Blogging about life and raising our five kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"
Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why do they call them "sleep overs"?

Do kids actually SLEEP at a "sleep over"? Angela certainly didn't. (see my post below about what happens when the kid doesn't sleep.) I wish I could post pictures of Angela and her friend Monica doing their girly stuff last night. But I don't like to post pictures of other people's kids without their parent's permission.

Anyway, they seemed to have a good time. Then Monica went swimming with us this morning and Angela's coach invited her back "Any time you want! We'll work on your strokes!"

It's been MONTHS since Angela has had a sleep over here. I always seem toforget that when there is a friend here, she's OCCUPIED and I don't have to keep her busy. LOL

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Independence..At 4:30 a.m?

Where are most of you at 4:30 a.m? Are you in bed sleeping? If you're like me, not only are you sleeping but it's probably the best sleep you've gotten all night. For some reason that time of the night (morning) is when I sleep best. Maybe it's because Dean is up and I can move into his warm spot. Maybe it's the big fluffy dog who's joined me. Who knows?

A couple days ago my great sleep was interrupted by Angela in my door, "I'm take a shower now." she said.

WHAT? There is something wrong with this. Not only do I normally have to FIGHT and TRICK her into taking showers, but we certainly don't do it at 4:30 in the morning. Besides, the shower was occupied by Dean. So after a few minutes discussion I convinced her to crawl back into bed....(Please Angela? I'll even let you lay in my bed.")

Fast forward to this morning. Dean and I were up. Once in awhile I'll get up with him because nature calls or something, and he likes when I visit with him while he gets ready for work. (as I gaze outside into the dark and wonder why in the world I'm awake.) While he was taking his shower I came into the office to check some email. Again, I hear "I'm take a shower."

"Oh Angela. Honey, it's still dark outside. C'mon, lets go back to bed where I belong." I had just come back into the office to turn off the computer when Dean said, "The shower is running. Did you really let her get in there?"

YUP...there she was. Man she's fast! Already had shampoo in her hair! And there were clean clothes (matching even!) laying on the bathroom counter. I wasn't allowed to help though, nor help her brush her hair...or dry it. No, I was banished from the bathroom. I was given the palm of her hand and a "NO Mom. I'll do it. Go."

Now it's 5:30 and she's already made her breakfast. :"No Angela, tuna isn't so great this early. How about toast?") Oh it's gonna be a long day. For me, for her, and sadly...for her teachers!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

don't wake the baby

Read this in a whisper voice....

Earlier today the last of the puppies left, and just a few minutes later Angela left for her dads. I don't know which one of us hit the couch first, me or Dean. All I know is when I woke up a couple hours later Dean was snoring and the 3 dogs were splayed all over the living room enjoying the quiet and the return to their usual routine. Ssshhhhhh Dean is still sleeping and it's been THREE HOURS! (Maybe I can convince him to go out tonight!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Narcoleptic Insomniac

Is there really such a thing as a Narcoleptic Insomniac? Yes, there most certainly is. I personally know someone who suffers from this condition. How does this happen? Let me tell you a story.....

Since sometime around 15 or 16 I've had a horrible time staying awake. Lots of teenagers are like that though, so I'm sure my parents didn't think much of it. I can remember coming home from school and taking loooooooooooong naps. I think most teenagers do. But there were times when I was also a really busy kid, with track meets and chior concerts, and all that stuff.

Before I knew it, I was a young mom. Aren't all moms of 2 toddlers really tired all the time? I loved when the babies were still on 2 naps a day, because it meant I could take one too! I was lucky that both my boys were nappers!

By the time I was in my mid 20's I was discovering that driving was a bit difficult. Well, the driving wasn't, but staying awake while I was driving sure was tough! Along came Angela. By then there were 5 kids in the house and I was exhausted all the time. Who wouldn't be? But I certainly wasn't short on sleep. I was getting 8-10 hours a night and would wake up in the morning thinking, "If I can just make it till 10:00 a.m., I can take a nap with Angela." Waking up planning your naps isn't a good sign.

When Angela was around 2 or so, my friend Joanie said to me, "You sleep more than anyone I know. I don't think it's normal. Did you know that most adults don't take a 3 or 4 hour nap every day?" (well, I knew they didn't, but I thought they probably WANTED to!) She told me there was going to be a special on 20/20 about sleep disorders, so I watched it. It mostly talked about the truckers that spend too many consecutive hours driving and the results of it, but it also talked about sleep studies, and narcolepsy. I could identify with a lot of the stories. By that time in my life driving more than 10 minutes at a time was very difficult. Angela needed lots of trips to the children's hospital which was 70 miles one way, and I'd often have to pull over 2 or 3 times so I could close my eyes. The story gave a website address of the National Sleep Foundation where you could take a screening test to find out if you should see a sleep specialist.

I took that test, and up popped a warning box, "You should not be operating a motorized vehicle. You need to be sleep by a sleep specialist as soon as possible." Wow...hmmm...ok. So I went to a specialist, had a sleep study, and was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. (a year later my then 15 year old was diagnosed as well.) There is medication you can take for Narcolepsy, but it's extremely expensive and I don't currently have health insurance so I've been off it for quite some time. But it's very strange. Even when I have the medication I don't really want to take it, because like most of us who have Narcolepsy, we LOVE sleep. Also, the medication causes migraines. If I catch them soon enough I can stop them before they render me incapeable of opening my eyes in the daylight, but I'm not always able to catch it.

