Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of Dreamland and Dreams

We have a growing baby girl in our house, and it never ceases to amaze me. I continue to thank, the powers that be (and all the REs, testing, urologists, and you other IFers and friends, etc.) for such a blessing in our lives. Though I confess, not every day is full of "happy happy, joy joy," it is all definitely worth it.

One of the things that is making our days difficult (and our nights too really) is Petite's lack of a schedule. Yes my dear Internet friends, Petite STILL doesn't sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time on a regular basis. There's the odd night when she's down for 6 hours or so, but they're few and far between, making Mommy and Daddy very tired indeed. And really, by now, most babies are on some sort of a schedule, right? So I've taken matters in hand and we're starting a new routine. We tried it for the first time last night, and it worked relatively well.

The whole crux of our problem is this: Petite still doesn't drink more than 4.5 oz per feeding. She refuses to eat more and of course, you can't force children to eat (nor do I ever want to). So naturally, she wakes up partway through the night with an empty, growling belly, wanting to be fed. And we oblige her.

Last night, the schedule looked a bit like this:
5:45 p.m. cereal in her high chair, followed by playtime while Mommy and Daddy ate, etc.
6:45 bath time, put on jammies, quiet time, playtime on her playmat with quiet toys
7:30 storytime with Mommy (I'm a big believer in reading to children)
7:45 bottle & burp

Just before 8 p.m., she started to doze off in my arms and I put her down in her crib, sleepy yet still semi-awake. She hated that, lemme tell you! She woke and started to screech. I went to her every 5 minutes, talking lowly but not engaging her, putting her soother in her mouth, gently touching her tummy or her head, and letting her know I was there. She would settle, I'd creep out and before I was back to the kitchen, the howl would go out again. She kept that up for about 20 minutes (I went in three times, the last time I sat on the bed til I knew she was settled for good) and by 8:30, she was asleep. However, she only had 4.5 oz as usual. So I knew she would wake for food somewhere along the way.

To circumvent that, at 11:45, I prepared another bottle and gently lifted her out of her crib, and tried to feed her. She took about 2 oz before refusing any more and she turned into my arm, snuggling down again. I laid her back in bed, hoping to get through the rest of the night and I put the rest of the bottle in the fridge.

Alas... 1:45 a.m. and I heard her stirring. I got up before she was fully awake, grabbed the remainder of the bottle in the fridge (about 2.5 oz), heated it and fed her while she stayed in her crib. She polished it off, turned over and drifted back to the Land of Nod. And that was that. I climbed back into bed, happy to not need an hour or more to get her back to sleep.

This morning, she stirred once at 6:45 (when Hubby left for school), but she never really woke til 7:50 a.m. Fair enough. I can handle that I think. With time and practise, I expect she'll get the hang of it. But it was certainly a whole lot better than being up with her from 2 a.m. to 3:30 as she writhes in my arms! Until she takes more ounces during a feed, I don't expect it'll change all that much. But as long as she's growing and developping on track, I can't find fault with her eating habits at all!

By the way, so far she's enjoyed rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, butternut squash and a little pear juice (diluted). But she definitely prefers a bottle!

And this week, we celebrated Valentine's Day! Hubby and I traditionally don't plan anything special; for as sure as we do, it blows up in our faces and we've had some hella blow-up fights on Valentine's Day in the past! So we don't mark it with much. A card, a token gift, something little. Nothing major. I got a cute card, and some chocolates. I gave Hubby a card, some chocolates and some winter Olympic gear, including the famous red mittens that are so hard to find!

I happened to be in Zellers last week when they were getting some out on the racks and I snapped up a pair. In hindsight, I would have liked to have a pair for myself. Oh well. Nevermind. One thing that pisses me off about those mittens is that for all the Canadian Olympic pride that they're supposed to represent, the damn things are made in freakin' China! Don't get me wrong, I have lots of things in my house that are made in China but it'd be nice to support Canadians by buying Canadian... yanno? Oh well. They're still cool mittens. And Hubby's been stopped by stranges who ask about them and where he got them, etc. They're hard to come by now! So if you see them (in adult sizes; kids sizes are still easy to find), grab em! If nothing else, you can sell them on E-bay for about double the price!

Ah yes, a token pic of Petite in her Valentine's Day outfit from Nana. We had Hubby's kids for the weekend and her big brother was making her laugh!

And this week, one of my hopes has finally come to fruition. Pancake Day. With OUR baby girl. Here she is being a true Canadian, sucking on the syrup bottle (don't worry; the cover's on!).

Pancake Day traditions where I come from are very particular indeed. Yes, you have pancakes and all that good stuff. But you must follow the tradition of putting trinkets in the batter. I've written about this before, and I remember lamenting that I probably wouldn't ever have the opportunity to share our family's (or our provincial) tradition of putting trinkets in the batter with any child of mine. I vividly remember Mel (our resident Stirrup Queen) telling me in a comment how I may not be able to pass the tradition vertically, but that I had just passed the tradition horizontally by sharing it with you, my readers. A few of you wrote to let me know that you would commence that tradition in your own families as you thought it was lovely. I like to think that somewhere out there, someone is putting a ring, a thimble, a button, money, etc. in their pancake batter to partake in the tradition. And this year, I am blessed. Because I do have a baby girl who got to enjoy her very first Pancake Day with our family and our tradition. Fine, she didn't eat any pancakes herself... that'll come next year. But she saw Mommy and Daddy enjoy the tradition and with luck, one day, she'll carry it on, passing it vertically to her own family.


Patti said...

Hey Gil, We found Jack was the same way with the sleep and little bottle sips.

At about 7 months of age, he saw his paediatrician for something else and when I mentioned the sleep and sippy drinks (what I called them) he immediately suggested taking Jack off the ranitidine and he went onto Prevacid instead.

What shocked Mark and I was that within about 4 days of going on the prevacid, Jack started sleeping 5, 6, 7...8 (!!) hours at a time. When he ate, he had more at one feeding.

At 10 months, we had to up the Prevacid to one tablet in the morning and one at night.

But now he's back on just one tablet (we give it to him with his dinner) and he's doing well. Yeah, most nights he'll still wake up once, but he has a big drink, rolls over and goes back to sleep.

I'm not saying this is what's up with Petite, however it may be something to consider.

:) Let me know if you want to know more.

donella said...

hi Gil
I hate to be a wet blanket, but it alarmed somewhat when I read about the tradition of putting trinkets such as rings, thimbles etc in the batter. Sounds like a high risk of choking when someone is eating one of those pancake. Am I being over the top?

Gil said...

Hey Donella... yep, somewhat over the top. You don't inhale the pancakes, you cut little pieces. And usually you can see dark spots in the pancakes where a trinket would be. As children (3, 4, 5 years old) my sis and I never had a problem, not even once. And Mom did this every year. It's a matter of teaching kids to eat properly and not just swallow everything in sight! You know the old mantra, "chew your food"? It applies in this case! Enjoy your pancakes!
BTW, if you look back at my first post on this, you'll see a number of Newfoundlanders commenting that it is tradition for our province and they too do it.

ultimatejourney said...

So glad to hear you're enjoying things! There will always be hard days, but that's part of being a mom.

FWIW, A never took more than about 4 oz at a time and she slept 12 hours at a stretch from the time we did sleep training at 6 months old. Once they are able to get enough in during the day, it doesn't matter if it's a bunch of small meals. They've had enough calories and can sleep through the night. I'm not saying Petite is necessarily ready for this, but just that you shouldn't necessarily judge based on meal size :)

Vee said...

I hope Petite is sleeping better for you.

I love your little tradition. Gorgeous pics too!