Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Day At The Zoo...and the Day After, Too

I took Little Man to the Zoo yesterday. I doubt he looked at a single animal, but I felt like a good Mommy taking him, anyway. Off to the Soft Playroom later this week. I've been taking some new vitamins, and they actually work. I haven't had this much energy in years. Not on consecutive days and without energy drinks, that's for sure.

Little Man and I went with a friend and two other children to the National Zoo. I will never ever EVER do that again in the summer. That zoo is best seen on a fall day, so the Mount Everest-like climb to the top isn't so bad. Me and my friend almost died before we got there, and what would have happened to the kids?

A few pictures...


Steven and Big Girl Vera

My son, actually being sociable!!!

A few more pictures...

The Panda, once he finally got his butt out of his dinner bowl...

I think he saw a Panda....I dunno. :-)

LOL, haven't you eaten enough?

Do I look tired? *laughs*

HE was tired...

And so was he! Ah, to be an animal...at least one that far up the food chain.

From there we went to lunch. I walk into the strangest McDonalds I have ever seen, somewhere out in Arlington. I almost thought there were no bathrooms, but I finally found them after we ate...somewhat.

People keep telling me that it's just a toddler phase, but my son has never liked food. We have puke issues in my house. I'm through being frustrated, I just try to make sure he doesn't jump on our bed after he has his nighttime bottle, and that he drinks while he's eating. Still, he's stubborn.

Yesterday was one of those days when Little Man felt he had to challenge the one person who he goes to first and last every day. He rolls over me in the morning when he wakes up and lies on me to sleep at night...or as close to me as he can get. He knows I'm his caretaker, servant, chauffer...but that doesn't mean he has to listen to me, haha.

Well, we're chomping on chicken nuggets, and I think to myself that Little Man is doing pretty good. Until he starts gagging. Little Man is getting over some congestion (which all came out today, by the way....), and it's hard for him to eat or drink sometimes. The room was filled with the sound of his retching, and I was trying hard to catch it, and he was pushing my hands away; we had quite a power struggle there for a minute. I got the most of it, but he was still gagging, so I took him outside (thank God for the door nearby!). I stood outside with him while he regained control of his gag reflex (his is strong, like mine....morning sickness was a nightmare), then we went back inside. I got him changed, and we continued home.

I think I might be growing as a person, because this didn't irritate me as much as it would have six months ago. I felt for the people eating who had to hear that noise, not to mention the echo in that room, but there was little I could do. I can't make him eat, and I can't make him drink if he doesn't want to. All I can do is watch closely for any clue of an impending explosion.

Today I had a physical. Little Man was in tow, and very well-behaved. I think the world outside our house is so interesting, he doesn't have time to flip out. I hope his view stays like that. I then went to therapy, and wanted to make one more stop before coming home. Steve has a cold, and I promised chicken noodle soup. Well, that didn't happen. Poor Little Man decided he'd had enough of all that phlegm in his throat, and proceeded to throw up all over the backseat of the car. Nothing else to do but drive home...but I did have to take him AND his carseat out of the car, to minimize the spread of stomach debris. Little Man found that funny, and laughed (and played with his puke) while I hauled him and the seat in the house.

Mama rewarded herself with a pizza. Steve doesn't know yet. Too bad, his beef noodle soup is simmering right now, and he will be grateful.

Well, as it stands, the day is winding down. I actually had to stop in the middle of the blog to feed Little Man, who surprised me by demanding food. I'm learning more and more each day to listen to my son's cues. I guess eating a towel, getting upset and toppling his high chair were cues enough. :-)

I'm trying to get some of this laundry out of my living room. This weekend I washed four quilts, all the linens in the house, and three weeks worth of laundry. It cost $60 bucks, and took about 3.5 hours. But I have yet to put any of it away...except for some towels. On to the whites. By the end of the week I should have them all put away, and a whole new pile waiting for me.

Little Steve is making a game out of hiding more and more. It's quite fun. I'm trying to learn to slow down, stress less, and have fun with my child. Today he wrestled with me; because I was on the floor, I was game, so he came and jumped on me. As we laughed and played, I reminded myself that today will never come again, and to savor it, regardless of what happened to put a monkey wrench in my plans. Still...

I can't wait until bedtime. Mine.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Playdates and Xanax

Oh how glad I am I refilled my Xanax prescription. I do not want to be the type of person who relies on drugs to cope with day-to-day life, but my anxiety level has been off the charts for weeks. Every time I run out, I think to myself that I can just do without it. After all, I haven't been on an anti-depressant long term at any period in my life since my diagnosis at 14 (I'm 29 now). But the anxiety is another matter. When people can see that you're anxious, to me that signifies a problem. Few people have been able to identify my depression, but I am determined to be a hard-nosed tough as nails survivor. I have to go on, especially now. It's never been easy, and I don't ever expect it to be. It's just my lot.

