cold november reign

here’s what’s happening in the next month (in general planning order and including the last week of october):

  • 3+ birthday parties: two dinners, one casino night. (ever wonder why the end of october and the beginning of november is so chock full of birthdays? valentine’s day is appx 38 weeks earlier.)
  • make hella baby food: finger foods are where it’s at, so i need to figure out how to turn squash and sweet potatoes and such into bits of cooked food without being mush and without having to steam and cut up stuff every day. i think cutting and roasting in the oven is where it’s at, but i’ve got to figure out how and do it. soon.
  • planning for charlotte’s birthday: aack! clean the house. finally put up her door-curtain. plan a menu. order food. etc etc.
  • picture time: planning and plotting to get the 3 of us to the photographers before the month gets too far under way. kill the 1 year pictures (ready for party handing out) and the christmas card pic in a single shoot…if we can make it
  • planning for NY trip: because planning, shopping, assembling will be quite time consuming. man needs a suit. we both need winter layers. i don’t want to go to NY looking like i stepped off a farm tractor.
  • VOTE! thank goodness that sample ballot arrived the other day so i can finally start investigating some of the local stuff.
  • charlotte’s birthday: gets it’s own item because it also includes planning
  • toddler transitions: figuring out and beginning all those transitions from baby stuff to toddler stuff. no more formula, “grown up” meals, etc etc.
  • charlotte packing: she may not be going to NY, but she’s still going to need some serious packing for her vaca with her great aunt/uncle
  • 5 day trip to NY: for a wedding + mini-vaca (leaving 3 days after charlotte’s birthday)
  • thanksgiving: complete with 3ish day trip to chicago planning is less of a deal, and fortunately, there’s a whole week after the NY trip to recover and regroup.

AND

i’m going to try and write a 50,000 word novel. i’ve succeeded before, but that was 2006, which was a very different (childless, NY-vacationless) year. my plan of attack is to task and calendar the entire month. i know that the “1800 words a day” plan is not going to work since there are too many days where i won’t have time to write more than 10. i’m going to have to double up and block out some serious time.

fortunately, i still have a week to plot the month, plot the novel, and plot the writing chunks. also, i can stay up late on 10/31 and get some done before midnight. and the plane rides and the airports and the car rides and….

man. i’m exhausted just thinking about it. maybe i’ll take a nap instead.

one gloomy thought before celebrating

it isn’t father’s day, or his birthday, or the day he died or the funeral or any of those anniversaries that flatten my resistance to the absence of my father. it’s june 21, december 21, and my birthday.

last year it smacked me in the face when my dad didn’t call at 10:50 in the morning to wish me a happy birthday. this year when the summer solstice came around and he wasn’t there to whine about the days getting shorter, i tried to prepare myself for today and this morning. i thought i’d buffered myself enough that today wouldn’t be so rough, but as other greetings come in and the clock slowly ticks towards the moment he would have called, i’m finding it hard to keep myself distracted.

is it selfish of me to bring you all down with me? probably, but it’s my birthday and i’ll do what i want, so :p

2007 mid-ish year recap

wherein kelly throws herself a whiny pity party and decides upon review that she really doesn’t care about the tense shifting and inconsistent capitalization enough to do anything about it.

let’s recap, shall we?

January
bad: found out my dad’s “spots” were very terminal pancreatic cancer

February
good: *finally* sold our damn house.
bittersweet: found out friends were pregnant (what? i’m not allowed to be happy and a wee bit jealous?)
bad: work-related stress comes to a serious head, resulting in more than one panic attack.

March
bad -“the flood” -work falls to bitty, bitty chaotic pieces
bittersweet: found out my cousin was pregnant (see above)
good: found out I was pregnant
(it should be noted that the flood, rachel’s pregnancy and my discovery were all the same damn day)
bad: dad spends the month in and out of the hospital thanks to pneumonia, random fevers, and life-threatening blood clots.
bad: low progesterone issues threaten my pregnancy
bad: trip to new york is cancelled.
worst week so far: the one where it looked like i was going to miscarry, my dad was going to die, and we should have been spending a great week in newyork with my inlaws.

fuck march

April
good: low progesterone issues taper off as i enter the second trimester
bad: my dad dies.

fuck april

May
bad: my dad’s first not-birthday
good: the first annual “Bob Valentine Memorial Day at the Casino”
bad: Nancy (my mother in law)’s cancer has spread to her brain.

fuck the hell out of may.

June
good: baby and i pass the 18week checkup with flying colors, even if we didn’t discover the gender
good: trip to seattle with 4 of my closest friends (oh, and ryan)
good: work seems to be turning around with the help of some restructuring/new hires
bad: my mentor leaves the company, leaving me at “the helm” of this new restructuring
bad: my first birthday in 20+ years where my father doesn’t call me at 10:50 to say happy birthday
good/bad: the radiation treatments clearly help Nancy, but greatly fatigue her/cause complications

seattle aside, fuck june, too.

