And also: not that anyone cares.

BUT, while I fully expect to hear nearly the entirety of Brothers and El Camino tomorrow night at the Black Keys concert, here are the five other tracks that I would love, love, love to hear them do live this show:

Set You Free
I Got Mine
Have Love Will Travel
Your Touch
I’ll Be Your Man

In that order.

Random Thoughts: The Breathless Edition

Too much happening. I feel like I’m rushing toward something. I’m probably just trying to get to next week, when we’ll start all over.

1. M’s had diarrhea for more than a week now. God bless my in-laws who have had him yesterday and today.

No fever. Absolutely no loss of energy. Sleeping well, and taking nice naps. His appetite maybe isn’t up to snuff, but he’s kind of a picky eater anyway. He’ll pick at one or two meals, and then inhale All The Things. I have him on a very bland diet — bananas, rice, tofu, plain bread, yogurt.

I am really hoping things, er, solidify, so by tomorrow he can go back to daycare. Although, let’s face it, he probably picked this up there.

Sometimes, you can’t win.

2. Flora’s First Holy Communion is this weekend. What a lot of planning that has taken! Knock on wood, but we are all set except for ordering the cake.

I had a nightmare Wednesday morning that it was the Saturday of Flora’s FHC. We had completely forgotten to get a cake, and we were running late already. I got Flora to the event, which was set at my old grade school. At some point, the dream morphed into a war in which me and about six other people were defending the kids and families at the communion from attack. Instead of St. George’s cafeteria, we were in an apocalyptic landscape running for our lives from these mercenaries.

What, me worry?

3. Dan, on Tuesday, right before we walked into a car dealership showroom: “We’re not going to buy a car today.”

Four hours later, we signed the paperwork on this:

God bless my husband. He trusts me.

That nut.

4. I have to pick a dress to wear for Saturday. And pick something to wear to the Black Keys concert Tuesday. And pack for Kentucky that weekend. And pack bags for the kids to stay with Dr. Bro and his sainted wife (and their four boys). And buy a hat for the Kentucky Oaks.

Life is an adventure, people. You can either embrace it or suck it up, and sometimes, which just depends on the situation.

What’s next for you?

Gun Denial

A conservative gentleman whom I follow on Twitter tweeted a Breitbart News headline about an ABC poll.

According to the ABC poll, Americans believe guns make homes safer, 51 to 29 percent (gun owners, not surprisingly, believe it more, with a result of 75 percent).

The key word here is “believe”.

Here’s the thing: Science proves these people wrong: Gun owners are 4.5 times more likely to be shot, shows this 2009 study.

So along with creationist proponents and climate change deniers, we now have another group of people who don’t care what science says. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some overlap in these groups.

I don’t mind the reporting of the poll results. That’s all fine. However, if we are going to say “people believe” can we please also say “studies in fact show”? Is that so hard?

In lieu of a spluttering rant about the Senate defeat of gun control measures, which happened in the middle of last week, which was just horrible pretty much all the way around (The Onion pretty much nails it), I send you to Carpetbagger, who said it better (and more calmly) than I could.

I will keep saying this: The status quo on guns in this country cannot stand. If Congress won’t do its job to make us safer because of the NRA and gun lobby, then they need to be fired. I bet it’ll make the economy improve, too. Just a feeling.

Random Thoughts: The It Was Good for Me Edition

On Wednesday, I did three things that were very good for me.

1. I got up and worked out.

Full disclosure: I only got up because at 6-6:15 a.m., I wasn’t sleeping anyway. Kate had come into our bed about 20 minutes earlier and woke me up. On one hand, I didn’t want to leave my bed. On the other hand, Kate is not a cuddly or quiet sleeping companion. Finally, a few minutes after 6, I realized I would be getting up shortly anyway. May as well try to do something constructive with that time.

