Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Here, there and everywhere...

We have been on the GO the last few days. Crazy business going on around here.

I feel like I am getting buried under housework. I'll be up front here - I HATE CLEANING. With a passion, in case you couldn't tell. But, I also hate having my house dirty. Now, there is an IMPORTANT distinction here. I said "dirty". Clutter does not so much bother me - especially as I know that with two small children, clutter is inevitable. It's going to happen. But dirty, that is a whole different story.

I am about ready to throw in the towel, however. I cannot, for the life of me, keep this house clean. I don't understand why. Either Daddy Mac or I clean the kitchen DAILY - and yet, were you to walk into our house tonight, the kitchen is a mess. There is laundry (granted, clean, folded laundry, but still...) all over the living room couch, since it's Miss Sunshine's and she is in bed, therefore I cannot put it away. There are random toys scattered here and there. The ironing board is out, because heaven forbid my husband should put it or the iron away when he is done with them. And yet, somehow, I am the slob in the family. Yeah, that doesn't work in my head either. I estimate I spend roughly five hours of my day attempting some type of cleaning or another. But my house sure as heck doesn't look like it. What is up with that?

Daddy Mac is working lots of hours. While it is great that he has a job with a steady income, it is not so much great that I am now alone with the children even more. I seriously need a day off. It was supposed to be this Saturday, but now Daddy Mac has to work, so I don't get that break. Maybe next week. Maybe I can pawn the kids off on one of the grandparents for a day or two, and have some ME time. Because I am about at my wits end. There is no such thing as a break when you are a Stay At Home Mom. I love being home with my kids. But I would also love a day to myself every few weeks, and I haven't gotten that in I don't even KNOW how long. For the sake of my sanity, and my children, it needs to come SOON.

Other than that, things are going well :). Miss Sunshine talks more every day, Monster Boy is slowly beginning to listen better, and has had a pretty good week so far. I am hard at work trying to get my shop that I have been talking about for months up and running. I am about halfway through my inventory, I just need to sew up the last of the dresses, take some pictures and "open the doors" so to speak. I am really getting excited about this, and I am VERY hopeful that things will sell well, so I can perhaps contribute more to the household. We are slowly but surely starting to get back on solid ground financially, and if I can bring in more income, it would certainly make a big difference.

On that note, I am going to head to bed :).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Such as it is... or was... or whatever.

I don't delve into deep thoughts here often. I try to keep this a light-hearted place, for the most part. Updates about our lives, what we have dealt with in regards to Miss Sunshine's cleft, and so on.

Pardon me for a moment while I ruminate. (I like big words, sorry. I use them quite often, you will notice).

In the last two years, our lives have changed drastically. Two years ago, we had just found out we were pregnant with Miss Sunshine. We both had good paying full-time jobs, and were in, what we felt at the time, a good position to be expanding our family. Then, when I was five months pregnant, we found out Daddy Mac was getting laid off at the end of the year. Then along came Miss Sunshine, with that surprise cleft palate. And boy, were we totally unprepared for that. I'd like to say that I did a great job adjusting, that I took it all in stride and kept right on moving. That, however, would be something of a lie. I kept things right on moving yes, but the rest of it... well... Daddy Mac did a great job adjusting. He was a wonderful Daddy from the second she came along. The cleft didn't seem to phase him at all. Me, on the other hand. I cried for days, weeks, possibly a few months about that cleft. Wondered what I did wrong that caused it, what I could have done differently to prevent it. Filled my head with every worst case scenario and imagined that was what was happening. Latched on to my inability to breast-feed Miss Sunshine and poured all of my angst into that. I cried every time I hooked up that stupid breast pump because that wasn't the way things were supposed to be. While I should have been handling late-night feedings, and having that bonding time with my daughter, I was stuck on a stupid machine, and my husband was getting that time instead. He took over where I could not. It took me months to be able to feed her a bottle without crying over it. Because that was not how I pictured things. I had such an easy nursing relationship with Monster Boy. Even though he was premature, he took right to it like a fish to water. I didn't have to try at all - that boy knew just what he was doing - and as a result, my nursing experience with him was nothing short of perfect. And while I was pregnant with Miss Sunshine, I KNEW, I just knew, that it would be just as simple. That I would even nurse her longer than I did Monster Boy, because I wanted to, because I was determined to, so that is the way it would be. Of course, life rarely turns out how we planned it. And there I was, wanting SO BADLY to have that relationship, with a child who could not, no matter how badly I wanted it. And I didn't deal with it well, I am sad to say. Oh, I resigned myself to it, after a while. I kept on pumping and pumping, and eventually got used to it. Miss Sunshine got exclusively breast milk for the first eight months, and then my supply started dropping, and we had to start supplementing. I tried everything I could think of or find to get that supply back up, but it wasn't happening. So we supplemented, and I kept right on pumping. And I pumped for the first full year of her life. It wasn't what I had wanted, but it was what I had, and I was determined to make the best of it. So I did. With a little help from some little pills, eventually, but hey, it is what it is, and you do what you have to do.

