Female balding….. I am losing my hair, and it isn’t from the stress of parenting

This is all I can think about day in and day out when I am not wearing a hair or scarf.  Image borrowed from: www.oprah.com

This is all I can think about day in and day out when I am not wearing a hat or scarf.
Image borrowed from: http://www.oprah.com

What I am about to discuss is not pleasant for me. And frankly if I were not blogging anonymously, I probably would not have the guts to discuss it.

All us women have something about our bodies that we loath. I mean shit that just drives us up the wall every time we look, think, smell, what have you. Perhaps a varicose vein popping out of your thigh, pulsating every time you run your finger over it. Maybe you have a mole that is so large, you could give it a government capitol and run election for president. Maybe you have webbed feet? I don’t know.

For me, it is my hair. You are probably saying to yourself, “What the hell is she talking about? Who cares about hair? Just get a good cut and color, and be on your way”. No…. my hair has history. My hair is my demise. My hair effects my confidence and mood every single day of my life. My hair is not only thin, I am going bald. I feel like no one really talks about female balding. If you are a man, and start to go bald, you can just shave your head, done! With women, going bald is just embarrassing and shameful.

It all started about 18 years ago. You know, when there was no electricity and we had to walk to school in our bare feet, 10 miles in the snow. Nah, just kidding. But really…. When I was 16, and sexually active, I decided to get the Depo Provera shot for birth control. It is a hormone shot you get once every 3 months that stops you from ovulating. Worst decision of my life. I was only on the shot for about 9 months. In the 9 month period, I gained weight, stopped having periods, and my hair fell out. I am talking handfuls of hair coming out at a time. It took me a while to realize it was stemming from birth control. As soon as I put two and two together, I stopped the visits to Planned Parenthood, and moved onto a diaphragm.

From age 16 until age 34 (or present day), my hair has progressively become thinner and thinner. I have tried special shampoos, vitamins, acupuncture, blood work, different hair colors, comb overs, and more. Nothing has worked. Frankly I loath when people try and give me advice about it, as I feel like I have already tried EVERYTHING!

Over the years I have gone through various fashion statements, trying to hide my thinning hair. This includes a large chair scarf collection starting in the early 2000’s. Followed by years of collecting tons of hats!

Now I pretty much wear a wide variety of hats about 5 days a week. Or if I am motivated, I will blow dry my hair, comb it over a very special way, and then put a special mineral powder makeup that covers my visible scalp line, and then hair spray it so not one bit can move at all. Even then, all day long, all I can think of, is if people are looking at my hair when they talk to me. Very distracting when you are trying to have a conversation with someone, let alone a job interview.

So now am now at a stage in my life of acceptance. I will never get a full head of hair. When I was pregnant 2 times, my hair grew back slightly, but then just fell out again once I was about 5 months post postpartum. So where do I go from here? How much hair will I lose? It is slowly getting thinner. And slowly I am getting more depressed about it.

I had this epiphany today. What if I just started wearing a wig? What if I decided to be that fashion forward girl who wore a rockin’ wig and just owned it. Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and many many more stars do it. So why not me?

Or maybe I should get a hair piece. Although I have this vision of the man who has a toupee and a monkey lands on his shoulders, takes the toupee off, and runs off, while everyone laughs at him. I just could not handle the humiliation.

My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

Santa Cruz Buses are Good for the Environment Too!
Image borrowed from: http://forum.bustalk.info

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me to take her on the bus for a solid 2 years now. Apparently there is something that seems glamorous about going for a ride on a huge blue box. You can see the bus stop from our living room window, so there is no hiding the bus swinging on by every hour, on the hour.

I had been avoiding taking her on the bus for 2 years now. However she gently reminded me of my promise I had made 2 years ago. I realized I had no more excuses. It was time to conqure my fear, and get my ass on that bus.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is her problem? Why would she be nervous about taking the bus?”. Well let me shed some light on the ways of my manic brain. The last time I took the bus was 20 years ago when I was 14 or 15 years old. Back then (the 90’s if you may), the only people that rode the bus were junkies, homeless, mentally disabled, and teenagers. Do you know how scary teenagers are? Fucking scary!!!! Ok, but really. The bus smelled like piss back then and had a strange dirty, sticky, vibe to it. Even as a kid, I only rode the bus maybe 1-2 times in my life. Anywhere I needed to go, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride. And when I was 16, and got my license, you better believe I felt too cool to ride the bus.

