Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Visit From My Sister

A visit from my sister always has me feeling like less than myself.  She came over the other day in a flurry of red hair and tattoos, drawing the energy of the room to herself in a way that seems so effortless  it leaves you completely confounded.  I've written before about feeling like a peripheral friend to my main group of girlfriends: Meaghan (my sister), Christie, Crotch, Christina, Teresa, Lara, and Ally.  I'm a little bit older.  I live in NJ whereas they all live in Brooklyn.  I have a child and none of them do and I just have a lot more financial responsibilities like mortgages and student loans.  I get it...I lift right out.

After my miscarriage I got a lot of phone calls and text messages from them, but slowly that has faded out.  So my sister is here and she's talking to Lara and there all buddy buddy, "Oh maybe I'll meet you there that sounds like so much fun" and here I am home all summer with built in babysitters and I haven't a clue what they're talking about because apparently I'm not good enough or fun enough to be included.  And Meaghan is all,"Oh yeah me and Christie were talking" and "Oh, I need to call Crotch".

And it makes me feel less than myself.  I wish I was the one that people called on the phone and wanted to talk to and I'm not.  When I was younger I was so fun and confident and fun to be around and the older I get the more introverted, awkward, and just plain weird I become and I don't know what's wrong with me or why I am the way I am or why all of my friends have pulled so far away from me or I from them that I don't even feel connected to my group anymore. Although my cousin Christie  has been really thoughtful lately.

Plus, they're all going to Miami this week and I can't go because of the fact that we're trying to make a baby and I really can't afford it and I'm feeling really left out and out of the loop while my sister is making plans for shopping and waxing and drinks and I lay by the wayside, forgotten.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

The Follow Through

I'm not writing this post as a parent, because Lord knows I'm basically just mediocre in that department since Mother of the Year is such a lame title (I mean who wants to bake and craft and day trip all day it's fucking exhausting), I'm writing this post as a teacher.  As a teacher, I'm pretty awesome.  I totally know my shit.  Not bragging, I just put a lot of effort and take every bit of criticism I can.  But anyway this post is about following through with your kids.

One of the first things they teach you in teacher school is that you never, ever under any circumstances threaten a child with something that you are unwilling to deliver.  If I tell a kid that if he misses one more homework assignment I'm calling his mother and I don't, then that kid knows I'm full of shit and won't take anything I say seriously.  Even if a 30 minute conversation about how little Timmy is acting like a total douche isn't living up to his full potential makes me want to claw my eyes out with a rusty rake, if I said I was going to do it...I have to do it.

The same thing goes with your kid.  There's so many times I've been out and I've heard this conversation:

Mom:  If you don't give Suzy back her toy you're going in time out.

Kid:  No

Mom:  If you don't give Suzy back her toy by the time I get to 3 you're getting a time out.

Kid:  No

Mom: 1...2...3.  That's it.  Time out.

Kid:  Ok here is the toy.

Mom:  Ok great job

No.  That kid didn't listen.  She gets a time out.  If you're counting out a kid or taking something away or whatever discipline approach you use, I beg you to please follow through with it.

Kids are smart.  Like scary smart when it comes to things like that.  Even the dopey ones who pee on the plants instead of the potty catch on really quickly to a parent who isn't going to follow through.  I get it...sometimes it's a pain in the ass to be an enforcer, especially when you know there is an epic tantrum coming your way.  It's easier to be a bit lazy about it and let it go, especially when you're in public.  Too bad, that is the job of a parent.

Is it or is it not the most annoying thing EVER when you're on a playdate with a kid and they completely won't listen to their parent at all.  There you have this parent who is completely begging and pleading and repeating to their child and the kid just does whatever they want.  It's because there's no follow through.  The child has no worries that the parent will actually take action because they don't follow through on threats.

I don't count Isabella out on everything, but when I do she knows I mean business and if I get to 3 you can sure as shit count on her getting a 3 minute time out regardless of where we are or how bad the wails are.  So this is me, as a teacher, stressing the importance of following through on what you say, for the good and the bad.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Policeman's Wife

It is definitely not easy being the wife of a cop, or anyone in law enforcement.  Obviously, there's always the risk of the unthinkable happening; an accident, a car stop or domestic gone wrong.  The fact that a bullet proof vest is part of Andy's uniform can be disarming if you let your mind go there.  Which you can never let your mind go there.  You have to just accept that that is part of the job, tuck it away in a far off recess of your mind, and carry on.  This is not really the point of this post.  This is focusing on the annoying aspect of being a police man's wife.

