Guess what I bought yesterday? No, not Christmas gifts, per se. I bought the materials to MAKE some Christmas gifts. Now, I can't say what I bought or what I'm going to make because various readers of this blog just might be the recipients of some of my homemade treasures. But I can say that I've got at least a couple fun projects ahead of me to get crackin' on.
(Sweetie is starting to get into the holiday spirit as well. Her birthday is December 20th, so I told her the other day that on her birthday Daddy and I will take her to see Santa. Ever since, she's been thinking about this and will even stop her regular play to get up, run over to me, and whisper to me like it's some great secret she's trying to keep "Guess what? It's my birthday and I'm going to see Santa! Yeah!" So cute! She'll then go into singing Happy Birthday to herself and tell us all about her cake with letters on it. It's not that she really thinks it's her birthday now, I don't think. She's just excitedly thinking about when the day comes. Okay, so maybe she's more in the birthday spirit. Whatever - it's all joyous.)
Another way I can tell it's getting to be that time of year is because - A) I'm starting to get really freaked out about all the money we end of spending for Christmas (hence the move toward more homemade gifts), and - B) I'm starting to get really overwhelmed with all I have to do (i.e. - the homemade gifts. What a vicious circle.) Not just with making the gifts, though. It's everything I have to do, today and looking forward. For instance, Sweetie is down for her nap now, so I really should start organizing my gift materials, but I also always write my blog entries during this time (which is what I've obviously chosen to do now). Then I have to check on the laundry every so often, as there are piles of it to do. I have a second Christmas gift I could get started on. I really should write a little more for the at-home/writing portion of my 40-hour work week (I have a couple hour's work to make up from last week because life was too chaotic to get it done then). But what I want to do most, since I was the one to get up with Sweetie this morning at 6:15 am, letting my husband sleep in until 8am, is to take a nap. And the damp, dreary weather today is strongly pulling me in the direction of my comfy bed.
When I went to my first visit with my new neurologist a few months ago, I was given a five question sleep deprivation survey. I had to rate, from 1 - 5, how sleepy I felt in different situations. My results showed I was "highly" sleep deprived and should seek medical attention ASAP. I rechecked my answers to see if I could better my score, but even changing a few numbers here and there didn't get me out of the "red zone". Hmmm. Is this really a problem, or is this a relatively-new-mom/disabled-woman-who's-not-used-to-so-much-constant-activity issue? I tend to lean more toward the latter, and I suppose my doctor does too, because he didn't talk to me about the survey's findings.
When I first met my now husband he took me on many wonderful weekend adventures. We went mini golfing, shopping at the outlet malls, dancing under the stars at outdoor concerts in the park, out on dinner dates to some great local restaurants, and to meet his extended family at their annual reunion picnic, plus so much more. And you know what happened after dating for just one month? I found myself in the hospital overnight with mono. I was hospitalized because my doctor wanted to be certain in ruling out meningitis, which, of course, it was. But my point is, all this new activity in my life - when I was used to staying home on weekends, reading or watching T.V. - had exhausted me to the point of illness. I'm thankful that my spina bifida is at a level where I am able to be more active if I choose, but I guess my body had had it at that point. It taught both of us that, even though I technically can do the physical activity, I still have to be careful to take it easy.
Writing this entry has made me realize that it's okay for me to feel so stressed - and so pooped. I see that I do have a lot on my plate and it's okay for me to feel overwhelmed about it all. I also don't have to be engaged in lots of physical activity to feel tired. The housework I do, plus all the little mental and physical things that fill up my days in caring for my daughter and completing my job, are enough to wear me out. And that's okay. I just have to remember to pace myself.
This morning when my husband and Sweetie were running around like lunatics, playing "chase me", I was feeling really down on myself that I couldn't play this with them. It especially got to me when, after my husband left to work on some home projects, Sweetie asked me to chase her and I had to say I couldn't. She was totally fine with this and easily transitioned to some calmer activities. I just was having a mini pity party for myself, feeling like I'm not as active a parent or as fun a parent as she wants me to be.
But, then again, who's since woken up from her nap and is now sitting on my lap as I write this - and not with her Daddy who's now resting on the couch? My Sweetie, that's who - the best Christmas gift I've ever received.