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.

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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.

The Flood Begins (fiction)

My cleverly constructed dam is starting to fail.

I had built it with such care. Each brick another piece of myself that I pushed away and used to keep everyone else at arm’s reach.

Over the months and years, the walls grew higher and higher until I could no longer see anything outside of them. All I had was my own loneliness to keep me company.

Sometimes I would hear sounds outside the wall. An animated conversation here, a heartfelt laugh there… the sounds of a world continuing without me.

And so I began to fill the inside with my tears. One tear for each time I failed. As a wife. As a mother. As a daughter. As a friend.

The waters began to rise quickly and I grew accustomed to treading them in a lake of my own creation.

But my body has begun to weaken. The strength to continue to swim is leaving me and I am left with only 2 choices; I can let the wall crumble or I can drown.

My dam is starting to fail. The cracks are getting larger now and are more difficult to hide.

Soon the water will all seep out and those around me will be able to peek in.

I am naked and alone.

Wherever did I put my mask?