Posted in Children, Insomnia, Television

Why Do I DO This to Myself??

My blog title and theme have everything to do with today’s post (“momsomnia” and “I Could Really Use a Nap”). You know how some nights, especially after a little too much caffeine consumption the day before, you just don’t feel like going to sleep? That you could happily sail through the midnight hours, watching Netflix episodes and reading until the wee hours before dawn?

I hate when that happens. 😛

I love it at the time, but the morning after is brutal. Last night, I thought I might try to go to bed as close to before-midnight as I could. Preferably still within the ten o’clock hour. Perhaps the eleven. I’ve been sleeping in a lot, which probably doesn’t help, but I thought that I could at least make an effort to get up before 6:30am.

Not so! First, I watched the last episode of season two of Sherlock on Netflix. It was frustrating and touching, all at the same time. I want to watch it again. Maybe the whole series again. (Hurry it up, BBC! Season three needs to come out SOON! Not that I’d be able to see it till it comes out on DVD, but whatever. The sooner the better!) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are my new favorite British male actors. I was delighted to see that Katherine Parkinson, one of my favorite female British actors, had a role in this last episode, though she was not an endearing character by any stretch. But I digress. If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet, YOU NEED TO.

It finished around 11:30-ish, and I was not yet tired. And my foreign-accent fix had not been sated. I decided to peruse my queue to see what I had available that wouldn’t take long, require much concentration (I love Psych and Eureka, but I really have to pay attention while watching), and had foreign accents. I’d already watched all The IT Crowd episodes available (starring the aforementioned Katherine Parkinson). And then my attention landed on McLeod’s Daughters, which I’d tried to watch once while feeding Beanie in the middle of the night, and couldn’t quite get into. It had been since recommended by someone as a great show, so I decided to give it another shot. 45-minute episodes meant I could get to sleep around midnight and still get enough hours to not feel like a total zombie when I woke up this morning.

THREE EPISODES LATER . . . Beanie had come running into my room around 1:30 (I think), very clingy. I couldn’t tell if he’d gotten up because he’d had a bad dream or because he was cold, but I couldn’t very well put him back to bed when he was being such an adorable snuggle bug, so I held him and finished watching the third episode. When that was over, I shut my computer, put it alongside the bed, and laid Beanie on Sweetie’s side of the bed (it’s empty while Sweetie is out of town 😦 ). I still didn’t feel tired, so I picked up a short Christian romance novel I’d started a couple days ago, intending to read a chapter or two and go to sleep.

TWO HOURS LATER . . . Beanie was taking his half of the bed out of the middle, kicking me in the kidneys, and I was finishing my book. I realized that birdsong had started up outside the window, so I looked at the sky was just beginning to get light, around 3:55.

I finished my book, got up, used the bathroom, repositioned Beanie so I could have more room on my side of the bed (especially since the cat takes up a quarter of my half, too), turned off my alarm, and fell asleep. Three and a half hours later, Pie came into the room and laid down at the foot of Sweetie’s side of the bed, thankfully quiet for a while. Then Beanie woke up. Then I got up to start making breakfast for everyone and COOOOFFFFFEEEEEEEEEEE for me. 🙂

I don’t feel too badly — right now, anyway — for having gotten so little sleep, but I’m sure tonight might be a different story. Maybe I’ll try to go to sleep right after the boys go to bed tonight. Maybe without another episode of McLeod’s Daughers and the closing chapters of the next Christian novel I picked up today . . .

Good luck with that, right? 😉

Posted in Anxiety and Depression, Children, Insomnia, Mommyhood

Growing Up

It was time to change the theme (and I was being picky, so I went with PLAAAAIN) and the title of this blog. My kids don’t really nap anymore. Well, Beanie does, when he passes out on the couch sometime in the late afternoon (though he’s actually been ASKING TO GO TO BED in the late MORNING, and staying there for half an hour, at least. Creepy). But, for the most part, my children are stalwart defenders of the NO NAP, MAMA! camp. Which means Mama never gets a nap, either. Sometimes I don’t notice. But there are days when I’m passing out, myself, and hoping they don’t burn the house down while I’m snoozing.

