Thursday, March 31, 2011


I am bigger, stronger, smarter, craftier, sneakier, wiser, and louder. Cam still won the battle of the barrette.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A new direction.

 Rob and I have been on the fence about having a second child.  About six months ago, Rob brought it up and was really interested in adopting again.  I was much more hesitant.  So after a couple of days of me FREAKING out in my head, I got used to the idea.  More than used to...I was off planning everything in my head.  Of course, that meant that Rob came to me a few days later to recant.  Said he must have lost his mind, that we needed to be saving money, blah, blah, blah.  I was pissed.  I went from blissfully unaware of any potential new child, to completely freaked, to sad, angry, and bereaved over a kid I had already placed in our family.  Yes, I am crazy.  And Rob does know this, but he dangled a carrot and yanked it away anyway.  Sadistic bastard.

So, I got over it.  Was resentful enough to make him pay for it for a few weeks, but had let it drop after that, and moved on.

Then a month or so ago I started thinking of fostering.  It's something I have always wanted to do, but always figured it would be after my own kid(s) were older, and we had a much bigger place.  But here we are, Cam at 13 months old, living in a two bedroom place, money tight, and I am thinking "wouldn't that be cool if we could do that?!?!"  I kept those thoughts to myself.  I thought maybe it was a phase.  Maybe, like so many other things, my ADHD was hyper-focused on one thing, and it would eventually look less appealing to me.  After about three weeks, I was ready to lose my mind.  I couldn't stop reading or researching.  I figured if I told Rob, he would talk me down, burst that bubble.  Life could continue on, hunky dory.

Except Rob didn't try to tell me I was out of my tree.  He thought it was a good idea.  If anything, I thought for sure Rob would balk at going the foster care route because of 1) bureaucracy; 2) getting attached to a child that would be returned to family.  My husband will do anything not to be hassled, and going out and volunteering for the GOVERNMENT to effectively run a good portion of our lives, is something he would normally be abjectly opposed to.  As we sat talking about  it, part of my brain was engaged in the conversation, and a bigger part was saying "NO WAY.  NO WAY HE IS AGREEING WITH ME.  NO WAY IS HE SUGGESTING WE DO THIS.  GET THE FUCK OUT OF TOWN."

That day I filled out an online inquiry, and the office contacted me the next day.  Our county is in desperate need for homes.  Mostly they need homes for elementary to high school aged kids.  The social worker tried doing the hard sell.  I asked her about transracial children, and again she started in with the older kids.  I have nothing against older kids, in fact, I would love to foster older children at some point, but because of our tiny home, and Cam's age, we need ages 0-2.  Social worker was polite, but told me the county doesn't place babies.  Almost never.  She then went on to tell me that the babies they do place are from the hospital and are drug exposed, and drug dependent upon birth.  Bingo!  Soon as I said that is what we are looking for, her tone changed and she was much more chatty about babies/toddlers. 

On Wednesday, Rob and I attended an informational meeting the other night for our county's Foster/Adopt program. There were only four other people in attendance.  Before we decided on an agency adoption back in 2009, we attended the same meeting.  That meeting was PACKED.  Practically standing room only.  I was kind of exhilarated (in my very own Type A competitive way) and saddened to see so few people there.  The lady who ran the meeting recognized Rob and I from the last time, and was very helpful.  She of course talked almost exclusively of teens, and slightly younger kids.  I was shocked that no one even mentioned babies or toddlers.  As if I were guarding a very good poker hand, I didn't say one word.  I waited until after the meeting to ask the social worker about using our home study from the agency (can't), to see if we could skip some of the PRIDE training due to some of the classes we took from our agency (nope), and to see how quickly we could get licensed.  Seems they do the training and home study at the same time, so we could be licensed by August. 

Oh, and the PRIDE class does not start until June 1st.  Of course, had I opened my mouth about all this when I started thinking about it, we could be sitting in the classes that started this past week.  Sigh.  That really got my goat, and had the control freak inside me screaming every dirty word it could think of.

