Just Go Back to Sleep!

Seriously, I want to sleep past 4 a.m. in the morning.

Why doesn’t he do this more often? (pic below) Or at least just until 6 a.m.! I don’t think that is too much to ask.

And don’t tell me to put him to bed later. Tried that. No matter what time this kid goes to bed, he is awake whenever he pleases and terrorizing everything. Can’t wait until he outgrows this stage.

Just stay asleep, kid!

****

I flew up in bed, startled by a presence in the room. It was still dark and I could hear the wind howling outside the windows, making them rattle and whistle; reminding me of how badly we need new windows. I looked around the bedroom as my eyes adjusted to the dark.

There was Collin. My pale little toddler standing by the tv, trying not to make a sound as he sorted through Brad’s change on the nightstand. He realized I was awake and stood as still as a statue, like maybe I wouldn’t see or notice him if he didn’t move or look at me.

Geesh, kid! Just go to sleep! (this is usually what goes through my head when I just don’t want to be awake at 4 a.m.)

I reached for my phone. What the heck time is it anyway? It glowed 4 a.m. When I turned back a split second later he was trying to escape, as if he was never there. Sneaky little guy.

Brad was starting to wake up a little bit. “Grab him,” I said.

He swooped down and wrapped his arms around him like a slippery fish. He knew he was caught so he snuggled in with us.

I know his tricks though. That kid will lay there, still as can be, until you doze back off. Then he will make his escape. One time he was petting my eyebrows to test if I was still asleep or not.

Brad rolled over and handed me something. “Take this.” he said.

I held something round in my hand. It was a perfect circle on the top. It was kind of sticky and moist. It looked like it might glow as I held it up to the moonlight. “What the hell is this?” I complained, still half asleep and wondering why he handed it to me.

I squinted. “Oh, it’s a corn muffin,” I mumbled and placed it on my nightstand next to my glasses and phone, like this was a normal thing to do. 

Obviously, Collin must have snuck downstairs sometime in those early hours of the morning to help himself to a snack. This kid is gonna be my gray hair; I just know it.

I slept with one eye open and alert ears the rest of the night, so if Collin did get up again, I would be able to hear him and get up with him. Just never expected him to be up at 4…but you never know with this one.

xxx

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Maybe I’m Hearing Things

The other day I was sitting on my basement steps, where I hide out if I really need a break or a mommy time-out (every mom with small children does this, just depends if she admits it or not. Do you really think it takes that long to switch the laundry over?).  I was reading my Erma Bombeck book (she just cracks me up) and I hear a baby crying.

I thought to myself: Really?! I just put them to bed. She doesn’t normally cry this early. It sort of sounded like Elsie, who is always waking up in the night and I have no idea why…probably habit.

I waited for a few minutes. I didn’t hear Brad get up to go check, he was in his recliner watching tv. I listened for the baby to stop, but it was a persistent cry. 

Ugh. I put my book down in mid sentence and got up , annoyed because Brad didn’t get up and go check. Why is this always my job? Even if he is closer?

When I went to go upstairs, I didn’t hear a thing. I stopped at the bottom of the steps and listened. Nothing.

I could have sworn I heard a baby crying. It wasn’t the tv. It was real.

I was telling this story at work and Donna asked, “Did Brad hear it?”

“No! He doesn’t even act like he hears the REAL babies crying,” I laughed.

I have heard this before, this baby crying, which actually doesn’t sound like one of mine, but when I hear the crying I have to go check.

It’s not the neighbors, they are old and you hardly ever see them or anyone coming or going.

So where the hell is this cry coming from?!

It is just the strangest thing. Sometimes I just think I hear one of the twins crying. I’ll ask Brad to mute the tv to see if I really have to get my butt off the couch or not, because sometimes you just think you hear your kids crying.

But this cry, I know I hear it. It is persistent. Plain as day.

I’m not hearing things, but maybe I’m losing it.

I would actually believe that last statement a couple of months ago when I was sleep deprived. But I have had this happen several times before, that same cry. Drives me crazy that I can’t figure out where it is coming from. It is not very often, every couple of months or so. Strangest thing.

MAYBE I’m hearing things… MAYBE I am loosing it…  Or MAYBE there is something strange about this house…

MAYBE… 

Now it is time to turn the imagination off, because I think of too many crazy things of why I hear a strange ghost baby cry in this house.

xxx

 

 

Two Cribs for the Twins

When they were in the NICU they were in separate isolettes. I longed to put them together in one crib. They had to be separated because of all the wires and tubes, but the isolettes were next to each other. Elsie’s covered in a yellow fleece blanket and Mallie’s in a lavender one. When one would cry, the other would look around for her sister. It broke my heart. They were so tiny.

