musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the category “sleep deprivation”

ode to the red sox

Oh, my Sox, I’m loathe to say,
Have broken my heart another day.
2011 season’s sudden and bitter fall,
In all estimation, is the worst of baseball.
The Spring, per usual, was lacking grace,
But fortitude steeled upon every fan’s face.
Papi’s homers sang past the Green Monster
And Gonzalez surprised with his hutzpah.
Pedroia and Ellsbury, ah my boys, are
The hardest working players in pro ball.
The beauty plays it as an art.
The littlest player pumps the biggest heart.
I love the rest of the guys, too,
But here’s the thing, you know it’s true:
As much as our team plays as a team like no other
These two play as determined brothers.
For most of the season we were number one
Then September stole all the fun,
With so many of our players on the DL
What could we do? What the hell?
Three weeks of watching torture,
The Yankees circled like vultures
And right at season’s end,
We began to rise, a bit slowly, but rise again.
Terry Francona chewed his gum,
He chewed and chewed until we won.
Extra innings lay in Papalbon’s hand.
Then we tied and lost again.
And then that Tampa Bay,
Who are these guys anyway?
I couldn’t watch, my husband yelled
How on earth? Again, I ask: What. The. Hell?
We rollercoastered our way through the final few.
The Yankees were rough, Tampa Bay, too
We took both series’ last games, and didn’t whine.
Then we lost to the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth.
A short season this year, tis true,
Maybe I’ll cower with the flu.
While other teams’ fans raise up cheers
I’ll stay away from October play, cause:

anatomy of ankleland

Some of you may recall this story from about a year ago:

You can click the picture for a link if you haven’t heard the tale, but about a year ago, I hurt my ankle pretty badly. I haven’t really recovered. In fact, from favoring the initial ligature/tendon injury which was never properly diagnosed, I developed tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Click pic to read about it.

Then from not dealing with the tarsal tunnel syndrome, I developed tendonitis on the posterior blah blah, a tendon sheathe along a muscle that runs from the knee down behind the calf muscle, close to the tibia. I lost track when the doctor was talking yesterday as he gave me a cortisone injection for tarsal tunnel syndrome. I left the doctor’s office and drove in circles (yes folks, it is my driving ankle) to find the place where I was supposed to pick up a boot to wear for the next month, and found it just time for it to be closed, thanks to it’s lack of signage. By the time I got home, my foot was on fire up to my knee, and felt dead and asleep, like it was trying to wake up, but never did except partially sometime around five o’clock this morning. Needless to say, it was a sleepless night.  Before I went to bed, I asked a medical friend if my foot/ankle/leg should still feel like this several hours after injection, and she replied that it sounds like I had a classic steroid flare. Yay me and my weird anatomy.

So this morning, I got to drive all the way back across Newport News to find this boot place again and now my fashion statement is this:

May I pass this lesson onto you?

Listen to your body when it is giving you clear signals to see a doctor and take care of yourself, for goodness sake, because if you don’t put yourself high ‘on the list’, this is the sort of thing that can happen to you.

Ironically, in the waiting room, my reading was Hot (Sweaty) Mamas, by Kara Douglas Thom and Laurie Lethert Kocanda, an enthusiastic book about making personal fitness a priority in your hectic life as a mother.

I neglected to mention previously that this book was a win from Kate Hopper’s blog, Mother Words:Mothers Who Write. I am incredibly grateful, Kate, thank you. Once I can get back on both feet, I am so on this!

In fact, even before I am back on both feet, I am starting a belly dancing class next Monday. 🙂

excerpts from both ends of a candle

Teen Lock-in in Richmond.
Good youth, good combined fellowships
games, conference, identity discussion, chaperoned
yes I’m crazy and incredibly sleep deprived.

Commute back to Hampton Roads,
drop off someone else’s young person,
home to empty house, worn out teen and me.
Shower, near tears tired,
buy present, go to housewarming,
hug people, leave before utter collapse.
amuse friends with wild hair and falling out eyeballs.
home, old twilight episodes viewed through napping ears,
odd dream narrated by Rod Serling
rest of family returns from Busch Gardens,
Honey and I have a date night,
Eight years since our first date.

