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Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Flashback Friday! (Seasons of Love)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:45 AM
Friday, September 14, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Seasons of LOVE – the BLOG

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes… How do you measure, Measure a year? – RENT (the musical)

You know the other night, I got to thinking… just exactly how many minutes of my life have I thus far spent in my children’s room, trying to get them to go to sleep? (I’m sure I don’t even need to say that this thought struck me as I was passing the ½ hour mark doing just that.)

To answer my question, I left my little one crying (the two bigger ones having mercifully fallen asleep already), and went to my desk. Took out the calculator, a pen, a stickie note (neon pink, if you must know – I KNOW they are overpriced, but who can put a price on things that make you that happy?), and got to work.

I reasoned that with 3 kids, the oldest turning seven this summer, I have probably spent ON AVERAGE about a half hour every night putting them to sleep. Yes, I know we have babysitters some nights, but then again, there are some nights they take hours to put to bed. So it evens out.

Here’s what I came up with:

30 (minutes) x 365 (days) x 7 (years – my oldest son & how long I’ve been doing this) = 76,650 minutes.

For those non-human calculators among you, that equals Fifty three days plus some change.


53 whole days!!!

Lord have mercy. I’m the kind of person who likes to maximize the use of my waking hours. I like to DO things, and to be of use. It could be argued that I’m happiest when I’m busiest (though I’ll hotly deny this if any of you leak this information to my husband – you know he’ll turn around & use it on me when it’s his turn to do dishes/put kids to bed).

Yes, it’s true, my husband does help – very often – to put our kids to bed. On average, I would guess he does it 2-3 times a week. Let’s be generous and say it’s 3 times a week. That still means I’ve spent the equivalent of ONE FULL MONTH putting kids to sleep.

Wait–! I didn’t even factor in the time it takes EACH DAY to get a baby down for his/her nap!

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I know they look peaceful, but guaranteed it took her like 2 hrs to get that little sucker to sleep!

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posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:09 PM
Friday, August 31, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Read This First! – the BLOG

I love to read. Memoirs, novels, chic lit, The Week magazine (for any of you not in the know, The Week is literary CRACK – go out and get yourself some right now, you’ll see), The New Yorker… I was the kid who bought Seventeen, Young Miss, and Jane, then poured through the articles, barely glancing at the pictures. (And you know what? While I’m at it, I’ll take a moment here to give a retrospective THANK THE FRICKIN LORD that I didn’t take much notice of the photos at the time– because I was also about the only girl I know who didn’t ever have an eating disorder as a kid. Connection? You be the judge!)

That said… why – oh why!? – do I have a terrible blockage when it comes to the simple task of reading directions?

Could it be inherited from my mother, who never touched a DVD until my brother set it up for her years ago? But she does read directions to some things, like the new Nikon she received last Christmas. So what is it? I start to read directions, and a form of severe dyslexia sets in – my vision gets blurry, I start to yawn, and the next thing I know, I’m either curled up asleep or distracting myself with whatever else is available – TV, phone, computer, a (non instructions-containing) book…

Recently I weaned my two year old. Boobs sore and bursting with milk, baby crying like I was withholding the very Oxygen she breathes, it occurred to me: should I have tried to read up on the process of weaning before attempting it? My other two kids weaned without blinking an eye, but I already knew the third was more attached than the others… so why didn’t I better prepare myself?

Worse than that was the preparation I didn’t do before having my first child – I spent the first two months of his life going out of my mind with exhaustion, frustration, and semi-depression. The kid wouldn’t go to f@$*(&#-ing sleep!!! Finally at the two month marker, I somehow was desperate enough to skim through The Baby Whisperer, a book instructing mothers on the Do’s and Don’ts of a newborn.

My eye landed on the part where she recommends giving the baby a pacifier and swaddling him tightly to help him sleep. I hadn’t wanted to give my baby a pacifier (see past blogfor that and other ridiculous pieces of advice our Nazi Bradley Birth teacher taught us) but… would it work? First time I tried it, he was on the changing table for easy swaddling access. His ear-shattering screams stopped the instant the pacifier hit his tongue. I nearly fainted as I watched my previously inconsolable little boy conk out in two seconds flat.


