Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time changes everything.

They say that time changes everything, but it's always been a bit of a paradox to me. It rushes. It stands still. It messes with your memory but also firms up those magical moments in your life and allows you to reminisce about them as though they happened yesterday. 

I have a lot of those magical moments in my life. Some are amazing memories: Meeting Hubster for the first time. Getting married. Almost passing out at the amazing news we were expecting Bugster and then welcoming her just a few months later. Anticipating Hopper's arrival. Opening the best birthday gift I've ever received when having Scooter. Some are just plain awful. And while there's no need for me to remember them just to write them in a blog post, I will keep them tucked away. They are a part of me. 

I will instead just focus on those wonderful, magical memories that I've been so very blessed to have. I'm able to open them over and over again and live the days like they just happened. And there's one in particular that I will enjoy reliving time and time again.

It was when I finally got to meet Baby Bug...our precious little granddaughter...

Bugster had been fighting high blood pressure the last week or so of her pregnancy. She wasn't bedridden, but if it didn't come down right away by lying down, she needed to go in for a BP check. She took her blood pressure multiple times a day with a little wrist cuff, and it always went down when she rested on her side until the day it didn't. So she packed her bag for the hospital. (I know. She should have had it done. But it always seems like "The Day" is never actually going to arrive, and when it comes a week before you're planning on it, it catches you unaware). So she and Bubster headed out to the hospital. 

My mom, who had flown down to be here for her newest great-granddaughter's arrival, and I decided we'd better get that last coat of paint on the nursery room walls while we still could. (Frank finally moved out about 10 days prior, and there's no way Bugster could do any of the cleaning, let alone the painting in her condition). I was just putting the finishing touches of soft pink paint in the closet when Bugster called. 

She was crying.  

Bubster had run down to the cafeteria to get them something to eat really quick when the doctor came in and told her that they needed to induce her. And even though she was expecting it, it took her off guard to hear it while she was alone. And all of her pent up emotions that had been carefully held in check for 9 months rose to the surface during the phone call. I don't think she was scared as much as she just wasn't quite mentally prepared. But by the time the phone call was over, she was ready to get the show on the road.

So we packed up and headed out, too. We ran home, (had Calamity, who was supposed to be helping us paint but settled for keeping us company, follow us to our house, so she could follow us to the hospital), changed clothes, and waited for our friend to head over to watch the girls for us. It felt like time stood still, went in slow motion, and whizzed past us all during that half hour. It's amazing how you can almost see time in instances like that. 

We stayed at the hospital for a couple of hours and left when Bugster asked us all to clear out. Her main intent was to get Calamity to go home, and she wouldn't leave, if we didn't. The last thing we needed was to stick around and have Bugster's blood pressure rise, so we went home and relieved our friend who was watching the girls. We watched tv for a bit, called to say goodnight to Bugster, and went to bed. I wondered about the sanity of crawling into bed at the time, but Bugster assured us that she was doing fine, and there wasn't anything else to do.

The moment I actually drifted off to the Land of Slumber, the phone rang. It was Bugster. She was crying again. They had given her the medicine to start the induction. It was given in the hope that she wouldn't need pitocin. And it had kicked in. Hard. Like Transition Hard. And she was alone. Bubster had run home to get some creature comforts for his overnight stay and to feed the cats. She had told him to go but regretted it the moment the contractions took over. 

Her blood pressure was rising even more, and it was time to make a decision. She could choose to try an epidural to keep her blood pressure down, or she could opt for magnesium. Neither was her first choice, but the natural birth she had wanted wasn't going to happen. She decided to give the epidural a chance, since the pain was causing her blood pressure to rise. 

By the time Hubster and I made it to the hospital, (we left my mom with the girls, because we couldn't get ahold of our friend to sit with them again. She'd absentmindedly turned the ringer off on her phone.), Bubster was back at the hospital, the epidural was in place, and Bugster seemed at peace and out of pain. 

Hubster took advantage of the quiet of the waiting room at 1:00 in the morning to read and snooze, while I waited in Bugster's room waiting for the dragging time to quicken a bit, visited quietly with the doula and hit the pain pump for Bugster's epidural when she grimaced in her sleep. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. I knew what was coming. She didn't.

When the nurse came in to check her progress a few hours later, everyone was shocked to find that Bugster was ready to go! The medicine had done it's job, and the epidural allowed her to sleep through every bit of labor! Time went into warp speed again. I woke Hubster up, so he could go get Mom, called our friend, who had since turned her ringer back on, and waited impatiently for them to get back to the hospital. They were just in time. Hubster and Mom came in to give Bugster a quick hug and tell her she was going to do great and headed back out to the waiting room. 

What seemed like moments later, a doctor came running from across the ward behind them. He yelled out asking the nurses where he needed to go. Hubster immediately recognized it as Bugster's room, and I know time had to have absolutely dragged for them while waiting for news. In the meantime, we were stuck in this time warp, where poor Bugster had to wait for the doctor to come in. Baby Bug could wait no longer to make her appearance. The doctor no sooner donned his paper gown than she appeared.

