Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Five-Month Checkup

The babies went to the pediatrician today for their five-month well visit. The little lady is 13lb14oz and 24 inches long. Her brother is a whopping 15lbs even and 26.25 inches long!

I can't believe he has 2.25 inches on her! I mean, I can tell he's taller but I didn't realize how much. Looks like he might be getting some of the height genes from my side of the family (my brother and father are a few inches over six feet and I am 5'8''). Plus Blue has a few tall relatives, although he doesn't quite break the six-foot barrier himself. So we'll see!

I can definitely tell Indigo is heavier than Periwinkle every time I lift them in their carriers. Using a stroller to pick them up at daycare is becoming a very real possibility.

Project Sheep Rescue Update

You  may have noticed I didn't post last week. That's because I gained 1.8lbs. Ugh. This week I didn't feel much better, but I'm down 1.4, for a net gain of 0.4. I'll take it. I'm still at about a pound a week for 2013 which is a nice, healthy pace.

On my way back to work from Weight Watchers I passed this dress in the window of NY&Co.

So cute! I tried it on and I'm not sure about it. I definitely want to try it on with a belt, like in the picture. I feel like I deserve something pretty, so maybe this will be my 10lb reward. I'm sick of feeling like a lump wearing the same six sweaters (since they are all that I own that fits).

Now that the babies are going to bed at 8pm I'm hoping to gather the energy to work out in the evenings, in addition to my weekly Zumba. We'll see...

Sleep Update

Well, something must have clicked for the babies in the past few days. First off, they seem to be napping better. That has led to better nightsleep.

Sunday night they resisted going to bed because they'd napped perhaps TOO much that day, but then slept until about 5:30am, when they got chatty.

Monday night Periwinkle was crying around 4am so I got bottles ready, by which point she'd fallen asleep again. Back to the fridge went the bottles.

And last night not a peep. I asked Blue if he'd taken care of a nightwaking that I slept through, but no. Just a little chattiness from Periwinkle around 5:30am, that was it. 


I gave her her pacifier before I headed to work, and I'm hoping she fell asleep so Blue could sleep another hour or so. (P.S. It was so great to see her smiley face before going to work!)

Here's hoping this is the new normal, because it feels amazing getting six hours of sleep at a shot!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Letter to Indigo at Five Months

Dear Indigo,

At five months old, you are just such a boy. I can already imagine the mayhem you are going to cause once you are on the move. And boy, are you trying. You haven't mastered rolling over yet, but you are an expert at getting your knees under you and scootching forward a few inches. One of these days I'm going to pick you up from daycare and you will be crawling, I swear.

Getting mobile
You are still my mellow man, though. Very few things seem to faze you. Once you are asleep, you can nap like a champ. You like to sit on the couch with us and watch the bright colors on the tv. Over the weekend you watched baseball with Grandpa and we couldn't get you to look away from the screen for a second (go Red Sox! Shhh, don't tell Daddy. He's a Yankees fan.)

Big boy on the couch

You got sick this month. The pediatrician sent you off to the baby ER, where you braved lots of tests and an IV. Daddy says you didn't even cry all that much. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, and I'm so glad you are better now. How about we don't do that again anytime soon?

At the hospital

You and your sister are getting to be friends. Although, when we put you on the couch together you tend to reach out and knock out her pacifier or hit her in the face. I think you are just trying to say, "Hey sis, how's it going?" but you need to work on your hand-eye coordination a bit more.

You resisted your new bedtime for a little while, but some sleep training has you doing a bit better. Some nights are good, some aren't so good. Last night I think you were still hungry, but you fell asleep after we gave you a 2oz bottle at 10pm, and you slept until nearly 6am! We're very happy with you for doing that.

Sometimes serious

I love your smile. Your entire face lights up and it makes me smile too. I can't wait until you are giggling. It's going to be so much fun making you and your sister laugh. Even now, when I'm taking a picture and call your name, you give me a big grin. Get used to it. I love to take pictures of you two.

Smiley boy

You do great in the jumperoo. You're often in one when I pick you up at daycare, and you get excited to see me and bounce up and down. Your tippy toes can touch the floor in the one at our house, but we usually put a pillow under you to help. You're starting to play with the toys a little bit, although you're still not quite sure what to do with them.

Jumperoo time!

