Saturday, January 31, 2009

Butterfly Kisses & Weekend Fun


Last night my Husband and Daughter attended the annual Father-Daughter dance. It's a fundraiser for a local church. Last year was the first year Daughter went and she loved it. This year she has been looking forward to it for months.
My mother-in-law purchased a beautiful dress for my daughter for Christmas. It was perfect for the dance. Green velvet top, with a rhinestone heart, and long taffeta skirt. I made sure to get home quickly so I could help curl her hair. My husband dressed in his dress slacks and sports coat. I took pictures.
I think this event is great. My husband and daughter get time alone. My daughter gets to see how men ought treat girls on dates. There is lots of food and a D.J. My husband said that Daughter was mostly interested in skipping around the room with her friends. However, they did get their pictures taken. I can't wait to see them.
Daughter came home, all excited to tell me about the dance. She said that she and Daddy danced to Butterfly kisses.
As for Baby and me, we went out with some of the other moms whose husbands and daughters were at the dance. We went to see a movie and hang out.
Today Husband is at his parents hunting. He called to tell me he had an "incident" on the way there. Turns out he was speeding and got pulled. He got a ticket - of course it is in another county and on a date after I quit being in private practice. Not sure I can do anything about it much, but I'll try. I can't help but chuckle as I'm the one accused of having a lead food - not him.
Daughter is playing on the floor and Baby is napping. Soon we're going to head out to the library. Daughter wants some books. Then we're off to Chik-fil-a for lunch and to the movies to see Hotel for Dogs. This will be the longest time I've had both kids by myself. I figure the library and movie will let us get out and about without being unmanageable. I'd really like to get outside but Brrrr it's too cold.
I'm also being nosey today. We have new neighbors. The house across the street is being rented - the owners were unable to sell it. The previous occupants moved out just after Christmas. They were great neighbors and I'll miss them. Now I'm being nosey and watching the new people move in. I thought I heard the voice of children. Maybe some playmates for my kids? That would be really nice.
My participation is being demanded now - time to play Polly Pockets!

Lame Duck


I'm a lame duck here at work, trying to wrap things up. It's a bit slow so I decided to play around with my blog template. Somehow I ended up deleting a bunch of stuff, including all my pictures on my sidebar. No worries - time to update and get some new ones. Hope you like the changes.
I think I have the blog roll fixed - let me know if there are problems.

Friday, January 30, 2009

All Twisted Up - a storm is brewing


The storms hit at my house this week. A level 5 if ever I've seen one.

I'm all twisted up inside. I want to yell, scream, cry, withdraw, attack and hide. All at the same time.

I've posted about my husband and I's arguments concerning hunting. This is not about hunting. This is about safety and trust.

My husband and I had very in-depth conversations about firearms before we were married. We re-visted those discussions as we moved houses and had to decide where to put the gun safes. Again as we had our daughter, as she started walking, as my niece/nephews were older and visiting, and on other occasions. There is no doubt in my mind that I have made it crystal clear that there is never, ever to be a weapon left unlocked. That ought to have been common sense, but apparantly it was not. The last major argument was when I walked downstairs to find guns lying out on the work bench in the basement. My husband said he had left them there to be cleaned and put away. I told him if I ever found a gun left out and not locked up, that all guns would need to be taken out of the house.

Husband and I have differences of opinion. He's a man and feels the need to protect our family. He wants access to a loaded gun for protection. I respect that and appreciate it. So, I tried to come up with something that would meet both our needs. After our last argument, I gave him carte blanche to go buy any gun safe he wanted. I suggested a fingerprint one - easy access, but only by him, safe, can keep under our bed or in his dresser drawer. That was approximately 10 - 11 months ago. I suggested he ask for one for Christmas - he didn't like that idea because it was a need and not a want. He preferred to get a gun for Christmas.

We've had conversations about a gun he was given that is an antique and not able to be fired. It doesn't fit in our gun safe. I asked him to put that one up high on the shelf in the basement, rather than on the bottom shelf where he had it. Husband doesn't think it's a big deal because it can't be fired. I told him I didn't care. If a child takes a gun out and points it her friend, that friend doesn't know if it is loaded or capable of being shot. Heck, people rob banks with water pistols.

That was also my point when he packed his guns in the soft, zipper carry-cases the night before he went hunting. He would leave the guns out in the spare bedroom or the basement. I didn't care that they were unloaded. They were not locked up. Again, a child can take the gun and point it at someone else - that other person will not know if it is loaded or not. All of this to say, I made it very clear that no guns were to be left unlocked - regardless of if they were loaded.


So earlier this week, I went into our bedroom to get the checkbook and register so I could balance the checkbook. We keep it in his dresser drawer. His dresser drawers were all askew and I went to close them. One got stuck and when I went to fix it I saw a gun. Not the one that I know he has in a locked plastic gun case (that he unlocks before bed at night and re-locks in the morning - that I've asked him to put in a fingerprint safe because I'm worried he'll forget to relock it one morning). No - this was a handgun, in a soft carry-case that was not zipped or locked.


I saw RED.

I'll spare you all the details. But the gun was unloaded. He thinks it's okay then. I reminded him of what happened when he left a gun out before. I told him to get the guns out of the house immediately. He said No. I said I'd have to think about where the children and I would go. I meant it - I was ready to leave.

I then slept on it. So has he. I think at this point he would remove all the guns to his parents. But resent me forever. He would see it as an attack on hunting. I want it to be 100% clear that it is safety and trust. I can no longer trust him to lock his crap up and not make it accessible to our children. I was livid when I found out my daughter was over at a friend's house and the dad had an unloaded rifle in a room where my child was playing, just leaning against the wall. My husband knows this. We had NINE children at our house for a birthday party this past weekend and there was a gun in his dresser.

He wants another chance. I told him I had to think about what I wanted to do.

