Move It Mama Monday! Early To Bed, Early To Rise?

Today’s post takes a look at some aspects of health beyond just exercise. In particular, sleep.

Last week, I had a couple of good days where I got everything on my to-do list done. However, the very next day I was dead on my feet and couldn’t drag my ass out of bed at my usual butt-crack of dawn wake-up time.

Coincidence? I think not!

My to-do list tends to be pretty full, and I’m getting to the point (hell, I’m past the point) where I’m tired of trying to get it all done. For the past year, I’ve been shedding certain activities and being very choosy about what new stuff I will do. But it seems I still need to trim a few things from my daily grind (if only to make it less of an actual grind).

What to cut though? One of the things I added to my to-do list was 15 minutes of house cleaning a few days a week. The house definitely looks better. I mean amazingly better, like better to the power of 10! And I only invested maybe 2-3 extra hours of cleaning time. But I didn’t take anything else out and that’s probably why I was wiped out the day after I did any house cleaning.

What can I ditch? I have to (read want to) keep up with the podcast and the cartoon. I must keep up with e-mail. I really want to keep up with my exercise. And the kids need my attention through out the day. Is there anything I could drop?

One thing I’m going to try is re-instating the bed time rule. This is the rule which states I must be in bed no later than 10PM, no matter what. I’ve learned from hard experience that if I don’t go to be at least by 10, I can’t get up at 5AM the next day. And getting up at 5AM is what allows me to get a jump on my day and actually be productive.

I’m also thinking of assigning certain major tasks to certain days. Like take one day just for cartooning, and one day just for recording and producing the podcast. In fact, I’ve already started on this plan by taking Sunday to write as many blog posts as I can for the week. Yep, this post was written yesterday, and I’m hoping to knock out one more before I go to bed.

Unless 10PM comes first. Then I’m going to bed no matter how much work I have left to do today.

Move It Mama Monday! Did I Make My Goal?


No, no, no, no. I did not make my Wii Fit goal. In fact, if you ask Wii Fit, I’m only a pound less than where I started from three months ago. I know that sounds terribly disappointing. However…

My bathroom scale says I’m about four pounds lighter. And my weight has been fluctuating between 146 and 148, rather than 149 and 152. And I’ve even gotten as low as 144.5 at one point. Plus my clothes fit better. For Mother’s Day, I wore the slinky dress I made for my honeymoon almost 16 years ago, and it fit perfectly. And my knees are doing a lot better in karate class. I can now get through two hours of class without limping out of the dojo afterward.

So I’m going to say this was a success, even if I didn’t lose the 11 pounds I set out to lose.

But I’m also going to say that there are areas I could stand to improve, and they’re things Wii Fit doesn’t monitor. Things like sleep, drinking water, and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I know what it takes for me to really lose this weight. The biggest factor is the amount of sleep I get every night. I do best when I can climb into bed at 9PM. Then I have no problems getting up at 5AM the next morning to start my day and go on to accomplish everything on my to-do list. Also, if I can sleep straight from 9PM until 5AM, I don’t end up craving sugary or salty foods all day long. However, if I don’t rigorously enforce that early bed time, I’m pretty much screwed. I won’t be able to get out of bed at 5 and I won’t be able to take control of my day from the get go. I end up scrambling to get stuff accomplished, including exercise, and my eating habits go south fast.

When I’m tired, I have problems doing things I know I should do to lose weight, like drink lots of water and eat fresh fruits and veggies. Instead of water, I’ll down cup after cup of hot tea or coffee with plenty of sugar in it. Instead of reaching for an apple or pear when I’m hungry, I’ll dig out the chips. It’s stupid, I know, especially since I know the fruit is better for me and I know I’m sabotaging myself when I go for the chips. But when I’m tired, I just don’t have the will power to do what I should do. Or rather, I refuse to summon the will power to reach for the fruit instead. There’s this little voice in my mind that tells me I’m tired and I’ve been working so hard, why not just relax a bit and reward myself with some comfort food. Again, really stupid, and I know it even as I do it, yet I do it anyway.

It hasn’t helped that I tried going to bed early last week, but had insomnia just about every night. That really killed my fitness goals, and I couldn’t do much but suffer through it. I’ve been plagued by insomnia off and on for as long as I can remember, and I really wish I could figure out a way to beat it. I don’t drink any coffee or sodas after 2PM, so caffeine really shouldn’t be the problem. I do tend to use the evening hours to catch up on work, so that’s probably the culprit. I should stop working in the evenings and do some winding down instead, but if I cut out those work hours, I’m afraid I’ll really get behind in work.

It may be that I need to look at my schedule again and try something new. I loved doing some exercise early in the morning before doing work, because I know that helps me lose weight, but I need the word hours desperately, especially if I’m going to eliminate those work hours from the evening. So my plan for this go around is to move the exercise to later in the day, probably mid morning after I’ve gotten some work done and gotten Pixie outside for some play time and gardening. We’ll see if that helps.

