Another Countdown Begins

It looks like this baby has no interest in appearing without being forcibly evicted! I was barely 2cm dilated at my appointment on Thursday. The nurse practitioner checked me and stretched my cervix a bit. I had a bloody show Friday and Saturday, with some cramping and contractions. On Sunday, we walked around the neighborhood and then we went out to some stores just to mill around a bit. We stopped for dinner and I had consistent contractions for about 2 hours before they eventually tapered off. Disappointment isn’t a big enough word!

I had some severe cramping last night and this morning, but it was all due to gas. I’m feeling some pressure and I’m pretty sure I’ve dilated more, but I haven’t had any consistent or worsening contractions. It’s really frustrating. My doctor scheduled me to be induced Tuesday at 5pm at my appointment last week. I agreed to it, forgetting that my birthday is Wednesday, sigh. I’m hoping I’m dilated enough that everything progresses swiftly and she’s born before my birthday and not during.

I was going to reschedule, but I’m so fed up and done at this point that I really don’t want to deal with more waiting. It’s really annoying. I’m trying not to be frustrated or upset, but it’s hard. I didn’t want to be induced, I wanted to try and go as natural as possible. I could push and say I want to wait another week, but that’s another week off work without a baby. That pushes my return date to work back even more and I don’t want that, nor can we really afford it.

Of course, it’s silly to ever assume these things are going to go as you’d wish. They never do. I am just hoping and praying it doesn’t end in a C-section. I do not want surgery, period. Our families are driving us crazy asking us where the baby is. My mother-in-law keeps insisting that I run to the hospital every time I feel so much as a cramp. I know they’re just excited, concerned, and/or worried, but it’s really nerve-wracking when I’m already going through my own emotional tailspin.

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed by already. This time last year, we were boxing up our apartment and preparing to move. I was getting excited about celebrating my birthday. So much has changed in just a short time. Trying to imagine how much will have changed by this time next year is just mind-blowing.

The next time I post here, I’ll be a mother and forever changed. Nothing will ever be the same again. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s frightening all the same. Change is terrifying, especially when you’re not sure what to expect. I just want everything to go okay. Whatever happens, I want to be safe and I want the baby to be healthy. It feels so weird to think about her actually being here. The whole pregnancy thing has been so surreal. I just can’t imagine holding a baby and it being mine.

Tomorrow evening, hopefully, everything changes forever.

Key West 2014

Key West 2014

We went to Key West June 29th through July 6th. It was our last “hurrah” before the baby comes and the last time we’ll be in Key West as just a family of two! Thinking about that was really, really weird. It’s such a hard concept to grasp, just how much is going to change by next year at this time. It makes my head hurt just trying to think about it.


Needless to say, we were amped up and ready to have an awesome time. I was a bit bummed I couldn’t enjoy the local flavors (read: wine–lots and lots of wine), but I had fun eating my way through the place nonetheless. My appetite was beginning to come back and even better, I was branching out and trying things I never thought I’d be able to eat. Suddenly, I’m eating tacos, burgers, and all sorts of things that I’ve turned my nose up before. Clearly, this child favors the husband!


We celebrated our anniversary at our favorite place, as we have done for the past years since getting married in Key West–Pepe’s. It’s an authentic Cuban restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating that also has a Cuban band that plays in the evenings. The in-laws came along with us and were a bit of a buzzkill, but it was a good memory nonetheless. We may have been on an airplane home on our true anniversary date, but in spirit, we were at Pepe’s!


This time, we stayed at the downtown Hyatt location and it was amazing. We were within walking distance to Duval and all the cool stuff we love doing. It was so nice just being able to walk a block to one of our other favorite Key West locations–Mattheessen’s! It’s a locally owned and run ice cream shop that we spent around $80 alone at this trip. ;) In fact, we spent a LOT of money this trip with the excuse that it’s our last chance at really doing so for awhile. So glad we’re financially sound enough to do these things.


