Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting back in the Game

Getting back in the game after a bout of depression, but I'm starting to do better. I'm sure my attempt at quitting cold turkey from smoking triggered it. I lasted 10 days with that attempt, but by then I was a basket case. I NEEDED a smoke like a junkie needed their heroin. By then even my hubby told me to get some, he couldn't live with me like that anymore and wanted his wife back, not the crazy person he was living with. The kids took a fair brunt of my craziness too; I was very unfairly yelling and screaming at them and generally losing my cool about stupid stuff. Man, that first cigarette after 10 smoke free days was as good as the very first one I ever had. For me, when I started smoking I never had any of the negative things people talk about when they start smoking; no headaches, nausea, aching lungs or anything like that. But alas, my relapse was only temporary; I knew that it was when I restarted. My dad gave me a nice supply of Nicorette gum to help me this time. I am now on day 5 of my new non-smoking life. The gum has made a world of difference in my temperament. I'm still a bit antsy about not actually physically going for a smoke, but the nicotine replacement therapy has gone a long way to keep me from being crazy. I just could not afford smoking anymore. It wasn't a matter of having the cash to buy it, but committing to going into debt by having to charge my tobacco since the cash is just not there. I have also ran out of excuses; my last goal was to have a smoke on the porch my dad built on his house. It was what my mom had wanted so badly for the house and had talked about having it built. So having that smoke on the porch was mentally a last goodbye to both her and to smoking. So now I'm done.
About that depression though, Cassie's 17th birthday would have been on June 12th so that weighed heavily on my mind. I've been going day by day, doing what I needed to do but not much else. I've cut way down on even going out; it just felt like so much work. It being 110 degrees out certainly hasn't helped encourage me on going out either. I'm working on pulling myself up by my bootstraps now since I feel like I've wallowed long enough in my depression. Not being productive is starting to bug me now, so here I am finally updating my blog and getting back on track to move forward. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 3 Cold Turkey Treatment

OMG I don't know how I survived my first day. It has only been today since I have had my head on straight enough to be able to concentrate on stringing together a few sentences in a coherent manner. The entire morning of my first day was such wild mood swings my hubby thought I was just going insane. I was anxious, and alternately swung from feeling impotent blind rage (which led to banging my head into walls like my toddlers) to soul-crushing depression, often within seconds of each other. It was simply horrible. If I had them, I certainly would have smoked them before I reached those levels of emotionalism. After working through that on Saturday morning, I have been much better. That is not to say it's been great, but after that roller coaster of emotions shrugging off the urge for a smoke is much easier than I thought. I have been chewing gum to the point my jaw muscles are getting really sore, and I have drank a lot more soda than I normally would. I think having been making rollies for the last six years has been a real help in quitting since I just do not go out and buy a pack of smokes. I had been hoping sleep would be a respite from my discomfort, but I have been sleeping very poorly. Saturday night I woke up every hour or so either too hot or too cold. Last night was a little better; I think I get stretches of an hour and a half of sleep in between my tossing and turning fits. Today is the third day, and from what I've been told is the last day of the really intense cravings as the nicotine runs out of my system. Right now my brain is fuzzy, my concentration is shot to hell and my garden is going to crap. This is really hard, but I think I'm doing pretty good. Day three, no smoking, and I'm hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel from this withdrawal misery.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My last day of smoking

Well, the day is finally here. I am down to my last 6 cigarettes. I have been making my own rollies for six years now to save money, but with the new federal tax I can't afford that anymore. I bought a fair supply at the end of March which actually lasted through April until today. I only smoke about a dozen a day now anyway so I am hoping that quitting won't be too hard. I admit that it seems more psychological than physical, but I guess I'll see. I figure that I will make my last 6 last until bedtime tonight, and when I wake up tomorrow I will be an official ex-smoker. Smoking contributed a lot to my mother's passing and my father has been bugging me to quit, along with my hubby. My dad is also an ex-smoker, but he stayed on the nicotine gum for about 4 years until he gave that up. My hubby quit cold turkey, and never looked back. I am hoping that quitting gives me a little more energy, and it should improve my lung function. I only started when I was twenty five, but that was about 15 years ago now and I sorta got used to it. I only smoke outside now anyway and the temperatures here are over 100 so going out isn't exactly nice. I have been trying to psych myself up to this point, convincing myself it is best for my health. I recently found out that smoking is a contributor to macular degeneration which I didn't know and that has been a huge help to wanting to quit. My eyesight is very important to me and I need it to be good for a long time still with my twins just turning 2 and my love of crafting and jewelry making. I have noticed in the last year or so my eyesight has worsened so that is a huge motivating factor for me. As my tobacco supply has dwindled and I have been really facing the end of smoking I have gotten a little grumpy and high-strung. I have really been thinking about it and the only thing I am really going to miss about smoking is escaping from the kids for a few minutes outside when I get a little overwrought with their behavior and getting a nicotine fix. Now I am not sure what I'll do, but I will figure something out. I figured out a while ago that making my rollies was fulfilling my urge to make stuff with my hands so a positive aspect right there is that I should start making more crafts and jewelry again. Well, I'll keep posting about my progress and problems on this, but I really need to do this. Like Yoda said, do not try, do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

