Monday, December 17, 2012

Sleep Workshop 2.0: Or Sleep Training Take One Million?

Roland and I both went the the second part of the sleep workshop.  We brought our sleep and behaviour logs with us. There was only one other family there, so it was 2 hours of one on one time. She reviewed our logs, told us we were doing great with our current plan, but pointed out something I figured she would. We're great throughout the night at sending Matthew back to bed, but by 5 am, we're done and just let him crawl in bed with us. This has to change.  She couldn't seem to figure out what the trigger was for waking him up. I have no idea myself, except to test us again and again in hopes we'll give in and let him sleep with us. So we set up some goals and developed some strategies to encourage change.

Our goals are:
#1 Get Matthew to go to bed without a fight.
#2 Get Matthew to sleep through the night until a reasonable hour (6-6:30 am)

To reach these goals she recommended a few things:
1. Leave Matthew longer before checking on him after putting him to bed. Or only go back up if there's a need, and wait 5 mins before going up.
2. Try pushing bedtime by an hour or two so he's utterly exhausted and doesn't fight bedtime.
3. Reward Matthew for staying in bed. (We couldn't figure out what that reward would be, stamp maybe?)
4. Matthew is no longer allowed in mommy and daddy's bed at 5 am. March him back no matter what time.

We decided to forgo pushing bedtime. Roland didn't think it would work and didn't want to give up our entire evening to keeping Matthew awake until the point of exhaustion.  I wanted to try, but we decided to wait 2 weeks to see if going without this strategy would still yield results.  We couldn't figure out an appropriate time or reward to give Matthew for staying in bed, so we didn't end up doing this.  We stopped checking on him altogether, so there would be no time to give him a reward.

So far bedtime has still resulted in screaming.  The first two nights there was much more screaming than normal. It does seem to be getting better, but tonight might just be a fluke.  Matthew is still waking in the night 1-2 times on average.  We are able for the most part to tell Matthew to go back to bed, but we've been having to get up more often to march him back. Last night was utterly ridiculous.  Matthew woke up 6 times! He had an early day and an early, short nap plus much excitement at Christmas at Oma and Opa's and he passed out at 7:30 during bedtime story.  He woke up at 10 wanting in bed and water, he woke up at 10:45 wanting water, 11:15 wanting in the bed, 12 wanting to be tucked in, 1:30 saying he was hot, 3:30 screaming "mama no go!" and finally was up at 5:50 for the day. Good god!

Tonight's bedtime routine went great. I'm trying to teach him to tuck himself in so he doesn't wake up at night just to have me do it for him. He told me he wanted the door mostly closed, so I closed it behind me and went downstairs at 8:15.  I haven't heard a peep since.  He did say something peculiar when we were snuggling before bed. He kept saying "rawr wake me up" or "penguin wake me up". I'm not sure if he's got imaginary friends or if he's having nightmares, or seeing monsters or making up random excuses. I really wish I could get inside his head and find out what is going on in there.

We're going to stick with this plan hopefully through the Christmas holidays at Grandma's. Not too sure how well that will work and fully expecting sleep to be a struggle while we're there, and to have some undoing to do when we come back. In the new year, the behaviour therapist is going to call us to ask how we're doing and to reassess our sleep plan. We're hoping things are fantastic, but she can recommend other resources if need be including a home visit. I'd love a home visit, but I'd love it more not to need one.  I was planning on potty training over Christmas break, but if we're still in the midst of sleep training hell, it might be best to only work on one thing at a time.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time To Sleep Workshop

So I went to the workshop last week. They covered causes of sleep issues and 5 different sleep training methods, some of which I had never heard of. We are not to try any of these just yet. For the next two weeks, we are to simply track what happens at bedtime and throughout the night and bring it back for them to analyze. Then we can make a plan.

So far, everything has been going the way it's been for the last few months. He is great until we leave the room, then the crying starts. We've been leaving him for longer and longer hoping he'll fall asleep waiting for us to return. He usually doesn't, at least not until 20 mins after the first 20 min check. So the bedtime routine is still 1-1 1/2 hours long and he still doesn't fall asleep until after 9:30.  Last night he slept through until 5:30. Probably a fluke. I know he wakes up at 5:30 because he wants in bed with us, and we let him. We should probably stop that too, but we're tired and if he sleeps until 5:30 without waking up, we consider that a win. We usually get up between 6 and 6:30 anyway.

So I guess I'll check back next week after we have our second workshop session. Maybe Matthew will be magically sleeping by then, but at the very least, I know we'll have a plan. And if that doesn't work?  I don't want to think about that right now. Let's just hope it works.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sleep Hell and Some BIG News

Sleep re-training is not working so well.  We can get through most of the bedtime routine ok, including peeing on the potty, but as soon as I say "Ok, mommy is going to leave and I will come back" Matthew comes running out of his room crying. I have to close the gate and he stands there screaming, crying and shaking the gate with me telling him "I will come back when you're in your room and quiet". Eventually he goes back to his room to wait for me. I come in and he bear hugs my neck for a while. When I get uncomfortable, I tell him I'm going to leave again and Daddy will come back. We take turns coming and going until he finally goes to sleep or cries himself to sleep. It's been this way for ... I don't even remember. A month? Two? I have no idea anymore.

I went to a feeding workshop last week at ErinOakKids (the same place we do speech therapy at) and came to a revelation. Matthew's speech language pathologist (SLP) noticed a lopsidedness in his mouth when he talks. I explained that he had some nerve damage at birth that all the nurses thought was due to a forceps delivery. No one was able to explain what caused it, but they seemed to think it would correct itself. I attribute it to being posterior, engaged in my pelvis (causing me excruciating pain) for the last 6 weeks before delivery.  When he was a newborn it was really noticeable, especially when he cried, but as he got older, I stopped noticing it.  When my SLP mentioned it I realized it had affected him more than I thought. Due to this nerve damage, Matthew has trouble articulating some words. He can't pronounce words with a different consonant sound in the beginning and the end, even if he can say the sounds individually. So words like duck and up sounding like "cuck", and words like snowman end up sounding like "ho-man". During the feeding workshop I realized this same nerve damage has led to an oral hyposensitivity. Since his nerves are damaged in his mouth, he needs more stimulation, which is why he drools a lot, likes sweet food, overstuffs his mouth and constantly wants to chew on everything, still, at 2.5 years old, including his own shirt, or the pillowcase. This can help explain some of his strange eating habits, and hopefully we can investigate this further with ErinOak and get some occupational therapy to help him overcome this issue.

Tomorrow night I'm going to a sleep workshop put on by ErinOakKids. I'm not expecting miracles from this workshop, but maybe I will have some sort of revelation like I had with the feeding workshop. Maybe not, but I'm willing to try.

