July 31, 2013

teething hell part 2

Apparently Junior is breaking in his 2-year molars. I say this based on the record amount of drool, constant fussing and crying, slight fever the other day, an input from the daycare ladies. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since he's gotten all the other teeth on a fairly rapid schedule.

Ugh. I was hoping for a longer reprieve from this, but as long as I know the enemy I can overcome it. My arsenal includes Advil, a mesh bag that I can put ice cubes in (a big hit), milk (sometimes that's all he wants at dinner time), distractions and more distractions (let's get the mail! walk outside! check out this toy!), and finally the patience that comes with knowing this too shall pass.

I have no idea how long these 2-year molars are supposed to take to come in, but I remember that the last few took weeks. Weeks.

Can I hope for a couple of weeks? Yeah, probably not...

July 24, 2013

if i could design my life however i want, i would...

That's usually how I try to answer the question of "I lost my job - now what?"

I mentioned last week how I was laid off after 3.5 intense years that saw me through our entire journey of miscarriages, infertility, depression, and finally parenthood. But now that this is gone, I don't think I want to go back to full-time. Not if I don't have to. Not if I have a choice. My unemployment benefits will be enough that I do have a choice, and can at least try to do something different.

One of my favorite bloggers has successfully made the transition to freelance writing with part-time daycare. I want that (I contracted for two years before my last job and I love, love, love it). So, we're retooling our old website into my personal portfolio and I'm putting out feelers to do contract or part-time work. I feel peace about this decision so I'll just keep moving toward this.

So often I tend to think in polar terms - it's either the right thing to do or the wrong thing - and I think I need a lightning bolt from God to tell me which way to go. But last Sunday's sermon (look for the 21 July posting which may not be up yet), a man's testimony about his journey through infertility and international adoption, shed new light on this and unraveled that knot for me. I'm sure that there are times when there is only one thing God wants me to choose, but other times - more often - the decision is mine to make and He's got my back. If I can't make a go of this within the year, I'll make a different choice. God's will is for me to trust him above everything else, and to keep my eyes on him while I navigate these choices.

In other news, can I just tell you how delighted I am that my son figured out how to put on his shoes? Granted, they're Crocs and he only had to slide his feet into them. But he's been trying to do this for several days, and the other night we saw him stand up and kind of walk stiff-legged like Frankenstein. It was pretty stinkin' cute. This morning he figured out how to hit a ball with a thick wooden massage tool that acted as a stick. I showed him how yesterday. Future golfer? Yeah, probably. ;)

July 17, 2013

unemployment purgatory

That's what I call it, and it seems appropriate. I have no idea what direction I'll move in, and the best I can do is wait. Do some chores. Buff up my resume and online profile. Pray unceasingly. And wait.

I've started looking at potential jobs, and some seem at least a little promising. There's only one problem: these are full-time positions, and I've been working 32 hours per week (4 days) so I can spend an extra day with my son. So my choices are to work part-time (which won't pay much especially in my field), work full-time and ditch the extra day with my son (an undesirable sacrifice to say the least), or try to get contract work (unstable in the best of times). Or I could say to hell with it and become a stay-at-home mom (unlikely, to put it mildly).

How does a person choose from a pitchfork like that? Ugh.

July 16, 2013

oh fuuuuudge...

... as the immortalized A Christmas Story little boy says.

I got laid off today. No severance, no nothing. Just dropped off a cliff. It was a very positive conversation, and they've offered to give me letters of recommendation, but that's that. So I stopped at the grocery store on the way home ('cuz what else am I gonna do?) and what songs do I hear on the speakers? "Here Comes that Rainy Day Feelin' Again" and "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to." Really? Really?... LOL 

Mostly I'm fine. My head is kind of spinning (no really, it is - I have a little stomach bug) and I'm in that nowhere zone. But you know what?

I've been through the hell of infertility, other layoffs, ruined relationships, and a handful of careers, and survived. This is a disappointment compared to that.

I'm not the director of my own life - that's God's job and he's way better at it than I am.

I have great friends, great praying friends, and great connections. After all, I have 15 years of communications experience to offer. I'm a great catch haha!

It's hard not to project, what with us getting ready to put the condo on the market and buy a house, the incredibly steep fee of daycare, blah blah.. Meh. It'll work out. It always does.

See? I'm already giving myself a pep talk, and I've barely sipped a glass of wine.

July 13, 2013

facing forward

I know you're not supposed to switch the car seat to forward-facing until they're two years old. But you gotta understand - my son wears a size 2T and he's at least the size of your average two-year-old. I checked the height requirements and he's very close. Plus, my husband plays rough enough with him on a regular basis that his neck has to be strong enough.

And then, this afternoon my mom went to put him in his car seat when he stood up in it and turned around to face forward, as if to say "I want to see where I'm going, Mommy!" I caved. I switched it around, and she graciously vacuumed the crunchy crusty stuff out of the car and car seat.

Another milestone. He was very happy as we drove home.

July 11, 2013

random thoughts: rush hour

My husband nudged me in bed this morning. "Hey, it's 7:40." BLAST OFF. You'd think a bomb went off and we were evacuating. Guess I'll set my alarm tomorrow.

July 6, 2013

the soldier

Yesterday my mom told/reminded me that "sometimes you just need a good cry." I don't think I listened, but I ended up crying in my bathroom about 10 minutes before I left to meet her and a friend for a beer.

This morning, I cried again at the table while my husband fed our son some oatmeal and my coffee sat in its cup getting cold. My frustration, anxiety, stress, and loneliness caught up with me this morning. Silently, I went to lay on the bed and cry it out a bit. I started praying in my mind, and just said "Lord help me."

Moments later, He gave me a hint of a picture of a soldier. I thought for a moment, and the words that gelled together were "A soldier never abandons his post, no matter how hard the battle gets."

A small idea, but it was enough to set me on my feet again and carry on.

Right now, hours later, I'm watching the boy while my husband runs to the hardware store. I just now watched him holding a toy and took his first real steps across the living room floor. Right in front of me. As if he meant it just for me.

I burst out in tears. Good ones.

I just took this photo to commemorate the day, since he was sitting next to me.

Thank you, Lord.

July 4, 2013

early morning brain dump - mommy guilt, independence day, and me time

okay, so today's blog is my attempt to empty my brain before the start of the day. it would be a journal entry if i felt like writing by hand, but this is a lot easier.

at about 5:00, i woke up, went to the bathroom, came back to bed, and soon after realized i wasn't going back to sleep. random songs started playing in my head - that's how i know. i could lay there with a pillow over my head, wishing myself back to sleep and listening to my husband snore peacefully, or i could get up and journal, a special me-time activity that happens about as often as i get a pedicure which is regretfully far too rare.

i hear some little bumps - is my son whacking his legs around in the crib? no matter. he'll go back to sleep.

fourth of july. independence day.

oh crap. yup, that's him - just said "HEY." go back to sleep, kid. i swear i'm not making any noise, and his door is shut.

we have no plans for this weekend - well, that's not entirely true. we invited my mom up for breakfast so we have an excuse to make an indecent amount of bacon and eggs fried in coconut oil (i'm gonna make banana bread too - why not?). we're meeting people for happy hour friday, and then joining a friend's birthday party dinner saturday evening before we sneak out for a date. i'm feeling good about it.

yesterday, i didn't feel so good about it. knowing that it would be the four of us for four days, i scheduled a drop-off for our son at daycare for monday. i'm giving myself the day off. i know i desperately need it. i've been slammed at work the last two weeks, and home life is a constant buzz from dawn to dusk. i have a really hard time sleeping anymore, and i know it's anxiety plus too small margins in my life right now. i know it's a season, and one of these days i'll wonder what happened to this little toddler who charms the pants off of me even when he's screaming his head off with tantrum #231.

