Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lost in Translation

     Today was very frustrating. I was exasperated nearly to the limit of my tolerance for "obnoxious." Yes, I'll concede that because I don't feel well, my breaking point is substantially lower, but still...I was inexplicably frustrated by my kids' lack of communication skills. And yes, I am fully aware that this is not their fault. Dryden is 22 months old and has a vocabulary of maybe 20-25 (random) words and Noelle is fairly similar.  The entire day was spent with both kids alternating their periods of extreme whining (it could be a TLC show..."Extreme Whining" and it can be on right after "Extreme Couponing." Both shows will be uber annoying- but I digress.) It is days like today that I wish I had a universal remote for these two darlings and I could push the "translate" button to have subtitles appear under them to explain what the fuck they are crying about/pointing at/giving me dirty looks for/whining about/throwing a tantrum over. I've composed a little example of what this might look like if I could ask my kids what's up...and they could answer me in a language I can clearly understand.

Me: Why did you take your diaper off at nap time and pee on the floor? And then yell about it?
Kid: The tag on the side was scratching me really bad and I figured nap time was almost over anyways. Once I got the diaper off...woo! the cool air from the ceiling fan made me pee. I cried because I was quite embarrassed. Thanks for not yelling at me.

Me: Noelle, why do you freak out when the dog sniffs you?
Kid: His nose is cold, and wet, and slimy- can you say "gross?" Plus, I hate it when he licks me- he has bad breath

Me: Why do you jerks keep throwing your half full bowls of food on the floor?!
Kid: I love the sound apple sauce makes when it lands on the floor. Such a pretty "Ploop"

Me: What are you pointing at on the kitchen counter top? What do you want? There is nothing up there?
Kid: Counter top? What the hell is that? I'm pointing at the spider crawling on the wall...

Me: Why do you guys freak out every time Daddy leaves for work? Why aren't you used to him leaving at the same time every day?
Kids: Um...Daddy doesn't put us on as many Time Outs as you do and he doesn't care when we play with things you say "No!" he sneaks us marshmallows when you're not looking (For the record, I am ALWAYS looking)

Me: Why do you look me in the eyes, and throw whatever is in your hand onto the floor once I've already scolded you?
Kid: I just want my intentions and feelings to be known without a doubt. I disagree with your sentence of a Time Out and am appealing it to higher powers...

Me: Seriously, you just had a three hour nap- why do you need to whine for a full hour after you get up?
Kid: Dude, I was dreaming about splashing around in the pool with that cool two year old from down the street and he was about to tell me something important and you woke me up! Now I'll never know the secret of bipassing child-proof locks. Thanks a lot...if I'm pissed, then you should be miserable too.

Me: Why do you keep throwing your sippy cup at me?
Kid: you look thirsty?

Me: What was that dirty look for after I told you to stop playing on the stairs?
Kids: I didn't like the tone of your voice Missy!

Me: Why did you shut the door on me when I was saying goodnight?
Kid: I know for a fact that you put me to bed 15 minutes early!! Not cool Mommy...not cool

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tired Mommy

     Today, much the same as yesterday, has crawled by with the speed and enthusiasm of a melancholy snail contemplating the meditations of Gandhi. My morning started with acute awareness of the compression and congestion resting directly on my chest; my lungs ready to contact their union representatives and strike to protest the unhealthy conditions that they are forced to work in. I cannot shake this chest cold. And there is nothing worse than a summer cold. Nothing. Not cholera, not being shot in the belly, not even 1000 paper cuts. My doctor seems completely unperturbed by it's ongoing residency: "Gargle with some warm water- I'm sure it will be fine eventually." Umm...thanks Dr.Tips? It is sapping all of the energy out of me, like a small, branching crack at the bottom of an old reservoir. It has been torture forcing my head off my pillow every morning, and I crash, willingly and eagerly, every nap time. My trusty multivitamin just doesn't suffice; a good friend of mine suggested (weeks ago- insert guilty face here) that I go see a holistic, naturapath doctor she saw. Actually, she is a mutual friend of ours from high school. I said I'd look into seeing her, but never got around to it. I think I should take her suggestion far more seriously now.