And now for the BIG news! It's been so long since I blogged, and a lot has happened. For starters, I'm pregnant! 20 weeks to be exact! Yeah. That's how long it's been! We had an ultrasound at 18 weeks and the ultrasound tech was 70% sure the baby is a girl. Roland isn't comforted by the 70%, but I'm going to run with it. We didn't see any boy parts, that part I'm sure about. Baby girl is due April 10, 2013.  Matthew will be 2 months away from 3. The age difference is a little more than we had planned, but Mother Nature has her own timetable. In the end, I think I'll be pretty happy with the age gap and hopefully Matthew will be potty trained before baby arrives (if not by Christmas).  In other news, all our decor for our new home has been chosen and the closing date is May 16.  Yep, that's right, one month after baby is due. This is one occasion where I'm hoping the house is a bit late.

So that's it. Just a little update. Maybe I'll be able to keep up. Maybe not. If I have any major revelations tomorrow, I'm sure I'll blog about it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sleep Re-Training

After the last weekend of the summer it was back to reality, back to work, and back to sleep training. There was a lot of fooling around at bedtime and a lot of frustration, which resulted in me walking out and locking the gate behind me. Cue the screaming, and crying, and calling for mama. When I went back up to calm the screaming he was standing ON the gate! This went on for 1 1/2 hours. The same thing happened the next night when Roland tried to put him to bed, only Roland got more frustrated than I did and sort of yelled at him to go back to bed. This is something we need to work on.

Tonight Matthew wanted to sit on his potty after storytime. I had to sit on the toilet next to him of course. When I told him he could flush the toilet if he peed in the potty, he actually went pee! Yay! Then there was crying when he flushed the pee and it was gone. He wanted to poo on the potty, and there was lots of fooling around. Finally I got him ready for bed and really talked up being a big boy for peeing in the potty and big boys go to sleep on their own. I told him I would be downstairs. He cried on and off and was quiet for a while and I thought we were good until he ran to the gate and started screaming. I walked him back to bed and cuddled him and talked to him and told him I would check on him in a few minutes if he stayed in bed and didn't cry. So I suppose I should go check on him now.

I think I may have woken him up when I went to check on him! I gave him a kiss and rubbed his back and said goodnight. I think we have success! Now if only we could get him to stop waking up at night!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Been a Month

It's been a month ... since I reported that wonderful miracle of sleep. How's it going? Um...not great. We're back to square one. With going to the cottage and my parents and back home, and back up and back home again, his sleep has reverted back. He hates sleeping above the garage at the cottage. He knows when we leave the room we're really far away, plus it's hot and stuffy and it's not his usual bed. It's slightly better at my parent's house because at least it's air conditioned, but it's still a change and Matthew doesn't do well with change. We've put the crib mattress on the floor beside our bed. Now one of us has to stay until he falls asleep. Ok, not one of us, ME. I suppose we should have kept the "sleep training" stuff at the cottage.

Now that we're halfway through summer, I don't really know what to do. Not only does he not fall asleep easily anymore, but he's waking up multiple times a night, sometimes he's up for hours. Even last night at home he ended up in our bed because he kept waking up. I was trying to avoid the bed and put him on the mattress on the floor, but a big scary crash of lightning scared him and woke him up. He spent the better part of 2 hours in the wee hours of the morning squirming around and kicking me, pulling my hair, and climbing on me.

So what do we do? Sleep training at the cottage? How on earth should we go about that? And will it all be ruined when we come back home? Wait out the summer with crappy sleep and try again in the fall? Ack! You're TWO kid! Time to SLEEP!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Miracle in the Making?

4 nights of sleep last week. FOUR! Night 5 was a few minor nightmares, but a minor blip in the dream. The weekend however was another story. First weekend at the cottage and Friday night was HOT. I couldn't sleep to save my life and Matthew woke up a few times. He ended up in bed with us for a little while which didn't work out AT ALL because a) it's a double, not a queen and b) silly billy couldn't sleep. Saturday night he wouldn't go back to bed after he woke up at 11:30 so he ended up in bed with me. Roland didn't come to bed until after midnight and found a kiddo on his side. I told him to move him, but he slept on the floor instead. Strange man. Matthew woke up some time later and was transferred to his bed. Roland had handled the bedtime routine.

That brings us to tonight. I did bedtime last night and there were a few minor wakeups. Tonight I did bedtime again and all was going well and I was fully expecting to have to trade off for the actual putting into bed part, but Matthew was all snuggly with me, then got down and crawled into bed. I covered him in his blanket and kissed him and he said "bye". Uh? Is that it kid? No bargaining? No "I need a new diaper"? No "Daddy"? Um... ok. So I left. SUCCESS!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keeping those fingers crossed.

Bedtime still seems to go easier for Roland. Every time it's my turn for bedtime I get through two stories, he brushes his teeth nicely, then we rock and sing a song. As soon as I get to the end of the song it's "bum, poo poo, pee pee". He wants bum cream, says he has a dirty diaper, wants to sit on the potty, anything to avoid going to bed. That's when Roland has to rescue me. I have no idea how to fix this. BUT, he slept through the last two nights in a row! I really do hope it's starting to stick. I am tired of this working for 2 nights, then 3 weeks of hell business. PLEASE let this stick!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bedtime Success!

Last night I did bedtime after an extended ride on Matthew's tricycle. All was well until it was time to say goodnight. Matthew doesn't want to let me go and lay down, so I ask if he wants Daddy to put him down. He says yes. I get Daddy, and in 1 1/2 mins, Matthew is in bed and quiet. I heard not a peep from him ALL NIGHT! In the morning, since I took the day off, I went to the bathroom when I woke up at 9 AM, and Matthew was laying in his bed, awake, but quiet. SCORE!

Tonight I decided to share bedtime with Roland. So I read one story, then Roland read one story and did teeth brushing and voila, Matthew was in bed. Apparently he kept telling Roland "bye". We'll see how well this sticks. Fingers crossed we've crossed the threshold and are going to see success just rolling in from now on. I really need this!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr Man!

This weekend was Matthew's parties. Yes, I said parties, plural. Cause I'm a crazy mama and needed to have one party for his little friends, and one for family. I had a lot of it planned out and prepped in advance, so it went fairly smoothly, and I had Roland to help me. In the morning, I prepped the rest of the food and Roland cleaned. It worked out pretty well. Unfortunately, my camera is broken (I really need to take it to Henry's to get it fixed) so I didn't get any pictures. However, my friend did manage to take some pictures and she sent them to me. YAY! I'm hoping a few more friends took pictures and they send them my way. Maybe my aunt will send me some of her pictures since I didn't have a camera for his family party either :(. I really should have gotten my camera fixed last weekend. It had been working every 4th picture, but decided yesterday to quit completely. Guess I should go get it fixed ASAP! Anyway, here is the hoard of photos I have so far.

No idea how to turn the pictures, sorry.

