Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh how I hope that this was not a fluke

Above you have photographic evidence of the amazing night that we had. That was Kellan upon waking this morning. He slept the entire night in his own bed. He did not fuss or cry, he did not ask to get out of bed, he did not wake 500 times a night as he has been doing for the past month. He slept. He slept beautifully. When I checked on him before we went to sleep, he was sprawled luxuriously across his bed, enjoying the space that he didn't have in his crib or, even more so, in bed with us. He went to bed at 8pm as usual and, I admit, took about 20 minutes more than average to fall asleep due to the excitement of a new situation. However, once gone, he slept soundly until midnight when I heard him call out to nurse. I went in, nursed him, and returned to my bed shortly thereafter. He did not wake again until 5:45am, at which point I nursed him once more, returned to my bed, and we all slept in until 7:30am!

First, we have not been to bed at night without waking Kellan and having him "need" to nurse in longer than I can remember. What a relief it was to lie down at bedtime and simply go to sleep. Second, I cannot remember the last time that I actually had five consecutive hours of sleep. Five hours! Not minutes, hours. Heaven. And finally, I don't think that Kellan has slept so well into the morning, waking happy and ready to go, since he was an infant. We have had some bad nights, and at this point I'm ready to admit that they were of our own making. Kellan needed his own room and his own space. As did we. I hope that tonight proves that this first experience was not just a fluke and that we're ready to pass along the crib to another soon-to-be sleepless family.

On a side note, however, I had a bit of a teary moment when I walked into our bedroom and saw the crib sitting empty next to our bed. My baby isn't a baby anymore. He is a big boy sleeping in a proper bed in his own bedroom. He is already taking steps towards independence. Small steps to be sure, but it was the first big "he's growing up so fast and won't be my little boy forever" moment of sadness that I've experienced. I am usually thrilled by his achievements, but this was the first big breaking away venture, moving out of our bedroom and out of our bed, claiming his own space. I am going to be a wreck on the first day of preschool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Big Boy Bed

Tonight is the night. Kellan has successfully napped in his big boy bed without any change in routine or schedule, and so tonight is the night that we attempt his first solo sleeping adventure. He is 18 months old now and I'm sure that we won't be doing any lasting damage by sending him to bed across the hall. I was all for the "children naturally sleep with their parents until the age of four" business until Kellan became the most restless and demanding wee hours toddler known to man. The minute that we come to bed, he wakes up and asks to nurse. At this point, it is unlikely that he returns to his crib for the remainder of the night, and for the past couple of weeks, he has been up nearly every hour asking to nurse. We thought that he might be hungry, so have been giving him massive snacks before bed. No change. Thirsty? We offer drinks when he wakes up only to be greeted with wails of "Nseeeeeeeezzzz!!!!" (nursies). And so, for the sake of Kellan getting a bit more uninterrupted sleep (and his parents getting a bit of sleep period!), we're hoping that this works.

Kellan loves his bedroom. He spends a great deal of time there playing and hanging out. He chose the pictures for his walls. It is where we dress and change him. Today we bought a special Dora comforter for his bed. When we are at home, it is the most likely place to find him. So there is no worry about a strange or new environment. It is only across the hall from our room and I will hear him when he wakes. I am hoping that sleeping in his own room will result in less disruption from us coming to bed, rolling over, and so forth. I also hope that, once he's used to his new bed, he will be able to stir without immediately asking to nurse. I know that I will still be required at least once or twice for late night / early morning nursing sessions, but I am hoping that the recent 6-12 requests for nursies each night might be a thing of the past. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Some recent photos

When do we...

1. When do we move Kellan from his high chair into a proper booster seat? He has a booster seat that he uses when we go out to eat or at other people's homes, but he's still in the high chair at our house. I just think that its more comfortable than the booster seat, but I also don't want to be that crazy mother who kept her toddler in a high chair until he was four. When did you make the switch?

2. When do we put Kellan into his big boy bed? He's still in our room at the moment. Some of the night in his crib, most of the night in our bed (if I'm honest). We plan to move him into his room next month. He wakes up nearly every night when we come to bed which means that he "needs" to nurse again and I don't get to sleep for ages. His being in our room has also of course displaced "adult" activities to other parts of the house so as not to wake him. Its time. He has a low to the ground bed in his room with a side rail to keep him from rolling out. Is 18 months old enough for the big boy bed?

3. When do we expect Kellan to start feeding himself with a spoon? He's not even great at finger feeding, only because he absolutely has to give his full attention to his books while he's eating, so its much easier if mom or dad do that actual food to mouth business. He will feed himself by hand, but its not his preferred method. We haven't even let him try the spoon yet. That would truly demand concentration and he just isn't interested.

That's my current list of "when do we"s and any advice or thoughts would help.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

18 months and growing...

Kellan turned 18 months old on Sunday. He is now closer to two than he is to one. My baby is no longer a baby. He is a silly, stubborn, smart, fun, sometimes infuriating, handsome, wonderful, and perfect toddler. I am loving this age. He is so independent in some ways (or he'd like to be!), yet still totally dependent in many others. He is talkative, social, curious, and always looking for ways to learn. He can be incredibly impatient and easily frustrated, but he is also jubilant, excited, and eager in everything that he does. We might simply be on a long shopping expedition and at every stop Kellan is out of the car, squealing with delight, waving his arms unconsciously in his excitement. Just to be here. To be alive and experiencing whatever it is that we're about to do. There is such joy and exuberance at the mere mention of "time to go" or "where are your shoes?", as he contemplates the adventures upon which we are about to embark.

At 18 months, Kellan is so different to his infant self. He is much bigger of course, especially as we've recently had a growth spurt and all of the summer clothes which were quite big on him in June are now a bit on the tight side. He has a huge vocabulary (even when half of the words do sound the same to the untrained ear), though he still won't call me anything but "That". He is a slightly fussy eater, probably normal for the age, but some days I wonder if he'll ever eat anything other than refried beans, mashed potatoes, or macaroni and cheese. He can be incredibly sweet, but when angry can lash out with the best of them. We're working on the "no hit" rule at the moment. He loves puppies and hates green beans. He worships his father. When we're at the park, he scours the grass for dandelions and brings them to me one by one. A son who picks flowers for his mother. My son. My toddler.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My Boys

These were taken at Niagara Falls (see actual falls photos below) while relaxing after lunch. Aren't they handsome?

Family at the Falls

Friday, August 12, 2005

Some holiday snaps

These are all from Toronto, mostly the Ontario Science Centre and one from the Toronto Zoo. We had a fantastic holiday. Kellan enjoyed every minute. It was wonderful to be away from the heat and humidity for a bit, as well as to enjoy the fun family activities that Toronto had to offer. Kalamazoo, MI was a nice little town where we went ringing at the beautiful Kalamazoo College. We also rang in Toronto. And of course enjoyed a day at touristy Niagara Falls.

Monday, August 01, 2005

On the road again...

We're headed for Toronto and various other destinations north of here this week. Spending a week away enjoying the sights and (hopefully) cooler weather. Also doing some ringing in Kalamazoo and Toronto. There will be lots of driving, but also lots of days spent sightseeing and enjoying our holiday. Hopefully Kellan can see that side of things!

Here are some photos of Kellan at, you guessed it, the park last week.