Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Damn You Oprah

I'm going to admit something almost sacrilegious in the area where I live...I never really liked Oprah.

After the fun days of the 80s where she did makeovers and scandalous "who's the daddy" shows, she started getting all high and mighty and "empowering." Bleh. Boooring.

Besides, I was convinced that she was just one of those hippy, crazy people all "in touch" with themselves and wanted to be just like the Dali Lama and that REAL, NORMAL people were not like that. NORMAL people dealt with life and went to work and had fun on the weekends and weren’t too concerned with the state of their being. Everyone else is FINE; it is just Oprah who was unhappy with herself.


Here's the thing. She may have been a little bit right. (I suppose that is why she was the most powerful woman in entertainment for so many years.) There is something to be said for knowing who you are and what affects you. And why you are feeling the way you are feeling.
I hate to admit when I am wrong. Especially years later. So this pains me.

Here is my latest revelation. I was soooo excited to get the house picked up the other day. I felt ambitious...so much so that I cleaned out not one, but TWO junk drawers yesterday! (only one to go!) I began to see the sense in doing one thing at a time… slowly but surely, you will accomplish your goal. (All those therapists and professional organizers just might know a thing or two after all.)

I guess I was experiencing this little thing called adrenaline, the high of accomplishing something. I had heard other people talk about it, and wondered why I never really felt like that. I can sort of achieve that feeling with about 4 Bud Lights, but never really any other time. (Except snow skiing, but it has been so long, I forget what that is like.) The feeling of accomplishment felt so…good!

Here is the problem with adrenaline. You come down off of the high. (Yeah, duh right?) And I think that is what I am going through right now. Last night, I was wandering my house, and decided I was in desperate need of Dairy Queen. I finally succumbed to the fact that 1) they do not deliver and 2) I was not going to get in the car to satisfy my dying wish of a hot fudge sundae. So I went to bed. All sulky-like.

I sighed heavily and closed my eyes and went to sleep, while Workaholic and Sam snuggled next to me. Yep, I was so sullen that I didn’t want to fight with her about bedtime. It was too late, and I really just wanted to feel sorry for myself. And I also didn't want to snuggle her. Even though she had just brushed her teeth, she still had bad breath. Who doesn't want to snuggle with their kid??

And when Workaholic’s alarm went off at 6am? Did I open my eyes, excited for another day, another chance to get a closet cleaned out or for the Purdue men’s basketball game tonight where I have FLOOR SEATS? No. I shut my eyes and wished for 12 more hours of sleep. (I am NOT a morning person.)

I sit here at work and wish there was a bubble over my desk. I hear other conversations going on around me and I wish for silence. Even the typing of someone else’s keyboard grates my nerves. I wish I could hang a “Quarantined” sign by my nameplate.

I now recognize this feeling as the loss of the feel good hormones. I know that with depression you have good days and bad days. This is not a good day. Little things that don’t go my way are devastating. For the first time since I started my new medication, I actually feel like I could cry. For absolutely no good reason.

A day like today is what I have such a hard time keeping a therapist. I can’t explain WHY I feel the way I do. I just FEEL. (But if I was Oprah, I bet I would know why.) Oftentimes, people will stand on the outside of my life, looking in, and ask me what do I have to be depressed about. That is just it…there is no reason. I could have everything my heart ever desired, and I would still feel this way. It just is the way it is. That is the struggle. No matter how green the grass is on the other side, there is always a cloud in the sky. Getting rid of that cloud is my new mission. I don’t want to live with a shadow overcastting my every day, or every other day. I don’t want to live just for the adrenaline. I want to be me, free of self-doubt and anger and be the person that I often pretend to be. Just like Oprah would want.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Room Down, a House to Go

A few months ago, we decided that our dining room would be put to better use as a playroom for the girls. At the time, our living room was a mess of kid toys and dog toys and we simply walked through it on the way to the kitchen. Both Workaholic and I closed our eyes to the mess, and the kids took over. We were both miserable. If we could have the kids play a few feet from the living room, all their crap didn't have to be underfoot all. the. time., we just might regain our sanity and happiness.

This was a few months ago.

Yesterday I asked Workaholic if we could go to the funnest place on earth The Home Depot to get light bulbs. It seemed as though every single light fixture had at least one bulb burned out. We have track lighting, can lights, ceiling fans with lights, and regular old light fixtures and lamps. We bought probably close to $100 in friggin' light bulbs. But the best part? Workaholic changed them ALL! AND he dusted the light fixtures and ceilings fans while he was up there!!  LET THERE BE LIGHT.

