Tag Archives: sleep

A quiet time for all

When I was pregnant with Fynn I was blessed with an abundance of advice. From everyone who saw my bulging baby belly. I took most of it in stride, nodding my head, saying thank you. From my just over three years of experience as a parent, I can say the best parenting advice I ever received was this: sleep when your baby sleeps.

I know plenty of people who laugh off that advice, like it’s an impossible feat. It’s not. When Fynn was a baby we would spend hours doing vertical dance of nursing and napping. Paige often cuddled between me and Fynn when she was a wee one, or was content in a wrap while I swayed with her as I stood next to Fynn’s bed and waited for him to fall asleep for naptime. Then the two of us would sneak off to the couch and snuggle together, repeating the nursing and sleeping dance of a few years past.

Here’s the thing, I might have taken this a tad bit too far. I still lay down with my kids on the days we’re home for naptime. It started a few months ago when I needed the rest thanks to migraines. I’d gather up the kids right after lunch, plunk them in my bed, lay down with one snuggled on each arm, and we’d all drift off. Truthfully Fynn can go without his nap, and had before I started our new nap routine.

Paige is normally the first one to close her eyes. She nuzzles my shoulder, I smell her soft hair as she holds my finger like it’s the most precious commodity. Then I turn to Fynn, who is snuggled up to me on my arm. We gaze at each other, he sometimes whispers silly things to me, tells me about the stars and spaceships on the ceiling. We have some quiet alone time, though Paige is inches away.

Even if the kids have been devil children all morning, once we hop into bed they are the snuggliest, warmest, and sweetest little beings on the planet.

I’ll take them over a freshly cleaned kitchen any day.

That’s the price for these naps. While other mothers get things done during naptime, I sit with my babies. And truthfully I rarely sleep, mostly because the three hour nap has never graced us with its appearance {my children still think sleep is evil… but we won’t go there…} and also because Paige will wake up several times needing to be recuddled and loved back to sleep. So the minute Fynn finally closes his eyes, Paige’s pop open, and vice versa. So it’s a process. But naptime lasts longer with me involved than it would otherwise… which is another bonus.

These naptimes, where my arms are pinned under children, force me to be with myself. To listen to what’s going on in my head, to feel things. To ponder. Which is a big part of who I am. Half of my blog posts get written in my head between the hours of 11:30am and 1:30pm {on a good day} Honestly, I cherish that time.

Last weekend we tried to get the kids to nap separately, figuring they each needed some one on one time with one of us. Paige had the hardest time settling into slumber. She was with me, so I thought she wanted her daddy. We switched off but that wasn’t it. After many tears she finally fell asleep. After we were all up, she clung to her brother’s side for the rest of the afternoon.

She apparently cherishes that time with him as well.

We’re a very laid back family. We don’t over schedule ourselves, we’re secretly home bodies {and have a huge need for a yard to satisfy the need fresh air while we’re at home…} and we like to keep things simple. And happy. While the time is nearing an end for them… at this point the whole sleeping while the babies sleep thing… that keeps this mama happy. And her house a little less clean. But none the less, happy.

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Cranky Sillies

Today had all sorts of potential. Chillier than normal, but still gorgeous out. Our morning went pretty well; we met friends for a walk, got lots of fresh air and visiting in.

Then we got home.

And things got crazy.

Overtired children dizzy with fresh air and bellies full of laughs. Sometimes that combination is fantastic, and others… well… sometimes that combination leads to a big case of the cranky sillies.

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And the cranky sillies often lead to nightmarish meltdowns over books about ducks that somehow became offensive…

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Which inevitably leads to naptime. Apparently for all. Even those who only nap on the rare occasion. But only when next to a beloved clementine of course. And the nap needs to take place only on the floor, when a certain mother isn’t looking (possibly dozing herself for a brief moment…)

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Here’s to being forever grateful for the weekends when husbands are home and can help deal with the cranky sillies… which inevitably also come out on rainy Saturdays (like the one we’re schedule for tomorrow).

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The walk

We’ve held her for hours

walking her to sleep

curled up in our arms

drifting off into dreams

As her body becomes heavy with slumber

we walk

as her eyelids drop slightly

we walk

We walk to the point where the weight of her small seemingly light body

makes our arms feel as if they could fall off

and at that very moment

she drifts off completely

somehow knowing her parents are at the brink

With warm hearts and heavy arms

we place her ever so gently into her bed

she rolls over, sighs, and snuggles into her blankets

for hardly long enough

The walk begins again

but this time

she’s fuzzy

she smells like baby

and sleep

~ the walk doesn’t seem so tumultuous ~

She’s soft

her skin radiant

and her hair glowing like a halo

~ it might be heavenly ~

Every inch of her is warm

fingertips to toes

and her cheeks feel like velvet

The walk becomes

part of the scenic route of parenting

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(Paige at just two weeks old… at the very beginning of our journey with our now 14 month old)

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My baby…

… is now in a big girl bed.

She’s not even a year and a half, and we converted her crib to a toddler bed. Call us crazy, but the thing is my kids hated their cribs. With a passion. They’ve always slept better in “real” beds. Fynn was the same exact way, in a double bed by the time he was 16 months old. I tried to hold off with Paige, but in an act of desperation I listened to my husband who said it’s time. And I think he might have been right.

