Friday, February 28, 2014

A Softer, Subtler DD

I can remember several points along our journey where spankings disappeared and DD seemed to flounder. At those times, I was frustrated because it seemed like we were stuck, not making progress, or, even worse, going backwards. Over time, I've come to realize I was looking at those times wrong. DD wasn't gone. It just took on a softer, more subtler flavor.

It's been that way recently. Spankings have been few and far between. We haven't even been doing role affirmation. There really hasn't been a need. After nearly two years of this journey, I know what Steve expects from me. In the beginning, it was something I had to be conscious of. Now it's ingrained.

It's the more subtle things that show he's in charge. I've been sick this past week. Since he knows I tend to lose my appetite when I don't feel good, he's been reminding me to eat, even if it's only some toast or a bowl of soup. He's been after me to let go of the 20 things I insist I need to take care of before I can lay down so I'll go rest. When he woke up in the middle of the night to find me shivering with a fever, he got up to turn up the heater and throw another blanket on me. He's been calling or coming home every day to check on me.

We recently got our health insurance back so we were talking about scheduling doctor appointments. I happened to mention I was overdue on my yearly female checkup. Since he knows I have a family history of female issues, he insisted I make that appointment ASAP. And he followed up the next day by asking whether I had made it or not. I hadn't so he then demanded to know why not.

It's been more than just taking care of me, though. He's also made it a point to help me. Twice now he's cooked supper for our family. Mind you, Steve does not cook. But he knows that while I love to cook, I sometimes get burned out on it doing it day after day so he's stepping in (without me asking) and cooked supper.

When we had company coming recently, I was stressing about the house, trying to figure out how I could get everything done before they arrived. Instead of just telling me it would be fine or giving a general clean the house order, he jumped right in to help giving me specific tasks to do. As a result, instead of shutting down because I was overwhelmed, things got done so fast that I was left with time to just relax before they arrived.

And then there's the sweeter side. He's taken to surprising me with little gestures here and there. Giving me a backrub out of the blue without me asking. Stopping on his way home to pick up one of my favorite treats, Calling during the day just to tell me he misses me.

I'm beginning to like this softer, subtler DD. I just wish I'd recognized it sooner.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alone in the Silence

The house is so quiet today. After having Steve home for two weeks while he didn't have work and our daughter home for a week due to the snow, it's strange having the house to myself again. While they've both drove me crazy at times, I miss them today now that they've gone back to work and school.

It's funny. Normally I like having my alone time during the day. The time I can get things done around the house without being interrupted ten times. The time when I can curl up with a book and relax without someone needing something. The time when I can revel in the silence.

But I miss them both today. I miss Steve being silly. I miss curling up against him while we watch TV in bed. I miss our daughter sitting beside me reading her book while I read mine. I miss her coming to show me some new thing she's found on her game. I even miss the constant noise the two of them make.

I'm reminded of when our daughter first started school. I've been a stay at home mom her entire life and I was used to the constant noise of her chatter, cartoons and toys. After dropping her off at school that very first day, I came home to silence. It was a huge adjustment.

I ended up having to turn the tv on cartoons just to get through that first day. It didn't matter that I wasn't watching it. I just had to have the noise. It took a few weeks before I didn't have to have the tv on to be alone in the house.

I may have to fall back on that tactic again. After having the house bustling with noise these past couple weeks, it's too silent today. Even the dogs are quiet.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Unexpected Gift

I had a whole post wrote out and accidentally deleted it a mere minute after posting it. If you saw it and wondered where it went, chalk it up to a blonde moment.

Steve and I don't get a lot of time together. He frequently works six and seven days a week, often well into the evenings. When he isn't working, our daughter wants her time with him or he's busy taking care of things around the house that I can't do.

We try to steal some time for ourselves with date nights once in a while. Rarely, our daughter will spend the night with someone and we'll get a whole night to ourselves. But one on one time for us is in short supply.

