Oh No Oh God Not More Cloth Diaper Talk Stop
Christmas Carnage

Weekend Things From All The Things

Weekend Thing One:


Another three months, another belt test.

Another hilarious ("HILARIOUS") and obligatory video of the board-breaking moment and belt ceremony, during which Noah was specifically, personally warned -- upon penalty of FAILING -- not to touch his board or bring it up to the front, which he always does, because...well, have you ever broken a damn board with your foot? Me neither. I imagine I'd probably glue that thing onto a fascinator and then never take it off, just to warn people not to mess with me, I WILL BREAK YOUR ARM OFF AND USE IT AS A CHIN STRAP FOR THIS HERE HAT, M'KAY?

Anyway. Noah obediently placed his board next to him and put his hands back on his knees while other students were called up to receive their new belts. And then Jason and I watched as he sl-o-o-w-ly started losing focus and succumbing to the siren call of Shit To Fidget With and picked his board back up.

"NOAH, NOAH!" you can hear Jason and I frantically hissing from behind the camera. "PUT YOUR BOARD DOWN. NOAH, NOAH! NO BOARD DUDE, NO BOARD!"

Our whispers got increasingly desperate (read: loud) with each kid's name and finally he turned around and heard us, just in time to put it down and head to the front for his belt. 

"OH MY GOD," I groaned, even though I really meant "HOLY FUCKBALLS." But I did not say that, because honestly? Noah's karate teacher scares the hell out of me, too, so I try to stay on my best behavior.


Weekend Thing Two:


So babies are, obviously, born with the ability to somehow KNOW that their parents have bragged about what good sleepers they are. Even if it's nothing more than a Facebook status update, they KNOW that you have broken the code and invited the wrath and eaten something from the table with That Thing With Eyeballs In Its Palms From Pan's Labyrinth. They will wake up seventeen dozen times that very night and there's nothing you can do about it. You asked for it, you big dummy. 

I was totally betting it might work in the reverse when I called Ike out for being a crap sleeper last week. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, his instinct to Prove Mama Wrong All The Time could be tricked! "Oh, you think I'm a terrible sleeper? Well, look at me! Look at me sleep! Don't you feel silly now?"

(Or alternately: "Oh, you think THAT was terrible? HA HA HA I'M GOING TO WAKE UP EVERY 15 MINUTES FOR NO REASON AT ALL.")

Back in the days when Ike was a mostly pretty good sleeper, his bedtime originally settled around 9 pm. Late, yes, but it was nice because I could help get The Other Two into bed before getting called up to Boob Duty, and Jason could squeeze in some baby cuddle time that didn't involve The Other Two dive-bombing Ike's face over and over and over because Baby Ike! Baby Ike! Baby Ike! He's so cute! We want to hug his neck with a vengeance!

Eventually it was clear that 9 pm was entirely too late and he was going to pieces by then, so we tried edging it up. But then there was his tendency to take a late, short catnap around 6:30ish, which yes, YES I KNOW, was not a good idea but it allowed me to get the stupid mac n' cheese on the table and the cocktails in the shaker, so I went with it. But the nap wasn't long enough to really count as sleep and yet was just enough to take the edge off for a few hours, at which point Ike would lose his shit when he went from zero to massively overtired in a span of a few minutes.

We tried an 8:30 bedtime, then 8, and even a 7:30. Still hideous. I tried getting him to take a nap earlier, at a more appropriate time. Swaddling, no swaddling. Adding an extra, post-boob bottle. Same result: A screechy, exhausted baby who would not put himself to sleep without maximum sturm und drang, and who would, at best, sleep fitfully all night, with lots of wakings and irritation, until finally conking out good and cold at...oh, 5 am? Maybe 6? HOW'S THAT WORK FOR YOU? 

But now it's looking increasingly like we just hadn't moved his bedtime up early enough. That 6:30 "nap" was actually him trying to tell us to knock that shit off and put him to bed already. 

So now Ike's bedtime routine kicks off Early Bird style...by 6:15 he's in the bath, by 6:30 he's changed and lotioned and strapped into his Nighttime Battle Armor Diaper, and then we rock and nurse and sing for a little bit and he's out like a light by 7 pm. 

And on four out of the last five nights, I haven't heard a peep from him until 7 am.

Oh the fifth night, he woke up once, at 3:30. I nursed him and he went back down within 15 minutes. I sense that waking was a warning because I think he somehow knew that I was thinking about writing this post. 



Weekend Thing Three: 

Ezra left this for me in my phone's photo library. I...I don't know what it is, but it is oddly reminiscent of a Top Chef Quickfire challenge, no? 


Ezra Storch, your Next Top Iron Chef Food Network Chopped Star From Hell's Kitchen Challenge


Life of a Doctor's Wife

I love Ike's "I am watching you with deep suspicion, woman" look.

And yay, Noah!! Congrats on the new belt!


