April 2, 2013
I found myself today repeating my toddler’s words back to her.
“I don’t want that.”
She says it forty gazillion times a day, her version of the oft-maligned “NO!” that most toddlers spew. I figured this was fair game, as I am stuck regurgitating responses to her 12+ hours a day – and I frankly don’t have a good enough vocabulary to keep that up for weeks.
She took this all with her game face, told me “okay, you have this” and gave me a piece of chalk; my best guess is that this was for me to be able to chronicle my general frustrations of the day, as with many things relating to a two year old, this did NOT come with a more detailed explanation.
And she is a delightful child.
She’s intelligent and insightful.
She’s also timid in large crowds and can be a bully in small ones.
But what she is, most definitely, is a child with opinions.
Too small for big mama. Granted, it’s her shirt, so the insult is small… but you get the idea.
Today’s large battle was holding hands with Mama in the parking lot or on roadways.
When walking across a particularly busy street, in a crosswalk that demands drivers stop traffic for pedestrians, she threw herself down face-first declaring, “I don’t want that.” She didn’t scream; she wasn’t angry. She was simply declaring the truth: That until this particular second she had been involved in an activity that she no longer chooses to be involved in. And a dead weight she became, leading me to drag her one-armed across the busy road and onto the sidewalk to safety, silently mouthing words of apology to the folks around us in the way that only parents are familiar with.
When we were finally loaded in the car I rested my forehead against the steering wheel, thankful for several things. This incredibly engaging child that entertains me and challenges me so much… and the fact that our arrival home would herald in that time of day that has become all too precious: nap time.
February 22, 2013
There’s something cleansing about a new snowfall.
Everything ugly is hidden or made beautiful simply by covering it up.
It’s a theory that we humans tend to use in a variety of ways; makeup for our faces, paint for our walls, titles for ourselves.
As though one simple layer could erase what is truly there.
But mostly snowfall is beautiful.
Living in a place that has four seasons for the past few years has been enlightening.
I’ve learned that maybe I’m just allergic to the Mississippi delta or the massive dry season that exists for 10 months a year.
I’ve learned that I do like snow and the cold; in phases, as Minneapolis could make “cold” seem like a meager adjective.
Tonight, as I move my paper blinds out of the way – as no snowfall can help me pick out curtains that I like in this new house – I’m enjoying the quiet that snow and winter… yes, and midnight, as well… bring to a place.
You can’t tell that I’m just a hop from a city of millions upon millions.
Tonight it’s almost as quiet as home and if it were logical or reasonable I’d curl up with a blanket on the front porch and pull that feeling a little closer.
December 11, 2012
Life is about adapting.
I mean, sure, there are emotions mixed in there – happiness and sadness. Anger and anxiety.
But mostly, for me, life is about reacting, not planning.
So when I found out, quite recently, that my gestational diabetes from Mols has turned into Actual Real Sugar Diabetes, well, all I could really do was react.
Perspective tells me that it’s not cancer and I will survive this, but continuing happenings tell me that this is the largest challenge I have faced physically thus far.
A friend told me this week that I’m food obsessed – she didn’t mean it in an ugly way and I didn’t take it as such, but I’ve been thinking about it. Such a freedom it is to be able to do whatever we wish with our bodies. Freedom and a sort of disrespect to ourselves. To choose to sit on the couch, as I am doing right now, can be both relaxing or horrific – depending upon how long you choose to do so.
Food intake is fairly similar. Needing to choose different foods because I’m gaining weight or becoming more unhealthy in general is one thing. Needing to choose different foods because a bad meal can put me into a coma is another thing entirely.
It’s hard NOT to become food obsessed. To want something so much and be weighing The Great Endgame against it.
Sometimes it REALLY sucks to do the right thing.
And in this instance, that’s really all I can do overall.
But I’m learning.
Apart from a hiccup or two right now, I’m learning.
February 22, 2012
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have insomnia.
There are flashbulb memories of it for sure.
I remember bits and pieces of Mom yelling at me for sleeping the days away as a teen. Just not much else.
Insomnia does that.
It robs you of your ability to think and to remember.
It takes those most precious memories that you have and smears them, twists them, sometimes even erases them completely.
I’m sitting here awake in the middle of the night because my brain will not stop.
Medicine doesn’t help.
Sleep therapists won’t include me in sleep studies because I have OCD and mild depression that is currently treated with Zoloft. I’m breastfeeding still so melatonin is out and the medicines aren’t a good idea until Molly is completely weaned.
I drink approximately one caffeinated beverage a week and am completely convinced that I will never have a normal night’s rest again.
I have chronic onset insomnia.
Whether my depression is active at the time, whether my OCD is managed.
Happy, sad. Fat, skinny. With a book, without one. With meds, without meds. Diet changes or junk food. Behavior changes or laughing in the face of all of the “tips” designed to help.
I can comfortably stay awake for about 30 hours before crashing, with meds I fall asleep about 4:00 every morning. I’d sleep until 2 or 3 without interruption if I could and would wake up exhausted 98% of the time.
It is what it is.
But I’m tired of what it is.
I’m a great mom.
But think about how fantastic I could be with a rested brain.
I’m a great wife.
February 7, 2012
I’m buying a house.
