Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Motherhood. And poop.

Oh, motherhood.  I debated writing this post in the event that I would be turned over to child protective services (just kidding, of course), but a few weeks ago I got a real taste of toddlerhood.  And it….well…it sucked.  But I survived, and now I have a story to tell all of Aubrey’s friends when she’s in high school.  And then she can share it with her therapist.  The circle of life, you see. 

Let’s start off with this – Aubrey has started wearing pull-ups as of a few weeks ago.  She saw all of her friends wearing them, and we are potty training and all so it’s time.  The only problem with these is it’s so easy for her to take them off.  She’s the big girl now, wearing what she calls her “panties,” and she can take them off herself, thank you very much, Mommy.  I don’t mind it so much when it’s just a wet diaper.  The other type….

Anyway, so it was a nice Saturday afternoon, and I put Aubrey down for a nap.  On the weekends, she actually has started sleeping every now and then but during naptime it’s always on the floor.  I normally don’t care so long as she is getting some kind of rest.   She was actually quiet so I didn’t think anything was up.  

Two hours pass or so, and I go in there to check on her.  As I get closer to the door I smell the distinct scent of Desitin.  Funny, I don’t remember putting Desitin on Aubrey before nap.

I open the door and see her lying on the floor, hugging her butterfly.  I tiptoe over there and am greeted with the sight of my daughter’s bare butt, covered in poop, her pull-up half off.  Poop everywhere.  On the carpet, all over her diaper changing box we use, her hairbrush, the carpet, coated all over her hands.  “Aubrey!” was my immediate reaction.  She startled awake and started crying.  And then I noticed the Desitin tube, open and covered with poop.  And white Desitin smeared by her mouth. 

I kicked into high gear, immediately taking her to the bath tub, stripping her down and cleaning every inch of poop off of my kid as she sat there pitifully crying.  I tried my best to calm her down and tell her it’s okay, it’s okay, Mommy’s here, trying to not freak out about her ingesting Desitin.  T was outside mowing so I’m shouting out the window for him to get up there, which he does, and the only thing I can get out is “shit, everywhere!” to him. 

We clean her off, call poison control who told us that this is actually quite common and totally not harmful to her.  Sigh of relief breathed there.  Then we had to tackle the task of cleaning the shit from all over her room.  Oh what’s that?  Her precious butterfly?  Poop and Desitin was on her too, so I had to take her and clean her off and throw her in the dryer.  You would have thought I just shot a puppy right in front of Aubrey.  I have never seen her so traumatized in my life.  Seriously.  It was funny but at the same time I really felt for her.  I didn’t make the thing stay in the dryer the whole time, so I took it out damp and gave it to Aubrey wrapped in a towel who grabbed from me, giving me one of those “bitch, step off” looks.   I didn’t get to touch the thing for the rest of the day. 

We had to shampoo the carpets, wash everything and then throw away the things that were not salvageable.   Poop.  On my carpet.  Ugh. 

So here’s what we think happened.  Aubrey’s an independent kiddo.  She always seems to poop once we put her down for a nap, and we have to go in there and change her before she finally falls asleep.  My guess is that happened.  Little Miss “I have panties and am a big girl,” God love her, decided to change it herself. 

Someone said, “Well, put that diaper box high so she can’t reach it.”  Yeah, we did that.  I have no freaking clue how she managed to get that down.  It now sits in the closet when we put her to bed.  With a child proof door handle.  But she managed to get it down, and I’m guessing she thought “Mommy puts this cream on me, so I’ll do it myself.”  And then was tempted to try said Desitin.  She tried wiping her hands off (carpet, window, etc.)  But here’s the thing – she never cried.  You would think she would have cried for us and not fall asleep surrounded and covered in poop.  I don’t get it.


We survived and now have a story we will laugh about someday.  Not yet because I’m still traumatized but someday…and she now has something to share with her therapist as she gets older.  Because you bet your ass Mommy is using this little story as needed.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Like Mommy

I knew becoming a mother to a little girl that I would be her first female role model.  The thought scared and intimidated me because who am I to mold a human being into becoming an upstanding citizen?  How do I even know to do that?  I don't.

But it's happening, slowly but surely.  It's not that I'm all "Aubrey, do this because Mommy does."  No, it is just the little things.  Aubrey's shoes are colorful and striped like Mommy's.  Mommy doesn't wear socks with hers so Aubrey tells her teachers to take hers off because Mommy doesn't wear socks.  Mommy and Aubrey wear pink.  I pick shorts out for her but she wants jeans pants like Mommy.  Mommy has a pony tail so she does too.  

She mimics the things I do even if it is not something I want her to mimic.  Case in point - I now have a backseat driver in Aubrey.  "GO, lady, go!" yelling at the car in front of us after I do.  (oops)

I have this habit that I have no idea where I started or when but I always sit on the couch with a pillow on my lap.  I just do it.  So now she'll sit right next to me with a pillow on her lap.  It's hilarious.