$100 was not our total at The Depot. Our total was much higher, because we bought these fun storage bins! YAY STORAGE BINS! And then we spent the rest of the day putting them together and cleaning the room! YAY ORGANIZATION!

And then Charlie woke up and walked into the room and I started twitching when she began to pull out all the toys and play with them. I had to walk away, and take deep breaths, because the thought of my pretty, pretty playroom being messed up was just a little upsetting. (OK, so maybe I didn't have to walk away, but I did have to take a couple of deep breaths.)

I feel so. much. better. since this room has a chance of looking decent. I have hope for the rest of the house, and the closets, because if we did THIS in less than one day? Imagine what we could do in a weekend?! All it takes is a little pushing from my dear Workaholic, and we just might get our house to something that we deem acceptable. 

What is actually pretty funny about these pictures, is that if I had seen them BEFORE I had kids, I would think, "Wow, how sad that she thinks that this room is CLEAN!"

And yes, there is a very clear mark on the floor where we used to have a rug. I don't recommend getting maple flooring, unless you are OK with pretty white-ish flooring turning yellow after a couple of years. So there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not a Real Hoarder, Probably Not Real OCD

I am big on giving things labels. It is fun, and usually makes people giggle. I'm not really serious, but it get my point across. I LOVE labeling myself, but I don't really like to tell anyone my current label. They range from PPD to ADD. OCD is one of my FAVORITES. I've never really seen myself as much of an OCD person though. I am not fastidious about keeping the fringe on my rugs straight, I don't wash my hands 13 times after I pee, and I know once I set my alarm clock I don't have to get out of bed to check it 5 times. I have trust in my way of life, the way I do things. If I did it, then I did it.

I've been doing some deep-thinking, re-evaluating of my personality. Like, do I have low thyroid, or am I just lazy? (blood tests don't look good on the low thyroid front)  Am I ADD, or just too lazy to really dig into a problem to find the real solution? Do I have asthema, or is not being able to breathe really a side effect of exercise? Deep, deep questions, people.

My main problem most of my life has been motivation. I just don't have it. To do anything. I do what I have to do to not get in trouble. I often find myself thinking, "If I am not going to do something perfectly, what is the point of doing it at all? Why clean out THIS closet when there are 5 others that need to be cleaned and organized too? Why exercise if it will only help NOW, and if I stop I will lose everything I gained? Why train Kale to do one thing when Kabo knows all these commands that Kale doesn't know?" (Hey, never said I was rational.)   

So let's recap...low thyroid, ADD, and PPD?

I would now like to add OCD to the list. And OCD just might be the root cause of all of my problems.

I have this need to do things just the right way. MY WAY. And if things aren't done MY WAY, then why do them at all? Why clean the house if I can't put the girls' toys into organized little bins? (I don't have said bins yet. And the thought of going through all those toys makes my head spin.) Might as well just leave them all over the place, that is where they will end up anyways. Why work with Kale on training his Stay when I only have a few minutes today, and he won't get it or retain it, and then I won't be able to work with him for a week?

Might as well sit on the couch and watch this show. What is the point of doing something at all if I can't do it perfectly, so less than half assed is just as good as 90%. (Who thinks like that????)

Workaholic is somewhat the same as me on the OCD front. However, his response is COMPLETELY OPPOSITE. He strives to do his best, all the time. He strives for PERFECTION. And oftentimes will get damn near close to it. And he spends A LOT of time doing it.  And that just looks exhausting to me. However, I do enjoy the fruits of his labor, even if it is only changing a light bulb on a fixture I can't reach without a ladder.

Am I the only one who is like this? Why do something at all if you can't do it perfect? And perfect is an impossible goal, so...

The thing is, I have noticed that the times when I do strive for perfection, I am usually very happy with the results. The other day I went through Charlie's closet, put all the clothes that were too small into bins, and then put those bins in the attic. Along with the Christmas bins that have been sitting out for the past 3 weeks. Even before I vacummed (who are we kidding, I STILL haven't vacummed), I was thrilled with the results. I was so happy to be able to reach into her closet and not have to wonder if the pants I just grabbed are one of the pairs that are too short. And while her closet isn't perfect, and the organization of the bins in the attic isn't perfect either, I was happy. Maybe because it was done MY WAY. That is the best way, after all. 

