Being Woken Up by Pain

At some point in their lives, most people will wake up and realize, “Wow, I hurt”. They hurt because they exercised too hard, they injured themselves or they have an illness. I’ve done this plenty of times myself (usually after yard work).

But being woken up BY pain is a completely different animal. You’re laying there, sleeping comfortably when suddenly you realize you’re not asleep anymore. You’re not quite awake, but there’s one thing you’re sure of: you’re in pain. For me, it’s the all-too-familiar pain of a migraine.

In the past, I was only woken up by a migraine a few times a year. The past week and a half it’s happened half a dozen times. I take sumatriptan, so back to bed and hope the pain goes away. It usually does but then you have migraine hangover all day. (For the layman: migraine hangover is a feeling of being tired, achy, lethargic, and worst of all; on the verge of the migraine coming back at any time).

But you’re not actually in pain at that time. Except I unfortunately am in pain because I have developed a horrible neck issue over the past 2 weeks as well. I basically keep a heat wrap around my neck 24/7. My muscle relaxers don’t work and I can’t take narcotics when I have a toddler to watch.

It’s frustrating. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s difficult when the day starts this way.

Doc T may get some of my blood work back today and if the neck pain persists, we’re going to do an MRI. But still no answers and no relief.

And I have a job interview tomorrow. My head says we NEED the money, but my heart starts breaking at the thought of being away from Bella. We’ll see how the interview goes. I unfortunately think my reluctance to be away from Bella comes through somehow.

I hope everyone else has a wonderful day. I’m going to try to myself. I have Good Donor picking up a donation today, so that’s a good thing.

Job Hunting (A Rant)

I’ve been out of work for 2.5 years. I’ll admit, I definitely wasn’t looking for work the first year because I lost my job when I was 3 months pregnant. I enjoyed the next 6 months of my pregnancy and then had a wonderful time bonding with my daughter (even with her attempts to kill me through sleep deprivation).

Slowly I began to research the state of the job market. This was in the beginning of 2011 and it sucked. It especially sucked when you are a marketing professional with 15 years experience and the first thing most companies cut is their marketing budget. I sent out resumes here and there, but was grateful for the unemployment I was receiving.

As with other times I had been job hunting, several trends emerged that annoyed the shit out of me:

  • Companies that only want applicants with MBAs. I’m sorry, while those MBA candidates were sitting in classrooms, I was getting real-world experience. I would think that would be more valuable, but I guess I’m confused or something.
  • Companies that want a marketing professional who also happens to be an engineer or have a scientific background. This ain’t gonna happen. Sure lots of people change careers several times over their lifetime but to expect to find someone who was a proficient engineer or scientist and decided to “give marketing a try” is expecting a bit much. Again, maybe I’m just missing something.
  • Companies that list jobs that don’t actually exist. I’ve worked for these companies and I understand. Your Board of Directors or Investors wants to see that you are actively seeking a certain number of employees whether it’s legit or not. But I hate finding a job that sounds awesome, applying, not hearing anything and  then seeing it on job boards for months on end. Don’t tell me they can’t find a suitable candidate in that time, it’s just a phantom job.
  • Companies that want you to work “part-time” but expect you to perform the work load of a full-time employee. I get it, you don’t want to pay health insurance. Here’s my response, “You suck and should rot in hell”.
  • Companies that put up a job listing and when they provide the list of expected responsibilities, it’s a mile-fucking-long. I know times are tough and some positions need to be consolidated, but you’ve got to be kidding me. I can spot right away the jobs that used to be performed by 3 people and now will be performed by 1. It’s a recipe for failure.
  • Having to use a unique online application program for every other company. Copying and pasting content from my resume into fields in some form over and over again. I miss the days when people posted jobs on Monster or CareerBuilder and you applied through their site and that was it.
  • Looking to hire a marketing professional who also happens to know how to do graphic design and html, java and CSS. That’s absurd. You need a marketing professional to MANAGE a web developer who specializes in coding. Otherwise you get both a less than stellar marketer and a less than stellar designer. I happen to know graphic design and some web coding, but I wouldn’t purport myself to be an expert in either. I get done what I need to, but have had people working for me with phenomenal design and coding skills better suited for that work.

