The dark side

Isn’t there a saying-“come to the dark side, we have cookies”? To this I say “yes please”.

I have given in this week to some negativity. I did go to the dark side and sadly, they didn’t have any cookies, and I didn’t make any.

I like to find the positive whenever possible because I feel like I’ve sat alone in the dark for so long. I knew the answer wasn’t to remain in a funk and let it fester inside me, so hence the therapy, and the determination to move forward with purpose and hope. This week however just wasn’t meant to be the best for me I guess. I may not have started out with enough resolve to not let life’s ups and downs get the best of me.

I’ve been bickering with my husband lately. Not fighting, fighting is different than this. Having small squabbles over piddly little things. He doesn’t take it as hard as I do. I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

My sister has stressed me out, and despite the fact that I never do this, I pretty much told her to “go kick rocks”. She’s been dating a total jack ass for 3 or more years, and I have tried and tried to help her. When I say he’s not a good person I mean it. He has slapped her, pushed her, controlled her (to a certain extent), belittled her, and now he’s cheating on her. She deserves so much more. I know that there is a messed up thinking with people who are abused, and I know that they have to get out of the situation themselves when they are ready. I’m frustrated and can’t help but just want the drama out of my life. I’m mad at him for being such a piece, and her for being so dumb about the whole thing. I can’t baby her anymore, and I have to think about the effect it has on me now that I have a little one that relies on me. My husband can’t hold all of my pieces together for me all of the time. He is pretty great, but he can’t stop the panic attacks for me, and I am so trying to get past this time of my life and get back to what I remember as being “normal” for me.

The car has been in the shop all week for body damage repair, and that has been really stressful. There’s only one car between two working adults in the house and Rob decided to take leave this week instead of us getting a rental car. I don’t like taking the remaining car to work because then if anything happens with our baby he has no car to take him to the doctor with. If you remember from a previous post, that’s one of my triggers for anxiety is my baby’s health and both of us being able to take care of him. My car was supposed to have been done yesterday, then they realized they were missing a part and so they had to have it overnighted and it “should” be done today. My husband didn’t see this as a big deal, and I was furious. Enter the bickering.

To really just top all of this off, I don’t have the friends that I used to. There is the confession that has sat on my heart for a long time now. I got married and had a baby all in the last 2 years. My best friend of almost 15 years didn’t even make it to the wedding. Me being who I am, I never got mad at her. I didn’t yell at her, or cry over it. I wasn’t surprised. I can’t sum up our relationship in one paragraph so I won’t even try. Obviously if I wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t going to make it to the wedding she’s let me down before. Even as I type this I realize I’m not mad, I’m disappointed and I take part of it as a failure on my part for either not choosing my friends better, or for not being the type of person you’d never want to disappoint. I think I usually let people off pretty easily most of the time. You get treated how you let people treat you. The worst part about that is, it’s hard to expect others to treat you better than you would treat yourself. If that makes sense. If I were a person based on my own thoughts of myself, I’d probably take me for granted too. Weird logic I know, but true.

I don’t usually pay attention to Facebook posts. I read them and they exit my brain a second later…unless someone is in need of some help, or something is really wrong, or very funny. I usually filter all of that garbage through my brain rather rapidly. Today, maybe because I’m already sensitive this week, a post from a friend of my best friend really irked me. I wanted to comment something nasty on it. As I admit that right now the irritation is leaving me. The response to something so trivial is not like me, and I know it’s just due to the lack of my friend’s presence in my life anymore. I probably needed her the most the last year or so, and she just….wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, it takes two people to have a friendship, but after the wedding I just didn’t feel the same way about it anymore. She had missed a huge event in my life, and while she told me it upset her, I had a hard time believing her. I have gone through some giant milestones and not without struggle and she hasn’t been there for any of them. It makes me feel….not important enough, and I wonder if she knew that if she would have tried harder to not just leave me on my own when I really needed her.

And so…here I am, friday before a long weekend, just wishing I could crawl into bed and have a good cry and then sleep for about 12 hours straight. In other periods of my life this exact thing was done and I would often wake up feeling like a new person. I don’t have the luxury this time, so instead I find joy in my little boy, and family, and doing things together. My favorite time on weekends is when my son wakes up and I bring him back to bed to snuggle with me and my husband and usually both dogs. These are magical moments for me, and I hope my memory is good enough to hold onto them long after my son has grown up and moved away.

