#AskAwayFriday With Katie Sluiter

I’m joining Katie of Sluiter Nation today for #AskAwayFriday! Below are the questions Katie gave me, and I’m answering them for all of you today. Be sure to head over to her place to read her answers to MY (burning) questions! If you’re new to #AskAwayFriday, check out the hostesses’ blogs: The Bold Fab Mom & The Real Housewife of Caroline County. And read more about #AskAwayFriday here.

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1. Your “About Me” section on your blog says you’re writing a book. Fiction or non and what’s it about? Okay, so here’s the thing: there is no book. Yet. But there will be  one someday. Our miracle baby sorta threw a wrench in the writing gears. And the blogging gears. The now miracle toddler also has some delays that can make life a little more, erm, difficult sometimes. The book will likely be memoir/non-fiction, which means no one will bother reading it.

2. You are very open about your religious beliefs. Do you have any traditions with your family that were passed down and that you hope your children will continue when they are grown? I didn’t grow up with much religion at all, really. I’m Jewish by birth, but I’ve sought out my own Jewish life and heritage by choice. The traditions we have are pretty loose now, especially with the girls still being so young; I hope that as they get older we can plant more seeds and create special memories. I love lighting the menorah with them at Hanukkah and saying the prayers. We haven’t been great about Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath, which starts every Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown), but I’d like to get back to baking my own challah on Fridays. And then using it for French toast on Saturday mornings! Now that’s a tradition I can get behind!

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3. You write fiction that feels SO real…how do you find inspiration for your characters? It’s funny that you say that since I dabble in fiction so rarely. I’ve only ever written flash fiction, and it’s usually inspired by a prompt. My characters typically have bits and pieces of all sorts of people I’ve encountered, and some I haven’t yet. The idea of trying to write a longer piece of fiction scares the crap out of me. I just…don’t know what the characters would do. But I suppose they can’t DO anything if I don’t…write that far.

4. As a mom of all daughters, what do you hope to teach them about becoming women someday? I am still learning as I go, but for right now, my goal is to teach them to love themselves and their bodies. I don’t want them to grow up with self loathing. I don’t want them to pick and choose parts of themselves to hate or obsess over. I want them to feel and know that they’re beautiful and smart and funny and kind and creative. I make sure that, as their mother, they don’t hear or see me putting myself down. They learn from watching me, so I keep negative things to myself. It’s my hope that they’ll never know about my self esteem issues; or perhaps I’ll conquer my demons before they’re old enough to handle a frank conversation about all of it.

5. Which of your personality traits do you see the most in each daughter? My oldest is instinctively a good speller, it just comes very naturally to her as it did and does to me. My middle girl is on the shy side, quiet, introspective. That’s also me. And the jury’s still out on my youngest, but… she’s averse to loud noises, she loves anything crunchy, and she  appreciates a good long afternoon nap. Those are all pretty much me (I never nap, but I often wish I could!).

6. Which of your husband’s traits do you see the most in each girl? I’m so grateful that my husband has instilled in our girls an appreciation of and a love for athletics (I’m not a sports fan and I haven’t got a clue about the rules). He teaches them spontaneity when I’m one who prefers (and thrives upon) a routine.  They are more laid back and relaxed because they’re his daughters, and I’m so happy about that.

7. Your work with The Gay Dad Project has given you opportunities to meet lots of people. What has been your favorite experience so far? It’s so hard to choose just one! I really enjoyed our time at the inaugural Salon LGBTQ conference Deb Rox put on in Atlanta last fall. And then we spent a week in San Francisco during Pride. We  interviewed and talked with other “kids” who have had a parent come out of the closet. It was eye opening and amazing and overwhelming all at once.

8. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be your own best advocate. Do your homework. Sleep on it. Drink your milk. Write.

9. What books have impacted your life? Too many to name, but I’ll try: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb; The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak; The Awakening by Kate Chopin; The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; Deenie by Judy Blume; Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; and most recently, Heidi Cave’s Fancy Feet and  A Lady in France by Jennie Goutet.

