Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...

One of the most difficult things about surviving life with small children is the sleep deprivation. All other newborn/infant/toddler unpleasantries are infinitely more tolerable with more than a few hours of consecutive sleep. Diaper explosion to quasi-well-rested mommmy? No biggie. Comical even. Same degree of poop contamination to sleep deprived mommy? Meltdown of monumental, tears flowing, teeth-gnashing, and otherwise epic proportions.
I made the mistake of declaring victory prematurely on the nighttime sleep of our secondborn. Apparently I thought we had won the Parenting Game. Not only did I say it, I actually put it in writing for the world to see (and subsequently scoff at my naivete). Audacious was my claim in a prior post that Elise was sleeping 8 hours or so at night. Even more audacious was the follow-up statement that requested an even later wakeup call. Oh, the ingratitude. Ingratitude which has been rewarded with a 4.5 month old who wakes up approximately every 1-2 hours and will not go back to sleep unless I feed her. Occasionally I accumulate a decent total number of slumbering hours, just broken into painfully short chunks.
There are two main aspects of the sleep deprivation issue that are particularly exasperating (aside from the actual inability of my brain to function without my beloved 8 hour consecutive trip to dreamland). First is the disconcerting feeling of not-knowing-when-this-will-end. This is true both in the micro sense: will she EVER go back to sleep or will I EVER be able to fall asleep before she wakes up again?) and in the macro sense: will I EVER get a full night's sleep?). In that state of utter sleep-deprived despair, the current situation seems infinite. If someone told me I just had to tough it out for a few weeks, or even months, it would be so much easier. I can do anything with a definable end in sight. But you better believe there would be a giant countdown calendar involved somewhere...

The other particularly maddening aspect for me is my innate need to Figure. Things. Out. Elise isn't sleeping throught the night; there must be some physiologic reason why this is the case, and thus a concrete solution or combination of solutions that I can do to fix the problem. Maybe I just need to swaddle her more/less. Maybe she's not eating enough/too much during the day. Maybe she's too hot/cold. Maybe if I just put her to bed a few minutes earlier/later. Maybe if I sing Goodnight Sweetheart instead of You Are My Sunshine. Seriously, these thoughts use up perfectly good neuronal space in my brain. I'm well aware that she is just a baby-- and a young one at that-- and not sleeping is just what they do. There probably isn't a magical recipe that I can concoct to make things any different. But part of me still believes that if I just think about it hard enough, I'll figure it out. Especially since she was sleeping so much better in the past. She has proved to me she CAN do it!
After several weeks of frustration and feeling like a failure in the get-your-baby-to-sleep department, I have adopted a new strategy. And by new I mean Day 1. We'll see how it goes. I'm going to (try to) accept the fact that things are what they are. For whatever reason right now, E2 needs me to wake up with her many many times during the night. She will only be little for a short time, and if I can view these late night bonding sessions as time to snuggle my precious little one-- fleeting moments to be cherished. Before I know it, she won't fit in my lap anymore, and probably even before that she won't sit still long enough to be cuddled. So for now, I am going to adopt this new perspective when I hear the all-too-frequent nighttime stirring. It won't be forever that her favorite thing in the world will be spending time with Mommy (ok, ok and some milk). Instead of grumbling, muttering pseudo-obscenities, or sighing in exasperation as I roll out of bed, I'm going to remind myself of that.

 But if you run into me during the day, don't expect me not to be a little grumpy. Or red- and baggy-eyed. Or vaguely coherent. Or well-groomed. Or groomed at all...

Mother's Day

I am one lucky Mama.
Blessed to be the Mommy of two beautiful, healthy, precious girls.

Thankful for baby giggles.

For the Yikes face.

For an on-call work companion.

For dimples.

And pigtails.

For the boxing stance.

For sister kisses.

For unmatching giant bows. And superfluous tutu dresses no matter what occasion.

For tiny bikinis. And thigh rolls.

For sunny, sandy smiles.

For irrefutable evidence that God exists, and that he creates the most beautiful things.

Even for regurgitated milk.

For babies in baseball caps.

For big blue eyes.

For the chance to dress up like pirates.

And Disney characters.

