Monday, June 24, 2013

Sleep and Sugar

Since we had our meeting with the sleep consultant and put a plan into place, our four year old's sleep has improved quite a bit! It has been a week now and she now sleeps 10 hours at night and has about an hour long nap in the afternoon, that is far more sleep than she has ever had! She is generally in a better mood and is much easier to deal with. The tantrums she was having before were starting to make me crazy. The worst tantrum she has had in a week was last night before bed and that was because she was overtired (we put her to bed too late). She had a screaming fit and was using every excuse in the book to get us back into her room! I did what we were told to do, take her back to her room without speaking to her. She was very angry with me, even this morning but she eventually calmed down last night and went to sleep on her own.

I have made the decision that we will keep this schedule as long as she needs this amount of sleep. If there is a birthday party or event (as long as it's not a family member or close friend) during nap/quiet time, we will be missing it. When she goes to the birthday parties and events and misses out on the quiet time or a nap that is needed, she is sleep deprived for days and then Matt's and my nerves are shot and we end up being grouchy with each other and the kids. In the end, it's not fair to anyone. So from here on in, any acquaintances birthday party is NOT more important than my children's sleep and our sanity.

Speaking of sanity, since we have committed to clean eating, I have been experimenting with sugar and our children. I have found food coloring, white sugar, fructose, etc really affects them. It makes them absolutely crazy! And surprise, surprise it also affects their sleep! I know that I can't ban sugar completely because there will always be sugar at birthday parties and school, but I am really trying to avoid the nasty sugars around our house unless it's a special occasion. I have a few friends who limit their children's sugar intake so it should be easy enough to keep up. Our biggest problem will be people we know who give their children a constant supply of slurpees, suckers and gummy bears and Ceili and Abbey will see that and wonder "why can't I have that?".

The picture in this post is Ceili playing outside in her clover crown after a good nap. We were really enjoying out time together because we were both well rested and in a great mood!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sleep Help Day 1

We had a difficult day today and it made me even more anxious because I knew we were starting the new sleep plan for Ceili, our 5 year old daughter today.

The sleep consultant told me to watch for when she was tired and put her for a nap then (yes, she still naps for around an hour a day which is surprisingly normal!). She was acting tired at around 12:30 pm after we had lunch so I put both girls for a nap. Abbey, our 17 month old was out like a light. Ceili on the other hand was acting crazy in her bad, saying she couldn't sleep. I went in to check on her at one point and she had changed her clothes, taken every bow she owns down off of her bow holder and had played with a bunch of toys in her room. Needless to say there was no nap for her and she ended up having a meltdown afterwards saying she was "sooo tired".

When Matt came home at 4:30 pm she was eating an apple for a snack and we had to keep her awake because she was nodding off and spilling apple slices everywhere! She got her second wind, thankfully and ate supper fine. I gave them both a bath right after bed and got them into pj's. They had a snack and Ceili brushed her teeth and went potty then we read a couple of books to them. She was excited because she got a sticker on her chart for doing those things.

Then the nighttime routine began. It was Matt's turn to put her to bed so she got to choose a "dream card". I put them together by finding photos from magazines and gluing them onto heavy paper. The photos are of things like a field of flowers, mountains, a lake with geese, etc. Matt and Ceili talked about the picture before bed and helped her to visualize what could be happening in the picture to help her be calm and have sweet dreams. He also did the usual routine of telling her a story and singing a song. He said she was pretty crazy and not calm at all though.

She came out of her room once and went potty again then tried to argue about her slippers because she couldn't find them. Matt reminded her of the rules and she went back to bed and was asleep by 8pm! What a change! I am hoping that she sleeps through the night and feels rested in the morning.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

It has been just over a month since we started eating clean and it is now starting to feel like second nature. I don't even think twice while I'm walking through the mall and smell the greasy foods in the food court. I have been planning our meals at the beginning of the week and the new recipes have been a hit in our house! Ceili calls the sprouted rice we eat "bird food" but she loves her bird food, haha!

I have lost 17 lbs to date and I actually like what I see when I look in the mirror now! I feel great about myself and biking has become my new favorite activity. I can't wait until I lose 20 lbs so I can post progress pictures! I haven't liked looking at myself in the mirror for a long time, so I know I am making progress.

In other news, we have a sleep specialist coming to help us out with Ceili because she is struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep long enough in the night. I never thought I would be paying someone $500 to help us get our kid to sleep! She has never been a good sleeper, but it is just getting worse so we know we have to do something. We have tried all natural sleep aids for kids, new routines, earlier bedtime, pretty much everything and we're at our wits end! I'm anxious to see what she says.

It`s way later than I thought and I need my beauty sleep, so I will sign off for now!