I think most of us can agree that sleep is a very much undervalued component of health. In general, (and according to some gov't. websites) a large proportion of people do not get enough sleep. However, this is not the case in our family! My husband just flat out does not function on less than 8 hours of sleep. Or at least he doesn't like to function that way. And I personally enjoy somewhere around 9 hours a night. Yes, we're kind of lame with bedtimes between 9 and 10PM and wake ups around 6 or 7 AM, but we really enjoy sleep in this house. Naps on the weekends are a common occurrence and to give a little insight into the beginning stages of our relationship, Broghan used to visit my dorm just to nap with me after class and before hockey. We seriously started down our path by napping together. Such dorks.
Anyways it's no surprise then, that when it comes to Keller, we've been pretty adamant to put his sleep as a top priority. Since he's been around 9 months we've been doing sleep routines. I am pretty sure I saw it on the SuperNanny show, but I probably also read it in one of my many books. But our routine has always gone like this: Bath, Book, Bottle, Bed. OK ok...really it was Bath, Book/Nurse, Bed. And recently (in the last three-four months) it's been Bath then Book in Bed. So it's shortened quite a bit.
But as my title states, Oh how I love a good sleep routine! When Keller is into his routine, not sick, not cutting teeth, and not overly tired, our system works like a charm. Tonight was one of those nights and it feels oh so good to have the house cleaned up, dinner ready to go, and a sleeping toddler who went to sleep effortlessly and on his own (and has up until now, stayed in bed!).
I think the other thing that has really helped our little guy stay so healthy and happy has been our focus on not only routine but on the quantity of sleep he gets. My little sleep bible, if you will, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" has been a life saver for us. We've used a multitude of models (cry-it-out to immediate response and a combo of the two) and feel like this book is encouraging for parents no matter what style you choose. It also gives a good insight into the natural sleep patterns of babies and kids and how much sleep is really needed. I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that a toddler between the ages of 1 and 3 needs 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hours period. It's crazy isn't it! But knowing this, along with some tips given in the book, Keller is one well rested child.
We still balance between one or two naps a day, depending on bed-time the night before and wake up time that morning. And we definitely have our moments, but I can't help but be proud of my little man tonight. Routine went flawlessly and he was able to keep himself in bed and fall asleep all on his own! Ahh how I hope this keeps up, especially through the new addition coming soon. (I know. I know. Wishful thinking!)
Keller is and has been a relatively easy child to deal with. Granted, we've had our melt-down moments but in terms of misbehaving I think he's on the lighter side. However, we have a few issues starting to come to the surface as he gets older, braver, and more determined to explore.
The first of these deals with our dogs food. He's finally out of the habit of simply going and eating it all the time and seems to be on the tail end of the going and dumping it out all the time issue too. However, now he goes and grabs one or two little fist fulls...gives me a devilish grin and takes off in the opposite direction of me to go and throw the food somewhere such as in the hall between our bedrooms or even on the rug in his room. Usually Marvin is close behind ready to eat it when he playfully tosses it all but when I'm constantly trying to pick up the missed pieces it gets to be a lot.
The second deals with biting. From what I've heard and read it's kind of something we'll just have to deal with and not really discipline. But they do say to tell the child it's not okay and then to re-direct...well how the heck -do you re-direct a kid who comes in for a giant open mouth kiss and then ends it by biting your lip! (look out all you moms with little girls...I think my son is going to be trouble in 10+ years...which isn't really surprising knowing who his father is! hehe). It's also hard to figure out since he's never biting out of aggression...it's always when he's playing or going in for kisses and such.
Anyways, I just finished our first attempt at a time-out due to the dog food behavior. I'm not sure if Keller even realized what we were doing but I had him sit down in a specific spot for about 3 minutes and I sat there next to him keeping his attention on me and explaining that I didn't like it when he threw Marvin's food. He stayed seated and engaged (most of those 3 minutes) and at the end I had him give me a hug and kiss and told him I loved him. I also explicitly said that we were doing a time out. Keller is only 19 months and honestly I know he's a bit behind in terms of language development (heck, we're in speech therapy) so a lot of the time I feel like he understands some but obviously not all of what I try to explain to him, so I don't really know if he caught on to what we did...especially since it was the first try.
I'm hoping to use this little "time-out" technique as consistently as possible, especially in regards to the dog food since it's a behavior I'd really appreciate not having to deal with anymore.
