Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nap Extension

Sometimes when Henry is sleeping I sneak into his room right around 45 minutes into his nap, when is very apt to wake up, and then I start soothing him before he wakes up so that he'll sleep right into his next sleep cycle.  It's the nap extension.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Babies Are Time Consuming!!

Hey!  Not that anyone is even reading this just yet, or ever will for that matter, as far as I know, but sorry for the huge delay between posts.  I am finding myself finally having a moment where 1.  Henry is asleep.  2.  He's asleep in his crib, which is a new development, and 3.  Jon is away at trivia so he's not here to look over my shoulder all the time

So let's talk about napping, shall we?  Henry has always been a pretty good sleeper.  Before he arrived, we read The Happiest Baby on the Block, which was great, and did a lot of reading about what babies need.  I was ready to give the baby whatever he wanted (our little dictator) so that he could get the nutrition and sleep that he needed.  This meant that for about 100% of his daytime naps, he was on one of us.  If he was in his Boba Wrap, that meant that I could get up and do things, but if he wasn't, that meant that we were stationary, usually on the couch, until further notice.  A couple of weeks before I had to go back to work (part-time, very restricted hours), we decided that it was time to try to get him to nap in his crib so that our babysitter wouldn't have to hold him during all of his naps (she is 20+ weeks pregnant herself, and that just didn't seem fair to her).  It started with me putting him down while he was already asleep, with his noise machine and the flannel blanket that he slept on at night in our bed.

The first nap was 10 minutes long.  Ugh.  But gradually, the times got longer and longer, until we were at about 20 minutes.  Then, there were some breakthroughs!

1.  I started re-reading Happiest Baby.  I remembered the whole swaddling thing.  We had tried it a lot, but he always managed to get himself out of it.  We had a Miracle Blanket, but had stopped using it because he was too small for it.  But NOW he was a great size and it works wonderfully!  It makes swaddling a lot easier; I always had a hard time with the large square blankets.  So we started swaddling him for naps and got him up to 45 minutes.

2.  I swapped out his noise machine for a radio on a static station turned up loudly.  His sound machine just wasn't loud enough to actually soothe him.  We learned in Happiest Baby on the Block that the white noise needed to soothe a baby needs to be as loud as it was in the womb, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner.

3.  I perfected my version of the jiggle.  Happiest Baby says that babies are soothed by being jiggled about (like jello) as they were when we were moving all about while pregnant.  The head movements should be less than an inch in either direction and very quick.  Dr. Karp has a technique, but I was never able to master it.  What I do is jiggle jim while I am rocking him, or while he lying down in his crib I put my hand on his chest and gently shake him side to side.  It works like a charm!

Now, naps vary in length from 45 minutes long to an hour and a half.  And when he wakes up, he doesn't immediately start screaming, but instead is calm.  And we're both very happy about it.

Speaking of that, since he doesn't wake up crying from his nap, I have to go check on him every now and again to see when he's awake.  Gotta go!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Adventures in Cooking

My family is a vegan family, and after I gave birth, it was time to re-commit to the vegan diet.  While I was pregnant, it went a little by the wayside because of my cravings and also how I was supposed to eat so much protein.  It is totally possible to eat tons of protein on a vegan diet but it takes a bit of effort, planning, and cooking.  My energy did not always extend into cooking while pregnant and my husband doesn't cook, so convenience was king.

That is neither here nor there, so what I'm trying to say is that this week, since we are fully recommitted, I wanted to try out some recipes we've never had before.  I have several cookbooks and every week I try to get all my dinners out of one so I can explore them better and not just stick with my old favorites.  Pair that with the fact that I'm nursing an 8 week old baby, and it's even more motivation to expand my palate (no picky eaters in the future hopefully).

This week's dinners come out of The Veganomicon by Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz!  Here's what I'm cooking:

Monday: Grilled Yuca Tortillas. Served with guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips.

Tuesday: Spinach Linguine with Pesto and Artichokes.  Served with homemade potato rolls and salad.

Wednesday: Potato and Kale Enchiladas

Thursday:  Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup.  Served with homemade bread and salad.

That's all I usually plan.  Friday I'll cook or we'll get takeout--depends on the munchkin.  We already ate the yuca tortillas!  They were super tasty, with yellow bell pepper, corn, mushrooms, and garlic added in, along with lime juice.  I left out the jalepeno it called for though, husband isn't a big fan of spicy.  Anyway, what does your menu planning for the week consist of?  What are you cooking?