Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meeting Uncle Scott

Since Jenn's brother is in the Army, we don't get to see him as often as we'd like! The last time we got to see him was last Christmas when he had some leave time, which means, Noah and Scott had yet to meet - until now! Here are some great pictures from the last few days:

Flying with Uncle Scott
Noah Flying with Uncle Scott 1

The Pittmans with Joel

The Pittmans with Pam

More flying! (Uncle Scott was getting his workout in)
Noah Flying with Uncle Scott

Scott and Noah 1

And MORE flying!
Scott and Noah 2

Uncle Scott learning just how quick he has to be to stay a step ahead of his nephew
Scott and Noah

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Battle

Dear Noah,

The other day, I wrote a post all about how well you sleep and how we are working on your nap routines to make sure you are a well rested little boy. Well, maybe I spoke too soon. While you have always been a good sleeper at night, and have even developed good sleep routines during the day, we seem to have thrown off your sleep groove over the last week. (Perhaps it had something to do with throwing your routine out the window while we were in Tahoe for the weekend? I mean, we wanted to go to the beach and have campfires... didn't you?)

This week, I have been trying to help you readjust to your good sleeping habits. Some days have been better than others. Today is not looking good so far. You had a long day yesterday (Mommy had to go shopping! Sorry!) and didn't take any quality naps. No, those 15 minutes in the stroller or the 10 minutes in the car do not count. I let you sleep in my arms for an hour and a half last night while we watched the football game because I knew you really needed the sleep. Plus, you're my baby, and whether or not it's a good idea according to the 'experts', sometimes I just love to hold you and watch you while you sleep. After a little bit of play time, Daddy took you upstairs and put you to bed. You were a little upset at the idea, but you fell asleep quickly and Daddy came downstairs, victorious. Yes, we take great pride in winning the battle. Maybe it's because we're new at this whole parenting thing, or maybe it's just because we like to win. Not sure. :-)

Anyhow, you slept great last night. Until 4:30am. Lately, you have decided that that is a great time to wake up and want to play. Daddy and I usually grumble over who will go get you, and then I usually try to feed you and go back to sleep. Well, again, you were having none of that. It was time to start the day, right? Right? Ugh. Daddy got up and took the puppies for a walk (because your Daddy is awesome like that) while Mommy tried to stay awake and convince you that really, it was a good time to go back to sleep. No dice. So when Daddy got home, he took you downstairs and let you play for a few minutes while he got ready for work. I went back to sleep, knowing that it might be a long day, and before he left, Daddy successfully got you back in your crib without any complaint. You slept 3 more glorious hours. Thanks! But, what's the deal with this 4am wake up call? Could we maybe NOT do that again?

I consulted the Healthy Sleep Habits book to see if this is a normal problem for your age. It is. But the book says its probably happening because you aren't going to bed early enough and you're actually overtired. Weird, but seems to be true. You have had a really really really bad week of rest! The solution seems to be to get you back to your three naps a day, and at your age, it's supposed to be okay to let you cry a bit. As a 5 month old, you enjoy being social with me and Daddy. Who wants to sleep when there are books to read and songs to sing? Right. But, you need your sleep little boy. We aren't really into just having you 'cry it out', but the 'let cry' theory from the book seems to work for us. The idea is that we may have to let you cry a bit in order for you to get some sleep. We will do a lot to help you wind down and soothe you to sleep, but in the end, if you protest (which is not the same as screaming your head off, hysterical crying), the suggestion is that we let you. So, we try to do that. Somedays we don't let you cry for more than a couple of minutes before we try to soothe you back to sleep. However, lately, you don't go back to sleep if we go up there - you think it's time to play!

As I type this, you are protesting....and I mean PRO-TESTING... in your crib. We read some books, we nursed a little, and you're all swaddled up. You were nearly asleep in my arms when I put you down. I gave you your nuk and turned on your little musical giraffe as I calmly walked out of the room. You were doing great, until after the giraffe stopped playing. Then you started to complain. But, I'm not going up there. You've done this before. It's never lasted this long and I'm feeling really bad about that, but I know I won't help you learn to sleep if I keep going back up there. :-( You are SO tired. You even take breaks from protesting and you very nearly fall asleep. But, you are stubborn. And you just won't let yourself go to sleep. I do not know WHERE you get THAT from......(says the girl who once screamed from behind her locked bedroom door "HOOOOOWWWWWW can you DOOOOOOOOOOO this to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE??????" over a time-out that I surely deserved. I believe I was 3. Sorry Mom and Dad!)

