Monday, October 4, 2010

Back in the city....

I am finally settled back in Denver with the lil girl, camping out at my brother's house because he is that awesome.  She's asleep, and I have time to here I am!  She's doing all sorts of things lately...running, talking and absolutely charming everyone she meets.

Case in point...the discovery I made today that cute baby = OMG, instant supermarket karma.  Lil girl was dressed fetchingly in a pink onesie shirt and pink leopard pants...Pink is a terrific color for her because it highlights her complexion, making her eyes and hair stand out all the more.  Then of course, she hammed it up smiling at everyone who glanced her way, and I overheard more than one person exclaim what a pretty child she is.

I had one old woman stop, do a double take and come over to smile at Marianne and say, "Oh, you look like a happy baby!"  Haha.  I can't wait to try this at the mall!  Lil girl stays with Grandma during the day (I enforce the 8-5 thing because I don't want my mom overtired, even though she begged me to leave little girl one more hour at the end of the day today.)  If my mom watching lil girl works out for the long-term, then daycare cost will be way, way lower...we will of course still pay my mom, cause she needs the cash...and lil girl provides her something to do, which is also good.

Lil girl, for her part, just LOVES her Grandma.  She never cries when I leave her with Grandma, though she did see me putting on my shoes to go to work and grabbed hers, plopping in front of me and waving her shoes at me to put them mom cracked up laughing, because she so obviously wanted to go with me...that little girl has proven to have the patience of a saint, no matter where I drag her, she's happy as a clam as long as I hold her.

I've so far taken her to and from Sterling, which she doesn't really mind as long as she's not dirty or thirsty or hungry...I've taken her to the store (see above) and I've yet to take her to the museum or the zoo or any other fun places...but I will.  Now that we are home, we will go and do the things I've wanted to share with her.

Poor kid...she gets frustrated sometimes because she doesn't know the words for what she wants, but she's amazingly good at getting her point across without saying anything...and for whatever reason...she just chooses not to speak unless she REALLY wants something...for instance, she told my brother's GF to "move!" earlier.  I didn't even know she knew the word, or what it meant, but it was clear as day, directed at A.

It's been typical of her, now that I think about it, pretty much from day 1...she never spoke, said words or anything that sounded like words unless she REALLY wanted something, and it was usually mixed in with crying.'s very interesting indeed...she talks, but only when absolutely necessary.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Commuting a shorter distance...

At least, from Denver to Sterling.  I will be in a few days, when I go down to start work.  Little girl has grown up  in the last couple months I've been gone, going from semi-baby to OMG, a tiny, opinionated, sassy little...girl.  She loves Monsters Inc, and her books, she loves to crawl into any available lap, she's prone to big grins, giggles and running.

And she's also totally obsessed with her shoes!  Her Daddy and I went and got her a new pair of sneakers, since she's rapidly outgrown em and needs shoes to play outside.  So we got her a spiffy pair (pics to follow) and she LOVES THEM.  She brings them over to me and tries to undo the velcro so I can put them on her feet...and she spent time walking around in our guests' size 11 sneakers, LOL, much to everyone's amusement.

Surprisingly, or not, she actually managed to take a few steps in those gigantic shoes...she's a strong little girl, and every tumble she takes she looks up with a grin on her face.  She's a happy, happy little girl, though today she had a bad day.  She's been getting over a head cold, and she's got an upset tummy from her first adventure with a peanut butter sandwich (sadly, mine, that she got ahold of and ate half of before I could get it away from her.)  We shall say that A. she's not allergic to peanuts.  B. she loves peanut butter sammich and C. peanut butter sammich does not agree with tiny girl digestive tract.

Child eats anything and EVERYTHING.  I have seriously yet to see her turn down anything offered, though her Daddy tells me if she's not hungry or done eating or really doesn't like something, Miss Katie the Corgi (who lurks outside the edges of the kitchen like a furry little vulture) gets it.  So far, the only propensity the guys tell me is normal is her wanting...whatever you're eating.  Even if what you give her is what everyone is eating, she still wants to eat off YOUR plate.

