Here’s the thing…

•January 28, 2013 • 1 Comment

…I find myself lurking around here, opening the page, closing it, saying, “Oh yeah, sometime soon, I’ll get back around to this” only to exit in a stuffed-down frustration because I really don’t know what to do with this blog. There’s so much frustration, people. 

Why the blog-based turmoil? Because, really, I’d like to pour my heart out. Talk about my day-to day life, what’s got me up, down, stymied, challenged, what’s making me feel accomplished, etc., but I feel like I can’t find my own filter because there are certain audiences that I just don’t want to reach. And it’s the web. The internet is not a private place. And yeah, I know, there are journals for private musings, but I feel like shouting out some of this stuff for ears to hear (and yeah, I get that there is this thing called “therapy” for that, peeps), and, ugh, I just don’t know. 

I remember when I was pretty young- maybe early teens, maybe just before, my Dad gave me this suitcase with a lock and a key. He said I could use it for things I wanted to keep hidden, keep private, keep away from prying eyes and hands that might snatch my ephemeric musings to hold against me later. He said I could consider it my safe place, since no one could get into it. And somewhat I did, and I loved him all the more for recognizing this need that I had, but I still had a filter. I was afraid someone would break open that lock, and draw out everything hidden. It wasn’t until I moved into my own place that i felt the need to edit my most private thoughts less, though by that time i’d become a pro at doing so, and the line between the real me and the outside me had become so blurred it was like a pretty lens: softening the edges and making a grainy image usable, even if it wasn’t clear.

I filter to this day, carefully, everything- sometimes with a fervent zeal and sometimes sloppily- and it makes me a little sad. These days, it makes me a little sick. I feel like someone had stuffed my throat with this dense weight that I am not swallowing well around. I get sad. I procrastinate, where I used to just do my best to make headway when a difficult decision comes along. I cry more often. I look at my little J and I hope that I can teach him that he always has a safe place to speak his truth, instead of constantly editing, throwing up boundaries and armor like an armadillo, hiding and cowering instead of just being able to make good emotional decisions. Somehow I’ve let myself get to be almost 40, and I haven’t set boundaries within myself that allow me to shrug all of these emotions off. How did that happen?

So, all of this dancing around is to let you know I’m still here, still trying to find my way to what I want from this blog. In the meantime, let me tell you: I never knew having a child would be this great. It’s a roller coaster ride full of highs and here he is almost a year old. I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with his first birthday- I want to celebrate it to the highest highs, but our financial situation and our family dynamic and geography has me feeling like we should keep it simple. Somehow, I need to make the day as special as possible for the most amazing person I have ever met, without breaking the bank or pissing anyone off. This falls on me. Which makes me procrastinate. And here I am, telling you. Here I am again, opening and closing this page in an effort to rid some of this weight in my chest. It may sound silly, but it kind of helps to be heard. 

little j

•July 11, 2012 • 3 Comments

So, yeah. I had a baby. That was pretty cool.Image

That’s me being all nonchalant there above. It was cool, ha. It was beyond cool. It blew my goddamned mind, is what it did.

Labor? I’m saving it for another day. It’s been 4 months since our little guy was born and I’m just so thankful he is healthy and smart and here to show us what this parenting thing is all about. Yeah, our house is still in pieces after our half-assed nesting, last-minute room swapping and quasi-Jewish superstition about not having baby stuff in the house before he came (my little shiksa heart about stopped at that one- I’m a PLANNER, y’all). Our lives are all catty-whumpus from trying to adjust to Big J getting some of the biggest jobs of his life at the same time as little j made his appearance, then me going back to work, and, of course, this whole baby-in-our-lives thing. I can’t wait to tell y’all about how he got here, what he’s up to and to share his room, but baby steps (HAHAHA OH I AM SOOOO CLEVER), people. I also have my twenty year high school reunion in a month, and I am so not physically feeling ready (Christmas HAM arms, over here), and some fun news in a sort-of work-related vein. It’ll come.

Oh yeah, and baby showed up ten days early, so that kind of shot that whole “going to a show late in my overdue pregnancy” sort of thing. Whatever.

