Friday, February 27, 2009

What A Day!!

Let's start with the good...

Today I had one of those fancy schmancy 4D ultrasounds.  I have to say that it was pretty cool.  And I am totally cynical, so that says a lot coming from me.  It was in this cool room where I was allowed to bring up to 10 people with me.  There were a couple of different screens to look at and also all the images were projected onto an 100 inch screen on the wall.  They checked her out for a full 30 minutes and I left with like 6 5x7 color photos, a ton of smaller black and white photos, a CD full of all of the images (about 75), and a DVD of the entire experience.  In case you're wondering, it cost me $135.  Totally worth it.  Obviously I booked this before the whole bed rest, losing all of your income thing, but I am glad I did.  I never would have splurged on it otherwise and I am really happy that I did it.  Without further ado...please meet "The Girl..."

This is her chillin' with both of her arms up behind her head, so what is surrounding her face is the long part of her arms and her elbows.

This next one cracks me up.  She was physically SUCKING on her feet.  Can you believe that?  Sucking on her damn feet.  We had to do a lot of work to get her OUT of this position so that we could see her better...
And finally, here she is with both her arms clasped to the left side of her face like she is cheering or something.  She had a little smile in this one, so I had to include it...
I mean, really, how cool is that?  The Boy was SO cute while all of this was going on.  He kept saying, "I see her!  I see her!"  And then he would say in a little baby voice, "Mommy, she so cute..."  Totally adorable.  It was really quite sweet.  It was great to get to see her and gave me the little pick me up that I needed.  Of course things didn't end there...

So now the not-so-fun part of the day.  So after my ultrasound I went home to lie down (as per doctors instructions) for about 45 minutes before my weekly OB appointment to check my blood pressure.  Once I got to the doctor, they took my pressure as I was going in and it was okay.  It wasn't great, but certainly better than last week.  I think it was like 139 over 89 or something.  When the doctor (no more messing around with my favorite nurse...) came in she was happy with the fact that my blood pressure had gone down significantly.  She said that the medicine was working and she was happy with that.

I then told her of some of the "side effects" I have been having on the medication.  Those being very lightheaded, extremely exhausted, having virtually no appetite...etc.  Then I told her that when I stand up everything goes black and I have to sit back down so I don't pass out, and that for the past couple of days I have been seeing flashing lights (I call them "diamonds in the sky) randomly throughout the day.  She asked how the baby has been moving and I told her that she moves around, but nowhere near as much as The Boy did.  She just chills, and then it seems like she runs a marathon really quickly, and then stops moving again.  More in spurts.  But I said that we had had an ultrasound today and that she was sucking on her feet and moving around and stuff.  

She got "the look" on her face.  She said she didn't like the visual changes that I had been having and the decreased fetal movement.  I clarified that it might not be decreased, but that maybe she is just different from how The Boy was.  She still wasn't happy with the visual thing and said "JUST TO BE CAUTIOUS" that she was sending me over to Labor and Delivery.  She said she was sure it was nothing and just wanted them to do a stress test on the baby and take some blood just to be sure.  She said I would be home by dinner time and not to worry about it.

So I headed over there.  I have to say that it was weird going back to the same hospital where I had The Boy (and where all the scary stuff happened with The Boy) all by myself this time.  My mom was with The Boy at home, so she couldn't be with me, so I was all alone.  I don't mean to be drama about that...I mean the situation is what it is.  I knew going into this that I was doing it alone, but something about going back to the same place, for the same type of scary thing, but this time being completely alone, was just weird.  And I have to say that for what ended up transpiring throughout the day, I held up pretty damn good.  Anyway, I digressed...

So I got there and gave the obligatory urine sample and got hooked up to all the monitors and put on the fancy gown etc...  I had to register for the hospital and fill out a bunch of papers and sign a whole bunch of crap.  The nurse that was assigned to me was fantastic.   She asked me when I had last eaten (and once she mentioned it I realized it has been quite a while ago) and brought me a sandwich and a ton of water and I settled in.  I knew I needed to have blood drawn, and have the baby on the monitor for at least 20 minutes and wait until the blood work came back before I could leave so I figured I would be there for about an hour.

I made some phone calls and hung out...and eventually the nurse came in and asked me if I was feeling any tightening in my uterus or any cramps.  "I never really had braxton hicks contractions with The Boy, so I am not sure what they feel like, but no...I don't think so, why?"  Apparently I was having contractions.  "Like serious contractions?"  Um, yeah.  And they are 5 minutes apart.  What the hell?!?!  So then she went on to tell me that she would be back and came back a few minutes later with a whole armful of stuff.  She proceeded to tell me that they were going to do that test where they take a swab of your cervix to see if you are going to go into labor within the next two weeks.  (I don't remember the name of the test, but thanks to all my internets out there, I was familiar with the test itself).

So at this point she did the test...(NOT fun to have to hoist my ass up on an upside down bedpan with a towel over it, use the dreaded speculum, which I thankfully have not experienced in QUITE some time and get the swab...) and right around that time my blood pressure shot up.  Well who the hell can blame me?  I should also point out that the hospital where I was checked in is going to close on April 10th so not only is it like a ghost town, but I was also aware that if things went badly, I would have to be transferred to a different hospital where there was a NICU available to deal with my 30 week old child.  Oh yeah, but don't worry.  And don't stress out.  It makes your blood pressure go up...  Jesus Christ!

So I will save all the drama and waiting that occurred after this and get to the end result.  After drinking a ton of water my contractions stopped (I had a crazy busy day and hadn't taken in anywhere near enough liquid or food throughout the day) and all the tests came back okay.  The cervix one was negative and all of my blood work came back okay.  So after about 4 hours in the hospital I was discharged.  The nurse did give me all of the belts and stuff for monitoring and told me she had a sneaking suspicion that this would probably not be my last time in the hospital before I gave birth.  Great.  Very comforting.  But I was able to go home.  I went to my mom's house to pick up The Boy (who was told that Mommy was just having a long doctors appointment and dinner) and brought him home.  He is now sleeping soundly in his bed and it is time for me to go and pass out in mine.  I swear this daughter of mine is already testing me.  Is this what it is going to be like to raise a girl?  Damn, I need a drink...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On A Different Note...

