Babysitting is improving.

I feel like I’m getting a lot of help with the kids. The neighborhood girl, I found a lady online who has come a few times, Noah is doing lots, adult friends come over and pay a lot of attention to the kids. I feel like things are improving over where they were a year and more ago. I don’t feel as desperately overwhelmed by being with them *all* the time. Cause I’m not. Noah is going to be gone for five days in January. Only one of those days involves me being alone with the kids all day. Every other day has two or four hours of help. That feels different.

I’m feeling scared about paying for so much child care. It’s going to be a big bite out of our budget. But after playing with Mint earlier today… that’s less scary. We are burning through money at a rapid rate but Noah is earning a lot more than I’m spending. Our investments continue to grow (Shanna’s 529 has had an 11%-15% growth rate!) and I am overwhelmingly happy about paying a big chunk on the mortgage. It means I have slightly less padding with the remodel coming up, but I can finance the bathroom remodel for 0% (for two years) and my mortgage is a lot higher than that. It’ll all get paid off. In the next six years. Holy crap. It will. It really will. At this point we have less than $190,000 (I’m not perfectly sure where in the $180,000’s but I’ll find out at the end of the year.) to go on the mortgage. This year I probably paid off over $25,000 in principle (there was more money sent–but it went to interest) which isn’t quite as much as I want to be sending. But with every year that passes the $25k is actually higher because I’m paying less on interest. Math is so awesome.

I feel incredibly overwhelmed by the fact that I will pay my house off that fast. And I will go on a big cross country trip next year. And I’ll go on a Disney Cruise in 2016 and get remarried because we want to. Because that way I will get to wear a pretty dress and have pictures taken with my daughters. Because I feel sad that just like my mother, there isn’t a picture of my wedding day. I was sad my whole childhood not to see a picture of my parents get married. It wasn’t till I was married that I realized… she was nine months pregnant. No wonder they didn’t take pictures. (Wasn’t his baby.) And we will spend a year traveling the world in only about seven years.

Noah makes me feel like all of my dreams will come true. If I can figure out how to stretch the money far enough… I can do whatever I want.

It’s like magic.

I’m feeling incredibly blessed and incredibly crazy lately. My emotions are bouncing like a fucking rubber ball. I am intensely aware that I have a lot of good in my life. I don’t know how to deal with the pit of anxiety in my stomach. It will all be taken away and given to someone good. Someone who deserves to have nice things. That will never be me.

I’m feeling a little more settled on some of my feelings about my shrink. I’ve had some good thinking time in the last day or so. If I can’t find a way to feel more validated by her then I should in my head pull back and just see her long enough to reup my medical card before the trip. When I come home I can start the search for a new shrink.

I think that next time I will look for someone near me who is open to being trained by a client. Which sounds kind of weird. I’m happy to educate you about alternative lifestyle choices, weird educational theory, or give you long lists of books that are more authoritative than I am. No problem.

I need a therapist who will validate that I am clearly trying hard. I need a therapist who thinks that I am doing well given the load I bear. I need it. Or I need to stop paying for something that isn’t meeting my needs. This isn’t a bullshit thing. This is a real problem.

I don’t need a therapist to think I am perfect or to give me unthinking platitudes. I like people who call me on my shit. But I need someone to call me on my shit while still basically liking me and thinking that I am overall trying–I’m just fucking up in this spot.

I spent a lot of today working on the itinerary for the road trip. Soon I will need an email list for keeping up with all the people I’m trying to see. One to one contact will overwhelm me. I’ll forget people then they will feel rejected and sad. My monkeysphere definitely stretches the limits of my ability to cognitively picture everyone without added connecting steps. I think of people in groups. I think of how I know them, who I know that they know. Without those steps… I’d lose people. I recognize their face and say, “Vaguely familiar but I don’t know why.”

I think that is one of the coolest websites on the internet. I’ve had a busy day.

I have planned out how far we are driving, where we are sleeping, and how long for each hop all the way through early November. I ran out of time to finish the last few weeks. Also I’m waiting on a response from Noah’s family. I told his brother that I could technically make the Texas leg longer if folks really want us to. But I’m at the end of a five month trip so I just scheduled a few days. Let me know if I should change those plans because you really wish you got more time. I told them to let me know by January. At the end of January I will be scheduling my Disneyland hotel room for the last hop on the trip. Technically… I can book today. But I’m being nice. If I want more Texas time that bumps my Disneyland dates.

Ok, spent a little more time rescheduling stuff for the trip. I made it so I can *either* do camp/drive/camp/drive (with relatively short hops) for the last section of the trip OR I can add time into the Texas wing and have more drive/drive/drive days. It’s not going to be my favorite, but I really am limiting the number of miles we go in a day so we will have lots of non-driving time in every driving day. I’m only driving 3-4 hours.

I’m looking forward to this challenge in ways I can’t describe. I haven’t run away from home for a long time in a long time. Even the trip to Scotland didn’t feel long enough and that was a month. Being still is hard.

And, to be honest, I’ll appreciate my friends so much more after an absence.

Pretty sure I’ve nailed down Disney World dates. 9/22-10/15. Not quite a month. Long enough. Three weeks will be great. I hope we get to resort hop from Old Key West to Boardwalk to Saratoga Springs to Animal Kingdom Concierge. The last few days I don’t want to buy food. I want to live off the concierge buffet and leftovers. Ha.

