Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Gone are the days of the snooze button

After a few discombobulating hiccups (whoever taught my baby to roll over? MINUS TEN POINTS FOR YOU), we’ve finally transitioned Marlo into a regular nighttime routine. It’s not exactly perfect because she can barely make it to 6PM and then she’s done. Kaput. Like she’s been studying for that calculus final through the night and passes out, her head mushed sideways into the textbook, and her roommate has to physically restrain herself from taking a permanent black marker and writing BONER on her forehead.

And then some internal alarm clock goes off in her head at 2AM exactly. Sometimes it breaks and goes off at 1:58 AM, but that is rare, and I hop out of bed, run down to her room and savor the ten minutes or so that she eats. Then she’s back down until 6AM. And oh, is she up. She is awake and ready for the day, barking orders and not really interested in the fact that we’d like another half hour of sleep.

For the past two nights Leta has come into our room having had nightmares about spiders, and it’s always right at the point when I have just fallen back asleep. So in my weak and lazy state I just pull her up in bed beside me and we snuggle for the rest of the night. Or more accurately, she flails her arms and sticks her feet on my head. And I lie there awake resenting every sleeping person in the world.

And then at 6AM we’re all there, all four of us in the dark, mushed together in bed, Marlo trying to tell us that we’re boring and need some new tricks. The light from an iPhone is no longer entertaining. That rattle is so dumb. Please turn on the light and amuse me, slaves! So I reach over, fumble around until I find the bedside lamp, and then all four of us wince at the sudden glaring light. Some of us wince more loudly and agonizingly than others. I won’t name that someone, other than to say that if there were a prize for best impersonation of a hyena being gutted with a chainsaw, we’d have a winner.

This morning I looked over at Jon and said, well, this is our life. Our Every Day Starts At 6AM Life, our Hit The Ground Running At 6AM Life, and as Leta made faces to make Marlo giggle, and Coco whined longingly in her crate to be let out, please let me out, you’re having all that fun without me, we both laughed at the ridiculousness of it. Because as bad as it might sound, it’s just so incredibly awesome.

  • Oh, I know what you mean. I am NOT a morning person. Luckily, I can get my 7 month old to lay with me in bed and nurse back asleep until 730/8ish, but I know soon he wont nurse to sleep anymore. Then I’ll be in big trouble!!

  • genevieve

    I’m utterly amazed at how much Marlo looks like Leta. Sisters to the core! You’re a lucky woman, till the boys start knocking on the door for those two, because then, well you won’t want all that beauty running rampant in the streets with boys, it could cause traffic jams and stuff.

  • As much as I miss my son being tiny and adorable and sweet smelling and nursing, I do not miss those foggy, groggy hours between midnight and six am. I feel bad for you — and for Jon! But soon enough Marlo will be a big girl just like Leta, and then they’ll be plotting and scheming together on how to drive you both nuts!

  • I love that age…when you know they are SO trying to tell you something! So cute 🙂

  • Believe it or not, there will be a late night in your future, when you are waiting for one of your girls (with the key to your vehicle) to get home, that you will long for the early mornings… looking at it from the other angle, I guess.

    We love sharing your life – thanks again.

  • I checked on my three girls and then snuck into my office which is next to their room for one last check of the e-mail. Then, of course, 20 minutes later I am reading all these fabulous comments thinking I really need to go to bed. Right then, one of my 4 year old twins wakes up crying with a nose bleed — and I was right there to help her instead of across the house. Thanks for keeping me up, guys!

  • Angela

    So freaking cute!!!!!! What a doll!

  • Thankfully my (now) 18 month old still finds the iphone amusing at 5:30 in the morning. She likes scrolling through facebook and the app store and if I’m lucky I can squeeze an extra half hour – an hour of sleep out of her. Golden. Although she may also call someone, update my facebook or twitter or send someone a text message. All totally worth it for the extra sleep.

  • Anonymous

    I would kill to get up at 6!! That would be sleeping in for me. Since my son was little we have been battling the 5am wake up and there seems to be no end in sight. Daughter up from 3:45-5 am and right when I got her back to sleep my 2 year old son wakes up. The day is not suppose to start at a quarter to 4! I think I would enjoy motherhood more if I wasn’t always so sleep deprived. It is really getting in the way of enjoying my children.