10. What do you like best about yourself? I like my hair. I love experimenting with length and styles and color (pink and red of late). And I have pretty good nails.

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The Blame Game

 
Today I’m linking up with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write.

I went roller skating last week for the first time in 20-25 years. Saying that makes me feel old. Someone commented about how the carpet never changes at skating rinks. So true. Skate City’s carpet was no exception.

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The carpet was indeed awful. And yes, these are really my legs. The skates are just rentals.

I helped the girls get their skates on, then I did my own. And I was off. Shaky at first, shin splints, wobbling and unsure.

Before long a Katy Perry song came on and I slithered into the middle of the rink, which smelled like sweaty teenage boys and feet. The air was damp and musty, making me feel trapped and gross. I skated behind groups of teenage girls, next to boys goofing off, and sometimes with my daughters, holding their small hands.

I felt my right ankle cross over my left to turn, my weight shifting slowly. I didn’t remember that I knew how to do it until I just..did it. Isn’t it funny, the way things drift back to you sometimes without intention or thought? Something from decades ago that sat dusty, like a forgotten photo in a plastic frame. Something you forgot or unlearned just pops up again out of nowhere, like the random zits I get now, even though puberty has long since passed.

I didn’t remember other things, either — until the skates were on, carrying me around and around the rink. Things from long ago, things I had buried alive.

Like another time I’d been skating (potentially the last time I’d done so before this writing) with a girlfriend and we met some boys. They liked us. We exchanged phone numbers and they called. My mom said we could invite them over and have pizza, so we did. It was awkward. I felt self conscious. The boy who had seemed to like me in dimly lit Skate Country now appeared to like my friend instead. Which made sense, because that’s the way it always worked. This boy didn’t go to my school, so he didn’t know.

This boy didn’t know that at school? I spent a lot of time hiding. People called me Witch Nose. Some of the guys used to goad me, saying, “Why don’t you just crawl back into your little Erin shell?” and my face would get hot and lo and behold, I did. I crawled away.

I’ve been talking to my new therapist about the way these childhood events can…shape you. And while this particular incident didn’t come up, others did. My shrink asked me why I thought they picked on me, why they said and did these things. Some of my responses were:

“Because I was ugly.”

“They did it because I didn’t stand up for myself.”

“They did it because I let them.”

When I’d finished the laundry list of reasons, he pointed out to me that every single last one of them began with “I.” With me. Which translates to…I blamed myself. All these years, all this time, flatlining out before me, wasted, gallons of water down the drain while brushing teeth.

My therapist said kids are egocentric. They don’t see much outside of themselves… and so…it makes sense in a way that it all came back to me.

I blamed myself.

And so began a trend in my life. Finding fault with myself for things that truly had nothing to do with me.

I still do it. It’s a trap. I’m stuck in the net.

But now, I’m seeing it more clearly. I’m seeing me, Erin, from outside myself. I’m caught, but I’m fighting my way out. It’s like I have a tiny pair of scissors and I’m cutting the twine in spots here and there and things are loosening.

I may not free myself overnight.

But I’m working on it. And it starts with the negative self talk, the blame game, and things that I have no control over. Sometimes I don’t know how I’ve carried this shame, this weight for so fucking long.

So yeah, you might see me with a weird to-do list now. With things on it like:

“Let yourself feel relief. This is not your fault.”

“Recognize the many layers of blame you put on yourself, day in, day out. All of that weighs a person down.” 

So yeah, I’m starting. And I’m trying to tell that little me inside…that she isn’t responsible for all the STUFF.

Thank you, Heather.

***Last but not least– I’ve been busy with Listen To Your Mother: Kansas City. Submissions are OPEN through February 15! We were on Fox 4 this morning, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to get the word out about it. You can watch that clip here: http://bit.ly/LPCaod  Please help us spread the word about the show! Thank you.***

 

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Mean Girls Already?

