Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Naptime, my wife’s nemesis and my one true love.

July 19, 2011

We are in a balancing beam situation.

The kids nap too long, or too late, and they won’t go to bed. Right now 30 minutes in the car seems to be the perfect nap length. Of course, I currently do not drive.

I also love naptime.

But TMD’s life is a misery with naps in the equation; she does bath and bedtime. Bedtime last night was 9 30. This might not sound like a big deal, but it means all the evening stuff she needs to do can’t happen. She also sometimes ends up sleeping on the floor in their room. (okay, she cosleeeps most every night, but usually more comfortably).

But a life without naps? I need the break. Physically, I need to lie down so I can stand and walk in the afternoon. Emotionally? I need to read and bask in the quiet. 

There’s no doubt naptime as we know it is evolving and needs to be managed, but there is a doubt about if I have enough willpower to cut naps way short.  Once I’m driving it’ll all be better, but till then?

No one tell TMD they slept till almost four this afternoon. She’ll be finding out soon enough.

Um.

Marry me, book. Make love to me.

June 15, 2011

Night (and nap!) weaning.

March 11, 2011

image

 

This is the face of night weaning. This little boy who cuddles and kisses his doll, this little boy who went up to another boy about a year older than him at playgroup yesterday…..and gently stroked his face before giving him a big fat kiss on the cheek! This little boy is the reason why nightweaning was invented.

For those who don’t know what nightweaning is, it’s simply (ha!) the process of stopping milk feeds during the sleeping hours. We are doing (well, have done!!) nap weaning as well. It is perfectly natural and healthy and normal for a baby to continue to have milk throughout the night at 18 months, 24 months, and beyond.

We always said the minimum age we would do anything about milk at night, or sleeping in general, was 18 months. We planned to go all naturally on this one, but TMD’s sleep deprivation is unfunny. So we started weaning about a week ago – and they are 19 months today.

First, naps. I have to say – don’t shoot me, people – I think night and nap weaning is one area where formula feeding comes up trumps. It generally seems to be a bit easier than those kids who are latched on the whole time to boobie.  The babies have been used to having a bottle as they are in bed, just before naps. Snort is used to having a bottle if he wakes during nap, as well as more milk once he wakes up.

We always have had success by introducing change to naps before nighttime, so we thought, ‘Fuck it. Cold turkey.’ The first day he was a bit pissed, to put it nicely. He screamed up a blue streak before nap – and it’s worth saying we still would never do controlled crying or crying it out. Eventually he accepted a fresh muslin (his lovely) in place of milk and went to sleep. He woke once and screamed for 30 minutes while I quietly freaked out. He also woke Coconut, so it was like an Angry Baby Party. Again, once he realised the milk wasn’t coming, he went straight back to sleep. With mama singing, of course – though at this point I think I’m singing for me, cause I don’t think they need it anymore.

That was it. The next day, maybe 10 seconds of fussing before nap. He woke up once and immediately settled again with some shushing and a hand on his back.

The third day he never woke up. NEVER WOKE UP. Neither did she. This is fucking unheard of, people. My kids are still having one 2-3 hour nap per day, and after about 2 hours sleep can get very restless.

We are now at the point – we have been for awhile, but no more bottles! – of me saying, ‘Okay, guys. Time to sleep. Everybody go to your room.’ Both kids toddle straight off to their room and get into their beds. And SLEEP.

What the fuck.

Nightweaning – now, we are following the plan of Dr Jay Gordon (it may be ‘-an’ rather than ‘-on’ if you fancy a google.). He’s an attachment parenting advocate, and his plan is aimed at breastfeeding, co-sleeping babes. Ours are obviously not on the boob, but they have some co-sleeping – namely when TMD passes out on the floor next to their beds in the night.

The idea is that they still have full range access to milk before 11 pm, and after that on the first 3 days restricted access after that. So, short feeds and then straight back to bed. This shit worked like a fucking dream. We kept reducing bottles – Snort was a bit upset when we got down to 90ml bottles, but got over it and went straight back to sleep. On the third night of this plan, he had his usual 10:30 feed and then ONLY ONE FEED FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT.

