Thursday, May 31, 2007

Desperate Days

I remember not feeling this way. I remember looking forward to my days. The days when I showered regularly, when I cared enough to shave my legs before going out in public. The days when I went out in public for more than groceries. I remember wanting to spend time with my son instead of sitting him in front of the TV and hoping he doesn't get bored too quickly. I remember those days, but I can't remember how long ago it was, how many of these desperate days have piled up with me barely noticing.

Is it just the fatigue of pregnancy or an amplified effect of hormonal imbalance? Will I shake this off or will it just get worse unless I expose my baby to even higher levels of chemical antidepressants? How will I be able to decide when I'm paralyzed standing in front of the pantry, unable to work out what I want to eat?

I have discovered the secret to motivating myself to clean - sit down to write. A sentence starts to bubble up in my mind, and suddenly the toilets, overdue by weeks for cleaning, must be scrubbed. Now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Baby Hates Me

Either that or my body hates me for being pregnant. Neither scenario is encouraging.

Fifteen weeks into it and I'm still vomiting regularly. The other night I was awakened at 3:30am by quite possibly the worst headache I've ever had. Last night my sciatica started again. And now, the girl who could once sleep 12 hours at a stretch and then be ready for a nap, has suddenly developed insomnia.

I'm tired.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Time for a Diet...

...a media diet, that is. It dawned on me while I was browsing through some of my favorite blogs this weekend that I'm spending precious time reading things that make me feel worse about myself. I originally considered the blogs I added to my favorites folder to be inspiration, but these days they just inspire me to feel lousy about all the things I'm not doing. And maybe I'm not doing those things because I'm wasting so much time reading blogs?

I'm also going to take a serious look at my TV viewing. For years I was never much of a TV watcher. I lived without TV for two years and without cable for another year (big thank you to P and V for letting me watch X-Files at their houses for those two years!). And amazingly enough in those 3 years I had plenty of time to do theater and take dance classes and do tons of crafts. OK, to be fair, I also wasn't a mother back then, but I'm willing to bet I would still have more time to do the things I miss if I wasn't glued to the boob tube all the time.

I love our DVR- how else would I have ever been able to see and fall madly in love with The Daily Show (because I'm lucky if I make it past 8:30 most nights)? But it's far too easy to record all sorts of things that suck your brain out. And it's not wasting a whole hour because I can fast forward through the commercials! Ah, justification...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I Lurv Ikea

I don't think I've yet mentioned just how much I love Ikea. The place makes my head spin and my heart go pitter-patter. As much as I love Target, it's sort of become my Ikea-lite. Couches, rugs, cookware, and art all under the same roof plus you can get lunch for the change in your pocket! And I can drop off the kid at the playroom to swim around in the ball pit while I get my 90 minutes of retail therapy.

Here are a few of the items I picked up this week while I was in Phoenix. My old flour canister (also from Ikea) is too small and the lid annoys the crap out of me. Next trip I'll add sugar and salt canisters that match. The plates and bowls bring our count to 12 place settings; now I can finally get rid of the rest of my dishes I've kept just to cover us when we have people over. I got the plastic canisters in an attempt to begin organizing the chaos of my pantry. I only bought 6 to see if I liked them and if the sizes would work. Now I only need a dozen or so more. Do you like this pillow? I'm not sure yet. And the DVD boxes were supposed to be clothes storage for the top of my closet, but I managed to pick up the wrong size (an admittedly easy thing to do at Ikea). They turned out perfect for the DVDs though so it wasn't a total lost.
I also picked up a few other odds and ends - magazine holders, a cheese grater for my mom, paint brushes for Q. Now I can start plotting my next visit...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

But I Don't Wanna!

Have you heard the advice, "Do one thing every day that scares you"? If you haven't, congratulations, you have avoided the sinkhole of self-help. I think it might be more helpful if I did one thing every day that I didn't want to do.

This could be helpful in getting all kinds of housework done. Not to mention exercise. Mostly I want to get in the habit (again) of doing momentarily distasteful tasks so I can enjoy the long term payoffs. Like a bathroom that doesn't gross me out and a smaller dress size. And eventually, hopefully, a more satisfying life.

