First Day of Pre School

So, today was Zoe’s first day of Pre School.

Breathes out slowly.

It was a bit hard to sleep last night.

It was harder on me to leave her there than it was for her.

She had a great time, she behaved, and they seem to be charmed by her.  I didn’t really do much more than stare at the clock the whole time before going to pick her up.

Tomorrow might be a bit more productive as I start adjusting.

Goodness, it was a serious “next step” realization in this whole adulting and parenting thing when I was packing her first lunch for school last night.

Here’s to the start of a long next stage of our lives.

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Overwhelm, my old friend.

I have realized (once again) it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything.  I think many of you have grown accustomed to that at this point.  Even so, my apologies.

While things have certainly gotten better in general, I’m no longer on anti-depressants, and my body is shifting back to it’s own version of “normal”, I’ve been dealing with figuring out just how I want to continue dealing with all of this.

I have started Saw Palmetto, and at the very least it’s helped tame some of the androgen that my body apparently over-produces when I’m not on birth control (which the birth controls I’ve been on happen to target).  I still have some intense mood swings, and the occasional intense pain from my cycle, but at least my skin isn’t as oily, my mustache is going away, and my skin is clearing up.  (Seriously, I started feeling like a teenager.)

Though, the rest of my skin clearing can be attributed to going back on Proactiv.  No, I’m not plugging it, but it’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my couple of stubborn spots.

My weight has fluctuated about 10 pounds, and I’m trying to work on that as gradually as possible.  There’s still some changes to make, and I’m working on those.  We’ve make a concerted effort to changing our evening dining habits, and we’re now in the third week.  We’re also trying to get up and out a little more often, which has been nice.

While a lot has gotten better, I’m still dealing greatly with an over-sensitivity to feeling overwhelmed, and it’s frustrating because I feel like it’s happening for no reason.  So, yeah.  Lots of cyclical emotional garbage, which is nothing new.

The periods seem to come and go quicker, though, which is both good, and a little frustrating.  When things are good, I am pretty productive, but then then I hit the wall pretty hard and it just knocks me so far back.  Trying to power through it as much as possible, though.

But having made a couple new friends and having an amazing friend move to the area has been a big boost for me.

So, here’s to grabbing the sunshine whenever possible and forcing myself to like it.

 

 

Obligatory Catch-Up Post

Well, as anyone who has been following me for long enough already knows, I am horrible at posting on any kind of regular basis.

A quick catch-up since the last post:  She’s back into the swing of being pretty darned compliant with nap times and bed times.  It’s certainly quite nice.  And her potty training is getting better as well.  She’s still having some issues with recognizing and vocalizing when she has to poop, but she hasn’t had a pee accident in ages.

We’ve had some busier than normal times in the past month, lots of little visits with friends and family.  A dear friend of ours moved back down to the area from up north and he came to stay with us a couple times before we went to stay the weekend at his new place to help with the absolutely massive yard he now has.  James had a ball using Clint’s new 0-turn radius mower.  Zoe had a blast riding in his lap.  Between the front and back yards surrounding the house, it’s probably a good 2-3 acres, and he got to mow most of the front.  It’s absolutely beautiful up there.

We also got a visit from one of James’ sisters, Shaunacee and our adorable nephew whose facial expressions rival Zoe’s.  It was really nice to have so many visits.  Got to have some awesome sis-time as well and brought her out and popped her karaoke cherry.  Corruption: One song at a time.  😀

I’m now recuperating (read: hermiting aside from karaoke) from traveling two days back down the coast from spending about a week up in CT and surrounding areas to see my family.  It was quite lovely to have all three of us kids and respective loved ones all in the same place at the same time.  We all managed to overlap our visits with Mom & Dad.  It’s been quite a while since that’s happened with us being 3000 miles away until last November, my oldest brother and his family being in Texas, and the other being up in Massachusetts.

