Yesterday I was skimming facebook, catching up on everyone's happenings, and realizing I had nothing of value to add. I typed "Stressing" into my status box just so I could claim I was still alive. Which of course elicited responses from good friends who love and care about me to inquire "why?" I wanted so badly to tell them all why, but that would take paragraphs upon paragraphs. A tome really. Which leaves me feeling excessively woe-is-me and hyper dramatic. I really don't want to be this way. I was all blue and sadlike the majority of last year. This year was going to be better! I was going to force it to be different; I wasn't going to let the things that happen to me affect who I am. However, that didn't keep me from crying on The Husband's shoulder as I let the exhaustion set in. So here's the answer to "why?"
- At Little Man's one year checkup and "little pokes" (the twins have named shots little pokes- and assure me they do not hurt) I was blindsided when the nurse measured Little Man's head not once, not twice, but four times. Checking and rechecking the numbers. I thought maybe this nurse was simply a complete ditz that kept forgetting the number between our exam room and her chart across the hall. That would probably be me if I were a nurse- numbers have no traction in my brain.
No, this turned out to not be the case. The doctor walked in and voiced her concerns. He has jumped a few too many percentiles in the past 3 mos, and this is warrant for concern. She asked me a million questions and then ordered a CT scan and sent us on our way. I thought I was completely fine as I walked out of the office. I was holding it together after all... until I called my Mommy to catch her up on the visit. As I heard her answering machine beep I started to sob. I left what may be the most pathetic message of all time on her machine.
I've been scheduling this CT- which is more difficult now due to some new rules and regulations about infant sedation- and it has been challenging finding the right place to do this test. Each and every time I deal with anything to do with the appointment, I get extra low.
The concern is that Little Man has extra fluid around his brain- so that's a daunting possibility. However, I'm pretty sure this is all just a "precaution," just to "make sure" everything is peachy. My head tells me this on a daily basis. I know the CT will be normal. Yet at the slightest thought, my heart still breaks. It's been a Sisyphean journey of health problems with myself, with my precious girls, even with Little Man. My heart is just tired of the worry, and the pain of that tiny lingering doubt that something might be really wrong with one of my darling babies.
- We're replacing both of our cars- at the same time. The Husband's car found a new owner. (Proof that divine intervention exists) A man who restores cars as a hobby had an interest in The Husband's beat up old Mustang. He must have a soft spot for limping little cars. Since we have been painfully aware that the car has been on the tail end of it's last life- needing everything but the kitchen sink replaced- even the airbags had faultily deployed when The Husband bumped a median. It was a wreck on wheels, and I was just grateful it started every morning. (you could hear it down the block) On my end, Little Man has reached the point where he can graduate from backward facing carseat to forward facing carseat! (huzzah?) We'd prefer to be able to fit all three kids and their proper carseats in one vehicle at the same time, so we're on the hunt for a new set of wheels for myself. Preferably one with two rows of seating potential. Two big purchases in one, most likely epic, battle of wills between the car salesmen and myself. I'm going to need a squishy stressball for that.
- We have also made a monumental, big life decision as of late. It was a gut-wrenching decision that I agonized over for a long time. (there were stacks of pro/con lists) We're going to try our hand at selling our home. In the worst market since the Great Depression. We must be stark raving lunatics. It's (obviously) going to have to be a short sale, as we are underwater in the home about $160,000+ and that's more than slightly depressing. But we've simply outgrown our little cottage, and it seems like making our mortgage payment is, as a close friend of ours put it, throwing good money after bad. We bought the home just before the housing bubble burst, the banks were still lending freely, but the foreclosures had brought prices to a more reasonable range. (Instead of only being able to afford a no frills 1 bedroom condo conversion, with the same amount of money, we could afford a well appointed three bedroom home with practically no yard) It was a sound financial investment at the time, but as our family grows and the demands on The Husband's paycheck increases, it just isn't working. No matter how much I love this house, I've poured a lot of sweat into painting each wall the perfect shade, and I will cry the day I have to part with my beloved plantation shutters, we've got to try and move on.
- This means we have to make this house look roomy! spacious! And not as if our family is crammed to the rafters in it like a tin of sardines. The thought of "staging" this house and keeping it in showing condition all the time is enough to make me do a big ol' Victorian fainting spell, swooning to the ground with my hand at my forehead. I have been taking a good hard look at all the stuff we've carried with us and accumulated through the years and am creating a sizable donate and trash pile. However, we'll still be renting a storage unit to put the bulk of the crap. Oh... so much crap.
Ok. So that's what makes me weak in the brain. How do I turn this around to the positive? How do I roll up my sleeves and dig into it without blubbering like a schoolgirl and getting so overwhelmed I drown my sorrows in chocolate ice cream?
- While the prospect of Little Man having encephalitis is scary, it is but another opportunity to snuggle him close and enjoy every minute I we've been abundantly blessed with. It will bring our family closer together, and I will once again, be reminded of just how lucky I am to have such intensely special little ones. Not to mention how many amazing people in my life who love and support me, who make sacrifices of their own time to make this just a little less difficult. (like my Mom who is dropping everything to make sure she can accompany me to the scan and let me cry my eyes out in the waiting room)
- I can't really complain about the car situation. That's just life. We're actually quite blessed to be in a situation where The Husband isn't forced to bike to work, and we aren't strapping Little Man and his carseat to the roof of the car with bungee cords. Besides, I need to get over my crushing anxiety of dealing with shady carsalesmen. I will beat you at your own game, sneaky salesmen with your oily hair and flashy suit! Daddy didn't raise no fool! I was read Car and Driver long before I could even be a driver of a car!
- This one's hard. The selling of our home. I have heard all the stories of those who have done all this before us. It's probably going to be a full fledged nightmare. I just keep reassuring myself that eventually there will be a time when I will go to bed, all of us settled into a home that accommodates us all. When Little Man will no longer be napping in a portable crib... in my closet. There will be a time when I can close this chapter and start another. It all boils down to the fact that this house is just a slab of concrete hastily built with some sticks and stucco. It's the family in the house that makes it a home, not the other way around. And... if you don't mind me waxing too philosophical, I think this is a time when we are all collectively starting to re-evaluate what's really important to us. That maybe "The American Dream" isn't really the path to happiness. That dream is just about acquiring more and more "stuff." And the last time I checked, stuff never brought anyone true, meaningful happiness and peace. (ok, climbing off of soapbox now)
- And the packing? Who doesn't love a good purge? This is my opportunity to scale down our life to a more manageable heap of toys, clothes, knickknacks, and craft supplies. I've been in the process of reading It's All Too Much for a couple years, and now have cause to practice it; "Living a Richer Life Through Less Stuff."
The heavy lifting? Free cardio? Ok, that's going too far. My apologies. Moving boxes will forever... just suck.
I refuse to be beaten down by these happenstances. These are just events that I can, apparently, survive.