Dear Maggie

Dear Maggie,

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Hey Kid.  You know what?  You’re very cute when you wake up from your naps in the middle of the afternoon.  And if I could see clearly at 11PM, I’d bet you’re really cute then too.  And at 1AM, 2:30AM, 4:30AM, and 5AM.

You and I had a really good thing going when you were eight weeks old.  Do you remember what that was?  You would go to sleep at 6 at night and sleep until 6 in the morning.  All night!  You wouldn’t wake up once!  And you did that all the way up until you were six months old.  At some point, you just kind of lost that ability to sleep for longer than 4 hours at a time.  And now….well, now, you can’t seem to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.  Funny, right?

The irony of you having a three hour nap in the middle of the afternoon today is not lost on me.  Not one bit.  If I had known you would have slept that long, I might have tried napping myself.  Instead, I drank two more cups of tea while working on some marketing stuff.  No big deal….just doing my thing.  On less than four hours sleep.  Again…..

So, let’s make a deal, okay?  Tonight, you go to sleep at 7 and stay that way until the next morning.  I wouldn’t even mind a 5AM wake up call (I miss the 5AM club and my awesome power hours!) if it meant that you slept straight through.

Love and kisses,

Your mama

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No sleep. Again.

A few months ago I posted a question on my Twitter feed to moms and dads.  Would you prefer A) a full night of uninterrupted sleep or B) the ability to grocery shop without kids.

The majority of responders, including myself, opted for grocery shopping.  I never realized, before having kids, how lovely it is to peruse the aisles of a grocery store in peace and quiet.   To not have to return random junk food that had been snuck into the cart three aisles ago.  To not deal with the mad dash from the back of the store up to the bathroom at the front of the store for the third time since we arrived, a mere 45 minutes earlier.  Avoiding the meltdown in the snack aisle as I pick up the apple sauce that is inconveniently stocked beside the chocolate pudding (damn you, marketing geniuses!).  Grocery shopping on my own is pure bliss.

However, after a week of continuous midnight wake up calls, I would like to withdraw my vote and opt for a full night of uninterrupted sleep.  A few nights in a row would be even better but I would settle for just one at this point.  Last night I was up five times with Maggie.  FIVE times.  She didn’t wake up that many times when she was a newborn.  And she’s just so AWAKE when she’s up at that hour.  What could possibly possess a 16 month old child to need to be AWAKE at 10:30, 11:45, 2:15, 3:30 and 5:30?  She’s not teething.  She’s not hungry.  She’s just awake.  Very very awake.

And when she’s up for the day at 7, she’s up.  And happy.

I wasn’t so happy.  I was downright tired.  It took me halfway through a shower before I could even open my eyes.  And on the way to dropping the kids at daycare and school today, the light was actually hurting my eyes.  As I write this I’m on my second cup of tea, already heating up the water for a third.  Mmmmm, tea.

While I don’t want my kids to grow up any faster than they are designed to, I would love it if there was just more sleep.  I do remember what it’s like to wake up refreshed and energized but that memory is fading.  I realize that she will sleep through the night soon enough.  My other kids do and they aren’t that much older.  I know the light is there at the end of the tunnel, it’s just so faint!

On a more positive note, I saw this on Facebook this morning, and it made me laugh.  So, I thought I would share because I know there are lots of other moms out there who are in the same boat.

Best Coffee Cup Ever.

Best. Coffee. Cup. Ever.

I’m struggling

It’s 8:55PM and I should be on my way to bed.  But I’m not tired. I have no idea why I’m not tired because I have averaged four hours sleep the last three nights.  I’m not tired at bedtime but I am struggling during the day.

Maggie’s sleep strike has now gone on three nights.  She goes to down to sleep okay but by 11PM she’s up.  And I mean UP.  Awake and happy.  Awake and nursing.  Awake and crying.  We just cycle through those different awake modes and after three hours, I want to join her in the crying fits. Literally I can be found in the fetal position beside her crib, with my hand reaching up to her because I don’t have the energy to stand anymore.  She’s only in her crib because she won’t fall back asleep in our bed.  The tossing, turning, and kicking gets to be too much.  So we move into her room in the hopes of that her own bed will be better.  It isn’t.

Once she does pass out from pure exhaustion (I think), I collapse into bed, only to be woken within an hour to her cries again.  It’s one three long frustrating nights.

So, I’m struggling.

