Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Family Are Still People

The last few days have involved quite a bit of anxious energy for me. I think it's the fallout from the holidays and all the extra socialization and travel. Since we've been back home I've been achy and sleepy and resting up a lot but my mind has been going a hundred miles a minute. Thinking over to-do lists for the next couple months before baby comes and even staring at holiday decorations that need packing away wondering how I'll manage it all. Feeling so drained makes any errand seem monumental!

Add to that emotional frenzy a proposed visit with my aunt/cousin that has caused so much anxiety in the past and I was downright loony yesterday! The poor hubster had quite a fury on his hands. Being in a vulnerable state already made me feel like my skin was crawling and made me distracted and irritable but the added stress triggered my guilt/shame reserves and low self-esteem so I started spouting off at the hubby right and left.

It was bad. I was like a mean comic that doesn't know when to stop, harping on him right and left, even shocking myself with the impressive barrage of teasing criticism. It was awful. He was hurt and confused and angry and I was off my rocker spiraling out of control but somehow we made it to a place where we could talk it out and I woke up today feeling much more stable.

Our talking it out involved a bedtime chat like usual and the hubster made a good point about family. Family isn't always something special or a free pass, family is just people.

With all the cliche, lovey dovey idealism around family units sometimes we lose track of the fact that we're all just humanoids mucking along the same territory. I get so wound up and guilted about "being there" and "being enough" and "doing the family thing" that I end up getting the spark sucked out of me instead of being nourished and supported by my family, and the hubbo pointed this out very well last night.

There comes a point where we can't just keep giving ourselves away and interacting in one-way relationships. There comes a point where it's okay to just be, just take care of ourselves and let the soul-sucking forces exist outside our bubble. It seems a bit cruel distancing from family that way, but the way it laid it out for me it made a lot of sense.

Unfortunately this seems to be a common theme in relationships for me. I've realized lately that my aunt and my cousin and even my best friend are pretty one-way; I give, they take. I'm tired of it. I sacrifice too much heart and energy to the worry and guilt. A few days ago I wrote a note to my bestie (we haven't texted much or really chatted since October I think) and I realized how many times before it's been me writing or texting or calling to reboot the relationship. And don't get me started on that last visit... Ugh.

With my aunt and cousin they don't initiate contact either. I also feel guilted, especially by my aunt less so by my cousin, for the state of the relationship and my lack of presence. For years I've felt so saddened by the entire thing and my aunt's poor health and negativity (not to mention the discomfort caused by her smoking) that visiting lost most if not all appeal.

Anyways. Today's visit with my mom, my cousin, his hubby and I went well. Sure, a little awkwardness and I sensed quite a bit of sadness with my cousin but I didn't feel guilted and I didn't come away totally drained. Although the visit to the mall with my mom was pretty exhausting for me! I think I underestimated the changes being 8 months pregnant brings, all that walking was quite the workout!

Me, my bump, and my bran flakes.
Favorite cereal, hands down.
Also, cute shirt Mom got me for Christmas. 

In other news, Fio's head wound is healing well though his butchered topknot makes him look like some Halloween character or brain transplant/implant experiment. Millie has been quite the busy miss patrolling the bathroom and butting in whenever the hubster or I are in there and bogarting my body pillow whenever possible. Iroh is doing well. Still has his rough days when his arthritic hips flare up but still hauls ass for any treats!

Taking it day by day and trying to give myself some leeway :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Now For My Next Trick.... Recuperation!

I would say that "Christmas is done" but seeing as I'm sitting here typing away surrounded by my holiday decorations it wouldn't be quite accurate. For the most part, Christmas is finished and we're entering the recovery phase that usually lasts into mid-January :)

The holidays went pretty well for us although I overdid it a little bit and by Christmas Eve evening I needed to isolate and nap to avoid a full blown emotional overload.

I think having the family exchange Sunday, work on Monday, cleaning and packing and then a hellish drive on Tuesday before baking rolls and making lasagna Wednesday-all with late nights and early mornings trying to ward off biley barfs-really wore me out. Add to that the social interaction and feeling upset and stressed by my sister's health, it was no wonder after the exchange Christmas Eve I was losing traction.