But I keep sending resumes out. I’ve even had an interview and a few call backs. But I’m not very hopeful. After the flop of the economy, I’ll never make the kind of money I made before and I now would have the additional expense of child care. So the resumes go out, but the fuel to work for myself and my friends starts to burn brighter every day. I know it will be difficult, but at least I have reasonable expectations for myself. Plus, I would highly recommend me to myself as an exemplary employee.

A Face Lift

So, I frequently play around with the free WordPress themes trying to find something I like. But today I put some real effort into finding something that was a good representation of how I want my professional image to be. I chose a nice, clean design without clutter but with a little room for branding. I may tweak it some more over the coming weeks, but I think it’s an improvement. I actually liked the last design I was using, but it had some glitch with the font getting small on the post pages. I do have experience with html coding, but not in WordPress, so I need to figure their system so I can easily modify fonts, images, etc.

I had a good day on the scale today despite pasta for dinner last night and some amazing barbecue the night before. I am .8 lbs away from being overweight instead of obese again. I need to keep going. I still have about 25 pounds to go after this to reach the high-end of a healthy BMI for my height (5’2″).

I did have a migraine today, it was hard to avoid running an errand in the heat and humidity. Sumatriptan worked well though, it just made me a little sleepy.

The Professor stopped by for dinner and intended to get in the pool, but we had some thunder rolling through, so he and the hubby skipped it (Bella and I were both napping).

Tomorrow I’m going up to the Jersey Shore to visit Doc T. I haven’t seen her since the end of April (I believe). I’m taking Bella with me and leaving R to vege at home. We’ll fit in the visit between when Bella gets up and when she needs to go down for her nap. Hoping for good weather and help from the Traffic Gods on the way home (Sunday afternoon Shore traffic and all). Otherwise, it’ll be lounging by the pool and some good food I’m sure. I feel so comfortable at her home, mostly because of her but also because her parents are very warm and welcoming. Doc T actually bought the property right next door to them and is in the process of tearing down and rebuilding on the lot. I can’t wait to see the progress.

Right now I’m just watching the Phillies (really it’s just on in the background and I’ll probably jump on reddit later) and waiting for Bella’s bedtime.

Here’s hoping for pain-free evenings, babies that sleep well and good night’s sleep for all who read this.

Side Note: I’ve also in the last few months cut off quite a few inches of my hair in the back, gotten new glasses, and with the weight loss… I kind of have a face lift myself.

It’s Been A While, So Here’s An Update (if you’re interested)

Bella
She’s learned how to push every single button that I have. Every day is a battle of wills, and I honestly don’t know who’s winning. But her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, she’s happy and content (as long as she gets what she wants), and she’s started giving kisses on request (but man are they sloppy). She wakes up a little earlier than I’d like, but is content to play in her crib and sleeps through the night almost all the time. She actually escaped the crib the night before last, so we have to keep an eye on things to see if this becomes a trend. She is completely opposed to vegetables of any kind, but I’ve grown tired of trying to “sneak” them in, so dinnertime has become very difficult. The worst part lately is when I ask her not to do something or stop doing something and she looks me dead in the eye and continues to do it. This is especially bothersome if what she’s doing is annoying the dogs. They’re rescues, they’re unpredictable and she tries their patience daily.

Work/Blogging
My extended unemployment benefits from NJ finally ran out last month. It was a sudden thing and I was very surprised to receive the letter in the mail. I’ve been getting unemployment for a very long time (2.5 years) and I am grateful for that (hey, I’ve paid plenty into the system over the years). But now things are at a critical point. R’s salary alone is not enough for us to stay afloat. We’re short by about $1500/month. This isn’t a lot of money, but finding a job in marketing is difficult now and the whole daycare thing is overwhelming. If I even think of putting Bella in daycare, I start to get upset and anxious. I don’t want to miss any milestones. Even though being with her ALL the time is exhausting, I can’t imagine anything else. I am sending out resumes for marketing positions in the area and had an interview last month, but my heart really isn’t in it. My dream is to find a way of freelancing and/or blogging from home to supplement the income we need. But are there enough people out there willing to read about the daily exploits of my life? I just don’t know. Additionally, R would like to have another child and I told him I would be unwilling to do that if I was working outside the home. Plus, there’s my health issues….

