Friday, September 14, 2007

The Reading Nook

After discussing the children's books I've collected over the years, I decided that I needed to experience the pleasure of providing photographic evidence. So, here they are, more for my excitement than yours:

They were mostly in boxes or mixed in with our other books before we moved to this house. The move afforded the opportunity to keep them all together! And, I'm pleased to report, that Starbeans is past the phase of wanting to rip every single book off the shelf (todos los dias). Besides, I think the top two shelves are so packed that he would have to work at it for quite sometime. No, no -- he is content with picking one or two books at a time. For which I am glad. The Mother Goose book we love so much is on the top shelf, big and green, almost smack-dab in the middle.

Even better, one of my favorite things about our new house in the Rolling Prairies is what I will forever think of as The Reading Nook. It is a hallway of sorts, upstairs, with slanted ceilings and painted aqua green [the color is a bit dulled in the pictures]. It isn't neccessarily small or narrow enough to be a hallway, but it isn't a room either. It is simply a large space to walk from two bedrooms on the northern end of the house to the bedroom on the southern end (on the east there are the stairs, a closet, and a small storage room). It was the perfect size for a loveseat and two bookshelves, one on each end of the wide section of the hall. From the moment I saw it, I knew what we'd use it for: books, books, books, and reading together as a family. I am so in love with it.


Eric said...

The reading nook looks very cozy--neeraj and erin have something similar in their place. It's going to be an adjustment with the new baby. I can't to hear all about it--maybe it will help prepare us when the time comes. Tell me why you are choosing ot co-sleep? :)

a. borealis said...

Emily, hey! It is DEFINITELY going to be an adjustment with the new baby. It has been quite intimidating to me in the past, but the closer it gets, the more I feel ready for it. That must be how it works. I guess. LOL

Why do we co-sleep? Before Diego was born, I had read about it a little bit - mostly how it helps facilitate night-nursing and then about how dangerous it was. I wasn't aware of too much more, though, and I hadn't heard of Dr. Sears or Attachment Parenting or anything of the like. [I don't declare myself an AP'er, but I do relate to and adhere to a lot of the things they talk about -- without ever even realizing it.]

Anyway, when Diego was first born, I had him next to me in bed in a curved changing pad. Mostly because we didn't have any kind of room for him and no crib set up (and I wanted to be close to him). I started noticing that he slept better and longer when I had a hand on him, or was touching him in some way; and as the days and weeks wore on, I eventually got over my fright of sleeping next to him. After that, instead of sleeping uncomfortably with a hand on him, I had him right next to me. We both slept better that way. Nursing was a breeze, too. At first I would wake up, turn on the lights, sit up, and then nurse (I even fell asleep once and hit my head on the wall -- LOL). But then I got comfortable enough to nurse lying down, without even turning on a light. That was much, much better. The rest is history. We just never moved beyond that. Partly because in Minneapolis we didn't have two bedrooms on the same floor [and I would never even consider putting him on another floor from me] AND our bedroom was so small that a crib wouldn't have fit.

So, we just kind of fell into it. It was a life-saver the days when I was working. He could nurse throughout the night and I wouldn't be lacking in sleep the next day. Other benefits include: Diego has woken up crying probably less than 5 times total in his two years [not including when he was sick]. Maybe less than 3 times; it was so infrequent that I can't even remember. I also love snuggling with him and waking up with him, which is something he really enjoys, too.

As far as the safety issue goes, I can honestly say that while he was a year (or so) and under, I was aware of him at all times - even when I was sleeping. I would wake up before he did, somehow able to anticipate his need to nurse. It was bizarre. I always thought it was so interesting, but I've read other moms saying the same things. As he has gotten older and bigger, that intense sense of him has disappeared.

Anyway, I definitely want to co-sleep with our new baby too, as our experience has been so positive. But I can't just kick Diego out of the bed either: it just doesn't seem right. I want to be able to co-sleep in what they call the Family Bed, but I also want to do it safely. Common sense says never to let the baby and toddler sleep next to each other. I've wondered if we should get a king size bed, or obtain a twin bed to put along side our queen -- I guess we'll see. The one big stress on me right now is not only how to keep Diego and the new babe away from each other, but also the fact that Diego likes to be snuggled up to me all night long -- and he prefers to have me facing him. I'm not sure how I am going to juggle that, as the baby will need my full attention the entire night. I think he's just going to have to adjust to the new Rule.

I wish I had someone to ask! I guess I'll just have to search online for personal experiences. That is the beauty of the blog.

And that is my biography on co-sleeping. Aren't you glad you asked?? LOL