O.K., Yeah, it's been a while...

Just so much stuff on my plate. We are all still working through the loss of my mom and we just wrapped up the twins' birthday, my birthday, and Easter together as one big family get-together yesterday. The whole family, minus my brother in Chicago, gathered here at my house for the shindig. I made sure everyone got an Easter basket, including my dad who thought not getting one from now on was a foregone conclusion. I made sure it was nice; Walgreen's had Russell Stover candy boxes on a super sale with a coupon so I put one of those in his basket, along with the sort of usual stuff mom would have put in; Peeps, jellybeans, assorted cheap chocolates and chocolate-covered marshmallow stuff. Kathleen got one also, of course. I remember something mom had told me one year when she was housing one of Kathleen's friends for a while; she said that is was imperative to her that everyone in her house, even visitors, would get an Easter basket under her roof and no one was excluded from that rule. She wanted everyone to feel wanted and welcome in her house especially on the holidays and that was one of the ways she did it. An admirable philosophy and one I took to heart. Making sure everyone got an Easter basket was one of the ways I have honored her memory. I also wrote up clues for Mathew's egg hunt, as is traditional in our house. Even though Kathleen writes up clues for Mathew at home, my mother always insisted I also do it for Mathew here when he comes over because she always enjoyed the hunt with the clues. I think it was a pure nostalgia thing for her from our own childhood. It started when I was about 5; one Easter me and my brother didn't find all the eggs in the egg hunt and my dad didn't enjoy finding smelly bad eggs that were hidden a little too well. So the next year he wrote us up clues that would lead us from one egg to the other, which included doing little chores for him like feeding the dog. Me and my brother had such a good time with them he then had to do it every year pretty much until we moved out and had children of our own. Now it is one of those unique family traditions we do for Easter. But until the twins are old enough to do the clues a traditional egg hunt will be fine. My twins turned 2 on April 9th, but since they are young enough we could put off the celebration until Sunday when everyone would be there. My birthday was yesterday; I am now 39 which is going to be my age for a while, I think. I look pretty good for my age, no grey hair yet! At my age my birthday occurring on Easter was convenient, but as a child it would have been real special. At least I got to have dinner delivered as pizza-to me a perfect birthday. I didn't have to cook up an Easter dinner for everybody, I didn't have to take the kids on a long and tedious trip to a restaurant with all it's attendant nuisances, and I got to eat my favorite food! I think of yesterday as generally a total win situation. Though it was weird to buy my own birthday cake, but it was shared with kids as a triple birthday cake; first I blew out the candles, then Tabitha blew them out, then Tommy blew them out. The cake said "Happy Birthday Kids and Mom". Even though it felt a little weird ordering my own cake, I did get to have it exactly how I wanted it; chocolate whipped cream frosting, with chocolate cake! MMmmm! The kids loved it too; I have great pictures of Tabitha and Tommy wearing their cake, but I gave them big pieces so they ate a bunch too. The kids got a lot of great presents; a Curious George wooden tool set, foam action sound emergency vehicles, an elaborate bath toy, art totes with fabric chalk boards from the farmers market courtesy of my sister, and a bunch of other great things. My stuff was good too; Kathleen got me a great apron with a matching button on potholder from the farmers market. She also got me a beautiful batiked butterfly silk shirt from there also; it's styled like one of those blousey 80's bat-shirts, sort of tunic like. Andy has no time or clue about what to get me for my birthday, so I bought for myself (and had to wrap myself, as Andy is wrap-challenged) several Dremel tips and bits to take my jewelry making to the next level including diamond drill bits, and diamond cutting disks. A indescribable glass votive holder made in Poland I will just have to post a picture of soon which I bought at a local deep discounter; it was originally $65.00 which I believe just from the beauty and quality. I have had my eye on it for over a year, since my first visit to the store with my mom over a year ago. It was finally on sale for $17.99, from $29.99 which was the price they had been trying to sell it for. There was no way I was going to not buy it. Andy did buy me a Rubik's Revolution electronic game cube to replace one from last year which broke, and a beautiful dozen roses. Dad gave me money and a bath gift-basket in rose fragrance which is one of my favorites. Now to actually be able to get the time for a bath.......