Or… is that just what happens when people read & follow directions?

Years ago, I was on anti-depressants, and they stopped working after a couple of good years. But instead of checking with my psychiatrist, or – God forbid, reading the instructions – I just stopped taking them, cold turkey.

Ever gone completely insane? No, I mean, like, really, totally out of your mind?

Yeah, me too. When I stopped taking those pills. Come to find out – what happened to me, is textbook what happens to anyone who stops cold turkey. You’re supposed to go off them slowly. I would have known that… had I asked. Or… read.

Now this is an important lesson for all of us, so I’d really appreciate it if you Tweeted this blog out to all your friends, okay? In fact, I’ll explain exactly how we can use social media to get the word out, just as soon as I read online how it’s done…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This kid is going to be SET when she has her first baby

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I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:28 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Downton Abbey.

Okay, I admit, that alone does not excuse my lack of blogging (and not even bothering to re-post old blogs) for the last month+. But it is my latest obsession. And it may not be a coincidence that I watched season 2’s finale episode yesterday, and today is the first day I’ve been compelled to write another blog, despite numerous kind encouragements from friends and fans.

It may also explain why I feel an overwhelming urge to blog in a pseudo-English accent. O, Madonna, how I understand thee!

(PS. Madonna, I also am forever grateful for… uh… thee… specifically, for being 10 years older than me. Thanks to you looking hotter than a teenage Vogue model, I am less afraid to turn – gulp – FORTY – in one week than I would otherwise be.)

(Plus, I don’t feel quite so ridiculous about my newly adopted English accent, albeit it’s only used while I’m writing, not during my actual use of speech.)

So what have I been up to, this past silent month-point-five?

No great excuses for neglecting the blog, I’m afraid. Other than slight burnout, indulgence of my “free time” (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Whew, that was a good one! Wiping tears now, continuing on…), a rigorous workout discipline which includes a 5-days-a-week Insantiy workout, and perhaps most significantly, getting plenty of sleep… which as any writer will tell you, may very well be the number one enemy of getting shit written.

Sleep, that is.

I see I’m still dropping the occasional curse word as I write, despite the good influence of my Merchant-Ivory-ish friends over at Downton Abbey.

Well, let’s see what this next month-point-five brings us… since it WON’T be bringing us the next season of Downton Abbey (until September, I’ve heard), then maybe, at best, it will bring us some more inspiration, and accordingly, more new Grownup Girl blogs. Probably not 3 new ones a week, tho – probably more like 1-2 per week.

Here’s hoping!


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Who needs Brad and Ange with these 2 magnificent and tragically paired lovebirds?

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Wiper, no Wiping! Aw, Man!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:45 AM
Thursday, May 24, 2012

As Monday’s blog may have subtley alluded to, I’ve been a bit tired lately.


Which is why this week I’ve been a bit off my game, and didn’t deliver the bloggage on time as usual.

Yeah, well, sue me.

Or, conversely, read on, about today’s tantalizing subject!

Baby wipes.


For those of you who don’t have kids yet, you are missing out on a lot of things. Sleep may not be one of those things. Cracked nipples may not be another. But one thing you ARE FOR SURE missing out on (until you read this blog), is the wonder and magic that is….. baby wipes!

They clean ANYTHING. Seriously.

Smudges on the wall? Baby wipes.

Stain on your shirt? Baby wipes.

Poop on your butt?

Okay, sorry, but you had to know that was coming. I’m actually a huge proponent of adults using “baby” wipes for their bathroom needs too! (the flushable kind, anyway) – Who said just because we got bigger our poop suddenly is less sticky & disgusting? And let’s face facts: we are not a “bidet society.”

You are welcome.

Oh, and a special shout out to Hugo Schwyzer, who not only had a new baby recently and therefore has a whole new excuse to buy endless boxes of baby wipes, but who also came to my rescue yesterday when I was out and about doing errands with my kids and stuck in his neighborhood with a poopy diaper. Well, not MY poopy diaper, per se, but it basically became “mine” as soon as it landed in my daughter’s diaper and started smelling up the car.

In swoops Captain Hugo, beloved by men, women and children everywhere! He did a drive-by – he actually drove to our location (Beverly Hills mini mall where my older daughter takes karate) and dropped off a small box of wipes.

Now THAT, my friends, is a true hero.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

More precious than gold. Cause let's face it, when your kid's got a poopy diaper, who's going to wipe his ass with a gold bracelet?

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Flashback Friday is BACK! (The Rub)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:13 AM
Friday, May 18, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – The Rub – the BLOG

Usually, there are three ways I can put my one year old daughter to sleep.

#1: the easy way. Only happens if her nap is cut short and she’s very tired. In this case, she will nurse and fall asleep almost immediately after (or during) – no matter if her 2 sibs are still making noise (all 3 kids share a bedroom).

#2: the sucky way. Most often, the baby will be wide awake and want to play, nurse me dry, then play some more, then scream her lungs out and try to climb out of her crib, long after the 2 older sibs have passed out from exhaustion & from the sheer hopelessness of getting me to hear what they want to say over baby’s sleepless wails.

#3 the best way – my husband puts her to bed, or a babysitter does, in which case she will usually rest her head on their shoulder and allow them to put her to sleep within a matter of seconds.

But the other day… A 4th way was born!

I was alone with the 3 kids, Husband working late. It was much later than their usual bedtime, but 2 factors were working against me – 1, Baby had taken too long of a nap, I think over two hours, and 2, I had given her a bottle of almond milk to keep her busy while I helped Husband prepare for his meeting, and this milk has so much sugar that it woke her right up.

Brilliant planning, I know…

So as usual, the 2 bigger kids were giving me a bit of trouble, but both dropped off pretty quickly once the requisite hazing period was over. I was just starting to steel my shoulders in preparation for the screaming and crying and flailing from Baby as I refused to let her leave her crib, when I remembered something my mother had said to me once. When we were visiting my parents – not even our most recent trip, but I think it was the trip 1 year ago – my mom told me the baby fell asleep easily with her after she gave her a “baby massage”.

What the hell, right?

I started rubbing and gently kneading Baby’s shoulders and arms.

Holy crap.

Girlfriend lay still, relaxed, and loose, lapping up the feeling it was giving her. Encouraged, I kneaded her little chunky thighs, her calves, those romping stomping feet, back up to the shoulders, the arms, the hands. I even worked on her ears, her eyebrow bones and her chin. I was SO Burke Williams.

After a few quiet murmurs and a roll here and there… she yawned once and fell asleep.


To sleep , perchance to dream… my turn now.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

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The Best Mother’s Day… a Dream in Words

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:36 PM
Friday, May 11, 2012

As I sat down to list the top five or ten things a mother REALLY wants on mother’s day (to be able to sleep all night uninterrupted, all the way until 11am if she wants to, to be given space and time to catch up  on her favorite novel, to be treated by her husband to brunch, to be given flowers, jewelry, taken out to the movies – or allowed to go on her own), something occurred to me.

For our birthdays, we generally want stuff that we need or would love to have, but don’t have or want to spend the funds necessary to buy them for ourselves. Jewelry, new sneakers, a mani/pedi – these and other gifts are perfect for birthdays because they spoil us in a way that we’d like to spoil ourselves were we not so darned frugal.

The funny thing about Mother’s Day gifts is that the actual list looks similar to that of a birthday – mani/pedi or spa day, jewelry, new sneakers, a night out – but the idea behind them is very specific:

On Mother’s Day, we want to be given the exact things we can’t indulge in regularly exactly because we are moms.

Like a spa day. On a birthday, we appreciate a spa day gift certificate because it’s an indulgence we wouldn’t allow ourselves to purchase for ourselves. On Mother’s Day, we appreciate a trip to the spa because WE WANT TO GET THE HELL AWAY FROM OUR KIDS FOR A FEW HOURS.

