Saturday, October 16, 2010

OK- I guess I volunteered.....

Yesterday I had Princess Bear (PB) at the pediatrician's office for a variety of reasons. I asked him what he thought of entering PB in the Miss You Can Do It pageant. I passed the idea by my dad who thought it was a bad idea. I think PB who LOVES dressing up would have a ball. The Miss You Can Do It pageant is especially for special needs girls between the age of 4 and 25. It was started by Miss Iowa 2008 Abbey Curran. I think the pageant is an awesome idea! What a brilliant way for these girls to feel like "normal" girls for a day! Well, PB's pediatrician thought it was an incredible idea too. He said I should contact Dr. Morgan who runs a play project for kids with special needs. He told me to tell Dr. Morgan that he sent me to talk to him and what would it take to start a pageant like that in Peoria. Huh? I was just looking at doing the pageant in Kewanee. Evidently the ball is rolling and I'm going with it. I'm not sure what I think. Event planning is what I went to school for and I'm damn good at it. Isn't it weird the way things snowball?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall- how I love thee!

So what do you think of the new blog design? I love fall as we've talked about and I really love Halloween! Add my love of vintage graphics and this design was just calling my name!

Lately I've spent some time thinking and trying to come up with fun Halloween stuff to do with Princess Bear (PB). As I've mentioned I'm pretty hard core into Halloween. Its second only to Christmas. This year PB has a countdown to Halloween calendar that is the same basic premise to an advent calendar. At first she tried telling me she didn't want to do it because it was scary. Ok- this thing isn't scary in the slightest. She came around pretty quickly. She's now all set to dec the house out from the roof down. I've also been pondering why I love fall so much & why its my favorite season. If you think about it there is no way it should be my favorite season. In addition to all of my depression and anxiety issues I've dealt with my entire life my sister & I both suffer from SAD in a major way. My mom jokes about how her daughters turn gray by the middle of December. Since I now know that I've got a rather significant vitamin D insufficiency to boot I should be all about warm sunny weather. Nope! Nothing makes me happier than the sight of leaves changing colors, the coolness in the air and if I'm lucky the occasional scent of burning leaves! I think I like the idea of hunkering down. At least in theory. The idea of being cuddled up with a good book, a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and PB and my cat. I almost wished I lived on a homestead somewhere we were were more or less snowed in! Anyway back to fall. I would love to decorate for fall. Unfortunately money aside and lack of already owned decor my parents are very into decorating. One of my favorite blogs to check out just for the visuals is Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse. You can check it out HERE. Her house is most definitely a dream house (I think I have 2 that and a log home unless I could combine the best of both!). I love how she has decorated for fall! I did get PB a little sugar pumpkin and 5 mini pumpkins a week or so ago. I think I might have to scrimp up $10 and go to the dollar store and see what autumn things I could come up with. Maybe a leaf garland or two!

All of this led me on a search for some country/prim blogs. As I just mentioned I love Aunt Ruthie's Farmhouse and I love log cabins. I think I love the feeling of warmth they convey. That and the fact that when I think about what kind of women lived in these houses in the past they were strong women! I love reading Country Sampler Magazine. The ideas in there are fabulous and I love to turn down pages for ideas I want to remember for whenever PB and I get out own place. The idea of a comfy, warm, pretty country house or log cabin absolutely delights me. I think maybe because I don't feel that in the home we're in now. It also kind of ties into my whole wanted to homestead idea. I mean to you see a modern style house in the middle of 40 acres of wooded land? Nope, you see a farmhouse or log home. Something to blend into the setting.

This is also something that I've been thinking about lately. Back when Mason and I were serious (or as serious as we could be at 19 & 20) we talked about renovating a farm into a house. As I got a bit older I became slightly obsessed with log homes. Then I came to the realization that I wanted to live in the city. Peoria is as about as small as I can handle. I love the city and all that it entails. I was actually terrified of living in the country. I always dwelled on the horrendous what ifs instead of looking at the wonder of not being packed on top of one another. Then in the past couple of years I'm all about wanting to get back to the land and living in the country.

