Tag Archives: sleeping

More on the sleep stuff: Temperament

So, yesterday I was reading more out of my Sleepless in America book and holy cow it was like finally I had a little revelation about Stephen and myself.

In the five years that we have been married, my bedtime routine has been the source of many frustrated sighs, are-you-done-yets, and just-go-to-sleeps.

Anyone that knows Stephen knows that he can pretty much fall into a very deep sleep almost anywhere. I’ve often been annoyed at his ability to just fall asleep so easily in the middle of the day or after a day of chaos. And Stephen has often chided me, “You just need to calm down,” or “You should try praying,” or “Everything doesn’t have to be perfect Lisa, you need to let it go and just go to sleep.”

Usually these statements just leave me feeling more frustrated.

All this time I’ve thought to myself and been made to feel as if I was crazy, had OCD, was being too particular and that I just needed to relax. The thing is, I’m not really that OCD about anything else (I did go through a phase where I had to wash my hands four times in a public restroom and use two paper towels or two presses of the auto dryer, but I was able to make myself stop finally).

So as I’m reading yesterday, I am happy to discover that there are plenty of other people in the world out there just like me. Thank God! I’m not crazy. According to Kurcinka, I’m just intense and sensitive.

“A child who is temperamentally sensitive not only notices all of the sights, sounds, and smells around him, as well as the tension level, but also must sort this information and decide what it means. Telling him to ignore the strange smell of a new detergent on his pillowcase is like telling you to ignore someone pricking you with a needle. He can’t do it, even when he wants to…”

“The highly sensitive child is keenly attuned to her sensory world and struggles to block out disturbing stimuli. As a result, she must sort through huge quantities of sensory information before she can feel safe and calm enough to sleep. She can hear the drone of the traffic outside the window. The slightest ray of light can awaken her in the morning. The story of the princess who could feel a pea under twenty mattresses is not a fairy tale to a highly sensitive individual. And the breathing of her buddies at the slumber party really does keep her awake.”

“I had always assumed that my son had gotten his spirited tendencies from my husband’s side of the family until one night I shared a hotel room with my mother. I watched as she very carefully pulled all of the blankets, except for the sheet, out from the foot board and then folded them two feet up from the end of the bed. Then she pulled a small pillow out of her suitcase–one I knew she’d had since I was a child– and tucked it under her chin as she crawled under the covers. When I asked her about her tactics, she said, “I can’t sleep if my feet are too hot, and I need my pillow.” When I asked why she had to bring her own pillow along, she patiently explained that the hotel’s pillows did not “smell” right. When your sensitive child declines the new nightgown you bought her because the lace “scratches” her neck, or complains that she can hear the television even though her brother is listening to it with earphones–believe her. Truly, the world is a much richer source of stimuli for this individual. She is not trying to stall. She needs you to understand that her sleeping clothes have to feel right. And that she needs help blocking offensive sounds, smells, lights, and textures.”

The “nest” for the sensitive child has to include pleasant sensations AND block disruptive stimuli. What may surprise you is how negligible the offensive sensations may be that still upset your child. If there’s a choice, give him the bedroom away from the street, on the quiet side of the house. Take special note of the weight, texture, color and smell of his bedding. It’s very important to him. Often he needs a heavy blanket, or just the opposite, no blanket at all. He needs to know that the doors and windows are locked. The room needs to be the right temperature. The light has to be just right, either completely dark or slight enough that he can discern the shape of objects yet not so bright that he is distracted by them. When it comes to night clothing, plan to cut out the tags and check the waistband for the correct fit–that’s if he will sleep in pajamas at all. Forget pajamas with the little feet in them. They’re cute, but it’s unlikely that he’ll like them. He may prefer his favorite pair of socks and even a “night cap” that provides just the right input for his system.”

“And if you think this is all a bit unusual, check with a few highly sensitive adult friends. You’ll discover that they have a very defined approach to “nesting” for the night, from a ritual checking of the doors to the turning off or on of lights, the massaging of a special lotion on their face and hands, or to the sensation of their partner’s hairy chest against their cheek. Those individuals who are less sensitive may find all of this information verging on ridiculous, especially if they can fall asleep on an airplane during takeoff, the couch in the middle of a family gathering, or, for that matter, any flat surface. Their ease in blocking sensations is an example of temperament, not willpower.”