Depression
The depression itself is tolerable, the anxiety is somewhat manageable, but the inability to concentrate is a continued problem. It’s very hard to get any writing accomplished when my mind is continually jumbled and I have a 2-year-old and 2 dogs vying for my attention. Doc T thinks I need to go to a neuropsychologist specialist because she’s out of ideas. Once again, she thinks this stems from the Chronic Lyme she thinks I have.

Migraines
I hate my head. I just want to remove it from my body. At this point I get migraines or headaches/neck aches of some kind EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s incredibly demoralizing. The sumatriptan will usually kill the migraine, but I’m going through my stash quickly. My problem with acclimating to medication has also made it that I can no longer take Tylenol 3 with codeine or vicodin for pain. Oxycotin is the only thing that I know will work and that shit scares me. Doc T just upped my muscle relaxers so I’m taking double the dose I used to, but if today is any indication, that’s not going to work long-term. Again, Doc T thinks these problems treating my migraines stem from the Chronic Lyme. I was getting some massage for about a month or two, but I didn’t feel the 15-minute sessions were helping me and dragging Bella along was a hassle and made the experience extremely stressful.

Weight Loss
The upside of the medication roulette I’ve been playing is that I’ve lost 25 pounds. There was one weigh-in where I’d lost 28 pounds and I moved from obese to simply overweight, but I have since put a few pounds back on. I am unable to exercise with the demands of motherhood, chronic pain and the overwhelming heat of the summer, so I have taken to cutting my caloric intake. A lot. I know it’s bad, but other than my coffee in the morning, I usually don’t eat anything until dinnertime. I just don’t know what else to do and I’m so tired of the excess weight.

Mommy Groups
I’ve joined a bunch of things online so I can try to get together with other Moms in the area, but I have yet to attend anything. I rationalize that most of the gatherings take place during Bella’s nap time, but I’m also scared of meeting new people. Social anxiety is not fun and Bella is paying the price for it. She rarely gets to play with other kids and it breaks my heart that my neuroses are having this effect on her.

Fur Babies
The animals are all fine. Chloe managed to hurt herself a few months ago (probably jumping over the chicken wire fence around the garden) and we would up having to have surgery on her. It was weird having surgery on the dining room table, but I love that our vet comes to our house. He informed us when he was here that another feline patient had died and now Lou is at the top of the list for the animals he dreads working on the most. He turns into a Tasmanian devil when he’s getting examined. Otherwise the animals are all healthy, just desperately in need of being bathed. We can no longer afford to take Nemo to the groomers and Chloe didn’t like going anyway. Lou spends most of his time outside to avoid Chloe who still chases him even after 3 years. He comes in at night, but insists on being let outside early in the morning.

Random

  • Some guy just knocked on my door 20 minutes ago and asked if he could use the wheel lock key from my Jetta to get his car worked on. I gave it to him, but he just came back with it and it didn’t work. 😦
  • I took Bella to the beach with S about 6 weeks ago and she LOVED it. Hoping to go back with R so he can see how much fun she has.
  • I bought an Android tablet, but haven’t been able to use it as much as I would like because every time I try to do something on it, Bella is there like white on rice.
  • We haven’t used the pool as much as we would have liked this summer because it’s actually been too hot to be outside with a toddler.
  • R dropped my camera a few weeks ago, so I now have a new one with better resolution.
  • My folks lent us an A/C unit for our living room to take some of the pressure off the main wall unit that likes to freeze up frequently. Since we got it, the main unit hasn’t frozen up, which is very nice.
  • I went to NYC on Wednesday to see my cousin Kerri who is in town for BlogHer 2012. She had some good advice for me getting started and it was great to just hang out for a while.
  • I had a nice visit from my MIL and her sisters last Friday. It was great for them to see Bella. They brought along her cousin Regan who is only 9 months older than her, so it was fun to watch them play together.
  • Bella is REALLY loud. She doesn’t have much of an inside voice. And she’s hyped up like she’s been mainlining sugar all day when we actually don’t give her any (except what’s naturally occurring in fruits).
  • I went to see the Reading Phillies at the Trenton Thunder with S and D and it was AWESOME. I hope we get to do it again sometime soon.
  • K&K’s 4th of July bash was the standard excellent affair.
  • A friend in Canada found a toilet training book about “Queen Bella” and when I asked the publisher about getting a copy in the U.S., they sent it to me for FREE. Thank you Cold Water Press!!
  • Bella finally called me “Mommy” in the middle of May and finally called my Mom “Nanni” in July (she was already proficient with “Papa” and “Daddy”)
  • Bella is in the pool with Daddy and the Professor having a grand time at the moment. We will turn her into a fish I’m sure.

