Friday, September 28, 2012

Seven Quick Fall Takes

--- 1 ---

Do any of you night owls (Melanie? Anybody?) have advice on how to get ready for the day in an efficient but stress-free way? I'm at my wits' end with our current morning routine. Scott isn't quite so frustrated, but he doesn't like it when I cry so I'm assuming he's on board with the idea of reducing stress. As long as he doesn't have to get up any earlier.

He already sets out his clothes and packs up his bag the night before. I pack his lunch. I've tried to implement a "Shower in the evenings" policy, with mixed success. (Mostly it's just moved the nagging to a different part of the day, which is kind of a lateral move in terms of stress levels.)

He's 23 years old, so it's not like I can restrict his video game privileges if he doesn't come downstairs and get in the car when he's supposed to. Plus, that would still involve me enforcing a routine from the outside. I know internal motivation isn't something you can force, so I'd settle for "How to not go crazy when your husband moans and flops about like a dying fish about for several minutes instead of GETTING OUT OF BED."

UPDATED TO ADD: Because Hyperbole and a Half makes every situation better, here is an artistic rendition of what Scott feels when I tell him to get out of bed in the mornings:

--- 2 ---

On a lighter note: Matthew learned how to climb stairs yesterday. And he has FIVE teeth now.

He's beating Teresa on the tooth front...she has three missing teeth and one more that's loose.

--- 3 ---

I cleaned the bathroom this week. It took me three days and I didn't even clean the tub (Scott does that), but I DID IT. The floor is very shiny. I like it. Not enough to not go several months in between moppings, though.

--- 4 ---

The other day, just for kicks, I decided to count up the number of calories that Scott eats in a day and came up with about 1400. And that's with breakfast. Sometimes he doesn't eat breakfast.

For the record: He's trying to gain weight, though obviously not very successfully. And he was offered several additional food choices, so it's not like he thinks that he can only eat what I offer him because we have a tight grocery budget. He just doesn't get hungry or something.

Remind me later to buy some bacon and douse everything I cook in butter.

--- 5 ---

Scott's breakfast request this morning: Half of an egg sandwich. HALF. As much as it pained me, I fulfilled this request. (I made up some egg salad yesterday in anticipation of not being able to eat meaty leftovers today, but when I offered it to him I kind of meant a whole sandwich.)

When I took out the piece of bread and contemplated cutting it in half, I thought to myself, "Self, if you use a knife the bread will get all mangled. Maybe you should try scissors instead."

So I took out my handy-dandy kitchen shears and cut the piece of bread in half. It worked marvelously. I am going to do that all the time from now on. (Up until the point at which I convince Scott that he's going to waste away to nothing with this "half a sandwich" nonsense.)

--- 6 ---

I LOVE this fall weather. The trouble is, it makes me want to bake things...pumpkin muffins, apple cobbler, chocolate chip cookies, caramel things... (I don't even know what I want to make out of caramel. Anything.) But we currently have more than enough muffins and desserts and things for me and Mr. Eats Like A Bird. *pout*

At least there's a lot more fall still left.

--- 7 ---

Here's a picture of Matthew sleeping:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


GeekLady said...

I love fall too, but Texas only has pretend fall. Have you ever seen those fairy tale pumpkins? They're supposed to make awesome pies and things. I'm gonna get one and turn it into pie. And things. Like pumpkin bread.

Melanie B said...

1. Not sure how much help I can be. After seven years of marriage I'm still struggling with the disjunction between our morning routines.

As you know, I am so not a morning person and am liable to punch someone who tries to wake me up. But I compensate by showering at night and if I know we need to get out early, prepping everything in advance the night before. I can get dressed and ready to leave the house in about ten minutes if need be. Not happy to do so; but I can do it. It probably goes without saying that that's unless the kids are involved. That takes much, much longer.

Still, even with the kids in tow, I can be pretty ruthlessly efficient in the mornings. I think my attitude is that they stink so much I just want to get through them so the rest of the day can begin. I go into my autopilot and don't have to think too much.

On the other hand, Dom can hop out of bed in the morning and unless the kids were keeping him up at night he's pretty coherent. But if he doesn't have anywhere to be he will linger for hours before getting round to going to take a shower and shave and dress and all that stuff. Then when he does go start the process, I'm always amazed at how long it takes. That's where I start to go a little crazy if I feel like we have a need to get out the door by a certain time based on my internal perception of how long our errand will take and when the kids will need to be fed and got back home for naps.

So far I haven't found that nagging works particularly well.Nothing really seems to work except him having some idea that we need to get out by a certain time.

So I have no advice except to wonder aloud (so to speak). I wonder what would happen if you just left Scott to his own devices and let him be late if he can't get his stuff together. I suppose he'd miss his bus and be late? But maybe you should just let the timing be up to him and let him be late. If he cares he'll adjust his routine? Maybe?

3. Can you come over and clean my bathroom? Please.

4. I want to bake lots of things too. And eat them all. I get that way when pregnant and if I'm not careful I'll gain 40 pounds again.

