‘Tis the season… Already!

I think every family has that date. The day when all hell breaks loose and you realize that the holidays are coming and you are woefully unprepared. Living in Vermont you add the impending 4-5 months of winter and this time of year is downright scary… I have noticed that most parents start feeling it around Halloween, described vividly in this post from one of my favorite blogs.

For our family the insanity comes a little bit earlier. Partly because we have a specific date in Autumn that brings on the anxiety (namely Princess Punk’s birthday, October 1st) and partly because even after living in Northern Vermont for 5 years, I find myself consistently amazed by just how much prep goes into getting ready for winter around here. Not to mention winter here starts as early as October and often lasts well into March.

Let me say first that I LOVE the fall here. Unfortunately it only lasts about 2-3 weeks before the dreary “Brown” season that generally precedes the snow by about a month.

Seriously, how could you NOT love this?

With the fall come the leaf peepers so the Zen Master is crazy busy at work with literally busloads of tourists coming in every day to see the amazing artwork the Mother Nature has put on display across our beautiful mountains. The weather is supremely erratic, like bipolar, pregnant, PMS and crazy homeless person all rolled into one erratic. Tuesday we had a high of 82 degrees, tomorrow we’ll be lucky if we hit 55. So clothing is an issue. it’s too early to pack up the summer clothes (82 degrees) but colder days (like tomorrow) call for me lugging out the big blue storage containers that have the cold weather stuff in them. This time of year Princess Punk’s room looks like LL Bean puked in there. Add to that the dog shedding his summer coat to make way for his nice fluffy winter coat and my house is generally a disaster. Did I mention our dog is a shepherd/collie mix? LOTS of hair. By the end of next week I can guarantee there will be enough dog hair in my house to make another whole dog. I wonder if there’s a hair club for dogs? We could make a fortune if we could sell that stuff… I digress.

Then comes Halloween which then ramps up to Thanksgiving and culminates in the giant crazy mess that is Christmas and New Years. Oh, and this year we have the added bonus of the birth of our second child a few weeks after that… Good times.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. I tend to thrive a bit on chaos and I’m even a little excited that between tomorrow and the end of January I will have little to no down time.

So tomorrow we’ll celebrate the Princess’s birthday and then on Sunday I’ll break out the blue boxes (not the little kind that have fancy expensive stuff in them sadly) and start sorting, weather-proofing, storing, soup-making, shopping, decorating, getting the nursery ready, raking, brushing, vacuuming, vacuuming again, cleaning, saving for fuel, checking the furnace, vacuuming again, getting the car inspected and various other stuff. Did I mention vacuuming?

Let’s GO!

Wow. Really?

I think I’ve managed to convey how sucktackular Tuesdays are. Today has been no exception. Princess Punk has a soccer game in Derby today. For those of you non-Vermonters reading this, Derby is (literally) a stone’s throw from CANADA. So the bus is leaving at 2:30 for a 4:15 game. So no therapy for PP today. Okay, so you would think this would actually make the day easier… You’re not a mom are you?

email from the school nurse at 1:20PM

Hi, Irresponsible Mom, (okay so she used my name but I’m sure that’s what she was thinking)

Today PP had no test strips with her. Luckily a high school student did not mind sharing some with her. Perhaps there should be an emergency supply here at school for her.

Her BS was 319, ketones a trace. (Translation: Her blood sugar level was 319, normal being between 70 and 120 and there were trace amounts of ketones in her urine meaning her body is tired of having sugar in her blood stream instead of her cells where it can actually be used so ketones are starting to break down fat and muscle for energy. Yay.)

Thanks and have a great day,

School Nurse Lady

-AWESOME-

The following next hour was spent making frantic phone calls to my mom (who is literally a life-saver at this point), the pharmacy, the insurance company (since the pharmacy decided that she wasn’t really insured after all… Do you know how much that crap COSTS? I could pay my mortgage. Seriously.) PP and the school to make sure she did not get on the bus to DERBY without all testing supplies in hand. What did I glean from this? A mildly calmer feeling that the Princess won’t run out of supplies while several hours away from me, cheerful compliance from my mom (again, she is being a freaking SAINT) and bored indifference from Princess Punk. Oh yeah… And The Guilt.

Remember that post a few days ago about me being a responsible adult?

EPIC FAIL

What kind of mom forgets something that could be potentially life-threatening to her child? I’m actually embarassed to take PP to the doctor because I know I’m going to get yelled at because I have NOT been updating the information from her insulin pump regularly (it takes about 5 minutes… last time I did it? A month ago.) I have not been checking to make sure that my 11 year old child actually has all the supplies she needs so that she can deal with this life-threatening disease. I have not been reminding her to make wise food choices and keeping a closer eye on her activity level.

