Halloween is in full force at our house. My 2 year old has created a song that goes a little something like, “Hallo-ween, hallo-ween, Hall-o-ween. Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit. DING!” (in real life it has quite the ring to it) Our house is decorated, our costumes have already been worn in a few (or many many more) times, and mommy has sampled a few (or many many more) tiny chocolate candy bars. (you know, just to make sure they weren’t poisonous…they’re not)
In short, we are ready! (although I might need to stop by the store to get some more tiny candy bars. Our bags seem to be mysteriously low.)
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was a kid, it was for the candy. As a co-ed I liked the party of it all. And then as an adult, the anonymity of donning a costume reminded me of what it must have been like ages ago at masked balls. Dancing around in circles under the candlelight having no one the wiser as to who you are…but perhaps I’ve just been reading too many romance novels. And now, Halloween has morphed again, becoming once more the excited happiness of youth. Seeing my little ones (I still can’t believe I have little ones) bounce about in transfixed joy and curiosity gives me more delight than imaginable. Talking about mummies and ghosts and spiders – I’m in heaven.
So when I read Over In The Hollow (by Rebecca Dickinson) tonight for the 97th time, I will thank my lucky ghouls, because having kids at Halloween is well, awesome.
A week ago I took a dear friend to see the Black Keys for her 40th. After selling my left kidney to buy tickets we rendezvoused and found, to my great pleasure, that our seats were awesome. I had a fever during the show and kept cracking a sweat, but other than that I loved every minute of it.
It’s very unlike me these days to do something so spur of the moment and spontaneous. Standing there rocking out with a bunch of twenty-somethings, the pot fumes swirling around me, I felt old. And that’s when I realized I need to do more things that make me feel young. True, it’s challenging when your kids get up at 4:45 in the morning… (yes, that really happened today).. but I feel I must try or else perish into middle age, depressed and angry that my best years were lost changing diapers and trying not to crash my car. (you try driving half-awake with screaming children)
And so, standing there watching the light show, I started putting together my bucket list. It’s a work in progress, but here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Re-learn how to play the piano (aka find a teacher patient enough to give me lessons)
- Volunteer more
- Go on safari
- Walk the Great Wall
- Spend a winter in Russia
- Spend a summer in Sri Lanka
- Hike through New Zealand
- Ride through Mongolia
- Get engaged again (same guy, different romantic comedy)
- Touch the Hagia Sophia, the Taj Mahal, and the great pyramids
- Buy Bug Spray – then go to Vietnam, the Amazon, and Papua New Guinea
- Sail through the Galápagos Archipelago
- Visit Brazil, visit Korea, visit Thailand
- Pose on a Cape Town beach pretending to squeeze Table Mountain
- Take a vacation with National Geographic and learn something besides where the best shoe stores are located
- Kiss a gorilla, sit on an elephant, hug a baby monkey
- Go to grad school
- Adopt a child, rescue a gazillion more animals, and start riding horses again
Saturday, October 13th and last night Baby slept through the night! Granted, both he and my 2 year-old woke up at 5:20am raring to go, but I’ll take it. After seeing Argo, we had a drink with a friend and braced ourselves for another sleepless night. Although Baby was getting better (night three he woke up only once from 11pm-12am), we had low expectations for night four. I have my fingers, toes, legs, and eyes crossed that tonight is equally as aweome.
Argo meanwhile is a winner. Besides the fact that Ben Affleck and Sam look pretty much identical to one another with a beard, I loved the movie. On the edge of my seat I started to doubt what I knew to be true…did they survive? Would they make it? It is a movie that makes you forget the outcome because the tension is so high. This one is a definite must-go-see if you like action, history, the middle east, spy, CIA, political, love or drama movies. In other words, unless you’re a major stoner who knows Harold and Kumar verbatim, this move is for you.
Sam wore his neck-brace to the theater and went to bed afterward in a groan of agony. Poor guy needs to be beheaded and be done with it.
And that’s the news for today…got some sleep, saw an awesome movie, and have a husband who looks like Lurch/Ben Affleck with a beard. Not too bad I guess. Oh, and we went to a farm in Simi Valley and bought a 400 pound pumpkin. Seriously. So I’ve got that going for me too.
Dazed and confused is pretty much how I feel right now after yet another night of sleep training. I can’t see the finish line at this point and I’m desperate (desperate!!!) for a solid night’s sleep. Hell, I’d take even 4 hours of consecutive snooze-time and be grateful for it. I still don’t think I’ve gotten more than 3 hours of back to back sleep since March.
