by Kayte

So instead of Max’s wake-up time shifting back to a more comfortable 7am, he has started getting up at a god-awful 5am that has us feeling as sleep deprived as when the kids were infants. We’ve been treating these wake-up calls the same as our goodnight routine and escorting him back to bed, but it is a much harder pill to swallow when you’re half-awake yourself. And once awake, Max usually doesn’t stay in bed for more than 5min, so we spend an hour escorting him back and forth to his bed until 6am, which we’ve determined is a [relatively] appropriate time to start the day.

I did a lot of reading on early rising, and the first step is to determine if there’s actually a problem. Toddlers need 11-13 hours of total sleep, including naps and overnight. Max & Lola take a 2-3 hour nap during the day, which leaves about 10 hours of sleep at night (8pm-6am). I read that 6am is a developmentally appropriate wake-up time for a toddler, so even if it seems early to the parents, we might have to roll with it. At 6am Max wakes up happy and alert, so that seems like his natural wake-up time. But at 5am Max is still very sleepy and then cranky all morning, so my gut tells me he should be sleeping longer.

Since the distinction between 5am and 6am is pretty arbitrary to a 2-year-old, we decided to order an OK to Wake clock. The clock lights up at a parent-set time, indicating to the child that it is okay to get out of bed. It should be here in a couple days (yay Amazon Prime) so we will soon see how it works. Initially we hope to get Max to consistently stay in his room until 6am, then we can see about incrementally pushing the time back to 6:15 or 6:30.

We were all sick during the Thanksgiving weekend, and adding sleep deprivation on top of that makes for a houseful of cranky people. Hopefully we can get this sorted out soon.


by Kayte

Brody’s side of the family flew to LA for Thanksgiving, and we cooked a big meal for a wonderful group. Anna was back (it seems like she never really leaves) with her parents & brothers, Nana Bah is in town, and Cousin Booker brought along his parents. It was a ridiculous 90* day in LA, so we had the A/C running to combat the heat of the all-day oven. We played outside, stuffed ourselves silly, and finished everything off with pie and whipped cream.

Max woke everybody up at 5am this morning, so we were all exhausted by the end of the day. Poor Lola was so tired she fell asleep sitting up on the couch.

Lowly Worm

by Kayte

Max has always called Lola “Lo-ly” (and she, in turn, calls him Maxie). When we started reading Richard Scarry’s Busytown books, Max was so excited that there was a character named Lowly. Now Lola is often referred to as Lowly Worm.

 IMG_2104.JPG IMG_2105.JPG IMG_2103.JPG

Bike Nap

by Kayte

Max & Lola had a tough ride today.


1,000 Walks

by Kayte

Brody has upgraded our toddler sleep training to the 1,000 Walks method, which I’m sure will end up being pretty accurate in the aggregate. Lest you think that everything settled down after only 3 days, we have consistently been doing our 100 walks for each nap and bedtime. Sometimes it takes as little as 2 walks (less than 5 minutes)…and I haven’t counted the upper threshold but it’s in the range of 15-30 minutes (and a lot of walking). Definitely better than nothing.

The total destruction of the bedroom has, thankfully, subsided. During the first week Max methodically explored a different part of the room during each nap, but he seems to have gotten that out of his system. We do preemptively remove the dirty wipes bin for sleep times though…

There have been a few night where Max has gotten up in the middle of the night and roamed around the house. One night he got up 5 different times, which was exhausting. A few nights he’s only gotten up once around 1am, which isn’t bad, but still disruptive to our sleep cycle.

On the positive side, I do love the part where Max runs into our room for a snuggle in the mornings. I wish it didn’t happen at 6am, but hopefully with the sun rising later that will shift back to its proper 7am place. I also like that I can snuggle and give Max a kiss when I check on them at night without leaning over a crib rail, which always kind of gave me a head rush. Plus, he is learning valuable life skills. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Happy Birthday Daddy

by Kayte




by Kayte

In addition to counting, we’ve also been working on the alphabet. Max & Lola are obsessed with letters right now. All of our alphabet books (Chicka, Babar, etc.) are on repeat and we’re constantly singing our ABCs.

I was in the kitchen when I heard Max singing to himself. He is usually even more accurate than this (especially in the Q-Z range) but today I guess he was free styling.

100 Walks

by Kayte

This weekend wasn’t too bad with Max in his new toddler bed. Max kept climbing out of bed and escaping his bedroom. We kept escorting him back to bed and telling him it was bedtime. Eventually he fell asleep. It wasn’t easy, but Brody and I were able to tag-team our efforts and collectively maintain our sanity.

Monday was a different story when Brody went to work. Max was seriously testing his limits and I was getting really frustrated. Nothing I did seem to work and sleep-deprived kids are no fun to be around. Not to mention naps are the only down time I have in a day; it’s my much-needed time to recharge too. So I was getting a little panicky.

A quick search online confirmed that I was on the right track, and gave me comfort that I was not alone! One mom dubbed it the “100 Walks” method in which you calmly lead the child back to bed with a simple phrase (“Time for bed.”) as many times as it takes. No reaction, no attention, just business.

So I hunkered down, put all thoughts of [other] productivity out of my mind, and focused on the task at hand. I decided to let Max explore his room freely as long as he wasn’t bugging Lola, but the trigger point for intervention was when he opened the bedroom door (or if I saw him doing something dangerous on the baby monitor).

This is what sleep training a toddler looks like.

Day 1
It took a full 2 hours and the entire 100 walks before Max finally was frustrated/exhausted enough to fall asleep. Poor Lola was lying in her crib the entire time just watching the show. When Max wasn’t trying to escape, he was busy emptying every drawer and shelf in the room.

Day 2
It took about 1 hour before Max finally went to sleep. He didn’t open the bedroom door as much, but he thoroughly explored the changing table drawers and practiced his gymnastics moves. Hey, it’s progress.

Day 3
After reading a few books, Max voluntarily climbed back into his bed and took a 3+ hour nap. Success!

I guess no one tells you that once you have a baby sleep trained that you get to do it all over again in another year when they’re toddlers!

Full Set

by Kayte

Lola’s final two molars came in on the right-hand side. Again, without any symptoms of teething. She now has a full set of 20 baby teeth. She will hang onto these until she’s about 6 yrs old; at that point they start falling out and the permanent teeth come in.

That second pursed-lip pose is a “Mom stop messing with my mouth” photo.

Big Boy Bed

by Kayte

We finally bit the bullet and converted Max’s crib into a toddler bed. This past week he’s been climbing into Lola’s crib, climbing out of his crib, and escaping the bedroom. We figured it’s better for him to be able to safely get out of (and back into) bed. We’ll have to figure out the staying-in-his-room part of it as we go along.

The first nap this afternoon was a little rough. Max was busy exploring his newfound freedom while Lola was trying to sleep. They ended up tag-teaming their naps, which was better than nothing.

Bedtime is also starting out a little rough. As I’m typing this Brody is trying to convince Max that it’s time for bed. Hopefully this is just an adjustment phase that will pass. Naps and and early bedtime are seriously my lifelines during the day…I get a little panicky when I think of life without them.


Football Helmet

by Kayte

Muddy Mud

by Kayte

This is the mark of a good day at playgroup.

Stripes on Stripes

by Kayte


by Kayte

As I mentioned before, things got a little crazy trying to get out the door on Halloween night. Sudlow was supposed to be in on the Tortoise and the Hare act, but we just didn’t have time. So today we got everyone in their costumes again and did a little photo shoot with better lighting.





IMG_2068.JPG IMG_2067.JPG