Please excuse the mess…migrating and rebuilding, blah blah blah
Please check back in!
just trying to fit it all in
Please excuse the mess…migrating and rebuilding, blah blah blah
Please check back in!
So I’m watching Giuliana & Bill and don’t even get me started on what’s wrong with that sentence. I know. But I’m watching Bill spend the evening with his nieces making friendship bracelets, the kind made from embroidery floss? Then they go around to a couple stores & sell them for, get this, $5 each! Really? That’s some profit margin, and I know this for fact because I’ve just started embroidering and embroidery floss is like, 37 cents each. Anyway, the store starts with a “small collection” and pays the girls $100. I’m thinking, how sweet. The store manager is supporting the girls, even though their asking price is a oh, a tad high.
During the little interview sessions Giuliana & Bill did together, Bill said he “might have made a few calls before going to the stores”. And I’m just not sure what to think of that. Again, I’m completely horrified that I’m A. watching Giuliana & Bill and that 2. I’M PUTTING THIS MUCH THOUGHT INTO GIULIANA & BILL.
My point is, what is teaching the kids really? They seemed like perfectly nice young girls, and they seemed genuinely surprised that they received $100 for their wares, but it was hardly realistic.
I’m just saying.
Ellis just. stopped. crying. After far too long. She normally goes to bed without too much fuss. I’ve been weaning her from her before-bed feeding, and she still hasn’t screamed & cried to this extent. She called for me….mama, mama, mama…over and over again. I couldn’t take it. It was breaking my heart. The anxiety continued to swell until the tears blurred my eyes. I wanted to sit & have a good long cry but for some reason, my body wouldn’t comply.
Right now I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to listen. I don’t want to think. Can’t I just sit and watch Flight Plan? Except that A., now my husband is pissed because I just told him I didn’t have it in me to conversate right now (doesn’t stop him from trying), and B. watching movies where children are missing/harmed/killed causes me anxiety in ways that I never experienced before motherhood.
My former boss and I once shared a hotel room in Vegas while there for training, and after spending the first few nights at the casinos, we opted on the last night to stay in with pay-per-view. Get your minds out of the gutter, we watched Minority Report. A few minutes into the movie, my boss says, Oh, I just remembered I didn’t like this movie because of what happens to his son. At the time I thought it was so strange that a movie could affect her so deeply. Little did I know, right?
My mom sent me a link to a video of some company in Arizona that teaches babies how to roll themselves over and float on their backs if they should fall into a swimming pool. I watched the video clip of a toddler, probably just about Ellis’ age, walk to a swimming pool, fall in, roll himself onto his back and float there, waiting for someone to rescue him. I was having a hard enough time watching the clip until I was insane enough to turn the volume on. I listened to this poor child babbling away (not even crying, really), and my anxiety reached such levels that I had to stop the video halfway through. I knew the baby was going to be fine and I couldn’t take it. Not only could I not take it, but I promptly e-mailed my mother & asked her to please, never, ever, not ever, send me anything like that again. I worry puh-lenty about something horrific happening to Ellis that I don’t need to worry about babies I don’t even know.
So, just in case it wasn’t clear before, I have emotions. Lots of emotions. They live really close to the surface all the time and can come out of nowhere, often causing me to do or say things that I later regret. Lately it seems that my capacity for handling these emotions, good or bad, is diminishing. (One of) my mechanisms to deal with that, is to simply shut down. Retreat. Withdraw from the world in general, except that which is absolutely necessary to function.
When Ellis was first born and in the months after, I was fueled by a need to be a better person; to be the best person I could be for my daughter. I wanted her to be proud of her mother. I had dreams. Dreams that in true Tracy fashion, never made it past the early excitement phase. Now I feel like I have lost that drive. I feel…..blah. I have found myself squarely in the middle of a depression-cycle that, if I were to be completely honest with myself, has been going on for months. I know it is partially due to external factors that are out of my control to change, making me feel like I’m in a rather hopeless situation.
It’s difficult to verbalize this, but lately, I have found myself thinking…how did I get here? Is this really my life? Please don’t take this to mean that I don’t love my daughter or husband. I know that in my heart I am not disatisfied with my life but when one is in the midst of depression, it’s hard to see things objectively.
