Life Lately

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

What a crazy month it's been. My last post from the beginning of July (!!!) talked about our exciting journey to homeownership. Well, it's been a whirlwind, that's for sure. We packed, moved, cleaned the old rental house, started unpacking the new place, and even got a little painting started in the living room and kitchen area. I feel like we are in survival mode all over again, and it's no wonder why. There's just been so much going on and a lot of annoying little things that add up to big stressors for me as someone with major anxiety.

The first week in the house was crazy. We had the microwave crap out on us the very first day we were there. We had just moved the day before and I had the worst night of sleep ever, thanks to the sprinkler system going off every hour all night (and with no central air conditioning I was sweltering in my bedroom and had the window open, so I could hear the water spraying all night). I woke up super early, made my coffee, and ultimately had to reheat it, only to have the above the range microwave trip the breaker and refuse to power on. Not the best way to start your first morning in your new house. After grabbing an extension cord and trying multiple outlets in the kitchen and living room we realized it was probably the microwave and not an electrical issue. Yay. To make matters worse, I had just sold our old microwave for $5 at our garage sale, so we didn't even have a backup. 

Then last week the fridge stopped getting cold. We spent a week living out of a cooler and had to get bags of fresh ice daily. All of the food spoiled, including all of the condiments and stuff I'd just restocked from moving. Not really what I was expecting when I fantasized about home ownership. I knew there would be things that would break and repairs that would need to be done...but it was really disheartening for it to first happen to the microwave and then to the fridge too, all within the first couple of weeks of living here. We had just spent so much money and we're also trying to buy a second car ASAP (because my husband has a bit of a commute for work now, and me dropping him off is really inconvenient and leaves me carless a lot). Then there's the bedroom in the basement that needs to be finished as well, and the garage needs finished too. It's just a lot of money going out and it's really stressful trying to prioritize projects when things keep randomly breaking and needing replaced all at the same time too. Surprise! And not the good kind either. We have a working fridge again now though, thankfully. I don't want to use a cooler again anytime soon...and I'll never take an ice maker for granted again! 

On top of the unpacking and trying to get everyone settled and comfortable in the house, I've been feeling totally trapped inside. We we've been in the middle of a major heatwave here in Washington and the new backyard needs a lot of work. Remember I mentioned the house had been a rental for years? Well the yard was pretty neglected during that time, unfortunately. The flowerbeds along the fence line didn't look like they'd been weeded in years. The weeds are taller than me in some spots! And they're filled with bees, so I don't know what to do about tackling them just yet. The yard has no trees and no shade whatsoever either, so playing out back is pretty much out of the question when it's really hot outside unless you want to melt. It's not so bad when it's only 80 degrees or so. But in the 90's and triple digits? Nope! It's one of the drawbacks of this house for us- the yard. I loved our old backyard, and this one is pretty lackluster in comparison. So that's been a big adjustment for us so far because we are so used to being able to head out back whenever we want, and now we feel like we can't. I've got big plans for the yard, but it's going to be a few years in the making and it's not anything I want to take on just yet. Hopefully by next summer we will have made a few improvements so we can hang out back there more and enjoy it as a family. We'll just have to deal for now. 

We have had a few chances to get out and explore a little though. We've been walking to the local grocery store a couple of times a week just to get moving and pick up whatever we're running low on-  usually milk, fruit, fun snacks, etc. The little kids ride in the double jogging stroller and I let them grab a free banana from the produce section to munch on while I shop. Sometimes we grab a fun little drink or treat for the walk home and explore the neighborhood a little. We've also stopped by the library a few times and got our new library cards. The kids loaded up on some art and LEGO books. I browsed the local events calendar to see what's going on in our little town, making mental notes of events I want to remember to check out (but inevitably forget). And we made it to the lake once so far. It's only about 15 minutes away and it's absolutely beautiful. We are definitely going back at least once more before the summer slips away. It was the most fun I'd had in a while and we got in some much-needed family time, all six of us. 

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that we added a member to our family. Meet Hank! 

He's our teeny tiny kitten we adopted from a friend who had found him abandoned in her barn with no mama cat to take care of him. He was about 3 weeks old when we picked him up, which makes him about 6 weeks old now. I felt so bad for him because he was so little and should have probably still been nursing. But he was already eating kitten food and he was litter box trained. The best part was that the big kids were away at summer camp when we got him so we were able to totally surprise them. They've been dying for a cat, but being in a rental made that not a possibility for a while. We'd promised them a pet once bought a house and it was just perfect. The kids love him so much, and I don't mind him either. In all honesty though, he's a sweet little kitten and the kids have been great about taking care of him.
The view...waiting for the big kids at summer camp.

I decided that now that the stress of actually buying a house and moving is over with that it's time to focus more on taking care of myself. It's no secret that I've been struggling mentally these last couple of years. I've had postpartum depression and a few personal circumstances that have left me totally stressed out, depressed, and unable to function in many ways. It's taking a toll on my physical health now- I'm unable to sleep or eat much at all. I'm waking up at 4am daily with stomach pain, and for the last week straight I woke up nauseous and dry heaving into the toilet before the sun comes up (and before anyone suggests it- NO, I'm 100% not pregnant!) I'm exhausted and anxious all the time and I'm so done feeling like this. I started focusing on my diet more these last few weeks and have been making a conscious effort to eat better and eat more. Food aversions or not, I need the calories for energy and I've been keeping myself in check most days by sharing some of my healthy lunches on my Instagram stories. It helps me feel like I'm being held accountable and I've gotten some sweet messages of encouragement as well, which I totally appreciate. I also started exercising again! It's been years. I hate exercising, I'm not going to lie. But I need to do it. 

I know everything that's going on with me is beyond fixing it with just eating better and exercising. I've tried and failed over and over again to just "pull myself out of it" and I always end up in a downward spiral again in a week or two no matter how hard I try. My husband has been gently urging me to see a therapist for some time and I finally agreed. The idea of talking to someone about my problems scares the shit out of me. I'm not good at vocalizing my feelings. I don't talk things out. I never have. Growing up, we didn't talk about our problems...we swept things under the rug and kept everything surface level, and I'm so tired of living that way. As much as it makes me feel uncomfortable to pour my heart out to a stranger, I just know it needs to happen. I can't bottle this up anymore. It keeps bubbling over and it's getting worse and worse because I just have no clue how to deal. And along with therapy I'm also in the process of finding a new primary care doctor and have some bloodwork done to check my hormones and thyroid. I think there may be some underlying issues going on too and I need to know what I'm dealing with health-wise in order to fully heal myself, so to speak. 

Summer is winding down and I feel like it's just getting started for us. Moving took up a lot of our time and we still have so much we want to do. Hopefully we'll have time for some more fun before the weather starts to transition to fall, then quickly to winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Our seasons change so quickly and I'm not ready for the sunshine to go away just yet!

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Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea