The Year 2014

The Year 2014

It was a crazy year! A lot happened. I thought the end of 2013 was intense with us finally leaving behind our apartment for a home of our own… but I had no idea what 2014 would bring us! Last year, at this time, I had just stopped taking my birth control. My last pill was the end of December 2o13. We discussed it and honestly, we didn’t expect much. At the very least, we thought that maybe… maybe the the end of he year; at the worst, we anticipated nothing. I don’t honestly know what I personally wanted. All I know is, that when I got that positive result in March and I was 8 weeks along already… I freaked out.

I spent the majority of the year pregnant and the tail end of it a mother. I embarked on a journey I could never have prepared myself for. My husband started a new job that’s left him a much more tolerable person to live with. There were a lot of good changes in 2014 and a lot of scary things, too.

And here we are, our first full year in our own home is in the books. We’ve made so many changes to it. Moving in seems like a lifetime ago. Hell, November seems like a lifetime ago! I don’t know if it’s because of Eva or what, but time seems so much more ethereal to me now… and I never had the greatest grasp of it to begin with (although in some ways, I grasp it too well…)

We rang in the new year with the in-laws. We actually stayed the night. It went surprisingly well, though Eva was in the midst of a growth spurt and is still in throes of another “mental leap”, so she didn’t sleep well. I got to play a game with everyone before she woke up and wanted fed. It wasn’t too bad and it was certainly nice being away from the house… or more specifically, the living room. Sigh.

Mother-in-law went with us (me and Eva) on New Year’s Day while husband and his father went hunting. Eva went to her first restaurant and she was really good. I got to mill around Target without my husband looking pained or judging me for throwing useless crap into the cart, haha. I also used a store changing table for the first time without incident. I’m slowly getting more confident about going out with Eva on my own. I wore her in the ring sling this time… I still need to work on my technique with that.

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She’s getting so big, so fast. I can’t believe it will soon be two months! I’m a little anxious about returning to work in March, but I could never handle staying home all day. I don’t know how people do it! Plus, I like the money too much and I can give her awesome vacations I never got to have. We still need to contact the day care and make sure they’ve got a spot for her come end of February.

Slowly, so slowly, things are regaining some normalcy. I had my six week check-up and I’ve been cleared for everything, including exercise. Ha! When am I supposed to do that? Going out places isn’t as anxiety-inducing now that I know wearing Eva keeps her pretty calm. She has her two week appointment soon… and her shots. That should be interesting.

The house is a total disaster. I really need to get to organizing and getting things sorted for when I return to work and really have zero time for such things! Eva’s getting to the point where she’s happy on her own for about an hour now so that’s great. Now if only she’d nap reliably so she wouldn’t be so cranky!

Pumping is still touch and go… I really need to find a way to “zen” out and really let it happen. I have the worst time “letting down” for the pump, sigh. I haven’t even started on a freezer stash. I’m cooling off on bottles for Eva, though. My supply dipped hard between having a cold, taking sudafed, and her lazy nursing. She started to prefer the bottle. So, I got a Medela Calma nipple that requires suction for flow and I’ve been working really hard on perfecting her latch/technique. I’ve almost got my supply back now, and she’s improving. It’s a process.

Simple Things

Simple Things

I’ve been messing around with my camera lately, trying to re-learn all of its idiosyncrasies. I think I’m going to have to get my books out again. For me, framing a good shot or capturing a moment are things that come inherently… but the technical side can be a bit off-putting. I don’t have to take thirty shots to get one good one when it comes to the actual shot itself, but as far as trying to tell the camera what to do… it can take much, much more.

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The only subject I have that isn’t inanimate is my cat, Loki. Unfortunately, he’s the opposite of a diva. He hears me get the camera out and immediately runs and hides or throws angry, grumpy faces at me. Sometimes I can convince him to let me take a few pictures, but when his patience is gone, you know it. It’s a shame; he’s such a beautiful cat.

I really love editing in photoshop and just sort of ‘experimenting’ with different types of coloring and focal points. The first shot is completely 100% camera, I am really in love with this 35mm lens I got for an anniversary present last year!

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These two were taken with drastic over-exposure with the sunlight illuminating from behind because I love the halo effect that creates when you’re editing RAW pictures. I have a hard time taking photos without the intent of editing them afterward. I really have to challenge myself to take pictures that look good and stand on their own without me wanting to tamper with them!

Anyway, I’m having fun with my camera again and I’ve realized that I’m woefully behind on printing out pictures and putting them into the albums. Yikes. I’ll have to do that at some point…

The scale read 153.4 this morning. That’s the lowest, without sickness, that I’ve been in years. I’m so excited. I want it to keep going down. It’s a slow, steady road… and sometimes, I want to pull out my hair and I feel just so freaking hungry, but I look at the results and keep trucking on. I will reach my goal weight. I will. Myfitnesspal has really helped me stay accountable for what I eat and to monitor my habits.

