Friday, November 28, 2008

mommy spice posts.

When I was writing for Mommy Spice, I somehow neglected this blog a lot, which is dumb, because if you know me, you know I can easily write for more than one blog at a time. But the past few months have been rough.

Anyway, since I have not posted here in quite some time, I thought I'd link to the other stuff I was writing at this time over at Mommy Spice.

July
A Day in the Life of Super-WAHM
Kids' CDs We Love
On Mobility

August
Working From Home
Strong Woman
Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
It Takes a Village
Weird Art
Vacation Stuff
Mama Body Image
Sleep Regression Woes
The Importance of Playgroups
Finger Foods
An Evening Without Baby
One Way to Look Like a Weirdo
Father-Daughter Time
Trimming the Talons
Cheap Green Baby Stuff
The Changing Seasons
Bee's Current Favorite Toys

September
Grandparent Love
Torture Chamber
Setbacks
Phone-Sitting
Baby's First Infestation
Gentle Nap Training
I Don't Wanna
How to Prepare for Parenthood
Saved by the Power of Snuggles
Sippy Cup Success
Stretch!
I'm Still Here

October
Lansinoh Ultra-Soft Disposable Nursing Pads
Resourceful Husband Award
Please Let This be a Sign of Good Things to Come

After all the shit that happened in October that I just posted about earlier tonight, I let my entire Internet presence fall by the wayside, so that's where it ends. Unless they let me back on. We'll see.

hiatus.

OH GOD WHERE HAVE I BEEN. Mentally, my brain is still insisting that it's October where it's almost December. So I haven't just been neglecting my blog, but I've been in a tailspin and neglecting nearly every single thing except for my husband and daughter. (Hey, they're the ones who really matter, right?)

I don't have a great excuse for what happened in September (the last time I blogged here), because technically I could have spent more time writing. I actually hadn't been feeling so well for a little while, and I'm still not sure what was up, but I was having this serious chronic fatigue issue that just would not quit. Blood tests revealed nothing, but there were days upon days where all I wanted to do was sleep. So I'd been pretty bad at the Internet. And I didn't even care, because my non-computer-centric life seemed to fall so far behind that catching up on weeks' worth of e-mail seemed impossible. And far too tiring.

That's okay, I thought, as September drew to a close. October will be better. October has always been my favorite month. It starts with my birthday and ends with Halloween, my two favorite holidays. And I absolutely love autumn in the Northeast, and I really feel it begin in October.

The first two weeks of October promised to be particularly awesome. It was my first birthday as a mom, which was exciting. Two days after my birthday, Dude, Bee, and I had plans to fly to the Dominican Republic for a sorely-needed-by-all vacation for five days. I hoped this vacation might rid me of my fatigue issues, figuring that sometimes a little R&R away from home does the trick. Upon returning home, we'd visit my parents for a couple days, then drive back home with my mom, and then my cousin would be flying in from Detroit for a conference and visit. Maybe I'd be feeling normal again by then. I could catch up on my online life, go visit the friends and family I'd neglected, start going back to playgroup, perhaps even arrange a new weekly meeting with a few moms I know and like, et cetera et cetera. You know, all those enjoyable parts of day-to-day life that I was excited to return to. The month would round out with Bee's first Halloween. Doesn't that sound lovely? It sounded lovely to me.

And it was lovely. At least, the birthday and vacation and Halloween were. I never did go back to playgroup, sadly for Bee, and I'm only now starting to get back online. It's all the other shit that hit the fan, and the fact that I already felt "behind" on life after an energy-less September where even considering brushing my teeth before bed wore me out, that started this chain of crazy events that I'm not even sure sound believable anymore.

We returned home to a serious structural issue in our entryway, leading to our building being temporarily condemned and us having to stay in a hotel while my mom and cousin were visiting. When we were let back in, we had to enter and exit through the EXTREMELY TERRIFYING and seemingly unsafe fire escape WITH A FREAKING INFANT. Then, completely unrelated, part of a ceiling panel collapsed in Bee's room, which is connected to our room. When opening my bedroom door one day while holding Bee, I found a FUCKING SQUIRREL running across my bed. I'll admit that I'm definitely high-strung when it comes to rodents running through my house, so I FREAKED OUT. What the hell, man? Here we are entering and exiting through the fire escape with a baby, trying to entertain family guests, and a squirrel falls in through the roof in my baby's room, a yard from her crib?

Once that mess was cleared up, the three of us came down with a miserable virus. Dude returned to work, and I felt like ass. And it was about time to follow up with my doctor on that whole fatigue issue thing. I decided to call after getting Bee down for a nap. Bee fell asleep on me, and as I started moving towards her room to put her in her crib, Dude called and woke her up. Dude never calls during naptime, just in case such things occur, so I was annoyed that the ONE time he didn't follow this rule happened to be the ONE time I needed him to.

But he called to tell me that he was laid off from his job effective immediately, thanks to the economy fucking his company up the rear. The extra shitty part? We had planned this vacation back in April, when he got hired at that job. They told him he might not have enough vacation time, but that he'd accrue it by the end of the year and it would just put his vacation balance into the negative. I mean, that happens in tons of places, and I've scheduled vacations like that before. And his being laid off was totally unexpected; I mean, prior to this, they were talking about promoting him at his one-year review. So since we had just gone on vacation, he was left with EIGHT HOURS OF SEVERANCE PAY.

