The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

More Sleep Needed

Little by little the girls sleep has been eroding.  I didn’t realize it at first.  Caden stopped taking naps at daycare.  The report was that she tossed and turned and kept herself up.  I didn’t think much of it.  Bedtime is at 8:00pm, but shenanigans were occuring until 8:30, then 8:45, then 9:30.  They both took naps on Sunday, but Monday Caden didn’t get a nap and holy wow did she have the mother of all meltdowns.  As we were leaving daycare, at home, and again at bedtime.  I had to rock her and sing and pull out tricks I haven’t used in two years or more!  That was when I realized she was tossing and turning because she was overtired, not because she wasn’t tired.

The should be getting 11-13 hours of sleep.  They get somewhere around 10.5 at night, with hopefully an hour plus nap at school.  But if they miss the nap?  Then they are definitely short on sleep.

At this point, strict bedtime rules have been laid down.  I used to just let them work it out because SERIOUSLY, intervening all the time gets old and makes me lose my sanity.  Also?  They share a room and will share a room for a very long time, so they need to figure out how to go to sleep together.  (And before anyone mentions, NO they do not need to be separated.  That won’t solve anything.)  But, clearly things have gotten out of hand and so they are not allowed to get out of bed, turn the light on, or talk loudly.  If they do, they lose their pillow pets.  I have to come in again and they lose their taggie blankets.  This is no I’ll take your stuffed animals! threat.  I’m serious and there are no warnings.

I’m also seriously considering moving their bedtime to 7:30pm again.  Last night we were at Target and both girls were staring as we checked out.  It was 7:00pm and of course, by the time we got home and unloaded things, they were wound up again and it was 9:00pm before they were even close to falling asleep.  I’m missing those sleep cues that I used to be so good at catching when they were tiny.

I’m hoping it won’t take long to get back into a good sleep routine!

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Excellent Choice

* Laney’s mattress was a huge hit for two nights. Then the next two nights I found her sleeping on the floor.

* We had awesome bedtimes for a week, but once the weekend hit it all fell apart again. I’ve realized this is one of the things that really drains me, so I’ve instituted a new bedtime policy. I tuck in, give a kiss and a hug, and then I’m done. There’s no going back into their room, no more tucking in, no taking away animals/blankets. Delaney is not taking to this new policy very well. She very well may fall asleep at the top of the stairs for the next few nights.

* Rosa Mexicano opens downtown on Thursday. I was lucky enough to get invited to the soft opening last night. We had an amazing dinner, and it was all free! I highly recommend the sangria, cheese fondue, and the cheesecake. And yay for not having to travel to New York to eat there!

* Speaking of New York, I’m taking a last minute business trip there next week. I’m hoping it’s rejuvenating in that this is my city kind of way, because that would be perfect.

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Turn the Corner

It was chilly in Minnesota yesterday, but not quite *that* chilly. But, the girls wanted to bust out their winter hats and mittens and I figured it would be a good time to figure out what I need to buy at the sale this weekend.

As the weather has been turning chillier, the sun going down earlier, the girls have been falling asleep faster. Is it the cool weather? Is it the change in seasons? Is it more activity in preschool? Who knows. I do know that last year I moaned all summer about their sleep and then *snap*, it changed. I thought that happened after daylight savings ended, but I’ll take it sooner if that’s what this is. If this is a phase so be it, but if it’s for a while? Woo! Getting my evenings back would be Amazing.

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A Comfy Bed

For a while now, Delaney has been complaining about her bed. She doesn’t want to sleep in it, it’s not comfy, she wants to sleep on the floor/couch/my bed. For the longest time I took it as a procrastination attempt and told her that we all sleep in our own beds, and that her bed was just fine. But there was something about the way she said it (and the fact that she didn’t actually want me in my bed when she slept in it) that made me really believe her. She’s slept on a lot of different beds lately, and I think she likes a cushier mattress. I know I do!