I can’t cuddle and sleep. The sensory input is to much for me. After about five minutes the limp arm on my shoulder, ribcage, hip, etc. starts to feel uncomfortable and annoy the heck out of me.

I really can’t sleep if my PJ bottoms get twisted or are catching on the sheets and feeling pulled. For this reason I hate flannel and jersey sheets. Sometimes I can’t even stand the feeling of pajamas on me. It just will annoy me the whole night and I won’t be able to sleep.

The pillowcase cannot be wrinkled under my face. It has to be perfectly smooth. My cheeks can feel those wrinkles and they bug the heck out of me. I also cannot stand pillowcases with embellishments like ribbon or lace or different textures across them. The textures will annoy me. If I try to take a nap during the day with one of the couch pillows the zipper side cannot be near my face and niether can the pretty textured side. One time when I was sick last year I fell asleep on the couch with one of our couch pillows that had this really thick binding all around it. I woke up an hour later really grumpy because my ear hurt from being pressed up against the binding.

I sometimes can’t fall asleep if my legs are prickly. Or I have to wear pajama pants to bed so that my prickles don’t actually touch me.

The sheet has to come out longer than the blankets and fold over them creating a smooth even edge at the top. They have to come to just the right spot on my shoulder so that I don’t feel chilled on my shoulder and they also are not touching my face. This is a very fine line. Also, even in summer I have to have at least a sheet covering me. I can’t sleep just on top with nothing.

I have to find the right position. I can’t just fall asleep in any old position.

My hair cannot be touching my face or my neck, but it also cannot be in a pony tail.

I have to have a pillow between my legs or it feels like the bones in my knees and ankles are grinding together.

I have to vent either in written or spoken form if it has been a particularly rough or busy day. Otherwise my thoughts will grow louder and louder in my brain keeping me awake.

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Parenting

Back… for realz.

OK so we finally, finally have the real live, fast Internet set up in our apartment and it is awesome. No more driving to Whole Foods, Panera or Ruth’s house. No more mooching off some neighbor’s wireless network that is really slow and patchy. The Internet is ours!

Last night as I was laying in bed and trying to fall asleep knowing that the Internet would be back this morning I kept thinking of this huge list of things I wanted to¬†write about and do. I’m not sure if this post will live up to everything I dreamed up, but here goes anyway.

Bean is six months old today!

She is so, so close to crawling. Mostly she just rolls around, does the fish out of water swimmer/army man scoot, and bounces on her bottom while sitting to get where she wants to go. She is pushing up and pulling up and man she wants to go, go, go. Sometimes she gets really, really frustrated that she can’t quite figure it out which leads to a meltdown and is not fun for Mama. But mostly she is her smiley cute little self.

You may have noticed that I dropped off on the measurement pictures. I sort of forgot to do the five month one and I’m probably not going to get around to doing the one for this month. Bean had a well baby check the Friday before we moved though and these were her stats: 16lbs 10oz, 25 inches long, and I can’t remember her head circ.

Not allergic!
At that appointment I found out that miraculously I am no longer allergic to nuts. My doctor said that a combination of avoidance and pregnancy are probably the culprit for my recovery. I am so, so happy to not be allergic anymore. Last night I enjoyed ice cream with a heath bar in it and some of Stephen’s with Reese’s. I also had a cookie yesterday that had some kind of nut in it. In both instances I had absolutely no allergic reaction and I definitely didn’t die. ūüôā

Where my day goes
In an effort to be able to account for my time a little better so that I don’t always have to say at the end of they day, “I did nothing today.” I am starting to keep a log of what goes on.

I am also doing this so that I can kind of figure out what Bean’s schedule is during the day. I know she has one, just wanting to know what it is so I can plan my day out a little better.

