Tag Archives: sleeping

We had some ‘Paranormal Activity’ last night


You know the movie Paranormal Activity and the scene where the child hovers eerily over the bed, with her hair all in her face.  That happened to us last night.  It was cool and dark, the only sound was the humming of the air conditioner.   We did not hear footsteps.  Hubby and I were sleeping peacefully, dreaming away when all of a sudden a presence appeared.  It shook us unnervingly.  We began to stir, our dreams fleeing with the fluttering of our eyelids and then Hubby saw it.  Standing over our bed, not saying a word, stood a 3 year old, her blond curls in her face wearing nothing but her pull up at 2:17 am.  Hubby screamed the loudest and jumped the highest I have seen.  Those high-jumpers in the Olympics would be hard pressed to match the height he got to.  His shrieks woke me and I started laughing my head off.

“Princess, what’s wrong?”  Hubby asked her when he caught his breath.

“Nothing Daddy, I just really like your bed,” she giggles as she climbs into our bed and then for the rest of the night, sleeps sideways, leaving this Mom and Dad with a sliver of the bed on either side.

Hubby rolls over in the morning to give me a kiss and whispers this in my ear; “That kid is determined to shave years off my life.”

6 Little Secrets of a Sleeping Baby


The Science of Mom

So, here we are, six posts and two months after my declaration that I would get to the bottom of this little issue of infant sleep. It shouldn’t have surprised me that it has taken me this long to begin to understand this topic. After all, it is a field with decades of research and thousands of published papers. If I was only interested in finding support for one side of the issue, I could have dug up a few papers in an hour or two and whipped something out, but I needed a more complete understanding – for myself, if for nobody else. My experience was quite beautifully summed up by a reader’s comment on my last post:

“…wide reviews of research (rather than simply focusing on the work of one or even a few researchers or studies) tend to show that dogmatism on many parenting issues is…

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For all those sleepless nights!


My daughter never had sleep going to bed, but I know many parents that do have trouble. This is an amazing post!

Emma's Children

Does your child constantly complain of being tired? Well, maybe they aren’t “winding down” properly at night. This can greatly disrupt their sleep cycle and ability to have quality sleep.

You can’t expect to say “Bedtime!” and your child to effortlessly fall asleep. Children need time to relax both before naptime and bed. Overstimulation is a problem many of us are facing with our children. This relates to our last post on screen time because technology hinders the time it takes for your child to calm.

It’s important to establish a “winding down routine” which will be different for each specific child. Infants and toddlers are typically more stimulated and restless than your teen so they may require a longer winding down period. This all depends on their age and the temperament they are experiencing that day.

For example, you can recognize signs that tell you when your infant is…

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I’m out the Door Running!


I told myself at 11:59 December 31st 2011 that the year 2012 would be my year.  2010 left me bruised, 2011 almost left me broken, but 2012 was going to be my year and so far it has (knock on wood, cross your fingers, all that superstitious stuff.)  I was promoted at work, I  started this blog and was given the chance to talk and share stories with all you fine folk, and now I am training to run 5  & 10 kilometre races this year in Toronto!

I never considered myself a runner, in fact the mere thought of running left me almost dizzy.  Why anyone would want to run and run and run for hours, pushing their very bodies to the brink was beyond me, until this year.  Call it a Forrest Gump moment, but I just had to get up and run.  From the moment my foot hit the pavement, my mind was clear.  All I focused on was breathing, the pace and the road ahead of me.  I wasn’t thinking about the pile of laundry waiting for me, or the stack of dishes.  I wasn’t worried about clients or deadlines at work, all I needed to do was run.  I came home elated, relaxed and blissful.  I gave my hubby a kiss on the cheek, smiled and said “I think I like running.”

I have since joined a gym and my friend who ran a half marathon last year has graciously accepted to help train me.  She is teaching me the proper technique (who knew that one foot in front of the other repeatedly wasn’t enough) and how to breathe properly (isn’t it simply inhale and exhale?) But there are other things she has shown me; Endurance, Determination and Persistence.  Endurance for taking me that extra step, Determination to complete a race and Persistence to get up everyday and train.  I thought I had all of these qualities simply from parenting, after all, isn’t persistence needed for potty training and bed time wars, endurance for raising a child from birth to forever and determination to parent our children right.  I am learning now that there are many more correlations between running and parenting that I had previously thought and I feel like come 11:59 December 31st 2012, I will be a better parent (and runner) for it.

I Dream of Sleep!


I don’t ever remember feeling so tired for so long.  It seems since the moment I became pregnant with my daughter, sleep was a luxury. The definition of sleep is to take the rest afforded by a suspension of voluntary bodily functions and the natural suspension, complete or partial of consciousness.  For all the mother’s out there, let me ask you this question; When was the last time you got a complete nights sleep?

Recently, my daughter has been off her sleeping pattern.  No longer does she sleep from 8 – 7 with a lovely 3 hour nap in between.  Now its up late, wake up in the middle of the night,up very early and barely any nap.  Let the weeping begin.  I prided my daughter’s ability to sleep.  She was a trooper like her Mom.  By 2 months, she was sleeping from 11 – 5 with numerous naps throughout the day.  I never had to fight to put her to bed, she loved her bed.

Let me paint an image for you.  It is a weeknight.  3 am.  I am slumbering away in dreamland, when I awaken to hear the click click of her doorknob.

“Mommy.  Mom.  Mommyyyyyyyyyyy!” She bellows.

Maybe if I don’t answer, she’ll go to bed.

“Daddy.  Dad.  Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” Nope, she’s awake and NOT going back to bed.

My hubby croaks, “She’s not going back to bed, just answer her.”  She called you last I thought to myself.

“Princess, what’s wrong?”

“Mommy, I can’t open my door.”

“Go back to bed Honey.”

“I don’t want to.” Saw that coming.

“Why not?”

“I want to watch a movie and eat a cookie.”  Well at least she’s honest.

“Boo, it’s 3 in the morning, you’re not watching a movie and eating cookies.”

“Can I come in your bed?”  Ugh.  I crawl over my hubby who is groaning over the thought of sharing a bed with a toddler that awakens each morning in a new and sprawled out position.

I stumble to her door and she is waiting for me on the other side.  She lifts her arms and commands “up” and the lays her head on my shoulder and resumes sucking her thumb.  Oh yes, I have a thumb sucker.

I lay her down in between us.  I am hoping that she will go back to sleep after all, Mommy and Daddy need to work in the morning.  Hope is folly.  First, the constant thumb sucking sound is loud and wet.  I tell myself over and over again “it’s just white noise.”  Ok, sleepy time.  Not likely.  My princess then begins to toss and turn,  flip and flop, until hubby barks for her to lie still and go to bed.  Five minutes go by before the motion begins again.  This time it’s flailing limbs.  They are tapping Daddy’s shoulders, kicking off blankets, digging into Mommy’s back and little fingers twirling around my hair.

“Honey, go to sleep or you are going back to your bed.” I grumble.


“Because its sleepy time.”

“Why Mommy?”

“Because Mommy and Daddy need to work in the morning and you have to go to daycare.”


“Because we have bills to pay.”

“Why?”  My patience is growing thin, and so is hubby’s.

“Because darling it costs money to live.”


“Because nothing is free.”


“Ok, listen,” I sit up, rubbing my eyes.  “Honey, it’s late, Mommy and Daddy are very tired and we really, really, really need sleep.”

She lays quiet.  I lie down and wait until she starts up again.  Time keeps passing and she is remaining quiet.  Maybe she is actually going to go to sleep.  Ahhh, my eyes are heavy.  I begin to drift in and out of sleep.  Just when I am at the brink of sliding serenely onto the night train, this is what I hear;

‘Mommy, I want a pony.” That’s it!  My hubby has had enough.  He picks her up and begins to walk to her room.

“Ok Boo, we’ll see you in the morning.  You gotta sleep in your bed tonight.”

“Ok Dad.”

Finally.  My hubby walks back into the room and turns to me before laying his head down he says, “She is never, ever, sleeping in here again.”

I’m sold.  I check the time, its 4:30, a hour and a half since she woke up and we have got her back into her bed.  Ok, now it’s sleepy time.

Click. Click.

“Mommy.  Mom.  Mommyyyyyyyyy.  I can’t open my door.”

Oh my goodness, what now? 5:25 am and she is wide awake.  Only before I get to answer, she has opened her door and is now staring me right in the face.

“Hi Mommy.  I want to watch a movie and eat a cookie.”  This time, she doesn’t go back to bed.  We are up and our day has officially begun.  I am not usually a coffee person, but on that day, I needed 2 coffees.

Mommy Vs Non-Mom


I remember before I had my daughter, I had these preconceived notions about what it entails to be a mother and exactly how parents should parent their kids.  I remember being in restaurants and listening to the children at the other table yelling and crying and much to my chagrin, their parents weren’t able to quiet them.  I thought to myself, “When I have kids, they will be so behaved.  They will listen to whatever I say and do what I tell them to.”  I continue to eat my words.  I have experienced the other side of my pre-child criticisms.

For example, I take my daughter to daycare and drop her off when it opens at 7.  That means we are awake at 6 am.  Her daycare gives her breakfast at 8:30 so from the time she wakes up to the time she receives her breakfast is  2 1/2 hours.  Its a long time to go without some sort of food.  We are out of the house by 6:30, so I will give her juice and a small snack ie. a piece of toast, a small bowl of cereal, etc.  Bring on the non-mom advice.  One day, we were on the bus heading to daycare and my daughter was eating a 1/3 cup of Fruit Loops.  A woman sitting across from us kept scoffing under her breath and giving me the nastiest look.  I simply turned my head and continue to mind my own business.  Then I hear this;

“Do you know what you are feeding your child?” She growls at me.

“Um, cereal?”

“You should be ashamed of yourself.  What you are feeding your child is disgusting.”  At this point, her well vocalized opinion has begun to attract the attention of the other riders on the bus.

“Oh ok then,” I reply plainly. “What do you feed your children?”

It takes her a moment to answer.  “I don’t have children.”

Ah ha! The truth comes out.

“Well then, at the daycare you work at, what do you give them to eat?” I ask.

“I don’t work at a daycare.”  She begins to lower her voice and shift her body into a much less authoritative stance.

“Oh, hmm.  So what you are saying is that you have no experience feeding children whatsoever?” Zing!!

The woman says not a word more and turns herself away from me and refuses to make any further eye contact.   My daughter eats Corn Bran, Raisin Bran, Rice Krispies, whole grain toast, yogurt, eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, so while Fruit Loops is not exactly the most nutritious cereal there is, it is not so bad once in a while for a treat.  I only give her the little bowl of something to fill her belly until her breakfast comes at daycare.  Forgive me for being a bad mother for giving my daughter cereal so that she didn’t go hungry.  SHAME ON ME!!

It’s unfortunate that as mother’s that we are constantly subjected to outside opinions on how to raise our children.  Being a mother is hard enough without the ridicule and opinions of others, many of whom haven’t stepped one foot in our shoes.  I didn’t know before having my daughter what it felt like to only have 10 hours of sleep in 7 days.  What it feels like to be constantly worrying about another human beings well being, development, growth and mental psyche every moment of every day.  I did not know the frustration a parent feels when their kid simply refuses to eat or fights you when you are trying to potty train them.  I did not know about the public grocery store meltdowns when you refuse to buy their favourite cookies.

So for all you people out there about to make an opinion on how mothers should parent their children, remind yourself of this; We are mothers, giver’s of life,  maids, security guards, chaperones, chauffeurs, personal bank accounts, chefs, therapists, referees, teachers, wives, friends, alarm clocks, laundry service, entertainers.  We do not get sick days.  We do not get paid or receive vacations.  We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of our lives.  We choose to be mothers, but do not proceed to tell us how to raise our children.  In our heart of hearts, only we know what is truly best for our children.  We don’t tell you how to live your life, so return the favour.  We are simply doing the best we know how.

Book Review – “Go the F***k to Sleep” By Adam Mansbach


” The windows are dark in the town, child.  The whales huddle down in the deep.  I’ll read you one very last book if you swear, you’ll go the f***k to sleep.”  This is a wildly subversive tale of one parent’s desperate wish to have their child sleep.  I first heard of this book while I was going on Twitter and I kept seeing all these tweets about a new book called “Go the F***k to Sleep.”

I checked out the reviews and many were parents saying how amazing it was and that it truly spoke to the plights of many parents.  My daughter was a great sleeper, but that is not to say that there wasn’t times when she kept me awake for hours, and hours, and hours on end, but I do have many friends that are still, years later, fighting with their children to go to sleep.  The next day at work, I went to the local bookstore and right at the front, there it was.  I read it on my way to the cash, and I was barely able to stifle my laugh.  Upon purchase, the cashier, made me lay one hand on the book, with the other in the air, and had me literally repeat the following;  “I solemnly swear, to never, ever, read this to children.”

This book is definitely not for children but it is for every single parent that has ever been sleep deprived, fought 9 rounds with a child that just won’t go to bed and has themselves thought “Go the F***k to Sleep!”  This book will have you laughing hysterically.  I could barely get out of the store without laughing.  I have suggested it to all my friends, ones that have kids and others who are expecting.  If you are looking for an extra great laugh, check out Samuel L. Jackson’s reading of it on Youtube.

"Go The F***k to Sleep" By Adam Mansbach & Illustrated by Ricardo Cortes of Akashic Books