I would expect this from August

You know how you feel after Christmas and New Year’s is over?  Kind of sad, depressed, let down and empty?  (Or is that just me?)  Coming home from a vacation like the one we were on is just like that.  BUT WORSE.

I keep joking that Kile and I are ruined for other vacations now.  That our expectations of just how awesome a trip can be has made our usual vacations to visit family in San Jose and Elko that much more… well… lame.  It’s not that visiting family is lame.  But we now know what a vacation can feel like.  And visiting family, as nice as it is, is not a vacation.  It’s not activities piled on food piled on adventure.  Good, yes.  Absolutely fabulous?  Not so much.

The bad news is: that’s the sort of vacation we take.  We’re not the sort of family that can just take these fabulous family vacations once a year (or even once every five years).  It just doesn’t HAPPEN. So I just worry that we’re going to feel depressed when it comes to vacation time now.  Because, you know, driving over Donner isn’t the Disney Cruise.  Shopping at Walmart in Elko isn’t the Magic Kingdom.


Our longing has been so bad that Kile has been madly researching future vacations that we might (theoretically) take.  Right now leading the pack is an Alaskan cruise.  It’s fun to play “what if” but I don’t know how realistic going on one of those would be.  But, oh boy, would it be awesome.

So life here in Reno has been rather disappointing since we returned.  In large part because August sucks.

Remember the venom I used to spew forth in regards to March?  Oh, how March was loathed here.  But then Evie was born in March.  And now it’s a “good” month (I’m still keeping my eye on it though).   With the focus off of March, August has stepped into the limelight.

My dislike for August isn’t exactly new.  Just like my dislike for March wasn’t a new thing when Jackson died.  It just is.  And why?

The big reason is Kile’s work schedule.  August is a mondo month at the University.  And a mondo month for the housing department.  It means long hours, working weekends, stress and no days off.  It was a REALLY big deal that Kile was able to go on our Disney Extravaganza considering such time off in August is not usual.  It makes him crabby.  And when Kile gets crabby, I get crabby.  And when I get crabby, the kids hide.

Seriously though, it does have an impact on the household.  And I count the days until September and things can return to quasi-normal.

Also: August is the month that I had the D&E back in 2005.  I had found out that my pregnancy was kaput and was sent on a hellish roller coaster that resulted in our nightly alcohol drinking for the duration of the month, just to get through. (Though come to think of it, I think every August should have nightly alcohol drinking because that wasn’t half bad.)   It was bad, that August.

Then there was that August a couple years ago that I was on an emotional roller coaster, unsure of where the ground was.  I eventually discovered I was pregnant and that was GOOD, but the emotional fallout from that month continues to haunt me to this day.  It was bad.  Bad enough that it has changed me in some not so good ways and I’m not sure I can ever be the same person I was before.

Finally, there’s the obvious: the heat.  Not a big fan of heat in general, by the time August rolls around I HAVE HAD IT.   The days and days and days of hot, hot weather have taken their toll and I’m just plain SICK of it.  It makes me crabby to have yet another day of mid to high 90 degree temperatures.  On top of everything else, the heat causes extra stress, extra pain and extra orneriness.   For instance, right now I’m so ready for fall and fall temperatures that when we had a downright COOL day on Sunday, I almost cried with relief.

We were married in August, which is GOOD.  In my opinion, a month like this NEEDS some good stuff.  But the anniversary is in the beginning of the month and August doesn’t really start to really suck the big one until the middle to the end of the month.

So yes, our Disney trip was AWESOME this month.  And you would think that would be enough to redeem the entire month, at least for this year.  But as I see it, the Disney trip was a respite from a shitty month.  And even the trip would have been that much more awesome had it taken place in almost any other month.  And the coming home from the Disney trip has only served to ADD to the suck that is August.

Basically, I’m a rather disgruntled person and if August knew what was good for it, it’d just hurry up the next seven days and get me the heck to September already.

