Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve's Sleeping Twister Game

Yeah, I realize the title makes relatively little sense, but I couldn't figure out what to CALL what I experience while trying to sleep at night. This "sleeping" thing, has become a SKILL in our house. And it is only attained by much patience and practice.

I remember the days of yore, when my head hit the pillow and I was out like a light, regardless of what was happening around me. I was so tired by the time my head was laid down, you could have held a rock concert and not bothered me in the least. Of course...I was four then.

Then at 16, sleeping was more an interference and obnoxious necessity, than anything else. I mean, seriously...I had shit to DO. This sleeping thing was just accomplished as quickly as possible to make way for more pressing activities. And really...if I didn't get it wasn't a crisis. I could always sleep some other week.

At 23, sleep was more like an after dinner cocktail. And dinner was something I ravenously devoured...sometimes repeatedly...between "cocktails." You can read into that whatever you'd like. You'd probably be right on.

By 35, sleep felt more like a nap between sustained intervals of housework, homework, and work work. Yes...I was one of those over-achievers that thought raising children, working full-time, going to school, keeping a house clean (well...sort of clean), and a husband happy...was a good idea. Hey...I've never been accused of having a lot of common sense. But when I FINALLY got to sleep...I don't remember anything about it other than hearing that alarm and having to wake FAR too soon.

Now at 46, sleep has become an exercise in entertainment, coupled with that "you've got to be joking" feeling, and a pinch of "OMFG come ON already!" I have a sleep disorder. It's called, "I'm aging, I have arthritis, demanding pets, and I'm married," essentially.

Image from Sleep Health

Positions in bed used to be a more adventurous, sexually-charged exploration. They have become a marathon of searching for a comfortable position in which to pass the fuck OUT.

And to add to the delerium of endless flipping, flopping, and rolling, is our precious Miss Stumples, who has her OWN nighttime agenda and requirements for suitable rest. She must (this is not an option, mind you) have Momma's right hand on which to rest her little black and white furry head. So while we're finding comfortable positions in which to SNORE....we're having to be sure they fit around this very important requirement.

Image from Health Professionals Directory 
This is the definition of irony. This is also NOT an actual photo of Miss Stumples. Stumples only sleeps on Momma's hand, I can't GET a good pic of that, because I'm trying to sleep then TOO.

If we somehow fail to accommodate....there will be plenty of meowthing off about it. No...I mean REALLY meowthing off. The kind that would set the short term destiny of a human child to being grounded for a week. But the HUMAN child that lives with us is 19. Refer to my re-accounting of teen sleeping habits. Right. He's hardly ever home. And when he IS home....HE is sleeping. Grrrrhwie;klgahhg;aejwja;f. (translation: the fuck? how is it YOU can sleep?)

Last night:

  So we head toward the bedroom to begin our perilous journey toward slumber; Miss Stumples, as expected, trotting along behind. Sharon lies down on her right side, Miss Stumples takes her position, daintily perched over Momma's right hand. I re-spread the blankets over the bed, their sleepy bodies lay beneath the warm, fluffy layers, and I think..."Oh, I am sooooo tired. That looks wonderful."

I crawl up my side of our king size bed, along the wall side, up from the foot of the bed, pull back the top right corner of the blankets and wriggle underneath. Ahhhhhh.....warmth, peace, relaxation....

Then it begins....

"Meow, meoooow!"

Me: "Honey do you have your hand up there for her?"

Shar: "Of course I do."

Me: "What is she meowing about?"

Shar: "She probably wants you closer." (See...sometimes, she requires BOTH of our hands, or at the very least, the ability to SEE that I am there also. This can be accomplished by making sure she can see my head on the pillow. So...I fluff my pillow. She stops meowing.)

Me: *cough cough cough* (I have allergies...we have cat hair and dust, because I SUCK at cleaning house.)

Me again: *cough cough cough*

Shar: "Are you okay?"

Me: "Yes, honey, I'm fine."

*I roll over on my right side, sticking my nose between Sharon's shoulder blades.*

"Meow, meow, meow!"

Me: "Stumples!...geebus, okay!"

*I throw my left arm over Sharon's waist so Miss Stumples can SEE my hand...PROOF that I am indeed in bed.*

Shar: "Oh honey, that hurts, my hip is kind of aching."

Me: " sec..."

*I roll back over on my back, making sure my head is high enough on the pillows for Miss Stumples to see it....*

*long drawn out sigh*

Shar: "What?"

Me: "It just feels so good to lay on my back tonight. My back hurts and my right shoulder is killing me."

Shar: "Yeah, it's been rainy and cold today. Probably why my hip is hurting too."

Now we also have MY requirements for sleeping, and Sharon's as well. These are the cause of the following technical difficulties....

Me: "I can't reach your butt to put my hand there." (I can't sleep without one hand on Sharon's behind. Don't ask me why...I have no idea.)

*Sharon scoots down. This works well, because now Miss Stumples has a much better view of my head, but...she has to readjust and re-position herself on Momma's hand now. (brief flopping and readjusting time)*

This is when we discover that elastic bikini waistbands, make very good hand position stabilizers when you're too tired to actually HOLD your hand in the spot it needs to be in....

Me: "Oh wow. I never thought of that. You'll have to sleep in your underwear more often. This is very helpful."

Now fits of laughter ensue. Probably because we're fucking slap happy from lack of sleep.

In this process, our feet have become tangled in the blankets, which are now all over the place, and totally not in the orderly arrangement to which normal people are accustomed. (If using the word normal in this blog post causes you to laugh maniacally, it's okay...I understand.)

