Which, oddly enough, doesn't feel particularly deserving of the "!".
Despite the balloon animals and kazoos you have pictured in your head, it actually passed without such glittering fanfare. Stephen worked. Chewie licked my feet. E tried to brainwash me into shoving dull butter knives into and through my eye sockets. Repeatedly. (Translation: Sleep issues)
Here's the play by play in the excessive detail I'm sure you're drooling for:
12:00:01 Yes, that's right, MIDNIGHT + 1sec. As the old grandfather clock (we don't own) donged our passage into the day of the anniversary of the birth of yours truly, I was awake. Laying in bed. Feeding the Milk Monster. Again. Listening to Stephen snoring blissfully unaware next to me. Happy Fucking Birthday to me.
02:37 Yep, still middle of the night. Still Awake. Still clinging to my sanity with whisper thin threads. A whimpering baby chewing on the sheets next to me. Whimpering and pumping her legs and staring at me with wide open saucer eyes. I flipped her to the other boob side. Watched her eat in a ravenous fashion and create a new milk puddle for me to wallow in later. Watched her sweet eyelids slowly fall closed and listened to her swallows get more shallow. More intermittent.
I let my guard down. Let my own burning eyes fall closed. E must have sensed my relaxation. My weakness. With an evil cackle and much agitated squirming, she woke up for round 3.
Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating with the evil cackle, sure, but there WAS a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder and the hardwood floor cracked open and exposed a gash of burning earth and flowing lava and the screams of 1000 mournful sinner souls. Think what you may. I WAS THERE.
04:12 Trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with this child. She's wide awake and fidgety. And cranky. I beg her to sleep. To just lay down and let it happen. She is having none of it. She does not want to be on her belly. Nor on her back. Nor cuddled. Nor feeding.
I sit her up in the middle of the bed and try to have a heart to heart with her. She quiets down. We talk. Well, I talk and she just sits there and listens. It is a few minutes before I realize she is sitting all by herself. No help from me. No props. Just sitting. I've never seen her do this so well and for a moment I am so proud of her. I wake Stephen up to show him and he sleepily acknowledges I might have said something to him. He then returns to sawing logs. Typical.
She is staring, unblinking, out the window. The moon is pouring soft blue highlights all around her. Her expression is deep and thoughtful. I cannot imagine the contemplation of her heart but she is serene and beautiful. I catch my breath as I wonder if I am staring at a glimpse of what she will become. When time and errands and life will whisk her to and fro and perhaps I won't get the chance to study her by moonlight or share the quietness of a moment with her. My heart fills up heavy with sadness because one day she will move on and cleave to another and leave me behind to be alone with Stephen: Old Edition.
She's only 6 months old and yet it chokes me up that we are running out of time. As soon as you get close to them you put two and two together and realize they will not be your baby forever. This is why I cried at Marley and Me. I saw where that movie was going like 15 min in and I said Holy Shit we are in for a cryfest shitstorm and yet I had to keep watching..... And this is exactly why I should be asleep at 4:30 am and not mulling over an eventual empty next syndrome when my main problem at the moment is full nest syndrome.
But still. This moment? Priceless.
04:35 Moment(s) over. Breathtaking. Awesome. Let's go back to our primary objective here: the one involving the "go the hell to sleep pleasethanx" principle. I tried to pull her down and get her comfy but she was having none of it. She wanted to sit. And only to sit. Sit or scream: YOUR CHOICE, CHOOSE WISELY.
Oh, and Happy Effin' Birthday....
07:30 I don't really remember what happened or how I got her down. All I know is when we woke up later, she was sprawled across my arm and I had the weirdest kink in my shoulder blade. I figure she started dozing sitting up and finally decided to collapse in between me and Stephen.
Or maybe we were slipped roofies. Now that I think about it, I woke up and strangely my nightgown was lifted up towards my neck and the girls were basking in the morning sunlight. Course maybe E found herself some late night munchies, which is another explanation, but like I said, I don't remember much. I changed her diaper and we went back to sleep. I needed to get up and do things but couldn't muster up any Igivahdam. My birthday. My rules.
10:15 That's right. Mid morning. We got up and had some PB and J toast and waited for Stephen to come home. I cleaned out the TiVo. Did some official blog surfing stuff. Put E in an actual non-sleeper day-time outfit.
13:30 Stephen comes home. Tries to distract me with some lame story from his day's adventures whilst retrieving the card from the hall closet he has hidden it in. I act like I don't see what he is doing but I know it's there. I watched him buy it at the store when we went three days ago to pick up a few things. I can't be mad. Last year I didn't even get a card so "You're movin' on up there Honey!"
13:31 Open cards. One from him and one from E and Chewie. I act surprised. Laugh. Lather on appreciation so his man brain associates "small tokens of appreciation" with "exuberant and abundant adoration".
13:32 I inquire where my gift is hidden. He stares at me blankly. I flap the card open a few times and look for falling pieces of green paper. I look up at him. "Where's the monies?" "The monies?" "Yeah, the monies. When there's no gift you should at least get monies in the card." His eyes brighten! He pulls out his wallet. Frowny Face..... He looks around. "Where's your wallet?" I give him the disgusted face. His response is "What?...."
17:15 The electricity goes out. WTF?!?
17:19 The electricity comes back on. Must have been a moment of darkness in honor of my birthday. I am overcome with gratitude. I am caught off guard. Without a speech.
17:35 We load up and go to the sushi buffet with the only 2 sets of friends I really hang out with. Do not feel sorry for me: they are a hoot and I'm pretty sure the world could not handle a larger group of us. We descend on that place like rednecks over fresh roadkill. What transpired next was a vicious, gory, omnivorous devouring of Asian delicacies. Heaping plate after heaping plate of deliciousness. Wasabi-tainted soy sauce splashes and vittles stuffed into white rice nuggets. All amidst grandiose tales and excessive chopstick-wielding flourishes. Pure Joy. Beautiful. Perfect.
19:30 Heading home. I am so full that the last two bites I had to actually store in the folds of my cheeks, waiting for the rest of my food to digest and make room for them. It's not pretty but it happens to me every time. And, NO, I'm NOT proud of myself.
20:00 Still digesting. Do E's bedtime routine. Nurse her. Put her to bed.
20:30 Contemplate blog entry but am too disgustingly full to think about food, much less describe it in all it's glorious splendor. Again, I'm not proud. Just trying to get the facts down.
20:40 Due to unforeseen complications out of my control (getting old, having a child that allows me no sleep, still-expanding sushi rice in my belly) I pass out unceremoniously.
23:59:59 E wakes up. "I know it's still your BDay and I don't mean to bother you, but do you think I can maybe have some milk, please?" (Only it came out more like "WaaahhhhhIsaidNOWheiferhhhhhhh")
Happy Effin' Birthday to me.
"Still not sleeping through the night" baby is trumped only by all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.
I'll take it :)
Cute pictures of E consuming food: