Archive for November, 2009

November 14, 2009


i am 16+ weeks pregnant, and waiting impatiently for our (yet-to-be-scheduled) 20-week ultrasound.  you know, the *big* ultrasound; the one in which you get to find out if you can start pigeonholing your child into a life of predetermined gender bias by buying pink or blue clothing.  i am far too much of a planner to wait for the birth to find out the baby’s sex.  i am a “need to know” kind of person.  i want to start decorating, i want to start shopping, also, we’ve picked our favorite boy and girl names and i want to know which one we’ll be using.  i’m feeling strongly that it’s a boy.  anyone else care to make a prediction?

November 14, 2009

embracing winter

winter is a hard season for me.  snow, wind, freezing temperatures, gray skies, short daylight hours, being housebound, muddy footprints on the hardwood floors….it’s all enough to send a gal over the edge.

but, i’m trying my best to embrace it by listening to bing crosby and frank sinatra sing christmas tunes while i watch the snow flurries swirl and dance outside my window.  life is good.  pass the cocoa.

November 14, 2009

101 reasons i’m happy just the way i am today

my friend lillian inspired me to start this list. she started her own list on her blog, and will be adding to it until she reaches 101 reasons.  this is just the beginning of my list.  i encourage you to start your own list too.  it doesn’t have to be on a blog or anything, but if you feel like sharing yours, i’d love to read it.  lillian is also collecting folks’ lists to share on her site too.  let’s all spread the love, shall we?

1. i have well-shaped feet with nice straight toes.  i attribute this to my penchant for going barefoot and eschewing any shoes that pinch and contort my toes into unnatural shapes.

2. i have been fortunate to avoid major illness and injury thus far in my life.

3. i am wicked smart.

4. i was able to get pregnant easily both times, and my pregnancies have (so far with this one, knock on wood) been relatively easy and without complication.

5. i love the way i feel, physically and mentally, after a really good workout.

6. i’m a good listener.

7. i have a really good memory.

November 8, 2009

this week has kicked my ass

there’s something funny about sunny weather, especially after an unseasonal october blizzard that dropped nearly 30 inches of snow in two days. this week has been nothing short of glorious; sunny skies and temps topping 70 degrees everyday. if there were ever a reason to celebrate, in my world anyway, this is it. the kiddo and i took full advantage of the sunshine, spending most of each day outside. we went to the park numerous times, took long walks, visited the local ducks and prairie dogs, spent a day at the zoo, and met up with friends. five full days of running, jumping, climbing, and piggyback-giving has worn a mother out. i am beat. it’s saturday night at 8:45 and i’m counting the minutes to bedtime so i can crawl into bed with a book and crash. ::zonk::

November 4, 2009

about me

i like: tropical breezes, soft pretzels, hot showers, newborn baby smell, pedicures, massages, bookstores, tea with milk and honey, dessert, public radio, stationery stores, new pens, crocheting, hooded sweatshirts, rachel maddow, peanut butter toast, catalogs, giraffes, good lotion, lip balm, white wine, SVU, trashy magazines, kneading dough, cheese

i dislike: raisins, mayonaise, wind, mouth breathers, socks, popcorn, papaya, obnoxious ringtones, eyebrow piercings, poodles, people who wear too much cologne or perfume, velvet, shoes that cause blisters, cars bumping the bass, long lines, dust bunnies, busy signals, pop-tarts, local car dealership commercials, chalkboards, adults who wear disney clothing, dirt under my fingernails

November 3, 2009


i need to take a shower (there i go with the “shoulds” again) but instead i’m sitting with my laptop, wasting time on facebook, contemplating reading another little house book. it’s a wild monday night in my world.

i realize that this post is pointless but i’m trying to post something everyday, without having to commit to NaBloPoMo. i suck at follow-through.

November 2, 2009

my brain, the panic room

this evening i had a mini panic attack about nothing. there was nothing specific that caused it, it just happened. that’s just the way it is sometimes. of course there are episodes that are triggered by specific causes – ask my husband about the time we flew through a storm from chicago to denver (i never even enter an airport without xanax, by the way) – but sometimes these little buggers just jump out of nowhere. fun times.

tonight i was just sitting in bed, putzing around on the internet (hey, internet! it’s all your fault) and i felt a sudden tightness in my chest. within minutes i was subconsciously panicking about having a heart attack, and i felt my heart start pounding, my breath became shallow and constricted, my throat tightened, my arm felt numb, and i tears welled in my eyes. the worry about panic spurns a frenzied fear of panic. it is just a vicious cycle that totally feeds on itself and feels completely out of my control.

