Sunday, December 29, 2013

We did it!

We got our furniture! Special thanks to Grandma K for watching Dawson all day!  If you hadn't heard about the furniture fiasco, you can read all about it here.

For about $1200 we got the following:

-Workstation recliner with lumbar massage, USB port, and cup holders (purchased at big lots) 

-Ikea kivik sofa with washable red cover

-Ikea kivik storage ottoman with washable red cover

-Ikea Poang chair 

-2 polka dotted throw pillows (Ikea)

-2 baskets for toys (Ikea)

It looks a hundred times better already.  I hadn't realized how much space the old couch was hogging. It worked, but I am happier with this set up.  I still need to move some of Dawson's things around and put away (ahem, get rid of) a lot of his toys.  I also need to find a small end table to go between the couch and Joe's recliner.. perhaps one to go next to the Poang chair too.  While they are both awesome pieces of furniture, they do not have cup holders :)

It took us all day to get all the furniture, but I don't think we did too bad considering we didn't leave the house until around noon and Ikea is almost an hour away.  And of course I got hungry after we picked up the chair, so we had to stop and eat.  It's all set up now and I am just waiting for a couple of responses on the old couch to see when it will leave!  I will be sure to post pictures soon.. like when I can pry Joe out of the chair and get things all put where they belong! 

On another note, I am feeling pretty good.  I m 5 weeks 5 days as of today.  I was sick as a dog pretty much as soon as the stick turned pink with Dawson.  I stayed that way through most of my pregnancy.  Really I have only had waves of nausea here and there.  I am trying not to worry.. I mean, lots of people don't have crazy awful morning sickness, right? Trying not to let my anxiety get the best of me.  Also, what is up with this bloating? Does this happen to everyone with baby #2 and beyond? I already pulled out my maternity clothes.. Shirts I am having no issue with, but pants are not happening.  I decided I just needed to be comfortable. The bloat will go down.. I hope. 

Nothing else to report around here.  We had a wonderful Christmas and Dawson got spoiled rotten of course! We did too! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best steak chili ever!

For Christmas Eve dinner I made chili.  Mostly because I could throw it in the pot and we could eat whenever we would like :) This makes a very large pot, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.  I like to make a big pot and then freeze it for a quick meal!


Best steak chili


2 lbs stew meat, cut into bite size chunks
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced very small
2- 15 oz cans of chili beans in mild spicy sauce- not drained
2 - 15 oz cans red kidney beans, rinsed
2- 28 oz cans diced tomatoes (or 4 -15 oz cans)- with juice
6 oz can of tomato paste
4.5 oz can mild green chiles- drained
12 oz can of beer (whatever is cheap!)
1 cup water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (think tobasco)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
Shredded cheddar, corn chips, or sour cream to garnish (optional)

Crumble Italian sausage into a large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Once you have a little grease in the bottom, add the stew meat.  I like to season mine with a little garlic salt but it's optional.  Brown all the meat, then drain the grease.  Add the onion, celery, jalapeño, green chiles, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, water and bouillon.  Add the seasonings to the pot- garlic, chili powder, Worcestershire, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, paprika, and white sugar.   Stir it all up and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.   After 2 hours, adjust seasonings to your taste.  Enjoy! 

I have found that the longer this cooks, the better it tastes.  I usually let it simmer for much of the day before we eat it.  It freezes and reheats very well.  It looks like a ton of ingredients and it is, but it feeds us quite a few times.  I fed 5 adults and a toddler on Christmas Eve and I have about half the pot left to freeze! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Finding quality furniture

This is kind of a rant.. You have been forewarned!

Joe recieved his Christmas bonus last week and we have been planning to buy new furniture for a few months.  We bought our couch a little over a year ago when we moved into the house.  It has not held up well.  Sure, the ballpoint pen, crayon, and anything else Dawson has smeared across it has come out pretty well, but Joe and I literally feel like we are sitting on the frame already.  I even had to switch spots I sat on the couch because the cushion broke down so much that I may as well be sitting on the floor.  

Here's the couch we have now.. pardon the mess :) 

Modular couch


We decided to go with a la-z-boy recliner for Joe and an ikea couch for me.  We will buy a couple of accent chairs for company and call it good.  Joe really misses having a recliner where I am totally okay with a couch and footstool.  I think he doesn't remember not being able to have his feet up when Dawson was crawling but I have warned him :) 

Yesterday we went to la-z-boy to pick out a chair.  Here's where it gets complicated.  We look around for over an hour and finally decide between two recliners.  One is $999 and the other is $899, both are 15 percent off.   Sounds okay.. for a la-z-boy.  Until we get to the details.. The fabric, the protection plan (for the ballpoint pen and such) and the type of foam Joe wanted.  Both chairs suddenly jumped to $1100 to $1300 AFTER the 15 percent off. Say what? Joe said no way, and I was relieved.  It would be nice to have a recliner of decent quality, but we do have kids and kids destroy things.. and I would be upset if Dawson ruined a $1000+ recliner.  Unfortunately that means the search continues.  

Why is furniture so disposable now? It seems like no matter what you spend it doesn't last, and then you are spending all over again.  This is completely why I said screw it, I'm buying a cheap IKEA couch that I can take the cover off and wash when it gets yucky, or just replace it if Dawson or baby destroys it.  If it's ruined in a year or two, I won't be upset because I didn't spend a bazillion dollars on it. 

Where did you buy your furniture? Has it held up well? What do you hate about it? 

Friday, December 20, 2013

I have debated sharing this..

I even asked friends what I should do.  A good friend told me to always always do what is best for me.

I'm pregnant.  I found out last week, so it is very very early.  I am excited, and a little bit scared if I am being honest here.

I kept my pregnancy with Dawson a secret for 8+ weeks, until after I had my first OB appointment.  While I can understand why people choose not to tell until after the first trimester, I decided that isn't what is best for me.  If something were to happen, this would be my outlet.  I would need an outpouring of support.

I talked with my therapist about not telling, and she said in a sense I am isolating myself.  I also feel like I am not able to work through some of the conflicting emotions I will inevitably have if I keep this a secret.  For me, it is stressful.  It feels eerily similar to the stress and anxiety I felt about keeping my trichotillomania a secret.  Obviously not the same things, but the feeling of anxiety was drowning me. 

