Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Depression Isn't Fair

Last week went fantastic.

Closets were cleaned, rooms were cleared, bookshelves emptied.

Dr. Nadene came up for one day and my mom stayed three. They were both incredible. We stopped to eat, but not much else. Now there are just boxes that need to be carried and a painter that needs to come and do his thing.

After three days of organizing, I spent the long weekend at the lake in the sunshine and happiness.

And now I am coming off of the feeling of being on vacation and I just want to hide.

Crawl in bed, snuggle my green frog pillow pet, and take a nap.

My body aches. It could have something to do with the sunburn I sustained on Sunday, but I don't think that is all.

I spent a lot of time with my girls, but I yelled at them and didn't play *enough*. Cue the mommy guilt.

I'm exhausted. I hate feeling this way.

I had hoped packing would take the weight off my shoulders. Instead, I feel heavier than ever.

I know this summer is going to fly by, I just hope that at some point I am able to stop and enjoy it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Big Plans

My mind is spinning, and I'm getting that feeling of being overwhelmed. You know the one, where your shoulders feel heavy from the weight you have placed on them, your energy level saps, and you just want to run and hide. Preferably in your bed, with the covers over your head.

I have totally done this to myself. I made a decision, concocted a plan, and it is getting close to execution. I. Am. Terrified. I don't follow through on things. I don't make goals. I ride the wave of what life throws at me. Not very healthy, but I do what it takes to get through the day.

I am selling my house. At least, I am going to try my damn-dest to sell my house.

Little back story...

We live in a country club neighborhood, on a golf course. The intention when we built this house was to live in it for 2 years and then sell and build again. We put a nice For Sale sign in the front yard. Then the market crashed. And then the golf course got in trouble. And houses in my neighborhood either stood still with For Sale signs in the front yard or people gave up and took the signs down.

We meant to stay for two will be eight next weekend.

I've been toying with the idea of trying harder to sell for a few months. Houses have began to sell again, others have put theirs back on the market, and the golf course isn't in trouble anymore. A few weeks ago, I visited an old friend of the family who just happens to be an interior designer and home staging expert. I invited her to see my house.

She had so many nice things to say. She loved the colors, she loved the layout. She loved the garage and the back porch and the bonus room. And then she Paint. Re-arrange every. single. room.

It was exactly what I had expected her to say.

I took next week off of work.  Not for a vacation at the beach, or on the lake, or in the mountains.

I did it so I can de-clutter my house. Pack up all the crap we have accumulated after a wedding and two kids and a dog and a cat that we don't need every day and send it away. To storage. The majority of the girls' toys will be gone. Our office will be empty looking compared to how it has been for the past 6 years. Closets will be bare. Even our storage area in the basement will be pilfered.

The scope of the work scares me. Three floors and eight years of crap.

I am an accountant. I don't clean, or organize, or re-arrange. I play on a computer and an adding machine all day and shuffle papers. Workaholic tears things apart and puts them back together for a living. I have often watched him from afar, to be honest in amazement, at his energy level and his gusto. He does this every day. He gets a plan in his head and executes it. 

I can't remember the last time I have done this.

The "de-cluttering" (isn't that word so insufficient??) is only the beginning. We have paint colors picked out and Workaholic has been instructed to call painters that he knows. After the painters the carpets have to be cleaned and repairs made to various things that kids and dogs have broken over the years. THEN, our friend returns and we re-arrange all the furniture and hang pictures and mirrors and buy fresh flower arrangements and clean some more.

And then, ONLY THEN, it will be listed with a reputable and successful real estate agent. 

I want to get all of this done in the next month. 

Wish me luck...I am scared shitless.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maybe He Isn't As Smart As We Thought

You know how all the time I brag on my kids and pets?

Like...Sam is soo smart, Charlie is sooo awesome, Fonz is the bestest dog the world ever saw, Kale is the cuddliest dog the world ever saw, and Sampson is the coolest cat there ever was?

Part of the reason why I love Sampson so much is because he is so easy. He goes outside so I pretty much never have to clean a litter box, only rarely fill up a food dish, and am not constantly barraged by a needy cat who wants attention. He goes outside a LOT, and when people ask me if I ever worry, I tell them that it is OK, he is smarter than both of my dogs put together, and possibly throw in one of my kids too. Plus he has all of his claws so he can fight his way out of a messy situation. Or at the very least, climb his way.

But every once in a while, OK...once every couple of weeks, I realize that I haven't seen Sampson in a few days. Usually it happens after we have come home from Michigan and he has to get out and go see all of his peeps in the 'hood that he's missed while we were gone. (Yes, we are THOSE people who take their cat in the car with them when they leave town. He loves it there, and my neighbors actually think he is pretty cool too. Now please neighbors, please don't shoot him.)

Yesterday morning, as I was rushing out the door to get everyone to daycare and me to work, I mentioned to Workaholic (*gasp* he was home!) that I hadn't seen Sampson since Monday morning. He shrugged and turned around and went into the bathroom. Because apparently that is what he does when we are all gone, hang out in the bathroom.

I got into my mommy minivan and oh-so-carefully backed out of the garage. Which is to say that I looked behind me in both the back-up camera and the rear view mirror, and to the left and right of where I was going using my side mirrors and turning around to make sure there were no random vehicles that were there that shouldn't be there that I would run into at an entirely too fast speed.

I actually back up in my own driveway so I can pull forward out of it. I don't like taking the chance that my neighbors' kids will decide that the opportune moment to ride their scooter across my driveway is the exact millisecond that I decide to floor it out into the street. Yes, I am cautious. Yes, I hit my husband's van twice.