The schedule is super annoying.  2 weeks days and 2 weeks midnights.  12 hour shifts.  I always joke that marrying a trooper is the way to go because you only have to see your spouse half the month, but the truth is is that it can get very lonely.  I'm alone a lot and I have to do a lot of things by myself.  For example, I'll have to go to birthday parties or bbq's where everyone else is there with their husband.  I'm not trying to sound whiney, but when I'm at a friend's bbq where she's the only one I know and Isabella is playing with the kids, it can be a little disarming, especially for someone like me who isn't a natural extrovert.  But I never ever say no, because I don't want to deny Isabella those experiences.  Every other weekend I'm flying solo, which means I need to plan and execute those plans alone.  It's not that I'm not capable, but sometimes it's nice to have a partner there with you.

Also, when he's working nights and I'm working days, we're like two ships passing in the night.  I maybe see him for like 10 minutes a day on the days he's working because as he leaves, I'm coming home.  Then when he's on days, he's so tired from getting up at 4 am, he's pretty much useless by 8pm.

It's not all bad.  He does get 3 days off at a clip sometimes and it gives him a lot of time at home with Isabella and it's pays well with good benefits and it's something that he loves.  I also know that there are a lot of women who have it worse, like military wives who lose their husbands to a war zone for a year or single moms or those who are widowed.  I'm not trying to compare, just share my bit of that world.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting Right With Yourself

The past few weeks have been very stressful.  House hunting, living with my parents, adjusting to the summer, saving money, TTC and the fear that comes with that.  It's a lot and there have been more than a few times when the darkness has threatened to take over.  There have been a few nights where I've tossed and turned for hours, my body exhausted, but my brain racing over the "what-ifs" and "worst cases".  I've been really up and down and I've been having a lot of anxiety.

But at some point you just need to get right with yourself. There's not a terrible amount that I can do to change any of my situations.  I keep looking for houses, saving money, having baby making sex.  There's a lot that I just have to surrender to.  That's a lot easier said than done.  However, I really think I just needed to get right with myself.

Sitting around and sulking and drowning my sorrow in cheap cabernet is fun on the same level as listening to "My Heart Will Go On" on repeat after your 9th grade boyfriend breaks up with you (true story) is fun, but it was about time to shake the cobwebs off my sorrow and get a grip on myself.




So I do what I always do when I feel restless and dissatisfied.  I try and sit and meditate and say some positive affirmation and really just change my thinking.  Worrying really is pointless.  Everything works out in it's own divine way and time.  I really believe that.  And a friend told me a story about an arrow getting pulled down so that it could be launched into something greater.

Only bright skies and happiness for our future trajectory.


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Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Run of Bad Luck

I feel you bad luck Brian
They say when it rains it pours and they wouldn't be wrong.  It feels like lately no matter what I do something else sucky is coming at me hard core.

First there was the house that we loved and lost.  We still haven't found a house that we both love as much as that one.  I'm on the verge of desperation right now and would probably be willing to throw down 400K on a fancy cardboard box with a bay window just to have a place to call my own.  Andy on the other hand is digging in his heels and strengthening his resolve to not rush or settle, which is annoying.  Plus it seems that whenever I find a house that I like, even if it's obvious that we're not going to buy it, he rips it apart and hates everything about it.  It's like he's trying to spite me intentionally.

Then there's the car situation.  Andy's car is about 10 years old and mine is almost 8 years old.  They are old cars.  Mine was having problems with overheating.  Supposedly they've been fixed, but after a very scary ride of nearly overheating on the way home from Sesame Place I've been too nervous to drive it, so I've been driving Andy's.  Then Andy's battery was bad.  We replaced that.  Then we find out that his air conditioner compressor in his car is broken.  That's $700 to fix.  We are not about to throw that kind of money into a 10 year old car.  So we're going to lease a Rav 4 for about 2 hundred plus per month with not too much down.  New cars are fun, but not so much when both of our cars have been paid off for about 4 years.  It's just another wrench thrown in in our financial plans.

