Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I haven't been sleeping well. 

This isn't new.  I wish it were.  It began a dozen or so years ago. 

Most of the time I've been a light sleeper - wake up with any noise.  Though sometimes I can sleep through someone banging on my front door.  Lately, I've been sleeping soundly, but for short periods of time.  It seems that every time I roll over, I wake up for a bit.  Some bits are longer than others.  And if I go back to sleep, it's pretty certain I'll wake up again in about 45 - 90 minutes.  It's a cycle.

Is this part of growing older?  I hope not.  If it is, I'm going to need to retire soon so I can take naps.  I'm tired of being tired.  Morning comes too early and I have to will myself to swing my feet off the bed.  Sometimes I don't have much will.

I don't think it's too much to ask to just sleep straight through the night.  I could probably live on 5-6 hours if it came in an uninterruped stretch.  If I'm REALLY tired, and I sleep without waking much, I wake up at 3:00 am feeling ready to start the day.  But of course I can't - hence the need for the naps.  It would be ideal.  I'd stay up late (because I'm not tired enough at the time I SHOULD be going to sleep), sleep straight through, and get up early to start the day.  A nap would make perfect sense in that scenario.

I work close to home.  I could go home at lunch and take a nap.  But then I'd have to go back to work with bed hair.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Advice To My Daughter

My daughter recently learned that she was pregnant.  This will be number two.  There is so much that I wish someone had told me when I got pregnant the second time . . . but no one did.

There is a difference between first born children and second born children.  Why?  Yes, because their environment is different (extra person in the house) but mainly because we raise them differently.  We don't think we do, but we definitely do.

So, I'd like to give advice to all those who are expecting number 2.

1.  Do it the same way.  It's tempting to not spend as much time in a bedtime ritual because you have another to get ready for bed, but do it anyway.  The attention is important.

2.  Keep records.  Ok, lets see a show of hands. How many of you mothers barely filled in the baby book for the second born?  The first born has pictures and baby book entries (or blog posts) galore, but by the time the second one comes, you are too busy or you feel like you've already done that. Do it anyway.  The second child wants to grow up knowing that you weren't too busy to document their life like you did the first childs.  Having blank photo albums after the second child is a sure way to put their self-esteem in the gutter.

3.  Teach and entertain them.  I know, it's tempting to plop them in the walker and ask the older one to 'keep an eye' on their sibling so you can get some stuff done.  But one reason your first born is so superior in their intelligence is that you took the time to teach them.  Yes, this means your free time decreases, but is the second baby any less deserving than the first?  They need all the same advantages that you thought were important to the first.

4.  Bestow a sense of family.  You want these children to bond.  If necessary, it should be the children against the grownups.  The older will have a tendency to side with the parent and the little one will feel overwhelmed with grownups.  Instill in the older one that this baby will be their best friend forever.  School friends come and go - but a sibling is there for you all your life.

5.  Don't compare.  Yes, I know that I've just told you to raise them the same way, but as time passes their personality will develop and you'll see that you don't have twins.  You've given the second all the same advantages as the first, but what they take from this will depend on who they are.  It's difficult to not say - "but your sister likes to swim" - but don't.  Now, things like swimming should be learned by all - but they don't have to like it.  Try to find their specialness and praise it.  This will help when they go to school later - children try to compare themselves to others, but it's more important to be able to recognize and appreciate their differences.  Sometimes it's hard to find a child's strength (I know) but you can do it.

6.  Love their father.  It's so easy when you get busy with two children to put daddy in the background.  And some daddys like it that way.  But children are secure when they see love all around them.  Yes, they can see you argue, but make sure it's followed up with an understanding that the arguing is a means to an end - not an end. Just as they need to know their sibling loves them - they want to see Mommy and Daddy as a couple.  I know it's hard to squeeze in time for Dad, so make sure that some of what you do have is public - for the kids sake.

Well, that about wraps it up.  I don't think I've forgotten anything.  As you read this, I'm sure you continuously said "I know that", but trust me, once the second baby comes, what you know isn't always in the forefront of your mind.  You go into autopilot to get from point A to point B in the easiest and most direct way, and remember later that it wasn't the route you wanted to take.  And after all, life is all about the journey . . . right?


I heard a commedian talking about holidays.  He said that he doesn't celebrate many of them.  At that time I realized that I've been dropping holidays like hot potatoes for several years now.

I am not sure why.  Maybe because holidays are things celebrated with childen.  Children always need something special to look forward to . . . the next approaching holiday.  Maybe it's because with age comes the wisdom that some of these holidays are manufactured by greeting card companies or malls to boost sales (I'm talking about you Valentines Day.)  Maybe I've realized that it was a decent amount of work to prep for and then very anti-climactic when it arrives. Maybe I'm just relaxing in my old"er" age and just don't need things to get excited about.

In any event, I no longer celebrate New Year (and New Year's Eve was gone long ago, back when I realized that nothing was worth missing a good night's sleep.)  Valentine's Day has been tossed also - and it's not just because I don't have a "Valentine", it's just too soon after Christmas. St. Patrick's Day stopped being fun when I stopped drinking for fun.  Easter was once a day to put on your Easter bonnet (metaphorically) and watch kids hunt for eggs.  But, I stopped going to church a few years back and it's been quite a while since I've had kids of the egg-hunting age. Memorial Day is celebrated only as a three-day weekend.  Ditto the Fourth of July - though not always on a Monday - and Labor Day.  Halloween is sometimes a holiday in my book.  If I'm not scheduled to be anywhere else on trick or treat night, I'll buy a bag of candy and sit on my porch until it's gone. But no costumes - I'm scarey enough "as is."