I have a lot going through my head most of the time. Sometimes it’s politics, sometimes it’s spiritual, sometimes it’s just stressed-out mindfreak and I need someplace to put it where someone might come out and say, “You know, you’re really not THAT crazy” or “How about you come down from that ledge? I have chocolate!”

Lately, I’ve just been working through STUFF. I need someplace to be funny, or snarky, or otherwise loquacious when I can’t be in “real life”. Unfortunately, this is still the Intarweb, so I have to leave most of the filters in place, but maybe I can write funny stories and no one will know what I’m talking about, but it might make me feel better to know someone else is reading and laughing (and thinking I’m not TOO crazy) (or giving me emergency chocolate).

See? Blathering. I woke up at 3:30 this morning with general anxiety. I couldn’t go back to sleep till almost 5. My alarm (radio program I tune into every morning) went off at 6. I dozed till 7. It’s been a crazy couple of days with bad attitudes, crankiness, hormones, and whining. But it wasn’t all me! I should probably get to sleep, because my kidlets will be up by the crack of dawn (“Rise and Shine” as Pie calls it. “Look, Mama! It’s time to get up! It’s Rise and Shine outside!!”)

Anyway. That’s me lately. 🙂 There are other things coming down the pipe, some of which are the cause for anxiety, but I’ll dwell on those later. ‘Night!

Posted in Children, Insomnia

Why WE Choose to Keep and Bear Arms

I’m still too keyed up to sleep. Or perhaps I’m caffeinated.

Last night was not one of the best nights of sleep I’ve ever had. Even when Beanie was a newborn and waking all the time, there was some pattern. But last night was . . . remarkable. So here are my remarks:

2300(-ish) (That’s 11:00 for civilians 😉 ): Sweetie and I go to bed. It might have been closer to midnight.

Midnight, or slightly thereafter (I didn’t look at the clock that time): Beanie starts to fuss, but isn’t putting his heart into it, or standing up in his crib. I lay in bed, hoping he will go back to sleep, because I feel like I hadn’t even slept yet. He does, about five minutes later. I drop back into a light sleep, waking every time he moves.

Between 0100 and 0200: I roll over. This is notable, because I rarely move at night. If I start on my left side, I stay on my left side. If I start on my right, my hip starts hurting halfway through the night, and I roll over. It often involves the cat moving around, too. Beanie is shifting around, too, and I seem to be waking every time.

0230: I wake up to a loud sound, about four or five loud bangs that kind of echo through the house. Thinking someone is pounding a hard object against our door, I wake my husband. There is no further banging, but he wanders about the house before getting his pistol and going downstairs to investigate. I almost follow him with the shotgun, but I haven’t used it in too long (which will be remedied soonest), so I go to the living room to look out the window. There is someone in the neighbor-across-the-drive’s yard with a flashlight, possibly the neighbor, but we’re not willing to go outside to find out. Sweetie opens the door and retrieves the mail he didn’t see on the porch the day before (yay! My curtain fabric is here!), and leaves the outside lights on. I wonder how in the world I’m going to sleep for the rest of the night.

0300: I eventually go back to bed, having exhausted all options for investigation open to me. No way am I sleepy! Well, I AM sleepy, but no way am I going to sleep! I analyze the sounds I heard while I play Words With Friends and read on my phone until my eyes force me to sleep, around 0340-ish. My next-door neighbor is awake and getting ready for work, if the lights on in his house are any indication.

0400: SLEEEEEEEP.

0445: Beanie wakes up. He is serious this time — really! He’s standing up in his crib, letting me know, under no uncertain terms, that I need to get up and change his diaper. And feed him. Until he’s asleep again.

0450: I cannot ignore him. I wake, I do those things.

0700: He’s finally asleep. I figure I get about half an hour of sleep till Pie wakes up, and by golly I’m going to claim it! It occurs to me sometime that the noises I heard might actually have been gunshots. But who on earth would have been shooting a gun outside our house?!

