"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My kids sleep.  They are good sleepers.  Therefore, I am a member of the Parents of Kids Who Sleep Well Club (POKWSW Club, for short).  My oldest kids are obsessed with clubs.  They create clubs for everything, and the members are constantly changing.  It's pretty entertaining, but it's reeeeally annoying when there's a break up and drama over these made up clubs!! 

 Remember this?  Are we the only people with posters hanging on every single door of the house!??

I now make clubs for everything, so there you go.

So, our kids are great sleepers now, but that hasn't always been the case.  There was a day not that long ago when we were the new parents with the desperate, irrational fear that we'd never sleep again.  We've been through phases when nap time didn't exist, and we were up and down every hour throughout the night. 

Ryleigh was a terrible sleeper as a baby, she didn't nap consistently, and by the time Rugger was born I couldn't imagine how I'd handle a newborn and a toddler on zero sleep.  Rugger slept pretty well at first, but then at about 6 months started waking up in the night every single hour.  By his first birthday I'd read every sleep book on the market, and thought I had a pretty good handle on Ryleigh's situation, but couldn't fix Rugger!  On a whim we had him adjusted by our chiropractor friend, and he slept through the night that night and every night since.  Hello...modern day miracle!!! 

Turns out, looking back now, I'm so glad I went through that phase when I did.  The 2.5 straight years of no sleeping, reading, researching online, talking to anyone who I thought might have a clue.  It sure helped me be proactive about the sleep schedules of the next three babies I didn't even know we'd have!  Lord knows I wouldn't be able to handle my day now if I was sleep-deprived and couldn't look forward to a slight break in the afternoon.  I thought I was busy back then with two kids.  Two kids!??  Well, I was busy, it's just all relative ya know?

If given the option, Ryleigh would organize her day like this:  Wake up at 9am, eat breakfast, read from 9:30-Noon, eat lunch, read from 12:30-5, eat dinner, read from 5:30-8pm, go to bed.  Have I mentioned how much I love her?  She hasn't napped for a few years and has a very good sense about how much sleep she requires.  If she's extra tired she'll put herself to bed early, or lay herself down for a nap during the day.  She is Miss Responsible.

If given the option, Rugger's daily routine would look like this:  Wake up at 6am, chat with dad before he goes to work, play Legos, wake Rowen up when he's bored by 7am, run like a wild beast throughout the house and wake anyone up who's within a 2 block radius, eat breakfast by 8am, go outside and ride his bike until his second breakfast at 10am, go back outside, lunch at Noon, go back outside until his second lunch at 3, go back outside until dinner at 5, back outside until he's so filthy he can't bend his arms or legs due to mud-caking issues, in at 8 for a bath and his second supper, asleep by 9. 

How does a kid have that much energy and sleep so little?  Oh, it's probably from the huge quantities of FOOD he consumes throughout the day.  Lord, come quickly or send us to live on a farm, please. 

Thankfully Rugger has a mother who requires him to relax for two seconds in the afternoon, and a lot of times I look up and he's snoozing behind his book!  Adorable. 

Reise loooooves to sleep.  She takes a great 2-3 hour nap still, daily, and sleeps 12-13 hours at night.  She loves her fuzzy froggy blanket and gets herself snuggled up, pops in her thumb, and looks like she's half way to heaven.  Sweetest thing ever.  The snaggle-tooth she's bound to have there in front won't be super sweet, but what can I do?  The dentist said not to worry about it, she'll probably need braces anyway because her mouth is tiny and her teeth are crowded.  Awesome news doc, thank you!  Ha!!  Seriously, I love our dentist. 

Maeson is the easiest kid on the planet when it comes to sleep, which makes the least amount of sense to me.  While his schedule at our house is always consistent, I'd just assume he'd have some trouble adjusting to going back and forth.  Nope.  He hops right in, messes with his silky blanket for a minute or two, and he's out like a light.  Once in a while he'll start chatting with Rowen and they'll get wound up and take a few minutes to calm down.  Most of the time though, he's easy as pie. 
On the other hand, Rowen complains every time he's sent to bed for nap or at night.  For real?  Come on, now.  He's been in the same routine for almost three years, and he seriously thinks if he whines I'll just say "oh, sure buddy, lets skip your nap today!"  He might be spoiled but there's no WAY I'm letting him give up his nap for a little fussing.  Heck, no.  Nighty-night, my sweet boy, you and I will love each other even more when I see you in three hours.  After the initial resistance though, he's all about getting tucked in with his piggy and his new favorite kitty. 

