Monday, December 19, 2011

I had forgotten how difficult moving is

It has been less than three years since we moved here from Va. In that short time, I had somehow forgotten what a daunting task moving actually is. I cannot believe the amount of "stuff" that we have! Because of my crafting "business," I have two embroidery machines (one is currently not working), one regular sewing machine and a serger plus a huge inventory of fabric. I also may have a *slight* obsession with dishes and it took me nearly thirty boxes just to pack the contents of my china closet. I haven't even started packing our clothes (again, I have an obscene amount) or the kitchen stuff, or our nick-knacks. We have hired movers this time and I think that is stressing me out even more. Will they think I'm a hoarder? Will they resent having so much to carry? I know it's their job and they've probably seen much worse but it's bothering me that the estimator set a number for boxes and I'm pretty sure we've already exceeded that and we're maybe half packed. They charge by weight and I've already resigned myself to the fact that we will be over that limit too.

I'm also trying to fit in as many doctors appointments as I can before we move and trying to remember everything that needs to be done. Plus I feel guilty that things are in turmoil and John has been watching more tv than I would  like. I keep telling myself that it will be over soon; John and I leave in NINE more days and then Russ will follow six days later. Of course then we will have to unpack everything, settle in and find jobs and a preschool.  Plus my mother is still not speaking to me, going on twelve days now.

Despite the stress and turmoil of our lives right now, I am very excited to move! I am looking forward to getting together with "old" friends and making new friends. I feel like we are making a new start and we are committed to improving our lives. Onward and upward!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things are moving forward...mostly

The good news is that things with the move are progressing. Our closing is set for Dec 29th and Russ should be giving his notice at work this week. My last craft show was Saturday (it went very well!) so now I can start packing! I didn't get the job I interviewed for but I didn't really want it so I'm not really too disappointed. My in-laws are going to lend us some money so that we can all move together instead of Russ staying behind to keep working. It will be SO much easier to interview from there. We are all so excited about the move that we haven't done much for Christmas. I have John's presents but we haven't even put up a tree. We're not going to decorate much but we will at least have a tree; we're hoping to put it up tonight. Russ likes to have a real tree but with everything going on we're just going to decorate one of the artificial ones we have. We're consumed with the move but trying to remember that this is the only Christmas that John will be 3 and trying to make it special for him.
The not so good news is that I told my mother that we are moving. I had told her months ago that we wanted to move so as not to spring it on her but she still reacted badly. I expected her to but even I was surprised at the level she took things to. She is no longer speaking to me. I'm not going to go into detail on this blog but if you want to read about how things went down you can go to my other blog by clicking here.
So, that's what's up with us right now. Crazy busy as always, moving forward into the next chapter of our lives and looking forward rather than backwards.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are we there yet?

     We went to NJ for Thanksgiving and on Friday we went to see our "new" house. I was a little nervous because, even though my in-laws know us very well, it's a scary prospect to choose a house without ever seeing it. Well, the house is great! The only drawback we could find (and it's minor) is that the stairs are a bit more narrow and steeper than what we have now. That means that we will have to stress that John holds the railings and goes down slowly. Other than that, we really love the house and can see ourselves living there. The basement is very large and cleaner that any basement I've ever seen. Russ is already planning his workshop area and John can ride his bike down there in the winter. There are four bedrooms (we have three in this house) and TWO full bathrooms. I think we are the most excited about having two bathrooms-seems like someone was always waiting. And having four bedrooms means that I no longer have to use part of the dining room for my crafts. I have missed my dining room; I love doing tablescapes and decorating for special occasions and I have a slight obsession with dishes. Yes, I'd say we are eager to move. When we walked in, John said "this is awesome" and he has already chosen his room. Now it's just a matter of waiting. Waiting for Russ and I to get jobs, waiting for the closing, waiting for this house to sell, waiting to move in. Waiting is not my favorite thing to do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let's make a deal

     Well, my in-laws put a bid on the house and it was accepted! After several months of just discussing moving and looking at houses online, suddenly things are moving very fast! Because it is a cash transaction, things should be settled very quickly. Very quickly as in our closing is tentatively set for December 15th. Wow. Just wow. Now all we have to do is sell this house, find jobs and settle in. Easy right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This might actually happen

     I have written several times that we do not like where we are currently living. Brief recap: after I had John I suffered from severe postpartum depression and my mother promised us that if we moved here we would have lots of family support. She said she and my dad would help out a lot with John and we'd be one big happy family. The reality is nothing like that; in the 2 1/2 years we've been here, my parents have only asked to have John once. They have watched him a few times, but only if I asked because I had a doctor or dentist appointment. The move hurt us financially and we asked if she would watch John one or two days a week so I could substitute teach and she said no because it would be "too early" and she didn't know the roads well despite the fact that she grew up in the house where we now live. I know how my mother is (she has a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder) and if I had not been suffering from the ppd, I never would have fallen for her ploy and we wouldn't have left Virginia. That's water under the bridge now though.

     Things finally came to a head a few months ago and we made the decision to move. Russ's parents have had some tough times lately with illnesses and their house was badly damaged in a flood a few months ago. Mary (MIL) is starting to show the beginning signs of Alzheimer disease also so we thought we'd move closer to them. When we lived in NJ before moving to VA, we lived maybe 7 minutes from them and we saw them a lot. We are in no position financially to buy a house so we decided we'd rent a condo for awhile and try to save up for a house. It's unbelievable to even type this but Russ's parents have offered to buy us a house if we move by them. Yes, to buy us a house. Outright, cash, no mortgage. Just reading that floors me. Anyway, we had been looking at houses online and they had gone to see a few of them but things were just "hypothetical" so far. Until Sunday. They went to see a house owned by a long time friend of the family. His mother was no longer able to live alone and they were selling her house to move her into an assisted living community. My in-laws went to see the house on Sunday and said "we'd be stupid not to buy it." I told Russ to tell them "well, I'm not stupid, so buy it." I was half joking but it ended up that they put a bid on the house the next day! The realtor (also the woman's daughter in law) said she had to discuss it with the rest of the family but she didn't see a problem with the offer (it was significantly below the asking price) because it would be a cash deal. My in-laws also said that it was well worth the full asking price so they would be willing to pay that. Russ has seen the outside of the house but we've only seen online pictures of the inside. Is that crazy? Maybe a little, but I trust my in-laws and they say the house is in great shape. They know us very well and know what we would and would not like. I have been looking at lots of houses and there were several that I really liked but when my in-laws went to see them they weren't in good shape, which is disappointing. So, I'm reluctant to get my hopes up just yet but deep down I'm pretty excited!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank God!

     We took John to see the ENT specialist at Pitts.burgh Children's Hospital and she feels that there is no need for concern about the lymph node at this time. She recommended that we continue to monitor it as he grows and if it doesn't resolve over time we may have to address it in the future. She said there really isn't a way to measure them to establish a baseline so we'll just keep an eye on it. Needless to say we are so relieved and thankful!

     It was very difficult to see the children at the hospital who did not get good news that day. One little girl in particular tugged at my heart strings. She was wearing a mask (because of chemo I presume) and was returning from the gift store with her mother carrying a stuffed dog. Despite what she must be going through, she looked so happy with her new toy. It struck me how much stronger children are than adults. We tend to get bogged down by worry while kids have the ability to live in the moment. I want to be more like that. I want to embrace the now instead of waiting for things to get "better." We are not guaranteed another moment and I want to fully live every moment I have.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Second opinion

Well, John's pediatrician is sending us to Children's Hospital in Pitts.burgh on Friday. He says it would be very rare to see that kind of cancer in someone as young as John, but he thinks we should see the specialists anyway because there is a family history. He said it was more "for me", to set my mind at ease but obviously if there was no possibility of it he would have said that and not sent us to Pitts.burgh. I am of course terrified.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So scared

   Gosh, it seems like forever since I've written here. So much is going on (good and bad) but right now the thing that is consuming me is John's health. He has had an enlarged lymph node on his neck for as long as I can remember. When he turns his head it is very noticeable. At his 2 year checkup last year I asked his doctor about it and he said that it was somewhat common and that they aren't really concerned about it until the child is 12 or so. I pretty much forgot all about it until the latest ENT visit where there were concerns about the size of his tonsils. The "underling" recommended surgery to remove them but I requested to see the actual doctor and he said that because John is having no symptoms he recommends waiting because they usually resolve on their own as kids grow. I mentioned the lymph node to him and he felt it and also felt a couple on the other side of John's neck as well. He said that they were all separate which is a good sign, and recommended just monitoring them. I accepted this also and pretty much didn't give them a second thought. For some reason last weekend my eyes were drawn to John's neck as he played and I was just struck with panic over it. Not really sure why. It really rattled me because, as I said, I hadn't thought much about it. Even though I know better, I started goo.gling and pretty much threw myself into a full blown anxiety attack over the possibility that it could be cancer. Then I remembered that my uncle (dad's brother) had Hodg.kins disease and that just sent me over the edge. I talked it over with Russ and we decided that at John's next ENT appointment (12/22) I would mention the family history and ask whether we should really be concerned. Then I started thinking about how tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and wondering if it could be related. From there I started goog.ling symptoms of lym.phoma. In the early stages there are few symptoms but they include enlarged lymph nodes and night sweats. John does sweat sometimes when he sleeps but I'm not sure it could be classified as night sweats since it primarily involves just his head and not his entire body. At this point I've worked myself into some serious anxiety and I knew I'd never be able to wait until December so I am taking him to his pediatrician tomorrow to discuss it with the new information about family history and I'd like to have it measured so we have a baseline to determine if it gets larger or smaller. I am praying that he tells me I'm over-reacting but I'm also truly terrified that there is a reason it popped into my head last weekend. I'm so very scared but I'm doing my best to trust God and stop worrying.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Change of plans

