Up All Night

 

Did you know that if you go without sleep long enough that you could hallucinate?

I actually did already know that before this weekend. Having two children, I have went through the newborn phase (and the sleeplessness that comes with it) twice. When my second daughter was a baby, I hallucinated so much that I thought my house was haunted. Being that my daughters are 14 and 9, though, those hazy days are far behind me. I’m also much older. My old bones love sleep, crave it even. I can’t tolerate sleep deprivation like I used to.

This past Friday night, I took my daughters and a group of friends to an overnight lock-in at a local university recreation center. I had twelve girls total ranging in age from 8 to 14 ( I know, I promise I’m not crazy). It was an awesome time with an agenda that included swimming, crafts, zumba, basketball, volleyball, soccer, racquetball, wall-climbing, movies, and a self defense class. There was no enforced “lights out” (though there was a “quiet room” for those that wanted to get some rest – and I use the term “quiet” pretty loosely) so the girls were allowed to have free reign of the place all night. We ate pizza at 11pm and we had doughnuts at 4am. Check out time was 6am.

Some of our girls did lay down and rest for a couple of hours. Several of the girls (my two included) stayed up all night. I stayed up as well, since I was responsible for these girls. Not one wink of sleep was had.

The hardest hours were between 2am and 4am. It was hard to concentrate and my brain felt “buzzy.” I had to wander the gym to keep myself awake. The sugar infusion at 4am helped quite a bit. Of course, at 6am I had to drive home and the cold air gave me a jolt. Due to unfortunate scheduling, we had another event Saturday morning until 2pm. So, all told, I was awake about 36 hours straight. I woke up here and there between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, each time confused and disoriented. I would see and hear things that I would promptly forget when I awoke again. I had no idea what was reality and what my addled brain had invented. That time has been sucked into the abyss of “the lost hours.”

Sadly, I had more to contend with than just exhaustion. It turns out that kids can really wind themselves up for such an event, but they eventually come crashing down. Hard. And their over-tiredness turns them into cranky monsters. They were difficult (at best) Saturday and Sunday and my well of patience was bone dry. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they are cute.

By Sunday afternoon/evening, we all felt more human. They turned back into normal children and my senses/memory became more reliable. Here in the bright light of Monday afternoon, my brain synapses are firing like it never happened. Though that doesn’t mean that I will be signing up for another all-nighter anytime soon.

 

photo by Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee… 5/21/17

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Welcome! Another weekend, another coffee date. This week we can meet up at my favorite coffee shop/comic book store… Villainous Grounds. I am about to meet a friend  (hi Violet!) there in real-life… so the more virtual friends, the better!

It has been a pretty uneventful week here. Work continues to be busy as I train the new counselor. It is going well, though. It is just a lot for her to learn. She is going to start seeing patients herself next week (with me observing). I fully expect for her to be on her own the week after that. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

We had some rain the past few days but today looks to be shaping up to be beautiful. We have girl scouts this afternoon and we’re meeting in the park so we will get to enjoy some of this sunshine and warmth.

The St. Louis Cardinals, after attaining first place in their division, have gotten themselves into a four game losing streak. Our bullpen (which I know refer to as the “blowpen”) sucks. Our starting pitchers are maintaining six to seven great innings and then the relievers come in and ruin it. Last night, our starting pitcher pitched NINE innings allowing only two hits and zero runs. Guess what? We lost in the 13th inning because of our sucky relief pitchers. Also didn’t help that our manager left that last reliever in way too long after he started to struggle. Well, some offense would have been helpful last night, too. Ugh.

My kids are officially on summer break! Let the all-day bickering begin…

So… catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 4/22/17

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Happy Weekend! Come on in and let’s grab a cup of a steaming hot beverage. It will definitely be a hot beverage since it is cold and rainy here. Our warm weather has taken a temporary vacation.

I had a very busy week at work, trying to catch up from having two days off. My presentation on Friday went well and I’m glad it’s over. I have no other presentations on the horizon, thank goodness. Public speaking is not something that I enjoy. Also, we had someone accept the counseling position so I am finally getting some help! I will no longer have to do the work of two people. She starts in two weeks.

The school year is starting to wind down with about a month left. Both girls are taking MAP tests this week. My older daughter was chosen for All Stars (which is similar to student of the month). My younger daughter brought home reading evaluation results and she made great progress this year. This is huge for her and I am so proud of her hard work.