As a card carrying lesbian, I am dutiful in my TV watching of The L Word. I have watched it faithfully from its inception and have never missed an episode. However...  Those of you who watch the show know where this is going, don't you?

WTF?!?! When I saw the rumors about someone being killed off on the show, like the rest of the sane viewing audience, I longed and dreamed that it would be the character of Jenny. So sorry to admit it, but I can't stand the bitch. I have never liked her.  From the very beginning when she went from that Tim guy to Marina, I just didn't trust her and didn't like her.  The show is fabulous and she was the one thing that brought it down every week. I hated her. And not in the "loved to hate her" fashion. Just in the, "Jesus Christ, if they could just kill off her character the show would be so much more enjoyable" way. So when I heard it was indeed Jenny's character that was going to be killed off I was elated. Sure, this is the final season but at least I wouldn't be dealing with that horrific bitch until the bittersweet end.

And what the hell has happened? Not only did she not go away in the first episode, but the entire god damn season has been focused on her. I am so disappointed. I truly am. I have tried to ride it out and hope that perhaps she would go away halfway through the season so I could enjoy the last few episodes in peace, but no. Apparently not. She is here and more obnoxious than ever. So horrific in fact, that the entire goal of this season is to make every single character HATE her so horribly that they want to kill her. Well sign me up as well. I want to kill her. And not only that, she is ruining what is left of the show for me. I am very saddened and disappointed that this is how I have to spend my last season of a show I have loved so much. Don't get me wrong, I will faithfully watch the last two episodes. But every week I watch that show and silently lament how Ilene has chosen to let things end. At least when Queer as Folk ended I got the ending that I felt like it deserved.  This one?  Not so much.  I am going out bitter and sad that I don't feel like the rest of the characters are getting the closure that they deserve because we are all so busy focusing on what a parasite Jenny is that there is no room for anyone else.

Call it bed rest crankiness, call it pregnancy hormones, call it whatever you would like.  But I just felt like I needed to get that off my chest.  There, I feel a little better...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going from 100mph to 50mph

I am slowly trying to adjust to my new situation.  But it hasn't been easy.  I started off the week by having to send out an email to all of my clients telling them that I was no longer going to be able to work from their offices.  Some of my clients have situations where I can still help them out from my home office, but most of them do not.  So for the majority of them, things are drastically changing, without much notice.  It's hard for them, and equally hard on me.

I am very lucky to have the support system around me that I do.  My cousin, who used to live with me and who is a frequent commenter on my blog, is going to help me out.  She has been out of work due to the horrific economy for a while and has some experience in office management and bookkeeping.  She is going to drive down here (she lives almost 3 hours away) a couple of days a week and essentially take over working for my clients for me.  I am so grateful for her being able to help, and I honestly think that the experience will help her as well.  She can get some valuable experience to put on her resume, and help me out in the mean time.  This keeps me from having to basically tell my clients, "Sucks to be you..." and gives them an option.  Very lucky for that.

I think at this point I have figured out most of the logistics of what needs to happen.  But actually implementing those things is harder than one would expect.  Like the title of this post, it is like driving your car at 100 miles per hour and then suddenly having to go down to 50 miles per hour.  It is doable, but you can't just slam on the breaks.  You have to decrease your speed to do it safely.  Same sort of thing with my life.  I am a single mom who owns and runs my own home, takes care of my 3 year old, and runs a successful business.  I am always going.  There is always something to be done.  Unfortunately none of the expectations on my life have gone away, but I am expected to only give half as much of my time to make it all happen.  It's tough.  There has NEVER been enough time in my life to simply lay down for 4 hours a day.  That hasn't changed.  Yet I have to make time for that.  The Boy still needs to get to school, the house still needs to be cleaned and kept up, dinner still needs to be cooked and cleaned up, the dishwasher still needs to be emptied and the trash service still comes every Tuesday morning.  Nothing has gone away.  But my time has gone away.  It is very difficult to make this adjustment.

I understand it is necessary for the health of my unborn daughter.  I get that.  But again, actually making it happen is tough.  The other fun little thing is the medicine that they have put me on for my blood pressure.  I don't know if these side effects are permanent or not, but they are tough to live with.  After taking the pill I feel SO light headed and dizzy.  If I stand up too quickly I literally see black and almost pass out.  I am beyond exhausted.  I feel like I have a horrible flu and that I just need to be laying down.  And the thing is...that's probably what I should be doing...just don't necessarily have the time for it.  I don't want to call the doctor and complain about the side effects because, really, what is the alternative?  They take me off of the medication and I will most assuredly end up checked into the hospital to monitor my blood pressure.  That's no good.  So we deal with the side effects.

I feel badly that my blogging lately seems to be nothing but complaining about the situation I am in.  It makes me feel like an ungrateful bitch for the decent things around me.  The people in my life are amazing and, for the most part, my clients have been wonderful and understanding.  My daughter is still safely cooking away in my womb.  I am able to be living at home with my son and spending every day with him.  This is a temporary situation and in all likelihood in 6 months time I will be back at work with a healthy daughter and son in my life and I will have weathered this storm.  But right now it is scary and overwhelming.  The financial aspect of having my income simply stop is huge.  The physical aspect of what is going on with my body is daunting.  And the need to find the balance in all of this for two more long months is what keeps me up at night.

But each day it gets a little easier.  Soon I will settle into a routine and things will calm down and I won't feel like everything is so out of control.  And every single day that I am keeping my daughter inside of me is a gift.  Today I am 30 weeks pregnant.  I want at least 8 more weeks of this.  The Boy was born at 37 weeks and he was okay.  But I want a healthy baby that gets to come home from the hospital the same time that I do.  This experience is teaching me that you can plan the shit out of your life, but really, sometimes you have to just sit back and trust that things will be okay.  I am taking things one day at a time.  Thank you to all that have commented and sent me emails.  I appreciate it all more than you know.  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Need Some Cheering Up? Because I do...

So this whole bed rest/no work thing has hit me hard.  Really hard.  While I can intellectually understand that this isn't my fault, the guilt that I feel right now is so overwhelming.  I think it is tied to the fact that I "did this to myself."  I knew that I was single.  I knew that having a baby while single and raising a 3 year old was something that a good portion of people would think I was crazy for attempting to do.  I did my very best to get everything in order and to go through this process without needing or expecting everyone around me to come to my rescue when it all went to hell.  And now that is exactly what has happened.  Everything has gone to shit, and the decision that I made is going to affect those around me.  They all have to step up.  And I have to sit on my ass and let everyone else take care of me.  And that is NOT something I am good at.