I know if I miscarry I will have to share that bad news.  My hope is that if that does happen, sharing here can be healing for me.  

Obviously I am still on my antidepressant and I plan to continue that through my pregnancy to try to prevent a reoccurence of my postpartum depression.  The risks of going off of it are too much.  

So far I feel pretty okay.. A few occurrences of nausea and dizziness and I am very, very tired but otherwise I can't complain.  I will say the bloating has kicked in much quicker this time around, and not many of my clothes are comfortable.  That's all I have for now! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Three GOOD things about my BAD day

What was that children's book called? The horrible no good very bad day? Yeah, I had one of those.

Unfortunately, Dawson and I were up for about 3 hours in the middle of the night last night together.  This is really not typical of him, but it was reminiscent of the days before he was a year old where he would do ANYTHING to stay awake, even though clearly he is tired.  Of course, that made today just peachy! (I hope you sensed that sarcasm..)

Anyhow, I have a tendency to ruminate on the bad things that happened during my day and not focus so much on what did go right.  When I was a little girl, my mom would ask me to tell her 3 things that went well during my day.  This tool didn't really work for me as a kid, mostly because I didn't understand the purpose.  

I need to be using this strategy more.  I think it would help my depression to focus on the good.  I know I don't do that enough.  I have many things to be thankful for and even on a bad day, things can always be worse.  

Three things that went well today:

1. My coffee tasted good, and I got to drink it all before it got cold (not usually the case)

2. Joe got his bonus and found out he got a raise at work. 

3. I got a few hours to myself because Dawson DID nap.  He hasn't been doing that lately. 

I am going to try to remind myself to do this tomorrow night.  It isn't hard to find three good things about my day, really!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Trich update

It's been a couple of weeks since I updated about my trichotillomania battle and I have been doing pretty well not pulling.  I have had a couple of bad moments but nothing major.  My hair is still growing in white in a lot of places but at least it's growing!

Here's what it looks like today (pardon my hair sticking out.. My hair is curly and has a mind of its own) 


And two weeks ago


Not much visible progress.. and actually I can see where I have done a little bit of damage over the last couple of weeks.  My hope is that keeping updates going here on my blog will help keep me in check.
 The color is different in the pictures because one was taken with a phone, the other with my iPad. 

One way I combat the urge to pull is to use habit blockers.  At one point I tried acrylic nails (which ended when I broke one off- very very painful!)  Bandaids have worked to a certain extent, but I am admittedly not great about remembering to put them on.  Headbands, hats, and gloves have worked the best for me.  The less I pull, the more it tends to hurt my hands and arms to do so.  That also keeps me in check.  

Through the journey to again get my pulling under control, I have learned to manage my anxiety.  So relapsing was really a blessing in disguise.  I have had crippling anxiety for as long as I can remember.  The last 8 months or so, I have been in group therapy and I have really learned to reverse my negative thoughts.  

I used to be a worst case scenario type of person.  I don't do that to myself anymore.  As soon as I catch myself saying "Oh crap, this dead car battery is probably something else, and I am going to need a new car and then we will have to cut something else in the budget and what if we can't afford to...(insert tears here)" I stop myself.  It might just be the battery.  It might be something more.  Adding unnecessary anxiety to the mix is not going to help anything.  Honestly, when I first started catching myself and talking myself out of being anxious about something I thought this is never going to work.  It has worked. It had definitely taken some time, but making it a habit has helped tremendously.  I feel more capable to handle whatever life throws at me now, instead of crumbling.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Storybook Land and Santa

Every year since I can remember I have gone to Storybook Land in my hometown.  Its one of my fondest memories of Christmas.


What is Storybook Land? It's held at the fairgrounds each year, admission is a donation to the food bank.  They fill one of the buildings with trees and lights along a path.  Each side of the path has different displays put up.  Disney characters, nursery rhymes, Santa and his elves.  You name it.  There's also a couple of large train sets running. When you get to the end, you can sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas, and get a candy cane.  I can remember being so excited for this every year.  It wasn't truly Christmas until you went to Storybook Land.  

Since Dawson was born, it's become tradition to take him.  My mom, dad, and sister all go.  This year we were lucky enough to have Joe join us.  He is usually working.  This was also the first year Dawson really understood who Santa is.  He was tickled pink to sit on his lap!  Grandma and him sat on the bench in front of Santa and he rehearsed what he was going to tell Santa while the rest of us stood in line.  It was adorable.  I was really just thrilled he didn't cry! He promptly ate his candy cane as well! 


Do you have any Christmas traditions like this? 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Enchilada Pie

This used to be a favorite around here.  I haven't made it in a really long time!

Easy Mexican casserole


Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup corn (I use frozen) 
Salt and pepper to taste
3 flour tortillas (burrito size!)
2-3 cups cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
Cooking spray
Lettuce, olives, jalapeños, sour cream, or guacamole for toppings

Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet.  Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.  Add the tomato sauce, water, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, and corn.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, uncovered. 

Tear up the tortillas into about 1 inch pieces (this does not need to be perfect!) and spread them in the bottom of the 8x8 pan.  Add sauce to cover, then cheese.  Layer tortilla, sauce, cheese again and until gone.  

Baked uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Add toppings of your choice and enjoy! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I have lost a little something since childhood

Isn't it amazing how life changes when you become an adult? I can remember waiting until I would have my own house, my own car, my own tv, my own phone.. too bad all of that comes with your own bills too!

It has been pretty cold here this week and I have been stuck in the house with Dawson because it has been pretty icy out.  I love watching the snow fall but I no longer love it to stick more than a dusting.  As a kid, I silently prayed for snow.  I wonder when it stopped becoming fun? Now I think of snow and think of how it gives me cabin fever, what shoes I will be able to wear outside (because let's face it, I am a girly girl), and how I will bundle Dawson up.  I know this seems silly, but here in the Pacific Northwest we are not used to snow or freezing temps for more than a day or two before it warms up and the rain returns.