Dinner out, epic fail, every point of service missed,
given wrong food, missed romantic comedy showing
so we watched a later showing of 3D Thor instead, fun
home, collapse, 6 hours later:

mother’s day begun in annoyance, I was first up
except Mr. 6am – Captain Comic.
All three kids, highly uncooperative.
Child Dedication service for Toots

tears, weepy from 3 weeks of sleep deprivation.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to sing with the choir.
Go to Lowes, find potted plants for grandma and rose bush for me to plant
Mr. Cynic helped while Honey waited in car with other two who were NOT
getting along.
Catch up with friends and driiiiiive to go
strawberry picking –
perfect, beautiful afternoon, sunripe strawberries
bursting with flavor, friends, kids, homemade strawberry ice cream
Captain Comic hurdled the rows of groundling berries,
Toots ran and ran and ran,
Mr. Cynic ate the best strawberry of his entire life
mutant, twoheaded thing he picked,
kids still arguing on car ride home.
It had been a long ride to Surrey.
Long ride home.

Captain Comic swore he was not going to pick any, do you hear me, mom? None. ha. 

There was more, I just can’t recall it all. My brain has leaked out of my ears. And today is my second day of dental work this week. I am not a fan.

But yesterday?  My muse let me grab a comet by the tail. It was a surprising and excellent ride. Gave depth to a critical scene in the manuscript. Yea me!

There’s more, plenty more, including gardening and job prospects, but I’m still trying to recover from weeks of go go go. Maybe tonight I’ll go to bed early. Please remind me.

welcome the jungle

Whoa is me, I’ve had an emotional week, a lack of sleep throughout it and my weekend, once again, is packed to the gills.

Wah, Wah, Wah, I hate whining.

Mr. Cynic’s concert was incredible. His Jazz Choir is better even than my bragging about it. Toots bounced around her seat and between Honey’s lap and mine. Captain Comic had a sensory issue as the audience began to fill the front section around us. An old man kept looking at me like “Why can’t you discipline your kid?” So after a few attempts, I decided to let Capt. Comic do what his instincts dictated, and let him have a seat all the way in the back center of the auditorium rather than fight it. I went up to blackmail inspire him to not move from his chosen seat with a threat that if he did so, he would lose all access to screens for a solid week. He stayed put. I turned around to check periodically throughout all three choirs’ numbers. As long as I saw his knees hanging over the seat in front of him, all was good. Mr. Cynic’s Jazz Choir was on last. During the second to last number – after the Hanna- Barbera Spiderman theme, of course – I felt a tap on my shoulder. and a whisper right in my ear:

Captain Comic: Mom. I need a drink.
Mom:  Go.

The choices we mothers make. I went with finish watching one son as he excels and trust the one to worry about will be okay on his own to find a drinking fountain and not get into trouble. And guess what?  It worked out. I sent Honey to collect him while I took Toots with me to go find Mr. Sparkly Red Vest. It only took a moment before I spotted Honey with Captain Comic in the hall with all of the singers before I even had a chance to hug my singer. Captain Comic beat me to it, literally, with a not so stealth pounce and grab knockdown tackle hug that took down all three siblings, and nearly me as well, as I had nearly reached hug contact with my eldest when he was hug attacked.

Honey took this phone pic of a mom and her progeny after the attack hug. It’s really the perfect shot of us all, exhausted and proud mom with her eyes closed, sleepy Toots, grinning from his performance Mr. Cynic, and goofball Captain Comic.

Life is good. Hug your kids, if you’ve got ’em. Happy Mother’s Day.


I’m having a weird week. I wake up every morning feeling very weepy. I want to put it down to exhaustion and possible perimenopausal stuff.  It’s odd, like a biological impulse to cry. I don’t feel sad or anything, just as if I will burst into tears over the slightest thing.

