Does It Get Better?

One thing that makes this whole parenting gig a little bit less of a total shocking upheaval the second time around is that I have a much better perspective on how quickly one passes through the various stages of suck.  I can remember, so clearly, standing in the kitchen in our old house, spoon feeding tiny bites of food from a jar into Eli’s mouth, and thinking, desperately “If all I ever do all day is spoon food into another person’s mouth, when am I ever going to get any time to do anything else?”  Trapped in the middle of that, I had no concept that the spoon feeding stage would give way to the chunks of food all over the floor stage which would give way to the eating dinner the same time as the rest of us but whining through the whole meal stage which would eventually give way to the can get his own sippy cup of water thank jesus stage.  I just say myself standing there spoon feeding a baby for the rest of my life.

But lately I find myself just – maybe dismayed is the right word?  About the sheer amount of manual labor involved in taking care of this family.  Every day I cook and clean and take out the trash and the recycling and wipe down the counters and fold laundry and start laundry and sweep and mop and empty the dishwasher and scrub off the high chair and pick up toys and yet, things are never ever all the way clean at the same time, the bathroom always needs cleaning and the kitchen cabinets are always filthy and the baseboards always need to be wiped down, and all day long I notice things that are filthy again, and I can’t help but wonder – is it always going to be like this?  Because the end of the day, the dining room floor always needs to be mopped but I’m so tired I just don’t care, and then I drag myself out bed the next morning and the whole cycle starts all over again, and here I sit with my dirty baseboards and a dishwasher that needs to be emptied and I am really kind of over it.  I’m working my ass off and my house isn’t even clean! At all! I have very dirty baseboards!

I don’t even know what my question is, really, but I’m just wondering, I guess, if this is something that you’re tired of too.  Because I honestly spend practically every waking minute of my day cleaning and my house isn’t even clean, and I just really want to hear that someday, someday even in the far distant future, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that maybe this is just this time, this really really dirty time, and yep, some day it does get better.  It must, right?

A Young Man’s Thoughts Turn Towards Fall

I am not sure if I will ever lose the deep sense of satisfaction I get from growing things myself, especially when those things are heirloom tomatoes.  The Cherokee Purples are marvelous this year.  Next year I am going to grow nothing but heirlooms and cherry tomatoes.  My Early Girls are bland and useless and might as well be from the grocery store.

I grew those! And then I ate them.

As I am sure everyone else on the planet already knows, you can grow a garden all year long, at least in Sacramento.  It’s time for fall seed ordering, in other words.  I dug out all the squash (why did I plant so much squash?) and very shortly I will put in spinach, chard, carrots, lettuce, golden beets, peas, and beans.

If you grow nothing else, I would recommend throwing a few lettuce seeds in the ground.  It couldn’t be easier or cheaper, and it’s insanely awesome to be able to walk out into your backyard and grab some fresh lettuce anytime you want to have a salad.  You do have to wash it, but the fact that it’s ready to go whenever you want it and not sitting in your refrigerator rotting is really really nice.

(P.S. I used to order my seeds from Burpee, but now I always order them from Fedco because they don’t genetically modify their seeds.

 

Books I Read In June and July

I am trying to do these lists a little more often (I’d say monthly but we see how well that’s working out) so I have half a chance of remembering them and so I can go into a little more detail.

96.  My Korean Deli.  This was a lot less interesting than I wanted it to be.  The author would get started on a story – for example how he maxed out the company credit card accidentally buying a lot of crazy yuppie food items.  Then you’d never hear anything about it again.  Did that stuff sell?  Did he get in trouble?  Did he return it uneaten?  It had the potential to be very interesting but the whole book was full of unfinished tangents.

97.  A Solitary Blue.  This is the the third book in the Tillerman Series, and it’s one of those books that features a parent who is so awful that the book is almost unreadable.  It’s still Cynthia Voigt so it’s still great, but whew! This kids mother is really wretched, and she calls him “Jeffey” all the time, which doesn’t help matters.

98.  What Happened to Goodbye.  As Sarah Dessen books go, this was not one of my favorites, but I liked it better than the previous one.

99.  Ten Miles Past Normal.  This book was just so hung up on the premise (girl in high school lives in a farm, but wants people to think she’s normal and not Weird Farm Girl) that it never gave itself the space to just be.  Really you’re going to go to school with hay in your hair?  Because you live on a farm?  Oh no you are not.  Please.

100.  Bossypants.  I heard Tina Fey read from “A Letter to My Daughter”, an essay from this book, on Fresh Air, and it was honestly the best part of the book.  The rest of it was funny and interesting and well written, especially the stuff about her mom and her childhood, but hearing her read it was much funnier that reading it myself.

101.  This Girl Is Different.  About a girl who is home schooled and decides to spend her last year of high school enrolled in the local public high school.  Certainly not the worst YAF I’ve read this year, but it didn’t change my world or anything.  I was missing something from the main character, she seemed a little distant or contrived or something.

1o2.  City of Fallen Angels.  This is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series.  By Book Three I was really tired of this series, but I LOVED the fourth book.  It redeemed the series for me.  So cheesy and romantic and distraught!  There are two more books in the series, and there’s a movie planned, of course.

103.  An Object of Beauty.  This is Steve Martin’s new book, and I think if you liked Shopgirl then you would like this book.  I really loved it. It was a good story full of interesting people.  I have to say that I read this right after I saw Friends With Benefits and then I always pictured the  main character as Mila Kunis in my head, which  made me like me it even more, because I’ve always been quite fond of Ms. Kunis.

104.  Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon.  I have noticed that I seem to be reading a lot more adult novels and a lot less young adult fiction right now.  But really, the YAF offerings have been pretty wretched of late.  I don’t want to read any more badly written dystopian fantasies.  I was pleasantly surprised to find though, that a lot of these grown up books that I have been avoiding for years because they are so often pretentious and boring, were actually quite wonderful.  This book was strange, but lovely and arresting and very well written. It reminded me a little bit of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, it had that odd haunting sad quality and that same fantastical feeling,  but there was something really gritty and real about it too, somehow.  And the title alone is just so beautiful, that carries the book for quite awhile just on that.

105.  The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  I had zero interest in reading this book, but it showed up on the Lucky Day shelf at my library and I figured, eh, why the hell not?  Regardless of the controversy that occured when it was first published, I really really enjoyed it.  The author herself is smart and hard working as hell and yes, she expects the same things of her daughters.  Is that really the end of the world?  It made me feel very much more confident in my own parenting, because I am a pretty strict parent and I am not the one that my son likes best.  Somehow when I read this book a little bell went off in my head and I thought “you know, it’s not my job to make my kids like me. It’s my job to bring them up to be good and happy people.”  That was a long lesson coming, and I appreciate that concept so much.  It is one thing to say ‘I am not a friend, I am a parent!” but to put it into practice and to actually be an unpopular person in your household because of it is an entirely different animal all together.  I thought this book was funny and the author seemed very human and yes, she was an intense parent, but she seemed very real and very witty and self deprecating and pretty willing to point out her own flaws.  A very honest portrayal of parenthood, and I really appreciated it.  I think most people are terrified to be that honest about their own parenting.

106.  When the Stars Go Blue.  Oh, I wanted to love this book, because it’s about a ballet dancer and I love all that shit – Center Stage, the Shoes Books, A Very Young Dancer, Black Swan, etc.  I may possibly have once seen Honey IN the movie theater.  Anyway, this book was just awkward and weird and really super long.  The first bit wasn’t entirely awful but about the middle point the relationship between the two main characters just got really unappealing and the weird clingy pathetic boyfriend was not doing it for me.  I had to quit this 2/3 of the way through because I couldn’t take it anymore because the boyfriend gave me the intense icks.

