ue I'm More Than Just a Mom...I Think: July 2004u

Friday, July 30, 2004

That's interesting, no wait, THAT is interesting, did I mention T.H.A.T., what about THIS?

In childhood, I was diagnosed as hyperactive/ADD. Not much was known about that then, Ritalin helped so say my parents, and I was miserable. We'll get to that later.

As an adult, I'm positive I still have ADD. I am compelled on a daily basis to jump from one task to another, often juggling 4-5 tasks at any given moment. My mind jumps around constantly. For example, in typing this paragraph, I've gotten up twice. Once to get a salad, and once to clean up something. WHY did I have to pick that piece of paper up and take it to the recycling now, why couldn't I have waited until I was done with this? I guarantee if you're IMing me, I've got so many things open that my task bar is a jumbled mess. Thank goodness I can type fast!

In my brain, while listening to someone else, I'm constantly thinking of something different to say as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I find myself doing that all the time with Dave or with my boss. I almost pounce once the last word comes out of his mouth. This is not something I like. I know that David hates it. Often he says "you weren't even listening to me were you?" when I say something fully off topic to what he just finished telling me. It's hard to explain that yes, I was listening and heard everything, I just have no impulse control and must spew my thoughts immediately.

I get frustrated. I forget things very quickly because I'm always focusing on everything else. When I'm at work, I can't just type a letter, print it (with corresponding envelope) and proofread it. I have to type it (often stopping several times to say, check my work e-mails, write a post it note for something or a notecard), print it, go turn on the postage meter, start listening to the next dictation assignment, perhaps even starting said next assignment, get up and put a file away, you see where I'm going with this. Some time later, I might get around to printing the envelope and proofreading the letter. Why is it so hard for me to do things in order? You don't even want to know how I fill out a form. There's no way that I go in order, it's an absolutely impossibility. If someone said "You must fill this form out in order or the building would explode", I would tensely fill it out and most likely, the building would end up exploding because I would be overcome with the urge to NOT go in order. I jump all over the place. I took particular notice today after I had filled out a Certified Mail card the order in which I did it. It went a little something like this (making up names and such):

Mr. Thomas Dunn
Went to the section and checked off "certified mail"
111 Main Street.
Filled in half of the tracking numbers at the bottom of the card.
Flipped the card over and stamped our address on that side and wrote the client's name under it.
Flipped card back over and finished the tracking number
Baltimore MD 21212

Why do I do this? I think that having this problem leads to other "disorders/quirks" that I have. I have this compulsion to have my hands/fingers busy at all times. It's almost unheard of for me to sit and watch a movie without a) being on the computer, so that I'm typing, b) eating or c) doing cross stitch. Another reason I'm on Instant Messenger so much - I can't just read a website. That's too directed, finite, and exact. I have to switch around so my fingers are busy. The skin on my fingers is a wretched mess. I bite my cuticles, I pull hangnails, sometimes I even just pull off skin because I can. My fingers look disgusting. This is why I will never go have a manicure. I'm utterly embarrassed.

And it's just my fingers that are constantly busy, it's my mind. I'm running at 110% all the time. My husband complains that I talk a lot. What he means is that I have diarrhea of the mouth. Often, I can't keep my thoughts in my head, I have to share them with him. It's as if there's a door that goes from everyone's brain to their mouths. Normal people have a regular door, perhaps with a lock or two. I have a revolving door that never stops. Are these things that I tell David of the utmost importance, urgent, earth-shattering epiphonies? No, often they are trivial facts or information that he could care less about.

I just stopped and cleaned up some videotapes that Zack pulled out of the cabinet. Sigh.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Joy of Pizza

I've never been a huge pizza fan. Seems impossible, but it's true. Give me a burger any day. Mmmm, burgers. With mushrooms. And bacon, must have bacon - crispy bacon too, not that floppy, fat-dripping crap that some places try to pass off as bacon. Steak sauce makes a tasty topper. Tomatoes, FRIED onions, no lettuce. Well done, never anything but. Whole wheat bun with sesame seeds.

Ok, I'm back. I fainted there for a second in a puddle of drool. What was I talking about? Pizza, yes, pizza. Not as good as burgers, that's for sure. Mmm, burg-oh ok stop. Having ADD is rough.

