Thursday, 24 May 2007

April 2007

Wee, Poo and Eyebrows
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01/04/2007, 05:10 PM
Things are motoring along in the Elfling/Monkey household at the moment. Lots of activities, lots of development. Not a lot of sleeping. For some reason the Monkey has not been sleeping more than about 90 minutes ever since she got her 6 month vaccinations. She's not got a fever, or runny nose, or diarrhoea, or a cough. She's just not herself. So today I sat in the doctor's waiting room with her for over an hour so that we could check thta nothing sinister was going on. I felt a bit of a fraud really, because everyone else in there actually seemed *sick* while the Monkey was gurgling away and I was patently fine. I took a blanket for her to lie on (the floor of a waiting room not being the most hygienic place on Earth) and she promply rolled off of it. Hilarious for about 5 minutes then kind of irritating. I let her scatter the contents of my handbag, and to chew on the toy that I'd brought for her, and that kept her occupied for ooh, 3 minutes? Then when she finally seemed settled chewing on a teething toy, I flicked through the out of date OK magazine (Britney declares there is nothing wrong with her marriage! Angelina Jolie may adopt again! ) only to look up and see the Monkey up on all fours commando crawling off under a chair. So YAY the Monkey can crawl at 6 and a bit months! She is very proud of herself.Finally we got called into the Dr's office where I explained what was *wrong* crossing my fingers that I woudln;t have one of those doctors who rolls their eyes and says "babies sometimes just don't sleep ha ha ha!" and dismisses me as a paranoid mother. But luckily we had a lovely older lady who examined the Monkey thoroughly and said that she also believed that something was wrong. Something you can't put your finger on. She is still alert and active, but she doesn't have her spark. She doesn't have a temperature, her ears and chest were clear, her belly was soft and her eyes and throat were also fine. So the last test was to see if she possibly had a UTI. Collecting urine off of an adult can be pretty tricky - I mean peeing into a jar is a skill and usually requires some concentration, strange contortions and a cooperative bladder and pelvic floor so you can get that precious midstream urine. Babies however have difficulty positioning the collection jar (let alone peeing into it) so instead we got to experience "bag collection". Poor Monkey, she was not really impressed about someone sticking a plastic bag to her girly bits. It worked though (first go! do I get a medal ) so I got to courier that suspicious looking bag with its pale sample back to the GP so I can find out if that's what is going on. Looking at the sample (to my highly untrained eye) I really don't think it is anything to do with a UTI, but if it is, I will be kind of glad as it means that we can "cure" it. Poor Monkey. She is so tired that I just don't know what to do to help. The lovely GP empathised completely and reinforced my opinion that Controlled Crying, drugs and other forceable measures would be horrible. But there aren't any other easy solutions other than to just keep pushing on through.The Elfling is going well at the moment, well not this precise moment because it is 5pm and there has been no nap so there is a lot of whinging and theatrics, but otherwise and in general she is fine. She has been drawing a lot lately (instead of "writing" which I have to then "read") and has just done a lovely picture of our Famly. Everyone has very large heads, 2 legs, 2 eyes, a nose and 2 eyebrows. Eyebrows are very important in the Elfling's pictures. More important than those superfluous things like arms and mouths. I am thrilled with the pictures though. It is so exciting for us and she loves it as well. Being able to draw something is just such a huge skill. I have always loved art, and I love that she is excited about her new skill as well. As for me, aside from the tiredness I'm fine. The most exciting thing between caring for the Monkey and cleaning the house again is that I have stopped using shampoo, deciding to take on the "No poo" challenge. I have a sensitive scalp, and reading the back of a shampoo bottle scares the crap out of me (how many petrochemicals does one really need???). I'm on day 6 at the moment, and have just been rinsing my hair with warm water when it feels "gunky". Surprisingly it doesn't smell, and although it doesn't look fabulous, it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would either. As a plus, my scalp is not itching (though it's still flaky around my hair line) and I have high high hopes that my scalp might actually come round soon. Only 5 weeks to go before scalp freeeedom (or so they say ).

