Emry putting himself to bed on the couch, November 2016
I've written a lot about sleep over the years. When I recently went back and read old posts, I have to admit I actually shuddered. The sleep situation in our house was that dire. For many years.
Thankfully, over the last four years, as Elan's sleep apnea has been successfully treated and Emry has gotten older, sleep is no longer the limiting factor in our lives. Well, at least not most nights. And not usually because of the kids.
But I remember so clearly the desperation of that particular kind of up-four-times-every-night exhaustion. When I look back, I have a lot of compassion for myself, for Mikhail, and for Elan. Parenting takes a lot of internal resources, and when you're chronically exhausted, it becomes very difficult to summon those resources. I still remember the incredible sense of relief that flooded me when the sleep specialist looked at my Excel spreadsheets of Elan's sleep and said to me, "this is not normal, it is not your fault, and we can make it better."
The other night, Elan was congested from a cold, and he had a night terror, ... more
Emry, July 2014
For the last several months, Nubbins has been dropping his nap.
(Everyone who has parented a nap-dropping child now sighs.)
I'm knocking wood as I type this, but so far, this transition hasn't been nearly as gnarly as Elan's nap-dropping chaos was. Part of this is probably because I have not attempted to force him into nap or enforce a set rest-time. I'm still scarred from the screaming fits that happened when I tried to convince Elan that a good alternative for a nap would be to have quiet time ... more
Here's a post I wrote back in March 2013. I'm not sure why I never got around to posting it then. Perhaps it painted a picture of the sleep situation which made it look worse than it usually was by then, since I wrote this about six months after we finally managed to get Elan's combined sleep apnea and dust mite allergy better controlled. Colds still exacerbate his sleep apnea, and there are still nights when I'm up and down multiple times, though other nights when both of them ... more
Mischievous look expert, February 2013
As I contemplate having reached the one-year mark after Elan's tonsillectomy to treat sleep apnea, I am frequently struck by the ridiculous nonsensicalness of sleep in my house. I just finished an essay about it, my first non-blog humor piece, sparked by an idea I got - when else? - in the middle of the night.
Elan and I have been reading Shel Silverstein before bed lately, which I love because I get to witness his delight and remember my own in these same poems. ... more
My grandmother's china, 4 a.m.It's 4:48 a.m. and I'm baking banana muffins.Some weeks just go like this. We start off all shiny and new, thinking of the things large and small we're going to accomplish. On Sunday night, we either have visions of success or trepidation. Does it matter which we expect, when the end result just seems to come to fruition on its own, a product of moon phase, cycle phase, life phase, sleep phase, what?On Monday, I was swimming laps, ... more
Another crazy morning with 2, April 2012I want to write about having a full plate. How my current slate of two part-time paid grantwriting jobs, one part-time volunteer job at Elan's preschool, full-time mama/wife/runner of the household, and still trying to do that other writing, that creative work that feeds my soul, is too much for me. How my 2 days of full childcare, while I still feel their luxury, are eaten up in a flash. And yet I have ... more
In what has become a yearly tradition, right around New Year's, Mikhail and I took a walk on the beach and figured out some words to express what we are hoping for this year.
I know it's March now, and I'm talking about January, but bear with me. I needed to let these words grow on me a little before I was ready to share them.
Besides, being on time isn't one of my strengths.
Once we figure out the words, we write them in the sand. Last year, we had this ... more
Part of me wants to write an in-depth post about the tonsillectomy recovery, with all my suggestions for how to survive it, in case any of you have to go through your own 10-14 days of Parenting Hell.And part of me wants to never think about it again.Basically, we survived through gritting our teeth and reassuring ourselves (and him) that IT WOULD END. Because it's hard to remember that when you're in pain, even for us grown-ups. And we gave Motrin. Lots and lots of Motrin. So much that we ... more
I confess that...Sometimes the baby gets chocolate bread for breakfast.Emry, 14 months, January 2012And he really likes it.(Notice the gummy smile - Emry's first tooth has broken through so he's toothless no more!)Both my children drink bottles. Occasionally while watching TV.December 2011In the hours between 5 and 7 a.m., I frequently want to curse. Sometimes I do. Early morning is not my finest hour.I found more amazement, pleasure and simple joy in ... more
Botanical garden, Berkeley, January 2012Let me tell you, having your kid get their tonsils out really sucks.I'm really hoping this is worth it, because last night, when I was awake with a screaming, thrashing, kicking child who refuses to take his medicine in the night, from roughly midnight to 4 a.m., with breaks when he'd fall asleep, then wake up twenty minutes later, hysterical once more, and I felt so helpless and bad for him, and also so frustrated that he wouldn't just swallow ... more