Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Twinny Stuff

Now that we're all getting the rest that we need (see previous blog, thank you very much!!), I have pics to load-up and and blog posts to write.

The weekend before last, we flew cross-country to Phoenix to see Cos-Aunt Leslie and Cunkle Jason. Oh, what a terrific awesome time we had. The girls are terrific little travelers....(Dirk, you are right...turned out to be a load of fun) and we have zero complaints. The direct flight from Raleigh to Phoenix was about 4.5 hours and the key, the number key, to our success was that I was all prepped with little brand-new junkie trinkets that I promptly threw away the minute we left the plane. But that was what worked. In between the whole novelty of flying, the seat buckles, the snacks (we bought!! ugh), and the "trinkets", my 2.5 years old were champs. Then, on the way back they were pros by then and nary a tough moment.

So, I would love to regale you with pics from our trip but I AM WAITING ON JASON to send me the pics to post. So, give Jason a hard time, please all, so I can show off our awesome weekend. The best best part was hiking all day long in Sedona. Wow, the girls hiked up hills, climbed up boulders, ran down trails, hiked through ice and snow, stomped through puddles and simply kept on going like energizer bunnies. But, you'll just have to imagine what that looked like UNTIL WE GET PICS FROM JASON.

Actually, the real reason we took the trip is b/c Jason is being deployed to Korea on March 8th and we all wanted to see him before his trip. Since he is leaving in just a couple of weeks, I guess he better SEND ME THE PICS before he goes across the world. :)

"Oh, Nicki....what were you saying....?" "Ah, you were screaming 'I WANT PICS FROM CUNKLE JASON"......wah wah wah.....(jason, just having fun....we love you very very much and know how busy you are now.....)


The sleeping thing, Part 3 (zzzzz...yes....zzzzz!!)

You were all right. It has all worked out....at least for 3 nights running and baby(s), I'll take that. Slowly, but surely, both girls started calming down, woke-up less often, just seemed better. Then, 3 nights ago, we quasi-Ferberized them (pretty similar to combo of Laura C and Senja's comments), and instead of going all the way downstairs..I camped-out in the study next to the nursery and started the Ferber routine. It took 3 cycles the first night (ie about 12 mins), one cycle last night (3ish mins) and was zero cycles tonight. Ah, success. And, when they wake-up in the middle of the night, I bound from my bed (yes, the one with my husband...not the mattress on the floor of the nursery!), I fly-up the staircase like a lighting bolt, and calm down before they can take their next breath.

Yep, am feeling pret-tee darn yay and hooray sa-tis-fied (!) right now.....

Shhh.......babies sleeping...!!! :)


Monday, February 18, 2008

The sleeping thing, Part 2

Hi all. You guys all gave me some really good advice and I wanted to post just to say "thanks". And, of course, so many thanks for Rony for bringing in the brigade

We are progressing just about the same as this time last week with the difference being....after getting your feedback and a few more thoughts from other resources (thanks Laura, I'll be in touch this week...)...that I now realize the best thing to do is for me to adust my expectations and stay calm. Frankly, after hearing everyone's anecdotes, it's probably helped me the most because I feel the least anxious about the whole sleeping situation now because I don't feel so "alone" in dealing with this ordeal.

We flew this past weekend (Friday-today) to visit my favorite niece, Leslie, and her awesome husband, Jason, in Arizona (really cool pics to come in next blog(s)....). Of course the sleeping situation was all upside-down in their house (Ed and I both ended up sleeping in same room with them) but now that we are back home in NC, we are going to follow through with a few techniques/processes like many of you offered up such as Diana, Christine, Truly Blessed, Heather's and others ideas about letting the girls know where I am and what I'll doing throughout the house after they go down makes a lot of sense. I noticed over the last week (as I slept on a mattress in their room) that they were waking up a lot lot less so maybe they are beginning to calm down a bit. As I write this post, I'm up in their room now (is a good time to blog and a great reason not to do chores so there's a plus!!) and I'm thinking I'll continue with this sleeping-in-their-room bit for another week or so and then I'll begin easing the mattress out into the hallway until I'm not in their room any longer....Then, we'll see if that works. I also appreciate Senya's and Sam's comment that maybe a specialist would provide some value (at least I get educated) re: possible attachment or re: their anxiety when I not up there with them throughout the night. It's funny because during the day, we're hard-pressed to observe a single issue with them (outside being typical two's!!)...