One night at dinner I held a piece of pasta in front of you. You licked it like a lollipop. I think you'll make a decent Italian, although I think a bit of my Irish is showing up in your hair. Sometimes it looks a little red.

Hanging out with White Cat

I'm looking forward to what this next month will bring. You'll be rolling over within the next week, I'd say, and will be on the move soon after that. You're already wearing some six-month clothes as you continue to grow like crazy. And one of these days, the world will realize it's technically spring, and we'll be able to go play outside in the dirt together. I can't wait!


A Letter to Periwinke at Five Months

Dear Periwinkle,

Today you are five months old. You are such a different baby from the frail little thing we brought home from the hospital. You are strong and opinionated and seem to feel every emotion intensely. If you are happy, your smile is ecstatic. If you are upset, your cry expresses every tear. You've become very chatty and I could listen to you all day long as you work out vowel sounds and give hiccuping laughs.

Having a laugh with your daddy

So serious sometimes

Your biggest achievement this month is that you rolled over from front to back! I was so proud of you I clapped and cheered. You just looked confused at your altered worldview. You've gotten very close to doing it again, and we're going to keep working on it whenever we can. Soon you'll be rolling across the living room floor and there will be no stopping you.

You're also getting very close to sitting up on your own. You are excellent at hanging out on the couch and you can sit up in my lap with only a few fingers holding you up. We can see you trying to pull yourself up to sitting, working those abs and trying to find your balance. You'll get there soon.

Hanging out with mama on your sick day

You love the jumperoo exersaucer thingamabob we bought you guys. You sit in it, tentatively touching the various toys. You love the music most of all. One time you were happily enjoying the tunes, and the music stopped. Without missing a beat, you burst into tears. I couldn't help but laugh.

Exploring the new jumperoo

You've also started grabbing and holding onto things with more intent. I fear this also includes my hair. I'm beginning to understand why so many new moms chop their hair off, but I'm going to try to teach you that mommy's hair is a no-no.

Not feeling well

You were sick this month with some sort of upper respiratory virus. I think you saw your brother get sick and just wanted to follow his lead. You and I got to stay home together one day while you were getting better. It was one of my favorite days this month because we got some mommy-daughter time. I'm looking forward to spending this Friday with both of you, since daycare is closed for Good Friday. It's been marked on my calendar all month long. 

Playing hooky on a sick day

You and your brother are in separate cribs now, but you still look at each other. You're starting to really watch him and recognize him as your playmate, I think. Sometimes you two hold hands and it is just the sweetest thing ever. We wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of the two of you chatting away, alternating who is talking, as though you are carrying on a real conversation. I think you are. I really hope that you always remain friends. Brothers are great to have around.

Waking Blue up in the morning

I can't wait to see what this next month brings. Milestones are going to be happening even more quickly. Just keep trying to save them for me and daddy to see so we don't miss anything. You're growing up too fast as it is.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Morning Dropoff

Rocking Star Trek onesies last weekend. Day 73 of Project 365.
It's a good thing I don't usually do daycare dropoff in the morning, because I'd be really tempted on a daily basis to play hooky with these two goofballs. Blue is travelling for work this week so I've been in charge. They are usually so chipper in the morning! When I hand them over to the daycare teachers, Periwinkle inevitably gives one of her hiccuping laughs and a huge smile crosses her face. She's so happy to be there! This makes me both happy and sad. She probably doesn't even remember when I was home with them during my leave.

Moody babies. Day 75 of Project 365.

By the time I pick them up in the afternoon, she's a moody mess from not napping enough and cries all the way home. Then it's time to squeeze in one last nap, a final bottle, and then bed by 8pm. In fact, last night she finally conked out for that "nap" at 7 so I ended up dreamfeeding her in the swing and putting her to bed without waking her up. And she slept until 1:30am! Crazy!

Day 76 of Project 365. Happy Spring!
But where's the fun in that? I miss the interactions we get with them on the weekends. I rarely hear them attempt to talk during the week, since that is a daytime activity for them and by evening they are tired and less likely to "talk." They definitely spend more waking hours with daycare than with us. So, to them, are WE the temporary help, and daycare the all-the-time people? An interesting and sad thought.

Day 77 of Project 365
So, I'm glad it's almost the weekend. Of course, we're visiting family so I'll have to fight to hold them probably, but at least I'll be in the same room with them and can hear their giggles and see their smiles.