I don't mind.  I didn't even really mind that she ate my breakfast this morning.  Her Daddy made me an omelet (he's such a NICE guy!) and I sat down next to little girl's highchair and watched her eat her cheerios and milk.  Except I went to take a bite and...cue the big brown soulful gaze, the slightly open mouth and the "but I'm hungry too!" stare.

I last about two bites.  Then I cave.  And she proceeds to eat...the ENTIRE OMELET.  It was a two egg, cheese deal.  But eat it she did, gleefully.  And then she ate the rest of her cheerios, drank half her cup of milk, and wanted down to play.  I'm officially on the "I can't turn down my kid" diet.  Where it all goes, I really have no idea.  I mean, little girl is svelte...not bony, but with rolls in all the right places...the docs say she isn't overweight, far from it, she's right on target for 14 months...about 22 lbs.

Her hair is becoming a more determinate shade of brown, with reddish and blond highlights...and it's CURLY.  Long her Daddy has.  I guess she didn't have hair long enough for us to tell before, but it definitely has a curl to it.  She's ADORABLE, a little mop-haired, brown-eyed, cherub of a kid.

Not that that's not totally Mommy pride. :)  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Commuter Mom will commute no more very soon

As of today, I put in notice at work.  I got an offer to go back to Denver proper.  I have been so heartsick lately that I hardly sleep, and when I do, my sleep is riddled with nightmares.

It hasn't gotten better as time has gone most nights I sleep maybe 3 or 4 hours, and make up for it by drinking coffee all the time.  Our financial situation isn't helped by the fact I'm going back, because I'm taking a job at a lesser rate to go back to Colorado at all.  My future employer has been beyond kind, and is providing what help they can to help me get back home.  For that simple act of kindness, they have my loyalty.  They have shown by virtue of doing that they realize I am a human being, with a family...more than an employee number.  

My current employer has been good to me, and I told them flat out if this job were in Colorado I'd stay without hesitation...but the situation with the houses is rapidly getting out of control...if we wind up losing one, the credit hit I will take will make it difficult to find employment, and it will make the ability to sign a lease to rent anywhere impossible.  Denver is the only place we currently own housing, and family and friends are already rallying to help us come back.

I won't say that my experience out here has been bad.  It hasn't, despite the various experiences out here that have convinced me the state of Maryland is out to screw everyone who lives here.  I have made friends who are sad to see me leave, and while I will miss them, the best thing I can do is draw as many lessons from this experience as I can.  Being out here has taught me who I am again...besides a Mommy, I am so many things I let slide in the past few years.  This place has taught me I gave up too much of myself, and though I give up the part of myself that is Mommy gladly and would over again in a second, it has also taught me that I can retain who I am as a person and still be Mommy.

When I go back, the family has plans...and I have personal plans for myself, which are something that got lost in the mix of everything.  Things I forgot, that in the chaos of my life I realized I spent too much time worrying about what might be, what could be...and not enough time realizing I needed to be happy about what I had.  Not having my husband around to lean on, not having little bit to brighten my day...these things are among the most precious of things I could have.  I have realized I am stronger than I thought...worth more than I thought, and that I didn't give myself enough credit.  

I needed to learn who I was again.  And after three months of being alone, out here with my family far away, I finally realize that happiness is where my family and friends are.  It always has been, and somewhere along the line I forgot that.  I won't make that mistake again. 

I will continue this blog, most likely, but it will become more of a generic Mommy blog.  Maybe.  Or maybe I'll take a page from my cousin B's book and .... write a book. ;)  (Congrats on the editor, hun!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maybe I should rename this...

The Absentee Mom.

