Bedtime Stories

Two big changes have occurred in this house lately, and both of them have to do with sleep.  First, I am so proud of my son who rather seamlessly transitioned to his big boy bed, once he saw his buddy Andrew’s and realized how super cool they are.  He only had a hard time going to bed the first night, woke Em up early for two mornings, and didn’t take his nap once.  Oh, and smuggled in a contraband marker and drew all over his sheets.  At least it wasn’t all over his bed!  I think he loves it too much to vandalize it.

The only problem so far is that his sister loves it, too, and can climb in and out quite easily.  As you can imagine, Jax becomes a bit territorial and it’s only a matter of time before he pushes her, ass over teakettle, onto her head.  Ah, well, we’re due for some stitches.

As you all know, since I have long lamented it, Em has never reached the sleep-through-the-night phase in her first 13 months of life.  She would do it once or twice, get our hopes up, then dash them completely as she spent the third night getting up four times, screaming to be held.  If you’ve been here a while, you also know that I cannot let my babies cry it out, so I’ve been sleep-deprived for…oh…over a year.  Well beyond a year if you count the less-than-peaceful sleep one gets when very pregnant.  So JDubbs and I would pretty much consider anything to get our baby girl to sleep.

One of the blogs I frequent and enjoy is Enjoying the Small Things by Kelle Hampton, and Kelle’s little girl Nella, who is only a couple months older than Em, was having a terrible time teething. She recommends amber teething necklaces since it worked so well for her daughter.  And I’ll try anything that makes my nightlife markedly better.  So guess what I did.

I did my due diligence, and I didn’t find any glaringly negative reviews.  These teething necklaces are not for the babies to chew on; they are made from a very specific area of the Baltics, and the amber has some sort of medicinal qualities.  When people wear them (they make them for all ages), their skin warms up the amber, which releases some sort of essential oils.  This oil has healing properties and helps people deal with problems like arthritis and rheumatism, and helps babies survive teething.  The worst thing people said was that they weren’t sure if it worked, whether the good results were just coincidence or not.  So, you’re saying that the worst thing that could happen is that Em could have a beautiful, genuine amber necklace?  My daughter ,who would put a string of spaghetti around her neck as an accessory?  I’ll take my chances.

I bought it for her about a month ago.  You’ve probably noticed it in pictures lately.  It really is beautiful; the stones are so smooth and each one is double knotted on both sides, so that if the necklace breaks the stones will not just slide off the string.  It has a great, safe clasp, and we wrap it around her ankle, under her pajamas, at night.  She loves it, we love it, and the best part is?

She’s sleeping.  All night.  I swear to God.

Humbug, you say.  Coincidence!  Well, that may be true.  But here’s what I know:

1.  Before we had this necklace, she had never had a quality nap, let alone slept overnight at my in-laws’ house.  She hates sleeping in a pack n play, and she would scream bloody murder until she was rescued.  Due to the loss of my grandfather, she had to stay there overnight and not only slept through the night but also took two stellar naps.  We then had to move in there for a few nights last week due to our Money Pit of a house, and she slept through the night every night but one.

2.  She has had epic ear infections since her birthday.  In the last 7 weeks, she has been to the doctor 5 times, put on 4 different antibiotics, only to have her treatment diagnosed as a “failure” and had to go in for three straight days to get antibiotic injections, which only finally started to work.  So basically, she’s had a raging double ear infection for over a month, with no antibiotic cure until this past weekend.  And she slept through the night almost every night.  This, from a girl who only slept through the night in total maybe a dozen times in her life.  And now it’s the norm.  Now when she wakes up at night and cries for us consistently, I know it’s her ears and back to the dr. we go.  (As an aside, we go to the ENT doctor next week, thank God!).

We are sleeping over here!  More often that not!  One in a big boy bed, one not in our arms (at least not as often!).  We’re even beginning to notice that Em is even more good-natured and funny than she was before!  It makes me wonder if we’ll see any new sides of her when she finally gets her tubes put in.  For now, she’s hamming it up and following her big brother’s every move…

And being even sweeter than ever.  Look!  She’s started giving kisses!

She delivers her love with her mouth wide open.  It’s pretty hilarious, and slobbery.

Hooray for my babies, who are growing up so quickly, but these are both milestones I’m happy to celebrate.  Jax is very good at staying in his bed until “seven zero zero!” aka 7:00, and Em is needing me less and less in the middle of the night.  Of course, as I am writing these words, she just woke up screaming, but that’s Murphy’s Law for you.  Plus, the dr. said yesterday that although there is no infection right now, that doesn’t mean there is no pressure or discomfort.  I never thought I’d be excited for one of my kids to have surgery, but I think the day she gets tubes will be a blessing for us all!

Sweet dreams, babies!  And sweet dreams for Mommy and Daddy, too!

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