All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


THIS Moment in Time (#?) – I Spy

B put a new camera in Matthew’s room so that we can try to get rid of one of the monitors on my nightstand. The picture is perfectly clear, letting us see exactly what is going on. Poor kid… He’s going to have a hard time getting away with anything now. Ha ha!

And here’s our poor little guy with croup. He looks like he always does in these photos, but I really appreciate being able to see his chest movements tonight with the video streamed to my phone. The minute he wakes up, he’s coming into our room to sleep in the pack and play. I hate not having him with us when he’s so sick, but I wanted him to fall asleep in his familiar space.



THIS Moment in Time (#30)

Bryson is doing really well lately at sleeping. I’ve been way more relaxed sleep training him than when I trained Matthew because, well, we’re doing it 3.5 months sooner this time which means I’m not nearly as sleep deprived as I was with Matthew. With Matthew, I was so tired of being tired that it felt like brute force to get him trained (even though it really wasn’t). This time around has taken longer, with a vacation break in the middle, and is just more relaxed.

And last night, as I got ready for bed, I thought, “please, god, let tonight be the night.”. I then laughed at myself because I know it doesn’t work that way.

But last night was the night, and I credit these little 5:30-6:00 cat naps for it. We’ve been doing this 3 days in a row, and things have progressively gotten better. Bryson slept from 8:30-7:00 last night with just one 9-minute sleep transition at 3:09 (which did not require my assistance).

I know that we’re not fully ‘there’ yet, but it’s a start.

And thanks to these little cat naps, I’m getting the snuggles I’m giving up each night (which was hurting my heart a bit). Everybody wins when we snuggle!


Wrapping up the Holidays

Here we are, it’s 2014, and I haven’t visited my own blog in ages. So sad… so very sad.

Things have been busy with the holidays.  My parents planned a family trip to Colorado starting on Christmas Eve, lasting until the 27th, and that trip put a wrench in everything holidays-related.  We were scrambling to buy gifts in time to ship them to the hotel, get things for the flight (stroller, accessories, car seat bag), and pack all four of us up for a four-day trip.  The trip preparations put a damper on everything else, including decorating the house and getting the lights up outside (which never happened).  Needless to say, I was a total Scrooge this year.  It just didn’t feel like Christmas.  I felt robbed – and I still do – in a way.

The trip was great – well – great in an “adult trip” sort of way.  The resort was fantastic (a very special place to my family and a resort that B and I have travelled to many times because it’s special to us too!), the room was spacious (my father insists we call it a suite, which is sooooo not me!), seeing my sisters and their kids was unforgettable, and the food was great.  But my goodness – B and I spent so much time in the room suite with napping/sleeping kids that I felt like I wasn’t able to do the things we were there to do (spend time with my parents, sisters, and their families) and that made me very grumpy.  I wasn’t upset with the kids – they nap (and well) and go to bed early (thank God!) – I was upset that we took our kids away from home ON Christmas to spend it in an unfamiliar place.  The times we spent with my family WERE great and super fun, but I just felt so disconnected from the whole thing, including Christmas in general.  I have nicely told my dad that we will not be doing that again while we have small kids – and he gets it.  I think he knows it was hard for my younger sister and me (she has 3 young kids who nap and go to bed early as well).

(I do want to make a note here that both Matthew and Bryson were complete angels on both flights.  Matthew sat in the big seat without his car seat, and he sat still and was a good boy both ways (and slept the entire return flight).  Bryson nursed and slept on the way up for both flights and flirted with everyone once we reached our cruising altitudes.  The descent on the return flight got to his ears and he cried, but no one can be upset about that.  Poor baby.  We are going to fly again this spring and are super calm about it now knowing how well the boys did for this trip.)

