What life is like right now {January 2016}

I thought it would be fun to include a full rundown of our current daily life in my 2016 Project Life album. So I’m putting it here too, just for full posterity. M & E are 3 years (+ 2 months), and I know that daily routines will surely be quite different by next January. DSC_6994_WEB

The boys “wake up” at 7:45 – the owl clock turns green telling them they can get up. Usually they’re already awake and they yell out, “IT’S GREEN!” They can climb out of their cribs, but they don’t do it every day, and they don’t do it before we get to their room.

Breakfast is oatmeal (Trader Joe’s quick cook steel-cut oats) with smashed banana and blueberry sauce, sometimes with frozen blueberries on top. Also Cheerios, and sometimes raisins. Sometimes lately there will be a big tantrum if we don’t feed them fast enough, or in the order they prefer. (Usually it’s only one who does this, so that’s a small blessing, I guess?) After they eat, they play with stuff in their pajamas for awhile.


Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I usually wake up with them and our nanny comes at 8:30, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Daddy wakes up with them and takes them to daycare. On nanny days, there is a long morning outing to somewhere like a musical performance at a kid-friendly café, or OMSI, or a park. Often there’s a parks & rec class (like sports, movement, preschool cooking) in there too, depending on the season.

When they’re at home, lunch is around 1230. There’s applesauce with chia seeds, yogurt (full-fat plain, mixed with homemade mango puree [from frozen store-bought mango pieces]), and then something like a frozen whole-grain waffle with jam, or a quesadilla, or a PBJ, or lately, a scrambled egg muffin.

They go down for nap between 1-130, and wake up between 330-4. Sometimes they stir, and sometimes they call out, “I’M AWAKE!”, and sometimes one will get out of his crib and stand at the top of the stairs until we notice them.


On nanny days, after our she leaves at 4:30, I usually take them to Swap & Play. (It’s a dedicated play space with three classrooms, open til 6pm seven days a week. It has been a GODSEND since we joined after Halloween!) Twice this month we’ve gone to the local library branch to select & check out books (like big kids!). Sometimes we might also go to the store.


On daycare days, I pick them up between 530/545. They always run and hug me and it’s the best thing ever. Usually one of them has to go potty (because they’re still reluctant to go as often as they need to at daycare), so I take them to the school bathroom. We drive home and listen to “songs” – all last year it was kid songs from the two children’s CDs, but this month it’s been ‘regular’ music. They are obsessed right now with Under Pressure (Freddie Mercury & David Bowie) and Blank Space from Taylor Swift. They also like Shake it Off, Ex’s and Oh’s, some Lion King songs, some Frozen songs (they have not seen either actual movie), and a couple other random pop-y songs.

Dinner is around 630. We rotate a number of “main dishes” like mac & cheese, crockpot chili, mini pizzas from Trader Joe’s. Side/second dishes include things like pumpkin soup, a sandwich, microwave meatballs, some pirate’s booty or veggie snacks, plus a homemade veggie pouch. Sometimes they remember to ask for dessert—chocolate cat cookies, or something special that we’ve made like banana “ice cream” or, the other day, a mini chocolate cake.

PL 2016-01 Jan1_WEB

About three times a week we do bath after dinner, which is about 30 minutes of playing/splashing/shrieking, then protesting when it’s time to wash up. We wash their hair once a week or so. After that, they sit on the baby couch and watch TV. For all of 2015, it was sometimes an episode of Elmo, then Daniel Tiger overtook that, and then in December, they fell in love with Super Why.

Other nights, they just play. Blocks, beads (loose plastic beads–they are a big thing right now), books, running/chasing, groceries, puzzles, coloring with stamps or crayons, random toys they re-discover. (God, we have SO many toys in our house. It’s ridiculous.)


We try to get upstairs for bed around 820. We turn on the noise machine and projector, and Mister Turtle who projects the blue and green stars. We talk about our day, maybe sing a song (we used to do it every night consistently, but have been inconsistent lately), give cuddles, and say goodnight. Often there will be requests for more hugs after we’ve gone downstairs.

Weekend days are very similar. We try to do morning outings, but sometimes it’s hard to get them out the door. We’ll go to the Vancouver Library, or Costco, or a play cafe, or if it’s nice enough, we’ll go outside. (Only happened twice so far this month…but considering it’s January, that’s pretty awesome.)

