Random thoughts at 5:00 am

I see now that it's actually 5:22 am. I've been awake since 4:30. Don't ask me why. I'm tired and would like very much to go back to sleep, and have spent the better part of an hour trying to do just that, but sleep eludes me. My brain is too full. So, here's what I've been thinking about for the past hour:

-Adelia's nap schedule: She's been faithfully (and happily) taking a morning and an afternoon nap every day, until about a week and a half ago, when I'd lay her down for her morning nap and she didn't seem tired. Eventually she'd sleep, but then not for very long. Then for her afternoon nap, she would sleep much less (which means that I wasn't getting my afternoon nap; and that's really hard to swallow at this stage in my life.)

It never even dawned on me that she might be transitioning to one nap a day until Amy mentioned it to me last week. [Um...isn't she too young for that?] So I've tried that tactic for the past several days: holding her off until her afternoon nap. And that's not working either. Ugh. I asked Mark last night what he thought about Adelia's new nap schedule, and he said something to the effect of her being tired and cranky most of the day (he's been home for the past two days) because of it; so today we're going back to a two-nap schedule.

So tell me: When did your children make the transition? I forget when it happened with our other children.

-Family Christmas photo: Every year at this time I get severely stressed about getting a picture taken for our family Christmas card. We are later this year than I'd like: due to Adelia's chicken pox that we were waiting to clear up and the fact that, unfortunately- we don't have any friends or family members that are budding photographers and want to take our family picture.

Maybe this year we'll just go with a children-only shot. But I'd really rather have the whole family- especially since one of our children is currently in my belly. But the thing about the kids-only photo is that it's easier. There are plenty of opportunities we have to take pictures of the kids together, AND Mark and I can engage our children to smile for the camera while others can't. And then we don't have to find someone to tag along with us to take our photo. Ugh. See? It's stressful. Maybe we should skip the picture altogether this year.

-Christmas gifts: Aack! I have way too many gifts yet to buy. I wish we had smaller extended families; quite honestly, this time of year. I felt like I was doing really good until I sat down the other day and realized that most of the gifts I've bought over the last several months are for the birthdays of friends/family that crop up around this time of year, not for Christmas.

And I have no idea what to get Mark for Christmas this year, either.

And then there are the stumpers on my list, like: What on earth does a 13-year old boy want for Christmas? That age is just completely out of my range. I have NO idea. [If you have ideas, leave them in the comments, please!]

-Freezer meals: It's my goal for this pregnancy to make-ahead a bunch of meals to stock our freezer with. Then when the baby comes, I can be a little less stressed when it comes to meal-times at our house. [And yes, our church family is amazing about bringing meals when babies are born, but I'd like to have some of our own, too.]

Oh, but first: we need a freezer. Our chest freezer is older than the hills, and I want an upright freezer so that things won't get lost in the bottom of our freezer (out of sight, out of mind). Who has time to go shopping for a new freezer, pray tell me? Not us.

And I really should put off this whole making-meals thought until after the holidays, because it's not like I'm going to be able to make any meals within the next month or so. But then, if I don't? Am I really going to feel like doing it when the holidays pass and I'm a [large] 8 months pregnant?

That might be all I was anxious about. Maybe I can fall asleep now that I've dumped it all out, here? I'm going to try. I will not check Bloglines, email or Facebook. I will go crawl into bed. It's not quite six, so technically, I could still squeeze in another half-hour of sleep if I fall asleep FAST.


  1. Our Savvy is doing some strange things with her nap like Adalia is doing. (Savvy is 15 mo. old)

    I seem to remember with the older two that the transition from one nap a day to two naps a day was a long, several-month affair. I think we are at the beginning of the transition.

    One thing that I am doing that helps is putting her down for her morning nap 30 minutes earlier. I'm also not allowing her to sleep until she wakes up. After a certain amount of time I go in and get her up. I'm trying to "protect" the afternoon nap for her because not only does she really need it, so do I!

    Also- gift for 13yo boy. itunes gift card. cash. real tools. his own camping gear. cash. did I mention cash? :)

    Have you thought about looking for a freezer on craigslist? It might cut down on all the comparison shopping at different stores and it would most certainly save you a bit of money.

    Family picture- we used to go to Portrait Innovations if you have one out there- they do a pretty good job and they are pretty cheap.

  2. My son was a two nap guy for two years, and then once a day until he was four. Of course, awake he was traveling at 60mph, so that wiped him out.
    My daughter, however, reduced to one nap per day at around 10 months, and then refused naps altogether at around 2yrs. Ugh! I feel your pain!

    When we transitioned, I would lie down with them for the one nap that was being deleted, and we'd have a 20 min. "power nap" together, even if it meant neither of us slept. I read a little board book, then said, "all done. let's rest" ~ never did I say "sleep" or "nap". It now became an entirely different thing to them. Rename it. So, I got to rest a bit and they got enough rest to hold them over until the next nap, or until bedtime.
    Hope this helps!

