Staying Sane

So, I left a few things out of my last post, but of course there were the daily battles going on in the midst of the Major Madness War.  My sanity was sometimes often teetering on the edge.  No one ever asked, but in case you're wondering how I stay sane (or if you're the only one struggling - YOU'RE NOT) let me first point you toward two articles I really resonated with.  Both HuffPost, sorry.

When You Are Tightly Wound - especially this part:
It happens every night. Twelve hours of parenting have passed, the kids are finally in bed, and I feel the weight of it all on my chest.
Austin will suggest we go to bed. We need more rest! But I cannot go to bed. I am too tightly wound.
Anyone who has parented a human for more than five minutes has felt the coils of the day wrapping around their insides, making the chest tight and the stomach hungry for nachos. By 9 p.m., I have no words left. I just want to sit in the dark, watch Michael Scott, and not have to think any intelligent thoughts.
And, I Miss the Village - YES YES YES. I think about this all the time, how mothers were not meant to raise their children alone. I'm less "alone" than most (I mean, my mom, sister, and aunt all live within 1000 feet of me) and still I feel very "alone" sometimes.  It's a solitary thing, being confined to a house or nursing baby or mother's lounge in the church building. I don't think it has to be that way, but I don't have any logical solutions except to move to my fantasy hand-picked community where Laurel is my next-door neighbor and the rest of you are down the street.  I do, however, nurse without leaving the room whenever possible.  That's a post for a different day.
AND NOW for the things I actually, actively do to keep myself from wallowing in the despair of sleep-deprivation (hint: not exercise. Although I've heard good things about it).
Play dates. We all know these are for moms, not kids.  I prefer to surround myself with the low drama type of women who have similar parenting styles to my own.  Then I don't have the pressure of feeling judged on a weekly basis.  Weekly or even thrice-weekly playdates! Gets me dressed and out of the house for a couple hours.  Also occasionally serves as a vent session.
Ladies Night. Like a playdate, but without kids.  I play bunco once a month and have also attended many a "Ladies' Night" at our local ice cream place.  We sit and laugh and eat ice cream and leave our children home for a few. But we don't husband-bash or talk about other women. (Low-drama friends. Key.)
Date Night. This is like the cream of the crop, and I SO WISH I could say we do this on a regular basis. Alas, my nursing baby and projects up to my eyes have kept the couple time to a bare minimum.  But even a dinner together with a babysitter at home gives me a better perspective and renewed commitment.
Finally, chocolate. Lindt dark chocolate isn't going to make my problems go away (or do the dishes), but I'll be darned if it doesn't make me feel a little better.
(What do you do to stay sane?)


Light at the End

There is light at the end of the tunnel my friends.  And it is good.

The peak levels of stress I've experienced over the past several months (more than year actually - I knew we'd need to move as soon as I found out I was pregnant) have made this calm even sweeter.  In four more days we should be closed on both houses, fire training will be done, and Slice will be leaving his new job for an even newer, better one.  (Ah, oilfield.  Reluctant friends make for lasting relationships.)

I spewed out a few frustrations here and on Facebook, but for the record - since I certainly haven't been journaling! - this is how the last several months have gone down.

February: Baby

a real sweetheart.  not getting enough fat from my milk, so formula-supplemented diet it is.
March: Prom (took over my living room for three months)

not Prom-related pictures
April: Baby blessing, painted the entire basement and stairwell, put up a FOR SALE sign, stressed out and worked so hard to get my house clean just ONE TIME! to show it. Luckily, the second people to walk through made an offer.  

May: Surveyor. We wanted to split our lot and after jumping through a bunch of hoops realized that it wasn't possible. So we moved forward with the loan process, and married off miss Kiana on the 30th.

yes I took this photo.
June: Packing. I applied for a job with DYT, didn't even get a reply. Plumbing/appraisal problems. API pictures. Moving. We bought a fridge and washer/dryer set, sold my lovely kitchen table. Sixth anniversary.

poor guy had to give away his first dog.
July so far: lobbied for City Council position, didn't get it. Tested my thyroid - it's been off.  Also, strep.  Again.  (SO THAT'S WHY I CAN'T GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING!)

Things are really good now. After a round of antibiotics and five days of a bigger dose of Synthroid, I feel like my life couldn't get any better than this. I'm not planning to move again, ever. (Unless it's out of state/ out of the country.)  (Remind me I said that! Not moving again ever.)  I have space for my kids to play, a real closet, and a master bathroom, and no thumping cars in the McD's parking lot all hours of the night. I even live next door to my mom.
the view out my front door
There is light at the end of the tunnel.  And it is good.