Monday, March 30, 2009

Empty Bowls

This past weekend my sister Carol participated in a Bowl-a-Thon for Clay Arts Utah. She threw thirteen bowls on a pottery wheel, which were trimmed and will be glazed by other artists. She also donated two bowls that she had already thrown, trimmed, and glazed.

The actual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held Saturday, May 3, 2009 at the St. Vincent de Paul Resource Center. You can visit the Utah Empty Bowls website for details.

Basically, you go to the soup kitchen, pay $15 for a simple soup-kitchen meal, and get to take home a handmade bowl of your choice. Additional bowls can be purchased for $15 each. Proceeds go to Catholic Community Services of Utah, to feed the hungry.

As an aside, Carol has only made a couple of entries to her blog so far, but they are entries that I highly recommend. This world would be a better place if everyone would listen to her. I hope she writes more.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ferber Sleep Training: Round 2
Sleeping Through the Night

Last week I decided it was finally time. Dorian is old enough to be sleeping through the night. We created some bad habits during the past few months of teething and illness, when I got up with him and fed him pretty much whenever he wanted. After he was feeling better, he sort of settled into a pattern of eating twice a night, around 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. This was not too bad, but I really wanted to eliminate at least the 2 a.m. feeding, and I knew he was finally feeling well enough that he could handle a little tough love. Here is my journal/log of the process.

Day 1. Bedtime is 8:00 p.m. Dorian wakes up a few times around 9, 10, and 11, but goes back to sleep on his own each time. At 2:30 a.m. he is decidedly awake. This is already a little later than usual, but I'm not giving in that easily. I let him cry until 2:45. I have a vague goal of getting him to last until at least 3:00 before eating. I check on him and he has wiggled out of his blanket. I wrap him back up (I have tried to stop swaddling him on several occasions, but keep going back to it because he sleeps so much better this way) and put him back down. He cries for a few minutes, then seems like he is going back to sleep...but is crying again by 3:00. I readjust my goal to at least 3:30. I know I may not get a lot of sleep tonight, but I am resigned to that, reminding myself that this is an investment in future sleep. I go back in, pat him on the chest for a few minutes. He stops crying and looks around, becoming drowsy again after a few minutes. He wouldn't be so easily comforted if he was really hungry, would he? I tiptoe out and start this blog entry. By 3:15 he is crying again, but it is half-hearted. He cries off and on until 3:30, by which time he is starting to get pretty upset again. Now I don't know...have we made good progress tonight, and I should go ahead and feed him, or will I just be teaching him that he has to cry for an hour in order to get me to feed him? I decide we can't do this all in one night, and I let him eat.

While he eats, he reaches his hand up to my mouth so that I can kiss the tips of his fingers. What tastes better than baby fingertips? When he is finished, he leans his head against my chest and cuddles for a few minutes. I will miss this. He doesn't cuddle like that during the day.

He sleeps until 8:20 a.m., at which point he wakes up happy and plays in his crib until 8:50 when I get him up. That was easy! But I know from experience not to start trying to predict a pattern from one night's events. So we'll see how this goes tonight.

Day 2. He is up at midnight, and I let him cry until 12:20 when I go in and wrap him back up. He goes right back to sleep. I stay up talking to Russell for another hour about the herbal supplements website he is launching this weekend. We are really excited. Why are my arms numb as I try to fall asleep again?

I wake up several times during the night, checking the clock and noticing that Dorian has slept past my new goal of 4:30, then 5:30. Finally at 6:45 I realize I am not sleeping. Could it have been this easy? Or is something wrong? Paranoid, I get up to check on him and of course as I open his door I wake him up. Someday I want to live in a house with silent doors and non-creaky floors. Anyway, since I have woken him up, I go ahead and feed him. As I put him back down, he is smiling and laughing at me. I love that big toothy grin. I get to go back to bed for half an hour before we have to get up to get ready for Russell’s little sister’s wedding. I don’t fall back asleep before the alarm rings.

At 9:30, we need to leave for the wedding, but Dorian is still asleep. There are very few things I will wake him for, but I guess Brianne’s wedding is one of them. I go in to wake him and feed him, and he is sleeping soundly. He doesn’t even stir until I start unwrapping him. After he gets over the initial offense, he is back to his sweet and happy self.

Day 3. He wakes up at 4:30 a.m. Not bad, but I have this 15-minute rule, so I wait until 4:45. I can hear him banging around a bit in the crib, so I know he is unwrapped. As I am walking to his room to wrap him back up, he stops crying, so I go back to bed. He is up again at 5:00, and I go ahead and feed him.

He is such a miracle to me, as he leans against my chest and looks up at me with such trust and contentment. I think he says “bye-bye” after I put him down, and I say it back. As I am getting into bed, I notice that Russell’s clock hasn’t been changed to Daylight Savings Time. I would be nice to get that hour of sleep back.

Dorian wakes up for the day at 8:30 a.m.

Day 4. We are at a friend’s house at bedtime, so we put Dorian to bed in their currently-empty crib. He has some trouble sleeping in a crib and a room that is not his own. We bring him home and put him in his own bed around midnight. I am hoping the poor beginning to his night won’t ruin the rest of the night.

He wakes up briefly at 5:45, 6:20, and again at 6:45 when I feed him. He sleeps again until 9:30. Not bad at all. Why am I still exhausted?

Day 5. He wakes up at 5 a.m. I go in and wrap him back up at 5:15, and he falls back asleep within a few minutes. He is up again at 7:00 and I feed him. He sleeps again until 9:15. Is this the best I can expect, or will he eventually sleep all the way through? I’m not complaining. I know many other babies are up for the day around 7:00, so maybe that is more likely than actually sleeping until 9:00 without eating.

Day 6. Okay, nevermind tonight. He has a fever again, and his cough is back, but worse! He is up about 8 times in the night, and eats twice...No kickboxing for us in the morning; only cuddling. So I am putting this round of sleep training on hold for a bit longer until we can get over this illness. I am really pleased with how quickly he learned that he doesn’t need to eat at night. The one big obstacle we are still facing is the swaddling issue. He has learned to depend on being swaddled as his soothing technique, but he has also learned to wiggle out of his blankets several times a night. I have tried quitting cold turkey, I have tried transitioning him by wrapping him with one arm out, then both arms out, etc. but every time I think we are done swaddling, he kind of stops sleeping. I eventually get desperate and swaddle him again, and he sleeps beautifully. Until he wiggles out. Help!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dorian Walks...sort of

He started doing this the other day, and now it is his favorite thing to do. We don't have a high chair for him yet, so that is why he is eating cheerios off of a chair. The second clip is from Russell's little sister's wedding luncheon, and the soundtrack on the rest of the clips is courtesy of the keyboard demos that Dorian likes to turn on and leave playing for hours at a time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dorian's Favorite Things

I don't think he's decided yet whether he prefers rock or classical.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I have been really touched by all of the advice I have received regarding our trip to Hawaii. I received comments from many close friends, from people that I didn't even know read my blog, and from people that don't even know me. Most of you put a lot of thought into your answers, and many of you made me laugh. I even received an offer to borrow a breast pump, which is a huge blessing. Besides the comments I received here, I got emails and facebook messages with even more thoughts and advice. You have been more helpful than I even imagined. I still haven't made a final decision, but I have begun to see that there will be positive results no matter what I choose, and that has given me a lot of comfort. Thank you for your generosity and your friendship.

I leave you with a glimpse into Dorian's life for the past month. He is 8 months old now: