So last Monday, I bought a twin bed for DD and put it next to DS’s twin in his room (so it now forms a king). DS was so excited that he demanded to “Sleep together” with DD in their new big bed. We lay with them until the fell asleep and we left. But every night, we get less sleep than when the kids were sleeping with us because of several reasons:

1) The kids take FOREVER to fall asleep in their room because there is so much fun stuff in there and I get exasperated.

2) When they wake up in the middle of the night, I have to go in and lay with them until they fall back asleep. Of course, they wake up at different times so I have turned into a zombie.

3) The other night, DD was up from midnight to 3am. Thank goodness DH took part of the shift but we were both super cranky and tired the next day.

Finally, DH couldn’t take it anymore and he said we had to do something. So, back to sleep training. *sigh* Everyone’s favorite thing to do in the house. I looked up my Ferber book, briefed DH on the plan last night, and then told the kids that we were not going to sleep with them in their room. DS was very upset and from bath time on, tried to convince me to sleep in his room. DD didn’t really understand what was going on until we left the kids’ room.

Our method was this: I would sit outside their open door. If they came outside their room, I would hold the door closed for 15 sec (1st offense), then 30 sec (2nd offense), 1 min, 2 min, then 3 min until they slept or stopped coming out. (This is the schedule for the first night.) Needless to say, both my children were unimpressed and terribly upset. They are stubborn and screamers and it was NOT awesome.

However, DS gave up screaming after 15 minutes and went to bed. (He couldn’t fall asleep for another 45 minutes though, due to his sister screaming her brains out for 1.5 hours.) I think it helped that he has gone through this before – but mostly, it’s because DH took him on a 3+ mile walk today to and from a park near our house.

DD seriously broke our cold, dark hearts. *sigh* She was so angry her little arms were trembling and she would just stamp her feet. She tried so hard to get as close to the doorway as possible without coming out. One time, she strained so hard to reach me without leaving the room that she fell over into my lap. Of course, she also left the room several times and there were lots of door holding moments. Awesome.

Finally, the last 15-30 minutes, she was so tired from screaming that she just stood there, sucking her index finger and swaying because she was so tired. I would ask her if she wanted to go to bed but DD would just shake her head and say, “No.” So I would go back to playing Sudoku. Then, she would stumble because she was about to fall asleep standing up. I asked her a few times and finally, she yawned and her head slumped and I asked her if she wanted to go to bed. She said nothing so I scooped her out and before her head even hit the pillow, she was out.

Since I’m writing this on Monday night, we’ll see how the night-wakings go. We get to repeat this until they learn to sleep on their own. YAY!

A few weeks ago, DD decided to climb out of her crib. She thwopped down onto the floor and I ran upstairs in a panic, opening the door, totally forgetting that she was likely right by the door to open it, and of course, bonked her on the head. She was more injured from my inept door handling than from the fall. I thought I could get away with not converting the crib to the toddler bed, but a few mornings later, when I was too slow in getting her one morning, I found her with her foot over the railing, trying to climb out again. *sigh* So I had to convert the bed.

Ever since the bed conversion, DD has been a NIGHTMARE. She will scream her brains out and refuse to sleep. (When before, she would just lay down quietly and go to bed.) She’ll scream at the gate by the door and throw herself onto the floor. At night, she will usually do that a minute or so, then run to her bed and go to sleep. But then she’ll wake up at 3-4am and REFUSE TO GO BACK TO SLEEP. She has climbed onto the big comfy chair we have in her room and sleep there (she fell off in the morning).

Unfortunately, DD is too smart. She will take the nursing pillow and drag it to the gate and stand on top of it as a step stool to see if she can get out. When I removed the pillow, she found ANOTHER pillow. I am just waiting for her to figure out she can move the footrest we have by her bed (so she climb up on it) and pile a pillow on top of that.

Plus, she doesn’t nap well anymore either. As soon as I put her down and let go, I realize she is still HOLDING ONTO ME WITH HER DEATH GRIP. Then she’ll scream her brains out for a LONG time. *sigh* It is horrible. She only naps when I successfully transfer her sleeping body from the car to her room. (That is, unless DS doesn’t completely fuck it up for me by WAKING HER UP.)

The other night, after having no nap that day, she woke up after sleeping only an hour and a half. She was screaming her brains out like she was in PAIN. So, I took her to my room thinking that she’d calm down. NO. She was screaming her brains out on my bed (and not waking up DS at all). The only way she would stop was if I picked her up and walked around or rocked her. Seriously. I was rocking a 23lb “newborn” to sleep. I was NOT happy.

