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  1. Things That Drive Me Crazy

    April 10, 2016 by Diane

    Bun Karyudo The Man, The Legend, The Paper Bag

    Bun Karyudo
    The Man, The Legend, The Paper Bag

    I discovered Bun Karyudo on Twitter some time ago, and I’ve enjoyed his sweet, humorous blog ever since. He can turn the mundane into something rip-snorting funny. I invited him to write a guest post on my blog and he obliged, without any arm-twisting. Enjoy! And to check out more of his fun ramblings, please visit him at

    Things That Drive Me Crazy by Bun Karyudo

    “But write about what?” I ask in my email.

    “Things that drive you crazy,” comes the reply.

    I pull at my earlobe and try to think. Anger’s not an emotion that features much in my usual repertoire of responses. There are people who can so concentrate their fury, they need do no more than lower their eyebrows three-quarters of a millimeter and thunderclouds gather in the sky, the earth begins trembling, and grown men and women fall to their knees begging forgiveness.

    This never happens in my case. I can jump up and down, snarl, wave my arms, bang my fist on the counter and the clerk at the post office will merely look through me and shout “Next!” or else give me directions to the nearest restroom. But a guest post is a guest post, so I decide that the next day, I will make a special effort to notice everything that registers the slightest tiny blip on my rage-o-meter.

    The following morning begins, as do most mornings, with the ceiling. Wow! It’s so bright! Have I woken up in the middle of a New Year’s firework display? A naval barrage perhaps? No, it’s just the irritatingly luminous display on my wife’s alarm clock. So what time is it? I have no idea. I can’t actually see the numbers from my side of the bed, just the eerie green glow they cast about the room.


    Woah, great start! The first modest blip on the rage-o-meter!

    I stagger through to the bathroom mirror and see myself. Oh there I am, fresh as a daisy – although, sadly, a daisy in a meadow used by tap dancing elephants.


    As I avert my eyes from the mirror, I happen to notice that one or other of my sons has used up a roll of toilet paper and then simply left the empty cardboard tube in the holder. I try not to give in to annoyance. After all, how can I really expect a mere teenager to manhandle a hulking four-and-a-half inch cardboard cylinder – one weighing almost 1.5 ounces! – and lug it all the way to a wastebasket very nearly four feet away?

    Blip! Blip!

    Like it or not, I’ll have to look back toward the mirror if I’m to shave. Oh look! My elder son has left the mirrored side doors of the bathroom cabinet open again so that he can see his hair from every conceivable angle. He seems to have ignored the fact that I asked him to keep these door closed in order to avoid head-bumping incidents. To be fair, it may simply have slipped his mind since I’ve only mentioned it to him one or two hundred thousand times before.

    Blip! Blip! Blip!

    I shave, splash some water on my face and then look at my face carefully in the mirror again. There has been a massive improvement in that I’m fairly confident any visiting aliens from Mars could now identify my approximate genus. Perhaps they might even be able to make a stab at my species after I’ve had my shower.

    I turn on the water and wet my hair and body. Then I hunt through the various pairs of matching plastic bottles around me for shampoo and conditioner. I check the blue pair first. The conditioner bottle is full but the shampoo bottle is empty. Perhaps the white pair will hav— No, same again. The pink pair? Oh, for goodness sake! My children do this every time! They use up all the shampoo and ignore everything else. It looks like this is just another of those days when I’m going to leave the shower with the best conditioned dirty hair in the Northern hemisphere.

    Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip!

    I turn off the water and reach for the towel which I keep hanging on the rail outside the– Agh! Not again! My towel has been folded back over on itself for some reason, thus ensuring that it hasn’t dried properly. The only light my wife and children can ever shed on this fiendish towel origami is that it definitely, absolutely, positively has nothing to do with them. Oh, those accursed towel fairies!

    Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip!

    Left with no choice, I begin patting myself with a towel that’s probably wetter than I am. Slowly, my upper body does begin to feel drier, although this may owe as much to evaporation as to anything else. Yet for some reason, my feet feel no different. I peer down to find out what’s going on, and notice the water is not disappearing. I remove the drain cover and check beneath. How can it be clogged with hair again? I removed all that just the other day!

    I think about my other family members and check off each of the possibilities in turn just to be sure. No… no… no… They’re not Yetis, not alpacas and not Afghan hounds. Where can all this hair be coming from? I’m not very excited about having to touch something that looks like it was coughed up by a saber-toothed cat, but I don’t want a flooded bathroom either, so reluctantly I bend down, pick one corner of the squelchy mess between my thumb and forefinger, and toss it into the wastebasket.

    Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip!

    After I’m fully dressed, I take a step toward the bathroom door and open it, only it doesn’t open. Recently, the lock has decided that instead of closing when turned left and opening when turned right, it would be much more fun to remain closed whether it is turned left, turned right, turned left-right-left-right-left, is hammered, is kicked, or is sworn at. I eventually get the door to open, but only at a terrible cost…

    Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip! Blip!

