Monday, October 22, 2007

Hmmm..Has anyone else had trouble with Blogger?

I was unable to get on the site to post in quite a while!

So, here is the 411:

I got the credit card back (after quite some effort) , the new school is working out rather well for the boys (TY Maria Montessori!) , I finally have sitting room furniture that I like (XXOO Ikea!) and all is well in general.

It's good to be away from all the stress and tension at the shop. It was kind of like a relationship: great at first, then progressively not. This is without pointing any fingers, and without taking all the blame on myself. "Mistakes were made" to quote our mad bad leaders in da gummint. Bad decisions were realized and arguments were had on such a regular basis, I really almost got used to it! Now that I have removed myself, I feel much lighter, am able to sleep better and can focus on the really critical parts of my life: my family.

The DH was diagnosed with a total cholesterol of 279. Yikes. We now have oatmeal and Smart Balance on our table with regularity. Baby B sees his own Tell-Me-About-It doctor twice a month and at school the little "issues" all children seem to have are settling easily. Example: Baby B got into an argument with another child in the classroom, the child pushed him, and Baby B went to tell the teacher. YAY!!!! Last year he would have screamed, hit the boy, pushed him back, or something. I see that the therapy, the asthma medication, the new eczema cream and age are all working well in combination. I told my Tell-Me-About-It doctor about this, and I said, "It's so great the way these situations just work out with time." She pointed out, yes, the passage of time certainly plays a part. However, my efforts in getting Baby B into therapy, going to therapy myself, taking my own meds, getting him on the right asthma medication and my being more available for talking, playing and so on during the day is the biggest part of it.

Gosh, but I love those sessions when I get patted on the head. Kinda nice for a change!

I hope to post again soon, but if Blogger is inaccessible again for a while, leave me a message in the comments and we can email to chat.



Thursday, August 02, 2007

Okay, get this:

When I owned a shop, I used my personal credit card a few times, so as to have more buying power. These aren't the real numbers, but let's say the store had $10,000 worth of credit, I had a limit of $7,500 on my card, so there you go. I only ever used about $3,000 a month on my own card, so all was well and good.


Thanks to the new owner blocking the shop's bank account, the last check I wrote for business charges on my personal card was returned. Owing to incredible bad timing on my part, the check I sent for about $400 worth of personal purchases, on my own personal credit card, was also returned. (I did not realize a direct debit I had called to stop went out anyway.) The credit card company has a rule that two bad checks in one month mean the account will be closed.

Naturally I'm furious. This will reflect badly on my credit report. I am mad at myself for making the extra payment for my own $400 worth of purchases. I'm mad because I didn't even need to make that payment, I just wanted the balance to be zero. If I hadn't made a second bad payment, then I would not have lost the card and had a damaging line on my credit report. One mistake on my part, on my own card - I could deal with that. I cannot deal with the other bounced check.

Why, you ask? Why am I so angry about this bad business check? Why don't I just think, " Oh, mistakes are made, that's how you learn?" This is why:

I am pretty annoyed at my former business partner. The reason the new owner blocked the account, leading to a bounced check was because if her. She was supposed to open the store on Tuesday. She was not there at all that day. The new owner could not reach her at all that day, and neither could I. The following day, Wednesday, the same thing. No call, no show.

The last we knew, she went to a party out of town on Saturday night. The new owner was rather worried - she left town on Saturday night, and was not heard from for four days. So, he blocked the bank account, so she could not be forced to take money out of the bank and give it to her "kidnappers" or something. I don't know the real reasons, nor do I need to. The new owner wanted to block the account because his partner vanished, and he did.

Now, I am left with a little nightmare to untangle - I need to write to the credit card company and explain what happened. I need to convince the bank manager to write a letter stating that I did not know the account was blocked and had no control over the bounced check, and forward that too. I need to ask the new owner for a new check, from a new account, to bring my balance to zero, which is one of the provisions of me maybe getting the account open again. I need to do all this as soon as possible, so I don't get a bad mark on my credit score.

If I do see a reflection on my score, then I need to write to Equifax, explain the situation forward all the letter I hope to get, and chase down some more rabbits. This is a real pain in the neck. I sold the shop so I could take time for my children, not so I could spend hours on the phone and writing letters!

I called the woman at the shop, told her about this problem, and to call the bank manager. She said she would. I should hope so! Do you know the reasons she gave for not opening the store for two days with no call and no explanation? First, she was getting a mattress delivered, and her second reason was she was worn out and needed a day.

