Posts in (no)Sleep




A baby reading her favourite book to her baby.

Speaking of babies, I'd love it if you could spare a vote on Top Baby Blogs for me. We've broken the top hundred, and we're squeaking on up. And I love it. So, thanks!

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We went for a frigid walk (on the way to the pediatrician, flu shot, owie, and also major terror); the primary motivation for walking rather than taking a cab was to take pictures. So, of course I forgot my camera. So, here you go. The canal. They sky. Some ducks. In between snow flurries.


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A good portion of the morning and early afternoon were spent like this. And I don't know why. But prepare yourself for a large helping of Thoughts on Crying Toddlers and the Mommy Wars and GD Shut Your Front Cover Parenting Books. Oh yes. 


(Also, apparently the correct way to have a sustained temper tantrum is with a fist full of bread.)

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It has been so long since I've been surrounded by so much life and so many people and and so much busyness and trains are full and everyone walks fast and I'm eating it up. Hello Tokyo. 


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Small Style, Christmas Style

As is evidenced by this post, I'm obviously taking a blog vacation. I promised myself a week off between Chrissy and New Year. Buuuuuuuttt, it's Small Style day. And I just can't stay away. I'm like the cat who came back, you know.

ANYWAY, I may be here in body, but not in mind. So don't expect any great things from me, okay?

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, or a great December 25th. As for us, it was quiet, but a nice kind of quiet, and as Christmassy as things can get here in Japan. I mean we had a tree! That in and of itself is a major coup.

Here's out Christmas recap (in photos because words are hard and stuff.)

On CE morning, I randomly found a full size roaster chicken at the super market. The first time in 2.3 years that I have seen such a thing. Another major coup. Obvs I was waaaaaaayyyyy more excited about this fact than Stella. But I roasted up that bad boy and Miss and I ate it ourselves. A Christmas dinner for two. I also made Christmas eve crafts. Because who am I?

And then Stella woke up in the middle of the night for two hours and wanted to play our new favourite game called "wild rumpus time" and Mr. Chef was still not home from work and thus I was left with an excitable baby and no super baby sleep ninja powers. But we won't talk about that. It's Christmas, you guys. 

A quiet breakfast of pastries and strawberries followed. Which are seasonal in December in Japan. Prolly the best thing ever.


Stella really cleaned up presents wise, and had more parcels than she knew what to do with. She didn't really get the whole opening gifts thing, and was like "Wut? I just got this awesome truck. Imma no put it down and open something else. No." So, we still had presents to open several days after Christmas. Which, surprisingly for presents obsessed yours truly, was nice.




We spent Christmas day quietly at home, and then had a Christmas afternoon cookie fest and a chilly walk in the park with friends. And it was lovely.


The end.

Stella Wore:

Everything = Tea Collection. Because I am oh so creative.

(We also have a hair situation going on right now, but I'll leave that for next week)




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If you feel like saying Merry Chirstmas, how 'bout a vote on the 'ol Top Baby Blogs. Just click below.


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Sleep Again. {SOC Sunday}

Here's my latest entry for Stream Of Consciousness Sunday. This five minute brain dump, as hosted by Fadra at All.Things.Fadra, offers a place to lay down your troubles without worrying about form and style and typos (as if I really worry about those). And my troubles are, surprise surprise, sleep. 

Why don't you join in, too?




Some day I'll write about things that have noting to do with baby sleep. Or toddler sleep. Or kid sleep. Or my own lack of sleep.


That day is not today.


We're back in Japan, after a rather eventful flight, and we're fighting sleep battles full force.


Last night I went to bed at 7:30. Mr. Chef stayed up and put Stella to bed. When she was sound asleep, he headed out for the evening, only to return at 1:30 am, and catch us up, siting in bed, snacking on cheese and crackers, and watching Modern Family together. I couldn't face fighting my kid to go back to sleep, so I just made the most of her wakefulness.


Mr. Chef put her to bed, and within five minutes she was out.


Had I been on sleep duty, the crying and screaming and carrying on  would have lasted hours.


Today, at nap time, I lulled Stella to sleep, pulling out all the tricks. Nursing her and holding her hand. She woke as I left the room. Again, Mr. Chef came in and saved the day. He snuggled S for a moment, then laid her down in her bed, and it was lights out in moments.


Tomorrow, I face nap time alone. Mr. Chef is back to work. I fear this with all my being.


Now, tell me why my kid sleeps for everyone under the sun except for me?


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And So, Everything Is Terrible Again.

You guys, the sleep demons are back and things are bonkers bad. I know I promised you deep thoughts on the culture of parenting today, but all I've got is deep swigs on a glass of port. That's about the best I can manage. You'll understand.

My kid has quit sleeping. Again. All I can surmise is that we're in the thick of the 18-month sleep regression. Which is sub-awesome, because we're going back to Japan this week. The sub-awesomeness of this situation is further compounded by the fact that my mother is staying in America. And she is the only person who can get my kid to be unconscious.

