Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yes, my body has changed

As is the case for a lot of women, my body has changed quite a bit since having FireGirl. And I am still struggling to accept it. And it's not just the weight. Yes, that's part of it. But my shape has changed as well. I have actually been this size before, my last couple of years of college, but my shape is different now. Sometimes I feel like I don't know how to dress myself, because styles that previously would have looked good on me, now look ridiculous. Shopping is definitely a struggle.

But that's neither here nor there.

So, how has my body changed? Here's a brief rundown.

My pants size has gone up one size.
My blouse size has gone up two sizes.
Probably because my bra size has gone from a 38DD to a 42DDD.
And because I have this weird pudge roll on the upper part of my belly.
And the lower part of my belly has this loose skin, that I am pretty sure is only going to get worse when I finally lose the baby weight.

That's the major stuff, in a nutshell.

So, what inspired this post? The breakdown I had in the dressing room yesterday. I was shopping for an outfit for a banquet we're attending at the end of March, and found something I actually thought I looked pretty decent in, except for that pudge roll on the upper part of my belly. I just think it looks so weird. And I had a breakdown, and had that moment that I think all of us mommies have to have once in a while. And sometimes more than once. That moment where we have to come to terms with the fact that our bodies are different. They just are. We carried a freakin' baby inside us for pete's sake! So, I bought the dress. And I've decided that I am gonna rock the parts of my body that rock it, and try to ignore the one or two parts that I'm self-conscious about. Oh, and I bought some killer heels to go with it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fragments

I heart my co-worker, but generally he's full of crap.

I prefer working with men. They tend to keep their schtuff to themselves much better than women do. And they're not as catty.

I really hope I win the lottery tomorrow. Pretty much just so I can quit my job & stay at home with FireGirl.

I love my husband, and am so blessed that he still wants to date me.

Sometimes I feel like I have no friends. Mommy really needs some friends.

I miss my sister.

I really want a kitten, but FireMan doesn't.

I don't give a hoot about the Olympics.

I did not vote for President Obama. I do not regret that decision.

I like fried LionFish. Mmmmm.....

I heart my boss. Well, three of the four. They are the primary reason I haven't left my job yet.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

FireGirl's Rash is All But Gone

Thanks to her wonderful pediatrician, Dr B.

As you may know, we've been fighting multiple rashes in her diaper area. This last one was by far the worst. He prescribed a cream that the pharmacist would have to compound themselves.

After the first application yesterday, there was a noticeable improvement. And this morning when I got her up the rash was all but gone!

I'm so happy. And thankful for Dr B. He's been a God-send since we first met him in the hospital when FireGirl was born.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHMs) from a Working Mom (WM)

Dear SAHMs,

Yes, I am envious of you. Yes, I realize how boring your days can be. Yes, I realize that you do work, and lots of it. Yes, I realize that being a SAHM is not all fun & games, nor is it sitting around eating bon-bons. And yes, I am still jealous.

And if you hear me say that I wish I had as much time as you do, it doesn't mean that I think you don't do anything. It means that I can never seem to find the time to do what you do. Which makes sense, because the time isn't there, as I work outside the home.
And yes, there's a part of me that thinks that SAHMs who get upset at WMs who make such comments might just be feeling a little guilty. Or maybe they wish they worked. Or something. Because I have never found a WM who thinks that SAHMs do nothing. So I'm not sure why there are SAHMs who think that comments about time imply that they do nothing. Unless said SAHMs have a guilty conscience about not doing enough. Or something like that.

Oh, back to the fact that I envy you. Why, you ask? Your life is boring, you say? You feel like all you do is take care of kids, do housework, & run errands, you say?
Because I wish I had more time to take care of my daughter. I wish I were there with her, instead of getting reports from whomever is watching her that day.
Because I wish I had time to do more housework, and maybe our home wouldn't be a constant disaster. And I'd like to actually cook a meal once in a while. A real meal. That would be nice. And healthier for my family. And a better example for FireGirl.
Because I wish I had time to run errands. That trips to the grocery wouldn't be crammed into evenings or weekends. That I didn't pay extra to order stamps online because squeezing in a trip to the post office with FireGirl seems like a nightmare.
Because I would like to actually find a playgroup for FireGirl that meets regularly. And take her to classes & such without feeling like I'm cramming yet one more thing into our days.
Because I would like to take FireGirl to an appointment at her pediatrician's without having to take off work, yet again, and feeling like in order to take care of my child, I have to let my coworker's down.

So that's why I envy you. That's why I wish had the time that you do. Not that I think you don't work, but because as a working mom I'm trying, desparately trying, and repeatedly failing, to cram in all that childcare, housework, and errands into a few measly hours in the evening. You see, just because I'm a working mom doesn't mean I can afford a nanny, cleaning lady, cook, or go-fer. It means that after being gone 8+ hours at my paying job, I come home to my mommy job, and try to do it all. I come home from my paying job, and still have to do the cooking, cleaning, bathing, playing, grocery shopping, wiping of runny noses, changing of diapers, laundry, garbage duty, etc, etc, etc.

