Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Round two in the battle of sleep

The kids are both napping, whew! I am smacking back a few chips, shhhhh, so I cannot hear my thoughts too well.

OK, done, now let's see, where was I....I have had a huge dialogue and post going in my head for over a day so I will try and pick away at it as best I can.

Kaitlyn is sleeping, she really didn't want to go down and fought me on it for 35 mins, but I pulled a few Super Nanny moves and dozed on her floor (with one eye open) in the process and when I woke up(opened the other eye) she was out too, yay, one battle down many to go!

I want to say thanks again for all the tips and advice that I have gotten. It has got me motivated to get back on a strict schedule.

I read a sleep book and it said that it is not important to stick to a strict time but stick to the schedule of doing the same routine.
We have done this and I now disagree with the book. I think that the time is also important.

When I grew up the schedule varied and it meant that we slept in after a late night, this is the same trap I have fallen into with my kids. Up late, late to rise.

This will be hard for me especially after 6-8 night wakings but I will start slowly. The kids WILL be in bed by 9 and up by 9. I hope that after week of this we can move it to 8pm and 8 am to rise. It will be esier in the summer because that is was the schedule we were sorta on last year and getting out for a morning walk was so nice.

About the wakings. Ethan is moving back into his bed. I had been putting this off but I think it is a crucial step, he is getting to the age that Kaitlyn was when she made the move and I think, or i should say hope that we will all sleep better in the long run.

I am dreading it a bit since that means that I will have to get up physically to get him back to sleep. I tried this a few months ago and after two times up draged him back to our bed, so I expect this processs to go quite slowly.

Another thing will be to get Dave some nose strips for his snoring....he wakes me up quite a few time every night and I end up smacking him or yanking his pillow to get him to stop. Truth is that when he was gone to LaRonge that week I actually slept a lot better than when he is here.

Now Kaitlyn. I have been talking to her the last few nights when she wakes up to try and get a grasp on what is getting her up. Turns out that she is having nightmares, mostly about purple snakes coming out of her closet and mice in her bed.

She has a night light and white noise, what do you do about nightmares?

The mice nightmare she has been having for about a month now and just tell her it is ok, there are no mice, mommy is here, go back to sleep.

What is the solution?

I also had nightmares like this as a kid and remember watching elephants and VW bugs drive down the hall and I remember swarms of bugs circling my head and hiding under the covers. I would wake up and cry for my mom throughout the night till I was 7 or 8.

This is exactly what Kaitlyn is doing so I fear it could go on for years!

She did wake up the one time because she was hugery and after two hours of trying to get her back to sleep Dave got up with her and got her some crackers...I think she was growing that night!

Usually she stays in her bed and just needs to be comforted back to sleep.

I fear that what I do is blog the exceptions and am painting a terrible picture for you all when the average night just involves me getting up 3 or 4 times to get Kaitlyn back to sleep and roll over a few times and get Ethan back to sleep...oh ya and wake up a few times to stop Daves snoring.

Hmmm, it does sound worse than it feels.

Anyway, I am excited about the schedule. It will be hard on the weeks that Dave works the late shift because the kids like to stay up and see him and then get all excited and it takes a few hours to get them down after that.....usually around midnight.

We do dim the lights and have quiet time from around 8 as it is but I think we will just have to be more firm about keeping them in bed despite not being tired. Sitting with Kaitlyn for a few hours wont be fun but hopefully after a few nights she gets that she has to stay there and cannot get up to play and gives in.

Last night she sat and sat and sat staring at me...for 2 hours before she finally rolled over and went to sleep!

I also want to say that I am so blessed, despite their poor sleeping they are really calm and good natured kids during the day. The exceptions to their behavoir are the pictures I share....the messes are NOT every day, thank the Lord!!!

spell check still isn't working and I have no time to proof read....sorry:)


Tracy said...

I think that the longer I'm a Mom, the less answers I have to things .... everything just takes a lot of perserverance and consistency...don't give up! :) It seems like little details everyday add up to a big difference in the long term. Right now I'm trying to crack down on discipline....I always seem to ease off in this area, until I'm practically(or literally) crying all over Peter at the end of the day, and then I realize it's time to get back on track and insist on (for example)immediate obedience, not delayed obedience after me telling them something 5 times...

Hannah said...

Oh man, this parenting thing is not easy! There is always something to deal with, whether it's night waking, eating hassles, behaviour, whatever!
I think your ideas sound really good and I would encourage to keep focused and stay strong. There will no doubt be awful moments where you just want to give up, but I believe consistency is the key.

As for the nightmares, I can only suggest doing what I do for Tyler every now and then. He doesn't seem to have nightmares, but complains about monsters being in his room. I tried the whole "no, there are no monsters, don't worry" thing but the ONLY thing that works is when I actually acknowledge that there ARE monsters, and shout "GO AWAY MONSTERS" out his bedroom window before I leave his room. We have never had any problems using this technique. It feels funny, like you're admitting that they are real and almost lying to your kid, but the thing is they ARE real in his mind, so nothing reassures him when he hears "there are no monsters". Anyway, you could give that a try with Kaitlyn. I've heard of using "Monster Spray" as well, which is just water in a spray bottle and it gets sprayed around the offending areas (closet, etc) at bedtime. Good luck!

The Chatty Housewife- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Chatty Housewife- said...

It sounds like you are doing a lot better emotionally and mentally about this whole ordeal and that you will be able to have more energy to carry out what you want. You and your family are in my prayers!

FlipFlop Mom said...

Oh goodness.. my husband is a HORRIBLE snorer.. and it drives me INSANE!! He works nights.. but on weekends.. I can't sleep.. and he just doesn't understand!! UGH!! My daughter use to have FRIGHT NIGHTMARES UGH.. they were horrible... she would wake up just SCREAMING!!! and my son.. ugh.. he NEVER slept.. and still barely does.. and he's 12 now!!

but in truth.. in the end.. I'm a horrible sleeper... sooooo I'm sure they got it from me!!

bekaboo said...

Good for you! It does take a lot of stick-to-it-iveness to get your kids on a schedule. Something I was never too good at. But we did have success in slowly moving bedtime earlier a little every week. I had some "monster spray" I sprayed in my son's room when he was little, and that worked for his nightmares. My daughter didn't have faith in the spray, so I told her that monsters would be too scared of Daddy to come to our house. Different things worked for each child. Also, I don't know if you're religious, but praying about the nightmares before bed helped too. Good luck with it! Things won't always be this exhausting. It really does ease up some.

Angella said...

We are a family that thrives on routine.

You do what works for YOU, and disregard any book :)

Trace Geworsky said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.
You have beautiful children.
Yes, I do know who the Erlandsons..I just dont know them personally. Their son is a few years younger than I am.

BeachMama said...

We too thrive on routine at bedtime. Some people think we are crazy, but our kids go to bed at 7pm, or I should say we start the routine at 7pm and depending on the legnth of the book they are in bed asleep by 7:30. We get up early and a late night does not a sleep in morning make.

When we are on vacation or visiting, the time does change, but then a nap usually follows sometime in the next day. There are exceptions, but the general rule is 7pm. This has worked for almost 4 years now and I for one love it because if nothing else I know I have time to myself in the evening. Sometimes I clean, sometimes I just do my own thing, but it is my time.

As for nightmares, we usually try to find the trigger and eliminate it for a few days. Usually it will be a book we have read or a show that was watched. Once we eliminate it the nightmares go away.

Good for you on setting a schedule. Maybe you will have more you time :)

Family Adventure said...

I have no answers to you on the nightmares, unfortunately. But I also think that if you stick to this new schedule firmly, then eventually she may grow out of those nightmares. Nightmares can sometimes be caused by eating too late...if she is snacking late into the night, it could be part of the problem. I'm not saying it is so, just a suggestion, though.

Other than that, I just want you to know that I am right behind you, cheering you along. You are an awesome mom, Anna, and I know you want to do the best thing for your two gorgeous little kids!

Hugs, Heidi

Melanie said...

Hello. You just posted a comment on my block last night. I'm the other mommy who's kids don't sleep! (Or should I say one of thousands of mommy's who's kids don't sleep.) I'm the one with Skyla and Duncan and I live in Regina too. Another cool similarity is that we are trying to raise our kids in a Christ-centered home as well and yes this is a crazy world we live in. What sleep book is it that you read? I read "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" by Dr. Weisbluth. It kind of goes by the cry it out method which I used to be totally against but I tried his methods on our daughter and it really worked. I tried on our son as well and it worked until he got sick. (And he's teething now by the way.) I guess one has to do whatever works for them. I am a total schedule/routine person as well and I find my kids are happier when we do it that way. Skyla goes to bed at 8 and Duncan at 7 but Skyla usually wakes up at 6 a.m. I think Skyla has night terrors sometimes. It doesn't happen a lot but when it does she can't be reasoned with. She is actually still asleep when we go in there and she is having them and if you just leave her she conks out again. If we try to wake her she becomes even more hysterical. Anyway, from one sleep deprived woman to another, you have my prayers and sympathies. I am looking forward to continuing to converse. I just moved to Regina 9 months ago from Calgary and I often still feel very lonely.

JeniBeans said...

I don't have any answers for you on the nightmares either. But I think you're probably doing the right thing...

Hope you're all doing well. =)