Friday, August 13, 2010

Sleep

At book club in July we read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin...which I still haven't finished.  I'm really close to being done but I started Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay (which is our book club book for August) and I couldn't put it down.  Then Jerry went away and I was too exhausted to read - not too exhausted to sleep, which I will get to in a minute, but too exhausted to read.

So - why am I bringing up The Happiness Project AGAIN?  I already mentioned it in 2 other posts...but I guess it is really a thought provoking book.  That's the only reason I can think of for me to keep going back to it and keep thinking about different parts of the book throughout my daily life.

Two parts of the book that I have been thinking about lately both show up fairly early in Gretchen's year long quest for living a "happier" life.  The first one is her "one-minute" rule.  If something is going to take a minute or less to do...just do it now instead of putting it off.  I've been finding myself thinking about how much sense this makes on occasion - like when I'm done feeding the twins bottles and they are in their cribs screaming for the 2 or 3 minutes they scream before falling asleep.  I walk into the kitchen and chuck the bottles into the sink.  I turn around and start to walk out of the kitchen and think, "It would take less than a minute to wash out those bottles and then they would be clean the next time I need them.  I wouldn't have to wash them right before feeding them their next bottle!"  That usually makes me turn around, take a minute or 2 and wash them instead of following my initial inclination - collapse on the couch until they stop crying and just relax (or try to) for 15 or 20 minutes.

The other part of the book I have been thinking about it her thoughts about sleep and how important it is to get a full night of sleep.  A week ago, I would have given you the excuse that the kids don't fall asleep or stay asleep and that is the reason that I am up until 1 or 2 am and am a zombie until noon the next day.  However, Jerry's trip forced me to get my kids to bed earlier than usual.  I refused to be miserable at 10pm with 4 kids who were still awake.  Surprisingly, it was pretty easy, even with the twins being sick!

I started on Monday.  I told the "big" kids that we were going to start getting them ready for school.  Since Nate will be going to school 5 days a week, he will have to get up early and get moving instead of sitting around until lunch.  I explained to them that they need to go to bed a little bit earlier so that they are well rested for school and get up early enough to have a good breakfast before they go.  Much to my surprise, it worked!  They have been going to bed between 8 and 8:30 every night this week.  They've still been getting up around 7:30 or 8 in the morning.  This morning I made french toast first thing and they both ate it!  It's been working out great!

I was a little bit more worried about the twins but they have been doing great, too!  I hate doing the "cry it out" thing, but it has been working so we are sticking with it.  The first night (Monday) wasn't so great.  They cried for probably 15 minutes before slowing down and crying on and off for then next 10 minutes.  Then they were silent.  They slept until around 3:30 am.  Jerry wanted to go in and get them before they woke anyone else up but I convinced him to give them 5 minutes.  They fell back asleep.  Since then, they haven't cried more than 3 or 4 minutes before falling asleep!  Both for naps AND bedtime!  Keep in mind, my twins are over 11 months old.  They do not need bottles in the middle of the night anymore.  When they were waking up we were just putting them in bed with us and they were falling back asleep.  They truly just didn't know how to put themselves back to sleep...now they are learning.  :)

So ~ Jerry came home yesterday and I was ready for a good night of sleep.  I don't sleep well when he isn't here.  I don't sleep well when he isn't in bed with me.  Even if he is in the house - on the couch watching TV or doing something on his laptop - I don't feel like I really fall asleep until he crawls into bed beside me.  It doesn't matter if I'm mad at him or if we had a wonderful day.  I just need him in bed to sleep well.  Needless to say, the 2 nights he was in Florida weren't good sleep nights for me.  Like I said, I was too tired to read but not tired enough to just  fall asleep.  Luckily, Jerry had a wild and crazy night on Wednesday with my 21-year-old cousin in Florida...he was up really late and tired from traveling all day on Thursday.  So, it didn't take much convincing to get him to come up to bed with me at 10 pm.  After all, the kids were all sleeping soundly and we had watched Man vs. Food "Kansas City" - I really want to know how much that Ultimate Destroyer costs...so Adam, if you are reading, can you let me know?

It didn't take long for us to fall asleep and we slept wonderfully!  I would say we slept soundly until 6:30 am, when David started SCREAMING for some unknown reason and woke everyone in the whole house up.  The funny thing is, I wasn't tired!  I actually got out of bed and made breakfast, had a cup of coffee and started my day.  I'm a little tired right now ~ but not nearly as tired as I usually am after putting the boys down for their morning nap.

It would probably take some convincing to get Jerry to agree to go to bed with me around 10pm every night. I also know that if I get in the habit of falling asleep at 10 then I'll probably be exhausted on those special nights we are out and about until after 10.  However, I'm going to give it a shot.  I'm going to try to get to bed (and drag Jerry to bed) at 10 every night during the week.  Saturday (and maybe Friday) will be the exception.

My friend, Christine, gave this a shot when she realized her DH wasn't getting enough sleep.  He is a lot like I am and doesn't like to sleep without her in bed with him.  She blogs about it here - if you are interested in how it turned out for her.  :)

P.S. ~ Anyone know how to get ball point pen off a "pleather" couch?

P.S.S ~ If you have a FB page, did you vote for my adorable daughter in this photo contest?  I would REALLY appreciate it!  Make sure you become a fan of Sofabean Photography first and then click on the "like" under her picture here - I put it below, too, so you can make sure you have the right one!  Thanks!