Thursday, February 21, 2008

live blogging: sleep school day 1 / nap 2

So, here's the thing.

It's really tough to keep one baby up for no more than two-hours between naps when you have three no-longer-babies that need to get out of the house and play.

I made my first post of the day at around 10:20 but by the time I got shoes on children's feet, noticed Carolyn had a mole on her head as I was combing her hair and then tried to take a picture of it for future reference and discussion with her pediatrician at her next appointment for 15 minutes (why can't I take good pictures of things up close with my new camera? Why have I owned it for four months and still not read the instruction manual?!), called Charlie to discuss the mole with him and freak out a little bit over what is probably nothing but this is why it is SO important that since we live in Southern California where there are no clouds and few trees that the children always wear sunscreen and hats, potty break one ... potty break two ... loaded four children in to the car ... unloaded one for potty break three, oops - false alarm ... and drove to the park (that we would normally walk to but I needed to be expeditious and get home for Henry's second nap), an hour had lapsed.

We played at the park from around 11:40 until 12:50.

During the time that we were there, Mr. Stay-At-Home-Dad with three small children and a dog came to play. I've seen him at the park before and he never talks. He never makes eye contact, never smiles. But today, when his (who I estimated) four-year-old was playing with William, I decided to break the ice by asking if my estimate on his son's age was correct.

It was.

Now, if Charlie had been there, he can never guess a kid's age correctly. Although, to his credit - his estimating ability has improved since he has become a father. But still. If he saw that little boy today, I guarantee he'd guess that the kid was 6. Or maybe 12.

Anyway, he was a really cute little kid and it gave me a glimpse in to what our kids will be doing a year from now. His language skills were excellent and he was extremely coordinated. The triplet's language skills have definitely taken off in the past six months, but unless a person is well versed in three-year-old'ese, they might think that my children are horribly insulting them every time a dump truck drove past.

The other glimpse I had is how at four-years-old, guns and KILL, KILL, KILL appear to be a big thing. Our kids don't know the word "gun" nor do they know the word "kill". Because I'm really hoping to keep it that way for a while, every time the kid shouted "I'm shooting my gun and KILLING that bear!!" I'd yell out "OH MY GOSH!! I think I see a RAINBOW!!!" and take off running in the opposite direction.

There are so many things about three-years-old that drive me fokkelen nuts, but the one thing that I really love about this age is the pure innocence and sweetness. William - the big talker that he is - absolutely slays me with some of the things that he thinks up. Just this morning, while I was pulling laundry out of the dryer, he yelled from the kitchen, "Hey Mom. What are you doin'?" and just as I started to respond, he fired "Do you know the muffin man?" I started to laugh and replied, "I'm not sure. Do you?" And he excitedly answered "Yes!! He lives on Drury Lane!!"

Oh, it makes me chuckle just thinking about it now.

But, without further divergence from the point of this post...

Before we left the park, I nursed Henry in the Bjorn and then we packed up to leave. I could tell that he was tired and had started to doze off, so I loaded up the car and arrived home at 1:00, which was pretty late for us - especially since the kids hadn't yet had lunch.

Henry crawled around on the floor while I washed the kids up, got them fed, read them a few stories while they ate, washed their faces, put them in Pull-Ups (after 1, 2, 3 potty breaks) and got them situated. Everyone was in bed by 1:45 PM.

I put Henry back in the Bjorn, sat down to start this post and he fell asleep while nursing by 2:05. I removed him from the Bjorn, placed him in his crib - he woke up very briefly - and immediately fell back to sleep.

Now, I'm going to run and clean up from lunch while everyone is sleeping. Maybe I'll even fold a load of laundry. Wouldn't that be nice. I'll wrap this post up once he wakes up again.


OK, I'm back.

He slept until 3:21. When I could hear him stirring (not crying, but awake), I went in to pick him up because napping for almost an hour and then some is pretty good when you consider he took an hour and a half nap this morning and will take another cat nap in about two hours.

Also, when you consider that I forgot to let William sleep on the couch and didn't want Henry waking up his brother.

Kitchen cleaned. Two loads of laundry folded. None put away. I love folding, deplore putting away. Much like I love painting, but abhor the cleanup.


  1. yeah for Henry! Yeah for you. Much much much accomplished! That is fantastic...I really don't know how you do it... you impress me

  2. Perfect Jen! I'm a huge Weissbluth fan and I consider him the Sleep God. I think as long as you have him down for his morning nap within the two hours, you can stretch the afternoon nap to 3 hours at this age. This gives you EXACTLY a 2 hour window to get out with the other kids. That's how I got it handled with Austin. Also, I switched Austin to one nap at around 13 months to get him on the same schedule.

    But the important thing is that morning nap and the earlier bedtime. I would go with 2,3,4 now. Down for first nap at 2 hours. Second nap at 3 hours and bedtime within 4 hours of waking from the second nap. It should work like a charm!

    Once he's well-rested he'll completely quit crying. Rested babies don't cry to go to sleep! I know you know this!

  3. I'm back to say I would have him up in the morning between 6 and 6:30. Back down between 8 and 8:30 and I wouldn't let him sleep longer than 10. Then you can get out until noonish. Then back down at 12*30 or 1 and shoot for 3. Then down at 7. I DID make our whole world revolve around Austin's need for sleep. I was the last one at play dates and the first one to leave. They called me the Nap Nazi. But it's for such a short time. Austin's a GREAT sleeper. Even today I was an hour from home and the other kids weren't ready to go but I knew Austin needed a nap so I left. My baby needs his sleep!

    Now if you can get up that early - 6am! Bahhahahahahahaha

  4. You're doing great! The whole sleep thing isn't easy.

    Thanks for clarifying the color on Jessica's Keens. A girl's gotta know these things. ;) Keen's for Florida though? I dunno, I am thinking 4 inch heels. Hey, where else am I going to wear those?

  5. Go Henry! I love how well day one is going. The 2,3,4 thing that Michele S suggested works for us too. (Can't say I agree on the well rested children quit crying - never, ever worked in this house!)

    I got frustrated having life revolve around sleeps for a while, but once he was in a reasonable pattern, then we could break it ocassionally without doing any damage.

    So glad it is going so well!

  6. I'm a happy camper, too. Shayna has slept to 6:15 for the past 2 mornings! I feel like a new woman, except that I'm totally sick again, but at least I'm sleepin' in!

  7. I can't remember what kind of camera you have, so two answers regarding you problems with close-up photos.

    If it's a point and shoot, look for a mode with a flower icon (like a tulip). Where it's located depends on the model, but about 98% of them have them. Easy-peasy, just activate the mode and shoot.

    If you have a D-SLR, you are completely dependent on your lenses. Some can't focus more than a foot or two away. Some have macro modes at specific focal lengths(one of mine is a 28-90 and can do macro at 90mm only) that there is a switch on the lens to activate, and some are true macro lenses for extreme close-ups and very $$$.

    So a lot depends on the kind of camera you have. If it is the latter and no lenses w/macros are in your possession, you can get "close-up" filters but they're a poor substitute. Or put on a telephoto and have the subject sit on the floor while you stand on a chair above her head. Yes, I've done similar. lol

    And good luck with the napping thing - I know everyone will benefit soon because of your hard work!

  8. How true about 4 year olds and the interest in guns, and sad that raising kids in a sheltered existence can only last so long. My 3 yr old nephew asked the other day what a "gub" was. Priceless :)