Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Living, Breathing Super Mom

I am a Super Mom. I can do it all.

I leap out of bed when the sun comes up,
And walk around in a fog until I have my daily dose of caffeine.

My kids are dressed in only the cutest clothes,
That just happen to be splattered in ketchup, grease and grass stains.

My house is spotless, straightened and clean,
But please don't open any drawer, closet or cabinet without wearing the proper protective gear.

Dinner is on the table at 5:30 sharp,
As long as I remembered to defrost the chicken.

My kids don't watch any TV,
Because they refuse to watch anything besides Elmo DVDs.

The laundry is always folded and hung,
But rarely makes it out of the baskets and into the drawers and closets.

I feed my children only the most nutritious foods,
Did you know frozen pizza covers the majority of food groups?

I work out daily, making sure to stay fit,
As long as you count running up and down the stairs 100 times each day.

I take some "me" time each and every day,
From about 10-10:05 pm before I fall asleep.

I spend an hour or more clipping and sorting coupons before I go to the grocery store,
And I forget to bring them or use them 99% of the time.

I maintain close relationships with my girlfriends,
Even if the majority of our conversations revolve around poop.

I support my child's love of books,
But make them conveniently disappear after reading the same one 50 times in a row.

I always get dressed and presentable before I leave the house,
As long as the sweatpants I throw on happen to match the t-shirt I wore to bed the night before.

I teach my children to love and respect animals,
But if that sketchy neighborhood cat pees in my child's sandbox again, it's a goner!

I started a college savings fund for both my children,
And pretend that my $100 monthly deposits will somehow be enough to cover the ever-increasing costs.

I introduce my children to different cultures and languages,
Meet Dora, Diego, Kai-lan and Toot & Puddle.

I am a Super Mom.
A living, breathing Super Mom.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pinterest Thursday (A Day Late)

This edition of "Pinterest Thursday" - brought to you on Friday becasue it's been that kind of week -  focuses on awesome home decor and design that I came across. Still obsessed with Pinterest - are you yet?

"White Board" created by putting pretty paper inside a picture frame, and writing on the glass!
SOOOO cute for a child's room or play room
Perfect for a shared bathroom! Can also use in Guest Bath by inserting pics of guests when they come to town!

How I'd LOVE to redecorate my front living room - cozy and ecletctic! (Can't find link!)

Gorgeous bedroom!

LOVE the idea of a blackboard as art that you can write interesting quotes on... doing this ASAP!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Leopard Dosen't Change Its Spots

The other day I was reading a magazine article that basically said a child's personality (i.e. sense of humor, temperament) is pretty much set by the time they are 12 months old. When you think about it, that is pretty amazing! Were we really the same person at the age of 1 or 2 that we are today? And it got me thinking about how Miss Paige's silly, exuberant personality as a toddler will translate into her teenage and then adult self. I think I may have a wild ride ahead of me : )

And just today I was going through a box of childhood mementos my mom brought over - report cards, journals, crafts from when I was a child. Right on top were two report cards / progress reports from my nursery school - The Homestead School. The first was dated January 31, 1987, which means I was 3, about to turn 4. we were evaluated by letters - O for "Outstanding", S for "Satisfactory", N for "Needs Work". I received all S's except in two categories... I got an "N" for "Holds Pencil Correctly" with a comment that said "Tends to grab pencil the majority of the time". And I got an S- in "Physical Education" with the comment "Distracted by others around her". And here are the teacher's full comments (verbatim, with quotes, capital letters, italics and underlines):

Erica has progressed nicely in both her social skills and pre-academic skills. She plays well with other children in the classroom and outside.

Erica approaches her "work" and "play" with an enthusiasm that is wonderful to watch. However, at times this level of enthusiasm and excitement can get in her way as she will want to participate in all that surrounds her - SIMULTANEOUSLY. This causes her difficulty in staying focused on what is in front of her for any length of time, especially during morning exercises. Without losing any of this "energy" or enthusiasm we will continue to work on lengthening her attention span.