I sat myself down in a dark corner and tried to figure out what I should do, knowing that watching a movie or trying to join in the games with guests was just too much. I was in that overwhelmed stupor where sitting and staring into the abyss is about all I can do! My mom and the hubbo were tuned in to my sudden decline in mood and eventually they encouraged me to go get a nap in and come back in an hour or two. It really helped reset my emotional balance and I was able to enjoy the rest of the night.

Overall the visit south and time with my family was fun and relaxing though not without the family stress and concern that all too often arises during extended visits. My sister's ongoing diabetes scare and her poor health choices wear on me. I see that she is scared for her future and understand that it's a process to cope with such news (nothing has been confirmed but there is certainly lots of talk) but feel very frustrated watching her food choices and how she lashes out.

At multiple points she complained that if anyone was going to get diabetes it would be Dad, then Mom, then Cody, then her. I found it upsetting that somehow it's acceptable for the family to get a horrible disease as long as she's last? Funny how I didn't make the list despite being the fattest of us all!

I know it's a passing storm and that no one knows what the future will bring but it was a major weight on me during the visit. Otherwise we had a pretty good time with lots of games (Ticket to Ride was the undisputed favorite) and lots of cheer. I didn't listen to as much Christmas music as I usually do this year but I think we made up for it during our trip haha

In other news, Fio has had an ongoing knob/scab situation on his head. We think a cat knocked him over the head and it got infected but we didn't really notice until it had scabbed over and turned into this huge lump o' nasty. The vet tech said it was fine, just keep it clean and clear and let the healing continue. That's all fine and dandy but he sure is a sight with half his top knot missing and a scabby lump on his head!

Millie and Fio seemed to have fared well during our absence, though Iroh pulled a lovely patch of hair from his left shoulder and Millie left us some barf as a welcome home gift.

Happy to be home and recovering, looking forward to regaining some sense of routine and refocusing on my well being!

Happy holidays to everyone :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Still Chuggin Along

Last couple days of ornaments before Christmas and I'm so thankful the workload is slowing down! Just going in for a group(ish) makes me fidgety. I enjoy the challenging ornaments but I'm getting sick of the sheer volume stuff.

In other news, the hubby got a "thanks, but no thanks" from the interview he had last week. We were kinda bummed, kinda relieved. The idea of new baby, new job, relocation all at once was a bit overwhelming.

We've launched our baby shower invites and FB page and I'm excited :) We're doing a coed Bunco party and even though I'll be ~35 weeks pregnant, I'm excited to see friends and family for a good time.

My mood has been pretty positive despite frustration with the ornament scene and a bit of family drama/stress. There always seems to be a transitory fallout when we return from a visit, I just need to catch on and remember what's coming next time!

Funny tidbit.... I never ate strawberries before I was pregnant, and I actually craved some earlier this week! Kinda proud of myself for eating berries in their natural form-even raspberries earlier on in pregnancy-times are a changing!

Starting to prepare for the birth, feeling the end is near!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

30 Weeks

Today marks 30 weeks for me and Inchy. I'm feeling purty darn preggers!

I've been warned that once 3rd tri hits many of the 1st tri symptoms can make a resurgence. While I haven't been puking or nauseated a lot (yet) I have felt fatigue coming over me. Took my first nap in a long time yesterday and I've been needing to sit down more. Of course, I haven't been sleeping as well during the night which could also contribute to my overall tiredness (not to mention carting around this baby belly all day!).

Between the advancing pregnancy and the increased iron supplementation my constipation has gotten worse. I've been using fiber powder daily but I think I'll need to do that more. We also got a bag of prunes (surprisingly delicious) and I'm hoping I can get into some regimen that will help me out. The whole hemorrhoid thing makes the whole constipation thing a bazillion times worse (or vice versa? hell, it's an infinity loop of suckiness).

Thankfully I've been holding a relatively even keel emotionally. Ornaments are stressing me out and there is the ever present family drama of the holidays but being aware of my sensitivities and having the hubbo talk things out with me usually keeps the crazy cup from running over.

 I have definitely been more.... outspoken the last couple months. Whether it's asserting my feelings or picking fights, I've found myself saying things I wouldn't normally get out! In some ways it's nice, in other ways I feel like a cranky teenager mouthing off. Good thing the hubster understand where it's coming from and we can talk it out.... for the most part :)

In other news, we spent the end of the week/part of the weekend at my parents' down south. Driving in the storm Thursday night was a little dramatic (not as dramatic as the neighbor-friend getting stuck at a casino during a fire and evacuation with her elderly mother) the windstorm knocked down quite a few boughs and trees but we made it through just fine. Of course, arriving to a blackout wasn't the best but with the power on by the next morning everything was fine.

Friday the hubster had an interview in Oly so we all met up for lunch at a favorite sandwich spot downtown (5th Ave-it's awesome) and then Mom, my sis, and I toodled around town and did some shopping. My sis an I did some baking (PB cookies, gingersnaps, and fudge) and our uncle got some Christmas treats shipped his way. My fudge making is improving every year and I was actually really happy with the results this year!

Saturday was the Half Price Books bag sale. Lots of books and BO stank. Also hit up Buffalo Wild Wings for the first time and watched the hubster burn his face off (but the mango habanero was pretty scrumptious!)

Mix in some card games, tea breaks, some good book reading, and movies and we had a dang good weekend. Though I will say my ass seems to going through some fallout and all that sitting in the car was pretty uncomfortable! Today will be as comfy a day as I can possibly make it....

Had a dream about Iroh dying. Was pretty emotional and sad. I couldn't remember his name! It was tragic. As I type he's sitting by my legs in the morning sunshine. Love this cat :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Said "No!"

Today I left work at ye olde ornaments gig before I hit the wall and got too uncomfortable or distressed. It definitely felt odd and I was pressured to stay and do more work or take work home with but I made my decision and stuck to it!

It's put me in a weird mood, a mixture of pride and "stickin it to the man" with guilt and anxiety. The hubbo says being pregnant has made me stronger (and sassier) and he likes seeing me stick up for myself.

Even though I left "early" I still spent quite a bit of my afternoon glued to a heating pad and reclining. My lower back and round ligaments have been achy and I haven't been sleeping as much as I would like. I'm hoping to stick with my self-care goals and prevent further fatigue and physical/mental breakdowns by cutting back on my ornament time and trying to be more active. I may not be going for hour-long walks or rigorous hikes any time soon, but a bit of time outdoors certainly helps my mood and resilience.

Considering I've had several breakdowns/episodes/backslides already related to ornaments and the extra stress or overworking, I think it's time I put my foot down and set some more serious limits. There's really only 2 weeks left or ornament season, but I figure late is better than never and I feel like it's a worthwhile endeavor.

In other news, my gestational diabetes screen came back negative (WOO HOO!) but my iron is low and I have to take more supplements (BOO!). It was a bit upsetting, one more straw on this camel's back ya know, but I think once I establish a routine with my meals and supplements I'll be able to move on and not be so overwhelmed.

There are so many things to worry about and do during pregnancy the constant suggestions and "it's also a good idea to do this" tips are just too much. Maybe it's because I'm so guilt-ridden and perfectionist that I try to do everything a person in authority suggests when it simply isn't realistic? I definitely feel more confident and better about myself when I simply write off some of the advice.

"That ain't gonna happen" or "I think not." A flash of shame and inferiority complex usually complicates my attempts at easing up on myself but I think letting go of perfection and that endless list of recommendations is the only way to maintain sanity!

So I may not be perfect, I may not "do it all," but I'll be good enough and that's good enough for me.

Especially if it keeps the full blown episodes and panic attacks at bay!  ;)

Bump shot below-we went for a hike at the Big Four Ice Caves. No, that ain't Violet Beauregarde turning into a blueberry, it's me!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Yeti Sighting

AKA Bump Shot ;)

It's a flocking yeti!

Had a good time with my mom at local nursery's Christmas blowout. :)