November 26, 2009

"Off" button

Do you ever wish you had one of these in your head? Sometimes I do. Ok well a lot of the time I do. Sometimes I wish I had an "off" button for the moments that I know I am just emotionally eating (mostly when I am missing Nick) and I down 5 pieces of pizza, 3 bread sticks and big bowl of ice cream with out even flinching. Sometimes I wish I had an "off" button when at night I am trying to fall asleep and I just keep tossing and turning because my mind won't shut down. I'm either replaying the days events over and over in my head or I'm thinking about the next day and how I should have gone to bed earlier because Toby is about to wake up in 5 hours. But most of all, I wish I had an "off" button for the mommy guilt. I swear it plagues us all. Its that little voice in your head that says, "You are not doing a good job. You handled that badly. Other people are think you are making lots of mistakes."

I know this is a weird post for Thanksgiving. I should be writing about all the things I am grateful for - and that would be a HUGE list, I tell you what. But I will save that one for tomorrow I think. Right now I need to get what is weighing on me completely off my chest and send it out in the cyberworld.

So let me recap: Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had both sets of parents over at my house, as well as Nick's sister and family. We had a classic Thanksgiving experience: we savagely stuffed ourselves with all kinds of delectable, buttery foods for the entire day and then sat around and talked and played the Wii. It was a great time. The only thing that kept nagging at me the entire day was feeling like I was being judged for how Toby behaved - or didn't behave I should say. You see, most of the time during the week its just me and the Tobester. We have occasional play dates but he's very accustomed to us being the dynamic duo day in and day out. I should also mention that Toby is teething, thus he is not sleeping or eating well at all, thus he is much more cranky. So when we suddenly had 10 extra bodies in the house, I had a feeling my emotional little guy would have something to say about it. More like something to scream about. He screamed when he was excited. He screamed when it was too noisy. He screamed when he wasn't getting enough attention - or got too much. He screamed when some of the boys were playing with his basketball. He screamed when someone asked him a question he didn't like. He screamed over everything. And these weren't your average toddler meltdown screams...these were ear-piercing-make-the-entire-room-go-silent screams. I was so embarrassed, frustrated, and I hate to admit it, but angry. So a few times I just snapped at Toby and said "ENOUGH! We do not act that way!" (completely contradicting myself). Later, Nick told me how embarrassed he was because of the way I lashed out at Toby in front of everyone. I tearfully apologized and simply said I was just at my wits end. Between the over crowded house and over stimulated little boy I felt well, overwhelmed. Not only that but I felt like everyone was judging me for Toby's constant screams. I hastily concluded that they must all think he is the way he is because of my bad parenting.

No sooner had we said our goodbyes and shut the front door - bam! All the guilt consumed me: "I'm such a bad mom. Every thinks I am a short tempered crazy person who doesn't know how to control her son.. I am such a bad mom" And then another part of me was like: "If only they had read my Mirena post on my blog, then they would understand"(FYI - I originally decided to keep Mirena until the Holidays were over but am now second guessing myself). yeah the mommy guilt really hit hard tonight. I just really feel like all I do or don't do is directly reflected in Toby's behavior. And from what people witnessed earlier today, that means I am doing a terrible, terrible job.

But every so often during my sulking I get this soft impression that is trying so hard to sink in. This "feeling" keeps reminding me that Toby, just like every other person on the planet, has something that I can't control. Not even with all the good parenting in the world: his agency. I can be the most patient, kind, long suffering mother ever but Toby is still Toby. Basically: I can't control his actions - but I can control mine. This tiny little thought has made me feel just a little bit better. I'm trying with everything inside of me to believe it and just brush today's events behind me and start fresh tomorrow. Its so hard though. Mommy guilt is not easily cured.

So I'm sorry about the grim Thanksgiving post. But I do feel a bit better. Tomorrow (or Saturday or Sunday) I promise to deliver something more upbeat.

By the way....I still wish I had an "off" button. :)

November 18, 2009

Of all the days to be sick

*Warning: the images that may be conjured up by reading this post may not be suitable for those with weak tummy's.

I am so sick. I was up most of the night sitting on the toilet with a barf bowl in my hands (sorry about the mental image but I did warn you). Today I am doing just a tad better. No barf bowl, but the other end of me is still a bit dysfunctional - if you know what I mean. Plus, I am shaky and achy all over. I caught the stomach bug from Nick and Toby. Toby was throwing up all day Sunday and then Nick got it yesterday morning. But I must admit I'm shocked at how hard this has been on my body. Both Nick and Toby recovered less than 10 hours and normally I am the one that usually somehow dodges getting sick when both Nick and Toby have become infested with some bug. I'm a mom, I don't have time to be sick. I know some of you might be thinking: "Really Debbie, you are blogging about the stomach flu?" Well just to inform you most of the time I just deal with sickness as it comes-I don' even bother Nick when I am sick. And normally I don't waste my time whining about it on my blog, but today I felt my whining was blog worthy. See today is my birthday. Nick and I had SO much fun stuff planned that I've looking forward to all week. My mom graciously offered to watch Toby this afternoon so we could catch a matinee and then she would return later tonight after Toby was in bed so that we could go to Tucanos (I have a free meal there since its my birthday). Plus Nick took the ENTIRE day off and I was so looking forward to spending it with him. I've really missed my husband since he has been juggling both work and school.

Well right now instead of seeing the movie we were so anticipating seeing, Nick is taking a Biology test and I've been struggling in vain to catch some Z's because my body won't stop aching and shivering.

