Monthly Archives: March 2010

Still working

And I’m still happy about it. I have cheerfully ignored capnkjb so that I didn’t have to argue with her. 😀 I got far less done yesterday than I did on Monday but that’s really ok with me. Grocery shopping, mountains of laundry, ridiculous quantities of dishes… it’s still good progress. Today I continue the laundry. (When we get hand-me-downs and do towels/sheets at the same time it’s kind of a lot to deal with folding.) I’m also going to try and get to some of the other household cleaning stuff that is more intensive that I uhm haven’t done in months. My house will be fit for habitation soon! 🙂

My cousin’s boyfriend finished the gate and did most of the work on the AC unit and the kitchen fan yesterday. He couldn’t finish either because he needs more parts and it was getting late. Nevertheless I am quite pleased with him. 🙂 I think my to do list will actually get done! I’m so excited!

And in other news…

It looks like I am buying a whole cow again. I am hoping that some of the reliable people from last time would like to buy some again. 🙂 I like having ethically raised meat in the house and this is by far the most cost effective way to do it. So if you were easy to deal with last time (and I probably let you know if I was pissy) please do contact me again. 🙂 So far I have 3/4 of a cow spoken for and they don’t really want you to buy it in that volume. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-100 lbs of meat I am happy to sell.

They raised the price a little and with the delivery fee the cost is $6.50/lb. this year. If you eat ethically raised meat normally it is FAR more expensive than that. This is potentially 1/4 of the price if you buy steaks at Whole Foods. My pickup date is June 1. 🙂

Exhaustion

I am so tired I can barely move. Doing manual labor from 9:30 am yesterday till about 6 pm was really really hard on my body. But! I’m thrilled with the progress. I took (mostly) before pictures and I’m taking pictures today and I will take more pictures as I go of the Great Gardening Project of 2010. My cousin’s boyfriend laughed at me when I told him this project has been like 4 years in the making and we just haven’t gotten it done. He’s not the sort to ‘not get to’ projects. Which is why I like that I can pay him to come to my house and work. 😀 I will post pictures at some point.

A friend was supposed to bring me seeds this morning but she woke up not feeling well and canceled. Not so secretly I’m kind of glad I don’t have a complete full day of work. I woke up way too early (5:30) but started cat napping at 7:30 and really fell asleep by about 8:30 and didn’t wake up till 10. This is why my house is thoroughly toddler-proof so Shanna can’t get in too much trouble. 😛

My cousin and her boyfriend will be here around 1:30 and I have this ridiculously massive guilt complex about having them here working and not working myself so that is the end of my slack time today. I’m starting to feel slightly nervous about the semi-busy weekend we have planned. I think I will not stir from the couch on Friday in complete exhaustion. The cousin/boyfriend will be here today and tomorrow. Then my wonderful Taylor will be here Thursday and I will be getting a massage. I am going to need it so much. But Taylor likes to keep busy and do stuff around the house so I will probably save like one or two projects for him so he can feel all useful. I’ll see if there is anything that needs a tall person. 😛

I’m really really feeling the excitement and joy that comes from productivity this week. I receive such a strong boost of self confidence when I am productive. It’s kind of funny.

My life fucking rocks.

Let me count the reasons to be grateful towards the universe right now:

