Who needs sleep?

I’m starting to suspect there’s something wrong with me.  I’m not getting more than six hours of sleep, and I have no urge to nap.  I’m up late with The Husband, and I’m up early with the boys.  With Aidan’s randomly short nap schedule, I’m always on the move.  Even when The Husband was away for the Chargers’ game, I still stayed up late . . . cleaning.

Now I’m no stranger to living on little sleep.  I mastered  it in college, writing papers at 2 am, after everyone was asleep.  Then there were the years of Evan waking through the night.   But I’m no longer as young as I was, and I’m beginning to wonder how bad this no sleep is for me.

I stopped going to bed at a decent time earlier this summer when my world shattered around me.  I feared laying in bed, thinking, analyzing, worrying, and basically driving myself crazy.  I feared nightmares and dreams.  I feared that all I would want to do would sleep for weeks until my soul healed.  I couldn’t do that.  So I worked myself to exhaustion and crumbled into bed to sleep deep enough to forget my dreams when I woke to the first cry or “Mommy” in the morning.

It seemed like a good plan until now when I’m starting to get only five hours of sleep and I feel fine.  Now I wonder if next month I’ll be down to four.  I wonder how this will affect my mind and body.  Will this keep me from making a right choice or react in a helpful way? 

At least, on the bright side, my house looks great, the boys are happy, and The Husband I are actually sitting down and talking about something other than kids, bills, or politics.  And I’m doing some soul searching.  Now if I could only cram more blogging and writing, life would be golden.  Oh, and some more sleep.

A little advice

During the summer, I attended parenting classes that were hosted at my son’s school.  At first I thought they were offered by the church, but it turns out it is a county run program, teaching parents to be better parents.  Holy crap!  A good idea use of public funds!  Lately I felt that would never happen.

Now I didn’t agree a 100% with everything taught.  I’m not how sure that a pure democracy in the household would actually work.  I believe you give children an inch, they’ll take the mile because, seriously, they don’t know any better.  And in my household, The Husband and I are about to be outvoted in another year, when Aidan can actually use his voice.

The class strived to teach us that children are people too with insecurities and pride, intelligence and emotions.  I know.  I was always under the belief that children were like dogs that talked.  Messy, loud dogs. 

All right if you been here a while, you know I don’t believe that.  I actually compare them to raptors or tornadoes.  Usually tornadoes.  But that’s probably insulting.  They do reason, so I’ll try to stick with raptors.

All kidding aside, I did learn quite a few things from the class.

Like:

Pick your battles.  It’s so easy to go into a power struggle with a child.  The teacher would often say, “Just stop and think.  You’re an adult caught in a power struggle with a little child.  Really?”  If it’s not dangerous or crazy, why not let the kid eat with his hands; he’ll learn by example what he’s expected to do.  So she wants to shut the car door; she thinks she’s helping.

Every action has an emotion.  Deal with the emotion.

Husbands can admit they’re wrong.  The Husband went to one class out of six, but as we walked out he said, “You were right about not spanking.  I’m glad I listened to you.”

There was a lot of other stuff to that I have plainly forgotten.  I guess I should go back and read all those handouts.

Now they are doing a new class, and the principal of the school believes in it so much that she’s volunteered to do the child watching (due to church budget cuts, the sitting was cut after the last class).  So last week, The Husband came (and plans to keep going) with me.  We learned to Respond, Not React.  Because when we react, we often don’t act right.  Or we sound like our parents.

Another Happy Homemaker Moment

I hate when I have them. 

I’m really enjoying making Evan lunches for school.  I bake a dessert every weekend.  I bought little boxes and containers, even finding a few with cute animal faces.  I cut out sandwiches with cookie cutters.  I’m still searching for unique and fun menus.  I make him a little note with stickers.  Everything fits in his awesome metal pirate lunch box. 

It’s all very cute and lovely. 

Then last night as I finished humming and building a lunch, I thought, “I wish The Husband went to work, and I could make his lunches too.”

AND I could make his lunches too.

Does this mean I have to give up my feminist card?  And forget the secret handshake?  And break all my Ani DiFranco cds?  And burn my “God’s a girl and she’s cute” shirt?

Maybe I just need a stiff drink.

Psychic Block

Back in college, I noticed a strange phenomenon that I had.  After a particularly grueling week of tests and/or papers, my brain kind of shut down the next week.  I couldn’t motivate myself to do any thinking.  I couldn’t read; I couldn’t study; I couldn’t write.  God forbid I had to do anything that next week because I would have to pull from the very depths of my being to do Any.  Thing.  After a few weeks of this habit, I realized what was going on.  I called it my Psychic Block. 

