Thursday, September 25, 2008


Why can't you buy fudge? Or I guess, where can you buy fudge if there's no candy store by you and you aren't at the beach? Seriously. Fudge. It's simple. Or it should be simple. Or is it so easy to make (using the fantasy fudge recipe with marshmallow fluff - YUM) no one sells it? Or does it go stale quickly so that's why it's not stocked with candy?

All I want right now is fudge. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(relative) quiet

OK. I am alone in my house for the first time in 10 days.

Well, alone except for the workman who is amazingly cheaply fixing our totally rotten through roof overhang. I haven't even blogged about that, just mentioned it a few times - our second floor has a tiny porch that is over part of our kitchen. After putting up with leaks for too long, and seeing mildew spots grow on the kitchen ceiling, husband went through the kitchen ceiling all the way up to the roof and we realized we have a completely rotted through problem. It's been covered up with plastic (outside and inside) since sometime in July (with holes to let the water from the recent storms drip through. We are nothing if not classy!). Anyway, our neighbors had their roof repaired, husband talked to guys who did it, they had no other work, so for less than half of what we thought it would cost they are doing it today and tomorrow.

My dad is a man of few words, and when he arrived he immediately walked into the kitchen, looked up to the ceiling, pursed his mouth and said, well. Gotta fix that soon - you don't want icicles in your kitchen. Here's the ugly side "benefit" of the economy - everyone is sitting tight, not doing any work on their houses, so the small guys are hurting and willing to do small projects for less money. We have a million small projects in this house, and if I was working, we'd be getting them done right now. But for now, we're preventing icicles only.

If I was working. This was going to be a post about my parents and the in-laws, but instead let's just catch up, let me catch my breath, and later I'll blog about the bigger stuff. So, Jobs. I did the interview for the big job over an hour away. And the next day they called and told me I did not get it. Which was fine, because it saved me the trouble of turning it down. There was just no way, at this stage of my life. Two years in the future, maybe. Now, no.

This is the FIRST job that has had the courtesy of letting me know. Well, that possibility that was never really a possibility with my husband's company did let me know, but that was never a real option. I've applied for a ton of positions. Not randomly, only positions for which I genuinely thought I could do the job. I found them through Craig's List, through referrals, through networking, through organization's own websites. I have only gotten interviews from the referrals or networking. Not a single bite from just applying, so I've stopped just applying and focused on my network. It's been frustrating, to say the least.

So last week we were at a party with my friend whose husband works at the science center, where I interviewed for a government-funded position in August. I thought since it was government, it was just going to be slow, and I didn't entirely want the job anyway. Friend's husband tells my husband they've filled the position, hadn't I heard? No. No, I have not heard. Jerks. I know the hiring manager, too, we kind of worked together 12 years ago. Gee, thanks for the courtesy call/e-mail. Garr.

So. I have the interview in Boston, for the part-time gig, on Monday. We fly out Sunday for a mini-break. I really want this job, so fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I've started putting out feelers for short-term consulting gigs, and have two possibles. Next week I'll go into full press on that if the Boston interview is not good. I need to call them and tell the person I know there about the pregnancy, just so they're not surprised. I definitely can't hide it.

We did some financial accounting and figured out if we're careful, and have no more unexpected things like roofs, we have enough socked away to last til March, without dipping into our last resort emergency fund, and still contributing to 401ks, college accounts, keeping cable, keeping the nanny. We're lucky. I've been too busy to really follow what is happening in our economy, and I have to admit I don't understand what's really going on right now. I do know we're in ok shape. It's the people at the bottom who will hurt. If we have to let the nanny go, we'll be ok. Our nanny might not be. If we put off work on the house for a few years, we'll be ok. The workmen in this neighborhood might not be. Even if I don't find a position, I can find contracts with no benefits, because my husband has benefits. We have wiggle room.

