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  • Hello darkness my old friend The cold comfort of winterhellip
  • In 10 days Alistair and I fly from Asheville tohellip
  • Snow day snow cream sundae making me all kinds ofhellip
  • I went in for the coconut cake SO! GOOD! andhellip
  • Oh what a long strange trip its been Exactly onehellip
  • Tminus 3 months to liftoff and Southern From Scratch ishellip
  • Suffice to say Alistair dominated my feed in 2017 Seemshellip
  • When I think about my intentions and resolutions for thehellip
  • Cold as ice Hominy Creek which runs beside our roadhellip
  • We made snow cream sundaes and hot chocolate and watchedhellip
  • Stay frosty Huxley but dont grow up too fast okay?hellip
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Rain & Intuition

Holy rainfall. It’s been raining nearly nonstop here since Sunday evening. All of the creeks on our property are overflowing, Hominy Creek (which runs alongside our driveway) is raging, the chickens are SO over it, there are what sound to be hundreds of peepers croaking in our tiny pond, and we have to wring the water out of our gloves whenever we bring in wood from the firewood cradle.

Supposedly, this should all transition to snow in about 3o minutes. It already has for my mother and grandmother, who live about an hour north of us. I’d love for Huxley to wake to a snow-filled cove tomorrow, but since previous forecasts for snow this year haven’t panned out,  we’re reluctant to build up too great of expectations. We’ll see what the morning brings.

All of this rain makes for some happy moss, though. Our property is littered with a variety of glorious, lush, verdant moss, and you better believe they’re digging all this wetness. Our well is benefitting, too, a very important necessity when you live out in the country like we do, and rely on that well to keep us in water at a moment’s notice.

Meanwhile, I’ve had 3 straight nights of wretched sleep. Between our dogs barking at random forest noises in the middle of the night and scratching at the bedroom door to go out, and Huxley being a wiggling, kicking, horizontal-sleeping toddler in bed next to me, I’m beginning to seriously feel like the waking dead.

I’ve let intuition be my guide with most of my parenting. It’s served me well, and let me know when to start him on solid foods, when to begin potty-training (which we’re still in the midst of), and when to wean (12-12-12, friends, and it was smooth sailing!). My intuition also led me to transition Huxley’s crib (which we never even used) to its toddler bed incarnation about 2 months ago. He now takes his naps in it during the day, and I’m thinking of trying tonight to start the move to it for overnight sleeping.

Any other bed-sharing/co-sleeping parents out there that have successfully transitioned their littles out of their beds, I welcome your sage advice. He likes napping in there (his bed), and loves his room, so aside from waking in the night and not having me right beside him and perhaps getting a bit scared, I’m thinking he’s ready. Maybe that’s why he squirms so much; he’d like to have more room to spread out and do his wiggle-worm thing unencumbered.

So, here’s a weary wish for rain that finally (FINALLY!) turns to snow, and for a toddler that loves sleeping alone. In the meantime, I intend to take another sip of my beer, stoke the fire, and find contentment in the abundant rain, and the promise it holds.

17 Responses to Rain & Intuition

  • Elaine says:

    We pretty much did the same thing as far as letting our intuition and her ques guide us to when she was ready to move out. And it was much, much later than what Huxley is now. But we were ok with that. We put her bed next to ours and being a sound sleeper that she was we would usually let her fall asleep next to where ever we were, then put her in her own bed. If she woke up in the night she would usually climb into bed with us. It worked out well. Admittedly when she was ready to move into her own room and bed It was harder on me than her:)

    • Marit says:

      Love your blog and yay for following your gut! Our little girl was ready to sleep in her own room at about 16 months but then started having night frights at about 2 1/2, so we added a twin mattress in our room. She now naps in her own room but at night she sleeps in our room ~ on her own twin mattress and our king size for part of it. It’s working well for us since we basically have a king+twin mattress spread, so lots of space to move about. I kind of love having our little girl so close to us at night. They grow up so quickly! Hope you get some good sleep soon :-)

  • Melanie J. says:

    About to crack a beer of my own while I wait impatiently for the rain to shift to snow up here in Weaverville. We got some the first night after we moved, but I was too numb from the move to appreciate it. This time…oh, I hope some sticks!

  • Laura says:

    Hi Ashley! I love your blog and been reading for years! My little guy is now 26 months — for our cosleeping/bed transition we set up a small mattress in the corner of our room. We put him to bed in it each night and whenever he woke up (anywhere from midnight to 5am, generally) he came into our bed with us for the rest of the night. We started this when he was around 19 months or so, in preparation for his baby brother to arrive. This was how it worked for about 3 months, then once our new baby came to our bed, we moved our older one to his room for the nights (at 22 months). He had been napping in there most days, so he was comfortable with it. We use a twin mattress on the floor. He transitioned fairly well and seemed to be ready for his own special bed. Hope it goes well!

  • Kate says:

    Our twins just started sleeping through the night in their own cribs, in their own (shared) room. We went from all sleeping together in a double bed to a shared crib to two cribs to night-weaning/sleeping through the night all on their cues. The wiggling around is important to pay attention to – it always signaled a transition for us. Most recently, one of my sons squirms and fusses after nursing and that’s how I know was ready to go into his crib sleepy instead of asleep. Sure enough, instead of going ballistic, he now stretches out and goes to sleep.
    So, take a deep breath, maybe create a new ritual to make it special like a new night light (we have a little smiling Buddha!) or a lighted candle and trust that your little man is evolving naturally. Good job, Mama!

