Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

In which I finally caved and said yes.

April 4, 2017

I had A Day with Miss Gracie yesterday. It was one of those golden days that I’m sure I’ll look back on a hundred times later.

It didn’t even start out all that extraordinary. I picked her and M. up from school. I dropped of M. and got Bee-girl from After-Care. The coordinator there loaded us up with cookies and desserts they had leftover from Panera – it pays to be a nice parent, you guys. And while we were driving, I told Gracie about my crazypantsbananatown day, and she told me about all the drama going down at her school. Something about a text-storm at 4 a.m. [good lord – yeah, if that continues, the phone is outta there] and then a bunch of smack being talked about her at school. I listened as baby girl told me all about it, and agreed (mostly) with how poised her responses were. Gracie’s doing fine. I’m parenting fine. All is well. …At least on that front. …For now.

Our evening…meh. It seemed pretty average. Bee had a headache, so she laid down for awhile. Gracie did her normal just-got-home things: played with the dog, changed into comfy clothes, texted all her friends. Told me more about all the drama. In fact, I remember quite a bit of her following me around as I tried to transition out of my day. Earrings were getting shucked, shoes getting put away, hair pulled back. Finally I told her I was changing and just stopped caring if she was in the room. Tell you what – as soon as I unbuttoned my slacks, that girl was gone.

We had a good dinner (shrimp scampi and salmon and garlic button croissants. And pretend we had a veggie) and the girls and I laughed our way through some household chores. And it was Bee who came and hung out with me in my room and watched TV with me; she and I started putting together the Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 Lego car. But then it was bedtime and Bee went to bed without a fuss (because: headache earlier) and I made Gracie come entertain me while I cleaned the kitchen. So I rinsed dished and loaded the dishwasher and recycled 93284032 cans and wiped the counters and cleaned the sink and checked on my pet ants, all while Gracie told me stories and more about her day. It made me think of when my mom would be cleaning the kitchen and ask me to entertain her. It’s a good way to sneak in some bonding time.

I should have sent her to bed after the kitchen was clean. But the wiseass I raised kept trying to convince me that we should flop down on my (comfy, comfy) bed and talk or watch Bones instead of cleaning. So I told her we could hang out in my room for a bit. She immediately flopped down on the bed and started making herself comfy while I got ready for the next day, picking out outfits and jewelry. Then I got the grand idea of letting Gracie help me to game out my outfit for my date on Friday. She adjusted a few things and I went with her decision, so we’ll see how it plays out. In between all of that, Gracie took alllllll the selfies. I’m sorry, World: there are no selfies left. Gracie took them all last night. Sheesh.

That’s when the begging began. About just staying right there and sleeeeeeeeping. I can count the number of times that child has slept in my bed, and two of them were after times she ended up in the trauma hospital.

I can’t believe I gave in.

I know the girl kicks in her sleep. No one wants to sleep with her on vacation because we know she is a restless sleeper, she snores, she drools, and she kicks. And coughs! I made the girl get up and take some cough medicine. God, I was tired by that point, but she thought it was Christmas morning, getting to sleep on the NASA technology mattress she’s in love with. Lights went off. And then the moving began. Over and then the other way, and shuffle this way, and that arm… It was a nightmare! I put a hand on Gracie’s upper arm. Told her rather firmly to stay still (because the girl was out – dang, she can sleep!) and she stopped.

So I did get some sleep after all. My little girl is growing up so fast, it’s nice to have those moments – or an afternoon of moments – while we can. Even if those mean I have to deal with a bonkers teenager who sleeps like monkeys are jumping on the bed.

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Well…that’s one way to cure it.

March 27, 2017

Have I mentioned? In the midst of everything else going on (or maybe because of it), I’ve had a bit of insomnia. Or, I did…until last night happened.

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day. It was scattered. The girls had church, during which I took the most glorious nap. (Napping hasn’t be a problem for my insomnia. And yes, I can hear you: but not napping has no effect on whether or not I sleep at night) When the girls came home, they had lunch, and worked on a few chores.

Oh, and that’s when I might have mentioned to them that it was supposed to tornado on our heads later. Our tor:con was 5 and, yeah. Not really happy about it, but at least it wasn’t all day? I had things to do!

