Monday, October 25, 2010

Hey! I moved!

Come see the new place......  Making Messes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Okay, okay- Here's my surprise....

I didn't mean to leave you hanging....

Bless your little hearts, I'm NOT pregnant! Can you imagine? I'd be in a psych ward. I'm already a little batty as it is. I don't need pregnancy hormones and another Jonas Brother gain right now.

 Case in point:

(I think in this pic I was eyeing the cupcakes on the table)

I've been a very busy girl, living off coffee, early morning runs and....packing.

Packing books...

Tossing old stuff:

Packing old journals:
(Hey- did you guys know that people used to write in journals?)

I'm moving. Both physically and interwebly.

My blog is taking a turn. A big turn. A less Starbucky, more snow, small town turn.

It's called Making Messes

 It's self explanatory.

And you can find me there from here on out.  

So come on over and check it out......

That rhymed. 

Monday, October 04, 2010

I have a surprise for you

Actually two.

But give me a few days.

Here's some hints....










Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Overnight Oats: It's all the rage

So I like oatmeal.  But only steel cut.  Not because it's nutritionally superior (case that's a myth).  I just like the texture.  The rolled oats taste chewier than I like.  I like the nutty texture of steel cut.  But steel cut takes foooooooorevvvver to cook.  And the Trader Joe's frozen- microwave stuff is too much cash for my oatmeal stash (like that?).  I'm smart.

Anyhoo- I've been in collaboration with my crockpot, Edna, perfecting my overnight oat technique.  My first experiment, know as the Pumpkin Slop of 2007, put a bad taste in my mouth for overnight oats.  But earlier this year I decided to try again.  I know a lot of people like the overnight oats that you just put in the fridge.  But I'd prefer it be right there- hot and ready when I get up (that's what she said).  Plus, I'm ever so extremely lazy in the morning.  I gotta be on my second cup of coffee before I use my brain.

And so here's my Overnight Oat Plan:

Get yourself a Christmas light timer.  Cause they gotta cook on low for 6 hrs or they're gross.  No more, no less.  And I was too lazy/tired/annoyed to come down at 12am to turn it on to be ready by 6am.  BTW- why can't they make a crockpot that you can set to turn on at a certain time???  They can do it with coffee makers.  Why not the crock?  That's a crock of shit.


So, once you have your crockpottiness plugged into the timer- set it to turn on at midnight (or 6 hrs from waking).

In your crockpot:

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup half&half or milk or soy milk or almond milk or whiskey 

I like to accessorize my oatmeal in the morning instead of add it at night.  Everyone likes different things.  I usually put some pecans, raw sugar and maybe raisins.  My kids like real maple syrup.  

One serving of Steel Cut Oats :

Calories – 150
Fat – 2.5g
Carbs – 27g
Fiber – 4g
Sugar – 1g
Protein – 5g

That's a sweet nutritional combo for morning ya'll!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So yeah, that half marathon. And stuff...

I've lost my mojo a little with the running.  And find myself doing this at any spare occasion:

I love running.  But the past two weekends have been crazy.  So our long runs for the past two weekends have been cancelled.  But since I'm not about making excuses, I'm gonna get right back on that horse and ride!  (that's what she said)

I've got an 8 miler that is calling my name.  And I'll make her my bitch this week.

In bootcamp news I'm burning mad calories.  Averaging 650 calories per hour!  My bootcampers hate me.  I hate me.  It's hard.  But I loooooooooove the endorphins.  When you've got a case of the crazies, you gotta catch an endorphin high where you can get it.

In other related news....

Shepherd is cranked up on oral steroids from his asthma attack and he's mean.  Real mean.  Like, Whitney Housten mean.  Slaps, fits.  Crazy fits.  At 4am in the morning.  I hear steroids will make his balls small.

I've cleaned and dusted every square inch of my house this week since Shep has been home from the hospital.   And I got so into it that I think I had a cleangasm after running my dirty make up holder drawer thingies through the dishwasher.  I was like Kate Gosselin on crack.

Turns out Shepherd does like apples.  You just have to peel them.  Again, he's like Whitney Housten.

We're almost current on this season's Mad Men.  And we only started it from the beginning a month ago.  Obsess much?

I outsourced Ed to buy my maxi pads this week.  He took it like a man.