She was beautiful. She had a headful of downy black hair. And she wasn't moving or crying like she should. Time stood completely still, as I reassured Bugster that she had done an amazing job and listened to her and Bubster talk about how alert and beautiful and quiet their little girl was. I'm glad they got to see her look at them. I'm glad they had that special moment with one another, because what I saw was not as encouraging, and time stood perfectly still, in spite of the clock on the wall ticking above the noise of the nurses working on the baby.

I realized I was holding my breath. I needed to hear everything. I needed to hear her little cries. And my breathing was much too loud. And time stopped in its tracks. Moments later, we heard those beautiful little mewls that newborns make. And those beautiful little mewls turned into even more amazing little cries. And then she came over to meet her mommy and daddy for real. 

And she was breathtaking.

She IS breathtaking. 

She takes my breath away every time I see her. 

Every time I hold her. 

Every time I think of her. 

And time ceases. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend. It's Getting Cold In Here Again.

Our kitchen is small. Like postage stamp sized small. We have only the cupboard under the sink and one tiny side cupboard that make up the bottom bank of cabinets. The top cabinets include one double cabinet over the island, (that holds the tiny side cupboard and the dishwasher), a regular size cabinet to the left of the sink, 2 small cabinets that share the corner to the right of the sink, and a bank of small baskets that go above the stove and refrigerator. Did I mention it's small?

There is no pantry. We have a shelf pot rack hung on the wall to hang our pots and pans when not in use, a baker's rack that holds the microwave oven and some small appliances in the cupboard underneath, and a big hotel armoire with four large drawers as storage. We call the armoire the "pantry" just as a way to identify it to one another. And while it holds quite a bit, it really is not nearly as convenient as a walk in pantry would be. One day, I hope that we can build one just off the kitchen in the garage. If we ever do, I would ensure it was large enough to hold a spare refrigerator, all of the small appliances that are in the laundry room, because we don't use them that often, so they haven't made the list to stay upstairs, and the upright freezer we have downstairs. 

Because, let's face it. It's not convenient to have the freezer downstairs. It's also not convenient to have to go down there to get extra paper towels, the waffle iron, or the syrup, and it makes putting groceries away great fun. We definitely get our exercise when we're unpacking the car and putting the frozen stuff away. 

But that is our situation for the foreseeable future, and we'll deal with it. We are actually very, very thankful that we have that extra storage space, and I am not complaining. Just explaining. 

So the other night, I asked Hopper to run downstairs and get the last of the pizzas that were in the freezer. We'd gotten some when we'd gone shopping a few weeks ago, and there were 2 left, and they were going to be supper. We had just stocked up on a few more necessities the other day, so the freezer was full, so I asked Hopper to make sure she closed the freezer well. When she came upstairs, she said that she had, so I popped the pizzas in the oven and forgot about it. 

Yesterday morning, I went to the laundry room to start a load of clothes. I was in my stocking feet, which is abnormal, because I'm wearing shoes 95% of the time I'm awake. But certain shoes throw me a little bit off balance on the stairs, so I kicked them off before I headed down. And I'd barely stepped into the laundry room, when my foot was soaking wet. The freezer was defrosting all over the floor. 

:::le sigh:::

The freezer had been open since the night before, when Hopper got the pizzas out. I know I should have checked on it, but there are some nights that I just need a little break, and that night, those stairs seemed so incredibly long, and I took the easy way out. I needed a break right then. It's probably good I got it when I did, because I've been working on the freezer in my spare time since then!

I can't get mad at Hopper. She did the best she could, and she often says, "no" when she means yes, and vice versa. It's on me. And instead of beating myself up over it, I've decided to just be thankful that the freezer will be clean, and I'll be able to organize it and keep it clean, to prevent this from happening again.

I realized that Hopper had pulled one of the drawers out and then couldn't get it pushed back in all the way, which made the door hinges appear to have been sprung. And as handy as I thought it would be to have drawers in the freezer, they haven't been that great. Then again, we probably haven't implemented them in quite the way they were intended. We've used them to store the frozen goodies from the garden, and come to think of it, the freezer packs that Hubster used to use in his cooler for lunch were in there, as well. I think that they just weighed the drawers down to much to allow them to move freely. So once we stock up on groceries again, I'll make sure that nothing heavy goes in either drawer. 

I've already found a short box that I can stand the freezer packs in that is going to work perfectly to help keep things organized and still allow us to access them easily. 

Don't worry. It's on a shelf. 

I've learned my lesson.

When we go get the groceries to fill the freezer again, I'll have Hopper help me put them away. Hopefully, I can make it a learning opportunity and explain that she can't move things around or pull the drawers out, because we always need to make sure the door closes completely. If need be, we'll start locking it, so she can't get in and rearrange things. 

If all else fails, there is an alarm on the freezer, to let us know, if the door has been left open, but it has a major design flaw. . .

We have to remember to turn it on.