0900 (possibly, maybe earlier): Pie comes out of his room to find me on the couch. Tries to wake me, but I am sleepy and immobile. He’s just going to have to entertain himself for a while. He tells me to wake up and fix him breakfast. Not happening, kid.

0920: Forced awake by a stupid woodpecker pounding on my stupid roof. I know I should have fed my child, but he wouldn’t have starved. However, the one I wanted to continue sleeping was going to be woken up by an obnoxious bird, so that needed to stop. I put on my shoes and glasses and go out to scare the darn thing away. Come back inside and wonder how I’m going to function.

1000: Have had coffee, both children are awake and fed (I think). I see my neighbor across the street wandering around by the mailboxes and go outside to talk to him. I haven’t met him before, but I assume (correctly) that he’s the boyfriend of my actual across-the-street neighbor, whom I haven’t interacted with in ages. He tells me it definitely was gunshots I heard, and that he saw (or heard) two cars fleeing the scene shortly thereafter. It was his flashlight I saw when my husband was checking the front door. He was out looking for spent casings, but couldn’t see any. My heartrate goes to 11, knowing my suspicion was right. I probably shouldn’t have had that cup of caffeinated coffee.

1030: I had called my neighbor down the street, who technically lives behind the across-the-street neighbor and across from the next-door neighbor, but her driveway is between them. She calls me back to say they’re okay, but they hadn’t heard anything that night. She says she’d woken, but heard no sound. We chat for a bit, and she tells me that her nephew’s house was almost broken into while his wife was there, around 0700 — just a few miles from here. This does not make me less paranoid.

11 or 1200: Next-door neighbor comes home. I rush out to talk to him. He and his wife had heard the gunshots, but saw nothing. He did see a car zoom away from the bottom of the street when he left for work, though, which was kind of weird. He has a dummy camera just inside his fence that we both wish was real, but he also has a game camera in a tree nearby that may have caught something, but more likely nothing at all, because there’s a big bush blocking the view of the end of the driveway. I get his and his wife’s cell phone numbers (but just realized I didn’t give him mine — oops! I blame sleep deprivation). My oldest son is sticking his head outside the front door, even though I’d told him repeatedly to stay upstairs. Beanie is yelling from the top of the stairs, fortunately cautious enough to not follow his brother down. Argh. It might be time for a gate.

1300: Next-door neighbor knocks and shows me five shell casings he found at the corner of his driveway, between all our houses. They are blackened brass (oxidized, rather than painted), and unstamped, but obviously (after a little research) nothing less than a .45. He says he called the sheriff’s department, but they said there was nothing they could do. However, should it happen again, we should call 911. (Later in the day, a sheriff deputy, who is a family friend of ours, confirms that procedure.)

1330 to 1630: I somehow get the kids to nap/play quietly while I get some “me” time in. I am paranoid, and look out the window at the sound of every car coming up the road. I’m also really tired, but caffeinated and keyed up. In case I haven’t mentioned it in a previous post, caffeine makes me jittery and anxious. And I’d had a regular cup of coffee and caffeinated Earl Grey tea. It is not a state I care to be in, but I also dislike being sleepy and nonfunctional.

1700: Husband is home. Kids are up and LOUD. I’m going out of my mind, but I’m making pancakes. BEER pancakes! And they are awesome!

1800: Finally leaving for my Ladies Enrichment kickoff in Tacoma, but still tired, paranoid, and jittery.

2100: Enrichment was fun and seemed to take the edge off a little. Get some groceries (child-free!) and head home — hoping that my family is just fine, and they are. But Beanie is still awake. Natch.

2200: Beanie is finally asleep, and I get to take a shower.

2300: Not sleepy. Skype with my dad and drink a glass of wine.

0000 (midnight): Done Skyping. Realize I should probably go to bed, because I have to get up in six hours.

0015: Finishing this post.