    Seven blips! My highest total so far.

    At this stage, I decide to call off the experiment. By forcing myself to take conscious note of all these minor irritations, I am quickly being worked into an unhealthy state of agitation. I’ve barely made it out of the bathroom and already I’m feeling angrier than I have for months. If I go on like this, I’m bound to lose my temper at some point today. There’s even the possibly that I might begin raging at some poor store clerk or passerby, and who knows were that might lead? Most likely, down the passage, first on the left, second on the right, to the nearest restroom.


  2. How to Turn Bedtime Into Sleepy Time

    May 31, 2015 by Diane


    Cute small baby - discovery

    I’m an insomniac and have been for a long, long time. Bedtime, for me, is torture. I’m like that child who resists going to sleep. I don’t want to give up the day. I’m too restless to settle down. And let’s not forget the nighttime monsters. These are not the imaginary monsters of yore, the kind that disappeared between the closet doors when my father turned on the lights. No, these are the monsters of adulthood: anxiety, stress, and the biggest monster of all…insomnia.

    One night as I lay in bed humming to myself, it occurred to me that I needed expert advice on how to lull my inner restless child to sleep. So I reached out to Lori Lite, mommy, blogger, and the author of Stress Free Kids, A Parent’s Guide, for some tips. She was kind enough to answer my questions as my first guest blogger (woo-hoo!)

    So, dear readers, if you too struggle with insomnia, read on to learn how to turn bedtime into sleepy time.


    photo: Lori Lite

    In your book, Stress Free Kids, you share a host of helpful techniques for parents to use to make bedtime a more inviting experience for children. But what if the child who refuses to go to bed is our own inner rascal? Can we use these same techniques with modifications, or do you have any new tricks to recommend?

    You can absolutely use the same techniques I suggest for children. The techniques I teach children are the very same techniques used for adults. They become child-friendly because they are woven into a storytelling format. Affirmations, progressive muscular relaxation, visualizing, and breathing are my “staples” when it comes to insomnia.

    You can learn these techniques by listening to Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation or give your inner child a real treat and allow yourself to enjoy the story format of Indigo Dreams or Indigo Ocean Dreams. Either way, you will learn tools you can access to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

    For a new trick and since you mentioned your “inner restless child.” I would suggest taking a moment to talk to your inner child. Tell her how she is loved and you look forward to playing tomorrow. Let her know it is OK to rest and give her a hug. …. you will be surprised how quickly your inner rascal will settle down when you acknowledge her. It is important to stay in touch with your inner child so that you can remain playful when life wants you to be constantly serious.

    A mindful mantra I mention In my new book, Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide, is this: “Just for today I will let my inner child come out and play. My children will remember me as a mom who had time to play.”

    Let’s say that the “child” drifted off into sweet slumber. But at three o’clock in the morning, the wee one is wide awake again. What’s a “parent” to do?

    Waking up is not the problem. The mind list and mind chatter that follows is what will keep you up. It is important to shut down the mind chatter that starts to run through your brain. I like to quiet my mind by filling my brain with a soothing color. Try this- “Visualize a color swirling in and around your head. Feel the color behind your forehead and nose. See it filling your sinus cavities and soothing your jaw. Let the color wash away all of your thoughts and worries….leaving your mind completely still.” Relax your eyes and focus on your breathing. You should fall back to sleep.

    When “sleep” to the inner kid becomes less of a soothing activity and more like something to avoid, what techniques can ease the way?

    You can have a routine in place that your inner child looks forward to. Revisit the things you enjoyed when you were a child. Did you spend time putting puzzles together? If so, treat yourself to working on a puzzle before bedtime. Did you love bubble baths? Fill your tub up with lots of bubbles. Puzzles and bubbles are great relaxing activities that will feed your childlike soul. A Stress-Less Activity for bedtime that I recommend in my Stress Free Kids book is to create a kid spa. “Turn bathtub time into relaxing spa time by letting your child play with a cup filled with baking soda. It is inexpensive and fully dissolves in the water, while softening and soothing skin. It amps up the alkalinity of the water and is said to aid in detoxifying. The silky water creates a luxurious feel that even kids can’t resist.” Focus on relaxation and sleep will follow.

    Any other thoughts you want to share on the subject?

    Bedtime can be tricky. Tap into your creativity and find what works for your inner child. Have fun turning your bedroom into a relaxation oasis. Give yourself a winding down period where you nurture yourself. Your inner child is likely looking for more emphasis on self-care. Don’t expect to go from energy level of 100 to sleep energy of 10. Enjoy the process of relaxation.

    Where can my readers find you on the web?

    Please visit where you will be directed to packages of books and CDs that suit your child’s age range. Sign up to receive my blog posts. Follow me on Twitter @StressFreeKids and Facebook. I am very active on both and love to share tips that keep parents inspired.

    On behalf of insomniacs everywhere, thanks for the great tips, Lori!