Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category

My kids are asleep, I have a glass of sweet red wine from Haak, the winery where Ries and I got married, in my hands, and life is very good.

It is amazing to me that I have a 3 month old that sleeps through the night. He goes to sleep around 8:30 and wakes up between 3:30-6am. I seriously did not know babies slept like that. I thought all my friends who told me that their babies slept through the night were either lying or had just turned off their baby monitors and did not hear their babies crying.

It turns out normal babies DO sleep through the night and that Gideon is just one of those kids, like I was and am, who is simply a terrible sleeper. He still wakes up at least twice a night and needs tucking back in at the very least. I can literally count on one hand the times he has slept the entire night through.

Wash is amazing and sleeps and sleeps. This means I can have a glass or two of wine or beer without much worry after he is down. This is a new concept for me and I am loving it, especially since we have a delicious 80 Shilling in one of the kegs. The other keg has a Belgian Wit which is quite tasty as well. I like the 80 Shilling better though; I am a sucker for anything in a kilt and that includes my beer.

Because my boys are adorable, here is a picture of Wash and Gideon from the Fourth of July weekend. How can anyone else think their kids are cute when compared to these two?

There are plenty of other pictures showing off their adorableness on flickr.

It was a fabulous weekend over the Fourth that Wicket ended by first rolling in and then consuming rotting fish. You could smell her upwind from miles away. A thorough tooth brushing (which she did not enjoy) and two baths later, the smell was better but not gone. The ride home was even less pleasant than you imagine it was, punctuated by Gideon saying, “Someone smells like stinky fish.” Yes, she does and she is lucky she is alive and we brought her home. Sometimes I wonder what flavor of crazy sauce we ate the day we decided we needed another dog.

In my defense, I thought I was getting another couch potato, delicate flower. Instead we got a crazy, insane chewing machine who eats poop, and ignores commands that do not meet her approval. Lucky for her, she loves Gideon and is a pretty girl. They are her only redeeming qualities.


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Because of his two febrile seizures, Gideon pediatrician wanted him to go in for an EEG. Though it is uncommon that febrile seizures cause or indicate something more serious, she wanted to be sure.

You have to be restful, i.e. still, for the procedure so they asked they we only let Gideon sleep about 6 hours last night. We were actually going to a neurologist who specializes in pediatrics so they have experience with kids. Still, my child is not a great sleeper and only letting him get 6 hours is no guarantee of a sleepy child.

As I predicted, 6 hours made him a bit delicate, but not sleepy.

Gideon was hooked up to a bunch of electrodes and then asked to lay still for 25 minutes. Amazingly, he did. We read a book about leprechauns that his Oma brought him from Ireland. They flashed a bright strobe light in his face a few times and they declared him done. The doctor came in and said Gideon was exceptionally behaved.


We will get the results back on Friday from our regular pediatrician. Thanks for everyone that has been concerned for him. We do appreciate all the prayers.

Gideon is still getting over bronchitis. He feels better, but you can still hear the mucus rumbling around. Ries said he sounds like a purring kitty. With the lack of sleep, even after a nap, Gideon is grumpy. He is still mad that sick time rules and behaviors do not fly anymore as well.

Mean, mean parents.

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Gideon is getting bossy for one with so few years, but occasionally, his bossiness is appreciated.

Last night, Gideon and I had finished dinner and I was sitting on the couch. It was about 7:15. He came over, patted my arm, and pointed to his room. I asked him to, “Show me.”

He led me down the hall, pointing. Gideon walked right up to the rocking chair and pointed again.

I asked him, “Are you tired?”
“Yes,” he answered, nodding and smiling.
“Do you want milkies?”
Again, he nodded and smiled.
“You can go to bed if you want.”

At that he walked into the hall, where he could see Ries, who was still eating, and said, “Bye-Bye,” and walked back to me.

I fed him and he was asleep by 7:35.

I think he has us trained.

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Gideon likes to “brush” his teeth with us and I snapped this one morning while he was keeping Ries company.

After an absolutely terrible Sunday, involving very little sleep, a passel of crying, and some teeth trying to make their appearance, Gideon slept through the night last night. It was heavenly.

As a result, we are both happy and rested today. Gone is the whiny sadness that plagued my house yesterday. I like this toddler better than the one I had yesterday.

The teeth have yet to appear so we are still working with four.

Gideon is sitting in my lap, but I detect an unpleasant aroma emanating from the area of his diaper. Time for waste cleanup duty.

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A Thumbs Up


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

This is Gideon’s bunk bed. The transition to the bed has been seamless. He still sleeps the bulk of the night in our bed, but otherwise, he sleeps here.

