Pudding Brain

It’s been my experience (and I have a considerable amount of experience in this area) that there are different kinds of tired. They all have some things in common, most importantly that sleep will help any of them. That’s imagining, of course, that sleep is an option. But there’s a lot different about them too.

The first, and easiest to define is physical fatigue. You’ve been working out or doing some kind of physical labor and your muscles are tired. That’s about all there is to it.

The Second is harder to figure. It’s that crushing, debilitating need to sleep that hits you for no particular reason. You’re going along, living your life, relatively well rested, watching TV, or making dinner or whatever and suddenly your eyes, almost of their own accord, fall shut. If you’re sitting, or in any kind of even semi recumbent position you’re toast. It’s best if you’re not driving because you are going to nod off, at the very least.

This one hits me between 4 and 8 every afternoon, but it’s different for different people. I believe that the timing is, at least partially, based on what kind of person you are ie, morning person, night person, etc. I’ve never been able to figure out what kind of person I am (I don’t usually have much, or any, trouble staying up late, but then it doesn’t take me too long to get going in the morning either) but what I do know is that I’m not a late afternoon / early evening person.

The third kind of tired is a result of sleep deprivation, this is the kind of tired of mothers of infants and night shift workers and torture victims. I find it unendingly fascinating that this does not usually result in the same kind of overwhelming need to sleep that you get with the second kind of tired (at least not in the short term). In fact, I’ve had evenings when after living a fairly normal day, I’m really struggling to stay awake on my drive in to work at 6:30 pm and then having little or no trouble driving home at 7:00 am, without having had any sleep. I’m not saying here that when you’re this kind of tired you don’t want to sleep. You do. What I’m saying is that the need to sleep is mostly mental (I’m tired and I know that the solution to this is to go to bed) rather than physical (I must keep my eyes open, I must keep my eyes open, I must kee- zzzzzzzz).

What the third kind of tired does do to you is fill your head with pudding. You’re standing there and someone asks you a question. Not a difficult question, a pretty basic, you really shouldn’t have to think about it kind of question. The question I get most often when I’m this kind of tired is “how was your night?” My answer is usually “ummmmm uh… it was… well… it um… oh yeah, it’s wasn’t great.” I sound like a complete idiot. I know that. I just can’t seem to figure out the answer, and then once I do I can’t figure out how exactly one expresses it and then… because all of my neurons have been coated with pudding and that really slows things down.

I once worked with a doctor, reattaching a hand that had been severed (I know, how cool is my job?!), as you would probably imagine that’s a case that takes a while and by a while I mean a loooong time. We started the surgery at 3:00 am and at about 2:30 pm, as we were finishing up, she was saying something about why she did a particular thing a particular way. She explained the difference and then said “so this way works gooder” then she stopped, looked up and said, “no wait…” then after another 5-7 second pause said, “better. It works better.” Poor Dr. Carol, she was suffering a severe case of pudding brain.

The thing that’s the most interesting to me about pudding brain is that you can recognize it, not only in those around you but you can recognize it in yourself. While I’m standing there trying to figure out how my night was and making random inarticulate noises, there is a part of my brain, a part somehow not affected by pudding brain, that is saying “you sound like a complete idiot, what is the matter with you? Just answer the question. This is not hard you know.” I often think that if i could just get that part of my brain to work with me, rather than spectating and commenting, I would probably be able to actually formulate an answer. I’ve just never been able to do so.

The other interesting thing about pudding brain is that if you have a really good, long lasting case (like you get when you have a new baby and go for months (or years) without getting a good night’s sleep, or when you work all night three nights in a row but can not spend all (or any) of the corresponding days sleeping) it doesn’t go away.  You’re tired, you have pudding brain, you sleep, you wake up, and you find that well, you still have pudding brain.  It’s a modified version of pudding brain, sort of a shell shocked, PTSD thing, (pudding pop brain perhaps?) but it’s still pudding brain.

And that friends is where I am now. I just… um… ah… well… I need to go to bed.

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Swing Low

Last week I was good.  I was a good mother, a good wife, a reasonable, put together, capable woman.