So, slightly off topic, but concerning money. Today I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to do a paid review for some product. I like getting things in the mail, especially for free. Who doesn't, right? I never thought I'd have enough traffic to score any freebies and never really thought about it before. And I could give stuff away if I received it. This one seems to be pearl jewelry, with a free bracelet. I haven't set up advertising, though I think about it every once in a while especially after Antigone did. I don't really want a ton of traffic on this site, though I like watching my numbers. I could do more to increase it. This is really just my outlet during a crazy time. So, what about you? Where do you draw the line at commercialization? Have you accepted anything from someone who wanted a review? I know they're not all scams, though some are. Do you have criteria for doing so (like if a friend sold crafts on Etsy, definitely, but nothing solicited from a commercial company. Or maybe a book review, but nothing else? Or only if you then gave said product away?)? Jeez, I still have to send something homemade to people after receiving something from Niobe in DECEMBER. I can't think of what to make that would make sense from Which Box (any ideas? what would you like from me if I was offering? WHEN I offer!). Is your blog for you, or has it changed to something else? And is that ok in blogs you read, or is it a turnoff? In the commercialization of our lives, where do you draw your line?

Monday, September 22, 2008


I know. I know that I am (we are) crazy. I'll get back to that tomorrow or Wednesday.

Because today is my daughter's third birthday. I am exhausted from a whirlwind of activity today and the past three days. And I am over-emotional from hormones and everything else.

I never felt a connection to my daughter when she was pregnant. In fact, I hated being pregnant. I was worried about maternal death as the due date approached. Please make sure they save me if anything starts to go wrong, I asked more than once. Choose me if there's a choice to be made. It was my crazy pregnancy worry. There were days I worried that I was a prime candidate for postpartum depression. I had no special feelings for the baby growing inside. It was kind of cool, but I think too abstract. I had been hurt from the previous early miscarriage, but I was confused by that hurt, confused by why I felt it, when logically, and scientifically, I felt nothing in particular. But emotionally, I did.

So, 3 years ago yesterday, my water broke in the middle of the night. I did everything I could to being labor on, including a long walk with my knees together by the end because of the dripping water (ew). Finally went to the hospital 16 hours later and started the pitocin, dilated not even a centimeter. 12 hours later, no further dilation, I caved into the epidural. 8 hours later, dilated a whopping 2 cm. And said yes to the c-section. And a little after 4 pm September 22nd, my daughter was born. And in the millisecond that she was removed from my body, I fell completely and utterly in love.

It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I wasn't prepared for that intensity of feeling. She is, without a doubt, the love of my life. Happy birthday, my little sweetpea.

Friday, September 19, 2008

long week

I think we've made a huge mistake. I thought so after we made it, but this week has me really wondering what we've done.

This baby is due right before Thanksgiving. We suggested my parents should just stay at our house from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Yeah, I'm not really sure of the logic we were using, either. Partly it was they do have a fixed income, so they would come for the birth, but not Christmas. And that would screw up any scheduling of the baptism. Partially we thought we'd need the help. And that's still logical, except this week has reminded me while they help in some ways, they are a pain in others, so it sort of balances out as a zero sum neutral help situation. They're older, my dad had triple bypass just a year ago, so they're just not as active as my three year old needs. But maybe the pressures of a new baby will shift it to more of a help than hindrance.

But then I remember those early weeks, when it's all about survival. With my daughter, we did whatever we needed to do to get us all a reasonable amount of sleep. So sometimes I slept on the couch, so my husband could get a few hours uninterrupted sleep before going to work. Or he'd stay up downstairs with a fussy baby and I'd snatch a "nap" from 10pm-2am before a feeding. I fear them being more a hindrance than help during all that.

My parents were here for 10 days after my daughter's birth. What I mostly remember is that my mom was constantly saying things like, well, I would have emptied the dishwasher, but I wasn't sure where everything went. Or, I would have done laundry, but wasn't sure how you wanted your clothes folded. My clothes folded. Seriously. I just wanted something clean to wear. They do walk the dog, which is big. But my dad refuses to pick up the poop, so my mom has to do that. My dad has taken over cleaning up the cat vomit this week so that's one thing. But I swear they nap more than any adults should, even if they are 66 and 67 years old.

I was grumpy yesterday with, you know, that little thing called the root canal. So everyone was on my nerves. I'm glad they're here, and glad my daughter is building a relationship with them. She asks every morning if they're still here, so she'll be bummed when they leave next week.

I know we'll muddle through a long 6 weeks in December. At least I hope so. And there's no dis-inviting them now. The holdiays are busy anyway, so there will be other distractions. I hope.

What do you think? Would you have your parents stay with you for 6 weeks?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

things that are not 'not stressful'

A root canal. Yes. A ROOT CANAL. It wasn't all that bad, but it certainly wasn't pleasant. I need to go back in about two weeks for a crown. The thing is until I was pregnant with my daughter, I had never had a cavity, had never had braces. I have now had two cavities, a tooth that was going bad and cracked, and a root canal. The trend is not good.