Hi. I missed this.

inspiration found elsewhere

•January 25, 2012 • 2 Comments

So, tonight I was reading the latest post by Shana and it made me reflect on my divorce eight years ago. It’s interesting (to me) where other people’s reminiscences will take you on a personal level. Hers took me to a time where I stripped myself of identity for another human being until finally, devastated and exhilarated, I left, reclaimed and rediscovered my persona, eight years older and stronger.

This song is the perfect statement for how my life felt at the time.

“I’m unconsoled, I’m lonely, I am so much better than I used to be.

The show I mentioned wanting to see in my last post? John K. Samson, lead singer of The Weakerthans, has just released a solo album. He’ll be in town in early April. He’s my favorite songwriter, and I think it would be good for me, the hubs, and little J to get to go before we are all essentially on house arrest. I’ve spoken at length to my tiny resident about how rad it would be to get to go, so hopefully we have some sort of understanding as to the logistics of pulling off a concert 6 days after our due date.

Anyway, enjoy.


•January 13, 2012 • 3 Comments

Thirty weeks. It’s coming up. Still no nesting. Still no clean Closet (although it’s cleaner). My excitement has been figuring out how to pay the bills and keep my family calm and drama-free. Not an easy task.

You know what’s a blast about pregnancy? You can put in minimal effort, swipe on lipstick, not worry about holding in your gut and ohhhhhh, you are just adorable. Well, except to my boss. I’m sure he doesn’t think this is adorable at all. He’s had way too many preggos to deal with in the last couple of years. Any novelty has worn off. Oh, and I still haven’t talked to him about time off and what they are willing to do for me.  I work for a small company with no HR dept.  No kidding. And not super smart on my end.

I’ve also hit the constantly crying stage. My god, I’d cry if I opened my yogurt wrong. In fact, I probably have. But truly? This is slightly stressful. I could give a rat’s ass about labor, pushing it out, etc. It’s the family pressure, the monetary pressure, not the kid. Eh, whatever. The Kiddo will be worth it all. Even my lack of interest in any and all meats. Which, truth be told, is kind of disturbing for a mid-west born, carnivorously-raised, bloody steak loving girl like me. But whatever, the regular rules seem to be out the window when you’re knocked up.

Is it super selfish to hope I give birth six days after my due date?  One of my favorite performers is coming to town five days after D-day and I am really hoping to get to go. I mean, if my water breaks or something at the show, then he like, HAS TO wrote a song for the tot, right? We can have the hospital bag in the car just in case. Just saying.

Look at these, my childbearing hips… *

•December 5, 2011 • 1 Comment

Hate all you want, but I am loving this pregnancy thing.

Never have I felt so good. Even when I am feeling sick, I seem to be wearing a smile. I know the queasiness or uncomfortable feelings are temporary.  I’m enjoying my body for the first time in my life, weird changes or no. Every time I feel this tiny person flip around inside me I smile.  I’m blown away by the process. I’m flabbergasted that my body knows how to do this, and I don’t have to do much to help it. It’s completely amazing.

Although I have nothing to compare it to, I have to think that I have had a really easy pregnancy. For that, I am totally grateful. I’ve been sick a little, tired a lot, and there have been nights where I have felt so bloated that I could swear my belly is going to pull a scene from “Alien”. For the most part, though, I’m excited by my shifting body and completely fascinated by the day-to-day.

My husband has been completely supportive and has indulged me by taking the early shift (and the late one too, quite often) with the animals, letting me sleep and granting me little kindnesses like dinners out and such. Weekly, I’m spoiled by my acupuncturist who also is crazy good with body work (and thankfully is a good, old friend). It has made a huge difference, knowing I could lay down in that room and trust my body to someone who has a gift for healing.

I actually feel like my body was made to be pregnant. Maybe for birthing, too. It makes me think I can DO this. My plan is to go natural, and not for a minute have I thought, given the choice, that I would do anything different. So far, no amount of horror stories have scared me out of this. I’m not sure they could. Again, it’s that whole temporary thing.  The pain, when it comes, will be finite. I can deal with that. Mind you, I know that nothing ever goes according to plan, but I am calm when I think of it, as if I could already know somehow that everything would be okay. Way to tempt fate, I know, but it’s a comforting feeling.

