April 2, 2010
Not much to report here, except to say that the white noise of a fan isn't working. I guess it was a coincidence that Anastasia slept in for a few days in a row. She now has a sleep specialist appointment at the end of this month. In the meantime, we are preparing for Easter! He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
This morning, Anastasia dyed eggs while Zane fussed in his playpen. Initially, he was watching us, but he couldn't keep his hands off the eggs. In fact, he grabbed one and went laughing and running through the house with it. Poor little guy. Next year he can dye some, too.
Zane loves to wear this toy stethoscope all day long. He's also really interested on ride on toys now. Here he is (right) laughing at himself for wearing his sister's hat, too.
April 11, 2010
* Today, the Miss spent the day a few hours away at her grandma's house, playing with her cousins. At breakfast, she told me: "I think I will stay for only three months." I replied, "Oh, but Mommy will miss you so much!" She replied: "I will write to you."
* Overheard prayer: "Please, God. Help Mommy to know I really want a microscope, even though I'm too young."
* On Easter weekend, we visited my in laws, who have a tropical bird with a tremendously loud squawk. As Zane sat in the high chair eating, I talked with the family. Suddenly we realized Zane was talking to the bird. He was mimicking that bird's awful squawk perfectly. Zane would "speak," then the bird would speak. Zane would squawk again. The bird would squawk again. The bird actually got really excited over all this. I tried to catch it on video, but every time I got out my camera, Zane stopped. (He's becoming camera shy.)
One of my nephews, upon hearing this story, said, "Zane's like Dr. Doolittle! He squeaks and squawks and talks with the animals!"
Later that evening, my mom-in-law made a seagull noise for Anastasia. Zane's head whipped around and he stared at her. Perhaps he was thinking, "You speak bird, too?"
On Easter, Zane was thrilled to have a plastic egg to open and shut. He could have cared less about the candy inside.
* Also on Easter weekend, my sis-in-law's eldest son asked if Anastasia was ready for the Easter Bunny. The Miss turned to me and said, "Mommy, why is he talking about the Easter Bunny when the Easter Bunny isn't real?"
I explained that her cousin was trying to be kind by saying the Bunny was real, just in case Anastasia didn't know he was pretend. She turned to her cousin and said haughtily, "Anthony. I know."
* Sometimes Anastasia astonishes me with her spiritual insight. Around Easter time she said: "Mommy, I think Satan doesn't want us to love God. I think Satan wants to be God." We've not taught her that, but it sure shows a great understanding!
Great grandma brought over these silly glasses for the kids.
April 17, 2010
Yesterday, Anastasia saw the neurologist/sleep specialist. I really liked him. He spent nearly an hour with us, and was so patient and kind with Anastasia. Every time she'd interrupt, he'd stop what he was doing and listen to her and make a reply.
He began the exam by taking a history of the Miss' symptoms. He concluded she didn't need a sleep study (where the patient spends the night in the facility and gets hooked up to a computer to look for things like sleep apnea). This was a relief; I can't imagine getting Anastasia to sleep in a new place.
He then proceeded to say: "When children are tired, parents tend to put their kids to bed earlier. But that messes with the child's internal sleep clock. The child lays in bed, starts fantasizing, gets their brain in high gear, and then they fall asleep later than they should." I had to admit that sounded a lot like the Miss.
We have tried to putting Anastasia to bed later, but we've never done that for more than a few days. That, the doc says, was another mistake.
So the plan is to put the Miss to bed an hour later than usual for at least three weeks. If, after a half hour, she's not asleep, I can give her Melatonin. On more difficult nights, I can give her something called Rozerem. This, the doc says, was developed from a molecule in Melatonin, but while Melatonin puts you to sleep and keeps you there, Rozerem only "knocks you out." It gets you to sleep and wears off very quickly. He says there are no real side effects to this medication.
After about a month, we'll see how things are going. He thinks Anastasia will be well rested. In fact, he told me several success stories. In one, a seven year old girl with ADHD was going to bed at about 8:30 PM each night. but not falling asleep until about 1 AM. So the doc had the girl's mom put her to bed at 1 AM each night for three weeks. After that, they gradually pushed back her bedtime in 15 minute increments, until they discovered her "ideal" bedtime (which was about 9:30 PM). Basically, they reset her internal clock.
I feel really encouraged. The doctor has a lot of experience with children (and it's tough to find sleep specialists who deal with kids). Today, Anastasia is more refreshed than I've seen her in a while. She woke up an hour later than usual, and might have slept longer if I hadn't accidentally made a bunch of pots crash in the kitchen. It's true we were very busy yesterday, so that might account for her sleepiness. On the other hand, typically she won't sleep in, even when she's really exhausted.
A few other notes:
* Zane is pretty subdued when we shop. He likes to look around, but he's sober about it. But the other day, I took him into the toy section of a big box store. He remained subdued until I walked down the aisle with the toy trucks. Then he began squealing and waving (with both hands) at all the toys. He also squeals and waves at big rigs when we're on the highway.
