Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marathon Man

Hello friends!! I'm happy to report since my last blog I am feeling MUCH better. More and more like my old self every day. It's great.
This past weekend Mr. Mayer and I traveled to Virginia to check something off of his bucket list he has been working very hard for. Thanks to our "Kewah" we were able to go kid free. The journey actually began last New Year's Eve when Mr. Mayer's cousin, Ryan, convinced  (I'm pretty sure whiskey was involved in the persuasion as well) him to run a marathon. Not just any marathon-the Marine Corp. Memorial Marathon. It's the 3rd largest marathon and participants are picked on a lottery basis. Mr. Mayer signed up thinking that his chances of being chosen were slim. However, in early spring Ryan text and said he had been chosen for the marathon. Mr. Mayer hadn't been notified so he thought he didn't get picked. Well, later in the day he got the text saying he was picked. Let the training begin!! Ryan created a training plan for he and Mr. Mayer. Mr. Mayer began running, and running, and running. I joked I became a running widow. Hahaha....you guys know it's true. Mr. Mayer kinda slacked off the past month or so. Life happens and running takes a lot of time. The date for the marathon drew closer and closer. Mr. Mayer became more and more nervous. By last week he was hardly sleeping he was so nervous. We flew to Virginia on Friday and stayed with our cousins Ryan and Elizabeth. They have two of the cutest kids ever. One being a new baby I was dying to go squish. And Miss Emily is very squishy. I. Hated. Every. Minute. JK! Friday night we celebrated grown up style with dinner and drinks. Saturday we all went into DC. Mr. Mayer and Ryan went and picked up their packets and gear. Elizabeth and I went to the Eastern Market. Now- I have had a long love affair with the east coast. I have often said if it weren't for the traffic I would move east in an instant. Spending the day in DC and going to Eastern Market did nothing to diminish my love for that part of the country. And fall time in the east is absolutely breathtaking. Later in the day we went back and hung out in the backyard enjoying the sunshine and perfect weather. It was so rough. Especially since I was told it was 90 in Oklahoma. The next morning we were up at 4am to begin the fun. Ugh that was early. Mr. Mayer was beyond nervous. He and Ryan left around 5. Elizabeth and I planned to leave around 7:30. This was my first time going to a marathon and let me just say that spectating is an event in itself. Elizabeth and I covered over 7 miles just trying to catch the guys at different mile markers. We started at mile 5 1/2. We missed Ryan but were able to see Mr. Mayer run by. He was looking good. Next we raced over to mile 10 in hopes to catch Ryan. The problem is Ryan runs a 7.23 minute mile. Needless to say we missed him there too. After that we ran back to the Metro and went to miles 18 and 19. There we were able to see both the guys. At mile 18 Ryan was looking great and still smiling. By mile 19 he was looking a little worse for wear. At mile 18 Mr. Mayer was looking pretty good. He said he had fallen apart a few miles back but felt like he had collected himself. We gave him some Gatorade and a banana at mile 19 and sent him on his way. Then we raced to the finish line. Hole. E. Balls. That was overwhelming. There were over 30,000 marathon participants and probably 3x that many spectators-all at the finish line. The finish line was at the top of a steep hill at Arlington Cemetery (Marathon began at the Pentagon). The runners belongings were in UPS trucks at the bottom of the hill around a corner. Ryan being a super fast human finished in a little over 3 hours. We met him and went to collect Mr. Mayer's belongings. We may or may not have told the people at Mr. Mayer's UPS truck he was in the medical tent so we could get his stuff for him. I plead the 5th. Then Elizabeth and I hiked up the hill to the finish line to see Mr. Mayer run across. Problem is (and I totally understand the safety reasons for this, but still irritated) they had a huge chain link fence blocking spectators from the finish line. So I had to stand some distance away and watch as Mr. Mayer ran across. I was so proud. This is a goal he has had for a long time. I know he's proud of his accomplishment as well. You could visibly see the relief in his face as he finished his race. His official finish time was 5:49:30. It was not the time he wanted (he wanted 5 or under), but I have to remind him that's still a HUGE accomplishment. Mr. Mayer is already saying "in my next marathon." I suspect there will be a few more in his future.