Why not?

Partly because I forget sometimes that the Princess IS ONLY 11. She is an incredibly smart, well spoken and (mostly) mature young woman and sometimes I forget that she is still a kid and  actually needs guidance from me.

But mostly? Because I’ve just been damned lazy lately and haven’t done much of anything. Because I have to wait until there is an impending crisis to get anything important completed. Because I DO have bipolar disorder and at the moment I do NOT have fantastic control over my life or how I’m dealing with it.

I am not going to complain and whine and feel sorry for myself. I absolutely refuse. I am done venting. I am going to go to my therapy appointment, go home and cook a nice dinner for my husband and attempt to do something responsible tonight so I don’t feel like a complete douche.

And I’m going to give Princess Punk a HUGE hug when she gets home. Because she is AWESOME.

Reality check(list)

I make lists. I loooooove to make lists. I’m told it has something to do with my ADHD and anxiety in that I feel like I have some control over my hectic life when I make a list. The problem with this theory? My lists are generally useless. I decided this morning that in order to feel more accomplished and give myself an ego-boost or sumthin like that I was going to make a more realistic list of things I might actually DO.

Here is what my “I-am-in-control-of-everything” list looked like;

  1. Call Princess Punk’s endocrinologist and make a follow up appointment
  2. Call physical therapy and schedule therapy sessions during lunch times for the next three weeks
  3. Clip grocery coupons
  4. Plan menu for the week, strategically using couponed items and items already in the fridge/freezer/pantry
  5. Go grocery shopping for items on menu
  6. Catch up on laundry
  7. Sort through clean clothes and pack up summer clothes to prepare for interminable Vermont winter.
  8. Cook several casseroles or quiches in order to have a hot lunch while at work during the week.
  9. Go to work and do a fantastic job, impress everyone and get a raise (HAHAHA, Woooooo…. ok, even on my “ideal” list I know that isn’t gonna happen)
  10. Get a full night’s sleep, wake up refreshed, have a good, home-cooked breakfast and get to work on time.

And my “Reality” list;

  1. Stop at endocrinologist’s office on the way home from obstetrician appointment and beg for an appointment that is not 3 months out and at 11am on a school day.
  2. Forget about physical therapist until it has been long enough that I have to go back to my PCP and get another referral.
  3. Realize that I completely slept through Sunday and my opportunity to grab the newspaper that has the coupon section
  4. Go to Costco with my mom to get some essentials, get home with several hundred dollars worth of bulk meat, toilet paper and batteries then realize we are out of milk
  5. Stop at the grocery store on the way home from work 3-4 nights this week since although our freezer is full of various meat choices, I consistently forget to take things out to defrost so they can actually be cooked and eaten
  6. Stare at laundry pile and weep silently
  7. Sort through dirty laundry and wash enough underwear, socks and work/school clothes to make it through the next 5 days
  8. Cook dinner at least 3 times during the week while simultaneously screaming at the Princess to do her homework and slamming dishes around the kitchen because I never have the ingredients I need
  9. Eat lunch at work of baloney sandwich, buy lunch or sit at desk absent-mindedly eating Chex mix until I feel ill
  10. Get 3 hours of sleep, hit the snooze button 3 times and stop at McDonalds on the way to work making sure I am at least 10 minutes late

That’s better. Much more realistic. Also much more depressing. Damn.

When did I become a Grown-Up?

