Friday, August 31, 2007

Mental Health Day Part II

So, the day started out pretty well--check out my previous post from a few hours ago for proof--but it's quickly turning into something else.

My poor little girl has suddenly developed...shall we say...a turbulent tummy that is resulting in a busy bottom. About a half hour ago, after an, um, episode, she ran up to me with a pull-up and said, "No mommy. No more underwear. Pull-up. Please." I certainly understand she's upset. She was down to one accident a day, sometimes every other day, but in less than an hour, she'd had five rather messy accidents. And she's so sad about it. It's no big deal to me. Clean it up and move on. Stuff happens, right? But she's laying on the couch right next to me with some dry Cheerios and a cup of water, her big, soulful brown eyes leaking big ol' crocodile tears.

I just offered to put on a movie for her--a pretty rare treat since I typically don't let her watch much television. I'm going to cuddle with my little Baby Cakes and try to make her feel better.

Mental Health Day

In honor of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, I've decided to do no laboring at all. I took today off in an effort to restore some sort of balance and sanity to my life. Here's what I've done so far...

1. Woke up at 5:30am. Of course, the one day I actually can sleep in, I don't.

2. Laid in bed until 7am. Not sleeping, but at least resting.

3. Morning routine.

4. Went to the post office.

5. Stopped at Home Depot. By some sort of miracle, I left without buying anything. I am, however, planning on going back later to get the rest of the stone edging I need for my front yard.

6. Stopped at Wal-Mart. Didn't buy anything there, either.

7. Planned on going to IKEA, but I was feeling too lazy to make the drive. Plus, my husband has the tollway pass in his car and I didn't feel like digging for change in my car.

8. Went to Target instead and bought a 25-pair shoe holder. Yes, I own 25 pairs of shoes. More, actually. I am a shoe "ho". I love shoes. The good thing is that I wear all of them. I'm not the kind of person to waste money on shoes and then not wear them.

9. Came home for a while and started this post. Then had to stop because...

10. I went for a haircut. I adore my stylist. She does a great job, every single time. And while I waited for the miracle cure on my hair to work, I read a really trashy celebrity gossip magazine.

Then I came home and finished this post. Even if it's short-lived, I feel like a new woman. My poor little brain has been working overtime and I'm pretty sure I was on the verge of short-circuiting. Today helped. I don't know what I'm doing the rest of the weekend. We were supposed to have a garage sale tomorrow, but my husband "forgot" to get the permit. Arghhh. I think I'm just going to take all the baby clothes to a consignment shop. Tomorrow, I think we're going to the zoo with one of his co-workers and her boyfriend. I've got mixed feelings about that. Long story, one for another time. Sunday, I plan on working outside as much as possible. Autumn is fast approaching, and I'm determined to the rest of the necessary landscaping so that next growing season, our yard looks put together. In between all of that, I'm just going to zone out, live in the moment, and...and...I don't know what, yet. But I'm sure I'll figure it out!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I can't get the cute l'il picture up this week, but I'm posting my menu anyway!

Monday~Grilled cheese, roasted potatoes, zucchini

Tuesday~Roasted chicken with steamed peppers and whole grain pasta

Wednesday~Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday~Spaghetti with mushroom sauce and garlic toast

Friday~Pork chops, asparagus, rice, baked apples

Weekend~No plans yet; depends on if we're having our garage sale

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Age of Innocence

There is something truly charming about watching a little two-year-old bounce through life. The pure joy on her face when she's happy, the sweet innocence in her eyes when she does something wrong and doesn't realize it. Makes me feel good.

And then I get a little annoyed. But not with her.

I just can't remember ever feeling as happy as she looks. I'm sure I have been that happy, I just don't have any recollection of it. Well, there was the day when I had her, so that counts, but other than that, I can't remember. Some people ask me, "What about your wedding day?"

I thought about that. It's not that I was unhappy. Not even close. I just felt...confident. I wasn't one of those brides that walked down the aisle all weepy-eyed with butterflies in the stomach. When the church doors opened and I saw my husband-to-be standing there, I just remember thinking, "This is it. The path to the rest of my life is starting with my first step down this aisle. I'm marrying the man that I'm going to devote myself to, the man who I know is going to do his best to be a good husband and an amazing father. He's going to do his best to provide for his family and walk side-by-side with me." And I felt good and comfortable in the knowledge that I was making a solid choice by choosing him to be my husband.