Cue ‘omg’s and ‘zomg’s.

I knew a friend (hi, you-know-who-you-are-twin-mama!) was reducing bottles, so we opted to do this and be a bit more gentle. IE, add in an extra three days of very reduced feeds before we went to Dr Jay Gordon’s next step – which is NO MILK after 11 pm. This shit scared us.

Snort might be kissing random strangers and giving hugs out to all and sundry, but when he is half-asleep and wants milk? You don’t cross the kid. It wouldn’t be unheard of for pure fire to shoot out of his mouth and scorch us with his rage.

Last night was the first night of really reduced feeds. It was shit. Shit. Shit. He had – I think – three feeds after 11 pm. It was so shit that tonight we go total milk free after 11 pm.

No problem for Coconut – she often goes the full twelve hours with no peep, or may want one tiny feed. But for Snort? Jesus. JESUS. JAY-SUS. Wish us luck, because, yo, we’re going to need it.

Still – touch wood – naptime is going so fucking swimmingly that I do have hopes for the night. And comfort in knowing that we are not taking away milk and mama/mummy comfort. He’ll have us right by him every step of the way.

(And short cute Coconut story – this morning she picked up an orange and exclaimed in joy, ‘Orange!’ She then began to squeeeeeeeze. It dripped all over the table and she was shaking from the effort of pulverizing this thing. She then smiled and calmly said, ‘Juice.’)

What about you guys? Anyone needed to nightwean? What were your experiences? Any advice?

I think the next steps are getting through this no milk stuff – Dr Gordon talks about cuddling and then putting down awake, and then moving to shushing and back patting or whatever. Snort does not want to cuddle at night when upset, so we’ll jump straight to attempting to offer comfort otherwise. As per usual.

I need to reread all the stuff, but once we’ve got post-11 pm licked, well, at some point we’ll look at dropping that 10:30 feed. I don’t want the kid to starve, though.

Okay. It’s Friday morning, and my kids are cooking up a storm at their play kitchen, so I’m going to enjoy what might be my last wide awake good morning for a few days – unless of course the universe feeds Snort through an invisible tube in his belly button throughout the night so he doesn’t bother to wake for milk and get upset when it’s not there.

Yeah. I didn’t think so.

Sleep, part two: Daytime sleep.

December 22, 2010

None of the following is as straightforward and simple as it appears. That is my warning. Establishing good sleep seems to be a circular process at times, and is certainly affected by sickness, teething, growth/developmental spurts, and growing up.

The other thing that affects baby sleep is YOUR mood. No lie. It affects them in general, I think, especially when very little. Having twins, I learned some valuable skills that I still use now – such as consciously relaxing my entire body when they were both tiny and screaming. This would inevitably calm and relax them….whereas on the occasions I was tense, the screaming would notch up a level.

End of disclaimer.

Daytime sleep – the wonderful, all powerful nap. This was something I knew would be important from the get go. With two babies, you want tandem sleep. I thought.

I don’t honestly remember much of the first few weeks, but sleep was a near constant thing. I think Coconut may have dropped a sleep between feeds first? We just totally followed their lead. Around six weeks I bought a bunch of sleep books which have since been discarded.

I don’t remember if it was eat, play, sleep or play, eat, sleep – I suspect the second, though again, we just followed all hunger and sleep cues.

That continued as the babies aged, and certain (slow) patterns began to emerge. We are now at one good long nap a day, though we had two jolly nice naps for months before they outgrew it.

How did I do it? I didn’t. Not really. The babies did. (And no matter all the tips in the world below, none will work till your baby/toddler is developmentally ready!)

First rule: never put a wide awake baby down for a nap just because you need a break, you think they should be sleeping, or the clock says they should be sleeping. If we tried sleep and it didn’t work, back on the floor they went to play and we tried again five minutes later. This saved a lot of wailing on their parts, and stress on mine.

Second rule: You need to be pretty cued into your baby in terms of knowing how they show if they are sleepy, happy, hurting, etc.