So, I'll keep you all posted. How very kind of you to drop your notes. I appreciate it. It's like I truly do have a small community of friends out there that without a doubt actually care about me and want to help. How lucky for me.

Keep a look out for our next posting ...probably later this week...as I have some AWESOME pics of the girls and me and Ed and my niece and nephew-in-law hiking and scaling rocks outside Sedona Arizonia. The girls were AMAZING......they hiked (up rocks and hills) for close to 4 hours yesterday and loved every sec. In fact, when we stopped hiking, they cried to go "climb more, Mommy, more...."!!

Now my turn to visit your blogs!
Love and Hugs,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is just a stage, right? Interested in your advice, anecdotes, perspective, ....

This is a longer post than normal but I sure would welcome your feedback, insight, comments, shared anecdotes....heck, anything as long as it's offered in a positive way.

Here's the deal: Many of you already know that Ed and I have had a charmed life these first 14 months following our return from China regarding all things relating to sleep. I'm talking charmed. We spent the first week back from China adapting to the western time zone, and then over the next few days we used a few different techniques (mostly via Richard Ferber's model) and...voila....the twins would fall asleep every night between 7:30 - 8pm with no trouble at all. None. Zip. Nada. And, they both slept through the night for 11 solid hours and woke up happy at 6-6:30....We were golden. (ah, the "golden glory" days).

Then,then, then.......I went to Europe last month (3 weeks ago) on a business trip for 9 days/8 nights. It was certainly not my first trip away from them as I travelled internationally fairly extensively a number of times before the holidays but this last trip to Europe was my longest trip thus far. Ed said that by the 4th night of my departure, both girls started to get increasingly fretful and call and cry for me a lot throughout the night and by the time I came home (poor little girls), they were extremely anxious. And...now....they no longer will go to sleep on their own. I have to lie on a pallet in their room for about 45 mins until they fall asleep. If I attempt to leave the nursery before they are asleep, they become hysterical. I'm not talking uphappy and whiny; I'm talking body completely soaked in sweat and just inconsolable. They have toddler beds so the minute they see I'm not in their room, they jump out of their beds (and they wake each other up so both girls then get hysterical) and come out of their room and stand screaming at the top of the landing (where the baby gate secures entrance to the stairs). Once I do manage to get them to sleep, I can creep out of their room for a bit, but when they wake up and see I'm not there in their room on the pallet where they last saw me, then it is mass hysteria..not normal crying but screaming like their room is on fire. Crazy upset. And, even when I do sleep on the floor in their room, at least 2-3times a night (each girl) will wake up, come over to my pallet/mattress on the floor and then will fall asleep on the floor as long as their little leg or arm is touching me.....Yep, now that's a heartbreaker thing to experience. And they'll both say (over and over again) in their very anxious little trembling wispy voices, "Mama sleeping here?"

I'm exhausted as I'm not sleeping well at all AND I'm not getting any downtime from them in the evenings after they go to sleep...much less not getting any chores down. In fact, I'm sitting here writing this blog on the mattress on the floor in their nursery. Mostly I'm exhausted b/c I truly feel bad for them. It's weighing heavy on me and I feel guilty for complaining about it. Whew....now I'm the one doing the whining... and it's stressful for Ed and me to simply not have any downtime together anymore.

So, we have called our Peds physician (who specializes in chinese adoption and also has twins herself) and we called in a child development specialist (psychologist). Both are telling us that the girls' anxiety about sleeping probably did get triggered by my 8-day trip and that they are most likely remembering the feelings of anxiety and being "left-out" from their orphanage days. They also both said that maybe we never saw this behavior before because now the girls realize the stakes are "higher" for them now more than ever and that's why they are so fiercely anxious at night.

Me? I don't know what to think or what to do or what to encourage/discourage etc...I am "out-of-my-league" with no experience and no context into this at all. I just know that when I wake-up in the middle of the night on a pallet in their room and see them crouched down next me and see them staring right at me with their little hands just rubbing my arm up and down, it melts....breaks...my heart. Poor little creatures.

But what do I do and when do I stop doing it and how long will that be? Am I doing the right thing by sleeping on a bed on the floor in their room? We actually tried moving them down to mattresses on the floor on our bedroom...(so at least Ed and I could be in the same bedroom together) but they seem much better in their own little beds. Have any of you experienced something like this before? And, I really want to know if I am creating an even "tougher-to-go-back" situation by conceding to sleeping in their room and staying with them....

I'd really appreciate any feeback, thoughts, anecdotes, perspective....

Hugs and thanks,