Three weeks.

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since my dad died and it still feels like yesterday. Maybe because there’s no funeral or memorial service until next year, so I feel sort of in limbo or something. I made tentative plans to have my own memorial service up in the Russian River Valley but I haven’t done anything toward it yet. It’s almost like I’m not really ready to say goodbye but I know I need to. Hell, I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that he is gone. That he’s ashes in an urn. It’s unreal.

I have to keep it together during the days when I’m at home with Henry. I have a kid to nurture and take care of, I can’t be falling apart. But at night, when he’s asleep and Chris is finally asleep, I break down. I have this image of my dad — I don’t even know if it’s a real memory or one I’ve created in my mind — of him standing there, greeting me. He’s in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, his normal attire, and he’s smiling. Not a big smile, just his usual closed mouth smile. He looks younger and healthier than he did even a year before he passed, when we went to Florida to see him. And he’s just standing there. When I lose it, is when I close my eyes and imagine myself hugging him. I can feel his arm around me and I can smell him. I can smell him now as I sit and type this. I can’t describe it, but it was him.

Last week, Henry and I got sick. I got way sicker than Henry, thank god (I just don’t want another hospital stay). But I know it was from not sleeping and not taking care of myself. I know if my dad were around, he’d tell me that I need to cut the shit and sleep, eat, and get some sunshine. That it’s ok to smile and it’s ok to laugh and it’s ok to live life again. I’ll get there.

I don’t know what I would have done without my family and friends though. My brothers and my mom have been great sources of comfort, just talking to me. My husband has been very empathetic. And my friends have been INCREDIBLE. Yes, the deserve all caps. AMAZING. KIND. LOVING. AWESOME. I could go on, but I won’t. My friends and family reading this, I love you all so much. I might not have called you back or written you back yet. But I love you. And I will.

Now it’s time to try to sleep. Wish me luck.

Advertisements

Updates and stuff.

Sorry for the lag in posts. I don’t get on the computer very often, and when I do it’s for fun stuff like deleting 2000 spam emails and paying bills.

I recently wrote a little column for the mother’s group newsletter that does a good job of explaining my feelings toward moving here and how I deal with transitioning. I’ll post that for your enjoyment soon.

Some updates before Henry wakes up from his 9 am nap (the result of waking us up at 5 am):

  • Henry is 19 months old and stranger danger is in full effect. He dislikes most people except me at the moment and other kids at the park. I’m hoping it passes soon so I won’t feel so guilty about maybe hiring a babysitter so Chris and I can enjoy some wine in this beautiful county of Sonoma.
  • Speaking of parks, that’s what we do most days. That stretch from nap time to bed time is looooong and I like to get him good and worn out. The only downside is since school is out, a lot of day cares and summer programs hang out at the parks too so I usually single out one or two “big kids” to watch out for Henry since he insists on climbing the jungle gym solo while other, larger, wilder children are jumping around on it. Not good for my nerves, at all. So far, it’s been alright though. 
  • I’ve made a couple friends and Henry’s had several play dates. I’ve already seen a change in how he plays and interacts with us, and I have a couple friends now, so it’s positivity all around in that regard.
  • I am very, very homesick. That will probably never change. 
  • Still homesick, but very happy we moved here if we had to move anywhere. I love the people, the scenery, the food, the atmosphere, the farmer’s markets, the proximity to San Francisco, all of it. It’s great. 
  • There is more that I can’t think of right now (got awoken at 5 am, remember?) I promise I will start writing with more substance. Someday. Here are some Henry play time pics to make up for it.

10500359_10100776594141027_4811107474226783527_n 10492179_10100777535739057_8346400549091524009_n 10525649_10152886512019239_5995370694632772691_n

F.U.N.

Well this week has just been a ball of fun.

Last Thursday, Henry and I met up for another play date at a park. As I was getting him out of his car seat, I noticed his nose was runny. Shit. His eye was watery too though, so I thought it could just be allergies. The next day, Friday, he was pretty normal and I didn’t notice anything amiss, except he was fussier than usual. On Saturday, we dragged him to the car dealership so we could sign off on our new SUV and I could tell he was just not feeling good AT ALL. Then came Sunday. Oh, Sunday. The poor kid was miserable. My champion sleeper who usually goes 11-13 hours a night only got about 9-10 and woke up at 5:30 screaming. I felt so bad for him the whole day as he struggled to nap, only getting 20-30 minutes here and there, where he usually takes 1.5-2 hour naps. On Monday, I noticed a bad red rash ALL OVER his body so off to the pediatrician we went. The verdict was double ear infection and roseola. After a couple day on antibiotics, he’s finally feeling better. If you can’t tell, this is the first time he’s been this sick. He’s had fevers before, but nothing like this. The kicker? Chris and I are sick too. FUN TIMES UP IN HERE.