The next night I had calmed down some. He had spent all day thinking up "better" arguments. He apologized and admitted he broke my trust in one sentence. In the next he accused me of being a hypocrite for not having the medicine and cleaners locked up. Then he tried to tell me everything would be okay because our Daughter is scared of guns - he knows this because Daughter noticed a gun under FIL's bed and told Daddy about it. What? How does that support your point? All it means is that our Daughter will not be over at the grandparents until that issue is addressed.
Because Husband admitted he knows he broke my trust, and because he was willing to remove all the guns, and to save my marriage, I agreed to a compromise, under certain conditions.

First - the house must be seriously child-proofed. I went to the store today and purchased a lock for the basement deep freezer, the basement refrigerator, all the cabinets, and the basement door. I also picked up a lock for the closet door that leads to the closet where the large gun safes are. I purchased a big rubbermaid bin for the medications that can be locked with a padlock. As for the guns, Husband will immediately purchase a fingerprint gun safe. Until then no gun is left unlocked.

Second, I have a call in to get a joint counseling session. I want Husband to know that I am dead serious about this issue. I'm compromising to preserve our marriage. I also want witnesses when I say that if I ever find a weapon left out at all, loaded or not, all guns will be destroyed (probably by me in a fit or rage).

Third, our agreements will be reduced to writing. He will agree in writing, not to leave any firearms accessible to children. Loaded or unloaded. Accessible meaning not locked up with a padlock or in a locked safe. Neither of us will permit a child of ours to touch a gun for any reason whatsoever, without joint agreement. In other words, he will not take our Daughter out shooting without discussing it with me in advance. We have very different ideas about the age at which things are appropriate.

Fourth, he must come to some resolution about his relationship with his father. Turns out FIL has guns under his bed and in the basement on the wall. Unlocked but unloaded. And FIL leaves his guns out between the morning and evening hunting sessions. Again unlocked. But Husband says that the gun in the basement is kept there in case FIL needs to shoot a snake in the yard quickly (we do have poisonous snakes here). Well, if that is the purpose, then that means the ammunition must be close by as well. Not acceptable. Husband agreed....BUT he said he talked to his mother to tell her to bring it up with his father. What? I initially told Husband that I would talk to his father since he was apparently too chicken. Then I thought about it. This is not my battle - FIL is not going to take it seriously from me. So I told Husband he had to talk to his dad about it and the kids could not visit until I was sure things were locked up.

Sure hasn't been fun at my house lately. It's dark and stormy with more clouds on the horizon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bad Mommy Part 2 - No June Cleaver Here

Baby had his 4 month appointment today. He was up 4 times last night and fussy. Screaming in pain. I figured it was his usual GI issues. No big deal

The nurse comes in and says, "he's warm." She takes his temp and he has a slight fever. Then he sneezes. Daycare said he had sneezed a lot. And I did notice he was stuffed up and had to suction him several times. The sneeze produced green snot. I mentioned the green eye gook that had matted his eyes shut this morning.

Lo and behold, he has an ear infection and an eye infection. So two prescriptions, 1 dose of tylenol, and no shots later, we are home.

On the good front, my baby is growing well - up to over 13 pounds. And......when I laid him on his stomach to better play with the crinkly paper on the doctor table (which he loved), he rolled over!!! Way to go my boy!

Pass it Over - I get the Bad Mommy award


Hand over the Bad Mommy Award. I've earned it.
Last night my Husband were having an "intense discussion" - AKA an argument, but at a low volume because the kids were sleeping. Or so we thought. I really thought we were keeping it down. There was no yelling or bad words or name calling. Just a major debate. My daughter started making noises from her bedroom and then screamed and started crying. We both went in. She said she had a nightmare.
I brought her into bed with me and told her she could snuggle and fall asleep there while Daddy showered. Then he could move her back to her room after she was asleep. We talked for a few moments. I got her to open up and she had heard us arguing and got scared. I reassured her that grown-ups disagree sometimes, but we still love each other and her. We talked about how she and her best friend at school sometimes argue. Husband ended up not moving her - he tried to get into bed with us but Daughter is a toss-and-turn type of sleeper so he eventually went to the couch. I feel bad that she got scared. But I also want her to know that adults can disagree and still love each other.
Then this morning, Daughter had a dentist appt. She's already had 2 cavities filled. Since that time, we've started brushing her teeth for her 1x a day and supervising the rest of the time. We switched her to fluoride toothpaste. She has never taken anything to bed in a sippy cup except water. She only gets soda on rare occasions (and then caffeine free). She drinks milk, water and juice - the juice is V8 fruit/veggie juice because she doesn't eat many fruits & veggies. So what is the result? SIX CAVITIES! What the heck? SIX. So she's having 3 filled at one appt and 3 at another. They are on teeth she may not lose for another 5 years so they need to be filled. They did a fluoride treatment/sealant but we can't get the permanent sealants until her adult teeth come in. Part of the problem is heredity (thanks to me) as she has very weak enamel.
So pass over the bad mommy award. I'll be holding it awhile.

Some News & A Meme

The blog carnival against child abuse is taking submissions here.

Kahless tagged me to do this -

Three jobs I have had in my life:
1. Attorney
2. Waitress
3. Resident Assistant/Director of a college dormitory

Three TV shows that I watch:
1. Lost
2. Survivor
3. CSI

Three places I have lived:
1. New Jersey
2. New Hampshire
3. The South

Three places I have been this week:
1. Work
2. Church
3. Daycare

Three people who email me regularly:
1. Kim
2. DM and Mrs. DM
3. My sister

Three of my favourite foods:
1. Coffee
2. Chocolate
3. Pizza

Three places I’d rather be:
1. On a warm beach sunbathing
2. Getting a massage
3. Sleeping

Three friends I think will respond to this message:
1. Anyone who wants too
2. Because Kahless and JIP
3. Have already tagged most everyone :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dressed up in Black



I'm dressed up in black once again today. Two funerals in less than two weeks.

A few months ago we received a call that Mr. J had cancer of the stomach and that it was bad. He went up to heaven less than 2 months later.

