Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wordle Magic

My friend Kirsten, who inspired me to start blogging, provided this great new way to waste time. It is Wordle:

Basically, you type your blog name into their site and somehow, magically a bunch of words that you commonly use while writing will come together in a rather cool image. By the looks of what Wordle created for me, I'd say that the theme of my blog would probably be something along the lines of: "One single mom who has too much to think about, with not enough time in the day and litle sleep at night." Those Wordle folks are pretty brilliant.

Check it out:

Wordle: sleepless in sac

Now I have to go kill some more time by trying this with my Luscious blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Own Version of "Valley of the Dolls"

I think I need to get really honest about the name of this blog. Obviously, I'm single (not married) and residing in Sacramento but I don't tell people how often it is that I am actually sleepless. Which is a lot of the time. Too much.

If you happened upon my stash of meds, you'd think that I was comatose most of the time. And you'd probably wonder why I waste my time teaching pilates when I could make much more money on the high school campuses selling this stuff. Quite honestly, you'd wonder what a holistic yoga girl is doing with this kind of arsenal. Here's just a sampling:

Skull Cap (seriously!)

If you looked up the actual conditions that some of the above drugs are prescribed for, you'd probably assume that a depressed, bipolar and manic individual resides in my home since some of these medications are used for their sedating properties. But no, it's just one mom, battling a life-long, all out WAR against insomnia. Without a lot of success.

I'm seeing a new sleep doctor and I just tried hynotherapy this week. I also tried a new drug that is used for schizophrenia. It rendered me useless for a solid day. Which would be great if I didn't have a five-year-old to care for and a job that actually requires me to show up, speak with articulation and more often than not, adjust various body parts. I can see why the drug is prescribed for people dealing with multiple personalities. The drug pretty much guarantees one personality: zombie.

After my first divorce (OK, now you know...yes, there has been more than one marriage!), I stopped sleeping. I was 25 years old, working my tail off in the corporate world, commuting ungodly hours each way to work, and basically living on adrenaline. On weekends, I'd go out with my friends to all the new Bay Area fun spots, then crash on Sundays. Most weekdays, I'd toss and turn, then give up and get out of bed by 4:30am to teach a spin class or do extra work before going into the office. Yes, I was a Type A back then. Big time.

All that lack of sleep started a deficit early on that I can't seem to reverse. When I had B, getting up with him in the night really was no big deal since I was used to being awake much of the night anyway. When he started sleeping through the night, I continued to wake up at all hours. Some nights were better than others. I'm lucky to get five hours of quality sleep. Some people can function quite well on this amount; I, however, know that I need closer to seven to get through my day without forgetting clients names, running stop signs and using words that are at least two syllables.

I can never sleep in which makes things worse. I'm usually wide awake by 4:30am and struggle to stay in bed until 6:00am. So by 8:00pm each night, I am generally fading quickly. Which is actually OK because my sleep doctor says I can't watch television or use the computer within two hours of bedtime. So, don't even ask me about my favorite "Idol" contestant or what I think about the latest "Bachelor" reject and certainly don't send me anything on email that might require my immediate attention.

There are other "sleep rules." I'm supposed to be "winding down" at 8:00pm. I can engage in sex but no serious discussions. Chamomile tea is acceptable, wine is not. Reading is allowed, provided that it is done outside of the bedroom and the reading material must be "light" in nature. It's also recommended that I sleep in my own bed every night. You get the idea.

I'm hopeful that the combined efforts of my doctor and the hypnotherapist can help. But the doctor hasn't returned my calls and what I talked about in hypnotherapy was this: a black cat, a crowded airplane and a series of "reward" stars. So I think that maybe all those years of not sleeping have potentially made me a bit crazy.

Speaking of crazy, last week, I had a really horrible night that entailed a 1:30am phone call to my boyfriend, S. I'm not posting the details but I will say that he came over and helped with B the next morning before school as I called nine clients and cancelled their sessions. I'll also say that he might be an actual saint and that you should never combine medications, particularly those that are intended for sleep. I think you get the gist.

So if I seem a little foggy and I happen to forget your birthday, your child's name, or our last conversation, now you'll know why. I shudder at the thought of dealing with this level of fatigue for the rest of my life and I'm hoping and praying for a sleep miracle to come my way soon.