Did I mention that Chris was in a car accident and our insurance company wanted to total it? Yeah, so hello car payments again. We needed a larger vehicle anyway, but my cheap ass wasn’t ready yet. I paid off that car in 2011 and I was so proud of myself. It was my first newish car (4 years old when I bought it) and I actually cried when I saw the photos of it all crumpled up and getting ready to be stripped for parts. I’m way too sentimental.

The cherry on the fun cake happened this morning when I finally put batteries back into our scale. I knew I gained some weight since moving here but I didn’t know how much. People. No. I shouldn’t have done that. Or maybe it’s good because that’s it — no more excuses. I’m losing this weight. I’ll write about it here to keep me motivated so get ready for that. We don’t have money for a gym membership so it means lots of walks with Henry, some floor exercises during nap time, and NO MORE ICE CREAM. We eat a lot of ice cream.

Henry is 18 months old today! I love that he’s still happy, even when sick. He’s the real reason I need to get healthier. I need to be around for as long as possible.

henry 18 mo

 

The slide.

Last week I was the uppity up. Now I’m kinda on the down slide, but I’ll claw my way back up, don’t worry.

What’s this all about? Well, let’s talk about insecurity because I am just rife with it today. The prospect of meeting local moms for play dates this week is exciting and terrifying. I’ve never really felt like this before, like people won’t like me when they meet me. But when I think of moms, I don’t think of someone like me. I think of bake sales and clothes from Ann Taylor Loft and Talbots. Soccer moms. Moms who do lots of crafts. Moms who cook out of cookbooks and make gluten-free muffins for breakfast. I could go on, but these false images of what all of these moms are like (obviously false since I’m a mom and have friends who are moms who are nothing like this) are paralyzing me. What it really boils down to is good old fashioned low self-esteem. I’m still working in losing weight (I’ll be fighting that battle for the rest of my life); my skin has never been dryer (tell me how it’s possible to move from the desert to 20 minutes away from the ocean and haver DRYER skin??);  I have no new clothes and refuse to buy anymore until I’ve lost weight because if I could lose 20 lbs, I’d have a whole new wardrobe and I’m cheap; post partum hair loss is making a second appearance (not as bad as the first time, but still sucks); and to top it all off — I’m still nervous about this whole situation away from my friends and family and life that I loved.

I’m probably not making sense. That’s ok, this is just a brain dump. I need to get out of this rut. I have a play date on Thursday and maybe even one tomorrow. Chris was in a car accident last week, so we are down one car until we get the rental. He’s fine, thankfully.

Henry is awesome though, and for that I’m beyond grateful. For real. He’s such a sweet, fun, easy going boy. No complaints in the toddler department.

So let me wallow just a little longer and then get my shit together. Not to say there won’t be more wallowing. The goal is to get the wallowing down to weekly or monthly events instead of daily or hourly.

Stepping back. Or to the side. I’m not sure.

A friend of mine posed a question on Facebook recently: When was the last time you got annoyed with anyone that wasn’t because of something they said on Facebook? I’m paraphrasing awfully. Her question was much more eloquent. But it rang true for me. I get SO ANNOYED by people I usually treasure by things they share, post, or do on Facebook. These things are starting to define these people for me, and who knows how many people think less of me from the BS I post on a daily basis (for the record, mostly Henry pics). But still! I got into a heated exchange with a girl that I have known since 2000, an ex college roommate. I love this girl and think the world of her. Then I post an article she doesn’t agree with, she kinda attacks the article, I attack her, and now a bitter taste is left in my mouth even though we hugged it out. Over what? A Facebook post? Ridiculous.

On a larger scale, I’ve had to hide the feeds of people I care about because everything EVERYTHING they post makes me roll my eyes. It isn’t their fault, it’s mine and my weird hang ups on different topics. In real life if these topics come up, we can discuss them, laugh about them, move on. On social media, it sits there and stares at you all day until more crap pushes it off your page. A cycle of never-ending stupid. I’ve lost friendships over misunderstandings on Facebook. Real, long-standing friendships. They see a picture and jump to wild conclusions and delete me and never talk to me again. Yes, this happened. So I’m taking a break. I doubt anyone will even notice, unless they read it here or wonder where their daily Henry pic has gone. And those who do notice will text me and we’ll talk and then I will re-activate it soon, and most will be none the wiser. Either way, I’m backing way off. Maybe I’ll have more time for blogging. Wouldn’t you be so lucky.