Now let me take a moment to say that I absolutely know how very lucky I am to have the people around me willing to do that.  That doesn't escape me.  When I had a major breakdown in my doctors office on Friday my lovely nurse told me I needed to get some perspective.  She said the same thing had happened to her during her second pregnancy and that she didn't have my mother.  She didn't have the support network that I do.  I get that.  And I am so unbelievably grateful to have what I do.  That isn't something that I am missing in this process.  
But that also doesn't negate the guilt that I feel about what has happened.  I am so disappointed in myself and in my body.  I am so worried about how I am going to financially get through this.  I am petrified about having my daughter prematurely and having to leave her in the NICU while I go home without her.  I am worried about the problems she will physically have if she's a preemie.  I am worried about how this is affecting The Boy.  I am worried about how the hell to try and approach all of my clients on Monday and tell them what has happened.  I am worried about what is going to happen to my blood pressure if I don't stop all this god damned worrying!  The bottom line is that I entered into this alone...with the full knowledge of doing this alone and with the thought that I could make it through alone (and with the help of my rock star mother, who is more to me than I could ever explain on this blog).  And now I can't do it alone.  It isn't possible.  And I feel so horrifically sad and empty and well...alone.  

So to basically force myself to focus on the positive I have been feeling each kick that The Girl gives me as a blessing.  I take each and every hour that she is still in my womb growing as a gift, and most of all, I look at the face of that little boy (who incidentally put me through pretty much the exact same fucking thing except he waited until much later to torture me) and I buck up and I sit on the floor and I hug him and I play with him and I soak it all in.  So, in an attempt to not let this blog turn into the "feeling sorry for myself" blog, I give you some pictures of my perfect little dude.  And I take it one moment at a time...because that's just about all I can manage right now.

Here he is becoming a child of the future.  He loves playing with my 'puter and it amazes me to see how well he uses the mouse and how well he can navigate through his programs at such a young age.  He is better at the computer than my mother...
And here he is frolicking outside with the little boy of one of my best friends (incidentally the best friend who is now pregnant...yay!)  To see them growing up together and kicking the balls and just playing with nothing but pure joy is hard to ignore...

And here he is pressing his face against the glass while waiting for a table at a restaurant.  He had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the restaurant and even though I woke him up from a sound sleep he was cheery enough to make faces through the glass at my cousin, one of his very favorite people in the world.  You gotta love that...
And he is with his most prized possession:  His Lambie.  He loves this little lovey more than life itself.  He has had it since he was born (I actually have about 10 of them total and rotate them around so they all get worn equally) and it is one of his best friends in the world.
I look at that face and the amazing person that he is, and well, I know I will get through this.  It is going to be tough to be on bed rest for the next (hopefully) 2 months, and it is going to be financially difficult to make it through.  But I look at that face and I know I have to do it.  One of these days far from now I will be posting pictures like this of my daughter.  And I will love her with the same intensity that I love this little boy.  And the fight that I have to go through to get her here will all have been worth it.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

So Unbelievably Screwed...

So I just got back from my blood pressure check at my OB's office.  Not good news.  In fact pretty much the opposite of good news.  My blood pressure was like 157 over 101.  Really not good.  I have been taking it here at home (I have a cuff thing) and it has been in the range of like 135-140 over 85-90.  Still not great, but definitely not what it was at my doctor's office.  I tried to tell them that I must have just been nervous for my appointment because it hasn't been that high all week long, and I have been taking it...  They didn't so much want to hear that.  My lovely nurse was even bypassed by my doctor who came to the door of my room with a very stern look on her face.  She said the words I was dreading hearing...  "No more work..."  She said a bunch of thing after that, but I really didn't hear them.

I am so unbelievably screwed by this.  I have said it before but it bears repeating.  I am self employed.  No more work means no more income.  Not disability, not anything.  Income STOPS.  I am 29 weeks pregnant.  Holy shit.  In addition to that, my biggest client that has been selling off all the properties?  The one I blogged about a little while ago?  Well once all the properties had been sold and I was able to close down the books for those properties, they were going to give me a bonus.  That bonus is what was going to pay for my maternity leave.  That bonus would have given me the monetary equivalent of working for approximately 3 months.  If I can't close down the books I don't know if I get the bonus.  Without the bonus, I literally have NO money to take ANY time off.  Not three months, not anything.  And even if I somehow manage to close the books from home and get the bonus?  Well that gives me three months.  Three months from now puts me at about 2 weeks past when this baby is due.  I am having a c-section.  That isn't even enough time to recover, much less get ANY sort of maternity leave with my new child.  So screwed...

So this is what is happening as of right now.  My doctors know I live alone with The Boy and as of now that doesn't need to change.  I am still allowed to take care of him; I can still cook and clean and pick him up etc...  I can drive him to and from school etc...  My rules as of today are that I have to quit work completely (although nurse wonderful did say that I could work from home as long as I work within the boundaries they have given me), I have to be completely horizontal for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  Other than that I can function.  I have a massage scheduled this afternoon for 3:00 (yay!) and I am still allowed to go to that.  I can still grocery shop and deal with life as long as I am not going into work and I am doing the two hour thing.  They also put me on an anti hypertension medication (haven't even had time to google obsessively how that is going to effect my baby) which should help.  My doctor told me that we have to at least get me to 32 weeks.  You need to get me a lot further than that!  

Okay that is my update.  I have to go have my mental breakdown now.  I will update again later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If This Were A Perfect World...

If this were a perfect world...I would be able to sit down to dinner with my child, we would both eat off of our plates until we were full, we might have some fun conversation and a few smiles, and then we would get down and clean up. But this isn't a perfect world. And I swear to fucking God that I sometimes think I might lose my mind if I have to spend meal time like this for the next how-ever-many years.