The Dark Knight. We still went to the movies last night and saw the latest Batman movie. I know we don't see many movies these days, but that may be one of the most stressful, high intensity movies ever made. After the opening few scenes I looked at my watch and realized it had been non stop for 30 minutes, and there was still 2 hours to go. My blood pressure had to be sky high after that movie. Good movie though, with only a few oh come on moments. And Heath Ledger was great, but am I the only one who felt he was playing Jim Ignatowski's crazier brother? There was definitely a Christopher Lloyd tinge to that. (to the nth degree, yes, but still there).

Having a 401k at AIG. what else is there to say. Can I roll it over? Haven't had time to check into my options, if any.

Cat vomit. Took him to the vet Monday, due for shots. A few years back he had an intestinal blockage, which cost $3k. Which I believe we may still be paying off. How did we know? Cat could not keep anything down. Yesterday he ate then threw up three times. No, that's not right. He ate three times then had prolonged vomiting fits all over the house, throwing up 4-6 times in a row. Today, so far, no vomit. Fingers crossed.

So, that's my week since the doctor told me to avoid stress. And that's on top of the usual - you know, the pregnancy, the toddler, the nanny, the money, the job, the husband, the in-laws, the parents, the roof, the car........What's not not stressing you out right now?

Piling on

No stress. Right. Pretty close to a pipe dream, as Tash so correctly pointed out.

I had a check up today, my parents dropped me off. They were talking politics and I was chewing lifesavers like there was no tomorrow. And I cracked a freaking tooth. CRACKED. A TOOTH.

Breathing. Dentist appointment tomorrow morning. I am quite proud that it's been three hours and I have not worried at it at all, so actually I am not quite sure how bad it is. Except I know it is CRACKED. For the love of God. On a Lifesaver. Isn't that ironic? Or something?

Oh, also, it appears I have gained THREE POUNDS in one week. Except I usually go to the doctor in the morning, and this appointment was right after a fairly heavy lunch. So I'm not stressing over that. Much. Otherwise, appointment was fine (and doctor gave ok for narcs, if I need them. Which I probably will).

My husband and I are going out to dinner tonight and then the movies, my parents are babysitting. So let's hope I remember with every single stinking bite of food to only eat on the left side. Like that will happen. And I suppose no popcorn, and isn't that the whole point of going to the movies???????

Oh. But there's good news - Harris Teeter is AGAIN having triple coupons. And I am again absurdly excited. AND, on Thursdays they offer an extra 5% off for senior citizens. I get my love of bargains from my parents, so they are also excited to come to the store. My dad is fussing at my mom for not bringing her coupons with her on the trip (I didn't think I'd go grocery shopping on my vacation! fusses back my mom). So, after I get my tooth drilled or filled or crowned or FUCKING EXTRACTED, god help me, I can go to the grocery store. What a life. At least I am not alone in my coupon madness (here's looking at you, Astarte).

My mom is voting for Obama. My dad might not. They live in a swing state, so at a minimum they'd cancel each other out, so that's not bad. Not worth a cracked tooth, though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


People shouldn't post unexpected doctor visit posts and then disappear for a few days, hmm?

But I'm ok, rested most of the weekend, and no further pain. My parents arrived Sunday, so no time for anything other than a few comments on other's blogs and a quick update.

Had job interview today. Was totally ambivalent as job is located over and hour's commute away. So I called the head of the search committee on Monday and said I'm pregnant, not sure I'm up for this or you'd want me (more elegantly than that). We decided I should still interview - honestly, as others have said, if the choice was between me and someone else, I'd chose someone else nearly every time given the particulars of this job, demands of commute, and new baby on the way. But always good experience to interview, huh. Biggest shock - I wore the same thing I wore for the interview Aug 20, and yeah, I've grown. No more hiding it, that's for sure.

Doctor's office called today - all results from last week were fine. take it easy, drink lots of water, try not to stress too much.

So, no stress. Just trying to enjoy this week. More later!

Friday, September 12, 2008

unexpected doctor visit

Just back from the doctors. Yesterday I ran some errands - nothing major at all. But found myself leaning onto my shopping cart, clutched on as sharp pains hit. I was at a craft store, and I kept shopping, albeit more slowly as they continued to hit sporadically. While I am quite crafty and can plot and scheme with the best, I'm not craft-y at all. Yet with my time at home I want to do a few crafts/decorations for my daughter's birthday. I confess to thinking, well, if this means bed rest, I better finish shopping so at least I'll have some projects to do. I also had the panicked thought of crap! We have no name!