Each baby got what they needed to sleep – be it babywearing (TMD and myself are both experts at wearing a baby to sleep and then getting them down safely onto the sofa – soft structured carriers, ringslings, wraps. They are all doable. Or, of course, you can let the baby sleep on/with you!), cuddles, bouncing, etc etc.

Gradually certain sleep cues were built in. This was a special toy for Coconut (Pooh, which evolved into her much beloved transitional object and best friend Bunny) and a muslin to suck and hold for Snort. It also involved contact with me, and singing. They do have milk before most sleeping, but milk does not really function as a sleep cue for them, a thing I am very very glad about!

I very consistently sang the same song for every nap (and nighttimes, but you’ll read about that later). I very consistently made sure they had their special thing-a-ma-jig to cuddle. I very consistently would pick them up to calm and cuddle if they got upset…which was rare, as I tried to respond to their needs, made changes very slowly, etc….consequently, they’ve generally been happy during going-to-sleep times. Generally.

I guess you could say the sleeping rules came into effect. They knew what to expect, and so did I….to a point, anyway.

Gradually holding them while rocking switched to rocking till they were dozy, then holding them still. This morphed into just holding them still, which in turn led to putting them down on the couch, me sitting between them with a hand on each tummy/back (and, of course, the endless fucking singing and cuddle toys).

Eventually I would lift my hand away before they were totally asleep…. I then stopped sitting on the couch and began to sit on the floor…which morphed, in time, to putting them straight onto the couch to sleep and them smiling up at me, grabbing their toy, and curling up like little cats.There was even a blissful period where me beginning to sing cued them to run around and grab their toys, and then come up to the couch all ready to sleep.

All of these changes happened slowly and naturally, with no conscious planning.

Third rule: If you try to make a change and it doesn’t work with your baby/toddler, it could be because it’s not suited to you. Or, it could be that you are changing too much, too fast – or, as was often the case in our house, your baby/toddler just isn’t ready.

My contact with them has changed over the course of their sleeptimes – at this point, I keep my face quite neutral, I don’t initiate picking up (but if they ask I will always do so), I don’t make a lot of eye contact. This used to sound heartless to me and I wouldn’t use this approach with baby babies, but I know I am their best love and plaything, so I provide physical warmth and closeness without trying to engage them too much intellectually. Of course there are always times I hold eye contact as one or the other drifts off to sleep, and that’s lovely, too.

This also is not something I made a conscious decision to do, but once we moved into the time when both babies would sleep on either side of me while I sat in the middle, it was impossible to look at/engage with them both at the same time, anyway. The hand on the back is still how I offer them some love and reassurance if they need it. I find that certain patterns of shhing that they are used to also work wonders.

At this point in time, I can sing the sleep song while walking around (though I try not to as I think I’m a distraction) or sitting on the other couch, and they’ll go to sleep by ‘themselves.’ I’m currently morphing the singing into humming the song as they get sleepy, which will eventually phase the song out – not that I’m in any hurry to do so. I like it.

Sounds easy, hey?

Well, I went through a very bad period when Coconut dropped down to one nap and Snort was not ready. I am entering a new bad period where Coco takes much shorter naps than Snort. Responding to each babies’ needs has consistently meant that Coconut’s sleep needs changed before Snort’s did. And even now, there are days where a baby (or two) needs some kissing, cuddling, rocking. Usually, though, it’s some milk, some singing, and then sleep.

If they are obviously tired and just messing around, I am very consistent in lovingly saying, ‘It’s time for sleeping now,’ then firmly putting them back on their spot. (Though on occasion I’ve practically thrown Snort back onto the couch as he acrobatically rolled off the couch!) They now know ‘It’s time for sleeping now’ means no more playing, they need to lie down, etc.

We have found that naps set the tone for bedtimes and night sleep in our house, but that post will be coming next. No doubt TMD will be much funnier than I am, and I believe I have some awesome pictures (*ahem* videos, too!) of her tandem babywearing while marching up and down the lounge singing….and her head all wrapped up in a pashmina so no one can pull her hair. It’s hot.