Let’s get real, moms.

Being a mom is great but it’s hella hard work. “Mother’s Day” is every day for us – what we really want on Mother’s Day, therefore, are “Single Girl” gifts: flowers, jewelry, getting pampered for a day, or a movie night. Perhaps the best example of this is our favorite “Mother’s Day” Single Girl gift (take note, dads): 10 or more hours of uninterrupted sleep. (Single girls – you may protest here – I know you wake up early to go to the gym or work, and stay up late watching TV, partying, or studying, but really, how many of you can say you’ve spent 5 out of 7 nights a week getting woken up and then spending 5 to 120 minutes of those mid-night waking hours trying to soothe a child back to sleep? EVERY week? For SIX years straight? Thoughts not.)

Judge us if you want, but the real desire of every mother, every Mother’s Day, is not crayoned pictures from your little ones or breakfast in bed.

It’s a few hours – nay, let’s be real – 24 hours, of blissful quiet, grownup fun, and peace.

A Grownupgirl can always dream…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This was the daughter (tall one in the back who looks exactly like I did when I was 6) who DIDN'T cry her lungs out during their school's most excellent Mother's Day brunch today.


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:20 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

10:45pm: I’m actually going to sleep BEFORE 11!!!! And it’s not because I’m sick!!! And it’s not because I didn’t sleep at all the previous night!!! I’m just… GOING TO SLEEP EARLY!!!!

I shimmy under the nicely made bed (you are welcome, me!), sigh a breath of happiness, tuck my pillow ‘just so,’ and plop my head down.

Onto sand.

And rotten, sliced up apples.

Ah, the never-ending joys of children.

Just when the little one finally starts sleeping through the night (because you’ve SLEEP TRAINED her – moms, don’t lie to yourselves, 3 nights of throw-up tantrum crying from a 6 month old is TOTALLY WORTH a family’s happily-ever-after all-the-night-thru sleeping), the middle one starts waking up to ask you to help her go to the bathroom. And just when you’re done with that phase, she just starts waking you up ‘because she woke up,’ and now the only way she’ll go back to sleep is if you sit with her forever at her bedside or let her crawl in uncomfortably with you & your husband.


So the odd sandbox in the bed? Shouldn’t phase me. Doesn’t phase me! I’m used to it – brush it once, brush it twice, brush it Chicken Soup with Rice.

But the apples?

Now, that threw me, I have to admit.

I suddenly remembered seeing my kids earlier in the day – playing all together, all 3 of them, laughing, enjoying… those moments are rare and sacred, so of course I didn’t want to get too close, or too involved!

Duh. Hello! Should have known better.

Because what was bonding them together, was 2 illegal (in our house) acts: 1) using knives to cut food by themselves (pink plastic knives to cut apple slices, but still…), and 2) playing with food in my bed. Oh yeah, and 3) leaving said food. In my bed.

Beneath my pillow, to be exact.




Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Good God! I just realized I should be completely thankful that it was ONLY rotten apples I stuck my head in... because my kids do love themselves some apples & honey. Sheesh!

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No Exit

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:00 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You might say it’s “hard” to get everything done when you are a stay-at-home mom who also works part-time, blogs, volunteers, studies Kabbalah and keeps Shabbat, helps her husband with his work and is trying to learn guitar so I can actually accompany myself when I sing the songs that I wrote.

Then again, if you did say that… you’d be wrong.

Dead wrong.

It’s not hard at all!!!!


Why is it, that the minute I’ve folding four loads of laundry, there are instantly TWO new loads that must be washed? I haven’t even put the four loads away, for crying out loud! Seriously. They are spread out all over our living room couches.

No TV tonight, kids! It’s our clothes’ turn to watch their programs. Their soaps.

Did I mention I’m also losing my mind just a little bit?

The good part about THAT is that I seem to be losing the bit of my mind that actually thought I was able & CAPABLE OF FINISHING THINGS. Because I can’t.

