May 28, 2012 § 2 Comments
I promise this has a very happy ending.
It’s so strange how you can begin to feel extremely overwhelmed all of the sudden and not know where the flood of feelings came from. Depression–unknown needs and/or needs that aren’t getting met–hits the best of us like a big slap in the face every once and awhile, some more than others.
Recently, Trever has been getting more work (yay!) and I’ve been feeling distant. As he adds on more hours, I spend more time at home with the kids. After the Great Mold Fiasco, he actually worked 22 days in a row. I thought I was going to fall to pieces.
Being with my cuties for ten, twelve, fourteen hour days can wear on one’s soul, regardless of how utterly adorable they are minute by minute. Even the best parenting class can’t help you get a break. Especially when the event of peeing isn’t private.
This past week, Trever stepped into another marathon-get-er-done sprint to finish a job. And I fell into an existential looping depression. I could’t get myself to shut up no matter how much I tried. I drank water, ate fruits and veggies, made Indian dal, drank coconut water, kombucha, coffee, tea, snuggled with the kids, took a break from blogging, sang made-up songs, went to the park, breastfed my buddy (obviously), drew pictures, read every book we own, looked at photos, played catch (kind of, we’re working in it), and had a game of hide-and-go seek.
Nothing. Was. Working.
I could still hear my looping thoughts and I was still getting angry with Audrey even though I was trying so hard to remain happy. Yet there I was: parenting with unmet needs looming in my frontal lobe. I did the old call the mom thing (my mom, the MFT) and she said get a break.
I had a break. Got my nails did. Purchased a new bra. Bought a birthday present. Had a nice breather. Trever took the next day off and I couldn’t feel more elated. Pressing in the back of my mind at the third birthday party was the fact that he was going to work the next day.
I missed him already. (I told you this would have a happy ending. I’m getting there.)
After getting the kids into bed (finally) and watching a couple episodes of Friends, season 4, we rallied in the bathroom to brush our teeth. Then it came out.
“I’m so scared of being depressed tomorrow.”
“Why? What do you need?”
There you have it. He knew there was something I needed and I couldn’t have pin-pointed it that easily. We spent the next half an hour trying to understand one another. I finally worked out a few of the things I was hoping for him to get. And then I said it:
You’re my best friend.
That’s what it really comes down to. I simply want to spend more time with him and help him with the marketing and administration stuff for the company we’re starting (more on that later). I desire to share the work load and be able to enjoy our time together more, knowing full well that the bookkeeping is getting done and that we/he has work scheduled weeks in advance.
That’s what it really comes down to. Stepping back, he’s my best friend.
See, told ya.
May 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
It’s mornings when I wake up after I’ve been dreaming about my past all night long telling myself I should have married someone else, not had children yet, or been on a completely different path that really mess up my day and screw with my head. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to put that and it’s hard to simply shake. Then I realize after I wake up a bit more that I have these two beautiful children that I spent years in the making (hehe) sitting right in front of me.
Yet I’ve got my past thrown into my face by my subconscious. As I come to, I just want to say,
“Subconscious, you can go eat a you-know-what.”
Right then and there I make the decision, a difficult one at that, to be present in my day. To put away the sleepy dream funk and realize what I’ve got in the here and now, regardless of how begrudging that little deep voice inside of me is. I mean, I’ve got two people to take care of, my nose is feeling stuffy, my throat is feeling scratchy, and I feel alone (legitimately, I’m all by myself). It’s in those moments where I have to really be intentional about my day about what’s going on in my mind because it’s so easy to just continue the thought process of what my subconscious has been running all night long.
What if I would have stayed in Australia? What if I would have chosen this person and not that person? What if I would’ve had no kids by now and Trever and I were still dating? (Something when actually discussed yesterday and laughed about.)
That’s what it comes down to. My silly sleep can be related back to yesterdays discussions and my own bodily issues. Something that I don’t share with people very often is that both of us have doubts about getting married on the day that we did–February 24, 2008. We definitely don’t regret marrying one another, however the act in which our marriage occurred in February was anything but beautiful. This discussion that we had yesterday about our wedding day, on top of my stomach problems I was having, caused me to have nightmares all night long. Enough nightmares to attempt to get the better of me.