Two final notes: first, I’m still waiting to see what Wii Fit says I weigh after I get through my current menstrual cycle. Remember, I’m carrying around a lot of excess tissue held over from the previous cycle, and I’m wondering if that’s causing me to hold onto a little extra weight as well. Second, I’m waiting for the new EA Sports Active game for Wii Fit to come out. I pre-ordered a copy and am anxious to see how it works. I love the current Wii Fit, but would like to have something to add to my repertoire of fitness tools. Variety never hurts when it comes to losing weight!

Next week’s Move It Mama Monday will probably be late. I’ll be up in Maryland for Balticon all through Memorial Day weekend and won’t get home until late Monday, so look for an update on Tuesday instead. I could write the post in advance, but I’d like to give myself a week to see if I can convince Wii Fit I weigh a little less. So until then, have fun and keep moving!

Move It Mama Monday – Fighting the Sleepies

I don’t know about anybody else, but I tend to get the sleepies around 1PM most days. This is usually the time right after lunch when I’m reading stories to the Pixie before sending her to her room for quiet time. I’m fed, I’m lying on a bed or sitting on a couch, curled up with a snuggly bundle of Pixie joy, and I’m reading aloud, which for some reason always makes me yawn. I usually have a hard time keeping my eyes open after the first story, and by the third story, I’m nodding off in the middle of reading, only to be poked awake by my daughter who wants “more story, Mama!”

I know already that I don’t get enough sleep. I like to get up at 5AM to work for a couple of hours before everyone else wakes, and that means I really should be in bed by 9PM. Most nights though, I’m lucky if I’m in bed by 10:30. That’s not really enough sleep for me, especially if I do an intense workout that day. Invariably, I either end up fueling myself on caffeine, which I know is bad for me, or I eat too much to stay awake (also bad for me), or I crash around 1PM, and lose some of my precious afternoon work hours.

To fight the problem, I’m doing the following things. First, I’m trying my best to be in bed by 10PM. I really do feel the difference the next day. At least I don’t feel the need to eat so much to stay awake. I’m also trying to clear my work schedule so I have less to do, making it easier to get to bed at 10. And finally, I’m trying to fight the afternoon sleepies by getting up and moving when I’d really rather take a nap.

I’ve decided that at 1PM, I can either do a few of the Wii Fit balance games or I can pull out the DDR mat and do 10-15 minutes on that. I stink at both activities, but I’m getting the results I want. I have to concentrate, and I have to keep moving, and that’s usually enough to wake me up when I’m tired. It’s the best solution I’ve come up with so far.

Of course, there are days when it doesn’t work, days when I’ve stayed up far too late the night before and there’s no way I can possibly stay awake. What to do then? Lie down and take a nap. I feel guilty later for not using that time to work, but I also have to admit I enjoy snuggling up beneath a blanket and catching a few Zs. So good in fact, I’m wondering if I should make it a part of my routine followed by a few minutes of DDR or Wii Fit to wake up. I’ll have to see.

Do you get sleepy in the afternoon? How do you stay awake? Or do you prefer to nap?

So I’m working

Some Mornings

Some mornings, I get up waaaaaaaaaaay to early to do stuff. Like today, to work on the podcast. My knees are killing me and I’m dead tired. Do I go back to bed, or do I tough it out?

Like that’s a hard decision.


Fried But Not Tasty

I’m going on five nights of insomnia now, and it’s just about killing me. And I caught the creeping crud from Sam! How does that kid manage to get sick in the summer?!

I’m trying to function normally during the day, but it’s damn hard. In addition to taking care of the kids and the house, I’m trying like crazy to get some promotional work done. It’s not been easy. The 50th episode of my podcast, Heat Flash, goes up on Friday, and I have yet to toot my horn about that. Will start on that tomorrow, which is the last chance I have before I leave for a wedding in Pennsylvania. Very inconvenient time for someone to get married, right before my big podcasting milestone (grumble, bitch, moan).

Anyway, just letting folks know I’m not dead, just dead tired.

Why I Didn’t Get My Lazy Ass Out Of Bed At 5AM

Here are my top five reasons for why I did not get my lazy ass out of bed at 5AM like I was supposed to every morning last week. Okay, I know some of you are going, “Why the hell is she getting out of bed at 5AM?” The answer is, “So I can get some work done before the kids wake up and start screaming!” And you probably still don’t get it, so never mind. Here are my reasons.

1 – I stayed up way too late the night before, and needed more than four hours of sleep to function properly that day.

2 – I went back to evening karate classes, so I’m dead tired and I hurt like hell the next morning. Not getting up if I don’t feel good. Plus I stayed up too late the night before.

