After several weeks of Carson staring at us while we ate dinner, grabbing for our food and spoons, and the massive amount of drool mopped up from his chins (yes, plural), and neck folds, we decided Carson was more than ready for his first meal. Due to his natural inclination to "store" his food, we choose oatmeal cereal rather than the traditional rice cereal because it's supposed to keep things "moving". Aunt Liza held Carson while the whole family (in California, great aunts, great uncles, 2nd cousins, and great grandma) watched Carson figure out how to swallow!
First spoonful He looks doubtful!
Hmm, that was interesting
This is great!! Thanks! Can't wait for the next meal!
Carson doesn't just get to celebrate Christmas once . . . with our large, spread out families, he gets to celebrate 4 times this year and he's still missing 2 of the celebrations! He began the holidays at Nana & Grandpa Kuntz's with Aunt Liza & Uncle Jeff. As expected, Nana went overboard and Carson had lots of presents to open. He thoroughly enjoyed eating wrapping paper and crunching tissue paper. The actual presents didn't receive nearly the same attention! We did cheat on his bedtime and tried to get him to stay up later. However he only made it through the first round of presents. We had to put everything on hold while he made his exit to Nana's crib.
Auntie Liza helping Carson open his new clothes! Really getting the hang of it! Keeping Grandpa entertained! Getting love from Nana Just loving life as usual! Winding down . . . time for a binkie
Thanks to a terrific windstorm, we were without power from Thursday night at 7 pm to Friday night at 7 pm. It was a very LONG, COLD, & DARK 24 hours. Carson decided to that getting his diaper changed by candlelight would be much more entertaining by peeing straight up into the air, not once but TWICE!! As you can see, we were not very happy campers. We bundled Carson into his fleece snowsuit that he wears in the jogging stroller but couldn't find one big enough for Mommy!
I just couldn't help myself and wound up at Picture People again! They suck you in with the "no sitting fee . . . EVER!" advertising. So armed with multiple coupons and an adorable Christmas outfit, I plunked Carson down in their studio. A super sweet mom in line in front of us lent her son's shoes for the perfect picture! Check out our little super star ;-)
After waiting in line at the mall for an hour, we decided to be couteous to the parents behind us and not hold things up further waiting for Carson to smile! We settled for a serious look, which is way better than crying!
Carson has been a very easy and happy baby who always slept well. He skipped colic and infant crying and most other difficult periods. So we were NOT prepared for the radical change at 4 months old to sleepless nights! Even though the pediatrician predicted it would happen, it's "normal" after all, no one can prepare you for waking up every hour on the hour from 1 am to 6 am.
After 3 weeks of no sleep, I finally broke down (this was after the nurse at the mom’s group told us to just keep putting his binkie in –which I personally thought just kept the problem going) and called a sleep consultant last week based on a friend’s recommendation. But it turned out to be $340, so I went to the library and Barnes and Noble and read as many books as I could on different sleep theories.
We started “sleep training’ Carson on Friday night. We decided to use a modified Ferber method. We put him down for bedtime at 6:30 after his bottle like normal, only we cut him off from his binkie cold turkey. (The main problem was that if he woke up in the middle of the night, he needed the binkie to get back to sleep. But I had to get up to put the binkie back in.) So we let him cry for 5 minutes and then went in and comforted him. Patting him on the back wasn’t enough so we picked him up and “shushed” him until he stopped crying. Then we put him back down and let him cry 10 minutes. That was all it took! He fell asleep. We were shocked! We were totally prepared for a hour or more of crying. So when he woke up at 1:30 am, we did the same thing, let him cry for 5 minutes and then went in to comfort him. This time comforting him seemed to make it worse so we thought it would take longer but again, after 10 more minutes of crying, he fell asleep. The tough one was at 4:30 am because when he wakes up at that time, he’s generally wide awake! We repeated the process and he did cry for longer but it was probably about 45 minutes. I woke him up at 6:30 am to keep him on a schedule.
The next night (Saturday), we did the whole thing all over again but with even better results. At 6:30 pm he cried for 5 minutes but this time we only patted him rather than picking him up. He only cried for another 5 minutes and then went to sleep. At 1:30 am, he cried for 8-10 minutes but never reached the blood-curdling screaming stage (more of just attention crying). We never even had to go in because he fell asleep on his own. The same thing happened at 4:30 am. He cried for about 10-15 minutes but just soft crying and then fell asleep. He woke up at his normal 6 am happy as a clam.
So we’re hoping for even more progress tonight! I can’t even tell you how much happier we all are! I’m a much better mother when I’m well-rested and not dreading night-time. Not sleeping can be difficult on a marriage!
This week was victorious in more ways than one! Carson rolled over from his back to his tummy for the first time and now we can't keep him on his back! It's only a matter of time before he is rolling both directions and playing hide & seek! He is also sitting up without assistance. He only falls over once in awhile. He now gets to sit in the seat of the shopping cart, in high chairs at restaurants, and loves riding in his "big boy" stroller.
Santa's Little Helper - bouncing away!
Practicing the "roll-over" Sitting up all by himself! Happy as a clam! Enjoying lunch with Great-grandpa Bride and Grandma Levy!
Absolutely beautiful weather for the 2006 Christmas Tree Hunt! It was a brisk 37 degrees but the sun was shining! Nana & Grandpa Kuntz, Aunt Liza, Uncle Jeff, and the Raders scoured Helvetia Tree Farm for the perfect Noble or Grand. Carson had his first official outing in his new backpack. He's gotten a bit too big for long trips in the front pack! He enjoyed the view tremendously, although we had to stop frequently to wipe the spit-up off his chin so it didn't freeze or end up on Daddy's neck!
Daddy and Carson bonding!
The Rader Crew Uncle Jeff & Aunt Liza Nana & Grandpa Grandpa is riding up the hill holding onto our trees! Notice the precarious position of the tree on the left . . . it barely made the trip and almost knocked Grandpa off the truck as it hit three other trees on the way up! The whole lot of us!