Monday, July 22, 2013

Zombie Land

I survived, barely but I survived.

My journey to Houston started Sunday night with our neighbors below getting into yet another fight.  He's a tall, very fit, attractive black guy, early 20's, she's a short, kinda cubby, mousey white girl, also in her early 20's. Up until Sunday night we ONLY ever heard him, never once her. He's a yeller and there is always slamming of doors like a teenager throwing a tantrum the average being 4-5 times during a fight. Anyway, Tom and I were in bed watching some Top Gear or whatever and we heard "her" being dropped off saying goodbye, sounded like she was in a good mood. Then within a few minutes he started yelling and the door slamming begun and off and on yelling and then another slam/thud and then for the first time we finally heard her; not just crying but sobbing. Ben woke up at the same time and after I got him back down and came back into my room I could hear her still sobbing and talking on the phone (assuming she was on the phone because it was just a one-way conversation). Tom and I looked at each other and I was like, "You HAVE to call the police!"

Tom did and within about 10 minutes an officer showed up, it was close to midnight. We heard him knock on their door pretty loud a few times then knock harder while announcing he was the police and they needed to come to the door. This went on for a good 10 minutes and then the officer came up to our apartment and wanted to know exactly what we heard and how long ago we last heard either of them. Being assured they were most likely still home he went back down and proceeded to knock/pound loudly instructing them to come to the door. Still no answer. Then the officer walked to their front window which is directly under ours and talked into the opened crack saying he could hear them inside and "she" needed to come to the window so he could make sure she was alright or he would have to break down the door. Nothing.

The officer called for backup and police dogs. Then he came back up our apartment and asked the same questions and clarifying details. We stuck to our story how yelling and slamming doors was normal but her sobbing for a good 20 minutes was unusual and very suspicions of domestic violence and we were simply worried and the reason we called. Back up arrived about 15 minutes later all the while the officer STILL pounding away threatening to break down the door if no one answered. The officer and sergeant talked to each other and dispatch for awhile and then there was more knocking blah blah blah and then a knock again on our door. The officer said he and his sergeant suspected they were home and they didn't want to break down the door since we didn't visually witness anything. I said, "I can assure you they are home since they only have one car and its still parked THERE and she was sobbing on the phone moments before you started knocking on their door!" But it didn't matter, we were instructed to call again if we hear any thing else worrisome and then they left a little after 1:15AM.

I was definitely freaked out during all this but once the police left without any resolution- I was WAY freaked out. Would there be retaliation? Was my family in danger? Tom reassured me all would be fine, we said a prayer and then fell asleep awhile after.

The next morning Tom left for work and I was worried to leave the place but I had a ton of stuff to do before my trip so I HAD to leave and when I did I found a note on my door. It said how dare we call the police on them just minutes after they had gotten home and how of all people our toddler is loud all the time and if we have a problem we should have come to them and how rude it was to call and have the police waking up all the neighbors...and how their lease is up at the end of the month and then we won't have to worry much longer. I was so taken back. #1. I knew they were home. #2. If you were so innocent why didn't you answer the knocking keeping up all your neighbors? #3. Probably the most unsettling was he zero acknowledgement of the whole reason we called the police. The note was/is in her handwriting, its way to girlie to be a guys'. I called Tom who was pretty unaltered by it and then I called Bek who reassured me that most wife beaters only ever attack their wives and rarely any one else- I mean it was slightly comforting I might not be taken down or worse little Ben!

Since then the only thing that has happened was while I was gone Tom said he walked by "him" in the stairwell at the very moment Tom was saying "How's it going?" He said, "Hi jerk!" Tom said he just kept walking. Being called a jerk is probably the nicest of all names to be called so who cares. lol

Anyway, Monday was a rush from one place to another. Tom got home from school around 10pm and helped me pack and get the computer, iPod, pull-in crap, etc together for me. I woke up at 6:30AM showered and Tom made me breakfast and got Ben up and changed before we left for the airport. I said goodbye at the long security line and Tom took Ben to watch planes taking off and landing, he loved it.