About 5 years ago my husband and I were active in a Sunday school class. We enjoyed it. Then Mrs. J asked us to switch to a new class she was teaching for young couples. Since we were regular attenders, she wanted our support. My husband agreed we would move. I didn't want to go. We would be the oldest couple by a few years and the only ones with children (I was pregnant with my daughter at that time). I went to the class. Mrs. J was newly remarried. Her previous husband had died of cancer a few years back.

I didn't expect to like Mrs. J. She was very wealthy and from the upper class. She had little concept of what things cost. She was also extremely generous. She bought me earrings once - very nice ones - after noticing I tended to wear the same hoops over and over. I was not used to random gifts, given for no special occasion, and given without any expectations or conditions. Mrs. J taught me that people DO give out of love, with no conditions. Both she and Mr. J gave of their time, money and talents to those less fortunate.

Mrs. J asked her husband to fill in teaching on a few occasions. He was a philosopher. He had the smoothest voice. In this class, we studied the Song of Solomon and several studies on love and romance. Mr. J was a true gentleman. He spoke to the men in the class about how to treat a lady.

Mr. and Mrs. J invited us to their home often. They loved to entertain. I watched the way Mr. J treated his wife. He had her on a pedestal and the love for her was evident. I watched when Mr. J retired and wanted to split his time between here and the warmth of another state. Mrs. J did not want to go. I observed her struggle and then follow her husband. I asked her how she could be so calm about moving. She taught me the wisdom of grace. She said it was time for her to give back to her husband.

We celebrated the life of Mr. J last week. He was 65 years young. He planned his own service. He wanted lots of old hymns, a full choir and funny stories. His service was a celebration. We even laughed. I'll miss him. Mrs. J is hanging in there. Burying her second husband in less than 10 years, having stood by the side of two men she loved dying of cancer.

Today we will celebrate the life of Mike. Just twenty-five years old. His passing was unexpected. He entered the military and served in Iraq. When he returned he was plagued by a series of seemingly unrelated medical problems. The doctors had no answers. When I last saw him, I didn't recognize him at all. I thought I was seeing his father. Mike had lost most of his hair, his eyes were droopy, he walked extremely slow and was using a cane. He was in pain. Mike was scared to sleep alone. For months his father slept in his room. On Thursday, Mike told his father to go on to bed - he was going to lie on the couch awhile. His parents woke up to find him dead.

I hugged Mike's mother at church on Sunday. She and I have been in Bible studies together and I think the world of her. As she hugged me she said, "you're a mother. You know we are not supposed to outlive our children."

I don't pretend to understand why some people live long lives and some are here just a few years. I have faith that Mr. J and Mike are both in heaven, dancing on the streets of gold. Probably playing some golf together too. They will be missed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Update - Giving Notice


Okay it is done. I told the senior partner and he apparantly gave the other partners a heads up. I met with them this morning. They were supportive and understanding. My last day will be the 12th and I'll start the new place on the 18th. In between, I'm going to visit family.
So now I have a ton to do. Clean out office. Wrap up cases. Get "tail" malpractice insurance. Find out about COBRA. Mail letters to clients. Figure out what happens to the info on my PDA which is tied to my office mail center.
Oh and I have 7 trials/hearings to squeeze in too. Fun times.
I feel sick and anxious now that it is over. I was very calm during. I did just eat lunch. Maybe that will help settle things.
I just realized. This trip to my Sister's will be the first trip in forever where I'm not having to check in with an office, check email, call in to get voicemail. YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Patting Myself on the Back


I did it - part way. It's a good start. I spoke with the head of the agency several times. I called the person whose position I interviewed for (she made a lateral transfer to another position). I got a feel for the daily job requirements. I spoke to another attorney at the agency. I spoke with church members, two other attorneys, and friends. Of course my husband and I talked extensively. I prayed a lot.
Today I went for my background check and drug screen. I also negotiated a later start date. I'll not be immediately eligible for vacation so I want to take a long weekend to go see my Sister before starting.
Oh, did I forget to mention? I TOOK THE JOB !!!!!!!!!!!
I've gone from elation and excitement to sadness and panic.
Today I went and spoke to the senior partner - my mentor. The one who is the only other attorney who really does what I do. I was panicked. I was having major anxiety attacks. But......he took it so well. He asked me about the offer and admitted the firm can't match it. He told me that he enjoyed working with me and thought I was a great attorney but he absolutely understands why I'm taking it. Great meeting. I'll tell the rest of the firm on Monday.
I then told my assistant. She cried. It broke my heart. She is thinking of leaving too. She said she wanted to come with me and asked if I could find her a position there. It really makes me feel good that someone respects what I do and likes me enough to want to come with me. I hate to upset her. It made me upset. But I know I have to do what is best for me and my family.
I got to see my new office. It's smaller than my current one and not as nice. I actually expected worse given that it is a government building. But it's a decent size. Furniture looks comfy. And...it has a door and two windows. Yeah. That makes it lovely.
The other plus is that I found out I can have flex time. That means if my Daughter has T-ball on Tuesdays, I can arrange to leave early on Tuesdays and make it up later in the week. Wow! How awesome.
On the drive home today, I received a phone call and was talking about the job. My daughter was in the car and asked about it. She wanted to know why I was switching. Without hesitation I told her that she, her brother and her daddy are the most important things in the world to me. I said, "I want to be able to eat lunch with you at school, go to your events, be home with you, help you with your homework and have more time with you." She said, "With me? Yeah! I like that Mommy." That makes it all worthwhile.
I'm not looking forward to Monday morning. But I feel good about this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Guilty

The thing I'm struggling with and dreading the most is telling my current firm that I am leaving. I agonize over how to do it. I can't think of anything else. I go to bed and rehearse it over and over. Do it now? Do it later? What do I say?

I feel guilt. I just finished maternity leave and got paid for all 12 weeks. Will they think I took advantage of them? I successfully negotiated to stay an associate last year, then found out I was pregnant. It was not planned that way. But I did know that I was pregnant during the final negotiations. Some of the partners think I had it all planned out - to stay an associate, keep my current salary, and coast without any expectation to meet my goal.