Same Crap, Different Day

It doesn't seem to make much sense to go day by day anymore. It's pretty much always the same: Matthew fights me at bedtime and wakes up once. Lately he's been waking up and not getting out of bed. Not sure what that's about. Maybe he needs more light to see? I guess we'll leave the door more open tonight. Sometimes Roland has to rescue me at bedtime because Mr Man just wants to fool around with me. When Roland does bedtime, Matthew tells him "bye" and Roland is able to leave without a peep from the boy. Le sigh. Tonight's bedtime is getting pushed a bit late. Matthew had a lot of excitement this weekend with all the Birthday Party stuff, so he had a 3 hour nap this afternoon. He must have woken up sometime before 5 because when I got up from my nap, his door was wide open and his blanket was on the floor. He must have woken up and come to see us, but we were both probably snoring away, so he decided to go back to sleep. I can't believe we all slept from 2-5! Wow!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 29 and 30

Last night Matthew fought me. He made up every excuse in the book. He made me lose my patience and my temper. But eventually he went to sleep. He slept until 5 and came in bed for snuggles. Tonight was a similar story with Roland, but it looks like he's asleep now. Fingers crossed it sticks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 28

Matthew seems to be waking up again. His door was open when I went up to bed (I thought I heard something), but the kiddo was still in bed. He woke up only once and ended up sleeping on our floor. Day 28 Roland did bedtime and it seemed to go easy. He woke up last night at 12 am crying and eventually came into our room. I thought some water would help, but he really just wanted a snuggle. So I caved and gave him a snuggle in the glider and put him back to bed. Tonight I get to do bedtime again and Roland is at a condo board meeting, so I have no back up. Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 26 & 27

Roland did bedtime for day 26. It all went very smoothly. Matthew said "bye" at the end of the bedtime routine and that was it. He woke up crying twice last night and Roland went to get him. Not quite what I wanted, but Matthew wasn't coming into our room. Maybe he had nightmares?

Day 27 was my turn. We were watching a movie that I couldn't seem to drag Matthew away from. Eventually I convinced him to say goodbye to Daddy and go upstairs. He seemed to be falling asleep during book #2, but he woke right back up to brush his teeth. I gave him extra snuggles after the song and then he hopped into bed, I covered him up and kissed him goodnight. So far it's sticking. I'm just glad bedtime didn't involve any screaming this time. Fingers crossed for a good night.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 24 & 25

Day 23 he slept. He actually slept. Woot! Day 24 bedtime was horrible. He just wanted me to rock him and hold him, but wouldn't go into his bed. There was a lot of screaming. My friend was here, and she eventually rescued me and he fell asleep after 9 pm. He slept. Miracle of all miracles, he slept!

Day 25 bedtime was horrendous. This time my friend tried to rescue me, but it didn't work. There was just a lot of screaming. I had told him to go into bed or I would go downstairs, then I did, and he screamed.  Eventually I went back upstairs, escorted him to bed and rubbed his back until he calmed down. I gave him a kiss and his eyes were open, but I told him I'd be right outside the door. I went downstairs and I didn't hear from him. I think sometime through the night he started crying, but I was half asleep and he never came to see me, so as far as I'm concerned, he slept through the night for the 5th night in a row. Could it be possibly working? I don't want to jinx it, but we might just have something. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 22 & 23

Last night bedtime was a breeze. Roland did a bath and a relatively quick bedtime. Apparently Matthew told Roland "bye" and so he left and came downstairs. We never heard another peep out of him. Not one. ALL night! In the morning, Matthew was awake in his bed, but didn't come to see us. YAY! Progress! Amazing! I love sleep.

Tonight is a whole different story. Matthew's got a wicked diaper rash going on and has a very sore bum. Poor guy cries through every diaper change. So we did some bare bum time outside while watering the grass, then a much needed bath to get the mud off. After lots of cream, some stories and milk and brushing teeth, we were ready for a song and rocking. Not quite as it turns out. He wanted more bum cream. Ok, fine, I'll bite. More bum cream, then a song and an extra snuggle. After the snuggle, Matthew doesn't want to get into his bed. I held him for a little time longer and explained to him that he needed to go into his bed and mommy can stay for a little bit, or mommy can leave if he doesn't co-operate. I put him in his bed and stayed right beside him. He cried. Then he got out of bed and I left and locked the gate behind me. Roland went up to rescue the situation, but I have little hope of success.

This is too hard. I'm a few days away from calling in reinforcements. This should be getting easier. We're being consistent, we've let him cry, we've laid down the law, and now he's revolting. Was it the weekend with my parents that screwed him up? Why did last night go so smoothly, but Monday and Wednesday go so badly? Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe what I am right now.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 21

My turn for bedtime. Matthew is doing nothing but fooling around. He won't stay in bed, he keeps coming up with excuses, he wants to go sleep in my room, so now he's upstairs behind a locked gate and I will only go back up if he calms down and goes to bed. I'm sick of this.

And now, instead of letting me leave Matthew to cry, Roland has gone up and is trying to reason with him. I wish he would just stay on the same page as me and stop undermining me at every turn. Time to go and set things straight. I told Roland to stop undermining me (he was sitting IN Matthew's room), covered Matthew up, gave him a kiss and closed the door and gate behind me. Hopefully that's the end of it.

And the ridiculousness continues. After over an hour of ridiculousness I gave in and rocked him to sleep. Le sigh.

Day 20

My parents picked Matthew up on Friday at 12 and left for the weekend so we could go to a wedding. My parents put his crib mattress on the floor in the guest room upstairs instead of in the basement where it had been. I'm guessing he didn't like the basement because apparently bedtime went well and he slept through the night Friday and Saturday. What the hell kid? Last night Roland did bedtime and it didn't take long for him to fall asleep. Matthew woke up at 2, quietly came into our room, asked for water, then proceeded to bring his pillow and blanket over and slept on our floor until 5:30 when he came into our bed for morning snuggles. I'm crossing my fingers for a good night tonight.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 19

Maybe I should start posting weeks not days? Meh. Last night Matthew woke up at 10:30 crying. I was brushing my teeth and Roland was in bed. We both ignored him. He never came out of his room and he stopped crying in a few minutes and went to sleep. He woke up again at 11:30. Roland wanted to go get him, but I told him to stay in bed, if Matthew needs us, he can come and get us. His door is open and so is ours. Matthew cried louder. Then it was clear he had left his room and was crying in the hall. He never tried to come into our room. I wanted to ignore the screaming, but Roland went and got him anyway. Matthew slept until 5:30 when he came quietly into my room for morning snuggles. Good enough for me. Hoping more ignoring will work better tonight.