My father had his procedure yesterday to locate the source of the bleeding and cauterize it. The doctor ended up cauterizing almost his entire prostate and dad nearly needed a transfusion. The doctor thinks this will solve the problem and dad had very little bleeding overnight but I am not comfortable leaving while he is in such a precarious condition so Russ is heading to NJ by himself. I don't like the idea since he was driving all day at work and the trip to NJ takes at least six hours but he is a very experienced driver and I trust that he will stop and rest if he gets too tired to continue. I also really wanted to see my FIL but at least Russ will still be there. We also had planned to look at apartments while we were there and tell his parents of our decision to move now and I wanted to be there for that. In all honesty I am feeling so conflicted with our decision. I posted about it on my other blog so you can read more about it there if you care to. In the midst of all this turmoil I am trying to get ready for upcoming craft shows, the first of which is next weekend. There are a few other things going on as well, adding up to a high stress level for me. I'm trying to lean on God and keep things in perspective. This too shall pass.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catch up on what's going on

There is just so much going on around here, I am going to do a quick catch up. Please forgive the bullets, but it's just easier this way for now.
* I am still sick. Not sure if it's because I'm older now but this bout of pneumonia is taking way longer to get over. Or perhaps it's been awhile and I forgot how awful it was. Either way, I am still fighting with this cough.
* My Dad's biopsies came back today, all negative thank God! He is, however, still bleeding and has had to be catheterized several times over the past week and will have to undergo surgery tomorrow to locate the source of the bleeding and hopefully cauterize it.
*My FIL is in the hospital. He was taken by ambulance on Sunday evening because he was having bad stomach pains. At this point they are thinking it is diverticulitis and they are giving him a few days on iv and antibiotics to see if it settles down or he may need surgery. I've written before how much my FIL means to me. I'm worried.
*We are heading to NJ on Thursday and will spend the weekend. Not sure if Don (FIL) will need surgery but Russ's mom could really use some help right now too. Her "issues" get much worse in times of stress and with the recent flood and now this she is having a tough time.
*We are really struggling with being so far away from Russ's parents. The reality is that they are getting older and are needing more help. Plus if Mary does have Alzheimer's, things will get much worse. It's a 6 hour drive each time we go, plus Russ has to take time off of work. Add to that the fact that we both hate it here and we've been discussing moving very soon. Our debts will not allow us to buy a house but we've been discussing renting an apartment for awhile. We plan to look around the area this weekend and discuss it with Russ's parents. I know it would be a relief for them to have us closer.
*After being homeowners since 1994, it would be very strange to rent again. Not sure what we'd do with all the "stuff" we've accumulated over the years but I trust in God and know that He has a plan.
*The Monday after I brought our car home, a warning light came on for the traction control. Thank God it didn't happen during the drive. So, we had to pay to have it fixed and are supposed to get a reimbursement check, which we haven't seen yet. Also haven't received the title or plates yet. Plus, we have 2 chips in the windshield (not sure how we got them) that need to be fixed tomorrow.
Pretty sure that brings us all up to date.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sick...and tomorrow is a big day

I'm sick. I have pneumonia and am struggling just to get through each day until I start feeling better. I started antibiotics Sunday evening and so far today I feel a little better than yesterday so it seems I'm definitely headed in the right direction. I took John to the doctor yesterday to have him checked because he has a cough too and I thought I heard a "rattle" in his chest but they said his lungs are clear thank God. Of course I'll continue to monitor him and I'm being as careful as I can to keep my germs to myself.

John starts preschool tomorrow morning! The classes were all full and he was on a waiting list and they called on Friday to let us know that a spot had become available. It's not the class I had wanted him in, but I'm sure he will enjoy it. It's two hours on Wednesday mornings; the other class was two afternoons a week. I'm thinking now that this may be better because the other one was during his naptime plus I'm not sure I'm ready to be away from him that long yet. I'm sure tomorrow will be difficult for me but I know it's good for him. My cousin is one of the teachers there so I know she will be looking out for him. The only "issue" I have is that Shaunna's son is in that class but I expect that he will be different away from his mother. I'm sure the teachers will not put up with his foolishness like Shaunna does. Maybe they will even become friends, who knows.

Tomorrow my father is having prostate surgery again. He had surgery last year and is having issues again. They are going to biopsy his prostate and bladder this time. I'm praying that everything goes well. I offered to go along but my mother said there would be nothing we could do and it would be difficult with John so we will just wait to hear.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be quite a stressful day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Great, now we have...beavers?

John broke a piece off of one of his little motorcycles this morning. I asked him how it happened and he said "I didn't break it Mommy, a beaver chewed it." I guess kids with no siblings to blame things on have to be creative! LOL

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oh.Em.Gee.*

This past weekend I went to NJ to help my in-laws with their ongoing cleanup from the flood. I went by myself (first night away from John EVER) because there are nails sticking up from their floors and their walls have been cut a foot up from the floor so we were worried John might get hurt. Russ went a couple weeks ago and did a lot of the initial demolition for them. It's hard being so far from them, especially in times like this. We used to live 5 minutes from them and we saw them a lot. Well, as it turns out, the reason they asked me to come was to pick out a new-to-us car! Our SUV (which they also bought) is 10 years old, has 147000 miles and has been needing repairs frequently. They wanted to make sure we had something safe to drive John around in. My FIL and I spent all day Saturday looking and test driving and we chose a 2008 white GMC Envoy with only 30000 miles. This thing is fully loaded-it even has a dvd player; John is thrilled about that! This was an incredibly generous and loving gesture and we are beyond grateful. My mother's reaction was surprising and yet not, considering how she is. I wrote about it on my other blog if you're interested in reading it. I'm sure that we will be making another trip to NJ soon to help them again; there is so much that still needs done. Things are so hard for them right now; they had a house fire six years ago and had to rebuild so this house is only five years old. They lost so much in the fire and now this. Devastating to say the least but they are so lucky to be alive, having survived two disasters. Of course this makes us want to move even more. We spent so much time with them when we lived close and we are all feeling the loss of that. The worst part is that my FIL told me when I was there that he's pretty sure that my MIL is developing Alzheimer's disease. We've noticed an increase in her forgetfulness but it just hit me so hard to hear it actually spoken aloud. Of course Russ is devastated and wants to move as soon as we can. My mother's reaction was absolutely sickening and I'm not sure Russ will be able to speak to her calmly ever again. Again, it's on my other blog if you care to read it.
 
 
*The Gee stands for Goodness because I don't like to use the Lord's name in vain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I like how you talk

Lately John has been telling me that he likes the way I talk. I asked him what he meant the first time he said it and he said that I talk nice. Sometimes he won't want Russ to put him to bed because "daddy talks rough." When I asked him what he meant by that, he said Daddy talks about tools and rough stuff but Mommy talks about nice stuff like cookies and material. Lol, he's sure got us pegged. It seems that Daddy's "roughness" only bothers him at bedtime though; when Russ is working on something John is all about it. Not that I mind of course, I just love putting him to bed. Soaking up all the sweetness while he still wants to be around us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick catch up

Haven't written in awhile so here's a quick summary of what's been going on around here:

*Russ got back from NJ yesterday. His parents' house was damaged pretty badly but is fixable. He did a lot of work while he was there and his sister is there now to help with paperwork. We were all going to go this weekend but he has to work so we'll go another time.

*We've decided that I am not going to get a job right now because this is the busiest time of year for Russ at work and there would be too many evenings that he doesn't get home in time to watch John. The options would then be to ask my mother to watch him or call out of work, both of which are less than desirable. My mother has made it abundantly clear that she is "unavailable" to help and I don't want to ask her for anything unless it is an emergency. So, the plan is for me to get things made for craft shows and do some baking for extra money and then when things slow down for Russ at work (after Christmas) I will look for something then.

*It is an understatement to say that I am thrilled to have the opportunity to stay home with John again. I love spending time with him and he will never be this age again. Now I just need to find the motivation to start sewing again.

