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Small change – big sleeping difference.

small change

I’m breaking the unwritten rule of speaking about a parenting success here and even though I’m sure it will result in all success flying out the window completely tomorrow, I’m taking the risk anyway.

 

For the last year or so Eamon has been a worse than average sleeper (read – terrible). In and out of our bed all night and usually needing to be completely wrapped around my neck to sleep. I should have done something about it earlier, but mostly I blamed myself (or us) for why he was sleeping so badly.

 

It started when we moved from Bell and in with my parents for a month. Sleeping in the same room as him for that month meant more often than not he ended up in my bed when he woke in the night. Then we moved to a new house on the coast and were planning on going overseas a month later so I never bothered trying to get him back into his own bed because I knew that travelling, he would be in the same room as us anyway.

 

I don’t really have a great excuse for why I still did nothing about it when we got home. Other than Andrew and I weren’t in a good place and I couldn’t face the stress of trying to get him to sleep by himself that I just did whatever worked. Then Eamon and I moved into a little unit of our own, and I really wasn’t in any place to enforce any sort of sleep routine. In fact I think I probably needed his arms around my neck more than he did at the point. Mother guilt and the fact that in the moment it is easier to do what gets him back to sleep the fastest stopped me from making the change to get him back into a good routine of sleeping.

 

But a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I’d had enough of the hour-long bedtime routine where he stuffed around with excuses and stalling requests. I was over going into his room a number of times in the night or having him in our bed wriggling non-stop. We’d all wake in the morning feeling like we’d only dozed all night and never made it to that deep sleep.

 

Finally having enough probably also coincided with a minor pregnancy freak out where I imagined what life would be like with two non-sleepers and couldn’t fathom how I would possibly manage that. So I decided we needed a new plan. Or at least we had to try something new because what we were doing wasn’t really working.

 

We’d done the whole crying-it-out thing when he was a baby and whilst it worked, every time we went away or changed his routine we’d have to repeat the whole stressful process. In the end I decided the stress it caused all of us just really wasn’t worth the outcome and mostly just made me feel uncomfortable and doubt myself.

 

The new plan certainly isn’t rocket science or anything new.  It mostly just involved having a routine again (who’d of thought that what I used to be so strict about when he was a baby was exactly what he still needs – duh!) Shower (we still have no bath), teeth, pjs, read two books, drink of water (to eliminate the requests later), then sleep. And rather than lying down with him, I decided I would sit on the end of his bed so that he had to get to sleep by himself. (also because at the moment when I lay down I’m usually asleep before he is).

 

The first night, it took us only 45 minutes for him to fall asleep and he only woke once.  The second; half and hour and he slept through. The third, 15 minutes and he was out!

 

It’s been a couple of weeks now, and although we’ve had a couple of bad (croup-related) nights, it’s mostly been an easy bed time and sleeping by himself until 5am at least.

 

Of course, whilst I’m cheering that Eamon is finally sleeping better, this doesn’t actually mean that I am.

 

Pregnancy is ensuring I’m at least up a couple of times a night to pee.  Awesome.

 

Will I ever sleep again?

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Aussie Blogs to Love. V.35 Trainee Mama

It’s been far long time between these Aussie Blogs features. I’ve been a bit slack on all things blogging lately (which was explained in yesterday’s post) but I’m pretty excited to share this lovely lady with you today.  Trainee Mama is a fellow Sunshine Coaster who writes very candidly about her Mothering journey (always a winner in my book – I can’t read the sugar-coated blogs anymore.)  She also shares her love for fashion (both for herself and her son who is far better dressed than me!)  and her adventures on the Sunshine Coast.  I’ve definitely put the hinterland wine tour on my list for as soon as I’m able to again!). Make sure you drop over and say hi to Peta.

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Can you describe what your blog is about in one sentence?

A mummy and lifestyle blog sharing life as a {not just} a mum, product reviews, giveaways and my imperfect life from a humorous, relatable and honest perspective.

 

If you could go back in time to when you first started blogging and give yourself some advice what would it be? 

Don’t stress about the numbers. An engaged reader base is more important to me than a huge amount of followers {but that would be nice too}

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What are your top three Aussie blogs that you read?

I’m not a big blog reader any more – I subscribe via email to a few but instead like flicking through my pages facebook feed and clicking on posts that spark an interest.
Oh, and I love Instagram – some fave Aussie instagrammers are @kateoliver @honeyandfizz and for kid-food-envy @_mammag

 

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Consistency – wanting to blog more to get myself ‘out there’ but finding the motivation / ideas

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What are your blogging goals for the future?

To continue to build the trainee mama community and as a pipe dream, to blog as a job {pigs might fly}

8

Some news and other mostly incoherent ramblings…

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I thought about introducing this pregnancy with cleverly styled images of the three of us and some sort of signage. But at the end of the day I just didn’t have the energy… or I was too busy eating. One or the other, that’s all I pretty much seem to do right now.