My therapist and I actually had a really interesting conversation about this awhile back. She thinks its due to a stalking incident that occurred when I was living in NC on my internship. I woke up one night and something wasn't right. I had left the light on because my roommate had gone out. When I woke up it was dark and someone was standing next to my bed. Yeah enter major freak out. Somehow I kept my wits about me. I asked Mr X what he was doing there. His reply was that he'd been watching me for a long time. At the time I didn't know what that really meant. I told him that he had to leave. He again told me that he'd been watching me for a long time. At that point I was completely freaked. He then reached over to turn on the light and I got a very good look at Mr X. A moment later he laid down a key and left the room. I freaked out. Now if I'd really been thinking I would have yelled right away because I was staying in an old barrack that was converted into dorm type rooms. Every other room on my floor was being occupied by guys that were in training to become Department of Corrections guards for the state of North Carolina. I loved these guys and they had kind of adopted me as a group little sister. If I would have screamed this guy would have probably left on a stretcher. Why didn't I scream? Honestly I have no idea. I don't know how long it was before my roommate came back but she realized that something was wrong. I asked her if she'd seen anyone in the hall and she got me to tell her the whole story. She and another intern decided the best thing was to call the police. Now since we were on federally owned property that meant the local police had to turn it over to the state police. That was the beginning of a circus act. Fingerprint dusting all over the room, questioning of me and my roommate (who had thought she lost her key & didn't report it. Turns out this guy swiped it from her). I was able to give a very accurate description and the police went to look around. All the commotion woke up the DoC guards in training and another intern who was one of my closest friends from Western. They did their best to calm me down. Someone suggested I should call my parents and let them know what happened even though it was really late. My mom swears she's never heard that kind of terror in anyones voice and never wanted to hear it again especially from one of her children. As it turned out the answering machine at my parents wound up recording the whole conversation which was saved in case the case went to trial. My friend Bob (the other intern from Western) slept on the floor of my room since my roommate didn't want to stay there and I was literally so scared I was glued to the bed. Bob is a good old country boy and brought a knife to the room and offered me one as well (don't worry I declined!). The next morning all of the DoC guys checked on me first thing. As they were crammed into my room the police showed up to say that they had arrested a suspect. The DoC guys insisted on all walking with me to the police car to ID the guy. Man did I love those guys! Sure enough they had the right guy and he was taken into custody. This was the friday before Labor Day weekend and my big project was planning and coordinating all of the Labor Day activities. I spent all of that friday on the phone trying to figure out things. I really just wanted to pack my bags and go home. I called my advisor and told her what happened. I only had a week left of my internship and had everything planned and set up for the Labor Day weekend but I was a mess. I just wanted to get out of there. My advisor said if I cut my internship short regardless of the reason I'd fail the semester. The next thought that was bounced around was my dad & uncle flying out there. Ok- you try pricing the flight for 2 people last minute, labor day weekend to coastal North Carolina. I quickly turned down that idea. My dad & uncle offered to drive out. Again while I appreciated it I didn't think it would help. Now add to this that I called the police station to see what was happening as far as me filing charges against this idiot. Are you ready to poop bricks sideways? They released the guy! Without my knowledge or asking what my intentions were about pressing charges. He was in the Army and told to return to Ft. Bragg immediately. WHAT???? That is when I really lost it. There was next to no security where I was at. The grounds were extensive and not well lit at night. We literally were on the Cape Fear river on one side and 2 blocks from the ocean on the other side. We decided the best alternative was for me to get a car and rent a room at a hotel in Kure Beach which was about 15 or 20 minutes away. When I asked the police why they released him they said he was in the Army and remorseful for what had happened. Hmmm, ok- what about the fact that I'm terrified? I asked about pressing charges and they said I could but the Army could and would just send him out to the field every time we would be scheduled for court. Nice huh? Well you can try going after him but the Army will protect him. Nothing like the good old boys club! So I spent the last week of my internship in a hotel room. So this is the basic reason that for a very long time I was terrified of living in a secluded location. I wanted people everywhere! Back to the conversation with my therapist. She has a theory that the brain has a wonderful capacity to heal itself and that my desire to live in the country is an indication that I'm no longer as traumatized by the stalking incident. I think she might be right. I think it will always be in the back of my mind and that at times I might react to things badly because of it but its no longer dictating where I want to live. The brain is pretty amazing isn't it????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An exercise in frustration

