Saturday, July 31, 2010

Growth Spurts

In the past week, Big Love and I are constantly surprised with what Sweet One is able to reach. Our sofa table that two weeks ago she couldn't really reach the top of is now fair game, as is our bedside tables and pretty much anything else that is about two and a half feet high! She can even grab things that are on the edge of our table - like my seam ripper! Good lord. Well, just one more way in which her growth spurts surprise us and announce their arrival once they're done!

I can not stop laughing at a little thing that happened while on the phone with my sister. Suddenly, she started laughing at her son. He was packing for their camping trip: one beer for mom, one beer for dad, a pop for himself and a key for the RZR! Kids are hilarious!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ball of Joy

We were walking through the store and suddenly she stopped in her tracks. Paralyzed with pure anticipation, she almost trembled. "Am I in heaven? Those can't really be what I am thinking they are. It really does exist! Is life really this good?"

After playing catch with one of the neighborhood boys, Sweet One had become mesmerized by all the beautiful round globes she saw in neighbors' yards. A fit ensued later that day because the boy couldn't play and her ball just wasn't big enough. I looked at three stores that day but none of them had any left.

The following day, in an attempt to escape the humid heat wave, I decided to take her up to the big W and see if they had any left. If they didn't, time would not be wasted as we enjoyed the air conditioning. Luckily, they were there. I can only imagine what was running through her mind as she stood about 10 meters away from the bin of brightly colored giant balls and my emotions almost overtook me to see just how happy I had made her. She insisted on playing with the ball as we made our way out of the store, sitting on the floor and starting to cry when the cashier was scanning it through, laughing hysterically when she got it back and then holding onto it every chance she had. I could barely see if we were going to walk into something as I carried her, carrying the ball, and made our way to the car.
Once in the car, she held on to it and sang along to the Glee soundtrack I was listening to. When we got to the church to show her Dada just how happy she was, even he was beyond words for how happy she was!
She has carried it around the neighborhood.
And even when we go for walks she doesn't really want to let it go!

I hold onto these moments when a mere $2.61 can make my daughter more happy than I could imagine.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweltering Insanity

I'm sitting on my covered porch and enjoying the breeze. Who woulda thunk that moving air could make or break me! With the temperature at 83F (high 87) and humid, it's the only way I can keep my sanity right now.

Our house is not well insulated and so the heat comes in as quickly during the summer as it escapes in the winter. Air that doesn't move seems to render me without any coping mechanisms. Ridiculous, yes! I blame it on growing up near the prairies where humidity is something only ever heard of and rarely experienced. Standing still in the kitchen and sweating? Unheard of. Four years here and and still the ability to acclimate seems far away.

Finally, getting outside seemed to halt the near panic attack I had at the idea of having to endure two days of this. High of 90F for tomorrow! Sweet One is running around, up and down the street with her Dad.

I think Sweet One is tuckered out. She's been playing for almost two hours and came back to water my gerbera daisy. I don't want to break her heart and tell her there's no hope left for it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What a mouthful!

I went to the dentist today and five and a half hours after I left, I'm still wondering at what point my dental hygienist draws the line for too much information:
  • telling me that her uterus is tilted and her OB/GYN considers it a fishbowl absolutely perfect for getting pregnant?
  • that her husband got a vasectomy after they had their second child?
  • that she and her husband have been having sex "scot-free" for the past 13 years?
The answer is NO! None of these seem to be too much information to share with me. The only time I ever see her is in this office. I've been there three times now. Once her stories get going, so do her hands and she stops doing what she's supposed to.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting where I want to be

I am not an optimist just as I am not a pessimist. I have always considered myself a realist. When a new situation arises I need to take account of all the negative possibilities before I can prepare for the positive. This way, if it all goes south, I feel more prepared to deal with it rather than having my feet swept out from under me floundering like a goldfish that just jumped out of its bowl. "Hope for the best but expect the worst." A friend told me that. It sounds kinda harsh but it doesn't have to be but it works for me.

To be fair, there are times when I have let the 'expect the worst' part take over. With my anxiety levels whirling out of control, I got trapped in a place that hovered just below that imaginary line of happy and sad. A low-grade depressive state that left me feeling that the more I hoped for the good things, imagined myself feeling great for multiple days in a row, let myself fully enjoyed the good things, the more I would be 'punished' for being optimistic. My punishment was a dark place that was full of anger and self-hatred that I desperately hope my daughter will never inherit.