 

So instead you get this picture of what life has really been like for us the last couple of months.  Eamon watching far too much ABC than I’d care to admit and me half asleep attempting to answer his questions about Peppa Pig.   I can’t even muster the energy to write a to-do list that I’ll never complete, which is very unlike me. I’m usually a religious unrealistic list writer.

 

But anyway, back to the point of this post, which was actually to announce that we are very excited to be welcoming another addition to our little family in February next year. Eamon is about as excited as one can be about something he doesn’t really understand and when you ask him “What’s in Mummy’s belly, he usually replies with ‘Juice’ or ‘Tea’ or whatever it is that I’ve had to drink recently. Smart boy. He does however claim that there is a baby girl in Daddy’s belly, so go figure. And after our little trip to the zoo the other day and talking about the kangaroo with the joey in her pouch, he now thinks I’m having a baby kangaroo. Which I guess would make birth a whole lot easier ,  though it’s a shame I don’t have a pouch.

 

So hopefully that explains why things have been a lot quieter round here lately.  I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing, trying not to feel guilty about it and also trying not to freak out about the fact that we may be bringing a baby home to half a house.

 

Why is it that we never seem to be able to keep life simple?

4

Winter hibernation

I’ve been hibernating of late.  Going to bed early.  Sticking to myself.  My motivation for everything is virtually non-existant.  Even this little blog has been quieter than normal.

 

I could analyse it.  I could try and change it. I could stress about my ever-growing to-do list. But instead I’m just going to roll with it. (because let’s face it – the to-do list is completely self-made anyway).

 

Instead of fighting it, I’m going to enjoy my quiet days with this little boy who makes enough noise for the both of us.

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I’m going to enjoy cozying up on the couch, watching bad tv and then going to bed early.

 

I’m going to enjoy sitting in the sun on winter days with my little family.

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I’m going to enjoy doing nothing just for the sake of it.

 

Because apparently that’s what I need right now.

 

Are you hibernating this winter?

 

 

2

A home day

We’ve been making slow progress on the home front lately. With work being a bit nuts for both of us and after the disappointment around the paint job, we’ve let things slide for a while.

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We had friends over the other night who hadn’t visited in a while and it was good for our egos to hear that we had made lots of progress. When you’re living in it, it’s very hard to notice the small changes as they happen.

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It’s not until step back you notice that things are happening, that we are actually moving forward, even if it is ever so slowly. (Much like most things in life though isn’t it?)

 

We’ve been taking forever to make a decision on bamboo flooring and in the end I just picked and said to Andrew to hurry up and order it so I can’t change my mind anymore. Surely bamboo flooring isn’t the most important decision in my life and it shouldn’t take weeks to make that decision? Should it? Who am I?

But I’ve started wondering… does it ever actually end? This home improvement thing? Will we actually ever get to a point where we have ‘finished?’ Where we can sit back and just enjoy?

 

Or when we finish our current list will we just start adding to another?

 

I really hope not. I am incredibly envious now of people who buy new houses. Who get to just move in and enjoy feeling at home immediately, without having to create everything themselves. Without having to find around every new corner there is a rotten wall or broken railing that inevitably opens itself up to more problems as soon as you start fixing it.

 

Every few days I find myself getting totally overwhelmed by the sheer size of the things we have to finish by Christmas. A self-imposed timeline yes, but a necessary one for us to make sure this house doesn’t take us 5 years to finish like the last one did.

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At the moment we have all the painting to fix up (sanding and top coating), flooring to lay, screens to fit, a kitchen and two bathrooms to design and build (do you like that I say ‘we’ when clearly Andrew will be doing this – I’m head designer though!), four built-ins, an entire laundry, two verandahs that need fixing to make them safe, an exterior that needs painting, a pool that needs new pipes and a completely new surrounding and then there are all the little things like lights, curtains, etc….

 

Not overly optimistic at all are we?! I can feel your eyes rolling at us from here!

 

So we’ll just keep plodding along, one painted railing at a time and try not to think about how huge the list is.

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Eventually it will all get done…. right?

0

The me phase

It seems we’ve entered the ‘me’ phase.

 

Everything is ‘My Mummy”, “My Daddy”, “My Karmen”. Said in an especially toned ear-grating whine.

me phase

 

This phase seems to also be coinciding with a return of his need for me to do everything for him. I’m sure I probably shouldn’t be giving into this but sometimes it just seems to be easier to give in to his request that ‘Mummy do it’ when he needs help going to the toilet, rather than cleaning up the mess that protesting creates.

 

There is exception to this rule though when it doesn’t suit him of course, like when I’m not telling the right kind of Garbage Truck story and suddenly it’s “move over Mummy, Daddy lie down.”