I can’t stress enough that if you choose to be baby led in terms of letting them gradually develop a schedule that perfectly suits their little bodies and minds (and only possible, I guess, if you are a stay at home mum?) it requires a lot of patience, trust, and long sightedness. We decided early on to never do controlled crying or crying it out with the babies – and TMD has been the one to religiously stick to this, even when I am tempted to let them howl from here to kingdom come.

This post obviously is aimed at people who want a sort of sleep time like we have, though many, many people are content to have their babies sleep all naps in slings, or they crawl into the family bed with their baby and nap too! All a-okay and super deluxe fine in my book.

As things stand, both Snort and Coconut nap on our big couch, while I hang out on the other couch. It’s important I get a chance to physically rest while they do – my days of babywearing all naptime or staying frozen in one position while babies nap all over my lap and boobs are over, as these all aggravate my SPD/PGP. Nighttime sleeping is also on the couch, with TMD co-sleeping beside them on a mattress on the floor.

We have been working hard at clearing out their room (read: dismantling cots, putting mattresses on the floor, and twin proofing), and our next steps will be moving them into their room for all daytime and nighttime sleeps. I think they are developmentally ready, though this (as all things are in our house) will be a slow transition and TMD will probably sleep in their room for awhile till they are used to it.

Reading over this, I can see from a wider perspective that we have tried to keep Snort and Coconut feeling safe and loved. We have done this however we needed to, and would never dream of stripping away all their reassurance in one go – like crying it out does. This means we genuinely have never had either baby cry to sleep.

I think the thing that has served us the best has been trying not to get too caught up in the stress of sleeping. If a nap gets screwed up, it gets screwed up. It’s not the end of the world, though it can feel like it at times. I have a pretty relaxed parenting style and tend to laugh rather than cry (mostly!) when things go pear shaped, and I think this is reflected in the kids….both are relaxed, happy babies. Thank god.

Any questions, please do ask. I probably forgot a lot of stuff, but I hope there is at least one nugget of goodness that the ladies who asked for help can use!

Much love and good sleep vibes to you all.

*The process focused on in this blog only happened once Snort and Coco were ‘older babies.’ I think the move to more independent sleeping only happened as they approached a year old, if memory serves me.

Sleep: the disclaimer. (post one of three)

December 10, 2010

I am not an expert on baby sleep. On your baby’s sleep, anyway. Hell, I’m only an expert on my own babies’ sleep most of the time; I’m not batting 100%. I just wanted to get that out there, lest you think I am all hopped up on myself. I’m writing about sleep because a few people have asked me to, and I’m writing as I watch my two bubsies cough and sneeze their way through naptime.

I guess I am specifically writing about ‘baby led sleep.’ This is in contrast to ‘parent led sleep’, where the goal is to make a baby fit in with an adult’s schedule, usually long before that baby may be developmentally ready to do so. I’m not judging you if you’ve got your kid on a routine – heck, mine are both on a routine now, but it is one that developed over a long period of time and was baby led all the way.

When we brought the babies home from the hospital, it was never in our minds to let them cry. I think whatever your views on babies and sleep are, most people agree that newborns need to be attended to whatever time of day or night it may be. The thing is, TMD and myself believe this extends beyond the newborn period.

During the day, a baby might cry because it is hungry, windy, hurting, etc. I don’t think that just because the clock ticks over to 7 pm that suddenly those cries are just whining, begging to be spoiled, or without reason. We made the decision to not let either baby cry – and while there were times when they were younger that I was sorely tempted to change my mind, those were usually occasions where I was trying to force my own agenda on Snort and Coconut.

In reality, it is easier on me – and them – to meet their needs. Even at midnight. Or four am. (Though TMD will write about the whole 4 am business!)

Every stage of the way, I have let the babies determine their sleep. This is in line with our feeding philosophies. We have trusted the babies, and by choosing to trust them, it has made our household a (mostly) peaceful, contented, good eater & sleeper house.

In terms of going down easily for a nap or bedtime – sure, my babies do that now. But we do think  that every child is different, and everyone will be developmentally ready to hit different stages at different ages.