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hopefully, Crisis Averted

Geez, what a whirl I have had! I can't believe it's Friday already! Two weeks ago, Andy went down to Tucson to take the DOC physical training test to be on his way to be a Department of Corrections officer. Preliminary to even taking a step of the course, they did a basic physical to see if he was healthy enough to exert himself on the test and found his blood pressure was through the roof. It was 220/140! This is the first time he had ever had this turn up; his physical last year showed it slightly elevated but nothing to be alarmed about. So he went to the doctor last Friday. They were so alarmed about his blood pressure they refused to allow him to drive himself to the urgent care. I had of course just put the kids down for naps about ten minutes before he called so I had to roust the kids and pick him up. Then it was straight to the urgent care. Due to the urgent nature of his condition he was taken straightaway into a room there and he had left his cellphone in the car. I then spent the next 3 hours waiting there with the kids which was no picnic, let me tell you. By the time I finally saw him I was a frazzled nerve myself and I would have probably have failed my own blood pressure test. After giving him his phone I whisked the kids home; boy were they happy to run around some and play. But the urgent care decided Andy had to go to the emergency room anyway since they could not get his pressure down with the meds they had on hand. So back again to pick up Andy. He decided he just didn't have enough time to screw with the emergency room before work so he went there first thing after work on Saturday morning. They kept him for about 5 hours, then finally discharged him with a prescription. He again saw the doctor two days ago and he now has 3 pills to take. I am also taking his blood pressure regularly and while it is going down, it still is too high for my taste. This morning it was 150/115. I did read the medications take 2 weeks to take full affect, so we'll see. He is feeling better; he doesn't feel so angry all the time and he feels a lot more relaxed while driving so that's all good.

Now, as soon as I walked into the urgent care with the kids I had a bad feeling about exposing the kids that germ-infested environment. I did keep them in stroller the entire time I spent in the waiting room, but I did let them run around in the building lobby. Hey, it's hard for toddlers to spend so much time strapped into the stroller, but they were reasonably good for the whole ordeal. We took strolls around the building and picked a variety of the flowers the building was landscaped with. But despite my care they found a way to get sick. Tabitha developed a fever Monday morning, pretty much on cue with 48 hours after being exposed. Fortunately that was the only symptom and it never exceeded 100. It did make her cranky as hell for about 3 days though. Tommy decided Wednesday was a good time to get the same thing, but I think he caught it from Tabitha from the timing and his lasted only a day. Boy, Tabitha does not like taking medicine at all! It was even the grape flavored children's Tylenol, but she objected so much she actually made herself gag and throw up! Tommy couldn't get enough of it, he was very cooperative. Ultimately Andy had to help hold Tabitha while I gave her the medicine and I followed it up with a drink right away which helped her a great deal. As of today, they are both fine. I have to say it was a strange little sickness, the only sign was the fever and that was thankfully not terribly high or it would have been straight back to a doctor's office.

With all this going on I have had not a whit of time to work on anything; no jewelry, sewing and obviously no time to blog. I did get a nifty new sewing machine on Monday. Since Andy got himself a new laptop the day before I figured it was only fair. It's not a real fancy machine, at least compared to what I could have bought but it is the fanciest one I have ever owned. It is a Singer, with like 30 pre-programmed decorative stitches and Auto-tension. Auto-tension! I have always had a problem with the tension of the machines I have owned and a machine with such a feature seems like a dream! My last machine, a Kenmore, was a workhorse, but very basic and of course it's tension mechanism was faulty. I did have it about ten years, and retiring it is bittersweet since my mother bought it for me and she made sure I knew it was more than she would normally spend on a machine so it has all that mom-guilt with it. Since Monday my new machine has sat in it's box on the kitchen table, but I am determined tonight to take it out and explore it's wonders. I think some new catnip toys would be a great first project to get acquainted.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where is this month going?

I mean really, this month is flying by! I guess I've been busy, but my tangible accomplishments are lacking. Housecleaning and chores have been the major bite of my time. My conjecture is that I haven't had as much free time to myself as I have been accustomed to with Andy's new hours. My time after the kids go to bed has been taken up with making supper and helping him get ready for work. By the time he walks out the door, it's about 9:30 at night and that isn't much time for doing much except some clean-up and watching one of my dvr'ed shows. I gotta get my act together and manage my time better, but that is certainly easier said than done!

