How is it October??

Part of me really misses writing… and part of me is overwhelmed with everything I have scheduled for myself lately. A few updates though…

Nadia’s OCD – I did chat with our new pediatrician, who I love, at Nadia’s three-year well-child visit a few weeks ago. She was frank with me, explaining that Nadia’s behaviors which worry me, such as lots of hand washing, not wanting to get dirty, not eating at school as she doesn’t have wet wipes there, etc., could be a phase related to her age. But it could also be a larger issue. She was all about getting a consult from an occupational therapist who would be be able to observe Nadia and perhaps give me some parents tips and/or schedule further sessions to work with Nadia. I’m still waiting for the consult to be scheduled, so more to come on that. I’m anxious though, as Nadia refusing to eat at school is really bothering me, although it doesn’t seem to bother her. When I pick her up she immediately gets her lunch and says she wants to go home and eat it there. Which completely ruins her appetite for dinner, but that’s another post for another day!

House Search – Earlier this week we had a contractor go through the brick house that needs lots of updates to give us an estimate of what it would cost to make it the house we picture in our minds. So for reference, they are asking $875k for the house. And the estimate to renovate came in at over $500k. Ugh. Our realtor thinks we should offer $600k, as it’s a great property and if we have the money to renovate, the house would hold its value. That’s a lot of money though, by Iowa standards. I need to chat with a banker and figure out our options as far as doing a construction loan for renovations or if we would just pay for renovations as we go. Well, all that assumes they would even take $600k for the house, as I’m not sure we are willing to pay more… and that’s quite a bit below asking being it includes some land.

New Vehicle – You know how I’ve been complaining about our awful van forever? Well, we finally got rid of it! We bought a 2019 Maserati Levante. It was actually a joke, I saw it online and told Eric I thought it was cute. Well, he thought we should get it… so we did. It’s a gorgeous blue and has beautiful leather interior. Actually, I feel quite silly driving a car/SUV this nice. And it’s obviously more of a sports car/SUV, meant for speed, certainly not the two carseats I have in the back! I kind of miss the space of the van, but so far we’re good, I just use the trunk a lot more now whereas I used to throw everything like backpacks and such on the floor in the back by the girls. And they kind of miss the DVD, but I figure on long trips we can figure something out. It’s actually nice them not watching a movie all the time in the car, instead they tell me about their days now!

Big Girl Beds – Yesterday the girls’ full-size mattresses arrived! I converted both of their crib/toddler beds and wow, putting them to sleep last night felt weird. Like weren’t they just babies?? How are they old enough for big girl beds??

My Time – I somehow seem to fill my days with, well, laundry, this blog, I have a women’s bible study on Tuesday mornings and MOPs on Thursday mornings… I’m still trying to workout, although five days a week doesn’t really work unless Eric is off that particular week to watch the girls. I’ve been trying to listen to some good podcasts, so far I like The Happiness Lab… it’s quite interesting. Since it’s fall all the new shows started back up, so my DVR is almost full, but who has time for TV?? By the time I get the girls in bed each night it’s after 8pm, then I make their school lunches and maybe get to read for a few minutes before I sleep. Honestly though, my favorite time, even when they are fighting, is with my girls. They are so happy to see me each day when I pick them up from pre-school. Usually all smiles. I mean, until we get home and they start ripping toys away from each other… but you know… Oh, and Nora is all the sudden into Barbie and insists I play with her every single minute of every day we are home together. But they make me smile, and I am so thankful for them. Eric is on week one of two weeks straight of call, as he traded some time with a partner who took a trip out of the country. Might be a long two weeks for me, maybe I will get some time to empty the DVR a bit.

Anyone have any favorite podcasts they think I should check out??