The firm had to outlay a large chunk of change on my behalf recently. There is guilt over that. Although whether I stayed or left, that would have been spent.

The firm spent a long time training me and investing money into my career development. The senior partner especially. Now his health isn't great and when I leave, there will be no one else practicing family law here to help him.

On the other hand - I can't go around living my life out of guilt. I can't continue to do things that aren't best for me, out of guilt or trying to do what is best for others. I can't not make a decision because of what someone else might wrongfully think, or because they might think less of me.

My life has been governed by guilt a long time. I know this will all be over soon and I'll be happily learning the ropes at a new job. It's just getting through to that point.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stop Feeling that Way

You should be sad.

Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.

Watch that temper girlie!

Quit being so mad.

Cheer up, it's not that bad.

Get over it already.

You shouldn't feel _______.

That's nothing to worry about. You worry about the stupidest things.

There are kids without food, water, shelter, and you're worrying about THAT? What are you, stupid?

Only stupid people feel like that.

Just make a decision already.

You better not be mad. You have no right to be mad.

You have no right to feel that way.

You can too make yourself feel ____. It's all in your head. Just do it already.

These are a few of the voices running through my head. Things I've heard all my life. This is why I dislike making decisions. This is why feelings are such a sticky topic with me. I'm so tired of people telling me how to feel. Even well-meaning people like my husband who tell me to "quit worrying and being so anxious." Or the "God is in control" platitude. Yes, I know God is in control - doesn't mean I won't worry or lose sleep.

It's taken me many years to learn how to feel and not be numb. But situations like this are difficult because the feelings get overwhelming and it's a balancing act - shut down and go numb to protect myself, or let them get out of control and risk panic attacks. I'm walking that tightrope again....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Control - Change - Uncertainty - They WHY of the what



The why of the what.

I do not like change.

I do not like uncertainty.

I hate financial decisions.

Change scares me. It hasn't always turned out well in my life. Change based on finances has never boded well for me. Every major change in my life has revolved around employment changes - namely my father's my mother's and Toilet's. New job meant new schedules meant new routines. It threw me off guard. All the precautions I would take would go out the window.

To my dad, you were only as good as what you did. There was great value in your job and success. I fell right into that trap. I loved introducing myself as an attorney. Well pride goeth before a fall, right? It took awhile but I've learned that there is no pride in what I do, only that I do whatever I choose the best that I can. Right now I'd love to do nothing other than stay-at-home, volunteer somewhere, raise my children. Taking this new job means a loss of prestige. I know that not too long ago that would really bother me. But not one person I've discussed this with has mentioned that. I know my firm will though - there is a lot of pride in that building.
To my mom, your job was just somewhere you went to slave. It was something to dread. I like my current job. I don't want to switch and find out I hate my new employment, or that it is mundane and boring.

My Sister (oh wise one) told me not to dare make this decision out of guilt. See -there is some guilt. These people took a chance on me. They have invested time and energy into training me. I've just finished maternity leave - for which I was paid. I have some guilt over leaving. But as Sister says, there have been enough decisions made over guilt in our life. And 5 years from now I won't feel any guilt.

I get stuck in the status quo. I'm afraid to shoot for the stars. I'm afraid to try to be happy. I'm terrified of disappointing people. And the thought of telling the partners that I'm leaving leaves me quaking. Give me a nasty court battle any time - just don't ask me to fight for myself. I know there will be judgment in that room and hurt feelings. I panic at the thought.

For the first time in a long time, I really longed for the SI days. That would have helped last night to get the emotions under control. Instead I took an ambien and escaped the thoughts and dreams. Managed to sleep a little without tossing and turning.

I know what I'm going to do. I'm 99.9% sure I'll take the job. I just dread the process of doing it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Panic Button


The panic button has been pressed. The waves of anxiety are washing over me. It started with not sleeping yesterday. Wait, let me back up.

My interview was yesterday at 1. I interviewed with 6 people. I sat at the end of a conference table and they took turns asking me questions. Some were general interview questions - identify your strengths; where do you see yourself in 5 years; what is your computer strengths. Some were "test type" questions - tell us what you know about establishing paternity; how do you understand the child support guidelines; can you manage a docket of 280 cases in a day. I was not nervous and I thought I did well on all the questions except the goal question. They asked what salary I would require and I told them. Set it fairly high.

I drove back to my building and walked up to my office. I walked in and my cell phone rang. It was the gentleman I had interviewed with. He offered me the job at the salary I requested. Plus full benefits - they pay my insurance. It means a $10k raise and then another $5,000 when you consider they cover my insurance. And the savings in the lower copays will be extensive too. Plus I'd have dental and vision. Throw in government retirement, 2 weeks paid vacation, 11 paid holidays and 12 sick days a year. Plus disability and life insurance. Well, it is a quite impressive package. The offer is contingent on my references checking out. I have no doubts there. They will insist on calling my current employer but agreed to wait until I can meet with the partners.

I talked to trusted friends and some internet buddies. Everyone, absolutely everyone, says this is a great opportunity. It means a better pay package. It means an 8 - 5, Monday to Friday schedule. It means no billable hours or quotas. It means leaving work at work and not taking it home. It means no after hours or weekend phone calls. It means concentrating on practicing law and not running a business. I called the associate who is under me in seniority. We had a candid conversation about salaries and billing rates and goals. He was offered another job last year and turned it down to stay. But he is meeting his goal - I am not. He does an area of law that is growing in this economy. I am not. My passion is working with children and the unfortunate. That doesn't pay all that well. Plus, you help a client and they are gone - you don't get repeat business. If I am to meet my goal and grow my practice, I'd have to do other types of law and I have no desire to do that.

It's a no-brainer. I have been praying about it. I'm a bit dense so I prayed for a sign - in writing would be nice. A billboard or sky-writing. The gentleman that called me said, "I'm sure you want to discuss things with your husband and pray about it." Pray? Was that my sign? Then I emailed him my references, as requested. He emailed me back. It was a long email. Not generic, but personal. Saying that he enjoyed meeting me and that my experience and character was exactly what they sought. He asked me to think carefully about my decision and pray. Pray - there it was in writing. I think this might be my sign.

