Monday, January 30, 2012

Making friends is hard to do

As I get older, I realize that it gets harder and harder to make good friends.  I have loads of acquaintances, and I have a handful of amazing friends that started a decade or more ago, but the really good friends I have discovered in the last few years are few and far between.  This has been a challenge for me because most of my really amazing friends don't live nearby (although I have been blessed in having one of my dearest friends move only twenty minutes or so away in the last few years).  I want, and need, more of a circle of friends where I live and have been working on helping to make that happen in the past few years.

In the last six months or so I've met someone new through stuff that I do with Bean who I really enjoy chatting with, and today she and her daughter came to our house.  It was so nice!  We clearly have things in common and had lots of things to talk about.  Our little ones hit it off and didn't want the play time to end.  I had such a nice time and all of the hard work that I did to make our house look like it isn't a cluttered mess most of the time really felt like it was worth it.

As soon as they left, I fed Bean lunch and then she went down for her nap.  So my first inclination was to write this person an email and tell them what a good time we had, how nice it is to find people you have things in common with, that we should do it again soon, etc.  Then all of the sudden I felt like I had just been on a first date.  If I say all that too soon am I going to look desperate?  Like I haven't a friend in the world and want so badly to have this one?  Why is it that all of the sudden, when I've actually found someone that I like, I feel nervous about saying so?

I have no idea really, but I stopped myself from writing the email, even though if it was the other way around I would be thrilled to get an email like that after such a morning.  So now I'm stuck.  Is there a window for friendly encounters like there is for dating?  When do I get past the point of looking desperate?  Do I really care if I look desperate?  Which of course I do because I like this person and I want to be friends with them.  But if I want to be friends with them, real friends and not acquaintance friends, would I still want to be if they were put off by such an email?  Seriously, why does this seem so hard???  I can't tell if I'm making it hard or if it's just gotten harder and I'm not prepared.

Anyway, my crazy self is off to write that stinking email, because you know what, that's what my instinct told me to do and if being a mama has taught me anything, it's to trust my instincts.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 23, 2012

So much to say!

Wow!  So much has happened and I have so much to tell you.  I feel like I could write for a week and still not get it all out the way I want.  My time is limited as Bean is napping, so I'll try to give you the condensed version.  Oh how I wish the posts that I write in my head in the shower, while walking Pup Pup, or while rocking Bean would magically end up in my computer!

First off, I've been MIA because Bean has been sick.  The sickest she's ever been and it's been a little scary.  I have a new appreciation for parents with chronically sick kids after having Bean be sick for the last month at least.  I cannot imagine how they do it and I am amazed by their continued strength.  I have to admit, that I had a rough time at points in the last month.  Part of the problem was that Hubby was sick too.  So I was struggling through a lot of this on my own in certain ways.  He was here and helping to the extent that he could, but he wasn't himself.  Luckily he was better by the time the worst of it hit last weekend.

Bean had been sick for awhile, seemed to get better, and then a week and a half ago got much worse.  We went to the doctor, but of course the worst hit over the weekend.  I slept in her room, talked to the 24 hour nurse, and generally was just trying to make it to Monday morning.  Bean was coughing a lot, to the point of throwing up at least daily.  She was waking up about a dozen times at night, wasn't eating much, had a fever, and was very fussy.  She just didn't feel good and it was pretty obvious that she didn't just have a cold like the doctor had advised us the week before.  Monday morning we got to see our regular doctor who diagnosed her with RSV which lead to the children's version of bronchitis.  Since RSV is viral, antibiotics weren't going to do any good, so for the last week we've been doing nebulizer medications 3 times a day to try and help Bean breath and recover and it has made a huge difference.  We also were at home all week, not only to try to get her better, but also to try and keep from spreading this to anyone else.

There were moments of cabin fever that set in, but the worry and desperate feeling moments from the weekend were gone and by the end of the week, Bean was dancing again.  Once I see her start dancing, I know she's feeling back to herself.  And she started sleeping mostly through the night.  It's been so wonderful to see her feeling better and we're going to do everything in our power to keep her that way!  I'm so thankful for our doctor, for modern medicine, and for our health insurance.  I couldn't believe how much all of these medications cost after insurance paid for them, so I can't imagine how people do it who aren't insured.

