Bob the fish.
had to take a break there for a bit. just hadnt felt like writing lately. that and akello came down with a case of the pink eye. poor little bro! he woke up last monday with goey eyes like a newborn kitten. So Sad! he would rub his little hands all over his eyes cuss he couldnt open them for a few seconds after waking up. We had been treating it with breast milk and warm compresses. We just poured a little breastmilk in his eye every 30 mins or so. then we increased the care with some Goldenseal. thats an herb. we put a few drops in the milk and then put the concoction in his eye. he hated it, of course, but now he’s all better, yay for natural remedies, Theresa’s been getting some good tips from some natural mamas who know.
Akello and I havent been doing much for the past 2 weeks. been hanging out at the house pretty much Working on our George Costanza pose routine.
he has changed his sleeping recently- in a lot of ways. for one, theresa has been learning a lot about stuff and bringing it home, like with music. We would play the same music as part of his bedtime or naptime routine. well, now we have scratched the music. Not that music is a bad thing its mainly just to help him to appreciate music on its own and not something to associate with sleeping.i used to do sleep all wrong. I would time things to where he would sleep in the car. he used to take an hour nap at 9 or 10 and then one at 12 or 1. so i would let him sleep on the way to little gym and just sit in the parking lot till he woke up. stuff like that. I was always too afraid to take him out of the car and into the house thinking that i would ruin his sleep by not being able to put him back down, so i would always take my laptop or a book to read so we could hang out in the car until he woke up.
but then he started to only sleep for 30 minutes in the afternoon. then 15 minutes!!!
i was getting worried for him. it then dawned on me that the car is a horrible place to sleep. i never really thought about it. but really. we have all been there, on that road trip, we fall asleep for about 10 minutes, then we wake up realizing that our neck is sore and we are pretty much to uncomfortable to sleep anyway.
well akello must have been getting sick of it. i would look back there and there he would be, all slumped over in the weirdest position, and i would just go, "awww".
well at this same time theresa introduces the idea of getting him to fall asleep independently. NO DANCING. NO MUSIC. NO BOOB! THATS RIGHT, NO FALLING ASLEEP ON THE BREAST! (sidenote: this is very individualized, all children are different and what works for one might not work for another. That’s the beauty of the unique personality. Also, what works for one family might not work for another so as the saying goes go with YOUR flow).
So i remembered when reading the NO cry sleep solution that what you do is as soon as they gey drowsey, you lay them down and pat them and they will fall asleep. and if they dont, then pick them up, rock with them again or dance, and then try it again. do this until they get drowsy but dont let them fall asleep in your arms. well i didnt have the patience for this when i read the book but i still remembered it. so i decided to start doing it. well it was tough for a week but it was starting to work. and then it got really easy. i could pick him up when i saw that he was tired. dance with him for 30 seconds and then put him down and he would fall asleep in a minute. his eyes open as he lay down, his body still twitching a little. this was magic to me. GOLD! it was so great. NO more dancing for 30 minutes and then laying down with him in the biggest effort not to move him the slightest bit. now i was pretty much just plopping him down on the bed and patting him on the back. even moving him after he was asleep. i would never have done this a month ago. i was always so, "cant move arm....i know he'll wake up!"
well this was great but i was still dancing. so then it got worse because the next step was to not do anything. thats right. you prepare the environment by closing the shades, turning off the lights, and then you lay on the bed with him. well, he would get straight back up and off the bed to go play, and i would just lay there. i would get frustrated because i knew that he should be tired but he never was. he would play well past his usual nap time. i would get off the bed , go and get him and bring him back to the bed, singing a song and patting him on the back. but it NEVER worked. then i realized that i was putting myself first. i was putting appointments for activities ahead of him. I then let go of that and would just lay on the bed, no longer frustrated and anxious. Now he doesnt sleep until 11 or 12 and he sleeps for 3 hours! and he usually doesnt take an afternoon nap at all, but sometimes he will for an hour.
once i began to just sit there and wait for him on the bed, he would play and play and then we would eventually come to the bed crying cuss he was so tired. i would lay him down and pat him. and he would fall asleepin about a minute. that happened for about a week. Now he just comes on the bed when he is ready and plays in the pillows for a bit and next thing you know, you say, "hey, it sure is quiet in here!" you look over and akello is asleep in the pillows. GOLD! this has been so great. Now theresa has been having a tougher time at bedtime. he is coming around but for a long time he would get so angry that things changed. Theresa would nurse him (theresa’s comment: an especially wonderful way to end my day with him after being gone for sooo many hours) but not to sleep. she would delatch and put him down. he hated this. he would cry off and on for 30 mins. its was really hard on theresa but she got thru it and now he pretty much will go to sleep peacefully. Usually, when he’s finished nursing he will delatch himself, rollover and go to sleep. (ahhh the beauty of the floor bed).
we have also started to ween away from the bottle for milk. he uses a cup now. he's no expert at it but he does alright. he still cant tip his head back, doesnt get the gravity concept. He is using a cup for water, juice and now milk. He loves water.
we taught him to do this by modeling. we all had little cups at the dining table. the kind that they give you in mexico if your order a beer at one of those "fancy hotels" the kind that Hotel San Jose uses. But akello uses a heavy resturant grade shotglass. he was using a plastic cup from an ikea kids dinnerpack but it was too light and he would knock the glass down everytime he grabbed for it.
so theresa and I would drink everything with two hands very slowly out of these cups.
now is a good time for what i call DEEP thoughts by Maria Montessori, you know like SNL style.
when modeling for the child you must do it slowly. the infants brain doesnt run at the speed of an adult brain. when you talk, do it slowly (but not unnaturally like some people do when talking to foreigners) and pronounce words carefully. always use the same word for an object. talk with all members in the family about what you call things. is it a laptop or a computer? decide which word you will use and use it all the time. when you take a child for a walk around the block, walk slow so the child can take in those things that pass him by.
so there we were slowly lifting up our little drinks. i drink so slow that i now only drink one beer with dinner instead of two.
the potty time is coming along. its very hard work. its very tiring. he has peed in the potty twice. very rewarding. i mean, i offer the potty, meaning that i guess that he might have to pee and i go sit him down on the potty and wala! i guessed right! its not like he crawls to the potty and sits down. with the training pants theres is a much higher chance of us having a poo-tasrophe especially if akello has chile for dinner the night before.
hmm, must of learned this by watching mama, ill have to talk to her about that.
One of our readers, Susan, let me on to a great tip last week. JC penny carries a brand called WEE ESSENTIALS. they make a training pant that while rated for a 24 to 28lb toddler are quite small. She told us that if akellos legs were lean, they would work. we went to Pennys to find some and got lucky. man was she right. the leg holes are small but they fit akello great. the cotton is far thicker than the Gerber brand ones and these Wee ones look better on him. less poo-tastrophes since they fit him better without the crotch gap. We didnt even have to shrink them.
we did go on one outing recently to NORTHPARK mall. whew! what a nice mall. they even have sculptures in the common areas, im talking world renowned sculpture artists. you might recognize this piece here.
Mark Di Suvero did a similar one that was outside the DMA from a few posts back.
i took akello around in the baby jogger on a tuesday afternoon. not very many people. this mall even used the TOM VAc chair and the series 7 chair in the food court. pricey.
they had a great installation of "the hammering man" this is the 3rd installation ive seen. my first was in LA outside the fashion mart. but i was there on assignment and didnt have time to even take a picture. then theres one at the NASHer sculpture garden wich we still have to go to while we are here. and now the ones at THE MALL!!! Just seems so weird to say that.
this was when akello had the pink eye. he liked the mall.