Just because I work outside the home doesn't mean that I don't come home to all of these tasks being done. It means that I have that much less time to do it in. Especially for those of us whose husbands are gone quite a bit. Think about all the work you do during the day, every day. Now, try to imagine what it would be like to go to work, be gone for 8+ hours, come home tired from your paying job, and still have that mountain of chores to do. Can you imagine it? Now, do you understand why I envy you? Now do you understand why you hear comments about SAHMs having "more time", "free time", etc.?

Thank you.

A Working Mom

PS - more on being a WM later.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do you ever feel like you're kidding yourself?

I do. Specifically today.

Things have been crazy busy at work. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. It is budget planning time at work, you know. But still.

Then there's home. Nothing highly unusual there. Just the usual trying to do it all. Plus FireGirl has another diaper rash. This one is probably her worst one yet. And it stresses me because I am at such a loss as to what to do. I feel like we've done everything we're supposed to, we follow the pediatrician's instructions, and as soon as she gets over one problem in that area, another one crops up. We go back to the pediatrician tomorrow. I guess that's really it. That stress / anxiety of having a child who is suffering (she really is in pain and itching badly this time), plus being busy at work is just taking it's toll.

I just feel like I'm living a lie. The facade of a woman who is managing to do it all, when I really don't feel like I'm managing even one little piece of it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vent from a FireWife

I don't care that you're a woman. I don't care what the freak gender you are. Or race. Or sexual orientation. Or religion. Or whatever.

What I care about is that if it comes down to it, you are physically able to pull my husband's body out of a burning building.

It angers me to no end that in the name of equality, physical agility tests for firefighters (and other dangerous professions) are being watered down so that there are more eligible women.

This. Is. Dangerous.

And, quite frankly, it's insulting to women.

Either you can do it, or you can't. Period.

My husband is a large man.
He is 6 feet, 7 inches tall
He currently ways 260 lbs

And I'm supposed to be pleased that more women can now become firefighters, not because they worked hard to build up their physical prowess, but because the department made the test easier so that more women can pass and they can stop taking crap about not being diversified enough?!?
I'm not pleased. I'm not happy. I am ticked beyond belief.

Like I said before, I could care less what your gender is, or anything else. Either you can pass the test or not. Either you can lift & carry/drag the dummy or not. Either you can pull the hose or not. Either you can hammer the sled or not. Either you can save my husband's life, or not.
And if you can't pass the original test, the test that ensures that you are physically able to handle the duties of firefighting? Then get the h*** out of my firehouse! Get the h*** away from my husband! You are doing yourself and the community a great disservice.

This needs to stop. Departments / local governments need to stop cow-towing towards the politically correct diversity side of things, and back up their firefighters, support those who put their lives on the line. This is so stupid. It's a safety issue. How can they actually think it's a good idea to compromise on a safety issue in the name of "equality"?!?

And quite frankly, how insulting to women! Oh, we don't think you can do it, but we need more "qualified" female applicants, so we're gonna ease the requirement?!? How insulting! If a woman really wants to be a firefighter, then she should bust her butt and work towards making the goal. I've seen the traditional tests. They're very reasonable for the work being done. There's no reason that anyone entering the fire profession shouldn't have to pass them.

Efforts towards equality are great. But not when you're risking safety to get there. There are lives on the line people. Take your hurt feelings, and bite me. If you can't pass, you can't pass. It's a safety issue. It's not an equality issue. It's a safety issue. Get over it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is it like to be a Fire Wife?

So, I realize that even though this blog is entitled FireWife, I don't talk much about that aspect of my life. And for the most part, being a Fire Wife is much like any other. Work, take care of the house, take care of the kids, etc.

But there are some things that are unique.

The Hours:
FireMan works a 24/48 shift. This means that he works 24 hrs, then is off for 48 hrs. Period. No holidays. If your 24 happens to fall on Christmas, so be it. So this is something that all fire families have to adjust to. Once every three years (that's how it falls) your husband will miss such-and-such holiday.
Then, there's the second job. Firefighers don't make a lot of money. It's not terrible pay, but... let's just say that FireMan took a 40% paycut the year he became a firefighter. That's a big adjustment. So many firefighters have second jobs.
FireMan's second job he does on his first day off. So that increases his time away from home to 32 hours. Are you following?
And for us, right now, FireMan is also in paramedic class. Which is the evening of his first day off. So, this increases his time away from home to 36 hours. Still following?
So in our house, the "normal" work schedule for FireMan is 36 hours gone, 36 hours home.

The Image:
Now, this part can be kinda fun. I mean, my husband's a firefighter, right? Pretty hot.  Pretty sexy. Right? Well, yes. It is. But there did come a time when I was pretty tired of every. single. woman. I  told about his profession responding by saying "Firefighter's are so hot!". Yes, my hubby is hot. Yes, part of me is glad that others think this too. But sometimes you just want to keep that to yourself. Does that make sense? I mean, there are actually women out there, usually called "Badge Bunnies" or the less-nice-sounding "Firehouse Whores" who throw themselves on firefighters just because they're firefighters. And yes, this is a real thing. Although I should note that Badge Bunnies will often also be interested in police officers as well. Nice, huh? Oh, and in case I'm not being clear, no they generally don't really care if the firefighter is married or not. This... is really annoying. Other women throwing themselves on your husband is only flattering for so long.

