28 February 2010

26 February 2010

The Miracles Continue

That's right. She did it again. 12 hours of sleep.

Part of the reason this is so strange is because Daphne has never, ever, EVER dropped a night waking on her own. I read the books about feeding your baby every 3 hours from day one and then eventually they start dropping the times they wake up at night. Well, thank you books for getting my hopes up, because the only thing feeding Daphne every 3 hours accomplished was that Daphne wanted to eat every 3 hours around the clock for the rest of her life. Finally around 7 or 8 months I decided she did not still need to wake up every 3 hours to eat, so I cut out the 9PM and 3AM feedings.

Please don't judge me for using the "cry it out" method. Believe me, I tried the other more gentle ways first. That trick where instead of giving them the bottle you sneakily give them the pacifier? Yeah, I'm pretty sure she grabbed that pacifier and threw it at my head. And then there's going in and holding them but not giving a bottle. Or gradually lowering the amount of milk you feed them at the nighttime feedings until they are down to nothing. Also not met with great amounts of enthusiasm.

I especially liked this trick for the children like Daphne who awaken at the exact same time every night: If they usually wake at 9, go in at 8 and get them to stir just a bit. You don't want them to wake up all the way, just enough so that they think they woke up and then they won't wake up at their usual time. Riiiiiight. So instead of waking 3 times a night she was up 6. Good one.

After months of no improvement, I finally felt like I had to let her cry. I'm not a huge advocate of crying it out before a baby is 3 or 4 months old because I don't feel like they understand why you're not helping them. But 7 or 8 months? I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted Daphne to sleep. And I feel like it's important to nip sleep problems in the bud as early as possible. You don't want to be dealing with these issues during the toddler years when they are no longer confined to a crib and can get up to sneak into the pantry and smear peanut butter all over the walls.

She cried for hours and hours and hours, but after a week or two I finally got her down to 1 feeding a night. She still occasionally wakes around 9 and will be awake for several hours some nights, but she's fine just hanging out in her bed. And she still loves me so I don't think I did any lasting damage by leaving her to cry. I guess those issues will come up when she's in therapy in 20 years.

So, you see how it is so miraculous that all on her own she hasn't awakened for her 1 feeding. And I realize it's only been 2 nights, but at least I know she is thinking about being ready to sleep all night long.

Maybe there is something to letting a child be completely ready to drop his or her own feedings on his or her own terms. There is such pressure to have your baby sleeping through the night as early as possible...but I would have loved to have her drop feedings without the hours of crying that we went through. (Remember that David is gone at night, right? Listening to your baby cry while you have no one to go through it with you really stinks.) At the same time, I was not doing well sleeping in 2 hour chunks for all those months. It was very hard to function. So how do you balance doing what your baby needs you to do with doing what you need to do to function as a human being? I have no idea. Drugs? Drinking?

I think praying. Lots and lots of praying. And when you feel like you can't do it anymore, you squeeze her a little tighter because you know life would be horrible without her, and you know that someday you'll look back and miss the time when she depended on you so much.

25 February 2010

A Christmas Miracle

David brought home a sickness the other day. Daphne and I set up our defenses and tried to stay strong, but the sickness has taken us both down. Daph seems to be getting along with just a runny nose and a sneeze. She's truckin' around the house like nothing is holding her back, so I don't think she feels too awful.

But here's the exciting part...and it is very, very exciting. Daphne went to sleep around 6 last night (normal bedtime) and didn't wake up until...wait for it...6:10 this morning! First time in 14 months of sleeping all night long! It is a Christmas miracle.

I expect that this is a complete fluke and only related to her being sick. I remember about a year ago a similar thing happened, which is why I know tonight things will go back to normal.

But at least now we know it can happen.

There is hope.

24 February 2010

Fake Birthday

We are currently sitting around pretending like it's a warm, sunny day.

Today someone asked me how old Daphne was and I realized it's her 14 month birthday! I don't really keep track of her age in months now that she has passed the one year mark, so it was exciting to realize today was her birthday. You get lots of birthdays when you're small.

She's slowed in making huge progressions in gross motor development and is instead starting to pick up more vocabulary. Apparently kids are supposed to be able to say 3 words besides "mama" and "dada" by the time they are 15 months old. Say congratulations to Daphne, because her three other words are "uh oh," "Lola," and "Ellie" (our cat). She is starting to say "thank you," "all done," and "hi," but they aren't used quite as often. She also loves to copy whatever we're saying, but I know she isn't able to use those words in context yet. So, combining all those words with all the words she can sign...wow, we have some deep conversations in our house.

She is also good at giving kisses, eating, talking on the phone, reading books, banging on the bathroom door when I'm taking a shower, eating, hugging Lola, singing and playing the piano, riding in her stroller, kissing Lola, and eating. She is a girl of many talents. I think all she has left to learn is walking and then she's ready to move out.

Oh, maybe throw potty training in there, too.

19 February 2010

Daphne Odora

As I'm out walking with Daphne this time of year I occasionally catch a whiff of the most wonderful scent. If David is with me I beat his arm and say, "smell that? Smell that? That's what a daphne smells like." I do the same thing with star jasmine. Yummy.

A few years ago I was reading a big article in the paper about all the different types of daphne plants. That's when I thought to myself that 'Daphne' would make an awfully cute name for a little girl. (No, I never thought about the Daphne in Scooby Doo. I don't think I ever really watched that show.)

David wasn't thrilled with it. There's another girl name that he likes in particular, but I remind you all that he was the one who saw her first after she was born and said the name Daphne fit her perfectly. And it's true, Daphne is an excellent name for her.

