And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Monday, March 29, 2010


This past weekend I've spent lots of time thinking about sacrifice- sacrificing sleep to be with a child in pain, at work sacrificing my own ideas hopefully for the greater good, watching as family members painfully choose to sacrifice over and over for each other, thinking about sacrifices made on my behalf long ago and of course meditating on the greatest sacrifice of all as we head into Holy Week.

We definitely lost a lot of sleep in our house this weekend. Friday night I couldn't figure out what had gone wrong....we seemed to have developed a pattern (even if that pattern didn't include lots of sleep, it was still a pattern) but Ben not only didn't fall into his normal pattern, he didn't sleep. Not only did he not sleep, he cried and cried. In the morning we looked in his mouth and his two bottom teeth are just starting to come in. Poor guy...he's definitely miserable. At church on Sunday he was lunging to gnaw on the shoulders of everyone who was holding him. Everything is going in his mouth for him to chew on- his hands, his feet, teething toys, mommy's hands.... Saturday night was bad. Last night, not quite as bad. So we'll see.

I was going through pictures on my computer this weekend and came across this one. It got me thinking about the fact that I was Ben's age right now when I came over from Korea to join my family in Colorado. That's really hard to believe and my adoption takes on a whole new meaning now that I actually have a child of my own. Immediately after Benjamin was born, while I was holding him and looking at this perfect little child who was the perfect combination of Brian and I, I thought of what it must have been like for my birthmother after I was born. I think of her tremendous think about what was best for me despite how difficult it would be for her. Ben has been a part of our lives now for almost 5 months. Right after I was born I went straight to a foster mother who I lived with until I was adopted. I think of her treat a child like she was her own and love her, knowing that she wouldn't get to keep her. I think of my parents and their sacrifice. Parenting=self-sacrifice. I'm learning that daily and I'm sure parents of teenagers will tell me that I have NO idea what it will be like someday. I think of how much work, time, money and stress it took for my parents to get me from the 5 month old they received to the 26 year old I am today. Sacrifice.

Of course- as we head into Holy Week, I think of the greatest sacrifice of all, Jesus Christ. In church last week Sunday, during our time of confession, people came forward and signed a picture on the wall. The picture was the bare back of a man. Everyone signed their names in red pen across his back and when we were done it had a very powerful effect. We followed up with a song with the following lyrics

Oh to see my name written in the wounds- for through your suffering I am free. Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live- won through your selfless love.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Adios Tigers

On my drive into work this morning I had a great talk with one of my best friends in the whole world who I sadly don't get to talk to enough. She told me a somewhat humorous story about her dog releasing his anal glands at the vet yesterday because he was so upset about getting his toenails cut. I was thinking "wow that's gross" but realized- who am I to think that's gross when I'm changing countless dirty diapers each day??

Anyway- Ben released his anal glands and then some more this morning. You might remember my post from a few days back where I said the Ben loves bananas and would only eat bananas. Unfortunately....I think the bananas successfully demonstrated why they are a part of the B.R.A.T diet (anti-diarrhea). Poor Ben hadn't pooped in 3 days since his slightly out of it mother shoved bananas into him for days on end. I kept waiting for the explosion....but it never came. Until this morning....

After I got off the phone with my friend, the phone rang and it was Brian. He was on speaker phone and called to tell me that little man blew up. Ben was sitting in his bumbo chair watching Top Gun while Brian cleaned the bedroom (yes he was watching Top Gun- Brian is attempting to expose him to more masculine things since I make him watch the Gilmore Girls). Ben is chunky...let's face it. We all know it. He barely fits in the bumbo seat- his legs get stuck and we have to wedge him out of it. So he's sitting in the Bumbo and Brian said all of a sudden the room started to smell really bad. He got Ben out of the Bumbo and I guess there was poop everywhere. Because he was wedged in a tight seat, the poop had nowhere to go but up. By the time Brian got him on the changing table and got his diaper off, it had spread up to his shoulders. So Brian called asking if there was a scissors anywhere in the nursery. Kim- I'm sorry but the Detroit Tigers onesie was removed and discarded. There was no salvaging it after that mess.

Poor onesie. Poor daddy who had to change the mess. Poor mommy who will have to oxyclean the daylights out of the changing table pad when she gets home. Not poor Ben- I'm sure he's feeling pretty good.

Note to self- do not continuously feed your child bananas.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not much to say...