My Christmas shopping has had to be mostly done from home this year.  I'm mostly okay with that.  I don't like the crowds this time of year anyway.  I started using Bing Rewards to earn Swagbucks this week.  I also signed up for Ebates.  I wish I had found that before! I am not the biggest fan of Swagbucks Shop and Earn.  Ebates seems to be much simpler.  I was able to order Dawson two toys for free using my Swagbucks, which leaves me with only a couple of things to buy him.  Shopping has been better this year.  I haven't enjoyed it much the last few years but this year I am excited to see everyone light up when they open what I got them.  

On a not so happy note, Joe and I got parking tickets yesterday.  Our driveway is very short and a sidewalk goes through it.  Our cars both hang into (and admittedly block) the sidewalk.  This is pretty common for people in our neighborhood.  I honestly hadn't thought much of it until I got the ticket.  Joe was able to pull my car forward enough to not block the sidewalk at all, but now getting Dawson in and out will be interesting.  Let's just say I am glad I have sliding doors.  I am trying to decide if we can fit the minivan into our ridiculously tiny garage.  With some organizing, I think we can.  Then Joe could park the Kia right behind me in the driveway.  Otherwise, he is going to have to park on the street. First world problems, I guess. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday baking!


My mom bakes a ton of stuff every year for Christmas and has since I can remember.  I can't think of the holidays and not think of my mom in the kitchen.  Toffee, fudge, cookies.. You name it and my mom has probably made it!  I like to bake but I don't do it to the extreme my mom does (no worries, Mom, I still love that you do it!)

 This year I thought I would make sugar cookies with Dawson.  He loves to be in the kitchen with me.  I maybe have lost my mind because he hasn't been the most pleasant to be around this week, but I thought I would give it a shot.

He operated the lever to lower the bowl on my mixer for me and watched me mix up the dough last night.  Although he was convinced it was salt and butter in the bowl.  Silly boy.  He also licked the beater (I know people say not to do this, but it's kind of tradition around here).  I loved that part for the simple fact that I can remember doing it anytime my mom baked and used the mixer.  It's such a happy memory.

He's kind of wild with the stirring and such now, but messes can be cleaned.  I thought he would get a kick out of the shapes and he did! Seems he is a bit impartial to the Christmas tree cookie cutter.  He wanted to use that one the most.  Thankfully they only had to bake for 7 minutes because he was less than patient for that part.  I couldn't transfer those shapes even half as fast as he was cutting them. 


After his nap, we frosted them.  He picked the colors for the frosting (yellow, pink, and green) and ended up painting on paper with the green when we had frosted all the cookies.  The kid is a serious double dipper though so we had 3 colors.. pretty much all swirled together.  As you can see, it was almost impossible to get a picture of him smiling because (and this is a direct quote) "This frosting is a very big job.  It's hard work, mama." Well, never mind the picture then!


Baking with a 2 year old is a good lesson that you pretty much have zero control.  They are no Martha Stewart cookies but Dawson had such a good time.  He nearly fell down when Joe walked in after work because he was in a rush to tell him he baked cookies.  It was heartwarming and just what I needed after a rough start to the week. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meals for the week of 12/9

It's that time again.. I went grocery shopping today.  All by myself.  It was glorious.  I don't remember the last time I enjoyed grocery shopping! As soon as I thought that, I realized how lame it is. I really need to get out more.

Meals this week (and beyond):

Dinners 
Ham and egg cups with hash browns
Tilapia & butter & garlic veggies
Flank steak & sweet potato gnocchi with apples
Spicy mango coconut shrimp, rice, & broccoli
Homemade chicken garlic pizza
Sesame chicken, veggies, & rice
Clam chowder & rolls
Rosemary chicken breast, green beans, & mashed potatoes
Frozen homemade sheppard's pie

Lunch
Chicken salad sandwiches & pear
Pb&j, raisins & pea pods
Crackers & cheese & grapes
Corn dog & yogurt
Leftovers from dinners
Turkey slices, cheese stick, grapes
Macaroni and cheese, pea pods, and applesauce
Apples, cream cheese, and graham crackers

Breakfast
Scrambled eggs with cheese
Cereal with strawberries
Yogurt & fruit
Waffle & applesauce
Pancakes and sausage
Smoothies and toast
English muffins with jam 

I don't know if I mentioned this, but we don't grocery shop on much of a schedule.  It tends to be every 10-15 days with a few random trips for whatever staples we run out of.  I try to make the food we have last in the house, although I have been accused of being a food hoarder.  I feel more secure somehow with a full pantry and fridge.  

We had the ham and egg breakfast cups tonight and they were really delicious.  I would like to try them with more toppings.  Tonight we had them with avocado, cheese, and chopped tomatoes.  I did bake mine longer than 15 minutes, closer to 25.  Wonderful idea though, and it will be added to our rotation! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Potty woes

**Stop here if you don't want to read about my child's bathroom habits**

Potty training.  I knew this would be hard but I wasn't prepared for this.


A few months ago Dawson started going to daycare one day a week.. for some socialization and for my sanity.  That went really well until just before Halloween.  I went to pick him up one day and was told he had been punished for pooping his pants and lying about it. Crap! Literally.  I immediately pulled him out, as she really didn't see the error of her ways and it was something we specifically asked not ever happen.  I knew Joe and I had made the right decision when he suddenly went to 2 weeks of every pee and poop in his little potty chair, to being afraid of it and unwilling to poop at all.  The potty chair had to go away for a while and we were back in diapers full time.  Insert Mommy sad face here.  

Since then, going poop is happening less and there's a lot of prancing around for hours and crying because he just doesn't want it to happen.  It's seriously one of the saddest things I have ever seen.  Joe and I have done lots and lots of talking up the potty, being a big boy, etc.  I decided a few days ago we needed to try again after coming to the conclusion that things were getting much worse.  

Out came the trusty red potty .  We had some meltdowns over it the first day but many successful trips to the potty.  He even pooped in it! I had to hug him while he did it and the prancing around still happened along with the crying, but I was happy.  No major improvement since then, still holding it as long as he can, but I will take what I can get.  

