In which we learn just how sleep-deprived I am

My WakeMate came in the mail yesterday.* What is a WakeMate, you ask? Well. It’s this thing, you see, and you wear it while you sleep, and in the morning you can see exactly how restful your sleep actually was. Also it keeps track of your sleep patterns and the idea is that it can tailor your wake-up time to your sleep cycle so you wake up feeling all chipper and refreshed.

Also, it’s very stylish and I think I will wear it during the day as an accessory.
WakeMate armband
(I kid.)

I was super excited to try it out since I wake up every morning feeling like I got run over by a truck. Sleep is supposed to be restful, right? I mean, I’m not a morning person under the best of circumstances, but between Not So’s insomnia and the kid leaping into bed with me every morning to snuggle (have I mentioned just how many elbows and knees he has?) I feel like I’m trying to sleep on an amusement park ride.

Anyway, so. I’ve tried tracking my sleep using things like YawnLog, but it’s hard to be objective about things like sleep. I’m pretty sure, for example, that the nights when I’m like I totally didn’t sleep AT ALL I probably did sleep, some. Maybe.

But the WakeMate will answer the question once and for all.

(Have I mentioned how much I love gadgets?)

I set up the app on my iPhone, which was pretty easy.

There was a certain amount of turning things on and off (and having to go to a specific page on the WakeMate site for instructions, since the little card that came with the device was somewhat exceptionally vague – probably because there are different instructions for each gadget you can sync it with) but once I got it all charged up and discovered on my phone’s Bluetooth I was ready to go.

Then I just had to, you know, sleep.

Here’s where I’d start talking about how my night went, but it would be a lot easier for you to just, you know, look at the chart:

Yes. In fact, I slept like crap. Sure, I was in bed for 8 hours and change, but it took me 23 minutes to fall asleep! And I woke up 24 times in the night! No wonder I feel like a zombie.

The device itself was remarkably unobtrusive. I barely noticed the wristband while I slept and there were no incidents of me yanking it off and throwing it across the room (which was a thing that happened to my retainer in high school, about which I apparently harbored extreme ill will).

I can’t wait to find out how I do tonight.

*Do I seriously have to mention every time I post about a product that I don’t do sponsored posts? Seriously. People do not give me things. And if they did, trust me, I would state that upfront.

nano nano

NaNoWriMo: Day 1 was a rousing success. I got almost 1700 words and can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. This is because I am a crazy person, but crazy people are fun, right?

Not So is watching Ghostbusters. This is what we do. We watch things.

In other news, I was really sick a couple of weeks ago with what may or may not have been swine flu (take that, specificity!) and realized one night I forgot to take my prozac. Since then I’ve continued to not take my prozac and I’ve felt kind of fabulous, so I’m counting that as a win. The prozac was great, actually, but it made me so freaking tired I could barely keep my eyes open, except at night, when I would just lay in bed with a million ideas running through my head. I enjoy my sleep, but I also enjoy not sleeping at appropriate times, kwim?

Speaking of sleep, I’m tired, and I have a TON to do tomorrow.

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

I just – just! – had lunch, so my brain is all ping-tastic and fluttering hither and thither. Thither. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word without hither attached to it – have you? I am scampering to Merriam Webster right now to see the fun I have been missing.

Well, so. Here I am in the unexpected silence of my house (silence being a term I use loosely, as the whoosh-whoosh of the dishwasher is providing this afternoon’s background noise). The kid and the cat (one of them, anyway) are napping adorably on the bed, and I’m sort of nominally waiting for a phone call from a potential client while searching the internet for cookie recipes using agave nectar. Oddly, I am not finding very many. I think it’s time for a baking experiment, don’t you?

I also think that I need to think of a new moniker for Happy Fun Baby. He’s a toddler now, so the “baby” bit is somewhat outdated, and “Happy Fun Toddler” sounds weird. I could call him by his name, since it’s not like that’s a big secret or anything, but I like using aliases because it makes me feel like a spy. I would have made a very poor spy, although I would have liked the outfits. Probably. As long as I wasn’t undercover as a badly-dressed person. Certainly there’s more call for those than for Jennifer Garner-esque wigs and push-up bras, yes? I mean, way to blend, right?

But speaking of the kid, and my brain, and the two together…he woke up last night at midnight, cheerful as you please, and then would not go back to sleep. He snuggled. He sang songs. He played with my hair. But sleep? Sleep is for losers! At 3am I finally broke down and went to get Not So, who (of course) was still awake, since insomnia apparently runs in the family. Even after he came to bed, the kid was all wriggles and kicks, so basically I shared my pain instead of finding a way to fix the problem. Hey – YOU try thinking rationally at 3am when you’ve been repeatedly yanked from the edge of sleep by a tiny grinning demon baby. Er, toddler.

All I can say is: it’s a good thing he’s so cute.

Photo 40

failure – it’s what’s for dinner

I was doing so well. I blogged through my father kicking the bucket. I blogged through my subsequent emotional freak-out. I blogged through two huge deadlines and all sorts of unreported school drama. And then – and then – just when I should have been able to truly devote myself to the NaBloPoMo thing for a couple of days, what did I do?

I fell asleep.

Yeah, that’s my big excuse for not posting yesterday. I had the laptop in bed like I usually do, and I was all snuggled up with the kid who just would. not. go. to. sleep, and I thought “I’ll just cuddle with him for a little bit” – and then I woke up and it was 12:05 and I’d missed a day of posting. Just like that!

Gah. My lameness, it is staggering even to me.