3 – For once, I got to bed on time, but then my oldest daughter came running into the room at midnight screaming that there was a storm in her room. “Honey, there’s a storm outside. It’s not in your room.” It took fifteen minutes to get her back to bed, just long enough to totally screw up a good night’s sleep.

4 – Oldest daughter came running back into my bedroom a second time, three hours later, screaming that the cats were under her bed. “Are they our cats?” I ask. “Uh-huh!” she says, nodding. “Then why are you scared?” I ask. “I’m not. They just woke me up.” Grooooooan.

5 – Top reason why I did not get out of bed at 5AM. I dreamt that my husband was a young, naked Antonio Banderas, and he offered to take me bowling. When the alarm went off at 5AM, I turned the damned thing off, curled up to my husband and went back to sleep. Hell, do you know how long it’s been since we’ve had a date? No way was I missing that one.

And there you have it. My excuses for sleeping until 7AM. Ta-taa!

So I Fell Off The Blogosphere…

I’m not even sure if I’ll get this entry written and posted, but I’ve been gone for more than two months, and I thought I should explain.
Hell with that. Explaining takes too long. Let me sum up.
My folks visited for the week of Halloween. Cassie refused to wear the Hermione Granger costume Grandma bought. Sam refused to wear anything.

I’ve been working like crazy on my podcast, Heat Flash. Several of the stories have shown up on the ERWA’s story galleries, so I know the writing is good. I wonder if the podcast is good too.
Sam, Cassie and I keep giving each other some sort of near-lethal upper-respiratory infection. I’m on antibiotics right now, and am so fed up with being sick I’m just blowing off the whole week. I’m doing the work I have to do, but have opted to skip going to karate and the gym and doing anything else. Did I mention that I have a pinched nerve in my neck as well?

I’ve decided getting up at 4AM in the morning is not feasible at this time. Yeah, I get a lot of work done, but it’s almost like being in an entirely different time zone from the rest of the family. Nobody else wakes up that early, and nobody else goes to bed as early as I need to in order to get up the next morning. So I haven’t been seeing Michael at all. Plus, with being sick so much, I’ve gotten out of the habit. I’m resetting my clock for a more reasonable time, still letting me get up early enough to work on the podcast before the kids wake up, but not so early that I might as well be in Englad, you know?

Michael cleaned the office over the garage, which means there’s now room enough for both of us in there. It looks very nice, and I am actually considering moving back in. The biggest problem I have with it though is that my computer in there runs on Windows 2000, and some of my software doesn’t work on an OS that old. So I need to update my OS. Plus, that computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, which means it can’t read any of the disks I’ve stored all my old files on. Michael is toying with the idea of building me a new computer. He bought a $100 case for $10 the other night. I only hope he doesn’t junk up the office again in the process. That would kind of defeat the purpose, you see.

Sam is running, playing, laughing, giggling, and dancing all the time. She climbs on everything, including the coffee table, and gets into everything, like Michael’s papers in the roll top desk. The roll top broke, with the top half disappearing into the back of the desk. We keep the bottom half down, but Sam has figured out how to pull out the chair, climb onto it, and reach over the remaining roll top to get Michael’s papers. Not good. Kid’s too damn clever for her own good.

Cassie is growing like a weed. In fact, I’d almost say she’s freakishly tall. She’s doing pretty good in preschool, and in karate class too. She keeps begging me to get her sparring gear so she can join the Power Kids class. So guess what she’s getting for Christmas? Don’t tell her though. I’m having a hard time imagining my freakishly tall four-year-old sparring with the older kids. My baby’s growing up so fast!

John turned 40 the other day. Ha ha! You’re older than dirt John! I just had to say that.

And I’ve got a ton of work to do. E-book covers, podcasting, stories to write, a book to outline, an image to finish up for a contest. Baby is screaming right now, so I’ll wrap this up.

Hope I don’t fall off the blogosphere again.

Walking Down Memory Lane

It seems like I can’t get much done these days. Everything and everyone is conspiring to foul up my work schedule. From never-ending vacations in Hell to federal holidays and a husband who seriously needs to get out from under my feet, my schedule is in the crapper. The biggest problem I have right now is getting up early enough to get a jump on the day. I try to get up before 5 AM (yes, that’s right; the crazy lady likes to get up before the butt-crack of dawn) in hopes of getting in some physical therapy for my knees, getting the laundry started, and doing a little work, but I’ve been having a hard time of it. The biggest problem I have of course is getting to sleep early enough to get up at that (ungodly) hour of the morning. But this weekend I made a concerted effort to get to bed by 9 PM every night.

And things still got fouled up.

Ah. Remember those nights early in Sam’s life, when she was just a wee baby, and she’d waking up crying every two hours to nurse? Remember that? Remember how exhausting that was? But those days are long gone, right? Sam’s 15 months old now, and sleeping through the night, right? Right?