Knitting Again
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02/04/2007, 02:23 PM
I forgot to post in here that I finished my longies for the MonkeyAren't they adorable? Am so happy with them, and they're warm and cosy and cute. Newest project is knitting in the round with similar coloured wool that is 100 times softer and more lush. I've also gone slightly dotty at Spotlight and bought a whole bunch of other yarns to have a go at knitting things like a Beanie, and have bought a rainbow colourway from the web to make another pair of longies (or possibly capris depending on how much I can make them stretch).I'm really enjoying actually finishing projects, something that is much easier with knitting than embroidery, tapestry and cross stitch which I have scattered through the house in unfinished nests. The fact that they're actually useful as well is a nice bonus. Now that life is back on an even keel again, I'm also tryign to get back some sense of a routine. We have kindy, daycare, swimming and gymnastics to base a routine around, and a never ending haze of household cleaning, tidying, cooking etc to get through. I also am trying to get back to the gym again after the last few weeks stuffed up my routine. This is very nerdy, but I am even thinking of putting up a timetable of everything that I have to do each day, so that I can be more organised. At the moment I spend a lot of time drifting and not achieving much (and spending too much time on the internet). I think you can definitely be overscheduled, but for someone like me it is very VERY easy to procrastinate, and being timetabled is probably a good thing. Off to draw up a chart (see more procrastination )

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04/04/2007, 03:20 PM
My hair is starting to resemble a helmet. This no shampoo thing may be great for my scalp and hair and make it super lustrousTM but these in between weeks are NOT FUN. It feels slightly tacky and ewww. Not dirty or smelly, just like I've poured honey over my scalp. At least it's not frizzy!!I have started going back to the gym again and I forgot how lovely it is. Feeling the buuurn is good. Though I would pay good money to be able to sleep through the night after a good session! I have upped the speed on teh treadmill and am workign up to being able to run the whole time that I am on the treadmill. Now that the Cardio is picking up, I know I hve to incorporate more strength based activities into my repertoire and I REALLY need to stretch more. My flexibility these days is better than most but it's still pretty woeful by my standards. Watching The Biggest Loser, crap that it may be, is inspiring me at the moment. I watch it while I'm at the gym, and every time they whinge it makes me want to work harder. There isn't much else on at 7pm (which is when I go to the gym) so it's my best bet anyway.I am feeling heaps stronger, even if the weight isn't falling off, and I'm mentally feeling heaps better. Life just seems to be going well at the moment. Peaceful.

Sleep issues
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05/04/2007, 08:30 AM
My new exercise regime is not particularly exciting. Just the basics really. 2 hours of Cardio per week, 1 hour of strength based exercise a week and 1 hour of stretching per week as a bare minimum. I would like to do more, but I have found that as soon as I up the intensity of everything my milk supply plummets. I have lost another kg this week and I'm already having supply issues again. Which frustrates the hell out of me.Breastfeeding is really really important to me. I want to keep it going as long as possible, and being as the Monkey is such a boobie girl (completely unco with a bottle, even if it's EBM, refused to drink formula the only time it was offered) I don't want to stress her out at all eiher. But going to the gym is my "me" time. I get to run and pump away all the issues I'm having every day until my brain is completely empty. And I want to lose weight/become fitter/feel healthier but I feel like I'm sabotaging myself. There's a direct correlation with me being at the gym/losing weight and the Monkey;s sleep (or not) patterns.I can't keep waking up 4-5 times a night, it's something that I'm just incapable of doing for months on end, and especially not when I go back to uni. It was OK when it was the Elfling waking that much because the next day it was just the two of us. Now that it's the three of us at home all day there is no "sleep when the baby sleeps". I don't know what the answer is though. I'm sure some would say stop going to the gym but it's my escape. It's my chocolate/pizza/alcohol/coffee whatever else other people use to unwind.

