sleep deprivation

Baby Unleashes Spider Powers at Starbucks

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My spider sense is going off again!

As you can see from the picture, Spider Girl has been unmasked. Maddie understands that with great power comes great responsibility. Lately, her crime fighting exploits have been taking a toll on her parent’s sleep and her father’s cognitive skills.

This became all too apparent after a family walk to the local Starbucks.

As we were leaving the house, before closing the door behind me, I gave myself the usual pat down. This is the process of patting your pockets to make sure you have the two essentials with you, your wallet and your keys. Satisfied that I had everything I needed, we went on our merry way.

We walked into Starbucks and Maddie got her usual star-studded VIP welcome. They don’t know about her super powers but they are still a big fan of my little girl.

I ordered coffee and reached into my pocket for the wallet. Imagine my surprise when instead of my wallet, I discovered the baby monitor. Whoops – the baby monitor is very similar in shape and size to the wallet, but one major difference is that it doesn’t hold any money.

I told the barista to stop my order unless she would let me trade the baby monitor for my coffee. She very pleasantly told me that not only could I hold onto the baby monitor, but I could still have my coffee as well. She smiled and said, “Don’t worry Mr. Mom, we’ll take care of it!”

This is just one of many reasons why Starbucks is one of my favorite places. Not only does Maddie have a huge fan base there, but also the people who work there have a great attitude and always provide superior customer service.

Toy Bear Breaks Down Sleep Barriers for the Baby

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You ... Complete me!

Many of the sleep issues we have struggled with in the past month have been severely agitated by the development of Maddie’s hand-eye coordination and her subsequent struggles with the pacifier. Once the baby learned that you could grab what you see – the pacifier became a real sleep liability.

Since Maddie has initiated the practice of taking the pacifier in and out of her mouth, it’s gone from a useful tool to a toy. (NOT GOOD) She is most proficient at taking the blasted thing out of her mouth, but putting it in properly is still a work in progress. Now when she sticks the pacifier into her mouth backwards or at the wrong angle, her mood breaks down in a big hurry.

If this sounds like it’s not a big deal, think again. These poor pacifier practices rob the family of approximately 6 hours of sleep per WEEK!!

Just when all hope seemed lost and we were ready to concede defeat, a nameless hero appeared from the ashes. It was a bear, no more than 18 inches long with a smart bow affixed to his collar. He doesn’t speak much, but he offered his paw in friendship to Maddie.

Maddie was reluctant at first, but quickly realized that this bear was someone who was also looking for a friend to comfort. Suddenly, the nasty pacifier lost its hypnotic hold over the baby. She was free to spit it out and take out any sleep-deprived frustrations on the bear with no name.

I don’t know how long this bear will be in Maddie’s good graces, but I hope he’s in for the long haul. I’ve offered him a 10-month contract with bonus potential for each additional hour of sleep we get each week. His agent has assured that we are good to go, now it’s all up to Maddie.

Baby Crushes Sleep in Super Bowl Romp

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Go ahead and watch my Super Bowl Shuffle!

As we work on getting the baby into her crib and amending her napping schedule, decent sleep in our household is hard to come by. Maddie’s parents find themselves backed up on a 4th and long with only seconds on the clock. The ultimate goal is to get Maddie sleeping comfortably in the end zone, but that’s much easier said than done.

Any questions we might have had about Maddie’s tenacity have been swept away without any shadow of a doubt. Even at the tender age of six-months-old, she has a will and determination that is cast in iron.
There is no overlooking the fact that her parents are crazy “Type A” individuals – but Maddie is looking to up the ante and elevate things to a stratospheric level. Forget the dog with a bone analogy – Maddie has proven yet again that she is a force of nature.

As long as she is being laid down in the crib, Maddie is refusing to sleep. She is ignoring the mounting fatigue, the drowsiness and standing up to her parents on this one. Her dogged determination is certainly impressive, but it also more than a little intimidating. Our current sleep issues are far from being resolved, but it appears that Maddie might be digging in.

Improving the quality and duration of Maddie’s sleep is for her own good. It would certainly be much easier to let her sleep where she wants. The only real question is how much of a beating her parents will have to take in the process.

Even with her limited sleep schedule this weekend, Maddie was absolutely her charming self. But how long our luck will last remains to be seen.

Maddie Gaming the System Like an Old Pro

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Like taking candy from an adult!

After sleeping straight through three nights in a row, Maddie had led her parents into uncharted territory. Maddie’s mom had a 5am flight out of Newark and was hoping for another good night’s sleep. However, the baby flipped the schedule right around 10:30pm.

She was sounding off and making it clear that taking sleep for granted is always a fruitless proposition. Maddie knows from personal experience that during the nighttime hours, sleeping in her crib is mandatory.

The only exception is when her Mom has to get up very early the next morning. DING-DING-DING! I have still yet to discover how Maddie knew that this was one of those evenings. I even had the house swept for listening devices, but nothing turned up.

As you might have guessed, when Maddie went off the rails, I had to hustle her upstairs so that her mom could get some sleep. Once we were upstairs, all the commotion suddenly died down. I knew my little girl was gaming me.

She was thinking, does he have the guts to take me back downstairs? Is he ready to take a shot at the title? I knew it was a setup – you could smell it a mile away. But I had to try. At this point, Maddie was snuggled in deeply sleeping in my arms, no chance that she might wake up. But with this little girl, there’s always the chance that she’s playing possum.

