I’m trying not to give myself permission to be depressed over the holidays. We celebrated Yule this year, if only mildly. Our house is too small for trees and decorations, but it was the first year I felt around enough to recognize it. I don’t know if that’s because I’m honestly improving, or because I’m emotionally busy.
Curtis’ parents sent us a box of stuff. Curtis and I each received one gift, and Tempest got a half dozen. Mostly clothing and accessories for her new Aquadoodle, which she adores. Curtis got a Creative Zen as a duo Christmas/birthday gift (I’m sure all late December-born’s hate that), and I got a knitting set I had wanted, so now I don’t have to keep buying needles.

My mom won’t come over for the next few days; she hates the holidays and feels like being alone. I feel like next year will be better. We’ll be somewhere we both want to be, closer to other family and have more excuses to do something mildly interesting. This is the first year in many that we’ve actually been able to exchange gifts. It’s a comfortable way to use some of the funds that have been donated to us… I’ve been longing to gift others generously for years and the ability to do so is the best gift I could have.
Curtis and I are going to organize house cleaning service for my mom as a Yule gift, and have them bill us. She has a very tiny apartment and with her physical disabilities has great difficulty keeping her house clean. Home support is crap here, and costs money for some reason. You’re lucky if you can get it at all, since they’ve made so many cutbacks and restrictions to the program you practically have to be a vegetable to qualify and even then you can’t get someone to help keep your house tidy.
I’m trying to find a neat and appropriately modern and funky 11-year-old pattern of something, anything, to make my sister. Crochet or knitting. Preferably knitting, so I can fiddle with my spankin’ new needles. I’m so out of touch with both her and what being an 11-year-old is about that I haven’t the first clue what she would like. This was so much easier when she was four.

I’ve been staying up much too late since Curtis has been home. It’s strange, but when I go to bed very late and wake up at 10am I feel more rested on five or six hours of sleep then I do on nine hours when I wake up at 8am. But, I’ve always felt this way: I think my internal clock needs to be reset. It takes me months upon months of work to set my body to falling asleep at midnight or 1am, and then requires vigorous upkeep to stay that way – but it only takes one or two nights of staying up past that to completely screw me up again. It’s almost not worth the effort to force myself back.

It’s 3am now and I’m not the least bit tired, even though I’ve been awake almost 18 and a half hours on five hours of sleep. I suppose I should pay a little more attention to the cries of Curtis and my mother to get my prescription refilled.

On another disappointing note: I think my period started today. I haven’t bled in over two weeks, so it’s either a very sudden and very heavy return of lochia, or a light (for me) period. That was ten months blood-free, barely notable. Without breastfeeding every 20 minutes around the clock I should have expected it early… it took something like 13 months to get it back after Tempest was born, and then was brought on by an IUD.

I keep coming back to try and add things to this entry, it’s been up all day long. I don’t have the motivation to write anything of consequence right now. I wish it was January – except without the cold.

— Babs

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46 Comments

  • dietcokehed says:

    I got my kids an Aquadoodle last summer, because Nick was really wanting to draw…with pens, or bottles or sippy cups, all over the oak table.
    He did ok with the first few strokes of the pen, then sucked all the water out of it! So much for that.

    My body clock is just like that with (non)sleep! The ideal time for me to sleep is 2am to 10am, but life doesn’t allow it. So I do the same, staying up too late (like tonight) even on little sleep. The kids have somewhat kept me on an earlier wake-up schedule, but not a go-to-sleep-dammit schedule. I usually get to bed by 1am. It only takes one night of a really late night to screw me up for days (like tonight…) >:O

  • notsofresh says:

    i know i’m a little late, but if you haven’t already made something for your sister, she might like one of those hats with little kitty ears on top. sooo adorable… http://www.kittyville.com/knit/kitty_hat.html

  • notsofresh says:

    i know i’m a little late, but if you haven’t already made something for your sister, she might like one of those hats with little kitty ears on top. sooo adorable… http://www.kittyville.com/knit/kitty_hat.html

  • anikasmom says:

    It takes me months upon months of work to set my body to falling asleep at midnight or 1am, and then requires vigorous upkeep to stay that way – but it only takes one or two nights of staying up past that to completely screw me up again.

    me too!

  • the_waker says:

    That’s an amazing gift for your mom πŸ™‚

    Tempest likes the Aquadoodle? I thought about it for Christmas but didn’t do it, I do have a birthday for Autumn in less than a month though. If it’s loved, I think it would be a nice alternative to crayons that claim to be washable, yet don’t come off my walls πŸ˜‰

    • admin says:

      She loves it, and it’s perfect because she wants to draw ALL THE TIME but whenever we give her pens or pencils she stashes them and then uses them to make art on her walls. My Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has seen better days.

      • the_waker says:

        We’ve gotten to the point where we’re in the car and she’s begging to draw! I guess once they learn they can express themselves another way it’s addictive, but I’m a little sick of hearing her cry “Crayon! Marker! Now please!” the whole way to work and back πŸ˜‰

        I’ve been wary of the Magic Eraser but if anything will save my walls I’ll go for it.

  • There something about being able to give to others that makes one feel so much better in general.

    Here in the US, it’s “relatively easy” to get In Home Supportive Services. You do have to qualify for SSI first though, and only 15% who apply get it. And even then, they only pay for one hour of laundry/housekeeping/grocery shopping a month. At $8.50 an hour.

    Hmmm, have you thought about framing a really nice picture of her and you, and Tempest…

  • florassecret says:

    Not often I say this, I am jealous of that knitting needle set. My oh my, how you’ll be Afghaning (LOL is that even a word?) in no time.

  • tellinellen says:

    i forget what the actual number of weeks is, but i believe that bleeding this early is by definition lochia. i *think* it’s anything within the first seven weeks, but to be honest i’m not sure of the number.

  • tikizeekbaby says:

    With respect to your sister, down here in California, shawls are really “in” even on young girls… they actually look cute over a pair of jeans or a skirt, etc… maybe?

  • You have that thing… it has a name… I can’t for the life of me remember it. The “night-owl” thing.

    I’m laying low this holiday too. Hang in there.

    • admin says:

      I know what you mean… I once knew it’s name, and my doctor said it once too. I just don’t know what that is.
      I’ve literally been this way since birth. Even at 7 years old I can remember sitting in bed watching the clock turn to 3am and freaking out. My mom used to have to reassure me every single night that it was okay to not be sleepy, and that it was okay to come out and watch TV quietly for a bit or read a book until I felt calm enough to go to sleep.
      By the time I was ten I’d tried massage, valerian, anti-histimines, chakra work, meditation, teas, tinctures and everything else my mom could think of to try and arrange my sleeping cycles to a normal time – never worked.

      • Delayed sleep phase syndrome? That sounds funny. It’s a problem with (or another normal setting for) the circadian rythm. People just ARE that way, no amount of training/coaching/sleeping pills/intervention will change it.

        I’m not sure it’s really a “problem” except that social pressures tend toward the more daytime oriented schedules. I believe different people simply have different default settings. It would be the same if I had to work nights and sleep days – I’d be miserable!

        • admin says:

          Well, it’s a problem when you have kids, that’s for sure… because Tempest gets up around 8-9am and I’m totally screwed on three hours of nap. If I just obeyed my body I wouldn’t sleep until 5 or 6. Blah.

      • OMG, that totally describes me. Except my parents acted like I was a problem child for not going to sleep *rolls eyes*. I once woke up immediately after major orthopedic surgery. The doctors had never seen anything like it.

        It sounds like I’m being dramatic, but I really hate being that way. It makes you panic. And no one understands why you “sleep in” sometimes. It’s gotten a lot better for me since doctors prescribed 3 sedatives. And I haven’t been on them for over 2 years. I think my brain chemistry just got changed from them or something ?

  • I think that’s a wonderful present for your mom. It’s so thoughtful.

    I also have wonky sleeping patterns. Last night I went to bed at 5 a.m. and woke up at 8:30. I feel much better than I normally do when I go to bed early on school nights (early being about 2) and toss and turn my way to dawn. I find it extremely difficult to wake up earlier than 8:30 and actually feel a bit depressed in the mornings until about 10:00. I’m just not a morning person–at all.

    • admin says:

      Me neither.
      When I wake up with Tempest I have a strict routine of shit to do to keep me busy until my body catches up with me. I run around cleaning, cooking, making coffee… it’s when I sit down on the couch and start “relaxing” that I feel tired and depressed. If I’m super busy I forget.

  • It sounds like our body clocks are spiritual twins. It’s near impossible for me to get to sleep before dawn, even if I’ve done everything possible to make myself tired (short of actually taking sleeping tablets.) And I feel more rested sleeping from dawn til 10am than I do sleeping from midnight til noon. Sleeping too much leaves me lethargic and unhappy all day, but sleeping too little makes me crash and burn after five hours. During winter I manage to get to sleep around 1am, because winter makes me miserable and lethargic, but I’ve normally slept for as much of the day as possible anyway, so I don’t need the extra sleep it allows me to get.

    And I sympathise with Curtis about his Christmas/Birthday/General December present, my birthday’s the 16th and I get December presents from just about everyone I know, so I’m a stingy cow and only give them one present a year (well it’s only fair.) My family never do it though – because both my parents used to get December/Winter presents when they were younger too, being born on the 22nd of December and the 25th of January (which is pushing it a bit, but her parents even used to save the Christmas Pudding to use as a birthday cake. Seriously.)
    Geez, I really do ramble when I’m tired. Excuse the length. πŸ˜€

    • admin says:

      I’m the same way about sleep…
      Before Tempest, I would sometimes go days and days without sleeping at all, or only manage a 2-3 hour nap in 60 hours or more. All sleep aids except ONE make me manic. This one is restirol, with a short half-life and one of the only pills that allows you to wake up and go in and out of sleep cycles normally. It doesn’t knock me cold, but makes me tired as though I’m ACTUALLY tired. I used to take one every four days to ensure I didn’t become dependant on it. I have an empty bottle that says I have 70 left in my perscription, but that’s over a year old so I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t refill it. πŸ˜›

  • erinmdmd says:

    FWIW, my 12 and 7 year old sisters are a fan of scarves and shawls that I knit for them. I make the scarf in a fun tube shape with their favorite colors. They both lean toward being fairly “girly” girl, and love clothing though. By the time the 12 year old turns 13 in 10 months, I want to make her a purse- she’d really like that as well.