Okay, so the hours, that's annoying, right? And the whores, that's annoying too, right? It's all an adjustment. But livable. It makes things difficult at times. A lot of the time. But it's doable. But then there's...

The Scary Stuff:
Like when FireMan first took this job, and called me to ask me my physical work address. You know, so if he dies on the job the chief knows where to go to notify me. Like in the movies, you know? Where the chief notifies the wife in person? They actually do that.
Or when FireMan had to purchase life insurance, and make his funeral arrangements. Yep, they actually require them to do it. What does that tell you about the risk?
Or any number of times when I'm on the phone with him while he's at work, and I hear the tones go off, and he says "That's us. Gotta go. Love you". And all I can say is "Be careful. Love you too". And I know that my husband is off to potentially put his life in danger.
Or the one time when we had that phone call, and I told him to call me when they got back. And he hadn't called by the time I went to bed two hours later. And he hadn't called by the time I woke up in the morning. And he wasn't answering his cell phone. And no one was answering at the station. What would you think? What horrible thoughts would go through your head? He ended up being fine, but those hours that I didn't know.... awful. Horrible. Scary.

A a result, I don't watch many fire movies. I'll watch Ladder49, up to a point. Then I change the channel. I don't usually watch or read news stories about firefighter fatalities. Not because I'm not concerned, but because my mind can't help wandering thru the what-ifs. What if that were my FireMan? And I can't help but sympathize with the families. Empathize. Whatever it's called when you can't help but break into tears because you feel a miniscule part of what they must be going through. The last time I watched a news story about a firefighter fatality, I sat on the couch, frozen, unable to move, sobbing. I stayed that way until FireMan came home. I don't even know how long. Over an hour, I'm sure.

So.... that's it in a nutshell. It would be impossible to describe everything here, but you get the idea. I don't know what else to say. So there you go.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy Does Not Equal Best

Or even better. And a lot of times it doesn't even equal easy.

So, what initially got me on this train of thought was my post below about people getting rid of pets. So I think ultimately the point of my post wasn't that there's never a good reason to get rid of your pets, it was that you really need to put some serious thought into it. More than that you need to make those considerations before you ever get a pet. And people need to understand that while it may be easier for you to get rid of your pet because you "can't give it enough attention" or whatever lame excuse you have than to actually take responsibility for this life that you took into your home and make adjustments so that you can cohabitate peacefully.

And then I talked to my father-in-law. He mentioned to me that he had to patch their leaky roof. Again. He has patched it literally every year for about the past 10 years. What's the problem, you ask? Well, he has a tendency to take the easy / cheap route. On everything. So instead of fixing it right the first time, he did it the "easy" way, again & again, and so has to re-do it every. single. year.

And so my thoughts on this subject began expanding.

When I became pregnant with FireGirl, the advice started flowing, from varying sources. The little tidbits that bothered me the most? How to make my job easier. Why,  you ask? Isn't that a good thing? Well sure, if it didn't seem like the advice was more focused on making being a mom easier, and less focused on what was best for my child. Some examples:

Nice person: you're planning on breast-feeding? why? you'll be attached to that baby or the pump all day!
Me: because numerous studies show that it's better for my baby
Nice person: formula feeding worked for my kids, and then other people could help so I wasn't stuck to the kid all day

Nice person: put rice cereal in her bottle before bed and she'll sleep thru the night
Me: um, she's 4 weeks old. I didn't really expect her to sleep thru the night yet. Oh, and my pediatrician agrees with me that that would be a choking hazard at her age

Nice person: Hmph. Fine, but I did it

The list could go on & on.

I really don't mind advice. And I will take advice into consideration. But to suggest that I do things to make my life easier, when they clearly aren't what's best for my child, and in some cases may be a hazard to her health or safety? Seriously?
I think what bothered me most was how many people have presented me with advice in this fashion. Do this, it's easier. I'll do easy. When it also has no effect on what is best for my child.

Now, we've all be guilty of taking the easy way out at times. We all do it. Even me. Well, maybe not. My mom has told me repeatedly thru the years that I seem to have a knack for finding the hardest way to do something, LOL.
Seriously though, we all take shortcuts here & there. Which is fine. But before we do we really need to think of the consequences.

Will easy be better? Will it be worse?
Will easy now lead to harder later (or more expensive)?

Just... think.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Divorce (and kids) or Single Parent Homes (and kids)

So, this topic comes up quite frequently around our home. At least here lately. And no, not in regards to ourselves. No worries.

A dear, dear relative of mine is going thru a divorce. They have two young children. Which has brought the topic to the forefront of recent conversations.

I should note that this is based on two bad situations. There are divorced parents who both manage to share custody, or otherwise have healthy relationships with their children. This is not about those parents. This is about the "other" parents.

