If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that sleep has always been an issue for Baguette–and, by extension, for Mr. Sandwich and me.

Baguette naps at day care, but not at home, and nighttime sleep is very hard to come by. Although we never planned to bed-share, it turned out that doing so got all of us more sleep than any other approach we tried.

But she kept growing, and the bed didn’t. Eventually, none of us was getting enough sleep. And then, on a trip to visit family, she suddenly decided that she would rather sleep on the hotel room’s couch.

We capitalized on this by moving her to the couch when we got home. One of us has to lie with her until she goes to sleep, and that can still take a while. Our girl does not slip off into dreamland, not even when she’s clearly exhausted.

And, frankly, the couch is not really big enough for two to sleep, even if one of us is still pretty small.

Mr. Sandwich therefore took his experience in building a toddler bed and put it to use in building a twin frame. One of my cousins made a beautiful elephant quilt, because elephants are Baguette’s favorite animals. We bought a mattress and some sheets.

And then this happened.

twin bed

Now, if we can just get her to stay there. Wish us luck.

A Little of This, A Little of That

Friday morning, I went to The Help Group Summit. For those of you not familiar with The Help Group, it’s an organization focused on research about and support for autism and ADHD. The annual Summit presents a variety of topics for researchers, care providers, and parents. Because of some scheduling conflicts, I could only make it to one session. Fortunately, it was the one I wanted to go to most, about tactics for handling feeding issues with picky eaters.

Baguette’s appetite is expanding. This may be the perfect time to try out some of those tactics.

Afterward, we packed up the car (very full), picked Baguette up from day care, and drove up to Santa Barbara. The next morning, Mr. Sandwich left very early to compete in the Santa Barbara Century. Baguette and I left not very early to go to breakfast and the Santa Barbara Zoo, where she saw “wions, and ewehphants, and giraffe, and sheeps, and fwamingos, and penguins, and goats.” The next day, we had breakfast with friends, made another trip to the zoo, and drove back to L.A.

Baguette is sleeping on the couch. This has been going on for a few weeks. It’s not as magical as it sounds; often, one of us has to sleep there with her, sometimes for more than one stretch per night. But it’s still better–and we all get more sleep–than when the three of us are in the same queen-sized bed.

Next up, moving Baguette into a twin bed in her room. Mr. Sandwich is building her a bed.

Yes, you read that right.

But I can tell that I have more energy, because I’ve been wearing contacts on a semi-regular basis. Next up, I may actually manage to put on lipstick.

None of this keeps me from drinking a lot of coffee.

small girl leaning on elephant statue


Our New Normal (For Now)

“Normal” is open to interpretation. That’s true for every family, but I’ve really come to understand the concept better since Baguette’s autism diagnosis. Actually, I knew it before her diagnosis–but that’s what made it okay for me to say openly that my normal is different from the normal you experience. Or you. Or that person over there.

I came across a post about what “normal” means for one family dealing with ADHD, and it got me to thinking about what is normal for us.

1) The house is always messy. Between work, commute, and ABA, we do not have time to clean. Mr. Sandwich does the laundry and I do the dishes, but the rest of the place is profoundly cluttered.

2) No “me” time. This isn’t exactly true. I get my hair colored and cut every six weeks, and about as often I get a massage. Mr. Sandwich has a (sometimes) regular Sunday morning bike ride. But with Baguette’s long-standing distaste for sleep, I can’t even read a magazine in one sitting. Recently, it took me three weeks to finish streaming a movie. We have literally years of “Castle” in our DVR–or at least we did until we gave up and deleted them, with plans to buy the DVDs at some point in the future.

3) There’s an awful lot of screaming. Baguette is frustrated by her inability to communicate. She’s also frustrated by the incessant demands of her ABA schedule. And sometimes the only way she can express that is to rage and rage and rage. As far as I’ve been able to figure it out, the only thing I can do is be there with her, as calmly as possible, and let the rage burn itself out. Friday was one of those days. After at least an hour of crying and screaming, she wore herself out until she was able to say, “I want carry me,” and I stood there with my arms around her, rocking her back and forth for at least 15 minutes. Then we sat down on the couch, and I held her on my lap until she slid down on the floor, still with her shoulder against my leg. I didn’t move until she did, because when she moved away, that meant she was feeling better. (Sorry, neighbors. This is just how it is.)

