Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's not easy being green. Or blue. Or polka-dotted with big ears and frizzy hair. Today... was a day like any other. I guess. It's the end of the month, so it's time to pay bills, do math, and see exactly what money we have left to live on for the next two weeks. When I can, I like to over plan the meals and grocery list during this payday. It gives me just a little more wiggle room during the back half of the month, and you never know when you're going to need that room.

Tomorrow the Toddler goes back to the eye doc and we get to find out what our next step is. Do we keep up the eye drops? Do we do something different? And more importantly, how do we handle the transition when we PCS next year?

Day after that, of course, is my shrink. The appt where I get to sit down and spill my secrets and get scolded. I don't care right now.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I do get a very twisted thrill out of the look of disbelief on people's faces when they find out my grocery budget. It's not that it can't be done- it's just that a lot of people can't conceive of living that tightly. I blame my genes for this. While my mother and grandmother could squeeze blood from a copper penny, I can only get saltwater... so I'm not quite as good as they are. But I'm going to get there one day.

Tonight I've decreed it to be baking night. I'm trying to get a jump on this week's baking now, and then it'll be a lighter load the rest of the week when there's a lot going on. I'm finishing some of my needlework projects, too. They've just been hanging over my head so long. I have to finish at least four projects this week. A lot of them are nearly done in any case. The Boy has duty today. Let's see if I can surprise him with something pretty and tasty tomorrow?

Still settling into the new medication. Still tired, nervy, easily frustrated, and to top it all off I'm starting to PMS. So it's good that I'm getting a head start on the week. It's a really good thing.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I thought I knew what an afternoon out was like before, but no... this is it. Right now. Right here. The Boy has kicked me out for five whole hours, and we're halfway through them now.

I'm taking advantage of my local library to post this. It's been such a wild day, complete with sleeping in, a little bit of playtime, and a lot of watching the Boy play EverCrack. Tonight's date night, also. We'll see what we see, cause now that my meds are higher I can't have the wine. At least we're still allowed to watch DVDs together. :) It's a Good Thing. So is the cuddling. So is the knowing that I've got some soft projects to work on tonight after he falls asleep, and that I've got an entire afternoon off. And it's even possible that she'll be asleep by the time I get home again.

I'll start having those mushy happy-cuddly-baby feelings again instead of the pull the blanket over my head and hide feelings.

Friday, October 27, 2006

When I woke up this morning it was all, like, WHOA. Medicated. Nice. I was alert and functional and I didn't have fifteenZILLION thoughts racing through my head at once. That lasted all of about five hours after I woke up.

The crash, when it came, was hard. It made the blackness feel even worse because I had been so much better right before. Just goes to show me that I'm an idiot who needs her pills. Wasn't I posting a few weeks ago about wanting a Mother's Little Helper? Isn't this kinda ironic? Now I'm medicated, I haven't even resorted to believing any of the promises in my Spam email. Vicodin, oxycoton, your pain can vanish overnight.

That would be bad. So I'm seeing my shrink like a good girl, and I was *supposed* to call him this morning and let him know how the med increase went last night. But I didn't. Yet another thing that I find nearly impossible to do- when I get to the point where I pick up the phone to place a call to anyone these days, it's either because I'm heavily medicated or on the very last straw. Tomorrow my Boy is going to throw me out for five whole hours. Five Whole Hours. I'm not allowed to call the house, I'm not allowed back in the door for a whole half day. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself.

Just... hoping that I can extend that magical morning I had today. Extend it an hour longer tomorrow, fifteen minutes more the next day. I've got to have hope. If I lose that I might as well give up.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My shrink called this morning. He's raising my meds a lot. Like, significantly. So cool: now I'll be medicated so I can turn my brain off at night to sleep. The Boy has decreed that I've got to leave the house more. That's right, the atheist that I married told me to my face over dinner that he's going to insist that I start going back to church.