This week I’m lucky to get a bra on.

Isn’t it fun being a girl?

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As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been raining around here for about 3 months straight, and yet for some reason the Princess hasn’t felt like that’s been enough water.  So yesterday she got out the hose and left 4 inches of standing water, mud really, under the swing set.

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How do people who have children (and husbands) sell their houses?  Ours isn’t even officially for sale yet (although I’d be happy to consider any offers) and already I can see that the whole Realtor calling on the way over to the house thing just isn’t going to work.

I have a friend who kept five laundry baskets in her garage.  When the Realtor called she just pulled out the baskets and tossed everything that wasn’t where it went into the baskets.  Then she tossed the baskets into her car with her kids and away they went.  I think that that’s a good idea but in my case it’s just not going to be sufficient.

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There are people out there who do not have six inches of crap piled on every flat surface.  I know there are, I’ve been in their homes.  Maybe you’re one of them.  What I don’t know is HOW?  How is that possible?

I try, honestly I do.  I’m not afraid to throw things away, I’m not very sentimental and I tend to be pretty pragmatic, I throw away things I know that I might need again, I throw away baby pictures and wedding announcements and … and yet there is a minimum of six inches of crap stacked on each and every horizontal surface in my house. How does this happen?

I don’t know but I’ll tell you what, my next house isn’t going to have any tables, counters or shelves that should solve it. Right?

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I’m so sick of my house at this point that I’m about ready to just take a match to the whole thing.  (I’m begging those of you  who have lived through house fires to not inform me that burning it down does not actually help.  Did you hear me?  BEGGING.)

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I noticed yesterday that my abs were sore.  I’m not really sick, I just have this tickle at the back of my throat and coughing gets rid of it.  Sometimes.  But I tell you what, by the time I get over this I’m gonna be ripped!

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There used to be a DI five minutes from my house.  It was right across the street from the Home Depot even.  Then they closed it and built a brand new really lovely and very functional replacement.  That’s 20 minutes away.  How is that fair?

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Is it nap time yet?

I’m Just … GRUMPY

I don’t feel like blogging.

I’ve still been posting about as often as I usually do.  And if you have a blog, I’ve still been reading, I just can’t bring myself to comment.  Because I don’t feel like it.  I don’t feel like talking and I don’t feel like making small talk and, sadly, I don’t feel like telling you that you’re funny (although you are) or that you’re smart (you’re that too) or that you’re so right (but I mean, obviously) I’m just too grumpy to do it.

Does that make me a bad person?

And then there’s the fact that my computer,Rufus, is freaking out and randomly clicking for me so if I leave the mouse somewhere other than at the end of the line I end up with sentences that look like this: not that th o read, see?  ere’s anything wrong with that but it does make them kind of hard t (of course when I let it go to write that sentence stupid Rufus behaved so it almost didn’t jump at all (actually it did randomly erase the whole paragraph but I couldn’t just leave it like that because it doesn’t make a lot of sense without the beginning of the paragraph) but then it did. Phew!)

And tonight I was going to put together the final kitchen post but my stupid camera is going through batteries like John Mayer goes through starlets so when I pulled it out it just turned itself off.  So I couldn’t take the necessary pictures so now you don’t get that post.  Yet.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”

Maybe it’s the stupid cold, I’m tired of the cold.  Or maybe it’s the fact that the kids are off track, stupid year round school.  Or maybe it’s the never ending list of crap that needs to be done around the house (Kitchen’s done, yeah yeah yeah, but I still have to replace the window and build the desk and then there’s the living room…) Or maybe it’s just that I’m not that nice of a person after all.

Who knows?

I had a dream about an old boyfriend the other night.  It was super vivid and it really made me want to talk to him.  But he isn’t returning my emails so I guess that won’t happen.  Stupid ex-boyfriend.

I did the taxes a couple weeks ago.  When you have four kids and you make fifty cents an hour, doing the taxes is like winning the lottery (a small lottery but still).   That should make me happy.  Meh.

Don’t mind me, I’m fine, talk amongst yourselves.  I’ll be back with a more cheerful post or a meme or a report on the kitchen tomorrow.

The Real Houdini

Back when the Infantile Delinquent was stealing cars my mother said that rather than calling him Irish 1, which was what I called him at the time, I should call him Houdini.  I thought about it but then I came up with Infantile Delinquent and I thought that was pretty clever (and then bythelbs came up with InfaDel and that was even cleverer and a lot of fun) so I went with Infantile Delinquent instead.

And now I know I made a good choice.  Sure the Infadel steals cars but only those that are left unlocked.  Or those to which he has access to the keys, which is pretty precocious for a two-year-old but not quite as impressive as his sister who opens this 102_0819from the other side of the door.  (That’s not a stain on the door jamb, it’s just unpainted wood from where the hinges used to be before I turned the door around.  Long story.)

Sean and I sleep in the basement in our house.  All the kids sleep upstairs.  Most of the time.  But the kids are horrible sleepers and all of them with the exception of the Pea would prefer to sleep in our bed.  The Princess and the InfaDel feel so strongly about this that they will sneak down stairs in the middle of the night to do so.  The Baby probably would too but he can’t get out of his crib.  Yet.  (He’s only barely one after all) So he doesn’t.

In an effort to not have four people in our bed every night  we started locking the basement door.  That was effective for all of maybe one night.  Then the Princess realized that by inserting a screwdriver along the striker plate (the plate that lets the door close without your having to turn the knob.  Yes, I had to look that up.) she could pop that sucker right open.

So after waking up to find the Princess in our bed 2 or 3 (or 20 or 30) times we installed the very fancy hook and eye latch.

Before we proceed let me point out a few features of the hook and eye.

It’s placed high on the door.  I’m 5’7″ and I took this picture standing, notice how you’re looking up at the latch?

There’s a backstop (looked that one up too) between the edge of the door and the latch so anything that’s going to open that latch has to turn a corner.  (You can’t really see it in this picture but in the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that the backstop on this particular door is backwards because when I turned the door around I was too lazy to pull off the backstop and turn it around too.)

This particular latch has a spring loaded lock on it.  You drop the latch into place and then pull the lock thingy back and  it’s supposed to secure the latch into place. (This feature is not very effective, it’s easy to unlatch the thing without pulling back the lock.  But it has to add some resistance right?)

The latch stopped the Princess for all of two nights.

SHE WAS STILL GETTING IN!!!!

At first we thought that we were forgetting to latch it.  Nope.

Maybe she was just jimmying the door and the latch was coming off?  No.

I wondered if she was somehow getting a screwdriver in there so I tried it.  That didn’t work either.

So finally we asked her.

She carries a chair down the stairs and stands on it.  Then she takes a paperback book and slides the cover between the door and the frame.  The cover of the book easily turns the corner (Made slightly easier by the backward backstop but still…) and with the book cover lifts the latch.  She then inserts a screwdriver between the door and the striker plate, because we often engage both the latch and the lock (why, I have no idea because obviously neither are doing any good)  and unlocks the door.  She then carries the chair back upstairs, puts the book and the screwdriver away (the only time she ever cleans up after herself) and them comes back downstairs and climbs into bed with us.

It really is too bad she’s an evil genius.

Free at Last, Free at Last

I’ve heard that  Martin Luther King Jr,was referring to something other than a resuming of wi-fi connectivity when he wrote that speech.  But I’m not convinced.

That’s right folks, I got the ol’ laptop fixed and I’m back sitting on the floor in the Infantile Delinquent’s room while he yells for his father and blogging. All is now right with the world once again.

Speaking on sitting here listening to the InfaDel holler for his dad.  I got to do that for a good hour and a half yesterday (he’s nothing if not persistent) because we’ve completely broken that kid.  He does not ever go to sleep without one of his parents (preferably his father) within touching distance.  (This includes when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  And I’m here to tell you his floor is not overly comfortable.)  I held strong, that I was not going to get his father until he started crying “please get daddy” about midnight.  Give me a break, it was the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.  And even my heart isn’t completely made of stone.  Besides, I still needed to brush my teeth.