I recently finished my 30 credits above my masters for my next salary differential.  I get an e-mail from the board of ed saying that they denied that raise and gave me a lower one.  Cue smoke coming out of my ears.  I took 8 classes (24 credits) through the department of education's website.  Then I took a clep test, the Excelsior, for the last 6 on recommendation from several coworkers who have used it.  It turns out that they are no longer accepting that exam because it resembles too closely what I did in my masters coursework and they are really "cracking down" on the credits that they accept.  Which means that I wasted the $300 to take the test and then had to pay close to $600 to pay for 2 new classes that I have to haul ass to finish by the 17th of August.

I really believe that what you put out into the universe comes back to you.  I know right now all I'm putting out is negativity and yucky thoughts, but I can't snap myself out of this evil vortex of ickyness and it feels like I'm sinking deeper and deeper into a pit and I can't claw my way out of it.  This too shall pass I know, but while I'm waiting for it to pass I can't help but feel really just awful.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Upside of Living with Your Parents

So living with your parents as a grown ass woman mostly sucks, but sometimes it has it's perks.  While we continue to hunt and hunt and hunt some more for that perfect house we are enduring lack of privacy and lack of space.  But...there are some great things about spending a summer with your parents:

1.  They're up at the ass crack of dawn anyway (what's up with old people?) so they always get up with Isabella.  I've been sleeping to 9am everyday and the bags under my eyes are finally beginning to admit defeat.

2.  No cleaning.  Besides the room we're staying in, we don't really have to do any cleaning at all.

3.  We're saving major bank.  We're only paying for food and our other non-home related bills (cell phone, car insurance, credit card etc.) so we're not paying mortgage, gas, cable, electric, water.  It's really going to help for if when we find that house.

4.  Built in baby sitters.  Once she goes to bed Andy and I can go for a walk, a drink, a latte...whatever.

Life could be worse.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Staying at Home

For realz guys, I could never be a stay at home mom.  I'm sorry, I just couldn't do it.  All day every day running after this child has me half insane come 5pm.  It's a lot to plan out the days so that we're not just sitting inside going nuts.

It's a lot of planning, packing, coordinating, setting things up, mapquesting, and clock watching.  We go to a million places, the gym, the pool, the beach,  Sesame Place, play dates, zoos, aquariums, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum and it still seems like it's a long ass day to fill.  I try to limit TV, but sometimes I don't want to pretend I'm a puppy for 2 hours.  It doesn't help that my daughter will absolutely not play by herself at all.  It's so annoying.

I love my daughter and I love being a mom and I love the freedom of the summer, but if I had to be a sahm all day everyday I really think I'd go insane or be an alcoholic or both.

I think I'm good at staying home, but it's a really packed day all day long.  I like that I can wake up in the morning and sit and have coffee and not have to rush or sit in traffic, but when I'm working I can sit and get a break and talk to an adult without a little tiny person screaming "Mommy" over and over and over again.

Plus, I'm trying to get out of my parents house as often as I can and Andy has an obnoxious work schedule so I'm alone a lot which is boring and makes the day seem longer.  I'm just pissing and moaning a bit.  I love summer and getting to spend a lot of time with Isabella, just not full time.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Losing The One

Dudes, we've been looking for houses like it's our goddamn job.  We've been in and out of about 30 houses.  Our realtor is a saint.  A very handsome saint, with a bit of an attitude problem, but he's been very patient.  And we found one.  One that we both love.  One that blew us away.  One that was perfect.

It had a two tiered trek deck.  It had sky lights in the kitchen, a sub zero fridge, and a viking stove.  It had four bedrooms.  It had a jacuzzi tub in one of the bathrooms.  It had amazing closet space and gorgeous floors.  It had a finished basement.  The furnace and boiler and roof were all replaced in the past 6 months.  It had a big backyard.  It was everything we wanted without compromise.

We saw it on Saturday and rushed in for a second showing on Sunday so we could get our parents opinions.  Everyone was sold.  We were planning on putting an offer in on Monday and our realtor called and said that the owners had already accepted an offer and that part of the buyers conditions was that they couldn't entertain a bidding war.

It really felt like the wind had been sucked out of me.  In my mind I had already moved in, picked out paint colors, and was complaining about the taxes.  And now we have to start all over looking at houses.  It stung.  It stings.  I'm an angry sad right now.