Also shitty? Since it was the end of a pay period, they were canceling our insurance. So that doctor's visit never happened. So... that sucked. Because Dude and I weren't exactly rolling in dough in the first place. I mean, things were SUPER tight and difficult prior to this, and we didn't have much in the way of savings, and we were a one-income family. Sure, I work from home, but I don't earn enough to support me by myself in a cardboard box on the Charles River, let alone enough to support a husband and baby.

Somehow, I managed to luck out even more and develop mastitis within a day or two of him losing his job. I don't know if you've had mastitis before, but let me tell you right now, it sucks. And not having insurance isn't exactly helpful, especially because mastitis can develop into an abscess, and that was the last thing I needed. Dr. Google taught me all about the amazing antibiotic properties of allicin, found in garlic, and thankfully, that did cure me. I smelled like a freaking garlic factory for days, but according to my mother, that's nothing new.

On October 30, I said, "Listen up, October. You've got one more day to redeem yourself. So get on that." Within an hour, I started menstruating. My first real period since Bee's birth. So basically, October this year? Failed. Miserably. I give it a rating of February, which is obviously the worst month in existence. So fuck you, October, right in your fucking ear. And Mom, if you're reading this, yes you can curse on mommy blogs, and yes I know that curse words don't sound ladylike, and I'm sorry but no I will most likely not stop.

Dude has not yet found a job, has been given the run-around by a few places that are dangling him by the balls outside a window, and in general hasn't been very hopeful what with the current economic environment and the fact that it's holiday season. Hiring has slowed down/stalled in a lot of companies. We can't afford to keep paying for rent and bills and groceries on his measly unemployment checks, which by the way were FIVE WEEKS LATE, which sucked extra hard. So we have packed up ourselves, our cats, and about 75% of our shit, and drove them 250 miles down to my parents' house, where we are currently residing. Which definitely has a lot of benefits, but since I'm here to vent right now, is also sad because we miss our home and our friends. And it sucks further because moving in general sucks, especially when you're leaving a place you really like, and more so when this is your third move in 18 months.

The most frustrating part is that we're not even sure if we're going to stay here, because he's still waiting to hear back from one place. If they make a good offer, we might just move all this shit right back, which would suck. But if they don't make a good offer, who knows when he might get hired? And since we don't know what's going on, it makes it so much harder to figure out what to do. Do we move the last of our furniture, buy a bunch of baby-proofing gear and set this place up? Or do we wait in limbo, not really settled anywhere?

And I haven't even told you about Bee yet. She's going to be ONE! YEAR! OLD! in less than two weeks, started walking at the end of October/beginning of November and is now an old pro, and is in the midst of a HUGE verbal boost and is learning at least one new word a day. And she's just picking them up out of nowhere, man! Like, today at snack, she learned the word "cheek," and before bed, she randomly patted my cheek and said "CHEEK!" and then touched her own cheek and said it again. We're into parts of the face right now. "Nose" is the reigning favorite, and "teeth" was one she learned two days ago and also really likes talking about. She's also obsessed with babies. And, I'm not sure where or when this started but I think I'm going to blame my parents for this one, but she also has a firm grip on the word "no" now and is kind of obsessed with things she isn't supposed to do. I don't even have to say it. If she goes for my cell phone and I calmly move it out of her reach and try to distract her with something else, she points at my phone, wags her finger, says "No no no," and bursts into tears.

And, in case I haven't mentioned it yet, she got FOUR TEETH in the past month and a half. For those of you who weren't sure, for the record, having an infant who is simultaneously getting four teeth as well as going through a big developmental spurt culminating in walking and talking is difficult all on its own, because while their brains work on all that stuff at once, they get totally cranky and needy and easily irritated and stop sleeping. Or at least my kid does. Which, for the curious, really didn't help this whole oh-my-god-Dude-is-unemployed-we-have-no-money-what-the-fuck-do-we-do thing. But I think that phase is over, at least. The super cranky working-on-everything-at-once bit, not the what-the-fuck-do-we-do bit, because that is still going strong.

So yeah. It's been crazy-go-nuts over here, and the last thing I've had time to do is sit down and blog about it. But I've desperately wanted to. I do enjoy writing. It does have therapeutic value for me, and it helps me calm down and organize my thoughts, which would have been really useful these past months.

On the good side, Dude and I feel like our relationship has really strengthened since we're together so much, he's gotten to spend way more time with our daughter than he would have had he been working, we're feeling very thankful that we have a place to go and options that will help solidify our future, I'm getting to spend lots of time with my family, and last but certainly not least, Bee is just so freaking cute. This is such a fun phase, and I know I've said that for every phase she's gone through, but this is what I love about children: watching them grow and develop and enter these new phases of development. It's really amazing to me in general, and it's just so cool going through it with my own child because I see it from a totally different perspective.

So things aren't all bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they have certainly been stressful and insane and unbelievable, and after a long hard day of trying not to lose my mind, the last thing I have been able to do is check my e-mail or write a blog post. Believe it or not, I even took a leave of absence from my job, because while we need the money, I just don't have the time or energy to sit on the computer for more than 10 minutes at a go most days.

If you read this, you get a cookie, because damn this was long. But hey, now you can stop wondering where the heck I went.