I woke up naturally at 6:45 feeling better than I've felt in months...Wahoo!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thoughts and Toys

Hmmm...I know I'm due for a post, and I know there have been a lot of times in the past couple days that I've thought "I should blog that!" but I'm drawing a blank now.....I'll go random again....We started Hannah on pears today; rice week is over which is just as well because that stuff is a sticky mess.  Her poop since eating solids is really, really gross.  We thought about taking away solids until she is able to wipe her own butt, but decided against it because that would probably be hell on my boobs as her appetite continued to grow.  So once we have a better handle on this sleeping thing, it's on to potty training.  If anyone has any books to recommend on that topic, cough it up so I can start gathering resources for my next big mothering project. 

As for sleep (I really should change the title of this blog to "Hannah's Sleep Chronicles" or something....), we're all doing a bit better.  I was telling Eric how I always feel so guilty when I leave her to cry and after the ordeal is over, I always tell myself that I'll do better next time, that I'll stay cool, calm, and collected for the full saga.  Prior to laying her down, I often pep-talk myself and commit myself to not kirking out, but usually I end up needing a break and having to leave her, sometimes after 45 minutes, sometimes I only make it 20, but here's an interesting development:  for the past couple days, when I give up and leave, she screams at most for another minute or two then goes to sleep.  Weird, huh. It's like my soothing presence while she's trying to sleep is totally annoying to her.  So I started trying it out at night too. I'll go in and briefly soothe her, then I turn around and head back to bed and she's asleep again in a couple minutes.  Last night I tried something new where I just didn't go in. She screamed for maybe 2 minutes tops and then fell back asleep.  Pretty cool, huh?

So here's another thought that Eric and I were thinking out loud together the other night.  You know how when you're pregnant people who have kids will tell you that kids change everything and you think, yeah, yeah, of course they will, and you know they will, but you don't understand HOW MUCH they will.  Well for all you childless kids, we'd like to assure that that is not an exaggerated statement.  Having kids really does change every little thing in your entire life from big ticket items like sanity and sleep to little things like how often your plants get watered or your cat gets fed. And your whole outlook on life starts to change too.  When I got pregnant, I started being really offended by certain rap songs (think Snoop Dogg) that I once found pretty funny.  And I started thinking about death and worrying about myself in ways I never have because I feel like I am crucial to Hannah's existence. I know that's not completely true, but for a while there, the idea of me being dead or in the hospital and her having to be fed formula because I didn't have a reserve of breastmilk in the freezer made me want to cry. I don't know why. Lots of babeis are/were formula fed (including my  hubby) and they are FINE. I'm not one of those Tit Terrorists who thinks that breast is the only way to go, but the idea of Hannah having anything else made me want scream.  The main time that I was thinking about this was the month after she was born because of all the bleeding. There were a couple of times that I was afraid to fall asleep in case I bled out.  This is totally ridiculous, I know.  Even if I were going to bleed out, I wasn't getting enough sleep in that first month to do so in my sleep.  I worry a lot more about Eric too, and of course I'm constantly worrying about Hannah, which is why I always feel so guilty letting her cry it out.

On a lighter note, Hannah's got this new smile that is so friggin cute. It involves her totally scrunching up her nose and sticking her tongue out just enough to touch the tip of it to her top lip. We've been trying to catch it on video and film but have had a hard time.  In this photo of her post-rice smear, we just barely missed the nose scrunch.  (Terrill did manage to catch it on video, but the rest of the video has us talking and I really hate the sound of myself talking on video so I avoid it at all costs......HOWEVER, there is a nose scrunch in one of the videos below.)

In other photo news, look who finally decided to man up and put on the BabyBjorn!!!  He was worried about his masculinity being threatened and has refused to put her in a carrier up until yesterday when he got ballsy.  Since the end result was that everyone on the Avenue awwwed all over them, he's okay with it now.  OH! And I got to wear her on my back the other day!  She's big enough now that I can start using the Baby Hawk again and wearing her on my back which is good because the Bjorn kills my shoulders and back, but it's the only carrier that lets her face out and for a while now she has refused facing any other way in a carrier.  I had a hard time getting her on my back though and had to do it over the bed just in case I dropped her in the process.  I guess I'll get better at it with practice.

Here's Hannah having Daddy's leg for breakfast:

Hannah got another new toy too. Well, she's had this one since I moved back to Baltimore and inherited a bunch of hand-me-downs from my friend Brooke who passed along a Johnny Jump Up. Eric's been pretty eager to play with it so he dug it out of her toy trunk yesterday.  She totally loved it.  There are a couple of nose scrunches to show it.

And here's another one of her bouncing and spinning in it:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Huge Relapse

Once again I forayed into the realm of "how hard can it be" and was promptly smacked down by the humility god.  Sleep training is back to suckville.  I'm not sure how it happened....She fell asleep while nursing last night and when I was hardcore into sleep training, I was waking her up so she'd learn to put herself to sleep and not need me and my chest, but last night I thought it'd be fine to just lay her down like that. I suppose that was my first mistake.  She was screaming within seconds.  I have no idea what the next couple mistakes were but she screamed until 10:00.  Eric and I took turns attempting to patiently provide TLC and when the TLC ran out, we left her in there to scream alone.  I held a book in front of my face but stared intently at the video monitor and the clock.  When it got to 9 minutes I couldn't take it anymore. As much as I can't stand being near her when she's screaming, I can't stand being away from her either.  It's a lose-lose situation.  So I went in, scooped her up, and shushed her calm.  After a couple of minutes she arched off me and leaned toward her bed so I laid her down, she closed her eyes, and peace was finally ours.  This was after 2 hours of crying.

I had great hopes that tonight we'd be back on track. Her naps today were perfect in spacing and length, and we started bedtime a little earlier to keep on track.  She fell asleep nursing but I gently woke her then laid her down.  Quiet for maybe a minute, then screaming. Loudly and insanely. I scooped her up thinking she might need to burp.  Nope.  Fooled me once.  I laid her down and the screaming resumed.  I went to my log to make some notes and when I turned around she was in an extreme baby cobra and twisted around behind her clinging to the bumper pads as if she were trying to crawl toward me.  The look on her face was heart breaking so I scooped her up again.  I held her for a couple minutes like this (she quieted instantly upon being held) then she repeated last nights' gesture of arching toward her bed. I laid her down and all was good and quiet for a couple minutes. Her eyes were glassy and fluttering. I shushed and lulled and willed her to sleep.  Then out of nowhere, the flood gates broke lose and insanity spilled into the nursery once again.  I told her to cut it out and left. Eric was already up the stairs for the tag team.  He changed her (though she didn't need it) and snuggled her and then peaced out.  Now we're downstairs listening to our dear sweet screaming daughter and waiting for her to cry long enough that when we return to check on her, she will be so exhausted that she passes out much easily. If, by chance, she passes out on her own in the meantime, that would be great, but my hopes aren't that high.

