I’m just going to start typing and see where this post ends up.
But just a little forewarning, it’s not going to be pretty.
For weeks now, I’ve been feeling like there’s something . . .wrong. I’m not sure that I can do it justice by trying to explain it. I just feel . . .unhappy. And I don’t know why.
I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, and a (at least I hope) secure job. What do I really have to complain about? Why do I feel this way?
It’s almost like I’m going through the motions. I get up at 5:00, spend an hour on the treadmill or elliptical, shower, get Maggie up and dressed, get ready for work, eat breakfast, and head out the door. After work, I come home, throw a load of laundry in, play with Maggie for 45 minutes or so, put her to bed, then Mike and I make dinner, clean up, wash that day’s bottles and make them for the next day, pack my lunch, and then either fold laundry or pay bills or clean or whatever until I collapse into bed. Just to get up and do it all over again the next day. And the next day.
As regimented as I am (or try to be) about certain things, maybe I’m struggling with such a predictable routine. Maybe this is too much of a routine. All the spontaneity is gone. Mike and I can’t go out to dinner during the week because Maggie goes to bed so early and there’s not enough time (and we don’t DARE keep her up later than she wants to be—we’ve made that mistake before). And I really don’t even want to go out to dinner, because what fun is it to sit in a restaurant when I could be rolling around on the floor with Maggie at home? There are times when I run errands after work, but then I feel guilty because that cuts into the little amount of time I have with Maggie. So I feel like I’m never home, but yet I feel housebound at the same time. It used to be on the drive home from work, I’d wonder what we were going to do that night. Now, I don’t have to wonder. I know. Down to the minute.
I find myself crying at the drop of a hat, over stupid things. Like, REALLY stupid things. Things that I’m too embarrassed to write about. I struggled a little with crying jags after Maggie was born—the hormonal kind. But these are different. Where I was once more likely to laugh at something, now I’m more likely to be upset at it. It’s like all of the humor has been leeched out of me. I’m just getting through each day and onto the next.
Maybe this will all change once spring comes. Already there’s a little daylight left when I leave work each day, and I know it’s just a matter of time before the sun will be shining brightly and the flowers will be in bloom. Maybe that’s all it will take.
But in the meantime, do I just continue on through the next month. Two? What if I don’t feel better once the weather’s a little nicer?
I’ve also been struggling with panic attacks, or at least what I think are panic attacks. I all of a sudden feel helpless and claustrophobic. Like the walls are closing in on me but I’m too frozen to escape. Trapped. I break out into a cold sweat, get dizzy, and then a minute or two later, I’m fine. And every time I have one, I think it’s the last one. That they’ll go away. And then I have another one.
So I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m not asking for help, or advice, or anything. I’m just . . .venting I guess. And hoping I come back to read this in a few weeks or a month and laugh about how silly I was.
And I’m not going to go back and re-read this now. I’m just going to hit “publish”.
So, here we are almost halfway through January, and I have yet to post ANYTHING this year.
Good thing my New Year’s resolution wasn’t to blog more, because obviously that would be a failure. I’d have more success losing weight.
OK, maybe not.
Here’s a picture-filled recap of the last few weeks.
After we opened Maggie’s presents on Christmas morning, we kept an anxious eye on the weather. We were supposed to be driving back to The Sticks to see my family but there was a big ice storm coming through PA and we didn’t want to get caught in it. If it would have been just me and Mike, we probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it, hopped in the car, and gone on our merry way. But with Maggie on board, I imagined brutal car accidents, or being stranded for days on end halfway between my house and The Sticks. With that in mind, I packed the car full of bottled water, Maggie’s snowsuit, a million blankets, a bag containing way more formula and diapers than we could possibly need, and extra layers of clothes for Mike and I, along with gloves and hats and scarves.
After consulting NOAA, we decided we had a short window of opportunity, so we piled into the car and were on our way. There was just a light drizzle at our house, but as we climbed into the mountains, that drizzle became a snowy icy mix. Ugh. I’m a real control freak about driving and like to always be the one in control, but I “allowed” Mike to drive (it was Christmas, after all, so I wanted to avoid a fight) and sat in the back seat with Maggie. I had a 4 hour panic attack the whole way there, clutching onto Maggie’s car seat, yelling “suggestions” to Mike on how to handle the bad conditions (he loved that), and refusing to blink because I might miss seeing the car in front of us careening out of control.