Day 78 of Project 365
Yeah, definitely good I don't drop them off every day. I get way too misty-eyed about this whole daycare thing.

Seven hours until I pick them up. I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Relief in Sight

I think I love my new allergist. She was so nice and understanding and said she will find a way to help me. Then I can frolick through a meadow like this chick:

First up, repair my poor nose. She gave me a sample of a prescription nasal inhaler thingy along with a prescription, if I like it. It's new so I'm hoping my new (crappy) insurance will cover it. She did tell me it's not an instantaneous relief like the Afrin I've been using in recent weeks. She also told me to stop using the Afrin, pronto, because it's not for long-term use. Sad. I'm expecting a few days of misery before my new regimen kicks in.

She also prescribed me a new allergy med, so goodbye Zyrtec-D. Gee, I'm glad I stocked up on that while pregnant so I'd use up my FSA money... I guess I could always cook up some crystal meth (kidding, kidding). The new drug doesn't have decongestant, but, coupled with the inhaler, should give me relief.

In three weeks I go back for allergy testing. I haven't been tested since 2007 and I feel like they've gotten worse. After that, we'll discuss allergy shots. Yay! There is hope for my poor nose and sinuses!

I also need to replace the filter in my HEPA filter thingy more often. And dust my bedroom more than once every six months. That'll probably help a great deal...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sleep Crying and Rolling Over

Sleep training is progressing with some more bumps in the road. Apparently I slept through a few nightwakes last night, and Blue kindly took care of the little ones. Whoops. I feel bad. Solidarity in exhaustion, no?

A fun new development since we stopped swaddling the babies last week is that Indigo cries in his sleep. And it's not just a wah-wah cry. No, it sounds like someone is in there trying to kill him. He sounds SO upset, SO pained, and worst of all, SO scared. It breaks my heart to listen to it. An online friend I've dubbed the Sleep Guru told me not to wake Indigo during these times as then it will take forever for him to fall back asleep. Or he could freak out, like people who are sleepwalking tend to do when harshly woken up.

So I tried to just let him cry through it last night. I knew he wasn't hungry or wet, or at least that those things weren't what was bringing the crying on. I had no idea what WAS bringing the crying on, but it wasn't something I could fix. That's perhaps the most frustrating part of this, actually.

But after a minute or two of hearing my baby screaming like that, I had to pick him up. Horizontal didn't work, so up on my shoulder he went, still completely asleep. Phew. He calmed down, so I put him back in the crib. And the screaming started up again. Back up on my shoulder he went, and he came into our room for a few minutes. I reclined a bit to get him a bit more horizontal and he stayed calm. Finally his breathing slowed from that ragged, crying breathing we all get after a good crying jag. I put him back to bed and he stayed asleep and calm. Phew again!

Until 3 am, when it started up again. This time it took less time to get him calm and I never had to leave the nursery. Still broke my heart listening to that cry.

I've been told that babies do not dream until 18 months, so I know he's not having horrific nightmares. I've been told it might be a growth spurt, which might make sense given his recent jump from 6oz to 8oz bottles. And another person told me their child started doing it when they stopped swaddling him, which also could be a reason for Indigo, although by all other accounts he is doing well without it.

I'm also told these crying fits last about ten minutes, that as they get older they will wake more easily and I should definitely let him cry it out at that point, and that frequency diminishes over time. So we'll see what tonight brings...

The day before her first roll-over. So close!
In better news, Periwinkle rolled over for the first time yesterday, from front to back! She looked so surprised. I was ridiculously excited, mainly because we were both there to witness it and she saved it for us, not daycare (unless she did it there and they didn't tell us, which is fine. I'm okay living in ignorance). So, first roll-over on St. Patty's Day!

Almost a year to the day that we found out I was pregnant, which is kind of crazy. Where did the past year go? The Monday after St. Patty's Day last year I was so giddy at work I don't think I did a damned thing. I'm not terribly productive today either, but that's because this project isn't exactly inspiring...

Also, wish me luck at the allergist tonight. I'm hoping they can alleviate the sniffles, and thus the pain my nose is in, so that I don't want to chop it off anymore.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another Doozie

Last night was a bit better, but not great. We got some longer chunks of sleep in, but it took over an hour to get Periwinkle back to sleep after she woke up at 10:30pm (JUST as we were going to bed... she knew!). There are just so many variables I'm not sure what to think.