Actually I already started this yesterday. I did all the laundry in the house, at least 3 more loads than I had to do to have clean clothes. And instead of just piling all the clean stuff in the basket to be picked through during the week, I folded it all as soon as it came out of the dryer and put it all away. Probably something that most of you manage to get done without some fancy mental footwork, but that just proves how far down the path of lazy and pathetic that I've gone.

Since M is on his way to London for the week, the boy and I are headed to Phoenix later. As a dear friend of mine once said of going from Tucson to Phoenix, "...from Hell's doorstep to Hell proper." But at least I'll get my Ikea fix!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Thinks It's Me

I've been thinking a lot about that passion I yearn for. I'm starting to wonder if I need to find a certain level of passion for life before I can find that passion for anything else. I keep waiting for inspiration to strike, but, as I've read in far too many self-help books, being successful is often about working when there is no inspiration.

Let's face it, I want this to be easy. I want a lightening bolt from heaven or the collective unconscious or wherever to strike me with the unshakable knowledge of what I should be doing. And then, as I do that thing, I want always to be excited about it and never bored and never frustrated. Because that's realistic, right?

I've had passions before (and no, not just for all those boys!). I've had a passion for acting and scrapbooks and ballet and ballroom and writing and literature and...well let's just say the list is long. But as soon as the inspiration is gone, as soon as something starts to feel just a little bit like work, I decide I've made a mistake and go looking for something else.

Damn, I'm lazy. Now I've gotten to the point that in just thinking about doing something I can anticipate that moment it feels like work, and I don't even start. So now what?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yearning for a Do-Over

I'm having one of those moments. I'm suddenly slammed by feeling that I could really do things better if I could just do it all again. Of course the older I get the less I'd be willing to change everything in my life - I could not give up my friends or my husband or my child. But what about some of those other things that just have not turned out as well as they could have?

It would have been nice if I'd managed to get a better education. You know, not skipping the majority of my classes, pushing myself to take classes that scared the crap out of me, getting help when I needed it. And then maybe I could have parlayed that into an actual career!

Staying home has been great, but I think that's mostly because I have no idea what I'd be doing otherwise. Most of the jobs I think would be wonderful require not only training that I don't have but also a certain level of talent that I don't have. And even if I did manage to get the training and miraculously discover the talent, we all know I'd find myself bored and looking for the next big thing within a year.

I'm so jealous of people who have a passion, whether in vocation or avocation. My ultimate life dream is to find that passion for myself, but I'm starting to think, after all these years, that it's never going to happen. Have you found your passion? Are you living it? Or are you feeling a bit lost like me?

Friday, May 11, 2007

First Ultrasound

I had the first ultrasound for this pregnancy yesterday. We had our first ultrasound for Q much earlier in that pregnancy, and he was little more than a bean shape with a fluttering of a heartbeat. I wasn't quite prepared to see an actual baby moving about in there!

It's strange to see the baby moving all around and not be able to feel any of it. At one point it even stretched its little legs all the way straight from fetal position. How can I not feel that?! Of course I know it's because the bugger is so small, but it's still weird.

As I sort of expected, this baby measured a bit bigger than my first day of last period would indicate. Q measured 2 weeks bigger from the first ultrasound forward, but because of the shuffling of obs due to moving I never got my due date changed. This baby only measured 8 days bigger, and the ultrasound people are going to recommend that my due date be changed. It's pretty exciting to be more than a week further along than you originally thought!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I Hate Doctors

So my Zoloft prescription ran out. That's not a pretty day in our house. Except when I've meant to run out because my addled brain has decided that it doesn't need those damned drugs anymore, and then it's not a pretty day in our house a few weeks later when I've stopped brushing my teeth or bathing and I have to call the doctor sobbing, begging for more pills. But parenthood has made me responsible (well at least more) so that's not what happened. This time.

I'd been using my ob as my supplier, but she recently left her practice and the city. So I called my general practitioner; it turns out he's moved offices. Well I don't want to drive to his new office because the old one is really close and I already drive way too far for our pediatrician and the midwives. I asked to switch to another doctor in the same practice. Of course he won't just call in the damned prescription, what with Zoloft abuse ruining our youth and all. Anyway, I had to go to the office and tell him all about myself. Yada yada yada.