  • Darah says:

    We did a similar thing with both our kids. It was significantly more successful with our son, but it can be a process – like everything else. Appreciate even the nights you only get an hour of him in his own bed- it’s still a sweet hour and your bed will feel huge! Good luck!

  • Kem says:

    You’re working through the transition from family bed to independent sleeper just like I did with all three of my children. Follow your intuition, pushed by a surge of exhaustion, while gauging your child, is the way to go. Sometimes the transition time has its peaks and valleys. You’re a fantastic Mom and will be reaping the well–needed rewards of rest soon.

  • Kendra says:

    We read stories and lay in bed with our 4 year old every night until he is almost asleep or pretty close. Admittedly he is a pretty hard sleeper but that has seemed to work well. Hope you had snow! We got some in Richmond and are now enjoying a much needed SNOW DAY! On a different note – Can you tell me what kind of wood you used for your raised beds? I had some a few years back but they didn’t last long…

    • Some of our raised beds are untreated pine, some are concrete block, and some are arsenic-free pressure treated wood. Our untreated beds are disintegrating, and will need to be replaced soon. The choice to use pressure treated for some of the beds is a controversial one. There is no arsenic, as with older types of pressure treated wood, but they can leach copper. According to the research that I have seen, there is no established health risk. Nevertheless, as we can afford it, we hope to change out all the beds to cement block. Glenn has come up with a cement block configuration that works quite well. It’s a controversial subject, and I understand that people must judge for themselves.

  • indio says:

    I have no advice to offer for weaning Huxley out of your bed. My children all started sleeping in their own beds when they moved out of the crib. Then they started kicking the covers off at night, get cold, and coming into my bed. I began to let them sleep in my king size bed whenever it was cold because we all stayed warm that way. I can only get them to sleep in their own beds in Spring and Fall now. In Summer, I have a window fan in my room to keep cool. They have an air conditioner but prefer the fan. In some ways I prefer it, because I know when someone has had a bad dream or is getting sick, and can head it off before it becomes an all night affair.
    I hope you got some snow today!!

  • stephanie thomas berry says:

    My advice: get a bigger bed! If I could have done so, I would have moved up to a king, because even when my kids moved into their own beds, they still snuck into mine just about every night, for years, until they were about 9. Of course, I was dealing with two midnight sneakers, but still, many many times I mused how that extra space would have benefitted my sleep.

  • erin says:

    When my son was showing interest in his bed we started read his bedtime story in there and then lay beside him until he fell asleep. We made sure he knew that he was welcome in our room any time he wanted to. Some nights he would wake up and come in our room and others he stayed the whole night. When the tossing/turning/foot-to-the-ribs thing got too much we put a little mattress on the floor right beside our bed (we slid it under our bed during the day, like a trundle) and made a big deal about it being somewhere he could sleep – just him! – in our room if he wanted to. It was right against our bed and I could easily put my hand on his back to comfort him. Eventually he came into our room less and less and now, at almost 15, there’s no way on earth he would ask to sleep in our room! 😉

  • Cindy says:

    Ashley –
    Can you tell me about the bamboo? I know the photo showcased the moss on the ground – but I’m curious if you planted the bamboo and if you find it as invasive as they say. We bought an old homestead that is close to a commercial business – we are separated by a long fence and I am thinking of planting bamboo along the fence so it will grow tall quickly and hide the buildings. The problem is our driveway runs along the fence too, and I don’t want to constantly battle bamboo in the driveway. Any advice?
    Love your blog and books – you have inspired me in so many ways!

    • Hi Cindy. We didn’t plant the bamboo. The previous owners planted it. In a number of ways, bamboo is an amazingly effective privacy screen. I can’t think of a better one. It can literally grow a foot a day in the summer. We have never had a problem with it getting out of hand. In most case, a quick mow while it is young is all you need to keep it in check. There are however, a lot of variables, so I can’t say for sure if it would be right for you. We find that it particularly likes places that get a lot of water. We have a dirt/gravel driveway right next to our patch, and it has never intruded upon it. Occasionally we cull some for tomato stakes, bean trellises, or other such uses. I definitely recommend asking at a garden center in your area if they think it would be right for you.

      Thanks so much for your support!

      • Kendra says:

        I had the same question about the bamboo Ashley, whether it was manageable or got out of control. It’s good to know that it is effective and efficient without being invasive.

  • Laura says:

    Working on weining my two year old from nursing. Would love any advice you have on what worked so smoothly for you.

    • Hi Laura. I knew when I first began nursing that I wanted to wean my child by around age 2. For Huxley, that would mean sometime in late October (his birthday is the 21st). Bearing that in mind, I started working on weaning in June, 4 months in advance. The first thing that went was nursing him to sleep. I shifted to nursing him for about 30-45 seconds on each side, and then going to sleep with him awake (I was always with him when he fell asleep). Instead of nursing, I sang him songs (we also began bedtime with books). Next, I started cutting out day time nursing sessions one by one, giving him real food instead when he asked to nurse or otherwise distracting him. The last and final nursing session to go was the one first thing after waking. It was the final holdout.
      When I woke up December 12th, I just decided I was done. He asked to nurse, per usual, and I simply told him that now that he was napping in his “big boy bed” (his crib that I’d converted into its toddler bed incarnation-it’s an Ikea conversion crib/bed) and going to the bathroom on his potty that the “achies” (his word for nursing-Lord only knows why!) had gone away. And that was that. He’s asked to nurse twice, maybe three times since then, but he’s otherwise been completely cool with it. A slow, gradual transition is the best thing I can suggest. Doing anything abruptly is just hard on everyone.

      I hope this helps, mama!