Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting ready for our Bobby

In preparing for Bobby, I also am trying to complete some projects that do not relate to him, but are on my to do list.  For example, I'd like to sew on the badges for the big kids' uniforms (AHG and Cub Scouts.)  And here is something that I did while working on Bobby's towel.  I redid Drew's towel so it would fit him.  I love the improvements with the wing tips and "A" on the hood.

 I completed Bobby's stocking and even put his name on it.  I'm happy to have that done so he can have his stocking up during Advent this year, assuming with have our shipment of goods by then in Germany.

 I am making him a scrap crazy quilt.  So far, since I am using up scraps,  I only had to buy the block (plain) fabric and that was only three dollars.  It's coming along well, but this is one thing I really want to have finished by the time that he is born.
This is the top of the quilt for him that is not quite finished.  I am adding a part of a poem from Robert Louis Stevenson and a quote from St. Robert Bellarmine to the big blank blocks and I am going to applique his name on the nay stripe at the bottom of this photo.  Then I have to go to Joanne's and find a backing fabric that I like and finish it up.
I'm over 37 weeks now!  Baby's head is down, and he seems to have dropped.  I guess I really need to get cracking on my to do list.  Judah really put a kink in my production the last two weeks with sucking all my time, sleep, and energy.

Sleep Regression of the Worst Kind

So starting on our vacation, Judah started sleeping less and less, but he was still going to sleep okay on his own like always.  The night before we left something happened that I still can not define with certainty and Judah started hysterically screaming about five minutes after I put him in his bed to sleep for the night.  I went in immediately because he NEVER does that...EVER!  The cat ran out from under his bed, but I figured that probably wasn't the cause because she stows away in there quite often and I go let her out before I go to bed when I notice her absence in our room.  A few times though she's stayed in there all night when I didn't notice.

Anyway, I could not figure out what was wrong and tried to calm him without picking him up as is my usual policy with babies who are not sick or hurt, etc.  I left the room and he became hysterical again so I decided I'd give him a few minutes while finishing getting Drew in bed.  He was still really crying when I finished with Drew so I went back in and tried rocking him and doing the last part of our bedtime routine with him again.  This worked and he went to sleep with just a little protest crying as I left the room.  As I said, we left for vacation the next day and he didn't have trouble getting to sleep at our friends' house.

We returned and the first night he went right to sleep in his own bed.  The next morning I had a doctor's appointment and he fell asleep on the way home.  When I tried to give him his regular nap later that afternoon, he protested the entire time.  I gave up thinking it had to do with him falling asleep on the drive.  The week went downhill from there each nap or bedtime getting worse and worse until I would go in and sit with him while he fell asleep (which wasn't long, but that's because he was completely exhausted.)  Then things got even worse and he started waking up in the morning earlier and earlier until it became not even morning when he was waking and ready for me to get him out of the crib.  When that time hit 3:30am, I decided that something had to be done to get him back to sleeping like my sweet boy always had.

I had tried a myriad of things, like talking him into it.  He's very verbal and understands a lot, but he was being very irrational (I know!  An irrational toddler is just unheard of!) and would not even listen to my rationalizing.  I tried giving him books in his crib or toys even.  We tried praying about it, for peace for him, during our regular routine prayers before bedtime and talking about being peaceful in his crib.  I even took him to the doctor to make sure there were no ear infections or hidden causes of this crisis in sleeping, which there were not.

Since all those things weren't working and sitting in there with him was making it worse and not better, I went with letting him cry it out.  Let's just say that he is a stubborn little guy.  Who knew he could fall asleep standing up over and over again for five hours, waking himself as his legs buckled.  He actually refused to lay down longer than I could have ever imagined.  He did begin to go to bed at night better after a few rough days with less than an hour of standing all the way down to returning to not crying and just going right to sleep when I laud him in his crib.  The whole next week he refused to nap though and stood during the whole nap each day.  Over the weekend I decided to try not offering a nap for two days and see if it would just break the cycle and it did.  On Monday afternoon, he finally took and afternoon nap.  I am hopeful it will continue.  He seems to be back to his normal, happy self again.

I was a complete mess with literally less sleep than when he was a newborn, so I am thrilled to be able to get some peaceful sleep again.  In the end, I've come to the conclusion that this is a combination of things that caused this problem.  Brian has been gone during the week days due to an out of town work obligation, and I have had a sitter come and help me out two evenings a week.  He seemed insanely clingy to me during this whole sleepless event and I think that was the main cause.  However, I think me continually going in to his room thinking I could handle this at his age (22 months) without doing a cry it out just made it worse.  I have never had to do cry it out at such an old age.  There have been sleep problems that have arisen with the other children after 18 months, but I have always been able to deal with them in other ways.  Who knew?  They are all so different!