And that’s our life right now!

Life and Schedule update, v10 (26 months)

I realized that a few things have changed a lot since I last did one of these–over a year ago!–and I wanted to make note before I forget and before even more changes happen.

First and most obvious, they walk and run and talk now, ALL THE TIME. 🙂 Their little voices are really cute, especially when they’re singing the ABCs or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. 🙂

Last summer, when they were 20 months old, we finally made the switch to sippy cups. It took a few tries to find the best one–that didn’t leak, and that didn’t frustrate them. (We settled on these: Munchkin Sippy Cups, 9 ounce) Soon afterward we cut out the post-nap milk (but kept the snack), as well as made the morning milk much less (maybe an ounce or two?). The evening milk is still a few ounces (approximately half of the sippy cup) and about half the time they ask for more.

By the time of the time change in the fall, before they turned two, their bedtime had been pushed back a little bit, from strictly 730 to 745/8pm. (We successfully moved them back a little bit for three nights so that on the last night, they went to bed at 9pm. Then the next night after the time change it was 8pm. Phew!)

Later in the fall/winter, it’s been pushed back more. Now we start getting them ready around 8 and go upstairs between 820 and 830 (which means that some nights, we don’t get out of their room until 9!). Sometimes bedtime is quick and easy, but more often it feels pretty drawn out. They have to each close all the doors in the hallway, we have to say goodnight to the animals on the projector, we sing our two regular songs and then a bonus song or two, and then there are hugs. Lately they’ve been demanding a lot more Daddy hugs and rejecting Mama. :/

The timeshift is a reaction to them suddenly waking up much earlier. We are not morning people, so when they started being up for the day around or before 7am, we were like, NO THANK YOU. Moving bedtime back meant that wakeup also moved back a little, back to the 730 range. AND even better, sometimes it’s 8am!

The naps have shifted a bit too. They used to go down around 12 or 1230, but for the last few months, it’s been 1pm. And as of January or so (so after they turned two), they have gotten shorter, generally 2-2.5 hours. This sucks a bit (I really liked taking my own naps during their naptime, or doing some work), but it also means we have more time to play before and after nap. Especially as the days are finally starting to get longer, that means that they can go outside after nap! We are eagerly awaiting those long summer days when we can go on walks after dinner again…

In general, there’s been a wonderful change in that they are never desperate for food or milk anymore. They used to get all desperate and hysterical and whiny about wanting to eat RIGHT NOW, but as they’ve gotten older, they don’t do that as much anymore. What they do do is beg for snacks. (We give them a mid-morning snack and a post-nap snack, but E especially will ask for and eat crackers all day long. Of course we don’t let him, but it does get annoying to deal with saying no and dealing with his unhappy reaction.) Dinner is often around 6pm nowadays, which again gives us more flexibility with the afternoon and evening hours.

So here’s an actual timeline of a typical day:

745-8am: wake up and milk
830ish: breakfast (oatmeal with fruit puree)
10ish: snack
1130/12pm: lunch
1-3pm: nap
330/4pm: snack (usually a homemade fruit pouch)
545/6pm: dinner
730pm: milk
830ish: bedtime

Life Right Now (Schedule update v8) (11 months)

In a word: Tired. (That’s us, though.)

Around the end of October or so, I guess around when they turned 11 months old, the babies ended up changing their routine in an important way–they basically dropped two feedings. We’ve also changed their sleep routine a little. And naps are in the process of changing too, I think.

They now wake up–rather, we get them up–a little later, around 7 or sometimes 730. This is a nice holdover from the sleep regression (they regularly slept until 730 because they were awake for so long overnight).

They still do their big (7oz) breakfast bottle right away, and then a breakfast of oatmeal and mashed banana around 830. They still go down for a nap around 10, but without another bottle. This week, the morning nap has been 45 minutes or less.

This change came about because twice I just totally forgot about that feeding–I put one or both babies down without remembering to give them a bottle. Mother of the year, right here! But the babies didn’t seem to notice or care. So, it became the routine. I figure if they were hungry, they would let me know and wouldn’t just fall asleep. Plus, I knew that as they are getting older, their liquid intake is supposed to taper off, so I wasn’t worried about them. (Plus, I really try not to stress about how much they eat or drink. It’s crazy-making if you do that, and there’s really no way to force a baby to eat if he doesn’t want to. [Medical issues notwithstanding, obviously.])