Okay, time to watch a few more minutes of Funny People...we are watching it in installations.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Resolutions and Rice

Guess who's back on the rock!! I mean, er, the wall, but whatever, wahooooooo!!! After a year plus hiatus from climbing, I got back in my harness yesterday (actually it was a borrowed harness since mine has gone missing).   About a week ago I came up with some resolutions for the new year, all of which are based around my own personal quest for sanity.  They are:

1.  Practice yoga at least 1/week
2. Climb at least 1/month
3.  Attend a group/class meditation 1/month

I tried to make them realistic and doable.  I seriously doubt I could find the time or funds to climb once a week, but once a month is definitely possible.  Yesterday was awesome. Earth Treks has a whole new wall since the last time I was there and got some new tables and paint on the walls so it was like a whole new place.  I was worried that my shoes would be hard and frozen from being kept in the garage for the last couple of months (they weren't) and also that I would be physically incapable of completing even the simplest climbs (I wasn't).  I was more capable than I expected after such a long hiatus which was a much-needed boost to my esteem.  It was nice to be out and chatting it up with Brandy for a couple hours, and since I left right after Hannah had woken up and eaten, I only left Eric with one activity period (about an hour and a half of her being awake). I was back before she woke up from the nap he put her down for.

When I got back, I had enough time to scarf some food and sit down for a bit before my dad and his girlfriend showed up.  Of course my dad jokingly tried to sneak upstairs to wake up Hannah.  This is a running joke between us because a couple months ago he mentioned something about stopping by Chip's house and waking up Clay to visit. I interrupted with, "he lets you wake Clay up????"  Dad seemed a bit taken aback.  "Well, yeah, why wouldn't he?"  I told him he better enjoy that privilege at Chip's because there was no wway in H-E-doble hockey sticks that I'd ever let him wake up Hannah; I don't care how far he drove to see her.  So now he picks on me and pretends he's gonna wake her up.  Eventually she woke up on her own (after taking an AWESOME 2 1/2 hour nap) and he got to feed her lunch.

Yesterday was Hannah's 2-week anniversary for eating solid foods which meant that she got to try something other than sweet potatoes.  So pollsters, oatmeal clearly won, buuuutttt you know how I told you last week that I'd made some rice and frozen it and that I hadn't gotten around to buying steel cut oats for oatmeal yet?  Welllllll I still haven't been to the grocery store (it's on my to do list for today because the fridge is empty except for a tupperware container full of moldy pineapple) and since the rice was already made and frozen into individual cubes, AND since I figured that all of you who voted for oatmeal probably would have also voted for rice cereal and in fact, may have even preferred that option since it is a more traditional option, AND since Laura told me that because oat grows close to wheat, most oats are contaminated with gluten unless you buy a special kind that promises not to be and since a ton of people have intolerances for gluten...well, after considering all of those factors (but mostly focusing just on the convenience of the already made rice), I opted for rice.  I feel bad for choosing something not even on the poll and am going to find a way to make it up to you....The fact is, I should have done more research before starting that poll--I just pulled those foods out of The Baby Whisperer book. Those were some of the first foods she suggested giving baby.  But enough rambling, on to the cute pics of Pappy feeding Hannah her first bites of rice!

(The spoon pictured below is actually a 1 TB measuring spoon that she likes to play with--don't worry, I don't try to feed her with that gigantic thing.)

Here's what I don't like about rice: the stickiness factor.  I was picking dried flakes off her cheeks, hands, and elbows for the rest of the day despite a thorough post-lunch wipe down.  She seemed to like it though and never made any of those "ewwww! gross!!" faces that she made after the first couple bites of sweet potato.

After lunch, we settled in on the couch for some playtime.

And then Eric came out from behind his computer where he was attempting productivity and grabbed his guitar to join in the fun. 

This balancing act is how Hannah tones and strengthens her core. (Eric has taken to performing this stunt quite often--he gets a big kick out of it.)

That's the first part of yesterday in a nutshell.  The second part, which consisted of Hannah and I helping Terrill make cookies for the women's shelter she volunteers for, didn't get captured on film :( bummer.

In retrospect, yesterday was a dang good day!! Oh, and bedtime was perfect!!! No fussing at all, not while getting her in her pajamas and not when I laid her down to sleep.  That's the second time (not in a row obviously) that she went to sleep without a peep. AND, after a brief wake-up at 10:15, she slept straight through till 6:45.  Amazing.  Totally amazing. Good stuff.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Terrill bought the banana the pear duds I've been wanting and she is sooooooo friggin cute in them!!!  Check her out:

I love it!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, and here's the crazy thing: this outfit is size 12-18 months....what the heck!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a little big on her, but not outrageously so.  Either Gap also runs small or I have a BIG baby! (Reminder, she is 5 1/2 months old.)  Thank you Terrill!!!!!!

Also, today I was telling Terrill about how Hannah had her first phone call from a boy and she laughed and asked if I was going to put that story on the blog, and I'm surprised I haven't already because it happened a couple weeks ago actually.  Eric came home laughing one day a few weeks ago because a young man called his cell phone and asked for Hannah.  The guy ended up being a trainer from our gym who must have seen Hannah registered as a new member (this way I can take her to the day care there if I want to) and was calling to offer a free training session.  

And that's all for today because last night's blog post was long enough to last all week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Houston, We Have a Tooth! (And a TON of other Ramblings...)

After months of everyone short of the bagger at the grocery store telling us "she's teething" based on her extreme drooling and the urge to shove everything in her mouth, Hannah actually has a tooth coming in.  I felt its sharp beginnings on Saturday.  It's exciting to have a new development, but also a bit daunting since teeth are kids' number 1 weapon (whether ill intentioned as in toddler years or merely gnawing through the baby years).

As for sleeping, we are settling into a bit of a routine--bedtime is at 8:00 and she wakes up at 6:00.  Naps are still pretty unpredictable, but they're getting better.  She usually goes down for a morning nap at 8ish and has been sleeping for about 90 minutes, sometimes almost 2 hours.  After that it's a crap shoot though.  Sometimes she takes an equally good afternoon nap, sometimes not.  Either way, my main goal of taking back my grown-up time has been accomplished (hence this incredibly long post).  She now goes to sleep within about 15 minutes rather than screaming for a few hours.  Also, my second goal of weaning her from nighttime feedings is going well--she hasn't eaten between the hours of 8 and 6 in about a week, and her daytime feedings have improved significantly.  She still wakes up at night but I'm hoping that will pass eventually...

