While I was pregnant, I frequently got the piece of “advice” that all soon-to-be parents get. “Sleep as much as you can now, because once baby comes, there won’t be much sleep at all.” I would smile and nod and just laugh it off. Yes, babies can keep you up at night. I knew that. But, I thought, I know what it’s like to stay up all night. I’ve been to college. I’ve pulled all-nighters and still functioned completely fine. I can handle this. Well, I quickly learned that not sleeping without a baby is one hundred percent different than not sleeping with one. The sleeplessness that comes with a baby creates a whole new kind of tired that one cannot escape from. Thankfully, and quite luckily, my baby started sleeping through the night around the five-week mark. I know this statement now has many new parents completely hating me, but he did. And, like I said, I know I am quite lucky in this matter. However, now that he is a bit older, we have stumbled into a period of sleep regression, making those lovely sleepless nights a reality once more. So, other than trying to calm a restless child, what does one do during these sleepless hours?
As a writer, I have often found the moments right before falling asleep to be a time when my mind is rushed with inspiration. Story ideas, plot hole fillers, dialogue, it all tumbles around my pillow. The timing is annoying, but it has led to some great bits of writing. So, as I now have a lot of wakeful time in an otherwise not so wakeful time, I do find myself coming upon a great deal of writing inspiration. Maybe it’s from something my son does, or a jumbled combination of words that fall from my mouth in the wee dark hours, both of which have been the spark for two manuscripts I am currently working on. On several occasions I have dropped my phone, Notes App open and ready for a quick recording of my thoughts, only to not be able to reach it as my son feeds or nears sleep. I then spend the rest of the feeding or cradling time repeating a line or rhyme over and over so as not to forget it. So, during this time of sleep regression, this is when and where I’m finding my inspiration. In the dead of night, cradling the cutest little baby. I guess this whole wakeful developmental period isn’t really the worst thing, as long as there is some coffee available during the day.
The Baking Challenge: This past Friday, I baked Stromboli for dinner. I’d never made pizza dough from scratch before, so that was a first. Pretty simple and straightforward. I’m really getting the hang of this yeast business. The filling was some of our favorite pizza toppings (sausage, mushrooms, black olives, and a whole bunch of cheese). And then just roll it all up and bake. I will say my “eyeing it” method for splitting the dough in two was a bit off, leaving us with one monster Stromboli and one littler guy, but still, both were delicious and provided two dinners and a lunch. So, still enjoying the challenge and looking for the next new bake. Maybe this week I could try something a bit sweeter.