I missed a call from my husband...then another from my husband, then the bit's DAYCARE.  So I call back the husband who tells me as calmly as he can that he's at the hospital with little bit in the ER and mumbles something about another kid at her daycare with strep and her having a temperature.

I will admit I didn't hear much past "little bit in the ER" before my brain went into auto-Mommy-panic.  I got up and grabbed my purse, automatically.

And then it hit me.  I can't drive frantically to the hospital and make sure my precious little girl is okay because I'm out here on contract, 1800 least 25 hours drive, if I go all

Then I cried.

I hate feeling so damn helpless.  I hate feeling so damn absent.  I hate missing all her accomplishments, I hate missing my husband, I hate not being HOME.  I want to GO HOME.  I want to hold my little girl, cool her fever with a wet cloth, watch her smile as she tries to figure out a Popsicle.

I can't.  I have to be strong, because my family desperately needs this money.  They desperately need for me to work, and lay the groundwork so that sometime soon, we can be together again, someplace where if Mommy or Daddy loses a job, we won't have to move.

It breaks my heart.  It tears at my soul, and renders my mind a blank, numb slate.

I heard back from my husband...she's got strep.  But he's taking care of her...and things are looking up for things happening so far.

Things will work out.

I just have to be strong.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekends, finances and other stuff

So I won't be able to afford to go home until September.  We just don't have the money, after several emergencies that have come up.  I have to admit, I don't have much of a social life out here anyway...I mostly stay in the apartment on weekends and play WoW or write.

I ventured to the mall to pick up a CD I've been wanting, and I almost changed my mind when it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot.  Malls scare me in general, and this one is no exception.  It's tough being here alone...I worry that little girl will forget me.

That thought usually puts me in tears almost immediately.

I am hoping something else comes up...cause I really, seriously, hate being out here by myself.  If I had someone to hang out with, or even talk to about stuff that's not work-related, it'd be easier.  I miss being able to come home and talk to J...I miss being able to turn and tell him something.  There are times I wake up and roll over, expecting to feel him lying beside me.

Those are the worst nights...those and the nights I wake wanting to check on little girl and realize she's 1800 miles away.  I guess that's one excuse for why my sleep schedule is so screwed up.  Given my own schedule, I stay up till 2 AM, and sleep till 2 PM.  Not the best schedule for proper sleep, but I can't seem to help myself.  I dread sleep...because I have no control over my dreams. 

I'm getting by, but the thought that I won't be able to even consider going home till September makes me so depressed, I can hardly stand it.  I know we need this for our family...but it truly kills my spirit.  I will hang on out here because I have no choice...until things either work out as I am hoping and we can be reunited again, hopefully separated for the last time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Holy Crap, it's THURSDAY tomorrow!

As I check e-mail at "home," I look around and realize...holy crap, it's Thursday tomorrow!

What happened to the week I am not sure, but I am really glad this week went by means I spent less time missing the family. I talk to my husband every night, and get to see video of the lil girl almost every day.  It's not the same as having her here, cause my husband is not big on descriptions...and when I want to know every single detail about EVERYTHING she's been doing...well...I get frustrated my husband still takes the view he had in the Marines.  Information is need to know, and details like what she wore to daycare today or what she's been eating or what new trick she picked up just don't factor into his idea of important.

I love him to pieces, but he's such a MAN about it.  *sigh*

Anyway, I am still out here.  The pain of missing my family has...I won't say lessened, but I'm mostly numb to it.   It's like a paper cut...most of the time it just sort of nags at you, reminding you it's there...and then when you accidentally pour a catalyst on it, it burns like acid.  Most days I am okay with being out here for work...I've reconciled that I have to be out here for the time being, no matter what happens with potential other paths I might take, and that I can't have lil girl out here with me (and her ALL TO MYSELF, mwahahaha!) till the up-in-the-air situation gets worked out.