I outsourced Ed to buy me cannoli's this week.  That wasn't really hard for him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Fall Apart

I'm sort of an open book.  It's the only way I know to be.  I don't hide things very well if I'm upset.  I don't do well at "playing house."  If shits falling apart, then shits falling apart.  And you'll know it.   When things are going well, then yee haw!  You'll know it.  I appreciate transparency in myself and others.   It's a curse and blessing.

Last year I had a break down.  Break.  Down.  I walked away from my blog.  I stopped sharing.  I shut down.  I was overcome with out of control anxiety.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't function some days.  My mind was always playing.  Negative thoughts were blaring and I couldn't hear myself anymore.  I tried to change things ups and dust myself off and forge ahead.  But the days became long,  the responsibility of life felt heavier than usual.

I tried to escape.  I never wanted to stay still.  To feel.  I'd started feeling Un-Me.  I'd say things I didn't mean.  I'd do things I didn't want to do.  I was convinced that everyone hated me.

"The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."-Mark 14:38

My flesh was weak.  And my spirit was starving. All my spirit got were negative thoughts and anxiety scraps.  And  the thoughts came out of nowhere.  They were irrational.  They were loud.  They were constant.  But mostly they were untrue.  But it's hard to know that when you're inside your head and the noise is too loud to hear the truth.

I was sailing on a choppy sea.  And then eventually went overboard.

When someone has a physical illness, people rally around them.  When someone has a mental illness, people don't really know what to do with them.  So they do nothing.  And I supposed I don't blame them.   And you don't really want to advertise it, cause there's that stigma that comes with mental illness.  Like, there's "normal" and  "bat shit crazy."  No in between.   It's like putting a giant CAUTION sign on your forehead.  Luckily I had a few trusted people in my life that ignored the sign and trusted my heart.

And here's the part of the movie where a weary, beaten up, almost dead person wakes up in a clean, sterile, white hospital room with the heart rate beeping in the background and loved ones staring at them.




I had my loved ones standing there, ready to walk me through this.  I saw a therapist once a week.  And then a psychiatrist.  I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression.  I had been on an anti depressant for 7 years, but apparently it was the lowest dosage and essentially like "killing an elephant with a bb gun" my psychiatrist said.  Good to know.  I was just relieved that he wasn't insinuating I was the elephant.

For the first time in my life I had someone (the professional) tell me that I had been suffering.  That what I was thinking and feeling was actually a disease, caused mainly by chemicals.  He believes that I had severe postpartum after my last baby was born, but was never treated.  Makes total and perfect

Negative thinking can be chemical?  Yup.  The frontal cortex of our brain is responsible for rational thinking.  In those that struggle with depression and anxiety- there is a significant lack of activity in the frontal cortex.

How could a gene lead to negative thinking? Well......the serotonin gene appears to make the amygdala, an emotional center of the brain, hyperactive.
Studies have found that a hyperactive amygdala is linked to extra sensitivity to negative stimuli, such as unpleasant images or events. People end up viewing the world negatively - noticing the weeds, not the flowers.- Cary Goldberg, The Boston Globe

I believe after the birth of my son and his medical issues and hospitalizations triggered my anxiety and depression.  And then it was just like tipping over the that first domino.  I was a hot mess.

But I've come a long way baby....

Anxiety felt like a giant tumor in my mind and spirit.  It was taking over my life.  All because of a chemical imbalance (well, mostly).  I waited longer than I should have to seek professional help.  I tried to cope in all the wrong ways.  I tried to be strong.  But I just wasn't.  It was like putting a bandaid on a gaping wound day after day.  And it only leads to infection.

I still struggle with anxiety and sadness.  Depression has been defined as "anger turned inwards."  That's why I practice kindness with myself now.  When kindness gets louder than anger- life becomes less sharp.  It's still has its challenges, but I guess I don't feel every blow to the core of my being like I did before.  I can rationally back my way out of a negative thought.  Whereas before I'd get sucked into it with no hope of escape for days on end.

Why do I tell you all this?  Well, I'm an open book.  And, sure, it puts me out there.  But, eh, I don't care.  I'd rather be known than put on some facade I suppose.  Not that I had any facade going on here that had me confused with Michelle Duggar or Mother Teresa or anything.  (I'd much prefer Anne Lemott-she knows Jesus, but she's scrappy and makes conservative Christians uncomfortable)

That and I've seen so many veins of life for me come together and merge into one this year.  Exercise, health, food, marriage, motherhood, God.  There is beauty in falling apart.  Not for the sake of being melodramatic or "misery loves company."  I'm not about wallowing in your own mess with no hope.  But I think if we were a bit more honest with where we're at, we'd not feel so alone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gallactic Anaphylactic!