Around 12/1230, they have lunch of fruit puree and yogurt (plain whole-fat yogurt mixed with blueberry-banana puree that I make) and maybe some additional fresh fruit in mesh feeders (we were good about doing this over the summer but haven’t done it as much lately). Plus cheerios and puffs as a before/after play snack–a good way to keep them busy as everything else gets set up and then put away.

They’ll want 6ish ounces anywhere between 130 and 230, and then they go down for a nap. The last few months, the nap would start around 2, but lately it’s been starting after 3–some days as late as 4. And since the morning nap has been short this week, the afternoon nap is on the earlier side, and long. But sometimes it’s been flipped, or sometimes the babies switch–one takes a long morning nap, one takes a long afternoon nap. A couple terrible afternoons this past month, one baby has refused the afternoon nap altogether! Those were not fun times and thankfully it’s been a rare occurrence.

This later nap does mean an extended outing timeframe! We haven’t done much interesting stuff yet, but it’s a relief to have a little more wiggle room. However, it does mean that we really need to bring bottles when we go out, because when they get hungry they get HUNGRY and do NOT want to wait to get home!

After the nap, they want a little snack–a couple ounces maybe. (I’ve been trying to work in some (organic, whole) milk for that snack instead of formula, since they’re supposed to be off formula by 12 months or so. We will not hit that deadline, but whatever.) Then they have dinner around 545. They eat veggie puree, meat puree, and again some cheerios and puffs.

Their 8.5oz dinner bottle is now at 7pm. We used to do it by 630 because they would get so crazy cranky. But as they’ve gotten older, we noticed that they will happily play a little longer before getting fussy. We really pushed it the week leading up to the time change, and we’ve been able to stick with it being a little later. I am now being more careful to do it right at 7, though, instead of in a range around 7. I suppose I do that to build routine for all of us, and so they don’t end up staying up too late. After they take as much of the bottle as they can (M will usually finish his and E will leave a few ounces), they will play a bit, we read them a couple stories, and then at 730 (again, actually *at* the time), we bring them upstairs, for the last of the bottles if needed, a song, and goodnight kisses. They usually settle and quiet almost immediately.

There are still occasional wakings during the night, but most of them are pretty quick to deal with. Generally it just means that we, the adults, aren’t getting super great sleep.

It’s so interesting how our babies have changed and adapted what they want to eat/drink over time. They’re getting hungrier and more demanding at the solid mealtimes. Which is good! (Now we have to start thinking about non-pureed food. Ugh.) But a lot of the bottle routine I think was the babies being used to the routine, rather than hunger. But eventually I can start noticing their actual cues and adjust what we give them. I couldn’t believe that they dropped so much liquid so quickly! That cut down their intake by like a third! And with hardly any transition time.

I know that there are a ton of transitions on the horizon–they’ll drop one of the naps (and the process of that transition must be a nightmare of constant fussiness), they’ll start eating regular food, they’ll start working on feeding themselves, which means the meal messes will increase exponentially. They’ll transition off formula and in theory off bottles entirely. Maybe they’ll start sleeping better again, which would be nice. I think they’ll be walking in the next month or two, which means a whole new level of vigilant supervision and babyproofing. Blergh.

But maybe they’ll start talking too, or at least making clear attempts to communicate, and they’ll be able to do and understand a lot more. I do think that part will be fun and fascinating!

Mostly I just can’t believe that they’ll be a year old next week!! How is that possible?!

Life with Babies Now: Schedule v6 and v7 (8 months)

I think it was around May or so, when the babies were around six months, that their nice schedule of 3-4 45 minute naps a day dissolved. What was good was they started occasionally taking longer naps, sometimes an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, and very occasionally two hours. What was bad was that there was no rhyme or reason to the naps. Even worse was that the naps almost never occurred fully at the same time.