I struggled hard with Postpartum Depression those first few months. And finally, FINALLY, I said, enough is enough, I can't do this on my own. And there was nothing wrong with that. And so I went to my doctor, and I told him the same. And you know what he told me? That he was surprised I'd made it as long as I had. Because, see, he saw me every morning in that hospital after Sunshine was born - every morning, about an hour after Sunshine's first feeding of the day, right as I had finished up quietly sobbing out my heartbreak time and time again.

I won't say "If I had it to do over again..." because, let's be honest - would I want to go through that again? Not in a million years. What I will say is that I am beyond grateful that I have such a wonderful husband, and that, if I didn't get to have that bond with my daughter, that HE got to have that bond with our daughter. She is still a Daddy's Girl, through and through. And I still have my Momma's Boy. And at least I know that we have a loving, healthy relationship with our children.

We have thrown around the idea of having another child. I know Daddy Mac would like one more. I am on the fence -for several reasons, really. I do NOT make a good pregnant woman. Some women out there are made for pregnancy, I know that. I also know, I am not one of them. I get miserably sick, I develop complications right and left... But the BIGGEST reason I am still on the fence? I am TERRIFIED, soul-deep, of going through all of this all over again. Because, see, we have no idea what caused Miss Sunshine's cleft. She does not have Pierre Robin Sequence, which is the most common cause of cleft soft palate. We do not have a family history of clefts, although we do have other mid line birth defects (I have a cousin with spinabifida) in our family. There is no earthly reason the doctors can give us for why our daughter has cleft palate. And, while our chances of it happening again are still reasonably low, they are higher than what they were, and it already happened once. And that is my most secret fear. I don't want to go through the excitement and the planning and the hoping only to be denied it all over again -to have to go through the pumping, and the feedings and the surgeries and the worry... maybe it's selfish of me. Would I love another child any less if it were to have cleft as well? Absolutely not. But I didn't deal very well with it the first time - I'm not too sure how I would deal with it again.

So there you have it - me, in all my humanness. And my feelings about this roller-coaster of a journey we've been through so far.

Friday, June 25, 2010


We moved furniture around tonight.

In an attempt to save money, we have cut cable and internet. However, since I am working on an online store, obviously internet access was still a must. After doing a bit of research, we determined that a broadband connection was our best bet. And I found a company that does month to month broadband, so that once our finances get better, and we can get regular internet back, we simply stop paying for the broadband and there are no additional charges. However, our computer set up was in the basement, and the reception down there just wasn't good. So, the computer was moved upstairs. Makes the living room feel a bit crowded, but reception is much better, and it is what it is at this point anyways.

We have decided not to get another pet at this time. I just feel that with the dog, the toddler and the kindergartner, there is already more than enough on my plate that we don't need to add anything else to the mix. Daddy Mac is a little down - I know he would like another cat, as would I, but the timing just isn't right, and he knows it. Maybe in a few years.