No recipes this week. We’ve been eating out due to an infestation in our kitchen that will be discussed in a following post. I do have that Pinterest project and I will post pictures. There will hopefully be baking and cooking happening again soon, I’m tired of food other people fix.

Over and out

Pinterest makes me feel powerful

Let’s be honest…there are a ton of people that get on Pinterest and think “I could do that” or “I can look like that” or “I’ve made something better than that”. This is the reason Pinterest is so popular. It empowers people, if that’s possible. I am super guilty of this, and the reason for no blogging lately is that the big P also sucks time away while you’re not even paying attention.

I never really got into Twitter. I understand why people like it, but it’s not my thing. I hate hashtags, and the way you have to post pictures, and how people respond….just not fun for me.

I am going to do a Pinterest project this weekend. It’s a long weekend, and as usual I saw something cool on P and thought “I can TOTALLY do that!”. Here is my promise to you, the readers that I have :), I will post a picture even if it’s an epic fail. This blog was all about being brave, for me, and this is something I wouldn’t normally share. I can laugh at myself for sure, but I don’t like to point out when I have failed, and post pictures for all the world to see.

I’m going to get the supplies this week and then…I have an appointment with my glue gun and crafting table.

As for cooking, still on the semi diet, and I promised a recipe but haven’t made it yet. The crock pot tortilla chicken soup is set for tomorrow, and I’ll post pictures and the recipe. This weekend we had mini pizzas on english muffins, and steak with steamed vegetables…again. Needless to say that meal has been played out and won’t be appearing again for a bit.

In other news, I made it through my two days off with bubba last week. I had minor amounts of anxiety both days, but mitigated it, and managed a play date at the park on Friday. Thursday I woke up with a stomach ache and a headache and that made me not feel like doing much. I meant to take him to the lake before summer is really over, but that didn’t happen and I had lazy mother guilt over it. Fall is in the air already and where we are the weather is not forecasted to be good enough for the lake this weekend. We will see how it turns out.

Dinner tonight will be on the fly because we have one last softball game for the hubby and the car is in the shop having body work done so we’re down to one vehicle all week. Let’s hope I can find a Pita Pit or Quiznos or something by the softball field. I’m not trying to ruin my semi-healthful eating pattern because it gets tough one night to deal with dinner.

I have a dream…..

that one day I’ll be able to get 8 straight hours of sleep again. That I’ll be able to sleep in and feel rested. This may be a pipe dream, but I still have hope.

I love my child, and I am thankful that most mornings he wakes up happy. He does so at 6:30am, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the two wake ups before the final up and at ’em that I have a hard time with. If I were different person I’d be ok with giving him teething tablets, kissing him on the forehead, and passing out face first. I don’t care what the bottle says, those tablets knock your kid out. It’s lovely….if they’re truly teething. I only give them to him if I can tell he really feels rotten, and the most obvious culprit is those mean old baby teeth.

God gave me a busy bee of a baby boy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s a lively little character, which helps momma not worry about his metabolic disorder affecting him much. More sleep would help me keep up with him better though.

In all seriousness, the sleep thing has been a huge factor in my mood, and ability to cope. The postpartum was probably inevitable with my mental health history, vitamin D levels, and the hormones, but add lack of sleep and it exponentially grows. Most of the early days after his birth I don’t remember. Sweet little bugger, but very draining.

It’s very hard to take care of yourself while caring for a very defenseless baby, or super busy toddler. Either way, as my therapist says “mother’s cupboard is bare” at times. This is one of those times, and I’m feeling very rough. I don’t wear makeup most days, and I may or may not fix my hair while sitting at my desk at work. I am off today, and it’s harder to put myself together today than it is usually. I haven’t had a pedicure in months, and my feet look horrible. Breakfast today was a Belvita, goldfish crackers and a Popsicle. Ridiculous. I need him to take a morning nap!!!

****

Mission accomplished-little man is out, momma had a 20 minute power nap and now I’m watching Food Network. When dada is home ESPN is constantly on so I gotta take advantage while I can.

