Make Me Happy

The weather has been glorious over the last few days, and yet I am in the crabbiest of moods, which I’m finding very hard to shake.

I know that a lot of it is due to sleep – Ella has been taking progressively worse naps for the last week and also getting up increasingly earlier each morning, while I try to catch up on the sleep I’ve missed over the last month thanks to a wicked combination of traveling, staying up late when Bart was out of town, and pregnancy/nap-induced insomnia. And I’ve noticed that, if there is one thing that I am irrationally bad at dealing with, it’s poor sleep, whether it’s my own or my child’s.

I can tell I’m on edge when the tiniest thing sends me into an emotional tailspin (I was getting a file out of our filing box yesterday and when it took me two whole seconds longer than seemed reasonable to find it, I was instantly filled with fury. Also, the day before, when Bart called me on his way home from work and asked how my day was, it’s not a very good sign when you accidentally burst into tears. And then when your toddler gets down from her chair, hands you an imaginary piece of cake and asks, “You happy now, Mama?” well, that doesn’t make you want to cry any less. Your heart just breaks into a million pieces instead, and you feel guilty for feeling unhappy in the first place).

I’ve tried to focus on doing more things that bring me pleasure the last couple of days, including:

  • An evening batch of these rice crispy treats (thanks for the very excellent recommendation, Becca)
  • Finishing White Collar Season 3
  • An afternoon walk to the library with Ella, including a little stop at the swings on the way home
  • Giving up on a book (Pure) that was doing exactly nothing for me, and reading in two days the very fantastic Wonder (recommended by everyone, everywhere).
  • Staying in my pajamas until ten a.m. yesterday morning (usually, I HATE not getting ready, but yesterday, it felt very luxurious to stay in my jammies with Ella for many hours).  
  • Morning runs with my neighbor 
  • Playing Fruit Pop, which Landen introduced me to (and listening to my bookclub book while I play so I can pretend that this a productive use of my time). 
  • Spending an hour visiting with Ralphie, who I have hardly seen since school started again
  • Putting up some Halloween decorations

The good thing about being on an emotional knife-edge is that it doesn’t take much to swing to happy either.

Here’s hoping I can rack up a few more nights of solid sleep and get back to feeling normal (also, this is why we’re going fake-camping this weekend instead of real camping. I cannot handle any more lousy nights of sleep and also I have the feeling that I’d probably lose my mind putting up a tent. Much better to go up, eat some s’mores, and come back to sleep in my own bed).

And ironically, I had been thinking about a post about how one of the things I excel at as a person is being happy. I will be postponing that post until it doesn’t feel like such a lie.

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  • Reply Stephanie Lee October 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I'm sorry you've been having an off few days. I hate when that happens! Hope you get feeling better and get some good rest soon!

  • Reply caitlinjacobs October 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I was printing off a document to take to the DMV yesterday and when that took more time than I wanted it to, I likewise freaked out. My husband waited till later to tell me that he looked down at his clock right then and saw that – yep, exactly on schedule (thank you little pill) for that time of the month. Ha. I'm sure pregnancy makes stuff like that even crazier. 🙂 Here's to hoping you get some good rest!

  • Reply preethi October 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I also get ridiculously emotional when sleep deprived (although oddly, I often sleep even better while camping). Except I'm evidently even more impatient than you and get annoyed with Dan whenever he tries to suggest my mood might have something to do with needing sleep. Wishing you a few nights of excellent rest!

    I made those crispy treats many moons ago and had forgotten about them. I'm thinking a Halloween redux.

  • Reply Carly October 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Sleep really is what makes or breaks it, isn't it?? It's why I truly struggle with the newborn phase (call me what you will, but it just isn't my favorite phase).

    When I get sleep I am so much more emotionally stable. Which makes for a happy mama.

    (Speaking of newborns and sleep, I read Babywise this go-round and feel like it has made all the difference with Rex. I highly recommend it!)

  • Reply Melanie October 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I'm sorry you're feeling crabby. I think a morning – or even a whole day – of pjs and laziness is a perfectly logical antidote.

    Sometimes the tiniest things (and hormones) will set me off. I'll be in a bad mood without knowing why, and then I'll trace it back to something totally small and insignificant.

  • Reply Amanda October 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Ah, I feel you! When I'm sleep deprived there is another, not-so-nice side of me that shows. I hate that out of control feeling and almost equally hate to admitting it's because I'm tired or when the hubby suggests I go take a nap. At my last Dr appt she suggested taking some Tylenol PM to help with sleep. She's so empathetic and said if that didn't cut it she'd prescribe some Ambien. I didn't know that kind of stuff was allowed. Anyway, I'll be keeping that in mind when things gets desperate!