Tonight I put Matthew to bed. We got a bit of a late start and I get to putting him in the bed until 8:45. Matthew immediately popped up saying "hot". I changed his shirt to a looser one he chose. Back in bed. Again Matthew complained of being hot. So I picked out a shorts and t-shirt set. He was ok with the shorts, but wanted a long sleeved top. I told him he would be hot, but he didn't care. So I let him put it on. He climbed into bed, I said good night and left the room closing the door mostly behind me leaving a crack. For a few minutes he was quiet, but now he's brought his pillow out to sleep on the floor beside me. Clearly I'm not winning tonight.

I threatened to go downstairs and close the gate if Matthew didn't go back into his room. He didn't, so I left. And now he's screaming. Is there a more effective way to feel like a mommy failure than hearing your kid scream "MAMA" at the top of his lungs? If there is, please don't tell me, I don't really want to know.

I just heard the screaming soften, so I figured he had moved out of the hall. I didn't know if Roland had gone in to deal with him, so I snuck upstairs. No sign of Matthew or his pillow. He was in his bed laying down. I went in, told him I loved him, but at bedtime he has to stay in bed. I gave him a kiss and a blanket and Matthew said "bye". I left and closed the door, leaving it open only slightly. We shall see if it sticks. I'm sure I'll be updating if it doesn't.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 18

Last night Matthew woke up at 1. Roland tried to get him back down, but he wouldn't calm down. I went in with water and gave him a drink and he want back to sleep. At 4 am he woke up again and was crying in the hall. Again Roland tried to calm him down, but he wouldn't stop screaming. Roland gave up and came back to bed. I refused to get out of bed and told Matthew to come see me. Eventually he stopped screaming and came into the room, but I had my back turned. Matthew didn't say anything to me and I didn't say anything to him. I just ignored him and he poked me a few times, then gave up and went back to bed on his own. I think I shall try this again tonight. If Matthew really wants us, he's going to have to come get us and we will do our best to ignore him.

Tonight Roland did bedtime and everything seemed to be fine until I called Telehealth Ontario about a lump we found on Matthew's neck. They wanted me to wake him up, so I went upstairs and Roland was sitting outside the room with the door closed. I had just gotten upstairs when Matthew came out of his room smiling. What a fun game to play with Daddy! So I took Matthew downstairs and continued my assessment with Telehealth. Turns out it's probably a swollen lymph node and nothing to worry about. Thank goodness. Matthew went to bed fairly quickly after that. Here's hoping tonight goes better with less wake ups than last night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 17

Last night Matthew woke up twice. I didn't even notice the first time, I must have been dead asleep. He woke up again at 4:30 and I brought him into bed. Tonight I did bedtime and it was ok until it was time to get into bed. He started making excuses: saying "bum". I entertained him and put cream on his bum. The rest of bedtime was playtime. I left the room for a few minutes while he cried. When I came back he was still fooling around and bumped his split lip making it bleed again. I calmed him down, cleaned him up, gave him snuggles and put him back in bed. More fooling around, standing up saying hi, getting out of bed, wanting to be covered again. Finally, as I waited just outside his door with it half open, I thought he was asleep so I left. I was wrong. I went back up and ordered him back in bed. He wouldn't stay. I left and closed the door. He doesn't know I'm not holding it shut and hasn't left his room. I guess I get to go back in a few minutes. Oh joy. Bedtime sucks.

I went back in, gave him a different, thinner pillow and covered him up. He got up once, I put him back in bed and sat outside his room. I "think" this might stick. We shall see. Total time for him to fall asleep: 40 mins. Yuck.

Oh come on, eff off kid. 2 mins? Roland is heading up to deal with the brat.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 16

Night 16 my dad put him to bed. All was well until 1:30. Matthew woke up and when I went down to get him, he wasn't sitting up or standing waiting for me. He seemed to be half asleep crying. I tried to snuggle him but he kept kicking his feet. He would calm down for a few minutes, but then start crying and squirming again. I kept asking him what was wrong and I never got a straight answer. He wouldn't come in the big bed with me, he wanted to sleep in his bed, but he kept crying on and off. Finally he said his bum. I took him upstairs and changed his bum. There was no rash on it and nothing seemed to be wrong. I massaged his legs for a while and he seemed to fall asleep, but not for long. He finally said he was hungry (he didn't eat dinner, big surprise), so he ate half a muffin and that's where we are now. He's now making all sorts of excuses and soon we will head downstairs and try for bedtime again. It's 2:15 am. Sleep training fail.

I ended up sleeping in the bed downstairs with Matthew. He squirmed and got up and asked for a baba, and pulled my hair, and mucked about until 4:30 when I threatened to leave. Eventually he settled down and we both fell asleep. He woke up at 7:30 and I pawned him off on Roland and went back to sleep.

Day 14 and 15

Day 14 I knew would be crap. We were driving up to my parent's house 2 hours away. We made our usual stop halfway at Tim Hortons for some timbits and a pee break. He usually falls asleep at some point, but this time he didn't. He was wide awake when we got to Grandma's house and just wanted to play. Roland tried to put him to bed, but there was just a lot of screaming, him being overtired and all. So I took over and snuggled beside him on the mattress on the floor. He woke up twice through the night and was pretty much up for the day at 4:30, but we tried to keep him in our bed as long as possible.

Day 15 was a similar story. We went to my aunt's cottage for dinner and didn't end up eating until after 7. By this point, Matthew refused to eat, even though I brought him his favourite couscous to eat. He had lots of fun running around in the backyard. By the time we got home, it was 10 pm. Way past his bedtime. I had to snuggle with him on the big bed to get him to sleep and he was asleep by 10:30. He woke up at 11:30! Roland went down to get him and I fell back asleep. At 4 am I realized Roland hadn't come back to bed. He slept on the bed downstairs with Matthew all night. Matthew woke up and Roland brought him to our bed at 6 am where he slept with me until 7:30. One more night of nonsense and maybe I'll be able to get him back on track when we get home. Sleep training sucks.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 13

Wednesday night it took Roland 45 mins for Matthew to go to sleep. He woke up only once and went right back to bed. Last night Roland did a bath and I did bedtime. Matthew seemed to be going along with it. I was aiming for an 8:30 bedtime because he was really fighting 8 pm. Everything was going well until we turned the light out. He didn't want to snuggle and rock in the glider, he wanted to run away. After putting some cream on his bum that he asked for (but totally didn't need), I turned the light off again and we snuggled and I sang him his song. He hopped right down and climbed into bed. That didn't last long and he was fighting me to get out of the room. I conceded to one more snuggle in the glider before putting him back in bed. At one point I had to leave the room and close the door. Eventually he settled down and went to sleep. I was nearly asleep too. It was 8:45. Blah. At 11 pm he woke up crying, not screaming, but not wimpering, full out crying. I went into his room and he was standing there in the middle of the room, eyes half closed, very dopey, and crying his little eyes out. I gave him a cuddle and put him back in bed. At some point in the night I heard some rustling. When I finally opened my eyes to look, Matthew had brought his pillow and blanket to our room to sleep on the floor. Ok, fine, whatever kid, just don't bug me. At 4 am he wanted in the bed. He was fooling around; he wanted me to put his blanket back on. Finally I sternly said "Matthew, go to sleep" and Roland covered him up with his blanket. He slept until 6 and when Roland said goodbye, Matthew came in bed with me for a few minutes and a snuggle. Le sigh.

