Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the last 2 weeks

its a rainy tuesday morning. the baby is down for his first nap now at 7:30 which is usually the time when he first wakes up, but tristan's 5am waking woke up the baby, which seems to happen too frequently. i'm hoping that i can finally get a catch up post on here because too many things are accumulating that i want to write about! i'm afraid that this post may be a little long, but i'm going to try to be clever and post as many pictures as i can in between so that you'll be enticed to keep reading :)

first of all, cherie and ben's visit was wonderful. they stayed for a week and were our first visitors that were willing to stay with us without a guest room available (the guest room is now samuel's room). initially we were planning to set up a couple of tents in our backyard, but when my friend cindy heard about it, she and her husband brought their big old camping trailer and parked it right in front of our house! so my sister had the luxury of sleeping in a warm, queen sized bed while ben opted to forego the tent and have a bit more comfort by sleeping on a mattress in our garage! he convinced us that he didn't mind at all, but it still felt strange for me to be putting up a guest in our garage!

(i assure you that my husband doesn't normally smile this way. he was trying to be cheesy for the camera.) we had a lovely dinner out one evening, (thanks, dad!) and we all went to la jolla beach one day particularly to see the seals, but we had fun seeing all kinds of other sea life as well. this was the trip when samuel first decided he no longer enjoyed sleeping in the car....he cried pretty much all the way there and would have done the same all the way home, but i sat in the back between the 2 boys and kept him entertained. so once we got to the beach, i found a rock to sit on, covered the baby up and he slept for 45 minutes in my arms while i got a farmer's tan. thankfully i had a chiro visit that afternoon, so the pain in my neck from holding him so long was soon corrected.

yep, that's me at the bottom, sitting on a rock all by my lonesome, holding my sleeping babe.

once ben and cherie left, it was time to deal with my boys' sleep issues. samuel, who was beginning to wake a couple of times per night again, just needed his routine tweaked a bit. over a couple of days i got him onto a 4 hour feeding routine and that took away one of his night wakings. i'm still working on the other one, though i'm pretty sure its just hunger related. he guzzles both sides before falling fast asleep and it only takes about 10 minutes total, so i'm not too worried about it. i'm thinking that once he starts solids, that may take care of it.

though we've officially given up trying to get tristan to nap every day, we've found that every 3rd day he sort of crashes for a couple of hours and wakes up SO much happier. the easiest way to accomplish this is just to drive around town for 5-10 minutes and he is out like a light. he transfers to the couch easily and there he lays until we decide to wake him up. as long as we do this early enough in the day, it doesn't affect his bedtime at all. the early waking issue is in the process of being solved by a super cool night light i found online. its a little pricey at $35 plus shipping, but my mom offered to pay for it, so i wasted no time in having it sent to us. its a very dim light that glows blue and shows the face of a moon until a preset time when it changes to the face of a sun and glows orange. the idea is to teach your child to stay in bed until the sun comes up. according to the testimonials, many children actually learn to roll over and go back to sleep when they see that the moon is still glowing, thus re-training their inner clock. initially, we set it to his regular wake up time of 5:30 so that he isn't discouraged by how long it takes the sun to come out. we've had success for the past week and many mornings he's awakened after 6am, so last night i set the sun to glow at 5:40am. of course, this morning he awoke at 5am and did NOT want to stay in his room. i'm such a genius, though. the other day i had taken the boys to the thrift store and picked up some "new" books and toys including about 15 thomas the train cars for only $3.99! i had selected some of these new toys and put them in a little bin just in case this scenario occured. so i brought the toys to him this morning and told him that he could play in his room until the sun came up. well, he was so excited to see an actual thomas engine that moved its wheels when he flipped a switch that he had to come out of his room multiple times just to show us and tell us all about it. it was actually pretty cute, and i'm hoping that adding a couple of new toys to the bin each morning that he wakes up early may help keep him in his room in the future.

last weekend josh went away to palm springs for 2 nights with some friends. my mother in law, God bless her had tristan spend the night at her house both nights, which was wonderful! on saturday i took the boys to the san diego zoo to meet up with my cousin bonnie and her husband cam, who were in town. getting to see my cousin was awesome, but the entire trip was very likely one of the most stressful events of my life! it takes about 45 minutes to drive there, so i left right before samuel's nap assuming he'd sleep in the car. well, tristan fell asleep immediately, but samuel did NOT! not only did he not sleep, he cried. hard. the type of crying that sounds like he's going to choke and makes it impossible for me to focus. i had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand reaching behind me into his car seat, holding the pacifier in his wide open, wailing mouth when i exited the freeway. i didn't change lanes when i was supposed to and suddenly found myself on the #5 heading north to LA! that was right around the same time that tristan woke up due to his brother's screams and started crying from feeling so disoriented. i managed to exit and pull over and call my husband, nearly in tears myself, asking him how to find the zoo. he helped calm me down (which he's always been so good at) and eventually i found it, though by the time we got there the parking lot was so full that we had to park a good 15 minute walk to the entrance. samuel refused to sleep all but 30 minutes out of the 5 hours we were gone, and also fussed whenever he was in the stroller, so i held him as much as my sore neck would allow.

tristan LOVED seeing all of the animals and was so excited to get to the next animal that i thought i had a lost him a couple of times! by the time he was complaining that his diaper was hurting him, samuel had also started complaining that he was hungry and i realized that i had forgotten tristan's diapers in the car...a 15 minute walk away. we said goodbye and started the trek back to the car, the baby's cries turning into angry wails and tristan's complaining turning into painful tears. i wished so badly that i could just pick tristan up and carry him, but that would have been impossible with my bad leg while pushing the stroller. so i just dragged that poor boy along and kept stuffing the paci back in samuel's mouth only to watch it be spit out seconds later. finally we got back to the car, i got tristan in a new diaper, got samuel fed....and then the baby decided to cry all the way home. my nerves were shattered by the time i got home and i have decided NEVER to attempt a trip like that without my husband with me if i can help it!

speaking of diapers, we're very nearly diaper-free, but i had decided the day we went to the zoo that i didn't need the added stress of finding a restroom every time tristan needed to go, so i kept him in a diaper, though he's now wearing his undies to sunday school at his own request. we still struggle with the poop part now and then, but he's slowly getting the idea. consodering the fact that we only started potty training in earnest less than 3 months ago, i think he's doing great!

well, i think this post is long enough. i'm going to enjoy the last moments of samuel's nap by cuddling with my big boy and watching his new favorite show, "dinosaur train".


kelly ens said...

ah, sleep (re)training. isn't it fun? glad things are getting back on track with samuel, and i hope the new tricks for tristan's mornings improve :)

wow - your zoo adventure sounds VERY stressful! way to go for dealing with it without leaving them behind (KIDDING!). but honestly...that takes a lot of strength - go momma!

Meredith said...

We love Dinosaur train too!

Jordan and Breanna Abeel said...

I love reading about all your crazy adventures in motherhood!

Claire said...

so stressful - that drive and that day! :( poor girl.

Kari said...

Things sound a bit nuts under your roof! I wish I could come hang out with you and help you out. I really hope the night light does wonders for Tristan and he lets you two get some more sleep. When will you start solids with little Samuel? You're always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope both boys start sleeping better!
Lots of love,

Bonnie said...

I'm so sorry that your drive was horrible!! I'm also thankful that you braved it to come see us. I really enjoyed visiting with you and your cute boys.