Little man eating; mama not sleeping

I took my little guy on a hot date this week. We left the rest of the gang at home under the expert tutelage of Daddy and had the pleasure of joining my parents and my brother and his wife for dinner at an Italian restaurant to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday.

After we’d enjoyed good conversation and loaded up on carbs, my brother scraped most of his leftover fettuccine alfredo into a to-go box. However, he left the plate with a few remaining noodles within Thomas’s reach. My hungry, resourceful man wasn’t going to let those creamy, cheesy noodles go to waste. He grabbed the plate, pulled it closer, and shoved a few fistfuls of pasta into his mouth. Then he grinned. Life is good, man.

This man loves to eat. He’s still not crawling, and I told my husband we ought to put a big plate of food just out of reach to help propel him forward. Thomas went very quickly from turning his nose up at solids to digging in and stuffing his chipmunk cheeks with anything you put in front of him.  I’ve found all of my babies prefer to go straight to table food closer to eight or nine months rather than starting mushy solids sooner.

I’ve always considered all of my kids to be adventurous, healthy eaters with the exception of 3-year-old Mary Elizabeth. She’ll still regularly nosh on a few nutritious things like avocado and tomatoes, but her selection of healthy grub she readily eats is far more limited than that of her big sisters and now little brother. Interestingly, Thomas weighs only seven pounds less than his preschool sister. She’s on the small side, and he’s on the bigger side.

I’m not sure anyone will care about any of this, but I have nothing intellectual to say. I feel kind of fried and have actually been strongly considering taking a hiatus from this online life  I’ve become so entrenched in and in fact, I wrote a lengthy post that did have a lot to say but decided to let it marinate a bit longer before deciding whether or not to publish it.

I’m just plain, old-fashioned tired. Tuckered out. Zapped. Depleted. Exhausted.

I have limited free time right now, and I’ve got to prudently choose what will nourish me the most. Those feel-good endorphins that come from exercising are what I really need, so I’ve been trying to squeeze in more time to break a sweat rather than trying to force blog post and/or article ideas past the embryonic stage. I’ve started to run again without too much pain from my chronic injury and have found my body is craving more sleep, but life just doesn’t seem conducive to spending adequate time in the horizontal position.

And it’s starting to show. Or at least I sometimes feel dumb. My babysitter told me recently about a study that revealed that chronic sleep deprivation (defined as getting less than six hours of sleep for several consecutive nights in a row) knocks your IQ down 2o points or so. I may have gotten some of those details wrong because, well, my IQ has definitely fallen a few notches. A few years back I heard about another study that suggested that chronic sleep deprivation causes mild dementia. My only consolation was that once you started sleeping again, the dementia symptoms would fade. I’ve always said that although my brain is fuzzy right now, I almost always pick up on the stupid things I do or say (or at least I think I do???), so I haven’t completely lost it yet. (I actually first referred to Mary Elizabeth’s healthy grub as her healthy garb but fortunately caught it. Those cerebral slip ups are happening more and more.)

Anyway, the hungry man has been sleeping a little better, but my 3-year-old has been waking up a few times a night with growing pains. She cries and says her legs hurt. It soothes her to have her legs massaged. Poor girl. Poor mom.

So there you have it. I have nothing brilliant to say. No big insights to share. Just some whining about sleep (or lack thereof) as well as some commentary on a happy baby who likes to eat (more than he likes to sleep through the night).

(If you actually stayed with me through all of this, bless you.)

Hope your weekend is delicious.


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11 Responses to “Little man eating; mama not sleeping”
  1. Jess says:

    oh my gosh, he is sooo cute!!!! and I enjoy your mommy/kids posts best of all!

  2. My son says that he would like to play with your son…and eat his noodles. Lol. What a cutie. I definitely couldn’t handle 6 hours of sleep; I’m fairly worthless on less than 8 hours. During newborn days I think I mostly did actually sleep everytime my son did! My husband is good on like 4 hours of sleep, although he usually sleeps more than that, and I’m afraid my son takes after him more than me in terms of sleep needed!