Sleep and Easter
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12/04/2007, 09:31 AM
The Sleep Issues ™ continued all weekend and into this week. Every 2 hours or less, every night I was up and feeding her. 2 months worth of so little sleep and worrying when I got in the car as I was so tired. I was startign to believe the masses of people who keep telling me I'm "feeding her too much", I'm "making a rod for my own back", "should really try this Tizzie Hall/Gina Ford/Ezzo routine", should try formula, CCing blah blah blah. (I hate parenting shoulds)I didn't want to, and I knew that most of the above was crap advice and not something that I would do. Until Monday when exhausted DH and I decided we'd try CCing just in case all those all knowing other people were right. All that happened was that she and I got hysterical and as I sat together in our rocking chair and she sobbed while suckling I promised to never do that to her again. But then in the last 2 nights we've had a breakthrough. Bed at 6:30 as per usual, then waking at about 9:30 before I got to bed and then sleeping til about 4ish, then 7. Which is FANTASTIC. I feel like a new woman. That's only once per night I have to get up, and I can bring her into bed with me so we're snuggled belly to belly while she feeds. I miss co sleeping. It's so lovely and cuddly and perfect. Except that even at 4 in the morning, once she's finished her feed she won't go to sleep if I'm cuddled into her - she will just sit there patting my boobs or poking her finger in my eye or mouth and gurgling. So she has to go back into her little bed. But I do treasure those thirty minutes cocooned against the cool night air. Last weekend for Easter was really nice. Friday was Mum's birthday so we went out to Somerset Dam for lunch then drove back via Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious which was lovely, stopping at a cool roadside rainforest cafe to taste honey and have hot chocolate. Then we went out to a Turkish restaurant for dinner with Mum and Dad and Sister and Brother. Turkish jsut might be one of my favourite foods. Lovely restaurant, lots of tasty food. We gave Mum The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" LP for her birthday and a travel journal for their Big European Trip (they leave in 3 weeks!!!).Saturday was quiet and boring at home, just mucked around and played with the girls, and I learned how to play DHs Playstation which was fun. Then before we went to bed, I cut out a paw print template and dusted mischievous little bunny paw prints all dowdn the stairs and into the lounge where sparkling little Easter Eggs were scattered around the room. I also made up a "nest" in DDs Easter basket so that she could have fun with the hunt. Sunday morning the Elfling woke up and came into us as usual, and as we were all lying in bed, I asked her if she thought the Easter Bunny may have visited. Her big blue eyes got very round as she tried to work out why a rabbit would be in our house and what on Earth we were on about. Once she spied that first set of foot prints at the top of the stairs she was equal parts excited and petrified, worried I think about seeing a giant bunny at the foot of the stairs. So progress down the stairs was pretty slow. Once she got to the lounge room though, and her "hunting" basket, and saw the first glittery wrapper she cottoned on pretty quickly and dashed around the room collecting eggs until she had a nice little stash in there. The poor Monkey was feeling very left out and couldn't be trusted on the floor as she was excitedly gunning for some eggs as well. Hunting all done we sat down for bacon and egg breakfast before packing up to visit Mum and Dad for the day. Got up to Toowoomba bright and early in the brilliant Autumn sunshine and helped Mum with the roast lamb, ate far too much chocolate (including from a chocolate FOUNTAIN that we had for dessert), played at the park down the road, played cards (family tradition) and generally had a lovely day.
I love visiting my parents. I get to eat lovely food, feel parented instead of be the parent, Mum and Dad love playing with the girls and it's just lovely. I can't wait until the girls are a bit older and sleeping better so that we can actually stay there (we almost always drive the 90 minutes home). In Monkey news she is now crawling properly (sometimes, she mostly just rocks on all 4s) and can sit by herself and play (though she needs pillows for teh inevitable overbalancing when she forgets). We have added chicken to her GrotMash and she is yumming it up. Very ambivalent about pear though so we're going to start adding some different fruits I think. The Elfling is going brilliantly. She can write "A" now, and is trying to do the other letters of her name, but her As are very very definite.
She is also drawing fantastic pictures of "Our Family" with more and more detail every time, and alternating with different colours. People have hair in her pictures now! And occasionally shoes, but not arms lol.
Not great scans but you can see how clever she is. I am constantly amazed by her. Her brain is a veritable sponge at the moment, and her knowledge and understanding expands every day. Her language is becoming more complex and she is starting to understand jokes (not just slapstick). Just adorable. I love them both at the moment.