I feel like I'm doing the right thing, but you sure don't make it easy to do! I want to go up there, comfort you and kiss away your tears (yes, real tears - those kill me). But, I know I would just be prolonging the battle if I do. Since I started typing, you have started to fall asleep. You're still crying a bit, but in between protests, your eyes are closed and you're totally sleeping. (Remember the whole stubborn thing?) I'm sorry little bug, but I know you need to sleep so I'm not going to go interrupt you and have to start this all over again (again).

It's been about 20 minutes since I started typing and guess just fell fast asleep. :-) See? Mama knows best! Sweet dreams, little Bug. Mama loves you.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nap Time

Lately, we have been working really hard at helping Noah get plenty of good sleep. Many people say that babies will sleep when they need to. But with Noah, we have noticed that this is simply not true. Noah will stay up all day and most of the night if he has the chance! For awhile, we had a pretty cranky baby, and looking back, I realize that a lot of the crying in the car seat and scream fests in the evening were probably a result of too little sleep.

A friend turned us on to a great book when I was pregnant: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. In general, the author points out that sleep begets sleep. So while it seems counterintuitive to think that taking three naps during the day will lead to better night sleep, it does in fact work! I couldn't believe how naturally Noah fell into the routine. It's more of a challenge for me to adjust to the schedule so that we are home when Noah needs to sleep, but it does work and I know he is better rested because of it. It's interesting how much more happy and smiley he is during his awake time now that we are doing our best to "protect the sleep" as the author describes it.

We are also still big fans for the swaddle when it comes to sleeping. Noah didn't seem to be fond of being swaddled at first, so for about a month or so, we didn't swaddle him. However, after a few long and frantic nights, we decided to break out the Miracle Blanket. We had been given two of these little treasures as shower gifts before Noah was born, but I just thought it seemed really complicated and I was a bit intimidated by the seemingly complex directions. The Miracle Blanket is really like a little baby straight jacket in a way, and I didn't know how I felt about tying my baby up! But, I decided enough was enough and we gave it a try. Noah slept 6 straight hours that night. OH. Well then! We have been big fans of the Miracle Blanket ever since. Even Noah seems to be a huge fan - when he's really tired, he actually straightens his arms down by his sides - the exact position they are in when he is all wrapped up! The only downfall to the Miracle Blanket is that Noah is getting too big for it! We've already had to forgo putting his feet in - now we just put socks or footed PJs on him and do the wrap around his arms only. It's amazing how much it helps him wind down and stay asleep! After learning about the "fourth trimester" during which it is really helpful to do all you can to mimic the security and comfort of the womb - swaddling, white noise, gentle movement, etc. - we started to realize the power of the swaddle! (Thanks again to the Lindorfers and Gallianos for the Miracle Blankets - they are both in CONSTANT rotation!)

We feel fortunate that Noah started sleeping well at night pretty early on, but the naps during the day were a challenge for the first 3 or 4 months. But now, with some good advice from the book, we've found a pretty good solution. I am definitely not one to read a book and then treat that book like the Bible when it comes to parenting, but I would say that this particular author seems to really have a handle on how to develop healthy sleep with your baby or child. He outlines solutions for pretty much every possible sleep 'problem' imaginable. I would recommend it to anyone!

And on that note, a big THANKS to the tip from our friend Julie, for suggesting the book to us in the first place. Yeah for nap time!

No, Noah does not usually sleep on the floor - this was a Daddy photo shoot :-) As you can see, Jack is supervising in the background:

Noah, snoozing in the Miracle Blanket:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nuk Nuk Nuk Nuk....

I mentioned in my last post that Noah loves having his nuk (pacifier) during car rides. We also use it for naps and sometimes bed time. He has always been a baby that is soothed by sucking. No wonder I felt like I had a barnacle attached to me for a few months! Anyhow, we finally found a pacifier brand that worked for us - MAMs. (We love them and have been told they are great for a breastfed baby because they mimic the same sucking motions.)

Lately, we've started noticing a new development. Noah has been successfully putting the nuk BACK in his mouth! My friend Heather was pretty sure he had done it at lunch last week, and we've noticed a couple of incidents since where the nuk is definitely out, and then it's somehow, back in shortly thereafter. We have watched him play with it and try to put it back in his mouth, but we've never actually seen him do it. Regardless, it sure would make some car rides a little more peaceful if this becomes a habit!

Speaking of nuks....I just noticed on the video monitor that it just fell out and Noah is none to pleased. We threw off his nap routine over the weekend and we are in recovery mode this week. Since we still swaddle Noah for sleep, he's obviously not going to be getting that nuk back in himself.....guess I'm making a trip upstairs. More later!

Noah News...

Noah seems to be developing new things overnight these days! We can hardly keep up with all of the new tricks he is learning and all of the changes it means for us!

