Day Nine, Ten, Eleven and Twelve

Yeah. Four days in one. Where does the time go?

Likely into all the piddling little things that need to be done to keep a household running. At least we got most of the grocery shopping done today, and even managed to take a trip to the park to enjoy the balmy 50 degree weather we had today. And I think I may try to go again tomorrow when it’s forecasted to hit a whopping 59 degrees! Woohoo! It’s practically spring time!! And it’s good that I’ll go again, because I got an adorable video today of Jack swinging, but it is forever trapped on my cell phone, because I don’t have a cord to download things from the camera on the cell, nor do I have a data plan of any sort, so I cannot email it to myself or text it to anyone. Yeah, yeah. I’m an old fogie*, living in the dark ages where we only use our phones to make phone calls… Considering how much I HATE the phone (like really, really, really, really hate phone conversations), you think I might actually get with the times and start texting or whatever. But, since I don’t pay for my cell phone (holla, Mom), I don’t have much motivation to do so.

So, new cell phone– because, after all of the endless calls to tech support to resolve internet issues, my phone actually broke in half. I mean, I probably dropped it at some point and weakened the hinge, but regardless, after I hung up on the last call to Clear tech support, the phone almost heaved a sigh as it threw it’s top half off the hinge and onto the floor. Awesome. Luckily, it had been more than two years, so I qualified for another free one. But sadly, I don’t think I ever saved my contacts to the SIM card, so now, I no longer have any of my old contact info (which, by the by, if you’re someone I used to chat with via phone, you’ll have to email me your cell number again, because I guarantee I don’t have it anywhere anymore…). Pain in the butt, but whatever. I’m just so over caring about it anymore.

We had what was probably our worst night of sleep ever last night. Both boys were fussy, wild, inconsolable, scream, scream, screamy, and woke up over, and over, and over again. And they were both flatly refusing any intervention from H. The screams would go from wild to hysterical if he dared to pick one up or take one from me. We thought it might be teething, but both had ibuprofen before bed due to our strong suspicion that their teeth were bothering them. It was rough. It was hard. It was not something I care to repeat, ever again. I’m sincerely hoping tonight does not go that way or I really don’t know what I’ll do.

Here is where I admit that a couple of weeks ago, feeling intense pressure to actually get some sleep, we attempted a modified CIO. And all I have to say about that is that 1) it firmly cemented in my mind that these methods are not for us, and 2) all CIO methods I’ve read about have some sort of plan in place, typically involving the idea that the baby (or babies) will eventually go to sleep. Not a single one tells you what to do when they cry, and cry, and cry, and cry, and just don’t stop. They all count their time in minutes, or maybe an hour or two. They don’t tell you what to do when your kids cry for THREE STRAIGHT HOURS. I mean, not just ‘fuss, fuss, wah, wah, sigh, fuss, fuss.’ crying. I mean, three straight hours of screaming, stuttering wails, completely inconsolable, shaking, pure abandon crying. H was checking on them at intervals, but it made not a bit of difference. And for the week after that, they clung to me like they wanted to crawl inside my skin. They would sob the second I walked towards the door of the room, and I still don’t think Jack is entirely over the experience. I know so many people for whom this has worked, but I also know that most people I’ve asked about it have children who are generally easy-going, or at least more easy-going than my guys.

I actually met a mom at Book Babies the other morning, and she was describing the first six months of her child’s life, and it was like for the first time, I spoke with someone who had a clue what I meant when I said that my babies (well, Jack really, more than Henry) were seriously fussy. It was so refreshing to talk to someone who understood what I meant, who didn’t nod and say, “Oh, yeah, my baby gets fussy, too.”, who truly, truly got what it was like to have a kid whose voluntary smiles were so rare, who was (is) so frustrated by everything, whose emotions can be so extreme at times, who literally climbs you to get close, close, closer. Anyhow, I guess what I mean is that I really should have listened to my instincts, that methods relying on letting babies cry for extended amounts of time just aren’t right for us. I feel really guilty for even trying, knowing how they reacted, how long I let it go on before insisting that we stop. I am tired, really tired, and I do understand that I did have to at least try something different, but I hate that I second-guessed myself and put my sensitive babies in a situation I knew deep down wasn’t going to jive with their personalities.

Sigh. I have no idea what to do at this point. I’d be thrilled if we went back to waking up every couple of hours, as long as they’d actually go back to sleep between those two hours. I just don’t know where to go next. No idea.

But enough with the heavy stuff, and on to what you’re really here for. Pictures!

Day Nine:

Jack
Jack

Henry
Henry

Jack
Jack

Henry
Henry (love this one!)

