Friday, August 27, 2010

This is Your 2 PM Wake Up Call

I wish I had just breathed into a paper bag like you're supposed to when you're upset.

I wish I had been able to nap earlier in the day.

I wish that I hadn't found out the night before that some people in my family think I'm not caring for my grandmother properly. That really hurt, considering I had to hear it secondhand, and considering the fact that no one takes into account how hard I work around here.

I wish I hadn't done my finances two hours before going into work.

I wish I hadn't found out that my expenses outrun my a longshot.

I wish, oh I wish, that I hadn't turned to my ex for help, because god only knows that ain't gonna happen.

But, that's just the way it went, and by the time I got to my night shift, I was already in full blown panic mode. Two or so hours into work, I hit the floor, rendered unconcious by my third ever anxiety attack.

I spent the night in hospital, on an iv drip to replace fliuds, trying to sleep, trying to calm my racing mind. The thing that kept occurring to me is that I haven't been back to work long enough to warrant sick pay, and my little episode in the kitchen has now set me even farther back.

Yes, I am what is known up here in the Great White North as "up the creek without a paddle".

I need to get more hours at work or find a second job, which means I need to find more childcare. I've tapped my family out, can't afford to pay someone, and the ex is beyond unreliable. So what? What do I do?

I buckle down, cut the fat, make sacrifices, work really really hard to find that little bit extra that I need, and I find a way to make it work for all of us - Chaos, baby-to-be, gramma, and me.

To everyone who thinks that I can't, or that I won't, or that it's not going to work; to the people who talk behind my back and the people who should be pitching in but aren't, buzz off.

And to my angels - all the people who've really stepped up to help in whatever way, in spite of some inconvenience - you have my love, my respect, and my eternal gratitiude.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time Flies

365 days ago, right about this very time, I was sitting in the living room, Googling "practice contractions". 

"That can't be right", I thought to myself. "Says here that if you have more than 5 contractions in a hour to go to the hospital. I've had like five in the last twenty minutes. Stupid internets."

Just to be on the safe side, I figured I may as well get down to packing my hospital bag. Wouldn't want to be caught unprepared when the baby comes.

I went into my bedroom and laid down on the bed. "Just for a few minutes", I thought. "Until these practice contractions go away."

Some time later (like, an hour) I got up and tottered to the washroom. That's when I realized it was time to go to the hospital.

Three hours and much blood and screaming later, Captian Chaos emergered triumphant into the world.

Much like mama, he headed straight for the buffet at this new party he was suddenly attending. It took him a tenth of a second to zero in on the good stuff and start eating. My boy.

It was then, cradling this tiny, naked, helpless human that I'd had a hand in creating, that my whole world shifted. Suddenly, violently. Nothing would ever be the same. Love was to take on a whole new meaning for me; love was something that, until then, I'd had no concept of. Of course I thought I did, but there are a lot of things I thought I knew before Chaos.

In the year that has passed since that night, I've learned about strength and commitment (and lack thereof). I've gotten up six times a night for months on end and learned that I can indeed survive on less than ten hours' sleep a night. Who knew? I've gotten over my (fairly natural) reticence to expose my breasts in a public place - without being plastered. I've learned the joy that one tiny toothless grin can bring. I've watched my son grow and change from an impossibly small newborn to a strong little roughneck and realized that time does, indeed, fly.

The list goes on, but I'm tired and still have to bake a cake for my slumbering son before I too can hit the hay.

I just wanted to say thanks for all you've given me, for all you've taught me, for all of our adventures, my son. I can't believe it's been a year. I love you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You'd Think I Wouldn't Have to Learn This the Hard Way

Sometimes it amazes me that a person as dumb as myself could have given life to someone as smart as Captain Chaos.

Folks, never try to curl your eylashes with one hand while holding a squirmy, curious, almost - toddler on your hip.

Wordless Wednesday...on Thursday

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Best Friends are the Shiz

Man, I am having a shitty shitty night.

I'm feeling the full weight of this pregnancy for the first time, and working the night shift ain't helping any. I hurt all over and I'm more tired than I've been in months.

Of course, being tired puts me at the mercy of my hormones, which are running wild tonight. Where normally I'm strong, tonight I am weak. Overwhelmed with the enormity of the task before me, feeling lost and lonely and abandoned. And of course, positive that my future holds nothing but an endless string of users, abusers, and straight up losers in the man department.

And I was going to come home and tell y'all all about it. Break my own rule about bemoaning the shitty hand I've been dealt. I just want someone to hear me whine, dammmit!