     Our house is officially for sale now. We finally caulked, painted, grouted, and sanded our last unfinished project. My house looks great! I don't want to move now. I will use this knowledge to my advantage in the future though. In our next home, once things start to look dingy, once the baseboards need some touching up, once I find pretty new light fixtures, and once I tire of the backsplash- all I need to do is suggest we buy a new house. My husband loves buying new houses. Nothing brings him greater joy then trolling MLS looking for our next "forever" home. I'll lead him on...let him think that I am actually willing to pack all our shit, yet again. into a never ending sea of brown boxes and organize another move. We'll make a list of all the projects to finish up that will help us sell our house faster and for greater profits. Once this list is complete and my house looks great again...I'll bail. Oh, I'll make it look natural and unplanned, have no fear. I'll cry about sentimental value, and mental hardships associated with moving, and blah blah, blah. Watch me; in a few years I will blog about this masterpiece of manipulation and you can all bask in my glory along with me.

     We still have not heard back from Noelle's neurologist yet. We go back to CHEO tomorrow to meet with her anaesthesiologist. She is going for dental surgery on June 1st to fill two cavities and to clean her teeth properly. Noelle doesn't chew her food. We are just accustomed to cutting her food up into bite sized pieces so she doesn't choke. Because she doesn't chew, she doesn't use her back teeth to grind her food; instead, the food accumulates and rests on top of the molars- hence the cavities. Our dentist told Nick that "she really needs to start chewing her food you know." Thanks Dr. Tips- you must be married to our family doctor. We've only been dealing with this issue in occupational therapy for 20 months now. We'll look into that one though...

     It is almost 10 pm now- I must sign off to take a steam shower to try to dislodge the gunk in my chest in the hopes that it doesn't drown me in my sleep. Sexy, I know...xo

Saturday, May 14, 2011

     I had a Pepsi today with my lunch. It was friggin' delicious! It was like hanging out with an old friend that you haven't spoken to in a long time because you guys had a fight over a sweater you both wanted to buy...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No chef at my house has ever been pampered...

     I often wonder what old friends from high school or university would secretly think of me if they were to casually run into me in the laundry detergent aisle in Walmart or the moulding section at Home Depot. Do they see the superficial veneer that is "Rachel"? Do they notice that I've traded my my collection of high heels for running shoes (Sketchers Shape Ups- I will desperately try anything to diminish the size of my bum) and that my designer duds have slowly been replaced by jeans that look dangerously close to "Mom Jeans"? Do they turn up their noses at my unremarkable styled hair, or do they smile knowingly at the yogurt smudge on the shoulder of my T-shirt that our son used as a napkin as I was lifting him out of his highchair after a hasty breakfast? Are the dark circles evident under my eyes or did I remember to put concealer on? (Who am I kidding- I barley remember what day it is 85% of the time.) I sometimes catch a fleeting glimpse of myself in mirrors as I either chase our daughter, who has taken control of the phone while I'm in the middle of a conversation with my mother, or as I carry Dryden- already heavy eyed, and half asleep - upstairs to bed, and I think, "Good lord, who the hell is that woman!?"

     This week, it has been a challenge to reconcile the tired, over exerted, stretched-too-thin, mom trying her best with the social, polished, fun, care-free adult I'm aiming to be. The first half of this week has been a whirlwind of back-to-back appointments, home renovations, numerous trips to the big box stores (lists, measurements, and calculator in hand), finishing up projects, and late nights cleaning; and the remaining days of this, the second week of May, promise more of the same. More appointments, more therapy exercises, an anxiety filled trip to CHEO, and a wedding. Pair these numerous mini road trips with the added headache of prepping our home to be sold...and it equals a stupidly inconvenient week to cross 'abandoning Pepsi as my vice' off my life's list.