*John and I went to the flea market on Saturday. It was sad to go without Russ because we enjoy going as a family but we had a good time looking around. And can you believe that the kitchen "store" was not there? Yeah, I was not thrilled but we stopped at a country store on the way home and I got some adorable cookie cutters. More expensive of course but way cute. I will be making some "practice" cookies tomorrow. I'm hoping to sell some at a craft show in October and perhaps take some orders for the holidays.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Just enjoying the precious gift I've been given of time with my favorite boy and trying to get motivated to craft.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Missing my hubby

Russ left yesterday to head to NJ to help his parents clean up after their house was flooded by hurricane Irene. He won't be back until Monday evening. John and I were going to go along but there's no way I'd let John go in their house with all the mold that is growing so he would be stuck in the hotel most of the time and that wouldn't be fair to him. Plus someone (most likely me) would of course have to stay with him so it made more sense for us to just stay here. John and I are used to Russ traveling for work, but this will be the longest stretch he's been away from us. We certainly have enough things that need done to keep us busy but I find myself not wanting to do much. I think I have pms too, which isn't helping my mood very much. We went to the goodwill store today, and tomorrow we are going to the monthly flea market that we missed last month. It won't be as much fun without Russ, but there will only be one more this year and I really want to buy some new cookie cutters. Plus the last one is in October and it is not out of the ordinary for us to have snow in October. So, John and I will go on our own and we will enjoy our day even though we both will be missing Daddy. Praying for his safety and for all those who have been affected by the storm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New blog

When I started this blog, I did not intend for it to become a place where all I do is complain about my mother. My recent "discovery" of her NPD has thrown me for a loop and is a huge issue in my life but it is NOT my whole life by any means. I have created a separate blog to write about my struggles with my mother so that this blog can be a positive space once again; a blog that I'd like to share with my son someday. Not sure yet if I'll move the "mother" posts from here to there or if I'll leave them. I am looking forward to posting about the good stuff in my life again, while also having an outlet for the ugliness. I'm not going to link the two blogs, at least for now. If you're interested in reading the other blog, let me know but please don't feel obligated in any way.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Glad they're safe!

My in laws live in NJ and their area was hit badly by hurricane Ire.ne. As Russ was talking to them this morning, the water kept rising until it was eventually seeping into their house through the floor. They are both older and not in the best health. Mary (MIL) has very bad legs from a car accident years ago and uses a motorized cart to get around and Don (FIL) is diabetic and has no feeling in his feet so he's very unsteady. Their garage is not attached to the house and had a lot of water in it so even if they could have gotten to it, it's doubtful whether their vehicles would even start. Russ called the fire department and they came to evacuate them with a pontoon boat. Very scary stuff! They had a house fire about six years ago that totally destroyed their home and they had to live in a very small trailer for months while waiting for the insurance paperwork to go through so they could rebuild. From the way it sounds, this house may also be a total loss. We are of course thankful that they were not hurt during either of these events, but what an ordeal to go through. I know that Russ feels helpless because we no longer live just a few minutes away from them. He was planning on going for Monday and Tuesday to help because he has an important delivery to make on Wednesday, but there is nothing that can really be done right now until the water recedes. His sister also wants to go and "help" and she may go anyway which will make things more difficult for them rather than being helpful. Deb is very pushy and feels that they are too old to be living on their own and wants them to move closer to her. Don was born and raised there and has lots of friends there and I doubt he will ever move. Mary would be willing to move but the aftermath of something like this is just not the time to try and force her will on them. As if they aren't stressed enough. After the fire Deb pushed very hard trying to get them to move and tried to convince them that they could no longer handle the house on their own. I am just so very thankful that they are safe and sound!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Either way I lose

This is my last week working at the daycare (yay!) and I am off tomorrow. I had planned to clean my house and perhaps go submit some more job applications. My mother sent me an email saying her and my dad have eye appts and want to come for lunch. I am so emotionally fragile right now and am really in no shape to deal with her. Since finding the info on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (npd), my whole world has changed. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that things will never improve and I will never have the kind of relationship with my mother that I have always desired. I am slowly coming to grips with the reality that my mother will never love me and it is devastating to say the least. At the same time, it is also very freeing and I have come to realize that the only way to protect myself is to have little or no contact with her. Of course she has no idea what I discovered about npd and would never in a million years admit that she has it and so she has no idea how much things have changed between us. The thought of having them in my house and watching them pretend to be loving grandparents makes me physically ill. My dilemma lies in deciding whether to protect myself or allow them to come so that they cannot claim that I am keeping John from them. They act very loving towards John (everything is an act with them) and he is obviously too young to see through their manipulations. I want to shield him from the truth which he is too young to comprehend and I want him to have happy memories of his grandparents. So do I suck it up and bow at her altar as I have been trained to do, or do I put myself first for once?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomatoes!

Russ and I processed our second batch of tomatoes today. The past two years we got the blight and didn't get even one tomato. Russ loves tomatoes and was so disappointed. This year has more than made up for it! We have eaten a ton of them, given a lot away to neighbors and made two batches of sauce and stewed tomatoes. The total was 7 quarts and 15 pints of stewed tomatoes and 10 quarts and 31 pints of sauce! It's a lot of work but we will be so grateful to have garden tomatoes all year long.

From today!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One More Week!

I turned in my letter of resignation on Monday. Shaunna was not at all surprised and did not even ask me why I was leaving. After she read it she said "wow, you wrote it in a letter. Thanks, that's nice." Um yeah, that's the professional way to resign duh. I am totally convinced that she wanted me to quit because she has someone else in mind for the job, most likely a family member. There are so many kids there that are related to her and she favors them over the other kids. Things have gotten so much worse there and I am so excited to be leaving. The girl I work with the most, Karen, is miserable there too and can't stand Shaunna. There are three new kids starting on Monday and they are all below the "minimum age" of 3 and are not potty trained, which the handbook (ha) says they are supposed to be. Guess what, they are also related to Shaunna too. I am just going to do my best to make it through the next week and concentrate on finding another job. My parents and brother went to NJ to pick up his "new" vehicle and it has actually been a relief to know that my mother isn't around. I enjoyed a peaceful day at home with Russ and John playing, coloring and cuddling on the couch with popcorn and a movie. I just love my little family of three! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I guess she's not a morning person

So, we went to my parents' house to have cake for my brother's birthday on Saturday evening and it was as awful as I anticipated. I can no longer even look my mother in the eye. It has been 3 1/2 weeks since they last saw John and she said "has it been that long?" Um, yeah it has. So much for all the "family time" she promised if we moved here. And she had missed him so much that she spent all of her time photographing the deer in her yard. The deer that are there every day. This is her newest obsession and she sees herself as a photographer and says "everyone" wants to buy her pictures. She said she has been getting up at 6:30 to see them so she can get the best photos. She has always slept until at least 10 or 11, so this is big for her. You'll see why it's big for us too in just a bit.

I basically knew the answer already but I asked her if it would be possible for her to watch John one or two days a week so that I could substitute. I am leaving the daycare (had enough) and substituting would be the job that would pay the most other than teaching full time which isn't an option until John goes to school. She didn't answer me and quickly changed the subject, which spoke volumes. So yesterday we went grocery shopping and I applied at Wal.mart and a grocery store. At this point I will have to work evenings after Russ gets home and on weekends because it's obvious that we don't have ANY family support here. Which is fine, our family of three will survive on our own as we've been doing. The extra money would have helped us move sooner but we will still reach our goals.

While John was napping, my mother called to let me know that she had been thinking and thinking about watching John and she just didn't think she could do it. I told her we had already figured that out and we would be fine. She said that it would be too early for her to get up in the mornings! But yet she can get up to take pictures of deer? Nice. And she said she was scared to drive in the snow and ice and she doesn't know the roads very well. First of all, she grew up here, in this very house as a matter of fact! Second of all, if there is snow and ice the schools close. She did say that she could watch John in an "emergency" such as when Russ has to go on trips and I'm scheduled to work IF I get a job near her house and drop him off. Isn't that nice of her?

She went on to say that she does still want to see John though. Well isn't that nice considering you are his grandmother (by blood anyway) and we moved here for that reason. I told her "well, we aren't keeping him from you." And she said that she knows how "busy" we are and we "do things" every weekend. How dare we do things when John's grandmother might call and ask to see him. Yeah, that hasn't happened even once since we moved here. Then she told me that she might know someone who would buy our house. Our house which is not for sale! Even if we sold our house immediately, we have a lot of debt that must be paid before we could even think of moving, which we have told her. I asked her if she was telling people our house was for sale and she denied it but obviously she is. By this time I was so furious that I had Russ call our phone so she would hear our call waiting and I could hang up. In retrospect it was a bit cowardly on my part but if I had continued to listen to her I would have ended up yelling at her and that would give her more ammunition to play the victim. A few minutes later she sent me the following in an email:
 
I didn't tell anyone that your house is for sale, or that you want to move out of the area, or would I!  That is your business to tell/do whatever you want.  I was trying to talk personally between YOU and ME only after all that you said before.  I guess I can't talk/tell you anything any more.  That's the sad part.  I LOVE having you here and thought we'd be doing more together, especially craft fairs, etc. 
Sorry I got you upset again!!!!
Love Ya <3 * * *
 
And once again it's all about her. It's my fault that we don't do more together! I'm so frustrated and can't wait to get out of here. While I was applying at Wal.mart one of the girls that works part time at the daycare and at Wal.mart asked why I was applying there. She said everyone else is trying to get out of Wal.mart. So, it will be no secret that I'm looking for another job so Russ said I should hand in my notice today. I was going to wait until I found something else but I guess that's been taken out of my hands now. So today I'm taking a step towards our future. It's scary but I'm so glad to be leaving the daycare. 
 
