It's 6:22 a.m., a time of day I normally would not choose to be awake. But the past three days have found me awake at around this time, sometimes earlier, and to be honest it hasn't been terribly unpleasant. It's quiet at six in the morning, and still dark. I get to peacefully drink a cup of tea at my desk while Sam half-sleeps in his swing for a half-hour or so.
We're falling into a bit of a routine here, a routine I know will change as the weeks go on and Sam's habits transform. But the routine we're in right now isn't bad. It's manageable, and in a comforting way predictable. For the past few days, Sam's been napping every few hours during the day, usually for an hour, sometimes for more, in his crib in his bedroom. Usually these naps take place around 8 or 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Sometimes he'll take another evening nap around 7 or 8 p.m. At night, he's been settling down between 11 p.m. and midnight, sometimes sleeping fairly quietly for a couple of hours. It's from 4 a.m. on that gets a little rough. He's still very noisy and grunty, and those hours seem to be a no-go zone for sleeping anywhere except on someone or in his swing. So I've been getting up after feeding him, putzing around downstairs while I wait for Charlotte to wake up. After I get Charlotte up and dressed and get her a little breakfast, Sam's usually ready to eat again. When he's done, I wake up Jeff to take over and head back to bed for a couple hours.
This works well if I don't mess around and try to go to sleep right away at night when Sam falls asleep. That way I can get a few hours earlier in the night, which, cobbled together with my morning nap, usually sustains me through the day. It's not the way I'd like things to be permanently, but I know this isn't permanent, so I'm not bothered by it.
One way we seem to have dealt with the evening fussiness/colic was by my giving up the idea of getting any work done after Charlotte goes to bed. This was difficult to let go of, as my evenings post-Charlotte-bedtime were always my time. But something about being downstairs, being held while I pecked away at the computer or tried to read on the couch, drove Sam nuts. When I gave up one evening a few nights ago and just went upstairs into the quiet, dim bedroom, Sam relaxed and, eventually, fell asleep. Sometimes I sneak back downstairs during that evening nap and do a few work-related things. Other times I just make some dinner or chat with Jeff.
I can't overstate how wonderful it is when Sam naps in his crib during the day. I know this is a basic thing, but it's something we didn't hit on with Charlotte until it was too late and she was ruined for naps: you can set your child down! Really! You don't have to hold them 24/7!
Now, sometimes this doesn't work. We lay Sam down and he wakes up and cries. I try not to freak out about this, but to just try again in a half-hour. Usually it takes, eventually. And then I get an hour to play with Charlotte, do my workout DVD, shower, etc.
I wish I had a tape recorder right now to capture the noises he's making in his swing. The grunts and groans are just unearthly. I can tell you right now that this kid is moving into his own room much earlier than Charlotte did (four and a half months, if I remember correctly).
But despite his insane sounds and occasional crying spells, Sam is turning out to be pretty okay. He has started smiling, and nothing lifts my heart more than that ridiculously cute toothless grin. He's most likely to share his smiles with his sister, by whom he is absolutely captivated. When he hears her little voice, his head swivels and he tries to hone in on her location. When she pays attention to him, he grins and opens his eyes as wide as they'll go, trying to take it all in.
And that's what I'm doing these days, too...just trying to take it all in, to remember all of this as the days pass and he gets bigger.