That's not to say our marriage has been perfect. Two years ago, I wasn't sure we were going to make it. But we did, and we have this amazing child who makes me feel glad to be alive. And I feel glad because I see that beautiful innocence in her eyes. She's as perfect in my eyes as I'm sure I am in hers.

And it feels good to be perfect in someone's eyes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Good Fortune

I saw this on Cheryl's blog and just had to try it.

I got this one first...

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with. Start small.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Didn't like it.

So, I tried again...

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Do not take a corkscrew inside a bouncy castle.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Still not thrilled.

Went for it one more time. Third time's a charm, right?

My Fortune Cookie told me:
You will stop at nothing to reach your objective, but only because your brakes are defective.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Strangely accurate.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to My Goofy Self

First, I have to send out a sincere thanks to those of you who left comments on my last post. Last week was difficult, to say the least, but I'm feeling much better. It took some time to process what I was feeling, which is never easy. I attended the funeral of the client who died, and while all funerals are hard, this one left me feeling shredded inside.

It was a military funeral.

I'm pretty stoic. Or, at least I like to pretend that I am. But anyway, I don't think it's possible for someone not to cry at the sound of twenty-one guns and the wail of "Taps" while watching a flag being gingerly and respectfully removed from a casket, then being folded into a perfect triangle. I held it together pretty well until all of that. And then, something inside of me just came undone. It was like every feeling and emotion I've ever had, both good and bad, came rushing up to the surface.

As I stood there, watching this man's grieving family struggle to say good-bye to someone they loved so much, I was struck with a thought that made me cry even harder.

Someday, I'm going to stand in that same Veteran's Cemetery and have to say good-bye to my father.

My dad is a veteran. He served his country proudly and I know the day will come when he will be called Home. I had this conversation with a co-worker, whose father is also a veteran, and she said she thought the same thing. We had a long discussion about it. In the end, it reinforced my belief that death is a natural and expected outcome of life. Sometimes it comes long before we believe it should, but it is what it is. I know my time here is limited. It's a shame that it takes these kind of reminders for people to appreciate their lives and remember that all moments, even the bad ones, are gifts. I certainly fall into that category sometimes, and I have to tell you that for the past few days, I've absolutely smothered my daughter with hugs and kisses. Not that I don't do that already--it's just been more intense lately. Poor kid's face is constantly wet from me kissing it.

On a lighter note, which does have to do somewhat with all of this, I got to thinking about something. I know, I know. I shouldn't let my mind wander. Anyway, it's related to the the passing of time. I had a funny thought this morning. In the past eleven months, my daughter has learned how to walk, run, skip, jump, hop, speak in full sentences, use the toilet and other things too numerous to count. It's amazing watching her grow and change.

Now, I have to think...what have I done in the past eleven months? Ummmmmm...uh...that is...HEY! What have I done? I mean, I do all my daily stuff. You know, the expected stuff that grown ups are supposed to be doing. But I haven't done anything extraordinary. And I want to live an extraordinary life! I better get busy. Starting now.

I'm going to go make an extraordinary dinner. According to my menu plan, it's Mexican night!

One last goofy thought...normally, doesn't the prefix "extra" at the beginning of something mean, well, "extra"? Like if someone wears an x-small or x-large. It means smaller than small and larger than large. Right? It makes me think that extraordinary should mean More Ordinary Than Ordinary. But my life is far from ordinary. Ha! Crazy English language. No wonder my foreign clients prefer their native tongues. I remember having to explain the phrase, "I'm beside myself" to a young man whose native language was German. Funny, funny, let me tell you.

Yeah. I'm definitely back to my old self...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Crying Eyes

I made a choice to work in social services. The only regret I have, if it can be called a regret, is that I still don't know how not to lose a part of myself when someone I have worked with dies. I think many times about how I had longed to go to medical school, to be a cardiologist, but found myself to be far more interested in the psychological foibles of the human race. Plus, I knew that if I went into medicine, there would be days that I could not avoid human misery...there would be days when no matter how hard I tried, even if I did the very best that I could, lives would be lost. I wasn't sure of my ability to handle it. So I decided to go into social services. Human misery on a different scale, I suppose.

Today, I decided that working in medicine would have been easier, as there's the expectation that life is not forever. It comes to an end. But when someone you've seen day in and day out for seven years...someone who fought a hard fight to get on the road to recovery...someone who only a few days ago was smiling and happy...suddenly becomes physically ill and loses that fight in less than forty-eight seems so rotten, stinking unfair.

I want to behave like my two-year-old daughter, just for a little while. I want to cry and stomp my feet and throw things, because maybe, just maybe, I can get a different outcome.