  3. Stacy, not only and I a budding photographer, but I am always on the look out for subjects (other than my children) to practice on. I would LOVE to take a family photo..give me a call or email me, we'll set a date.

  4. Oh Stacy - I hope you were able to get that extra half hour of sleep!

    And I'm so glad Renee offered to take your pictures for you. When I read her comment I thought, "Great idea!"

    And naps... I think Adia transitioned around 10 months. For sure before she was one. Because I remember my mom telling me Abbey and Gabe took two naps until they were 2 or something crazy. I agree with what Kelly said - it was definitely a process. If Adia seemed tired I would put her down - if not, I would just keep her up. And I still do this - if I wanted Adia to sleep for two hours in the afternoon I would leave her in her crib for 2 hours. Even if she woke up. Sometimes she would fall back to sleep. I still think the first year is the hardest - things are always changing. And just when you've got a routine down - they get teeth (or chicken pox), a growth spurt, switching to 1 nap, etc. etc. etc.

  5. Thank you, girls- for your nap tips. And the gift suggestions. Keep 'em coming.

    Renee- Don't think I didn't think of you, but right on the tails of that thought was this one: "...but she has thirteen children! Surely she has enough on her plate." I'm estatic, though, that you're willing. I'll email you and/or chat with you tonight.

    Cutzi- I think I got 15 or 20 more minutes. This is after I crawled into bed next to my warm and snoring husband. I poked him and said, "I want you to feel sorry for me." He woke and said, "Why?" So I told him about my 4:30 wake-up. And then I said, "Can't you give me some of your sleepiness?" And he said: "Watch and learn." And then, I kid you not: he rolled over and began snoring within about 30 seconds. I laughed, snuggled up next to him, and then eventually fell back to sleep.

  6. For your 13 yr old boy, what about a game? I have an 11 yr old boy and 14 yr old girl and they love playing card games or any game really. Pit has been a family favorite recently - great card game. Just a thought.
    If you come up with a good idea for the hubby, you should share - I too am at a loss this year.
    The napping thing - For my kids, I would reduce the time of their first nap by 10-15minute increments until they were not getting one. She was always a grumpy bear though when I actually woke her instead of letting her wake on her own, so I would just open her bedroom door and if after a few minutes that didn't wake her I would run the vacuum or make some noise, though usually the noise of her other 5 siblings did wake her. :)

  7. For your 13 yr old boy, what about a game? I have an 11 yr old boy and 14 yr old girl and they love playing card games or any game really. Pit has been a family favorite recently - great card game. Just a thought.
    If you come up with a good idea for the hubby, you should share - I too am at a loss this year.
    The napping thing - For my kids, I would reduce the time of their first nap by 10-15minute increments until they were not getting one. She was always a grumpy bear though when I actually woke her instead of letting her wake on her own, so I would just open her bedroom door and if after a few minutes that didn't wake her I would run the vacuum or make some noise, though usually the noise of her other 5 siblings did wake her. :)

  8. If you don't end up getting an upright freezer, you can tape a piece of paper on the top of your freezer. As you put meals in, write them down and the put L, M, or R to show where it is in the freezer. As you take them out to thaw, cross em off the list. NO longer lost :)

    Kim (lurker extraordinaire)

  9. Stacy-

    Ours have dropped their morning nap sometime between 14 and 18 months. They all have had that crummy time when they don't take two naps but can't quite make it to the afternoon nap without being majorly grumpy. So I put them down in the morning but only let them sleep 45 minutes or so.


  10. I think Dr. Weisbluth (of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) says that 15 months is the average age for dropping to one nap. Both of our kids have been pretty close to that so far. (Our little guy, 14 and 1/2 months, is in process right now, so I'm feeling' your pain too!) A couple of weeks ago I tried cutting him to one and then went back to two, just like you. But now he seems like he might be ready for real... we're trying again... of course, now he has a cold, so it's tough to tell WHAT he needs! :)

    Another game idea for the 13 yr. old: I just bought one for my hubby's Christmas gift that's called Pentago. (You can find it on Amazon Marketplace, and I also saw it in a specialty toy store.) It's supposed to be great--quick and easy to learn, but a great strategy challenge for all ages.

  11. Yeah, I'm pretty offended by that "I don't know any budding photographers" comment. Clearly you are not impressed by my work. But can you at least be impressed by the size of my camera? Amy certainly bemoans its girth on occassion.

    Seriously though, if it doesn't work out w/ Renee I'd be happy to blast off a few shots.

  12. stace--13 year old: gift card or money. always appreciated.

    naps: they will be cranky for a bit til they get used to the new schedule. I would lay them down earlier than usual for the afternoon nap then gradually move it to 1 pm. i remember it being around 16mos?

    don't worry--it will all work out!!

  13. We bought our freezer from Sam's Club, online. Only $225, delivered. It's 14 cu feet, GE something or other, and great for our family ( we have three children). My suggestion is to buy it online and have it delivered.
    And I highly suggest a gift card for the 13yo. Movie theater gift cards are the best, in my opinion.