4) There’s probably a #4, but I’m too tired to come up with it.

5) The surprises never end. Baguette loves the water. She’s been teaching herself ASL–and now she’s teaching me, too. Lately she tells me she wants to play with her by saying, “Come along, Mommy,” and I have no idea where that phrase came from.

All of this will change with time. And that’s normal, too.

What Baguette Is Saying These Days

Here are a few things we’re likely to hear from Baguette right now:

  • “I want listen to Pajanimals music.”
  • “I want iPad, please.”
  • “That wunnerfull!” (most likely to be heard just after she jumps into the pool and surfaces)

And the kicker:

  • “I can’t sleeping!”

We knowing, Baguette. We knowing.

Hey, Remember Me?

Wow, it’s been a week and a half since I last posted anything. That’s a long time in Blog World.

The reason is that I’ve been sick. I started feeling bad last Tuesday, and on Wednesday I had what was clearly a sinus infection, complete with monstrous headache. Naturally, I went to work.

In the afternoon, I went to see my doctor, who said that, yes, I had a sinus infection, and did my right ear hurt? Because I also had an outer ear infection. So I walked away with prescriptions for an antibiotic and eardrops, and a sample of a nasal spray that kind of scares me–and requires pre-qualification for a lowered co-pay.

Thursday I stayed home sick. I watched Thor. It was disappointing because it wasn’t even remotely better than I expected it to be. Also, it failed to explain much about Loki’s mindset in The Avengers, which was the whole reason I watched it. (Seriously, what is his deal? He clearly has power, but he gives up really easily a lot of the time. Is he just lazy? And what on earth happened to the quality of Kenneth Branagh’s directing? Because he started with the ability to do this.)

Friday I went to work, and then at 11:30 I went home.

Saturday, Baguette didn’t nap. On Sunday, she did, but then she played with the iPad too late in the evening (it turns out) and was up chattering and singing until after midnight. (Our recent adventures with the iPad are worth their own post.)

Monday I went back to work and also got my doctor to call in a new prescription for antibiotics, because the first one wasn’t working that well. Certainly not as well as it should have been five days in. And by the end of the day my voice was so raspy, I wasn’t sure if I’d have one at all in the morning.

But I did, mostly, and I can tell that the new antibiotic is slowly, slowly working better. Although I noticed a difference yesterday and today it seems to have plateaued, so I don’t know. It definitely isn’t fast enough.

And all of this is why I haven’t been blogging. But I want to, so hopefully next time I’ll have something more interesting to say.

Baby’s First Pillow Fort

Last night was another one of those nights when Baguette woke up at 2 a.m. or so and didn’t really go back to sleep. I brought her out to the couch and we snuggled; she eventually did fall back asleep. But since I needed to get up, I packed pillows around her so she wouldn’t fall out.

Baby's First Pillow Fort

So this is Baby’s First Pillow Fort, and she doesn’t even know it.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

So one of the blogs I follow is titled Sleeping Should Be Easy. And you’d think, wouldn’t you?

But apparently not.

As I’ve written, Baguette is not a fan of sleep. She is a master at finding ways to keep herself awake, even when she’s clearly exhausted. And then there are nights when she does a decent job of going to sleep, but for some reason wakes up–awake!–at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Last night was one of those nights.

Baguette kept punching and climbing on Mr. Sandwich in her sleep, so I kept pulling her back to me and holding her. Eventually, I think she settled down.

Then, at about 2, she woke up and wanted to talk. I tried hushing her, and she’d settle down, and then she’d rev back up. So, finally, I said, “Do you want to go in the living room with Mommy?”

She said, “Yes!” slid off the bed, ordered, “Come on, Wicket!” (the dog’s bed is in the corner) and waited for me to get up.

Thankfully, she didn’t want to watch TV. No, she wanted to lie down on the couch and snuggle with me under a blanket.

Yes, that is exactly what we’d been doing in bed. Where it was warmer.

