Nighttime is sweet.

Darin gets Lucy to bed; I take Polly. They usually have a bath together first, around 8 pm,
then Lucy wants about a million books but Polly just wants to nurse and have peace and quiet, so we go into separate rooms. I bring Polly back into our bedroom a little later and she sleeps in our bed.

Both wake up for snuggles several times a night. Lucy sleeps in her own bed, next to ours. Darin ends up spending much of his sleeptime there. 

I like to have them close at night; I like the smell of them and the feel of their breath. My mom asked me if I miss sleeping and cuddling next to just Darin. I said not really because we both know this won't be a very long period of time in our lives. We have a lot of years to snuggle just each other, and we'll be missing these babes.

Nighttime is good for me. I like to get things cleaned up and organized. I come up with ideas; I write in my journal, list things I want to do this week. I might make a page in Polly's babybook. I post items in my etsy shop, I might even write a quick blog. Once in a while Darin and I watch a movie together, this is when I am most certainly guilty of having a large bowl of ice cream, preferably with coconut sprinkles and chocolate syrup. I love to have the dishwasher running, floors swept, laundry folded and put away, little dolls dressed with their bonnets on waiting for Lucy to find them in the morning, puzzles put back together and books neatly stacked. 

Of the whole day, I feel prettiest late at night when I take out my contacts, put on my glasses, take down my hair, change into pajamas. I almost always sleep in a nightgown. This white cotton one has buttons so it is easy to nurse in and has been my favorite this summer.

Every night I go to bed around midnight or one. We still have the windows all open, and most of the time the fans are on too. I braid my hair, brush my teeth, and get a big glass of water. I make sure there's chapstick near the bed. (Probably in the pocket of the cosleeper bassinet that has become a storage rack.) I nurse Polly one last time and check Instagram or the ole fb on my ipod while Darin reads. I then read a little bit before I turn out the light on my side of the bed.  I sleep well, interspersed with brief wakings with my nursling. In the summer the cats don't really sleep with us, but usually Billy comes looking for a snuggle in the wee hours at some point. Often there's a windowsill leap; Darin gets scratched in the descent and wakes with a start and a curse. I look forward to winter when he'll crawl under the covers and purr, or at least sleep on my legs. 

I like the mystery of the nighttimes inside each family's home. What is your nightly ritual? What do you have to do before bedtime? What do you wear to bed? Where do you sleep, and what's your family's sleeping arrangement? If you don't mind shedding light on your sweet mysteries.

And now I bid you sweet dreams and good night my friends.


Heidi Ann said…
Hi Heather! I suppose everyone has their own ritual at night.
I have to have my insulated mug with ice water next to the bed.
My husband is always in bed before me, but not asleep. He likes to have the TV on.
I don't.
So - it's on until lights out.
The last thing I do always is put Carmex on and put lotion on my hands (both of which are kept right next to the bed in a pretty vintage tin hinged candy box with pretty pink roses on it. In summer, he turns off the AC, which is only on before we go to bed in order to cool the room down for sleeping, then he turns off the TV and the light across the room (unless it's already off - it's on a timer), and that's it.
Nighty Night!
Hoodoo Voodoo said…
Oh sheesh, I am envious of your routine and freedom at nighttime after the babies are asleep! I also love your outlook and positivity and perspective of course. I remind myself often that this is only for a short SHORT time in my life. The many many wake ups, the no napping days, etc. and anyway, when morning comes and her shiny face and fluffy hair and sweet soft skin are cuddled so close, and she reaches for my mouth and pets my face until I wake up, I am in pure bliss and WHO THE HELL CARES about the night before.

So night times around here are usually something like this:
-Joey gets home from school or work (sometimes as late as 830) and we try to make a quick dinner while scout plays in her high chair or flaps her arms at a book in her room.
-About once a week we have a shower, I jump in first and when Im done, joey hands me in Scout and we have our skin-to-skin shower time. Joey takes her while I dry off/get ready for bed/lotion on my face and hands/teeth brushed.
-Then Joey retires to his "office" to do homework while I try to get items posted to blacksheep (scout is usually on the floor by me or in her room with daddy).
-I take scout in about 9:30 or 10 and try oh try to nurse her/cuddle her/sing her to sleep. This usually takes a long time and when she is finally out, I try to get back to work, but WITHOUT FAIL she wakes up 15 minutes later crying. I can't leave the bed from that point on.
-Joey comes in when he is done with homework, then its sleep here and there when I can grab it through the night. On average I get about four interrupted hours every night.

I recently made up a nighttime poem I say to her in bed while we are trying to go to sleep:

I can see the moon
The moon can see me
God bless the moon
and god bless me

And god bless the mountains
And the forests filled with friends
and god bless the rainbows
may we never find the ends

And god bless my family
may we hold each other tight
and god bless the lonely ones
who dread the fall of night

And god bless my body,
My instrument, my home
and god bless the paths we walk
wherever we may roam

And god bless the food we eat,
the warm and trusty sun.
And god bless those I love
Each and every one.

Rachel Weaver said…
Oh man, I love that you shared this. We wake up so early for work that our night time routine is pretty short and rushed, grown ups falling asleep while putting big kids to bed, almost no time for quiet, no time for rest that isn't sleeping.