I should be doing a Jillian Michaels DVD or something but I literally have zero energy and motivation at the moment. I asked my hubby the other day if my flabby ass turned him on and he just scowled and shook his head like I was being a little crazy. This is the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I wish I was not only in a better mental space but a better health place. It’s not about my skinny jeans, or being able to wear a bikini, it’s about being comfortable in my own skin. When I’m heavier, my joints hurt more, my back aches, my feet ache…you get it. My body isn’t healthy. I’m not too bad off, according to healthy BMI ratios I need to lose about 35, but again…I don’t feel great. I will say this, regardless of the number on the scale, my body has taken on a different shape. It’s like pregnancy rearranged the furniture for me and I’m still getting used to bumping into the coffee table. My girls will never be the same…not without surgery. I’m not into pain regardless of why so I’ll pass on that option. I look in the mirror often and try to remember my younger, pre-pregnancy body shape. Makes me tear up every time because I don’t have an attachment to this body like I did the old one. I look at it with a passive air and ask myself “who is that? Do I know her?”.

My genes aren’t in my favor. I love my mother with my whole heart and when she passes I pray God will give me enough strength to pull myself out of my dark closet of grief. She is my mentor, and my strength, and I hate to think of her getting old and feeble and passing away. Despite my extreme love for her, or maybe because of it, I can “say” this….she gave up on herself a long time ago. You can see it in how she carries herself, what she wears, and yes…my mother is very heavy.

My heart aches as I type this…but I want to know what happened? I’ve seen her younger pictures, I know she used to go do more things, and laugh more often and dress like she still felt sexy. Where did that go? How do I help her find it again? How do I avoid falling down that far? Was it the exhaustion and stress of being a mom? Was it all of the energy that she put into us and let herself come last one too many times? I see the embarrassment in her eyes when we clothes shop, or she doesn’t fit somewhere out in public, like a restaurant table. Just thinking about it now makes me hurt for her.

As I sob while typing this I cry for her, I cry for me, and I cry for things that are lost or broken and may never be found or fixed again.

Do we lose part of ourselves with every child we birth? I can tell you I feel like a totally different person, and I am not sure that is how it should go.

My mom wants me to do weight watchers with her. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for her. I can’t tell you why I’m resisting. Time? Money? Pride? I have no good excuse so inevitably I will. I hate the counting and constant measuring of everything you put in your mouth, but I’ll do it for her.

Dinner tonight is grilled steak, and fruit and veggies. No recipe because I don’t usually take the time to marinate my steaks. I’m lucky if I remember to defrost them in time, marinade would require more brain power than I have most mornings. Remember….not on my game till about noon. Taco soup for a fund raiser tomorrow, but that recipe can wait…till tomorrow.

Happy Thursday all! My bundle of busy should be up any minute, and he’s going to be huuuungry!

Wednesday is the new Friday!

I have the next two days off to watch my baby. My regular babysitter is out of town, and my husband couldn’t take the time off. Fine by me. Little man and I will have some end of summer fun! I have a play date set up with his possible first girlfriend (we’ll see how they get along!) and a trip to the lake planned. Also, cleaning and the sort will have to take place. Lets hope Mr. Short Stuff lets momma get some things done! Usually he undoes all my hard work seconds after I do it. That’s why we have a housekeeper that comes during the week while we’re all gone.

The office is a little less hectic today after last night’s deep clean, and I’m ready to go home and make a quick dinner and go to Costco. The husband will be playing softball so it’s just me and the kiddo till later.

I haven’t been feeling super brave lately, hence the lack of deep thought and confessions in recent posts. My therapist would wag her finger at me, but I have all I can take most days making it through work and not letting my anxiety get the best of me. I find my stress level at work to be on the high end, and so to maintain some control and calm in my little cubicle world, I stick to recipes and day to day events. Once I open the flood gates I’m not sure I could close them quick enough to not cry at work. I’m trying NOT to be that person.

However, it is time to rid myself of some guilt and bad thoughts. This of course is my purging spot because…so far no one here judges me. There’s no loud cries from the masses that I’m a bad mother for feeding my kid quick foods, or any admonishing for worrying about piddly little things. In the next couple of days hopefully I will be able to take a deep breath and admit to some not so sparky and shiny things about myself. I feel a good cry waiting backstage for me to be done putting on my “show”, and I can only put that off for so long!

Here’s dinner:

Mini pizzas~
English muffins cut in half and toasted to prevent sogginess. Spread with your favorite marinara or pizza sauce, put toppings on and mozzarella cheese and broil in the oven or in a toaster oven.

Till tomorrow!