Pizza is winning me over. It's warm. That in and of itself is a plus. I like warm food. It's comforting, inviting, kinda like burgers. I prefer thin-crust pizza. I want the good stuff, not to exercise my jaw chewing through dough. Bacon and pineapple are my favorites. Hard to believe I used to be a vegan once (that's no meat, no dairy for those not in the know). I always feel guilty after I eat pizza. Kind of like when I eat an entire pint of ice cream. But, I always feel wonderful WHILE eating the pizza. Which feeling outweighs the other?

Tonight, it's the wonderful feeling. I'm waiting for some pizza to be delivered. Isn't delivery just the lazy-man's wet dream? I had my groceries delivered recently and I will never go back to the store again (of course, that's an over-exaggeration, I'll go - under huge duress and with a gun to my head, but I'll go). Convenience is overtaking our society. It is making us lazier and lazier. We are getting more accustomed to things being done for us, items being brought TO us. I'd venture to say that if one looked hard enough, almost anything could be delivered, for the right price. There's no more seek and ye shall find - more of a "google and it shall come". The downfall of our society, I'm sure of it.

And I for one, love it.

Are you sleeping??

The answer to this question is nearly always a resounding NO!  I sleep like crap and have for as long as I can remember.  I think probably 15-20 years now.  There are many factors that contribute to my lack of sleep.

Perhaps it's ironic that I can fall asleep quickly, at the drop of a hat, and almost always when Dave turns on a movie he really wants me to watch.  Some people have trouble falling asleep, but not me!  My problem comes when I want to actually STAY asleep.  It would seem that God, the Gods, the Universe or whomever controls everything thinks it's very funny to keep me awake.  I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this terrible fate.  Perhaps I was too lazy in a past life or something.  If I get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, it's a miracle in my view.  A full 8 hours is almost unheard of.

Believe it or not, the toddler is the least of my sleeping worries, though lately he's been contributing - isn't that nice of him?  We will call him Sleeping Problem #1.  Several times a week, he's decided it will be ok to wake up at 3 or 4am and yell for me.  Sometimes it's a legitimate nightmare and I will cuddle with him, stroking his sweet-smelling hair and patting his back.  After a few minutes, he happily lays back down, and we do Bedtime Ritual #3, which consists of "Wee" (a game involving me taking his sheet, snapping it high up in the air while saying WEEEEEEE, and laying it down on him and Hider-man), grabbing his sippy cup of water and going back to sleep.  If it's not a bad dream, he usually says he wants to come lay down with us or go downstairs.  I will bring him into bed with us, but never downstairs.  Coming to bed with us is always followed with the Zack2.5 stipulation that just as I'm getting comfortable, he will want to go back into his own bed.  Repeat Bedtime Ritual #3 here.  If he asks to go downstairs, he gets a firm "Zack, it's still dark out, everyone is sleeping, it's time for night-night" and Bedtime Ritual #3.

This happened last night of course.  Here is where we introduce Sleeping Problem #2 - my husband.  If he eats after 8pm, he will snore.  It's a fact of life and I'm used to it by now.  Sometimes the snoring will wake me, but usually it doesn't, it's just a factor in not allowing me to get back to sleep again when I've been up with Zack.  Other times, he snores one of those snores where I'd prefer to rip off my own arm and beat myself into unconciousness, rather than listen to it anymore.  But usually, it's the first instance.   I must add that unlike every other man I've heard of, David will happily go downstairs and sleep on the couch if I ask him to when he's snoring.  However, most of the time I feel bad asking him to do so.  I need to get over that - big time!

So, I bring Zack into bed with us and Dave's snoring.  This causes Zack to make comments. "Did you hear dat, mommy?" "What's dat noise, mommy?"  "Dat daddy?" "I wanna go my woom"  So back to bed Zack goes, with Ritual #3, of course.

Took me over an hour to get back to sleep after that last night.

Sleep problem #3 - I can't stay asleep, even when it IS quiet, after around 5am.  I will wake up numerous times.  Sometimes every 10 minutes.  Joyous, it really is.  Exhausting is more like it.  I can remember this happening as early as high school.  I would look at the clock - 5:30am - fall asleep, wake up, look at the clock - 5:45am, etc.  I've trained myself now to not look at the clock.  It only makes me upset and frustrated.  I have an alarm set and I will only look at the clock if Sleeping Problem #1 calls me.  Because, well, I have to have a reference point to get sympathy from everyone the next day.  "Zack was up at 3:30 last night", you get the picture. 

I never wondered why I didn't suffer from sleep deprivation that much after Zack was born.  Very simply - I was already sleep deprived, so at least when Zack was born I had someone to keep me company :)

From now on, when I say I'm tired, you have a little more insight as to why.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

You're Not Fat!!!!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely hate to hear that.  Yes, I am fat.  Check all the books, lists, statistics.  I'm fat. I don't say that to get sympathy or whatnot - it's just a fact.  And I really do hate to hear "You're not fat".  That doesn't make me feel any better.