Bottom line:  it's a new adventure.  So excited, a bit hesitant, but mostly excited. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I always heard it was a thankless job.

I've been told I am lucky that it took so long to happen.  Had Cam sitting on my lap after her bath. Just gotten her onesie on over her head, and was getting a second arm in, when I kind of lifted one little butt cheek off my lap. Must have been the cold air...


A statement on my parenting today?  Not sure, but being shit on sure is an illustrative way of communicating.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So glad his parents had the sex 43+ years ago.

Rob turned 43 today.  He isn't much into birthday celebrations (his own, at least) so he didn't even take work off.  That to me is crazy talk, because I can't remember ever working on my birthday, except by force when I was in the Navy.  At any rate, we indulged in his favorite things:  eating.  We ate at Five Guys (if you don't have one around you, it's a crime!) for lunch, then I made him a cake FROM SCRATCH!    once we returned home.  I should have taken pictures, because I think I used every pot, bowl, and stirring implement in our house.  After the mighty cake admiring we marched southward to a restaurant that is renowned for it's fried seafood. A place that has on the menu an appetizer offering of port wine cheese spread for .95 cents.  It is a little family place, and is about as redneck as you can get up in these parts.  In fact, the restaurant is an old house, and smells like what I remember one of my grandmother's houses smelled like:  old people, dying old people with lineament on them.  But these people fry up some damn tasty shrimp, scallops, crab, whatever pokes around in water.

I took my chances and bragged the other day how great Cam is in restaurants, much like I bragged about how great she sleeps.  Well, the universe paid me back.  For ONCE in her brief life Cam was completely uninterested in food.  A basket of crackers on the table?  Nope.  Bread?  Nope.  FRIED shrimp?  Nope.  Her favorite vegetable, broccoli...cooked PERFECTLY, and in BUTTER?  Hell no, and at that one she cleared the table with a swipe of her arm.  We subdued her with two orange slices (she ate the rind too, makes me pucker just thinking about it), so we could inhale our dinners, and hastily throw down money so the waitress could bring us the check.Even the mighty cookie couldn't dissuade our Campbell from a full own whine-a-thon.  My anxiety was full-blown by the time we hit the parking lot.  Cam 1, her harried parents: 0

On the way home as Cam clucked away to herself about her victory, rob and I talked about how different life has been since I quit drinking.  How for his birthday, instead of a bell-busting fried food extravaganza, we would have been at Ruth's Chris helping the economy recover.  That instead of throwing down an unseemly amount of money for a meal we would be too drunk to taste, we were much more sated and happy after tonight's meal.  Okay, maybe not completely sated, we hadn't eaten any of that cake yet.

After I got Cam down, we ordered up a movie on cable and ate obscenely large pieces of chocolate cake.  Life is good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Should have left well enough alone.

My psychiatrist changed some of my meds, and as a result I have been more than a slightly bit on edge the last two days.  I am about as high strung as a tiny, yappy Poodle. 

When Rob got home from work today I had him bathe Cam and get her ready for bed.  My nerves having been stretched thin, I used the break from my most precious child to do some housework that didn't involve me struggling to move a foot without a 20 pound incensed toddler clutched to my leg.  I was rushing, trying to get a good vacuuming done and a good swab of the floors.  I had my iPod turned way up, but could still hear Cam cranking up her whine, and my nerves started twitching some more.  Rob finally clothed our baby beast, and moved her up to her room to put her to sleep.  I was just starting to get my delicious tacos started when Rob reappeared, looking grim.

