Archive for the ‘Kira’ Category

And the un-nightmare begins…

So, I’ve had self-imposed sleep issues with each of my kids.  The self-imposed part simply means that instead of doing what I KNOW how to do and nipping in the bud all bad sleep habits, I am lazy.  I want to go have my ME-TIME (i.e., watching DVR’d shows and eating popcorn ALONE) and so instead of just sticking with a sleep-training plan for 4-5 nights knowing all problems will probably be solved (though those nights would be hellish), I don’t.  Instead I do whatever FEELS at the moment to be the fastest way to get them to sleep.  Currently it is sitting on her bed.  Rubbing her back.  Putting on music.  Laying down with her.  Whatever I think will work fastest.

Of course, it’s never fast.  Always takes at least 30 minutes and I’m usually mad by the time I finally leave her room.

It’s ridiculous really.  I was one of the few people I knew who never breastfed my kids to sleep.  I fed them when they first woke up and then swaddled them and put them down to sleep (which meant we could actually go on a date now and then cuz someone else could successfully put them to sleep).  However, the moment they could stand (Jake & Quinn) and the moment they moved to a big kid bed (Kira), the nightmare began.

With Jake & Quinn, whose difficulties were with being mobile in their cribs, I FINALLY used the Baby Whisperer’s Pick Up Put Down method, which worked like a charm after 4-5 nights.

Kira was a GREAT sleeper, even once she could stand.  I’d put her in her crib, I’d walk out, she’d fall asleep.

And then the big girl bed.


I’m so embarrassed that we are going on 10 months of this now.  I can use the excuse that we spent all summer traveling and then Brent (and the ensuing adjustment period) returned from deployment, but even if I do that, we’ve still been dealing with this for a good four months.  Too long.

So, tonight it begins.

My friend, Evonne, gave me a sleep book the other night and luckily I only needed to read about one chapter of it (towards the end of the book where he finally gets to older kids) to get his recommendations for preschooler sleep problems (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth).  It’s a pretty simple concept that starts with making a sign together that lists the four “Sleep Rules” and then discussing before bedtime what is going to happen. Namely, that she needs to follow the rules.  If she does not, I will pick her up without talking to or looking at her and will put her back in bed.  I will do this over and over and over and over again.  Until she follows the rules.

And the kicker is, I will do this in the middle of the night as well.  This is where it gets really tough for me because I’m great at having self-control and sticking to a plan (once I set my mind on it) while I’m alert.  Doing so while in the twilight world of sleep is another thing.  Firstly, I like being warm in bed and don’t WANT to get up and put her back to bed.  Secondly, it’s just so EASY not to move.  Thirdly, I don’t even remember half the time letting her in bed.

But, if she follows the rules, she will get a treat in the morning and a dollar (fake money that I’ve just started using on our 143,598,389th attempt at having a successful chore plan).

While we were talking about it mid-rule-poster-making, she got very upset and cried until she heard the word TREAT and suddenly the tears stopped and a smile appeared.  What a little manipulator.

So wish me luck.



Night 1 – She screamed and yelled for me and DAAAAAD (like the pissed off, I am NOT getting my way and I DON’T like it kind of yelling) for about 45 minutes.  During that time, I took her back to bed (no eye contact, no speaking) five times.  She then stopped and went to sleep.  At 12:45pm she woke crying and came into our room.  I took her back to her room.  She made sniffling noises for about 40 more minutes and then came in a second time to BRENT’S side of the bed.  I took her back to her room.  She slept til 6:45am.  Woke to MUCH praise.

Night 2 — She cried (not as pissed off) for about 15 minutes.  Did not come out of her room.  She then slept ALLLL NIGHT!

Night 3 — She yelled (pissed) for about 5 minutes.  Did not come out of her room.  Woke at 1am and cried for a few minutes, but didn’t come into our room.  Slept the rest of the night.

Haven’t LOVED the experience.  However, the fact that I was sitting on the couch alone in a quiet house at 8:15pm last night has got to be worth BOATLOADS of gold and happiness.  🙂

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Then What We Need Do?