-Mo is coming to visit me today and she is going to help me do work! The only yardwork I will request of her is helping me get those @#%^#@ white rocks up. Then we will come inside and she will help me give the house the scrub down it has needed for months. She loves me *that* much. <3 -My cousin and her boyfriend are coming over on Tuesday. Her boyfriend is one of the most hard working people I have ever met in my life. He's going to help me get the rest of the yard work stuff done. I am so excited about this I could float off into the universe. I think that, unexpectedly, I am actually going to get my yard to a place where I am happy with it for the first time since I’ve lived here. That is so cool I can barely stand it.
-Taylor is coming over on Thursday and he will give me a massage. I’m going to be a happy pile of goo after that. And he will help me put the gate up in the side yard to keep Shanna out of the compost. 😀
-I am pretty sure I will have ALL of my projects done by Thursday and I can’t express how happy that makes me. I feel constantly unsettled and anxiety around projects not being done. It really affects my day to day happiness in negative ways. But I will get caught up! Dude! SO EXCITED!!!
-We have a babysitter for 10 hours on Saturday and we get to party hop! This will be thrilling.
-Good stuff with my aunt. It’s nice to have someone in my family sit down and listen to me. I needed that so much. My soul feels lighter.
-I have this wonderful, amazing, fabulous husband and hanging out with him is so awesome. 🙂
-Shanna continues to grow more individualistically person-like daily. It is so much fun to spend time with her. I really love watching her charm the pants off everyone she spends time around. 🙂 She is such a poster-child for reproduction that I giggle when avowed ‘not into kids’ people are all over her like white on rice. 😀
-I’m really excited about the upcoming camping/wedding/festivity in May. I think it will be super fun and really great.
-I’ve been getting out and being more energetic and it feels really nice. I’m less slug-like. 🙂 I’m even doing better about doing cooking and eating slightly better. I’m being good to my body and the tiny baby and I’m glad I can do that more now.
-For today I feel like the burdens in my life are all in perfect balance and thus there is the lightness of a feather upon my back. I don’t get here often but I really cherish it when I do. Thank whoever is watching for reprieves from hard. 🙂

ETA: and I totally forgot to mention that Alex volunteered to make a play kitchen for Shanna for her birthday. Maybe I should be less down on my chosen family. They are totally rocking lately. 😀

Follow up

It went well. Auntie made an effort to understand why I feel the way I feel and that’s a big deal. Her comments started out with, “I can’t see how occasional contact would possibly be a problem” and ended with, “Ok I can understand how lying like that is a problem.” That’s kind of a little tiny bit HUGE!! Dude. Strangely enough it is the constant lying (by my mom and sister) that she can really wrap her head around rather than the abuse. It was interesting to try to explain cycles of abuse to her. Once I was done I think she understood. At the very least she said she was willing to support me when I finished saying, “I don’t think they are bad people. I don’t think they engage in this behavior for malicious reasons. I think they were both abused so much for so long that they don’t understand how fucked up this behavior is and they are unwilling to admit they are abusers so they can never change.” She was very sad. I told her I am sad too. But I have to do this for my daughter. When I made the decision to have children I did it in full knowledge that I had to protect my children and ensure that they have a better than average shot at ending up happy, healthy people and that requires that I put up very strict boundaries around situations that will hurt them. She tried to say, “But if Shanna only sees them occasionally it won’t be as bad as it was for you.” I repeated what she said. I asked her how she feels about the fact that she can say, “as bad as it was for you” about my childhood. I asked her if she really feels Shanna deserves to be exposed to *any* bad.

It went very very well.

Feeling nervous.

Today I am going to go see my auntie. I’m going to try to explain to her why I am going no contact with my sister and my mother again. I would like to maintain a relationship with her though, and that will require that she understand why I don’t want information about me passed on. It’s going to be very difficult for me to explain to her things about the cycle of abuse. She is not the most self-examining person in the world and she’s in her 70’s. Not usually a time of rapidly expanding ones horizons. I really love her though and I think she is a healthy, good person. She’s just… very much an enabler. She doesn’t want to get in the middle of things.

I’m nervous about this. I’m not sure she can understand and in my “I desperately want approval” sort of way if she just completely doesn’t get it I will feel invalidated. I shouldn’t need her understanding. I really shouldn’t. But I feel like I do anyhow. I’m somewhat tempted to bring the checklist of abusive behaviors. It wouldn’t help at all, so I won’t, but I feel so tempted.

I feel like I am fighting a current of whitewater rapids in standing up for myself. I desperately wish that my family was capable of acting like decent people.

Great visit!

