Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Slowing Down

What's new with our family?

Well, Miss H went back to the doctor to get her arm rechecked last week. Prior to her visit, we talked about what to expect- the doctor, how she was going to show him her arm, how he would probably want to remove the splint and touch and examine her arm and how she might even have another x ray. She seemed like she was going to take it all in stride and, for the entire day before the visit she talked about "The doctor who is so nice and gentle" and "We're going to check my arm to make sure it's okay after I jumped out of my crib". Well, when we arrived at the doctor's office, apparently she had a change of heart or got stage fright. She refused to let the doctor (who she has known for her whole life and who is an incredibly great guy) get near her, not to mention remove the splint and examine her wrist. Finally, though it was difficult to tell with all of the howling and squirming, we determined that it seemed to be healing fine and was not causing her any pain. We took some repeat x rays just to confirm and, sure enough, everything looks good! The doctor did call to follow up this afternoon and, while H was not impressed with him during the appointment last week, she sure did have a lot to say to him on the telephone today! Sheesh, the kids these days who like to call, email and text but can't have a real live conversation!

On your mark, get set....It's almost go time! Mr. B has gotten very good at moving across a room. He pushes up on his hands and knees and scoots backward. It's not exactly crawling but it's locomotion nonetheless. Miss H is going to be smarter than me and Mr. B is going to be crawling by six months....I think we're going to be in trouble! At this rate they'll be doing house repairs, re-programming the television and buying stocks and bonds online if we don't keep close tabs on these two.

A few girlfriends and I have started a once-monthly lunch club. We're all current or former coworkers but several of us are now "employed" as full-time moms. The plan is to choose a lunch spot that one of us has been wanting to try and to go someplace new every month. We had our first outing last week and it was fantastic! The group consists of an American, two Canadians, a South African and an Australian- sort of like the United Nations!

Finally and most notably, the biggest news in our household is that we are making progress on our quest for sleep! For the past five months (since Mr. B was born), I have been up with him every 2-3 hours all night long. The boy likes to eat and seemed genuinely hungry every time he woke up. While late nights and early mornings are certainly part of motherhood, we were all exhausted. In addition, I am a firm believer in the importance of good sleep habits and I was really starting to get worried about potential long-term sleep difficulties if we didn't make some adjustments sooner rather than later.

At the same time that B's sleep patterns (or lack thereof) were starting to worry me, Miss H,
our little sleeping beauty who has quite effortlessly slept through the night since she was eight weeks old, decided that it would be a good time to explore her room during nap time and during the wee hours of the morning. Her "big girl bed" gave her a new found freedom that was just too tempting for a curious little girl.

After consulting with some of my trusted mom friends, re-reading a sleep book that I had read when H was younger and making some big changes in our routine, I'm happy to report that we're on the road to sleep-deprivation recovery. Mr. B has fallen into a great nighttime and daytime nap routine very easily. I think the little guy wanted a sleep schedule all along and was just waiting for me to implement one. We still have a way to go before we get Miss H caught up on her sleep but we're working on it.

A huge part of our new routine involves more "down" time. While we tend to be very social and active, we've come to realize that sometimes it's best to just slow down, relax and enjoy the moment. Before nap time, the kids and I crawl into the big bed, read stories together and unwind. Bedtime occurs much earlier than before (in bed by 6:30 pm!) and we'll only make exceptions for very special occasions. Naps will be in their beds in their rooms whenever possible. I feel like the sleep Nazi but so far it seems to be working. Last night we got more than four hours of consecutive sleep for the first time in five months! The kids are already noticeably more pleasant, cheerful and attentive. It has been a good reminder that sometimes when it seems like you're just too busy to nap, the best thing you can do is exactly that- have a siesta and recharge your batteries. Sleep makes me a better mother and it produces healthier, smarter, more pleasant children.

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

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