I've been on and off mild anti-depressants and in and out of counselor's offices since I was 15 or so. The most recent round of counseling was life-changing for me as my mind and body seemed ready to deal with what was at the core of everything. It felt amazing to finally tackle that. I could not have been a good mother to my daughter without working through it all.

Despite this realization and the freedom it gave me, my brain was still chemically and physically predisposed to a mild depression, high anxiety levels and anger when I didn't feel like I was any better. Watching my daughter every day and having an amazingly supportive husband only frustrated me further because I wanted to be present, be "in the now" more but I simply could not seem to get there. (I had read two books over the years that were supposed to help with that. I understood the principles but couldn't 'get' there on my own.)

Then my sister introduced me to this self-help website that has, quite honestly, changed my days. Common sense concepts that are added to my 'list' each and every day (and yes, the checklist sometimes feels much too long) that have helped stop the self-sabotage. It hasn't turned me into an optimist but it has helped me function from a better place. As quickly as the first week and my husband noticed changes. I feel relieved that I can finally take all the concepts I have read about and wanted so desperately to achieve over the years and use the tools that Coach Steele gives to get there. There's a lot of good work to do with it. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed but I do my best to remember to keep at it.

I still have a ways to go - after all I'm not dead and hopefully I'll be learning new things every day. Thankfully, I finally feel like the albatross around my neck is gone. I'm on day 43 and there are 90 in total and I'm really hoping I can keep going. The assignments for this week seem to be the most daunting that I have encountered but since this post has gone differently than I originally imagined, I'll get into that another time. For now, I am grateful that I have finally been able to find a way to function better and enjoy each and every day a little bit more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wardrobe malfunction

My summer wardrobe absolutely sucks. And 18 months after my daughter was born I am still struggling with finding the time and money to buy a few more items. I've ordered 7 shirts online from two different places and not one has worked. It is damn hot with no sign of letting up and I need shirts!

But rather than cry, I'm going to try and focus on what a wonderful time I had with my friend and her husband while they were visiting and how great my garden is doing. There is almost no room to move around in it and the potatoes are up to my shoulders!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Applying only the highest standards while painting

I recently painted the area above the stairs going down into the basement. While starting with a canvas of lead-filled fluorescent green, I used a platform obviously created by a skilled engineer to help me reach as high as I could with the caulking gun to fill in the cracks. Lucky for me, Big Love was wiping down the walls (I was completely afraid of what I might find!) while I did this. It is important to point out that no injuries happened only because my platform was made of only the best materials possible.

The lower set of stairs were harder to set a platform upon. Rather than having to stand on something that might be a little precarious (the previous picture is proof that I would never do this), I decided to purchase a stellar adhesive that would allow me to get the brush into the higher corners. Yes, this product is used by only the greatest of handymen - just ask Red Green!

I do so enjoy aspiring to the highest standards of stairway painting. The evidence is here in the finished product where the shade of grey I chose did not manage to look purple! I even found a hidden treasure in the process.
Soon there will not be a wall in this house that I have not painted, save perhaps for the walls of the basement and the unfinished attic. As shown above in my pictures, I love using the best tools out there so that each and every project I attempt is completed to the highest standards possible.

(Still trying to figure out why the grey looks purple!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What to do at 102?

We've been very lucky here in the Pickle Jar with very few bouts of illness over the past 18 months. (Forgive me as I type this with one hand because I will be continuously rapping my knuckles on the wooden window frame beside me.) After being awake for a couple of hours last night and then very fussy a few hours after she woke up, we realized that today Sweet One had her second fever. We fared well with the necessary drugs, a little extra tv and a second nap. She didn't drink as much for fluids as I'd like but her appetite seemed quite good. Strangely enough, she seemed to completely perk up at 6 pm as she sang along with Michael Morrison and Lea Michele performing at the Tony's. I'm still not sure what the cause of this is but I think it may have something to do with teething. (She currently has 4 front teeth and 4 molars.)

Now I must go back up to her room where she is fighting the idea of going to sleep. Hopefully the night will have less disruption and she'll wake up feeling as good as new.