 

The whinging and having to do everything for him would be bad enough. And of course, we also have the usual 2 year old inability to share.  But it’s made worse by the fact that he is also protesting against going to day care, when he used to happily kiss me and wave goodbye. We try to prepare him in the morning and get him excited by encouraging him to take a special toy along with him. But everything we say is met with “no I stay home with My Mummy and My Daddy”. And when we explain that no, we will be at work, he says “no Mummy stay here”. And well, how can you argue with the logic of a two year who doesn’t even understand why people go to work?

 

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It breaks my heart to have him screaming for me when he goes off to Day care. Especially now that he has started yelling “I want my Mummy named Bat- tina!” And it certainly doesn’t make me keen for work, when I know that’s how each day will start.

 

Next week will be an even bigger test, as it’s school holidays for me and whilst I don’t have to send him every day, I know if I stop sending him for two weeks I’ve got very little chance of getting him back when school returns.

 

Any advice? How do we deal with the ‘me’ phase. Do we give in and just give him more attention or try and show him that he has to let others do it if I’m not available?

 

And the protesting day care thing? Help!?

0

How do you react when life throws lemons?

Life has been… interesting lately.

 

It’s like we make plans, feel confident in what we’re doing, and at that point universe laughs hysterically at us and throws a few more lemons for us to jump over.

 

life throws nothing but lemons

 

If you follow along on Facebook or Instagram you would have seen that we were so excited at the start of last week as the painters had finally started. That was until they finished two days later and we pretty much had textured 1980s style walls. Yep, not exactly the look I was going for.

 

After 3 other painters quoting and not turning up, and months of waiting, it’s probably needless to say that my first reaction was a really attractive combination of anger and tears.

 

To their credit they did come back the following week and ‘fix’ it.  And it is 50% better.  But this is our Number 1 house.  This is the house we’ve been dreaming of for the last 7 years. We completed our last renovation with the mindset that it had to look as good as it could for the least amount of money.  But with this one? This one we’re playing for keeps. 

 

So despite that fact that the paint is probably only going to be noticeable to those who know to look, it’s going to stand out to us forever, and so we’re going to re-sand and re-paint. Which really, totally defeats the purpose of the painters in the first place.

 

Combine the paint dilemma with quite a few other curveballs we’ve been thrown recently; gastro, a toddler who thinks 2.30am is an appropriate time to get up and other various suprises; and I am honestly impressed with how well we’re coping. Yep, I’m totally giving ourselves a virtual pat in the back. (Without coming across as a smug a***, I think it’s something we should do more often).

 

I feel like a few years ago, hell even 6 months ago, we’d probably have taken the emotional rollercoaster out on each other.  Not in a direct way, but we would have let the disappointment and anger taint the way we interacted with each other.  You know the drill, you start snapping and fighting over insignificant things because the big stuff is out of our control entirely and doesn’t make for quite the same level of petty argument.

 

Instead we vented and moped and then swallowed the disappointment with a big lump of ‘oh well, we learnt our lesson’. And we’ve moved on.

 

Who knew the secret was just to feel it, let it go, and just get on with it?!

 

So tell me, has life given you lemons lately?  How did you react?

 

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DIY Boho clutch

We’ve owned our new house for a little over 12 weeks now.  So it’s been at least that long since I’ve sewn anything.  My machine has been hiding amongst the thousand boxes in our garage. But I finally found some motivation to drag it out and create this very simple DIY boho clutch.

boho clutch

 

You need:

+ two small rectangles of fabric

+ some coins/ bead to add if you like

+ a clasp (velcro or clip)

+ to be able to sew straight lines on the sewing machine

+ small boy to give you heart attacks over his scissor efforts, {optional}

 

boho clutch 1

 

Instructions

1. Cut two rectangles of equal sizes of your outer and inner fabric.  You might like to fold it over three times to see the rough size your clutch will be. *If you’ve chosen a lightweight fabric you may like to add an interfacing to make the clutch hold its shape.

 

boho clutch 2

 

2. Fold both pieces in half lengthways and cut a curved edge downwards from the centre.

boho clutch 3

boho clutch 4

 

3. Add your embellishments and clasps, following the image below for placement.

boho clutch 5

 

4. With right sides together sew the side seams of the lining and the outer.

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5. Turn the lining right way out and place it inside the outer layer. Stitch together the two pieces leaving a small gap to turn out the right way.

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6. Turn inside out and hand stitch closed the small opening that you left.

And that’s it!  Have sun shopping for boho prints!

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6

Do you count down to bedtime?

count_down_to_bedtime

 

It doesn’t happen every night. Some nights we’re so busy playing that we slide smoothly into bedtime, without too much fuss (no more than you’d expect from a normal 2 year old anyway).