And here I go again - being practical. Turning this post into an objective listing of qualifications and reasons why I should take this job. Instead of writing about how I FEEL and what I'm EXPERIENCING.

My heart is racing and my hands are sweaty. I alternate between chills and hot flashes. My chest is tight and I feel like my heart will beat out of my chest. But, no - I check and my heartrate is quite normal. I'm breathing quickly and feel out of breath and my vision narrows. It's a panic attack. The nausea finally clues me in. I've not had one this bad since before I was pregnant - back when I could take xanax to ward it off. With nursing that is not an option now. It's gone on quite long - a few hours now. Tylenol helped with the head pounding. But I know I can not sleep like this. Lying in the dark will make things worse. So I think I'll take an ambien and ask my husband to oversea my nursing tonight - make sure I don't fall asleep and roll over on Baby.

I wonder how long this will go on? Until I finalize a decision in my heart that I've already made in my head? Until I tell the partners? Until I start the new job?

So that is the WHAT - the WHY is for later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Interview Shoes

Today is my interview for the job posted about here. Still not sure exactly what I want to do, but I decided there was no harm in interviewing.

I had to buy a new suit because I'm still up 3 sizes from my normal size. I found a nice tan pinstriped suit at the consignment store. Then I went and bought Q sized pantyhose since none of my usuals fit. I ~thought~ I had shoes.

This morning I go to get dressed and it is FIFTEEN degrees here. It never gets that cold here. Ever. So I go to put on my bone colored heels and realize they are gone. I threw them out at the end of last season because they were worn. Oops. So the only appropriate colored shoes I have are the ones on the far right in this picture. Open toed sandals. Yeah...talk about frostbite.

So on my way to court this morning I ran to Target and lo and behold, they had these. On sale for $6.98. Aren't they cute?




(of course I didn't leave Target without buying $68 worth of other stuff. One thing was a leather folder to hold my resume and take to my interview. The rest was party supplies for my daughter's upcoming party)

So my interview is at 1 pm today. If you are so inclined, please say a little prayer and send good thoughts. Not so much that I do well (although that would be nice too), but that I'll have a clear idea of what to do if I am offered the position. I don't do so well with decisions like this. Lots of panic and triggering issues involved.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Take a Walk in my Shoes


Lynn and Kahless and I enjoy our shoes. When I was struggling with my weight, I discovered shoes. It allowed me to indulge my aesthetic side without worrying so much about fit. Even with weight fluctuations, my shoe size doesn't change. Except for pregnancy....that had both its pros and cons. The "pro" was that I inherited about 20 pairs of really good shoes from a friend whose feet grew during pregnancy and never went back to the regular size. The "con" is that my feet have grew during this pregnancy and I've had to pass on about 6 pairs of shoes. In any event, here is a tour through my closet.
I start my day with these shoes. I bought them when I was pregnant with Baby so I would have something to take to the hospital. I think they are so cute with their polka dots.



Ideally these shoes come next. That is, if I make it to the gym to work out.



If it is a weekend, then I will wear these shoes. From Lands End, they are super comfortable. It's almost like walking barefoot.



These are my work shoes. I have 3 pairs of brown casual shoes. One is pretty flat. The middle pair has a 3 inch block heel. The ones on the right are mules with an open back. Then there are my black work shoes. My sling-back black high heels. My proper high heels with a block heel. My plain black flats. My proper high heels with a regular heel. My "saucy" black heels with pointy toes and no back. Then to the rear are my casual black flats.




These boots are made for walking! First I have my brown pair. The are ankle boots with a thicker heel. Then my black ankle boots with a stiletto heel. Last are my calf boots with a high heel. I like to wear those with a long skirt.



These shoes are OLD. I've had them 10 years at least. The liner is falling apart and I don't think they'll last another season. I love to wear them in the summer without panty hose. They are super comfortable. I wore them throughout my pregnancy. And they really dress up a suit.


Those are all the shoes that reside in my closet. I have two shoe racks on the floor of my closet for the shoes I wear the most. These are just my winter shoes. All my summer shoes and flip flops are packed away for the winter. The rest of my shoes are under my bed in labelled boxes.
Look at that dust. Yuck. This pair fell out of a box. See the dust on them. Ick. I dusted them off and cleaned underneath my entire bed after taking this picture. This is the first house I've lived in with hardwoods and I'm appalled at how dusty things get.
These are the shoes that were in the boxes. These are my party shoes. If these shoes could talk, I'd be in big trouble. On the left are brown satin shoes with gold decorations. Those shoes went with a full length brown velvet dress with slits on both ends. That dress was worn to a lawyer ball. Then you have a pair of silver strappy high heels. To the right is a cream pair of heels. I wear them with a cream suit sometimes. Then at the rear are strappy white heels. They always come in handy.

So those are my shoes. I realized in writing this post that some of my shoes are woefully old and in poor shape. I need some new ones. My summer shoes took a beating this year. Being pregnant made me limit myself to a few pairs. Two of my shoes broke straps and had to be thrown out. That made me sad -- until I realized that it gave me the perfect excuse to go...SHOE SHOPPING. Yippee!!!
DISCLAIMER - if you are of the male species, I do not expect you to understand this post at all. When my husband and I married, he owned 3 pairs of shoes. (1) sneakers, (2) church shoes and (3) boots for hunting and work. He now owns 11 - work out sneakers, run-around-town sneakers, black dress shoes, black casual loafers, brown dress shoes, brown loafers, brown sandals, black river shoes and flip-flops. Plus two pairs of boots - one for hunting and one for work. I guess I've corrupted him!











Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 Things I Like about Me

April, just as her name says, is truly an optimist. She invites all of us to play along by identifying 10 things I like about myself. It's really a great exercise. So here are mine, in no particular order -

1. I have great, healthy hair. Seriously, my hairdresser told me. It's due to the prenatal vitamins I take. Plus during my pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave, I left it alone. No hair dryer, no curling iron, no styling products. Sure it was in a ponytail most days, but it is healthy.

