Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fugue State

I learned a lot in medical school.

I learned that sleep is not really a necessity.

I learned that sometimes you think you know what you're doing - but really - you don't.

I learned that you can get by on very little food when you are stressed to the max because you have so much to do.

Hmm...sounds like motherhood.

But really, one of the disorders I learned about in school was something called Fugue State.

According to the most reliable source of information - Wikipedia - "Formerly called, Dissociative Fugue - The state is usually short-lived amnesia (hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity."

Now that Christmas is over - officially for us anyways - I know that some have more parties and gatherings planned - I kind of feel I've been in fugue state.

This morning, the hubs and I were already putting up our Christmas decorations and putting up the tree. Not that we didn't love having the festive-ness surround us, but our little house was bursting at the seems with the many gifts we received from family and friends. We need to free up the space to make room for the new stuff.

As we safely tucked in the last Nutcracker, my husband and I started to chat about how fast this year has gone. We both got a little emotional as we watched Iz run around, "helping" us clean, play with her new toys, and provide us with a soundtrack of beautiful music that consisted of just her sweet voice accompanied with the occasional crash and bang of her toddlerhood.

It's so fast.

Wasn't it just last year we were talking about how excited we would be THIS Christmas because Iz would be so fun?

Now - THIS Christmas is over. And she delivered. The excitement in her eyes as she saw the tree light up every night, the squeals of delight at her new playhouse, her crazy dance where she kind of just runs in place and flaps her arms - almost like she can't contain the joy she feels so that's her outward expression of the joy seeping out of her little body...

It was priceless.

And I kind of feel like I missed some of it.

I was so busy with the wrapping of the gifts, the preparing of the food, the getting ready for the gatherings - you know - the routine we all have to do as parents to get through the seasons.

But really - I sometimes feel like I'm in this constant state of being half here. Here - being focused on my kid or my marriage or my now. I'm always thinking of what needs to be done, what didn't get done, what should have been done. Or surfing another website to find something to make my life easier. Or updating a status or a blog to brag about what my kid did, join my network of overworked and over-stressed moms as we commiserate over something, or just find an escape in the lives of others on T.V. I kind of wander and travel through my day and suddenly it's time for bed.

It's like fugue state. How did I suddenly get here?

I'm so guilty of not being in the present.

But, maybe that's why we have these special holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If we do it right, we stop and enjoy the present with family. Relish in the things we have today and stop needing a better yesterday or praying for a better tomorrow...because we have the moment. This moment. The now.

I will never forget Iz's face as she tore into her first gift this holiday. We had just finished dinner after Christmas Eve service. She was rubbing her eyes because sleep was calling her...and Santa was on his way. But, we wanted her to open one gift. She sat down, unsure of what to do - so we coaxed her and tore a small bit of paper - and soon she understood. She ripped into the packaging and saw the familiar red, the orange nose, and googly eyes. She looked up at me and Craig, smile from ear to ear, and squealed "ELMO!"

Perfect. Priceless.

And the next morning as she saw her playhouse Santa left for her, and her curious expression turn to one of excitement and joy.

Perfect. Priceless.

And her dancing with my nieces and nephews to Christmas carols, her singing her own version, "helping" unwrap everyone's gifts.

Perfect. Priceless.

I am so thankful - even if was just for a day - that I stopped and enjoyed the now - and wasn't wandering aimlessly from task to task. It was the best gift I could have ever gotten this Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Accidental birthday week

I never understood people who gave themselves an entire week to celebrate their birthday.

The day of - I get.

The entire week - I don't get.

No judgments here - just don't get why anyone wants to be reminded every day for an entire week that they are a year older.

Enter in 2010.

Today is my birthday...

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah

They say it's your birthday

gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday

Happy birthday to you.
- Beatles.

Sorry - had to get that out of my system.

So, today is my birthday.

Today - on the day of my birth - the day of celebration - I have:

- wrapped 30 gifts
- cleaned my house
- done laundry
- cooked meals
- changed diapers
- wiped tears
- disciplined a toddler
- found the weapons of mass destruction

(ok - not the last one - just making sure you really ARE paying attention - unless you think 2 days of no pooping to finally pooping today as a weapon - then yes - I found a weapon of mass destruction in Iz's diaper)

But, today is like another day in my life. My blessed life.

But this that's another story!

I had an accidental birthday week.

A week filled with all things I love : friends, family, laughter, me time

Day 1 of Accidental Birthday week: Sushi dinner with my best friends from my mom's group. I've known these women for a little over a year and I can honestly say I don't know what I would do without them. We combined a new annual tradition - an ornament exchange with my birthday dinner. Sushi, laughter, mom time. Success!

