Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Honesty of a different kind...

Up until now I have been totally fine with my daughter's chronic night waking. I went in there every hour and fed her with a smile. I thought I'd just leave it until she grew out of it, after all, she CAN'T do it forever, right?

On Friday I began nightweaning.

It was a very difficult decision, and when Friday came around, I was all emotional about the end of an era. Night feeds had become such a huge part of our relationship, it was all we knew. I wasn't sure I was ready for that to end!

Jocelyn started nightwaking at 6 months old, she is now 21 months. The first few months were VERY had on me, then I just got used to it. I stopped getting upset over it, and I didn't feel very tired. We were both happy with the situation, so we stuck with it. I am VERY against the CIO method (having tried it before), and vowed NEVER to do it.

Then my back went again, last week. Rolling over for night feeds was agony. Then I got sick too. I started entertaining the idea of nightweaning with my physio, but was worried what other AP Mums would think of me. I didn't realise I was caught in the trap of wanting to fit into the perfect AP role until I read a blog linked on Sausage Mama the other day. After realising everyone is different and I had to do what was best for US, I relaxed enough to reach out and ask others on the net how to gently night wean.

Joss taking advantage of my immobility!

To my utter surprise, even my most hardcore AP friends piped up with what THEY did. YES! THEY did it too! They got to a point that they felt they had to take action in order to get more sleep.

Now, by action, I DO NOT mean the CIO method. Although inevitibly there is some crying involved.

To me, CIO is putting your child to bed, walking out and letting them cry until they fall asleep. None of the "AP" mums I know let their children cry ALONE. They tend to them, help them through it.

So my action plan was this. For days before the scheduled "nightwean date", if Jossie's feeds got too long (ie one side, ask for other, other side, ask for other, other side, ask AGAIN) I would say, "No sweetheart. Mummy's booboos are sleeping. You can have some more later". There was protesting in the form of crying for about, 20 seconds I'd say. Then she'd go to sleep.

Night 1 of nightweaning, I fed her to sleep, but told her to say "nighnies to Mummy's booboos, they will wake up when the sun comes up". She shook her head "no". She understood, and didn't want it to happen! Thats why I chose this age, not 6 months old. She is old enough to understand!

First 2 times she woke, I told her "booboos sleeping", she cried for 20 seconds while I held her. Then she went to sleep! I thought, "Gee, this is a peice of CAKE!". Next 2 times she woke, I held and kissed her and offered her water for 10 minutes while she cried on and off. It was heartbreaking, but I was there to comfort her through it. I began feeding her again when the sun came up, regardless of whether she was truly waking up or not. I never know WHEN she will wake up for good, so that was my time to begin feeding again.

The second night saw less waking, but a few long stretches of crying. Third and fourth night, she would only get upset for 20 seconds, have a cuddle and go back to sleep! On the third night, she even went to sleep cuddling me instead of on the boob (her OWN choice!)

Last night, she fed to sleep at 6pm (due to no day nap) and only woke and asked for me at 10.30pm! That is MAJOR for a girl who usually wakes hourly! Alas, she woke at 1am feverish and vomiting, so I abandoned all nightweaning thoughts and fed her all she liked, of course. I'll do the same tonight if she's not better. My daughter will ALWAYS have access to night boobs if she is sick or sore.

The whole process has been hard (especially when I was sick myself), but not as hard as I expected. I was stupidly worried that after night 1 she would be mad at me and not love me as much. I worried for no reason, she woke up cheerfully, kissing my cheeks and ready for a great day! I was so grateful to her for that.

This is in no way an instructional blog on how to nightwean. And I don't even suggest anyone do it! Especially under the age of 1, and I was even disappointed in myself that I didn't last till she was 2. But I wanted to do it now as we are moving towns soon, and I thought it unfair to uproot her from all she knew, then suddenly exclaim "Oh PS! NO nightboobs anymore!".

I decided to nightwean due to sickness and injury at the age of 21 months old. And yes, because I would LOVE a whole nights sleep! And yes, truth be told, I am hoping a happy side effect will be the return of my fertility. I can't deny that!

I do not regret feeding to sleep (which I am still doing, btw), or nightfeeding up until now. It was hard but rewarding. (And a great excuse for hubby to do the morning shift on weekends and let you sleep in!)

