Friday, November 17, 2006

This week has been a flurry of inadequate sleep, irregular waking hours, and trying to cram too many things to do into too little time. On top of this I'm supposed to be writing a novel, remember? So here it is, 4:42 a.m. and I'm pecking away at the keyboard. I went to bed before nine, woke up thirsty before midnight after having dreams about Mafioso rodents, and have since suffered all manner of inconveniences.

First, I got a drink of water. It wasn't nearly cold enough. I went back to bed. My husband started snoring. I tossed and turned, got too hot and then too cold, and got up again to--guess what?--check my e-mail and get some minor online things accomplished. At about 1:30 I went back to bed, only to wake up my husband. He drank the rest of my water, went to get himself some more, and didn't bring me back any. Oh well. I found a comfy position and allllllmost fell back asleep when I heard

"Mommy!" It was more urgent than frightened, as if she were demanding to know why she had awoken. I laid in bed with her for a while, her arms wrapped all cuddly-like around my neck, reveling in one of the inarguably best moments of mommyhood, and she began smacking her lips. There's to express my reaction to that than :|

I got her a glass of water. She drank it. Then it of course was time to go pee. She insisted upon turning on every light in the bathroom (okay it's only two but it feels like eighteen at 2am). We chatted while she took care of her bladder.

"What did you dream about?"

"I think Shrek. And Over the Hedge. And Donkey." My child, raised not by wolves but by Dreamworks Animation and a DVD player, or so she'd have you believe.

I put her back in bed, whereupon she wailed not to be left alone. Her wailing triggered something in the cat, who began to wordlessly follow suit. At least one of them had an argument, he was out of food. The child was calmed, the cat was fed, and I went back to my lovely bed and its clean sheets. My cat, full but now lonely, would not be deterred. I mumbled an apology to my husband and tripped out to the livingroom where I spoiled the cat with love and read some eighty pages of Mario Puzo's The Godfather.

I had every intention here of describing my daughter's social antics for the past two days, but I didn't quite get there. Remind me tomorrow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Half-full or half-creepy?

So I keep falling into this cycle: stay up late writing, go to bed just before the sun rises, feel like sewage all day long. I bet you're guessing today is no exception. And you know what? That sort of deductive reasoning is what separates weaktoast blog readers from the chaff. Last night, right about two-thirty a.m., I was starting to feel guilty about a couple things. The first was that I hadn't accomplished much on the novelling front. The second was that I also had not gone to bed. Frankly, I accomplished nothing much yesterday, other than writing up a pretty in-depth critique on a poem or two and posting a rather thoughtful journal on a different website. Just this morning I pimped this out on myspace, so hello to any new readers I might have.

Enough, I had a point. Remember? When I started, this blog was about not getting enough sleep.

So at 2:30, just when I was thinking about going to bed, my kid awoke from a nightmare. If there's one thing I did right in my childrearing as of yet, I managed to have a kid who only has nightmares when I am still awake. This is great, because my computer desk is a mere six and a half feet from her doorway. I've since moved said desk away from the litterbox and into the livingroom, because I'd rather smell a clean fishtank than a litter box, even when it gets seen to every day.

In my family, the secret to ending nightmares is to go to the bathroom. Have a bad dream, pee, and return to blissful, terror-free slumber. I'm grateful that my parents figured this out with my sleepwalking brother. (Hi Nate.)

This morning, while my husband was at PT, she awoke again. Because I'd stayed awake for another hour after the nightmare episode, I was not keen on getting out of bed at 6am. Fortunately for me, she was't fully committed either so she crawled into bed with me and fell asleep. Here's where things get weird.

At about 8:35 I opened one eye partway to see my husband taking pictures of us with his cellphone. As my daughter was still dead to the world and I still wished I was, I closed the eye and pretended that I just needed to pee. I fell back asleep and only recalled this episode after awakening from my afternoon nap (haha), which I took while my daughter watched Shrek for the eighth time this week.

So you tell me, is this cute? or sort of creepy?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Long days, nights that should have been shorter.

Last night, in my dual-pronged quest to a) become America’s Next Top Mama and b) actually get a little bit of writing done (surprise, when it comes to writing I am such a procrastinator that I literally cannot produce anything before 11pm) I sunk to new lows of parental bribery.