  • Yes, this is a perfect day to start.

  • Yes, this is a perfect day to start.

  • For the folks who actually do miss their snooze buttons, I offer a glimmer of hope:

    My kids are now 9 & 6. They still awaken too early, but they now get themselves dressed, brush their teeth, and unload the dishwasher…all while I am in bed hitting my snooze button once or twice. When I hear the pots stop rattling, I get up (much more cheerful than I would otherwise), make them breakfast, pack their lunches, and we all walk to school together. I think this is a lovely postscript to not sleeping through the night more than a handful of times between 2000 & 2006.

    (Of course, last night, just to prove me wrong, the 6yo was up three times for various reasons, and they were both up at 6:30 this morning, chattering away loudly enough to awaken me several times. We drove to school today.)

  • Valerie

    Ah! The dimples! Too precious.

  • Ellen

    It’s the emphatic and wild gesticulation that convinces me!

  • Alexandra R

    Our 3 1/2 month old is in love with that video of Marlo. Her eyes are glued to the screen, and she has this huge smile and got so excited. Too cute! 6am does suck, but I’d give a kidney for my daughter to sleep that well right now.

  • Jessi

    Someone wrote “splitting image”…

  • I know what you mean about missing sleep! Fortunately, my 5 month old doesn’t wake up until 7:15. The dogs however….they start whining at 5:30 am!

  • That *is* awesome. So is sleeping until 10.

  • Anonymous

    Every time I read or hear parents talking about children who don’t sleep well or wake up insanely early, it makes me shudder. AND realize how lucky I am!

    So, if Marlo wakes up that early, does she go down for a morning nap at 7am or 8am? She is adorable~I can also tell how much you love your kids by the tone of your voice when you talk to them. SO sweet! I can totally relate to the feet in your face, but when you’re that tired, it’s difficult to be awake enough to say no. (& when they get older & are not so snuggly, it’s nice to get some extra snuggle time!)

    I also think that you (& all of the other parents) are great to get up with the kids & find the positive aspect of it. I did not breast feed & I was naughty & gave my baby a bottle in bed when she awoke before 8am to buy an hour or two of sleep, or just time to wake up, shower, throw in a load of laundry, etc. Morning nap was 1-2 hours later, afternoon nap was 2-3 hours & bedtime was 8pm. It was some method that I read about, and I was lucky enough to have a compliant kid!

    Hope you can catch a cat nap!

  • Wendy

    I know it has been said one gazillion times, but marinade in those moments. My two boys are in high school and college now, and are awesome, but I would give a years salary to go back in time and have even five minutes of that ridiculous, sleep-deprived-everybody-squashed-in-bed-together time. Life at its’ very, very best.

  • sarah r.

    Dimple!

  • I have four boys and with each of them I remember hearing baby crying in the morning and thinking that it’s “my damn alarm clock.” I’d hit the alarm trying to find the snooze button. Then I’d realize, it’s no alarm, it’s my baby. And my baby has no snooze button. Wouldn’t THAT be awesome?!

  • WarsawMichelle

    I long, pine, crave, wish and DREAM of sleeping until 6:00. My 7-month-old is up like clockwork at 5:20, and his 3-year-old brother gets up between 5:40 and 5:50. My husband and I have no idea any more what it is to roll over and see the number ‘6’ as the first digit on the clock…the day that happens, I throw a party.

  • Wait until next week when your day starts at *5* AM because we’re rolling the clocks back….
    Used to LOVE that so much. Now with the kiddoes, it’s hellacious.

  • Dawn

    I feel so lucky now that for me it’s 7AM!

    Dreading the time change next week, on my younger daughter’s second birthday, no less.

  • andrea

    i love how you run to Marlo when she wakes up for her feeding….I remember that feeling when my youngest daughter was born. So in love!
    These are the days my dear, they are gone in the blink of an eye, trust that, when you hear it because it’s true! That baby girl of mine is 21 now 🙂

    Marlo is just gorgeous! She looks more like Leta every day! Her eyes are amazingly beautiful!