Tuesday: So far, not a fan

So the week has found me. I tried to hide, but it was hard to disguise my location when Evie kept getting me up all night long. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to deny her milk. She didn’t NEED to nurse at 2:22 in the morning. She really WANTED to, but she didn’t NEED to. Not when she’d nursed at 11:35. And I think I got to sleep close to 1. So yeah, THANKS Evie. And she kept trying to wake up after that but I wasn’t having it.

I finally gave in at 6:30. The sun was up and shining brightly into both of our rooms (seriously, what’s the deal? When will it stop doing that so damned early?) so I couldn’t quite justify denying her. Even though I felt pretty wasted.

Thing is: I’m hanging on by a pretty thin thread these days.  Kile has asked me why and I have no answer.  I don’t know WHY.  If I knew why, then maybe I could fix it.  But its been something that has come and gone in waves.  And it’s something that has been particularly bad the last year or so.  Actually, more like two years.  My coping skills have degraded severely.  My ability to deal with stressful situations has become almost non-existant.  I’ve been a recluse, closeted and withdrawn.  I’ve had social confidence and contentment leeched out of me.  Not having MOPS this last year was a BAD THING indeed.

When Harry was two and three years old, it was different.  It was just him and me, life hadn’t slapped me around quite as much and the opportunities were more plentiful.  And, let’s face it, I wasn’t such a closeted freak.  We would go to story time at the library on Tuesdays, MOPS on Wednesdays, lunch with Kile at the University on Fridays…  I didn’t think anything of taking Harry shopping with me.  He was a great shopper, content to sit in the cart and watch the world go by.  I never felt trapped in the house with him.   And when we had our rental house, he was often very happy to play out in the backyard, be it in the snow in the winter or the dirt and grass in the summer.

Things are different now.   Before Evie was born, I had no problem leaving the house with Liam.  We didn’t do lunch with Kile anymore, and I didn’t do as much shopping, but there was MOPS and we had friends to go hang out with and I never hesitated to take Liam along on an errand if I needed to go somewhere.  But with Evie now, I don’t feel like I have that freedom.  And I do realize this is my own doing.  Many moms have no trouble wrangling together their herd to leave the house.  I just don’t have that confidence.  The notion of going to the park with both kids by myself makes my blood run cold.  What if Liam runs off (as he would surely do) while I’m dealing with Evie?  I don’t think I would have the energy to deal with it.  Shopping would be impossible since most stores I would go to only have single carts and I can’t push two carts by myself.  (I have to laugh at loud of the notion of letting Liam just walk outside the cart.  HA!)  We have no MOPS and no friends and therefore no adult interaction outside that of seeing my husband at the end of each day.   I’m hesitant to try to make any new friends since all attempts in the past have been such ginormous FAILs that I am extremely wary of putting myself out there again.

At the end of the day, it’s just easier to stay home.  To shut myself in.  And with no yard for Liam to play in (yes, still, after living here 5 years… circumstance is a bitch), he has nowhere to run off his energy.  So he gets bored and restless.  Add in some healthy jealousy of his sister, and you’ve got a recipe for chaos.  And frayed nerves.  I’m sort of depressed these days anyhow, and the chaos is directly opposed to my calm-seeking personality.  So… yeah.   By the end of the day, I’m at my wits end.  And since Evie has decided to wake up a couple times a night again (WTF, darling daughter?), I’m exhausted too.

And I know this is all my own doing, so please spare me the “quit whining and do something” speeches.  Because I know.  But at the same time, I feel caught inside a vicious circle and the way out just isn’t quite so clear.  I’m focused on just making it through the day right now.  Day by day, hour by hour.  It’s the best I can do.  And that’ll do for now.

I shouldn't be allowed to post from my iPhone

You know, this isn’t the first time that I’ve gone back to read something I posted from my iPhone and gone, “WTF??”  Because really.   That post makes it all seem very sturm and drang and BLAH BLAH BLAH, boring and STUPID!  I think my eyes rolled reading my own post so I can only imagine how the two of you out there who are reading this reacted.