There are no words for how happy he makes me......
We had a better night last night. Up briefly at 10ish, ate at 12, went in to re-insert "Num-Nummers" (pacifier) at 2, ate again at 5, slept until 7.
Oh....and Ben's two bottom teeth are coming in. He bit me today....that's how I know. ouch

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I've Learned

The things I've learned about Benjamin and his developing personality in the past 5 months.....

- Benjamin is extremely outgoing. There is no hint of introvert in this kid. He will do anything in his power (including screeching) to get you to pay attention to him and play with him. He loves interaction.

- Benjamin is extremely happy. With the exception of nighttime, naptime and church (don't ask me why), he is the happiest baby around. He spends the majority of his day smiling. He'll smile at most people. The other day he was in his swing in front of the glass front door. When the mailman walked up to give us our mail, Ben gave him a huge grin. He'll smile at his toys. He'll smile at random things....the latest favorite is the refrigerator.

- Benjamin has his own way of doing things already. He doesn't do things the conventional way- he has a mind of his own. Brian went as far as calling him the baby anarchist the other day. His sleeping habits are totally unpredictable yet he seems ok with it all. When he poops, he has to bring his hands up in front of his face. I can always tell when it's about to happen because two chubby little hands go straight up in front of his face. It gets the job done....but oddly.

- Benjamin loves bananas. As long as there are bananas in the dish, he'll whatever solids we throw his way. Bananas and peas, bananas and squash, bananas and carrots. At first I thought it was the sweetness that the banana added but we tried with pears and apples and it didn't work. Only banana.

- Benjamin is extremely cuddly already. He falls asleep with either Lovey or Albus right next to his face, or sometimes, on top of his face. Don't soon as he's asleep I remove said stuffed animal so he can breathe. He nuzzles in as tightly as he can to them.
- Benjamin is going to be very active. The only time he sits still is when he's sleeping....and we all know how much of that he does.
Each day I feel like I learn more and more about him and learning about him teaches me important life lessons. More to come....for's playtime :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunshine and Surgery

What a beautiful weekend! No time to blog because I was spending every possible minute outside enjoying our 70 degree weather. These are the times I'm grateful to be out of the midwest and in a warmer climate. Talk to me again in August when the air is so thick it suffocates you the moment you walk outside...but for now....BEAUTIFUL! Our whole family spent most of the weekend outside. I enjoyed 2 runs on Saturday- 1 just wasn't enough. Ben loves coming along on runs because he's now facing out in the jogger and can look around. In the past, walk = sleep. The jogger was like an infant sleep drug, but now he'll stay awake the whole time and admire the world around him.

We enjoyed having cousin Nate in town for the weekend. Nate is in his 3rd year at Case Western Med school in Cleveland and came down for a few days. Ben loves Nate. He often doesn't do well with new faces and new people picking him up and carrying him around but he had no problems with Uncle Nate. Having children like him bodes well for Nate since he's on his way to a pediatric residency in a year and a half.

Lovey had surgery this weekend. The rattle-ectomy was successful and he is recovering just fine. Nate skillfully removed the rattle with minimal cutting and no permanent damage to the head. Ben still loves Lovey, and now mom and dad do as well. Our friends, Alan and Nicole came over on Saturday with their 1 month old son, Andrew. They have 2 "loveys" as well so there are now 3 silent floating bear heads and 3 round, plastic rattle things sitting in my kitchen.

While Ben loves Lovey, his new infatuation is with Albus. The other morning we heard him in the monitor cooing and making noise. He would occasionally grunt or make a screeching sound but he definitely wasn't crying. Finally we went in to check on him and we found Ben on his back, bench pressing Albus above his head. He had him in both hands straight out in front of his face. Who knows.....maybe he's prepping at an early age for his NFL offensive lineman career.

Friday and Saturday nights we both gave a "C." Up 5-6 times. It's strange though how consistent he is lately in the times he is waking up. He'll normally sleep from when we put him down until midnight but will wake up several times between 12-4. After 4 he's asleep again until 6ish when he's up for good. Last night was better- only up 4 times. Who knows....Ben dances to his own tune and that's ok for now. He's far too cute and fun to be too upset about the sleeping thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sleep Library

I was cleaning my house this morning before heading into work and while I picking up I kept finding baby sleep books scattered around my house. I made a pile of them and no joke....had a stack of 7 books about how to get your baby to sleep. I've read or perused through Weissbluth, Sears, Ferber, Sleep Lady, Baby Whisperer. I know more about every method out there and more about infant REM sleep than I ever wanted to. You'd think our child should be sleeping around the clock based on our library....but he doesn't. So...I'm going to write my own sleep book based on my experiences with Benjamin. It'll go something like this.

