Tuesday, December 30, 2008

sleeping update - first day

So far the naptime thing is sort of mixed...yesterday morning (at 8:00 a.m.) she had no problem with going back to sleep (for the full 1 1/2 hours), in fact she slept longer than I expected, an hour past when I expected her to be up and hungry, but I think that's mostly because she had hardly slept at all on Sunday. At 11:00, the next naptime, she slept for 45 minutes, and then did not want to go back to sleep - she complained in her crib for quite awhile, and then finally fell asleep for about 15 minutes. I got her up after that, on the theory that it was past the 1 1/2 hour mark, and I'm basically training her that she spends 1 1/2 hours in crib each naptime (preferably sleeping). At 2:00 she slept for 45 mins, woke up, took the pacifier back and went back to sleep for another 45 mins (yay!). At 5:00 she basically did the same thing as her 11:00 nap. At 7:30, pretty soon after eating, she was yawning and showing other tired symptoms, and we tried to put her down - but she just cried and cried...perhaps by then she was tired of her crib? I got her up, but she didn't really want to be up either - very fussy. So we took a bath, which she loves, and then I fed her and put her back down.

I was a little concerned that with all the naptimes she might not sleep her full night's sleep, even though, theoretically, she'd sleep better having got her whole nap. But my fears weren't realized, and the "theory" proved good--she slept for 10 hours! She hasn't done that since she went through the growth spurt two weeks ago. It did take her a little longer to fall asleep than normal, but once asleep she did quite well.

Now we're on day 2. For the morning nap (8:00) she talked herself to sleep, and then woke after 45 mins. I let her chat in her crib awhile, until she got upset. Then I went in and gave her the pacifier back. Still upset. So I cuddled her (rocked her) for about three minutes, and she fell back asleep. We'll see how long she sleeps!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sleeping - another update

We have become increasingly frustrated with Judith's napping only 45 minutes at a time. It means that she doesn't get a full sleep cycle, and wakes up tired, and then doesn't sleep as well the next time, but I've been holding off doing anything about it, because I don't want to put a lot of work in and have it just get messed up by the trip to Michigan next week. But Lance pulled up a couple websites that commented on that sort of thing, and we're deciding to try to do something about it anyway. It could be that she'll fall pretty easily back into sleeping 1 1/2 hours, and if that's the case, we want to get her into that routine as soon as possible. (Yes, I know, it might not be easy, but she's transitioned pretty well to other things, so we'll see.)

Basically, we're thinking that she's just having trouble putting herself back to sleep during her transition from one sleep stage to another. So the plan is for me to "help" her back to sleep when she wakes up after only 45 minutes. And to help that along, we're going to try "scheduled" naps instead of putting her down once we notice that she's tired (on the theory that babies are often tired before they show any symptoms). So for now, because she's still on a three-hour feeding schedule, she'll have one hour of waketime and then go down for a nap. (A direct quote from one of the websites "Most babies will protest loudly [being put back to sleep]" :-) Today is the first day of trying this, so we'll see how it goes!

Baby's First Christmas(es)

Honestly, I have to say that I really didn't expect Judith to have much "fun" this Christmas (she's growing by leaps and bounds, but she's really not aware enough to know what Christmas is, or even what presents are), and that's about what happened.

On Christmas Eve we went to River Rock's candlelight service - and I dressed her up in this dress that we got from a friend at Judith's baby shower. She looks very cute, but the dress is so big that I took it off as soon as we got home, and she probably won't wear it again :-).

On Christmas Day we drove to Oakland (as usual) and Judith got to meet some of the cousins and extended family that she hasn't seen yet. She didn't have a good day, but she didn't have a terrible day, either. The two hour drive to Oakland was fine, except that she was pretty hungry by the time we got there. And for the first few hours she was pleasant, as long as Lance or I was holding her. But she didn't get nap time (just a little time in the front pack during dinner), and there were so many people in a strange place, that by the end of the day she wouldn't even let Lance hold her! Actually, that's not quite true, because as we were packing up the car to go home, her Auntie Christine took her for a few minutes, and Judith was smiley and happy with people. On the ride home she was pretty over-tired again, and I had to sit in the back to help comfort her.

Our second Christmas happened on Sunday night (12/28) at Grandpa Tim and Grandma Sandy's in Roseville. Lance's sisters and their families were there. For the most part, Judith had a better day than Christmas (she's a lot more familiar with that house and those people), and she even got involved in opening one of her Christmas presents (see picture), but once again she didn't get any nap time (about 20 mins in the front pack, and maybe 15 on Grandma's shoulder) and she was pretty exhausted by the end. It took her about an hour to settle down to sleep when we got home.

