28 May 2008

So excited I think I might throw up.

Sucks that I have approx 400 more words to write before I can go to bed tonight...but that also means tomorrow is packing, packing, packing! Oh wait, it's just packing. My carry-on is full already. Just need clothes (all washed and set aside), shoes, and the good camera and I'm set. I've even got a folder wtih directions, hotel info, my little maps, and the wedding invitation all set aside. And my liquids are in my 1 quart ziploc bag. And I have my mindless diversions for the plane, even extra pens for my crosswords (I know, you're screaming "NERD!"). I even hot glued a big silk peony to a pin-back from my box'o'craftiness to wear with my black strapless dress to the wedding. I hope I can channel a little Carrie Bradshaw and not look like a dork (it's about 6in in diameter), but a little bit of daring in one's wardrobe is no longer an adventure I often take, so I figure what the hell. I'll either get compliments or wierd looks. Who the fuck cares. Seriously, I'm not kidding about the puking bit. I tend to throw up (or at least feel like it) right before big events, like final exams or big races or even my wedding. We'll see how I make it through the day tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow I should be Ok, but ten bucks says I'll be running to the bathroom right before our flight boards.

Why I Don't Tell People Things

By "people" I mean people I'm close to who should care and you would think hold similar values and levels of understanding as I do.

Case #1 - Mom
Spending the weekend with mom and dad was great, Natalie loves her grandma and papa and Sophie the bischon is her bestest furry friend. Mom knew I needed a breather, wouldn't let me help with dinner or dishes or cleaning up after Natalie, just told me to enjoy myself, look after myself and Natalie and that was all I was allowed to do. Which meant there was some time spent after Natalie was down for a nap or bed that found mom scurrying about the kitchen with me sitting at the table and we talked. Went through the whole spiel about meds and depression and therapy and weight loss with her. Ok, fine, we've discussed it enough but never really sat down and told the whold story through end to end. Then we got to talking about my upcoming weekend in CA (48 hours to go, people!). Some of the friends I'll see are people she heard about during those 4 years at college, so while filling her in on who is doing what and getting married and living where, she of course asked if the bride and groom are living together. Yes, they are. No business of mine to judge (I honestly could care less about my friend's housing choices unless they involve domestic abuse or a pschyopathic landlord), and especially none of mom's. Yet her tone changed after that question, like she was disappointed that I would choose to be friends with people who would choose to live together befor marriage, after all the righteous and Christian morals mom and dad instilled upon me from day 1. Sorry mom, I should have screened all my college friends freshman year with a questionnaire that started out "So, do you plan to live together with a significant other before marriage?" Made me a little sad.

Case #2 - Jim
This just feels awful because I'm MARRIED to the guy. Stuck, for life, with someone who doesn't get me. At least in this situation. To his benefit, he gets my quirky sense of humor, my taste in movies, etc. But I've been sewing a lot lately. Only one or two things have been for Natalie, mostly to test out home-made patterns, the rest are going into my stock pile for my soon-to-be opened etsy.com shop. Yesterday Jim told me I should stop sewing so much. I said it wasn't all for Natalie. He said "Who else dresses their kid like that?" Apparently sweet a-line dresses, and empire waist jumpers with full skirts and little tunics and peasant blouses are something only I like. And he doesn't get how sewing is so good for me, it's pretty much the only activity these days that makes me happy, keeps me busy and out of the fridge, and gives me a serious sense of satisfaction when an idea presents itself in your head and you manage to figure it out successfully in fabric. Whatever. He can be a real ass sometimes. I haven't told him about the etsy idea because I've been afraid of his criticism and haven't wanted to give him the chance to shoot it down. When he sees me bundling packages off to mail to buyers, then I'll mention it. And I'm keeping all the money I make to spend on more fabric and frivilous yummies for myself. So there.