 

 

A little bit of whine in wine country.

I have written several posts since arriving in California, and I end up typing a looooong diatribe of nonsense and whining and I scrap it.

There is so much good in my life but I’m having a really hard time getting over the homesickness and worry. I think that’s just part of my personality. I will always and forever be worried about money and always and forever miss something and/or someone. Anxious and nostalgic, that sums me up. Sounds like a party to be around, right? I’m sure Chris just loves coming home to this mess every night (he’s very sweet to me).

I miss my mom. I miss my friends. I miss everything. I’m super lonely. But here’s the thing that’s been getting me lately: I’m INCREDIBLY SUPER DUPER LUCKY. I have a healthy, happy, funny, amazing toddler who is my world. I’m blessed enough that I get to stay home with him every day. Sure, money is tight. Like, stretched to the penny, but we make it work. What set off a panic attack tonight was getting health insurance for myself and Henry (Chris’s is 100% paid through his new job — again, grateful). But just looking in our already tight budget and trying to fit that extra necessary expense is stressful.

So anyway, this town is beautiful and I love it. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out there and discover more of it. I’ll get on that after just a little more wallowing, ok?

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what everyone comes here for, pics of the kid and other misc. I promise I’ll get back to normal soon.

BiscottiSharing some really great biscotti with chocolate mousse and hazelnut whipped cream with daddy. My inlaws took us to a great little italian place for Mother’s Day.

MD FlowersMother’s Day flowers. Our allergies have been going insane but they’re too pretty to throw away yet.

CarouselCan you see us? Henry looks unimpressed, but lemme tell you, the kid had a blast. There were very vocal protests when it was time to get off. This was at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

mmmm yeahYESSSSS!!!!

mom san franLunch with a view. I miss my mom.

Henry ThroneHenry on his new couch. Yes, his. We’re allowed to sit on it sometimes (like when he’s asleep).

Henry SlidingMy big boy. 

 

California living.

We’re here. Our new home just north of  San Francisco. If I’m totally honest, I kinda like it here. The area is beautiful, the people are great, and our little apartment is really cute. But…it’s not home home. It’s lacking things like my mom, my friends, my job, green chile, etc etc. I am giving myself a couple more days to mope and then I’m pulling up the big girl panties and moving on.

Wanna hear about the 1,100 mile road trip with a toddler? It was actually ok. So here’s what you need: an iPad or DVD player (we had an iPad); snacks; sippy cups; books; my iPhone; and another pair of hands (aka my mom). For serious, if my mom hadn’t come, I would have been screwed. Majorly. She reset the Daniel Tiger episodes on the iPad, handed out snacks, sang him songs…you get the picture. And if you have hang ups about your kids watching TV, you will get over that hang up about 2 minutes into a late-April snow/ice storm in Northern Arizona. That damn Tiger possibly quite literally saved our lives. I love the child more than life itself but that high-pitched scream he belts out when he wants something is enough to fray even the steeliest of nerves.

Another thing that made it doable was stopping every evening for the night. My preferred method of travel is usually “get in the car and don’t stop until you need gas.” That’s just not feasible when you have a toddler who loves his routine. Speaking of which, he stayed on his nap schedule in the car. Fell asleep at nap time, awake for the rest of the day until bed time. Henry even took to his time zone like a champ. I am lucky that he’s transitioned seamlessly into his new California life. I was dreading the long nights and messed up schedules, but nah, it’s the same (if not a little better, really).

On Sunday, we drove the half hour to the City. The trip brought back all of those feelings of love I have for San Francisco. It’s an amazing place. But it felt surreal that I wouldn’t be going home with my mom, back to New Mexico. I know I’ll get used to it soon and I really am excited for all of the fun stuff we are going to do as a family here. Really, I am. Lucky you will get to read all about them, too!

My mom stayed until yesterday. She helped me unpack and organize our apartment as well as teach her culinary-challenged daughter a few easy recipes. Dropping her off at the airport yesterday was SO SAD. I basically moped around feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. It’s kinda pretty pathetic. But driving over the Golden Gate Bridge twice on the way and way back was pretty awesome. And coming over the hills into Marin and Sonoma Counties is really spectacular, too. Imagine lots of green, rolling hills and cows. And some trees. I’m an awful writer, but believe me, it’s really pretty.

