Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Start of The Hot Bot

AKA Hot Water Bottle. 

In January we started the Ferber method to get Spencer to sleep at naps without being rocked/cuddled to sleep.  We should have done it sooner, but I liked to cuddle him to sleep, and I guess I paid the price.  When he was about 4 months old he had a short stint where he wanted to fall asleep by himself in the crib.  But then we went to Sechelt and that routine got crushed.

Originally, for the Ferber method, we were just going to do naps, and then we still got cuddles at bedtime (he wasn't much of a cuddler otherwise).  The first time, Deb started it.  It was an impromptu nap on a Friday evening because he was very tired, and the weekend following was when we were going to start.  Good idea right?  She fought with him for a little over two hours to get him to sleep.  Needless to say by that point he was down for the night.  That weekend naps went to pot as we were out and about and he kept falling asleep in the car, and like I mentioned bedtime was going to be cuddle time.  So our first attempt was foiled.

We were going to start on a weekend, because I wasn't sure I could go through that stress of seeing my baby cry for extended periods without being able to reason with him on why.  However the next weekend was booking up with things we needed to get done, and we needed to have this in place before I went back to work so Cherry didn't have to go through the process solo.  The reason we wanted it in place, was for when Deb was home with new baby and couldn't necessarily commit to 30-50 minutes to put him to sleep without interruption. 

Because the following weekend was filling up, I was getting courage to start mid week.  By Wednesday I had the stomach to start.  My first day was not too bad.  The time ended up being a little shorter than Deb's attempt the previous Friday.  So time getting shorter and following the Ferber theory.  That night we did typical routine bedtime which included rocking to sleep. 

Then, the next day happened.  This wasn't good.  I was leaving naps until he was visibly tired, to make sure the timeframe wasn't too long.  We were going in every 4-6 minutes to soothe him and lay him back down, and cover him up etc.  For comfort reasons I had taken off his jeans and he was just in a long sleeve onsie, which was not out of the ordinary.  That day was exhausting for me never mind him.  It took a little over four hours for him to fall asleep.  He is stubborn.  In which time, he did get some water, and some milk, from a straw while standing in his crib because this had passed through his lunch (even I was getting hungry) and I didn't want to have him get dehydrated crying so much, (plus it is hard to sleep when hungry) most of which he refused.  After about and hour and a half I put some sweatpants on his legs because he was getting cold from standing in his crib crying, not covered, as I laid him down I tried to warm him up, but couldn't hold him long or that would defeat the purpose.  I even had to do a quick change of diaper half way through, because he had pooped and leaving him in that wasn't fair.  He was crying to the point his voice got hoarse.  Near the end he was falling asleep standing up, and then waking again to cry, he was being that stubborn.  After a few rounds of that he only had the energy to get to sitting position, and then fell asleep sitting up fading in and out of crying.  At about hour three I had to call Deb for support at work.  She was adamant that we had to persevere otherwise all would be for naught, so I kept going, maintaining composure as I went in, so he didn't see me upset. 

Once he fell asleep, eventually, I also needed to just lay down and recover.  I called Cherry to respond to a call I had missed and started bawling.  She came over and brought me lunch, and talked me through this.  This is where the Hot Bot idea came up.  I'm sure one of the reasons Spencer wasn't falling asleep was because he was cold.  I know when I am cold, which is most of the time, I can't sleep until I warm up.  She suggested putting a hot water bottle in with him to warm him up and keep him warm until he feel asleep.  I thought that was a great idea.  Wish I would have been able to do that sooner.  I can sympathize with him though, before Deb, I needed electric blankets to fall asleep in the winter.  My internal furnace seems to need an outside source to get going, and now Deb acts as a great heat source to get warm.  Once I am warm, I can keep warm, but I can't get myself warm.  Before now, Spencer had us cuddling him, acting as a heat source to get a nice cuddly warm to fall asleep, then we took that away.

So night time came, Deb and I had discussed that we needed to follow Ferber for night time as well after that afternoon's experience, as he doesn't know the difference between naps and bedtime routine, and Deb said she would handle bedtime.  I had had enough.  Well, with the hot bot, and perseverance from the afternoon, it only took 18 minutes for him to fall asleep.  It was a bitter sweet victory.  Deb got the easy route, but at least it did work. 

So now he needs his hot bot at a fairly warm temperature, otherwise he complains, to fall asleep.  Sometimes he needs it on his feet, sometimes on his torso, sometimes used as a pillow, but it works quite well.  Occasionally we need to go in after about 5 minutes to lay him down again etc (his stubbornness pops out again), but for the most part we get a grumble and a cry then he either lays there till he falls asleep, or falls asleep fairly quickly. 

Our little man is cold like me.  Poor little guy.  On the upside, now when he is awake, he is a bit more of a cuddler, which is nice.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Updates, so long overdue

This is going to be a very random post.

