Friday, January 20, 2012

It's about the books

So, one might ask if they still cared, where the hell have you been all this time Mira?

Well, I took a little detour through self pity land, and stopped writing because I'd pretty much written 8 months of miserable posts. Who wanted to read more of  those? Not me. But then we moved. And I discovered.....

dun dun dun!

Books. Wouldn't cha know?

I rediscovered the joy of reading. I'd been reading newspapers and magazines on parenting and Oprah, but I hadn't read books unless I was away for a few days. Which, naturally, was rare. But I got this book from my mother in law and started reading it skeptically. It was historical fiction and I had been reading mostly fluffy chick lit for all my rare chances to read so I wasn't sure. Brain? Meet Diana Gabaldon's epic tale about some damned woman who got transported back 200 years to Ireland and fell in love and so on.

Segue into musical interlude of "books glorious books" to the tune of the orphans and Annie singing about food.

In any case, I haven't been able to stop since. After I read a couple in actual paperback form I downloaded one onto the iPad. The problem with this was that books and iPad were never there when I needed them. Then I realized that I had the patience of a saint and could read books on my iPhone despite the fact that there are about 4 words on every page. I didn't care, I could read anywhere!!

I read while sitting outside my childrens' doors after lights out in between super nannying the party animals they had become after transitioning to big kid beds. I read while on the toilet, I read instead of paying bills, I read while waiting in line at the checkout. People, I read. Even two sentences at a time.

It was/is glorious. I love books. I actually reached a point where I ran out of suggested titles on iTunes and worried I had read every historical fiction book out there. Not true, but at current time I have read 63 books. Since last March. On my iPhone.

Addicted? um, yes. Happy as a clam? Yes, despite the people from collections interrupting me now and then. Getting stuff done I should get done? Not really. But I'm happy?

Well, feel free to use me as a warning tale. But honestly? It's not drugs, or alcohol or cigarettes or food. So I'll take my chances. Oh, and if you see me at the playground staring at my iPhone instead of my children? Well, at least know I'm not just texting or FBing. You know, because that makes it alright. Right?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anyone still here?

Hi folks, how ya been? Don't remember me? Well that's ok because I"m not the same person I was a year ago. A year ago I was stuck in a horrible temporary apartment, crammed in with my 4 kids, struggling to keep my sanity, 50-60lbs overweight, feeling ugly to my core, about to lose my marriage and sick to my very soul.

Today I am none of those things. I have had lots of "learnin's" my friends. Lotsa.

I am in a big, beautiful house. I am exercising regularly and enjoying it. I am eating better and losing weight. I love my husband better than before. I am a better mother.

And I am happy. Gloriously happy most days. Just alright on a bad day. I recently got a huge kick in the teeth and instead of falling apart and laying in bed moaning and feeling sorry for myself while eating a pound of ice cream with a spoon I took it and dealt with it. I'm still dealing with it, and the fallout will go on for a while, but you know what? I'm strong enough to handle it. I have my sh*t together. I'm ok.

I will be sharing my learnin's with you soon. But for now, lets do a photo or two to suck you back into my cute ass family.

Friday, March 25, 2011

There Ain't No Magic

When I called an astrologer in August to get some hope that my 'stuckness' would end eventually, I got some. She said that things should already be getting better but around January the house thing would finish up. I was stuck with a house that wouldn't sell, stuck in a crappy small apartment which led me to be stuck with children who were not potty trained, unable to cook them real meals, or for myself either. I was stuck in my life, feeling like I couldn't work out, eat right, do paperwork, be the mother I wanted to be. I was stuck in my marriage, trying to work in a hopeless situation where neither of us had the space we needed nor the private time together we needed to have a healthy relationship. I was stuck in the same old routines, probably depressed and just waiting for everything to change.

In December I emailed my astrologer asking her why I was still stuck in total misery, suffering physically and mentally the worst week of my life I can remember during the week of Christmas, when she had said things were supposed to be going my way. She wrote me an essay in response which I still retain and truly mean to read word for word, but between my pink eye swollen lids I skimmed enough to gather that I had to be the change I wanted. I couldn't just sit back and have it happen, planets aligned or not. So I cleaned my closet. Voila! The house sold.

