Friday, February 13, 2015

7qt - nap breakthrough!


I didn't want to post this too soon, lest I anger the Internet Gods* and jinx the whole thing, but Miriam has started taking actual naps.  Like, the in-bed kind.  For hours, that's hours with an s.

[*I do not actually believe in the Internet Gods.]

I wish I knew what I did.  I think she was just ready.  She'd been having progressively worse and less regular naps for some time -- falling asleep easily but then waking up after 15 minutes or so because I had to get up and deal with something, or because the boys made a loud noise.  One day she was starting to fall asleep on my lap, so I stood up and laid her on the couch to tie my wrap on.  (Unfortunately my mei tai, which is perfect in other respects, can't easily be put on without putting the baby down.) Instead of crying like I expected, she fell asleep on the couch.  Sadly I couldn't leave her there (too afraid she'd roll off) and when I picked her up she instantly woke up, but it inspired me to try putting her down next time.  After all, I figured, her naps could hardly get worse.

Well, her next nap I put her down and she slept fine!  At first she tried to lift her head up, which is the perennial issue when I put her down, but I stroked her head and she laid it back down.  So that's our new sleep trigger, head strokes.  I don't have to get her soundly asleep -- luckily, since it's basically impossible while also dealing with the boys -- just mostly there, lay her down, stroke her head, walk out.

Of course that leaves me with the problem I had before -- that noisy boys during baby naps are a near occasion of screaming for me.  It makes me steaming mad when they get in a stupid fight over some toy, screech, and wake her -- even more so now that she is old enough that she has pretty long awake periods before we have a hope of giving her another nap.  But she sleeps through rather surprising amounts of noise, all things considered.


At the same time as this, she seems to be changing her nap schedule.  Her old one was two naps of no more than two hours each (usually two hours in the morning and less in the afternoon) and awake periods of about two hours.  Lately both her naps and her awake time seem to be stretching out to three hours.  Which makes it impossible to fit that second nap in there without messing up bedtime!

For instance, here's what happened today.  She woke up at seven-fifteen.  I tried to put her to sleep at nine-fifteen but no luck.  Again at ten, no luck.  Finally got her to sleep at ten-thirty.  She woke up at one-fifteen (oh, bliss!).  But I immediately realized that if she stayed awake another three hours, that would be after four and there was no way she'd go to bed at seven with a four-to-five nap.  (Since the other kids go to sleep between seven and eight, getting her in bed first is  something I'm not really willing to sacrifice.  It is very hard to put a toddler to bed while holding a wakeful, babbling baby.)

So at three-fifteen I figured I'd put her in the wrap and see how that worked.  After half an hour of swaying she finally shut her eyes ... and Michael immediately through a massive fit and she woke right up.  That was it.  She went to sleep easily at seven, but surely that's not enough sleep for a baby?  She was pretty crabby a lot of the afternoon.

I wonder if I should be waking her from that morning nap.  What do you think?  Waking a napping baby seems well-nigh sacrilegious, but I'm willing to do it if necessary.


With all that extra time freed up, I'm like a new woman.  I have been Accomplishing Things.  I've written more on this blog (as you may have noticed).  I organized the boys' room -- they have bunk beds now, it's pretty spiffy.  And I've gotten back to my novel at last, thanks to a new USB keyboard to replace the one that Michael ruined.  I've finally edited those expository bits that seemed so awkward when I first wrote them a couple months ago, revealed a character's dark secret, and killed a druid.  Tomorrow I have to kill a good guy, which is sad, but he saw it coming and chose to sacrifice himself, so I don't have to feel too terribly guilty.  (When I wrote his death the first time, when I wrote this story's first draft a decade ago, I was tearing up the whole time I was writing it.  I hope I've learned more professional detachment since then!)

Now, I've realized that I am still not back to the level of getting-stuff-done I was at before Miriam was born -- I am still not making yogurt or sourdough and I am overwhelmed when I think of my garden -- but it'll happen.  Next step I think is Mt. Laundry.


If you haven't been reading the massive comment thread (around here, yeah, 30 comments is massive) on the argument for being Catholic post, I recommend it.  I think it's done, because I'm letting Enbrethiliel have the last word ... I can't think of anything yet to say that I haven't said.  I still think astrology is bunk, though, and I hope it's not hubris to say so.


Did you know that M*A*S*H is on Netflix now?  John and I are watching it together.  I have a vague memory of watching it as a kid, but I'm sure I must have missed all the jokes.  Anyway it's a really good show.  I've thought lately that modern TV is so good it ruins me on old shows .... but this one, it turns out, is good enough quality that it never seems dated.

The humor, of course, is most of the point, but I also like the serious bits.  Hawkeye, despite his chaotic nature, is a very ethical character.

John tells me that there were more days referenced on the show than there were in the whole Korean War.  Oops.  Glad that war is over . . .

