Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Is For Anxiety

I know part of it's from the inactivity. The craziness brewing in my head. It's been years since I've had this kind of anxiety. The only thing that makes me feel better is drinking coffee, eating sweets and a nightcap. This is not my best me. I wish I was in a different place right now. Not physically, but mentally.

I want to write, I have ideas. Really good ones. Ones I'm excited about. I'm working on some of them, but the anxiety keeps me frozen. Keeps me from pulling the laptop out and getting started. Seeing my blog name depresses me. I'm not in running shoes, I haven't been in weeks. 5 weeks. Not because my baby doesn't sleep, not because I'm a walking zombie, just because I can't. One more week. I just have to make it one more week.

There's a secret fear adding to the anxiety. What if this isn't  just a simple sprain as diagnosed? What if it's the beginning of the end for me? I've been injured before. It took a full year to get my running back on. I need this. I need this so bad. More than I ever have. I need to take care of myself so that I can be healthy for my son. So I can be a good example. So I can care about myself more. So I can have some peace and quiet. Some piece of my life that is mine, just mine.

Last Friday, was Animal's second birthday. It was a fun and exciting day. Animal started preschool. It was so wonderful, but it added even more anxiety. I thought with the first day behind us the heavy weight of it would be lifted off my chest and I would be able to breath finally. Sleep soundly again, but I was wrong. Last night on the eve of his second day, my mind raced. At first I was able to settle it packing lunches, getting nap bedding together and picking out the next days schools clothes. I even washed that nights dinner dishes, THAT NIGHT, something I always leave for the morning. When I crawled in bed I couldn't pretend it was just extra energy or even just efficiency. I had to admit what it was and practice all my mind clearing tricks to be able to let my exhausted body sleep.

It was restless sleep. The weight of the anxiety getting heavier and heavier upon my chest until I just couldn't breath if I didn't get up.

I had a post planned, one about Animal's first day. Another about his birthday weekend. Even one about his first school cold. All things I had planned to write about over the weekend and Monday night. All things I can't do because this anxiety keeps me from living my life. Even from typing.

I pulled out the laptop because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I thought it might cheer me up to write about any of the topics mentioned above. Instead ANXIETY leaked out of my fingers and onto the screen. At least a little of the weight was relieved and for that I say thank you.

I'm going to publish this now, edit later (that's my style anyway because I'm a shitty editor, if anyone wants to volunteer...)

Anyway, I know I'm not alone. It's comforting. So I invite you to share your anxiety with me. In the comments...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Preschool Prep

This Friday is Animals first day of school. I have been waiting for this day since I had to leave him and go back to work.  It's so exciting and nerve wrecking. 

Being a mom has made me so much more sympathetic to parents. I thought one of the reasons parents liked me was that I "got it", and I kind of did, theoretically. Being a parent is what I thought, I just didn't realize what it actually felt like. I know we're all different, but the all consuming love, anxiety, exhaustion, joy, and responsibility we feel for our children is more or less the same.

A little example is, I don't want my son full of empty calories and chemicals and hormones, so I shop and cook accordingly. I have my reasons. Maybe you have other priorities, for your own reasons. I have never respected parenting styles and choices more. 

Not to say I don't have judgemental moments, when a kid brings in a hot dog from AM PM for lunch. Once upon a childless life, I would think to myself, I would never feed my kid that and I certainly wouldn't send it in a school lunch. 

Now, I shake that judgement away. I don't know why they sent that. Maybe it's their kids favorite and they begged for it and the exhausted parent gave in. Maybe they forgot their kid's lunch and had no time to run home or stop somewhere else. Maybe they don't have money till payday, but they do have a gas card. Maybe it's none of my business, because their child is happy and I know their parents love that child. Before being a mom I would have let my personal beliefs slam the judgement book shut. Now I know better.

Last Friday we had a school visit planned, so Animal could get familiar and so we could meet with the director (my boss). I was so nervous. So anxious that I couldn't sleep, could hardly breath from the weight of that anxiety on my chest. How would he do? Would I be able to control him in this sort of situation? 

 I know it's a great school (because I work there). I know it's going to be a wonderful experience and that he is going to grow and learn so much. However, when I look at him I can't help but see a baby. I very energetic, emotional baby. Not a small boy. 