I took it slow the rest of the evening, and was uncomfortable, but not terribly so. I was pretty sure it wasn't labor, but still. I called this morning and they said come in. The doctor came in with her concerned face, but as soon as I described sharp stabbing pains on the side of my lower abdomen, she relaxed. Round ligament pain, in all likelihood. Good to come in, good to check it out, they'll run tests, but that's probably all it is. Rest a few days, get a belly band.

So, my feet are up. I may just read a chick lit novel. These are the days I'm glad we've kept the nanny.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later

I lived in Washington, DC on 9/11.

All the remembrances start the same way, don't they? What a gloriously beautiful September day it was. We woke up humming little happy tunes because of the break in the weather and the clear blue sky. We were later than usual that day. My husband and I aren't morning people - we were usually out of the house somewhere around 9ish, he'd drop me off at work, and cross the river to his job in Virginia. I got out of the shower about ten minutes before 9, my husband jumped in. I walked into our room, toweling off my hair, to see Diane and Charlie on the couch saying they weren't sure what was happening, but here was footage of some sort of plane, a small plane?, crashing into the World Trade Center. I watched a few minutes, it got more confusing. The important national news broke into the morning fluff show, and no one really knew anything, except that something not normal was happening. "I think - I think - I think maybe we're being attacked?!" I called into the bathroom. My husband came in the room, what? We got dressed and ready, watching a very confused scene.

Finally made it downstairs, and turned on the kitchen TV, continuing our routine of getting ready, but a a much slower pace than normal. Suddenly they cut from New York to local scenes - a shot from DC, looking at the Pentagon. We don't know what's going on, but there's smoke coming from what seems to be one side, or behind, or near the Pentagon. I looked at my husband - I don't think you're going to work today. I don't think you should cross the river.

We drifted into the living room. It's hard to describe now how confusing it all was. He wasn't going to go to work, but we both thought I still should. We knew it was planes, big planes, but didn't know much else.

We saw the first tower go down. My husband covered his face with his hands - the bastards. It was still confusing. I called work - do you all know what's going on? They didn't. Turn on the TV. My husband took me to work - 5 minutes away by car. I walked into my office. My phone rang - a colleague, a friend, in San Francisco - are you ok? yes, I'm ok. I guess. We don't know.

I got a call from another California colleague - why aren't you on the conference call? Um, have you seen the news? I know it's early there, but I don't think we're having a conference call today. I had my radio on. Report of a car bomb at the state department. Report of a bomb going off by the Washington Monument, taking it down. I frantically looked out my window - could I usually see the monument from my window? I couldn't remember, but couldn't see it. I ran down the hall because you could see it from the front windows. It was still there. I started to cry a bit. Our small office was in shock - only 8 people, we huddled together watching the TV. We'd peel off and call friends, call family, field calls. More than half the time there was no getting through. One of my best friend's husband worked in the Pentagon, for the Navy. I never reached her, but other friends called, he was ok. Later I was back in my office, my phone rang again, my dad. The only time I've ever heard him sound afraid - why are you at work? Get out of there. There are reports of other planes, headed to DC. Go home. The Metro was closed. The buses weren't running. People were walking in droves up the middle of the street, trying to get home. The pay phone in front of our building had a line 25 people long waiting to use it.

I was a senior person at work. I felt I needed to stay until everyone knew how they were getting home. The one person who absolutely needed public transportation agreed to go home with another colleague who lived close to me, a 35 minute walk home. My husband called, please come home. I need you here.

I made it home just after lunch. We huddled together on the couch, watching, watching. We didn't turn the TV off for the rest of the week. We lay in bed watching, until we drifted into uneasy sleep. We woke early, snapping alert for the latest news. The sky was quiet - no planes, no helicopters. Later that week I was walking the dog and heard a helicopter overhead and flinched in fear. By Saturday I needed to run an errand that took me across the river, into Virginia, past the Pentagon. Traffic was snarled with various road closures, and I sat in the car, trying not to breathe the noxious burning fumes that still hung in the air.