I had no idea what to expect when Elizabeth and I left Sunday morning. I was prepared for a lot of waiting around. I had no idea how much fun watching and cheering would be. The people watching alone was fantastic. Add in the patriotism of the event and it was a fun day. There were Marines at all the aid stations and cheering the runners on. There were Air Force and Coast Guard planes and helicopters flying around. All in the Nation's Capitol.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Down The Rabbit Hole

Life has been pretty tumultuous for me lately. I haven't been myself. I've given up on a lot of things that I love and enjoy doing. Such as my blog. It had just become too much of an effort. Which is sad since writing has always been something I have really loved to do and been a great escape for me. Then my Mother has had another health crisis. This time it's pretty bad. That was the straw that broke this camel's back. I went to the doctor this week. I wanted to cancel a 1,000 times. I convinced myself I was just imagining things. But as each day passed I felt myself slip further down the rabbit hole.
I come from a very long line of mental illness. It's scary stuff. Suicide, substance abuse and inpatient facilities unfortunately were something I was familiar with at a young age. Not for me, but for a lot of my loved ones. I have been asked the question for years "How did you turn out so normal?" I always laugh and say "I don't know." All the while I am freaking out on the inside that someone would figure out that I wasn't normal. I have always felt I kept a pretty good handle on my crazy. There have been times in my life when I probably go through binges where I drink to much, get a little to sad or sleep too much. I have always been able to shake it off. Until recently. Actually, no, I take that back. It hasn't been so recent. If I'm being honest it's something that started 18 months ago. I have spent all of my adult life in Social Work and mental illness. I KNOW the signs, symptoms, what to do. I will be my loved ones and clients biggest advocate to get help. Yet, somehow, when it came to me I would wake up every day and think it will just go away. I thought if I "faked it til I made it" I would be okay. I wasn't okay.
After I had #2 and #3 I got depressed. I knew I was depressed. I had a traumatic delivery, two new born babies, a 3 year old and I was suddenly a SAHM. I remember the conversation I had with my OB (who by that point was a good friend rather than doctor) clearly. He was worried and I assured him I would pull out of it. And I did. I worked really hard to get back to myself. I felt like I maintained a pretty even keel for a long time.
Then 18 months ago my Mother spent 6 weeks in ICU. Doctor's told us she wasn't going to get better and we should make funeral arrangements. It was devastating. At the time I thought I was handling it well. Looking back I realize I was a mess. She did get better and eventually went home. Things were different though. Life became harder it seemed. I became angrier and angrier. If I wasn't angry I was crying. I started yelling at the kids. Losing my cool over really silly things like they didn't put on socks with their shoes or spill their cereal on the table. I started worrying that I was not doing enough. I started feeling like everything had to be perfect and I had to be one of those Pinterest Mom's who can do everything and make it seem so easy. I really put up a good front. Overachieving became my motto. I often get comments to the tune of "I don't know how you do it. You always have so much patience." These comments would kill me. Inside I was crumbling. I was so worried the cracks were going to start showing in my veneer and that I would be a disappointment to a lot of people. That's the root of it. I didn't want to disappoint anyone. Then my Mother fell and broke her neck. She literally broke her neck. I fell apart. I started having panic attacks on a daily basis. I started falling asleep during the day and not sleeping at night. I wasn't showering. I haven't even changed the sheets on my bed in over a week (which is unheard of for me. I like clean sheets). I felt hopeless. I made an appointment with my doctor.