I want to get picture documentation of the shooting “incident” — which I’m now thinking might have been a drug deal gone bad. It’s a terrible place to have a clandestine meeting, because it’s so residential, however, it’s also PITCH dark. I’m hoping to mitigate future clandestine meetings there by turning on our garage lights at night. My husband and I have also agreed to get motion-activated lighting for the front and back yards, ASAP, and I’ve talked him into light sensors for the garage lights, so they’ll come on when it’s dark and go off when it’s light. We also need to frost (or something) the window next to the front door.

I think the thing that freaks me out the worst about the shooting is that we can’t find bullets. What did those idiots shoot? The woods? There are propane tanks out here, for Heaven’s sake! And houses in close proximity! But now I’m wondering if someone didn’t get shot and driven off to be dumped. It freaks me out that something like that could happen mere feet from my house.

Well, I can’t deny that I really need to go to bed. I’m glad I’m getting out of the house tomorrow for some adult time with Christian ladies. I could really use it . . .

(And now it’s 0038, and I REALLY need to go to bed. Hoping I get to sleep till my alarm wakes me . . . and that I don’t sleep through it . . . )

Posted in Children, Insomnia, Mommyhood

Sleepy Logic

I decided sometime early this morning — perhaps around 3:45? — that the word “hate” (which I never use for people or animals — unless they’re spiders) is just not as strong a word at 3am. (I think I may also have concluded that violence performed in a sleep-befuddled state might well be pardoned in a court of law if they just knew why — but, again, “sleep-befuddled”.)

I went to bed kind of late last night, partly because I just wasn’t sleepy, and also because I was waiting for my hair to dry a bit after my shower. I was happily making some writing progress, too, which, in my opinion, is reason enough to stay up until my body forces me to sleep.

Which, of course, occurred half an hour after sitting down. Natch. :\

ANYway, I got to bed probably around 1:15, maybe? Maybe earlier? And was well into dreamland when Beanie woke up crying at 2am. Not just stirring and fussing, which I ignore until he settles or becomes inconsolable (don’t judge me! SLEEP!), but standing up and wailing. *Sigh*

I usually take him into the living room and watch a show (or two . . . or three), but I was tired enough I thought I’d just snooze while he had a bottle or nursed.

We both ended up falling asleep. This is okay; at least I wasn’t fully awake for two hours, but it did make it harder to put him back to bed. He fussed when I put him down, which just about made me cry (inside), but as I resigned myself and searched for socks to wear while I stayed up for the rest of the night, he plopped down and fell asleep.

YAY! This is good! But here’s where my sleepy logic came into play: My stupid cat — whom I really do love very much, but would often like to turn into a pair of luxurious gloves — kept meowing as I was getting into bed. It’s like that Crappy Pictures blog post about pet annoyance, before and after kids. She wouldn’t shut up! And Beanie kept stirring! His fragile sleep state was in the balance! WHY CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, STUPID CAT??!!

And that’s when I thought it: Hate is so much less a powerful word at 3am, because I so very much hated my cat just then. She wouldn’t be still. She kept making noise. I thought I’d never sleep again! She didn’t understand how close she was to death just then!

(Or maybe she did, because I always threaten to kill her, but I never do. 12 years of that probably taught her that I’m just bluffing.)

Then, this morning, after a couple hours of semi-uninterrupted sleep, she started chewing on plastic, and digging into stuff near the baby’s crib. Once again, HAAAAATE!!! But, instead, I squirted her with a water bottle and tried to go back to sleep.

And then Pie woke up, followed shortly by Beanie. And the cat was vindicated, because she knew that now I would HAVE to get up and feed her, which was her ploy all along.

Grr!

But now I’m up, and less filled with hate, because coffee makes everything better. 🙂

Did any of that make sense? Or am I still running on sleepy logic?

UPDATE: I am extra cranky today, so it was a good thing we were planning on going to a friend’s house, so Pie and his friend could beat each other senseless while my friend and I talked and took the edge off. Turns out, our kids are cranky, too! And we’re all sleepy! So, even though we had a good time, I was still cranky and tired when I got home. My husband got home a little early, and both kids are ensconced in quiet/nap time, so I am drinking a much-needed homemade mocha and listening to MY music on MY headphones. Just for a little while. And reading Crappy Pictures, to make myself feel better about being a cranky parent. 🙂

Posted in Insomnia, Mommyhood, Pregnancy

SPEAKING of INsomnia . . .

