Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Baby Whisperer solves ALL my problems?

It's another wonderfully sunny day here in Abbotsford! What's even better is that both of my kids went down for LONG naps today! I would have never imagined such a simple thing could feel so amazing! Up until this week Keziah rarely had long naps, but now she's doing 2 good ones a day. And of course the whole soother issue for Micah has been a challenge but it seems to be getting better little by little. We still had a one-hour crying/coming-out-of-his-room session last night before bed and he also didn't have a good nap yesterday afternoon but today things are looking better once again. When I put him down in his bed this afternoon he was looking through a really big Blue's Clues book - one of those ones with the buttons that make sounds. When it was all quiet and I checked on him, he was sleeping with the book on his face - SO cute! I wanted to take a picture but I was too afraid to wake him, so I moved the book and let him sleep :)

This morning was Keziah's 4-month check-up. She is now 25.5 inches long and weighs 14 lbs, 5 oz. Not as much as I had guessed, but she's still in the 75th-95th percentile for her size!

I've been catching up on my Baby Whisperer (BW) reading this week in hopes of solving Keziah's night-waking issues. And yes, the author makes the bold claim on the cover that she will solve ALL my problems!!

One thing the BW recommends is stretching baby to a 4-hour daytime routine at around 4 months. This goes against my common sense of feeding her lots in the day in hopes of filling her up. But, it coincides with Keziah's ability to be awake for longer periods of time and to take longer naps, so it makes sense. Keziah seems to be taking to this pretty well so far and doesn't usually have a problem waiting the extra hour to eat. She actually eats better and longer now that I'm stretching the feedings out (and it may also be the reason why she's suddenly having longer naps).

Another interesting thing the author mentions in her book is that when babies wake up at the same time every night they are probably waking out of habit and not hunger. BW says that at 4-months babies should be able to sleep at least 6 hour stretches and usually any shorter than that (especially if it's every single night) indicates that they have gotten used to getting fed and have come to depend on that feeding in order to fall back asleep. This sounds like Keziah since she wakes up at around 1:30 every night like clockwork. So one recommendation is to actually wake up before she wakes up (about an hour) and rouse her a little bit to disrupt her sleep pattern in hopes that it will press the "reset" button and she'll sleep through that regular feeding. Once again this goes against my common sense, but at this point I'm willing to give it a shot. I figure I'm sometimes up a half-dozen times in the night with my kids anyway - so what's one more?

I'm not opposed to letting her cry it out a bit either - or trying to rock her to sleep rather than feed her. But her crying often wakes Micah up and he's not in a place right now where I can trust him to settle easily. So, feeding is usually the simplest and quietest solution. But the BW has confirmed my suspicion that Keziah doesn't actually need that feeding, so I'm willing to start taking measures to cut it out.

So, I'm curious, what have you found successful/unsuccessful in getting your kids to sleep through the night? What has been your experience (if any) with the Baby Whisperer techniques?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ending the day on a high note

The last few days have been full of ups and downs. This morning things were looking pretty grim in the sleep department, but right now it is evening and the house is all quiet. Both of my kids went down without a peep! I think we made it through the worst of it. Micah's first two nights without the soothers went OK. It took about 30-45 minutes to get him settled down each night but then he slept right through. Then last night when Erik tried to put him down, he freaked out. He screamed so hard that we thought he was going to throw up. It took awhile to settle him and Erik had to lay with him until he was fast asleep. Then he woke up crying again at about 1 am and Erik ended up spending the night in his bed which didn't make for a very restful sleep... Why is it that toddlers always have to sleep sideways as soon as they're sharing the bed??

Then after getting up with him at 5:20 this morning we were ALL exhausted. To make matters worse I had a very bad mommy moment shortly after Erik left for work. I had propped Keziah up on the couch which is something I often do. She had some blankets kind of holding her up. I went into the kitchen for a couple of minutes to put some things away and next thing I know she's screaming. I run out and find her on the floor! What an awful feeling!! I don't know how she managed to get from her nice cozy position to the floor, but she did. Needless to say she was quite worked up from the whole ordeal. I tried to comfort her while checking for broken bones and blood. She checked out fine, and I ended up nursing her to calm her down. I felt so terrible and I think I've been cuddling her extra close today to make up for it. We won't be leaving her on the couch again, that's for sure!