    • Kate Wicker says:

      My children with the exception of one take after their father who survived residency and working on-call weekends where he maybe got 6 hours cumulative sleep if he was lucky. Sigh. I was the toddler who asked to take naps. Thomas actually is a great napper, but I haven’t been able to snooze with him lately because of the older kids’ activities. My oldest is an amazing sleeper now. She goes up to bed on her own and stays up too late reading, but she will sleep in until 8 or 8:30 when she can. But Thomas has been waking around 5 am after nursing at 2 am and ME wakes at least once with growing pains on most nights. Oh well. Thanks for putting up with my griping. I think of a loved one I have who sleeps very little because of horrible, chronic pain, and I offer my sleeplessness for her. I mean, I’m waking for children, not pain! And I have an amazing support system, so why should I whine at all? :-)

  3. Cassie says:

    I should start offering my tiredness up. GOOD idea. I could probably change the world with tiredness prayer :) I have a 3 year old and 1 year old and my one year old is just waking up all the time now. I think she’s teething bad. The last couple weeks have been rough. I can’t believe you work out while you are so tired. I can’t, I don’t want to stress my body out further. But it does feel good sometimes. Maybe I should try a walk around the block.
    What a cute little guy you’ve got there. It seems like you just had him. :)

  4. Kate,
    There is hope because this is just one season in life! Now that my youngest is almost 8 and the oldest is almost 21, I miss sleep now rarely and usually only when it was because of my own stupidity (like staying up too late playing/reading on the computer). Although, I will also admit to late nights staying up waiting for my girls to get home. I read a sleep doctor’s article one time about sleep deprivation. He highly recommended when going through a season like you are now in life where sleep is not able to be regular, to do short naps when possible. He said that napping as an adult for longer than 30-45 minutes actually allows our bodies to go into the deeper sleep so that we are groggier when we wake. His suggestion is short 10-15 minute catnaps. I have found that doing this after a short night does help tremendously. For me, I bought a new computer chair that is very comfortable and has a high back. When I am working and start getting tired, I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes and allow myself to lean back and snooze. It really does help!

  5. Melanie B says:

    Oh Kate, I am so with you on the sleeplessness! We have got to find some way of getting Anthony out of our room. He’s getting up at 5 am too. And even if I get to bed by 10, which is about the earliest I can ever manage since we can’t seem to get Ben in bed before 9, then that’s only 7 hours of sleep. Not fine for me when I’m pregnant, no not at all. Also, I’m usually up at least once a night with either Anthony or Sophie or Ben. I don’t know if getting him out of our room will definitely fix the problem, but it can’t hurt.

    Also, my boys both agreed about solid foods. Wish I’d waiting with the girls too. I think Anthony wasn’t even interested until he was 10 months old. Then he began to eat everything in sight. Except he won’t eat most pasta, come to think of it. I keep wondering how I could have a Bettinelli who won’t eat pasta.

  6. My pregnancy insomnia had gotten so bad that less than a week ago, I was up at 2 am and still going strong at 10 am. I tried to take a nap and only managed an hour. The last 3 nights, I have taken melatonin (midwife approved) and I have never felt more energetic this late in my pregnancy. Yes, it is amazing what 3 good nights of sleep can do for you. I hope you get there soon!

    As for the leg cramps/growing pains, if they are happening every single night, try giving her a dose of Advil at bedtime or maybe only a half dose…I’m not one to medicate my kids for no reason, but needing sleep is a reason. Sometimes a dose of medicine is psychologically enough to fool the body into not having problems. At least it seemed to work with my kids. We also kept the Bengay handy, but it’s usually 15-20 minutes of massaging to get ours back to sleep. I remember having problems when I was young, and it’s really only my girls who have it, not my boys.

  7. Mark S. says:


    Don’t drive yourself into a state. It seems to me it is definitely time to chill. The lack of sleep causes real mental changes. Do yourself a kindness and cut back for a bit. Fix a time, say a month, then re-evaluate. Wait….I had better write that down. Need to chill a lot here.


    Mark S.

  8. MamabearJD says:

    When the sleep loss goes on for a long time, it really changes who you are and how you deal with things. One time I realized that I hadn’t slept more than five hours in a row for almost 2 years. I so understand how it casts a cloud over everything.

    I love visiting here because you write intelligently. It is so much more than “a day in the life” Mom blog. If you need to take a break, take a break! We will wait patiently.

  9. D. Schay says:

    I hope you don’t stop blogging! I just found you when you posted on SHINE girls and was so thrilled to discover a GA Catholic Mom blogger I could relate to. I like the way you write and how honest and open you are about motherhood and spirituality in particular. I have a 15 month old sleeping through the night while my 3 year old has also been waking up with growing pains is his legs. It is acutally nice to know someone else is up rubbing their child’s legs at 2am wondering if the kid needs pain meds or just a snuggle with mommy! I felt so tired today I told my child the day after Monday is Sunday.

    • Kate Wicker says:

      Welcome, D. Schay! I may take a blogging sabbatical, but I suspect I’ll be back. Actually, I hope I’ll be back, but I just have to sort somethings out. God bless! (Hope neither one of us is massaging little legs in the middle of the night!)

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