Sunday, December 31, 2006

i'm dreaming of socks. Warm, fuzzy socks. I think I'm being helped in the sticktoitiveness with the holes that are rapidly expanding on the socks I threw out last night. My stash of socks is finally wearing out, and now that I can turn a heel I'm dreaming of all the fun thick and WARM socks I can turn out over the next month.

Also: hooded blankets. I'm modeling it off hooded towels; but this will be toddler/small child sized and in some fun colors. How often have we swaddled our babies up in those warm towels post-bath and wished that we could just swaddle them in something similar for nighttime? Especially if you've got a swaddler on your hands...

ah. the knitting calls. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Socks and retail therapy. A recipe for a happy mom tonight. Also it helps that I didn't have a nap today and instead stayed busy enough that I'm now really tired. Dinner was my famous pizza pasta. The toddler slept for three hours and then woke up and screamed for most of the next two hours. Now she's asleep again.

I'm not makng much sense beyond sentence fragments at the moment. But I'm busily converting a pattern for crocheted socks into a sort of hybrid that involves crocheting the cuff and leg, and then half of the heel, then sliding it over to double point needles and knitting the rest of the heel, the foot, and the toe.

Right now I have a nice thick tube of crocheted ribbing, and it's cushy between my fingers. And I'm going to bed now.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to everybody. I sincerely wish everyone everywhere some peace of mind and family and just an all-around good warm fuzzy time tonight. Of course, reality is what it is, and I'll take the closest thing to warm and fuzzy that I can get. In our house this means that my Boy and I sat and heckled my mom on her Holiday Family Calls. If we had not been so well fed on her roast beast and yorkshire pudding, if we had not been so happy and content to have both her and the Toddler here and had not had such a good time the rest of the day- we would not have been happy enough to heckle.

My project to keep my fingers calm this week is: socks. Yep. I'm digging through the book of crocheted sock patterns one more time, and I've almost completed my very first sock. I am so flushed with triumph and giddy girlish glee that I'm trying very hard to NOT go right to the yarn store in the morning and rummage through their $3 sale bin of needles in order to find a couple pairs of double points and learn to knit socks instead of crocheting them. Yes, I'm intimidated by double point knitting. Yes, I'd prefer to slog through the dance that is crocheting with a really tiny hook and sock yarn [which is thinner than a standard business rubber band but not nearly as tiny as the number 10 thread or the steel hook I use for lace]. Whew. Can you tell I've had some eggnog this day?

And really, since I'm focusing on the knit and crochet arts this year to help my nerves settle into a calm and focused Motherly Attitude, this is good for me. It's just the sort of fussy work that requires detail and slow breathing. I can literally feel my blood pressure lower while I'm working. If I keep at it, I can easily learn the basic pattern by heart by the time I finish my third pair, and then I don't have to balance the book on my lap every five minutes. I'm starting to dream about sock yarn. About all the different colors they come in. About all the glorious things I could do if I could switch to making all our own socks.

Before everybody chimes in to tell me that I'm not THAT broke, that socks are less than a dollar a pair at walmart and are these days practically a disposable item, that hardly anyone even bothers to darn their socks anymore because they're so cheap- well, I can counter with the fact that making your own socks from cotton or wool means that they're precisely to your measure every time. That they may actually last twice as long as the storebought ones. That they feel cushier on your feet and keep your tootsies warm in the cold winters.

I know, I know, I'm in San Diego right now where it doesn't get cold. But next year we'll be up by the desert and I hear it gets downright nippy in the desert in winter at night. I can't sleep when my feet are cold. So POOH on you. Nyah.

Besides which, even though I'm only part way through my very first sock, I can feel so calm and content when I'm working it. It scrunches up nicely into my project bag or purse. It's fine work, fussy work, and a simple stitch; and that's probably what I need most right now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

validate my reality, world

After an incredibly emotional day which I can only justify to myself by saying "It's Wedsnesday", I've got 20 minutes left before I go to pick up the Boy.

I wasn't, but it seems that the ship broke, so they can't go underway today like they wanted to. The captain tried. Bless his heart, he tried. But you really need the steering column to operate a ship that size.

So the Boy gets to come home tonight and play with the toddler, and I get to cry on his shoulder about how depressed I am, and tomorrow morning my mommy is arriving on a big ass plane and will Fix Everything.

