Thursday, January 14, 2010

No rest for the weary

If I read one more article about how much getting enough sleep affects your weight and well-being, I'm going to scream.

Really, people, I'm trying! I'd LOVE to get more than three hours total a night. I'd just love to sleep an entire night through. It's been about a year since I've done so. Maybe even longer. It's torture. I'm TIRED. I LOOK tired (I've been told this by many people, and I HATE it. They might as well tell me I look like crap, because that's what they mean.)

Seriously, no amount of makeup will cover these dark circles.

Sleep has been an issue pretty much ever since I had Logan. I have written a handful of columns about it for the newspaper, and I have to stop myself from replying "tired" when people ask me how I'm doing. No one wants to hear that.

Hubby, for one, isn't a great sleeper. Sharing a bed with him can be like sharing a bed with, oh, I don't know, a cement mixer? No, it's not THAT bad, I guess, but he does get up several times a night.

Logan could sleep through World War Three (which is actually a good thing, thanks to having a baby in the house) but the thing is, the kid dreams a LOT, and he sleep-talks (yells) every single night. That will wake you up for sure! He seems to have a lot of arguments in his sleep.

But I'll take it. It took many years to get Logan going to sleep on his own, in his own bed. I'm SO happy he does because now we have Jordan.

Oh, Jordan.

My sweet, soft, little round-faced Jordan with the mooshy kissable cheeks and silky baby hair. In some ways, getting up with him at night is pure heaven because I love to get in a few thousand extra kisses and cuddles, so delicious is he, but I'd also like to sleep, and he ain't going for that.

Lately, his crib seems to be his arch enemy. He wants nothing to do with it, and if he senses I'm carrying him to it, he stiffens his little body, thrashes and starts fighting me. It's as if I was putting him in a cage for the night, which, I guess I kind of am.

I have been trying to stick to a bedtime routine, because I hear that's the key to getting kids to sleep well. We do dinner, bath, read a book or two, nurse and then off to bed.

Commence the screaming.

Yeah, I have resorted to "crying it out." I did it a few times with Logan, and it seemed to follow a pattern: 45 minutes of intermittent crying the first night, 10 the second night and then we were home free and he'd go right to bed and sleep through the night. If he woke up, he'd go back to sleep with little trouble. Until the next time he got sick or cut a new tooth or had a growth spurt. Then we'd have to start all over agian.

Well, I've been trying that out with Jordan, telling myself I'd only have to tough it out a couple times and then he'd be sleeping like, well, a baby. (And what idiot thought THAT would be a good way to describe a sound sleep? Have you ever watched a baby sleep? They twitch and sigh and moan and convince you they're not breathing and so on.)

Except Jordan's not buying into the whole "cry it out" thing. Instead, he screams harder. He makes noises you would expect to hear from someone who is having his arms ripped off by a great white shark. And he screams, and he screams and he screams. Then, when you think maybe he is finally settling down, you realize he was just reloading, and he screams even more intensely.

How can someone who has had so little sleep be so persistent in screaming? I know when I've had a good cry, I get really tired and sleep really well. Crying is exhausting business!

So, this has gone on for a while now. I am patiently(?) awaiting the arrival of the No-Cry Sleep Solution books, which I have reserved at the library (they have to borrow it from some other library for me). I am hoping I can find an answer there, because what we're doing isn't working.

Last night, Jordan faked me out. We did the bedtime routine and lo and behold, he went down, in his crib, still awake but drowsy, without a peep. He fell asleep. I did a victory dance with a big grin on my face. I'd done it! HE'D done it.

He made up for it a couple hours later.

And another hour later.

And then a half hour later.

All. Night. Long.

I held out hopes that if I got up and nursed him, he would go back to sleep without fuss again.

Instead, he howled like a wildcat in a steel trap.

So, here I am, it's 7:25 a.m. and I just got him back to sleep AGAIN. He better nap well today or he's going to be a beast.

As for me, I'm just toast. But I'm sadly kind of used to it. My world is a fog these days. I dimly remember the days when I would sleep until I was rested. That seems so far away.

I am holding out hope that those days will come again, though.

They have to.

Or I might lose my mind!

So here is a rare shot of my sleeping angel. He took a nap right before dinner on New Year's Eve. He fell asleep on the couch and then I moved him to the floor.

What a beautiful sight!

(Well, except the paci, but if you think I'm touching THAT one in the midst of a sleep battle, you have to be crazy.)