Meeting the newest addition to the family (well, human addition at least) was awesome.  We celebrated her 1st birthday while we were there, a bit early.  She is just the cutest little bundle of awesome.  Her older brother has absolutely sprouted into a 6.5 year old bean pole who still has seemingly boundless energy.  A few of us were a bit apprehensive how the meeting of the cousins would go, but within a couple minutes at the airport, Zoe and Fran were two peas in a very bouncy pod.  They were practically inseparable.  And being around an older kid for a little while was very good for her, since last week, her sentence structure when speaking and her communication of ideas has just bloomed.  Her potty training has also taken some steps forward, after seeing (well, not literally) another kid going by themselves and washing their hands by themselves.  She now does both, on the full size toilet with the stool.  She even moves it herself to wash her hands and demands to do it herself.  Though, we are still having some poop issues from time to time, but at least it’s progress.

Our newest non-human addition to the family is an absolutely gorgeous tri-color collie named Moya that Mom & Dad got 3 months ago.  I have the feeling she’s going to be quite a bit larger than the tri-color we had when I was growing up.  I would say her current size at 6 months is rather close to Brandy’s full grown size, just not as heavy.  Her coat is absolutely beautiful, mostly black with a white mane, white legs and feet, pink pads and a hint of tan on her muzzle and underneath.  She has the sleek head structure of the “Lassie” style collie, and looks like she’s certainly going to have the stature.  One of the more adorable things about her is her rather cat-like behaviors.  She adores cuddling, and will circle you and rub up against you like a cat, she climbs up on the couch with my Mom and tries to get up on her shoulders, nipping at her hair.  It’s quite amusing, to say the least.

All in all, a bit overwhelming but has left me in a better mood overall than I’ve been in a while.  Gotta love that introvert need to hermit after that kind of thing.

It’s About That Time…

I’m going to the doctor.

I know that it’s past time I go for a simple wellness check, and all that.  I know that.  I’m horrible about going to the doctor for myself.  That’s no secret among those closest to me.

But it’s time that I start talking about a little of what’s been going on.  I am not going to go into everything, as I’m not ready for that, but I will go into what I’m comfortable with.  I feel like I need to get this off my chest.

I’ve been feeling like absolute shit.  For a long time, and it’s only getting worse month to month.

I’m not sure what is going on, but I’m going to be asking about a handful of things, to see if I can get a well-rounded run-downs and tests to see what might be going on.  Thyroid, hormone levels, stomach issues, and even updates on the state of my back since I threw it out again in early July.

I have good days here and there, I’ve probably had far more bad than good lately, though.  Emotionally I’m batshit crazy.  It may not seem it to some people, but to me, it is.  This has been an absolutely extreme change in my behaviors, and it scares the living shit out of me.  Which of course (as I’ve mentioned in so many posts) tends to be an extremely vicious circle of emotions surrounding frustration, awareness, lack of control, and guilt when I can’t handle this stuff and I lose it.

There are certainly some stressors in my life, and those things have gone up and down over the last year.  When I’m feeling balanced, I can usually handle these kinds of things pretty well, I may need a period to bitch and moan and cry and I’m done with it.  But I have felt absolutely out of my mind lately and not having my husband here to be my rock has been incredibly hard.  But on the other hand, as I’ve told him, I’m glad he hasn’t been here to see me at what I believe to be my recent “worst”.  I have spent a long time gaining control over my emotions.  All of it is out the window at this point.  I don’t believe that it’s purely stress.  It is to the point where I think there might be something medically amiss in my brain and body at this point.  I do believe that there is a huge possibility that there is some chemical or hormonal imbalance.  Or hell, it could be something else entirely that just happens to have seriously shitty emotional side effects.  Who knows.  But it is doctor-worthy right now.

I’ve been on birth control since I was a teenager, rarely being off of it for half my life.  Since choosing to get pregnant and having my child, I’ve been off of it for a period, but I had the natural boost of pregnancy and breastfeeding to supplement any possible hormonal deficiency I might have had at the time.  During pregnancy I had felt things I had not felt so easily in so, so long.  It was nice.  Even the period following giving birth things were better.