I had to wait 2 weeks for the appointment. I wanted to cancel so many times. But I didn't. I went and cried through the entire appointment. The doctor diagnosed me with moderately high depression and general anxiety disorder (GAD). I started an antidepressant that day. Today is day 4. Yesterday wasn't a good day. I had another panic attack because I was taking a little time for myself instead of doing a chore at home. Today is better. I don't feel angry or like I want to strangle someone. I'm still feeling pretty anxious about life, but I haven't yelled at the kids in a couple of days or lost it because they made a mess. I'm horrified at how far I let myself go. I've always been a pretty laid back person. This isn't me. My family deserves better and Mr. Mayer deserves a medal for putting up with me and my neurosis. I am going to have a little more understanding the next time I have a client or loved one tell me why they delayed treatment or they thought it would "just go away." It doesn't just go away.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Oil of Olay

My Mother is 77 years old. She'll be 78 in a few months. Biologically she is my paternal grandmother. They became Mom and Dad decades ago and have been the only example of parents I've ever had. Her health is not good. At all. We've had some long nights at the hospital in the recent years. Each time being a little worse than the time before. Last week my Mother fell and broke her neck. Yes. Her neck. You always hear of older people breaking hips, shoulders, arms, etc. Not necks. But, that is exactly what she has done. She fractured her C1 in two places and severed her C2. She is in a hospital 4 hours from me. Mr. Mayer and I did not even hesitate for a second about traveling to be with her. My Mother and I do not have a perfect relationship. It has always been a bumpy one. I spent most of my adolescence rebelling against her and the majority of my adult life trying not to be anything like her. However, one thing I've learned is that at the end of the day she's still my Mother and I still love her. My mother has broken her neck. It's awful. But, the most heartbreaking reality is that my Mother also suffers from Dementia. She has very severe Sundowners. Being in a hospital away from everything familiar exacerbates this. The rational social worker side of me knows. I know she does not mean most of what she says. The emotional daughter side of me is crushed. Every harsh word, accusation, plead and violent outburst crushes me. My only goal is to keep her safe because at some point we have switched roles and I became the caretaker and guardian of my Mother. It's an isolating feeling at times and I think I catch a glimpse of what she must have gone through. 
My Mother raised 6 children. She has buried one and had countless foster children through her home. She is tough as nails and a fighter. I think all my friends were scared of her growing up. I was as well, to an extent. But, tonight as I was washing my face and getting ready for bed I reached down to put on my face cream. It's Oil of Olay. My Mother has smelled like Oil of Olay for as long as I can remember. Tonight as I was putting it on my face I thought about her and how she put it on every night.  My Mother has beautiful skin. It's fair and smooth. Until recently it didn't show her true age. I remember watching her and laying in her bed chatting with her about some nonsense of the day. It's funny how one scent can take us back to a time and place we had long forgotten about. These next few weeks are going to be very hard. But, I am going to hold onto my memories and know that it hasn't always been like this. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Days...

WHOO HOO!!! School started!! There's a picture going around on the Internet of a Mom jumping for joy on the first day of school. That's how I feel. For the most part summer went by at the speed of light. I wanted to make a lot of memories this summer and have a lot of fun. I think we were successful. However-the past 3 weeks have dragged by. We all survived each other this summer until 3 weeks ago. Then the fighting, yelling, crying and whining set in. I lost count how many fights I have had to break up recently. I think we all needed a break from each other. And, kids are creatures of habit. They thrive in routine and predictability. Our summer has been anything but routine and predictable. Every day was a new day with new adventures. I was excited for school to start so that we could get back into a normal routine as much as anything. And for their part the kids in this house were sooooooo excited for school to start. The Dudes started back at 2 day a week preschool yesterday and the Diva started 2nd grade today. Yes. 2nd grade. I don't know when she got so big, but it happened. She could hardly contain