Archive for October, 2009
Here’s a new thing I’m bringing out. It could be just this week or maybe it’s permanent. I don’t know because I’m flaky. But I’m calling it “Shit I’ve bought or liked recently”
1. Pieces of Happily Ever After
– It’s a novel and it should be a movie. It’s beautiful. It’s funny. It’s deeply moving (I cried. Twice.) and it’s got edge. Irene Zutell, the author, is a friend of mine and I went into reading it with slight trepidation because I always have that feeling like what if I don’t like it? How will I tell my friend the truth? Well no worries there, I was completely taken aback by my love for this book. Seriously, I want to make out with it. Truth be told I’m still in a little post good book haze where moments and feelings come back to me while doing other things.
Remember when Julia Roberts met her fairy tale camera man, married him and lived happily ever after? Did you wonder what happened to Vera who was happily married to the guy before America’s Sweetheart got her hooks in him? Did you cringe along with me when Julia was spotted wearing an A loe Vera shirt? Do you still want to key her car a little bit? This book gives you a glimpse into what Vera might have been feeling -if Vera was a sarcastic, funny, east coast transplant with compassion, stretch marks, porn filming neighbors, a five-year-old daughter and a mom with Alzheimers.
Irene keeps the story moving (which I like because who wants to hear a two page description of a lake?) but takes time to create great visuals like the over-the-top lawn extravaganzas done by her Christmas holiday loving neighbors. I got so swept into the story that I never wanted the book to end and now I have to wait for her to write another one. DAMMIT.
Lauren Wood – Love, Death & Customer Service – It’s a CD. Kind of melodic pop, songwritery lady stuff. Did you see Pretty Woman? Remember the song “Fallen”? I loved that song. So one day I’m at my husband’s boss’s wedding and suddenly this cool looking woman with spiky red hair is introduced as a friend and songwriter. She proceeds to knock out Fallen and it totally made my year. I got my picture taken with her but the shot was sort of crappy so I won’t put it up here. Anyway, this is her new CD and it’s hawt!
The Shield -Season 7 – Buy it on DVD, order it from Netflix, steal it from your neighbor, just get it. Jon and I got highly addicted to previous seasons of the Shield but due to a malady called TWINS, we weren’t able to watch the last season – until a week ago! We watched every night multiple episodes until it was done. All I can say is it’s soooo good. Highly recommend.
This is what happens when Jon and I spend too much time catching up on season 7 (the final season) of the Shield.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 30, 2009 6:16 pm
Okay look, I realize my blog is becoming one big 12 step meeting. I see it, and yet I feel helpless to stop it. Before you know it I’m going to be ass deep in slogans telling all my readers “one day at a time” and “easy does it” and “turn that frown upside down!” well not that last one or you have my permission to kick me in the liver, dig a big hole in the ground and throw my blog in it. The thing is, I get a lot of emails from women asking me specific questions about quitting drinking and I haven’t been able to answer each and every one (although I will -Do*ce take a memo). Parting with alcohol was simple and complicated. Simple because I knew without a doubt it had to be done. Complicated because I had no idea what it entailed. Now that I know a lot of work goes into it, would I do it again? Yes.
A lot of the letters I get from people tell me that they think they might have a drinking problem, they see themselves in my story but they don’t think they can quit. I understand. Really I do. And the problem is there’s no easy answer I can give. There isn’t something quick and simple or a substitute that works as well or as quickly (at least in the short run) as wine. If there were, no one would turn into a big old drunk right? Why would I possibly drink enough to give myself a hangover if a cup of cocoa could make me feel all was right with the world?
If you are drinking a glass of wine or two a night and you don’t want to give it up, you won’t hear me tell you to. Why should you? Are you crazy? Are you just trying to be perfect? If I could drink a glass of wine or two a night I’d be right there with you offering a virtual toast. I can’t.
If you’re drinking a lot more than that but think you have the rest of your life together and it’s not hurting anyone then maybe you’re right. Or maybe you’re rationalizing. I don’t know but I do know that you probably aren’t in the right mind frame to stop. I can say that, especially for women, it usually gets worse.
But maybe you’re in a place where alcohol has begun to have a mind of its own, telling you it’s okay to drink today when you clearly told yourself something completely different this very morning. Maybe you know that somewhere along the line you crossed over from happy, social drinker to lonely, unsocial drunk. Maybe you’re forgetting things you said the night before even though you only had a couple of glasses. Possibly you believe you’re stressed out and unhappy and drinking has become your hope. Your only salvation.