  • I so miss those days. Marlo is absolutely a beautiful baby and it is fun to watch her. She looks very similar to my children when they were babies.

  • Anonymous

    I DONT UNDERSTAND Y U HAV2 LOCK THE DOG UP IN A CRATE. AS A VET, I’VE DONE SEVERAL SURGERIES ON ANIMALS, B/C THEIR OWNERS KEEP THEM LOCKED UP. NOT TO MENTION, IT CAN LEAD TO HYPERACTIVITY, MISCHEVIOUS/UNRULY BEHAVIOR, AND ANXIETY PROBLEMS. NOT ALL DOGS, BUT THERE ARE MANY. BETTER TO KEEP THE CRATE DOOR OPEN, AND ATTACH HIM & HIS LEASH ONTO THE CRATE OR SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO IT. LEAVE A DOG PAD ON 1 SIDE OF THE CRATE IF U NEED TO.

  • Mercy

    6:00 is sleeping in late for me. I’m up at 5 because if I don’t do that, exercise will never happen. I consider 5 to 6 working out my “me time.”

    And I’m not sure why that one sentence starts out with, “Because as bad as it might sound….” It ricochets the tone of the entire essay into the whine zone.

  • I can’t imagine why you would want to lay around in the bed past 6am, when Marlo might wake up two or maybe 3 minutes earlier than usual. You have a fine family.

  • Stephanie Hinchliff

    I had to restrain myself watching that video of leaning into the monitor and blowing a giant razzberry on Marlo’s soft exposed belly. She IS so great, and although I too miss those days with my kids, it’s not bad enough to have a third one.

  • Recently stumbled across your blog & love it. I have a 2 year old & a 4 week old & am a transplant into SLC. (What a culture shock!) As we’re still on the every two hour boob routine with #2, I envy your up once a night routine. Good for you…now wish us luck.

  • I feel for you…my kids have NEVER – EVER – slept past 6:00 am…until this morning when the two year old and 5 year old actually stayed in bed until 8:00 am!!!?? A Christmas miracle!! I was poking the husband in the head with my elbow demanding to know if he slipped them a little cough medicine or something…8:00 am is unheard of…more often the door is booted open at 5:27 am by the two year old telling me she needs to poop or the 5 year old yelling that he needs to be tucked in because apparently his arms stopped working overnight. So on this glorious morn, did I sleep in? Oh no. I was busy hovering over them every 5 minutes to make sure they were breathing! I need help.
    PS: Love your blog!

  • Babies are so wonderfully wiggly! Makes you just want to kiss that Buddha Belly!

  • Mandy

    I would just like to say that 6am would be the bomb! I have a 16 month old who has woken up every morning at 4;30am. You suck. hugs

  • My son had a routine! Then I went back to work, and he had a new routine, and then he started daycare, this routine sucks!! He’s now waking up anywhere from 2:30-4:30, staying up to nurse for about an hour, and then my alarm wakes us up at 5am! EEsh!

  • C

    It’s amazing how much Lita and Marlo look alike. I think it’s the eyes. It’s trippy.So cute

  • I am so happy for you that you can enjoy having a new baby this time. The time passes so quickly and once it’s gone you can’t get it back. I try to love every single moment of having my newborn and soak up every mundane minute. Maybe that’s why I have so many dang kids. Now that you can love having new babies, please woman, for the love of God, do not keep having babies until you have seven. Cramming nine people in a king sized bed is torture. Pure, anadulterated joyful torture.

  • ma2one

    Sorry Heather you’ve been in your work-at-home cocoon for too long! I know the feeling.
    Reality check:
    6:00am is a normal time to start the day with babies, and routine time to get your day started when you work outside the house and have to get children ready for school.

  • My 11-year-old still wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. on the dot. I think there must be a 6 a.m. party gene. Luckily, she can take care of herself in the mornings now, though she still occasionally feels the need to slam doors and stomp around to make sure we know she’s awake and ready to go.