Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nap time

Last night I dreamt that a semi-truck rolled on top of me and while I was happy that I was not crushed, I remember thinking, "It's going to take them a long time to get me out of here...I might actually be able to get a nap in." My life is horribly out of balance. I have known this in some capacity for awhile but I am becoming acutely aware of it as my body is unable to keep up. Aches and pains, exhaustion, stress, sleepless nights (even when Ellis is sleeping which is the ultimate rub), snapping at Aaron, snapping at my coworkers, markedly diminished capacity to deal with E's new found toddler antics. Whenever I get to this place, the place of knowing that something needs to change I arrive at two conclusions: 1. I need more time for myself (particularly to exercise as that is my mental health plan and always has been) and 2. I need to train E to sleep on her own. Enter the reason nothing has changed thus far. If I have the choice of hanging out with me and hanging out with E, I will choose E. And if I work full time and I feel as though I never get to see E then I will let her sleep with us for as long as she wants to so we at least have that time together. The sad truth though is this is not working anymore.

As you know I have diagnosed myself with post-traumatic stress disorder after the accident. One of the symptoms of PTSD is a sense of foreshortened future or a sense that you won't be around for very much longer. While I don't feel that way about myself, I do, and I am horrified to admit this, feel a sense of foreshortened future with E. it's my greatest fear, as it is any parent's, that you will have the gut wrenching task of outliving your child. E is a happy, vibrant and healthy child. My neuroses are not based in reality, this I know, but it is something that I still contend with daily. So the idea of taking time for myself or having her sleep on her own is nauseating to me. I want every second I can get with her. I can only remind myself over and over again that she will be by my side when I am 90 and I will watch her walk and run, make friends and have sleep overs, have a broken heart and do poorly on a history quiz (god forbid!), and we will visit colleges together and we will travel to other worlds together and I will watch her marry and have babies and get promotions at work. I will be the person she calls for the next 60 + years when she needs a reminder of how special she is. Remind her how more than any other child at her daycare she would show astounding empathy towards others at a very young age. We have time. We have time. We have time.

The god honest truth though is that E learns what she sees. She has to learn to care for herself above anyone else and that starts with me doing the same and so I will make a public proclamation:
1. I will work out three times a week, without Ellis and without the dogs. Just me and the road/treadmill/yoga mat.
2. I will begin to look at how good parenting is quality time not quantity of time. When I am with Ellis, I will be with Ellis. If that means I need to budget for someone else to clean my house, so be it.
3. I will explore sleep training options that feel good to me. I will take my time with this though so E does not sense my ambiguity.
4. I will rest more. When I can, I will. The dishes are no longer my priority.

Happy Sunday. I'm going to take a nap now.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mom works

I told myself for as long as I can remember that when I have kids I will not work for the first five years of their lives, which, recounting now I see that I would have taken off a lot more than five years unless I planned on having back to back children. At any rate, it was a rude awakening to have to put my child into daycare at 4.5 months old. Luckily, my child is highly social and very easily bored so daycare, particularly the one she attends, is a great fit for her. On the weeks when I do keep her home, either because she is under the weather or daycare is taking a break, she seems to find the humdrum of our daily lives rather unsatisfactory. She seems to prefer when the action knob is turned up, the visitors are coming in and out frequently and the scenery is changing often. While I try to control my child's external stimuli a little bit, fact of the matter is, the girl likes action. The apple once again falling close to the tree.

Believe me, I recite the latter paragraph to myself on a near daily basis. Because no matter how content she is at daycare, I feel an unrelenting guilt about not being able to keep her home. The story I tell myself more often than I care to is that I have failed as a mother, right out the gate, by not being able to observe her every moment of development.

The next monologue that goes through my riddled with guilt mind is that its good for her to see her mommy succeed. The world is a different place. When she is grown, chances are she will be the primary breadwinner. Rates of depression for women have drastically decreased and they hypothesize that this is partly due to much better psychotropics but also because women are doing what actually makes them happy, which by in large, isn't staying at home. The guilt though, which I will continue to go back to, is formidable. I suppose it helps that we don't really have a choice. We could technically live off of one salary but in all honesty, I'm not willing to be that poor. I went to school for 20 years. I love what I do. When E asks me what it is I do everyday, I can't wait to show her.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Let me preface this by saying that I have not yet calmed down. I am writing in a close to limbic state here so please do not contact the police or the local mental institution to do a home safety check. For the record, Ellis is asleep, thank Jesus and I am settling down to watch back-to-back Gossip Girl as soon as I finish this. Now, that being said, this has been one of the worst EFFING weeks of my life (the fact that I didn't use the F word just then is a.) not at all satisfying and b.) a good sign.). Aaron is hunting, which is something I promised him I would never begrudge him if we ended up together. After this week however, I rather eat pink sludge for the rest of my life if that means I don't ever have to single-parent a teething infant again. Let me clarify: teething, croupy, has the rhino virus (common cold) infant. She nearly bit both my nipples off more times than I care to keep track of this week, she hit me with her EFFING baby Einstein boom-box ON MY HEAD, while I WAS LOOKING THE OTHER EFFING WAY. I saw stars, nearly passed out, etc. The house is a disaster. I won't even let her crawl on the floor for fear she will contract Hepatitis. I have been to the pediatrician three times this week and they keep giving her prescriptions and I'm wondering when they're going to catch on and give me an EFFING prescription. Xanax sounds nice. Shit, I will take a trank shot in between the eyes at this point.

I should also add that I chose this week to do a detox. Why? I DON'T EFFING KNOW!!! Bad idea, really bad idea. Some folks suggested that detoxing should be a pleasurable experience, but some people also suggested giving birth was pleasurable so to each their own I guess. I am not an "unhealthy" person. Relatively speaking, I'm healthier than most so a detox for me is just adding insult to injury. I should have seen the signs that this week was going to lead me to contemplating creative ways of killing myself, but I didn't and I kept on with the detox. Again, bad idea.