So tomorrow off we go again with our hot realtor with no sense of humor to find a house that now has to compare with the gem of all houses.  Wish us luck because it's looking like we might be homeless forever.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Menstrual Cycles after Methotrexate

I've googled ad nauseum to get some information on what my cycles might be like after taking Methotrexate (mtx) to dissolve my ectopic pregnancy.  I found a lot of information on getting your first period after the injection, but not much else.  Here is my experience (disclaimer:  this post talks about lady bits and bodily fluids, if you're eating lunch or don't much care to hear about the state of my vag, feel free to exit now...no hard feelings)

I got my first period exactly 4 weeks and 1 day after the D&C/MTX combo.  It was fine.  A little heavier than usual.  A bit more crampy.  But nothing that I couldn't handle.  I was almost relieved because I was terrified that it would be awful and painful, but it was maybe 15% worse than usual.

Since you're not supposed to get pregnant until 3 full cycles after the mtx shot (it's a nasty drug that depletes all your foliate so a pregnancy too early can result in some pretty serious birth defects like spina bifida and cleft palate).  I decided to go on birth control.  This was a terrible idea.  My body had gone from pregnant to not pregnant very quickly, but my hormones took nearly 2 weeks to drop down to a non pregnant level as the pregnancy slowly dissolved and was reabsorbed by my body.  It really threw my body and hormones completely out of wack.  Adding in more hormones via hormonal birth control was a terrible idea.  I was sick to my stomach and had continuous break through bleeding.  I actually stopped taking them about 3 days before I was to start the placebo pills at the end of the pack because I couldn't take the spotting anymore.  2 days after that I got my second period.  It was lighter than usual with minimal cramping.  It only lasted about 4 days.

That was about 3.5 weeks ago and I'm just about ready to start another period.  My cycles tend to be on the shorter side 25-27 days with a late ovulation and short luteal phase, so I've started taking vitamin B6 to help my lp lengthen a bit.  I'm feeling a bit crampy and bloated so any day now we should be starting cycle #3.

If you found this post because you had an ectopic pregnancy and were given mtx, my heart truly goes out to you.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail.

And obviously, no situation is the same and any concerns should be brought up to your doctor.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Connecting

Why is it so hard to connect?  We have facebook, twitter, texting, and cell phones that might as well be attached to our body, but yet it still remains so difficult to actually connect.  At least that's true for me.  Maybe every one of you has a rock solid friend you can call at the drop of a hat or a group of girlfriends that meets up once a week regardless of what is going on in their lives.  Or maybe you're a little bit like me...a little bit on the periphery.

My main group of girlfriends were friends with each other long before I entered the group.  I'm the only one who has a child.  I'm the only doesn't live in NY (I only live in NJ, but still).  I'm still part of their group and I still consider them friends.  But there's a lot of things that I can't do.  Like anything that takes place last minute.  During the school year, I can't come to their apartments at 9pm to hang out for an hour.  During the summer I probably could, but by then no one really asks me anymore because I'm an assumed "no".  It used to make me sad, but not anymore...I get it.  I'm a friend, but one on the outskirts.

I can always count on my work friends for camaraderie and I see them obviously everyday and we try to make an effort to get together outside of work as often as we can.  But it's summer now and, even though we still talk and hang out, it's different and the lack of connection between my groups of friends has me a bit on edge.

There's a lot of change going on in my life right now.  Moving, buying a house, gearing up for ttc again and I'm a little unnerved by all of it and I'm craving a bit of a connection with my girlfriends.  It's making me feel a bit isolated and uneasy...like maybe by the end of the summer I'm going to have a new house and fill it with like 50 cats so I won't feel lonely.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

House Hunting

We are actively looking for a house...finally.  And it can't come soon enough, because living with my parents is a trip.  Not the Hawaii kind of trip, think the Green Mile.  So we went out the first time and looked at a couple of houses and saw 3 that we really liked.  We're going out more today and tomorrow and once again on the weekend, if our doucher of a realtor isn't booked up.

I have a few "non-negotiables" in a house:

  • A backyard big enough for a pool
  • A basement (it doesn't have to be finished)
  • Lots of natural light
  • A modern kitchen (I don't mind doing some cosmetic work to a kitchen down the line, but I'm not planning on dropping 20K on an entire kitchen renovation
  • 3 bedrooms
Then I have some "negotiables".  Things that I'd like to have but wouldn't rule a house out if it didn't have them:
  • 4 bedrooms
  • A built in pool
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • 2 car garage
But there are a lot of questions running through your mind when you're looking at houses.  Like really crazy questions that a girl who grew up in an apartment in Brooklyn feels really odd asking.  For example:  Does the size of the bedrooms really matter?  Are the floors hardwood or laminate?  Can this fence be moved 6 feet?  How important is a formal dining room?  How much febreeze will I need to get this smell out?  