As of two weeks ago, Noah is no longer in the infant car seat! He 'graduated' to the the rear-facing convertible car seat. After much research, comparison, and thought, we decided on one of the new Britax seats. So far, Noah seems okay in the new seat, although he still hates to be restrained. He already knows how to plant his heels and throw his hips up when I try to buckle him in. Fun times. Can't wait for him to be bigger and's going to be a two person job! But, once he's buckled in, I can usually distract him with a toy and as long as he has his Nuk (what we call pacifiers, although, we don't even use that brand), he's good to go! My only complaint about it now is that it is definitely an adjustment trying to get around with him. I didn't keep him in his infant seat and take him into stores or anything because he never liked his infant seat anyhow. Plus, I wasn't fond of lugging around a 30 lb. accessory. But, the hardest adjustment has been loading up and getting in and out of the car at home. I figured out pretty quickly that this requires a bit more strategic planning when trying to leave the house! :-)

At the end of July, we had Noah's 4 month well check. He was 18 lbs and 26 3/4 inches - both are considered 95th percentile for his age, and his head size is in the 98th percentile. We knew we had a pretty big boy, but yikes! We are regularly stopped in public (because Noah is quite the flirt and loooooooves attention) and it always seems to shock people when they ask how old he is. To me, he's my little man. I know he's not 'small', but he's little to me! :-) Anyhow, Noah got his second round of immunizations at that appointment and handled it very well. We decided to stick with the regular schedule for vaccines after much review, consultation with the pediatrician, research, and prayer. No studies have found a link between autism and vaccines, so while it is a very hyped topic and one that made us stop and wonder for a bit, we ultimately decided that for us, the regular schedule would be best. It's really not easy being a parent sometimes!

Around that same time (early August), Noah cut his first teeth. Now he has two! They are the two bottom front teeth. We had suspicions of teething with some of his behavior - not to mention the endless drooling and gnawing on anything he could get his mouth around - including faces. He especially loved to gnaw on chins. Mama and Nana seemed to have especially tasty chins. Yum! :-) He still likes to attack with his mouth wide open, making a lovely little "Gaaaahhhh!" sound as he comes at you with his open mouth, but no one is really up for being chewed on so our little shark baby has become a big fan of teething rings and soft toys he can mouth.

Speaking of mouthing, Noah has developed quite the taste for...well, tasting! As is normal with his age, Noah puts everything in his mouth. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! He's also become quite dexterous and his hand-eye coordination is really starting to kick in. I bet I don't need to connect those dots for you, but we are learning to think one step ahead of him and get things out of reach sooner than he realizes they are there. At lunch last week, Noah nearly grabbed Nana's mug of iced tea at Islands, and then later, almost got his fingers into the ranch for my fries! He's also fascinated with Mama's or Daddy's water bottle (or any drink we try to sip while holding him). One morning, as I tried to take a sip from my bright green water bottle, while holding Noah in the other arm (as usual), he literally flung himself and both arms across my body in an attempt to reach it. That was a good save by Mama, let me tell you! Yowzers....

Let's see, what else is new? Oh yes, we've had a few accidental roll-overs. We know he will soon figure out that he can do it when he wants to, but for now, he just complains when he can't reach something or when he's "done" with Tummy Time. Although, frustration is a true motivator, so we know our days of a sedentary baby are numbered. Good thing we already have baby gates, outlet covers, and Tot-Locks for the cabinets and drawers. (Note to self: put those on the To-Do list!)

Oh yes, and Noah's latest trick is sitting up! I didn't expect it to work, but one day I sat him up and put his favorite toy (the Mozart Cube) in between his ankles. He leaned forward and started playing with it. I hardly had to help him! Within a day, he was sitting in the Boppy with no problem. His only complaint is when his toy gets out of reach and he leans forward or sideways and ends up face to face with the floor. :-) Live and learn! But, since he is sitting so well now, we have also had a few tries with sitting in a high-chair (so Nana and Mama could eat without Noah's diving into our lunches) and the Aymeric Family sassy-seat! On a side note, I apparently had the same Sassy Seat when I was little, but the one we have now has been passed through all of Joel's cousins, beginning with his sister, and now on to her kids and now Noah. It may be old, but it obviously works if it's been through about 15 kids!

Anyhow, that is a pretty good synopsis of Noah's latest and greatest. I will aim to do more regular updates with "Noah News". I end up sharing a lot via Facebook, but I know a lot of family and friends don't have or check Facebook often enough for that to count. SO! Think of it as my Fall resolution!

Time to go run errands between naps! Here are some of Daddy's latest pictures from the 5 month photoshoot:

Noah in the excersaucer, demonstrating his favorite thing to do...chew on the flower!

Sitting up with his Mozart Cube (and an undercover Boppy):

Like father, like son:

Multitasking with Nana at dinner - gnawing on a finger while grabbing hair and reaching for her face! This is standard practice these days...

The Fam!