27 May 2008

3 DAYS

72 hours from RIGHT NOW, I will be boarding my flight to California. I am terrified of flying, but somehow, having survived the three hour Christmas trip to Texas sans tv, movies, or even music and with a wiggly toddler on my lap, flying alone with headphones and a little screen in front of me for distraction seems like heaven. Must get some crossword puzzles and a guilty pleasure paperback to take with. Must also remember to hit the liquer store for some teeny bottles of vodka to slip in my orange juice that morning. Or rum for my diet coke. Choices, choices.

We're flying virgin america, who is trying to boost their US city to city market (since virgin atlantic is doing so well with the pond hopping business) and had a great deal on DC to LA. And by "we" I mean another college friend and her boyfriend who also live in DC. One of the crazy things about virgin america planes is that not only does every seat have it's own screen to watch, but you can use that screen to text message other passengers. Should be some silly fun; if my friend's boyfriend survives the flight with the two of us, then he's just the man she deserves.

25 May 2008

Good weekend

This about sums it up...

22 May 2008

Depression

Yet again, depression sucks. I've been having a rough week - a combination of stress and change, worry, insomnia, and a needy toddler who now seems to have a head cold. So much has happened lately, and while I'm trying to get a grasp on all that was good, I'm still not feeling at peace with what's going on. Our friend and tenant moved out last weekend, but we have a new tenant moving in soon so no lapse of rent money, and she's a military med student who starts rotations in july and won't be back in DC till mid-november. What better tenant could you ask for than one who is rarely around? The place down there looks really good, we have a few touch up paint spots we noticed now that there is no furniture, we still have to get the rugs cleaned but not because they are super spotted, just because it seems like a nice thing to do between people living there (especially since Chris lived with us for over 2.5 years). And most exciting, we get new screen doors isnstalled next week. Best of all, my freelance job from last year started paying me so we can now afford to do some of these fix-ups that have been on our list for a while.

On paper, this is all good. But I can't drag myself out of this funk. I can't go downstairs and look at our rental space, because all I see is the work to be done. I can't wrap my head around opening a can of paint and going around doing touch ups. I was doing good gardening, but now I look at the yard and am overwhelmed at all that needs to be done and don't know where to start next and therefore avoid it. Even sewing isn't what it was, it feels like I decided to start this etsy thing and now it's become a chore, despite my head being full of ideas and my closet full of fabric. Grandpa is still in the hospital, so every time my parents call with an update, I have that twinge of panic that it's That Call. The one where I have to make plans to go up there for a few days for a funeral. On top of it all, I still feel like a fat cow, despite the phentermine, which I can almost admit is work since I've lost about 5-6lbs (54 more to go!), but meals aren't the problem. It's the funk - I want to cure the funk with chocolate fudge sauce. But meals start to be a problem when I can't summen the energy to cook or can't even think what to cook.

Natalie and I head to the bay on Saturday to spend 2 days with my parents while Jim stays home and does stuff to the house/basement to prepare for the next tenant. I fear I'm just going to collapse in front of my mom, for all her support and babysitting skills and just waste the weekend away crying. But I guess that's not so bad. Better to cry in a safe place where Natalie is off swimming and exploring with her papa, and to regain my composure in a beach chair out on the sand with a book and my ipod. Then the following weekend I'm going to be in CA, and I better do well with that. Damn it, I AM going to have a good time. Even if I spend a good part of saturday morning out on the beach with a book and my ipod.

21 May 2008

Oh my

If spinning [around in circles repeatedly to make yourself dizzy] is a gateway drug, then Natalie is a future addict. I got sick just watching her, but oh how she giggled.

19 May 2008

Why?

How come on the hard days, I still want to run and plunge myself straight into a chocolate soft ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles? I guess it's better than wanting to plunge into a fifth of vodka, but I'm not sure how much better.

I have determined phentermine only works for me when I'm on birth control. That week off? Yeah, we'll be skipping that next month.

Psycho

I swear I am married to the only man on the planet who keeps the heat and the A/C on at the same time. Heaven forbid it gets above 70 while he's sleeping and below 67. What he doesn't realize is that I turn both of them off the second he leaves the house. Then we throw open all the windows to get the house cooled down as much as possible, and when Natalie and I leave for the day, we close most of it up (cooler days we'll leave a few back windows open) and it doesn't get over 70 till Jim and all his hot air gets home in the evening. Then we're back to paying to cool air we're just going to heat over night.

