Sleep, what’s that?

Sleep, it’s the most important meal of the day.  Wait, that’s breakfast or something.  Anyway, people are always going on and on about how freaking important sleep is.  ‘It’s rejuvenating.  It recharges the body.  It keeps you looking youthful.’  Blah, blah, blah.

I always knew I wasn’t getting enough, but I didn’t know the half of it.

I go to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 pm everyday and wake up at 5 am.  People are always preaching this luxurious 8 hours of sleep, but that is an illusive mirage in my casa.  I figure getting a good solid 6 would just have to do.  Sure, I woke up every morning feeling just as exhausted as when I had crashed the night before, but that’s just normal, right?

Wrong.

For Christmas this year, I asked my lovely hubby for a fitness monitor….and he actually listened!  He gave me a Garmin Vivosmart, a nifty little gadget that does way more than count my step and tell me my heart rate.  Along with the added features of telling time, tracking my runs, counting my calorie burn, and being able to turn on my iTunes library (so cool!), it also gets my phone notifications and …. (drum roll) monitors my sleep.

When I was reading the list of features, I didn’t really understand why one would want to monitor their sleep.  I’m asleep, what’s it going to tell me?  This is going to be an uninformative graph.

Boy was I wrong.

I set myself to sleep mode, electronically and physically, that first night and snoozed (I presumed) away.  I woke up in the morning, synced myself, and my jaw hit the floor.  This is what I found.

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Originally I thought maybe all those bumps and jumps were normal.  Then I compared my graph to someone else’s.  Hers had one little bump during her hours in dreamland.  ONE!

Now I’ve always known that I move around while I sleep.  Plus, I frequently wake up and check the clock to see how long I still have until the dreaded buzzer sounds.  But, I had hard-core evidence now that I don’t actually sleep when I sleep.  I mean look at last night.

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Apparently I went out mountain climbing from 11:30 – 12:30 am.  Then I went for a little jig around the block at 2 am.  In fact, I didn’t have anytime during this 6 hours and 23 minutes that I wasn’t moving.

Ugh.

 

No wonder I wake up exhausted.

No wonder I can barely drag myself out of bed.

No wonder my calorie count is showing a 500+ burn from midnight to 5 am.

No wonder I can fall asleep at the drop of a Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Curve balls

As it has with anyone, life has thrown me some curse balls along the way.  What I’ve learned about myself and others and the curve balls themselves has been really interesting.

You probably know by now that I’m a plan making and a list creating fool.  Sometimes I make lists for my plans and vis versa.  It’s a sickness really.  What I also know is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan.  God is a master curve ball pitcher.  Plan to do X and he throws a perfect curve right into your strike zone.  Are you going to stand there and go down looking?  Or are you going to swing a way, take control of the curve, and make it your own?

I gave up a long time ago being mad about God’s curve balls.  I know there is something bigger than me in this universe and I believe I my purpose in life is to figure out, well, what that purpose is.  I don’t know everything.  I don’t have all the answers, but each day I set out on my mission to learn and grown and be a positive force in this world.  Set aside money for one thing, then another thing breaks that takes the funds. Plan an outing for the day and the car won’t start when it’s time to leave.  If I was thrown this type of curve ball, God was just letting me know that my plan wasn’t really his plan and I need to change my line up.  I can deal.

Sometimes I’ve, knowingly or unknowingly, thrown myself my own curve balls.  I forgot to have all my cylinders turned on.  I didn’t pay attention to details.  I knew something was wrong, but I did it anyway, ignoring my gut feelings and morals, forging ahead, believing I knew better.  I swung at a pitch above my head.  I put myself behind in the pitch count.  The only way out is hunker down and protect the plate.  I have to acknowledge my mistakes, accept that I was wrong, eat my crow, then apologize, ask for forgiveness, fix my mistakes and move forward.  Personally challenging at bats build character and humility.

It’s the last type of curve balls that I’m struggling with the most.  Those are the ones that others throw at you.  You have a course of action all in place and someone comes in and makes meaningless changes just to show they have some power or control.  Someone spouts off rude, mean, hurtful comments about another individual, then when caught makes up more lies to cover their tracks or tells you, you should turn the other cheek and let it go.  (Sorry I just made you sing that song.)  How come those who frequently stomp all over the morals and values of humanity, self-centeredly focused on getting their way, are the first ones to throw scripture at others about being loving, kind, and forgiving, but never once consider being remorseful, apologetic, or even owning up to their actions?  Yes, yes, I know. This curve ball is just another one like the others, and I have to flow with it just the same.  But this one’s a stinger.  This one’s a dead ball to the backside.  It stings.  The memory of it is vivid.  It leaves a nasty mark.

