Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home Improvements

Both of these fixes are aimed at buying us a few additional minutes of sleep.  Such a precious commodity, isn't it?

First up, Joe's solution when I asked him to do something to muffle the 'beep beep' sound that our house alarm control panel makes:

Yes, that is the detachable hood from a toddler coat, taped to the wall.

Next up, what I affectionately refer to as "Poor Man's Blackout Shades":


Ironically, the room in which we've installed the Poor Man's Blackout Shades used to be referred to as "the dungeon" for its cool and dark properties, even without the tin foil.  Many a friend has had their child nap here for hours longer than they ever nap in their own homes, at least that's what they've sworn to me.  People have joked that we must be pumping sleep inducing gas through the vents. 

However, when this became Georgia's room this winter, we found that the sunlight reflecting off of piled up snow in the gangway was making the room brighter, so we quickly put the kibosh on that by slapping up some tape and tin foil.  It's been highly effective in this partially sub-grade room where we don't otherwise care about the view or about letting sunlight in at other times of day. 

While we're on the subject of sleep, can you please do me the favor of answering the following question?:

Would you say that the reason that Georgia has woken up (on average) at 7:30 a.m. everyday since birth (for almost 3 years now), but in the last 10 days has started waking up closer to 5:30 a.m. is because:
 (a) God is punishing us for all that sleep we've banked; this is payback.
(b) It's almost the summer solstice, the longest days of the year, and something about that is affecting her biorhythms, causing her to awaken nearly 2 HOURS EARLIER, despite the presence of almost no light in her room. 
(c) This is a sign of impending doom:  wave goodbye to her afternoon nap, because it is ending.  (Additional fact, though: she has really still been taking consistently good naps.)
(d)  I jinxed everything by publicly announcing on this blog that she slept until 8:37 Saturday before last. 
My vote is (d).  How do I undo this? 

I will love you forever if you have something to offer besides just laughing in my face.  And if the choice really is naps vs. sleeping later in the morning, what's a mother to do?  I just don't feel ready to relinquish our blissful mid-afternoon "down time" when both girls are asleep!


Me? A Mom? said...

patent that noise muffler device STAT! LOL. That's so fantastic.

Beth said...

When Alice was successfully sleeping through the night, and things were good at about 12 - 18 months, someone at work said to me, "Oh don't get to comfortable! That sleep thing keeps changing week after week!" And I've certainly found that to be true. Back in March we went through a STRING of nights where Alice needed to come see us in the middle of the night. Now, lately, (KNOCK ON WOOD!) she is happy to sleep the whole night.

Angelique said...

I agree with Beth...their sleep habits are constantly changing. Just sleep when you can!!!
P.S. We use black poster board for the boys bedroom windows...

Ann said...

Oh, I'm so not laughing in your face. We've been through the 2 hour earlier wakeup recently and after much soul searching, I don't think it was light related at all. This was back in February so there was no light at 4:50 am. But there were molars popping through, and then a cold. And once it calmed back down, we had a couple of nice months. And then she started it again this week. And I realized her canine teeth were coming through. So who knows? This can't be Georgia's excuse, but sometimes I think it's just something is a bit off and when they wake up that early and groggy they just don't wanna be alone. Elisa is usually great about sleeping 12 hours, but I've been coaxing her back to sleep with milk and Motrin (for the teeth). Wish it was the panacea for all, but it's only what's been working for us. But another friend's son is doing it too and he has no windows in his room. So who knows. Good luck til this passes!

Sara Brown said...

Sorry, but nap or no nap - E still wakes up between 6:45 and 7:15. I think it is a glitch and this too shall pass! I say enjoy the quiet afternoons. I think that I made Megan have quiet time in her room when the twins were napping until she went off to full day kindergarten. Then lo and behold, they even had a rest in kinder!

Christine said...

I agree that sleep habits change ALL the time, although Georgia's 7:30 a.m. consistent wake-up pretty much negates that assertion. But I also I think kids are just wired differently. You can try to block out the light and keep as quiet as possible, but if a kid wants to get up, he or she will get up.

Donn and I are debating about permanently separating the twins at night, like we do during naps, because now that they have twin beds, they are very eager to explore the house. Leo more so than Henry. Leo will get up at 4 a.m. to look around and see if anyone is awake and then tuck himself back in bed. He's then ready to party at 6 a.m. or EARLIER every morning. Henry could sleep all day long if he could, but Leo won't let him. In fact, Leo likes to come in everone's room, turn on the lights and say "Rise and shine!" I think we finally convinced him that this was not ok because people who are sleeping really need to sleep.

I debated about getting black-out drapes but decided against it because Leo aready tore down the blinds in his room. We finally managed to fix them but the kid won't stop playing with them, so we've resorted to leaving them up, which, in turn, shines more morning sunlight in the room than ever before. Interestingly, Henry is completely unaffected by the bright sun in the room. He'll sleep through anything, except Leo's persistent shaking of him awake. But the first glimmer of sun that appears is Leo's cue to start the day.

He is napping less and less during the day, an indication to me that he is nearing the point of giving up the nap entirely. I have mixed feelings about this because I'll have 2 kids up in the afternoon-- 2 kids who would rather play/wrestle than have quiet time. On the other hand, when the nap goes, at least they go to bed earlier. The twins aren't going down until 9:30, mostly because they're goofing off, whereas Charlie is ready at 7:30 or 8:00. I used to think it was challenging having babies! HA!

Count your blessings, my dear, that you were blessed with sleepy kids. :)

Brenna said...

I have nothing to offer as Anna wakes up at 5:50a.m. promptly. However, I do think you need to send both of those photos into