1. She still isn't feeling great -- she is eating less per feeding and spitting up a bit more than usual. Her brother, on the other hand, has shown himself quite capable of having a few 8oz bottles a day. Yikes!

2. Her naps are not long enough. Three 45-minute naps do not a well-sleeping baby make. I'm hoping that we can get her to nap well over the weekend. The daycare might just not have the manpower to devote to getting her to nap longer when she needs a little help getting back to sleep during sleep-cycle transitions (which happen about 45 minutes in).

3. Is it time to get rid of the Woombie already? She seems to want to gnosh on her hands, but when we release her arms and let her, she isn't satisfied and still wants the pacifier she dropped as she drifted to sleep. And she doesn't have the hand coordination yet to pick it up and get it in her mouth herself. Which brings us to...

4. Time to get rid of pacifier dependency? She had been doing fine with falling asleep without it, but this week she seems to need it again. Maybe because she's still not feeling well?

I just don't know. I figure we'll give her a few more days to get to 100% health before we mess with her routine again. Part of me wonders if we messed with something that wasn't broken when we moved their bedtime earlier... but other parts of me wonder if they need an even earlier bedtime. According to many things I've read and heard anecdotally from other parents, too late of a bedtime can lead to multiple nightwakings, which is what's happening this week. Sigh. At a loss. Trial and error might be the only way to figure this one out.

I'm just glad Indigo is still doing pretty well, although he did have a brief wakeup around 1:30am. He also seems to want to nibble on his hands, so it might be time for him to ditch the swaddle/Woombie as well. Maybe I can sell them (the Woombies, not the babies) on eBay? Do people still use eBay?

At least they are cute. Even if Periwinkle looks a little moody.

Day 71 Project365. Yes, they are part Irish, among many other things. My little mutt babies!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Setback

The good news is that Indigo did really well last night, until he decided to start playing follow the leader at 5am and cry like his sister was. He slept from 8:20 to 3am, then 3:30am to 5am, then 6am to 7:45am, when Blue woke him to go to daycare. I blame his sister for both wakeups.

Periwinkle didn't nap great last night, was probably feeling residual sickness even though she didn't have a fever, and was in a swaddle sleep sack because her Woombie was still wet from getting washed (air dry only). All of this added up to a sleepless night for all of us. She was up at 12:45am and then at 2:15am. We caved and fed them at 3am, and then were up with her crying and eventually Indigo too at 5am. I got both of them back to sleep after swaddling her in a fuzzy blanket instead of the sleepsack (maybe she was cold?) and rocking them  both. Then I went to work, on maybe three hours of non-continuous sleep. Blue got to sleep another hour and a half, lucky bastard. At least one of us got a few zzzs. I did nap on the train, and am eagerly awaiting the closing bell so I can nap on the way home too.

All I have to say is I hope she naps well today and thus isn't overtired tonight, so that she can sleep, and we can sleep. And I hope Indigo has another good night. Because I don't think I can do two nights in a row like last night...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hope for the Sheep

I wore my sheep sweater yesterday and it was a bit baggy. I'm willing to bet that's more from me putting it in the dryer when it's supposed to be air dried, thus stretching it out as it gets tangled in other clothing, but it could also be because I lost another 1.4 pounds this week! I'm on a roll, baby! 2.2 more pounds and I'm in the next-lowest tens! Woohoo! Feels great to be getting more "me"-sized.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Periwinkle's Turn

Yesterday I got a call from daycare that Periwinkle was running a 100.8 fever. By the time Blue picked her and Indigo up (it was towards the end of the day so he grabbed them both) and got home, it was up to 102.8. When I got home, I got a 102.3 reading, which was confirmed by the doctor last night. Poor kiddo.

Indigo tried to show some support, but he found her pouty Zoolander face too amusing to hold back.

Day 67 Project365
He did hold her hand for a moment, but I wasn't quite quick enough with the camera to catch that.

Blue just called and let me know she's still not eating great and has a temp of 101.2. Looks like I'll be staying home with her tomorrow, as she needs 24 hours without a fever before she can head back to daycare. She goes back to the doctor this afternoon for some more tests. I'm betting she has the same adenovirus that Indigo had a week and a half ago.

