Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cara Figlia - GO TO SLEEP

Cara mia figlia,

Oh. My. Good. Ness. You need to go to sleep at night in your crib. All night long. This is really getting to be too much. Your daddy and I are getting closer to needing a padded cell. We need to sleep again. And so do you.

I know it's not your fault. I know you are probably more upset that you can't sleep than we are. I'm sure it's those darn molars. This is exactly what happened before your first molar came through. I know you are in pain, and that is why I will continue to get you. No matter how exhausted I am, I will comfort you while you are in pain. I really believe that if I just wait this stage out, you will start sleeping through the night on your own again.

But we are working on a bit of sleep training, because I can't just do nothing anymore. I have to try something. I even think it might start to work, because just now I had some success. Here is what I'm doing (ideas inspired by Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution, which I really love for the fact that she stresses there are things to try between doing nothing and making a baby cry it out):

1. Going to you as quick as I can. When I don't, you get more and more awake, and more and more upset. You are definitely a "tension increaser" when you cry. In fact, last night when I left you crying in your crib for just five minutes while I washed up and changed into PJs, you continued to shudder for 45 minutes after I picked you back up and calmed you down. It was heartbreaking.

2. Trying to get you to lie back down in your crib without me picking you up. This is where the "training" part really comes in. I'm hoping that I can get you to start lying down on your own. Hopefully when you wake up and go right to standing like you almost always do, you will start thinking about lying back down. All on your own, eventually. I hope.

3. Using ways of comforting you that don't involve picking you up. For a while, I've been singing to you or rubbing your back while I'm rocking you. Now, I'm trying singing and rubbing your back when you are lying in your crib (see number 2).

Even though it took forever to get you to sleep tonight, you still woke up after less than an hour in your crib. I went in quickly, got you to lie down, and rubbed your back and sang. Miraculously, you went back to sleep in under 10 minutes!!! I do not think that is the end of our sleeping issues (I don't ever dare to think that), but it is a good sign to me that what I'm trying may work at least some times.

I hope that you can sleep through the night. You had some really amazing naps today--two naps that were both 1 hour and 45 minutes long! You never nap like that. But we slept so little and so poorly last night, that I know you needed it. I just want us all to get some good sleep tonight so we can go shopping tomorrow with energy and cheerful spirits. And by we, I mean me, since you seem to have a great nature even when you don't sleep well or much. But I get grumpy. I don't want to be grumpy tomorrow when I'm finally going to get my shelves!

Ti amo con tutti cuore,
Mama

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Words and Curls

The Pumpkin is having another word/sign explosion. In addition to new words (and associated pointing to things those words describe, like shoes and hair) and new signs, she is now putting together some short phrases. Here are her phrases:
- Hello, Daddy.
- Thank you, Daddy.
- Bye bye, Daddy.
- Up, Daddy.

Do you see the trend here? We're both trying to get her to say similar things but with Mama. So far, all I get is just "Mama." But she says it (as Londo described) with reverence. She softens her voice and draws out each syllable.

So I've decided that "Mama" must be to her a name, a noun, a verb, a greeting, and everything else. The word Mama must encompass everything that is good and right with the word, there for it stands alone.

In other news, the Pumpkin's hair started out very straight. But as it's gotten longer, it's started to curl. Now when we brush her hair after her bath, it starts to curl up in about two seconds. I think this really surprises both Londo and me, because we expected her hair to be straight based on the first months of her life.

So yesterday, as the little one was toddling around the kitchen, here was the conversation between Londo and me:

Londo: I wonder where she gets such curly hair.
caramama: Well, I had really curly hair when I was little.
Londo: Yeah, so did I. But we don't have curly hair now, so where does she get it?
(At this point, I realize he's joking around, but...)
caramama: Um, my hair is curly RIGHT NOW!
Londo: Still...
caramama (rolling eyes): Oh, well, from the mailman.

Ba Da Ding!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm Meeting About Meetings Even

I'm in meetings all day. No time to post, and no mental energy to think of anything but work. Although I'm feeling good about work and really like being this busy, just not in meetings.

