Friday, 8 November 2013

October and me

The problem with not posting in over a month is that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Should I tell you first about the insomnia or the change of heart I've had about cooking? An update on the kids or gushing about Anne Lamott’s new book?  You see the problem? I’d usually write a separate post on each one of these things.  

Maybe I’ll back it up to September.

That’s when life sped up and forced me to prioritize. Shaune started his brand new permanent job. Deaglan became a first grader and Naveen went back to the preschooler room after a summer with Daddy. I felt the overwhelming urge to hold things together, hold all of their hands through it.  

Sadly, writing was triaged right out. Even sadder, I began waking up every night at precisely 1:30 am and lying awake until the morning.

I knew Shaune needed the freedom to embrace the new job so I released him of home work when I could. After all, he’d given me a luxuriously easy summer.

So, I took over all the cooking, dealt with the kids myself every evening; fed them, cleaned up, read to them, worked with Deaglan to improve his reading, bathed them and tucked them safely into their beds. While I did this, Shaune worked hard to create a foundation for this program he'd likely teach till the day he retired.

At the exact same time, work got good and busy. And then Deaglan's hockey started. I broke a toe which meant I had to get creative with my workouts – workouts that had become crucial to my sanity. Shaune’s partner teacher went on sick leave which meant he had to bring the rotating door of substitute teachers (usually starting teachers with absolutely no experience in commercial kitchens) up to speed almost every day.

The insomnia worsened and hot flashes and night sweats joined the party. And at least once a day I couldn't remember something important, it was on the tip of my tongue, near the front of my mind but I just couldn't find the words or remember what it was I was thinking about.

But every day around 4pm I took a break and googled healthy dinner ideas.  I often stopped in at the Metro on my way home to grab the things I needed for that night’s meal.  I liked the control I suddenly felt over what we ate. Shaune loved the break and he raved about the meals I was making.  

And then one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through the digital TV guide in search of a cartoon both kids could agree on when I caught a glimpse of Suzanne Somers on CityLine.  She was listing symptoms to something - I’d missed the beginning – and almost every single symptom she listed sounded acutely familiar. A few hours later I had her new book I’m too young for this in my possession.

As I work through her book, I've begun adding other authors' viewpoints on the topic. Turns out I'm not too young for this. It has become evident that I am in the throes of perimenopause.

So that's it friends. That's what October was all about for us. I've missed this place and don't plan to be away for so long again. Next time I'll post more pictures and go on and on about the kids. And when the time is right I'll give you the lo down of what I'm doing to get myself on track with sleeping and all of that.

The boys got their hair cut and I tried to capture the before and after. These are grainy photos from my phone.

 I think I agree with my father-in-law that Naveen is meant to have long hair.



  1. The photos of the babies are great but this comment is for you.

    Do not listen to Susan Summers, the woman is beyond nuts on what she recommends.

    Ever since I read an article that said.... It is not normal to sleep 7 - 8 hours, our normal (Prehistoric human ) sleep was for two four hour sleep cycles, what a relief. So when you wake in the night say to your self (1:30 - 6 am) I have over 5 more hours to rest. Think about a poem or a story you want to write- take a pad and pencil in the bathroom, sit quietly on the throne and write, go back to bed, thinking nice thoughts and relax.... Don't try to go back to sleep because this quiet time is NORMAL? You will go back to sleep even if for only two hours..... And will feel rested.
    When awake your body is warmer than when you sleep, so night sweats. Throw off a blanket, take off your Jama bottoms, worry about what might be wrong with your very tired body will not help. Re evaluate your priority list. Think simple nutrician not fancy nutrician. You are over worked my friend. When you do cook cook enough for two meals and put left overs in the freezer for next Wednesday dinner. ..... See were I am going with this. And a big kudos to you for all your efforts. Ginger

  2. I'm sorry it's been so rough. I've had problems with insomnia forever, although it waxes and wanes in part in response to stress.

  3. How I have missed you! I was going to send a search party, lol. I figured you had experienced a major life shift. It's great when parents can give each other space to pursue interests because managing the day-to-day of child-rearing is a lot! You are handling it like a boss! Look at those gorgeous young men...they get more handsome in every photo. *gushing*

    I started night-waking too and it was driving me nuts. I went to see a doc who explained that people were meant to sleep in 4 hour cycles. Before the over-stimulation of technology and wacky schedules ppl would retire at 8 then wake up at midnight and go for a stroll or read by candlelight or a few hours.

    So I started doing stuff like reading books until I felt sleepy again (only ambient light). You have to avoid blue screens like TV and smartphones and florescent lights.

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  5. Oh, my you've had an October. Your boys are as precious as ever... Sending you love and balance as you and the family navigate new journeys... xxO


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