This means that over the course of their lives, they have slept in arms, in slings, in cots, on the couch, in prams, in bouncers, in the family bed.  A lot has been trial and error. I have responded and adapted in line with their own developing and changing needs, and it has served me – and most importantly, them – well.

I know some people might think, ‘Yeah, but I’ve got a life.’ They want their kids eating and sleeping on a schedule, and I can understand that longing. I felt it myself before.

All I can say is that I have chosen to follow their own rhythms through the days. My babies turn sixteen months tomorrow, and we have been on an excellent routine for months now. Things are predictable, they make sense, they work for all of us. My babies are flexible as well, so if something is wonky it’s usually quickly resolved by the babies getting back into their natural rhythms.

Our typical day is:

breakfast
playgroup/storytime/playing at home – snack included!
milk
big ol’ nap
lunch
playing/etc – snack included
dinner
bedtime routine (TMD’s post will cover this)
bed

On a normal day, these things tend to happen at the exact same time every day. This was not planned, it’s just the way things work out, especially once you have mealtimes as a sort of framework.

I know you didn’t ask about our whole daytime routine, so in the next posts on this topic (not promising they will be the NEXT posts in the blog, in you get what I mean!) I’ll talk about how we managed to have a household where we have survived having two babies sleeping with gusto – no crying needed.

Quite possibly the most random thing ever. And that’s saying a lot, considering it’s ME.

December 7, 2010

I’m going to write that getting-babies-to-sleep-without-crying thing very soon because I said I would if people wanted me to, and it seems they do! Sleep is so so so important for us as parents to function, and it’s always one of the heavy hitter ‘mom arguments.’

It’s not going up today because my lurvely wife wants to write about nighttime sleep – she typically handles bedtime and I handle naps. So we’ll both need a chance to write – and hopefully me pirate pal Aussie (no, she’s not really a pirate. I don’t think!) is coming up this morning with her bubsie, and we’ll all trundle off into the cold together to go to Tuesday Morning Hellmouth Extravaganza! aka……….playgroup.

But I know you’re all wondering one saliant thing: is it possible for a lone woman to apply numbing medication to a 15 month old Movement Machine on her own, and then wrap clingfilm around him?

IS IT POSSIBLE?

Is is possible when you precut pieces of tape (you know, to tape the clingfilm down cause your momma didn’t raise no fools) and stuck them to the nearest Handysitt, and two babies are methodically ripping the tape pieces off and trying to ingest them?

Oh, it is possible.

I even took a series of documentary photos with the intention of posting a ‘fun’ how-to thingie. Let’s be honest, though. When am I going to hook my camera up to the laptop? Anytime soon? No.

Suffice to say that extra clingfilm (I origianally wrote ‘slingfilm’ – obsessive much?), tape, and babylegs that go from armpit to over the fingers is pretty good at stopping your kid from biting the clingfilm off like some sort of dog. Mostly. I only had to reapply the meds/clingfilm/tape to one of the four (four!) points on his body.

The fun part is that he had an allergic reaction to the numbing medicine. And so did I.

Guess we can’t blame the sperm donor for everything, huh?

Stay tuned to hear all about how my MIL’s hubby almost killed my kid. Yeah, it doesn’t get any more dramatic than this on a Tuesday morning.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my friends, I’ve got to clean up the mess of breakfast and find 7,000 winter layers times two in preparation for the arrival of another one year old and his snarky mother.  Hey, if you’re going into the Hellmouth it’s best not to go there alone. Buffy has taught me well.

Edited to add: Oh, thank you thank you thank you for all the comments about Snort’s wacked up sleep on my last entry. They made me feel reassured, and also gave me some interesting things to think about and research. Thankfully he only ate twice last night, which is his norm.

Second post this morning.

August 20, 2010

After writing the last post (an hour ago) – a true monster of details and circumstances – I decided to approach naptime the way I have always.

Don’t try to put an awake baby to sleep.

If they seem sleepy and I try and they don’t sleep, back onto the floor for five more minutes. Keep trying.