Plus, since we are on a family trip, her sleep is going to be all messed up. And then we’ll be leaving again in May so just as soon as I get her back to normal, we’re gonna screw it up again. Poop.

I seem to be off on my posting this week. I can only blame my sleep deprived state. I think I fell asleep for a few seconds today while driving with the babies – that’s unacceptable. It’s one thing for me to endanger my life, but not my children – nor do I have the right to endanger other innocent people. Off to bed I go!

To those of you with no kids, you may ask yourself, “Why is this person always sleep training her kids? Hasn’t this been done before? Like, a bjillion times?”

Welp, you are absolutely right. I have done this a bjillion times. But the reason I keep posting about it is because I keep having to do it. Every time we go on a trip, the kids’ sleep schedules get messed up (whether due to time changes or just the fact that we’re all sleeping in the same room/bed and that we’re not in their normal routines). Then, when we get back from the trip, I have to re-sleep train them. Sometimes, they are both fine. (To date, this has NEVER HAPPENED.) If I am super lucky, only one needs to be re-trained. But NORMALLY, alas, they BOTH need to be retrained.

That sucks. Why? Because even if you only have to re-sleep train one baby, that baby will inevitably WAKE UP THE OTHER BABY.

Just so you have an idea of my life these past few days, DD cries for at least an hour every day. She’ll cry an hour without napping. I pick her up. She’s super tired, we try again. She’ll be asleep from nursing or rocking and AS SOON AS SHE TOUCHES THE CRIB, she is UP. Crying. For another hour. AWESOME. Napping is hardest because the sun is out and she can catch a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) wind. Nighttime is a bit easier, but STILL NOT FUN.

On top of that, she’s sick. She doesn’t really have a fever anymore, but she has been pooping nonstop. This girl was lucky if she pooped once a day, now it’s 4-5x a day. And she gets MAD while crying. Now I know why they have a phrase called, “hopping mad” because she HOPS in her bed while MAD.

DS, because of the time shift from Taiwan, is sleeping in until 8am, which is AWESOME, but then, won’t sleep and will get up a billion times and cry and whine and stall. (He has to poop, pee, eat, drink, whatever. TONIGHT, he kept saying his penis hurt. I have examined a little too closely my 2.5 year old’s penis to find some pretend injury and slathered on vaseline as medicine several times tonight. I feel kinda weird just posting that.) It is almost 11pm. I have no idea if I’ve seen the last of that boy yet.

In addition, he won’t nap. If he does, he doesn’t want to sleep. Then, he refuses to wake up. But then, he’s not tired enough to sleep at night. But if I skip a nap, he’s really tired and tries to make up sleep and then wakes up at 8 or 10am. Blargh. I think I just have to skip naps and wake him up at 7am. Yay? Tired and CRANKY little boys!

Before, I would just let him scream his brains out and then nurse and hold DD while he cries himself out and goes to sleep. But NOW, he HOPS THE BABY GATE on his door. HOPS OVER IT. WTH, kiddo? Either I need to get a taller gate or I need to figure something else out. Locking him in seems cruel.

So, I am also tired and cranky. To add to that, because we’re lazy, some time in the middle of the night (separately, of course), they will each end up in our bed. Which I don’t mind because they’re cute and I miss cuddling, but then, totally ruins the point of sleep training, right? But if I just let them cry in the middle of the night, they wake up the other kid. AND THEN IT REPEATS.

I AM NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE AGAIN.

DD has been barfing and had a fever for the past two days or so. She’s better now, but it’s been tiring. Add to that, both babies were in fine form this night: screaming bloody murder in stereo, both wanting mommy, neither wanting Papa. It was awesome. With that said, I am going to gorge on potato chips and read comic books.

I am so grateful that DH’s job allows me to be a SAHM. I know there are times (and there were a few today) when I swear my palms are itching to slap the crap out of DS because he is pissing me off (don’t worry – I don’t hit him), but usually, he is just the sweetest. My days are full of my darling babies. Some recent highlights:

1) DS got a new (to him, anyway) garbage truck and boy does he love it! Today was trash day and there is one trash collector who gets out of his truck every week to chat with us. Well, DS was so excited that he ran back into the house to show off his new garbage truck to the man! The guy said it looked like his old garbage truck and made all the right appreciative noises. That guy is awesome.

2) DS has now started to sing the ABC’s. Adorable.

3) Before he falls asleep, I will lay with DS a little while and smother him with kisses. Now, he smothers me back! I LOVE this.

