All Bark and Some Fight

There were a rough couple of days here. Although the house was finally warm and soot-free, there was some drama from outside that caused some depression and therefore erased the desire to do things.

CJ and MJ went on a rock climbing adventure, but all I could muster up was some nail painting with Q while EM was napping. Don’t get me wrong, Q and I had a nice time (and who doesn’t like pink and purple toes), but I just wish we did something more.Then, to make matters worse, yesterday the neighbor’s dogs got into our yard.

I would like to make it clear that I am much more of a dog person than a cat person. But even then, big dogs scare me. Like, a lot. I was attacked by a German Shepherd when I was little and had a bad experience with a Boxer. Unless it’s a dog I have known since being a puppy – like our chocolate lab – I don’t like ’em big. And even our lab was the runt of the litter. Many people comment on how small she is for her breed.

Anyway, there are grapevines on the one fence between our yards. The neighbor apologized for her dogs, saying that when they moved in, since the grapes were full, she didn’t realize there was a space between the bottom of the fence and the ground. Since it’s winter, the space is there and obvious. So instead of taking her dogs out on leads because of the hole, she just lets them run.

When her dogs saw my kids out in the yard, they decided to come over. The first one over was the Boxer. It promptly started chasing MJ. The neighbor yelled to stop running as that would only “make it worse.” I immediately assumed he must be a biter because with my personal experience, what else could she have meant? Once the Boxer had distracted the owner, the other dog made his way into the yard. He was a great big Rottweiler. Huge. Beefy. Scary.

I did my darndest to at least look calm because I didn’t want the kids to freak out anymore than they already were. The dogs fought with each other and ran around our yard. The neighbor pulled the Boxer back twice, but it kept on coming. I rounded up the kids to get them back into the house, hoping that without them, the dogs would leave. Instead, the Boxer ran up behind us and tried to push his way into the house. I had to body block the dog while getting the kids in the door.

During all this, my own dog was freaking out. She made sure CJ took a break from working to go check on her Mama. The kids had all tumbled into the house, shedding shoes and coats along the way, but I was still pinned to the back door, shaking. Once I saw CJ and knew that it was finally okay to, I burst into tears. It took awhile to calm down. It was not the best day.

So far, this week looks promising. Then again, it’s only Monday.  🙂

 

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My Furnace Blows

I know, I know. I post a schedule and the very next week I don’t follow it.

In my defense, when we got home from preschool on Monday, the air in the house was cloudy. CJ and I spent the evening trying to figure out what was going on and trying to do some cleaning because many things in the house looked dirty all the sudden. Tuesday, we were all sick-y, so while the boys spent their days at work and school, the girls and I went to my sister’s house to get out of the cloud that was still in our house.

While we were gone, we opened up windows to air things out, but it being winter and all, it got super cold in the house. CJ called around and found a heating and cooling place that said they would come out Tuesday night between 8p and 11p. Around 10:30p, they called to explain they could no longer send someone out because the oil furnace technician was unavailable. Glad we had stayed up late for that.

The heating company did come the next day, but as we had the furnace off as to not blow more soot into the house, the girls and I were freezing. And it’s not like I could go anywhere else when I had to be there to let the man in and to pay him. We were all in multiple layers, as it was about 52 degrees in the house, and were snuggled under blankets.

As seems to be the case, the first thing recommended to me was to finance a new furnace. LOL. I opted for the clean up and repair. The furnace was fine; it just needed some love. The technician even ended up being impressed with the beast by the time he left.

So…does this craziness excuse me? It should. The soot was everywhere. When we went to my sister’s, we looked like street urchins. The shampoo I used turned black. When I bathed the girls, I had to drain the water halfway through, refill the tub, and wash them again. Even laundry had to be rewashed because the machines are in the basement, right next to the furnace.

But now, all is well and here I am to deliver my (albeit late) update. Hopefully there will be no more big ticket issues for a while and the furnace will continue to only blow hot air.