2. I have no fear of public speaking (as long as I'm not getting personal).

3. I'm pretty smart, intellectually at least.

4. I am a good scrapbooker.

5. I'm a good mom.

6. I make a mean box of brownies. My friends always ask me to bring my "secret brownie recipe" to gatherings. Little do they know it is a store brand box mix (shh don't tell).

7. I read outloud very well, especially children's stories. With lots of inflection and different voices.

8. I'm a darn good swimmer.

9. I'm quick to figure a way "out" when need be. Even if I don't always act on it.

10. I'm protective of others, especially my family. I'll fight tooth and nail for something I believe in or someone that needs it.

So, what do you like about yourself? It's much harder to come up with things you like about yourself rather than others. But it is good to take some pride in yourself, and give yourself a break from beating up on yourself.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things I have Done

Things That I Have Done
Many thanks to
Nick for this one

The bold items are the ones I have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching-porpoises
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Day in my Life


Bbbbrrriiinnnggg The alarm goes off at 6:15. Husband jumps out of bed, hits the alarm clock. I roll over and pull the covers over my head. Husband goes into Daughter's room and sings to her "Goodmorning Starsearch." She whines. Husband goes into the bathroom and starts to get ready.

Bbbbrrriiinnnggg
The alarm goes off again. Husband comes in and hits the clock again. I grab Baby and start to nurse him. Daughter comes in for her morning snuggles. Husband goes in the kitchen and makes his lunch.

Bbbrrrriiiinnnggg
The alarm goes off the third time. Daughter says, "I'll get it!" SLAM - she slaps the top of the alarm clock, giggling. Husband walks in and turns it off. Daughter gets back in bed. I continue to nurse Baby. Daughter and I snuggle.

Baby finishes nursing. I burp him. Daughter laughs when he burps and says, "Good one Bugaboo (his nickname)." I hand Baby to Husband. Husband goes to change his diaper. I walk Daughter into her room and pull out the clothes that we picked out Sunday night and put in her labelled clothes divider. She starts to get dressed. I go into the bathroom and wash up. I turn on my curling iron.

I remind Husband to give Baby his medicine. He goes to do that and to get something out for Daughter's breakfast. She's moving slowly today. She comes into the bathroom to brush her teeth. I help her wash her face and I pull her hair up. I finish doing my makeup and hair. I take my medicine, notice I am out of one kind, and call in a refill.

Husband brings Baby to me. I assist with the medication. He tells me Baby is out of medication. I call in that refill, remembering that I meant to transfer it to my pharmacy. I take Baby into living room and turn on Baby Crack (I mean Baby Einstein) and put Baby in his vibrating seat. Daughter goes in to sit down next to him. I go back into the bathroom and finish up, then go into bedroom and get dressed.

Husband kisses everyone goodbye, verifies that he is doing child pickup, and heads out the door. I walk out and start my car, taking the bottles, changes of clothes, blankets, my lunch bag, breastpump and my purse. While the car is warming up, I come back inside and put on my jewelry. I gather up Daughter, putting her unfinished breakfast into a bag. I grab a juice for her, put Baby into his carseat, pick him up and jiggle him while grabbing my bottled water. Out the door we go.

I help Daughter get buckled in, and put Baby's carseat into the base. Off we go. Daughter and I have our prayer time as we commute to daycare. Baby cries. Daughter gives him his boppy (pacifier). Then she wants to listen to the "rain song" and designate what parts she sings and what parts I sing. I try to keep up with the instructions, but my brain isn't functioning yet. I try to remember not to run any red lights today. Baby falls asleep in his car seat.

We pull up to daycare. I grab Baby in his carseat, the bottles, blankets and changes of clothes and remind Daughter to hold onto my coat as we walk across the parking lot. We go into her classroom. I lay her clothes and blanket in her cubby, sign her in, say hi to her teacher, remind her to wash her hands and kiss her goodbye. I lay the carseat in the hall, unbuckle Baby, wrap him in a blanket and take him outside, up the sidewalk to his class. Unload bottles, wash his hands with a wipe, fill out his form, sign him in, kiss him goodbye and leave.

I get in the car, turn on some pumping music to distract myself from missing the kids, try to get into work mode and wake up. Drink bottle of water. Get to work, grab my stuff, grab coffee, take the elevator upstairs, telling myself that I'll walk up tomorrow.

Sit down, check email, open mail, check voice mail. Go heat up water for oatmeal. Eat oatmeal at desk while pumping and surfing internet. Work, work, work.
Pump again while eating lunch and reading blogs. Comment on blogs one-handed. Work, work, work. One afternoon can of diet caffeinated soda while I get past the post-lunch drowsiness. Pump again, while chatting with friend on IM, work, work. Telephone Husband to be sure he is doing pickup because I can't remember what we decided. Husband says the guys went out for lunch so he's not hungry for supper.

Clock strikes 5 pm. Head home, stopping by pharmacy to get my medicine. Get home, get mail, let dog in, lug in pump kit, lunch bag, purse and coat. Notice it is 5:15. Walk in bedroom to get out of high heels and work clothes. Decide to run through shower and put on pajamas since not going out tonight. Back in kitchen and start dinner. While cooking I put in a load of laundry and make the bottles for tomorrow. Make extra supper to have for lunch tomorrow. Plan what we are having for supper tomorrow.

Husband comes home. He goes to change clothes. I send Daughter to wash up. I grab Baby and love all over him. Hold Baby while serving dinner. Husband rocks Baby and plays with him while Daughter and I eat. Baby cries. I nurse Baby while finishing up my supper. Husband showers.

I put Baby in his crib to look at his mobile because he is gassy. I clean up supper. Husband gets out of bath. Husband gathers receipts and writes down the days debits. I run water for Daughter's bath and walk in to check on Baby. The smell tells me that wiggling in his crib has, once again, done the trick. Grab baby, strip off diaper, fill up baby bathtub and bathe Baby. Husband and Daughter come in to look at Baby who is smiling, cooing and laughing in his bath. We all agree he is the cutest baby ever. I take Baby into his room to get dressed. Husband helps Daughter wash up. Husband notices smell in Baby's room and empties diaper pail.