By some fortunate and rare twist of fate, my husband actually got half a day’s R&R to make up for losing his Saturday to the US Army. This allowed me the uncommon luxury of retreating to my bedroom for about an hour and a half to eat my lunch and read a book while I listened to some low-volume music. Despite the fact that I could still hear the boisterous songs of Henson’s Fraggles in the living room, it was like taking a mini vacation.

The miracles didn’t seem like they had any intention of stopping. I managed to spiff up the kitchen just in time to wreck it again by working on my hummus recipe. With a successful result there it was time to make pita bread, because hummus isn’t really a stand-alone sort of dish. Just an aside…

1 16oz can of chick peas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and placed in a blender with
¾ to 1 cup of water, added slowly while pulsing the legumes until it forms a lumpy paste
2 to 3 tsp Bragg’s liquid amino acids or lemon juice to taste
salt and
2 to 3 cloves of garlic and I promise this will be plenty plus
3 to 4 tsp tahini and
a splash of olive oil just blend it until it doesn’t feel like you’re eating a tongue anymore

The child, having been up since roughly 7am, took one of her bi-annual naps (and there was much rejoicing) while I made pita bread, cleaned the kitchen again, and wrecked it by making asparagus, a noodle side, and pork loin for dinner. My husband helped start and extinguish a fire and fixed every mistake I made with the pork loin, God bless him. She woke up just before dinner was done cooking.

After my husband went to bed, my daughter and I saw up watching movies and writing novels (respectively) until about three a.m. In a moment of premonition, as if knowing something terrible would happen between evening and morning, I wrote the first half of the blog. I managed to put my daughter to bed without getting kicked in the face by her protest-tantrum, and I shortly followed suit.

I had ominous dreams all night. In one of them, I was back in school attending some sort of international media-frenzied political conference. I had to write arguments and prepare briefs and I can’t even begin to explain the horrors I felt. In another dream we figured out how the dog was escaping from our back yard—because somehow there was no fence attached to the house ‘round the left side. In actuality, that side of the house is the other half of the duplex, but in my dream it made perfect sense. I was trying to wrangle the dog and also save the cat from an unknown neighbor’s attack falcon (I could start a whole new blog just about my dreams, believe me) when I awoke with a start to m husband opening and closing the front door.

This event occurs three times a day at my house: first when my husband comes home from Physical Training around 7:30 in the morning. It happens again if and when he comes home for lunch during the day, at around 11:45, and it happens again when he gets home in the evening. My level of exhaustion convinced me that it was the first of these events. The sound of my husband chastising my daughter caused a panic in me, and I got up, checking the clock on the way to the hall. 11:23—he was home early for lunch.

I don’t mean to brag on my terrible parenting or anything, but when you’re bad at something you just can’t hide all that away. Apparently, my daughter has the capacity to move without making any sound louder than that of a key in a front door, seeing as that noise was what eventually awakened me. I have this mental image of her tiptoeing around the living room in a pink version of Cruise’s Mission Impossible getup with one of those decibel measuring devices they have in all those jewel heist movies these days. I don’t know how long she was awake, but she managed to:

• eat an entire package of Orbit gum
• feed the dog two envelopes of liver training treats (see if I can ever get him to sit on command again)
• locate the scissors and after sampling and disapproving of the cinnamon flavored Orbit, cut every stick into tiny pieces instead
• fill the dog’s already full food bowl to overflowing and
• eat twenty or thirty cherry cordial filled Hershey Kisses.

She confessed to a whole gang of other crimes, but neither could I understand her nor find any more evidence of wrongdoing. She cleaned up the overzealous dog food while my husband and I eliminated the gum wrappers and he talked to her about the amputationary (amputative? amputationic? none of these words are in my spellchecker) powers of Henckles kitchen shears. Afterward he went for a lie down and she and I had a little chat about gum and stomachs and seven years. She seemed totally unimpressed. What it all comes down to, people, is that soon People Magazine will release a special collector’s cover featuring America’s Next Top Mama and I will definitely be one of them.

Get out your cell phones, America, I’m going for Idol next.