The entire trip was a blast. We had so much fun and we felt amazing the entire time. My belly was really starting to show, so I felt a little awkward at times, but I eventually got over it. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do this! We originally were not going to Key West this year after I found out that I was pregnant. The plan had been to go down in October, during Fantasy Fest, but after the rug was yanked out from beneath us with the sudden pregnancy, that was no longer an option. Not only would it be weird to be pregnant during such a time in Key West, it’s way too close to my due date.

Convinced we needed the trip anyway, the in-laws bought us plane tickets to go with them in July. It was really kind of them. We ended up on different flights and going different ways, but it was all worth it. The husband and I are very good at navigating situations together and the airports were not a problem… except Detroit. We had around eight minutes to get across the airport and onto our next plane. Running while pregnant is a task, let me tell you! Especially when you’ve got your carry-on. Yikes.


Our last day was spent on the Floridays, for a sunset sail. The sunset ended up being cloudy and I bruised my tailbone sitting on the ship, but it was all worth it. It was a great end to a fantastic vacation, even if I couldn’t have any wine! Afterwards, we had a late dinner at Margaritaville, enjoyed some live entertainment, and then went back to the condo. We had to be up at 1am to head towards the Miami airport, though. That Sunday was a long day.


We came home with a lot of awesome memories and some equally awesome stuff. The husband insisted a get a ring from Mel Fisher’s, even though I’d only gone in to grab a chain for the butterfly pendant he’d bought me in Arizona. I have several necklaces and charms from them. We buy one every year we go! This time, I walked away with a very cool and unique looking tax stamp ring. I’m glad the husband pushed me to buy it, as I would have regretted leaving it once we got home. I wear it daily, even though I have issues getting used to rings on my hands! I find I like accessorizing more now that I’m pregnant.

It’s still so hard to fathom that our next actual trip will be as a family of three. We’ll be packing into the car and driving six hours to Pennsylvania to celebrate baby’s first Christmas with my family. It’s their Christmas this year! Should be interesting.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

We did Christmas in Pennsylvania. It was nice and it snowed! Luckily, we still made it home okay. It snowed A LOT, though. More than I’ve seen in years. I’m just glad it tapered off and was manageable by the time we left!

My grandma wanted to get a picture with us while it was snowing. This is what we ended up with. True to life, I think:


We went a little crazy with presents this year. Everyone made out like bandits, especially gram and pap. We got gram a Keurig (and some sweet threads from Macy’s) and my pap a new laptop. He needed one, we found a good Black Friday deal, and this way my grandma can inherit his old one and toss the ancient laptop she’s been using!

I can’t lie, times like this make me miss my family being whole. I still got to see my dad and my other grandma, but it’s always just so weird. Being in these places with so many old memories, it just feels wrong to deviate from what I’ve grown up knowing and loving. I miss my dad helping my grandma cook. I miss everyone talking around the dinner table. So much has changed. We did most of the cooking this year!


I didn’t want to go to my Aunt’s (which caused some drama, but whatever.) I want a classic (or as close as I can get sans dad) Christmas dinner, so I did a smaller turkey at my grandparent’s house. We all ate together–my grandparents, my mum and her boyfriend, even my middle cousin and his baby came over (which caused the issue, I think.) Either way, it was nice. It wasn’t the same, but it was nice to sit around a table. My aunt does more of a buffet style thing and that’s just… it’s not what I’m accustomed to for Christmas. Not with my family.

IMG_4940It was a good holiday. A good Christmas.


Taking Back Control

The thing with work didn’t get any better, it actually got worse.  I tried to do my job to the best of my ability, to get along with those I was working around, and to do everything within my power to meet their needs.  What did it get me?  Sent to the lab director’s office because someone took something I said wrong.  They ran to the lab director and told her all kinds of lies and just generally tried to stir up even more trouble.  I handled it to the best of my ability and now, a few days later, I’ve come to a decision.

