Thursday, October 22, 2009

Food Fight

Kirk fights with us over trying new foods. It’s gotten to be quite brutal. He didn’t start out as a picky eater and I’m really not sure how it even happened. We have spaghetti once a week because it’s cheap and easy, yes, but also because we know he will eat it. We always have fish sticks in the house and have had many meals of frozen fish filets along side his breaded minced fish sticks. I won’t cook him his own separate meal but I also don’t want him to starve.

We’ve tried so many different methods to get him to just try things. Mr. b is right that we don’t want to make eating an unpleasant experience so I especially have to keep my temper in check and make sure I’m not punishing him unduly. But it’s also gotten to the point where Kirk has requested time out in his room in lieu of trying the one bite we’re requiring. And that is not going to fly.

Typically we’ll insist on One Single Bite of whatever the new food item is, and then he can have a peanut butter sandwich or something else. Occasionally Kirk will find that he actually likes it and then eat a normal dinner with us. Usually, however, there are tears and screams and yelling and threats and he’ll get his blanket or other precious item put on top of the refrigerator and I’ll end up throwing up my hands before I get physical and then Mr. b leaves for class and I’m stuck with a child in revolt. I’ve attempted a new rule: you don’t want to try that new thing? Fine. But you have to try *some other* new thing of your choice. So far that’s worked a grand total of One Time.

I know that it can take kids up to 10 tries before they develop a taste for something new to their palates. I know that just providing the options and eating by example are all supposed to be the “correct” action. But frankly, I don’t see it working. I guess we’ll move on to the smother-it-in-ketchup option next. I don’t really know what else to try. I do know that fighting with Kirk about his eating habits brings out the absolute worst in me and I hate that. I hate that I have such violence inside me and I hate that it’s my own child that activates it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sleep Study

Sleep, or lack thereof, continues to be the subject of much consternation in our house. At first I thought I had figured it out. Mr. b was home on Thursday last week so I made Bundle a doctor’s appointment for that afternoon. Her cold has been hanging on for a couple of weeks now and I always feel better after getting confirmation that yes, indeed, it is just a cold. And yes, indeed, it is just a cold. But since her cough is so rattling and has been the key feature of said cold for a while now and her daddy has asthma, she came home with her very own personal nebulizer.


I’ve heard all about Mr. b’s visits to the emergency room as a kid. Heck, I’ve even had to take him once! (We left our own engagement party because he couldn’t breathe. Amazing how they don’t make you wait your turn then. Heh.) The nebulizers are so easy and small and portable now.

Daddy loves albuterol!

It really seemed to make a big difference. We had been holding Ronnie in the bathroom with the shower running to try to loosen up the phlegm via steam and that had helped but this was even better.

All weekend I over-thought sleep patterns for both kids. When was Kirk napping, how long, what time did he get up in the morning, when did he finally go to sleep after going to bed? When was Ronnie napping, how long, what time did she get up in the morning, when did she finally go to sleep after repeatedly not going to bed? Again, it didn’t seem to match up with what was happening at daycare. After receiving such fantastic advice, I broached the topic with C on Friday at pick-up but only for Kirk. I told her I was researching why they don’t fall asleep and that I think Kirk needs to be made to get up after 2 hours, even if he was only previously just lounging for the rest of the time listed on his nap chart. I do still think they feed off each other’s restlessness but I admit I was using that as an excuse.

It seemed to go well the first part of this week. Kirk was gone Sunday night, sleeping over with his cousins, and Veronica went to bed very easily and earlier than we’re used to. Then Monday night Kirk was wrecked from sleeping over with his cousins so he went to bed very easily and his sister wasn’t disturbed by his squirming around. But by the end of the week I don’t know that much of anything has changed.

I asked C about Bundle’s naps earlier this week, trying to find out if she’s actually asleep during the times that are listed. So the feedback I’ve been getting has been more specific, stating when she was making noise and when she was quiet. But it still seems long. And this morning C mentioned she didn’t know that Ronnie was sitting up on her own until I had set her down like that the other morning. I find that strange because she will sit up now even from crawling, and not just have to be placed that way. And maybe it’s because we have hardwood floors at home and there’s carpeting at daycare but frankly, I feel like it’s just another indicator that my poor baby isn’t getting very much attention during the day. And *that’s* what freaks me out more than anything.