Even though I see a baby, that's not who he is anymore.  He is a small boy, and he is ready. (If he wasn't going to be in my class) I would be one of those moms crying outside the school on the first day. I always imagined what that must feel like.

But now I know.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Broken Record

We're two months into a new school year. For me, this means I'm more or less a broken record. There is a short list of things I say daily. At least 5 times a day. Each.

1. "Fingers out of your mouth, please." I say this so many times a day, I could possibly just put it on a loop in my classroom. It would catch someone with their fingers in their mouth 4 out of 5 times. There are 2 variations of this I say just as often, so technically, if the loop just included "Toy out of your mouth, please." or "Hands out of your pants." Then I would catch someone in the act, every time. Every. Time. 

2. "You need a tissue." and "Fingers out of your nose,please." Lest you think fingers only go in mouths and pants. No, toddlers like their fingers every where. Every. Where.  I say this 10 times a day, and just as often I say (frantically) "Don't put that tissue back in the box! It goes in the trash can." Do you ever wonder why children get sick every year when the school year begins? It's because, while children are amazing beings, they are also filthy creatures.

3. "Let's wash your hands." I say this so much. Luckily most two year olds don't mind this at all. It's a chance to get wet/play with water. Mostly they love it. Thank God, or the illnesses would be year round.

4. "We don't walk around with food in our hands/mouth." or simply "Please sit down." Lots of toddlers snack on the go. I know, but I'm not going to lie, this one drives me nuts. Nuts. Only children who only eat on the go have to be told daily, multiple times to please, sit down until they are finished.

5. "Does someone have a dirty diaper?" I change so many diapers. So. Many. Diapers. I'm sure I can honestly say it's well over 25,000 to date. I wish I was kidding, but I'm really not. It's one of the only times in my day where I can't believe how little I make and under appreciated I am.  Don't get me wrong, I make more than the average American woman (because I work at a great school, my field is terribly underpaid) and I have benefits. Not to mention I love my job, and it's way more than my paycheck for being a caring mommy. It's just that I change some heinous diapers and that is just the most diseased, filthy thing you can be in charge of. Think of the disease that would spread if I didn't sanitize properly. Okay, I'll get off my soap box. 

So there you have it. A day in the life of a broken record. If that broken record happened to be that of a preschool teacher, in a two year old classroom.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's This?

Halloween. It's a special time of the year. 

It's a time when we can enjoy all things spooky, and kick off the holiday season. There are ghosts and goblins and silly scares and heart stopping terror if you're lucky. B movie horror and haunted houses abound. Fun costumes and candy, really what's not to like?

Halloween was it's best as a child, but can still be incredibly fun as an adult. Now that I have a son, I get to do it all over again. Only even better. Is that crazy of me? Don't answer me.

There's one thing I hate though...

It's fucking Christmas being shoved down my throat two months too early. WTF!?! I love Christmas and all, but I don't want all that loving man kind shit, when I want to possibly find a hot french maid outfit to give the hubby a treat in. 

I know this topic has been done to death over the last few years as many of you feel this way, but this has been an especially tough month for me and I don't have much in the way of creativity. 

I've been sidelined from running, and when I can't run, I'm just lacking. Lacking in energy, creativity, and the right chemical balance in my brain. So this is all I could muster about Halloween this year, but it's not any less true.

Now for the a sad and happy farewell. 

This is the last Theme Thursday.  I'm a little sad to say goodbye, as it has afforded me so much support, good times and a wonderful creative outlet. I'm also ready to say goodbye. Jenn its creator, has become a contributor on In The Powder Room, and is working her butt off to make her writing goals come to pass. Starr is also kicking ass and taking names as a paid writer. Lori has been featured on Scary Mommy and continues to grow as a writer. I've been lagging behind, but I have gotten published twice in the last year. I'm ready to try to step it up, learn some shit and make my page look (and be) professional. I love to write, and I would like to perfect my love into a craft. 

Most importantly, TT has given me support and friends. When I first became a mom I felt very isolated. I was so in love with my family, but felt so lost and like such a failure in most areas and a small success in other areas.  I needed a community where I could freely say, my son's a cockblocker. I can't sleep. I'm celebrating my sons first birthday with moderate drinking, after forced sobriety, as well as how I planned to make up for that 20 months. I can't add a link for that because I write a lot about drinking. Theme Thursday meant a commitment and I needed that. 

