a mind-numbing little fix

Friday, March 29, 2013

sleep: it's a basic human right, but it doesn't ever come easily for me.

it isn't that i could take or leave sleep. the truth is that i love sleep. i want to sleep at night and i love a good nap, but for some reason, i just can't make myself sleep well.

my nights of really good sleep had gotten to be so few and far between that i was just about ready to give up entirely on the concept of sleep in early january, but instead i decided to see if there was anything my doctor could give me to help out with my sleepless nights (aka - after four nights of no sleep, my body started rebelling. literally.).

i opted for a low dose of ambien in january and it was divine. like really and truly divine.

but i had a caveat: i really only wanted five ambien. i've heard that it makes you do weird things in your sleep and i figured this whole 'lack of sleep' thing was something i needed to grab by the horns and conquer on my own.

i tried and tried to defy my insomnia for several days after my meticulously-rationed ambien ran out. my best efforts were futile, and so i went back to my doctor for more ambien. shockingly (and thankfully), my doctor had a better idea (at the time i thought it was a horrible idea):

'i think you may be suffering from anxiety, which can cause insomnia' she said.

'i'm not really the anxious type,' i replied.

'anxiety can take on many forms,' she continued.

'it's not anxiety. it's more like the moment my head hits the pillow, my brain goes into some sort of analytical overload where i feel compelled to revisit nearly everything i did that day. that's not anxiety, that's just my reflective nature,' i reasoned.

she smiled and nodded sweetly, handed me a prescription and an informational sheet on anxiety-induced insomnia, and muttered something about coming back in 30 days.

i filled the prescription, and i proceeded to enjoy 30 days of the best sleep i've ever had in my whole entire life.

two days before i ran out of this miracle sleeping gem, i called my pharmacy for a refill.

the refill was declined, which felt like the medical equivalent of a bounced check....something about going back to the doctor for a 30 day follow-up.

i decided that i didn't really need medicine to help me sleep, and i was certain that i wasn't suffering from anxiety.

and for the last twenty-four days, i have pretty regularly tossed and turned and stared at the ceiling night after night.

last weekend i started looking a little deeper into the causes of insomnia and possible remedies.

i stumbled across brain-wave-changing 'music' (no thanks), i devoured a lot of information on acupuncture (not a fan of needles), and i contemplated cryo therapy (except i love being warm and toasty).

after reading about the holistic options, i have conceded: i probably qualify as someone with mild anxiety. but  not the same type that causes dogs to hide when a storm is coming, and not the type that causes people not to leave their house. i prefer to call my type 'redundantly-obsessive-deeply-reflective-analysis-on-a-possibly-too-frequent-basis.' that sounds a lot better, don't you think?

regardless, i was all smiles today when i finally went back to my doctor for that 30 (or nearly 60) day follow up appointment.

and tonight, i know i'm going to sleep like a baby, thanks to some fairly innocuous little white pills that i have unlimited access to for the next 180 days.


as a closing thought, i have a completely unrelated question for you with regards to north korea:

does anybody else think that maybe we should ease up a little on  how we're taunting kim jong un ? i'm totally guilty - i tweeted a facetious article today about him targeting austin. but just in case, i'm not sure we can be too careful with paying a certain amount of caution to the situation at hand. to me, this is beginning to feel a little bit like a nuclear nanny nanny boo boo with a hot-headed, short-fused 28 year old.

and that worries me (not enough to keep me up tonight, but it worries me).

okay - i get to take a double dose of my little sleep aid tonight to happily reacquaint my body with a normal amount of real sleep. all in all, i'd have to say that it's been a good friday, people!!

peace (and sweet dreams)...

the passing of time

Sunday, March 24, 2013

this weekend, we went on a little vacation. or was it a staycation? honestly, i'm still not entirely clear on the difference, and the lines seem kind of blurry.

but i did realize something today.

browning has absolutely no concept of time. 


whether we go on a far-away-vacation or a close-to-home-get-away, browning goes to camp. he loves camp, and they love him.

when i dropped him off on friday, he was greeted by his human friends there (they go way back). 

just as always, he quickly made his way to the doggie deli.

he usually wants a cow ear to munch on, but i tend to make him choose a knuckle instead simply because i know he'll be done with the ear before sunset on the first day. i'm not sure exactly what part of the cow the knuckle is, but browning loves the knuckle. 

after carefully selecting his "i'm sorry we aren't taking you with us" consolation prize, the sweet girl waits patiently as i tell him goodbye, promise to see him soon, and give him one last hug. 

he looks wistful as she leads him back into the kennels with the knuckle gripped solidly in his jaw, and i think he does a good job of feigning that he'll miss me just to make me feel guilty (it works), but his wagging tail gives him away every single time. 

i leave. 

and then in whatever number of days it is that we're gone, i return for him. 

i pay, and i remind them that i would like to bring home whatever is left of his knuckle. 

a few minutes later, he comes back out of the same door looking as happy as a lark (usually with some sort of seasonally on-trend fabric scarf tied around his neck - today's was turquoise with pastel easter eggs all over it) with the same knuckle, visibly smaller, tucked in his jaw. 

he humors me by dropping it just long enough to shower me with kisses and sniffs and more excessive wagging of the tail (and in all fairness, he does an outstanding job of making me feel like he genuinely missed me). 