Chapter 1- For those of you who have babies that sleep through the night from the get go, count your blessings. Oh and please don't have the audacity to complain to other mothers when your child has one bad night. Or complain when your baby has a stretch where he/she wakes up once or twice at night.....for many mothers one or two times up is unheard's more like 6-7.

Chapter 2- Do not...I repeat do not make the same mistakes I did for the first 4 months. Don't nurse your child every time he wakes up in the middle of the night and nurse him until he falls asleep. Because then your baby never learns to fall asleep on his own and depends on you to be able to do it. Start good sleep habits early.

Chapter 3- Ways to survive little sleep- exercise (endorphins work wonders even when you're running on 2-3 hours of sleep). Also, get out of pajamas quickly in the morning. If you stay in pj's all day then you're exhausted all day. If you get dressed, wash your face and freshen up for the day, it really does help.

Chapter 4- Live near family. I don' sucks. Live near your family

Chapter 5- Every kid is different. Books about specific methods really don't work because they put your child in a box. Each baby is unique. Tips are good but forcing something on your child that doesn't work for him/her will backfire.

Chapter 6- I'm realizing that everything is a passing stage and it goes very quickly. Carpe diem. Enjoy it all while it lasts even if it's tough.

Chapter 7- My kid is still the COOLEST in the world even though he doesn't sleep. I wouldn't trade him for anything or anyone :)

On a side note- Lovey is having a "rattle-ectomy" this weekend. Our cousin, Nate who is 3/4 M.D. hopefully will help with the procedure. Lovey is wonderful....but needs to be silenced.

Last night- 10, 11:30, 1,2,3:30, 6:30

Thursday, March 18, 2010


After getting home from church meetings at 11 last night, Benjamin was awake more times than I can even remember. We stopped counting after a while......

Needless to say- my creative juices will not be awakened this morning even after several cups of coffee. It's going to be a very long day.

Ben is no worse for the wear- he's happily screeching in his playgym.

Here's to hoping for a better night....can't get much worse

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Happiest Boy in the Whole USA

When I was a baby/kid my mom used to call me "the happiest girl in the whole USA." I still clearly remember her singing this to me. I am now handing off my title to my son who really is amazingly happy and social. I guess I'll throw one caveat in...he's the happiest boy in the whole USA (except when it's time to sleep). Ben was in the best mood ever yesterday. He smiled...he laughed....he played.....he even tried to get Brina (the dog) to play with him.
I ventured out with him yesterday to an infant play/learning class in Columbia. We needed a break from house play/working at home so we took a field trip to Gymboree. Ben loved it. Mommy was creeped out by it. Ben thoroughly enjoyed himself. In this class, we were supposed to play with and engage our babies (singing songs to them, clapping their hands, moving their arms and legs, etc). Most of the other babies (ranging from 1 month to 6) stared up adoringly at their mothers and loved the face to face interaction. My child however was rolling from side to side reaching out to the other children trying to get them to interact with him. People must have thought that I'm some awful mother because my kid wouldn't play with me...he just wanted to play with the other babies in the room. This poor 3 month old named Carson got several chubby, slobbery Ben hands in his face throughout the class. Like I said- Ben loved it. I was a bit creeped out...especially when they pulled out the clown puppets.

Ben was exceptionally happy yesterday. He did his high pitched screech most of the day. For those who haven't heard this noise...think of the baby raptors in Jurassic Park. I love that he is already developing this sunny and happy disposition.

Daily he is teaching me important lessons.
"Mommy don't be such a grump"
"Mommy you should learn to play nice with others."
" can't make those peas taste good no matter how hard you try."

That being said.....up at 10, 11:30, 1:30, 4, 6, 7. least he's happy during the day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Parental Paradox

First- a quick update on last night- we had a night very similar to Friday!! Benjo went down quickly, was up for 5 minutes at 10, but slept pretty much straight through until 12. Ate at 12, up for about 5 minutes at 4, ate at 5 and up for good at 6:30. All in all, not a bad night at all! Brian has declared himself "the sleep scientist." Both times Ben was up, he got him back to sleep quickly, without picking up him up. All good improvements again!