If Judith could talk, I figure she'd probably say that Christmas was overwhelming. But next year - that should be lots of fun!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is Judith in her exersaucer/jumper (a gift from my former coworker, Patrick). It's like the an exersaucer in that it's got a bunch of things around the circle to entertain her, but it's actually a jumper - the seat is suspended from three poles so that she can bounce it up and down. She's been not wanting to sit in either her bouncy chair or the bumbo chair - and is squirmy enough that if she doesn't want to be in it, it's not very safe to put her in it! So I've tried her in the exersaucer a couple times. But she'd get bored after a few minutes, and her feet don't quite reach the floor, so she can't jump.

A few days ago, though, I got the idea to put a big book (my cooking class textbook) underneath her feet so that she can push off of something. She will now jump (crowing wildly) for over an hour! She even spins herself enough to move from entertainment to entertainment. We don't have any batteries in it yet - it's busy enough as it is - but she sure has fun with it. It's so exciting to watch her interact so strongly with her environment! (And she's getting lots of exercise with that jumping - she's going to have muscles well built up for walking!)

Sleeping and Eating Update

The last 10 days or so have been pretty rough. It started when we went to Tahoe and Judith seemed not to want to eat very much. I started thinking maybe it was time for me to move from feeding her about every three hours to about every four. And so on the Wednesday after we got home, I tried it. It worked just fine that day. She slept a lot (probably recovering from the trip) and she had no problem with eating every four hours. And I thought, "can it really be this easy?"

And the next day she started a growth spurt and was eating every two hours. That lasted for two days, and even affected her sleep patterns (previous growth spurts haven't). She woke up in the middle of the night for several nights running.

When the growth spurt ended I tried to go back to every 3 1/2 to 4 hours (feeding) instead of every 3. That didn't work, because Judith was screaming hungry after 3 hours. And she continued to wake up hungry in the middle of the night! On top of that, she (I think) is teething and in some pain, which was waking her up every hour or so once we put her to bed (at the usual for-the-night time). She seemed to be almost on a caffeine high when we would try to put her down - overstimulation? She was just spastic.

I spent a couple days trying to figure out what I could do to help her sleep again. I tried cluster feeding her before bed (which didn't really work too well, because she won't eat much if she's not hungry, and apparently she wasn't). I sat with her in the dark to try to calm her down (after an hour I gave that up). But pretty much I had to wake up and get her in the middle of the night for four or five nights. Finally, last night, she slept from about 9 to about 6. (Not back up to 10 hours yet, but close!) I'm hoping that wasn't a fluke. We'll see! (I'm taking comfort in the fact that she WILL grow out of this eventually!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bathtime changes

As Judith has gotten bigger (and much more mobile) it's gotten a lot harder to have the little bathtub on the bathroom sink as we'd started doing - the floor was getting soaked. As a result, we moved her bathtub back into the big bathtub. She had so much fun splashing around that I thought "what if I get in with her, and she has the whole big tub to splash in? So that's what we tried tonight. And she had so much fun. Actually, I'm not sure it was fun. She didn't laugh - she very seriously kicked her legs over and over and over, watching the splash and discovering how she could move around. My dad would say that she was "making connections" about how she interacts with the water. It was a lot of fun for us to watch her learning like that. And the best part is that for the first time she didn't scream hysterically when we got her out of the tub. Maybe she'd had enough playtime to not be upset? Maybe the transition was easier? I don't know - but it sure was better this way!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tahoe Trip (12/7-9)

Lance's parents have a time-share in Tahoe that they've had since he can remember. They go every year about the first week of December, and his aunts, uncles, and grandma join them. This year we decided to take Judith up for a few days to meet the family. We stayed two nights and two days. It was Judith's first night away from home, and she really did much better than I was expecting. Based on how she didn't sleep in the pack-n-play when we went up to Chico a few weeks ago, I was really expecting her to have a hard time. But she even went down for naps in it (albeit fewer than usual), downstairs away from us! She also slept all night (although she was restless, something I think is probably normal; I just don't normally notice it, because she sleeps in her own room!). Unfortunately, she also seems to be more aware of who is familiar versus who is unfamiliar. She took awhile to warm up to the relatives, and would often look around to make sure Lance or I was there, if we weren't holding her. While it's fun to know that she knows who we are, it's also a little harder because she wants to be with us and not someone else. (Yes, I know that this is a developmental stage and will pass.)

still growing!

