Patrice Heins is Barbara's delightful Texas-based younger sister (though Barbara considers her to be both the more mature and more fun one of the two). She taught preschool and worked for a time in the very colorful development office of a Houston think tank. Patrice is currently mother and protector and sleep-fairy to two perfect little human beings: Henry, whose cherubic cheeks and coy dimples belie a mighty strength of will (particularly in re. slumber); and sweet Evie, who coos like a baby Patsy Cline. 

To this last fact, Lydia says "get that girl an agent!"  And to all of this, Barbara says: naturally Patrice is my first call when I don't know what to do, when I'm cranky and tired, or when I need advice about what to wear to a wedding. (Lydia interjects that, indeed, Patrice looks #flawless at weddings). And, Barbara adds, being otherwise so far away from my sister & her little brood, I live for our FaceTime Wednesdays.

So, aside from being major fans of Patrice and her (clearly major talent) children, we are also in awe of her SLEEP routine & paraphernalia. Herewith, some major pro-tips on how to get sleep done in Vegas when you've got Dimples and Patsy along for the ride...

I am a self-diagnosed sleep addict. I collect REM hours like they are going into a savings account. I started using a sound machine and wearing an eye mask in middle school. Partly because it made me feel grown up, and partly because the orange glow behind the light dimmer and the clink of the ceiling fan chains drove me into a fury as I tried to fall asleep. Now I have two children, and I have become more obsessed with their sleep than my own. I hoard sleep accessories – for me and for them – and never leave, not even for a night, without these tools.

On a recent three-day trip, we checked five bags and carried on three. The contents of these bags were almost exclusively sleep related:

Evie Baby

Incredibly proud of my preparedness, I got in bed the first night of our trip ready to seize the sleep. Too bad - my pillow was actually vibrating to the bass from the nightclub eleven floors below. 

Henry at 5:30 am, greeting Sin City

A critical part of this story, is that our first trip as a family of 4 was to Las Vegas for my husband's 30th birthday, booked in a moment of equal parts optimism and insanity.  Henry cried off and all night because of the “funder” booming from below. And Evelyn slept like a dream because she knew I needed someone to throw me a bone.

Moral of the story, don’t go to Las Vegas in search of sleep. The house always wins.

Because it is exhausting to wake up at five o'clock in the morning...

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