I’m determined to be intentional about the decisions that I make and what I’m telling myself for the rest of the day. I love my husband and the fact that he cleaned out my entire car and picked up the apartment to make it look nice when I woke up this morning. And I love spending the day with my beautiful children and the privilege that I have to not have to work.
So we’re going to yoga together and then probably the park and then maybe even go visit Papa (as he requested yesterday). Boo on my subconscious. I’m going to continue to enjoy my life and my day. Boo on sleepy dream funk.
April 30, 2012 § 4 Comments
Have you ever wondered if you were just loved exactly where you were at how much more awesome you would be? Not gonna lie, I think about it all the time. This little voice inside of me constantly tells me that I don’t do things quite right. That I could fix this or that. And that those around me are continuously judging me with a harsh and differing point of view.
Yes, I hate that voice. It’s all too familiar. It’s been there since I was just a little girl. Particularly louder since I became a mom and added more responsibility to my plate. It’s a wonder I ever accomplish a thing. How do I get through my day? I get the voice to settle down a bit and pump myself up with a bit of self-talk. I drink a lot of water. I eat healthy at the appropriate times. And I try to do what feels natural, what flows.
It isn’t always easy. I get a poor nights sleep. I forget to drink anything besides coffee to keep me awake. The dishes are dirty and I need to go grocery shopping and, besides, I’m not even having a “cute” day. My hair is a curly mess, my favorite shirt is dirty, and I didn’t have time to apply any make-up. Nothing. Can. Go. Right.
The day gets the better of me. All of the sudden my thoughts are swimming with existentialism. I can’t figure out what I’m doing. It all seems too difficult. I’m at odds with what I really want to do! Am I a writer? A blogger? An entrepreneur? Do I pursue an MA in creative writing, songwriting, commercial music? Do I wait until the kids are in school to do other things and pursue my interests? Or do I homeschool and forgo “me” altogether until much later in life?
Ahhh! Who am I? Why am I here? What on earth am I doing? Is there a god with a capital “G” and if there is, would he/she just tell me what I’m doing?!!!?!?!?!
And then it hits me. I knew this about myself the moment I woke up to my beautiful 3-month-old son lying next to me smiling with bright blue eyes at 7:18am this morning.
February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment
My little sister just turned the Big 18. Now she can legally vote and buy cigs. And it got me a thinking–we’re never really ready for the next year. What’s weird is we have no idea what it will feel like. We make assumptions about growing up and getting older, yet we have no idea what the truth is until we get there:
We feel the same.
When you’re younger you think that when you get to a certain age, say 30 or 40, that it’ll feel this way or that. That somehow life will feel different. That you’ll know more than you did on your 28th birthday than you did the day before. But it’s not so.
When a 55-year-old tells me they don’t feel any different, I’m finally starting to believe them. Because it really doesn’t feel any different. Change and growth are such subtle progressions, that you can’t measure them by any means. And age is certainly no indicator of such change and growth.
So you just roll with it. It’s a number. It’s a bodily state that effects your physicality more so than anything else. Yet in our society, there are tons of pressures, spoken and not, to be at certain life stages when you hit a date on the calendar.
When you reach 18, it feels as if the world is telling you to be graduated from high school, to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, and to have a plan.
At 30, it’s like they expect you to have it all together. The job, the car, the significant other, perhaps even the kids.
Once you get to 40 it’s like some unspoken expectation that you have to feel old. That half your life is over, so you’d better be acting like it.
But can I just say, let’s throw these cockamamie ideas straight out the window? They’re ridiculous. And untrue, to say the least. There’s nothing that says you have to be at this place or that. It’s for you to decide. It’s for you to accept.
I know getting older isn’t the funnest thing in the whole world. At least it’s not the same as when you were seven going on eight and couldn’t wait for the “big bike” on your birthday. However, if you look at it as simply time passing–because that’s what it is–and not a way to measure your achievements, success, or lack there of, perhaps you’ll be able to embrace the joy of your birth!
