Friday, April 26, 2013

The Small Stuff

I let stress get the best of me yesterday--I have been doing fairly well at keeping my mood lighter and my spirits higher since I started The Good Housewife Project.  I try to go about my days with a smile and no complaining (well, almost no complaining...), but yesterday, I fell off the happy wagon.  The day started off fine--the boys and I walked Abby to the bus stop because the weather was decent, and we took a "family walk" (as Jake calls any walk we take!) around our loop to look for roly polies and worms after Abby was gone.  It must have been too cold for bugs, because we didn't see very many, although Jake and I had a great conversation about guts when we saw a smooshed beetle.  It was amusing to explain that guts are the squishy things inside your body, but also can refer to being brave--like if someone tells him that he has guts, that's referring to his fearlessness, not his innards.  He informed me that beetles are very brave because they have a lot of guts...on the sidewalk when they get smooshed.  Ha!

That 20 minutes outside set my allergies off, and sent my day downhill.  Allergies are miserable.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism two years ago, and the thyroid medication I have to take every day prevents me from taking the only allergy medicine that ever worked for me--Claritin-D.  I can only take regular Claritin now, which is just like not taking anything because regular Claritin doesn't even begin to touch my symptoms.  I hole up in the house when pollen and oak counts are high (and we live in a very beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood...ugh!), and keep the windows and doors shut tight to try to keep the symptoms at bay.  It's miserable, because the weather is gorgeous outside--I just want to go out with the boys and enjoy the pleasant days, but I can't even hack it for 20 minutes without becoming a total mess.  So my nose was running, my throat was hurting, my eyes were itching, and I couldn't stop sneezing after our little family walk this morning.  I have a hard time feeling motivated when I feel like junk--I had a lot to do, and I tend to stress out when I have a lot on my plate.  I got the boys down early-ish for naps and thought I'd given myself a good block of time to check off my list.  Then I realized that I hadn't gotten out any chicken to thaw for dinner, so I had no game plan for feeding the family...and Abby had gymnastics last night, so waiting for Dan to come home and have him cook out or something was not an option.  I was annoyed at my lack of planning--my mom bailed me out and suggested pancakes, which are always a crowd pleaser (except for Dan, who hates them and not-so-secretly hates me when I make them).  Oh well--I can't win them all, and I'll go with Dan hating me over kids screaming when I feed them something they won't even try, especially when I don't have time to whip up something they won't eat.

sword and wand from dinner at the Disney Castle

I was making progress on the laundry, I had cleared some miscellaneous crap off the counters, and I had just gotten the Swiffer mop out when Jake informed me via the monitor that he had found something in his closet...  "It's a sword, Mommy!"  I stared, very confused, at the monitor--Jake has a lot of swords in his room, so that part wasn't was the fact that he said he found it in his closet that threw me off.  The only thing on the floor of his closet is a pile of my nephew's clothes that Jake has yet to grow into, and some train tracks that we store in there when Jake isn't playing with them.  There are no swords on the floor of his closet.  There are two bars of hanging clothes in the closet, and a very high shelf where I store random stuff--empty boxes from stuff in the kids rooms, who knows what else...but very possibly, a sword was up on that high shelf.  I told Jake I was coming right up, and what I found in his room made me so angry, frustrated, and annoyed that I couldn't shake it the rest of the day--my enterprising 4-year-old son had stacked some of his larger train carrying cases, climbed on top of them, then used the lower clothing bar to hoist himself up to the upper clothing bar, and then to the top shelf of his closet, where he retrieved a sword from our trip to Disney World last year.  It's actually Alex's sword, but he was too young for it last year (and still is--weirdly, it's a sharp sword!), so I stored it safely out of the way in Jake's closet--or so I thought.  In his climbing/scaling attempt, Jake dislodged the lower clothing bar from its anchors on the wall, and the entire thing fell down, throwing the clothes off their hangers and all over the floor at the bottom of the closet.  Sigh.  This was not in my plan for the day--as I attempted to clean up the huge mess in the closet, I could hear my alarm going off reminding me to pick Abby up from the bus stop.  Thankfully, I had asked Dan to grab her for me and he had agreed, so I just ignored my alarm and kept going on my project.  Since all the clothes were off the hanging bar anyway, I decided to go through those clothes from my nephew that I had stored on the floor of the closet to see if I should swap out some of Jake's smaller stuff for those bigger items.  Switching a closet over for new seasons and sizes is a large effort, but I figured what the heck?  I was already knee deep in clothes, so why not just take on the bigger project while I was there?