i struggle with generalized anxiety. i’ve been “a worrier” all my life, but in the last 6 years or so i’ve had enough bouts of panic and overwhelming anxiety that it’s gone beyond just being uptight and dealing with general worry. i’m often able to identify the triggers in day to day life that cause my anxiety meter to go off. yesterday it was a missing marker cap. stupid, right? one of my daughter’s markers was missing a cap and i couldn’t think of anything else but the missing cap. where was it? i need to find it? searching high and low for a damn pen cap. the thought of a pen without a cap was making my mind race and my heart beat faster. i was experiencing extreme discomfort looking at seven tightly capped pens, and one lone pen missing its top. i’m getting better, in situations like this one, at asking myself, “what is the worst thing that can happen here? what is the worst thing that will happen if this pen goes capless?” no one will die. the pen will dry out. i will toss it in the trash. she will have an incomplete set of markers. end of story. learning to let go of the anxiety in these situations really takes a conscious effort, but after i jump that hurdle the anxiety usually abates. i thank the good lord zoloft for my ability to conquer these little daily anxieties.

being a therapist in my former life as a working gal, i tend to overanalyze my behavior and dig deeper into my issues. is this healthy? who knows. i ask myself, “what part of this anxiety is necessary for me to hold on to?” and “what purpose is this anxiety serving in my life?” i don’t really have answers to those questions other than to say that this is who i am. it is who i have always been. it’s all i’ve ever known. i cannot imagine a life in which i live free from anxiety. i know that there are many aspects of my behavior that are abnormal, but this is my normal. everyone worries, to some degree, but not everyone panics about incomplete sets of markers. i’ve always had this part of me; this is just how my brain is wired.

so, if this anxiety isn’t going away anytime soon, how do i deal with this? lately i’ve been working on just BEing with my anxiety. i’ve given it a name, mara, named after the demon who attempted to distract and destroy the buddha on his path to enlightenment. anxiety is my “evil one” that distracts me from living a nice, calm, happy existence. i’ve found that naming my anxiety helps me to acknowledge and address it when i feel it creeping in. it helps me assert a bit of control when i feel myself slipping into a sticky spiral of panic. also, i pause. not just when i’m anxious, but at various points throughout the day. i take a moment to close my eyes and breathe, taking note of my body and any sensations i might be feeling. i pay particular attention to my chest, stomach, and throat as those are places where i frequently feel tightness and discomfort when i’m feeling anxious. i try to let go of judgment of myself. this is a big one. i call it “a case of the shoulds”. i often find myself saying things like, “i should be doing laundry right now,” or “i shouldn’t allow my daughter to watch so much tv,” or “i should really be eating a salad instead of this cupcake,” or “i should get up and exercise.” all of these statements are bound with loads of judgment about what i am not doing right, or areas in which i feel flawed. they serve no purpose but to beat me down and make me feel like i’m not good enough, and then i become panicked about all my perceived failures. this is the biggest challenge for me, i think. i have such a hard time letting go of the word SHOULD and all its associated baggage. it’s a tough one because the “shoulds” are tied not only to my expectations of myself, but also to general societal expectations of me as a mother, a wife, a homemaker, and a woman. i have become very aware of these thoughts and i catch myself saying “i should….” more times than i can count, so i guess paying attention to this negative self talk is the first step towards actually doing something to change it. i also breathe, make lists, write, and take meds. all of these things together help me manage for the most part, though i will never be free of it.

i do worry that motherhood has increased my anxiety levels, but i guess that’s to be expected. i am responsible for the safety and wellbeing of a precious life…there’s a lot of pressure to not fuck it up. i’m sure you’re aware that toddlers are like whirling dervishes of crazy. i’m surrounded by frenetic energy and disarray all day long. just being around a two-year old makes one need a xanax and a glass of wine somedays. but, oh, were i not with child…such a cocktail sounds mighty sweet right about now. i do continue to take my doctor prescribed medications as prescribed during pregnancy. yes, that includes the crazy pills, and yes, this is a decision that my doctor, my husband, and i discussed and feel confident in. read what i wrote above…if i’m that nuts *with* medication, i don’t want to take a chance to see how i’d handle pregnancy and a toddler *without* medication. i think my wonky brain wiring would start to fizzle and destruct, like a cartoon robot overheating and blowing gaskets and bolts and springs.

so i feel like i’m managing it all pretty well. i’ve got some good coping skills. heck, i’ve had more than one doctor (of the “works with the crazies for a living” variety) tell me that i keep it all inside really well, that they would never have guessed that this wacky battle is being fought in my brain daily, because i seem so mellow and composed. friends have commented that i am so easygoing and laid back. oh, jump inside my brain, folks. you’ll come out spinning, or maybe rocking in the corner in the fetal position.