I sat on one of those tiny chairs they have for toddler tables, coloring with her the other day, and I got up after like 20 minutes, my butt killing me.  "My butt hurts from sitting in that chair, Aubrey."  "My butt hurts, too.  Like Mommy."

Yesterday twice she pulled her stool up to me while I was prepping and cooking dinner.  I explained to her what I was doing, let her touch and smell the food, with her, of course saying "I don't like it."  I have a helper unloading the dishwasher when I do.  She helps me fold the laundry.

I never thought I would serve as the role model for someone.  I never realized the little things matter like that, but they do.  I never thought in a million years someone would look up to me like this.  And I never in a million years thought I would be worth looking up to.  But she's here, and I wouldn't change it for a thing in the world.  It fills my heart so much each time she does it.  I love that little girl with all of my heart, and I don't know...I think she is fond of me, too.

I think I will call her...."Mini-me."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I have a problem

Note:  Before I write anything I want to make one thing very clear.  In my posts where I  have opened up about my marriage, I am talking a great deal about my problems and how I can improve.  I may lightly touch on T and things he will change.  However, please do not take me focusing on MY issues as saying I am the only reason we are going through a rough patch.  I worried about that earlier this morning as I wrote this.  So take this as a universal disclaimer.

I have a problem, you guys.  Well, that's the vague statement of the year, because it could honestly encompass a whole bunch of issues, but I have a specific problem.  It was one of the reasons why T says he fell in love with me and is quickly becoming one of the reasons why we fight.  

I want to fix people's problems.  I'm a problem fixer. I want everyone, especially those I love and truly care about, to be happy in life, and if I can, in any way, help that situation, I will do it.  However, that quickly runs into another part of that problem....

I worry about people's problems.  And that brings me to another issue...

I take on people's problems.  And that brings me to another problem...

I often worry more about everyone else's lives than I do my own.  

So yeah, caring about others and wanting everyone to be happy is good, right?  I mean thinking only about yourself and only worrying about yourself is....well, selfish, right?  So wouldn't it logically be that you should care about other people's problems?  Well, yes.  But not too much.  

I am that kind of family member, friend, coworker who people come to when they need to vent, need a friend, need help.  I like being that way.  I like helping others.  It's why I practice law, after all, to help others.  It's a good thing.  All rainbows, ponies, and shit.  

T thinks so, too.  When we first met, he loved that I cared so deeply about others in my life that I would do anything for them.  If you hurt a friend or family member of mine, you better watch out.  That's gotten me into trouble every now and then as I have stepped into the situation to try to fix it for the person in trouble.  Has it fixed the problem?  Yes, sometimes it has.  I have a way with words, I guess.  I make my point clear.  But then it brings me into the melee.  And I'm what one of my counselors called an emotional sponge.  I don't just listen to a conversation and offer advice.  I soak that shit up  like crazy and then carry it around.  I do that with each person with whom I interact until that sponge gets so heavy and full of water that it just falls on top of me or spills everywhere.  Thus, we have a Nain breakdown.

The issues T and I currently face have been building up for quite some time so it's hard to pinpoint when this specific problem started.  However, what quickly happened was my focus continually shifted into the lives of others and not in my own.  Our dinner conversations were on problems going in others' lives.  We would go on date nights and talk about issues with family members, friends, me worrying about what that person will do, will they be happy, how can I help, etc.  So we'd talk about that and of course Aubrey, and that was our date night conversation.  We would have nothing to talk about but that.  If we did talk about "us," it would be business stuff like home, money, etc.  (Saving that for another post).  So I think you can see where a problem would develop.  

It was one of the concerns T brought to my attention when everything came to a head on Father's Day weekend.  I've heard him say it before, but it wasn't until then, until we both heard the word "separation" come out of my mouth, that I really and truly listened to what he was saying.  He missed us.  He was tired of us always talking about everyone else but us.  He pointed out the times when this happened, and it hit me that, wow, this is a problem.  

It's hard because this is the person I am.  I have been trained for 33 years now to be the fixer, the problem solver, you name it.  It is my role.  So how do I stop it?  Well, I can't just stop it.  It's a part of who I am.  I like being that person in some respects, but how do I get that balance?  What exactly is that right amount?  

And what in the hell are T and I supposed to talk about now?

Seriously, how sad is that?  How sad is it that we have no other conversation than talking about household business, Aubrey and everyone else?  I've been trying.  I've truly been trying.  I had a relapse this last weekend on yet another date night where I focused on the problems of others, and I did not even realize it until T pointed it out to me sadly during dinner.  

I think I could take that even farther to say that I even worry about T to the point where I don't worry about what's going on with me.  Surely that's not bad, right?  He's my husband so shouldn't I put him before myself?

