Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Got Picked!!

Korinthia over at one of my favorite blogs, picked me for her Liebster Award list.  According to my esteemed blogging colleague, "It seems to work kind of like a chain letter that connects bloggers and brings awareness to smaller blogs. To qualify your blog must have fewer than 200 followers, and if nominated by someone (tag! I'm it!) you are supposed to reveal 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, and nominate 11 more bloggers (not including the one who nominated you) and pose 11 new questions to them."

I had a serious post mulling around in my head for today.  I think this sounds like much (much, much) more fun.  So here goes...

11 things about me you may not know:

1.  I was actually number 11 on my college soccer team and have always liked that number.  Ironically, D and M are also number 11 on their respective teams.
2.  I don't like cheese.  I'll eat it on  pizza, tacos, etc...but prefer most things without it.  My best friend Kathy Carter told me it was mold when I was 8 and it turned me off it.  Sometimes I think I'm missing out on something wonderful, but the smell and texture get to me and I can't take it.
3.  I sleep with a warm comforter no matter what time of year, but like to have my feet sticking out of the covers.  I don't really like my feet covered at all and walk around the house on most days in my bare feet.
4.  I don't like it when people who don't know me well call me Peg and it bothers me when K calls me Peggy.  Only my parents, K and my college soccer coach call me Margaret Anne.  I've never really liked my name, but of all of them, I like Peg the best.
5. One of my best friends in the world is a Rwandan named Serge who lives in Paris.  We met when I was working for the UN in Rwanda and have remained friends through writing and the occasional phone call.  We have only seen each other once in the last 15 years when he came to visit.  He loved my boys and my boys loved him.  Thinking about that makes me smile.
6. I love music and listen to it constantly throughout the day. Songs by Johnny Clegg, the Saw Doctors, and Mumford and Sons can easily make me both smile and cry.
7.  I played the piano when I was little, but wouldn't consider myself musical.  I love to sing in my car, the shower and around the house.  I would never do karaoke.
8.  My grandfather (my dad's dad) was a big band leader in New York.  He even had a few albums and had a dixie land band at Shea Stadium for the Mets.  He loves to be the center of any event.  I don't visit him enough.
9. I would love to write a novel.  It would be a mystery.
10. I love naps.  Enough said.
11. I love kids books and toys. I think I like legos as much as the kids and like to help them put them together.  L is getting big enough to follow the directions himself and gets mad when I take over.

Here are Korinthia's questions for me:
1. If you had to leave your house in a hurry and could never go back what items would you grab?

My ipod and our photo albums (including our portable hard drive with all our digital pictures).  If we include pets, I would certainly grab all of the geckos, frogs and the cat...M's weird fish who's eaten all the other fish may be left behind.

2. Is there anyone from your past you hope never to run into?

Nope.  There are definitely people I don't like very much from my past, but I think I could handle running into anyone and faking civility.

3. If millions of dollars fell into your lap lottery-style, what would you do with it?

I would invest it wisely after fixing up/upgrading things in the house.  I might consider going on a sabbatical from work too.

4. If there was one thing about yourself you could magically fix what would it be?

Physically, my nose.  Personality, my temper.

5. What book do you think I probably haven't read but should?

Any of the novels by Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Elizabeth Peters and Alan Bradley.

6. Do you think it's true that no two snowflakes look alike?

Yes, life is random.

7. Who is the person you can most rely on to make you laugh?

My husband.  He's hilarious.

8. If you had to live in a different country, which one would it be?

England.  Easy access to the rest of Europe and close to K's relatives.

9. If I told you tomorrow you could hang out for the whole day with anybody, who would you pick?

My sister Jeanne.

10. What is your favorite building?

The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary.

11. Sisko or Janeway?

Sorry, Jean Luc Picard all the way.

So I don't think I have any sense about how big other people's blogs are, but here are some people I like to read:

Here are my 11 questions:
1. What was the first book you remember reading by yourself?
2. What is your favorite children's book to read to your kids?
3. What is your favorite time of day?
4. What is your favorite vacation spot?
5. What is your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure reality TV show?
6. Did you like doing homework as a kid or were you a major procrastinator?
7. Do you still live in your hometown or the town you lived in the longest growing up (for those of us who moved around)?
8. Did you enjoy your high school years?
9. If you had a life "do-over," what would it be?
10.  Pepsi or Coke?
11.  Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little?

If you don't have a blog and have fascinating answers to any of the above questions, please share.  For instance, growing up, I had an imaginary friend named Jimmy.  He was a sailor (my dad was in the navy) and one day he bumped his head and moved to Mexico.  I sometimes think of him fondly.

Enjoy!  And thanks to Korinthia for including me...that was really fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013


"I want you to try to remember every day all that you've accomplished and not what you didn't get done," said my therapist last week.

"Easier said than done," I joked back.

"Just try," she responded.

"I will, I will," I quipped as I bundled up my purse and hustled out the door, already running through my mental shopping list and deciding what I was possibly going to feed the hoards that night.


I met with my primary care a few weeks ago and we agreed to increase the dosage of my meds. For whatever reason I really wasn't feeling the effects as much.

Unfortunately, I'm now questioning taking the medicine at all.  Despite taking it before bed to avoid the sleepiness, I am exhausted all the time.  Not just my normal tired, but "I can lay down at any time of the day and fall dead asleep" tired.  L came up to me on Sunday and asked my why I was always sleeping.  I'm also not so sure how I'm feeling on the medicine.  I didn't expect to all of the sudden be Suzy Sunshine, but I was hoping it would help me face my life with a little more enthusiasm and joy.