Note: I don't care how she plans on fixing Everything. I suspect it will involve crying on my shoulder and hugging the Toddler. In any case, my mommy will be here and that will lighten the load I carry by just enough that I hope I'll stop having this meltdown moments.

Monday, December 11, 2006

There is nothing like an inconsolable child to make a mother feel hopelessly inadequate. The shell she learns to wear against the clueless comments from strangers and the sometimes unhelpful suggestions from family and friends might work against grownups in the outside world, but when it's down to a game of one on one with your flesh and blood pre-verbal toddler who refuses to eat, sleep, or be comforted... that's when I feel totally and completely lost again.

It's only a day like this has been to send me back emotionally to the state I was in when she first came home from the NICU. The thoughts running one after another. I don't deserve her. I can't handle or care for her the way she needs. She might be better off with another mother, or at the least without me in her life. My Boy would be better without such an useless woman bound to him by a piece of paper he probably never wanted to sign in the first place. I don't deserve the emerald he married me with.

I know that these thoughts are flawed on a basic level. I know that I just have to keep breathing and get through minute by minute and this night will end. The bad case of the Icky Feelings and Snuffles that Tiff has had these past days will end, and she's going to smile and giggle and play chase-the-mama with me again. She'll reach up those precious little arms and hug me. She'll stop screaming and trying to throw her little body against the floor and walls.

In a lot of ways I've learned from the seventeen months she's been home. If I think back to the colic and the reflux (and the two of them coming together after a growth spurt when the prilosec stopped working) I can see that I'm just reacting to the situation and the tears. Right now? This is nothing. She's only been truly inconsolable for 30 hours now. I got a full 6 hours straight sleep last night before having to cope with today. I know that I'm about as exhausted as she is right now, and that once my dinner starts kicking it's way through my system I'll start feeling better- I haven't had a chance to really make myself eat anything today apart from a handful of wrinkly grapes. This is entirely because I'm depressed and not hungry.

Tomorrow will be better. I know it will. As long as I lay down now and close my eyes and try not to think how totally black and dark the nighttime seems to be.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday. Date night. This has become our tradition, following the Friday Beer and Pizza night. Except that last night we didn't have pizza. And only the Boy drinks beer. But I treated myself to a wine cooler, and that went down very well. So tonight I may make my herbed cheese bread; I just have to remember to buy some cheese when I'm out of the house this afternoon.

The Toddler is really cranky today. I haven't seen her out of sorts for so long now that it's a bit of a shock to me. As a mother I've become incredibly spoiled by having a child with such a good temperment (sorry, Sarah!) and since it followed her refluxy and colicy months so quickly and steadily I've come to know a lot of peace. Of course I have to ask myself how much of it is that she's bright and has learned that if she's happy and content Mommy doesn't have a Little Moment?

Not that my Moments are nasty. Not at all. But they lead to frustration and a few snapped words and Tiff being sent to play in her room while Mommy tries to crawl out of bed.

Some days are easier than others. That's all I'm saying here. And I'm not going to argue if my good days are starting to outnumber the bad ones again. Whatever, you know? I'll take it. I'll welcome it. And tonight I'm going to be snuggled up with the Boy on the couch watching musicals and munching on cheesy bread. Fun.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why is it that on the days when I am able to leave Tiff with the Boy while I run the recycling over, there is no line and I can walk right up to one of two working machines and get to business? On the days when I have a cranky toddler in a stroller as well as my two big bags of bottles and cans, there is a minimum 30 minute wait. Today I got a whopping $3.12 back from our CRV tax. I exchanged some of this for a bag of mixed garden vegs (14 oz, frozen, $1.98). When I got home I let them thaw out in a big mixing bowl.

For dinner I boiled some angel hair pasta (half a box that was bought at .80) threw it with the veggies, and the last of the shredded mozzarella (2/3 cups of a 4 cup bag bought at $4.00).

Pasta, 40 cents. Cheese, 66 cents. Veg, 1.98. The meal cost a total of 3.04 and will feed two hungry adults and a toddler. Not bad, is it? I've been trying to work in one meatless meal every week to try and save a little money. I think this counts as a healthy and successful dinner.

