Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To My Sam and Charlie

Dear Sam and Charlie,

Sam, a week from Friday you will be 2 1/2 years old.

I am amazed daily at you. When you do things like this.

If you can't tell, you love your pacifier, which you only get at bedtime, and you despise clothes. Well, that isn't entirely true, you like certain clothes. And usually only for short amounts of time.

You love playing in your sandbox and climbing on just about anything. You love dogs, or puppies as you call them, and want to stop and greet each one that we pass. Especially in the car.

Speaking of the car, you are a master of getting your arms out from under your car seat straps. And when I look back at you and tell you to put them back in, you tell me, "Or you'll stop the car, and that will be bad? Very bad?" For the record, I have never stopped the car. Yet.

You speak very well for your age. We can carry on full-blown conversations with you about your day, and you are quite honest. Most of the time. You have told people that you did not behave for new K. You have also told me that you are going to be shy when meeting new people. The things that come out of your mouth amaze and entertain us. You love to call your daddy and I by our first names. Just last night, you came down to the office and said, "Gail, pizza is ready." You love to yell at the dogs, but also to walk them. They are usually pretty good about not pulling you down. And if they do, you just run after them yelling at them...just like I do.

You do love your little sister, even though you beat up on her most days. If we are telling you that you are too rough, you just get more rough. And then we have to pull you kicking and screaming off of her. And both of you are crying.  You know when I am putting Charlie to bed that you need to be very quiet, and tell me so. And then proceed to leave the room and SLAM the door. And then giggle...so I know you do it on purpose. 

Charlie...poor, poor Charlie. Between the dogs and your sister, you are turning out to be one tough little girl. You have developed your personality a LOT in the past couple of months. You went from barely crawling to zooming across the floor. You also have decided that crawling just isn't good enough and you are PISSEDATTHEWORLD that you can't walk yet. You can pull yourself up on anything, can stand by yourself for about 5-10 seconds, and can cruise along furniture. Or the fireplace. But you can't walk yet. And everyone knows it.

You talk a lot. While you are eating. While you are crawling. While you are supposed to be sleeping. You can say uh-oh. And the rest we have no idea what you are saying. We love it when you smile, your smile just lights up the room...just like your sister's. You have a cute little scrunch face that you do, mimicking your daddy. You also love stuffed animals, and the little red piano...
Your uncle T is amazed at how much you have changed in the past month. I say it started 2 months ago, but whatever. You have developed quite a personality. You are not afraid to demand what you want, you are not afraid to try new things. You think nothing of charging full force at something new...even if it means a possible trip down the stairs. You love to crawl over obstacles, but yet every. single. time. you pull over the dog bowls it scares you and you cry. You cry when you get scared. OH! You don't like new people. Aunt B came over today and she greeted you. You started crying and crawled away, towards me. Once you were safe and eating though, she didn't seem so scary. So at least you seem to warm up quickly.

You have also decided that getting up before 7am is the cool new thing to do. Let me tell you...it is not. But I think that you just like hanging out with me and watching me shower. You LOVE the bath. You splash and splash and splash. You don't mind getting water on your face or in your eyes. You don't even mind when your sister washes your hair or your back. Not your face though...you draw the line. You also think nothing of pulling yourself up on the side of the tub, and then show off you mad standing skillz by just standing and playing with a toy.

You have nine teeth now. We wondered why you were so fussy and a little warm...turns out there was a molar coming in! Who knew? You are just growing up so fast. I don't even realize half the things that you can do...like eat solid foods, open the drawers with the knives in them, and use Fonz as a step stool. (Actually, that one didn't turn out so well.) Ten and a half months really have flown.

I think one of my favorite things about the two of you is your diaper habits. Sam, you can change your own diaper. (We talk a lot about potty training, but you apparently don't think that you are ready yet, or just don't want to. Who knows. I am not pushing you, because I don't want to be cleaning up pee and poop from clothes and the floor. I just finished housebreaking Kale.) Every morning, you get up and change your diaper and then come sneaking downstairs. Sometimes you even throw it in the trash can in the garage. The good thing about this is YAY! You can change your own diaper! The bad thing is when I NEED to change your diaper, you want to do it. And sometimes it is in everyone's best interest for me to do it. (You kind of want to do everything on your own. Shoes, clothes, pushing the stroller, strapping yourself into your car seat, you name it...you want to do it BYMYSELF!)