I can't even begin to try to understand. All I can do is work on making it all better, which is what I do best, thank God.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A few changes, et un petit peu de la meme chose

Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose.

The more things change, the more they are the same.

I'd assign the quote, but I fergit who said it.

The Celexa is working out really well, and is very, very effective. I know this for sure, because I forgot to take it the other night. I took my tab immediately upon rising, but it did take a few hours to hit me. In that time, I shrieked at the boys and felt as cross as two sticks until 12 noon.

Now, it is difficult, of course, to know whether I felt grouchy because I knew I had not taken the meds, or because there was no ciltalopram in my bloodstream. The power of the placebo is not to be underrated. I kind of think it was both, but mostly the lack of drugs made me feel different. I am so very, very sensitive to it all.

The first three weeks I was on the Celexa a literally felt a buzz on top of my head. It was like I had a small flannel soaked in warm seltzer water resting on my skull. Warm, tingly, and a teensy bit if pressure. That faded after a week or so, but after that, for almost a month, any time I was in a stressful situation I felt the return of the tingle.

It was as if I had a little chemical/robotic friend telling me, (read in a robot voice) "Halt! Halt! Do not stress! We are here to keep you calm! Nerr!! Nerr!!" I am a bit sorry that tingle is gone. It was pretty cool.

I've always been this way - sensitive to drugs. I avoid Ben-Gay, I'd rather use arnica if I get a bruise. I drink a big glass of water if I get a headache, one aspirin is usually too much. Ask my friends - two glasses of wine and I'm giggly, and half a tab of acid was always plenty.... Ha! Ha! I never dropped acid. Just micro-dots. Just once. And I didn't inhale.

My Dr.-Tell-Me-About-It has wondered if I feel calmer because I am away from the store, which caused me a lot of stress, or if it's the drugs. We agree that it's impossible to know which egg came before which chicken, because this all happened at the same time. I still have a bookkeeping tangle or two to unravel. In fact, the books have become a Gordian knot. I'm hoping my DH will be the Alexander and chop his way through it all. I should have hired a damn bookkeeper. Well, it's one more lesson learned.

I heard about a businessman who made a very costly error. His business had to fork over about 10 million dollars to make it right. A week later he went to the Board of Directors to hand in his resignation. The Chairman refused to accept it, saying, "Why would we get rid of you? We just invested 10 million dollars on your education."

I'm in the same sort of situation. I made a frost of the bookkeeping, and I had to pay a "fine". Hmmph.

This is very true: unless we make mistakes, we do not learn. This isn't to say, "Oh, made some errors, oh, well, I was inexperienced, so it's all okay. Whatever." No, it's more like, "Golly, I made some stupid mistakes, I need to really pay attention to what now know and learn from it. "

For example, now I know that when I start up my next venture, I will have a bookkeeper on hand, and only use a CPA for the taxes. I also know I will only start a business again once my children are in school full time. You know, like when they go away to college.

So, here I am still making mistakes, still trying to keep on keeping on, still doing my playgroups and still running and running around and still at home with the boys. Plus ca la meme chose.

The plus ca change is feeling better about myself and my life choices. Another change is my patience renewal. Another is my ability to sleep better and yet another is my relationship with my mother. It's better than it was; not yet great, but not terrible anymore.

But that story is another post. Right now, they boys and I are off to the pool for a bit if splishy splashy fun. I know, life is tough..


Thank God.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My boys were expelled from school and I'm taking drugs...

...but it's not really as bad as all that.

I'm now on an anti-depressant, and the boys are now seeing a therapist. The doctor is helping the whole family, which is great. The drugs are also helping the whole family, by really helping me, which is incredible.

Yep, I'm medicated. I admit, I feel a little bit of the inevitable, gosh-I-wish-had-done-this-ages-ago, but not too much. I know those thoughts are dangerous, for that way, guilt lies thick. What I am really feeling is simply more patient and less critical, with myself and with others. I would have never thought it possible. Those SSRI's really do the trick sometimes.

As for the boys' expulsion...I never really fit into the crowd at that snooty school anyway. I love the method of teaching, so we chose another school, about 15 minutes drive away, with the same philosophy. However, it's much less snooty, cheaper, and they know to look out for Baby B's terrible temper. I have high hopes for the combination of a new school, child therapy, mom-on-drugs and me not really working.

Yes, "me not really working" is what y'all just read. I am working on the sale of my business by the end of this month. I should clear a few grand, so no money will have been lost, and much peace will have been gained. As for work, I'm going to punch the clock part-time at the local mall for a few hundred a week. I've done it before, I like that kind of small ticket selling, so I don't anticipate too much stress. I hope to get a job by the end of the summer.

