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What’s New: Goodbye Nap, Hello Caterpillar

Today, our favorite baby boy is three months old and he gets more and more delicious with each passing day. He’s still a big sleeper, and I’m starting to think he may always be, but when he’s awake he is so very active. He’s not big on hanging out on his back under his lovely (and expensive) toy hanger, but this week I took out the few, simple baby toys we have. I noticed that he seemed to be reaching toward things deliberately sometimes, so when we’re lounging around during his alert time, I’ve started holding a little black and white rattle within his reach and between gurgles, coos, and giant smiles, he bats at it and seems satisfied to hear its ring.  One day soon, I suspect he’ll reach for it and take it in his hand in his first step toward conquering the world.

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He also got his first mosquito bite this week, right in the middle of his forehead.

He remains quite particular about where he is and what he’s doing when awake and, just yesterday, began making a noise that I can only describe as a deafening squawk when someone dare hold him in a position he doesn’t like. I’m disappointed to say that he doesn’t seem to enjoy being “worn” unless he’s a) nursing, b) asleep, or c) being put to sleep. Of course these three activities take up most of his day, so he logs many an hour in the ergo, a ring sling, or a wrap, but it’s sort of a bummer for me to see that when we’re adventuring and he’s awake, he’d actually prefer being in the stroller to being snuggled up to me. Bummer, dude. I guess it’s a good thing we bought a stroller this time around.

He has been super easy to EC, as he doesn’t tolerate being wet either, so if we have a “miss,” he lets us know right away and he’s pretty obvious in his cues most of the time, too. He’s just getting big enough that I can hold him on the Little Potty sometimes instead of over the sink baby urinal, too.

Annabelle has been tons of fun this week. She’s still way into sounds. Either the daddy or I always takes her on a late night trip to the restroom before we go to sleep and often she mumbles, but she always remains in the space between waking and sleeping. One night this week, she sat on the toilet, eyes mostly closed, and said, “duck starts with d and elephant starts with e…” She loves them so much she dreams about them, I guess. It definitely seems that she’s in a sensitive period for language.

The naptime era seems suddenly to be coming to an end, so we’ve all been adjusting to that. In order to guarantee myself a bit of down time each day, I’ve started a new routine. We go upstairs after lunch as we always have and I still dim the lights and turn on relaxing music, but I also offer Annabelle a basket of books and an animal companion to keep her company. I picked up a 30 minute hourglass, which I turn over as I leave the room so that Annabelle can have “quiet time.” When the sand has all fallen to the bottom of the glass, Annabelle comes downstairs to get going with her afternoon, but I’m hoping that if she’s ever particularly tired she’ll fall asleep. 30 minutes is not the same as the 1.5-3 hours I used to get, and the content on this blog is one thing that has suffered as a result, but that’s okay. I’m working on squeezing writing time in elsewhere and enjoying the opportunity to spend more time with my girl in the afternoons.

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Open studio for toddlers is the best idea ever.

As much as life is still a bit crazy, I think we’ve fully settled into a new normal that involves getting out and enjoying some of the great things our community has to offer as well as hanging out at home making messes in the kitchen. It feels surprisingly balanced, which is something that seemed impossible several weeks ago. I no longer feel like I’m constantly doggie paddling to keep my head above water, and I’ve even started to make some serious forward motion with a project I’m really excited about (and I think you will be, too!). The daddy’s dad was here for a visit this week, and my sister(!!!!) arrives tomorrow along with my favorite niece, but starting next week we’ll be on our own for the foreseeable future. I’m looking forward to enjoying that settled feeling until things change yet again, as they always do.

How’s life in your house? I really would love to hear the latest either in a quick comment or a post of your own. Linky is after the rest of the week’s photos!

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Our fabulously cheesy and much beloved centerpiece. Leaves collected on walks in the neighborhood and squash hand selected by Annabelle at the farmer’s market.

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Admiring a new friend.

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Here, Annabelle was showing me her angry face.

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15 Responses to What’s New: Goodbye Nap, Hello Caterpillar

  • Amy @ You Shall Go Out with Joy says:

    I love that first picture! Those first steps into exploring the world around them are so neat, aren’t they? Reaching out for things and the first time Gus actually stayed awake on a walk outside were not milestones I knew to look out for ahead of time, but they were so exciting when they happened. I’m sure you’ll love watching Eliot branch out!

    And good luck with no nap! That’s a bit of a fear of mine, but it sounds like you guys are getting along swimmingly with it :)

    • melissa says:

      It’s true that we don’t really think of those as milestones to watch for, but it’s so stinkin’ cool to watch those little firsts arrive! I’m sure you’ll handle no nap beautifully when you’re time comes … but I’ll cross my fingers that it’s not for a couple of years ;)

  • teresa says:

    That first picture is hilarious! He’s not a newborn anymore, is he? It’s so quick, that part.
    I am so fascinated by EC. I wonder if I could have done it. I’m curious to read more about it.
    And I love what you’re doing with A. for nap time. Em gave up naps very (very)early… and then this year in Kindy, they have mid-day quiet time that sounds almost exactly like what you described. They have a story read to them and then they lie on their cots and get to look at books. Turns out Em sleeps almost every single day! 30 minutes. She just pulls up her cover and sleeps.
    I really felt like, oops, I missed that one. I wish I’d been doing just what you’re doing for and with Annabelle. It’s just a great habit and always good to have quiet time. To learn how. For Em, I’m so glad she knows now that she can fall asleep by herself on her own terms and just for herself.
    Enjoy your time with your sister!! That’s special.