Charlie, you and Sam are wearing the same size of diaper. She is small for her age, and you are completely average. Yours are actually too big, but close enough is good enough. And last weekend, you figured out how to take yours off. I am REALLY hoping that it was a 2 time fluke, because I do think that 11 months is a tad too young to potty-train.  Otherwise we will have to resort to putting your diaper on backwards or using duct tape...both of which I had to do with your sister.

There are just so many more fabulous things about the two of you. I love you both dearly, more than there are words. I know that sometimes it may not seem that way...especially when we are driving in the car, or there is a diaper involved, or when I am trying to get you in the car, or I am trying to work, or I am trying to get you out of the car. I wish I felt better most days so I could give you more of myself. You two definitely deserve the best we have to give.

Keep growing, keep learning, and I'll update the world again on where you are in a few months. That way, when you are 16 and 15 and arguing over who did what first, we can just look back and see what I said. I love you little girls!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Big D

Lately, I have been a little...on edge.

To put it lightly.

I have been on medicine for depression since Sam was about 6 months old. I had to go off while I was pregnant with Charlie, and was able to start taking it again when she was 6 weeks old.

A couple of months ago I decided that my medicine just wasn't cutting it and I needed to be on something new. Something that wouldn't hurt a baby if I accidentally got pregnant, something that I could stay on while pregnant. (NO...we are NOT trying anytime soon. Just planning out the future.)

My doc wrote me a new script, and I have weaned myself off my old meds and will begin taking my new ones tonight.

This past weekend...I realized why I am on medication.  

People often look at me sideways when I tell them I am on anti-depressants. They blame it on being postpartum, although I think it goes way before I had kids. PPD was just the fire that was lit under my ass to get on meds. I didn't want to bring up my kids with me being depressed.

I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. I will, however, try to explain what it is like, for those of you who are like my husband, and see life through rose-colored glasses.

In the morning, when your alarm goes off, you physically can't get out of bed. You don't want to, your body hurts, even though there is no reason for it to.  You dread your day. There isn't anything in particular to dread, but you dread it all the same. All you want to do is stay in bed, and hide from the world. This isn't just one morning every once in a while. It is every. single. morning.

Little things annoy you, more than they should. And your reaction to those annoyances are a tad more...violent. People at work say, "Good morning", and you want to slap them across the face. (Why do people insist on talking to each other before lunch, I could never understand.)  I have a maintenance light that came on in my car, right after I got the oil changed. Looking at that light is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. I really want to take a screwdriver and stab it through the plastic cover on my dash and poke that light out. But I won't because I know that I would probably hurt myself in the process and not even get the light to go out. Which would lead to my next thing...crying.

Anything will make you cry. Getting caught at a red light. It isn't the fact that you have to sit a red light for 30 seconds. It is the voice in your head telling you that everything in this world is conspiring against you. That light wants to make you late to where ever it is that you are going.

Speaking of voices...they are the worst. They are thoughts that constantly are in your head, and make you cry even if you just drop something on the floor. 

They tell you that you are not able to do anything right.
Why even try to do something, because you will fail miserably at it. (And probably very publicly as well.)
You are a terrible person, an awful wife, a marginal mother. (I mean, your kids aren't dead...so that is a plus.)

They tell you how fat you are, and there is no point in trying to lose weight or eat healthy, because you will probably fail at it. And even if you do lose some weight, your thighs will still rub together, so really...what is the point? (And at that point, you eat pizza and ice cream and chocolate, because it tastes good. Which doesn't really help out your thighs.)

There are times when the voices are constant. Any little thing can set them off, and then they don't shut up. They are thoughts running through your head at breakneck speed, reminding you that once again, you have failed. Once again, you have let someone down. Once again, you should not have gotten out of bed.

If you do go out on a limb, and try something new, something that takes a little bit of kahunas, the slightest bit of criticism is crushing. For example, I remember when I was in high school I wrote a short story about a girl who moved to the projects in Chicago from a middle-class, small-town lifestyle. My English teacher very gently suggested that next time, perhaps I could write about something that I knew more about. Let's just say that was the last short story I wrote for a very. long. time.

Depression is a bitch. I hate it when people who have never experienced it think that you can just "snap out of it." People who think that "if you put your mind to something, you can beat it."

Depression isn't something that can be willed away. Trust me, I have tried. And failed. I have tried faking my way through life. Sometimes I succeed, which is why people look at me sideways and tell me that I am not depressed. OK...you get in my head then tell me I don't suffer from depression.

