The 18 Month Sleep Regression

We have hit it… You know the time when your baby is technically a toddler and they are making their way through a transition, another transition,…and not just any transition but the sleeping transition.

C has finally gotten feeling better and back to sleeping through the night when all of a sudden he’s starting to wake at night and won’t go back to sleep with just a simple reassurance as he has in the past few weeks. I’m confused, tired, perplexed on what is going on….. I’ve been reading and hoping that I would come across the magical solution or wand per say that I could use to make this trying time simply go away and allow everyone in our home get back to their nightly ritual of getting a good night’s sleep with no interruptions. And they lived happily ever after. The End. Hey now, this isn’t a fairy tale or make believe – its real life and therefore life sometimes give us some struggles to push through. This being one of them…

20140226-112507.jpgOur night time ritual for C is simple. Bath by 6:45, Read a few books with lullaby music in the back ground, drink if needed and then cuddle while rocking in rocker until just asleep at 7:30 if not sooner. Now this works for most nights – and he’s out until about 1030-11pm. Then the waking begins. Some nights more than others. I’ve contemplated with “has he had enough to eat at dinner, did he eat something that made his tummy hurt, is it his 2 year old molars, is he wet, lost the pacifier, “ I mean my list could go on and on.

Today 20140226-112514.jpghowever, I have decided (solely because of the research I have done the past few days that has lead me to decide this) he has met with the 18 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION!!! Agggghhhhh

My research has lead me to the following information on sleep regression. Most people use sleep regression to mean that a baby or toddler, who’s been sleeping well, suddenly (often without any warning) begins waking frequently at night and/or refusing to nap during the day. C will nap with no problem however the length is always of question. These regressions usually last for a period of time (anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks), and then the baby’s sleep returns to its normal patterns. And I so hope so!!

Interesting to note too is that babies and toddlers have this sleep regression not just at 18 months! It can occur around 4 months, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18 and then again at 24 months. I’m happy to note that we have just now had to deal with the regression at 18 months and no sooner as some parents might have had to. I hope that after we make it through this one that the 24 month will keep away! I’m happy to say The Baby Sleep Site has been very helpful for me and C as he continues to grow. I used their site a few times in the transition from bassinet to crib and the slight bumps along the way up until today.

20140226-112526.jpgHere are some other helpful websites I have found good useful information in regards to sleep regression and sleep in general for toddlers. My plan to make it through is to stick to our guns and what has worked for us and hope that after the 2-6 weeks that we are back to being sleeping beauties!

The Sleep Lady – Toddler Sleep Problems
The Baby Sleep Site
Sleep Tight Consultants
National Sleep Foundation – Children & Sleep

Our fight for air

Well, today is the day. At 10:55am our team, smokeless and the bandits take on 32 flights of stairs.

As nervous as I am I because of under preparation and a cold that seems to continue to linger I’m hopeful Ill do well. I’ve done some reading and took some pointers of other fellow climbers – slow and steady pace, control breathing from the get go, and taking water as needed at the water stations.

Thank you also to Julie Deardorff and you article in the Chicago Tribune- “During a competition, pay attention to your breathing and find your pace. Nicola suggests not exceeding 30 breaths per minute. If your legs are on fire and your chest is heaving, stop, relax and restart at a reduced pace, he said.

“I break the race apart in three pieces,” said 36-year-old Cindy Harris of Indianapolis, one of the world’s best female stair climbers and the women’s six-time defending champion of the Hancock. At 5 foot 1 and 95 pounds, Harris can fling herself up the stairs. “The first third I find my pace. I work harder in the second [stretch], and in the third, I see what I have left.”

“Terry Purcell, the three-time defending men’s champion, incorporates 10 to 15 floor sprints into his workouts. “It’s similar to mile repetitions for a 5K race,” said Purcell, 34, of New Berlin, Ill. “I vary [the sprints] to improve speed on shorter distances.”

“Purcell doesn’t run. He shuffles. “You don’t want to lift your feet too high off the stairs, that’s wasted energy,” he said. “You lift your feet just high enough to get to the next step.”

Ill take your pointers, tips and hopefully report back later today that I made it with my team to the top of the Hilton. I’m not worried about making it within a specific time. My goal is to complete this challenge and say I did it!

Unofficial time and experience to come!