Call me totally crazy, but I kind of found myself missing Ben last night. Yes I'm super excited at the prospect of sleeping more for longer stretches than 2-3 hours, but there is something so precious about those nighttime hours that I know I'm going to miss. At night when everyone else is asleep in their beds, I got to bond with Ben in an incredibly special way. There is nothing like having a sleepy, cuddly baby curled up on your chest, perfectly content in mother's arms. Yes you are a walking zombie the next day, but for those few minutes or hours, time stands still and all is right with the world. Paradox.

My good friend, Sara, keeps telling me that each year your kids get better and better. I keep thinking "wow I'm going to miss this age..." but she is reassuring me that parenting continues to be more amazing as each year passes. I love that Ben is snuggly and cooing but I also look forward to the days when he can talk to us- when he can make informed decisions for himself. When his parents can attempt to persuade him to side with them in dinner time debates- Denver or Philadelphia? Democrat or Republican? Crest or Colgate?? I am so excited to see Ben developing so quickly and I wouldn't want it any other way- but there's still a part of me that is so sad to see how fast it's going. Paradox.

I can't wait until you sleep through the night....oh but that means I will have to go that long without seeing you. Paradox.

I can't wait until you can crawl and move around all by yourself......but that means you won't give me these huge smiles when I come and pick you up. Paradox.

I can't wait until I don't have to worry about leaking all down the front of my shirt in public places....but that means I give up that special time we have together. Paradox.
I can't wait until you can talk and actually tell us what is going on inside that cute little head....but that means everyone will know what you're saying not just mom who has learned what your "hungry cry" is vs. your "tired cry." Paradox.
Parental paradox.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodbye Lovey....Hello Albus

So "lovey" has been replaced and kicked out of the crib. Brian went to put Ben down last night and when he was finally asleep came into the bedroom and plopped on the bed saying that lovey had been demoted. His reasons were threefold

1- Lovey is a dumb name. Ben's new attachment item is a white and blue dog which Brian named Albus because he's an albino dog. He also like the name Rufus. His full name is Albino Rufus= Albus

2- Lovey is creepy. He calls it a floating bear head on a blanket.

3- Lovey jingles. He has a rattle thing in his head which jingles when you move him. Albus makes no noise. Albus will not wake Ben up when he moves him around like he did last night.
Update from the night....10,12,2,3,4,5,7......enough said???

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crowning Glory

Yesterday Brian and I were sitting at the table eating dinner together. He had been into work earlier and was very excited about a good result that he got in an experiment! He's been working on this particular thing for several months and finally got the outcome he was looking for. I asked him what his reaction was when he realized and he said "yay me." I started thinking back to what my life was like a year ago....I was far more productive and creative at work, running marathons and was furiously working on my Masters degree. I commented to Brian that I hadn't had a "Yay me" moment in a while (thinking about work and school). He, being the wonderful and sweet man he is said "You should have a 'yay me' moment everyday when you see Benj. He is your crowning glory." So sweet. So true. Benjamin is the best "yay me" thing in the whole world. What a great reminder :)

Well.....Mr. Crowning Glory was up to his old tricks again last night unfortunately. He was up every two hours, sometimes more than that. I knew it was a bad sign when he was awake less than 45 minutes after we put him down. Not sure what exactly changed, but he definitely slept like the Benj of old. Up 7:30, 9, 11, 1, 3 (for at least 75 minutes), 5ish and for good at 6. Brian went in and turned on the mobile and we let him chirp in the nursery for a while before finally getting up.

I wonder why Benjamin always sleeps so poorly, often his worst, on Saturday nights. Maybe he is so excited about church that he can't sleep?? Maybe he's worried about church and hoping there's a nice nursery attendant to play with him?? Who knows.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Small Step For Babies....One Giant Leap for Benjamin maybe it's not as monumental as Neil Armstrong walking on the moon but for our household it's pretty darn close :) Keep reading.....

