Tag Archives: sleep

Operation Mommy Doesn’t Get to Nap

I am really tired today. The baby didn’t go to bed until 11 and then cried several times in the middle of the night (though didn’t wake up so it could have been worse). Every time she cried in her sleep, my adrenaline would pump. “OMG! Baby’s up! She never goes right back to sleep so I’m not going to get any sleep! OMG I’m going to be so tired tomorrow! Why is she up?! Why?!”

She wasn’t up. She was just crying wolf.

But then Rose started wailing in the middle of the night and she meant it. She was up with a bad cough. She moved to my bed and then kept me up coughing even after I relocated to the guest room. I woke up earlier than I would have liked to the sounds of the clean-up of a gross pull-up leak in MY OWN BED. Thanks, Rose!

It was one of those wonderful nights where there isn’t enough coffee in the world to make the next day right. To top things off, Dr. Toy Warden is working late.

So I needed a nap this afternoon while the big girls were at preschool. I had 2.5 hours to make that happen before Dr. Toy Warden brought the girls home during his dinner break. I hoped the baby would cooperate. In a way she did by sleeping a lot, but I still didn’t get to take a nap. She plotted out her sleep in a way that made my sleeping impossible.

1) Baby falls asleep on the way home from preschool. She never stays asleep in the carseat long. I know that if I try to nap now, it won’t happen. I know I can’t take her out of her carseat or she will wake up. She naps about once every 90 minutes still, so I figure I’ll catch the next one.

2) Baby wakes up 20 minutes later while I’m making lunch. I put her in her swing so I can eat. I take about 5 minutes to eat, but she’s fallen right back to sleep. I know I don’t have long because she doesn’t sleep well in the swing. The odds of my getting a nap now are slim.

3) An HOUR later (weird for the swing) baby wakes up. I figure she’s really awake now. I nurse her. She falls asleep in my lap. I am currently trapped under a sleeping baby who has taken one long-ass nap with interruptions. If I move her, she will wake up.

I’ve been trapped for a while. The big girls will now be home in 15 minutes.

No nap for me and it’s super unfair because the baby has been asleep almost the entire time the girls were at school. And I haven’t been able to do anything productive because this sleeping baby was in the living room. Any movement will wake her.

I think she did this on purpose. Every single time I try to nap, it backfires. She clearly wants me to be awake all the time and thinks I should be able to muddle through because she sleeps through the night. In a way, she’s right. If I had slept through the night with her, I would be fine. Sadly, her sibling had other ideas.

Plotting children– nothing but trouble.


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Sleep Payback

In my experience, you don’t get to escape a babyhood without losing an awful lot of sleep at some point. Lily was up every hour when she was a newborn. I did not stutter or make a mistake there: EVERY HOUR. I was lucky if I got two consecutive hours of sleep instead of just 45 minutes at a time. It was awful. This came after nearly a month of no sleep from my PUPPPs itching hell. I was a walking disaster. At some point, she started sleeping 2 hours at a time and this actually felt luxurious. When she was 4 weeks old, everyone seemed to be asking if she was “sleeping through the night”. I wanted to kill them. Even worse, I had a lot of online friends from a birth-month community who were posting about their same age babies sleeping 4+ hours at a time from the beginning and whining about how tired they were. They were complaining about being up once at night when I’d been up at least eight times. Those people were my enemies.

Now I am my own enemy. With Lily, I would have hated someone exactly like me. First Rose was a champion sleeper. We came home from the hospital with her sleeping in 4 hour chunks. When she was just a few weeks old, she’d sleep 6+ hour chunks and I’d get scared that I should wake her. She was QUITE the chunk and 90+ percentile in everything, so I let it slide and all turned out well. Now Violet is an amazing sleeper– even better than Rose was. She slept 6 straight hours before her 1 week check-up. She now sleeps at least 7 straight hours without waking and sometimes goes as much as 11 hours without making a peep. This has been going on for a while and she is 8 weeks old.

Seriously, brand-new-mom-to-Lily me would HATE current me.

But current me knows that there WILL be hell to pay for all the great sleep we are getting right now and were getting with Rose.