But can someone tell me when I'm supposed to get my actual work done if I'm in meetings all day? Besides finishing work at home after I try to put the baby bed and stay up too late and get up with the baby in the night/early morning and am too tired when I start my day and then have to sit in meetings all day...

I will update that the Pumpkin is doing SO much better! She's feeling better and sleeping better. She didn't get up until 4:45 this morning, although she didn't really go back to sleep after that. Londo and I have high hopes that after this sickness is gone and her other molar comes in, she will go back to sleeping through the night.

Hey, we can (day)dream, can't we?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Diagnosis

I'm so glad I took the Pumpkin to the doctor yesterday, because she does indeed have something: coxsackievirus, aka hand, foot, and mouth disease*.

Yes, it is common in infants and toddlers. Yes, it is contagious, especially if the toddler puts her drooled on hand in your mouth (which she does to me a hundred times a day). No, there is not treatment for it beyond treating the symptoms. No, it is not dangerous for children (although it can be pretty rough for adults).

Those symptoms are basically the same as teething symptoms except worse, so no wonder we thought she was just teething until that fever spiked! The doctor said it just runs its course, the worst of which is about 3-5 days. She said that the Pumpkin was probably on day 5 and would start feeling better soon. We will continue to give her Motrin and Tylenol as needed, and at night give her Benadryl to allieviate the irritation of the sores in her mouth (my poor baby!).

Isn't Benadryl also supposed to knock babies/toddlers out so they sleep at night? Cause that didn't happen last night. The poor girl was up at 12:30 and didn't get back to sleep until about 1:40, according to Londo. But when she woke up, she woke up smiling and seemed to be in a really good mood. The doctor had said that she'd be fine to go to whatever childcare she goes to today, so the nanny came this morning and I was able to get to work in good time.

Speaking of good moods, I'm in a great one! When I said above "according to Londo" that is because he took her all night long! Have I mentioned how much I love my hubby?!?! He was up with her in the night, and when he finally got her back to sleep, he coslept with her in the bed in her nursery the rest of the night. When I woke up to my alarm in my own bed, I felt amazing! The sun was shining this morning, which was a nice change to all the rain we have been getting and makes me happy.

I have been so stressed, but today I'm feeling good and productive and am getting a ton done at work. Which is good, because I have SO MUCH to do, juggling four different projects, with big deadlines coming up on two of them. I ended up taking yesterday afternoon off to take the Pumpkin to the doctor and then hold her for her nap in the afternoon. (She's not been letting us put her down to sleep for any naps and barely at all at night, and now we know it's because the sores in her mouth bother her so much.) This caused me to have to work in the evening and night until later than I wanted to. Again. Which is interferring with the time I'd normal spend with Londo. But that's a different post...

For now, I'm just glad we have a diagnosis, know what's going on and know that she'll be feeling better soon. And I'm amazingly glad I had a whole, great night of sleep!

*Not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which is what cattle and other animals get.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Question of the Week - Caring for the Child

I hope all the mothers out there had a happy Mother's Day. (At least for those who knew it was Mother's Day. hehe. I guess it's not as big a deal in other countries.) For those who are not yet mothers or are still trying to be mothers, I hope next year brings you a lovely Mother's Day filled with all you could have hoped for.

I'm gonna update about my weekend first, and then we'll get to the Question of the Week. Because I haven't complained enough about our lack of sleep. ;-)

My brother needed Londo's help moving on Sunday, so Londo gave me Saturday as a day off from childcare and anything else to enjoy doing whatever I wanted, which included a 2 HOUR NAP!!! and playing around on the computer for the rest of the afternoon. Alas, I still haven't caught up on all the blogs I like to read, but I was working on other things.

Unfortunately, Londo had to deal with a very fussy toddler and he was grumpy on his own anyway. These things kind of twinged my day a bit because I'm the type to feed off of others' emotions, especially those closest to me, and because I felt a bit guilty taking time off (oh that mother's guilt) especially when she has been so fussy.

