I knew she was going to be trouble at night when I was pregnant, because right around 1 am she would start some heavy partying, and not quite down til about 2:30 or so. Luckily I was already awake watching Get Smart, so her gymnastics routine didn't really bother me much.
Totally different story now though. She has set her bedtime between 1:30-2:30 am. Not cool. In fact ever since we brought her home from the hospital she has been stubborn with her sleep routine. She hated being swaddled, and would bust loose at any given opportunity. So we stopped that rather quickly. She didn't want to sleep on her back, so that caused weeks of agony worrying about SIDS, Then she decided the crib wasn't good enough for her, so she started sleeping on daddy in the recliner. At about 8 weeks I finally got her to start sleeping in her co-sleeper that sat on the bed. She did pretty well with that until she started rolling over and waking herself up. Fast forward to now and she still doesn't sleep well on her own, and we are up every 1-2 hours a night. Not only that, but all of us are sleeping in the living room due to remodeling in the bedrooms.
Needless to say any sleep I can get is a blessing. Even if it is only 40 min at a time. The doctor once told us that at her age she should be sleeping 12 hours through the night. And sleeping a total of something like 14 hours a day. I think I left my jaw on the floor of her exam room. This child is nowhere close to that. If she was I'd be a well rested momma.
Anyway, all this back story is my long winded way of saying Em doesn't sleep well at night and wakes up a lot. And it also leads me to a story of what happened the other night. Which really has nothing to do with Emily, and a whole lot to do with smoke filled chaos.
We had just settled Em down for sleep, and she was snoozing pretty well. I usually stay awake for another 15 to 20 min before I lay down, just in case she decides to trick us, and wake up again right away. Which she does. Frequently.
So right before laying down, I decided to put a log on the fire. I should mention that we live in the mountains, so a wood burning stove is our heat source in the winter and it runs 24 hours a day. Anyway, I shove a log in through the side door, and it gets stuck on some stupid bar thing in the front of the stove. No matter how hard I push and prod and wiggle the log it just won't budge.
Which means I need to open it from the front. Now I know that A LOT of ash has built up, and I also know from experience that if I open that door, all that ash will come spilling out creating a huge mess that I just don't feel like cleaning at 3 am. But I can't leave the side door open all night for fear of errant ashes leaping out in the middle of the night and setting the house on fire.
So I open it as carefully as I can. But not before I notice the black cat sleeping in the black cat bed right under the door.
It doesn't take a psychic to figure out what happens next. Very large embers spill out onto everything. Black fur whizzes past me, I start cursing, and all heck breaks loose. The cat bed is smoking and has several holes where the embers have burned their way through. House is filling up with smoke, the cat is on fire, but I don't notice because I'm busy trying to put fire back in the box where it belongs. Unfortunately every time I put a shovel full of embers back in, more falls out. Then there is the matter of the stuck log, which I also try to dislodge to no avail. More cursing, embers falling, and panic ensue.
Meanwhile my husband asks if the cat is on fire, and I brush it off thinking no way he totally jumped out of the way before anything fell. He's fine.
At this point I'm more concerned with the smoke that is filling up the house because I don't want Emily to breathe it. So I open the window, and the front door. Now I should mention that since Em came along we have pet proofed a few rooms, and because of the cat's new proclivity to pee on anything they want, the kitchen is one of those rooms and we have installed a tall pet gate in the door way to keep them out.
So back to the fire place I go trying to clean up the smoky fiery mess. The cat is racing around trying to get out of the house, which I still ignore thinking he sees us up and wants to go outside to the bathroom which at 3 something in the morning he can jolly well use the litter box. Fed up with me ignoring him, he takes matters into his own paws, and breaks through the pet gate and races outside. I can't leave him out there because the coyotes will eat him, so I curse about that too.
With some assistance from the husband, all the fire finally ends up in the right place, and things are calming down. It isn't until then that I see the black charred ember with cat fur fused to it sitting on a box. Uh oh.
I race outside to find the cat, but he's hiding under the car and won't have anything to do with me. Gee I wonder why.
So that is why at 3:30 am I could be found sitting in the driveway freezing my ass off trying to coax a very scared, singed, and un-trusting cat out from under the car.
And Emily slept through the whole thing.
And I have been banned from using the fire place ever again.