Friday, October 29, 2010

Other Projects

Thanks so much for the support in response to my last posts.  I will respond - things are still percolating.

I did want to share what else I've been up to during my time at home.  With extra special thanks to my Mom & Dad for their immense help during their visit, I was able to do a lot of redecorating on a small budget.

I don't have any before pics, so for those of you who haven't visited or haven't in a while, you'll have to take my word that it looks a lot better.

First - the upstairs kitchen and living space:

We're saving up for matching dining room chairs and additional seating.

(Psssst....Heather....the pictures over the chaise - your pic of the lanterns is on the right.)

Jason's bathroom:

Yes, that's a picture of Heather in Jason's bathroom.  He picked it from a set of four prints we already owned.  It's fun - at least that's his story.

Our bedroom:

Bella approved!  And yes, I could've made the bed for the shot, but then you wouldn't get to see it in it's day-to-day state.  BTW - the bed side table on the right is gold - my mom spray painted it and it's awesome.

Downstairs living room:

Not huge changes here but some art work got changed.  And look at the inexpensive, yet stylish solution to keeping Aggie out of the entertainment center.  Working so far...

I'm also working on my cooking and baking.  I cook dinner most nights (as well as breakfasts and lunches for me and Ags).  And last night I peeled, cored and sliced dozens of apples and froze them for future baking adventures.  Apple crisp, apple pie - here we come!

Monday, October 18, 2010


So, I've got a few things to get off my proverbial chest - hence the two posts back-to-back.

Since being laid off, I have really felt blocked.  Or, perhaps, because of my ample free time, I'm noticing the blockages I've had for a while.  Regardless, I feel rudderless, without direction, without a purpose.  I feel like I'm mentally standing in a five foot by five foot box and have no idea how to get out.  I take that back, I do know how to get out but don't feel like doing what it takes.

Not only is that feeling frustrating and suffocating, but I also feel like I'm losing precious time and squandering valuable moments with Aggie.  We have our good moments, for sure.  But I often feel like I'm counting the minutes until her next nap or until Jason gets home.  I haven't been very creative about how we spend our time together - we watch a lot of TV or I try to otherwise distract her so I can do stuff on the computer or chores.  What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't feel like quality time.  And I feel it's because I'm not trying very hard.

Part of me thinks I'm being too hard on myself - taking care of a one year old is difficult, tiring work.  And I'm pregnant.  But I don't feel that I'm really challenging myself.  Here I have this wonderful opportunity of time with my daughter and I'm squandering it.  And the guilt that comes with that is tremendous.

I like to sometimes blame it on unemployment - if I didn't "have to" search for a job, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the baby - if I didn't "have to" take care of the baby, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the lack of car (which has been remedied) and living in small town - if I had something to do, I'd enjoy my free time more.

But those are just excuses.  I do think I'm expecting too much of myself to enjoy every minute of every day.  But I'd like to do away with this feeling of...listlessness...frustration...depression, perhaps?  Taking new meds isn't an option right now, so I'm going to have to get myself out of this without chemical assistance.  And the first step is to call the doctor.

Thanks for listening.

Oh, wait.  Not quite done yet.  A couple of more things need saying.  Part of this depression or blockedness or what have you, is being without work.  I need to acknowledge this.  I had really become defined by my job.  It was a defining job.  I was on the front lines of a very controversial and deeply emotional issue and I took it to heart, to mind and to pride.  I really pushed myself in that job and did very well.  Damn it, why can't I say it - I succeeded, I was successful at my job, a job I was terrified of doing at times (not safety wise, just believing in myself enough to succeed).

While I needed to leave that job for a variety of reasons, how it ended was abrupt and heartbreaking.  Initially, I took some good steps to help me transition - I unsubscribed from all the action alerts, stopped reading the blogs and news, just unplugged.  And that's helped me clear my head, helped the the swirliness, for lack of a better word, of my previous work life to settle out.  But now I'm getting anxious and want to fill that space back up with more work.  I'm really resistant to letting being a mom fill that space back up, which is both positive and negative, I think.  Part of me wants to just fall back into the routine of working and let that monopolize my attention, but a wiser part of me knows that is not what I need to do.  If only that part would hurry up and show me what it is I need to.  I'm not a very patient person, in case you hadn't noticed.

And there's the whole resistance to being a full-time mom.  I know why and I kinda hate myself for it - because I don't want to become one of those women whose only focus is their children, who can only talk about their kids, who can only do things for their kids.  That is totally stereotyping, since I don't actually know any of these women.  It's a fear, really - fear of losing myself, which is ironic because I do so in other circumstances, such as with my work.  So, why doing it with my daughter is a fear, I don't know.  Probably because I did have a mom whose life revolved heavily (though not solely) around me and that was a big burden to bear at times (at other times it was wonderful).  I guess I don't want to do that with Aggie and the new baby.  The wiser part of me also says this is not what I need to do, that I should have multiple interests and passions, including my children.  Again, I wish I could know what those other interests are already.

I think what I really want is a guarantee, a guarantee that what I choose to focus on and put my efforts into will be successful, rewarding and long lasting.  I thought I had found that with my last job and set my life up accordingly.  Same with grant writing.  I keep thinking I've found that "thing" and then I quit or become disillusioned or it becomes obvious that I need to move on.  I want security, damn it!  But, the wiser part of me says that I do not, that I do want uncertainty and challenge.  Sigh. 

Pregnancy the Second

If you were a reader during my first pregnancy, you might have noticed things are a bit different here, the second time around.  Because it feels like I just went through a pregnancy, this one is lacking the novelty of my first.  I hate saying that because I worry that it sounds like this one isn't special.  But, I just don't feel like blogging about this pregnancy like I did my first and haven't come up with a good alternative.  So, the second child is already getting shafted.