Now, I’ve got my laptop set up at the dining room table, all ready to get to work tomorrow. My awesome boss/friend Derek has let me continue my employment from home, which is good because babysitters. We don’t have ’em.

There are pictures, but I am too tired to get them on this computer tonight. Don’t panic though, I’ll be back with lots and lots of pics soon. I am sure you were just rife with worry until I reassured you. (smiley face) Also, sorry for the jumbled thoughts. I’ll try to get my act together quickly.

Goodnight!

Tonight is rough.

A week and some change before we hit the road. I’m starting to feel anxious and nervous and excited and terrified. Part of me wants to get there and get settled in already, but the other part of me wants to slow down time. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye. I don’t like that I’m texting my best friend telling her I want to see her just one more time before we leave. There’s also this nagging feeling that I’m leaving unfinished business behind. But that business wants nothing to do with me as far as I can tell, so it’s probably best I leave that in the rear view, however difficult that might be.

But let’s talk about happier things: Henry. OMG you guys, this kid is growing up fast. I know he’s just your average 16 month old (tomorrow) but he’s amazing to me.

The kid is so well behaved in public. The tantrums he throws at home are epic, but in public he’s an angel. He holds my hand, minds me when I say “don’t touch that” or “put that back”, and he’s so patient. We went to the bookstore, just the two of us, last weekend and he stood there in line with me, holding my hand for a good 10 minutes while a chatty German woman checked out. I was honestly shocked.

Ok he’s not always an angel in public. When it’s nap time and I won’t let him dump the salt shaker all over the table in a restaurant…yeah that’s our cue to exit swiftly.

Honestly though, I love these toddler times, tantrums and all. He’s starting to become a little kid with a personality. He loves his shoes and would wear them all day and night if I let him. Daniel Tiger is still his BFF. He is a pro at navigating the iPad and taking lots of (mostly black) photos and some pretty cool videos, really. He likes to grab a book and sit on his Sesame Street chair. I bought him a back pack and it’s his new favorite thing. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ll leave you with some pics of my growing little boy.

20140417-221135.jpg

20140417-221059.jpg

20140417-221014.jpg

20140417-220949.jpg

20140417-220930.jpg

20140417-220903.jpg

20140417-220840.jpg

20140417-220753.jpg

20140417-220729.jpg

Getting closer.

We have an apartment. It’s in a little town called Petaluma. On one hand, I am so relieved we have a place to move into on April 29, even if it is tiny. It’s got a washer and dryer. I’d forgotten all about California and how most apartment complexes do not have a washer and dryer in unit. In LA, our apartment had a garage parking spot and a w/d. We thought we hit the jackpot! In ABQ, you just kinda expect it. And parking is never an issue here. So after a couple weeks of searching and finding larger places for the same price sans washer and dryer, we settled on the smaller place with them. There is no way in hell I’m dragging Henry to a laundromat. That’s my idea of hell.

Anyway, we leave on the 26th and embark on a fun little road trip with a toddler and a U-haul. My excitement level is negative 100, if you can’t tell. I know it’s going to be great eventually, but I’m still sad about the whole thing.

On Saturday, my husband and I got out of the house for a couple hours after Henry went to bed. My BFF Natalie had us over to her new house for food and games. We had so much fun, but I cried almost the whole way home because I’m gonna miss her so much. Gah, I’m crying now, so change of subject.

Henry had his 15 month well baby check last week and he screamed the entire time. Well, from the moment the nurse tried to take his temp and all the way through the shots. If you have a kid who loves his naps, don’t schedule things at nap time, k? But, regardless, he’s perfect and right on track. Also has some healthy lungs on him.

Henry will be up from his nap soon, so I’m gonna go to the bathroom in private while I still have a chance. Later.

It’s officially official.

Oh damn. I forgot to update all you robots (I doubt I have more than 2-3 actual readers). Chris signed the job offer and we are moving to Cal-i-for-ni-a in about a month. I am experiencing mixed emotions right now. On one hand, I cry several times a day even thinking about leaving and on the other, I’m excited for this adventure. I’ve been in a slump for a while, long before even Henry was born, so maybe this is what I need. What we all need. Maybe.

Now on to the logistics planning like picking a place to live, figuring out the best way to get there, etc etc etc. It’s all a little overwhelming, frankly, and I kinda wish my husband would take the reins on that and tell me the plan when he’s done. But, ya know, marriage is about team work and all.

That’s all she wrote (tonight).