Thank God It's Friday
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13/04/2007, 05:19 PM
What do you do when you just don't know what to do? In my case - clean. And reorganise. And throw things (away... mostly). Hideous day here, not helped by 2 accidents by the toilet trained one (because she kept holding on and insisting she didn't need to go - all the while dancing around and holding nether regions), only one daytime sleep by the untoilet trained one and general seediness from the big (supposedly mature) SAHP one upon waking. So to combat the crankiness on all sides, and the left over chocolate induced MANIA of the Elfling, I rearranged, tidied, vacuumed et al until my back gave out.In the lounge room I moved the 100kg+ large heavy entertainment unit, I brought in a 25kg+ pot plant from outside (one of the few things that hasn't died) I moved the couch and the two smaller chairs, the chest of draws filled with toys, the train set, the shoe rack and all the accumulated muck in the entrance. I then vacuumed and dusted and had plans of cleaning the glass on the cabinet. (On my to do list once the Nurofen kicks in).In the kitchen I just did the general tidy up, dishwasher, clean the breast pump, wash the ceramic cook top etc. Haven't mopped yet and the oven and microwave are disgraceful. Add them to the list of chores to do that probably won't get done.On my way upstairs I vacuumed the stairs (carpeted stairs are a nightmare - note to self, never ever carpet stairs). In the girls room I did all the laundry, stripped the beds, remade the beds, tidied the toys, restocked the change table, folded and put away nappies and snappis, recovered the mat and put away clothes. Then on the way to my bedroom via the laundry I put on a load of sheets and scrubbed the toilet jsut for fun. In our room I stripped and remade the bed, folded some clothes, put away more clothes, and tidied some more. I also managed to feed everyone, and learn how to knit a beanie for the Monkey. It is very cute.
I need a long cold drink.

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13/04/2007, 09:51 PM
The Monkey has redeemed herself from all the shenanigans of the lsat week or so. She can now say "Muuuum". And it's not just noise either. It's calling for me. I'm her first word (real word not sound)Awwwww

Slack slack slack
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16/04/2007, 08:10 PM
I keep on thinking of interesting things to post about, but only ever at 3am and forgetting them the next morning, grasping towards the ephemeral threads of great ideas as they slip through my fingers. So instead I open up this screen with its tantalising blank space begging me to write clever, interesting things, and coming up blank every single time. *sigh* My grade 9 English teacher always said I had great potential as a writer, I just had to collate my ideas better. Obviously in 10 years I've not learned much!The Monkey is going well at the moment. The bedtime strategy is working OK(ish) with tonight the actual bedtime OK, until I walked out of the room and she hysterically started yelling out for Mama. So back into the bedroom I went, thinking I'd offer the failsafe boob but she wasn't hungry, jsut tired. Cuddling was OK, but not quite enough, so I put on her mobile and the other musical toys. That was met with noisy distain. So I started singing our old favourites of Siyahamba (an African hymn) and Amazing Grace and as long as I sang she stayed quiet (but not asleep). But singing the same songs gets boring and she wouldn't stay down. So I went through all the school hymns I remembered from my choir days, every U2 song taht I could remember (and make up) the lyrics to, and started in on the Live songs before she finally started snoring. I had forgotten how much I love singing. My voice is very very rusty, the notes at the ends of the scales are unsure, gathering dust there, but I enjoyed it anyway. The bonus is as well taht it always puts the erstwhile Elfling and her never ending questions to sleep ready for another day. The Elfling is much happier with the combined bath and bedtime, the Monkey doesn't wake her nearly as much now (only 3 times a night which is FABULOUS) and she gets both parents attention at bedtime which is nice. Plus they both love bathing together, so much so that the Monkey laughed for the first time in the bath last night. A glorious throaty giggle punctuated by enthusiastic splashing and excited froggy leg kicks. I think it's a fair bet that she's going to love the water. I'm going better. Last night with our new routine we only had 2 overnight wakings which I can handle fine, so I feel like a new woman. I will hopefully be able to go to the gym and train properly this week which is exciting. I have Pilates and Cardio tomorrow, Pump and Body Balance Wednesday and Cardio on Thursday again. My loose plan is 2 hours of Cardio a week, 1 hour of strength and 2 hours of flexibility/core strength. Anything on top of that is a bonus. The slide down to going back to study has also started and I'm equal parts apprehensive and excited. I'm not looking forward to not having my baby cuddled on my hip every day, but I am excited about using my creaky old brain.

