I’ve been moving slow this week. Bryan was gone all weekend at a geek thing so Ruthie and I spent a lot of time in our pajamas. And today I don’t have a car to go anywhere, so once again we are still in our pajamas.

It seems I’m becoming That Wife who lets herself go, wearing raggedy sweat pants, bed head, no make-up, and a spit-up stained shirt. I’m waiting for someone to turn me in to What Not to Wear – although I think I could live with the humiliation in exchange for a $5K NY shopping spree.

I’ve become listless and unmotivated again, and don’t even look forward to play dates with friends anymore. I just want to sit in my pajamas, alone, in front of the t.v. and eat chocolate chip cookies and drink lots of wine. I’m wondering if the Zoloft is wearing off, or maybe I’m just using depression as an excuse to be lazy.

How does one figure these things out?

I’m chubby, and it’s finally getting to me. You can only use the I Just Had A Baby excuse, or the I Have To Keep Up the Calories for Nursing excuse for so long before people raise their eyebrows at your third bowl of cereal for dinner.

I think what finally got to me was looking through the Eddie Bauer holiday catalogue that came to me in the mail. I love Eddie Bauer clothes, but I realized as I looked through it that I still picture myself as looking the way I did before Ruthie was born. I have been in denial of my reality. I have become the person I secretly mock and judge when I see her at the mall – the chubby girl who still dresses as if she’s skinny.

But that’s not the only thing that horrifies me. What is most horrifying to me right now is that I just don’t give a damn. I don’t care what I eat, what I wear, or who sees me doing it.

I just don’t care.

Side effects may include snoring in public


The other day I was flipping through a magazine and saw a full page ad for Zoloft. I read the tiny print at the bottom just for kicks and it said the side effects were, among other things, drowsiness and insomnia.

It seems like this combination would perpetuate the insanity that made me take the pills in the first place.

Operator Error

[I wrote this on Saturday while I was ‘between websites.’ Although it was written on Saturday, I wasn’t able to post it until 8/31/05]

My website is still in Internet Purgatory, yet I continue to write in hopes that it will one day be read.

As it turns out, my depression episode was apparently due to a Medication Malfunction. In other words, I had forgotten to take my regular dose of Zoloft the night before. I had been out partying hard with a friend, eating brownies and making Christmas cards with cute stamps and glitter and blow dryers – all things that bad girls are into.

Anyway, because I was so high on embossing powder, I went to bed without taking my pill.

I took the pill immediately once I realized this, waited around for a couple of hand-wringing hours, then it seemed to kick in and I jumped back into my routine of folding laundry, making dinner, blah, blah, blah.

I was fine.

Fine, but disturbed.

Why is it that a drug – one that takes THREE WEEKS to begin working once you start taking it — seems to lose all effectiveness after missing only ONE DOSE?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

[I wrote this on Friday while I was ‘between websites.’ Although it was written on Friday, I wasn’t able to post it until 8/31/05]

I am in a bad head space today and it is not helping matters that my blog is in Internet Purgatory. It is not helping that Bryan is meeting with important people at work today so he is unavailable to hear my blubbering cries of desperation, though I am sure he is sorry to be missing out on that.

From the moment I opened my eyes this morning I felt anxious. I felt groggy. I felt irritable and angry.

I thought I just needed to wake up, so I drank three cups of coffee, but that didn’t seem to help.

I thought I just needed to look better, so I showered, shaved my armpits, styled my hair, and put on a SKIRT for cryin’ out loud. But that didn’t seem to help.

I thought maybe I was low blood sugar, so I ate some breakfast, but that didn’t seem to help.

I thought I was irritated by a frustrating meeting I had this morning, that maybe it dredged up past frustrations I had not let go of. But I’ve decided to disengage from that and I still don’t feel any better.

I took a nap.

I came downstairs to check my email, but I felt like crying, so I went back upstairs to finish taking a nap.

Then I felt restless because surely there was something better to be doing than taking a nap, but I just can’t possibly think what that would be.

I checked my blog again in case someone who knows what they are doing rescued it from Internet Purgatory, but it is still in limbo. I called Bryan again, but he is still not answering his phone.

