Dellabee and Me

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Archive for the month “August, 2010”

Random Ramblings

So I need to know why the folks that invented the hot dog chose to make it flesh-colored and phallic-shaped?  Seriously, people.

I assume the same group of people chose to name the crappie, which according to wikipedia is a freshwater fish in the sunfish family.  A sunfish called a crappie.  Nice.

Similarly, I saw a new line of backpacks for sale at Target.  Embroidered across the front is the name-brand: TRANS.  Betting lots of high schoolers will be avoiding that bag like the frigging plague.

In the south, there is a beanbag tossing game that people like to play – and they have named it Cornhole.  Apparently, Cornholin’ can get pretty competitive at parties and such.  When DS was attending summer camp, Cornhole was one of the activities the kids could play outside.  This really, really concerned my husband.

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This house is down a few pets since I last blogged regularly.  Gus, my nemesis dog, is no longer living with us.  Several months ago we “rehomed” him to a childless couple who had 12+ acres and 2 boxers.  Gus had begun snapping and growling at the children in a rather unpredictable fashion.  Man that dog was messed up.  Four trainers we went through, trying to figure out what WE were doing wrong.  Turns out, we were just not the right home for Gus.

Since my recent return to stay-at-home-mom status, I got a wild bug up my butt to rearrange the entire house.  I really want to move my daughter out of her small room and into the playroom, so I basically turned the dining room into one.  In doing so, I brought most of the kids toys downstairs – and realized how much stuff that frigging dog had destroyed.  I found the throw pillows that I had purchased for the leather couch – sassy silk pillows in colors like red and yellow – stuffed into the playroom closet, because Gus kept trying to chew them.  One couch has rips in every cushion and along the skirt because Gus kept trying to chew it.  The kids’ wooden toys – my pride and joy – have all been bitten and chewed.  Stuffed animals had to be hidden because Gus liked to pull the stuffing out of them.  Even the books that were on the bookshelf needed to be relocated because Gus would paw them off the shelf and then shred them.  He was a bad, bad dog.

(There was only one book that Gus completely destroyed, and it was my copy of Eat, Pray, Love.  I was so mad when he did this I actually cried real tears.  I got over it quickly though, because I HATED that book.  I only kept reading it because I was sure I must be missing something – people were raving about it and I kept getting hung up on the fact that she basically pitched the book and got paid to write it, which made her experiences a little less authentic for me.  Also, I thought her writing was indulgent and self-important, and I’m sorry but maybe I need someone to tell me WHY I should give a shit about her?)

Last week one of the guinea pigs died.  The guinea pigs, mind you, traveled with us by car in our cross-country move.  I bought them off of Craig’s list after our foster son expressed a desire to have his own pet, yet when I brought them home he announced that he did not want them or anything to do with them.  Ahhhh, attachment disorder.  My daughter was 2 at the time and called them her “piggy-pigs” which was the cutest thing ever.  My son is the one who named them – Bessie was the black and white one who tolerated handling, and Chomper was the tri-colored one who whistled for food but ran when you tried to pick her up.  Turns out, Chomper actually did do some biting, but not until she was given this name.  Chomper is the one who died.

Her passing was sad, but I have a terrible time with good-byes so maybe a normal person would have said that she died like all guinea pigs die – I don’t know.  She became very skinny quickly, and last week when I went to get something near the cage she came running to the front to whistle, but she was congested and the whistle came out like a hissing puff of air.  I panicked and called the vet, who told me to bring her in.  The vet’s office is what did her in – apparently, rodents get stressed easily and being handled at the vet’s office is quite stressful.  After a few hours they handed her to me in a paper towel – she was still alive but barely.  I paid the $120 bill, brought her home, and held her.  Within 15 minutes of being home she died in my arms, only I didn’t realize it and went to put her down and my husband pointed out that she seemed kind of dead.

After a backyard burial and lots of “Mommy, why are you crying?” questions, I decided that we needed to get rid of Bessie.  I told the kids it was because guinea pigs are social and need to be with other pigs to be happy, and that I did not want to buy another guinea pig.  The truth is I wanted to get rid of that $25 fur-covered heartache before she could drop dead on us, too.

So now we are nearly normal – one dog and 2 cats.  Kinda boring, right?

We might need to spice things up a lil bit around here.  Time to break out the Cornhole!

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Return of the SAHM

This morning I woke up around 5am with my nearly-4-year-old daughter attached to my back.  She has been coming into my bed in the middle of the night for the past year or so.  It happens so often that I don’t even wake up when she climbs into the bed anymore, I just wake up because I suddenly don’t have enough room to roll over.

I got out of bed around 6:30 so I could make sure the 1st grader was up and dressed.  Shockingly, he was.  Since school started a few weeks ago, the mornings have actually been getting easier.  The first week of school, when I was completing my final week of employment, he cried and stomped his feet and was otherwise uncooperative and emotional every morning.  Poor kid.  His days were so long – school at 7:15 and then he wouldn’t come back home until 6pm.  Now I wander outside around 2:15 and watch him run off the school bus, a smile so wide I wonder why bugs don’t fly into his mouth.  He is happier now that he comes home right after school.

