Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hope That I Don't Let You Down Again

It's the way the universe works, right? You say you're happy and then your kid wakes up with a 105.1 fever and doesn't eat for a week and doesn't sleep for a week so of course you don't sleep for a week and eat nothing but cookies and pastries for a week and by the end of it you're left clinging to your last shred of sanity wondering when the circles under your eyes got so dark and why does your heart feel like it's going to beat right out of your chest and where the fuck did that second upper thigh / ass roll come from (you swear there was only one last week) (you've conveniently forgotten about the week of eating cookies and pastries.)

These ups and downs have always been a part of my life but they've never been quite so high or so low as they've been since Grady was born. I don't know if it's still hormones or the lack of sleep or if it's because I haven't quite adjusted to having my heart walking around outside of me just yet but I can't seem to find a nice level mood (one that doesn't require self-medication with baked goods.)

We ended up in the hospital with Grady again (I am nowhere near equipped to deal with a child with a fever of 105.1 and of course it peaked at midnight and not during our doctor's office hours) and I thought that this time, our second time around, it would be easier. It really wasn't, though. My mind went dark, just like last time, and I clung to my feverish little boy like I could somehow lower his temperature if I just willed it hard enough.

Grady's fine. He's still sick but he's going to be fine. He's slowly starting to eat again and we've gone a full day without his temperature rising above normal. I'm going to fine too. I've put the cookies away and I've dug out my therapy workbooks for a quick refresher. I think it may do me some good to work on my mood when it's on its way up rather than waiting until I'm in the depths of my crazy again.

I want Grady to grow up with a mom who doesn't hold her breath in a crisis.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Can You Be My One And Only Sunshine Lady

Vancouver is experiencing one last burst of sunshine and warm weather before the rain and grey show up for an indeterminate (but sure to be a long) amount of time. It's the perfect time of year, full of lazy sunshine in the afternoons and a beautiful chill in the mornings. These muffins are my go to autumn recipe: perfect for using up the last of summer's zucchini and pairing with a hot cuppa tea to take the edge off the morning.

Zucchini Lemon Chocolate Chip Muffins
make 24

Preheat oven to 350F.

In large mixing bowl whisk together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon

In separate bowl whisk together:
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (this recipe totally works with the 1/2 apple sauce 1/2 oil trick if you're so inclined)
1/2 cup milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix liquid ingredients into dry ingredients (with a spoon - you will regret using your whisk for this step.)

Add the following and fold just until mixed:
2 cups grated zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Bake for 20 minutes.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

All That I Know Is I'm Breathing Now

This time last year I was in the depths of my descent into crazy. (Quick note: I call it crazy because it's my crazy. I wouldn't use that word to describe the struggle of anyone but my own. It was recently brought to my attention that using the word crazy can be perceived as insensitive and uncaring. Which, uhh, fuck that. It's my crazy and I'll call it crazy if I damn well please. End rant.)

Last year I was spending a lot of time crying. I spent days refusing to leave my bedroom. I imagined horrifying situations involving Grady hundreds of times a day. I spoke shrilly and quickly, and my mind was even more shrill and quick. I snapped at Shawn every day. I frothed at the mouth at the slightest (mainly imagined) provocation. I felt despair - heart-wrenching, spine-chilling, breath-stopping despair. Every day. I thought it would never end.

And then I got help. Things got better. Slowly. Painfully. But progressively better.

It was a gradual thing for me, my ascent out of crazy. I didn't decide to get help and instantly feel better. My happy crept up on me.

I don't know if it's the seasons changing or Grady turning one (or the blue moon or or etc) but I've been thinking a lot about my experience with ppbs ("postpartum bullshit" encompasses the postpartum depression, anxiety, and ocd that I experienced and is much faster to type out and can be perceived as insensitive and uncaring.)

A couple of months ago when Grady got sick, I held it together. I spoke to doctors and specialists and I held my screaming child down multiple times while blood was taken. I was functional and present and efficient. Until we were transferred from one hospital to another because the hospital closest to us wasn't equipped to deal with Grady's illness. I spent the entire ride between hospitals chanting "no" with every breath, my thoughts racing, my breath increasing until it wasn't "no" anymore but "nonononono."

Later, when Grady was better, when I could think in more than monosyllables, I realized how my new normal didn't involve being constantly distraught. It's a bit silly that it took me so long to realize that I wasn't crazy anymore but it did. I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to say this again but I'm happy.

Tired as shit but happy.