 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

I didn't get it

Well, I just got the letter in the mail-I didn't get the job. I'm disappointed, but not for the "right" reasons. I was hesitant about the job because of the "vibe" I got at the interview. I suspect that the children will be particularly difficult, which I have extensive experience with but at this point in my life I just don't have the energy to devote to a job like that. The people that interviewed me also had an air of arrogance about them and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed working with/for them. The reason I sort of wanted the job was for the money, which is the wrong reason. We got our new schedules at work yesterday and Shaunna has really screwed me with the schedule. She cut me down to 16 1/2 hours per week, when I was hired at 32 1/2. She also scheduled me to come in during nap time which would be very disruptive with John. I told her when we had our meeting that it wouldn't be worth it for me to come in for 3 hours and it would mess up John's nap time because he'd have to nap at home and be up in time to get to work. She didn't take any of that into consideration and has finalized the schedule. I am so sick of that place that I wanted to get this job so I could leave there. I am so disgusted that I am going to leave even though I didn't get this other job. It may mean working evenings and weekends but I'm not going to stand for being treated badly. Russ and I were just discussing our options when the mail came with my rejection letter. It took the wind out of my sails, that's for sure. I have never been rejected for any teaching position that I applied for and it has thrown me for a loop. I need to get my head on right and figure out my next move. It's not helping that we are going to my parents' house tonight to have birthday cake for my brother. Really not looking forward to seeing my mother, especially now. But I will put on my happy face and be pleasant because my son deserves that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Conflicted

As I mentioned, I sent in my resume for a part time teaching position at a nearby school district because I do not like my current job. The school year starts very soon here so I knew they would have to hire someone quickly. The submission deadline was last week and I hadn't heard anything and I was second guessing the way I redid my resume, so I figured I wouldn't even be asked to interview. Well, on Tuesday I was called and asked to interview. Since I am currently off on Wednesdays, we scheduled it for the next day. After the issue with my mother, I didn't want to ask her to watch John so Russ came home early from work. The interview was a bit "strange" and I'm honestly not sure how well it went. I'm also not sure if I want it to have gone well. The position is for an emotional support teacher and will be four hours a day but they don't know yet which four hours they will be. They asked a lot of questions about discipline and if I've ever had restraint and crisis training, which leads me to believe that the students will be quite "challenging." I have a lot of experience with severe students but at this stage in my life I'm not too keen on physically restraining anyone. I also didn't think this was permitted in a public school. At times in the interview I felt bombarded even though there were only two interviewers. I'm not sure whether they will offer me the job and I'm not sure I would want them to. Even though it's "only" four hours a day, I'd have to be away from John.  I'm not sure if the daycare where I work would keep him if I quit and it would be very difficult to find another one so quickly and I hate the idea of asking my mother to watch him, if she even would. But of course the pay is way, way more than what I'm making now, which would help us to move sooner. He said they would be making a decision quickly, possibly by the end of this week. Which means possibly today. Which leaves me with a stomach in knots wondering if I'll be offered a job I'm not sure I want but which would put us closer to our goal of moving. As an interesting twist, when he found out that I was "highly qualified" in several subjects, he asked me how committed I was to staying in our town. I nearly laughed out loud as I answered 'not very." He has several places that desperately need highly qualified teachers but I told him I'm not looking for full time right now and he was disappointed. And so I wait.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The fair, and my first posted picture!

We took John to the fair last night. It's a county fair but it is really small and pretty cheesy. There were only three rides he was allowed to ride on because of their height restrictions. He's 42 inches at his doctors office and the rides said 42 inches was the minimum height but their stick was still about 1/2 inch higher than him and they wouldn't let him ride. He took it in stride though and had fun riding the ones he could. He's just such a happy, loving little boy and I'm over the moon in love with him. I'm going to attempt to post my first picture, hope it works!

He eats like a bird

When he can, Russ picks John up at daycare on his way home from work. This gives them "guy time" together. When I walked in the door on Tuesday, John was drinking from his sippy cup and he said "mama, this tastes funny." I took the lid off and discovered the reason: Russ had given him the hummingbird food I'd made that morning! Of course by this time he had drank about 3/4 of it! That was the most sugar he's ever had in his life, lol!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Well what do ya know? I'm NOT crazy!

After the events of last night, I couldn't sleep so I started looking up things online to help me understand why my mother is the way she is. I am absolutely dumbfounded by what I found: my mother has narcissistic personality disorder (npd) and she's a classic case. As I read the case studies, it was almost as if someone were talking about my life! The experiences I've had, the pain I've dealt with, it can all be explained by my mother's npd! There are numerous sites dealing with daughters of mothers with npd, because it apparently is particularly damaging to daughters. I read these sites with my mouth literally open and tears flowing down my cheeks. At last it finally makes some sense! I'm not crazy and it's NOT my fault! I began college majoring in elementary ed and minoring in psychology, so I feel like maybe I should have recognized this sooner, but it was only after we moved away that I realized how badly she has damaged me. But every sentence on these sites spoke to me in a way I can't explain fully. I am going to put a few here, hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws but I know that I will need to read them again and again.

We maybe still think our mother loves us because she tells us she does, and we don't know any better to realise that normally love doesn't manifest in such sly put-downs, such undermining, such neglect. And of course our culture tells us, loud and clear and over and over, that our mother loves us, and that we need to love her. And because of this, our friends just don't - cannot - understand any of this, and that's lonely too.
And we believe we love her because, well, that's what daughters do. And as normal loving girls we crave to love.

We feel we cannot be our authentic true selves, even assuming we can figure out who that authentic self even is.
We suffer from low self-esteem, often to the level of self-loathing, and we struggle with self-care. We almost certainly cannot love ourselves, and all this is evidenced by our negative self-talk.
We may believe we have no right to exist, and almost certainly feel that we're never good enough, that we're not acceptable, that at some deep down level we're inherently flawed.
We either are forever self-sabotaging, or burdened with impossible perfectionism.
Although there is often euphoria when we make this discovery about NPD, as we realise we're not crazy, that can be quickly followed by anger, grief and bereavement, sadness, shame and guilt, and maybe even hatred.
We perhaps still always feel like a little girl, and we're probably scared to own, or access, our own power - and that keeps us feeling powerless too. We've had years of being told we're too sensitive, and possibly we are, now. 
We have difficulty setting boundaries, whether that's with our family or with others.
We may well be overly fearful of authority figures, or people being angry with us.
We worry about whether we ourselves are narcissistic.
We may have body issues - either being overweight, or terrified of gaining weight.
We may find ourselves still experiencing huge fear of her, no matter how old we are or how assertive in other parts of our lives.
We may find that we're still trying - in vain, of course - to get her approval, or to get her attention.
We may want to severely limit our contact with her, or even to cut off all contact- but be worried and confused about that.
We no doubt have difficulties in forming relationships, or maybe we're attracted to unhealthy and abusive relationships. We have a constant fear of abandonment, and huge trust issues. We carry a constant feeling that the world isn't safe.
We also have massive issues around deserving. Deep down we may feel that we don't deserve good things, or good relationships, or even that we don't deserve to heal.  We may also have beliefs around healing that healing means she gets away with it, for example, which block us, or the belief that being unhappy is a badge of proof that this happened.
A lot of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers also have huge difficulty saying nice things about themselves, or celebrating their own successes.
We no doubt have limiting beliefs. They vary from woman to woman but could be things like, It's not safe to be successful, or I have to be quiet and not cause any trouble.
The thing about these beliefs is that often they're so deep down that we don't even know they're there - but they're running, and often ruining, our lives. 
We may feel the burden of keeping family secrets, and feel guilt and shame around those.
We are torn between cutting off all contact - but that's so big a decision - and having to deal with her on a regular basis.