It’s 6:43am and I’ve been wide awake for 20 minutes. Moose didn’t wake me up. Princess Punk is still sound asleep. The Zen Master left for work almost an hour ago. So why am I awake? I have an unbelievably precious and elusive opportunity that most moms dream about… Or they would if they were ever allowed to sleep late…
I used to be able to sleep all day. Even when Princess Punk was little and never slept more than a few hours at a time I would set her on my bed with the tv on while I dozed. I know, Mom of The Year, right? I used to stay up all night and sleep all day and call off from work if I sneezed. When did I become responsible? I wake up every weekday at 4:30am and get ready for work, get the Princess up and ready and drop her off at my mom’s house by 5:45. I drive 30-40 minutes to work where I bust my not-so-skinny ass. I must do good work there because I’ve been there 4 years and I’ve been promoted 3 times and will likely be promoted again come November. This is rather fast track. After work I drive the 30-40 minutes home, make sure the Princess does her homework, gets to and from various sports activities and has a snack. Dinner is on the table at 6:30pm and (okay I admit, less often lately) we sit down and eat dinner as a family. I remember a time when the Princess and I didn’t even have a table and ate dinner off of our laps on the couch while watching TV. We do not allow TV or cell phones or books during dinner time, just the three(four soon) of us and actual conversation. After dinner we head our separate ways, Princess Punk to the TV, the Zen Master to his computer and me to my bedroom with my Netflix. Bedtime is 8pm. For EVERYONE. Princess Punk is allowed to read in bed until 9, Zen Master is usually out cold by 8:30 followed closely by me.
I. Have. A. Schedule.
How in the name of all things holy did that happen?
And the weekends, while slightly looser usually have plenty packed in as well. The last few weeks months ~sigh~ I’ve been a bit less “Responsible Grown-Up Lady” and more “Whiney, Lazy, Pregnant Lady.” The Princess is pretty responsible herself, due in large part to my ultimate suck the first 6 years or so of her life. She could make herself a pbj sandwich or a bowl of cereal with minimal mess by the age of four, a fact which I am proud of and utterly ashamed of at the same time. So lately she has been helping me with housework and the stuff I usually do on the weekends. But even though I don’t HAVE to, I still wake up by 6:30, cook breakfast and get the house moving.
So when did this happen?
I don’t remember any epiphany, any cataclysmic change, no bolt of lightening or voice from the heavens telling me to Man-Up and take responsibility for my life. I just realized one saturday morning that my husband was at work, my child was still sleeping, it was 8am and I was cooking eggs, pancakes and sausage after having planned meals for the week, clipped coupons and made up a thrifty grocery list. Holy schmidt, I grew up!
Then the Princess woke up and tripped over the dog and I called her a retard and we both laughed till we snorted.
Ah well, never said I was perfect.

Open letter to my unborn child

Disclaimer- The following post contains some references to things that some people might find kinda gross and are more than likely a MAJOR overshare. If things like bodily functions and discussions about more… adult stuff bug you, I encourage you to skip this post altogether and move on to the next.

Dear Moose,

Let me first say that Mom loves you more than she thought was possible and she hasn’t even seen your squinched up little angry potato newborn face yet.

But…

Please give me a break. I would like to have some control of my body back in the next few months if you don’t mind. It would be nice if I could sleep more than an hour without you kicking me right in the taco so that I damn near pee the bed. And on the whole peeing topic… What the hell???? You have somehow warped my plumbing to the point where I have to pee ALL THE TIME yet when I actually get to the bathroom it takes me 10 minutes to produce a minimal amount of pee. And there’s always some left. How do I know this? Because every time i sit down, I leak a little bit. It’s really gross and I feel like I smell like a damned sewer by the end of the day (although your father assures me I don’t). Thank god for wet wipes, seriously.

Can you also decide once and for all if you are going to allow me to eat? I realize my digestive system is kinda screwy to begin with, and I’m not blaming all my issues on you but I’m getting really tired of being completely starving, sitting down and eating two bites of food and instantly being so full I have a stomach ache for 30 minutes. At which point the starving starts again. I admit this is a welcome change from a few months ago where the smell of any type of food would send me to my bedroom with some rice cakes and a lemon. What was that about? Rice cakes and lemons? Really? And although I have always been somewhat picky and indecisive about what to eat, you have taken control over my taste buds with such determintation that I often find myself completely disgusted by any available food (regardless of its age, quality, nutritional value or flavor) and feel compelled to go to the store or a nearby take-out restaurant in order to find something suitable that I can actually swallow without getting nauseous. Let me remind you that we live in rural Vermont and take-out restaurants are few and far between and a trip to the grocery store is at least 30 minutes of my already limited time. Not to mention the fact that we are completely broke and have a refridgerator and pantry full of delicious (to everyone else), healthy and easy-to prepare or ALREADY PREPARED food. Your father is likely to take away my wallet and hobble me if I come home with newly purchased food one more time.

As far as your father goes… Can I have that back too? The poor man has been cut off 98% of the time for the past 5 months because I’ve been sick, tired, sick and tired or completely moody and god-damn-it-if-you-touch-my-boobs-one-more-time-I’m-going-to-suffocate-you-in-your-sleep. I feel very bad for him. And me too honestly. I miss intimacy and I’m not just talking about the “grown-up” kind. You have made it uncomfortable for me to even cuddle with the man who I love so much I wanted to make YOU with him.

I’m also slightly uncomfortable with the fact that you feel that ALL of the ligaments in my body need to be looser.

Yeah, cuz “Business Punk” is the norm in my office.

