07 May, 2010

Happy May Everything!

I'm not fond of the month of May. Yes, the weather is really shaping up, and there's a 3-day weekend towards the end, but take a look at the rest of the month:

Parent's anniversary (mine)

Mother's day (my mom, MIL, step MIL, and now, me)

Niece's birthday (other side of country)

Father's birthday

Brother-in-law's birthday (also other side of country – niece's dad)

Husband's birthday

Mother-in-law's birthday

Step-sister-in-law's birthday

Memorial Day

Oh, yeah, and my birthday is somewhere in that lot too.


It makes it a bit of a mess. We have to coordinate birthday dinners with 3 sets of parents, Mother's Day dinners with 2 sets, get a dozen gifts (more on this later), try to be "on" for all of previously mentioned get-togethers, be appreciative of gifts received (again, see later), send thank you notes (which I haven't actually done in at least a decade because I have horrific manners & no, my mother didn't raise me this way) and now we have to do it all with a very schedule-regimented toddler and an infant. Oh, and get some sleep in there somewhere. Plus all the normal things we do day-to-day each month, but with a week less to do them in because of all the damned get-togethers. Just thinking about it exhausts me.


So to make life easier, one year I created May Everything Day. Yes, I know, I made another whole day to celebrate, but it actually cuts down on several of the get-togethers. How? Re-read the name of the day. May Everything. So instead of getting together 5 times with my parents, we just do one day, and celebrate mother's day for two, anniversary for them, and 3 birthdays. It's a coup, I tell you. We kind of do this unofficially with the Hubster's mom and her hubby (love him to death! – oh, her too, sorry) because they live almost an hour and a half away – not a big deal until you add little kids that don't like car seats. And we don't celebrate Mom's day for the dad-in-law's wife – her own kids can do that – and they've finally consolidated to 1 dinner for 3 birthdays (though it's always her son's wife's favorite flavors for cake and ice cream), so we're now down to 3 days for the month.


As long as it's not the 3 days of Memorial Day weekend, we're good.

05 May, 2010

LuLu the Grouch

Yup, that's me. Not always, only when I don't get enough sleep. Which has been the past 4 months or so. How do I know almost exactly when it began? Two ways. First, I had a baby 11 weeks ago, and the too-pregnant-to-stay-asleep-because-I'm-in-pain phase started about a month before. Second, that was when the contractions induced by stress induced by blizzards began. Oh, wait, that would be "see the first way," & I can't think of a new second because I'm too damned tired. But it's not all bad. There are intermittent moments of sleepfulness when I'm not a total Grouch. They usually involve Ambien (ahhhh), snakebites (ouch and yum), or nooners (yippee!) It's safe to say the Hubster and I will never try to combine all three at once - it would cause a cataclysm in our little universe.

So you may think it's perfectly normal for the mother of an 11 week old to be living(?) on little sleep. Which tells me you aren't a good reader because you missed the bit about the Ambien. Or don't know what it is, in which case get out of your cave and search wikipedia. In case the blog name and address didn't clue you in, I'm manic. Technically manic-depressive, or bi-polar to the hipsters. And yes, I was diagnosed after it came into "fashion," though supposedly by the guy who "discovered" it.

Being manic for me tends to include that I don't sleep, among other things. I could go into detail here about my mania-induced nuttiness, but more fun to throw these things in a few at a time. Don't want to scare off all the norms. Actually, when I'm in depressive mode, I tend not to sleep either, but that's because I become afraid of not existing, and that too is a subject for another time. Before the diagnosis - and bliss in pill form - I had developed a huge (like divorce-worthy) online-gaming obsession, and would play for hours and hours, just eating, drinking, mousing, text chatting and yelling at the scream with the tv blaring in the background. And once most games enabled voice chat, add in inappropriate innuendos, arguments, & screaming at people I'd never met, never would, and didn't give a damn about. Hey, it was something to fill the time - I hadn't discovered blogging then.

Okay, so I do sleep, just not well, or for very long. Hence the Ambien. And even that doesn't keep me asleep at times. Lord help me if I drink too much water in the evening, because one walk to the toilet (a whole 8 steps) and I'm too awake to get back to sleep. Luckily, I don't have to get up to breastfeed the boogie, or I'd be way worse. And before the hating starts on that, let me remind you: manic-depressive = big, bad drugs = no BF allowed, and no milk made anyway. And no, I won't stop taking the meds, as a nice & well-meaning breastfeeding mommy suggested, because then I might hurt my little joys, or my lobster, or myself. Or her, if she ever makes another unsolicited, uninformed and unrealistic suggestion to me. She'd know who she is, if she ever read this.

But I digress. I do that a lot. Unorganized mind and all.