But here I am now, 34, and about to take my precious babies on what I thought would be cesspool of germs and goober. But my baby gets what my baby wants. (enter sarcastic tone). One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Africa let alone across town. I did some research online and found our route. I also found the bus fare amount and made sure I had exact change. $2!!! What a deal!! Of course in my mind I kept thinking, “What if I don’t have enough? What if the coin gets stuck on in the machine and everyone yells at me? What if, what if?”

So we had our money, we had the time we needed meet the bus, and we had our route. We were all ready to go. So here we are at the bus stop. I had a 6 year old, a 21 month old in a sling attached to me, an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and a bag for our library books. Here we come!!! We got on the bus with flying colors. Phew! No one even yelled at me one. Go figure!

I was pleasantly surprised once we got settled in a seat and was on our way. The buses must have been remodeled somewhere in the past 20 years (Who would have thought?). The seats and floor was clean. There was no unpleasant smell. I felt comfortable and safe. There were no crazy people. Don’t get me wrong… There were people of all walks of life, shapes and sizes, etc. But mostly college students, some elderly, and lower income people. But was nice to experience a different side of life that I don’t think about on a day to day basis. And it was nice to just sit back and not have to worry about other drivers, traffic, etc. Granted it took twice as long to get to where we were going, vs driving myself. But we weren’t in a hurry and just had fun riding the bus.

Sometimes it takes our children to help push us beyond our bubble and comfort level. I certainly did not want my daughter to share in my own fears without having her experience life for herself. Most of my daily fears are not based on reality, but my own perceptions and judgements. Which isn’t healthy, but my own shit that I deal.

But that is saved for a new post. For now, all I can say is, YAH for public transportation!!!!

Agoraphobia….or just no night life?

I watch way too much TV violence. I know there is a serial killer waiting for me at night.

I watch way too much TV violence. I know there is a serial killer waiting for me at night.

I can’t say that I have ever really been an “evening event” person. Even before having kids, I enjoyed an evening consisting of a bong hit, a good moving, and carton of ice cream, before considering attending a party or social gathering. However, for the past 6 years, my evening routine has consisted of a babies bed time routine, followed by pi’s, locked door, and TV by 7:00pm. Our kids have always gone to bed between 6:30-8:00pm. This includes starting the evening routine around 5:30 with dinner, bath, etc. It just works for us.

But with the evenings starting so early comes a compromise that I never considered until recently. We have no night life. Unless we make plans for a date night or one of us has a night with friends, we are home bodies, from approximately 6:00 pm till bedtime. Our date nights are pretty few and far between, and usually consist of a movie and cuddle time on the couch. So when the time comes where I actually take those steps outside of my house, into the car, in the dark of night, the strangest level of anxiety and overall uneasiness comes over me. And all I want to do it reschedule my plans to stay in the safe zone of my locked door and house. Even if I need to get something out of my car, I will run to my car, get out what I need, lock the car door, and run back to the house, locking the door behind me.

Ok, blame it on watching too much violence on TV or horror movies. Blame it on the fact that I don’t go out at night….like ever. Blame it on the fact that I have too large of an imagination. Whatever, you will. But I just hate going out of my home when it is dark out. Even to get something out of my car at night, I usually just make a note to get it in the morning.

I have to laugh at myself. Way back in the day (aka, high school), I used to consider myself a “goth”. I was “a woman of the night”. Ha, yeah right. I was a poser, that’s what I was. But now, I am just a plain old hippy dippy mom, who rather be gardening and watching DYI then out on the town at night.