Then I decided to go back on the Nuva Ring, (the Depo Provera shot is what tipped the scales when I got married, into crappy territory).  I started to feel similar effects after returning to the Nuva Ring as I had felt from the Depo Provera shot.  My daughter is almost 2.5 years old now.  Things have only steadily gotten worse for me in that time.  And more so in the last handful of months.

I’ve tried multiple times to get into better, healthier habits.  And the drive and the want is there, but emotionally I feel stunted most of the time.  And the fact that I know this is going on and little to nothing I’m trying to do is helping is the most frustrating thing in the world to me.  Being blissfully unaware sometimes seems like it would have been easier.  But I KNOW something is wrong.

Physically I’ve been feeling like absolute crap most of the time.  My pain levels have been in flux far more than I feel like they should, I’m getting sick far more often than I usually do.  I sometimes can’t eat.  I sometimes eat way too much.  (Thankfully I haven’t gained anything, but I haven’t lost anything, either.)  I force myself to try to do all the things I am supposed to be doing (of course except for making a doctor’s appointment before now).  I’m trying so hard to not be a complete basket case for my daughter.  To not be one around my friends.  **(see bottom of post)

I feel like my entire system is completely out of whack no matter what I do.  My emotions are on the most incredible roller-coaster I’ve felt them be on in a long, long, long time.  I can go from 0-60 and back again within minutes.  My patience can be infinite, or it can be non-existent.  I can be in an almost manic-good mood one moment, and be screaming into a pillow the next.  I’m crying more days than not.  Sometimes for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

I absolutely hate how things have been lately, and I can only hope that these crazy spells aren’t having some kind of lasting effect on my child.  Which I’m sure any of you can commiserate being an understandable fear and probably unfounded in the long run, but hasn’t really helped me in getting myself back on track.

I’m absolutely exhausted from my body not feeling well, I’ve been absolutely exhausted from trying to control all these things that I’ve come to understand that I just plain can’t control on my own right now, in order to make my daughter’s day to day not as bad as I fear it may have been these past weeks.

Normal stresses have felt like impossible things to handle sometimes, and I relish in the good days when I feel like I have the energy and brain power to actually be productive and get things done, especially when it comes to getting things ready for the impending move.  But those good days seem so very, very few and far between.  Realizing the swing from a few bad days here and there to only having a few good days here and there has been a rough one.  Things that shouldn’t stress me out have been things I’ve been practically tearing my hair out over.  Some of the dumbest things ever have made me cry, feel useless, worthless, incompetent, and realizing that none of that is true but I still feel it?  Infuriating.  Being actively aware of the absolute insanity going on inside of you is nuts.  It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, it’s demoralizing.

So, I’m saying it again.  I’m going to the doctor.  Unfortunately they can’t see me for a couple weeks.  I will be calling to see if they can get me in on a sooner cancellation.

**As for my friends (and family), know that I have made the conscious choice to not completely dump all of this on you.  And please, PLEASE do not tell me that I should have.  No, I shouldn’t have.  My choice is my choice.  Don’t say or do anything to make me feel bad for not opening up about this sooner.  Just simply support me if you want to.  I know you’re there.  I know you care.  I’m not sitting here thinking I’m alone.  I know I’m not.  I don’t need platitudes.  I don’t need empty words.  Be there if I do come to you.  That’s all I ask.  And if you feel you can’t, then simply tell me.  I will never hold that against any of you.  I know that dealing with someone else’s issues sometimes is not the best thing for you to take on.  Trust me, I understand, because I at times absolutely have had to wall myself away from other people’s issues because it wasn’t good or healthy for me to deal with them.  It didn’t lessen my love for anyone.  It has been me trying to do best by me.  Not by everyone else, or what everyone else thinks I should be doing.  My choices are for me, and for my daughter right now.  And it may be the ultra hard choice, but that is the one I’m making.