Bullying has been on my mind. It’s all over the news, in the media, in the Diary of a Wimpy kid book someone checked out from the library last week. I’ve dealt with it myself, and had my first experience being bullied when I was six years old. In fact, it came up in my first session with my new therapist. He’d asked me in very broad terms about my social life and school, how things were for me growing up. I felt that familiar lump in my throat as the word “awful” bubbled up. I didn’t go into anything specific. He latched onto that fact, though, and said, “You were a kid. Little kids don’t know. They can’t take things apart and realize it’s not their fault. They didn’t DO anything, they were just picked. And things like that can follow you the rest of your life (…if you let them — which apparently will be something I’m going to be working on in the months to come).”

The tears came hard and fast then, and of course there was a box of tissues right there. Every decent therapist out there buys stock in Kleenex.

And then there’s my daughter.

She tells me things. There are already “clubs” in second grade. Clubs she’s not allowed to join. Some girls are already quite fashion forward and have voiced opinions about the cool or uncool items others are wearing. Some girls turn up their noses and act rude when my daughter musters up the courage to ask to play with them. Yes, we’ve spoken with her teacher. Yes, the teacher has told the class that clubs aren’t allowed; but I’ve been there, done that. There are easy ways to get around the rules, and just as I was bullied right under the teachers’ noses, so it continues.

A doctor in our pediatrician’s group (Pediatric Associates on the Plaza) recommended the American Girl Company’s line of books, including this journal below. It’s great because although the twins are eight now, they still need prompts to help them figure out what they’re feeling. These didn’t disappoint, and both girls love reading and writing in them. Friendship Troubles is another good one we’re finding helpful.

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We love this book. Buy The Feelings Book Journal on Amazon.

So using the doctor’s tips and the books, plus my own instincts, I’m trying to help her. But it’s difficult because when I look at her I see a mini-me.

Important things for me (the mom) to remember:

1.) She is NOT me and I shouldn’t think of her as a small version of me;
2.) She will not have the exact same experiences as I did; and
3.) She will not filter things through the same lenses.

Important things for us to do to help her through this:

1.) On the way home from school or at the end of (most) days, we talk about or write down three things that made us happy. They can be big things or small things — no restrictions or limitations!
2.) We focus on finding friends that make her feel happy.
3.) We encourage her to stand up for herself. It’s okay for her to walk away from a situation or from classmates that are making her sad or uncomfortable, but before she does so, she needs to let them know how they’ve made her feel.
4.) Focus on the positive.
5.) At a certain point she must take these tools and work the rest out herself, mull it over in her journal, etc. She is only eight, but that’s old enough to know the difference between mean girls and nice girls. **I keep saying girls only because most of her friends at this age are girls, and because we haven’t had any issues with boys in her class.**


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6.) Empower her so that she knows her own self worth. For a wonderful post about how to teach your children self worth, visit Jennifer Williams’ blog. And for more advice about our kids and their friends, read this post she wrote.

 

What about you? Have you ever been bullied? What about your children? If so, what do you do to comfort your kids and to teach them how to cope? 

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Top Eight Grammar Mistakes

Sad but true fact: people judge you when you use poor grammar. I am one of them. Your writing is often one of the first things people see, whether it’s in an email, cover letter, resume, or even just a Facebook status. We all learned these rules in school, and if you didn’t get them then, or if you’re rusty, there’s still time.

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Let’s clear up the confusion, shall we?

1.) Should of, would of, could of

NO SUCH ANIMAL! You are hearing the sound “of” made by should’ve (should have), would’ve (would have), or could’ve (could have).

Examples: I would’ve brought you some Talenti gelato if I’d known you wanted some.

She should’ve told me she wasn’t coming.

2.) To, too, and two

To is a preposition, too means  ”also,” or “in addition to,” and two is a number.

Examples: Let’s take the kids to the park this afternoon.

I have brown eyes, too.

He ate two pieces of pepperoni pizza.

3.) His, hers, its, theirs 

Possessive pronouns! No apostrophe required. Have you ever seen “her’s” used? I know, it’s shocking and disturbing.

Examples: His hat was green.

I think that scarf is hers.