Between the two of them, I'm going to be out of vacation days at work by the time September rolls around (when we start our calendar year at work and I get replenished). Which is fine. I've been rolling days over from year to year since I started since I never use them all. I just hope cold and flu season ends soon so these two can be nice and healthy for a while!

In better news, the rain today seems to be suppressing whatever I'm allergic to out there in the world. I don't feel like chopping my nose off for the first time in weeks! This confirms that it's allergies and NOT a cold, which makes me feel better in that I'm not going to infect the kiddos. Small victories...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sleep Training Update

So we're plugging along on the sleep training front. Daylight Savings Time didn't seem to cause too big of a setback, to our relief.

Periwinkle seems to have taken to the earlier bedtime just fine, and last night slept from about 8:30pm to 4am, then from 4:45am to 7:30am, with some fussy noises towards the end.

Her brother, however, has taken to screaming bloody murder at bedtime, totally ruining my rendition of "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. Last night I had to take him downstairs, undo the Woombie, rock him, sing to him again, and hold him upright just to get him to calm down.

I then brought him upstairs to our room, gradually moving him into a more horizontal position (too quickly and he was on to me and began screaming again). I laid him on our bed and he didn't start yelling. Progress! I zipped him back into the Woombie. Still good. Then I picked him up and held him for a few more minutes before putting him back down in his crib in the nursery, awake but calm. Success! It took less time than the previous evening, when he finally settled after an hour and an extra 2oz bottle.

I'm guessing it's all a result of the many changes over the past week: Woombie, separate cribs, 7oz per feeding instead of 6oz, and the much-earlier bedtime. I'm hoping tonight his freakout lasts even less time!

You want me to do what?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Little Things Thursdays, Week 7

A day late again. You can forgive me, right, knowing about the sleep training going on?

#1. No sleep struggles last night. They had baths at 7, ate at 7:30 (Indigo ate 6.5oz!), and were in bed at 8. Periwinkle was so sleepy she was asleep before her head hit the crib mattress. I sang them a song (more like croaked, given my cold) which I think they liked. This is going to be part of their new bedtime routine, which I am hoping helps with easy bedtimes. Indigo required one check but was asleep by 8:15! Amazing considering it took an hour to get him to sleep two nights ago. They slept until 2:15am, ate, resisted a little, but were asleep by 3am. She was awake at 6:10am when I was getting ready but Indigo was still out. I'm guessing they were both awake by 6:45am based on the fact that Blue was getting them ready by 7am (I stalked on the monitor -- handy having an app for my phone!). This means they got about nine hours of sleep. Not quite the eleven we want, but closer than eight. We will give it a few more days and if this is still their wake up time, we will try a dreamfeed at 10pm. If they have even a few ounces then it might push their middle of the night feeding to 4am, which then means they won't be hungry and awake at 6am, and we'll feel less guilty having them wait for their morning feeding until 8am at daycare. So all this boils down to, they slept, and we slept! It was great!

#2. That second crib wasn't a waste! We split them up last night. I think this is a part of why they slept better -- no feet in each others' faces! Kind of sad to see them sleeping apart, but I think it's better for them at this point. We'd have had to do it when they started rolling over, anyways. They are growing up!

Of course, this means we'll need to find a new place to set out the next day's outfits, store extra blankets, and hang up spit-up-upon bibs and burpcloths...

#3. The Woombie. You can see they are both in Woombies now. The Halo Swaddle Sleepsacks were great in newborn size, but Indigo managed to wriggle the wings up by his shoulders in the larger Small size, giving him way too much freedom with his arms. The Woombie is both more restrictive (keeps arms close to the body) and more intentionally freeing (allows them to move their arms, albeit slowly so as to not startle awake). I think this has definitely helped with their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

#4. Being remembered. I got coffee from the same coffee cart guy for about three years before realizing I could save hella money by using the Keurig machine at work and adding French Vanilla coffee creamer I bring from home. I ran out of creamer this week so I ended up buying from him again for the first time in at least a year. And he remembered me! "Where have you been, having babies?" was the first thing he says. So I tell him, actually, yeah. Kind of funny that's the first thing he thought of, and that he said "babies" not "a baby." Always nice to be remembered!

