Sunday, February 28, 2010

We're Crying It Out.

Oh, man. I really wanted to be one of those Moms I keep coming across on the Internet - the ones who say they sleep with their babies snuggled in bed beside them, and do whatever it takes to make them feel happy and healthy and well. Attachment parenting seems to be the ideal these days. It sounds so nice. And there's all these studies saying how good it is for your child. I read blogs by Moms who do it with a smile.
And we did share a bed with Griffin for the first couple of months. But he really likes to sleep with his arms straight out to the sides, and Jai and I were clinging to the edges of our Queen-size bed, trying not to move too much. He slept pretty well, but the two of us, not so much.
Having him in his crib, but bumped up right beside the bed seemed like a great compromise, and it was... at first. It was nice to have him so close (for those middle of the night "he's still breathing, right?" moments.) He's never been a great sleeper, but getting up three or four times a night isn't so bad if you don't actually have to get out of bed. Mostly I just rolled over and gave him a soother, and if that didn't work, I would pull him in and nurse him for twenty minutes or so, then slide him back into his crib. Not too bad.
But then, a couple of weeks ago, he decided that he hated the soother, and only I would do. And those feedings moved from being two hours apart to an hour and a half, to only an hour. I've been sleep deprived for months and months. There've been nights when I couldn't speak without slurring my words. I've felt like my IQ has dropped many, many points. That's all part of being a new parent. But at the end of those last two weeks.... banging my head against the wall was starting to sound like it might bring some sweet, welcome relief. Jai and I both came down with horrible colds. Not even Griffin was happy.
Sorry, attachment parenting. We are now crying it out.
Not that this is any kind of magical solution. In fact, it's torture. For everyone involved. He sleeps great at first, and then, between the hours of midnight and five a.m. we endure many long bouts of soul-rending crying. With a stop watch.
What we're doing is not actually called "crying it out" but that's the basic gist. We got the book "How to Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Ferber at the local secondhand bookstore. Basically, in progressively longer and longer increments we let him cry on his own, only going in to offer a few minutes of comforting at a time. Tonight is night number four. Everyone seems to think that within a week, things will start to get better. I certainly hope so. I really hope so. I really, really need it to be so.
If anyone out there has any words of wisdom to offer on getting babies to sleep better, I'd love to hear them. If you had kids, did you let them cry themselves to sleep? Did they cry every time? For hours? (and hours?) All I can find on the internet is testimonials from people who say that they felt like it was too cruel, so they just toughed it out... it only lasted for a few years. Good for them, I say, you are made of stronger stuff than I.
Anyway, that was a bit of a rant, but this is what we have been up to. Poor little Griffin. Send some happy thought his way, if you're reading this. And Sweet Dreams to you, too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bridgetown Winterfest Saves Winter!

Well, it figures, wouldn't you know it, that just when I go and get all down on Winter, Jai reminds me that tonight is Winterfest! So we all bundled up, lit some tealights to go in our baby food jars, and went to join the Parade of Lights (which consisted of about 20 people with flashlights walking down Main St, but was fun all the same.)

We marched off to the park, where there was snowmen and an igloo and a toboggan slide and kicksleds.

We got in line for hot chocolate while we waited for them to light the bonfire.

Then we oohed and aahed as it caught, and went up spectacularly.

Big fluffy snowflakes started to fall. What more could you ask for?
And just like that, Winter redeemed itself.

Oh, February

There comes a time in every winter - usually in February - when I am finished with winter. Enough cold, enough snow, enough loading up with layers and boots and hats and mitts every time we want to step outside.

