Monthly Archives: November 2007

It worked! It worked! It worked!

Last night, I tried the slightly modified bedtime routine and it worked!!!! Instead of bringing Becca upstairs and hanging out with her in our room for a little while, I brought her right into her room and just started her bedtime routine. Instead of it taking 40 minutes to an hour, it took less than 20 minutes before she was snoozing away!!! Yeah!!!! I was so gleeful I almost jumped on here to report my progress but I didn’t want to jinx myself so I didn’t.

About 20 minutes later, she did wake up crying but I was able to quickly put her back down. Twenty minutes after that (about 10 p.m.), she woke up for a few minutes again but quickly went back to sleep. She then slept through until this morning. Even with the two wake-ups, it is definitely a step in the right direction!!!

Mary Kate


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Filed under Sleep, Toddler

Course Correction

The sleep saga continues! Becca is now consistently sleeping in her crib at night (yeah for us!!). However, she still has another little habit that we need to break– nursing to sleep in our bed. It just isn’t working for me anymore.

For one thing, I am trying (half-heartedly) to wean her so encouraging this is only going to make weaning more difficult (which is a whole other post). For another thing, Becca seems to have figured out that the longer she drags out the nursing sessions than the longer she gets to stay with us. So instead of falling asleep while nursing, she is fighting sleep while nursing. This involves a lot of twisting of her body and kicking out of her legs and arms (ouch!). It also means that she is ‘popping’ on and off my breast pretty quickly (ouch! ouch!and ouch!). Most importantly, it also means that she is relying on me to help her fall asleep which is causing issues when she wakes up at night. So it is time to make a change!

The first step was to set up a routine in her room. For the past three nights, I have brought her into her room. When we walk in, “we” turn on the lamp near her bed and turn on the Fisher PriceAcquarium . “We” then choose two books to read and I read them to her. It is funny because she already has a few books that she prefers to read and will actually gesture for them (Mommy Loves Me is one of her current favorites). When “we” finish reading the books, “we” turn off the lamp so the only light is from the Acquarium and I nurse her. When she is done nursing, I will rock her for a few minutes and then put her down to sleep. So far, we have done this three times fairly successfully.

The first night involved a fair amount of crying. However, I made the mistake of allowing her to drink some water just as she was drifting off to sleep and this revved her up again (I know– what was I thinking?). That night, I ended up leaving her for ten minutes and then having Omar go in and soothe her. She quieted down as soon as he walked in there. However, she went ballistic when he put her back down. I mean she was rattling her crib rails and screaming as loudly as she could (I think she knows how much he hates to hear her cry and couldn’t believe he had the nerve to leave her.) Needless to say, Omar was rattled but he did stick it out which really impressed me. I then went back into her room about ten minutes later and rocked her a little again. At this point, she finally drifted off to sleep. That night she woke-up at 3:15 but was asleep again in about 15 minutes.

The second night was similar to the first except with a little less screaming and she woke up at 5:15 a.m. Fortunately, she quickly went to sleep again. Omar wasn’t quite as stalwart as the first night but he was still supportive which definitely makes a difference. It also helped that Becca didn’t get quite as hysterical. Whenever she gets upset, she cries, “Mommy, mommy, moooommmmmyand it just breaks my heart.

Last night, I managed to go through the routine with almost no crying (Omar would have cracked if we had a repeat of the first night) but she woke again at about 12 pm. She pretty quickly went back to sleep and slept until our Alarm woke her up at 6:45.

Changing the Bedtime Routine

As I was writing this post, I realized that I am going to make another change to Becca’s bedtime routine which might help the sleep situation. Currently, we are still bringing her into our room before bringing her into her room. We watch some t.v., play a few games with her and just generally hang out.Inadvertently , I think this routine is actually waking her up again and I don’t like her second-hand exposure to our adult t.v. shows (I also don’t want her to start watching one of her shows at this time).

Instead, I think I am going to bring her right to her room as soon as we head upstairs. By the time she is finished dinner, had a bath and is in her pajamas, she is actually pretty ready for bed. Maybe Omar, she and I can hang out for a little while in her room (without the t.v. in the background). I am going to try this and see how it works. I will definitely let you know if it helps!

Mary Kate

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In the Blink of an Eye

I had one of those close calls with Becca today that just really made my heart stop.

Becca is now officially walking and enjoys doing it whenever she can.  This is all well and good when we are in the house, library or some other enclosed place.  However, it becomes more complicated when I am running errands or just trying to walk down the sidewalk with her.

She just doesn’t get that we are on a journey that starts at Point A (the car) and ends at Point B (the store).  Instead, her journey is in the details– ‘hmm… there is a blue shiny metal thing over there… let me take a closer look’ or ‘there’s a piece of a cookie on the floor over there… maybe I can grab it.’  I try to build in a little extra time for the wandering nature of her walking but it can become a little exasperating and often leads her in the completely wrong direction.

Besides, taking an exorbinant amount of time to walk 25 feet, Becca’s hands can be a little difficult to hold.  She is bundled up in her winter coat and is often wearing mittens.  As a result, I have to search around to find her hand and it seems to easily slip out of mine.  It doesn’t help that she often chooses to try to use that hand to try to pick up the stale piece of bagel or squished up piece of gum from the sidewalk (ewwwwww!).

Knowing how difficult it can be to walk with Becca, I am extra vigilant whenever I am walking with her and I try to keep the trips short and sweet.  She and I were killing some time while her grandma was at the dentist and I decided to grab a Starbucks.  I was able to park a few doors down from the Starbucks and I figured it would be easy enough to walk in and out with her.  I wasn’t in a big hurry so I wouldn’t mind if it took us 20 minutes to walk a few feet.

