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10:39 a.m. - July 07, 2005
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream - It Ain't Happenin'

Itís overrated!

Well, not really.

Ever since Kristin came home, sleep has been a premium. Sheís darling, of course, but sheís still a few days shy of a month old and has more needs than Lindsey Lohan (well, maybe not that many, she hasnít asked for plastic surgery yet). And she sleeps just three to four hours a time, at the most, and doesnít care if itís night or day.

So that means sleep comes for us in small increments. Small, tiny increments. Infant-essimal increments.

It wasnít so bad when Katie was born Ė Katie was the only one. So anytime Katie was asleep, we were trying to sleep as well. But now Katie is 3 Ĺ years old and she doesnít know from sleep depravation Ė she gets her 11 hours in and is rariní to go by 7 AM at full speed.

Oh, we could supposedly use Katieís naptime, I suppose.

Naptime for Katie? She allegedly takes a nap for a couple of hours a day, but judging by the noise in her room sheís constructing a bridge to the nearest playground instead of sleeping.

So weíve been walking around like zombies for the past couple of weeks Ė just coherent enough to make it through the day and be sure Katie doesnít decide to put the cats into her dresser drawers again.

Kristin has been a bit fussy at times Ė wanting to be held a lot. (Who can blame her, though?) She also has a habit of eating about little bit of formula, falling asleep, then waking up a half-hour later wanting more formula, or to be burped, or something. Then the cycle starts again until she finally tears off a long-ish nap. Once in a while sheíll eat nearly an entire bottle at once, but for the most part she nibbles and sips, like sheís sucking on a nipple or something instead of taking nice long drinks. (Oh, waitÖ)

Liz and I have put together somewhat of a routine. I donít know if youíd call it a successful routine, but itís a routine nonetheless.

She tries to go to bed between 9 and 10 and I stay up as late as I can with Kristin. That way she can get some sleep before the inevitable late night wail. Liz then tries to get Kristin back down so she can get another couple of hours before I need to wake up for work. If Kristin is awake between 5:30 and 7:30 in the morning, then I deal with her.

Sometimes, like last night, Kristin falls asleep downstairs I have a conundrum. Do I dare carry her upstairs to put her in her upstairs bassinette (thus getting me to bed earlier than normal) and risk waking her up, starting the whole cycle again? Or do I just let her sleep downstairs Ė where I can be on call but not really getting much sleep.

I split the difference Ė I let her lay but fell asleep on the couch. And when I woke up it was a typical couch wakeup. You feel groggy, tired, disheveled. Your throat hurts a bit because no doubt you probably fell asleep with it open. The TV is on and that freaks you out because you thought it was a dream. In your stumble as you orient yourself, you almost spill your beverage. Then, in a half-sleeping stupor, you get up and go upstairs to go right back to sleep, wondering why it takes so long to get up there and why Scottie doesnít just beam me into bed.

Then, like last night, halfway up the stairs, I realized Kristin was still snoozing downstairs so I trundled back downstairs, making sure I didnít trip over cats, stuffed animals, or toys that are strewn about the house, and got Kristin upstairs in her big bassinette.

Of course, within a half hour, she woke up, and poor Liz had to get up earlier than she planned. Liz decided to spend the rest of the night on the couch with Kristin, and Iím sure she was nice and coherent when she woke up from her stupor.

(BTW Ė the couch is the succubus of the furniture world. A nice, soft couch will lure you in and if you lay down on it Ė within 15 minutes youíre snoring away. And for the most part, nothing will wake you up prematurely Ė not even a concert by Slayer, or the fire department breaking down your door, nor a horde of spiders crawling all over you will wake you from the couch slumber).

Basically, Liz and I are stumbling around on at most 5 hours of sleep Ė most days less than that. The effects are really starting to show.

First off, Iím making lists, so I donít forget to do something. I sometimes make lists at work but donít depend on them. But now, Iíve got huge lists on what I need to do in the next two weeks before I go to my next conference. And theyíre mundane things that I should know to do anyway Ė but I need a reminder.

Iím sure that if this continues, my list for next week will be:

1. Breathe
2. Do actual work
3. Breathe
4. Eat lunch
5. Do some more work
6. Breathe
7. Wake up Ė and try to disguise the fact you fell asleep face first on your keyboard
8. Breathe
9. Go home

Iíve also noticed that thereís definitely some grouchiness infiltrating our house as well. Just the slightest misunderstanding can set off the full scale rrrrrroar of a spouse scorned. And Iíve learned that some sardonic quips and ironic observations arenít flying so well. (Those of you may be asking, did your quips ever fly well? Hah, hah. Good one everyone!) One mis-placed sarcastic comment that I made set off a full-scale maelstrom. Iím lucky I still can sit down.

But the main thing that this lack of sleep is doing is making me appreciate sleep and downtime. I usually only sleep six to seven hours a night, but not having those six hours is really affecting me. Iíve been always guilty of packing my days and nights with activities and things to do. Even with kids, I want to do things, go here, go there, do something, anything. Even when Iím just watching TV, Iím usually reading as well. If the TVís off, Iím reading AND listening to music. Iím a multi-media event. But thatís not really restful, even if Iím Ďrelaxingí.

Now that Iím not getting sleep, not really getting rest, I realize what Iím missing. Peace and quiet.

With two daughters now, I estimate that the return of peace and quiet to our lives will be June 13, 2025. Iím not holding my breath.


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