I had a clever title for this one, but I think I left it in the dishwasher

August 29, 2005

What I did between 3:00 and 6:30 this evening:

1. Picked up the girls from school, at two different campuses, each complete with its own nightmare of congested traffic.

2. Picked up Big Boy from the sitter.

3. Began preparing an after-school snack for the girls.

4. Called Deputy Dad in a panic when The Drama Queen – acting on a tip from the dogs* – spied a RATTLESNAKE – coiled, rattling, and ready to strike – in the backyard, a few feet from the back door. (Thankfully, she was in the house, and saw it through the sliding glass door.)

5. Called Father-In-Law in a panic about the rattlesnake, because Deputy Dad was 20 miles from town and transporting a prisoner.

6. Stood at the back door and watched the Big Dog do the Dance Of Death with the rattlesnake while waiting for Father-In-Law to ride up on his white horse and slay the dragon rescue the kids and me from the rattlesnake holding us hostage.

7. Consoled Miss Attitude, who was scared to death that one of the dogs would get bitten.

8. Watched (from the safety of the living room) Father-In-Law beat the holy hell out of the rattlesnake with a rake, throw it over the fence to the front yard, retrieve it, and throw it in the back of his pickup.

9. Consoled Miss Attitude, who was scared to death that Poppy would get bitten.

10. Thanked Father-In-Law profusely, and pretended not to hear when he told the neighbor, “You know, when you find one, there’s sure to be more.” (ACK!)

11. Returned to business of preparing after-school snack. Apples had already started to turn.

12. Changed Big Boy’s poopy diaper.

13. Recounted Rattlesnake Tale in phone conversations with Deputy Dad and Mother-In-Law.

14. Supervised homework of two daughters while simultaneously trying to soothe/entertain/pacify Big Boy, who was fussy, cranky, and angry that he didn’t have my full attention.

15. Lost patience with The Drama Queen when she wouldn’t pay attention to the instructions for her Social Studies Six Weeks Project, due in a week and a half. (Today was only the fifth day of school.)

16. Changed Big Boy’s poopy diaper (AGAIN).

17. Regained composure and patience.

18. Consoled The Drama Queen, who was in tears because “Third grade is just too hard!” (Again, FIFTH day of school. God help me.)

19. Decided we had ‘worked on’ the Project enough for today, and sent the girls to take their showers.

20. Wondered what the HELL we would have for supper, since it was already 5:30 by then.

21. Called a sympathetic Deputy Dad, who said he’d pick up some barbecue on the way home for his supper break.

22. Emptied dishwasher, being careful not to let Big Boy slam my hand in the door, as he opened/closed/opened/closed it.

23. Rinsed dirty dishes and put them in dishwasher, loading the stuff on the bottom rack no less than eleventy hundred times, since Big Boy was still “helping.”

24. Moved Big Boy to the living room so he wouldn’t hurt himself on the kitchen floor when he threw a tantrum worthy of a two-year-old (He’s SO advanced) after I shut and latched the dishwasher door, declaring “All done!”

25. Waited for what seemed like an eternity (but was probably closer to 20 minutes) for Deputy Dad to show up with the barbecue.

26. Breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Deputy Dad’s work truck pulled into the driveway.

*The Big Dog was such a good boy this time, alerting us to the danger, while carefully keeping himself from getting bitten. Maybe I was wrong before, when I called the dogs useless, ungrateful mongrels.

* * * * *

UPDATE 8/30/05:

Bucky said:
I’d have been crappin’ my pants and throwin’ a holy fit if my dog was out there with the rattler!

I probably should have included this in my original post, but I did have a couple of reasons for not bringing the dogs in, the main one being that I WANTED the Big Dog to keep barking at the snake. I knew as long as he kept barking at it, the snake would stay coiled, ready to strike, and IN THE SAME SPOT. If I called the dogs away from the snake, it would move on and I WOULD HAVE NO CLUE WHERE THE DAMN THING WAS, which would be SO not good. I wanted to know for sure where it was, right up until it was (a) good and dead, and (b) MILES AWAY from my house.

BUT. I certainly didn’t want either of the dogs to get snakebit.

SO. I stood at the sliding glass door, watching the Big Dog bark at the snake. (The Little Dog stood on the opposite side of the patio, wetting himself and looking appropriately frightened.) The Big Dog was standing at a safe distance (out of strike range), barkingbarkingbarking the strong, protective, snake-scaring bark of a yellow lab. Whenever he moved closer to the snake, I would tap on the door, and he’d move back, out of strike range. Thus, I was able to be a big chicken shit keep the dogs safe, without actually, you know, putting myself or my children in harm’s way, which sounds eversomuch more brave and grandiose than, There was no way in hell I was leaving my kids unattended in the house while I stepped outside and tried to wrangle two hyper, riled-up dogs, with a rattlesnake just a few feet away.