This shit has never failed me, and I don’t know why I suddenly felt like I needed to exert tons of control over their sleeping; I think it’s FEAR. Fear of losing the tandem nap, fear of them not sleeping enough, fear of more afternoon meltdowns.

I did it this morning. Took a couple of attempts, and then Snort just laid nice and still with his blankie, breathing deeper and deeper, eyes slowly blinking, till he conked out. Coco took an extra five minutes, and ended up sitting on my lap and leaning back (I have to hold her if he is asleep as otherwise she will keep patting him and poking him and hitting him till he wakes up!), and lo and behold she ended up passing out as well.

Cue 20 blissful minutes where I googled about how to renew my Country A passport, updated my fitness thingy, etc. I was feeling hopeful and happy about this nap, because Snort is awfully sick and does need sleep…

AND THEN THE PHONE RANG.

Woke Snort right up, cue manic screaming for milk, cue Coconut waking up. Cue two poopy diapers.

Ha.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

See Existere laugh. Laugh, Existere, laugh.

WTF is wrong with me? Seriously. No, really.

July 12, 2010

Oh, thank you all so much for the excellent suggestions and support regarding my little sleeping problem. I’m going to tell you about last night in the hopes that I get some support today, because honestly? Not sure how I will get through the day.

So you know Saturday we went into town. I walked farther than I have since I was, oh, probably about 18 weeks pregnant. I walked and walked. We were super tired when we got in, I admit to going to bed early, and then woke up at 1:30 Sunday morning and never got back to sleep.

Then last night happened. Again, we went for a walk (through Toys R Us, but a walk is a walk , damnit!) that was much longer than I am used to. We got home and I was happy – physical exercise, I stayed up till much later, etc.

I stopped being happy around 1:30 am, when I stumbled into the lounge to cry to TMD about the fact that I had not yet been asleep. Yes, 24 hours of Awake! had happened.

An hour later I was whisper-yelling at her, lying in the doorway of our room on the floor, trying desperately to get some of the breeze from the fan. I also tried in front of the patio door, sitting up face against our wardrobe, etc etc. I was a fucking maniac. I don’t know how many of you know, but I did have a problem with self-harming for a short while when I was much younger – and I tell you, I was thinking about it last night.

I was SO BEYOND TIRED that I could not think straight. I had periods of rage, of sobbing hopelessly, of just lying there.

We finally put me back in our room, door shut, windows wide open.

I figure I got about, oh, an hour of sleep – if that – before the babies both woke up. I selfishly (?) stayed in bed, and possibly got another half hour or hour of sleep after that.

TMD is working late tonight.

So let’s recap: I’ve had 1.5 hours of sleep in like 36 hours. I don’t know how I can cope on that. It’s not like when they were newborns. We get to no sleep back then, but somehow as soon as it was daytime my body and brain kicked me into gear. I seem to have outgrown that coping mechanism of new mothers, because honey, Mama tired.

I’ve just erected the HUGE pop up tent in our lounge and thrown a bunch of toys in it. I think this may be my playpen for feral children. When it stops working, I will take the tent down and put up the pop up tunnel. I hope and pray I don’t fall asleep today, because Snort keeps trying to pull plugs out of the wall (the reason the tent is up, to distract him from the plugs as I’m so sore from the weekend of walking and no sleep that I am moving all stiffly like a robot and it’s hard to pull him out from under the table where the best plugs are*) and I’m worried I could fall asleep so deeply that they could get hurt.

Then again, y’know, why am I worried? I apparently don’t sleep anymore. Good thing the sky is overcast, because I clearly belong to the legion of the undead. If it were sunny, I would risk outing myself by my shining diamond skin or my skin bursting into flames, depending on which vampire ‘lore’ camp you fall into.

*I’m so tired run on sentences are my friend. **

**And apparently I put footnotes  the body of the entry, rather than at the end of it. I am a grammar nazi, so this indicates some level of my level of tired.

So. Perversely, tips on staying awake? I’d like to end this entry with a laugh, but I don’t think I can.

My babies sleep fine, I’m the one with the problem!