We did fine on the way into the store.  Becca did become fascinated with the light pole and the newspaper dispenser but she was easily distracted.  Once we were inside she was really sweet.  She stood in line and waved and ‘talked’ to the people around her.  I was able to order and pick-up my order without too much trouble.  I placed my order in a bag so I was able to carry it more easily.

On the way out, we did pretty well until we got to the car.  As we approached the car, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it because I knew the dentist was calling to tell me my MIL was ready.  Instead of the quick exchange I expected,”Martha’s ready.”; “Okay, I’ll be right there.”, the receptionist started asking me all kinds of questions about Martha’s treatments.  I was so thrown off that I actually tried answering the questions (huge mistake) as I continued to make my way to our car. The receptionist continued to bombard me with questions until I finally had the sense to tell her I would call her back.  As I hung up, I realized that Becca had slipped out of my hand.

I immediately looked towards the sidewalk (I was standing next to the car) and didn’t see her.  I quickly whipped around to see Becca blissfully walking towards the traffic.  I was able to grab her just as she reached the end of our car and watched two SUVs whiz past us.  They would never even have seen her if she had made it to the street.

As I stood there for a few minutes watching the traffic drive by, I couldn’t help but replay the other possible scenarios.   I then began to berate myself for answering the cell phone and becoming distracted for even a minute.  As I was buckling Becca into her car seat, I realized that life is distracting and it is easy to get caught off guard.

Mary Kate

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Filed under developmental milestones

Slight Name Change

Now that I have been posting more regularly to this blog, I would like to make some minor changes.  First of all, I am going to begin to sign my name Mary Kate rather than M. Kate.  When I first started this, it felt very cool and mysterious to sign using the initial.  However, it becomes confusing when people e-mail me or refer to me in theirblog.  In order to lessen the confusion, I am going to unveil the mystery: M. stands for Mary.  Tada!!!  Eventually, I may go back and edit my signature but in the meantime I am just going to move forward as Mary Kate.

Also, I will stop referring to my husband as Mr. O and instead will call him Omar.   I liked the idea of “Mr. O” but it started to feel cumbersome and stilted.

Without further ado, I will return to blogging.

Mary Kate (aka M. Kate)

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Filed under Welcome and Housekeeping

A Time of Thanks

Taking time to give thanks

Happily surrounded by friends and family
Apple Pie that didn’t happen

Napping in the car

Kissing everyone hello
Shaking with laughter
Giggling as she chases the dog
I burned the pie crust twice
Valuing all that I have in my life
I realized I didn’t need to eat it all
Nourished by love

Getting home without much traffic

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Operation Take Back Our Bed: Moving in the right direction


It has been two weeks since we began the process of sleep training Becca and I am pretty happy with our progress. Becca is now consistently sleeping in her crib. During the second weekend, we weaned her down to waking up 1x a night (thankfully!). It was necessary for us to let her cry for ten minutes or so but she quickly went back to sleep.


During this past week, she has been pretty consistently sleeping from 8ish to 8ish. She will sometimes wake up at about 10ish (which is okay by me) but she will quickly go back to sleep (I do still occasionally nurse her at this time). My ultimate goal would be for her to consistently sleep from 8ish to 8ish without waking up but I am learning pretty quickly to count my blessings.

I have also learned that there is a “sleep curse” associated with talking positively about your baby’s sleep habits. I have noticed that any time I talk to someone about Becca being “a good sleeper” I will then have 3-5 days of sleep hell. I have also noticed that this occurs to my friends/relatives when they speak of their “fantastic sleep routine” or mention that their baby “goes to sleep pretty easily”. Therefore, I will continue to be happy that Becca is consistently sleeping in her crib and will try not to talk (or write) about it too much.


M. Kate


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Operation Take Back Our Bed: Nights Two Through Six

Nights Two through Six are actually a blur right now. It is amazing how quickly I can forget the details of my life.

After making it through the 1st night, Mr. O and I were committed to sticking with our plan: Becca in her own bed. I had decided that I would continue to nurse her to sleep and if necessary, I would nurse her at night. I just wouldn’t bring her back to our bed. I knew staying committed to keeping her out of our bed was going to becoming increasingly more difficult.

Each night, Becca did pretty well with going to sleep in her crib. After the first night, she didn’t even wake-up when I put her in her crib (around 8ish). She would then wake-up again a few hours later. On night two, she woke-up at 10ish. As each night went by, her wake-up time was pushed back a little further until she was waking up at 12ish. Some nights I was able to avoid nursing her and she would go back to bed but most nights I ended up nursing her.

She would then wake-up again at 4ish. Once again, I would try to avoid nursing her but she usually insisted. There were a couple of rough nights but I avoided bringing her into our bed and even avoided the twin bed in her room. However, I did resort to using the Fisher price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing which we haven’t used in a few months. I figured that I needed to use all of the resources at my disposal. I just kept repeating the mantra, “consistency and commitment, consistency and commitment”.


Unfortunately, the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium wasn’t the magic elixir of sleep I was hoping it would be. However, it was definitely helpful. In the mornings, Becca would wake-up and turn on the Aquarium and would just lie back in her crib and listen to it. She also would occasionally turn it on at night which helped a little bit.

By Thursday morning (night 6), I was feeling pretty worn down and knew I wouldn’t be able to keep dealing with Becca 2x a night. So I determined that it was time to cut-out one of the night wakings. Mr. O and I discussed it and determined we would allow Becca to cry a little longer before we went in to get her. In the next pos, I will update you on how well that went.

M. Kate


Filed under Sleep, Uncategorized