We celebrated with B’s family the weekend before Christmas and it was nice!  There were some annoying things like our 4 year-old niece being nasty to Matthew and our nephew constantly referring to Matthew as, “that kid,” but I put a stop to both of those situations immediately so that we could move on with merriment.  HA!  Matthew still is not into opening presents and I had to give him a time-out to get him to come sit with us to open his gifts.  After doing that, I read that that was the entirely WRONG thing to do so relaxed a great deal about his lack of interest in his gifts both in Colorado and then at our house on the 29th.  I’m learning… I’m learning  😉

We got home from Colorado on the 27th and no gifts were wrapped, so we didn’t celebrate on the 28th.  On the morning of the 28th, we felt a strong need to see B’s parents and let the kids have some good interaction with grandparents who are into them (my parents are not into any of the kids – they just aren’t).  That was good for my soul – it was great to be with B’s parents who are so happy to see us whenever we can make it work (every other week or so) and it was nice to just be still with them.  I’m not sure that makes sense – but that’s how it felt.  I always leave them feeling relaxed, which was not always the case.  B’s mom and I have come a  very long way in our relationship and respect for one another.  It feels good!

We finally did our Christmas on the 29th.  The best part about it was wrapping presents the night before.  B and I setup shop in the basement and I put the art easel together as he wrapped, wrapped, wrapped!  He bought a bunch of fun little toys for the boys, things I hadn’t seen yet, and he wanted to keep it that way so that I was surprised when the boys opened their gifts as well.  That was fun!  I picked out the discovery tower (for the kitchen) and the easel and put them both together since they were my ideas and because I like putting things together.  It worked out great!  I got a little tipsy with my favorite beer – hooray!  The next morning, Matthew took forever opening his gifts which was A-OK with me.  He got some super fun stuff from B and it was fun to see his reaction to things.  B is an AWESOME gift giver for the kids!  And this year – he NAILED it with his gift for me.  It made me cry a bit.

I got a wild hair on (our) Christmas morning and asked B if he wanted me to make a big prime rib dinner if I could find a roast (being after Christmas and all).  Of course he said yes (he loves my prime rib… and I will say that it is pretty good thank-you-Williams-So.noma!) so I got to work and spent almost 7 hours in the kitchen cooking, cooking, cooking.  Oh my god, it was like the best gift to myself!  Cooking big dinners relaxes me a great deal – prepping food calms my nerves.  I made cheese fondue (gruyere cheese, Emmentaler cheese, dry white wine, salt, pepper) as our appetizer, endive salads with blue cheese and bacon, prime rib and roasted asparagus, and chocolate fondue for dessert.  It was awesome – so fun to sit down to a multi-course meal together as a family!  We invited B’s brother who is always a fun addition to the evening!

So our holidays ended much better than they started.  They ended with loving grandparents, a happy family unit, well-rested kids (finally!), perfect gifts, and a fantastic (if I do say so myself) dinner.  Finally – finally – it felt like Christmas 4 days after the fact.

Our tree is undecorated and ready for the wood chipper.  The kids are back to their normal sleeping routines (Bryson is sleeping almost through the night with an early morning feeding sometime between 3:45 and 5:45 before sleeping again until 7:00-8:00 each morning).  Our laundry from the trip (and afterwards) is almost all caught up.  All of the new toys have homes within our home.  NYE was celebrated in an unconventional way by letting Matthew stay up to watch The Po.lar Exp.ress in our bed and then sleep all night with us (oh the joy!).  And we’re now looking forward to a 2014 full of travel (starting Jan 9th to KC) and better fitness… and much-needed (and deserved) sleep.

As my Aunt Linda loves to say – HUZZAH!



(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – We’re (Almost) There!

We are on the road to success!  Bryson was in bed for 11 hours last night with only 48 minutes of wake time spread over 4 wakings (yes, 4 is more than “normal” lately but they were short and never required me).  More importantly, he went 9 hours between feedings.  NINE HOURS!  He woke up happy, refreshed, and ready for the day at 7:15.  SEVEN FIFTEEN!

He got over 4 hours of nap time yesterday, and I’m wondering if that’s helping.  After all, “they” say that sleep begets sleep.  (This has NEVER been the case for Matthew, no matter how hard and consistently we’ve tried.)