 

11 Weeks!

I made it to 11 weeks, and 3 days, to be exact.  Last week was rough…  I had a TERRIBLE cold/sinus infection, which just made me feel even more terrible than I have been lately.  I literally laid on the floor and tended to Nora, counting the minutes until Eric got home from work.  Only problem with that, I never knew when that time would be until it arrived.  It’s quite the awful feeling to need someone to relieve you, but yet not knowing if that person can today, or tomorrow…

Anyway, I’m feeling much better.  I felt nauseous a few times yesterday, but so far today I haven’t felt sick at all.  Granted, I’m still taking the Unisom and B6, so that could be masking it all.

(Totally off the subject, but I’m at Panera writing this, and I swear to you, the girl sitting next to me smells like a gerbil.  You know, that awful pet store smell??  I might have to move seats!)

I have lots of random things to share/discuss, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, this post could be enlightening for some, and a drag for others.

Nora’s IgG – STILL waiting on that level.  Why you ask?  Well, we went last week.  Did I already complain about this on here, I can’t remember?  Anyway, they wouldn’t follow the order of a heel stick, claiming they had to basically start an IV to get enough blood from her.  It was dramatic and tragic and of course she screamed, and I wanted to as well.  The doctor called me Friday.  The lab ran the wrong test.  Yes, I shit you not, it was all for nothing.  So back this morning we went, and it was just as bad.  They followed orders this time, a heel stick, but claimed they needed twice as much blood as I happen to know they need.  So they stick her heel twice and her big toe once to get enough.  It took 20 minutes of them squeezing the life out of her foot, and her screaming, of course.  I give up people.  I hope the level is good, although I fear it will still be low.  Last I talked with the doctor, they still want to wait on live vaccines, as even though her antibodies levels other than IgG are in the normal range, they are in the low-normal range, so waiting is better I guess.

New Therapist – I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I hate living here in Cedar Falls…  Lots of pent-up emotions over not choosing this location, feeling like I had little say, etc.  Moving was stressful, Nora’s health issues still wear on me, and now another pregnancy to worry about….  I guess I figured it couldn’t hurt to share/vent some of these issues with someone trained to help me manage it all.  I made an appointment with a woman who specializes in postpartum depression, although I’m not sure that’s what I have.  My first appointment with her was last Tuesday, and she was super nice.  We didn’t accomplish much, you know, the first visit is all getting to know each other… in other words, rehashing the past.  She asked me to come to my next appointment, which is next week I believe, with one goal I’d like to accomplish through therapy.  Um…  What the hell is that supposed to be?  To worry less?  To be satisfied more?  To communicate better with Eric?  My list goes on and on, but frankly I’m a little leery, how is me talking to someone two hours a month going to accomplish all that???  And oh, the kicker to it all, after May she is only seeing patients at a location 90 minutes from me.  Great, another thing not in this city.

Cleaning Ladies – I know, 1st world problems, right?  But hear me out.  I hate cleaning, and I’ve loved having people come once a week and clean for me.  It’s glorious, really.  And honestly, if you have any way to add it to your budget, I highly recommend it, for your own sanity.  All that said, I think the company I’ve been working with needs to go.  Only problem, not a lot of choices here, which is really the ONLY reason I’ve kept them as long as I have.  My list of complaints with them is long, but mainly that they just don’t clean well, which is the entire purpose of them!  I think I’ve mentioned in the past that several of the girls smell of cigarettes, which really bothers me…  Most have ‘meth mouth’ and yes, I shouldn’t judge, but sorry, I am.  I give these people a key to my home.  I expect a certain level of professionalism, and lately, they have been lacking, big time.  When I first hired them the agreement was Wednesday mornings at 9am.  Well, they got in the habit of emailing me Tuesday the time they planned to arrive the following day.  Which I guess was okay.  But lately, they don’t show up during that window.  And it’s super annoying!  Last week the email said between 11am and noon they would arrive.  They showed up at 10:15am, just as I had laid Nora down for a nap and planned to jump in the shower.  No, it gets better.  So I tell them, I’m gonna shower, baby is in her room, can you start with the downstairs today…  When I got out of the shower one of the cleaning ladies was rocking Nora.  Who goes and just gets the baby?  Now granted, I do sort of know these women, I’ve been seeing them weekly for months now, but still.  They are there to clean, not to rock my baby!!!  Maybe I’ll try putting an ad on care.com and see if I can find an individual who would be better…  I hate starting all over with someone though.