I try telling myself that as long as I don't wind up on the show Hoarders, I will be happy. But really, I would be SUPER HAPPY if everything had its place. And that place wasn't just a certain spot on the floor. Now I just need to get Workaholic on board to do things MY WAY. Because that really is the best way. At least in my head.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's All About Communication

Whenever younger people (you know, those twoppers...otherwise known as "twenty boppers) complain to me about their husbands, or parents, or siblings, I am infamous for telling them, (as if I am some wise old owl) "Communication is the #1 thing you need in order to make a relationship work."

Yep, just call me a cliche. And a marriage counselor. (I briefly considered switching my college major to something where I would be qualified to be a marriage counselor. I decided against it because #1: it would require grad school and #2: you can't finish undergrad and grad school in four years. Which was the college deadline my parents I had set for myself.)

I sort of pride Workaholic and I on our good communication. And by that, I mean that I know I tell him all the tiny, minute details of our lives that he needs to know in order to do everything I want need him to do in order to make me happy keep our house running smoothly.

However, I recently realized that I may have overestimated our excellent communication skills. He has started "forgetting" things that I know I have told him. I was convinced that he is losing his hearing, much like his father. (what I now know is that he has what is called "selective hearing" and apparently is quite common amongst married couples.)  He will call and be like, "Did you say something to me about working late today?" After I have told him three times. In writing.

There also is this thing called "mommy brain", and I have it. I am the poster child for moms who can't remember where they put their car keys or if they fed their children or if they told their husbands that they have to work late and so someone needs to go home and take care of the kids.

So yeah...communication.

We took Sam's pacifier away from her about a week ago.  I have not slept a full night in a week. If I am not randomly waking up for absolutely no reason at all (other than I am a mom), it is because Sam is crawling into our bed. It would seem that she makes it most of the way through the night, and then something would scare her and she would crawl into my bed. It has been driving me nuts. I've tried talking to her, and all she will tell me is that, "My light turns off and I get scared and so I have to get in bed with you." (She is terrified of the dark and sleeps not only with her closet light on and doors open, but the lamp on her dresser is nice and bright too.) Her light "turning off" makes absolutely no sense, since I swear when I get up in the morning, they are all still on. If not more lights than were on when I left the room the night before. I figured she was either telling me something backwards or manipulating me. Three year olds are crafty, you know.

After a colossal meltdown this morning, I felt just terrible about yanking her pacifier from her. I thought this had to be the reason for her recent strange behavior. It has been a crazy busy couple of months, I've been working a lot since the new year, and then we just deprive her of the single, solitary thing that makes her feel at peace. (OK, to be fair, she has blankets too, and dolls, and stuffed animals, but the pacifier seemed to be her favorite.)  

So tonight, I caved. She saw a couple of pacifiers laying on a table that we had forgotten to hide, and she was on it like white on rice. I decided to let her go to bed with it. And yet, she fought me. She wanted me to lay with her, she wanted me to sleep with her, she didn't want to go to sleeeeep, she wanted to sleep in MY bed. (Umm...no. Kid, you have a damn binky, be happy.)

Later, I was telling Workaholic about how she was still a challenge to put to bed, and how I thought the problem with her lately was that we had taken away her pacifier without some cool story about the Pacifier Fairy coming and taking all the pacifiers to little babies who needed them. We just told her to suck it up and grow up. Such mean parents.

And then I told him (again) about how she was telling me (again) about how she comes down into my bed when "her light turns off". And how I just didn't understand that, because she always comes down in the morning, even before the sun rises, so she can't be confused and thinking that she is coming down when it is light out. And how I think she must really be having a problem with the busyness of the last month.

That was when Workaholic smiled sheepishly at me. OK, let's call a spade a spade. He damn well smirked at me. And then he says this, "Oh, I guess I had better stop turning off her lights when I leave for work in the morning, huh?" EXCUSE ME??? Then he says, "I don't turn off all the lights, just the lamp, and I leave on the overhead light on dim."

And it all makes sense. She hears him leave for work because the garage door wakes her up. She realizes that her lamp is off, the all-important BRIGHT LIGHT LAMP that she insists is on every night before we leave her room, (the closet light is no longer enough), she gets up, turns it on, and then comes down to sleep with me. Because she knows I won't walk her back to bed since she says she is SCARED OF THE DARK.


Communication, people. It is the cornerstone of a happy peaceful marriage.