So are you curious as to where my day goes? Well I hope you are because this is it:

Monday, March 23
5:20am – Bean up, fed and diapered then put back to sleep.
8am – Both of us up. Went downstairs, did dishes. Ate blueberry muffin. Tried to give Bean some solids, but she wasn’t in the mood and was just making a mess so I put it away.
8:45am – diaper change, clean up, got Bean dressed
8:50-9:15am – fed Bean. Tried to put her down for a nap, but she cried and woke back up as soon as I set her in the crib.
9:15-9:45am – checked e-mail/Facebook/blog (which was really slow going and I just got frustrated) while Bean played on the floor.
9:45-10:05am – switched out laundry, folded dry stuff. Unpacked and put away two boxes of linens while Bean played in her walker.
10:05-10:20am – put away dishes and started a new load while Bean played on the floor. She was starting to get fussy so I gave her some teething tabs. I played with her a bit, but she was obviously very tired and needing a nap.
10:35-10:45am -nursed Bean until she fell asleep.
10:45am – Bean took a nap and I took a shower.
11:20am – done showering and getting dressed/put together. Started to make a sandwich, but Bean woke up. Changed her diaper. Went back to sandwich making. Phone rang and had to answer it. Finally got to eat my sandwich at around 12:15pm.
12:35am – fed Bean some carrots mixed with breastmilk and mashed up brown rice.
1pm – Bean done eating. Cleaned her up and changed her diaper.
1:20pm – put away dishes, switched out laundry and folded dry stuff.
1:30pm – sewed a few quilt squares together, but Bean was getting fussy and needing another nap.
1:50-2pm – nursed Bean until she fell asleep
2-3:15pm – Bean took a nap and I planned our menu to try and incorporate all the veggies we got from Abundant Harvest.
3:15pm – Bean up, changed her diaper. Folded laundry and started some more.
3:30-4:30pm – walked to Whole Food to get a few groceries and a snack
4:30pm – played with Bean for 15 minutes
4:45-5:05pm – Bean nursed until she fell asleep
5:05-5:50pm – made dinner, when it was done I checked on Bean and she was still asleep.
6:10pm – finished with dinner, checked on Bean and she was still asleep. Worked on my knitting project.
6:45pm – Stephen home from work. Bean up. Changed her diaper then fixed Stephen’s plate for dinner.
7-7:05pm – Bean fussy so I gave her some teething tabs and nursed her a bit. Then she played on the floor with her toys.
8:30pm – we drove to Coldstone and used our buy one get one free coupon.
9:15pm – Got home, changed Bean’s diaper and nursed her until she fell asleep at 9:53pm
9:53pm – worked on my knitting project some more. I am almost done with the first sleeve!
10:45pm – Went to bed.

Yeah. So see, I do get stuff done and that is where the day goes.

Another apartment peak

We bought this desk and filing cabinet on Saturday. The desk was delivered on Sunday. I love having a space for all of our office stuff and my computer. There is so much storage in this desk, it is great. I’m glad we didn’t go with the IKEA one because this one is much, much nicer. I also love that it all folds up and the stuff can be hidden away. I love that this piece has a classic feel to it, but also kind of modern and not too fancy looking. I love that the printer we got for Christmas is finally set up and working. Now I can print out all my recipes and menus!

Sunday morning we woke up bright at early at 6:30am and drove to Carpinteria so we could attend church at Reality.

I love this church. We had been once before while we were still living in Bakersfield. It is quite a trek to get there (45 minutes each way), but with¬†amazing ocean¬†views, that really isn’t a burden…

I seriously could not stop looking out the window for the whole drive. There were light showers, the sun peaking through the clouds and streaming down and even a few rainbows along the way. Not to mention the gorgeous ocean crashing along the shoreline below. Plus, it is actually only about 10 minutes longer to go there than it was to go to Westbrook from our house in Bakersfield.

It only took that one visit for us to be sold. The teaching was great and the worship amazing. Not because the band was particularly talented, but because the congregation really wanted to be there and was very into it.

This is also the church where our former youth pastor is going and getting ready to be sent out to plant a church in San Francisco. So it was really cool to reconnect with him a little bit on Sunday. Plus another thing was that Stephen ran in to like 3 different people he knew from back when he lived in Santa Paula. So it feels familiar to him in a lot of ways.