I'm not really sure what to do from here on out.  I don't feel like this is going great but this is totally the kid that would be happy to wander around in a dirty diaper for who knows how long.  Do I just stick with it? Back off until he's not afraid to poop anymore? (We tried this approach, obviously) Take away diapers completely (he wears them at night and for nap)?  Consult his doctor? 

If you made it this far, you deserve flowers and chocolates.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's okay for parenthood to be hard

I had a friend recently post something about feeling sorry for people that think taking care of their kids is hard.  I immediately felt a pang of mom guilt.  I do think taking care of Dawson is hard.

I started to think about it and I wondered why that's not okay? Why would someone feel sorry for me? There are a lot of moments that I don't like parenthood.  There, I said it.  It doesn't make me love Dawson ANY less.  

I also think you can't judge another mother until you walk in their shoes. Every kid is different.  For example- Was giving up the bottle hard for us? Nope, quite easy.  That doesn't mean I should think less of a mom that struggles to take the bottle (or boob) away from their little one.  There are so many different factors about parenting that I don't think you can lump everyone into any one category. Some kids take things easily, some don't.  Same for us moms.  

Everyone has different struggles as a parent.  Some people deal with it with grace and a smile on their face and that's great.  I deal with it with tears sometimes and frustration.. and a call to my mom to shout "He won't go to sleep! I think he is trying to kill me!" Kidding.. but not really. 

So just because it's not easy for me, doesn't mean you need to feel sorry for me.  My life isn't miserable, it's just hard sometimes.  I wish as moms (and just as people, hello?!) that we could see that  it's not always black and white.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A spin on a new favorite meal..

I found a recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole on Pinterest a while back.  We tried it as written from organizeyourstuffnow.com and while it was good, and I love the concept, I decided to mix it up a little.  Plus, my husband would probably think I lost my mind if I tried to feed him a casserole with rice (again.)


This is super easy to make and great if you have leftover cooked chicken and/or ham.  It's quick (I put it together in about 20 minutes, including cooking the pasta!) and delicious.. but probably not diet friendly! 

Here's how I made it! 


Ingredients:
8 oz pasta, cooked to package directions
1.5 cups cooked chicken (I used some frozen rotisserie chicken)
1 cup cubed ham, or 6-8 deli slices of ham cut up
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 box of instant stuffing (I used 1/2 bag of Mrs. Cubbison's but Stovetop would work too)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup chicken broth

Spray an 8 by 8 inch pan with cooking spray.  Spread pasta in the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken on top of that.  Next is the Swiss cheese, then ham.  

Mix the soup, onion, garlic powder, milk, and parsley flakes into a bowl and pour over the top of the ham.  Make sure to spread it well and to the sides, you want it to drip down to the bottom while cooking :) 

 Mix up your instant stuffing with the butter and chicken broth just until barely moistened and then spread evenly over the top of the soup mixture.  Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Eat! 

I had to put a foil tent on top after about 15 minutes because the stuffing was browning, so you may want to keep an eye on that.  My family actually liked the crunch to it, but some may not.  


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trichy Tuesday

Just a quick update on my trichotillomania..


Here's where I'm at.  I see no difference from last week, but I've been mostly pull free.  I've slipped a few times but definitely have had more success catching myself and reversing the behavior.  I wish it would grow faster but for now I just have to accept where I'm at.  It's better than it has been, but not as good as it can be.

Triggers this week:

My insurance company.  They are morons.  They decided to (without contacting me) call State Farm and demand payment for the repair that they said they paid for.. except I didn't have my car repaired at their shop.  Nor did I ask that it be repaired there.. in fact, I told the woman handling my claim that I did NOT want it repaired there and that I would go straight through State Farm.  Fast forward to calling State Farm to set up my rental and they were totally confused because they paid Esurance (my craptastic insurance) because they stated I already had it repaired.  Um, no.  I clearly still see a giant dent in my bumper. GRRR.  Switching insurance after the first of the year..

Christmas shopping.  This isn't really a BAD trigger, as in its a good thing (fun) for me but I tend to over analyze how much I'm spending on each person versus whether or not they will be happy with what I bought them.  I need to stop thinking about it.

Keeping the house semi-clean.  This is a constant battle for me, and a constant trigger.  I have to learn to not care so much.  Dawson is fed and alive and safe.. he's not going to care in 20 years whether or not Mom kept the TV stand dusted or the crumbs off the floor.

Christmas pictures.  We have them scheduled for Saturday but of course today I woke up with a giant cold sore.  I'm attempting to be rid of it as fast as possible and hope for the best.  It's a good friend taking our pictures so I suppose if it doesn't happen this weekend it can be some other time.  I was just looking forward to having cute pictures of us all.  Also, I have been searching for the 'perfect' outfit for pictures and realized I have no idea how to dress myself or pick out anything flattering since I had Dawson.  Thank goodness for girlfriends that can say "That looks terrible" so I don't leave the house looking like a disaster :)

That's about it this week.  Almost all things I can control, or at least I can control the thoughts around.  Seems like first world problems, for sure, and I am thankful for that!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Grandma visits are awesome

Yesterday my sister, mom and I went on our annual holiday bazaar trip.  Dawson stayed home with Daddy for the first time.  He used to be so easy to just strap into the stroller and go but that's not the case anymore.  It was almost like old times for me :) except I bought mostly for my little guy.

After the bazaar we met Joe and Dawson at BJ's for dinner.  Then we packed up Dawson's things and shipped him off with Grandma and Auntie! I will pick him up tomorrow night.  In the meantime Joe and I are having actual adult conversations (gasp!) being incredibly lazy, and might even do some shopping without saying "don't touch that!" Or "stop sweeping the floor with your booty, that's yucky!"  If I have to say either one of those things to Joe, he is in big trouble! 

Thursday was incredibly laid back and so so nice.  My cousin Kelley did a great job on dinner and snacks. Dawson was really well behaved and took a catnap on the way.  No complaints there! 

Friday we waited until early afternoon and went and did some shopping.. Not because it was Black Friday and we were looking for deals, just to get out of the house really.  