I finished my last lab evaluation with the physical therapist for the low back pain study. I also found out that I was randomized to receive another physical therapy session. My back pain has been minimal lately (knock on wood), for which I am thankful.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/26/17

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Welcome! I’m so glad we could meet for coffee this week. I missed you last time. My apologies, life gets overwhelming at times. Come on in and have a seat. We’ve had some rainy, dreary weather this weekend. The temperatures have been moderate, though, so you can choose a hot or a cold beverage… whatever you’d like.

Since this is virtual and you can’t actually see my humble abode, I will tell you that we got a new front door. You would have to know what my old door looked like in order to realize why I am so excited. It was old and in bad shape. I’ve been wanting to replace it since we moved in. Now I have a brand new, modern beautiful door. It took my husband and my dad an entire weekend to install it. It has a glass panel so it lets in more light, a fact that I am still getting used to.

We’ve been quiet busy here with school and work and scouts. We spent most of the day yesterday peddling girl scout cookies. We did well but unfortunately still have some left. The end of the season is near, so we need to sell them so that we can get our full profit.

We have a busy April coming up. (sidenote: how in the everloving hell is it almost April?!!) We are planning a trip to South Carolina for Easter to visit family. We also have two other overnight trips for scouts in April. Our weekends are booked. On the one hand, I love being busy. We have some wonderful experiences planned for my girls. When I am busy, I feel productive. I feel alive. On the other hand, the packed schedule can become overwhelming. As an introvert, I need a lot of downtime that is quiet, peaceful and restful. Things can feel chaotic when I don’t get that time.

Operation Reduce the Sugar has been going surprisingly well. No more soda, I am drinking water 100% at work. I also drink water mostly at home, though I have had a little juice here and there. My work lunches have been healthier as well with more fresh fruits. My weakness is candy and cookies. We got rid of the candy in the house. If it’s not here I can’t eat it, right? The cookies are a different story but I have cut down on them. Confession: I did buy a bag of Cadbury mini eggs at the store last week in a moment of weakness. They are still on my nightstand unopened. That is willpower, friends. My rationalization is that they are seasonal (I can only get them for a short time) and 100% deprivation usually doesn’t work. Moderation is the key, right? As long as I don’t scarf down the entire bag in three days it is okay, right?

I did a little writing this week. I submitted a piece for Friday Fictioneers. Check out Isolated.

So, catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 2/19/17

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Thanks so much for being patient with my tardiness. I planned to meet you for coffee this morning… but my morning got derailed (as often happens). After that, I just didn’t have the time or mental energy to meet. I’m sorry. No, I don’t want to talk about it. I even thought about skipping our date altogether BUT I didn’t want to miss the first week in our new digs. Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for taking over the hosting duties.

It has been a decent week here. We have had amazing weather for February with sun and warm temps. I had a day off work which is always nice. My day off was a busy one but a busy day at home is a million times better than a busy day at work, wouldn’t you agree? My accountant also finished our tax return and we don’t owe the government money. Win. We will get a refund and be able to pay off some bills. Double win. I had parent teacher conferences this week and I never, ever tire of hearing how great my kids are. After a dismal start to my day, my Sunday turned out okay. I spent lots of time with my kids and watched the Walking Dead.

I am still trying to herd cats. Literally. There is still tension among Gracie and Charlie and the new cat, Precious. They have their good moments, though so we are making progress. Then hissing and swatting starts and we take a step back. Stay tuned.

I have only eaten one bag of Cadbury mini eggs since last Sunday. I know that may not sound like much of an accomplishment. Trust me, it is.

Spring training is officially underway. Pitchers and catchers reported by Valentine’s Day and the rest of the squad came several days later. Opening day is right around the corner.

I have some planning to do this week as my daughter’s birthday is Wednesday. My older daughter will be 13. I can’t believe that I will be the parent of a teenager.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee? Stop in and chat with the other weekend coffee share posters here.

 

photo credit: Unsplash

Weekend Rewind 1/31/16

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It’s time for Weekend Rewind – my weekly casual post to chat and catch up. No prompts, no rules – anything goes.

Let’s get random…

Two weeks until the return of the Walking Dead, everyone! February 14th! Is there something else going on that day? It sounds familiar. I have a hot date with Daryl Dixon that night and that’s all I’m focused on.