July Facebook Mom’s Group Posts Catch-Up

7/2 – Holy crap, Bella slept in until 7:30am. Maybe this clock is actually working. She was crying around midnight for a minute, but got herself back to sleep.

Holy crap is right. She had the poop of a lifetime at midnight and when she finally got up for the day, there was poop everywhere. Had to wash all her bedding, including her crib bumper and her poor hiney and vagina were still all red as of her noon diaper change before her nap. She insisted on sleeping in just her diaper for her nap.

7/5 Facebook post – Dogs were freaking out at midnight because of a bad storm and Bella was up at 5:30 because of poop issues. R and I are a bit tired. And of course Bella is behaving like an angel (yeah right)

Bella went down for a really early nap at 10am and is still sleeping. Forgetting about this morning though, in general I think the clock is helping her sleep in later.

7/6 Facebook post – It’s been a “we just bungie-corded the chairs to the dining table because Bella wouldn’t stop climbing them” kind of day. I am SO ready for my folks to take her tomorrow and they are gonna be SO unprepared for how bad she is right now.

I think she sees them often enough that she’ll act up for them too. Especially because they’re taking her out in public.

7/8 Facebook post – She wasn’t bad. She wandered around, but my nephew stayed with her. I asked my folks to keep her until after her nap, I’m not quite ready for Mommy duty yet.

7/9 Facebook post – Yeah, I was SO in need of the 24 hours without Bella over the weekend. She’s been testing her boundaries so much lately, I’m ready to scream. And I don’t mind if she falls or trips, but when she does stuff that could cause a dog to bite her… then I have a problem. (although I’ve calmed down a bit and I think Chloe senses it because she’s been better around Bella lately)

Doc T says they SHOULD have a soother until age 2 for SIDS prevention. Try again in a few months. Don’t beat yourself up. I’m weaning Bella back to just having hers for naps and bedtime. It actually makes her want to take her nap. SMH.

7/10 Facebook post – Trust me, Bella has pillows, blankets and stuffed animals in her crib as well as a regular bumper. Not sure why Doc T says 2, but it’s good enough for me. Means I don’t have to worry about trying to get her off the binkie for another 3 months. ;-P

7/12 Facebook post – We have been putting Bella straight to bed after her bath since Sunday night. The bath has been a bit later (7:30), but she’s in bed by 8pm. She’s been taking 30 minutes or so to fall asleep. Hopefully that time will lessen. She’s not complaining though. She still wakes up a little earlier than I’d like some days, but usually doesn’t start making a lot of noise until after 6:30.

Of course tonight it’s been an hour and I still hear her mobile going. WE’RE going to bed soon. I’d really like to think she was already asleep.

7/16 Facebook post – Yeesh. 7:20 and Bella is in bed already. She started getting really fussy and I asked her if she wanted to go “seepies” and she said yes. This probably means a pre-6am wake-up.

7/17 Facebook post – I just decided to flip Bella’s car seat around. Didn’t take quite as long as installing it the first time, but still not easy. But that seat ain’t goin’ nowhere.

7/18 Facebook post – I’m having one of those “I want to run from the house screaming” kind of days. I am a jungle gym, something to pull the hair on, something to completely ignore the requests from and the owner of a dog being pushed to its limits of tolerance.

And she’s apparently decided to skip her nap today. I’m ready to shoot myself. My Dad is busy at the Senior Center and Mom is in MA with her sister because my uncle had cancer surgery on Monday.