I’ve contemplated a lot of solutions to this. Having them share a queen size bed isn’t an option. We’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. I’ve always said I can’t fit two twin beds in their room, but the other day I figured out a way that it would work. But, that involves purchasing beds (expensive) and redecorating their room (not sure I can talk anyone into painting that room again), so not right now. What I wanted was a pillow top something for on top of her mattress. I found that they sell memory foam toppers for crib mattresses, but the cost was as much as a new mattress! When I was on the Costco website I found a two-in-one mattress. One side is firm for an infant, the other is less firm for a toddler. Sold!

It should be here in a few days. Until then, I’ve put a folded up blanket under her mattress pad which she loves. If the blanket > the new mattress, the mattress will go back. Oddly enough, the girls have fallen asleep faster the past few nights than they usually do. Coincidence? I hope not!

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Sleepy Kids

I’ve been playing fast and loose with sleep this summer. Skipping naps on weekends, and staying up late when we’re at the lake. Delaney had an absolutely no good horrible Monday and Tuesday last week and I realized it was all because she was way overtired. Her behavior was beyond what I’d ever seen before and it affected everyone – me, Laney, Caden, and daycare. Ugh.

The thing is, my kids still need their naps. If they are doing anything active at all, they need some rest time and that needs to be more than just reading books in their bed. They also need to get to bed at a normal time. In the summer it’s so easy to try to enjoy the warm weather, but the price we all pay is too high, so no more of that. Even worse? I realized I really wasn’t being consistent at bed time. I brought back bedtime rules, strictly enforced them and the one thing that always works for us – made everyone sleep in their own bed every night. It’s amazing how that one little piece makes a huge difference for us always. If there isn’t the lure if climbing in with Mama, they somehow don’t wake up in the middle of the night.

Saturday morning we met my SIL and nieces at a park. There was a pretty decent set of steps to get up to the slide and the kids must have gone up and down 15 times as well as running all over the climbers. When we were at the camera store Caden asked if she could sleep downstairs for nap. It was such an odd request that I told her we’d discuss it at home. As I drove home I realized, Caden was really tired and knew Laney would keep her up at naptime so she asked to sleep downstairs where it would be quiet and she would be by herself. I tucked her into the couch and she was out within minutes. Laney napped in my room (god forbid she sleep in her room by herself), but took a good 20 minutes to calm down and finally sleep. They both slept for two hours.

I feel like I waffled all summer on sleep. Now, it feels good to know our boundaries. And hopefully this means no more sleep posts for a while!

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It was a slow day

I have no funny stories from today, and I forgot to take pictures of their new fall shoes, so you’re stuck with a post on sleep because it’s really the only thing making my head hurt these days.

*Okay, one story, but it wasn’t funny. Delaney walked into the sharp corner of a brick wall on the way out to the car. Yowza. We ran back into daycare for an ice pack. As their teacher handed it to me, Caden was walking backwards trying to talk to me, and ran into the buggy and tripped and fell. Their teacher looked at me with a straight face and said “You want another?” It wasn’t needed but seriously my kids fall down/run into things a lot.

So sleep. Delaney fights bedtime. She has a whole host of reasons that she drags out one at a time. Caden goes willingly, and then comes out to tell me something thirteen times. I have tried silently walking them back to bed, I have tried sticker charts, I have tried skipping naps (was that a disaster!), I have tried letting them stay up later, and I’ve separated them. Nothing works. Best case scenario they are asleep by 9:00pm. Worst case we’ve ever had was 11:00pm, and that night I moved Caden to my room and just let Delaney work her issues out on her own.

Most nights I’m fairly zen about it, although some nights I’m definitely not. I keep assuming this is a summer thing, and that once fall hits and they move to their new room at daycare, that sleep will fall back in line again. But if it doesn’t? Then I will absolutely lose it.

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Early mornings do not equal early bedtimes

There’s been a lot going on at work this week so I’ve been getting up early to get in early. I was worried about waking the girls early, but they’ve been waking on their own when I get up so it hasn’t been an issue. The morning hustle has been drama free as well. They get dressed immediately and put on their shoes the first time I ask. Our mornings have been so exceedingly pleasant we may continue the pattern next week.