We made it there safe and sound, and thankfully the weather in The Sticks was manageable and much less treacherous. We spent the long weekend running around, back and forth from my grandparent’s house to my Dad’s house, into town to get fitted for my dress for my brother’s wedding this summer, and visiting friends.
Maggie was an absolute dream. She had her fussy moments, but she adapted well to being passed around, sleeping in a strange room, and being in and out of the car more times than we could count. She was worn out by the time we got in the car to come home on Sunday, and slept the entire ride. The weather had cleared up by then, so we had an uneventful trip home.
Mike had off work the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I, however, had to work Monday through Thursday. So on Monday morning, I was off to work while Mike and Maggie hung out all day. After I got home we did a quick cleanup of the house and threw some laundry in . . . .
. . . .because on Tuesday, Mike’s brother, his wife, and our niece and nephew arrived to stay with us for the week!
This was the first time they got to meet Maggie and it was so cute to see the kids with her.
The rest of Mike’s family came over on New Year’s Day for dinner and to exchange Christmas gifts.
At one point, both Maggie and I were really tired, so we had some quiet time together on the couch.
But then the next day Mike’s brother’s family had to head home, so we said our goodbyes. Our nephew had picked up on Mike and I calling Maggie “Magpie”, and when he said goodbye to her before heading for home, he gently touched her arm and said “Goodbye Maggiepie.” It was so sweet! I just wished we lived closer to them so that we could see them more often.
You would think all of the chaos would end there, but it didn’t. Next up was Maggie’s baptism, which was during the 5:00 Mass last Saturday. I had a million errands to run during the week leading up to the baptism, but we got snow almost every day around 5:00PM and then overnight, so my 8 mile commute to and from work sometimes turned into an hour (one way) and I gave up on the errands and concentrated on making it home to spend what little time I could with Maggie before bedtime. So on the morning of her baptism day, I left the house around 8:30 and didn’t make it back until around noon. My brother and his fiancée had made it there in the meantime, and my Dad and his fiancée arrived a little while later.
We left the house around 4:30 and met Mike’s family at the church. I was a little nervous about Maggie making it through the entire Mass. I envisioned a major uncontrollable meltdown, the kind where nothing would calm her. Our church is HUGE and the Saturday evening Mass is packed. Any other time, I could just leave with her, but since she was the center of attention (and we were in the front row), I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. I didn’t need to worry. She squawked a few times during Mass, but no one minded and the priest even made a comment about how excited she was. She was an absolute angel during the actual baptism. She was shocked by the cold, and jerked her hands up over her head all three times, but didn’t cry. It was a beautiful baptism, and the congratulations from the congregation afterwards were overwhelming.
Afterwards, we all went back to our house for dinner. It’s rare that my family and Mike’s are all in the same room together. In fact, I can’t even think of a time when it was just all of us. They’re all at the benefit we have each year, but being in a crowded bar isn’t the same. It was so nice for all of us to just hang out and relax.
On Monday, I took a half day of vacation to Maggie’s 4 month appointment. She now weighs 16 lbs 10oz; still in the 95th percentile, which is where she was at birth. She’s 26 1/2 inches long. The problem with her soft spot closing early seems to no longer be a problem, and everything else checked out OK. We were smart this time with her shots and gave her Ty.len.ol as soon as we got home instead of waiting until the fever (and the screaming) started, like last time. She wasn’t fazed at all and was her normal happy self all evening.
And, now we’re back to “normal”. No trips planned, no visitors, no running around like crazy. Work has been hectic lately, so sometimes it’s a struggle to get out the door at 5:00 or shortly thereafter, but I’m slowly coming to accept that I only have an hour or so with her in the evening during the week and try to make the most of it.
Cloth diapering is going really well. Not nearly as gross as I had imagined it to be, and I’ve gotten into a rhythm of washing them every other night and doing other laundry on the nights in between. There was a little bit of trial and error when it came to figuring out how many inserts to use to make sure she didn’t wet through, but we were able to make it work. I was mostly concerned about what would happen overnight, since she’s in the same diaper for 12 hours, but those diapers are so amazing that it wasn’t an issue. She’s (thankfully) still sleeping like a champ. There have even been a few nights where she woke up every hours and soothed herself back to sleep and we didn’t even have to go in once to put her pacifier in!
So, that’s what has been going on in our lives lately. Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a little more consistently over the next few weeks instead of doing such a massive catch-up post!