Something comes over me when I walk out that door and head to the car. The world is quieter at night. People who roam the streets at night have secrets lives and things to hide. There are many more hiding places  for serial killers attack me at night. There are more cars to not see me driving and accidentally hit me. People could be driving drunk. People could be rushing home. People could be rushing to rob a McDonalds. I don’t know… I just know, there is something mysterious, unsafe, and scary about being out at night for me.

I hate this feeling. I really do. I am way too young to feel this way. And it isn’t that I just can’t leave the house at night. I certainly can leave the house at night if I need to. It isn’t a feeling that inhibits me to get things done that need to be taken care of. It is just that I feel more comfortable taking care of business and having fun during the day. Then enjoy the comforts of my own home at night. However, I just imagine myself 40 years from now. I am going to be that old woman, who is extremely Agoraphobic and has like 10 cats and enjoys life from the window out her living room. Maybe I seriously need to get a life…..

OCD parent for baby #1. Baby #2 gets the slacker mom!

6 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was the typical type A “prego”. I read all the books, all the message boards, journalled my pregnancy experience, and was determined to be as prepared as possible for my little bundle. When she was born, my OCD didn’t stop there. I was dead set on nursing her even if it took 8 weeks for her to latch. I made her baby food. I practiced attachment parenting. And have since, taken tons of parenting courses and seeked support for every milestone.

Now baby number two rolls around. And boy are things different. You would think I was a pro by now, right? I am wet behind the ears. I don’t need to read books, I go with my intuition and hands on life experience of my parenting. HA!!!! Are you kidding me? I am just plain lazy now. I am tired, and overworked. By now with baby number two, if he just survives the day with all the activities of my daughter, chores, work, school, etc, I feel satisfied. For example:

  1. Nursing. No one tells you when you are pregnant that nursing may not be an option for you. I just imagined my baby would come out stuck to me like a leech. But oh no… She didn’t want anything to do with me. It took 8 weeks to get her to latch. I cried in the lactation center many of times. But holy hell, I was determined. The thought of one drip of formula touching my precious baby’s lips was just out of the question. She needed my magic, all healing milk, and I needed to burn the calories so I could continue eating a carton of ice cream every night. When I cut her off at 18 month, we both cried.When my son was born, luckily he latched right away. But as much as I loved nursing him, you better believe I had a formula body ready to pop in his mouth at any given second that I was too lazy to pull a booby out. As long as his belly was full and he was gaining weight, I didn’t care if it came from me, or a can. I just wanted to make sure he was full at all times. He decided to stop nursing on his own at 10 months. I cried.

    I have to say, one thing that didn’t change with number one and two, is that I would whip that boob out anywhere. I didn’t care. As long as there were no perverts staring at me, I would nurse those babies in anywhere. Boob in everyone’s face, no shame. I feel as though, once you are a nursing mother, your boobs are just natures bottle. They aren’t technically boobs anymore.

     