We are currently on Flu Watch 2016. My husband came home this morning after pulling the night shift at the nursing home and said that the flu is sweeping through the facility. He wore a mask and washed his hands obsessively but we all know how viruses work. It’s a matter of time. I armed myself with Lysol and went to battle around the house – faucets, handles, light switches all sanitized. I preached soap and hand sanitizer to the kids. I won’t go down without a fight.

I continue to stalk my local stores for Cadbury mini eggs. I am still egg-less. Cadbury execs, you really should market them for all holidays and not just Easter. I know you also release them at Christmas (though I had a hard time finding them this year – and thank you to my good friend, Violet, for sending me some!) so I know you get the idea. You could make pink/red/white ones for Valentine’s Day. Red, white and blue for Fourth of July. Orange and Black for Halloween. It’s an easy concept, the M&M people have figured it out. Take notes from the Peeps people, also. Get cracking, Cadbury. #Minieggsallyearlong

My older daughter, Kiera, is quite crafty. She got a sewing machine and sewing basket full of goodies for Christmas. She has made several things. She also loves youtube craft and DIY videos. Yesterday she made dominoes out of construction paper and also an arrow shooter with which to knock them down. Then she made a cool origami bird.

Speaking of my kids… there is a lot of sibling rivalry between my two girls. They bicker a lot and they are always making sure that one doesn’t get more or do more than the other. For example, if I ask them to throw some trash away, all hell breaks loose if one has more pieces of trash than the other (and don’t think that I don’t take advantage of this when it is housework time). Being an only child, this is a foreign concept to me and honestly, it drives me a bit bonkers. My husband, the oldest of three children, assures me this is normal sibling behavior. Yesterday, we were making cookies. After mixing the dough, I gave them each a beater to lick (yes, I am THAT mom that risks salmonella to let my kids act like kids). The little one was standing next to me and I reached over and stole a little bit of dough off of her beater as a joke (and because raw cookie dough is the bomb). Cue jealousy from older daughter. She actually whined, “No fair! Take some dough from me, too!”

Anyone excited for the Superbowl next weekend? I don’t have a horse in that race so I’m more excited about the snacks and the commercials than the actual game. I am kind of iffy about the halftime show. Coldplay is okay but then they added Beyonce. I’m probably in the minority but I’ve never been a fan of hers. So tell me, are you rooting for Denver or Carolina?

Have a great week, everyone!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

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Booze: the savior of family holiday gatherings.

I kid, I kid. Seriously, I am blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

I may snark about my family in an attempt at humor, but I love them. Even my in-laws, who are a helping of dysfunction with a side of crazy. I am so glad that they made the trip to share Thanksgiving with us this year.

While my kids may drive me to partake in the sweet nectar that is Crown Royal from time to time, I love them more than words can adequately express. They are my heart.

And my husband, who I probably snark about the most, has been my best friend through thick and thin for 16 years. He puts up with my crazy which I know isn’t always easy.

Even though I have more aches and pains than I used to, I have good health. This is something I never take for granted.

My job may feel like it is slowly stealing my sanity, but it stimulates my mind and feeds my soul. I love helping people.

I have a nice home in a safe place. I have food and clean water.

I have faith and freedom.

I am rich beyond belief (and I’m not talking about money).

I think this sums it up quite well:

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(This isn’t mine. I saw it on facebook. I do not have a source for attribution).

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Eat much and make memories. Love and laugh. Be blessed.

Weekend Rewind 11/22/15

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It’s Sunday! That means it is time once again for Weekend Rewind, my weekly chat post – no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

We had our first really cold snap of the season. Our temps got down to around 20 degrees overnight. We, thankfully, did not get any snow but I know many of my friends were not so lucky (or were lucky, depending on their opinion about snow). I had to break down and turn on our central heat and now every time it kicks on I hear the cha-ching (dollar signs) sounds in my head.

My dad turned 65 on Friday. Today we had a party and my girls picked out the cake and ice cream. The cake had a picture of a deer on it and the rest of the cake was camouflage with green and hunter orange trim. They love their grandpa so much. Friday was also my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday. Two milestone birthdays on the same day!

I’m excited for next week because 1) it is Thanksgiving and 2) I only have to work two days next week (Monday and Tuesday). The break is much-needed. My in-laws will be travelling from South Carolina to visit for Thanksgiving. We have lived here for 10 years and this will be only their second trip to visit us. I was kind of surprised when they said they were coming, especially with my mother-in-law’s accident last year I thought the long trip might be difficult for her. So we will have guests for at least a couple of days next week. I am only slightly stressed about that – the excitement of a work holiday is trumping the family stress.