Thank you all for your advice and words of kindness left on the last post. Please stay tuned for more details!

As ever,

The Optimistic (I don't let the Turkeys get me down!) MOT

Friday, May 18, 2007

My booking at The Bad Place has been extended

And just when I think it can't get worse...

Here we go with a major whinge.

Today I was called, at 10:30 am, to pick up Baby B from school. He had thrown a wooden block at a little girl, and had cut her eye. Today is exactly one week to the day after he hit another little girl in the face and cut her nose. She needed two stitches. It's simply baffling.

The teachers called me into the office and gave me a big lecture on how we need to work together. They asked me, "What are you doing at home to reinforce the lessons at school? What is your DH doing?" and so on. Needless to say, I was in tears by the time they had finished wiping the floor with me, and I left totally determined not to let Baby B get away with this.

As usual, most of his behavior is totally my fault. I get furious and impatient and I have thrown things at home. I too have screamed and have had my share of tantrums. However, I have never chucked a wooden block at someone, catching them in the face, gashing open an eye. Maybe that's because I'm not a very good shot. Whatever. I know Baby B has seen this and I also know he has inherited my moodiness and basic sense of discomfort of self. Perhaps he has also inherited my depression.

Right now he is in an extended time out until he will answer my question, "Do you know why you are bring punished?" Last time I asked he just shrugged his shoulders and whispered, "I don't know." I am supplying the answer for him, "You are being punished because you hit two of your friends in the face. You cut one girl's nose and cut another girl's eye." Until he says it, he's staying where he is.

When I first collected him he was somewhat contrite, but also very happy to see Mama. I asked him why he was so angry and violent at school. He said something interesting, "Everyone is talking and talking and making so much noise that I can't breathe and I can't make them stop."

Hmm. I called the Child Development Center where he had a few tests last fall and asked about panic attacks in four year olds. I had to leave a message, and hope they get back to me. Panic attacks are a logical explanation. It makes sense, at least to me. If he gets stressed, he can't breathe, and then acts out to call attention to himself. Or perhaps to shock others into silence. He is always telling me that Baby A and his endless chatter is hurting his ears. And he did just have tubes put in his ears when he had his Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy two weeks ago. It's likely he is still sensitive.

I wonder if he truly doesn't understand that he has hurt these girls. If he doesn't understand I have a lot of work to do over the next week or so to make him understand. If he actually does understand, then I have to wonder why he is not willing to talk about it? Is he ashamed of his actions, or worried about further punishment?

I wrote out a card for him that reads: "There is too much talking and too much noise. I can't breathe. Please help me find a quiet place!" I told him to show this to the people at school. Let's see if it works.

Just last night a girl I know said, "You know, you are exactly like your mother."

There is nothing anyone could say that could hurt my feeling more! I spent all last night, and all this morning (until the phone call from school) worrying about this. If I am like my mother, and I don't like my mother, then I don't like myself. This is very unpromising to my future happiness.

I fretted about the ways I know my mother and I are alike: We both force gifts upon people in a vain attempt to get them to appreciate us. We both act partially out of guilt, partially out of love and partially out of a bizarre feeling of obligation - I must take care of everyone before me!
Both of us are simultaneously intelligent and idiotic. We both like to think we are worthy of respect for the decency we display, but then we make the most caustic and withering remarks, which pulverize any respect in an instant. We both hide and cry when we are in a blue funk (she hides in the bedroom, I hide in the bathroom) and we were both pretty at one point. Well, to be precise, we were both pretty until we had children.

I know our children are another common point: We both can't help but regret having children at all. We both resent the demands those children place and continue to place upon us, and we both feel a strong sense of protection towards those children. In my mother's case, that desire to protect doesn't extend itself to actually spending time with the children, but I think it's there.

These are our similarities.

We differ in that I admit my mistakes. I actually I wallow in them and I can never forgive myself for the wrongs I have committed. I also do not spank or slap my children, like she used to spank and slap us. Nor do I insult and belittle my children: You are so clumsy/stupid/what's wrong with you/how could you be so idiotic, and so on. I remember those insults and still chafe beneath the labels fat and clumsy, so I will not do this to my two. I can tell already they will have enough emotional trouble. Having a depressed and neurotic mother is a burden in and of itself.

Case in point, if I had, when I was four, injured my classmates as Baby B has done, I would not have been put in a time out. No, I would have been scolded, spanked with a wooden spoon, and been sent up to my room with no supper. Baby B is sitting in a comfy chair, staring at the wall, being bored. I hope it's severe enough, but I can't bring myself to hurt him to make a point.