FireMan & I have different schools of thought on what should be the role of the "other" parent in the lives of the children. Based on our own individual experiences, of course.

So, I argue that if their father is not truly interested in having a relationship with them, then to force visitation with their dad on them will be more detrimental to the children in the long run than if the dad just disappeared.
FireMan thinks exactly the opposite. That it's worse for the parent to just be gone, and that it's better to have him around, even if it's for the wrong reasons / he's not really interested in the kids.

My thinking comes from what I have watched my nieces & nephew go through (my sister's stepkids). Their biological mom is sorta around. I watched their repeated heartbreak when they were younger, as she promised them she'd pick them up for the weekend, and repeatedly never showed. I watched their repeated heartbreak as she'd tell them she was petitioning the court for her visitation rights back, and she never did. I've watched them wonder why she never sends them so much as a card for their birthdays or Christmas. I've watched them love her, and want nothing more than for her to love them back, and for them to be disappointed again, and again. And again. But she's always around just enough to keep that wound fresh. A phone call every six months or so. A text message here & there. Just enough to keep their hope alive until it is crushed once again. Just enough to keep the wound raw.
So my argument is that one traumatic heartbreak - the disappearance of that parent. For good. Is ultimately less damaging to the child than to have one go thru that trauma over, and over, and over.

FireMan's thinking comes from what he knows from his first wife. She never knew her father, and he died before she ever had a chance to meet him. Apparently this attributed to a lot of her "issues". Unfortunately I don't know enough about her to be able to give more detail here.
So his argument is that the experience of not remembering a parent, or never having known a parent, is much more traumatic than to have a parent in your life who doesn't show you the love that you need as their child.

Granted, neither is a good situation. They are both situations that will result in some issues for that child that will need to be worked through. But I'm sticking to my guns on this one, until I see some evidence otherwise.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FireGirl comes home today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited!

She was supposed to come home yesterday, but my parents got delayed in Iowa. I'm so excited.

The only problem is that I have no idea how I'm gonna leave her to go to work tomorrow, when I just got her back tonight.

You know how they say you learn something new every day? Well, here's what I've learned since FireGirl left:

#1 - it is possible for a room in your house to be clean for more than 12 hours. Having a toddler, I had forgotten this was a possibility.

#2 - BigDog #1, who loves the snow, will also fetch icicles

#3 - if I'm wearing gloves, our dogs seem to not understand that they are still my hands, and instead think they are fun things to play with (ie. bite)

#4 - I actually like having LittleDog in the house

#5 - the house is a little too quiet without a toddler running around

#6 - my life is much easier and our house much cleaner without a little one to take care of

# 7  - my life is much less fulfilling and our home less joyous when FireGirl is not around

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Because I'm a FireWife. And it's funny.

Firefighters extinguish blaze with remote control

Friday, October 3, 2003 Posted: 5:30 PM EDT (2130 GMT)

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- A German TV network's regular early morning film of a burning log is playing havoc with night owls and even tricked a woman into calling out the fire brigade.

A spokesman for police in the northern town of Luebeck said Thursday that the woman woke up thinking her television was on fire, called emergency services and alerted her neighbors.

"Fire services rushed in and extinguished the 'blaze' using the television remote control," the spokesman said.

Sabine Kreft of the Super RTL network said the "burning log" video which runs from three until six in the morning is popular but is distinguishable from a real fire.

"Once I heard an old lady poured water on her TV," she said. "But most people should really be able to tell the difference."

Monday, February 15, 2010

People who get rid of pets...

... because they "don't have time" or "can't give them enough love".

Okay. I get it. You feel bad. You think you're doing what's best for the pet. Or maybe you're just trying to ease your own guilt.

But you really need to think about what you're really doing. Dig a little deeper. Look at the consequences of your decision.

Okay, if you give your pet up to a kill shelter, there's a 60+% chance that it will be euthanized. Killed. Because you "didn't have time".

If you give your pet up to a no-kill shelter, then with today's overcrowding, there's a relatively good chance that it will live for a really long time in the shelter. Do you really think they'll get "enough love" in that kind of situation? Really?

And if you go to the trouble of finding a good home on your own for this pet, then did you stop to think about the other pets that really, actually do need homes that are being displaced because instead of adopting them, someone is taking in your dog? Animals that have been truly neglected, even abused, abandoned, starving... and you're going to deny them a loving home so that someone else can take in your supposedly beloved pet just to ease your guilt?!?

Grrrrrrrrrrrr! This kind of thinking just really gets me going.

I get it. I really do. The thought has crossed my mind regarding our own pets. It really has. And is there a chance that someone might provide a better home for them? Oh, I'm sure there is. But what are the chances that my dogs, my cat, would end up with that minute percentage of pet owners? Who could love my babies more than I? Not good. I can (and do) give them more than adequate shelter, food, water, room to run, toys, and loving.

All I'm asking, is that before you give up your supposedly beloved pets for any reason, that you really look into it, dig deeper, look at the consequences, and figure out if it's really what is best for your family.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Whole Day (27 hours) to Myself

With FireGirl in Iowa with my parents, and FireMan at work, I am alone all day. Just me.
And I don't know what to do. It makes me anxious to be alone for all day.