Husband takes Baby. I help Daughter comb her hair. I switch laundry. I pause an extra 10 minutes in the basement where it is quiet. Ahh...appreciate the quiet. Back upstairs to fold laundry. Husband is rocking Baby who is now asleep. I pause to admire the sight of my Husband and Baby. Nothing cuter.

Daughter wants to play. She gets out her littlest pet shop toys. I get on the floor, swearing that we really need to get a rug because hardwoods are really hard. I play with Daughter. Husband puts Baby (asleep) in his swing and runs out to pick up Baby's prescription which is still at a different pharmacy than mine. Daughter wants a snack. I get her cookies. She lays cookies down to grab her toy. Dog grabs cookies. Daughter screams. Dog growls. I yell at dog. Baby wakes up.

I hold Baby and play with Daughter. 7:30 rolls around. I help Daughter clean up. I send her to brush teeth. I go into Daughter's room and sit on bed. I try not to fall asleep. Daughter comes in and tells me that she laid out my toothbrush, put toothpaste on it, and laid out a cup. I wonder what I did to deserve such a thoughtful little girl. Daughter picks out 3 books. Daughter, Baby and I say our prayers. I read three books. Baby starts fussing toward end. Tuck Daughter under covers and kiss her. Turn on her nightlight and music.

Take Baby in his room and change diaper. Husband comes home and switches laundry. Lays clean clothes in hamper on living room floor. Looks at it, looks at me. I say, "leave it." He smiles. Husband goes and gets bills. I get out computer. I pay online bills. Husband pays bills that need to be mailed.

I get Baby's medicine. Baby lays and kicks. Husband and I laugh and smile at him. Baby cries. I nurse baby while reading my Bible reading outloud to him. Daughter yells from other room, "Mommy I forgot to button my top button of my pajamas." I yell back, "that's okay. Go to sleep."

Lay baby down. Think about folding laundry. Look at Husband. We decide they can wait. Baby cries. Husband takes Baby in other room and says "I hate this outfit. It's a pain." Baby is sniffly. Husband asks where the booger sucker is. I tell him and mention that he ought to use the saline spray first. Husband says, "I will get it and bring it in for you to do." I say, "Sure make me the bad guy." He brings saline spray in. I spray and suck. Husband says, "that's your mommy with the booger sucker - not me." I smack him playfully. We both laugh. Baby screams. Husband pops paci in his mouth and picks him up. Baby starts to spit up. Husband asks if there is a burp cloth out here. I say no, they are in his room. Husband uses his shirt.

Baby starts to doze. Husband laughs loudly at something on TV. Baby startles. Husband jiggles baby back to sleep. Husband and I discuss what we need to do tomorrow. We remember his parents are coming up to keep the kids while we go out Saturday. Parents call to discuss plans. Husband asks who will take Daughter to a friend's birthday party at a gymnastics place. I debate which is worse - grocery shopping and housecleaning with Baby or a two hour party of 5 year olds at a gym. Decide I'm better at grocery shopping. Husband says he'd rather do the party. Good - decision made.

Yawn - it's 9 pm. I brush my teeth, noticing that brush is laid out with toothpaste on it and cup is by sink full of water. Feel thankful again for thoughtful daughter. Husband and I hit the bed. Say our prayers, tuck Baby in. Zonk.

Midnight - baby cries. I nudge Husband. He takes Baby and changes diaper. I doze. He comes in and nudges me. I nurse Baby and fall asleep. Husband starts snoring. I wake up, burp Baby and put Baby back in his crib. We repeat this at 3 am. I have trouble falling back asleep. Lay there awake for an hour thinking of all I have to do. I finally fall asleep.

And then Bbbbbrrrriiiinnngggg - it is 6:15 again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rejected....again


I mailed a birth announcement to all the relatives a few weeks after Baby was born. I received email acknowledgements from a few of Mom's relatives. I received a card and gifts from my father's one sister and her two children. These are the cousins that I was especially close to growing up. We spent every summer together. This is also that Aunt that graciously took us in for my Nana's funeral. We stayed at her house, despite my father's anger that his family would welcome us. She incurred the wrath of my father over that, despite the fact that she told Sister and I (and presumably my father) that she was not taking sides.


The Baby announcement I sent to my father's brother came back with a new address notation. I sent the card to the new address, wondering why I hadn't known they had moved. This uncle and his wife are not that much older than me. I've always been close to them. The summer I was "banished" to the north, I stayed with them quite frequently. When Sister and I visited the summer of 2002, we gathered at their house more than once and kept in touch via email for awhile. When Nana died, we met at their house to discuss the arrangements. However, Uncle got put in the middle by my father and I fear he has chosen Dad's side.

As is customary, I sent holiday picture cards with a letter to all the relatives. It's just a newsy letter about the events of the past year. I received return holiday cards from the one aunt and my two cousins. My aunt also emailed me a note of appreciation about how much she enjoyed my annual letter. She and her two children email every so often. My cousins have children now and we all exchange pictures.

I heard nothing from anyone else. No return card. No acknowledgement. No email. Nothing.

Two days ago I received some pictures via email from my aunt. Included were photos of the traditional Christmas Eve gathering. There were all my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I didn't even recognize some of the cousins because they had grown so much. Two have graduated high school now. One has finished college. One just had a baby - I didn't even know she was pregnant. My aunt and uncle moved over a year ago.

I found out all these details by contacting my cousin on facebook and asking him what was up. He filled me in on the highlights, including the fact that he and his wife are expecting twins. My aunt responded to my request for an update by saying, "you know [other aunt] - she's not good at keeping people informed." I think it was her way of not getting involved.

