Tag Archives: sleep

The Birthday

   “Will report back with photos, hopefully.”

That last word of the last post may have been a bit premonitory! Important events in this family’s life seem to be marked by a distinct lack of decent photographs. (Don’t even ask me about our wedding. Just don’t.) In this case, as with Dermot’s 30th birthday three weeks ago, we were so busy trying to keep people fed and happy that neither of us got behind the camera much. We did, however, have a really lovely time, and everybody was well fed and happy, so that and the memories really are all that count. I did manage a few photos – this first one is on party day – the day before her birthday.
Legwarmers, courtesy Babylegs. These things are great!
Cute red dress, courtesy my wonderful friend Jane
Wiggles DVD, courtesy Uncle Stu
Dinky red cap, courtesy Grandpa
Backwards-cap-wearin’-style, all her very own 🙂

And here we have our gorgeous 1 year old and big brother on her birthday – note the Russian dolls we gave her. I must get a good photograph of these to show you, they’re beautiful.


And then there’s this last one – which is something I wouldn’t normally show you, as it is such an unattractive shot of myself (note bags under eyes, and yes, my eyebrows need serious attention – and yes, if you look closely, you can see Niamh has inherited those same crazy eyebrows, poor girl!) But something about this photograph really works for me – it was taken the afternoon of her birthday, after we experienced a pretty rough night following the party, and I think it sums up the feeling of the last year pretty succinctly, don’t you?

For what it’s worth, she went on to sleep eleven hours that night, so all is forgiven again 🙂


Ten months

Can you believe my baby was ten months old yesterday? No, nor can I :giggle: Ten whole months have gone by in a blur of Niamh-induced-sleep-deprivation (Finn’s latest ‘excuse’ for everything is “I’m too tired“. I wonder where he could possibly have picked that up?!)

She’s doing pretty wonderfully. She waves bye-bye, sometimes hello, and claps her hands, especially to music (and in time, what’s more!) She’s got the “baba-baba”, “mama-mama”, and “dada-dada”s down pat. She has four sharp teeth, and we’ve been expecting more for months. She likes to chew on everything, so mind your fingers (I had blood drawn just this morning). She loves water, and adores the great outdoors. She’s absolutely fearless and downright cheeky with a wonderful sense of humour. Whenever we turn our backs for just a moment, she gets very busy – unfolded laundry is removed from baskets with great speed, CDs are pulled from the rack, Finn’s bookshelves are emptied…

Two weeks ago she stood unaided for the first time 😮 Only for a couple of seconds, but a stand nonetheless. Since then she’s done it a few times, and progressed to 4 or 5 seconds at a go. We all know what that means…

But… and here’s the big one… she sleeps. Finally, she sleeps! A big round of applause please! Since coming back from Port Fairy a few weeks back, we moved her cot into Finn’s room. The preceding several weeks had been pretty dreadful, and the only way I was getting any rest was by co-sleeping half the night. Which was fine by us really (and I do kind of miss it), but possibly a little counter-productive. So we moved her in with Finn and got serious about settling her in her own bed, and allowed her a little bit of fussing (a very much gentle-ified version of “controlled comforting”). Anyway, the long story short is that most nights, she sleeps from 7pm to at least 2am – sometimes she needs a settling down around then, sometimes a little drink of water. Or even more lately, she sleeps through longer – to 4 or even 5am. Unfortunately, mornings don’t seem to start any later than 5.30am, ever. Which is kind of sucky (no, I’m not a morning person), but at least I’m frequently managing to get six hour stretches of sleep for myself. Hooray!

Have a happy Easter weekend – we’re off camping again tomorrow 🙂
Cheeky kids

PS. Thank you for all the kind thoughts following my grandmother’s death, I appreciate them very much.

The Longest Time

Q. What does an dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do?
A. Lies awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

Heh. I felt the need for an icebreaker – you know, it’s been so long and all, we probably need to get to know one another all over again. That’s been one of my favourite (clean) jokes ever since I learned what all those big words meant!

