Friday, October 21, 2011

The new plan

Hallelujah, we had a breakthrough!  I had the kids in bed and asleep at 7pm last night!  I don't remember the last night they were asleep before 8!  (Heck, I'm not sure when they last fell asleep before 9!)

After giving it some thought and getting some advice, I had decided to try doing away with naps entirely . . . at least in the short-term. However, missing the nap usually ends with Sarah having night terrors (which she did last night, poor little thing!). Nicholas seems to be past night terrors for now, but he also had them at her age when he was over-tired. Well, we're all overtired at this point, for heaven's sake

So, yesterday, I called the Catholic preschool we're thinking about for next year.  I asked a bunch of questions, one of which is whether the kids nap at school since the day is so long (8:00-2:45).  I found out that they eat lunch at 11:15, go down for naps at 11:45, and are up again at 1:15.  I started thinking about that schedule--and the fact that many people suggested shorter and/or earlier naps--and decided we'll try lunch at 11:00, nap at 12:00, up by 1:30. Yesterday, we skipped naps (except for a 15-minute snooze Nick had in the car) because I had a doctor's appointment after preschool. The kids were very cranky, but fell asleep within 10 minutes of getting in bed last night.

We'll just have to wing it on preschool days, since we don't get home until 2:00 after school. The preschool schedule is the whole reason for our current, late nap schedule. Because we get home so late on school days (two days per week), we've gone to a late nap schedule every day so as to remain consistent. Since the kids started back to preschool this fall, we have to wake them from their naps at 4:00 almost every day so that they won't sleep too late. Ha ha. I can see that they've been sleeping too late for a long time--it's amazing that they went to sleep at night so well for so long with such a late nap schedule. I blame the sleep deprivation for my inability to see the obvious problem for so long!

If we move to an earlier nap schedule, I'm hopeful that the kids might fall asleep in the car on the way home from school for those two days a week. Then they might get enough of a cat nap to make it till an early bedtime. It just confirms, though, that we need to move to a different preschool. I love the school and the teachers (and so do the kids!), but the schedule just doesn't work for us. If we can make the transition to an early nap schedule and make school days work, we'll stick it out for the rest of the year. Next fall, Sarah will be three, and that will open up a lot of possibilities for us.

The Catholic preschool (which only takes 3- and 4-year-olds) is part of a small-ish parish school. The parish is trying to revive the school, which is in an aging neighborhood. The upside of this is that there are less than 20 students per grade right now and the school is attempting to revitalize by--surprise, surprise--becoming even more orthodox. Hooray! We know a family whose kids started there this fall, so we can get some feedback from them. The cost is also significantly less per hour than our current preschool, the hours will work better for my work schedule, and it's only five minutes from my office. That means I have an easier commute, I can stop by for lunch/mass/school programs, and I'm much closer in case of emergency. The downside is that class size is large (16 3-4-year-olds to two teachers right now, with the class capped at 20) and Sarah and Nick would be in the same class.

Well, enough of my stream of consciousness. Let's see if I can knock three projects off my list in the next 75 minutes, shall we?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The little things

Thanks, everyone, for the support on the sleep issues!  Things are getting better.  We've started eating dinner a bit earlier and then going for a walk after dinner to burn some of that energy. One of us has been sitting in the room with them until they fall asleep for the past five nights, and we've removed all toys and books from their bedroom to cut down on distractions. I'm going back to the sleep training book we used and loved nine months ago (The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight), because I know she talks about regressions and siblings sharing a room (silly me, I checked the book out from the library, so I'm just going to buy it now). We've noticed that Sarah is testing me WAY more than she's testing her dad, too.  Hmmm.

Anyway, I have lots more work to do tonight, so here are two things the kids did today that really got me.

We've been talking about death a lot because a member of our extended family died recently, and we brought the kids to the wake. (Good conversations--the other day, Nicholas was talking about it and said "That person died. That's like . . . somebody goes to God.") Because of his love of processions, friends of ours attached a crucifix to a broomstick for Nicholas to play with. He was playing with his cross tonight, and I told him to put it away before we went for our walk. He said, "Wait! I want to kiss Jesus!" then kissed him and said "I sorry you dyin'."

Then, later tonight, I finally got Sarah tucked in for the last time, and we talked about her babydolls. She told me that she is their mommy and that she likes to take them to the park, with the big sister doll walking and holding her hand, and the little sister doll riding in the stroller. Then, she said "We sit on the bench. Then I go to work--No, I say 'I not go to work, I stay with you,' and they laugh and laugh." Oh, the guilt!

And on that note, I need to get back to work so I can get some sleep tonight!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am so not kidding

Seriously, I am not kidding about the sleep thing. Last night, I decided to bribe reward the kids for behaving well with an offer of chocolate milk in the morning. Yeah. Sarah lost hers before they were even tucked in for the night.

I also decided to spend a few minutes after lights-out singing to the kids and rubbing their backs to help them wind down. They seemed to be doing pretty well. Mr. X got home during the singing, so I prolonged it a little bit for them to settle after he came in to say goodnight.

They were quiet for a while, and then we started to hear some signs of revelry in the room. When we went in, they were both running around the room s.ta.rk n.ake.d. I kid you not. And Sarah had sat down and peed on her pillow. Lovely. And that was round one!!

As the night wore on, I went in several more times. The highlight was probably the suspicious thumping noises that led me to the room to discover that they were climbing from Nick's bed onto his dresser and jumping down. The night involved time-outs (some of which happened in the playpen in our room where Nick takes his naps), loss of privileges (i.e., stuffed animals and books in bed), and eventually, sleep at about 10:45. After that, I stayed up too late to watch about an hour of TV because I just wanted to sit down and relax before crashing. Argh!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Toddler Sleep

Oh. My. Goodness.