First, when I tell him I'm 12 weeks pregnant, he wants to know who my doctor is. I tell him I don't have a doctor that I'm using the Birth and Women's Health Center in town and it's all midwives. This is the only midwife shop in town, and the only "alternative" to obs outside of a home birth. And he's never. heard. of. it.

OK, OK, so he's an internist. Obstetrics and gynecology aren't his specialty so it's not fair to expect him to be well versed in the local providers. But then he proceeds to tell me that if I were his wife or daughter he wouldn't recommend using only midwives. "Better to be prepared!" he says. And, remembering once again that ob/gyn is not his specialty, I should trust that he knows the latest statistics and safety concerns...why?

But there's more! When I finally get him to talk about my Zoloft prescription he pauses to look it up on his fancy little PDA because....he's not sure it's safe to take in pregnancy. He informs me it's a class C drug. I know. He tells me it's only "safe" to take until 20 weeks (according to his fancy little computer). I try to explain that the only side effect of taking it past then is possible withdrawal symptoms in the baby (and often only at much higher doses than what I'm taking). But he doesn't want to hear that because he. is. a. doctor. And doctors always know more than we little plebeians. So he only gave me 4 months of refills and talked me through how to wean myself off like I haven't managed that trick on my own 6 or 7 times.

Once again my courage failed me. I should have asked him how he would weigh the pros and cons of Zoloft versus suicidal tendencies in a pregnant woman. Because the truth is, it scares the hell out of me that I'm exposing my child to this chemical. I've read the research. I've done my homework. And even though I've decided that I'm making the best choice for everyone involved, it's impossible to know if it's the right choice. I don't need a doctor who has spoken to me for 7 minutes, none of which were about the duration or severity of my depression, to be telling me what I should and shouldn't do.

I'm really being a wuss this week.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Strange Encounters

I had a bizarre encounter today at a local Starbucks. Q and I had gone to Lowe's to pick up a few pots and potting soil (just wait, I plan on recording my trials and tribulations as a new gardener here) and then walked across the parking lot to the "chocolate milk store".

We ended up waiting for a really long time because our drinks got forgotten (but they gave me 2 free drink coupons and Q had fun flirting with a little girl so it's not like we really minded). We'd been sitting in 2 arm chairs, but when Q got up to look at a collection of travel mugs, a middle aged fellow stole Q's chair. There were plenty of other places to sit, but I decided it would be silly to make a scene just to keep a chair for a 3 year old. I figured the guy probably just liked children if he chose to sit there.

Ummmmmm, no, not really. Apparently he sat there so he could start a conversation with me about the evil sacrifices of parenthood and impress on me how much more evolved he was since he hadn't succumbed to the crushing, biological imperative to procreate. Perhaps he never had children because no woman is crazy enough to spend that kind of quality time with him. And let's be clear, I've known some pretty crazy women over the years.

Tell me, what is the proper response to the seemingly fully functional adult (i.e. he didn't appear to be a mentally unstable or cracked out homeless person) who chooses to tell your 3 year old, "You know, the world doesn't revolve around you, buddy!"?

Maybe it wouldn't have annoyed me so much if Q had been running wild or just generally being a pain. But he was being his usual, adorable, and fairly well mannered self. Maybe Mr. Middle Aged Rude Guy needs to be reminded that the world doesn't revolve around him either.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Meeting the Neighbors

It's been over a month since I went on a walk, what with all the vomiting and then the head cold from hell. But today I decided I just had to get back into the groove. And I was richly rewarded by having my first personal encounter with some of our local wildlife.

I've heard from a number of people that there are javelina in our neighborhood, and even though I often walk at dusk or dawn, prime wildlife times, I had never seen any of the stinky fellows. Just shy of 9am this morning I got to see 4 javelina maybe 50 feet from me as they left the shelter of the mesquite, picked their way across a rocky wash area, and then disappeared into a run-off tunnel that goes under some of the roads in our neighborhood. It was so cool!