Yes, there are ways in which my mother and I are very alike, which is not very surprising. After all, I spent eighteen years in her company, every single day. She is a strong willed and demanding person, and, until I was about 25, she always got her way. Yes, that deeply affected the person I am today.

There are many great and wonderful things my parents did for their children: our education, all the traveling, the instillation of a love of good food and wine and music and books and culture. All that is to be lauded and I am grateful for it too. I am hoping my children will reap the same benefits, from a similar childhood. I just don't want the emotional price to be as high as the one I paid.

The emotional price was very, very high. A lot of my parent's behavior to us was unhealthy and crippling emotionally. This is why the comparison of my mother to me is so wounding and hurtful. I hate to think I will torture and cripple and intentionally wound my own progeny in a like fashion.

I don't think I can cry much more today, and still look quasi-decent for this girl party tonight. I weep in self-pity (I'm like my mother! I hate myself!). I weep in frustration (Why is my child so violent and why doesn't he care?) I weep with exhaustion (The same little monster who wallops his friends also kept me awake from 4:00 am until I crawled out of bed at 6:30 with his kicks and snores) and I weep because I don't know what else to do.

I am also crying because I can't stop thinking about the cream cake in the fridge. The effort of NOT eating it is actually causing me pain, and the fact that I am back to obesessing over food again hurts even more.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am at a Bad Place again

I have been on a low carb/high fat/high protein diet for the past three weeks now, and I lost about eight pounds. It has been a struggle and I was just on the verge of getting my energy back.

However, right now, I feel like exploding. I just found out - Baby B hit a child at school in the face, gashed the bridge of her nose, and she needed two stitches. And - Baby A still bites his classmates. And - for the past month I have been busy hurting a friend's feeling with my big mouth and cocky attitude and general all around poisonous personality, but she didn't want to say anything because she was afraid I would be even worse.

Therefore, I did what all of us with eating disorders do: I just gobbled down three ounces of cream cheese frosting intended for my children's banana bread, a ham sandwich with two thick slices of bread, four Lu Le Petit Ecolier cookies and four stale Mint Newman's O's. The last three cookies didn't taste very nice and were an effort to stuff in, but I managed. Now I feel totally queasy and I just know that I just gained it all back again.

So, please excuse me while I go get my husband's new 32 caliber Glock and make a genuine effort to shoot myself in the foot.

I'm such a freaking moron.

Dear Anonymous -

So sorry for the mixup!! I just grabbed the nearest weapon.

I really meant the .32 Kel-Tec! I know it's a 32 caliber, because that's the number on the Speer Gold Dot 60 box.

The Glock 21C is a 45, which I did not use. It would have made too much of a mess out of the hardwood floor.

I just love these Anonymous remarks! They keep me on what's left of my toes.


Friday, May 11, 2007

The Pingvin lives on!

Do y'all remember the long drawn out and agonizing tale of my boy's Pingvin from Ikea? If you were spared all that, but would like to wallow in the tale of an obsessive mother and her international quest for a stuffed toy, please see January 2006.

At any rate, I got a comment on one of those posts from an English Mama whose son loves his Pingvin. This boy, like many other two year olds, will not go anywhere without his favorite toy. He sleeps with the Pingvin, eats with the Pingvin and feels comforted by its presence. Enough build up? OK, English Mama wrote to me asking if I could spare a Pingvin because her son lost the baby of the set, and is rather upset. She is very afraid of what may happen if he loses the mama as well. She asked if I could possibly sell her one of my collection of 9 beasties, because I have so many and Ikea has none, anywhere in the world.

I thought about it for half a minute and popped two in the mail. I remember how long it took, how many calls and what a bother it was to get more Pingvin for Baby A, and that was in January 2006. These toys haven't been made since that time, so how could she possibly find one 16 months later? I am glad to know that I can be helpful, like the Scottish sales clerk was so helpful to me. The two Pingvin I sent are the two I bought on eBay. So they have now travelled from the Ikea factory to the shop in Canada, to my home in Connecticut and now to England. To Hertfordshire, actually, which is where Elizabeth Bennet and Co. lived. I wonder if those two will now be named Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy?

For flightless waterfowl, they sure get around.

I am also very glad to know I am not the only obsessed mother out there who takes quasi-ridiculous precautions to spare her child disappointment and upset. I'll bet the English Mama says, "just in case" to herself as she tucks that second spare pair of socks in her handbag. Just like me.