It changes you.  It changes your outlook.  It changes your feelings.  It changes your future decisions.

But afterwards, you get up, take your base and play ball.

Polar opposites

When you become a mom, your world revolves around, well, shit.  Notice I didn’t say your world is shit, because it isn’t.  It’s a crazy, wild, wonderful mess that revolves around shit.  When they do it, how much, how messy it is, is it the right color, is it the right consistency, are they eating the right things to make it come out right, what can I use to get it out of there, and how in the world did it get in that ?!?!?

The funny thing is, even though we are always left to handle the shit or clean it up, when it personally comes to the great #2, women are the discrete gender.  We know that everybody poops, but it’s more lady like to pretend we don’t.  It’s a private matter, one you handle at home, quickly and quietly, behind closed doors.  We also know enough to know that we don’t talk about it…ever.

Boys on the other hand, come out of the womb with this innate obsession with the ol’ stink eye that never ends, but, in fact, grows larger and larger with each passing day.  For them, using the facilities requires blocking off a significant amount of time, as these things can not be rushed.  Both of the males in my life have stacks of reading material in their respective bathrooms.  In addition, they have notified me that the lavatory can be a great source of intellectual inspiration, a place to take their time and contemplate life.

In my son’s case, I am convinced that his time on the throne has a direct correlation to the development of his sense of humor.  Case in point….

The other day I was rounding up my beloved offspring to fold the laundry.  (I’ve got to squeeze out those years of free manual labor while I can.)  I yelled for my son, telling him his presence was requested downstairs to take part in the folding.  He yells back to me from the potty,

“I can’t Mom.  I’m taking the Browns to the Superbowl!”

What?!?!  Oh…. Yuck!

Tonight, in between putting away groceries, picking up the house, and making dinner, I called for the kids to get to the table to finish their homework.  The girl shows up right away and dives in.  One minute, two, five pass…no boy.

Trystan, time for homework.”

“I can’t now.  I’m dropping bombs on Japan.”

Hun?!?!  Oh…Well, at least he made a historically correct reference.  Nice to see that tuition money is being put to good use.

 

 

 

All dressed up

A couple of times a year, my husband and I have the opportunity to attend a few fancy, fundraiser dinners for some of his clients.  Being that we are part of ‘the help,’ it’s fun to get all prettied up and rub elbows with the movers and the shakers of our city, dreaming of one day maybe being on that side of the tracks.

One such night was on Saturday.

Since sparkly dresses and high heels are not part of my social worker attire, it was a perfect opportunity to get out and get my shop on.  I ventured into a couple of different stores, trying on dress after dress, finding nothing that would work.  Maybe it was because I’m 37 and they only make dresses for either teenagers or old ladies.  Maybe it was because it was January and the flourescent lighting against my pale winter skin made me look sickly in everything.  Maybe it was because I was wearing these,

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and all dressed looked ridiculous paired with them.

After trying and having no luck at other stores, I finally went back to my tried and true dress shop, the one that, despite its poorly named brand, has never failed me when I was in a dress crisis…. Dress Barn.  If you’ve never been to a Dress Barn, you should really give it a try.  I always avoided entering the store myself.  I saw the name on the marquee and assumed that it held racks of country, square-dancing style frocks that I would not like.

Luckily I was proved wrong.

I had a true dress emergency one fine summer day.  My son was two.  We were sitting in the third row at my cousin’s wedding when I heard the beginning sounds of a projectile vomit beginning to emit from his body.  With my cat-like reflexes, I was able to cover the first come-up-ence with his blanket.  Then I did what any good mother would do, I spun him around into my chest and took the full brunt of the second round into my chest and all over my dress.  As discretely as possible, I walked out of the ceremony.  When my husband caught up with me, I passed off the messy boy, grabbed the car keys and took off to find something new to wear before the reception.  This was the day I discovered that Dress Barn not only sold nice dresses I liked, but also pants, tops, jeans, and accessories, all at reasonable prices.  I’ve been back for all my dress needs ever since.

I walked in, looked right, and immediately found my dress for the evening.  Since I didn’t want the gas to the store to go to waste, I decided to look around and found this cute outfit to add to my closet….both the top and the jeans were on clearance.  SCORE!

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The night of the event, as I was getting myself shoved into my pantyhose and then wedged into my full body shaper, my daughter walked into our room.  “Is that your dress?”, she asked.

“No. It’s my shaper.”

“Why do you need that?”

“Because I’m 37 and things aren’t always where I want them to be, or not be.  Being a woman is fun.”

I think I may have scarred her.