This is so much easier this time around – I can hardly believe it!  There is almost NO crying involved.  He cries for no more than a few minutes at a time – no longer than he would if he’d start crying when I was, say, in the shower or on the toilet or tending to Matthew.  This is the kindest sleep approach we’ve ever tried in this house (and we’ve tried them all between both kids).

Sleep training

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Sleep Training Spreadsheet

A few people have asked me about this little spreadsheet I’ve referenced.

As everyone knows, I’m not happy unless I’m tracking my latest project with an overly complicated, worky, manual spreadsheet. Here is a screen shot of it – it really sums up each night and lets you visually see what’s going on. I wish I had the spreadsheet from when we did this with Matthew – I have no idea where it is. I do remember his charts being all over the place, and so far, we’re looking better this time around in regards to total sleep.

If you want a copy of this, I keep a template and can send it. Just ask. Remember, though, that it is overly complicated, worky, and manual. 😉

Sleep training

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The Monday Snapshot – It’s Going

Sleep training is in full effect (or is it affect? I don’t know, and I’m banging this out on my phone so I’m not looking it up) over here. Night one was ROUGH with 5 wakings, which was better than the night before, so it’s a win in my book. Night two, last night, was rough in its own special way but looking back on it, was better than night number 1.

We decided to try to eliminate all night feedings during this little exercise so that I don’t have to do it twice. I’m no idiot. So I added that little tid bit to my plan/spreadsheet. I love the Ferber book for making this so easy to figure out. Anyway, here’s our night:

Bryson went 4 hours between feedings on night 1, so our goal was 4.5 hours last night. He went from 8:45 – 3:26 so 6 hours and 45 minutes. WIN

Bryson did wake up before I fed him – a couple of times. Once at 11:00 with a very quick resolution and no checks from me (was asleep before the 5 minute interval was up). The second waking started at 11:40 or so, and went on and on until 12:56. I only went in once because of the timing interval, but he would fall back asleep and up again within 5-10 minutes. This happened several times but he was never up for even 5 minutes after that first waking. I count that cluster of wakings as one since he never really settled in between whimpers.

When Bryson fell back asleep at 12:56, it hadn’t yet been 4.5 hours from his last feeding, so I waited for the next waking to feed him. He didn’t even stir until 3:26.

I did fall asleep nursing Bryson (oops) for an hour. SHIT! But it was nice! I put him back to bed at 4:35 and he woke up then for the day at 6:00.

I forced him back to sleep with me in bed until 7:00.

All in all, Bryson got 9.5 hours of sleep, which I’ll take. A win since he got just over 9 hours on night one. Three wakings are better than 5. Another win!

Naps are rough – he has always cried when putting hm down, but never longer than 14 minutes. That is still the case now. He does fuss and cry mid-nap a lot, but never longer than a couple of minutes before he’s back asleep. I just got him out of his crib from a 1.5 hour nap (with interruptions) and he’s now nursing and sleeping beside me.

So I think it’s going well. Better than it did with Matthew (I think… Because I lost his spreadsheet somehow). This age is much easier so far than 9.5 months was!!


It’s Begun

Get ready for some serious sleep talk.

Out of frustration after Bryson only sleeping 2 hours before his first waking – I decided it’s time to sleep train him. The first waking went well with only 1 check after 3 minutes. He’s been sleeping 1.5 hours since then.

Call me crazy for doing this now given that we head to Colorado in 1.5 weeks, but it’s just time, you know? I was up 5 times last night between the two kids (twice for Matthew) and B was up 2 or 3 times with Bryson. That’s 8 wakings total, and 5-6 were for Bryson.

No – I’m done.

I recreated my old spreadsheet I used for Matthew (I can’t find his anywhere) and I’m armed and ready. The living room is setup for me to wait out the crying intervals. I won’t feed him before 1:00 and I’m only feeding him once. He hardly nurses as it is now, so he’ll be ok.

Here we go! Wish me luck!!