Last night I once again slept in a toddler’s bed with my body curled up like a question mark. The bed is 63 inches long. I’m not. Sam slept on a single mattress on the floor and while I love the man, his recent neck injury has him snoring like a warthog. Seriously, if I had a gun I’d shoot him and make a warthog dinner. There’s no differentiating between the two come 3am.
Baby did great at the beginning of the night after his bedtime of 6pm. He woke up at 10pm, fussed for about an hour, and then went back to sleep. I got up at midnight and gave him a dream feed (didn’t work that well) and congratulated myself on being on top of the ball.
And that is when the crap storm started. From 2am to 4am Baby was awake and as angry as a rattlesnake. And then after a brief hour’s respite, he was up again at 5am, furious that we would dare to keep him in the crib. I think he had a meeting to go to, a flight to catch, a bank to rob. I don’t know exactly, but whatever it was he was missing, he was pissed about it and not shy in letting me know.
If you’re reading this, I’m sorry that we are trying to sleep train you. I am scared of you and beg your forgiveness.
That being said, we’re rounding second here and coming up on night three.
Please sleep a little more tonight. Please?
There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to teaching a human being how to sleep. And no, for those of you who don’t have kids and now since reading my blog never want any, sleep does not seem to be an intrinsic trait sown into most children’s DNA – you gotta teach them how to do it. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
So anyway, two schools of thought…
- the Cry It Out method – made popular by Meet the Fockers or Dr. Richard Ferber depending on your medium of information gathering. The method is simple, let your kid cry and eventually she will learn that she can go to sleep on her own.
- the No-Cry method – and the advocates of this method are long with a plethora of opinions on just the right way to do it, but the point is the same. Parents love on their child rather than let him cry and eventually, he will learn how to sleep.
Sam and I tried method number two with baby number one. I read about a dozen books (The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The Sleepeasy Solution, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer…) and tried one after the other. Eventually, with the help of sleep-guru, Jill Sanford-Burrows and baby-guru, Tandy Parks we created a system of our own that amalgamated both methods in a way that worked for us:
Cry It Out Meets OomShakaLaka or in certain circles, CIOMO. (buy now on HGTV for three easy installments of $19.99 *or a lifetime membership for $99.99)
The Cry It Out part of our method was that we agreed some tears were necessary. The OomShakaLaka part involved us sleeping on the floor next to baby and cheering her on, telling her how fabulous she is, and rooting for her to learn how to go to sleep with touching and soothing, but no nursing or picking up. It’s kind of GI meets hippie protestor. The Forrest Gump of sleep training I guess you could say.
Anyway, we started CIOMO last night with baby number two and it went great. Sam is a natural at it and I let him take the lead while I studiously noted times, reactions, and other secret details (purchase now on CIOMO.com to learn just what those secrets are) into our nifty black journal. I must say, we didn’t get a lot of sleep, but the longest baby cried was 6 minutes. Go CIAMO Go!
CIAMO, get your version of Cry It Out Meets OoomShakaLaka and sleep is guaranteed or your money back. (batteries not included)
I’m sick. And my baby does not want to sleep at night. And I’ve had a headache for the last three days. And I’m supposed to go to an art opening tonight and a Black Keys concert tomorrow. Blech.
So I put the kids down to nap and I’m about embark on an hour of Project Runway. I’m torn between Dimitri, Christopher, and Sonjia for New York’s Fashion Week. And if I’m lucky, and I get more than 45 minutes of simultaneously napping…I’m closing my eyes too.
Blech.. Blech… Blech.
Fact: I have a very active imagination.
Fact: I have two kids.
Fact: I often walk around Los Angeles making up scenarios involving ninjas, illegal drug operations, and hand-to-hand combat with only my kids, my cell phone, and a Cougar Chariot double stroller to save me.
Just the other day I was passing a house on a nice-sized lot for the city and I thought to myself, now there is a good place to plant a marijuana garden. Hidden from the street due to the limbs of a few large pine trees, the area was slightly overgrown and set back from the street along the side of a house on a corner lot. Best of all, in my make-believe scenario, the people who lived there had full deniability if ever caught because the garden area was accessible by all passerby. They could plant the marijuana in almost full view, harvest it for money (and by the looks of the place they could use a little extra cash), and if ever caught, claim ignorance. Who knows who could have planted it there?
(Aside: did you know that the word passerby is both singular and plural? As in A passerby saw the accident and stopped to help. and Passersby were asked if they were registered to vote. Interesting, no?)
Anyway, the point is, someone in Chicago had the same ideas as me except they planted 1,500 marijuana plants versus like 2 or 3. Estimated at a street value of $10 million, officials are still trying to figure out whose property it is. Unfortunately, I’m thinking whoever it is might have a harder time blaming local hooligans as the culprit.
LA TImes Article