Letting the water roll…

Thank you all for the suggestions and support. I feel better just having expressed myself a bit.

Things are not settling down here at all, in fact we are getting over a several day long killer stomach flu, but I am feeling more capable.

There is a little short on Noggin I keep muttering to myself that seems to be helping.

“Quack, quack, waddle and quack, just let the water roll off your back.”

I am letting the water roll.

Coming out of the emotional closet…

Before I begin this attempt at unadulterated internet communication I feel it necessary to explain that I have become one of those “Pollyanna” people who rarely admit to being anything other than fine. I wish I could say it was out of some brave desire to save those around me from my problems, but in reality it stems from stress and exhaustion, and the fact that talking about my problems means dealing with them. Dealing with my problems, on an emotional level, is a lot harder than simply “moving past” them and on with my life.

Of course, I am perfectly capable of ignoring the effect this lack of dealing has on my life. Hence my reason for being here, tonight, and writing this.

I am not fine.

I am stressed, exhausted, overloaded, sad, and generally too busy to do anything about the above.

I am terrified that my new practice is going to fail, and that even if it succeeds it will happen too late to make a difference in our current precariously balanced financial situation. Everyone tells me it takes three years to make a go at a practice, but tell that to the fucking credit card companies and student loan holders who ask for a combined total of over $2000.00 a month. I don’t have three years to make this a success. I have to succeed at something now.

To top it off, in an effort to lower that frightening $2000.00 a month by deferring my loans, I have gone back to school part time. Therefore I am spending 10 – 15 hours a week on a classload I don’t need just to buy me time to build up the practice. My class time interferes with my practice time, and the babysitting help I have is used up for school and I haven’t even had time to work remotely close to as much as I should have in one class. I am bound to fail it, which shouldn’t matter, except that it will show up on my transcripts if I wish to apply for graduate school someday. Which I do.

I never have time to clean my house, we don’t have the money to fix the leaky roof or the swollen floorboards or hire an exterminator for the hideously large flying ants that have invaded the rooftop deck and pop into the masterbathroom for a shower or a spa from time to time. We have a broken dishwasher that we can’t afford to fix, even though that means more than tripling the time we spend doing dishes.

I am sucking at being a mom right now because I don’t have a lot of time to spend with my children and they are “babysat” by the television more than I ever wanted them to be. I don’t have the energy or the time to play a lot, and I often feel as though all I do is oversee them, instead of interacting with them. I occassionally remedy this by ditching work and school to play with them, but that always results in less success in work and school.

I am not the best partner right now because I am so stressed out that I never feel as though I have time to be a wife. I rarely play and laugh anymore, and I have developed an uncanny ability to fight and argue with my darling husband. I used to take all the things he said with the idea that he meant well, even if they came out really badly. This is an important thing to do when you live with an engineer, they really think from a different perspective and find nothing initially wrong with telling you a dress makes you look “hippy”. To them, it’s a problem solving thing. Thusly it is enormously important that I retain my sense of humor and ability to recognize that he means well and isn’t being a dick.

I am sad because as much as I love my life, and I do, I don’t dream anymore. I realize on every level that I am incredibly blessed. I have an amazing husband, who is a best friend and partner in addition to being a spouse. I have two funny, intelligent, caring, sweet, and lovely children who I get to spend most of each day with. I have a lovely home that, as of yet, is not in danger of foreclosure, and my husband has a job that pays most of our bills. I wouldn’t trade anything about my life at all. I look at my life and I feel like an ass for complaining about it for even a moment.

As a child I spent hours building castles in the air, dreams about what my life would someday be. I don’t do that anymore. It seems a waste of time to dream about things that will never be. I miss being able to lose myself in a rosy image of my future. I miss my dreams.

So I am not fine these days. I don’t know if there is anything to do about it, other than continue to move on with my life and do what I have set out to do. I don’t know why I finally felt like saying this, online, tonight, but I couldn’t help myself. I guess this is part of saying goodbye to my childhood, and hello to everything adult.

Thank you for listening.

Pick this up and pass it on…

It’s halfway through April and you have the opportunity to make a difference for the Sante Fe river!

Wild Earth Guardians is competing with four other environmental projects for a $50,000.00 grant through the Redwood Creek Wines Great Outdoors project.

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Coinciding with Santa Fe‘s 400th anniversary, WildEarth Guardians’ Santa Fe River “Stream Team” project will use the grant money to restore a three-mile historic stretch of America’s most Endangered River and build a trail reconnecting the community with its namesake river.

