Monday, February 17, 2014


I made it through my early morning without anyone dying by my hand.

Another friend is moving away this summer. That's the hazard of living in Salt Lake. There are so many people who are here only for school, or for a temporary job, or for training, or they come here and realize they hate it (there are annoying things about Utah, but none of them annoy me as fiercely as they seem to annoy others). It's a city full of nomads. I'm bummed about it, but I guess life moves on. It's a great thing for her family, so mostly I'm happy.

On a completely different note, does anyone know how Ambien mixes with Mucinex? Because I have something happening in my face that feels like balloons made of knives, and tonight I just want to sleep instead of jolting awake every time an otherworldly child hovers in the air over my bed, or a flock of spiders rushes down the wall in a wave of horror. My brain is already like a terror circus at night, so I don't need to add drug interactions to the list of events. HOWEVER. My face. Knives. Decisions.

Things that I have seen/obsessed over at night (not dreamed, things I actually see when I'm at least mostly conscious):

- I'm stuck in Minecraft world.
- I have no teeth.
- My child is throwing up (she's really not).
- My child is standing at the end of my bed, whispering (she... usually isn't).
- A child I don't know is standing at the end of my bed, whispering.
- Spiders (in my bed, in my hair, dangling over my face, crawling on the wall).
- Jeremy sits up, snorts, rolls over as wildly as possible (oh wait that happens for real).
- My wall is rippling back and forth like it's a curtain.
- There's an ROUS on my dresser.

I know that reads like an example list of Ambien side effects, but this is me unmedicated, every night. With Ambien, this happens about once or twice a month. Unless I'm sick or getting sick. And then it's a wild ride. I felt like I was in American Horror Story last night, and I think tonight might be even more fun. Maybe I will dream about Mucinex monsters in my room. That might be a welcome change.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I've made a terrible mistake

I have to get up super early tomorrow morning, so I took a full Ambien about ten minutes ago, and it's kind of kicking in, and now this is the best part of today. Everything is warm.

Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you why. Ambien doesn't make me shop naked or eat bags of dog treats, but it does make me very happy, and I will go with it.

Oh, why do I have to get up early? Now that's a funny story, if you can hear it over the weeping.

A few weeks ago, at my moms' group, they were passing out sign-up sheets for this fundraising thing we're doing this weekend. I am CERTAIN that I signed up for cleanup at 5pm. But I either misread the slots, someone moved me, or one of those nice ladies slipped something into my coffee when I wasn't looking. I don't know. All I know is that I got an email yesterday telling me to be there at 7:30 for setup, and then I became nauseated, and then I texted my friend (since I knew I'd signed up right under her) and she texted back, "YEP I'LL PICK YOU UP WITH COFFEE AND DOUGHTNUTS," and I became nauseous again, and no she didn't all-caps it but I know she was thinking it because she is a MORNING PERSON, YO, and one of her greatest joys in life is to see me in beast mode. I don't mean that in the sense that athletes do. I mean that in the sense that I resemble a beast half out of hibernation. One of the ones that will tear your face off if you happen to be present when the full awakening happens. She doesn't get her face torn off because I treasure her, and she has special status. But you don't. And you don't. And you don't.

I am in training for a half marathon, and every time I think about that AFTER I've taken my Ambien, I think, "This is the funniest thing ever." Because I still don't think of myself as a runner. I mean, I am, technically, because I run a lot, and I love it, and... okay, I guess I can say I'm a running. But what I would really like to be is a swimmer. On a team again. But that's not going to happen any time soon unless I can find a team that meets during my kids' preschool hours and is free.

The more I run, the more I love it just for the fact that anyone can do it, even if they don't have any talent. I remember when I used to be fast, in high school. Not track star fast, but fast enough to get to the soccer ball (and then my brain took over trying to figure out what to do with it and shorted, every single time, sorry teammates!). But now I'm just a plodding mom, and I'm pretty okay with that. I still reap all the benefits of running even though I'm slow. However, it would be nice to share the team camaraderie again. Have something in which I have more than the most minimal amount of skill in. It feels nice to be above mediocre at something. I want that back someday. Perhaps when the girls are in school themselves.

It's probably time to go. I have to get up early, and the Ambien has entered my brain effectively enough that I forgot how to tell time for a minute there, and also I keep typing words that are not the words I'm thinking. Good night.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We CAN be friends.

