Bedtime Struggles

So since Friday, every time I have to put Maria down for bedtime or a nap, it’s a fight.

She throws everything out of her crib and then jumps up and down in her crib, while yelling for me.

The only night she has not done this was Sunday when Chad put her down.  This is not an effective solution either, in that if I am home she wants Mommy and will cry when Daddy tries to read her stories and rock her. On Sunday this worked because I started out sitting on the floor while he read to her and quietly over a period of 3 stories crept backwards out of the room.

The first time it worked I took her out and gave her “nose against the wall”, which we’re learning she thinks is funny and will often be naughty and then “punish” herself… so much for that!

Sunday afternoon, I threatened to not paint her toenails as I had promised and for the first 10 minutes after that she lay in bed crying “I want Mommy paint my toes. I want Mommy paint my toes…”  It only lasted 10 minutes and then she proceeded to sleep for 2 hours which is twice her normal nap time.

Last night and tonight I had to resort to taking her “Lovey” away for a few minutes and shutting the door, before she realized I was serious.

I’m open to advice or suggestions. Really! She does have a cold, so maybe that’s part of it, but really, it’s just exhausting me and dreading a routine I feel like I should really be enjoying.  How could you not enjoy stories and cuddles with a fresh out of the bath toddler!?

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Quiet Sunday Morning

It is 9:30 am.  My daughter is still sleeping! I fear she is sick! I know something went through daycare last week…

She was up earlier. I heard her singing her ABCs, so I took a quick shower, but when I got out, all was quiet again.

I quickly got ready and left the monitor with sleeping husband and went out and got us coffees (and filled my car with gas).  Came home. Mixed up waffle batter. Read all the ads in the Sunday paper, and cut coupons. Now not sure what to do.

If I sit down to watch something on TV, I know she’ll wake up. Same for if I go back to bed.  Maybe play some Soduku???

Hmmm.. this is strange.

Not Quite Better

Maria’s spirits are definitely better than earlier this week. Her appetite too.  BUT her sleeping is not!  It’s like she’s laughing at us, because she’s done sleeping this week!  Last night and tonight she’s fought it! Even though she said “nigh nigh” to me when I picked her up at daycare at 4:30!

One thing that seemed to calm her for a while tonight while rocking and laying in her crib was rubs. In fact she kept saying “more more” whenever I would stop.  That is a trait she gets from her father!

The other thing that finally clinched it tonight was one of her Praise Baby CDs in her CD player. I told her I’d play music if she laid down, so she went right down. I started the music and then rubbed her back and legs for a little bit, and now she’s been quiet for about 30 minutes… The music should be ending (sleep timer) any minute, so wish us luck!!!

Fighting Sleep

Maria has been fighting bedtime pretty consistently. It’s exhausting! I feel like it’s because she’s overtired. BUT then she seems to have so much energy.

Every night I come home resolved to get her fed and in bed if she’s showing signs of being tired. Unfortunately Chad is often getting home from work by the time she’s just been fed, and then I feel like it’s unfair to take away his time with her. And then there is a part of me, that knows I’m probably looking for signs of sleepiness, because I have more time to myself when she sleeps.  Of course when I wonder that, I feel horrible… So somewhere around 6:30 the fight begins.

It used to be I could read her anywhere from 1-7 stories and she’d go down without a fuss, but about a month ago, she got smart.  She asks for Daddy, unless he’s putting her down, then she’ll ask for Mommy. She asks for a ba-ba (bottle) or anything that will get her out of the room. I have no idea if this is related to her getting her molars.  It seems to all have started when she showed significant signs of teething.

All I know is that I can spend up to 2 hours trying to rock her every night. Of course every few nights there are the nights where she goes down no problem, and we see a light, but then the next night it’s right back to where we started.

She also has a “lovey” and if she’s really unhappy she throws it out of her crib.  Right now, is the 3rd time I’m listening to her cry herself to sleep.  Although right now she’s not crying. She is throwing a full out tantrum. Shaking her crib, and screaming. I’m pretty sure she’s thrown stuff out of the crib.

All I know is it sucks, and I’m wondering how to maintain my sanity to get through this phase.

OK. she just stopped.  that was only 10 minutes… but 10 minutes after trying to get her to settle down for an hour… oh and there she started again… ugh… seriously…

Cuddles and Tears

There is nothing sweeter than when Maria settles down after 3 books and just cuddles into me. I just usually lay her soft lovey across my shoulder and say “sleepy time” and she cuddles right in.

Of course, these are the nights when she is so upset to be put in her crib. Even if she falls asleep, then waking up to being set down is so upsetting to her. I hate leaving her standing up crying in her crib. Of course, she is usually quite 30 seconds after I shut the door, but still it’s heart-breaking to leave her when she seems so upset.

The other nights are when she is restless and is shutting the book before I get through it. Then often she will pinch me and laugh in my face when I tell her “No”. Of course, those nights the transition to the crib often goes much more smoothly, even though we’ll hear her playing for up to 45 minutes after she goes down. Neither is easy, and I do love the cuddles. It’s the tears that really get me.

Finding Jane

Yeah, I woke up crabby today. I’m guessing part of it was how late I stayed up last night. And another part was that I spent most of the day with friends. I went over to Sarah’s and met baby Lilah, and then to dinner with Lisa and Steph. We sat at P.F. Chang’s until after 11:30. Then I picked up cheesecake for Chad (who was home with Maria) at the Cheesecake Factory and we stayed up until almost midnight.

So at 7:30 this morning, I was not feeling like the morning person that I can often be when Maria called… Unfortunately Chad is never a morning person, so it was still me dragging myself out of bed. It was fine for a while, but Maria likes to get up and then 2 hours later gets tired again. But today even though she was yawning and rubbing her eyes, she did not want to go to sleep, let alone play (even with me sitting right there with her – She is doing some serious teething!). I felt pretty horrible, because all I wanted was time for myself. I just was really missing having time for me. And being Maria’s mommy comes first, and not necessarily being Jane. I of course felt horrible about this too, because I LOVE being Maria’s mommy. But sometimes I feel like that’s all I am. Well except for those 32 hours of the week where I’m a business analyst…

I think I’m just struggling with the balance of being a mom without losing myself too much. I think coming off a week with a sick baby and lack of sleep, topped off with a late night with the girls where I got a dose of “my past life” and then a short night of sleep, just made for a not so happy morning.

When Chad realized I was having a tough time, he took Maria and got her to sleep, while I showered. After she woke up, I fed her and then made some pancakes, before heading out on my own to shop for a computer desk and making a Target run.

It ended up being a pretty nice Sunday (even though my house is still a disaster). Chad is especially excited, because he returned the iPod he received from work as an award (he just got an iPod right after Christmas) and exchanged it for a PS3.  Just what we need… more video games!