I feel like I had a day of productive work. I have nailed down probable sleeping locations for the entire camping trip. I fixed the mileage counts to be attainable given the new speed limits I must follow. The whole damn way I will hear this song in my head. I probably won’t make my kids listen to it.

But I’m having serious thoughts about whether or not I want to introduce my kids to The Coup in the next few years. I will introduce the band by middle-school age. Just not sure when.

Since I’m linking to music, this song made me very sad then angry. I turned it off and started going off. “What a stupid song! What an idiotic idea! I can’t believe that in 2014 anyone is so ridiculously stupid as to say that only girls can cry. What is wrong with her?!”

My kids will be very warped.

I spend a lot of time appreciating my kids. They seek me out. Over and over all day. They come looking for me just because they want to be near me. I’m not used to that. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming but I try to ride the wave.

I don’t believe in the staircase approach to life. I don’t think you are always getting better and improving. I believe in the roller coaster model of life. Good things happen and shitty things happen and there is no end in sight. Suck it, bozo.

No matter how good it is *right now*… this isn’t permanent. It’s just right now. Don’t get too attached.

I feel like 2014 was a great year. Yes, it had ups and downs. Some pretty big inconveniences (hello… court… my dishwasher flooding the kitchen…) but I’ll recover.

I have not had an experience in the last 12 months that increases my trauma load. The most traumatic pieces of the year came from friend relationships. Half from me appropriately seeing that someone had such issues that the person does NOT belong around children and struggling with that and the other half over being a needy pit and not knowing how to manage that. So I guess that’s same ol’ same ol’.

2015 is shaping up to be a fantabulous, amazing, awe inspiring year. I’m really looking forward to the trip.

I have stopped tracking. I’m pooping. Once or twice a day. It’s solid or close enough to solid that I wouldn’t be able to get anyone to care. I’ve had a few random squirts of diarrhea late in the day a couple of times but mostly… things have settled down.

My legs are tight because I have been sitting still for three months. Time to change that. We have a 5k at the end of the month (all four of us!) so we have been getting out for some practice walks. I told Noah that I think we should have a three day cycle. Walk the full distance (3.1 miles) one day. Next day run as much as we physically can for 30 minutes. Rest day.

Given that we are running at the pace of 4 and 6 year olds…. I won’t be increasing my speed as much I otherwise might but we’ll have fun. We’ve been consistent for about a week. My ankle still twinges when I sit criss cross apple sauce. Come on body. Heal.

I understand that objectively my paranoia is very odd to other people. Clearly, not everyone hates me. Clearly my life is not all bad. Clearly I’m not in overwhelming pain every minute of the day.

I just noticed that Sobonfu Somé’s grief ritual in San Francisco this year will be the weekend of March 20-22. I am going to try and make it again. I suspect that having a release of grieving before running off for months is a good idea. It’s on my calendar so I hopefully won’t double book like I did last time. That made me so sad. That grief ritual has been the *only time in my life* where it was ok for me to cry and scream and rage like that with other people around me holding space for my behavior to be acceptable and appropriate.

That’s like… whoa. Like… hella whoa. I would like to go back.

My life is so full and so blessed. I feel like I am going to have to be very careful what socializing I let in for the first six months of the year. I have to build a spoon reserve. I have a lot of long, big things coming up. This year is incredibly busy.

In January Noah will be gone a five day trip. (Yay for Dad’s weekend! I’m glad the boys are finally running off.) I’m not alone with the kids as much as you would think given that. It will be fine. We have Lego Club to keep us busy. We have hair cuts and trips up to visit friends. We need to schedule a Modesto trip. And a specific friend has been cancelled on multiple times due to illness and it is time to make it up to her. At the end we run a 5k.

February: 5 days in Disneyland. That will make the whole month feel slammed. (but in a good way!)

March: Four day SF/F writing convention. Three day grief ritual. The kids get to go to the dentist (luckily this is a fun process). That’s the big stuff.

April: BABSCON (My Little Pony shit). Otherwise just “normal” socializing. I should probably carve out some time for a camping test-trip this month. In fact, I’ll be nutty and propose a trip to the home schoolers. I’ve gotta say, camping with the home schoolers has been really nice. No interactions with humans are completely perfect at all time but we have fun. I don’t feel overwhelmed. I don’t feel loathed. It’s really nice.

May: Maybe a camping weekend if April doesn’t work out. Otherwise, May will be kind of slow on purpose. A lower than normal level of socializing.

June: we leave mid-month. After I get a massage. Because I’m spoiled and lucky.

Man I need to quite typing and go to sleep.

2 thoughts on “Babysitting is improving.

  1. P.

    I love the Raelynn song, but that is probably because I don’t get to live that life. (There totally are sexist country songs but I save my rage for the ones about how chicks are only good for a fuck instead of the ones that cherish the range of lives that women are allowed to lead.) I get that I’m never going to be granted that life so I find it comforting to hear people acknowledge that it is an awesome gift.

    I think it’s awesome that you have been having success with GI stuff lately. Because of you, I started tracking my food intake (a few metrics were not within the suggested range).

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