Toddler Travels

We were headed to Seattle to visit some family but the hubs had a last minute business trip. Which meant I was flying cross country with a toddler and no one to tap out to. I was more than a little bit afraid of how the day would go. 

I have often told my husband that I’m exhausted before we even start vacation and here’s why. Not only do I have to pack myself, the kiddo and the dog (for doggie daycare) but I also have to schlep all the goddamn kid gear too. Diapers? Check. Diaper bag with snacks, extra outfit and activities?  Check. Car seat? Check. Medicines?  Check check check. I had my purse, 3 bags, a car seat AND my kiddo to haul. Moms are fucking Sherpas dude. Total ass kicking pack mules.  If you see a mom at the airport with a shitton of stuff in tow, tell her she’s doing an awesome job. Better yet buy her a coffee because you know that momma is tired. 

Bless the lovely lady at the park and ride this morning because she wouldn’t let me put anything in or take anything out. She hauled it for me. At the airport she even put my backpack on me because I had the kid in a wrap. I cannot tell you how touched I was by her kindness. 

We paid extra money for TSA pre-check  to ensure a faster way through security. Not. Why are the TSA dicks?  I had to submit to a pat down in order to keep my two sealed Horizon organic milks for my kid. Take off shoes, take her out of carrier etc. As the TSA agent went through the rest of my bag she confiscated a tube of toddler sunblock because it was 1 ounce over the “limit”.  Told me I could take it back and check it or she’d have to throw it out. I told her “You know I can’t go check it because my bag is already gone.”  She shrugged her shoulders as she tossed it in the garbage. I thanked her for making the world safer from Babyganics sunblock. Get real people…it’s shit like this that give those assholes their terrible reputation!

V did great on the 5 hour flight!  So good that I was a little shocked. It’s different now with her being a toddler. She plays independently at times so as she sat in her seat reading her book I was able to play a few rounds of solitaire. It was a “holy shit I’m kind of relaxing” moment. She did make up for it by flailing and crying for the last 10 minutes of the flight. Up until this point I’d been afraid to travel solo with the kid but after this experience we can be a dynamic traveling duo. And I won’t be (as) tired next time because some kind stranger is going to see me hauling ass and buy me a coffee. 

Much Ado About Nothing

I finally had my biopsy appointment last Friday. After getting an ultrasound first, talking to tech, then radiologist I was told, “I don’t see anything to biopsy. This all looks like normal breast tissue.”  

Um what?!?  The radiologist felt the lump that had brought me there in the first place and she said the shape and size weren’t worrisome and the ultrasound images didn’t show anything. She wanted to do a 3D mammogram to be sure. So I got my tit squished for that. 

After looking at the mammo, she sat with me and told me there was nothing to biopsy. She said that more than likely it was a fat lobule and those are completely normal. I was and still am dumbfounded. 

I went through 6 weeks of mental torture to have a very anticlimactic ending. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I feel kind of dumb about the whole thing. At least she didn’t say to me “I don’t feel anything.” (Which is what the previous doctor had told me.) The lump was real. I didn’t make it up and it was nice to have validation from someone of that. 

I am glad I had it checked out and happy to put it behind me. I would rather address it promptly rather than delay, delay, delay and then find something major. I don’t think I will return to the original imaging place where I had the mammogram done that started off this 6 weeks of worry and anxiety!  Asshats. 

Hi Ho, It’s Off for a Biopsy I Go

Tomorrow I go for my biopsy consult.  After comparing this mammogram to the last, there is enough abnormality in the lump that further action is required.  There is a classification system used by radiologists called BIRADS and it has a value from 0 to 6.  My lump was classified a 4, which means ‘suspicious’.  There is a 20% – 35% predictive probability that the lump is cancer.  From what I read, when a radiologist gives a rating of 4, they are usually 80% sure it’s cancer.

I’m scared about tomorrow.  And the biopsy that will follow.  And getting the results.  I’m scared to think I may have breast cancer.  The husband is going with me tomorrow.  I’m anxious too.  I want to get the biopsy done ASAP, because it will take at least a week to get the pathology report back, telling me whether or not this is cancerous.

This waiting period sucks.  It fucking sucks.  I have so many heavy things going on in my life right now.  This is one.  Working on our marriage is another.  Hearing from friends whose marriage seems to be crumbling is yet another.  Looking for a new job (hope to have a positive update on this soon!).  Dealing with anxiety and depression.  There is a part of me that thinks to myself, “Goddamn the hits just keep coming!” I’m hoping that this really is  just a difficult season and that things will lighten up soon for me.  For our family.

Throughout all of this, I’ve been trying to be very kind to myself.  I’ve been emotionally eating like no one’s business and I’ve gained back a few pounds that I had previously lost.  Although I’m not thrilled with my actions, I realize that it’s a coping mechanism for me right now.  It’s not the best one, but it’s really not the worst thing I could be doing at the moment.  If I were to follow in family footsteps, I could be drinking or drugging my worries into oblivion.  Yet I’m not.

The silver lining?  I’m still doing plenty of positive things.  Exercising every day.  Meditating most days.  Regularly writing down things I’m grateful for.  Going to therapy.  Getting good sleep.  Asking for support from friends.  Enjoying quiet moments with my family.  Getting past my procrastination to finally get a will done since we are like 18 months overdue on that shit.

The other positive thing?  I listened to my intuition to get this checked out.  I felt the lump and made an appointment ASAP.  My husband couldn’t feel it, my doctor didn’t feel it.  My doctor didn’t think it was anything but sent me for diagnostic testing anyway.  And I’m thankful for that.

There is a quote I found recently while browsing Pinterest that helps give me perspective when I start freaking out or thinking dark thoughts.  I’m not sure who said it, but I love it and think that it’s applicable for so many things in life.

“Everything heals.  Your body heals.  Your heart heals.  The mind heals.  Wounds heal.  The soul repairs itself.  Your happiness is always going to come back.  Bad times don’t last.”

I hope those words resonate with you as much as they do me.  They give me hope and help me to remember that nothing is forever.

Titanium Tit

I learned this week that I have a titanium bead as a marker from a previous breast biopsy. Four years ago I found a lump, went to my doctor, and had to undergo the nerve wracking process of a mammogram and biopsy. Thankfully it was benign. And I’m sure the doctors told me about the bead but hell I didn’t remember so it was news to me. How did I learn about my metal tittie this week?

Another lump. Another mammogram. I don’t know yet if I will need to have another biopsy. I should know  within the next week.

My life is so different than it was four years ago. I’m in a different city, I’m now a mom, and currently not working, but thankfully have health insurance through the hubs. Surprisingly I’m not at freak out level 5 this time. I’m trying to take this thing one step at a time. One doctor appointment at a time.

Have I thought about the whole ‘what if I have cancer’ scenario?  Of course, considering I lost my dad to cancer.  Have I thought about what the potential of breast cancer could be the end of?  Sure – breastfeeding my daughter, possible future babies, possible tittie loss. I’ve tried not to venture too far down that rabbit hole because it gets scary dark fast. All I can do is deal with things as they come. If they come.  This may turn out to be nothing. I don’t know yet.

It’s made me acutely aware of the present moments. Early this morning, I sat nursing my daughter at 4am, gently stroking her soft brown curls, thinking how lucky I am to have nourished her with milk from my body for over 17 months. Or sitting enjoying nature, feeling grateful I can see the sunset, feel the breeze on my face, hear the birds, smell the flowers and taste the salty ocean air.

I’m learning to be grateful for the smallest things.  For now, I’m in a wait and see situation.

Holy Shit Balls, I Survived 13.1 Miles!

I did it!  I fucking did it!  I joined the Dark Side…errr….I mean I completed the Disney Dark Side Half Marathon!!!!!!!   I ran a half marathon!!!!!!  Check that shit off the bucket list.

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Pre-race nervous smile

I was nervous in the days and hours leading up to the race, since it was going to be very early in the morning, and the weather was going to be warmer than what I typically ran in.  Was I going to have to take a pre-race shit?  Or even worse, a during the race shit?  I was concerned about refueling and water and how often I should do them.  I had practiced on my training runs, but I still didn’t feel supremely confident that I’d pick the right time to tank up.  Maybe I’d wait too long and have my energy just circle down the drain, never to be recovered.  Or I’d not wait long enough, and then be waterlogged or dealing with side stitches during the race.  How long was it going to take me to finish?  Would I even finish?  I had NO idea what to expect.

I have to say, I surprised myself.  The longest training run I’d done was 10 miles, so not the full race distance.  As the time and the miles dragged on, I was expecting to have moments of “What the fuck was I thinking?” or “I can’t do it!” or “I won’t be able to finish!” or “This was another ‘bright’ idea!!!!” <insert sarcasm here>.