#5. Great Chinese food. When we lived in the city, we always got Chinese from this one place, China Fun. Their General Tso's Chicken was to die for. It was kind of an addiction. I work right near the place and somehow manage to not get it for lunch all the time. In fact, I hadn't had it for at least a year. I decided yesterday that enough was enough. I had it delivered to work in the afternoon and brought it home via subway, commuter rail, and my car. And it was delicious! So worth the hassle! And there's enough for leftovers for at least one more meal, if not two!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sleep Training Continues

I was so hopeful last night. Both babies had napped appropriately during the day. They ate at 8pm while I was at Zumba, and Blue got them into their crib by 9pm and read them a story. When I got home a little after 9 he was coming out of their room after his first revisit to pat and reinsert their pacifiers. Periwinkle started crying again at 9:15, and I went up at 9:17. I did a sway and shhh with her and got her eyes looking very sleepy. Indigo was awake but calm, but I did a sway and shhh with him too, mainly because my time with both of them was so limited yesterday because I decided to prioritize ME one day a week and do Zumba. I'm allowed. Still feeling a little guilty...

But in any event. I got both of them sleepy and then went to take a shower. When I got out around 9:45pm, Blue reported that one of them (he didn't check) had been halfheartedly crying but that they were both now sleeping. They worked it out and put themselves to sleep. Go babies!

I was in bed by 10:45pm and asleep soon after, absolutely exhausted from the night before and from Zumba. I'm surprisingly not sore today. I was awoken at 2:30am by Peri crying. I listened for a minute before I realized she wasn't crying so much as complaining, almost "talking" to her brother, who soon started responding. I decided that they were not hungry, just awake. I went in to their room and found them in each others' faces, having moved closer together so that they were now kicking each other. It's definitely time to split them up into separate cribs...

Periwinkle reenacts how I felt upon being woken up at 2:30am by her chit-chat.

I did the sway and shhh again with both of them and got them both sleeping again. Victory! (stupid me prematurely declaring success) I went back to bed and got maybe a half hour of sleep before they started up again. This time sway and shhh wasn't as effective, even though they still didn't seem too distressed. I got Peri asleep again but not Indigo. I changed his diaper and hoped that would do the trick. No go. More swaying and shhing and butt-patting and finally he was calm, at least. Back to bed with me. Twenty minutes later, so now almost 4am, and Periwinkle starts crying for real. This is more what I am used to. I declared defeat and went to make bottles. But I think I'm okay with that, because this time she did sound hungry. Indigo was still just looking around, calm, so we fed him as well.

And then neither of them wanted to go back to sleep. Blue somehow got them sleeping. I'm not sure how, since I conked out almost immediately in desperate need of some zzzzs. I don't think it took him longer than 15 minutes though, so I suppose that's not terrible. They aren't sleepy newborns anymore, after all, so we can't expect them to immediately fall asleep when we lay them down like they used to.

So thus far, I am happy that they napped better, and that I am getting better at reading their cries. I would like to eliminate that 2:30am "playtime" wake time, though. I think it is likely a result of them still being unused to their earlier bedtime and I am hoping that a few more days of this new routine will get them sleeping through until they are hungry, probably around 3:30am or 4am. If a few more days doesn't do the trick, I might try that dreamfeed idea when we go to bed around 10pm.

A work in progress...

And once we get them used to this bedtime, we'll start moving it even earlier in 15 minute increments. They should have an easier time adjusting to that than to this bigger jump from 11pm to 9pm. If daylight savings time doesn't totally eff it all up.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project Sheep Rescue Progress

I managed to lose 2.4 pounds this week! That makes a total loss of 10 pounds since January 1, so only 35 to go! Walking 10,000 steps a day really helps! I'm hoping my weekly Zumba class, which starts tonight, will help too, if I can stay awake long enough to make it there.

I decided I'm going to reward myself. Not sure what my 10 pound reward is yet, but here are the next few:

20 pounds: new Vera Bradley wallet (my clasp broke)
30 pounds: new shoes. Nice ones.
45 pounds (goal): Keurig Elite machine. Blue will appreciate the lack of coffee grounds in the sink.

And at some point I'm going to need some new pants, because mine are thankfully getting baggy on me! Who cares that I just bought them a month ago? I will happily donate them to the Salvation Army!

