Potpourri

This entry is a bit of a catch-all.  It’s been a busy week for us, and none of it fits neatly into one package.

First, we made an offer on the house.  We received a counter from the bank. We’ve countered their counter.  Now we wait for a response.

Second, we all have colds.  I sound terrible, but I’m not out for the count or anything. Just fatigued.

Did I say I’ve been tired? Fatigued?  Exhausted?  I’ve been wondering if the cold is to blame or if it’s also the Zoloft.  I’ve been tired since I started it. I had initially blamed the fact the baby gets up at 6am most days.  But I’ve also been able to go to bed very early. As early as 9pm. I should not be *this* tired every day.  I’ve read it’s a common side effect and that it might even diminish soon.  i need it to go away or else I’m going off the medication.

Do I want to drop the meds?  Not really.  I feel really good right now.  I’m letting things slide off of me.  I’m more patient.  I am still crazy (in that good crazy kind of way. Yes, there’s such a thing as “good crazy”.), just not psychotically crazy.  So for now, I’m going to put up with side effects.

Unless I start getting fatter, of course. That is where I draw the line.

Anyway, all this brings me to my next (3rd, 4th, or 8th?) point.  We’re still living in a wreck of a house.  But a possible impending move brings hope. My friend is hosting a garage sale, and she offered to put things up for sale if I wish.  I might not wish for that and instead cart things off to charity.  But it’s nice thinking about the great purge.

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March 14, 2011. Tags: , , . Getting happy, Medical avenues. Leave a comment.

Will my soul survive the suburbs?

Fair question. Really, I swear.  I grew up in Memphis, TN.  No, not in Germantown or Olive Branch.  In midtown Memphis in the heart of the city.  I went to college in that haven of urban grit Baltimore, MD.  After that, though, I moved to Golden, CO, for a little less than a year.  That introduced me front and center to the suburbs.

Sure, I’d been exposed to some of it before that. My dad and his family built a home in Kennesaw, GA, getting to decide such things as where to put the garage (left or right), the finish (stucco or brick–only the front mind you, since the rest was all siding), or other little things.  Really, their house looked exactly like everyone else’s in the neighborhood.

Around the same time as my college graduation, my mother moved to Metairie, LA, and lemme tell you.  Metairie consists of miles and miles of homes that look alike.  Block after block of 70s ranch houses. It’s easy to get lost.

But I always said that really raw urban life was for me.  After my time in Golden (which was glorious in many ways–mountain life was fun, even though I don’t remember much of it. I worked at Coors Brewing Company.  Two words: free beer. ‘Nuf said.), I moved back to urban life, always living in midtown areas.  I love the traffic, the stores, the dirt.

In Kansas City, however, it’s not working for our family.  We live in the Northeast area north of Independence Avenue.  It is wonderful in many ways. Beautiful homes with lots of character, people trickling into the neighborhood and buying old Victorian houses that need some TLC.  Our rental is one of those houses.  Our landlord has done some work to it, but it’s not finished.  Can’t beat the price.  Heck, we could even buy this house if we wanted!

We don’t want to buy it.

We’d like 4 bedrooms.  We’d like a big yard.  We’d like for Ryan to be closer to work.  We’d like for us to have good schools for the kids.

So we’re moving to the suburbs.  Well, I should qualify it.  First of all, we’re not moving yet. We haven’t even put in an offer on the house we like.  But we’re headed to the agent’s office this afternoon to put together the paperwork.

This house has 4 bedrooms, a nice yard, a decent commute (with access to public transit! YES!), and great schools, one of which is merely around the corner.  So we’re making a move.

Will this compromise hinder my “process”? NOPE. It will help. Sure, I won’t get my 4 story Victorian mansion (which I could have here in Northeast. Yes, I could), but I’ll get a fixer-upper I can make my own.  I’ll get convenience. I’ll get a safe grocery store.  I’ll get Ryan commuting less.  Lucky me.

March 9, 2011. Tags: , , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

Clean mouth, happy heart?

Literally, I know that oral and heart health are, in fact, connected.  When you don’t take care of your mouth, your body isn’t in as good shape.  I take that pretty seriously and go to the dentist regularly.

I actually enjoy going to the dentist.  I love how smooth my teeth feel after a cleaning. I love the smug feeling of a good checkup.  I love having excellent dental insurance–thank you to Ryan’s company for that one.   I understand when people don’t have the funds to take care of their teeth–it can be very expensive–but I do not understand it when those with resources refuse to see a dentist regularly.   I mean, you get a free toothbrush!  And floss!  And toothpaste!

One added benefit of a cleaning is that I get a few moments to be a vegetable.  Nothing to do except close my mouth on the suction thingy every now and then.  I can watch television while the hygienist works (two problems with that. Do we always need TV? and why are hygienists always women? and dentists always dudes?  that’s three, I guess.  another time).    I laughed when I read a book last year that suggested scheduling doctor appointments when you need a break from the kids, but I would say it’s totally right!  I walked out feeling ready to take on the rest of the day.  Very important today when Ryan isn’t going to be home until after the kids are in bed.