More disclosure: I would not rate it as one of my better attempts at working out. I’m still figuring out what is on my On Demand channels. I am looking for Pilates or upper body workouts that are under 30 minutes. I need to up my cardio, too, but for now I think I will try to walk/run more often, especially playing outside with the kids.

The real trick will be to see if I can make this a regular habit.

2. I went to my first therapy appointment.

Now, there’s a lot I can say about this, but I’m just going to highlight a few things.

First, I only cried twice. The first instance I teared up took me off guard. As I said at the time to the therapist (she’s a Licensed Counselor, not a Ph.D.), “And now I’m crying for some reason.” The second instance I had felt coming for a long time and I cried because I was able to finally, finally say something out loud in a safe space. It’s a terrifying admission (and, no, dear readers, I cannot as of yet confess it here), and I got to say it without repercussions. The tears were as much for the terror as for the relief.

Second, I asked about medication more out of curiosity than anything else. Medication would not be my first choice to deal with the things I am dealing with (an “overwhelming life” as one of my close friends put it later), but I wanted to know what the therapist thought. (I am going to have to come up with a name or initial to refer to My Therapist here… MT? LC?)

Paraphrasing: “I usually suggest medication when I don’t hear any hope. You don’t sound hopeless. You’ve described a very happy, full life. You recognize your blessings. You’re just having troubles with some very specific issues.”

I concur.

Third, she asked what I would change about my life, what would make it easier. I answered without hesitation, “Working part time.” So there you go.

We set up another time to meet, and we will probably meet every two weeks for a while. She also gave me homework (a writing assignment!), which I appreciate.

3. I got a haircut and style, for which I was overdue.

Every little bit helps.


With all that out of the way: What a week. My most sincere prayers go out to everyone affected by the tragedies in Boston and West, Texas.

What did you do that was good for you this week, readers?

Oh My Kate

Kate: Why do we have to go to school?
Me: To learn things.
K: What’s there to learn after you know your letters, your numbers?
Me: Kate, there are lots of interesting things to learn in school. Like math and science.
K: Math is just numbers.
Me: You go to school to learn about interesting things, and decide what you want to do when you grow up and work for a living.
K: Why do I have to work for a living?
Me: … You’ve got me there. For money, I guess.
K: Can’t I just have a baby and a house?
Me: Who’s going to pay for the baby and the house?
K: The plumber!

Random Thoughts: The Little Earthquakes II Edition

1. A horrible, tragic thing happened in a city that I happen to love, at an event that had nothing to do with politics or government or anything, really, except for people’s love of running, and personal endurance and accomplishment. The facts are few, and are slowly trickling out, and will be slowly trickling out for days and months to come.

My thoughts and prayers are with every person affected by yesterday’s attack in Boston. What an awful, awful thing.

2. If you have a conspiracy theory about what happened in Boston, please do the world a favor, and shut the fuck up. And maybe have your head examined. I have no patience for you. You’re a terrible human being.

3. That’s my rant. Those are my two thoughts about the tragedy in Boston. It’s awful, and law enforcement should be left to do their jobs. The wild speculation from mainstream media is bad enough (talking heads: stop talking!), but the “false flag” theories that shoot up after something like this — those people should not be accredited any legitimate time or voice in our society, which is to say, don’t let them into press conferences.

4. In the meantime: Monday’s therapist appointment was canceled due to the therapist’s illness (which is fine; I hardly want to meet with a sick doctor!); it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow.

5. Dan and I need to buy a new car. Like, immediately. We’ve picked out some models we want to check out, and to be perfectly frank I would whore this blog out in a red hot minute to drive a Ford Flex. The logistics of the car-buying thing escape me, though. Can you buy a car over the Internet? Because that’s how I buy everything else these days.

6. Hey, WalMart? This is the stupidest thing ever to complain about after what happened to people in Boston yesterday, but it’s my space, so there ya go: The way your bagging area works doesn’t actually work. I abhor shopping at your stores anyway, and it’s always an act of the utmost desperation when I end up there. So to compound my unpleasant experience by having a bagging carousel where it is very, very, extremely easy to leave behind one (or more) of my purchases is infuriating. It’s insult to injury. Do something else.

