Monday, September 17, 2012

Thirty Two

okay.  i'm 32 today.

to say it out loud, it sounds kinda old.

which is exactly what my 6 year old informed me of yesterday.  "mommy, that's an old age."

"so you're saying i'm old?!?!"

"no mommy, that's just an old age."

first, she guessed i was 15.  i should have gone with that.

however, not to be a downer, i'm interested in facts about the number 32.  here are some that i found:

it is the atomic number of germanium.

it is the number of completed piano sonatas written by beethoven.

in religion, the number of physical attributes listed for the appearance of buddha is 32.

it was the uniform number for sandy koufax, jim brown, oj simpson, magic johnson, bill walton, and karl malone.

it is the number of teams in the nfl.

interesting things that happened in the year i was born (1980):

pac-man was released.

the u.s. boycotted the summer olympics.

cnn was launched.

the phillies won the world series.

john lennon was killed.

in 32 years, i've seen, done, experienced, wished, dreamt, and worried a lot.  this year is going to have to work hard to top the last, and yet, there are many things that i look forward to being improved.  i know that, above all else, i am blessed to have been giving these years, and that the Big Guy Upstairs must think i'm pretty awesome to keep me around for this long.

i had a dream last night about my mom.  and i woke up sobbing.  i wonder if she was trying to reach out to me, to say happy birthday.  after all, she birthed me.  i wonder.

Friday, September 14, 2012

cleaning DIY

okay, i've always wanted to one of those know the kind.  the kind that look fabulous without trying.  that don't need make up.  that make their own clothes, jewelry, cleaning supplies.  the kind that have a house that always looks like a magazine photo shoot.

well, i'm not going to want anymore.  i can do this.  and with pinterest i can find all kinds of ways that are easy, cheap, and...well...easy to be this woman.  to be the mother/wife/homemaker that i've always wanted to be.  and to save money.  to stop throwing money away on stupid stuff.  and to make things more earth-friendly/kid-friendly/pet-friendly without so many harsh chemicals.

i already mark myself fairly crafty with some things.  i can sew, cross-stitch, make wreaths, and do lots of neat  home decor. 

but my first project with regards to my diy stuff is going to be cleaning supplies.  so much money is wasted on products full of chemicals in order to clean things....dishes, laundry, floors, tubs, counters. 

now, i have a steam mop.  and i love that for what i can use it for.  steam is clean, hot, antiseptic.  but i can't use that to clean my clothes, or my toilets, or my mirrors. 

so i'm going to figure some ways to do these things without the chemicals.

shopping list:
baking soda
dawn dish soap
hydrogen peroxide
washing soda
rubbing alcohol
spray bottles/containers
scrub brushes
white towels (so that they can be bleached and the color won't bleed)
paper towels

tub scrub (via martha stewart)
one cup baking soda to one teaspoon dish soap.  add enough water to make a paste and scrub.

carpet spot remover
one part ammonia to one part hot water into a spray bottle. spray liberally onto carpet, place white towel over and iron stain away.

glass cleaner wipes
2 cups water, 1/2 c. rubbing alcohol, 1/2 c. vinegar.  use 1/2 roll paper towel, into container, soak towels.  remove center cardboard roll and pull wipes from center.

baby wipes
2 1/4 c. water, 2 tablespoons baby wash, 1 tbsp baby oil.  mix and soak 1/2 roll paper towel as above.

bleach wipes
1/2 c. bleach, 2 1/2 c. water.  mix as above.

deodorant stain remover
1 tsp dawn dish soap, 4 tsp peroxide, 2 tbsp baking soda.  mix and scrub and rinse.

homemade laundry detergent (liquid)
1 bar of soap, 1c. borax, 1c. washing soda.  grate the bar of soap.  put into big pot with one gallon of water. cook until soap is melted. add borax and soda.  bring to boil.  turn off heat.  add one gallon of cold water.  use 1/4 to 1/2 c. per load.

homemade laundry detergent (powder)
1 box borax (4lb 12oz box), 1 box washing soda (3lb 7 oz box), 1 (3lb) container oxyclean, 2 bars zote soap, 1 box (4lb) baking soda, 1 bottle crystals fabric softener (optional).  grate bars of soap, mix all ingredients together and use 2 tbsp per load.

shower cleaner
1 part dawn dish soap to 1 part vinegar.  spray and scrub.

this is gonna be so awesome.  i'll need a pair of birkenstocks before long.

Monday, September 10, 2012

the best offense is a good defense

so, i realize that once a person has kids, or gets married, or moves into a new house, or starts a new career, there are bound to be scores of advice given from all corners of the earth.