 

Eyes On You…

I know for a fact that I’m in a bit of a sensitive state at the moment, but I have the strong feeling that it’s not just that that makes me feel like I’m being watched and judged regularly when I am out with my daughter, whether or not my husband is there.

There are times I can easily shake it off and just tell myself I’m being silly and people are just glancing the way I’ve always glanced at noises and movements around me.  But there are other times when I’m just not so sure.  It really harkens back to the days of my youth when I was bullied and picked on for so many years.  With that kind of thing happening, it was extremely hard to not think that every little quiet exchange, whispered thing, or random glance in the middle of a conversation wasn’t some kind of negative thing about me.

I’ve come a very, very long way since then and while I have the occasional passing thought and fleeting paranoid feeling, it quickly passes and becomes nothing more than a momentary uncomfortable warm burst of air before sliding back into cool comfort.  But with the kinds of stories I hear from friends, read about in articles, and from time to time witness myself, it’s hard to not fall back into the old, insecure mindset.  (Thanks, school-yard bullies, thanks.)

But in an attempt to really get more of a handle on this thing, I feel like writing about it will help me.  If it helps someone else, all the better.  But you can be sure I’m doing this for selfish reasons first.  You’re welcome.  😀

I have felt for a long time that really addressing issues head on rather than just tossing them aside because they are negative, is a far better way of dealing with things.  It brings the issue itself into a better focus, gives it a bit of tangibility and something for me to work with, instead of against.  Some people may consider it “picking it apart” but honestly, sometimes picking something apart is the best thing you can do to it.

Sure, it’s not good for me to allow myself to feel insecure in myself, and my parenting, and all that.  I recognize that, and support the sentiment.  But I don’t agree with just basically giving a big, unseen “you’re number one” one fingered wave to the people who upset me.  There is the idea that no one can make us feel a certain way, and that it’s really our fault for allowing ourselves to feel that way.  And again, I understand the sentiment in that, but I think it’s greatly flawed.

We absolutely have the ability to change our perspective on something and change how we feel about things, and change how we react to things. But we have to have some kind of positive thing to draw from in order to know that it’s even possible in the first place.  But the onus isn’t completely ours to change it.  The responsibility of this is also on other people.  (Yes, I know, it’ll never be a perfect world.)  And I could sit here and go all couch-psych on this and relate it back to my bullied childhood in a long, rambling and likely very boring post.  I could probably, and would probably, also relate it to all sorts of other pseudo-psychological issues in society and socializing.

I will focus on one point, though.  Yes, we can learn to deal better with the feelings that pop up from whatever might be causing said feeling.  But perhaps we should be making a more proactive move to help other people stop being the source of that issue for us.  It’s certainly no secret that people look, stare, sneer, roll their eyes and make comments either to whomever they’re with, or to the person with the child.  We’ve all heard stories.  And many of us have our own.

Perhaps instead of ignoring them, or even getting rude back, or whatever other approach has been taken, perhaps people should be taking a step up, and going at it from a polite, smiling but firm approach.  To let people know that to be quite honest, we don’t give a flying, flaming rat’s patootie what you think about whatever is going on.  Though, of course…not in those words.  There are times when unsolicited advice is an ok thing.  There are far more times when it is not appropriate at all.  And most people have absolutely no idea how to deliver unsolicited advice to people, let alone strangers in a way that is in any way actually helping anyone.  So, just don’t do it.

The amount of hypocrisy in a lot of it is really ridiculous.  The worst is when it’s coming from people (unfortunately, largely mothers) who have kids with them as well who are acting/behaving much worse than the person they’re addressing or making snide remarks about.  When it comes from people who obviously have had time to have their own kids and those kids are grown and possibly have their own kids, it just makes me shake my head.  Look, you’ve been there.  Sure, it may have been a different time, but dealing with kids hasn’t changed all that much.  Some kids do great, some do not.  Some kids have bad days, no matter how well-behaved they are normally.  And people who have had kids themselves should be far more appreciative of that fact.  Appreciative, understanding and capable of realizing that perhaps it’s just one of those days, and the parent is doing the best they can.