     On that note, my anti-Pepsi campaign has been successful thus far. I've been consuming far more water,V8 juice, and wine left over from our wedding (I recently cleaned the basement and neatly stacked boxes filled with 100 bottles of California white. To say that we ordered too much wine for our favours is a slight understatement even for an utter idiot.) My headaches have reluctantly waved their white flags, and my hands have "manned" up and stopped shaking in protest to the lack of caffeine. I am still slightly grumpy and my patience is nothing to write home about (seriously, I'm not going to write about it.) I'd love to profess that I am tackling everything on my list with a flourish of enthusiasm and determination...but I am not. I will- eventually, but for now I would like to concentrate on a few key points to ensure that I do them to the best of my, at times, flailing abilities so that they will be done properly and wholeheartedly. Of the specific goals that I outlined for myself, giving up Pepsi, being healthier, socializing with my friends and neighbours, and saying "Yes!" to every invitation received will be the immediate changes that I am making and then I plan to build on each individually.

     I attended a Pampered Chef party at a neighbour's home this evening. I felt like bailing at the last minute, favouring changing into jammies and going to bed early, but I am glad that I didn't. I had a great time visiting with some women that, although I live within arm's reach of , I don't see socially very often. The wine was cold and flowed freely, the laughs were loud and numerous, and the food was delicious and made by someone else. The best kind of party, really. And I acquired two cook books and some paring knives in the process...

     As I alluded to earlier, we are also getting our house ready to put up for sale. We are deep within the process of buying Nick's grandparnets' property and need to sell our home to finalize the deal. Ugh. I think I love our house so much because it held the promise of never having to move again. Never having to keep your house unrealistically clean for weeks on end, never having to pack up years worth of life, never having to re-adjust and re-establish routines. I am not looking forward to those aspects of moving. I am enjoying the projects associated with selling our home- I am a true and pure DIYer. So, the next time you happen to bump into me at Canadian Tire and I have not brushed my paint speckled hair, my face is void of all cosmetics, my nails ragged, unpainted, quite possibly caked with grout and both children clinging to my legs are worn out from their travels...reach out and say, "Hey- you look...great" and placate my self-conscious self. Please.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day Two

     Super busy day today- we mulched the flower beds, filled flower pots, cut the grass, trimmed under the cedar fence, filled an enormous hole left by a tree stump, did groceries and errands, and went to supper at my mom's with my sister's family. And I didn't have a Pepsi all day. Even though we had pizza for supper- I have never in my entire life eaten pizza without washing it down with super cold Pepsi. Never. Today was easier than yesterday; no headache but my hands were a bit shaky. I think keeping so busy helped...I'm starting to salivate thinking about Pepsi so I have to stop blogging and go clean something.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fabulous Friday

     All in all, not a bad day today. I refused to get out of bed before the kids got up today. I still felt residue from my negative mood from yesterday and wanted to hide in bed for as long as possible. I emerged from under the covers only after hearing, "Momma? Momma? Momma!" The kids are so friggin' cute first thing in the morning and by the time we maneuvered the staircase I was happy. I set the kiddies up in their highchairs and served breakfast- and went back upstairs to do my weigh in. (I had flashbacks to last night's naniamo bars and was not confident that my good mood would survive the oracle's numbers.) I have no idea how this happened, but I lost 2.5 pounds this week! Good mood saved.

     After breakfast, I got the little ones ready to go shopping. Dressed, diaper bag overflowing, shopping list and keys at the ready- we headed out to the truck. I strapped the kids in, stowed our gear and hopped in myself, turning the key in the ignition to the sound of...nothing? Where is the low rumble and then then ridiculous roar of the Dodge coming to life? No life left in that bad boy- the battery was dead. "Someone" left the truck on overnight. At first I thought, "Meh. No biggie." And then I realized that Pepsi was on my shopping list. Shit. Shit! I will not lie; I was not ready to tackle giving up Pepsi today- or anytime, say, this month. Thankfully the kids were excellent today and I didn't have any moments where I needed a Pepsi so I wouldn't loose my cool. I stayed pretty busy today though; we played outside, while the kids were napping I dug out an old sandbox and mulched our cedar fence, I even finished organizing the basement. I will say that I have a horrible headache right now. My entire head is throbbing and my eyes feel like they're being pressed out of my face. Even my teeth hurt. I think I'm not going to waste today. I already have one day under my belt and I'm going to run with it (not literally, screw jogging- my body is already freaking out, wondering where the heck its caffeine is.) I think tonight is going to be very difficult- its my prime Pepsi time. If I get too antsy or if this headache intensifies I'll crack open some wine maybe (lol- awesome plan Rachel, become a raging alcoholic in order to stop drinking soft drinks. Seriously, who needs a liver...)