"well when my daughter was born...."

"when we moved into our new house...."

"when i first started being a working mom...."

"when we got married, we...."

and the truth is, i thought i was totally equipped to handle all of this.  take it all with a grain of salt, i told myself.  and tuck back the really great advice for future reference.  and keep track of things that were helpful for me.  and try not to push my advice on anyone else unless they ask.  or at least preface it when i offer it with, "this is only my opinion, so feel free to ignore it, but..."

i never really steeled myself for having to defend my decisions, though.  to have to stand up to criticism.  unwanted advice i can let roll off my back.  and at least if advice is offered, there is the opportunity there to accept and learn from it.  but when i'm criticized for choices i've made or ignored, my hackles go up and i immediately go on the defensive.

the best offense is a good defense, right?  well, i suppose in order to be aggressive with the raising of my family/preservation of my marriage/furthering of my career, i'd better get my defensive line in order.  

i'm not perfect.  i make mistakes constantly.  if i can make it through a day without screwing someone or something up too badly, i count that in the win slot.  there isn't any such thing as a perfect person, or a perfect mother or wife, but i strive to be the best i can.  some days i end up just above sucking, and those days are the days that drain me.

but i'm not sure where it is that anyone has a right to criticize the manner in which i live my life.  i try not to criticize others if i can help it.  i don't bag on them for not doing certain things, or for making certain choices.  and there are days that i pray for bedtime....for the kids, or me, i'm not always sure which.  and there are other days that i don't want the day to end, ever.  there are days that the kids just grate on every nerve ending in my body, and there are days where i'd pick them up and put them in my pocket and carry them with me for the whole day.  there are more days than not that i'm so happy that things are the way they are, and only a few days where i wish i was better, more involved, more patient, more constructive, more present.

regardless of the way i feel on an ever-changing basis, it's my life....the life that the Big Guy Upstairs has blessed me with.  and as long as He and i are good, i can't see where anyone has the right to stand in judgment of me.  to try to penetrate my defensive line and get to the core of my team, my huddle.  and as far as i can say, no one is going to break that down.  that line may get battered at times, and occasionally it may miss a block, but overall, that defensive line is going to defend what i've got, what the Big Guy and hubs and i have built.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

where is my easy button?

this year marks two milestones for the hubs and i.  it marked, in august, ten years of us being together.  and it marked, on june 16th, five years of being married.

that's a lot of stuff to mark in one year.

ten years is a long time.  and there have been a lot of things that have happened to us, around us, between us in the last ten years.  we've seen happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, bitterness, absolute chaos, death, life, and everything else that the human condition is subject to.

hubs and i have known each other, literally, since the first grade.  we went to elementary school together, but we weren't in the same class until third grade.  we both had mr. eichenauer, who was a former basketball coach with the curliest hair i've ever seen on a man.  there was a particularly messy child in our class, and mr. e used to tip over his desk on a weekly basis so that the child would have to actually clean up and throw things away.  nowadays, that'd be wrong.  then, it was hilarious.

we went to junior high school together, and it was at that time that i fit in more with the "brains" and he fit in more with the "stoners," because...well, i was a brain and he was a stoner.  and those stereotypes were not only correct, but they were true until sometime after high school.  that's not to say that's all we were, but that's what we were known for.  and that's the way it stayed, even up until the time that people were told we were together.  there was a whole lot of, "wow, you're with him/her?" on both sides of the relationship.

but the truth is that we've taught each other quite a bit along the way, good and bad.  he's taught me to loosen up when it comes to some things.  and he's taught me not to be such a doormat.  there was a time in my life when i avoided conflict at all costs, sometimes to the point of losing myself completely.  i had a past relationship where i came in second to just about everything else to that person...friends, booze, whatever.  and i let that go on for three and a half years.  that's not to say there wasn't fun that was had during those three and a half years.  there was fun.  but it was a sort of fun that i didn't really feel like i was part of.  i felt like i was just along for the ride.  hubs taught me that you can have that much fun and stand up for your beliefs.

and when things were hard, and we had our trouble involving piper's conception, i would like to believe that i taught him a little bit about loyalty, and respect.  and that you don't bail on someone just because they've made a mistake.  that if you love someone, and you believe in them, then you accept them for all that they are, flaws and all.

it's not easy.  some days are easier than others.  but it's never easy.  and there is always work to be done.  whether it's remembering not to take our bad days out on each other, or remembering to speak to one another with respect, or not roll our eyes when the other has a particular interest.

we don't share all the same interests.  we do have quite a few things in common.  we enjoy a lot of the same music.  we like music that rocks, that's loud, that has a lot of bass, and that has a message.  we have to have our coffee in the morning.  jay never drank coffee until there was me, but now it's a staple.  we like a lot of the same television shows and movies, although he's much more interested in action than i am.

i've learned a lot about him in the last ten years.  he loves history, especially anything having to do with ancient egypt or about the mafia.  he likes his coffee strong.  scratching his back turns him to goo.  he has to have the television on in order to go to sleep at night.  he loves a thick pair of sweatpants in the winter.  he owns more gym shoes than any man i've ever known.  his favorite football team is the raiders.  he believes his greatest achievement is being a father and a husband.  he is fiercely loyal.  he cares what others think of him despite his projection of self-confidence, almost to a fault.  he wants to help, and he wants to fix things.  he holds tight to his friends, no matter the things they've done wrong.  it's hard for him to write people off, even if he talks a good game and says he's going to.

the point is....i couldn't imagine ten years ago that we'd be where we are.  that'd we'd be in the positions that we're in.  and i really think that we have a secret.  i guard our secret fiercely, but share it openly....we talk.  we communicate.  we don't say things to deliberately hurt each other.  but we talk.  and we tell each other.  and we know that that is one thing we have that only we share together.

he's my easy button.

Friday, September 7, 2012

what memories will hold...

i suppose this is true of all mothers and fathers.  i wonder and think and try to remember every thing that kids have ever done.  funny sayings, facial expressions, favorite toys....i relive these things over and over, in an effort to memorize them.

to remember-ize them.

and as i was sitting here thinking, i had this realization (which, if my brain was working at.all, i would have realized a long time ago), that while i am concentrating on remember my children, they are making memories of me.

i wonder what my children will remember of me.  i wonder if it will be happy...i hope so.  i wonder if they'll remember me as silly...i'm sure of it.

my first memories begin at about age 2 or 3, which i'm sure is typical for most people.  this was the time that we moved into the house that my dad and step mom live in to this day.  but i remember bits and pieces of the old house, too.  that means that piper has memories stored up for about two years now, and dade is going to start having memories at this time that he'll carry with him until he's grown.

unless they erase them with self-medication like i did...which i pray to God isn't the case.

and it also occurs to me that out of all the things i remember about my childhood, there are a lot of basics that i don't remember, or didn't take the time to know.  what was my mom's favorite color?  what is my dad's favorite food?  jay and i know these things about each other, but i don't know those things about my parents.

so, i suppose, for posterity's sake, i should record some things that i hope my children will want to know about me some day....

my favorite color is yellow.  i love yellow.  the color of the sun, of morning, of cute baby chicks.  i love yellow.

my favorite food changes a lot, but my favorite genre of food is italian.  i love the sauces, the pastas, the spices.

when i was a little girl, i loved school.  i loved to read, i loved to learn.  i still do.  for my whole life, i have been fascinated by science.  i wanted to study the stars, the planets, the constellations.  i loved physics and chemistry and biology.

my grandmother on my dad's side passed away when i was twelve.  she was a MASH nurse in world war II, and from the time that i could remember, i wanted to be a nurse like grandma.  before she died, grandma had to do peritoneal dialysis, and i would sit on the floor while she did her stuff, and listen to stories of the war, of wounded soldiers, of operations conducted under apple trees in france.  i always knew i would go into medicine, but i never dreamed it would be as a physician. 

jay would have been the furthest idea from my mind of who would have been my husband if you'd asked me fifteen years ago.  only because of the lives we led at the time...jay was very much a hell-raiser, and i was very much a goody-two-shoes.  but i thank God every day that He saw where things should go, because now, it's getting hard to remember life before him.

i didn't date that much in high school.  i had a few steady boyfriends.  and i wouldn't change that.  i dated enough to have some experience and some fun, but not so much that i became jaded. 

my favorite book, to date, is "the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood."  i don't know why, but i love that book. 

my favorite musicians include sarah mclachlan, evanescence, pink floyd, and linkin park.  and i love the music i grew up on....creedence clearwater revival, zztop, bruce springsteen.

my best girlfriend of my life is my sister.  through thick and thin, no matter what time of day or night, i can call and she's there.  she and Hubs are the only ones i trust with my whole self. 

my favorite sports to watch are baseball and football.  i will forever be a diehard IU basketball fan.  i will always love the indianapolis colts and the st. louis cardinals. 

i was raised christian but was not baptized until i was 18.  i loved to go to church with my grandma.  i believe in God, and his Son Jesus Christ, and nothing will convince me otherwise.

