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March 24, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

So we just got back from Mexico, and something was made blatantly clear to me while away: I am seriously sleep deprived.  The first night there, I slept about 7 hours straight and when I woke up, I couldn't believe it.  I hadn't remembered feeling like that in ages.  My mind was clear, I was in a good mood, and ready to get up to face the day.  Then I realized that after a solid four months of having an atrocious cough that had people taking a step away from me, I stopped coughing.  I had been on medicine after medicine trying to feel better, but nothing was working.

I knew I was really tired, but now that I've taken a step back, I can really understand just how tired.  Tired enough to make - and keep - me physically sick is troublesome.  It's troublesome because the source of my sleep deprivation is a 3 1/2 year old, and I don't know how to fix this situation.

When the trio were babies, we were slaves to the schedule, because it worked.  When it was time to sleep, the kids knew it and it was never any trouble.  They are still awesome sleepers to this day.  My little one, well, we kept to a schedule but it didn't govern our life as before.  She never slept as well, and it was really ok when she was a baby because there was only one of her.  After she moved to her big bed from the crib, she would wake up now and then but it wasn't crazy.  Now she's up in the middle of the night more than not, and she always requires me to snuggle her and to have a drink of milk.  I let her have a pacifier longer than I wanted and that is really the only thing I can pinpoint that could be different.  She's still got her other things she likes to sleep with, but they must not soothe her the way her pacifier did.

I just can't figure out how she functions so well with this sleeplessness!

My nightly slumber is nothing more than a series of naps.  People need a solid chunk of sleep in order to function.  Your body and mind must be allowed to reset itself.

The effects of my rest are quickly rubbing off.  Five nights of sleep can't make up for the huge sleep debt I've got going, especially since my first two nights back have been once again nothing but a series of naps.  I really, really REALLY don't want to get sick again, especially since I have to have surgery in the next couple of weeks.  I want nothing more than just to go to bed at night, and wake up refreshed in the morning...at least more nights than the alternative.  Is that really too much to ask?

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March 10, 2009

A Much Needed Break

Since becoming a mom, I am much more concerned with my children than myself.  That's pretty normal I think, but the hardest part for me is sleep.  We kept the trio on a schedule when they were babies, and they were (still are) the best sleepers.  However, even when they were sleeping through the night, I wasn't: I was still getting up to pump.  Finally we transitioned to milk after they were a year, and I could sleep...when I wasn't getting called for work (I do NOT miss being on call!!!).  Or when someone wasn't getting up for some reason.  Or when a cat wasn't yakking up a fur ball.  Or when the grass wasn't growing outside.  I don't know, something changed.  Part of it was that hubby started traveling and I was the only adult home with all the kids.  Part of it was 9/11 changed me and suddenly the highway (near our house at the time) suddenly sounded like explosions.  Most of it, I truly believe, is it's just because that's who I am.  I am a mom after a long battle to become so, and I am now responsible for these little people who mean the world to me.  Being a natural worrier, this should be expected I guess.

Then surprise (tee hee!) Haley came along and I relished every single moment of having one newborn.  All of my kids were snugglers, but when I could just cuddle one and not have the fear of someone else needing a cuddle at the exact same time, it was wonderful.  It was everything I hoped it would be, and then some.  The trio were 4 at the time, and they adored their baby sister just as much.

Hmm, do you think I'm sleeping more these days?

I love my darling youngest to pieces, but she is not the best sleeper.  She was on a schedule enough that I don't think it's the lack of deviance from one as strict as the trio's that did it.  She is our last baby, she gets her snuggles, and she knows it.  Not saying she's spoiled, because the girl is unbelievably smart and we are all stubborn enough to not give in to tantrums.  Come on, we have four kids, two full time working (traveling involved) parents.  We try very hard to spend the time we have with the kids very wisely.  But boy, 3 7 year olds and 1 3 year old can wear you out.  We don't have much family at all nearby, and we maybe go out just the two of us a few times a year.  Literally.  I really don't mind this fact, but right now, I'm tired.

I'm tired, people.  I'm seriously tired.  I need a break.  My body is telling me that.  I've gotten sick more in the last 4 months than I've gotten in the last 4 years combined.

There were some factors that all came in to play for us to take a little vacation.  We of course felt guilty as hell to even consider it (especially for me, since I have to fly), but I grappled with it for a while.  Then I got another health issue.  I decided that I have to do this for me, for my family, because I can't continue at this pace.  I'm pretty sure 5 nights in Mexico won't solve everything, but I am certain it will go a long way.  I've allowed myself to let go of the guilt, I know the kids are in trusted care, and I know I will enjoy the 5 nights of doing WHATEVER.  Sitting on a beach chair, reading a book, taking a nap, NOT checking my email, smelling the air, soaking up the sun (with sunscreen, because I'm overly pale).  It took me some time to 'allow' myself this luxury in light of the economy, everyone's uncertain futures, leaving my kids in general, but I'm going to do it.  Of course I'll miss my kids like nobody's business, but that's ok.

One week from right now, I'll be relaxing.  And it will be a much, much, much needed break.

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March 06, 2009

I'm a Sucker

In the end, it doesn't really matter what *I* think about what others are doing to their lives.  I honestly have a very unselfish motive for caring so much about everyone: I just want the best for people.  I like to see people happy.  I like when people are comfortable in their own skin.  I like when people can stand up for what they believe.

I've had an emotionally tough time accepting a lot of things over the past several years.  I've tried to fix family rifts, tried to make wrongs right, tried to repair broken hearts.  I've been through my share of personal problems, trying to still be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend (to name just a few).  When people I care about hurt, I hurt.  I can't turn that off.

And I've come to learn that I don't want to turn that off.  It's what keeps me sane (there is a note of irony there).

We get one chance at life.  You never know when your time is up, so people, you damn well better make the most of it.  Sometimes it sucks, some days you can drive yourself batty with worry about everything.  It's easy to do, especially in these times of uncertainty (or should I say absolute uncertainty - Mrs. Steinberg, I think you'd be proud).

But today, it was 68 degrees and sunny (yah!).  I had fresh air flowing through my house.  And my youngest sister had a very healthy (very - as in 9 lbs 2 oz) baby boy.  My husband and children are all under my roof tonight, safe and sound.  I still have a job that I enjoy that also has great health benefits.  I live in an awesome neighborhood with lots of friends whom I trust.  Life could be so much worse.

A new life that affects mine was born tonight.  I have four kids...I'm obviously a sucker for babies.  I might not even be able to meet my nephew until Memorial Day, but I'm excited for them.  I'm hoping and hoping and hoping that everything turns out ok with that particular situation, but again, it's not my life.  It is all good tonight, and that's what matters for now.  My sister is doing well, embracing her new role as a mom with her (pretty awesome) boyfriend beside her, and I'll take that.  She knew what she was getting in to, and stuck by her decision.  They are young, but there is something in their maturity that tells me they just might be ok.  And I completely respect that.

Like I said, I'm a sucker.  Welcome to parenthood Abby and Blayne, and Brayden, I can't wait to meet you.

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