It's been the depression keeping me away. It's what has been keeping me from being outside this past month or so. All the little things I used to do. All those things- they just don't happen anymore. Playgroup is now a hit or miss. Storytime is the same. The only one I've been to in the past two months is the one that we waltzed into the last ten minutes and came away with the door prize.

I wish that I didn't feel this way. I wish that I was happier. I wish... wishing won't bring it any closer to happiness.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I heart carbs. Especially in bread form. I think in the past two days I haven't had a snack or meal that did not involve bread products. Right now I'm sitting here with a bowl of pistachio pudding swirled in with chunks of homemade bread. Nummy. It's like bread pudding, with sauce, with pistachio flavoring.

I think today went pretty well. We split a bottle of wine earlier, and cuddled while watching the Law & Order that I taped last night. Now the Boy's asleep, the Tiffany is asleep, and I'm trying to get my brain to turn off long enough for me to join them.

And tomorrow? The teacher comes back to our house. We'll see how the little one has progressed from last week. We'll see if Mommy can get her butt out of the house long enough to go to story hour at the library.

Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and more! Tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Medicated. For your protection.

That's what should go on my superMommy shirt. You know, the one that's totally impervious to all child fluids, all household tasks, and cannot be ripped by a speeding lego hurled. Just kidding. Legos aren't hurled in this house. When she gets mad, or frustrated, or just plain unhappy with me, she turns around and bangs her head repeatedly against something hard. This worries me a bit. At this stage, at this developmental point- should she still be banging her head? Shouldn't she be working on developing words? On standing on her own?

She won't as long as I will cave in and treat her like the delicate little preemie she used to be. I have to get it through my head that she's a toddler now. They're very hard to break.

Into every mom's life some crap must fall. If we're lucky it will fall straight into a properly fitted disposable diaper. A wipe, and a clean diaper, and the sun smiles once again on the residents of this humble home. Unfortunately this is metaphorical crap, and it's not in the diaper. It's messy, and it makes me want to crawl under a rock and close my eyes and wait for the world to end.

This, too, shall pass. I know it will. I know it will go away and leave me alone. There will come a time when I can get out of bed in the morning and leave the house willingly without having a checklist of things that must be done before I can come back home again.

In the meantime... would anyone like to crawl into a pillow fort with me? We can make s'mores and tell fairy stories.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another day, another Little Moment, another reach up to the cookbooks.

Why is it that in my moments of most extreme bad-housewife-failure-low self-esteem, I need to bake to feel better? Today it was chocolate-caramel chip cookies. Then we all sat down on the floor and ate them, with cold milk. It was Tiffany's first experience with warm from the oven, chocolate chips still all melty, cookies.

Yes, it was an enormous hit with her.

The Boy hugs me and says that I'm just having a bad weekend. Which started, for me, on Thursday. Maybe earlier than that. I think I'm just having another bout of stress at having a good life. How messed up is that? My life now is literally better than it's ever been before, and I get all upset with it.

I need a drink.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thing is, some times I can't turn my brain off. That's when I start looking for answers to questions that have no structure or even a reasonable point. That's when my brain starts replaying all the most emotionally charged moments of the past three years. That's an improvement, I guess. I don't feel the need to relive the tapes of my childhood. I don't need to revisit the things that happen in my college years. I just have a few things... I'm diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. And that means, in part, that I have this need to create outer drama to create inner peace. When the outside calms down my inside goes nutty. And I have been having a pretty good run of things this past year. The past three years, to tell the truth.

It's like a thought that comes through your head one morning. I need to go buy milk. Then you start thinking of the last time you bought milk, and the time before that, and how much milk you should buy this time around that can make your milk purchasing be more cost efficient. And all these thoughts are circling through at the same time. And then you think, what if my daughter ends up with a milk allergy? What if she gets food poisoning? You start a new trail of thought to document all the little bits of that possibility.

