Pulling A Miracle

I know I haven’t been writing as regularly as I would like here.  Sleep training William makes me feel like I’m descending into my own personal circle of hell with all the screaming and crying and sleep deprivation.  Every time I want to quit, he gives me a decent day or night, so we press on, but I have to say I cannot wait till this is over.  I know it’s only been 5 and a half days, but it feels like a stinking year.

(Side note: To everyone who tells me I will miss these days, I smile and nod, but I just can’t believe you yet.  Maybe one day wisdom and hindsight will teach me differently.  I hope you’re right.)

I’m just sort of plodding along, trying to keep us all alive until that time when things are better, and this has unfortunately affected my walk with God too.  Sometimes you just are too tired to have a good quiet time.  But He is every loving and gracious and giving me what I need for each day, whether I realize it or not.  Just this morning, I read the story in Matthew when Jesus tells his disciples to feed a crowd of 5,000, and they tell Him they can’t with only the few loaves and fish they have, but Jesus does a miracle and takes care of everyone anyway.

I feel like that now.  Making it through a day with all the screaming, crying, meltdowns, and tantrums that happen regularly… well, you might as well be asking me to single-handedly feed 5,000 people.  I tell God, I’m only working with four hours of sleep, two hands, and one very short temper.  I just can’t make it stretch that far.  But through this story, He is assuring me again, that whatever I have to give Him will be enough, He’ll take care of the rest.

Between you and me, I really can’t wait to see how He pulls this one off.

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Giving the Boot

The last four days have not been fun.  William was officially kicked out of Mommy and Daddy’s bed, and he’s not too thrilled about it.  I have to say I’ve been sleeping loads better without having a baby next to me all night, and my shoulder is feeling better too, but William’s definitely missing his old spot.  He just cries and cries inconsolably, and I’m hoping and praying this doesn’t last much longer.  He will fall asleep in someone’s arms, or even just sitting on my bed next to me, but he refuses to go to sleep in his own crib.  We are making a little progress, and some of the crying jags are getting shorter.  I hate doing this, but it’s gotta be done.  Having him sleep with us is really starting to ruin my way of life.

On the good side, he was able to have his liver treated (acupuncture is a wonderful thing), and he seems to be making some great progress on that end.  Because of that, I don’t feel quite as bad as I would have about the sleep thing as I know he’s not in pain and his intestinal system is doing better.  He’s just mad, and I pray he will get over it soon.

I’m quite excited because today is our first RDI home visit.  Our consultant will be coming and sitting down and showing me what homeschooling can look like for Michael, and I will be videotaping it for future reference and family members who could not be in attendance.  Michael always does exceptionally well with RDI techniques, and this therapist has been able to work with him and a way that no one else has.  I’m eager to learn everything!

Here’s wishing you all a fantastic Monday!

Ups and Downs

It seems like every time we make progress in one area, we fall back in others.  It’s a little frustrating, but I’m trying to remember to focus on and be grateful for the good stuff.

A little update on everyone:

William is definitely learning to sleep SO much better.  He is relaxing when he is tired instead of struggling and crying so much to nurse.  He is taking short naps in his crib now.  The downside is it’s time for him to see the chiropractor again, and the weather here is so poor, I don’t think I’ll be able to take him for several more days.  He was definitely more uncomfortable last night, and it will only go downhill from here.

Gabriel is very sick.  The poor little guy needs prayer.  His immune system’s never been great, and colds just kick his butt.  Michael just tried to help him feel better at 5AM by flipping on all the lights in their room and handing him lots of toys, making Gabriel really scream because all he wanted to do was go back to sleep.

Michael and I just started our first homeschooling unit study yesterday.  I’m pretty excited about it.  Since one of the autism qualities can be fixations on various objects or topics, several helpful folks suggested that I take advantage of that and try unit studies or themed materials.  Over the weekend, Michael suddenly got into astronauts, so we’re doing an outer space theme.  He seems to be really enjoying it, and getting him to do his school isn’t quite as much like pulling teeth as usual.  He loves the astronaut books we got him from the library, and he’s already learning some new words and concepts, so I’m really happy about that.  A lot of his sensory needs and OCD tendencies seem to be back in full force however.  I’m seriously considering getting him a punching bag.  He’s back to hitting us all a lot, not to be malicious, but because his body is seeking massive amounts of energy release and it’s the only way he can regulate himself.  I figure if I can get him to box a bag several times a day, maybe I can wear out his upper body a little and keep it calmer, the way the trampoline has been working for his lower half.

So lots of up and down for everybody.  It’s gonna be a fun week.  Nate’s outside clearing off the driveway extra early.  I’m going to do my shopping today since Winter Storm Maximus is supposed to be here by tomorrow.  Michael’s been up since 5, I think I’ll take him with me so he can let everyone else go back to sleep.

Stay warm!

A Step Forward

It’s working!!!  I’m so excited!  I’m actually seeing a little bit of progress in the whole helping William sleep scenario.  I’ve been employing some of the techniques laid out in the The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  She warns that her methods take time, weeks, even months of time, and she’s right, but it was incredibly encouraging to see some forward motion over the weekend.  On Saturday evening, William actually lay quietly in my lap, sleepily jabbered for a few minutes, and then closed his eyes and went to sleep.  That has never, NEVER, happened before.

We still have a long way to go.  He still nurses 2-3 times at night, and he’s still cranky and crotchety for mommy in the evenings (there’s been a lot of clawing and hair tearing going on), but he’s slowly learning that he doesn’t have to nurse himself into a coma every single time.  That, and when he fusses in the middle of the night, sometimes he can roll over and go back to sleep by himself.  Wheeeee!

God is good and granting some prayers here!  I will definitely keep at this and keep praying too.

Of course in other news, Michael and Gabriel got colds yesterday, but you can’t win ’em all.

Here’s wishing you an awesome start to your week!

Sleep Frustrations

So the little guy still won’t sleep.  Unfortunately, due to all the issues he went through in the last 6 months, he has now associated nursing with sleep and doesn’t know how to pass out without it.  I wear him during he day because it’s the only way he’ll nap.  I sleep with him at night because he can’t sleep without me.  He gets up in the middle of the night because his tummy hurts, then he’ll wake up if I ever leave the bed.  He’s up with me in the early morning when I try to have alone time (I’m currently typing this one-handed with lots of typos).  He even comes with me to my monthly girls’ only nights!  I get a little jealous that my girlfriends with younger babies are already able to leave their kids home with daddy, especially when he fusses constantly.

This is really getting to me.  I don’t like having someone in my space 24/7, especially such a needy someone.  I got a book about sleep training from the library because I want to get him sleep trained so Nate and I can get away together in a few months.  It’s a good incentive, and I hope it works because I know he still has abdominal discomfort.  We’re off to the chiropractor again for another digestive tract check later this morning.

I definitely need to devote more prayer to this because this momma wants to get some sleep in her own bed.  BABY. FREE.  The book claims results in several weeks, so here’s hoping there’ll be a good report in a month or so.