He is, however feeling better as evidenced by the fat that he spent the entire day sans pants.  Three days ago he wouldn’t have had the energy to undress himself like that.

But never fear, I still got to spend the day on the couch. Today it was the Baby, who was sick.  And he is, If anything, more pathetic when sick than his older brother is.  It was very sad.

In other news, the Princess was really on a roll today and all I can say is that I can’t wait until she hits puberty so that  I can blame the moodiness on PMS.

What a Girl Wants

The following is a list of things that I want:

Irish2 to quietly go to sleep when I put him in his crib.

More Sleep.

Irish1 to quietly go to sleep when I put him in his bed.

More time to read.

Someone to build my new kitchen for me.

Baring that, some time in which to build my new kitchen.

A night out with Sean.

Clear skin, or to be the age that my zits seem to think I am.

Both of the Irish twins to sleep the whole night long.

Cheesecake.

Grass.

My sisters to live closer, like next door.

Someone to want to publish my book.

Someone who got the first half of my book to like it enough to ask me for the second half.

To not be such a workaholic.

Someone to mop my kitchen for me, or a guarantee that it will be more than a half an hour before a full cup of apple juice is spilled on my kitchen floor.

Apple juice to all mop up the first time.

Good granola.

To look around at my life and my beautiful children and enjoy them as they are more.

Irish1 to go to sleep so I can stop blogging one handed (so he can hold my other thumb) on my laptop, sitting next to him in his room and go watch Juno, or at least Last Comic Standing.

Oh wait…

A Theological Question

Irish2 woke up at 5:00 this morning. This is bad on any day, I don’t really do 5:00. Ever. But on Tuesday it’s especially bad. I work Tuesday nights at the hospital so my Tuesday doesn’t actually end until about 8:00 Wednesday morning. So needless to say at 5:00 this morning I was praying. Hard.

Now I’ve read my scriptures. I know that I”m supposed to “ask in faith believing that (I) shall receive”. My question is, receive what? I believe that the Lord is there. I believe that he hears and answers every prayer. But I know that sometimes the answer is “no.” So when I’m praying that my baby will go back to sleep so that I can get a few more hours in, am I supposed to believe that that’s what I’m going to get? Is that what I’m supposed to put my faith in? ‘Cause I’m gonna be honest with you, I don’t know if I can do that.

If I’m really putting my faith in something I have to act as if it is so. (Don’t I?) I have faith in God so I act as if there’s a God. I have faith in tithing so every time I get paid I write the church a check. But if I have faith that my prayer will be answered the way I want then I’ll put Irish2 in the swing (as I feel I’ve been prompted to do) and then I’ll get back in bed. So that was what I did. I was up again 20 minutes later when the leaves and butterflies in the mobile over the swing stopped spinning. Irish2 did not go back to sleep. And a lot of times I think it’s harder to get back up than it would be to just stay up.

I believe that the Lord is watching me. I believe he has a plan for me and even that he has a plan for this day but I don’t know how to have faith that the things I ask for are going to happen because often they don’t.

We pray for nice weather when we throw garden parties (What? You don’t throw garden parties? What are you some kind of Neanderthal?) so do we then not make alternate plans in case of rain?

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m hardly the poster child for prayer. There’s a whole lot about it that I just don’t understand. Enos praying all day and night for his friends and then his enemies and being told that they would all get what they deserved, how could you believe in, or at least worship, a God who didn’t give people what they deserve? I get that we have to ask for things even thought the Lord already knows what we need. To my mind it’s mostly about humbling ourselves enough to ask. But sometimes what I think I need and what the Lord thinks I need are different. He is, of course, right and I’m willing to accept that but it makes it harder to have confidence that I’ll get the things I want.

I’m not sure that much of this made any sense (I did get up really early this morning after all) but I would love to hear your take on it.

Oh and, the baby’s asleep.

PS for those of you who aren’t LDS you may not get some of my references but I’d still be interested in your take on prayer etc…

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