July 11, 2010

Out of fairness to my children, the sleeping problems in the house are all mine. Both kids wake up once in the night for a feed. For the past week, this has been a tandem feed around 1 am. Tandem feeds require both moms, because the aim is to keep them as quiet and calm as possible and that can be hard with two babies sometimes.

But they generally eat and then go back to sleep straightaway – this week has been a bit of a bitch, but I don’t know how coloured that is by my little issue. Namely, I cannot fall back asleep once I have woken up.

Last night for example – a textbook, lovely night. Both woke up to eat around 1:30 am. I fed Coconut – total time for waking up, making bottle, eating, and falling back asleep was probably less than 15 minutes. I put her down in her cot, left Snort with TMD, and headed (fearfully? reluctantly?) to the bedroom.

My ass didn’t sleep until I heard birds outside and the sky was lightening. I figure I got about 30-40 minutes of sleep, and that’s probably being generous. So while the babies are the reason I did get up in the first place, they certainly aren’t the reason I stayed up. This has happened every single night this week, this bizarre baby-induced insomnia.

It turns into a vicious cycle because I then am literally falling asleep at 7:30 pm for the evening (once at 4:00 pm this week!) because I cannot keep my eyes open. So I guess by the time I wake up around 1ish, I’ve had a good deal of sleep – at least for a twin mama.

Two nights ago I used burning amounts of Tiger Balm (good shit, good shit, good shit) on my forehead – the burning sensation totally made me focus on that (slightly worried I was burning my skin off and would be left looking like a smiling and unsleeping skull) rather than my headache. This everlasting gobstopper of a headache probably is related to the fact that I am starting my days at like 1:15 every morning. Who wouldn’t be tired and headachey by the next afternoon?

So, what do I do? My usual trick of having Friends on quietly in the background while I fall asleep isn’t working – I find myself lying awake and listening to every episode on a disc (all 6 of them, on repeat) all night long. Reading doesn’t help; my thrilling cave woman books don’t make me sleepy, but nor do they particularly rouse me to new heights of wakefulness. The Tiger Balm has scented our whole bedroom till it smells like we are on an authentic filmset for an exotic smell-o-vision movie of the far east.

How do I get back to sleep? My plan for today is to treat this shit as jetlag – force myself to stay awake today, force myself to do more than just lay or sit in a stupor today, and then maybe I’ll be tired when I get to sleep. Tired enough to go back to sleep after the middle of the night feed. Of course, if I still don’t sleep, I will curse myself all the hours I missed out by pretending this was jetlag rather than…than…lifelag.

Any suggestions? TMD said I shouldn’t stay in bed, but I’m at a loss of what else I can do. She is now sleeping on the couch (in an effort to let me sleep unmolested by babies and things), so the only rooms in the house with no babies are my bedroom, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Though the kitchen is tiny and connected to the lounge where TMD is sleeping.

So it’s like – sit on the toilet and read? Set up a tent in the backyard and hope the physical exertion and challenge of tent erecting in the dark tire me out? Or….stay in my room and read cave people books, pretending that the Tiger Balm is some sort of rendered mammoth fat I have invented in my role as Head Magical Cave Woman?

Help, please. Anyone else get this happening to them?

The one where I use the melody of two songs, but lose my mind at the same time.

July 10, 2010

Me so tired. Oh, oh, me so tiiiired. (Can you hear the music backing this?? I had to change the words cause let me tell you, ‘horny’ is something that is much less attractive than sleep these days).

Me: You remember when I said a few days ago that perhaps nights are hell now because he is going to learn to stand?

TMD: And now that he is, you feel vindicated?

So….today.

I haven’t left our tiny little claustrophobic flat in weeks, and today was a banner day. Imma be incoherent, here, because I am so tired (oh, me so tired, oh oh, me so tired…me sleepy looong time!).