That never came.  I was so shocked that I didn’t have all this negative self-talk.  Instead, it was positive and encouraging!  Shocker right?  I kept saying to myself, “You’ve trained for this.  You can do this!”  And I could.  And I did.

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My race bling

When I saw the finish line, I was expecting to well up with tears and start bawling.  That didn’t happen either.  It took me 3 hours and 13 minutes.  I was hoping to get done in 3 hours, but in reality, I’m just thrilled I was able to finish.  I felt so elated and ecstatic that I set this big goal for myself, methodically approached it, and then I ran off and did it!  I fucking did it!

Watch out world.  Who knows what is next for me.

Contemplating My Life, My Legacy

So a Facebook acquaintance, one that I met through a mutual friend while in LA, is dying of liver cancer at 30-some years old.  DYING.  He’s younger than me.  30-something fucking years YOUNG.  He’s recently been told by the doctors that there’s nothing more they can do.  And all of the posts I’ve seen about his situation have me thinking about my own life.  My own legacy.

What if I died suddenly?  What would my daughter remember of me?  My friends?  Family?  Have I accomplished leaving a legacy in case I don’t wake up tomorrow?  Am I currently living my best life right now?  All these thought provoking questions.

I tried talking about it to the hubs tonight, and I started crying, thinking about the whole “what if I died tomorrow?” topic.  He talked about years ago in therapy he wrote his own obituary, and then I lost him to Game of Thrones.  I’m more than a little annoyed by that.  I think he knew, because he offered to watch it tomorrow, but by the time he offered, the moment had passed.  He’d made his choice to watch the show.

I’m still here thinking…am I OK with my life as it is right now?  And the answer is glaringly, obviously NO.   Fuck NO.

I put everyone else first in my life.  I had a moment earlier today where the hubs kicked me out to go get a pedicure, but the place wasn’t going to open for another hour, and I sat in my car and thought, “Now what?”  I didn’t want to shop, I didn’t want to do anything that resembled spending a ton of money without having a job yet, so I drove back home and took a nap while he napped with our kiddo.  I couldn’t even think of anything else nice to do for myself….and then I thought how awful is that?!  That led to thinking what has become of me?

I really want to make some concrete changes in my life.  Starting with putting myself first.  Do I exactly know how to do that yet?  No, but I know that involves small steps, like eating a diet with fruits, veggies and wholesome food to power me through the day.  It involves daily exercise to help manage my anxiety levels and give me a physical outlet.  It involves doing at least one thing EVERY GODDAMN DAY that I ENJOY doing (i.e. reading, crocheting, taking a bath, blogging, or other hobbies…) even if it’s just for like 5 minutes after the kid goes to bed.  It involves maintaining connections (and making new ones!) with people that love and support me on this journey through life.  It involves loving myself, first and foremost, and knowing that I am worthy of good care.  Of good attention.  Of a good life.

With all of this deep thinking, I had a very sad realization on my walk this evening.  I realized that for most of my life, I’ve been so desperate for someone to love me that I’ve asked nothing in return.  I have always equated having needs as being synonymous with being needy so I’ve never demanded much from a partner.  Now or historically.  Because the fear is if I ask for too much, or have too many needs, that they will leave me.

I’m done with that shit.  I don’t want to live my life being afraid to take up too much space.  I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to start living my days more fully.  More completely.  I’m done living a shell of a life because tomorrow is not promised to anyone and goddamnit, I want to make this a good go around. Something memorable.

Motherhood is Fucking Lonely Sometimes

I am sitting on the couch, alone, surveying my disaster of a living room, taking a moment after putting the baby down to bed.  Eating popchips like a mad woman.  Watching episodes of Law & Order SVU because I can’t get enough of that show.

The husband is a 4 hour flight away at a funeral and I’ve been dealing with a kiddo with an ear infection since Tuesday night.  A single ear infection turned into a double ear infection.  Add to that an allergic reaction to the antibiotics we were given.  This week has sucked.  * Sigh *

Did I mention my husband was away?  I wish that the dog could somehow help me out or babysit for a few hours to give me a break, but no such luck.  Husband won’t be back until tomorrow, but he’s taking the red eye, but I don’t know how much “help” he will be when he does get home.

