26 May 2013

A prayer has been answered

One of the things I've been battling with over the past year is my career. Prior to becoming a mom, I was very pro-work. I draw a lot of my self-worth from my work performance, I do a lot of my socialization at work, and, let's be real, I like earning my own money and not having to answer to Left-brain for the money I spend. But my past choices made it so that I couldn't afford to work near the house, and so, since September, I've been getting up at 5:30, leaving the house by 6:30 to drop the baby off at daycare so I could get to my job at 8AM, then leaving my office at 5 or 5:30 to get home by 6:30 or 7. Unless I work my part-time job, and then it's 9 or 9:30.  And do it over again the next day. Not working was never an option, since I provide our health insurance, and taking a paycut to work closer was not an option (Necessity has now made me really awesome at understanding insurance lingo, asking the right questions, getting receipts and keeping track of outlay of money, one of the few blessings of this entire past year). But it's meant that Babygirl gets parented by her father for most of the week, and that cuts me, deep down. Not because he's not a good dad, my husband is an excellent father and he takes awesome care of her, but because I wanted to be able to be there for her. She crawled for her dad first, and I was jealous, I'll admit that. It's been hard to go from being the mom who totally was responsible for everything to handing her over to daycare that first day and letting someone else care for her to feeling like my only contribution to her is reading to her at 5AM because that's the only time I have to give her. So I have been praying, desperately, for something to happen to get us out of this situation. I'll be honest, I was thinking in terms of winning Powerball, but something better happened.

I've been given a chance to work my same job, but from home (OK, winning $650M on the Powerball would be better, but that ain't happened, so this is more realistic). I start at the end of June. I'm still in a bit of a daze, not sure how this happened, because it came so quick, but it's a tremendous blessing. Financially, my benefits are cheaper, and I won't have 500 miles' worth of gas to purchase a week, so that alone puts $100 more in my hand per paycheck. I won't have to haul the baby out in the snow in winter. She is still going to daycare, I was adamant with Left-brain about that, because that's not professional, but I got in a minor fender-bender in February on the way to work, and my fear is that I'll do that with the baby in the car one of these workdays. At least this way the risk is less. And I'll have more free time to invest in being a parent that I didn't have before, a win-win for me. AND, now that I have my sewing machine up, I can work on that during my lunch hour. I also wanted to be able to be more present in my community, and that's finally a possibility.

I made a promise to myself not to squander this gift I've been given. I am really starting to put things in their perspective on the whole anyway--work is no longer my life, its primary role in my life is that it gives me money to provide for my family, but it's not the be-all and end-all, because a job can be taken in a second--but this gives me a real second chance, and it comes at a time when I need and appreciate it. Hopefully, I can blog a bit more--I realized I have been sadly absent from this blog for most of the year, but then again, there are weeks when I feel sadly absent from my life in general, and that has got to change.

19 May 2013

Catching up

I wanted to thank you guys for wearing green on Friday. It means the world to me.  We were not able to release balloons. Someone Small, her father and I were on our trip to Assateague, a break I dearly needed. I didn't want to release balloons in case they fell back to earth in the park or out at sea. So we sat on the beach a little after dawn, and said a prayer for Logan, and we sang a little bit for him. And we told him we'd remember him and help his mama fight. It was a privilege to have him in our lives, even from afar. And I have learned that every day with my child is precious and a gift. I get it now.

The little trip itself was a pleasure. To look at the island now, at least the state park on the northern end, it's hard to see the damage from Sandy. There is a lot of sand piled up on the dune crossings and the dune fences are damaged, but really, that's not a big deal. The grass will grow back, the sand will go back down, the island will survive. The ponies were not around. I don't know if it's because spring seems to be on high delay here in Maryland and it's been so cold they hang out in the forests, or if the new rules the state put in place to discourage people from "ruining" them are helping. I don't know what it is with people, but they think just because they're small and pretty, these ponies are tame. I guess they never see the photos of the stallions fighting? Because I can't imagine any other reason you would put a small child on the back of a feral stallion bareback without a bridle. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Only now that will cost you $100, so people are maybe stepping back on their interaction, and not feeding them, so there isn't as much incentive to come through the campground. I know, I have pictures of them in our camp, but we don't pet them, and usually just move things out of their way. and we don't feed them. But we took leisurely walks, I told Someone Small the story of Misty of Chincoteague, how the story got made into a book, and how Mummy petted Stormy  when she was a young girl and Stormy was very old. When she's older, we'll read the books, but this was for introducing her to my favorite place.