Of the 8 of us in the office, every single person knew someone who died in NY, in Pennsylvania, in the Pentagon. I knew a woman on the plane that hit the Pentagon - not well, she had done a project with other colleagues a few jobs past. My former colleagues were bitter and devastated. My co-worker who lived close by me had a close friend on a plane. I've forgotten which. My other co-workers had gone to school with someone in the WTC, or a neighbor of their parents, or some other connection. Every one of us had some personal connection, mine the most distant. In the weeks after, we stocked the office with flashlights, with granola bars, with emergency kits. We developed evacuation plans. We watched overhead as the planes started back up - DC was no-fly for longer than anywhere else. Every time a plane or helicopter flew by, we stopped and watched.

I still, sometimes, with DC friends, feel the need to talk about those days. Where we were, what we did.

I ran an errand this morning, got home, saw a neighbor had the flag out. I briefly wondered why, and then in a snap remembered. And put our flag out. I still feel the need to tell my story, my version, where I was, what I did that day 7 years ago when the world, literally, stood still in shock and horror.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

apparently it's not their loss

My husband talked to his brother last night, starting to ease into what we've anticipated will be a tension filled time (daughter's upcoming birthday, baby's pending birth, reliving last fall). I thought I had lost the capacity to be surprised by my in-laws. And I was quite wrong.

The backstory: my in-laws live about 2 hours north of us. My husband went to college about 2.5 hours south of us. My husband and his father are huge college football fans, and my husband has season tickets to his alma mater. Since my daughter's birth, I go rarely, my husband tends to drive down and back to 4 or 5 of the 6 or 7 games. Maybe once a year we spend one night. His parents tend to go to two or so games a year, often making a long weekend out of it, leisurely driving, spending time in bed and breakfasts and touring around the countryside.

My daughter loves to go to games - you'd think the heat and the tedium and the game would bore her, but she loves every bit of it. The three of us went to the overly hot opening game two weeks ago (just as we did a year ago, bleah) and had a good time. But this past weekend was a patsy game, opponent not important, and right in the middle of the afternoon nap. Plus, you might remember, Gustav blowing through. So we skipped, and ate the cost of the 4 tickets.

My brother in law tells my husband that his parents went! Drove 4.5 hours, right past our city, and down to the game for their long weekend. My father in law bought tickets online, and sat in a different area of the stadium.

This might be too particular and specific an example to really explain. There are times I read other's stories (nothing recently, I have nothing specific in mind!) and think, hmm, well, that seems a little petty but I'm sure there's history here I don't know (the blog world: giving each other the benefit of the doubt). Football is really important to my husband and his father. My husband, as the season started, has thought more than once of calling his father to wish his team well. We have 4 tickets to our games. In laws could have gotten tickets from us. Did they even come by our section of the stadium? Did they expect to see is? Try to avoid seeing us? Hope to see us? Hope to not see us?

Do they give a damn at all that it's been 9 months since they've seen us? Seen their son? Or seen our daughter? That they've missed nearly 1/3 of her life? Does my father in law care?

I was nearly speechless last night with disgust and outrage. I spend so much time fretting over this relationship, worrying about how it will resolve, feeling guilty about my daughter slowly forgetting her grandparents. And for what? For nothing. It just seems they've washed their hands of us, decided their one closer granddaughter is enough, and oh well. They are, without a doubt, the most self-centered people I have ever met.

My brother in law had originally called because his family and the parents are renting a house on the Outer Banks for a week and we're invited to come for as long as we'd want. Um, no. It's this coming Sat to the next Sat. My daughter's birthday is the following Monday. So no worries about them showing up for her birthday, since they'll be driving much of the weekend. That takes that worry away, at least.

I said to my husband, forget it. Let's just have the baby and send them an announcement. Or better yet, send all their friends announcements but not them.

This did lead us into a longer talk about (parts of) the bigger picture. I know it hurts my husband, and he feels shame and embarrassment at how his family treats him. Particularly in contrast to how my family has forgiven him and embraced him back despite his treatment of me. It hurts me, too. His mother made it clear I wasn't needed in the family and she was happy to cut me loose. I don't want to feel the cause of this rift. I grew up in a loving extended family - spent time with my grandparents. Spent weekends with my aunt. One of my cousins would spend a week or two with us every summer. Some subtle forms of favoritism played out in my family, and I remember those small hurts or slights, remember confusion as a child at adult relationships I couldn't understand. The thought of subjecting my daughter to a level of craziness 100 times worse than I ever experienced is heartbreaking to me. I won't have it. I won't have her cry that her grandmother loves her cousin more than her. Or be scared by my brother in law's drinking and cursing and wild, stupid behavior.

