Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It looks like pickles

I am not awake today. The combination of my job, a sick, nursing infant, and a preschooler who is potty training has completely drained me. Fatigue started when the post doc nearly killed his computer by forcing it to function with all 30 gigabytes of memory full to the tippy tippy top (he has only been here 6 months, I have been here 4 years and have used 800 MB). I spent all of Mon am explaining to him that the 250 papers he was saving to his hard drive in super-rich-text complete-color-illustration format would definitely still exist in the medical database a month from now and he could trust the database to save them for him. This was followed by 3 hours of continuous nursing with Scoots as soon as I arrived home and that certainly contributed to my fatigue.
But, potty training really was the final blow. Manther absolutely must operate in extremes at all times. I found out last week that it took until the age of 3 years and 11 months to potty train her because she holds her pee for all 8 hours at daycare rather than use a potty that is not tucked away in a private room. I was more than a little shocked to find that she is (or is capable of) doing this and explained the importance finding and using a potty when the urge occurs rather than get sick with a UTI. So, I was woken up at 2:30 am, after two full hours of sleep, by a little voice telling me she had to go potty. More precisely, poo poo. I perched on the edge of the bathtub and fought to stay awake and keep my balance as we poo pooed and discussed Spiderman. Apparently, he was on TV last night and Manther really likes him and wanted to know the details of his existance: does he live in a house, does he have parents, does he come in the front door or down the chimney, will he come to my birthday party, if we were in trouble would he rush in to rescue us, and on and on and on. Finally, there was silence. I looked up from the doze I had fallen into to see Manther standing next to and staring into the potty. I asked if she was okay and she said, "I went poo poo." I congratulated her and asked why she looked concerned. "My poo poo looks like pickles." Funny? Yes, but not at 2:45am. After many assurances that everyone's poop looks something like what she saw in the potty, we returned to bed (praise God). From this point on, all fruits and fiber that are served in my household will be served at morning meals only.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is Jello really a food?

I am posting again. Things are a bit scary at work and I need an outlet. I mean scary like 'the economy is scary', not like 'the people are scary'. The people at work can be scary, but I adjusted to that long ago. I can adjust to almost anything as long as the paycheck still comes. Once that paycheck thing stops happening, everything feels scary.
Mom (or grandma if you're my kid) has been babysitting for the past two weeks and I love it. She really is far more talented in the domestic department than I am. She cares about her meals and cooks like she means it. I cook to avoid the loud complaining from Hubby and the kids after several days of no meals. I am of German Lutheran heritage and it is reflected in my mother's cooking (not mine). Meals have a meat and a potato and a vegetable and, if you're feeling fancy, a jello mold. I don't know why German Lutherans emphasize potatoes and jello in their cooking because I don't think either is a health food, yet the jello molds and potato salads are a presence at every potluck. Manther (she's almost 4 now) hasn't seen a lot of jello molds and seemed very enthusiastic when Grandma made one. It was a very pretty orange in a white bowl and had carefully suspended mandarin oranges. Grandma put is outside to finish 'setting' and Manther added a little snow for garnish. Grandma carefully removed the snow and issued a gentle reprimand. I came home from work about this time and thanked mom and sent her on her way home. I was nursing Scoots (my 3 month old) and relaxing and I felt an unnatural quiet in the house. I walked into the kitchen and found the jello mold dismantled and assembled into a sort of orange stonehenge on the kitchen table. Mandarin orange slices were scattered in front of the orange monuments and I began to piece together that they were the 'people' and the monuments their 'houses'. I launched into the 'food is not a toy' lecture and noticed confusion on Manther's face. "But, this is Jello," she replied. I started to explain that Jello is food, but I realized I'm not convinced of that truth. So, I switched gears to 'let's not hurt Grandma's feelings by breaking her pretty things' and scooped the jello back into the bowl.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I had a baby

I guess this isn't a shock based on my previous post. On 12/4 beautiful my second beautiful baby girl came into the world and it was a pleasantly uneventful planned C section. She is fantastic and calm and easy and likes to sleep and she's a perfect fit for our family. To my great surprise, my extremely sensitive, high strung, high maintenance 3 year old loves her sister and hasn't tried to kill her....yet.
I am back at work and even that is okay. I only feel overwhelmed sometimes and I can usually breathe my way through it. I am meeting and trying to connect with moms in recovery and, although I can't say I have met anyone who can replace my 'we got sober together' sisters, I have started building some new relationships. I attended a birthday party for a friend I have in the program and saw many folks I haven't seen in years and I loved showing off my girls!!
Life is still a wonderful gift and I am happy and grateful to be here. I want to post more and maybe that will happen, but if it doesn't that is okay too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I got pregnant

