Archive for March, 2012
It’s rare to find someone to help you with your kids who cares for them anywhere in the ballpark of how you care for them. I had that in Liz. When I had my twins I was on an ill-timed deadline to finish my third book. Between hormones (double the dose), PPD, preemies just home from the hospital and work stress I was the epitome of a hot mess. But luckily I had a secret weapon: my newly hired help. I’d hired a nanny to help me bridge the gap because I knew I had to get my book in but I also had another child who had just started preschool in addition to the twins. It was going to be a nearly impossible situation. She sort of took over while I cried over my computer, over my deadline, over my perceived lack of parenting twins ability. Liz stepped in and stepped up, taking the twins for long walks, helping me hold them, feed them, love them. Liz saved my life.
And I almost didn’t hire her.
When I was maybe seven months pregnant I had a pretty lackadaisical approach. I sort of figured I had a lot of time to choose someone. When Liz came over she was very sweet but clearly meant business -letting me know that she had a strong religious faith -Jehovah’s Witness and wanted to make sure I didn’t have a problem with that. All I knew about Jehovah’s Witnesses was that Michael Jackson was one and that they liked to knock on people’s doors a lot. So after Liz left I Googled it and what I found really didn’t bother me. Hey, she wasn’t a Scientologist! But I didn’t call her back right away because I just wasn’t ready to commit.
Cut to a few weeks later when I found myself on bedrest in the hospital. While I was there, not thinking about nannies, my husband told me that Liz had called and that she was very interested in the job. Apparently she was being offered another job but she wanted to work with me more (I wish it was because I was so pretty and charming but I think it was more because the other job seemed like more work and required travel). So seeing as it would’ve been tough to start interviewing more people at this stage and based on a good feeling, we hired her. Don’t you just love trusting your instincts? It was the best decision ever made out of sheer laziness and desperation.
Liz became a part of our family. She saw me bloated, teary, overwhelmed, panicked and vulnerable and she never let on that it was anything less than a normal situation.
When Sadie got a feeding tube button put in, Liz was one of the first people to feed her through it. I’ll never ever forget that.
So when I hear stories of people who don’t take good care of the people who take good care of their kids it makes me crazy.
I wrote a post about it on Babble called, Are You a Babysitters Worst Nightmare? Give it a read because I’d love to hear your comments or stories!
So Sadie broke through the 28 lb mark. This may not seem like much to you owners of fat babies, babies who weighed 28 pounds by the time they were 18 months, but to us it’s a huge deal. I almost cried when I saw the number. Almost. I’m not a pussy.
It was honestly starting to seem like Sadie would weigh 27 pounds forever. This is the problem with with these small kids: They can eat all day long and not gain a pound. Sure it’s a wonderful trait for a supermodel or anxiety ridden forty-five-year-old who binges on Girl Scout Cookies to relieve stress, but a preschooler needs to gain weight. They need the pounds for little things like, I don’t know, brain development and eventually reaching the height of a kitchen counter.
Most of the time I try not to think about Sadie’s height. Unfortunately Mattie is full head taller and outweighs Sadie by 14 pounds so it is sort of a constant reminder. But we are doing what we know is right for now: she eats healthy foods and as much as she wants as often as she wants and she is followed by an excellent endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Short of the growth hormones, there’s nothing else to do but let nature take its course. Yeah, you know how well I do with “going with the flow.” I like to be in control, take action, keep things moving. I also like to read the last page of a novel or be told the ending to a movie before I see it. My two favorite words are *spoiler alert*
And this is why I have a scale.
I may not be able to do anything about Sadie’s weight but I can at least keep track of it.
So excuse me while I have a little celebration for the number 28!
P.S. I wrote a story about Matilda’s eating habits which you can check out on my Babble Blog if you like.
If you’re in Vegas right now put ten buck on it at the roulette table or at least have a Shamrock shake in Sadie’s honor.
You know that as a mom of three who works about 18 jobs I have tons of time on my hands. I mean, that’s a given right? So of course I checked out Pinterest and also the website ecards because I have funny thoughts and need a place to put them to pictures. Here’s my latest.
I did another funny one on Babble that I recommend you check out.
I just want to thank Erin for sharing her story. The bravery required to lay yourself bare on this website is nothing short of incredible and each and every one of you who do it are saving lives. This really is life or death. -Stef
“I think I was doomed at birth to have a problem with alcohol. Alcoholism runs on both sides of my family. My mother was a raging alcoholic growing up, hiding her bottles and pills in plants or rolled up in towels throughout the house, spending so much time in the bathroom you would have thought she had had prunes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She slurred her words. A lot.