her excitement this morning. Though she did say yesterday she was a little sad about the upcoming school year. There are two twin boys the same age as #1 that live down the street from us. Since Pre-K she has been in class with one or both of them. When they aren't in school they play together a lot. She is at their house or they are at our house playing. This year they are both in different classes than she is. She is a little bummed about this. I have assured her it is still going to be an awesome year. Yesterday she announced to me that I could NOT take her to school. She was a 2nd grader now. I guess she thought she would embarrass her or something. Whatever. I would never! She told her Dad this morning that he could just drop her off in the drop off line. He didn't need to walk her in. I thought we had a few more years before we started embarrassing her. Oh well. The Dudes and I are leaving in a little while to go pick her up. I can't wait to hear about her first day.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dressing Ourselves

The Dudes are growing and changing on a daily basis. When I look back to a year ago to today it makes my head spin. A year ago I wasn't sure #3 would ever poop in the potty and I didn't think either one of them would ever speak clear enough to understand. Today they are fully potty trained. Well...except when around water. #2 has the uncanny ability to have to poop anytime he is near a body of water. Yes. He STILL poops in the bathtub it you don't watch him. And when you go to a swimming pool prepare yourself. 20 minutes after arrival he will HAVE to go poop. Immediately. There were a few instances of poop in the pants at the pool. I had to threaten him with baby diapers to get him to stop doing that. Sheesh. Anyway...back on task. Growing up. Changing. They are BIG boys these days. As Mr. Mayer frequently points out they are REAL PEOPLE. It's amazing. The most recent thing they have been doing consistently is dressing themselves. It just happened one morning last week. First #2 came downstairs. Fully dressed and even matching pretty well. #3 saw this and he raced upstairs and came back fully dressed. Matching...eh...not so great. And, he has developed an obsession with long sleeve shirts. We live in Eastern Oklahoma. It is August in Oklahoma. While not as hot as past summers, it's still hot, and my special little boy is wearing long sleeves. He assures me he won't get hot. He pairs them with shorts. Matching is not necessary. He is related to #1 after all. To be honest, both boys are so proud of themselves that I am not going to make them change. If he wants to wear long sleeves I'm going to let him. Unless we have an important function or pictures. The I get to pick the clothes. This morning was meet the teacher at the Dudes preschool. I have always been of the opinion I am not going to go out of my way to dress up or do anything special for meet the teacher or conferences. They are going to see my kids day in and day out and why start off the year with a lie. I'm going to let them get a clear picture of what they will be dealing with through the year. I told the boys to go upstairs and put underwear on (you would be surprised, but this daily reminder is necessary) and to get dressed. I was pleasantly surprised when #3 came downstairs in a t-shirt and shorts that matched. Wow! Then #2 came downstairs with #1 close behind. She proudly announced that she helped him get dressed this morning. He proudly announced he was wearing his camo shorts and looked so cool. The camo really brought out the purple in his purple and white button up shirt that was accentuated with an orange bow tie. Yup. He was a sight to behold. As the good mother I am I had to take a picture. Wouldn't you? However....after I took the picture #2 decided he did not like the bow tie look and really wanted to wear his Jake and the Pirates t-shirt and went and changed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Disney World- A Different Perspective

For all my FB friends you have seen this. I just cleaned it up and put it in a nice little package. Just a recap of our time at Disney World.

Captains log 02: we survived our first full day of captivity. We are becoming enmeshed with the local culture and adapting to our surroundings. The First Mate and I have found a local source of liquid and are taking full advantage. The soldiers in our company have maintained a steady state of wakefulness and have taken full advantage of the indoor plumbing. We have walked many miles and are told more to come tomorrow. So far we have all maintained our composure and have not turned on each other. It was touch and go with soldier #2 this afternoon when he was not rewarded for whacking some moles or shooting his target. However, after being distracted by dinosaurs and food all was well.