Boobs, bras, breastfeeding and bounce
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18/04/2007, 08:53 PM
Why are bras so hard to buy? Finding the perfect bra was once a quest of mine, to find that comfortable, ultimately glamorous bra that made "the girls" look as perfect as possible, while minimising projection, passing the DH phwoar test and not causing my hands to lose sensation as the straps dug uncomfortably into my shoulders. Whenever I found a bra that vaguely met those standards I would buy it instantly, regardless of cost simply because finding one was a miracle, and expecting to come back and find it on sale was like the Holy Grail of shopping. Sizing was a ridiculous "guide" depending on which brand, which particular style and which way the wind was blowing. I had bras from Size 10DD to 14B with bits and bots in between. But my collection was pretty glamorous. Embroidered, gorgeous, underwired bras in every colour of the rainbow, often with the matching underwear for ultimate *ego* boosting. Then I got pregnant. And people told me I had to get rid of my lovely underwires and buy maternity bras. Bras that came in 2 colours, white and beige. Occasionally with Nana embroidery and straps so thick you could use them as a spare rock climbing harness. I ignored their advice and bought none, waiting until I actually needed those complicated looking drop down cups to go buy some. By the end of my pregnancy I was fairly busting out of my pretty bras, and was actually pretty OK with the idea of buying the Nana bras. Plus once the Elfling made her squalling entrance into the world I didn't care much about underwear, so long as it was functional. 6 months into the feeding game I was so much looking forward to wearing all my carefully stored rainbow, those mood lifting, bust enhancing, lovely garments that were hidden away. But when I stopped feeding they didn't fit any more Not only had my boobs changed colour and shape, but they were also bigger. Add that to my breastfeeding weightGAIN (how does that work? All those people that said BFing makes you lose weight LIES LIES LIES) and there were about 2 nice bras that still fit. And when I say fit I mean I could stuff my boobs into. They no longer did all the pushing up, cleavage enhancing, free drinks receiving thing. Oh no, they merely held on for dear life.This pregnancy, not only did I get to deal with the after effects of last time, but I also got to deal with pregnancy breast growth. Now that was fun. Stabbing pains shooting through breasts that were incredibly sensitive and on permanent high beam. My slightly less pretty new underwire bras digging painfully into my new boobs that were apparently growing out of my armpits. Growing up to a large E cup and if I was willing to actually admit it, probably a comfortable F cup. So not only were they huge and uncomfortable, but I had to buy maternity bras again because my last attractive Nana numbers were all too small (except one particularly fetching beige number). This time around there was much more variety in maternity bras. Pregnant supermodels had seen the gaping hole in the market and brought out delicate lacy numbers, perfect for those hazy soft focus shots on magazine covers. I was so excited. Pretty bras! In technicolor!! Eagerly I made the excursion to try on these pretty pretty bras. Lovely AND functional I grinned to myself. But of course, these bras were made for women with slightly enlarged nipples and not a single one of them fit. So back I trudged to old faithful beige, and got wildly excited when I saw one I could wear in black. So until recently I was back in my beige and whites. Suffering the big-bosomed-breastfeeders curse of dispiriting underwear. Then I decided to become a gym bunny.And if I thought maternity bras with their uniformly 1950s conical boob look was bad I was about to step into the twilight zone.Modern sports bras come in more fabrics, configurations and colour choices than modern sports cars. Light weight, tensile strength, intelligent design (with or without a compassionate God), embroidery, side support, shoulder padding, airflow generators and more structural support than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. All designed to keep you cool and minimise the dreaded bounce.Most I tried on were OK should my effort include such things as rolling out of bed in the mornings, or the more strenuous climbing the stairs. But should both of my feet actually leave the ground at the same time, they would not so much act as support but as catapults for breasts (and permanent high beam mentos style) that could take an eye out. So I tried the new generation sports top types
favoured by my exercise idols on such shows as Biggest Loser and discovered a phenomenon I like to refer to as uniboob. Where two perfectly normal, well adjusted boobs suddenly morph into one, cyclops style in the middle of my chest, also creating a nice sweaty chasm down the middle, that just inspires one to work out.So they were useless too. I started to wonder if having boobs that I bounced hard enough to actually tie around my neck would be such a bad thing... until clever clot that I am, I had a Mexican taco eating family revelation... porque no los dos???Cue raucous cheering from the assembled crowd.So gym nights now see me trussed into not one but 2 superengineered titanium alloy, carbon fibre precision instruments that barely allow me to breathe let alone bounce, and all excuses for not running are held firmly to my chest. The only problem is that when I come home and the Monkey is yelling for a feed it takes me half an hour to free myself from them again

