Archive | September, 2011

Sponsor Me in the Sleep-a-thon

27 Sep

nap timeIf sleeping was an Olympic sport, then I would be on a Wheaties box.

I have always loved to sleep – and in my 20s, I developed quite a reputation for it. I was the person on girls’ trips who always got her own bed – and sometimes my own room – because I slept later than anyone else. Eleven in the morning was entirely too early for brunch, and I really wished I was Catholic so I could go to church at night.

The problem was that as good as I was at sleeping  until the late morning or early afternoon,  I had a hard time falling asleep at a normal time – like before midnight. I was best at sleeping from 2 a.m. until 10 a.m., but since I wasn’t working as bar tender, that schedule didn’t work out so well for me.

Fast forward to age 39. With two small children, I have been suffering from sleep deprivation for the past 52 months, 2 weeks and 2 days. Because exhaustion is a permanent state of being, I have become like a house cat. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. If you wake me I will hiss, swat my tail and skulk off. My children have cured my proclivity to lie awake fretting about work deadlines, about what I said after three glasses of wine, or the likelihood that I will get cancer from my mobile phone. I hit the pillow, and I am out.

Because I love to sleep so much – and I am now get to sleep so little – I wish I could escalate sleeping to a hobby rather than simply a basic need. I am a woman who doesn’t have a hobby per se – and while generally I think hobbies are overrated and sometimes downright strange (extreme couponing, rock collecting and macramé come to mind) – I have always felt that I needed a hobby because most people have one. Turning sleep into a hobby – in my opinion – is not a stretch. After all, other basic needs like eating are quite fashionable hobbies. People discuss with great enthusiasm recent restaurants they’ve tried, they plan vacations around dining and Thanksgiving basically revolves around food. That’s not to mention the passion that some people put into cooking – taking cooking classes, investing in cookware that costs more than my freshman year’s tuition – and of course there’s the Food Channel, need I say more. 

I have also thought that sleep should be considered a sport. It’s a physical activity, it’s good for your health, and it makes you look and feel better – just like exercise. As with hobbies, I’ve never really had a sport that was my passion. I have dabbled in everything from ice skating to synchronized swimming, but nothing has really stuck. So I think creating an “a-thon” related to sleeping really makes sense for me. I always try to support friends who are competing in a triathlon for disease X or walk-a-thon for good cause Y … so why not a sleep-a-thon? Of course I would need a cause to raise awareness of and money for. Perhaps under-privileged sleep apnea suffers? Adolescent insomniacs? Those injured while sleep walking?

I would like to have a little spirit and “rah-rah” around my sleep-a-thon efforts. So here are my ideas for building team spirit:

Team Mascot: Sheep; Uniform: Midnight blue pajamas; Fight song: Braham’s lullaby.

I am still trying to come up with a team name, so I would love your suggestions on that.

I hope other people will join me in training for my sleep-a-thon (of course we will all be training individually in our own beds – this is a NONCONTACT sport). I recommend that we start with two events – a sprint and a long distance event. The goal of the sprint will be to fall asleep the fastest; and the gold medal for the long distance event will go to the person who sleeps the longest overnight.

Of course, doping will be absolutely prohibited – no alcohol within 24 hours of game time and no Tylenol PM, Ambien, Melatonin or other sleep aids six months prior of the sleep-a-thon. We need to keep the game clean – this isn’t track and field after all.

I plan to tell my husband that I am going to train for the long distance event every Friday night, and he shouldn’t disturb me until 11 a.m. on Saturday. My sprint training will be Sunday afternoon from 2 until 4 p.m.

If you are interested in participating in the sleep-a-thon or would like to sponsor me, please comment below. Now, since my children are asleep, I think I will squeeze in a quick work out myself. Sweet dreams.

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Fall Fashion 2011: InStyle v. MyStyle

7 Sep September Fashion Mag Covers

Labor Day has come and gone. Time to pack away the eyelet and espadrilles and get ready for fall clothes. But as an almost-40-mom, InStyle isn’t always MyStyle. So here’s the fall fashion issue of Instyle v. MyStyle.