Benjamin was super cranky yesterday afternoon due to a missed nap so he was ready for bed much earlier than normal. Of course he fussed and fussed and I finally got him bathed, in pj's and settled down when he pooped and exploded out of his outfit. So off it came and the screaming resumed. In clean pj's and settled down again, I put him in his crib without feeding him. He was wide awake and on the verge of a breakdown. I gave him "lovey" and his pacifier and sat in the rocking chair waiting until I had to do my "Mommy to the rescue" thing. He moved around a bit....he kicked the crib a few times....he vocalized a bit.....then.....the beautiful sound of silence. Ahhhhh. And this sound continued until (drum roll....) 12:30!!!!!!!!!! Five and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep for little man! I kept waiting for him to cry but it never happened. I heard him move several times and normally moving is followed closely by crying but it never happened. I went in and fed him at 12:30 and heard no more peeps until 4. Fed him again at 4 and slept again until we heard happy cooing from the nursery at 6:30. Most of the time he wakes up crying but this morning he was turtledoving in his crib, happily staring at the mobile, the dots on the cribsheet or whatever else was so amusing.

So needless to say- this was a breakthrough night for Benjamin. Who knows if it'll last. Maybe tomorrow's post will be another "he was up 9 times" kind of deal but for now, we'll take what we can get! After a nice morning of pancakes and watching the rain fall outside, Ben is down for morning nap and all is quiet in the Roelofs' house. Brian is on the couch engrossed in a George R.R. Martin book and I'm sipping green tea debating a run in the rain. Happy day for us. Hope you all find yourself in a similar state this morning.

As of Benjamin and his friend, Clare :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Easily Amused

After yesterday's nap I'm convinced that Benjamin is just far too curious about the world around him to sleep. Sleep is boring.....everything around is not. Yesterday I put Ben down for a nap and thought he was asleep when I left the room. I turned the monitor on and heard "oooooo oooooo" and screeching laughter from upstairs. I peaked my head in the door and saw creature rolled on his side and his pudgy little hand grabbing at the dots on his cribsheet. There are little blue and brown dots on his white cribsheet and he was fascinated by them and was trying with all his might to pick them up. Why sleep when there are dots to be removed from the sheet?

Anyway- last night- I'd give it about a B. I was gone at choir rehearsal until about 10:00 so Brian put Ben down alone. He went down at 7, was up crying at 7:45 but Brian got him back to sleep. Up again at 10:15 but only for a few minutes. Up again at 11:15...same story. Brian has this down to a science after 3 nights. No only takes him about 5 minutes now and Ben is back to sleep. HUGE IMPROVEMENT. Up again at 12:30 when I fed him. Up again at 3:30 fed him again because he didn't take much at 12:30. I picked him up and he dive bombed my chest like he hadn't eaten in days so I knew he was actually hungry. He ate. He pooped. I gave him "lovey" and he fell back asleep. Yes...."lovey." That's what this new books calls any soft comfort object. Ben's "lovey" is a soft blanket thing with a bear's head sticking out of the middle of it. The bear only has arms and a head and the rest of him is blanket....if you've had a baby or babysat you might know what I'm talking about. I gave him "lovey" and he held it in one hand near his face and fell asleep. He slept until 7 this morning.

Overall I see improvement. Ben no longer needs to nurse every single time he wakes up. He also is able to fall asleep on his own. We put him down while he's still awake and he's able to fall asleep. 2 weeks ago he couldn't have done either of these things. So.....improvement!

By the way- Ben had a playdate again with his friend, Clare. The moms got to work making babyfood while the babies did what babies do....they slept, they pooped, they cried, they played. It was remarkable to see how much they've both changed in a month or two. Instead of just laying there ignoring each other they actually were interacting (as much as 4 month olds can interact). It was very sweet. They were very good....the peas we made were not :) Ben was however quite pleased with the sweet potatoes. (I'll post a picture tomorrow of Ben and camera is at home. )

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pious Ben

I've decided that 9 months in utero of being exposed to church, seminary classes, synod, etc has created quite a pious child. He is not having sleep issues....he's trying to tell us that he gave us sleep for Lent. He's using the extra time awake at night and during the day to ponder and reflect Christ's sacrifice....and we should be doing the same thing.

Ok...that's a joke but I guess there's some seriousness about it too. Maybe lack of sleep has finally gone to my head but I've decided to use this time as a growing period especially since it is Lent. Instead of complaining about lack of sleep I can actually use the extra time for good. It gives me extra time to pray for Ben- pray that we are wise in parenting him and pray that he grows to be a man of integrity (hoping he eventually grows out of his crib thumping too). I can pray for our dear friend, Mary who we went to visit yesterday who only a month ago was walking around our house with Ben playing with him and now is too weak from cancer to even be able to lift him. I can realize that parenting is a sanctifying thing....and pray for patience and wisdom for Brian and me. I can meditate on Christ's great sacrifice for us that washes away all my imperfection and sin and even little Ben's. Anyway...those are my thoughts this morning. My new resolution for Lent.