I can't even explain in words how utterly frustrating it is to eat with my son. He talks and talks and talks and he plays with his fork and his spoon, and he pretends that the spoon becomes a truck and drives around the outskirts of his place mat, and he basically does everything BUT actually put food into his mouth. I could make an entire blog post about all the things he does at meal time rather than eat.  I swear the kid could sit at the table for an hour and if never prompted, he would literally never put anything into his mouth.

"[Boy], take a bite..." I tell him.

"Dis one?" He grins and points to one of the options on his plate?

"Sure. That's fine.  Eat anything off any part of your plate."

"Dis one...?" He points to another option while smiling a devil-smile.

This can go on for a good 3 minutes or so. Eventually he will sense my frustration and pick one of the things on his plate and take JUST ONE bite of that item. Then he goes back to playing and the scene repeats a few minutes later. There are nights where I just decide I just can't possibly care anymore and in my head think, screw it, and stop asking. This is one of those nights. He has maybe taken 4 bites of food since he sat down over half an hour ago. I got up from the table and came write this blog post and all the while he is still sitting in the dining room chatting away with his fork and his spoon, NOT EATING.

And the kicker? If I were to go out there right now, which I will do in a matter of moments, and take his plate away he Just doesn't give a crap. He won't come up to me later and tell me he's hungry.  He won't eat more tomorrow.  He won't ask for a treat before bed.  He just won't. And this is why every single time I go to the gastro doctor for a weigh in, the kid hasn't gained any weight.  And this is why I get so stressed out about this particular issue when (didn't he get the memo?) I am supposed to be chilling the fuck out and not making my blood pressure rise!!!

I have blogged about this before, and I am sure I will blog about it again. I am a very lucky person in that my child is pretty easy going and behavior-wise is a really easy kid to raise. People tell me all the time how lucky I am that he's so "easy." I welcome them to attempt to get him to eat at meal times and see how they fare. Because for me? It is my DAILY battle. And some days it gets the best of me. Today is one of those days.  Sometimes this motherhood thing is just tough...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

28 Weeks and "Oooohhhhmmm...."

I'll start the post off with my monthly belly shot.  I am 28 weeks here and while I feel absolutely HUGE, I don't think my belly has really grown all that much over the past month or so.  I am one of those people who gets really big, really fast and then it just sorta chills in one place for while.  

So let's talk about the three hour glucose test.  Carey was right when she commented that it SUCKED!  I knew that I had to fast (NOT nice to a pregnant person) and I knew that I had to sit in the office for three hours (NOT nice for anyone who has...well any sort of a life...), but what I did not know was that they were going to draw blood every hour that I was there.  So not only was I in the office for 4 hours, without food, but they were also taking my blood every hour for a total of 4 times.  So.Not.Cool.  By the end of it I was a shaky mess and on the last blood draw my blood wouldn't even go in the little vial on its own, I had to continually make a fist to try and get it in there.  My body subconsciously knew that it had been depleted of all of its resources and was trying to save everything I had.  But I lived.  I had my regular 28 week appointment scheduled at 11:45 that morning (I had begun the test at 8:30 so was in the office from like 8:15am until around 12:30pm) so I had packed a granola bar in my purse to scarf after the test and before my appointment.  I did that, but I have to say that the test really f-ed with my mojo for the entire day.  I felt sluggish and nasty and weird all day long.  The results will be back by Monday and if it is bad news I will get a call.  Otherwise I won't find out until my next appointment, which is this Friday.  Why do I have to go back for another appointment in just a week you ask?  Well I'll tell you.

My history with my last pregnancy ended up being on bed rest because of high blood pressure.  That happened around week 33 I think and I was on bed rest for about 3 weeks and The Boy was delivered 3 weeks early.  I have posted about my fear of repeating this for this pregnancy since I am single this time around and bed rest would essentially mean having to move in with my mother.  You can see where this is going right?  Yeah.  My blood pressure was pretty high for my appointment.  I believe it was 149 over 94.  Not so hot.  So I got "the look" from my favorite nurse (who dealt with it last time around as well) and I told her it was their fault for making me stress out for over 3 hours in their waiting room with no food while sucking all of my blood out.  She agreed that it might have something to do with it so we took it again before I left, and it was down a little, but it certainly wasn't normal.  So I have to go back in one week for a blood pressure check and I am now moving to the point where my regular appointments are 3 weeks apart this next time (not including the BP check) and then after that they move to every two weeks.  That is a big signal to me that we are nearing the end of pregnancy (really we have almost 3 months left) so...HOLY CRAP.  I am so not ready for this.

So that explains the title of my post.  I am going to my zen place.  I need to seriously chill the F out.  My life has been pretty stressful lately and I have always had in the back of my mind that it could end up affecting my pregnancy, but this latest appointment really is a wake up call.  Must calm down.  So I am sitting in a cross legged position with my arms upon my knees and my thumb and middle finger together slowly moaning, "Ooooohhhhmmmm" to try and remind myself.  Bed rest is bad under any circumstances.  But financially and physically it is really, really bad for me right now.  I need to relax.  I am going to do my best.

On that note, here is a documentation picture of my son's newest obsession.  Handy Manny from the Disney channel is his latest craze.  A couple of weeks ago he wanted to watch Toy Story for the 7,638th time and I was about to lose my mind.  I took all 4 buckets of his DVD's and put them in front of him and begged him to PLEASE find something else to watch.  He rummaged through them and found a Handy Manny DVD.  I didn't even know we had that; someone must have bought it for him.  But hey, it wasn't Buzz Lightyear so I happily put it on for him.  He is now obsessed.  He runs around the house with this tool box (pictured below) and screams "Hop Up Jump In" and counts in Spanish.  He LOVES him some Handy Manny.  Thank God I found it on the satellite and was able to DVR the hell out of it so we have several different episodes to chose from.  But he loves it.  And he will happily fix pretty much anything you need him to fix as well as many things you would prefer that he didn't.  But really...look at that face.  How can I not support his latest love?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The End of An Era

I have been somewhat quiet over here on my blog lately. Part of that is because I have been so unbelievably busy trying to gain some sort of normalcy in my life again, and part of that is because emotionally things have been kind of rough for me lately. I do not want this blog to become a place where I do nothing but vent about the daily frustrations about my life, and yet, when I think in my head about blog topics to write about they all inevitably end up going down that road.