There was a brief window in the middle of the month when Bean was sick, where she was feeling better and I was able to go on that trip with my friends.  I cannot tell you how happy I was that I went on that trip.  There was a part of me that I feel like has been sleeping for years, that somehow was awakened again.  First of all, I realized that Bean will be okay if I'm not around, and I'll be okay without here.  It wasn't easy for me, although it seemed easier for her.  Hubby kept her busy and having fun, and while she missed me, she did AMAZINGLY well.  I was so proud of her, and him, for rolling with the punches so well.

I also was surprised how relaxed I was once I got there.  I missed Bean, and I was really happy to get home to her and Hubby by Sunday, but once I realized that I had made it to my destination, everyone at home was doing well, I just went with it and had a good time.  I was able to have loads of adult conversation, and I used my brain in ways that I haven't in a long time.  Don't get me wrong, as a stay at home mama, I stretch my brain everyday in ways that I haven't ever before, but there are parts of my brain that I used to use regularly that have been kind of sleeping.  We went to museums, talked about books, and generally did things I haven't allowed myself time to do in a long time.  When I was trying to have Bean, I was kind of depressed and wasn't interested in doing those things, and after Bean was born, I just focused all my time and attention on her.

Using those parts of my brain again, reminded me of parts of me that used to exist that haven't been around in awhile.  It reminded me how important it is to cultivate all of me, and not just the mama part of me.  This reawakening of sorts has had a tremendous effect.  I've started reading for pleasure or growth again, I've started exercising almost every day, I got my hair cut for the first time since Bean was 3 months old (yes, ridiculous I know, but I just didn't make time to do it).  I'm more confident, self assured, and aware of all the bits and pieces of myself, and not just the mama in me.  I'm still mostly a mama, it's impossible for me to really take too much time to step away from that.  But I've been able, even in the face of exhaustion and an overwhelming need from Bean during her illness to be attached to me at all times, keep these other bits of myself going.  Somehow I feel whole again, even though I didn't really realize that I wasn't before.  I thought that about a year ago I had bounced back mostly from the infertility stuff and was back to "myself."  But I was wrong.  And I'm so happy to be where I am at this moment.

The whole situation with Bean has also lead to some changes on the infertility front.  My period started over the weekend and I was supposed to call my RE and start our first cycle to try for baby number two. But I just don't feel like the time is right, especially since I'm inhaling second hand steroids everyday.  What surprised me though is that it doesn't really bother me.  I learned with Bean, how important it is to be in the right frame of mind while trying to make a baby this way, and I'm not willing to push myself to the limit in all areas of life just to fit some invisible time line.  This will happen when it happens, and life will not end if we start trying to make a baby next month instead of this month.

Phew, I still have more to tell you, but I'm running out of time as I have a million things to do and an hour to get them done if I'm lucky.  I hope to be back in the swing of things with commenting and posting soon!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sick Days

I've been working on a post since this weekend about my trip (I went!!!) and the ways that it has changed my life (dramatic sounding, but true).  Instead of telling you all about that though, I'm going to tell you about how I got barfed on this morning.

I've worked with kids my whole life.  Babysitter, Camp Counselor, Daycare/Elementary School Teacher.  I've done it all.  I've dealt with all things that come with taking care of kids.  The good, the bad, and the gross.  All I'm going to say is poopy swim diaper and I think anyone who has every encountered one will completely understand what I'm saying.  I can deal with diapers, and poop, but the poopy swim diaper, a league of it's own.

One thing that I've always said I won't do in the realm of gross stuff though, is deal with throw up.  As a babysitter, this was the only thing off the table.  I would do it all, but not that.  I called parents as soon as the throwing up started, and was out the door as soon as they got home.  As a teacher I tried to get kids to the nurse so that I wouldn't have to encounter it, but the times it did happen in the classroom, I stayed as far away as possible until the custodial staff came in.  Mostly I was afraid that if I tried to take care of it myself, I would get sick too.  But also, I feel like there should be some things that you don't have to deal with.  I've been sneezed on, coughed on, peed on.  You name it.  But barf, I've mostly been able to avoid.  Until today.