So here I sit, staring at my computer, typing a desperate essay with very little humor and not a lot of thoughts about rainbows and puppies. I feel as if no one can hear me, that no one is listening. I will finish this essay, save it to my computer, and that will be it. No one else will read it, and no one else will know that these thoughts exist in my head.

I find that very disturbing, yet I can’t figure out why. There is something magical to me about posting my thoughts on the internet, even though I have at least three friends I could call right now who would come over immediately and let me have my depression relapse while soaking the sleeves of their shirts with my tears.

But that is not where I’m at today. Today I feel like crying out to the internet, but there is no one on the internet to hear me.


I have a bug.

A cleaning bug.

I have had so much energy and motivation to Get Things Done that I think it’s driving everyone a little crazy.

There must be some sort of threshold when our babies turn four or five months old where we women suddenly change our hairstyle, go back to the gym, empty out the scary closet, and cook an actual meal for dinner.

I showed up to a birthday dinner with girlfriends a couple years ago when Ruthie was only three months old. These were gals I hadn’t seen for awhile, and they ooh-ed and aaahh-ed over my new haircut. One of them asked how old Ruthie was, and when I told her she said, “Yup. That explains it.”

I think it has to do with routine. Or sleep. Or both.

By three to five months my babies are napping a little more regularly, and sleeping through most of the night. I wake up in the morning recharged, ready to sort through a box of old baby clothes. I can predict with general accuracy when the next nap will occur so I can plan my day accordingly.

I fear that I’m a little over-ambitious these days. I have painting projects on my list, and sewing projects. I need to clean out our storage area, clean out my old office area, and figure out how to make my kitchen pretty until we can afford to remodel it.

I love to purge. I’ve made five trips to the local Salvation Army this month. I even brushed the dog because her fur was cluttering up her body too much. I think she weighs five pounds less, now.

The next time I have a baby (IF I have another baby), I need to be reminded of this threshold. Bryan needs to be reminded of this threshold. We need to just throw Order to the wind and embrace the chaos so we don’t drive each other crazy again.

I feel like my old self again, and I’m remembering how much fun my life is.

When I was a kid, whenever we drove through a tunnel it would get dark and I would roll down the windows of the car and scream until we hit daylight again.

I’ve come back into that daylight.

Coldplay Is My Pink Floyd

For some reason I can only write while listening to Coldplay, and it needs to be played REALLY LOUD. And I mean, REALLY LOUD, like, the kind of loud where you can’t even hear the phone ring or your husband sneak up on you from behind. I think because all their songs sound the same they blend into the back room of my consciousness and drown out all the distractions in my head.

Currently I’m slightly buzzed on vodka and orange juice – just enough to make my lips numb and to make Coldplay sound REALLY GOOD. Sometimes I think I would make a great alcoholic because I’m a nicer person when I’m buzzed. I was just reading about the Comfort Zone of toddlers in The Girlfriend’s Guide to Toddlers – things like blankies, binkies, and thumb sucking – and I thought to myself, What if my Comfort Zone was a strong margarita? Would that be socially acceptable?

What if, when playground politics stressed me out or I thought there were monsters under my bed, what if I chucked the blankie aside and poured myself a stiff one. It sure does comfort me, and isn’t that the point?

The things that toddlers get away with….

Drunkard’s Prayer

Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of the band Over the Rhine canceled their national tour for the OHIO album a couple years ago because the stress of their work was taking a toll on their marriage. They stated in the liner notes of their most recent album, Drunkard’s Prayer, that they needed time to figure out if being together was something they were still committed to.

“When we came home from the tour,” they wrote, “we bought two cases of wine and decided we were going to put a bottle on the kitchen table every evening and start talking until nothing was left. The idea was not to get plowed, but to talk face to face deep into the night.”

Out of that experience came the song, Born, plus a whole host of other beautiful melodies on Drunkard’s Prayer.

Two kids, depression, his career, and pastoring a church on the side has taken a toll on us. We are broken, and I feel as if nothing can fix us.

