Sunday, August 31, 2014

Least You Think This Blog Has Become Depressing...

We interrupt the self reflection and over-analysis of this blog to remind you that basically this joint is running with it's normal insanity. What it mean is nothing has changed around here. Not at all. Not one bit.

A couple of weeks ago it was our 25th high school reunion. When we first got the date I was super excited. I still had the cute dress that I was going to wear to my brother in law's wedding, but forgot at home. The Great American Road Trip  Sadly, the wedding was two years ago. That means it's been two years since I had the chance to wear something dressy. I started out the summer planning to do the plank pose every day, so I would have killer arms in my cute dress. Then the venue changed from fancy hotel to local bar. My outfit changed to favorite jeans and tank. The plank pose plan flew out the window. The most exercise my arms got this summer was lifting a book!

I had a feeling that most of my friends wouldn't be able to come, but was still so excited about the idea of hanging out with grown ups and being away from the girls for one night. It has been 3 1/2 years since we spent the night away from them. That morning I went to yoga class and came home planning to spend the rest of the day pampering myself and relaxing before we left for the hotel. Big mistake!

After my shower, I looked in the mirror and saw a giant red pimple right in the middle of my forehead! All I could think was

"At least when people tell me that I look just like I did in high school, I'll believe them."

Caroline saw it and softly said

 "It's pretty bad. Don't try covering it with makeup, it will just make it worse."

Awesome, pimple care advice from my kid. As I was standing in the our room wrapped in a towel, Rob came in with his new medicine. It was an injectable pen, but his "arms weren't long enough" to allow him to read the instructions. My glasses were still a little fogged up, but I tried to read it anyway. Finally, he went downstairs to look them up on the computer. I quickly escaped to the bathroom, planning on painting my toe nails and slathering myself with my fancy scented lotion. Suddenly I heard "Maamaa!? Maammaa!?" Knowing that I was being summoned for what surely was a silly reason, I sat perfectly still and hid. I swear two minutes later the dog started barking from outside. I knew there were at least two people down stairs who could let her in, so I continued with my pampering. The dog continued with her barking. I shouted downstairs to "please let the dog in." No answer, just more barking.

I threw on a sundress over my sweating lotiony self and went stomping down stairs muttering about "the dog pissing off our grouchy neighbor and why the hell can't anyone ever let her in." I passed Rob who was wandering from the computer to the fridge. Apparently he was watching the tutorial, looking in the box (stored in the fridge) for the missing part, then going back to watch the tutorial, returning to the fridge and so on.

After I let the dog in, I decided to eat lunch. As I was sitting down eating, I kept hearing the excited whispering of the girls and the screen door opening and shutting. I looked up and saw them carrying one cup of water after another out the door. I asked

"What the heck are you two doing?"

Caroline had been challenged to do the ice bucket challenge and Lily decided to do it too. Cristhian came over to help, and Rob and I watched all of them get ice water dumped on them. The videos ended up being some of the funniest I've seen. Cristhian dumped the water before Caroline was ready. Lily was taping it and fell on the ground laughing hysterically. Once it was Lily's turn, she ran away before she got too wet. They ended with all three of them getting ice water dumped on them.

The reunion was fun. Like I predicted very few of our close friends came, but we still had a good time (the benefit of marrying your best friend). Truth be told, though, I think I had the most fun getting ready for it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Apologies

I have a super funny post in the back of my mind. It will appear here soon, I promise. But right now I am thinking of myself and the ridiculous thoughts that I have. These are the thoughts that over ride my chance to live in the moment and just be. I have always thought that I was chubby and unattractive. Well to be truthful, I thought I was fat. I look back at pictures and am amazed at how cute I was (well, except for that awkward 14-15 phase). Lily pulled out my homecoming dress from my junior year. The waist was so tiny, she couldn't even fasten it around her own. Caroline commented "God Mom, you were skinny." Then I explained that at the time, I thought I was fat. I wore that cool vintage dress (before vintage was a thing), but couldn't get past my worries about my hair, my legs, my stomach, my skin, my glasses, my butt.

I am so proud of myself because I see none of this in my girls. They wear what is comfortable. They are confident in their beauty. We taught them that! I have made an effort to never voice my insecurities about my appearance in front of them.