But the day got better from there. For one thing, it was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL sunny day here. You know you live on the west coast when you walk outside and your toddler says with surprise, "It's not raining!" The other thing that was great about today was that Micah had his first real nap since Friday. He kind of whimpered and cried for about 10 minutes when I put him down but he stayed in his bed and then slept for almost 2 hours. Hallelujah! And now I just put him to bed by myself (Erik's playing hockey - again) and he didn't cry - not once! When I left his room he was looking through a book and 5 minutes later he was in dreamland. I can't even express how proud I am of him right now! There were points this weekend when I thought we wouldn't get through it, but I think the worst has passed.

Here's a picture I snapped of Micah's 10-minute nap on Saturday. He refused his nap for a long time but in the end The Backyardigans lulled him to sleep. Right after I took this photo I attempted to transfer him from the couch to his bed - FATAL mistake! He promptly woke up and didn't go back to sleep for the rest of the day.

Micah and Keziah enjoying some "tummy time" together on Sunday afternoon...

In other news, we are starting some home projects around here. Erik's parents own the suite we live in and they've agreed to let us lay laminate floors and do some painting. We started by painting our fireplace mantel. Here's the before shot:

And this is after:

Micah was lucky enough to get to do some of his own artwork. We just stripped him down and let him make a mess. We didn't even have to worry about the carpet since it's getting ripped right out.

We're planning to paint the walls "granite grey" and put down the antique finish laminate from IKEA. I'm very excited about the finished product and I'll be sure to post some pics when it's all done!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Firsts & Lasts

After I posted the other day I broke down and fed Keziah rice cereal for the first time. Erik talked me into it and I was easily persuaded seeing as how poorly she's been sleeping lately. Here's a little video of her very first taste. You gotta love the facial expressions...

I'm not sure how much actually ended up in her belly. And in the end it didn't help her sleep any better - in fact she slept worse, waking up every 3 hours to eat. We fed her again last night and her sleeping was still the same. Maybe she's just waking out of habit??

And Thursday night & Friday nap were Micah's last sleeps with his beloved nukies. After he woke up from his nap yesterday, we put the final sticker on his countdown chart and put his nukies in a little baggie. That's when the tears first started. I think he was starting to realize that this was serious! He soon forgot about it until after supper when we made a big production of taking his nukies out to the mailbox. No tears at this point. He was actually pretty excited to put them in and was talking lots about the present that the mailman was going to bring him! Erik and I confessed to each other that we actually felt like crying ourselves - partly because we were taking away a major security item for Micah, but I think mostly because it seems like such a huge step in him growing older. He's not our little baby anymore!

Well, bedtime rolled around and he started asking to go get his nukies back. So, we reminded him why we put the nukies in the mailbox and kept talking to him about what a big boy he is now, adding in lots of kisses and hugs and some extra bedtime stories. But finally we just had to say goodnight and listen to him crying "no, no!" in his room. Erik had to leave for a late night hockey game shortly after so I was stuck dealing with the issue... Eventually I decided to lay down with Micah. He was crying for Daddy more than anything (not for his nukies like I thought he would!) so I calmed him down by telling him exactly what Daddy was doing - putting on his skates and his helmet and shooting the puck into the net... "Yay Daddy!" After he stopped crying I started singing to him and about 5 minutes later he was out like a light! I had expected a longer fight, but he was just too exhausted.

He slept straight through the night without a peep but woke up at 5:30 this morning and wouldn't go back to sleep. We waited awhile and when the sun finally came up we headed out to the mailbox to see what the mailman had left for Micah: a Dora the Explorer book and stuffed doll!

The doll seems like a bit of a "girly" gift, I know, but when I saw it at Wal-Mart, I knew that Micah would love it! I also figured it would be something that he could take to bed with him (along with his dozen other stuffed animals) to be a reminder of this "big boy" transition. Micah was so excited when he opened the mailbox! I also included a couple of leftover candy canes from Christmas which thrilled him :)

So, now I'm trying to get Micah to go down for a nap. I told him he could read some books in his bed and that I would come check on him in a bit. I'm hoping he'll fall asleep on his own, but we'll see... He should be exhausted by now since he was up so early. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

4 months

Wow - can Keziah really be 4 months old already? I know everyone says how kids grow up so fast but I think we must be in warp-speed mode here...