Mallie was the calmer newborn. Elsie was more high-strung and cried louder, she also went through a lot more trauma with being smooshed on the bottom in the womb and the difficulties with the pregnancy. She was on oxygen longer. She was on a feeding tube longer. She just had a rougher start. They both did really, being born 5 weeks early.

 I still remember the first time we put them next to each other, I think they were a little over a week old. It is like they knew they were supposed to be together. Their vitals were more stable when they were close. I cried when I seen them reach out to each other for the first time, grasping with tiny little fingers for their other half. I knew they must have missed each other, I mean think about it…they were in the womb together forever…all they knew was each other (and me and my heartbeat, it must have been kind of loud in there with all those heartbeats and outside noise). They could hear each other’s heartbeat, they could feel the other’s every move, they even knew when the other had hiccups.

When I finally got to bring them home, the day before Thanksgiving, I always put them together. They wouldn’t sleep very long unless they were next to each other. I would swaddle them in soft baby blankets and tuck them in close to each other. They cuddled so sweetly. 

That lasted for the first 9 months or so. Now that they are more mobile it is a whole different story.

It started with stealing pacifiers. As soon as Mallie realized how to grab things and put it in her mouth, she was always after Elsie’s pacifier, even when she had her own. Elsie finally started to learn to do the same, she is just not as aggressive as her sister.

These are the peaceful moments I love. Sweet little sleeping faces; relaxed, calm, quiet. I love sneaking in and taking pictures at night, something to remember the little baby faces because they grow up so fast. I am extra careful because I fear waking them up with the flash.

Pure peacefulness. I love the way they snuggle – the closeness.

It doesn’t always last long, though. I’m going to have to separate these two into their own cribs, even though they are cute as can be in these pictures. I would love to keep them together, but it just isn’t possible anymore.

My head sinks into my pillow and I’m just heading off to dreamland when I’m jolted awake by screaming. It’s Elsie, I can tell, she has the high-pitched wail. I roll over and look at the clock. 10:12 pm. I lay there, listening to the screaming subside to fussing. Maybe she will stop. I close my eyes. A second later a bloody murder scream comes from their room. I stumble out of bed.

Mallie is mauling her sister. She has one pacifier in her mouth and the other one in her hand. She has her sister pinned down and is just smiling. If she could talk I think she would say, “Look, Mom! I’ve got two!” She is so proud. And poor Elsie is screaming her little head off under her.

“Mallie! you have one,” I tell her and take it away. She starts crying because I took one away…Elsie is still screaming. Now I have two crying babies. I stuff the pacifier in Elsie’s mouth and she subsides to a quiet whining and drifts back to sleep. I lay Mallie back down on her side of the crib and tuck her in. “Go to sleep now. And leave your sister alone.” She sucks on her pacifier and snuggles into her blanket.

I go back to bed and collapse into sleep…until about 4 am when it happens again. Geesh!

This type of thing also happens a lot at nap time, too. Just when I think they are down for the count I hear the screaming.

I go upstairs and Mallie has chucked her empty bottle on the bedroom floor. She is leaning over her sister, chugging Elsie’s bottle like a football player after a game full of touchdowns. Elsie just lays there screaming, poor thing.  

It’s not always so rough. Sometimes you can listen to them playing in their crib, laughing and giggling and bouncing. Then I don’t want to separate them. And of course when they are cute and cuddly I don’t want to separate them.  But I love my sleep and desperately need it… as you can tell from a few of my past blogs; No Need for an Alarm Clock, I Have Kids and A Letter to Sleep. I’m sure I have mentioned sleep, or the lack of, many other times, but those are the ones I know are all about sleep.

I decided I will put the cribs next to each other so they can be close…AND they will still be in arms reach  so they can still torment each other, but Elsie wont be pummelled. Oh, the tormenting. Does it really start this early? But that’s what sisters do. I guess that is just all siblings, Bradley and Collin have it down to an art form, sticking out tongues, chasing, tackling, the whole nine yards.

Below is a cute video of them playing. Mallie is chasing Elsie and they are laughing and giggling…until Mallie gets too rough.