Day Ten:

Henry
Henny-hoo

Jack
Jack-a-jack

Henry
Henry (the lens cap is a sure-fire way to get the boys to sit still long enough to take their photo!)

Jack
Jack, and the ever-present drool drip…

Day Eleven:

Henry
Henry. He has the BEST laugh ever.

Jack
Jack. With the lens cap! And the drool!

Henry
And Henry, and his tongue (again!).

Jack
Jack baby. What a darling he can be!

Day Twelve:

Hiya, Brother!
Jack and Henry together.

Jack Baby
Jack

Old Friends
Henry and his old favorite, the squeaky German baby book.

Jack
Jack sitting still because he has my (stolen) shoe in his lap. My puppy!

Henry Dear
Henry, the blanket baby. How that kid LOVES having a blanket around his face…

And so, there are the last four days in pictures. I’m already enjoying looking back over these photos, and we aren’t even to the halfway point yet. It already seems like they’ve changed so much (like the picture I got today of Jack pulling up on the Exersaucer and holding on with only two fingers… was he even pulling up at all yet when I started this project???). If you are at all inclined, I highly recommend this little photo exercise. It’s starting to get a little repetitive at this point (mostly because I’m too brain-fried to be more creative…), but I like that it pushes me to actually try to get at least one decent photo a day. I’m getting to know my boys better through this (easy to see patterns over many days, like Henry’s addiction to blankets and squeezy plastic books…), and it’s actually kinda fun to see what I can capture in a day.

That’s my story for today. What of you?

*in German, there’s a slang term they use, a “Lul Heiny”, lul meaning drool, and Heiny being a reference to the fact that Heinrich is a common old man name. We sometimes call Henry our “lul Henny” when he makes old man faces…

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11 Responses to Day Nine, Ten, Eleven and Twelve

  1. melissa says:

    Love, love the pictures!! The smiling and the picture of both boys looking at each other, priceless!!

    It’s nice talking to someone who gets what you’re talking about instead of placating you or minimalizing (sp? brain isn’t working) your situation. I hope the boys sleep well for you tonight.

  2. Esperanza says:

    Oh Kate… that picture of the two of them together is too much! They are so adorable. I’m so sorry the sleep thing is still such an immense issue. I can’t imagine how you are keeping it together honestly. Have you thought about hiring a sleep consultant. They are not all about sleep training, most talk about different things like the babies’ sleep environment or sleep schedules or things of that nature. The problem is they cost an arm and a leg. I bet that is why you haven’t tried on, huh? I was SOOOOO close to getting one right before I went to work, but then things just worked themselves out again. Also, I got a good book, called Bedtiming, that talks about how some ages are not good developmentally for trying to enforce sleep training and why. It also gives overviews of different sleep solution methods. You might want to pick it up, it’s not very long or expensive. I’m sorry I don’t have any other advice. You’re right, I do not know what it’s like to have a baby with that kind of disposition. Isa is very good natured and very easy going and I was pretty sure sleep training would work for you. I don’t know what would work for you because I haven’t been in that situation. I can only imagine though. I was pissed last night when my upstairs neighbors robbed me of 2 hours of sleep.

    Good luck with everything and thanks for posting all the picts.

    PS – My mom also pays for my cell phone. Is that weird?!

  3. Rachel says:

    Oh dear I was reading about the CIO I kept thinking … please, please don’t let them scream until they throw up. Believe me, the worst thing about CIO is when your baby vomits all over the crib and then desperately wants to be held so you land up with fresh, warm vomit all over you … or maybe that’s just why we only did it twice (and once was inadvertent, grant deadline moved up and I really had to work and was all alone).

    I really hope the sleep improves. My only suggestion is to ask whether this might be a week that’s worth splurging on finding a real, professional babysitter (i.e. not a flaky undergrad but maybe another mother or professional nanny who has a few free hours) so that you can get a couple of real naps in in the morning or afternoon before you have to deal with another sleepless night? Definitely something I was pining after today when my darling husband spent a full day at work.

  4. Claire says:

    They are the bestest boys! So cute and looking so grown up – I know that is a cliche! So so sorry about the sleep thing. I’m reading the no cry sleep solution, but have yet to implement anything but a few of the easiest things. And no I don’t have any idea how bad it is:(((
    Big hugs though!