Well, it's been a crazy few day.  Thursday morning Shep's cold developed into a full blow asthma attack.  I took him to the doctor and oxygen levels were dangerously low even after two breathing treatments.  She debated whether we should call an ambulance or if I could drive him straight to hospital.  We decided I could drive to Scottish Rite (Children's hospital).  There they gave him an oral steroid and two full hours worth of breathing treatments.  Can you imagine trying to keep a 21 month old on a bed with a mask for two hours?!  Yeah, me neither.  But when they tell you your kid's lungs are working too hard and might tire out and  he might need to be knocked out and ventilated- you sort of feel like holding that mask on a screaming toddler is a luxury vacation.

After those two hours, docs still felt his lungs were working too hard to breathe.  We were admitted. Wasn't the first time we've been admitted.  This is the third time.  *sigh*  Can you imagine keeping a 21 month old in a small, cage like hospital room with the round the clock breathing treatments and vital checks?  Yeah, me neither.  But we did it.  Shep was a trooper.  He was labeled a "happy wheezer."  Meaning, he might be struggling to breath, but dammit he'll jump on the bed and push chairs around and play with tubes, cause "Hey!  This shit is awesome!"  Happy wheezers are particularly hard to read when it comes to asthma because they really don't let you know it's a problem until it's too late.

Sometime in the middle of the night (between delirium and yoga breaths for myself) Shep stopped weezing.  Vitals got better and better and he was riding high on his oral steroid.  See, the oral steroids make them mean.  Really mean.  Even though it stopped inflammation, it cause excessive inflammation in my face due to slaps from my cranked up son.  He was not happy about me holding a mask on him and the steroids gave him just enough balls to smack the hell out of me out of nowhere.  I took it like a man.  Cause, my kid was breathing and all....

Finally asleep.  After a long morning.

Get this damn purple dinosaur away from me.  It's not cute anymore. 

 Hold Me. 

The next morning he was well rested (that's total bull shit- he slept, like 45 mins) and was ready to play!
I was not ready to play.  But JuJu (grandma) had flown in to be his playmate while I caught a cat nap.

Finally we were discharged (with a gazillion prescriptions in hand) Friday afternoon and thankful to be going home.  Shepherd had been such a flirt and so Ooooey Goooey Cutsie Rolly Polly that the nurses were smitten with him.  Apparently I got the only abuse.  But that's okay.  I'll take it.  Cause I'm the one that gets to cuddle and hold him and be his mama.  And I'm so so grateful that's he's doing better.  

I'm now off to order crazy Helicopter Mom ID bracelets and labels and epi pen directions and inhaler directions to every and any person that comes within 2 feet of my son.  Because the doctor told me so.  She scared this mama.  "He has a very bad combo of anaphylaxis (food allergy reaction where airways close up) and asthma.  This can be life threatening and all it takes is a cold and a bite of the wrong food." 

That's about when I *gulped* and took a deep breath.  And started in with a little self blaming.  

Then I stopped and chose to learn instead of blame.  

So now it's time to get a little more serious about this thing.  I think I've tried to sort of down play it in my head in order to cope.  Thinking he'd grow out of it.  So and So outgrew it by 2- so he will too.  Yeah...... no.  The reality is that he'll always have to carry an epi pen and an inhaler everywhere he goes.  And I'll always have to start the meds as soon as I see that first cough or eye watering.  And he'll more than likely have to get a puff or two when we go to the playground.  Cause thinking back- the poor kid wheezes any time he exerts himself.   

I flashed forward to him as a teenager.  What if he does something stupid (cause all teenagers are stupid) and forgets his inhaler?  What if he eats a pecan by accident while he has a cold?  One day I won't be with him all the time.  Will he remember?  

But then I realized it's not my job to worry about his future.  It's futile.  Cause I'm all about the present aren't I?  And presently I have a strong, resilient, smart toddler man child that is ready to go.  And I gotta keep up with him.  So I'll let tomorrow worry about itself.  In the mean time I'll have my epi-inhaler weapon ready to attack.  
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