We started "blanket time" finally.  I usually wait until they give up the morning nap and I realized that it's been a month since he gave that up and I hadn't started it yet.  I just feel like it helps move them towards being able to do quiet, alone "room time" which is something we really need with homeschooling, not to mention helping with obedience.

This was after Mass over a week ago when we were in the midst of the worst of the cry it out and/or sleep standing up.  He had been playing in a mud puddle and Brian thought his messy face was cute...even though it was a crying face.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Last Vacation Before Bobby Arrives

Two weeks ago, we went to stay with some friends again.  This time it was for almost a whole week.  What crazy friends we have that would invite us for a whole week! I was blessed enough to spend most of the time with my feet up and in the ever so pregnant woman-friendly, gravity-defying place called the pool.  The only thing we did that was not restful was go to the zoo.  It was a hot, hot day and I got a lot of sympathetic comments from other women and some outright shock that I would even be there at all.  Believe it or not, it was my idea to go.  I have a history of going to the zoo when I am very pregnant for some reason.  I think it is because I'd rather tough out the heat and discomfort of a pregnant belly at the zoo than disrupt naps of an infant.  Priorities!  And I have really only had one of those two options for most of the last ten years.

All the kids, but the toddlers in strollers

Judah loves animals so much and I thought he needed a zoo trip before leaving the country.  He had some sleep troubles start on this trip, but they started small enough, mainly shorter afternoon naps, despite how much we tried to wear him out at the pool and zoo, and waking up crazy early in the morning.  More on that later.

My handsome godson and Judah's stroller buddy!

Our drive home was insane!  A 3.5 hour drive turned into a 5 hour drive where I miss my exit and end up in DC in a flash flood after sitting in traffic forever on 95.  I kept apologizing to the kids for missing the exit because they were hungry and I had just told them we were almost home.  They kept telling me it was okay and were super sweet about the whole thing.  Even Judah handled the longer drive well and he's not our best traveler ever.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Piano Recital: Part 2

A few pre-recital photos and the YouTube videos of their actual playing at the bottom.  

They got complimented on their hair by the teacher in front of the whole audience.  Hannah cried about it before we left the house.  She hates when I do her hair now.

Isaac's Recital Video

Genevieve's Recital Video

Hannah's Recital Video

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Piano Recital

 The three big kids had their piano recital this morning.  It was Isaac's first one, and he was nervous.  Hannah was not as nervous because she played these songs in the National Guild already.  Genevieve was "so excited" in her own words and not nervous.  They all did such a great job that it made my heart so happy!  Their songs were beautiful.  The little guys even cooperated during the recital and allowed mom and dad to actually watch the recital.

Judah was leaning on my belly, eating his snacks.

Drew set a world record for the longest time he has ever colored quietly in his life.  When I ask him to hold the marker the right way, he tells me that he wants to do it his own way.  He's going to be a fun one to teach!


Apparently, Hannah has my "mad" standing face.  We're not mad, people!  We are in deep thought and smiling takes so much energy.

Hannah's Guild certificate was presented to her.

Group Picture

More pictures and videos to come!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oh Brother!

 On the weekends, the boys have been having some good quality dad time since his work is making weekdays impossible right now.  Here they are having a good old game of catch in the street with dad.

Then they spent some good time by the fire pit burning extra brush around the yard.  Isaac got a souvenir from these adventures called a tick on his face.  It gets better though.  I get the Mother of the Year award for thinking it was a speck of dirt and not making sure he actually washed up before bed.  So the tick got to hang on to his cheek for the whole night until Genna finally asked what was on his face.  It was a tiny little guy and came off easily despite getting a full night to embed his head into my son.  I think this is just easing me into being the mother of four boys.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

German School Report Cards (and a big announcement at the bottom of the post!)

The kids all got their report cards for German school a couple of weeks ago.  Brian read Isaac's first and told me I should read it.  It was apparently really flattering.  I was reading it with Isaac standing over my shoulder smiling, and when I got to the second paragraph he said, "Mom, you're really not going to believe this part."  It said he had good listening skills.  :)  He thought I wouldn't believe it because I seriously ask this boy everyday of his life, "What are those things sticking out of the side of your head?  Are they for decoration?"  He never listens to me, but apparently he listens to everyone else.  His Cub Scouts leader, his t-ball coach, and now his German school teacher.

Turns out all the kids had good reports and it makes a mom feel very good to know her kids are behaving and learning even when she's not standing over them with her "Mrs. Teacher" hat on.

It is especially important that they are improving so much on their German since we found out not too long ago that we are headed back to Germany for Brian's work.  We'll be heading out sometime in the fall, to be determined somewhat by the selling of our house and the newborn baby getting a passport.   Life's about to get way crazier than we thought!