Every morning my daughter asks me if I am staying home, and if so is she also staying home.  Although her daycare teachers were wonderful, amazing people, she is thrilled to be able to be home again.  The first day we stayed home together, though, I was afraid I’d made a huge mistake.  From the minute she got out of (my) bed, she did not stop talking.  I am NOT exaggerating.  For 3 hours straight, there was no quiet.  I could not watch the news, check my email, make a phone call, because she was constantly making noise.

“Mommy, watch this!  Mommy, mommy, can you see me?  Mommy, look!  Mommy, can you read this to me?  Mommy, can I play with Play-doh?  Mommy, I’m going to draw a picture for you.”  On and on.  And on.  Even the dog looked freaked out.

I counted down the minutes to naptime while using the breathing I learned in childbirth class.

I make my little boy’s lunch every morning.  I pull the papers out of his backpack every afternoon, and make sure he completes his homework (yes, the 1st grader has homework).  I marvel at the sudden development of neighborhood friends.  I worry that he will ride his bike in the street (he does) or that his friends will be mean or exclusive (they are).

I try to plan meals that are healthy and affordable, and then grit my teeth as my kids cry and argue with me and completely refuse to eat it.  I have created a real budget and understand now how to implement it – the hard part, I understand, will be following it (I have never been good at self-discipline).  I try to spend moments with my daughter that are singular – undivided bursts of time in which she gets my sole attention.  This is hard, not only because I am used to multi-tasking but also because I get really bored.  She has begun coming up to me or my husband, randomly, to say “I really love you” while resting her little head against our bodies.

Resuming the SAHM lifestyle feels different this time.  I feel more in control – not working was a choice this time, and not a sentence.  I don’t know how long I will be home with my children this time.  I don’t expect to enjoy every minute of it.  I anticipate long days, days where my husband will not get home fast enough, days when I will think I made the wrong decision.  I hope for days that are fun, days when the kids eat the meals I make and get along, days that are not rushed and dreaded, days that I feel content and grateful for my time with them.

Days in which bedtime comes too soon – those are rare days, right?

In the meantime, well, I have been asked several times to assist someone with the building blocks.  I need to shower and get ready for a dental appointment.  I need to get the little one dressed and off to the drop-in childcare center.  You know, life stuff.

And so it goes

I quit the job.

I gave a 5 day notice.

I am free!

I think for most of my life I have actively ignored Intuition.  The abusive boyfriend? Yup, Intuition saw that one coming.  Intensely close friendship with a co-worker that ended when she told her husband she was going to the movies with me but she actually went and had sex in a Holiday Inn jacuzzi with 2 guys she met at a bar? Intuition had that one at “hello.”

Intuition told me not to even apply for the kind of job I ended up doing, but Boredom and Desperation overruled her when Panic came for a visit.  At the interview, Intuition kept nudging me about how unfriendly the office seemed, how inappropriately high the heels were on the boots of the woman who interviewed me – but White Shame hushed her by accusing her of harboring racist feelings.  When I was offered the job and the lady began explaining to me how I would be paid, Intuition snapped her head back and said that it did not make any sense – but I said nothing, because I was already fantasizing about buying groceries without swallowing the vomit  that always bubbled up in my throat at the check-out over the cost.

Intuition suggested that I get the hell out when I was going through mandatory training, and on the day we learned about “policies and procedures,” the small group of us sat in a stuffy, unclean conference room while the trainer read us the policy and procedures manual, cover to cover. Intuition scratched her head and pointed out that it was odd that none of us were actually given our own copies of the manual, but I was too comatose to listen.

Things did not improve.  The kids struggled, too.  Daycares were changed.  I tried to manage my work schedule, but there was too much to do and not enough hours in which to do it all.  E began wetting her pants.  D cried every single morning when we woke him for school.  The house was a mess.  The car’s mileage increased at an alarming rate.

In April, I hit a wall.  A situation with one of the kids I was supposed to be working with – a kid who had refused to work with me – spun out of control.  Within days of the crisis, ulcers broke out in my mouth and down my throat.  The pain was so bad I thought I might die, because surely they had to be swelling if they hurt as bad as they did, right?  Three doctors later, I was told that stress probably played a part in it.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t do anything because I was always on-call.  I was constantly tense and anxious.  With the kids I was short and irritable.  I hated what the job was costing me, and them.

I knew when I started the job that I would not keep it, I just didn’t know how long I’d hold out.  In April, I knew it would be soon.  By July, I was done.  I went to visit family out-of-state for a week, and decided that I did not want to return to the job.  On my first day back, I gave my notice and that Friday I was done.

BUT-

In those 8 months, something good happened.  I started to reclaim a bit of who I was before I had kids.  I did my hair and wore make-up.  I began identifying things that interested me, and pursued them.  I joined a weight loss clinic and dropped 30 pounds (and counting, still trying to lose more!).  I applied to a graduate certificate program in writing.  I found a therapist and started going to therapy, and really worked hard on myself.  I made friends.  I went to the movies, and out to lunch.  I was an actual person again.

I could bitch about the job itself for hours, days even, but the truth is that job saved me.  I am in a better place mentally, professionally, and financially because I had that job.  For that, I will always be grateful.

For now, though, I celebrate my freedom.   Intuition is buying the drinks.

What’s next?  Hmmmmmmm…….


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