Somewhere in the mess of jumbled thoughts is You. Dizzy from trying to catch up, unable to calm your thoughts enough to sleep, and you feel bad because this is a sign of the disease. This is what you have condemned your loved ones to suffer because they love you, because you can't just "snap out of it", because all the therapy and medication of a decade and even the love of a good husband can't make you normal. I hate myself for thinking that, even as I'm thinking it, even as I think how silly I'm being for having this thought in the first place.

Pretty soon my brain starts functioning in run-on sentences. Pretty soon it comes back to the old coping mechanisms. Is there something strong enough to knock out the mental merry-go-round? Is there anything in this new life strong enough?

I have to go back to my therapists next week and tell them that I'm having a relapse. I'd give anything not to have this.

To be normal.
don't you just hate it when the kids lose weight despite all our worrying and trying to fatten them up? I feel sometimes like I'm fattening a turkey for thanksgiving: "eat, eat! You're too skinny! You'll never get big if you don't eat!"

unfortunately this is probably why I'm still having trouble getting around to making her self feed at 18 months. Granted, she started out at 2lb10oz, but she's not my little teeny micropreemie anymore. She's learning just how far she can wrap me around her little finger. If she puts up enough of a fuss I'll just grab a bottle and put baby food in it and make her a Cool Berry Smoothie (or fruit smoothie, or turkey rice smoothie).

And so we go. I think she's about 20 pounds right now. That's good, right? I think I can stop obsessing about food and weight gain now, but I'm her mom and I still worry.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This morning I baked two loaves of sandwich bread. So many recipes of bread, so many variations that always come back to the same things. Flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar.

That's it. So simple, isn't it? And yet so incredibly tasty. For the next couple of days I'm going to have a big bag of french toast sticks in the fridge; heat and eat. It tastes so much better when I use the real bread. By real I mean not loaded with preservatives and god-knows-what chemicals. Sure, it looks pretty in the store and it stays soft and doesn't go bad for weeks. But it has a bland texture and not a lot of taste. With homemade bread, not only do I get the thrill of baking it and smelling it bake, but I know exactly what's in it.

Dinner tonight is a tuna noodle bake. Cause I can. And tomorrow is Friday, which is calzone day. And Saturday is Date Night around these parts- the Boy and I will curl up together and watch tv and eat cheesy bread and cuddle. I'm looking forward to this with everything that's in me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My favorite timesuck when I'm broke and bored is virtual slots. I always do the free ones, and I'm horribly loyal. Imagine my shock when I tried to log onto my preferred slot game last night and found it was... CLOSED! The horror. I found another site quickly enough, and it seems more engaging, and the games have enough flashy lights and bells to hold my interest and distract me from how broke I am. Of course, there's always the daydream that I'll actually hit the button on the randomly selected instant that the jackpot gets released.

I know, most of the time it's a scam. You never actually get that jackpot. BUT. Once, a long time back, it happened that I won one of the lesser cash prizes on such a site. And they did send me a check for the full amount and no strings. So I feel pretty safe with it. And I'm not actually spending my real non-existant money.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What to do when you've got a little bit of cheese, pepperoni, a cup of tomato sauce? Calzones! I made the dough, quartered it, rolled it out, filled it with equal portions of my filling, pinched them shut and baked them. Now I've got 4 lovely calzones; enough to feed us for dinner tonight and the Boy for lunch tomorrow. Yummy. An added bonus: this is a meal that does not require reheating, since his access to microwaves is sporadic at the moment.

I feel happy in feeding my family on a penny-tight budget this week. All it took today is forethought and a bit of planning. I did most of the dough and prep work while the Toddler was eating lunch in her highchair at the table. Easy-peasey, cause she can't climb around my knees when she's in the highchair.

Speaking of which, she's becoming more and more catlike as she grows. I mean, really. Give me a break here. If I want a small mammal to twine around my knees and trip me and beg for food at my knee, I'll get a puppy or a kitten. I sort of expected different behavior from my offspring. Don't know why.

Monday, October 16, 2006

people coming today, yip yip hooray!