Then there was Toots’s Preschool Art Show this morning and “Muffins with Mom” event, where I received a bunch of little hand and footprints accompanied by sweet little rhymes.  I swear they’re trying to kill me with the cute. I couldn’t even read the I leave my Handprints everywhere out loud for Toots when I unwrapped it, without catching a lump in my throat and my eyes becoming inexplicable fountains.

Tonight is Mr. Cynic’s high school jazz choir – the one that was Grand Champion in the Myrtle Beach regional competition – Spring Concert.


I will need a large box of tissues.  I couldn’t even make it through my niece’s dance recitals over the years. I suppose I can just bring Captain Comic and Toots and go into parental management mode. Nah, it’ll never work. Not this week. I think I will just let the tears roll.

Happy Mother’s Day to the other weepers out there.

yes, even this

Poor Toots yakked her way through last night, poor iddo thing.

Honey took care of the bulk of flying her to the toilet and changing out pjs and sheets.

Even as I was aware of the events of the night, through sheer pushing through the stomach bug (i didn’t yak) and overscheduled prior several days, last night I couldn’t move as quickly as the yaks occurred.

I cuddled her while he changed sheets, he cuddled her a lot more, took temps gave meds, and generally took excellent care of her.  I’ve been through plenty of nights like this when the boys were little, and not so little, but this was Honey’s first go with having a sick all night kid. 

And I have to say, he was a natural.  He cuddled her sweetly. Her complete trust of him was beyond evident, as was his love for her.

This is why I married him.  I knew he had this in him. He’s not the most demonstrative guy in the world, but when it really counts, nobody cuddles better.

And now he’s off to work, where a big and urgent project awaits….what a trooper.

of rainy nights and whatnot

My writing group met yesterday, and though we got off to a late start, I was surprisingly productive on the manuscript.

Not the edits I intended, I seemed to dig a little deeper into the new beginning and edit out a bunch of unnecessary phrases and wrote in a new scene that seemed to take care of some other awkward aspects mentioned in my critiques.

Otherwise yesterday seemed to be kind of awash in just bonechilling dank which was demotivational the rest of the day. But I felt good about what I accomplished at the writing group.

Then it rained last night, hard, and dripped from the overfull gutters onto the awning case for the deck – right outside our bedroom wall, and is still rather drippy, so I am out of it today. Seriously interrupted night. 

This morning I had a meeting with some friends, and we had a very interestingly deep conversation even though we all expressed feeling really out of it with the rain and cold. I was glad for it. I think it made us all feel a little closer.

It’s a weird week, the boys have half days all week and I strangely have more appointments than usual.

Anyway, just a little something when I don’t have much else to say. Some days are just like that.

Life is good. Watch for robins. I’ve seen a bunch this week!

Japanese Maple buds, today about 1pm.

new favorite thing

Please forgive me if my sentences make no sense today. I had a cahrazy weekend, which included Honey’s birthday, on which I barely saw him.  It was a good weekend, a celebratory weekend, but I have been having a cold coming on for a few days, and I think it hit me full force today, when I can finally rest, while catching up and critiquing two manuscripts for tomorrow’s writing group, that is. How’s that for a run-on?

Oh, and for some unknown reason, Captain Comic has decided that somewhere between 3am and 4:30am is primo wakeup and run back and forth with lights on and doors slamming time.

Anyway, in time for the December challenge, one of my old writing friends from my Boston days turned me on to a new writing tool. It works like Julie Cameron’s Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, but it’s online. It’s typed.  It’s private, and you can let your mind wander for 750 words, the equivalent of three pages. And you don’t have to find that notebook or pen. I think most of us are sitting in front of a screen these days anyway, right? And it gives me a community of people who are also writing, whether or not I make any more of a connection beyond just knowing they are out there somewhere doing the same thing.

I am a horrible typist.  It takes me about twenty minutes per day to meet the 750, averaging about 35-40 words a minute. all typos are left in place.  I try not to go back and correct. I don’t think about what I’m writing, I just let the garbage fall out of my brain through my fingers tips and up onto the screen.

Usually about three quarters of the way in, I hit my stride and there’s at least a phrase if not an idea that I like or that I can work with in something else, later.