I’m buying a house and Molly is one and the custody situation hasn’t changed and I love to cook and am taking so many classes and marriage is hard but rewarding and I can’t get rid of the insomnia, but that’s okay because I have so much to research anyway for this house I’m buying… and how can I think of buying a house when I can’t have my daughter with me yet/ever?
Molly cuddles her head into my chest and says ‘Awww, sweet baby’ the way that I do every day and I melt. She screams and yells for the phone – fits that she throws that her father finds funny and I hold my own against.
They’re slowing down some, but this child will always be a force of nature. I hope.
Abs surprises me with these bouts of maturity and these moments of childishness that are so bittersweet for me. She’s on the cusp of so many wonderful things and I want her to have the knowledge and desire to reach for them.
And now I’m buying a house in this Illinois city, so far away from home. Two things I never would have seen for myself. Molly will have a yard – tiny – but a yard to play in. And neighbors. She’ll have things I couldn’t provide on my own for Abs.
It’s hard not to feel as though this seems to her as though I’m replacing her.
Abs is IRREPLACEABLE.
And I tell her that every day. Even if it’s just in my head sometimes.
My life, right now, is a run-on. Every event or thought or action runs into another because time is moving so fast.
I want it to slow down. I want it to stop.
Not in the bad way, in the way where I can just stop the moment, breathe it in and permanently place it in my memory so that I’ll be able to drag it out, years later, and devour it.
October 13, 2011
I’m really sick of tragic.
I’m sick of things happening that are because of some short slip of judgment, because of some moment of fate, because of just some tiny infinitesimal THING that changes the world.
I’m angry with people that change lives on some bad day of theirs. That do something that they can’t ever take back. That hurts so many.
Today was a memorial service for a 22 year old kid. A good, fun kid that was about to marry his girlfriend of many years, a kid that was finally working a Real Job and making his way in the world. He was growing up and becoming and because he was stupid when drunk, he’s gone and no one will ever get over it. Certainly not his girlfriend, who had an upfront and personal view of his violent passing. Certainly not my parents, who held her screaming in the middle of the street while the police and coroner worked in the house. Certainly not his parents, woken up in the middle of the night with the worst news any parent can ever receive.
And I’m angry with him.
He was too good for this.
Too fucking good for this.
And I feel this overwhelming weight and sadness at this – this price of living. Running into tragedy and unfairness even as you run into happiness and miracles.
The mixture is nauseating and overwhelming at times.
And I’m just so mad.
But mostly sad.
September 20, 2011
September 11, 2011
I’ve closed the news sites for now.
It’s 1:00 in the morning and I’m still so completely overwhelmed by the events of ten years ago that I am numb on the inside with goose bumps on my arms.
There’s a slight tingling feeling – as though movement is anticipated but impossible.
It’s addictive, looking at these stories.
So completely damned addictive because part of my OCD brain feels that if I look at all of them, every single one, that somehow that gives some closure to someone somewhere. That I can HELP.
But that’s insane.
And looking is making me insane.
Generations from now they’ll study this in detail in history class the way I studied Pearl Harbor.
They’ll have analyzed and rewritten texts over and again and know so many more answers than we knew – know – now.
The longer term effects will be known.
The health problems of the responders will hopefully be covered.
Perhaps terrorism will be less of a problem.
I hope so.
For me now sleep seems impossible.
I wonder how many others out there are sitting at their computers feeling the same way.
September 10, 2011
Three more weeks of Minnesota living.
Three weeks until I become a Chicago person.
What DO Chicago folks call themselves?
Nick left this morning to avoid arriving tomorrow and starting work as a zombie on Monday morning.
Which left Molly and me here alone to finish up the job of packing and hanging out until the condo is ready at the end of the month.
I’d show you a picture of this place, but I’m too embarrassed.
Let’s just say this is going to be a JOB.
Especially since Molly is crawling like a spider monkey and her favorite thing in the entire world is an electrical cord.
And there is NO way to baby proof in a moving house.
And NO one within 14 hours to help me out.
This is going to be a LONG three weeks.
September 8, 2011
I’m having a hard time.
Every 4 years the flashiest sporting event comes around – yes. The presidential elections.
And every year it gets a little harder for me to keep my mouth shut.
After all, how can people believe THIS or THAT?
Did they not do the math?
Not read between the lines?
Not spend hours fact-checking to make sure they had the facts of the matter before spreading their opinion around sheep-like?
And the emails. Dear heavens. The emails.
Political forwards, sent from family member to family member – and eventually to me.
Only. I don’t agree.
I’ve never agreed.
I don’t believe that all immigrants should HAVE to speak English before gaining citizenship or residency status. I’m rather glad my ancestors weren’t held to that standard or I’d have ended up in a completely different place. How egocentric is it that folks feel that folks trying to make a better life for themselves should learn our language to make things easier on US?
Outbursts like that.
So I take deep breaths and mute conversations that get me too worked up.
I pass on responding to many comments that seem so ignorant to me.
Politics aside, people deserve to have opinions, whether based upon their research or not.
They can base it on a clown’s nose stuffed up a dog’s butt if they want to and you know what?
I still need to respect their right to voice their opinion without forcing them to swallow mine.
And that is what I’m trying like HELL to remember.