I remind myself that this blog is my public diary; a place to essentially record what is going on in my daily life. A place to come back to in later years and remember what I went through to get where I end up. And in that vain, I don't want everything to be all flowery and sugar coated. The fact is that I am in a HUGE transition in my life, and the Virgo in me abhors all things change. And the times? Yes, they are a changin'.

I have spent plenty of time on this blog talking about the ending of my relationship. I don't need to go into that further. But I will explain that the process of breaking up with someone who you have been with for a long period of time (almost 8 years in my particular case) is not a short process. Sure the decision to end things and the moving out process may only take a couple of months. But then the emotional fall out keeps going. It goes, and then you heal a little bit, and then something happens and you feel the fall again. And then you get back up and move on, and then something happens and you feel it again. It is a long process to actually emotionally rid someone from the space in your mind that you have reserved for whomever is closest to you. Even when you think you have been successful at this, sometimes things happen that bring you back to a place you thought you were clear of. I am not sure if it is The Ex's recent exploration of a new relationship, or the fact that just this last weekend she finally cleaned out a bunch of stuff of hers out of my garage, or just the fact that perhaps, FINALLY, I am ready to move on. But the end of the era has come. Don't get me wrong, I still feel it. I still feel the sadness and the let down that comes from failing at something that I tried so hard at, but for some reason it doesn't have that pull on me anymore. Not only am I genuinely happy for her new relationship, I am also genuinely happy that it isn't with me. I hope that doesn't sound horrible, but to me, it signals the fact that I might actually be ready to move on. End of a long era on that one.

The other ending is with my business. I don't talk too much about that on here for privacy sake of my clients, but now that things are done I can say this. For almost 10 years my biggest and most time consuming client has been a family that owns several properties. I manage the finances for all of their properties. About a year and a half ago one of the owners decided he wanted out. So beginning last May, all of the properties were put on the market. Yesterday escrow closed on the last remaining property. The process of selling these properties has had a HUGE part in the level of stress my work life has taken on recently. Obviously with the knowledge that all the properties were going to be sold comes the realization that I would be losing my biggest client. Therefore I needed to take on new clients to make up for the loss of this one. So take on new clients I did. took a REALLY long time for all the properties to go away. So for the last several months I have been trying to give the new clients the attention they deserve, while also trying to close up shop on my old client. We have been in and out of escrow several times on all of the properties and the amount of extra work that comes with having to provide real estate agents and escrow officers with extra financials has taken its toll. I am exhausted, and stretched beyond what my little body is capable of doing. Every single day I work my usual work schedule and then when The Boy goes to bed at night I am back at my computer for at least 2 hours trying to play catch up. Before all this started, when The Boy would take a nap on the weekends I would either nap as well, or else just relax and catch up on some TV, but that has all ceased. Everything in my world is somehow about making sure not to drop the ball on any of my clients. And a couple of times the ball did get dropped. And I have a hard time living with that. I am as anal retentive as they come and in the 11 years of being a self employed bookkeeper I can honestly say that I have never made a mistake that cost anyone more than $100 for anything. I pride myself on my record. In the month of January alone I made two mistakes. And one of those is costing me over $600 out of my own pocket (because if I screw up, I take responsibility for it). This kills me. And truly, over the past two months, my work situation as whole has tried to kill me.

But with the closing of this final escrow I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time, I am not so bogged down in how the hell to manage everything that I am actually seeing that, wow, in a couple of months I will no longer be working for these people. Like I said, this client has been the staple in my financial life for over 10 years. I will be fine financially because of my new prospects and new clients, but wow. It will take up until I leave on maternity leave to close up shop on this final property and get everything settled to move on. But when I leave in the middle of April (please let me make it that far, please let me make it that far...) I will not be returning to the work life I have known. The end of an era indeed.

And finally (if you have continued to read this long you deserve a metal...) it is the end of the time between just The Boy and myself. We are a team my little dude and I. We have been through SO MUCH in the past three years together. Now I won't get all weepy on you (well I might, but you can't see it!) and say that it is over because I know that it isn't. But we are adding someone else into the mix. I truly believe that this little girl is going to enhance our lives in ways that we can't even imagine yet. I simply cannot wait to see what an amazing big brother he is going to be. And I can't wait to see how she changes our lives for the better. But the fact remains that our time, just the two of us, Mommy and Boy against the world, is coming to a close. We are going from two to three. And I can't really even wrap my mind around how fantastic that really is.

All of these things that are changing are good. I am ready for all of these "era's" to be done. I am ready to see what this next phase of my life holds. I have hope and I have dreams and I have wishes for all of us. I am ready to see who the next person in my life is going to be and what she's going to bring to all of our lives. I am ready for the next phase in my career to get started. And most of all, I am ready to meet this precious little girl who is going to change our lives in ways that I can't even imagine yet. Sure this process has been hard, and the past couple of months have been really rough, but what is coming is bound to be so great. It will be what I make it to be. And I am going to make it spectacular.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update on the Test...

I failed.  (I'm talking about the glucose tolerance test in case you're not up to date).  How bummed am I?  So now I have to go into the office first thing in the morning, drink that disgusting crap after not eating anything since midnight, and then SIT THERE for three hours.  I think I am more annoyed about that than anything else.  And of course I have to have it done by the end of next week which means that I pretty much have to take a morning off of work.  That really isn't all that possible this week.  Shit, I can't believe I failed.  I barely even eat sugar.  So annoyed...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reaching For That Middle Ground

My posts lately have been sort of half-assed. Small little thoughts and actions by the smallest member of my family that I have recorded as a way to somehow put "time in a bottle" and be able to remember this time before my next child is born. As I have mentioned more times than I care to recall, January is my busiest month of the year. It is all I can do to just get through to the end of it. Yet here I sit, the 5th day in February, and I still have the same kind of stress that I had all month long in January. I spent an entire hour yesterday with my therapist trying to figure out how to balance everything in my life and somehow feel like I am doing well at just one of those things.

One of my best friends recently posted about how she had "hit the wall" (for lack of a better term) while being a stay at home mom to her two little girls. I read that post and sympathized with her and knew exactly how she felt. But alas I am not a stay at home mom. But I know the feeling. I called her later that night and left her a message expressing my version of "hitting the wall" with my own life. We went back and forth over whose situations were crappier and how, in reality, everyone's lives sometimes get to that point. It was a nice discussion. No one was trying to say that their version was worse than the other. I think we both felt a little better knowing that the "other" version of the life we are living isn't necessarily the one with all the answers. See, I struggle with being a working, single mom. I fight the guilt and the stress of perhaps believing that I am not the best mom I can be simply because I have to be out of the house all day long to work. She fights with the longing of being able to actually have conversations with adults that don't include the words "Dora" or "For the love of God, please be quiet!!" I talked of the difficult transition of going from driving home from a client with my brain full of "how am I going to solve this problem/get this situation resolved in time," to all of a sudden squatting down on the floor and looking at the dirt that my son has deemed is "dinosaur bones." How do I switch gears that fast? Things get lost in the transition. She longs for being able to have that transition at all. This post is not to try and make a point that either situation is more difficult than the other (although if pressed, I will bow down and say that stay at home mothers are the hardest working people out there--every time). The point of this post is to say that we ALL, no matter what our situations, have to try and find that middle ground.

I can mostly talk about being a working, single mom because, well, that's what I am. That is my truth. That is what I live everyday. And it is hard; no doubt. But not harder than any alternative. For me the trick is to find the balance between working enough hours to be able to bill enough money to be able to pay for and provide for my child, and also being around enough and spending enough quality time to be able to be there for my child(ren). I constantly feel like I am failing in one of those areas. If I prioritize my child and spend most of my quality time with him, then I start to freak out about how I am going to afford my mortgage in this economy and how I am going to pay for childcare for a second child, and health benefits for myself and the new baby...and...I could go on. So I completely freak out about that and start having nightmares about having to move, make my mom watch the second baby exclusively etc. and I end up booking more hours with my clients and working during every single nap and after The Boy has gone to bed and pretty much every waking moment when I am not engaged with The Boy.

(I should note that since I am self employed and lucky enough to have PLENTY of clients, I can basically work as much or as little as I want. I am not working at a job where I have a set salary so my income is directly related to how much energy I put into making that income).

Then all it takes is one comment from my child who says, "Mommy, you working at you 'puter AGAIN?!?!" to make me lose my shit and think to myself, "It isn't worth it. None of this is worth it. I don't give a shit if we lose our house and end up in an apartment with no food, because my child deserves a Mommy who is THERE, damnit and that is more important than all the toys money can buy..." And I wonder at what price am I "providing" for my child? And I remind myself that when I get into "freak out work" mode I don't take care of myself at all. And it only takes a millisecond to recall when the doctor put me on bed rest during my last pregnancy because of the stress (oh, and the high blood pressure that came along with it), and how being on bed rest this time around, and thus EARNING NO MONEY would not help my situation at all. And all of a sudden I am making plans to be all zen and focusing on booking a pregnancy massage and sitting down on the floor to sing songs for hours on end with my son and rubbing my belly reminding myself of the fact that there is another little creature about to be brought into this chaos that deserves just as much of me as my son does..and...well...

It is apparently all about finding the balance. As my pendulum swung back and forth last night with my therapist from the extreme of, "My life is SO HARD and I just don't know how to manage it all and I am so tired and I feel like I can never do anything right," back to the complete other side of, "I am so lucky to be pregnant again and having this amazing second baby. And it's a girl! A boy and a girl! Who gets that lucky? And I have this amazing family and support system and I know for a fact that I will NEVER end up on the street and, dear God, I am the LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE..." my therapist very kindly reminded me that perhaps some pregnancy hormones may be coming into play here. And she also reminded me that this is just life. It is amazingly magnificent and rewarding and equally challenging and tough and saddening. It just is. The trick is trying to figure out where that middle ground is and how to live within it. I don't have any answers, nor have I figured out my own middle ground. But for MY truth, my blog, I needed to document this struggle. I needed to reconnect with the realities that are going on inside of myself. And I needed to see something that I think deep down, we ALL are struggling with.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's That Time Again

Time to take the glucose tolerance test.  Oh joy of joys.  I did the test this morning and I have to say that, compared with the last time I took it, today was relatively easy.  That's not to say that I passed mind you, that is just saying that physically taking the test was easier this time.  When I was pregnant with The Boy I had to go to the lab after making sure not to eat for several hours (always fun when you're pregnant) where they gave me the nasty drink.  I had to drink it and then sit in the lab for an hour before they drew my blood and let me go home.  This time, however, I was given the nasty drink at my last OB appointment.  I brought it home and put it in my fridge (it tastes MUCH better icy cold, although still pretty much tastes like crap) and after I had gotten up this morning, I drank it at about 7:15am.  Then I was able to take my shower, get ready and head to my doctor's office.  I got there when they opened at 8:00am and my blood was drawn at exactly 8:15am.  MUCH nicer to be able to deal with it at home and take a shower etc. than to have to sit in a lab for an hour.  Although I must say that a certain small 3 year old didn't really understand the importance of being on time and trying to get out of the house at an exact time with him proved to be a little difficult.  But we did it.

The Boy was fascinated with them taking blood out of my arm.  He kept repeating, "Just a yittle poke..." and saying, "You okay Mommy?  You not hurt?"  And no, I am not someone who has issues with needles or blood draws so it was no biggie.  The nurse asked me if I had eaten anything or if I had fasted...and then proceeded to ask The Boy what he wanted to have for breakfast.  He declared, "DONUTS!" as loud as he could.  He then sweetly told everyone in the office, "Don't worry...I be back.  I bring a you all a donut," as we were leaving.  I am sure they were thrilled.  And of course I did have to stop and get him a donut on our way home.  But me?  Not so much.  I think I have had my fill of sugar for the day.  Blech!  So now we just hope that I pass.  I assume they will tell me at my next appointment, which is a week from Friday.  Please let me pass so I don't have to do the evil 3 hour test... 

Monday, February 2, 2009


How many of us as parents go around telling cute little anecdotal stories about our kids? I would venture to guess pretty much all of us. I am no exception. I find my son absolutely hilarious and one of the most charming boys on the face of the earth. I understand that there are probably few people around who agree with me on that (as they most likely have a little boy or girl in their lives that they feel the same way about), and as such I do my best to not bore the internets and my loyal readers with ridiculous Boy stories all the time.