107.  The Cookbook Collector.  This is a long and strange book and I loved it.  Halfway through I turned to Erik and just said “This is so good.” and I do not say that about very many books while I am reading them.   If you’re at all interested in Berkeley or cookbooks or strange interlinking relationships or bookstores well,  I don’t know. I guess that’s a wide range. I just thought this was really wonderful and it was filled with the sorts of characters who seem like such interesting and funny people.  It was super long though, I think 1/4 of it could have been lopped off and then it would really have been perfect.

108.  The Girl She Used to Be.  This book was so bad as to be unreadable.  It was almost laughably bad, but not even that could save it.

109.  Family History.  So I think there is this whole genre of books where someone starts with a really horrible awful life scenario that could maybe somehow occur somehow somewhere, usually involving someone’s kids, and then they write an emotionally manipulative book about it, playing on the fears that we all have at 3 A.M. when we think “what if?”.  Stuff like kidnapping or your kid has kidney failure and only your other kid has a matching kidney or your husband abuses your daughter, really nasty stuff, and I have to tell you – I do not appreciate this writing, especially not when it’s all gussied up as fancy literature. I think it’s lazy and predatory and mean and boring, and this book does this, and I am not a fan.  Not a fan at all.

110.  Started Early, Took My Dog.  I find Kate Atkinson’s books really pleasantly reassuring.  I am someone who enjoys a large beefy unflappable main character in a mystery, and Jackson Brodie does that very very well.  I really really like this guy, so I enjoy reading books about him.  I could have done without the old lady character though, I had to skip her sections.

111.  The Lucky Kind.  I had very low expectations for this book, because I really didn’t like The Beautiful Between, but I was a fan of this book.  The main character was interesting and believable and I liked him.  I wanted to know more about him.  I thought that some of the things that happened towards the end of book lacked a basis in reality – I found myself thinking “what? Why is he doing this?” but overall, I enjoyed it.  Not bad at all compared to some of the rotten YAF floating around out there right now.

112.  Dreams of Significant Girls.  Holy cow was this book weird.  It got a nice review in the NYT but it was just so random.  It almost read as though it was…translated?  Do you know that feeling, when sometimes things just don’t seem to match up?  Why on earth were these girls friends?  One minute they hate each other and are uninterested in each other and the next minute they’re pledging best bosomhood to the ends of the earth.  And some of it read like sort of dull 12 year old genre middle grade fiction, all “I want to be a famous chef! I love souffles!” and then on the next page one of them would randomly be giving some dude a BLOW JOB.  It was just so odd.  So very odd.  And so dirty, in a really totally strange-o way.

113.  Rules of Civility.  It took me a little while to get into this book, in fact I almost gave up on it, and then I loved it. I really really really loved it.  The second half of my copy has about eight different pages turned down where I marked the pages because I loved the writing so much.  It was really one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  And so fun! And interesting and everything sounds so lovely because it’s like a love letter to New York in the 30’s and it’s a really beautiful book.  The one flaw is that there are no “—-” when people talk – so annoying.  I forgive it that, but I wish I did not have to. Punctuation, people! It’s the bees knees.

114.  My American Unhappiness.  This is by the same author as Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon.  The first half was enjoyable, by the second half I found the main character so incredibly unlikable that it ruined the book for me.  I can only take so much turdliness for so long before I have the rage.

115.  Lydia.  Ok, so. Tim Sandlin’s novels, especially the Grovont Series, are some of my very favorite books of all time.  Skipped Parts is a desert island book for me.  Skipped Parts is the reason I’ve had the name Maurey on my girl name lists for 10 years.  I can remember the moment I first picked up it up, sitting at a book sale in downtown Chicago, where I was supposed to be working but really I was killing time because no one was buying anything, and after I read the first few chapters I felt like I had discovered some great secret that the world had been holding just for me.  That’s how much I love that book.