anyway, guilt set in. i'm a crappy mom. why do i need a day off? what the hell do these stay-at-home moms do - take zanax? i'm sure i would lose my mind if i didn't work, and yet i'm so mentally and physically exhausted i can't help but wonder if i would feel "right" by napping every day when my son naps and scheduling the next play date?

it is what it is. we need what we need.

work is going extremely well. i got a tiny raise - just enough to bump me up to a personal salary milestone. it's humbling. and i'm working better, more efficiently and more effectively than ever. not a week goes by that i don't ask the Lord to give me his strength, and i believe this is his hand in my life because my work life is oddly successful to me. it kind of blows me away that, even though i only work four days a week (and one of them from home), i'm pretty sure i do the work of a regular full-timer. i also learned last week that i may become a client rep - a significant step up from my current role as a person who works alongside a client rep. it's more responsibility, which scares me but only because i'm a bit on the lazy side and am weirdly introverted when it comes to my clients (the group of lab researchers that i edit papers and such for). i realized earlier this year that i really have never taken my career seriously - oh, i'm very good at selling myself and getting good jobs with good companies with increasing amounts of responsibility, but when i get settled into a place i also get bored and restless. good grief, i think this is the first time i've really admitted this. i'm in my 40s and i'm not what you call established. i've figured out how to work things to my advantage and move up a notch every so often, but i've also put a really high priority on putting margins in my personal life and i don't work a single minute of overtime if i don't absolutely have to. for those reasons, how i've managed to be successful in my current job is a bit of a mystery to me.

through an odd turn of events i'm pill-free for the next month. i lost my paper prescription during the temporary move, then they called it in without the generic okay so i couldn't get them (i wasn't going to pay a $50 copay thank you very much). oh well. what's the worst that could happen? hahahahahaha...

i think i'll get a massage monday. the place we like to go is next to a really fabulous french bakery/cafe in a recently gentrified, snobbily high-brow-hipper-than-thou, walkable part of town called the denver highlands. it used to be cool and on the fringe, now it's irritatingly inviting.

damn. he's working himself up to a cry. go back to sleep! time for my second cup of coffee. maybe he pooped and needs a change? it would be cruel to let him stew in it.

i have a calendar print-out with every social circle event happening this summer, which is every single day. this is our church's latest creation - creating opportunities for people to just hang out and have fun together. it's alternating with short-term small groups, which i guess will start in september. we're desperate for social interaction, so we're trying some of them. saturday morning play dates in a park? instant win. friday evening at one of a dozen new nanobreweries? i'm so there.

the boy's early bedtime is a sacrifice for us. it makes it hard to do anything in the evening. but it's totally worth it. we get evening quiet/movie/margin time, he gets a solid 12 hours of sleep (usually). maybe when he's six i'll let him stay up until 8. ha!

i love cooking and meal planning and grocery shopping. i hate walking in the door at 5:30 and realizing i have 30 seconds to make dinner. but i found a recipe for sausage kale soup that i absolutely have to try. i tried kale chips a week ago. my son liked them. i thought they were pretty nasty. i told my girlfriend she needs to make me some kale chips or i may never eat this superfood. it's going into a soup where it can mellow out and be palatable, dancing around with the flavors of italian turkey sausage, mirepoix, and beef broth. sounds good, right?

silence. i think he went back to sleep. thank you, Lord!

we're gonna have some good family time, dammit. i think we'll try to go hiking today before it gets hot. afternoon? indoors somewhere. we have two museum memberships that we never use. i won't bother renewing until the boy's old enough to appreciate them - or when he's old enough to do their kiddie activities, which oddly is not far away. so maybe i better keep them up. ugh. i definitely need to drop the gym membership and switch to punch cards. we rarely go anymore. not worth $48/month.

it's 6:20. i think i'm done dumping my brain. going to sit on the patio and enjoy my second cup of coffee. happy 4th of july!