They started waking up earlier too, around 6-630 (instead of 7-730). They would take a 45 minute nap around 830 or 9, eat at 10, sleep for an hour or more sometime after that, eat at 1pm, take a nap sometime in the afternoon for an hour to hour and a half, eat around 4 (sometimes they would sleep through and eat later), sometimes a short nap around 5, and last bottle at 630.

So they were still eating every three hours or so, but I started to notice that those naps overlapped feeding times often enough. So for the last month or so (?) I’ve been doing more of a ‘demand’ feeding time frame–basically waiting for them to start getting cranky and clearly hungry. Interestingly there was flexibility in the two afternoon feedings but not the others. No matter when they had the second to last bottle, at 630 or so they always get super upset and hungry and needing dinner.

Also, the fourth mini-nap became even more important. If they didn’t get enough rest, the last two hours of the day were always rough because they were so tired/cranky. I would try to put them down around 5pm for a little catnap, but most of the time they refused to sleep.

It was nice to occasionally have a long quiet time by myself (on the days I was home with them), but we were also trapped at home. During the week I didn’t bother trying to even plan outings because of the erratic nap schedule. On weekends, we’ve still been doing at least one outing after their lunch bottle, even though it often interrupts or prevents naps.

Last week the babies suddenly decided that they wanted some regularity again and put themselves on a new schedule. It’s also nice because there are big windows to do regularly scheduled ‘meals’ of solids.

Wake up: 6/630

Breakfast solids: 8ish

Second bottle: 930ish

Morning Nap: 10ish-11ish (sometimes an hour and a half)

Lunch solids: 12ish

Lunch bottle: 130ish

Afternoon Nap: 2ish-4ish

“Snack” bottle: 430

Dinner solids: 530

Dinner bottle: 630

Two naps a day! And they’re back to being mostly simultaneous. Sometimes there’s an overlap; one will go down up to half an hour after the other one. And it seems like one or both of them have been waking up a little bit/for a little while during the afternoon nap.

Two to four pm had been our ‘outing time’ for the last number of months, and now that will need to change a bit, I think. Since that’s now such a major nap for the day we should keep it as sacred as possible. We’ll have to use the 11am-2pm window to get out and about, which also means they’ll have to eat while out and about, which is not easy or fun or quick.

Again, this all happened last week. So I’m hoping that A) it sticks and B) those little pips get ironed out. Already I like looking at the day knowing what’s going to happen. I hope to start getting out a little more, for walks and maybe some playdates again.




Thanks to Ask Moxie, I learned about growth spurts and sleep regressions long before it would ever be time for our babies to go through them. I blame pretty much blame any weirdness on one or the other. However, as their four month ‘birthday’ came and went, I wondered if somehow we had escaped the four month sleep regression that I’d heard such terrible things about.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the babies had a hard time going to sleep. They cried for a good half-hour after we put them down, which is very unlike them. Wednesday and Thursday nights (I think?) they were up–WIDE AWAKE–for an hour and a half around 3am. We gave them snacks and tried to help them calm down, to no avail. Eventually we put them (or at least one of them) in a Rock n Play, and they must have fallen back asleep.

They also suddenly refused their naps, or at least their nap schedule (which had been 45 minute naps four times a day). E would finally sleep for 1-1 1/2 hours, and M stayed up longer and crash for half an hour. They also got a lot more hungry, eating 7oz or more for at least half the feedings.

The morning after the second bad night, we were talking about it, and as I went through all the unusual things that had been happening, I was like, Dang, I am describing a sleep regression.

I was still a little hesitant to label it that in my mind, because I’d heard about babies waking up every 45 minutes or every 2 hours all night long.

I was also hesitant because I was scared that some terrible torture was about to befall us for weeks on end–some babies’ regressions can last up to SIX WEEKS. Ie, insanity time.

However! Over the weekend they were back to their normal nighttime routine–went down fine and had some overnight wakeups, with us making quick trips to replace pacifiers. The erratic naps and increased appetite have stuck around.

Also–I swear they’ve started rooting again!

Then! On Sunday and Monday nights this week, they had NO overnight wakings! It was amazing! We felt incredulous in the morning: “Did you wake up for anything?” “No, did you?” Rest for all of us–hallelujah! Maybe this was the shortest sleep regression on record!