I’m not exactly sure what my feet have to do with birthing a baby but even when they are not swollen to 3 times their normal size (What is THAT about by the way? And don’t tell me to drink more water, I drink slightly less than a gallon of water, seltzer or iced tea a day), I have still managed to gain a shoe size in the last 5 months. It’s a good thing that your big sister’s feet are bigger than mine so I can steal her shoes. Unfortunately, knee high Chuck Taylors are not exactly “professional-looking” shoes.

Oh, and then there’s the mental stuff. You have caused some kind of insane clusterf*** of hormones to flood my brain making me simultaneously unbelieveably weepy, a raging “B” and just plain stupid. I actually cried watching 24 last night. In an action scene. WITH JACK BAUER. You are too young to know but Jack Bauer is HARDCORE. I should have been on the edge of my seat biting my nails but instead I was weeping like my dog just died, snot and all. I have used up a Costco sized pallet of tissues in the past 2 months. Thanks for that. Oh, and last week I locked my keys INSIDE MY OFFICE. I’m still not quite sure HOW I did that since you need the stupid key to lock the door in the first place. My boss gave me a sad look that said “Poor Kristina, it must be so hard to be so completely clueless.” I almost hit him.

So basically, I’m asking begging you to Give. Mom. A. Break. Please? You’re going to have about 30 years to drive me absolutely batshit crazy starting in January. Can I please just have these last few months so I can prepare a little bit?

Parenting FAIL

Last night during a particularly annoying bout of insomnia I went searching for the Pringles I bought a few days ago. Generally when junk food goes M.I.A. in my house, the first place I look is Princess Punk’s bedroom. I was already annoyed (although I can’t remember why right now) and decided that I was justified in waking her up at 11pm to ask her where my damned Pringles were. So when I stomped out of her room 5 minutes later, Pringles in hand after being retrieved from the bottom of her backpack under all her soccer gear, I figured she’d just go back to sleep. I climbed back into bed, started watching TV and eating my Pringles feeling vindicated. Approximately 15 minutes later, I hear the Princess in her bathroom blowing her nose… LOUDLY… PP has allergies and this is not uncommon but the subsequent sobbing coming from her direction was not what I was expecting to hear next. Still annoyed and expecting The Drama, I stomped on back to her bedroom and found her in bed bawling. PP does not cry very often. She’s one of those people who swallows everything and sits on it until it comes out in one huge festering clusterf*** of a breakdown. This is completely alien to me as I tend to overshare my emotional issues and cry at the drop of a hat. Anyway, after a few pointed questions and swallowing my angry mom voice, she started talking about how I am always yelling at her and how she is not able to talk to me about anything because I always get mad. Now I realize this may sound like your average pre-teen dramatics but here’s the thing… She is totally right. I’ve been a bit (read: completely) self involved lately. I’m phenomenally grumpy all the time and I have pretty much spent the last few months either at work or in bed. I don’t go anywhere and besides making dinner a few nights a week, I rarely even venture out of my bedroom. I’m hiding, from what exactly I’m not sure but I am having a lot of trouble interacting with anyone, especially her. So I am yelling at her a lot and just yelling in general and I’m avoiding her and seem to be perpetually annoyed with her although she hasn’t done anything to really warrant this.

Then she starts talking about her friends. The princess has always had some difficulties in social situations, like her mom, she’s a bit socially awkward but she’s always had at least 1 or 2 friends to hang out with. Lately however, she has been the odd one out and even the girls who had proclaimed to be her BFF’s just a month ago are now pretty much completely ignoring her. I’m not exactly sure if there was some catalyst to bring this about or if it’s just the catty fickleness (is that even a word?) of pre-teen girls. The Princess will turn 12 in 2 weeks and NO ONE is coming to her birthday. They’ve all got “better things to do.” So I stood there with my heart breaking as my beautiful, smart, funny daughter sat in her bed with tears streaming down her face and said in the most desperate voice I have ever heard, “I’m just so LONELY.”

Worst. Mom. Ever.

I’ve been so caught up in my own little world of feeling like crap and wanting to be alone, I have completely ignored the fact that my daughter needs a MOTHER. And the worst part? I know exactly how she feels. Been there. Done that. Always the awkward loner at school, oft ignored, teased and otherwise made miserable by my peers. Sound familiar? I think most adults can relate to that in some way and if you can’t, well… Screw you cuz you were one of the ones making everyone else miserable.

What can you say to that? When you’re 12, no matter how much mom tells you how awesome you are, if your friends ignore you and call you names and are otherwise evil little bitches, that is all you hear. I did my best to comfort her and tried to get it across that although it feels like crap now, people like that don’t matter in the long run.