As for food, I decided to make sweet potatoes in bulk the other day.  I really don't know why people buy baby food--it's expensive and not THAT much more convenient.  I mean, think about it what goes into just making it yourself: I peeled a sweet potato, wrapped it in foil, shoved it in the oven for about an hour, let it cool, then pureed it in my new blender (xmas present) with some of my finest milk, poured it into an ice cube tray, froze it, and then this morning I popped out the cubes of sweet potato and stuck 'em in a ziplock bag in the freezer so I can defrost them two at a time as needed.  The actual work time involved in the above steps was incredibly minimal and what's the cost of a sweet potato? Like 50 cents or something?  I haven't checked out the cost of baby food in too much detail, but I know it's like over a dollar for one jar. 

I got so excited that I decided to try my hand at making rice cereal.  My mom sent me a site (I think it was a blog) that had a recipe for rice cereal that was really dumb.  The person suggested grinding "some" rice in a coffee bean grinder and then adding "some" water and boiling...I'm not a fan of instructions like "some."  I need exact numbers.  What is the ratio of water to rice?? Anyway, Eric's coffee bean grinder is coated in coffee bean dust and I'm fairly certain that no amount of scrubbing would get every last dust particle out so I decided to just make rice and then toss it in the blender with more of my finest milk.  Voila!! Homemade rice cereal for a fraction of the cost! Again, I didn't check the actual cost of baby rice cereal, but the bag of brown rice I bought was like $1.99 and I only used 1 cup out of the whole bag and didn't even use all that to fill one ice cube tray so that's like pennies per meal.

I know, I know, you're probably saying to yourself, "rice cereal?? That wasn't on the list of poll options!!" And you're right, it wasn't because it wasn't an option at that time because for some reason it never occurred to me to make it myself and like I said in a previous post, I didn't want Hannah to be eating out of a box at such a young age.  I would have made the oatmeal today instead of the rice cereal (since it looks like that's gonna win) but I don't have any steel cut oats.  I just have the Bob's Red Mill regular oats and I think I should use steel cut, but I should probably research that....

I finished a hysterical book tonight that I recommend to all my preggo readers.  My mom got it for me for Christmas. It's called Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay.  At first I was kinda bummed that it wasn't written in story/memoir style (like It Sucked and Then I Cried which I LOVED--thanks Libby!) but the author is so friggin funnny that I quickly got over it.  It's written more like a guide with various scenarios that you will encounter and really funny advice for rolling with the punches.  There was a lot of stuff that I could relate to and other stuff that I haven't been through yet.  Here are some funny tidbits:

"Whether you breast-feed or not, you need to be prepared to encoutner the Tit Terrorists."

"My husband and I, paranoid first-time parents that we were, took a safety course for infants and came away with all sorts of new fears.  The biggest one was that our baby would surely suffocate if we put crib bumpers in her crib. The bumper police had us convinced that babies' faces are drawn to bumpers like Tara Reid is to apple martinis.  It's absurd.
     Take it from me: You need crib bumpers, and not only because they look cute with your choo-choo train crib sheets.  You need crib bumpers so your little baby doesn't get his little leg stuck through the bars of the crib, or bump his ahead against the rails like a mental patient in a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed institution.  Nothing is sadder than looking through those bare bars, like it's visiting hours at the state prison. Believe me, that will come soon enough.
     If you're scared of bumpers, chances are you also think blankets in the crib are the Antichrist.  You should know that a lot of people swear by them for their warmth and cuddle factors.  If you're really worried, try a crocheted blanket.  Even your little genius will never figure out how to suffocate in that.
     But I accept that with the level of paranoia these days, some people won't relax unless their baby is completely naked, sleeping on a fully enclosed cement slab with no teddy bear in sight. Good luck with that."

"But if your feelings get out of control or if you experience depression for more than a couple of weeks, you probably need help to get over it. Hell, I need help to cope when I have no new messages on my voice mail, so there is nothing wrong with seeking medical attention for depression. However, if you find that you're feeling tired all the time, you're overwhelmed and irritable, and you have virtually no sex drive whatsoever, welcome to motherhood, my friend."

"If you're holding your baby 24/7, that's not a baby, that's a tumor."

From my favorite chapter: Good-bye, Hot Wifey, Hello, Mommy

"Picture your marraige as a quiet country lane and your baby as a Hummer. No matter how careful you are, there's gonna be roadkill."

"I knew every second of every day where my baby was, and what she was doing, as if I'd been equipped with amental LoJack that was always monitoring her. I know my husband was devoted to our new baby with every fiber of his being, but I couldn't believe his ability to walk in and out of a room with ease. I'd watch with fascinantion as he'd go from the living room to the kitchen to the bathroom and into the bedroom to watch TV, as though he didn't even have a baby!  I was annoyed at his ability to relax. I felt like saying, "Didn't you get the memo? WE'RE PARENTS NOW! LOOK ALIVE!"

Okay, I could seriously quote the entire book so I better stop now. I thought I'd just type a few things up but got a little carried away....

The only other thing on the "to blog about list" is that I think Eric and I have worked out a good system that will enable me to keep my job AND my mind.  On his two days off, I'm going to work straight through from 8:00-1:00 which will mean I have 3 other days to spread out  my remaining 9 hours.  Today she only napped for 2 hours and 55 minutes so if this were one of those 3 days, it would have been a close call and an exhausting day of back and forth, back and forth, but it should help.  Also, on his days off, I get to go to the gym.  So that means that 3 days out of the week, I'm on duty all day, and 2 days out of the week, he's on for most of the day, and when the weekend rolls around, we're both on.  Today went really well.

And now that I've been blogging for like an hour....I blogged straight through my coveted grown-up time.  That's probably enough.  Good night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yoga and Walkers

Since the classes are pretty expensive, I went ahead and bought the Itsy Bitsy Yoga book.  Breathe Books on The Avenue had it, and we were out wandering around down there the other day enjoying the sunny, 45 degree weather.  I flipped through the book the first few days just looking at the poses and then started at the beginning this morning.  One of the first things I'm reading is: "the natural movement babies need to experience is being reduced with the overuse of confining  baby-holding devices such as infant car seats, walkers, seated activity centers, and strollers."  Of course I just bought a walker last night...I wanted the Jeep Renegade one because I thought it was the coolest so I started scouring Craig's List.  There were none in Baltimore but I found one in Herndon for $30 and since my friend Max lives there, I begged him to pick it up and bring it with him next time he visited.  He was kind enough to oblige and now Hannah has a new toy.  Check her out:

There's not a whole lot of floor space for her to "drive" around on, but I figured it'd be a fun way to start practicing moving and also, it provides me someplace else to put her when I need to do the dishes,  just in case the high chair gets old.

