Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm In Charge!

Pardon me - this is an unusually long post.

I'm feeling really stressed out. I had a great time in St. Louis over the weekend visiting my sister, but our house is a disaster area, and not having a weekend to work on it meant it was even worse when I got back. Though DH was AMAZING and had the exterminator come, cleaned the carpets, put the safety locks on the cabinets and did a load of dishes and tidied a bit for me. But I need to clean, like spring clean. BADLY.

We've been in our new house for a little over a year, and since we had a newborn last spring, I didn't do any deep cleaning. (I was mucho sleep deprived, and a little busy.) And this house is twice the square footage of our old house, so it's not like I could just knock it out in a weekend. I'm guessing I'll need about 4 uninterrupted workdays to get everything I want to get done, done.

My allergies have been terrible because I don't think I've dusted the dressers or bookshelves in our bedroom in at least 6 months. I haven't put out Halloween decorations yet - I LOVE decorating for the holidays - because I need to clean before I can decorate, and I just don't have the time/energy. (Deducting more and more Martha Points as I write this.) I can't stand having a dirty house. But everyone tells me not to worry about it - time with the kids is more important. I couldn't agree more. And I've been pretty good about not letting it get to me, as long as I can keep the kitchen clean. But the dirt in the rest of the house has accumulated to the point that I watch the ceiling fan in our bedroom spin and fear chunks of dust will fly off and suffocate me as I sleep.

Not to mention that the kids clothes need to be switched out for sizes/seasons. I need to buy new clothes because I'm gaining weight instead of losing it (BIG sad face). We are having a family picture taken with my in-laws on Thursday, and my MIL is trying to coordinate our outfits, and all I can think is, I don't care what we wear as long as my big butt is behind everyone else.

And she's worried about it being perfect, and I asked DH to remind her that we have two small children. Our family photos with just the four of us have never turned out with one that was perfect. Close, but not quite. The last time we actually have one with all 4 of us smiling, but it was at the very end when I had just pulled my hair back into a ponytail so I could jump around like a crazy person to get the girls to smile for their shots, and then we decided to try one more group one (seriously?) so even though we are all smiling, I look less than put together.

Plus, a week ago, I sprained my ankle at softball. Seriously sprained. I mentioned it in passing in this post. It was worse than a standard sprain because it's from an old injury. (Funny story. Not to self - share it later.) Anyway, though I was icing it every night and wearing an ACE bandage all the time, I was limping. This caused my back to get out of whack. By Thursday, I didn't need the ACE bandage anymore, but I was having a hard time picking up the girls.

It didn't help that I slept on the couch in St. Louis so I could be in the same room as Baby R. And sat in the car for 4 hours straight on the way there. And 5.5 on the way back. (UGH! SO much easier when they slept the whole way there!) So like a ding-dong, I played softball again Sunday (double header), since you know, there's no back twisting when you're, I don't know - BATTING! Or THROWING! So by last night, I could barely move without being in pain.

Of course, there's always the office. I used to really like my job and the people I work with and for the sake of decorum, suffice it to say that there are two people who now frustrate me and test my patience on a daily basis. Today one of them insinuated that the work I was doing was less important than the work she was doing. I came this close to firing off a retort, but didn't. I bite my tongue so much I feel like it is going to get sliced right off. She's a bull in a China shop and tries to boss everyone around. Literally every single person in the office feels that way. So frustrating.

Then my afternoon came to a nice head when my other favorite work person called me about a project and wanted to know why I hadn't proceeded with the changes she had requested. I reminded her that she had just copied me on the email asking the buyer if the changes were needed, but never gave me the directive to make the changes. Then she brought to my attention that the item name she had typed in the email wasn't entirely accurate. Oh, and the requested changes also applied to the six items she had attached to the email. None of which were listed in the subject line or body of the email. Which doesn't really matter since she refuses to reply to the original email I send her anyway. Sigh.

I also feel as though I've taken on more than I can chew at this point. I signed up for us to be a Nielsen family. I thought we were going to be reviewing TV shows. My sister did it, and I know what it entails. But it turns out we were chosen to do their shopping surveys. I was excited about it at first. They send you a UPC scanner, you enter your shopping receipt information and upload it once a week. Piece of cake! Except when your husband forgets to keep the receipt, or you don't get a chance to scan everything the same day you buy it and the packaging with the UPCs get thrown away, etc. So I've been feeling behind the 8 ball the last couple of weeks trying to get it done, and I've cut too many corners. I don't like doing a job and not doing it well, so I decided today that I need to tell them I just can't do it right now.

And I've kind of blown off my blog and blogging goals. Boo. One of the things I love, but I usually let go first.

One of the biggest things that is bothering me is my parents' health. My mom's memory is getting worse. I'm still in denial. But my dad is doing a diabetes study in the middle of November so we are going to juggle child care so that my mom doesn't have to take care of the girls by herself. But that means 8 straight days of being alone. There's no way she can do that and not completely lose it. So I'm putting together a schedule of sorts to make sure she's got company every 2 hours.

It's hard because my sister is in St. Louis, and since she travels for work, she won't be able to come to KC that week. And my parents don't really have a lot of friends who are nearby and/or mobile anymore. Thankfully my half-sister is here and incredibly wonderful and willing to help out. But I already know it's going to wear on me - and DH. And in the back of my mind, I can't help thinking about when my dad is gone, and what that is going to mean for my mom.

And this temporary daycare situation with S is about to put me over the edge. She has picked up SOOO many bad habits. She threw her worst tantrum ever a couple of weeks ago - like a scene from a movie, shoving all the papers, books and toys off the coffee table. Last night as we were snuggling before bedtime, all of a sudden she looked at me and shook her little finger in my face and yelled, "I'M IN CHARGE! YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT I SAY!"

I was so startled, I just looked at her, giving it a minute to sink in and figure out what was going on. I was trying to decide if she was replaying something that had happened at daycare, or if she was playing with her imaginary friends and bossing them around, or actually talking to me. She ranted on and on throwing in an "I'm very upset!" and a "I just don't know what to do" (which, ahem, is all me), but most of the rest of it I had no idea what she was talking about. Something about having to take care of me? I finally realized, she was really telling me that she was in charge... of... me. Ummmm, N-O. I firmly told her, "No, Daddy and I are in charge." "NO YOU'RE NOT! I AM!"

I honestly don't remember how the rest of the conversation went. I got so angry. I do know that I yelled and argued much more than someone who is truly in charge should have. It was the straw that broke the camel's back that was already in so much pain.

The upside is that I was so pissed off, I cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes, two loads of laundry and tidied the living room instead of going to bed early (or even on time). And I still had energy left over for Julia's push-up challenge. Enough to do all 20 in one set for the first time. (Check out the FitLink widget log on the sidebar!) So if I check the stress balance, it should have gone down a bit. How come it doesn't feel like it?


Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...

Aw, darlin'...

I'm so sorry about your ankle! And sprained ankles give you Martha Point penalty immunity. So you're in the clear for at least a couple of weeks.

Please just do things as you can, and give yourself time to heal.

You'll get to it all eventually.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thank you so much, Lori. I appreciate it!

Bridie said...

Found you by way of WMW (which I have failed to participate in for quite some time!). I'm also a midwest mom with two kids - boys. Hang in there - the tantrums will get better, although as they get older and still have them, they will piss you off more. Hope it all gets better for you soon!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

I really needed to hear that! She melts my heart most days, but there are times when I think who is this little monster, and where did she put my sweet baby girl? Glad you found me!

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