Most people who have Narcolepsy will tell you people think they are lazy. It's tough to get things done when you really just want to sleep. You have ZERO ambition. BUT...when you take the medication it's like taking speed and you can whip around getting the most amazing amount of stuff done. I often forget just how awake I can be if I'd just take a pill. But it's not an abnormal amount of awakeness (is that a word?) It's a NORMAL amount. Like what everyone around me probably feels like and so I'm shocked at how much they can get done in a day. People with narcolepsy also have trouble with weight gain, because for us, eating out of boredom is also a way to stay awake.

So where does insomnia play in here?

Well...I'm at a lovely age. I'm 40, and have had a hysterectomy which means I'm hitting the peri-menopausal stage a little early. Sorry if this is TMI, but it's crucial to my story. Part of this stage is insomnia.

GOOD GRIEF! I'm so tired of being awake in the middle of the night! This is silly! I can't really get anything done or I'll wake up the whole house. Take tonight for instance. I went to bed at 10:00 like a normal person. Having narcolepsy means I fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. But at 11:30 the dogs started barking at something outside (damn deer!) I went back to bed but I knew it was hopeless. I layed there wondering if I could pull the tree out of the storage room, get it up and decorated without waking anyone. Then I remembered the puppy in the basement and knew that idea was out. She'd be barking her head off. So I did my usual and went to the computer to find something interesting to read. It's now 2:00 a.m. and here I still sit. Not even the slightest bit sleepy. I could be decorating a tree, or painting the kitchen, or something else productive, but all I can think about is how tired I'm going to be tomorrow!

Angela is staying home from school since she's not feeling well, and I have a dr. appointment to get to. The lack of sleep is catching up with me and I know I'm going to have a hard time driving, much less getting anything else done. I've gotten to the point that if I have even ONE appointment during the day I feel like I've run a marathon and could sleep for days. It's very frustrating. Not only for me, but for Dean.

So...that's how a narcoleptic insomniac comes to be. Now, I'm going to try going back to bed and see what happens! Goodnight!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


It's morning.

Angela is gone, and last night I stayed up extra late looking forward to the fact today is the only morning in the next month that I can sleep in. Like a lot of people, I sleep best from about 5:00 a.m. Sometimes during the week I get up with Dean and visit with him while he has his morning POT of coffee (no wonder he pees every 5 minutes!) Keep in mind that "sometimes" is maybe like once a week, because "sometimes" is at 4:30 a.m. and "sometimes" I'm not able to get back to sleep! UGH, I hate that!

So today I'm sleeping in. I never hear Dean get out of bed. Ever. It's other things that wake me up, like the front door creaking when he lets the dogs out, or the beep of the coffee pot that is actually very quiet, just a noise that happens to go right up my spinal column to the back of my head where it bangs like a hammer and makes me feel anxious and stuff. Another thing that wakes me up is Angela. Ok, she's not a thing, but my darling sweet daughter who stands in the bedroom door and says, "Mom, can I lay down by you?" Yeah, don't be fooled. She doesn't really want to lay with me, she wants the warm spot that Dean left.

This morning it was none of those things that woke me up. No, instead it was SCREECHING PUPPIES!!!!! I love the puppies, but I don't love them at 6:00 on a Sunday morning when I want to sleep in.

Everyone knows the rule about waking a sleeping baby, right? Well, waking sleeping puppies is even worse! Especially when all eight of 'em are going to wake up hungry and have to pee and poop. Normally Dean can get to the basement smoking spot (that will be another post) without waking the puppies because they're out in the 3 season porch. Only yesterday we decided it was too cold out there and they needed to be moved inside. (this is why I've always avoided winter litters, and why I'll never do another winter litter again.) Now the puppies have 1/4 our our basement (which is actually pretty big) PLUS the porch to run around in AND a potty area.

So Dean tries to sneak downstairs to the fireplace/smoking spot when he hears a tiny "ruff". That's all it takes for all the puppies to leap to their feet and start throwing themselves against the side of the pen, screaming in excitement and hunger, in hopes that Daddy has brought breakfast with him.

Daddy does not have food (he hasn't yet figured out you don't show up at feeding time without food!) but he does let the puppies out of the pen into the porch so they can go potty in the big litter box we have set up for them. Only they've waited all night and not one puppy makes it to the box. Instead all 8 of them immediately squat and poop, and since I just wormed them a couple days ago, it's liquid poop. It's impossible to get it cleaned up before every puppy runs through every pile. (later today I'll teach him how to get all the puppies to the litter box in time.)

While he was cleaning up the poop everywhere, the puppies were still screaming and clamoring around his legs, jumping and trying to tell him "Please...feed us...we're starving...we can't wait 5 more minutes." And since they'd just run through poop, well...he needs a shower now.

All of this noise made it's way to my ears which had been sleeping peacefully upstairs. There is no amount of blanket rearranging, or holding pillows over your head that will drown out screeching puppies. Besides, I needed to make sure he was doing everything right, so I dragged my body out of bed, grabbed my robe, then waddled to the kitchen where I got puppy food ready. While that was soaking for a minute I came here to check email and stuff. See, I haven't gone downstairs yet because I KNOW it's silly to do so without the food to shut the puppies up!

Now it's 8:15 and all is quiet. The puppies are fed, and after they ate they all pooped in the litter box where they're supposed to. Rubee went in to play with them a little, which is very funny, and now they're tired and getting ready to nap. My pillow is now begging me to come back and cuddle with it some more. Since it's Sunday, and Angela is gone and the puppies are all taken care of, I just might do that!