Sunday, January 30, 2011

Three Cheers for Kisses!

The tiny one is 20 months old and until two nights ago, still fed to sleep. As I'm training as a doula, about to have a book published and hoping to go to a midwifery conference in Germany this fall, I thought it might be handy if someone other then myself (and my boobs) could send her off to slumber.

Not being one for controlled crying, I wanted to find a different way of helping my little monster fall off to sleep. I'd read somewhere about the whole "kissing" them to sleep thing. Unfortunately, not being the most diligent of students, I forgot the bulk of what I'd read and only remembered that it had something to do with kissing your baby at increasing intervals until they went to sleep.

So I lay her down and told her quite seriously that it was bedtime and that now mama was going to kiss her three times and she would then fall asleep. I leaned down and studiously delivered three quick kisses to her cheek.

She started to giggle.

I kissed her again.

She giggled louder.

I kept kissing her.

She started in on some pretty serious belly laughs.

The serious side of my brain, the side that reads sleep studies and understands concepts regarding dim lights and silent rooms, was horrified! Surely I was winding the child up and she would NEVER settle!

But the other part, the part that truly believes that by wishing on the first star of the night, my book has a better chance of being a success and that my children will be happy and healthy all their lives, said that perhaps this laughter, much like the crying that I did not want to do, would eventually wear her out....

That all of this wrestling and laughter and tickling and kissing combined with the dim lights and warm blankets might just maybe help to put my baby to sleep....

So we kissed and we wrestled and we tickled and we laughed...

I told her made up stories about "Spencer" (her favourite character on Balamory. )

I sang the alphabet, always a sure hit with her big sis.

No Joy.

I tried Twinkle, Twinkle. Again, a regular chart topper of the snot queen's.

Still, Nada.

And then, I hit pay dirt.

I started to sing softly... "What 's the story in Balamory, wouldn't you like to know?"

She lay stock still and looked up at me, eyes wide...

"What's the story in Balamory, Tell me and we will go..."

She smiled dreamily...

"La la la la la la la la la la la la la, Baaa Laaaa Mooooorrrryyyy"

Her eyes began to close....

A few minutes and several verses of my hap hazard version of the Balamory Theme song later, she was down for the count.

No stress for me and more importantly, no tears for her.

Even better, she fell asleep happy.

So for anyone out there wondering if their breastfed baby will ever fall asleep without the boob, there is tear free hope indeed :)

Forget controlled crying.

For us, it's uncontrolled laughter all the way.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's been a Loooooong time!

It's been a loooooong time. A really long time. So long, that when I started to type "" into my address bar, nothing happened.


I typed in M. I got loads about motorcyles (my husbands a biker. Rrrrrrawr!)

I typed in Ma. I got suggestions for mail and maps (we use those a lot)

I typed in mammy.



My laptop had forgotten me.

There's something really sad about being forgotten by your computer. It's like running into an old friend who you haven't seen in a long time. An old friend with whom you've shared some pretty hard core memories and who you've trusted with your inner most secrets, the deepest, darkest parts of your soul only to run into them on the street unexpectedly and have them give you that confused, insincere smile that says "I have a feeling you're going to try and sell me something or ask me to donate money to a worthy -ish cause that I reeeeally don't want to donate to but am too polite to tell you to f"£k off and leave me alone because to be perfectly honest, I have no interest ion speaking to you, letting alone giving you my money, which I've already earmarked for a quick cup of coffee on my way home, so please, make this less painful for both of us and GO AWAY!" (Seriously, I could never be a charity collector, I'm not nearly hard enough.)

Anyway, let's just say that it's pretty upsetting.

I suppose I owe you a bit of an explanation, but I really don't know where to begin.

Have I been a bit overwhelmed at times by my gorgeous, wonderful babies who insist on knowing exactly when the front door has been left unlocked and making a run for it leaving me running down the road after a 20 month old fireball who is giggling maniacally at her newly acquired freedom and her mama's rapidly escalating adrenaline levels?

Partly (big partly actually. The child is fast and has no fear.)

Have I been more then a little bit consumed by the whole natural birthing/breastfeeding movement and yet afraid to blog about it for fear of offending friends/family/anyone who doesn't feel the same way?


Have I been working on "The Book" and figuring that time normally spent blogging could be better spent getting the blasted thing banged into shape?

Hell yeah! I'm aiming for a flipping launch date of April 2nd and still have piles and piles of work to go!

So yeah, I've been busy. And then time just went on. And on. And on. Until I didn't know if anyone would even care if I didn't blog again.

And then I got a letter.

And another letter.

And another.

And another.

(You see where this is going...)

And then this evening, as I was replying to a post on my favourite parenting site, I realized I wasn't just replying to the post, I was blogging...

So here, for your reading pleasure, I give you my reasons for enjoying co sleeping, as replied to mydennis's original post entitled "Cosleeping" on
*For the unitiatiated, dd1 and dd2 are internet speak for dear daughter 1 and dear daughter 2. DH = Dear husband.

I loooooooove co sleeping. Like a lot of you, I was totally against it when I was pregnant on my first daughter. I had slept in a cot, My brothers and sisters had slept in a cot, and my babies were going to sleep in a cot. In a separate room. With black out blinds and a white noise machine for comfort. My husband's plan of having the baby in our room for the first little while horrified me. The bedroom was OUR space! We needed to nourish OUR relationship too! What if the baby got older and woke up in the middle of the night and woke up (in it's cot of course) to see us having sex?!?!?!? YUCK! What a turn off.

And then I had dd1. Everything I ever thought I "knew" about babies (I used to work in creches and as a nanny) went out the window. WHOOSH went the blackout blinds and WHOOSH went the thought of a white noise machine. WHOOSH went the nursery and finally, three nights into my hospital stay with my new born baby girl tucked up tight inside my robe, WHOOSH went all my beliefs about babies, independence, and cots.

7 Months later, we were pregnant on Dd2 so obviously, somewhere along the line, WHOOSH went the idea of sex being off the menu with a baby in the room!

Three years later and we are four in the bed. Well, beds, to be perfectly accurate... Our room is now one giant wall to wall bed with a King size in the middle and a single smooshed on either side.

I love co sleeping. I love being surrounded by my family in the night and hearing all of their different breathing sounds around me. From Daddy's rattling snore, to my oldest girl's gentle purr and my youngest's - so quiet I sometimes hold my ear to her face to make sure they're there - breaths.

I love being there for them if they wake in the night, that they never have to cry because I hear them long before. I love watching them wake up in the morning. Dd1 wakes with a smile, rubs the sleep from her eyes and pushes back her fringe before telling us the same story every morning, "I was asleep, and then I woke up!"

I love watching dd2, generally a little less impressed then her sister to be awake (she takes after her dad in that respect!) but she quickly shakes it off and after a quick cuddle and feed, it's off to find her big sister and then time to play.

To be perfectly honest, I can't imagine a better way to wake up...