The return of sleep

{ Friday, January 21, 2011 }
My friends, night weaning is something that's been on my mind for a while. It all started when the bean was around 6 months old and I read that most 6 month olds slept through the night. I waited and waited for that to happen, but we were nowhere close. Since then, I've read several books and tried a slew of tricks to get the bean to sleep longer stretches at night, but we've only had minimal success.

I've known for a while that we would have to wean at night if I was going to start getting uninterrupted sleep and I was starting to feel like 18 months was a perfect age to be night weaned, but I wasn't sure how to go about doing it. To be honest, I didn't actually set out to night wean last month, but something strange happened to the bean's latch during the night that made nursing very painful. I guess it was the combination of all those teeth along with her being half asleep, but whatever the cause, it was enough for me to not want to nurse at all. I tried over the course of a couple nights allowing her to nurse for a few minutes at each wake up and then comforting her as best I could back to sleep, but it almost seemed to make matters worse. I finally decided we would nurse to sleep at bedtime and upon waking in the morning, but no more nursing during the night. The bean and I have had many conversations to this effect over the past few months, so it probably wasn't much of a shock to her.

It was definitely rough going there the first couple nights. The bean would wake up and ask to nurse, I would remind her that we don't nurse at night any more and she would completely lose it. The boy and I tried everything we could think of to comfort her and get her to fall back asleep, but there were definitely a lot of tears at first. We ended up losing even more sleep through this process, but the end was so worth it. The bean has slept through the night without waking exactly one time--she's usually still up once or twice during the night, but when she is asleep, she sleeps much more soundly than she did before and she falls back to sleep faster. The number of times she wakes is less and, the most amazing part is that she sleeps from the time we put her to bed (around 8pm) until around 2 or 3 am without waking once. This is incredible for her as before I would be running up to nurse her back to sleep once or twice between the time that she went to bed and when we did.

Our daytime nursing is still unrestricted and you can bet the bean is making up for those lost night sessions by nuring eleventy billion times during the day, but I'm so glad we were finally able to stop the night nursing. (And also a teeny tiny bit sad that our bean is getting to be such a big girl that she no longer needs it.)

A "room" of my own

{ Monday, January 17, 2011 }
We don't usually make resolutions around here, but this year we have a big one--organization. We had so much going on when we moved in two years ago that we didn't spend much time thinking about how to organize our stuff, we just shoved it wherever it would fit. In 2011, we plan to rectify the situation and we got a jump start on new year's eve. As we were cleaning out our coat closet for the third time in as many months, the boy had a brilliant idea. We rarely use our front door so we end up leaving coats, hats and gloves by the back door. The coat closet has become more of a dumping ground, so the boy suggested we convert it into a craft space for me. Yippee!!

I can't believe I'm sharing this with you, but this is our scary, embarrassing closet before we cleaned it out. You may notice my sewing machine and some half finished craft projects on the floor. It used to be a bit of an ordeal to pull the machine out each time I needed to use it (I would sew on the bean's little child sized table).

We removed the hanging rod and added some supports for a desktop.

It took a bit of work to get the angles on the desktop right. We hadn't figured into our measurements the fact that none of the walls are square.

We built a second shelf above the desktop and added some paint. After that, it just took a trip to ikea for storage solutions and I now have a craft "room!"

I have all my fabric stacked on the top shelf next to a box containing patterns and large tools. Pins, scissors and other small tools hang on the wall in front of me as I sit, my straight knitting needles are stored in a tall vase to the left along with a wall mounted spool rack that holds thread.

In my convenient new space, I whipped up some circular needle storage to hang on the wall to the right (love this).

I have a garbage can on the floor which, rather than being used for garbage, holds balls of yarn just waiting to be knit together (there's a larger bin in another closet--my, I have lots of yarn). The sewing machine still sits on the floor, but we drilled a little hole at the back of the desk that the cord fits through. I have an extension cord tucked in next to it so sewing is just a matter of plugging in to the nearby outlet and moving the machine to the desk.

Oh happy day! I love being able to see all my tools and fabric and knitting projects. I'm no longer starting things and forgetting about them because they've been tucked away here or there. The boy is so happy that there are no longer in-progress knitting projects on every available surface--now everything has a home! What a great start to 2011.

Snow Day

{ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 }
This was the view out our bedroom slider when we woke up this morning.

And the downstairs slider.

And our car.

What a lot of shoveling we have to do!