I took Shanna to her first visit with a new pediatrician today. We switched insurances again so I had to start hunting from scratch. I like this chick a lot. She did her PhD thesis on Intergenerational Abuse Issues. That seems like someone I should maybe hook in with. She is tolerant though not enthusiastic about the really delayed vaccines. She didn’t have a problem at all with us skipping flu and chicken pox entirely. w00t. She was very willing to talk about best practices on parenting stuff and at one point she said, “It is so nice to talk to a parent who is educated!” I’ll be buffing my nails for a while after that one. She asked me pointed questions about a lot of our parenting choices and how we are going to handle support network/social stuff given our homeschooling plans but said that all my answers were the best they could be. I appreciate that. It’s kind of sad how badly I need the rubber stamp of someone in charge in order to verify that my copious research is actually correct.

And then we went off to start DTaP. The shot technician started off emphasizing the pain and how it was awful but it will be over quick. I told him to stop and then I sat Shanna on the table and we had a little chat about how it will pinch and probably not be her favorite thing ever, but shots are to keep us healthy and they aren’t that bad. I asked her if she could be brave and hold still and she did perfectly. The shot guy was really surprised. He told me he’s never seen a kid her age be so calm and collected. That surprised me. Really? Every single kid freaks out? If it is that pervasive then maybe he should think about the fact that his approach isn’t exactly reassuring. 😛

And the doctor was impressed with her vocabulary, counting ability, and ability to sing (almost all) of the ABC song. 😀 Yay kiddo!

Things I’ll never say

Dear Sissy,

You are persistently asking, nay demanding, that I give you information about my pregnancy and Shanna’s current progress. You state that I haven’t wanted to share, but you can’t wait any longer for the information. I’m not sure why it is that you believe you “can’t wait any longer” but you are going to wait quite a bit longer, potentially into forever. I’ll explain why.

In the past year you have made it very clear that if I want to have a relationship it involves “forgiving you” of anything you do at any point. You stated to our brother that “that’s how love works.” No, that is how abusive relationships work. I do not have any obligation whatsoever to forgive people constantly of repetitive hurtful behavior. In fact, it would be strongly to my detriment to do so. I would be showing my daughter that I believe I deserve the treatment you give me by continuing to engage with it and I am absolutely unwilling to present such a view to my daughter.

You came to my house, where you were my guest and I had gone through a great deal of effort on behalf of you and your family, and proceeded to lecture me about how you have to assume all of the matriarchal duties because “No one else is going to do it.” Essentially you were letting me know that regardless of what you actually -do- you are my superior. I reject this version of reality on every level. You will never be the matriarch of any group I am part of. The reason for this is very simple: I have no respect for you. If you nominate yourself the matriarch of our family I will leave. I would prefer having no family over having to tolerate the abuse you consider standard in familial relations.

I will never send you this letter because just like every other text book abuser you would find a way to feel victimized and declare that I need to apologize for being so terrible to you. I am not terrible for pointing out the specifics of your inappropriate behavior I am being honest. I am taking responsibility for my own mental health and well being. I am accepting the overwhelming responsibility of modeling healthy, appropriate relationships for my daughter. I am no longer engaged in the cycle of abuse and I refuse to step back into it.

Sincerely,
Your Adult Sister

+/-

+ Someone should be arriving in about half an hour for a play date
+ Great dinner with friends last night. Shanna was an angel.
+ Lots and lots of productivity this morning. I’m impressed with myself.
+ Feeling energetic and social. It’s nice.

– My laptop screen is dead. It fell off a very high shelf. Not sure if we can replace it ourselves and can’t really afford sending it in for repairs. Fuck.
– Shanna destroys stuff almost as fast as I can clean. It’s hard to find my zen with this.
– Even when I’m very productive there is still more to do and more and more and more and… it gets overwhelming.