I always used to sleep in cotton nightgowns and the beautiful image of you on your couch might send me out in search of a new one (old) one.
Cel said…
It's sweet that your girls sleep with you in the same room, and you're right that it's a short time in your lives with them like that so you may as well enjoy it. I like how you included what the cats are up to at night too. My own cat likes to sleep near my feet, but he comes to say hello and sniff at my eyes in the night or early morning. I'm moving in with my grandmother and uncle in the next two months so my habits are going to change quite a bit soon... For the moment though, I'll usually have a wee smoke and a drink, game or read or watch a film, have a late night meal snack and then finally hit the hay when I start yawning like a black hole. And depending on how cool or hot it is, usually I just sleep in a nightie, or some shorts and a tank top. My boyfriend likes to spend an hour or so snuggling in bed before we really get to sleep though, and he's fond of sleeping nude so I'm starting to get into that groove when we're together.
I love love love reading all these little rituals and details.

I had an anonymous comment that is not showing up here, but if you're reading this anonymous...i did get it in my email inbox and it is a lovely comment and i am so glad you're reading along and we sound like soul sisters :)

Em, that poem! I might have to memorize it and steal it. Also...I don't think I realized you got such little sleep. :( You are certainly taking it in stride.

Heidi, your insulated mug of ice water sounds like a great idea. It reminds me of my hospital stays with both girls' births, the constant ice water refills was my favorite part!

Rachel I could totally see you floating about in your cotton nightie like a witchy east coast night owl amongst your sleeping brood.

Cel, good luck with the move and give your beautiful cat a snug for me! Hope the bf likes him too!
Andrea said…
I love how you handle the changes that come with motherhood so gracefully and joyfully :) It's refreshing.

I have actually never been a fan of nighttime in general or sleeping much for that matter. Although I need sleep, and get my 7-8 hrs. I just dislike the process of having to go to sleep and the whole process of the day ending and getting dark. This past summer though D. and I slept awfully late, embarrassingly late actually :) And I actually started to enjoy the process of our nighttime ritual- and the coziness of our bed. We like to read a bit too just before bed, and I love our nighttime conversation about whatever it is we are reading, or the day's events. That has always been the enjoyable part of nighttime for me.
Teeny said…
Hi honey bun, I imagine the gentle quietness of your late night house; with just the constant peaceful whirr of the fans, the bug noises and any traffic that might be going by. Time to re-gather yourself I imagine, time to think again. Enjoy it all my love. The chaos that is my life is still the way it is school holidays next week though, so I'm hoping for a change of pace. Right now I can hear Mia is sobbing in the next room, she is upset that she won checkers against Steve too easily - which means the game was too short. It is late here for her, so I should go now and help put her to bed. I usually take care of the miss, and Steve takes care of the master; then we swap so they both get lie down time with both of us. xo
Katie said…
I hadn't really thought about having a nighttime ritual but it seems that we do have one after all. I usually wear a big comfy t shirt. I brush my teeth, wash my face, then brush my daughters teeth. I bring a glass of water to bed (even though I'm bad about actually drinking it because I can't stand waking up to pee). A lot of the time me and my man watch a show or a movie on the laptop in bed snuggled with our 15 month old and if we are lucky, she will nurse and fall asleep around 10. Then, my husband will read in bed or work on his music in the next room. I might hang out online for a minute and take notes of whats going on for the week. We both usually fall asleep between midnight and one. All of us sleep together in a queen mattress on the floor. My daughter usually wakes up once during the night for a small nursing session or sometimes she'll fuss and go right back to sleep. In the morning, I will cuddle with her when she wakes up for a little while before getting up. My husband will sleep in longer than us gals.
Every once in a while, Zora decides that she doesn't want to go to sleep and then the bedroom is filled with the chaos of us trying to get her tired enough to lay down.
I will say that sharing a bed is lovely for me even though I do miss being able to stretch out and be intimate with my husband in the actual bed ! Like you said though, its only a short time and I want to enjoy baby snuggles while I can get them.
Milla said…
The cutest. At our house, we usually go to sleep at different times, Charlie first, me later. I take my tinctures and medicines to bed, read a little before turning out the lights and say a prayer when I remember. Kettu sometimes sleeps with us, but our cats are all about the outdoors these days.
Tera said…
I envy a Mommy that can get out of bed. I still can't, August wakes up no matter how quiet I am within 30 minutes. So I stay in bed, while she hugs me with her lil arm and she still nurses off and on. I manage to get online to pass the time. Reading means lights and that wakes her up but I can still do a Kindle...She is so independent all day long, but never at night. It's just for a few short years.
mary said…
i tried to comment on this a week ago, but i'm learning that my ipad + commenting = clusterfuck. those other words disappeared, but one thing i do remember writing is that i can def attest to your prettiness in your nightgown, having witnessed it first hand :). and i LOVE the pic of darin and lucy, feet in the face. fern is still mostly sleeping with us, eschewing her big girl bed for the big family bed, but it'll all come to an end soon...our king size bed seems much smaller with those five year old long legs that like to thrash around in the night.

our night time ritual is one of the most consistent things in our family life. we do after dinner clean-up and (if we're lucky) fern cleans her room. then if it's not too late, it's the after dinner walk around the ranch. then shower, brush teeth, jammies and three stories. then we turn out lights and bedtime jail begins...or at least that's what it feels like to me if she doesn't fall asleep right away. once she's out, it's my last chance of the day to squeeze in some me time and remember who i am when i'm not a mom. :)

also, this post really makes me miss you. oxxo

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