The initial thought of it made my chest hurt. Yep, that much anxiety over it. I'm sure those who like to psycho-analyze people could have a field day with that one.

So here I am, 10:30am, blogging in my pajamas, and I feel like I've already had a semi-productive day. Slept in. Let the dogs out. Checked my messages. Updated my blog design (courtesy of Cutest Blog on the Block). Skyped with FireGirl and my family. Checked the news. Called FireMan. And now posting to my blog. I figure as long as I keep myself semi-busy, the loneliness won't creep in too badly.

I hope you all are having a great day! Oh, and be sure to give your loved ones an extra kiss for Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Post Partum Depression Update

I had an appointment with my doctor last week, and he said he thought I was ready to try weaning off of my meds! Yay!

I have, however, decided to wait until FireGirl is back home to start. I'm not taking any chances. FireMan agrees this is probably best.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Okay, here's my stresser for the weekend

FireGirl is on her way to Iowa. Without me.

My parents are taking her to visit my sister. They left this morning and will be gone until next Tuesday.

Yes, I agreed to this. And it is causing me a great deal of anxiety & stress.

I cried for over an hour last night, and couldn't bring myself to pack her suitcase. This morning I was okay until it came time to say goodbye. I cried. And cried. And after the goodbyes were over I called FireMan and cried to him.

This. Is. Hard.

The house is a little too quiet.

In case you're wondering, I did it for my sister. She & her family moved to Iowa this past October, and she has been having a really tough time of it. Part of that (in her words) is that she finally has a niece (FireGirl is her only niece or nephew) and then she gets moved far away & can't watch her grow up.
The idea came up around Christmastime. FireMan & I talked about it, and agreed that she could go.

What were we thinking?!?

This. Is. Hard.
This. Is. Hard.

Externalizing the Internal Struggle

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's actually one of my pet peeves.

Something we're all (even me) guilty of from time to time. But still one of my pet peeves, even when I catch myself doing it.

Some examples:

I have this friend, "Darlene", who constantly blames her husband's ex for their marital issues. The ex is the cause of their fights. She's the cause of Darlene's insecurity. The reason they have so many problems. Thing is, from what Darlene has told me, they rarely have any contact with the ex, and what little there is is because they have a lot of mutual friends, not because of any attempt on the ex's part to intervene in their lives.
So it begs the question: is the ex really at fault? or is Darlene externalizing the real issue to avoid facing something distasteful? I have to think that they would be more successful in their marriage if they forgot about said ex altogether and started focusing on themselves, individually & as a couple, and got to the real cause of these issues. I've tried gently suggesting this to Darlene, to no avail. She's not ready to face it yet, and continues to blame Darlene for all of their problems. {sigh}

The other one is much broader. It has to do with the recent spout of recalls involving Toyota vehicles. Now, let me start by saying that I am not saying that the company is not possibly at fault, in some instances. I'm not saying that they don't need to be responsible for the safety of their vehicles. But... have you read some of the complaints that are being considered for investigation?
re: Prius brakes - doesn't feel like it's breaking steadily when braking on bumpy surfaces (ie gravel), - doesn't feel like it's breaking consistently when braking on slippery surfaces, specifically ice.
Okay, is it just me, or is this all brakes? on all cars?
From my understanding, there have been no accidents reported as a result of this issue, and none of them actually mention difficulty stopping, just that it feels funny on bumpy or slippery surfaces. Um, really? is this news- or recall-worthy? That you're an idiot who doesn't know how to drive on anything but perfectly smooth pavement?
re: Corolla steering - feels like I'm being pushed by a gust of wind (Corolla's are small, light cars - are you sure it just wasn't windy?), - have to keep two hands on the wheel to maintain a straight line (really? having to use both hands is an issue for you? anyone heard of 10 & 2? and have you checked your alignment before filing a steering complaint? do you know anything about cars?)Again, I'm not saying Toyota doesn't need to look into issues, and fix any real problems, but... I have to wonder how many people are externalizing their own bad driving, looking for someone else to blame for their problems.

And, now to make it personal - I know I'm going to struggle in my battle of wills this weekend. Why? Because I feel a lot of stress right now. And I will be fighting to stay away from my normal, high-fat comfort foods. I already fought the good fight at breakfast. And at lunch. So far, I'm winning. But this is far from over. I anticipate much stress throughout the weekend (I'll post why in a later entry, probably next week, once it's over). But the reality is that I'm externalizing my issue with food. The events in my life that are causing me stress aren't the real issue. My issue with food is.

So, as I'm writing this, I realizing that this really has to do with facing your own weaknesses, doesn't it? Admitting that you have a weakness, whatever it is. Admitting that you have responsibility over your actions. Admitting that it is not someone else's fault.

I realize that we all have to come to these realizations in our own time, in our own way, but sometimes I really wish we could all just put on our big girl panties and face our problems head-on, instead of playing the blame game & pushing them away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Allowing a "weakness" to creep in

So, amidst all the revelations I've been having lately, I had yet another one regarding my weight. Specifically my eating.