Go find yourself some happiness today, readers. You all deserve it.

In the Cry Room

Confession: When I take Michael to church, I use the cry room. When I go to church with just Flora, or just Flora and Kate, I usually don’t. Kate can occupy herself coloring; Flora is supposed to pay closer attention to the mass than she does, but she’s not disruptive. So with the girls I sit in the pews.

When I go with all three kids, though, it’s too much. When Dan comes with us, he sits in the main church with Flora. I sit in the cry room with Michael and Kate. And the main reason I take M in the cry room is so that he has a little bit of space to roam.

In the cry room, M can have a snack. He can play with his cars near my feet. He can walk over to the bookshelf and get a book for us to look at. He can ask for uppie. He’s not a wild child, so I can still sit and listen to the Word of God, and the priest’s homily, and I don’t have to try to restrain him.

However, my current church’s cry room is getting out of control. This past Sunday it was a nightmare.

Here are a few things the cry room is *not* for (said the judgmental mom, I know):

1. It is not for a 4- or 5-year-old child to throw an extended tantrum. If she’s not going to settle down after five minutes or so, please remove her. Go outside (it was a nice day!) or sit in the car. I know it stinks because you’re missing Mass, and I know how hard you worked to actually get the whole family to Mass. I have been in your shoes. But letting her scream for 20 minutes, most of it during the priest’s homily, was pretty awful too.

2. It is not for socializing, three teenage girls in the back. Church is not the place you are supposed to come to catch up with your friends. That’s what cell phones and Facebook are for. And the cry room, especially, is not the place to congregate to talk about classes, boys, and/or Facebook. Please, I’ve got three children here who I’m trying to teach about prayer and church. Your whispering and giggling were rude. And the mom sitting back there with you participating wasn’t cool; she was rude too.

3. It is not for children to run wild. Believe it or not, although we are removed from the larger congregation, it’s not as if that room is a little soundproof chamber. We should, as parents, still attempt to have our children whisper, stay in one place, and not bang on the glass at the front of the room. I fully encourage coloring and looking at books; I even let M roll his cars around on the floor near me, or the seat next to me. Children shouldn’t be running, crashing into each other or the chairs, crashing their toys into each other with sound effects, talking loudly or even shouting. It’s not a rumpus room; it’s a cry room.

4. It’s not for adults to socialize either, by the way. I know that at this point, you can’t hear the priest (I can’t either), and the room is full of loud, tantrumy kids (um, one of whom is yours), and some chatty girls, but that shouldn’t excuse you to plan out the rest of the day with your mom. I hope you had fun shopping, though!

I go to church for a lot of different reasons, and one of them is to be fully present to God. Which I can’t do in a room like this. I suppose I’ll experiment with sitting in the pews with all three kids and see how that goes. M’s kind of the variable here. He’s a good boy, generally not loud. But he’s a mover and a shaker, and at 2 years old, I feel he’s too young for the message “sit still for an hour and be good.”

Where do you go that you wish fellow parents were a little more respectful of the space?

Disordered Thinking

Wednesday night is what I consider an “off” night. That means, in general, we don’t have a soccer practice, and I don’t have to do baths (obviously, the two are related). Often I dump M in the bath anyway because he manages to get a little dirty and/or by 7:15 I need to occupy him in one place until bedtime.

Plus, California Baby Calming Bath Bubbles.

This past Wednesday night, I cooked All The Things.

While my children played outside for about half an hour, I started slow cooker fried rice, easy peasy dinner pie, and considered also baking a pizza (premade). I fed the kids peas, tofu, and leftover rice. I made a salad. I also put the dishes from the dishwasher away.

I didn’t sit down to eat until 7:30.

This is not how I cook during the week, and the whole time I was doing it, I was wondering WHY I was doing it. But I couldn’t stop. I had to cook, and I had to cook those specific things.