Yes, I've been able to handle my stress a little more calmly, but I also feel like I often don't really care about anything.  I'm wondering if it had anything to do with my lack of Christmas spirit this year.  I was thinking this morning, that maybe that "edge" I carried with me throughout the day was what helped me get everything done that needed to be done.  Our house was certainly a little more organized and I honestly think my lack of writing in the last few weeks in a direct result.

Simple said, I feel "off" and I'm not sure this off is a good thing.


I've really struggled with my homework from therapy.  I can't help but tally all the things I didn't get done during the day while trying to recognize what I did do.  Does reading with L mean as much as the piles of laundry washed but unfolded in bins?  Did the fact that I went to D's game last night instead of spending a little extra time with M studying mean a bad grade or even worse send the message to her that I don't care?  Every day I have to try to reach a balance between meeting everyone's needs and managing the mundane logistics of running this household.

In this new life, I've had to lower my standards in many areas.  Our house isn't as organized and decluttered.  The kids' bedtimes are what I would want.  We may hit fast food a few too many times during the week.  God knows I have a million valid excuses to why this has happened.  I've tried to get the tools I need to help me, including therapy and medication, two things I never in a million years thought would be part of my life.

I don't think anymore it's about listing all the things I've done and cutting myself some slack.  I don't even think it's about being thankful for what I do have and recognizing the good in our life.  I think it comes down to the fact that deep down, despite all the talk therapy and pharmaceuticals, I want more.

I want more for my family.  I want to be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend.  I've tried to convince myself otherwise. 

So I'm starting to question the tools I've tried so far.  I'm not making any changes, but I'm starting to get impatient for improvement.  That's the heart of the problem.  What I want may be physically impossible, but I can't turn off the desire.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I have seriously wanted to rock out a great post the last week, but as usual time has been against me.  Here are a few snippets of what is going on.  Some of it good.  Some of it bad.  All of it the normal WTF junk that seems to follow our family.

1.  When M came to live with us, we pretty much changed everything in her life.  New house, school, neighborhood swim team, etc.  The only thing that remained constant was her travel soccer team.  At great sacrifice for our family we have kept her on that team.  Logistically it is an absolute nightmare. Some of them have been playing together since kindergarten.  Her bond with them is amazing.  Last summer the team underwent a coaching switch to a wonderful, female coach (who I've known for years).  She is awesome.  The girls love her.  A few of the parents, unfortunately, did not want her as the coach for some reason and have been against her from the beginning.  Things have spun so out of control that 4 players have quit, the coach felt forced to resign and we possibly won't have a spring season.  Now, we have already been pursuing an opportunity for M through our local club (K feels very strongly about this), but we weren't planning on a wholesale move till this summer, if at all.  M is devastated.  The team has been pressuring us to make a decision about trying to stay with the team and finding new players.  K and I are disgusted at the behavior of many of these adults and are hesitant to put M in that environment. The problem is, that we don't have to just consider soccer in this decision, but M's emotional well-being.  Needless to say it sucks.

2.  In this midst of all of this drama, my dad called me Tuesday night to tell me he has prostrate cancer.  I almost dropped the phone and had to sit down.  Hopefully they have caught it soon enough and everything will be fine.  He starts treatment soon.  He's known since October but didn't want to ruin the holidays.  I still can't really wrap my head around it.

3.  E had a dream recently in which I was in a car accident and then was shot.  She texted me about it while she was in New York for a swim trip and informed me it was her subconscious getting revenge at me for yelling at her.  I cried.  I called C and cried some more.  It was mean and weird and all over disturbing.  I have seriously lost my temper with her 3 times in the last 2+ years in which I've raised my voice.  Once again, I'm thankful she is under psychiatric care.  I hope it helps.  My fragile ego and weary heart can't take much more.

4.  The day after Christmas, K had to leave for a 4 day business trip in FL.  It was really hard to have him gone and then he was pick-pocketed on the third day and we have since had to cancel all of our cards, etc.  He was left with $12 in his jeans pockets and had 3 straight meals at Subway.  Seriously, the last thing we needed, but at least it was a quick fix.

5.  I went to my GP on Monday for a meds check-up.  I haven't really been noticing the meds as much the last month or so.  Who knows if it's the stress from the holidays or our normal life.  After talking with my therapist and my doctor we've increase my medicine a bit.  I definitely feel it more.  Unfortunately, I'm also much more tired and a bit spacey.  I'm hoping this levels out after a few days and my body gets used to the new dose. I'm not sure I can handle the lethargy long term.  Not sure who will win in the battle of grumpy mom versus mommy dead asleep on the couch at 7pm.

6.  Despite all of the drama and crap, we still have had fun family moments.  Giggles and squeals of laughter are still the prevalent sound on most nights around the house. L has been particularly hilarious.  E has been up and down with her moods and interactions with the family, but at least we're all sort of used to that.  M's fake illnesses are on an upswing and we are currently dealing with back pain, knee issues and a strange mark on her heal (obviously drawn on by marker).  But, again, it's become normal for her and we just go with the flow balancing between ignoring and offering comfort.

Sorry for the rambling post.  I have to save all of my cohesive thoughts for my actual job that I get paid for...not sure how well that's going since I'm sitting in my office writing this instead of doing the analysis piled up next to me.  Speaking of, I better get back to it, or I'll start rambling more about my idiot sister-in-law still having the affair and S and her first experience with a sick kid.