I tried a new sleeping pill recently. While perusing the sleeping pill aisle at the grocery store, I realized almost every brand is actually the exact same formula. Unisom is different, but it doesn’t work well for me – or rather, it works too well.

This new one is called Alteril and markets itself as a natural, drug-free sleep aid. It has tryptophan, melatonin, and a handful of apothecary-sounding ingredients like skullcap herb extract and valerian root extract. You’re supposed to take two tablets an hour before bedtime.

So I did that on Thursday night. I was already really tired, but I usually have trouble falling asleep, so the extent to which I slept well due to the Alteril (rather than just being tired) is unclear. But I slept most of Friday. I’ve been fighting off a cold, and lost my battle on Friday; Jarom stayed home from work so I was able to rest.

Since we had lots of company over for June’s birthday cake on Saturday, I was up all Friday night cleaning and baking and trying to make the house somewhat presentable. Note to self: you are not 18 anymore. All-nighters are not an option.

When everyone had gone home after the party, I took two Alteril and went to bed. And slept beautifully for 15 hours straight.

I started thinking maybe a half dose would be better for me, so last night I just took one tablet.

Sure enough, an hour later I was extremely tired and ready to go to sleep. But I couldn’t fall asleep. I went in and out of that in-between stage, where you think you might be awake and only realize after a noise jolts you into consciousness that you’ve actually been dozing. This lasted about four hours.

I did finally fall into a deeper sleep, but then the kids started waking up (and waking each other up). And Ender wanted out. And then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was officially awake from 5:30 this morning.

Maybe a one-and-three-quarters dose is the way to go…



On my current list of “Super lame baby-related things”:

Persistent morning sickness-like queasiness that is definitely not caused by pregnancy. Sure feels the same, though, and guess what? I don’t like it for a lot of reasons. Mainly because – oh yes, my baby died.

No Halloween costume for a tiny baby this year.

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while, but not from waking up to feed a newborn. Nope, it’s because my dumb dog keeps wanting to go eat grass and bugs in the middle of the night. Really, Ender?

This list should probably be qualified by the admission that I’ve been up all night cleaning and baking for June’s birthday, so my mood isn’t the best to begin with. Adding queasiness on top of that has not been fun.

And now, on with life! Those are all my complaints for the moment.


I’m sitting in a play area and thinking profound thoughts. It’s noisy here, and busy with kids running around (and Evan howling like a werewolf. Or maybe it’s June doing that). Isn’t life always busy? How do you get around that?

I think everyone wants to feel less busy, at one time or another – if not all the time. I know I want to have less clutter in my house, fewer distractions, less time wasted on trivial things and more time enjoying life with my family. But so much gets in the way. I’m not interested in giving up Facebook or blogging, because those keep me connected. At the same time, seeing a continuous stream of updates and busy-ness can be overwhelming. It makes the world seem to move at a frantic pace (which I guess it really does).

So how do I prevent my small corner of the world from moving at a frantic pace? Christian’s death has helped me be able to see what’s essential and truly important in my life, and with a broader perspective, but I still have a lot of trouble paring down to those essential, important pieces. There’s just so much happening. Everything feels hurried and urgent.

I came back on Saturday from a trip to visit my parents in California. It was the first stress-free trip of my adult life. Thank you Zoloft and practiced patience for making it possible – but especially my mom and dad for ten days of no chores, no cooking, no obligations. Plus naps! I feel so much mores relaxed now. And I want to hold onto that relaxed feeling. Do you think that’s achievable? If I limit our tv and internet time, avoid filling our days with outings and activities, try doing everything more slowly – can I get to a place where I don’t feel frantic?

Is it bad to be busy?

What do you think? How do you find quiet in the frantic pace of the world?

P.S. Amish hour has been our best attempt at finding quiet so far. But we haven’t been very good about doing it lately!