     If I don't blog all weekend its because Nick locked me in a closet to prevent me from breaking into the corner store to steal, and chug, all their dark, bubbly, sweet liquid sanity.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A good start...kinda

     I'm happy to say that I took my own advice today. I got up early, did some yoga, and ate breakfast. Truth time: I only got up at 8:00. I only did 20 minutes of yoga. And I only ate a banana...and two coffees. I had an appointment with Noelle's speech therapist this morning so it feels like cheating- I would have gotten up early anyways and had breakfast so my stomach wouldn't make any embarrassing announcements while I was stuck in that tiny, uber quiet room with just the two of us. But I'll celebrate small steps in the right direction.

     Speech therapy is proving to be...ambitious. If I follow everything they suggest, the sum of my entire day will be spent making exaggerated sounds and faces, coupled with signing and repeating the same words until everyone within a 10 mile radius of my house will find me excruciatingly obnoxious. I can no longer simply let Noelle enjoy her "Tubby Time." I was a terrible mother not to have realized that bath time is a perfect teaching opportunity. I now have to say "Bath Time!" {With an expectant look on my face} and wait for Noelle to initiate a reaction. Then I take her clothes and diaper off and wait {with an expectant look on my face.} Once she initiates then I let her climb into the tub and {with an expectant look on my face} wait. Once she initiates, I say "Water!" {making sure surprise and excitement is present in my tone} and turn the tap on to fill the tub. Then I'm supposed to poke my eyes out in sheer frustration {with an expectant look on my face.} She suggests that I do this for everything throughout the day. Problems: (1) Noelle is going to think that I'm an idiot. (2) What the hell am I supposed to do if she doesn't initiate communication? Let her sit naked in the tub all day? (3) I'm terrible at making faces; my "expectant face" is going to look like my "constipated face" I just know it.

     The rest of my day was marbled with stressful emotions that I haven't had to confront in a long time. I'm fairly certain that Noelle is having seizures; Nick is not as convinced- or else he just said that so I'd stop crying. We called her neurologist to see if we could bump up her June appointment and are still waiting for the reply. Before Noelle, I always pictured seizures as dramatic thrashing and twisting in contorted positions on the floor. In truth, they are far more subtle and challenging to identify. I was also shamefully uneducated about what to watch for (I should have Googled it sooner- who knew youtube had so many videos of seizures!) I have a heavy, sick feeling in my stomach; nothing is ever easy for us, for her. I remember dealing with the Infantile Spasms, the extended hospital stays, the tests, numerous medications, invasive needles every second day for three months, her bad reaction to the ACTH. How devastatingly close we came to loosing her. All day I've fought visions of repeating those ordeals and it leaves me feeling sick, my stomach clenching, my heart aching.

     Needless to say, today was not an appropriate day to give up Pepsi. I don't feel like jogging. And if I don't stop crying soon, then I'm going to take Nanimo bars out of the freezer.
Maybe more things will get crossed off of my list tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Stunning "New" Life

     I need a new life. These last three weeks have left me struggling with exhaustion, disorganization, and dissatisfaction. I wish that I could proclaim that the previous 20 days were filled with a myriad of dates, activities, travel, and socializing to merit me feeling so worn, so eroded...but I can't. To try to justify such feelings would, essentially, be a lie. I cannot understand what is still wrong with me: I am young, relatively healthy, I married up, I have a nice home and two unbearably cute kids...why aren't my days more satisfying? I don't need a better life- I need to start taking advantage of the life that I have and make it better (more better? Bettterer?) I've spent the last three nights in solitude, in the bathtub, chin deep in blueberry scented bubbles, the bathroom lit solely by tea light candles, condensation slowly sliding down the curved side of my wine glass...and it dawned on me: an epiphany as clear (clearer?) as a star infested sky. I need to make more specific goals and actions to achieve these milestones. I'd like to share my list that I compiled while steeping in blueberry water, not because I am selfless {that is merely a bi-product of this act :)} but because it will make me accountable for my actions if others are aware of them. I also reserve the right to add to this list as I so wish.

