Sunday, May 17, 2015

Breathe

Maybe it's because I now have two boys, but everything lately is centered around the bathroom.

This morning I was volunteering at a marathon and had to stop at the starting line to pick up a bunch of stuff. I was hoping to be quick enough to miss the start of the race, but I was about 45 seconds too late. As I was trying to turn my car onto the course, the first runner crossed in front of me and I knew I was about to watch the world's most boring parade.

So I backed out of the car line and parked it. I started walking back to the start line to hit the porta-poties since there would be no line. I thought to text the people I was meeting that I was stopping at the bathroom, or Stephan, or.... no. No one needs to know where I'm going.

As I sat in that porta-potty, I realized that no one but God knew where I was. It might be the first time in months that I wasn't trackable. And it was weird. And awesome. "No one knows where I am right now!!!" was a thought that kept circling my brain. It was so cool.

Honestly, it was hard to leave the john. Except for the terrible smell and being inches away from other peoples' poop.... I would have stayed in there for a really long time. I'm going to hold onto that memory for at least a few weeks.


Then later, Stephan saw me get completely frustrated with the boys (it was 10pm and they were both awake). He shoved me into the shower ("but I already took a shower today!"), and handed me a glass of iced gin and cherry juice. I started to just scrub the day off, but then stopped. The soap I use is hand made from natural ingredients. I held my hands over my face and just inhaled the smell of the actual lavender buds in the almond scrub.

It hit me... I paid WAY too much for this stuff to shower quickly. I took a lot of time to pick the products for their ingredients and scent... why not make sure I use up every smell I paid for? So I opened each bottle and pretty much just huffed my entire bathing routine. I love smells. And, of course, I stepped out a whole new person.

Really, the bathroom is the center of my home.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Letter

Dear Neighbor-who-is-selling-drugs-150'-from-my-front-door,

Last weekend you were visited by a few police officers late at night. That must have been scary for you. It must have really shaken up your routine, because I've been noticing a few things since then...

1. Your new friends drive very fancy, very LOUD and fancy sports cars. This makes them very easy to hear when they're a few blocks away. It's made preemptively calling the police much easier for me. Thanks for that.

2. Your system of turning the porch-light on to signal that your store is open is particularly annoying because that light happens to shine into my bedroom window. While it's also contributing to the ease of phoning the police, the glare is getting annoying.

3. The friends who walk up and down the block at very regular times still look pretty relaxed. My husband has gotten a few great pictures of them, since they walk so slowly and seem to almost pose for the photos.

4. Lastly, that blonde who jumped out of her car to buy drugs from you totally blew the stop sign at the end of the street. Your clients should be more careful. Reckless driving could be a cause for the police to stop and search their cars. Just a tip.


It is really annoying that law enforcement hasn't been able to stop this yet. But for someone with laser-like attention to detail, I couldn't have asked for a better hobby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Rule

Read books, not magazines.

I have a confession. Don't tell my husband. The "stomach problems" I had last weekend were mainly my desire to finish reading a very good book I had started last week. It's the first book I've finished in months. Maybe since the baby was born. I found myself drinking a ton of water, just to read a few more pages. The few minutes every few hours or so were like stealing time. It was kinda nice.

So my new rule is: Read books, not magazines when I'm in the bathroom. Books are better for you anyway... right?

Friday, May 8, 2015

About Showering

I came up with this title last week. It seemed funny at first, but now I'm realizing it's a symptom of something more serious.

I thought it was funny that I've stopped showering regularly. I usually end up being shoved in there by my husband who declares "enough is enough" every 3-4 days.

That's not me. That's not me at all. When I was challenged with depression in college, one of my coping strategies was to take showers to clear my head. For a while I was showering three times a day. It's my happy place. I love the shower. Being clean.... smelling nice..... something about the water....

And to realize I've let that completely slip away should have been a sign that things weren't going well. Because they really haven't been. Forgetting to pay electric and gas bills is one thing. Forgetting to put on the calendar (and then totally missing) my best friend's baby shower is another. And breaking down in tears as Stephan physically puts me in a car to drive to a friend's birthday party (which I spent in the car in a parking lot down the street because I didn't want to talk to humans) was the last straw.

Something needs to change and we're working on it.

In the meantime, The Blogess has posted some very beautiful things about life. I highly recommend checking out her work.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Simple Things

Someone posted to Facebook about her husband tossing a sandwich out the car window at her while she was on a long run. And I can't think of the word "toss" without picturing this:

And then this:


And then remembering one fantastic therapy session where I talked about running the Tough Mudder and figured that big people could just toss littler people over the walls. Which was a very fun distraction from whatever personal misery and self-pity I was experiencing that day.

Just don't tell the elf.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Getting My Nancy Drew On

Here's a funny story:

We have a drug dealer in our neighborhood. He lives across the street and a few houses down. He's a younger kid (maybe 19) who lives with his parents. And his parents know about this. And they are trying to deal with him as best as they can.

And so are we. Since I've been home for a while I've started a log of the different people and cars that go into and out of the house. There's even a pattern to it. And every time I take a picture or jot something down in my log, I call 911. The police have been super-helpful, and very encouraging.

They've even tolerated my very fuzzy cell-phone pictures I've been taking through the screens on the windows. A few times I've made up excuses to be outside and take the pictures (running selfie anyone??), and that's good. I have little nicknames for the different people: "Noon-Walker" "Skate border" "Creepy-van-man". The police assure me they are getting close to a solution for our neighborhood.

Until then, I'll be organizing a neighborhood watch this summer..... or maybe getting a job. Both would be very productive.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Had it.... Lost it... Found it

The baby (who is 7 months old already!!) doesn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. This has been true for his entire (short) life. He once slept for 4 hours. I remember that one night in January. It hasn't happened since.

As if that wasn't tough enough, he's been sick for three days and waking up every 40-60 minutes stuffy and coughing and generally, infantly, pathetic. I'm so beyond tapped out that I may have hallucinated slapping a bee off of my leg yesterday, and even in my dreams (when I have them) I'm trying to fall asleep.

A few nights ago (or hours, who really knows at this point?) I read a blog article about "the one thing that changed parenting for me forever." When I read it I wanted immediately to share it here, if only to have it saved forever. And now I can't find it. And googling, "parenting blog life changed forever" only yields several millions of results.

Anyway, the point of the article was: a woman was struggling with a baby that was very fussy and kept her from doing housework and generally, getting life done. A friend of hers looked at her situation and suggested that she reframe it. Maybe the baby was her primary job, and the work she was doing could come second. (It seems elementary now that I type this out.)

And it's true. When Adam was tiny and had the screaming colic for 5 hours every night I knew and prepared for it. It wasn't a struggle for me because I could prepare for it. I set up snacks for myself, entertainment for myself, put on comfortable clothes and "did colic" every night for 5 hours.

Cut to today.... I looked at my daily schedule and noticed that everything that I do after 3:30pm has been a struggle lately. Clearing the kitchen table from toys... getting dinner ready.... occupying the 5 year old..... carrying around the baby...... And I spent the morning setting up the afternoon. I put dinner on the stove to simmer before 3pm. I had the house ready for playing and snuggling (i.e. vacuumed and straightened) and accepted that anything that wasn't done by 3pm wouldn't get done.

And it didn't. And I felt totally fine with that. By the time I got to 8pm and the bedtime routine, I was the calmest I've been in weeks. And as icing on this idealogue cake.... Adam fell asleep on the floor next to me as I was typing this. So even he is on-board with this plan.