For that?  I apologize.

Yes, last week was very had.  Yes, I had a lot of crabbyness.  Yes, I let my feelings get hurt over stupid stuff that isn’t supposed to hurt my feelings.  Yes, there are times I want to high-tail it to the border just so I can have a break.  But holy cow, doesn’t everyone?  I hardly think I’m unique in that respect.  So please know that the pity party thrown in my post last night wasn’t QUITE as dramatic and pitiful as it came across.

I may be a loser, but even I have standards.

I honestly think maybe it’s the teeny screen of the iPhone that you have to type out a blog post on that makes all the stuff I post from there come out all weird and un-evenly toned.  Yep.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Thankfully, I don’t think the heat will get the better of me this week (yes, I do think that the heat contributed to 90% of my crabbiness… y’all need to believe me when I say I HATE THE HEAT).  Kile put our window a/c unit in the living room today and I’m currently enjoying some machine-generated coolness and am loving it more than I can express in words.

It’s not ALL bad.  Yes, I am mildly depressed.  I’m pretty much used to it by now and I think most of you are used to it too (you know, all two of you).  But like I said, BIG DEAL.  Who cares?  I don’t care.  You don’t care.  NO ONE cares.  Moving on…

It’s Sunday!  And I had a fabulous breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe this morning that may have made my toes curl.  And Evie almost choked on a honeydew melon!  It was good times, all around. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go decide whether or not I need to have something to eat right now.  This is going to require a lot of thought.

Ready to start A picture from the drive-in.  Just cuz I can.

Napping A napping girl.  Cuz she’s cute.


Yesterday was just a sad, sad day.  My mind was almost constantly on dear Maddie and her parents and aching for the loss.  Why did this hit me so hard?  I mean, there’s the obvious reason: a young girl dies tragically leaving her parents shattered.  But I also didn’t know Maddie or the Spohr’s or anyone related to them.  I just knew OF them.  And yet, I felt like a part of my heart had been torn from my body.  Every time I saw a picture of that precious little girl, my heart would re-fracture and the tears would start.

Maybe it’s because the emotions are all too familiar.  It is all too easy for me to imagine what the Spohr’s felt and are feeling.  While I absolultely do not fathom the magnitude of their loss, I have had that moment where the floor falls away, the room spins and the earth tilts off it’s axis, leaving you wondering which end is up and how the world will ever make sense ever again.  That fear that all parents have, the flash of “what if” that we experience during close calls… I have an inkling of what it feels like when all the bad stuff comes true.  The sick feeling goes on and intensifies and consumes your soul.  You either cry at the drop of a hat or cannot even muster the coherence to cry, depending on the day, the hour, the moment, the instant.

The nights are the worst.  You begin to dread going to bed.  Especially when your husband is blessed to be able to fall asleep relatively easily and deeply, leaving you laying awake, alone with the night.  That is when the pace of the day is behind you and your thoughts take over.  That is when there is nothing to distract you but the sound and feeling of your heart breaking all over again.  No one is there to hug you, listen to you, tell you it will all be all right.  Night is when the deepness and the dark and the sorrow seem to have no end.  Night is when you wonder if you will ever be whole again.

This goes on.  And on and on and on.  Days melt into weeks melt into months melt into years.  And for the rest of your life, you will always know what it feels like to have the floor fall out beneath you.  You are a member of that club, the club that NO one ever wants to join.  That no one ever should have to join.  So when you read or hear about stories that have any sort of common thread with your own, you heart fractures along those same, familiar lines yet again.

I don’t know exactly how the Spohr’s are feeling.  But I have an idea.