(Don’t get me started on people who really don’t actually teach their kids basic life/social skills.  That’s another rant for another day, and probably a completely separate blog.)

When dealing with infants, guess what?  They cry!  Can’t really help that.  And if you see someone is trying so hard to soothe a baby, and is frazzled because it might just be their first child, and already look embarrassed to death, don’t wear your rear for a hat.  Give them a smile and let them know that it’s really not that big of a deal.  If you really can’t handle it, go the hell away.  Your inability to be understanding for whatever reason is an inexcusable catalyst for being a jackass.

For you people who stare, guess what?  We do see you.  Hey glancers, we notice you too.  You’re not being sneaky, or inconspicuous.  We have eyes in the backs of our heads, or did you not get the memo on that?  Take a look, and leave it at that.  Is it really in your best interest, or the interest of anyone else for you to shift your focus to those with children?  No.  It does nothing for you.  It does nothing for the parent(s).  It does nothing for the people you happen to be with.  Butt the heck out.

And for those of you that stage whisper.  Really?  What, do you still think you’re in high school?  Were you that person that bullied others as a child?  Were you the one that gossiped, cajoled, and spread rumors about people?  Guess what, whether you intended us to hear or not, we likely did.  And no, it doesn’t make you cool.  It makes you “that guy”.  Grow the heck up.

Now that I’ve vented a little.  😀  Back to the actual discussion.

Perhaps we shouldn’t take such a passive approach to these things.  Perhaps we should screw up our own courage and just make eye contact with these people.  Really make eye contact.  Hold it for a few seconds.  Let them know we really do notice.  And if we’re not already in a pitchfork wielding, laser beams from our eyes kind of mood, smile at them.  Or smirk.  Whatever is your style.  If someone actually comes up and tries to say something, or offer unsolicited advice, smile and say “Thanks, but I didn’t ask you.”  Sure, it may sound confrontational, but hey, we’re not the ones that started it.  I do think these people need to be made more aware of the kinds of effects they have.  Regardless of their intent, whether it be good, neutral, bad, indifferent…

Now, if someone is seriously trying to be helpful, that’s different in my eyes.  I’ve had people who you could tell were seriously just trying to be friendly and helpful.  Those people I can honestly appreciate for who they are.  They are the people who make me think of the saying “it takes a village”.

But for those that are just doing it because they can’t keep their pie-holes shut?  They need to know that they need to keep their pie-holes shut.  Carry some pie around, to shove into the hole when they feel the need to say something where it’s not their place.  A passing comment, however it’s meant really doesn’t generally come off as anything other than “I want to smack that….” I’m sure you can fill in the rest of that to your heart’s content.

Just because I’m young, doesn’t mean I’m clueless about raising a child.  Just because you happen to be witness to a mere ten seconds of whatever is going on with me and my child, doesn’t mean you magically know in that moment what’s best for my child.  You do not know me, you do not know my child.  So really, just keep your comments to yourself.  They aren’t appreciated.

Next time you want to open your maw to let some drivel flop out, don’t.  Take a second to think about whether or not you’d want someone coming up to you and making a comment, judging you and how you do things in a split second.  A drop in the bucket of a random stranger’s life.

A Year Gone By…

It’s been a year since I gave birth to my first child.

The feelings surrounding this are varied, confusing, awesome, bitter sweet… It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.  It’s hard to believe that my baby, isn’t that little swaddled baby any more.

It started to really hit me when I was getting together the things I wanted to save of hers ready to go into storage bins for safe keeping.  A lot of it is newborn, since she was in that size for so long.  Some of her hand knit baby blankets are going in there, a few of her newborn toys.

I think think about my miscarriage from time to time, but it’s alright.  I knew it wasn’t meant to be at that time, and quickly I had the ability to start over and try again, and It happened so quick, and now I’ve been through 9 months of pregnancy, and a whole first year of my child’s life.