I indulged a bit too much when we were in Texas. My parents' house always has so many sweets and I told myself I was on vacation and for a wedding at that so I had permission to gorge myself. But now I'm in the habit of craving a dessert after the kids are in bed. So hard not to eat all kinds of ridiculous things.

At least the kids are kind of getting big enough to make a dent in whatever baked goods I produce so I dont' feel it's all up to me. But I'm trying to be nice to my diabetic husband.

Melanie B said...

Oh and I love the Hyperbole and a Half image,

The Sojourner said...

Well, part of the problem is that I have to drive him to the bus stop...and if he was REALLY late and missed the 8:15 bus (which has never happened), then I'd have to drive him all the way down to his office. (30 minutes on the highway, in rush hour thanks.) So I have to structure my early morning around his schedule and thus set myself up for fed-up-itude when the interlocking pieces of our schedules don't interlock properly.

Scott said...

Point the first: Lateness typically makes the difference between catching the earlier of two buses both of which are acceptable (although the earlier the better when there's work to do first thing in the morning and I'm an hourly and all that). I don't think I could accept a job that strictly required me to make the earlier bus 99% of the time. If the job were, say, down the road from here, I could probably accept a stricter schedule and/or an earlier one. It's logistics. Except where it gets stressful to keep up, and there it's stress.

Point the second: I do not feel at all like that dog. Rather, the problem is that it usually takes till after I've dragged myself out of bed and wandered around for an hour for me to be conscious of what I feel at all besides groggy, let alone weigh how I feel against my responsibilities so my responsibilities can win out. Waking up for me, except from the sort of nap that preppy managers call "powernapping" and I call "barely even falling asleep napping", is like the Windows progress bar: both the percentage complete and the estimated time remaining are liable to fluctuate in both directions rather than moving steadily and consistently toward completion. It also doesn't help that my abstract intellect can come online before almost anything else, leaving me distracted by thoughts because the portions of my brain for real-world immediate action are not there to provide either alternative or urgency. I basically try to get up as fast as I can and usually wind up just barely making it because that's as fast as I can be. See also/again the comment about logistics and not being able to take a job that had any tighter schedule requirements because of this.

Point the third: The combination of the above two points is most of what needs to be known on the matter, and niether of them means I don't care -- rather, the caring comes in at the point already mentioned where I have to determine if a job's logistics are manageable, because it can't change anything at the part where I'm lying in bed and verbal input from outside is coming in telling me to get up but the part of my brain recognising the meaning of that is unable to communicate to whatever part of my brain is supposed to actually activate my senses and deactivate sleep mode (pretty sure there is a sleep mode and the problem is it's not getting turned off; I dunno if this is something to do with my brain's gear-switching stickiness or to do with circadian rhythms or both, see below on gear-switching).

Scott said...

Point the fourth: I'd shower in the evening more often if I didn't have to squeeze both vegging till my second/third wind hits and doing anything I'd care to do with my time once my second/third wind hits into the time after I get back from the commute at the end of the day, or if my brain didn't tend to switch gears slowly such that once I get myself working on any of my own things it's difficult (in terms of wanting to and in terms of getting retainable focus on the new task) to break and do something like shower (incidentally, this whole brain switching gears slowly thing is part of an actual medical assessment; unfortunately, it's not the sort of thing that translates into any kind of special needs accomodations, it just helps me understand how to manage myself). Also worthy of note is the fact that during the vegging phase between winds, if I have already spent the past two thirds of the day focused on responsibilities, I have a hard time getting up out of a chair, even to do a mundane task; I think the way my bursts of energy work might be related to the way my brain focuses on a given thing or set of related things with high power for a while until I get tired, so same story there as with the switching gears. If I could afford to take a slightly longer lunch and convince myself to spend it relaxing, that might help the burnout; if I could stop having my second wind come toward the end of my work day and spiffle out during the bus ride back, I might not have to wait for my third wind and might be able to more efficiently use my post-work time.

Point the fifth: In short, I think things will improve when A) I can get a job without a commute, B) I can get a salaried position where they're fairly flexible with when and how I put in my time even if they're not purely result-driven, C) I have a second car and can drive it downtown myself (not sure that's actually likely to happen soon, I'd kinda prefer to pay off student loans before investing in a car, unless the current one breaks down), D) get something that can wake me up at the right point in the circadian rhythm (and discover that that alone makes it easier to switch sleep mode off, that sleep mode's non-off-switchability isn't mostly a matter of my brain's gear-switching oddity), or E) any combination of the above.

Point the sixth: till then, the real challenge is that we have here a morning person with a scheduling/planning personality trying to help a non-morning person of the brain-doesn't-activate-for-an-hour variety get where he's going every morning a bit earlier than either of them really wants, and it's not so much the inherent doability that's the sticking point as the stress involved in making it just barely happen every day.

The Sojourner said...

Clarifying note: Scott is posting the above for posterity because he wanted to make sure my points were not misconstrued. It's not anything I didn't know.