Night and Day

Ya’ll are wonderful, really you are.  I actually kinda feel bad about the last post, as though I should have turned off comments or included a disclaimer or both.  I didn’t mean for it to feel desperate or anything, just contemplative.  The bottom line is: those thoughts weren’t unusual for me and neither were they weighted.  They’re the sort of thoughts that flit through your head while you’re taking a shower on a Christmas afternoon and coming down from a stress-high.  Seriously, I limped to bed last night because I was sore all over my body.  My arms and legs were a mess of cramped up muscles that ached and burned and the best reason I can come up with is that I’ve been so tense about the holidays that yesterday when the stress finally passed, I had sore, sore muscles.  Owie!

I guess what I’m trying to say here is: I feel better today.  Shoot, I felt better almost as soon as I had posted that.  I wrote down what I’d been thinking in the shower as soon as I got out and scheduled it to post this morning so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a post done this morning.  And I felt a lot better after I had it done, because this blog is nothing if not an outlet for my emotions.  Bless it for that.

I don’t doubt that I probably need to see a psychiatrist or any of that.  Right now, I’m a little more than reluctant to deal with doctors after that whole thyroid fiasco.  But I know it needs to be done, sooner or later.  Because I know that I MUST have some form of depression.  I must.  I’m not naive enough to think that I don’t.

Today has been a good day though.  We got out, left the house.  Ventured out into the snow and got some In n’ Out Burger and hit the stores to spend some Christmas money. I got a lot of things for the kiddos, including a booster/highchair that straps onto a kitchen chair and some snow bibs for Liam (he has been DESPERATE to go play in the snow and now he can).  I also got a sweater dress/tunic for myself and some wool yarn and more knitting needles to play with.

So don’t worry about me, okay?  Please?  If you see me start shopping around for razor blades or shotgun shells, then you can worry.  But really, I promise I’m okay.  We all get down now and then, and I’m no different.  In the meantime, the holidays are over, and all is well once more.  Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief and move on, shall we?

Do you ever…

Do you ever feel blue?

Do you ever wonder when things will “get easier”?

Do you ever then stop and wonder if maybe what is hard for you isn’t so hard for someone else?

Do you ever think someone (everyone) will think you are lame, a drama queen, pathetic, soft, etc because you have such a hard time?

Do you ever feel as though, regardless of how self-conscious you are about it, that the world is weighing on your shoulders ALL THE TIME?

Do you ever wake up in the night with your jaw and fists clenched?

Do you ever have a hard time just making yourself RELAX?

Do you ever think that maybe you are harming your children in some way with your sadness? Maybe not the little ones because they don’t notice as much but the nine-year-old for sure?

Do you ever wonder if they would be truly better off without you?

Do you ever watch those depression medication commercials and think that the “depressed” person is actually pretty normal?

Do you ever watch those same commercials and think that the happy person “after” the medication is unrealistic because NO WAY is anyone that happy on a general basis?

Do you ever think those silly online “Are You Depressed” quizes don’t apply to you because they ask if you have ever contemplated suicide and of course you would never, ever do that?

Do you ever then think that while you don’t have the stomach for a razor blade that maybe a fatal accident or fatal illness would be the better way to go?

Do you ever stop and realize how weird that sounds and that you are beyond stupid for even thinking it in the first place?

Do you ever then find a little voice saying in the back of your head, “Even if it’s true?”

Do you ever wonder if maybe you aren’t getting over the death of your child, spouse, parent, loved-one as well as you thought you were?

Do you find yourself having this entire monologue with yourself while you’re taking a shower, trying to will your sore muscles to relax and realizing that the hot water has already been mostly used up?

Do you ever then think that maybe you deserve not to have hot water for thinking such silly and stupid thoughts?

If you have or if you do, then we have something in common, I think.

Ho Ho Hum

I’m just not feeling it this Christmas season.  This is not unusual, of course.  Christmas looses a lot of it’s magic once you’re at an adult and real life intervenes at every turn.  Some years are worse than others.  Of course, 2004 was like the king of Bad Christmases and hopefully won’t be topped anytime soon.  There were some big extenuating circumstances on that one, though.