Keziah is definitely growing but I'm not sure what her exact weight is. We go for her check-up next week so we'll get an exact number then. She's wearing 6 month clothes already and today I put her in her first size 3 diaper! How can my 4-month-old be wearing size 3 and my 2-year-old be wearing only size 4?? Crazy.

At about 3 and a half months I felt like we hit our stride. She has a much more definite schedule during the day and can stay awake for longer periods. She nurses every 3-4 hours during the day and has about 4 naps. I've been able to coordinate it on most days to get both her and Micah down at the same time in the afternoon for a longer nap which means a break for me too! It's getting much easier to get her to go down to sleep. Usually I can just wrap her up, give her a soother and put her in her crib with a blankie over her face and she's out. Sometimes I need to walk with her a bit, but she doesn't scream and fight her sleep like she did a month ago.

Keziah and Micah both go down for the night around 8:30 pm. I've considered keeping Keziah up later, but Erik and I NEED that evening time without kids! I wish I could tell you Keziah was sleeping through the night like she was at 1 or 2 months, but we seem to be stuck in a rut of max. 5-hour stretches at night. So, I'm usually up to feed her twice in the night. Part of me has just resigned to it since she goes right back to sleep after she's fed and I can be back in bed usually within 10-15 minutes of getting up. But since I only go to bed at about 10:30 I'm never getting more than a 3-hour stretch of sleep for myself... I'm trying to decrease the amount of time I feed her during that 1:30 am feed and hopefully her body will learn to no longer need it :)

We haven't started any solids yet but the day is coming! I originally planned to hold off a bit longer than 4 months since she seemed to be sleeping so well, but now that she's sleeping less at night I'm more inclined to stuff that little belly! I've got the rice cereal ready and waiting in my cupboard so I'll probably give it a try in the next couple of weeks. I've been trying to get her to drink formula so that I can go out without her and not have to pump breastmilk. But so far she has refused. She's not completely accustomed to the bottle yet either so I guess we've got to take things one step at a time. Any advice with this would be welcome since Micah seemed to take it a lot easier...

As for physical achievements, Keziah still isn't rolling over but she does have pretty good head control and loves sitting in the bumbo. I put it up on the counter when I'm cooking or on the table when we're having supper and she's so content to be sitting up and watching everything. She hasn't given us too many more giggles, but she is generous with her smiles (at least for Erik and I).

We love you Keziah!

Monday, March 19, 2007

A sad good-bye for all of us

This is a big week for us. This coming weekend we are going to take away Micah's "nukies" for good! I made Micah a countdown chart for this week to prepare him for their permanent departure on Friday night. That evening we're going to take the soothers to our mailbox down the street and "mail" them to other babies who need their nukies. Later that night (if Micah ever falls asleep!) we'll replace the nukies with some sort of special toy (yet to be determined) and in the morning we'll go the mailbox and see what kind of "big boy" toy the mailman has left for him!

I'm not sure who this is going to be hardest on - Micah or me!! I'm anticipating that we won't sleep much that first night. I know in the end it's up to Erik and I to show enough resolve and not give him his soothers back. In fact, I think we'll just throw them away to avoid the temptation (or the chance that Micah may find them). Keziah has soothers around the house, but they're smaller and Micah seems to know that those ones don't belong to him.

We spent a lot of time with Erik's family this weekend which was fun. Last night Micah entertained us all with his favourite songs - everything from "Happy Birthday" to "Holy God". Erik took this video of him singing the "I Love You" song from Veggie Tales. You'll have to tilt your head to see it straight :)


I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I'm talking in my sleep about you!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bumbo in the Bath!

This afternoon Keziah had a major diaper blow-out. This one was a doozy! She was up to her armpits in baby poop! So, rather than use up all my baby wipes trying to get her clean I decided to stick her straight in the tub. Up until now I've only bathed her in the infant tub, so this was her first experience in the big tub. Micah joined her and thought it was fun to have his sister in there with him. After I got her cleaned up I put the bumbo seat in the tub so she could sit and watch Micah play. It worked great!

Sleep Update: Keziah's still hit and miss but usually up twice in the night between 8:30 pm and 7 am. Micah had another really bad night since I posted last BUT last night he went down so easily and slept straight through without a peep. I think he was just plain exhausted. Hopefully tonight will be a repeat performance...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Just when you get ONE figured out...

