Once Damien was sleeping well, he gradually dropped all of his feeds on his own for the 12 hours of his night, keeping only the dreamfeed. By 4-5 months, Damien had dropped his remaining night feed at 3am all on his own, we only had to re-enforce the habit. Since then, I’ve held on to the dreamfeed and it has been my special time with him.
There have been times, for sure, when it would have been convenient to be able to stay out past 10:30, to go to bed early or to drink an extra glass of wine without having to worry about feeding a baby at a certain time. But, given all that, I couldn’t bear parting with my special time with my little baby – my last little baby.
Damien rarely wakes up early anticipating the feed, I almost always wake him up when I open the door or approach his crib. I hear him wake up and sometimes smack his lips waiting for his milk (he may also use his milk sign as well, as I get ready to feed him). I am always assaulted by the wonderful baby smell of his room and the warm perfection that it all is. It’s like my own little piece of paradise.
I pick up that sleepy baby and feed him for a few minutes – only 5-10 now, which isn’t very long. There’s no kicking, no fussing, no stretching or pulling of hair. No biting, no banging, no distractions, no preschooler to talk to. It’s just me and Damien and it’s perfect.
After I feed him, I put Damien right back in his crib and he’s oh so relaxed. From time to time, the feed actually wakes him up for a while, but he’s such a content little sleeper that he just chills out and eventually falls back to sleep. He never progresses to fussing in the same way that Aiden did! He rolls over asking to go right into his crib when he’s finished his milk – no cuddles necessary.
It’s an amazing experience, nursing a baby, and the dreamfeed has been my little oasis of calm before bed. I’m sure the oxytocin was a nice boost too!
Last night, I didn’t offer Damien milk at his usual time and he slept right through to morning, no problem. I’ve known for a while he probably wasn’t hungry, but he’s my baby and I was selfishly waking him up to spend time with him. I’m going to miss those special times.
At least I know that he’ll probably still have some night wakings when he has a cold or is teething or whatever. Then again, he popped a tooth out during those 12 hours and didn’t make a peep!
Now, if only there was a sniff detector in his room, since he sometimes dirties his diaper while falling asleep and doesn’t cry, so we don’t know. ;)
I love preschool days, but they are also crazy hectic days for me. While you would think having one kid would make for a relaxing day possibly filled with some extra time for me to work, you’d be wrong. There are some days when I can quickly answer a few emails or write a little post, but mostly I’m rushing around running the errands that are easier with one kid and taking care of Damien. Often we go for coffee, just the two of us, which is nice. Sometimes days are too busy for that – today was one of those.
First, a cute photo of Aiden in the Valentine’s pageant yesterday:
Here is how my day went down today for just the morning:
6am kids are awake, we get them at 6:30 when they are done waking up properly
6:30-8:30 play in our room, get everyone dressed / showered etc, go downstairs to eat breakfast, play
8:30 Damien begins nap
8:45 leave to drop off Aiden at preschool, pick up coffee on the way home
9:20 clean up breakfast dishes
9:30 Damien wakes up, feed him, read him books for 25 minutes
10-11 run errands at 2 stores
11-12 play with Damien, feed him lunch, put him to nap
12 eat lunch while checking email, pack Aiden’s after-preschool snack, prepare a craft for his return home
12:20 write one client blog post
12:45 Damien wakes up from a very short nap, grab him and rush to get Aiden at 1pm
Usually, I’m able to leave Damien napping while I get Aiden, but he sometimes fails to take longer than 40 minutes for his 2nd nap (his only long nap of the 3 naps in his day).
After we came home, I had to juggle breastfeeding and feeding Damien then dealing with Aiden, who was about 2 hours past when he usually has his ‘quiet time’ (tv), but trying not to let him watch tv with Damien awake. Sometimes he can handle a delayed quiet time, sometimes not. Today, tantrums ensued. After he wanted to lie in bed, worrying me he’d nap (which messes up bedtime), I caved on tv, but he remained tired. Promised a trip to ice cream to motivate him to get up (yeah yeah), so we took a long walk together (Damien in the Ergo for his nap). Sprained my ankle, but still got the damn ice cream and got Damien to take a nap (even if it was short). Came home, prepared dinner and put ice on my foot. Limped up for bedtime routine.
Am now settling down to begin my work for the day.
For about two months, Aiden has been calling me “Ma-y” or “Mah-y” most of the time. If you’re trying to imagine how that sounds, imagine “Mommy” but without the M’s and with a slightly more “a” sound, like Ma. When said quickly, it’s almost like he’s simply saying “My”. It’s odd.
I have always been Mommy to Aiden, though of course he knows and has experimented with all the variants. I’m not sure how I became “Ma-y”. He has been experimenting with language – breaking up words, making words up, etc – as is normal for a toddler, so perhaps that is it. Or perhaps he simply says “Mommy” so many times a day that he needed a shorter variant.
When little Damien was 12 days over, Sarah of SarahJane Photography, came over to our house for a newborn photo session (and Nicole of Mary Kay came to do my make-up!). I’d actually won a shoot with another photographer, but decided to pass on it since we were so happy with our family portraits while I was pregnant. By the time Aiden was a dozen days old, we had set up several home photoshoots; the reality of two kids is that there are fewer opportunities to take photos. With that in mind, we wanted to make Damien’s memories just as special as Aiden’s. In this case, Damien won out – with the help of a pro, we have some truly amazing photos!
It took Damien about 2 hours to fall asleep, even though he’d been awake for an hour by the time Sarah arrived. Bit of a fail there. Since Damien was diaper free, you can imagine just how many accidents there were during this time period (and they mostly landed on me – gross). Anyway, once Damien was finally asleep, we captured some beautiful moments. He was amazingly pliable once he fell asleep and had a massive nap after the shoot finished.
We bribed Aiden with a bag of candy to participate in a few of the photos (he really didn’t want to participate). Mexx should pay us for this photo of him: