Weekend Wind Tunnel.

26 Jan

Here are some topics that have hit my radar this week, caused me pause to think about or gave me food for thought (which is just another way of saying “gave me pause to think about”).

The Eternal Struggle For A Good Night’s Sleep.

The Great Fitness Experiment, authored by Charlotte Hilton Andersen. It’s one of my favorite things to read. One of her posts from this week had to do with nighttime issues. The post had to do with eating carbs at night, nighttime wakefulness and night fasting.

The issue of nighttime wakefulness interested me the most. Over the last couple of years my husband and I have noticed that we just don’t keep the same sleep patterns that we used to. He has always struggled with regular sleep patterns. He wakes up in the middle of the night, lays there with ever increasing anxiety about not getting enough sleep until he just says screw it and gets up. Once he has been up for an hour or two he is able to go back to bed. From there he either sleeps in late, if his schedule permits (he doesn’t have a regular schedule), or takes a long nap sometime during the day. According to one study, this kind of sleep pattern might be more in tune with the natural human sleep cycle. There is some evidence of this in the traditions of many cultures around the world; afternoon naps are common, or at least in the past have been, from India to Spain.

According to the article;

It seemed that, given a chance to be free of modern life, the body would naturally settle into a split sleep schedule. Subjects grew to like experiencing nighttime in a new way. Once they broke their conception of what form sleep should come in, they looked forward to the time in the middle of the night as a chance for deep thinking of all kinds, whether in the form of self-reflection, getting a jump on the next day or amorous activity. Most of us, however, do not treat middle-of-the-night awakenings as a sign of a normal, functioning brain.

Its worth a read and some brain space as I’m sure I’m not alone in worrying about everything from not getting enough sleep to the “pressures of getting to bed on time”. I’m not advocating one adopt a segmented sleep pattern per say. I dislike waking up in the middle of the night (amorous pursuits aside) and find I prefer the type of day planning that a good nights sleep affords me. I definitely don’t like the idea of my kids roaming around in the middle of the night. But sleep issues in our modern world are an important part of the puzzle for overall health and wellness. Everything from the mental, emotional and physical health of children and teens to the link between obesity and sleep deprivation. So while I am no expert on the overall roles of sleep and health it is my opinion that knowledge is power. More knowledge=more power, or rather empowerment.  I will point out that segmented sleep should not be confused with the issues of sleep apnea. The post from The Great Fitness Experiment and the sleep study are worth a read.

Co-Sleeping.

 

 

Another sleep related issue; co-sleeping. Mark Sission  of Mark’s Daily Apple did a post on co-sleeping. Co-sleeping is when a parent or parents, or primary caregiver for that matter, sleeps with their infants in the bed with them. My husband and I always co-slept with our infants (four little cuddle-bug poo-spreaders). Especially when they were brand spankin’ new. It just seemed easier what with all the nighttime feeding and insane cocktail of hormones coursing through me that made solid blocks of sleep elusive even on my most exhausted of days. We had different variations; the football hold- me slightly propped up on pillows with my newborn tucked snuggly under on arm.

The Boppy Pillow set between two exhausted parents (for once my hubby would get a break from me encroaching on his slumber real estate).

We had triangular foam blocks that were about a foot long each and designed to be adjustable with Velcro attachments. Baby would be placed in the middle of the blocks and could be snuggly positioned to sleep on their sides.

 

 

With one of the kids we even had something like this. Where the hell these fancy contraptions went in between newborns I’ll never know. It seemed we never used the same method twice. Except for the trusty bassinette, which is really only useful till they can sit up. Random Tip; too busy and exhausted with the demands of a newborn to vacuum? Get the look of freshly vacuumed carpets by pushing the bassinette through the house!

With our first baby we wedged the crib between the wall and my side of the bed and removed one side of the slats enabling me to just roll Dd-Bug over for a middle of the night feeding or comforting and if I happened to still be awake when she finished, roll her back. Or not and opt to just snuggle. Once she was able to crawl I became a self-service station. That didn’t last for long since it coincided with other milestones that made us decide to move her crib to her room. Which in retrospect was somewhat unnecessary since we had little ones sleeping on our bedroom floor for the first 5 years of our parenting adventures. I guess they got to exercise their slumber-autonomy during the daytime napping hours.

Anyhow, throughout the span of modern parenting co-sleeping has been and still is a controversial issue (I think many parents do it but claim they don’t in the glaring light of scrutiny. I personally don’t have problem with that since its their baby and their ride on the rollercoaster, Dammit!). The post from MDA has a good list of “do’s” and “don’ts”.

 

 

 

Eggs!

 

I am always trying to straddle (among other things 😉 Oh yeah, it’s definitely the weekend!) quality of food vs. cost of food. I’m no expert at it and I would very much like to hone my skills at it. In my household we eat a lot of eggs. Not because we are just crazy about eggs, but rather they are quick, versatile and fairly inexpensive for the nutrients one gets from them.

Been in the egg section lately? The variety of choices combined with the differences in price usually makes the liquor aisle the next logical choice for me to visit. Cheap-ass carton of eggs all the way to organic-free-range-kissed by an angel-blessed by a Tibetan monk eggs makes me want to scream. What’s a budget conscience mom (or anyone for that matter) to do? Does the most expensive choice equal the best choice or in the words of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” song, “That’s what I call getting tricked by a business”.

I don’t have a conclusive answer, but in my adventures in Googling this week I came across this post that lead me to this list. I was trying to get the skinny on “fertilized eggs”. What did I find out? I guess something along the lines of a hen that produces eggs that can be categorized as “fertilized”  probably means that she had access to a rooster and more importantly, “free-range” access. Hmmm…this now makes me wonder about the virtues of  sending our second daughter to an all-girls college vs. a co-ed one. I kid. There is no effing way we could afford to send her to an all-girls college. She will have to roam among the coc….Nevermind.

 

Raising boys and girls differently. ?

And finally…

“Why do I have to be raised differently just because I have boobies?” Speaking of our second daughter, this is something she recently exclaimed at the dinner table not too long ago. I can’t even remember what it was in reference to. Most likely something having to do with her almost 12 year old brother watching a movie with a rating that she wasn’t able to view till she was 13. The indignities of inequality!

All kidding aside. Do I and will I raise my daughters differently than my sons? I don’t have an answer right now, but it is worth thinking about. I, we, have two daughters, 19 & 16, as well as two sons, 11 & 8. It is impossible to treat them the same. But what about how, we as parents, view what is or is not appropriate and at what age? I can already say that I have a biased view of going to college. Damn straight my daughters are going to college (yeah, big talk considering that they have to partially pay their own way). My sons and the importance of college? Meh. Of course I want all of my children to have opportunities for happiness and success in their lives, as children and as adults. What is packed into my psychological  baggage that makes the thought of my daughters starting off their adult lives sans some college degree an invitation for possible woe and misery? While my expectation of my sons are to go to college only if you have a plan, otherwise get to making something of yourself in the world. And get the hell off my couch! I do know that I have regrets about not completing a college education. But on the other hand, I have a great life. I have a marriage that is like a day at the best of amusement parks; fun, exciting, action-packed, predictable and unpredictable in turns. With just enough challenges to make the good stuff all the sweeter. I am blessed with four amazing people in my life that I get to claim maternal rights to. I work at something I love doing, the field of dance (although the ups and downs of that love story are, well, another story). Why couldn’t the possibilities hold true for my girls? And why shouldn’t they be granted the same freedom of choice, free of my critical judgments as is granted to their brothers? Perhaps this quandary will resolve itself as my sons become older and the demands of paving their ways through the world come ever closer.

That’s it for now.

 

 

Thanks for hanging out!

~Erin~

 

Have something to say about any of these subjects? Sleep patterns, co-sleeping, eggs, the difference between raising boys and girls? Good stories or tips and ideas? Leave a comment!

 

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2 Responses to “Weekend Wind Tunnel.”

  1. burberry online January 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Useful material. Hope to observe more excellent posts in the foreseeable future.

    • Erin January 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks! Much appreciated. 🙂

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