17 May 2008

Whirlwind

Had three parties to go to today...usually we sit around doing nothing of consequence on a saturday, today it was a picnic at Natalie's new school for the fall, then a graduation party for a neighbor, followed up by dinner across the street at our neighbor's/Natalie's best friend's house. The girls were total crackups. We had ribs. Natalie has never had meat on a bone. She was like a piranah. Fresh watermelon for dessert was the perfect ending.

Our tennant moved out today...we thought we'd be spending the evening with him and his dad (who drove up from TN to help him do the drive down to FL), but his dad just wanted to hit the road - he was so jacked on coffee he knew he wouldn't sleep if he spent the night so he just wanted to go go go. We thought it was crazy, made for abrupt good byes, and now it's really wierd going down in the basement and it's...empty. Save for the ugly ass circa 1980's coffee table he left. Thanks, tiger.

And grandpa is in the hospital. He's 90. He fell the other day and cracked a few ribs. Natalie and I called this morning, and evidently we're the last one's to have had a coherant conversation with him. It's not looking good. Mom and dad were there tonight. Wondering if we're on Death Watch 2008. You never know with his side of the family - he could be on his way out, or there could be 2 more years left in him. Honestly, his quality of life has gone down hill so fast lately, that if choices are to pass quietly now, or to spend months or years more uncoherant as to what was going on around you, unable to care for yourself or even walk yourself to the bathroom, then I think I'd rather he passed peacerully now. There's some dignity that he deserves in having his body decide to call it quits at the right time instead of trying to hang around for every last second it can scrape together. It is sweet, that even in his fog, he remembers talking to his great-grand-daughter this morning. Amazing what a blessing such a little person can be.

On an up note, I will be in CA two weeks from today. PSYCHED! I've been shopping for my trip - 3 new shirts, a light cotton cardigan, some capris, new sandals, a new belt (with crabs on it! tres preppy), and even a new bag to use on the plane. I needed a tote with a top that zipped so I can keep all my crap from spilling out, not to mention keeping the good camera safe and sound. All that's left is a good guilty-pleasure paperback and some luna bars and dried fruit for snacks to keep that blood sugar steady while traveling. I've gotta start my packing lists, get out the maps, plan my routes, all sorts of exciting things if you're as anal retentive as I am.

13 May 2008

That kind of day

I almost burned out the motor on my Kitchen Aid mixer. The pretty cobalt blue one my mom got me as a wedding present. Didn't know you could do that. Maybe because I've never left it kneading bread dough while I gave a toddler a bath. A toddler who managed to spend 2 hours round trip in a car to go see friends in West Virginia, play hard with said friends, and never nap, not even after we got home in the middle of the afternoon. Cranky baby = exhausted mamma who forgets she left the mixer on. Had to stick in to the stoop for the motor to cool off and not stink up the house.

We did have fun in West Virginia, we miss our friends, and it's fun to double up, stick two toddlers in the back of a car together (a novel thing for those who are still only children), and head out there. Hard to believe it's only an hour each way; it feels like you are in a whole 'nother country. Tomorrow we go see Owne and his new baby brother Ty - the bread I'm in the proccess of making will be a nice hearty loaf of whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread for Ty's mamma, Alice. Who is French. And refers to her boys as boob-ticks. Oh, the woes of having agressive nursers and plenty of supply.

Tomorrow is another busy day, just a little closer to home. And Natalie is already asleep. I got fed up and just threw her in the bath where she played for almost 45 minutes. Pruny and shivering, we got into fuzzy jammies, read stories, and she is knocked out. Usually we are entertained by her singing and talking and all for close to an hour every night. Doesn't help that Jim and Chris went on a man-date to play pool and drink beer tonight, of all nights this week. So no help at home. Must make the best of it and go vege for a while in my quiet house before they get back. *sigh* At least I get to snuggle a less-than-one-week-old little guy tomorrow. That is definitly something I am looking forward to.
PS - do you know how hard it is to get a toddler to look at you and smile? Especially your own? Geez, I just wanted one sweet head shot - haven't been able to get one in ages. Also, I cut Natalie's hair yesterday and Jim thinks she looks like a boy. I think he's smoking pot if he thinks she looks like a boy.