I’m taking back control.  I’m tired of letting people who mean nothing to me control the way that I feel or the way that I perceive my life.  I’m tired of dragging a job I only work two days a week home with me on my days off.  I’m tired of allowing it to make me miserable.  Is it harassment?  Yes.  Is it a hostile work environment?  Yes.  Can I do a damned thing about it?  No, I can’t.  I only have two more months there and then I’m done, forever.  You couldn’t get me back into that place if it were the last job on Earth.  So, I’m done letting it rule my life.  I’ve had worse things happen to me, for much longer spans of time, and involving people I actually cared about.

Let the miserable people be miserable, that’s their choice.  They may want to drag me down, but they can’t, not completely.  They can make work hell, but they can’t make my entire life the same.  I have my problems, I have plenty of issues, but I have things to be grateful for, too.  I have things other people only dream of having.  I’ve let misery run my life for so long that I can’t really discern when it started.  I can’t completely rid of that, but I can put my foot down here.  Work does not run my life, it’s not even that important to me, it never was.  If I have a job, I go in and I do my job and that’s that.  It isn’t the catalyst for my life or my happiness, it’s a pay check.  So why am I giving it so much control?

I’m angry, I’m frustrated, and I’m hurt that people would be so callous and cruel.  I can’t deny those feelings, but I can’t let them rule me, either.  I’m going to do my best to make this work.  I’m going to condition myself, I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  Anytime work threatens to impede on my life, I will stop and I will think.  If I can’t do that immediately, then I will rage, and then I will think.  I will think of what I’ve written here, what I’ve committed myself to.  There are other things to obsess and worry over that I actually care about.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my husband finds a job.  Not for me, but for him.  He needs it and he deserves it.  It was his own choice to look and I’m being supportive and trying to push him to try for things he wouldn’t otherwise attempt.  He’s lost himself in this job, he’s fallen out of touch.  He loves work, he craves the fulfillment of a job well done.  He needs to be in a place that appreciates and challenges him.  I hope he can find that or at least find the path towards that.

As for me, I just need to remind myself of what really matters to me.  My husband and my family top that list.  I brought a bunch of pictures back with me and I’m just now looking over them again.  Work doesn’t even compare to the emotions that these pictures stir in me.  There’s so much happiness, but so much regret, too.  I kept falling into that trap; I let unimportant things get in the way; I let myself wander blindly through life, never really thinking about losing the things I took for granted.  I hate that I walked through the first part of my life with my eyes shut, turned inward towards vain and stupid things while ignoring the people that really mattered to me.

All I have are the memories now; the ones I can recall amidst the fog.  It’s hard to know that I can never go back to those times, that the things I coveted–without truly realizing it–are gone.

The simple times with family together are gone.  They were never completely simple, never without their chaos and strife, but always family–always family.  There was no faking that.  Real families fight, they sometimes fall apart, but they are always, always there when you need them.

I would be nothing were it not for my family.

When you know someone your entire life, it’s hard to realize how much of your life they touched until you’re removed.  We were always together and the times I thought that I was alone, I wasn’t, not really.  She was there, but I didn’t see her because we grew up like that–together.  We fell apart, but I will always, always feel the need to protect her.

You were my friend when I thought I had no one.  I’m sorry I never saw that.

I’ve gone camping since I was tiny.  I was my grandparents trusty camping companion.  When they left for Florida with friends without me, I got so sick I missed school and didn’t eat.  They had to come home early.  I slept with their picture next to me every night.  Being separated from them was like death to me then and I was only eight.  I don’t think anyone can possibly mean as much to me as my grandparents do.  For all their faults, they are the ones I run to when I’m in trouble, when I need someone.  When something happens to me, the first person I want to tell (after my husband) is my grandma.

I love you both more than words.  I miss camping, I miss our time together so much.  I hate that I took it for granted, I hate that I made you both feel like I didn’t want to be there.  I did.

I miss you both so much, that it tears my heart apart.

But if you knew that, you would be even sadder than you already are.

