A week

I’m gonna say something that I know you’re all gonna laugh at… but hear me out…

I don’t have a sitter for the next seven days. A week! And Eric is on-call.

I know, I know. I’m a SAHM. I shouldn’t need a sitter. But seriously people, I suck at staying home. I love it and hate it, all at the same time. So I apologize ahead of time if I complain and bitch and moan during the next week.

Nadia had another PT appointment today. She SCREAMED the entire 45 minutes. Like screamed, tears, the whole bit. I assume the whole stranger danger thing, as she was fine once I cuddled her.

Oh… and I had my appointment this morning with the long-awaited therapist. Too early to tell if her and I will hit it off. She was nice, but didn’t say much, although I understand the first visit is all fact gathering and such. An hour goes so fast! (Unless you’re home with a whining toddler. Then an hour takes freaking forever.)

In other news, I posted an ad on care.com for a new nanny/sitter to start in August. I’ve received a few good applicants so far, but I haven’t investigated any of them yet. The task of such feels overwhelming. And when I think of hiring new sitters, I always consider ‘spying’ on them. So far I never have, as I don’t have a way, nor do I feel I really need to. Awhile back I posted about baby monitors and just today I purchased a new one to try for 15 days before I either return it or am stuck with it. The Arlo Baby camera has tons of nice features… and it’s internet based! I have them pointed at the cribs, so technically if I ‘check in’ during the day when a sitter is here I’m just spying on my kids, not the sitter. I mean, unless she’s in their cribs… I’ll update after I’ve used it a few days. This is my view…Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 8.46.05 PM

Alright, Nadia slept pretty much not at all last night, so I’m exhausted. More tomorrow! I have a few ideas for blog posts coming, so stay tuned 🙂 I mean, I know you’re all on the edge of your seats right now. Hopefully not on the edge of your toilet. No one reads my blog from there, right??

Speech Therapy Evaluation

I left the speech therapy evaluation today very discouraged. They want to see Nadia weekly for now, which doesn’t really surprise me. But I guess I did expect to have a better understanding of the process and goals after our appointment today, but I don’t.

The hour-long appointment was mostly spent as an interview, the therapist questioning me based on Nadia’s skills. I didn’t feel like I had a lot to say, other than, she squeals and cries, and that’s about it. We know she can hear based on her last hearing test before she was released from the NICU, but the therapist recommended another, which is fine, I’m totally not opposed to such, but I find it odd they want Iowa City to do the test… Again, fine, we are there all the time, but odd to me. Don’t they do hearing tests here??

The speech therapist seemed young, I’m not sure how much experience she has… She talked a lot to Nadia, to which Nadia basically just stared at her, or screamed and looked to me for comfort. And when I say talked to Nadia, I mean she made over-exaggerated sounds emphasizing the use of her mouth and lips, lots of motions with her hands, lots of expression, etc.

Our homework for the next week until we see her again:

  • Speak as much to Nadia as possible using lots of expression, lots of mouth movements, etc.
  • Mimic Nadia’s sounds back to her, giving her a chance to ‘take her turn’ to aid in the teaching of back and forth communication
  • Work to teach Nadia the signs for ‘more’ and ‘all done’
  • Repeat basic sounds, such as da, ma, and ba to Nadia over and over and over

I’m not at all opposed to teaching Nadia some simple sign language, as even Nora knows some basic baby signs, but I guess even the mention of such scared me. It made me wonder if the therapist fears Nadia will never speak… She did say that Nadia clearly has a voice, as she uses it to cry and such… I don’t know, just brought back a lot of fears for me, all the horrors of the brain bleed and lack of oxygen at birth. Is this all my fault? I’m so busy with Nora, Nadia doesn’t get nearly the attention Nora did at this age. Do I not work with Nadia enough? What am I doing wrong that Nadia needs speech and physical therapy, and Nora will probably start feeding therapy soon? I feel like everything is hitting me at once. I thought I was so lucky with my two preemies, that they were doing so well… I don’t want that to change. And all these appointments are wearing on me. The speech and physical therapy needs to be on different days, as they wear out Nadia and thus she doesn’t perform well at the second appointment of the day. And I can’t take Nora along, so once she starts feeding therapy that will be three appointments added to our list a week. I guess the bright side is I don’t work, otherwise I’d constantly be requesting time off.

Nora – 28 Months

My baby is 28 months!!! Hopefully one of these days she’ll slow down, use less energy, and gain weight, as she’s still only 23 pounds, with clothing and a wet diaper. Or perhaps the feeding therapy will help. I expect a call from our pediatrician tomorrow with the referral. Nora definitely has her terrible two moments, but the sweet kisses before bed make all the headaches so worth it!