(The sad part is, the more I think about it, the more I think I remember him telling me before that he did that. We'll just blame mommy brain.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First SNOW!!

We got our first REAL SNOW today...

Happy to get ready

Excited to go play!

Sam is still happy...Charlie is not so sure...

Believe it or not, Sam laughed after I took this. She loves the snow!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

She Is Three

Three years ago, I had just brought my baby daughter home. She was already Sam, not Samantha.

I wrote about her first year here.

I wrote about her second year here.

She has been here for three whole years. And she will tell you all about it.

She has recently, and by recently I mean yesterday, been weaned off of her pacifier. All we had to do was explain to her that she was now a big girl, she had her cup and her blanket, and she no longer needed her pacifier. And then reassure her (repeatedly) that all would be OK.

She is terrified of the dark. I think for some reason she has nightmares about trucks coming into the house...not exactly sure why, but she talks about it a lot.

She loves chocolate milk, and cookies, and brownies and candy. This is what happens when she has too much candy. Although sometimes that just happens, because she is high on life.

She is sweet, and adorable, and she knows how to get what she wants from who. Daddy and Oma are the easiest targets, me and new K are the hardest...although it really doesn't take much to sway me.

She remembers everything you tell her, so if you are going to take her to the zoo, you had damn well better plan on following through. She also remembers things that she has done at the most random of times. The other day she asked me if we could go to the fair, like she did that one time. (It was in August.)

She is the best big sister, and the past year has seen her grow leaps and bounds in that role. She infamously threw a bottle at Charlie's head the first time I took them in to visit my co-workers. But now she helps her and guides her and encourages her. "Good job sweetheart!" is frequently heard in my house.

Her smile lights up the room. Her laugh (and screams) echo throughout our house. Everyone who meets her loves her. Strangers even smile when they see her...especially when they see her talk to her little sister.

She talks...all the time.

"Hey, what's the big idea?"

"Mommy...where ARE you?"

"What a great idea!"

"I think I'll just play the iPad for a couple whiles."

"I wanna watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney Junior."


When we are in Michigan, she'll often ask, "Can we go to Oma's Michigan?"

When she was opening her presents on her birthday, she popped off...

"I have to go potty, I'll be right back."

She jumped up, ran in to the bathroom, and came out a few minutes later, ready to open more presents. When I asked her what her favorite part of her birthday was, she told me "the princesses." (Girl loves Dairy Queen ice cream cake. The edible image was totally worth the extra 5 bucks.)

She makes me want to bang my head against the wall, she exhausts me and I can't keep up with her. But then, she smiles at me. And tilts her head, and I melt. The past year has seen her grow from a little toddler who talked a whole bunch but didn't say a whole lot, to an opinionated little girl who loves nail polish and Minnie Mouse and doing things her way. She can show you where anything is in our house, and just how to make chocolate milk.

For the most part, she is potty-trained. BUT, if she doesn't feel like wearing underwear and going through the arduous task of peeing and pooping in the potty, she is fully capable of changing her own diapers. Not pull-ups, actual diapers. And if there are no wipes available and she did #2, not to worry...she'll just use clothes.

I can't believe it has been THREE YEARS. My little baby girl is THREE. Her hair is finally long enough to pull back in a pony-tail, except for the bangs she cut herself and the lock on the side that she hacked off in the bathtub one night. She is THREE. I love her with all my heart. She is the coolest kid I know, and I can't wait for the next year just to see what she is going to do.

Happy Birthday little girl. I love you bunches and bunches and bunches!

She cut those bangs HERSELF.

Monday, January 9, 2012

3 Years

I'll tell  you more about it later, but PEOPLE!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Am a Dumbass

Have I ever told you about how slow I can be? Some things just don't come to my mind until way after the time when said thing could be helpful.

Or, as Jen Lancaster puts it, I can be a dumbass.

The day before Christmas Eve, I ran to Walgreens to get something. I honestly can't even remember what that something was. But, on my way out the door, I saw that they had Coke on sale. *cue heavenly music* because I was OUT of Coke, and that is just not a way to live life.

I grabbed a 12 pack and told the woman at the register to charge me for four. And she did. And I paid for them. And then I had Sam carry the little plastic bag with Workaholic's pomade (I remembered!) in it, and told her to stand RIGHT BY ME, since I couldn't hold her hand in the parking lot. I also handed her a dollar and told her to put it in the red ringing bell can. (is it the Salvation Army??)