Day 2 of Accidental Birthday week: Spa day. I had this gift certificate my parents gave me last year that was going to expire. So, I went to work at an ungodly hour of 5am so I could leave at 11am for a facial, mani and pedi. The facial was amazing. The mani/pedi I could have done without. I like having pretty toes and nails - but the mani/pedi lady felt the need to draw out the mani/pedi to over 2 hours and talk non-stop about her divorce, her new boyfriend, her suicidal daughter, her abusive relationships - kind of stressed me out on a day that was supposed to be stress free. But, I had a great facial - so I smile at you with glowing skin!

Day 3 of Accidental Birthday week: Craig took the day off to take Iz to see Santa. Iz loves all things Santa - and excitedly points to every Santa she sees and yells "SAAAAAAAANTAAA!" with absolute glee. So of course we assumed (what is it they say if you assume - something about me being an a$$) she would love seeing Santa. Let's just say the experience was not one for a Norman Rockwall painting, but it is a memory Craig and I will laugh at (and Iz will have nightmares over) forever!

Day 4 of Accidental Birthday week: Annual Christmas dinner with my best buds from high school. This year my dear friend Lindsey organized a painting class for us to do. It was SO fun! We painted, ate yummy food, drank wine and champagne, laughed, gabbed, made beautiful paintings and memories.

Day 5 of Accidental Birthday week: Work. Not fun but productive.

Day 6 of Accidental Birthday week: I got wined and dined by the hubs. I got all dressed up in a very binding dress. I looked like Goth Asian Mummy - but the hubs thought I was smokin' so that's all that matters. We went to an amazing restaurant where I ate yummy food, met the celebrity chef/owner, got a picture, filled my tummy, and was blissfully happy from start to finish. We then headed over to a Christmas party hosted by dear friends of ours in their beautiful new home. We caught up with great friends who I don't see often enough, laughed, ate more food...Then the hubs and I stayed over night at fancy schmancy hotel and [ ].

Day 7 of True birthday day: I am doing normal life things. Today I am reminded that I am blessed beyond belief. I love seeing messages on my Facebook page, love getting phone calls, love getting text messages. I am reminded with the chores I have to do that I have a beautiful family that I have the privilege to care for. I am reminded with the mountain of presents I have to wrap that God has blessed the hubs and I with a little extra moolah to buy gifts for the ones we love. And all around my home - I see reminders of the reason I am thankful for my birthday - I was given a life I could have only wished and prayed for. Even the trials I've faced - all are blessings.

So today - happy birthday to me! And I thank everyone who made this Accidental Birthday Week one I'll never forget!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You are cordially invited

It's been a busy month.

We've gone to birthday parties, ridden trains, played, worked, gotten sick, the whole shebang.

First plane ride!

We've laughed, we've cried, we've eaten Turkey.

But the most magical time of the year crept up on us.

A tree only decorated with non-breakable ornaments. Thus..only the top half is done (but even good things don't have bottoms on...just as Britney or Paris)

The Christmas season.

The time of the year where songs about mistletoe, Santa, grandmas getting run over by reindeer rule the airwaves - and it's awesome.

The time of year where the air is crisp and cool 60 degrees (hey - we're in Texas), knitted hats
are worn,

and baby fake Uggs are worn.

It's the time of year where enjoying one's company is much more important than doing laundry

or buying real food.

It's that time where we recollect of the moments of the past we'll cherish forever,

where everyone gets along (even angels angels and puppies),

and where we're reminded that family is heaven sent.

It's Christmas.


As difficult as it may be, I try not to think about the Incident from last year.

You know...

You remember...

But, it's through moments of difficult times that all too often people are brought together.

And it was through The Incident that two people fell in love.

So, I'll recount the events of the recent union that came about from last year's dramatic events.

You were cordially invited to the union of: German Man and the Irish Girl

Although the countdown was supposed to be for Christmas, the Irish bride insisted it was a countdown to the wedding....can you say bridezilla!!!

Everyone was invited.

The Mexican and the Korean showed up together.

And I heard it through the grapevine that they are set to be married as well. You know what they say..."once you go Asian...there's no use in changin'."

Celebrity sightings were in abundance.

Santa showed up and showed everyone up with all the gifts he brought...

The union was going to be performed by our old friend the Pope.

Everyone was on guard...and the victims of last year's Incident stayed perched high above, away from the gentle little giant...

The little giant that was supposedly behind bars.

But, there are rumors of her escape...with the help of a monkey.

Some say they see her banished with the animals.

