Monday, August 29, 2011

Sleep School results - onwards & upwards on a positive note

Saturday night I had a sleep baby specialist come and stay the night with me at my house.

In my last post I had written about the challenges of my 15mth old daughter not sleeping through the night. I was only getting maybe 3-4hrs a sleep tonight & it was beginning to take it's toll, physically & mentally. To add to the pressure I have a 3yr old too & was constantly cranky at my husband.

At seven o'clock the lovely Gabrielle from Sleep Rescue came. She cut to the chase & we got straight to work.

She checked out Charlotte's room. I admit I was a bit nervous as I love her room, & was thinking OMG what is she going to say, or ask me to remove. The first thing was her angel wings that are tied at the end of the cot, & also the beautiful handmade hobby horse that sits beside her cot.
Next was the night light. A lovely pink flower that sits on her wall, bought from IKEA. I am sure many are familiar with them. It's quite bright & very orange when on in the dark.

Gone gone gone...Why?

Remove all potential stimulation. So if she wakes there is no bright light or adorable objects to look at.

The next thing was the dummy. GONE. Charlotte has never been obsessive with the dummy, but she did like it. I also liked how it kept her quiet when I needed it, especially while driving.
Why?? Because when it pops out of her mouth at night she starts crying. By the time I run in to find it, as it's never beside her as she always knocks it out, well she is then far too awake. She hasn't had it for 2 days now & I havent noticed a big difference in her. The fact she doesn't talk yet helps as she can't ask me for it, like Hudson did :0)

She really focused on turning off all stimulation around the house before bed. She said to turn off the TV, sit quietly with her & read a book. Of course this also involves Hudson to. At night they can both have their milk while reading. During the day whatever drink she has which is usually water.

After that bed time. I had to lay her in her cot, & of course she starts screaming as she is used to being nursed to sleep. Instead I tuck her in & say "Time to sleep, go to sleep, it's sleep time Charlotte", in a calm yet firm voice. She then said for me to re enter the room if screaming after 3 mins, 6mins, 8mins & 10mins & repeat those words each time. If I get to 8 mins & she is just grizzly leave her be. Each time she cries for about 10mins or so & it slows right down & she is asleep.

She is crying now as I type this, I am doing it in between the check in times suggested by Gabrielle. I do find it hard as her face looks heart broken when I leave her. She has become accustomed to me nursing her, so she has always drifted off to sleep in the security of mine or my husbands arms. I could imagine what she must be thinking. It does hurt me doing it, but I was hurting from the lack of sleep. I hated that some days I felt agitated towards her because I only had 2hrs sleep.

At night I pull the door over so it's pitch black & no noise. It freaked me out at first & I did not like it one bit. I understand the theory as it quiet & there is no noise, just a dark and peaceful place for her to sleep.

Normally at night I go in & re position & tuck her back in, as she wriggles to the top of the cot. I am not to do that any more, instead dress her a little warmer. She always wears a long onsie to bed because of this. She also recommended a sleeping bag so no matter what she is warm, which I still need to get. Hudson never liked them that's why Charlotte doesn't use them. Gabrielle's logic was so obvious. She said would you like to be dragged down in your bed when you're in a deep sleep & to be possibly woken. Well of course not, so basically I should't touch her. I do admit when I did do that she would sometimes open her eyes look at me & close them.

At night now I just sneak in & only blow a kiss to her. I am too scared to touch her in fear of her waking & it all going pear shaped. Well I am sure after a couple of weeks I will feel less paranoid.

As hard as this routine has to be, I know that she will be & my whole family will be happier for it. Except Hudson who is such a great sleeper, he sleeps though everything, so life to him is still great. Bless him....

It has taken me 30mins to write this & I can say that Miss Charlotte fell into a deep snooze about 10mins ago.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sleep deprivation is torture...

I think this has been the longest EVER I haven't blogged for.
Generally I am fairly consistent, but that's gone completely out the door for the last 2 weeks.

Besides being very busy with my work, the kids and life in generally, I have been struggling a bit doing it all. My cause of this, is what I would like to say (as all mothers do) by the most beautiful face in the world.