I've been helping with my nephews a lot. This started before Luke was born because my sisters carpal tunnel was so bad she could barely change Tyler's diapers. I stayed there for a week when Luke was born so my brother could be at the hospital with Kate during the day all day. I was ready to go loco by the end of it. I love my daughter & I love my oldest nephew almost to adoration. The two of them together are fun but absolutely feed off each other. One night I actually went to Kroger to just be by myself for a little while- thats how much I just needed to escape for awhile. My sister has had one health issue after another since giving birth and I've spent almost every weekday out there helping her. Now my sister is the family golden child while I am the black sheep and she is perfectly aware of this. Add to that my sister is a very difficult person to please and its a hard situation at best. Frankly I need the money and I adore my oldest nephew who really didn't deal with the adjustment to being a big brother and really needed some special attention and love. My sister just called me to bitch about the state of the basement. Ok yes its my fault I forgot to go back down there and pick up. Tyler and I had gone down there to play because my sister & Luke were taking a nap in the family room. The basement isn't as much fun because there are only a few toys down there and Tyler isn't supposed to watch TV with me (I'm supposed to engage him while I'm there). That all said Tyler is recovering from a bad cold and was happy to just chill with Aunt Sarah & look through catalogs. Yes, my nephew is addicted to catalogs! :) My sister called me and asked me to come up because Luke needed a bottle and she had to pump. I said we'd be up after I cleaned up. Well I didn't get everything cleaned up before she was going crazy telling me to come up now that she was putting Luke in the bouncer. Now did she start a bottle warming? Nope. So I get up there and start Luke's bottle and make more juice/ pedialyte for Tyler. Fast forward several hours and I got Tyler down for his nap and then Luke. I fell asleep holding Luke. (man, I hate when I wake myself up because I just snored!) Well, my sister called to complain about the state of the basement. I immediately apologized. I forgot, not much I can do but apologize. She then asked where the TV remote was. I don't know! We didn't watch TV! I told her that and she went into how Tyler obviously moved the remote and I wasn't watching him and if they couldn't find the remote and my bil couldn't watch TV he was going to be pissed. Um ok I can understand that. Now lets talk about the reality of it- a very short in stature not quite 3 year old couldn't have hidden it in that many places! I offered to come out there and help her look. Its a 20 minute ride and I'm glad she declined. I feel bad that I forgot about picking up. I am getting paid so I should have done a good job. The remote will turn up so please calm down! The people in my family truly have no coping mechanisms. Now they will tell you that I am to laid back and lazy but honestly I don't see the point in completely freaking out. I do my share of that but try to keep it to a minimum. My stress level is too high as it is! So that is the story of today! Hoping tomorrow is smoother!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Computer time

Man- I am one of those people who can all day on the computer and accomplish next to nothing. I've noticed the more tired I am the easier it is to do. I'm about wiped out at the moment. Princess Bear (PB) had a 5 hour coughing attack. By the time she fell asleep the wheezing and gurling breathing had started. It was a fun night. This morning I let her sleep in since I knew she was exhausted. I hoped on-line to check facebook and my email. Then I started looking for pumpkin stencils. I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pumpkin carving but the other side of me thinks the pumpkin stencils are pretty spiffy too. I just have a hard time paying for such things (and if I do I make a copy of said stencil so the original is around & can be used again- yep I'm cheap like that!) While browsing I found a Thomas the tank engine stencil for my nephew and a Notre Dame stencil for my sister (my sister went to Saint Mary's which is an all girls school across from ND and she is a huge ND fan). I also found a few cute stencils for PB to pick from. Then I finally delivered PB to school shortly after 10am. Usually I sign her in at the office and then she walks to her room. She was dragging her feet a bit today & I asked if she wanted me to walk her. Oh yes she did. I think she still wasn't feeling well. I'm so glad she wanted me to walk her. Her room is the complete opposite end of the building from the office so we decided to cut through the library. In the library they were having dental techs putting sealants on kids who signed up for the program. PB saw that and was about to turn and run. I assured her she wasn't going to have to do it and we continued on our merry little way. It was too cute "I don't need that- I'll take a pass thanks" even better was an old friend from high school is teaching there now & heard her and got a chuckle as well. She's just a darn cute kiddo!

After that I went to my sisters to help with my nephews. This is probably a post all on its own so I'm just skipping it for now. I picked up PB at school and we came home and I went to sit down at the computer for just a few minutes. Well, its now 2 hours later! I first started looking for pumpkin cream cheese recipes because our cupcakes from last night are ok but not wonderful. I did find some yummy looking recipes. Then I looked into cake pops. I've been hearing and reading about these A LOT lately especially since Bakerella's book is now out. I'm considering trying to sell these at the salon. Not to brag but I'm a pretty dang cook cook and I've been making candy with my mom since I could stand on a stool and tie a bandana around my head. I'll keep you posted! Then I started thinking about the on going war in my house over food budgets as well as a friend who is on an insanely small food budget b/c her soon to be ex is such a prick. That started me on the search for budget recipes, poverty cooking and depression era cooking. This also led to slow cooker recipe searches as well as a second on Once a Month Freezer cooking. I would love to find more freezer recipes that are good. Anybody have any suggestions?