Though, of course, can you call a war "over" when we still have troops there?  And of course North Korea is still in dreadful shape.

I hear Obama's sent an authorization for the use of military force to Congress, for a three-year campaign against ISIS.  I don't know how to feel about this, besides worried.  I hate ISIS as much as the next person, but I also remember how these "short" campaigns always go; it makes me leery.  Not much to do but hope and pray the best thing is done.


Lent is coming up.  Some people like Lent.  I am not one of those people.  I understand the general idea and am in favor of it, but the specifics always trip me up.  One year I gave up reading novels except for school ... for which I read Ayn Rand's book The Fountainhead and got very depressed.  Another year I gave up music, and that wasn't too bad, but I never listen to music anymore because it's overstimulating.  In fact, I can't think of much that I enjoy and still do, except for things I've resolved to keep because they're vital for my mental health.  (Facebook is one of those things.  It's my main connection to the outside world, I can't cut it off!)

I had it in my head to give up Netflix, since after all there are other nice things I can do in the evening, but when I remembered that John will be out of town for a solid week to go see yet another sister take the veil, my resolve wavered.  I've got to have something to do and the house will be awfully quiet after the kids are in bed.

I like the idea of adding something extra, but when I tried that the past few years, it always flops.  When do I have time to add something extra?  In the evening, theoretically, but I am already supposed to write in my journal during that time and I haven't done that in weeks.  My brain isn't in good shape in the evening.  I forget everything.  But in all the rest of the day, there's no time slot I can really rely on!

So all I have left that seems remotely practical are to give up sweets, which I'm due to do anyway, being addicted to them at the moment, or to tape up a prayer on the window behind the kitchen sink and try to remember to pray it as I do the dishes.  I'm thinking of the Te Deum; it's a favorite of mine.  Maybe I should do both, in the hopes that on any given day I will remember at least one of them.

Also open to suggestions if you can think of any that requires no time and no willpower.  (All my willpower is engaged in not being awful to my dear sweet boys when they wake up Miriam from her naps.)


I recently read some books by John C. Wright.  They were pretty good.  The Golden Age and its two sequels were completely utopian, but still interesting -- if you can imagine a book where basically all human problems are solved, and the conflicts that could still arise.  It begins with a character who has willingly deleted large chunks of his memory, but now wants to know what he forgot.

The other two, Count to a Trillion and The Hermetic Millennia, are about a vision of humanity rolling from one dystopian future to the next, while two immortal enemies fight amongst themselves about what that future is supposed to look like.  I should warn you that they are part of a series that isn't finished yet.

Both were very interesting, if maybe a bit difficult.  Very sciencey.  Oddly, though, they got me thinking a lot about religion, sociology, and politics.  If I had to hazard a guess, I'd wager the author is a Catholic libertarian.  Wikipedia tells me I'm right about the Catholic bit!


Ariadne said...

I'm happy to hear about Miriam's nap breakthrough! Rosie still doesn't sleep for very long by herself. I think it's a personality thing, honestly. She just seems to need a lot of reassurance.

John C. Wright is definitely an interesting character! Some of his books are much better than others, though.

The Sojourner said...

If she's sleeping 12 hours at night and 3 during the day, that's 15 total, which seems about right for a baby her age. But she is a bit young for only one nap. When he was about that age J settled into the habit of 2 hours awake-1 hour nap-4 hours awake-2 hour nap-4 hours awake (which comes to 14 hours of sleep total). But I'm not sure I'd have the heart to wake her either.

Also, my condolences on the havoc the internet gods will wreak thanks to this post. ;)

Alaina said...

One of my favorite Lenten ideas is doing more meatless meals. It's still sacrificial, but it's not more work, since you have to make dinner anyway!

Sheila said...

Apparently the Internet Gods are slow to avenge, because she slept even better today -- took a good morning nap and a brief afternoon nap. I would have liked a bit more out of that afternoon nap, but at least she took one!

Alaina, I'm afraid that would be too much sacrifice for John and Michael, who love meat, and none at all for me or Marko, because we could take it or leave it. If I got eggs or cheese to substitute for meat, I doubt I'd miss it at all! (I do love steak. But I am "giving it up" anyway because it costs so much!)

Enbrethiliel said...


#4 -- It's oddly a bit of a let down to have the last word. Um, thanks? LOL! =)

#5 -- Breaking Bad ruined me for a lot of old shows that are otherwise pretty good. Take Early Edition, which I've been blogging about. The format is episodic, so we can't really expect the supporting characters from one episode to hang around in another, no matter how much importance they have to the main characters. But it gets kind of funny to see the two male leads fall in love again and again, with women that they have to end up letting go.

I also have vague memories of watching M*A*S*H* and liking it, although I'm sure half the stuff flew over my head. I started watching it late, when Honeycutt and Charles were the ones sharing Hawkeye's tent.