"Miss Charlotte"

This little bugger doesn't sleep through the night sill!!! She is 15months old.
She wakes in the middle of the night & refuses point blank to go back to sleep unless she sleeps with me, or I nurse her. I don't mind nursing her but it can take forever. Those big blue eyes just won't close. I have tried controlled crying, which went on for 5 hours. When I couldn't take it anymore & took her to bed with me, it then took her an hour to settle her down as she was so worked up. Some nights if I take her to bed she winds her fingers around my hair, like I am a security blanket which ultimately pulls my hair, or she climbs on me. I would be lucky to get 5hrs sleep a night. Three to four is the average. On top of caring for Hudson, running the house, & my business I am exhausted.

On a positive, I am having a sleep specialist, or sleep Dr, baby whisperer, whatever you call one, come here to spend the night with us all tonight!!! I am feeling very nervous & a little apprehensive.

Fingers crossed all goes to plan as I have some huge tasks I want to tackle when I regain some order and balance again in my life.

But first starting with.....

A full nights sleep.

Being able to stay awake long enough to catch up on some very important reading.

I would also like start exercising again, I am generally quite a fit person. Feeling so tired can make you very sluggish.

One step at a time.
I would love to hear from anyone who has hired a sleep specialist & if they had great results.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I used to want to be a bridal wear designer (part 2)

Last month I revealed my dream of once being a bridal design.
If you didn't read it you can here.
Here is my other dress that I entered that year at industry competition gown of the year. Looking at it today it definitely had a "Little Bo Peep" look about it.

Ivory & lemon the chosen colour combination.
Again every detail I created, from the pattern, the underskirt, the jewellery, & I hand cut every guipure lace daisy & hand stitched a yellow bead in the middle of each one. There were meters & meters of silk chiffon, & hours of french seaming. It had to look flawless. I even made the parasol.

It is actually quite lovely, looking back at it with a fresh set of eyes so to speak.
(They have been packed away for years).
I am quite proud of myself, & I am happy to admit that.
I do hope no one interprets that as cockiness.

Even though my passion today is children's homewares & my love for illustration, it's something that will stay with me forever. My dad always said the skills I learnt at college were like a trade. Something I will never lose, I may be rusty if I had to draft something, but I will never lose it. You know what I think he is right.

Lately I have had this desire to create patterns. Purely the homewares variety.
What I still don't know. Hopefully I will get around to it?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tooth fairy Cushion - A custom order

I have mentioned before I love custom orders.
Truly it excites me, having something new & fresh to develop, to cater for someone else's style.

I was asked a while ago to make a tooth fairy cushion & to be honestly went blank. I had no idea where to begin. Kate, who I made the cushion for, made it so easy & simple. Her daughter was in love with my babushka cushion from my shop, & basically wanted a version of that.

So here it is complete.
I love this colour combination soooo much!

A great sized pocket, easy for that fairy to fly inside & retrieve.

I hope this little girl gets the reward she deserves from the tooth fairy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Something in progress, something new

My poor old blog has been suffering of late,
I have been so busy, with life, like everyone else.
My kids - one is teething, & never sleeping, & the other is toilet training.

Lots of orders & a few new stockists.
Setting up a new baby, Quirky and Quaint.

I have managed to still make time for my passion & completed this.
New design Birdcage Personalised cushion.

I am also in the midst of completing this design.
I wanted to create something a bit more organic & drawn directly on to the paper. I don't do it as often as I would like, I normally draw straight on to the computer just because it save time.
The main sketch is done, and scanned into the computer. Now the fun part, redrawing, cleaning it up, & the best part adding colour.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In the mail....

I have recently treated myself to a tonne of business cards, and cards.

Call me crazy but I used to always make my own business cards & cushion/door stop instructions. At first it was just to keep my costs down a bit & then, it just turned into a BAD BAD habit.

I looked around at getting some made, and 9 out of 10 people recommended I use Vista Print. So I bit the bullet & did, & was quite worried about how they would turn out. I downloaded their stencil they provide so I could make sure everything fit perfectly, it was so much easier than I though. Their prices were crazy good, and just after I confirmed the order I was offered another 500 business cards for $10!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How could I possibly say no to that?

I am thrilled.
The colours are perfect & quality awesome.