For those who have asked after my wellbeing, rest assured, I’m fine, just tired, and for the last while, not inclined to blog. There are only so many times I can write “Niamh still not sleeping, Mel still a complete zombie, oh woe is me”, and only so many times you want to read about it! But hey… just for good measure, here’s one more 🙂 …

It has got to the point where I am only hearing two things from friends/family/complete strangers about babies and sleeping – either their babies slept through from about the 6-8 week mark (that used to be me), or, they didn’t sleep through until about two. No inbetween – why is there no damn inbetween!!! Where are all the babies who sleep through from about six months? (Which, incidentally, Niamh turned, just a short week ago.) The cumulative effect of six months of this on my psyche is not great 😥 I’m completely unsurprised by studies showing links between infant sleep issues and post-partum depression. And I feel completely ashamed of the smugness I once felt as a new mother of a baby who slept. How lucky I was!

To give Niamh some credit… there was a week, not so long ago, that she had only one wake a night (around 3-4 am) per night on five out of seven nights. That was awesome! True to form though, she backtracked. She does that.

Aside from the sleep issues, things have been super busy. November on the calendar was even more cram-packed than December, which is unusual. The weekend away I spoke of in my last post was bliss. The sheer silence of being away in the country with no electronic buzz (not even a television) is wonderful.

We were away again the following weekend (it was a much noisier, much more chaotic weekend), and then the weekend after that there was a state election to go vote in, a family 21st birthday party to attend, and a lovely Sunday brunch with friends for me. Then… oh jeez, I can’t even remember, everything seems so long ago. There have been a couple of trips to the zoo – once was for the FOTZ (Friends Of The Zoo) Christmas party, which was lots of fun; and a trip to the Werribee open-range zoo. There’ve been some great days to swim, and others to stay inside away from the blazing sun. And yet another (November 15) which was so ridiculously cold it snowed in some areas of the state – in November – in Australia! Most unfortunately for us, that day was also Finn’s pre-school excursion day. We rugged up and went to spend some time on the farm, but by heck we were cold!

(Sadly, those same areas which received snow not a month ago, are currently ablaze in a scary start to the bushfire season.)

Gosh, this got kind of rambly, didn’t it? Anyway, the point was, I just wanted to let you know I’m here, and even, despite all of the above, managing to do a few stitchy things and crafty things, even some dyeing (though my Pay-it-forward-ees will probably have to wait until after Christmas to receive their goodies.) I’ve actually enjoyed my unplanned, unannounced hiatus from blogging, but hopefully I’ll be back a bit sooner next time, and possibly even with some pics.

Oh, oh, oh, and btw… here are those all important ‘milestone’-y things – Niamh popped out a couple of teeth on November 16, and she is also… wait for it… crawling 😮 A full month before Finn did!

(Maybe that’s why she doesn’t sleep… too busy being active.)

A Whole Lot of Cranky

It’s 7am. I am half dressed, have already been spit-upon twice… no, three times this morning, Niamh woke up several times again last night, and I made the mistake of weighing myself this morning. Yesterday was the day I didn’t get out of my pyjamas until 5pm. (I knew there’d eventually be one of those – one could wonder why I bothered changing at all once it got that late – I certainly do!) This ‘4-month sleep regression’, if that is what it is, is kicking my butt. Tell me, how is it fair to regress from something you were never actually any good at? I was just starting to think maybe I was doing okay, even though Niamh was mostly still getting up twice a night. I was starting to handle it. Now? Not so much.

All of that, though, is not the main cause of this morning’s irritation. This is the big one…


Buggeration, that just really ticks me off. Now I have to go and find nets or something to put over the plants. What’s really annoying is the darn bird didn’t even bother to finish the fruit – it left a manky chewed up half-a-berry still hanging off the plant. I had planned on letting Finn pick that strawberry today. Lucky I didn’t tell him about it, hey?

Arse O’Clock

Like many babes of her age, Niamh often goes through a period of crankiness sometime in the late afternoon/ early evening. If I manage her day-time sleeps just right, we can avoid it. (There must be exactly three naps, and the last nap must end later than 3pm. Who knew you needed to be a project manager for this gig?!) Anyway, if we do hit ‘arse-o’clock’, as it is affectionately known in our house, there are a few options. There is the option of me feeding her to sleep for a (brief) fourth nap. That can take a little bit of time though, and be somewhat inconvenient unless OtherHalf is home early to provide Finn with some distraction. I can stick both kids in the car and drive around for awhile. This has many shortcomings – usually it results in Finn falling asleep, and not Niamh, and what with the cost of fuel just about requiring a second mortgage these days, it’s not my preferred option. I can stick Niamh in the pram and trundle down to the nearby playground with Finn, but again, the pram doesn’t seem to put her to sleep very efficiently, and this option has the added frustration of Finn complaining about his tired legs as soon as we get, oh, about 50m from the house!