I love my daughter, and being a mom, but sometimes I think about my old, pre-baby life with longing.  And I get a little sad.  Because I miss some of the close friendships that I could more easily maintain pre-baby….and I feel like they’ve gotten left by the wayside.  Overrun by shitty diapers, double ear infections, dinner time, nursing, walking the dog, laundry, bath time, putting the baby to bed…the endless list of to-do’s on my plate these days.  When I do get a moment, I just want to sit in silence.  By myself.  Without anyone needing or wanting me.

I realize the irony in that last statement…how can I feel lonely when I’m almost never alone?  But I am lonely.  For some real friendships.  For my mom tribe.  For someone to tell me, “You are gonna get through this”, whatever this happens to be, knowing that they’ve walked in my shoes and can speak from experience.

My only close mom friends live far away….and it fucking sucks.  I have made a few friends here, but one of the friends I have is the “cherish every moment!” kind of mom and that shit just ain’t real.  Being real to me is admitting that some days you want to run away.  Some days you want to scream at your husband that the next time he leaves his socks laying around you are going to put them all together in a pile and burn them.  Real is not losing your shit on the dog, even though you really want to, when he shits in the house because you were too busy tending to your sick kid to take him for his normal walk.

 

No one told me that this mom business would have these kind of moments.  Such worry.  Such anxiety.  Such frustration.  Such loneliness.  I’m probably talking to no one right now.  * Sigh *

I think I’m going to bed.  Alone.

I’ll Take The Shits for $350, please.

When you read that headline, isn’t that exactly what you envision for your anniversary?  No?  Well it wasn’t what I envisioned either…but that’s what happened.  And still happening.

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Dessert!

Let me set the scene for you.  We decided to take a trip to Napa for our anniversary with the kiddo in tow.  I had even found a local nanny service with terrific reviews so that the hubs and I could have some alone time.  He found a restaurant with great reviews, and booked us a reservation on our anniversary.  He even went so far as to let the restaurant know it was our anniversary too!  (Bonus points for him on this….I believe I owe him a quality BJ at some point for this good work.)

We got to the restaurant early and enjoyed this scenic view.

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View from our table

We sampled different Napa wines from their extensive list.  We had a delicious three course meal, with the chef even sending out two additional small plates for us, free of charge.  Seriously, the food was divine!  At one point, I had even said to the hubs, “I think I may have just come a little…” because the food was THAT good.

 

Our dinner was so good for a number of reasons.  We got the opportunity to talk about plans for the future, about things in our marriage we should keep doing, things we should start doing, things we should stop doing.  We had the rare opportunity to spend time with each other, without one of us being distracted with one eye trying to pay attention to our spouse and one eye watching our kiddo.

On our ride home, my stomach began to rumble very deeply.  I remember commenting that I didn’t feel so hot.  We get back to our hotel, pay the nanny, got the report on how V was, and then I exited to the bathroom where I shit the entire contents of my dinner out.  I was also feeling sick to my stomach, and I was praying to the porcelain god and any other god that would listen, that puking wouldn’t follow the diarrhea.  To be sick from one end is bad enough, but to have it coming out of both ends is truly awful.

We racked our brains trying to figure out what the offending dish may have been, as we both were pretty sure I had a case of food poisoning.  I think it was my 3rd course, which was squab.

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The offending dish (I’m sorry little squab)

It was supposed to be medium rare, but I think it was mostly rare.  I didn’t ask for them to cook it more, and in hindsight, I really should have.  Because I looked at it and thought “That’s too pink to eat” but ate it anyway.  And am now paying the consequences for my dumbass move.

 

And for those of you that may want to judge me for eating squab.  Please don’t as I’ve already beaten myself up enough over this.  You see, when I ordered, I thought squab was a type of pheasant.  Because we were in a fancy schmancy restaurant, I wasn’t going to be the unsophisticated type to ask “What is squab?” Growing up in the Midwest, I came from a hunting and fishing family, so we regularly ate wild game, including rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, deer, fish we caught, etc.  It was only later on that I googled and discovered that squab was pigeon.  Young pigeon. And I felt morally conflicted for having eaten a young pigeon.  The hubs didn’t help when he was jutting his neck in and out like pigeons do when they walk.

I’m writing this post 5 days after the dinner in question, and I’m still shitting my life away.  I’ve felt truly awful since Monday evening.  In addition to the diarrhea, I’ve felt bloated, gassy, nauseated, and just icky in general.  I dropped off the kiddo at daycare this morning, and as I walked to my car, I started crying, muttering to myself, “I just want to stop feeling like shit!”

