Do you know that feeling you get when you’re up at 1 a.m? Wide awake.
You ask yourself, “Why am I not sleeping?”
“Why am I still awake?”
You wonder, “Why did I eat that handful of chocolate chips at 10 p.m.?”
Everyone else is asleep. Your husband is passed out. You need to get up in five hours. You toss and turn. You try reading. Your clock says: 1:17 a.m.
You go downstairs and make a cup of warm milk. And proceed to burn the roof of your mouth.
It’s 1:38 a.m.
You drink a few sips of water. (Which you can’t feel because of the hot milk.)
You try to lie still. And not think. About the trillion things you have to do tomorrow.
It’s 1:43 a.m.
You check your phone.
You read a little.
It’s 3:10 a.m. Your husband is snoring like a truck driver.
You want to take a Tylenol PM, but it’s too late. You rub some random lavender lotion from 2010 on your feet. You put a pillow over your head. You get up to go to the bathroom. Wash your face. Lie down again.
Then somehow, there is nothing. Am I asleep yet? Wait for it.
BEEP –BEEP-BEEP. It’s 6:35 a.m. You hit snooze. Snooze again. And again. You glance at the clock. It’s 7:07 a.m.! “Son of a!” You peel yourself from under the covers. The sheets smell like lavender, which makes your head pound even more. Time to rush to get the kids ready for school.
If you haven’t guessed, I’ve been suffering from what I like to call Mommy Insomnia. But my kids aren’t babies any more.
Oh I remember “original” mommy insomnia. When you wake up to a crying baby at midnight, 2:30 a.m., 4:45 a.m. and finally drift off when the baby alarm clock screams again at 6:23 a.m.
Oh, girlfriend. You think sleep deprivation is over when your oldest hits junior high school? Oh, no, no, no. It’s not over. Not by a long shot. Pack your bags, because you’re in for a crazy hormonal ride, my friend.
Unless you are like my cousin who can honestly sleep through a hurricane and still get 8 hours of sleep. You have something even more random to look forward to: hormone-induced sleeplessness.
This nightmare happens to me every month.
By the time I roll out of bed, my hair looks like a bird flew into it. I feel like my forehead has been stung by a bee. My skin is chapped and dry. I look like the lead singer of a garage glam rock band from 1987.
Ever find yourself texting instead of talking to friends? Checking e-mails in front of your kids? Got iPhone mommy guilt?
Maybe you can use a little digital detox. Check out my latest Ask Mom OnlineRI column for 10 tips to help bring you back to normal. https://onlineri.com/articles/ask_mom
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy mulling over something for a bit and then finding a solution. I like to chit-chat with my grandmother about it. Then a good friend. It’s the way I’m wired. If I need to vent about something, my husband (I love you, honey, I just need to get this out) searches for a solution. Immediately. Are all men wired this way? Sometimes, I just want to talk about it first. To mull it over, brainstorm and vent a bit.
So much research has been done about women and their internal “talk about it” button. If my memory serves me correctly, my inner venter never really turned on until I became a mother. I love my kids. But there are times when I don’t have the capacity to search for a solution – I just need to vent.
For example, I’ll say to my husband, “I’m having a tough time writing with the kids around today.”
“Then move the computer to another room.”
“But the kids need me around today; and it’s easier if I’m downstairs. Plus I’m on deadline.”
“I guess I can’t help you.”
Maybe I like writing with the kids around, but I’m actually secretly wishing there were more times when he’d take off with them so I could get stuff done without anyone home. Then I could take a Calgon bath, watch re-runs of Pretty Little Liar, Sex and the City, eat cereal over the sink and dance in the kitchen with my dog.
And I digress.
When I need to vent, I could care less about finding a solution immediately. I don’t need to go back to the grocery store and tell off the 19-year-old check-out girl with the tattoo covering her left arm for giving me dirty looks as my daughter hangs over the shopping cart. I just want to be able to let off some steam before my hormones bubble up in spurts throughout the week.
Some may see it as empty venting; I call it free therapy.:)
I’ll admit it. Some days, I get caught up in mindless stuff happening in the suburbs. Who doesn’t?
