Archive for the ‘Sleep Deprivation’ Category

Sleep… or Lack Thereof

09 Oct

I have always described Koren as a “crappy sleeper.”  It’s true.  Unlike his sister, who has been known to sleep through the house alarm, Koren is a light sleeper, whose sleep cycles seem to include multiple “Wake up” modes.  He didn’t sleep through the night until he was 3, and even then it was only temporary.  At age 4, he’s up 1-3 times per night, either making his way down to our room or calling to us from the top of the stairs.

He’s very fragile in the middle of the night, but most of the time he doesn’t really need anything other than to go potty – which he is perfectly capable of doing by himself.  His only reason for waking us up is more or less that he wants company – a cuddle before bed and someone to tuck him in.  Once we tuck him back in, he goes back to sleep without any resistance.

And while that’s kind of cute during the day time, I have very little patience for it at 11:45pm, 1:30am, 3:15am and 5:45am.

We’ve tried a few different ways to get him to sleep through the night, but as of yet have been unable to find a currency that will motivate him enough to change his behavior in this particular area.  Positive reinforcement only works sometimes, and even then only temporarily.  Lately we’ve told him he’s going to lose a marble* for every time he wakes us up.  We did specify that if he has a scary dream or is actually sick or hurting then that doesn’t count. Coincidentally, the frequency of “bad dreams” has gone up exponentially over the past week.  :-/

Last night it was the same old thing – I awoke in the middle of the night to tearful cries for “Mama!” at the top of the stairs.  After instructing him to go to the bathroom (WHY does it never occur to him to just do that first?  If he would just GO to the bathroom instead of bursting into tears at the fact that he’s awake, he could probably manage to get himself back to sleep.  But it’s like some kind of disconnect between the part of his brain that wakes up because he’s uncomfortable and the part that commands action to resolve the discomfort.)

After he had gone potty, quit crying, and been herded back to bed, I informed him in no uncertain terms that he had lost a marble and that waking everyone in the house up in the middle of the night for no reason was unacceptable.  That everyone needs their sleep, INCLUDING HIM.  This was not news to him.  We had this same discussion before bed.

As I was leaving his room, a small voice stopped me.

“Mama… do you know why I called you?”
“Because I love you.”

Ok, that?  THAT?????  IS NOT FAIR.

As if my ever-loving sanity wasn’t already hanging in the balance at this moment (sleep debt is not my friend, which is why I was pretty much half crazy and socially inept while my kids were infants), I JUST SCOLDED MY KID FOR REQUESTING AFFECTION IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND HE HAS TO GO AND GET ALL STICKY GOOEY SWEET ABOUT IT?

And yes, he did get an extra hug and cuddles because I am a sucker and he has my number.

Today marks two months since Xander went to be with the angels.  So while I sit here feeling sleep deprived and grouchy over the fact that I am sometimes grossly outmaneuvered by two little people (I am the adult, I should be better at this!!), I can’t help but think of parents who would give anything to be woken up in the middle of the night by their crying child who just wants to cuddle.

And it leaves me feeling kind of selfish.  Because as my mom says, “this too will pass.”  (Granted, she also said that when he was one, and it was a little more believable then.)  But whenever it does pass, I will probably long for those days when he wanted nothing more than to crawl up into my lap and rock for a while.

But rest assured that when he’s grown and has his own adorable crappy sleeper to deal with, I won’t pass on the opportunity to say HA!  IT’S YOUR TURN NOW.

*Our behavior/chores/rewards system uses marbles as a kind of currency.  I thought I had already written about it, but I can’t find it.  “Losing your marbles” in this house refers to the consequence for poor behavior… though if I ever do lose MY marbles, it might be closely linked to the kids losing theirs.


How to Lose a Tooth… Literally

29 Jul

I am, once again, up in the middle of the night thanks to a son who is determined not to sleep through the night until he’s 14.  Thank God I have one kid who sleeps like a rock, or I’d be guano crazy by now.

It also doesn’t help that the dog’s stomach has been gurgling louder than a freight train for hours, and he wants to go outside repeatedly at 2:30 in the morning. Once you trek upstairs/outside 5 times, sleep starts to elude, so I guess I might as well get some blogging done.  Though I can’t guarantee coherency in this post, due to my current state of mind.

It’s been hanging on by a thread for a week, but Kaelin was finally able to pull her second front tooth out tonight.  Or would that be last night, as it’s now 4:30am?