I flew into Houston at 5:45PM and while trying to describe where I was standing outside of the baggage claim to co-workers picking me up whom we've never met we realized I was at a different airport then the one they were at. Long story short, I thought IAH was the big hub airport and so I flew into it, a good 45 mins north of the one they were at which was a good 20 mins from the hotels we were staying at. So I got a $87 taxi who drove me to my hotel where I quickly changed and then turned around to be picked up for my first over-night install.

Needless to say the week was rough. The company Adidas hired to do the physical installation was a joke. It became clear the first night the company had grossly under-estimated the large scale the whole thing was. Basically, there were several installs going on each night all throughout Texas and several each night for the next several weeks so the company simply did not have the man power they were suppose to soooo....they hired people off craigslist last minute and told them to show up at different Academy stores with a ladder and they have a few hours of work.

These installs were anything but easy. The palette of graphics and hardware all boxed up was as large as a 4-door cross-over. It was intense to say the least. Everything had to be up wrapped, assembled and then brought out to the floor to be assembled unto the existing fixtures. And all the while we the merchandisers were prepping the areas and fixing the merchandise. Doesn't sound like a big deal but the shortest FINISHED install lasted 9.25 hours- no breaks. I actually only used the bathroom once during any of the installs because I would sweat so much I didn't have any liquids left to expel. Then once the installs were finished I would write up the report first thing upon arriving back at the hotel- it took a good hour and fall asleep some time around 7-8am. The earliest I ever got to bed was 2am and that was because that install had been cancelled to NO installers showing up after hours being told they were 20 mins and 10 mins away and then " they say they're there now." I'd go outside look around, walk around the building, no one was EVER there.

The roughest night was Friday. I drove 3 hours to a place called College Station and met the creepy manager jerk-wod who complained the WHOLE time about everything, even his girlfriend and referred to her as a B****. My partner for that install was nice. A soft spoken black guy with hair enough for 3 women from Georgia- we talked about music and politics and all sorts of things, it kept moral high. He had to leave at 3am to catch his flight but he was weary about leaving me with the manager and I told him I felt fine, I still had the 2 installer guys there. Actually, every time I left the area we were all in to go start on the women's side or grab hardware or whatever he would follow me and try to chat me up and boast about nothing so I called Tom and kept him in my ear and just talked to him and once Mr. jerk realized I was talking to my love he would leave and go back to the guys STANDING AROUND DOING NOTHING because well he didn't have to do anything, it wasn't his job. Talking to Tom kept me motivated and positive, encouraging and mostly AWAKE. He wanted me to call me when I drove back to the hotel but I never did. I knew he tired himself so I popped in my iPod and sang as much as I could. By the time I got to the hotel and finished my reports it was 8am. I laid down and for the first time all week I heard my neighbors on the other side of the wall BLARING their tv. They MUST have been old people, no one needs the tv THAT loud! I laid there with pillows over my ears and after 20 mins it went silent and I was like OHHH thank you! Then...5....4...3...2...1...another tv went on but it was coming from the other neighboring wall. I gave up trying to sleep at all at 9am. I showered. By the way, isn't showering in a nice hotel just the best?! ENDLESS hot water, use as many towels as you want, free crappy soaps but who cares, its "free". I left the hotel at 11am. It was the most difficult of the whole trip just trying to get to the airport, drop off my rental, check in, wait to board at 3pm so I could pass out. I did and I did. =)

Texas: I understand Texas varies a lot. Houston was a big surprise to me. I thought Portland had traffic- nothing compared to Houston. I thought North Carolina had humidity- nothing compared to Houston. I thought Florida had a ton of big bugs- Houston's got them beat. I was so surprised how hot it was during the night. The first night I was there in was raining and at 2am (going outside and looking around for installers who weren't there) I swear it was hotter then than when I arrived 8 hours earlier. It was...fascinating! I liked Houston though! I liked that as hot and muggy as it is there is wind and its nice. Even though it smells I like the atmosphere and diversity. The BBQ is amazing, the people nice, drivers not so much but overall I wouldn't mind going back and actually SEEING the gulf and Houston during the day. Though I never got more than 4 hours of sleep each day I was so grateful for video chat and texting! And though I was away from my best friend for our anniversary I was SO glad for the much needed bonding time he and Ben got to spend together.