  2. Sleeping. My daughter slept with us every single day of her little life until she was 8 months old. I could not fathom the thought of her sleeping without me breathing down her throat. Once she was 8 months old, she squirmed too much and started sleeping in her own bed. She still comes to our bed often. But I have to admit, 3’s a crowd. And our little queen sized bed is a bit tight with two adults and a six year old. With my son, he has slept in his bassinet or crib every single day of his life. Not sure why to be honest. When we took him home from the hospital, that very first night, neither one of us could sleep unless we had at least a 12″ space between us. Maybe cause my daughter was still in the bed as well. But he has never slept well with us. On trips, it is a nightmare to get him to sleep if we have to share a bed. I usually end up with the hugest kink in my neck and about 20 min of sleep total.Speaking of sleep. The idea of my daughter having to cry herself to sleep at all was unthinkable. I would always make sure she was dead asleep in my arms before putting her down. With my baby boy, he goes in his crib with his pacifier and that is it. He is out like a light. And if he does wake, I let him cry a little before helping him. Usually he goes back down. It builds character.
  3. Routines. Routines are good for kids, right? It helps them transition from one activity to another. Helps calmly move them from one series of events to another. With my daughter, we have always had routines. As a baby she had an evening routine of dinner, bath, maybe a massage, read three books, nurse, and sleep. And even now she has an evening and morning routine that is clearly stated on her wall to get ready for school. Now my little baby boy. No routine…. He just tags along and when it is time for bed, we brush his teeth, stick the pacifier in, and put him in his crib. Done! I am sure as he gets older, he would benefit from a routine. But for now. It works for him. Despite what the books say.
  4. Speaking of reading. Baby number one, I read to her every night from probably six months on. We would pick out three little board books a night, sit in the rocking chair, and read together. We loved it. With my little boy, he is now 18 months old, and pretty much eats books. I take that back, he actually really likes books. He will look at the pictures, flip the pages, and likes the pictures. But god forbid you try and actually read him a book. My goodness, he won’t have it.
  5. It’s the little things. It is the daily things that crack me up. For example, I just throw the baby in the stroller, no strap. Hell, if he falls out, it builds character. Ok, that is an exaggeration. But with my daughter as a baby, she was always be strapped in with the five star strap system. I always made sure my daughter ate a well ranged diet of fruit, veggis, protient, grains, etc. Now with baby number two, if he eats what would seem like a large meal, I am stoked. He could have yogurt for dinner and I would be happy, if it meant that his belly had enough calories.With my daughter, she did baby sign language, baby play groups, swim lessons, etc. With my son, he pretty much comes along for the ride for whatever my daughter is doing.

Both of my kids are experiencing two totally different upbringings for their early years, but they are both happy and thriving. And I know someday my son will be a reading champ, vs just eating the books. I am sure my son will be in swim lessons, a co-op preschool, and explore all the wonderful activities that my daughter is experiencing now… someday soon. And I know that there will be a point in time where my daughter won’t want to sleep with us, and I will miss it dearly.

I do at times get worried that I will send of them into therapy as adults because of their upbringings. But shit, isn’t that what a Type A, OCD mother is suppose to worry about?

Everyone Poops

Women can't handle pooping at work.

Women can’t handle pooping at work.

I love the book Everyone Poops. Kids get it, why don’t adult women? We all poop. Obviously it is much more pleasant to take care of business in the comforts of your own home. However sometimes when the feeling arises, you may need to “leave the kids at the pool”, or should I say, at work.  However, us women at the workplace are very finicky about pooping at work. We have an unspoken etiquette to abide by when doing our do-do at the workplace.

Today I walked into the office bathroom, only to find a small, typed note taped above the light switch saying, “Please leave the fan on, if air quality is LESS than optimal”. In other words, “if you took a shit, and it stinks, leave the fan on, so nobody else has to suffer.”

This got me thinking about all the awkward gestures we take when taking a crap at work.

Stall Selection
At our office facilities, we have two stalls in the women’s bathroom. A handicap stall and a smaller stall. When you needs to go #2, you always use the larger stall. Mainly because you can’t peek-a-boo under the wall and see who’s feet are next to you, when peeing in the smaller stall. And when you’re pooping, it is nice to know that the other potty goer can’t see that it is you stinking up the bathroom. It is such a well known fact that everyone uses the larger stall when pooping, the can of Lycol permanently has a home there.

The Stand Off
The worst is when you’re in the bathroom alone, doing your business, and along comes someone else strolling into the bathroom and parks themselves in the smaller stall next to you. You think to yourself, “ok… they’re just going to take a quick pee and be on their way. I can hold it until they leave, and then continue on my business. If it becomes an emergency, I can fart when they flush, so they can’t hear”. 

You wait, and wait, and wait. And then it becomes apparent that they are pooping too! What the hell? Don’t they know you’re next door? Maybe they didn’t hear you. So then you shift a little on the toilet or wrestle the toilet paper around, politely letting her know that you were there first and waiting for them to leave. But they don’t leave….

Now you have two options. First, just wait it out. If they’re adamant about wrapping it up before you, you can just hang out. Maybe check Twitter, read the back of the baby powder bottle (yes, someone in our office has brought their own baby powder bottle, and it lives in the big stall), or just twiddle your thumbs. Or second, you can go for it, do your business, flush, wash hands super quick, and run out of the bathroom before she even knows it was you who was “letting one go” next to her.