So next time you’re feeling a bit down and overwhelmed. Get your teeth cleaned.  Have a mole removed.  Schedule a physical.  Your body AND mind will thank you.

March 7, 2011. Tags: , , , . Medical avenues. Leave a comment.

No doubts

I’ve learned this week that not getting the house in order is OK. I’m still working on it, but just getting *ready* to get things straight is helping my attitude.  Wearing a little makeup.  Having my hair blown straight.  Flossing regularly.  I don’t feel like such a louse even if the baby is demanding to be nursed almost all day.

But what comes next?  I got an email from Career Builder with 10 jobs that I could easily take, although I won’t assume I would easily be offered, so should I go back to work?  Has this whole process been a little too quick and easy?

No. I don’t think so yet.  Not even close.

This month’s Vanity Fair features an article on the Twilight star Robert Pattinson.  He complains a lot about all the press he receives.  Having a beer at a bar in peace is a challenge.  Although he admits to how ridiculous it is to complain about fame, he feels most concerned by the people who claim to know all about him. How is that possible when he doesn’t even know himself?

That got me thinking about whether I know myself very well at all.  What makes me tick?  What bums me out?  I have announced in public that I don’t give a rat’s about what people think about me. That. Is. Bunk.  Though I do feel much more comfortable in my own skin at age 30 than I did at 18, that doesn’t say much considering how outrageously UNcomfortable I was as a teenager and young adult.

So what do I do about this?  I think for now that I’m just going to make a concerted effort to observe my own behavior closely.  When am I most relaxed?  When am I biting my nails like crazy?  And when do I regret my knee-jerk reactions?  My life is not a tragedy, but maybe a little deliberate living will help it become as happy as I’d like.

March 5, 2011. Tags: , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

On the hunt. For a house.

First off, I have to admit that getting this house organized has been slow going. You know that corner in the kitchen?  It looks about the same.  However, I have been able to keep other things straight. Like laundry has been put away.  I’ve even vacuumed a bit.  I count that as success.

More importantly, though, I’ve figured out how to get this house clean. MOVE!

Yes, that’s extreme.  And seems a tad unrealistic.

But it gets to one of the main issues here: suffocation.

We spend our days indoors.  Sure, we play outside a little bit, but our neighborhood isn’t really conducive to kids playing in their yards. Mainly because there are no yards.  Or at least there is no yard here.  The parks are frequented by idle transients and random parked cars.  And the occasional street walker.  Sounds like fun, right?

So we’re looking at purchasing a home with a yard.  Renting something affordable is more difficult than it sounds–our rent right now is unbeatable for the safety factor–and I really don’t want to move into another rental.  Why?  I don’t like improving on someone else’s property. If the landlord had repaired the electrical outlets in the girls’ room, I might feel loyalty and pride, but he has refused, leaving them with no power in the room.  Jerk.

We are going for a comfortable and modest home.  In Kansas.  House hunting is exhilarating and nerve wracking at the same time.  I could look at listings all day. The financials frighten me, though. We’re pre-approved, not just pre-qualified, so at least the bank has preliminary faith in us.  But do I?  We’ll see how this goes. We start looking on Sunday. I’ll keep you posted.

 

March 3, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Dressed for success

Okay, call me dumb, but it has finally dawned on me that one of the best ways to get in gear for action is to put on real clothes in the morning.   I’ve gone to flylady.com.  In fact, I’ve been reading organization blogs for quite some time.  But I’ve been stupidly stubborn about heeding some of the advice.

For months now, I’ve loafed around the house in my pajamas.  Seems more practical since I’m not leaving to go out. Why waste the laundry?  Well, it kept me from getting a damn thing done around here.  Excuses abound when you’re not dressed to do much except sit on the sofa.  I can’t go to the basement without shoes on…I’ll leave that pile of donations by the door until I’m dressed…I’m only dressed enough to bake a pie…

You can see how much time I was wasting putting things off.  And it’s been bringing my mood down.  It’s been making me crazy.

So off the couch!  Put on your shoes, and it’ll be the equivalent of 2 shots of espresso.

Blue shoes to get me out of the blues

March 1, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What I’m starting with

Here are a few pictures to give you some insight to all the clutter.

Kitchen Stuff

Yes, you see lots of different things here.  Cookbooks, shoes, items destined for charity, recycling, and just crapola.

Cluttered Counters

Vitamins, toys, crayons, medicine, and garlic.  Yeah, these should all go together, right?

The pantry

The pantry includes all sorts of stuff, including unused cat food. Why the hell do I still have cat food? We don’t have a cat!

So that’s a snapshot of the clutter.  Multiply this by at least 10 to encompass the rest of the house.  (Hopefully) successful updates to come.

