Tag Archives: sleep

How Do They Know?

The barometer must be changing.  After a long, busy weekend and a tossing, turning night, I was trying to fight off the beginnings of a headache.  I knew I would need to be clear-headed to teach lessons later, so I stole a few moments to lay down with a cloth over my eyes, keeping the light out.

I was trying to nod off when I felt a cat hop on the bed and climb up on my side.  As I laid still, playing ‘possum and trying to recapture my doze, I felt one soft arm stretch out and a smooth, cool paw touched my temple.  She relaxed into the pose and started to purr, keeping contact and a tiny bit of pressure there, and I finally slept.

The next thing I knew, the older girls were home and calling for me, and the cat was still nestled on top of me.  I gently moved out from under her, testing for my headache before I rose, and it was gone.  I gave her head a stroke as I left the room to get the studio ready for my students.

One green eye opened, and she gave me a lazy wink.


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Filed under Day to Day, Health

Routine Adjustment

My morning got flip-flopped and now I’m not even sure what day it is.  I hadn’t realized how important the actual, precise morning routine was to the rest of my day, but an unexpected change has thrown me for a loop.  Sounds pathetic, but there it is.

Girl #2 had to go to school thirty-five minutes earlier this morning to complete some pre-testing rigmarole.  Everybody else remembered and had it planned, but I got home late last night and no one mentioned it to me.  This morning, I woke to a partially awake and moving house when it’s usually a still, slumbering one.  I guess that made me feel like I was behind and late, so I rushed around to get everything done before she left.  Then the other two had to go at the regular time, so I felt like we should leave for the bus 20 minutes early.  I actually had time to stop, pour a cup of coffee, and stand still for a minute.  The whole thing was topsy-turvy.

I’m still feeling like a horse after a race, hours later.  Maybe it’s what I needed.  A little shake-up is envigorating, and things might fall back to place in a new and more interesting pattern.  That could be too much to ask for a little routine change, but I’m going to run with it…

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Filed under Day to Day, Growth, Reflection, Self Discovery

After Break

Last night I slept with the window open for the first time all year.  At least, I think I did.  From the moment I remember laying my cheek on the pillow to the alarm going off this morning, the night miraculously disappeared.  All I know is that I was unceremoniously woken in the pre-dawn, forced to rouse grouchy kids, and somehow robbed of the pleasure of enjoying that open window.

After a full and busy week of my children being mostly home, I am now enjoying a solitary, quiet cup of coffee and attempting to regroup.  I didn’t go to Florida like some, or send the kids off to relatives, like others.  Instead, I had a week here with my chicks, and I planned accordingly.  I didn’t get all of my goals accomplished, and I’m sticking with the excuse that it rained on and off for most of the week so gardening and car washing was a moot point.  We got quite a few movies watched, I got a lot of work done on my trumpet(s), and we went out to dinner an inordinate amount of time, making it so I didn’t have to cook much.  I got my bike cleaned up and Spring-ready on the first day of break, when it looked to be nice, but that was as far as that got.

Stretching before me is the sprint to the end of the school year and, most significantly, to the graduation of my eldest daughter. There will be quite a few mingled firsts and lasts coming up, and I hope to savor them all, recognizing them as they pass.  I thought I’d dread this time.  Instead, it’s shaping up to be exciting and re-energizing for all of us.  I just hope I can hold on to this wild ride as it careens to June and beyond.

But first, just a few more sips of coffee….

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Filed under Accomplishments, Day to Day, Looking Ahead, Parenting, Success/Failure

Too Old To Sleep In

That’s it, I give up.  No matter how nice it sounds to think about sleeping past my regular wake up time, it’s just not the decadent indulgence it used to be. I am (gasp!) not a teenager anymore.

The last two days I have not had anything to make me get up at a specific time.  What better opportunity to do something I haven’t done for a while, right?  Saturday morning was a few hours later than usual, so not too much over.  Still, it seemed at least an hour before my brain woke up with the rest of me, and my morning coffee didn’t make much of a dent in the wake-up process.  Eventually, I got up to speed and went on with my day.