If you’re reading this because you saw me on Dr. Oz and you think I understand you, I do. I get it. We’re on the same page, amigo. You and me – we’re simpatico. Remember what you saw up there on stage? Yeah, normal right? Not a bad person, not a falling down drunk. Not homeless (although I have been known to go more than five days without showering), able to meet deadlines and read stories to my kids. Able to be a loving wife and a school volunteer. I just didn’t want to wait for my problem to get worse and you don’t have to either.
Here’s what I can offer you in advice: Ask for help. It’s really tough to do this shit on your own -I’m not saying it can’t be done but it’s much harder. And chances are great that you’ve already tried on your own anyway. The thing about other people who fell down this rabbit hole is we are dying to help each other. It’s what we thrive on. It’s what keeps us sober. I can promise you that the people you will meet if you just reach out, are more often than not, normal, funny, happy people. Quitting will be tough at first because you’re not used to it, sort of like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You will probably feel anxious and nervous and not quite like yourself. But, with help and support, you will start becoming more honest about how you feel, more honest about your need for support and you will realize that you’re not alone. That will make all the difference.
Go online or call someone you know who doesn’t drink and ask them how they did it. Or tell your OB/GYN or your husband or your best friend or even your damn manicurist. Okay, maybe not your manicurist -chances are they only speak Vietnamese anyway.
Or you can just wait until I write you back. But, seriously, there’s no time like the present.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 28, 2009 3:33 pm
So, I’m thinking about trying to get off of the last 25 milligrams of Zoloft that I’ve been on since the day I gave birth to the twins. My OB thought it would be a good idea for me, with my history of PPD to start the Zoloft immediately, do not pass GO, go directly to a pharmacy. In retrospect, I still experienced major post partum depression and anxiety. So was it lessened from taking the Zoloft? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m not depressed now, I’ve weaned from 50 milligrams to 25 and I’m ready to get it out of my system entirely but…say hi to the withdrawal symptoms that can happen from ridding the last bit from your system. This looks like a pretty good time, doesn’t it? I’m thinking I should pencil in time for at least five of these side-effects conservatively:
Muscle and joint pain
Jolting electric “zaps”
Flu symptoms and general malaise
Sleep disturbance and insomnia
Memory and concentration difficulties
Chills and hot flashes
Okay, so in a perfect world I would get to choose my temporary side effects. I’m dropping this hint into the universe’s suggestion box: Out of all of these, if I had to pick five, I’d prefer anorexia (how bad could that be for a week or two right?), lethargy (does that involve couch time?) tingling sensations (is that even a bad thing?), weakness (“I can’t vacuum, I’m so weak“) hmm…none of the other ones sound workable. I don’t even know what myalgia is. I guess I’ll have to go with abdominal discomfort since I have that a lot anyway. Or maybe I’ll just stay on Zoloft FOREVER. I don’t know. Anyone have experience with this?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 26, 2009 5:23 pm
Lately my house seems impossible to clean. I don’t know why this is. I guess it could be a number of things a) I have no energy so each chore seems insurmountable b) the babies wreak havoc on every room all day long c) see b. This morning I walked through the house picking up stray pairs of size four Dora underpants (that clearly don’t fit me anymore), a random coffee carafe, my Bed Buddy Microwave Heat-Pack which had been missing for three days, various art projects from Elby’s school, fake fruit, index cards and many many many many toys. So many freaking toys and I don’t know where they all come from or what to do with them. It’s like I buy one toy and it mulitiplies like Gremlins. Three days ago Matilda grabbed a jumbo box of Special K and dumped it all over the floor in the hallway. I eventually swept up as much as I could but there are still flakes in every room of the house, in the carpeting, in the babies’ cribs and on the counter tops. Last night I felt someting stabbing my calf in bed and when I reached down it was a piece of cereal. I give up. Mess, you win. Uncle. I am resigned to live in a pit until the twins are at least five since Elby is not a whole lot better. But on to the real reason for today’s post.
As opposed to most husbands, Jon is extremely helpful at cleaning up. Often times he’ll clean the kitchen without even being asked. Also, he is a wonderful father and an amazing lover.
(Help. I’m writing this post under duress. Jon is mad that I make it seem like I’m steering this parenting ship all alone and he wants his props in my blog. I tried to explain to him that it’s my damn blog, and despite his excellent parenting chops, his devotion to his family, his never ending patience and the heavy lifting he does in the earning department, I prefer to take all the credit. I tried to assure him that the compliments to him are all implied but he didn’t buy it. He threatened to discontinue supplying me with ice cream, take-out and help with my US Weekly jokes if I didn’t set the record straight)
Ahem…Another thing I love about Jon is that he’s extremely handsome but doesn’t going around acting all “Whoa, check out the pecs on this guy!” Okay actually he does but it doesn’t seem at all cocky the way he says it.