I learned to work around it.  I manipulated my classes and work to compensate.  I vegged the weekend after a hard week, so that I wouldn’t fall into the malaise the next week at work.  It’s why I demanded to go honeymoon somewhere we had already been.  Even now, the Psychic Block pops up a day after a hard day of mothering.

As I talked to my BFF the other night, I realized I had another Psychic Block on my hands.  I can’t bring myself to read hours and hours of blog post like I used to.  I love my favorite bloggers.  I love reading about their lives, their dreams, their families.  I often think of them as friends.  I love reading new people.  I love learning from all these amazing people.  And yet, for the last couple months, I can only force myself to read a little at a time.

And there’s a reason.  Some of you might remember me talking about fighting demons.  And I still am.  My marriage is on the rocks, hanging by a thread, deep in a coma.  And when I read about my favorite bloggers and their happy lives, it hurts my soul.  I think I might be jealous.  Happy for you all but jealous. 

I don’t want to go into it too much now.  I’m sure I’ll talk about it when I know which way it is all going down.  I’m trying to take responsibility for my end of things.  I’ve realized I’ve made mistakes, and I’m fixing them.  I’m realizing how much I love my husband and how much I would like our marriage to last.  But it might not work out.  He doesn’t know what he wants, and he has inflicted severe damage on our relationship.  I do know if we stick together, we’ll have to reinvent our marriage and work on some major defects in ourselves.  I’m ready for the challenge; he’s not. 

Every day I wake up alone to a baby cooing and two boys playing, waiting for me to feed them and take care of them, waiting for me to give them the signal to jump on the inflatable mattress their dad sleeps on in the home office.  All day I play the happy mother, trying to keep myself from getting locked in my head, remembering good and bad memories, playing future good and bad scenarios, analyzing his ever word and action, questioning his motives, crafting a thousand speeches.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago, there’s all kinds of crazy in my head.  On top of that, I’m trying hard to keep myself sane and healthy and becoming better than I am.  Every night I fall asleep alone listening to the sounds of baby breathing and praying for answers, strength, and wisdom.

So my friends, don’t give up on me.  I’ll get around to reading and commenting more and more.  Every day is a new day.  And a Psychic Block does not live forever.

Thoughts on my 30th

I’m a pessimist.  Therefore I see problems first and then come up with solutions.  Unfortunately, I usually come up with one solution, and if it doesn’t work, then I keep beating it against the problem, hoping that it’ll work.  It usually doesn’t.  I call this my box theory.

I’m co-dependent.  Which really sucks.  And I’m praying that I don’t have to go to Co-Dependents Anonymous for the rest of my life.

It’s not normal not to want me time.

I need to actually reach out and make friends.  Which I’m doing, like having coffee with a mom friend or lunch with my sister-in-law because she’s that cool.

I need time alone with The Husband.  I kind of forget how important that is.

I really do miss date nights.

I miss not being responsible.

So if I’m juggling motherhood, marriage, friends, me-time, and housework, when am I going to write?

I need to break out of my planning-box every once in a while.

The blogs are where I go to have friends and realize what is normal, like needing time alone and kids putting things in their butt cracks.  You guys rock my world.

Maybe I should stop making New Year Resolutions and make Birthday Resolutions.

Self-examining is f-ing hard.  It hurts my head.  It hurts my heart.  But I’m still surviving.

I am the phoenix.

Things get sticky

Weeks went by.  SP moved into the condo; I moved into my apartment.  I took the desk from the condo, which I turned upside down and threw down two flights of stairs because it was easy and C wasn’t home.  I accidently started dating the rare 20 year old virgin, which led me to take refuge at the condo with SP, Best Friend, and Tough Chick as the virgin called fifty times a day even after I explained that I didn’t get home until 10pm because of work and school.  He didn’t listen; my roommate wanted to kill him; and he tried to choke me with his tongue when we kissed.  That was a week old romance.

Not long after the mutual break up, C threw another party at his condo and invited the whole group.  We went because the underage and the broke of our circle could score booze.  I went because I was the DD, since I still flirted with being Straight Edge.

As I stood at the breakfast bar, watching my friends pour drinks, as I sipped my soda, C came up and started talking to me.  His friends sat on the couches not to far from us and started chanting “Rudy.”

Me: What’s up with that?

C: They think I look like Sean Astin from Rudy.

Me: Oh.  I never saw that movie.  (But for the record C totally looks like Sean Astin.)  So why do they keep chanting?

C: Because they’re jerks.

Me: Oh.  Figures.