Update on last night.....not better but not worse. He didn't nap well yesterday so it was early to bed. Asleep (fell asleep quickly and hard) at 7. Screamed screamed screamed from 9:30-10:50ish. It didn't matter if Brian was holding him or if he was in his crib- he was determined to SCREAM. So scream he did. After almost an hour Brian just came back in the room and we let him scream. There wasn't anything left to do for him and being in there didn't help so we just let him cry. He fell asleep finally. He slept until 1ish when I fed him. Up again at 3 and Brian went in and calmed him down and got him to sleep. Up again at 4:45- I fed him again then (in hindsight probably shouldn't have). Asleep until we heard him at about 6:15 laughing his head off. Mom Roelofs bought us a mobile with little animals and lights and sounds and we hung it over his crib. I think it was finally light enough in the room that he could see it and was hysterically laughing at the mobile. Brian went in and turned the thing on so it was playing music and spinning and we got an extra half our of sleep and got to hear one happy camper kicking in his crib.

So night 2 of 3 is done. Tonight we'll do the exact same thing. Tomorrow we'll make a gradual change and do that exact same thing for 3 nights. At this really will take the rest of Lent to get the sleeping issues squared away.

By the way- it took me almost an hour to write this email/post due to an EXPLOSION. Diapering was a lot less complicated when he wasn't eating solids. Breastmilk poop is gross but no unbearable. Peas, butternut squash and breastmilk is highly unpleasant. Sanctifying.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New sleep method- Day #1

Let me preface by saying that it's 7:30 and Ben is already down for a nap.......

We went to the pediatrician yesterday just to talk with her and make sure there's nothing physically wrong with Ben that is inhibiting him from sleeping through the night. I thought maybe it was pain from being on his back?? She examined him and really didn't think it was anything physical. She said if he really was in pain, he'd be fussy and miserable during the day as well not just when we're trying to put him down to sleep at night or for naps. She said he's scream on the changing table, scream in the playgym etc and he's normally a happy baby during the day. Of course he was showing off and flirting with the pediatrician cooing away.....making me look like a crazy mother. Ben loves the pediatrician- hasn't been conditioned to hate them like I did. physical reason for pain. She said on the broad spectrum of sleepers, Ben is just on the far end of "not a good sleeper." She said her first child was the same way. She recommended a new book and new approach for us. The book is called Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West. She said some strong willed and advanced babies (she thinks Ben is both) not only don't do well with the cry it out method but she said it can actually backfire and make sleeping habits worse. Bingo.

So I got this book from the library yesterday. We started reading it, and found a website for the Sleep Lady with the top 10 list of things you're doing wrong to prevent your baby from sleeping. We started a semi-new routine last night for Ben - read a book (in this case 2 books) first, then wash (either bath or just face and butt) then massage and pajamas on, then a bottle. Importantly, we need to put him in the crib before he's completely asleep - he needs to be about a 6 or a 7 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being asleep. So, we did that part, and it went well - he got a little fussy when he first got put in the crib, but Brian stayed with him for about 10 minutes and soothed him to the point where he fell asleep. He slept for 2 hours about, then woke up with a vengeance... Brian went in and held him/soothed him for another 10-15 minutes, with him screaming just about the entire time (this was around 9:45 or so). He finally fell asleep back in the crib again with Brian holding the pacifier in his mouth and rubbing his stomach. He was up again at 11:30 then again at 12:15. I fed him only at 12:15. This book says that babies his age should be able to go 8 hours at night without eating....Ben usually barely goes 3-4. So we're trying to stretch him out and only feed him every 5.5 hours and progressively work our way closer to what he should be at right now. So I didn't feed him until 12:15. Fed him and he was up again at 1:15. This time he screamed and stayed awake quite frustrated he wasn't being nursed like normal. I finally went in and woke Brian up at 2:30 to come help because he wasn't going to sleep for me without nursing. Brian got him down around 3. Up again at 4:30. Up for good at 5:45. It's taken 30 minutes to write this email already because as soon as I wrote that he was down for a nap, I heard creature stirring in the other room. I went in and soothed him and now Brian is in there trying. He's not getting away with a 7 minute nap this morning...won't make up for the marathon that was last night.