Everything we've worked for is going to get royally screwed up this weekend (not that it's working that great anymore anyway), because we're going to my parent's house tonight. It always throws him off. I think we'll be either bringing a bed rail up, or putting his crib mattress on the floor and ditching the crib. Hopefully if we keep the same routine, it won't be so bad, but I'm probably kidding myself. Tonight is going to be the worst because we will be travelling right around bedtime and likely won't get to my parent's house before 10. Then Matthew will want to play with Grandpa before bed. I guess we'll just have to start from scratch when we get home on Monday. Sleep training sucks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 12: AKA EFF Bedtime Sucks

Tonight Roland tried to do bedtime. Maybe Matthew's not tired. Maybe he's playing us against each other again. Maybe the strategy isn't working. Matthew is refusing to go to bed. All I hear is screaming and "MAMA, MAMA, MAMA!" I wish I knew why he was fighting bedtime like this. I thought we were on a good path. Maybe it's just a small setback, but I don't really know what to do about it. Maybe I need to take my co-worker's advice and buy a child lock for his room and let him scream until he passes out. I really really don't want to do that. He's screaming enough as it is. I don't think I can handle 3 hours of screaming. Someone help us.

Day 11

I started bedtime last night, but Matthew was screwing around. He thought it was a fun game. I initially sat in the doorway with the door open, but thought it was too light, so I closed it half way, then all the way. Holding the door closed when he got out of bed didn't seem to help. Eventually I left for a coffee date with my mom friends and Roland took over. He said it took another 30 mins of fooling around before he went to bed. At 11 pm I heard a "thump, waaaaah" and then nothing. Not sure what happened, but he stayed asleep. At 1 Matthew came into our room and I told him to go back to bed, which he did. Not too long after, he was in our room again, but this time he brought a pillow, then stuffed animals, then a blanket and I had to get out of bed to cover him up. He kept getting up and asking to come in the bed, and I kept having to cover him in blankets until finally I said "MATTHEW, GO TO SLEEP". This was 3 am and he finally went to sleep.  Ugh. Not sure how it's going to go tonight, but he's already a cranky puss. Hopefully he's nice and sleepy tonight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 10

I tried something different when Matthew woke up at 1 am. Instead of bringing him back to bed, I simply told him "what's the matter, go back to bed sweatpea" and to my surprise, HE DID! Last night Matthew was having too much fun with Daddy outside watering the grass, so he didn't want to come in for bedtime. I dragged him in kicking and screaming and managed to tickle my way into a diaper change and pj's.  After that, Matthew was having NONE of me putting him to bed. He ran downstairs screaming "DADA". It became clear that I was not allowed to do bedtime, so Roland took over. It took a bit longer than usual, but he eventually went down at 8:30. Matthew woke up at 11 and Roland put him back to bed. When he woke up at 1 am, I told Matthew to go back to bed and surprise surprise, HE DID! He came into our room at 5:30 for morning snuggles. I may or may not get to do bedtime tonight. I have planned to go out for coffee with the ladies, so I will try to get bedtime done by 8. Tonight I'm going to tell Roland NOT to walk Matthew back to his room and only tell him to go and see what happens. Maybe this will put a stop to the middle of the night wake-ups. Fingers crossed as usual.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 9

Last night Matthew was awake from 1-2:30. I stayed in his room for 50 mins and he still wouldn't go to sleep, so I brought his pillow and blanket to my room and he fell asleep eventually at 2:30. Tonight Roland did bedtime. Somehow he managed to get out of there right at 8 pm. I was impressed. Matthew just woke up (1 hour later) :(. When will this strategy result in uninterrupted sleep? At least bedtime is getting easier. Hopefully once we are able to stay outside the room it will get better. Tomorrow's goal is to sit outside his door with it open. Fingers crossed it actually works.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 7 and 8

Day 7 Matthew fell asleep on Roland while he was babysitting and when they got home, he went straight to bed. He woke up 4 times between 3:30 and 4:30 am. Not impressed. Tonight I started the bedtime routine early to fit in a bath (where he pooped in the tub, ewww). Everything was going swimmingly until I tried to sit outside the door with it closed. Matthew did NOT like that, not one bit. I fought him for 25 mins periodically holding the door closed 2 mins at a time while he screamed his head off. Eventually he lay down in the bed and I sat down inside the room at the door. I guess I'll try sitting outside the door with it OPEN tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 6

Day 5 took Matthew 45 mins to  fall asleep. He woke up at 11:30 for a snuggle and went back to sleep until 6! WOOT! I'll take it. Tonight I was 30 mins late starting bedtime because Matthew had a bath. I rushed through it and he was in bed by 8:10. He climbed in on his own after giving me a hug and kiss. I covered him up and sat down with my back against the wall right at the door. He stayed quiet and in his bed, but when I checked, he opened his eyes and smiled at me. He tossed and turned and I had a hard time telling if he was asleep or not. Just after 8:30 I decided to chance it. That was 5 mins ago and either he's asleep, or he didn't notice me leave, or he didn't mind that I left. I think tomorrow I will try to sit outside the door. Oh wait, tomorrow Roland is babysitting my niece and nephew (by himself, taking Matthew with him), so I don't know how well that will work. Hopefully it doesn't screw up the work I just did. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 5

I was able to start Matthew's bedtime routine almost on time and was ready to put Matthew into bed right at 8. Everything was going well and Matthew lay down quietly and I sat with my back against the wall right at the bedroom door. It was looking like I had it made. After 5 minutes I thought I should check to make sure he was asleep. His eyes were wide open. Darn. Then Roland started banging I don't know what and started vacuuming. Great. This woke Matthew right up. Matthew kept threatening to get out, but one stern word from Mommy kept him in his bed. But he kept tossing and turning and kicking off his blanket. So I waited. Quietly. In the dark. Until I finally heard snoring, from me! Matthew was finally asleep too. It took 45 minutes for him to fall asleep. Damn. That didn't go quiet as well as I had hoped. I'm not holding my breath for it lasting too long either. I really hope this strategy starts to pay off soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 4

So today marks day 4 in our new sleep training journey. We got screwed up right from the start because we were celebrating my BILs birthday with cake. So I didn't get to START the bedtime routine until 8:30. AND Matthew had an extra long nap today that I actually had to wake him up from when I went to pick him up. It took about 30 mins to change, read 2 stories, drink milk, brush teeth and say goodnight to Daddy. Then I rocked him in the glider while I sang him his song. I brought up a sippy cup of water up to his room and made sure he understood where it was and that he could get it any time in the night if he was thirsty. I put him in his bed and tucked him in and told him again where his sippy was and asked if he understood that he doesn't need Mommy to come if he's thirsty. He said yes. Then I sat back and waited. I sat about halfway between the crib and the door (probably 1 1/2 feet away). He didn't move. His eyes were closed and his breathing was slow. I took a chance and left. The time was 9:10. It only took me 10 mins from lights out to out the door. He was really tired, but I'm still waiting for him to wake up. Only time will tell if this will stick.