Now while I did find lots of information I blew 2 hours in what felt like a much shorter amount of time. I'm also realizing that I need to get new reading glasses and or new contacts because my eyes are not happy. Everytime I think about getting new contacts I always want to go with a cool color....maybe green this time? Ok- off to make dinner because PB is starting to cough and she didn't get to eat last night because of the coughing attack- ugh!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hmmm people are curious

Sorry- I really didn't mean to disappear for more than a week. Actually there were a couple of days that I could have really used the outlet of blogging. This past weekend was my dads birthday and in her typical fashion my mom started a war with me to ruin my dad's day as well (anyone seeing a theme here?). Everyone in my sisters house has been sick with some sort of ick. Today was the first day I saw my nephew since last week. He was so excited to see me- the child really does make my heart sing! Poor kiddo is still really stuffed up :( Usually getting him down for his nap is pretty easy. Today he was so miserable that he couldn't get comfy. Then when I tried moving he activated a death grip on my hair.

Today after I dropped off Princess Bear (PB) at school I was on the way home and saw the person otherwise formerly known as my best friend. If you don't remember this story here's the LINK Anyway, I've spent a fair amount of time since the holidays last year thinking about this situation. A mutual friend who had a similar incident with Jessi thought I should just keep on reaching out to her and let bygones be bygones. That would be all sorts of well and good if we were both equally guilty parties here. As it is I did absolutely nothing wrong so I don't feel like I'm supposed to be the one to suck it up and try to make it better. A few weeks ago I ran into Jessi's mom, aunt & niece in Target. I said "hi" and her mom actually pretended like she didn't hear me. Hello- I'm like less than 3 feet from you. This woman has had me her in house more times than I can count. Now because her daughter decides to start acting like an idiot she's going to pretend not to hear a greeting? Its not like I really wanted to say hello but since I've known the entire family for over 20 years I figure its the polite, mature, adult thing to do. Afterwards my mom said I should have mentioned to her that I was the one who was being wronged. Yeah you saw that correctly- my mom stood up for me. Thats a rare occurence! Anyway, her birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I spent a good part of the day trying to figure out how to address it. Finally around 9pm that night I asked Maria what she thought. (Maria is one of the four people that compromised the best friends group) Maria mentioned that she thought about that earlier. She said it was a tough call & it really shouldn't be. She asked how I would feel if Jessi didn't respond. To me it would just be one more nail in the coffin of a 22 year friendship. She could have reached out on my birthday and didn't. She could have reached out when my dad was ill which she knew about and didn't and she didn't reach out when I had MRSA and was sick as hell (that was before I took her off of my Facebook friends list). At some point you have to say that no matter how hard you try its pretty damn hard to shake hands with a fist. I did send her a text on her birthday and wished her a happy bday. Of course nothing from her. Back to this morning. I'm getting ready to turn onto my street after taking PB to school. I see 2 walkers. One of them is Jessi. Honestly I could have waved but I see no point. I figured I was being nice by not running her over. Ok- I probably wouldn't have done that but the thought was slightly entertaining. I'm really at a point in my life where I'm done with being treated like shit or being taken advantage of. Its happening entirely too much & I don't have it in me to keep on dealing with it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend from H#LL!

Ok- as a parent I realize that weekend down time is a precious commodity. Since I have been spending the last several months helping out my sister I have a sense of having no life of my own anyway. I've been trying to make some positive changes in my life: doing yoga a few times a week (I've been trying a series of positions recommended for helping with depression in whole living magazine. You can check it out HERE). Trying my best to get to sleep between 11pm and midnight (supposedly helps reset your pineal gland/ melatonin production). Now for a classic night owl who occasionally suffers from insomnia this has been no easy task. The biggest accomplishment by far has been cutting down my caffeine intake. Pepsi/Coke is my friend. I went from having a minimum l soda a day to a max of G-d only knows how many & sometimes throwing in coffee for good measure to having caffeine every other day or so. For the most part its been a 12 oz can or a medium cup. Today was my worst day at 24 oz but I've greeted 2am the past 2 nights so I needed it. I'm trying to not let this weekends lapses become habit breakers. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday my mom & dad came home early, completely exhausted and in a mood. They've been helping out at my sisters almost daily as well. My mom & I had a talk about how the house really needed to get cleaned up since I am returning to my sisters this coming week. I had every intention of getting it done or as close to done as possible.