Anyway, yesterday – having been out much of the day, and unable to keep to Niamh’s sleeping requirements, we hit arse-o’clock with a vengeance. But lo! I had a bit of a brainwave. I popped her in the sling, and jumped on the stationary bike – voila, multitasking! Not only did I get a spot of (seriously needed) exercise, but the motion of my body lulled her off to sleep nice and quickly (it took 5 minutes and 48 seconds, according to the readout on my bike!) I even managed to catch up on some news, as the bike fits into an alcove-y thing near our television. Ahem… I only managed another five minutes of cycling though, before I staggered off… told you I was in serious need of exercise! (On a somewhat related note, I keep forgetting to mention that I got the all clear on diabetes at my six week follow up test 🙂 )

Postscript: I’m posting this retroactively – I started writing it last Wednesday, finished writing it on Thursday, then got interrupted and never quite managed to post it. See how slowly things get done at Casa de Million Stitches lately?! After last night, I’m hoping that may change soon… of course I can’t tell you what happened, because that would be incurring the curse of the jinx, wouldn’t it?!


Soooo… didja miss me?! Sorry, my August blogging was kind of pathetic, really. For several reasons, not the least of which was a week of nights of two-hourly waking. Being sick really threw Niamh’s sleep out a bit, and also she seemed to go through a huge growth spurt, so she was hungry, hungry, hungry. I’m not sure how I survived that week – I was a bit of a zombie. On one bizarre occasion, I actually lost 2 hours. I could not, for the life of me, remember what happened after I got her out of bed for a 2am feed – next thing I recall is putting her back into bed… at 4am! I wasn’t sure if I’d put her back after the 2am feed, then got her out again for a 4am feed… or if I just fell asleep holding her. I’m thinking probably the latter, which is a little scary!

Things have calmed down a bit since then, but still we haven’t had the sleep-through. Even dropping down to one feed a night would be fine, but at the moment she has one longish (5 or 6 hours) sleep, starting sometime between 7 and 8p.m., then usually feeds at 1-something-a.m. and 4-something-a.m., and is then ‘up’ for morning by 6.30. Ack. And of course, I’m no good at going to bed at 7p.m. – I do actually like to stay up a bit and have ‘a life’ of sorts, (that’s code for ‘stare blankly at the television, or catch up on a blog or five’ – no energy to actually stitch or do anything useful!) So I go to bed by 10… 11… ish, and I don’t get that one long sleep. I know you’re all going to tell me to go to bed earlier – don’t bother, I already know what I should do. It doesn’t work for me. I’ll just have to hold out for her to drop a feed, instead. It’s just desperately difficult to avoid comparing her to Finn, who slept 8 or 9 hours in a hit from 6 weeks old (ok, not every night, but pretty routinely). She’s a different baby from Finn in pretty much every way, and really, I enjoy the fact that she’ll sleep in 2 or 3 hour slots during the day, where he only ever took 45 minute naps. That way, I get to spend time with Finn (when I’m a zombie, I’m not sure that it’s ‘quality’ time, but it’s time with him nevertheless), and recharge a little bit.

But that’s enough baby talk. I’m sure you’re all bored to tears – which, frankly, is another reason I haven’t blogged of late – since babystuff is pretty much all-pervasive in my life right now, I didn’t want to scare everyone off by talking about it all the time! (Which reminds me… hello to all my new(ish) readers 🙂 )

I have no stitching to show you, but I have started Mirabilia’s freebie Bumblebee (and I have some frogging to do, darn it), so hopefully having a small project on the go will spur me on a bit. I also spent some time on Dragonfly Jewels, but I spent so much time mucking about with a minor colour change that I got sick of it (plus, my hands are really dry and icky, so stitching with silks is a bit of challenge at the moment). I had also hoped to do a bit more stitching on my Noah’s Journey, before it sets off on a worldly adventure in the UFO Round Robin I’ve joined, but since I’m marking assignments again this weekend, I’m not sure I’ll get that in.