But those of you who know me in person? HA! Well, even if you think my child is not nearly as cute as I believe him to be, I am sure you have been forced to sit through one of my many stories proving just this point. Yesterday was no exception. I will give you a brief rundown of the story I told just to make my point...

Saturday night. Boy goes down for bed at usual 8:00pm bedtime. Mommy goes to check on him over an hour later. Mommy finds Boy hiding under large blanket playing and yelling, "Hide! Hide!" when he hears Mommy approaching. (Okay enough with the third person thing...) I pulled back his blanket to get him re-situated on his two pillows (has a cold, needs drainage etc) and find that he has taken off his jammies and is laying in only his diaper. His comments and actions were HILARIOUS, but you'll just have to trust me on this because I am NOT repeating the story again. As I have mentioned before, The Boy is a great sleeper and we don't usually struggle with issues or playing that keeps him from sleeping well. So this was unexpected, and frankly, quite funny.

So not only did I call my mother that night after it happened to tell her about it, but I also told The Ex (and her new girlfriend, whom I had breakfast with on Sunday...another post), my best friend on the phone later, and a group of my mom's friends that we went out to dinner with on Sunday night. Oh, and I also told my step mom on the phone on Sunday morning. Again, I told this story because I like everyone to know exactly how amusing my son is. And everyone agreed. Great story...kid's totally amusing...blah blah blah.

I forgot one very vital thing: Every time I told this story (with the exception of the first phone call to my mom that night), The Boy was with me. He was listening to me tell everyone of his hysterical actions. You know what's going to happen now, don't you? Because I didn't. I am just that dense.


Fast forward to Sunday night when I put The Boy to bed. I knew he wasn't going to go right to sleep because he was all amped up with people at his house (I allow my step dad to use my house to throw his little Superbowl party since my mother is FAR too anal retentive to allow him the use of their house). So in preparation for that I didn't even let him have his big blanket OR a toy (I know, ogre mother extraordinaire) knowing that I would be going back in a while later to finalize the sleeping process.

I went back in about an hour later to check on him and...shock of all shocks...he was naked. And playing "hide" under the small baby blanket that I had allowed him to have. His jammies were in a pile at the foot of his crib. And this time? This time his diaper had come off too.

It was about at this point that I realized what the hell I had done. You could have smacked me with a 2 x 4 to get me to realize it...but...well...DUH!! I had spent the entire day talking about how funny he was by doing what he had done the previous night. It only stands to reason that perhaps he might decide to repeat that action in the hopes of keeping his title as the funniest child alive.

My bad. Crap. But this time? See this time there was no diaper. And while at that particular time, he had not peed in his bed, there was the distinct possibility of this happening. And this Mommy was NOT into the concept of changing sheets and mattress pads at this point on a Sunday evening. Then guess what he did? I hesitate to even type this because it goes against how very cute I have deemed him to be above. But he turned so he was facing away from me, bent over and put his little rump in my direction and...HE FARTED AT ME! Okay, totally NOT cute. Not cute because this small child does not necessarily understand the difference between farting and pooping. And while I was lucky, next time it could have been accompanied with a large turd streaming at me. So I realized that I needed to nip this behavior in the bud. the same time there are these evil thoughts lurking in the back of my head that this is totally my fault. How can I get upset at The Boy for doing something that I told everyone about? And in telling the story I made it crystal clear that I found his actions amusing. What he obviously doesn't get is that the story was amusing simply because it was a one time thing. There would be nothing amusing about it if done on a nightly basis. He doesn't get that. He's three. His entire goal in life is to make people laugh and smile and think he's cute. He was simply doing that. So I had to curb said behavior but also didn't want to get all crazy because, really, this is MY bad, not his.

So I simply kept my face very firm and didn't smile at all. I expressed to him that while Mommy might have said this was funny earlier, that it really wasn't very funny at all. And that taking off our jammies AND our diaper was not okay. I got him dressed quickly, took out his baby blanket, and told him very firmly that he was to go to sleep and NOT take off his jammies again. His look expressed to me that he didn't understand that the joke was really over. So I reaffirmed with, "If you take your jammies off again you will be IN BIG TROUBLE." "Okay Mommy," he sang happily. Realizing quickly that this threat had absolutely NO follow through whatsoever, I changed it to, "If you take off your jammies again I am going to take away your Binky and Lambie."

Well, he paused a minute like, "Crap. She can't really be serious..." And then smiled and said "Okay Mommy, I go seep now. Goodnight." all said with his little mischievous grin.

So I walked back out to the living room and picked up the video monitor. He did not even wait until I sat down before he started trying to wrangle out of his jammies. The little shit! It took him almost 10 minutes to get out of them, but he did. He sat there in his diaper (and nothing else in the crib) and then started working on his diaper to get it off. God Damned Him!! I really didn't want to have to take this any further because, like I said, my fault not his. But really, if I didn't stop this now, I envisioned having to duct tape him into his jammies and diaper every night going forward. So I did what I had to do. Because we all know the number one rule of parenting is follow through.

I went back into his room, walked straight in and grabbed his Binky out of his mouth, and his Lambie up from off his pillow, looked him in the eye and said, "I told you if you took off your jammies again you lost Binky and Lambie. Goodnight." And I turned and walked out of the room. Well it took about a nano second for the crying to start. In fact he didn't really even cry. It's as if he thought, Holy shit. She actually did it. I better use my words here because I have GOT TO CONVINCE HER of the injustice of this... He just started yelling, "Pees Mommy. Come back. I putta my jammie back on," "I needa my Yambie..." "COME BACK Mommy..." "Pees..." It was really sort of hard for me to hear. I went into my room and took off my makeup and made sure to note the time that I left his room (9:39pm in case you're wondering) and watched the clock. I made him sit in there for 5 minutes. At the end of 5 minutes I went in. Poor thing was desperately trying to get his jammies back on himself and was all red faced and teary. I picked him up out of his crib and told him I loved him. I told him that I was sorry that Mommy had said that it was funny to take off jammies at nighttime because it really wasn't. I told him that sleeping without a diaper was very dirty and that he didn't want to have to sleep in pee pee all night. I told him that I took Binky and Lambie because he had blatantly not listened to me. He held on to my neck for dear life and just kept begging for me to put his jammmies back on. I did and then I told him that I would give him back Binky and Lambie if he would lay down, close his eyes and go to sleep. But that if he decided to take off his jammies again, he would not have Binky or Lambie for the ENTIRE NIGHT. This time he got it.