We did buy a Christmas tree. Previous years we have had a real tree.. We would go out and cut it down, have hot cocoa, and strap it to the roof of our car.  Last year was a complete disaster and we were all cold and cranky by the time the tree was put up.  I said I would never have a fake tree, but here I am.  For the next several years, our tree will be fake.  Cutting our own tree was supposed to be about the family time and experience but being cranky together isn't exactly what I had in mind.. I'm hoping when the kid(s) are older we can enjoy it more.  Time will tell. 

I also got a new pair of (full price) shoes.  They were way too cute to pass up!
I also cashed in my Swagbucks for Amazon cards this week.  I'm anxiously awaiting my $25 so I can do some online Christmas shopping! I already have several things for Dawson in my shopping cart.  I'm having a lot of fun buying for him this year.

Time to get dressed and enjoy my day with my hubby! 





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving sure has changed..

Last night Joe and I were talking about Thanksgiving.  I realized I don't have a lot of great memories from Thanksgiving because to me that long weekend meant my friends were going to be gone, and I have never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving type food (including pumpkin pie).  Also, my sister didn't always spend the holiday with us and she is a huge part of my life.

We are spending Thanksgiving tomorrow with my aunt, uncles, and my parents, sister and my cousin.  I'm looking forward to it, but sad that my cousin and her husband and girls won't be with us.  Grandpa also passed away recently, and while he hasn't been with us for Thanksgiving for the last several years, it's still sad he won't be around in general.   My inlaws also don't live nearby anymore and I miss them this time of year especially. 

I'm really saddened by how many people will be working on Thanksgiving day.  It's sad that instead of giving thanks, many will be at work because others will be taking advantage of crazy early holiday sales.  When did this change so drastically? As a kid, I don't remember anything being open for Thanksgiving shopping.  I found myself really annoyed with all the sales ads I got in my email inbox today.  I'm grateful Joe doesn't have a job that requires him to work Thanksgiving day.  

Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday but this year I am reminded to hold my family close, enjoy our silly moments together, and cherish the (annoying) phases Dawson is going through.  (Nothing like a 2 year old telling you that you do things 'wrong').   And I'll be grateful that I get to spend it with my best friends too :) 

Last year we were moving into our house on Thanksgiving and it was spent at Shari's with my mom and sister.  I didn't realize how lucky I am to get a real Thanksgiving meal with lots of family until last year when it was purely convenience. (We did have a feast together, just not ON Thanksgiving day)
  I guess you don't know what you've got until it's not there sometimes!  Ah, how things change!

Happy Thanskgiving everyone! Enjoy your day! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Awwww Mondays.. On Tuesday?

I'm so late to this party! Awww Mondays.. On Tuesday? A day late, but who's counting?
Flashback.  I love me some squishy baby photos! Especially Dawson ones :)



What a chub!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back up the bus..

**if this offends you, I apologize in advance**

Let's talk about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media for your pet.  

I usually find the "friends we suggest" scrolling across my Facebook a huge pain in my butt.  Today, I had to laugh (harder than I probably should have.. amazing what really awful sleep can do).  I decided to browse through people I haven't added, mostly due to laziness.. and my above mentioned annoyance.  

Would you believe it if I told you that there were almost as many Facebook pages for pets and also children under the age of 2 as there were organizations and adults? 

 I busted up laughing, simply because I tried to not only picture what an animal would have to say, but also how they would operate their computer to post!  I post from my phone quite a bit.. A dog, cat, or 3 month old with a smart phone of their own?  Point is, I'm not sure my cat can remember what he went down the hall for let alone what intelligent thought (jury is still out that he has these) should be posted on Facebook.  

 I realize kids use a parent's smart phone to play games, but I fail to see the need for their own Facebook page.  And an animal.. well, I just don't understand it.  

Am I the only one that feels this way? Is there something I am missing? 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trapping My Child and Other Adventures


I said I would update on how the new big boy bed is going.  Well, better than expected.

The first few nights on the mattress on the floor went pretty well.  In fact, the first night he was so excited he didn't even want to read stories!  This excitement of course has passed.  Fat chance that would last longer than one night.. 

Anyway! He got thiscute little rechargeable nightlight from IKEA and his attachment to it was pretty much instant.  That's mostly what has been keeping him awake until holy crap late (11:30pm.. I know, the party is just getting started then! Not if you have a 2 year old..) because he just wants to lay in his bed with it and talk to it and play with it.  Cute, kid, real cute.. But mama and daddy need to sleep!  So the nightlight has to live over by his music, which by some miracle he hasn't touched.  

I was so worried about him touching and playing with all kinds of things and he really hasn't gone farther than the edge of his mattress.. You know, with his legs (or just his toes) still touching the mattress to lean across the room.  Which by the way, is hilarious to watch and he even slept this way one night.  

His Pottery Barn Kids treehouse bed came on Friday and he was instantly IN LOVE.  I have never seen his face light up like that. Great job and a BIG thank you to Grandma R!  The first night he slept under it, which sent my Mommy anxiety into overdrive because I couldn't see him on the monitor.  He was so tired I don't think he moved at all though.. or that's what I'm trying to convince myself of.



Yesterday Joe put the ladder on and put him up top for his nap.  Success! He slept in it! Never mind that Daddy took the ladder off so he would stay in there.  He also slept up there last night.. without the ladder.  Now I don't have to worry about any of the crap in his room because he is stuck! Just like in the crib.  And I can see him again on the monitor.  Whew!   I have never seen something so funny as his little face all squished up in the little tiny windows.. and didn't you know, the view is different from each square?! Apparently so.  


I guess that's not really a huge update.  Thankfully it was pretty uneventful, other than his new bed coming!  


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Progress

I'm a horrible procrastinator.  Usually because of my anxiety.  Ironic, because procrastinating usually just feeds my anxiety.  So I have been trying not to do that.  

This week I managed to shop for some new clothes, schedule Christmas pictures to be taken, go to my therapy appointments, schedule my car for the bumper repair, get my car in to the dealership for the dash lights (again), have some girl time, get the grocery shopping done, and get haircuts for Dawson and I both. Best of all I have had a fairly pull free week.   I feel pretty darn accomplished! Sounds like every day stuff but some weeks it's too much for me to handle to even get the grocery shopping done. 