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May I have your attention, please?

August 26, 2005

Happy Birthday to youuuuu
Happy Birthday to youuuuu
Happy Birthday, psumommy
Happy Birthday to youuuuu


How I’m doing

August 22, 2005

I’ve reinstated the posts I had pulled down. I had just stored them in my ‘drafts’ and not deleted them. To my great surprise and delight, when I re-posted them, the comments on those entries were also restored. I re-read everyone’s kind words and got all emotional and teary again.

I explained to a couple of you, via email, what happened and why I pulled the posts down. Here’s a copied-and-pasted explanation for the rest of the group:

I was feeling SO much better after I talked to my doctor. Then I went to get the prescription filled, and I had my first taste of what an anxiety attack must feel like….I started sweating and shaking, I felt like crying, I felt sick, I just kept thinking, “ohgodohgodohgodohgod we cannot afford this…” How the hell can an antidepressant that costs so much make anyone feel better? I sank so low…lower, I think, than I’ve ever been.

I wrote a frantic, frenzied post [Thursday] night…I just needed to (virtually) scream for a minute…

Y’know, the thing about this “anonymous” blogging thing is…once you’ve made some online friends, you’re really not anonymous at all anymore. Within a couple of hours, a kind soul was offering to set up a Paypal button for me. I felt….well, it just didn’t feel right, the thought of virtual (in both senses of the word) strangers doing that for me, so I asked her not to, and pulled all of the posts down. I just…I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. And I started thinking that I probably shouldn’t have aired my dirty laundry in the first place. I mean, it felt good to get it all out, but…..I don’t know.

So. That’s what went down.

And, as you can see, I’ve decided to air my dirty laundry once again. Because, really, it’s not so much ‘dirty laundry’ as it is just a part of me. And I am allowed to be me, especially here, in my own damn web space.

That Thursday night, I really was in worse shape than I’d ever been in. I felt like I had finally, officially become more of a liability than an asset to my family. (The formula is something like this:

C + EH – E = NW

where C=Mom’s Contributions to the family, EH=Mom’s Emotional Health, E=Mom’s Expenses to the Family (including costs for maintenance of physical/mental health), and NW=Mom’s Net Worth to the family. When NW becomes a negative number, Mom has officially become a liability to the family. (Look, I told you I’m math and logic-oriented. I can’t help it.)) The entire hour’s drive home from the doctor’s office that afternoon, I tried to perfect a plan…

Okay, I can’t swallow a bunch of pills, because the life insurance probably doesn’t cover suicide. So it has to look like an accident. Maybe if I swerve over in front of an eighteen-wheeler….But what if that doesn’t kill me? What if I just end up in the hospital? That’s even MORE expense and frustration for everyone. Good grief, what if I ended up needing medical care for the rest of my life because of it? Then I’d be even MORE of a liability. So…maybe if I can get the Suburban going fast enough, like 95 or 100 mph, then swerve over in front of a semi at the last minute? Surely that would do it…

Yes, it’s scary, I know. I’m sorry, but I’m just being honest here. And I honestly think the only thing that kept me from doing it that day was the fact that I’d already payed for the damn prescription. It was sitting in the passenger seat, right beside me. No sense letting it go to waste, right? (It’s fairly obvious that the “rational” part of my brain has lost all sense of what “rational” actually is.)

I started the meds that Thursday evening (8/11). Deputy Dad had already called the local mental health program; he knows the people there through his job. They saw me on Friday; I still felt so dark and lifeless inside, I couldn’t hardly talk about anything. The woman who interviewed me, D, said if I qualified for their program, I could get my meds at no cost. I went back on Monday for more paperwork, talked to their psychiatrist Wednesday, and found out I had qualified (which is either good or bad, depending on how you look at it: good, because I can get help without the expense of it making me want to do myself in; and bad, because hello? Mental Health program? I thought that was just for the mentally ill? Oh. Depression. Illness. Right.) I found out later that they actually have a waiting list, but D had pulled some strings to get me in right away because she felt like I “really needed help.” (See preceding parenthetical good/bad evaluation.)

The past week or so has been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve had moments when I’ve felt really upbeat and thought, “Hey! The meds must be working. I feel better already!” (They told me it would probably take at least two weeks to notice any difference at all; and a month or so to see a significant difference.)