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The silver lining though is that I had every reason to justify a two hour work session at a Starbucks this afternoon.  I was almost giddy.  Me.  My Mac.  My tea latte (oh yes, I had no guilt over the sugar or caffeine today, let me tell you!).  Oh, and no kids.  NO KIDS.   Two hours dedicated to planning out 2014 in our office.  Each event, seminar, and special day are now organized and I have to say it feels good.

We’re pretty excited because 2014 is our 25th year in business in Barrie.  That’s pretty awesome (imaginary high fives all around)!  While I haven’t been adjusting for 25 years, our office has been serving Barrie with exceptional chiropractic care for a quarter century.  In anticipation, we are putting together some exciting and unique ways to commemorate the milestone.  It’s my job to make sure that all comes together smoothly.  I’m on it.

So, It’s now 9:15 and I can feel my eyes starting to droop.  I’m officially off to bed.  And hoping against all hopes that Maggie chooses to sleep through the night.  Or at least a seven hour stretch.  Otherwise I’m going to take up permanent residence at my local Chapters.

Books + Starbucks = happy (caffeinated) mama.

Sleep strike

So, if you’re just tuning in, I’m a mom of three amazing kids.  One of those three amazing kids is Maggie, who is ten months old.   When Maggie was just eight weeks old she slept through the night for the first time.  The trend continued until she was six months old, which mean that for four glorious months I slept through the night.

I could get up and enjoy my morning power hour on my own.

I could go to bed at ten knowing that I would get a solid seven hours sleep without interruption.

I could drink a glass of wine without worrying about feeling groggy in the middle of the night.

I could even get up to pee whenever I had to and not worry about creaky floors or a toilet flush making too much noise.

Four glorious months.

When Maggie started teething, that blissful well-rested state violently came to an end.  She decided one night that continuous sleep was not necessary.  She would get up once, twice, or even three times a night.  And because I am so good at creating really tasty, satisfying breast milk, I seem to be the only one who can get her back to sleep.  (What I would give for my husband to be able to breast feed!)

I remember when she was first born I wrote a post all about how while I was exhausted with newborn sleep schedules, I rather enjoyed our midnight feedings.  There are time I really do still feel that way.  I relish the quiet time while the world is silent around us.  I still talk to her about the future, about how great she is, and about what I hope for her in life.  And as she drifts off back to sleep, it puts a smile on my face because there is such a sweet innocence about it.

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Last night, however, was a whole other story.  She looked sweet but here was nothing innocent about her sleeping pattern.  At 6 this morning, I sat on our couch, exhausted and bewildered, with a cup of tea in my hand  and complained to Tom about her sudden sleep strike.  She chose to just not sleep from 2AM-5AM for no apparent reason.  And she wasn’t even upset.  She was happy.  Annoyingly happy.  She smiled, babbled, gurgled, cooed, and blew raspberries.  For three freakn’ hours.  It didn’t matter how many times I put her back down beside me into her sleeping position or got her to breastfeed or snuggled her in bed, she would not fall back asleep.  (Tom, by the way, was sleeping peacefully in the basement with our older two kids for a mid-week camp-out/sleep over)

I can handle 20 minutes of wake time but as it started to go on and we were chalking up hours of missed precious sleep, I grew increasingly frustrated.  To the point where for the first time in years, I contemplated just putting Maggie in her own room and let her sort out this sleeping thing on her own.  I don’t believe in letting a child cry it out at night.  I’ve tried it in the past, with Caleigh, and it literally felt like ripping my heart out of my chest.  I even tried to convince myself that it was okay for our child (which I now whole-heartedly know in my gut is wrong) and that she would learn.

So while at about the two hour mark, I really REALLY wanted to put her into her room and let her figure her way back to sleep….I knew there was no way I could actually go through with it.  Instead the two of us lay in my bed and I tossed and turned for the three hours until she finally, FINALLY fell back asleep.

Tonight as I write this post before going to bed, I wonder what the next few hours have in store for us.  I’m desperately hoping that the lack of sleep last night will allow her to sleep soundly tonight but I won’t hold my breath.  I know that she will eventually find her sleeping pattern again and make it through the night without needing to wake.  I’m not going to get hung up on when it’s going to happen.  Yes, it was lovely for those four glorious months.  I remember that well-rested-I-don’t-need-caffeine-lets-go-conquer-the-world feeling and I look forward to that feeling again.  Because I know that it will happen sometime in the next couple of years.   Until then, I will do my best to focus on that sweet innocent face that on a clear night, the moon highlights beautifully.