My mother's mother was an alcoholic, and by all accounts, a fairly mean drunk. She died when I was 11. I didn't find this out about her until I was in my late teens. I never saw it, though I did see those small, subtle things. It's made a big impression on my husband that my parents told us that when I was born, they went to her and said, you will not drink around our daughter. You will not act this way, or you will not be a part of her or our lives. My parents set boundaries, and those boundaries worked. But my parents also worked to show us the good side, to build positive memories.

My husband appreciates my family, warts and all, perhaps more than I realize. He also appreciates that despite it all, I want my daughter and unborn son to have a rich, extended family, to build memories that will last a lifetime. My husband's mother prevented that for him. Started family feuds, pitted cousins against each other, played stupid power struggles.

My husband and I are moving to a place - slowly, in fits and starts, and with a long way to go - of building our own life. Of creating what is important to us, of holding family close, of nurturing long friendships that matter as much as family. It is what I said yesterday. This is our life. You are welcome to join us. It is your choice if you do not, and your loss.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the list

I did make a list of things to talk about with the new counselor - I started making a timeline, but that grew too tedious. So I just clipped the second to last paragraph, added some more things (more?!) I had forgotten and tucked it into my purse. I never pulled it out, but I think I remembered almost everything. Like Clickmom said in her comment, I should have booked at least a double session - she had scheduled longer than one session, but I took every second of the 75 minutes alloted. And we scheduled for next week, too.

I haven't told my husband, but probably will after next time. I think he needs some counseling, and I think we need that space to talk freely. Because what came up time and time again as her saying, well, do you talk about it? Nope, not a word. We have perfectly functional conversations, but never dive any deeper than that. Do you think that's weird? It is weird, when I think about it. How can we be sitting on this mountain of stuff and pretend it's not there?

The biggest realization? I made it through so many elements of my life story with slight trembling of voice and tears in my ears sometimes. I relayed deeply personal things without batting an eye. I talked of hurts and betrayals that wound me to the core. And when it came to the point of telling the pregnancy loss part, I sobbed. That was the only time I lost it. She asked me how I dealt with that now and I said, mostly, I don't. Everything else has piled on top of it, burying it, I thought I was mostly done with that part, but clearly I am not. Clearly I am not. I told her about the coping story I had read, and how I thought I had coped - it happened, it sucked, other things have sucked more, before and since. (This still remains my favorite set of comments ever - so thoughtful, so much truth in them). In thinking about it more, I think I have mostly coped, but the hurt is deep. I can type about it, but can't talk about it. There is only one other thing in my life that's as deep - my mother's sister died of breast cancer 11 years ago. My daughter is named for her. I cannot speak of it at all, and have not and cannot join in all the breast cancer awareness raising that many people seem to embrace after a loss like this. My sister once gave me a pink ribbon, and I cannot, will not, wear it. It's too deep, too personal a loss. Maybe my way of coping, with the deep down stuff, is denial (hello Niobe - we have much in common).

Anyway, the other stuff. We spoke about the inlaw situation. Unlike other advice I have received, she got that this was an untenable situation that was causing me much anxiety (the advice from my friends - the blogging advice was spot on, thanks again, another great set of comments). The thought they may show up here, or at the hospital, unannounced, unplanned - yikes. Stress through the roof. She suggested I talk this through with my husband. He must take some level of control of this situation, for me and the baby if nothing else. Which means setting boundaries. She suggested a script of him calling them, telling them about the pregnancy, that it was a difficult pregnancy, and that our top concern was having a healthy baby and mother, which meant we'd talk to them after the baby was born and have a visit sometime after.

I was going to wait a few days to bring it up, but instead talked about it over dinner. He agreed something had to give. We talked about birthday plans and rest of pregnancy plans. My daughter's birthday is a Monday, two weeks from yesterday, and so instead of having a party on the weekend, we'll just have a family dinner (my parents, my brother and family) over for dinner Monday. That mitigates any pressure husband's brother might put on us or on himself to come to a party - and negates brother in law from unexpectedly bringing in-laws along. We might do something fun on Sunday, and brother in law can choose to join in.