Tuesday night, however, was another awake-for-an-hour-and-a-half at 2am. It suuucked. Naps Wednesday were even worse than they’ve been: They both took two half hour naps in the late morning and early afternoon. Then M was awake from 2pm until their dinner (630pm). Four and a half hours! He wasn’t happy, fussed from 5pm on, even when I was holding him. The swing calmed him but still no sleep. Poor baby. E napped for less than half an hour somewhere during that time, so at least he was okay.

From Wednesday on, the babies have mostly napped back on their old schedule, and needed a little more to eat, but not a lot. No more long overnight awake time though, so far. Knock on wood. Friday, the 11am nap lasted an hour and a half–for both of them! At the same time! This is unprecedented! I’m sure it was a fluke–I won’t hold my breath that it’s a new pattern or anything.

However, the last few days, E has occasionally been getting upset and extra fussy again. We think it could be related to pre-teething?

So it’s all a crapshoot at this point–especially remembering that there’s a six month growth spurt on the horizon. I guess we just need to be patient with the little babes and do our best to comfort them and keep them happy.

Having It All

Another post from over a year ago. The babies have changed so much, and yet my day-to-day mama experience is pretty much still the same. Seriously, I need more hours in the day.




That’s funny. At this point I would settle for having some of it. Whatever “it” is.

I currently have eleven drafts here on the blog, ranging from just a title to nearly done. I have a list of literally seventeen more posts I want to write.

I’m reading another book on my kindle, occasionally, during the last feeding.

I’m a month behind on Project Life. I just finally ordered photos. I don’t know when I’ll actually work on getting everything done once they arrive.

I also want to use Project Life to document all the trips we’ve done in the past few years (Costa Rica, Greece, Central Europe) plus the wedding. At this point, I’m not sure if this will ever happen.

I’m always between a day and a week behind in uploading photos to flickr.

I’ve been trying to get out a little bit during the week when it’s just me and the babies. I’ve taken a couple walks and went to baby group. All has to scheduled around feedings, naps, and pumping.

We really need to rearrange our living room. The way we originally set it up, it’s all sectioned and blocked off. But I want to arrange it to open up some space in the middle–which we need for baby stuff and soon moving babies. But first I must organize and eliminate piles of my crap. The actual moving things around is a big project that will have to be done in one go, on a weekend when we have someone here visiting who can help.

We need to put the second crib together. At least that’s only a one-time thing too. But it’s a pain in the ass.

I also have a husband that sometimes I hang out with, on the couch with some tv.

Usually I try to eat “meals” or at least a series of snacks.

Every time I walk into a bathroom, I sigh to myself because everything needs to be cleaned. Really every room in the house needs to be cleaned and tidied. But half the time there’s a screaming baby (or two) in the next room. Or it’s time for me to pump. Or eat, or go to bed. Or I am trying to get something else done. Or really, let’s be honest, I just don’t want to.

Because I am a crazy person, I decided that I needed to get a little bit of crafting time in again and started a small knitting project (and sketched out a potential crochet project).

The only thing I am ever caught up on is Facebook, since I can scroll with one hand during feedings.

The time I have to do all these things is in either in 30-40 minute segments during naptime (if it doesn’t happen to overlap with a pumping session, like right now, where I’m stuck on the couch), or in a stretch of about five hours in the evening. During which two pumping sessions occur. Oh yeah, and dinner and a shower.

Daytime tasks that may or may not happen during naptimes and awake times also include maintenance tidying–like trying to keep the coffee table from overflowing with crap even though I just cleared most of it the day before; moving and ‘arranging’ the big baby equipment to maintain a bit of precious floor space; washing and rinsing bottle stuff over and over again; making food/cleaning up dishes in the kitchen, etc etc.

Then there are the two days a week when a nanny is here. My schedule on those days was pretty great. I would pump upstairs while reading the internet, take a nap for 2-3 hours, pump and eat lunch, go run errands (Target, Costco, groceries), come back and take a walk. Notice that I still didn’t make time for all the “tasks” up above (though occasionally I would clean and tidy), but it was okay because I was actually able to take care of myself for a little bit, and get out of the house by myself. Which never happens in daylight otherwise (I also tend to run to the grocery store at night now after babies are asleep).

Now it’s a whole new ballgame, because I am once again working (part-time, at home).