Our plan is to continue attending there for now and then when they start up the new site in Ventura to switch to start getting involved there. We’re also just kind of taking a break from over-involvement at this point. It is tempting to want to throw ourselves head first into home groups, prayer for the Ventura site, playing music etc, but we know we just really need to have some time to get adjusted and get to know the place where we live. It has been sooo nice to just be able to be home and relax and not be rushing off to various activities lately.

Nighttime/Sleep Parenting
There have been many things going on in the world of sleep (or lack thereof) with us lately.

First up I’ll talk about nap time. Bean has started this new thing where when I put her down in the crib, the floor, etc. for a nap she immediately starts crying or fussing. Most of the time it lasts a couple seconds until she adjusts her comfort position, usually by rolling onto her side, and then she stops and goes on with her normal nap. Sometimes though she just completely cries herself awake and thrashes around and I pick her up and she doesn’t go back to sleep. Then she’s totally grumpy and fussy until she’s finally hungry again and I can nurse her to sleep again. I’m not quite sure how to handle this.

She also has become quite the mover during sleep. I find her in some of the strangest positions when I go to check on her or when I go to get her after she wakes up. It is hilarious. This is not the best example, but the only time I’ve taken a picture is right now:

So I put her to sleep on her back near the corner of the blanket. During the course of writing this post she has managed to move to the middle and wind up on her stomach. Which brings me to another quandry. The whole “back to sleep” campaign. She almost always turns onto her side or stomach while she is sleeping now. Am I really supposed to stir her and turn her back on her back? Really? Because nap/sleep time is going to be a whole heck of a lot more difficult if that is the case.

Finally, on the subject of sleep, Stephen and I are trying to work on “night weaning” Bean. I know this probably doesn’t sit well with the “on demand” crowd, but I really need my sleep. I just seriously can’t handle much more. I am so, so much more grumpy when I don’t get enough sleep. I have been snapping at Stephen a lot lately for completely dumb stuff. I notice that I’ve had trouble constructing sentences properly, I am way less alert especially when doing mundane things like driving (I’ve nearly run several red lights because I just was having a hard time paying attention), and I have no motivation or energy to get stuff done. I just really, really need a good night sleep to be a better person in general. So what we’ve been doing is that when Bean wakes up Stephen goes in and tries to comfort her, distract her, etc for at least a little while to stretch her a bit every night.

When we started this over the weekend she was waking up between 1 and 4am almost every night and then every 1-2 hours after that. I’m the type of person that once I’ve been awakened it is really hard for me to go back to sleep. I’m a really light sleeper. I also don’t do well with alarms or knowing that something is going to happen. So basically when she would wake up that first time I wouldn’t go back to sleep after that because I would lay in bed thinking about how she was going to be waking up again in 1-2 hours and also I would have a hard time falling back asleep because of various sounds (Stephen breathing mostly). So I was pretty much surving on on 3-5 hours of sleep every night. I also have a hard time napping or sleeping in past my internal clock wake up time of 8am unless I’m really, really exhausted (as in didn’t sleep at all the night before).

Also I should note that we know it is possible for Bean to sleep through the night. She was doing a great job of it early on, but teething and a couple of colds really messed up her sleeping/eating patterns. So she just mostly got into the habit of eating and waking up several times a night. I noticed that when I began feeding her throughout the night she would not nurse as many times during the day and she wasn’t that into it or serious about it. She was more interested in what was going on around her, constantly popping off, playing with my shirt/hair, etc.

Anyway, it seems to be working out pretty well. Yesterday she didn’t wake up until 5:20am and this morning she didn’t wake up until 5:40am. And both times she went back to sleep until when I would normally get up for the day (this morning she slept in until 9am!). I’ve also noticed that she’s quite a bit more serious about nursing during the day. It’s pretty much, “don’t bother me I’m eating”-you’d-think-she-was-starving-because-she’s-so-desperate-for-food kind of nursing, not goofing off at all. Since she knows I’m the one that nurses her and has the milk, it really works out better for Stephen to be the one to wake up and try to stretch her. If I do it she goes into a total meltdown and thrashes and screams until I give in and nurse her. I think she feels rejected if I don’t nurse her right away. I know you’re all probably thinking, “Oh no way. That cute little baby is never upset.” Let me tell you, she can get pretty pissed when she doesn’t get her way!

If you thought I was “crunchy” before
So yes, not only am I getting all of our produce through Abundant Harvest, I am also going to start a garden and I am even composting! We are really blessed in that this apartment has a pretty big backyard/patio-ish thing with plenty of room for a garden. I’m planning on starting it this weekend after a trip to the nursery.

This is my compost bin…

And this is my “transfer” bin that I keep on the kitchen counter…

Though I am going to have to come up with something else for that because this is actually my “barf bucket” from when I was pregnant and since Stephen was the one to clean it out all the time he finds its presence on our kitchen counter “disturbing”.

Menu Plan Monday
Except it is on Tuesday. So this is my planned menu that will hopefully use up all of our veggies for the next two weeks…

Last night
Chicken Tacos

Salmon cakes with creamy ginger sesame sauce
Carrot and leek recipe from Ruth (hint hint sister, you should post that one!).

Chicken pot pie

Pasta primavera using TJ’s frozen fettuccini alfredo, AH carrots and asparagus, and garlic chicken recipe

Grilled Steaks marinated in garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil
Red Chard with Carmelized Onion

Leftover pasta from freezer

Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries and roasted citrus drenched asparagus

Roasted Winter Vegetables with Roasted Garlic Sauce using sweet potatoes, carrot and rutabaga
Garlic Chicken

Some dish I am going to come up with using chicken, rice, carrots and garlic

Chili, corn bread and salad

Leftover pasta from the freezer

Leftover split pea soup from the freezer

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Anyway, that about does it for everything I think I wanted to say. Sorry if this post is a bit long and rambling and overwhelming. I just had been bottling things up for way, way too long! I’m so glad to be back!


Filed under Faith, Family, Homemade, Menu Plan Monday, Natural Living, Parenting, Ramblings

I’m pretty much exhausted.

So five months in I still haven’t figured out how to balance it all.

Some days I manage to get a staggering amount of stuff done. I amaze myself, really.

And then there are days like today where nothing gets done. Which isn’t entirely true. I did manage to go to my chiropractic appointment and run around Target for a bit picking up odds and ends.

It’s always easier for me to do errands outside our house than chores in our house. I think it is because when I’m running around town I usually wear Bean in the sling and she’s very content even if she is having a bad day.

I’ve tried this at home and I wind up with a really sore back and body from carrying around my little chunky monkey. It also isn’t quite the same in being able to get stuff done because so much of the household chores require bending and doing things that you really aren’t supposed to do with a baby in a sling. Plus she’s at the really grabby stage right now which complicates things even further.

Bean has a cold again. Her nose is super stuffy. She’s also had a few fevers so I’ve been giving her some Tylenol. The nose bulb is not working on these tough boogies either. Nursing has not been the best of experiences and because of the cold I stopped solids so she could get more antibodies, but it totally sucks! She pops on and off gasping for air and usually winds up freaking out and then biting me. She also won’t really let me put her down becuase she is just so miserable. Today I had to hold her through her entire 3 hour nap. I’ve been steaming up our bathroom to help things out and then today I ran into Emily and she suggested saline which was a total lifesaver at least in the nursing department. Another friend suggested putting Vicks on my chest while nursing, but I have to say I’m hestitant to try this after reading some stuff about it here on the Internet. So saline it is.

And I don’t know what is worse… getting up a bazillion times to go to the bassinet and comfort Bean throughout the night during the cold (what we did the night before last) or co-sleeping (what we did last night) which means I don’t really sleep at all because it’s too hot and our queen size bed is way too small for three people causing Bean to toss, turn, wimper, and wake up every 10 minutes. Did I mention she is getting to be quite the chunk? Yeah last night I nearly fell out of bed twice because it is just. too. stinking. small.


Filed under Family, Parenting

And so to bed…

So I’m here sitting on the couch reading while Bean lays on a quilt in our livingroom babbling away and playing with her toys. It took me a moment to then realize that she was being very quiet all of a sudden. So I looked up and saw this:

And then my camera forgot how to focus so I decided to just let her sleep in peace.


Filed under Family