Sigh.  At least was a memorable anniversary.  How about that for a positive spin?

P.S.  Had to post this real life pic from our trip.

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This is vacation with a toddler.  

Hubs was trying to get some nice pics of me and the kiddo together, because it’s almost always her and him in photos, with me behind the camera.  He managed to snap a pic of her pitching a fit, and me trying to protect her melon from making contact with the pavement.  I love the contrast of this beautiful scenery behind me, with a flailing child in front of me.  Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Wrapping this up so I can go shit my life away.  Again.

 

At An Impasse…

Last Sunday, the hubs had asked me if I was feeling left out because he’s doing things on Saturday with the kiddo when I’m in class.  His question led to a great conversation how I am feeling left out, how I feel that he makes times for the things that he wants to do, but doesn’t make time for us as a couple.  It was hard for me to say to him, but it’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  He was really supportive and gentle with me on Sunday.  That’s why I was so confused about tonight’s exchange.

He comes back from picking up dinner for us, and is telling me about a conversation with a supplier.  He’s going on and on, and I’m frustrated.  He was gone for an event, which was in town but required him to stay at a hotel, so I was managing the household.  And the kiddo was up for over an hour in the middle of the night.  Every.  Fucking.  Night. pretty much for weeks.  I’m exhausted, anxious, worried, and in general, not in very good spirits these days.  So as he continues to tell me about this convo, I get pissed.  And he asks me what is wrong…and I tell him, that I feel like everyone else gets billing with him but me.  And that I get what is typically left over, which is not much, if anything.

His reply to me?  I’m blaming him for everything since I’m not happy right now.  I told him that I didn’t think I was blaming him, as this has been a consistent issue for me.  He tells me, through pursed lips, that he doesn’t know what to say.  And then followed with ice cold silence for the rest of dinner.  I’m so hurt, and I’m mad, and I’m at my wits end at being ignored or iced out.

I didn’t feel like I was attacking him, I really didn’t.  I didn’t name call him – I didn’t say “YOU are not doing this…” or “YOU are not doing that…”  I used “I” language to try to express myself like an adult.  And for what?  A deflection that somehow having needs is “blame” and then feeling this ever growing sense of loneliness enveloping me.  I’m going through this HUGE life change, where I’m trying to figure out a new career/job, while not trying to take things personally about being laid off, and I don’t even feel as though my husband has my back.  I don’t feel like he understands (or cares to understand) what a big emotional deal this is for me.  It’s the first time in my life I’ve NOT worked (besides maternity leave….but that had a definitive start and end).

He checked out for the rest of the evening.  He didn’t speak to me.  In fact, he went to bed at the same time our 15 month old daughter did.  It just makes my heart hurt, because the distance between us grows each time he chooses silence over discussion.  Another wall goes up every time he chooses to not talk about the very real issues that are happening in our marriage.

I’m left here, alone, on the couch wondering, what can I really do?  What options do I have if someone doesn’t want to engage?  What can I do if someone would rather check out than recognize their partner is going through a very difficult time and they don’t even bother to try to comfort them?

We are totally at an impasse.  And I have no fucking clue what to do.  I’m heartbroken, and so tired of crying.  And tired of being alone.

Just Hanging Around (Aerial Yoga)

Yesterday I took my first aerial yoga class and it may have just been one of the coolest fitness things I’ve ever done.

We started the class by sitting in the fabric. Then we maneuvered, quite un-gracefully, to a position where our legs were stretched out and our entire bodies were supported by the hammock. As we moved through traditional yoga postures I was swaying gently in the yoga hammock. Closing my eyes, I felt a little dizzy, but that quickly subsided.  Immediately I was filled with a sense of peace and calm.  There was something so supportive (literally and figuratively!) about being supported by the hammock.  There was a very womb-like quality to the practice that I really enjoyed and relaxed into.

We performed a bunch of exercises in the hammock and also used it as a prop to get deeper stretches.  At one point, we draped the hammock at our hips, so we could fold into a down dog and then eventually hung upside with just the hammock supporting me.  I was scared that I was going to fall out of it somehow.  I saw some of the other women hanging, while I had my hands on the floor, and then had a moment of “If they can do it, I can do it too…”  So I bravely let my hands go and just hung out.  It was so freeing!

I was so glad that I tried this, as I would definitely do it again.  I even researched getting an aerial yoga kit for home.  I could even see myself taking naps in this!