I’ve had moments of paranoid panic, like last Wednesday night, when I actually heard voices.*

I’ve also had more sinking-to-the-bottom moments, like last Friday (my birthday), when Deputy Dad and I had plans to go out to dinner! together! just the two of us! without the kids! We’d been planning for and looking forward to our ‘date’ for months; I spent all day Friday excited about our plans, thinking, Okay, I’ll leave work at 4:00, get home, Deputy Dad will grab a quick shower and get dressed, we’ll drop off the kids at the in-laws’ and be on our way. Then, when I got home that afternoon, Big Boy had just gotten up from his nap, which he had, apparently, not finished. He was cranky and fussy; he needed a snack; the girls were whining for a snack; the living room was a wreck; the kitchen was a DISASTER. I was immediately upset and in a bad mood, the moment I walked in the door. Deputy Dad sat in the chair while I held Big Boy with one hand and fixed his snack with the other hand; then I got the girls a snack. Deputy Dad was STILL sitting in the chair when I said, “Umm…why don’t you go ahead and jump in the shower?” While he was showering and dressing, I ran around like a wild woman, emptying and filling the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen, straightening up the living room, and carrying a cranky, whiny toddler half the time, while I was working. By the time Deputy Dad casually sauntered out of the bedroom, clean, dressed, and ready to go, I was angry, upset, and disappointed, and hot and sweaty from all the running around. I didn’t want to go ANYWHERE. It took a few hours to finally cool off (physically and mentally), and then, of course, it was too late to go; so I spent the rest of the evening crying because I’d ruined our plans.

Saturday was terrible, too, emotionally. I’ll spare you the details on that one; this is already long enough. But yesterday was a little better. Like I said, it’s been a rollercoaster.

Anyway. That’s “How I’ve Been,” an update for the kind souls who’ve been inquiring…and for the kind souls who were afraid to ask.

Once again, I must thank you all for being so loving and supportive through this. It has meant so much to me.

. . .
*I always thought the whole hearing voices thing was…well, I don’t really know what I thought about it, except that it sounded pretty kooky. But…I woke up Wednesday night because I thought I heard** someone call my first and last name. Thinking it must be some kind of crossover dream/waking thing (even though it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before), I went back to sleep, only to wake up a short time later when I heard Miss Attitude whispering, “Mama…..Mama….” Somehow I knew she wasn’t there, but I sat up in the bed to look for her anyway. She wasn’t. I was totally. freaked. out. I was shaking and scared, thinking, Okay, I’m hearing things. What’s next? Seeing things? I even woke up Deputy Dad and told him about it, I was so freaked out and panicked. I called D (mental health lady) the next day; she said hearing voices can be caused by depression, or as a side effect of the meds. She instructed me to keep a journal and let her know if it happened again. Thankfully, it has not. ‘Cause, seriously. Freaked. My. Shit. Out.

**I keep wanting to say, “I thought I heard…”, but there was no mistake that I heard it. It wasn’t like when the TV’s on, and you think you hear someone calling you. It was totally different. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before (and, hopefully, never will again). *shudder*


Facing the music

August 19, 2005

Yes, it’s true. I am officially over 30 today. (I’m 31.)

I was using my birthday as an excuse to claim one of kalki’s yummy chocolate cupcakes, and that gal decided to throw me a virtual party! Thanks kalki! I blove you!


* SPOILER ALERT* Rockstar: INXS

August 17, 2005

Just a few footnotes to tonight’s elimination show:

MiG is a class act.

I think Deanna had a seizure during her song. And I kept worrying her skirt would fall down.

It’s about time Jessica went home. (Props to Closet Metro for totally predicting that one.)


Blogging Rockstar: INXS

August 16, 2005

Some thoughts on tonight’s episode of Rockstar:INXS:

  • What the hell was that chain-thing dangling from Brooke Burke‘s hand all night?
  • Why does Dave Navarro look so much like Satan?
  • Jordis totally rocked. Not surprising. She always does.
  • Jessica = largely forgettable
  • Seriously, WTF was Ty thinking, with those plaid polyester pants?
  • I’m not sure I heard any of Suzie‘s performance. That sparkly nose ring was too damn distracting.
  • Every week I am more and more impressed with Marty. He got stuck with (gack, I can’t even type her name) you-know-who’s (Hit Me)…Baby One More Time. He totally rearranged it, “took out the candy,” as he said, and made it a little dark. Wow. Just…wow.
  • Deanna‘s performance was just painful to watch. Pack your bags, hon.
  • J.D. = cocky bastard.
  • MiG…ah, MiG. I love your way, too, Baby.

Anyone else have anything to add? Mrtl?