I'm going to assume that the key word in that quoted sentence is "overuse" and will make sure I provide her with plenty of unrestricted movement time to offset any of her driving time....Also, this supports my belief that she hates her car seat and stroller because it's confining. 

Sleeping is going okay though last night she was up at 10, 11, 12, and 4 before waking up at 7.  So naturally I feel like a crackhead today.  Not sure why she's taken to waking up repeatedly, but bedtime is going well and she always goes back to sleep pretty quickly and easily when waking up and she hasn't eaten at night in like a week now so we've definitely made some progress.

In other news, my staycation is over and I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I'm bummed.....ugh. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crazy Baby Goes to Sleep Quietly....

n amazing thing happened last night.  It was so crazy, I still can't believe it.  Here's the scoop:  we bathed Hannah and went through the normal bedtime routine. I managed to keep her from falling asleep on the boob and laid her down very drowsy but still awake.  Her eyes were open but staring glassily and then after about a minute or so, she closed them.  No fussing whatsoever.  None. I repeat, my daughter went to bed with no fussing.  It was crazy and awesome.  She did the same tonight, but tonight she fell asleep on the boob and all my efforts to wake her were for naught so that was kind of cheating. I don't feel much like blogging right now, but know that the sleep training is going well, and also, I wanted to share some cute pics that my mom took today and also a video she capture of Hannah right when Hannah woke up from a nap.

The first two are of me nursing Hannah.  The reason this is a photo op is because Hannah has taken to putting her fingers in my mouth while nursing.  She also sometimes picks my nose, but in this pics, she's just checking my teeth.

Here she is upon waking:

And here's the video (which is mostly the same as the above picture except that it's video):

I'm having trouble uploading the video--this was my 3rd attempt and it's still saying it's not available. I'm tired and it's way past my bedtime so I'll tinker with it tomorrow.  Sorry.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some Pics

I'm too tired for an update--rough night--but here are some random pics:

After "eating" some sweet potatoes (which she hasn't eaten in 2 days because she got constipated).

Wearing what I think is a super cute outfit.  We got this long sleeve onesie at the Gap when we went to the mall to return my pants a couple weeks ago. We'd  never been baby clothes shopping and decided to check into a couple stores while we were there.  This onesie was on the sale rack for $4 so we grabbed it. It's got a cute little owl on it which made me think of Libby since she loves owls.  Also, I must admit, Baby Gap has a new spring line called Pop Shop that I'm in love with. If it weren't so silly to pay the sticker prices for clothes that will only be worn for a few months, I would go to town shopping for Hannah.  I am particularly drawn to the pear stuff like this shirt and this thing they're calling a crawler skirt...who knew pears could be so dang cute?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hannah Vid

Here's Hannah attempting to make her way out of her high chair and closer to me so that she can snatch the camera from my hands and put it in her mouth.

Just More Boring Text

I've gotta take some more pics...I've been so focused on sleep training that my camera is getting dusty.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I have some video on the other camera from December that I need to upload....Maybe there's something cute on there.

But since I'm living and breathing sleep training, my blog is doing the same.  So I'm gonna pick up where I left off.....

Tuesday bedtime was good again--15-20 minutes of minor fussing before dropping off to sleep.  So far that habit of screaming for 2-3 hours during bedtime every night was pretty easy to break (knocking heavily on wood).  She woke up around 2ish that night and I stuck to my guns again and just patted and shushed for about 40 minutes like I did the night before when she woke up at 5ish.  It was exhausting, and I really wanted to just quit (I could have nursed her and been asleep again within 20 minutes...), but I sucked it up.  She then slept till around 6:15 which meant that I only got about two 3-hour stints of sleep so when she went down for a nap at 8:00, I crawled back into bed with Eric.  She took a good morning nap (nearly 2 hours), and then took an okay second nap (1 hour), and then catnapped the rest of the day. 

Bedtime last night was the same wonderful deal that it has been and this time, since Eric decided to go next door for some guy time, I decided to go to bed shortly after Hannah.  She fell asleep at 8:30 at which point I did my stretches, brushed my teeth, and jumped into bed with a book with every intention of getting a really good night of sleep. I had lights out at 9:30 but then woke up when Eric came in at 10:30, and then Hannah woke up around 11.  Ugh.  Those nights that she wakes up within an hour of me falling asleep are always the hardest.  That's when I have no patience.  Fortunately, Eric roused himself from in front of the TV and took my patting and shushing station and I went back to bed.  She slept through the night after that and started stirring in her crib at 5:55 but didn't yell for me till 6:15.  So that's 3 days in a row of waking up around 6:15. I liked the 7ish wake-up time better, but since everything else has improved, no complaints.

This sleep training/night time weaning is tiring and hard to stick to but if all goes as planned, I'll be sleeping through the night again in no least until she starts teething.

I'll try to see what's on that other camera sometime today and maybe upload some visuals as I'm sure you're all getting tired of my sleep training updates.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I just read this and realized I had forgotten to come clean about a certain freakout a certain someone had last week.  Remember all those crazy posts I posted and how I was crying constantly and shrieking accusatorily at my dear sweet hubby?  I thought I'd really lost it and that it was only a matter of time before I'd be blogging from a padded room, and then on Friday, a funny (and by funny, I mean "not cool") think happened when I woke up.  The same thing Heather Armstrong references in the post I linked.  Looks like we both rang in the new year with a bang.  So yeah, welcome back to womanhood and all the annoyances that it brings.  Unlike Marlo (Heather's baby), Hannah is still fully breastfed (she's just "tasting" sweet potatoes once a day) so I'm blaming my return on the IUD.  Stupid contraption.  Which reminds me, I'm supposed to be checking to make sure that thing is still there at least once a month and I've never once checked it...I gotta be honest, I'm probably not going to.  I don't even know how to check it and I just don't want to, so if I end up unexpectedly pregnant again, well, I hope I don't.

A Few More Steps Back and One Step Forward (For Me)

And now, for your daily sleep training update.... (Not working is kinda nice, so far this week I've cleaned half the house, been to Target, taken a nap, blogged daily...oh yeah, and RELAXED--just a bit though--and it's only Tuesday!).

