Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here's a few highlights from today and tonight:




Little Man opening his first Christmas present.



Getting the hang of it!



Surrounded by a few of the mountain of toys this boy is to get...



Along with his big boy backpack (so he can leave our bags alone).




Cheese!!!

And last but not least, me singing as is tradition every year. Steve didn't know that my family makes me sing every year. All in good fun. :-)


video

Monday, December 7, 2009

Late Night Little Steve Blogging :-)

First of all, it's freezing in this house. It's not that we don't have any heat, it's just that the furnace hasn't cut on yet. Can't wait until it does. Turns out there was something wrong with the duct layout of our furnace last year, and when maintenance came to fix it I guess it was realized that we were overcharged for freezing last year. Our bill was sky high. We finally covered up the main vent, left the furnace off and used space heaters. Can't do that this year with the little gremlin running around.


Now, on to my little gremlin... THAT BOY!!!



Little Steve is now 11 months old. I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed. I go back and look at pictures and videos of the last several months, and I can't believe that those days just flew by. My son is highly intelligent, VERY hardheaded and very expressive. He loves music. He will stop whatever he's doing to watch TV if the people are singing. We were watching the American Movie Awards a few weeks back (well Steve was, I don't really pay much attention to the TV anymore), and when Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sang their song An Empire State of Mind, my son froze in his tracks and gazed at the TV for the duration of that song. I swear he didn't move. He loves it when either myself or Steve sing to him. I enjoy calling Daddy at work to have him sing the Barney Song.

Little Steve has adapted to daycare. It took only a week-and-a-half. He's now not as people shy as he used to be. I guess he understands now that Mommy and Daddy can leave him in someone else's care, and he'll be okay. Still, it's kind of daunting that he listens to his daycare provider yet not to me. She can get him to eat and nap, but let Mommy do it, it doesn't work. Little Steve also loves to pull down our vertical blinds. He's broken two off, and the entire set no longer works properly. When he starts yanking and I ask him to leave it alone, he just ignores me. When I get up to get him, he runs away with his hands in the air....laughing. Ah, how amusing Mommy is.

With Christmas right around the corner, I find myself getting excited for him. He has no idea what's in store. When we turn on the Christmas lights, he just gazes in awe. We have no tree...because I know my son. Everything is a toy if it isn't edible. He'd probably flush whatever he couldn't eat down the toilet. Wait a minute, he doesn't know how to do that yet...he only knows how to reach IN the toilet. Which is a reminder for Mommy and Daddy to always flush. *eeew*


Life is definitely adventurous in this house, which takes our minds off of the difficult things. I'm trying to be like Reb Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I try to always be cheerful, but when I cannot I just talk frankly to God. It helps. I find myself getting anxious these days, and I don't want to be that way, but I just cannot understand God's purpose for me. I've always believed that my suffering was preparing me for something, I'm just ready for that something to hurry up and come already. It's very discouraging to think that I've never been able to really enjoy my life. I believe that it's time to. And I want to tap into that joy soon so that the little one who is watching me will live by that example, instead of an example of struggling. I believe I learned my mindset from my family. They always hammered it into my head that life would never be fair and would always be a struggle. But I haven't seen that be the case for everyone. I believe that unfairness and struggle are definitely a reality, but I also believe in love and integrity...and in fairness as well as service...truth. Why can't I live a life defined by these things, instead of bowing my head each time someone does me wrong and saying, "it'll always be this way"?

I don't want it to always be this way. I believe our children watch us closely. I want my son to see his parents as successful individuals so that he can see the possibility within himself. Growing up all I saw was frustration, anger and misery. For years I've lived that out.

It's time for it to stop.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November News

Well, it's been almost a month since I started working. Little Steve started daycare this week, and it was definitely a poignant turning point for both Mommy and Daddy. Little Man is adjusting, but he's thrown up each day this week at daycare. He seems to like the other children, and is very attached to his caregiver. He's also a young boy who likes to do everything head first. He is also very HEADSTRONG. Gets that from his Daddy.

Work is going okay, the upside is that I am working again, I'm getting out of the house (which is good for my sanity), and I'm also seeing how far I can go physically. Hard things: constantly aching feet, small server tips and "office" politics.

I actually ended up walking off the job a couple of weeks ago. Not something I would normally do, but my focus now is on improving the circumstances of my family. That is why I went back to work, and I put on blinders when I go to work. I'm there to do a job, and because I believe that I can work my way up in this job, I'm ignoring some of the things that would normally disappoint me. But I will not tolerate others slacking off around me and getting paid more. Long story short, I was in a store with no manager and a bunch of kids playing around a few weeks ago, and I left. My manager called me and we talked; I explained to her my dismay over having my tables stolen two nights in a row, and also my frustration over the young folks around me who chose to complain and not work, when there are folks out there like me with a family and kids who would take that minimum wage job and make the best of it. She told me to come back, but the atmosphere is definitely different.

One thing I've noticed throughout my life is that I often have difficulty communicating with other people on even the most superficial of levels. Perhaps it's because I don't want to be superficial, and also because my vocabulary is "different". I rarely use slang, and if I do it's at least a decade old. I prefer to just speak clearly. The things that interest me don't interest my peers, and I come across as an old lady due to the limitations of my health. Most of the people I work with are younger than me or related to one another, so sometimes I feel left out. But I try to go in and just give everyone a smile, concentrate on my work and leave when the day is done. I have a goal I'm trying to reach, and that goal won't be reached any faster if I make friends at work. In fact, getting any closer to the intrigue there might be detrimental. Folks are constantly gossipping. But I do feel lonely at times. It would be nice to have people my age around who shared some of my interests. Perhaps that day will come at a later time.

Today was Steve's birthday. Little Steve and I each got him a card, and I got Steve a new dress shirt and tie. I wanted to do more, but our financial constraints won't let us do that. But I have faith that it won't always be this way. We had pizza for dinner and joked about how old we are. Personally, I can't wait to turn 30. I also got in touch with everyone on our Facebook pages and made them wish him Happy Birthday (on time!). I think he liked that. Steve's not used to positive attention.

Little Steve is running around the house now. He understands the word "no", but that doesn't mean he listens. We stay on him. He likes to rip down the vertical blinds. Mommy would love to bathe without his presence once in a while. Especially when it's early morning and we have to get ready to go. It's easier to get him dressed first, but not if I have to change him because he tried to jump in the shower.

With each day that passes, Steve and I marvel that almost a year has passed so quickly. We can't wait to see how Little Man reacts to Thanksgiving, Christmas and his first Birthday. I hope that our finances are such that we can throw a little party. I plan to make cupcakes for Little Steve's daycare friends. Little Steve loves Mickey Mouse, and we've been looking for as many Mickey Mouse themed items as we can. I need to get him a stuffed Mickey Mouse to sleep with once we get his toddler bed set up. I was gonna use the crib as one, as it converts, but Daddy forgot that we had to take the bedroom door off to get it in the room, and broke it. I'm still kind of peeved about that. We can't afford a new bed right now, and both Steves wrestle in their sleep. Doesn't bother me as I sleep like the dead, but Daddy complains in the morning. Well, that's what he gets as he should not have broken the bed. Should've left me alone to do what I was doing (take it apart in one room, reassemble in another). *sigh* Stubborn men.

Well, it's off to bed now. I wish I knew of a way to stop the constant foot aching. :-) But painful progress is still progress, is it not?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hard Day's Work

I've been working one week today. It's 20 before midnight and I should be in bed, but I know that the thoughts in my head will disappear while I'm trying to make my son go back to sleep in 7 hours. He's a morning person, just like his Daddy. :-)

Well, it looks like I have somewhat of a career path here. My RGM (Restaraunt General Manager) wants to train me and one other co-worker to be shift managers. So I guess, by the end of the year, I will be in management. Wow.