However, that doesn’t make it any less sad to me that we’re done with cribs. It’s saying goodbye to one of the largest symbols of babyhood. Granted, we were (and still are) pretty big co-sleepers, so the cribs never got that much use, but they were always there.

She’s getting so big so fast. Her personality is developing, and it’s huge. She’s funny, and sweet, and caring. She’s daring, and gutsy, and fearless. You can tell by her walk, she’s full of purpose. She’s bigger than life. Too big to be stuck behind the bars of a baby’s crib. Ready for the freedom of the toddler bed… yikes. Oct 14, 2009 020

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Who needs sleep?

Me. And Lucas. Yup, definitely Lucas. Oh – and Fynn. Fynn’s just gotten the hang of sleep so I think he needs to keep that up. But Paige, nope. Paige has decided that sleep is the enemy and she does not want anything to do with it at all.

All babies go through some sort of a sleep regression at 4 months (so I’ve read). Most grow out of it around 5 months, maybe 6. It took Fynn until he was a year old to sleep through the night, and it still wasn’t the norm for months and months.

When I was pregnant with Paige I hoped and prayed that we would get a good sleeper, if there was such a thing. I stayed up at night telling myself that we would have at least one baby that would sleep well. And for four months Paige was a great sleeper for the most part. Then the four month sleep regression, in combination with teething, hit. She just gets worse and worse every night. I’m not joking. Fynn was a difficult sleeper, but never like this. Paige takes the cake. I won’t go into too much detail other than to say last night I think she was up almost every hour after midnight.

I’m a firm believer that the phrase “sleeping through the night” was coined to mock new parents and give them (as well as seasoned parents) yet another reason to feel inadequate. I’m not sure why, but people always ask how your baby is sleeping. I tend to answer honestly and then get looks of shock and disgust when I say “she’s not”. I know too many parents who are suffering from sleep deprivation as badly as Lucas and I are – I know a lot of babies just don’t sleep. Instead of the previously mentioned question, I tend to ask “how are you doing with the sleeping, or lack there of?” because I know that most parents will then be honest and say how sucky (for lack of better words) it is to have an infant who doesn’t sleep. I honestly believe most people lie in order to either brag about having a baby who sleeps, or just not feel like a freak who can’t get their baby to sleep (well, I’m sure that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point).

There are ways that some people train their babies to sleep. None of those methods work for our family. Both of our kids would never cry themselves to sleep, their cries would escalate and then they wouldn’t be able to calm down. And if you know me and Lucas, you can probably understand that we’re more of the gentle parenting types. That’s the route we’ve chosen to go – we kind of fell into the Attachment Parenting category by necessity. It just works for us. I don’t care what other people do, as long as they aren’t hurting their children. You need to do what’s right for your family. For us, it’s cuddling, co-sleeping if necessary, breastfeeding, baby wearing, snuggling, lots of hugs, talking things out (as much as you can with a two year old and an infant), when necessary stern looks and a slightly raised voice, and lots and lots of love.

Ask me at two in the afternoon if I love snuggling Paige to sleep, how she nuzzles into the crook of my arm to close her eyes, how she needs to hold my hand to fall asleep and I’ll say of course! However, at three in the morning (my breaking point) I’ll give you a different answer. But we’ve chosen this parenting route, and this road. It might be the road less traveled at times, but the scenery is awfully nice 🙂 I love my babies, and I love how Lucas and I have decided to parent them. We know we can’t control a whole lot when it comes to our children, but we can at least guide them in a loving manner.

For now, I just have to remind myself that I can’t control Paige’s sleep, and she will get it in her own time. After all, who needs sleep when you can stay up late and feel your babies soft fingers holding your hand, and smell that wonderful baby smell as your little ones head is resting on your chest? I guess I don’t need much sleep after all.


Who needs sleep? was originally posted on January 21st, 2009 at The Story of Fynn & Paige by moi…

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A total 180

Or is it 360? I can never get it right… regardless, things changed completely a half an hour after I wrote my last post.

The kids were near meltdown, so I plopped everyone into my bed. We all snuggled together, myself in between the two kids so they wouldn’t poke and bug each other too much, and within minutes they were peacefully sleeping. The sounds of gentle snores filled the room as I rubbed their backs. Moments like that make me thankful for being their mother. Being able to know when not to force something, but to let time run it’s course and let the kids show me what they need.

They didn’t need to nap when I wanted them to nap. They do things in their own time, and sometimes I need to remember to just let go of our schedule and follow their lead.

I guess that’s my take on parenting for the most part. The kids are a wonderful addition to our lives, and we need to adapt to them – they shouldn’t always have to adapt to our lives and schedules… our whims. They have their own whims, and sometimes they’re more powerful than anyone elses. Not always a bad thing…

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Screw you, naptime…

It’s naptime, and I’m watching my 2 1/2 year old and almost one year old still playing with their toys. We tried naptime, but it just laughed in my face.

We’ve been sick, our schedules are out of wack, and it blows.

If the kids get down any later than…. right now… they’ll also be up until 11pm tonight, and that’s not good for anyone.

So what do you do? Just say screw it, and hope for a decent afternoon, with no naps?

Naptime is a curse and a blessing all at once. You want naps to be over for the flexibility, but you want naps to stay forever for your sanity. What’s a girl to do.

Screw you naptime. Screw you.

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