Recap- finished the climb at 6 minutes and 21 seconds. Not bad right! For someone who thought it would take me about 20 just to be sure I didn’t kill over on the stairs!

Gives me something to push to beat next year!

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Nighty, Night, Sleep Tight….

So this weekend starts our sleep training for C. He’s been a great sleeper since he was born. He slept through the night the first night he came home! Awesome right?!? Nothing like his older brother JD, who didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2 years old. Talk about a tired mommy and daddy. When C doesn’t sleep or eat well I know something has to be wrong – maybe ear infection or new tooth.

When we went to Utah and stayed in our condo is where I think started us on the journey to creating a problem. While there C would wake in the night, probably due to not knowing where he was or even better a strange room and not in his crib. When he would wake I would immediately (I know- bad mom) go and get him. He and JD on vacation shared a room and therefore I did not want him to wake his brother. For the entire week when he woke he would lay with mommy on the couch until at least 5-5:30 each morning.

This has continued until now, partly because 1- he has been sick 2- I HATE having him cry when I know he’s not feeling well. Bad mommy I know, but who can have their little one who is coughing, snotty nose, and mild fever, cry it out…..not this sucker (momma). Now that he has been on medicine for his ear infection, got past most of the viral pneumonia couch, and got his final tooth until he’s two, it’s time for mommy to work on getting him back on track.

We have a good bed time schedule set for the boys – after dinner and homework we have play time which allows the boys to run around and get out the last little bit of energy before its time for their baths, quite book time and then bed. C likes to be read to while rocking and listening to soothing classical music or lullabies. C goes down with no problem for us but it’s in 2-3 hours of his falling asleep that he wakes. My nights have consisted of multiple waking to changing diapers, getting drinks and laying with him in our guest bed as I too have been sick and overly tired due to our nightly waking schedule.

When I think about how we will attempt this – I start to cringe, only because I know it will be a few days of roughness. However in the end it will be better for us all in our home! Right?!20140207-145343.jpg

Say a prayer for our home this weekend as we might have a few tired ones on Monday but I know in the end we will be able to do this and get everyone some much needed sleep!

Are you going through the same – here are a few resources I found to be useful. Enjoy!

Sleep Training – Parenting.com
Age-by-Age Sleep Training Guide – Parenting.com
7 Books explaining the most common sleep training methods – Family Education

iPad, oh how I loathe you…..

There are very few things I despise or loathe in this world, but there is one that has come to the top of my list just in this past weekend – our iPad. It wasn’t always like this – I used to love using it and seeing my children also being able to use the features it offered.

See before our family had an iPad, we all did more together as a family. We played games together, colored, hide and seek, interacted more, doing more outside of a “screen”….the list goes on and on. But since Apple products have found their way into our home I have seriously resented introducing the iPad to my eldest son, JD.

You’re probably wondering why would she hate such a wonderful, multitasking product that could help make my life easier, and could be used as a teaching tool?20140119-154722.jpg

Our iPad was initially used for my husband for work. When it came home every now and then we would all get to use it. I was excited for our family to have one to allow us to use it to connect to the Internet without being in the home off at our pc. We slowly introduced JD to it because at the time apps where slowly being developed and we were hesitant to let our little one use it without parental help. Now realize we at the time had iPhones and occasionally allowed him to watch Sesame Street videos, PBS, and many more on them when we would go to dinner, and while we would travel.

I thought it was great when we would find educational games with counting, letters, sight words and more. What started our as a good piece of technology that was helping our family in a multitude of ways was slowly turning on me. Games like temple run and minion rush have now moved in and have overwhelmed my lil JD that the educational games never get played anymore. Don’t get me wrong these games are fun at times in MODERATION. Not only is this game playing on our home iPad but it has extended to our phones and not just mommy and daddy’s but also on into the grandparent’s phones.  I have already deleted those games that are not educational and will continue to keep my phone “game” free unless it has some type of educational purpose for the boys to enjoy learning.

Yes I know at times it is easier to give a child a phone to watch a movie or play a game to give you a few seconds to yourself. Trust me I know I am part to blame for this. And that is why after a weekend of hell of throwing fits and crying, screaming – “I want the iPad” over and over again that I am standing my ground and no longer allowing the iPad to be the “babysitter” per say to keep my child entertained.