Thank you to Jenn, who not only came up with this awesome idea, but for welcoming me. I had no blog, and she gave me tips, encouragement and friendship. Thank you Jenn, Starr, Lori and all the great bloggers who have participated, read, and or shared anything I've ever written. Now because of all of you, I have a place where I can put my thoughts, my worries, my truimphs, failers and joys. I am forever grateful and can't wait to share more. 

To read my first post, which I posted too soon and so it was not officially a Theme Thursday post, click here

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Escape Artist

I had been waiting for this day since the day we moved Animal from his bassinet to a crib.

I had been waiting for the morning, or night, that we found him wandering around his room, instead of in his crib where we left him. 

All children do this eventually right? I've seen it in movies and TV shows, and you know what? It's way cuter when it's not your kid, but I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty fucking cute. 

Still adorableness aside, I don't want him wandering around his room when we can't watch him. 

You know those Martha Stewart moms, who's houses are immaculate? 

The children's rooms are perfectly decorated and no sharp corners are left exposed? The decor is color coordinated and they hand made all the wall art?  I'm not that mom.  I'm crafty, the hubby's an artist, but we are the biggest procrastinators. 

Before Animal, his bedroom was our catch all room. It was also our art/craft room. All the hubbies art supplies, a large table, futon, my scrap booking supplies and everything we ever bought that we didn't know where to put just yet, were housed in that room. Oh and it was filled to the brim. It looked like an Episode of Hoarders in there, minus the pizza boxes, bottles of wine and dead pets and/or rats. That room is what gave our home some semblance of tidiness. 

Literally the weekend before he was born we boxed up our Hoarders episode and moved it into it's new home, the garage. 

His room has furniture we want out and/or is not safe for a toddler. Like a full size futon. Boxes of clothes, to sell, to keep and to donate. Books, not just his board books on his shelf but art books, dictionary's, anatomy, scrap books, and his dad's sketchbooks. There's a metal easel, The outlets are covered, but Animal either has a death wish or really wants to be electrocuted, he's always trying to get to the plugs to do God knows what.

Anyway, one night we tuck Animal in for bed as usual. There is silence coming from his room. We feel safe that he's down for the night. I open a bottle of vodka and pull out the laptop. We here a little cry, wonder if something woke him up. 


I keep drinking. The hubby decides to jump in the shower. He heads down the hall. He comes back a little later and says, "this guy has torn his bed to shreds, I can hear him in there. I'm going in." I raise my glass and say, "Okay". 

The next thing I know the hubby shouts for me. I panic, we don't talk when we go into his room so I imagine the worst; Animal covered in shit that he dug out from his own diaper smeared all over the crib and himself. 

What I see when I get there is my son standing in the middle of the room, clothes, blankets, and wipes strewn all around the carpet. The wipes box in one hand and a wipey in the other. An impish grin on his face, and a gleam in his eyes. 

His dad picked him up and checked his diaper. In the meantime I picked up the wipes. Threw the clothes in a drawer and got is bed ready again. I walked out. The hubby tucked him back in and walked out.

After he shut the door the hubby said, "Well you knew this day would come". I said I did. He was nearly 20 months old, it was about time. I was proud of him in a way. He was a little person, more and more each day. Doing what his heart desired. Being a little rebel. I only wish I could know what he was thinking and watch it happen. 

The thing is, his room is not roam free territory, but it needs to be. We listened at the door.  He climbed out 4 more times that night. Each time we went in, didn't say a word and put him back in his crib. It took about 45 minutes after that first time before he stayed in bed and finally fell asleep. 

The following night we did the same, only we were misjudging and were going in before he actually climbed out. We decided to buy a video monitor on day three. 

Guess what? The little fucker went right to bed. We walked out, turned on our expensive little toy and that little punk didn't even move. Just closed his eyes and went right to sleep!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I've been racking my brain since last Wednesday when we changed the Theme Thursday page and put the new writing prompts up.