Well That Didn't Go So Well

Last night bedtime got pushed back late because Roland and Matthew went to Costco. So bedtime didn't get started until 8:30 and Matthew didn't fall asleep until 9:45. Fantastic. Now we wait for the first wake-up. It didn't take long. He woke up for the first time at 10:30 and Roland caved and gave him some milk. He woke up again at 11:45 and I refused to give him milk. Cue a massive 10 minute meltdown with Matthew running around drunk between our room and his. I sat in his room on the floor and waited for him to calm down and come back.  He eventually did and I gave him a hug until he calmed down and then I offered him some water.  He chugged the water and went back to sleep. But then he woke up at 3:30 and Roland put him back to bed. He woke up again at 4:30 and wanted in our bed. At this point we were both exhausted, but I refused to let him in our bed. When it was clear that he was not going to sleep in his own room, I had Roland bring the mat into our room and I told Matthew he could sleep on the floor. We'll have to wean him off this as well, but at least he's not IN our bed. When Roland got up at 5:15, so did Matthew and that's when he ended up back in bed with me for another hour until I was ready to get up. We are both exhausted. We're going to have to get tougher with him. Or maybe we'll have to call that Sleep Doula after all.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sleep Training Take ... One Million?

Here we go again. Sleep has been an issue for us officially for 17 months. We've literally tried everything, twice. We're doing one more go at our last sleep training strategy and then calling in reinforcements: a Sleep Doula.  This time I'm going to start the training, and Roland will join in once I have things going. We're going to use a strategy I found on this blog. Essentially, you do the whole bedtime routine, then put the child in bed and sit beside the bed until they fall asleep. Each night you are supposed to move closer to the door, and eventually outside the door and hopefully the child learns to fall asleep on his own and begins to sleep through the night. This is the hope at least. So here is our official plan:

1. Upstairs and change into jammies.
2. Turn on dresser lamp and turn off main light. Give Matthew milk and read 2 stories and 2 stories only as chosen by Matthew.
3. Go brush teeth. Let Matthew brush for a minute or two, then finish the job.
4 . Let Matthew help turn off the lamp. Sit in glider and sing a song.
5. Put Matthew in bed and tuck him in. I've given him a pillow he likes, but intend on buying a smaller one.
6. If Matthew gets out of bed, tell him Mommy will leave if he doesn't stay in bed. Put him back in bed.
7. Actually leave and hold the door closed if he gets out of bed. Hold door closed for 2 minutes, then go back and tell him go get back in bed. Tuck him in and give him a hug and kiss.
8. Sit by bed with door open and nightlight on in hall until he falls asleep.

So that's the plan, here are the results so far.

Day 1.

I follow all the steps in our routine and put Matthew in bed. He's not happy. He wants to sleep on the floor. Then he wants to sleep in Mommy's bed. I insist he sleeps in his own bed and put him back in. He gets out. I put him in. He gets out. I put him back in. He gets out again. I tell him Mommy will leave if he doesn't stay in his bed. I give him this threat three times and then I actually leave and hold the door closed for what seems like forever as he screams and cries for Mama, Dada, Baba. I go back in and give him a snuggle in the glider. I ask him if he's ready for bed and of course he says no. I stay in the glider a bit too long and he's nearly asleep. I put him in bed, he protests, but he's practically asleep so he lays down and sleeps.

He wakes up 1 hour later and wanders downstairs. Roland takes him back up and he's back asleep in no time. Matthew wakes up again at 3:30 and wanders into our room. I'm too tired and let him in where he kicks and squirms for 2 hours before falling back asleep. I shall not let this happen again.

Day 2.

We do our routine again (plus a bath) and again I put him in his bed. He gets out. He thinks it's funny that Mommy keeps putting him back in bed. I warn him that I will leave if he doesn't stay in bed and when he pops back out again, I leave and hold the door closed for 2 minutes. He screams and cries, a lot. I go back in and snuggle him in the glider. Again he falls asleep on my shoulder and I put him in bed. This time he lasts only a few minutes before I have to go back in again. He wants a Baba. I give in and give him some milk (one fight at a time I think). He goes back to sleep in his bed.

He wakes up crying at 11, Roland puts him back in bed. He wanders in our room 10 minutes later and I put him back in his bed after some snuggles. He sleeps until 5:30 and ends up back in our bed.

Day 3.

I try to shorten the routine, but read his second book for a longer time because he LOVES trucks. We snuggle and I sing his song, but he doesn't let me finish. He wants to get his blankets. So I put him in bed and cover him in his blanket. He's squirming and fooling around, kicking the blanket off and threatening to get out of bed. I tell him I will leave if he gets out of bed. He stays in bed at first, then he does get out and sits on the floor smiling at me. I tell him to get back into bed or I'll leave (instead of putting him back in bed). He gets out of bed again despite my warnings and I leave and hold the door closed. Cue more crying and screaming for Mama, Dada, Baba. I go back in and instead of cuddles in the glider, I tell him to get back in bed. He does and I cover him in blankets and rub his back, give him a hug and kiss and sit down beside the bed. He falls asleep fairly quickly, making a murmur when I walk out of the door.

I will report on the results tomorrow. Fingers crossed for progress. I really don't feel like spending $250 on a Sleep Doula if I don't have to, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Well That Didn't Last Long...

I never did get back to the 30 Day Shred. I hated every single second of it and I came to the realization that no results wasn't worth hating something for. So I gave up. My eating is crap. I've actually now gained 3 pounds. Fantastic.

Just in time, my school decided to start a "Fitness Challenge". 3 days a week, the phys ed teachers are going to host activities for teachers. I can only go 2 days a week because I have GSA on Thursdays, but so far so good. We've done P90X and dance so far and it's much more fun than doing it in your own living room by yourself. Having a day and time set aside for exercise and having friends to do it with makes a huge difference. I've decided not to do this to lose weight, but for exercise and FUN! Yes, there is such a thing! I can't wait until next Tuesday to see what kind of "bootcamp" we'll be doing, and next Wednesday to have a big old dance party with my co-workers.