To win the $50,000 for the Santa Fe River, we must gather the most votes through a public voting contest on RedwoodCreek.com. From April 1 through May 31, make sure you log on to RedwoodCreek.com and vote for WildEarth Guardians’ Stream Team project. You may also text message “earth” to 39668. You can vote both ways daily!

You have to register with Redwood Creek Wines, but they honor their email permissions and they have not contacted me with spam since I registered. Once you have an account you can vote every day. Please help Wild Earth Guardians save the Sante Fe River. Vote today, pass this information on to everyone you know, and make a difference!!

Little Men…

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Otter at three days old.

Two years (and a day) ago Otter entered the world after a glorious, and screamy, natural birth. I will never forget waking up that morning, about 5:30 a.m. with the feeling that this time the contractions were different. I sat on the bed watching the light begin to filter through the little wholes left by the lace pattern in my curtains and listening to my husband snore as they got stronger and stronger. Finally, around 6:30 a.m., I woke Lee up and told him it was time. He, very sensibly, suggested we go back to sleep for a while, but really, there was no way that was happening.

We got up, called the doctor, and went in to see him before I even got a solid breakfast under my lack of a belt. He checked me out and encouraged me to go to the hospital. I calmly explained that we were going to go home and walk around for a while first, because I wanted to be home as long as possible, per my doula’s instructions. He encouraged me to go to the hospital. I told him I would begin to head over there after I had a nice leisurely breakfast with my family, so I had the energy to sustain my labor. He told to me go the the hospital right away.We left his office around 8 a.m.

We began to head over, and halfway there my contractions had sped up to five minutes apart. By the time Lee got the birthing tub set up, they were under four. The hot water felt so good and relaxed me considerably. Over the next nine or so hours I spent most of my time listening to music, soaking in the tub, and dancing in the hallways with hubby as we waited for Otter to come. I stole some of his chinese beef sticks, drank some water, and got increasingly interested in what was happening “downstairs”.

Finally, I was sick of the tub, sick of the music, and generally sick of everyone, a clear indication it was time. I got up on the bed, and after a very long, to me anyway, period of time I managed to deliver an 11 pound, 6 ounce Otter. There was screaming and cursing and breathing, requests to turn on/up/off the music, and one awful moment when the urge to push stopped just as he was crowning, making me completely aware of exactly how much my body was going through. There was also this absolute certainty that every woman who had birthed a child before me was lined up behind me, stretching back to the first mother, urging me on. All my ancestors, all my sisters, all the women in time. I let go in that moment, felt lifted beyond my stressed out body and pain, and out he came. He was born a little after 5:30 p.m., twelve hours after I began to suspect his imminent arrival.

When they put him on my stomach I “oof’d” just a little at his weight. I remember thinking what a solid little guy he was. He didn’t have piles of babyfat, like he would develop later, but seemed to be all strength and muscle. A little man on my tummy, purple and wrinkly, waiting for his blood flow to pink him up. We got to cuddle for over an hour while they cleaned us up, then he was wheeled away for baby testing stuff and I was wheeled away for a shower, a meal, and recovery. Lee, bless his heart, was left to clean up the birthing tub.

Another memory of that day, clear as glass, is our first night together. Lee had taken Marlena home and Otter and I were in the hospital room, each in our little bed, side by side. I could look between the handles on my bed and see into his cradle. We lay there for hours, staring at each other through the glass, hand in hand, simply gazing. I fell in love.

Otter and Monkey
Otter and Monkey

Now, this little man is two years old. He can sign in full sentences, having decided that speaking, though possible, isn’t nearly as cute and effective as sign. He can eat perfectly with a fork and spoon, knows how to work the remotes on the Apple TV, and loves anything with buttons. He is a vendor of kisses, and will sweetly pat me on the head when he hugs me, just to tell me how much he cares. We celebrated his birth with a few family and friends, a strawberry vanilla layer cake, a balloon forest, and a ball pit. (Oh yeah, and I spiked the grown up’s punch.)