I’m not saying I don’t appreciate a good episode of Real Housewives. And I always like a good whine over cheese with the girls.
But I think sometimes, I need to take a step back, shush up and put everything into perspective. (Not something that comes easy, believe me.)
I want to share a guest post that I recently wrote for Rhody Bloggers for Good. The name of this group says it all. Rhody Bloggers for Good is a group of local bloggers (I’m a member too) who do a lot of things in the community. These girls are a lot of fun. Let’s just say I like that they appreciate giggling… and giving back.
We’re teaming up for a few different events this spring and summer, like the Sit-a-Thon for Belle April 5, 6 and 7 at the La-Z-Boy store in Warwick. Belle is the beautiful two-and-a-half-year-old daughter of a fellow blogger. She was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Find out more about this event here: http://rhodybloggersforgood.com/2013/02/21/meet-belle/ If you care to share, please do it for Belle: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Sit-A-Thon-for-Belle/41549
Today’s post is about women who refuse to call themselves victims. Here’s the link to the original article: http://rhodybloggersforgood.com/2013/03/04/red-tent-day-celebrates-women-and-survivors-of-domestic-violence/
Last year, I was invited to be a part of a local charitable event that was both inspiring and eye-opening, called the Red Tent Day. The Fifth Annual Red Tent Day for Women takes place at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on Sunday, March 24, 2013. In so many words, the Red Tent Day is a day of pampering for women, featuring an array of vendors with proceeds going to the RI Crisis Assistance Center. But it’s so much more.
I was honored to be a part of this day from the moment I first walked through the doors, to booths, vendors, decorations and activities that celebrate women and inspire them. I had never heard of the RI Crisis Assistance Center (RICAC) and was blown away when I learned about the organization. RICAC’s goal is to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Rhode Island. That may sound like a lofty goal to some, but according to the women of RICAC, you have to start somewhere. You see, the people connected to RICAC are survivors of violence. Domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, incest, and rape. They understand. They have been through it. And they have survived.
Nancy Rafi, Director of RI Crisis Assistance Center, is a survivor of domestic violence. She has worked for more than 15 years advocating and supporting survivors of violence.
“Working with victims of domestic violence and rape, and helping them move through their trauma and come out the other side a healthier person, is the most rewarding life experience I’ve ever had,” Rafi said.
This Red Tent event is all about creating a space for women to be honored, cherished, pampered and appreciated. After a small group of RI women helped to coordinate a similar event in New Orleans at the Superdome in April 2008 to provide a healing space for almost 40,000 survivors of Hurricane Katrina, they knew they had to launch something here in Rhode Island. This year’s Red Tent Day will be the fifth annual event in Rhode Island. For more information, visit www.ricrisis.org.
The event will take place Sunday, March 24 at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston, RI from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect everything from manicures to pedicures, yoga and massages and beyond. Visit www.redtentri.com for more details. A special night out for women, supporting Gloria Gemma Foundation, will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets for this event are $20.
Please look for my pink booth in a sea of red at The Red Tent again this year! I have been invited back thanks to a personal invitation from Nancy Rafi. She has been so supportive about my blog and book venture. Thank you for everything you do for women and RICAC, Nancy. We will all be giving back to RICAC on March 24, celebrating women together.
You find dust bunnies in every corner ….and you just vacuumed the entire house three days ago.
While the rest of Rhode Island was out bike riding on this glorious spring-like day, we decided to dive in and spring clean our daughter’s room. Basketball season is over and we thought, “Why not. Today is a perfect day.” Or not.
I have no words to describe the things we found. Let’s just say the chocolate bunny I discovered lying headless in the back of her closet was not from this coming Easter. There were clothing tags, headbands, earrings, necklaces, drawings and enough pencils to fill the first floor of Staples. And this was just in her desk area.
I am the first to admit I am not naturally organized. Although I’m not by any means a hoarder, I do tend to hold on to certain things. There are days I wish Neicy Nash would return to Clean House for one more season just so she could stop by my house and show me some love.
Now, I do clean my own house, make my own beds and scrub my own toilets. But when you have two kids and a Golden Retriever that sheds a pound of fur when he walks by, it’s like brushing your teeth before devouring a bag of Oreos.