and once we've said our hello-agains, we head outside. i lift him into the car (which is no longer an embarrassing process for either one of us - it's just part of what we do now), and we head home. 

what i noticed once we were home tonight is that as long as he has that bone in his mouth, he is oblivious to everything else going on around him. 


usually he is very curious about what's going on around the house, but not tonight. 

i cooked dinner...he chewed the bone. 

i served dinner...he chewed the bone.

the girls went outside to play...he chewed the bone. 

i did various things around the house...he chewed the bone. 

and that's why i have decided he has no concept of time as long as he has that knuckle with him. 

i'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but for some reason, it makes me feel a little bit better knowing that while he's at camp, he is 100% devoted to one (and only one) task: devouring an unknown part of a cow (instead of pining away over when i'll be back for him). 

i know some dogs get anxiety and have to take sedatives while they're at the kennel, but not my dog. 

he has laser-like focus. 

i feel like if i would have realized this sooner, i could have channeled his energy for the greater good of all mankind. oh well - i'm just glad he's back with us tonight. i'll sleep a little better knowing that he's on guard. 

kind of a random, disjointed post, but i think i'm allowed to do that from time to time...right? if you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there. i promise there will be better things to come later this week. in the meantime...


spring has sprung

Sunday, March 17, 2013

it's unofficially official: spring is here! well, technically we still have a couple of days to go, but if you're anywhere near me, i'm sure you'd agree - it's here. and it's fabulous!

my favorite tree is budding, and i always get a giddy feeling when this happens. i have no idea what kind of tree it is, but i love watching it blossom each year.

the lantana is also starting to bloom...

we bought flowers to plant yesterday...

and we spent a lot of time working in the yard. i love how the girls set up perfect little scenes like this.

today is the last day of our spring break. we enjoyed our time downtown for sxsw for the early parts of the week, and the girls enjoyed some time with their grandparents, but by thursday, we were way over the big crowds and skinny jeans that invaded austin, and we had to slow things back down to our normal, pokey pace.

we also did some spring cleaning over the break, and i'm happy to report that both girls now have full access to their mini ipads and we recovered a loaned pair of swarovski earrings. spring cleaning = found treasures. everybody wins!

however, i will have to say that my most favorite part of spring break was realizing that even though we have a perfectly long, roomy couch, we tend to end up with all three of us smooshed on the same singular cushion when we settle in for the evening.

and i wouldn't have it any other way!

i hope you're enjoying spring's arrival as much as we are. if you had a spring break, i hope you got to kick your feet up and relax for at least part of the time. and i hope you have a wonderful week!


sunday funday + sxsw

Monday, March 11, 2013

it's that time of year again - the festivities of south by southwest are back! last week was the education portion, today is the end of the interactive and film frenzy, and tomorrow is the beginning of the musical madness.

yesterday we met up with some friends for sunday funday (the downtown-with-kids version) and we all had a ball! there were hula hoops...

there was giant jenga...

and there was plenty of ping ponging.

the girls and i also got a v.i.p. escort to meet grumpy cat (who had the prettiest sleeping face and managed not to maul anyone for the entire time we were there)!

i also spent some time yesterday peeling through the lists of bands so i could figure out exactly which ones i want to see. i do this every year, and then, despite my best intentions, i end up just going where ever the wind carries me. oddly enough, the bands i chose this year (based solely on name appeal) also happen to be bands i'd really like to see, if only they didn't take the stage well after my bed time.

so in addition to the obvious bands i want to see (jay-z, beyonce, and timberlake; paul mccartney with david grohl; and our good friend milo on thursday), here are my top ten picks for this year (roughly in order):

1. roadkill ghost choir
2. oh no oh my
3. gnarly charlies
4. the harpoonist and the axe murderer
5. foxygen
6. the reverend payton's big damn band
7. he's my brother she's my sister (they were my lone pick last year)
8. the wilderness of manitoba
9. shark week
10. middle class rut

today is the first day of spring break, and the girls and i are ready to make this a wonderful week. i hope you'll do the same!!


free night + school reform

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

i fully realize that one of the perks of me being a single mom is that i have at least one night each week where i can do whatever i want.


tonight is one of those nights, and i am 100% embracing my inner-geek.

several of my friends are at south by southwest (the educational version), and they are tweeting out fabulous things that have caused me to search for educational tweeters (twitterers?) to follow, and i don't think i would be true to myself if i didn't share some of my most recent (and favorite) findings with you.


a few good
reform in 

trust me, i'm not saying schools are a thing of the past; but what if we consider the possibility that schools as they are today could be a lot better with a little fine tuning? we already have great teachers and great leaders in place. if we could just adopt some of these new ideas, tweak a few things here and there...imagine what that would do for children's learning.

just for fun, here's one more video for you...this is freeman hrabowski. he's a strong proponent of girl power; and more specifically, he's a strong proponent of girl power when it comes to science, technology, engineering, and math. coming from a small town nearly-panhandle girl who wanted nothing more than to be a bio-medical engineer (until her first chemistry class in college), this video and his plea speak volumes...

peruse these as you see fit - tackle them in any order. there's no method to the madness.

but when you're done, i'd be  curious to know your thoughts - genuinely curious. where is the happy median? where's the common ground? where should we start?

because i know we aren't too far gone.


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