12 May 2008

Whew

We have a tenant. Yay! She's young, military, no chance of deployment due to the fact that our tax dollars are putting her through med school currently.

Pros: She's going to be away 29 weeks over the course of the next year doing rotations at other military hospitals. Starting in June, for instance, she'll be leaving and we won't see her till mid-August, and then a few weeks after that she leaves again till mid-November.

Cons: She occasionally babysits her boyfriend's dog on weekends when he has to travel with his ceremonial military unit.

Pros: They are good dog owners, he is crate trained, good with kids, and well behaved.

Cons: Can't think of anymore.

Pros: Gives us time to do some serious home repairs, like when we re-do our kitchen we can be obnoxious and keep stuff downstairs and use the kitchenette down there without being a bother since SHE WON'T BE HOME. Or when we re-do our bathroom. Same deal. We'll also have the time to start ripping out the paneling in the basement and replacing it with proper sheetrock so it looks less basement like. And to re-caulk the shower in that downstairs bathroom. The place is going to look loads nicer each time she comes home from a trip.

Anway, God provides, and from this vantage point, it looks like we have 2 years ahead of us with a barely here tenant who is just a really nice person, who likes having a safe place to keep her stuff while she's away (instead of an empty apartment where no one has a key to check on things) and not have to worry about having her mail held or things like that either.

09 May 2008

So wrong

I just picked up my new prescription for a higher does of phentermine – turns out the last four weeks worked exactly as they were supposed to, even though they kind of sucked. Started out AWESOME – cravings? GONE. Filled up really easily after a light meal, had energy, no side effects, lost five pounds. But after you’ve been on it 2-3 weeks, the effect fade. Enter in the last week, when I’ve felt depressed and wanted to eat everything in site. Phentermine is the closest thing I’ve been on to speed, so I’m like an addict who no longer gets a buzz from my usual dosage. New shrink upped the dosage, and after 3 weeks, I start taking 2 pills a day. Suh-weet. I will be cranked. But I should also be 10lbs lighter at the end of it and have had a good jump start on the whole 60lbs to lose thing. Or else maybe by then my endo will agree to FINALLY put me on glucophage for PCOS. Anyway, I decided to celebrate. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be on an appetite suppressant, so why not do it up right today with a bag of chocolate covered pretzels. Mmm. Kind of cancels out the vegetarian enchiladas sans rice and on whole wheat tortillas with reduced fat cheese I was going to make for dinner…

2 years 3 months

Oh Natalie, how you've changed. It seems like overnight you transformed into Natalie, The Toddler. The mood swings, the drama, it's like living with a teenager who hates everything you do and only wants to do the exact opposite. Mamma is starting to wonder how the hell she's going to keep up with you till we get through this phase. But then you go and do something adorable that turns my insides into a big pile of goo. You've started using the word "actually" a lot. I'm worried that I say this a lot, which kind of scares me as an adult. But we'll be walking to the car from the Y and you'll turn to me and say "Mommie's car, actually." Well, actually, yes, that is my car. You also like to hide from me now when I come in to get you from a nap. You don't seem to realize that hiding inside your crib is kind of tricky, but you'll try nevertheless and bury your head in a corner or pull a blanket totally over you and then announce to me that you are hiding. It's hysterical, actually, and I love it every time.

It's not even worth mentioning the rest of your growing vocabulary, because for all practical purposes you say everything you want to and we understand almost all of it. I'm still trying to figure out what "effaling" means. It's not elephant, or falling, you saying it at different times that I haven't figured out the common factor of yet. It's kindof starting to drive me nuts since I really do understand almost everything else that comes out of that sweet little mouth of yours. What is really cute is that you and your little playgroup friends have been using more and more words towards each other. It's been really fun for the mom's at playgroup too, as we get to sit back and watch you all play together since you don't really need us around anymore to referee. It's amazing watching you and your friends grow. To think that in just a few months you'll be starting nursery school boggles my mind. Before we know it you'll be getting ready for the prom and sending in your college applications. You are turning into such a big girl before our eyes.