But I know there is no other outcome. So I guess all I can do is cry.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Night Prep for Menu Plan Monday

It's that time again...Sunday night and getting the menu together for the week!

Monday~Sloppy Joe's, homemade fries

Tuesday~Tater tot casserole, zucchini

Wednesday~Slow Cooker chicken, broccoli, brown rice

Thursday~Mini meatloaves (made with ground turkey and veggies), steamed asparagus

Friday~Sour cream chicken quiche

Saturday~We're going on a date and I'm not cooking!

Sunday~Mexican steak and bean bake with sliced avocados
Hosted by Org Junkie

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Secret of Life

Words of wisdom, courtesy of yours truly...

The Secret of Life

1. Say what you mean.
2. Mean what you say.
3. Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it.
4. If possible, do it a little bit sooner.
5. Keep the promises that you make. No matter how "small" a promise is, it's a big deal to someone.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged by Jamie for the Middle Name Meme!

Here are the rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

The Middle Name Meme

Serious: Lighten up! Replace "Serious" with "Silliness"
Underrated: I wish I got more credit for the good things I do
Zany: I am a little zany
Annoyed: I've been testy lately no thanks to work stress
Nerdy: I don't mind being a little nerdy. It just means I'm smart!
Nervous: About possibly embarking on a new career
Enlightened: Not quite, but I'm working on it

I'm working on my list of 7 people to tag...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

This is the first time I'm doing Menu Plan Monday--even though it's Sunday night right now. Many thanks to Org Junkie!

Monday~Slow Cooker turkey breast, steamed potatoes, carrots

Tuesday~Spaghetti with chunky vegetable tomato sauce, mixed salad greens

Wednesday~Italian Marinated chicken breast, brown rice, green beans

Thursday~Whole wheat pasta tossed with green peppers, broccoli and ground turkey

Friday~Breakfast for Dinner (omelettes with diced veggies, turkey sausage)

Saturday~No plans yet...hopefully we'll be going out to celebrate our wedding anniversary!

Sunday~Hail Mary, It's Almost Monday Pizza

Friday, August 03, 2007

Going Slow

I'm learning in life that things take time. Many, many, many things. Like healing from a major hurt.

I had the craziest experience last night. I finally had the opportunity to set the record straight with two people who really, really hurt me. It wasn't so much that I told them off. It wasn't like that at all. There was no screaming, no swearing, no accusations or finger-pointing. I just spoke freely, totally cleared the air about the lies that were told--not only the lies they told me, but the lies they told to each other about me.

I felt angry, but I was surprised by how calm and confident my voice was, how I was able to be so matter-of-fact about all of it. I really think I got it all out. At the end of it, I realized there was nothing more to say and I said good-bye and walked away.

They were both dumbfounded. Stunned into silence, I suppose, by the fact that after all this time, I still had so much to say about what happened. But I felt light, totally released from the burden I'd been allowing myself to carry.

And then something crazier happened.

I woke up.

It was a dream. Only a dream. Everything inside of me sank. It was, in actuality, a terrible, terrible dream that stirred up feelings I had convinced myself were long gone. I know they were never gone. I had just pushed them down so far, I was really able to trick myself into believing they were gone, or at the very least, that they had faded and no longer mattered. I convinced myself that I had moved on, because not being honest about my feelings is easier than having to acknowledge that I was hurt so badly. It's almost like if I admit that I was hurt--that even with the passing of time, it still hurts--then they win. They bested me.

It's not rational, I know.

I keep telling myself that it's just this time of year. A different kind of anniversary, I guess, one that evokes feelings of sadness and defeat, insecurity, makes my head hurt and my heart ache. A bad anniversary that coincides with what's supposed to be a good anniversary. They're separate, yet indelibly intertwined. I really thought that this year, I'd be able to look at the present and the future without getting tripped up by the past. And yet, the past is so very much a part of my present. I really don't think I'm stuck in the past, but I do think the past has affected me more than I would ever let on to anyone, ever.

Until now.

So, there you have it. I'm haunted by a past that I can't change, can't outrun, but still not quite able to figure out how to get past it.

And it hurts. So much.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fantasy Life

I've started four different posts this week. Four. I haven't had time to finish any of them, and by the time I go back to my drafts, I can't remember what I wanted to say. Ugh.

In my fantasy life, I'd have plenty of time for everything.

My reality is no fantasy, that's for sure. Work is busy. Home life is busy. I'm looking forward to a few brief moments where I can not only collect my thoughts, but share them, too...