I've sat behind a desk for 14 years and could have probably done the job of many of my bosses. But it took a job at Pizza Hut to prove that I can indeed lead people. Like I said, wow.

I like the people I work with. The work is physically hard, but I think that's just something to get used to. My feet already feel less achy as the days go by. I like the fact that I'm not just sitting there trying to look busy. Today I think a cousin tried to call and prank me at work...but I was too much of a professional to call him out. Oh, if only we had Caller ID. I could have told him we don't deliver to Woodbridge. I'll chew him out tomorrow.

As I was washing dishes tonight, I was thinking that I'd rather work myself to death and be recognized for what I do, than continue to sit year after year behind a desk doing someone else's work and not being appreciated because I don't have a special title or degree. Poor Steve is dealing with that himself; he can do so much, but because he's just a contractor, some of his co-workers feel that they can mistreat him. I long for the day when he's working somewhere better. He deserves better. One of the vows I plan to make when we marry, my goal is to see that he experiences "better". He's had so much disappointment in his life.

Apparently in order to be a manager, I'll have to become a Certified Restaurant Manager. So, I'm finally going down a defined career path. I think I'm going to stay on this path until I finish my Master's degree. I've been too through with Corporate America for a long time. If I manage my own restaraunt, I can really give back. Manage and supervise in the way I was not. Help young people, give folks a second chance. There are many good people out there being passed up for good jobs due to poor choices or even bad luck. I know, I've been there.

Well, off to bed. 4 more night shifts...and early mornings with baby.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally....

It has been 462 days since I was last employed. 1 year, 3 months and 5 days. It's been like a prison sentence to me. I often dispaired of ever being free. I did my best to remind myself that this situation was but temporary. I'm happy to say that I succeeded. But I've learned a lot during this difficult time. Tuesday I start a new job (hopefully). I say hopefully, because I'm still in shock, I'm still holding my breath. I don't think that it will become real to me until I start Tuesday night. And I'll probably have a panic attack Tuesday night. What I've been hired to do is not difficult at all, but this past year and a half has been very damaging to my sense of self. I often tell my therapist that it's going to take a lot to reverse the damage done to my soul by this time. I have to learn to believe in myself again, I have to learn to do things for myself simply for the sake of doing so again. I have to learn to enjoy myself again. Still, with all the damage done I can honestly say that I have come through this a wiser person.

Oh, I've learned so many things.

I feel like my life is taking on a new face, like I'm at a new beginning. And that is what I intend to make it. I fully understand the difficulty that I am going to face as me and my family transition into something new. But I'm prepared for that. I'd rather be dead tired than poor and willingly ignorant. And they do sell Red Bull in bulk at Costco. I'll have to work that in the budget. This job could not have come any sooner. My unemployment benefits are set to run out in 10 days, and they never let you know if you're eligible for an extension. Even if I were, it'd only get us through February. I like the idea of my income being based on my performance rather than the government's budget.

But like I said above, I've learned so many things.

My stroke taught me what could happen when I let fear take over my life, and I failed to take care of myself. I will never again let another human being make me fear for my future. Above all things, I have choices. I'm always thinking ahead now, plans A, B and C...and D if necessary. And if those doin't work? Well, I'll just stick the pencil back over my ear and go right back to the drawing board.

The health problems after the stroke taught me the extent of my endurance. I always saw myself as sickly prior to the stroke. Now I know just how much pain I can take before I drop. And that's a good thing, because with fatigue comes pain in my world. I know my body better now, I'm prepared now.

Going on bedrest taught me how to accept help. Given my family situation, I have had to learn to either do it myself or do without. I'm now learning to let people do things for me because they want to, and I'm learning to my delight that those people actually exist.

The isolation of my health problems taught me who my friends and family truly are. There are only a few people who I can excuse from being around, my big sister H and my best friend Z. One is a busy mom herself, not to mention busy at work. I've always known that she loves me unconditionally. She is one of the few. My best friend Z lives far away...but if he were here, he'd be at my side. It hurt at first, realizing that a lot of the people who once sang my praises only did so because my presence served them on some level, but I am glad to have them out of my life now. Simple is good.