 

And then there was last night. Where I  started the count down to bedtime fairly early in the day.  And where at one point I wasn’t sure whether we’d make it there without tears (mine not his).

 

I’m pretty sure it was the result of a very slow day. All of us were feeling pretty low, the weather was windy and feral and we had retreated on the couch for most of the day.

 

By 4’oclock, Eamon was pretty much over it.

 

He was melting down over the fact that his milk was too cold, too warm, too empty.

 

He wanted ‘my whistle’ (which we had foolishly given to him earlier in the day and soon realised our mistake, but he didn’t forget…)

 

He wanted help putting his pants back on, then would shriek ‘no – my do it!’. Then he hid his pants and lost it over the fact that he couldn’t find them.

 

He spat pieces of pear all over the floor making deliberate patterns.

 

I built him a cubby house in the lounge and he proceeded to jump on it and destroy it, then cry that it was wrecked.

 

His response to every question was ‘no way!’ (Not sure who taught him that but if I find them…)

 

Half an hour before his usual bedtime I decided we’d both had enough of each other after he started spitting his milk (usually his most precious, favourite drink of all time) out all over the floor.

 

And then the requests started…

 

He needed water, to go to the toilet, he wanted his Dad. He wanted me to go away, he wanted me to come back and lie down.

 

I had been counting on a few hours after he had gone to bed to do some work as Andrew was working late. Which I’m sure was my main problem, it’s like he has some sort of radar for my free time and does everything in his power… Ok yes I realise I’m talking about my 2 year old like he has some sort of genius psychic power… but I swear he could smell it!

 

But after we started into the 2nd hour I gave up completely and went to sleep beside him. When I finally woke up at 9’Oclock, he had crashed (I’m not actually sure when because I fell asleep first whilst he was busy telling Elmo off for being too loud and not going to sleep!)

 

Some days the countdown to bedtime is longer and harder than others. But then they finally crash out and you look over at them sleeping and wonder why you wanted this perfect peaceful creature to go to sleep in the first place.*

 

*Actually no, not last night.  I was totally cheering when he crashed out last night.

 

2

The importance of community in Motherhood.

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I remember when I first became a mother, feeling like I had no clue what I was doing and wondering whether I was fooling anyone?!

 

Actually, I specifically remember walking (ok, shuffling) out of the hospital with a 4 day old Eamon in the capsule, feeling a little strange that they were just going to let us out with this little person.  Really?! Couldn’t they see we had no clue?

 

And yet, eventually we found our way and so far, so good, he’s turned out ok.  Actually no dammit. He’s turned out pretty bloody awesome.

 

But even now that he’s a not so tiny helpless infant I constantly question whether I’m doing this mothering thing right. Am I too tough? Too easy? Should he be sleeping in his own bed? Should he be sleeping through by now? (No really, I mean shouldn’t he?!)

 

And then there are the things about Motherhood that we feel like we shouldn’t voice.  Like the fact that we really don’t care for drawing another garbage truck for the elevety-billionth time today.  Or that whilst we will vehemently fight for our right to stay home with our children, some days, we are secretly counting down the hours until bedtime.

 

And that is why we need community.  Some call it their village, others refer to their ‘tribe’; whichever name you choose, community has saved me many times as a Mother.

 

Being surrounded by other Mothers who understand the contradictions, the frustrations, the emotions, the joy and and challenges, makes the journey so much easier.  It’s so important to have someone you can call on when you need reassurance and when you just need to have a big vent about your kids/partner/family/house/etc…

 

Sometimes it’s just a text. Other times a phone call punctuated by regular requests for food and demands of “don’t touch that’ and ‘get down’. Or if you’re really lucky a catch up for luke-warm coffee and attempting to stop the kids eating all the sugar packets on the table.

 

If I can have one complaint about my community of Mama’s, it’s that we never get enough time to  connect.  There is never uninterrupted time to just chat about the important things, and all the irrelevant things that make you feel better just for having discussed them.

 

So it’s here that I’d like to introduce you to a little project that  Caitlin and I have been dreaming up.  The Kindred Collective.  A community of Mothers, for Mothers.   A place (both physical and virtual) to connect with like-minded Mothers.   Somewhere we can share the challenges and the joys, as well as the journey to discover ourselves as Mothers and as women.

 

The Kindred Collective will be an online space (coming very soon) and will also involve physical events (workshops and retreats), because we believe nothing beats face-to-face connection. (And really, what else are we doing on a Friday night?!)

 

Our first circle will be held in Brisbane on the 4th July, for Mother’s-to-be.  More than anything, we would appreciate your support.  Afterall, we’re all in this together. x

 

For more information you can visit our Facebook Page, contact us via email (thekindredcollective@outlook.com) or purchase tickets here.

 

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