Feeling social

So I’m kind of generically energetic and social feeling today. So I figured it was worth putting out to the interwebs that it would be awesome to have people come over tonight. I don’t know for sure what we would do and I really haven’t figured out what to feed people (take out probably..) but! I’m a sparkling conversationalist and all. 😀

So come over! I don’t have a set time on this but keep in mind that I’m not a real late night person. 🙂

Fuck that exercise shit

Ok, so compared to blacksheep_lj it doesn’t count as exercise. Thank all that is holy that I do not have to be compared to her. 😀 Sunday I worked the resale even and spent four hours standing and walking rapidly on concrete. That is a much longer block than normal for that kind of activity for me. Monday I went out with a friend and spent a couple of hours walking in a park. Last night we walked to the park with Shanna and that’s a good 2.5 mile loop without all the walking back and forth we did to add on it. And we did that at the speed of toddler.

Holy crap I hurt. I don’t normally do that much walking in three days. I used to, but I haven’t this pregnancy. I feel like my uterus weighs about 30 lbs and it is sitting right on top of of a sharp pointy bit (my cervix). It fucking hurts when I stand right now. Ok, so on a scale of 1-10 it’s only like a 3, but I’m not used to that hurting! Whine! My back and knees are very sore and unhappy with me because basically all of this walking was on concrete.

But I never got winded even slightly. I didn’t have to take breaks to sit down much. Once last night, once at the park and those were both more because I needed to change angles for my hips more than anything else. My legs aren’t tired at all. Oh good. I’m not nearly so out of shape as I thought. 🙂 My joints are going to hate me right now no matter what I do. Three days in a row was probably overly ambitious but I really should start doing this at least three times a week. I don’t want to get as out of shape as I did when carrying Shanna. 🙂

Good stuff

Last night I spent some time with the California Mindfucker. I have some really awesome friends. 🙂 I really really appreciate that I can call up my friend the Master NLP practitioner and he’s happy to go hang out with me for a while and help me deal with some of my big painful mental issues and help me get my head on straight. That is just so rad.

To follow up on that: I’m really not so freaked out about the upcoming birth. There is still work for me to do there to get properly excited and to work on getting back in my body (I’ve been incredibly disassociated for a long time) but that’s not something he can do for me. He did a great job of taking the anxiety away and he was only mildly smug about it. 😀

It was probably also very useful for him to beat me over the head with the idea that if I was in trouble there would be droves of people who would show up to help me. On one hand I feel like I want to tell him it wouldn’t happen–people wouldn’t bother. But he’s right, people would show up. It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around the fact that even though people don’t have the time to spend with me all the time they would absolutely be there in an emergency. It’s kind of a weird sort of security. He pointed out that I am really good about showing up when other people have an emergency and that karma really does come back to you. Believing in that takes a kind of faith I struggle with but I’m trying.

And then I came home and talked to Noah about it and explained some of where the anxiety is coming from and he committed to being home for six weeks. It was looking like he was going to be home for a lot less time for this birth and I was really feeling upset about that and not being good about communicating my fears/needs/wants around this birth and when I got around to really saying what was going on for me he is absolutely willing to do what I need.

It’s been really hard lately expressing my needs. I have too many of them. I feel really bad for having so many needs. I feel like I am asking too much of Noah. I am avoiding talking to other people because I would rather sit home just not getting my needs met than risk asking and being told no. That hurts too much. I’m not sure what to do about the fact that there is a tremendous amount of stuff that is just not getting done because I can’t do it and I feel ashamed of asking for help. Pregnancy is the most humbled I have felt in my life. I don’t want to impose on anyone. It seems as though bad stuff is crashing down on just about everyone I know. Everyone is suffering right now and I just can’t add to that for anyone. So I just do without help. Noah and I are muddling through the absolute essentials, but there is a big gap between the absolute mandatory essentials and all the stuff that really should get done. It’s really hard when I think about the fact that much of it will have to literally wait for a year. That’s such a long time.

But! I made progress on one of my biggest points of anxiety. That’s important.

Wants vs Reality

I want to travel! I want to go on a long train ride to somewhere I have never been. I think that would be wonderful.
Reality? If I were to travel it would be to drive back to Arizona to help Sarah unpack. But that’s not a financially good decision right now. (Noah will be taking unpaid time for the next birth so we have to be more frugal than usual.)