My sister and I left one night when she was so drunk and came back to find her apartment locked and we couldn’t get in. We pounded on the door until she finally crawled on her hands and knees and cracked the door open. Smoke began to escape out; she crawled back to the bathroom. Our dinner was burning on the stove and there were several plates ready to be served placed in different rooms. There are a lot of strange stories like that I could tell.
My father was a Captain in the Navy and ended up giving up what he loved to find a job that would put him at home more to protect my brother, sister and me. But eventually her alcoholism destroyed our family and when I was in third grade my dad got custody of us. But, my relationship with my mother was like peas and carrots for many years. I was her baby and she adored me. Always telling me how alike we were and that I was her “SP” (sweet pea) and how I look just like her ( I look just like my dad) and how crazy and funny I am…just like her. (I do a good imitation of Reagan from The Exorcist and she would prompt me to do it when going through the Chick-Fil-A drive through and that made her laugh.) And I guess in many ways I held onto moments like these because I knew as soon as it got dark she would turn into someone I didn’t like.
My self-esteem has always been something I struggle with. I am incredibly insecure, my heart pounds and my hands sweat in social situations and the anxiety I experience is exhausting. I often hate myself. Now that I am older and have a daughter of my own I believe it is a direct result of not having that true mother figure in my life. When looking back, I can name several instances when I have gravitated to older women, whether a boss, teacher…you name it…in an effort to subconsciously fill that void.
I guess you could say it was in college I began to drink, you know, like everyone else, right? Summer before my junior year I met a guy who was older and out of college. I stayed with him until I was 22/3ish. I chased him around like a pathetic school girl (literally) when I found out he was cheating on me four hours away. My self-esteem was clearly lacking here for many years. During my senior year I would isolate myself in my room at college watching MTV’s Real World marathons and drinking beer and feeling like the scum on the bottom of my shoe while I wondered what this guy was doing at home. I pushed all my friends away, gained a lot of weight. I did paint (my degree is in painting). But I hated myself.
I lived with him for a year after college and broke up with him the night of my sister’s wedding. She had married a naval pilot. Back then I think I was really beginning to believe I was the disgrace of the family without actually saying it. I pushed everyone away. And hated myself. Again.
My next move was to throw myself into the arms of a man 11 years my senior with two kids. And marry him, despite my family’s begging me not to. But I was on a mission and I think my mind was on auto-pilot. I wanted to be taken care of and escape. Escape I did, I became completely isolated from my friends and family and consumed by this relationship that was flawed in more ways than one. It increasingly became more and more emotionally abusive and I nursed all of this self-hate and the situation I had put myself in over wine. He was rarely home, working all the time and wine became my friend.
During that time, I saw my mother for the last time, about seven years ago now. I helped her get into a rehab facility and gave her money after she called me saying she was hallucinating and her neighbor had to call 911. She was seeing a little girl in a white dress. I promised myself again I would never become like her and I slowed down drinking for a while.
I finally got the courage up to leave my marriage after four years. How I did it, I don’t know. It was an out of body experience.
I am now married to a wonderful man who is the most loving, understanding and supportive spouse I could ever ask for. When our daughter was born it was the best day of our lives. I didn’t go back to work, I made all of her food from scratch (for the most part), and I loved on her like any mother would. When she was 6 months old we found out I was expecting again (surprise!) but we were ecstatic. Began picking out names, imagining being a family of four, and at our first doctor’s appointment we found out our baby was not as far along as should be expected. What? I immediately went into a dark hole and could not snap out of it. We had to wait two weeks to find out if our baby was okay. Miscarriage.
Everything that I thought I was doing so well began to crash. My equilibrium was completely thrown off and I questioned my abilities as a mother. My anxiety and depression went through the roof and I was put on Zoloft to help. In the middle of this I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism which is directly linked to depression. This helped to explain my mood issues throughout the years and poor self-image. I began drinking wine again, too much. Things began to happen as a result of my drinking and I definitely should not have been combining it with Zoloft.
I stopped drinking for two months. Last Sunday I relapsed. I thought I was OK and I went out for a leisurely lunch with the romanticized idea in my head of having a glass of wine while I contemplated paintings in my sketchbook. That glass of wine turned into I don’t know how many. I can’t remember parts of the evening. I do remember being in an ambulance and screaming “I want my baby” and hitting people and crying. I woke up the next morning not knowing where I was or what I had done. I had to ask the nurse if I had hurt anyone. I thank God that I am alive and no one was physically hurt. My blood alcohol level was a .309 and no charges were pressed. I could have easily died.
I will not drink again. I will do this for my daughter. I thank God I have the loving support of my family and husband. Truth be told, this is my story.”
If you are looking for help, The Booze Free Brigade is a bunch of moms who would love nothing more than to offer their support.