This year, I think the added stress has contributed to my sour outlook.  It’s hard to really get into the magic when you’re fretting about money and medication and demanding children.  The whole medication thing could be a reason in and of itself.  My hormones are assuredly not quite kosher, if you know what I mean.  Hopefully, having pills within my grasp once more will help that.  And, I suspect, there might be a little good, old-fashioned depression thrown in for kicks and giggles.

The presents are purchased, the cards have been mailed, the packages are on their way…  I even have wrapped a few presents and they are currently residing underneath the tree.   I also found an awesome deal on Amazon.com for an awesome gift for an awesome boy last night and used an awesome giftcard I earned from MyPoints to get it.  AND it’ll get here in time for Christmas too.  So the bases?  They are (mostly) covered.  Sure, there is cleaning to be done, but there’s not much point in worrying about that until next week.  Not with the slobs that inhabit this house (I include myself in that statement, by the way).

Of course, I just had a giggle reading this post by Jennifer of PANPFC (I love abbreviating that).   I feel so much better, knowing that I am not the only one who a deep and abiding HATE of eggnog.  The stuff makes me want to be barf.  I won’t even talk about how Kile leaves his empty glass sitting around, all coated on the inside with the nasty stuff and COOKIE CRUMBS on the rim and on the inside of the glass from where he dipped the cookie in the foul crap and… (*hurl*).  Okay, I need to stop before I make myself seriously ill.  The point is, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who hates the stuff.  Makes me feel a little less like a grinch.

But I watch Kile decorate the house for the holidays, and Harry get excited about presents under the tree and Liam spaz out over playing in the snow and lights on the tree and… meh.  I’m just not feeling it.  Even more than the year before, it’s really just feeling like “just another day”.  Except that it’s just another day that I need to do a lot of crap in preparation for.  Does this mean I’ll feel relief next week when it’s over?  Maybe not right away, but a few days later after the dust has settled… will I feel that sweeping gratitude that I made it through another holiday?  Cuz right now, I’m thinking I will.

I hope this condition is limited to this year.  I would hate to have all future Christmases tainted by this feeling of doom and depression and blah.   Maybe in the future, I’ll have better perspective.

What I am not

I am not domestically inclined.  I hate doing housework, I’m not a very inventive cook and I couldn’t organize to save my life.  My home reflects this about me.  I would like a clean house, dinner on the table and a more organized lifestyle but I am at a loss as how to achieve that. I am a huge housewife FAIL. 

I’m not “one of those” moms.  I don’t volunteer at my son’s school, drive carpools, attend a plethora of playdates or throw fantastic birthday parties.  All of that stuff is way, way, WAY outside my comfort zone.  And I worry that this is going to negatively impact my children.  Socially.  I already see it with Harry and it makes me feel guilty like you would not believe. 

I’m not beautiful.  There are a lot of things about myself that think are downright unattractive.  Whenever I get my hair cut or dyed, buy new clothes or shoes or purchase and wear makeup, that is just me trying to make myself bearable to myself. 

I’m not socially talented.  This swings both ways.  While I’m not very good at putting myself out there, it also means that I don’t employ a lot of “tactics” that I think a lot of women just assume that other women use.  I don’t hang around people I don’t enjoy, so please don’t think me the sort to be manipulative or schemey.  What you see is pretty much what you get. 

By the same token, I don’t pick up “hints” very well.  Because, as I said, I’m not socially talented.  I virtually always need someone to come right out and say something if they want me to do something.  Because chances are, I’m not going to come up with it on my own.  I wish I could, but my brain just doesn’t work that way.  

I’m not at all outgoing.  This means I don’t call anyone on the phone (and when I say anyone I mean ANYONE) (I call my mom and I call Kile and THAT’S ABOUT IT).  I don’t approach people out in public.  I don’t stick my nose out in pretty much any social situation.  I’m painfully shy and bad social experiences seem to only reinforce this backward behavior. 