She and Jens spent about 45 minutes in the bathroom with floss tied around her tooth, basically pep-talking her into making the pull.  She’s tried twice before to yank it out, without success, but it was definitely ready tonight.  A couple of excerpts from the lengthy conversation:

“Daddo, why did God make it so our teeth would fall out?”
“Because when you’re little you have a small head so you need small teeth.  But as your head grows, you need bigger teeth.”
“My HEAD is growing?”
(considering the implications of this) “Daddo… will I lose other parts of my head?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like my nose?  Will my nose fall off and I’ll get a new nose?”
“No, your nose just grows with your head.”
“Then why don’t my teeth grow?”
“Um… that’s a good question.”

“Daddo, Adam and Eve must have had lots of children.”
“Yes, they did.”
“Why do some people have lots of kids but you and Mama only have two?”
“Some people choose to have lots of kids, and some people decide that one or two is enough.”
“How can you choose to have kids?  Like, if you decide you want another kid, how do you get one?”
“…Have you given your tooth a good yank recently?  Let’s see if it’s any looser.”

In the end, she worked up enough gumption to yank the tooth.  It came flying out, bounced once on the floor and off Jens’ knee… AND DISAPPEARED.

We spent 20 minutes scouring the bathroom and Jens’ clothing for the tooth, with no success.  It had vanished into thin air.

In desperation, Jens removed the towels hanging on the door.  He had previously shaken these same towels, but apparently the tooth had managed to wedge itself so far inside one of the towels that it had to be removed from the wall to dislodge it.  The tooth fell to the floor and Kaelin pounced on it.


This is Kaelin’s 5th tooth out.  As she was dabbing the bit of blood from her mouth after the extraction, she turned to Jens.

“Uh oh, Daddo.”
“Here we go again…”

And with that, she wiggled a 6th tooth, which is in fact quite loose.  It’s a good thing her big teeth come in fast or my poor kid wouldn’t be able to eat.


You’re Invited to My Pity Party

03 Jan

Holy moly.  I’m pretty sure I was in high school the last time I was hit this hard and this long by a bug.  This sucker has taken a bat to the back of my knees and robbed me blind of all energy and focus (I have a collection of unfinished blog posts from the past few days).  As a bonus, I’ve had a temperature for 3 days straight, accompanied by the token chills, headache and lethargy.    Yesterday, I started “exceeding the recommended dose” of ibuprofen just to knock out the relentless headache that I’d had for two days.  Finally, some relief.  Oh, and then there’s the recurring cough that doubles me over and, I imagine, feels roughly like dousing my throat and lungs with Listerine.

The best part?  The kids have it too.  Koren is refusing to release his paci or froggy pillow during any part of the day, and just wants to lay on the couch wrapped up in my Snuggie.  Kaelin has been migrating back and forth between the couch and her bed.  She’s been very sweet, but pretty antisocial, which is really unusual for her.  Their temperatures have been ranging between 100° and 103.2°, depending on how recently they’ve had ibuprofen.

The fact that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in 3 days doesn’t help either.  I was out of bed tending to Koren EVERY. HOUR. Of the NIGHT. last night, except for one.  Naturally, the dog chose this one sacred gifted hour of sleep to run downstairs and start barking his head off.  He’s lucky that I don’t have the energy to string him up by his tail and hang him from the balcony.

At 6:45am, I finally brought Koren into my bed, where he fell asleep and stayed there until 9:15am.  Of course, his breathing was labored, so he got a lot more sleep than I did, but it was totally worth it.

Kaelin, who went to bed at 6pm last night, was up at 5:45am this morning complaining that her feet had fallen asleep and could I wake them up?  At 6:05am, she wanted to play on my phone, which I let her do, because OMG JUST KILL ME. (Sleep deprivation and me?  We’re not pals.)

The only good thing about having the whole family sick at once is that the kids don’t have any more energy than I do, which is a thousand times better than having them attack life with their usual gusto, while I drool on the couch.

So that’s where we are today.  While everyone else in the world is getting back into the daily routine after the holiday break, we haven’t left the house since Friday and basically resemble a bunch of slugs in a food coma.  Jens has been very helpful, despite his own recent sleep deprivation, and has been making juice, running errands, and dispensing medicine.  We both agree that it feels really weird to have him be the one doing the nursing.

On the bright side, I didn’t have to dose myself with ibuprofen just to take a shower today, so perhaps at least one of us is finally on the upswing (fingers crossed).  Also, so far we’ve had no trips to the ER or doctor, and I hope we can keep it that way because when does our per-person deductible reset?  That’s right, January 1st.  The same day we all got hit with the bug.  Also, the only doctor in town that took our insurance quit accepting it on December 15.