I know, it's not a surprise that Judith continues to grow :-). It just keeps happening faster than I expect! She received some 6-month-size clothes from her great aunts while we were in Tahoe this past weekend, and I decided to try them on, just to see. And they fit! The sleepers, which have feet, are a little big, but that's all to the good for sleepers. So today I went through the next drawer down in her dresser and pulled out all the 6-month clothes. Her 3-6 clothes still fit (fortunately!), so with the new influx of clothes she has a wardrobe that's as big as mine!

rock & roll, baby!

Judith has begun to roll over! For the past few weeks, she'd occasionally roll onto her side, but it wouldn't go any farther than that. Now, in the past 24 hours, she's begun to roll all the way from her back to her stomach. She gets stuck then, because she can get back over onto the other side (yet), and she gets one arm caught under her body. It's a little scary, because she'll do it in her crib as she's waking up - but she calls for help, and we come to the rescue.

She also, today, seems to be preferring to stand instead of sit. Frequently, she'll lie on my legs, facing me, and grab my hands to pull herself to a sitting position. But today when she does that, she's locking her knees and standing up instead.

(I've known both of these things would happen sooner or later, but that they've happened so suddenly makes me amazed (again) at how quickly she's growing!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Four Month Checkup

On Monday we went in for Judith's four month checkup (can she possibly be four months old already!?!). She's 14 lbs, 11 oz, and 24.5". (So she's gained 2 lbs 5 oz, and grown 1.5".) Both measurements are 75 percentile for her age. I was a little surprised at her weight, because I was expecting her to weigh more like 16 lbs - mostly because she's moved up into size 3 diapers, and the listed weight for those is 16-24 lbs. Maybe she just has big thighs :-).

We asked the doctor about the rash on her chin, which she's had for almost a month. He diagnosed it as infantile eczema, and gave us some Aquaphor samples to put on it. It's very reassuring to have a diagnosis finally, and it looks like it's getting a little better. Aquaphor just says it's for "dry, cracked, and irritated skin" though, so I think once the sample runs out we'll just switch to calendula lotion, which is for the same thing, and is all natural.

The "rash" on the back of her neck is just broken capilaries. He said she's probably had those since she was born, and we just didn't notice.

She had five shots again. And the nurse (same one) once again said "boy she's really tensing up" as if that would be a surprise! I wonder if she says that to all the parents! This time we were ready with the homeopathics (rescue rememdy, thuja, and ledenum) as soon as the shots were given, and Judith calmed down more quickly than last time. She's also not reacting as much this time--I don't know whether that's because she's older or because of what we've given her. Either way, I've been pleasantly surprised to not have to deal with a cranky baby for the last few days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I should have blogged this a few days ago, but it's really the time of year where everything gets away from me!

Grandma Judi and Grandpa Ron came to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Grandpa hadn't seen Judith since she was a week old! To make up for all the time he didn't get to spend with her, he spent as much time as possible with her for the few days they were here. Grandma only got to hold Judith a few times!

On Thanksgiving morning, we (Barbara, Lance, Judith, Ron and Judi) met Uncle Tim and Lance's nephew Brad to walk in the Run to Feed the Hungry. It's something that I've run every year since 2005, and I've always wanted to do it with family. According to the Sacramento Bee, almost 30,000 people participated this year, and Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services got approximately $750,000! With that many people, it was extremely crowded! It took us about 45 minutes to get to the parking lot--and we had to park about a mile away. With the 5k race and the mile-each-way that we had to walk to the start/from the finish, we walked 5 miles! Judith did very well being in the stroller for so long. Lance pushed her, and Brad periodically leaned in to entertain her :-). She talked (loudly!) for almost the whole race, and people kept turning around to find out what was making the noise. Because it was so crowded, the walk took us about an hour and a half - and Judith was very hungry by the end! I jogged the last mile back to the car so that I could feed her. She really enjoyed moving so fast in the stroller - every time I had to slow to a walk to catch my breath or wait for a slow group in front of me, she would yell, and wouldn't stop yelling until I was jogging again. But that doesn't mean I'm going to start jogging again...it's too hard on my body.

On Thanksgiving evening, Ruthanne (Rhone) Maschenko ( a friend from childhood that I've recently reconnected with via Facebook) came for dinner with her eight-year-old daughter. Originally her husband and one-year-old were supposed to come along, but they were home sick :-(. We still had a great time reconnecting!

Then, on Friday, we went to Tim and Sandy's for the whole, huge dinner. There were about 20 people. Judith did just fine being passed around from person to person, and she even fell asleep after dinner when I put her in the front pack and laid the blanket over her head.