  I cannot fully explain what this information means to me. It is a lot to process and it makes me feel good and terrible all at the same time. The section on enabling fathers nearly crushed me because I used to see my father as perfect and I've recently begun to see him as he truly is and that breaks my heart. The man who was my hero growing up seems so small and weak to me now. It's a good thing this blog isn't written on paper because it would be tear soaked by now. I am really struggling right now but so many things are starting to make sense to me. Each sentence resonated with me more than the previous ones. Several years ago I started saving the I.Ms with my mother so I could read them later when she denied everything and made me feel crazy. Even last night's conversation followed the classic traits of npd when she stated she didn't deserve to be loved:
As a last resort she goes pathetic. When she’s confronted with unavoidable consequences for her own bad behavior, including your anger, she will melt into a soggy puddle of weepy helplessness. It’s all her fault. She can’t do anything right. She feels so bad. What she doesn’t do: own the responsibility for her bad conduct and make it right. Instead, as always, it’s all about her, and her helpless self-pitying weepiness dumps the responsibility for her consequences AND for her unhappiness about it on you. As so often with narcissists, it is also a manipulative behavior. If you fail to excuse her bad behavior and make her feel better, YOU are the bad person for being cold, heartless and unfeeling when your poor mother feels so awful.

Wow. Just wow. I have so much to process right now and I am already running late getting ready for work so I need to get going. So much going on in my head right now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The poo hit the fan

I just had a "conversation" with my mother via I.M and I am beside myself right now. I had planned on not telling her that we want to move. It is financially impossible right now anyway so why bother?  Well, she gave me such grief about not going to the family reunion that I just caved. Blabbed. Spilled the beans. Sang like a canary. Whatever you want to call it, I told her we are very unhappy here and that we want to move when we can afford it. Of course everything became about HER because everything in the world is about HER. She said she is not happy here either and she wants to move too. And then the "poor me" started and the guilt trip. She actually said "I guess I'm not worthy of anyone's love." Where does that even come from? How does the fact that we want to move mean she is unlovable? My whole life, she has done stuff like this. If anyone dares have an opinion or a goal different from hers, it becomes an attack on her and she gets very dramatic. I cannot count the number of times she threatened suicide or said she was leaving. Then she would either lock herself in her bedroom or go speeding off in her car, leaving all of us in fear that this time she might actually do it. I used to fall for her game and I'd go running after her and tell her she was right all along and she was the best mother ever. I'd sob outside her locked door that I was sorry and I'd never do "it" again.  Somewhere along the way I lost interest in this game. I refuse to chase after her anymore, literally or figuratively. I am living my life and I refuse to apologize for that. In tonight's "conversation" she again threatened to leave, to move far away from everybody, including my father. She tried to take the blame for our unhappiness here, saying they weren't "filling our need." I told her that she is not responsible for my happiness and I don't blame her. To be honest though, I do somewhat blame her because she sold us a fairytale to convince us to move here. But I blame myself most of all. This was my decision and I have to live with it, at least for now. Not sure how things will play out from here on, but I'm sure it will be interesting.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just random stuff

This post will just be some random things that I want to record but which do not merit a post of their own. First off, I've decided to stop referring to my husband as "R" and use his name, which is Russ. I was using an initial on the off chance that someone in my family would stumble upon my blog. It's unlikely that they would, but if they did I'm sure they would not be pleased because my family is very concerned with appearances. It doesn't matter how screwed up we really are, as long as we appear perfect to the world. Ok then, moving on. Sorry for the bullets, but they will help me keep some order to this post. At least in theory.
* It seems that I am surrounded by pregnant women these days. Many of my friends, cousins etc are expecting and I am so pleased to report that it is not making me wish that we were having another one. At all. In fact, I had a dream the other night that I was pregnant and even in my dream I was not thrilled. I am very happy with our family of three and have no desire for any more children.
* Because I hate my job so very much, I have opened my mind to the possibility of teaching again. I am not actively searching for a job but I prayed that if God wanted me to teach again, that He would make it very clear to me and basically drop something into my lap. Last week there was a job in the paper for a part time special ed position and I applied for it. Not sure if anything will come of it and I'm not thrilled about the possibility of being away from John but it would help us get out of debt faster and perhaps it would be possible for us to move sooner.
* Yes, I still want to move. Very badly. I don't think this is the place for us. The "family connection" my mother said would be here for us has not materialized and in fact I'm more alone here than in Virginia. We had great friends and a wonderful church in Virginia and we may consider moving back there. It would have to be in a different county however, because the school in the county where we lived was terrible. Not sure we want to go back there; it would be fun to start fresh in a new place like we did when we moved to Virginia. That was scary but exciting too.
* When we were planning our move here, I was so excited to attend the yearly family reunion that my mother's family holds. I was craving family and believed that we would be welcomed here. The first year we couldn't go because John was sick and I was so disappointed. Last year we went and barely anyone spoke to us. This year's reunion is today and we are not going. Why should we go and basically be ignored? My mother is very angry at me because she won't be able to pretend that she is a good gramma and show off John. Bitter? Not me.
* There is a flea market near us that is held the first weekend of every month from may to October. I love going to it and have been eager to go again since last month. There is a kitchen "store" and I want to buy some new cookie cutters and baking doodads. I love baking and I'm going to try selling some things at one of the craft shows this year. Perhaps the best part though is the yard sales on the way; there are tons of them. Yard sales and a flea market in the same day makes for a very happy me!
* Russ got a phone call during supper Thursday and found out he had to work late on Friday and would have to work on Sunday as well. He works for a winery and they have a festival this weekend. He wasn't supposed to have to work but the vehicle they were going to take broke down and he's the only one that can drive their big truck. He would have to help them set up Friday and then return on Sunday to bring them back. When they got there (after hours of traffic) there was no security on the grounds so the boss asked Russ to stay overnight and set up in the morning. Which means no early trip to the flea market. Plus it's raining. We need the rain so bad but I will admit to being pretty bummed. There is one yard sale at a church that will be indoors so John and I are going to head there as soon as I post this. If it clears up we may go to the flea market this afternoon when Russ gets home or perhaps it will be nicer tomorrow and we can go in the morning before he has to leave. No yard sales on Sundays though. I'm disappointed but we will make the best of it. I made some chili so we'll have a cozy supper together tonight, my family of three.
* I am over the moon in love with my son. He amazes me every day and I cherish the time I am able to spend with him. We went to McD.s for supper last night after work and then grocery shopping. It was a long day and we were both exhausted by the time we got home but he's really such a good kid. There was a kid throwing a fit and John's eyes just got so wide looking at him. John is really not the kind of kid that has tantrums. Don't get me wrong, he gets upset over things I think are silly sometimes but he gets over them pretty quickly too. Love that boy.

Well, I think that's it for now. Hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I should have known better

I am having serious regrets about moving here and it is tearing me up. At the time "we" made the decision to move, I was battling post-par.tum depression and was definitely not in my right mind. I've always wanted a close, loving family. You know the type: they get together for Sunday dinners after church, they spend holidays together enjoying each other's company and they genuinely care about each other. This is not the way my family is. They never have and never will be. I know this all too well and I've come to accept it over the years. And then came the ppd and it knocked me for a loop. I  have never been that anxious, lonely, depressed or scared in my life. I reached out to my mother for comfort out of instinct and she sold me a story of how wonderful things would be if we'd move closer to her. My poor husband also knows how my family is and yet, after convincing myself, I convinced him that things would be different this time. Bless his heart, he agreed to the move because he hoped it would make me happier. Long story short, it cost us a great deal financially to make the move. Our house did eventually sell, but for less than it would have in a better market. We incurred a lot of debt in the move and haven't made much progress digging out because I wasn't working. I had another very painful "conversation" with my mother via IM the other night and I have just had enough. Enough of the drama, enough of the pain, enough of trying to find something that is just not there. I truly think I have reached the point where I am just done. I'm over it. I wish I could have a loving relationship with my mother, I really do. But I just don't think it's possible. And at this stage in my life I think I'm just done running up against that brick wall. After "talking" to her, I went to my husband in tears and told him I want to move. Again. He tried to calm me down, and gently said it's just not financially possible right now, but that we could set it as a goal for a few years. It's hard to believe that I am at this "desperate" place yet again. I feel like this move was a mistake and I don't like it here at all. The "family" that my mother said was so eager to welcome us has been virtually non-existent. This Saturday is the annual family reunion and I've decided not to go because last year almost nobody spoke to us. So, my family of three is going to spend the day going to yard sales and the flea market and I know we'll have a great time. Now that I have overcome the ppd, I can clearly see once again that my husband and my son are the only family I need. Also, I've been spending a lot of time on real.tor dot com. Just sayin'. Who knows where we'll end up next? I think this time I'll let R make the decision.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What do you say?