I am one of those people who tend to go nuts without a plan of some sort.  I don't lose my mind if the plan goes awry, but I must have a plan in mind for the future.  I must have a goal to work towards, a concrete goal.  Right now my goal is finding someplace for my family to settle and be happy...someplace we can ideally stay a long time, with good schools, reasonable housing, and a job and lifestyle that don't require us to spend hours on the road.  Poor J is sick of the long commute, and I am sick of ANY commute.  I live 5 minutes from work now, and it's been absolute bliss.  No stress, just a stop at the Starbuck's on the way in and 5 minutes later I am at work, my coffee still ACTUALLY HOT.

The more I stay out here though, the more I ambivalent I am about potentially staying out here permanently.  The job market is excellent, this area is growing for jobs like no one's business.  That's the one plus on my list of "things I must have in place for the family to be happy" plan.  The only problem is that it's beginning to look like the ONLY advantage to staying out here, and I'm not sure if it outweighs the other things that are important, like being able to afford to live comfortably without sacrificing time commuting, a nice house, or safe neighborhoods.

Daycare is a huge, huge issue.  Every place I've called has a waiting list of 6 months or more...were little girl a few years older, I'd have my pick of places.  It's also, on average, double what we currently some cases, for the better day cares that have preschools, triple.  I know private schooling is expensive, and I know daycare is expensive, and I'd be willing to pay those prices to have my baby here with me, but no one has ANY open slots for an infant.

I have no family or friends out here close enough who could help me with any of that, and being out here ironically makes it easier but more tiring for family to visit.  Sterling is a nice town, but during the winter it might as well be on the moon.  The driving is so treacherous during the winter, folks don't even make the drive an hour out of town, much less to Denver, or from anywhere outside the state.  My husband and I drove to Seattle for one Xmas, and the weather almost made us turn back...were it not for his superior driving skills, we would have wound up in the ditch a number of times.  I, being a nervous driver and prone to motion-sickness, spent the whole trip either terrified (I was 13 weeks pregnant) or sicker than a dog.

I'm not sure which was worse.  I think I'm going to have to go with the motion-sickness.

How things wind up working out greatly depends on events poised to happen in the next few weeks.  It promises to make things interesting, no matter what happens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Been a busy few days...

As far as the weekend goes, not terribly.  Finally feeling like I'm getting something done, even if it is remotely...been playing World of Warcraft again (I know, I know....but it ensures I get to "see" my husband every night, more or less) now that I have *trumpets blare* reliable internet access!  Yes folks, I have DSL!  Happy day.  It also means I can do nightly video calls, which are makes me feel a little more connected with my family.

According to my husband, the lil girl has been going through the toddler stages...separation anxiety, throwing things at dog and Daddy, trying to ride the cat - I witnessed that one when I was home, and I didn't have a video camera ready, but it was HILARIOUS.  And the temper tantrums.  She's got more of a temper than I used to have, I'll give her that.  I was, by all accounts, an abnormally calm kid who liked nothing better than to be left alone.  My daughter?  She chases the pets, harasses Daddy and steals his computer stuff whenever she gets a chance, and is perfecting her tumbling, walking/running and throwing skills...along with her find-new-ways-to-get-in-trouble skills.

I thought toddler-ism started a little...later? Maybe not?  But she sure is making great strides in it, much to my husband's dismay.  He is dealing with it as best he can...and most of the time, she's a really good kid.  She's very sweet most of the time...and I think the throwing stuff at pets and people is another experimentation phase.

See what all you other mommies get to deal with when YOURS hit a year??? That cute, trying to crawl baby will be crawling, then walking, then CLIMBING...and your ability to sit still for longer than 10 minutes without having to pull said kid out or off of will disappear.  Mine is a climber.  And a thrower.  A regular little tomboy already, and here she's a year old...I estimate my days of being able to put her in cute dresses will come to an end as soon as she realizes it's hard to climb stuff in dresses.

*sigh*  Oh well...I was a tomboy myself, so I understand.  I can still insist on cute dresses for special occasions. ;)