Thirty minutes later, I was covered in clothes in an organized fashion that only made sense in my head, having Jake help me carry things over to his dresser, and I heard my cell phone ringing downstairs.  No one usually calls my cell phone, so I thought that was odd...but I couldn't get to it in time--and then I heard the home phone ringing...uh oh.  That always freaks me out--it must be an emergency if someone is trying to get me on my cell and at home.  I grabbed the home phone from my bedroom, and Dan informed me that he was stuck in traffic and not going to make it to the bus stop for Abby.  This is not the end of the world, but he hadn't given me any warning, I was already massively annoyed at Jake, and I was wearing my hole-y comfy pants (literally, holes in places not suitable for public viewing), so I couldn't just run out the door with the boys to get her.  Alex was still in his crib!  I threw on some jeans, asked Jake to go see Alex in his room, and walked outside to meet Abby on the sidewalk--thankfully, the bus stop is right up the street and she knows to just head home if no one is there to greet her like we're supposed to be.  I felt overly annoyed because I could have had the boys and myself up and ready for a last-minute bus stop run if I hadn't had to deal with the mess in Jake's closet, and now I was interrupted mid-project.  It also baffles me that Dan works 5 minutes from our house and often doesn't make it to the bus stop in time to pick Abby up on the days when he says he will...seems like poor planning on his part to me, which leads to lots of stress for me.  And now I was outside in the allergens again.  I snapped Dan's head off a number of times between when he got home and I headed out the door to take Abby to gymnastics, and of course, he was less-than-happy with me when I fixed pancakes for dinner.  The mood at our house was lovely, as you can imagine.  I really have done a good job not being irritated like that in months, so it didn't feel good to have that side of my personality pop up again.

I was also upset because I needed to run into CVS before Abby's gymnastics class, but I was late getting dinner fixed because I finished up the closet project in Jake's room.  The CVS is on the way to Abby's class, and the errand would only take 5 minutes, but I didn't have 5 minutes to spare...meaning that I was going to have to stop after her class.  I had a big issue with that plan--namely, the CVS is in the same shopping center as a Dairy Queen...and I haven't had Dairy Queen since I started Challenge #2.  I'll be honest--I've been craving Dairy Queen.  Before embarking on Challenge #2, I binged hard-core on some DQ Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards--at least once a week, sometimes twice...  Blizzards haunt my dreams, and even ruined a very-rare date with my husband a few weeks ago when my mom watched the kids so that we could go grab a quick lunch together.  I wanted ice cream after that lunch and spent the entire date on my phone trying to find the nearest DQ--I was jonesing pretty badly that day, but still, I should have been conversing and connecting with my husband instead of the DQ Locater.  (And I didn't even find a DQ close enough, so all that effort for nothing!)  I knew that stopping at CVS after Abby's gymnastics class would bring begging for ice cream (both in my head and out of Abby's mouth)--DQ dates were a weekly after-gymnastics treat for us before Challenge #2.  I was running late for gymnastics, so I had no choice--Abby and I stopped at CVS after her class, and yes, she begged for DQ.  I gave in, because of my ridiculous cravings, and because I love my daughter and love doing fun things with her.  I ordered a mini Blizzard, which I had never done before (my previous size was a medium, which now kind of makes me want to throw up!), and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit that it improved my mood.  Satisfying that obsessive desire will hopefully allow me to focus on things that are more important than ice cream--like dates with my husband.  I had a bad day, but now hopefully I can turn that bad day into good perspective--quit stressing over the small stuff and letting it get the best of me.

happy girl, hoarding all the ice cream!

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