What do you say when your neighbor tells you that her newly-turned 18 year old daughter is pregnant with her second child? I said "Congratulations" because every child is a blessing, regardless of the circumstances. Evidently this was the correct response, because she is thrilled about it. Her husband is decidedly less so. He said "they can't even afford the one they have." This is unfair, because the "baby daddy" works hard selling his prescription ri.talin tablets so they can afford things babies need like fancy cell phones and four wheelers. Yes, I'm wearing my judgey pants, just for a minute. There was a time when this situation would have destroyed me. The three years that we battled infertility were the darkest days of my life. Hearing of teens getting pregnant or someone abandoning their baby sent me into a death spiral of pain and tears. Now that we have John, I reacted to this news the same way most people would, which is something I never thought I'd achieve. I wouldn't say I'm "over" my infertility; it has entirely altered the person that I am, but in a good way. I see life in a different way now and I don't take as much for granted as I used to. Upon hearing my neighbor's news, I held my breath and waited for the inevitable pang of jealousy. It never came. R and I both wanted at least two children but my doctor said it could be life threatening to me and/or the child so John will be an only child. And we're ok with that; more than ok in fact. John is all we dared hope for and more and we feel so blessed to have him. He's healthy and happy and our family is complete at three. So I will put my judgey pants back into the closet and I will sew something special for our neighbors' new blessing and I will send them meals when the baby comes home and I will hold him/her without a moment of longing for "what could have been." Take that infertility. I win.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Whiny post about my job-feel free to skip reading this one ;-)

I am trying to keep the tone of this blog positive but I also want it to be an accurate reflection of my life right now. That being said, I need to say that I hate my job. Hate it. There are many reason why, but the biggest one is the director herself. I've mentioned before what a brat her son is and the type of "mother" she is, which makes it mighty difficult to respect any decisions she makes in terms of the children. She was also interviewed for an article in the paper and she said that we follow a "full pre-school curriculum" which is a load of bull. The only thing even remotely resembling preschool is the daily "projects" the kids do, and half of them are completed by the staff. I knew going in that this was a daycare setting and I was ok with that because we were primarily looking for John to be around other kids. And what does it tell you when the director and the other staff are sending their kids to preschool in the fall? I've been trying to ignore most of this stuff, because of the simple fact that I can take John to work with me. And I was doing ok with that until "the incident" on Tuesday.

John was getting his lunch bag to clean up after lunch and he caught his foot in the strap, which I keep long so it's easier for me to carry. He fell face first onto the floor, which is cement with cheap carpet on top. The way his head hit, I knew it was going to be bad, and he came up with a mouth full of blood. Shaunna went for the first aid kit and Amie grabbed an ice pack as I tried to assess how bad it was. His tooth had hit his lip, and there was a red mark on the outside showing where his tooth had nearly come through. As I calmed him down and worked on stopping the bleeding, Shaunna proceeded to tell me that I was welcome to take him to the hospital or doctor but they wouldn't stitch a lip. I'm welcome to take him? I'd like to see ANYONE try to stand between me and my son! It didn't seem to warrant anything like that, so I gave him a popsicle and comforted him. And then Shaunna says to me "I hate to say it but he's really clumsy, is he like that at home?" I said "he got his foot caught in the strap of his lunch box." She said "I know but he seems to bump his face a lot." Yes Shaunna, he's had a bump on his chin and now this, you're so right. Let me tell you, I saw red! I wanted a piece of her in the worst way. I wanted to challenge her to compare our sons; ok John is "clumsy" is it my turn to say something about your kid now??? Because I can guarantee you I'll win that one. John is a very active boy (all boy!) and yes he does get hurt sometimes. Hmm, isn't that a scratch on your kid's face too? I can deal with an awful lot, but not criticism of my son by someone who is incompetent as a "teacher" and a mother! The only way to keep from going off on her was to avoid talking to her at all. She kept asking if I was ok and I'd give her a short "I'm fine." She said "if I did something wrong, let's talk about it." Ugh, it was SO hard to keep my tongue. After work I went to the gym and I RAN on the treadmill! The gym isn't air conditioned and it was so hot but it let out some of my frustration. R said she called "to check on John" and he told her I was at the gym. Thankfully I was off yesterday which gave me some time to cool off as well but I am NOT looking forward to dealing with her today at all. I know that we really need the money and this is most likely the only job that will allow me to bring John with me so, at least for now, I have to suck it up but it will be extremely difficult. After work I will either head to the gym again or I'll do boxing on the w.ii. Guess whose face I'll be imagining? Plus she is off tomorrow because she's taking her "special boy" to del.grossos so I just have to make it through today. But when R picked John up on Tuesday, I told him I was going to apply at Wal.mart to work evenings. Right now that's not sounding like too bad of an option.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Almost without fail, we plant a garden every year. In last year's garden, along with the usual stuff, we decided to add zucchini and yellow squash. We all love zucchini bread, and I like yellow squash sauteed with onions. We didn't want to be over run by squash, so we planted one zucchini plant and one yellow squash plant. Or so we thought. As it turned out, they were both zucchini plants and we had an over abundance of zucchini. Which was fine, because I made lots of loaves of zucchini bread (more than 35!) and I froze them. I also tried lots of other zucchini recipes, including a chocolate zucchini cake which was absolutely delicious. This year, we again planted one zucchini plant and one yellow squash plant. Or so we thought. This year, they were both yellow squash plants. I read that the two are not interchangeable in recipes so I put out an appeal on Fa.cebook for yellow squash recipes which did not yield very many. Yesterday R picked about 10 squash so I decided to try my zucchini bread recipe using the yellow squash instead. It was a success, so it looks like our freezer will once again be stocked with loaves of yummy "zucchini" bread.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An ordinary, extraordinary love. And a yard sale ;-)

I am over the moon in love with my son. I know, big secret lol. After battling infertility for over three years, I feel so incredibly blessed to have him. He is the answer to my prayers. But there are moments when I am literally overwhelmed with love for him. They are usually ordinary moments, when we're not doing anything but "being." There are nights when I go back into his room after we've done our bedtime ritual just so I can have a few more moments with him. Of course there are also nights when I'm exhausted and can hardly wait for bedtime to come, but I truly treasure this time in our lives. I want to always remember this time and I want him to know how very much I love him and what joy he brings to my life.

We had our yard sale today and it was very successful. We got rid of a lot of stuff, which makes R happy because he can "reclaim his shed" as he says. This house is significantly smaller than our previous house so we had way more stuff than we needed. It was a very busy day and John was so good. He has his daddy's "go with the flow" personality and he took it all in stride. He played with his "old" toys but was fine when other kids came and bought them. In short he acted way older than his three years. So very proud of this boy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In the Good Old Summertime

We are "on vacation" this week! The daycare closes for the week of the 4th of July every year. We are switching classrooms and I "could" help with that if I wanted to get in some hours. Yeah, that is so not happening. R took the week off too, and we are enjoying some family time. So far, today will be the first day that we actually stay home.

Friday after work we went out for dinner and then did the grocery shopping to get it over with. Saturday was a super busy day! We went to the flea market and yard sales in the morning and then went to a birthday party for John's friend Ashley who lives behind us. She's five and is such a sweet little girl. They play really well together. After that we came home for a bit and then took John to his first fireworks show. We went to a shopping center several miles away so it wouldn't be too noisy and he enjoyed it. No nap all day so he was a very tired boy and fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Sunday we went back to the flea market and then came home for a nap before heading to the Independence Day celebration at the park by my parents' house. They had a train ride and a bounce house (all free!) and John had a good time. We told him that the fireworks would be much louder being closer and he wanted to stay and watch them at the park. That lasted until the first "practice" firework. It scared him pretty bad so we packed up and headed to my parents' house where we watched the fireworks while snuggled up on the swing on their back patio. Monday we went shopping for meat and a few other things and just bummed around a bit.

Yesterday we went to Del.Grossos amusement park and had a great time! John loved every minute of it! He has absolutely no fear and wants to ride all the "big kid" rides. It was hot but there was plenty of shade at the ride section of the park and then at the water park they were in the water the whole time. John even rode the water slide by himself! He's a very adventurous kid, that's for sure! We were gone all day, so no nap again. He did great and wasn't at all cranky but he was definitely ready for bed after showering and a few books. Today we are all looking forward to a quiet day at home. It has been a great week so far!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Where does the time go?

Today my sweet little boy is three years old! Even saying that sounds so unbelievable. It's hard to believe I've been a mother for three years, yet it's hard to remember a time without him in my life. We fought infertility for just over three years and that time seemed to pass so very slowly while the time with him has flown by so quickly. I've found myself reflecting on his first few months and how difficult they were for me due to the postpartum depression and just a general "I don't have any idea what I'm doing." How could a baby that weighed 5 lb 12 oz have such a huge impact on the world? Because, for me, he has truly changed the world for the better. In everything I do, I think of him first. I have fallen more in love with my husband watching him be John's daddy. I see people smile at John, as his happiness is contagious, and it makes me believe that there is still good in the world. I can't even count the number of people who have told me how beautiful, cute, handsome, precious etc he is. There is something special about this boy, that's for sure, and I'm not the only one who recognizes it. I am truly blessed to be his mother and I love him with every fiber of my being. Happy Birthday John, mommy loves you so very much! XOXO

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gee, thanks for telling me!

I made myself nervous yesterday about asking to reduce my hours to 4 days a week. It's best for John and for me, but I hate feeling like I'm letting someone down. And this is only my third week working there. Plus Shaunna, the director, was in a cranky mood when I got there. Just before nap time we were sitting together at the table getting projects ready and I felt like it was a good time to bring it up. Then I started thinking I'd wait until tomorrow and maybe she'd be in a better mood. She was getting ready to leave for the day and I knew if I didn't say something I'd be upset with myself because I'd been thinking about it all weekend. So I asked if it would be possible to cut back to 4 days a week. She said "um, I'm trying to think" and came back with her calendar book. She said "well, you're off on Wednesdays with the new summer schedule." Really? When were you going to tell me that? I had no idea there was a schedule change for the summer. She also said I was scheduled from 11:30 until 5:30 instead of 11:00 for the summer. She said "I wondered why you came in at 11 this morning" and chuckled. Duh, maybe because nobody told me any different! So then I asked if the change started this week and she said "yes, you're off tomorrow." Oh boy am I glad I brought it up today. I would have been SO mad if I had come in today and she told me I wasn't scheduled! So, John and I have the day off today and it's beautiful outside! R bought him a little plastic pool yesterday and I filled it this morning so in a little while it should be warm enough to go splash around in. I had wanted to have Fridays off so John could go to his old play group but I think having Wednesdays off is awesome-it will break up the week nicely. It all worked out in the end but I was a bit annoyed that Shaunna never told me about the summer schedule change. Oh well, I'm over it, LOL! Now it's time to go enjoy the day with my favorite little boy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So how's the job going?

It's no secret that I'm not happy about having to go back to work. I have really enjoyed being at home with John. So that makes it that much harder to get into the swing of things with a new job. Being the low man on the totem pole, I got the shift that nobody else wants-closing every day. Add to that the fact that John is still sick with a cough and I have a cold, and you've about got my take on things. When I applied, the ad said 20-30 hours per week. I am currently working 32.5 and I think it's too much. I don't know how it will go over, but I am going to talk to the director about only working 4 days a week. That would give John and I a day to do stuff we want to do, plus make it easier to schedule doctor appts, run errands and work on getting my inventory built up for craft shows. I'm nervous about asking but I think it's best for us. The worst she could say is no, right?

The women I work with are pretty nice and quite friendly. Since I am the only one that closes every day, I work with someone different each day and they all do things differently. Caryn (another worker) said I will have to tell everyone how to do things but I'm not comfortable doing that just yet. For now I just go with the flow and do what needs done.

One thing that really bothers me is the director's son. He's 2 1/2 and he's a holy terror. She brings him with her every day and lets him run buck wild. He is seriously spoiled and nobody tells him no because he's the director's kid. She tells us to discipline him but you can tell she really doesn't mean it. I called her bluff and put him in timeout twice the other day and he told her that I hit him. She was in the room and saw everything so she knows I didn't but what if she hadn't been? As a teacher and a mother, it makes me angry to see someone "raising" their kid this way. She also has 2 nephews and a niece in the room and favors them over the other kids too. I am careful not to play favorites with John and if anything I am tougher on him than the other kids. So frustrating.

I am really hoping that the director is willing to cut me back to 4 days a week. I think that would make a big difference in my mindset towards the job. I am hoping to get a chance to talk to her about it today. Besides her, I am the only one working 5 days a week and the girl that I replaced only worked 4 days a week. And if I went to 4 days I'd still be working 26 hours a week, which is within the 20-30 hours quoted in the ad. Do I sound convincing?? LOL, hope so.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Already?

Well, Sunday night I had the breakdown that I knew was coming but had hoped to delay until Monday morning after R had left for work. He asked me why I was crying but I couldn't talk about it and I said I was fine. Don't think he bought it, LOL. I had started thinking about John getting sick and me not being able to stay home with him. My mom had reluctantly agreed to watch him when he's sick. But my mother is not the most nurturing person when someone is sick (or healthy) and is more concerned about being exposed to germs than how the person is feeling. Plus I am his mommy and it's my job to take care of him. John has never been in daycare so I know that he will most likely get sick fairly often in the beginning. Long story short, R talked with his boss and they were fine with the possibility of him needing to take time off to care for John and then making up the time later in the week so he doesn't have to use sick or vacation time. The company he works for is small and very family oriented. So that was a relief. And just in time because...John is sick already. Poor little guy started with a runny nose yesterday but he was fine otherwise so I brought him with me. As the night went on, he got stuffier and this morning he added a fever to the mix. Of course R had said yesterday that today was not a good day for him to take off as they had a ton of work to finish. I reluctantly called my mom Thursday night just to see what the chances were that she would be able to watch him and she was teaching a quilt class today. To her credit, she offered to skip it, and offered for my dad to come over until it was finished and she could take over. I didn't feel comfortable leaving John with them while he had a fever (yes, I know they raised me and I survived lol) because he has a tendency to go downhill rather quickly when he gets sick. So I called the director and explained to her what was going on and that I was trying to get it worked out. She told me it was fine to come in late, even to wait until R was home. Again, what a relief. So, R worked his butt off and finished early so I ended up being about 3 hours late and it was no problem. Tonight he had a fever still and I'm praying he's feeling better by Monday because I'm not looking forward to another juggling act. Poor little guy I hate to see him sick, especially after he "just" got over the flu.
    Gee, I never even said how the job is going. Well, it will have to wait because this post is long enough already and I'm beyond exhausted. Tomorrow is our town wide yard sale day, and I've been waiting months for it! We were hoping to go all together but that will depend on how John is feeling tomorrow. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today and Tomorrow

Today I have a ton of things to do as my family prepares to embark upon the next chapter of our story.
Tomorrow I will go to work for the first time in almost three years and John will start preschool/daycare. I will be one of the teachers in his room.
Today I will fight back tears and put on a happy face so as not to upset my husband, who already feels terribly guilty that I have to go back to work.
Tomorrow I will sob in the shower after he leaves for work.
Today we will go to church and I will thank God for this job, because I am incredibly lucky that I can work and still have John with me.
Tomorrow I will muster up all the strength I have to make it a wonderful day for him.
Today I will enjoy every "last" minute with my boy who seems to me to be still a baby but who will become a preschooler as we walk out the door in the morning.
Tomorrow I will watch my only child playing with his new friends and marvel at the big boy he has become.
Today I will label John's lunchbox and his clothes with a permanent marker and try to etch this day permanently into my memory.
Tomorrow my heart will break and heal over almost simultaneously.
Today I will enjoy having John all to myself for one last day before sharing him with the world.
Tomorrow I will do what I know is in his best interest and encourage him to fly on his own as I cheer from the sidelines.
Today we will cuddle and talk about all the wonderful things he will learn and do at school and all the friends he will make.
Tomorrow will be the biggest day so far in his young life.
Today is going way too fast.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm gonna miss this

   Have you heard the song "you're gonna' miss this" by Trace Ad.kins? I'd post the video here if I could but I don't even know how to post pictures so that's out. Anyway, it talks about not rushing through life and enjoying each moment. I have been feeling melancholy about going back to work and this song keeps running through my head. I knew that I would eventually have to go back to work. I know how incredibly lucky I have been to be home with J for almost the first 3 years of his life. And I know that the job I am going to is the most perfect job for both J and I. I also know that there are many mothers who have to leave their infants to return to work and I'm sure it just about breaks their hearts. I know all this and yet I am still a little sad. I have loved being home with J. I know there are many women who would hate it but I really have enjoyed it. I have loved being there for all of his "firsts" and I love that I have been his world. I guess what I'm struggling with most is that he is growing up so fast. He will start making friends and wanting to be with people other than me. Don't get me wrong, this is what I want for him. But my baby isn't a baby anymore. I know there will come a day when he will push me away and won't want to go places with me anymore. That hurts more than I was prepared for it to. Everyone says how fast time flies, and they are right. I just want to enjoy every moment with J that I can, and not rush through them. I want to burn these moments into my memory so I can wrap myself in them later, when he's too cool to be seen with his mom. I love him with all my heart.
Happy Mothers Day to the mothers, prayers for those trying to become mothers and those mourning for their children. I remember how painful Mothers Day was when we were fighting infertility.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My poor boy but also some good news

     Yesterday I could tell that J's throat was still really bothering him. Then after lunch he had bad diarrhea (sorry if tmi) so I called the Dr to see what to do for him. The nurse said bring him in again so we headed back. His throat was super red and he said his belly was hurting. The Dr sent us to the hospital for blood work and I knew it would be traumatic. J has had to have blood drawn about 5 times within the last year and a half for various reasons. His previous pediatrician was incompetent and tested J for obscure things I knew he didn't have. He refused to listen to me when I told him I thought J had ref.lux, which turns out is what he has. Long story short, he is no longer J's doctor and I lodged a complaint against him. Back to yesterday, I knew it would be rough and I was right. J is very strong and it took 3 techs to hold him even after they wrapped him in the "papoose." I had explained to them what to expect as we've been through it before but they must have thought I was exaggerating. My heart almost broke in half as I watched my child struggling and screaming as they stuck him three times. I finally had to unleash mama bear on them and insist that they listen to me. They finally got enough blood and we left. I got the results today and everything looks good so hopefully it's "just" a virus that will pass. Today his throat seems better but the cough has gotten worse. I hope that means it's working its way out. Poor little guy, I just want him to feel better. It was nice weather in between the rain showers so we took a walk to watch the road crew working and then before supper we drew with chalk. I think the fresh air helped somewhat.