Captains log: Star date 03-we remain in captivity. I am unsure if our captors are sympathetic to our situation or wish to torture us. We have witnessed many stages of emotions. This morning we were taken to a holding cell. I'll admit the First Mate and I were nearly broken at this colorful cell. The First Mate nearly succumb to the unusual techniques. We held fast to our positions. Our futures were questionable after soldier #3 pulled down his pants in the middle of the cell and declared to everyone around that his penis was too big and would not go down. After the First Mate and I composed soldier #3 and redressed him the soldiers were all taken into another cell where they were cleaned, shined and sprinkled with pixie dust and pirates treasure and sent back to us. Afterwards we were all very hungry. Our captures sent us on a long journey through a magical land full of royalty and beasts. It was a friendly land and everyone was happy to be there. So happy in fact they were singing and dancing in the streets despite the torrential downpours that have been occurring on a daily basis. We were treated to a small feast to fill us since the First Mate was near mutiny levels and we were considering deserting soldier #2 and the next rest stop. After our feast our captors marched us to a strange land and sent us on a ship into the galaxy where we went to battle with an evil villain who called himself Zurgg. We defeated the villain and returned back to earth. In the evening we were treated to another feast and liquid stress relief. For our dinner our captors served us the legs of an Alaskan King. We are hoping that we will not meet the same fate. Until tomorrow….
Captains log: Star date 04- we continue to travel through this strange land still unsure if our captors are friend or foe. Today we feasted in the castle of a beast that had talking candlesticks and dishes. I'm confident I saw a clock talking as well. We were introduced to Princesses from near and far and are told there are more still to meet. We were given archery lessons by one and had to travel deep under the sea to meet another who combed her hair with forks. They were all very kind and beautiful. We rode flying elephants and met an evil sea witch named Ursula. The torrential downpours continue. This makes for unpleasant traveling. However, it did allow for the soldiers to have some much needed rest. For dinner we went in a time machine back to a land of black and white TV's and "Mom" did the cooking. She was a VERY good cook. Afterwards there was singing and dancing in the streets with royalty from Arendale and colorful explosions in the sky. The Queen can make ice with her hands. It was very enthralling. I'm afraid the soldiers are all suffering Stockholm Syndrome. They joined in the celebrations tonight and knew all the words to the local songs. They are quickly forgetting about their homeland.
Captains log: Star date 05- the monsoons continue. The First Mate and I have been a little disheartened by the situation. We remained in our cells for the day. We only left for food. We attempted some water recreation but were thwarted by our captors. Eventually after our evening meal our captors allowed us to enter the recreation area. The soldiers were especially delighted to splash and play by the moonlight. There was even a warm bubbly pool to soak in that the soldiers found very exciting. Tomorrow we will attempt to venture out to other magical lands. We are hoping there is a reprieve in the torrential downpours.
Captains log: Star date 06- The monsoons that plague us were absent today. It was very pleasant. We left our holding cell for the day and traveled to another magical kingdom. This kingdom was anchored by a large golf ball. There were many nations in this country. We were able to travel from Morocco to Germany in the matter of minutes. Soldier #1 received her first tattoo while we were visiting the nation of Morocco. She is quite taken with it. Soldiers #2&3 have become snake charmers and we are now traveling with two cobras. The First Mate and I found liquid refreshment and food in Germany and we spent a great deal of time there. We traveled into the giant golf ball and were transported into outer space. Afterwards we were led into a room where we were greeted by the ruler, a giant mouse. He was accompanied by his wife and a giant dog who I believe may be one of his commanders. They were very friendly to us. Later in the afternoon we again traveled under the sea and met a friendly turtle named Crush. We also took a boat ride through the tunnels which the soldiers really enjoyed. When we left that kingdom with our cobras in tow we journey to a rustic campground and were treated to libations and BBQ. There were entertainers and lots of dancing that the soldiers all enjoyed. The giant mouse that seems to be in charge here was present and dancing with everyone. He brought his wife and friends with him. He is a friendly ruler. Soldier #3 is quiet smitten with the wife of the giant mouse. After the celebration was over we began a long journey back to our holding cell. There the soldiers were insistent on another moonlight adventure in the water. The First Mate and I obliged.