Oh, it is going to be interesting to see what the future will bring. I’m sure there will be lots of fights, don’t we all remember that with siblings? But there will also be lots of fun times and we will be sitting on the front porch laughing about them later.

xxx

A Letter to Sleep

Dear Sleep,

Where have you been? I miss you so much. I wish you could stay longer. This coming and going thing has really got me wondering. Please stay with me just a little bit longer at nights. I get lonely without you. I think I might go crazy.

You always come and go as you wish and I’m tired. I don’t mind sleeping in that puddle of drool on my pillow. I just need some good rest. Please! I beg of you!

Come by early. Come by anytime, as long as the babies are sleeping…so stop at them first. I really need you. I’m ready anytime.

And please stop by Elsie’s pillow and take a little extra time. Sprinkle some of that sweet sparkly dream dust on her. She is a growing girl and needs you. I’m also tired of getting up in the middle of the night with her. I mean, seriously, it’s been 10 months. She should be sleeping all the way through the night. Do your damn job! Sorry. Please help us.

I know we’re a big family and keep you busy, but we depend on you.

I might have taken you for granted in years past. Okay, I know I took you for granted in years past and I’m sorry. I really do appreciate you.

You don’t know what you’re doing to me. No sleep makes me a blubbering idiot. I spaz out easy and feel like I’m losing it. I forget things and trip over kids and dogs when I don’t have you, sleep. I also repeat myself and can’t keep one train of thought. Do you see?

I might just lose it if you aren’t with me all night.

Please chase the dark circles away from under my eyes.

Love,

A tired psycho mommy and sweet lil’ Elsie

p.s.  Collin could use a little extra dream dust, too. He wakes up at 5:30 am.

p.p.s.  It would be really nice if you could let me sleep in this weekend. At least until 7 am.

p.p.p.s. You shouldn’t give Brad so much dream dust so maybe he will quit snoring and wake up with the babies one of these nights or weekend mornings.

Thank you.

xxx

A Good Nights Sleep and a Busy Work Day

The girls slept all night last night! I am so excited because this has only happened once before. We went to bed around 8:30 or 9 pm and didn’t wake until 6am. It was nice. I made the kids scrambled eggs for breakfast and had the kitchen cleaned and kids dressed by 8:30am. But now, this afternoon, everyone is napping and I wish I was too. I am so tired. My body probably doesn’t know what to do with all this sleep. I hope they sleep again all night again tonight, but I’m not gonna count on it. It was probably just luck.

Today is a “work” day. It is a day of phone calls, organizing paperwork, and paying bills. I hate these kind of days, but they must be done. I keep the boys busy with table activities – drawing, coloring, writing, games, play-doh, painting, etc.

The boys are also able to play on the front porch since it is nicer out (which basically means above freezing). I glance out the window and am thankful they are playing so nicely together…for now. That means I can make phone calls without Collin grunting in the background or Bradley asking questions.

Overall, it has been a productive day. Now I am ready to get back to the fun stuff, like making a few messes or brewing up a science experiment.

A Snippet of Listening and Watching

Today was such a busy day. I am tired and ready for bed, so tonight will be a super short post.

I can’t remember the last time that I got 6 hours of sleep in a row. I usually do during the weekend because Brad is home, but not for the last couple of weekends because we have had so many plans. So I am ready to hold my breath and tip toe these babies to bed. Hope they stay asleep because I am soooo ready for bed!

I am sitting here listening. Listening to the thunder. Listening to the weather on the nine o’clock news. Listening to Bradley whine because he needs to go to bed. Listening to Brad grumble and tell Bradley to knock it off. Listening to my fingers click, click, clicking away as I type. Listening to Collin breath as he sleeps and Bradley yawns. There is more thunder.

I am watching the boys all snuggled and piled into the recliner watching tv. I am watching Elsie sleep in her swing and Mallie is to the right of me swaddled in a Care Bears blanket. I am watching Murphy sleep in the kid’s chair, I hear him sigh. I am watching Bradley give his dad a good night kiss. Here he comes…I get my hug and steal my kiss.

I hear more thunder and see raindrops or sleet, can’t tell which, sprinkling the window. The lightning strikes the winter sky in a blinding white that is just brilliant against the dark snow- covered fir trees (or pine trees, not sure). My hot Chai is sitting on the window ledge next to me. I am ready to guzzle the rest down and snuggle in bed with my Kindle and read until I fall asleep.

Good night.

xxx