February 28, 2011. Tags: , , . Aspiring to Minimalism, Getting happy. Leave a comment.

A whirlwind of toys

So it’s been a couple of weeks of happy meds, and I’m feeling better.  Like I can handle my children without losing my temper.  Like I can get up in the wee hours to nurse my son without resenting it.  Like I can be a nicer person to my husband.

But as I said before, the foundation of my problem (oh, it’s a small problem in the grand scheme, I know…but does that mean I just have to live with it?  Nah, I like action) is that I’m just not that happy with the way things are going.  My Couch Potato ways are hindering my well-being.  Therefore, I must get off my tail and mend.

I’ve been brainstorming. What should my next step be?  Laughing Yoga?  A boyfriend named Giuseppe?  A stiff drink?  Well, I already laugh a lot.  I love my husband too much for a boyfriend. And drinking is kind of dangerous with this medicine–one beer is enough.  Anyway, it’s not going to be that easy.  I have to figure out other things I can change on the outside to help me on the inside.

As I look around my house, I know one of the main sources of frustration. Mess. Clutter.  Plastic.  Everywhere.  My living space is filled to the brim with toys.  The bathroom/laundry room is not clean.  The kitchen is disorderly.  I could go on and on.

So this week, I’m committing to cleaning.  And figuring out a way to keep it all straight.  My husband, God bless him, does the dishes most evenings, but he grew up with more clutter than I can handle. He doesn’t see the mess I do.  That makes it my job to make it as I need it to be.

How do I make this manageable?  That’s the challenge.  For the next few days, however, the goal is to reach baseline.  Then I’ll tackle the ongoing needs to clear this house of clutter.  And clear my mind at the same time.

February 28, 2011. Tags: , . Getting happy. 2 comments.

Step one: Acknowledge the problem

Okay, okay. There won’t be 12 steps.  I don’t even know or care what an official program would dictate for me to take toward happiness.  But I do know that  recognizing the issue is pretty important, right?

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and I had a Come-to-Jesus (ironic, considering how “religious” we are) about, well, me.  My moods were honestly unbearable for all of us.  Most days were ending in tears, I was yelling more than usual, and really, nothing was letting up.  It seemed my postpartum hormones were taking over my life.

So Ryan gave me a way out.

He told me to seek help.

Now, I’ve done the whole therapy thing before.  I know my old demons very well, and I didn’t feel like that kind of help would be…uh…helpful.

So I decided to talk to my OB at my 6 week checkup, which actually happened at 8 weeks.  I shouldn’t say “talk” since what I actually did was cry my eyes out.  She told me that it was okay, to stop being so hard on myself, and that she’d write me a prescription.  For Zoloft.

This little suggestion took me by surprise. Not sure why, since it’s not like she could braid my hair or paint my toenails or make me my favorite cookies to improve my outlook.  And so I asked the most important question I could muster:

Will it make me fat?

She laughed, said no, and also mentioned (as I should have care more about this anyway) that it would be fine even though I’m breastfeeding.  Yes, I should have asked that first.

Anyway, so here I am almost a week into my Zoloft treatment.  Doc said it would take a week to feel better and already I feel better equipped to handle all the chaos of my home.  I am not overreacting, and at the least, I feel calmer.

So is this end of story? To be happy, all I needed was a pill?

NOT A CHANCE.

I don’t want to be numbed into complacency by a drug.  There are nagging issues I really need to address, and they’ll take a looooooong time to deal with. So they come next.  And they’ll hopefully lead me to a place where I don’t need a pill to feel normal.

February 22, 2011. Tags: , . Getting happy, Medical avenues. Leave a comment.

Day one (AKA day 15,452)

Since May 30, 2010, I’ve been a stay-at-home mother to my children. At the time, I had two daughters Katie and Winslow, waiting for the arrival of their brother Drew.  Is this blog to document all of our everyday activities? Nah, I do that somewhere else.  And the world really doesn’t need another dull, SAHM blog.

So I’m hoping to contribute something different.  Which means lots of people have done it before, and I’ve deluded myself into thinking I’m unique.  I don’t care, though. I haven’t seen one like this yet.

What I’m going to tackle is a deeper issue than the daily grind of childcare.  Instead, I’m here to work on ME.

In a nutshell, I’ve been miserable the past 9 months.  Almost every day feels like the one before. Sometimes my husband Ryan is around. The majority he is not.  Some days end in tears, others do not.  But overall, I’m lonely, crabby, and completely under-stimulated.

And it’s all my fault.

So rather than wallow in my silly sorrows, I’m going to face them head on and do something about them.  I don’t have a time frame for when I’ll finally feel better (a year is so…so…blog-turned-movie/book/Oprah interview), but I’ll know when I’m there, hopefully.

And if it gets to where I’m *never* at that happy place, I’m making a drastic change. I’m going back to work.

All that said, my goal is to get off the couch and get well.

February 21, 2011. Tags: , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

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