Being a mother taught me that I am not my mother. I can do what the women in my family were unable to do for their children. I can and have broken the cycle. My family is still dysfunctional (Mom's side), but I can love them from a distance and still hold onto my dignity. And unfortunately for them, they're coming to realize that Samantha will take you out at the knees for disrespect these days. Allow me my basic human dignity and I will allow you yours...and then some. That's my nature.

Living in poverty has taught both me and Steve that we wasted what we had before. We now live more responsibly, and will continue to do so despite the change in our circumstances. My job is just minimum wage, but it's not welfare. That's what matters to me. So when people ask me where I'm working, I'll proudly say Pizza Hut. It's better than standing in line for the Dole. Now, when my family needs something, we can get it, instead of trying to juggle other financial concerns to make sure we have underwear with no holes in it. I can actually buy my son Christmas presents this year. It would have been very hard for me if I were not able to do that. All that my son has is due to the charity of close friends, my brother and sister-in-law, and his grandparents. Steve and I could not have done this alone, and that has broken my heart. But now I can look at the FAO Schwarz catalogue and dream. They're not as expensive as they used to be when I was a kid.

One thing I forgot to add...the most important thing: my helplessness taught me to look to God. Throughout all of this, my soul has been crying out. I know that if I were to ever lose my faith, I would lose my sanity as well. I am happy to say that I have learned much better how to trust my Father. I'm still a work in progress, but I can see His hand in all of this. I know that there are some looking at my life and thinking it is utterly depraved, but they don't see everything. He does, and with every setback, sin and difficulty He is teaching me and my husband-to-be how to be better people. Getting Steve to understand that we could do more than just survive, we could actually LIVE and THRIVE has been two full-time jobs. But I think he gets it now. He deserves to be happy, and if it takes me a decade to undo the damage that was done to him by those who did not value him, then so be it. If I came into his life for one reason only, I believe that reason was to make him happy and give him at least one of his heart's desires (Little Man). Steve came into my life to show me that there was someone around who cared and who could stick by through all the illness and pain. This time has worn us both out and almost ripped us apart, but we were determined if only for the sake of our son, we would remain a family and work things out. We're like the Bundy's these days (I can cook better than Peg), but it's all good. There's plenty of time for heart-stopping romance. At least we are friends. That is the foundation on which to build a marriage. If you don't like the person you are trying to love, it ain't gonna work.

I'm kind of glad that I didn't step right back into corporate America. All of a sudden I'm no longer qualified to do what I've been doing (and doing well) for the past 14 years. I understand that this is just the reaction to the state of the economy. Why pay me when they can get a person with a degree and pay them $12 an hour? Perhaps without the distraction of trying to make it in The Office, I can focus on other things....like what I'm really supposed to do with my life.

I start school in January. Definitely a switch in my major in the works. History, Forensics, Anthropology? I really like Anthropology. It'd be cool to be a professor, move to some college town and fill the brains of my students with things they've never encountered before. I always appreciated those teachers who stepped a little outside the textbook. I have to be careful not to wear myself out. But I think the joy of just being able to be productive again will give me ample energy. And if I get tired, I can always bark at Steve to cook dinner. :-)


The clouds are breaking...who knows what will come next? All I know is that I'm so ready...

Oh, and my son is walking now. ALL OVER THE HOUSE!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Am I a Soccer Mom Yet?

I sit at times and marvel at how much my life has changed; my priorities, my wants, my needs. I'm happy when I've gone shopping and gotten everything we need for the house. I'm happy when the rent is paid, and all the bills are paid. I'm happy shopping at Wal-mart and catching a good sale. Gone are the days of coveting specific material things, and the thoughts that somehow I'd be happier or more complete if I had them. I go outside and smell the air and I'm happy, because there's no drama, there's no serious want. We're still struggling, but we've made it through a year-and-a-half and God has met our needs.