Captains log: Star date 07- this will be my last report. We are being released tomorrow and returning home.The monsoons held off for another day. We travelled to a small village that was entirely water. The soldiers loved it. Soldier #1 and I spent some time in a lazy river with some of the locals. Today I learned that the First Mate has a dislike for water parks and lazy rivers. After our day in the water we went back to our holding cell to put on dry clothes for our next destination. We decided to fore go showers. The temperatures combined with humidity are making showers pointless if we plan on stepping outside. After we changed and everyone had shoes on (surprisingly this is a VERY difficult task) we journeyed to a near by island for a Luau. We were treated to a traditional feast and taught dances from our hosts homeland. There were women in grass skirts and men who danced with fire. The soldiers were mesmerized. After the celebration we returned back to our cell and had one last moonlight dip. Upon returning from playing the soldiers started showering. Soldier #1 began screaming from her shower like someone was trying to kill her. As I enter the room prepared for a bloodbath I discover that a Godzilla like creature had snuck into the shower. As she was getting in he viciously attacked and caught her off guard. I caught the creature for soldier #1 and held it at bay until the First Mate and soldiers #2&3 were done with their showers. I explained to the First Mate about Godzilla and how he viciously attacked soldier #1. The First Mate and soldiers #2&3 inspected the creature and then took it to an off sight location. Soldier #1 was able to complete her shower. I have attached a picture of Godzilla for your reference. Please note that the object in the picture is slightly larger than the actual assailant.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mom's Trash Sack

#2 & #3 learned a valuable lesson this evening. I'm hoping it has the same affect on them it had on #1. We have been battling for MONTHS with the boys to pick up their *&^%$F#%^U toys. We have raced timers, bargained, bribed, threatened, etc. Nothing works. They play, throw fits, whine and Mr. Mayer and I get frustrated and pick up the mess ourselves. #1 used to do the very. same. thing. It really grates me. It doesn't help that my children have too many toys as it is, but then toys have a way multiplying. My house looks like an A-Bomb went off. No joke. You can't see carpet for all the toys. I would like to think I deal with it okay, but at the end of the day as part of their nighttime routine it is the kids job to clean up after themselves. I'm not a maid. And I just want to walk across the floor in the dark and not step on a toy. Tonight was no different. WWIII happened upstairs. I told the kids all day they were going to have to clean up. We came home from dinner and I sent #1 down the hall to clean up the rubber band destruction (seriously. loomy bands are the devil. Those little *&^% are in my nightmares). I sent #2&#3 upstairs. They had 30 minutes to throw some dress up clothes in a toy box and some stuffed animals in a tub. They played. Fought. Squealed. Played some more. Drug out more toys. I finally set a timer for the last 10 minutes and told them that if they did not pick up I was going to bring a trash bag and put all the toys they did not pick up in it. 10 minutes passed. The timer buzzed and all hell broke loose. I took my trash sack up and proceeded to bag up all the toys that were left in the floor. Including #3's favorite Barbie and I'm pretty sure #2's Mohawk monster truck. It was some high drama. I had to bag up #1's toys before. It took 2 times before she started taking me seriously. Now she does a pretty good job of picking up. I'm hoping the same for #2 & #3. #2 took it VERY hard tonight. He's still upstairs crying because I threw away all their toys. According to #2 "It's all Mom's fault!" He has asked his Daddy a dozen times if he will go to Target and buy him some more. Daddy keeps telling him that he's going to have to take care of the toys he has left and pick them up when he's told before he gets new ones. #3 is devastated that I threw his Barbie "frwom Gweat Wooof Wodge" away. In all honesty I did bag up the toys. In fact there were so many toys left out that I ran out of room in my bag and slipped some back into the toys boxes. However, I am not mean enough to actually throw good toys away. The bag is tucked away safely in the attic until an undetermined time when I will slip the toys back into their toy boxes. My point has been made and hopefully it will leave an impression on them. #1 still talks about when Mama threw away her toys.