A Clearer View

This evening I cleaned all of the windows in my condo. It’s amazing- For the first time in almost two years of living here, I can finally see my view clearly. We live on the 38th floor. It’s a really nice view.

Last summer I was desperate to move out of this condo. I couldn’t stand that the view just wasn’t as great as I expected it to be. It was nice from the balcony but it never looked as nice from inside. It was always a bit foggy. Why didn’t I figure that maybe I should just CLEAN MY WINDOWS??

A few months ago, I noticed the actual dirt on the windows and started thinking about cleaning them. I must have spent six months of my life thinking about cleaning those friggin windows. But from the time that I finally picked up the squeegie, to the time that the job was done, was maybe twenty minutes.

Is this a symptom of my anxiety or just a stupid character flaw? Why do I spend so long thinking and planning tasks that are so small and insignificant? If this is a ‘side effect’ of anxiety, does the fact that I finally crossed the task off my list mean that the Zoloft is working?

Is this a metaphor for my ability to begin to see life outside my world a little more clearly?

more medication pleaseI hope so…

Zoloft – round two

This afternoon I looked at my kitchen and tried to come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to clean it. There were just too many steps in the way (unload the dishwasher, sort the mail, finish grating a bar of soap for homemade laundry detergent, eat all the chocolates…) I was hoping that by the time we move in a year and a half, I’ll be able to find both of my kids under all the shit in my kitchen.

Now, I’m sitting at a clean table and my counter and  sink are all (more or less) clean.

I tell you this not to marvel at my wonderful cleaning prowess (I possibly swept the crumbs off the counter into that space beside the oven) but because I’ve been amazed at how quickly things change in my head lately. I can be in the deepest (I mean really deep) depression one moment and then, an hour later, thinking how amazing I’m doing and wondering why I’m not trying to get pregnant again…

The thing that I find most unsettling about this is that when I am in one state, I find it very difficult to remember that I ever felt anything different. To use a light example, when my kitchen is dirty, I can’t imagine that I will ever get it clean. But now that it is clean (by my hands!), I can only envision it always staying this way. And that it always was this way.

To use a more accurate example, when I am feeling ok, I wonder why I didn’t just ‘pull up my boot straps’ earlier. I think about all of the awesome projects I’m going to complete now that I know the secret to feeling good. I feel like I must have been faking my depression and I wonder why I did that. Then I get depressed and anxious again and I wonder why I ever thought that I was okay. I feel like I’ve been consistently depressed for my whole life and really wonder why my husband married me.

This back and forth is really driving me (and him) crazy. I read something about not trusting your reality during depression… maybe there is a link.

Anyway, on the ‘happy pills’ front, I’m on day 2 of a starter dose of Zoloft. So far so good. I’m not feeling great yet but the side effects didn’t hit me over the head yet either. Fingers crossed.

Stalking Sarah McLachlan

I’m sort of nervous that I may be arrested for stalking Sarah McLachlan. I’ll explain: I have an appointment tomorrow in the fancy Yorkville neighborhood for a very intimate date with a laser hair removal machine. (they say ‘self care’ is important) This is apparently the area in the city where celebrities seem to flock when they come to Toronto. The last time I was in Yorkville, I saw Sarah McLachlan(!) grocery shopping in Whole Foods. It was especially exciting because, SHE IS SARAH MCLACHLAN!

I know, you’re jealous. I’ll give you the whole scoop; she was grocery shopping with two young girls who seemed to be her daughters and another woman who seemed to be some sort of friend or sister. It all looked very “normal”. I got so excited that I almost left the store as soon as I saw her (so she wouldn’t think I was some dorky fan following her) – then I circled back just to gawk at her again and there she was, Sarah McLachlan, buying food, just like a normal person. Slightly over priced food- but she paid with a credit card (just like me!) not the gold bricks that I assume all celebrities carry in their purses.