I moved into my new, beautiful house three weeks ago. The events leading up to the move were exhausting, frustrating, and infuriating. Nothing happened the way it was supposed to, in the time frame it was supposed to nor as well as it was supposed to. But my children have beautiful rooms, a fantastic mural and I have a peaceful haven of a bedroom to collapse into at the end of a day.

But the reality of change is that it is hard. I wanted to wake up here day one cooking breakfast for my children every morning and cook healthy full meals for my whole family, be the mom who has craft projects ready for every rainy day, take the kids on hikes in our new property, participate in my kids' days more energetically and enthusiastically, potty train all of them at once, get on the treadmill every day, and so on and so forth.

The move knocked me flat on my face. Whether I kept all my feelings bottled up these ten months I was trapped in that apartment and was actually depressed back then, or the move itself just kicked me harder than I could take in my fragile state, I am down for the count. Sure I get up every day, eat breakfast with the kids and spend the time with them I am supposed to. But their meals are still what they were in the apartment, frozen things, easy to prepare meals. I still stick them in front of a movie too often when it rains, although I did try two craft afternoons and I suppose it wasn't my fault they failed. Who knows what a 3 year old will be interested in and that I have the only 1 year old on the planet who has no interest in fingerpaint.

But I feel like a failure. I actually feel like it's possible that the ways in which I sucked as a parent in the apartment had nothing to do with the apartment. Maybe I'm just lazy. Maybe I am not cut out to be a mother of 4 full time? Maybe I will never cook meals regularly, maybe I would rather have me time than create a craft for the kids for the afternoons. Maybe I'd rather sit and watch my kids watch movies because it's easier. Maybe I really really suck as a mother.

Or maybe I'm depressed. I sure hope its the latter, because there are 4 children with no choice as to who their mother is and I sure hope to live up to their expectations. And I hope those planets kick in soon.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clean your closets

This is a public service message from your local beat down, put upon, stuck in hell mommy of 4 to those of you finding yourself similarly mired in some sort of muck that makes any progress on any front impossible.

Clean your closet. Your closet reflects your state of mind and your state of  your life. That is my firm opinion. I cleaned my closet today, and you know what? My house was set free from eternal escrow bondage, my children were well, I'm making better eating choices (yes just one day) and I feel like a million bucks and I bet it's going to continue.

Next I need to clean my car, my purse and my dining room table. And then my life will be free flowing and successful as it can be. I just know it. Too bad it's another holiday weekend and I don't get another morning child free for a week. I'll figure it out. A few minutes a day will make progress. I'll see signs of change. I'm excited. Because I have been stuck stuck stuck for so long. I couldn't see what I was doing to stay stuck and I couldn't see any way out. I am not going to be stuck anymore. The house will sell, my new house will be found and purchased and I will find myself again.

I even found some sense of humor in the back of the closet while I was cleaning.

No, really, I don't think it's a coincidence. We'd been waiting on the results of a re-appraisal of our house for sale for 3 days. Suddenly we get it and it's better news than we had even hoped for. We will be getting a reasonable amount for our house and we will be free by the end of next week. Free to find our dream home and start a life where my kids have room, privacy, good sleep options, freedom to do crafts, run in and out of a house, and even help mommy in the kitchen.

I can't wait. It's going to be great, with the usual spots of pain in the butt. Moving is never easy. Finding a home is never easy, negotiating sucks, and we will have to spend more than we want to but it'll all work out.

I'm on my way! Oh I'm relentlessly cheery today aren't I? Hard to even recognize me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The learnings

Over this complete hell of a Christmas week I have learned many things I think you could benefit from hearing. I had 4 sick children, too much to do, no nannies, The Flu and two pinkeyes myself, and too much family exposure. Lets see what we can take from this.