Christmas is coming, and I can't think of a thing that I want. My therapist says that I need to learn to want for myself again, I need to learn to do things for myself. It is true, I have lost the ability to want anything just for myself. But I lost that back when I got sick; the idea of an exciting life just seemed to loom so far away, and I gave up on a lot of things. I'm learning to resurrect some dreams, but I have learned to let go of everyone else's timelines...and accept my own. There are times when I get caught up in the compare and contrast (with myself never on the positive end), and I just have to shake myself out of it. We are fortunate, I am a great mom, and my child is healthy, happy, and beautiful. He is admired everywhere we go. I'm so grateful for this little boy.

I'm just reflecting today on how much has changed. Little Steve will turn 1 at the New Year. I'm no longer concerned with keeping up with the Jonses. I only want enough for my family; a car that will fit us all (and all of our junk, too). A house just big enough. It's not worth it to me to break my back to have something that someone else will covet. I'm satisfied with my sweatpants and flushed face, with running back and forth to make sure my house is clean and that all my errands are run. Perhaps when things have died down, I'll start wanting "things for myself" again. Right now all of that is in the "someday" category.

And I'm ok with that. I'm a mama now...things have changed.

Haha, but am I a soccer mom yet? The boy is athletic, even if he's only 9 months...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where has the time gone?

I can't believe that he's nine months old. Little Steve is a very expressive child. I know he wishes he could talk, because when he wants to tell you something, he will just coo and coo (or holler).

He's teething again, and that's made for several nights of little rest. Daddy has escaped the bedroom on the verge of a breakdown this past weekend. Usually he gets up with Little Man so that I can rest, but I switched the script this weekend. I'm learning to get used to my son's sleep schedule, though I would love for him to sleep a little later. No matter what time he goes to bed (unless it's at like, 2am) he's not going to sleep past 7. When he sees the light peeking under the curtains, he's ready to get up. We "try" to tell him that while the street lights are still on, he should be sleeping, but Little Steve is not having that.


He's also standing up more and more. It's nothing to him now. See how he mocks us with his big boy-ness? :-)



Our days pretty much have a solid routine; we're up by 8 (unless I just can't take it and I make him go back to sleep, which has us up by 8:45 most days). Little Steve likes Playhouse Disney. I don't want to be one of those moms who lets the TV babysit her kid (especially since I'm home all day), but I do actually like those shows. There's a couple on Nickelodeon that are good, too. Imagine, I'm learning Spanish and Chinese. And at least they keep his attention. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (haha, so do I). I'm going to give him a Mickey-themed party for his first birthday. We probably won't be able to do very much, but he's at least going to have a cake and some balloons (not to mention a few more presents, and right after Christmas, too!).

I keep seeing those ads for the giant cupcake tin, and I plan to make him one with Mickey ears. The party favors are inexpensive, and I'm sure his grandmothers will spoil him. I'm really excited about the new toys Fisher Price are coming out with. Mom got him one from a yard sale the other day and it makes all sorts of music. I've become immune to the noise of kid's toys. I personally think they're better than hearing him cry any day. Little Steve's cry is my Kryptonite. I just curl up in the fetal position after about 20 straight minutes.


Fall is here, and I'm so excited about it. I can't wait for Halloween; Little Man has a bumblebee costume. We're gonna have to get him some other shoes (the Mary Janes with bows on them aren't gonna work), but he seems to like the costume. When I put it on him, he was just rolling around in it. Right now, he's trying to slide open the patio door...*pause* Okay he isn't gonna fall out on his head. So I can post a picture of how ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE HE LOOKS!!!


One character trait that is definitely emerging in my son is his stubborn nature. His father is a mule (and I tell him that, too), and I'm learning that my son will not do certain things without a struggle, and other things you just cannot get him to do without an all-out cage match in the bargain.