Now we come to Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a real holiday.  Who can't get behind gathering loved ones and eating turkey.  Thats truly something I'm thankful for.  It's not as long of a prep period - unless you shop way in advance - because if you start preparing stuff the day before, you'll be fine.  And who is ever let down after spending a day with family.  There are no expectations, no gifts, no pressure.  In fact, the group usually likes it better when at least one food item is messed up - gives them something to talk about next year. And the parades.  Watching parades takes me back to when I was a child (no easy feat when you've been around as long as I have.) And to round it all off, it's almost expected of you to take a nap.  Who doesn't love naps!

And finally, Christmas.  I do celebrate Christmas in that I send cards to family and I buy gifts for my children's families - although I've started giving gift cards to the adults - they'd rather shop for themselves anyway.  But at home.  I have a tiny, pre-decorated table-top tree.  There are no other decorations.  Why?  Because they are fun to put up and look at, but I can procratinate until the end of January taking them down.  Everything has to be put in the boxes just right or they won't fit.  Everything in the closet has to be brought out and juggled into just the right position so it all fits back in until next year.  And, the most important reason I don't want to celebrate Christmas is that the Christmas season now begins in October.  Who wouldn't be let down when it's finally over.

So . . . I'll just stick to every day being just a day.  After all, what can be better than that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


It's not that I don't enjoy exercising . . . it's just that there are so many other things damanding my time . . . that I enjoy more.

Well, recently I bought a recumbent bicycle from my dughter's neighbor.  For the first week it gathered dust (one of those weeks.)  Then I began to get on it a little here and there - I couldn't decide if morning or evening was going to work better for me.  I still haven't decided, so I do both, though not on the same day.

At first I could be on it for about 6 minutes, but now I can do 15-20.  I'm not using a lot of resistence or any of the complicated workouts it provides, there is plenty of time for that and the simple workouts are plenty complicated.

I've come to the conclusion that this is probably the best exercise equipment that I could have bought.  It doesn't take up much room (at least for me - I'm short), it's relatively quiet, and it works out my hips and knees - which, let's face it, are where us "elders" start giving out first (well, right after the eyes.) My hips and knees have begun to ache less.  How cool is that?

Right now I'm watching TV while riding.  The shelf is a little small for a book (and the book keeps closing anyway) and the lighting isn't the best where I have the bike (which I'm working on.)  I think I might try listening to audio books while I ride also.

Maybe I can stick with this.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Long Time . . .

I guess I'm not very good at staying committed to a blog.  It seems the older I get the less I commit to anything.  I just want to roll with life as it happens. 

Is that normal?  I have no desire to excel in anything these days.  I just want to meander through life.  I want a meandering life. 

What is it I want to do?  I want to read, watch TV, cook, spend time with grandchildren, and just generally putz around. 

Work is where I go so I can get a paycheck.  Believe me, if I could get the paycheck without showing up . . . I would!  I don't hate my job.  It's actually the best I've ever had, but it's still a job.

Well, there it is.  My symptoms of old age.  Good, bad, normal, abnormal . . . who knows?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm Back . . . . .

Sorry for the disappearance - life has been busy and stressful and a little crazy. No, I mean more so than usual. :-)

It struck me last night how much time has actually passed when I walked out the door to the classroom building I was teaching in last night. It was 8:00 pm and it was dark! Just a week ago, I walked out of the same building and it wasn't. I know that Labor Day is the "unofficial" end of Summer, but I don't remember it happening like someone flipping a switch. Or am I just forgetful in my old age.

I immediately thought the memory was going because I wonder just how reliable memories are. When I was talking to my daughter yesterday - and her daughter was throwing a temper tantrum in the not distant enough background - I wondered if my memory was off regarding her childhood. Yes, I remember her occasionally throwing temper tantrums - she would throw herself on the floor and scream until she got tired or realized that I wasn't paying attention (whichever came first) and then it would be over. Tantrums weren't an everyday occurance. Although she was stubborn, I remember clearly that she was (although quite sassy in her 'terrible twos') pretty compliant. She wanted her way, but not like my dear granddaughter. She was happy and often a pleaser. When she was upset, she was more of a pouter. But is that my old age corrupting my memories?

I have realized over the years that I tend to forget things that aren't important. And, the temper tantrums aren't important enough to store.

On second thought, my membory hasn't completely gone yet, because I remember VIVIDLY all the horrific temper tantrums my son threw!

The difficult times we have raising children are, for the most part, like the labor pains we had delivering them. We remember them - but they are somewhat diminished once they are wrapped in the cloak of our eternal and overwhelming love for the little monsters.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I sat on the floor with my grandson today and played with him. It was so sweet. He shook toys and smled and laughed at me. He let me read him a book - until he took it away because I wasn't getting to the end quickly enough - and nodded and babbled along with the words.

I tried to get him to take a nap once - which lasted about 20 minutes - but I did get him to lay on a blanket on the floor with me and play quietly. He kept looking over at me and trying to tell me something - which must have been a joke because it was cracking him up. After about 40 minutes of that I turned on the light and we sat up to see what was on Nick Jr. He seemed rested and happy - though I wondered if he was going to crash early once he got home.

I like being a Grammy. It doesn't allow me to get much housework done, but it sure is fun.