Category Archives: sleepless in seattle

The Sleep Post

I’m partially writing this post because y’all might care about it.  The other reason is because that way someday Future Kat can consult Past Kat about this matter.

You guys. It is not a secret that we have a crappy sleeper.  I distinctly remember one day when Critter was about 6 weeks old and he had gone a full six hours without sleeping and was acting like a maniac.  He had not once shown any drowsy signs.  It was at that point that I accepted that he was not one of those babies who could fall asleep on a dime or sleep anywhere and I got really aggressive about putting him down for naps because he was never going to do it himself.

He only naps for 20 – 50  minutes at a time.  Four times a day.

Every night from weeks six through ten or eleven he screamed hysterically from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.  And even though he was inconsolable, we still powered through our newfound bedtime routine (books, songs) and we never put him down or let him cry alone.

We followed his lead on all matters of sleeping and not sleeping because he was the boy king.

And so it goes.

I thought we were going to start sleep training at six months.

We started two weekends ago.  At four months.

How did we get to this place?  When we were at Critter’s four month appointment, I told our pediatrician that one night he slept for 8.5 hours and went 10.5 hours without eating.  I mentioned that we were working on night weaning and had been rocking Critter back to sleep if he woke up after two hours.  He seemed unphased by this change.  Since he is (very obviously) flourishing, she halted me and immediately cut to Cry It Out.

With that in mind, she’s the doctor who Knows Babies and she’s a pretty low-key person, so I trust. She suggested With Soothing. We ended up going Without Soothing, only because I know my child and nothing him enrages him more than soothing that does not involve being held and/or nursing. We also moved him from a Woombie (which he was trying to weasel his hands out of anyway OMG and was swiftly outgrowing) to a Swaddle Me Up because I felt it was only fair to sleep train if he could suck on his hands, even though he had yet to demonstrate that as a soothing skill to us ever. Anyway. How did it go?

First Night: Put down at 6:22 PM. 40 minutes of crying to fall asleep. Woke up 45 minutes later, took 15 minutes to settle. Slept until 11:00 PM. Complained for 15 minutes. Fell asleep. Woke at midnight. I fed him, changed his diaper, returned him to the crib. Cried for 45 minutes. Slept until 4:00 AM. Woke up, and complained until 6:00 AM.

Second night: Put down at 6:38 PM. Chatted for six minutes. Cried softly for six minutes. Went to sleep at 6:50 PM. Slept until 3:37 AM. Fed him, changed his diaper, put him back into the crib. Slept until 6:10 when I had to wake him up to feed him and change him so I could get out the door and go to work.

Third night: Put down at 6:46 PM.  Batted about.  Made some sort of noise.  Was asleep by 6:56 PM.  Woke up at midnight-ish.  Chatted with himself for ten minutes.  Went back to sleep.  Woke up at 4:15 AM. Cried.  Fed him, changed his diaper, put him back into the crib at 4:45 AM.  Went back to sleep at 4:55 AM.  Slept until 5:40 AM.

Third day: We were not going to start nap training immediately. Frankly, Critter usually nurses to sleep, I didn’t want our mothers to bear the burden of nap training during the week.  Then, on Tuesday, for his second nap, he was tired, but not ready to nurse and I was so torn about whether to rock him or whether to put him down and then I put him down and he cried for 17 minutes and then he was asleep.  I think this was probably the worst of the CIOs because I was alone, and as it was 9:30 AM, I did not have a beer in-hand.  Second nap involved 30 minutes of crying.  Apparently naps are harder?  Third nap was an hour of crying, no nap, and ended in being picked up and returning to bright spirits.

Fourth night: 10 minutes of crying.  Asleep at 6:51.  Picked him up out of bed for the day at 5:05 AM.

Fourth day: Since we accidentally started nap training on the third day, my mother-in-law had to helm the second full day.  He went down well for two naps and the third was a circus, but hey, that’s effort, right?