After traveling 10.5 hours I arrived in Portland to little Ben walking towards me with a rose saying Momma! And though he puked his guts out all over on the way home, being reunited was so sweet! Tom had dinner planned and made when we got home with a bouquet of flowers after 9pm and I slept about 15 hours Sunday.

I'm still fuzzy upstairs. Would I do it again? hmmm at present I'm too exhausted to answer. Maybe.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wake Me Up When July Ends

So June came and went in a blink. Truly crazy. Lacey got married the 21st to her long-time boyfriend Ryan. She looked so pretty and happy! I had a VERY hard time coming to terms with my little sister getting married up to the wedding, through the wedding, during the reception, through that night when I kept waking up thinking "she's totally done 'IT' by now" but then an awesome thing happened. I woke up the next day and felt totally fine and I've felt fine since; you know, because Lacey getting married is ALL about me and how I'M dealing with it! ;)

Right now Tom is doing an overnighter with Apple and among many things that means one is I can't sleep without my buddy Nyquil drugging me up when he's gone but I can't Nyquil-it-up because of the heat wave going on right now. Ben really struggled last night; waking up 4 times and needing lots of sippy refills and comfort so me out of it is not an option tonight. I'm very grateful for the air conditioning window unit we have and abuse. It's not made to handle our bigger place but its SO much better than nothing! Heck it kept our place 20 degrees colder than outside so ya, I'm happy! 

I regrettably signed up to work in Houston for a week this month and I'm trying to be positive and look forward to it buttttt I'm not. I didn't know until after I confirmed I would go that the installs are all overnighter jobs UGH!!! Not cool. I'm a nervous-nelly about the whole thing:
#1. I've never been away from Ben for more than 8 hours so I'm worried about how he'll do and I'm worried I'm gonna be a mess without him.
#2. I get bad anxiety with unfamiliar surroundings ESPECIALLY when I'm by myself. I'll have my TomTom, I'll have my laptop and iPod and of course I'll have Tom ready on hand when I'm freaked out, bawling not knowing where or what I'm doing in 104, 000 degree heat with 1400% humidity and he'll walk me through turn by turn I'm sure! =)

I signed up to be apart of a massive install launch throughout the south and east coast 100% because I want SO badly to kill my Department of Ed loan as fast as possible! I'm still shooting for November but it will be a miracle- it means paying a grand a month from now until then not including paying half that more each month too on my private loans but we're working our hardest and we have absolutely, unquestionably felt and continually feel Heavenly Father's help and encouragement every day we push forward; its ONLY because of Him we have gotten where we are today!

June was kinda a weird month. I threw out my back due to stress and I had some set backs with my anxiety/depression. It's not something I talk about much. I know...ME? Not talk about something?! Ha but its true. I have a lot of embarrassment about it. I had a friend visit me about a month or so ago and she was saying how she got on an anti-depressant and was extremely happy and relieved to feel like her "normal self again." I really thought about that after she left and while I've been on meds for over a year I don't think I've felt like "me" in a long, long time. I went to my doctor right before my back went out and now I'm on a second prescription and it has helped take off the edge. I'm slower to get frustrated and feel like I'm gonna just explode like a hydrogen bomb. It's been at least a couple months since I've called Tom in a panicked, angry crying fit over the stresses of motherhood and distance I've felt from friends. I'm also suppose to make an appointment so see a "specialist" to help find the right combination of medications for me i.e. go lay down in a dark room and talk feelings for a good hour...I'm sure it will be good and helpful.

I have to say that while this delayed and then much prolonged postpartum has sucked immensely I am really grateful for the experience- I mean, I would love to have it taken away YESTERDAY but I'm thankful I've had the opportunity to understand what others go through and it's not worse than what it has been. I've also been reminded of the kindness of my friends and family. My sister-in-law Charity has been such a wonderful resource and has encouraged many times to call whenever "3am even" and I know she means it. And my best friends who have not thrown it back in my face how judgmental I had been about the subject for many years. And of course I'm in constant awe how wonderful my spouse is. I. COULD. NOT. be at the level of functioning without his faith and patience in and with me.
ps- I'll add more wedding photos as they come in