Happy Birthday, Itzel! I love you, lady. I hope you can embrace eighteen with the same passion, energy, and excitement that you’ve done with all the years before.
January 29, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’m feeling pretty discouraged. On Saturday I visited my “Mama”* midwife, Margo, and found out that I was 90% effaced and 3 centimeters dilated. That made me feel so excited about the impending bun in my oven. I thought,
“Wow! You’re almost ready to go! Maybe it will be soon!”
A few hours later I began having stronger contractions than normal 8 minutes apart, then five minutes apart. From two in the afternoon to nine or so that night, they persisted. My “Sister” midwife, Kelly, came to visit me. She asked if I wanted to be checked for progression and I was a little nervous about the the possible outcome: Nothingness.
She encouraged me and gave me a homeopathic called gelsemium to calm my nerves and antsy-ness. I had just eaten, so I had to wait 20 minutes to take it. I thanked her and saw her home saying,
“At least you can’t go backwards.”
I’d made it this far. The worst thing that could happen is the baby wouldn’t come that night as I had hoped. You see, induction of any kind–natural or medical–only works if the baby is actually ready to come. Whatever method(s) you use will only be successful prior to if the babe was already thinking,
“Mmmm, now’s a good time to come out and see the world!”
Apparently he or she inside of me had other plans for the evening. Like eating the pineapple, pretzels, and grapes I had just ate. However, I spent from 11:30 to around four in the morning with strong contractions three and a half minutes apart and lasting one a half minutes.
“For sure, they’re coming today,” I thought.
I was so stinking excited, sitting in our tub, by myself, for hours while Trever and Audrey slept away. I wanted Trev to sit there with me, yet I knew how uneventful it would be and how tired he was. My telepathy worked and he woke up around four to see me. Yet my contractions were slowly fading away. My mood was getting more and more disappointed. For surely this was it!
We popped in The Descendants, the latest George Clooney movie we’d received in the mail, thanks to the upcoming SAG Awards. It was good. And got my mind off my now non-existent contractions.
“It was like ‘Up In the Air’, only different,” I mumbled at the end.
“You’re getting the hang of this script thing,” he replied.
It was now after six. The sun has come up and was tinting the sky a light gray out the window. I dragged my feet to bed and tried to get comfortable. Three hours of labor-filled dream sleep later, I was wide awake. Trever made me a breakfast burrito and I crashed out on the couch again after shedding a few discouraged tears.
So here I am. Writing down my thoughts. Hoping to get a bit out. Hoping that I can encourage myself. I even said it, I can’t go backwards. They’re coming. I’ve made it this far. Let’s see how he/she surprises us, eh? And eat just a few more slices of pineapple.
*My midwives Margo and Kelly of Birthing Women’s Health fulfill two separate role’s for me. Like a mother/daughter team, they bring two perspectives to midwifery care. I trust each of them with their differing but complimenting opinions and know that I’m in great hands. Heck, I trust them with my life.
Photo: How can I be discouraged when
I have this little face to look at?
December 12, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Nothing is faster. As soon as you get over that, your life as a parent (or anything else for that matter) becomes a gazillion times easier. As humans, we have a tendency to want things to go our way, in our timing. I know I do it on a daily basis even though I know this simple life truth.
When Audrey entered the picture, I realized how much my life really wasn’t my own. Here I was without anyone to care for except for myself and, to an extent, my husband. Yet the care of another person makes you quickly put basic necessities into perspective. Eating, drinking, sleeping, hygiene. They all go out the window the moment a small person arrives.
It took me about three weeks thereafter to discover how to eat and drink again–care for my own sustenance while caring for hers through breastfeeding. Sleeping and personal care would take another six months, at least. And getting back into the groove of regular homemaking, like cooking and cleaning consistently, would not occur until Audrey’s tenth month.
From fifteen months on–when Audrey discovered true independent play–I felt like my own person again. And here I am doing it again. Ha! On the other hand, nothing is faster. And when I say “nothing”, I mean nothing. Raising children is the personification of your life being sacrificial. Not your own.