Compared to the beginning of the school term, Erica's self confidence has been strengthened, as this can be seen in her dealings with her classmates and her movements around the school. When given "free time" Erica will take the initiative to select materials off of the shelves to do on her own and put them away when she is finished.

Erica is doing well in the area of penmanship though she does have a tendency to GRAB the pencil as opposed to holding it correctly. While we continue to work on this in school, I would recommend that this be worked on at home with her also, whenever the time is appropriate.

Overall, Erica's "bubbly" personality is a delight to have in the classroom!!

And now we have the report dated June 5, 1987. I made an improvement in holding the pencil correctly (from an "N" to an "S-") and in Physical Education (from an "S-" to an "S"). Here are the teacher's comments:

Still a "bubbly" personality, Erica seems to have a better control over her excitability and is able to focus her attention in one area for a longer period of time.

An improvement can be seen in her grasp of the pencil, though this still needs to be refined. It might be helpful for her to work on this over the summer!

The thing that makes this so hilarious is that I'd probably get the EXACT SAME report card at the age of 28 as I did at 3 years old. Not only am I regularly described as "bubbly", but also "excitable". My brother-in-law used that exact term to describe me in his Best Man speech at the wedding : ) Still distracted easily? CHECK! A desire to be involved in EVERYTHING all at once? CHECK! And the real kicker of all this? I still hold my pencil "incorrectly"! I guess all that practice over the summer didn't help much, because people still describe my pencil holding as a "grab". But I have great handwriting... so I guess it doesn't matter all that much, now does it? : )

But how funny is it that the little person your child is right at this very moment is almost identical (minus the diapers and temper tantrums, hopefully) to who they will be as an adult? I love it! Even when she is checking me into a nursing home one day, I'll still see glimpses of the little Miss Paige from these early years... and that makes me one very happy mama!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pinterest Thursdays

I have a new obsession... and it is Pinterest (pronounced like "Interest", but with a "P" in front). Trust me when I say it is one of the coolest websites I have ever come across. And no - I wasn't paid or asked to say that : ) I don't even know the people at Pinterest. But I love it. And I'm obsessed. You know it's bad when a quick peek before bed turns into 30 minutes of browsing... which somehow turns into 11:45 p.m. with my mind racing with creative inspiration! I'm still not 100% sure how it all works, but from what I can tell, random people post (or "pin" as they like to say) images of interesting things they come across. Artwork. Fashion. Food. Seriously... anything you can think of. And you can just browse through all the things people "pinned" up throughout the day. You can even sort by what you feel like looking at. Need inspiration for a living room makeover? A dinner party menu? Fashion trends? Funny or thought-provoking quotes and artwork (my personal fav)? It's all there. And because I like to share - especially things I am super excited/crazy about - I figured that every Thursday I'll do a random post of the coolest things I found on Pinterest each week. Most of it will be quotes and sayings because that is what I really like to look at, but who knows what randomosity I will sprinkle in from time to time. I'll also include links to the specific Pinterest pages I include to make sure I give credit where credit is due. Enjoy!!








Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Leaning Into" Organization

Something funny happened after Deacon was born... major messes started to get under my skin. What I used to breeze past without a second thought - dishes in the sink, cluttered counters, a pigsty of a playroom - now gave me reason to pause and take notice. Staying neat and organized has never been my strong suit. I can admit it - take one step into my house and it's pretty obvious : ) Chaos never used to bother me. And to a certain point, it still doesn't. The playroom and kitchen get trashed daily. But come about 7 p.m. when both kids are sleeping soundly for the night, I turn into a clutter-busting, cleaning fool. Daniel thinks it's hilarious to see me zoom around the first floor of our house, picking up, wiping down and putting everything back in it's place. Of course I illicit help from the hubby once in a while, but for the most part I have my nightly clean-up down to a science. My rule? I can't sit down and relax for the night until the toys are picked up, the sink is empty of dirty dishes and the counters are wiped down. One night Daniel "helped" me and threw all the puzzles back onto the shelf... WITHOUT PUTTING THE PUZZLE PIECES BACK WHERE THEY BELONG! That night he also put non-musical instruments back in the play drum AND non-animals back in the play ark. I almost put HIM out in the dog house. It may not be perfect, but everything has it's place and it's a system that works.

