Thursday, January 29, 2009

I am a wimp- part II

We had a hellacious weekend.

Isa decided that the crib was now a place to be feared. Instead of putting herself to sleep for naps or at night, as soon as her bottle was done she started crying. It was hard to see. But when Saturday night wasn't as bad as Friday, I thought that maybe CIO was going to work for us. Then came Sunday.....

Sunday it was as if Isa's evil doppleganger had taken over. My normally happy, sweet child was cranky and downright mean. Every toy or book she picked up was thrown angrily across the room. I eventually had to just remove most of the toys and books from the room altogether. I had to put the gate to the kitchen back up because she wouldn't stay out of the drawers and took to throwing the cookbooks as well. She hit me whenever she was frustrated (often!) and even hit the kitty. When I held her arms so she couldn't hit me, she'd try to bite me. She took a miniscule 1 hour nap, which didn't help the situation. I was beside myself- several bouts of tears and plenty of my own frustration.

I decided that if the trade-off for guaranteeing she stayed the entire night in her crib was this personality, then it just wasn't worth it. I'd rather have her end up in my room and get back happy Isa who took 3 hours naps and happily put herself to sleep.

So, I cracked. Sunday night I just rocked her after her bottle until she was asleep. It took about half an hour and then I layed her in her crib without a fuss. I didn't hear from her until almost 7 the next morning. Hmmm.....

I did the same rocking at her nap on Monday. Again, it worked fairly well, even though she still only slept for an hour. Luckily Bobbie & Quinn stopped by, so we had a lovely distraction post-nap. Monday night she was so exhausted that she pretty much fell asleep drinking her bottle and I had her in her crib within 15 minutes. Didn't hear from her until 6 the next morning!

She did well yesterday at Christina's house and slept all the way through the night yet again. Today she virtually fell asleep in the highchair during lunch so I figured I could try putting her straight in the crib after her bottle (as we used to do). Success! She rolled over on her tummy and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Tonight was business as usual- in the crib after bottle, not yet asleep. She woke up once this evening from what I think was a bad dream (based on her crying). After only a few minutes of rocking, I was able to put her back in the crib.

So.... I guess I can't say that CIO was unsuccessful, because she's slept through the night 3 nights in a row and I've heard her fuss, then put herself back to sleep, on several occasions. And, now that she's back to her previous personality and back to the previous positive sleep habits, I don't feel quite so horrible about having done it, even though I didn't really follow through. How's that for wishy-washy?

And finally, I do know that I need to stop writing these loooonnnnnggg boring posts and start putting up some pictures. Maybe tomorrow. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am a wimp

I am trying my best to have a backbone when it comes to this whole crying it out process. But we have several large strikes against us. First, as the title suggests, I am a complete wimp when it comes to listening to Isa cry. Second, she is a toddler not an infant. Finally, she is very opinionated and stubborn.

Yesterday she refused to go down for her nap and since I was exhausted, I just put her in bed with me and we took a nap together. When it came time for bedtime, she did the same thing. I knew she was tired but as soon as I put her in the crib, she reached her arms up and started crying.

Instead of slowly petering out like last time, she just continued to cry. I thought that perhaps her molars were hurting. So, after over an hour of fairly consistent (more on than off) crying, I went in with some medicine. I didn't take her out of the crib, but held her face until she calmed down. Eventually she started to drift off and I figured I needed to leave again. More wailing....

Another 45 minutes or so of crying and she eventually fell asleep. Only to wake up half an hour later sobbing. I cracked. I went in and rocked her- she fell asleep very quickly in my arms. But, of course, when I eventually put her down in her crib I was greeted with another round of sobbing.

I finally had to just call my mom (I was, no suprise, also crying by this time) for some reassurance that I was doing the right thing and that I did, indeed, have the guts to stick this out. She made the smart suggestion of putting on earphones to drown out the crying. My house is the size of a postage stamp, so there is just no escaping the sound.

So, finally, 3 hours after going to bed, she went to sleep for good. Just to rub salt in my wound, she woke up again at 2:30 so I could do another round of listening to her cry. This time after I tucked her back in she sobbed "night-night" over and over and over again. At least she ended up sleeping until 7 this morning.