  14. I feel so bad for you that you don't sleep well! I can not imagine how frustrating that must be!

    And I am shocked to hear 15 months as an average age for kids to go down to 1 nap. I bet it has a lot to do with how much night-time sleep a child gets. Since our babies always go to bed at 7 and sleep until at least 8 or 8:30 they probably don't need as much daytime sleep. I read once that it has more to do with total sleep hours than when it happens.

    Anyway, hope you figure out what exactly Adelia needs and how to make it work into your family schedule.

    Love you!

  15. I concur with Amy and Cutzi about napping- and 15 months being kind of late for switching to 2 naps- but that is just based on how my kids have been.

    I think with one of my kids (it was probably Michael) I realized that if I didn't let him take a morning nap, I had to move the afternoon nap: (you have probably thought of this but) one long nap in the mid day rather than a shorter morning nap and a longer afternoon nap. The other thing that I do when transitioning the kids is put them in their bed with toys and books close to the normal nap time that I want to take out of their schedule. They play a little and fuss a little and maybe rest a little but I make sure they are out of there in time to be tired for their next nap. Does that make sense?

    We did that a month or so ago for Josiah who was dropping his evening nap. He wasn't super happy about it. It became known as "scream time". He generally cried off and on and fell asleep for about 10 minutes at the end. But now he has grown out of it and he's able to stay awake during that time of day with us. Progress!

    (This is long)

    I feel your stress re: Christmas pictures. If you go for a doityerself of just the kids, I recommend the kind where all the kids are lying down on the floor with their faces together in a circle because it's easy and you almost don't have to worry about what they are wearing. And it's silly and fun!

    Girth? Mike, can cameras have girth? Exactly what kind of camera is it?

  16. Sending a hug to you sweet Stacy...

    okay, I'll tackle the freezer question. We freecycled ours...when the last adoption occured. It was a cast off for someone who was remodeling and wanted something 'newer' ...it works great and has been such a blessing to us.
    (freecycle not sure if it is .com or .org)

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  17. Oh man...I can identify with EVERY WORD about Christmas pictures. Especially about how much easier it is to engage your children yourself. It is no small feat to get all three of my kids LOOKING AT THE CAMERA as well as smiling (or at least looking somewhat happy) and I always just want to do it myself. Every year I am way too stressed out about it and every year I think about just bagging it altogether.

    Although perhaps it will be encouraging to know that I went for it this year and am really, really happy with how it turned out. I'm glad Renee offered to help you out. And good luck!

    Oh, and my kids went to one nap at 14 months.

  18. My son is 13 and so I'm around 13 yo boys every day. :)
    They like cash, gift cards and electronic gadgets. Serious things like a wallet WITH a small gift card would be cool. A giant or shakeable flashlight? A Christian CD or an Itunes card? if they have one. If he likes books, there are a bunch of new ones...I have ideas if you need some.

    the nap thing? I got nothing.

  19. Try onepennypost.com for christmas cards, you upload your photo and they send them off for you, printed professionally.

  20. I seem to think it was around 1 year that my kids transitioned to one nap. My suggestion for a 13 year old is a gift card. They're at the age where they can't necessarily earn money but love to have the freedom to make their own choices. And it's easy!
    Hope you're getting more rest. I go through that each pregnancy too, the wakefulness in the night. And I can relate right now to the lack of sleep, as Raphael has been sick and up a lot.

  21. Stacy, you don't know me, but I read your blog again this morning and thought I can give you my input! My daughter is 16m and is just transitioning from 2 to 1 nap, starting about 6 weeks month ago. I still put her down at about 10:30am and set the timer for 45m, then get her up whether she slept or not. Usually she has slept for 15-30 minutes. Even this rest time seems to do a lot of time. Then down at 2 and she zonks for a fat couple hours. Of course, this is *usually* not all the time. And all my children have followed this pattern. ;) You have a sweet family, keep up the great work! ~ Jennifer

  22. hey Stacy,

    No help on the naps...I am still on the newborn learning curve with five years since my last baby.

    I had terrible pregnancy insomnia with Eli but the up side (if there is one) is that when he was born and I was up at night...I didn't feel all that tired because I was so used to it :o)

    I made meals ahead too and am still eating them when I need to at week 7...it is well worth it. Can you double batch a dinner or two a week untill baby is born? I did that and also had a few saturdays where for example I made 3 lasagnas at once to freeze.

    As for Mark and his amazing sleeping habits...well I live with one of those too. It so shocks me how quick my husband can fall alseep and return to sleep. I wish they could bottle that!

  23. i'm going through the same thing with my one year old. she usually takes two naps, but on sundays and one or two other days a week, it's down to one. she doesn't seem totally ready to cut it out, (and mama sure isn't!) thankfully, she will sleep in an hour in the morning sometimes to make up a deficit.

    i don't really have any advice, but i understand...and it kills me when she refuses to sleep when she's cranky and i know it's just what she needs!


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