  • Reply Landen October 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I am glad taht you included fruit pop in your list. Hope you get more sleep this weekend!

  • Reply Merrick October 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Been there…it just breaks your dang heart when your child knows you're unhappy and tries so hard to make you happy again!

    Oh, and I must try those rice krispies…

  • Reply Kayla @ Freckles in April October 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I am having such an off week too. I am so angry as everyone. EVERYONE. Except I'm getting sufficient sleep and it's not PMS so it's possible that this is just my personality.

  • Reply Sherry October 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I had a total meltdown in the hospital on Sunday. It was not awesome. Even just thinking about it now makes me teary, which just goes to show that my hormones are clearly not leveled off yet.

  • Reply Ben and Summer October 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Been there, still there! Dang hormones and lack of sleep. I never cry so much as when I'm pregnant. I feel the most badly for hubby. I agree though, aside from lack of sleep, which I can't handle very well either, my mood is just as likely to swing to the happy side too. Hope you get caught up soon. Thanks for posting this though, so we can all relate to each other!

  • Reply Brit October 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I hear you! I am not pregnant but for whatever reason the change in seasons seems to send me spinning every time. I'm the wicked witch of the west for a couple of days and then something snaps and suddenly all is well again. Two things that have worked for me are: (1) do something for someone that will really appreciate it. Service is great but sometimes I need to see that I was able to really make someone else happy. If they will clap or jump in response I will do it. (2) well… sex. It will regulate your hormones and bring your mood with it. Good luck! I hope you feel better!

  • Reply Angela Noelle October 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Good job for quitting a book while you're ahead. I liked Pure, but as I think we've established, I'm too forgiving when it comes to dystopia — that book really is a poor cousin to its contemporaries.

    I think all is forgiven when hormones and sleep are factored in to such things. Oh, the sensitive moods, I know them well. x

  • Reply Ralphie October 11, 2012 at 1:33 am

    I LOVE that I was part of your "happy list". You make me pretty happy too dear friend.

    This was such a great post. It really vilidated the grumps in me too. I can't tell you how many times poor B gets sobbing on the other end of the phone.

    Let us all press on.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader October 11, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Thank you for this post. It is always wonderful to read of someone else's grumpy moments. I hope the next few days are filled with more bliss to balance you back out. I know the imaginary piece of cake had to help!

  • Reply R and M October 11, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Fake camping is sometimes more fun that real camping anyway! I always stay up later when Ryan is traveling, mostly because I hate being alone at night and think that every sound is someone trying to break into my apartment. I stay up and keep myself occupied until I can no longer keep my eyes open – I should probably just try to be less paranoid.

  • Reply Saskia October 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Oh my, do I know what emotional tailspins are like. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Reply Kristi October 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I was in a really sour mood for like three days straight, not even conference pulled me out. Then on the way to take the kids somewhere, I checked my blindspot and when I turned back around the whole lane of traffic was at a dead stop. I was still going 50 mph. I had to swerve and slam on my breaks, and I am sure had a looked back half a second later I wouldn't be here today. And that was all it took to shake my bad mood. A near death experience. Ha, ha. I like your method better 😉

  • Reply Abby October 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    *hug* Good on you for owning your bad mood streak and concentrating on things that help alleviate it! (I often wallow…) Here's to feeling better (and SLEEP!).

  • Reply Creole Wisdom October 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Hang in there! I think a day in pjs is always a good idea from time to time. Never underestimate the importance of REST!

  • Reply Becca October 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I agree with Peaceful Reader. You seem like the kind of person who is put together and cheerful and productive all the time, so to hear that you, too, can be reduced to tears at a moment's notice is somewhat comforting to me.

    My happiness is also directly correlated to T's sleep. We were just in Utah for a funeral and in the 6 days we were there, he did not take one good nap. Not one. One day he slept for 20 minutes and when I heard him wake up I started crying. My wise father-in-law whisked T away and took him on an hour-long walk so I could nap. And again this morning, after so many months of working hard to get him to sleep in, he woke up (angry) before 6 AM and I just sat in my bed and cried like a little girl.

    But it's true that those rice crispy treats are remarkably effective mood changers. My sister made them once with pumpkin spice marshmallows (which I could not find in Palo Alto last year).

    Here's wishing you some great sleep. Lots and lots of glorious sleep. And fall treats.

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