At my heaviest, I was 245 pounds and a size 24/26.  Now, I'm at a size 16, which is something to be proud of, certainly, but I'm still fat.   When I look in the mirror most of the time, I'm disgusted.  Yet, here I sit, off my diet, and having just blown off my exercise buddy who called, mere moments ago, as I was writing this to see if I was going to go to Jazzercise with her.  "No, Cassie's not here" I said, blaming it on my kid being at her friend's house when in fact, Cassie asked me earlier if she should be home so I could go to class and I said no.  I'll go on Saturday, I tell myself.  And I might.  I might not.  I think about food all the time.

I hate being fat, but I don't do much about it.  Granted, I have been dieting/exercising for a few years now, but never with any steadiness.  I do well for a few months, then get mad that I'm deprived and binge like crazy.  Kind of like the stage I'm in right now.  I want there to be a quick fix.  *Bing* a waving of a wand and I'm skinny.  It's not going to happen.  One day, I will be a size 12 maybe.  Perhaps even a 10?  I will get there some day.  Right?

Being fat is an exercise in and of itself.  It's emotionally draining, physically tiring at times and most of all, a huge inconvenience.  Now, I don't need to worry that I can't fit onto a roller coaster or that people will think the elevator is going to crash because I got on it.  But, I still worry about embarrassing my children.  Do I want them to have the "fat mom".  I don't feel as scared of that anymore, but it's still a fear.  When you're fat, people think they have the right to treat you as a subhuman.  They will yell comments to you, knowing that most likely you won't fight back.  How do I defend myself from someone who yells at me as I'm walking to get the mail "Damn, that ass is huge!".  I can't defend myself because it's a fact - he's right.  But, it still slices me to the bone.  It makes me feel worthless.  And yes, that's happened before.

I don't understand how David finds me attractive, I really don't.  It blows me away how much he loves me, I just can't fathom it.  Of course I'm happy about it, I'm not retarded, I just don't understand it.  Perhaps I'm shallow?  But then I stop and think.  Really think.  If David was 50 pounds overweight, would I still love him and want to have sex with him?  You bet your ass I would!!!! So maybe I do understand?  Do I?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Right now, I really want ice cream.  Will that ice cream make me happy? No, it won't, but it will taste good!!!

Yes, I, in fact, own a mini-van.

I do believe it was my friend, Lizet, whom I told in college "If you ever see me driving a mini-van, shoot me."  And I really meant it.  There was no way that my hip, young, independent-thinking, Jaggermeister drinking self was going to succumb to the "normal life".  Sure, I knew I wanted to have children, maybe even quite a few, but I was determined in my mindset.  If I was going to have a van at all, it was going to be a conversion van, not some wimpy Soccer Mom mini-van piece of crap.

I happen to like my wimpy Soccer Mom mini-van piece of crap, thank you very much.  But, I haven't always been enamored with it.

Flash back 5 years (insert Scooby-Doo sound effects.  Also, put both hands in front of your face and move them around hippie-like.  There ya go.  You feel sort of stupid don't you?  Don't, it's all for effect and no one can see you).  There I am, married with two kids and my trusty Mazda, which I received as a gift for my 18th birthday, is stalling every time I go around a curve.  That's REALLY not a good thing.  The mechanics can't figure out what's wrong and my mind starts whirring and plotting.  I want an SUV and I want one bad.  I mean, I'm drooling at the thought of a Toyota 4Runner.  Perhaps even a little sexually excited, but that's for another post.

I go to my husband, figures in hand, ready for a fight - or at least to have to beg for this structure of my dreams.  Surprisingly, he's fine with it, but doesn't want to have anything to do with getting it.  It's all up to me.  AWWWW, yeah baby!!!! My dream car!!!!

I'll skip the details of actually GETTING said dream car because seriously, we've all been through buying a car, who in their right mind wants to read about buying one?  Not me. 

So there it is, outside our apartment.  Shiny.  Silver.  Reflecting light in a way I'd never seen.  Oh, don't forget BIG.  And, it's mine.  I love this inanimate object more than my cats at this point, I think.  I look out the window, just to see it and smile.  Maybe I wink a few times, you never know, I'm weird like that.  I pay a guy to detail it once a month.  I find excuses to drive it all the time.  Going to the store that's NOT within walking distance from our apartment, road trip to my parents' house, 8 hours away.  You get the picture.