Meanwhile, I am juggling FOUR 12 packs of Coke. And my purse. And trying to control a toddler. A couple of people had given me you are insane strange looks when we were headed out the door, and while Sam was ALL ABOUT putting the dollar in the can, she was NOT all about getting so close to the strange man or letting the nice woman who offered to help lift her up so she could reach. She finally threw the dollar on top of the can and the nice stranger woman put it in the slot. Yes, my timing for a lesson in those less fortunate could not have been more off.

We headed across the parking lot and she was very good and walked/skipped right next to me. And then we got to the van.

And that is where all hell broke loose. I dropped ALL 4 fridge packs of Coke on the ground BY ACCIDENT, and they split open and began to spray everywhere. I frantically tried to figure out which cans were bad and threw gently placed the remaining cans in the partially wet cardboard boxes onto the floor of my passenger seat. I probably lost 4 or 5 there in the parking lot. But I then threw gently strapped in Sam to her car seat and got the hell outta there.

When I got home, I realized that at least 2 more cans had been punctured that I didn't know about and now there was Coke all over my passenger floor. (Thank GOODNESS for my WeatherTech floor mats. Seriously, get those if you have kids or dogs or live in any part of the country where you will get in the car with wet/snowy/muddy boots, or like to drink coffee/Coke/Red Bull in your car. And NO, they didn't pay me to say that, although they are free to do so!)

As I took a couple of the packs out of the front of the car, they ripped from being soaked with Coke and their contents spilled all over my garage floor. I now had more empty cans of Coke, 2 useless and wet cardboard boxes that are meant to easily contain and carry Coke, and each and every can that I had left is now covered in sticky shit and dirt and half of them were dented from the fall. Great. Sam is yelling at me to clean up my mess, and she opened the door between the garage and the house to let the dogs out, who then get in my way as I am trying to bend over and see where all these damn cans have rolled and then Sam cries as they get in HER way and push her around in their excitement to see us me.

I gave up, grabbed a bag and tossed gently placed the remaining cans in it and cleaned up the floor of the van and went inside and took a nap.

As I was getting ready this morning, a good two weeks later, it occured to me that all I would have had to do to do avoid the whole situation was to GET A CART. They were within mere feet of me when I was piling the Coke into my arms, and yet all the people who saw me do it and gave me weird looks and the nice stranger lady who offfered to help Sam never thought to say, "Hey, why don't you use a cart?" And even Sam, who is the model of a "helpful" child, never said, "Hey mommy, why don't you use a cart?" (Why yes, I am blaming my 2 year old. Hey...she almost 3!)

If you ever see a dumbass trying to carry too much, and has a small child or dog or something with them, offer to get a cart. Or at least suggest the idea. You never know, it may not occur to them until 2 weeks later.

She Sleeps...and Sleeps...and Sleeps

When Sam was 9 months old, she started daycare, and so started semi-regular ear infections. The first one was just terrible, with her laying on me, burning up, barely moving, moaning softly with a 103 fever. I finally took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with "raging" double ear infections.

As time went on, her symptoms got more minor. Her fever didn't elevate quite as much, she rarely, if ever, pulled on her ears, and her energy level barely dipped. Other than the flu one time, ear infections were the only sickness she really got that slowed her down. At all.

Around the time she was Charlie's age, she touched her ear once, and then went to sleep...for 19 hours. I checked on her a few times, and each time she was still breathing and didn't wake up when I dared to enter her domain, so I let her sleep. And then I took her to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with a "mild" ear infection. The doctor said she was doing exactly what she needed to be doing, sleeping it off. (Let's just say that I took that doctor's advice whenever I feel myself getting sick...I promptly go to bed, and stay there until I feel better. And PEOPLE, I swear it works! I'm sick for a shorter amount of time!)

Fast forward to Charlie being 16 months old. She has been sick exactly maybe once in her life. We had a very great, but long weekend with friends where she didn't sleep her usual 18 hours a day. On Tuesday, new K woke her up at noon (from going to be at 7pm). And then she went back to sleep at 3:30...and slept until 9:30am the next day. 18 HOURS people...in one shot! So then they went and played and had a ball, and she was laid down for her nap at 2pm yesterday. She JUST got up! 19 PLUS hours! I guess she is sick.

I'm not sure why I am telling the internet this, except that I want it written down for me to remember in 5 years. Or come on, let's get real...5 minutes. My kids rock.