Fifth night:  One minute of crying, some wiggling  Asleep in 10 minutes at 6:55 PM.  Woke up at 3:28  Fed, changed, returned to crib at 3:47  No crying, lots of wiggling, asleep by 3:59 AM.  He woke for the day at 5:39 AM.

Fifth day: Put down for a nap at 7:27 AM.  Yowled when I put him down, stopped. Fell asleep at 7:31 AM.  Put down for a nap at 9:55 AM.  Fell asleep at 9:59 AM.  Put him down for a nap at 2:42.  Cried and fell asleep at 2:53.

Sixth night: Put down at 6:50.  Cried as Marcus left the room.  Stopped once he left.  Wiggled for 10 minutes.   Fell asleep at 7:00 PM.

And with that I’ll end the narrative as we are now at the beginning of week two.

What we learned: He needs a later bedtime because right now he is an Early Bird (5:00 AM wake) and depending on the day, he may be getting ready to drop his fourth nap but the success of this hinges upon him waking later.

The Best Part: We are more well-rested now than we have been for the past 19 weeks.  There is no way we could have done this sooner with this baby, but Marcus and I?  We’re both glad we were encouraged to try this out now.  We’re sleeping, he’s sleeping, and more miraculously, he now knows how to put himself to sleep.

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My Eyes Are Shut, I Cannot Sleep

Oh man, kittens.  Has it been a long time.

Way back in 2008 (AKA when The Blog was in its infancy), I had a terrible case of insomnia that carried through most of the summer and into October of my senior year.  It was atrocious enough that I created a category to commemorate my plight and wrote a little post about it.  What made it all the more painful was that by the time I was finally a month into Not Sleeping, I was so anxious and worked up about the prospect of bedtime and Not Sleeping that it was just impossible to get to the point of closing my eyes.  There was finally a day where I turned myself in at the doctor’s office with no hope of sleep in sight and they said, It will go away soon enough, and finally it did and life was bright and shiny and new again.

I was so thankful and I knew there would be a time where I would look back on those hellish months and think, Well, that was sort of awful but it’s over now.  And since the Olympics were in Beijing that summer, At least I got to watch all of the events live.

In the past year, I have had the best sleep of my life. We are talking Sleep For 10 Hours On The Weekends-style sleep.  And yet over the past few months, I have become increasingly sleep disrupted.  Waking up a few times during the night.  Logging the odd-four hours of sleep night.  Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and finding myself completely awake.

I try to stay away from my phone when this happens because even though the urge to scroll through Twitter and catch-up on the news is strong, I don’t want the light from the screen to give my body (or my circadian rhythm) any false impressions about what time it is or what we’re actually supposed to be doing.

This week, my body has pulled out all of the stops. I have consistently found myself awake between midnight and 2:00 AM and I Am Wide Awake For Several Hours.  I roll over, add and subtract blankets, count back from 1000, count up to 1000 and yet I cannot sleep.

All of this is to say that I am exhausted right now.  As I was telling Marcus tonight, I don’t even have the energy to deal with myself.  I so hope this cycle breaks soon, but who knows what tonight may bring.

Find the Nearest Couch

David Ben Gurion's Grave

This is me at David Ben-Gurion’s gravesite.

And, no, I’m not back with hoards of Israel stories yet.

Yes, I have them, but right now writing kind of seems like a chore.

Before I left, I decided to set up a heavy schedule of social activities to welcome myself home with.

Because…friends.

A really good concept, but as I was overcome with a migraine halfway through dinner with Katie, I think it’s safe to say that it was not the best in practice.

I still can’t hear out of my right ear (this was expected).  The antibiotic ear drops burn as they trickle through the perforation in my ear drum and down the back of my throat (again, also expected).

I am exhausted and annoyed and whiny and not the best version of myself right now.  This week almost seems more challenging than last week.

Or as Martha put it today, OMG everyone needs to go find the nearest couch and LIE DOWN.  DON’T MOVE.

Exhausted

image

Yesterday, I re-wrote my entire training schedule for this week.

And then I proceeded to run up a hill that measures about 1/2 mile.