It is so sad that I haven't posted, blogged, or read blogs in eight months. I miss this part of my day. I got swept away with so many distractions, good distractions, that I couldn't keep up. Even though I am posting now and thinking I will start posting regularly again, there is a voice in my head telling me that I am not being honest with myself about the number of hours in the day and the number of directions I have split myself.
The list of good distractions includes a few good experiments and the race for manuscript preparation so we can stay funded, pregnancy in the middle of March, and somewhere between 2-3 students in the laboratory all summer with lots of needs and questions. I raced through every day and to meet the immediate needs at work and home and I don't remember looking at anything on the internet unless I absolutely needed to. Half the manuscripts are published now, although we still have two more to do in the immediate future. I am due in 6 weeks and, aside from a little diabetes, this has been a pretty easy pregnancy. The students went back to school and are here far less often. This little extra time may give me the opportunity to blog, or this may be the lull before the next storm.
If it matters to anyone reading (and it might have mattered to me if I were reading this), I was struggling with infertility and it was very frustrating. My husband and I tried more than 20 times (like two years) and the disappointments were overwhelming. We made a decision to not pursue invasive, expensive fertility options even though the fertility doc who checked us out recommended some. It happened for us and I am very glad that we did things the way we did. I am not saying we were right and everyone else who handles infertility differently was wrong, but I am comfortable with the path with took even though it was painful at times.
Hubby and Manther (the 3 1/2 year old) are doing well. Hubby is extremely active in AA and runs two meetings and is going to a men's retreat this weekend. His performance at work has apparently been great (at least in my mind) and he is now top salesman and store manager. He has a lot of pressure, but handles it well most of the time. Manther is quite a big girl now, even though she refuses to cooperate and use the potty, and seems very happy in her older preschool room at daycare. She is not happy about having a little sister, but she is a diva/princess and I did not expect gracious acceptance of a new sibling to share stuff with. She will adjust and in 20 years she will probably love her new sister.
I go to my one AA meeting and week and church on Sunday. I am not as active in AA as hubby is, but that is where I am right now and life will change when the kids get older and I will have more free time for meeting and fellowship. I get lots of phone calls in to friends and family members and I feel happy and not isolated.
That's it for now. Today I look forward to finishing my day at work and going home to delouse my child and my house after a note a received regarding an outbreak at daycare. Always something to look forward to...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I am angry today and, here's a bit of information about me that I don't share openly, I am angry most of the time. This was pointed out to me when I was in treatment and I put great effort into accepting life on life's terms and not being angry. Although this process allows me quality moments when I am not stuck in the middle of rage, I eventually come back to rage.
I really feel that my higher power did some cruel things to me and I can't shake that feeling. I was born with (and I guess I still have) a very humiliating disease. This disease doesn't cause any serious health problems and I guess that should make me grateful. I do have very pronounced male characteristics and it frequently makes for awkward and embarassing life moments. I am bearded and flat chested and quite hairy and, on more than one occasion, I have been mistaken for a man. If I had lots of free time and disposable income, I could alleviate some of the problem. HP has also decided not to give me either of these things.
I also have crappy self esteem (surprise) that my husband exploits by letting me believe that every household duty is mine. And, I mean EVERY duty, laundry, cleaning, decorating, repairs, garbage, lawn mowing, snowshoveling, paying the bills. His lazy relatives do the same thing. Is it my fault for taking on more responsibility than I should? Partly. However, I certainly would have been able to negotiate for a more helpful and considerate husband if I didn't look like a circus side show freak. I'm lucky anyone was willing to overlook the hideousness and, that's not low self esteem, that's the truth.
When I was young, I was raised in a Christian home and I believed if I prayed with a strong enough faith I would be relieved of my burdens. My prayers fell on my higher power's deaf ears and, as puberty approached, the hair growth and freakishness got worse. I am experiencing this all over again as I pray for a second child. He did decide to give me a glimmer of happiness late in life with my husband and daughter, yet he absolutely refuses to give me second child. I am a cruel experiment where he dangles the hope of happiness and normalcy in front of me like a carrot just to see how high he can make me climb before I come crashing down.
The one really useful thing I learned in treatment is that I can tell HP how angry I am in loud, colorful terms. This is the only thing that gives me relief. So, today I'm here to say, "YOU'VE BEEN SCREWING ME OVER MY WHOLE LIFE. IF YOU CLAIM TO CARE ABOUT ME, LISTEN TO ME AND HELP ME! DURING THIS LIFETIME PLEASE!!!!"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Manther grows up