Big Boy 14-Month Newsletter

August 16, 2005

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dear Big Boy:

Today you turned 14 months old. The day went by without any fanfare or celebration, just a casual acknowledgment of your 14-month-day, accompanied by a nagging reminder of how quickly the time is passing.

This month has been another busy one, what with your daily discoveries of new and potentially harmful objects to shove into your mouth, along with your insistence upon developing more and more advanced skills, the most recent and significant of which is WALKING. Yes, that’s right; you’ve finally started getting around on two limbs instead of four. This means two things: (1) We can finally say “yes” to all the nosy people who, upon seeing you, immediately ask, “Is he walking yet?”; and (2) We’re spending even more time chasing you, as you do your Frankenbaby walk (legs stiff, arms out in front of you) around the house, swaying to and fro like a drunk and leaning precariously to one side or the other, constantly threatening to topple over and slam your soft skull into the nearest table/chair/wall/door. Congratulations, Son. God help us, you’re officially a Toddler.

As if the constant anxiety over your new mode of transportation (a.k.a. those chubbilicious little legs of yours) was not enough, you seem to have embarked on a quest to find The Perfect Toy. The thousands of age-appropriate toys overfilling your toy box and scattered throughout the house are just not good enough anymore; there must be something better. So off you go to find the elusive Perfect Toy, the one which will satisfy all of your sensory needs and perhaps even retain your attention for more than 5 seconds. Your journey usually ends in the kitchen, where you have discovered the joys of rifling through the kitchen utensil drawer, a veritable treasure trove of rubber spatulas, measuring cups, and wire whisks. You’re not quite tall enough to actually SEE into the drawer, so you pull yourself up by the drawer edge, standing on your tippiest of toes, and reeeeach as far as you can into the drawer, grasping whatever your hands graze. Once you’ve found your treasure, the only logical thing to do is force it out of the drawer and promptly deposit it into your mouth.

BigBoydigginginkitchendrawer-backview-8-14-05

I’m not sure if you’ve found that Perfect Toy yet, but you’ve managed to cover every kitchen utensil in the drawer with slobber. Oh, the slobber! We’re sure you’re teething again, since we’re once again mopping up puddles of drool from your chin, your clothes, the floor…wherever you happen to drip. You still just have those front eight teeth you sprouted almost simultaneously a few months ago, but we’re expecting new neighbors for them anytime now.

Even though walking and slobbering are consuming most of your time and energy these days, you still find a few moments here and there for the other activities you enjoy. Several times a day, you bring one of us – Daddy, The Drama Queen, Miss Attitude, or me – books to read to you. You’ve started pointing at the pictures and babbling, and you love to turn the pages as we read, even if we haven’t quite finished the page. And you still love to spend quiet time alone with your books, just sitting, standing, or lying on the floor and “reading.” It always makes me smile to see you enjoying a book.

BigBoyreadingatbench08-14-05

You also still love to bury your face in my hair; and you’ve decided that, when I’m out of reach, your sisters’ hair makes an acceptable substitute. I don’t know what it is about our long hair that captivates and comforts you. The summer heat has forced me to pull mine into a ponytail a lot lately. When you’re tired, cranky, hurt, or upset, you fuss and grab at my ponytail until I finally oblige you and pull it down. Then you sigh with content and make sweet little happy noises as you rub your face and hands in it.

In a disturbing twist, you discovered my eyelashes and eyebrows this month. And when I say “disturbing,” I mean “Son, please keep your fingers out of my eyeballs.” Rocking you and singing your bedtime lullaby isn’t nearly as peaceful and relaxing when you keep poking me in the eye, threatening to send my contact lens screaming from its rightful home.

It certainly has been a busy month, as they all are, I suppose. There’s just so much growing and playing and growing and discovering and growing and…did I mention the growing? Ah, yes. It’s just happening too fast.

Only moments ago, as I was typing this, you awoke suddenly and cried out – not the gentle whimper of a baby stirring in his sleep, but a startled, fearful cry, the kind of cry that sends mamas flying from their beds (or their computer chairs) to the baby’s crib in a panic. Something had frightened you, or worried you; some bad dream or anxious thought disturbed your slumber and made you cry out. I looked you over for any signs of physical distress (there were none), gave you your pacifier, and held you tightly and whispered in your ear. You settled quickly, your head snuggled under my chin, your breathing slowing to a more comfortable rate. I didn’t want to put you back in your bed, not only because I was still pretty shaken from my panicked sprint to your room, but also because those moments – standing in your room, nuzzling your hair, swaying back and forth, as your little baby body relaxed and became heavy with sleep – are the ones I want to hold on to the most.

I love you, my Big Boy, my Little Man.

Love,
Mama