But, early mornings mean they are tired come nap time which means a two hour nap. Lovely. Monday night Caden came downstairs at 9:30 saying she couldn’t sleep. Fine, watch some tv with me for 15 minutes. Tuesday night she came downstairs at 9:00. Wednesday night Delaney banished her from the bedroom at 8:15 she was so wild. I don’t mind occasionally watching tv with her but I need my alone time at night! And I wasn’t getting it at all. And I was getting cranky.

Last night she started coming out five minutes after bedtime again and I decided we needed to nip this one in the bud. Caden has always had some weird sleep habits at night and I get it, if you’re not tired, you’re not tired. But we were past not tired and into just wanting to hang out with Mom and no thank you. I’m really, really ready to reclaim my evenings.

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So close

A few weeks ago Delaney suddenly started having dry diapers in the morning. She’s done this before, but never consistently. Five days in a row her diaper was dry, so I asked if she wanted to sleep without a diaper and she was all in.

She’s been awesome! She generally gets up once to go to the bathroom before she falls asleep, and there’s no rush to the bathroom when she wakes up. It’s been so nice. We’re so close to diaper free I can taste it.

Except it looks like I need to be prepared for dream peeing? Wednesday night she woke up crying and when I went into their room she was standing by her bed. There was something odd about it and somehow I just knew she had to go to the bathroom. I brought her into the bathroom and as soon as we got in there she peed. On the floor. Which of course made her cry harder. I cleaned her up, got new pajama bottoms and she was back asleep within minutes. I thought maybe this would throw things off but the next morning she didn’t even remember it! Last night she asked me why her pajamas didn’t match but I just mumbled a reply. No need to relive that one.

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Summer Sleep

I feel like the girls and I have mostly found our groove these days. We have fun, there is limited boundary testing, and everyone is in a pretty happy mood most of the time. At this age that is helped by two factors. 1) I work. 2) I make sure our weekend plans involve other people. These two little ladies talk a lot. A lot a lot. Many people have commented that they do not shut up. If they are comfortable with you, it’s nonstop chatter and questions. One morning I had just stepped into the shower when Caden came in talking and I said “The talking cannot start already! Please go back to the living room!” Now when she sees me going into the bathroom she says “Mama you need some time? I close the door?” Yes please.

The wrinkle in all of this is still bedtime. It takes somewhere around an hour, sometimes more, for them to finally go to sleep. If that’s all it was, it probably wouldn’t bother me. But they come out and have to tell me something, have to go to the bathroom, can’t find their blanket, can’t sleep, need covers. Dear god it is nonstop that entire hour. Now I just get on the treadmill and shout to them to go back to their room when they peek their heads downstairs. I wish things went better but, I feel like bedtime sucked last summer too. Hopefully we only have a few more months of this and then things will settle down a bit.

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Sleep Analysis

I posted to my local multiples group asking if I should continue separating the girls at bedtime. It was working, but it wasn’t something I was willing to do indefinitely. The agreement was that if I wanted them to continue sleeping in the same room, they needed to learn how to fall asleep together. And so I’ve been letting the party rage on at bedtime. Only this time, I don’t go in. Eventually someone cries and then I do, but other than that I go about my business. It’s nice except for the nights when someone is crying every 10 minutes.

But, once again, people asked if maybe they weren’t ready to give up their nap. Would that help them fall asleep faster at night? For me, it’s time to give up naps when it causes them to take forever to fall asleep at night. Just because they don’t want to take a nap isn’t reason enough. We go through that phase every few months. I’ve always said no, they need their naps, but I also didn’t want to discount this without really looking into it.

I’ve been keeping track of naps and when they fall asleep at night. Basically it comes down to this – No matter if they nap or don’t nap, or when they go to bed, they fall asleep at 9:00pm. Also? They *need* their naps. They didn’t nap on Friday, got a short nap mid dance recital on Saturday and we’ve been paying for it since. Caden fell asleep immediately Sunday and Monday at naptime. Delaney took a little while to fall asleep both days, but also took good naps both days.

At one point I thought maybe we were close to dropping the nap, but after this weekend I think naps will be part of our day for a while.

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