Royally late with this one, I know! Life with two is just ridiculously busy and full. Now that Lil Miss Wagon’s been sleeping through the night for a few weeks, I’m not as exhausted, but that’s because every night we’re rushing rushing rushing to get to bed by 10:30pm! By the time we’ve finished with bedtimes, eating our own dinners, packing lunches for the next day, washing dishes, bottles and pump parts, there’s barely time to relax for half an hour before it’s time to head to bed. Life is hectic, but so very full and rewarding.


Lil Miss Wagon

LMW’s personality comes out more and more each day. She loves to laugh and when she does, she laughs with her whole body. Her whole face scrunches up, her mouth opens with a wide smile and she wiggles her chubby body back and forth. Playing with her is just too much fun. She’s definitely mastered head control so she spends lots of time in her exersaucer now, and she loves to reach for and chew on toys. She’s extremely strong (she stands flat-footed in the exersaucer and jumps like crazy), and lately it’s been a struggle to keep her injury-free. When she’s tired, she pulls her hair and scratches her right ear, and draws blood. She’s also put a few good scratches on her cheeks and nose.

Eating

As you can see, LMW is still a very good eater. She drinks an average of around 25 oz a day in about 6 feedings, and I pump 33 oz a day in 4 sessions each day, so I freeze about a bag a day and I’m up to 90 bags in my freezer stash now! I just bought a pack of 100 freezer bags so I’m hoping to reach just under 200 bags before I retire the pump and I’m done with making milk once and for all. We’re going to start solids later this month when she’s almost 6 months old, and I think she’s going to love them. When I’m eating in front of her, she watches me intently and starts smacking her lips. So either she wants solids, or she’s plotting how she’s going to eventually eat her mother.

Sleeping

At the 5 month point, LMW was sleeping through the night consistently for about 2 weeks! The key word here though is “was.” She has gotten up for 1-2 night feedings almost every night since then, but we are chalking it up to a growth spurt because 1) she’s pooping much less (only going once every 3-4 days) and 2) when she’s up at night and won’t go back to sleep, she drinks an entire 6.5 oz bottle. So obviously the girl is hungry. We have been very relaxed about her sleeping and scheduling, and we never sleep trained (she just started sleeping these long stretches on her own), so we’re not fretting a whole lot. It is a leetle bit heartbreaking going from STTN to 1-2 night feedings again, but fingers crossed that it’s just a little regression and she’ll be back to 12 solid hours straight again soon.

At the 5 month mark she was napping in a sleep sack and sleeping at night in a Woombie, but we’ve since moved to the sleep sack full time so we’re just about ready to retire the Woombie! We figured, if she’s waking up for feedings anyway, we may as well swaddle wean at this point.

Her naps are still about the same as the 4 month mark: either 2 big naps (2-3 hours each) or one big nap (1.5-3 hrs) and two short naps (30-45 mins each). We’re finding that stretching her awake times actually helps her sleep longer stretches, which is the opposite of what Wagon Jr. was like as a baby. Here’s her schedule on a typical day:

6:30am – wake up, play, 5 oz bottle
9:00am – 1st nap (2 hrs), 6.5 oz bottle
1:00pm – 2nd nap (40 min), 6.5 oz bottle
4:30pm – 3rd nap (30 min), 6.5 oz bottle
6:00pm – bath and 6.5 oz bedtime bottle
6:30pm – bedtime

We usually let her drink a bottle when it’s naptime and that gets her drowsy, and usually she’ll fall asleep drinking. We’ll burp her, which will wake her a bit, then hold and rock her for just a minute or two before putting her down. Most of the time she’s pretty asleep by then. We should probably try to nap train her to get her to fall asleep on her own before the nanny starts in January (since there will be another baby to put down for naps as well!) but since she’s actually been able to fall asleep on her own a few times, we’re (again) being pretty relaxed about the whole training thing this time around. If she’s not falling asleep on her own by the first week of January I’ll probably do a nap training bootcamp a few days before the nanny starts.