Farting
My husband and I always debate about farting in the office. His thought is that if you have fart at work, do it! Crop dust if you have to. Are you kidding me? Maybe it works for his silent but deadly farts. But my farts are rippers. I could never fart at work. But when you are in the bathroom, sometimes one needs to slip out. When this happens, I try and do it discretely. For example, if there is someone in the stall next to me and I feel a fart coming, I will cough at the same time as I fart. Hoping that the cough will drown out the fart. Try it next time, it works. Or at least I hope it does…

The Fake Poop. Or Bathroom Nap
I did this more when I was pregnant, but will still use this trick when I am especially tired from a long night with the baby. I will take a 10 minute cat nap in the large bathroom stall. If anyone is wondering where I am, they can just assume I am “using the facilities”. But I will sit on the toilet, put my head in my lap, and doze off for 5-10 minutes. Usually I will only do this is there is no one else in the bathroom. It just sucks when you are suddenly startled by another woman entering the bathroom. But it works for a “quicky”.

There are so many other pooping tips and quirky stories I could write about. I’m sure this will be the first of multiple poop posts. I guess with 2 kids, one of which who is still in diapers,  and the other who freely talk about her poop, I feel pretty comfortable with the subject. I mean, shit, everyone poops!

 

What happens when mommy can’t sleep

Go to sleep dammit!

About 3 months of so ago, Wendy, a close friend of mine, posted an article about how she has insomnia. I read it, felt sympathy to her, and thought, “sucks to be you”…. Well, kharma is a bitch. And now I am the fool who can’t sleep.

Lately my baby boy has been waking around 3:00 am, then again around 5:00 am. Not cool!!!! I usually can get him back to sleep the first time around. A gentle push of a pacifier back into his mouth and a stumble back into bed, usually takes care of it. The 5:00 am waking requires a bottle stuck in his mouth, and if I am lucky he will sleep for another 1-2 hours.

Most the time I can go back to sleep after the 3:00 am waking. It takes hard work and determination to fall back asleep at 3:00 am. The trick is to stay half sleep during the whole pacifier/bottle process, then stumble back to bed and try really hard to not think at all, before falling back to sleep. The moment, one semi-intelligent thought enters my mind, BAM!!!! no sleep for me, thank you very much. The 5:00 am waking, is a long shot for falling back asleep all together.

This morning, at 5:00 am, I stumbled back to my cozy bed, ready to doze back to sleep for at least another 90 minutes… and then it happened. What you are about to experience, is a walk-through of a series of strange and obsessive, random thoughts that enter my mind, as I am try and fall back to sleep for the last 90 minutes, of what is suppose to a calming and restful sleep cycle:

Ok, if you can just relax your mind and body now, you can have 90 minutes of sleep. Do it, relax…. RELAX!!!!! Ok really, you need to breath in and out, and relax. Please go to sleep. 

Does fruit snacks count as a healthy breakfast? Shit, I really need to go grocery shopping. 

I don’t think I have given my kids vegetables for an entire week. I am a horrible parent. I am going to scar my kids for life and cause them to go into therapy.

I seriously need to remember to pay that bill. Oh man, I hope I don’t forget….. Pay the bill, pay the bill, pay the bill.

Go to sleep!!!!! Just go to sleep!!!! Why can’t you go to sleep????? Ok, ok, relax, you can do this. If you go to sleep now, you can have at least another 60 min before you have to get up. 

Shit I have to pee. No forget that. If I get up to pee, I am going to get cold and then I will never ever get back to sleep. I might as well just get up and start the day if I cave and go pee. I don’t have to pee, I don’t have pee. 

Lovely girl, won’t you stay…. won’t you stay…. stay with me… (that is a Lumineers song lyric incase you didn’t know.)

I wonder what Kim and Courtney are doing in Miami right now. I could just get up and watch it and just give up on this whole sleep thing. 

Maybe I should get up and take a shower. I showed last night, but maybe I smell. Old people smell bad. Maybe I smell like an old person. Oh shit, that would suck balls!