And now I have an appointment on Monday with a psychologist.

So there ya go.

Random Thoughts: The M.I.A. Continued Edition

Do you wonder about your brain? Does that seem solipsistic? Thinking about thinking?

It seems to be what I am doing a lot of lately. The upshot is that I am trying to decide if my brain is “normal”, or if I need to seek some help.

I suppose even asking the question somewhat answers it, no?

I am — I seem to be — having troubles that can be labeled, and therefore, treated. In theory, anyway.

Obsessive thinking — oh, the obsessive thinking. It’s a little embarrassing, the way this manifests itself. Let’s just say that although I haven’t crossed over into celebrity (celebrity? HA!) stalking, it’s been a close thing.
Sexual impulsiveness. (Expression of which is strictly confined to my marriage, so no worries there.)
Focus issues.
Emotionality: short tempered, easily enraged or, conversely, weepy. Maybe this is what the decent into aging looks like from a certain perspective, i.e. hormonally. I don’t know. I’ve never been this age before.

My appetite has dropped, a clear sign of depression. And, people, not to put too fine a point on it, but I cannot afford to lose any weight.

Sleeping is a disaster. I can almost always fall asleep. I’m tired. Staying asleep is another issue entirely.

About once a month, once every six weeks, I crash and burn. I really do. I sit and do as little as possible. I think it’s a combination of exhaustion, depression, and hitting reset. I call it “getting sick”. It usually doesn’t last for more than a day.

I am unable to get things done at home. Really done. My house is an embarrassment. Now, this could very well be a time problem, as in, I don’t have a lot of it. The girls recently started soccer, and that’s two practices a week, and the games pretty much occupy our Saturday mornings. It could be an organization + time problem, as in I’m not organized enough to use the little time I have well. And it could be a focus issue. I did get some things done this weekend, but in a very haphazard manner. I changed all the sheets, and mopped the kitchen floor, I organized our billing and banking. I didn’t cook very much. And the clean laundry is still in baskets.

I am trying to take care of myself, I really am. I make myself eat regularly, and I am a healthful eater. I have been trying to focus on exercise as well, playing with the kids, walking, doing a core workout and an arm workout at least once a week. And of course I am trying to take care of the kids and not lose my patience with them too much.

I’m not sure of next steps. I lean toward talk therapy (it’s helped immensely in the past), but I’m not sure I have time for that. I’m not sure about medication because I think… well, I think what I am going through is normal. As long as I’m not in danger (or a danger), I just think I have to get through this… roller coaster.

Soccer is finite.
The work project that has me locked down is finite.
Summer is coming, and summer means the nanny, and less housework for me. (She’s a slave driver. I love her.)
I have time scheduled for myself (a spa day, a vacation at the beginning of May).
Dan and I are communicating fairly well.

I guess the question that remains is that after these external factors have reached their ends, what the internal landscape looks like.

And go from there.

Incidentally, this blog is standing in for talk therapy at this time, so if you feel the need to weigh in, please do so. Be gentle. I haven’t engaged well here lately. Maybe I need to get back to that as well.



Remember me?

Anyhoo, same old story: sick children (viruses have been particularly rough on Casa di RPM this year), work deadlines (which are hard to meet when you have sick children), house in disarray.

Dan and I are also wondering if we’re so overwhelmed between home and work that we are each suffering some depression/anxiety that’s hurting our ability to deal with some things. An interesting fact I recently picked up is that anxious people have trouble falling asleep (not an issue for me, but is for Dan) and depressed people have trouble staying asleep (i.e. my dreaded 3 a.m. insomnia).

So, something else to keep an eye on.

All right. I’m off. Lots of work to do until Dan has to go to the office, then I have to nail down a sitter tonight for the two sickies so I can take Kate to soccer practice. Kate needs soccer practice, and I need her to go to soccer practice.

Any volunteers?