A bright pink strawberry cake for my boy!
A bright pink strawberry cake for my boy!
Six layers of frosting and Strawberry jam between Vanilla cake.
Six layers of frosting and Strawberry jam between Vanilla cake.
A ball pit in a forest of balloons.
A ball pit in a forest of balloons.
Monkey and Otter figure out the ball pit.
Monkey and Otter figure out the ball pit.
Otter and Emma share a quiet moment in the ball pit.
Otter and Emma share a quiet moment in the ball pit.
Monkey and Caitlin play the goon
Monkey and Caitlin play the goon
Hatchet and Logan investigate some balloons.
Hatchet and Logan investigate some balloons.
Nama and Nana share some love.
Nama and Nana share some love.
Kathy and Da share a tale or two.
Kathy and Da share a tale or two.
Ben and his nevvy show a great deal of interest in the cake cutting.
Ben and his nevvy show a great deal of interest in the cake cutting.
Aunty Mop enjoys the spiked coffee drinks a la Lee.
Aunty Mop enjoys the spiked coffee drinks a la Lee.
John enjoys a frosty beverage.
John enjoys a frosty beverage.
Papa watches his boy throw balls down the ball slide.
Papa watches his boy throw balls down the ball slide.
Otter gets a little scared by all the singing.
Otter gets a little scared by all the singing.
Closing his eyes, he makes a wish and blows out the candle.
Closing his eyes, he makes a wish and blows out the candle.
Yay Otter!!
Yay Otter!!
Mommy cuts the cake while Otter tests the berries for quality.
Mommy cuts the cake while Otter tests the berries for quality.
Lily trumpets through the party.
Lily trumpets through the part while Emma enjoys some Daddy time.
Monkey and Otter play in the ball pit.
Monkey and Otter play in the ball pit.

There were so many wonderful people there, and I have about 200 pictures of the blessed event, but as time and interest are in short supply, you get the above!   It was a successful party for my little man, so much bigger than he was two years ago. I am so pleased to have him here with me, as his innate sweetness brightens up even my hardest hours. Before I had him, I couldn’t imaging sharing my life with any child other than Monkey, now that he is here, I feel as though our family has been made complete.

Happy Birthday baby boy, and many, many, more.

Love,

Mama

Business as usual…

Okay, after determining yesterday that I had nothing to say here, I find myself needing to write today. Maybe, where blogging once relieved the isolation of being thousands of miles away from home, it can now relieve the isolation of working under the stairwell in my house, with only Otter and the dogs to talk to.

I am trying to order business cards. I have a nice logo:

Fancy law office logo
Fancy law office logo

and I want to use it on the back of the cards. However, I also want the cards to be environmentally friendly, and therefore printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper. Oh yeah, and they can’t cost a bloody fortune either. Which is why my morning has been sucked up by the design center at about 7 different eco-printers while I try to find a template of theirs that will place my logo on the center of the back and my info on the front.
So far I am bust. It would appear having one’s logo on the back of the card is …. not in. If I want the recycled logo on the back of my cards they will gladly oblige, but my own brand on my business cards! Pshaw!!

I guess it’s back to Moo.com. They are pricey, but they do full color cards on recycled paper and they let you design anything you want. They are just about double the cost of any of the other sites.

Falling off the face of the internet…

It’s not that I want to lose my readers and wave goodbye to the hard earned stats acquired after two solid years of blogging effort. (Though sadly my 200 or more readers a day is down to between 13 and 40. Hello there 1-40! Sorry I haven’t posted much lately!)

It’s that I have nothing to say.

It’s true. I seem to be out of words the second I sit down to blog. When I was lonely in Jersey the words spilled out of my mind and onto my keyboard multiple times a day, but now, now I can barely think of anything to say. Hell, sometimes lately I feel as though Facebook is too much of a social commitment for me. I had to quit Twitter because there was no way I was adding that much constant communication to my day.

Is that nuts? Is it weird to love something so much you have to restrain yourself from doing it all the time and then suddenly want to stop?

I know blogging made me feel healthier, and I think maybe I should keep at it, regardless of my reluctance.

So… one post a week. That is my goal. One post a week is a good start. It won’t hit the over 200 posts I had my first year, but it might give me a chance to put up Otter’s bday pictures, share my office stories, and rejoin this world that cradled me when times were tough. It may give me a chance to reconnect with my far away friends, my internet friends, and the people I connect with, even though we have never met in person.

After all, I blogged when I had a new baby, and now, my work is my new baby. I have a lot of exciting things going on in my little office under the stairs. Maybe it’s time to transition away a little for motherhood and write more about law.

However, Otter is next… once I have edited the photos, his birthday party, complete with ball pit and balloon forest, will be up for your perusing pleasure. After all… a kiddo birthday can’t be ignored, regardless of the stack of grant proposals piling up on one’s desk.