6 times.

This morning I woke up at 4:45 AM to log five miles. 

When I got home from work, I made the other four.

I’ll have time to explain on Saturday.

Until then,  I’m going to tuck in for some sleep.

I think we can all agree that at this point it’s the best of all possible worlds.

It’s Wednesday

It’s Wednesday.

I know that’s totally obvious and a given.

But in all seriousness, did you realize that?  Because this morning, I woke up and wondered, where has all the time gone?

And then I proceeded to blow out my hair and dig a black blazer out of the back of my closet.

Keep calm and carry on.

Don’t lie, you’ve done the same.

I left the house at 7:00 AM and didn’t pull into the garage until 8:15 PM.

Time stops for no one.

Yes, some glorious things were involved (running long, walking around Lake Calhoun with Galina, eating cheese fries + hot wings and calling them a dinner).  But mostly, I’m just extremely exhausted.

Like last week, this has been the busiest week ever.  Chaotic.  Unrelenting.  Full of high expectations.

The good news = tomorrow is Thursday.

The bad news = tomorrow is not Friday.

The blanket burrito calls.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 = low, 10 = high) how is your week going?

Always In

Kittens, I feel like this week has been the longest week and the shortest week all at once.  Regardless, I’m glad that for all practical purposes, it’s basically over.

A girl can only survive in slacks for so long before they start to tear a hole in her soul.

Yes, that was rhyme-y.  My B.

Tonight, Martha (one of my bridesmaids) came into town for a conference, so she arranged for a girlfriend (translation: sorority sister)-rendezvous at Bacio.

Can we talk about the most perfect of all possible ways to wave goodbye to this wacky week of ours?  Because this was basically it.

Y’all know I’m always in for Bacio.  It’s my kryptonite, embodied in a restaurant.  Just name the date and time.  I’ll be there.

More importantly, I’m always in for anything that involves the mystically healthy, yet probably totally-terrible-for-you combination of red wine, a bread basket, a monster salad and the odd french fry.

Call it comfort food.  Call it a fail-safe.

All I can say is, sorry for partying.

This week, I’ve been enjoying some of the best sleep that I’ve had in a long time.  I mean, it’s not that I usually sleep poorly, but this kind of sleep?

Is a totally different animal.

Like, to the point where rolling out of bed this morning was extremely off-putting because I felt like I had exerted so much energy.  Sleeping.

Since I’m an 11/10 morning person, it was more than just a little bit weird.

In addition to all of this heavy sleeping, I’ve also been dreaming.  With a vengeance.  It’s almost as if to make up for all of the dreaming I don’t do, we really need to knock a couple out of the park every once in a while.

Dream interpreters: Does anyone know what it means for you to dream about having a terrible experience at a salon that does shellac/gel manicures in rural Minnesota (read: Cologne) while you’re waiting for a plate of cheesy hashbrowns?

Because so far, for me all signs are pointing to one hell of a mystery.

How prescient.

What’s your restaurant-kryptonite?

Are you a dreamer?

I know that everybody “dreams.”  But honestly, I remember my dreams SO rarely that it’s rather remarkable for me to be able to express any sort of coherent thought about what happened.

"Tribute" Shows

In the past few months, I’ve come to learn that I sleep better when I have some sort of quiet background noise. KOOL 108 would be my radio station of choice. Let’s get serious – everyone loves oldies.

But something that deeply mystifies me and disturbs me are these bizarre musical tribute-revues that are rolling through town. No, this is not me hating on tribute bands that play at the Medina Ballroom – that’s a totally different animal, which I kind of love the concept of.

I’m confused by things like the Billy Joel show “Movin’ Out”, or Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s latest, “Forever, Patsy Kline.” (Note: The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre is probably the cultural hub of the outer suburbs – why go to the city, when you can have that?) Neither actually feature the artist in question (instead you get random, unheard of actor X), and frankly, if I wanted to have the Billy Joel experience in all of its glory outside of going to a concert, I think I would just listen to my iPod.