Lydia is the fourth installment in the series and as soon as I saw that it had a different publisher from the first three books I suspected trouble, and I was not wrong.  The character of Lydia (the mother in the series) has always been so nuanced – she’s crazy and terrible and wonderful and awful and amazing and all these things at the same time.  And then suddenly in this book that has been lost, and somehow she’s just rotten.  Mean and unfriendly and nasty and not someone who you’d ever want to spend three books with, much less four.  And then because I wanted to preserve my feelings for the first three books because they are something I really do hold sacred, I had to stop reading this, and continue on through life as though it never existed.  I suggest you do the same.  Lah di dah!

116.  The Tragedy of Arthur.  I liked this and it was well written and interesting, if not a little bit confusing and weird, but it got so sad.  I loved the bits about the family in the beginning but everyone got old and hurtful very quickly.  Also this is one of those books that made me feel like maybe I wasn’t quite clever enough for it.  It had a very in jokey feeling and that’s not really a compliment.  Maybe a little gimmicky.

117.  The Tiger’s Wife.  Yeah, I don’t know, this didn’t do it for me.  The world loves it, but I really just don’t do weird fairy tales told by old people that don’t make sense.  I liked the modern day stuff but I hated the stories.  Also, this author is ten years younger than I am.  That’s just depressing.

118.  Body Work.  Man, I used to love Sara Paretsky and her V.I. Warshawski books. I really really loved them, and I have no idea if it’s me or what but I thought this was absolutely rotten.   And she kept trying to sound all hip and reference like, Twitter, and shit, and that’s just…uh.  Cringey.

119.  Faithful Place.  I really liked the writing, although it’s on the bestseller list so I went into it with very low expectations.  (Have you seen the crap on that list?) Anyway, it’s nicely written, but the mystery and the resolution of the mystery felt like it was really reaching.

120.  The Summer I Learned to Fly.  Everyone except me loved The Things A Brother Knows.  Who knows.   I am an enigma.  Anyway, I really liked this book.  It didn’t like, re invent the wheel or anything, but it was nice.  A nice read.

121.  Seven Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes.  Oh god no.

Then I have the advance reader’s copies I read on my Kindle, which I will get to tomorrow.  Get ready for that nonsense!

Wiped Out

K.W. has super sensitive skin, I think.  She’s had this terrible diaper rash for awhile, despite the unscented wipes we use and the chlorine free diapers and liberal use of A&D.  And she’s always ABSOLUTELY HATED having her diaper changed, it’s the only time she’s ever really mad about anything.  I did everything I could think of to get rid of the rash because it got so bad that she’d scream when she was sitting and as soon as she pooped.  I tried lots of diaper free time (pee all over my kitchen floors! Fun!), prescription ointment, yeast infection cream, blowing it dry, patting it dry, a gazillion baths, you name it, I tried it.  (Except one really obvious thing I did not try, duh.)

Anyway, I was all set to buy this insanely expensive Triple Paste that everyone claims is your last resort but somehow something finally clicked i in my head and rather than pay $21.79 for diaper cream I thought maybe first I would try getting rid of the wipes.  (Huggies Sensitive Fragrance Free.)  I switched from those to a sippy cup filled with water and roll of paper towels cut in half.  Combined with some of the Boudroux’s Butt Cream,  her rash cleared up almost instantly.  She doesn’t cry anymore, at all, when she has her diaper changed.  And call me crazy but things seem cleaner and less stinky down there as well.  Also, I am guessing this is significantly cheaper, and it hasn’t really been any more annoying.  Just sprinkle on some water from the sippy cup, swab with some paper towels, done.

Thank goodness for Google, because otherwise this might never have actually occurred to me.

(P.S. I know you can also use actual cloth wipes, but I’m just not at that life stage at this present time.)

 

How Do You Do It?

I made a pillow! Isn’t it nice?  I think it will look super lovely on my someday new gray couch.

(Maggie, I’ve got one for you too.) (Feet!)

Then I recovered this garage sale ottoman/footstool/bench.  I’m pretty much totally in love with this fabric.  I want to order about a thousand yards of it and cover everything I own in it.