Religion says God will fix us, but the Bible says I am arrogant and stubborn and must let go of my anger.

Religion says God will make me feel better, but the Bible says I need to humble myself and ask Bryan to forgive me.

Religion says I deserve to be happy, but the Bible says we are children of grace who have been given a new voice to praise the Most High God.

I am nobody. I am a lump of clay who shakes her fist at the potter.

I’m tired. I give up. I will let go of my resolve and listen for the Still Voice to whisper again to me – I hope I can remember what He sounds like.

“Fix You”by Coldplayfrom the XY albumWhen you …

“Fix You”
by Coldplay
from the X&Y album

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
When you too in love to let it go
If you never try you’ll never know
Just watch and learn

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

How to Survive the I-Don’t-Give-a-Fuck Blues

My life has become so overwhelming that I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m not talking about the suicidal version of not giving a fuck, I’m more of the version where you don’t shower for days, the laundry is piled up on the spare bed, and household budgeting is reduced to crossing your fingers and hoping there’s money in the account whenever you swipe the debit card.

I watch my two year old daughter as she plays, and if it doesn’t involve tormenting the dog by hiding her chew toys in out of reach places, it usually involves some sort of domestic work. Ruthie loves to sweep, and if she was about five pounds heavier she would love to push the vacuum around, too. She’ll spend oodles of time caring for her doll, laying her down on a clean blanket, lifting her legs in the air, wiping the doll’s ass, and she’ll even attempt to put a real diaper on it. Don’t even get me started on her obsession with cleaning surfaces with a wash cloth – she will intentionally spill water just so she can clean it up.

It’s funny how, at two years old, we loved to do these things. Tea parties were fun and we got dressed up in our white gloves and garden hats.

At what point does this all become a horribly dreaded chore? When does the joy become divorced from the task? Does Bree find any more pleasure in her daily grind than Lynette, or does she simply suppress the dread more cleverly?

I never meant for life to be so complicated. Was I just being naive? Is complication inevitable? Have I allowed too much to enter my life or is this the way it’s supposed to be?

I really felt that as a single person I was pretty non-romantic about the way life would be with a husband and kids. The extent of my fantasy was that my kids would sit quietly in the family room as we watched some brainy show on t.v. like Nova or Frontline, and we would have long and interesting conversations about the Milky Way Galaxy or the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. One season of King of the Hill and Celebrity Poker Showdown nipped that dream in the bud.

So instead of the tea party and white glove dream, I over-multi-task my day in order to get it all done to the point where I scream at my kids, they cry, and my daughter learns to say, “Mommy, sit! Mommy, sit!” And even THAT annoys me.

I just want it to stop. If it’s not possible to lay in bed all day with the covers over my head, then how do I get motivated to get up in the morning? How do I face the piles of paperwork and laundry and dishes and blah blah blah? If I choose to lower my standards and just let some things slide, will I be a Christian who sucks?

The Christian Culture says to “let go and let God,” that we find joy in our work because we are doing so unto the Lord, that serving my husband and children is a role I need to cherish. I know there are verses for all that.

But what the fuck does that mean when I can’t get out of bed?

Am I a Christian who sucks if my husband can’t find any clean underwear? Am I a Christian who sucks if the unopened mail is stacking up on the dining room table? Am I a Christian who sucks if I don’t get the dishwasher emptied until four in the afternoon?

Do I need to repent? Does anyone have a users manual that will tell me HOW to “let go and let God” and make it all happen?

I’m not asking for bon bons and soap opras, but there has got to be a way to do the things that need to be done while still enjoying my life and my daughter. Currently I feel as if I have to make a choice between nurturing my daughter and getting things done. Any parent who’s been there knows how demanding a two-year-old can be, and as I read more on the subject of raising toddlers, the more I feel comforted that I’m not alone.

As of late, if given the choice between resting or getting something done when I have both the kids napping at the same time, I choose REST. I put my feet up, grab a book, and if the gods are smiling on me I get to snooze for 20 minutes.

Does that make me a lazy Christian who sucks? To which I say, I don’t give a fuck.