My trichotillomania is a constant work in progress, even when others can't tell.  Yesterday I got some of the back cut off but I decided to leave the longer hair around my face.  Sometimes cutting it can be triggering and I have been doing pretty well the last few weeks.  But I definitely don't want to be walking around with a mullet style look.  Totally not hot! 

Here's what it looks like now



Believe it or not, this looks better than it has in a long while.  Unfortunately I have done so much damage that at least half of my hair is growing in with little to no color.  I guess either it will develop some color eventually or I will just have to deal with having white hair.  Actually the idea of that doesn't bother me as much as having my hair be so short and thin.  

Despite my lack of hair I decided to schedule family pictures for Christmas.  It really bothers me that I have no pictures from last year with Dawson at all.. all because of my hair and hiding.  The shame in the past has been overwhelming and I thought I could just isolate myself until I got "better."  I can see now that I was just letting trichotillomania run my life.  It's time to start choosing to run my life myself.  Hair or not, I am still the same person.  Some people will understand, some won't.  And that's okay. 

It's sometimes hard for me to see the progress I have made with trichotillomania.  I'm pretty hard on myself when I slip up but it's just reality.  I may never be pull free.  I just need to learn to manage it and not let it manage me. 

 I think I will start making weekly posts with pictures to keep me on track.  I'm hoping this will bring hope to others that struggle.  Can trichotillomania be beat? I don't know.  I know that I can manage it, I have done it before.  I will get back there.  

Here's what my hair used to look like and my ultimate goal



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Healthy Blueberry Crunch Muffins

So I said I was making muffins this week and I know it's already Thursday but I finally got around to it!

First off, I discovered chia seeds a few months ago and I am in love.  Omega 3s and protein? Yes please! Plus I can squeeze them into most baked goods without the boys noticing :) They also expand to fill me up so I can eat less and feel just as satisfied.  Chia pudding is another way to eat them and I love that too! For this recipe they added a nice crunch, like poppy seeds.  

Anyway, onto the muffins.  You can find the original recipe here. I did alter her recipe quite a bit but it's the same basic idea.  Oats, Greek yogurt, blueberries.. and some other stuff too :) Dawson assisted me with the stirring.. He is such a big helper! 


Ingredients:



2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats 
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted & cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
 Cooking spray or baking cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Either spray your muffin pan with cooking spray or line with baking cups. 

Mix the flour, oats, salt, chia seeds, baking powder and soda in a large bowl with a whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl mix together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and milk. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until you get everything wet.  Don't over mix!  Fold in the blueberries gently. If using frozen, do not thaw ahead of time! Just throw them in straight from the freezer.  

Spoon batter into muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!




I would highly recommend using cooking spray for this recipe instead of baking cups.  The baking cups work, but when I tried to peel them back they resist coming off the muffin and take some with them! Not a big deal to us but could be frustrating!  These also are not super sweet, just as a heads up! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Five Years

Dawson and I went to meet my mom at the mall today to buy the boy yet another pair of shoes (what?! It's only been 2 months! Growing like a weed!) As I passed an exit in my lame mom mobile with my cruise set to the speed limit, I saw a little sports car just like the one I used to drive merging onto the freeway at what now I would call way way too fast.  


Five years ago I was the person in that car.  My little two seater with the music blaring probably headed to the mall to buy myself a pair of new shoes.  I had to laugh, because so much has changed in five years and I would have NEVER pictured myself in a minivan with my old boots and just whatever I could find to wear on with a little one in the backseat (dressed far better than I am, I might add.)  

Five years ago I was not married yet nor was I thinking I was going to have children soon.  It made me wonder how much more will change in the next five years.  I hope to have another child by then and be in school.  Or maybe I will be that mom that volunteers her time at the school.  The possibilities are endless.  

I miss my sports car.. I really do.  As I listened to Dawson giggling in the backseat about his Tom and Jerry DVD he watches on silent I thought "I would be missing so much if I still drove that little sports car." 

I feel very at peace with where my life is right now.  I can't remember the last time I felt that way.  I will take the lame minivan (which I don't care who you are, it's awesome) and my old boots and clothes off the bedroom floor if it means I get to spend each day with my boys.  I am blessed. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meals for this week (11/18)

  
Everyone that knows me knows I am probably one of the least organized people ever.  My house is almost always cluttered, but clean.  I WANT to be organized, I am just not very good at it.

One thing I do stay organized with are meals for the week (or more.)  Joe gets paid every 2 weeks and since Dawson was born we backed up our once a week shopping to every 2 weeks.  Our budget every two weeks is $150-$175.  I make a list of meals on the back of my grocery list, usually 7-9 dinners and a few easy peasy "uh oh" meals for those days that either get really busy or I forget :) 

This weeks meals look like this

Breakfasts:
Scrambled eggs & fruit
Cereal 
Yogurt and fruit
Homemade Muffins (still to be determined what kind!)
Toast & fruit
Waffles & frozen fruit

Lunch:
Tuna sandwiches & fruit or yogurt
Turkey & cheese sticks with ritz crackers & applesauce
Leftovers from dinner
Mac and cheese with ham & fruit
English muffins (made with various toppings)
Chicken quesadilla & fruit

Dinner:
Chicken burgers & baked beans
Cornbread waffles & chili
Pork tenderloin & apple-filled acorn squash
Crockpot Pepper steak & egg noodles (homemade freezer meal)
Flank steak stir fry
Tacos
Chicken cordon bleu & salad
Pesto Tilapia, pasta or quinoa, & frozen veggies in butter garlic sauce

For breakfast and lunch we seem to "wing it" a lot but I am trying to make that a bit more organized so Dawson will know what to expect.  I recently discovered as we were eating at IHOP that he makes a decision much faster if he has a picture of it to look at.  I may start cutting pictures from magazines to make a visual menu for him.  We shall see :) 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Post-partum Depression

I have been doing some reflecting on the last few years.  Putting Dawson into a big boy room made me realize today that I won't ever rock him in his rocking chair again.  It brought tears to my eyes.  The funny thing is not long ago rocking him in that chair brought me to tears also, but they were tears of misery.

I first knew something was wrong in the hospital after Dawson was born.  Now that I can look back, I think I was in shock.  I have told my therapist that when he was born I felt like I had lost him.  This baby I sat looking at was beautiful, but I couldn't identify him as the baby I was carrying for 9 months.  He was a stranger to me.  I was numb.  

