Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Difference a Week Makes

So all that stuff I said about my baby sleeping through the night...lies. All lies. Within a matter of a week we are basically back to business as usual.

I blame it on sickness. We have been sick for the umpteenth time this winter. And the sickness seemed to unravel all the beautiful progress we made. Inconsistent, non-existent sleep. Poor Gavin. He has cried more in the last 5 days than he has in his whole lifetime. I HATE IT.

With his health on the mend, his sleep has yet to catch up. He cried for almost an hour and a half tonight before nodding off. All this (lack of) sleep has sent me back to the books to see if there's something more I can be doing. And interestingly, the books are lame. They have nothing to offer me that I hadn't previously thought or tried. In fact they vary in theory; even directly contradicting one another.

One book says to let your child cry it out (no matter how long) so they can teach themselves how to fall asleep. If you interfere with this practice process, you are not allowing your child to become independent.

Another book says crying it out makes your child feel that they have been abandoned when they need you most. An infant's wants are the same as their needs until they are about one year of age. So if they want to be comforted to go to sleep (ie. whatever that may entail), then comfort them.

Sickness aside, Gavin has never been much of a sleepaholic. So it all comes down to this. You read about sleep practices, consider your own intuition, and make the best decision for your own child. Easy, right?

Maybe I'll just invent a special potion that will cure his sleep ills.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Difference a Month Makes

One month ago we were getting ready for (in need of) a nice long holiday break.

Watching our baby roll over.
Waiting for him to sleep through the night.
Wondering if we should start him on solid foods.

Watching our toddler fight us tooth and nail.
Waiting for him to snap out of it.
Wondering how often he would be in "time out" during the trip.

And now? Well. Our wonder (verb) has changed to wonder (noun).

At six months old, Gavin weighs a whopping 20 lbs. He is happy as ever. He has readily taken to spoon feeding, though milk is still his food of choice. He thinks sitting up is old news and has moved on to crawling. He also tries to pull himself up on everything in sight. This little one is ON THE GO! I don't know where he gets the energy. He refuses to sleep most of the time. [Enter the "cry it out" phase.] He's far from consistent, but he's finally slept through the night--a record 10-hour stretch last week.

It seems Owen has turned a corner too. Even entered a new stage. He was very hard to deal with before the holidays. Let's be honest, he has been a struggle off and on since he was maybe 18 months old. He has a strong mind and a stronger will. Yet, he was remarkably good during our holiday travels. And he's continued the pattern since then. I'm not saying we're in the clear. But I am stunned by how much he has conformed. Mark and I have had a number of conversations about how different things are. He is so pleasant to be around!

One thing is for sure. Gavin LOVES Owen. And Owen LOVES Gavin. I can't believe how much I love the two of them together. What a great combination. I get all excited thinking of them growing up together, sharing life experiences. Anyway, I marvel at my boys and the difference one month has made.

(Photo was taken on one of my favorite days last year-Thanksgiving Day at the San Francisco Zoo. Me and my boys. Beautiful weather. Perfect day.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Again

Our holiday travels proved successful. We had a fantastic time catching up with family and old friends. And a highlight of the trip was the return of my two youngest brothers from Chile (where they were serving church missions for the past two years). It was so great to see them again and hear about their experiences abroad. And as is customary each year, we took a family photo to send out with the annual Christmas card. It was awesome to have all six siblings in the picture together with their respective families. I am amazed by how much we've grown over the years. We started sending out the annual card when I was just ten years old. Our family was young and cute then. I suppose some of us are still cute and relatively young, but we have more than doubled in number. Amazing.

Notice we are all wearing Chilean scarves. A piece of Chile brought back by my brothers. Also of interest...Owen could not get Bryant and Brad straight for some reason. So he resorted to calling them the "white-faced one" and the "dark-faced one". Weird? Yes. Which is which? You tell me.