Heirs

After watching Lee Min Ho in Boys Over Flowers, I decided to see if I could find another of his dramas on Hulu since that was the platform I was still using for my newfound K-drama love. The option available for me there was Heirs.

Heirs very much reminded me of Boys Over Flowers in the beginning as a poor girl was awarded a place in a school for children of the elite. (However, it was definitely closer to Cheese in the Trap as far as style and cinematography go.) This drama centers around Cha Eun Sang and her trials while attending this school and being seen as inferior.

Park Shin Hye’s portrayal of Cha Eun Sang was amazing. Even CJ mentioned how she truly looked terrified when in an unsettling situation.

I couldn’t help but to be drawn into the conflict of the first and second male leads. I longed to find the reason behind their complicated love/hate relationship and was heartbroken for both boys when things were finally revealed.

This drama is a good place to start in the genre. It helps you learn more about social hierarchy and stigmas. It also introduces you to some great actors whose other works are worth viewing as well. Definitely worth a watch.

I have taken too long a break from my writing. I have not worked on my novel since Riley died. I have not posted here in weeks. I have wallowed in this depressive funk and made no real efforts to get better.

I didn’t realize just how bad it had become until CJ thanked me for performing a mundane chore before his parents arrived for Q’s birthday.  It had unknowingly gotten to a point where my husband felt the need to thank me for doing my job as a wife and mother. It’s hard to come to terms with that.

Progress, by definition, requires effort. I have been allowing CJ to put forth all the effort while putting forth none of my own. I have taken solace in my obsessions and compulsions. I apologize to my family for this.

It has become clear that my “coping mechanisms” were grossly inadequate. Writing however, seems to be the one outlet that has never failed me, yet I have failed it. Why do we avoid things that can help make us well? Why not dive headfirst into the things that can make us happy?

So, here’s the schedule. Mondays will be for updates. Thursdays will be for reviews. Surprise posts are always an option and are free from restriction. Editing will occur at least three times per week, for however long I can dedicate to it. I hope that giving myself these deadlines will help. I am a queen of procrastination, but I like a good due date. I will read more. I will continue therapy. I will do my job. I will strive to be able to return the extraordinary care I have received. You can count on it.

In the five years we have owned our house, I have never once parked in the garage. CJ claimed it as his own and made his own little gym out there. Honestly, I’m okay with this because it keeps all that equipment out of my house.

Lately, he has been turning the one corner into a rock climbing wall for the kids, so they can have something to do if they want to go out while a parent is working out. MJ is beyond excited about it and has been helping at any opportunity CJ gives him.

Last weekend, the boys were out working, the girls were napping, so I was enjoying some quiet “Mommy Time.” All the sudden MJ comes flying in the house screaming, “Help! Daddy’s bleeding!” I rush out to the garage expecting the worse, but instead see CJ sitting down looking just fine. He saw me and asked if I grabbed a bandage for him since he didn’t see it in my hands.

Apparently, he had dropped some wood on his foot and upon inspection, realized his little toe was bleeding. He had sent MJ into the house to “ask mommy for a bandage,” but instead, the child had scared me half to death.

I told CJ it had been the worst idea ever to send MJ in like that. I repeated what MJ had said and how I came out expecting an unconscious husband laying on the garage floor. At this point, I had no sympathy for his toe. (I did get him the bandage though.)

In conclusion, never send a five year old on such an errand without explicitly telling him what to say, as to avoid unnecessary panic.

It

Last week I told CJ he owed me and I was going on a girl date whether he liked it or not. He had gone out to happy hour with some guys from work and had plans to go fishing that weekend, so I told him I wanted to treat my sister to a movie. He simply laughed and said, “Have fun.”