And I just happened to look up at the roof of my house before I shifted into drive and went on my way, and lo-and-behold! There was Sampson! On the roof of my garage! Very high up! Looking like he was about to jump!

Yep, my super-duper-street-smart cat was about to take a dive from 12 feet up, plunging to the driveway below to an almost certain broken limb. I laughed at the irony of the situation and ran inside to tell Workaholic he needed to save our cat. Our genius cat. Who had somehow found his way onto our roof and could not figure out how to get down. 

Workaholic came out of the bathroom, I think I was interrupting a nap, and pulled out his trusty yellow 4 foot ladder. He is not quite 6 feet tall, and simple math shows us that even standing on the top of the ladder which clearly is marked DO NOT STAND HERE, he was still unable to reach our beloved pet. So he is reaching, and I am coaching from the sidelines, "Grab him by the back of the neck, give him a treat, he isn't going to step onto your hands silly!" (except silly may have been replaced by dumbass)

Poor Sampson looked hungry and tired and desperate, and he finally did that cat thing where he puts one paw in front of the other, trying to scale down the side of our fascia, wiggling his butt in the tell-tale sign of "I'm going to go for it!" and Workaholic was able to grab him by the back of the neck and yank him off of the roof.

The girls cheered, I wanted to pet and love on him, but alas, now I was running really late for daycare and work. He was unceremoniously thrown put in the house to sleep off his adventures and fill his belly.

Today, to thank us, Sampson brought home what looked like either a regurgitated or defecated duck (or something), although it honestly could have just been that mangled and...chewed? It is definitely the biggest and most hard-fought for prize that he has ever awarded us. So I guess he was OK being dragged from his perch and allowed to sleep on the couch.

I still think he is the awesomest cat ever.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Holy Sh*t, It Worked!!

Have you guys ever heard of Infant Swimming Resource? It's this organization that teaches kids under the age of 4-ish life saving techniques if they fall in the water. For a kid Sam's age, she is supposed to get to the surface, float and catch her breath, and then swim to safety. For a kid Charlie's age, at that time 8 months old, she was supposed to get to the surface and float until someone came to save her.

Last year, I was mean and awful and made poor K take my kids every day for 6 weeks to classes. Every. Day. For Six. Weeks. It was an hour drive away, they had to leave before 8am. Every. Day. For Six. Weeks.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, thought I was INSANE. Gas had gone over $3 a gallon. The lessons were NOT cheap, and no one had really heard of it before, save for one friend on facebook. (She lived in Arizona, where the weather is nice all the time and pools are literally everywhere you turn.) My friends thought it was mean, and borderline violent, although I thought that was just a tad extreme. The kids were never in danger, and were not in the water for more than 10 minutes a day.  They were held, and then gently let go, and then taught how to save themselves. It was the kindest way to show them how to save their own lives. We live in Indiana, with frequent trips to Michigan. Where 9 months out of the year you can't go in the water outside. And that is why I did in-laws cottage was 20 feet was from the water.

After about 4 weeks, our instructor and K and I noticed that Charlie was not doing well. She was screaming every time she got near the water and once she pulled on her ear. ONCE. She wasn't herself. So we took her to the doctor and sure enough, damn kid had swimmer's ear. Which meant that she was done. No more lessons for her. She could not be submerged under water and so that was that. You have to be fucking kidding me. What a damn waste.

Over the last  year, we have occasionally tried to get Sam to show off her skills. Really, we just wanted to see if it worked. If she fell in the water, could she save herself, rather than sink to the bottom like most kids would. The results were mixed, she LOVES to swim. She puts her face down and kicks her legs and swims underwater like a champ. The thing is, after 4 seconds of swimming, she is supposed to flip over and float and catch her breath. You know, breathe. So she doesn't drown. That is the part she HATES. She does NOT like to float, and getting her to do it is a fight. 

I always just sort of thought that Charlie was a lost cause. She had done the skills, sort of, that first month. But it was always a traumatic experience, (oh...wait...) and there was lots of screaming, and she didn't really ALWAYS do what she was supposed to do. Which was...if she fell in the water, get to the surface, flip on her back, and float. 

The thing about Charlie is that she is a daredevil. She had no regard for her personal safety. I know, she is 1, right? Shouldn't she know that the lake could kill her and leaping from a shopping cart could seriously injure her if I am not paying attention?? Sam was never like that. She was always careful, and when she walks down the pier, she goes right down the middle, not teetering on the edge like some Evil Knievel with a death wish. SHE never threw herself at me just counting on the fact that I would catch her. From any height.

So last night, while I was sitting by the lake, drinking a Bud Light after an extremely long day of hunched over my desk staring at small numbers on my computer monitor, I watched my girls on the pier. Sam sat fishing with Workaholic, while Charlie wandered around, checking out what they were doing. And then apparently got bored.

She turned away from them and started back toward the shore. She is a perfectly capable walker, she can run in a straight line and everything. She only trips and falls occasionally. But for some reason, she literally walked right off the edge of the pier. Into the water.

Cue my scream. I was a good 40 feet away, and Workaholic was 5. In the 1 or 2 seconds it took him to leap off of the pier and into water up to his chest, something incredible and magical and fantastic happened.


Our little Charlie was submerged, rose to the surface, flipped onto her back, and was calmly floating when her father splashed in next to her. He actually put his arms underneath her and looked up at me with a smile for a split moment before rescuing her. 


And then she started screaming. Now THAT's my Charlie. 

I have never been so proud of that little daredevil in my whole life. 

Those lessons were worth every early morning, every scream, every trip to the gas station. Every damn penny.