Instead of being able to see all the wonderful things, I see (on the days that I’m home with Ellis): wake up, change a diaper, put Ellis back in her crib with toys to keep her occupied, take a shower, take Adam to work, stop for a non-fat mocha on the way home (my Monday & Friday treat), come home, put on PBS Kids, keep Ellis from pushing all the buttons on the tv, watch as she trashes the living room in under two minutes, make breakfast, watch helplessly as she throws half of her food on the floor, listen to Porter whine outside because I won’t let him inside while Ellis is eating because she tries to feed him, wipe Ellis’ hands & face, let Porter in, let him eat Ellis’ leftovers, chase Ellis around the house to send her into fits of giggles, change a diaper, Swiffer the dog hair, playtime, naptime, pick up Ellis’ toys (why do I bother with this?), crafttime for mama, kiss Ellis after her nap, change another diaper, lunchtime, change a diaper, pick up toys, errands if my mood allows me to leave the house (don’t forget to pack snacks & sippy cup of water!), (don’t forget to take off slippers and put on shoes!), come home, change a diaper, chase Ellis through the house to encite giggles, keep Porter from “protecting” Ellis from my tickling, will Ellis have an afternoon nap today?, pick up toys, pick up Adam from work, come home, hope that Adam is understanding that I don’t have anything left in me to give to him, fix Ellis dinner, change a diaper, playtime, change a diaper & put on jammies (jammies on Ellis; I am most likely already in jammy-bottoms by this point), brush her teeth, look at books, wonder if I’ll have the energy to do all the things I had planned to do after Ellis was in bed, have Ellis kiss dada night-night, put her to bed, hope that she goes down easily, wonder if I’ll have the energy to do it all over again tomorrow.
Again, PLEASE don’t take this to mean that I don’t love my daughter. I LOVE MY DAUGHTER WITH MY ENTIRE BEING & WOULD BE LOST WITHOUT HER. I love taking care of her, I love being with her, I miss her like mad when I’m at work. That’s the sucky thing about depression: feeling such intense & contradictory feelings simultaneously. How can I love Ellis so freaking much & still feel so disatisfied with my life?
Sure, I have hobbies & they help keep me occupied. I clean. I organize. I try to create order to calm the chaos in my head.
But I think the bigger picture is that Ellis is my constant reminder that time is passing. Every day that goes by is one day closer to her leaving me & that’s just too sad to think about. One week ago today, I started Ellis’ final weaning . We were down to 2 feedings a day; before bed & when she woke up oh so early in the morning, so mama could get another hour of sleep. Once I’ve eliminated that early-morning feeding, that will officially mark the end of my pregnant body and that has hit me hard.
Ladies, how did you cope with weaning your little ones and moving onto the next chapter?
I don’t want to admit that she’s nearly 16 months old, which means she’s nearly 18 months old, and that just means she’s on her way to being a teenager. And I’m not ready for that. I want her to stay innocent and pure, imaginative, silly, my sweet little girl.
While on vacation in Spokane a couple weeks ago, I was laying in my mother in law’s bed (they were gracious enough to give up their bedroom for us) nursing Ellis before bedtime. My niece Katelyn (age 3) decided she wanted to go to bed as well so I let her snuggle in beside us thinking, how cute is this? But because it was quite early compared to Katelyn’s normal bedtime, I figured she would change her mind about all this going to bed nonsense in about 28 seconds.
I was nursing Ellis, and Katelyn was asking questions, and I was saying shhhhh, we need to be quiet. I’m trying to put Belles to bed.
I continued to nurse, and Katelyn continued to ask questions, and I said, shhhhh, we need to be quiet. I’m trying to feed Belles so she can go night-night.
Katelyn asks me, she’s eating? And I say, uh-huh, shhhhhh.
And this is the point where she sat upright, peered over my side, and said IS SHE EATING YOU?
But because we didn’t have a scorching hot week like the week before, it was a good excuse to spend lots of time indoors playing…and when it wasn’t raining, a little time outdoors, too. Honey took this picture of Belles and I at the Mendenhall Glacier this past Sunday.
This bib was crazy-cheap to make (gotta love the little projects!) and something I could actually start & finish in one sitting provided Ellis is napping. The pattern is modified from Amy Carol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, and if you’re familiar with Manda at Tree Fall, it should be pretty obvious where I get much of my inspiration from. And where does one draw the line for inspiration versus just plain stealing? My sincere apologies to Manda if I have overstepped.