The girls’ room was clean yesterday morning. Now every time I cross by it, my brain spasms ever so slightly at the sight of toys all over the rug. I WILL NOT GO IN THERE I WILL NOT CLEAN IT UP I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO LIKE – OH YEAH, EAT. OH YEAH, AND WORK.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And by “mighty,” I mean those who used to have a full time housekeeper.

And by “fallen,” I mean they got trapped in a Sartre play, only this time the situation they cannot exit is the mess they live in.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

If you wanna hear one of my songs, just click on the audio link, below. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could strum along to my OWN SONG? Yeah. It would. WARNING: I HAVE NO TIME TO FIGURE OUT WORDPRESS SO WHEN U CLICK IT’S GOING TO OPEN UP A BLACK WEBPAGE. JUST SO YOU CAN HEAR THE SONG. YOU CAN SKIP IT IF YOU WANT. THOUGHT U SHOULD KNOW.

Another Lonely Night – BatSheva Vaknin

This was one of my album covers, back in the day. Ok, "Band flyer cover". But still. Hey, I'm talking to you! Quit looking at my nipple! Aw, forget it.


Bone Dry

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:56 AM
Monday, April 16, 2012

Folks, this GrownupGirl is tapped out. Tired. Done.

I wanted to try & sleep tonight before 11pm (I know, who am I kidding, right?)… just finished the exhausting & demoralizing process of applying for a partial scholarship for my 3 kids’ tuition… still need to read a script for work, oh, AND fold four loads of laundry. Literally.

Oh yeah, and wash my hair with the MOTHERFUCKINGLICECOMB because that’s what we moms do. When our heads itch.

And please don’t ask me if my room and my kids rooms still need to be cleaned.

So who has time to write a blog? No one’s paying me to write this, and my adoring fans numbering in the – uh – “aughts”? Is that a word? The adoring ones, plus the other occasional fans… still not quite the incentive I need to keep this thing alive.

So what is?

It’s an amazing creative outlet, for one. Duh.

And then there’s that ‘miracle’ aspect to it – the thing that I’ve noticed happened since I’ve been maintaining this blog, which is to say… a smoothness to life that otherwise feels mighty bumpy. That, and the direction of my professional life since I’ve kept up the blog has continued to move forward and – while not YET financially rewarding – it does appear a bit more exciting and promising, each and every month that passes.



I’ll stay up at least until midnight just for you.

And by “you” I mean, of course…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

What, you thought I was joking? I'M TIRED, I TOLD YOU! Freezing, too.


Esther in the Morning

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:09 PM
Monday, March 19, 2012

SCENE OPENS: It is 8 am on a Sunday, after BatSheva has gotten about 5-ish hrs of much-interrupted sleep.

“Ima!” My little almost-three year old is staring up at me from the side of my bed. All I want to do is roll over and go back to sleep, but I know my husband has slept even less than I have. So, I force myself to get up.

She wants me to make her “ochel like a little baby” – our name for Gerber’s baby oatmeal (ochel means “food” in Hebrew; don’t ask me how you actually say “Oatmeal”) which was my 3 kids’ first food & one they still enjoy.

She also wants me to sit with her while she eats, so I perch myself sleepily at my desk and look through emails, waiting for her to finish so I can plop her in front of the television and get another hour of not-enough-sleep.

Then, she speaks:

“Ima, how was your day?”

After a pause (like, uhhhh, you mean the day that just started when you woke me up three hours into the 2nd half of my attempt to sleep through the night?), I reply.

“Great. How was your day?”


“Wow. That’s great.”

“Yeah. When is your birthday?”

“July 23rd. I’m going to be 40.”

“I’m going to be 40, too!”

“You’re going to be three.”

“I want to be 40. Like you.”

After a pause… hmmmm, is this a discussion worth having? No. No, it is not.

“Okay. You can be 40, too.”


We kiss.

Yay, indeed.

And this is just one of the reasons my daughter is awesome.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Esther doesn't just eat spaghetti. She lives spaghetti.

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