Posts made in January, 2008

Commence the Fitful Sleeping

Posted by on Jan 30, 2008 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

A few weeks ago I decided to try to get Gideon to sleep through the night (what are you doing?! Don’t talk about your kid’s sleeping habits!!  This is the WORST thing you could possibly post about.  It’s not that interesting, for starters and it will also NOT help him sleep better.  Plus Teh Interwerbs is filled with preachy people who will cluck their tongues about what you are doing wrong.  Sssshhh!).  We tried letting him CIO for twelve nights. 

 Those were long, long nights. 

He didn’t respond as horribly as he could have, but he also only made it all the way through the night one time (and not the last night).  There weren’t signs of progress.  One night would be okay with a little crying.  The next night would be full on marathon crying.  No patterns.  No signs of hope.  Most  nights were punctuated with hour long stretches of crying at random hours, waking everyone up and even prompting some in the house to seek out internet guides to sleep schedules at four in the morning. We were all going a little nuts. 

So, I decided to try again next month. 

 And then there was last night.  It was terrible.  He got up every hour and a half to two hours and wailed until I came in.  He ate every time, except for the five o’clock wake up when he must have been so incredibly filled with milk that he wanted to explode.

So now I am back to thinking that he should have to CIO because at least he got some good chunks of sleep then. But I don’t know if I can stand the pressure from the adults or the eight month old.  Everybody just wants to sleep well, even Gideon wants to (though he doesn’t really know that on any cognitive level), but how long will that take?  And if I go into him am I reinforcing poor sleep cycles that will never allow him to sleep well.  Will he be that college kid who gets up and does stuff at two am and four am just because he never learned how to transition through sleep cycles properly?  There are studies! They say it can happen!!!  I can RUIN HIM…for LIFE. 

As if all of this wasn’t enough to torture me, John McCain had to go ahead and win the Florida primary.  Winner takes all. Why did you drop out before Super Tuesday, Fred?  WHY?  There were early votes for you in Florida and those were waisted. Waisted!  Now the ‘pubs have, what is essentially a two man race against Romney and McCain (I don’t like either of these guys but if push comes to shove I can’t vote for Johnny boy.  Hello? McCain Feingold? Border Security? Not to mention, The Crazy).  But Romney?  Fuhrealz.  There is no way I’d support Hill or Obama.  I’m thinking that an independent should make a for real run this time.  I know I should wait to see what happens on Super Tuesday, but at this point I think it doesn’t matter.  The future just looks dismal.

All this sleep deprivation combined with the primary season failures feels like one giant kick to the stomach. At least I have my good friend Ice Cream to get me through the hard times.  And since I’m feeding the kiddo every two seconds, there’s no need to hold back.  Look out dessert!  I’ve got no sleep and calories to burn!

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Book Review – Rule Number Two

Posted by on Jan 29, 2008 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Last week a little book appeared on the table at our house.  My dad brought it home as someone had given it to him to read.  He started reading it and frequently could be seen wiping his eyes (I know that might sound strange if you grew up with a stoic male figure who was too macho to shed a tear or show any kind of emotion other than outrage, but it sounds normal in this house.  My dad is a warrior who drinks deeply of life.  He is not afraid of feeling.  He is not afraid of what saying tough things may do.  He was never afraid of doing the hard thing.  He frequently had to. He never saw rolling around in the floor with his kids as unmanly.  He never thought of us as people to control. He didn’t hide his feelings so that we would have some unrealistic picture of manhood.  He is real.  He is genuine.  He is not afraid to grieve.  He will boldly tell you his opinion.  He will take control when he must. He will listen and empathize.  He will attempt to solve the problem.  He’ll be 100% himself and he won’t be ashamed of it.  [It’s no wonder people love to sit under his teaching or come to him for some counsel.  He’s the man.]). 