So then I have to come up with some way to make it ok again. More snow was falling outside, the tulips weren't quite cutting it, I needed some way to make everything feel fresh again. Time to re-arrange the furniture! I don't have before OR after pictures, because unfortunately I made only a small dent in the large mountain of clutter. Nevertheless, the house somehow feels like it got a breath of fresh air. I don't even know if it's better, but it's just different enough. Hopefully it will be enough to carry me through the next couple of months of winter, because if it doesn't, I may need to paint something white. To be fair, I do get sick of summer, too. Right around August, I've had enough of the unrelenting heat already. Really the only season I don't get sick of is fall. I do love those autumn days. Still... would they be so poignant if they weren't a relief after the summer heat, and a respite before the winter cold sets in? Well, no, probably not. And I do love me those toques and scarves. But just right now this winter is feeling awfully long. I may have to do a happy dance when those first snowdrops start to peek through. I may have to go to the beach with my snowsuit on.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not-So Idle Hours

And now the second update - what I've been up to in my secret laboratory. I made a little book! Oh, it was so much fun. I sewed and crocheted and block-printed and screen-printed my little heart out, and here it is:

And then Griffin, little sweety that he is, absolutely LOVED it. So I was pretty happy, although I will change the letters on the cover, as I think they could be better. I made up another little bird print as well - this time a little robin. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire a second book... something about a forest, maybe?

Anyway, slowly but surely, things are cookin'. And, just to show how it runs in the family, here's a picture of Griffin in the little sweater that my Mom knit him (yes, Mom, it actually fits!)

Idle Hours

Hello! It's been a while (oops!) so I thought I would split this little update into two pieces again. It was another busy week around the Soloy family. We tripped off to Halifax for the weekend, to do a little visiting, and a little shopping. Griffin loves spending time with his Grandparents.

And they love spending time with him!

Yup... almost crawling!
He even got to meet his newest little cousin - Zachary. I can tell they will be great friends!

So thanks guys - we had a great time! And Jai surprised me when we got home with some beautiful Valentine's flowers. Thanks Jai!

And now we are in the middle of another winter storm. Jai even got a Snow Day today, so we have been relaxing and watching the Olympics (live on-line, which is pretty cool for people like us who don't have television.) This is a shot of our backyard.

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."

- John Boswell

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Winter Whirlwind

Hello! I'm just dashing in - don't have much time. It's been somewhat of a crazy weekend around here. We've had a house full of sickies. Well, just two really. Webster the bunny and Griffin the baby boy. It's been a bit of a job keeping everyone in medicine and good spirits. Plus, not a lot of sleep. Nevertheless, we did manage to fit in some things. I photographed some of the stuff I made over the week.

Jai and I watched the entire run of Victorian Farm, which was really fun, and totally worth checking out if you are interested in life at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution or homesteading. Jai snuck out into the shop for a couple of hours to get some tops turned, and I fit in a little experiment with some styrofoam and plexiglass, which I am SO pleased with!

And while all that was going on inside, the energy was matched outside by yet another round of snow. Our quiet moments were spent sitting in the windowseat, watching the birds at the feeder, waiting for those moments when Griffin smiled and all was right with the World again.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Dear Diary...

Hello! It's a blistering cold -26 degrees outside today, so Griffin and I have been having some indoor fun. He's been up and down and all around.

And I did manage to get some sort of Etsy store up and running again. As I should have known it would, it has been helpful in getting me to think about the types of things I want to be making for sale. Hmmmm. I must decide how much of that decision will be informed by my current ability to find time to make things, and how much will be informed by the things I want to make. Judging by my ability to articulate this line of thought, I have some thinking still to do! I must just try and remember that one day I will have the time to be in the shop again. One day, I will have the time to bring all these ideas to fruition. (Or maybe it's like being back in Art School - if you can think of it, then you don't need to bother actually making it. Conceptual Art!) On this crazy thought pendulum, I'm swinging back towards not abandoning all the work I did before Griffin was born. For today, anyway. Plus watching Griffin enjoy things that move, spin, flip and flap has made me appreciate them even more. So while I won't be making any large automata any time soon, perhaps I can still find time for a thaumatrope or two.
Anyway, back in real time, I have been keeping busy drawing, and doing some little embroideries. I finished up this little bird that I started back when I was pregnant:

And I did these narwhals, who are in love. If I can figure out how to do it, I thought I might put this up as a free pattern download, since I have so enjoyed other people's patterns. Gotta get Jai's help on how to upload a PDF first, though.

Anyway, there's our little slice of life for today. I'm sure one day I will look back on these days and laugh at myself, just a little.