I'm writing about this knowing full well that I do not have this solution to the problem.  It is not going to fixed overnight.  But where do I even start?  And how do I reconcile that stabbing guilt when I do pull away from being in that role to focusing on my own life and the problems that have exploded in it like land mines?  I don't know.  I wish I did.  

I guess the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing it, right?  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Running on empty

I am cursed with something that will always plague me.  Taking on too much.  I take on too freaking much until life really isn’t that fun, and all I do is work on the various tasks I have willfully imposed upon myself.  I did it in high school…it was not enough to just do one activity.  No, I had to work 20 hours a week, do newspaper and orchestra, all of these often falling on the same day. I had to work two jobs during summers in college, giving myself mono one summer from working too hard.  I took on the Mary Kay thing, a musical instrument (again), and writing.  I started with the blog and then bam, started writing for about seven different publications at a time.  And working full time.

Oh and what’s that other thing?  Oh right.  I am also a wife and mother.  I forgot about that.
Or at least it seems that way.  And I know it seems that way to T.  It is one of the things that has come up in our discussions as we work through the weeds of where we currently are in our marriage.  Ever since we have had Aubrey I have not put enough time aside for my relationships.  When I do, it’s Aubrey.  At the end of the day, after I have run myself ragged trying to do all of the things I put on myself, the only ounce of affection and care I can give is to our daughter.  I try to give more.  But I have nothing much to give to T or even to myself. 

We would spend our evenings sitting on opposite ends of the couch, both of us on our computers.  I would be working well until 10 p.m. on a story or two, while T would search the Internet just wasting time until I was done with the computer or ready for bed.  If we did not have the computers out we would be watching TV.  No conversation.  No interaction.  Any interaction we did have would be once the kiddo was in bed and we were eating dinner at 7:30 p.m. 

When we first met, I gave of myself so readily and easily.  True, I had more time because I was not a mom at that point in time.  We were not married and lived in our own separate spaces so we had our own “me” time.  So when we did have our “us” time we could not get enough of each other.  Sitting up and talking until midnight was so easy.  Now T’s lucky if I even stay awake past 9:30 p.m.  By the time we get to the end of the day and sit down, I usually pass out unless I’m sitting behind the computer.

How does that make the other feel?  I never really thought about it.  I always just thought T was being unfair or irrational when he would get irritated that I essentially ignored him all evening.  I thought he was not being supportive, was being too hard on me, not fair.  While, yes, I am sure some of the times he was in the wrong, but I can see the frustration and where it came from.  We don’t interact.  We don’t know how to talk to each other, and when we do, it’s business – work, bills, house, and Aubrey. 

It is a realization I have hit, and I am working like hell to change it and make it better.  Relationships do not just maintain on their own.  You have to nurture them, make them grow.  That cannot happen if we are both so distracted to even see what is going on in the other person’s world. 

Am I finding it harder to find time to get articles out?  Yes.  Have I fallen behind on my emails?  Yes.  But am I spending more time with the one person who means more to me than anything in this world?  Yes.  And that, to me, is so much more worth it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Living of fear

I have this thing.  I am scared of pissing anyone off.  In fact, I would venture to argue that it is more than just a thing.  It’s an all-out paralyzing fear.  I hate confrontation.  I hate yelling.  I mean, I know everyone is like this unless you are one of this sick and twisted people who like yelling at others.  If that’s the case then kudos to you? 

I think what you would call it is I am a people pleaser.  And a worrier.  That has become a problem.  The problem arises when I have people at all aspects of my life at different angles with different needs, and there I am in the middle trying to please them all. 

I write this as I know I may or may not have a confrontation tomorrow coming up, even though it is all highly possible that it will not be as bad as I think it will.  It could be worse, who knows?  Anyway, that fear is kind of propelling me to write about fear in general and where that lines up to what’s going on in my life right now. 

I have always been a people pleaser.  I walk on eggshells because I have been trained to do so.  As a child, a teenager, an adult, I have been through a series of relationships whether those be familial, friend, significant other, boss, etc., where I am absolutely petrified of letting that person down, losing that person or causing them to be upset or disappointed in me.  It is inherently unhealthy.  You do not go through a series of counselors with each one telling me the same exact thing and not come to that conclusion.  However, it is a problem when you do not listen to the advice.  And it just keeps going and going like that damn Energizer bunny.

Where does this play in?  It comes in with my relationship with T and my family.  That, which is to be a subject of a later post, is causing a great deal of the tension, and like Pavlov’s dog, I am conditioned to react in a certain manner, my loyalties going to my family.  But that cannot always be the case.  In most circumstances my loyalties should probably lie elsewhere.  And that is causing a huge issue, if not one that is threatening to break us. 