The cover has a picture of two soldiers, one male and one female sitting on folding chairs and the male looks despondent. It’s an okay photo, but probably not one that would’ve pulled me toward it in a store.  My dad’s reaction to the book did.

As soon as he was finished, I picked it up and devoured it in about 24 hours. It was very good.

Rule Number Two is the story of a female Navy Psych Doc, Lt. Commander Heidi Squier Kraft, who deployed with Marines to Iraq.  Her Marine husband and her parents were in Florida caring for her fifteen month old twins while she served at Al Asad. There are thousands and thousands of people who have deployed there, but I’m guessing only a handful can tell a story like she can. The book covers the time from when she first received her orders through her return and adjustment back to life in the States. It’s a terrifying, heart-wrenching, inspiring tale of how our men and women are making it through this war. 

I should tell you that I have a tremendous soft spot for war stories and for our military in general.  That father I was telling you about up top served in the USAF for 26 years.  The families of our military personnel have unique perspectives on military service and military life. Obviously there is a spectrum of good and bad that comes with it, but from where I sit, the good has always vastly out weighed the bad.  Seeing deployment through the eyes of Dr. Kraft, through the eyes of a woman, through the eyes of a mother, allowed me to identify with the experience in a way I never have before.  Band of Brothers is a tremendous book, but after all it is just that; a group of men with whom I can travel but never truly join. Dr. Kraft’s experiences, on the other hand, are uniquely feminine, though not at all girlie.  She is warm.  She is strong. She is not afraid to show emotion but loses the ability to do so and struggles to regain it.  She lets you enter into her nightmares and shows you the way she must compartmentalize her life in order to her job. Though she obviously is selective in her writing, she doesn’t shy away from that which is difficult or even that which may show weakness. Her honesty weaves the tapestry of complexity in thought and emotion so breathtakingly that the moments of greatest joy and deepest sorrow blend into a masterpiece to which I will do injustice should I attempt to describe. 

What I can say is ‘You should pick up a copy today’ and ‘Thank you, Dr. Kraft.’

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Pollyanna She Is Not

Posted by on Jan 24, 2008 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

Things over which I am whining today….

1. Gideon is crabby.  The kind of crabby that makes him scream when I put him down.  The kind of crabby that makes him pull himself up on me by pulling on my pant leg with his teeth.  The kind of crabby that made him spit out his food during lunch in the most mess inducing way possible.  The kind of crabby that refuses to sleep past 45 minutes.  The kind of crabby that demands I pick up things he has thrown or he suffer the fate of his sobbing.

 2. I chose to wear a white shirt today.   The projectile refusal of pureed garden vegetables and apple blueberry sauce means that the shirt is now spotted with teeny tiny green and purple dots…not in a fashionable way, mind you.

3. While attempting to pick up a toy and keep the munchkin strapped to my hip, I pulled a groin muscle.  Yeah.  I did. 

4. After heating up the baby food, I knocked it over and spilled a third of it in the microwave.

5. In an attempt to clean the microwave, I rinsed the microwave plate in the sink and noticed that the thick green water would not drain.  I tried turning on the disposal and did not get anywhere.  Since I can’t see through the muck, I just walked away. I can’t use the sink until it’s fixed, but that’s why we have sinks in the bathroom, right?

6. Ricky won the PR challenge last night and he should’ve been eliminated like four shows ago.  What is this world coming to!?!

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“Bill has a Dream” or “Clinton tired of MLK Day”

Posted by on Jan 22, 2008 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Either way, this is funny.  (Thanks Laurie!)

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Just a Few Years Away

Posted by on Jan 22, 2008 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Last night Ronke called to remind me that it was Monday.  Monday is the new night for A&E’s Intervention (it’s a train wreck show, which is very appealing to me.  I know some of you are all “it’s wrong!” and “you shouldn’t be broadcasting these surprises on addicts!” to which I say “they agreed to be filmed shooting illegal substances into their veins.  I’m guessing that getting their family into a room to tell them they need to make a change is a little less of an issue.”  Anyway, if you’ve never watched the show you might not know that EVERY SINGLE PERSON whose life is featured has a horrible tragedy occur at some point that drives them to indulge in addictive behavior. 