I called my sister and told her we would be going to the local, three screen theater that night and the movie was her choice. I instantly regretted it when she told me what she was picking. The three choices were the new Thor movie, Happy Death Day, and It. As an avid Stephen King fan, she chose It. I don’t know why I thought for even a second there was a chance of her picking anything else. Here I was, hoping to watch some Chris Hemsworth, and was instead trying to mentally prepare myself to have my pants scared off.

In my attempt to get ready, I decided to watch the trailer for the movie. I hadn’t seen it before since I had no intention whatsoever to see It. I watched the first one and thought it wouldn’t be so bad. I started the second one and about halfway through I was already going, “nope, nope” and knowing I was in for a terrible evening.

As my family tends to have volume control issues that are exacerbated by the situation, I ordered our movie tickets a little loudly since I was already so nervous. My sister made a comment about it and the ticket lady told us not to worry. Since we were the only ones in that theater, we could be as loud as we wanted. This information did NOT make me feel better. In fact, it made me feel worse. We were now the only potential victims should something happen. Who wants to be the only ones in the theater for a scary movie?

After the time it took to get concessions and visit the little girls’ room, the movie was just beginning as we entered. So house lights were down, screen was black, and there was creepy music. We had no choice but to stand still until the WB logo appeared so there was even enough light to find our seats. It was not a good way to start.

Within the first five minutes of the movie, I had texted CJ to let him know my sister was already hiding in her sweater and had jumped twice. Not cool. She gave me a little bit of beef for tattling on her, but I told her since she picked the movie and was making me suffer through it, she was absolutely not allowed to act like a scaredy-cat and especially since it had just started and nothing had really happened yet.

In our efforts to tolerate the movie (and since we were alone) we talked and made fun of certain things to make them less scary. Of course, we still jumped quite a bit and my sister even squawked once. Altogether, it was a good movie though. I enjoyed it.

Since it was told in parts, my sister offered to lend me the book so I could see what happened at the end without waiting for the next movie. I told her that really wasn’t necessary. I don’t know if I would have the fortitude to sit through reading that book.

As we were walking to the car, I kind of made an ass out of myself. I moved to the side to make way for a couple walking toward us and ending up walking into a bush. I totally freaked myself out and screamed. The people in front of us turned around and looked at me like I was crazy. I apologized and informed them we had just seen a scary movie. I got made fun of the whole way home.

All-in-all, I didn’t end up as terrified as I thought and I did have a blast with my sister. Would I recommend this movie to others? Well, if you don’t have a basement, a sink, or an issue with clowns, you should be good.  🙂

Today

I have been having a difficult time the past few days.

Of the [quite a few] women I know who have recently had a baby, almost all of them have returned to work. Their Facebooks have been full of baby pictures and messages of regret in having to leave their child in order to return to work.

These messages upset me. I mean, at least they have a baby to leave. I don’t have my baby at all. But even that thought right there – the one that came unbidden – makes me feel horrible. Am I being harsh and unjust to these other mothers when they are just bragging about their beautiful new babies? And does this mean I am ungrateful for what I already have?

Am I cherishing my other children less because I cannot cherish their sibling enough? I find myself torn sometimes in moments of joy because I think about the one who will never participate in these moments with us. Will that always be the case? I know they say things will get better with time, but as I have no experience with the death of a close loved one, I just can’t help but feel that I am forever altered.

As my OCD has been exacerbated in these stressful and painful last few months, I find myself withdrawing from things I do want to do/participate in as an effort to avoid my triggers. CJ and I keep talking about things we would like to do once I reach what we refer to as my “baseline,” but I’m worried that may not be the same anymore. And I don’t know how to cope with that. I don’t want to become a recluse who stops living their life and not doing things they enjoy. I want to feel the desire to play, write, even just be helpful around the house.

Before, my bad days were few and far between. Now, as there have been so many gathered together, it’s hard to see that it won’t always be like this. It’s difficult sometimes to convince myself to continue pushing through. But I am a strong woman. I am intelligent and occasionally, kind of funny. I will try my best to keep smiling until the day where it’s not pretend anymore. Starting today.