Last night I caved and ate almost a half of a box of Cheez-its. I NEVER eat cheez-its, I don't even know how they ended up in my cabinet. Low and behold, snack food! I couldn't stop. They tasted like a dream. I kept thinking, mouth stuffed, "Why would I do a thtupid thing like detothing anyway. Simple carbths make me tho happy. Nom, nom, nom." Well, I woke up with a wicked creak in my neck. We're talking about 25% mobility. I'm not blaming the cheez its but the timing is oddly suspicious.

This afternoon I called Aaron and cried. I'm glad he's not an alarmist because we sounded bad. Ellis was barking like a seal and crying because I'm too afraid to nurse her and I'm crying because my neck hurts and Ellis weights 100 pounds and I can't pick her up without mind numbing pain and so crying seemed like my best option. This of course, made Ellis cry harder because she's never seen her mommy cry. It's not pretty and she's probably thinking to herself, "Yikes, is that how I look when I cry? That is so unattractive."

Oh and I'm going to either kill or give away the dogs. I might kill them so we can eat them that way Aaron doesn't have to go hunting anymore. Jaco tacos.

Well, this has helped a lot. As will the brimming glass of wine I will enjoy after my chiropractor fixes my neck.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DIY frenzy

I just ate a gluten free cookie, which by the way, does not count as an actual cookie so I'm ready to move onto topic #2 of the evening:  NEW HOUSE.

We are under contract and we've had an inspection. We are waiting for the appraisal and then we will hopefully be good to go. I love this house. It's new, immaculate, the design is simple, efficient and will be fun to decorate, which is what I want to talk about right now. The following is a list of my upcoming projects, which I will complete in my over-abundance of free time (ha!):

1. Refurbish our dining room table and chairs, i.e., paint them a color other than the color they are right now. Preferably white because I love white.

2. Make an ottoman. This one is going to be a bitch I already know. My mom claims that she knows what she's doing but I can already hear her saying, "Hmm...I don't know. I want pizza."

3. PILLOWS! I plan on making a lot of adorable pillows with the phantom adorable fabric I have yet to find. I went to my fav fabric store in town but the lady that was working was asking me some strange questions about someone I don't know very well and I kept saying, "I don't know that person well enough to speculate," and that was apparently not a good enough answer for her as she stalked me right out the door. I didn't manage to purchase any fabric that day.

4. Ellis' room is going to require MAJOR assistance from Grandma Anne. I'm thinking a beautiful mural, maybe chalkboard paint all along the wall so she can color at all times, and well, to tell you the truth I have thought the least about Ellis' room. Sort of hoping mom is going to be project lead on this one.

5. Aaron is obsessed with the shed he's going to build. I'm excited that there will be a place to put his duck decoys and his big foot hunting shrub lookalike outfit.  That thing scares the shit out of me every time I see it. Once he hung it up on the porch to dry and I thought it was a 10-foot serial killer with extreme amounts of body hair. Not cool.

6. The dogs will need a fence. Boring. Hoping Aaron will take care of that one.

7. Someday I am going to find a rug that blows my mind. I'm hoping that day will come directly after payday.

8. Big Yard Sale at my bestie's house on Valverde this Saturday. I'm selling all of Aaron's things. Kidding. I'm only selling the stuff that he clearly bought when he thought he would never live with a woman. I have his permission, I'm not that rude.

Projects galore!!!


Today I went to a grief training. Grief and loss is perhaps my least favorite subject to be trained on, but I do it every so often to refresh my clinical prowess and to stir up my own grief pot, which invariably happens e v e r y single time. I didn't actually know I was going to be trained on grief today, which is what I get for being an hour late to my meeting. So I walk in and there's a man reading from what looks like a novel. He welcomes me, I apologize for my tardiness and he reads on. I quickly realize that he's reading from a book that he has written. A book that he has written about his deceased daughter. A book that he has written about the six year major depressive episode/grieving process that ensued after he lost his daughter to terminal illness. I stepped in at the wrong time. I felt instantly panicked. "Can't I just leave?" "No! That is so rude Dorothy!" "I can't listen to this right now. Not today." "Dorothy, sit down. Relax. Just listen to the guy." "I can't listen to anything about children dying. I just can't bare it. It's too terrifying." Yes, I talk to myself a lot. So the cordial Dorothy won and I ended up staying for the training. I was uncomfortable throughout most of it and I realized that the speaker was just so raw, brilliantly raw really and the longer he spoke, the more naked I felt and I started to think about Aaron's accident and how tragically traumatic that was and continues to be when I allow myself to think of it. And when I think of it, which I often try hard not to do, I realize that I don't think the trauma in my life has made me stronger. I think its made me weaker, like a boxer who can't take another punch. 

And so I was stripped naked today at work, unsuspecting, but I learned some things too and there is something so healing about being in the near proximity of someone who has survived hell and has found a way to go on and even laugh and make jokes and talk about what kind of tacos he's going to eat for lunch. There is something magical and divine about our ability to go on. I remember after I first learned of Aaron being hit I could barely get a sense of him. It was like he had either left this world or he was on his way out. On the drive down to Albuquerque, before his helicopter had landed, I talked to him and told him to stay. Go back to your body. Stay with us. Please. I talked to him for hours and imagined him as I had seen him only hours before. So full of life. I remember the exact moment he came back. His energy suddenly surrounded me and I knew he was back. The doctors say that is when he started seizing, which was an improvement over comatose.

The thing about grief is that we are in relation to it all the time. Some days we simply observe it from afar, other days we dance with it closely.