So, now you see why I am so nervous to go back to Whole Foods tomorrow. What if I see Sarah McLachlan again and she thinks that I’ve just been going there every afternoon for the past two months waiting for her to come back. I bet she’d get really creeped out and ask the store security to escort me out of the store. But you can’t really kick out a lady with a baby (me), so I bet she’d pretend that Crosby was her baby. I bet they would believe her because she’s Sarah McLachlan and I’m just some crazy lady who stole her baby. sarahMclachlan

Maybe I’ll bring a photo of me with Crosby – just in case. I could take it in the morning beside the newspaper so they’d know that he’s really my baby and there is nothing creepy going on.

Why did I just google “sarah mclachlan whole foods”?? As if someone else saw her there and wrote a news story all about it… I’m so dumb.

Addict in hiding?

Have you ever noticed yourself doing something and suddenly realize that maybe this isn’t a good thing to be doing? And then keep doing it?

I had a moment like that today while I was hiding in a bathroom stall eating a chocolate bar.

See, tonight I left Crosby (5 months old) with his very capable father so that I could go enjoy the symphony at the theatre near our house. The plan worked great. Crosby napped on his daddy and didn’t even cry for me.

But, me on the other hand….my therapist warned me today that doing something that I haven’t done for a long time (like leaving my child in good hands to enjoy myself) could be very anxiety provoking. I almost turned back twice on the five minute walk to the theater. Once the show started, I think I relaxed. Have you ever been to the symphony? You should go. It makes your soul feel nice.

Then intermission came and I really didn’t want to miss an opportunity to eat one of the six (now four) chocolate bars that I bought today. I should explain that I’ve got this really fun daily routine where I feel anxious and then shove Coffee Crisp chocolate bars into my mouth until I feel calmer.

I usually eat them in my kitchen. Or in my car. Sometimes on the subway. Today was a first for eating it in a public bathroom stall.

When i think about it at a distance, I guess there is nothing wrong with enjoying a chocolate bar during intermission, but I think that the fact that I felt like I had to hide in the bathroom to eat it must say something about my broken brain and about my feeling towards the chocolate bar.

As I walked out of the bathroom wiping the chocolate from my teeth, I wondered if the little old ladies could tell what I’d really been doing in there…

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I am Kanga

I’m not shy about my babywearing obsession…. After people stop teasing me about how they have never seen my child’s torso, they always ask me for advice on which slings they should buy. Here is my two cents. (please send $5.99)

keep calm and carry oneI find them totally practical and comfortable and a good way to keep my baby nice and happy and close while my hands are free (bonus right now because I’m also chasing a toddler around!).

Here’s an overview of the main types of carriers and where you can get them.

The Moby wrap is a great first sling for the baby. I put Crosby in one when he was three days old and it’s really my ‘go to’ sling right now. Having a baby napping in the Moby is so delicious…it’s like they are giving you a big hug and the fuzzy little head under your chin….  Check out www.mobywrap.com . Some people are intimidated when they see the wrap because it is just a long piece of fabric- but if you watch the instructions, it’s super easy to wrap.

The second sling that I’ve also been using is called a Ring Sling. I use this with Crosby now and will use it a lot more in about a month when he can hold his head up better. I used this almost every day with Soni from 3 months old until I got too pregnant to carry her on my hip.  I bought a Maya Wrap (www.mayawrap.com) and I am still really happy with it. I usually wear it in the hip carry position and always find it really comfortable and easy to use.

As far as structured carriers, I would highly recommend the Ergo Baby Carrier -it is really soo sooo comfortable. I just got it last month and my husband and I have both been wearing Crosby in it, as well as wearing my almost 2 year old daughter on our backs and fronts in it.  It’s not the best for newborns but it’s definitely the best for older babies and toddlers. The Ergo is far superior to the Baby Bjorn, in my slightly obsessive opinion. It is very comfortable and easier to put on and holds the baby against you in a more natural position, similar to the way they sit against you in a sling. The Ergo is great for front carries and also is great for wearing baby (or toddlers) on your back once you are ready.

Please note. If you would like to reimburse me for my endorsement or advice. Please send cash or chocolate. Thanks. xoxo