(Yeah, floors! What a lovely job Erik did on those floors.)

I’d show you a picture of the new china cabinet fabric window cover, but that project isn’t going too well.

People ask me all the time how I find the time to do all these projects, so here’s a quick guess, from my perspective:

1. I watch almost no television. In fact I am an extremely boring person and essentially all I do is I work on my house, read, and cook.  If I want to exercise or go for a walk, I don’t get stuff done on my house.  Also, I am a terrible return emailer.

Sometimes I garden.  But pretty much the only stuff I watch on TV are Jersey Shore, Top Chef, and Project Runway.  Sometimes I’ll watch House Hunters if I’m bored.  This is not because I am some kind of elitist who hates TV, I just have a super short attention span and I just don’t really like TV that much.  I blame the internet.

2. I don’t really “play” with my kids, and I don’t really do that much stuff with them outside of the house.  Sometimes we’ll go on outings, but generally they are either to Home Depot or fraught with disaster.  I’ve come to realize that I am not a floor sitter. I hate the park.  And I don’t do imaginary games with my kids, and no amount of trying to make myself into a person who sits and plays with kids has ever worked, so now I don’t sweat it.  Usually if I am doing something active, like a house project, they are pretty content to hang out on the periphery.  What they hate is when I am on the computer, but regardless, they often play with each other or entertain themselves because they know  by now that I am not going to.

3.  My husband IS a carpet sitter.  We call him the baby whisperer.  When he gets home from work, he takes over a lot of the childcare duties while I do stuff like laundry and paint dressers and cook dinner.  He’s pretty much a giant kid.  It’s good to see someone in action who comes by it naturally. It highlights the futility of faking it.

4.  I LIKE doing this stuff.  You really can’t discount the fact that this stuff is fun for me. If you have to MAKE yourself go paint something, you’re never going to get it done.  If you want to do it, you’ll find the time.  If gardening is a wretched chore for you, it’s always going to get pushed to the back of the list, because having fun doing something is the best motivator there is.  This is why I have such a beef with all these life lists – you can put “grow a garden” on all the lists you want, but if it sucks for you, why are you making yourself do it?  Is making yourself do something you don’t like doing just because the rest of the world thinks it’s cool going to make you a better person?  I really doubt it.

5. Most of the projects I do are quick things that can be done in stages or at night, and so I will almost never get something done all at once.  I painted that dresser for three weeks, a little bit at a time.  Kate Face still takes two naps a day, and Eli and I have a deal that he gets to watch movies while she naps and then he also goes to preschool twice a week, so in those four hours I can get a lot of stuff done.

6. Also, I am a maniac and I have way too much anxious energy. If I am not working on something or crossing stuff off a list or obsessing over at three projects, I get crazy.  Although you should see my mother.  I come by it honestly, let me put it that way.  As my friend Sara says “Elizabeth is a doer.  Give her something to do!” and that is very true.  If am not doing something I am not happy.  This is why if you set it down in my house, it will get tidied or thrown out.  Very unfortunate for anyone with the bad habit of leaving copies of Entertainment Weekly lying around.

7.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. I bought the ottoman easily two or three months ago. Then I ordered the fabric for it a couple of weeks ago, and then I had to wash the fabric and then today I finally got around to actually recovering it.

8.  I have a lot of supplies already.  Today for my ottoman I used a cordless drill, a staple gun, a hack saw, some fabric, some random screws, a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and some oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I’ve got all those things sitting out in my garage. I must have 15 kinds of spray paint on my paint shelf, boxes and boxes of screws, saws, all that good stuff. If I had to go buy paint and tools and screws, projects would take a lot longer.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, just that at this stage of the game we’ve accumulated a lot of household repair stuff and so it makes things go more quickly.  But if you don’t have one, might I STRONGLY recommend you go buy a cordless drill?  And then learn how to use it?  Ours is totally awesome and it makes a great present for someone moving into their first new house.

And now I am going to go work on my favorite project of all – mixing up a nice tall G&T.  Smell ya later!