So, it’s 5am. I’ve been awake since about 3:30am. FOR NO REASON.

I’d love to say that I’ve been awake because I’ve been feeling labor pains, and they’re getting worse, meaning Baby will make his appearance today. However, that’s not true. I’m just AWAKE. 😛

It’s possible when we got coffee last night that mine was not actually decaf, like I’d ordered. I trust my husband said decaf (he ordered for me while I went to change our son’s diaper), and maybe the barista messed up. However, I could also just be sensitive to the little bit of caffeine in the decaf coffee. That latte was awesome, though . . . (Pumpkin Creme Latte from Seattle’s Best in Borders Books.) Alternately, I’m just awake, ’cause pregnancy’s like that.

I was also a bit hungry, and some other discomforts of pregnancy were nagging at me, so I decided to just get up and take care of the issues instead of playing Solitaire on my DS in bed. Unfortunately, the yogurt I ate has given me more heartburn. *Sigh* I can’t escape it.

At any rate, I was going to write the other day about some of the hilarious things my son is doing these days. I find I suddenly have the time . . .

WHY WE PROBABLY WON’T WIN “PARENTS OF THE YEAR” ANYTIME SOON:

My two-year-old–who, for the sake of this blog, shall be named (at least for the moment) “Pie”*–has a few favorite movies and television shows (on DVD or NetFlix streaming; we don’t have cable). We’re a little lax in the electronic distraction department, so he gets to watch these favorites quite often.

[*”Pie” is short for “Sweet[ie] Pie” or “Cutie Pie”. I just started calling him “Pie” one day, and it stuck. Who knows what kind of ridiculous nickname our second son will have. Give me time . . . ]

Here is a little lexicon that we’ve finally developed so we can communicate what he wants to see:

Sussues = Blues Clues
Bob de Boer = Bob the Builder
Pippard = Clifford
Diet = The Iron Giant
Froggies = The Princess and the Frog
Sheep = Shaun the Sheep
Dyosaur Tain = Dinosaur Train
Elmo = Elmo in Grouchland
Nemo = Finding Nemo
Monsters = Monsters vs. Aliens
Cars = Cars
Up = Up

He can sing almost all the regular songs from Blues Clues (not fluently–mostly just the last couple words in each line–but with enthusiasm!) and some from Elmo. He can say “Can we fix it? Yes we can! Yeah, I think so . . . ” from Bob the Builder. That, for a little while, was the extent of his memorization. Lately, however, I’ve been noticing that he’s been repeating a few more lines from a couple movies he’s seen twenty times or more (DON’T JUDGE ME!), and now he’s acting out a couple scenes from Iron Giant.

Now, this doesn’t worry me, beyond “Oh, now we need to start paying actual attention to what he watches.” It’s really funny to watch! What I should do is get some video or screenshots for reference, but you’re just going to have to bear with me here . . .

I first noticed him acting out a scene when Hogarth (the main boy character in The Iron Giant) first meets the giant. Hogarth sits on the ground, and the giant imitates him. I watched Pie sit down the same way while he was watching that scene. Pie also brought a toy car up to me one day and tried to feed it to me. When I refused to take a bite, he gently bit down on the front of it while watching the movie. This is the boy who barely eats anything more solid than oatmeal and bananas, and rarely, if ever, stuck anything non-food in his mouth that wasn’t a spoon. I knew immediately that he was pretending to be the giant eating a car–’cause iron giants eat metal, dontchaknow.

