Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Schedules and Struggles

I've never been clever with titles, but at least I can say this one is accurate. All about our schedules and our struggles resulting from those schedules. *Sigh* It's been a rough few months.

First of all, none of this would be that big of a deal if I wasn't so tired. Kirk turned 6 months old yesterday (!!!) and still won't sleep more than a 6-hour stretch at night. Which wouldn't be so bad if I was actually asleep during that time...but I'm not, because Avery doesn't get home from work until 11 pm at the absolute earliest. But that will all make more sense when I explain our daily "routine."

Kirk is usually the first to wake up, anytime between 7:00 and 8:30 in the mornings. His nursing "schedule" is all over the place, so sometimes I feed him then, other times he's eaten just an hour or so earlier. When he first wakes up he's usually content to lay there and watch his mobile for a few minutes...sometimes turning on the overhead light will keep him content a few minutes longer. Once he's thoroughly bored and tired of lying in bed, I take him out to the living room, turn on the light, and put him in his jumparoo while I go back to bed and hopefully get a few more minutes of sleep (he's usually content for about 10-15 minutes in there). When he starts fussing again, one of two things happens: every other day or so I nudge Avery awake and he sweetly agrees to get up with Kirk while I get an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Or (usually if Shiphrah is awake and yelling by now) we both get up to get the kids breakfast and such. Either way we're all usually out of bed by around 9:30.

Shiphrah has been a royal grouch most mornings for the past month. I'm not sure if it's her last couple of teeth coming in, the fact that she's sleeping with Kirk for the first part of the night (and he wakes her up around 1 in the morning), or the fact that she never falls asleep at night until 10ish (even though I put her to bed at 8). This does not help our morning moods.

Between 10 and 11, Kirk is ready for his first nap. He goes down in the nursery (which Shiph does not care for since it means only half of the 10 million toys are accessible to her) and usually sleeps for about two hours (he wakes up around noon). During this time Shiphrah whines, and whines, and whines some more. (She's remarkably happier in the afternoons...I don't know if this is because she's clingier when Avery is home or if she's better after her nap.)

After Kirk wakes up, we all eat lunch and Avery gets ready for work (an hour-long process). Sometimes that order is reversed...he gets ready and then we eat. He leaves for work around 2 (shift starts at 2:30) and the munchkins go down for a nap together. (If this is the case, sometimes I get to nap for about an hour or so. A lifesaver!) If Kirk's morning nap was unusually long (like today), he stays up while Shiphrah goes down. If they're both napping, they usually sleep until 4-5ish. If Kirk is awake, he goes down for his second nap around 3:30 or 4. (So I still get about an hour with both of them in bed, except today.)

Once they're both up, my evening is very restricted. Kirk is usually pretty whiny and wants to be able to see my face all the time. Shiphrah runs back and forth between the living room and her room which drives Kirk insane. So more often than not, I put in a video (on better days, just a 30-minute Veggie Tales) to keep them both happy and in one place (and to keep me sane).

Around 7-o-clock I feed both of them dinner. I've just recently started Kirk on a once-a-day mixture of rice cereal and pureed fruit, which helps him sleep a tad longer at night. Every other night is bath time for Shiph and Kirk gets bathed about once a week. Then we clean up the living room (clutter in the living room gets under Avery's skin so I try to have it clean when he gets home) and put pajamas on. Kirk gets nursed one last time, Shiphrah brushes her teeth, and they both go to bed in the nursery between 8 and 8:30.

Then I make myself dinner and relax for about half an hour. Hopefully dinner revitalizes me and I get a bit of a energy boost. I do the dishes, laundry, and whatever other chores need done (occasionally I vacuum right after I put the kids to bed...otherwise I'd wake them up). After chores are done, I work on a project (lately I've been sewing) or chill on the internet. Around 10:30 or 11 I pump breast milk to add to the whole milk I give Shiphrah in the mornings. On a good night (rare these days...have you seen the crime in SA lately??) Avery gets home soon after that and we stay up for an hour so catching up on his day. We're usually in bed by 1 am. Kirk wakes up around then or within the hour, so I get him out of the nursery, nurse him, and put him to sleep in our bassinet. A negative side effect of the 5 to 6-hour sleeping stretch is that he doesn't want to go back to sleep after eating, so he usually tosses and turns and fusses for another hour or so. Which means I don't sleep either. Last night was especially bad and he didn't fall back asleep until 3 or so.

After that, Kirk will sleep anywhere from 2 to 4.5 hours, and then another 2 or so. And then he wakes up and the days repeat themselves.

Get the idea? Can you see why I'm so exhausted?? On a good night I'm getting six hours of very broken sleep. On a bad night (like last night) it was four hours of broken sleep. For a former morning person, my grumpiness and grogginess in the mornings is RIDICULOUS. This morning was especially bad and I found myself wishing my husband had a job where he could call in sick and stay home.

I'm really not complaining (much), because I love my kids and my husband and I love my life. I'm really just petitioning y'all for prayer for my attitude and endurance. I'm running out of steam (last night I was so pooped that I ate my dinner in front of a movie and then mustered up just enough energy to wash the dishes) and this morning my behavior was abominable. So please, if you think about it, offer up an extra prayer for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, and I just wanted to reiterate that I have the best husband in the whole world. He doesn't get much sleep at night either (although he sleeps through Kirk's waking) but he's usually so wonderful about getting out of bed with the kids and giving me a few more minutes to sleep in the mornings. And he's SUPER-understanding about my tiredness and the fact that the laundry stays unfolded for days on end or the floors don't get swept. I LOVE HIM!!!

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