I am going to pay hell for what I am about to say.  Cam is a fabulous sleeper.  She goes down with NO PROBLEM.  Ever since she was six months old, and we had a battle of the wills that lasted a week, I have never had a problem getting her to sleep ( I am fully bent over for the universe to teach me a lesson now).  So when Rob reappeared, and said "this ought to be fun....I'll give her ten minutes" as he stared at the monitor, I started getting really twitchy.  It kills me to hear Cam scream from her crib, because she never does it unless something is wrong.  After a few minutes I gave Rob the option of sitting on his ass, or finishing the tacos.  He chose tacos, because my man loves to cook...and eat.  Because I can never just make a trip up the stairs with empty hands, even when my precious is screaming bloody murder, I grabbed a basket of laundry and started running up the steps.  As I got to the top of the stairs, I readjusted my load to my hip, swung the baby gate open, and in the process knocked over the huge fucking thing of liquid Tide.  You know, the "economy" size from Sam's Club.  The thing hit the deck, and the cap exploded off. 

I stood there watching blue Tide rush out, all over the carpet.  Nerves completely tweaked, and Cam screaming EVEN LOUDER, I stood there like an idiot watching a very full bottle completely empty itself on the floor.  Hearing me scream "OH FUCK!", Rob doesn't even come to the bottom of the stairs, he just yells "are you hurt....??".   Nope.  But at that moment I had to decide: should I tend my aggrieved child, and thus let Rob clean up the mess...OR...should I send Rob in to deal with Cam?  I chose to go to Cam.

Now, it's not only a joke in our family just how inept Rob is at ANYTHING related to cleaning, it is a well and true FACT.  We would live in fetid squalor if something happened to me.  There is not a doubt in my mind.  I am also a huge clean freak.  So choosing Cam over cleaning MUST speak to my love of that baby.  As Rob stood staring at the mess, wide-eyed, I made some hasty comment about getting  the wet/dry vac.  I then retreated behind Cam's door. 

Poor Campbell was soaked in sweat, from what was a very exhaustive three minutes of unfettered screaming.  She immediately calmed when I picked her up, and we plopped down into our comfy chair to re-start the going to bed process.  For the next 15 minutes as I tried to sing along to Cam's iPod, I could hear Rob muttering, cussing  like a sailor, and a whole lot of banging going on.  It was driving me insane not knowing what was literally going on right outside the door.  I put Cam in her crib, and she flopped over on her belly and cuddled up under her white noise machine and was done.

When I exited her room I found my darling husband on hands and knees vigorously trying to get the wet vac to do it's thing.  Scattered around him were about 10 of my GOOD dish towels; a watering can (yes, for indoor plants), and the wet vac.  Now, the Tide all pooled in one spot, but now I had about 5 or so spots just as big in different areas of the hallway.  When he opened up the vac to show me why it was leaking, he realized the filter for the dry vac was still on it.  Which explained why water had been shooting out of the sides of the vac, but didn't explain the extra blue puddles.  The suction on that wet vac is unbelievable, but is no match for that damn Tide.  After about 30 minutes of me giving it my best, that carpet was still all slimy (even after I figured out the method behind the madness of the watering can).  It was at that point that Rob came to tell me tacos were finished.  I abandoned the wet vac, and have been too afraid to go back up there to assess the damage. 

The house reeks of Tide, a smell I used to like.


I could go to my new Tuesday night meeting OR I could stay home and eat delicious tacos.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When being a SAHM gets under my skin.

If it weren't for a lay off, being barren, changing careers, then adopting a fabulous baby girl, I would be sitting at work at 10:00 am.  Instead I am dragging Cam over hill and dale, trying to entertain (and educate) her so we both don't end up crying and pissed by 1100.  I am notoriously bad with unscheduled time.  The ADHD doesn't help, because decision making is just a right pain in the ass for those of us who can't FOCUS for 1 second.  So, for those of you who trudge off to work each morning, you can rest easy knowing I am home trying to make the biggest decision of my day: going to the mall, Target, grocery store, or library.  Or any combination thereof.  We go to the same places over and over, because familiarity is my friend.  Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone, and paid dearly.  Old Navy, it should have been so easy!  I will regroup, and Cam will learn to love your shopping center too.