I need to some how do for myself, what I have done for my girls. Today I sat in a school training feeling over weight and over heated. I watched my young petite co workers shiver while I wiped sweat from my lip. I felt the need to apologize. I mentioned the sweating and weight gain were the side effects of medication. The shocked response? "You gained weight? I don't see it. You're sweating?" I need to get out of my head and stop over analyzing everything.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Carpe Diem

Today, I cleaned up the latest round of apple/sauce fish capsule mess and decided to find chewable alternatives. They are ordered and on their way! I have come too far with Lily to have a choking, gagging battle over pills.

I am able to let this hiccup roll right off. I think it is due in large part to the fact that we have had the most relaxing summer ever. I have had so much fun with my girls, swimming, late night drives, movies, reading, and general silliness! Tonight was no exception. While we were waiting for the oven to heat up, Lily and I danced and sang all around the kitchen. I was thinking that it is possible to find moments of happiness even when your heart has been broken. It is possible to move forward.

Lily, Caroline, and Rob are my reasons for moving forward and trying to take better care of myself. Right after we spoke to Lily's doctor, I decided to go back on Zoloft. I owe it to Lily to approach this next school year with my best. My best is a well rested and anxiety free mother-teacher. Zoloft and I have a love-hate relationship. When I am on it, I don't have panic attacks over everyday things; I don't wake up in the middle of the night with my head reeling from lists. However, when I am on it, my appetite triples. I eat like I have a tapeworm. This time I also seem to sweat a lot. Neither thing is very attractive. I am hoping that as I feel better, I will have more energy to exercise. Last night I took a long walk. So that's a start.

I am lucky. My anxiety is mild. I am aware of it and know when to take steps to get myself back on track (ok, so this round I let it go on a bit too long). Not everyone has the resources and support that I have. Not all mental illness is the same. It is not something that can be cured or just goes away. In some ways it becomes a way of life.

Tonight after sitting down to a dinner where Lily and I talked about our expectations for the next school year, I opened my computer and read about Robin Williams's passing. I am so heartbroken for his family. Judging by some of the comments I'm seeing, our country still has a long way to go in our understanding of mental illness. It isn't a choice, nor is it the disease du jour that everyone needs to suddenly develop (I'm talking to you teenage girls who think it is okay to run around with ink quotation marks on your wrists because you have thought about committing suicide). We need to be patient and supportive of families who are battling mental illness. We need to be open and honest, so those who are hurting feel comfortable seeking help. We need to start the conversation and keep it going. Rest in Peace Mr. Williams.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fighting the good fight

This has by far been an awesome summer. Of course the usual crap that follows my family has continued, but overall it has been awesome. I'll sum up everything we've done in another post. This one is all about the awesomeness that is Lily. We finally have a diagnosis: ADHD Inattentive Type and Anxiety. The diagnosis wasn't a shocker, but it gave me a plan of action. Actually, I had put that plan in place at the beginning of the summer, even before we had a diagnosis. The biggest thing to remember is this does not define my amazing little girl. It's just another part of her, like blue eyes.

We have spent the summer setting up various doctor appointments ("Seriously, Mom, another doctor?") and boosting her confidence. She is sooo much calmer and compliant. Today she got up and dressed and out the door without a battle! Of course this will be much more difficult once school starts, but I feel like we've deposited enough positive, so it might not be as big a battle (fingers crossed).

Today the doctor gave us an herbal supplement that an excellent reputation for helping children with ADHD. It is an Omega 3 supplement (stronger than what I have been giving her). The catch? It is in a capsule. Lily has a very hard time swallowing pills. It went something like this:

Lily tried taking it with juice; it stuck to her tongue and there went one capsule wasted. I called Rob for advice and he suggested milk. The next capsule and milk ended up all over me and the kitchen floor when she choked and gagged. I didn't want to waste that one, so I broke it open and mixed it with strawberry yogurt. She took a bite and started choking, then spit it on the floor in a mess of pink and orangish green. I asked her what it tasted like, and she screwed up her tear stained face, thinking carefully about the worst tastes she could imagine. Finally, she sputtered out "Brussels sprouts!!!" Lily has never eaten brussels sprouts, but I understood it must be gross. I took out two more capsules and mixed them with cinnamon apple sauce. Before I tried to give it to her, I tasted it. Great! I just made cinnamon-fish apple sauce! Because Lily is a rock star, she manged to choke it down. It might have had something to do with the fact that I promised her a spoon of ice cream. I gave her a serving spoon of ice cream (she earned it), and proceeded to clean up the yogurt-milk-applesauce-dried fish covered kitchen. It smelled like a toddler who'd been swimming with krill. We need to teach Lily to swallow capsules soon!