But I can't cope with the crying jags in the tub because my day started off at 65mph, and rose to a speed of 90mph and stayed that way until I hid in the bathroom. I guess it's hard to understand when it's not you, not to mention my family has innoculated themselves against my "mood swings". Reminder: get myself evaluated for Borderline Personality Disorder. My mom was one, I could be one. I doubt it, it probably would have been diagnosed by now, but anything to shut them up.

On another note, I think I've found the toddler Oz. There's a rec center near my house that has a soft play room. Oh my gosh, I love that place. And for $4 bucks a day, open 7 days a week, who wouldn't want to take advantage?

I think my biggest guilt trip has been not being able to do more for my son. I want him to get out and have fun, to play with other kids. I do not want my limitations to affect his life. I need rest and some time to myself, but I can go without it long enough for him to have a good time and get his needs met. Somehow I'll have to deal with the burnout I'm experiencing, but for now I'll just have to accept that I have never had the type of family support system that I need and that everyone deserves. It is what it is. I'm not going to let it get in the way of my dreams. Like I told Steve, I've buried too many aspirations due to the will and wants of others. I'm not doing that anymore.

I asipre to have a son who has a normal, happy childhood. My mind was never that of a child's and I don't want him growing up that way. He's just as bright as his mother, but I don't want that intelligence to be used to recognize discord where there should be none. I just want him to be happy.

How happy I am that I've found one more tool to make that a reality. God bless the creator of the Soft Playroom. :-)

Just what does a SAHM do all day?

Where to begin?

WHERE to begin?

I guess I could say that first of all, I'm tired. I'm not even sure if I can pull this off, because two and a half years of drama has sucked me clean of my creativity, and at the moment I'm just a zombie. I wake up, I go through the motions of trying to keep my son clean, happy and healthy, I wear myself down further...and I go to bed.

I'm trying to find out a way to deal with this burnout, because no one around me takes what I'm trying to tell them seriously. Honestly, there are a lot of things that I wish now I didn't say.

I grew up in an abusive home. Only a victim of child abuse can understand the fears I have as a mother. I fear my personality is borderline...but it could just be stress. I'm a veteran of over 24 years of depression, and it has been a long, hard fight for sanity. I didn't ask to be born, I didn't ask to be born into the f*cked up family that I have...

So I have to remember that my son is in the same situation. He's just a happy little baby, he doesn't know that there's a storm raging around him. So somehow, I have to step back from all of the problems that were here before him, and regroup so I can properly parent him.

Because I love my little boy. He's honestly the only reason I'm alive right now. That may annoy some, but I don't care. He hasn't hurt me.

I wish I could get those who were never mothers (men, women who have never concieved) to understand what it means to be a mom.

1. You never get enough sleep...and your fatigue is not on the level of an exec, a college student, a marathon runner even...it's WAAAAAAAAY past that, and you don't really get rest until those kids are grown. My son isn't two yet, and I know that.

2. Unless you have a maid, the house is perpetually a mess. I can vacuum every day, and there will still be goldfish crumbs on my floor.

3. The laundry piles up...I swear there's a full load one day after I finish washing. IT NEVER ENDS.

4. Husbands truly have little clue what stay-at-home moms do. They think we're June Cleavers, or better yet the Rice Crispy Treat lady; either we make it look effortless to the point that the men believe it, or we really don't do any work but we try to make it look like we do.

5. Mom's have an intense love for their kids; I'll kill you if you touch my son, but there are days when I want to strangle him myself. Especially at 2 am. Or when he's climbing on the dining room chairs to get all the stuff on the dining room table that we've pushed to the back to keep away from him. Or when he's somehow broken the child-safety locks on the kitchen cabinet doors, or when he's pulling open the drawers in our bedroom and pulling things out. Or when he's managed to eat something off the floor that my vacuum missed...and he's about to throw up because it's lodged in his throat...and let's not talk about the number of times he's vomited, exorcist-like all over me and every piece of bed linen we have. I could go on...

6. Something as simple as going the store can turn into a marathon. You have to make sure you have a bottle, diapers, don't forget your money or cell phone...then you have to wrestle a wriggling kid into the car, endure being yelled at each time you stop at a red light (honey I'd love to run them but I owe my county enough in tickets). Then you get to your destination, and if you've forgotten your stroller (if it's not a store), you're up the creek. I personally do not have the strength to carry my son long-term. If you are in a store, make sure the cart is far enough from the shelves, or you will either be re-stocking or paying for broken merchandise.

7. I have learned that the library (my favorite place) is off limits for us at the moment.

8. There are countless moments when you find yourself really glad to be a mom. Like the first time baby says "mama". That was my son's first word...and it's his favorite. Other times are when you watch them sleep (they're angels when they sleep). Some of my most favorite times are when we're grooving to music; music was once my life, but circumstances contrived to take that life away from me. If my son wants to make music, I'll move mountains so he can do so.

9. Mom's need help. Far too many of us try to do it alone. Far too many of us have to do it alone. If you know a mom, help her. You would want help if it were you.

More than anything, I want understanding.