In other news, it looks like I may fail somewhat more spectacularly at NaNoWriMo, even though I swear I will need psychiatric intervention if I do because I NEVER MISS A DEADLINE and yet, here I am, 3/4 of the way through the month with only 16K words. Oh yeah, I can totally write 34K in the next week and a half. No problem whatsoever.


all through the night

You’re all chomping at the bit for a sleep update, aren’t you? I know. It’s keeping you up at night (ha!). Well, you’re just going to have to wait a little longer, because sleep training got derailed by the introduction of molars into my child’s previously molar-free mouth area. Can I take this opportunity to say how much I loathe molars? The molar, it is pure calcified evil. How much does he need stupid molars, anyway? There’s plenty of food out there that does not require intensive chewing. Take the humble banana, for instance. The banana demands nothing of the teeth. We love the banana.

But the molars seem determined to make their appearance all at once, and the emergence of three new teeth has reduced my usually cheerful and accomodating baby to a series of shrieking, back-arching tantrums and marathon nursing sessions which leave me feeling utterly sucked dry, which, if you are wondering, is not a particulalry pleasant way to feel, especially at almost fifteen months post-partum when the idea of weaning had, up to a few weeks ago, seemed like such an attainable goal.

Sleeping through the night also seemed attainable, but like so many other things, it’s being put on hold until the tooth situation is under control. Currently the monkey is waking up between four and six times a night, and the only thing that will get him to go back to sleep is nursing. If I don’t nurse, the crying quickly – very quickly – escalates to screaming, and at that point he’s too upset to nurse so one of us has to get up with him, walk him around, calm him down…and then I have to nurse him. So I prefer to cut out the middle-man, as it were, and just go straight to the boob. I will worry about bad night-nursing habits later.

As proof, I just got Sleep Solutions for your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler from, and as soon as I can wake up enough to actually read it I will enthusiastically implement any and all sleep ideas.

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snow day

Growing up in California (…mostly) we didn’t get to experience many snow days, but I still get a little frisson of delight every time it snows. Sky confetti! Festive! Plus, in Portland there’s very little chance that, for example, it will snow so long and hard that roads will be unpassable and I will have to trudge through a mile of knee-deep snowdrifts to get to work. (This is especially true now, given that I work from home.)

Today’s flurries aren’t even really sticking, but I have the shades open so I can watch the snow fall. I tried to interest Happy Fun Baby (“Look! Snow!”) but, surprisingly, he cares very little about something he can barely see or understand. Just wait until there’s enough on the ground for snowballs, that’s all I have to say.

Actually, the little one is feeling pretty punk. He woke up every hour or so last night wailing like the world was ending, arching his back and kicking, only somewhat mollified by the usual panacea of nursing. This morning he fell asleep sitting up in the comfy chair, but every time his head tilted back he’d choke a little and wake himself up. Poor Boo. I moved him to the futon and he’s curled up there now, sound asleep, with a look of displeasure on his face.

My diagnosis is a cold, which is probably exacerbated by the fact that he’s teething like a mofo. During our Santa Cruz trip he was regularly soaking through his shirts with drool, and when we got home he got serious about the biting business, going to town on his various teething implements. The odd thing is I can’t for the life of me figure out which tooth is coming through. I suspect molars. I dread molars. It can’t be time for molars yet, can it? (Note: denial. Baby cannot be turning a year old in two weeks. Is impossible. Next question.)

The snow is barely even coming down now, and all the flakes I photographed have melted. It’s okay. I’m still feeling wintry.

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the teething chronicles

Happy Fun Baby’s mouth continues to be invaded by what can only be described as teeth. Don’t get me wrong: they’re cute. There’s something inherently endearing about a big, wide-mouthed, three-toothed grin.

But the teething process is obviously painful, and my usually cheerful and pleasant baby has been replaced by a cranky, temperamental, wailing creature who doesn’t want to be put down, ever. I can only assume this is a temporary change.

Today is incrementally better. Ellison is playing “catch that tail” with the cat, who apparently was not consulted beforehand and has serious reservations about the suitability of this game.

We actually got somee sleep last night, which was a novel change. I don’t do well with fractured sleep. Pre-baby, I used to require 8-10 hours a night in order to feel rested; now I’m lucky if I get 6 or 7, and those are broken into bite-sized sections. It’s bad enough when everything is going well and he only wakes up once to nurse. When he’s sick or teething or having a growth spurt or conspiring against me or whatever, it’s hell. But a nice sort of hell! Not the sort that means I need to get a job! ::paranoid::

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guess we’re attachment parenting

Happy Fun Baby has been somewhat nap-resistant lately. Actually, what he’s resistant to is being put down; the not napping thing is just a side effect. If I’m holding him (or sitting on the floor with him, or whatever) he’s the happiest, most cheerful baby you can imagine. The instant I set him in his crib or his Pack N’ Play, his face crumples and he just weeps. Weeps, and chants “Ma, ma, ma” in the most heart-rending manner possible. While reaching for me.

As you can probably imagine, I’m not getting much done these days.

When he’s not actively ripping the heartstrings from my chest, Ellison’s busy training for his triathalon. A couple of days ago he began standing unassisted. Just went straight up from his frog crouch and stood there for five seconds or so before toppling over onto his butt. He’s gotten very good at falling. He did the standing routine a few more times, just to make sure we’d caught it. He’s hilarious – he acts all blase when he does something like that, but he’ll check right away to make sure we’re watching and then soaks up praise like a rock star. That’s my kid: lord of all he surveys.

Next step: teaching the kid to sleep by himself. Ha!

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