Hannah resume catnapping yesterday afternoon so that was a real stinker (backward step #2) and bedtime was a nightmare (backward step #3).  I THINK that since her afternoon napping was scarce and mostly nonexistent, she was overexhausted by bedtime and that caused the tears, but who knows.  She never got too wound up or hysterical (forward step), but she alternated between self-soothing and crying for a full hour before dozing off.  I didn't get a chance to eat beforehand (and wrongly assumed I'd be back down in no time since she only cried for 15 minutes the two nights before) so I was starving and found myself getting impatient when dadadaaaaa!!! It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's Eric to the rescue!!! Whew.  That was his first time doing the Sleep Lady Shuffle so that may have been part of the reason that Hannah kept up her crying for another half hour--she's used to him picking her up at the slightest whimper so I'm guessing she was testing his boundaries.  It was a good thing to do during the day because I'll probably need him to shuffle in sometimes at night (when he has days off) and this will make it easier for both him and her.

As far as sleeping goes, she did pretty well.  She made it from 8:30 to 5:00 a.m.  Now, I prefer she sleep till 7:00/7:30, but baby steps, right?  I got my grown-up time to watch reruns of House and I slept uninterrupted from about 10:30 to 5:00--not bad at all!  Along with getting her bedtime crying down to ziltch, I'm trying to break her nighttime feeding habit, I followed the Sleep Lady's advice for doing this which is to resume shuffle position and do what I do every other time I put her down--coo at her and shush her and pat her on the butt--and surprisingly, it sorta worked.  It worked in the sense that she didn't get all crazy and hysterical and go into melt-down mode, she actually started self-soothing and I thought to myself, YES!! I am AWESOME!  But she never did go back to sleep so later I amended that statement slightly to: Okay, not bad Terri, not bad...What she ended up doing was rolling over onto her back which pretty much guarantees she's not going back to sleep especially with me standing there.  By this point Eric had already gotten up and left for work so I figured it had to be after 6:00.  I reached down for a pat and found her sleeper wet.  Ohhhhh....bummer.  She's taken to peeing clear out of her diapers and all over her belly.  She was doing it with the disposables a couple weeks ago so we started using cloth full-time and that solved that problem until last night.   So out of the crib with her and onto the changing diaper for a new diaper and new outfit. Wait--I think I'm mixing up the time--this diaper fiasco happened before Eric had even woken up. Okay, so I change her, hug her, and lay her back down and high five myself for following the program even though I'm exhausted and it would be WAY easier to just nurse her and go back to sleep.  So I lay her down again and she's self-soothing and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be successful, and Eric gets up and is in the bathroom doing his morning thing and I'm still shushing and patting, and then I hear the door close and know that Eric is gone, and then I have to pee....So I take it to the next step of the weaning nightime feedings program:  I leave the room and use the bathroom and count to 60 and then I swoop back in all chipper and stuff and sing Good Morning!! and scoop her up and open the blinds and turn off the fan and humidifier and go about our normal morning routine.  (You're supposed to leave the room first so that there is a clear distinction between "I'm picking you up because you're crying" and "I'm picking you up because it's morning".)  At this point I get access to a clock and see that it's 6:30 so we almost made it to our preferred wake-up time--not bad!! But most importantly, I stuck to my guns and to the routine, thus providing consistency and a clear message to my little banana. 

So I'm gonna call that one step forward because for the first time, I followed the program rather than taking the easy way out.  Celebratory drink anyone???  Kidding, kidding :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Step Back

After a great day of napping (two 90-minute naps plus the "optional" 45 minute nap in the late afternoon--just what the Sleep Lady ordered) and another easy bedtime (fussed for 15 minutes then out--no hysterics), our sleep training experienced a slight setback in the way of a few nighttime awakenings.  The first was about 15 minutes after I closed my eyes so I was asleep, but not yet in deep.  I went in and opted to nurse her instead of continue sleep training.  I don't know why I did that.  There was a voice in my head that said "maybe she napped so much today that she didn't get enough to eat and if I feed her now, she'll sleep the rest of the way through the night."  Well, she wasn't starved at all, she hardly swallowed anything, mostly just suckled.   So I was doofed on that one, oh well.  I managed to unlatch her and get her back in her bed and most of the way to dream town within about 15 minutes. Of course then I was wide awake and had a bit of trouble knocking back off, but no biggie.  UNTIL, about 1:00....or maybe it was 2:00?  She woke up again and showed no signs of putting herself back to sleep.  This time the voice mentioned above knew better than to open its mouth.  I stuck with the Sleep Lady's instructions and didn't pick Hannah up, just stood by her crib and patted her rump and whispered reassuring words.  I was back in bed within about 10 minutes this time and sleeping soundly UNTIL about 4:00.  This time the voice spoke up again and I, for some unknown reason that can probably be attributed to sheer exhaustion, gave in and picked Hannah up.  I then decided that since she was screaming so much, I might as well change her diaper.  Then she was REALLY screaming so I figured I should nurse her or risk being up till daybreak.  Again, she didn't really eat much, just suckled which means that again, I was doofed.  The books--and the Sleep Lady--are right, a healthy 5- 6-month-old really is quite capable of making it through a 10-11 hour night without eating (unless experiencing a growth spurt or sick of course).  Anyway, I was back in bed again within about 20 minutes.  She slept till 7:30 which is usual for her and good because it gave us today as an opportunity to get back on schedule.

So I need to get myself pumped up for tonight.  The whole reason I took this week off work was so that I could focus on sleep training her which I knew would mean that I had to sacrifice some sleep at odd hours of the night.  I went into this fully intending to maintain my consistency even at 4:00 a.m. knowing that since I'm off work, I can catch up with a nap when Hannah naps.

Her napping today is a little off though.  She woke up after about 45 minutes from her morning nap, but rolled herself over on her back and miraculously went back to sleep. That's the first time she's ever done that.  She's up from her second nap now after only about 30 minutes and it doesn't sound like she'll be putting herself back to sleep this time....gotta go.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I'm going to try not to get too excited because if life with a baby has taught me anything, it's one step forward, three steps back.  Good nights can be as much of a fluke as bad nights, but last night was AWESOME!!  Last night was the 3rd night of the Sleep Lady Shuffle (though Eric, for lack of understanding kinda undid night 2 so we might have to add in a 4th night positioned right next to her crib before moving to phase 2).  Hannah fussed--but never cried hysterically--for 15 minutes and then fell asleep at 8:00 on the dot and slept until 7:30 this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I still woke up pretty frequently because I'm conditioned to do that, but if she keeps up these good sleep habits, I might regain my good sleep habits as well. 