Weekend Thing Two = could be a sign from the blogging gods to me that my lil man's general grumpiness around 7pm and the fact that his afternoon nap is getting later and later might mean that he too would like to not be put down at 9:30 at night...hmmm...


LOL...when my youngest started preschool at almost 2 1/2 (he's 6 1/2 now) he stopped napping. Go figure. But boy oh boy was he a mess at night. Yup, we started putting him to bed at 6:30. Makes for no going out to dinner or doing dinner with friends but it makes for a much saner Mom. Because he was so tired he was waking up at hours that just were not going to fly in this house. Yay to everyone getting some much needed rest!


Um, I can relate to the baby early bedtime. Mine is out at 6:30, anything later is miserable for everyone in the house. He is nine months old and has recently decided that he will only nap if he is held and rocked. No early bedtime cure for that nonsense.


I'm a nanny. My boss lady instructed me to wake her sleeping baby at 8:15, let him "play" naked for a half hour and then give him a bath and bottle so that his bedtime is 10 pm. She thinks this works. It does not. Why am I commenting on here? Maybe I secretly hope she reads your blog and will see that she is, in fact, incorrect. But seriously, Ike is too damn cute for words.


That sounds like our baby. When the daylight savings change occurred, we put him to bed at 7 pm instead of 8 pm so he would not stay up the "extra" hour, and ever since 7 pm has been his bedtime.


Dear Amy,
I like you a lot. I've been reading your blog since the pre-Noah days and have two babies roughly Ezra and Ike's age. Clara is a few weeks younger than Ike, and sleeps in a manner similar to your previous post. I'm ashamed to say that I swore at the computer when you wrote he slept til 7 am....and that he did it more than once. Part of me is really happy for you. The other part of me is rubbing my crusty tired eyes and would like to take a nap.

Thank you I think for saying that things should get better. And please god let it be soon. My first born was an awesome sleeper and left me woefully unprepared for this bullshit.


Yes! My little critter is the same way. He is in bed by 6pm, or the shit hits the fan.

Getting takeout now constitutes a fancy family dinner out.


Oh, congrats on the new belt! Ew on the not quite kitchen delight and Ike. Baby Ike. I want to hug him and squeeze him and call him...Ike. Also, the reverse psychology of sleepage...no worketh. All the babies have told me.


My little guy had a 6:30 bedtime for a long time too. We only figured it out because a friend told us they put THEIR kid down that early. At first it sounded inhumane, but he loved it and slept 12 hours a night. I miss those days!


I'm intrigued by the sleep information, since my 3 month old sleeps well at night(mostly! Karma, don't listen! I said mostly!), but has been really iffy about naps.

But I'm more intrigued by what Ike's eating. Is that a big, peeled apple? Do babies like to suck on big, peeled apples? Do you need to wait for teeth for that?

(My boy's big for his age, and my pediatrician has given an okay to start solid foods, which I'm delaying because I'm scared. But info for down the line is helpful.)


It is SO funny that you posted Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3- when in Florida this past week, we went to Whoville in Universal Studios and bought our 3 boys Things 1, 2 & 3 shirts AND wait for it... The Husband and I also bought "Father of all Things" and "Mother of all Things" shirts. Can you say shut up?!? And also CHRISTMAS CARD??? I can!


I am also wondering what Ike is eating/handling, but would like to say to roo (above) that she should probably wait a while longer to introduce solids. When the baby can pick up and hold things, then they're good to gnaw on them, usually. Actually, when I think about it, a whole apple seems like a really good thing for a small baby - he can't chomp off a bite big enough to choke on, but he can hold it and taste it and roll it around and probably gnaw little bits off. Now, if it's a raw potato, I'm lost.


You are on baby number three, SURELY you have read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." Right? 'Cuz a 6:30 bedtime is like standard for that guy. Any other moms reading this who are having baby sleep problems might appreciate that book, too. Regardless of his suggested methods (which you can take or leave), the guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to timing of sleep, and the best times for sleep for kids of all ages. It's like, based on research and stuff. I should know, I have TWO WHOLE KIDS, so I'm like a parenting genius. Or something.


Hooray for the new belt! I can't stand when I have to talk to my kid while I'm videotaping because I always manage to sound like a crazy shrew on playback. Glad you got to him just in time. (We're not a karate family so I didn't *exactly* follow what was happening, but it sounds like you got to him just in time!)

And dare I say it... I think I might spy a bib that I somewhat anonymously made and mailed for your virtual shower when you were pregnant with Ezra. Fun!

Christy S.

My daughter is almost 4 and still goes to bed at 6. I found out the hard way that letting her stay up late = hell for me. People (i.e. my mother) always ask me why I'm so "mean" and won't let her stay up late. It's because I'M the one that pays the price - if she goes to bed late, she wakes up multiple times, is up by dawn for the day and acts like a complete monster. Early bedtimes FTW!


My older two never went to bed before 8:00 as babies and that worked out well for all of us. But #3, who is just over a year old INSISTS on 6:30 bedtime. She is happy, happy, happy, BAM--cue eye rubbing and general crankiness. And then when I put her in her sleeping bag (sleep sack, whatever) she actually laughs because she's so happy to get to bed.