I'm all excited, I'm straightening the house, the Toddler is cooperating by sleeping in a bit this morning, and I'm flying high on anticipation. Is there a prettier sight?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

So nice to see that the USN is practicing safe berthing techniques. As I went to pick the Boy up yesterday I saw the Gianormous Ship-sized condom over the side of the superstructure. Now, I know perfectly well that it's actually a heavy duty tarp/protective covering to guard both the exposed bits and the workmen down below from any injury while the ship is being repaired and spruced up. But it still looks like a giant condom.

I tried a new recipe today. Essentially it's a potato-herb bread stuffed with mozarella. It's delicious. Rich, and filling, and if it's sliced and toasted you've got an instant gourmet treat. I can see myself doing this again, possibly with a crock of soup. After the Toddler went to bed the Boy and I curled up together with a plate of the bread and some wine. I couldn't even finish my glass before my head started aching, though. I don't know why- I wish I could drink like normal people. It would make the urge to drug my depression into submission less pressing.

That's not too good either, is it? So I'll just be happy with what I've got.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Guess what time it is? That's right! It's time to do my shameless self-promoting/begging for sales. It may be the midmonth pay period, but the bills are once again cleaning out the account of every penny. We do need to eat, and the toddler says that she's not ready to be potty trained, so please bring your patronage and that of your friends to my shops. But only if you are into the crafts, or reading, of course.

The Book Shop
The Craft Shop

and contact me if you're willing to schedule an appointment to hear about Melaleuca products. I'll set up a three way call with a good friend of mine who's much better at being able to talk on the phone than I am.
Another night, another morning, another chance for the toddler to squirm around and play with all her toys. Still no words, although she's getting closer and closer to having them. The "juice" that she was saying only a month ago has fallen by the wayside, replaced by more meaningful looks and grunts. I blame myself for this, of course.

See, the problem as I see it is that I respond too quickly to whatever she wants. She doesn't have a real need to form the words. She knows that mom will interpret and obey.

Am I too soft-hearted? Like my own mother admits that she was with me? Do I have it in me to be an authoritative parent? I think so. And yet I have an 18 month old child who doesn't have one word. Some variety of sounds, but no words. I constantly hear about kids less than a year who are speaking. It's depressing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

There's been so much mental turmoil today that I've worked myself into a tension headache on top of a backache on top of the stiff shoulders from holding everything in all day. And now it's nightnight time, and I've taken nifty relaxant pills that are starting to kick in and make me feel a little better, and I can admit to both myself and the 'Net that yes, I think too much. I'm a mom who thinks too much. My life revolves around this munchkin's timely development, and I've been so worried and had so many fears allayed that I'm taking the fast track to burnout. Like, if she's doing fine and is okay, then I should stop beating myself up over it.

Why do I care? Why do I care what a bunch of strangers think about me? What society who doesn't even know our household has to recommend about bedtimes and bottles and weaning and... all the little stuff that happens. There's a part of me that wants everyone to like me. A people pleaser. There's a part of me that says, don't be stupid, you need to set rules about stuff and stick to them and she's finally in that formative stage where our battles will be fought. These are the battles that count. Like wearing a hat outside. Like wearing socks in the winter.

We're going to be starting a whole new batch of reality rules here in the next couple of weeks. I don't want things to change, but I do. Everybody else is not shy about telling me that they have to if I want the kind of family dynamic that I want.

It's going to be fun. Send prayers, keep us in your thoughts. Give me strength to do this.
What do I want, a well-adjusted child or a politically correct child? What goes into making a "good" parent? A bad parent- I think I know what that is. Most people have a fairly good feel for what goes into bad parenting. But what about the rest of it? Why don't babies come with instructions?

"non chlorine bleach, warm water, tumble dry on low" would make things a lot easier. Instead there are rows and rows of parenting books and page after page of parenting websites and blogs. Hundreds of experts from Spock to Brazelton. Attachment parenting. Cry it out. The independant child. The independant parent. Nannies. Supernannies. And yet there still isn't a Super Mommy outfit floating out there in my size.