For the past 2 days, we've modified the schedule proposed by the Sleep Lady because of Hannah's incredibly short cat naps.  Like the Sleep Lady, we keep her awake for 2 hours between each nap except at the end of the day when she is awake for 3, but since she doesn't sleep for 90 minutes at a time like she's supposed to, she gets more naps and more awake periods than the Sleep Lady routine.  Yesterday she woke up from her last nap at 4:45 which meant she needed to be ASLEEP (not getting ready for sleep) by 7:45.  We started bathtime at 6:45 and had her in her crib right at 7:45 (so I should have had her in her crib sooner to allot for the crying) and she was alseep by 8:00.  Not too shabby!

In addition to trying to adjust her night time routine so that it doesn't consist of crying, I want to lengthen her day time naps.  She's gotten into the habit of taking 30-40 minute naps which the Sleep Lady calls "disaster naps" because they allow her just enough energy to fight more sleep but not enough to do much else (and they certainly don't allow me to do much of anything).  I'm hoping that her naps will start to fall into place as her night time sleep begins to improve, and as of today, it's looking like my hope might be fulfilled because her first nap was just a few minutes shy of 90 minutes so as of right now, she is following the Sleep Lady schedule.  But if today's naps are a fluke, I'll work on the lengthening-naps issue after I feel pretty certain that we've got a handle on the night time sleep.  Unfortunately, Sleep Lady doesn't provide a lot of advice on how to deal with these disaster naps so I'll have to wing it. 

Here's our night-time routine for those of you who are wondering: after bath we gob on the butt paste to prevent irritation from a full night of peeing in the same diaper, then we diaper her, then we use baby lotion to give a calming baby massage (sometimes this is hurried depending on how eager she is to eat ), then I feed her (I used to do this with only the hallway light on but last night I decided to leave the bedside light on hoping that the act of turning the light off would further signal "bed time"), then I burp her really good and, depending on her mood, I'll do guide her through some baby yoga stretches to further aid her digestion, then I read Goodnight Moon (often while carrying her around since she has little interest in looking at the pictures in the book at her age), and then I lay her down.  The other benefit of keeping the bedside light on is that it discourages her from falling asleep on the boob.  The Sleep Lady's focus is on coaching babies and children to learn how to put themselves to sleep.  Once they learn how to do this, they can also put themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night (rather than requiring you to wake up repeatedly to rock them or nurse them back to sleep).  To do this though, you can't let them fall asleep on the boob; you have to lay them down "drowsy but awake". 

Other things I've changed: we've been using the humidifier thing for about a month now because the heat pump has made my nose very dry so I can only imagine it's doing the same to her.  Also, we now use a fan in her room as a white noise machine.  I started this over the holidays when we had house guests because noise travels in this house like you would not believe and I didn't want to require everyone to whisper.  She didn't seem to mind the fan, and I liked that it masked the sound of cupboards in the kitchen closing and the ice machine in the fridge (like I said, noise travels like you wouldn't believe).  It also masks the washer running and me tip-toeing down the hall to use the bathroom (which is right next to her room). (When I first brought her home I wanted her to get used to the noise in the house around her so that she'd be able to sleep through it and not be addicted to a white noise machine like her mom and also so that we wouldn't have to adjust our actitivies too much, but then I read something that made me realize how rude that was.  Both the Baby Whisperer and the Sleep Lady point out that you wouldn't want to sleep in the middle of a train station so why would you be so insensitive to your child and expect them to sleep through chaos?  I realized that they're right; it's only polite to provide a peaceful sleep scenario.)  I also often open her bedroom door before going to sleep in an effort to regulate the temperature in her room.  It stays colder on that side of the house so for a while I was in the habit of kicking on the radiators right before bed to warm up her room (and then just using the heat pump for the rest of the night because when the radiators kick on with the door closed, that room turns into a sauna in no time). If I leave her door open, when the radiators kick on, the heat they put off spreads out into the hallway, and since the fan is on, the noise of the radiators doesn't startle her out of her sleep.  Also, since the thermostat for the heat pump is in the hallway upstairs, if I leave her door open and our door open, it allows the thermostat to get a better read on the actual temperature and keep it where it's set in the bedrooms as well as the hallway. 

Ohhhhh, I almost forgot--we decided to get a jumpstart on the real food thing.  I was pretty anti since all the books say 6 months and since I'm such a good rule abider (Hannah will be 6 months on February 5), but both Eric and I have been pretty eager to get her started on real food and when we were at the pediatrician for her 4-month checkup, the pediatrician said we could start "experimenting with different textures" (which she later clarified meant starting her on solids) whenever we wanted.  So yesterday I baked a sweet potato, ground it up in the baby grinder machine, thinned it out with some breast milk, and tried to feed it to Hannah.  As was expected, she wasn't thrilled.  See for yourself:

When she wakes up from this nap, we'll try to give her a little more.  We'll do that every day for 2 weeks before we introduce a new food. That or I'll give up and try to make my own rice cereal (I'm very adverse to feeding her processed food from a box at this young age and would prefer she eat only whole foods). 

I'm taking votes on what her next food should be!! Whaddya think? Pears? Oatmeal? Squash? Avocado??

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Game Plan!

I'm feeling good and hopeful today! I finally got to the good part of the Sleep Lady book. She separates it by ages (from newborn to age 5 and then from 6 to 8 months).  Since Hannah is on the cusp of the first at 5 months, I figured I should read both.  There wasn't much in the section on 5-month-old babes--just the following paragraph that I found interesting and enlightening though not terribly helpful in developing a schedule.

"Around the fifth month, babies start to test how their actions can affect the world around them.  They want to probe their powers, and their limits. You may see it a bedtime.  One favorite experiment for these budding Einsteins seems to be "If I cry, can I make Mommy come to my crib?" Respond and show her that yes, you'll come to check on her.  But once you've reassured her, don't linger."

On to the good news: the chapter on 6 to 8 months is AWESOME! It provides me with a clear schedule and game plan to adhere to as far as when she should nap, how long she should nap, when she should eat, and when she should go to sleep.  Granted, I can't force her to go to sleep or stay asleep so I'm not going into this naively thinking it'll be easy peasy, but I'm thrilled to have a plan to work toward. 