  • tracied says:

    I completely understand about the physical disability and lack of support. My ex MIL is ill with a degenerative nerve disease call Friederichs Ataxia. Because it is a disease and not a disability, she didn’t get the $ support she needed from the govt to get her homemakers in on a regular basis. FIL works so there are days when she is home alone, and now is at the point where she can’t even go to the toilet on her own. They had to fight like crazy to get more funding for her home care. Now they have some sort of deal where they are “employers” and they can choose and select the homemakers and the hours they worked. Before there were such strict conditions on her $, like the homemakers wouldn’t do anything for her if we were visiting because family should be able to do it?????? WTF? Anyway, there are so many wonderful advantages to our universal health care aren’t there? :p

    • admin says:

      The thing is, it didn’t USED to be that way!
      Before my mother’s back broke, she was a homemaker. She used to work specifically with the patients who were dying (no one else would take them, and she said she felt very peaceful around them because they were always so wise and calm). I would sometimes come along and help. She worked almost every day, 9-5, for a dozen people. I know they didn’t pay for it!

  • julierocket says:

    I feel like the holidays are a bit mellow this year, too, although for different reasons… mostly I’ve just been working so much that I’ve missed them so far. I spent the Solstice sitting at an Italian restaurant with coworkers, wishing I could be appreciating it more but not quite sure what, exactly, I’d have been doing differently.

    I’m glad you’ve been able to keep your mind off things a bit.

    As for your sister… I think 11-year-olds tend to like funky colors, anything “fun” really. All the 11-year-olds I know, anyways. Bright, bold colors and fun yarn, if you have that hairy/fuzzy/knobby stuff.

    You should be getting one more package in a few days. It has to go through customs first. Don’t read the label on top because it lists everything that’s inside and that kills the fun of opening the presents x_x

  • birthingway says:

    My oldest daughter is 10 and I made her a scarf with some gorgeous fuschia yarn. Apparently scarves are “the thing” right now, which is good for me because I am not quite brave enough to try anyting beyond slippers, scarves, hats, and mittens πŸ™‚

    Happy Yule (we barely celebrated this year either, for a host of reasons) and b-day to Curtis.

  • housepoet says:

    My uncle’s birthday is dec 24 and we never ever do that to him. It’s not fair. It’s two different occasions and should be celebrated as such!

    Happy birthday Curtis!

  • mamygirl says:

    What a nice gift for your mother. My uncle was in a situation like that, it’s so hard to watch. At the time, I ended up doing it for him, but I was 18 with no babies!

    And a knitting kit! I want one! *pout*
    Amy

    • azdesertrose says:

      I agree with ; the housecleaning is a lovely gift for your mother.

      Happy birthday to Curtis. My own birthday is in January, and I always hated having a birthday close to the holiday season. It tends to get lost in the holiday shuffle sometimes.

  • I found this pattern for a neat scarf, my 11 year old niece would get a kick out of it. (And she’s hard to shop for too.)

    http://www.mlminspirations.com/patterns/cof/index.html

    If she likes ‘groovy’ type things, this might be useful:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20001018015131/www.cei.net/~vchisam/groovy/index.html

    I’ve been reading your jounral and have just been amazed at how you can put feelings into words. I don’t have the right ones to say things, just that I hope you have a relaxing weekend with your family. And your llama icon made me grin.

    • admin says:

      Thank you. πŸ™‚
      That first one is hilarious, but I can’t get anywhere on the second link.

      • I’m such a dweeb, the first thing I thought was: ‘She replied!!’ *blush*

        I saw this over at knitty.com, they’ve got a lot of patterns there and fairly well organized: knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTcleaves.html

        And my 3-today son can sympathize, well in a few years. I figure when he’s old enough to be upset over his birthday I’ll offer to trade with him. Still don’t know how to nicely tell the in-laws to not wrap birthday gifts in Christmas wrap, however. o_o

  • t’s strange, but when I go to bed very late and wake up at 10am I feel more rested on five or six hours of sleep then I do on nine hours when I wake up at 8am

    I am the same way. I’m a night owl and it tends to get me into trouble because I’ll stay up till two, three or four am and the my daughter is awake and ready to go at eight. But it doesn’t seem to matter how early I get up, I’m just not tired around ten-thirty or eleven.

  • hello.
    i have been reading your lj for a few months now, and finally thought i would let you know.

    i have not enjoyed a blog this much in several years. the way you write of your life and yourself is so emotional, so transporting. i wish i could articulate the effect that you have had on my thinking. suffice it to say that you have me contemplating and researching issues that i don’t think i would have ever considered without your enlightenment. i have even been moved to share with others, and some informative conversations were the result.

    i grieved along with everyone, and i continue to marvel at the strength of the human spirit that is evident in you.

    thanks for sharing.

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