Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Well, that period of longer sleep was short lived. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted! We have 2 more canines coming in and then we are done with teeth except for the last molars. Wish us luck.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleep Part ?

I've lost track of how many times I've written about sleep in this space. I've officially become one of them I guess. By that, I mean that I talk about sleep and my baby a lot. I try not to talk about it too much on a day to day basis but if someone asks me about it I don't lie. Since Baby was about 7 months old (I think that's when it started...maybe 6 or 8 months?) she started waking up every 15 - 30 minutes. A good night was having an hour of uninterrupted sleep.

Then, a couple of months ago I had 2 nights with 4 hour stretches each night. It was heavenly.

And then things really started getting crazy again with the 15 minute thing. I sometimes had nights with about 4 hours of sleep in total. I was REALLY tired. Somehow I managed to get through the day without feeling it too much though. I really think that there must be some protection in a breastfeeding mother's hormones that allows someone to survive on such little sleep for so long. Some nights I would wake up in the middle of the night and start babbling about how tired I was and I would be so frustrated and disoriented and really quite crazy feeling. S would get frustrated with me on those nights. It wasn't a pleasant experience. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what was "wrong" with Baby. There HAD to be something "wrong." No "normal" baby woke up so much unless there was something terrible going on. I went through a list of things...

Food allergies? Not that I could positively identify.
Night terrors? Nope, she was awake and aware when she woke up.
Gas? Yes, but didn't seem to be enough to wake her up so often.
Teething? Probably some of that caused it for sure.
Developmental milestone? Definitely causing some disruption during big changes.

I googled. I searched. I read (Dr. Sears, No Cry Sleep Solution, heck, I even got Sleepless in America out of the library!). I obsessed. I felt like a failure and that my baby was suffering and I couldn't figure out what was causing it.

Then one day I went back to where I was when it first started happening. Acceptance. I accepted that this was the way it was going to be. I had no idea if that meant for one night or one year. I stopped getting so frustrated so easily and I stopped searching for an answer. I continued on and just went with it. It was hard.

Then, Baby started walking! And got her first 4 molars in. And I was more relaxed. And I'm happy to report that she is now sleeping 2-3 hour stretches (nearly) every night for the past week. Napping has changed too. Naps are usually only once a day and last 1-2 hours on average. Sometimes a late afternoon cat nap happens as well if the earlier nap was only an hour. I feel good about these changes. Really good. I feel like Baby is settling into sleep patterns based on her own internal, natural schedule. I feel better rested and I look forward to sleeping.

Are things perfect? No, but I don't even know what perfect looks like to tell you the truth. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them my sleep schedule. However, I know if our whole family is healthy and happy and well rested it's looking pretty perfect to me.

Maybe I'll even be able to have some time alone in the early evenings or during nap time in the future.


We'll see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Playsilks 101

I'm finally getting around to talking about my experience with making playsilks for Baby. I'd read about playsilks and saw some toddlers playing with some at a local (now closed) kid's cafe but it wasn't until I saw Baby playing on a regular basis with a simple scarf at home that I decided to look into them. Quite often toys "prescribe" the way you have to play with them or are limited in the way you use them or play with them. Playsilks are essentially a natural material, open ended toy that encourages creativity and imagination in kids. You can buy them for about 15 bucks a silk. This seemed not only expensive to me but a waste to spend money on something that should be relatively easy to make. Off I went researching online and found a great thread on the forums that was dedicated to making playsilks. There are 2 common methods for dying them. The first is using unsweetened kool-aid and the other is using Wilton's icing colours. It just so happened that the show S was working on at the time had a scene in a shop with hundreds of packages of kool-aid. Good timing. She brought them all home after they finished shooting and I had a rainbow of colours to choose from. They turned out really beautiful and because I got the kool-aid for free, cost me about 5 or 6 bucks each to make. Here are the steps I followed. Note that I did one scarf at a time.
  1. I purchased my silks from Maiwa on Granville Island. I opted for the 29" x 29" habotai silk scarves. I bought a dozen of them.
  2. I also picked up a large bottle of plain white vinegar.
  3. I soaked each silk in a separate bowl in about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and hot, hot tap water (enough to cover the scarf completely) for 30 minutes.

  4. When the 30 minutes was almost up, I put 2 cups of hot, hot tap water into a large pot on the stove, added a cup of white vinegar and 4 packages of kool-aid. I started it on medium heat and heated it up gradually to a slow boil. 
  5. After the 30 minutes was up, I gently poured in the silk that had been soaking, liquid and all.

  6. I used chopsticks to move the scarf around and around until all the colour from the water was soaked into the silk. It took about 5 - 10 minutes. Some colours the water became completely clear while others there was still a bit of colour left in the water.

  7. I poured the contents of the pot into a bowl in the sink (I used the bowl I had soaked in) and started rinsing with hot, hot tap water. I gradually cooled down the water so I could work my hands under it and rinse out the scarf more thoroughly.

  8. Rinse, rinse, rinse.
  9. Rinse, rinse, rinse. I have to say that in rinsing my silks, the water never did run completely clear. But it came close for most colours. I was assured by doing more research online that other people did not have issues with kool-aid dying their carpet and furniture (or child!). I guess if I soaked it in water and left it sitting on something it would eventually leech some dye.
  10. I hung each silk to dry on a wooden clothes hanger in the kitchen, taking care not to let each one touch each other. They dried very quickly.

  11. Colour tips: Blue, purple and yellow worked very well. Reds and oranges look nice but aren't as vivid as I thought they'd be. Green fades the most but again, still looks great.

And the best part is that Baby loves them. I think they will be around our home for a long time.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Determinations

Things haven't slowed down much over here since the new year started. Things are off to a fun, promising, new start. I have a few determinations this year so I thought I'd share them here. You know, so you who know me (and you who don't) can hold me to to them!

So, in no particular 2011 Determinations.
  • Be a conscious & present parent
    By this I mean, I want to be emotionally present every moment I'm with Baby and make conscious, thoughtful decisions in my parenting at every opportunity. For both "big" stuff and "small" stuff. I feel I do this already for the most part (at least I try to) and I want to continue and improve.
  • Make healthy choices
    In all areas of my life - my own physical and emotional health, my family's health, my lifestyle choices, my work, anywhere I can make a healthier choice for me, my community and the earth in general.
  • Get fit
    Wow, this is a hard one. I've never really had to work at this for the most part. But I feel really unfit physically. I'm slower, bigger, sorer, and heavier. I have specific goals in mind here so I hope I can fulfill them. I'm hoping I can be more active this year and that will help heaps.
They sound pretty simple to me. Anyone else making determinations (or resolutions or goals or whatever you call them)?