I did start a "new" line of product to sell out at the farmers market. My dad brought down all of my mom's catnip toy supplies so I essentially inherited her product line. I made 20 of the cat toys last week at my dad's insistent urging. He was always going on about how mom could never make enough of them for Kathleen to sell so I made them to get him off my back about it. To my surprise, 9 of them sold just last weekend for a total of $25.00! That is equivalent to selling a necklace or a couple of pairs of earrings, so I apparently am now in the cat toy business. It seems more lucrative than the jewelry right now. Of course, I hate to buy stuff I don't have to so I have bought some catnip seeds and have started growing my own. In the meantime I will have to actually buy some until they grow enough to start harvesting.

I'm afraid that nap time is going to be a thing of the past very,very soon. Once they figure out how to escape from their cribs, life will never be the same. There is no bright side to this that I can see. The kids communication skills are getting better but it still is not a two-way street yet. Laying down the law is not yet an option either but it's not like I haven't been trying. That is still too abstract a concept for them. They are getting pretty good at problem solving, especially Tabitha. Together, they are quite the mischief dynamo. The other day, Tommy knocked down Andy's keys off the nail on the wall with my broom. Then, Tabitha took the keys and used them to open the door to the bathroom. The next thing I hear is the splashing in the toilet so I double-timed it in there and cleared them out of there pronto! I confiscated the keys from Tabitha and put them waaaay up out of their reach. She is constantly trying out objects to open the bathroom door with ever since she saw Andy use my bookmark to do it and realized if it fits in the hole, it can open the door. Gee, thanks Andy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Month to Go Until the Terrible Twos are Official!

Exactly one month to go until the twins 2nd birthday! They are already in the full swing of the terrible twos with the screaming and the tantrums. Terrible twos times two! I am exhausted by the time I put them to bed each night. They are great though so I'm not really complaining, but they are a handful. Tabitha's language skills are slowly improving; she is expanding her vocabulary and her non-verbal communication skills have certainly come a long way. Tommy is a little behind her on that, but he asks for less. They are still at the point and scream ah stage. Boy, will it be fun when they enter the "no" and "mine" stage. They are getting better using the spoon and fork to eat with, but they still seem to think the plate or bowl is optional.

Yesterday, me and the kids went to the at-home reception of the "unofficial" wedding of their Grandpa Cookie (hubby's dad) and Melba (life-long friend of my mother-in-law Ellie who passed in November of last year). I wasn't thrilled to go but Cookie really wanted us to be there. It's nearly an hour drive each way and we cannot really afford the gas. I also anticipated absolutely no help with the kids while I was there, and I was not disappointed. I spent a little over two hours there completely trying to keep the kids from drinking strange drinks, playing in ashtrays and playing with things they weren't supposed to like the laptop someone had set up on the table out on the back porch. There I was, surrounded by actual adults, but not one deigned to speak with me about anything other than my kids and that was pretty insipid stuff (Oh, you must be tired, Oh, you have your hands full, that sort of thing. end rant.) Cookie did have his photo op with the kids eating wedding cake so looking back it was worth it. I wish Cookie and Mel all the best. I survived, the kids survived, and lots of new family met the kids so I have to chalk that up to time well spent.

My hubby did take the job at U.S. Security Associates for $11.00 an hour. He also took a part time job with the U.S. Airways Arena security staff to fill out his schedule. He is still technically employed by P.E.S. but I am not sure if he will really do much for them anymore. His new goal is to get a job with the Department of Corrections. He passed the written test which is better than half the people who took the test did. Now he has to get in better shape to pass the physical requirements. He has the discipline, but i hope he has the energy to do it. Hopefully in a day or two when he doesn't feel like his ass is so kicked from his schedule he will get started on it. I definitely have to give him credit for getting his butt out and getting a new job when his hours were cut so much. His new job, along with the child support payments being finished (yay!) and our tax refund should be a good bump for us financially.

And now an update about my jewelry: I finished a new necklace bringing my total to 4 necklaces made from the eBay stuff I got! I made it with all green beads, and a large green pearl drop in the middle in honor of St. Patrick's Day coming up. I also put up the jewelry slide show on my blog page here so everyone can see what I've made. The slide show includes 3 of the charm necklaces I made last month. The weird thing is I had all these things in my head to do, now I feel a bit unmotivated for the next project since I finished the new necklace. I suppose if I actually sold something I would feel a bit better.