Ok, so this may not sound too foreign or earth shattering to many of your super mamas out there. But this is a BIG change for messy old me. I used to clean when there was just no other option (i.e. the sink was so full of dishes that I couldn't wash my hands). I'm not a slob, but I definitely kept "contained messes" around the house. When I felt the messes were no longer "contained" I would clean up. But there is something about having two kids that just doesn't allow that method to work anymore. Maybe it's the inherent chaos that comes with being home all day with two children. Or maybe the secret spells my neat nik sister has been casting over me since birth finally took hold. But whatever the reason, something in my brain clicked and coming downstairs to clutter in the morning drives me nuts!

Oh, and before you go assuming my house is now a pristine museum where you can eat off the floors, let me bring you back to reality... : )  This magical cleaning spell that I am under only holds true for the first floor of the house. I still could care less about the upstairs, about laundry, and about making my bed. That's why I consider myself "leaning into" organization. I haven't made the full head-first dive into the world of neatness - I'm just kind of leaning in and checking it out. So far, it's been good. So maybe next will come laundry. You know I've REALLY embraced organization when I willingly clean the bathrooms. Pigs may fly before then though, so don't hold your breath... : )

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Have to Do WHAT?! The Diagnosis

So we finally have the official diagnosis: Sagittal Cranisynostosis (aka Scaphocephaly). Basically, it's exactly what we thought it was. However, the treatment is somewhat different than originally expected... but more on that in a minute.

First, the good news! We ended up meeting with both the Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Craniofacial Surgeon last week, and I am happy to report that they are AMAZING doctors! Professional, experts in what they do, but very personable and were able to make us feel comfortable.They were also able to explain everything that was going on (and everything that WOULD go on) in plain English that you didn't need a medical degree to understand. Answered prayers on that one!

Now, the not so good news... The surgery is different than what I expected it to be. A lot more invasive. Ok - a TON more invasive than I expected. It ends up that the top and front portions of D's skull is fused - not the back portion as I had thought. So, the endoscopic, less invasive surgery isn't an option. So here's the scary part: they have to do a craniotomy. In English: they are removing his skull. To do this, they have to cut his head open from ear to ear. Then, they remove the top of the skull (completely), reshape it (outside his head), and then put it back and reattach it using screws and other hardware. I'll give you a second to let this sit in... because I know first hand that the visual is highly disturbing... Ok. So one good thing is that the screws are dissolveable (somehow) and so he won't have any metal in his head. YAY! (Can we say airport security nightmare?! Just kidding : ) ) Another good thing - after the surgery and recovery, he'll be 100% fine. No helmet!! Basically, the screws take the place of having to wear a helmet. And because the skull is manually reshaped by the surgeons, there is no need for the helmet (which is used for shaping purposes). Once he's healed up, he'll be like every other rough and tumble little boy, with no restrictions on his activity. Crazy, right?

Because the surgery is more invasive, the doctors want to wait until he is at least 4 months old to perform the surgery. Today I got the call that the surgery has been scheduled - last week in October. In the meantime, we wait patiently. But despite everything, I feel at peace. My anxiety has reduced from about a 1,053 to a 5 (on a 10 point scale). I believe I am witnessing a greater plan unfold right before my eyes. And that is a truly amazing thing : )

Friday, August 12, 2011

Facebook Friend of Foe?