I am looking for a job. Things are tight out there and I am having not much luck AT ALL. But I am looking. Daycare costs are still a consideration, so we are watching pay becuase it makes no sense for me to go back to work for a pay that would only cover daycare. But since the unemployment extension did not go through, I run out of unemployment at the end of next month, and having no income from me is not an option at this point. I have been steadily looking this whole time, without much luck, but it's time to ramp up the game now. It may come down to me taking a job waiting tables on weekends, and if that is what I have to do, I will do it. For now, though, I'm still trying to find a job during the week.

I suppose those are the major points for us right now. I'll try to get back to regularly scheduled posting, with more updates about Miss Sunshine in the next few days.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



That word pretty much sums up how I am feeling right now.

I found my cat, Samantha, dead this morning. I have had this cat for going on 14 years. I am pretty devastated by this loss right now. She was a VERY important part of my life for a long time.

This is not the first pet I have lost - it is, however, the first pet I have found dead myself.

She was my rock. When my boyfriend in college was sent overseas with the military, she would cuddle up next to me at night as I cried myself to sleep missing him. When I made my various moves for college, and eventually work, she always came with me. She was my constant. She always, always knew when I was sad or down, and would simply come curl up beside me and just be there to comfort me. When my kids came along, she was wonderful with them, even though she had never in her eight years of life been around children before. She was patient, and tolerant to them. When they reached her breaking point, she did not hiss, or scratch, or bite. She simply left the room and went somewhere they could not reach her. She slept in bed with me every night before I got married, and continued to sleep in our bed once it became "our" bed. She developed a close attachment to my husband - essentially becoming HIS cat, even though she had been mine for nine years before he came along. If he and I cuddled together at night, she would worm her way in between us. She was always there - always wanting to be the center of attention.

And now she is gone. And my heart is aching. It sounds so silly, to be so upset over an animal, but I am. We knew she was not well - she had been losing weight drastically in the last couple of months, was spending more time sleeping and less time being Samantha. She had begun to lose her fur in spots, and started developing bad sores from scratching - which we had attributed to the fleas our dog had graciously brought in and that no amount of washing the poor cat seemed to rid her of. Now, I am left to wonder if perhaps it wasn't something else. We had discussed having her put down - I had reached a level of peace with that decision, my husband had not. He wanted to try a few more things before we went that route. Apparently, Samantha made the decision for both of us. And sometime between Friday, when we last remember seeing her alive, and this morning when I found her while starting laundry, she crawled into our open dryer and took her final nap.

Rest in Peace, Samantha. We will miss you terribly, but we know you are in a much better place now.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One of these days...

We are having a garage sale next weekend.

On the one hand, I feel totally overwhelmed by the vast amount of STUFF we have and want to just pitch it all. But on the other hand, I realize that we have a lot of quality stuff (mainly baby/children's clothing, SIGH) that we can sell and make money off of. And we know we certainly need that these days...

So I spent a good portion of today cleaning out our laundry/storage/the place we just dump everything we don't want to deal with or are reluctant to get rid of room. It doesn't look like I've made much progress to see it, but compared to when I started, I've done some hefty weeding out of things.

I still have about five bags/bins of Monster Boy's clothes from the last five years to go through - I admit to having a hard time getting rid of those things... but I am making myself do it. Since we are still on the fence about a third child, I don't want to get rid of all of it, but I realize that there is no need for me to keep as much as I have... so tomorrow I shall wax nostalgic about how quickly my little boy has grown as I get rid of his clothes.

I have already done an overhaul of Miss Sunshine's wardrobe - and as there is four years less stuff, it was much easier to accomplish than the task I have set forth for tomorrow. But that must be done tomorrow so that Tuesday I can go through my library of books and eliminate at least half of those, and the rest of the week shall be dedicated to pricing and setting up the sale.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it to make it out of this one alive...

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I feel like I have lost all sense of myself.