She did the same thing at nap time today but I just planted myself on the couch for my own nap. Tonight's ordeal was about an hour, much less intense than last night thankfully. She just squawked a couple times loudly (about 3 hours after falling asleep) but has apparently put herself back to sleep. So maybe this whole CIO thing actually does work.

I am exhausted. Emotionally and physically worn out by this whole thing. But I think it has to be done. I haven't spent a night away from her yet and one big reason is that she's not sleeping through the night. It would be really wonderful to have a night off in the future. (More importantly a morning off!)

*sigh* As my mom said last night, 95% of parenting is a joy but that other 5% is tough!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Several new and exciting developments here in Casa B.

I finally decided to stop being lazy about baby-proofing by simply gating Isa off to just living room. I did some major cleaning and organizing in the kitchen. I was able to put anything that should stay out of Isa's reach either up high or in baskets where she couldn't reach them. When she woke up from her nap on Saturday, she had the great joy of no baby gate between the living room and the kitchen! She's done a great job of not opening cabinets and drawers. The best part is that I can now cook without her freaking out because she can come and go as she pleases. Hopefully this will also mean healthier food in our house instead of the uber-quick stuff we've been eating. (The lovely, organized kitchen definitely makes me want to cook!)

The next goal will be removing the large play yard "fence" that blocks the living room shelves and a glass front cabinet that Isa used to love to bang on. Very good motivation to get that area cleaned up and organized just like the kitchen. I'm pretty confident that we'll be down to a single baby gate (to block off the hallway to the bathroom where the litter box is) in the very near future.

In other news about freedom, tomorrow is our last post-placement visit with our social worker. I imagine Ann will be very surprised to see her now, since she was last here in July when Isa was just starting to pull to standing. So much has changed in the last 6 months!

And finally, in what I hope will lead to more freedom for me..... I finally let Isa cry it out this evening. She usually goes down in the evening without a fuss. Tonight was no different but about 1/2 an hour after going to sleep, she woke up crying. When she does that in the middle of the night, I'm rarely ever able to get her back to sleep in her crib. She'll fall asleep easily in my arms, but as soon as I try to put her down, her eyes pop open and she starts wailing. I usually just put her in bed with me because she will (almost always) fall right back to sleep. Well, that wasn't really an option at 7:45 tonight.... I knew she was exhausted and after I got her to sleep in my arms without too much trouble, I put her in the crib. Not surprisingly she woke up, started crying, and put her arms up to be picked up. I simply said "It's night-night time", covered her with her blankets as best I could and walked out. She cried steadily for about 5-10 minutes and then off and on, with increasingly longer pauses and shorter crying jags, for another 30 minutes or so. It was tough. Obviously, I have very little stamina when it comes to listening to Isa cry. :) Fingers crossed that this will finally lead to full-on sleeping through the night.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jabber Jabber

As February and our 1 year family anniversary nears, I've been reviewing the old pictures and videos from when she first came home. I thought I should do some "Isa through the last year" posts. By now you should all know that Isa is incredibly vocal and has been from the time she came home. So I thought I'd start there.

Exhibit A: 6 months- Definitely a morning person

Exhibit B: 7 months- Talking to imaginary friends on the ceiling phase

Exhibit C: 8 months- Politician or preacher (you decide)

Exhibit D: 15 months- Dub-a-dub

Exhibit E: 16 months- Mamamamamamamama

And finally, just this morning Isa started putting words together. She has a pretty good vocabulary but it was all single words until now. On the way out the door this morning she said "bye bye kitty" instead of just "bye bye".

In the not so distant future all this jabbering is going to be intelligible. Isa certainly has an opinion on everything and I can't wait to actually know what she's been ranting about all this time!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To train or not to train...

Warning- topic ahead that most likely will be of interest only to other parents of toddlers. A preemptive apology to the rest of you.....