I guess that's the key. You have to find something you'll actually enjoy or you'll never stick to it, no matter how much resolve you have to lose weight. It's not worth hating what you're doing, so you might as well have fun.  So that's where I stand and I'm ok with that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Well, it's been 2 months and I've finally finished the entire 30 Day Shred. I stopped weighing myself obsessively so I had no idea how much I had lost. Well I weighed myself yesterday, in the morning, naked. I didn't want anything adding pounds. And well ... drumroll please ................ I lost ............ ONE POUND! HUH? WHAT? HOW? I've been working out 4-5 days a week completely exhausting myself and NOTHING? I knew my diet hadn't been perfect, but turns out it needs to be perfect to see any results. I'm so disappointed and discouraged. Ugh.

So now what? I guess I try again. I guess I start from scratch, pay closer attention to my diet and join in my school's fitness challenge. Clearly 20 mins of intense exercise 5 days a week is not enough. Le sigh. Here we go again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Words

Matthew is slowly, but surely getting new words. He is still behind his peers, but at least he is starting to learn. I'm keeping a list of his words so when they call with the eventual speech therapy appointment, I can answer the "how many words does he know" question. It's only been 2 months and they said it's a 3-6 month wait so we could still be waiting a long time. For now, here's the list of words Matthew can say:

dah = that
baba = milk/drink
ho ho ho
jus = juice
uh oh
chz = cheese
shz = shoes
ba = bad
no no no (with finger wag and head shake)

And new this week (I guess this is his word explosion)
mumo = Elmo
bubo = shovel
nono = Gabriele's grandpa
nona = Gabriele's grandma
nana = banana
bubo = shovel
tees = keys

In other news, I've been lax in keeping up with my workouts this week. Only 2 workouts this week. I have excuses. I always have excuses. Monday was Family Day and we were travelling back to the city. We were back in time for workout time but ... Tuesday I went out to see the ladies for coffee so that's my excuse there. Wednesday I was falling asleep at 7 pm so I opted out. Next week I intend on doing all 5 of my workouts. That will bring me to the end of my 30 Day Shred. At the end of that I'm going to weigh myself. I've been very good about not weighing myself so I'm curious to see if there's any change at all. I don't think there will be. My eating hasn't been great and my pants still fit the same. Whether I lose weight or not, I'll be starting from square one. I'm going back to the beginning of the 30 Day Shred video and starting over. I'll also have to be more careful with my eating. I'll try and post when my results are in. Fingers crossed for SOMETHING!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

30 Day Shred

I've been at the 30 Day Shred for a month now and I finished the first 20 days. I've been pretty good about sticking to 5 days a week. I found 6 days to be too much. Sometimes I make excuses and skip 3 days in a row, but I pay for it because when I get back, it hurts... a lot! The first level was pretty hard, that is until I hit the second level. Part of me was begging for level 3 because my arms couldn't handle all the military presses, v raises and planks. But I knew level 3 was going to be killer.

Oh My GOD! That damn woman loves plyo training. HOLY COW does that ever hurt! I really really struggled with the whole video. I know this is only temporary. I know I won't struggle this much as the days go on, but I also know it is STILL going to hurt. A LOT. For the rest of the 9 more days until the 30 Day Shred is over.

And then what? I guess I weigh and measure and see the big change? I've been sneaking a few weigh ins here and there. Ok, more than a few. I became obsessed! And then I got really disappointed. I saw one pound lost. Then one pound gained. Then no movement. A month and not a single pound. Not one. I've tried to stop weighing. I will weigh at the end and hope and pray that there's a difference.

So what do I do if there's no change? Look at decreasing my calories more? Start the 30 Day Shred all over again? Do only level 2 and 3? Add in MORE exercise? What exercise can I add in, and when will I have time for this? I might have to exercise after school for half an hour before I pick Matthew up. Maybe THAT will make a difference?

And now I know why so many people struggle so much with weight loss. It's hard to come to this conclusion because I've always been skinny and could eat whatever I wanted. I guess I'm following in my mom's footsteps. We have the same body type. I expected this to happen after I had kids, I just didn't think it would truly happen to me. I guess I finally get to join the club.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions Take 2

Like everyone else on earth after New Year's, I vowed to lose weight. Sure I lost all my pregnancy weight, but eating take out and fast food at work since September has resulted in 15 pounds put BACK on in less than 4 months! I have all sorts of excuses as to why I don't exercise, mostly that I don't sleep and I don't have time. I couldn't figure out how to get to a gym at the end of the day and still be able to make dinner. The timing just doesn't work. Sure I could work out in the gym at school, but do I really need teenaged boys staring at my flapping arm fat and jiggling back fat? I think not. So finally, after much hemming and hawing, I stumbled across an old workout video I had bought. It's Gillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It was still in it's original plastic. So much for motivation eh? Well, I bit the bullet. I figured it's only 20 minutes, surely I can find time to sneak that in. At first I would put it on right when I got home before I made dinner. But that got trickier and trickier, especially with a toddler trying to sit on your stomach as you do crunches and leg lifts. So now I do it after Matthew goes to bed. It's 20 mins, it's over quick and I have no more excuses. So how's it going? Good Lord am I exhausted! That 20 mins is BRUTAL! I had no idea a person could be so worn out from a 20 minute workout. I started with the goal of doing the video 6 days a week (with the goal of getting the whole 30 days over with as quickly as possible). But I found that I had very little motivation on the weekend to keep up with it, so now I'm settling with 5 days a week. I think that's still pretty good. I just finished day 16 tonight and boy am I tired. Of course, I'm sure it doesn't help that I got no sleep last night due to a certain you-know-who (yes, his good start has fallen into waking up every 30-60 mins for no apparent reason to the point where I have to sleep on his floor just to get him to sleep for a few hours). "They" say exercising gives you more energy. Well, "they" clearly don't have 19 month olds keeping them up at night! Sheesh!

So that brings up the topic of Matthew and sleep. In a new twist of our current 7 week old strategy, we (read I) decided that maybe more consistency would help. Since he seems to fool around with me, I proposed that Roland put him to bed every night without fail. I traded him dishes for bedtime and he jumped at the opportunity. It's working out pretty good in that the dishes always get done and I don't have to fight Matthew. However, putting Matthew to bed is STILL a struggle that involves crying and screaming. I figured after 7 weeks of this strategy, and 2 weeks of Roland only bedtime, would result in SOME improvement in the ease of bedtime. I guess I just have a stubborn child (like his father). And recently the boy has started waking up multiple times a night, eventually refusing to go back to bed. Twice in the last week I've gone into his room at 3 am, taken him out of his crib and laid down on his floor. He then follows suit and eventually falls asleep on his own. Last night, I put a camping roll into his room so I didn't totally screw up my shoulders and hips from sleeping on the cold, hard ground. Tonight he fell asleep nursing and I put him to bed. Only time will tell if he wakes up or not, but I suspect the first wake-up will happen around 10 pm. Which means I should probably shower and do the dishes and get to bed to get a few minutes of sleep before the night-long struggle begins. No one told me just how exhausting parenting would be. Or maybe they did, I just didn't believe them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year and All That Jazz

I'm horrible at blogging. I think we all know that by now. But every once in a while I feel the need to document our year.