Still Exhausted – I feel like, for not working outside the home, all I do is run all over town.  Today for example.  Kona needed to go to playcare, which is Mondays and Fridays, so I ran her there on the way to Nora’s blood draw.  The drive from home to playcare is 20 minutes.  After the blood draw we drove home, another 25 minutes.  Then later this afternoon I have to pick up Kona, 20 minutes each way again.  I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but such a waste of time and miles.  And taking Nora with me is a pain, as I obviously have to get her in and out of the car.  As much as I like Kona getting the attention and exercise twice a week, I might need to ditch it soon.

Feeding Nora – I know, she’s technically not one yet, so we’re still focusing on formula since she started refuses my breast milk, but June 1st, her due date, is quickly approaching.  Am I really supposed to stop formula at a year and have her exist on solids and whole milk?  She still won’t take a sippy cup with water, so I doubt she would drink whole milk from one.  And she is not big on most solids I’ve offered her.  Yogurt is our go to, she will almost always eat that, but otherwise, she’s tough.  Mac and cheese she did eat some of the other night, and bagels and cream cheese she seems to like, but not much else, well, besides puffs and yogurt melts.  At dinner we give her whatever we are having, but she didn’t even seem interested in french fries on Sunday.  I gave her a piece of apple to try the other day, she bit off pieces but spit them out, which is what she does with most things.  I feel like I’m constantly worrying if she is hungry, or thinking about what else I can try with her.  So much wasted food though.  My fall back is still bottles, but I fear the day when I’m not supposed to give her those anymore.  Then what?

Daycare – My regular sitters will all be leaving for summer at the end of April.  I’ll have no help in May.  I know, I don’t work.  But I do have several appointments already scheduled…  Is it worth it to search care.com for help during May?  Starting June my favorite girl will be back for the summer and I think she is going to watch Nora two days a week.  I’m really going to try to schedule all my appointments on those two days, and make time to see out-of-town friends those days too.  You all better hold me to that!  I hate the thought of interviewing more people to watch Nora though…  It’s stressful and how do you know who is really good?  I normally use first impression, well, and background checks, but I know that isn’t always foolproof.

Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde – I’m currently reading this, well, listening to it on my audible app.  It’s kind of dragging!  Has anyone read this??  I was told it was good, but gosh, it needs to get on with the story before I lose interest.  Pass along and good book recommendations!

27w2d ~ Better Help

Have any of you heard of Better Help?  It’s an online therapy website, with actual trained counselors, I did check that part!  I’m not sure if you remember or not but I had been seeing a local therapist weekly, but stopped a few months ago as my work schedule seemed to keep getting in the way.  Ridiculous as that seems, since most days I swear I just sit here and stare into space.  Or write blog posts.  Anyway, I miss those hours each week.  And I’m not even sure if I can say my therapist was solving my ‘issues’.  Are they supposed to?  It was more nice to be able to vent and talk without being judged or like I was bringing someone else down with my negativity.

Anyway, I came across this Better Help site which was advertised on some baby website that sends me weekly pregnancy updates, I don’t remember which now…  Check out the site and the FAQs if you’re curious, but the jest of it seems to be that you email back and forth with a trained therapist/counselor, as often as you like, or I guess as often as the therapist has time…  When you first sign up you answer a ton of questions so they can match you with someone suited to your situation, but you can search for a different counselor at any time.  It’s $35 a week for unlimited sessions, or rather emails, and included in that cost is one weekly phone call, although you can pay extra for more calls.  I like that it’s very convenient, but hesitant if this type of therapy can actually be successful.  The first 7 days are free, and I just started my trial today.  So far I sent an introductory email to the therapist I was matched with, just giving her a breakdown of what I’d like to discuss.  That email is below.  I’ll update in a few days and let you know how it’s going, in case others are interested in pursuing such a method.  Who knows, this might be awesome, or it could be awful, but at least you can cancel at any time with the click of a button!