So the girls looked at the sky and shrugged their shoulders and moved on with their afternoons. Bee worked on laundry, Gracie went to Costco with me [she had requested, by the way, that we now call her The Man Of The House because she is the strongest and could move the giant dog food bag by herself]. Then we went home, unloaded the car and looked at the sky again.

Not much going on.

So I went for a run, spent my energy, showered, sent the girls through their showers early, in case it was storming later, and checked the radar. Yeah, there they were – storms off to our west. Just about the same time that I saw the storms on the radar, my weather radio went off with a tornado watch. And then a severe thunderstorm warning for counties north and south. I couldn’t tell by the radar, but it looked possible that the storms would split and miss us. So just in case…

I took a quick poll and decided to order pizza. The good kind I had to go pick up. Which meant I would just miss the storms coming back. At least, I would if the line held.

Of Bee and I went. We grabbed our goodies and headed back. The wind was up, the clouds were gray, but nothing terrible. We ate our pizza undisturbed.

Well – not really. The NOAA weather alarm went off every few minutes. Everyone else was getting slammed with storms but us! So I read my book and shut off the alarm every time it went off, but those times were slowing down.

And that’s when it happened – I put my head down on my bed for just for a moment. I even left my finger holding my page in my book. I just needed a ten-minute nap.

My “ten minutes” was interrupted some untold time later by the weather radio. Gracie ran in and we listened. I told her I was just resting my eyes. I think she got the message by how sleepy I seemed when I was trying to shut off the beeping.

The alarm went off again, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which girl I talked to.Someone came in. We talked, I shut the alarm off, and I closed my eyes again.

When I opened them the next time, it was dark in my room. I looked at the clock. It was midnight. I got up and went out into the living room – Fenway was asleep, the kitchen was shut down, the locks all on, and the alarm was set. The girls did an awesome job getting the house shut down, even if they didn’t wake me up. Even the alarm clock in Bee’s room was turned on.

Yep, that’s one way to nap.

I must have needed it. I was exhausted. Too many nights where I wasn’t sleeping. Still! I can’t believe the girls had picked up and then shut down the house. They set the alarm and did everyone a grown-up would do. Well – almost. They didn’t turn on the outside light before setting the alarm, but I bet they didn’t even know I did that. I was so proud of them!

I asked them this morning if they really went to bed at 9pm (normal bedtime) and they swore they did. I asked them why they didn’t wake me up and reassured them that they are allowed to wake me. Bee says she opened the door at bedtime and said “Mom?” once. I didn’t move. So she shrugged her shoulders (again) and just went to bed.

After checking on the house at midnight, I went back to bed and slept until 5a. Not bad. I went to bed three hours earlier than I would have, and only got up one hour earlier. And all of those hours were filled with sleep!

The other funny bit is that after an entire day of staring at the sky and being “excited” (uh, “anxious”, Katie – get it right), I slept through the whole thing! Bee said it never stormed, and Gracie said it was just windy (which explained why the extra security pole was wedged under the back door). I missed the wind and the storms missed us. But not everyone – my phone was lit up with messages and tweets about hail storms and thunderstorms and everything else. Uhhh…glad I’m not northeast? Because it sounded unfun. You know – as I WAS SLEEPING!

I shouldn’t brag too loud about that, or this sleep thing will disappear!

Talk about heavenly peace.

November 7, 2012

Every day I’m faced with reminders that my babies aren’t even close to being little any more. In fact, they are closer to being tweens than they are toddlers. From the eye-rolling to the whining to the hair-fixing to the dreadful taste in Disney radio tweenaged music, the evidence hits me all the time. I recently had to dig through pictures from when the girls were 18-months and 3 years old, with their pudgy little legs and their dimpled hands and ohmygod the cheeks! I nearly cried. My kids are definitely big kids now; I can barely see the chubby little toddlers hiding in their big-kid bodies.

But last night… oh my heart, last night. Bee had a headache and had gone straight to bed without whining or fussing. She didn’t even want the light on. When I put Gracie to bed thirty minutes later, Bee started whining because Gracie wanted to listen to a CD. I made sure the music was low, soothed Bee and rubbed her back, and thought she fell back to sleep.