Another Sunday

Do you ever just sit and wonder what everyone else in the world is doing right now?

Studies show those who browse Facebook often are actually more unhappy with their lives than those who don’t. Well, according to my betterhelp.com therapist… Apparently Facebook allows us to compare our lives with others, thus making us feel inadequate. I’m fairly certain I don’t need Facebook to tell me my life is a little dull!

Saturday (yesterday) we ventured out into the steamy weather to check out a BBQ festival. It wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t awful either. Food was good. It was just soooo humid. Nora had fun with her perper (purple) dog balloon and Nadia managed to sleep through the very loud blues band.

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Today (Sunday) was even more exciting! Just kidding… We walked through an open house, which was very, very pretty. It didn’t wow me though. It had a lot of neat features, is in a good neighborhood, etc. But… I don’t know, I couldn’t picture us living there. It felt like a house for a family with older kids, or no kids at all. The entry was terribly cramped and the master bedroom was odd-shaped. Maybe I’ll find fault with every house we see, I don’t know.

After the open house we stopped at Old Chicago for lunch. Thank goodness it was rather late in the afternoon, the place was fairly empty, therefore no one for Nora and Nadia to annoy 🙂 Most of the meal was spent watching Nora give Nadia kisses. So sweet!


So that was our weekend… Please tell me yours was more exciting!!! Tomorrow afternoon is Nadia’s speech therapy evaluation. I’m nervous… Her physical therapy is going well, I guess. The therapist always says she’s doing so well, but often I feel like the encouragement is just to keep me from feeling bad. Nadia still isn’t crawling, although she is pivoting quite a bit during tummy time, so it’s a start I guess. I’ll let you all know how tomorrow’s appointment goes. Wish us luck!

Other random updates:

  • Remember the Rodan + Fields Reverse Brightening system I was using on my face? I recently went to see my dermatologist for my every six-month skin cancer check. While there I asked him about the product. He said it’s amazing, if you have dark spots and uneven skin tone. He confirmed my skin is beautiful (his words, not mine) and therefore the reason I’m not seeing any results is because I have nothing for it to correct. So there you have it folks… I’m not sure I completely agree with him, but I’m going with it for now!
  • Still in the research phase of opening a Goddard educational childcare franchise. Can you believe though, that Eric is actually quite interested in the idea? I was totally shocked myself, especially since I already broke the scary news to him, the total expected investment. We need to finish filling out the franchise application, review the investment profile and contracts, and we obviously need a lot more information from the franchise team… but so far, it’s not a no from Eric.
  • Eric saw a patient in clinic, who just happened to have a horrible case of bed bugs. Don’t even get me started on how terrified I currently am regarding the possibility of Eric bringing these home. He made sure to limit contact, dispose of his scrubs, and they even called in a specialized team to fumigate the office, but still! Talk about occupational hazards!

Giving up?

Eric and I had another discussion this morning about my MIL. Honestly, I feel like a broken record, both with him, and with this topic on here. None of you probably want to hear about it anymore!

Ultimately we still haven’t come to any conclusions. If there even are any. I think for me, allowing Liz back into my life, into my holidays and special occasions, is a lot more than just having to tolerate her, see her, etc. Maybe I think too much of myself, but I truly believe I deserve to be treated better… She swore at me, threw furniture, kicked me out of her home… and has yet to acknowledge her behavior. I know, she’s Italian and was grieving the death of her husband, I get it. But all that aside, I still deserve better, in my opinion. I don’t let others treat me like she did…

Allowing Liz back into my life feels like destroying a bit of my own dignity and respect.

Does that make sense? I don’t really know how to put my feelings into words… Eric is adamant that he can’t change her, though he has tried, and that she will not change. So I’m left being told I MUST bend and change for her. Of course I could do that, I could put on the happy face for the baptism and every other holiday, pretend all is well. But what will that do to me over time?

Fun at the Pool and BS Update

I’m still not brave enough to take both girls to the pool myself… so I got a sitter for Nadia today and Nora and I spent the afternoon ‘swimming’. We actually met a friend of mine there, so super nice to have a bit of adult conversation. Nora enjoyed the water, even liked the lazy river, and toward the end of our afternoon wasn’t even clinging to me!

Those of you who commented on my last post… thank you. The situation with my MIL has been eating me up since the day it all happened, Christmas… so for months now. I received a lot of good comments, a lot to think about, lots of different viewpoints. Ultimately, none of them really matter (no offense) except my own, right? I know Eric loves the girls and me very much, but he also loves his mother, flaws and all. And with the somewhat recent passing of his father, I think he feels a certain protectiveness for her. Without being present during his childhood, I can’t really ever fully understand how his current views toward his mother came to be. I can assume that her behavior isn’t surprising or alarming to him, simply because he is acccustomed to it. And to my knowledge, she has never physically hurt anyone. Yet. I feel like the possibility is there.