Here’s the thing:

When the boys were younger, and I was single and working three part time jobs to support them, when I woke up in the morning, I put the baby gate across the kitchen doorway of our little condo, got the coffee started, and while it brewed, I started my morning pages with pen and notebook amidst the dulcet tones of Captain Comic hanging on the opposite side of the gate, rattling it and screaming for my attention, Mr. Cynic momming me, and the themes of Blues Clues or Bob the Builder running from the tv in the background.  After a few months, they got that I was not going to give them the time of day during “Mommy’s morning pages”

And that’s when I started writing my almost finished editing this draft manuscript – later in the day, somewhere between job number one and the first school bus arrival, I had thirty minutes  in which I wrote the first thirty or so pages of this book. But I was only productive on that if I had been productive earlier by getting through the mess of my daily concerns to hit the subconscious, where the better writing sprung from, like an underground spring of fresh water.  First I had to clear away the mud.

So why have I not been writing or editing what I really want to be working on lately?

I think the key is in these morning pages. I think it’s in getting the garbage out of my head. It only takes me twenty minutes, so why not?  Here I am, doing it online.  And this site has some interesting tools to help you see what mood you’re writing in, for instance.  Or what words you repeat, or what senses you are using, and how dominantly you write in one over another. It also has a healthy dose of competition that fuels some of us to write. For me it’s much needed accountability.

I highly recommend it.

C’mon….you know you want to.

rainy day

Okay, first I was going to post about the shower that was taken by Captain Comic at 5:30am, because last night when he reappeared for the 18th time, well past his bedtime, and he still had not showered, I told him to take it when he wakes at 6am; and the importance of keeping regular routines, especially for kids who have Asperger’s Syndrome….and the fact that after that 5:30am shower, because he was too anxious about it to wait until his usual wakeup time of 6am, so when I came downstairs at 7am, Mr.Cynic was already gone, and all the lights and TV were off so I said to myself:

What is wrong with this picture?  Then groggily walked back up the stairs to find Captain Comic asleep in bed.  He is supposed to be outside waiting for his bus by 7:15, with breakfast eaten, and lunch made.   He made it out there, without socks, but with rain coat, and  dare I ask if he even considered brushing his teeth?  By the time I brought a pair of socks for him, he was gone.

But I couldn’t make much sense of it beyond the above horrendous sentence structure, etc.  So I said, ah, forget it, and hit delete.

Then I remembered that Toots made a funny segue from a knock-knock joke to an entirely different joke during dinner last night and after a brief and unusually silent pause at our usually rambunctious dinner table, we all cracked up.  Then she told it again.

So I started to type out:

Dinner convo with Toots last night:

Toots: Knock-Knock!
Mom: Who’s there?

And I couldn’t for the life of me remember the rest of what she said.  I called Honey at work, and he said, I don’t know….ask her.

I tried, and she fell back on her old reliable Knock-knock which is not what she said last night.

Mom: Who’s there?
Toots: [Toots] the Windowwasher!

Don’t ask me how she came up with that one.  I think Honey helped her come up with it a while back.  Clearly he is not the writer in the family.  Stick to design, Hon. That’s where you excel. Love ya.

So, between the achy muscles from yesterday’s yoga class, the 5:30am shower alarm and the rain we haven’t had all summer and are getting now, I can’t rub two halves of a thought together, so this is what you get.

Hope it made any kind of sense at all.

Some days are just like this.  Now you may have a partial picture of what it’s like in my head.  Trains of thought are often derailed.  I’d like to go back to bed now.

not to be outdone…

….by the previous two sleepless nights, last night’s adventures included:

Babette the ghetto queen, luxurious long haired tabby, who slept on my bed for 14 years, but who in recent months has decided her preferred sleeping arrangement is on the driveway under my van, came back. Walked around.  Licked my face. Purred in my ear.  Walked on my head.  Walked on Honey’s belly.  Stuck her paw in my mouth.

Then long about 5am, while I was enjoying a rather surreal dream, she dumped my glass of water right on my face.

When did she acquire thumbs?

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