Ten minutes later, just as I shut off the television and was thinking about climbing into bed with my re-read of The Help, I heard the girls’ door open. Poor sleepy-eyed Bee was trying to hold back her tears, her little chin wobbling. “I still have a bad, bad, bad headache,” she said.

Bee and I have this thing – no matter how hot-tempered I am, even if I’ve just yelled at her for the 30th time to get back in bed, if she comes out to the living room and asks to snuggle, I do it. Happily. Don’t ask me why I’m able to keep my temper in check then, but not other times. Maybe it’s because I remember snuggling against my mom’s fuzzy yellow robe when I was very, very young. Maybe it’s an overwhelming desire for my kid not to have more bad memories than good. Who knows? But it’s our thing. And last night, she activated the superpower.

So Bee climbed into my lap, I tucked her head against my shoulder, and started rocking her just the littlest bit. Her big-kid legs (and even bigger feet) were dangling way past my lap and over the couch cushion, but the rest of her was tucked up against me, almost like it used to be. I expected to cuddle for a few minutes, wait til she was sleepy-ish, and then bring her back to bed like I do when we cuddle. But then my Bee-baby fell asleep. In my arms. I heard her breathing even out and I sat there for the longest time, still rocking, trying to remember how many years it’s been since once of my babies had fallen asleep in my arms. Three? Four? My girls fight bedtime with ever fiber of their being – they always have – and if they’re up, they’re on the go. I haven’t felt the miracle of lulling a girly to sleep in so, so long.

Anyone here saying that isn’t a miracle is not a parent.

After ten or fifteen minutes, when Bee was completely zonked and I was on my way, I stood up and carried her to bed. I tucked her in without injuring either of us (praise Jeebus) and then crawled into my own bed to read my book. It was just a few moments in the middle of a hectic week, but they were perhaps the most calming I’ve felt in ages.

Sometimes you have to pat yourself on the back.

November 8, 2010

Otherwise entitled: I win! Ahem. Yes. Well, don’t worry about the gloating – but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I do get to gloat. Want to know why? Of course you do! For you are my captive audience.

See, I had kind of forgotten that this was the weekend when Daylight Saving Time ended and we got to fall back into our beds for another hour. In fact, if the very nice person at work hadn’t reminded us in her weekly Spanish Inquisition of demanding inquiring who would be out this week, I might have made the unpardonable faux pas of showing up to work an hour early this morning. (Oh, I kid. I would have figured it out when I was checking the football games. And when my cable box and cell phone corrected themselves. I love technology!) But the point is that the clock change was on my mind when I went home Friday evening.

That’s when I came up with my plan. My very evil, genius Mom plan.

The girls and I had a somewhat sedate movie night. I tucked them into bed. I watched most of the barely lukewarm “Bounty Hunter” with Jennifer Aniston, and then before I went to bed, I set the girls’ clock back one hour. Ta da! TheyWhoRiseAtUngodlyHours have been trained to wait quietly in their room until the clock reads 7-0-0. I would get to sleep until 8 a.m.! BWA-HA-HA!

Oh. Wait a minute – sometimes the urchins like to wake me up three or four times to make sure I’m not sleeping just before their clock strikes 7. And that Gracie sure is sneaky-sharp. So I changed my clock too, so she wouldn’t notice the discrepancy – and then spent half the night trying to figure what time it was really. Me=not so bright. But my evil plan worked, so ha ha all over you! I WIN!

And I won Saturday night and Sunday morning when they got to stay up “late” (according to the living room clock) and still slept in on Sunday. And I won on Sunday night when I finally explained Daylight Saving Time and put them to bed at 7:00 p.m., because their bodies felt like it was 8 p.m. – and lord, did they. They were cranky and ready.

I was smug and full of Mom Win righteousness…right up until 6:15 this morning when they came barreling into my room, all. full. up. on. sleep. Good lord, I have never seen more bouncy, more awake, more HUZZAH LET’S YELL AT MOM BECAUSE WE ARE SO AWAKE! children in my life. Happy and talking and energy at that hour? Kinda kills me. Mom fail.