Sleep Training

For a while there, I didn't think we'd need to deal with sleep training. The kids seemed to go to bed just fine after a 10pm feeding (so around 11pm), wake up at 4:30am to eat, then sleep until woken up around 7:30am to go to daycare or hang out around the house if it's the weekend. Then two things happened.

1. I realized I wasn't getting to bed until nearly midnight because I'd be doing all my stuff after they went to bed, which made for Zombie Red once I went back to work. I get up at 6am to be at work by 8am. Figure six hours minus the 4:30am feeding equals about five hours of sleep. That's just not liveable for me.

Probably how I look these days.

2. I did a lot of reading and talking to other moms, and their kids were averaging about 11 hours of sleep at night. Ours were averaging about 8. This was likely creating a vicious cycle where they were then overtired the next day, napped erratically, got even more overtired, then didn't sleep as much at night, and so on. And napping does not have the same restorative features as nightsleep. Also, as the saying goes, "Sleep begets sleep." I.e., get your kids napping well and they will sleep better at night. And if they go to bed earlier at night, they will, quite ironically, go longer before waking up and sometimes will actually start sleeping through the night, because they are better rested and thus sleep more soundly.

So, our mission is two-pronged:

1. Get the kids napping more regularly. No more than two hours should pass between them waking and them going back into nap-land. I'm sure the daycare knows this, but judging from their recent naps, the babies are going too long in between naps during the day.

2. Work back their bedtime from 11pm to 8pm. If that works well, perhaps even try and move it to 7pm, which would probably be best for them. It would mean I would never see them, pretty much, until weekends, so that would be a bit rough on me.

So the plan:

I'm going to mention to daycare, as non-judgmentally as possible, that we really want to work on naptimes and wake times.  It also seems that Periwinkle has a tougher time transitioning between sleep cycles and they might be getting her up when she starts to cry about 45 minutes into her nap. Instead she might just need some patting and shushing to help her fall asleep again for another sleep cycle. I'm going to work on this on weekends before I bring it up at daycare. For now we'll have them work on keeping wake times to two hours or less.

As for the second part, it's worked out pretty well that the babies are now eating around 8:30am, 12:30pm, and 4:30pm. Which leads to a last feeding around 8:30pm and a middle-of-the-night feeding around 3am. Last night Periwinkle was out like a light at 9pm. Indigo had a harder time, but he was the one with the worst napping yesterday so I chalked it up to overtiredness. He did eventually fall asleep for good at 10:08pm after a few cycles of us going up to calm him, rock him, and give him his pacifier back. The last time he cried, I could tell it was different. He would cry somewhat half-heartedly for a few moments, then be quiet for perhaps 20 seconds, then cry again. After a few minutes of that he finally quieted for good and fell asleep. I'm hoping he'll get better at calming himself like he did that last time, and that if we just give him five minutes to cry and then self-soothe he'll put himself back to sleep. It is SO hard to listen to him cry, though, and even though I say we're waiting five minutes, we never make it that long. Luckily Periwinkle can sleep through his crying! This part of sleep training is a work in progress. We still need to push their bedtime another hour earlier but I will let them adjust to 9pm first. We'll get there, little by little.

Day 61 of Project365

Then of course last night Periwinkle was crying at 2:15am, and Indigo woke up around then too, which he rarely does. We tried in vain to get them back to sleep before caving at 3am and feeding them. They both then resisted going back to sleep, and it took about twenty minutes of us going in and calming them (they alternated whose turn it was to cry, which was somewhat helpful) to finally fall asleep again. It's pretty rare that they resist going back to sleep in the middle of the night, so I'm hoping that was just a fluke and not a new normal. I'm sure it has something to do with their new, earlier bedtime, so perhaps in a few days they'll have adjusted and will drift back to sleep like they used to. I ordered Indigo one of the Woombie things Periwinkle has been using this week because his size small swaddling sleep sack just doesn't keep his arms from flailing the way the newborn size did, which I think makes it harder for him to fall asleep. I'm hoping, anyways!

Another thing we might try is a dreamfeed before we go to bed. Essentially you get them to eat while they are still in their crib asleep. This might push the MOTN feeding from 3am to 5am or something like that. We'll see if we feel the need to do that though. Just another tool in our arsenal.