Eric often blames his mother’s own upbringing for her behavior, that fact that she Italian. Apparently Italians are vocal, rude, loud, are known to speak very negatively about others, and routinely throw items during arguments. Well, according to Eric anyway. He claims his mother isn’t going to change as she is stuck in her ways and doesn’t see anything wrong with her behavior. Again, what has always been turns into the norm I guess. Personally I don’t buy into any of the excuses. Poor behavior is poor behavior, whether you are German, Italian, whatever. And my MIL is clearly an adult, so in my opinion, the opportunity to blame her upbringing has long passed. 

In some ways I blame Eric for enabling his mother’s behavior. I feel like every time he looks the other way and sees it as ‘just the way she is’ he is admitting to her it’s okay. I’ve told Eric, ‘shame on you for allowing someone, especially your own mother, to treat you like shit.’ I personally think I deserve better from my MIL. 

Several people have told me that everyone makes mistakes, to give her another chance, to let it go and move on. This is clearly repeated behavior though. Why give her another chance when the history of it happening again and again is clearly there. Granted, this was the first time it happened in my presence, but still.

The therapist I’ve been emailing back and forth through betterhelp.com hinted to the fact that I seem to want to make my MIL suffer consequences, and that perhaps I’m not the one who needs to impose such on her… I’ll admit I am doing that. Part of me wants to teach Liz a lesson, make it clear her behavior is not acceptable. I guess I don’t know how else to make that clear to her. My email certainly didn’t help. I’ve considered writing another, explaining to her the hurt she has caused, the tension in my marriage she has caused… But would she care? She still doesn’t believe she did anything wrong. Eric doesn’t want me to contact his mom, thinking it will just make things worse. Can they get worse? 

I feel very stuck. I know it’s not fair to make Eric choose between me and his mother. But ultimately he can’t please both of us when she and I have such conflicting needs and wants. Thus far in our marriage I truly feel as though he’s catered to his mother’s feelings, keeping her happy at my expense. I don’t know how long that can continue before I break. I don’t want to resent Eric for loving and pleasing his mother… but it that where I’m headed?

The Baptism & other special occasions 

I should probably password protect this bitch-fest about my mother-in-law (MIL), but honestly, what does it matter at this point? Is it really any secret I hate her? 

I’m still waiting to get in with a therapist to discuss the situation, so in the meantime I’ve been writing online with a therapist through betterhelp.com. I actually used the service a few years ago. I suppose it’s similar to speaking with someone in person, you just type back and forth instead. 

Basically I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere with the MIL issues relating to the baptism and other special occasions. Eric keeps stating, but she’s my mom, meaning there is no question as to whether or not she will attend. In his mind, she is his mother and therefore that means she is invited. And then there is me saying no way in hell will I allow anyone, family or not, to treat my family and I like shit and then expect to spend holidays or special occasions with us. 

I’ve tried to compromise with Eric as the therapist recommended. I told him that if the baptism is so important to him and her, which I can’t believe it is since it wasn’t their idea, nor do they attend or associate with any religion, then his mother could attend the actual baptism at the church, but that’s all. I had thought we would get together after at our home to celebrate, and it is that party which she is not welcome. She is not welcome in my home. Too personal. She lost those rights during the Christmas fiasco. I do not wish to speak directly with her, I will keep my distance from her at the church. 

Well, of course, Eric wasn’t accepting of my compromise. Basically it doesn’t seem he’s willing to compromise at all, as he just keeps saying, she is invited, she will be there. 

If I didn’t do anything wrong, why am I the only one being asked to bend, change, and accommodate? I know what some of you are thinking, that I need to be more mature, that God would want me to forgive her. Well F that, I’m mature enough to know when having a relationship with someone is unhealthy. My MIL causes me more stress and anxiety than anyone I know, and she has since the day I met her eight years ago. For once I’m putting myself first. I refuse to alter my life, my plans, or spend my holidays and special occasions with someone who can’t even respect her own son, much less her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. 

Now the hard part though… Finding a way to make Eric realize I’m not asking him to abandon her. He can see her, and take the girls to see her whenever he wants. As long as the girls are never left alone with her. But I do not wish to see her. Not now. Not yet. I’m not sure when. If ever. Too many hours of my life have already been spent agonizing over this situation. I’m over it. It must end. I want to be excited and happy to plan the baptisms and Nadia’s first birthday. I’m not allowing my MIL to ruin another special occasion. It breaks my heart that we never officially celebrated Nora’s second birthday with family. All because of the issue with my MIL. That ends today.