After my daughter was in bed we sat on the couch and talked some more. I said what do you want to talk about? And he suggested plans for daughter's schooling. Ahhhhh. Another functional talk (with no way to reach a resolution and quite a bit of stress involved, btw). I said why that? He said because of the 50 things we could talk about, this one popped to mind. We ended up talking more about his parents. I had never really thought of this before, but husband said it hurt to think how little they cared for our daughter as evidenced by nearly 9 months of silence. Yes. It's similar to how I feel about them, too - how quickly my mother in law said well, it's for the best this marriage is over. How quickly she was ready to throw me and daughter over when it was so awful last fall. It hurts. I am sad for my husband that his father has walked away. I am sad for my daughter that her grandparents don't seem to care.

The counselor was right - what we can do is say, this is our life. You are welcome to be a part of it, if you respect us and our choices. And if you choose otherwise, it is your choice - and your loss.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

new counselor, new counseling

Tomorrow is my first appointment with a new counselor. I know, having been through this drill before, that the first appointment is kind of getting to know you and figuring out where you are and how counseling can be approached. I'm a teeny bit stuck, though, on how this is going to go tomorrow. She's the experienced one, so I'll follow her lead, but I have a LOT of freaking ground to cover.

I've written a couple of times about the past few years. Hmm, here's one. There's another, I know, but I don't feel like weeding through to find it. Bottom line is a lot of shit has happened over the past few years.

I was a little sad Thursday night about the delay in the job (absolute end of my rope frustration just gave way to tired sadness, finally). My husband and I just sprawled out on our bed watching crap TV, him trying to just be there for me. At one point I said, I just don't know where my life went so off track. And, I meant all of it - him, the marriage, the in-laws, working, fertility, the whole damn thing. After a few quiet minutes, he said, maybe it's not off track, maybe this is the track it's supposed to be.

And yeah, in some ways he's right. There is no one point where it All Went Wrong. It just is. And it's now all bad, but lately it's been a lot of bad.

I think I want/need to go to counseling to focus on getting it - my life - in some sort of order that works more often than not. I can't hold onto everything. But I also can't just let go of somethings. And most importantly, some things aren't going to just disappear. I fret a lot - A LOT - about the in-laws. While believe me, I LOOOOVVEEE where we are now - not speaking, not interacting, no contact - that just doesn't seem to be a situation that can be maintained. Last week my brother in law texted my husband - can we talk about something? My husband ignored it for a few days, thinking it was about my daughter's 3rd birthday, coming up soon, and how his parents might want to be here for it. But he did call his brother, left a message, and hasn't heard back. With the start of college football season, my husband has mentioned calling his dad, another fanatic, more than once. I'm nearly 7 months pregnant and they don't have any idea (I don't think, but brother in law could have spilled the beans in his "helpful" way). I feel something building, and know there will be a break sometime.

So, while there are any number of ways to focus this appointment tomorrow, I think my ultimate goal is to get through all of the story enough to even get to the part where the in-laws become a factor. Because, all these months later, I still don't know what is a reasonable, sane response to insanity. And goal #2 is focusing on some level of rebuilding this marriage in a way that works for me and for him, too. Weird that's the secondary goal. I feel sometimes we could just keep going on the marriage, without "working" on it, but I know that's only patchwork for another couple of years, and we need to get beyond all this and get to something new.

My list is long - the marriage, the betrayal, healing after betrayal, still hurting after betrayal, in-law insanity, body issues, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, job loss, sense of self loss, guilt over job loss/finances, anxiety over jobs, working mom vs stay at home guilt.......where do you even start?

Anyway, my point is I think I'm going to write a little cheat sheet to make sure I get through everything - as complete a story as I can. What do you think? If you were starting counseling, and there were half dozen or so reasons why you wanted counseling, how would you approach the first meeting?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

I usually try to avoid cursing in the blog, not because I don't curse, but because I was raised to be very proper and sometimes when I read others blogs of things that are a little, um, raw (when usually they are not raw), I guess, I flinch a little (ooh, my poor delicate sensibilities). But today, all bets are off.

You know, I have lots of things going on in my life. Interesting things to blog - I have a definite, though still muddled, view of Sarah Palin. Though a clear opinion of the hypocrisy and cynicism of the Republicans. There's the counseling appointment next week, and have I mentioned I'm pregnant lately? And what are we going to name this baby (we have issues! much to blog).

But today, right now, FUCK.