07 May 2008

Today

I feel like a good mom right now. Because I paid someone to watch my daughter.

Never thought I'd be one of "those people," but having time to myself, where I spend the majority of it at the computer working, makes me feel human. I feel like a better mom today than I have all week, because as I sit here writing, trying to wrap up an article on something I know nothing about, I hear Natalie and her babysitter having fun discussions over the lunch table, this after spending all morning at the park together. I don't think my work makes me feel more whole/human/important, but I think it's about getting something accomplished that is different from the daily tasks I accomplish. Most of those tasks involve forcing a two year old to put on a shirt, not throw things in the car, eat her lunch, or pretty much do anything because if I want her to do it, she automatically doesn't want to do it. So writing 1000 words on something that is going to be read and used by people way smarter than me? While my daughter gets engaging one-on-one time from someone who is not totally worn out by her? That's kind of nice. And I'm OK with that.

I've got my babysitter again on friday morning, and if between today, friday, and the weekend I get done what I aim to finish, then when she comes monday mid-day, I'm taking myself out for lunch and coffee with a good book. That is something I have never thought twice about paying someone to let me do on occasion. As an introvert, the coffee shop is where I recharge. Alone. Man, think of all the recharging I'll be doing in CA in a few short weeks...sure, I'm going to a wedding, but other than that I plan on spending time ALONE. IN CA. WITH BOOKS. AND SUNSHINE. AND THE BEACH. Crap. Now I'm all orgasmic with excitement again.

20 min till my fabulous babysitter leaves...must make it worth it...

06 May 2008

Long weekend

I have two members of my family that I wouldn't choose as friends. We are different, have different ideals, spend different amounts of time/money/effort on different things in our lives. Now that one of those women is a mother, I'm even more aware of those differences. I want to be respectful of her choices as a mother and parent, but in the back of my head I'm screaming "Just hook her up to the boob and be done with it! So what if she just ate?! She's OBVIOUSLY still hungry - even I can tell that and she's not my kid!" So a weekend with these two women, 24/7 in their presence has me, exhausted. So exhausted I started this post yesterday and am just now finishing it. I'm tired of keeping up appearances, of holding my tongue (especially when the mother of the 3 month old complains about those last 3 baby lbs she hasn't lost yet). It's OK that we're different, it's just that as family, I have to make nice. Where as if we weren't family, we could be cordial to each other as we passed each other in the baby aisle in Target, but we wouldn't have to be friends and that would be OK. That's what makes friends so great, you can pick them.


Speaking of, when we came home I called my neighbor to see if her daughter wanted to play (Natalie had been asking all weekend - too cute!), and also because I needed to talk to someone I consider normal. She takes one look at me, points out I'm wearing make up and is all like "what's up with that?" THANK YOU. I told her I was with those two all weekend and felt then need to be all done up for church at least, since these are girls who get dressed up to go to Target. She then called me a brazen hussy for wearing eye makeup to church and I just wanted to kiss her right there. So nice to be home and back with my posse of normal women, who can go to the groccery with semi-funky bed-head, who don't bother apologizing anymore for their messy houses because all of ours look like tornados hit, whose toddlers get dirty and it's ok, whose support I so need right now, because these are the women I can be honest with, I can spill my secrets too, who understand my issues because they've been going through them with me.



Despite all that, it was a pretty fun weekend, seeing the new baby cousin get dedicated at church. Playing with a three month old is so sweet, she's just starting to smile and coo and blow bubbles and such. We saw her 7 weeks ago for the first time and she was just this little tree frog who clung on your shoulder and slept most of the time, at least when she wasn't eating of pooping, that is. So glad Natalie is going to have a cousin substantially closer than Texas to grow up with - a three hour drive is a lot different than a 3 hour flight.