Good morning! I guess I’m a bit hesitant to embark on counseling in this manner, maybe because this is new to me and I’m not sure what to expect…

I stopped seeing a therapist a few months ago because it was difficult to find time with work. I felt like I was always needing to take time off, and that just caused more stress. Also, my therapist spent a lot of our sessions talking about herself, I think she was trying to relate, show that she understood and such, but it just seemed to take away from the time we could focus on me.

My main issues center around my husband and his work schedule. He’s just finishing a urology residency, still working 90+ hours a week. I’m due with our first child June 1st and certainly feeling overwhelmed since he has zero time to help at home, and really very little time to even focus on our relationship. Also, he’s starting a private practice once his residency is complete in June, therefore we are moving about two hours north, which was all his choosing, the location and such I mean. I’m very unclear of how our life will be the next several years, and honestly still rather bitter that I had little say in where we’re moving.

Are these topics you feel you could help me with?  I want to make sure I know what I’m getting into… And whether or not this method of therapy would be helpful for me, or if I should search for a local provider with either evening or weekend hours.

Thanks so much!
Stefanie

A Rant

Warning, this is mostly a rant post, you know, me getting my feelings out, therapy if you will. Feel free to skip this post altogether if you’d rather not have your day bombarded with my petty issues 🙂

So yesterday sucked. Allow me to recap. It’s month-end at work. Those of you in accounting and finance understand this. Those of you in other fields, I wish I was you. There is just something about redoing the same tasks month after month, closing the books. I mean, we closed them last month, why close them again! (Clearly I wasn’t meant for this field!) But yes, it’s month-end and thus our busy time. Normally I enjoy month-end, the days seem to fly as I don’t find myself overcome with boredom. This month-end is different though. For the past year and a half I was responsible for valuing A/R and posting adjustments as necessary. I won’t explain the process here, just go with it. It’s a lot of Excel work, crunching numbers, V-Lookups, you know, stuff I actually enjoy, because believe it or not, I do like numbers, just not T accounts. Anyway, this task of mine, considered very important, has been reassigned to none other than N, the coworker I despise for reasons too long to list here, but allow me to try:

  • He believes all CPAs should wear capes at work to signify their super-powers.
  • He makes all of maybe $60K or so a year, but yet insists on wearing mostly Burberry.
  • His ties match his socks as he is preparing for management. His words, certainly not mine.
  • He believes he deserves a corner office with a window in our new building.
  • He refers to our boss as ‘Boss Lady’.

Okay, honestly, those don’t even begin to give you a true picture of him, but I’ll stop before my blood pressure rises any further. So yes, back to the A/R valuation. He was assigned this task, I can only assume because my boss knows I’m leaving in seven months and apparently it’s going to take genius boy that long to learn this task. Can I point out I mastered it in one month, maybe two?

So with my best smile I trained him this month, and can you believe that he had the audacity to continuously check his cell phone during our training? I mean, he wasn’t even remotely paying attention! Does he think he’s too good to learn from me, or what the crap is his deal?? He even got up once to go talk to another coworker, in the mist of me speaking. Who does that???

Back to yesterday though. The valuation was complete Wednesday morning, but my boss (don’t even get me started) wasn’t comfortable with the results. Personally, I trust the process, but acknowledge it has gaps and a huge margin for errors since the work is quite manual, lots of formulas and such. That said, I was willing to discuss and determine if changes needed to be made before I posted adjustments to our general ledger. So we did discuss, and discuss, and still my boss and N were uncomfortable with the numbers, claiming they just didn’t understand it. So we all went home Wednesday night to think on it.