It's Monday am and I really should be doing work, but I am having a little trouble getting motivated. Thank you all for your support on my last post. Things haven't improved, but I have just a little bit more acceptance this week than I did last week. We'll see what next week brings
Today I am posting about Manther because I miss her on Monday mornings. I enjoy my time with her over the weekend and she's on my mind when I go back to work. She was more challenging than the average toddler from the age of 18 months until about 2 1/2. At first I thought I had a skewed perspective on the situation because I was her mother. I knew all toddlers were defiant and she just 'felt' more defiant than average because I was so close to the situation. But, I started getting notes from daycare and they confirmed that what I was experiencing was outside of the norm. Well, we heightened discipline and that seemed to improve the situation. Now that some life rules have been established (you may not answer 'no' to everything, you do have to follow instructions, you may not climb or leap from or onto furniture, humans, or animals, AND you do have to wear clothes or at least a diaper and appropriate winter clothing outside because we live in Michigan), we can actually do stuff together rather than engage in a series of behaviors and reprimands. The bonus of having a 'challenging' kid is they seem to have an extra dose of personality and that makes for a lot of fun when they get older. Of course, it can also lead to attention-seeking criminal behavior when they get even older, but we have a few years.
Manther has still loves Elmo and her Sesame Street friends ('all the boys' as Daddy calls thems), but she has developed a second love that was unexpected given her tomboy personality. She loves ballerinas and ballet. I know this is common for a lot of little girls, but she refused to wear a dress for 12 months and I never anticipated an obsession with the pink tutu and tights. She has a couple of ballet cartoons that she adores and she desperately tries to imitate them with clumsy awkward toddler movements. I watch with mommy pride and congratulate and tell her how she looks just like a ballerina.
Last week was a rough one for her and I'm not sure she's recovered. She caught Mom and Dad in a compromising position. We didn't even know we were caught until we finished and walked into the hallway. She was sitting silently in the middle of the hallway, staring at the wall and anxiously sucking on her pacifier. My husband and I gasped and went back into the bedroom and wondered what to do. What did we do? Nothing. How do you explain that to a 2 yr 8 month old? Mommy and Daddy are playing. No you can't play, too. Because it's a game for adults. I don't know why. Do you want candy and an Elmo video? So, rather than have this stupid discussion I totally ignored the situation. She was really mad at Daddy that morning and wouldn't let him touch her, but she seems to have recovered. I wonder what version of the story they heard at daycare.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Prayers for Hubby

The title of this post sounds terrible and, no, my husband does not have a deadly disease. I am feeling so sad because he has the worst boss I have ever seen and I am watching it change him. He is becoming agitated and insomnia is creeping in. His self-esteem is being chipped away despite the fact that I am desperately trying to hug, kiss, and complement at every turn.
My husband works in flooring sales is employed at a small, family-owned company. The owner is an alcoholic ( I don't care if it's inappropriate for me to make this statement, I'm calling a spade a spade today) and has two adult sons who also have chemical dependency issues that have landed them in jail several times. Of course, their lifestyle is costly with the car accidents, lawyer fees, and the price of liquor/drugs and, it seems to be my husband's responsibility to support their habits. Every employee except for my husband and the warehouse manager have quit. I wish Hubby could quit, too, but I am not sure what is worse for your self esteem, permanent unemployment and bankruptcy or lunatic bosses? We look EVERY day for a new job. Occasionally, an opening appears and we jump on it. No calls yet.
Hubby has not missed a day of work in two years. He is scheduled for a 45 hr week with no sick time, paid time off, benefits or commission. His hourly pay is ~ $14 and hour. He does not get reimbursed for the gas or the cell phone that is used constantly in his sales position. He typically works 10 hours more a week than he is scheduled. He got no Christmas bonus this year despite the fact that he was promised one (he is a salesman who laid a floor for free in the new expanded showroom and was told "Thanks buddy, I'll get ya at Christmas). He was informed of an unpaid lay-off over Christmas and then was called back for 4 days during the middle of the lay-off. He was only compensated for 3 of the 4 days. His paycheck for the first full week of work after Christmas was $150 short. There is no real reason given for the cuts in pay. Sometimes the owner indicates sales are down, but my husband and the warehouse manager both see the books and are quite aware that this is a lie. Sometimes the owner just promises to make up the difference later. This never happens.
The one thing the owner does do is make sure you feel like you aren't worthy of the check you are getting and, despite the craziness of it all, I think Hubby is starting to believe it. I know it's a lie. On top of the professionalism and responsibility Hubby has displayed during his employment, he is averaging $30,000 a month in sales. This is the equivalent of the owner's sales and the owner makes sure to take the best sales leads and cuts prices beyond the stated parameters to make his quota. I keep assuring my husband that he is a wonderful husband, father, and employee with a terrible job. My words cannot reverse the effect of the abusive relationship and Hubby's behaviors are starting to scare me.
About two weeks ago, he told me he was wearing sweats to work one Sunday. I tried to insist this was a bad idea and I can't remember if he went through with it or not. On Saturday, he decided to shut and lock the door of the store 15 minutes early. The boss stopped by and confronted him. Hubby didn't really defend himself, but just mentioned he had another job scheduled and was in a hurry (this is the truth, he works on the side installing because his pay is crap). The owner said they would discuss it later. If this discussion would occur in a professional format, Hubby would invite it as an opportunity to vent some frustration. However, the owner likes to humiliate his employees and will wait until several family members and the warehouse manager are present and loudly point out that Hubby was trying to steal hours from him.
I love Hubby and he has grown so much in the past two and half years. I am terrified that this job will eventually enrage him to the point that he beats the hell out of his boss or relapses or both. I am praying, praying, praying every morning. Usually, I am praying out loud in the car. I am asking for your prayers,also. Apparently, God has a little trouble HEARING when I am praying alone (yes, that is my frustration speaking). Please give Hubby a better job option before the abusive relationship destroys him.