The good news is that Keziah's sleeping seems to be improving over the last few nights. Last night she was only up once to eat! But unfortunately it was my two-year-old that had me up all night! You just can't win :)

I'm not exactly sure what's up with him but lately he's been resisting going to bed in the first place which has never been a big issue for him. Last night he went to bed OK, but it was about 1:30 a.m. when the shenanigans started. Micah's always been bad for night-waking. As a baby I worried that he was hungry and I usually just fed him (during our 3-month ministry trip when he was around 6 months, I felt so bad for the inconsistency and lack of schedule that I was back to nursing him every 3 hours at night). Later I wondered if maybe he was teething or sick or scared...

But now I'm convinced he's waking up for two basic reasons: 1) habit & 2) manipulation. He's a toddler and he knows how to use that piercing cry to make mom and dad come running. I know it's not a "real" cry because anytime we've succumbed and climbed into bed with him or brought him into our bed, he's happy as a lark - ready to play in the middle of the night. So, this has got to come to an end. I decided to implement the "going to bed" routine from Super Nanny for Micah's night-wakings. She says you shouldn't talk to them or even make eye contact - basically don't engage with them at all. And keep putting them straight back in bed even if it means over and over again. And last night was over and over again. At one point Erik was ready to give up and climb into bed with him but by that point I was wide awake and wanting to prove my point so I didn't let him give in. (Wow, I just said 'point' 3 times in that sentence!) Anyway, I got in and out of bed more times than I cared to count and then finally all was quiet at about 3 a.m. And then I was so wide awake that it took me awhile to fall back asleep.

We faced a similar scenario at nap time today but it only took me 3 times of putting Micah back in bed before he stayed. I'm hoping that we can stop this bad habit once and for all. I've been scheming a way to get rid of Micah's soothers and had planned it for next weekend but all these poor nights have made me wonder what I'm getting myself into. But then my mom told me on the phone today that it might be as good a time as any since he's not sleeping well anyway... I'll let you know what we decide :)

I couldn't post without including a couple of pictures from the last few days.

Keziah was helping her Daddy with his blue prints last night after supper...

Here is Micah stealing a kiss :) He seems to be fully adjusted to Keziah's presence in the house and is even starting to show interest in playing with her. It has taken him awhile to warm up though and from talking to other moms of 2 or more it seems to be more of a 'girl thing' to be maternal and affectionate with a younger sibling. I'm eagerly awaiting the day when they will be able to entertain one another...

Monday, March 12, 2007


We had a pretty relaxing weekend and didn't do too much which was nice :) The weather wasn't really conducive to being out and about anyway. The weather network called for (and I quote) copious amounts of rain this weekend in the lower mainland and unfortunately they were right.

Another reason we didn't do much is that we were both pretty tired. Neither of our children have been sleeping great lately. On Thursday night I felt like I was getting up all night for either one or the other - feeding Keziah 2 or 3 times or just giving her a soother, settling Micah down when he woke up crying... It's frustrating that I'm always the one who has to get up with the kids. Erik just doesn't hear them, so by the time I wake him up (Erik? Erik!... ERIK! ) I could've easily gotten up, settled them down and been back in bed. It's just not worth it. But, to his credit, he does let me sleep in most mornings when Micah's up at 6 am :)

Yesterday at church, my friend Kelly brought me Taeya's bumbo seat for Keziah to try out. It enables her to sit up fully supported and it's one of the cutest things I've ever seen! She seems to really like it too:

Of course Micah had to try it out too... :)

I have to share two funny Daddy moments from the last few days. The other day Erik was playing with Micah and I was trying to settle Keziah down since she was crying. I asked Erik to grab me a soother from her room. He was telling me a story at the same time and when he came out of the room with her little soother he shoved it in Micah's mouth and even wiggled it around a bit to try to get him to "latch on". Micah stood there with a stunned look on his face and I started laughing as Erik realized he was trying to pacify the wrong child.

This experience reminded Erik to tell me about something that had happened a couple of mornings before when he was up with the kids and I was still sleeping. He was feeding Micah a peanut butter and jam toast while trying to get ready for work. At one point Keziah started crying as Micah was asking for "more please Daddy!" Without thinking he shoved the piece of toast into Keziah's open mouth! He quickly tried to wipe the stickiness out of her mouth but he said she seemed to like it :) So much for waiting until after a year to introduce peanut butter...

I headed on a walk with the kids this morning and we stopped for awhile at the park so Micah could play. I was reminded of my post a couple of months ago when they both started crying at the park and I panicked and ended up heading home. Funny that it doesn't scare me like it used to - I think I've just gained confidence with how to handle both of them together when we're out.