  5. jenn says:

    Wow- I am amazed you lasted that long with CIO! Now you never need to second guess that it is ~not~ for you! We tried once with Pumpkin and I totally crumbled at the 15 minute mark. Even now that she’s almost 2 & started waking up once in the middle of the night again (either nightmares which are common for this age, or coughing fit due to our super dry heat even with a humidifier running full blast in her room) I can’t let her fuss or cry more than a few minutes. If she hasn’t settled back into sleep within 2-5 minutes it’s far easier to get up, give a drink of water & a cuddle & she’s back down in less than 3. I think had we stuck with CIO it may not be this easy now. I can’t truly feel your pain because despite waking up multiple times a night for over a year, she ~did~ go back down. So I am truly hoping that the boys settle into something you can all live with- and hey… maybe one day soon they will start sleeping. Like all night!
    For such fussy boys that give their momma night-time grief, they sure are adorably, beautifully photogenic! I request more shots of them together- that one is my favorite!

  6. PJ says:

    They are all sorts of cute!!! We just got those stacking cups/ball/thingies. So cool!

    I’m really sorry about all of your sleep woes. I wish I had some advice. Here I am bitching about having to get up an hour early on a regular basis, but at least we get sleep.

    I can NOT believe we are closing in on EIGHT months already. Craziness!

    Tell me what you put in the sippy cups and how often you get them out. I bought some months ago, but I haven’t really used them but once and the girls were very…”now what do you want me to do with this, mom? “

  7. Tara (TIMO) says:

    Oh Kate! I so feel for you and the sleep issues. Your Jack and my Benjamin sound like they are cut from a similar cloth. We tried CIO with him last weekend. Two hours of wailing (just like you describe) before I finally caved and brought him to bed with us. He’s still not over it and his sleep has been rougher, to say the least, for the past week. Alex did it last night for 1h 15m before I went in and spent an hour trying to get him back down before giving up and leaving. It took him an additional 45m but finally he fell asleep, probably from sheer exhaustion. I’m functioning on about 3h of sleep today. Yuck!

    I wrote this really really long reply but then thought that I shouldn’t clog up your comments so I’m going to tweak it and post it on my blog. I’ve been meaning on writing an update to our sleep issues anyway.

    Love the pictures, especially of the two of them together.

  8. Ellen K. says:

    Our “sleep training” pretty much fell apart last summer, but now the girls are more than 2 years old and are out of the cribs, so I just go in and sleep in one bed or another if someone cries, or bring someone into our bed. We had luck with the Ferber “timed checks” for awhile but have long since stopped. The girls fall asleep on their own and that’s good enough for me. I tried the hard-core W.eissbluth CIO a couple of times. The girls never settled down. I felt awful. Both times N. cried so much that she had a watery poop (I do not think constipation was the reason she was crying in the first place). I slept with a nightlight on for the first 16 years of my life, and any suggestion that kids should be left crying in a dark room really bothers me. W.eissbluth’s twin book is useless IMO — the information is almost exactly the same as in the other book. IT IS DIFFERENT WITH TWINS. Right now I’m having problems with I. dropping the afternoon nap altogether — but she has been asleep for nearly 12 hours, and she was happy and affectionate all afternoon.

    I know this is a hellish stage at times, but it’s true that these are “long days and short years.” Do what you have to do to get by. : )

  9. Star says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the continuing sleep problems. I haven’t ever experienced that, but if I was very very tired and at the end of my rope I’m sure that I would try anything, even something that I hadn’t really wanted to try or doubted was right for my family. But, now you know for sure, and there will be no lasting damage from one bad night. It is so true that there is no one size fits all in parenting. What “works” with one child will not “work” with another, and it is all about knowing and responding to your individual children. My kids are both very intense personalities too, the older a bit moreso than the younger from what we’ve observed so far, and it is super hard. Easygoing, compliant kids are no doubt easier to parent. But also know that the very personality traits that make kids difficult for parents in their early years are often the ones that serve them very well later in life. At least, that is what I’m telling myself! (As I was a child who was thought of as difficult).

    BTW, I’m loving these pictures. We have some of the same outfits you guys do! 🙂

  10. Amy says:

    Oh my God. At least I’m not completely alone in this nightmare. Wait, you have to sleep to have a nightmare…

    Actually I did manage to sneak a nightmare (spiders) into one of my hour-long stretches of sleep last night, now that I think about it.

    The hardest part for me is that I really don’t understand it. If they just wanted to be held, I’d suck it up and hold them all night…etc…but it’s nothing. They just cry for no reason. It’s horrible.

    I can’t write this on my blog but I’m moving to Atlanta- closer to you, at least. Maybe we’ll actually get to meet one day!

  11. Amy says:

    Sorry to make that all about me. The boys are ADORABLE! I love the picture of them laughing together. So great.

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