Monkey Business
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21/04/2007, 08:43 PM
It's warm and it's thick and slightly bumpy in texture. Like cottage cheese but with a marginally runnier consistency. The smell is more pungent as well, not that soft, milky smell of cottage or marscapone, but much more acrid. Not quite up there with a blue, even a cremosa, more parmesan-ish. Perhaps a gruyere? It runs like honey, glooping down surfaces in long stringy strands. Dripping unattractively, in surreal random blobs.In spite of its liquid-ness it is also able to be projected at great speeds, travelling either in a large, gruyere-smelling, off white arc through the air, or hitting surfaces at speed, almost barrelling through them and spraying the vicinity like a dirty bomb. It is my nemesis, the only medical "fluid" that I have never been able to overcome. It is VOMIT.And today as I held my poor convulsing Monkey to my chest as she clung to me in fear, I felt its revoltingness course down my shirt in a sticky, fondue-pungent river down my cleavage to pool into my bra. I felt that hot wetness shoot into my ear, then drip onto my bare shoulder. I felt my hair matt together and the squelchiness as it hit the floor and ran between my toes. I HATE VOMIT.But I hate the fact that my poor Monkey is sick more. Her poor tiny body convulsing while I hold her is just heartbreaking. I have held my share of hair back from foreheads as friends expectorate over garden beds and disreputable bathrooms, but those slightly pathetic scenarios have nothing on holding your sick baby.As a person related to the medical field some assume that you will treat your own children but it is something I cannot do. I cannot be objective at all. So last night we called the after hours deputising service that I worked with this time last year, and waited for them to come out and see our poor sick Monkey. It took them 4 hours to come out, after I had called when the Monkey had puked every single breastfeed for the day. By 11pm when the Dr got there, the Monkey had slept on my chest for an hour or so, head cradled by my previously whinged about boobs, too weak to protest and look around. When the Dr arrived though she had woken up and taken a little milk. COnsequently she was feeling about 60% of her regular self instead of 10% - meaning that the Dr came in to see a baby sitting up in my lap smiling away at her. The Doctor looked at us like we were nuts. Here was a happy, smiling, and cooing baby making eye contact and sitting up. Obviously we were first time paranoid parents. It wasn't until she examined her and saw her red raw throat, and felt her feverish head that I think she believed us. Our Monkey is just such a trouper and so keen on pleasing people that it's just impossible to believe that she was unwell.That was yesterday. Today, it was much easier to believe. Although she rallied her spirits at times, she was mostly VERY passive, preferring to look out at the world from the comfort of our arms, and frequently turning back into my chest and heavily thudding that oversized head of hers into my boobs, before falling asleep. Now to many outsiders it looked like completely normal behaviour, but to DH and I who have not been able to FORCE her head onto our shoulders when she is dead tired it was surreal and unsettling. She has not vomitted since this morning, and is drinking OK (though not normal quantities) so we're just playing it by ear. I am restraining myself with all that is possible not to run her to a hospital and plead tearfully for some clever Dr to make her better. It just doesn't seem fair that someone so little and precious could be so ill. So we play the waiting game. Hopefully she will sleep well tonight, and aside from some manky nappies tomorrow be back to her regular gorgeous self. I hate hearing her say "Mama" with big tears in her lovely eyes and not being able to fix it. Mummy's should be able to fix EVERYTHING.I am so thankful she has stopped vomiting though

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23/04/2007, 09:42 PM
First up, the Monkey is back to her usual sunny self. Haven't reintroduced solids yet but otherwise everything is completely back to normal (though she's possibly waking slightly less). We had a lovely quiet day at home today in the sun. She sat up and played with jingly toys and a dummy and giggled and babbled. I spent my time either lying on the carpet next to her and playing with her toes or doing housework. I didn't begrudge it though. There is something so lovely about having a clean tidy house. It makes me feel like I've actually done my job. I even made banana muffins with the leftover fruit. Then tonight I headed off to the gym to do some cardio and then a pilates class. My back and core muscles are still not great strength wise but I am starting to feel stronger in general. I am also fitter cardio wise. If The Monkey starts sleeping more (*cross fingers*) I will have to start going more often. My goal for this week is to do 2 hours of Cardio, 1 pilates class, 1 pump class and 1 body balance class or equivalents. I am getting addicted to this strong feeling.

