Thursday, October 27, 2011

Babies babies everywhere!

But not a one at this house...not yet.

I've heard of the phenomenon: you start thinking more and more about starting a family, and suddenly EVERYONE is pregnant! Or at least it feels that way. Of the blogs I follow, three ladies are pregnant. No, FOUR! And I don't follow that many. At work, we have one girl (she's my age, can I still call her girl?) who is on maternity leave and we've got two more moms to be in early 2012, as well as a guy whose wife is due any day now. On a message board I frequent, we have two little boys and one little girl born in 2011 and a few of the girls are thinking about TTC very soon.

And church, I guess we can say we are having a baby boom? TWO ladies are expecting--1 with number 7, the other with number 4. Another woman had her second a few months ago. This is unheard of, given we are a very small parish with not many young people, even if two of these ladies are part time parishioners since they come from a distance.

I can't say I have the fever, but I am thinking about it more. If you can't tell, this is the hardest thing for me, and C too, to just "let go and let God." I hate that, because with every other issue we've dealt with, it's been so easy (or, at least easIER) to give it over. Why is this so difficult? Is it because it's the most serious? Yes, marriage is serious and we believe it's forever, BUT one could get out of it if one really wanted to. Same with a job. I can quit or I can be laid off or get fired. I have no control over what my boss or the owners do to me. I can sell my house, the cars, anything, if I didn't want it any more.

Kids are yours until you die. (OK fine, you could give them up for adoption, but I'm not going there.) They cost money, true, but I think we will be able to manage if the health insurance doesn't kill us first, ha. Parenting isn't just about the material goods or taking a sick child to the doctor. They are important, but so are things like being a good example, being selfless, not being bogged down with other issues that distract you...being present in your childs' lives in a healthy way is vital to raising productive adults. To me, being a good parent is harder than making sure the material needs are met. It's scary to know that you are responsible for molding that little mind and soul. What if I'm a bad parent? What if I can't do it? What if my own issues pop up and are serious enough that they get in the way? Am I mature enough to handle this enormous task? These are serious questions, and they've scared me off from taking the next step, but they aren't the only issues at hand.

I feel horribly guilty for some of the things that I've written above, because, as Catholics, we must be open to life at all times. Who is really open at all times? We don't truly know, and honestly, I believe that is between a couple and God. Me writing what I have here could come
off as controversial, especially since I've just said that this has been the hardest thing for us. Me worrying about being a good parent is fairly rational fear, since last I checked, no one knows how to do it, and kids don't come with manuals; you just learn as you go. If I worry about money, is that a good enough reason not to start a family? If C doesn't have a secure job (or ANY job, as we have experienced twice now), is it prudent to wait? Some might tell me that we are wrong, and we just need to let it all go. Some might say that we are right, that only God knows what is going on in our hearts and minds. If my doctor tells me it is not a good idea to get pregnant just yet because of my health and that of a fetus developing, am I smart to listen to her, or silly for taking medical advice, because God knows MORE than my doctor? But didn't God give my doctor intelligence and knowledge? I know that people say things like babies come with blessings or a loaf of bread or something like that, but for me, it's hard to trust in something when an innocent life is involved. Like there not being enough money or one of us losing our jobs. Maybe that's only because we have experienced those things?

Is that funny? Weird? Crazy? That I care about my not even conceived children enough to want them to be born under the best circumstances possible? It's a little bit of all three, since nothing is perfect and any sort of control is really an illusion. It doesn't help that I've
battled anxiety for over 10 years, mostly regarding things out of my control. I guess I'm my own worst enemy.

So, what's it going to take? First things first. Me. How can I be really open to life if I'm not healthy enough to ensure a healthy (or even a live) baby? I don't have any diagnoses of what WILL happen or what WON'T happen, but it's not wise right now to even just see what happens. Let me spell it out: I need to lose about 100 pounds. Yes, that's a lot, and thankfully I have a large build so I carry it well, but that's not enough when the insides are affected more than we can see.

