Archive for November, 2012

My son slept through… for the first time

Friday, November 30th, 2012
My little boy is 19 months old. He doesn't do sleeping through. Which means its a very long time since any of us had an undisturbed night of sleep. Many people, including me have said its a good job he's cute.

Luckily for me my husband is a saint and since I stopped feeding him in the night he's done the brunt of the night missions. But I still wonder if I had undisturbed sleep whether many of the daily mishaps could be avoided. Every night two or three times a night we hear plaintive cries of Mama, Dadda, and most of the time he is sitting or standing in the cot. If you don't go to him immediately (no chance to get warmly dressed) he gets worked up into a frenzy. Sometimes patting works, sometimes you've got to make the chilly trek to the fridge to get some milk and then you're really awake. What worked getting my daughter to sleep through hasn't worked for my son. We've tried most things, but at the end of the day he just loves cuddles. My neighbour wisely said you just need to work out why he's waking up in the first place. However, there seems to be no pattern. We've tried all combination of bed clothes. Cotton pyjamas, Baby grows, fleecy baby grows but still no luck.  Having heard all the claims of children sleeping through with Merino wool sleeping bags  I was going to buy him one. But he's not used to sleeping bags and cried "stuck, stuck" when I tried one.  Helen suggested Merino wool all-in-one-Pyjamas.

They are brilliant. A beautiful ruby red colour with a little  embroidered sheep. On the first night I dressed him in a merino wool/silk vest underneath and then the pyjamas on top. He then poured goats milk all over himself....  argh!!...  but it just brushed off without soaking in.  And so I learnt first-hand about wool's water-resistant qualities.  Another amazing thing about Merino is that although it has liquid repellent qualities, it can also absorb up to 35% of its own weight in liquid without feeling wet. Making it perfect for dribbly teething children! Anyway the best bit is that he slept all the way through - the first time ever!  What luxury for me to get rest until 6am... and my husband... and my little boy too. Whether it was the comfort, warmth or breathability of Merino I'm not sure but I cannot recommend Merino wool Pyjamas highly enough - so lovely, such relief for us all.

Martinmas

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Martinmas is on November 11th. It's my favourite festival that my daughter celebrates at Kindergarten. St Martin was famous for cutting his cloak in half with his sword and giving half to a beggar to save him from freezing.  Legend has it that, the following night, Christ appeared to Martin in a dream dressed in the piece of cloak Martin had cut. “All Year Round” - a lovely book about celebrating the seasons with your family - says

“Martin’s half cloak brought hope and comfort to the beggar-his compassionate gesture may warm us also, and protect us from wintry despair.”

Image of Martinmas Lanterns - from http://thewonderofchildhood.com/2011/10/martinmas-lantern-walk/

To celebrate Martinmas, we carry home-made candle lanterns as a symbol of the small light we can shine into the dark world.  There are links to making your own lantern below. Families join together for a lantern walk through the woods, and the candlelight and song make the experience a magical one for everyone. This year for us it was very special - the teachers had strung candle lanterns on the trees, lighting the path we followed as it wound through the woodland.  We rested under a the spreading branches of a sheltering tree, and the children gathered round to hear the story of St Martin, and each received their own gift of home-made biscuits. Here  is one version of a  St Martins Song that they sing
I walk with my little lantern, My lantern travels with me. Above the stars are shining, And down below shine we. Shine bright my light! All through the night! Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum. Shine bright my light! All through the night! Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

Lantern Ideas

This  is a tutorial for the leaf lantern. My children age 3 and 18 months loved scribbling with wax crayons and collecting the leaves yesterday. The best bit is it looks wonderful no matter how crazy the scribbling as long as you get loads of wax on there. http://bebehblog.com/leaf-lanterns-ive-officially-become-a-crazy-craft-blogger/ Here is a german website full of lantern ideas, there are also lots on pinterest. http://www.kikisweb.de/spezial/stmartin/Laternen/laternen.htm

Sharing ideas

To encourage sharing, try a special Martinmas breakfast of a croissant or bread that can be cut in half and shared with the person next to you, to remind us of St Martin cutting his cloak in half and giving it away, and to value community and the gifts we all bring to others. Given that wool coats last through many children,  Martinmas is a good day to hand on coats that your family have grown out of to a new family to enjoy.  No need to cut them in half though! There are more nice ideas at The Wonder Of Childhood's Martinmas post - here.

Wrap up Warm

Finally here are are a few tips to keep you warm if you go on a lantern walk.
  • Wool socks inside boots for children and grown-ups (even if the boots leak or feet get wet, they'll still be warm and cosy).

Alpaca – why is it so good for your family?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Baby Alpaca wool is soft and warm and is one of the best natural fibres for your skin.  Because of its unique structure, it's exceedingly gentle for your baby and child, and yet it's better for you than even Merino sheep's wool in several ways.

Wolf and Bear hooded jumper in baby alpaca by Waddler

How can Alpaca wool be so special?

For thousands of years Alpacas have grazed the high plains of the Andes and the local people have sheared their fleece to make clothing for protection against the cold conditions.  Today, traditional techniques are still being used to make the finest ranges of alpaca knitwear from this unique fibre. (more…)