 The tragedies include:

Divorcing parents who care very little about their children’s futures and very much about their own happiness.

Divorced mommies marrying slime balls because they are lonely and want a man to be around, even if that man molests, attacks or ignores her children.

Pregnancies that are ended prematurely while the grandparents bar the door to make sure it happens.

Psycho religious people beating their children to ‘break their will’. 

Need I continue?

So, essentially these children have messed up home lives.  They usually have siblings who do not become addicts (although at times multiple children have addictions) but are typically enablers in one capacity or another. Obviously the events in their lives are interpreted differently and each of the family members is fulfilling roles that are sad efforts to keep life livable, with the exception of the addict.  They know they will not be living as long, but being messed up means that they can focus on something other than the pain that is coursing through their veins. 

Last night’s episode followed two kids (they were in their 20s, so maybe kid isn’t technically correct, but emotionally, they both had no idea how to be a grown up); one with a drug habit and one with compulsive overeating.  Both had moms who refused to take a stand for their boys against men who were small-minded, ego-maniacal jerks.  Both moms should have left these men to protect their children.  Both moms sucked. Both boys have gaping holes in them because NO ONE has ever demonstrated true love to them. That’s what the intervention is designed to do, but often it falls short.

 This morning, my dad went outside to scrape windows and move his truck when he notices a junior high boy outside a neighbors home without a coat on. No gloves.  No hat.  It was two degrees outside with a windchill of minus eight. The kid was just standing there, without any clue as to what he should do next.

As my dad closed the distance to him, he shrugged out of his top coat (he had two on) and took off his gloves. Handing them to the boy, he started to ask him questions about what was going on.  As it would turn out, he had been arguing with his step-dad on the way to school about wanting to walk there. The step-dad went berserk when the kid demanded the cell phone to call his mom. Not wanting to stay in the car with Mr. Freak Out, the kid goes to get out of the car.  Mr. FO grabs the kid’s coat and in the fray, it comes off the kid.  Angrier than ever, Mr. FO punches the kid.  He’s not a small kid and he could probably lay into Mr. FO if he spent a little time at the dojo, but he manages to get away. 

Of course, the problem with getting away is that he is coat-less.  He is two miles from school.  His backpack is with his coat.  He is freezing, confused and doesn’t know where to turn. 

Rick walks him back to our house and convinces him that he can’t walk to school.  He tells him about when he dealt with frostbitten people while he was on the fire department and he attempts to help the kid figure out a good plan.  The kid doesn’t really want to do what Rick suggests so he calls his mom (who Mr. FO is taking to work in spite of the fact that her flesh and blood is somewhere outside, coat-less in the elements) and tells her what happened.  She tells him to go home and wait for Mr. FO who will take him to school.  Awesome.  Mom of the Year, right? 

Rick drove the kid back over to his house and they sat in the pickup while they waited for Mr. FO who appeared embarrassed by it all when he got back. He should be.  He should also have to get clocked by someone bigger than him and be forced to stand out in the freezing cold for a half hour or so without his coat on. 

There’s no happy ending to this story.  There probably won’t ever be one, of course. He’ll spend his life trying to overcome the fact that the people who were supposed to love and protect him cared too much about themselves and gave him very little regard.  His real dad had a drug problem and left when he was a baby.  Mom is getting some crappy need met through Mr. FO at the expense of her son’s well being.  I figure they’ll need an intervention within the next five years. It might not be food.  It might not be drugs.  But he’ll find something to get him through his daily dose of hell.

He’s got our phone number and he knows that this house is safe. I hope he makes his way here again.  I hope he can find the strength to reach out to other people in spite of the wounds that others have left.  I hope. And I pray.

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