It's not all bad. The part-time job? Finally contacted me today. Yeah! I have an interview! Initially they said they've interview the week of the 8th, decide by the 15th. Great. I want this fucking job. Badly. It could be perfect. So e-mail today? We've had a change in plans. Interviews will now be conducted at our base location, in Boston, on September 29th, please make your travel...blah blah blah.

I do not live in Boston. I will be 32 weeks pregnant on September 29th. Mother of God.

I will be on the hospital table, belly sliced open for my fucking repeat c-section (that I do not want but my body probably has other ideas, which is yet another semi-interesting post I could write if not consumed with this pathetic job hunting saga) and my phone will ring with a job offer at this damn rate.

I had a dream last night I was offered and accepted the science center job, and started the very next day. But my entire first day was filled with me thinking, what the hell? Why did I take this job? What about the part-time thing? Why didn't I ask for a delay in deciding? Why didn't I even tell them I was pregnant? So, thanks sub-conscious, that's two dreams where I've accepted science center and not been happy about it on day 1. So now I have to hope the stupid science center also delays decision making, so I'm not forced to accept a job I apparently don't want, but that would be decent and not bad career-wise.

So now what? I actually have an OB appointment the 29th I have to reschedule, great. The one possible bright side is we have unused miles and vouchers that were going to expire before we could probably use them, my daughter loves Make Way for Ducklings, so maybe this can be a family trip.

32 weeks. That's close to no-fly time. We're starting to get into dicey territory. Do I tell them in advance I'm pregnant? Blargh. Fuck. Shit. DAMMIT. As god is my witness, if I am ever employed again, and ever in the position of having hiring responsibility again, I will never, ever say the absolute bullshit words we're fast-tracking this hire. Mother fucker.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

no news is no news

This is turning into the most boring blog ever. Yet another day passes with no news on the job front. The no news makes me so incredibly anxious. I am on pins and needles.

Actually, I did have news from my insider friend on the funding agency job. I interviewed in July, they wanted to "make a quick decision" (HA! I call bullshit on that phrase forevermore!). No news. So, friend tells me they've been negotiating with a woman I know quite well, who wanted to give her current job TWO MONTHS' NOTICE. I actually use this woman as a reference for me, so heck yeah, I'd hire her over me anyday, especially for this particular position. No quibbles on the hire. Major quibbles on the process. Seriously, they could have given me official word. It's still not official - my friend first told me she knew the job was going to someone else and couldn't tell me who. It only took a minute of me saying, oh come on, at this point I'm just curious, spill - for her to tell me. So, another one down.

I'm essentially holding out for two jobs - part-time gig, and science center. No word from science center. This makes me anxious but only slightly so. It's government, they're slow, I just need to bide my time. The part-time place has me in a frenzy of anxiety. They had me write a two-pager, due Aug 25th, told me they'd schedule interviews the week of the 8th and make decision by the 15th. So, doesn't it stand to reason they'd have called to schedule the interview the week of the 8th by now? Garr. Yesterday I was out and about running errands and I checked e-mail every half hour. Today I am at my desk and obsessively studying my e-mail and not doing work I do need to do.

So, guess what I just got? Three jobs ago I did some partnering work with the executive director, managing director, and head scientist of the part-time place. I liked them a lot, and we seemed to get along well. It was close to when I left that job, so it never really developed, and I don't think, in my absence, the partnership ended up developing much beyond where I took it. I liked the managing director and remember feeling like we could have been friends.

SO - I just frigging got a linked in invite from her! This is probably good news. I should probably calm way down. Her invite says- "just heard you applied for our PT job - fabulous." I mean, that's good, right? But where the hell is the let's schedule an interview e-mail/phone call? I've been in a total anxiety attack that my 2 pager sucked. (outline thoughts for their program over the next year.)

OK. I just need to vent. I always freak out just before things get good. It's always darkest before the dawn, or something like that, right? This whole thing has just been such another hit to my already reeling personal sense of self. I was so excited about my last job, and to just have it yanked the way it was just another loss in a bad year of losses. It's been about 14 weeks or so. I didn't think it would take this long to find something. I stupidly did not protect my interests when I took that last job, and it's been a huge financial hit, on top of the emotional one. If I get a job, the good news is it was a wakeup call to get our financial house in order, to be more prepared. If I don't - well, life changes A LOT.

Breathing. I'll accept the linked in invite with a cheery little note. And try to be calm, cool, and collected. Something will work out.

What's your best strategy for dealing with anxiety when it's all out of your control?