It is frustrating.  So I am venting.  This problem is one of the many T and I are tackling, because like tonight, it seems to rear its ugly head all the freaking time.  Says the girl who is sitting here freaking out about what lies ahead tomorrow. 

It’s amazing what fear can do to you, isn’t it?  Too bad I am not one of those people who can just say “oh well” or “to hell with it.” 

Ah, to hell with it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Team T&A

Recently, I've come back to my blog because, like an estranged friend, I have missed it.  Having time to actually blog has been difficult, but that’s not really why I have not really been great at blogging these past few months.  See, I pride myself on being open and honest when I write.  Certain subjects have always remained off limits to me, but the thing is, they are huge parts of who I am and my life.  It is hard to come up with writing material when the main parts of your life are falling apart all around you.  I’m not one to be fake, so bringing myself to write up some “see what an awesome mom/wife I’m being” posts just wasn’t in me.  

Don’t get me wrong – I have a ton to brag on when it comes to T and Aubrey.  However, when something is wrong and it’s really taking a great deal of my attention, emotional energy, you name it; it’s hard to just push that aside and play happy.

Before I go further – no, I am not dying.  T is healthy, Aubrey is healthy.  We both still have our jobs.  We have our house.

However, all is not right in Whoville.  Rather, Nain-T-ville.  We have been going through some….stuff.  It’s hard for me to even write that out because I don’t want to admit we are anything other than the perfect couple with the perfect family, but like pretty much everyone else out there, we are not.  I have held back on that on this blog ever since it has been building up, but as T and I work through things, I have asked him if I can open up and be honest on this blog.  He has said yes, and anything I say on here is nothing that he does not know or approve of me saying.

Things have been building up, like I said.  Building up since we had Aubrey.  As we went through those six months of sleep deprivation, other problems just kept brewing under the surface.  Neither of us wanted to really address them, and all that resulted in that was a lot of fighting. We have argued more than I want to admit because, like I said, I want everyone to see us as this super couple.  However, the arguments never really led to anything other than hurt feelings and resentment but one or both of us just apologizing to finish the argument or just pretending it didn’t happen.  It wasn’t until a couple months ago that in a few of our more contentious arguments that things came to the surface.  And the shit hit the fan so to speak.  And a word I never ever would throw out was thrown out.  By me.

No, not the “d” word.  But not much better.  Separation.

Neither of us would actually do it, but it scared both of us enough that we realized something had to change.  The change is not easy.  It is not pleasant, and it’s taking a lot of me admitting that maybe, just maybe, I need to listen and really hear T more to get to that change.  I’m not always right, though I like to be. We’re both at fault, but the fault thing really doesn’t matter.  All that matters is where we go from there. 

I’m on Team T&A (Yes, our initials are inappropriate, I know), and so is T.  We said forever, and we meant it. I love him more than anything in this world, and I’m not willing to ever give up on us.  Ever.  We have both been making some changes, have discussions that last three hours plus with both of us tearing up at least once or twice.  But it’s necessary. 

Hence me opening up on here.  See, the reason I never brought up family life before is because I’m not that person who is going to husband bash.  I’m not going to use this blog as some kind of platform so you all walk away hating T.   I am opening up because it’s who we are, it’s what’s going on with us, it’s the whole reason why I started this blog to begin with.  I am exactly the person that I put out there in this blog.  That’s me – good, bad and ugly.  This is my life, and this is something huge happening with us right now.  And, like I said, nothing I would say here would not have already been said to T, not said without his okay, and well….it’s not me just saying how much my life and my husband suck. 

So you may not read posts that are all rainbows and ponies.  But, as I put it to someone the other day, “Shit is about to get real.” 

Or is it “It’s time for when people stop being polite and start getting real…the real world.  Nain and T edition.”

I had to put that in there.  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Everything is awesome

We had T's family down a few weeks ago, and Aubrey's cousin who is just a few months younger than her was down.  It was a blast and the girls were hilarious.  I will not say much other than...these girls can really break it down!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five years

Five years ago today, this happened....

Tim popped the big question on an unusually chilly and rainy 4th of July.  It literally poured all day, but neither of us cared.  He took me to the Monument downtown and asked me if I could be his other half forever.  It took me maybe one instant to say yes.  And I still firmly say that it was the easiest answer to the biggest question ever.  Five years has passed since that beautiful day.  Today we will be heading back downtown as we have down every year since (minus last year) and will take Aubrey to this special place.  Sure, she has no idea what "engaged" means, and sure, if we continue this tradition, it might become annoying to her as she gets older does not matter.  If Mommy had never said yes, she would not be here.  Five years has brought us to where we are now.  

It does not feel like it has been five years.  Yet so much has happened since then.  We've gotten married, built a house and started a family. We have created an extremely blessed and wonderful life.  All from that simple yet so important question.  

I love you, T!  I would say yes again - over and over and over again!