I gave him back his Binky and Lambie and hugged him for an extra few minutes. I told him again how much I loved him and that I loved that he is a funny kid but that he has to be funny while still following the rules. I tucked him under his big blanket, sang him his sunshine song, and kissed him goodnight.

The little boy did not move an INCH. He went right to sleep in the very position that I layed him down. He slept straight through the night and I made sure to give him extra loves this morning when he got up because I think he needed it. I think he was still a little traumatized by the events of the previous night.

All of this because I couldn't keep my damn mouth shut. I had to go and tell everyone what a funny, cute kid I had and look what happened as a result. I forget sometimes that my little boy is sharp as a tack and that he hears literally EVERYTHING I say. Even if he isn't responding, he is listening. Lesson learned...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The 3 Year Old Checkup

We had our annual visit to the pediatrician for The Boy's three year checkup on Friday. Overall it went really well. I am pretty used to getting bad news where The Boy is concerned so it doesn't overwhelm me all that much anymore. And really, we didn't get any bad news. We didn't hear anything that we didn't already know.

It started out with the scale where they weighed him and measured how tall he was. He is used to his gastro doctor where he has to strip down to nothing to get weighed so when they told him it was time to get weighed, he started undressing. The nurse laughed and told him he simply had to take off his shoes. He looked at me like, "Are you sure she knows how this is done Mommy?" But I told him that for this doctor that's all he had to do. Well hot damn! He was stoked. So he took off the shoes and stood up there as tall as he could. The stats: Fully clothed he weighed 26 1/2 pounds and he measured 34 1/2 inches tall. We'll get to this later...

The he had to hop up on a chair and have his blood pressure taken. Again, this happens at the gastro doc so he knows all about it and put his little arm straight out and then took the little bulb thing in his other hand and informed the nurse that he would do it. Nice. He gave it back to her after I promised he could take mine when we got home (he has a doctor kit that he loves). Next came time for the hearing test. She told him they were going to play a game and he was going to wear headphones and every time he heard a beep he was to put one of the blocks into the basket. She gave him a bunch of colored blocks in his lap and an empty basket in front of him. She demonstrated a few times and he seemed like he understood. So she puts the headphones on and every time he heard something he would look at us and yell, "I HEAR A DA BEEP!" She would say, "Okay then put a block in the basket." He would look at the blocks and say, "How bout the red one?" "Yeah...any's fine." "Oh, bout the yeyyow one?" "No really, ANY block is fine." "Oh, den I yike a da green one..." This would go on until another beep would sound and he would be startled and sit straight up and yell at us, "I HEAR DA NOTHER BEEP!" And we would start the coloring of the blocks all over again... Overall he got the point across that he heard all of the beeps and yes, he knows and understands all of his colors.

Then we headed to the room to wait for the doctor. At that point he had to strip down to his underwear (well that's what the nurse said...I didn't have the heart to tell her it was still diapers...BAD MOMMY! BAD MOMMY!). So he did that fine and then he decided it was time to become Buzz Lightyear. He ran around the room and "lasered" my mom and me. In fact when the doctor did come in, he was in a lunge position screaming "To da see...and BEYOND!" (that first part is supposed to be infinity, but he hasn't really mastered that word yet). The doc laughed and expressed that his little boy had once too, been Buzz. At that point The Boy completely surprised me and ran over to me, yanked up my shirt and pointed to my tummy and said to the doctor, "You have a check my baby [girl name]." The doc politely explained that he would be happy to check her out, however it was customary to have her OUT of Mommy's tummy before he could do that. But totally cute.

So then came the exam. I won't bore you with all the details. Basically The Boy seems to have lost about a year's worth of growth. He has grown 3 inches since last year, which is apparently normal, but he is at the 0 percentile on the growth chart. He was just under the 5th percentile for weight. He has gained about 4 pounds since last year. So he is actually growing, but if you compare him to other three year olds, he doesn't come anywhere close. He is about the size of a (very small) two year old. Whatever. Not news to me. I am aware of our growth issues. But our doc said that when kids don't grow "properly" the thing we get concerned about is their brain development. It is very clear that The Boy's brain is right on track (in fact he tests way above his age level for problem solving and letters/numbers etc) so we aren't too concerned. He is just going to be a little guy. "A little peanut" is what his doc said. Not so shocking given that Mommy is only 5'3" and that donor Daddy is probably only 5'6" or so.

Since there were no shots involved (we are done with shots until kindergarten time) and frankly, The Boy goes to the doctor at least every two months, he had no issues. He laughed and played and stood on one foot and jumped and did everything the doctor asked him to. All the while completely charming him. I mean, of course he did...this is my child after all. But he was totally unfazed by the entire thing, which as a parent, is the best you could hope for.

The only thing to report is that we might be going back to one of our specialists that we had previously "graduated" from. His endocrinologist. Or the lady who might possibly have to give growth hormones... She had said that as long as he stayed within the 5th to 10th percentile in height we didn't have to come back to her anymore. Well, as of yesterday's charting, he has fallen below that. We talked to his ped about it and he suggested that we wait until our next "weigh in" in February and see where he charts on that one. Since we see his gastro every 2 months or so, that is what we have been using as our standard to make sure he stays above the 5th percentile in height. Last time we saw gastro (in December) he was between the 5th and 10th percentile according to her chart. So when we see her in February we will see where he falls according to her chart. If it is under the 5th percentile, then I guess we are going back to the endo again. If not, then we carry on. So going forward we have weigh in with gastro in mid February (where I anticipate he will be put back on the medicine to stimulate his appetite) and then a follow up with his neurologist on the 20th of February. Depending on how he does with gastro we might then be going back to the endo doc. Specialists, specialists everywhere...

But overall, the total of these doctors all agree that my boy is an amazing little boy who is thriving and doing great. He's just very little. We will probably struggle with the "size" thing for quite a while to come. But like his pediatrician said, as long as we know the brain is doing its thing, I am not worried. And he is happy and healthy and just the most amazing little boy I know. So for right now, I am cool.