 I have loved staying home with J but financially things are just getting too tight. I figured I would take a part time job at a store evenings and weekends. I have a degree in special education but don't want to teach full-time right now because J would have to be put in daycare or my mom would watch him which would not be ideal to say the least. I had a job interview today at a daycare center. I had spoken to the director on the phone and evidently the "interview" was just a formality as she had already decided to offer me the job. The best part-J can come with me! The class is 3-5 year olds, and he will be 3 in June. It's Monday through Friday from 11-5:30 and R can pick J up on his way home around 3:30 or he can stay with me if R has to travel for work. We have been looking at preschools because J needs to be around other kids so this is a win-win in that respect as well. Plus the daycare is inside the elementary school where J will eventually go to kindergarten so if things work out I'd be in the same building when he goes to school. The pay isn't great but the fee for J to be there is unbelievably low which will save us on tuition and the center is run by the Y so we will also get our family membership for free. We had a family membership but had to let it lapse as money got tighter. I have really missed going to the gym. I'd been feeling sad about having to go back to work and I know R felt bad as well but this is the answer to prayer. I never dreamed it would work out like this and I am so very thankful.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Overload

     The past few weeks have been quite difficult around here. Two weeks ago my husband's aunt had a stroke. She was taking out her garbage and her neighbor found her laying outside with no idea how long she had been there. She was life-flighted to Phila.delphia where her prognosis remained dim. Her daughters were fighting over whether to remove her from life support, which they eventually did earlier this week. She was to be transported to hos.pice care and we have not heard anything since. This is my MIL's only sibling and my husband's only aunt since he has no contact with his father's family.

     Last saturday my MIL called to tell us that Don (hub's stepdad) was in the hospital with what they suspected was pneumonia. He is dia.betic and doesn't take very good care of himself, which always complicates things. I was at a craft show when hub got the call so he had to wait for me to get home before he could head to nj to be with his mother. Later that day she called back and said Don was better and they were going to release him the next day so R didn't need to go. The next evening she called back and said not only was Don not being released, but he was going to need a pacemaker so R hurriedly headed to nj sunday night. Don got his pacemaker the next day and was improving so R decided to head home wednesday even though Don wasn't scheduled to be released until thursday because R had a delivery to make for work on thursday. Plus the whole time R was in nj, his mother kept telling him she "didn't need him." Nice.

     With R in NJ, I was home alone with J, who was in rare form on Monday and Tuesday. He is normally a pretty easy-going kid and usually listens well. Not those days! I was exhausted and several times I wondered if he wasn't possibly coming down with something since he was so not himself. Wednesday evening as we were putting him to bed I picked him up and he was burning hot. His temp was 102.7 so we gave him Ty.lenol and he slept through the night. The next day his temp stayed high and at one point hit 103.2 so I called the dr and we went in. They did a strep test which was negative and said it was probably a virus. Thursday night was terrible-he kept waking up sobbing and screaming and I had to sleep in his bed with him. Not that either of us got much sleep. He seemed better during the day on friday but then went downhill again so I called the dr back and he called in an antibiotic as a "just in case." We started the antibiotic yesterday. He has moments where he is ok but he is definitely a sick little guy. Sore throats are awful and I see him wince every time he swallows. We're trying to push fluids so he doesn't get dehydrated but he's resisting because it hurts. Tonight he had diarr.hea, poor guy can't catch a break. R and I are both feeling awful too, sick bellies also. We were supposed to go to my parents' for Easter dinner but couldn't so my mom packed up our dinner and Dad brought it over. J barely ate his supper but did manage a little bit of cake. I am praying he starts feeling better soon. He needs to sleep to feel better but the throat pain keeps waking him up. He finally got a decent nap today and we are hoping he gets a full night's sleep, though he has already woken up crying once already. I am just exhausted both physically and emotionally. Also I have a job interview on Tuesday morning, more on that to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First dentist visit and possible progress

     I took J to the dentist for the first time yesterday. It is beyond me how he is old enough to see a dentist when I just brought him home from the hospital yesterday but apparently he is. Go figure. Anyway, we've been talking to him about it for weeks, preparing him. He does so much better when he knows what to expect. He was wonderful! I thought they were just going to look the first time but he did so well that she actually cleaned his teeth too! He chose watermelon toothpaste, which thrilled him and he got to choose a toothbrush too. He picked one with a teddy bear on the handle and was so excited to brush with it last night. One of his molars is completely in and the other three are about 3/4 of the way in, which we figured since he's been chewing on his fingers lately. So proud of my (big) little guy!

     I have written on here before about how difficult we've found it to make friends since we moved. It just seems like people here are not very friendly, I don't really understand it. Neither of us were ever on the "A list" but we've always had a group of friends wherever we've lived. And I have made an effort to be friendly at playgroups. Perhaps we've grown more selective or maybe because I'm a bit older than some of the moms, I just don't know. I know it hasn't helped that we haven't found "our" church yet either. On that front, we have started going to church again after being discouraged with bouncing from one to another. The past two Sundays we have gone to one that we had tried before and so far we like it. When we went before they were merging two churches and it was too "unstructured" for us. They seem to have worked things out now and it seems very nice. They have children's church, which is a very important feature for us. I went along with J simply because I'm not cool with the idea of leaving him with people I don't know. If I'm being honest I'm not all that cool with leaving him with anyone but I know I need to get over it and we have even been  looking into preschools. Be still my heart. Anyway, perhaps in a few weeks I'll be ready to let him fly solo in children's church. Hopefully we will start getting to know people and make some friends soon.
 
     Also, last Friday at play group there was a mom I hadn't met before and we got to talking. Turns out we have several things in common and she lives just a few blocks away. She was very friendly and suggested getting together for play dates (she has 3 kids) when the weather gets nicer. She said she'd be back this week and we could exchange phone numbers. I was on such a "high" thinking I might actually make a friend. Of course when I got home I had to check our "unsavory" neighbor's Fa.cebook friends list for her and she was on it. I'm trying to be positive and not judgemental though. We'll see what Friday brings.

     I had a craft show last Saturday (did well) and have another one this Saturday so I've been super busy. My embroidery machine is out of commission again, so Mom is letting me use one of hers. It is way more advanced (and WAY more expensive) than mine so it has been a learning process for me. It was gorgeous this weekend and we had fun playing outside. So far this week it has been chilly and rainy but we're really hoping that spring is on its way!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sad for a friend

     I am Fa.cebook friends with a guy who I went to school with for a year or so. I think it was middle school (a hundred years ago) and then he went to a different (Catholic) high school. He was cute, shy and very quiet and I think I was the only girl in the school who didn't have a crush on him. (I've never been attracted to "pretty" guys.) Anyway, fast forward and we are now friends on Fa.cebook. He's married with 5 kids and seems so happy. Last Friday he posted that his younger sister had given birth to a son. I'm not sure how much younger she is, but I don't remember ever meeting her. This past wednesday evening he posted that she had developed a severe infection and was back in the hospital and he asked for prayers. Yesterday at 5am he posted that he was headed to the hospital to see her and he simply said "It's bad. Please pray." I was at the store yesterday and when I got back onto Fa.cebook in the evening I saw that she had passed away that morning. Her son was only six days old. I cannot imagine how her husband is coping right now, having a week old infant and losing his wife. She was a teacher, a wife and a new mother and her family must now go on without her. I will be keeping the family in my prayers and holding my family just a little bit tighter today. We are never guaranteed another moment so cherish each one that you are given.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Suck it up

I've noticed a negative tone to my posts lately. There is a good reason for that-there is a negative tone to my life lately. I could list the reasons I feel sad, or unloved or unappreciated or frustrated or...well, you get the idea. But I am not going to do that. I am going to pull myself up by my bootstraps and focus on the good things in my life and let go of the negative feelings. There are a lot of wonderful "things" about my life.
*I am married to the love of my life and after 22 years together (17.5 married) he still makes my heart flutter when he walks into a room. Yes we have our moments like every couple does but I can honestly say that I not only love him, but I like him as well.
*I am the mother of an amazing little boy. Three years of tears, prayers and fertility specialists have resulted in the cutest, smartest, sweetest little boy I have ever seen. Yes, I am totally biased.
*My husband shares my committment to being a full-time mom. Things are tight financially but we will never get this time back and I count myself so lucky to spend so much time with my son.
*My husband has weekends off. Our family time is so precious and we love being together.
*We own our house. It's a small house but it's ours. We have a plaque in our living room that reads "Our house is just a little house, but God knows where we live." Enough said.
I could go on and on but that's enough for now. R is on his way home, J is napping and when he gets up we are going to start our weekend! Life is good. Sometimes I just need a reminder of how good it really is. Have a great weekend!