The owl’s wing broke, so it lost its ability to fly (assuming you cannot determine the owl’s gender — I cannot!).

That’s not our car, it’s theirs.  <– bonus: it’s = it is!

4.) Their, there, they’re

Three completely different words with different meanings. Their is possessive, there is a place, and they’re means “they are.”

Examples: We went to their house for dinner.

I think he saw your book over there.

They’re going to the football game tomorrow.

5.) Effect & affect

Effect is a noun. Affect is a verb. It’s that simple (99% of the time).

Examples: Nausea is one of the side effects of that medication.

The documentary Food, Inc.” really affected me.

6.) Loose vs. lose (kudos to my friend Travis Sloat for this one!)

Two completely different words with entirely different meanings. If you can’t remember them, memorize them!

Examples: Your pants become loose when you go on a diet.

If you lose your wallet, you’re in big trouble.

7.) Fewer and less

If you can quantify (count) it, use fewer. If you can’t, use less.

Examples: I ate fewer cookies today than I did yesterday.

I used less sugar in my coffee today.

8.) Who and Whom

If it refers to the subject of the sentence or phrase, use who. If it refers to the object, use whom. An easy way to remember it is that both him and whom end in “m.” So if the answer to your question is him, use whom. If it’s he? Go with who. Or ask yourself “Who did what to whom?”

Examples: Who fed the dog a candy bar? (you’re looking for the subject here)

(everyone should know this one) To whom it may concern:

 

What would you add to this list? What are your grammar pet peeves? Leave them in the comments!

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Out of Time

**I’m too late to link up, but I’m using the prompt from Yeah Write.  Since it’s time for a new me & time to stretch myself, I’m shucking my fear & returning to writing.**

Tina’s face shines with sweat. I dab it with a cool cloth and catch a drip of snot before it hits her chest. Her chin is tucked tightly, like a penguin nudging her young into her perfect hiding place. I push the damp hair out of her eyes and gently secure it with a bobby pin.

She reaches for my Sprite.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I say.

She ignores me and gulps it down like a drunk who’s been off the sauce for weeks. Not a minute later she retches, missing the flimsy emesis basin next to her.

I press the call button and move what’s left of my drink out of her reach. The sweat-snot rag is useless as a makeshift mop.

A nurse knocks and enters, her eyes and nose questioning from behind the curtain. I wave her in and say, “Sorry, we had a little accident.” Tina glowers at me, her vomit now a pool on the blanket that’s dripping onto the floor.

The monitor beeps and I watch the spike take over the screen. Meanwhile my best friend moves into another realm of consciousness, one I can’t comprehend. Over the last 20 hours I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut; I’ve learned not to touch her anywhere below the neck; and I’ve learned to hide my drinks. Her breathing is measured, deep, punctuated with low murmurs that seem to come directly from the basketball in her belly.

The nurse stops changing the linens to switch off the volume on the machine. She glances at the last few pages of printouts, then at Tina. She washes her hands, snaps on a pair of rubber gloves, and grabs the lube from the warmer.

“Hon, we’re running out of time. I’m going to check you again, but…”

“I know, I know, alright?” Tina cuts her off. I start to say something and then bite my lip instead.

The nurse leans in from the foot of the bed and I watch my friend’s face contort. Suddenly Tina’s hand shoots out to grab mine. Tears burn my eyes and for a split second we’re nine-year-0lds again who have just patched things up after a fight about something stupid.

“You’re still at a four, and minus two station,” the nurse says, pulling her gloves off over the trash can. I’m going to page Dr. Lewis now.” The curtain swishes and we’re alone again.

“You okay?” I ask Tina, not wanting to set her off. I feel like I’m in the circus, walking the tightrope. One wrong move will upset the balance.

My oldest friend looks at me then as if she’s seeing me for the first time. Her eyes widen.

“You,” she says. “I need you to take this baby. You’re the only one who can.”

 

 

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A New Year, a New Me.

I see posts flying everywhere about resolutions, words for the year, new mantras.

And I don’t have all that. I’ve written before about how I don’t “do” resolutions.

