Welcome to My Corner of the World

I hope you find humor, inspiration and something worthwhile on this blog. I plan to be as candid as possible. Life is hard. I know, I've overcome a lot (and still have a way to go).
It doesn't help others if the rough things are glossed over.

I will no doubt fill this blog with stories of my achievements as a mom as well as my personal struggles.

I have an incredible husband whom I call "my sanity." I have two great kids with strong personalities. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I have had a colorful childhood.

I also have an addiction to Gilmore Girls, A&W Cream Soda, and Starbucks peppermint mocha.
I have recently added biking to my list of hobbies and also love to read, knit, and play tennis.

Welcome to my little corner of the world!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The road so far

  Yesterday we had an almost meltdown.  It was amazing, especially when I know where it had potential to go only a few weeks ago.
  A sat down at the table to eat breakfast, but still had her Pull-Up on.  I reminded her that the rule is "no Pull-Ups at the table" which she adamantly refused to do.
  I took her bowl of cereal and put it up.
  When I asked her to go to her room to put on her underwear, her reasoning went as follows:
  A: "I can't."
  Me: "Why not?"
  A: "Because it's dark in my room."
  Me: (looking down the hallway to see if her room was, in fact, dark) "Honey, the light's on in there."
  A: "Well I think it's dark."
  Me: "You think it's dark."

  I reminded her that one reason we don't allow Pull-Ups at the table is because if she goes potty in it any more, it will leak.

   Her next excuse was "I'm cold."  I suggested she either put on some tights or her robe. She decided she was too cold to walk down the hallway to get anything to put on, so I offered to get her robe for her.  Her solution, "You go get my robe, and I can sit on it in case my Pull-Up leaks." 
  Great problem solving, kid.  Unfortunately, that's not what robes are for (unless, perhaps, we're out of clean towels).  I reminded her of that, which she didn't take well.
  Eventually she got her underwear on and we moved onto some other issue.  On the way to school it was something else.  After school she was a little better, but still pretty argumentative.

  As I write about this, I find myself chuckling.  It's just the way my life has gone for the past 3 years (once she started talking).  I used to get locked into these ridiculous arguments.  A few years ago I would have said "your room is Not dark--the light is on!"  Naturally a response like that would just cause her to escalate until she was in a full meltdown and I was left scratching my head in confusion and frustration.  Now I can acknowledge how she feels and move on (to another equally illogical "discussion"...but moving on is moving on!).

  I was thinking this morning about all the things A has overcome in the past 5 years.  Here are the top 4 things we've worked hard at not freaking out over.
  1)  Bumpy roads.  At the time this was a major issue Hubby and I had no idea what was causing A to meltdown.  Turns out now, at least a year after the fact, A can verbalize why she doesn't like coming home a certain way:  the road is bumpy.  She used to just get hysterical when we would use that particular route.  Now we can talk about the bumpy road, and very rarely does it even warrant a conversation any more.
  2)  Slides.  When we used to go to the park A only wanted to swing.  If there were no swings she might go climbing around, but when it came to slides, she was probably 3 before she'd go down them consistently.  She'd frequently sit at the top and cry before she backed up, turned around and refused to go down it.
  3)  Band-Aids.  Oh.  My.  Since she was such a cautious kid, A very rarely needed them, but there was one time when she fell at Church and her knee was really bleeding (she was 2 1/2).  She wouldn't stop looking at the blood, and that freaked her out, but when I'd ask if she wanted a princess Band-Aid she would get even more upset.  Finally I just put a Band-Aid on it.  You would have thought someone was killing her!! Really, words can't describe how upset she got.  I finally just pulled it right back off.  Oh, and we were in the van on our way home from Church (which is a 30 minute drive)--Hubby and I were about to go insane!  We finally stopped at a gas station so I could get her out of her car seat and settle her down.
  4)  Elevators.  There was no way we could step foot on an elevator without her melting down.  She got hysterical, even though I was holding her.  Thankfully we didn't use elevators often, but when we did it got ugly!

  I am happy to say that now that A is 5 those fears and anxieties that made us all miserable are no more (and probably have been non-existent for a year).  We can now go home using the bumpy-road-route without tears.  When A plays at the park she can go down any slide without a second thought.  She now asks for Band-Aids when there's no visible scratch (my new rule is that there has to be blood, or no Band-Aid, otherwise she'd have Band-Aids covering her body).  Now she loves to push the buttons on the elevator and can stand alone, without even holding anyone's hand!

  What an exhausting road we've travelled, but I must say it's incredibly rewarding to look back and see that these things are no longer issues.  And, really, the issues we have even now aren't as bad as those "top 4"  that plagued her when she was 2 (I could easily have made a top 10 list...but for brevity's sake, chose not to).


Thursday, January 12, 2012

What is normal, really?

  I was talking to my uncle (my mom's brother) the other day and got to thinking..."wow!"
  If I really stop to think about my life it's easy for me to say "how did I turn out so normal?  I had no chance!"
  There are other times I think "did my childhood really happen?  It all seems so long ago and unreal."
  Then there are times like my conversation with Uncle the other day that I think "these people are for real?!" and it blows my mind that I'm even remotely in touch with reality.
  Mental problems manifest themselves in a variety of ways.  One of my husband's relatives has paranoid schizophrenia.  When she has an "episode" it's pretty obvious.  She talks in hushed tones, her eyes get shifty and she goes on and on about people going through her stuff, or that she knows people are talking about her.
  Then there's my mom.  Her mannerisms also change.  Anyone who pays attention to her can tell some thing's off, even if they don't know her.  Her actions speak louder than her words.  She does a pretty good job of keeping the irrational thoughts to herself (thankfully).
  Then there's my uncle.  There is no obvious change in his behavior.  His presentation is so convincing that if someone didn't have a firm grasp on reality, it'd be easy to get sucked into thinking what he says is true.
  Take our conversation the other day, for instance.
  He was talking about his cell phone.  He started out making complete sense, then he digressed and started talking about how "they" have bugged his phone.  Apparently he works for whoever "they" are.  He disabled the bugs, but left the tracking device in tact because it's important for "them" to know where he is at all times.
  My mother is convinced he's Jesus (as in God's son, not a Spanish kid), and Uncle has even commented that he's talked to a supreme being and knows things he shouldn't.
  So let's recap, shall we? 
  My grandma (Mom and Uncle's mom) thought she was psychic and could see the future, she was convinced my cousins and I were princesses from the lost land of Atlantis, and she released souls that were stuck in the in-between.
  My mom is convinced my uncle (her brother) is Jesus.  She also thinks the people on TV can see into the room the TV is in.  She has had an affair with a famous person and has given acting advice to another very famous actor.  At one point in time she was convinced I was possessed and another time she put salt above the doorways to keep the demons away.
  Uncle apparently has also bought into the story about him being deity, also thinks himself to be a government agent of sorts (have you seen "A Beautiful Mind"?) and thinks he is invincible.
  I'm sorry, how am I sane?  I didn't have a chance!
  I am thoroughly convinced that the only reason I'm as well adjusted and normal as I am is because God (as in the God in Heaven...that the Bible talks about.  Not some bizarre-o god that walks around disguised as my uncle) had better plans for me.  Really, there is no other way.