 

 

This One Totally Is About Paint Though

Thank you for all of your kind words on my last blog post.  I appreciate each and every one of you more than I can say, and I am profoundly grateful.

So, in other news, I’m almost done with the kids room.  I painted all the baseboards and the trim, but I need to wire in the ceiling fixture I bought for their room and figure out how to hang it.  I covered up the mural that I hated over Eli’s bed, but I still need to figure out what to put on that wall.  I need to order a few more pieces I’ve had my eye on but lately we’ve been spending our money on hookers and blow family vacations, so a giant red letter E is not in the budget at this precise time.

Just an FYI, I almost had a nervous breakdown over covering up that stupid mural, because I didn’t have any more of the paint that I had used in the room and I had custom mixed it myself, but I didn’t want to paint the whole room all over again.  However, I just scraped off a chunk of the paint (they asked for a least a half dollar sized piece at the paint store), took it to Kelly Moore, and they color matched it to a T.  I painted over just the sections of the mural and it is indistinguishable from the rest of the wall.  Besides all the trip to the paint store, it took me about two minutes to do.  But I won’t be painting any more wall murals for awhile, rest assured.

Anyway.  I’ve been painting this dresser white for what seems like forever and I just finished polying the last drawer pull.

It’s whatever white I had leftover from the kitchen cabinets, and then I put a few coats of poly over the top because it’s in a kids room and I wanted it to hold up against the ravages of my beastly children.  Originally I was really excited about painting the dresser knobs and pulls yellow, and it still looks really great in my head, but in person it was not so cute.  They started out silver and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what other color would work so I just painted them oil rubbed bronze.  And I replaced the smaller knobs, the ones that came with the dresser were tiny and small and I was hoping something flowery would make the dresser a little more girly and a little less MCM.

I picked these because they were $1.27 at Home Depot.  When you are buying 5 knobs, the cost adds up fast.  I liked the sound of $1.27 times 5 a lot more than the sound of $6 times 5, so that’s what I went with.

For some reason the knobs and pulls always take me a million years to do.  Maybe because it takes so many coats and I have a short attention span? I also put a few coats of polyurethane over the top of these because when they were painted white they chipped at the drop of a hat.

I bought this dresser for $20 from some random used furniture store and it’s pretty great, especially for 20 bucks.  It’s the perfect height to change a baby on and all those little drawers work really well for all the small stuff kids have wads of like socks and hats and tights and diaper covers and all that other business.  I’ve always wanted to paint it white and Erik has always refused to let me but it was outside when the floors were refinished and got damaged in a freak rain storm, so I got to paint it white.

This is why I have to blog about these things – after I worked my ass off on this stupid dresser, my husband came home and said, first thing: “It looks like it has a face!”

I could never figure out what to put over the dresser in the space between the top of the dresser and the bottom of the shelves.  Then I moved the embroidered ABC’s to the middle  and all of a sudden it looked fabulous and my problem was solved.  My MIL and her MIL made the embroidery and my MIL had it framed when Eli was on the way.  It’s one of my very favorite things ever.

 

This Post Is Not About Paint

Fair warning.

So as most of you know who have been reading this…business…for some time, a few years ago I had some issues with anxiety and depression and for awhile there, it got sort of bad, but along with help from my incredible readers, I hoisted myself out of it and I found a psychiatrist and some little white pills and for awhile there it was much much better.

When I got pregnant with Katherine, I couldn’t take that medicine anymore because what made me a little sick before somehow combined with the world’s worst morning sickness and I’d end up in the ER with an IV in my arm while I barfed my guts out every time I tried to take it.  But it wasn’t a huge deal because somehow when I am pregnant, I am oddly at my least crazy/depressive/anxious and anyway there wasn’t a lot I could do about it, so I worked it out, and after I was unpregnant I was doing pretty well there for awhile, unmedicated, but after awhile I just stared to feel sad.  So back to the Lexapro I went, and it was ok.  I felt fine.  Maybe not great, maybe it did not work quite as well as it did the first time, but I was  fine.