I read this article the other day. It's called "We Can't Be Friends." It's not as bad as some others that I've read, but it implies many of the things that I hate most about these Real/Genuine/Messy/[Whatever Typically Unflattering Adjective that Pertains to You] Motherhood. And it's the one that's been going around Facebook most recently. So it's not the source of my annoyance, but it is the catalyst for writing this post.

She starts off saying that if she has to clean her house for three hours before you come over, then she can't be friends with you. I am so on board with that. That kind of pressure would be exhausting in a friendship. The first time I have someone over, I am a nervous wreck over the state of my house, the food I feed my new friends, the behavior of my children. Imagine doing that every time in a longterm friendship. I would spontaneously combust.

But I hate the implication that, if MY house is clean, it's because I'm trying to impress you, or that I don't play with my children. I like my house to be clean. Clutter is mental noise to me, and I become more and more stressed out around it. In other people's houses, I don't even notice (unless it's up to the level of CALL CPS). I don't care. If I have a place to sit that isn't filthy, if your kitchen doesn't look like a biohazard, then I'm good. And not in a politely tolerating it kind of way. I GENUINELY DON'T CARE.

I spend a lot of time with my kids. We play games I don't hate and read a lot and go for walks when it's not freezing outside. We also clean together, believe it or not. It takes longer, but it wears them out, and then they sleep better. They also spend a lot of time playing on their own or together. They fight, but unless there's blood, I let them, because I think learning how to fight (fighting isn't good, but it's inevitable, and never learning how is even worse) is a valuable skill. Since I started this, they have learned how to get along so much better.

While they are fighting/playing/picking their noses, I get my cleaning done. It doesn't even take that long. They mostly pick up their own toys (we have set times of day to do this), so the amount of regular work I have to do is pretty minimal. Almost all of it is done as I go about my day. I wash my hands in the sink, I wipe the counter and mirror with the hand towel. I take a shower, I wipe it down (in less than 30 seconds) with a rag that I keep in there so that I never have to scrub the shower. I throw dirty clothes down the stairs when I change, and then put them in the hamper next time I go down. I'm not an obsessed clean freak who ignores her children all day in favor of ensuring a sterile environment.

I'm lucky. I only have two kids. They're pretty mellow. They can make huge messes, and they're not always awesome at picking up in a timely fashion, but their basic natures make it pretty easy to have them help me out with the housecleaning.

I'm also a SAHM. That's not something everyone can do or wants to do. If someone has a full time job, of course she's not going to have all kinds of extra time and energy at the end of the day to clean her house by herself. That's just stupid to expect that.

I have a clean house because I like a clean house, and it has nothing to do with you. Different people have different priorities. I sometimes wish I were the mom whose priority was to teach her kids all kinds of different sports, or who could spend hours baking with her kids in the kitchen. I wish I could understand their weird imagination games and play along for more than ten minutes without dying of boredom. I wish I yelled less. I wish, I wish, I wish. But that doesn't mean I look down on moms who do all those things. I have never said, "Well, I COULD play soccer with my kids, but I have a house to clean," with a smug sniff.

No. I am what I am. Some things need improvement (yelling). Some things are just how I am, and they're never going to change. The choices I make are my choices. I don't have to justify them by pointing out the great things I do that others don't. I don't have to put down your love of baking so that I can feel better about my storebought treats. So why do we get like this over clean houses?

I'm glad that it's become more acceptable to be more honest about real motherhood. I can't imagine how stifling and isolating it would be to do it any differently. But let's not be mean girls in our "honesty." Honesty should be equal opportunity. "I have a messy house," or, "I haven't showered today" shouldn't be the only things that are acceptable. How about, "If my kids get underfoot while I'm cooking, I lose my mind." Or, "I hate mornings so much that my small children have to get their own breakfast." Or, "Sometimes I put my kids to bed an hour early because they can't tell time yet, and I'm just done."

How about we build each other up instead of me declaring that we can't be friends if I perceive that you are better than I am at something? How about, "You make the best cookies. I bet your son loves that." Or, "Your kids are so athletic. I think it's awesome you have the energy for that." Or, "Her hair is so cute today! I love how creative you are." <-----Those are all things that I'm terrible at doing with my kids. And guess what. I don't feel ashamed or embarrassed over any of them. I think it's cool that my friends can manage this stuff, and it doesn't cost me anything to admire them for it.