Yesterday morning, Thursday. Remember every Thursday morning at 9am I see my therapist… So yes, of course my boss would want to meet again at 8am, making me very nervous about overlapping my appointment. And yes, of course my appointments are on my calendar, but does my boss pay any attention? Of course not! So at 8:15am yesterday she finally tells me to go ahead and post the entry, I assume not because she’s okay with it, but rather she’s still not okay and frankly just giving up. So, knowing I have not a lot of time to prepare the entry and post, I ask N to take over. I mean, it is his task now, he did beg for this task, he was technically supposed to take over last month but then decided to take vacation over month-end, which is a no-no, and he clearly knows how to post entries. And can you believe that he refused to prepare and post the entry, claiming it was still my task this month, and besides, he didn’t want his name attached to an entry he didn’t understand. WTF. Yeah, I had no words. As if I didn’t dislike him enough, now I really did. So I prepared and posted the entry, and cancelled another therapy appointment very last-minute. I was beyond annoyed.

Fast forward to roughly 1am this morning, Friday. I woke with terrible stomach cramps. Not like period cramps, but just a stomach ache. I was sweating profusely as well… Like over-heating. And then I proceed to experience awful diarrhea, and my body decides, at the same time, it needs to throw up. Two awesome things at once. I crawl back in bed, no longer sweating, to find both Eric and Kona, snoring away. And yes, of course I wake Eric and tell him I’m sick. He asks me how many times I’ve thrown up, once, and he tells me I’m fine and rolls back over. Some help he is.

I woke this morning for work around 5:30am, my usual, and still felt icky. Not like I’m going to throw up, but like I need to lie down. I highly considered calling into work sick, but it’s a Friday, and I feared my team would think I’m faking. And we have a meeting at 10am to discuss the entry which made me miss my appointment yesterday. And God forbid N take some initiative and explain it, since he was supposed to be paying attention when we created it!

And of course, now that I’m here and wanting to leave early to crawl into bed, that meeting was moved to 2:30pm today. Of course.

And on top of all that, I emailed my therapist and asked that she cancel all future appointments. As much as I like seeing her, and value her advice, the stress of holding the appointments is more than I want to bear right now. I feel too guilty cancelling on her last-minute, which seems to be happening more and more lately. So for now, I suppose this blog is my therapy.

1-2 weeks

I woke at 3:30am this morning and the first thought that popped into my head was, you need to go pee on a stick (POAS). In my defense though, Eric was on-call last night and his pager went off countless times, so being that I waited until the 3:30am page to POAS is pretty amazing of me, if I do say so myself.

The line on the First Response was no darker today than yesterday, so I didn’t bother taking a picture. Should I be alarmed it’s no darker at 11dpo than at 10dpo? I did receive a bit of reassurance from the Clearblue digital with weeks estimator, as it proudly displayed 1-2 weeks pregnant! I’m making a note to buy more of each over the weekend. Obviously I underestimated the number of sticks required this cycle.

We made it to Friday, and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy that makes me. The past two weeks have been filled with emotional ups and downs. Although I guess this rollercoaster is far from over. The positive test is certainly comforting but just the first of many hurdles. My first beta is Tuesday morning, and if the line doesn’t get darker over the weekend I’m really going to worry. Even if Tuesday’s beta is good, it will need to be repeated Thursday morning. And pending a good result there, my first ultrasound will be scheduled. And we all know how that ended everything last cycle. Terrified doesn’t really begin to explain how I feel every time I think about having to wait several weeks, wondering if a heartbeat will be found this time. How will I get through those weeks?