C had to leave me and go mingle with the crowd.  The man could work a room.  His Best Girl Friend slide up next to me and grab the bar for support as she swayed.

BGF: Have you met my friend C?

Me: Yeah.

BGF: No.  Have you met my friend C?

Me: Yeah?

Luckily Tough Chick swooped in and saved me, but when ever I was alone, the scene with the BGF repeated itself.  After a couple hours, it was decided that most of the group was ready to go.  Except Loose Canon and Tough Chick.  They planned to stay the night, and so I took Loose Canon’s car and drove everyone home.

The next day near noon, the phone rang.

Me: Hello?

Tough Chick: Fae? Are you sitting down?

Me: No.

Tough Chick: I think you should.  We have a problem.

Me: What?

TC: (Sigh) Loose Canon f-ed C last night.

Me: WHAT?!

TC: Yeah.  She waited until he was drunk and tired enough to go to bed.  Then she went into his room five minutes after he did and attacked him.

Me: So she raped him?

TC: Um, he’s a guy.

Me: If roles were reversed and a guy waited until a girl was drunk and tired and then attacked her when she went to bed, we would call that rape.

TC: I guess you’re right.

Me: So how did C take it?

TC: He’s a guy.

Me: Right.

TC: But he feels guilty because he’s 30 and she’s 21.  He feels like he took advantage of the situation and plans to take her out for dinner.

Me: Took advantage of the situation?  She jumped into his bed.  Wait, did you even see her talking to him at all?

TC: No.  She was nursing a beer in the corner the whole time, not talking to anyone.  C mainly talked to you when you were there. 

Me: Ok, she’s creepy.  And she’s totally going to f up us all up with hanging at the condo.

TC: She just laid him.  Tomorrow things will be normal.  We’ll all move on.

Me: Loose has never “just” laid anyone.  She falls in love with each and every guy she’s banged.  She confuses sex with love even with the one night stands. 

TC: Unlike you.

Me:  Me?  Yes, I can separate love from sex.  Personally, I prefer it that way.  Men are meant t be used.  When did Loose start eyeing C anyways?  I thought she thought he was scuzzy.

TC: That was before the night of your big date with the virgin-

Me: Shut up.

TC: And we all went bowling.  C was dressed nicely from work and we learned he owned a million dollar business.

Me: Money sings to OC chicks. 

TC: So what are you going to do as the official “mom” of the group?

Me: Crap.  I guess I’ll talk to her tomorrow before class and make sure she understands what an f-buddy is.  I just wouldn’t hold my breath.  At least I’m out of here on Wednesday until Sunday.  You still picking me up from the airport?

And yes, the next day, I did talk to Loose Canon, but it did no girl.  All week she spoke of C with that puppy-love voice.  Always mentioning how she stayed that night with him.  I was glad to get out of the drama.  Except it was waiting the moment I got back.

I slid into the Tough Chick’s car on Sunday.

Me: Thanks for waiting.  Stupid terrorists f-ing up my airports and planes.  I’ve been waiting for two hours to catch the shuttle to get here.

TC: No problem.  I was on a phone call with an old friend and didn’t notice the time.  I might have left your ass.

Me: Which would have sucked since I don’t have a cell phone.

TC: Which you need.

Me: But don’t have the money for.  Besides what’s the point?  So how are you?

TC: Good.  But we have more issues.

Me: What now? 

TC: Loose Canon left her toiletries and an outfit at the condo in C’s room.

Me: WHAT?!  Who leaves their crap at their f-buddies house?  I dated the ex for two years and never left a single hair tye at his dorm.

TC: No sh-.  So C saw that and lost it and told SP to tell Loose to get her sh- out of his room.  And I’m pretty sure that short-lived relationship is over.

Me: Great.  And how does C feel about SP and her friends now?

TC: Well, he likes me.  Straight guys love lesbians.  And he keeps asking when you’re coming back.

It started with an ad

I was 21 and on top of the world.  I had a great class schedule, job, friends, and all I needed was my apartment to open up in a couple of weeks.  Until then I was crashing on a friend’s futon in her one room apartment with her and her best friend.  I just had to walk a mile to and from school. No big deal, even if it was 10 o’clock at night. 

Good Friend was just that when she heard that my apartment wouldn’t be ready for a month after school started.  She looked at me and said, “A month isn’t that long.  Stay with me.  As long as you like my best friend Tough Chick.”  Luckily for me, Touch Chick and I got along like two peas.  Not only did Tough Chick move down that year, so did another friend of Good Friend, SP.  Unfortunately SP brought drama with her like it was luck.