I have had a really difficult time controlling my eating. At times it almost feels out of my control. Like I can't help it.

And then... the other day... a lightbulb.

What if... just maybe... on some subconscious level, I "can't" control my eating, because that's the one thing I can be weak in. That I have to be strong for so many other reasons, and things, and people that subconsciously maybe I was looking for something that I could be weak in. And my subconscious mind found food.

Of course, now it's on the conscious level. And I have to admit, I think this was a big part of it.

And so now I am working on consciously changing my thinking. When I hear those quiet voices in my head telling me to eat those cookies, they're so good, you need them... I do my best to shut them up. To remind myself of when I last ate. And if I just can't keep them quiet, then I find another, (even if slightly) healthier option to satisfy that craving.

Oh the battle is far from over, this battle of wills. But I feel like I am winning, for the first time in a long time. I feel like I have turned a corner. I can do this.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

About my blog

Some days I have so much to say, I feel like it can't fit into one blog.

And the topics are so varied, that sometimes I think it would be better to split them into separate blogs by topic. Mommyhood, Wifelihood, Friendships, Moral / Political Views, Church / Biblical perspectives, etc, etc. Sometimes, like last night, my mind just races with things I want to write about. But I don't want to write too much at once, so I pick one thing, and often forget the others.

Blogging is therapy for me. I do it because I like getting my thoughts out. And if someone reads them, then 'YAY'. If not, no biggie. It's more about me putting them out there.
If someone agrees with me, then 'YAY'. If not, no biggie. In fact, I enjoy a little polite debate from time-to-time.

FireMan wants me to monetize my blog. Get something from it. Other people make money from blogs, why not me? I chuckle and explain to him that other people have much larger followings than I do.
I do think about it though. I mean, if I make $1, it's one dollar more than I had before, right? Or, if nothing else, maybe I'll show him how it's not worth it for me & he'll shutup about it, LOL. Or, there is always the possibility that somehow it actually works. Ha! I doubt it, but you never know.
I recently discovered another woman's blog, and she says she makes over $1000 per month from her blog. Granted, she does have quite a few followers. But I can't for the life of me figure out why. In my opinion, her blog is a snoozefest. More boring than even mine, LOL. So I guess you never know.

Anyway, back to splitting my blog. I decided not to. After all, all of those topics, all of those thoughts that I have, all of those things in my life... they're all part of me. So don't they belong in the FireWife blog? I think so.

Once again, thanks for reading.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Disappointment... and a Revelation

I went to Temple Watchers (Bible-based weight loss) tonight. Er... I tried to go.

I waited. And waited. And saw no one go into the church. Finally I went up to the doors, and they were locked. I waited another five minutes, and no one showed.

I left, feeling rejected & disappointed. I felt like I had been stood up. I was so excited to start this new journey. And then... it didn't happen. They weren't there.

I left the church & went clothes shopping, as I'd originally planned. And... I was disappointed. Felt like I tried on the entire store, and didn't like anything. Well, not enough to pay for it anyway. I'm cheap like that.
As I stood in the dressing room, putting my clothes back on, I had a mini-revelation. It's not the clothes. It's the body. I don't like the way my body looks.

Simple, isn't it? But I needed that moment. That simple moment of clarity.

I went on, still feeling rejected, and now doubly disappointed, to my grandmother's house to meet my parents & pick up FireGirl. We spent a short amount of time talking, and watching FireGirl play with the same toys that I played with as a child. Sweet, sweet memories.

And then FireGirl & I left to begin the 45 minute journey home. FireGirl began to fuss, and so I played her favorite CD. It's a collection of children's hymns, sung by kids. She loves it.
And somewhere in there, during that drive home, I had another moment of clarity. A revelation.

I keep waiting to "fix" myself. I keep waiting for someone else. Something else. Some big moment. Some big thing. Someone to help me.


It's not going to change with someone else. It's not gonna change with something else. There is no big moment. It starts with me. Now.

Once that revelation hit me, I immediately felt renewed. Energized. Like a weight (pardon the pun) had been lifted.

And then a mini-revelation. I have to work with what I have. For example, I don't like salad. I don't. I just don't. If I try to lose weight by eating salad every day, I'm only gonna keep up with it for so long. Then I'm gonna stop, and fall back into my old habits. Because I. Don't. Like. Salad. So if I'm gonna make an effective change, I have to work with what I have.

Oh, and did I mention that there is no big moment.

Things are different this time. I can't explain it. I just feel different. I'm excited. I'm ready. And I spent the rest of the drive home rocking out to children's hymns. You should have seen me. I can really rock "Jesus Loves the Little Children".

Please keep me in your thoughts, and pray that God gives me the strength to follow through, and really make the change.

Two Years Ago Today...

...I got a positive pregnancy test.

And our lives were changed forever.

3D ultrasound

Night FireGirl was born

First real quality time with Mommy

Coming home (the blanket was crocheted by my grandmother, for me when I was born)

on her first birthday

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I really should write this stuff down

Friday I had so many things running thru my mind that I had to pick one of many to blog about.