Truth be told: it never is! It never was in the first place. Little people might bring that to the foreground, but in reality it never really is about you or me. And it never goes at the pace that we want it to go. Could you imagine if the world just accepted this fact? Driving would be the nearest thing to heaven!
With Audrey, walking from our place to the farmers market is an experience. Sometimes I’m in a hurry–like when I wait too long to leave and it’s almost closed–and I want to get there ASAP. Yet she has other plans. She wants to stop and smell each flower, rose and all, sit on every stair, and play swords with all the perfect sticks.
If I let my own agenda get in the way, it’s no walk in the park. Yet if I remind myself that there is no efficiency. No productivity. It’s simply just life. I find comfort in my own words. And the meditation on the mere “Nothing is Faster” brings peace and solace.
Put the old thinking away. The hopes that things would look a certain way. The desire to wish it into fruition. And let yourself be. What joy you will find when you settle into a place where you are not at the center. All else will come together in due time.
Community Discussion: What does “Nothing is Faster” look like in your life?
Photo: My skull and crossbones tattoo is a reminder to sacrifice to the self.
December 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
In one of my all time favorite series, Sookie Stackhouse discovers that her father was a fairy. The essence of the fairy is so sweet and delicious, so the story goes, that their aura pulls you in and seduces you to the bone. Like an enchantment, it’s hard to think of anything else but them when they come near.
In an instant, her childhood–and her own attraction to vampires–makes sense. Her mother was continuously enthralled in her fathers gloriousness. And now she must ask herself if her lovers are magnetic for the same reason.
This concept tickles me to bits. Over the past year, I have gotten to know numerous mothers and their children’s respective fathers, to an extent. In most part, whether or not I see these partners or spouses together is decidedly based on the dynamics of each interesting relationship.
Fairy Syndrome appeared in front of me, similar to that of Sookie’s experience, when I noticed a friends glossy-eyed stare at her hubby from a distance. I know I do the same to Trever at times, but I couldn’t help but giggle under my breath, “She must really like him!”
Upon getting home and doing an impression for my said lover, I concluded:
He must be a fairy.
So the story began. I started looking out for more clues in this particular couples relationship, as well as others. I found it more simple to describe to Trever when he had weekend work, “She’s married to a fairy, so she’s usually not free on Saturday’s.” You see, those with fairy partners:
• Cannot do things away from partners if partner is, in fact, available
• Puts partners needs above one’s own
• Checks in with partner throughout their time spent with others
• Obsessively looks at their phone for texts/calls from partner
• Drops everything when partner comes around (either by phone or in person)
• Acts differently when partner is present
• Cannot get as much accomplished when partner is present
I know it can be extremely difficult to break free, I’ve been in codependent fairy relationships myself and have even struggled with that with Trever. I’m in no way, shape, or form saying you must leave your fairy. I am saying you must take steps to recognize their entrapment and slowly break-free.
If you or someone you know is having 3 or more of the above symptoms of Fairy Syndrome, please call 1-800-FAIRIES to find a local support group. We want you to be able to function as a normal part of society and not forget about friends or family whenever your fairy comes around. Together, we can be Fairy-Entranced Free.
Photo: my Fairy King and princess. Woo woo!
November 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Since August 8, 2011, I went carless for the sake of our family. After Trever’s truck when kurplunk and we didn’t have the funds–almost $3000–to fix the basic necessities, I told him I would somehow make it and do without.
It took about a month to settle in to walking everywhere and for Audrey to get used to being at home the majority of the time. There was one Sunday not too far in when Audrey led Trever down the stairs, out the gate, and to the garage, hoping to go on a morning ride to somewhere.
He called me from the car and said we were going on a little trip. So I threw my clothes on and ran down to the car. We drove a few miles away to a fun little downtown area, boasting its Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. That satisfied Audrey’s urge to get up and go.
From then on, she seemed fairly happy to not have a car. She discovered her love of pushing around her own Audrey-sized stroller and baby doll. It made trips take a bit longer, but her happiness was well worth it. We both got used to it, in a way.
