Unfortunately, we were all hit with a nasty head cold this week. Even Angelo, who usually is immune to any bug that railroads the rest of us, was feeling low and achy with a sore throat and cough. So it wasn’t the funnest week in the world, because being sick just plain sucks.
We stayed close to home, though we tried to get a bit of fresh air everyday. Check out Nico and Angelo’s Thomas snow sculpture!
Louisa had a big week nonetheless. Both she and Nico seemed to have matured and *grown* this past week. I’ll never understand why many weeks can go by without a noticeable change, and then all of a sudden a surge of development happens, but that seems to be the way things go. So here’s a rundown:
Communication: Louisa turned a corner in her communication this week. All of a sudden she put together her pointing skills, her grunting skills, and her intonation and facial expressions so that she can full-on “talk” to us. She spends a lot of her time pointing things out to us and going “ugh ugh” with her eyes bright and her mouth in an O. It’s amazing to see her so engaged to her world and to us, and we’ve made a big effort to name whatever she’s pointing at so that she can start associating the words with their likeness. I also feel like she’s getting a better grasp on the nuances of facial expressions and body language. She conveys so much more meaning now than she ever did before.
Movement: Louisa has tried to do like her brother on a couple of occasions this, which have resulted in tremendous tumbles and a few bumps and scrapes. The worst was when she tried to climb atop his wooden step stool, and she made it to the top but then fell right off, clipping her chin along the way. Ouch! Other than that she’s getting better at climbing those stairs, and I’ve taught her how to scootch back down them again. With a bit more practice, she’ll be a pro at both.
Breastfeeding / Food: Louisa still nurses pretty much on command, pretty much round the clock. She also eats lots of foods, and I’m always so struck by how easy it is to feed her. One thing to note is that we got rid of the high chair a few weeks ago and it’s been great. She now sits in Nico’s old booster seat (which has a strap) and Nico got a new “minimalist” booster that he really likes. It’s way easier for him to get off and on, and having Louisa at table level is really lovely.
Sleep: Louisa is not a sound sleeper. She wakes frequently, needs a lot of comforting, and prefers to sleep in our bed with us than alone in her room. These are facts. When we “sleep trained” Nico all those months ago, I remember thinking how awful it was, how much it took out of us to sit there in his room for 90+ minutes “shh’ing” and singing lullabies until my throat was bone dry and my arm was numb from rubbing his back through the slats of the crib. I remember thinking that I would never have evenings to myself ever again, that I felt like a hostage in my child’s bedroom, there against my will and unable to leave. I also remember thinking “I can’t ever go through this again” and consoled myself with the thought that the second child would most certainly be a better sleeper.
Ha, jokes on me. We’re back in that awful “hostage” phase, where we can’t do anything between the hours of 7 and 10pm because we’re busy putting the baby down to sleep. The location is different (our bed vs. the crib) but the scenario is basically the same.
(side note: With Nico, he was way more wiling to sleep in his crib (and actually slept much more soundly in his own bed than he ever did in ours). If Nico had Louisa’s distaste for her crib we never would have forced him in there or anything. We followed his cues and we comforted for as long as was needed for him to sleep peacefully. We used the term ‘sleep training’ veerrrrry loosely)
Anyway, I know that I can’t let my kids cry it out. I tried. With both of them, and it just wasn’t something I could do. And so I resign myself to waiting. Waiting for Louisa to learn how to sleep through the night on her own, at her own pace. In the meantime, we’ll be there for her when we’re needed, and we’ll comfort her when she asks.
In my heart and my gut I know I’m doing the right thing, that I’m laying a foundation of trust and well-being in her that will enable her to move to her bedroom with confidence and self-assurance when she’s ready.
And if experience taught me anything, it’s that this too, my dear friends, shall pass.