Napping

Maddie Revises Her Napping Schedule

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Maddie’s new nap schedule taking it’s toll.

Maddie is in the process of dropping her second nap, but it’s not shaping up to be a seamless process. We are trying to let Maddie guide the process, but so far, she’s changing the rules on a day-to-day basis.

 

The napping process is up in the air for now. There are days with short naps, longs naps and even days with no naps. The days with no naps produce one cranky little muffin who is ready to snap at a moment’s notice.

 

The transition period has been bumpy, but we are hoping the end is in site. As for Maddie, you know she wants to sleep, but she is fighting it left and right.


All That Work Comes with a Price

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I’m just resting my eyes

After 14 straight days of standing, crawling, skydiving, bull riding and nunchuck fighting demonstrations, guess who finally hit the wall? That’s right, my little Maddie, the 10-month-old dynamo was forced to call a truce with the universe this morning.

I actually never saw this coming. Maddie roared awake at around 5am and was ready to take on all comers. She seemed even more anxious than usual to express some very loud opinions and get going with some rigorous full-contact outdoor activities. Right after we dropped her mom off, Maddie made it clear that I had about 10 seconds to storm the local Dunkin Donuts and liberate a whole-wheat bagel for her to destroy.

Within moments, the helpless bagel was struggling for survival as pieces of dough exploded out of Maddie’s stroller. Horns were blowing and rescue teams poured into the area as bagel pieces rained down on helpless commuters, pelting light rail passengers and shattering windshields within a 3-block radius.

“I need more speed,” demanded Maddie as I pushed the stroller towards the waterfront.  The baby rolled her eyes with disdain and suggested that maybe it would help if she got out and pushed. She’s been dragging her feet on a decision to replace her dad with a more obedient stroller driver, but still hasn’t had the heart to pull the trigger.

As I quickened my pace to avoid any further controversy, I noticed that the stroller compartment had fallen uncharacteristically silent. I slowed my pace so that I could catch a glimpse of what Maddie was up to now. I almost tripped and fell over when I saw that she was actually sound asleep???

Maddie hasn’t fallen asleep in her stroller in months. I slipped the stroller into a lower gear and made a subtle break for home. 20 minutes later and the baby was still sawing wood. I found a quiet section of sidewalk and decided to let her sleep it out. More than a half hour later and Maddie hadn’t even budged. It appears that my force of nature has finally decided to take some time to recharge.

The calm before the storm

I’m glad to see her getting the rest, but I have to worry what she might be like once she catches up on her sleep. I know she’s contemplated running a marathon and scaling the Empire State Building, but for now I intend to enjoy this scant amount of downtime.

Mission Impossible – Don’t Wake the Baby

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Whatever you do, don’t wake the baby!
Mission: Extract paper bag without waking baby
Strategy: Snatch and grab with great stealth
Risk:  Waking up ravenous honey badger
 
Maddie just finished up a monster-sized lunch with her friends in Central Jersey. Before leaving the restaurant, Maddie’s father was tasked with bringing home lunch to the baby’s mother. As Dad packed the car, he put the salad on the floor so Maddie could not extract the contents while sitting in her baby seat.
 
At first, this seemed like a solid strategy. This way the salad would not be forgotten when it was time to extract Maddie. What Dad did not take into account was what would happen if Maddie fell asleep. But sure enough, just 15 minutes from home, the baby was down for the count. We know all too well that if you wake the baby from her nap, she won’t give you a second chance to put her down for several hours. 
 
I scan the review mirror and see the sleeping form of my little angel and realize that we have a long dark mission in front of us and someone is bound to get dirty. I place a stealth call to Maddie’s mother to warn her of our potential disaster. Mom makes her way downstairs just as I pull up with Maddie.
 
The paper bag holding the salad might as well be an M-80 quarter stick of dynamite. Maddie is never able to sleep through that wicked crinkling noise a paper bag makes. Maddie parents begin exchanging intricate hand signals trying to determine the best way to deliver lunch without waking the beast.
 
Gina made the “roll down the window” motion to see if she could reach the salad behind the passenger seat. As soon as the window crept down, some guy with a nail gun started firing away across the street. Maddie opened her eyes as Gina commando rolled onto the sidewalk and out of sight. By the time Gina hit the deck, the window was already rolled back up and somehow the baby had fallen back asleep.
 
We followed the same procedure for attempt #2. This time mom started gently lifting the bag, but was blocked by a child’s toy that would surely wake Maddie up. Maddie stirred and her mom froze in place – but this time the baby did not open her eyes. Mom delicately maneuvered the salad out of the vehicle as we simultaneously pulled into the flow of traffic. The baby was still asleep, mom had her salad and our mission was accomplished!!   –

Helping Baby Beat Back the Bedtime Blues

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Can you please bore me to sleep?
Bedtime at night has always been an area where Maddie’s parents have found safe haven. Sure naptime has been an up and down proposition, but once the lights go out, Maddie is not far behind.
 
Tonight’s nighttime routine was in line with what we’ve been doing since the beginning of the year. Maddie gets a little food, some bath time and then a bottle sends her right into dreamland. However, Maddie’s GPS must have shorted out tonight because dreamland was apparently off line.
 
Maddie’s mom laid the baby into her crib and closed the door. But one look at the monitor and it was obvious that Maddie had other plans for the evening. She started swinging her legs up in the air from one side of the crib to the other. Each time her feet would land with a crash into her shuddering crib. There were no screams, cries or protests – just vigorous crib activity and a few giggles. What was that wild banana up to now?
 