I hoped I would be able to get a few things done here and there during the week when I was on my own with the babies. Hahahahaha yeah right. I can respond to a quick email here or there, or do a quick computer task if babies are calm-ish, but in general, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there’s no point in even trying to work on those days. It’s just not going to happen. That’s actually freed me a bit, mentally. I don’t stress or worry about it on those days. Plus it means that I can try to do an occasional fun (or at least outside-the-house) thing on those days.

So now on days with a nanny, the entire morning and first part of afternoon is spent working (often at my desk in the living room, which is probably awkward for the nanny) and then in the afternoons figuring out what of the million things I want and need to do can actually happen. I can take a nap OR run errands OR go for a walk. If I time it right, I might be able to nap AND walk, but then I have to cut both of them shorter than I would like. (Boohoo, poor me, right?)

We are (crossing fingers) about to add a third nanny day. That will mean I can work more hours and therefore earn a little more (to pay for the nanny), but it will also mean even more to juggle.

Obviously I realize that almost all of my list is optional stuff that I choose to do (or not be able to do, as the case may be). And of course I know that we are super privileged to be able to afford part-time child care. I also know that I still have it pretty good, since things are so flexible and I don’t work that much. But still. I get stressed out sometimes and feel despair looking around our messy house or at a to-do list left un-checkmarked.

Really, I think the only answer to women having it all is to freeze time and squeeze in an eighth day each week just to get shit done.

Nighttime Baby Playlist! (Schedule update v5) (4ish months)


This latest schedule is not too different from before, but a little more refined, and a lot more regular. Feels a little more settled and permanent. And I hope so, actually, I think it works quite nicely.

730ish–Andy gets babies up, first feeding

900am–nap for 45 minutes


1100am–nap for 45 mins


200pm–nap for 45 mins


500pm–nap for 30 mins**

615pm–begin bedtime routine/last feeding

700-730pm–babies upstairs in bed

DSC_2265-1**I have just begun forcing this nap on them. For weeks the time between 5 and 630 was filled with extreme crankiness and screaming until they crashed at some point. And no wonder, if they’ve been awake for so long. So a week ago I put them down at 5pm for a nap, and they slept for half an hour. And ta-da, there was no screaming! What a much better time for all!

With that exception, the babies have actually set their own naptimes; a few weeks ago I finally started paying attention to the times they got sleepy and noted that it was pretty consistent. They start rubbing their eyes, yawning here and there, and doing that sleepy whimper thing before they actually fall asleep. I’ve gotten good at ‘nap training’ them–I put them down (I had been switching between the co-sleeper and the Rock N Play, but as of this week they’ve been gradually doing more of their naps in the crib) at the scheduled time. Even if they’re awake and cranky. I’ll very briefly shush them and pat them and smile, but then I walk away. I’m a bit ruthless and have to tell Andy or the nanny–seriously, they’re okay, they’re sleepy, just leave them alone. It used to take 20 minutes of fussing before they crashed, but lately the fussing lasts a much shorter time. Especially at the first nap of the day.


We began the room transition two weeks ago and also introduced the crib during some naps. As of last week they’re taking all naps and sleeping at night in their crib. (Second crib needs to be built; they’re getting too big to share.)


Feedings have gotten a little more labor intensive, as both babies have become very distracted while eating. They smile a lot and move their heads around, and use their hands to grab at/push away their bottle. E has his own brand of feeding fussiness: he’ll be fine until we stop to burp, and then as soon as we lay him back down and pop the bottle in, he turns red and starts screaming. When we pick him up and stand up, he’s perfectly happy again. Lay him down, he screams. We’ve come up with all kinds of techniques to minimize this time of screaming and struggle. He has to be lain down and calmed, and then usually he’ll be okay to eat again. To calm him, we’ve currently hit on a combination of pacifier + taggie blanket + shushing app (sometimes). The blanket seems to distract him and comfort him. Who knows how long this strategy will work though!

In the last week, we tried giving him the faster-flow level 2 bottle nipple, and that seems to make him much happier. He sucks down his food super fast and has had hardly any freakouts. Hallelujah!