I’m not the sort that shows her feelings all the time.  I generally try to put for a very calm personna and it works pretty well.  It’s a coping mechanism.  But I do experience hurt and sadness.  Depression and anger.  If you knew me several years back, after we lost Jackson, and thought, “Wow, she is so strong!  I don’t know how she does it!” just know that behind the scenes, I was a complete and utter waste of a person.  I still am in many regards. 

I’m aware that there are some of you who don’t like to read posts like this.  I’m sorry.  I’m just in a mood today.  It’s been a rough day around here.   And these are all things that I think and that I know about myself.  It’s not opinion, it is fact.  It’s not very happy or pretty, but it is fact. 

Needing Direction

I don’t know what’s going on with my blog, ya’ll.  I think I’m losing focus.  The stats are down, my inspiration is down… This is not good, heading into NaBloPoMo, which I always look forward to each year and which requires constant content.  At the left there you see a graph of my weekly stats.  The highest point was BlogHer, I believe.  This week isn’t even half over yet, so obviously it’s still low, but you have to admit there’s a deliberate downtrend there.

And yet… WHY DO I CARE?  Or do I really?  It’s not really about ad revenue.  So I can’t blame the ads for watching these and feeling a pit in my stomach.  I think it has more to do with… ego.  After I had Evie, my blog enjoyed a nice boost.  A lot of people were visiting and commenting, I had lots to post about and everything was great.  In recent months, the visitors have dropped off, I’ve lost inspiration and I’m left feeling like a wallflower once again.

For the record, I hate feeling like that.

I don’t want to care.  I want to move past it.  I want to get back to the CONTENT.  But I am just not sure how to do that.  What was I posting back in the spring and summer that I enjoyed so much?  What about before then?  Right now, I feel like I have no goal.  I’m a boat set adrift in the sea of the internet.  Drifting is no fun.  I like to either have a goal or be anchored.  I’m a planner, after all.  The unknown isn’t something I like to embrace too much.  I suppose that’s the German in me.  We must be regimented!

How do I find my Blogging North Star?  Where is my focus supposed to be?  Why do I feel so confused when I open up my “Write Post” page?

And, most importantly, how do I STOP looking at the stats?  Because I seriously think they’re going to make me crazy.

Bootstraps – The Pulling Up Of

I hate yesterday’s post.  I hated it while I was writing it, even.  But I couldn’t seem to stop myself.  So I posted it because I didn’t know what else to do.  I guess in that regard, the title was appropriate because I was indeed floundering.  Floundering for good blog fodder, that is.

Gah.  So today I vow to be a little less whiny and self involved.  Well.  Mostly, anyhow.  Because ya’ll?  I’m a mess.


This hair is driving me mad.  It’s too short to do anything with and tends to get all gnarled up while I’m sleeping, sticking in fifteen different directions.  I’m not used to that.  I think I should be at least able to pull it back into a ponytail until it grows out and I can get a decent haircut.  Until that day, I have to suffer with sloppy hair.

Take note of my Pink Uniform.  I’m so happy it’s getting cool now and I can wear the Pink Uniform again.  It’s one of the best things about winter (another awesome thing is my boots.  I love my boots).

The iPhone cleverly masks out my eyes with the bags underneath and slightly manic expression within.  You’re welcome.  (No one wants to see that.)

I’m feeling a lot less craptastic today.  I think yesterday was a mix of things.  I was still feeling sick, but decided not to take cold medicine because I wasn’t feel AS sick.  I was super-tired.  I was super-unmotivated.  I was in a pit and having a hard time looking up at the blue sky above.  Some days are like that.  Thankfully, today I’m feeling a lot more on target.  I’m not as tired and while still battling that damned cold, I feel a lot more in control of it.  Not terrifically motivated today, but not so numbingly frozen either.

In short?  I’ll take it.

Of course, I would be even happier with a small case of Rockstar Punched or Rockstar Juiced.  The first person who can hook me up with that gets a cookie.