Put to the test

This post was first published one year ago. But since I really liked it back then and I have now moved to another blog-domain, I am re-posting it again. Enjoy.

Since the New Year started more than 3 months ago (OMG!) I feel like I have been constantly put to the test – to all different kind of tests, actually.

2013 was still in its infancy when my family – particularly my granny – had to make a decision which we had adjourned for quite a while: It was time for my granddad to move into a nursing home. When this topic came up a long time ago I was assuring my support as a matter of course. I didn’t know then HOW difficult a process it would actually become. Indeed it was my granddad himself who finally set things into motion and wanted to move but it was my granny  who I feared would crack left behind in a life, flat, environment she had shared with somebody for so long. Anyway, as it goes with so many things, time helps healing and so it did. Slowly things settle and we start to get used to the new constellation.

Next was a very naughty stomach flu that hit 2 out of 3 monkeys mid-january. Thank God the baby-monkey was spared with it but seeing the bigger ones so sick and weak wasn’t any better after all.

Our long-time planned, highly awaited and longed-for summer-in-winter-family-vacation in Singapore is definitely worth its own post, which is soon to follow – p-r-o-m-i-s-e! – Just as a foretaste: It was not at all what we had expected or planned but it was just so much exactly what we had needed.

Already before we took off to Singapore I gave myself a promise for after-return: Settle the baby-monkey (back) into a proper routine especially at night times. Once back home we all fought a major jet lag for almost a week but then it was time to start THE change. The baby had been giving us extremely exhausting evenings and nights since Christmas by only falling asleep while being breastfed, by waking up at the slightest movement of my arms and/or as soon as a single one of his body parts touched ground in his own bed, by being “hungry” (haha!) almost every second hour all through the night etc, etc, etc… To cut a long story short: I was so overly sleep-deprived that I was willing to do everything it took to change the current bedtime/night time situation.
Well, the first attempt (cold-hearted Ferber-method) failed right away. Baby-monkey probably isn’t just the type to easily give up on beloved habits. And – honestly – it almost broke my motherly heart to hear him cry (first) and shout (later). So I changed tactics, bought a book (highly recommended: Elisabeth Pantley!) and started to change. I changed little about the daytime routine as this was and worked almost perfectly but I changed the evening and its structure and realized the one and only key: Put the baby to bed while he is still (at least a tiny little bit) awake. And it worked!
After 4 weeks of training Jakob now falls asleep at 7.30pm and mostly sleeps until hunger pains him around 2am, which is a huge (HUGE!!!) progress and I am really happy about this. Still I wouldn’t dare to call the problem solved but I feel confident that we’re on our way to get there.

But as it is probably a natural cycle having 3 kids: One issue almost off the chart, the next already at the door step. The middle-monkey is currently giving us a hard time. He is really the most stubborn, strong and loudest boy in the hood – or at least it feels like that. We are fighting about literally everything at the moment and so far and despite all well-meant corrective methods there seems to be not that much improvement. So, this test has only just begun, unfortunately.

Last but not least there is every reason to complain about the weather, which is also putting me, my mood and my body to an awfully long and mean test. Spring has still not arrived rather we are in the middle of the most beautiful (if it wasn’t!) winter conditions. New snow every day, some days without the slightest break of snowing. Temperatures below or around zero. It just sucks. I want this over. NOW! I have had enough of shoveling masses of masses of snow, of wrapping kids in layers and layers of clothes, of scratching thick ice off my front screen. I want – I neeeeed!!! – spring. Please.

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