When I get closer to goal weight, hopefully signs of fertility will return, because that will make things much easier when discussing any issues with doctors. Right now, I got nuthin'. And, I can stop taking the many meds I'm currently on: not only because they aren't fetus-friendly, but if I'm thinner, certain health conditions should resolve themselves. Like high blood pressure.

I'm giving myself about a year to get my weight in check, then I'll have about 3-6 months of reducing or changing meds, getting an idea of what my cycles are like, a time where I'm not avoiding, but not actively seeking a conception either. Just letting my body do its thing. I'll be 33 in less than 18 months and time is ticking.

Sometimes I wish I was one of those girls who got married right out of college and pregnant on my honeymoon, because now I'd have a 7 or 8 year old and we wouldn't have gotten used to two incomes and be worried about if time is running out and all that. I'm sure there are women like I've just described who would have liked to been single for a few years, then get married, then have kids bit later, to get to work out of the house and do something different. The grass IS always greener. You know what's funny? It's only within the past few years have I really figured out who I am and what I want and that's not easy the older you are and the more responsibilities you have. Maybe if I didn't have all the life experiences I've had (and they are probably tame!), I wouldn't have figured myself out. That doesn't help with the biological clock though....

I'll get there though. I always do, even if it's not on everyone else's timeline.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two years (and an overall update)

Today (well, it was today [Wednesday] when I started this post, now it was yesterday) is the two year anniversary of our house closing. Wow. To use a cliche, time really does fly.

On the left side of my blog here, you can see what we've done over the past two years. Everyone who told us "home ownership is never-ending," you were right! I've always got a to-do list going and we are always thinking of the next season, the next project, etc. In fact, I just added a few more items to the "things we've done" list AND the "things to do" list after typing my previous sentence. Our garden has been ripped out and plowed down, but C is thinking about what to plant next year. I have bulbs to plant, BUT I noticed we have some mysterious holes around the house...almost like a little critter is looking for something. Do I want to give them free food if I plant the bulbs?

Some things will need professional help, other things we can do on our own. This house is starting to feel more and more like OURS, which is great. While I'm itchy to work on them, I still have to be prudent with my time, money and energy; what's smart to do when, what will need more money then we have on hand, that sort of thing. Thankfully, C is better with that sort of strategizing than I am!

Onto my update...

As you may have seen a few posts back, C went back to work! He is now working an hour from home, versus his old half hour commute, for the same money and same position. Honestly, it was NOT ideal, and actually, in a word, sucks, but he had no other options. For all the applications and networking he was doing this time around, he wasn't getting any bites. I never shared the story of how he landed this job. He didn't apply for it; they came looking for him. Following the hurricane (I first typed earthquake, I have NO idea why!), a guy who he'd worked with briefly at his old job (he filled in for C's old boss for a time) called. He had an opening at HIS facility and was wondering if C was interested. There was a lot of back and forth, especially as he wasn't an internal candidate but not really an external one, and everyone wanted to make sure the hiring process was on the up and up, but he started three weeks ago, and already things are changing!

Not only does C drive an hour each way, he has a weird schedule. M 8-4, T 12-8, W 9-5, R 12-8, F 9-5. This also isn't fun, since C can't get on a good sleep schedule, we can't get on track with other things, it's just not good. But we've dealt with it because, you need to work. One night last week, I was cooking dinner (yes, I reluctantly resumed this task, even though C is sooooo much better at it!) on one of the late nights, and I thought "it would be lovely if he could just find a job closer to home." It wasn't a prayer, at least to me, but someone heard me. The next day, C emailed me with news that there was a possibility of him getting a transfer to a facility in the closest city. Only a 20 minute drive!!!!!