And trumpet playing Cinco-de-Mayo celebrators.

And... well... this.

Thankful for the two most precious human being on the planet, and that I somehow got lucky enough to be their Mama.

Friday, May 11, 2012

If you're thinking of having children...

I should write a book. I'll call it "If you're thinking of having children...", and the first chapter will be a description of a typical morning in my household. With emphasis on the typical part-- as in nothing unusual, out of the ordinary, or particularly comment-worthy. Only that it is... or would have been in the pre-offprsing era.

3am: Baby wakes up. Sadly, the fact that this hasn't occurred earlier in the night (morning?) is a cause for jubilant celebration these days.

4:45am: Hear rustling in Elle's room. Go investigate. Find lights on, 3-year-old in bathroom singing to herself and... wait for it... painting her nails. Only her definition of "nails" obviously has expanded to include her hand, arm, pajamas, the sink, multiple towels, and-- despite all conceivable laws of physics-- the ceiling. Ask child what on earth she is doing. Start to scold. Child responds, "I needed a manicure". Laugh instead. Clean purple nail polish from all of the aforementioned places. Scold self for thinking nail polish could be safely stored in child's bathroom drawer. Wish momentarily I had thought to capture the moment photographically. Remember that it is Four. In. The. Morning.

5:45am: Re-re-wake up. Pump milk. Shower and start getting ready, omitting unnecessary steps such as proper attention to hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

6:15am: The manicurist wakes up and informs me as per usual that I am not to come into her room as she will be dressing herself and will "surprise me". Hope for the best.

6:25: Choose not to comment/veto Elle's choice of horrifically non-matching clothes/socks. Don't poke the skunk.

6:30: Preside over breakfast. Agree to let Elle choose her oatmeal muffin.
6:45: Reassure the muffin-chooser that after tortuous laborious analysis that she did, in fact, select the largest one.

6:50am: Hunt for The. Only. Pair. Of. Shoes. That. Will. Do.

6:55am: Wake up baby who clearly thinks time-to-leave-for-work is much more appropriate for sleeping than 3am (see above).
6:57: Feed baby. Pretend not to notice spitup/drool/Prevacid stain on left shoulder.

7:05am: Convince Elle she does not need a Second Breakfast.
7:06: Load car with kids, bottles, work stuff, the second largest muffin, and gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.
7:06:15: Explain to Elle that she is not a teacher and thus may not claim any of the designated Teacher gifts.

7:07am: Push button on coffee machine. Almost have to donate to the Swear Jar when it refuses to cooperate and says, "Fill water tank". Fill water tank. Push button again. Come closer to owing Swear Jar when it says "Empty grounds". Empty grounds. Push button in a threateningly violent fashion. Consider IV source of caffeine.

7:08am: Take hard-earned cup of coffee to car.
7:09: Olfactory neurons suggest that the littlest Golding has soiled her diaper. Consider pretending not to notice until we get to daycare. Discover that the "problem" has extended beyond the confines of the diaper to involve onesie, babylegs, socks, and car seat. Clean, change, clean. Wish for one day of not having to touch/clean someone else's feces.

7:15am: Depart house.
7:20am: Arrive at daycare. Redirect Elle 6,249 times between car and classroom.
7:30am: Deliver kids to respective teachers, who are Appreciated beyond belief. A few hundred requests for "one last hug" later, return to car and head to work. Wonder how I can possibly be running late.

Ready to start the day.

Monday, May 7, 2012


The Easter pictures below purposely ignore the portion of my holiday weekend that involved far-too-many hours spent in the hospital, even-further-too-many of which of those hours were in the middle of the night. You won't see graphic images of a beleaguered me doing 5 intussusceptions and an upper GI, which-- as if it were any consolation-- is apparently a historical record for a peds weekend on call. Not imaged is the crushing of my spirit when the pager went. off. again.

What you will see is how I choose to remember the holiday: spending time with my gorgeous family, accepting the fact that I've become that mom who dresses her kids in coordinating holiday garb and then swoons over their irrefutable cuteness, enjoying great food and egg-hunting with the extended Golding family, and above all celebrating our Savior's resurrection. I've always had a knack for selective remembering...

Wouldn't you?