Hell no. The little twerp has woken up around midnight each night since Saturday, screaming her noggin off. I let her scream for a bit at first, hoping she would quiet down and fall back to sleep. Babies are supposed to soothe themselves to sleep. But she didn’t do that. Instead, she got really pissed off that no one was running in to get her and she screamed even louder.

It was really bad Sunday night. She woke up at midnight and screamed until 3 AM. So much for getting up before 5 AM. Then last night, she nursed herself to sleep, only to wake up the moment I put her down in the crib. Screaming ensued. Michael had to go in and sit with her for an hour. She finally nodded off and woke up around 4 AM to pick up where she’d left off. Well, at least I did get up early this morning.

All this late night waking and screaming really reminded me of how hard it is to take care of a baby that doesn’t sleep through the night. I would have to be crazy to have another child (as if the whole “get up before 5 AM” thing left any doubt on that subject).

Then Michael pulled down the boxes of old baby clothes for me to sort through yesterday morning and I discovered that crazy is exactly what I am.

Yep, going through all those tiny little outfits, trying to find old dresses of Cassie’s that might fit Sam, really made me want to have another baby. In fact it made me long to have another baby. I got so teary eyed picky through old bibs and mismatched socks, sorting the newborn onesies from the 6-month clothes, stashing Sam’s outgrown outfits into old cardboard boxes to make room for Cassie’s old cold-weather gear. There was one particular line of outfits that really killed me. There was a time between Cassie’s first and third year when she was my little angel. She went everywhere with me and did everything. We were best buddies, and it was just the two of us. Cassie was so sweet and loving then, and unquestionably my little girl. Now she’s four and she’s a handful. Still my girl, but more of a tantrum-throwing devil child than the little angel she was when she wore those cute little outfits. It just made me want to cry, pulling those shirts and pants out of their boxes and seeing them again after all this time. Sam is already sprouting devil horns. She still loves me, but she’s got a defiant streak in her that will not quit. I feel like she’s my little girl only because I’m still the mommy with the magic, milk-producing boobies. Will she ever love me for anything more? I wonder.

Sam’s cuddle bug phase came and went much earlier than Cassie’s. While Cassie started out as a red-faced, screaming, colicky demon-spawn, Sam was the quiet, cuddly angle baby that clung to me and stared at me with adoring blue eyes from the moment she was born. I miss that unconditional love. I miss being able to kiss my child without getting smacked in the head. “No, Mama!” she says every time I go for a smooch. She’s too big to cuddle now, too busy to be my lovey girl.

So I want a third baby, just so I can have that cuddle time again. Yeah, I know. It means wearing maternity clothes again, and getting all swollen and round. It means my knees will be shot to hell by hormones and loose ligaments, and may never work properly. Or it means that Michael and I will pay big bucks to adopt, in which case we will not be bringing home an infant but an older child who hopefully needs to have some cuddle time with a mom who wants to give unconditional love as much as she wants to receive it. Either way, I want that third kid. Will I have it though? Give me a few years and we’ll see. I need to walk down Memory Lane a few more times before I finally make up my mind.

I’ve Had Days Like This…

This one comes from Yvonne over at East Coast F’lakers:

Click and open

I can remember doing quite a few things similar to this when tired. Looking for ice in the pantry. Putting my eye glasses in the dairy shelf of the fridge and then wandering around the house wondering where they were. Pouring OJ in my coffee. That last one really sucked because we didn’t have any more coffee left.

Sad what happens to moms when they get tired.

I’m Tired…

To quote Madeline Khan, “Everything from the neck down is ka-puht!”

I don’t know why, but I’ve really been dragging the last few weeks. Okay, maybe I do know why. Sam still wakes up 2-3 times a night, thus completely disrupting my sleep. Although last night she slept straight through, miraculously enough, so I was able to get up before 5AM and get going. I like getting up before 5. I like being dressed and ready to go and having the house to myself for a brief time before anyone else is up and moving. I really like getting a jump on my day. It makes a huge difference in me getting stuff done.

But I’ve been dragging, sleeping late almost every morning, and then falling back to sleep when I nurse Sam, and then taking a nap while she’s napping, etc., etc. So not much has been getting done around here.

Hopefully this will all be changing soon. Last weekend I went to EPICon (a href=””) and for the first time ever got to spend time talking to other erotica writers face to face. I’ve been writing on my own for so long I’d forgotten what it was like to talk to other writers. And I’ve never had the opportunity to talk to other erotica writers. It was very motivating, I have to say. No, even better than motivating. I’m suddenly ready to tear up the writing world with my stories, and I have a million ideas to get down on paper and I can’t wait to get started on them all…

Except that I’m so damned tired!

Oh well. Hopefully last night was not a fluke and Sam will sleep straight through again tonight. We’ll see.