Don't panic - I didn't put myself (or my dog) into any danger. We were standing on top of the rise built over the run-off tunnels so while we were close to the animals, they couldn't get to us. Javelina aren't known to be terribly aggressive, but they will charge if they feel threatened, especially if there are babies in the group.

My biggest concern was for my dog trying to get to them, but she sniffed the air, gave them a good look, and then lost interest. She was much more interesting in the lizards. There weren't any of those around the last time we went on a walk, and she almost lost her mind chasing them. I almost lost my arm as she jerked me around.

We're in the lovely space between spring and summer here. Some of the saguaros and prickly pears have started to bloom. It's still bone dry and downright cold at night. And apparently the wildlife is enjoying it as much as I am.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Never Let Them See You Sweat

If you can’t say anything nice...don’t say anything at all. When I was growing up it seemed like disagreements would never be tolerated, conflict would be ignored, and all the unpleasant things of life would be carefully swept under the rug.

When I was in junior and senior high school, my friends called my parents June and Ward Cleaver. They were one of the few happily married parents in my circle of friends, but our resemblance to the Cleaver’s went deeper than that. Everything was always about appearances. I realize I was lucky in many respects – it’s not like we were hiding incest or abuse behind our pretty veneer.

The thing is, I’m not sure who we were keeping up appearances for. It’s not like we were part of a “certain social class” that demanded that kind of behavior. Most of my parents’ friends had plenty of dirty laundry flapping in the breeze. But not us. Never us.

And when cracks did appear, my parents were frighteningly adept at cleaning up the mess and then completely forgetting it ever happened. This can be really useful when dealing with a stupid mistake. But it also makes it difficult to learn from those mistakes or to feel any sort of continuity in your life.

I took this lesson so seriously that even in my journals, that most private of spaces, I rarely wrote about any ugliness. A good friend, K, died two days before my 15th birthday. In the year following there are exactly two entries in my journal that mention her. One, written a few days after her death, is a terse, factual account of how she died. The next, over a year later, mentions that I stopped by the cemetery to put flowers on her grave and that I could not cry.

I did not record how beautiful the weather was that Monday morning when a teacher told us that K was dying. I did not record my denial or how I felt when I heard another friend screaming my name in a room down the hall when she heard the news. There is no record of her funeral at an evangelical church and how I glared at the preacher from my front row seat during the prayers. I noted that I couldn't cry when I visited her grave, but I did not record how I decided to not cry as some sort of misguided attempt to be everyone else’s pillar of strength.

Despite all those journal entries about feeling alienated in my own family, I was already very much a part of it.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Old Journal Entries

I scrounged up my journals from 1985 - spring 1988. This is not an exercise for the faint of heart. Seriously, my use of unicorns as a metaphor for innocence and joy is enough to make me want to vomit (and you may remember just how much I hate to vomit). I think it's safe to say I never would have been one of those high school savants getting published at 16.

But I did learn a few things -
  1. I was not boy crazy; I was boy insane! Seriously, every week or two I note that I’d forgotten the previously written about boy and had moved on to crushing on a new one. Most of the names I no longer recognize.
  2. I felt deeply unloved and unaccepted.
  3. My habit of letting things go to shit and then having a revelation moment where I swear that things will be different from now on, has a much longer history than I’d realized.
  4. I put on a happy face even for my private journals. I refer to certain events without ever actually writing, “suicide attempt” or “cutting”.
  5. If I were a historian, I would hypothesize that the person who wrote these journals suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. While a scary thought, that just might explain some things...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bad Blogger, Bad!

Is it possible that I'm the worst blogger ever? I had very high hopes that blogging would provide me with an incentive for writing more often. But as with all my writing endeavors, I find myself paralyzed. With fear? With perfectionism? Years of therapy have left me sick to death of analyzing all my motivations. Who cares? I just want to shout at myself, "Get over it and just do it!"

The irony of course is that I drive myself to distraction composing blog entries in my head all day (and sometimes well into the night). Convinced that this one is so good I'll remember it, I don't bother to even write notes, and by the time I have a few moments to sit at the computer I can't even remember the topic I was thinking of. You'd think I'd learn. I must truly be insane - I keep repeating the same behaviors in the hopes that this time things will turn out differently.