Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Four legs good

Dan has mastoid surgery today. He has had his tea and toast and is now walking the dogs - although I did see him carrying Audrey out of the door. She has turned out to be a really sweet little dog. She puts up with all sorts of hysterical excitement from Scarlett, walks really well on the lead (for me), is almost toilet trained, sleeps all night (still in the box but not so close to me now) and takes the attentions of other dogs in her stride. She has a few separation issues, but you can't have everything.
[They've just walked in, Audrey has all 4 feet on the floor - a good sign].

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

So now I'm confused ...

I feel confident in saying that we are now sleeping. We haven't had to get up to Scarlett (or Audrey) for three nights and the last two nights there hasn't been a peep from either of them.
Don't let my factual tone fool you - it has been bloody and we have teetered on the edge of irrationality, exhaustion and a breakdown in marital pleasantries.
So, what worked? Well the cardboard box in the bedroom for Audrey was a genius idea and within two nights she was sleeping for 7 to 8 hours. Most importantly she was showing us she could hold her bladder and bowels for 7 to 8 hours. Scarlett was not so simple; we felt that she had recreated an attachment to baby bottles for comfort. We had started giving them to her in the day and during the night, whenever she cried out for 'More' really. [The use of More is not easy to explain, suffice to say it occured from my muddled approach to signing.]
So, we entered a period of cold turkey that was about as easy as having a child come off other addictive substances, I suspect. Anyway, we stuck with it but on Day 2 she woke up with a red face, nappy rash and a mouth she said was 'thore'.
So was it just ANOTHER molar, rather than an addiction to bottles?
Answers on a postcard ....

Thursday, 5 August 2010

It's always good to have a plan

Three quite major things happened to us yesterday.
Firstly, I hit rock bottom, admitted I was struggling with Audrey and sought help (more on that later).
Secondly, our ten year old terrier Matisse got lost during his morning walk and was eventually located via the Dog Warden. We have no idea how this happened, we have joked that he is a bit tired but I suspect he was distracted by something smelly and then couldn't see Dan. Anyway, he was picked up by a very kind lady, about two minutes from our home.
I never had him down as a homing pigeon.
Needless to say the 90 minutes he was missing were the longest and boy did I cry some big tears.
Finally, I was dragged out for a meal on the Lady Florence - we had a great time, lovely food and met some interesting other diners but for quite a while I just sat on deck with my eyes closed, breathing fresh air. Dan then took the sofa shift so I had some proper in-your-own-bed sleep for the first time in 6 nights.
So, back to Audrey. I am lucky to have friends in very high places so when I admitted defeat I e mailed Gwen Bailey. She kindly sent me a long e mail that I read this morning and we are now looking at a way of rearing Audrey that sits nicely alongside the way I rear Scarlett.
Firstly no need for the crate and the (horrendous) ignoring her until she stops screaming and learns that no-one is coming. Instead, it is OK for us to have a large cardboard box by the bed or sofa. We can all get some sleep and Audrey can learn to settle. I'll still hear her move when she needs the toilet so I can maintain the progress we have made in that area.
Secondly, no more worrying about forcing her to be separated from me in the day so that she will cope when I next try to leave her. Instead we are using the childgate and her natural sleep time for her to have increasing periods of time separated from me, but near me. Each day we will practice and gradually increase the time and distance between us.
Here is the outcome of Day One.
We had a really successful 5 minutes. I was keeping close to Audrey whilst distance managing Scarlett who had been let loose on a bubble machine.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Thank you, whoever you were ..

Scarlett is now overlapping molars so is up every night, more than once. Audrey is no better, waking every hour or hour and a half. I am sleeping on the sofa with her near me (but slowly increasing the distance between us) and Dan is upstairs, occasionally sharing our bed with our daughter.
I think we are running almost on empty.
On my way home from work I thought I would return a highchair that has been on the back seat of the car for the last three months to a friend (before delivering a very late birthday present to another friend). I saw this lady looking at me as I was wrestling around in the back of the car and wondered if I had parked in the wrong place. It turns out she reads this blog and recognised me from my photo.
How incredible is that? Incredible in that she recognised me - that photo was taken at Latitude in 2007 when I had been on 8 hours sleep a night for the previous 36 years - and to be honest incredible that anyone other than my friends and family read this.
I think she was pretty amazed by the whole moment, but honestly the pleasure was all mine.
 I almost skipped home - thank you, whoever you were ....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Out and about

As Audrey hasn't finished her injections yet, she has to stay off the ground and can only run around in our garden. However we need to start gradually exposing her to the big wide world, so yesterday we took a trip to town. Scarlett had books, Audrey had a prime seat and we didn't get anywhere fast as people kept stopping us every few minutes.