A few weeks ago Isa started telling me when she'd had a poo. Granted, she has some pretty obvious signs when she's doing her business so I usually already knew that she'd done it. Still, it was cute to watch her walk over the baby gate that goes to the hallway with her bedroom (and thus changing table) and tell me "poo poo" indicating she wanted her diaper changed. Well, last week she started telling me BEFORE she had the poo. This is certainly not happening 100% of the time but it makes me wonder if it means we're ready to at least experiment with potty training. If nothing else, I could try putting her on the toilet when she gives me the warning and maybe avoid changing a few poopy diapers. That's not a bad thing, right?

But, in reading through my various baby books, this sort of half training is never mentioned. The books deal primarily with what to do when children are ready for the whole deal which I knew we aren't at this point. Isa definitely can't undress herself, isn't waking up from naps dry, or for that matter, giving me any sort of indication that she even notices that she pees. This will really be as much Mama-training as anything else.

So, fellow mamas (and others), what do you think? Get her a potty and give it a try? Just wait until she's actually ready for full-on potty training? Is it worth the hassle? Would it even work?

And just to make up for this whole topic, here's a video of Isa being her usual wacky self:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas in photos

Final snow accumulation- unheard of here in moderate Seattle....

Ready to decorate the gingerbread house

How she actually "helped" with the house
Ooh- snow AND Auntie Mollie. What's not to love?!?

See, even when you tip over, sledding is fun.

Our Ethiopian feast for Isa Day.

Think she likes cupcakes a little?

Hanging her stocking (and totally ready for bed!).

Christmas morning- Auntie Mollie aka Rudolph.

Her new rocking giraffe, George.

A large bag on the floor- WAAAAYYY more fun than any of those silly presents

Back off- this is MY bag!!!!

And finally, this is the best video I was able to shoot of her saying "Ho Ho Ho." She walked around saying it constantly and would clam up as soon as I pulled out the camera. We were in Lowes yesterday and the man in line behind us was large, with a big full beard. Isa waved and said "Ho Ho Ho" until she got his attention. Happily, he played along and Isa was thrilled.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas (the short version)

I haven't loaded my pics from the last couple weeks yet, so this will be the quick synopsis, with photos to follow...

Thanks to Uncle Taylor, Isa and I made it down to Olympia the Monday before Christmas. The roads in my neighborhood were pretty dicey and I doubt my car would have done it (if I'd been able to get it up the hill, that is).

Christmas was wonderful! Isa fell madly in love with Santa. Every time she'd see Santa on an ornament, card, etc, she'd yell "Nanta" and start waving. She even learned to say "Ho Ho Ho" which is incredibly amusing. Other favorites of the season were Rudolph ("Ru-rolf") and snowmen ("Noma"). She and Auntie Mollie had a blast playing in the snow. Being pulled around in the sled is thrilling, even when you topple over.

Apparently Isa was a very good girl this year because she made out like a bandit. My parents got her an adorable red kitchen and the play food to go with it. I got her a shopping cart and the dishes for her new kitchen. Auntie Mollie and Uncle Taylor got her George, a rocking giraffe. The family we do a childcare swap with got her a baby doll and stroller.

I was surprised at just how "well" Isa actually plays with the kitchen. I knew she'd like it because she loves playing with the kitchen at a friend's house but I thought she'd just have fun opening doors and shutting them. Instead, she put pots on the stove and stirred them. She would pretend to eat with one of the little forks and even pretend to chew! She also loved to feed both her doll and George. She learned to say "Wawa" during the Christmas break and would go up to the kitchen's faucet, fill her glass, and then drink it. I guess I really need to be careful what I do and say because I have an incredible little mimic on my hands!

My dad and I came back up to Seattle on Saturday and were able to move my car (finally). However, when I walked into the house, it was a whopping 45 degrees. I couldn't get the furnace to kick on and since the planned oil delivery had been missed due to the snow, I thought I was out of oil. They made the delivery on Monday but when we all came up on Tuesday, the house was still frigid and the furnace a no-go. So, back to Olympia we went. Dad came up early on Wednesday to meet the repairman and we eventually had heat.

Now we're home and I'm doing my best to reorganize after the holidays. It used to be tough to get the few new things I got for Christmas into my overstuffed house but now I need to contend with rocking giraffes and kitchen sets! Any excellent excuse to do some long overdue sorting and culling. We'll see how that goes.....

Hopefully photos will be up tomorrow. I'll try to load them tonight.