I think the most confusing part for me is that he is so good at responding to me saying no or leave it alone to so many other things. Like just now, he pulled out the power cord to my computer and was going to put it in his mouth but as soon as I said no he stopped and he easily handed it back to me. It's probably just his "thing"...this dog food issue, especially since he's been into it since before he could fully crawl.
So anyways, I'll be looking into this more now but seriously curious as to when other mom's of toddlers started the "time-outs" as opposed to the redirecting tactic. Comments appreciated!
So I'm not sure if I've just had a burst of energy today due to the excitement of reaching 36 weeks (tomorrow) or if this is that "nesting" energy I've heard about. I had never experienced this in my first two pregnancies for an obvious reason...I've never successfully made it to 36 weeks and beyond. But here I am and I am incredibly thrilled! Knowing my luck and the way the world works for me, I'll still be pregnant a month and a half from now (going somewhere near the 42nd week). However, I can't help but be pumped up knowing I could have a little baby in my arms soon soon SOON!
So as many know, and I'm sure many don't really understand, we're planning a home birth. It's the third time we've planned one of these so to say we're prepared is quite the understatement. I've also done all of my training to be a birth doula and am obsessively reading blogs, baby websites and books revolving around pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum stuff so I feel uber prepared in terms of knowing and understanding what is going on with my body. At our last midwife appointment last Saturday, we got to go over the "what to do if baby comes before the midwife" scenario and we got a lot of questions answered regarding birth and I think Broghan feels a lot more prepared and calm about the entire experience now.
I'm also over the moon to try a water delivery. I've experienced two natural deliveries already so I know it's not a matter of pain control, but how awesome will it be to be able to give our baby a smoother and more gentle transition into the world! Ahh..I get so excited. :). Broghan & I decided to go ahead and buy our own birth pool (don't worry...we use a liner when I use it) and we got it a week or so ago and I think it will be awesome. Keller had a lot of fun playing in it (without water) but this summer we might pull it out as a kiddie pool since the height can be adjusted so easily.
Also, with a home birth there are a lot of things that we as parents need to get ready. Supplies, baby goods, towels, clothes, sheets for the bed, food, etc. and after tonights little shopping adventures with K-man, I think I've got pretty much everything! That's another record...we're actually completely PREPARED for this birth and baby!
On a side note: I'm not sure if I ever published it but late in 2010 I had written a post detailing our choices as parents in regards to raising Keller and also in regards to pregnancy and birth. Either way, expect more about that in future posts. I don't mean to put pressure on others who choose other directions, but I do want people to know and understand our choices and that just because it's not mainstream does not mean its unsafe. (in a lot of ways, its actually safer...but again..another post). I just have struggles balancing between explaining and advocating versus venting and offending. I'm sure you'll all see that come out later, so forgive me in advance if I cross that line. I try to understand why women choose things that are different....and for many of the times I get it...but I think we all run into those situations where it just will never make sense. Just wanted to throw that out there.
These were taken two-ish weeks ago when all four of my sisters and my mom were kind enough to come out and spend the weekend with me while Broghan was in Cabo, Mexico celebrating his brother's wedding.
Hello again to the world of blogging. While really, I don't have very good excuses as to why this hasn't been kept up, I have been a bit busy with Keller (now 19 months and one heck of a toddler) and being pregnant again and owning a business...oh and just living life.
Anyways, this pregnancy is drawing to a close and as many know I'm a baby-holic. I love talking, reading, learning everything and anything baby/pregnancy related. I'm sure it comes with being a mom but the desire to gab about it just never subsides.
To update on the newest Reilly in our family...I am currently 35 weeks 5 days pregnant. As far as I'm aware, there are no symptoms of pre-term labor and all health centered things are on track (weight, BP, HB, etc.). My biggest issues throughout have been acid reflux (evil I tell you...work of the devil!) and some pretty un-fun hip aches (mostly caused by this chain reaction: I lounge a lot to reduce the chance of pre-term labor...however, being in the seated position increased the ability of the baby to flop posterior...meaning the back of the head -- the hardest part -- is resting on my pelvis as opposed to floating around the front of my belly). I've been working to promote another flip and currently this baby is kind of side-lying. Facing my hips if you need help understanding that. All snuggled up on my right side- but head down :).
My goal tonight was to get an update in and to post a picture, but my husband is currently napping and Keller isn't so camera-friendly yet. I'll update this post once I've gotten it taken and you can see the largeness of my belly.