I even brought a stitching project. I have finished 3 projects since the beginning of April. All are small, but that's fine. Left-brain and Someone Small went "downy ocean" on Mother's Day, so I was all by myself and started the Cricket Collection's Sophia's Scottie mitten freebie for her in my spare time. In case you're wondering, 11 months of up at 5:30AM has set my internal alarm so well, I couldn't sleep past it just because she was not there, so I used that time to stitch. I don't know if it's good to work on her second year Christmas ornament when I haven't done her First Christmas one, but I have plans to do that one for her, too, soon. I like this ornament, though. It's pretty and a pleasant stitching experience.

We came home on Friday, because some stuff went down at my office while I was gone.That was unpleasant, but when I got home, my 2014 BH&G calendar was waiting for me. It's a lot nicer than the last two years have been. I think I found 6 designs that, given time to stitch, I could do.  I am glad I am keeping it, because Kaydence got a hold of it and bent it for me.   As we say to her, "UH OH."  Oh well, it's a nice calendar. The December design is by Joan Elliott, the Halloween design is really cute, and there is a fall design of a farm I like. I may not be able to stitch them now, but all in good time. I'll try to post pictures, but, in the meantime, if you see it and like the whimsical, pick it up!

So that's all for now. Hopefully the next post will be a picture post. I'll try to do that in the next couple days, but I have a bunch of tomato plants and an herb garden to try to plant before they die.

14 May 2013

RIP Logan

I wrestle a lot with how much to post on here that is child-related, since I realize that not everyone cares to hear about other people's children, but I felt compelled to write this post today. If you don't think it's something you want to read, I get it. Come back next post. I have some exciting stuff to share!

Before I had Babygirl, I joined an online community so that I could meet other new moms, and maybe not feel so alone in being a parent. It has been a good experience, but, along with the joys we share as moms, we also have to deal with the hard stuff. Not all babies are born at 40 weeks, not all babies are healthy, not all babies live to be toddlers, and sometimes love isn't enough. I have been blessed beyond what I deserve to have a healthy child, and I realize how precious and wonderful a gift that is every day.

One of the children in the community was named Logan. He was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the number 1 genetic killer of children under the age of 2, in November. His mother created a bucket list for him, came up with a palliative care plan, and loved him. She wanted SMA to become one of the illnesses they test for, so that no parent has to deal with this. Our group rallied around them as best we could.  Logan wore green on his birthdays, so we started wearing green to show our support. When people found out how the medical bills were affecting the family, they set up a way to donate, and to buy green shirts, so that we could educate about SMA. I bought Babygirl one to wear, even with money being tight, I wanted to help the family. I knew, from knowing Cole through the 123 message board, that Logan wouldn't win this fight, but at least he fought valiantly.

He died on Saturday. When I found out, I cried. Because it's not fair. How cruel is a disease that attacks the smallest? How fair is it to give a mom enough time to fall in love with a baby, to dream dreams of their future, and then rob the baby and the family of that future? I know, if it were me in that place, I don't know how I'd pick myself up and live.  And am I selfish to take pleasure in my baby's milestones, when Logan will never get to run and play?  I've been grappling with this this week. 

Logan will be buried on Friday. As a memorial, as part of us standing up to SMA, we moms are going to dress our children up in green. Some will release green balloons--I'd love to, but it's not possible. So I'll dress her up in her Logan shirt, and I'll take her picture, and send it for a book that's being put together to show Tia, Logan's mom, just how much of a difference her beautiful boy made in the world. So I'm asking you, my readers, would you consider wearing green for Logan?  I know it's a lot to ask, and it's OK if you don't, but I wanted to ask.
 Logan's page
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls