Foul ups, shut downs, and new beginnings…

Title

This is going to be a serious post, strategically laced with sarcasm…so stop now if you aren’t interested.  However, if you bear with me and my venting- the silver lining is at the end- along with a pretty BIG announcement!  🙂

It’s been an unreasonable amount of time since I posted.  I had set goals to do three posts a week minimum, and make sure that all my posts got shared and linked up in every party on my list.  I have a long list of projects and crafts and reorgs that I need to do that were the perfect fodder for my new blog schedule.

…and then life happened.

My husband has this saying that he loves: “Wanna make God laugh?  Make plans.”

Well he must be rolling on the floor with laughter as we speak.

Where do I start?  Well, first, circumstances out of my control necessitated my return to work full time.  Some of it was work, some of it was our financial situation at home.  Needless to say, I was doing too many things part time and going batty full time.  H and I discussed things and, for now, I have to put on my big girl panties and pull the shifts.  It. Is. Breaking. My. Heart.  But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Transitions are hard enough as it is, the last thing we needed was difficulty with this one.  And then we had a complete and utter daycare debacle.  The daycare the boys were going to part time, seemed to lose all competence when I had to switch to full time.  Little R’s reflux seemed to be something out of their realm of capability… which seems a bit ridiculous to me.  I went through feeding schedules and meetings and far more doctors appointments than necessary because evidently when he spits up while being held and it hits the floor with force, that’s considered projectile vomiting.  They have some ludicrous rule about the radius of the “vomit” that hits the floor.  They have obviously never taken physics.  At which point I get a call to come pick him up and get presented with a form for a doctor to sign saying he can return to daycare after 24 hours of no vomiting and a visit to the doctor.  After 6 calls from a Wednesday to the following Thursday, I had had enough.  At one point they called and told me he was “incoherent and not himself” because his eyes were “rolling” as he slept.  Have you ever rocked an infant to sleep?  That was when I’d really had enough.  When the director questioned my integrity as a mother and told me that I needed to tell the doctors what to do and I needed to be a better advocate for my “special needs” son- well lets just say we got everyone’s things and left that day and did not return.

The pediatrician- after the third visit that week- and two previous notes explaining the diagnosis and that if he didn’t have a fever or other symptoms then he was not, indeed, contagious at all- told me to find another daycare.  At the second visit, I was already looking in to my options.

Did I pay them for that week where I had to pick him up four days in a row and haul him to my pediatrician?  No.  And I don’t feel guilty about it either.

I perused some listings and came across one on care.com for a local mom who ran a daycare out of her home.  I called her.  She’s awesome.  She had me at “…and when your baby’s fussy I will strap him to me and walk around so he’s upright….I will give him orajel and tylenol when he needs it….I will feed him when he’s hungry and not on some crazy schedule.”  That and when we met her they had the most awesome Saint Bernard who adored kids.  And her house was toy cluttered and lived in and exuded motherly love.

She told me later that after I had called her she had two other calls that day after mine, but hadn’t even been advertising and only enough room for my two.  Boy- the Man upstairs was really watching out for us that day.

The boys started that Monday.  We became fast friends.  SB, another mom and I have wine hour every Friday.  We’ve lived in Northern Virginia for almost seven years and I finally have friends who have kids and are closer than 40 minutes away.  This has maybe been the best thing that’s happened over the past eight weeks.

And just when things were getting warm and fuzzy and we were making family fun plans, our middle school that we call the government decided to shut down.  So suddenly H was working for free and we are living off one income.  We live in one of the most expensive areas in the country, and we live paycheck to paycheck like most other middle class families.  Thank goodness it only lasted two weeks.  But that was one stressful two weeks.  Not a single person I knew wasn’t affected in some way.  Contractors got laid off, husbands got furloughed.  Another tidbit most people don’t realize- any women who were on maternity leave either got furloughed or had to go back to work to preserve their job as “essential personnel.”  And if you took a sick day- you forego your paid leave for that day.  How’s that for bureaucracy?

And even though the teenagers that we call congressmen and senators have things up and running again, H still hasn’t gotten his back pay (which will not include the one day he had to stay home with the boys).  And this last check was only a partial one.  So we are still behind this month.

Loudoun and Fairfax County were kind enough to give reminder calls and radio advertisements reminding all of us residents that our property taxes were due on October 5.  We’ve been here almost seven years and never received a reminder call about property taxes.  And while I can fully appreciate the pork spending fact that they used taxpayer dollars to pay for radio ads, they can quite frankly take a long walk off a short bridge.  They will get their taxes after I have food in my fridge and pay the power bill and they pay back my husband what’s owed him.

Oh and did I mention that I moved my sister in to her apartment in Brooklyn, the weekend of the shutdown? And have to drive to Florida next weekend to move my other sister?  Been putting a lot of miles on my Expedition…that still isn’t paid off.

I also, probably in my need for something to give way and relieve my rising blood pressure, got in to a myriad of debates about politics and women and life and religion on Facebook- and realized that it’s exhausting and not really worth the effort.

However, there is good in all of this.  I do know that we will get the back pay.  And I’m so grateful that my husband still has a job.  Many others don’t.

I have made some wonderful new friends and we’ve become a support system for each other through this whole fiasco.  I feel truly blessed.  It’s made me reflect on who I am and who I want to be, what I need to let go of in life and what I need to pursue.

I’d much rather put my energy toward spreading the stories that will humble and endear other, rather than engage them in argument, like Tripp Halstead who just went through another major surgery for his severe TBI that he suffered last year.  Tripp is Little P’s age, and reminds me so much of him that I’m in tears whenever I read his mom’s updates.  But I still follow, to keep him and his family in prayer and to be reminded that I have so much to be thankful for.  Or like ONE whose mission is to fight poverty and disparity in developing countries simply by spreading knowledge, killing stereotypes and reminding everyone that we are all on ONE planet.

I had a road trip with my sis- which are the best kind.  We get lost and don’t care and drive through mountain towns finding our way back to where we need to be- talking about projects and goals and travel plans as we admire the old buildings of mining towns that were once grand and booming.  I found an amazing Italian coffee shop two blocks from Bri’s new apartment.  The first generation immigrant proprieter knows exactly what you need by the look on your face.  She made me one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had- and topped the foam with cinnamon.  And I got to take a moment and realize that we have really done right by her and she is blossoming in to an amazing talented young woman.

I have made several amazing friends through the new daycare and SB, who continues to amaze me with her love and generosity and antics on a daily basis.  We all get each other so well it’s not even funny.  I finally feel a little at home here.

And in the next couple weeks, H and I will experience, for the first time in almost nine years (that’s 9, hon, can you believe it?!), what life will be like as our own nuclear unit.  It will be just us, the boys and the dogs.  We’ve had my sisters in our life from the time our relationship was young…we’d only lived together for a month or so.  We had argued over how many sheets I owned- because we didn’t rent the washer and dryer and instead paid at the onsite laundry facility and H was furious because he had to spend $20 on laundry- including three loads of sheets.  That argument was so extreme and dramatic and ridiculous, the way young couples argue over nothing.  It’s been a heck of a long road since then…if only we had known at that time that sheets would be the least of our worries ten years down the road!

We’ll have just enough time to get used to the idea of us before we post overseas next summer- when I will finally get to be who I want to be full time- wife, blogger, mommy, playmate extraordinaire- only in a foreign land, with a foreign culture and a whole new realm of opportunity and learning.

Happyness is here…and on the horizon.

Love and Happyness to All!

~M

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2 responses to “Foul ups, shut downs, and new beginnings…

  1. Wow, you are superwoman! That’s a lot to balance, and it sounds like you are doing great. Praying for you as you continue on with a super-full plate! Hope you are doing well, Misti!

    ~Abby =)

  2. Pingback: Fifty Shades of Parenting | Practical Happyness·

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