* If you ask Zane, "How big is Zane?" and then reply, "So big!" he always raises his arms high in the air. But yesterday, he actually said "So bi-!" by himself. In fact, he was so delighted with all the attention that got him, he said it about thirty times in a row - sometimes getting stuck on the "Sooooooooooooooooo!"
* It seems I've always got Zane's socks, shoes, and jacket on long before Anastasia is ready to head out the door. Zane hates this and cries and complains at the Miss. (I tell him to "get used to it.") The other day, my hubby scooped Zane up while he complained and said, "Are you ready to go?" And Zane said "Ready!" Several times.
* Miss A.: "I think [the sleep doctor] likes me. I think he likes 4 year olds."
* Grandma, upon hearing Miss A. and one of her cousins arguing in another room: "Is someone in here being bossy?"
Miss A.: "Nobody....Except me."
April 24, 2010
After about a week of following the neurologist's sleep recommendations, we think we see some improvement. It's true that sometimes Anastasia still wakes up at night, and it's true that she still sometimes seems really sleepy, but we've also found her behavior sooooo much better. She's only had one meltdown/temper tantrum this week, and the rest of the time has been really well behaved. She also goes to bed much more willingly; we never have to send her back to bed multiple times.
The little wrist device she wore for almost a week is now in the doc's hands. I should hear back from him next week some time to see if it reveals Miss A. is a restless sleeper.
It's hard to get good photos of Miss A. these days. Mostly we get images like this (her Jay Leno impression).
Left: One of Anastasia's poor, long-suffering cousins giving her a horsey ride. Right: Being silly at the dinner table.
Left: We often laugh because Zane is such an enthusiastic eater...and his sister is not. Right: Zane's typical expression when he spots a new gadget in action.
Lovin' the sunny weather.
Learning to love books.
April 26, 2010
Last night was my craziest night ever as a mom. First, I had terrible insomnia. Then Anastasia woke up with a nightmare and couldn't get back to sleep. She was awake for about 4 hours, and because I was unsure whether I could give her Rozerem (the prescription drug the neurologist gave us) on top of the Melatonin I gave her at bedtime, I could do little to help her get back to sleep. Then Zane woke up twice. I think I got about 3 hours sleep. Not nearly enough for me.
The worst part was I had to wake the kids up in the morning, because Zane had a pediatrician check up. The good news is that although Zane was clingy and terribly shy for his checkup, the appointment went smoothly. He didn't cry - he just pressed himself against me and took little ragged breaths when he was afraid. He is still in the 95th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for his height. He weighs 31 lbs. and is 34 inches tall.
This weekend was beautiful, so we spent almost all of it outdoors. We got the swing set back up (we'd taken it down to trim a tree in our yard) and filled the sandbox with fresh sand. Anastasia was jumping and squeaking all over the place. In fact, she said "I'm squeaking for joy!"
She also helped her daddy split wood with the wood splitter. He wasn't going to let her help, but she was in tears because she really wanted to be his helper. She ended up doing a fantastic job, and was so proud afterward. I also tried to teach her a little bit about weeding. She was more interested in the bugs she found in the soil, but twice she shouted - at the top of her lungs, of course - "Look, Mommy! Here's some weed!"
Zane is suddenly all about playing outside. He discovered the toy wagon, and seemed to fall in love with the toy shovel. When we finally had to take him indoors, he screamed and kicked in protest. On Sunday night, I plopped the kids into the tub, and the water turned instantly brown :) Then Anastasia prayed: "Dear God, why do we have toe nails?"
Later, Zane made little tickling motions around my neck and said, "Ickle, ickle, ickle!"
How I love those little people!
April 20, 2010
We are now two weeks into the sleep specialist's regimen for Anastasia and I think she's grown used to her new bedtime (which is an hour later than usual). So used to it, she's now not quite as cooperative at bedtime, is waking repeatedly at night, and often seems tired during the day. She's also gotten into the habit of listening to her CD player as she falls asleep. The good news remains, however, that she's much better behaved.
By the way, the one night I used Rozerem with last week, she fell asleep quickly, but was up repeatedly through the night. We'll see how things pan out in another week.
In other news, Zane is suddenly quite the big boy. Almost to the day of turning 18 months, he began showing great interest in books - especially those with photographs of vehicles or heavy equipment. I think we've read My Big Truck Book about a gazillion times now.
Zane's fun to watch as we read. He studies each picture carefully, often drooling or sucking his thumb (two signs he's concentrating hard). If you ask which picture is his favorite, he'll often point, and about 85% of the time if you ask him to point to a certain type of machine (a backhoe, a front end loader, etc.), he points to the correct picture.
Zane is also suddenly comfortable playing outside - to the point of throwing a small temper tantrum if it's time to come in. And today at library story time, for the first time he got off my lap and really played.
He also suddenly seems to realize Miss A's body isn't quite like his. Anastasia has an immodest way of running around the house naked. (She thinks it's quite hysterical.) A few days ago, as she did this, Zane looked at her, pointed, laughed - and then tried to touch.
Miss A: "Mommy, I'm parting my bones!" (It took me a minute to realize she meant she was stretching out her rib cage.)
Miss A: "How do you take baths in heaven? How does God wash up? ...Maybe God just bathes us in his love."