Hey, I discovered the secret to sleeping all the way through the night rather than waking up at some ungodly pre-dawn hour and then being unable to go back to sleep (I'm talking about myself here, not the baby), thus cheating yourself out of a good hour or so of sleep every night. All you have to do is totally exhaust yourself, far beyond normal levels, beforehand. This morning I slept all the way to Christopher's alarm clock and the babies waking up--which is still plenty early, believe me, but is more than an hour longer than I normally sleep. Interestingly, when the alarm went off I was in the midst of a dream wherein I was having a fellow-mom chat with Angelina Jolie about kids and all the crazy stuff they do.
Anyway. It seems that spending two 12-hour days at a professional conference, getting almost no sleep in the meantime, starting one of those days at 3:30 a.m. due to the baby's rebellious attitude, and then spending a third day doing HUGE, MAJOR POWER-SHOPPING for so many hours in a row that you miss dinner and both girls' bedtimes and actually shut down the store---well, that is the key to getting a good night's sleep afterward. It is also the key to being utterly exhausted on Monday morning.
I never power-shop. I hardly ever even shop. Yes, I know I've been talking about those pants I bought a few months ago--the ones that are already too big, argh! get me to a tailor!--but in reality, the last time I did any serious shopping was probably when I was buying my first maternity wardrobe back in 2003-2004. As I discovered when I spent way too much time on Thursday night trying to find appropriate outfits in my closet to wear to the conference, in the meantime my wardrobe had dwindled to such a pathetic level that I was down to: one pair of well-fitting jeans that aren't falling apart; one pair of non-denim, casual-ish pants--my beloved Gap khakis that are no longer being manufactured--that sadly are not only becoming too big but also have a faint bleach stain on the thigh; one pair of (also too big) khaki capris; zero proper dresses; zero short-sleeved tops that aren't t-shirts. Throw in a few skirts--thank goodness for my skirts--tank tops, and well-worn cardigans, and that's pretty much it for my current wardrobe. Obviously, lacking in a few necessities. Or not so few.
Thus, I spent FIVE HOURS at a discount department store yesterday afternoon and evening. I needed a ton of stuff, but I'm still on a budget, you know. And this store was having a HUGE, everything-in-the-store sale. But this kind of shopping is totally foreign to me. Five hours? Multiple trips to the dressing rooms? Trying on, like, fifty things? Shopping for swimsuits and pants and shirts and dresses and shoes, all in one trip? Coming home with a GIANT bag? Yikes. I have a serious shopping hangover this morning, but the shopping trip did inspire me to clean out my closet of all the pre-motherhood items I no longer wear and that no longer fit, and to create a pile of things I do wear but that need to go to the tailor to be taken in so that I can properly continue to wear them.
In the end, though I'm happy with my purchases ("relieved" might be a better word; I had spent more than three months trying to find a weekend with time enough for me to do this) and, as I mentioned the other day, had a FANTASTIC time at the conference (amazing! who knew it was even possible???), I feel sad today too, because I was away from my girls for the vast majority of three straight days. I missed (among other things, of course) three dinners and three bedtimes in a row, and the third was of my own choice, not a mandatory absence because of the conference. I must admit that, as much as I really did need and deserve this shopping trip, I feel guilty and sad about that last part. I've never been away from my girls for 12 hours at a time, let alone more than one day in a row. (Note: big thanks for Christopher for being mostly-solo-dad for the past three days.)
Oh, and dang! I DIDN'T FIND A SWIMSUIT. More shopping to come! Lord help me. I don't know if I have it in me.