So for now it seems like Miss V will either not go to bed and then when I finally get her down late, like around 11, she’ll at least sleep through the night. Or else she’ll go down fairly well but then wake up in the midnight-thirty range and come to bed with me the rest of the night. I prefer the former if I have to choose so that’s what I’m going to work on. But at this point, the daycare concerns are enough to make me root for Mr. b quitting his job and staying home with the kids even harder than I already was.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today is the release date for the new Mercurial Rage album on Susstones titled Cascade! It's available at all the finest local indie retailers, on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and other digital retailers, and of course, direct from The Susstones Shop!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sandman on Strike

I think my kids sleep too much at daycare. Every day we get the slips recording their activities, what they ate, and when they slept. And every day it shows that Kirk had a 3 hour nap and that Veronica napped for a total of 5 or 6 hours. That just seems ridiculous to me.

Ronnie is a tricky baby to get to sleep at night. She’s been that way almost since the beginning but hey, every kid is different. She is very easy during the day and very difficult at night. At least once a week for the past few months she will quite simply not go to sleep, causing me to give in and take her to bed with me at midnight when I couldn’t take it anymore. I was starting to really worry about it until superbadfriend sent me this link to 31 Ways to get Your Baby to go to Sleep. Sure, most of that is just common sense stuff that we’re already doing. But I needed the reminder and it was good to see some things in writing that related to specific actions of my naughty bundle, like thinking that the snack bar is open all night if she’s in bed with me.

Typically Ronnie will nurse herself to sleep, I’ll put her into her crib, then she’ll wake up an hour or so later, we’ll repeat, and then she’ll stay in her crib for the rest of the night. Or at least until about 5am at which point I don’t have a problem bringing her in bed with me for the remaining hour and a half until my alarm goes off. So the inability to get her to stay asleep, or go back to sleep after the initial pre-bedtime snooze, has been very frustrating. I’ve ascribed countless theories to try to explain it. She’s got a cold right now and a nasty sounding cough and I’m sure that’s affecting things. Mr. b says it’s just a phase. And lord knows having her brother up and rattling around in the bed next to her isn’t doing anything to help.

That’s why I’m starting to wonder if it might be the amount of sleeping during the day. Kirk just will not go to sleep at night either. Sure, he goes to bed with a relative minimum of fuss. But then he stays up for sometimes two or more hours, “reading” books by flashlight or talking to himself or his easily awakened sister. Then in the morning he’ll complain of being “so tired” and I’m sure he really does need the nap at daycare to recover from his late night. And the cycle continues.

At home on the weekends Kirk usually doesn’t nap, though I still enforce Quiet Time if we’re not out and about. If he got up extra early then I’ll make him lay down or if he’s particularly cranky but he’s four and doesn’t necessarily *need* the nap every single day. When he does nap at home, I wake him up if it’s been two hours. That’s his limit; anything longer and he won’t go to bed. So it’s kind of dismaying to see such a long time written on his “report card”. Maybe it’s not actually sleep that entire time. I know that C makes all the kids, regardless of their ages, lay on their cots, so maybe a good portion of that time is resting not sleeping. But I suspect there’s more sleeping than not.

Which brings me back to Bundle. At home on the weekends she’ll usually sleep in with me until around 9 or 10. That’s when she would be waking up from her morning nap at daycare according to the take home slips. And that’s fine. Babies need multiple naps a day. Even though it looks like she goes down for her morning nap sometimes less than a half hour after we drop her off. But what concerns me is that it then looks like she’s up for a measly two hours and then spends the rest of the day napping again. Another four hours. She’ll be up when we pick her up but generally only long enough to have an afternoon bottle. But again, what portion of that time is spent actually napping and what is time laying by herself, alone in her crib in the other room? At home she’ll typically do her afternoon nap on the boob but if I put her in her crib it’s about an hour tops of solid sack time. I’m afraid to ask about it because I don’t know how to bring it up and I don’t want to learn that she’s just a crib baby at daycare. She’s always creeping around on the floor when we pick her up, and in good spirits, but is that because she’s finally getting some attention for the first time since before Noon?

Maybe Mr. b is right and it’s just a phase. For both of them. But it seems like they’re feeding off each other with the no sleep thing at night. I haven’t changed anything about their night time routines. So I feel like daycare is the only logical option left to investigate. But how do I approach it?