    • melissa says:

      Oh, the newborn stage is way too quick!
      I have absolutely no doubt that you could have done EC. Knowing you, I suspect that you followed some aspects, even if later in potty training. You know your girl so well.
      It’s funny how sleep needs and our willingness to succumb to sleep change through the years. It could be that even if you had done quiet time, M wouldn’t have slept anyhow, until now. How great that she’s self aware enough to relax and embrace the opportunity to get some needed rest!

  • I love reading these posts. It always amazes me how similar our girls are – mostly because they are similar ages and going through similar cognitive and motor developments, I guess, but it is just fascinating. My kid is also just about dropping naps and she loves words. The other day she read her first word. You could have knocked me down with a feather. In a context she could not have guessed what was written (no picture, not a book) she said ‘F-O-X fox’ – uh, what?! It was a one off, of course, since then she has told me dog starts with an ‘O’, so yeah, it is a work in progress but certainly something she is really focussing on, at the mo. That and climbing. She is obsessed with climbing and other dare-devil stunts. She impresses me with her perseverance and courage, frankly. Viva RIE :)

    I am impressed with your EC’ing, too. We diapered till 18months and then did the ’3 day’ thing – which turned out to be more the 3 month thing (hahah).

    Oh and totally get the less naps means less blogging/photography/fb page maintenance, alas…

    Thanks for the upbeat inspiration, as ever!!

    • melissa says:

      Oh, my goodness! You must have been shocked, and so darn proud of your girl! It is AMAZING to see what they soak up without us even realizing it.

      It really does sound like our two are similar, and I’m sure the age and stage is a big part of that, but I do think they’d get along swimmingly if they could meet in person!

  • Amy says:

    Like Teresa said, I’m interested in reading about your EC expereince with the second child. I’m considering trying it next time. I’m currently reading Early-Start Potty Training, and I really like it.

    I’m also excited about finding out about your project!

    • melissa says:

      I have been thinking about writing an EC post and wasn’t sure anyone reading these days would really find value in it. It sounds like I ought to go ahead and do it! I haven’t read Early-Start Potty Training. I’ll have to take a look! :)

  • So sorry to hear that you’ve experienced a sudden end to naps, but it sounds like you’re making the very best of it (and quiet time sounds lovely!). I’m not particularly looking forward to that day here, as I still often need to take a nap in the middle of the day, too.

    (Like others have said) I’ve also been interested to follow along with E’s EC journey, and hearing about the differences and progress. Daniel is making huge strides with potty lately (which I should write about!) so I can relate to the nighttime sleepy pottying, too.

    I can understand why you’d be sad that he doesn’t enjoy being worn…that has been such a huge part of my experience of parenting Daniel that I would be sad if a future child didn’t prefer it at least some of the time.

    • melissa says:

      Mama naps are super important, too! I’m glad you’re getting yours :) I usually need a bit of time to reset more than anything, so I can go calmly and patiently into the afternoon, at least somewhat. The 30 minutes has been so helpful for that!

      I’m hoping that when he’s big enough to really look around and see things while being worn, Elliot will enjoy it more, but he may just be a guy who needs his space. We’ll have to see! Annabelle is always glad to switch with him and ride in the ergo in his stead anyhow ;)

  • Naps here with the preschoolers seem to disappear for good around three and a half. I haven’t thought about using a hour glass which sounds great just to encourage rest time. I am required by law to offer rest time based on the hours the child is in my care. However I have had to really stop looking forward to a true sit down and rest time for a “break” since the summer months. It is only a huge problem when they become cranky and stop focusing on activities.

    I love that seat that Eliot is sitting in! The picture of Annabelle with the caterpillar is another Hallmark photo. It is awesome to hear that you guys have found your normalcy!! Thank you for sharing.

    P.S.
    I linked up wrong :(

    • melissa says:

      It’s funny, when I was teaching I was the nap guru, and I could get almost any child to sleep during rest time, even those who people claimed were non nappers. I didn’t believe that anyone under 5 had truly “outgrown” the nap. And here now I had to throw in the towel with my own child at 2.5! Funny how much we think we know sometimes ;)
      Not getting that down time is so tough, though. I hope you’re getting your rest needs filled!

      I fixed your link :)

  • Cheryl says:

    It has been awhile since I came here last and Elliot has just grown so much! I really admire you for the whole EC thing, with the next child we plan to do that as well. As for the naps, I can totally sympathize, Csermely stopped taking naps a couple of months ago, shortly before turning 2 and I don’t really understand how she can just go and go and go. Must be her excitement for life. At the end of the day I am definitely ready for bed :)

    • melissa says:

      Oh, my, giving nap before 2 must be hard on your end, but your girl really does have a zest for life! I’m excited to know that there will be a “next child” and I look forward to perhaps hearing a bit about your EC journey when the time comes :)

  • That caterpillar picture – amazing! Lorelei still does one nap, so I am lucky, but I totally know what you mean about things shifting when routines get shaken up. I like your quiet time idea and have heard other moms of two (or more) who rely on those little hourglasses to give them a moment of peace and quiet every day!

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