I was so pumped for having FINISHED a project ~ two even! ~ and from having just finished sorting & organizing my fabrics that I couldn’t stop there. My mind started formulating color & fabric combinations & as soon as Ellis woke up from her morning nap, we were off to Joann’s. I picked up a set of square quilting templates, a rotary cutter, and hello? Why have I never purchased one before? That little baby made my life INFINITELY easier. At least in terms of sewing That evening I managed to get all my squares cut (seriously loving the rotary cutter) and put together my pattern. This actually came easier than I thought it would. It only took a couple tweaks to get the pattern the way I wanted it, and then a bit longer to fix my mis-placements. Around 11:30pm, I called it quits. Then all day yesterday, I could not. stop. thinking. about getting home to work on Ellis’ quilt! I was determined not to let this much needed burst of inspiration and motivation slip by.
Last night, I pieced together my squares & after laying out my rows, discovered only one mistake. After a short deliberation & virtually no anxiety (yay me!), I decided to leave it as is. I figured that after I added my alternating rows of off-white fabric, the mis-placement would be hardly noticeable, and more importantly, it’s good for me to be okay with producing something less than perfect. Ellis will love it and is she really going to care that there’s a green square where a red square should be?
I’m a little over half-way done with the front of the quilt, and barring any complications of either the sewing machine or of the toddler variety, I should be able to finish tonight. Am I being too optimistic? Maybe, but I really, really want to have this finished for our trip. Don’t ask me why, I’m just compelled to do so. I wanted Ellis to have a little lap quilt while we’re away, something from mama, something from home.
I foresee another quick trip to Joann’s this evening for batting & possibly the backing fabric as I’m not sure if I want to use something I already have or not. Maybe a nice chenille backing? Maybe something lighter?
Be sure to check back for the finished product!
Ellis is full of life. She is, as I call her, the super-silliest. And she has the greatest laugh. She draws people in and they can’t resist talking to her. The most surprising of whom was the brooding, rocker teenager at a Wal-Mart somewhere between Seattle & Portland.
Once you know Ellis, she is a total & complete charmer. That last trip to Seattle, I could sense the darkness looming overhead as Ellis & I boarded the plane and walked down the isle. By the time we had landed, she had won over everyone within a two row radius, including the perpetually-annoyed looking fellow sitting behind us. But, to strangers, this is more likely the look you’ll be met with. Little Miss Serious. Ellis’ standard m.o. is to check you out for about 15 minutes, and once she decides she likes you, she turns all cute, and is all, Look at me! Hey! See all the really cute things I can do??
Since we frequently have short interactions with people, I always wondered how she would react to those who fall into the “under 15 minute” category. Will she be trustful to a fault or will she be a good judge of character? Will she sense when people are weird and it’s okay to ignore them? I know it’s my job to teach her not to take candy from strangers & not to get into the van to see the puppy, but what if someone is able to convince her otherwise? (I realize with each passing day that I have much to be paranoid about when it comes to my daughter). Bottom line is, will she know when to back away.
Today I got my answer. We went to Safeway after work, and since we had just picked her up from my mom’s, I didn’t realize how tired she was until we got into the store. Poor thing had dark circles under her eyes. I’m trying to hurry through my list as well as the remember the things not on my list that I knew we needed, she’s pulling on her seat belt, indicating that SHE WOULD LIKE TO GO HOME NOW, and would you believe I didn’t even forget anything?
He’s trying to high-five her, still asking her how she’s doing, referring to himself as grandpa (whoa, buddy), and while we’re waiting for a price check on strawberry jam, he starts waving around the Pirate’s Booty going pirate booty, pi-ret booty, pirate boo-tay. I’m thinking, Dude, if my kid, who up until now has been behaving like an angel, has a meltdown because she’s tired & you’re waving her favorite snack around in her face? So help me…..
As we walked away from the check stand, I concurred with her that he was indeed, very weird, and didn’t he overstep his boundaries. On the way home, she chattered a bit from the backseat of the car, and about halfway into our 4 minute drive, she was completely crashed out.
Maybe now I can worry about one less thing.
For the past six months there have been so many things I’ve wanted to share. Little things like how I’d become obsessed with watching the Real Housewives of New York and then New Jersey. (man, those ladies sucked me in!) Or really incredible things like what it felt like the first time Ellis hugged me or said mama. Or how I look at her every. single. day and think how freaking amazing she is and oh my god how did I get so lucky to have a daughter as gorgeous & perfect as Ellis? Seriously. Have you seen her? And she loves to garden! What more could I ask for?
Donna is insanely creative and has allowed her art to evolve naturally over the years. I love her no-fear approach to art, how she can take ordinary bits & pieces and turn them into something beautiful, and how she inspires women to find their artist within.