Today being Wednesday, I was excited that we actually had a PLAN.  Wednesday is Babies in Bloom at our local library.  Babies 0-2 are the target audience, and it is 30 minutes of socialization, for Cam, because I evidently haven't figured out how to properly socialize since sobering up.  Um, it's been four years...some could call me a slow learner.  I might also put off a vibe that says I don't suffer fools gladly.  Today, I was surrounded by fools.

The program is for BABIES.  That's why those clever librarians call it BABIES in Bloom.  Not Running, Screaming, Practically Frothing at the Mouth 3- 4 year olds.  Nothing against the advanced toddler set, but their activity level is about 100% above the target audience.  Watching Cam get shoved down repeatedly by older kids is not my idea of a fun or relaxing time.  Watching their oblivious mothers chit chat about the latest US Magazine article had me twitching, trying to hold my slap reflex in check. Kid after kid came up to Cam and wanted to take the book/tambourine/ball out of her hands, each time I had to barter with a kid who thought I was trying to give him a shitty deal (sorry, Cam's jingle bells are worth more than that crappy plastic rattle, GOOD DEAL FOR YOU KID), while looking for a mother who might be interested in what her kid was doing.  Nope, too engaged with her friends to notice. 

Now, Cam is a notorious toy stealer.  I WATCH her for this reason.  She will also show her appreciation for a good set of pigtails by yanking them, or showing she's interested in a cute face by slapping it.  I WATCH her because of this.  So, it galls me when I am surrounded by women who ignore their little savages.  Little savages who are TOO OLD for this 30 minute program. 

I am pretty sure if I worked outside of the home, I wouldn't be seriously contemplating home-schooling my child, right now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I want my sweet baby back. Ribs. Mmmm, baby back ribs.

I wasn't aware that hormones hot the toddler set like they do the teens.  Had I been, I might not be in the world of hurt I am in right now.

Cam's general demeanor lately is awful.  AWFUL.  The whining is what will do me in, but let's not forget: the screaming; the flailing; the smacking; the throwing herself down; and the clinginess. 

Three women ahead of me in line at Old Navy graciously let me go ahead of them today.  Could be because I was the mother of THAT kid who whined the entire ten minute trip in the store.  Or because when I finally made it up to the line, she decided to start flailing her body around the stroller...when I went to release her, out of pure terror and shame, she threw herself down on the ground and started a scream/wail that could be heard for ten miles.  Which is exactly when my stroller flipped over because of the shift of weight.  Goodbye venti decaf mocha frappucino.  :(  I struggled to upright the stroller as a sweet woman helped, and Cam sat looking aggrieved.  That is when all three women were all "no, please YOU go ahead!!!"

It couldn't be because I had that look in my eye, and had just finished muttering: "newly minted toddler, can go home with the lowest bidder." 

This had better be a two-nap day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's too hard to say no.

When is six cookies not enough?

When about 50 more are sitting, waiting in the kitchen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Better living through chemistry.

I just ordered six new cloth diapers to add to my stash.  It took me two weeks to make a decision on 1) whether to do it; and 2) velcro or snaps.

I have ADHD.  I finally found a medication that works (somewhat).  Part of the fun of ADHD is not having any motivation AND a paralyzing fear of making the wrong decision.  So asking me where I want to go for dinner could be very traumatic for whoever is along for the ride.  The medication I am on now is the only one of four that has worked (it's Daytrana).  I have tried Vyvanase (felt like I had done ten lines of coke), Intuniv (same), and Concerta (maybe five lines of coke, so not AS bad).  The great things about this particular drug is that I don't feel like I did a load of drugs (yay!), and my motivation is unbelievable.  I have never felt so....ready to take on the world.  So this is what you normal people feel like all the time?  Fantastic!