Longest day ever and she’s still making noise in her crib. She took a nap between 2:15 and 4:30. She was still driving Chloe (and me) nuts all evening. Then, she flipped out when we sat down for dinner and flipped out again around 7:30 for no discernible reason. I don’t know what’s up with her. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. For some reason, I’m just incredibly exhausted. I think it’s the constant stress over Bella and Chloe interacting. Chloe has been really good for a while now, but Bella put her head next to Chloe’s to try to snuggle the night before last and Chloe bared her teeth. <sigh>

And now she’s flipping out again. I sent R in.

7/19 Facebook post – Nope, she was up at 10:45pm and I had to sit with her for 20 minutes. It was a bit of a pain, but also a bit wonderful to hold her in my arms sleeping. She’ll be too big for that someday. I’m a bit tired today, but not exhausted.

7/24 Facebook post – My penalty for Bella sleeping in a little today is that she’s apparently going to be a brat all day. Yippee.

Well, I wasn’t able to get her down for her nap until almost 2pm. So the day was trying to say the least. This willful disobedience has got to stop.

I just hate when I ask her not to do something or to stop doing something and she looks me right in the eye and does it again. Grrr. It’s all annoying, but the improper treatment of the dogs gets me the most. Bella likes to point to the parts of your face (which is fine), but I’ve asked her hundreds of times to not do this to the dogs because sometimes when she points to your eye, she actually touches it.

I “tried” a timeout for the first time today, it did not go well. I moved her little blue seat to the corner by the front door and sat her in it and she immediately stood up. I tried to hold her in the seat and tell her to stay there and she just started screaming. I need to figure something else out. She’s so damn willful.

7/25 Facebook post – we had our final overnight diaper leak last night. i’m getting new diapers today. btw – bella pooped 4 times yesterday.

7/28 Facebook post – Bella is being a real joy today and even though she took a short nap yesterday and went to bed early, she still didn’t really sleep in. I’m not willing to go outside in this weather and apparently overnight our pool got cloudy, so A/C it is.

7/30 Facebook post – And tonight the role of “Mean Mommy” will be played by Me. I made Bella sit in her chair until she finished her broccoli and when she just started feeding to the dogs, I just let her sit there until I was ready to put her to bed early. She NEEDS to start eating vegetables again, this is ridiculous. But with as horrid as she’s been lately, this was especially hard. I had bought her some stuff at the Disney Store today and I put it in her closet for a time when she’s not being such a brat. It’s been a week now, I think I can safely say she has started the Terrible Twos early. Give me strength. All day every day is a battle of wills.

Bella has started the Terrible Twos early and I am slowly going insane. Discipline is tough, especially when she cries in response. But I am determined that she will not be “one of those bratty kids”. It’s exhausting fighting with her all the time, she is just as stubborn as I am and the pure definition of willfully disobedient. Send me strength everyone, I sure need it.

7/31 Facebook post – ‎”No” gets me one of two responses.
#1: screaming at full volume
and my personal favorite
#2: looking directly at me while she does exactly what I just told her not to do/to stop doing
It’s especially bad for M and me because they just don’t know how to act around the dogs and don’t listen when we try to teach them, so there’s the constant anxiety that the dogs will get fed up and bite them.

I know C, and I have snuck stuff into her food. But I was talking with my Dad yesterday and he reminded me that we were never allowed to not eat things. I remember that was true when I was a kid, but he said that even as a toddler I had to eat what was put in front of me. I’m not going to kowtow to her pickiness anymore. She used to eat broccoli, there’s no reason she can’t eat it again. I don’t expect her to eat every vegetable under the sun, but she needs to eat some.

FYI – I am making chicken quesadillas tonight and Bella’s will additionally have shredded carrot in them.

Bella is getting up early again (around 6am give or take 20 minutes). I’ve tried giving her shorter naps during the day, but it doesn’t change the fact that she will only sleep 9-10 hours at night. And if I put her to bed late, she still gets up at 6am. She doesn’t fuss to get out of her crib, but I can never get back to sleep after R’s alarm goes off at 5:20, between him getting ready for work and her babbling next door.

Bella was being a pain in the butt to the dogs today and Nemo nipped at her to tell her to back off. He’s going to actually bite her one of these days if she doesn’t start listening to me.