Forming Bad Habits

Last night, for the third night in a row, little Strawbug ended up in the big bed with us from around 3am until it was time to get up this morning.

I say “ended up in the big bed” like she’d woken up, wandered through and climbed in between us. Clearly, at 8 months old, she didn’t wander through by herself. And given the height of the “big bed” is such that I sometimes need a leg-up myself, even if she was able to toddle through from her own room, she’d unlikely be able to climb in unaided.

Yes, our baby girls progress towards sleeping through the night is not linear to say the least (and that’s my version of sleeping through and not the ‘scientific’ definition of 5 hours sleep). It has characteristics of the good, the bad, the downright ugly and the cute as hell.

The Good: She now goes to bed “drowsy” and with little complaint she takes herself off into the land of nod. She no longer needs feeding between going to bed in the evening and waking in the morning. She also sleeps pretty soundly until that 3am witching hour.

The Bad: She has a period of wakefulness around 3am which, if left unattended, results in murderous screams. 8 month old lungs are extremely powerful (I know, this shocked me too!)

The Ugly: Me/My beloved falling out of the princess and the pea “big bed” and bouncing off the walls as we stumble through to play “get the dummy in the baby’s mouth, and not in her eye, whilst blindfolded” (well, not blindfolded exactly, but by the power of night light). And then caving in when it doesn’t work, picking her up and putting her in our bed.

The Cute As Hell: Strawbug, lying on her side in the middle of the two of us, reaching out to hold on to you so that she feels safe enough to go back to sleep…

I say go back to sleep, in reality the sleep part is preceded by about an hour of talking to herself, laughing and kicking the hell out of my neck, throat, tummy, chest, back, head… (never my beloved, always me – why is that? But, then I do seem to get all the cuddles when she does eventually go back to sleep, so I can’t really complain).

Now I know that she doesn’t know any better. And I know that it’s our job as responsible parents to teach her. But it’s so hard when;

a) you’re shattered because you haven’t had a full nights sleep since your 1st Trimester when you couldn’t stay awake
b) she’s shrieking so loud you can’t work out if she’s possessed by an evil spirit or she’s totally playing you
c) she looks at you with those big, loving eyes and cuddles into you like you were the only thing in the world that matttered

So, tell me (genuinely, I need the advice!)… I know that we are forming bad habits on her behalf and we’re also making a rod for our own backs. But, how is it possible to get your precious little bundle to sleep peacefully all night long, all on their own?

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Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Phew! What a week!

I had my first really “critical” day at work on Monday with back to back “important” meetings – all the time feeling quite flu-ey and run down. I was set my first short, highly visible and business critical deadline since my return and I was nervous about colleagues thinking I couldn’t cut it anymore.

Then on Monday night the brothers grimm showed up for a 24 hour visit (I came down with a tummy bug), which completely wiped me out. On Tuesday night, my little Strawbug hardly slept because she was really miserable (and therefore, neither did we). We couldn’t work out what was wrong with her, poor wee scone.

On Wednesday I was playing catch up to hit my close of business deadline but pushed myself so hard I passed out about 2pm then was awoken by the nursery calling to say Strawbug still wasn’t right and could I come pick her up. Well, that was my deadline out of the window and down the lane!

On Wednesday night Strawbug and I slept in the big bed whilst my beloved slept on the sofa. He had to be up at silly o’clock on Thursday for a gargantuan round trip drive to the shortest meeting in history… (honestly, some Company decisions really do not make any sense at all.) And we weren’t really sleeping, more just cuddling all night because she just wouldn’t let go of me. Still miserable. Still couldn’t work out what was up.

Yesterday, we both felt a bit brighter in the morning, so off she went to nursery and off I went to work. Still playing catch up… but managed to get all my actions completed only half a day late. Go me!!

Strawbug on the other hand, decided yesterday was a day of rest and slept for nearly 4.5 hours at nursery. I wasn’t holding out much hope for last night I can tell you. And then the strangest thing happened…

My beloved got home about 9:30pm. “How has she been?” he asked. “Well”, I said… “she had lots of sleep today and then fell asleep at 7″… I wasn’t even sure I wanted to say the next bit out loud for fear of jinxing the situation but I did… “She hasn’t stirred once. I haven’t even had to put her dummy in”. Highly unusual.

So we lay there, each of us with one eye open, waiting… And nothing. She didn’t stir. Not once. Until 1am, for some milk. After which she promptly went back to sleep. And we lay there for a bit, each of us with one eye open, waiting… And nothing. She didn’t stir. Not once. Until 6:45, when she woke up singing and talking away to her teddy bears.

I can’ stop smiling. I feel like a whole new woman! I’m sure it was a fluke, a one off, a blip on the monitor. But I have to say it was a blip I needed this week. Sleep, Glorious Sleep, how I’ve missed you!

It’s up to you, New York

So, I didn’t really update you on my NYC experience… well, I can tell you that in the city that never sleeps… we didn’t sleep. Not at the appropriate times anyway! Which meant we didn’t really sample the nightlife, just the early evening life (hey! no Early Bird comments!) Though we did make it out till 10:30pm on my beloved’s birthday, woop-woop! To be honest though, (and I speak for myself here as well as make a sweeping generalisation across the two of us) we didn’t feel that we missed out. Are we getting old?

We didn’t want a crazy tourist marathon. We’d had enough craziness at home the last month or so. We wanted to chillax, hang out and take in the atmosphere… Chillax in NYC?! I hear your laugh. But it is possible.

Putting the 2 ½ hour wait, in various unorganised “lines” to get through Passport Control, aside (and I mean seriously, is it really that difficult?!) there are actually a lot of places to just hang and relax in NYC…

Central Park. We spent a very relaxing hour strolling round the vast expanse of parkland right in the middle of Manhattan and then sat and had a leisurely lunch (the food was delicious!!) in the boathouse, watching tourists and loved up couples floating over the calm still water. It was almost perfect… had it not been for the guy behind us intent on sharing with the entire restaurant the view from the inside of his mouth whilst he ate. My beloved could not take his eyes of him.

Soho. 11am on a Monday morning. We walked along a quiet Bleecker Street (the shops were only just starting to open), had a refreshment in the quirky Cafe Angelique and watched the world go by. Well, not the whole world, just an older lady in big sunglasses (all older ladies in NYC dress like younger ladies and always wear big sunglasses, have you noticed that?) and a couple of 20 something guys in tight jeans and pork pie hats.

Even Macy’s was fairly pleasant when we arrived at 9am on our last day. Though only an hour later we were seeking solace in the Men’s department… it seems only single girls and mums like to shop on a Tuesday morning (the make-up counters and kids department were battle zones by this time).

This was the view from out hotel window… how relaxed were we?!

So there you have it, NYC a city to chillax in…no? OK. How about, there are plenty of opportunities in life to take time out, you just have to keep your eyes open. Even in NYC. And you know what they say, if you can chill out there, you can chill out anywhere 🙂

New York, New York, It’s a wonderful town!

It’s 5am on day two in one of the greatest cities on earth…. We’re awake, very awake. Have been for an hour. The result of falling asleep at 8pm last night. New York is famed for it’s night life, which we’ve seen none of yet – due to the fact that we did the same thing on the night before last (the night we got here). Though, technically you could blame that on a couple of very strong cocktails, which I, in turn, blame on a 2 1/2 hour wait in a stuffy room with no windows to get through passport control!

I wonder if the city that never sleeps sells coffee at 5am?

So, today is a new day, it’s also my beloved’s birthday (reason for trip) So, we are going to see the whole day, and the night, through… If it kills us!

Plan of attack? Less walking and a lot more cwoffeee!!! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