my favorite teacher in high school was either mr. romary (trig and calculus) or mr. yager (anatomy).  they were the coolest.

my favorite class in all of college was organic chemistry.  although, i did have a comparative class in film and literature, and i loved that, too.  i wrote my senior thesis on the comparison between the film and the novel "fear and loathing in las vegas." 

my favorite rotation in medical school was either family medicine or infectious disease.  i wrote my senior thesis in medical school on a patient with coccidiomycosis. 

my favorite part of my job is truly the relationships that i develop with my patients.  i love that they trust me to come, in the middle of the night, speeding down the highway, to catch their baby, or guide them through their depression, or fix their broken arm, or keep them safe from a heart attack.

jay calls me "baby," and i call him either that or "sweetheart."  it's always been that way.

we danced to sarah mclachlan when we got married.

my favorite scent is lilac.  the prettiest flower is an iris.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

down the spiral



what does one do when one sees a person they care for spiraling downward at an incredible rate?  

i've seen it.  and i've been it.  and the first thing that crosses my mind, the more that i think about this, is i wonder if this is what everyone else felt when i was out of control.  

when i was out of control, i was reeling from my mom's diagnosis, from the news that my future husband was father to a child that was not mine, and i was living hours away from my family (and states away from my sister).  i tried to maintain.  i tried to self-medicate.  and i tried, above all else, to hold it all inside and not to bother anyone else with what was going on.

i actually thought i did a good job.  i really and truly believed that no one had any idea how troubled and severed i felt on the inside.  

of course, that was the furthest thing from the truth.  which i didn't find out until i was approached.  only then did the healing begin.  the self-medicating eventually stopped.  therapy commenced.  

i'm still not healed, nor am i the person i used to be.  i don't know if i ever will be.  and i'm trying to be okay with that.  most days, it's fine.  other days, i wish like crazy that i could get back what i once had....that spark, that giggle, that ease of giddiness.

but now, there is someone that's going through something that is so different, so foreign to me that i can't begin to understand where it comes from, or what it's like.  i can't fix it.  and that irks me to know end.

it is so bothersome when i can't fix things.  i just want to fix it NOW.  and i want it to be over.  and i want things to be happy and rainbows again.  

but i can't do that with this.  i can't make this go away.  and what's more is that i don't truly know for sure what's going on.  and i don't know what to do.  i know that this person hurts, and hurts in a way that i can't relate to, and i know that i don't want that anymore.

i can't sit still.  i can't sit back.  but i do.  and i wait.  and i wonder if i should say something, try to yell, scream, push, pull, or prod.  or just let it be.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

occupational hazards of mommyhood

homework with piper

blogging is such an outlet.  and yet, it seems to be the thing that i always get to last.  the thing that sits on the back burner, always there, always waiting, patiently.  waiting for the moment when, at the end of the week/month/chaos, welcomes me back with open arms and says, "hello, friend."

there are always so many other things that need done RIGHTNOW.  kids need bathed.  laundry needs done.  homework needs completed.  my work needs finished.  specifically, charts have to be documented and organized.  dog needs bathed.  hubs needs loved. friends and family need help and support.  and i need sleep.

last weekend, i came down with some cruddy upper respiratory infection.  i haven't been sick like that in a long time, probably since i had H1N1 in 2009.  i actually missed work last friday and lost my voice.  however, the good news was that 1) Dade gave it to me, which means he's learning to share (always a good skill for a three year old to have), and 2) it only really lasted for about two days.  this meant that we were able to go to the linkin park/incubus concert.

there, we had a blast.

going to the concert was not the same as it would have been 10 years ago.  ten years ago, i would have partaken in many of the legal and illegal substances being passed amongst the other concert goers.  not anymore.  there are just too many things on the line that i stand to lose, to sacrifice, for three or four hours of fun. 

i didn't used to thing that way.  i used to partake without thought of the consequence.  that was many moons, two children, a husband, and a career ago. 

this week, as a i celebrate one full month of being a "partner" of the full medical practice to which i belong, i looked at my schedule and realized that i'm seeing about 25 patients per day.  which i love.  i love that i can see my patients, that i know their history, that i know their family, that i feel sort of like a "mommy" to them.  i don't think i could handle seeing more than that.  because then i don't think i could get out of the office to get home to do my mommy duties here.  but i thank God every day that He has seen fit to bless me with a blossoming practice and the opportunity to provide for my family.

through sickness, health, fun, sorrow, anger, laughter.  the occupational hazards of mommyhood.