Do you know what I mean? Oh, not that I would even for one SECOND trade my children for anything...

But sometimes it seems like my identity as a person disappeared as soon as they came into being. And has slowly been eroding away continually ever since.

No more the carefree days pre-children, when I could go shopping at the mall without (what feels like) hours of preparation beforehand. Where, if I wanted to go to the lake for the weekend, or head out of town, or heck, just go out for a drink with my friends, I needed no advance notice, no time to prepare, no babysitter to find or household to pack up. Sometimes, not very often, but sometimes, I miss those days...

With our lives so filled with stress, over work, over money, over insurance, and even just life - those days are remembered nearly as carefree as our childhood, and missed from time to time.

Don't get me wrong - like I said, I wouldn't trade a second of my kids lives to go back and have those days again. But sometimes, just sometimes, I can't help but think how nice it would be to just have a day (or three!) off from being "Mom" and just get to be ME - whoever that is now. Of course, like I mentioned, I'm not really sure who "me" is anymore, except as "Mom"... and that, I guess, is the whole issue.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Life in General...

Random post time! Hooray for all of you :).

Let's see - the craft fair went well - I actually sold a decent amount considering it was my first show. I am now working on creating an online store as soon as I come up with a name. It will have all sorts of random baby items. Kind of excited to get things up and running.

We are surviving here - things are still tight as we adjust to Daddy Mac's new job and pay schedule - but in another month or so we should be all caught up, thank goodness.

Monster Boy has been pretty much living up to his nickname the last two weeks. School is out, and he is getting BORED which means fit throwing, not listening, arguing and talking back have become something of the norm in our house. Luckily in two weeks he will start having "classes" at the local botanical gardens where he will learn about nature and then do a related craft project. That will happen once a week, so that should help break up the monotony for him a bit. And in July, he will go to Vacation Bible School.

VBS actually works out really well for us, as it falls the week that Miss Sunshine has her six month post-operative check-up at Shriner's in Chicago. I was worried about what we would do with Monster Boy while I am gone with Miss Sunshine, since Daddy Mac is working LONG hours these days. But my grandmother is volunteering at the VBS, so I will drop him off the Tuesday I leave and she will take him home with her, where he will spend the night and go back to VBS with her on Wednesday while I am in Chicago, then go home with her Wednesday afternoon and Daddy Mac will pick him up after work that evening.

I am looking forward to hitting up our check-up with Shriner's. Miss Sunshine has made great strides with her speech lately - babbling "dadada" "tatata" and "bababa" sounds - as well as throwing out some "h" sounds every once in a great while. Still not a lot of words, but she's technically within range for her age, so we are refusing to worry about it at this point. She's gaining weight well, no signs of any issues with her repair. She did lose her right ear tube last week, but our pediatrician wants to try to wait it out until our post-op check and see how she does. Also, since we are without insurance, we are hoping to be able to delay replacing it until we do have insurance again, since it's basically completely outside of our means to pay for it otherwise. So far she seems to be doing well without it, so we are keeping our fingers crossed as much as possible. That is the ear they were most concerned about scarring in when they first placed the tubes, although she did pass her hearing tests afterwards, so we are just keeping an eye on things as much as possible. This next visit is a full team visit, so she will be seen by the ENT and Audiologist while we are there and we will be able to see how she is being affected by the lack of the tube. Our ENT here locally did tell us that research has shown that it can take up to 8 years for the palate to start fully functioning in the capacity of keeping fluid out of the ears after repair, so we just have no way of knowing what the effect of this tube falling out will be. It's different than in a child who is having tubes placed due to recurrent ear infections that does not have a cleft, so it's another "we just don't know" type of situation. Ah, well. We deal with those as they come!

With all that said, it is getting late, and I am tired. Tomorrow I am taking Monster Boy to the local craft store for a free project class where he will make Daddy Mac's Father's Day gift - and it's first come first serve, so I need to be up and ready go to bright and early, so I'm going to hit the hay for now!