I kinda hate to DIY. That's why I'm so broke all the time, because I pay others to do it for me. I'm envious of the DIY people. It's awesome to install your own computer, down load playlist onto your mp3 player or bake your own fancy cakes. I'm just not the kind of girl. I'm more a leave it half done kind of girl. 

I have several hobbies. Except for a few awesome necklaces, some cards other people have thrown away and a few scrapbooks (and no, none of them are baby books) I don't have much to show for it. Well, except for a ton of supplies. Seriously, I could host crop nights. 

I love the idea of starting and completing a task. The satisfaction of getting something done. Also I love keepsakes and being able to show off a new skill. What I lack is focus, organization and a deadline. I am great under pressure. Not so great at time management. 

I wont bore you with all the things I've tried or even all the things I still plan to try. I just want to share one DIY success story.
Pureed Veggies anyone?

I made my own baby food. 

I'm not talking about breastfeeding (I did that also) but while pregnant I read a lot about the benefits of making your own baby food; You know just what's in the food (no guessing what those scientific sounding words are on the label), freshness, baby is less likely to be a picky eater and more likely to be an adventures eater ( I don't know about that, just something I read) and here's the one that sold my never tighter budget ass it will save you money. 
I still use this bad boy. I made flourless, high protien pancakes

In my mind I'm sure I thought if I bought all the stuff, my mom would just do it for me. I realized soon that she's old school and she would make "baby food" as she saw it. Oatmeal, mashed fruit, and soups. Nothing wrong with that. But I started buying all organic stuff. The more I read the more I wanted things to be done in a precise manner. Like certain fruits and veggies first, then spices, some tofu and lastly meat. That just isn't fair to ask of someone else. So I started using my amazing Baby Beaba. I had a couple of make your own baby food recipe books and it was so easy. Sure it took 1-2 hours (eventually 2-3 hrs) every Sunday to make and freeze the weeks food. In all reality though it was fun. 

I honestly enjoyed making his food. Watching him try this and that for the first time. Mixing things he had had to make new combinations. It made me feel like a "good" mom even if I had to go to work and miss hours of his life everyday. 

First Taste of Peas

I got great tips from a friend who had done it for her girls. We never had any tummy troubles. No vomiting,  no diarrhea,  no constipation. He was (is) an adventurous eater (that could be genetic his parents are adventurous eaters too). The best part? It was way cheaper! When he got closer to a year I started buying the organic squeeze packs for convenience and because he wanted to feed himself but had little coordination or patience to do so. They are as cheap as 1.28 and as much as 2.19 around here. That adds up quick. 

Click here to see more DIY tales
or add your own 

If you're on the fence about this DIY project, I say take it on.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Change a Haiku

Change a Haiku 

Acorns falling 
low hanging branches- plentiful
Children gather delighted

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Thought I Was Past This...

I just wrote about this. Like two weeks ago. Also it's been on my mind in the past...

I have been extremely under the weather this week. Animal seems to have something also. He is a super healthy boy (knock on wood) except for some heinous colds, we have been golden. Thursday morning when I opened his bedroom door there was a horrendous stench. If you are a mom, you know the one. Vomit. Fucking vomit. It was on his PJs, the sheets, the breathable crib liner, and his teddy. I was scared. Scared to look too closely at anything else. I just threw his lovey, and blankets in the hamper without examination. 

I made a doctors appointment and took him in Friday. 

I think I made a terrible choice when picking our pediatrician. In my defense, she tricked me. We met her at our birthing class and she fucking sold the shit out of herself and her practice. The hubby and I gobbled it up. 

She really seemed to be all about her field. The nursing staff at the hospital also seemed to really like her. To be fair, she was really cool when he was born.

Since then however, well, it hasn't been a love fest.

We haven't seen her much, we mostly get her nurse practitioner or other doctor in her office. Some of them are awesome, some are not. She seems to have no patience for my high energy, temperamental son. That would be fine, if she was a waitress at Sizzler. She however is a pediatrician, that means she chose to work with children. They come in a wide array of temperaments. I know, because I also chose a profession that revolved around children. That means no matter how I feel inwardly about a certain persona, I am patient, kind, understanding, firm, and a professional. I don't ignore my "client" if he is a pill. 