4) I love how DS is just a sweetheart. I know he’s really just parroting back what I say to him all the time, but I really enjoy hearing him say, “Be careful, Mommy!” when we walk down the stairs or if I bump into something. Or when he says, “Goodnight, Mommy!” Or just his interpretation of what it means to talk on the phone. It’s a lot of “Hello” and “Good bye!” His sweet little voice. I love it.

5) DD is now starting to get upset when DS sits in my lap. Of course, he’s usually doing that so she can’t. hahaha. So now, both of them will try to push out the other and squeeze into my lap. I have no idea what will happen when I have more kids.

6) DD is such a beast. She started crawling super fast when we went to Hawaii and hasn’t slowed down yet. She is cruising and crawling and pulling up all over the place. DS was never this mobile before he started walking. In fact, DD is so mobile and aggressive that she is now climbing stairs. I mean, REALLY?

7) DD is a pickier eater than DS was at her age so it’s totally throwing me for a loop. That said, you can totally tell she just wants to be big because all she wants is to eat the things DS and the rest of us eat. (So, for the most part, I’ve been letting her.) You know she’s excited when her feet kick at light speed. 😀

8) Since I’ve had to re-sleep train DD after the Hawaii trip, it’s so sad whenever I leave the room. She gets SO MAD and just breaks down crying in a way that almost seems to say, “Why are you abandoning me??” Thankfully, she gets over it quickly and then goes right to sleep. (For the most part.) It does not get easier just because she’s the second child.

9) I love how excited DD gets when DS pays attention to her and plays with her. She ADORES her big brother. Fills me with such goopey happiness.

10) It’s funny. At the end of the day when they’re both in bed and I’m relieved to have a moment to myself, I spend a lot of it staring at their sweet faces on the monitor and wishing I could hold them a bit more.

Love is grand.

Yesterday started off majorly in the Motherhood Fail Way. DS woke up at 5:30 and refused to go back to sleep. I was pissed. Then DD woke up because of DS’s crying which made me even MORE pissed. DH was awesome and took both kiddos downstairs (despite him also being super tired) and let me sleep another two hours. Sadly, the two hours did nothing to improve my mood. I think I yelled and swore at DS a ridiculous amount.

One time I yelled, DS had such a hurt look on his face and DH scooped him up and said, “I know.”

Such shame and sadness and amusement coursed through me at that moment. So much sympathy from Papa to son about the crazy mommy. *sigh* I wish that spurred me to change, but I did not. It got much better when we got to the County Fair though. Some unexpected small thing such as being able to put the double stroller on the small shuttle from the parking lot to the fair entrance buoyed my mood. I was much better after that.

DS remembered all the stuff we saw from Wednesday and wanted to see them all again. So, we did the same circuit. I am impressed DS knew where things were. (I mean, seriously, it’s a huge fairground.) We saw cows, goats, firetrucks, bunnies, ducks, peacocks, chickens, and then, the most awesome thing in the world. The model train exhibit.

We stopped briefly on Wednesday for the model train exhibit, but since all the running trains and tracks were a good four feet off the ground, it was difficult for DS to see anything from the stroller. I tried to hold him and push the stroller at the same time, but that was difficult. He stood a bit on the observation post, but then he wanted to see the trains as they moved. So, today, I was prepared. I made DH take and hold him so DS had an AWESOME time. They were in the exhibit for a good half hour at least.

DD saw some of the exhibit and tapped against the glass at some of the moving trains, but mostly, she was hypnotized by this magnetic signal outside. It just swung back and forth with a bright red light and she could not look away. It was cute.

DS also got to watch some kids’ dance performances, ate a bunch of ice cream, and rode on two rides. The same as Wednesday – the train and the boat. After that, he just wanted to see the rides – not go on them. Not that I mind. Much less expensive!

Of course, everyone was exhausted and DS fell asleep on the way home. Thank God he transferred from the van to his room with no problems. (Quite a rarity.) I had to wake him up after only an hour though because I am NOT having a repeat of this morning (and the past few mornings) of a 5am wake up call.

When DD woke up as well, I let DH continue sleeping and took the kids to feed ducks at a local shopping plaza. DS loves this plaza because of the ducks, the playground, and all the steps. He loves to climb steps. DD loved to watch DS feed the ducks. I would’ve let her try and feed ducks, too, but I’m pretty sure she would’ve eaten the duck feed. 😉

Then, we went to my mother’s house for a quick visit. DS had dinner and ran around. He always has such a wonderful time with my mom. DD, too. Whenever my mom comes over, DD will squeal and flap her arms in delight. It’s adorable.

So, thankfully, although the day started off with me being all Hulk Smash, it ended on a lovely note.