Later, I noticed Pie walking around with his shirt all bunched under his chin and his hands in the air. I had no clue what he was doing–he’s a two-year-old with a fertile imagination. Yesterday, Sweetie (my husband) and I were watching him watch Iron Giant, and he pulled up his shirt and put his hands in the air when the giant transformed into a big weapon and started shooting things (this is where the “No ‘Parents of the Year’ Award” comes in, ’cause some people don’t condone this kind of play). He wandered around the living room like that, checking the movie every once in a while to make sure he was still in sync with it. Then, when Hogarth intervened, Pie said “Hogarth” when the giant said “Hogarth”, and put his shirt down when the giant transformed back into his “peaceful” gianty form. A few more minutes into it, just as the giant is about to [***SPOILER ALERT!!!***] sacrifice himself for the good of the people, Pie crouches on the floor, just like the giant does, and repeats the line word for word, along with the relevant gestures: “Hogarth. I go. You stay. No following!”

Sweetie and I were about to EXPLODE, it was so cute and hilarious! But we didn’t want to laugh out loud, in case we ruined the show. 🙂

Well, yesterday, Pie wanted to watch Cars again, after a long hiatus (it needed a rest). I noticed he was repeating lines from that, too. Doesn’t surprise me that much, since he really has seen that movie more than twenty times. Possibly more than [*ahem*] thirty times.

I know there are parents and experts out there who would condemn this as a real parenting no-no. To a certain extent, I agree that we probably let him watch too much during the day, which MIGHT contribute to some inattention and (lately) late-ish nights and early wakings. However, often the TV is just ON, and he’s playing and doing other stuff without actually paying any attention (well, much attention, anyway). Also, some would condemn the violence in Iron Giant, and tell us we shouldn’t let him watch that kind of thing when he’s so young. It’s become PC to heavily filter even children’s programming. I agree with some reasoning behind that, because I think some children’s programming is a complete waste of time and seriously irritating. But, you know, I practically cut my teeth on Star Wars, Superman II, and an abundance of Looney Toons and action-figure-related children’s programming. My family, growing up, was even more TV-oriented than we are. I think Sweetie’s was, too. Aside from having the gall to want to learn martial arts and how to shoot a gun to defend myself, I’m pretty sure I turned out okay. I knew, either instinctively or through my own brain working out the causes-and-effects, that one should probably not use dynamite as all-purpose pest control and gravity will not take a holiday just because you accidentally ran off the edge of a cliff. Duh.

Similarly, I don’t expect Pie to grow up thinking he can take out the U.S. Army with his robot super powers or actually eat cars for breakfast.

On the flip side, I have seen the effects of too much video game and television violence on a young brain. I do not attribute, however, the behavior issues this child had to the games or movies/TV he was exposed to (which is the popular thing to do). I attribute the issues to a lack of parenting and limits, either due to disciplinary confusion/acting out (results of shared custody and different value systems in each home) or inattention because both parents worked outside the home every day (yet another value system in school or day care). I’ve also seen a child who is absolutely sheltered from everything violent, morally unacceptable to his parents, and even mildly vulgar, who exhibits so little self-control around other children that it’s hard to believe he doesn’t watch violent cartoons all day. Well, what in the world could THAT come from? Too much constriction? [Just FYI: I’m not condemning these parents, though I might not agree with their parenting styles sometimes. These kids are fairly good kids, overall, and I only see them once in a while. The first example has grown out of much of his fixation, and I believe the latter one will soon do so, too. Children are what children are, and it’s not like they’re born with their very own personal manuals. You have to roll with the punches when they’re young. Goodness knows my children will have a few more things up their sleeves for us before they’re old enough to leave the nest.]

What I’m saying is that in today’s day and age, our parenting choices wouldn’t win any awards for awesome, wholesome, modern-day, magazine-cover parenting. But I AM a parent, and my kid’s pretty well-behaved, for the most part (for being two-and-a-half, anyway). I’m there, watching him, and moderating his behavior. My JOB is to parent him. His job is to obey me and test his boundaries. He’s a smart kid; I have no worries.

Although, this early-waking thing is getting old. We need to find a way to nip that in the bud . . . but maybe after his brother is sleeping through the night. Until then, what’s another kid needing your attention at ungodly hours of the morning? 🙂

I love my job. 🙂