Anyhow, that’s where I’m at. There’s some other stuff I’ve been trying to form into some kind of coherent blog post/s… if you’re lucky I’ll get to that before October! 🙂

Good Mum, Bad Mum

For every problem, there is a solution – blog about it! Since that post, Niamh has of course reverted back to perfect angel :giggle: Actually, I’ve discovered something rather nice – if I let her sleep on me (either in the sling, or just lying on my chest) in the early evening, rather than struggling to get her in bed then, she settles much better into bed later on. And by much better, I mean that I take her into the bedroom by 8.30 or so, give her a little top-up feed, a cuddle, pop her into bed, and turn the music thingy on, and leave the room. She sleeps – it’s like magic! I don’t remember Finn going to bed fuss-free until he was several months old. It won’t continue, of course :giggle:

That’s the Good Mum bit of my story. Sadly, there’s a Bad Mum bit. Confession – I have a crap bedside manner. I am not good with sick people, not even with my own family. Finn has had a persistent cough over the last few days, lingering from a mild cold a week or so ago. I kept him home from preschool today, of course – despite my crapness, I couldn’t in good conscience expose all the other kids to his germiness. But even as I did, I have to admit to feeling somewhat resentful – three hours a week when he’s at preschool is the only break I get, after all.

Um… well… turns out he has Croup 😥

I’m such a bad mother.

Thankfully, my GP is wonderful, and squeezed us in today when Finn became dreadfully distressed by it all. It’s a relatively mild case, he should be okay in a few days.

Magic Moments

Q: what happens when you’re busy extolling the virtues of your second child to anyone who’ll listen?

A: while your back is turned, said child turns unexpectedly into demon spawn.

D’you think it’s because I dressed her in red?

Ok, perhaps that’s a little strong… but seriously, we’ve had some hellish nights of late. Little Miss Sunshine has decided to strenuously resist going to bed in the evening. I think I may develop RSI from all the pat-pat-patting. Alternatively, she goes down easily, but makes up for it later. Take last night – she screamed blue murder between 2.15 and 3.00am, then ‘slept’ noisily and restlessly in bed with me until 4.45am, then woke up, but was too tired to feed properly… cue more screaming. And so on…

Grrr. I can only hope that this is one of those times when an ‘unsettled’ period is followed by a big leap forward… preferably in night-time sleep patterns. It is, however, conceivable that this could be related to teething. I know, it sounds far too early – she’s only eight weeks old. But I cut my first teeth around 2 months, and Finn cut his just before he turned 3 months, so I’m expecting more early teeth (oh joy!)

Anyway, I wrote the following several days ago and didn’t get around to posting it – partly because it was far too saccharine sweet, very unlike me! But I’m posting it now, because I just have to remind myself :blank:

Having a Winter baby is a whole different story from having a Summer baby. In the beginning, I started feeding Niamh in bed with me at night because it was so damn cold, I couldn’t bear to leave the warmth of my snuggly doona. Now, after weeks of broken sleep, I think I’d be incapable of anything else. I’m just too darn tired. Now, she wakes up and cries for me, and I get her out of the cot, into bed with me, and onto a breast, all while I’m just barely awake myself 🙂

After she finishes on one side, she dozes off. I lie her on my tummy, her head just within kissing distance, and watch those delightful little smiles that happen as babies drift into REM sleep. (According to Welsh folklore, newborn babies smile in their sleep when they’ve been kissed by fairies, which I think is terribly sweet).

This is my favourite time. This is the time when Niamh is mine, all mine. I don’t have to share her with anybody, and nobody else is clamouring for my attention. And I know that despite the exhaustion, despite my desperate longing for a full night’s sleep – when it comes, I’m going to miss these midnight cuddles.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to experience another magic moment – apparently dirty nappies don’t change themselves!

Dancing in the Streets

You know, I feel like this is all going to go horribly bad when I tell you this… but…

I had FIVE HOURS straight of sleep last night.

Whoo! Then a feed, a change, and two and a half more hours, and then (because OtherHalf went in late to work), another feed, another change, and two more hours.


Like I said. It won’t happen again now that I’ve spilled the beans. Kids are like that, I’ve found. They like to keep you on your toes!

Anyway, as a result, today was a Whole New Day. I feel refueled, and I think I was a much more pleasant person to be around today. Finn and I played lots (he whipped my butt at Yahtzee), we got out to run a few errands, and the weather was actually pleasant enough to hang washing out, so the laundry monster is receding just a bit as well. And now… Niamh has gone to bed with nary a whimper, and…

I. Am. Going. To. Stitch! :giggle: