Saturday, January 25, 2014

Adventures in Sleep Training

First off, Happy 5 Month Birthday to my little stinker! 


Well, we started sleep training about three weeks ago. Spoiler alert - it works! It's pretty much the MOST AMAZING THING EVER. Here's a little recap.

We had been thinking about sleep training for a few weeks after a rough holiday season with a lot of interrupted sleep (baby with a cold + growth spurt + traveling = the perfect sleep storm). SO... we decided to start sleep training one night after two hours of trying to put Miss Emerson to to sleep. Two frustrating, cry-filled hours. We had been doing a strict bedtime routine for a week or so (this was also a huge improvement), which was working great to get her down. But, she would wake up after about a half an hour and then it would take up to two hours to get her back down to sleep. Goodbye nightly adult time... The past couple weeks I had also been getting very short tempered and cranky. I don't function well with such little sleep (does anyone?). She had also started waking up ever few hours again throughout the night (and this was after she had been doing good with 5-6 hour stretches). Dang the holidays and messing up our schedule! :) I was beyond frustrated. So, after some research on what to actually do, we decided to just go for it.

The Plan: 
Cry-it-out (within reason). To us, this meant putting her down with the normal bedtime routine. If she woke up and/or started crying we would wait 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes (increasing every time) then go into her room, pat her on the head/tummy gently to soothe her and put her binkie back in her mouth. No picking her up, no talking to her except for some shushing.

Night one:
After two hours of crying off and on (we would get her down and 10 minutes later she would wake up screaming), we decided to go for it. We went in every 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes until she finally calmed down after about 45 minutes and went to sleep. I thought it would be really hard (especially after a failed attempt a week or so earlier - we weren't mentally prepared yet!) but I was so frustrated and tired, I was more determined to make this happen than anything.

Night two:
Em did better and it was slightly harder on me. Her crying was near hysterical at times and it was hard to listen to through the monitor. Luckily we have a video monitor so I could see how she was doing without going in the room. We stuck to the pattern though, starting with every 10 minutes this time, then 15 minutes. The hard part was that Gramma Vonnie was there and kept wanting to go in to comfort her (and not within the appropriately planned timeline!). I forbid her though! No way were we going to go backwards. The bedtime routine was clutch, but she still woke up after about 45 minutes. After another 30-45 of the 5/10/15 routine she was finally asleep for good. Better.

Night three:
Kind of rough. She was still waking up after 30-45 minutes. We'd wait 10 minutes, go put her binkie in and pat her tummy/head, then walk out of the room. That continued for about 45 minutes again, but once the binkie was back in, she would be out. 

Night four-six: 
About the same as above, gradually getting better with less wake ups. 

Week two:
After about a week, she was already getting much better about staying asleep after we put her down. Maybe only one wake up where we'd wait to see if she could put herself back to sleep and if not, we'd go put the binkie in after 15 minutes and she would be fine. 

Three weeks later:
Fast forward to now and she is rocking it! We usually put her down at 7 with a bottle and she is out. For the past two nights she hasn't woken up crying at all! We then feed her before we go to bed around 10:30-11 which holds her until morning. She has been waking up between 4-5 and then we change her diaper and usually bring her in to bed with us until we wake up about 6:30. It works for us for now. My goal is to get her to sleep in her crib til 6:30, but for now this is a huge improvement and I'm taking it!

Moral of the sleep-training story - it is the best thing ever. For this tired and cranky Mama it was a life saver. The main thing that helped was just making a plan and staying consistent. Same bedtime and bedtime routine each night, consistency with the sleep training method, and feeding her before we go to bed helped SO much (having a full tummy helps her get through the night). It was also really important that Zach and I were on the same page with how we were sleep training and what the routine is. The routine is now sacred in our house. It needs to happen every night! We have veered off it for a couple nights here and there (you need to have some flexibility) but then hop right back on. It makes me not want to travel ever again so we won't disrupt the sleeping schedule! Haha. I'm sure we will, and when we do hopefully the bedtime routine, etc. will still help with her sleep through the night.

Yay for sleep training! I would highly recommend it. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby's First Christmas

Honestly, I'm just glad I survived the holidays this year! With the baby, Zach traveling for residency interviews, starting work again... it was a lot jam packed into December. But, we made it! And we had some fun doing it. We love our family time and it was even better with the little one. 

Em did so awesome seeing Santa. We went to The Landing and luckily there was absolutely no one in line for Santa! That was one of the things I was dreading about going to see Santa... waiting in line for over an hour does not sound at all appealing to me with a four month old. But Santa was SO nice. He was smitten with Emerson, too. Since there was no one behind us in line, he took his time holding her after the pictures were taken. He said he had four kids in college and missed having little ones around. So cute! 

Our favorite little present.

She mastered her "Hungry Tiger" face. I love it. She does it all. the. time. I think that's how she tries to laugh, but no sound comes out!

Someone got a little spoiled.

Me and my little Mini Me.

One of our weekly pics... I just love this one!
Christmas baby selfie!
Hanging out with GG!
Conquering the art of present-opening.

We continued our annual tradition of driving around to look at Christmas lights and opening our stocking gifts (and ornaments) to each other. I love this tradition! It's our first Christmas tradition that was between just the two of us when we got married. I love our families, but I also love this time we get just the two of us to exchange our small gifts and ornaments. This year we brought Em along (of course, although she was asleep the whole time), got our coffee ready and headed over to Ballard to the Olympic Manor neighborhood. We'd gone there a few years ago and it was awesome - the whole neighborhood is lit up! After driving around and giving our critiques, we pulled over and exchanged gifts - I got Zach a cell phone charger dock and a coffee mug with pictures of Em (from Shutterfly - awesome!) and he got me two silicone baking mats and a sweet coffee tumbler. Em and I made our ornaments this year (two actually) - salt cookie ornaments with her hand and foot prints (he loved). He got me one with boots, one big pair and one small pair that says "like mother like daughter." I love it!


We picked out Em's first Christmas tree from this awesome farm - Zach cut it down while Em and I supervised. As you can tell, she wasn't very enthused.

We had a great Christmas filled with lots of card playing, food, laughs and family time (with a little bit of rough sleeping nights thrown in). Overall, it was an awesome Christmas!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Four Months

Four month stats: 16 lbs 5.5 oz, 26 1/4 inches

I'm catching up! Our little stinker was four months old on Christmas Day! We are keeping up our weekly and monthly photo traditions and it makes me so happy! It's kind of fun thinking up outfits for our little photo shoots and I LOVE being able to look back and see how she has changed throughout the weeks. 

During her fourth month there were a lot of changes. I started back at work and was so sad that my maternity leave was over. If only I could stay home with her every day, but alas I need to bring home the bacon while the hubby is kicking butt and finishing up med school (only four more months!!!). Also this month were the holidays which meant some travel threw off our schedule. Not very fun in the sleeping department but we made it through.

Here's some highlights from little miss Em's fourth month of life:

- Mastered the art of the "hungry tiger" face! (you'll know it when you see it below)

- Started doing this thing where she rolls her tongue. So funny to watch and we thought for a hot minute she might be teething (that would be early!) but no teeth yet thank goodness!

- Sticking her tongue out a lot - she loves that tongue

- Started putting everything in her mouth 

- Loves sucking on her fingers (and ours)

- Slightly pushing up with her arms during tummy time

- Still hates tummy time (but is doing well with her neck and back strength)

- Responding really well to noises and talking (and her name on rare occasions)

- Very smiley and giggly! Loves being on her changing table and playing with her Bunny Frou Frou

- We have little cooing convos back and forth

- Loves spending time with her Grandmas when they watch her every week!

- Very contemplative and serious at times trying to figure things out.

- She got her first little cold - just a stuffy nose but it sucked! Cue the humidifier and saline solution! Luckily it passed, but she did have trouble sleeping because of it.

- Sleeping is all backwards probably because of a growth spurt, cold, and traveling, among other things. We had a few very rough nights trying to get her down to bed. Lots of rocking to get her to sleep (by mom only, too). On the plus side, on one of her sick nights the only place she would fall asleep (after three hours of off and on crying/rocking) was her crib for the first time! Since that night she has slept in the crib in her nursery! So that was a nice way to force us to move her to the crib. It was still a challenge getting her used to it after that, but I am not turning back!!! 

- Going back to work has been very hard, but I guess we are getting used to it (do you ever?!)? I started out working two days a week from home while my mom watched her two days and Zach's parents watched her one day. It hasn't been very busy at work so that was fine for a while, but I actually hated working from home. It was so hard! I did not like the feeling of being pulled in two different directions all day long... Crying baby and trying to work. Playing with baby and trying to work. So. Hard. I hated it. So, now we are going to daycare three days a week... I think it will be better for everyone, but at the same time very hard for me as well! At least now I can get my work done and go home to play with Em instead of having to make up hours all night. 

Month four was very tough but also a lot of fun. I love watching Em learn and grow and develop every day. She is such a happy girl and makes me so happy in return. I love her to pieces! 

Such a little ham...

Thanksgiving family time!

She may have fallen asleep sucking her thumb during tummy time.

But she was all ready for black friday!
Rocking the polka dot legwarmers...

...and the polka dot chair.

That smile. :)

Uncle Aaron!

Of course.

She's definitely a Boehme/Kane.
Picking out her first Christmas Tree!

Cuteness. Pure cuteness.

Whatever works.

Love her smile.


This might be my favorite picture ever. I just love it.

Gettin' fancy!


GO HAWKS!!!

HUNGRY TIGER!!!!!




Month five is already bringing lots of changes, but in a good way! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Three Months


Whoa... I'm a little behind... ok a lot behind. But better late than never, right?! Time is flying and I am having so much fun watching her grow up and learn new things every day. I love being a Mama and especially to little Miss Emerson. 

Month three brought lots of smiles and giggles. My favorite things by far. She is such a happy girl and loves to laugh at her Mama making funny noises and faces. Month three also brought much more fussiness. Up to this point she had been doing really well with very few cry-fests. Month three brought many consecutive nights of fussiness before bed during the "witching hour." Did I mention baby cries are the worst, most heart wrenching sound ever?! We are still figuring it out though... working on getting a solid bed time routine down and eventually will be working on transitioning to her sleeping in her own room in her crib. That will come when she doesn't wake us up during the night anymore though. We are still getting up once a night with her, which isn't too bad, but I can't wait til I can get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep again (if ever?!?!). 

Let's see, what else? She's still a really good eater. She loves being tall and walking around, taking everything in. We have "conversations" now that consist of us saying "whooooo" back and forth to each other. It's the cutest ever and I can't wait til she starts talking more (I might regret saying this... haha)! She's also drooling a ton and loves putting EVERYTHING in her mouth. She's so good at grabbing things now. Then straight to the mouth. She also loves her tongue and will stick it out any chance she gets. 

We didn't do a ton throughout November since Zach was working a rotation with *hopefully* his future residency program. That meant long hours and six days a week at the hospital. Em and I got lots of good bonding time in though! 



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