Bedtime routine begins at 615pm, because even with a recent nap, they suddenly get fussy and cranky around then. I mentioned it before, but our routine entails putting babies into sleepsacks, turning off all the lights but one, and turning on a nighttime playlist, and eating on the couch with us.  If they’re awake after they finish eating, we’ll read them another book. We bring them upstairs usually by 730, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. Sometimes they’re awake when we take them up, sometimes they’re asleep.

For music, we have the Rockabye Baby Lullaby CD that we play sometimes. Mostly, we put on a long playlist I made (on shuffle so we don’t get tired of hearing the same songs all the time). It is the lamest, whitest playlist you’ll ever hear, but it’s relaxing and I like it. 🙂

Andrea Bocelli, Sogno album

Enya, Paint the Sky with Stars album

Yanni, In My Time album

Sinead Lohan, No Mermaid album

Angelica and Miserere, tracks from Paul Schwartz, State of Grace

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz

Stay Awake, Mary Poppins

Lullaby, Pink Martini, Sympathique

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World, Israel K.

Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog


Schedule update, v4 (3-4 months)

Well, just as I suspected, the babies did indeed change their own feeding schedule a few days ago. They happily took 6 ounces at each feeding and were able to wait for the whole three hours to eat again (we’d been giving them 5oz and they were getting hungry for snacks and wanting to eat again at 2.5 hours).

This meant they ate thirty ounces in only twelve hours, so they were ready to go to to bed at 7pm instead of 10pm!

Very happily, we discovered that this new schedule does prevent the screaming overtired witching hour! Though they still do get a little crazy if we don’t start on time, which apparently needs to be 6pm.

We weren’t sure what this would be mean for their sleeping schedule. So far it’s very similar in that they, or at least one of them, awakens and stirs/makes some noise. The timing has also moved up, though, so that has been starting in the 4am hour. Which suuucks.

We get them up for the day between 6-630am. (Before, it had been 8-830am.) This is really early and both of us hate getting up early even when we’ve had enough sleep. Which of course neither of us do, anymore.

Speaking of sleep…I’m working on getting a teeny bit more. This week I have successfully gotten down to only FOUR pumps per day! This is very exciting for me. During the day I now go 5-6 hours between each pumping session, and 7ish at night! It gives me so much more time and freedom during the day. Woohoo! If I time it correctly, I can get about six hours of sleep. That’s only happened a couple times, and it’s only an hour more than I’ve been getting for almost four months, but I’m telling myself it still makes a difference.

Our evenings are so much better now. The babies are upstairs asleep by 730 or so. We have the whole rest of the night! Time for dinner! For tv! For actually catching up with photos!  I don’t have to stay up until 1 or 2am either, so it’s all quality time instead of forcing my eyes to stay open for that last hour or two.

This is the best schedule yet. I am so impressed and happy with our babies for being so awesome and putting themselves on a great schedule!

Schedule update v3: Current schedule (3.5 months)

Babies already seem to be transitioning themselves yet again, so I wanted to document our recent schedule.

It’s been a little over two weeks since the babies spontaneously slept through the night. It wasn’t a fluke–they are still sleeping well! (There have been two times when one baby woke up in the middle of the night and wanted a little extra to eat. We also think that one of them has had a bad dream a couple times–sudden loud crying that sounds different than normal, but the baby quieted right down when picked up and was actually still asleep.)

They sleep really well at the beginning of the night, but they do start stirring anytime around 6 or 7am. We usually get them up between 730 and 830, depending on how they’re doing. Since wakeup times vary, their daily feedings schedule also varies. However, we have started doing the bedtime ‘routine’ always around 9pm. We put on music (I have a playlist in iTunes and also a Rockabye Baby lullaby CD), turn off all the lights but one lamp, dress them in their swaddle blankets, and then feed them. They’re usually upstairs by 10pm.

They’re still on an every-three-hours schedule, though we usually do 2 1/2 hours for the last two feedings so we can start the last one at 9pm. They’ve been eating 5oz at each feeding, taking a total of 30oz or so.

Just lately they’ve been getting hungry every 2 to 2 1/2 hours all day, and wanting extra after finishing their bottles. So yesterday I gave them 5 1/2oz at a couple feedings, and today gave them 6oz at a couple feedings. They were still getting hungry before three hours were up! But they ate enough that the 9pm bedtime feeding was only 2oz.