Yesterday was my first therapy session in several weeks due to my provider’s schedule. I think she had a conference out-of-town last week, and the week before that my boss had scheduled a meeting at the same time as my appointment. Funny how when I need the time to vent and recollect my thoughts the most, my therapist isn’t available… Yesterday’s session made up for lost time though, as I filled her in on the details of the past several weeks, the retrieval, my tears over the fertilization report, our transfer, and then more sadness over the frozen embryo report. I spent most of our 50 minutes expressing concerns over the lack of communication I feel exists between IVF patients, myself included, and my clinic, which is housed in the same facility as my therapist’s office. Having been a patient in this facility herself, my therapist agreed, the medical care we receive is exceptional, the communication is inexcusable at times.

During my recap of the past several weeks I found myself centering on a few key thoughts and feelings, one being my need to follow the rules, to not ask questions, to not make more work for my nurses and doctors, to not stand out, etc. My therapist must have noticed it as well, because toward the end of our session she asked me if not calling the embryologist to question the condition of my embryos caused me more or less stress in the end. My first thought was less, because I didn’t want to bother the embryologist, I didn’t want to request more information than they would normally provide any other patient, I didn’t want to stand out as the patient that called with countless questions… Those would have caused me more stress. And while all of that is true, maybe the reason was more based in fear. Did I not want to know more? Was it easier to use my own imagination, to picture all going well, or all not going well, because that was more comfortable for me? But how could having less information make me feel more comfortable? Because that is what I’m used to…? My therapist asked me to spend some time before our next meeting trying to answer some of these questions. So far though, I’m still in the dark.

Work is still a thorn in my side. My boss is out until the end of the month, and while I originally thought this would be a nice break to catch up on emails and process month-end entries at my own pace, so far, that’s not the case. I’ve found myself with quite random requests, which I assume are tasks she handles, but thus, in her absence, some have fallen on my shoulders. I certainly don’t mind taking on additional work, as I was worried about boredom slipping in, but the complete lack of knowledge I have regarding these tasks has just caused more anxiety. Perhaps I have the wrong personality for this role, as while I’m open to learning, I expect a certain level of training, and to be honest, training is lacking in this department. I don’t feel confident that when I go to my boss I’ll receive a correct, easy to understand answer, or even a justified point in the right direction. Staring at my computer screens all day, in awe of how to solve problems, is rather disheartening. I’ll admit, knowing I’m leaving in 9 months probably isn’t helping my motivation, but this all just feels too difficult at times. My therapist again suggested tying to go part-time. She thinks it would take some stress off me, allowing me more time to handle everything at home since Eric’s schedule doesn’t afford him much time to help. And then there is moving in 9 months, which is looking more toward building a new home that purchasing preexisting. Doesn’t building out-of-town require trips to the building site? How would I manage that while working full-time? And more IVF appointments if this cycle isn’t successful… Or OB appointments if it is, as both require more time off work… And rental property… The list of obligations just seems to go on and on. I’m scared of staying here full-time while managing all these issues, but also scared to investigate part-time further. Scared of what agenda my boss would have in mind… Scared of Eric thinking I wasn’t pulling my weight by only working part-time when he’s working the equivalent of more than two full-time jobs… Is a different job altogether the answer? Who would hire me knowing I’m moving out-of-town in 9 months?

On a brighter, happier note, does anyone have any fun plans for this weekend? Tomorrow I think I’m heading to an outlet mall with a friend who I haven’t seen in FOREVER. Should be fun to catch up! Sunday might be laundry and cleaning as usual. Seems like such a waste of a weekend day. When does everyone else do laundry and clean???

To close I feel I should acknowledge several blog awards I’ve received lately. There is always a ping of pride when I see my website listed on another’s page. I’m really in awe that so many read my words, that so many find themselves in my stories, that common ground… That said though, in the past I’ve refrained from completing the next steps in blog awards. Not because I don’t feel honored, I truly do, but more because completing those posts feels like one more obligation… I want this space to be a place I come to when my mind needs an outlet, not one in which I feel compelled to write on certain topics. I truly hope those who nominated me understand I really am grateful for including me. Thank you!