Friday, November 18, 2011

Sleep and Other Elusive Dreams

Prior to bringing Grace home from China, Carrie did lots of parenting research.  She read books and articles about raising adoptive children, attachment disorders and discipline to name a few.  So when we brought Grace home we decided (based on research) to put Grace's crib in our room.  After all, she had spent the first eight months of her life in a crib in a room full of more cribs.  Actually we would have had her sleep between us had Carrie not been afraid that we would crush her.  I guess Carrie did read a book on co-sleeping because suddenly Grace WAS sleeping between us.  So much for spooning.
Nearly four years later Grace is still in our bed, but I am not.  How in the world did that happen?  Well, let me tell you.  We have tried several times to move Grace into her own room but, she has an extreme fear of the dark and an extreme fear of being alone. We made her a fairytale bed with a mosquito net (that we didn't take to DRC).  We hung pretty Christmas lights in her room so that it wouldn't be too dark in there.  We had Haven spend a few nights in Grace's room and told them they were mini slumber parties, only to wake up in the middle of the night as Grace was sliding into our bed.  We even told her that we would move her pet Tish the Fish into the bedroom with her.  Nothing has worked.    Through it all Haven has been the trooper, sleeping wherever and with whoever  he needs to.

Haven has always been a terriffic sleeper.  From day one he has slept through the night. So when we brought the littles home we figured they would follow suit.  We were 50% right.  JoJo has followed in Haven's foot steps and has been a terriffic sleeper from the get go.  Manny on the other hand has tested my strength, patience and love.

Oh Manny, Manny, Manny.  We have tried everything with Manny, short of alcoholic bevereges.  That boy would not sleep, and if you were lucky to get him to sleep, you had better not so much as drop a pin on the carpet or he will wake up.  Manny can scream, and I'm talking about the type of scream that would cause you to take your lower lip and wrap it around your head if that would drown out the sound.  And persistent, that boy's voice was built for marathons not sprints.   We have tried many techniques to try to get him to sleep, including rocking him until the rocking chair broke, literally.  When we decided that I would stay at home with the kids, I decided that it was only fair that I would be the one who would get up with the kids.  But that was before Manny. 

Once we finally get Manny to sleep the battle is only half way over, because that boy will not stay asleep and when he wakes up you had better have another bottle of milk for him or you will pay.  For the first six months that we were home, Manny averaged three wakeups per night.  I literally had not slept for more than three hours straight in six months.  That is when we made the big move to our current sleeping arrangement.  Carrie and Grace in the master bedroom on MY king size bed.  The sleepers, Haven and JoJo, sleeping peacefully in the boy's room and I sleep on Grace's teeny tiny bed with Manny in a pack and play next to me. 

This is madness.................. and we want two more?
Bring it on!

P.S. Manny has slept throught the night two nights in a row.  I even got to sleep in my own bed...........with Grace's feet digging into my back.

Oh, memories. 

I wonder which will happen first, Carrie and I spooning, or Grace's Master's degree.  Either way I'm sure her thesis will be titled "The Lasting Negative Effects of Co-sleeping "



  1. That Manny has some kind of metabolism! I'm sure he'll be sleeping through the night just in time for you next two to keep you up. :-)

  2. Oh Brian how I laughed reading this!! I have the same problem with Layla!! The girl is relentless!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes she just cries to be crying and won't even let me touch her without her screaming even louder! If I am lucky she only wakes up every 3 hours, it is usually every hour! And yes we co-sleep! I can't even set her in her baby bed without ear shattering scream erupting along with these sad eyes and crocodile tears! Only good point? When Layla moved in, Summer (who is 10) moved out to her own bed because she was tired of Layla waking her up. Hint=Hint! Maybe one day I won't be so soft hearted and leave her to cry it out in her room. But probably not, I really like the snuggles, smiles and kisses every morning...

  3. Have you had their ears checked? Fluid in their ears will wake them frequently at night.

  4. Brian, this brings back so many memories of our boys when they were small...memories I am grateful for, maybe not then, but now, yes!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Carrie and all your wonderful blessings :)