It was just time.

Honesty Blog: Pregnancy in ALL its glory!

The last Honesty Blog was a hit! I feel SO much better about my "housekeeping" skillz!

How about this time we tackle the not often talked about sides of pregnancy... we all know about heartburn, nausea, exhaustion... but what about the OTHER side effects of pregnancy, good or bad, that you don't usually like to share??

Also if you have any remedies for said side effects, make sure you share those too!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Honesty Blog: Housewife Shmousewife!

I have decided to start a new series of "Honesty Blogs"... I find that many answers given to questions on facebook are not the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help us GOD!

There are a few reasons... some of us have "friends" who stalk everything we do on FB, so we are reluctant to share certain information! Also, there is no way to do it anonymously (unless you have fake accounts). And some shit is just, well, embarrassing!

So here's the deal. I'll ask a question on this blog, and answer it HONESTLY, but ANONYMOUSLY! I have my comments set to moderation, so if anyone comments under their real name, I won't post that reply. So make sure you do make is ANONYMOUS!

To start I am going to ask you about what kind of housewife you are. Me? It is REALLY not my forte...

Here are the questions I would like the REAL answer to! Hopefully this will make me feel better about my own slovenly ways, not worse!

How often do you do the following...
1. Change the sheets on your bed
2. Vaccuum
3. Mop
4. Clean bathrooms/toilet
5. Dust
6. Clean windows
7. Wipe down dining room table
8. Clean your stovetop
9. Clean your oven
10. Clean out your fridge

Don't be scared, no one will know who it is! I hope not, anyway, because the answer to some of those questions, for me, is abysmal!

Next blog will tackle some parenting issues, and I am open to suggestions. I am sure some of you would like to know the TRUTH about some things! Recently I reached out and asked a question on FB, thinking my AP friends would shoot me down for considering it... then I find out they all did it too! Knowing your not alone is such a relief!!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Messy Fun Day!

Today was a whirlwind of water, rice, spaghetti and paint...

I had my continuum concept mothers group around for a day of intentionally messy fun! We often just plonk our kids down at each others places and let them make their own fun while we gas bag. Today was all about making sure there was enough activities to keep them happy all day long! And the best kind of fun is messy fun, right?

Raw spaghetti... crunch crunch crunch!

Bird seed with small toys hidden inside! One sausagey prince LOVED this one, he shovelled the seed into another container exclaiming, "I'm a pirate, searching for treasure!"

Shovelling rice
Rice is such sensory fun! Although I hear rice takes a lot of water to grow, so make sure you reuse the rice as long as possible! Surprisingly not much was spilt today!

Patio chalk drawing

Painting! We also had finger painting, homemade

Sink or float activity... rocks, coins, metal spoons for sinking and BPA free cups and Boon toys for floating! Butterfly loves doing this!


Playdough and drawing table! A combination of home made and eco clay

I made coloured icecubes... I was particularly proud of my layered ones! Harder than it looks!
I used Queens natural food colouring, although the fruit ones I made looked better anyway and tasted good!

Water for melting the coloured cubes

I also made ice cubes with pureed watermelon, and some with grapes in them! YUM! These were a hit :)

The ice cubes drew a crowd! I also made a huge layered ice block, where I froze some water with toys in it, and then added more water and toys etc until I had a solid ice cream container! I think this would be best done with coloured water, and plastic toys (I only had wood! :S) It was very experimental! Note: as you add more water it tends to melt the layer before it, so use ice cold water...

Sketti! I boiled up half a packet of spaghetti in the morning, and added cold water so that it was not too hot to handle (but still warm)... this one was surprisingly popular! They all ate the spaghetti and squished it :D

The kids really seemed to have fun! Different activities appealed to different kids, and fights over utensils were few and far between.

I had also planned on chopping a watermelon in half and letting them go nuts with teaspoons, but to be honest there was enough activities going around! One of my friends suggested giving them coloured water to mix together, which sounds great too! Butterfly would probably drink it, though!