July
bad: blockage in Nancy’s digestive system is irreparable. she comes home to die.
bittersweet: more rushed than we’d like, we move out of our crappy apartment and into our sexy loft. loft is largely empty as we left most of our stuff behind.
good: baby is officially declared a girl
bad: my grandmother (the only grandparent i have left) is diagnosed with chronic pulmonary distress.
good: looks like she’s just an 89 year old woman with 89 year old lungs. it’s not great, but it’s not life-threatening.
bad: Nancy dies. her wake is 3 months to the day that my father died.
good: we register for “stuff” at babiesrus as a helpful distraction.
good: will and gina arrive a week early.

i’d fuck july if i had the strength.

August
good: will and gina’s presence in our home makes it feel like home.
bad: the week i took off to support my family throws the restructuring at work out of whack. yes, there were other reasons, but had i been there…
bad: stress of life and work and physical stress of baby causes painful acid reflux and i loose a weekend to feebleness and vomiting. takes a week to get my appetite back.
good: when we can squeeze it in, we move forward with baby things like building furniture and registering at target.
good: we find almost a week where we can focus on our loft and our upcoming baby. there is still much to do.
bad: life and work stress, coupled with the fact that i’m less and less physically capable of doing things, cause me to start having panic attacks again.
good: i start taking anti-depressants after talking with my doctor.
good: surprise trip to peoria to see nickelcreek and fiona apple.
bad: very close friends who’ve been together for 5 years end their relationship.
second worst week of the year: watching a friend grieve over the loss of her relationship and trying to help when she wants to be left alone to die. feeling more helpless than with either death.
good: my replacement at work is a rockstar. it gets easier every week to let a little work-stress go.
bad: nancy’s father (grandpa fritz) is diagnosed with colon cancer.
good: grandpa fritz has a very successful surgery to remove the cancer. is pronounced “good for 10 more years”. he is 91.
bad: grandpa’s sutures fail. he returns for additional surgery. it is successful (thusfar), but requires a ventilator, feeding tube. none of which he wants.

fuck august.

fuck it harder than any other month, in no small part because of all the months that have come before it, weighing it down so heavily.

september – december
good: apple day
bad: the first apple day with no nancy. the first apple day in 5 years with no fritzs because they’re all in chicago watching over grandpa’s beside.
bad: grandpa will likely not see halloween.
good: impending births of many loved children, including my own.
good: declaring myself “pagan enough” to count halloween as the new year and hopefully separating charlotte’s birth from the year that preceded it.
deathly frightening and exiting: charlotte’s arrival
bittersweet: there is still so very much to do.
bittersweet: showers for charlotte, which will have a few palpable absences.
good: will and gina will likely still be in town when charlotte arrives
bad: will and gina will leave days later for their new home in DC.
bittersweet: thanksgiving, christmas and so many alterations to loved traditions.
good: there will be a tattoo on me in some form or another to mark this year on my skin as permanently as it’s been marked on my soul.

may it be that i find the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

milestone reached

Today I turned 30 years old.

It was both more and less traumatic than I had anticipated. I was worried earlier in the year/last year that if I wasn’t pregnant, it was going to be an ugly day. There’s this sort of unspoken “line” at 30 that makes pregnancy harder, etc, and it would mean 18+ months of trying and failing and not being too much further along the list of accomplishments than I was when I was 25 and it smacked me around a bit. Since I’m now 30 and 22 weeks pregnant, it’s less of a thing. I’m also not drinking and not up for non-drinking partying thanks to pregnancy related limitations, and there’s enough going on in our lives that it really snuck up on me.

So meh. 30. Big deal.

Last night I looked in the mirror and told my reflection, “This is the face of a 30 year old woman. This is your face. This is what you look like at 30. 30 30 30.” It was … disconcerting at best. I quickly switched focus to my belly. I’m also attributing the majority of my “expired warranty” aches and pains to the fact that I’m pregnant. I’m sure at 32 I’ll have to admit that was silly, but for now, I’m content with my denial.

Later last night, I realized that my father was not going to call me at 10:50am like he has done every year that I was not with him at 10:50am. And he never would again. I was fine father’s day. I was not fine last night. I was not fine all morning while i waited for the moment of nothing to pass. Oddly enough, 5 or 6 people and two phone calls converged on me at about 10:45. By the time the smoke cleared, it was 11:15 and the moment and a large portion of my anxiety had passed. I still feel like something is missing, like there’s a phone call i should wait for before i go to bed, but it’s much less acute of an ache than it was last night.

The day was filled with well-wishes, flowers, tasty treats, and embarrassing pictures from high school.

In the end (it’s almost bed time), I had a fairly low-key, low-drama birthday. Just the way I like it.

2007: a look ahead

here’s the things that i’d like to do this year:

  • drink less soda (maybe 1 a day?)
  • drink way more water (some in the form of tea)
  • wean myself mostly off of caffeine by march-ish
  • exercise regularly (once week by march, adding a “once” every week every quarter)
  • read one book a month (pitiful goal, i know, but considering i read about 3 all 2006, it’s not an unrealistic one)
  • write (at least 6 hours a week)
  • eat better (one “take out” meal a day, healthier choices in general)
  • take my vitamins
  • finish ryan’s scarf before spring

oh yeah, i know that it takes a few weeks to get a single habit ingrained, and that trying to do all of this at once means i’m probably doomed to fail and all, but ya gotta have dreams, right? speaking of dreams…

loftier “things i’d like to do/have/etc but can’t necessarily do on my own and/or have no real control over” goals:

also, the official motto of 2007 is “fuck that!”