My New Year’s resolution was to keep the family healthier for the remainder of our time here.  And now I’d like to take a moment of silence to observe the first New Year’s Resolution death of the year.

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Posted in Health...or Lack Thereof, Sleep Deprivation



30 Sep

I find that my capacity for sympathy is inversely proportionate to the amount of energy my son drains from me throughout the day.

Today was a beating.

He’s teething and he’s got to be one of the worst teethers I’ve ever met.  He cried ALL. DAY.  He wanted to be held the entire day so that he could wail without ceasing DIRECTLY INTO MY EAR CANAL.  Nothing I did pacified him for more than 5 minutes.  He’s hungry, but apparently it hurts to eat because every time I give him something he refuses it and starts crying again.  I’ve given up on Baby Orajel because he’s not a fan of having his mouth numbed and it just makes him cry more.  I am officially WORN DOWN.

Consequently, I’m taking him to Mother’s Day Out tomorrow and letting his teachers deal with him until they call me to come pick him up because I NEED A BREAK, even if it’s only for an hour.

Jens appears to have developed an infection in his broken hand.  This was not a good evening for him to be running around filling prescriptions for antibiotics when the single thing that got me through the day was knowing that he could take Koren off my hands when he got off work.  So while I had enough self restraint and sense not to bitch about it, the level of fussing and pampering he received from me over his pain and injury was pretty low.

Koren has already woken up several times.  I can tell it’s going to be a tough night.  For him.  I’m turning off the baby monitor tonight.

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Posted in Jens, Just Shoot Me, Kids, Koren, Milestones, Parenting, Sleep Deprivation


Hey, Guess What?

16 Aug
  • I hurt myself from yawning too big.   I think I overstretched the tendon that connects my jaws or something.   I know.   I’m now in competition with Sammy Sosa for lamest injuries.   I wonder if Workers Comp covers that kind of thing.   It was the boredom brought on by my job that forced me to yawn, after all.
  • I dreamed that I had an affair.   With J.   No idea who I was actually married to in the dream.   But Jens’ conscience got the best of him at the last second and he backed out on me.   So I woke up guilty, bummed, grumpy, and horny.   I hate dreams.
  • After 4 years, my dog has just discovered that he has a penis.   He has been licking it for 48 hours straight.   It’s driving us crazy, especially since he sleeps in our room and he’s decided that licking himself is more fun than sleeping.
  • Don’t buy hair dye that costs less than $10.   Especially if you use white towels and don’t want to see it bleeding onto your towel 4 days after you’ve colored your hair.   Just saying.
  • Also, don’t believe the stuff on the box of cheap hair dye that says it comes with highlights and lowlights and multi-faceted color that doesn’t damage your hair.   Bollocks.
  • Tomorrow we close on the house we’re selling.
  • Tomorrow we’re supposed to close on the house we’re buying.
  • Yesterday we found out that the house didn’t appraise for near what we had agreed to pay for it, so now our financing is messed up.
  • The appraiser totally discounted the sunroom, which would have made up the difference in the appraisal price.   He refused to count it as part of the square footage of the house (as a previous appraiser had done) because it didn’t have duct work or something.   But since nobody else in the neighborhood has a sunroom, he couldn’t find “comps” so he just didn’t give it any value at all.
  • Because, you know, if nobody else has one then it must have been free to install.
  • Apparently if you can’t find one just like it then it’s easier just to pretend it doesn’t exist at all than to do some more research and assign a value based on an educated guess.
  • Lazy ass.
  • So we’ve asked the relocation company to lower the price on the house because it doesn’t make much sense to pay more than a house is actually worth.
  • But it’s a relocation company and it will probably take them a week to get back to us because when you have 150 middlemen, things don’t move too quickly.
  • And we don’t know what they’re going to say.
  • So we don’t know if or when we’ll be closing.
  • Annoying, since we’re supposed to move out of our house in 2 days.
  • Regardless, we have to disassemble and pack up our computer tonight or tomorrow, so I’ll probably be offline for a few days.
  • Bummer dude.

Random Tidbits

31 Jan

Y’all, I signed up to be a BeautiControl consultant. Say what???

Was I suffering from a bout of insanity? Probably. It was kind of an investment. I didn’t do it as a moneymaking opportunity (as someone who works in the corporate office of a network marketing company, I get enough of that on a daily basis). I don’t want to be that friend/relative.