The catch: a new schedule. The time was fixed, 8-4 every day, but it would be Sunday-Thursday. This had been a possibility with another
job awhile ago, but C wasn't offered the job. We'd talked with our priest back then, who told us that we needed to do what was best for our
family. The great thing about being Catholic, you can go to church on Saturday nights, and while our church doesn't have a Saturday liturgy, our sister parish does, which is the same distance from our house as the other church! So we knew we had a way to deal with the religious aspect of our life, even though it wasn't perfect. We've grown to love this parish and to feel at home. I know we will be missed, and we feel crappy for not being able to make it work. We will pop in for holy days as well as if C's schedule should change.

If C were to stay at the far away job, we were looking at buying a third car that was better on gas, since his current car isn't great on gas, but is paid off. I wasn't happy about that idea, especially since the company wasn't budging on more money for him. Why should we have to work harder to make this work? Now we won't have to buy anything, and will be saving money with less gas being used. He'll also be home sooner and won't be as tired when he gets home. We will also be able to get more of a routine down, which will be much better for me, as I thrive with structure. Our "new" church, which is actually the parish C grew up in, is close by to his grandmother's house. She's in her early 80s and is just starting to slow down; seeing her at liturgy each Saturday, and being able to stop over afterwards to help her with something is an added bonus. It's not only good for the family in this house, but the extended family. C will work at his current locale until 11/16, then he's taking an unpaid vacation for hunting season, and will start at the new place the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I have more to update on, but this was/is the biggest news and I figured I owed my few followers the story about what happened!

Something I don't get (food)

(If you're friends with me on Facebook, yes, this is my current status, so no, you're not seeing things)
What's awkward: when you're heating up your lunch and someone compliments you on it, then you say something like "thanks! leftovers from the other night" but that's not the end of it. Then they share what they had for dinner last night, which was something like fast food or sandwiches. I never understand this; are they trying to make me feel sorry for them? I've had this happen repeatedly, from different people. It was nothing elaborate* either--a chicken leg quarter (drumstick & thigh), sweet potato, and asparagus.
Why the need to comment on my food (or about yours) besides "that looks great" or "what are you having?" I didn't ask what you had. I don't know how to reply to your statement. Should I say "sorry" or "you can cook like this too?" Or just nod and smile?

One other thing: yes, I eat healthy MOST of the time. There's no need to proclaim that loudly in the kitchen or at the lunch table. I know I'm overweight, but guess what? I still like to try to eat healthy. I don't get why it's always so amazing to other people that some people like fruits and vegetables for lunch. I'm always thinking "okayyyy???"

*not elaborate to ME, I understand that some people out there are daunted by the oven! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Favorite things

Hey, Oprah has/had(?) a list, why not me!?

1. Cardigans. I love them, year-round. Perfect with almost everything, and essential when you work in an office with strange climate control.

2. Flats. I cannot do heels for long stretches. Plus, I'm rather tall (5'7") and C is only an inch or two taller than me.

3. Broth. I know, it's got loads of sodium in it, but I can't drink coffee all day (milk + sugar = unnecessary calories) and tea gets old after awhile. But a bouillon packet in hot water is a warm, delicious treat.

4. Lined post-its. Genius invention.

5. Crusty bread. (Note to self: pick up a loaf on the way home to go with dinner tonight.)

6. Order and schedules. Now that C is back to work, things are slowly back on track in that department. I owe a post about what's going on these days, how we're coping, our plans for the future now, etc. As we say in publishing, TK.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So thankful

C got a job. He starts Monday, and will be actually going back to the company he'd previously worked for until May, when he was laid off. While we're happy, I'm not jumping up and down just yet. Longer post later, but I wanted to keep things over here as up-to-date as possible.

For those of you who prayed, thank you. Knowing that we had supporters on the spiritual side of things was awesome.

For those of you who checked in with me, thank you. Your friendship and care helped me through some dark days.

For those of you who just sent lots of good thoughts, thank you. I think positive energy can move across the miles.

For those of you who blew off my concerns and worries, I will pray for you, to learn sensitivity when people are going through rough times.

For those of you were mean to me or unsupportive, I am sorry that you lack kindness.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good news?

I might have some good news to share with all of you, very soon.

Details to follow, but please keep us in your prayers. ;-)