Office germs fuel my anxiety

The low energy continues this week, and I had a rough customer before HR sent out the announcement that changed my whole day. I work in insurance and I won’t bore you with the details, but I speak to people on the phone all day long and advise about their coverage. I had just taken a call from a father whose daughter had passed, at the untimely age of 52, and had kids (16, and 19) and so I was taking a moment to have a brief cry. This particular scenario is one of my biggest fears, leaving my children without a mom too soon and it happened…

*PING*

I look at the incoming email and the air was sucked out of the room in that moment. Someone that was in our office yesterday was diagnosed today with Meningitis. Crap.

Before I had issues with anxiety I would have reacted to this particular news differently, but since a lot of my anxiety is focused around my child, his health, and my health and ability to care for him, then I’m sure it makes sense why I immediately had to start my “calming techniques” to prevent a full on panic attack. I haven’t had a full, heart racing, room spinning, chest tightening attack in a while and I’m trying to move past this phase of my life. I wasn’t always an anxious person and I firmly believe that part of my recent problem has been due to some severe vitamin deficiencies and chemical imbalance in my body since I gave birth to my baby.

Back to the germs now almost visible to me on every surface in my work space. I pull out the Clorox wipes while calling my pediatrician. Funny that I don’t think to call my family doctor first since it’s most likely I would get something before passing it on, but there it is. In time of crisis like most moms I think of my child first. So the pediatrician tells me what to watch for, since bubba can’t tell me if he starts to feel awful and advises me to call our specialists in Seattle that handle baby boy’s…case? I’m not sure what they consider it, but I just look at them as extra doctors for our sweet little man. At any rate, while practicing meditative breathing, cleaning every flat surface within my reach and sitting on hold I remember what it was that got me through the worst part of our journey to get a definite diagnosis for our baby. I finally had to come to the place where I remember that God gave me the gift of my son, for however brief that time is, and that my job is to care for him the best way I know how, and the rest is up to him. My baby rests firmly in the palm of God, and if he isn’t meant to live past the age of 5 (please lord give me more time than that) then that was the plan for him. I don’t often go into my faith or religion with most people because it’s not who I am, but I never forget the things that I’ve seen him do in my own life, so I can’t deny his existence. Just a personal belief and I’m not really outspoken about it, but at times that I don’t know where else to look, I remember who has always watched over me. Always.

All of bubba’s doctors said if there was any way for me to prevent exposure that I should do so, and my employer was kind enough to send those of us with serious health concerns home, and there will be a professional service that comes tonight to “deep clean” the office. It will be work as normal for me tomorrow, but I got extra time with my family today, and for that I’m thankful. My anxiety for the moment has subsided, and I have a clam space back in my mind.

Tonight’s dinner was a lazy one since I was scrubbing all surfaces in my house as well. My son had buttered noodles, corn, and some pears. I fixed my husband and I Texas Toast and spaghetti. The sauce was out of a jar people, I’m off my game right now. I am proud to say I made another pie to use up the remaining peaches before they went bad, and it’s a no-bake cookie kind of day. The recipe is simple and one that most people have in their recipe boxes, but I get so many compliments on mine, and comments that people can’t replicate them even when I tell them how I deviate from the recipe. I use Ghirardelli’s sweet ground chocolate and a mixture between old fashioned oats and quick-cooking oats. The different oats gives the cookies a unique texture. Here’s the recipe:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil for one full minute.
Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (optional), vanilla and oatmeal.

Drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.

I use more or less oats depending on the consistency and I am impatient so I put them in the fridge to cool, and I keep them there. Enjoy!

Twins, toddlers, and too much fun

I wore myself out this last weekend. We went and looked at houses that we can’t afford, visited our friends who just had twins, and did a fantasy football draft. In the middle of all of that my husband golfed, my little sister was in town for a wedding, and I cooked exactly….nothing.

It’s now Monday, and I’m wishing I had another weekend day to just rest and lay around watching garbage TV and cooking something scrumptious. Too bad scrumptious doesn’t exactly help me fit back into my skinny jeans.

I bought larger jeans today instead of watching my diet and exercising more. I told myself it was only one pair till I drop the extra 30lbs again…but who am I kidding. We’re heading into my favorite food season…fall!

I went into this last weekend fully intending to get some things done in our apartment, but neglected everything but showering and brushing my teeth.