It is so sad seeing all those pictures. My father was not present and I have no idea about any involvement he has with that family. I know part of the situation is caused by the fact that my Nana has passed and she was the glue that held everyone together. However, a large part is that the family has chosen my father. It's sad to see how everyone has grown and not to be a part of it. I realize we are far away, but a simple two line email would be nice. Some acknowledgement of our efforts to reach out would be nice. An invitation to visit, even if they know it is too far for us to come, would be nice.

I've grown accustomed to the fact that my mother and father each chose their new spouse over me. But why did the extended family have to take sides too? I never did anything to them, yet I've been rejected....again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hiatus

This blog will return to it's regularly scheduled posting once the author has had some sleep. Otherwise it would sound something like zzzzzzzzzz..............

I am taking the fact that I (1) fell asleep pouring coffee and overflowed my cup; (2) ran a red light on the way to work; and (3) dozed off during a 5 minute rambling phone call, as signs I need more sleep!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Year in Review - part 2

I blog-napped this meme from Kahless. Join in if you want.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? talked about my father on my blog, met up with two bloggers, gave birth to a baby boy.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't make formal resolutions. I just try to end up better off than I was. I think I've accomplished that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yep! Me!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No one real close.

5. What countries did you visit? None.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Better health. Calmness. Less anxiety.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory? My 1 year SI-free anniversary and the date I gave birth to my son.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? See #7

9. What was your biggest failure? work-related

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Pregnancy related illness. The illness of my son.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My new laptop!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? quitting SI

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? life in general; parenting struggles.

14. Where did most of your money go? new house, renovations, baby prep, and clothing my rapidly growing daughter.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? pregnancy

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008? ch-ch-ch changes

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? happier
b. thinner or fatter? much heavier
c. richer or poorer? poorer in money, richer in spirit

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? down-time with my daughter

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? worry

20. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with? my sister

21. What was your favourite TV programme? Lost, Survivor, CSI, ER, and once we got extended cable I became addicted to HGTV and TLC.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't hate people as a general rule.

23. What was the best book(s) you read? I read so many books that I can't pick just one. I have currently gotten sucked into the Twilight craze and am getting ready to start book 2.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Itunes! Seriously I love being able to mix together different artists, genres and things.

25. What did you want and get? A new baby.

26. What did you want and not get? enough $$ to pay off school loans :)

27. What were your favourite films of this year? Fireproof

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I had just gotten out of the hospital from having my son so I was happy to sleep in my own bed. My husband bought me a beautiful ring with my son's birthstone in it.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? maternity wear :)

30. What kept you sane? blogs and books

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? no idea

32. What political issue stirred you the most? The US election

33. Who did you miss? my sister

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. ?????

2008 - a Year in Review


On January 1, 2008, I wrote here that at the end of the year I wanted to be able to say "I still have bad days, but I used to have bad years." I didn't think I would be able to accomplish that goal. Well, guess what?

I DO STILL HAVE BAD DAYS, BUT OVERALL THIS HAS BEEN A GREAT YEAR.!!!!!

On January 3, 2008 I wrote about needing to "shit or get off the pot." Well, sadly I've not moved much. Husband and I are still doing the dance where we slip into old roles, then back out. I've also not come to any conclusions about what to do with Mom.

In January I celebrated my blog's first birthday. I also discovered that I was pregnant. Whew! That shaped the entire year. I had to quickly wean off all the medications. I had finally found a drug cocktail that was working, and I had to get off.

I struggled with adjusting to my toddler turning into a pre-schooler. I can't believe this year she will start in kindergarten. She is definitely opinionated. I still struggle with discipline issues.
The major life event, besides pregnancy, was home remodelling. Buying a new house and then finding out that (1) you can't do anything because you're pregnant, (2) you need to switch around remodel priorities before baby arrives, and (3) you have no money because you're having a baby.

I traveled quite a bit. With BIL in Iraq, there were more trips to visit my sister. With our annual beach trip cancelled, we took advantage of that free week to go visit some dear friends that have become family. Words can't explain how it feels to be welcomed in by people you've not met in real life, but who have read all about you on-line and want to meet you anyway.

Healthwise
the pregnancy took focus. At first I was convinced I'd die without all the medications. Coming off was sheer hell. But I survived. And did okay. Had insomnia awhile. The panic attacks haven't been terrible and the depression and anxiety is manageable. I'm now just taking zoloft and surviving.

I still struggle with verbalizing. But writing is still a good way for me to process things. I dealt with a realization that I really struggle with body image and food issues.

I wrote the story of my father - an odd one that is for sure.

September 17th I celebrated one year of being SI-free. Yeah!!! That is a huge milestone. I won't pretend that I don't struggle. I do. I think I always will.

After October, focus turned to the new little one. He sure is different than my daughter. That has been a challenge. I thrive on routine and now I don't have one. He has been in the hospital once and currently has RSV. He is much needier than my daughter. My daughter is adapting well. She's more clingy and wants to be held a lot. I have trouble with too much snuggles - after nursing and holding a baby all day, I mostly want to be left alone.

I started out 2008 with weekly (and sometimes more often) counseling sessions. Now I don't have any more scheduled. I think I will want and need to go back sometime. Just to work through a few loose ends. The birth of Baby was a turning point and a natural way to stop for awhile. But I miss having an objective viewpoint from someone that knows all (and I do mean all) about me.

As I peruse back through 2008, I realize that my husband and I are struggling with many of the same issues - hunting, leadership, priorities. We have conquered some - taking charge a bit more. I also see that a majority of my bad days relate to contact with my mother. And that deserves careful consideration and contemplation.

In 2009, I will have a Daughter who starts kindergarten. My son will learn to sit up, crawl, walk and run. I have to make a decision about my job and career path. I need to lose this baby weight, but I'm scared to start. I know the potential to become obsessive with exercise and weight. I need to be careful and do this right.

I can honestly say that 2008 was a year of progress. I never, ever thought that I would have come this far in one year. It's amazing. And to look back further, it is absolutely astonishing how far I've come since starting down this road of recovery. I can honestly say that I have more good days than bad. And I hope that continues.

I'm looking forward to seeing where 2009 takes all of us.

Happy New Year! Wishing all of you health and happiness this year.