Sleepless in Abilene

I don’t want to alarm anyone.  There is no easy way to say this.  So, I am just going to say it.

I think I am dying.

I haven’t slept, like really slept, since 1995.  I am meeting up with my friends from Purposeful Faith in Florida in a couple weeks for a retreat. We are going to write and pray.  I can’t stop thinking about the sleep.  

I just want to sleep.

Hopefully, these friends won’t think I am crazy or narcoleptic. 

I actually can do a few things, somewhat efficiently, while asleep. I am writing this after preparing a bottle for the six-month-old, setting up Sesame Street for the vandals – which includes orange juice in SPECIFIC colored sippy cups for each boy and their special blankets, and I haven’t opened my eyes yet.

And I will receive emails with suggestions about how to make Sam stay in bed. Home remedies for poor, sick Charlie, and oh goodness this little guy is so ill. As I mentioned I have done this a while; I haven’t ever seen one of my kids this sick ever. And a handful of tidbits on sleep training for the wee baby.

I appreciate the love – but none of it works.

The bedtime routine, just for Sam, is like putting toothpaste back in the tube.  He has eczema, so we coat him in a mixture of butter, coconut oil, essential oils, and an industrial lubricant that is used to maintain bulldozers and backhoes. We think this “salve” is working.  Then we dress him in a pair of wet, hot pajamas.  Hot pajamas are damp pajamas we microwave. While they are warm we put these on Sam, and then a dry pair over the wet pair. Then there is the tooth brushing.  And if Sam gets any portion of his dry pajamas wet while brushing, he loses his ever-loving mind.  For those of you who are going to comment, “brush his teeth before you put his jammies on!

You haven’t met Sam. He’s as flexible as a two by four.

He has night terrors, so after he is well greased, double jammied, and has met with his tedious dental care regime, we listen to The Trauma Prayer. This works in warding off bad dreams, evil spirits and whatever it is that keeps Sam from sleeping – until 2:42 am.  Then we are up and down with him until Justin leaves for work at 5:2o am.

When Justin leaves he is mumbling prayers, obscenities, and whimpers.  I am shocked he comes home.

Every day about 5:15 pm I hear the alarm chime “Garage door open.” Then I listen for the laundry room fridge and the pop fizz of a beer opening. And every time, I think “wow, he came back.”

We are tired.

This level of fatigue, 20 years of it, drains one of hope, drive, and creativity (yeah, totally googled toothpaste back in the tube, but flexible as a two by four came easy because my head feels like I was smacked with… a two by four). How can I make it to the gym on less than 4 hours of sleep? How do you make healthy food choices? How does one write a book, or proposal, or even get out of her pajamas – when she hasn’t slept in years?

And what audience wants to listen to me incessantly whine about how tired I am???

I have no choice but to relinquish these worries, this fatigue, and this level of hopelessness to God.

I started chanting “My help comes from the Lord” last night at 1:00 am.

Justin and I, zombified, passed each other in the hall last night.  He had a bottle; I had Vicks vapor rub, infant Tylenol, and a snot sucker.  He grunted, and I whimpered, “My help comes from the Lord.” He grunted again.

And I guess it is just a season, but we keep inviting little people to live with us. So, I suppose we enjoy living like the walking dead.

I will take Sophie and Sam to school. Charlie will stay home again.  We will head back to the pediatrician.  I fully expect to do these things in my pajamas.  I will guzzle coffee and Plexus pink drink. I will be hard pressed to get a decent lunch.  And still, “My help comes from the Lord.”

He won’t let me down. He will hold me up.  He is enough.  And I don’t know why He doesn’t answer the simple pleas of sleepy old me.  I don’t know why there isn’t a magic wand moment where He creates a full night of sleep.  But I will keep asking.  And I will keep believing.

And until then, my hope will come from Him. Go forth – rock out Monday.

“Yes my soul find rest in HIM. My hope comes from the Lord.” Psalms 62:5

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

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  1. Moriah Peters on February 22, 2016 at 10:22 am

    *sends you hugs* :~) <3 praying for ya!

  2. Bonnie Robertson on February 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Oh girl. I feel ya! Glad I’m not the only crazy sleep deprived one! Sometimes I wonder if I should be allowed to drive!!

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I was saying that on the way to school this morning.

  3. christy mobley on February 22, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Sleep will come. There is a warm bed waiting in Florida for tired mamas like you.
    See you soon!

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2016 at 10:53 am

      I love you woman.

  4. Amy on February 22, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I pray the sleepies find you and the rest of your household soon. Until that point try and stay away from open flames or taking up knife juggling as a new hobby.

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm


  5. Ashley on February 22, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    My sister who has two kids and works third shift once called me to keep her up on the three miles to take her kids to school and said she had been awake for 72 hrs. I said “you know that’s Drunk Sleepy Right?”

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Oh my gosh.

  6. XeraRose on February 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I sympathize. Only.. I did newborn feedings, toddler nightmares, preschooler “I need a drink”, non-verbal kindergartener night terrors.. on my own, as a single parent. And still had to get up the next day with them all. When chicken pox hit, it nearly did me in. I survive, somehow. Mama instincts and God’s mercy keep us going, no matter what, right?

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Amen! And God bless you!

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