But that’s okay. Mondays are set up for little failures. And I did get to sleep in all weekend. I win!

Oh, why don’t you just go away.

October 22, 2009

Sleep has always been a fickle friend of mine. I love sleep. Luuuuuuurve it. I want to marry it and have 8,000 of its babies. I think sleep has figured this out, though. It seems to know when I’m stalking it and then it starts avoiding my calls and stops hanging out at its usual haunts. And then, then, its gangsta friend Big Bad Insomnia starts stalking me.

I hate insomnia.

I don’t have to wrestle with it very often. I’ll go through a bout of it – usually when I’m stressed or thinking too much or questioning existence – every few months or sometimes as infrequently as once or twice a year. When I do get it, though, it’s a tough bugger to shake off. The panicky feeling of whether or not I’ll be able to sleep only makes it worse.

At least, though, I have (what I consider) to be the “good kind” of insomnia: Delayed Sleep Insomnia. Our dear friend Wiki refers to it as “Onset Insomnia” and, ever helpful, points out that it is often associated with anxiety disorders. (You don’t say.) Terminal (or Late) Insomnia, on the other hand, is often associated with clinical depression. At least with my insomnia, once I fall asleep that first time, I’m golden. Some nights it takes an hour, some nights three or four. But once I trick myself into letting go and floating off, I won’t have another thing to worry about…until the next night. But those early-wakers, man, they never know if they’re going to fall back to sleep or not. I can just imagine how it would be when they woke up on any given night, wondering if this would be the night they would maddeningly lie awake for hours, or if they would harmlessly fall asleep in just minutes. That would just mess with my head. My own insomnia has its worries, but of the two poisons, it’s the one I’d pick.

I’d rather not deal with it at all, to tell you the truth. Some nights, I just lie there and play the cards I’m dealt; I figure that even if I only get four hours of sleep, at least I’ll be tired enough to sleep the next night. Some nights, I “don’t deal with it” by giving in entirely. In fact, I have a sliding scale of “not dealing with it” in that way. If it’s just a teensy little worry that I won’t be able to sleep, I might partake in a glass of wine or two. (Shoosh, you in the back. I do know that some experts say that wine could exacerbate my sleeplessness. It makes me sleepy as soon as I stop drinking.) If matters seem a little more dire and I have time to plan, I might take a Benadryl. If there’s less time to plan, then I use Tylenol PM. (Naturally, because Benadryl makes me bounce off the wall for a few hours whereas Tylenol PM has a more immediate effect.) If all of these means are exhausted, I’m at the mercy of that gangsta bitch, Insomnia.

Some of my friends have suggested I try some Lunestra. They’ve had good results. To be honest, it sounds perfectly lovely. But the last doctor’s visit I made was to request a few sedatives because I’m afraid of flying. If I follow it up with a request for a sleeping aid, I’m afraid I’ll be met by cute little gents with very pretty butterfly nets. So maybe I’ll try to hold out for awhile. I think I can manage: I had a bout of insomnia for several nights last week and have been sleeping fine since. Then again, this week has been incredibly, over-the-top stressful, smattered with not a little bit of (wait for it…) anxiety. So we’ll just see how the sleep goes tonight, shall we?

To sleep, perchance to regress.

August 31, 2009

I am tired, yo. I shouldn’t be; it was my “off” weekend (which is to say the girls were at their dad’s) and so I should be caught up on my sleep. I should be, but what really happened was that my IO invited me to a mutual friend’s house for swimming, drinking and football (Go Pats!) and then we both ended up at my house. So, not so much with the restful sleeping. Oh, get your minds out of the gutters! What I meant was that living alone has certain advantages, like having the bed all to yourself and, you know, covers. Then on Saturday night, I went out to meet the Group of Six Five – girlfriends from ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed. We met for drinks and while I still got home before midnight, there was lots of drinking and then I might have stayed up a little later reading horror stories. So, yeah, not so much with the restful sleeping.