Drawback is that I am one VERY irritable bitch.  I already have enough problems with misplaced rage, I don't need any more reason to choke the shit out of Rob for leaving crumbs on the counter or drop kicking the old lady who thinks I have a potty mouth.  It really is tiring being so agitated all the time.  I was also suspecting that Rob thought I had finally dropped over the edge.  It could be that he saw the DVR filling up with episodes of Snapped, or it could be the way he has gotten to be a snappy little bitch too, but I finally made an appointment to see my shrink.

I love my shrink.  The man is part genius part human incarnation of the little, tiny voice of reason inside me.  Well, I did have a little unmitigated hate for him this past summer when the first three drugs made me feel like I was going shit-house crazy, and needed a seat in rehab for a new coke habit.  The wonderful thing about me is my hate can be turned on a dime if you offer me good drugs.  I am cheap like that.

So, I went to my session, with a list of issues:

1) VERY irritable
2) emotionally sensitive
3) despair then joy, all within a minute
4) always on the verge of crying
5) pervasive sadness
6) impossible to make decision
7) no in between on anything, either full throttle, or nothing at all
8) always tired
9) focus non-existent
10) extremely sensitive to noise, chaos
11) boredom
12) memory non-existent
13) non-existent sex drive

He let me know my list was normal for his patients with depression and ADHD.  I had been thinking that since my depression is pretty well managed with Cymbalta (holla!) that it had to be the Daytrana.  Nope, he made a fabulous case for WHY it was working (will spare you the kind of dry, but fascinating to me, bio-chemical reasons why), but that maybe the Cymbalta needed to be tweaked.  So, I have a new anti-depressant, Pristique.  The placebo effect has had me on a pink cloud for the last two days.  I know it hasn't kicked in yet, but I am in a fantastic mood, and have only wanted to kill a few morons today, instead of, like, a 100.  Progress!  Yea for better living through chemistry!

I think I can say Pristique ordered those diapers today.  And I am okay with that.  Oh, and I decided on snaps.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Come on lady, I WAS a sailor, for chirssakes.

Tonight was a first for me.  I was asked a month or so ago to share my story at an AA meeting.  I am naturally a reluctant joiner, unless there is something in it for me.  The fact that I attend AA meetings means I get enough out of it to keep going back.  Admittedly, not as often as I should, but I keep going.  When asked to share my story, a deep, gut-level panic rose to kill my voice box.  Then my brain kicked in, and remembered I need to try harder at making actual, real, live connections with people.  So I agreed to speak, but got a reprieve when my mother's mastectomy got in the way.

I had effectively begged off for a month, so I got my ass to that meeting tonight and shared.  With about 30 or so people in the room, I unloaded about 30 years of my drinking on them.  Of course, there was SO MUCH to tell, I had to whittle it down to the finer points.  Including taking my first drink before age 5; asking my bio dad for a drink to wash down my antibiotics, and being handed a Pabst Blue Ribbon (I was 8); how my 12 year old boyfriend used to bring vodka and grape koolaid to parties, none of the girls would partake, of course I did;  that my curfew was 11:45 pm in high school, so I had to make sure my buzz was GOOD and fully on by 11:30; that my first REMEMBERED blackout was my freshman year of college, when I woke up on the lawn of my university, next to the sprinklers; that I once called out sick from work after a Fourth of July drunken weekend by saying "I ate a bad tomato"...I worked for my Dad; that I managed to stop drinking for 9 months before the Navy, and only picked up the drink again, because after two weeks out of Boot Camp, I was BORED; how I lived up to the pejorative "drunken sailor", and then some when I finally got to my ship; that I used to drink at a sad little bar called The Outback Pub which was connected to a Comfort Inn, with mostly men, who were in their golden years...because it was the closest bar to base that WASN'T a strip club;  that my one and only DUI was after a night where I had NOT been drinking at my level best, and that cops don't like it when you slip out of the cuffs...TWICE;  that when my division officer came to bail me out of jail, I felt like the lowest piece of shit on earth, but it didn't stop me from drinking; when I finally had enough of being harassed by men who were my age, but held higher ranks, and no education I asked to see the ship's shrink; that that shrink was worthless, and that I ended up just leaving...effectively going what civilians know as AWOL (UA in the Navy); that after that I didn't get in trouble because my record was just that good, I snapped AGAIN, this time checking into a hospital and admitting suicidal ideation; spending some time in the mental ward of a Naval hospital; going UA...AGAIN, this time because they were taking too long with my medical discharge; getting out of the Navy finally, but not before seeing for the second time that I had "elevated liver enzymes" on my medical report; if it is at all possible, drinking MORE when I moved back home; having to clean up the apartment where my bio dad literally dropped dead; going to a 12 week outpatient rehab to placate my parents; getting a job at a bar!; telling a friend "why would I want to date someone who drinks more than I do!?" then moving in with him a month later; deciding to get married, while sitting at a bar with friends; getting married while on vacation in Vegas; having an endocrinologist tell me point blank: "kid, if you don't stop drinking NOW you will DIE.  Not later, SOONER."; quitting for 8 weeks; deciding on our one year anniversary that one beer with crabs won't hurt, and then even leaving a half a bottle of wine!; proud that I "proved" I could drink "normally", I go to a Memorial Day party and get so shit-faced I fall flat on my face, but not before I slammed my engagement ring into the grill, leaving my ring finger with a permanent scar of my diamond; that May 29th, 2007 is my sober date, and my first AA meeting was two days later.