My daphne in the backyard looks like the dog ate it because that's essentially what has happened. It has a pathetic 5 1/2 or so flowers on it. Soon after Daphne was born, someone from church gave us a little daphne plant which I planted in the front yard far away from the dogs and it is doing wonderfully.

It is a welcome sign of spring when I can start clipping daphne flowers and bringing them indoors so that my house smells nice.

18 February 2010

Field Trip

Today Daphne and I went up to Longview, WA to visit my friend Michelle and her little girl, Eliava. Longview seems so far away since it's in a whole different state and all, but it's really only 50 miles or something. Just a quick hop over the river. And can I mention what an amazing day today was? My car temperature gauge said it was 60, but I'm inclined to believe it was 80.

We went for a long walk and by the time we got back we were so warm we stripped the babies down and left the front door open so we could get a breeze going. Yep, it was 80.

Daphne had some troubles with recognizing personal boundaries with Eliava, as seen here:

And here:

And here.

Eliava was such a good sport, even when it looked like Daphne bit her on the head.


13 February 2010

A Bunch of Random

*Fun thing I learned today: if you want to burn some calories and decide to drive to a cute part of town to walk through a beautiful neighborhood with lots of hills, neglect to pay attention to where you parked your car. I can guarantee you will end up walking for a very, very long time and therefore burn many more calories than you expected.

*Sometimes Daphne looks really funny. I have lots of pictures to prove it.

*She also has a new fascination with doors. Cupboard doors, doorway doors, it doesn't matter. Doors are fun.

*I've been feeling super crafty lately. Daphne is becoming the recipient of my many projects, one being sewing hats and sticking huge flowers on them. I love practicing on her.

*Crazy things have been happening for David at work, but things seem to be getting better (as long as you don't watch the news). Gag order has been lifted so he can finally tell the real story. Again, don't be watching the news.

*Daphne is sleeping; I'm going to go sew something clean the kitchen.

09 February 2010

Bug Walk

David was in court all day long yesterday, leaving Daphne and I to our own fun.

We played outside a bunch with the doggies, because this makes Daphne very happy.

She wants to be down with the dogs so badly, but she is a bit hesitant about dirt. I liked that when she was crawling around she would stop and move tiny sticks out of her way.

Speaking of crawling, she's adopted something new and very strange. I call it her bug crawl.

05 February 2010

Real Life

Can someone please tell me why my baby won't sleep? Please?

Nap time comes and she just sits in her bed.

Bed time comes and she wakes up every hour, sometimes staying awake for a few hours.

How can one survive on so little sleep?

How little sleep do you need before you get that disease where you lose your mind?

Oh wait, we may already be there.

02 February 2010

The Day I Battled the Old Women

**I have to preface this by saying that I am open to some gentle correction if I appear to be mismanaging my parenting responsibilities. For instance, if it is 20 degrees out but I am parading Daphne around in a bathing suit, you may kindly tell me she possibly needs a bit more clothing. If on a Sunday morning during the sermon at church Daphne is sitting next to me on the pew screaming her head off and yet I am doing nothing, it is fine if you let me know she probably needs to be taken out. See? I am a very reasonable person.**

David has a training day today so therefore is working day shift. I love day shift! So fun. Daphne and I went shoppin' and got home with time to spare before her afternoon nap. We have a stroller that was given to us but we have never used because Daphne likes the Ergo so much. But it is a beautiful day so I decided to take her for a walk and try out the stroller to see how she would like it.

After freaking out for a minute because she couldn't find me behind her, she just relaxed and enjoyed being outside. Can't you tell how thrilled she was?

We got to the park where we met two little old ladies on the pathway. One commented that Daphne might need a hat because it's a little chilly out. I said Daphne was actually very warm, but is also going through the stage where the second I put a hat on her she pulls it right off. I am very sad over this fact as Daphne has many beautiful hats just sitting in her hat box when I would rather they were sitting on her head. But you know. She's 1. What can I do?

This answer did not satisfy the one lady as she proceeded to stick her hand down Daphne's shirt to check her body temperature, and then even after commenting that Daphne was indeed quite warm, pulled her hoodie onto her head and tried to zip up her sweatshirt as far as it would go. Daphne started crying at this point. The old me, the pre-mom me, who often times would let people say or do tactless things to me while I hardly batted an eye, she just disappeared and out came the new me. Bold, brazen, and fearless I said that I would rather Daphne's zipper not be pulled any higher as it will leave red scratches on her neck, and, here comes the zinger, said "well, I'm her mama and I know her pretty well. I knew she was warm enough."

This may not be very impressive, but I was just so glad I stood up for myself. I knew Daphne was fine. I knew a too-high zipper would bug her and scratch her neck. I knew it and I said it! I am so proud of myself.

Oh yeah, I was very respectful and kind. Promise. The lady even apologized. Whew!

So I'm going to go make myself a super-mom cape now, because today I battled and today I won. Let this be a lesson to anyone who tries to stick his or her hand down the shirt of a baby you are not blood related to.

Daphne giving me a little salute:

01 February 2010

More Hair Styles

Every night after her bath, I sit Daphne up in front of the mirror and comb her hair. Ya'll know what happens if we don't. She looks funny.

Anyways, Daphne's had enough with just sitting and watching me do the combing. She needs to do it herself, you know.

She's so pleased with the results.

(Her daddy put the little curl in the middle of her forehead. She may be gifted in waving, but not quite that much in hair combing.)

And are you thinking about that poem with the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead? Because I am. I am also thinking about the fact that Daphne only slept for 40 minutes today.

And when she was good she was very, very good,
But when she was bad...