If I have any advice to anyone thinking of trying this (and I think you should!) is that 6 toddlers is definitely enough! Also that it might be better to stick to wet fun or dry fun, we could have gotten away with just water activities (or just dry) I think. The rice and birdseed stayed dry, but cleanup was interesting! And don't think that just because you put a bunch of effort into outdoor activities that they don't all want to go inside, I could have been better prepared indoors!

All paints and playdough was homemade (save for some eco clay) and the bird seed and rice are being reused. The bird seed is for making bird feeders later on! Water was poured on gardens. Some spaghetti was used, but if you saw them enjoying it, it was totes worth it!

It sure was a messy day! But in reality, not as messy as you would expect of 6 toddlers! I say, give it a go... this is the stuff childhood memories are made of!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Its time to get SERIOUS!

I have hit a bit of a plateau in my eco journey. I have changed everything in the house, from the washing detergent to the handwash, to totally pure, natural alternatives. I can't do much garden-wise as we are in limbo waiting to move. I find I am the best "admin" on my page when I am searching for greener alternatives for myself. Lately I've been a lazy bum!

There is room for improvement, however, in my day to day behaviour. I figure my biggest environmental downfalls are a) energy consumption and b) consumerism.

Lets start with energy consumption. I am pretty good, really. I turn everything off at the wall, I don't have appliances on unnecessarily, I don't use a clothes dryer, I try to deal with the weather BEFORE turning on the air con, and we keep the TV off (most days) until around 4pm. So I'm not overly wasteful. But still, we use a lot of energy.

So what I plan to do about it is start "Technology free Tuesday". To go a whole day, each week, without using electricity! If you would like to try something similar, there are 3 levels of TFT you could try...

Level 1: Keep the TV and Internet off ALL day
Level 2: Keep the TV, internet, including all other appliances (toaster, dishwasher, washing machine) ... but allowing for air conditioning and cooking appliances for dinner
Level 3: Keep ALL appliances off all day, including air conditioning and cooking appliances. This could be a great opportunity to seek out some "raw" recipes for dinner, which is great for your health!

Even at the third level, however, I reserve the right to use the baby monitor. Our house is large and its a safety issue. And lights. You could be all hardcore and use candles, but I am totally phobic when it comes to fires. So I'll just keep lights to a strict minimum.

You might think that the third level is unattainable, its really not. If its hot? Have a cool bath with your kids. No cook recipes? Yep, why not? After all, its only one day a week. But you get to set your own rules. Be as hardcore or as pansy assed as you like!

I am looking forward to implementing this! We had a net and TV free day yesterday and Butterfly and I had the best fun EVER! Getting back to basics and having fun in the backyard. She usually asks to watch the "Wiwis" (Wiggles) a few times a day, but she was having so much fun she forgot about them!

NEXT? Consumerism. Yeah man, this is my achilles heel. I love me some shopping! Especially for Butterfly. A good friend of mine told me of a blogger she loved, who had a spend free week every month! Yep! You heard right! I think this is ingenious! So here are the levels of "Watch your Wealth Week"

Level 1: Buy nothing but groceries, petrol, lunch if you are out and gifts if you have a function. So basically NO impulse buying! No toys, clothes, activities that cost money.
Level 2: Buy nothing but groceries and petrol
Level 3: Buy nothing. NOTHING! Groceries from the previous week will HAVE to last you. This may take some creative cooking! If you run outta petrol, you stay your ass home! If you have a function, well, surely you were given more than a weeks notice. If not, make a gift.

I'm thinking the 1st to the 7th of each and every month.

OK by now you are laughing at me (especially if you know me!). I ain't kidding people! I aim to be at level 3 as soon as possible! I spend money all the time on stuff we could have done without! A week isn't that long to go without spending. I bet that even if you were told to hit level 3 right now at no notice, you would totes survive. A lot people live at level 3 due to necessity. Those whose breadwinners get paid monthly will be nodding their heads! But seeing as its snake breeding season and my family has some spare $ each week, this is a kick up the ass to save some money (and stop trying to buy happiness! Even if it usually IS for other people! My sister in law is going to score BIG time from my current baby spend-a-thon!)

So thats where I am at. When we finally move, I will be getting my green thumb on! Until then, I have to try to convince a puzzled hubby why the above ideas are worth implementing...