It's overwhelming and it makes my head hurt.  There's one house in particular that I really love, but the bedrooms are small and there's no formal dining room, but I'd sell a kidney for a chance to cook in that kitchen.  

I'm torn between wanting to buy a house right now this minute and not wanting to rush into anything.  What do you guys love/hate about your house?  

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Living With Your Parents as an Adult

While we look for a house our family of three is shacking up with my parents.  This is not nearly as fun as you think it would be.  It's crowded.  We're on top of each other.  It's chaotic.  There's little to no organization.  There are power struggles.

We've been here about a week and so far I've gotten into two blow ups with my mother.  I sent an e-mail to my realtor asking if we could up the number of houses we look at from 6 at a time to 8 because we're inching closer and closer to a homicide in this house.

If you find yourself in this situation, whether because of real estate, work, the economy, whatever...I have some tips to help you survive.

1.  Stock up on alcohol.  The only thing that makes hearing your father fart at 2am bearable is being too drunk to care.

2.  Whenever you are using the bathroom, showering, or changing make sure as all hell that you are in a locked room.  Bring everything you need into that room so you're not making embarrassing panty runs in a towel at warp speed.

3.  Get out at often as possible.  I'm lining up play dates and going to the gym like it's nobody's business so I can get a little distance.

4.  Bite your tongue.  Bite it bloody if you have to.  I never realized how nasty my mother is to my father or how beyond passive aggressive she is or how she'd rather sit and stew and then pretend everything is "fine" the next day because it's too uncomfortable to have an honest conversation without resorting to sarcasm or passive aggressive behavior to the extreme.  It's become really unfun to be around her and I'm not one to not call her out on her shit, but I'm really trying hard on this one because it's not my house and she's doing me a big favor.

5.  Keep in mind the reason that you're there.  For us it's giving us a big financial boost to not be paying a mortgage so that we can recover a bit from the financial bath we took when we sold our house.

But really...trust me on the alcohol.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Packing Up a Life

We officially sold our house on Friday.  We packed up our shit, signed the paperwork and hightailed it out of there to stay with my parents until we can find our forever home.  It was terrified right up until the last minute that things would fall through.  That the buyer would change her mind.  That she would completely pull out of the deal.  She didn't.  Everything was fine.

It was exhilarating and humbling and sad all at once.  I loved that house.  It was our first home together and where we really became a family.  It has memories of Halloween parties and newlywed fights and poker games and 3 am feedings.  But we really had outgrown it.  We're ready for more space and more rooms and just...more.  It's also very humbling to have to suck it up and move in with my parents for a few months while we save and find a new house.  Not exactly where I expected to be, but there's not much that can be done about that.

This is the best idea ever.  They drop the pod off for a few days, you pack it up and then they pick it up and store it.  No moving trucks.  


So here's to moving on and all the happiness and bittersweetness that that entails.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Peace

So all my regular readers know that I'm a school teacher in NYC and just last Wednesday I finished work for 10 blissful weeks.  Now I'm not trying to rub salt into anyone who work's wound, but there is honestly an onset of panic for me every year at this time because how am I going to fill all those days up?  When the sun is out and shining, I feel I have to be too.  I feel guilty spending a beautiful sunny day indoors.  Especially this summer when money is tight how do I keep a balance of family fun, couple fun, and Melissa fun?

Every year these thoughts plague me.  If you were so inclined you could probably go back to last June and find a post that whined about this at length.  But this year those feelings vanished rather quickly.

It's been blazing hot and the days just flow so naturally.  Wake up, have breakfast, gym, lunch, pool, bbq.  It's a beautiful and simple thing and I love it.  I'm still peppering in fun things to do that vary from that to spice things up, but in place of my usual neuroticism and neurosis, I've found a peace.

A peace that comes from deep inside.  Even when I'm tense or there's stress or worry or sadness or any other emotion that living a life brings, it's there inside.  It's like a tree that is snow covered, barren, and beaten down by the wind, but it's essence is still a tree.

Did I lose you with that one?  You probably just rolled your eyes at me a little bit.  That's ok, I like my tree metaphor.

This is a good thing.
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