@ Christine-- yeah, I was thinking for down the line, because, like you said, the tactile/sucking/hard-to-bite-off-a-chokey-bit did seem good...

I'm waiting on any non-milk foods until after I see if Santa's bringing me a food processor.


We used the "3 day sleep solution"..i'm sure you will google it:) Basically, it was a 6:00 pm bedtime and a 6am wake up! Ofcourse I thought it was ridiculous UNTIL it worked for us on the first try. At a year old my son woke up on average every 2 hrs. It was like having a newborn! First night on the new system he slept from 7-5am...next night 6-5, and from then on 6-5 til he was 2 years old. I started the system when my second son was about 6 months old and we got into a good groove for a few months, then he got sick with a bad cough blah blah blah allergies/asthma...and finally was sleeping through the night at a year old. There was a great book also called "Is my child over tired?" written by a doctor...forgot his name but it had some great info.


u r so darn funny and adorable, i wov u and ur babies!

Nancy aka Wacky Mommy

Apfel? He's cute. Tell big guy the Internets say congrats on the belt. Happy holidays to you, Jason and The Boyz.


Hi! I am insanely jealous of Ike sleeping through the night at 6 months old. My 2 year old still doesn't, despite trying every trick in the book. The point of this comment though, is to tell you that I am 20 weeks pregnant with my second (sex TBD) and last night I had a dream I had a boy. When I woke up I realized that baby boy I had was Ike. Whoops! Sorry I dream-stole your baby.


Both my 15 month old and my 3 year old are in bed by 7:15 (at the latest) almost every night. With work/school schedules I get them up around 6 in the morning and they need those 11 hours of sleep.

We often get looks, eye rolls and comments about how early they go to bed, but I don't care. They are happier this way.


Um, what do these sleep experts say for us working moms who don't get him until 5:30? My little guy eats at 6, bath by 7 and bed by 8:30 and still sleep horribly. He wakes generally around midnight, again at 2-2:30 and then finally, at 4, we put him in with us.

My mom cares for him while I work and I can't ask her to feed him again! She already does breakfast and lunch.


Karen-I am a working mom and it totally Sux with a capital S! to do early bedtime, but this is how it went down for us. Your situation sounded exactly like ours did a couple weeks ago.
I get him from daycare at 5:30. He eats supper at 6, bath if needed, change diapers and pjs and nursing to sleep by 7. Bed by 7:15. It has made a world of difference in our house as opposed to 8:30. He only wakes up once now instead of 3-4 times and that is to nurse and get a diaper change. He seems like he would like to be in bed sooner, but I have a hard enough time getting in everything plus being able to SEE him a little! He was totally overtired and now even takes naps sometimes at daycare!


As long as we stick to the schedule we are good. It doesn't work so well if we travel anywhere.
It is nice to have a happy, well-rested baby who is more willing to go down to sleep. We started and had a better, easier night in two days. The first night was a little rough at about 1 am but the rest have been wonderful. It's nice to sleep!


yup. pretty sure my little one is making sure i regret every single time i told someone she slept through the night. it's not my fault. i never once brought it up. i guess i was supposed to lie when someone asked. but, seriously, if you have kids and you KNOW to never talk about a good sleeper WHY do you ask?
Sorry, tired from waking up every 20 minutes almost every night for the last two weeks.


Congrats to Noah! Our eldest son tested and earned his yellow senior belt yesterday (taekwondo), and I am already freaking out about the belt ceremony this weekend. Last time it was a nightmare; he couldn't sit still and was reprimanded by multiple people. When did the ceremony become more stressful than the test?

Anne Pasi

Ah, yes. The magic of the early bedtime. I too read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. For a time, I remember putting my babies to bed at 5:30 and they slept until 6 or 6:30. It's like a little secret club of moms who get a lot of eye rolls and flack, but hey, if my kid is sleeping 12 hours a night, don't judge!

Erica @ expatriababy

Thing three jut made me wake up my baby from laughing too hard. Thanks a lot, lady. ;)


I've had 4 and they were all different levels of sleepers. The best one was the last one. Even if he woke up, he'd self sooth himself back to sleep relatively quickly without crying. It was like a miracle baby. He's much worse at sleeping now that he's 4. Ugh. Wakes at least once a night most nights. He cries but isn't truly awake and doesn't really respond to anything. I'm hoping he'll sort himself out soon.


Your boys are so adorable. When I saw the photos of Ike with this blog entry, I thought, "they finally got a kid who looks like Jason."


6:30pm bedtime is the ONLY rule that I am relentlessly strict on. I have a 5 year old, 4 year old twins and an 8 month old (all boys... plus a 16 year old girl who goes to bed whenever she wants AS LONG AS she's pleasant the next day). They all need at least 12 hours of sleep or forget it. And without those 3 or 4 hours of kid free (cocktail rich!) hours, I'd go nuts.

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