I want to clean and organize my whole house! I want to go to the nursery and pick out a bunch of plants for the yard! I want to figure out more nifty decorating stuff for the living room!
Reality? Once again I hit that wall of money. Damnit. I also have this little problem of if I am too physically energetic I feel shitty for days and I am at the start of a long week with Shanna. It would be foolish to kill of my energy reserves early.

I want cute clothes!
Reality? Maternity clothes are f’in expensive and mostly ugly. So yeah, not a lot of point there.

I want to go to parties! I want to have sex! I want to be social!
Reality? Babysitting is in short supply. Most of the parties we are invited to are not kid-friendly. Sex just… doesn’t work the way I want it to. Being social requires that I have more people in my life who are less flaky.

Fuss! 🙂 And thus I whine on the internet.

+/-

+ BEST DINNER EVER- I need to find some way of sucking up massively to the wonderful woman who came over and cooked us fantastic Indian food last night. As I overate some of the leftovers for lunch (with that fucking fantastic pickle relish) I sat here almost crying from joy at how wonderful it was to have such amazing food. I really need to learn how to cook better. 🙂
+ Two nights in a row of getting to talk with smart, awesome, fabulous women. I win!
+ Flirtations (not even mine)
+ Awesome conversation going with a hippie/freak mama on okcupid. Hopefully that will work out into a playdate soon.
+ Best Husband Ever
+ Doing something about my fears

– Flakiness. Man am I sick of it.
– Being cold all the time. Why isn’t this pregnancy making me feel warmer!
– I’ve felt physically out of sorts for the last couple of days. Not sick, just off.
– mmmm temper tantrums
– People totally don’t post enough on livejournal. I’m looking at you!

I was out of the house all day yesterday and came home kind of cranky. I’m not feeling stellar today either. I always feel icki the day after dental work for some reason even though this was pretty mild in terms of dental stuff. I will try to respond to comments tomorrow when I’m being less of a pill. I’m not mad at anyone or cranky with anything you are likely to figure out. 🙂

In other news: the implant process is completely done. I have a ‘tooth’ in that spot for the first time in 2.5 years. It’s kind of weird.

Something else I’m thinking about

I’ve noticed that with a couple of friends I have a particular issue. So my friends are eldest children and they were assigned a lot of child-minding duties growing up. They very automatically step in and start doing what feels like parenting my kid. I have mostly bit my tongue about this but I’ve felt kind of butt-hurt. Recently I started talking to one of the people in particular and I think that I’m having the feelings I’m having because I have so many issues with my own sister and her attitudes around doing the same thing. But I don’t like that I’m feeling this way about my friends. They aren’t my sister and they don’t behave like her at all. Even if there are some surface similarities in ‘caring for nearby children’ it’s just not the same.

Ok. I’m going to make a resolution for myself. I’m going to work on my butt-hurt feelings. In all seriousness these friends who take these kinds of self-imposed caretaking roles are going to be the closest my children have to family experiences. I really want my children to feel what it is like to have people other than me who love them and take care of them. That means I need to get comfortable with it and not fuck it up for them because of my issues. I really wish that the list of ‘shit to work on’ was getting smaller instead of longer.

(Shanna asked to watch videos so I got to type again. 😛 )

Brain dump

I just kind of want to babble and I feel guilty doing it at folks on IM sometimes. 🙂

We bought into the Disney Vacation Club. It is probably not the very best timing ever given all the other financial schtuff coming up right now (teeth issues, birth, increased health insurance costs with the new job) but it’s not going to screw us over in any way. I have been feeling really trapped lately and just knowing that I have that ability to go to a hotel for a few days and it is already paid for is actually helping me feel less panicked. Not to mention that as I’ve had a few days recently of feeling fussy/not well I have really enjoyed the escapism of getting to look into possibilities for future vacations. It’s kind of like playing Lottery Fantasy only I will almost certainly get to actually do it. 😀