My little girl is a bright, creative girl and I’m proud of every drawing, bracelet, purse and pottery dish she has ever made. But when you start saving everything, the crud really adds up. And it makes you want to throw out everything. But we accomplished our goal. We worked with my daughter and made piles for everything from clothes to toys and hair elastics to erasers. We had her pick and choose what stays, what goes and what can be given to charity. And guess what? We did it! It felt so good when it was over and my back is killing me. But we did it.
And guess what we did when three girls from down the street came over to play? We sent them all outside to play. 😉
It’s National Sleep Awareness Week!
If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night and you suffer from “sleepless in mommy insanity,” I invite you to check out my recent Ask Mom OnlineRI.com column where I shed light on a popular sleep method that can help your baby get back on track. (In her own crib!) https://onlineri.com/articles/ask_mom
Do you remember what it was like when you got the “OK” to stay home sick from school when you were little? As long as you weren’t hanging over the toilet, there was something exciting about staying home with your mom when everyone else was racing for the bus. (For about an hour….then it got a little boring.)
Ah, the memories. As I’ve mentioned before, fellow Rhody Blogger, Carla Molina Martins, from www.allofmenow.com, started a “Mom Before Mom” prompt where you write about life before you became a mom. This week we’re talking about childhood memories of sick days.
This post would not even be possible without two key things planted in my memory: Vick’s Vapor Rub and The Young and the Restless. To this day, the minute someone cracks open that blue jar of strong-smelling goop, I’m jolted back to my old house in Seabrook, Texas, with a nasty head cold. I’m wrapped in my grandmother’s hand-crocheted afghan, sprawled out on the couch with a box of Kleenex, a bowl of chicken & stars soup (thanks for this memory from Chelley, another fellow blogger), and a sleeve of Saltines, watching Ashley, Lauren, Victor, Nikki and Cricket ruin their lives on 42 “hopefully suspenseful” but oh-so-drawn-out minutes of The Young and the Restless. (I think we all watched soap operas as kids, and would NEVER let our kids watch them today.) And I digress.
I had a pedicure the other day and this same soap opera, which I hadn’t seen in probably 30 years, was playing on the salon’s wide screen TV. It was like watching an ambulance. I was immediately drawn to the opening theme song. Before I knew it, I was 10 years old again. I swear the story line has not changed. Thankfully, the hairstyles have. Something about that show helped soothe me to sleep, so I could nap before my brother and dad came home. A You Tube treat for all Y&R fans out there. Check out Nikki’s rockin’ 80’s hair-do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRotp0-4xNg
I never wanted to go to my own bed on sick days. There was something so comforting hanging out in our family room, with the wood paneling, wretched-black-and-brown-patterned woven recliner, and comfy beige stained sofa.
My mom went back to college when I was around 10, so some sick days, I would be left by myself part of the day. That’s when the Newmans became like family. If I was really sick, she would cancel everything, call the doctor and stay home with me all day. God bless her, she juggled a lot back then. Thanks, mom!
When I was really little, my mom would rub Vick’s on my chest, and place a layer of Kleenex on top so it wouldn’t ooze into my shirt. But it always did. That’s when those long, Laura Ingalls Wilder-style night gowns that my grandmother gave me every Christmas came in handy. As I got older, I would rub Vick’s on my chest by myself, but there would always be remnants left under my finger nails. (I have never met a bar of soap that can take this stuff off completely.) To this day, I still keep a jar in my medicine cabinet. In fact, I used it on my 11-year-old the other day. He took one sniff, frowned, and said to me, “Whatevs, mom. I’ll use it, but please let me put it on myself.” More power to ya, son.
Guess what? The stuff still works.
I have officially become my mother.
A special thank you to Jessica Granatiero from The Savory Grape for graciously providing wine, making it an official wine and cheese event!
Thank you to Carole and all the folks from Books on the Square, one of my favorite book stores in Providence.
And a big shout out to all who sent thoughtful emails, FB posts, Tweets and words of encouragement. You know who you are and I am giving you a virtual hug right now! THANK YOU!