Saturday morning comes & I'm up and moving by 7:30am. Not bad for me. I spend time getting the living room and dining room straightened as well as the kitchen and several loads of laundry. Then Princess Bear (PB) had her swimming lessons at 11:30. Those are only a half hour but by the time she showers off, dries up and is dressed again we're lucky to be out of there by 12:30pm. From there we went to CVS because I needed some Febreeze Air Effects that was on sale for $2.99 and I had a $1.00 coupon. I know that Febreeze isn't the most green item to be using but its to combat the smell from using the green Swheat kitty litter. The stuff works well enough but there is no absorption of odors whatsoever! My mom called once while we were at CVS asking where we were (honestly I cannot be anywhere other than home and not receive a phone call asking where I am). While we were at CVS I received several texts messages from an acquaintance/friend that lead me to believe she was suicidal. I sent her a few text messages telling her not to do anything and tried calling her with no response. I sent a text to the therapist we both see telling her what was going on and got no response from her. At that point I called 911. Can I tell you that if you call 911 and tell them that an acquaintance has sent you text messages indicating a plan to commit suicide but you do not know/remember her last name and have no address (the 3 phone numbers I had as well as email addy were relatively useless)that they aren't very happy. Apparently it makes there job much harder. To say that this whole scenario left me feeling extremely rattled would be a minor understatement. I was totally emotionally drained. I continued to periodically send her texts reminding her nothing was that bad & to think of her kids. We ate lunch and about an hour later the police called me to tell me that they found her & she was fine. Relief. I then decided that I wanted 20 minutes to just decompress. My dad was ok with that plan but my mom, bil and nephew returned home and somehow I was put in charge of the kids. They left my nephew here while they went to mass. Not a huge deal but still took up my time. Then I helped my dad with dinner so my mom could rest. Then came me cleaning up from dinner and trying to then get PB settled for bed. I got some more laundry done and researched a few things I needed to online. Then around midnight I remembered (??) that PB had a birthday party the next day and I needed to make the gift- UGH!!!! I worked on that for awhile & then did some cleaning in my room. Around 2:45am I decided the best bet was to call it a day.

I was up and going by 7:30am today. After making a sorry attempt at breakfast (pb&j on toast) for PB and myself, I cleaned up the kitchen by putting away clean dishes & washing dirty as well as taking out the garbage and doing more laundry. I then spent another hour finishing up the birthday gift. After that it was time to take PB to Sunday school. Once we got home PB was ready to go to the birthday party. It was still a bit too early so I fed her lunch, we wrapped the gift and left the house. As I was leaving I heard back from my therapist asking if I'd heard anymore. We text a few more times and then I got gas and we were off. The party was about a 1/2 hour from here. Now if I was still living around Chicago a 1/2 hour to get somewhere is nothing. Around here that is a really long time. PB made the comment (and was completely serious) that she thought we were in 'fornia! I was so proud of myself because I thought we were going to be on time for the party (I am late for everything!). Well once we hit the frontage road the real fun began. Try 2 wrong turns that lead to some really pretty country driving but ultimately made us a 1/2 hour late. Luckily we weren't the only ones. As soon as we arrived Bella's grandma asked us if I had any plans for us this afternoon. Ummm, no not really. Good, the zoomobile is getting there until 2 and we can't eat until after that. By the time all was said and done we left the birthday party around 5:20 and headed home. We left the house around 12:15! I was beyond exhausted! My dad then needed help in the yard while my mom simultaneously needed help with dinner. While dinner was cooking I got PB in the bath. Then dinner and cleanup again. After that PB wanted cuddle time so we watched Jonas L.A. After that I did the rest of the kitchen and put PB to bed. This takes us to 9:20 Sunday night and my moms most recent blow up about how I'm not doing anything I need to around the house and I'm continuing to fuck up and that everyone says the only way I'll stop is to get kicked out. Did I miss something? Did I not help? Did I get done everything I would have liked to? Not nearly but not from lack of trying or jacking off with my time.

Oh I forgot the best part- on the way back from the birthday party I received 3 text messages from the acquaintance I called 911 about yesterday. Basically telling me that I was butting in where I wasn't wanted and to leave her alone. Yep, I had a great freaking weekend!

I could mention the stress from a friend that is really getting to me or the fact that my daughter is really needing more downtime with me. Yes I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm just so sick of trying & not at least getting credit for what I am getting done. I think I'm going to get ready for bed and hope like heck this coming week is smooth. As I typed that I remembered that I'm spending all day every day at my sisters. Honestly- is the concept of me time just a dream????