I went on living and feeling this way until Dawson was 4 months old, when I knew deep down that something was very wrong.  I wanted to run away.  I kept thinking I had made a huge mistake and that having children was not for me.  I kept it to myself because I felt extreme guilt over these feelings.

  I called my OBGYN just after Dawson turned 4 months old and the nurse treated me like I was making a mountain out of a molehill. I never actually spoke to the doctor, but I was prescribed 50mg of zoloft per day and told to follow up in 2months.  I took the medication for the 2 months. At this point between everything that happened during my pregnancy with my OB, my lack of medical insurance, and my guilt, and the fact that the medication was doing nothing, I decided not to follow up.  I did go to therapy once every 2 weeks for a while though. 

I slipped further and further after this.  Every day was like that movie Groundhog's Day.  I didn't want to be left alone at all.  By Dawson's first Christmas I was crying almost daily, wanting to sleep all the time and yet dealing with extreme insomnia and panic attacks.  I was just going through the motions of day to day life.

Just after Christmas Joe told me he thought there was something wrong, that I wasn't myself.  This was all it took for the walls to come down and I melted.  I was just a shell of who I once was and I knew it.  I agreed to go see a new doctor and try again to get rid of this ugly beast.  I felt like it was too late, no one was going to believe this was post partum depression when Dawson was already a year old.  

I met a wonderful doctor in February and she gave me medication for my panic attacks, my insomnia, and an antidepressant.  It was trial and error.  I tried many medications with little to no success.  The only medication that worked at all had such horrible side effects that I didn't want to live that way any more than I wanted to live my life with post partum depression and anxiety.  

I read a lot of books, but sadly there are not many about post partum depression.  Sleepless Days by Susan Kushner Resnick helped me the most.  I wasn't the only person who felt like this and there was
hope! I highly recommend it if you think you might have post partum depression.



We bought a house last year and moved in almost a year ago exactly.  At that point my doctor told me she couldn't help me and that I needed to see a psychiatrist.  I was really scared to tell someone else my story, but seeing a psychiatrist was the best thing that happened.  I was again put on some different medication for my anxiety and depression.

Getting better didn't happen over night.  It took several months to adjust to the medication and to get a good relationship with a new therapist.  I was now in the hands of people that deal with women in my position all the time.  

I can proudly say that as of June of this year I am off my anti anxiety medication, I sleep through the night on my own without medication and I can't imagine my life without Dawson in it.  I still feel some guilt about how much I feel like I missed the first 2 years but I know that wasn't me.  I was sick.  I still take my antidepressant and I have no plans to give it up.

I will never be who I was before I had Dawson.  I used to think that was a bad thing.  Now I see that it is just different, not bad.  I wouldn't be the mom I am today if I hadn't gone through the hell that is post partum depression.  
He is my life.  There's no better reminder than when I whisper "I love you booboo" and I get back "I lub loo too, mommy." 

Rough day and it's only 1pm

I am having the hardest time today keeping my hands out of my hair.  Trichotillomania should go on vacation sometimes.   I need a vacation from thinking about it. 

Usually weekends I do pretty well because Joe is home.  Sometimes I wonder if he gets sick of saying "Kate, stop." Being alone is one of my biggest triggers.  On some subconscious level I pull far less if I am with someone than without.  I wish this extended to Dawson because I am with him 90 percent of my day.   

Sometimes I feel really annoyed or angry that I have to be so mindful.  That's what helps the most, making sure I am aware.  Or busy.  Being busy sure does help.  I am busy a lot but not in the way a working mother is.  There are lots of times spent on the floor driving trains and construction equipment.. with my hands in my hair, pulling pulling pulling.  Trichotillomania consumes so much of my daily life and it's just flat frustrating.  I am really trying to accept that it's just the way it's going to be to a certain extent for the rest of my life.  

Today I am determined to make the rest of the day productive in some way and NOT pull.  Maybe I will even take a nap :) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My baby is growing up..

Today is so bittersweet, and not just because we spent an arm and a leg at IKEA and it looks like we didn't buy much.  My baby boy is no longer in a crib.

Joe and I lived in a 650 square foot one bedroom apartment when Dawson was born, so of course decorating a nursery was not happening.  At first I really wanted him to have the perfect magazine spread looking toddler room.  As we got to shopping I realized I wanted him to be able to pick his own things out, and it's good for me to learn to let go of some control.  My anxiety primarily revolves around control and procrastination so really this will be a good lesson for me too.  Besides, it's his bedroom, not mine.  Eventually I can decorate a nursery anyway.

The before:




Dawson now has a twin mattress on the floor with fuzzy Thomas the tank engine sheets and a rocket ship duvet cover.  The boy lives for rocket ships.  There are some new books in a little bin on the floor (along with the old ones) and some fluffy pillows to cuddle up in.  The closet doors are locked with cabinet locks and there are giant boxes over his outlets.  Don't ask Joe how awesome the outlet covers are.. they took a while.  He has a new nightlight that's rechargeable as well and changes colors too! 

The bed was instantly a big hit once we got it upstairs.  He was really unhappy about us not putting the crib back together at first and I was starting to worry.  It was tough to get him downstairs for dinner once we got the mattress in there.

The after:





We will see how tonight goes.  I am hopeful that he will be that kid that won't get out of his bed, but I am not holding my breath.  Fingers crossed :) 

In a couple of weeks his treehouse bed arrives.  Grandma Rebecca bought it for him and when I showed him the picture online he said "Me get in it, mama! It's a house!" I'm pretty excited about it too! It's an awesome bed! As a result his room is pretty bare right now (nothing on the walls) so the pictures here are an unfinished product! 

I will update in a few days how he adjusts! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I am getting desperate

First, therapy was canceled but I got my car back! Woohoo! The outcome is a post for another day.. grumble grumble.

I am getting really desperate with Dawson's food choices as of late.  I swore I would never be that mother that makes 300 different dinners, none of which for herself. 

 This is what he ate for lunch.. The picture of nutritious, right?