I would be lost without you.  I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without your guidance.

I’m done letting work have more power over me than it should.  I’ll still count down the days until I’m out of there, but I will try my best not to dread going there.  I won’t let thinking about it take away the days I have without it.

I can’t when I’ve lost so many already.

When Things Break, It All Crumbles

The holidays are upon us again.  I usually love this time of year, but lately, I’ve grown apathetic about it.  I miss the days when my family would gather together in my grandma’s small kitchen and talk for hours over the smell of a delicious, five course meal.  I miss staying up late to bake cookies with my grandma and my female relatives.  I miss all the excitement and merry-making.  My grandma loved the holidays and she passed her love of it down to me.  I love being surrounded by family, no matter how chaotic and dysfunctional, and just basking in that warm glow.  Hell, I even miss watching cheesy Christmas movies with my dad.  We’d catch the marathons on his days off.  We watched an entire ‘series’ of movies in one sitting, I think it was four and they all took place after the next.  Even if there was one we’d seen before, we would still watch it.

As excited as I am for Christmas, there’s a hole there.  Old traditions are gone and even worse, so is my dad.  The picture above is from Thanksgiving in 2008, the first Thanksgiving I was gone from home and also the first Thanksgiving I spent with my in-laws (it was a disaster!)  While it’s not the entirety of my immediate family, it’s the most familiar portion.  My dad is in the back, with his arms around my grandparents.

It hurts to look at this… because this is the last picture my dad and my family will ever share together.  I’m sure that’s not strange to most people–parents divorce or split up all the time.  This is different, though.  There were never two sides of the family for me, there was only one… my maternal side.  On my dad’s side, all I ever had was my grandma and she’s always been included with my maternal family, same as my dad.  My maternal grandparents acted like my dad’s own parents.  This is twenty-seven years of connection.  So, it’s hard to see this and know that it’s gone, forever.  That suddenly, I have to see things as split down the middle, as separate entities.

This Christmas will be the first time I experience this split.  Last year, I went home for Thanksgiving and had to see old traditions ripped apart.  Suddenly, my aunt hosts Thanksgiving and that was a mess!  I had a small dinner with my dad and my paternal grandma, too.  That was so weird.  But Christmas will be worse, because my dad lives with his girlfriend and she has kids and it’s just strange.  I’ll go from my family to him.  It’s hard to see that separation.  It’s hard to really grasp that he’s no longer a part of the family he’s always been a part of for the entirety of my life.  It’s weird to say, “I’m going to home to see my family” and then have to add, “and my dad, too.”

Any part of my being separated from my dad is just unnatural.  Even as a married woman, I am still very much my daddy’s little girl and my husband knows that if my dad ever needs me, I’m there.  I left my job and my husband (then fiance) for several months back in ’08 when my dad hurt his arm and couldn’t work.  I ran home to take care of him, to see over his doctor’s visits, to be with him.  So, for him to be separated from the family I’ve always known and loved… it’s hard.  I don’t think it’ll ever not be difficult, but I think that I’m learning to come to terms with it… slowly.

I think the thing that makes it worse is, by contrast, my in-laws are the polar opposite.  They all do their own little thing–there is no big gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas; there’s no yearly tradition.  I hate that.  I want there to be traditions, I want to be surrounded by family, even if it’s not necessarily my blood family.  This Thanksgiving… I don’t even know what’s going on.  I’m apathetic.  I want what I had years ago and I hate that I ever took it for granted.

I have to work Black Friday, so it’s not like I’ll get a real Thanksgiving, anyway.  I had plans to try and bring my husband’s family together (at least, his maternal grandparents and the rest of us), but it didn’t work out.  So, I give up.  Whatever happens, happens.  I have to be up at 3-4am, so I don’t foresee any big day-long thing happening.  Bah-humbug and all that jazz.  I’ll just be holding my breath for 2:45pm on Friday, when I get to leave the chaos of Black Friday and hide in the safety of my apartment.