My New Favorite Holiday

I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. It's always seemed to be too contrived and forced, and as I've mentioned before in my posts, I'm not a huge fan of dead flowers, cheap chocolate, or even expensive diamonds. I'm kinda like a Valentine's scrooge.

But I think my relatively new boyfriend, S, may be responsible for the fact that it's only the day after the holiday, and I'm already looking forward to February 14th of next year.

I wasn't privy to all the planning for the evening. I pried the restaurant name out of S so that I could dress appropriately and then "modeled" five outfits for my mom and B. We decided on a crushed velvet, Goodwill special (very vintage and much more expensive than what I actually paid for it). All I knew beyond dinner was that I'd be going back to S's house for the night and my mom would be staying over with B. We did have a 9am curfew on Sunday morning so I knew that our evening couldn't get too out of hand.

We had a lovely dinner at Cafe Vinotecca which I highly recommend, then headed for the downtown area. S pulled into a parking garage across from Mason's and The Park Ultra Lounge and I assumed we were going for after dinner cocktails. I didn't notice the big Marriott sign above the parking garage so I was quite surprised when S pulled his own overnight bag out of the trunk.

Turns out, he'd been downtown earlier in the day to bring in champagne and gifts. We had a great room, complimented by a bottle of way-too-good bubbly and three big pink boxes. Since my parents read this blog, the "secret" of what was inside the boxes which just have to stay with Vicky, me, and S. Suffice to say, the contents were nothing short of fabulous.

Because of the hotel's well-situated location, we were able to walk to one of my favorite midtown bars, Lounge on 20 for more bubbly and food and this morning, with no children bounding out of bed at 6am, we could enjoy coffee and breakfast, and several ibuprofen for me.

It was definitely a holiday to remember and now, one to even look forward to. And I have a full year to negotiate a longer curfew!

Thanks, S, for being such a wonderful Valentine!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Link To Editorial

I'm not good with blog formatting skills, thus the editorial in the previous post is impossible to read which is a shame because it is so so so so so so so so so SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. Click on it here:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Friends Without Children & Other Rants

When I moved to Sacramento, I quickly made several single girlfriends and we spent endless nights dancing at Harlow's and Faces, then recovering the next day over Starbucks and at hot yoga. Those days are long over.

Back when I was a stay-at-home mom, I felt like my single friends often wondered what I did all day with my "free" time. And that is when the "singletons" started dropping out of my life.

Perhaps the fact that my ex went back to work for FIVE twenty-hour shifts, back-to-back, leaving me with a cranky baby for almost a week on end, then proceeded to stay away for two years (always working) with no help in sight had something to do with it. I began to sense a major rift between my single friends. I could not just spontaneously agree to host a book club meeting, nor could I commit to a once a week yoga class, and definitely forget having drinks and dinner on a Saturday night.

Now that I'm technically "child free" for 50% of the time, I feel, in some ways, that though my son is older, I have more obligations and the leash seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

So when my friend, Dina, sent an email with this great editorial on the demands of motherhood, I knew I had to post it here.

Without question, I feel that the editorial addresses the challenges of every stay-at-home mom. But allow me to vent just for a moment here. I don't think anyone has it harder than the single parent who TRIES to stay at home and also TRIES to make a decent living so that she and her son can pay the mortgage and eat.

Sometimes my friends don't understand when I can't find time to have long phone conversations or when I can't make a commitment to be somewhere every week, like at yoga or even every month, for a book club. Believe me, I'd love to have these distractions in my life.

But the reality is that when B's at school, I'm working. And when he's home in the afternoon, I'm finding things for us to do. I am territorial about this one-on-one time with him; I have so very little of it these days. Generally, my mom comes over in the late afternoon and I'm back to work. If I'm lucky, I can come home in time to eat with him and if I'm very, very lucky, I can even tuck him in.

Then on the days when I don't have him, I stack up as much work as possible and try to complete as many household tasks as possible so that when we do have time together, we can do fun things, like last week's bird house painting project, without feeling badly about planting him in front of television while I run the vacuum. And so goes the life of a single mom.

It's not ideal and there are people who don't understand why I don't have more time.

To be sure, no one has it easy when it comes to motherhood. And that's why I'm so glad that the writer of this editorial tackled the issue with such honesty...