The latest in her Campaign for Creativity is Inspiration Wednesdays where she encourages you to take a chance with your art. The whole notion of Inspiration Wednesdays goes much deeper than that, but in its simplist form, it’s just finding time to be creative because sometimes, its good for the soul. I’m expanding that to include writing one blog post per week, even if it’s just to post a photo because I’ve got LOTS of those.
Lately I’ve satisfied my creative urges with greeting cards: creativity born from necessity! Most recently have been Father’s Day and in my family, that’s no easy task. Husband, check. Dad, check. Step-dad, check. Father-in-law, check. I do feel badly that I didn’t have them made in time to send a hand-made card to my father-in-law, but his birthday’s in August, so I have a second chance where that’s concerned.
Anyhoo….here are this year’s Father’s Day cards. I generally use one or two or ten eyelets on any given project, but this time I tried to branch out & use some of the other embellishements I’m so fond of hoarding and not using. Like, what, I can’t buy more hinges?
(font is ddscript)
I felt the inside needed a little something extra, but all in all, I was really pleased with how it turned out.
With this card I had a very vague idea of what I wanted, which was lots of rough edges, and striped paper resembling a men’s shirt. And that was about it. After layering the striped paper with the green scrap and attaching the “happy father’s day” printed on vellum, it wasn’t quite enough. Enter the rustic wire! Now, this is where I pat myself on the back for actually using my supplies instead of the aforementioned hoarding. Adding a rough boarder of wire and attaching with the Tiny Attacher was exactly what it needed.
Next up was my mom’s birthday, and I made this little gem on my lunch break today. The day of her birthday. See, I knew last week that her birthday was on Tuesday, but that was last week, and by the time Tuesday rolled around, well, let just say it’s a good thing I noticed the birthday card on her counter this morning. I know, I’m a terrible, terrible daughter. And as you can see, I’m now a HUGE fan of the rustic wire. (and the tiny attacher) I was originally going to fashion a heart, but it started to resemble more of a balloon so I went with it. What did Bob Ross say? Happy accidents? The red & white paper is actually wrapping paper that I scooped up from Fred Meyer a while back, and the eyelets? Did I mention that I can’t make anything without eyelets? (font is ali edwards)
It feels good to create again, and it feels good to write again. Thanks, Donna, for offerring up this outlet and giving me the push I needed!
We’ve gotten a little snow in the past few days! I think somewhere in the pallpark of 40 inches. I had been in Anchorage for a seminar on tax changes, where it was painfully cold (sorry I didn’t call, Sherrie!), so I missed all the actual snowfall. I know, bummer, right?
Our street has essentially turned into a one-lane road, and the snow is so high in our yard, Porter can walk across the fence. Can, and has.
Adam’s on the phone with his sister, and apparently she shares the same joy in seeing a dumptruck full of snow as I do. Why am I so amused by the sight of a dumptruck full of snow? Who knows. But I always get a kick out of it.
We bundled Ellis up & took her out for her first real taste of snow. She’d been in snow before, but only from the car to the house, and vice versa. I think we may have had more fun with it than she did, although we’ll just blame it on the fact that she didn’t have much mobility in her snow pants & coat. Think Randy in the Christmas Story.
I’m sure she’ll thank us for these photos someday
That baby finally did come out. Ellis Olivia was born May 3 at 3:03 A.M, after about 60 hours of labor. That’s first contractions to me asking Is she still a girl? And if I do say so myself, she’s awfully damn cute. Really, have you seen a cuter baby? (I started this post so long ago, Ellis is now 2 months older than in these photos.)
After hooking me up to the monitor, I was thrilled to hear my contractions were 3 minutes apart. Woo hoo!!
When the on-call doctor first examined me, I was already 4 cm dilated, and I felt like a first-time-birth-super-star. Of course, I had been in labor for 2 days, so it would stand to reason I would be dilated. I made it to 5 cm within the hour, and that’s where the dilation stopped. No amount of walking the hospital corridors or trying a different position would help.
By about 8:30 pm, I decided some IV drugs were in order. And when they say IV drugs just take the edge off, not completely take away the pain, they weren’t lying. It was also about this time that the doctor made the call to administer pitocin to kick the contractions into gear.
Another couple hours of that (maybe I had also entered into the “transition” phase?), and I was begging for an epidural, trying to count in my head how many more contractions I would have to endure before the anesthesiologist arrived on site, and (realizing later) completely misjudging the number because I was high on pain meds.
Pushing seemed to take for-ever. Hours, I think. And lots of me saying I can’t do this! I think the doctor was a little disappointed in my progress, or lack thereof. He may have a medical degree, but has he ever pushed a human being out of his vagina? What? No vagina? That’s what I thought.