1. Get your freaking flu shot. It is WORTH IT. The flu is days and days of total destruction upon your personhood. And if it happens when you have no nanny and your other helper is sick? You're screwed.

2. Nobody really cares if mommy has the flu. Just get your arse out of bed and do your job.

3. The more you need a nap due to being on your deathbed with the flu the less likely your 4 children are to take naps.

4. Movies only distract toddlers, not 10 month olds.

5. The croup comes in many flavors. One is sneaky and practically silent.

6. When you put your baby to bed sounding like he's breathing under water? It's hard to sleep.

7. When you put the cold air humidifier on full blast all night, the whole room is soaking wet in the morning but the croupy baby sleeps like

8. Opening presents is only fun when you can see them.

9. Your daily evaluation of how you look in the mirror with receive a total upgrade after seeing yourself with tragic levels of pinkeye for a week. Just be lucky you can actually see yourself.

10. Vicodin and pinkeye are not friends. One dries out the eyes and the other....dries out your eyes.

11. If you screw with your pinkeyes too much you will end up with 2 black eyes. Think you have explaining to do in public with 2 pinkeyes?

12. Your kids don't care if you can't see when it's book reading time. Read.

13. Driving your kid to the Dr. with two pinkeyes is a bad idea. I'm pretty sure it's worse than texting, breastfeeding and watching a dvd while driving.

14. When the baby has finished barfing and you're talking to him soothingly and he looks at you and opens his mouth? CLOSE YOURS.

15. The baby has never finished barfing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

emotional reactions

I'm a very emotional person, I know that surprises you all terribly much. But I don't hold much back, well that's not really true, because I do actually censor myself a lot or else I'd have no friends or family left at all, but for the most part people know how I feel most of the time. This came about due to a childhood where I felt unheard and invisible, my reaction was to shout louder so maybe someone might hear. The less I felt heard the more I cried and yelled and talked about how badly I felt, hoping surely if I got dramatic enough someone would react.

No one really did. They just didn't have the capacity to see someone else's pain, they were too wrapped up in their own mental illness, alcoholism or narcissistic way of life. They were not going to take notice, and thank god I didn't do the final act I dreamed about: doing some dramatic suicide attempt so they could discover I was really in trouble and finally do something about it. Knowing my luck and circumstance, no one would have found me in time, and just look at what I would have missed.

But I have noticed that there are three kinds of people I run into who react to me totally different regarding my emotionalism. It's pretty easy to categorize them:

1. The over-reactor. This is the caretaker person who can't react in proportion to the problem at hand. A splinter in my finger is a code blue emergency that must be handled immediately with bandages, pain killer, ice cream, calls to the ER for backup, a police escort and possibly even a helicopter evacuation. This person drives me crazy because I then have to be all "my head hurts -butI'mreallyokpleasesitdown." My mom used to hear I had a headache and call me the next day to see whether my migraine had gone away. No, mom, headache. I'm fine.

2. The under-reactor. This person is pretty much totally uncomfortable with any display of emotion whatsoever due to whatever their upbringing where they were taught that stuffing their feelings waaaay down deep and showing nothing in public is the 'right' way to handle things and you should just pull up your big girl pants and get over it. Well I disagree. I respect that this is another way to handle your crap and sometimes I wish I could just shut the heck up but I also don't have some nuclear quality bomb growing inside me that might blow up on the wrong person and I don't need to be passive aggressive about my anger. I am healthier when I can express myself, I just think I could use a little calming down. I don't hurt people's feelings, I don't scream in the middle of the grocery store, I cry in my own home amongst family. That seems fair.

3. The just right reactor. This is my best friend. This person listens to my crap, lets me get it all out and moves on in her life without worrying too much. She knows I can handle pretty much whatever is thrown at me and just need to vent to someone safe now and then. Or all the time. Whatever. However, when I get down at the bottom of the pit and can't find my way out, she'll call in the national guard to get me out. She reacts when the time is right and she'll react with all due speed and force necessary, but she gets when and how the reaction is necessary.

