Wednesday, October 19, 2011

catching up on updates

Gosh if only i can have a record of all my facebook statuses..that would be good enough to be a blog. It can get tedious to blog sometimes cos i have so much to write about! i don't write fast enough on the iphone and i am not always at my computer.

Anyway i was looking back at my posts to help me recall what Eliza was like at 5-6months. There are times that i wished i would have written more. Now with my scant blogging of our life here in Canberra, i hope i really can remember!

On Eliza & eating
Now that we have dropped 3 milk bottles (no more 'old' milk!), we have to get her to eat her morning breakfast of weetbits/bread w ham & cheese & spread and/or yoghurt/ pancake. Usually if she has her 180ml milk..then the next food is some mid-morning tea. As you know how difficult it is to get her to sit down and eat, we insist she doesn't go play or watch vcds or eat sweets till she has had her proper breakfast (and that's also after brushing teeth).
Oh and i discovered the magic of eating off a 'satay' stick. For the first time, she ate salmon, just like that...but only because it was grilled on a satay stick!
I do try to cook food that she will as much as i love some food like capsicans, i'll make sure i leave it out for her. But greens like spinach / bok choy will be cut up and mixed up with the rice..else it's her favourite seaweed lo.
The meals take on an average of 45-60 minutes to finish..really that long but oh mum said that i also took really long to finish my meals anyway...and it's in front of the tv.

On Eliza & behavioural management
Oh and we have started the happy face/sad face system which helps her to follow the 'rules'.
- No 'buts' or 'hmmm!' when called to brush teeth / bathe
- Sitting down at the dining table to have meals
- Tidying up when told
- Helping out when she can (ie. play with Emily, put her clothes to the laundry)
- Obeying mummy/daddy's instructions and not deliberately doing what she should not do. (ie. shout or make noise when Emily's sleeping..)
- going to sleep on her own (so no mummy/daddy in the room when she falls asleep)
- no crying at night and insisting that we sit beside her (usually Ww's the one who goes to her room and ends up squeezing in her bed too...if i do, i will scold her if it is not a valid reason for calling us..yes, i'm stricter..and to some extent she is afraid i will scold her)

On Emily & sleep
After we came back from our weekend at Batemans bay, we kinda had to start sleep training all over again. After all, we Beco-ed her whenever she needed to sleep. But she slept relatively well in the nights while we were there..maybe it's because i was sleeping beside her or just that she slept well. (ok she did her usual early 5-6am wake ups like her usual self but that was bearable somehow).
Anyway i just could not tahan having her scream her lungs out even with us patting her to sleep (i really don't know why she must scream so much) and i didn't want to be carrying her to sleep. I did sense that she wanted to suckle to sleep but she would wake the moment i shift her if she nursed to sleep, and the pacifier can't stay in her mouth, and she doesn't quite suck her fingers/hand either. I really didn't know what I could give her to soothe her...or is her screaming part of her way of settling? unsettling! Sometimes she gets so worked up, i really don't know how to calm her. It's like she wants to sleep but can't sleep.
Somehow we were still taking like 3 hours to get her to sleep for the night (forget the daytime..that's another nap monster). On 2 or 3 nights i faintly remember her waking almost every 1.5hrs and/or took quite a while to go back to sleep, even after i fed her.
I tried swaddling her and one of the nights she was struggling and managed to turn to her tummy while in her swaddle (Ww was helping to settle her then). Somehow he started getting her to sleep on her tummy and it was much better! She does sleep longer on her tummy! It's not that i have not tried that before but she has always struggled so much to sleep that when i put her on her tummy previously, she seemed like she hated it. Thankfully she is sleeping much better like that! So far the past 3 nights she managed to sleep till her dream feed at about 11ish-pm. I can do bedtime with Eliza, talk to Ww and prepare food for the next day. Wow...what a super relief.

Next to tackle is the daytime naps and the nighttime sleep (after i sleep)!
Daytime naps are really tough..i have resorted to Beco-ing her so that she can really have a good nap..and i'm not sure if it's cos she manages to sleep about 1-1.5hrs on the Beco in the mid-day that she's sleeping much better at night. I have also been trying to put her down for naps in her cot, and on her tummy. Finally today she managed a 20min morning and afternoon nap...and with about 10-15min struggle though. After that i usually have to get her up and then Beco her to get her to finish the nap else she'll be just too tired. The late afternoon nap is the hardest, even in the car where she'll fuss and fuss and find it difficult to sleep. I also find that getting her to wind down 1hr 45mins after she woke up, instead of 2hrs, is better to help her sleep without becoming overtired. phews!
Even Eliza knows Emily's pattern...thankfully Eliza, when I'm getting Emily to nap in the room, i'll get Eliza to play on her own or watch a video.

