In Knitting News:
The birthday sweater for Dan has stalled out again. Not that it had to be ripped back, but that I was side-tracked by Jackson sleep issues this week (see below). I plan to pick it up this weekend again, but no longer have any real or false deadlines for its completion. "Soon" would be nice, I'll leave it at that.
Question to knitters: I need patterns for a couple of things, what can you recommend?
1. I want to make a sweet little cardigan sweater for Jackson's dedication in December (just 5 weeks away!). I have the yarn already (a worsted weight in a heather-y green that knits up at 4.5 st/in with US8 needles - color #25 on this chart) and want to make it something special. Maybe with a cable or a pattern on the back...can you do something like a mountain or tree scene with knits and purls? I really want this to be special, but nothing insanely difficult for this knitter like The Heathen Housewife's Bavarian Twist Sweater for her daughter...I'm so not there. Any ideas?
2. How about a shawl pattern for a new lace-knitter? I have some lovely charcoal gray laceweight alpaca that is just dying to be turned into a shawl for me. Again, something fancy and sweet, but not too, too difficult to start? I dig nature-y patterns, something with trees again? Nothing like the Yarn Harlot's Wedding Shawl, beautiful as it is. I will not say that I could never do that, but I know that I could never do it at this point in my knitting life!
Please leave your ideas in the comments section and thanks in advance for the tips!
In Sleeping News:
I think I've said this before here at y&g, but WOW, a little bit of sleep can go a long way. (I can't even imagine what a lot of sleep would do for me now...Super Woman?) We've been working on Jackson's sleep issues lately because our bright little boy who used to sleep for at least 6-7 hour stretches each night (in between wakings) has recently greatly reduced that figure.
Three nights ago: 5 wakings, less than 3 hour sleep stretches
Two nights ago: 3 wakings, less than 4 hour sleep stretches
Last night: 1 waking, 5 hour sleep stretches, PRICELESS
What's the difference? Could be anything including teeth (though I'm getting really tired of everyone always assuming that it's teeth...there's much more than teething gums to this little boy), physical developments, emotional developments, mental developments, the position of the moon in relation to Saturn...who knows. We are attempting to effect some of this positive change though. We are using the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" at the advice of Knittymama and it's been an amazing tool so far. We were both really pleased to see that it was "endorsed" by Dr. Sears, attachment parenting guru, since we trust and rely on his information.
We have decided that "cry it out" as a method simply does not work for our family. I wasn't having the emotional-rip-your-heart-out response to hearing my baby cry like many moms experience, but rather, it just didn't work. We've spent 9 months building up trust with Jackson that we come when he cries. Going cold turkey and letting him cry it out now is counter-productive at this point (and cruel, if you ask me, and you sort of did since you're reading my blog). But as the author of "No-Cry" explains, the alternative of "live with it" doesn't work either since we're not getting enough sleep. (Jackson's great! He sleeps well within the normal range for his age group, gets as much nursing time as he wants and gets to cuddle in his snuggly bed all night long. But Mom and Dad were simply getting tired of the short sleep stretches...it was making us crabby people.)
So we spent the first night doing our sleep logs, and the second night we started "Our New Family Sleep Plan." It's nothing earth-shattering and in fact, much of the advice that I read in this book is information that I've heard before or have known in my gut. It's just nice to have it all put together in one place and brought to the forefront again. Here's what we did, in a nutshell:
1. We are tracking his schedule to give a predictable, yet flexible daytime and - therefore - nighttime routine.
2. We are winding down earlier in the evening to create a better sleep-inducing environment.
3. We rearranged the bedtime routine so Jackson is not nursing to sleep (this is probably our biggest culprit - falling asleep snuggly in Mommy's arms and then waking up in your own dark bed later on is not so fun for a baby...he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own so he can do it when he wakes later on too).
4. And finally, Daddy goes in to help Jackson get back to sleep in the night instead of Mommy (wahoo!) since it's too hard to tell if he's hungry just because "it's there" or because he's really hungry.
Last night, he was truly hungry, so I fed him, but I've started to make the experience a little less comfortable for him and then he goes straight back to Daddy who puts him in bed...awake. Jackson has fallen asleep on his own just a few times so far, but we're so excited and so hopeful that this is the start of a good lesson - a gift - that he will have forever.
Learning to fall asleep on his own is the gift to Jackson, solid sleep for the whole family is the gift for Mom & Dad. Wish us luck...no wait...wish us sweet dreams!