We all have our own ways of dealing with life's curves, but sometimes life hands you so many lemons you get buried. When that happens I talk about it. I try to find someone who will listen. And if I feel no one is listening I lose my cotton picking mind. I just want an ear.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I come from a family of yellers. One might not be surprised that having alcoholics for parents and loud family arguments kind of go hand in hand. It wasn't until I was 30 something that I put 2 and 2 together and understood why so many family dinners dissolved into screaming and fighting and crying. As a child I also couldn't figure out why the arguments always went so wrong; I was constantly misunderstood and consequently constantly defending myself. I developed a deep emotional wound that even the smallest misunderstanding could trigger and send me into paroxysms of explaining and apologizing until I would hopefully be 'let off the hook' by those I offended.


My husband comes from a quiet family. Now admittedly, this may have been in reaction to their own family histories. Grandma on one side was known for dish throwing and temper, my guess is she wasn't quiet about it either. So her child naturally was drawn to a quiet person who dealt with their feelings in a calm way. Oh heck, my mother in law never gets above a 5 on the loudness meter even when at her angriest.

My husband chose me, however, so this aversion to emotionally demonstrative and slightly verbally intense women seems to skip a generation now and then. I instantly felt out of place in their house when I went for the aforementioned grandma's funeral, I was the bull in the china shop. My family would have feelings all over the place, including the good ones like funny stories about the deceased. Here I felt like I was in a monastery, which is emphatically not where I fit in.

However, I loved the peace and silence at times. I've written before about christmas in this family and how delightful a drama free season was (well, as drama free as it could be since my mom knows how to dial a phone,) and how I relished the safety of a home like that. Now it doesn't mean that people weren't thinking things I suppose but it sure seemed like a judgement free atmosphere and certainly no one yelled. Ever.

Except me. The funny thing is that I only have to raise my voice 2 levels to be accused of yelling by my husband. I often pause in confusion thinking, I wasn't yelling? You wanna hear yelling? But the main point of this essay is my feelings on yelling at my children. Good God, does anyone really WANT to yell at their children? There are long conversations in my triplet online group about our guilt that our triplets regularly push us so far with their behavior that we end up yelling at them. Half the time it has more to do with our tiredness or our being sick more than them really behaving any differently than usual, but those with children will agree that some days? Those kids are just full of terrifying ideas.

And they seem to hone in on when you're vulnerable due to some other trauma going on in your life and really sock it to ya that day. And you could have your best poker face on and be singing along with them when they decide to just say no to everything you say or ignore you or pick on a sibling until you are a roiling ball of rage with veins popping out all over while you shriek like some lunatic about what the heck is wrong with them anyway?

And when you're yelling you tend to say things that you really never meant to say. Things your parents used to say to you: "Why are you doing this to ME?" "What is your problem?" and "Why are you being so bad?" Those may seem minor but to a kid who isn't always sure that you love them all the time no matter what it can be poison. It can seep into their souls and convince them that there IS something 'wrong' with them. That there's some horrible side of them that makes them a bad child and that deep down inside there is some dark part of them that no one would love.

Or at least that's what happened with me, so I can't let it happen again. Mommy needs to take more time outs. Kids respect time out. Kids might learn something about being a grown up or how to control their own anger by watching mommy take a moment to calm herself instead of screaming whatever comes into her head. This, of course, is way harder than one might think. The rage is like lightening for me, one minute I'm handling the children calmly and rationally and the next the control line has snapped and I'm grabbing and spitting and yowling like a rabid cat. My own rage from childhood even feeds into the lack of control because I'm recognizing that I am not in control and my being their mother is not 'good enough.' Just like the way I was not in control as a daughter and never a 'good enough' daughter.

It's amazing and terrifying. I want to be a loving role model to my children and have a house of peace, not crazy drama like my own childhood. I am not an addict, so that's a step in the right direction, now I've got to get my rage under control. It is not fair to visit the sins of my father (and mother) upon my children. Thank god I'm already in therapy.