Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feels like fall

The sky was grey and overcast today, and the wind was blowing. Leaves are turning golden, and the air is starting to get that crisp quality. Hooray for fall! I used to be such a summer girl, but ever since last summer where I carried around a growing belly, and then this summer where I carried around a growing baby, I have become one of those total downers who ends pro-summer conversations with my grumblings about how I'll be glad when it's over.

It's not that I dislike summer, or the fun, beachy, outdoorsy activities it brings. It's just that, for one, I really love fall! Fall is beautiful! Not too hot, not too cold; it brings lovely colors, lovely smells, cozy evenings indoors, cozy layers of clothing, cozy snuggling, wonderful holidays (including my birthday, which is also Halloween!). For another, I am looking forward to darker early-evenings.

Why, you ask? Well, it just so happens that these bright, sunny evenings SUCK right now! I forgot to elaborate on this in my recent sleep update, but one of our biggest issues in getting November down for bed at night is the brightness in our room between 6 and 8pm. Our bedroom has a west-facing window and a bright sliding glass door, which makes it brighter in the room at 6pm than it is at any other time of day. And despite blackout/double layer curtains, the room is still is too bright and distracting for my highly alert lil bean on a sunny summer's eve.

Lately, it has been somewhat easy to get her down for bed at night, now that she is used to her nighttime routine, but staying asleep is another issue. I notice she sleeps lightly between 6 and 8pm, wakes frequently, and is harder to get back down if she isn't attended to immediately. Often, I just end up laying in bed with her until the room gets dark. That way if she wakes, she will calm down when she sees me and go back to sleep, or I can nurse her back down quickly. If I don't stay in the room with her, I spend those pre-dark hours feeling like I'm walking on eggshells, nervously glancing at the monitor, hoping I can catch her wakings soon enough before she goes into alert-mode.

Of course, it is possible that her sleep patterns keep her sleeping lightly for the first hour or two, but I feel like she sleeps much sounder after 7:30 or 8, even if she doesn't get to sleep until 7. She also sleeps easier and better to begin with when the evenings are overcast, therefor making the room nice and dim when we start sleepy time. Also, she sleeps better in general when she is comfortable; not too hot, not too cold. She does not like being too hot! I like the fact that I can now dress her in warm jammies and she won't get overheated, or wake up chilly in the morning.

While I am happy to welcome fall, I'm sure after a week or two of rain I will be eating my words, getting sentimental, and wondering what the big deal was with a little bit of sunlight. Isn't that how it always is? But regardless of my fickle mommy-brain, fall is coming. Get out your scarves, sweaters, and blankies. Snuggle close with the ones you love, and let's welcome the changing season with a smile and a warm mug of cider!

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