It's currently midnight. My kid has been up for an hour and a half. She won't sleep. My mum has just taken the reigns of this runaway sleep pony and is wrestling it into submission. I might also mention here that a similar turn of events took place last night somewhere around the 3:30 AM mark. Oh, and like every naptime and four out of five bedtimes for the past week. Because I am completely incapable of getting my child to sleep, and have proven that I can be outwitted by a 17-month old.

So, let's review where we stand, shall we?

18-month sleep regression + jet lag + no more baby whisperer = A catastrophic trifecta of terrible. 

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

(please someone come over here and punch me in the face.)

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Previously On Not Sleeping Through The Night

Alright, people, the story of getting baby S to sleep is a long and painful one. My obsession with sleep troubles started long ago, somewhere around the 10 day mark when it became apparent that Stella was not a sleeper. But we’re not flashing back that far, and I certainly won’t revisit the fact that she used to wake up MORE THAN 12 times per night, and at one point would wake screaming like a banshee every 20 minutes between the hours of 7 PM and midnight.*

(*see how I just threw that little chestnut in there so that you’d be fully cognizant of the fact that I’ve been through the wars, thereby justifying my foray into sleep training, assuaging my hippy guilt while also demonstrating my extreme patience and general saintliness?)

No, no, this little recap will only highlight where we were before we started sleep training. So, let’s revisit where we were about three weeks ago: 


Previously, On Sleeping Through The Night: (dramatic music here)


  • Stella was a part-time bed-sharer, part-time pack-n-play master-bedroom roommate. 
  • She woke up between 4 and 6 times per night to nurse
  • She was awake for long periods of time, particularly after 3 AM. Which meant so was I. And this was sub-ideal. A lot
  • She cried and cried and cried before falling asleep, no matter what I did

So. Basically, our sleeping situation was sub-idea. And we decided that finally, it was really really really time to get serious on sleep’s ass and make it happen. Although I was ambivalent about sleep training (to say the least), and was sad to put an end to co-sleeping, it was apparent that Stella thought of our bed as a playground and not as a sleeping place. So, bye-bye co sleeping. But before I get ahead of myself, I’ll outline what we did on PEZM (Project Ending Zombie Moms):


Stage 1 - Git In YER BED!


  • I set up a cot in Stella’s room, and determined that she would sleep in her own bed, so help me Easter Bunny, no matter what. 
  • And she did. And it was no biggie. Turns out, she slept waaaaayyyyy better in her own bed.


Stage Two - Night Night Milkies 


  • I night weened. In one night. Bandaid --> riiiiiiiiiiiiiiipp
  • Mr. Chef took over nighttime parenting duties, sleeping in Stella’s room all night and I bed-shared with a my earplugs. And slept for eight hours in a row for the first time in about two years. Oh my
  • Stella work up 11 times the first night, but didn’t cry once
  • Night two it was down to 4 times. Still no tears
  • By night four, there were two wakeups. Still tear free
  • Then we did a little experiment wherein I took over nighttime duties, and it was an all out scream-a-thon, so me and my earplugs went back to our own room. 
  • Mr. Chef continued to be the baby whisperer, and Stella continues NOT TO CRY while he’s around.


Stage Three - Pending

  1. Stella is now Sleeping from about 7 PM until 3 or 4 AM ALONE! IN HER OWN BED! 
  2. She’s WAKING UP ONLY ONCE!!!!!
  3. Mr. Chef continues to sleep in her room from about 3 or 4 am until she’s up in the morning, somewhere around 6:30, but in the next few days, he’s going to start transitioning to sleeping full-time in our room. 


So. Stella is sleeping much better. The transition was not NEARLY as painful as I had thought. I’m routinely getting stretches of 6 hours of sleep. I can stay up till 11 and not feel like I have malaria. I can do things! And play babies for a long time! Basically, it’s a win-win-win situation: I sleep so soundly, I don’t even her Stella wake up (win!) Stella still gets to wake in the night the way she likes to (win!), and Mr. Chef gets to spend extra time with his daughter(WIIIIIIIIINN!) See? Win-win-win! (Right, Mr. Chef???? RIGHT??? You love this arrangement, RIGHT?)


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(More) Not Sleeping Through The Night

Because you're dying to hear more about my travails in sleeplessness (it is a topic of infinite interest, after all, and I do write about being tired with such eloquence and nuance), I thought I'd just stop on over on a Sunday night and let you know what is happening in the Expatria, Baby household. We are still not sleeping through the night. But...there is more sleeping than there used to be:

  • Night 1 Stella woke up 11 times
  • Night 2 Stella woke up 3 times
  • There were no tears (except at bedtime). There are always tears at bedtime
  • I slept for 8 hours straight
  • Mr. Chef did not
  • Mr. Chef slept in the baby room
  • I did not
  • I am really effing lucky
  • I heart earplugs. A lot. 
  • Mr. Chef is the baby whisperer. I will hire him out, but he costs many, many dollars. Well, yen. Since the dollar is currently a piss-poor excuse for currency

You are welcome. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Sunday. 

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