Peanut butter and saltine crackers


Dinner I feel like I have a decent amount of control over.  Dawson has whatever I make, a vegetable, and sometimes fruit.  If he finishes it or eats at least the majority of what he is given, he can have something like crackers, pirates booty, goldfish, or graham crackers.  He knows he has to at least try everything on his plate but if he doesn't like it, it's okay not to eat it.  If I know we are having something he doesn't like, he usually has a Gerber toddler meal or something equally easy to fix.  

Breakfast and lunch are another story.  He has a snack drawer in the kitchen that has mostly healthy snacks.  He goes to the drawer every morning wanting something out of it.  Only REALLY unhealthy thing in there is unfrosted strawberry pop tarts (I see you judging me! Daddy eats them so of course Dawson wants them too.). Naturally that's what he usually wants.  Probably once a week he gets his way.  I offer to fix him eggs, waffles, pancakes, or toast and he refuses.  Yogurt, bananas, muffins, cereal, and apples are ALWAYS in our house.  Usually he will decide on something and then once he has it he takes two bites and says "Want sumpin else to eat, mommy." If I give in and get him something else, it's like we just rinse and repeat the previous routine.  Lunch is the same.  It usually ends with a very cranky kid and a frustrated mama.  

Short of planning out his breakfast and lunch like I do dinner, I'm not sure what else to do? Does anyone else struggle with this, or is it just me?!


New car? Nightmare.

I never thought I would say I miss my Honda Accord but here I am.  I still love my new Odyssey of course but everything that has happened in the last month is making me a little crazy (short road, I know.)

 My NEW minivan now sits at The Honda dealership being diagnosed.  Except of course now that it's there, they can't seem to get it to act up at all.  Since it's a new car they contacted Honda corporate to see if anyone else had reported the same issue and JUST my luck, no one has.  So they are driving it around some more trying to get the error lights to come on.  It makes me a little sick to know that even after this I have to take it to get the body damage fixed.  It sure would be nice to open my back hatch though!




  I know I probably sound ungrateful at this point, but not having a car makes me feel... trapped.  I really am grateful to get to drive a new car (or really any car at all.) Joe works his butt off so I can not only have everything I need but things I want too.  I guess I just like things to go smoothly and this is a very small bump in the road.  My anxiety over such things gets the best of me sometimes.  You would think having a child would have taught me to EXPECT things to go wrong! :) 

Dawson and I are getting cabin fever, but we will survive! I do get to get out of the house tonight for therapy, so that's good.  I feel encouraged by the last few weeks regarding my hair.  As much stress as I have been under, I am still keeping a handle on my pulling and I have a lot of new growth, especially up top.  The cold season is obviously beneficial to me with all of my hats and gloves.  I am still having bad days but they are no longer outweighing the good.  Baby steps.. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Raspberry Banana Bread


Three horribly over ripe bananas sitting in my kitchen.  Time to bake! Plus, I told Joe I was going to use them to bake when he wanted to throw them away so then I pretty much HAD to.  :)

I looked on Pinterest and didn't find anything that looked great and then my app kept spitting out errors so I decided I would look up a recipe the old fashioned way- in a cook book.  I rarely use my cookbooks anymore but I really wanted to bake! 

I found a recipe for raspberry banana quick bread in a book I have had for forever (Best of Country Breads) and I about croaked when I saw the amount of sugar and oil in it.  I decided I could alter the recipe and make it at least a little healthier.  Here's what I came up with.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 over ripe bananas (medium sized), mashed 
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Cooking spray

I made this in 4 mini loaf pans but you can also use two 8x4 inch loaf pans.  Spray them with your cooking spray and turn your oven on to 350 degrees. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Just a tip- when mixing dry ingredients a whisk works wonderfully! In another bowl mix together the bananas, agave nectar, water, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour your banana mixture into the flour mixture.   Fold in fresh or frozen raspberries and nuts.  

Pour into your pans and bake at 350 degrees- 30-35 minutes for mini loaf pans, 55-60 minutes for 8x4s.  Let them sit for 10-15 minutes in the pan and then remove and let cool.  

I hope Dawson likes these.  I am not usually a huge fan of banana bread in general but the raspberries really make this yummy.  

Mission accomplished! Bananas are gone.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of my pumpkin! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trichotillomania


Trichotillomania. I suffer with it.  Daily.  By the minute sometimes.

I feel like not enough people know about this disorder.  Why do I say that? Because I am often asked "Why don't you just stop?" Well gee, I hadn't thought of THAT.  Believe you me, if I could "just stop" I would.  

Here is wikipedia's definition:
Trichotillomania (pronounced /ˌtrɪkəˌtɪləˈmniə/ trik-ə-til-ə-may-nee, also known astrichotillosis) is the compulsive urge to pull out (and in some cases, eat) one's own hair leading to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment. It is classified as an impulse control disorder by DSM-IV and is often chronic and difficult to treat.[1

I've had this for a very long time.  Almost 20 years.  I have had periods of "remission" but as of right now, I am not at that place.  

I recently had someone ask me if I do this in front of Dawson and the answer is yes.  It's such an integrated part of my behavior and so hard to resist that I do.  I also know of some trichotillomania sufferers that worry their children will follow along in their footsteps.  I worry about that some, but I recently realized that I am teaching him that it's okay to have flaws.  No one is perfect.  I struggle and that's okay. 

I try to remind myself daily that it's JUST hair.  Today, Dawson saw an old picture of me on my iPad and he said "that's mama.  Mama pretty hair."  Not going to lie, that stung. My hair was pretty.  I used to love hearing "oh look at all those curls! He must have gotten those from you!" I am not really sure why, but it made me feel good.  

I am in therapy and working really hard to un-learn this.  But in the meantime it has taught me to look at people in a different way.  I try very hard not to judge someone because I simply don't KNOW how they struggle.  That lady in the grocery store with 2 different shoes on and a dirty sweatshirt? Maybe her washing machine is busted.  Maybe she is running out to get her sick kid some medicine and she was just hurrying. Maybe she suffers with depression and she just didn't care today.  I just really don't know.  I hope I can teach Dawson to practice this as well.  I know when I was a kid I could have used more understanding eyes and ears.