As far as getting babies to sleep, she recommends the "Sleep Lady Shuffle."  Here's how it works: I wind Hannah down as usual and when it's bedtime, lay her in her crib, as usual.  From there instead of patting her butt for eons (which would only provide her with another sleep crutch if I continued on with that method) and instead of leaving and letting her cry it out, I stand next to her crib (actually she suggests sitting in a chair next to the crib but I didn't feel like carrying a chair upstairs) and occasionally pat or "sh-sh" her until she falls asleep.  I don't do either the patting or the shushing with any regularity (thus avoiding creating a crutch), but I stay close to provide some level of comfort.  After 3 days, I move my position a little closer to the door (this is why she calls it the "shuffle"), then after 3 more days, I move to the doorway, then into the hallway.  I was actually reading this while doing her bedtime nursing tonight and decided to try it immediately.  As I expected, it took a full 40 minutes, the first 20 of which she cried pretty hard, then she took 10 crying off and on, then the last 5 just whimpering a bit.  I took off work early today because I was completely exhausted and needed a nap so since I was rested, I was patient, and since I had a game plan, I had hope.  Those two elements, patience and hope, enabled me to happily stand by her crib for 40 minutes until she was comfortably asleep.  I know, it's only the first night and probably entirely too soon for me to feel all giddy and relieved--I'm sure there's still a lot of work ahead--but I love a good plan. 

OH, and I decided to take personal time from work to supplement all the hours I'm missing this week, and I also decided to take vacation for ALL of next week.  I'm going to use the time to focus all my efforts on getting her on a healthy schedule which is going to involve me being able to rest and nap and have downtime during the day so I can keep my wits about me during all her various crying jags.

Okay, now I need to create an Excel spreadsheet with our goal schedule and a game plan for getting on it and being consistent!! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why I'm crazy

Lest you all think I've thrown myself from a nonexistent nearby cliff, I'm writing to reassure you that my sanity is still partially intact and also to thank all of you for your kind words and support.  There are a number of issues at play here and although the big trigger is when my dearest is exercising her lungs and vocal cords, my inability to deal with that lately stems from a lot of other stuff.  Here is a list of some of said stuff:

1.) I'm tired.  She's taken to waking up multiple times per night as opposed to the just once that I was getting used to. The past few nights she's woken up just 45 minutes after I've gone to sleep which really hurts. Last night she was up at 11ish, 1ish, 2ish, and then 5ish.  Now, I've learned to function just fine on interrupted sleep, but patience is shortened as is my emotional tether. 

2.) I miss my hubby.  He's been pretty unavailable for the past 2 weeks, some of which is understandable (time with the brothers is a must), and some of which is less understandable (no examples since I have a feeling he wouldn't appreciate me airing dirty laundry).  An unstable relationship was contributing greatly to my stress.  Since he was off today, we've spent the day talking and resolving issues.  (Who knew that having kids could change your relationship THIS much!)

3.)  I'm not into the whole work thing. Yes, I know how spoiled that sounds, but hear me out.  On a super rare and amazing day, Hannah's naps MIGHT total 4 hours.  As a part-time employee, I need 20 hours per week.  That comes out to 4 hours per day.  That might seem like nothing to all you full-timers but for someone who is attempting to also be a full-time stay-at-home mom and work during naps, it's stressful. I have virtually NO down time, especially on those nights when Hannah decides to scream for 2 hours rather than going to sleep. In addition to not having down time, I have no time to clean my house which is incredibly slovenly at the moment (Eric and I have taken to double-teaming it on weekends so I guess it'll get cleaned this weekend) and little time to eat (yesterday I had a smoothie for breakfast and some leftover Christmas ham with mustard for's no wonder I was 3/4 of the way to crazy town by mid-afternoon).  Futhermore, I have not had any actual work to do at work since November which means I am struggling to find ways to "professionally develop" myself and am getting bored and feeling useless doing it.  Back when there was work, working was a bit more fun because it provided that feeling of success that you just don't get when mothering a baby who is incapable of giving you a gold star for a job well done.  So yeah, I know there are those of you who are like, "is she crazy?? She's complaining about being paid to do nothing??"  YES I am because there are lots of other things I could be doing with my time not the least of which would be NAPPING to prepare for the potential insanities that each day brings.

4.) When I am winding down each night, you know what I wind down with? Baby books.  Last night I spent about a half an hour analyzing this log I'm now keeping of Hannah's activities and doing the math of how many naps she took, how much time elapsed between her last nap of the day and bedtime, how many fits she had, etc. in an effort to draw some correlation as to WHY.  When I'm not doing that, I'm trying to get through this Sleep Lady book.  This means that I am ALL BABY ALL THE TIME.

5.) Did I mention that my house is a mess?? It is and it's driving me insane!

6.) Did I mention I was tired? I did?  Welllllll....clearly this list is over. Now that I've thoroughly explained myself (as opposed to the psychotic ramblings of the most recent posts--sorry for any worry I've caused. I should probably have a "no blogging when crazy rule"), how about some GOOD NEWS.  Although Hannah has reverted to cat naps (30-45 minutes) these past 2 days and despite her new habit of waking up repeatedly throughout the night, her bedtime has been smoooooooth!  Last night she was down and out by 8:30, tonight by 8:15.  Can I get a woot woot!!!  So I'm blogging and wishing I could put in this cheesy chick flick that has been sitting in it's Netflix envelope for a week now but knowing that I need to take my tired a** to bed ASAP.  But before I do, here are a couple of cute pics I took earlier this evening. I was getting in the shower and Eric was kindly folding/stuffing the diapers and watching Hannah and he decided to bring both into the bathroom so he could hang with me while doing so.  He ended up putting Hannah in the laundry basket (something I constantly want to do but never do). 

The lighting isn't great because I still don't know to work my camera....But you get the idea.  Alright, off to bed with the Sleep Lady!!

....Or not.  While re-reading this prior to posting, the little banana started screaming...I sent Eric up for now since I know her screams aren't hunger related.  So I'm off to help soothe a screaming baby which ideally won't take a terribly long time...Wish me luck!  Actually, wish me patience and sanity instead....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clarification 2

Now I'm feeling the need to clarify that last post by making sure my readers know that when Hannah is awake and happy, I am too. I love playing with her, and in those moments, I revert back to thinking I'm fine (as far as mental health goes).  It's not until she loses it that I lose it...which is twice today now. I'm tired from the crying and am feeling sorry for myself that I have to work instead of being able to lay on the couch and rest (or clean my insanely messy house).  Not sure when I turned into the kind of lazy wimp that cries about having to work....I remember when I worked a number of jobs and still made time for fun and exercise. I know there are a ton of women out there raising babies all by themselves, and I'm lucky. I know I'm lucky. I keep telling myself how lucky I am to be able to work from home...part-time....