Rumor also has it that even though she was pardoned by Saint Nick last year, she was behind bars for a more serious offense....climbing on the adult furniture and drawing on the table.

A crime so severe that she was forced to be the music man for the German and Irish wedding.

Security was in high at this V.I.P event.

The cavalry showed up again

with the help of the Officer and the Fireman.
*Although I have it on good authority that the Fireman was really an - ahem - act for the Irish girl's bachelorette party and not REALLY a fireman...bow chick a bow wow*

Because of the rumor of the little giant's presence, back up was called.

People from all over the place showed up.
Like the real German - he says he may be short but you know what they say about guys with small shoes...
...they bring big beer to make you forget...

Many took the train.

Other's traveled through time...

But, all went off without a hitch..or is a hitch since they got hitched?

And we'll celebrate another successful holiday!

Merry Almost Christmas!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peas and carrots

I know I've been really candid about my experience in motherhood. I've been honest with you, my blog friends, and let it all hang out. Let you see my insides - all mangled and imperfect.

And you've all been so kind and so gracious.

Probably because many of you are just like me.

A mom that feels like a thin piece of thread on the brink of breaking.

A mom that rejoices in our achievements - like getting the kids to bed at a decent hour or having a meal on the table that doesn't require the use of a microwave or a drive thru.

So, when I talk to you about my failure - my most recent one - the one that dings at my heart every time I replay it - I know you won't judge me.

Cuz you and me friend...we's like peas and carrots.

I greatly dislike - because I don't like the word hate - the fact that I work so much. I greatly dislike the fact that I am away from my kid as much as I am. I greatly dislike the fact that someone is raising her while I am at work. I greatly dislike the fact that I actually like work and am proud of what I've accomplished and what I'm building for Iz's future.

Stupid guilt.

But, work has me torn away from my real job. My most important job in the world and that's being a mom. I know how INCREDIBLY blessed I am to have Iz cared for by family - aunts that love her almost as much as I do.

But, it's still not me.

Not me wiping her messy face and pudgy hands after meals.

Or reading the stories, teaching her colors, learning how to count.

It's not me.

All of the above I'm ok with - sorta.

But, it's the sad sick face and little body that I miss caring for.

I was in the kitchen - again.... My sister went to my parent's house to drop off her kid today and checked on Iz for me. After yesterday, I told her I was worried she was getting really sick.

Then I got a call.

It was my sister calling me to ask permission to take her to the doctor.

Iz was worse.

She couldn't breathe and I was 20 miles away.

She was running a fever, couldn't breathe, and I wasn't there to hold her hand, wipe her nose, smooth down her hair and kiss it all better.

That moment...I felt like a failure. A failure as a mom.

Now - I know I couldn't do anything. I know that kids get sick - especially now that we're in a Texas winter - you know the 65 degree days followed by a 20 degree day....followed by a heat wave..

But, the fact that it wasn't me to take care of her at that felt like failure.

She took Iz to the doctor and I finished up my project and zoomed out the sit in an hour of traffic.

All my rushing was a moot point...since of course I waited and waited and waited while I stood in line at the grocery store to get medicine, her prescription, and get well essentials....

I cried in the car on the way home.

I ran into my house to find the hubs and the kid cuddled up on the couch.

My tear stained toddler, runny nose, puffy eyes, fever of 103...all I wanted to do was to hold her and make her better.

But, she wanted nothing but Daddy and I convinced myself that it was because she no longer recognizes me as a legitimate part of her life.

Ok wow - I am dramatic. I'm going for broke and trying to win an Oscar here.

But really, I felt terrible. I wasn't there for her when she needed to go to the doctor. And now that I WAS there for her....she wanted nothing to do with me.

My husband tried to take away the boxing gloves I was using to beat myself up. He greatly dislikes when I guilt myself during situations like these. He reminds me that kids get sick, a lot of mom's have to work outside the home, and that he's an equal part of her care giving as me - so to quit beating myself into an emotional corner that I can't get out of.

I know I'm not a failure as a mom. Just sometimes it feels like it.

I don't know when it gets better. When the guilt goes away.

I know it doesn't matter if I work from home, stay at home....we as mom's find a way to guilt our way into our emotional corners. Whether it's about a sick kid, working away from home, a tantrum...lots of things that are out of our hands.

I just wanted to share my latest failure moment - not to get pats on the back saying I'm a good mom, not to get words of encouragement, but to show you my insides - all crazy and mangled - and to show you that I get it. That motherhood is hard. And the feelings we deal with on a second to second basis are out of control.

I get you.

And you get me.

"We like peas and carrots..."

What a blessing!

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