My mother bought me a battery-operated nasal aspirator. The thing is a dream...except when baby is so full of mucus that it clogs the machinery. It worked for two days then died...I thought sure we'd broken it. Eager person that I was (gotta keep him breathing), I took it apart and found it filled with icky gooey stuff. So I cleaned it, and it works fine. But Little Man definitely doesn't like anything in his nose. Except when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

I'm really enjoying watching him grow. I just can't believe how the time has flown.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thoughts on Faith

As I was driving back from DC a few weeks ago, taking Steve home before I went to an interview I asked myself, "why do I still pray?". I realized that the reason was because that for me not to believe in God would be to not exist at all. I realized that belief in God was a thread interwoven into my being, one that the entire fabric of my life would unravel without. My belief is like the load-bearing wall in a house, knock it down, and you knock me down.

I know where I would be, the day I stopped believing in God. The day I let all the issues, drama, disappointments, stress, questions, anger and sadness get to me. Institutionalized. And I'm not ready for that (I've come close).

I'm not what others would view as a "righteous woman", but I've taken that with the same grain of salt I apply to all the other labels I've been forced to wear in my life. Lately I've been shedding them all, eager to morph into the person that God intends for me to be, once this Perfect Storm ends. And when it does, I'll go outside again. I'll engage with others again. I'll try to fully live again. I'm recuperating right now. I'm busy trying to be a mother when I often feel half human. But my one comfort is that Someone sees what it often seems like so many others do not. It's hard to talk to Him sometimes, but I do appreciate His Witness.

9 months

Little Man will be 9 months old on Sunday. I can't believe that the time has flown so quickly. He's been nursing his first cold this past week, and it's been a bit difficult, what with the nasal aspiration and medication....lots of fun (yeah, right).

I think that lately I've been able to stress less and enjoy him more. My pregnancy was filled with so much fear and stress, and I grieve a little that I didn't get to just thrill in the fact that he was growing under my heart.

These days I try to laugh more, kiss his little cheeks, hands and feet more, and be more patient. We've learned that we have a "high needs" child, and that definitely explains a lot of his behaviors, as well as gives me a feeling of relief. I'm not doing something wrong, and there's nothing wrong with him. He just has higher needs than the average baby. Understanding this has helped me to be more compassionate and sensitive to his needs.

Everywhere we go, I get compliments on him. I hope I never take it for granted, though I am quite used to it now. I just smile, say "thank you" and tell him to say hi. He looks around with his wide-eyed stare and continues to focus on whatever caught his attention before he was noticed.
He's good at occupying himself when he wants to. But when he wants his parents, he wants his parents, and there is NOTHING that will deter him. Which is okay, what else do we live for right now, but for him? I think he knows it, haha.

Little Steve is close to walking on his own, he's standing on his own and can "walk" very quickly if you hold his hands. He's fully capable of holding his own bottle, but refuses to. It's kind of amusing, trying to put his hands on the bottle, and watching him just go limp because I'm holding him. Well, he'll do it when he's ready.

Mama is tired. Bed early tonight. I've been sleeping like the dead lately, and he's been sleeping like a wild thing in between us. :-)


















Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some Fun Pics



Here are some pictures of the past few weeks with my family:

Happy Grandma with her two Grandsons (Ethan on the left, Steven on the right).




Meeting for the first time...



The Harris Grandchildren









Ethan, Auntie Elissa, and Steven

Worn out :-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cousins

My son has finally met his cousin Ethan.

We've been waiting for this day.

My brother is up here for a few weeks to take part in a wedding in my sister-in-law's family. They'll be here for about two weeks. It's wonderful to see my older brother, he's by far the sibling I'm the closest to. But I must accept that with his presence comes a great deal of teasing. I get that from Steve, and when Larry was here I got that from Larry. Both of them...I just grit my teeth and half-smile. It's funny...but it's not, LOLOL

Watching Little Steve interact with his cousin has been interesting, fun, and educational. Little Steve has learned that he's not the only baby in the world, and he's not the only baby in the family. He's also been very frightened by Ethan's exuberance. Ethan is just as wild and happy as his Daddy. Steve is a bit more reserved like me. It's kind of hard though, watching him sit there and cry because he's shocked. But it's a good experience for him, because soon enough I'll be working and I need for him to be okay with Mommy going away for a while.