Something that really kills me is the difference in my self-esteem. I LOVE my body like this. I love dressing myself every day. I don’t think I have ever been so comfortable in my own skin. It’s really, really bizarre. I was sure I would be crazy sick and would have a hell of a time finding confidence in my thickening waistline and my bloated boobs. The reality is that I now have a real-and-true rack, and for the first time in my life I don’t have to worry about my gut. Nuts. LOVING IT.

I still have yet to get the nesting bug. I haven’t started the process of moving my things out of our third bedroom, aka The Closet, which will soon be the baby’s room. I bought my first piece of baby clothing last week: a black sleeper with flash-style writing that spells out “Mom”.

Y’all.  I’m going to be a Mom. How wild is that?

* stolen from “Sheela Na Gig” by the beautiful and talented Ms. Polly Jean Harvey


•November 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A few days after our fourth (unsuccessful) round of IUI, we met our friends’ new puppy. She was cute, and spunky, and completely loveable.  As he played with Freddie, I could see the wistfulness in my husband’s eyes. For years, I had been adamantly anti-dog. I had no pull, no interest, none of that distinct yearning that people seem to have for a canine companion. We had cats, and that was good enough for me.

We’d lost our older cat the year before, and in the months that followed, our thirteen year old cat was joined, one after another, by two male kittens. J kept mentioning a dog, and I kept laughing it off, saying maybe after we had a kid. Which, to my frustration, was not happening. All around me friends were getting pregnant, and all we had to show for our two years of trying was a miscarriage and a bunch of disappointment. We started looking into what could possibly be wrong with us, frustrated and hopeful.  I remember bursting into tears at the very idea of any kind of artificial process that might lead us to a child, simply because I just wanted a normal shot at making a baby. It seemed unfair and possibly futile, and of course, expensive.

Driving home from meeting Freddie, I was feeling kind of hopeless. I mentioned to J that the boys were getting to be about a year old, and if we had any chance at them bonding with a dog, it would be best to introduce a new puppy right away. My husband was in shock. He kept glancing at me as I stared through the windshield. Finally, he said, “I thought we were going to wait until we had a baby”. Somehow, I smiled, even though I felt like screaming. It had been three years, countless tests, that miscarriage (and who knows how many chemical pregnancies), hsg, IUI… it was enough. Calmly, without crying, I told him maybe kids weren’t in the cards. It was time to get the dog.

He was elated, of course. Hesitant, and then quickly obsessed. Within a few weeks, everything was planned. The breed was chosen (goldendoodle, due to his allergies and my love of standard poodles), a breeder found, a weekend set aside, and the dog selected. He was stoked. I was miserable. Anytime I referred to the dog to anyone other than my husband, it was the “damned dog”.  As the date drew closer, I became more despondent, then more angry- at myself, at him, at every part of the situation. I couldn’t just take the dog away from him now.  He was over the moon.

It wasn’t his fault that I had given up, so to speak,  I just wanted to move on. We were nearing the date for the fifth round of IUI, and I was trying to detach from the inevitable disappointment I would feel when I got my period once again. It was crushing me. We’d discussed doing five rounds, then having the discussion about drugs and about IVF. We couldn’t possibly afford IVF, and I was terrified of what Clomid or similar drugs would do to me. We really couldn’t even afford to get the dog, but he’d been such a champ through all of the baby hell that I wanted him to have exactly what he wanted when choosing his dog. HIS dog. I couldn’t even accept the dog as mine.

On the Fourth of July, we had a wonderful night. For the first time since we had been together, he took me to see the fireworks, one of my favorite things in all of the world. The next day, I woke up to the Ovulatron $150 (better known as the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor) giving me the sign that it was time to make my IUI appointment. When he woke up, I’d set the time for the procedure the following day. He was thrilled that the timing was good, and we would still be able to pick up the dog over the weekend. As soon as I heard him say that, I sat in tears. I told him I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a baby. He held me while I cried, said we could still back out, said of course we could wait. And I cried harder, and asked him why he should have to wait for something so easy, after waiting so long for something that was proving to be so hard.