That hasn’t changed.

But I am changing. Growing. Learning. Evolving.

2014 is going to be the year of growth. Changes. Starting over, a fresh outlook. No regrets, no looking back, no stagnation. No grandiose plans, no promises I won’t keep. Just forward motion. Upward. Onward. No backpedaling.


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So much is coming up, and I can’t wait: TribeFest in New Orleans, Listen To Your Mother: Kansas City, BlogHer’s 10th anniversary conference, and of course the ongoing work on The Gay Dad Project documentary.

I haven’t reached my potential. I haven’t been stretching myself.

But that’s changing, too.

Hope you’ll stick around to watch me grow.

xo

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Anxiety & Depression & Kids Are Exhausting

Act I, Scene I: 
Our kitchen. Backpacks, papers, folders, and lunch boxes are everywhere. We’ve been home from school for approximately 26 minutes.

“Mommy, I’m done, can you please sign my homework?” Abby asks. “I wanna play outside.”

“Yeah, just a sec, I’m helping Izzy.” Before I can even look she’s out the door and I refuse to chase her. On the flip side, Izzy’s ADD meds don’t seem to be working. She can’t stay in her chair. She’s standing next to it drumming her pencil, humming under her breath, and alternately shoveling bites of pumpkin bread into her mouth, stringing crumbs all over her papers, the table, and the floor. I grit my teeth, take a deep breath again, and plead, “Focus, Izzy, focus. Sit in your seat.”

I sound like a broken record. I say this twenty-two times every afternoon. At least.
I’m so tired. And I really have to pee.

Piper starts whining “eeeeeeeeessse,” and points to a box on the counter. I know what she wants — Goldfish — and I know I should give her something healthier. But she’s hungry and I can’t deal with both her and Izzy at once. Piper’s speech delays make everything a guessing game. I hear her therapist’s warnings in my head: “Don’t anticipate her needs! Make her sign or try to say the words!” However, this becomes frustrating for us both, and can quickly escalate into her and me crying. Meanwhile, Izzy’s doodling all over her homework sheets, and this irritates the shit out of me. “What are you doing?” I screech. “Do your math and stop scribbling!” I yank the remnants of her snack away.

Piper whimpers and stands on tiptoe to try and reach the crackers. She’s increased the volume on “EEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSE!” I want to growl, “Use your words,” but I don’t because it’s pointless. Because Piper doesn’t have many words. And I’m frustrated.

I relent. Goldfish it is. I toss her in her seat with a bowl, praying for crunching sounds and silence.

The elementary school teachers have said there should be roughly 10 minutes of homework per grade level each day. Since the girls are in second grade, that means 20 minutes every day. Abby is almost always done in that amount of time, but Izzy and I are still at the table.

I’m trying to explain carrying the one to the tens column in addition. Izzy’s having trouble paying attention during class, so homework becomes time for me to re-teach her the concepts she’s “missed” during the school day. And then help her through the homework afterwards.

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So I explain carrying (again). And clean up the baby’s snack mess, as well as the pumpkin bread crumbs strewn everywhere. The dog catches my eye and heads to the front door, a signal that he needs to potty. Of course he poops. And because my kids (& their friends) are always playing in the yard, I’m diligent about scooping it promptly. By the time I come back inside, the baby is standing up in her booster seat at the table, two seconds away from a trip to the ER.

After Izzy finally seems to “get it,” I hose down the baby at the kitchen sink. Then I remember the laundry and head upstairs. I take the dry load out and begin sorting it. I put the wet load in the dryer and start it, then toss a new load into the washer. I’ve never understood how people delegate laundry to certain days of the week. I do laundry every.single.day. I can’t stand dirty clothes hanging over my head.

I add the dry things to the twins’ growing pile of clean clothes on the chair in the hallway. The same stack I’ve been nagging them to put away for three or four days.

No one listens to me. And when they do, it’s met with grumbling, complaining, and asking, “When will Daddy be home?” Or calling Daddy on his cell phone to ask him that exact question. Daddy gets to be the fun parent.