This past week has been different. After putting in a major work day last Monday and not getting home until midnight, Steve decided to take the next day off. Then all of a sudden, his boss didn't have any work for him so he's been home ever since.

At first, I was too wound up to really enjoy having him home with me. As the one who manages our household bills, I was worried about the effect this time off was going to have on our budget. But then our tax refund arrived earlier than expected and I could finally relax and enjoy our time because I knew the bills could still get paid.

Each morning, I've got our daughter off to school and then crawled back in bed to snuggle with Steve. Some mornings we'd go back to sleep. Other mornings, we'd curl up together under the blankets and watch one of our favorite shows.

Later, we'd have a leisurely breakfast (or lunch if we decided to sleep in). Then we'd spend the rest of the day together talking, taking care of things around the house or just enjoying each other's company. After our daughter got off the bus in the afternoons, one of us would supervise her homework then we'd spend the rest of the day as a family. This week we've even got a couple full days together as a family thanks to school being called off due to the snow. We've played board games, went sledding and built snowmen.

It's been wonderful. All of us have blossomed with the unexpected time together. It's going to be hard to make the adjustment back once Steve goes back to work.

But change is on the horizon. In our talks this past week, we've discussed a lot of things, including Steve's growing dissatisfaction with his job. Now that he's saw the benefits of us being able to spend more time together, not only as a couple but also a family, he wants to keep that going. That means a job that doesn't require him working so much.

He's put in a few applications and we're currently waiting to hear back. Hopefully one of his applications will be successful and he'll be able to work a normal schedule that allows us all time with him.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

54 Things

Saw this meme over at This Whole Thing and thought it would be a good one to get back in the swing of things. In no particular order, here's 54 things that make me feel happy.

  1. A back massage from Steve.
  2. Curling up with a good book.
  3. Snuggling with our daughter.
  4. Breaking through one of my genealogy brick walls.
  5. Getting an awesome deal on something at a thrift store or yard sale.
  6. A candle-lit bubble bath
  7. Playing in the pool on a hot summer day.
  8. Trying a new recipe and having Steve and our daughter ask for seconds.
  9. Getting pampered when I'm sick
  10. Visiting the beach.
  11. Playing with the dogs.
  12. Getting surprised with flowers just because.
  13. Teaching our daughter how to do crafts.
  14. Going hiking as a family to see a waterfall.
  15. Picnicking in the mountains.
  16. Spending time with my sisters and their kids.
  17. Playing UNO.
  18. Doing a puzzle.
  19. Hearing Steve say he's proud of me.
  20. Dancing with Steve.
  21. Snuggling with Steve on a cold winter night.
  22. Teaching the dogs a new trick.
  23. Hitting the thrift stores and yard sales with our daughter.
  24. Dinner with friends.
  25. Seeing kids playing.
  26. Going sledding with Steve and our daughter.
  27. Combining coupons and sales to get groceries at less than half price.
  28. Making love with Steve.
  29. Seeing our daughter's smile.
  30. Singing along with my favorite song.
  31. A hug from our daughter.
  32. Winning a sweepstakes or giveaway.
  33. Having good friends that are always ready with a hug even if they don't have the answers.
  34. Learning something new.
  35. Cuddling a new puppy.
  36. Going mudding.
  37. The look on Steve's face when he sees my new lingerie.
  38. Hearing "I love you."
  39. Steve texting during the day to ask how my day is going.
  40. A new book.
  41. Finding money I didn't know I had.
  42. Good baby back ribs.
  43. Baking and decorating a cake for someone.
  44. When distant cousins share family photos that I don't have.
  45. A good night's sleep.
  46. Waking up in Steve's arms.
  47. The first time I felt my daughter kick.
  48. When Steve has an unexpected day off.
  49. Playing Frisbee with Steve and our daughter.
  50. The look on our daughter's face when she hears the ice cream truck coming.
  51. A phone call from one of my sisters.
  52. Helping another family that's struggling.
  53. A cold beer with friends on a hot summer day.
  54. Videos of funny animals.