I never thought I’d be able to go without eating pasta, bread, and every manner of carbs in giant truckloads, but I’m doing a lot better. I still eat more than I should, but I’m mindful of it now. I’d kill for some freaking spaghetti right now, though. It’s nice that things are treats or delicious delicacies! I took the things I ate for granted and now I appreciate them more.

The husband went to the doctor for his yearly check-up and got put on some anti-anxiety medication. I’m crossing my fingers that this helps him sleep better and that we can finally start to move forward with looking at houses and such. He’s been a giant ball of stress for awhile now and the situation with his grandpa’s increasingly failing health/battle with Alzheimer’s isn’t helping at all.

If his mood improves, so will mine, and I’ll stop having the urge to buy all of the things. This is a problem. I, sometimes, have a problem. Emotional shopping is my guilty pleasure.

I also got myself measured again for bras and… found I’m wearing a band size that’s way too big. I’m a 32, it seems. A 32DDD! How is that even possible? They are not that big. They don’t even look that big. Try any other size doesn’t seem to work, though. Holy shit. I just keep thinking I’m going to need a wheelbarrow to carry my boobs around when I’m old, but in reality, a triple D in a 32 band is about the size of a D cup in a 36 band. Craziness. I can’t even begin to understand how this crpa works and I’m a woman!

Blowing Off the Dust

How many times have I abandoned you, poor blog? I don’t even want to count it out; it gives me a headache. I’m breathing life back into you, though! My WP and host had a disagreement, so I had to make a new blog. Fitting enough, I guess. New start, new blog, and a new coat of paint.

It shames me that I write this for myself. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m mentally ill so much as a product of my environment. I function pretty well in spite of everything and I don’t need anything to help me along except my blind, stubborn determination. And wine. Wine helps.

Things have changed. I have a full time job now at the same government office as my husband. We rarely see one another; our fields of practice are completely separate. We don’t eat lunch together everyday or anything of the sort. When you work with your spouse, it’s a good idea to have that degree of separation of things can get a bit… weird. We each have our own ‘work lives’ and we live them pretty separately, except for the times when we see one another in the halls and such.

I’m still working at my other job–are you kidding? I’d never give up that discount!–but at a decidedly lesser extent. I’m there maybe two or three times out of the month. Sometimes I wish I could just quit, other times I’m grateful for the nostalgia back to a time when I was still ‘young’ and didn’t have a 401k and all that ‘adult stuff’ to deal with!

Mum had a relapse. My grandma nearly died at the beginning of the year (also when I started my new job) and it sort of began the whole process. Once my grandma was back in ‘good’ health, my mother fell and hurt her ankle, leaving her stuck on the couch. She’d stop taking her medication several months prior, too, so her mental state was quickly deteriorating. I went up during Easter and I convinced her to try again. I knew she was drinking the entire time. She didn’t admit it until I confronted her. My grandparents stayed ignorant the entire time. They live right next door. I’m not going to bother commenting on how annoyed by all of this I am.

She’s doing well. Sober for a month now and back to work. At first, she called me six or seven times a day… I told her to. Now, she calls me only a few times a week. It was hard and incredibly stressful, but she’s on the right path. As long as she goes to her therapist, she’ll continue to progress.

I got the flu at the beginning of March (first time I’ve had it in YEARS) and it kicked my ass. It turned into bronchitis and a very, very severe sinus infection. I still have not recovered my sense of smell entirely and I’m beginning to think I might not. I’m ambivalent about this. It’s kind of nice not being able to smell icky things like poop, wet dogs, and garbage! On a good note, I lost around 10lbs and it really kicked me into gear as far as getting healthier is concerned. The husband and I work out pretty much every day after work for around 20-30 minutes. We’re also watching what we eat. I drink mostly water or lemonade, though I do indulge in a soda now and again!

All the Little Pieces

It seems like anytime that I try and set some sort of goal for myself, life has to try and scramble everything all up.  I spoke with my grandma last week (I actually need to call her today, too) and she sort of confirmed the suspicions I had about my mother’s drinking.  She’d been clean since her “rehab stint”, which wasn’t really rehab at all, but just a week in a facility.  Her insurance refused to cover any more time there.  So, she came home and she was doing great… but she lives with a guy who drinks pretty routinely.  Alcoholics cannot be around people who drink.