I still have to pee. But kids need me in the kitchen. Will wait.

I head back downstairs as Izzy’s finishing her spelling. The clock says 5:05. Basically 90 minutes on homework. She asks to play outside and I let her, because days are shorter in winter and she’s been at the table for so long. I realize I’ve forgotten to empty their lunch boxes. I pull out part of a turkey sandwich, an empty juice box, and cheese stick wrappers. Someone put her half-eaten yogurt tube back in her lunch box. Nice. I wash and wipe out the inside of that and then empty the dishwasher. I haven’t even thought about dinner.

All I can think about?? Is going to bed. And peeing.

Instead, I throw the baby in the tub. When the warm water hits my hand, I know for certain I’ve waited too long. Urine leaks into my underwear just as I’m yanking everything down to sit on the toilet right by the tub. Great, just fucking GREAT. Wet panties and yoga pants go into the washer and I grab clean ones, then run back to Piper’s tub.

The bath turns into a very wet wrestling match. When that’s done, she’s ready for dinner. Don’t get me started on The Things Piper Won’t Eat: meat, cheese, eggs, chicken nuggets, pizza, pasta, peanut butter. Aside from her other delays she may have some sensory issues and flat out refuses most foods. Everything is a battle. It’s all my fault.

Once she’s back in her seat, I give her things I know she’ll eat. Crackers, apple slices, raisins, and yogurt. But being a two-year-old means she likes to use her fingers instead of utensils.

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Then the twins come in from outside, smelling like horses. After we do corrections on their homework, I order them upstairs into the shower where wicked fighting and water wasting ensue. I go up and down the stairs no less than three times (because I shouldn’t really leave the baby alone in her booster at the table, should I?) before they’re even close to finishing.

My nerves are shot.

I’m yelling. I’m threatening. I pour a glass of wine. I smell my armpits, not sure when I last showered. And pissing myself didn’t help.

And suddenly it’s all there, in my face. Overwhelming.

and then my husband walks in from work. all three children run to him gleefully, squealing, “DADDY!” abandoning bad moods and tantrums.

I swallow hard and stifle the sob rising in my throat. I shake my head because… well, because there are no words. How do you sum up all these feelings from the last few hours and make it into a pretty package when it doesn’t feel that way?

Curtain.

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I Wish (& The Girls Do Good Stuff)

In case you’re wondering where I went…
I popped over to the Listen To Your Mother : Kansas City blog to post there earlier this week. I wrote about wishing for a Motherhood Manual. You know, something bound, concrete, sold at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Something that tells us moms how to do all.the.things.

You can click here to read that post.

And as promised, here are some preliminary photos from this morning. For the twins’ eighth birthday, we asked for donations of food and personal care items in lieu of presents. We were super impressed by all the “loot” we got last weekend!

So this morning, with a trunk full of healthy, organic, kosher, and even gluten-free stuff, we headed to our first destination: Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City. The girls were quite pleased as we filled up the barrels at the JCC. And psssst. In case you’re not going to bother reading the links, NO, JFS doesn’t require that all donated food be kosher! Nonetheless, we took care to bring some of everything, careful that ALL of our selections were healthy as a firm foundation. Because, well… you know about “those people.” Jill Smokler (a.k.a. Scary Mommy) & Jennifer Ball would’ve been proud to see the quinoa, organic oatmeal, Trader Joe’s almond butter, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice…

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Next stop? Harvester’s.

This is what the holidays are all about. Giving. And about teaching our kids what’s really important. It’s not the presents, the material things, more “stuff.”

It’s about the way we feel when we give of ourselves, when we do things unasked. We do because we can and because we want to.

We’ll keep right on doing it.

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Just Write: Waving the White Flag

I’m linking up today with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write.

 

the last few months have been really rough.

it’s been a personal victory to come off of all those meds. to be rid of the evil benzos, to kick the Cymbalta to the curb, and to know that i’m capable of surviving a gargantuan wean.

i’ve gained a clarity i’ve not had in quite some time.