Rose slept great for 6 months. Then I had to take off the swaddle and she was up ALL.THE.TIME. All the time. ALL THE TIME. She was up as much as newborn Lily was. And it didn’t stop. With Lily, the nighttime insanity was much better by the time she was 4 months old, though not completely resolved until she was 15 months old. Once Lily was 15 months old, we never ever heard from her at night again (unless she had stomach flu). Rose, on the other hand, continued to have sleep problems until she was more than 2 years old. At 2 years old, she was still up more often than Lily was up at 12 months old.

You see, when you have a good sleeping newborn, you have to pay for it later.

Now I have this amazing sleeping newborn and I’m terrified for my future payback. When will it happen? How badly will it suck? Since Violet is sleeping even better than the enviable Rose’s newborn sleep will my payback be even worse and for even longer? Or am I paying for it now by having a baby who fusses from 7 pm to 11 pm each night unless we are moving? Since the big girls didn’t pull that nonsense on me, I’m hoping that’s my payback, but I’m guessing some other level of torture and sleep deprivation is in my future.

Damn babies are tricky.

It’s a good thing they are so cute otherwise I don’t know if I’d be in for the eventual payback for a third time!


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2 am to 3 am

2:00 am


Rose knows how to open her own door and in fact frequently does so to join me in bed for reasons I don’t understand.

I went to open the door… which was already open. Rose was lying there seemingly sound asleep. I left. I got back in bed and…


I poked my head in again and she seemed asleep. I went back to bed.


Again, she seemed asleep. I went back to bed.


This time her eyes were actually open. I brought her back to bed with me to stop her from waking up Lily, who shares a room with her now. Lily never stirs during this nonsense, but it’s still not fair for her to have to put up with so much noise in the middle of the night. It’s not fair to any of us.

I put her in my bed and put her pillow between my husband and me.

Rose: NO! I want it here!

She moved her pillow on top of my $70 neck pillow. Um, no. I kicked my husband out of bed (there’s another full-sized bed in the other room) and reclaimed my $70 neck pillow. Sorry kid. I have that pillow for a reason! I tried to put a blanket on her!


I lay down next to her looking at her.

Me: Do you want to snuggle?

Rose: NO!

A few minutes later, Rose has her eyes closed.


I tell her I’m going to sleep.


Every time my eyes are open, her eyes are closed.

Rose starts screaming something indistinguishable that turns out to be “I want to snuggle.”

But she didn’t really want to snuggle because she kept pushing me away and yelling about it.

Every single thing I did was unacceptable to her.

Finally, after an hour of nonsense and nowhere else to put the child, she yells “I want the other bed!”

Me: What other bed?

Rose: I want the crib!

So I dropped her in the crib and didn’t hear from her again until morning.

What was that all about?! Her eyes were closed for most of it so I think she might have been half asleep? Either way, let’s not do that again!


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Toddler Feng Shui

After the recent acquisition of a toddler bed and a load of kid furniture from IKEA, Rose’s room was looking ridiculous. Both kid rooms were so full that we couldn’t even unload the IKEA furniture from the car so I could start building it. I drove around with that stuff in my van for a week. Operation Room Share had to take place whether Rose was sleeping well or not.

Rose's room seriously stayed like this for 2 months!

About 3 weeks ago, we moved the full-sized bed and crib out of Rose’s room and into Lily’s room and we moved Lily’s twin-sized bed into Rose’s room. I still had some IKEA furniture to build, but the girls were officially room sharers. Believe it or not, they were actually very excited about the change and Rose and Lily slept just fine in their beds for the next week before I finally got around to building some furniture. Rose’s bed looked like this.

The next week, I built Lily a wardrobe.

When I first saw the IKEA Mammut collection, I couldn't figure out if I was crazy or brilliant for wanting to buy it. I've decided brilliant.

Rose was ok the first few nights after we moved things around, but then she started showing up in our room a lot in the middle of the night. Since she was ok the first night the wardrobe was in the room, I didn’t think the new arrangements were upsetting her.

The next weekend, I built Rose a dresser.

If that quilt were centered, this would be the perfect ladybug room, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Within a couple days, she absolutely refused to sleep in her toddler bed anymore. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We could say it was the changed furniture, but she really loved her dresser and the wardrobe. She seemed to like having Lily in there with her.

