Monday, December 14, 2009

A whole bunch of boring...

...but I wanted to write some things down.

I don't want to jinx it, but The Child has suddenly started sleeping like a champ again. She's still teething, she still has her grouchy days, and she even just had a growth spurt, but sleep she does. I have no idea what happened, but I am so very grateful.

I didn't realize how crummy I'd felt all the time until I felt uncrummy. Like the last seven months are this haze. Sure, she's had periods of decent and not-so-awful sleep off and on over those last months, but nothing like this. For about three weeks now, I've gotten eight or more hours of sleep almost every night. In fact, I don't think I've gotten this much good sleep since I was about 8.

Unisom helps, of course; I've never sleep well, even without interference. It also helps that I just stopped caring. The trip to Denver was so awful (speaking ONLY in terms of sleep; everything else was wonderful) that I think something snapped. I hear her cry for a few minutes over the baby monitor at 10:00 at night? Let her. She'll live. It used to be that would have my stomach in knots for the next half hour. Before we go to bed, if she wakes up for real, I'll go in, give her a drink of water or a hug or a song or some Tylenol, but once we're in bed, I shut our door and turn the fan on high. We'll hear her if she's really screaming, so I'm not worried about anything bad happening to her, but if she wakes and just fusses for half an hour, I don't know about it.

I was pretty desperate when we got back from our trip--so short on sleep, so frazzled and so pregnant--that I started doing that out of desperation. I felt terrible, but I knew that she was well-hydrated, that at worst she might be having some tooth pain, and I needed to function as a mom. A few days later I forgot to shut our door one night. Not a peep from her all night. Or the next night, or the next. And she's now taking one three-hour nap in the middle of the day instead of two short ones. All three of us are happier. The house stays cleaner, I actually feel like playing with her and carrying her and talking to her, and James comes home to a wife who is (usually) happy and has some energy left to care about him. I cannot believe the difference in myself.

And, of course, now that she's sleeping beautifully, we have a trip to visit relatives in Indiana coming up. I think it'll go better. It's a much shorter trip, for one. And despite my attempt at optimism, I'm mostly expecting it to be a total nightmare, which means I won't be taken by surprise again. I am concerned about sharing a car with one or two more people this time (MIL and James's brother). We've warned them, of course, but there's really nothing that prepares you for it. Or they might be thicker-skinned than we are and have no problem with it. Or Grace might not scream the whole way.

*Naomi shakes with laughter for five minutes straight*

Ahem. I know I shouldn't be such a pessimist, but I've always found the pessimism serves me well. I always expect the worst that my mind can come up with, but I don't really worry over it--at least, not too much. I'm rarely surprised by bad things. I can't imagine the constant disappointment that must come with optimism.

We had church yesterday at 4:00. Our normal meeting place was booked, so another local church let us use their building in the afternoon. We should have church at 4:00 EVERY WEEK. The morning wasn't a frantic scramble to get showered and dressed and to get The Child fed and changed and strapped into the car seat, followed by hours of attempting to keep a cranky baby happy through church, followed by lunch for her in the car on the way home and trying to keep her from falling apart (we used to try to keep her awake, but, as you know, we recently learned that was completely unnecessary, since she doesn't sleep in the car) before getting her home, changed into regular clothes, and into her crib, where we'd hope she'd not be too overtired and thus sleep for more than 45 minutes. Yesterday, we woke up at 9:00, had a nice morning, The Child got her three-hour nap, we went to church, and our friends got to see that she isn't this whiny, unhappy little gremlin all the time.

I'm painting a really bad picture of Sundays. It's not all cranky baby and frazzled Naomi and James. That's just a part of it, and it's something that most church-going parents deal with, so we're not special or anything (well...). I love our church, and when we do miss it I feel kind of blah for the rest of the week.

Anyway, halfway through the sermon, a bat started flying around! He was just a little guy, and very cute. It's probably the closest I've ever gotten to a bat outside of a zoo. The Child was pretty thrilled, to. The best part was watching a bunch of the guys flail around the back of the room with coats every time he'd circle back there. I think they finally shut him in the kitchen.

Afterward, we went to our pastor's house for a meal, and Grace held it together much longer than I'd expected. We really do need to get out more with other children. She just doesn't know what to do around so much commotion. I'm sure having another baby around will help a lot, but I do wish she weren't so shy. If one of us is holding her, she does great. She smiles and flirts and waves. So I know she's not stunted. Much of it is my fault. I like to be comfortable in my house. If I want to go out with friends, I do that, but getting out of the house with her is a lot of work for a lazybones like me. Sigh. I'm sure having two is going to give me a real quick lesson in what the words "hard" and "a lot of work" really mean.

Her nap is almost over, and what do you know, I'm actually looking forward to her being up and about again. The old one-hour naps just didn't do that for me. It's sad when you often spend so much of the day dreading your own child's presence. It's such a relief to be rid of that.

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