I really hope my skinny jeans fit today. I shouldn’t have had that ice cream last night. Maybe if I go poop before putting them on, with the right underwear, they won’t be too tight. Maybe if I had cooked more veggis for my family, my skinny jeans would fit today. 

What will I blog about tonight. Maybe I should just sleep tonight instead of blogging. I think my entire 16 readers would understand if I didn’t post tonight. No, no… I really should keep up with it. I will never get more readers unless I keep blogging….

For the love of god woman, go to sleep!!!!! Ok let’s try some meditation techniques. 

I think somewhere along those lines I did fall back asleep…. for about a 10 minutes. Then my 6 year old woke up and came into our bed. And basically it was all over from there. Time to get up and start the day. Maybe tomorrow I will have better luck. It is either that, or I am getting up and watching Kim and Courtney on TV at 5:00 am. Their lives are more exciting than the OCD that runs through my mind. Or maybe not….

Look out, mommy’s getting sick

No one wins when Mom is sick.

No one wins when Mom is sick.

This past week, I was taking care of my sick baby. He had bronchiolitis.  Fever, wheezy, cough, no appetite,  clingy,  lethargic, and up all night. You name it, he had it. And throughout the entire week, I had to stay home with him, while still attempting to get in a 40 hour work week. Which is complete bullshit by the way. By Thursday night, I basically broke down crying when my own dad came over to bring us dinner and play with the kids for a little while. And all awhile, my baby breathed on me, snot-rocketed all over me, coughed in my eyeball, pooped on my hands, drank from my cup, and basically contaminated everything with his funk. And for whatever reason, during this entire week, I felt immune to his infectious virus.

Oh how wrong I was. The tables have now turned. Saturday morning I woke with a wave of anxiety as I noticed that something was wrong with me…. You know the feeling…. The slight thick phlegm building up in the back of your throat. The nasal congestion starting to strain your breathing. The tiny tickle in the back of your throat. Oh yes, you have it, I was getting sick.

Immediately, all these OCD thoughts started running through my drowsy, yet paranoid brain as I begin to go through the five stages of grief.

  1. Denial. “There is no possible way I am sick. Moms can not get sick. I thought moms were suppose to be immune to all germs. If I ignore it, it will go away. This is not happening to me. I can not get sick. It is not an option.”
  2. Anger. “I don’t have time for this shit! I have way too much going on. It isn’t fair!!!!! This is fucking ridiculousness.”
  3. Bargaining. “Ok, if I get sick, it is only for today and that is it! If my body can just hold out for one more day, I can get a ton of shit done first, and then I will allow myself to be sick for 1 day tops”.
  4. Depression. “This is so horrible. How on earth could I get sick? I never get sick. Well fuck it. If I am going to be sick, I am going to milk it for all its worth, and just not get out of bed for days. Maybe I will eat a carton of ice cream and gain 10 pounds. Who cares, anyway? I am going to feel like shit forever.”
  5. Acceptance. “Ok, I give in. I am getting sick. This is my being sick. I can deal with this. I’ll be sick for a few days, and then be better. I have tissues, vitamins, juice, popcycles, ipad, etc.

We all know that when the mom gets sick, the family turns to shit. No matter how fabulous your husband is. He could be the best house husband ever. Rub your feet, grocery shop, keep the bed made, etc. But when the mom is sick, the family goes to shit. There must be a college thesis written on this very topic somewhere.

When any normal adult starts to feel ill, they make some tea, get cozy on the couch with some TV, let the kids have all the screen time they want. That way, they can rest, hunker down and try and get better, in hopes they can catch it before it gets worst.

Not me…. no way. When I woke up Saturday morning with that oh so yucky feeling, I got out of bed, put on my grubbies, and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom at 8:00 am. Then went grocery shopping, and took the kids to the beach to run around and get their sillies out. My theory is that, if I can take care of business now, before I am feeling like complete shit, I can really relax and enjoy being sick in a clean house, a full refrigerator, and tired kids. No bad huh?