Phew!  And THAT was the short version!  I left out all the really good stories.  All the filthy debauchery, because, well, it was an older crowd, and I didn't need to put any of them in the hospital.  After I was done speaking, each person was allowed to introduce themselves, and speak on the subject I left on the table "Gratitude".  I really am, beyond grateful that I deigned to go to that first meeting.  That I sat through, and gritted my teeth past all the "God" talk.  That after I stopped focusing on what I just thought was a cult to get me closer to this so-called Higher Power, that people's stories resonated within me.  I was shocked that no matter who spoke, there was something about their story that touched me, that reminded ME of ME.  After being in the Navy, I didn't think I would meet a more eclectic group of people that really had no reason to be together outside of the military.  AA is the great equalizer, I suppose.  Rich/poor.  Very young/Very, very old.  Educated/not so much.  Moms.  Dads.  Sisters.  Bosses.  Lawyers.  CEOs. Bus drivers.  Not employed.  And it's not just the booze that we all have in common.  It's much deeper than that.  Alcohol is just part of the problem.  I have never met a group of people that have been so open or welcoming.  My jaded, non-trusting heart knows I could call anyone from any meeting I ever attended, and they would have my back.  These are people who give a shit about what their lives mean now, and don't want to forget how bad it was, so they gladly help any alcoholic who asks for it.

The part of me that kept me drinking so long is the part of me that doesn't trust people.  To make full use of this life, and to really attain happiness, I will have to reach out SOONER, not later.  I still have three months to get a sponsor.  I have my eye on someone, someone from tonight's meeting.  :)  I can assure you, it is not the old lady who came up to me after the meeting, all smiles, to tell me that my "disgusting language is not appreciated in AA, so to keep it clean and respectful."  By the end of that sentence she was practically reeking of malice, and wasn't sure if she was joking or not, until she repeated herself.  The lady who asked me to speak at the meeting was standing right there, and scurried off leaving me to twist in the wind.  Then the old lady started smiling again and told me how "lovely" my story was.  WHA?????

I learned something about myself tonight, or rather, I came to grips with the fact that I will never be one that has a quick witted response when insulted.  It takes me a while to mull things over, to really dig at what was said.  It's taken me four hours to come up with "Go fuck yourself old lady, RESPECT that my word choice is not YOURS."  Oh, and I will deliver it with a smile.  And because we are in AA, I know if I called her right now she would drop what she is doing to make sure I wasn't about to lip a bottle.  I do the same for her, and try to keep the cussing to a minimum.  Shit.  :)