However! The flipside of sleep awesomeness has been evening fussiness. They’ve been going a little crazy between 7-8pm. Lots of crying and screaming and unhappiness. After a couple nights of this, we finally brought out the swing I got last fall that we never used, and found that it lulled the babies out of their crying jags and occasionally to sleep. Phew. So we’ve been able to minimize the crazy by rotating babies between the swing, sling/Bjorn, bouncer or rocker. The last couple nights have been extra fussy and screamy, and we’ve pulled out the Baby Shusher app again, to some success.

The evening fussiness, napping after 7pm, and quick falling asleep after 9pm make it pretty clear that they need to be asleep for the night closer to 7pm than 9pm. Which makes sense–babies this age are supposed to be getting 12-13 hours of nighttime sleep. We haven’t been sure how to feed them the last feeding if they were already ‘in bed.’

Well, it seems like the babies are once again solving their own problems: I think they’re working toward taking 6oz five times a day, instead of 5oz six times a day. From now on I’m going to offer 6oz at each feeding and see if we can get them down for the night around 7pm.

We also need to finally get them into their own room. (We’d still keep them in their Rock N Plays at first, then start transitioning to the crib.) We’ve been a bit lazy about it but I think we’re both reluctant for emotional reasons too. We’ve been saying we’re moving them for at least three weeks, I think. But we’ll do it soon for real, I mean it.

Is it really true??

The babies slept through the night last night!!!

Ready for our secret?

Well, too bad. We don’t have one. We didn’t do anything. The babies apparently sleep trained themselves and we just allowed it to happen.

Here’s the progression.

In January, they dropped one of the overnight feedings and started sleeping 5-6 hours. (It started the night they got their shots–they were so worn out that we just let them sleep and they just kept going.) We started feeding them extra at the last feeding to make up for the dropped one. So for this time they were sleeping from 1am-ish to 6am-ish. I would have to pump at both of those feedings. I stayed up and often did that last one on my own, while Andy went to bed to get more sleep, since he had to work.

Then about two weeks ago, they dropped another overnight feeding. They slept from about 10 to 2 or 3am, then we fed them and they slept until 8 or so. We weren’t waking them up; we went by when they woke up. I would pump around 10pm and then again when we fed them overnight. Since we were back to both of us doing the feeding, we kept them in our room for it, like we did for their first two weeks. It was actually kind of nice, that quiet, dark hour, the four of us together. (Between then and now they would have either stayed downstairs or been brought down, since only one of us was doing those feedings.) It also meant that both of us were getting about two three-hour stretches of sleep. This added up to more than we’d been getting previously (five or so hours), but it was even tougher to have that interruption instead of one solid block of rest. As for feedings, we continued to give them an extra ounce at the last evening feeding and the first morning feeding.

Over the last few days,we started attempting a bedtime routine. We put them in their swaddle sacks before they start eating (we’d been doing it after and it woke them up), turn all the lights off except one floor lamp, and put on music. One of them (it’s never consistently one in particular) usually falls asleep while eating, and the other will often finish eating and fall asleep later, after we put him down.

Also over the last couple days, they started waking up later overnight; the night before last they woke up at 430am. They woke up again around 930, which is the latest we’ve ever started the day.

So last night one of them made a bit of noise at 5am. Whichever baby it was quieted right back down, though. So we figured that we would just wait and see what would happen. I had to get up anyway to pump, so I left the three of them to go back to sleep. And they did! At 7 one of them started stirring and making more waking-up noise (the other was still asleep–that baby had eaten more at the last feeding). So we got them up! M was very antsy, clearly hungry, but he was also really happy and cheerful. It was so cute. No matter how tired I am when I pick them up or wake them up, I can’t help but smile at them and they are often smiling at me, and I instantly feel a little more awake.

I have no idea how we got so lucky even this far with their sleep, and of course we have no idea if this long stretch of sleep will continue. I sure hope so! We need to figure out how to keep their intake the same for the day, without feeding them too much at one time (they spit up). I’m hoping they’ll start being awake more during the day and napping more consistently–currently it’s kind of whenever. I also know there’s a sleep regression coming in about a month, so I hope that we can start recovering a bit and be more rested before that craziness happens.