I feel it prudent to clarify last night's blog--the Sleep Lady does not recommend extinction or anything, she just mentioned it in her introductory chapter on consistency.  She cited it as an example of how being consistent works.  She followed up by saying that the majority of her clients can't handle the tears in the extinction method and she herself didn't prefer it on her own daughters, hence her "gentle" sleep method.  I just haven't gotten too far into the book to figure out what her gentle method is and since I'm desperate, I thought I'd give the extinction thing a try.  The thing is, when she gets herself worked up like that, there is often nothing anyone can do to stop it until she is ready for it to stop and the alternative (soothing her for who knows how long....until she's passed out which in the evening takes forever) requires an insane amount of patience. While Hannah has taught me a lot of patience already, I'm no saint. I run out after about a half hour of cooing and patting and attempting to calm her into a drowsy/sleepy state.  At that point, I'm ready to get on with my night.  That's when I leave and that's when she goes from fussiness and a refusal to sleep to all-out frustrated at sound barrier breaking levels and the end result is that I do not get on with my night unless you consider tending to or attempting to ignore an adorable but obnoxious screaming infant.  So it's a lose/lose situation.  Here's hoping I get a chance to read more today and come across some sanity saving tips...

Also, so far today, the nap thing isn't working out either.  I guess 2 good days is all she has in her.  She screamed bloody murder for a while before her last nap....I cried with her again.  I might need help....the mental health kind....She's awake now after a short catnap....Better go get her...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snap Happy Butthead

We are trying what the Sleep Lady calls the "extinction" method.  This is a fancy way of saying "cry it out." (Unlike Ferberizing which has the parent returning to the room at longer and longer intervals, the extinction method is an infinite cry it out.  It's pretty rough. But the statistics behind it show that it works because it is consistent--you consistently don't come in and they learn much faster to stop screaming for you.).  I hate it. I think it sucks.  But last night was another terrible night. I attempted to just stay close and pat her butt to keep her calm, but she lost it and cried hysterically for 2 hours and refused to be consoled by anything I did until she was good and ready to be consoled and I completely lost my mind after about 1 hour and yelled at Eric because he wouldn't put her down for a nap earlier when I asked him too and then I went in our room and slammed the door so I couldn't hear the crying and then I felt guilty so I went back into her room and rocked her and cried with her at which point Eric came in and took her from me and I went and laid down all the while knowing that I would be needed again to finally put her to sleep but enjoying the short break.  After a half an hour he gave up and returned to bed and after about 7 minutes of her screaming, we both returned to her room, changed her diaper, wiped her faced with a cloth, and then I rocked her and calmed her down and put her to sleep.

So tonight I made sure she wasn't awake for too long before starting bedtime and I was meticulous about doing EVERYTHING right.  I bathed her lovingly, gave her a loving little baby massage, dressed her lovingly, fed her her lovingly all the while holding her hand, did some baby yoga exercises (lovingly) when she was finished eating, lovingly read her I Love You Stinky Face and since I have the book memorized, I just stared lovingly into her eyes while reading it which she adored, then I laid her in her bed (lovingly) and hummed Kumbaya and patted her butt, and at first everything was normal.  Normal is: she lays her head to one side and begins sucking the heel of her hand but will, every 30-45 seconds or so, lift up into baby cobra and scream, then lay her head back down, back and forth for a couple minutes before settling down and going to sleep.  So I'm patting her on the butt and humming Kumbaya and she's doing her typical up and down routine and my routine is to gently and gradually decrease the firmness of the butt pats until I'm just barely patting at which point, I stop and wait a couple seconds before tip toeing out of her room.  Sometimes she fusses and I have to resume patting or risk an all out screaming session.  She is never fully asleep when I tiptoe out, but she's drowsy enough to put herself to sleep easily.  This is how I put her down for a nap. I've gotten very consistent about it the past 2 days.  I've also gotten very rigid about making sure she is not awake for more than about an hour and 15 minutes, hour and a half tops (except for her last period of awakeness in the day).  As a result, she is back to napping for between 60 and 90 minutes rather than those crazy 30 minute cat naps she was doing for a while.  She is much better rested and happier while awake.  I don't know why the butt pat Kumbaya hum routine doesn't work at night.

Still screaming....I don't know if this is harder on the parents or the sounds hard on the baby which therefore makes it next to unbearable for the parents.  I keep telling myself: "it's for her own good. She needs sleep to be a healthy baby.  It's for her own good. She needs sleep to be a healthy baby.  It's for her own good...." Say it with me...I was going to hide in the basement, but I couldn't bear it. As hard as it is to hear, it's harder to know it's happening, but not know exactly what's happening.  I keep getting tempted to call it off, but my motivation not to is that if I go up and get her, it only teaches her that if she cries hard enough and loud enough and long enough, someone will come.  I don't want her to learn to cry harder and louder and longer always expecting us to come.  I want her to just go to sleep.  From what I read, it should only be 2 or 3 days of this...I really want to go wipe her face with a warm washcloth though. I can picture her poor little face all red and swollen and covered in snot and spit and I hate it.  I can just wipe her clean and rock her in my arms for a bit and.....ARGGGGH!!!!  I swear motherhood is the HARDEST job in the ENTIRE WORLD!! This sucks.

Okay, I finished that paragraph and then went back upstairs.  I couldn't take another minute. I let a full 30 minutes pass which probably earns me some sort of Cold-Hearted-Insensitive-Worst-Mom-of-the-Year-Butthead medal. So I broke at 30 minutes, wiped her face with a warm wash cloth and flipped her to the other side of the crib so she had a dry place to lay her head.  Be proud: I did not pick her up. Just wiped her face and flipped her and started patting her butt and softly telling her "It's okay.  Everything's okay. Mommy loves you and is right here.  Deep breaths sweetie.  Let's get some sleep..." etc.  She calmed down instantly. I stayed for about 10 minutes anyway just to make sure she was good, which may have meant that I ended up putting her to sleep after all...But I'm not gonna beat myself up about it. She put herself to sleep for all of her naps yesterday and today so I know she can do it, she just chooses not to at bedtime for some reason....

On a brigher note, I have pics for you today. 

Look at her trying to sit up on her own! She's really starting to activate her core and is able to pull herself up from a 45 degree angle (that's not what's pictured here though--here I jus propped her up using a pillow and the boppy but she refused to lay back, insisting instead on wobbling on her tailbone). 

And then I just got snap happy....