I went back to work in September and I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I always thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom, but 14 months of being at home with Matthew proved me wrong. I'm a horrible stay at home mom. I can't keep up with the housework, I have no motivation to do anything, I have to force myself to get out of the house so we both don't drive each other crazy and I turn into a frustrated crazy lady with all the whining and crying that seems to go on. I'm sure at least 1/2 of Matthew's temperament has something to do with how horrible a stay at home mom I am. Going back to work also made me realize something: I most definitely suffered from Post Partum Depression. I was reluctant to think that I could be depressed because it didn't feel like my usual depressive episodes. I wasn't so low I didn't want to live, I still got out of the house and enjoyed seeing other moms, other humans, hell, anything but being stuck at home with my child. But I never really had that "joy" that other moms seem to talk about. Sure I'd feel love and happiness at various points when Matthew was particularly loving. But I seemed to struggle so much with his sleep issues, eating issues and my perceived overall crankiness. Looking back I realize that Matthew's "behaviour" was just a cry for attention from his totally numb, inattentive mother. All the "trouble" he would get into was just him trying to entertain himself, or trying to get my attention and all I did was get frustrated and angry with him. It's that frustration and anger that I didn't recognize as signs of PPD. I did my fair share of crying, but I thought that was just a normal reaction to dealing with a crying baby who doesn't sleep. I guess what finally made it click (other than going back to work and feeling the same way despite not having to deal with Matthew all day) was my husband saying that some of the things I would do or say scared him. I would say things like "he's driving me nuts, I feel like I want to throw him down the stairs", which I would never do, not even close, and the thought was never serious, but in my frustration, the thought would come up. Having only recently come to this realization, I haven't quite made a plan yet. I've handled this kind of mild depression before in my past, but perhaps it's time for a little refresher from a professional.

This brings us to Matthew. He's a big, growing boy. At last check, his 18 month appointment (how is he almost 19 months already?), he was 28 lbs and 35.5 inches tall. Almost 3 freaking feet tall! He's very active and he loves going to daycare. My sitter's son is the same age and is Matthew's best friend. He doesn't have much language yet, but manages to get what he wants with grunts and pointing. He was behind in language at his 18 month appointment, so we got a referral for an assessment. He's started to develop a few words, but he's still no where near where his peers are. He can say dada (which doesn't usually mean dada), baba (which seems to mean multiple things, not just milk), no no no (complete with wagging finger), ho ho (he leaves out the last ho), and recently jus (for juice). He still can't really point out different animals in a book, but he seems to absolutely love gorillas. Every time he sees a gorilla he pounds his chest and goes ahhhhhhh.

Christmas was lovely. We spent most of it at my parent's house and Matthew became very attached to my dad. Roland and I left on Boxing Day for The Couple's Resort for 2 nights. Two amazingly romantic, quiet, relaxing nights. Originally we wanted to go south for Christmas, but it wasn't in the budget, so we ended up spending more per night, but less overall. We had a massage, breakfast in the room, and 5 star dinners at the resort during the day and a nice hot tub at night. We went for a lovely hike in Algonquin Park and had a cute little fox follow us. I felt bad because people had been feeding him.

This week Roland has gone back to work and I'm home with Matthew. It's been hard to find things to do since it's been a bit too cold to go outside for long. Today my goal was to clean up this disaster. It hasn't happened yet. I need to come up with a cleaning plan so things don't get too crazy, and I need to find a way to get Roland on board. What really drives me nuts about him is we have a deal that if I cook, he should do the dishes. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to feel the need to do the dishes on the night that they're made. He leaves the dishes for 2, 3, 4 days before doing a big batch, and then leaves 1/3 of them because "they didn't fit". I've told him over and over again that it's not fair that I have to cook every night, but he doesn't clean every night. So we need to work on that New Year's resolution.

In other news, we bought a house! We want to have a second child in the near future, and it's already feeling squishy in our 1400 sq ft townhouse. I desperately want a space of my own, so we went out searching. We were looking for a 2000+ sq ft, detached home with 4 +1 bedrooms, and a nice updated kitchen. What we found was builder basic kitchens from 1983 on tiny postage stamps of land with a whopping price of $600k to start! Add in a kitchen remodel, new appliances and some new windows and holy cow we can't afford that! We ended up falling in love with a model in a new development in a great area. We're still going to get a postage stamp of land, but the payoff is HUGE! We will be able to get exactly the look we want, with more than enough space. Our new house will be 3200 sq ft, way bigger than we were looking for, but we opted for the loft which has a great space for a studio for me and a nice office for Roland. And we got it significantly under our $600 k budget with room for upgrades. The biggest drawback is the wait time. Our new home won't be ready until Summer/Fall, possibly Winter of 2013! Ack! Short term pain for long term gain. In the meantime I'm Pinteresting decorating ideas!

Last, but not least, Matthew's eating and sleeping issues. Since starting daycare, Matthew has been eating really well ... for HER! He eats nearly everything she puts in front of him. He has lots of fruit and even eats chicken and lamb and beef! But when he comes home for dinner, he won't touch anything, not even his old favourites like steak and sausage. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps he's having a snack too late, but yesterday he didn't eat lunch, OR dinner, not even his favourite peanut butter on toast and we ended up giving him a smoothie. So that's a constant struggle, and we usually give him a bedtime snack of peanut butter on toast because we now suspect most of his sleeping issues have to do with being HUNGRY! Right from the start of his sleep issues, he was hungry and that's why he was waking up every hour on the hour. When I corrected my supply issues he started sleeping, but not for long because now he was getting TOO much milk and stopped eating solids! Blast! So now we're trying two new strategies to get him to sleep. #1 we try and stuff him full before bed. I'm going to buy pediasure and start making him pediasure smoothies before bed to see if he sleeps better. #2 we are trying to teach him to fall asleep on his own. We've tried multiple strategies before with no success, but we've decided to stick with this one until it works. So far it's been over a month and we might be finally seeing some progress. Our strategy is to do our normal bedtime routine, but at the end of it, put him in his crib and sit on the floor next to him and wait for him to calm down, lay down and go to sleep. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday there was a lot of screaming. It probably has something to do with getting off track over Christmas. Last night there was no screaming, but I had to lay on the floor for an hour waiting for him to fall asleep. I might have been able to leave earlier, but he also probably would have stood up and started crying for me. So it's still a struggle, but knock on wood, he didn't wake up last night until 5:30, and I was able to get him to go back down until 6:20. Hey, I'll take it.

Now, if you've read all that rambling, here is your reward: PHOTOS!