#6 -- No suggestions, sorry. A couple of years ago, I gave up, my then-favourite Web site, along with some other pleasures. Maybe you could pick a site that you enjoy . . . BUT NOT MY BLOG! (LOL!) . . . and just not visit for forty days?

(Okay, okay, if it must be my blog, I'll understand. =P)

#7 -- Although I'm not seriously into SF, I used to read John C. Wright's blog. I think I found him after someone linked to a post that he wrote on women superheroes. I vaguely recall agreeing with him about women characters, but I can't restate his arguments at the moment!

Sheila said...

Sorry to drop the debate .... I actually know just what you mean, debates get you going and it's a letdown when the other person stops replying! Partly I was just worried we were annoying everybody else on that thread.

Here's the thing about the "thousands of satisfied customers" thing. Lots of religions have thousands (or millions) of satisfied customers even though they don't really provide anything concrete. It doesn't matter, though, because they provide an intangible service -- the feeling that they're on top of things, that they are understood, that there is some pattern to their lives instead of just random stuff happening. If they get an inaccurate prediction, they'll say, "This must not have been a very good astrologer" or "Perhaps there's some missing information." They remain a satisfied customer even though the predictions aren't always right.

But just think, all those astrologers making all those predictions about all those people -- it would defy the laws of probability if they were *never* right -- even eerily right! (In the same way, if you flip a coin a thousand times, sooner or later you'll get heads ten times in a row. It seems amazing, but randomness does produce things like that.)

The really good, "natural" psychics and astrologers are often just extremely good judges of people. They can easily guess things that are likely to be true or which will please the customer. And perhaps it's possible that they have some kind of ESP (I'm not going to rule that one out, just because it's difficult to be sure it *never* happens).

And that argument that if astrology worked so well, people would use it to predict the finance markets and get rich -- I know your answer to this, "well, lots of people who use astrology ARE rich!" And that's true enough, but lots of people who use it aren't actually rich. Now you might say "well, they're not using the right astrologers!" But obviously they're not -- they can't afford the rates those people charge! Rich people hire the "best" astrologers, poor people make due with the newspaper horoscope, and then (as I don't need any prescience to predict) the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. You'd need to compare rich people who use astrology and see if they get richer any faster than rich people who don't.

I'll drop this conversation whenever you like, because I don't really care, but as long as you actually *want* to keep arguing about astrology, I'm game. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


It's all right. =) I had worried that I was annoying you! In any case, we should probably let it go because: a) we each will never budge; and b) I really should give astrology up for Lent (LOL!) . . . and then not take it back up again. =P

But it's worth adding that while we were talking about it on the other thread, I found the site of an astrologer who is also a believing Catholic, and read something in one of his articles that makes me want to take back some things I said in the previous discussion.

That article was very critical of the "nominalist" idea that God is so omnipotent and free that He doesn't have to reward the virtuous and punish the sinful. While this may work out on paper, the problem with it is that if God isn't bound to anything--not even His own covenants--then we can't really know Him and can't really be sure whether what we're doing to work out our salvation is right or wrong. And that kind of thinking leads to Martin Luther's advice "to sin boldly" (because if God wants to save you, then He'll do it even if you're a committed Satanist) . . . and to John Calvin's everything. Unfortunately, it also leads to my comments, which you were right to say sounded Calvinist. =(

For although I don't at all believe that creation is chaotic, the stories I've told seem to support the idea! Why else would a committed occultist be all but dragged into the Church by St. Therese, while two more devout Catholics apostasised as easily as rolling off a log? Indeed, the problem with my "Well, it's a matter of grace and we can't control that" stance is that it puts us completely in the dark about God . . . which is contrary to Church teaching. We do know about God, thanks to His revelation and the authority of the Church.

At the same time, however, I don't feel comfortable blaming people for not having faith. Okay, sure, if you do active things to hurt your faith, like slack off on Sunday Mass, then we can say that it's is your fault you lost it . . . but what about people like my old friends who seemingly did everything right? Is there just a piece of the puzzle that I'm not seeing which would prove that they actually didn't cooperate with grace?

Sheila said...

Sometimes I do believe it's the fault of others. Most of the people I know who are struggling in some way are struggling against a harsh and unloving idea of God .... and we have been scarred by various bad experiences with Catholics. God can't be blamed for that, but it doesn't necessarily mean we are either.

I'd be interested in reading that blog myself, if you'll share a link!

Enbrethiliel said...


Other people are definitely the link that I didn't consider. If we can strengthen each other's faith, then we can also weaken it. =( Unfortunately, those who had other people do a number on their faith will be less likely to want to lean on others again, even if they really need it.

Here's the link to the article I was referring to:!free-will-and-predestination/c1jw3

You can wander around the rest of his site from there. (Warning: that particular article is heavy with philosophy!) If you read nothing else there, I highly recommend Boticelli's Mystic Nativity, which is purely about art! =)

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