"Hi Mom!"

"Mmmm, this shirt tastes good..."

I'm looking forward to a relatively quiet week at home. I love making lists on Sunday night of all the things I want to accomplish in the coming week but today is more than half over and I can't cross anything off yet! I'd better get off the computer and see what I can get done :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Check this out!

Just a quick post today. I received a comment from a fellow blogger a few days ago asking if she could use a picture of Micah on a Mom/Parenting website that she was creating. I finally got a chance to check it out and there he was right at the top! To see it for yourself, click here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A New Season

Erik and I both feel like breathing a sigh of relief at the end of this week. Life has been really busy for us over the past 2 months. It was mostly due to our involvements with TREK leadership which sometimes took up 3 evenings a week. As of this week, the TREK-ers have departed on their various assignments and our duties as leadership are officially finished. What a great experience, but the busy-ness has been taxing on us and on the kids, so we're glad to enter this next season which will hopefully be a little less hectic.

And speaking of seasons, I saw some definite signs of spring in the backyard this afternoon...

Micah and I haven't played outside together much since Keziah was born, but we took advantage of a few moments of sunshine (or more accurately, no rain) this afternoon while Keziah was napping.

Keziah was being a fussy-pants yesterday so I tried putting on one of our Baby Einstein videos. She was interested in it for a short while and then that was it. I love this new shirt that her Auntie Rosanna gave her. It's size 6-12 months!! I'm sure it must've shrunk in the laundry when I washed it the other day... I'm hoping it'll last until summer time, but with the way she's growing who knows!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Guess who!

Nope - not me :)

This is a picture of my beautiful sister-in-law Elissa who is already 14 weeks pregnant with baby #1! This is the first cousin for Micah and Keziah on Erik's side of the family and we are SUPER excited! Baby is due in early September. Check out Doug & Elissa's blog for the long-awaited announcement!

And that's not the only new cousin coming in the fall - my brother Joel & his wife Laura are expecting baby #3 at the end of September! We are also really excited for them and for big sisters Maddy & Olivia!

Speaking of babies, this past week has brought back memories of exactly one year ago when I found out I was pregnant with Keziah. On March 6th of last year I took a home pregnancy test and saw an unbelievably faint line that completely changed our lives for the 2nd time! Hard to believe that was only a year ago since it seems like Keziah has been in our lives for a LONG time already!

It's been a very full week with my mom here - good, but full! On Saturday night we left BOTH kids at home with Nathan & Rosanna (Keziah was a bit of a hand-full apparently!) and we went with my mom out for supper and then to the Brian Doerksen concert. It was so good! It was long, though and we came home late and decided to skip church this morning. Instead we took turns napping (Micah was up at 5:50 so there was no chance of sleeping in!) and then Erik helped me hang up some things in Keziah's room. I'm so happy with how it turned out...

I finally framed some of the pregnancy pictures that our friend A had taken back in October...

My favourite part is the letters I found last week to spell Keziah's name. They were a PAIN to hang though! Thanks Erik for helping me :)

Meanwhile Keziah sat propped up in the rocking chair watching her Daddy work... What a little cutie!

Tomorrow morning my mom heads back to Manitoba. It was great having her here! She cooked and cleaned for me all week :) And Micah has grown quite attached to her over the past 10 days. I think he will cry for Granny when she's gone!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fun with Granny

We've been having fun with my mom this week! Yesterday we went to visit Erik at his new job site close to the Sumas border. Him and Nathan were working on the first floor walls of this new house. The completed house that you see in the background is one that they worked on previously.

Micah got to help daddy with the hammering and Uncle Nathan let him throw a snowball in his face right before we took the last picture :) What is with all this snow anyway?

Afterwards, Granny treated us to lunch at McDonald's. We got Micah his very own grilled cheese Happy Meal (for the first time) and he almost polished the whole thing off!

And here's a picture of "Baby Za-ziah" from this past week. Having my mom around has enabled me to spend more one-on-one time with her and I'm finding that I can keep her up a lot longer between naps if I can play with her (not something I always have time for with Mr. Micah around). It seems to be helping her sleep a bit better at night, too. And the other day she giggled for the first time. SO adorable! Now I'm trying everything I can to get her to do it again!

Today we're off to Bellingham. I think Target is my favourite store!