Lucky for you ( and for me too )  I got on the horn with my best friend in the whole wide world before I sat down to unleash the self pity on my blog. She let me whine and even cry a little, listened as only a best friend can do, and agreed with me on many points.

Then, in the nicest, sweetest possible way, she told me to pull my head out of my ass. 

Yes, she said. You deserve to feel sorry for yourself every once in a while. You've been put through the ringer. That's when you call me. And I will tell you what a dumbass you're being.

You are not weak. You are strong. You are not overwhelmed. You are dealing just fine and you will continue to kick ass and take names, because that is what you've done all the twenty years that I've known you. What you are right now is tired, and hormonal, and in need of a shoulder to cry on. And that's okay.

I'm here for you, and
You will be okay.

Best friends truly are the shiz.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Road Trip! (or, Ten Days Without my Laptop)

Only fifteen years till he's doing this for real!!
Ten days days ago, I threw Captain Chaos in the carseat and took off  a road trip. ( I did not literally throw him. Put down the phone.)

After much deliberation, number crunching, nail biting, and forecast checking, I decided on a Wednesday night that, on Thursday afternoon, I would start out with my 11 month old son on a camping trip. It would span three provinces and nearly two weeks. The only destination I had was Starbelly Jam, a music festival in Crawford Bay, BC. There, I was to meet up with some old friends for a weekend of music, sun, swimming, and general hippie-ness.

Chaos at Starbelly
Starbelly Jam covered the first weekend. After that, I had no idea. I had vague notions of meeting up with other road-tripping members of my family somewhere in the mountains. Possibly we would make it all the way to the coast. Maybe I would visit far-flung friends in various places between here and there. Who knew? All I knew was that I really wanted to meet and reconnect with my friends in a place that was near and dear to all of our hearts, and I would figure the rest out from there.

Wednesday night and most of Thursday were spent in a flurry of packing food and baby items into the car. The camping equipment was no problem, as it lives in my trunk most of the summer anyway. I did, however, nearly forget to pack clothing for myself. Captain Chaos had a duffel bag full. For being such tiny human beings, babies sure travel heavy.

My family was supportive, and sweet. I think they realized that, with baby #2 due this winter, there was a good chance that I wouldn't be able to do this sort of thing again for quite a while. My father checked the fluid levels in my new-to-me car and taught me how to change the tire if the need arose. Grandma rushed off to CAA under the ruse of getting Alberta and BC maps for me. When she came back, she also had a CAA membership for me. An early birthday present, she told me. I am a lucky girl to have a family such as mine.

With the sun already creeping westward, we were finally packed and ready to hit the road.

West! (and a little bit south..)
As we headed west on the #1, a feeling of anticipation and elation gripped me. My first road trip in the driver's seat, and I was lucky enough to have my favorite person in the whole world riding along with me!
I won't go into a whole lot of detail about our trip, except to say it was by far the best thing I've done for myself in a long, long time. I got to hang out with old friends in old haunts and new situations. I got to ride around my old hood and reminisce, and I got to check out some cool new things in my hometown.  Baby and I got to bond in some really beautiful parts of the country, and Cap'n Chaos got to be nekkid on many different beaches. ( Trust me, it's important to him.)
A few of his favorite things
The Captain's first boat ride!
I got a chance to show my beautiful son off to many friends and family members who, until now, have had to be content with nothing more than pictures. And, needless to say, the little guy cleaned up on our trip. He got just about all the attention, love, and loot that he could handle. I'm pretty sure dragging all his cool new stuff back home across two provinces cost me an extra tank of gas!
Uncle's favorite nephew!
Most importantly, I got a chance to reconnect with myself. I found a little piece of me that's been missing for a while now; something that I didn't even realize was gone until I found it again. When I came here two years ago, it was to help another person. Then, before I knew it, I was in another highly unadvisable relationship with someone who did nothing but take from me.  So, without even realizing what had happened, I found myself giving everything I had to other people, and not leaving anything for myself. Again. It's not a good place to be.
I am lucky enough to have one beautiful child who takes everything I give, wraps it in love and affection and general amazingness, and gives it back to me one hundredfold. And OMG I have another one on the way! I need to be the absolute best I can be for these two little blessings, so that I can give that to them. And that means being the person I was meant to be, not changing who I am for some loser who doesn't appreciate it anyway.

I think that's a pretty rad thing to come away from a road trip with. When I was young, all I ended up with after road trips was a wrecked tent and a hangover!