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All sucked in and pushed up, off to the event we were!  It was a great event.  Beautiful venue, wonderful food, stealing a night out without the kids, surrounded by people with money and dreaming of actually being able to afford all the arts, trips, and bobbles that were up for grabs at the auction.

A diamond encrusted, heart-shaped ring.  Slightly more than the usually Valentine’s Day chocolates.   A trip to LA to attend a red carpet movie premiere, complete with a custom gown.  The kids would love to be left home alone, but then, they would be more mad I had to sell them to buy it.  A personal chef comes to your house to cater and evening for you and 12 friends, then you are wisked off to the opera.  I would need to skip the mortgage payment to make the bid, so where would I host my soiree?  A original Jeff Hanson piece of artwork that went for $11,000.  Darn, if only I hadn’t already bought groceries this week, I might have been able to nab that one….

Having fun with things with won't be bidding on.

Having fun with things with won’t be bidding on.

As I took a quick look around the room, I noticed something I hadn’t expected.  A majority of the people in the room did not look happy.  Sure some were, but many were not, some unhappy, some bored, some looking obligated, others annoyed.  Somewhere inside of me, even though we all know that “Money doesn’t buy happiness“, I still believe that if I had more money, I would be incredible happy.  Being able to buy anything I needed, would take all the unnecessary stress out of my life and I would just leak with joy.  It’s a fancy night out, drinks, food, dancing, sparkles all around, but people didn’t look happy.  People at a mid-July outdoor concert, knee-deep in mud; they look happy.  People at a Renaissance Faire, dressed in their garb and reenacting scenes; they look happy.  These party goers, with money burning a hole in their pockets, they just didn’t look happy.

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Dinner had, speeches given, and desserts consumed, there was nothing left to do, but top the night off with some coffee.

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Where’s the #&*%in’ coffee????  You would think if they went through the trouble of putting coffee cups, sugar, and creamer on the table, that they would come around to offer a lady coffee!?!?  Oh well….

We got home, peeled off the fancys and layers of compression, jumped into our sweats, turned on the Keurig, and kicked back on our couch.  As I looked around our house, I smiled.  I may not have the most expensive, largest, or most lavish house, but I am truly happy with the life Peter and I have made for ourselves.  We met when we were 18 and 20.  We had nothing, literally.  We’ve worked hard for what we have and have earned every bit of it.  We are truly blessed to have a house filled with family and love.  Money couldn’t buy this if it tried.

 

Grocery Cart Confessionals

I go grocery shopping every Wednesday.  In my twisted logic, it’s the perfect day: the new ads are out, there’s no weekend crowd, it’s mid-week incase we need anything to get us to the weekend, plus, the weekend’s in sight, so you can stock up for it.  As an added bonus, I go at 3:30 when I get out of work before all the ‘normal’ people get their release.  (Before you ask, no, I do not consider myself normal.  I purposely work as a school social worker with behaviorally and emotionally disordered kids.  It’s crazy, but, then, so am I!)

Despite all my planning and list making, it never fails that the moment I get home my ridiculously over-priced haul, I am inundated with items I forgot to pick up.

And this is how you get a grocery cart confessional.

Yesterday after work, I ran back to Wally World to get the random 6 items that were left out.  I get the most entertainment out of watching the face of the cashier as she tries to figure out my life based on the hodge-podge of items I have decided to buy together.  This was yesterday’s purchase:

Pizza Crust

Italian Sausage (Admittedly, those first two items do go together.)

Light Bulbs

Yarn

Dog Treats

A Prescription

What, your don’t have a dog with a low thyroid, who doesn’t like to knit in the dark while enjoying a slice of pizza????

Well I do!

 

Reality Bites

Before you read anything further, if you were expecting a blog about the movie awesomeness that was the 1994 flick staring a pre-felony Winona Ryder and a pre-Uma Ethan Hawke, than you are going to be disappointed.  Although, I reserve the right to write that blog in the future as I LOVE that movie.

No today I am dedicating this blog to the sad reality of what my Sunday looked like, contrast to the Sunday that I had planned.

Awww Sunday… I had visions of what my Sunday would look like.  A leisurely breakfast, lingering over numerous cups of coffee while browsing the paper.  Settling in on the couch for stolen nap time, turned Packers Football time at kick off.  After celebrating the victory with a yummy roast.  After which, I’d crack open a bottle of wine and my new Jodi Picoult book while lounging bubble bath, hopelessly trying to extend the weekend and ignore the forthcoming work week.

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As the saying goes…If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.

