lion

Sleep Hard – Play to Win!

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No day is so bad that it can’t be fixed with a nap.

One of the first things people notice about Maddie is that she is NOT a halfway kind of girl. Whatever, she does – Eat, sleep or poop – She does it with gusto, intensity and panache. Even at eleven weeks old, Maddie has a well-defined sense of purpose and is always striving to hit the next gear.

After a week of trailblazing and fighting the good fight against the institution of sleep – Maddie finally succumbed to Morpheus and was able to really recharge her batteries. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when she and I woke up from a two and half hour nap at 7:30 this morning.

People who say they sleep like a baby, probably don’t have one!

She woke up seemingly ready for action – but apparently, that was just a false positive. I was in the process of burping Maddie after her feeding when I noticed that she was completely knocked out on my shoulder. Oh my, 9am and our little bean was already on the ropes. I laid her in the crib and she slept soundly for another two hours.

Now this is a truly unexpected treat! I went out during the afternoon and left Maddie with her momma. When I got back, little Miss Thang was out like a light sleeping on her Mom. We made the seamless handoff and in no time, the baby was sawing wood on my chest as well.

During this particular nap, I noticed that Maddie was having a very intense feeding dream. Her little lips were moving at the speed of sound as if she were really working over her bottle.

What’s really funny about this drastic sleeping episode is that it comes as no surprise what so ever. Dealing with Maddie is a life-lesson in the art of expecting the unexpected. She doles out a new adventure every single day and you have to love the independent and pioneer spirit she is already exhibiting. (I can hear seasoned parents snickering at me now!) But seriously, who can resist someone who is just bubbling with life even before they even reach 11-weeks-old?

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Growth Spurt Done for Now – Cub Needs Extra Sleep

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I can barely keep my eyes open!

After about a ten-day growth spurt – Our little lion cub is warn out. The panicked starvation bug plaguing Maddie has been replaced by a disjointed fatigue.

Little Maddie actually seems quite tired but is going back and forth between perfect sleep and restlessness. The baby turned 8-weeks-old on Friday and celebrated the night before by treating her parents to an all night fiesta.

However, her recent bout of sleepiness has come with something unexpected – one of funniest and cutes noises ever heard by human ears.

Maddie has developed a little snore that sounds more like the soft purr of a little lion cub. It’s a very soothing noise and it’s almost impossible to stay awake when you are within earshot, especially if she’s sleeping on your chest.

Of course this brings to light the question of whether or not lions can actually purr. First, despite the fact that Maddie is a Leo, I am relatively certain she is not actually purring when she makes those grand noises. Second, there seems to be a great deal of confusion and debate on the question about big cats and their ability to purr.

After reading multiple sources, I decided to cop out and go with the National Wildlife Federation that insists that large cats such as lions, tigers and jaguars can roar, but are not physically able to purr. These cats can make noises similar to purring, but it’s just a put on.

There is of course on exception to the big cat rule and that is in the cheetah family. These speedy cats can purr – but sadly for them, they cannot roar.

Little Lion Terrorizes on Tight Schedule

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Lions do the majority of their hunting at night – my little Leo is on a much tighter schedule.

It doesn’t happen every day, but when Maddie goes to the dark side, it almost always happens between 3am and 6am.

Her jaws began to snap and her screams reach a fever pitch that will not be silenced for any significant length of time. It’s actually quite a phenomenon to behold. Gina and I first encountered this fearsome predatory behavior the day she was born in the hospital.

Since then, we have struggled with what we were doing that was so wrong. What terrible mistakes were we making as parents that would make someone we love so much so terribly angry?

What strikes us during these episodes is the intensity and determination displayed these each tantrum. Maddie is bound and determined to rage for this short period of time even if all of her basic needs are met.

Its part of the learning curve I suppose. Unmistakable patterns have developed and once you have determined that the diaper is clean, the swaddle is sound and the belly is full – you just strap in and hang on for the ride of your life.

I’m actually learning to appreciate these magnificent and shocking acts of nature. A couple hours of unbridled fury is not the end of the world. I also have to respect a tiny little lady who is so determined to share her strong opinions with anybody in earshot.

Who knows where this special brand of obstinacy could take Maddie. Whether this mind set is directed towards studies, athletics or exploration – her competitors will likely shrivel up in fear at the mere mention of her name.

It’s also remarkable that these incidents only occur during such a small three-hour window. This actually provides the recipient with shades of hope that the sun will rise and the storm shall pass.