Just one bite
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25/04/2007, 05:14 PM
Is all it took for me to realise that I will never ever get a nipple piercing (had I been entertaining the thought).

To sleep, perchance to dream -
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28/04/2007, 10:35 PM
ay, there's the rub...Though dreams would be sweet. I can't remember the last time I slept long enough to dream. The Monkey does not sleep. Well, I lie, she does, in 90 minute bursts. But never longer. I have not slept longer than 90 minutes in close to 3 months, with the exception of a single night here or there where I may have had 3 hours strung together. We're averaging 5 lots of night waking PER night. She screams, she wakes all of us, she wakes the poor Grot and I'm sure she wakes the neighbours (the neverending joys of medium density living). What to do now. I am and always have been pretty against controlled crying/crying it out/controlled comforting/whatever impressive sounding, cutesy, psychobabble, propoganda name that people come up with for letting their baby cry. We never really had to do it with the Elfling. She just at about 7 months dropped one of her 2 overnight feeds, and then about a month later dropped the other feed and ever since has "slept through". When the Monkey started sleeping really well at 3 months I thought it was goign to be easy, even easier than with the Elfling. Then we had teeth and everything went to hell. So we've been weighing options. Have a sleep technique? A gentle calming technique? I promise we've tried it. It doesn't help... You managed 5 night wakings every night for 5 years and you had a preschooler as well who didn't daysleep and who was unaffected by being continuously woken? Good for you. Quite frankly my dear I don't give a f**king damn. The sleeplessness is getting to the stage where I try not to drive anywhere because I am aware that my reflexes and peripheral vision are affected. And a 5 star NCAP rating on our lovely car doesn't matter a damn if you have a sleep deprived person behind the wheel. So the last unchartered territory for us is controlled crying. And I have no idea how to do it. How do you leave a baby to cry? A baby who might crawl and sit and laugh and be pulling up on furniture ready to cruise. But still a tiny little baby whose big brown eyes should never fill with tears...I know nothign about what we're supposed to do so I'm reading books. And it's hard because some books say that CIO is better because there is no confusion, whereas others say you have to keep going back in every so often. Do I pat? How do you pat when you have a baby who crawls out of her blankets and then look up at you with big tearfilled eyes? How long does it take? Is it going to take weeks? Days? Months? I have issues with letting her cry minutes let alone days. But we can't keep doing what we're doing. It's just impossible to sustain. Right now she is finally asleep again. It took 2 hours. And our lovely close neighbours (at 10:40pm) have just turned up their music for a party (high student population). I have decided that if they wake her I am taking her over there. She can scream in their ears. Bastards.

Controlled Crying, Night One
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29/04/2007, 08:05 PM
And so it begins. After my 90 minutes sleep last night (total) I knew that we had to give it a go. We can't do more weeks/months of this. Just impossible. So tonight is it, first night of letting the Monkey cry. In the cool dawn air this morning as I watched the Australians bring home the World Cup (in a bit of a fizzer of a match tbh) I sat with Robin Barker's Babylove on my knee stealing myself for what lay ahead. The rules are pretty simple. She wakes up, we don't pick her up and spend 2 hours trying to resettle, we leave her in her cot, checking on her periodically. Tonight we followed the same night time routine she's had since barely days old, with the inclusion of books and a solid feed, and laid her in her cot, tucked in securely, wrapped gently and with her comfort toy tucked in beside her.And she fell asleep. Woooo! Thought I. This is going to be fine! I came downstairs and ate my dinner, unhampered by a baby on my hip or squeals in my ear. 42 minutes later and she was awake. Screeching and beseeching to be freed from her bed. Forty Two minutes. I am so glad that I made this resolution because 42 minutes is just ridiculous. She has been awake for 16 minutes now. Tonight is going to be long and very very hard. I have checked on her twice. I am leaving the intervals at approximately 5 minutes between checkings but I am wondering if CIO would be better - going in to her seems to hype her up. I might let her go now and see if that helps.Listening to her cry is so hard and so horrible. Every fibre of my being is telling me to go and cuddle her. But she doesn't want cuddles, she is tired and needs to sleep. Those violet shadows under her eyes are far too reminiscent of heroin chic and that went out YEARS ago. Please sleep well baby girl.

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