BUT...I've decided instead of whining about what I can't change I am going to just see the positives in the day. 1) Even though I wish I wasn't running back and forth to the bathroom on my day of birth, I am so appreciative that Nick was able to take the day off to help relieve me from the Tobeman. I can't imagine feeling this terrible and having to chase around my little tornado all day. 2) Nick surprised me with such awesome gifts. I came downstairs all emotional and sad about my bummer birthday (no pun intended) and then saw a bag full of goodies for me which included: The Nightmare Before Christmas movie (I don't know why its taken so long for us to buy this fantastic flick), the brand spankin' new John Mayer album that came out yesterday, and a Norah Jones album. Plus he wrote such a sweet card - the kind that catch you off guard because of its mushiness. After that I was like, "psh...I am such a baby. Look at what an awesome husband I have."

By they way, in case you were wondering I am now 27 years old. How did I get so close to 30? I swear I was 20 just yesterday... :)

November 5, 2009

Papa Rarick

It was my dad's 62nd birthday yesterday. I still can't believe it. For some reason my parents in my mind have been stuck at 45 years old for the past 10 years. So whenever they have a birthday I'm like, "Pshh. You're not that old!"

But my dad's birthday this year was a little more emotional for me. Something inside of me said: "Who knows how many more birthdays he's going to be around for." You see, he is diabetic and has always battled his health. The past 8 months or so have probably been the most emotionally and physically draining for him. He has almost lost his foot numerous times, has undergone several surgeries, and has been admitted to the ER more times that I would like to remember. It's been so hard to see my usual witty and energetic dad slowly fade into a more tired, put-on-a-good-face dad. Whenever I reach to give him a hug before our weekly Sunday dinner, he greets me with his usual smile but I can see the strain and sadness in eyes from having a body that isn't completely whole.

I hate seeing him that way. I hate thinking about him someday not being around. Because in my mind, its not suppose to be that way. He's suppose to be here to to see all the new additions in our home. He's suppose to be here to see them grow up and get baptized and go on missions and get married. He's suppose to to be around to tell him the same jokes he's been cracking us up with since we were little. But most of all, he's suppose to be here so that they will know and love their Grandpa Rarick, not just the stories about him. They need to know the great man that I know. But as with most things in life, I know its out of my control and I'm trying to find a good way to deal with that reality. The best way to come to grips with it all and help comfort me is, of course, those Sunday School answers. But part of me is in denial, and wants to just carry on as if my dad is still 45 and in great health and spirits.

There's a John Mayer song that describes my feelings perfectly (I know, I'm obsessed with John Mayer. I'm not in denial about that). It goes like this:

Don't know how else to say it
Don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said "help me understand"
He said "turn sixty-eight
You renegotiate"

"Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train"

November 4, 2009

Halloween and Randoms

Halloween was quite reminiscent of last year, except this year Toby could actually partake and enjoy the most wonderful part of this holiday - CANDY!!!! And whatever was left over, Nick and I happily scarfed down - and are still scarfing down. I love candy.

I decided on tiger costumes this year mostly because they were cheap, but realized later it was a perfect choice because Toby LOVED being a tiger and delighted in ROARING whenever someone asked "And what are YOU for Halloween?". He is my little cat in training. Maybe someday I will teach him how to do my cougar roar. Wait.....what? Debbie you can do a cougar roar? Yes I can. It's a weird hidden talent that not many people know about.

Yes, those are my stretchy work-out pants underneath my costume. I was a little embarrassed wearing them but they kept me warm and non-scandalous. Plus I laughed every time I looked at them because this line from Nacho Libre would pop into my head: "Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun."

Also- don't you love how it looks like Winston is biting my butt? He's actually just barking because he is overly excited by all the Halloween commotion. He really is a sweetheart of a dog.

Yeah, he got a bit warm in that costume.

We hung out at my parents house for most of the evening. And when I say "we hung out" I mean Nick was downstairs watching his Oregon Ducks thump USC and Toby and I were helping my mom with the trick or treaters. I didn't mind though. Nick really deserved the break after a hectic work and school schedule.

And quite honestly, I am glad we weren't home giving out candy because word on the street is we got around 700 (yes, SEVEN HUNDRED!) trick or treaters trafficking our area (and I am not exaggerating the slightest bit). The reason why we are swarmed with so many kids is because my neighborhood does this a "Harry Potter" theme trick or treating. One house is decorated like "Azkaban" another was "Hogwarts Castle." I wish I could've taken pictures because when I drove by earlier in the day it was quite the sight to see! I was really impressed. I'm a bit biased but I have to say Halloween in Utah rocks. I love that so many people are bursting with Halloween spirit and try to make it memorable and fun for both kids and adults.

My mom is one of those Utahns that really goes all out to make it special for the kids in the neighborhood. Not only does she pass out donuts and hot cocoa, but she gives away BIG candy bars tagged with little notes that say things like "You are wonderful" and "Remember who you are" Yeah, my mom is awesome.

"Hmm I could get use to this free candy thing..."



The rest of these pics are just random ones that I like and didn't want to put on a separate post.

Whoa! Mom's got crazy eyes.

Love that hamster smile. :) We keep wondering when he's going to get more bottom teeth in.

Toby and his Uncle Terry- two peas in a pod. They really are a lot alike in so many ways, its crazy.

We got a little carried away with the soup this evening and decided to use it as styling gel. :)

November 3, 2009

It's a dirty job

Toby loves to help me clean. I have a feeling he's inherited the neat-freak gene from his daddy (which isn't a bad thing at all it - just means less mess for me to clean! ha!).-

One more thing: I am still unsure what "gock!" means. He says it quite frequently and I have my suspicions that it either means sock or dog.

OK really, just one more thing: Does anyone else think he looks kind of muscly or filled out for a 20-month-old? Maybe its just the overly proud mom coming out in me. Probably. Though Toby really has proven to be quite the little athlete so far. OK I'm done.