Unless you are a parent of an infant, this was all probably horrible boring for you. If you are my parents or in-laws, this might help you understand what we're now trying to do for next time you are babysitting! I promise I'm not crazy (although Blue probably thinks I am) and there is a lot of evidence behind this whole "early to bed means better sleeping, happier babies" thing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Do Babies Look So Cute in Jeans?

Because they do. So freaking cute!

Periwinkle's are from Old Navy; Indigo's from Children's Place. She is just so excited to be wearing her new duds!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Favorite Picture!

This one is probably going to get framed for the wall. They are just so darned cute!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fun Changes During and After Pregnancy

1. I have thick hair. All my life, hairdressers have commented on how much hair I have. So I didn't really notice when pregnancy hormones made my hair even thicker. They didn't do this by magic, but rather by making less hair fall out. I suppose I should have realized this was happening when Blue stopped complaining about the hair in the drain after I showered.

Within a month of having the babies, however, I realized what had happened, and realized that without the hormones in my body anymore, my scalp was going to shed all that hair it should have lost during the previous nine months. Which pretty much means it looks like Cousin It is circling the drain after every shower. I know it's hair that was on my head only minutes before, but ewww. Three months later, and my hair is showing no signs of slowing down its abandon-ship mentality. I'm hoping it stops soon, or else I won't be worthy of "your hair is so thick!" comments anymore.

2. Another thing that can happen is problems with your vision. This is something I wish I'd known about BEFORE I went off and bought new glasses mid-pregnancy, but, then again, it's probably worth it to have been able to see and not get daily headaches. But be forewarned: Your vision might get blurry, and it might go back to normal after pregnancy. Mine so far seems to be holding steady, so those new glasses were a good purchase. So far. For all I know, a year post-birth my eyes will switch back and my new glasses will be useless. I'll keep you posted.

3. Allergies are a bitch. I didn't have them until I moved to NYC in 2006. I thought I had a cold for six months before finally getting tested. Zyrtec-D saved my life, and my nose. I did end up with a little notch in my nostril from having a runny, irritated nose for six months, but I just tell myself it gives my face character. While pregnant, I could only take regular Zyrtec. How I missed that D! I joked with Blue, saying that within minutes of popping the babies out I wanted a Yuengling beer in a 20oz frosted glass and a Zyrtec-D on a silver platter.

Neither of those happened. And when I did restart Zyrtec-D, it did not bring the blissful relief I'd been hoping for. Four months on, and once again I'm realizing that I likely do not have a never-ending cold. It's allergies, and my go-to meds aren't working. For extra fun, I now have a matching notch in my other nostril. The tip of my nose is sore and god help you if you accidentally knock into it. Which the babies often do with their heads, which OOOOUUUUUCHHHH! I'm hoping to hit up the allergist again once my new insurance kicks in March 1 (tomorrow!) to see about getting allergy shots. I cannot live like this for much longer. I want my nose back. I cannot say if this will happen for anyone else, but it happened for me. And it sucks.

All of this said, I am still grateful for my healthy, relatively easy pregnancy. I really have nothing to complain about.

A Trip to the ER

So it turns out Indigo really wasn't feeling well. He didn't have a temp yesterday morning, so off to daycare he went. I got a call around 1:30pm that he had a 101.2 fever, so Blue picked him up and brought him to the doctor. His temp was then a tad over 102. His white blood cell count was high, and they ruled out an ear infection, so they sent the boys off to the Pediatric ER at the hospital I delivered at. I think Indigo just wanted some of that extra hospital time that Periwinkle got during her NICU stay.

They did some more blood tests, urinalysis, and a chest x-ray to rule out some stuff. Everything came back clear, which is good, except that it left us without a diagnosis.

The in-laws helpfully came by to watch Periwinkle while I headed to the hospital. Of course, as I got there they discharged him! He looked so tiny on the adult-sized bed. I walked into the room and I could see these tiny legs in the corner. He was kind of adorable. He had a splint on to keep his antibiotic drip IV in place, poor guy.

As I was dressing him, he spit up some bloody mucus, which was kind of scary. We got the doctor back and they decided it was the result of suctioning his nose earlier. He did it one more time at home but other than that seems fine now.

I have to admit, loving being home with him today. Periwinkle went to daycare so Indigo and I are having some quality mother/son time. I'm just hoping he stays fever-free!