We enjoy the library, we enjoy being outside, we like doing things together so iPad my friend, my dear – I think you’re days are numbered here soon. You may be a reward for a WEEK of great school work, no fits, etc. I see you as a 10-15 minute reward on the WEEKENDs but you will never again be “babysitting” or entertaining my child for hours on end. I’m stopping this now! And I hope you my readers, do the same. What happened to having fun, learning, games, reading, interacting with others before technology grew so big?

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

easychickentetrazziniAre you looking for a easy but filling recipe that will make the family want more? We love our chicken tetrazzini recipe and hope you will too! I tend to split this recipe into two pans so that we can have one now and the other later in the month! The recipe originally came from Kraft foods, however over the years we have made it our own with slight tweaks here and there.

What You Need

1/2 lb. wheat or whole grain spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces or canned cubed chicken
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 can (14.5 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3-5 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/2 cup-1 cup Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
seasonings (to taste) – garlic power, onion power, pepper, oregano

Lets Get Cooking……

Heat oven to 350°F.

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, cook chicken and vegetables in large nonstick skillet 5 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Add in seasonings per taste. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.20140113-125646.jpg

Bring Neufchatel, flour and broth to boil in same skillet, whisking constantly; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min., stirring frequently.

Drain spaghetti; return to saucepan. Add Neufchatel sauce, chicken mixture and 2-3Tbsp. Parmesan; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; Top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan; cover.

Bake 25 min. Uncovered, 5 – 10 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

Next time – If your adventurous – try adding other vegetables that you know your family would like. Peas, carrots, red pepper….. Then enjoy!

It’s in a book….

Now that the crazy chaotic December is past us and we are back in our grove (back to school, back to work, etc) its time for JD and I to get back to our reading adventure we have created earlier last year. JD loves to read! He has well over 100 books, maybe even over 200 or so and continues to want more. 100_0687I’m thankful for my sister who also got him interested in the library this past summer where we have been able to continue his love of finding new books, reading the adventures they have for him and retelling the story in his own words. All without having to purchase them!

The other day I was reading – 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons by a fellow blogger, and # 4 Read to him and read with him really stuck with me. We have read to him from the day JD was born. I remember when I was home on maternity leave reading him the books he got from his Auntie Ashley. And even when Auntie would visit she would always read to him too! 100_0331 I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things where we go to the library weekly to enjoy in the actual physical books to read and enjoy the time together. Saturdays have been our special days for JD and I to go to the library, get a bag or two full of books and enjoy reading them together, with daddy or even his little brother.

Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.” Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading…reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

I challenge other parents to take the time to enjoy a book together. Lets your creativity go wild with your imagination while reading!

Need some suggestions on books to read together with your young one? Check out my educational board that I started for the boys. Great suggestions on getting started together! Enjoy the adventure.

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New Year, New You but New Me?!?

After a few weeks of not blogging I thought what better time to start back up again – than to get myself rolling with the new year vastly approaching us. With 2013 coming to an end, its time for me to come up with my list of resolutions….which I hope that i can try to be able to check off and complete this year. I’m hoping that it won’t be to hard with our active family! Image

1) OrganizationFirst things first – Organizing!!! This year I want to be more proactive and be more organized at home. I feel a little purging is in our near future. As much as I love to be able to hold on to things that I “might” use again down the road and have yet to do so, its time to do just that! It will take some will power to do but I’ll keep reminding myself its for the best!

2) Take time for myself to enjoy the things I love to do.
Read more – a book a month – that shouldn’t be to hard right!?! Paint more, craft more…..
3) Family Wellness / Fitness
A great gift from my husband to the family this Christmas was a new membership to the Y here in Springfield. I’m looking forward to the classes and know the kids will enjoy their classes and the pool too. Hopefully together 2014 can turn into the family back into a fit one together!

4) Try new recipes/Cook more together as a family
We tend to get in ruts throughout the year/seasons on the meals we like to have and those that are easy to make to get the job done. I’m hopeful with my pinterest boards that we can jazz up our meals and try more enticing entrees as we go!

5) New Business
I’ve been kicking around the idea of my own business (graphic design, analytics, web, etc) and think this year will be the year to start taking bigger steps to making that dream a reality!

To help me complete these goals I will keep blogging each month on the progress making each month its own special project per say. Will you join me and take the new year and make a new “you” too!

Resolution 2014 Pinterest Board of Ideas!