In this age of social networking, how do you determine who is a "friend"? Do you accept "friend requests" from everyone? No one? Only people who are your close friends "offline"? Family? A week or so ago, I cleaned house on Facebook, the main social networking site I use. I took a look at my "friends" list and mentally put them into the following categories:

  • Entertaining/Interesting Friends: People I don't necessarily know very well, or haven't spoken to in a long time for whatever reason, but who I find funny or have interesting things to say
  • Online Friends: People who I've become close with through my blog or through Facebook and I consider them real friends - I care about what is going on in their lives, and they care about mine. We would totally hang out if we lived closer : )
  • Besties: People who I interact with in the "real" world on a regular basis and know what's going on in my life, even before I post it on Facebook or my blog
  • Family: Obviously, family. But also the friends that you or your husband have known for so long that they feel like family and are always in our hearts and automatically get a spot on your "friends" list no matter what
  • General Friends: People who you may have been close to at one point in time, or are an acquaintance. Most importantly - you are interested in what is happening in their lives, and they are interested in yours at a certain level. Because that's what social networking is all about, right? 
And then I got to thinking... do you have expectations of these different groups of "friends"? For example, I don't expect any interaction from my "Entertaining/Interesting" group. I basically just like having their funny one liners, thought provoking links, or general observations pop up on my "News Feed" each day. That is the extent of our relationship, and that is cool with me! As far as the categories of "Online Friends, Besties and Family", that is who I mostly post for... to maintain a consistent conversation through pictures, stories and updates. 

And as far as "General Friends" - well, they move in and out based on the subject matter. But I think there are certain times when that category needs to step it up... and that is during major life events. Engagements, weddings, pregnancies, births... these people (in my opinion) should at least "like" a photo or make a quick comment. Why? Because they are happy for you! Because something amazing just happened in your life, and it's only right to acknowledge it. Isn't it weird to be someone's "friend" - even only via a social network - and not acknowledge something awesome that just happened in their life? You look at their pictures. Read their status updates. But you can't take two seconds to share in their happiness when something awesome happens? I sure think so. And so I used the most recent amazing life event - the birth of Baby Deacon - to make some cuts. If someone who I think should have acknowledged his birth, but didn't, they got axed. Harsh? Maybe. But if they can't even acknowledge the birth of my son, then I certainly don't want them to have access to my photos or updates or life in general.

The rules of social networking are still being worked out. But I decided to take it upon myself to draw a line in the sand : ) Do you agree with my friend assessments and method of giving people the axe? Have you done the same? Let's discuss! Because... after all... you all are my friends : )

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Surgeons and Doctors and Specialists, OH MY!

We're off to see the surgeon, the wonderful surgeon of... pediatric brains. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it as The Wizard of Oz, does it? : )

First, let me say THANK YOU for all of the support and love we received after posting about Deacon's craniosynostosis situation. Before posting, I didn't know anyone who had gone through this. Now - come to find out - a lot of people know people whose babies had this condition, got the surgery, and are now healthy, happy babies. YAHOO! And that's why I love this blog and the sometimes over-sharing that I do. Because it's nice to know you aren't in it alone. I love being part of this community of mamas. And I thank you again for the support, love and prayers! We feel it... we really do : )

So this morning we are heading over to our first official doctor's appointment re: the craniosynostosis. First up: the pediatric neurosurgeon. And I have mixed emotions about it. Part of me hopes we'll walk in, the doctor will take one look at Deacon and say, "There's absolutely nothing wrong! He's fine!" But I'm not letting that hope overrun the reality that I know in my heart is true. So even though I hope and pray and wish the doctor will give us a clean bill of health, my second choice is that we walk in and the doctor says, "Yes, he has it. But it's absolutely fixable. We've caught it in time. No damage, swelling or compression of the little man's brain. Now let's get this taken care of asap." And then we are whisked through a whirlwind of tests, appointments and surgery - and we can look back in a month with smiles on our faces because we all made it through to the other side.

Luckily, I'm generally a pretty positive person. But I have to admit that at times, my mind goes crazy with the other possibilities of what the doctor may say. Like what if he says it's worse than we thought. Or that it will take multiple surgeries to fix. Am I ready for that? Am I ready to hear those words and deal with that reality? I'd like to think I am. But how much pain can your heart take before it completely shatters?