But people still expect a SuperMom. My girl is 18 months old now. My Boy is starting to get very antsy about never having a neat home, about always coming home to a wreck, and -specifically- about me dumping the child on him when he walks through the door. What he fails to thoroughly understand is that bedtime is early because otherwise Mommy would not only drop her marbles she would be loading them in a catapault and flinging them through the locked door with a force that would drop an elephant. That Mommy needs Daddy to take over every night without fail if he expects dinner to arrive on a neat table, the toddler to arrive in her crib tucked in and clean for the night, and if he ever expects to get affection again. I understand he's had a long day. Well, so have I. And my job is such that it's hard to find a substitute. Next to impossible to schedule a sick day, and just forget about mental health days.

I also think too much. Have you noticed that yet?

Fortunately there's a book for that too. "Parents who think to much: why we do it and how to stop". I checked it out of the library today. It sounds like it may have answers for me; at the least it'll be a comforting shoulder to tell me that "I understand"

Monday, October 09, 2006

ah... depression in autumn. Nothing quite like it, is there? I want to spend the majority of every day in bed. Or asleep. Or drugged on Mother's Little Helpers. So what am I doing instead? Baking.


Nothing beats the power of the well-timed baked good. Today we had pizza. From scratch. No kits involved- just my raw ingredients, flour, yeast, olive oil... and it turned out pretty decent. Scary, though. I've made bread twice this weekend and pizza once, and two crockpot meals, and I went out last night for a drink. I haven't had a chance to get online since last night because I've been busy cooking. Bless the Boy, he vacuumed yesterday while I was laying down. The munchkin is deciding that since she's a Big Girl now she doesn't need naps. This is good when it comes to getting her good and tired for night-nights, but bad when it comes to Mommy having a nap.

It just feels odd. That's all I'm saying. I'm stuck in the depressive today and I want to kick myself in the butt until it goes away. I just can't get up the motivation to do that.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I've been having quite a mental rollercoaster this weekend. Yesterday my patience ran out. Do you know, mothers do not actually have an unlimited supply of patience and tolerance? We are not superhuman. We occassionally reach the end of our tolerance even for the people we love the most. Today was spent in recovery of my patience. I spent about half of today burrowed into the bed and hiding from my family.

And now it's bedtime again. And I'm relaxed. And I'm ready to go curl up with my Boy for the night.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Is there ever going to be a day when I'm not worried about whether or not she's eating enough, sleeping enough/too much, or the state of her internal processes?

The Toddler is home with me today, the Boy has duty again, and it's just a girl's night at home for us. How to combine that with a schedule that doesn't have me running around like a headless chicken and pulling my hair out? I want to keep her up tonight a little later than last night. I want to start easing us into a Big Girl sleep pattern, instead of the mommy-friendly one that we've been following for most of the past year. It feels like I'm making progress with that, bedtime yesterday wasn't until 1800. Which is still pretty early for a toddler, but considering that she wakes up in the morning around 0500, doesn't seem that early at all.

The currency exchange doesn't take coins either. Which sucks. Here it is, the only place in town that will exchange foreign money, and they will not take coins (unless they're euro 1-pound coins), and they charge so much for exchange as a flat fee that I effectively am now stuck with this instead of the handful of dollars I had hoped for. This is why I'm baking bread tonight and planning the cheapest meals I can think of for this week. I splurged last night at the market- five of the ripest sweetest peaches I've ever seen. Cost me five dollars, but they were about a pound apiece. And SO worth it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm planning a trip to the farmer's market on 3rd Avenue for this afternoon. I plan it like an overly anal-retentive micro-manager. My main goal is to create happy, family-oriented memories for the child. Whatever I plan at this point, the times she will remember and take into her memories will be something unplanned, unpredicted, and might show her parents in less than rosy lights.