Mr. Spoiled also goes through phases where he's up at 6am thinking he's going to start the day.  Once in a great while I'll let him sleep with me in my bed (because he's spoiled and he's my very last baby, and I love snuggling with him!), but usually I send him back to bed.  Everyone's happier when I get up, shower, and get some things going for the day before everyone else gets up.  And by everyone's happier, I mean I am happier, which is basically the same thing.  I've found that a few days of sending him back to bed to finish out the "night" actually eventually results in him sleeping later in the morning on his own. 

In fact, the same goes for naps.  If I had a nickle for every time a new-mommy friend asked me how to get her kid to take better naps, I'd be able to pre-pay for Reise's braces.  Send them back to bed!  Do it over and over and over for days upon days, until they finally just stay asleep.  I promise, it will work if you're consistent.  It will not work if you aren't.  Those crazy kids will keep on trying if they think you might give in.  For goodness sake, Rowen still tries it and I've never given in. 

I love this phase of life.  I am so sad that it's going by so quickly, and I'm determined to enjoy every single day.  My level of enjoyment during the day is positively correlated to how much sleep I've had.  Soooo happy to be a member of the POKWSW Club, life rocks over here!  :)

Choosing to love,


Tori said... Best Blogger Tips

great blog! loved the sweet pics of the kids sleeping!
ps, im with you, ppl who say that they are still waking up in the night with their 3 year olds, i.don't.get.it. my kids dont love to sleep but they sleep through the night for heavens sake! but naps are a thing of the past in our house :(

Gma Marcy said... Best Blogger Tips

Always love to read/see the latest. You're a GREAT mom!

Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

Jinxed myself! Woke up plastered in Rowen this morning. Hahaha! My laundry is caught up and my bathroom is clean, should have known it was too good to be true! :)

Gu34 said... Best Blogger Tips
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

:) I should also say, that we have phases where for one reason or another someone is up every night! We've resorted to bribing them with candy in the morning for staying in bed all night (that works!), and doing sleep charts (which also work!). I think I even posted about sleep charts last summer, and the reward was a date with mom/dad. PHASES!! For the vast majority of the time though, I think we've got the sleep thing down (FINALLY) over here. Our five kids share 2 rooms, so they've just been FORCED to be hardy sleepers at nap and at night. Who knew a small house would be so great for so many things :)

Tori said... Best Blogger Tips

Im sorry I did not mean to offend. I know all kids are different and I still get the occasional visit in the night from one of mine as well. but like you I just help them back to bed and we go on with the night, sleeping. :)

Gu34 said... Best Blogger Tips

Sorry - I thought I removed that before anyone read it. I must have been a little crabby last night. What I should have said is that I don't think that kids that don't sleep through the night = bad parenting. I can keep as consistent a schedule as possible, limit sugar etc.. and it just depends on if they are going through a phase or not.
Jacob (2 yr old) has only ever slept well when he is not working on teeth. So as soon as I realized that molars were coming in I KNEW that it meant months of getting up several times a night to tuck him back in. (Of course all his teeth come one at a time so it makes it a long process!)
Dailee (3 yr old), fights all naps and bedtimes but generally sleeps through the night. She does get into a phase where she'll wake up once for a week or so and need to be tucked back in. I just don't like the perception that you aren't good at parenting if you don't get to sleep through the night. Sometimes it just doesn't matter!

Lynne said... Best Blogger Tips

Hold on a few years and your major task will be to get your kids up before noon. :)

As for me, well . . . Samantha the Dog who was raised from infancy by people who stay up all night, has taken to waking me up around midnight every night. Why? She would like a midnight snack, please. Prances to the kitchen and stares up at the counters. Whine. Whine. Whine. Pleading eyes. No snack. Ugh. I don't think she's going to grow out of this one!

Love your blog, Becky! Thanks for sharing your lives with us.