This morning I slept way late, rolling over after the alarm and deciding that it was Sunday morning and I wasn’t going anywhere until after lunch.  No one needs me to get up to make breakfast for them and supervise anymore, so I thought, “What the heck… why not?” and off I went, back to dreamland.

Bad idea.  Headache, cotton-wool for brains, the loss of half my day.

I know this thought has occurred to me before.  So why am I always in denial when I’m half asleep and faced with the tantalizing temptation of a lie-in?

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Filed under Changes, Day to Day, Self-realization

Say Goodnight

I don’t know quite when it began, but my oldest daughter and I hardly ever say good night to each other anymore.  If we do, it’s because every now and then I knock on her door on my way to bed to get what turns out to be an air kiss, hardly a touch.

When she was just a baby (and the first child of rather baby-ignorant people), getting her to sleep became my Holy Grail.  She was a light sleeper.  I was so sleep-deprived and exhausted that getting her to conk out for a little while was a major goal, but keeping her from waking was more like a scene from Raiders of The Lost Ark.  If she fell asleep nursing, I would slowly, carefully, lay her in her crib, inching my hands out from under her and gently covering her.  Then began the ordeal, for I couldn’t just walk out.  The floors were wood, and there were boards that creaked.  If I stepped on one she would wake up, so I left the room Indiana Jones-style, one step at a time, on a pre-discovered path that mostly avoided the squeakers and had to be negotiated lightly, putting the weight of one foot down slowly before lifting the back foot.  It must have looked comical, but I assure you: at the time it was dead serious business.

When she was a preschooler she slept much better.  Then night times became rituals of story-telling and a particular rhyme, in a call and answer style.  The favorite lullabies would turn on, hugs and kisses would be shared, and the “Sleep Tight” poem had to be exchanged.  Then she could sleep.

In elementary school she was quite active, occasionally getting splinters on her trek through her day.  She hated having us try to remove them, so we would wait until she fell asleep and go in and pluck them out.  It worked, so she must have slept very well then.

In high school she joined the ranks of teens everywhere and slept past noon, if allowed.  Staying up too late and sleeping the morning away would be the preferred schedule, but a little thing called “school” continues to get in the way.  Now, more often than not, I go to bed before my teens do.  I leave them still doing homework, because at this point I don’t operate as well on just a little sleep as I did for all those years.

I still get hugs and kisses from my middle girl.  In fact, she demands them often and to the point of irritation sometimes.  I don’t think I’ll complain anymore, though, because it occurs to me that goodnight kisses from my first girl slipped away, and I didn’t even notice it.

Maybe now she’s the one quietly traversing the quest-like path so I won’t wake up to the fact that she is moving on.

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Filed under Changes, empty nest, Family Relationships, Looking Back, Parenting


Cup of joe, brain juice, mojo, tar, liquid lightening, plasma, battery acid, black gold, fix, jamoke, mother’s little helper.  Whatever you call it, I should have had more of it this morning.

Sleep eluded me last night.  I guess with the odd schedule we have been following (read: no schedule) my body wasn’t inclined to go to sleep.  I couldn’t get comfortable; I couldn’t lay still.  I knew the alarm would ring early and that we were all going to have a hard time getting going, so I knew I just couldn’t hit the snooze button.  The more I tried to get to dreamland, however, the more my mind churned over the reasons I needed to sleep and the more awake I became.

Why is it that the amount of sleep I get seems to be inversely proportional to the amount I think I need? My brain gets sluggish but the rest of me gets more awake, so going to bed early only gives me more time to toss and turn.  I have fragments of thoughts zipping through my half-responsive brain; no wonder I can’t relax and nod off.

Perhaps I just need to get used to an early alarm again so that I can get to sleep at a regular hour.  That and have a decent cup of joe waiting for me in the morning.  They don’t call it wakey juice for nothing.

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Filed under Day to Day