Here' s the other thing. Any toddler in that situation can be a nightmare. Mine often is, when he's there.  I can see and feel her annoyance, and it's unsettling. 

At this visit, she didn't speak to him. Only to me. She asked me to put him on my lap, and she asked me to help her examine his mouth, ears, heart and lungs. She asked me how old he was, which I found to be super annoying seeing as she has his chart before she walks in and he's been her patient since birth. 

During the 15 minutes she spent with us, she told me "He doesn't talk". I told her, he didn't speak much, but he did have over a dozen words he said EVERY DAY, and more that he said occasionally. She repeated that "he didn't talk", and told me she wanted him to see a specialist. (Oh in case you wondered about his health, she said he was fine, his throat was irritated, he didn't need medicine. He would recover on his own) That could be. I'm not denying that he may need a specialist, I'm not a speech expert, but she didn't say hello or goodbye to him (two things he can say). She didn't try to engage him in anyway, and she didn't listen to me when I said he could talk, or even challenge what I said by asking him a question. I mentioned he'll be in preschool in just a few weeks when he turns two, and she said "why wait? You don't want to wait with speech delays"., A completely reasonable notion,  I have asked at the last two well baby appointments about a speech delay. The last two times when I was the one worried, I was told "he's a boy and in a bilingual home, don't worry, this is normal".

On her way out the door, she asked me to stop and see Cindy (the receptionist) for the appointment with specialist. 

Animal threw another little tantrum on the way out of the office because he wanted to play at the train table in the waiting room. I felt bad for him. I'm reading a discipline book right now by Dr. Karp, and it says in there to imagine myself as a toddler, always loosing. Being smaller, weaker and with less words than practically everyone around me. It's given me a lot more patience because it's so true. He just wanted to play trains, but first I whisked him away to be poked and prodded, then to be strapped into his car seat. It's no wondered he reverts to fussiness.

In the car, once music was playing, he looked at a favorite book happily. Pointing and asking "Es que?", saying "ball" and "car" when he found pictures of those things. When we got to Grandma's he didn't fuss, he just waved and said "Bye". 

On my way in to work I did a mini soul search. Am I just not wanting to believe he may have a speech delay? Is it just wishful thinking on my part because I am his mother and I only want to see the best picture of him? I would say that is a total possibility. Honestly though as I recently mentioned, he really and truly is speaking. Clearly, I'm not the only one that understands his words. Is he very verbal? No. Working with his age group also lets me see, he's not that behind any more. 

We're going to see the specialist. It can't hurt, right? If he does have a problem the sooner we know the better. I get that. I just refuse to let this person (doctor or not) who has spent only 15-30 minutes in the last year with my son. Tell me who he is, based on a mediocre (at best) visit. 

If you were me. What might you do? Or think about all this?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Is Clutter a Collection?

click here to see more

Collections. Do I collect? 

Yeah, I'm a pack rat. It's terrible. Worse still, I'm married to another pack rat. Wait there's more, he thinks that he isn't a pack rat, and that I'm the only one that holds on to everything. So you can imagine what my home is like. On the plus side, we're not Clean House crazy.

Here's a short list of things I collect or have collected (and therefore still have in a box somewhere). 

Mickey Mouse paraphernalia, I have silverware, a toaster, a waffle iron, cake pans, jello molds, bedding, coffee mugs, stamps, stationary, phones, stickers, books, vinyl toys, I'll just stop now. I'm embarrassing myself.

Movies. We love movies. We own lots.

Vinyl toys. I wish I had lots more.

Scrap booking/card making supplies. I own so much scrap booking and rubber stamp paraphernalia that I have several storage containers for it. Not one, two or even three. Several. How often do I scrapbook? Since I got pregnant. 1 night for 3 hrs. So, that was money well spent. Oh and how often do I make cards? I've made like 30 thank you notes, 20 invitations, and 10 random cute cards and 30 almost finished Christmas cards. All in just 15 years. It only cost me about $600, so totally worth it.

I also went through a jewelry making phase. So I have tools, cases of beads and natural stones, wires, clasps, and toggles. 

I love belt buckles. I have a nice little collection of them. My favorite doubles as a flask.

I collect clutter. There I said it. Also hobbies. I'm a collector, but I'm trying not to be.