So, Nick and Sarah went from a pretty good sleeping situation to craziness. I think it started with Sarah's two-year molars (still working on the last two of those). But the pattern has become that they party in their shared bedroom for at least three hours after we tuck them in. We have to make multiple visits to the room, each of them wets their pants at least once (intentionally), and so on. It's not unusual for them to be up until 11:30.

This has all happened in the last month. We've had a lot of changes with the school year starting, and we had gotten pretty lax about waking them up at the same time every day. Naps also got moved later, since we don't get home and settled after preschool till 2:00.

So, we are now waking them at 7 every day, and we (or the babysitter on duty) wake them from their naps by 4 if they're not already awake. They showed a little improvement, and it's been just about a week.

I went to a friend's wedding back home and was gone for two nights. Mr. X opened their bedroom door and monitored them last night, and tonight I'm on duty. It's been almost two hours. This is craziness!

I really wish we could move them into separate rooms, but I don't see that happening in the near future. The other two bedrooms are downstairs, have ceramic tile floors, and are in use as our home office and guest room. I would not be opposed to converting the guest room into a kid's room, but the distance from our room, the tile floor, and the fact that the door between the guest room and the office doesn't close make it unappealing.

Any ideas?? Really--anything??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Random goofiness

I have two minutes before my P+7 blood draw, so here are a couple of goofy things the kids have been doing lately:

On a bedtime-delaying bathroom trip, Nicholas started getting rambunctious. I told him it was quite time--no talking. So he started clicking his tongue. I said, "no clicking your tongue, either." So he started smacking his lips. I had to bite my own lip to keep from laughing, but told him no smacking his lips either. So he started clicking his tongue again.

Sarah has started telling elaborate stories about her favorite babydolls. The thing that especially cracks me up is that one doll is the big sister and the other is the little sister (the big one walks, and the little one crawls). In her stories, the big sister doll is always terrorizing the little sister doll, who then "cwies and cwies. She cwies a lot." I'm kind of stumped, because Nick is usually very kind to her, but I guess that's sibling rivalry for you!

I know I've got better stories than that, but those will have to wait till I'm not running to an appointment!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Well, hello again . . .

It's been an eventful couple of months! And even though I'm late (surprise, surprise!) for quick takes, here--briefly--is what's new around here.

  • Secondary Infertility. Yep. Officially on cycle 8 using Creighton model for achieving pregnancy, so, given my age, here we are. Really hoped we'd be done with this! I had really hoped that, after having Sarah, I'd have normal fertility. Then again, this is really different than primary infertility for me, in that we are already parents. We would love to have more kids, but we are already blessed beyond measure with the two we have.
  • Here's the low-down: still have luteal phase defect, slight hypothyroidism, and hormone dysfunction. Since my cycles returned, I've been back on vitamins, amoxicillin, guaifenesin, slow-release T3, and hCG post-peak. I'm now on my third cycle with femara. In the past, I conceived on my first femara cycle (and then miscarried), then on my first full cycle with femara after Dr. H unblocked my tubes (and then had Sarah). So being on a third cycle with femara now does not bode well. In the past, I've had really intense ovulation pain on femara, and that happened on my first cycle this time . . . and then not again. I've just had a few little twinges. Combine that with the fact that my crummy post-peak estradiol levels don't seem to be responding to the hCG, and it makes me wonder if I've got something new going on here. What that new thing might be, I don't know--any ideas?
  • . . . and that brings me to my third point. New treatment! My local Napro doctor has prescribed an estradiol patch for P+3 - P+12. Has anyone tried this? Any advice?
  • We have a new Napro OB/GYN in town. Hooray! My current plan is to make an appointment and talk to her about the possibility of another selective HSG. Since I've had two selective HSGs, and my tubes were blocked both times, it seems somewhat likely that they might be blocked again.
  • Wonderdog is no longer with us. Her health continued to decline steadily, and at the beginning of August, we made the difficult decision to euthanize. It was pretty awful, but the vet was very kind, and we know her suffering is over.
  • Thanks so much for the nice comments on my last post . . . um . . . two months ago. The weaning went really well. It seemed to be much less traumatic for Sarah than for me. She only asked to nurse a couple of times, and accepted my explanation. Just a couple of weeks ago, she was drinking milk out of a cup and told the babysitter, "I drink milk in a cup. I not drink Mommy's milk anymore."
  • We are GETTING RID OF STUFF! Oh my. I just can't stand living in a sea of stuff anymore. I realized that my sense of being overwhelmed and frustrated with my work is partially due to the fact that my desk at home and my desk at the office are covered and surrounded by piles of books and papers. I can't find anything. I can't sit down when I have 15 minutes and get a little work done because there's nowhere to do it. When I realize that I have to get up and search for the required objects to complete my next task, the temptation to get online is too great.
  • So, the new plan is: clear my desks. Put things I don't need immediately into boxes to be handled in a daily sorting time. I can't just leave things where they are and wait the weeks (months?) it would take to clear it out a little bit at a time.
  • My new rule is: If we don't NEED it right now, it goes away. No more holding on to things because I might need them. I would rather end up getting rid of something I eventually need than store 20 items I might need . . . and then endure the frustration of needing an item and not being able to find it amid all the stuff. If we know we'll need it in the future (e.g., essential baby items that we will need, please God, for another child), then we will keep it in deep storage.
  • We changed parishes officially. Interestingly enough, we found out a couple of weeks ago that we actually live within the boundaries of our new parish--and have for the last seven years! We're very happy with the new parish. It has the kind of community we've been looking for for a long time.
That's it for now. The kids (who are doing beautifully) are napping, and I have about an hour to tackle my to-do list. I'll be back soon . . .

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