I went out to dinner with my BFF mama friend the other night (no babies, no husbands, just us! LET THE ANGELS SING!!) and I realized that I am holding a lot of my emotions on this inside. I talk about it with my husband every day, but I'm keeping myself from really feeling it. I talk about scheduling the appointments, about the great doctors we will be working with, about how each day (especially over the last week) we both have noticed the increasing size of D's forehead and the "smushed" look of the side of his head. But I don't let myself get too deep into the emotion of it. I'm holding back on that. Because if I let myself go there now, I might not be able to get through the next few days of appointments without completely losing it. When I start to feel the pressure of tears build up, I tell myself that if I can just get through the next week of appointments and find out what the next steps will be, then I can let go. And I will... it's inevitable.

A few years ago my mom and I attended a Women of Faith conference and one of the speakers said something pretty powerful that we both repeat often... "To get over something, you have to go through it. Not over it. Not under it. Not around it. But THROUGH it." Until you let yourself actually GO THROUGH the sadness, anxiety or whatever else you may be dealing with, you won't be able to move on from it. Because I firmly believe this concept to be true, I know that I will go through it. But not just yet. Right now I see myself as kind of hovering above the situation, keeping all the ducks in a line and everything moving along - keeping a clear head so the best decisions can be made. But I know soon I'm going to have to "go through" it. But first I need a clear picture of what exactly we are going through (surgery? how many? what kind?). And today's doctor's appointment with the pediatric neurosurgeon will begin to bring that into focus.

Next up on Thursday is the Pediatric Craniofacial Surgeon. And then, TBD. But you know I'll let you all know... : )

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Favorite Mommyhood Moments

For all the stresses mommyhood brings, there are a million and one little moments that make everything worth it. As D moves through each week, I am reminded of all the amazing moments I had as a first-time mama with Miss Paige. And reliving them again through this little man is double the joy. How many of your favorite moments in life do you actually get to relive? All life's best milestones - high school graduation, college, getting engaged, your wedding day - are over in a flash. You wish you could relive the excitement that those times in your life brought, but it's kind of impossible, except for the memories. But one of the many gifts of mommyhood is that you DO get to relive the tiny miracles each day brings as your second baby grows - almost appreciating them even more than the first time around, if that is possible. You recognize their relevance this time, vs. the first time where you were just praying to make it through the day without giving your baby yet ANOTHER reason he will need therapy later in life : ) So here is my list of the tiny moments I am reliving - and hope to remember forever:

  • The first time you realize your baby is watching you from across the room. When his eyesight finally matures to a point that he can see past 8-12 inches and his whole world opens up - and the only thing he wants to look at is you... his mama : )
  • The first smile, of course. But even more exciting - the first time YOU make your baby smile and coo. When you figure out where they are ticklish, where they like to be kissed, what funny faces they find amusing vs. terrifying.
  • Transitioning out of his first set of clothes into a larger size. Heck - even transitioning to the next size diaper is exciting. It means he's growing. No longer a newborn, but an infant who has new needs and wants. It's just the beginning of the amazing growth that happens the first year.
  • The first time your baby reaches for something. Either on his play gym, a mobile or a toy his big sister is dangling dangerously close to his face - your baby just turned from a little blob into a moving and grooving little man. Soon he'll move from swatting at a toy to grabbing it in his fists, and then pulling at it, eating it and one day soon, throwing it across the room.

Being a mama really is the most rewarding job in the world. You put in hard work, a ton of effort and love, and you see the results tri-fold. To think just a few weeks ago, you were still dreaming about what they would look like and who they would be, and most importantly, when they would finally make their arrival. And now they are here - being their amazing little selves and leaving joy and awe in their wake. Cheers to being a mama!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Do You Sleep Train Your Babies?