LMW has not been able to suck her fingers or a pacifier to soothe herself. It looks like her self-soothing techniques are all self-hurting: tugging at her hair, scratching her right ear, and rocking her head violently from side to side. So sad. But she’s taken to a lovey (an Angel Dear dalmation blankie) already! She pulls it to her face, rubs it against her cheek and ear, chews its face (we call it “making out with the banky”) and sometimes even pulls it over her face and falls asleep with her face covered. Anything in the crib is a SIDS risk, but we think she’s strong and old enough now to be able to pull her face away if she’s having trouble breathing, plus the Angel Dear blankies are thin enough to be able to draw a breath through. If I see the plush animal part close to her face I’ll go in and move it.

She also likes to scratch things — the couch, her Boppy, the skin on my neck, my cheeks… whatever she can get her sharp little fingernails on. And I’m not talking one quick swipe– I’m talking the slow, deliberate scritch-scratch of a cat and its scratching post. We’ll be driving somewhere in the car and we’ll hear her scritch-scratching away at the side of her carseat in the back. So funny.

Wagon Jr.

So this little man is definitely a kid now. We are definitely seeing that the Terrible Threes are just as bad (if not worse) as the Terrible Twos, but overall he is a very good and bright kid who responds to structure and discipline very well. Time Outs have always worked well for him, and now just the threat of a TO will snap him into behaving. We only have one or two TOs a week, and if we’re stuck inside all day during the weekend, we’ll have a few per day. He actually knocked over his cousin’s toys then RAN to his TO spot (the bottom step of the stairs) and sat there with his hands on his knees and his head bowed. That was really cute. I’ve also started saying “Mommy’s going to count to three… one, two…” and he actually starts obeying me by three!

He’s been showing a few more signs of jealousy (asking to be held “like a baby, I’m a baby” when he’s sad) but he treats his baby sister very well, always sharing his toys with her and wanting to be with her. When she’s napping, he constantly asks where she is and wants to go into her room to be with her. I really hope that continues!

Eating

WJ is definitely coming out of his picky phase. He’s more and more willing to try new foods, even though he immediately says “I don’t like that” when I present him with a new food. I have to convince him that he doesn’t know whether he likes it or not until he tries it. Usually I can get him to try it and usually he’ll spit it out, but the fact that he’s willing to put it in his mouth and bite down is a huge step forward. Now that he’ll eat most meats and things like rice and pretty much anything with noodles, we can move away from “kid food” (basically chicken nuggets and plain pasta) and start making and eating dinners as a family together, which I’m pretty excited about. It’s crock pot season, after all!

Sleeping

Everyone breathe a sigh of relief: WJ is napping again. After a brief stint of not napping and going into red zone meltdown mode around 5pm every single day, we worked with one of his daycare teachers to get him to nap at daycare (they placed a printout of our emailed instructions in a plastic baggie in his nap bag along with a sleep sack and a book) and he’s napped pretty much every day since then, at least an hour, sometimes up to 2 hours. He was definitely resisting naps at home on the weekends for a while, but the past 2 weekends he took naps each day. Some were really short, but hey, at this point a nap is a nap! I’ll take it. He sleeps with a blanket now, which he loves, but we do put a fleece sleep sack on him as well since he tosses and turns quite a bit. When he awakens at night, we watch him on the monitor as he lines up all his stuffed animals, pulls the blanket back over his body, adjusts it so it covers his feet, hugs his Banky, then falls back asleep. It is so sweet.

On the negative side, however, he’s been waking up crying between 4:30am and 6:00am almost every morning. We have no idea why all of a sudden he’s been having earlier wakeups, but it could have totally just been the excitement around the holidays. We’ve also been trying to tell him that only babies cry, and big boys use their words. So some mornings he wakes crying softly, but then calms down enough to say “Daddy come get me” or “I want some books” like we have asked him to say. It is so sweet to know that even first thing in the morning he can dig deep and remember what we asked him to say instead of crying. That being said, there are mornings he still freaks the heck out. The kids waking each other up has been a very delicate juggling act lately!! It definitely doesn’t help either of their sleep that we tend to rush in at the first cry for both of them now, because we’re afraid they’ll wake up the other. We use the intercom function of our video monitor to talk to WJ which is SO nice. We usually say “WJ, no crying, be a big boy and use your words please.” Once he does so, we say “Good job using your words buddy. Now lay back down and wait for Daddy to come. Daddy will be right there.”

Life is still crazy with two, but things are settling in now that we’re on a schedule and LMW’s sleep is finally stabilizing into a somewhat normal pattern. The light at the end of the tunnel is very bright and I’m pretty certain at this point we’re going to survive!