Are you still stuck on the fact that I used the word lover to describe Jon? When is the last time you used the word “lover” in a sentence? I’m betting it’s been awhile. But I like to throw a few surprises into my writing. Keeps it fresh.
If you’ve learned nothing else today, please leave with this morsal: My Dr. Oz is airing tomorrow, Thursday. Check your local listings. On the show with me was Mary, a gorgeous blonde mama who was brave enough to talk about her drinking as well. She is so relatable and brave plus she has quite a story. She brought me a necklace she designed herself and it is absolutely stunning. You can find her here.
Another thing to love about Jon? He takes almost all of these pictures I post. These last two and the picture of Elby swinging on my last post are HDR photos. This means that he takes them in a raw format, does a bunch of hooey to them which takes a long long time and has to do with layers and light and then ten hours later, voila! In other words, blah blah blah great pictures! Have I mentioned my husbands pecs?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 21, 2009 10:27 pm
If you’re out there wondering if things get better after you lose the booze, I’m here to report that it actually does. It really does.
We all know that parenting is difficult. We put crazy expectations on ourselves to serve healthy food, to limit TV, to spend quality time with our shorties (not in front of the TV). We have to make sure they have toys (but not too many or they might get spoiled), clothes, regular doctor’s appointments, healthy boundaries, and self esteem (but not too much or we may turn them into narcissists). It’s enough to make the average parent’s head explode if you think about it too much. It’s enough pressure to drive even the most balanced among us to drink.
I’m learning to take my parenting in bite-sized pieces, it’s the only way I can swallow it without choking. Since I can’t drink or do insane amounts of blow because, apparently, cocaine is also off limits -yeah, whatever, I’m finding that the thing that keeps me sane is lowering my expectations.
Yesterday I provided organic chicken and a buttload of veggies for the kids to eat. The day before that I bought Elby another pair of shoes since her feet are growing faster than Brangelina’s family. Today I plan to take Elby to get a frozen yogurt after school cause I’ve got those kind of parenting chops! Last night I played “open the door” “close the door” with Mattie and Sadie for fifteen minutes straight – completely sober! And then I gave myself a huge pat on the back.
Really, if you set your standards a little lower, you may end up surprising yourself with your competence. Where I used to be gripped with anxiety over all the things I wasn’t doing, I’m now able to sit back and know that although my kids are zoning out watching Diego for the fifth time in one day, they are also madly loved and cared for to the best of my ability. Is it possible that my new found bliss has a lot to do with my twins approaching the more do-able age of two? Sure, anything’s possible, but I prefer to believe I’m just becoming more evolved.
Last night Elby was having trouble getting to sleep. Jon and I were lying on the couch watching Mad Men like everyone else with decent taste in TV programming, but we had to pause it every few minutes when Elby came padding down the hall to report her latest disaster.
Elby: I need to tell you something. (long pause) My pillow fell.
Me: Okaaay. Can you pick it up?
Elby: No. I need daddy to help me.
ten minutes later…
Elby: I need to tell you something. I smell dumplings.
Jon: Here eat one and go on back to bed.
Elby: Okay. But I need to tell you something. Can you also save me one for my lunch tomorrow?
ten minutes later…
Elby: I really need to tell you something. Do you know what happened to the spider that was in the bathtub yesterday?
Me: Don’t you mean I need to ask you something?
At 10 p.m. we hadn’t heard from her in over an hour so assuming she was sleeping I poked my head in her room to make sure. I found her laying in bed eyes wide open staring at the ceiling. Her Burl Ives story CD had been restarted for the third time. I walked over to her bed, looked down at her and whispered, “You having trouble sleeping, bug?” She nodded.
“You can sit with me if you want to, mommy.” So, I sat down on the edge of her bed and rubbed her back. “Do you want to lay in my bed with me for a few minutes?” she asked so sweetly.
I snuggled next to her and stroked her hair which smelled of Suave mango shampoo from a fairly recent hair washing. In less than five minutes her eyes closed, her breathing slowed and she was fast asleep. I layed there with her for another ten minutes taken aback by a wave of emotion for this beautiful, smart, perfect little creature that only came out of my body less than five years ago. I felt honored to be the person with whom she feels safe enough to shut her eyes and drift off to her dreams. I hope I’ve earned it.
This is why parenting is hard. It’s so hard because the rewards are so great.
I’m glad I don’t drink because I would’ve missed that.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 19, 2009 8:40 pm