Anyway, fast forward to Memorial Day and I hadn’t heard from my mother.  When she’s sober, she calls me a lot or sends text messages.  When she stops, I know something is up.  I let it go for a little bit before finally asking my grandma about it.  She said that my mother hadn’t been by in nearly a week and she was worried, too.  I love my grandparents, but I don’t understand how they can live next freaking door and be so utterly disconnected from what’s happening.  I think that they just don’t want to deal with it… and they’ve only known about her drinking for a few years.  They should try living with her and knowing about it for almost a decade now.  I’m tired of it, too, but she’s my mother and try as I might, I can’t let it go.  I can’t let her just die.  If I had the money, I’d come up and get her and put her into a rehabilitation facility.  She actually wanted to be there, she didn’t want to leave…

I’m upsetting myself now.  I can’t talk to anyone about this, even my husband doesn’t get it.  He just thinks she’s another useless alcoholic who doesn’t want help.  She does, she finally does and no one is doing anything.  She can’t do it by herself, she’s dug herself into such a deep, empty hole that when she’s sober, it hits her so hard all she wants to do is drink.  I’ll never make excuses for her weakness, but I also can’t turn my back, either.  No matter how many times she’s disappointed me, she’s still my mother and I can’t just sit back and let her die like everyone else seems happy to do.

Apparently, my aunt heard rumors that she was at a bar and told my grandma.  Of course she was, her useless boyfriend probably took her to one and said, “it’s okay, you can just drink soda.”  Ugh.  I can’t even get into it, it makes me so angry.

I haven’t talked to either of my parents for nearly a month now and while it makes me sad… it’s probably for the best.  Talking to them just puts weight on me.  They’re adults, but I still feel like I should be doing something to help them stop making stupid decisions.  I can’t let go.  I love my parents… but sometimes, I wish I didn’t.  Sometimes, I wish I could just say “screw them” and be done with it…

I’m so angry about my mother’s drinking, too.  I was excited to come home and see her sober.  She kept talking about us doing stuff together.  Our relationship will never be perfect, but there’s always going to be a part of that little girl who missed out on having a mother for the better part of her life craving to do things with her.  Now, there’s no chance of that.  It will be the same damn thing it always is.  I almost don’t want to go home, but I know that I do… I know that every part of me aches to be there.  I miss my home so much, I miss my state so much… I hate this place.

At least I knew it was coming.  I told my husband when she was leaving rehab that this wouldn’t work, it wasn’t enough.  I just wanted it to happy so badly.  She has cirrhosis of the liver.  She’s going to die if she doesn’t stop drinking.  You’d think that would be enough to stop someone, but it isn’t.  Her life is… well, it’s nothing.  She’s in debt, she has no money, no job, she’s living with a guy who sucks and has taken over her home, she’s pushed away the only people that loved her, and she’s completely isolated herself.  She has nothing to live for in her mind and when she sobers up, she’s faced with it… and so, the drinking commences again.  It’d be different if she wasn’t a mental drinker, but she is.  It’s how she numbs all the stuff she can’t face and also hides the symptoms of her own mental disorder.

Despite all this, I’ve managed to keep some semblance of balance.  I’m still losing weight… I’m down from 165 to around 151… almost back into the 140 range.  It’s been a slow, tedious process, but I can see the differences.  The husband has lost a lot of weight, too, and we’re getting his blood pressure on track, so that’s good.  We’ve been walking, playing racquetball, and I’ve been exercising on my own.

Now we just need to get the money situation under control, sigh.

I’d better go call my grandma before I get too depressed and just want to be left alone.

“So, Tell Us A Little About Yourself…”

Just got home from my interview and had some lunch.  The interview seemed to go really well, but I’ve been trained to interview.  It’s one of the huge perks of going to a technical college, they prepare you for things like this.  The instructor who did the majority of my lessons involving interviews was a real hard ass, so I’m like an interview soldier.  Yeah, I’m pretty bad ass.

The decision is being made sometime this week–hopefully–so it’s not like I’ll have to wait long to find out.  I think I definitely hit all the points my husband’s boss wanted me to and I’m pretty sure I’ve got him in my corner 100% now.  It’s just a matter of waiting and seeing how the other girl did.  To be honest, I’m a bit gobsmacked by this all… I wasn’t expecting it so soon.  My head still needs to wrap completely around it.

I have an ass load of cleaning to do.  I have no idea how the apartment was destroyed in a matter of days, but it looks like a huge bomb went off and there were no survivors!  It’s quite a disaster.  I still need to exercise, too.  I’m trying to focus on running and stepping.  I’m only running about twenty minutes right now, but I’m hoping as time goes on, I can run for longer as my endurance builds.  I can definitely feel the difference in my legs–they’re a lot tighter.  The stepping is quite helpful, too, but I can only do it for ten minutes after running.

I really need to get off my ass and get with the cleaning, but I just feel tired.  I’ve been napping quite a lot lately and I have no idea why.  I’m having a bit of spotting (to the point where I’ve just started “period pills” now instead of later) but it’s not “new” blood, so it shouldn’t have any affect on my anemia.  It’s really bizarre.  I am good for about five hours and then it’s nap time.  I went to bed early-ish all weekend, too, every single time before the husband.  I just can’t seem to find any energy.  I know that if I get this job, my schedule is seriously going to change.  There’s no way I can work all week on the schedule I’m pulling now… no way at all.

All right, time to crank on pandora and get some cleaning done.  This place is a disaster.  Maybe I’ll phone the family and give them the bits about the interview.