So why do I try? For the same reasons I am counting pennies into my purse for the outing. To make things better. To give her peace, to give her a sense of rightness in her universe, so that she trusts us and learns to trust the world around her. In some small way this is why the recent Amish school shootings are hitting me so hard in the emotional gut. Because it was just WRONG.

Now, it would have been wrong in any case, no matter where or who it hit. But even the most modern and high-tech of my acquaintances agree that there's something about innocence that is precious and not to be touched. For this level of violence to touch the lives of those who are a) children and b) part of a peaceful sect that has opted out of the high tech world, well... it's a whole new level of wrong. The amish do not have a beef with anybody else. Just want to be left alone, to follow their doctrines and non-violent beliefs in peace. I have never met anyone who would argue that they should be hurt for this. Peace is just too hard to find. Good intentions have dropped off the expected radar in so many other areas.

I feel like some old b-movie starlet crying out, Why can't we all just get along?

What happened to this world, what made this sort of thing possible?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

changes in the craft store

I've recently changed all my stuff for free shipping. The price is the price, so head on over and take a gander. I won't tell. :)

Craft Store
It seems that I'm having a hysterical pregnancy. Three separate docs and several tests have confirmed it. I thought this sort of thing went out with the horse and buggy?? Doesn't today's society know better about such things? Somewhere in the ambivalence of Homecoming and the Boy coming back and the wanting another baby and deciding just not yet- my hormones got mixed signals and a few wires crossed. So the solution becomes to just suck up the symptoms and wait until the hormones realize that hey, we're not making a baby here, we can relax and stop all this mayhem.

I'll let you know if that actually works any time soon.

The Boy, who I dragged with to this morning's appointment, is relieved. We'll try for another little one when he's wrapping up the next duty station. In a couple of years. Let's give ourselves some more time to relax and enjoy being parents of this child before we go on and stir up the mix some more.

I'm trying not to get myself all ferhoodled over this anymore. I've wasted enough energy on it. I need to let this go. I need to finish a few of my needlework projects and start cleaning out for the next move. I need, I need, I need... to spend more time enjoying the sunshine and the health of my happy baby and the love of my husband. Stop worrying about tomorrow. Enjoy the moment.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I sit here and wonder what's going to happen tomorrow. Or the next day. I'm either going to be officially 'late' or officially 'not pregnant'.

cue Darth Vader-esque music

"All rise in the presence of... Blue Helmet!"

I've seen Spaceballs too many times. When we had friends over one night the four of us started rehashing the movie. All of us could make it through at least three complete scenes without resorting to thinking about the words or the cues. Scary. My child is going to be doomed. I married someone with the same sense of humor. Our families could be related, that's how alike they are in that respect. Forget all the stereotypes about inlaws, mine are just a notch below Absolute Perfection. I wouldn't have it any other way.

So the Boy's Ship is starting the long and tedious process of repairs post-deployment. Hence the blue helmet comment. His hard hat is, in fact, blue.

I think it's cute. And it's my blog so I get to make the rules.

At some point this week I'm going to do laundry. At some point I'm going to sift through my cookbooks and come up with a meal that is both tasty and rock-bottom cheap. The budget's hurting again. I want it to stop. I'd like to go back to the days when I was working, earning a decent paycheck every week, and could go to bed whenever I wanted. Now that time's been eaten up by childcare and mommying. I don't care. All I need is that sweet smell of baby-head in the morning. The smile lighting her eyes. The giggle she greets me with first thing in the morning.

My insomnia is finally catching up with me. I think, just maybe, possibly, I'll be able to sleep tonight. Cool.
My etsy shop has been updated. Take a wander over there if you like crafts, Etsy is a virtual craft show that never closes.

It was a weekend that I could stand to forget. One thing after another. I'm trying not to get completely hysterical that I might be pregnant. It's one thing to have the tests come back negative. It's another to believe it when you're having the exact same symptoms as your first pregnancy, which won't let up, which don't go anywhere, and when you can feel a lump in the expected spot.

This is where my inability to let things go works against me.