Do you sleep train your babies? I do. And I'll tell you why I do... to keep from going totally, bat-poop crazy. Seriously. I don't know how moms who don't sleep train their babies stay human. So what is sleep training, you ask? Just the most AMAZING resource available to new moms : ) Here are the details, and how I adapt them to fit my lifestyle and my babies...
First off, you need to get a hold of a copy of the book "On Becoming Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckman. Then, read it with an open mind. Obviously the authors believe strongly in sleep training since they wrote a book about it. So they are definitely bringing a bias to the table when they discuss Parent Directed Feeding vs. Feeding on Demand or Clock Directed Feeding. But if you know that and expect that before you start reading, it will make you less likely to throw the book out the window after the first few chapters. Also, I found you don't need to follow it EXACTLY by the book for it to work - so just take the principles and make them work for you and your individual baby. OK... done with the disclaimers : ) Now on to the good stuff!

The basis of the Baby Wise method is to put your baby on a regular, predictable feeding schedule, which will in turn put your baby on a regular, predictable sleeping schedule. The authors call this "Parent Directed Feeding" - basically, the parents dictate when the baby will eat as opposed to something like on-demand feeding, where the baby eats whenever he is hungry. I know, I know... it sounds harsh. But it's really not. I promise. With Baby Wise/Parent Directed Feeding, your baby will eat every 2-3 hours, which is pretty much what they do anyway, right? But here is the major difference - instead of letting your baby fall asleep right after eating, you make them stay awake for "Awake Time" or "Play Time". Then, after about 30 -45 minutes or so of Awake Time, you put your baby in his/her crib to fall asleep on their own. Let them sleep until it's time to feed again, which usually will be between 1 to 1.5 hours of sleep depending on if you are following a 2 or a 3 hour schedule. And then do it again. Eat, Play, Sleep. Eat, Play, Sleep. Every 2-3 hours for the entire day. Then, when it's time for the baby to go to bed for the night, you skip the "Play" portion and let them eat, then fall asleep. Any time they wake up during the night, just feed them and put them back to sleep. Easy peezy, right? : )