We knew her second bottom molar was coming in, but by the evening we were starting to think she felt hotter than the slight fever she gets when teething. She hadn't been sleep well for a while (minus that one glorious night after her first molar broke through and she slept through the night), but Saturday night the Pumpkin was miserable. She was so hot and getting shivers. We gave her Motrin and try her in our bed, but she was kicking and flailing so much that no one was getting any sleep. Londo finally got her to sleep in her crib from about 4 to 6, but most of the night was pretty awful for all of us.

The next morning, she seemed fine and didn't seem feverish, just a little warm like she does when she's teething. So we went over to my mom's for a Mother's Day breakfast with my parents, my grandmother, my sister's family, and my brother's family, and we had a really good time. When we brought her back home at morning naptime, she was melting down and feeling miserable. I just held her for her nap and we both napped in the recliner, while Londo went to help my brother move. We napped about 40 minutes, but she woke up still tired and cranky and very clingy. It was kind of nice to have her so clingy and cuddly on Mother's Day, but it was a shame she felt so bad.

She fell back asleep in my arms an hour or two later, after eating very little. I was able to go online and type one handed while she slept on me (sorry to those who got my sloppy comments!). When she woke up again, she was still so groggy and hot. I finally decided to take her temperature rectally (the forehead thermometer just isn't accurate), and it was 104.3!!! That was when I got panicky and called my pediatrician's nurse on call. She made me feel a lot better and we talked about what I was doing to help the Pumpkin: medicine for the fever, liquids, saline swabs for her nose, foods when she'd eat them, keep her cool. I was doing all but keeping her cool enough. So I stripped her down to her onsie and light pants (not even socks) and gave her a couple of ounces of cold milk. After she finished the milk, she popped up, wanted to get down and started running around playing! She did so much better the rest of the evening!

We still had a rough night, and my back, arms and legs are so sore from sleeping in the recliner, but the fever has not seemed to come back. I'm taking her in to the doctor today even though her fever seems gone. She's still fussy and not eating much, but that's how she was with the molar teething before all this. I'll feel better after the doctor checks her out.

The Pumpkin and I didn't wake up from our sleeping in the recliner until 7:00, and then I nursed her for about a half hour, got her dressed and ready, and it was almost 8:00. I still was not ready at all, hadn't even used the bathroom! But the nanny arrives at 8:00 (or shortly after), so I just brought the Pumpkin downstairs and when the nanny got there, I was able to go up and shower and get ready without having to chase around the toddler! It was such a relief because I was running so late (I like to be out the door just after 8:00).

So, this got me thinking... Usually we parents are full of guilt about the choices we make for going back to work or staying home, for sending a kid to daycare or spending money on a nanny, for so many things that seem so important in raising our children. What if we take a minute to say some good things about our childcare situation, whether it be staying at home with the child, having a nanny or family member watch the child or the child getting to go to daycare. So the question of the week is...

What is great about your childcare situation?

Mine is that the one-on-one care for the Pumpkin has been really good for her, and the nanny at our house is making my time getting out the door so much easier. Also, if the baby was this fussy and I was dropping her off at my mom's, I would always feel so bad because she is mom my doing this favor for us, but when it's the nanny I have less guilt about the Pumpkin being fussy because she is watching just her and can devote attention to her when she is fussy and clingy and, let's be honest, because we are paying her I feel like it's her job to watch the Pumpkin through the good and bad. I don't know if that makes sense out loud, but it does in my head.

How about you? What makes you happy about who is caring for your child and how?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cara Mama - Happy Mother's Day!

Cara Mama,

Happy Mother's Day to you and all moms everywhere! I'm sorry that I slept so poorly last night and am not feeling well today. But at least I'm cuddly when I don't feel good! Thank you and Daddy for being up with me most of the night. I hope I sleep better tonight, because I'm tired and want to sleep too!

Ti amo,
Pumpkin