What was particularly odd about this was that she preferred sleeping in Lily’s OLD room. True, the beds in Lily’s old room used to be Rose’s, but it’s not like she was used to sleeping in there. She had LOVED her toddler bed when we brought it home and slept in it every night up until this point. I just couldn’t figure it out.

She wasn’t adjusting to things If anything, every night things were getting worse. She wasn’t even sneaking to other rooms anymore. She wouldn’t even touch her toddler bed anymore.

Finally, my mother suggested that maybe Rose felt insecure with her bed being perpendicular to the wall instead of parallel to it.

And so, I turned her bed back three nights ago. It looks completely stupid.

No longer Better Homes and Garden-worthy.

Not only did she agree to sleep in the toddler bed again, she pretty much jumped in it and refused to get out. She’s slept the whole night through in her own bed every night since we turned her bed back.

Apparently, Rose’s feng shui was off when her bed was perpendicular to the wall. In order to get a good night’s sleep, she needs to be parallel to it. I guess.

Or it’s just another case of Toddler OCD raising its ugly head.

The room looks insane now and I may need to unbolt the furniture to rearrange it again and expose the ugly drilling mistakes we made trying to get things right (we fail at tools), but Rose is happy and sleeping again.

I guess that’s all that matters, but my own amateur design eye flinches when I see the room the way it is now. I guess anything is better than what was going on when we had a full-sized bed, toddler bed AND crib in there and were stuck in limbo waiting for the room swap?



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“You’re Right, Mommy!”

I’m climbing out of the hole of exhaustion that is my 2 year old’s  now unpredictable nights. She started out so good– the best newborn sleeper the world has ever met. The first 6 months were so golden. Then things were bad until a year. I thought we’d fixed things until the recent madness started. In fact, I should be in bed right now because she has a cold and who knows what the hell will happen tonight.

Five nights a week, we are good. She sleeps 12 hours beautifully. Put her in her bed, shut the door, don’t hear from her until morning. It’s the other 2 nights a week that are the problem. Half the time it’s night terrors– 30 minutes of screaming and not reacting to any attempts to comfort her followed by her being WIDE AWAKE and not very happy. The other half of the time she wakes up disgruntled because of a wet diaper. Or maybe it’s gas. Or maybe it’s teeth. Whatever it is, she won’t go back to sleep for hours.

She was up 2:30-6 am Tuesday for gas? Teeth? Gas and teeth? Nothing? A con job? A diaper? I don’t know. I took her downstairs for a little while, then put her back to bed for 90 minutes. She tossed, she turned, she cried. I didn’t sleep. I finally brought her to our bed. She tossed, she turned, she climbed. I didn’t sleep. Finally at 5:30 am I threw her at her dad snapping “GET HER AWAY FROM ME!” Clearly good mom behavior. BEST mom behavior.

But seriously, if she kept me awake another second someone was going to get hurt.

She fell asleep on my husband 30 minutes later. Which is as infuriating as it is a relief.

The next day I let her sleep until 9:30 when I woke her up for a playdate. I fully anticipated napping when she napped later.

Only she didn’t nap later.

How can you be up from 2:30-6 am and not nap later? How?

It defies the laws of toddler nature.

And it’s not like I didn’t give the nap a valiant effort– we drove for 45 minutes, she was in a crib for 2 hours, I cuddled with her for 30 minutes. That’s 3 hours and 15 minutes of attempts to get this child to nap and NOTHING. She was wasting both our times. We could have been doing something fun. Or sleeping. But no. Let’s just aggravate us both by playing around in your crib. I’m surprised poop warfare was not employed.

Two hours later we were driving to dinner and I hear her little 2 year old voice saying, “I tired. I so tired.”

To which I responded, “You wouldn’t be tired if you’d taken a nap like I told you to. Or at least slept at night. Or both.”

I swear to God this next part is true! She responded “You’re right, Mommy.”

Damn right, I’m right.

I don’t know if she knew what she was saying so much as responding the way I do to some of the things she says, but either way it cracked me up.

I hope she knows I’m right for real and naps the next time she gives me a rough night. Or even not a rough night. Or better yet, how about no rough nights at all? Is that so much to ask?



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