So I know what you are thinking... because I had the same thoughts/questions after I read the book : ) Here are the questions I had, and what I found to be true after going through it with Miss Paige, and now Deacon.
* How do you keep your baby awake after feeding for the "Awake/Play Time" and what does that really entail? The truth in how I keep Deacon awake after eating? By any means necessary. I sing loudly. I dance around with him. I do raspberries on his belly, neck and cheeks. I lay him down on his play mat and let Paige beat on her drum or shake her tambourine next to him. Sometimes I even whip out an ice cube to rub on his feet - that really makes him mad! But it wakes him up. The key is to break the association between eating and sleeping. Otherwise, the baby uses the breast or bottle as a "prop" to fall asleep instead of figuring out a way to fall asleep on their own. Once the baby is awake, "Awake time" can take on any form - reading to the baby, walking around, sitting him in a bouncy chair or swing (as long as it doesn't lull him to sleep), etc. Basically anything besides sleeping. After a few days, the baby doesn't fall asleep after eating and you can spend less time trying to keep him awake, and more time having fun!
* Do you really put your baby down while he/she is still awake? Isn't that ferberization? And aren't they too young for that? So, I guess it is a bit like ferberization or "letting the baby cry it out". And the first few days are emotionally taxing - trust me. Hearing your baby cry is horrible. But - when you hear them fall asleep on their own after less than 5 minutes of crying, and then faster and faster as each day passes - it makes it all worth while. After about a week, they don't even cry when you put them down. Or if they do, you know it's just that they have to let out a little energy before they can settle into sleep. Because they are tired and WANT to sleep after getting a full belly, and then playing for 30 minutes or so, it makes everything a lot easier. The authors of Baby Wise say that napping well is an "acquired" skill - that babies have to learn how to take restful, real naps and not just little "snoozes"  or cat naps throughout the day.
* How does this lead to sleeping through the night? To be 100% honest, I'm not really sure. Nice, right? But within the first few weeks, you'll see a gradual progression from 2-3, to 4, to 5, to 6 hour stretches between feedings at night, and finally a full night's sleep for your baby, usually between 8-10 weeks of age. 2-3 hour intervals of Eat, Play, Sleep will remain constant during the day for a good while. It's important they get all their calories during the day so that they won't be hungry at night.
* Do you wake your baby up from a nap in order to stay on the 2-3 hour Eat, Play, Sleep intervals? Yup! At first you will have to do this a few times a day if your baby is a real sleepyhead. But after 3 or 4 days, your baby will begin to wake up exactly when it's time for him/her to eat again. Pretty much like clockwork. With this method, you are basically training your baby's biological clock to know when to eat and when to sleep.
* What if your baby wakes up early and is starving?! Can I feed him? Of course! This part really had me stressed out, because I couldn't see denying my children food if they were hungry. I was already making them cry themselves to sleep... Child Protective Services would be beating down my door if I denied them food too. So with this, I say use your best judgement. You know when your baby is having a growth spurt and needs to eat more often or is hungry and can't wait until the 2-3 hour mark. And during those times, I went ahead and fed my baby. And then I would just adjust the Eat, Play, Sleep interval to start again after she was done with that feeding. It doesn't mess anything up too bad, and it's important to use your best judgement - not just the clock - to determine when to feed your baby. Say that happens once a day or so... you'll soon figure out when your baby needs to eat more and adjust that Eat, Play, Sleep interval accordingly. It might not make 100% sense right now, but trust me that when you are in the thick of it, it will totally make sense and you'll see everything adjust in a normal way.
* Won't my baby naturally do this on his/her own after a while? Eventually, I'd imagine any child would put themselves on a schedule. But this just kind of speeds up the process and lets you (the parent) be in charge of making it happen. I think of it as being on the offense vs. the defense when it comes to parenting. I'm not constantly reacting - I can actually plan a little bit. I did it with Paige and it was great. With Deacon, I waited a few weeks to start. Not because I didn't believe in the process, but because I was so scattered between dealing with the two kids, that I wasn't really paying attention to time at all. And I was paying the price - feeling disorganized, exhausted and completely crazy. I didn't know when Deacon was going to nap and when I was going to get things done - and so nothing got done. Now I know that I'll have about an hour to get things done every few hours because he is on a predictable nap schedule. It also gives me time to spend alone with Miss Paige. I know that at certain times of the day, Deacon will be sleeping so Paige and I can spend quality time together reading books and playing. It's a win-win : )
* Does the Eat, Play, Sleep interval system go on FOREVER? Not exactly as it is in the beginning, but the concept can go on for as long as you want it to. After a few months, the intervals will organically stretch to about 4 hours. For Miss Paige, we extended the Play Time to about an hour - hour and a half after she would eat. Then, she'd nap for about an hour - hour and a half. Then it would be time to eat again. If you think about it, it makes sense: wake up at 7 a.m. and eat (breakfast). Play from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.. Then nap from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. And then eat at 11:00 (lunch). Play from 11:30 - 1:00 p.m. Nap from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Then eat again (snack). Play from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. And then this is where we mix up the intervals to work better for us - Instead of napping at 4:30 p.m., we would keep Paige up and eat again at 5:00 p.m. (dinner), then use the "Play time" for a bath and reading books (5:45 - 6:00 p.m.) and then put her down for the night. She's been on this same schedule since about 4 months old. She's now almost 20 months, and it still works. Pretty neat, right? Of course some days it varies because I don't wake her up from her naps, or we have to run errands and stuff. But in general, I still follow the Baby Wise method with Paige as a toddler.
For me, The Baby Wise method of sleep training totally makes sense. But I know that to others, this probably sounds absolutely foolish. So like I said earlier, it's important to go in with an open mind and then take bits and pieces of the concept to make it work for you and your baby.
Oh, one more piece of advice if you are going to go down this road: Wait to start until you have a week with very few visitors, no guests, and limited plans. Why? Well as far as guests and visitors, you don't want to have to explain yourself. For this to work, you really have to stay focused and determined to see it through. The last thing you'll need is someone making you feel bad for letting your baby cry or trying to feed them and then rocking them to sleep despite your protests for "Awake Time" : ) And def try to stay close to home the first week or two so you can stick to the schedule without distraction.
Good luck!