I have this mobile wet dream for 2.75 years.  What changes, you must ask yourself?  Why on earth would Cathy get rid of this prized possession?   Well, sperm meeting egg happened.  I got pregnant.  Fine, I think, all three kids can fit in the backseat, no problem!!  And you know, looking back, it did work out for a while.  3 months to be exact.  But, my head was intruding seriously on my heart.  I'd glance back and see Cassie squished between Alex's carseat and now the infant carseat.  She never complained mind you, but boy did she look uncomfortable. 

It was time to grow up and accept that perhaps MY wants and needs were not the most important thing in the universe.  Yes, really.  Please stop laughing, it's making me sad.  Stop.  I'm serious. 

So I bid farewell to my Steel Stallion and bought the Mack Daddy mini-van, fully loaded with every possible luxury, including a dvd player for those long trips.  Yes, I did cry.  My husband doesn't know that because, well, how embarrassing is that - crying over a car?  Well, I'm not ashamed now.

Driving around in my van, I wax nostalgic and heave a sigh whenever I see a 1999 silver Toyota 4Runner on the road.  I wonder to myself "could that be MY old baby?  I hope they are taking care of her".  And as I catch a glimpse of my beautiful little boy in the backseat of the vehicle I swore I would never own, I smile.  I'd give up a thousand 4Runners for this boy.  I'll drive anything for him - he's worth it and so is my darling girl, who is no longer squished, though she does have to sit near #1 son, within touching distance usually.  God forbid!

Trucks, Buses, and Motorcycles, oh my!

My weekday mornings are almost identical from one day to the next at this point in time.  Forget the normal, mundane, getting up, showered, dressed, blah blah blah that we all go through.  That's a given.  I'm talking about what happens after we leave the house.

For me, weekday mornings are an exercise in vehicle identification.  The 2.5 boy is obsessed with all things vehicular.  And at the top of the list are the title items.  A quick glimpse of any of these items is immediately followed by "Wook mom, wook, a ____".  As mom, I must realize my place in life during this time is to answer the boy as soon as humanly possible with "I see that ____!!!" whether I can actually see said vehicle or not.  Even a split-second delay can throw him into the "Wook" screaming mode, which I like to avoid at all costs. 

Our daily adventures begin as we pull out of the driveway.  "I wanna see da twucks, mommy, ok?"  I always smile, turn around to look at him for a split second and say "In just a minute, I'm sure we can find some trucks".  I'm honestly surprised he doesn't say this with me at this point.  I don't think I deviate from those words.

It's a 20-30 minute drive, depending on the countless idiots who invade my roadway with their inconsiderate methods of driving.  Mr. 2.5 takes after his mommy, to a quite unnerving degree.  Two seconds too long at a traffic light elicits calls of "Move da cars, MOVE...DA...CARS!!!!!!" from my back-seat driver.  Impatience is a virtue, I always say.

Luckily for Mr. Wheels, most of the drive to work is highways.  Lots of trucks on highways, you see.  Lots of school buses and motorcycles too.  It's heaven for my little guy.   If by some strange aligning of the moon and stars or some sort of change in the earth's rotation, the boy is not interested in looking for cars that day from the get go, as soon as we hit the highway, he's back to normal, checking out everything in sight.  A typical morning goes something like this:

*insert sounds of talk radio station that mommy is trying to listen to*
"A skoo bus, mommy, wook right dere, a SKOO BUS!"
"I see it, Zack!"
"And da twuck!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Yup, what kind of truck is that?"
"A chip truck" or "A milk truck" or "A toy truck", you get the picture
*radio begins to say something mommy is very interested in listening to*
*mommy misses what she wanted to hear and forgot to answer the boy*
"I see it, Zack, what color is that motorcycle?"
"Dat's a cy-go go"
"Ok, Zack"

At some point during this conversation, which will last around 15 minutes long, Zack will decide that it's time to go to "Jason's house", which is his name for the Starbucks that we visit every morning.  After Jason's house, it's time to drop him off at daycare.

"I'll pick you up later and we'll see more trucks, ok babydoll?"
"OK, I wanna blow bubbles wif Ms. Barb a-day"
"Alright, let's ask Ms. Barb if you can blow bubbles today"
"Where's Hider-man, mommy?  He in da car. Babies no get him"
"That's right, Zack, he's in your seat waiting for you.  We don't want the babies to get him"

Did I mention the drive home?
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