It was another football Sunday here. We watched the Rams lose to the Baltimore Ravens (sigh).

Only about a week left in November, NaBloPoMo’ers! We are in the home stretch!

My girls are playing hide-and-seek with stuffed animals. The person that hides has to made the sound of their animal. This makes them easy to find so I’m not sure the purpose. But my seven year-old made the rules so go figure.

Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kid Humor

Living with two girls is… interesting. At 11 and 7, they can’t seem to decide if they are best friends or mortal enemies. They get along sometimes, but they annoy each other most of the time. One reason for that is that they are total opposites in personality and temperament.

My 11 year-old had a project spread out around her on the floor. Everything was in neat, meticulous piles. Everything was just so. Cue the 7 year-old. She came stomping into the room , bringing her special brand of energetic chaos to her sister’s ordered little world. Piles scattered and the 11 year-old’s temper flared.

“Hey! Who do you think you are? The queen bee?!” Oh, the preteen drama.

The little one looked at her, flicked one of her eyebrows and put her hand on her hip. She slowly smiled at her sister and said “Buzz, buzz, baby.”

Endless entertainment.

Weekend Rewind 9/27/15

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It’s Sunday and time for the latest installment of Weekend Rewind, my weekly casual chat post – no prompts, no rules, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

Once again, I did not update my graphic for this feature. Readers who have been around here for any length of time are not surprised (and new readers are wondering why a feature called Weekend Rewind has an image that says Casual Fridays. Welcome to my quirky world). Anyone want to start taking bets on how long this task will take me to complete? I did actually pick a new image and then I fell into the time-sucking vortex known as Pic Monkey. Result: nothing got accomplished. Stay tuned.

The big news of my week is that I was in a car accident Friday morning. Correction: I caused a car accident Friday morning, which is something that I have never done before. It happened in front of the hospital where I work, in a large intersection as I was turning onto the street that leads to my parking garage. I was turning left through that intersection, yielding to the oncoming traffic. When my light turned yellow, I thought the oncoming drivers also had a yellow and they appeared to be slowing down. So I turned left to beat the red light only to get T-boned by a BMW. I spun completely around and came to rest on the street perpendicular to where I started. Before my car had even come to a complete stop, I was cursing myself for making such a stupid mistake that was going to have implications not just for myself but for the other driver as well.

Chaos ensued as this happened in a high-traffic area. Police and security officers showed up immediately and went through the protocol of making sure no one was hurt, moving the cars out of the way, directing traffic around the wreckage.  Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The BMW has all front-end damage. I was hit on the passenger side, rear panel. I must have been jarred to the right on impact because all of my bruises are on my right side. My right elbow is swollen and covered in a large, nasty purple bruise. I also have bruises on my right upper arm and my right hip. Otherwise, I am fine. I stood on the sidewalk and called my husband. Then I called my insurance company to start a claim, get a tow truck, reserve a rental car and pick the repair shop that would restore my car to its pre-accident glory. I did all of this while the police gathered our information and took statements. I felt so guilty as all of the activity went on around me. I just kept thinking that all of said activity – the hassle and inconvenience – was all because of me. It took close to two hours to get it all cleared up.

After work, a coworker gave me a ride to Hertz to get my rental. I drove the rental across the street to the body shop. I met a really nice mechanic named Brian. He asked me if I was okay before he even mentioned my car. He gave me the hefty estimate of the damages, assuring me that it was all cosmetic and amazingly, the frame and structure of the car appear to be good. He even told me that I might be sore the next day and recommended taking some advil. Brian thinks my repairs will take three weeks. Until he is finished working automotive magic, I will be driving my rental with Texas plates… a Toyota Yaris (insert the 😐  emoji face here).

So here are some things that I am thankful for this week:

  • good auto insurance
  • while two cars have significant damage, the people involved do not
  • the accident happened when I was alone and not when my kids were in the backseat
  • people who treated me with kindness and didn’t make me feel like a total idiot

In other random news, I had parent-teacher conferences this past week. My kids rock. I have a presentation in three days and I finally got to work on the slides this weekend. I cannot wait until that presentation is over. I am counting the minutes. The eclipse/blood moon thing has made my cat and dog lose their minds. It is almost October!

Have a great upcoming week, everyone!