02 May 2008

Update

Etsy update: 4 dresses down, 6 to go. At least that's my goal before opening my etsy shop. I have a list of notions I need (buttons mostly), but I'm plowing through that pile of fabric like nobody's business. Thinking of turning some funky gauzy fabric into little toddler hippy tunics. I've got an old pair of grey pants that would make an excellent preppy jumper, maybe with a few pleats around the skirt. Some red gingham perfect for more summer dresses, and a lot of cute blue prints from a quilt I made ages ago that would make a pretty awesome patchwork dress or skirt. This is an excellent outlet for letting my creativity run amok.

01 May 2008

On Faith

Back in those Baptist days of my youth, I remember we all took this Myers-Briggs-esque test to see what our spiritual gifts were. Mine were giving and faith. Makes sense, as I could have told you that my introverted self was not going to score high on evangelism or hospitality or any of those areas where you had to actually talk to people. Stay in the background, give support and pray? Yup, that's me.

Lately my faith has been tested a lot. Faith that I made the right choice in marrying Jim, faith that we are making right decisions as a couple, as parents, etc. The biggest hurdle is finances. I married a man with no financial sense whatsoever, but I have more than enough for both of us (something I'm really thankful to my dad for now that I'm a grown up - he used to make me log in my babysitting money starting in jr. high: +$10 for 2 hours babysitting, -$2 for new nailpolish, and so on). This means I'm the person who pays the bills, the mortgage is in my name because my credit was off the charts high and we got a much better rate than if both our names were on it, that sort of thing. It also means I'm the person responsible for tithing, and I'm the one who worries about the checkbook when I have to scramble at the end of the month to pay everything off (thanks again, Dad, for instilling the fear of God in me for ever carrying a balance on a credit card). Things have been tight here. Seems like we have one month where a whole bunch of stuff hits at the same time and it takes us a few months to recover and BAM! we have a plumbing disaster and the care breaks down and we need to come up with a spare $1200 or something. Let me just pull some extra cash OUT OF MY ASS.

The latest drama was our tennant announcing that he's moving to Florida at the end of the month. He's an awesome guy, lived here since I was pregnant, and is seriously part of the family. Besides the fact that I don't know how we're going to explain to Natalie that Uncle Chris had to go away (he's her second favorite boy next to daddy), I'm stressing out about finding a new tennant that will work as well as Chris has. There will be money to spend to do a few quick upgrades down there between Chris moving out and a new person moving in, not to mention the stress of knowing we cannot afford to not have a tennant down there. I don't think we could tighten our budget (not to mention Jim is completely incapable of living within a budget) enough to manage without that rent money.

So back to faith: We barely have any money, but I am still owed a lot from last years freelance job (check was supposed to be cut yesterday...lets see if it comes), God popped another, easier, freelance job in my lap recently, yet payment for that one won't be for a while. That gov rebate check will be showing up in the summer. But we had hoped to redo our kitchen this summer (which sounds extravagent but it's not if you saw our nasty-ass falling apart kitchen). Now we have this tennant drama unfolding, and I wrote a big check last week for our tithe. I have faith God will provide for us, somehow. We never quite tithe a proper 10%, but let me tell you, what we give is usually given with sacrifice. I wouldn't have had to pay myself out of the savings account to cover bills this month if I hadn't tithed. That's hard.

God has given us so much it's easy to lose sight of the good and focus on the troubling current situation. He will provide. I keep repeating that to myself. But somehow, I feel like there should be more I could do. Is believing and trusting enough? It's not like I'm sitting on my ass waiting for an unknown relative to die and leave us everything. I work, Jim works, I'm sewing up a storm in hopes of setting up an etsy shop ASAP. Should I take on babysitting? Should Jim get a 2nd job in the evenings? Are we doing enough for God to warrent our efforts by relieving our finances a little? I struggle with this. In the meantime, it's leftovers for dinner tonight, working up an ad for craigslist soon, and praying that it all comes together soon.