InStyle: Faux-Fur Vest … It’s cozy, it’s glamorous, you’ll wear it this fall

MyStyle: Fleece Vest … It’s cozy, it’s androgynous, you and your husband can match!

InStyle: Layering Style … Dress or skirt over pants

MyStyle: I can barely get one outfit on in the mornings – now you want me to wear two!

InStyle: The Tunic. What’s more forgiving or easier to pack?

MyStyle: The Tunic. What’s more likely to make you look pregnant?

InStyle: The Cape. They were always guaranteed to make drama.

MyStyle: The Cape. Great for Halloween. Does it have an “S” on the back?

InStyle: Boot season is here … which style will you shop for? Flat riding, tall stacked heels, slouchy suede

MyStyle: Boot season is here … which style will you shop for? Rubber rain boots, snow boots, hiking boots

InStyle: What’s your favorite French food?

MyStyle: Do French fries count?

InStyle: We’re loving … Rihanna’s white suit

MyStyle: I’m hoping … she has a Clorox pen

InStyle: Are sheer black or nude pantyhose an option again?

MyStyle: Are support hose an option (ever)? How about Spanx?

InStyle: What to wear for casual Friday

MyStyle: What about casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?

InStyle: Time Traveler …’80s … Take the best of it and don’t look back

MyStyle: Time Traveler … ‘80s … Take the Hammer pants and don’t look back

InStyle: Emerald. This gorgeous jewel tone will definitely add richness to your wardrobe

MyStyle: Great. I’ve always wanted to look like Kermit the Frog

InStyle: Does it really work? Neutorgena Rapid Wrinkle Repair night moisturizer

MyStyle: One word: No

InStyle: Missoni ZigZags into Target.

MyStyle: Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Happy retail therapy everyone!

Summer Lovin’ Happened at Last

3 Sep
A view of Badin Lake on Labor Day weekend

A view of Badin Lake on Labor Day weekend

Usually by Labor Day weekend, summer has worn out its welcome with me. I am tired of the oppressive heat and humidity, the mosquitoes, spending hours in a wet bathing suit, painting my toenails, and air-conditioned buildings that are too cold. My hair and yard are both fried from the sun, and I am ready for fall.

My love affair with summer began to fade at the same time summer vacation ended. I started my first job out of college at a small town newspaper in June of 1994. After about six weeks on the job, one of my colleagues – also a recent grad – commented that without summer break, summer just felt like one long, hot semester. How true.

Summer has continued to feel like a long, hot semester for me. The joy of summer as a child was the change of pace and freedom. Freedom from school, freedom from schedules, freedom to waste time. Long days at the pool, adventures in the woods, staying up late, and sleeping in. The luxury of getting bored, rereading favorite books, and day dreaming.  It was truly a vacation from the routine of the other nine months.

Summer as a working adult does not provide much of a break, and the pace of life sometimes even picks up. The hot months get busier as we try to cram in vacations, swim team and family reunions while keeping up with responsibilities at home and at work. So with Labor Day upon us, and preschool beginning next week, you would think I would be ready to say “so long” to summer. Most of my friends are. Public schools started August 25th, and now it’s just the little kids at home watching too much Nick Jr. and leaving moms fantasizing about the free time preschool will provide.

But I feel differently this year. I only work part-time now – very part-time actually – and I have children who are old enough to really enjoy the simple pleasures of summer. Drippy popsicles, afternoons at the pool, picking blue berries, and running through the sprinkler.Running through the sprinkler

In June I had lots of plans for the summer. Backyard cookouts, twilight play dates, working hard with my four-year-old on writing and reading – most of this never happened, and that’s okay. Our summer has been slow. I’ve had time to stop and smell the sun screen. This summer we’ve done less and enjoyed it more and in the process rediscovered the allure of the warm months. So I’ve developed a bit of a crush on summer again. Maybe next year it will be a full-blown romance.

 

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