The realtor we saw on Saturday was very nice, and gave us a lot of information about the housing development…that my husband rapidly ruled out. Too hilly, too confusing, but most of all too expensive. We can get more for our money in a new housing development a lot further east from where we are now. It’s an up and coming neighborhood though so we have to move fast. I’m finishing up our pre-approval application this week, and I have to contact the realtor back. I’m a little worried we’re going to get in over our heads but there’s no signature on the dotted line yet. I have lots more time to fret and change my mind a million more times.

The twins we visited this weekend were so small, and I thought would make me wanna have more. Instead it made me thankful I had one and made it through his infant hood somewhat sane. My friend Jessica looked at her wits end and those babies are only 10 days old. I remember parts of “the early days” really we’ll and some things I don’t remember. Makes me worry I’m not going to be able to talk myself into one more and I want little man to have a sibling. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without my brother and sister.

I shared what I remember from when my son was brand new, told her to call me if she needed any advice, and we left them in peace.

Sunday was a cluster_____, and when it was all said and done I just wanted to sleep. My husband did his football draft though, and we saw some good friends. I spent the evening chasing down our now running toddler and wishing I’d just stayed home. There I can contain him better. I must have done about 3 dozen sets of stairs (that’s bubba’s new thing. He figured out how to go up, not down, so I have to rescue him when he gets stranded.)

All in all I’m pretty happy with the weekend results except my energy level is a little lower than last week. Where did all my pep go?!

Chihuly Glass

Sadness Addict

Sometimes I think that sadness for me is like an addiction. I am more comfortable being sad than I am being any other emotion. I allow myself to feel sad a lot longer than I should in most situations just because I don’t have the strength to do anything else. Or so I tell myself. The truth is that it’s always been easier for me to soak in sadness till my fingers are pruney than to get up off of my behind and do something about it.

I have spent the better part of my life battling depression for one reason or another. It started when I was 16, and I had a terrible boyfriend in high school. He doesn’t know he was horrible, and actually, he was pretty nice, just young and immature. His parents hated me and my sarcastic dry sense of humor, and put pressure on him to either date someone else, or tell me to conform. I was a young, shy, highschooler with her first boyfriend. Of course I was going to try to be someone different. That’s where it all started. From then on it didn’t take much to turn on myself, feel bad about who I was and crawl back into my deep dark hole that I dug specifically to punish myself and try to defeat my own spirit.

I’ve dicussed with my therapist that I am not comfortable with anger. I rarely get mad, I mean really mad, and I don’t stay angry very long. It’s not an emotion I know what to do with and so it leaves as quickly as it comes.

Happiness is an elusive thing. I’ve felt happy at various moments in my life, but it doesn’t seem like a sustainable feeling for me.

Sadness for me is like an old comfortable pair of sweat pants that I slump around the house in every day. It sits next to me always, and feels like an old friend. An abusive old friend. One that reminds me of all of my shortcomings and mistakes. One that points out wrinkles and tells me that I used to be so pretty…

You get the idea.

My therapist asked one day, “what if you woke up tomorrow and instead of doing what was comfortable, pushing yourself to focus on happiness? Just for one day. What do you think would happen?”

I was so thrown off that I had no response. In the end I told her I didn’t know how to do that. She suggested that everything requires practice, and maybe I should try practicing happiness. I know she wasn’t telling me to be fake, but maybe she was right. I was out of practice and happiness was something I needed to try being again. She of course said this after enough time had passed from the trauma that I was seeing her for during that time (a story for another day).

I do find sadness to be a siren that calls to me almost daily. I spoke with my husband this morning about our current loan process to get pre-approved for buying and or building a home. My credit isn’t as great as his, and sometimes I feel like the weight that drags down our marriage/relationship. I hate admitting that because it’s more information than I give even my close friends, but this blog is about being brave, and the truth is a hard thing sometimes. After our conversation I could feel the pull to feed my feelings bad food, and mope around work till it was time to go home, and instead I decided to keep my chin up. Treat myself with the same kind of understanding and kindness that I would treat one of my friends. I really wanted a chocolate chip cookies, but talked myself down off of that ledge.

I’m proud of my progress. Postpartum was my last dark hole of hopelessness that I had to climb out of, and I think I did it fairly well so far. We’ll discuss that on another day, at another time, and how I managed to feel better without taking the meds that my doctor really wanted me to.

No recipe today. We’re grilling, and having steamed veggies with it. I’m trying to tell myself I’m not on a “diet”, and that I really crave veggies and lean meats….no chocolate. We’ll see how it goes….