I'll post pictures once I can get home to my own computer (and once I can get a break). I'm enjoying myself too much right now. It's nice to get out of the house, it's nice for Little Steve to have a playmate, and it's nice to joke around with my asenine brother. :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dreams

There is a graveyard in the back of my mind, which has a road leading to another one, a small one, tucked deep inside my heart.

They say a woman's mind is her own secret garden. Mine is so overgrown, I'm waiting for my own emotional Mary Lennox to come and find the key, go inside, and do some weeding and planting.

As much as I do not like the status of my life right now, I am trying hard not to give up. To give up would be to cease to live. So today, in the midst of my "to do" list, I'm going to go over the precious few dreams that I have not yet given up on.

-One day I'm gonna walk across that stage and accept my college degree. And I will graduate with honors, because I know I'm capable of doing so. Late doesn't have to turn into never.

-One day, when things calm down and I'm able to function better, I'm going to put my hands to a piano again. I'm gonna find my muse Lyricist again (Lyricist lives). I'm gonna start singing again.

-One day we'll be out of this crap a** apartment and into a real home. My little boy will grow up in a good neighborhood, and go to school with good kids. Preferably with his cousin Ethan. *New Dream* My son will have a life so different from my own, so "normal" that he will almost take it for granted. I say almost because I will raise him to appreciate what he has. But so help me, he will never taste the youth that I had to live through.

-One day soon, our proverbial hands will not be one centimeter from our mouths.

I'm trying to function. So I decided to do something that I haven't done in a while: dream.

Standing too close to the TV

I'm grateful at times for the short attention span of an 8-month-old.

Especially when it comes to watching TV.

Steve and I are very careful about what we watch when Little Man is awake, because we were watching wrestling one night, and he was sitting up so attentive. We looked at each other and went, "uh-oh...:. Baby was just too happy.

Well, most mornings I'm like an old engine trying to start on a cold morning (sputter sputter), so I'm greatful for Dora the Explorer, Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse, etc. They are a lifesaver. They give me just enough time to figure out where my limbs and brain are.

Problem is, when we're in the living room, little man likes to get right up on the screen. I have to research whether or not that's harmful or not. Most likely, those pretty silver eyes will be behind glasses in time, as both his parents are blind.

But I learned to stay back from the TV when I was little. :-)

Oh, and did I mention this child likes to "update his Facebook status"? When I'm on the computer, he loves to sit on my lap and type. So I let him tell the world how he's feeling from time to time. It shows up like this: "bo;lui;pgbewriug[-9769er4lb nhjv ljebdrjuvbkwer bk"....

Whatever that means. He tends to get a lot of good responses.

Off topic, I've crossed off most of the items on my checklist today. Still ticked about the fact that I have to break it down like that, but it is what it is. Now to go, because the child is trying to unplug something again. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Checklist"

I've had to break it down like that.




My daily life is now such, that I have to write a list of the things I need to do each day in order to accomplish something.


I just wish it didn't have to be so hard for me.


I once told one of my old therapists that I felt like every single normal human thing took ten times the effort for me, and that I was tired of being a misfit. I still feel that way, perhaps more so now.


Good thing is, that I accomplished all but one of my goals on my checklist today. And that one was just because I called at the wrong time (doctor's appointment), and forgot to call back.


I've decided to start coming to the library each evening, for a few hours. It'll give Little Man time to adjust to someone other than me, and it'll give me time to think. The guilt I feel over my frustration and overwhelm is tremendous...and fodder for another blog. I don't know how to shake the guilt on top of all the other emotions I deal with daily.

But yes, it's gotten down to that. I am functioning on such a primitive level now, that I believe my mind no longer works right. It hurts too much to think. When I think, I think of all the ways in which I have failed. So I don't think. I just move, and try to do what I know I need to do in order to keep my house clean and take care of my son.