I made it down to the sixth step with her when I must have hit a trip wire, because I triggered Maddie’s sonic scream alarm. She was crying and howling like a wounded cat. I scampered back upstairs and it was like I threw a switch. All sins were forgiven and forgotten. Maddie was safe and warm in her father’s arms and that evil crib might as well have been set up in Kinshasa.

So yes, I folded – the baby spent the night sleeping on me. But the joke is really on her. Sleeping on me might not be good for household discipline and I may be exhausted the next morning, but watching her sleep will always be one of my favorite activities. Besides, Maddie figured out that her father was an easy mark a long time ago.

Maddie’s Smile Extends Unbelievable Winning Streak

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A smile like this comes around once in a generation!

My amazing daughter has both of her parents riding the wave of a truly remarkable six-month winning streak. Without exception, Maddie has made it a point to greet us with a huge array of smiles every single morning.

This habitual exuberance goes back to the very beginning before Maddie was even able to see. There is no way to resist such a sweet and endearing attitude that kicks off every morning. That’s why this particular winning streak maybe one of the most impressive ones the planet has ever seen.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have to get up in the middle of the night. When Maddie opens her eyes in the morning, she is bursting with love and happiness. Her smile overcomes a wide variety of maladies including stomachaches, headaches and of course, sleep deprivation.

It’s hard to properly articulate the overwhelming rush of emotion you experience by being greeted that way each morning. I have had some long hard nights with that little girl, but it’s always forgiven and forgotten the next morning.

It’s too easy to forget what toxins are lurking in that diaper because her morning attitude makes it all ok. I have never felt more blessed in my entire life. Every morning is a resounding win. Maddie knows that I’m completely under her spell. Absolutely helpless in the face of that glowing smile, but what can you do?

Maddie may be a few days short of her 6-month-birthday, but we can all learn something from someone who approaches every day with such unbridled enthusiasm and irrepressible optimism.

Paranormal Activity Teams Up with Baby for Sleep Shenanigans

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Rise and shine Daddy!

Some type of unholy alliance was forged at our condo during the early morning hours. Everyone was blissfully asleep when the screenplay for Paranormal Activity played itself out just before 3am. A sharp and distinct clattering sound jarred both the parents and baby from their much needed slumber.

With an over aggressive fight instinct, I popped out of ready for God-only-knows-what. My wife started to follow me when I snapped, “Stay here!” I silently quick-stepped into the hall, all senses straining to pick up any foreign sounds around the house. I slipped into the bathroom quickly checking behind the shower curtain – Empty!

No one was in the kitchen so I stopped in the hall again, straining to hear anything out of the ordinary – Nothing. Now I’m scanning the living room in the darkness looking for things out of place. I look over towards the stairwell and see a slat from the window lying on the floor. Mystery solved, the wood on wood clatter noise came from some faulty glue that had come undone in the middle of the night.

I still complete a quick search to make sure nothing else is amiss and head back the to the bedroom to tell my wife that all is well in Mudville. The only problem is that with all that adrenaline coursing through my system, I’m starving to death. English muffin time!

I stick one in the toaster and smoke comes pouring out of the infernal device. With a terribly over-sensitive smoke detector, I have about 30 seconds before the smoke alarm goes off and wakes up not only my family, but everyone else in the building as well.

I scrambled over to that stupid window that caused this entire ruckus in the first place and threw it open. Then I dashed into the bedroom to grab a fan. I fired the fan directly at the smoke detector praying that I was quick enough to head off the ensuing high-pitched scream of the alarm.

Seconds tick by, the smell of smoke still permeates the air, but the alarm is silent and Maddie is still sleeping peacefully.

My adrenaline is completely spent now and I head off to bed for some well-deserved rest. I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. The sleep washed over me for a full ten minutes before Maddie announced her presence with authority. Now that the house had settled down, the baby was losing it!

As I prepared her bottle, it slowly dawned on me that the evil house had obviously made some anti-parental sleep pact with the baby. Maybe tonight I will be treated to a plague of locusts topped off with a few scorpion bites – Hey, you never know!

Grandparents Take Off in Rocket Rig to Escape Maddie’s Wrath

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It won't go any faster dear!

Maddie’s grandparents were ready to get out of Dodge this morning after the baby serenaded them with mournful cries deep into night and beyond. You could see the vapor trail from space as Maddie’s grandparents high-tailed it out of New Jersey bright and early this morning. Their rig disappeared into a huge plume of smoke before the baby had a chance to react.

During the night, Maddie struck early and often. This was an effort to properly demonstrate to her parents how difficult it was to sleep with her new headband on. Every hour or so, the tiny town crier let the household have it with both barrels. The windows shook, dishes tumbled out of the cabinets and a few sonic booms were heard across the Hudson River each time my little girl let loose.

Rocking and humming the baby to sleep is still my most effective weapon, but it is now only working for the initial sleep startup sequence. Last night, I scored a 90-minute sleep session and two 60-minute short-but-sweet catnaps. Not nearly enough for Maddie and certainly a little tough on those trying to sleep in our humble abode.

The craniologist (if there is such a thing) told us that there might be some nighttime backlash from the headband. (Do ya think?) The poor grandparents got a front row seat to Maddie’s madcap antics through out the night.

Anytime they tried to contemplate an escape, Maddie was onto them. Her constant demand for crib liberation banished any thoughts of making a clean getaway. So after a night of wild and debaucherous celebration, Maddie made sure to get up nice and early to share her love with all of those around her.

Her bleary eyed grandparents wished us well, packed the car and peeled out, ready to return to a more quiet and civilized existence.