The drive to get the little guy was pretty long- 7 hours. He was so tiny, and was able to sleep between my feet on the floor of the car the whole way home (though sometimes I held him in my arms, let’s be honest). J drove the whole way. I think he wanted me to bond with Ernie. And boy, did I.

We’d read whatever we could get our hands on about training, watched dozens of Cesar Milan videos, amongst other trainers, and did everything we could to prepare, but we really had no clue what to expect. He was just a tiny, scared little puppy who’d only been in a house once, and had gone up his first stairs just that morning. His crate was huge, and the space we had gated off for him in it was only about six or seven inches. He looked so wee and forlorn in there when we put him down for the night that I didn’t want to leave him alone. It seemed cruel.  He was just a baby. And then I realized that he was our baby. Maybe the only baby we would be getting for a really, really long time.

A few days later, my period started, but I was so preoccupied with the dog, there were minimal tears. Then it stopped. And I took about ten tests, and wouldn’t you know it, I was pregnant. Wouldn’t you just know it. Our sleepless nights and early mornings were already starting, and all I could think was maybe, somehow, the damned dog had brought us some luck.

He’s such a good dog, by the way. My dog is just the greatest. Aren’t dogs swell? A few months ago you couldn’t have convinced me I’d feel this way, but I now sure think so.

I wouldn’t trade my little Tostito-burrito-Frito-cornchip Ernie puppeh for all the world.

Go figure. I’m pretty thankful for my little family.

In case you were wondering…

•November 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, the old posts are all gone. I had a fit of cleaning/ fresh starts/ new beginnings. Don’t ask me why, but I just hit delete a whole lot. And wouldn’t you know it, it kind of felt good.

Fresh starts are nice. Not always possible, but in this case, it felt really nice.

Oh, baby.

•November 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow I’ll be 22 weeks pregnant.Whoa, Nellie. WHOA.

I’d pretty much given up getting, much less staying pregnant.We tried for nearly three years, with only one official, very early miscarriage to show for it. We didn’t go the drug route, but we did do IUI and so many different tests, plus acupuncture and herbs.

Every day is surreal. I’m so freaking happy, but I find myself dragging my heels when it comes to buying ANYTHING, registering- even cleaning out the room that will be the baby’s room. We aren’t finding out the gender, and probably are waiting until right before the baby comes to do anything with the room other than having the room cleaned out, painted and ready to decorate.

Work is being great about me taking time off after Baby J is born, but as a department head I am slightly nervous about leaving. I’m not the most organized person, and I need to light a fire under my own ass to be sure everything is covered and worry-free. At least I have great people working for me.

The weirdest thing for me is the fact that I don’t want to say much about the pregnancy to people. I was so sad for so long that it wasn’t happening for me that I don’t want anyone else feeling the same way. It’s an odd feeling, and of course, at times I just want to celebrate this. I do post pics to FB of the bump for my family and friends, scattered willy-nilly across the world, but I always have the thought that someone might be feeling the same pangs that I did upon seeing those shots, and it makes me feel sad.

I’m a little concerned that I haven’t felt the nesting bug, had any real cravings, or felt much other than tired and a little nauseous sometimes. Like I said before, it’s surreal.  My belly is round, the kicks are getting stronger and I still wake up surprised daily that it’s happening. I wonder how common these feelings are? My husband even bought me a fetal doppler unit so I could listen for the heartbeat after a recent doctor’s appointment, after she found the heartbeat and I blurted out, “Oh, thank God.”

Wow, such a serious post. Truly, I’m thrilled, it’s a blast, it has been fun and pretty easy and very interesting. We’re not sure what I’ll be able to swing for maternity leave, as my company doesn’t pay for that, but we’ll find a way to make it work, even with me as the primary breadwinner. I think the biggest, strangest thing is that we will be forced to grow up (at 37 and 41). I’m into it, I just wonder what it will mean.