(LOTS OF WILD KICKING. Puntuated with heavy breathing and PANIC. We both have anxiety disorder and mild claustrophobia, which makes having our feet totally covered, without at least ONE of them sticking out into the air....unbearable.)

Me: "Whew...." *sigh*

Shar: "Better?"

Me: "Yeah...god. That was intense."

"Meow, meow, meow, meoooooow!"

Me: "Stumps, what on earth is the problem?"

Shar: "MaryJane is trying to scoot her out of her place." (That is her mother...of the cat persuasion.)

Me: "MaryJane get down! Go sleep in your brother's room!" (No, I'm not being abusive, just practical. If she tries to sleep in here, Miss Stumples will never let us hear the end of it, and we'll probably get shunned tomorrow. I can't have that.)

Shar: "Awwww, it's okay Jane, Mommy still loves you. Honey, pet her at least, so she knows you love her and that you're not really mad."

Me: "O M F G...."

*pet pet pet pet pet* .... /rolls eyes

Me: "Now, go to Darren's room." (Yes, our cats are very smart. They understand English.)

Me: Okay. Are we all functional now? Miss Stumples? Everyone?

*I lie back down, on my back, making sure my head is high enough on the pillows for Miss Stumples, stick my right hand back under the newly "discovered" hand-stabilizing-elastic-bikini-waistband, and begin to relax and breathe. (I had to get up, make sure MaryJane was happily tucked away elsewhere, and also to get a drink. All this exercise makes me parched.)*


Shar: *sigh* Isn't this wonderful? I love our family.

Me: Me too.

Shar: Merry Christmas Eve Eve, Baby.

Me: Merry Christmass Eve Eve to you too, Baby. Nighty night.

Shar: Night.

Miss Stumples: *purr purr purr*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Post-it Note Tuesday



Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap

Monday, December 21, 2009

Love and Tradition

Yesterday was our daughter's wedding. It was beautiful and tender and even funny. I can't believe that one of our CHILDREN is now married. Weren't they just awkward pre-teens like...I don't know...last week?? Yet in just the past 6 years, we went from comical moments like this pre-Homecoming photo:

To this much more serious, and also adorable, but more deeply-affecting-to-parental-units-of-any-kind-photo here:

ACK! When did that happen?? And let me tell you, her birth mother, is feeling MUCH older right now, than her step-mother is here! The poor woman cried, worried, and all around seemed to feel insane, the entire week preceding this life-changing event. And now, after the fact, as I'm editing video and pulling out snapshots from the footage, I have time and opportunity to think about something related, and also important to me, yet today, I'm struggling with feeling a little selfish for thinking about it.

As we (Sharon and I) sat on the couch together reviewing the Flip cam footage of the wedding, our heads pressed together at the temples, side by side, watching this beautiful celebration of love...our daughter's love...another part of my heart...sank.

Would there ever be a time when we could do this same thing watching our OWN wedding? And IF so...when? Will we also have, by then, sat in this very spot watching our sons' weddings, our grandchildren's birthday parties? Will we marry when we're in our 60s, or 80s, or never be allowed that union at all?

And it reminded me of a discussion I had gotten into in the comment section of a YouTube video by one of my favorite vloggers, Philip DeFranco, otherwise known as "sxephil." He made some very bold statements about gay marriage, gays in general, the Catholic Church, PETA, and...I don't really remember what all else, but suffice it to say that if you're easily offended by pretty much ANYTHING, you shouldn't watch this video. 

This is also TOTALLY NSFW. No...I'm serious here. And if you have small probably won't want them in the room when you see it either. However, it is hilarious (like all of Phil's vlogs), so provided you can handle some very serious (and not so serious) adult topics without being'll want to see it.

DISCLAIMER: If you watch this and then find it offensive, please don't shoot the messenger. I'm using it because I like Phil (the vlogger), and I think offensive things can sometimes BE funny. Your mileage may vary.

Now in the comment section, of course, controversial discussion and arguing ensues. But there were a few things in particular that really stuck in my craw. For one, that marriage is only a "word," and we "gays" should be happy calling OUR unions something else. Sure...let's try calling "voting" something else if you happen to be a minority voter. Wonder how well that would fly?

Frankly, I believe EQUAL means equal, not almost the same, or well...pretty much the same, but...NO BUTS. Of course, we could just say everyone gets a civil union, and do away with the word marriage, but somehow (and for obvious reasons) a lot of people probably wouldn't like that...and they shouldn't. And neither should we.

Secondly, that marriage takes place in a church. Incidentally...our daughter did NOT marry in a church, was married by a judge...a female judge, no less. She had a lovely non-religious wedding and she indeed can call herself "married." She can say she is "married" simply because she is heterosexual. And for her mother and I...there is a bittersweet sting, therefore, today as we sit, Flip cam in hand, arms entertwined, side by side, on a couch we've had for years, in a home we've shared for as many...a home that is full of love and kindness, the home that our youngest son still shares with us...our home.

So I suppose what I come here to write about today, is love...and tradition. Not all traditions, are necessarily good things. For instance, traditionally, marriage is a "sacred" commitment between a man and a woman. Yeah...I'm not really seeing the "sacred" part of that these days, but okay. And the whole "tradition" is very interesting today, isn't it?

Today...I took some time to think about that. Sometimes traditions are the vessels that hold antiquated behaviors and ideas that no longer serve a valuable purpose. I'm not saying that all traditions are bad...the holiday season is a great time to think about this. We see traditions all around us, being acted upon and acted out. But some of them...may be more detrimental than good. And some may just need some adjusting. Just a thought or two or 50 cents worth.