Loneliness comes and goes. I’m doing better than I was for a while. I have started scheduling specific time with a friend and it’s actually helping. Knowing that he cares enough to carve out a specific day every month even though he is pretty frantically busy is giving me a hefty dose of, “Yes I’m worth some effort.” It helps that he and I share some very strong core values of shared labor. Granted I can’t do a lot of physical labor right this minute, but I can provide a big vehicle that enables him to get supplies for his projects in a way that doesn’t cost him extra money. 😀 And he knows I will start doing labor as soon as I am able. And he loves my kid. 🙂 Stuff with other people is less predictable so I’m kind of hanging my hat on this hang-out with this friend. It’s a lot of pressure for him but he has indicated that he doesn’t mind. And it’s only once a month. 🙂

I’m strangely excited about the kids resale event this weekend. (www.outrageousoutgrowns.com) I’m selling stuff we don’t want/need and I’m getting a cheap thrill out of making at least a little bit of money on the stuff that we have already used as much as we want to. I’m hoping to make enough money to pay for the next size up in Shanna’s wardrobe. Given that I don’t spend much money on her clothes it is a relatively modest goal and I’m selling an awful lot of stuff. So it’s random but I’m excited. I’m less excited about going to drop the stuff off early tomorrow morning with Shanna because I have to place everything out on the sales-floor by myself. That’s going to be uncomfortable. It’ll be ok though. Would anyone have any interest in going with me to the sellers early buying time on Friday evening?

I think it is really funny that I have turned Fetlife into a place where I go to argue about parenting stuff. Not how I pictured that involvement…

I don’t feel all that present in this pregnancy, which is kind of a hard thing to explain. I had that lovely haze of pregnancy euphoria a bit for a few weeks a few weeks ago. Lately I just feel kind of clumsy and lazy but not particularly excited about being pregnant. I have constant low level sour stomach (it always feels wrong to call it heart burn) but Tums make me feel disgusting in a whole different festive way. I’m having trouble feeling really attached to this fetus. I’ve been feeling movement every so often for a while. I’m definitely growing. But… it’s like the miscarriages made me afraid to love the baby before it arrives. I don’t like feeling this way.

I’m having a hard time processing how I feel about the upcoming delivery and how I feel about Shanna’s birth in retrospect. I feel… kind of defensive. I feel like the fact that I got pain meds means that I can’t ‘really’ handle labor even though I never got to the point where it felt all that painful. I feel like I must be lying to myself about the experience. Even though no one has ever contradicted my experience of my birth in any way I feel like there must be people who think that I am weak because I went to the hospital. I feel overwhelming shame about the fact that I needed sleep that badly. Which is really pretty stupid. I know logically that I am not a wuss/weak/pathetic because I needed sleep but I feel like those things are true. I’m scared I am not going to be able to handle the second labor. I’m scared that if it takes a long time I am going to cave much easier and not see a point in fighting for a natural labor because I am obviously too pathetic to handle one. I really don’t know how to handle these feelings. This physical sensation of being too weak/pathetic is overwhelming and I can feel it shutting down huge parts of my brain/body. I know that being afraid is going to cause me problems. My labor with Shanna wasn’t painful until I was beyond exhausted and terrified wondering how many more days would go by before it ended. I really don’t know what to do with these feelings.

Shanna says I am out of babbling time today.

Followed up on the milk.

I sent an email to our co-op host and she replied with a long winded version of, “I’m not doing anything wrong! Their receipt is messed up and I don’t know why!” I get the impression I’m not the first person to ask about it and she is feeling kind of defensive.

So I called the dairy. 🙂 The prices we are being shown on the receipt are the prices you get if you drive to the dairy yourself and pick it up. The driver of the delivery truck has a faulty machine and he has been told to stop using it. Apparently he was told a while ago and he isn’t following directions. We are being charged what my co-op host charges us.

Debs–the reason the whole milk is so much more expensive is because they make $9/pint on cream. They have trouble getting rid of the skim. 🙂 So of course they charge less for it.

So I’m glad I asked. I’m also glad I asked in a polite way. I’m also glad I followed up with the dairy because now there is no doubt in my mind that my co-op host is on the up and up. Yay for certainty. (I apologized for any perceived slight upon her character.)