About last night, I went to bed a little early, 7:30-ish. We're changing our sleeping schedules to let the big man grab a bit more, as he's supposed to start working from an office again as of next week. Ugh. Gotta do what the boss says, though. Took my happy pill, read half a chapter of Potter, and hit the light. Next thing I know I'm getting a lovely exfoliation treatment. From a cat. With his scratchier-than-sandpaper tongue. Big ouch. And then I had to winkie-tinkie*, so off to the toilet. Back to bed in hope of reclaiming my bliss, but in vain. (Not vane or vein! *cheeky grin*) Even daydreaming about Papa Greg** didn't help. I considered a quick date with myself, but I was tired, and the batteries were dead.

I hung in there for an hour, trying to fall back to sleep, but after while the back cramps, the head pounds, thirst, another urge to pee, etc. So out of bed around 2 am. And this way the big man could get to bed a little earlier. Of course, he was already asleep on the couch, 11 week old cradled in his arms (um, okay, wedged between him and side of sofa, but that's not as romantic), and both were snoring. Not fair. Really not.

I'm going to try very hard not to be a Grouch. The big man is very good to me, especially while home, and I should be able to sneak in a nap (another reason he's aka Saint Daddy) so as long as I can manage 'til big boy's nap time - only 4 hours to go! - I should be okay. Oscar may have to find another girlfriend today.

*winkie tinkie - urinate, pee, potty, etc., as coined by our driver's ed teacher in high school, back in '86 or '87. To get a hall pass we had to raise our hand and let him know we had to "winkie tinkie." I never was sure if that was for the fun factor or the embarrassment, but it stuck. I wish I could remember his name - he was damn funny - but you do that math, that was a long time ago, and my membrane doesn't work so well anymore. Particularly in sleep deprivation mode.

**Papa Greg - aka Dr. Gregory House, lead character on Fox's House M.D. Not sure when the name made it's first appearance, but probably had something to do with my little infatuation with the character (and then the actor - I am sooooo a fanatic!) during my first pregnancy. It doesn't help that the kids eyes are the same shade of blue, or that one of Saint Daddy's Daddy's favorite phrases is "we know who the mother is..." (leave it hanging, cue the implications) but I swear I have never been to Princeton, NJ. Or L.A. Or London, for that matter.

04 May, 2010

Do you really want my advice? Then take it.

Or at least acknowledge it.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Okay, one of many. But it irks me. Someone asks for your advice, then dismisses you out-of-hand to your face. Or your post/text/voicemail - whatev. Basically, tells you your opinion is wrong.

If you ask for someone's advice, shouldn't you at least listen to what they have to say? And should you accept that they have a legitimate take on the issue, rather than telling them they are wrong? It's advice, many times an opinion or personal experience, so that may be what would work best for them. That doesn't mean it will work for you, but it could help with your decision making. And are you asking an open-ended question, or a "what did you do when xyz happened to you?" Because if it's the latter, and you tell them they're wrong, well then, you're telling them they were, well, wrong. How nice of you! That should certainly move you to the head of the BFF status list.

So really, when asking for advice, or opinions, from our friends and acquaintances and online lurkers, is that truly what we want? Or are we looking for validation? I'm sure there have been studies galore, through sociology, psychology, other -ologies, trying to answer this question. But I'm betting that most people asking for "help", unless they are truly stumped and don't know what to do or where to go, really just want to know that someone out there thinks they are right.

I've found this to be especially true on online forums. Someone will post a message (I'm thinking of buying a dirigible and trying to fly to the moon. Should I bring my puppy? What would you do, or have done?) and then the floodgates are open. There can be a plethora of answers ("ur gonna what?" - "what's a dirigi-thingie?" - "I'd take a kangaroo instead of a dog" - "you're stupid/that's a dumb idea/WTH?") but are any of them helpful? If someone told you to use a hovercraft instead of a dirigible, would you consider it? And do you respond to any of the suggestions, other than a "thanks for your suggestions"-type message? And do any of these online peeps really care what you do, if they don't know you IRL (that's "in real life", for you non-acronym savvy) (yeah, okay, that's the extent of my vast online-acronym knowledge - I was trying to look smart)

So assuming the answerers don't really care & the asker isn't planning to "hear" the answers anyway, why bother? Are we that bored? Or lonely? Maybe just craving human contact even in such a remote form?


I know I've been terrible at this for most of my life. Ask the hubby, or my good friends. Generally, I've just wanted someone to tell me I was right, that what I'm thinking is okay, that I'm not a total whack job, etc., et al. I'm trying to get better, because I'm sure it annoys them as much as it annoys me. Unless I'm totally at a loss, I try not to ask an open-ended opinion request. More of a "in xyz sitch, would you A or B?" Some of my friends will answer that as is, some will say A or B, but that C works better for them. One gal coaches her answer in a "from my experience with you, I think you'd be happiest with..." But shouldn't the real question be more in line with " in xyz sitch, do you think I'm doing what's right for me by doing A?" Or even "Tell me it's okay to A" and just get right to the point - I want you to say it's okay. And if you don't I won't like you anymore. But I will still keep asking for your opinion on things.