I remember years ago hearing that my eldest nephew cared deeply about the day’s schedule.  Each morning, Holly was required to tell him the plan for the whole day.  At the time I, a HUGE planner, thought that was so cool!  A kid who liked to know THE PLAN.

Then I had kids.  Much to my chagrin, none of them have seemed to care a whit about THE PLAN, until the last few weeks when the following phrase appeared out of thin air.  Each day I now hear this phrase repeated again and again and again and… Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

What we need do… from Joelle Yamada on Vimeo.

And in case you don’t have your Kira Translation Headphones on, the line is:  “Then what we need do?”

She has also recently perfected the slacked jaw gape.  Also known as the “Huh?” or the “No way!” or the “Gasp!” look…  She loves tossing this in during the recitation of responses to “then what we need do?” when one of my scheduling bullets is especially provocative.  And example might go like this:

K:  “Then what we need do?”

Me:  Then we are going to get Jake at school.

K:  “Then what we need do?”

Me:  Then we will go the the farmer’s market and you can pick out your fruit and veggie.

K:  Open mouth, shocked look followed by a quick intake of breath, an excited hug delivered to my leg and…  “Then what we need do?”

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Last April, we moved Kira out of her crib and into her “big girl bed.”  That transition has not been smooth.  Pretty much 96% my fault and 4% the fault of the universe.  We spent the summer traveling, so she slept with me mostly.  Then when we got back, Brent got home and things were a little up in the air and inconsistent.  Then I just got lazy and started laying down with her to get her to sleep.  And then I’d get frustrated and try a new bedtime plan that I’d consistently perform for a day or two before giving in to whatever would just get the child to fall asleep fastest THAT night.  NOT ideal parenting.  But so it has been.

For Christmas, I got her a light that shines stars onto the ceiling and swore when it arrived (two weeks late) that we’d begin a NEW bedtime plan.  Strangely and classically, she has sort of worked it out herself over the last week.  My new plan simply includes me getting her settled and then saying, “Ok, I’m going to say, “Good night, Kira, I love you,” and then I’m not going to say anything else.”  Then I hold my finger up to my lips and shhhhh.  Rather hysterically it has worked great and bedtime is going well.

Today, our friends picked up the crib we had stored away in the garage for their new little munchkin.  As the crib was driven away into the sunset, I didn’t even consider shedding a tear.  Not sure who does that, but not me.  Thrilled to be moving on and forward.  I adored my kids as babies, but am loving this more.

And then to just put the cherry on top, I came back inside to find that Kira was sans-clothing.  Sort of typical around here.  I’ve got some streakers in the fam.  I sternly told her to go put some clothes on and she wandered down the hall.  A few moments later she came running into the room and said, “Mama PEE!!”  I didn’t see a puddle so I whisked her up and raced down the hall and placed her on the potty and GUESS WHAT?????  SHE PEEEEEEEEDDDDDDD!!!!  Such excitement.

I’m a very low maintenance mom (which I never would have predicted).  I didn’t TRY to potty train any of the kids.  Just waited.  Some of that had to do with the fact that another baby was born just when the potty-training-ish-aged child was turning 2.  Everyone I asked said I shouldn’t bother to potty train around the arrival of a new child.  So I didn’t.  I just waited.  And one day they just wanted to.

With Kira, I assumed she’d be ready sooner.  So a few months back, I just started asking if she wanted to pee in the potty.  Resounding NO.  Repeatedly a resounding NO.  She has said yes once or twice, but nothing has come of it.  So this morning, on FB I see the greatest trio of shots from my friend Meredith of her three kiddos sitting on the pot (hers are close in ages to mine, and her daughter is just a week older).  And I had that MOMENT all mothers have often of: oh-crap-is-Kira-supposed-to-be-potty-trained??  Luckily, on my third child, that feeling was momentary and not the agonizing week-long comparison thought process it would have been with Jake.  Instead I thought, “Dang it, should have gotten pix.”  🙂

But all that just made it that much funnier to have Kira pee on the potty for the first time today.  Ahhhhh.  Transitions.

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