Still, there are things that linger on the horizon of my mind that I know I have to address.


Like this freakin bankruptcy. I give myself one month before I mail it off. I bought a calendar the other day, and I need to start putting deadlines on it. By October 9, the package has to be in the mail.


And what about school? I filled out my FAFSA last night, only to get an email today saying that the Social Security Administration has said that my information has changed. Um, how?

Why do I sometimes feel like the anti-Midas? Like everything I touch just falls apart or flies out of my reach? Dude!

I have to go hunting for my son's birth certificate. That should have been here. It's been longer than 17 weeks. Twice that amount of time, actually.

And of course, the ever looming cloud over my head: looking for a job. I also need to make a list of places that give preference to people getting public assistance, so I can find some sort of employment. Any employment short of swinging around a pole or standing on the corner will do. I can't take the sacrifices my family has to make due to my lack of work any longer.

Well...the checklist is helpful. But I do honestly feel like I'm 85 having to use it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Unemployed does not equal unproductive."

I try to remind myself that I'm one of the 26% of Americans who are currently out of a job. I try not to let myself grieve over what I percieve to be the choices that put me in this situation. I have a great deal to be happy about. Still, I can't help but feel that as I am I am currently more of a hinderance to the situation than a help.

In the past six months I've sent out hundreds of resumes. I've gotten only a handful of interviews. I have to remind myself that there are those who aren't getting any at all. I volley back and forth between being grateful that I can be home with my son, to being ashamed that I'm sitting at home taking up resources but not being able to replenish them, to panicking that I've somehow ruined my career.

I think about school, I think about changing careers. I think about giving up and just going on welfare until things calm down, at least I'll have a preference in some jobs, because the system would rather me be working than collecting a check. I honestly don't know what to do, other than cry.

I just hope that this situation isn't long lasting. It may not be permanent, but I sometimes feel that by not being able to work through my pregnancy, I've done permanent damage to my ability to help pay for the food I eat and clothes I wear. Especially now that I have a child.

Son of Sam

It seems appropriate that my opening post should be about my son. My older brother calls him the "Son of Sam". Of course, he's not David Berkowitz, but he is devious in his own special way.

I miss my peanut.








I miss those days when he was that small; when he practically fit in the palm of my hand, stayed where I put him, and cried only when he needed something.



Here's what life's like now:


(How the hell he managed to climb up in this thing and stand in it to SWING in it is beyond me. HE CAN'T WALK YET!!! But he sure can get up on stuff to get to things he's not supposed to be in to...)

Little Steve is so happy, extremely intelligent, HARDHEADED, stubborn, loving.....and very attached to his Mama.

I adore my son, but he honestly wears me out. I'm sure he'll be walking within the month. He learns things in clumps. You only have to hint at something for him to figure out how to do it. He's quick, one minute he's by your side, and the next he's all the way across the house. He stays under me, and my Mother's instinct keeps me from doing anything else (my "to do" list keeps growing), because I can't do anything other than focus on him when he wants me.

Changing him is a contact sport; Big Steve commented to me one day that I was breathing hard as I tried to wrestle a onesie on Little Man. Not since he was about 6 months old has he held still to have his diaper changed, or even be dressed. Lotion? Yeah, when he's asleep. Nail clipping? *laughing* I gave up on trying to brush his eight teeth. I kiss a lot of boo-boos, and at least once a day pull strands of my hair out of his hands.

But as much as he exasperates me, he also brings me joy. I watch him sleep, and I think to myself about the wonder of being a mother. The amount of love I have for this being who is both a part of me and apart from me. I can no longer imagine life without him. My days are filled with feedings, 15-minute naps (his, not mine), lots of exercise (pulling him off the walls), and worries about what he's gonna swallow next (and gratitude that so far he's puked rather than choked on the things he's managed to find). All the frustration goes away though, when he smiles at me.

Oh yeah, and when he calls me "Mama".