So....there's night 1. As Brian said- we have the first one under our belts. The key for us is consistency...we're going to try this method and be strict about it for several weeks. We're trying to exact same thing day and night for the next 3 days before gradually changing. This method is less harsh than cry it out and hopefully will be less traumatic for all parties involved. Hopefully Brina won't go running to the basement quite as often (yes....the dog goes and hides in the basement when Ben is screaming)

Here's to hoping for a better day/night tomorrow

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sleep Adventures

HI everyone.....yess......AGES since we've posted anything. There's so much to report that I'm not even going to try and catch everyone up. Instead...I'm changing this blog to posting about our sleep adventures and other adventures we're encountering in this thing called "parenthood." I've been emailing our family members daily to fill them in on the goings on (especially sleep related since that's what we've been struggling with most) and have decided to post these to the blog as well. So if you're wondering how things are going at 546 Shipley Road.....keep reading. Also- if you have any suggestions we will take them!!

Updates from the last 3 days.

March 7
we have a new record folks
Knew it was a bad sign when Ben was up 5 times before 12:00 last night.....
Awake and crying 9 times in 11 hours
Needless to say.....he is not going to church this morning but mommy is on her way out the door on about 2 hours of sleep
Prayers would be appreciated

March 8
Well....I think I might have "figured Ben out" (sort of). We put him down at the normal time but he screamed right when we put him in the crib. Per Emily's suggestion, I rolled up a blanket and propped him up on his side. I put him in the crib and he cried but as soon as I rolled him on his side and put the pacifier in this mouth he was sound asleep. No joke....instantaneous change. Now we have to figure out a way to keep him on his side. Brian went in twice before he went to bed to re-prop him. I went in at 11:30 to feed him and again at like 12:30 to prop him. Each time he fell asleep the second he was propped. At 1:45 I went in and the poor dude had rolled on his stomach and was flopping like a beached whale. I went down to the basement and got those sleep positioner blocks we used to use when he was a newborn but he didn't seem to like having blocks on his front and back. I surrendered at 3:15 after trying for an hour and half and put him in the carseat. Slept until 5:15, ate went back to sleep until 7:15! Brian went in there and he was sitting in his carseat happily staring at his hands. we know that it's not the crib and not even wanting us to be in there with him. He hates being on his back and must be in pain. So we have something to work with at the doctor tomorrow morning. Em- how do you keep Levi on his side?? We don't swaddle Ben now so he moves freely and kept falling off the blanket. How do you do it with Levi? Much better least got some sleep. Feel human today. Babysitter coming at 12 and hopefully I'll be leaving her with a happier baby. Yay for some improvement!

March 9
Update from last night..... Went down around 8ish. The babysitter, Carolyn, put him down for a nap at 5 because he was really cranky so he didn't wake up until around 6:15. Went down after bath and putting down 8.5 oz of milk......trying to out-eat his parents I guess. I bought a sleep wedge from Babies R'us last's pretty much a glorified, expensive foam wedge that I probably could have made myself if I tried hard enough but oh well. I discovered two problems with the wedge... #1- we tried to put him down on his back because he was elevated. He seemed to actually seemed to be ok with this. But he moves so much that he would wiggle down the wedge and end up flat on his back at the bottom of it. I could keep him up on it so the first half of the night was spent moving him up the wedge. #2- I'm really dutch so I left the plastic on the thing (don't worry it's under his cribsheet and mattress pad) so if it doesn't work I can return it. But......whenever he moved it made the sound plastic makes when it's being moved. I think this reminded him of crinkle book and he excitedly squirmed around at first and was fascinated by the sound he was creating. Not only did I hear WHAM from his feet hitting the mattress in the monitor but I heard crinkle crinkle crinkle from the plastic. He was down at 8, up at 11, 12, 2:30-3:15. I heard him at 5 but he was happily singing and cooing in the monitor so I let him be. He carried on with his happy song until about 5:40 and went back to sleep until almost 7. Oh and yes I moved him to the carseat in the 2:30-3:15 window. He's now down for a morning nap already....he's proped up on the wedge and up on his side and looks quite ridiculous but he's sleeping. Too bad I have to wake him up in 15 minutes to go to the pediatrician. Will let you know how that turns out....