Marriage, the Plunger Effect on sleep and exercise.

I’ll have to look back and see if I’ve explained the plunger effect before.  My husband plunges the  toilet VIOLENTLY so that there’s water and other things all over the bathroom floor.  Instead of using finesse, he uses FORCE like the suction of an F4 hurricane.  This M.O. occurs in other things he does as well.  It’s become a theme in our house.

Forward to today.  I’ve been on him about coming to bed with me instead of sitting on the couch watching television until he falls asleep and then waking up in the middle of the night and coming to bed.  Going to bed at the same time is really important to the relationship.  We have very little time together with only one day off together, 2 little kids, 3 adult children, and all the chores that come with living up here on this hill in the woods.

I’ve also been on him about exercise.  Because he gets none.

Then comes the PLUNGER EFFECT.  It started two nights ago.  He runs upstairs at 9, jumps into bed, and is sound asleep before I get there.  Then he gets up at 5:30 to exercise which I’m pretty sure means coffee and morning television, especially since I found the elliptical unplugged when I got up.  So then he’s so tired by 8:30 at night that he runs to bed again.   I’ve been very clear and specific about wanting to go to bed “together.”  I think.  Do I have to be so specific and include 6 minutes and 35 seconds of conversation at night in my request?

Do all men do this?

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Menopausal MOM with minions (preschoolers)

That’s what I should change the name of this blog to.  The symptoms of perimenopause do not go well with a 3 and 4 year old.  Here are some examples:

I got a massage this morning.  That sounds relaxing and indulgent, but it’s more work and sometimes painful.  She finds the trigger points that hurt and pushes them out.  Sometimes I work hard not to hold my breath.  She saw my legs today and said “You have as many bruises as my kids.”  Yes, and my hormones are so out of whack every month that I bruise easily every time one of the boys jumps on me or ninja whacks me in the legs with a book or a toy drill.

My hair falls out in clumps just before my period for two months now.  My doctor said I’ll just be one of those old women with sparse hair.  I’m 46!  I’m not 62!  And it grows back in.  NO, my estrogen is just bottoming out every month and my hair falls out.  But add to that two little boys who like to hold my hair when they are getting their butts wiped, or lovingly pet me in a little boy pulling hair kind of way.

And then there is the nap time problem.  Just as they’ve grown out of taking naps I’ve grown into them.

I got myself a fitbit last week and the one thing I discovered is that I sleep horribly.  7 hours and 3 of that is restless and 45 minutes of that is awake.  Then I realized that it’s tracking hot flashes.  I wake up, throw the covers off, go back to sleep, get cold, wake up, pull the covers back on.

Any other woman going through this would be like, well, I’ll get 9 hours tonight and nap tomorrow.  Not me.  The 3 year old sat on me today as I was laying on the couch and kept poking me in the nose to make sure I was awake.

Bald, tired, and bruised.  That’s me.

Books like The Hunger Games: The ZOLA Book List

The girls and I have put together our list of favorite books.

  • Hunger Games
  • The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud
  • The Naming Trilogy by Alison Croggon
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  • The Sea of Trolls Trilogy by Nancy Farmer
  • The Vampire Hunter series and Merry Gentry series by Laurell Hamilton
  • City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare
  • Gone by Michael Grant
  • The Nightworld series by L.J. Smith
  • Thirst series by Christopher Pike
  • Variant by Robison Wells
  • Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
  • Vampire Academy and House of Night series by Kristin Cast
  • Bruiser by Neil Shusterman
  • Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Feel free to add to this list.  Nothing quite compare to the Hunger Games, but some of these are very close.

Review of Eat Pray Love (The movie and the book) although I’m not finished the book yet.

I’m only reading it because Ellen told me to.

Not because I wanted to.

My impression was that this woman with lots of money and a good life ditched it to “find herself.” While I can connect with that journey, it’s not a reasonable, common-person story.  She has enough money to travel the world for a year, eat what she wants, be a tourist, and I just find it hard to believe that she fell down far enough to really get any perspective on what her priorities need to be in a spiritual journey.

What struck me most about the book was the very beginning.  The date her life finally fell apart, the day she prayed for the first time was September 9, 2011.  9/11 was a very important part of feeling like her inner and outer worlds were collapsing.  The day my world came apart at the seams that I was trying and failing to hold together was September 8, 2011.  It feels weird that another woman out there was doing the same thing I was at the same time I was.

However, my journey included POVERTY, stealing money from the kids’ piggybanks for a loaf of bread, HOMELESSNESS, FEAR of abuse and death, a struggle to ever lift my head above water again.  Another Oprah bookclub book, A New Earth, I think said something about having to really fall down and see the very bottom before becoming enlightened and I  struggle with the book and movie because spending 4 months in Rome eating cheese and pasta is only the bottom if you have IBS and spend every night alone in the bathroom spreading toxic waste.

The movie is entirely different than the book.  It’s a bit of fluff, trying to stick to the general story, without the sarcastic whit of the author.  It felt like a pointless story except for Javier Bardem, who is never pointless in all his gorgeousness.  Thank goodness he wasn’t dying of cancer in this movie.