I chose the controlling spouses one, because I thought it was the one I was least likely to remember later.

And yet, one day later (as in, yesterday) I couldn't remember any of the others. And when I tried to think of something to say, my mind was blank.

And today, two days later, it's no better.

Grr. I had at least five ideas on Friday. And now... nothing to say.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Revisiting the "controlling" spouse

Over the weekend, we attended a friend's birthday party. A good time was had by all.

While there, I overheard a comment by another friend. Let's call her "Kate". And her husband "Lance".

Kate: I was gonna eat this. Is that okay?
Lance: Yes, that's good. You can eat that.

At first glance, and I must admit, my initial reaction having never met Lance before, is "wow - he really is controlling of Kate, isn't he? Even telling her what she can eat".

And then I remembered. Kate, who is pregnant, has struggled with several eating disorders over the past 10 years. Watching them together thru the rest of the party, I realized that Lance was a loving & caring husband. And I came to realize that it appeared that Kate had given him control over that part of her life, at least for now. What to eat. What a small thing. What a big thing. What an important thing. Especially when what you eat, how much you eat, affects the baby inside you as well. By admitting she had an issue with her own perception of what is okay to eat & what is not, and relinquishing that control to her husband, she demonstrated not only her love for her child, but also her trust in her spouse.

I have had a few (very few) people tell me that FireMan is controlling of me. I have also been accused of being controlling of him. And both perspectives have caused me some confusion, as I don't really see either.

Now I wonder if it had to do with whatever tidbit of our lives they saw at that moment.

When it comes to things that are very dear to my heart (my family, my home, etc) I can become quite passionate when asserting my position on things. I am firm on doing what I believe is the best for all involved. I can see where someone who might see just a piece of that might translate it into me being controlling.

Perhaps someone saw FireMan with me during the latter stages of my pregnancy, or while I was still in recovery. These were some of the most helpless times in my life. I knew my perspective was skewed, so I relinquished control of some things to my husband. So yes, there were times when I asked his permission to do some basic things. Why? Because I humbled my self enough to admit that maybe I didn't know best, maybe I wasn't thinking clearly, and I gave myself over to someone who was in a better position to make those decisions.

Which leads me into thinking about those spouses that truly are in controlling situations. Abusively controlling situations.

That is completely different.

But at the same time...

I just want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that no one can control you without your consent. No one can take control over you. They can make it tough. They can make your life miserable. They can make the decision agonizing. They can put you between the proverbial rock & hard place. But you still have to choose to let them take over.
I'm not saying it's always easy. I'm not saying it might not be the most heart-wrenching, difficult thing you've ever done. But you can fight back. And if all else fails, you can just leave. Scary, difficult, terribly hard... but possible. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
You have the strength, you have the power over your own life. You really, really do.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Looking Beneath the Surface...

... is something all of us really should do. All the time.

So here's an example of that.

For every person out there trying to live more green, for everyone concerned about the environment, for everyone who's waiting for that ethanol-driven car to become mainstream and reduce our need for oil...

The increase in corn production, spurred on in part due the the demand for ethanol, has increased the amount of chemicals (fertilizer, bug repellent, etc) in the run-off in the Mississippi River, contributing to what is known as "The Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. The short-version is that life cannot live in this zone, due primarily to the low concentration of oxygen in the water. We're talking three thousand square miles. Larger than the state of Delaware.

Just something for you to think about.

Some additional resources:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Missed Storytime Last Night... again

I started out the new year determined to take FireGirl to storytime at our local library. Fortunately, they actually have one in the evenings, which accomodates us working stiffs. Unfortunately they only have one in the evenings. So if you miss that one, you're out of luck until the next week.

We made it to the first one this year... and so far that's it. The next week I had a conflicting appointment, then FireMan & I went out of town, then FireGirl got sick, and last night... I had a killer headache & was filling pretty sick to my stomach. So we missed it yet again.

So back to last night. It was the sickest I've felt in a while. Still don't know what caused it. It hit me while driving FireGirl back home from the in-laws. I had to roll down the window in the car just to make it home. I parked as closely to the door as I could, grabbed FireGirl & all of our stuff, went inside, and dumped everything (including FireGirl) near the front door & raced to the bathroom, stripping as I went (I was burning up, sweating, dying of heat). I took her coat & shoes off in the bathroom, leaving them, and the rest of my clothing on the floor. Then I put on my PJs, and curled up on the couch, as she played happily on the living room floor.

At one point she crawled in my lap. And peed on me. Filled up her diaper & then some. Peed all over my lap. Ick.

I changed her, changed me, and went back to the couch.

Apparently at some point, I fell asleep.

I awoke I-don't-know-how-long later, to the sound of FireGirl crying. She had fallen. Not sure why, as I missed it, but she was crying pretty hard. No visible injuries / bruising / etc though. And then I surveyed the damage. She had found my purse by the front door & emptied it. And then opened my wallet & emptied all of its contents. She also had found a bag full of the birthday cards FireMan had gotten at his party, and emptied that bag all over. Needless to say, the living room & kitchen were complete disasters.