For the first few weeks, I was hoping we would somehow magically come across the money to fix Trever’s Chevy. I felt like I was putting out all of my friends by continually asking if they could come to me or asking if they could cart me–carseat for Audrey and all–to wherever they were going. Then my perspective changed.
I stopped viewing it as short-term and started seeing it as permanent. I began to tell myself that I had chosen an awesome area to live with a great WalkScore and that we would be okay regardless. Plus, we were saving tons on gas (about $300/month) by only having one gas-friendly ’93 Honda Civic.
After I got over myself, I began to enjoy the benefits of walking. With the exercise I felt healthier, wanted to put good things in my body, drank more water, and spent less by making going anywhere a bigger chore. It also made errands more of an event and Audrey and I began to enjoy grocery shopping Wednesday’s and farmers market Tuesday’s heartily.
Yet after 13 and a half weeks of semi-joyous carlessness, last Saturday Trev and his good friend, Bejay, fixed the truck together for less than $500 in only eight hours. The weirdest part? Having a car again. Now that we have one, Audrey and I are still enjoying walking everywhere. I must admit, we drove to the grocery store for Thanksgiving shopping. But we’re happy with our lifestyle. And I think we’ll continue on our way. Being carless. It’s not so bad.
Photo: At the park with my shoo shoo.
October 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Learning to deal. Sometimes I don’t know how I do it. I guess I just compartmentalize. I can’t bite off too much of my life or I get extremely overwhelmed. At the thought of weeks, months, and years in advance–I crumble.
Once in a while, my zen mindset gets overloaded in one way or another, and I break.
That was just the case for me on the Friday before my sister in laws wedding. I was on this brain overload: thinking about upcoming bills, Trever needing more consistent work, feeling comfortable during a wedding, and taking the final for my Web Development class.
When the rehearsal dinner rolled around on Thursday and we needed to head down early to pick up my dress, I was feeling anxious about it fitting or not. I wanted it to work out like magic or for the seamstress to at least be able to take out some of it if that were the case.
Well, imagine my surprise when we arrived to pick it up and this was Sharan’s response,
“Oh, I sent your dress home with someone earlier this week. With your sister/sister-in law or mother/mother-in-law. Yes, with someone.”
After bidding her a hallow “thank you” and walking away, I rang my mother-in-law. She did have the dress and would bring it with her. I had to wait another 7 or so hours before I found out if it was time to panic or not.
And there was my mistake. I had already decided that it wasn’t going to work and that there was no alternative, no backup plan. The beginning of my zealous mind wipe.
We enjoyed the rehearsal and dinner well enough. When we arrived back home, I immediately tried the dress on. The satiny classic bridesmaid material suctioned to my 25 week pregnant body. Too tight. I couldn’t breath.
I looked at Trever in the mirror, “What am I going to do?”
“I don’t know,” he replied, “but I know you’ll figure it out. You always do.”
I always do. Phew. His support was admirable. But I was still stressed. The next day, I chaotically searched for a replacement dress that my mother-in-law generously offered to cover. My plan was to wear the bridesmaid dress for the photos and ceremony and change shortly thereafter.
Friday went painstakingly slow. After making it through it in its entirety, I woke up Saturday deciding that I would do whatever I needed to do to deal. I had come this far and I wasn’t about to let the drama in my own mind get in the way of people and things greater than myself–brides take precedence of pregnant ladies. Period.
The morning couldn’t have gone better with the best updo ever (See Monday’s post) and it just put me in a good mood. My hair looked good, what could go wrong?
That was the end of that. I spent one day–Friday–griping about a tight dress in my mind and made a conscious effort to not let that stop me from enjoying myself. We arrived at the wedding ceremony site and I waited till the last second to put the dress on.
The ceremony and family-photo-taking ended and I had my opportunity to change. I decided not to. “I’ll just deal with it,” I told myself. And I did. I got over myself and just lifted the dress up a bit after I ate (and it was tighter than before). Thankfully, it didn’t go too long into the night and soon we were driving home.
All and all, I’m quite proud of myself. I guess we’re all capable of getting over even the silliest things in our heads. Now what to do with that dress? Wink.