I’m only on the India part of the book and I can only say that so far my reluctance still stands and that in this economy many of us dream of what the woman started with.  Perhaps she should have joined me on my journey, in which I had to deal with basic needs like finding change to eat or having to just leave most of what I owned or being broke or having to go to school and work full time with  3 children or standing in a flood in my basement alone and crying.

Going on a year long quest around the world is a LUXURY and while pain is subjective and depression can hit anyone, I read the book while shaking my head and comparing her weight-gain-my-pants-don’t-fit crisis to having to the two week long panic attack I had when my ex moved to the same town I was living in.

I fell asleep during A-team

Yes, I did. 

The man opened the netflix movie that arrived in the mail and was excited that it was the A-team.  He didn’t look sarcastic, but I can’t believe anyone would be excited about the A-team so I asked him if he was being sarcastic, which he wasn’t.  He just looked at me like he didn’t understand why I would ask if he was sarcastic about such an apparently exciting choice of movies.  I have trouble being anything but sarcastic about the A-team.

That might be because when I was a kid we had 3 television channels and one of them was in French so I never actually saw the A-team, although kids at school would talk about it.  So I knew what it was.  I missed out on half my childhood by not watching NBC.  Maybe ABC too.  I don’t remember.  I was too busy doing things outside.  Real life people.

I watched the first half of the movie, chomping on popcorn, wrapped in a big blanket.  Then I got all nice and cozy and fell asleep.  I kept waking up to explosions.  Lots of explosions.  And I said to myself, “There’s another explosion.”  And then I fell asleep again.

Obviously people in my house watch some movies I just can’t make my way through.  I’m going to give it another try before I go to work today.  Maybe with enough coffee and some toothpicks I can keep my eyes open.    I’m sure it’s not a bad movie.  I just need a reasonable PLOT to stay awake.

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

I finished this book half an hour ago and I feel the need to put my thoughts about it down somewhere so that the pain in my head will subside.

I was wandering around the library three days ago and saw the cover of this book and pulled it out with such excitement.  The Life of Pi was such a good story!

Beatrice and Virgil is not.  It doesn’t make much sense to me and is creepy and like a nightmare that I can’t quite explain and I would love to erase it from my memory.  Seriously.   I hoped throughout that it would get better, that the ending would save the rest of the book somehow.  It was a story within a story and although I know that the author was trying to write something intelligent and artfully creative about the Holocaust while using the characters of a donkey and a monkey, I am left feeling that he draws on the HORROR, while not really knowing what he’s talking about.

There’s a whole donkey torture scene and a detailed explanation of taxidermy.  There’s a dog that unexplainably gets rabies and kills a cat.  There is an insane German who stabs people.  And none of it means anything, except that I feel like I just watched all 12 Saw movies at the same time.  I’ve filled my head with the wordy vomit of an insane man.   I’m going to go downstairs and bash my head against the wall until the pain clears my head.

Seriously, is Yann writing about himself using Henry or the Taxidermist?  I’m sure that some of the more “Intellectual” people will talk about this book as being full of symbolism and such things.  But really, isn’t it just like the Emperor’s New Clothes, where the subject say Yes, Yes, You look great, just because they’re afraid of being different and looking stupid?

I had the same reaction to the movie, The Passion of Christ.  I don’t need that in my head.  I like my head to be full of GOOD and USEFUL things, not horror, torture, pain, and death. 

I won’t be reading any other books he ever comes out with.  I will forget this book and pretend it never existed.

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

 My middle daughter found this book when it first came out in 2008 and kept reading it over and over with a crazed look in her eye.  Sadly, I didn’t read it then because she’d just gotten off a Cat Warriors obsession and based on her indecipherable rants about which cat belonged to which tribe, I assumed that The Hunger Games was also something I wouldn’t read.

But late December boredom led me there.  I read the three books in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  I didn’t talk to anyone.  I barely moved out of my recliner, and only to go read in bed.  I let the house go.  Yes, it’s that good!

In a post-apocalyptic world, there are 12 poor districts, ruled by a rich and uncaring Capitol.   They use the Hunger Games to keep order over the districts.  One boy and one girl from each district is chosen by lottery every year to fight in the games.  There is one simple rule to the games, even though the man-made arena changes every year:  Only one player survives.  Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her little sister’s place even though she faces almost certain death.

There are many things I love about these books.  Katniss isn’t another weak female Bella character.  She doesn’t faint at the thought of death.   She gets shot, beaten, stung, stabbed, burned, treed, poisoned, and manipulated.  She’s tough, aggressive and unpredictable.  She’s a good shot with an arrow, one of the best in this world, but can also run, hit, heal and love.  Of course there’s a love triangle, but it’s not the WHOLE story.  Katniss would give up both her men if it meant saving the world and her sister, Prim.

The horror of the games lasts through the three books to the very last few pages.  The author comes up with inventive ways to torment people on every page.  There is no black and white in this story as even the most inspiringly awful characters have some good points, the rebels are not entirely right, and there is no happily ever after.  This doesn’t mean that there’s only ugliness in the books.  There’s also love and loyalty, beauty and  hope. 

Halfway through the second book I got up in the middle of the night to finish it because I could leave Katniss where she was.  There were times when I would go back and read a few pages just to experience it all over again.

This will be a difficult series to move on from.