I signed up just so I could get the discount. And since I’m not planning to make money with it, I don’t have a problem passing my discount on to anyone around me so my friends and family are actually excited that I’ve signed up. It probably helps that they don’t have to be afraid that I’m going to ask them to host parties every week.


I had an appointment this morning for a slimming body wrap. I’ve always wanted one of those and have never been able to afford one – but a gift certificate to a local spa actually made the body wrap an option.

So I showed up this morning for my appointment and was told the body wrap lady wasn’t in today and since my appointment was at the same time they opened for the day, they weren’t able to call me beforehand to let me know.

I don’t know why, but that really irritated me. I don’t have any idea what thought they should have done about it. It was just frustrating to show up and then have to turn around and go back home.


After the cops left last night (/early this morning) INWOCA finally managed to control his malfunctioning alarm. We were all too pleased to witness this final golden silence, but after listening to repetitions of 6 different alarm tones approximately 40 times over almost an hour, we were pretty much awake.

Fortunately, I was able to go back to sleep relatively soon, only to be awoken again by a screaming Kaelin at 3am at which point I made my recent habit of migrating into her room for the remainder of the night. I noticed at that point that J had still not returned to bed after being wakened by Idiot Neighbor. An improvement, really, since until last night she had been waking up at 2am. But still.

I don’t handle sleep deprivation too well. One thing J has learned about me over the last 5+ years is UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS IT APPROPRIATE TO DISTURB MY SLEEP. A sleepless night leaves me grumpy, angry, depressed, grumpy, mean and grumpy for the entire next day. Fortunately for everyone around me, Kaelin decided to lounge in bed with me from 7-9am this morning and we were both able to get some sleep. By “both” I mean me and Kaelin – J was never able to catch up on his sleep due to an extremely busy workload today. I don’t know how he does that.


Kaelin’s vocabulary is increasing every day. I asked her to say Grandmommy the other day and she said it. Once. Then it became “Gummy.” And then it became “Dummy.” We stopped there.

Current words now include (variations of) Mama, Daddo (her word for J), Jon, Iris, Papa, Grandpa, cheetah, puppy, kitty, diaper, butt, bee-bo (belly button), all done, baby, ball, bee, bupp (passifier – don’t ask), butterfly (sort of), hot, moo, duck, up, hi, bye-bye, please, eye, kiss, touch, button, banana, brush, blue, two and uh-oh.

There are probably more, but they’re not coming to mind right now. It’s harder than it looks to actually sit down and list out all the words your child says on a daily basis.

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Posted in Makes Me Grumpy, Milestones, Parenting, Sleep Deprivation, Stupid People, Such is Life


For the Love of God, Make it Stop

28 Jan

I’ve read about it happening to other families. I’ve heard the horror stories, the agony.

My heart went out to those who suffered and yet… there was always that part of me that thought it would never happen to me. Not to my family. This kind of tragedy was just too removed to ever affect me personally. I suppose that feeling of invincibility is natural.

It comes on suddenly and without warning, tearing into the unity and routine of peaceful family life. In an instant, the relationship within the core family unit is disrupted as the one you care so much about transforms into someone you hardly know. Weeks, months go by without relief, without respite.

The constant pain to your loved one is torturous to you both and seems especially to rear its ugly head at night. In the most heart wrenching of ironies, your loved one stubbornly refuses the very medicinal treatments that could alleviate the pain (even if only for a short time) as though you were trying to offer pure arsenic. As sleep evades you night after night, the frustration rips at the very fibers of your being and you find yourself mourning for the way things were.

The life you previously knew and had under control has been ripped from beneath your feet like a slippery rug. What once was is no more and you are now sprawled on the floor, desperately trying to grasp to any small fibers that may remain of the life you once took for granted. But it is no use. What is done is done and there is no hope but to wait out the storm that seems to ravage your dwelling for eternity.

The monster has a name, which will evermore send shivers down my spine: Molars.

Kaelin has two that have broken through, and several more on the way. My predictable, cooperative child has completely forsaken her amiability when it comes to sleeping. She is unable to sleep unless I am in the room. And I don’t mean go to sleep (though that is the case as well). She is unable to stay asleep. Even if she’s snoring, she wakes up the second my presence is no longer in the room, and starts screaming hysterically. This vicious cycle starts at about 11:30pm and continues until morning.

As you can imagine, our household hasn’t exactly been overdosed with sleep as of late so, um, I make no guarantees about the coherence of this and/or future posts.

Just sayin’.


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26 Jan

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Posted in Feeling, Makes Me Grumpy, Parenting, Sleep Deprivation, Stupid People, Work