And now the girls are back. The girls are back and my chances for sleeping are pretty low. As in, dim to none. You see, Bee has done a bit of regressing lately. She’ll be up and down for a good hour after I put her to bed, crying her poor little heart out. She’ll say she wants her bear, or Gracie to come to bed, or me to lay down with her – any number of things that sound like good excuses to come get me. And then she’ll wake up anywhere from once to five times a night crying for no reason whatsoever. She goes to bed at 7 p.m. – a reasonable hour for a three-year-old who doesn’t nap, I think. And she is cranky and tired and ready for bed…she just doesn’t want to go. I don’t know if she’s afraid and prone to nightmares like I have always been or if she’s just playing me.

Which is really the reason for the post – I need some ideas. I’ve tried letting her keep a book in bed as long as she doesn’t cry; I’ve tried asking Gracie to go to bed earlier in hopes that the company would help Bee; I’ve tried lying down with her every time she’s asked; and I’ve tried sticker/reward charts again. That one might be working, but I just started it Thursday night, so I’m loathe to declare it a success after just one night. (And a half, really, since she went to be an hour ago and hasn’t made a peep.) I guess we’ll wait and see – in the meantime, flood me with ideas and float up a prayer for some sleep at Casa de Katie, mkay?

Quote of the day

August 30, 2009

Bee, as I was tucking her in to bed: “Fireworks please, Mommy.”

Me: “… Huh?”

Bee: “Fireworks!”

Me: <Look of utter confusion>

Bee: <patting her face all over> “Fire. Works. Fireworks. FIREWORKS.”

Me: <Dawning comprehension…sort of.> “Oh, you want five thousand kisses, like the other night when I sneak-attacked you?”

Bee: “Yes!” <sticks her cheeks out for the attack> “Fireworks!”

It took me 30 years to learn to blame my wardrobe.

January 7, 2009

My poor girls. This has been a tough week for them. Coming back to Mom’s house, going back to school, getting back on schedule and back into our groove. The mornings have been toughest on them. Bee has never been a morning person. For awhile there, I had to wake her up at 9 a.m. on the weekends. Now she’ll sleep until a more moderate 8 a.m. But my Gracie is what I like to call a “conditional” morning person. She’s bouncy and happy and up at the crack of dawn – if you let her wake up on her own, that is. If I wake her up at 6:30 a.m., she’s a bear. If I let her be, she’ll wake up at 6:35 a.m., happy as a lark. Naturally.

 

After two weeks of holidays and late nights and sleeping in, waking up the girls this week has not been my favorite thing to do. In fact, I’ve sorta hated it. The first morning I had to literally drag Gracie out of bed and separate her from her pillow. (more…)

Wicked or weary – either way, I’m covered.

August 12, 2008

Lord, am I tired. I shouldn’t be – I was in bed by 10 p.m. the past two nights – but I am exhausted.

Saturday, after the big reveal, my sister Kim and I went to get the kiddos from their dad’s house. Then we went home and surprised them with their other aunt and uncle. (Gracie is never going to believe me ever again when I tell her Auntie Kim isn’t coming over.) After the girls got over their shyness, they ran around like maniacs and wore us all out. Then I brought them back to their dad’s and we were all going to go out. And really? Saturday night I could have. But they had all been up since 3 a.m., so we ordered pizza and made a liquor run and then we played board games and laughed until the wee hours of the morning.

I should have slept late on Sunday, but who can sleep with people in the house? I was getting up anyway when I heard my coffee pot start for the third time in two minutes; I thought I should start real coffee before it exploded (more…)

End of an era.

July 26, 2008

As much as I’ve been complaining about the Up-and-Down Bedtime Brigade, what I’ve really been afraid of is what would happen when Bee was supposed to sleep in on the weekends.

 

You see, Bee used to be a great sleeper. She would go to bed between 6:30p and 7p (don’t hate me), and sleep the entire night through until I woke her up for school. Even then, she would cry “Seep, Mommy! Seep!” Poor pitiful thing, I knew just what she meant. On the weekends, she would sleep until at least 8:30a, and more often than not, I had to wake her up at 9a (now you can hate me). I had it good. Gracie might have woken me up three or four times starting at 6a, wondering when she could get up to watch television, but at least I knew I could drift in an out on the couch or drink my coffee at the computer alone for a few hours.

 

Did you notice how I said she used to be a good sleeper? (more…)