(let me be clear: all the medication i was taking was prescribed & I was under the close supervision of my doctor. it just so happens that my new doctor alerted me to the high doses i was on. i had no idea. he wanted me to back off of some (not all) the drugs, and i was eager. i even pushed him, pushed myself, to get off of everything, because i think it’s impossible to make a diagnosis (or confirm a current condition or past diagnosis) without a baseline. but who knows what my baseline is, seeing as i’ve been taking these prescriptions for 3+ years?)

so now, what i’m left with? is a different me. a new me. a somewhat unfamiliar me that’s having a tough time adjusting.

so today, friends, i gave up.

i went to my psychiatrist and refused benzos, but got a new prescription for something to help with the anxiety. i’ll give it a go. i won’t develop a physiological dependence like with Valium/Klonopin, the two benzos I’ve taken previously. my new medicine is not a benzo at all.

yet it still feels rotten. some argue that pills mask or lessen the symptoms, and i’ve never disputed that. the ultimate treatment lies inside of me, and whatever work i can do with a therapist that really knows how to help me address and resolve my issues. but, if i have a disease, i’m not sure it just goes away.

i’m on a quest to find a new therapist. I have an appointment with cognitive behavioral therapist next week. i’m looking forward to working with someone who can help me learn how to help myself.

so with that, i’m waving the white flag. i surrender. i give up. and i’ll take some magic medications at bedtime, and during the day tomorrow. and the day after that. and again and again until they make me feel better.

because, truly, there is no other answer.

white flag bandiera bianca
photo credit

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

The Twins Turn Eight!

Eight years ago today, this is what I was doing (and four years ago today, I blogged about it at my old place. Click over to see that birthday post!):

 

Dear Abby & Izzy,

On this day eight years ago, you came into my life and changed me forever. You made me a mother, something I thought I might not ever have the chance to be.

It’s been a bumpy road. I’m a far-from-perfect mother. Daddy gets to be the fun one.

Me?

I’m all
brush your teeth! did you brush your hair? is your folder in your backpack? eat your breakfast. HURRY UP. get dressed! it’s twenty degrees outside, you NEED A SWEATER over that shirt! please chew with your mouth closed. brush your teeth. HURRY UP. we’re going to be late. where’s your homework? get in the car. put your clothes away. homework first, then you can go outside to play. it’s too cold to play outside. clean up the toy room. NOW. brush your teeth! let me smell your breath. eat two more bites and then you can have dessert. HURRY UP. Nemo doesn’t belong in the kitchen. did you even wash your hands? there’s a hole in your sock, you can’t wear those. seriously? yes, you have to shower tonight, you’re stinky. do i need to put on the timer? just a minute. i’m coming. i asked you to BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

I’m your mom. I’m supposed to nag you to do these things. Sure, it’s hard to listen to. It’s hard for me to listen to myself. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that motherhood isn’t a big deal, because it is. It’s hard and important work, it’s being on call 24/7, it’s being a nurse and a therapist and a housekeeper, it’s being a laundress, a tutor, a grocery shopper, a chauffeur; it’s worrying about you 24/7, taking you to the dentist, the eye doctor, the pediatrician. It’s making sure there’s food in the pantry and clean underwear in your dresser. It’s sniffing your hair when you get out of the shower to make sure you smell like shampoo instead of a wet dog. It’s trying to teach you how to walk the line, do the right thing, set a good example, help others, stand up for yourself, show kindness, ask questions, be brave, try new things, respect your teachers and your elders, and ohmygodthislistwheredoesitend?

It doesn’t.

Because motherhood never ends. I will never stop being your mother. I’m the only mother you will ever have, for better or for worse.

I love you to the moon and back. I’m sorry I’m hard on you sometimes. There’s a lot about me you’re too young to understand yet, and that makes it difficult. Just know that my love for you knows no bounds. And even on my bleakest days…you? are my sunshines.

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Happy Birthday, Abby and Izzy.

Love,
Mommy

Posted in Home + Family | Tagged , , , | 46 Comments