Her mom tried to coax her back to sleep with some more bottle, but Maddie was all fired up with no place to go. Once she was back in her crib, she picked up right where she left off. She was engaged in some sort of ancient steel cage kick fighting match with an entity that only she could see.
 
She must have lost that fight, because once the physical activity stopped, she started crying. I knew that it was time for the one activity we share that literally bores her to tears. That’s right, it was time for dad to break out the Fuzzy Little Duck storybook.
 
I started reading with a dull and totally monotone voice that seemed to suck the energy out of the room. I droned on in flat and disinterested voice that quickly turned the tide on my little powerhouse. She gave me a bored long look, silently imploring me to stop the madness. But I was too bored to notice and Maddie was quickly losing steam. I finally put the duck book out of its misery and laid Maddie into her crib without protest.
 
So was this rocky bedtime a blip on the radar or a sign of things to come? Personally, I’m hoping this was nothing more than an isolated incident, but there are a whole stack of baby books just waiting for me to butcher and drain of any potential interest.

Baby Suspends Sleep & Eating for New Teeth

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I already have two teeth - that's plenty!

Even after two major trips in a row, Maddie’s schedule at home was really coming together nicely. Full nights of sleep and a fairly regimented eating schedule had the entire household living the dream.

But things swerved a bit off kilter yesterday and today all that consistency went up in smoke. Maddie spent the day boycotting any feeding or nap attempts. This caused me great concern because my parents were coming in to babysit Maddie.

Once they arrived, I was nervous about leaving them alone with the Mad Madster who was smack dab in the middle of her simultaneous hunger and sleep strike. However, the baby was full of smiles and squeaks and showing no signs of criminal mischief. After some urging from the grandparents, I decided to let Maddie be free of me for a couple of hours.

I gave my mom the scoop on Maddie’s odd behavior and finally left with a heavy cloud of guilt over my head. At this point, I still did not know the origin of the baby’s stranger-than-normal behavior.

Finally I broke down and called my parents for the scoop. They said that Maddie had taken a decent nap and was playing on the floor with my mom. Maddie’s grandfather told me to take my time, but I know that the baby’s mood can turn on a dime. I hurried home and when I walked in, I asked my dad how things were going.

When Maddie heard my voice, she let out a powerful screech. According to my parents, she had slowly started to come undone about 15 minutes before I got home. The baby didn’t need anything in particular, she just wondered why I wasn’t waiting on her hand and foot.

My wife had arrived home about the same time I did and informed me that Maddie has a pair of top teeth that have begun to break through the gums. That’s why the happy baby has been suddenly out of sorts. Maddie is fighting the good fight against this most recent invasion of the teeth, but we will have to see how tonight goes for all us.

Baby Daughter Demands Equal Driving Time

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Who took my sunglasses??

Maddie’s driving continues to improve each day, but her parallel parking is still a disaster. Actually, Maddie was great a passenger both to and from the airport during this most recent trip.

We had to find the perfect balance of snack time, bottle time and naptime but it all seemed to come together with a minimum amount of carnage during these 3-hour-marathons back and forth to Chicago.

I’ve become the designated sleep whisperer for all trips surpassing the two hour mark. If I’m not driving, I’m in the back seat sleeping with my little commando. The motion of being a passenger in any vehicle or airplane puts me right to sleep. Maddie is not the best sleeper in a moving vehicle unless she’s stuck with me.

Where are you going to sit?

The best way to keep the baby sleeping comfortably in the car is to know where a pacifier is at all times. This is true even if you are sleeping right along with the baby. As soon as Maddie starts to stir, my eyes snap open so I can quickly locate the closest pacifier.

 

 

Maddie opens her eyes the tiniest bit. I pop the pacifier into her mouth. Then the baby confirms that she is in the company of loved ones. In less than 8 seconds the event is over and the princess is back in dreamland. I always make sure that I am not too far behind.

For whatever reason, this shared sleep method does not work for us during air travel. But at least Maddie gets a reasonable nap before we begin to battle the forces of evil at the airport.

Baby’s Rooms Sounds Like 1940’s Aircraft Carrier Deck

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Music to Maddie's ears

Maddie’s parents have been forced to battle the noise of multiple construction projects using the loudest industrial fans made by man. Instead of a baby’s sleeping area, Maddie’s room looks and sounds more like a vintage aircraft carrier flight deck.

This is all necessary because some guy in our building hired the Acme Construction Crew from the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons. These master craftsmen have been trying to build a recreation deck for months now. The only problem is that they are moving at a snail’s pace with no noticeable progress. If Noah had hired them for arc construction, none of us would be here today.

However, this doesn’t stop them from hammering and power sawing every day like they were building a wooden dock out to the Statue of Liberty. They power saw so frequently that they have literally cut every piece of lumber within a 50-mile-radius. You would think that they were nearing completion on a full-size wooden replica of the Great Wall.

The problem is that Maddie’s bedroom has windows that overlook the courtyard where this historic undertaking is underway. So today I decided that since I can’t beat this deafening symphony of confusion – I should add to it. Gentlemen start your engines! That’s right, break out the fans and yell, “CLEAR!”

So as we fire up the engines, the $64,000 question is will Maddie be able to find sleep on the deck of an old school aircraft carrier? Maddie and I fought our way through the gale-force winds of the bedroom to lay her down in her crib.

Like many parents, we have a baby monitor to make sure the baby is sleeping peacefully and not repelling off the side of the crib. I stared at it with unabashed curiosity watching every move Maddie made. Within just two minutes, Maddie had already checked out and was sound asleep.

Obviously we don’t want to get too cocky, but for one day, we found a way to overcome the slow motion construction project forever taking shape outside of Maddie’s window.