Wicket, meanwhile, came out but did not want to stay in her other bed, which sits just above the couch. (Mr. Sandwich built a platform for it, it doesn’t just hover there–although that would be cool.) No, she wanted to come down and sleep on the same couch cushion that Baguette and I were using for a pillow.

This is why we don’t let the dog on the bed.


Safety in Numbers

A while ago, I wrote about our parenting approach, in light of the concept of attachment parenting. Take2Mommy has a post about bed sharing in their family, and while I hope that Baguette is comfortable in her own bed soon, what I really hope is this:

I hope she feels safe.

So I totally get where Take2Mommy is coming from, and I’m glad her son knows what he needs to feel safe. We should all have that.

Sleeping brothers

Photo by JMaz Photo, via Flickr.

Sleepy, Very Sleepy

Manolo sleeping.

Apparently I’m too sleepy to come up with anything exciting/funny/incisive to post. Here’s a recap of our week so far.

Baguette had a playdate with the daughter of one of my friends. Things went pretty well, except that Baguette fell asleep while I was holding her. In the middle of a playground. So we all adjourned to the picnic blanket so that she could lie down. After a while (and some errands), we returned home. She took another nap–very unusual–at around 4 p.m. When she woke up, she had some milk and promptly made the waterfall sound that indicates that the milk? Is coming back up. Yep–she had a fever. Fortunately it never got that high (101.5 at the most), but that meant she had to stay home from daycare.

Baguette stayed home from daycare and I stayed home from work. This was a good decision–she slept until 11 a.m., which told me that she needed to be at home. Of course, there was no napping after that, but at least she wasn’t sick any more.

Baguette went back to daycare and I went back to work. When we all got home, we took pictures of her for her “month-day”–each month, we put her in the same chair with the same stuffed animal (for proportion, you see) and take a ridiculous number of photos of her. As she has gotten more mobile, keeping her in the chair gets trickier and trickier. Food is now involved.

Baguette and I stood at the back bumper of my car, where she had me identify letters. I think she’s going to wind up spelling “Subaru” backward.

I woke up early. At about 1:15. For no reason. And didn’t get back to sleep until after 4. Then, I had a dream in which I called in sick for work and had a glass break while I was drinking from it. I do not know why I was dreaming about fishing large quantities of broken glass out of my mouth. At least I didn’t dream about getting cut–but it still wasn’t what I’d consider a good dream.

So I’m tired.

Photo by Luisus Rasilvi, via Flickr.

It’s My Party and I’ll Sleep If I Want To

Last night, after a day of not napping, Baguette fought sleep like a tiger. I think she finally surrendered at something like 11 p.m. I have no idea what that was about, but now I’m tired. Really, really tired. Which was not my plan.

Today is my birthday. I’m finding each decade better than the last, although my 30s were pretty much a decade of increasing awesomeness, and my 40s have so far been a bit more up and down. Still much better than my 20s, though, so I am not complaining.

Once upon a time, I became famous (among my friends) for inventing the birthday tradition of Ice Cream Dinner. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. But I drifted away from that and developed new traditions. Here’s what I usually like to do for my birthday these days:

  • Do something I’ve never done before.
  • Eat somewhere I’ve never eaten before (note: I am more likely to choose a dive than Ruth’s Chris, and not just because I’ve already eaten at Ruth’s Chris)
  • Get together with two of my closest friends, who have birthdays within a few weeks of mine.

I’ve got #3 set, but I have no idea about #1 or #2. Primarily because here’s what I really want to do for my birthday this year:

  • Sleep.

Like the decade, the day itself has had its ups and downs. The low point was finding out that the mother of one of my oldest friends passed away (support the American Cancer Society). I’ve known them both since the second grade, and even though we were across the country and I haven’t seen either my friend or her mother in years, this makes me sad.

The ups, though, are definitely there. Before I even got out of bed this morning, Baguette woke up, looked at me, and said, “Mommy!” Then she climbed on top of me and said, “Mommymommymommymommymommy” for about two minutes.

And later, Mr. Sandwich brought me these flowers:

Hmm. Maybe I should have some ice cream. And, if I’m really lucky, some sleep.