So. Time to stop hiding and get back to being Mom.

And although I suck for not being there when she needed me, I probably better steer clear of those girls for a few days because the way I’m feeling right now? I don’t think I’d hesitate to square up on those girls for making my babygirl cry.

UPDATE: Princess Punk has been amazingly better the last few days and I think a good portion of Monday night’s complete farking meltdown was related to the text I received Tuesday afternoon;

Hi moma i got my period today 2:04PM

And she has a “new boyfriend”

Is it too early for the Pill?

~sigh~

The Fear

Every person experiences it at some point. That fear that you are going to totally and completely screw shit up with someone you love. My favoritist blog ever rantsfrommommyland describes it perfectly in terms of being a mom. As a mom of a kid with a chronic health condition I live with that particular version of The Fear on a daily basis. What I’m talking about now though has to do with the Zen Master and how terrified I am every day that I’m going to totally ruin this amazing man.
I am… Well, as I covered already, I am crazy. I am neurotic and anxious and moody and my temper goes from 0 to full on bitch in a matter of seconds. I’m also incredibly insecure and while I know for a fact that the Zen Master loves me with all his heart, I also know that even he must have a breaking point where he decides he just can’t deal with my insanity for one more minute. I dunno if he will ever hit that point, I doubt he thinks he ever will. But there it is, The Fear, poking at me like some evil pokey monster thing. Well damn that metaphor came out sounding less threatening than it did in my head… Now I’m thinking about pokemon with sticks. Crazy, remember? Anyway…
I have a long history of non-relationships. I honestly can’t even really say failed relationships because before the Zen Master, the longest serious dating I ever did lasted SIX MONTHS. And apparently he was cheating on me the whole time. Princess Punk’s bio dad (sperm donor) and I met young and messed around on and off for several years, off times being when he was in juvie for drugs or yes, stealing my car. I was a pretty screwed up teen. When I told him I was pregnant he hung up on me and I didn’t speak to him for months. He’s never been a part of PP’s life and she and I are both better off that way. So basically I’m putting all this out there to contrast how different things are now. I got my life together when I moved up here. I graduated college, got a good job where I excelled, lost a lot of weight, bought a house and actually became a real mother to my child. Not in that exact order I think…
Then I started dating the Zen Master. He is everything I never knew I needed. He’s a lot of those things women say they want, kind, funny, good with kids, etc… But he’s also a whole bunch of things I never even thought about that make him perfect for me. He is patient, quiet and compassionate yet still evil and perverted enough to make me giggle like a teenager while Princess Punk rolls her eyes and makes gagging noises. He’s the most amazing father to a child who has only been his for 10% of her life. And the calm… I don’t call him the Zen Master as a joke. He can literally lower my pulse just by touching me. He can put his hand on my arm while I am completely losing my schmidt with my pre-teen hormonal Princess and I. Will. Calm. Down. Any mother of a pre-teen girl will tell you what an absolute miracle this is. Throw in the pregnancy and bipolar and my husband is Mother Freaking Theresa reincarnated.
Let me relate a brief story to further illustrate my point.
ZM and I had been dating less than a year when the Princess got diagnosed with diabetes. In the beginning it was tough on everybody, shots 4-5 times a day, multiple fingersticks and a whole new brand of The Fear. ZM was over visiting and bedtime came around and I gave PP her nighttime shot. I apparently hit a blood vessel (sadly, the first of many) and I watched horrified as a bruise blossomed on the arm of my beautiful child before my eyes. Oh, it bled too… PP hates to cry in front of other people and I watched her stand there and bite her lip as the tears built up in her eyes. I managed to keep my composure to wipe off the blood, tuck her in and send her to bed with a big hug and a profuse apology. As soon as she shut her door, the Zen Master pulled me into a big bear hug and some switch opened up inside of me and I cried. I cried for over an hour and he held me the whole time and never said a word. I think that’s when I really fell in love with him, not just the short, lusty love I’d experienced before but the real true, this-person-has-become-a-piece-of-me-that-would-physically-hurt-to-take-away love.
And thus… The Fear. I’ve never had this kind of love before. I still don’t believe I deserve it and I am absolutely terrified every single day that I’m going to make this amazing man want to go away. So I get anxious if he’s too quiet, which is most of the time because that’s just how he is. I get scared if he is grumpy because I know it MUST be something I’ve done and I feel terrible when I get mad at him even if it’s justified. I mean he’s amazing but he still doesn’t sort the laundry before he washes it….

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