I still can not believe I have a toddler.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

Ries and I bought Gideon a bunk bed yesterday. At the moment, it is in pieces in the back of my car, but one of the mattresses is on the floor of Gideon’s room. Pictured here, Gideon is enjoying an afternoon nap on part of his big boy bed.

I expect in a few days will will set up the actual bed and he can sleep on the bottom bunk. We will do this for a little while during naps, then for part of the night, and then eventually for the entire night.

Currently, Gideon sleeps with us. Here’s hoping for smooth transition!

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I know Michelle gave an update on our new bed time routine but I thought I would give it from my perspective.  Especially since I am the one taking on more of a burden.  I say burden, and admittedly I thought that way at first, but really it is not.  The first thing I had to do was change my mindset.  This was not a chore I have to do, this was quality time I get to spend with my son.  I am learning that this kind of time will soon be gone and I won’t be able to get it back.  Here is our routine in bullet form (the best kind of form).

  1. Dinner, then clean up the boy.
  2. Bathtime.  I have been doing this, but we have recently decided that there is no reason that Michelle can’t do it so we are going to switch off.
  3. Lotion up the boy, diaper up the boy, and put on some pajamas.  This is really kind of his last time for playing as we don’t rush through this part.
  4. Night time book.  Michelle insists that the book selection has to be a book about going to bed.  He has about 4 or 5 that belong in this rotation.
  5. Michelle comes in with her “Milk Bags” and I take the puppy (he has usually joined us for lotioning time) and say goodbye.
  6. Sometimes at this point, he just falls asleep at the teete (that’s right I said teete, hee hee).  But most often not.  That is when we proceed to the next step.
  7. Imperial March:  Now hopefully no one will have to be exposed to my horrible singing at the beginning of this step.  I take that boy in my hands and then I begin to walk around in circles, sometimes in the living room but usually just in his room.  He is usually crying at this point after the hand off from Mom to Dad.  He knows what’s coming and he doesn’t want to go to sleep.  I start out by singing Edelweiss.  Why Edelweiss?  I don’t know, it just seems right.  I do this a couple times, then I move on to that song in Superman when Otis is going to see Lex Luthor.  I don’t do that for very long, that’s just for fun.  But then I move on to the big guns.  My closer.  The Imperial March from Star Wars.  John Williams, you are a genius.  As soon as I start into this you can see his eyes starting to close.  He fights it sometimes, but the song always wins and he succumbs to the dark side.  It must be something about the bass in my voice and the vibrations in my chest as I do the Bum, bum, bum, bumba bum bumba bum.
  8. Before long, he is a sleep and I transition to the chair where I hold him for a bit to ensure a deep sleep.  This was a step I used to skip out of impatience.  I have noticed that I have become more impatient since marriage.  I’ll blame it on the wife.  My schedule seems so filled these days that I have to spend every available second getting some stuff done or fitting in leisure time that I usually hurry on to the next step.  I have realized that this is one of the best times of my day.  I get to hold my son in my arms and watch him breathe (a big deal for me, when all I prayed for in his first day of life was that he would be able to breathe on his own) in and out peacefully.
  9. The put down:  This is an acquired skill and very delicate.  You have to bend down just right, put his butt on the bottom of the pack-n-play, and then slowly put down his head while pulling your hand out.  Give him a little pat on the chest to assure him it is okay.  Wait a second to make sure he is not stirring, put on his blanket and slowly and quietly leave the room.  This step is so crucial that if you botch the put down you will likely have to start over again.
  10. Reassurance:  Usually about an hour or two later we will here him fuss.  He usually just wakes up and doesn’t get up.  You simply have to pat him to let him know you are there, then he usually likes it if you turn him.  Then you can pat him again and he will be back to sleep.

If all this goes well, then he has been sleeping pretty well through the night, with maybe one or two feedings during the night from Michelle.  It turned out to be not that big of a deal for me but it has been a tremendous load off for Michelle.  She was frankly miserable there for a while.  She felt overwhelmed.  She has been much happier since the routine started.  I am still just as confused about how to handle women.  They tell you that sometimes they don’t want you to fix their problems, they just want you to listen to them whine.  But when you are able to fix their problem it makes them much happier.  Whatever.  I listened to my wife.  I saw she was in need and I did what I could to help.  He is my son too and she is not the only parent.  Even though she is more effective at putting him to sleep it is still a job that I can do.  So I do it.  And life is that much better in the Smith household.  So husbands, take heed.

-Ries, Bum bum bum bumba-bum bumba-bum

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