I have high hopes for my new medication. Hope that it will get me out of bed. Hope that it will make the thoughts go away. Make the tears stop. I have hope that it will help me get back to a life that I love and can enjoy. My girls, my husband, hell...even my dogs deserve that. So I have hope.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Strange Phone Call

Me: "Hi Workaholic, are you busy?"

Him: "No."

Me: "Sam just told me that you are coming home from work in 2 hours, does she know something I don't know?"

Him: "Let me call you back, I just got busy."

Monday, June 13, 2011

They Won't Remember

So I am totally not a fan of co-sleeping, but when we go to the cottage in Michigan, Sam doesn't have her own bed anymore. Damn kid outgrew the pack n play. So she either sleeps with Oma and Papa or me and Workaholic. It used to be she would climb the stairs and throw her hand backward and say, "Nite mom, I'm sleeping with Oma. See you later."

But ever since this summer started, she has this thing that she just has to sleep with mommy. Bonus if daddy is there, but she is quite adamant about sleeping with mommy. I feel flattered, but also am exhausted most to of the time. Because Sam, like most little kids, is a cuddler.

You see, I am not a cuddler. Workaholic and I have had real, honest-to-God fights about the fact that I will not sleep in the nook of his arm. He says that I must not really love him if I don't want to lay on him all. night. long. But seriously, who can sleep like that other than people on soap operas and Private Practice?? TV totally puts unrealistic expectations on us...but I'll not go into that now.

So I was laying there the other night, trying my best to make due with the 12 inches of bed I was allotted, and I figured that if I rolled over and snuggled up to Sam, maybe even throw my arm over her, I'd have a little more room. And you know what?? It wasn't that bad. I was able to fall asleep, and sort of stay asleep for most of the night. True, I woke up exhausted and a little achy, but there really is something about sleeping all snuggled up with a little kid. I get why co-sleepers do it...just not all the time.

But while I was trying to fall asleep, I thought of something else. Little kids rarely remember much that happens in their lives before the age of 5. And you know what? That SUCKS. Because Sam won't ever remember our beloved Buster. She won't remember her first time on the beach. She won't remember playing on campus or Easter egg hunting (this year) or when the giraffe ate her cracker. And she won't remember cuddling up with me the other night.

There is so much cool stuff that we do with our kids, and they remember, like, none of it. I have few memories of my childhood...although I am sure that my parents read books to me and cuddled with me, I don't recall any of it. While I know that it is super important in my kid's development to do all the parent-y stuff, like cuddle and give hugs and read books and tell them that I love them, the pure fact is that if I died tomorrow, Sam would have precious few memories of me and Charlie wouldn't have any. And that just sucks.

That doesn't mean that I'm not going to keep making those memories. (I may try to get more of them on video)  But when it really comes down to it, the things you do when kids can't remember form who they are as adults. So I'll try to not lose my cool as much. I'll try to cuddle more. And give more hugs. And try to be the awesome person I want my kids (and dogs) think that I am.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June Update

After being gone from blogging for so long, you would think that I am just bottled up with all sorts of things I need to tell you guys. And really, I AM! I just don't remember ANY of them at the current moment. I wish I could narrate a blog while driving, because honestly, that is where I come up with my best shit.

Speaking of shit, that is all I can think about right now. I'm really not one to go into detail about poop, OK well, my poop. (My kids...that is an entirely different story.) But let's just say that I am at work and I had Chipotle for lunch (YUM!) and my colon is reminding me that perhaps that was just not the best idea.

Workaholic and I went to Puerto Rico last month with another couple. And you know what? We had a great time! OK, so we didn't get wasted, and it rained a lot. But we sat on the beach and played in the ocean and went to the rain forest and I ate lobster. And some guy driving past us in a car randomly told us to fuck off. I would totally show you a picture except I put all of them onto my crappy desktop at home and I can't get them off. So there is that.

Kale is doing well. He is very tall and gangly. And I've been taking him to doggie day care once or twice a week. Which is a gift from heaven. Because he runs out to the car afterwards and CAN. NOT. WAIT. to get home and take a nap. Yes! He walks very well on leash (usually) and can sit. He knows what "kennel up" means, and generally has pretty good house manners. And he only has an accident every once in while.

But yeah...I haven't taught him any cool tricks. Which is to say that I haven't taught him any tricks.  By this age, Fonz was a friggin' champ at stay, but poor Kale's training sort of falls to the bottom of my list. That and I feel like unless he picks something up right away, I am a failure at training. Which is total crap. But I keep telling myself that I will do it tomorrow. And I will. I promise. He'll know how to lie down, and stay, and shake, and shake it out, and roll over, and take a bow with the BEST of them. Soon, I promise.

Did you notice that SUMMER IS HERE!!!?? OMG!! It was almost a hundred degrees here this week, but today I don't even think that it is 70. And rain. OMG, the rain. My yard is a forest because the poor grass hasn't been mowed. BUT STILL! Summer is here!!

Since summer is here, my usually busy life has gained momentum and switched into high gear. We spend much of our free time at the cottage, and Workaholic spends more free time than he has renovating our new cottage. We picked out tile last night, so we are SO CLOSE. It will still be the end of July, if we are lucky, before it is done. 

And here is where I get spoiled and whiny...I miss my husband. Yes, he is spending 6 months working his ass off (as are his brother and his dad) in order to give us a kick-ass place to vacation. And it will be awesome. But these have been some of the hardest months of my life. I have a house to take care of, and two kids, and two dogs, and a cat. Plus a full-time job. And I have more help than I care to admit. But all of that can't replace my dear, sweet, wonderful Workaholic.  (can you tell I haven't seen him much??)

There have been times when he has been gone for a week, or more. And it is definitely not unusual for me not to see him for 3-4 days a time. Talking on the phone is hard, because he is so busy, and when he isn't running, he is dead asleep. We've communicated mostly by texting lately. Let me just say that Puerto Rico was a bit of a life saver.

And the girls...oh my, the girls. Charlie is crawling now. Which is awesome since I am not the one responsible for watching her all day. She is going to be the type of kid to see what happens when she sticks her finger in a light socket. Actually, she has already tried. She has not yet fallen down the stairs, but really, just give her time.

Sam is turning into quite the older sister. By that I mean the bossy independent LETMEDOIT older sister. She know knows how to open the door, and last week decided that she wanted to go for a walk. And be damned if she was going to wait for anyone to go with her. I wish I would've taken a picture of her strolling down the sidewalk, away from our house, pushing her miniature pink Graco baby stroller. By herself. Last weekend, on more than one occasion, she decided to go visit the neighbors. So she did. She waltzed right over, and went into the house, and opened the fridge, and demanded orange juice. Then she went into someone's purse and found a piece of gum and their iPhone. Because that is how she rolls.

I know that Sam is just a typical toddler. Perhaps even an "easy" toddler. But for goodness sake. Some days I wish she understood when I say, "Child, when I tell you that you cannot have a juice box, that DOES NOT MEAN go grab a juice box and sneak off into the garage to drink it. And I am sorry that you are afraid of the potty, but in all seriousness, you can CHANGE YOUR OWN DIAPER. Please start pooping on the toilet! It would make all of our lives just a tad bit easier."

I am not bragging, but Sam is super smart. She need only see how something is done once and she can figure it out. She can shower by herself and offers to help me out in the bathroom. (Let's just say that when she "becomes a woman" she will have no problem knowing what to do with a tampon.) She is also quite adept at taking the lid off of her sippy cup. No matter how tight it is screwed on. Normally, this is not a problem. But the other day she went to take a swig of milk that must have been in her bed for a couple of days (yes...I allow my daughter to sleep with a sippy cup of milk, oh the HORROR!) and of course the milk had curdled. So she takes off the lid and pours it out onto her bed. Thanks...I needed to wash the sheets anyway. And after re-reading that story, it occurs to me that maybe she isn't super smart if she tries to drink 2 day old milk.

Charlie is becoming the tough younger sister that she needs to be. She recently fell and whacked her head pretty hard. A couple of days later she fell while crawling and hit her head on the corner of the kitchen cabinet in the exact middle of the goose egg on her forehead. And she didn't even cry. That's my girl. She is a happy little girl, in that awesome stage of becoming her own little person. Kind of like with Kale, we haven't worked with her on all the fun baby tricks you teach your oldest kid. She sort of waves bye-bye, but she doesn't know "so big!" yet. She does have fake coughing down though. And she thinks it is the funniest thing ever. She is only about 4 lbs less than Sam, so I definitely look forward to the day where she takes her big sister DOWN.

I know there is much more I could ramble on and on about. Our new K is working out well, although I do miss my old K. I think that I always will, but at least now I can think about her without tearing up. We haven't Skyped yet, but I hope to figure that out this weekend.

I promise to try to be better about blogging. (If any of you are still out there reading this.) There are lots of rants that I want to post sometimes, but am afraid of hurting someone's feelings. So there is that. Or maybe I'll just stop caring and give ya'll something to talk about.