naptime

The Incredible Floating Toes

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Back up - I'm coming over!!
Back up – I’m coming over!!

How is the climbing stage going?

I guess it depends on who you ask.

As far as Maddie’s parents are concerned, the climbing stage isn’t too cool.

Ask Maddie and I’m sure she thinks it going GREAT!

“No crib can hold me,” exclaimed the 18-month-old girl as she prepared to vault into the great abyss.

This is to be expected when you have a toddler that can throw her legs as high as her head and has toes capable of gripping any smooth surface like a gecko lizard.

Maddie vaults on top of tables and chairs with reckless abandon now.  This high-risk behavior is on the verge of becoming a serious problem.

Watching my baby, it’s easy to understand the pure folly of human nature.

Like scientists and politicians, Maddie often decides plunges ahead with a course of action rather than pondering the aftermath of what she does. Of course she is only 18-months-old and has time to resolve this risky behavior issue.

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 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.

Naptime Blues Wilt Under Extreme Heat

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Hey look, my parents think I'm a popsicle!

If you’ve been following Maddie’s madcap adventures for the past 3 weeks, you know that naptime has been a bust. A harrowing series of scant 30-minute naps per day have worn out the baby and pushed her parents to the brink.

It seems that all of that is behind us now due to one simple discovery. The baby has not been warm enough during naptime.

Three weeks ago, when we peeled Maddie off of her dad and into the crib, her sleep duration went to the dogs. I originally thought that the loss of my smiling grill and sparkling personality killed the baby’s ability to nap. But amazingly, it was something else altogether. It turns out that the only thing Maddie was missing was Daddy’s torch-like body heat!

So how did the NASA scientists in Maddie’s household make this landmark discovery???

Yesterday, Maddie and her Dad were making a lightning-fast run to Starbucks. By the time they got home, Maddie was hanging limply from the Bjorn sound asleep. Dad rushed inside and gently laid her in the crib. He unzipped her winter gear, but didn’t risk taking off the whole thing.

TWO HOURS LATER the little munchkin was still sawing wood! Sleeping like the angel she is. Eureka! Maddie was struggling with lousy naps because her parents haven’t been bundling her up before naptime. We have never been able to use blankets because Maddie just kicks them off or pulls them over her head.

Thankfully, we have a nifty little invention that we use at night called a Sleep-Sack. It keeps her warm and stops her from munching on or playing with her toes (no seriously!) The problem is that we weren’t using the sack for her naps.

Today we put on the SACK for naptime and once again she slept like a champ during every session. Maddie is taking naps again – Let Freedom Ring!