I did start off my Sunday with coffee and crochet before the troops awoke from their slumber.  (Kerry – 1, Reality – 0)

After breakfast (point), as I was cracking open the paper, my darling boy reminded me that I had yet to buy him his basketball shoes and he had tip-off later this afternoon.  Good-bye paper, hello store.  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 1)

BASKETBALL SHOES ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!  I would like to take this opportunity to remind the shoe makers of the world that kid’s shoes require less material to make than adult shoes, and should, therefore, based on my own mathematical equation, cost less.  Plus, we all know he will probably out grow them before the season ends and I’ll be back buying more, so you’ll end up getting more money out of my before the season ends anyway!  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 2)

As I’m finally leaving the sports store, I realized I’m missing two ingredients for my yummy roast, so off to the grocery store I went.  There went my scheduled nap time.  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 3)

Upon returning from the store, I re-evaluated my schedule, getting a clearer picture of what would and wouldn’t be happening, and decided that I would steal myself a bubble bath right then.  I skipped the wine and crammed in the first two chapters of my book.  Take that Reality!  (Kerry – 4, Reality – 4)

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My Packers game, the game against our divisional, border rivals that I wanted to scream at from start to finish, began at 12.  My son had baseball practice from 1 – 3 and a basketball game at 3.  My daughter had a basketball game with one league at 3 and another basketball game with another league at another location at 3:30.  Although I don’t fully understand Physics, I did know that it was impossible to make all of these events at the same time.  I watched my Green Bay Packers score their first 10 points before I rushed out of the house to begin my taxi services.  (Kerry – 4 1/4, Reality – 4 3/4)

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Dropped Trystan off at baseball.  Picked Trystan up from baseball early and rushed him to basketball.  Dropped Trystan off at basketball and rushed to Paige’s basketball game.  (Kerry – 4 1/4, Reality – 7 3/4)

Packers Won!  (Plus I got to see the end of the game from the TV at the Rec Center were Paige’s game was being played, so I’m giving myself 1/4 of a point back!)  (Kerry – 5 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Paige won her game and played great!  (Kerry – 6 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Paige’s game ended in enough time to rush, literally, to Trystan’s game and see the end of the 4th Period.  He lost, but mom got to see her baby on the court!  (Kerry – 7 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Finally, home for that yummy roast, glass of wine, and a relaxing, non-rushed Sunday dinner with the fam.  (Kerry – 9 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

As I cleaned up the dinner dishes, catching my breath and running back through my day in my mine, I realize I actually won in every category.  Life may be crazy, chaotic, busy, stressful, and leave me wanting to pull out my hair, but I’m here to live it.  I’m on this side of the dirt.  I have an incredible husband, two awesome kids, a supportive family, a circle a friends, a warm home, food on my table, and a love all around me.  I win…..always.  (Kerry – Infinity)

Sure, you’re always right, absolutely

We all know someone like this.  Someone who barrels into a room.  Blankets the area with their opinion.  Blatantly disregards anyone who says anything slightly different from their opinion.  Then turns tail and stomps out mid sentence when they don’t get their way.  I have to admit.  I’m as stubborn as the day is long.  I want my way.  If I’m invested in something or knowledgeable about a subject, I will voice my opinion and let myself be heard.  I will fight for my side, but I’m not ignorant enough to think I am always right about everything, all the time.  I fact, the older I get, the more I learn that I can not only be wrong (ssshhh, don’t tell anyone), but also that other people’s viewpoints or ways of doing things might be as equally right or efficient.  I’ve also learned along the way, that even when someone makes a choice or starts a process that is not right, it is best for them to learn, trip up, fail, and succeed on their own.  Sometimes the best lesson someone can learn is by learning it the hard way.  Whatever the case, when I’m in a situation with other people, if I voice my concerns and air it out, that’s the best I can do sometimes.  I know I will not always get my way, and I’ve learned to accept that.  The older I get, the easier it becomes to spot those ‘adults’ out there who still have to learn this lesson.

Now for the part of maturing that I have to work on…  The letting it go part.  See, I may have learned I don’t always have to fight to be right, but I don’t quite have a firm grasp on letting go of the emotion, anger, feelings involved and moving forward.  I, like a child, want to hold on to the grudge.  I want to gossip. (I know, you’re not supposed to admit to that, but I LOVE to gossip.)  I want to call multiple people and relay the story, juice it up a little, get them to commiserate with me, but I know I can’t.  Ok, technically, I can, but I  shouldn’t, so I won’t.  I’ll just let it all out in words, release it from my body and mind and move forward.  Let go and let God, (or Buddha, or Darwin, or whatever your flavor is…it makes no difference to me).

Ok, I think that’s enough maturing for today… Now where did I put my phone?