It really is incredible to see the growth physically and emotionally and mentally in a baby.  They come out so small and helpless…but already instilled with incredible survival instincts.  And as they grow and become stronger and develop, their sense of individuality is amazing so early on.

I honestly thought I would end up waxing all sorts of poetic about this.  And in my heart, I know it’s there, and I feel like I could wax poetic about it but it seems to be staying right there.  I guess where it belongs.  In my heart.  The full spectrum of feelings and emotions and reactions I get from learning every new day with this child, is incredible.  Nothing beats the kinds of smiles she manages to illicit from me in a fraction of a second, the smile that not only lights up my face, but causes invisible fireworks to explode from my eyes and fills my heart to overflowing.

 

Winter Blues…Or something else?

There’s a growing funk (no, not the smelly kind) inside of me these last few weeks.  The more I think about it, I’ve been less than excited, frustrated very easily, and just plain more overwhelmed than usual.  There has also been an issue of feeling tired, emotionally and physically this past month.  Maybe more.  I’m not sure.

I’m having a harder time really managing my own moods, and I don’t think it has anything to do with being postpartum.  I still have moments where I enjoy things, the same things I usually do, but a good portion of the time I just feel like I’m floating through my daily life.  I have less and less interest in things, but I’ve been forcing myself to do things, go places, spend time with people.  And more often than not I am glad I did force myself.  I do have short periods of enjoyment.  From small and sweet, to outright gut-busting laughter.

So, I know that I’m not a lost cause at this point.  But I also know that this is becoming more than I can handle on my own.  This is more than just feeling a bit off for a few days.  Or possibly coming down with something.  That “something” hasn’t hit.  I haven’t been as emotionally tolerant as I usually am, I know it’s getting taken out on James.  And because of that, and in the moment I can’t stop myself, I feel like a complete ass.

Which certainly doesn’t help anything, as I’m sure you can lament.  That whole vicious cycle thing.  Yeah, it sucks.

Even getting things accomplished hasn’t helped my mood.  I haven’t been feeling that sense of contentment and peace after getting something done that has been weighing on my mind and nerves.  Keeping things looking even halfway decent hasn’t been enough to help feel calm and motivated.  Any motivation I’ve had lately has been pure Taurus stubbornness and frustration.

I’ve known for a while that I wouldn’t be able to go home to see my family, or that we would be able to go home to see our families this holiday season.  I thought I’d come to terms with it.  But with each passing day, my mood gets worse and worse.  And more and more I find myself on the cliff of a massive cry-session.  But I either can’t fall, or won’t.  I’m not sure which.

And I know that I am, deep down, absolutely ecstatic that my husband’s schedule landed with him being here.  And I’ve been on edge with the constantly shifting issues and schedule, but he indeed will be here.  And for that I am glad.  But despite that, which would normally be enough to make me content enough to really enjoy this part of the season….I’m struggling to.

I hope that it’s just a matter of a temporary bout of seasonal affective disorder mixed with not being able to see my families.  That is something that can be dealt with.  But having not really been all that affected before by the weather out here, it makes me doubt.

But hope seeps through from time to time when I do find myself enjoying to some extent the things I feel like I should be enjoying.  My daughter for one.  It’s not hard for her to put a smile, a genuine, to the core smile on my face.  But other things, no so much.  I’ve noticed that the periods of time that I find myself enjoying something are becoming noticeably short, and I quickly slip back into a numb or moody state.

What is most frustrating is that I can usually immerse myself in something that I get enjoyment out of, and I’ll snap out of little moods.  But it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.  And perhaps, in my attempt to swallow the moods, I’ve done myself a disservice.  Instead of allowing myself to fall off the precipice and just let myself feel all the emotions and to cry the negative energy out.

Perhaps that, and call to the doctor to ask about safe dosing of Vitamin D will be all I need.  I can only hope that that is all that is necessary.