1-Keep a journal (this blog counts as my journal)
2-Get out of bed by 7:30 every morning (I apologize in advance for my bitchiness until this routine is engrained)
3-Yoga or pilates to start my day.
4-Eat breakfast!
5-Plan a schedule for the week...but don't be super anal about it. Learn to be flexible.
6-Stop drinking Pepsi (seriously, please stop laughing. For the last 15 years I have drank nothing but Pepsi and I think my insides are melting. It was easier to stop smoking and drinking alcohol than it was to stop Pepsi-ing. This will be a painfully gradual process.)
7-No snacking after supper.
8-Save more money.
9-Go places I haven't been in years: museums, art galleries, poetry readings, book reading/signing, outdoor plays and concerts.
10-Be more diligent with "Thank You" letters.
11-Write letters to friends. Not emails, not txt msgs, not rambling messages left on lonely answering machines. Actual letters on actual paper with $0.64 stamps.
12-Stop holding onto long-forgotten grudges. They melt your insides much like Pepsi.
13-Apologize when I am wrong. Maybe even when I'm not. And be genuine.
14-Stop watching TV this summer (HBO shows are permitted.) I did this last year and it was amazing how much time I re-discovered in my days.
15-Read more about things I am totally uneducated about (almost anything on the bookshelf really...)
16-Do not participate in gossip. It is horrible. Plain and simple.
17-Get serious about jogging!! Stop making excuses and just get out and move...regardless of how foolish/sad/uncoordinated I fear I may look 
18-"Don't waste good." This applies to friends, food, stories, opportunities, memories etc.
19-Stop being an observer and get on the floor to play.
20-Take the kids outside to play as often as possible.
21-Network and socialize with my neighbours. I like these people- why don't I act like it?
22-Make a greater effort to talk to my siblings and/or their spouses every week. I've unconsciously pushed them out of my support network, thinking that they simply must be too busy with their own families to make a difference in mine. I need to rectify this.
23-Take our kids to visit their great-grandparents every month. They won't be around forever (well actually, my Nana Marleau will be- that woman is indestructible. Its kinda creepy)
24-Be more active in my community- surely someone would like my help doing something.
25-Go back to Church. I talk to God all the time; I beg for his help on a daily basis. He needs to see me in his house every now and then to remember who I am.
26-Stop knowingly putting junk into my body. Be honest about eating healthier and take some vitamins- I'm obviously lacking something vital to be feeling so tired all the time.
27-Visit friends and family more often.
28-Crash more parties and events. Not invited? I don't give a shit anymore. I want to see you and/or have fun with the people at your get-together. I'll bring wine?
29-Enjoy the free things close to home (or the cottage) Craft and Artisan shows, events at the Rec Centre, sugar camps, splash parks, shows at the library, the Early Years Centre, the Aquatic Centre, parades, winter carnivals, bike paths, bird sanctuary, hobby farms. Entertaining my kids with mind opening experiences does not have to cost a fortune- just some brain cells.
30-Stop creeping on people's FB. If I care about you enough to look at your pictures and snoop in your life, then I should like you enough to leave a simple "Hey!" on your bloody wall.
31-Open my home to the people I love. Host a dinner party, or a wine tasting night, a monthly book club, a campfire complete with S'mores, or a weekly scrapbooking evening, an Ugly Sweater party, champagne brunches, or a Wii party. Why am I always waiting for someone else to make my fun?
32-Say "Yes" to anything I'm invited to for the next 6 months (provided I can find a babysitter or that I won't go stark raving mad if I have bring the kids with me. My digression)
33-Do not pacify Noelle's therapists- do the exercises and activities with gusto and give Noelley my wholehearted effort and the best chance in life. I can do better. I will do better.