Less than a week into school, SP was still crashing at a random friend’s place and her search for a permanent place was getting desperate.  And she wanted to crash with the Good Friend, Tough Chick, and me.  Four girls and one bathroom is not a good combination, even if some of us were low maintainance. 

Thursday night we decided to all go to dinner together after I got out of class.  I was poor, so Good Friend was insisting on taking me out to get a few vegetables in me.  A common goal for her.  Joining us was Loose Canon, a close friend of mine who was also SP’s upperclassman buddy through a church organization. 

That Thursday I walked into a hornets’ nest of drama when I opened the door and walked into an overly stuffed apartment.

SP: (whining) But what am I going to do?

Me: (whispering to the Tough Chick) What the hell is going on?

Tough Chick: SP found another room to rent, and the owner wants her to look at it tonight.

Me: And the problem is . . . ?

SP: (whines) I want to go to dinner with you.

Tough Chick and I rolled our eyes together.

Good Friend: Just call him and see if we can all come.

SP: Really?

Me: We could always wait in the car.

SP: No.  No, I want your opinions.

Loose Canon: Of course!  It is two guys that live there.

Tough Chick and I rolled our eyes again.  SP called the owner on the phone; while I slipped on a pair of jeans and my college sweatshirt.

Tough Chick: You know, it’s still like summer out there.

Me: I’ve been freezing my ass off in the business building.  I need to get warm.  And, this ain’t real summer, Northern Cal.

Tough Chick: Excuse me, Arizona.

Ten minutes later, five college girls were trumping up the stairs of a condo.  SP and Good Friend were in the lead.  Then came Loose Canon.  Tough Chick and I were still trying to convince them we could wait in the car.  SP knocked.

A guy, who looked only a few years older than us, opened the door and gave us a friendly greeting.  He had short brown hair, spiked up, and glasses.  He wore a tank top with three frogs behind three shot glasses, Jim, Jose, and Jack.  He ushered us in where a guy with long hair was watching TV on the biggest TV I had ever seen.

I closed my eyes and listened to my instincts.  It was something I was relearning to do with the help of my counselor.  “Fae, you have great instincts.  You get in trouble when you don’t use them.”  My first instinct was these are good guys.

The guy: Hi!  I’m C.  That’s S.  (S. looked over his shoulder smiled, nodded, and gave a half-ass guy wave.)  Would you guys like a German chocolate cake shot?

We said our no thank you’s and introduced ourselves.  C proceeded to show us around.  There was a poker table near the front door.  In the family room area, there were two more couches and a huge L-shaped desk with a computer. 

C: Don’t mind the pink carpet and tile.  That came from the last owner.

He led us upstairs to the room for rent.  There was a student desk and a futon frame.

C: The furniture is yours if you want it.

Good Friend: Fae, you could use a desk, right?  I mean, you don’t have any furniture.

Me: I have a bookcase.  But yeah, I could use a desk.

Loose Canon: Could she put a deadbolt on her door if she wanted to?

C: Um, sure, if she wanted too.

Tough Chick and I rolled our eyes.

C led us downstairs.  SP and Good Friend went upstairs to confer.

C: So.  I don’t remember any one’s names.  What if I learned your majors instead?

Loose Canon: Organizational leadership.

Tough Chick: I’m not in school.  I came down here to get into the sherif’s department.

Me: Creative Writing.

C: That’s interesting.  What do they teach in creative writing?

Me: To write creatively.  It’s a fake major like organizational leadership.  I could buy it for 500 bucks in the mail.

I smiled.  He smiled.

SP: So, I’ll think about it and call you.

C: No problem.  You have my cell.  Hey, if you guys are interested, we’re having a bar-b-que here this weekend.

Good Friend: Thanks.  We’ll think about it.

It was a half an hour later, and the conversation revolved around the room for rent as we ate dinner.

SP: On the positive side: It includes, internet, satellite, HBO, and a maid service every other week.  It’s a nice size room and a garage space.  I can have friends over; he doesn’t have a dozen cats or a kid.  They both seemed nice.  But then I’d be living with two guys.  And I’m sharing a bathroom.

Me: It’s a guy how much bathroom space and time could he take?

Loose Canon: I say no.  Why risk your safety?  You don’t know these guys.

Tough Chick: Loose, you’re crazy.

Me: Trust me.  They’re good guys.

SP: Maybe we should vote.

Good Friend: Yes, you won’t get a better deal.

Tough Chick: Yes.

Loose Canon: No.

There are times when we make a decision, a small one, and it changes everything.

Me: Yes.

SP: Ok.  I’ll call him now and tell him.  Thanks, guys.

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