Then this summer we went to Vermont and I noticed that I was always sick.  Every single time I’d get in a car to go anywhere, I’d have to sit white knuckled through the entire thing until I could stagger from the car and think about vomiting in the bushes.  And I got really really tired of that really really fast, and I also couldn’t help but notice that any time I looked at cake, I’d gain 20 pounds, and while I was not excited about being depressed and anxious, I was also not excited that my SSRI was making me fat.  I do not require the willowy physique of a young Olsen twin but I’d rather not be gaining weight faster than I can buy new shorts at Old Navy.  And there was one other symptom that I am not really going to go into but I bet you can figure it out if you really think about it.  Let’s just say that my husband was not a big fan of that symptom.

So I quit taking the Lexapro and at first it was fine.  Mostly I was just really crabby and really bitchy and I figured that I would probably be kind of bitchy in the two weeks before I got my period and that was ok! I’d just try really hard not to be super bitchy and anyway I am kind of a crabby person and maybe my stupid husband should just learn to pick up his stupid flip flops for a change.  I told my doctor that  I wasn’t taking the Lexapro anymore but that it was totally ok! because I was just really crabby and not depressed at all and she said “Uh huh, that’s because the medicine is still in your system!” but I figured eh, what does she know.  Really, she’s just a professional with years of schooling and experience.

I came home with another prescription but after I dropped it off, Mr. E and I googled it a bit and it scared me, to be honest, mostly because when I googled it at no point did any of the results say “is guaranteed to  make you lose lots and lots of weight especially if you are going on a family vacation to the beach” and so I never picked up my prescription.

So I was struggling. I am not going to lie. I have been struggling.  But mostly I have been struggling with anger and irritability and those are things I can handle. I can lock those things down, because to be honest with you those feelings feel familiar and safe.  I am really good at feeling pissed off, and I have two small kids and a spacey  husband and so I feel sort of justified about feeling irritated regarding the state of my dining room floor. If I could just keep that dining room floor clean though, I bet I’d be a whole new person. You know?

And then I wrote something on the internet about breastfeeding and I got a few responses that I was not prepared for, and it really…set me back.  It made  me want to quit the whole internet actually, because for a brief time there I could not see the point of pouring myself into something only to get bad feelings back.  But still, I did not feel sad.  So I figured this meant I was hanging in there.  I was doing ok.

And then I went to go see a stupid romantic comedy with a friend of mine and after two hours watching Mila Kunis be cute and young and skinny and rich and live in a big cute apartment and have big cute sex with Justin Timerlake, something switched in my head and I came home to my dirty dining room floor and I…I don’t even know how to explain it.  I am not sure why but I have always been very susceptible to a certain type of Hollywood pipe dream, in fact I swear I blame the bad mood I was in for most of my early twenties on Good Will Hunting, and something about seeing this big fake magical life up there on the screen just pushed me plink! right over that edge, and I had to stand in my kitchen with my hands shaking and my joints heavy and I could literally feel sadness and upset and fear flood  into my muscles and fill me to my eyeballs and it was all I could do to take breaths in and take breaths out and to say “I don’t know. I have to do something. I don’t know. I am not doing ok. I am not doing ok.”

And Target refilled my unpicked up prescription and I took a deep breath and I took that first pill and I am feeling better.  I mopped my dining room floor and I finished a book I loved and I sent some email and I decided not to quit the internet, at least not today.

I am still scared.  I still am worried about being fat.  I still wish I didn’t feel emotionally devastated by a movie that should move in and out of my day like nothing.  I hate that I need these pills. I hate that I don’t know what they’ll do.  I hate that I am this way.  But I am determined to talk about it.  I wanted to tell you how I am feeling.  I am going to try to take more walks and eat more vegetables, and to wish less that everyone would just leave me alone. And I am very hopeful that things are on the upswing.

Thanks for listening. It means the world to me.