Bean is sick again.  She's been sick since a week or two before Christmas.  It's frustrating, and heartbreaking.  I mean, we can deal with it because it's not life threatening sick.  I know there are people out there who have it much worse, and I feel for them, because my heart breaks seeing my Bean like this and I can't imagine what it must be like if it's worse.  I took Bean to the doctor right after Christmas when she was coughing so hard that she was spitting up a little bit.  They found an ear infection and the antibiotic seemed to take care of the cough/stuffy head too.  She stopped the antibiotic Sunday and now the cough is back again.  So yesterday when she couldn't get to sleep at nap time, I took her into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and sat rocking her.  I was hoping the warmth and steam would help relax her so she could sleep.  It didn't work fast enough though and she started coughing again.  Hard.  And then my poor Bean threw up, really threw up, for the first time in her life.  She was so upset, which just made it all worse.  More crying lead to more coughing which lead to more throwing up.  It took all my motherly abilities to get her calm and stop the cycle.  Especially since she doesn't like being dirty.

Lucky for her, she mostly missed herself when she threw up.  Instead she somehow managed to throw up down my shirt.  Yup.  Down. My. Shirt.  If you looked at me, you might not even realize that anything happened.  And it was gross, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't that gross.  Because during the time that I was sitting there, covered in Bean's breakfast, she was freaking out, and I wasn't me, the ordinary girl sitting in a room covered with throw up.  I was Bean's mama, trying to make sure she was okay.  Trying to get her to breath.  Wiping off her hands and face, taking off her clothes, wrapping her up in a clean towel.  All the sudden I understood why those parents rushed home when I was babysitting.  It wasn't because they felt bad for me the babysitter, dealing with grossness.  It was because their little one was sick and needed someone to calm them down, tell them everything would be okay and deal with whatever yuckiness that came along with that, and even though as a babysitter I would do the first two, it wasn't the same.

I'm continually amazed at the ways that Bean has changed me, the ways that I've grown, the things that I do and feel now.  I love every minute.  Even the hard, gross, covered in throw up ones.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the verge

I've never had a panic attack, I don't think, but I feel as if I'm on the verge of one.  Saturday I have plans to be away, overnight, from Bean.  It will be the longest and farthest I've ever been from her.  It's supposed to be a fun trip for me, but I'm really only doing it because I feel like it would be good for Bean.  In case I can't always be there.  So that she's prepared and doesn't feel anxious when I'm not around.  And for hubby, so he can see what it's like to be me a little bit.  I, on the other hand, feel like there is a giant weight sitting about 6 inches from my chest.  It hasn't touched down yet, but it's hanging there.  I feel like the air is slowing being sucked out of the room and in about 24 hours it's all going to be gone.  I feel like a crazy person because I'm terrified that something bad is going to happen.  Something to Bean or something to me.  I'm scared that she's going to need me and I won't be there.  I worry that she won't understand why I'm not there.  I want more then anything for her to have a good foundation in this world, and I feel like part of that is being okay when I'm not around, and so I'm willing to do what I have to so that can happen.  But in the process, I will not be okay.  I don't know how people do this everyday.  I have so much respect for those of you who do.  I keep repeating that saying to myself "I can do hard things."  It doesn't seem like this should be one of those hard things.  There are so many harder things in the world.  And yet, here I sit, trying to talk myself down from a full on sobbing meltdown about it.  I can do hard things.  I have done hard things.  One of those things was starting my family and now, it's spending a day away from it.  Somehow it feels wrong.  I worked so hard for this, even 24 hours away seems wrong.  It amazes me, that no matter how far I get from it, from how Bean was created, I still find ways that it has affected me, for better or for worse.  I don't know how to explain it to people without sounding crazy.  Even now, I feel like the more I type, the more crazy I sound.  But it's real and it's how I feel.  So right now I'm trying to convince myself not to back out at the last minute.  Because that sounds so easy and so nice right now.  But I'm hoping, that I can convince myself about that whole hard things idea.  I guess we'll see.