Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011 - Training

A new phase of training has begun in our house.

First, we have been pretty relaxed and not very serious about potty training Grace, but new efforts are underway to step up our game. Someone is coming to Kenya from the US next week and will be bringing a new stash of potty training supplies (Dora potty set, Dora potty training sticker chart, beanie baby Dora, etc.). Grace can and will go pee-pee on the potty if you ask her to, but she shows no initiative to do it on her own. We'll see what happens when Dora enters the picture.

Next, we're getting Noah ready to start eating cereal next week when he is 5 months old. Usually when we eat dinner he sits in his bouncy seat or his bumbo seat on the table, but last night we put him in his high chair for the first time (Farmor and Hans: we actually put him in Grace's chair because Grace likes his these days!). He was so happy to be sitting at the table with us! Grace kept saying, "Good job, buddy! You're big like me!"

And then comes sleep training. After several nights of getting less than 4 hours of sleep because Noah was just constantly waking up, I decided that we were ready for sleep training. Last night we started the same process we did with Grace (except she was one month older): a bedtime routine that includes not letting him fall asleep nursing! After his bath, nursing, burping, play time, and a story, we put Noah down in his crib awake. After checking my notes I remembered that the first night we did this with Grace it took 25 minutes of her crying and us going in every few minutes to soothe her, but not picking her up, before she fell asleep. Noah is a different person, and it took 1 hr and 8 minutes of that before he fell asleep. Yikes! He slept for 45 minutes and then woke up with a hungry cry so I did feed him (to sleep, sigh) but then didn't feed him again for 6 more hours, which is a really good stretch. He woke up a few times but I would put him on his side and rub his back a little and he would go back to sleep (until 2:30). I figure it was just the first night and should only get easier, with our obvious goal of Noah putting himself to sleep and staying asleep all night. To help matters even more, we hope, this weekend we will move him out of our room and into his own room. Again, one month earlier than we did it with Grace, but I really think we're all ready for it.

What cracks me up the most is that this morning I put Noah on his play gym for a few minutes and when I came out of the bathroom he had rolled onto his stomach and was sound asleep (see below). Seriously! He put himself to sleep completely with no crying in just a few minutes. Why didn't he do that last night?!

Some other growing pains to share: there is a little bit of a bully in Grace's class this term. His name is Emmanuel and I actually think he really likes Grace, but he is extremely aggressive. Yesterday before they were coming out for pick up, Emmanuel pushed Grace so hard that she fell to the floor. It really rocked her world :( She came out with a quivering lip and talked about the incident the rest of the day. I heard, "Emmanuel pushed me down to the ground. Ms. Mbata said, 'No, no Emmanuel. Don't hit Grace.' I fell down, Mama!," over and over and over again. This morning she was really reluctant to go to school. When we got there Emmanuel tried to take her shoes, her backpack, and tried to drive into her with a car! He must have a crush on her?! Luckily Ms. Mbata handled him very well and even though Grace said she didn't want to stay, she was quickly sucked into reading a story with the teacher. I'm hoping she has a good day today because I don't want her to be scared to go to school! And, I'm hoping that Emmanuel's parents at home are reinforcing nice ways to play, because in front of me, yesterday, when Ms. Mbata told his mother what happened she said, "Ok." It was not quite the reaction the teacher or I expected! I know I can't keep her protected forever, but I was hoping not to deal with bullies for a few more years!

LMW

p.s. We hope Farmor had a great birthday yesterday, and we wish Farmor and Hans a very happy 20th wedding anniversary!

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