We went into town and had lunch at The Hut. This was our first time all properly eating out together, as they’ve only been to restaurants (one of which was a prior visit to The Hut – we are classy) twice. Their first time they slept in slings the whole time, and the second time we weren’t doing baby led weaning yet. They both sat like biggish kids in high chairs and ate beets and pasta and breadsticks, but ultimately the distractions of being out of the house were too powerful and they just gaped at everyone. Coconut wouldn’t stop staring at our waitress; she was like a nosy old woman who likes to twitch curtains.

So we grabbed the leftovers and headed across the street for an impromptu picnic. Our town centre is two rows of shops, with a huge amount of grass and flowers and benches and things in between (and a huge fountain on one end, and some more shops the other). They mowed down on pizza, and practiced standing more. Coco gets herself up hardcore by pulling on my hands, and is pretty rock steady on her feet. She even regularly lets go of one hand and gives me a look like, ‘I need this hand for waving! And dancing! I’m not about to waste it holding on to you.’

Post-picnic we went into a few charity shops and for the bargain price of 5.00 got three or four kids books AND their first piano!! That shit is a massive hit.

We then walked back to the car, where I collapsed in a heap due to the heat and exertion. I have not walked that far…uh….probably not ever since they were born. I used crutches, but was still quite sore back in the car. We went for a drive through the country. It was nice but I don’t think I actually saw anything except a nice little village we half heartedly talked about moving to, while both of us actually wished we were napping on a lilo in the middle of a shaded pool in Air Conditioning Land.

Back at the homestead, we had bottomless swimming (again, babies only. I repeat, me so tiiiiired) until Snort was literally shaking from the cold. Both TMD and I were dead on our asses and everything felt like we were moving through molasses. Snort then proceeded to pull himself up on the gate. The next thing I know, Coco is properly crawling over to him (previously she’s only reeeally army crawled). I am screaming for TMD to witness milestone after milestone (she is in the kitchen cooking quesadillas).

Coconut then does her constant trick of trying to get to standing using…nothing. She pushes up on the ground, her legs go straight, and somehow her forehead ends up on the ground. She looks like she’s been folded in half. While I am marvelling and trying to take pictures of her, Snort pulls himself up again and I swear in frustration as I have not videoed him.

No moment is real unless it is caught on camera, my friends. Blogging is even incidental. It’s all about the pictures and videos, baby!!

At this point, I’ve had one baby eat the fucking popsicle out of my hand and had the other hump my leg about 50 times today. Where is my popsicle? Where is my humping??

Oh, me so tired.

Me sleepy long time. (Not likely, but I live in hope.)

At this point I am sitting like a zombie on the couch. Except a really bad zombie as I don’t have the energy to chase people around and try to eat their brains. I am motionless and expressionless, hoping TMD will think I am writing something important. She is in the bathroom with both kids, who have both just shit their pants. If she manages to get the poop off, it’s then bathtime.

I don’t know if it’s the heat, or my living like a hermit, or the physical exertion – but I don’t think I’ve been this tired since the week after the week they were born. (You know, because the first week I was too busy cuddling them at night and having TMD scream at midwives on my behalf as they were trying to steal the babies away and give them formula. That shit keeps a girl awake, I tell you.)

So. Where was I?

Sneaking off to the bedroom before anyone gets out of the bathroom, I think. Maybe TMD will forget she married me and I can just hide in there forever and ever. With Dawson and Joey and Pacey. And my crazy cave people books. And…..oh, I don’t know. My tiger balm – because did I mention? I’ve had an on-off migraine/headache since Tuesday.

Babies are awesome. Twins are awesomer. But the ability to sleep unmolested? I hesitate to say it is awesomest since nothing should trump my children, but day-um. It’s been a long week. Last Saturday is when Snort got the fever, and since then like 7093 teeth have grown in, he’s got fucking pink eye, people learned to pull up, people learned to crawl, people have pooped 432532 times, and people are waking up all. night. long.

All niiiight, all night long. Everyone you meet, refuses to sleep, all night long…all niiiight…

OH MY GOD THEY ARE GETTING OUT OF THE TUB. I NEED TO RUN. GOODBYE. I AM SORRY ABOUT ANY TYPOS, BUT NOT SO SORRY THAT I WILL REREAD THIS.

RUUUUUUUUUUUN.