But, I thought I would share some pregnancy similarities and differences that I've found interesting:
  • Cravings - same: sub sandwiches, apple juice, mango smoothies, fig newtons; different: canned beef raviolis, cranberry juice
  • Nausea - same: can't drink hot tea; different: less of it, no puking, high tolerance gag reflex
  • Insomnia - different: started already, only for an hour or so every few nights
  • Hair - different: continuing to fall out
  • Boobs - different: waited 12 weeks to enlarge, now up to a DD (!)
I've also put off blogging about this pregnancy because, as many of you know, this was not a planned pregnancy.  In fact, we had not planned on having any more children.  J was supposed to have gotten a vasectomy (not that I'm blaming him, just emphasizing our sincere intention not to have more children).  And, like many people, thought one time sans protection that, yes, pregnancy was a likelihood, but would not be a reality.  I mean, it took us six months of trying and temperature taking and ovulation tracking to get pregnant with Aggie.  I know, I know - silly us.

When we found out, I was angry.  Yes, angry.  Because this is not what I had planned for my life.  Since I was a teen, I had planned to give birth to one child and adopt the second.  That was the plan and, in my opinion, the "right" thing to do.  I was trying to the right thing!!!  Plus, here I was, already a full-time mom when I didn't want to be.  I was not prepared or all that willing to become a full-time mom to two babies under the age of two.

Jason and I talked about abortion.  But it didn't feel like the right option.  As unprepared as we were for the undertaking of two children, it felt like that was the way to go.  And in the days following, we realized that we subconsciously choose to have a second child.  I found the box of emergency contraception under my sink (duh - work for a reproductive health care provider for three years - think I would've remembered that option).  J didn't get that vasectomy; I didn't get on birth control.  That helped with the processing.

Also, I had been consciously missing pregnancy.  Crazy, I know.  But I really missed the feel of my full belly and also the warmth that radiated my way from others while pregnant.  I even dreamed a couple times about being pregnant again.

Because of this, it's very important to me that the child not be told it was an "accident."  We knew what we were doing, just not consciously.  So, perhaps the child isn't planned but it was not an accident - we like to think of it as a bonus.  We hit the jackpot with Aggie and now we're entering the bonus round. 

With that said, half the time I forget I'm pregnant.  I'm not really showing and my symptoms are much milder this time around.  And I have a one year old to focus on (who is sick again, btw).  We pretty much have everything we need for the little one - really, we just need a name and some infant diapers and we are good to go.  I figure as we get closer to the due date, the excitement for baby 2 will grow.  Right now, when I think about having two kids, all I can picture is them both screaming their heads off at me, exhausted and alone.

So, that's why I haven't blogged - this is not the rosy picture of pregnancy that is so often painted by others and by me during my first one.  And I feel really bad about that.  This is a wanted a child.  It's just the circumstances are so different and I feel guilty.  I know that if I keep focusing on the child being short changed then the child will be; I need to focus on loving it.  I'm just having a hard time keeping focused.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1 year, pt. 2

Team D did it!!!  We all survived the first year.  Except Rachel (sniff - though Aggie was not the cause).  And I'd like to think we're all the better for it.

The last month has been a blur of visitors and birthday parties.  Which is great, because I spent most of the first month of being a full-time mom letting others entertain and care for Aggie.  A very nice way to ease into full-time parenting.

And the birthday parties - four (!!!!) total!  Ags especially enjoyed the cupcakes and the singing.  And the crown wearing.

Oh yes, I almost forgot - Aggie started crawling.  One day, she just went for it but she wasn't very happy about it.  She had a look on her face that read: "Must I really degrade myself in this manner?"  But, she's gotten over it and is a crawling champ.  We have gates now but don't have to use them too often.  She prefers to get into things like the dog's water dish and the DVDs, rather than heading off into other rooms (though her father's bathroom intrigues her, likely because she takes her baths in there).

She is practicing her walking and the other morning she stood up and balanced all by herself.

Aggie has also grown even more adventurous with her eating - she really enjoyed tofu, seaweed and ribs.  And if you feed her ice cream, woe is you, because when you run out, she screams as though her heart is being torn out.  Something she also does when you take her out of the swing at the park.

She has two favorite games now - peek-a-boo and throw an object, crawl over to it and throw it again.

Jason and I are looking forward to year 2.  As hard as this part year has been, it has been infinitely more fun and rewarding.  Aggie is just an awesome person and I am excited to watch her develop.  With that said, though, I was watching a blogger's (Amalah) recap of her son's second year and you could see him go from baby to toddler.  And that makes me a little sad - in the next year, I will lose my baby.  A different blogger, Finslippy, wrote a great post about the millions of goodbyes parents say during their child's adolescent (here) (I will admit, some goodbyes won't be bittersweet, like when we say adios to diapers!).

I know, I know, we're having another baby, but still.  Baby Aggie is the Aggie I know and love, so I am both sad to know she will be leaving us but also excited to meet all the other Aggies waiting down the road.

Pic of the month (thanks Aunty Roo!):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1 year

Holy moly.  365 days of Ms. Agatha Heathre Davidson.  And what a year it's been.  And what a day.  I am too tired to write a proper post at the moment, but I just wanted to say:

Happy Birthday, Love Bug.
You've brought more love, laughter, sunshine, fatigue and frustration into my life than anyone I've known.
Everyday you help me be a better person and are so very kind when I fail to do my best.
Thank you for sharing your journey with me and your papa.
We're very honored to be your guides.

Now, I'm going to go shed a few tears, then pass out.  And do it all again tomorrow.

Love you, Baby Girl.