On being with Eliza and Emily
So with cooking to be done and Emily's sleep to be settled, baths to be done...the rest of the time is up to our imagination. Eliza loves to play...whatever inspires her. Recently, it has been the confetti which we find it quite a mess and it is difficult to pick up. While she plays on her own, she also loves our company and I also love to be able to play with her, just that i can't do so like i used to when it was her alone. Then, i didn't even have to do any cooking or housework so i would spend a lot of my daytime freetime with her. It is so different now, even trying to squeeze 'school' time must be well planned (when Emily's just fed and happily playing on her own).
Then i also want to spend time singing and reading to Emily, even though i do carry her a lot and spend a lot of time trying to get her to sleep! but that is sooo different from playing with her. I love Emily's burst of smile and laughter when I play with her. Our little 'monster'!
So it is with the 2nd one, getting a lot less attention than the first..then again with Eliza went back to work when she was 2months old (for 3 days a week) so I did see her less somehow. But when i was home i was quite with her as much as i can. Plus she was lucky to have the attention of her grandparents.  Emily's lucky to have the attention of mummy then...well at least when i'm not doing stuff with Eliza or cooking or housework or whatever.
Eliza's not the sister who is dying to have a younger sibling to play with and Emily's so young, it takes a lot of explaining how babies are so that she understands that what Emily does (the crying!), and the kicking and flinging of arms which may accidently touch her is not deliberate. Cos Eliza can be oh-so-sensitive so we need to be patient and to explain to her. It helps her a lot when we explain to her and it does take her time to get used to or understand it. Like the christmas giftbox our church is preparing, she was so upset that it isn't for her but after some explaining to her, she is eager to put stuff inside to send to the less fortunate kids.

Off cooking today cos food for tomorrow is more or less prepared. I really should plan for the week instead of almost day by day...this really does take getting used to! And estimating how much we can eat, sometimes i don't think i cook enough cos I underestimate Ww's appetite!

Nice to have my nights back...:)

More to add on soon, i wish i can write more but it's 1030pm and I'm a little sleepy. Just gave Emily's dreamfeed...which is a little early, i felt. Hopefully she doesn't wake up too soon and sleep well for the night and not wake at 5+am!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When will you sleep, emily?

I'm so torn and yet frustrated. It has been 4 days trying to let Emily cry to sleep for nights. It was still ok the first two days. Actually it was great on day 2. But not good after that. Except for day2. It still took Emily 2-3hrs to go to sleep, ending with a feed and not cos she managed to settle herself to sleep! What IS wrong??
(that was written 2-3days ago. So far the last two nights Emily has slept relatively well. That is she had fallen asleep at 7ish and lasted till 12ish am! Actually one of the nights she slept till 4ish am from 8ish pm)

I wished someone can really help me here without having to pay like $100+ to get an expert. I wish someone can tell me exactly what to do when she had managed to settle and yet wake up 5-15mins later screaming again. we did the cry 12mins thing for like 4 times! Cos everytime I went in to settle her and it's not pick her up, she will eventually sleep after like 5-10mins and then wake up again 5-15mins later! That is as long as her sleep cycle is. That is how long she sleeps
each time I put her down for a nap.

On Wednesday I started to tackle the naps. she slept 30mins for morning nap (miracle!) but i wondered if it's cos I put her down in my bed. Mid day nap was 15mins only. I tried putting her in my bed but no success this time. Afternoon at 345pm she managed to sleep another 15mins soothing herself with sucking the pillow but woke up crying and that pillow sucking no longer soothed her. In the end in my desperation to get her to sleep more and longer so she can make it to bedtime I rocked her to sleep and carried her till I had together dinner ready at 445pm.

Why? I asked God why? Why won't she sleep? Last time Eliza will not fight sleep as badly as Emily. Aka scream when she wants to sleep. As much as I enjoy carrying Emily, I can't carry her ALL the time to get her to sleep and when she is sleeping! I guess it is also in her temperament that she is like that.

From day 1 her crying when she resist bathing will send Eliza running out of the room as far as she can. My mil who bathed the crying Emily said that her ears were ringing after that. I don't remember Eliza crying to be that loud! Haha.

So even as we endure this sleep training, I am also learning to be consistent. There are many times when I really do not know what to do next. Do I pick her up or settle her on her cot or let her continue her nap or what? I really want to pick her up many a times but I also soon came to realize that I am giving her mixed signals. I read somewhere that we are teaching them to form good sleep habits. I can't say Eliza was a fantastic sleeper but she was, in comparison, an easier one. But then she also had her pacifier to soothe her to sleep which doesn't work for Emily. And Eliza had the itchy problem which wakes her and me up frequently at night. Sooo every baby is really different.

The naps are hard to tackle but we'll get there. The first few days is really tough cos I couldn't do much when I left her to protest. I would be outside with Eliza and there's once Eliza probably noticing my *i dunno what to do now* state, hugged me and said "it's ok mummy. It's ok" *melts*!

We continue to pray that Emily will learn to settle on her own to sleep and sleep longer. Ie not just 20mins only. I know it is not enough for her cos she gets tired really fast if I get her up.

To better sleep days ahead!
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