Let's start with Spencer.  A cute story.  Spencer isn't dependant on suckies (pacifiers) by any stretch, except to sleep, but he likes to hide them, swap them out and in general play with them.  We used to keep a stash on the shelf of his change table that he could reach.  But to be honest his hiding places are getting too good and we were having trouble finding them all (around 5).  This, in turn, dwindled his stash and we couldn't leave him access. While at the dollar store we bought some more to increase his stash, and so we could find one to use at night.  We brought out a couple and kept an eye on them more so.  One morning, I decided we had bought quite a few and he missed his suckie stash, so I found all that I could and opened the new packages and put most of them on the shelf.  When he discovered them he was ecstatic.  He was picking up 2-3 in each hand and putting them down to exchange the one in his mouth.  Then he crouched down so he couldn't see them, then slowly crept up, and low and behold, they were still there and he began to giggle.  He played with the stash for about 20 minutes while we got ready to go to work.  He would grab a few and walk to us to show, then take them back, drop them on the floor and put them back, swap out the one in his mouth.  It was quite comical and precious.  He had missed his suckie stash. 

That brings me to going back to work.  I have handled this fairly well.  Don't get me wrong, I miss him like crazy, but at least he isn't in day care, and it is his Yaya looking after him.  The transition all around has gone well.  We are super busy at nights doing the things I used to do during the day, as well as playing with Spencer, but worth it. 

The down side to work has been work itself.  At the end of last year I finally gave up my union membership to work on films because I figured I would be at Pyramid for ever, or until we moved to Sechelt (pipe dream).  So no use paying for dues for something I won't use, and my extended medical coverage had run out.  Fair enough right, WRONG.  In January I finally applied to a job in Sechelt, (turns out the job I was applying for wasn't being replaced).  On the application they asked if they could contact my employer, so I gave Anne the heads up that someone might be calling, and that I wasn't job shopping, this was a one off on the just in case.  Anne then sent an email back saying no problem, and gave me the slight warning that my job might go to part time in the next year or so.  I figured if nothing else that would be good timing for Deb to return to work, and then I would be part time and we would only need part time daycare.  WRONG.  Less than 20 hours back at work and I get notice that I would be going to part time in two weeks.  F#*%^&.  With Deb about to go on Maternity leave that is not an option for me.  We both can't be on reduced income. 

Immediately I email my union and ask if I can be reinstated, it is less that a month from when my official resignation took place.  WRONG, national office is insisting I pay the hefty reinstatement fee and the union dues.  Had Pyramid warned me a month earlier, I wouldn't be paying this fee.  Production work isn't stable work, and the only way Deb is agreeing to me going back to film, which I like more, as corporate work is pretty boring, is to sell the house and move in the Yaya and Poppi.  This was a fleeting idea that had come up the week before me going back to work but at that point I was a mess and couldn't contemplate that idea.  The reason behind it is, SHOULD something come up in Sechelt, and we were to move, we would only be dealing with one house instead of two.  So in the past 10 days our world has been shook up to say the least.  We are moving next door into shared accommodation, I'm looking for work, and with living with Yaya and Poppi we are hoping Deb will be able to be a stay at home mom permanently.  There is a show starting up soon and I have my resume with the accountant, I should hear back next week on whether I got the job as a first assistant.  There is a possible other job available, but it is as a second assistant, so less money, but for longer work.  It was a hard decision to pick which one to "accept" so to speak. 

Enough about work, at Spencer's 12 months vaccinations, which happened closer to 13.5 months old, Spencer was 23 lbs, which is at the 50th percentile and 31" tall which was 70th percentile.  So pretty good on average.  He was a trooper getting his shots.  Afterwards we needed to wait around for 15 minutes to make sure there wasn't a reaction.  He just kept walking around the halls and squealing with delight.  So that was good.  True to form, the next day he was fine, but the following two days he was a grump.

For Christmas, we got Spencer swimming lessons.  He loves them.  The first one he didn't quite know what was going on as we were getting ready, however the next trips, he was running through the parking lot to get to the door and get ready. We missed one due to stomach bug, but that day there was a maintenance issue and we got a credit for that day anyway, so that was nice.  We have finished the lessons, but I think we need to make a point to go once a week or so since he loves it so much.  But then again he also gets to go in our hot tub for water play as well, when the weather is nice enough. 

Deb's pregnancy is doing well.  Her gestational diabetes tests for the first screen came up positive which was a scare, but when she went in for the detail testing, she got an all clear, so that was a huge relief.  And because her belly was measuring a bit large we got to go in for another ultrasound, so we got to see him again. 
Spencer still isn't talking much.  He still uses a sound for animals, that is remotely like the soft U sound, as our pup is Tuffy, and he associates that name with all animals so far.  Then he also does the soft A for any fruit, it started with me trying to get him to say apple, but then translated into any fruit, as that is his favorite food.  But then again he randomly says A while playing too.  I hope he starts talking soon as he is a little behind development wise for speaking.   Hopefully that picks up soon.  We also need to work on shaking head for yes and no, which we don't do often, so that is something we need to work on ourselves. 
That brings you generally up to speed.  We will see how things develop in the near future.