But I felt a lot better after my unexpected nap. Managed to clean up some of the mess, but the more I moved, the more the icky feeling tried to creep back. So I didn't get much done.

Awoke to the rest of the mess this morning.

This would have never happened before FireGirl. I could have come home, truly relaxed, gone to bed and (intentionally) taken a nap, or even gone to bed for the night. I wouldn't have gotten peed on, and I certainly wouldn't have had such a mess all over the house.

But I also wouldn't have had FireGirl.

She's worth every mess. Every moment of lost "free" time. Every amount of bodily fluid I have touched over the last 16 months. Every headache. Every added bit of worry & stress. Everything.

She's worth it. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Follow-Up to my fear of not being liked

First of all, I have to say that I heart Nota. She always leaves comments that make me look harder at the situation / myself and dig a little deeper.

So, to address her comment that maybe part of the reason that I'm reluctant to leave FireGirl is that I'm afraid she won't like me: sorry, but you're wrong on this one. LOL.

I did take it into consideration though, and gave it some serious thought & reflection. And that's really not it.
My reluctance to leave FireGirl to do things for myself stems mostly from Working Mom's Guilt, as I've come to call it. And the rest of it stems from my own selfishness, LOL. I want to spend time with her. I want to be with her. Just because I want to, not for any other reason.
There's also another small part that wants to protect her. I don't want her to ever, ever think that I am putting myself above her. I don't want her to ever feel that I am pawning her off on the sitter just so mommy can go have fun without her. I don't ever want her to feel that she is unwanted by me.
And no, it's not because I want to make sure she likes me. I know she loves me. And right now I'm the greatest. And at some point when she's older I won't be the greatest anymore, but I trust that she will still love me.
It's truly because I want to protect her from these bad feelings, as much as a mother can.

And I do do things for myself. It's difficult at times. Okay, most of the time. Okay, every time.
But as much as my heart sometimes breaks, my head knows that I can't be a good mommy if I don't take care of myself. And I also know that by taking care of myself, I am teaching my daughter that it's okay to do things for yourself from time to time.

So... on that note... our church recently started TempleWatchers. It is a Christian weight loss program, based on the following passage of Scripture:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." -- I Corinthians 6:19-20

I just found out about it Sunday, and the first meeting was yesterday, but I had made no arrangements for anyone to watch FireGirl, so I had to miss last night's meeting. But I've already made arrangements for my parents to watch FireGirl late on the Monday's that they have her, and FireMan is on board and understands & agrees that this means that on the Monday's he has her, that he'll be on his own with her for dinner and I'll be home late. Both my husband & my parents are really supportive of me doing this, so that really helps.
I'm nervous to go next week, but kind of excited too.

And on the fear-of-not-being-liked and being lonely note: I scheduled a playdate for FireGirl this Thursday. Just invited all the moms with young children that I knew lived near me, and/or I thought they might come. So far we have 2 people who have confirmed they are coming, and 4 maybe's. If it goes well, I think I'm gonna try to schedule one per month. FireGirl needs some friends closer to her own age, and I could definitely use some friends of my own, LOL.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gave FireMan the Silent Treatment...

... last Thursday, in case you couldn't guess.

I do want to clarify though. I didn't do it on purpose. I didn't say "oh, I'm so ticked at you, I'm not even gonna talk to you, that'll teach you".

It was just that... I had nothing to say. I was really upset with him. Really, really upset. And I had no words. I had nothing to say to him. I didn't want to hear him. I didn't want to see him. So I refused to answer his calls, and for the first time since FireGirl was born, we didn't meet for lunch on a day that he watched her. I even strongly considered not going home that night. I just had no words.

Before you get all worried, he didn't do anything majorly wrong. It was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I'd had enough, and I was buckling under the weight.
And I needed my space so I could gather my legs under me & keep moving.

So... my point is... that it actually kinda worked. Like I said I really didn't have any expectations. I just didn't have anything to say. And yes, I hoped that at the very least, he would "get it", finally. But I honestly had no real agenda.
Yet when I came home that night (yes, I went home) FireMan had dinner waiting on me. I still wasn't ready to talk, so he still didn't get any words. But I was grateful. He has also, since then, and up thru yesterday, been somewhat more helpful than in recent memory.
Oh, and I eventually did thank him for dinner, and tell him how yummy it was.

I hope this is coming out right because I'm struggling with my wording

So anyway, the point of all this is that I keep thinking about it. And I'm thinking about how we need to communicate to one another in a language that the other understands. FireMan is not a "word" person. He hates reading. He never has much to say. He's much more of an action person. A hands-on kind of guy. I, on the other hand, am very wordy. So sometimes I think I need to explain to him that I'm feeling a certain way, why I'm feeling that way, etc. But really, since he's not a wordy-type person, I should be finding a way to show him.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do in the future about these type of things. I don't intend to play games, I hate playing relationship games. But I am hoping that this experience will eventually lead to something positive: me discovering a better way to communicate my needs to my spouse.
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