In other news the Goop attacked Tiff again, she's been suffering a clogged nose and serious Goop of the eye today. I feel for her. A lot. I wish I could take it for her, and I find myself looking forward to the surgery next week just so I don't have to pick the Goop off her anymore.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's so easy to say that if only something were different you'd be happier. If we had more money, I'd be happy. If I had a white picket fence and a split level four bedroom house in the country, I'd be content. I'm waiting for my ship to come in and the day to come when we can afford everything our lifestyle really needs; it occurs to me that I'm being silly. Because my ship already did come in.

The USS Lollipop has come in. There is one more underway, just a day or two, before the Boy transfers off and gets to stay home with us for four whole years. That's Four. Whole. Years. In which I don't have to say goodbye, retain a valid power of attorney in case of sudden departure, or raise the Munchkin by myself indefinately. In three weeks he leaves his current command. Since we've been a navy family we've moved, been apart, come back together countless times, had some rocky financial times and a baby... I could say that it's already been a lifetime and I can't remember life before all this was in my world. We have full medical. I don't have to worry about how we're keeping the roof over our heads or afford the early intervention services that the Munchkin needs.

If everybody stopped living in the world of what-ifs and if-onlys, they'd likely be a lot happier. They'd definately be living less on credit and more on Reality-Land. I told the Boy yesterday to let me keep living in dreamland for one more week. Then it'll be time to stop fantasizing that we'll win the lottery or stumble across a suitcase of unmarked bills; time to give up the daydream of moving into a five bedroom victorian gingerbread house in 8 weeks. Time to work out what our budget will allow for, what our new cost of living is going to be; time to work out when/how I have to go back to work to afford all of this.

Without our dreams we lose hope. Lost in the crunch of everyday humdrum life and seduced by the constant ads and media blitz- I see the people around me rushing from paycheck to paycheck and unhappy most of the time. I can't do much about that. I can do something about my own attitude. I can teach my daughter to know the difference between having and not having, and that she doesn't need to be a designer label to be somebody. If it weren't for the daydreams of someday striking it rich, of the princess living happily ever after, I'd sink back into the trap of depression and find little reason to ever try to climb out.

So I'm going to dream. I'm going to spend tonight thinking about how I'll spend all that money when it falls into my lap. I'm going to decorate our dream house and make friends with neighbors that exist only in my twisted brain. Tomorrow I'll be a grownup and live in reality-land.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

love, life, and dishes. The trinity of my existance this week. What in the world is so overwhelming about a dishwasher of dirty dishes that need to be run? Honestly. It's not hard- a 5 year old could do it. Insert dish soap. Close door. Turn dial to "on".

And yet that's what I'm struggling to convince myself to do this morning. We have decided that base housing is not going to be an option in our next move. This means that we're home hunting again. Operation Move-in 2007 has now begun. And since I'm going to be doing this around the rest of my life and my on again off again depression struggles- this should be fun. No, really. Fun.

Especially when you consider that every time we've moved since we've been a couple we've done a clear upgrade. Yes, the rent goes up commeasureately. This will be the first time in 6 years that we're looking at moving to a lower-cost of living area. Of course, our housing allowance is also going down- it's cut by about 600 dollars. I can't quite wrap my brain around that one yet. I'm hopeful.

Cautiously optimistic shall be my motto for the next couple of weeks while we're hunting. It's not a bad motto. It should be part of my mood on a more frequent basis. I really need to try to be positive about this.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I got a frantic call from the Boy this morning saying "Please. Tell me some good news." So, alright. I told him that I got the Toddler new sleeper jammies, feet built in, and she's going to be pissed that she can't strip them off as easily as her socks and pants. Whether or not this becomes of more angst to her than the part where I installed a baby gate in the kitchen to prevent her from rummaging through the dishwasher, climbing into the oven, and exploring the trash can? Who can say.

It seems that his split pay hasn't been paid. Again. And since we are short of funds again (why, oh why, couldn't I have held onto more money from last payday?) he wanted to make sure that we got the majority of his paycheck which was to be direct deposited in our bank account. The atm next to the pier is, once more, non-functional and even when it works is a bit wonky.

To celebrate these things I'm making calzones for dinner and he will have beer tonight. The toddler will have some calzone, and none of the beer. This will, no doubt, cause her even more baby angst as she becomes convinced that her parents are just two big people intent on ruining all of her fun.