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Monday, March 23, 2015

Dreams: sewing, sign language, sleep



There are so many things I want to DO -- dreams that I've been thinking of forever but haven't made a move to make mappen.  I've finally taken the plunge on one of them by ordering myself a new sewing machine (specifically a Singer 7258*).  I've dreamed of learning to quilt for a long time, mostly because I follow people who have really advanced skills like Nicole of Stitch Press Quilt and Lindsey of Lost and Fawned and Patrick's Aunt Jane who makes award-winning art quilts.  PLUS, I've got a tiny baby and who better to make quilts for than a baby who won't even judge my skill level?  AND her being a tiny little baby and all, I can maybe make some cute baby clothes for her, which sound way easier to make than clothes for people whose proportions are not "eggplant" (yeah yeah, you might be pear-shaped, but your whole body is not the size of pear!).

This week while I was in my post-septoplasty/turbinate-surgery haze of meds --> pass out for 3 hours in a dead-to-the-world nap --> lay on the couch with the Internet --> rinse/repeat...Patrick got the official news that he passed his End Of Program exams for his master's degree (with honors!), hooray!  He took a week off for them a month ago, so now we're even in terms of using our vacation weeks for Very Un-Fun Things this year.  He's thinking of getting a certificate in American Sign Language studies too, so he might continue his education and go straight into that short program this fall.  Luckily, since it's not a second master's, it's a reasonable expense for something he wants to do, wants to teach Freddie, and could tack onto his resume.  

It's all about the setting and reaching of dreams around House DeRoche these days.  Lest that sound like these things just magically happen and it's golden every time from sewing machines to sign language classes, it's more like we bring our goals to the table then hem and haw forever going back and forth about worth vs expense, all the what-ifs and why-fors.  Lots of discussion takes place, mostly because as Patrick rightly points out, I worry about money and he doesn't**.  It works itself out and we're able to find common ground by, ugh, compromise (does anybody REALLY like compromise? Compromises aren't entirely win-win.) which is good, but not interesting to blog about?  I don't know.  Maybe it IS interesting.  It's human right?  Handling household finances is a tricky thing, and is a balancing act.  We might disagree on whether to spend money on (gasp) hiring someone to clean the house vs taking a vacation in two years, but reaching goals is an agreement we've come to -- if the other person has a goal, spending money to achieve that goal is on the table for consideration.  It doesn't mean an automatic yes, but it gets due consideration when doing the YNAB*** ledgers every weekend.

And on the better side of the Un-Fun Use of Vacation Days coin (and the good side of the Financial Compromises coin), while my mom watches the baby for her first overnight away from us (eek) we're still taking a day for our 5th wedding anniversary to hit up a local B&B.  And I do mean very local!  (No, not our house.  Not doing the AirBnB thing...yet.)  It's just a fancypants B&B that's a few blocks down from where we lived in the Fan (we can dog-sit our own dogs, we'll be so close...hah!).  I am very excited since all the rooms are named after SLEEPING.  The Slumber room, the Dream room, the...I forget the other one.  Dead to the World room?  Passed Out room?  Nightmare room (hope not).  Anyway.  The point is, sleeping is the THEME, and we're gonna sleep so hard.  This B&B gets me.  



*Affiliate link used
**Money and our relationships to it = so very complicated, right?
***Referral code used -- you save $6, I get $6

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This is the eBook equivalent of a mic drop



Wondering if you should vaccinate your child? Look no further! This book has 100 simple answers to the question, formatted in a way that's guaranteed to be a fast, easy read for busy parents-on-the-go. Buy your copy today and toss an extra copy in your cart for that person you're arguing with on the Internet. 


*Disclaimer: This book is not intended to be medical advice. Please talk to your pediatrician 
about vaccinating your child, though. Seriously.

Shot + Chaser



I know, I'm terrible right?  Luring you into this post with a cute baby picture, then walloping you over the head with a picture of my swollen sad schnoz (I guess technically my nose-shot should be the shot and the cute baby should be the chaser though?).  I swear I'm not posting this as a pity-post!  It's just how things are this week.  Anyway, Wednesday was better than Thursday Tuesday (I can't even keep my days straight).  My mom, BLESS HER, has been taking care of Freddie here at our house instead of hers so she could also take care of me.  So basically she's been taking care of TWO BABIES.  My mom is a saint.  Insert wine emoji + halo emoji here!  

But less about me and more about me, right?

Parenthood does weird things to you.  I haven't been able to do much with Freddie since I've been on a lot of painkillers and very wobbly on my feet, plus she's had a recent fascination with people's faces...particularly noses, which nooooooo.  So, I haven't been able to hold her much, and I've been sleeping away from our bedroom on the couch downstairs (which you'd think would be amazing, but is actually kind of lonely), but finally tonight she was fussy and so I offered to change her.


"I can do it very carefully!" I insisted, and it was like getting a small shot of feel-good-ness.  Yes, I've become that person who says they're happy to change a small sad wet diaper baby.  But I hadn't held her much over the past few days and I needed a cuddle however I could get one.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself (and also cars)



Stuff is scary once you have a kid.

I'm undergoing outpatient surgery this Monday for sinus polyps that were discovered in the far back of my throat + nose area after over a year of not being able to breathe through one side of my nose (pregnancy is weird and seems to have triggered their growth back in November 2013).  I felt like I had a bad cold and my throat was half-blocked, but nothing could be done while I was pregnant, and then I was trying to breastfeed so I was still SOL, but now -- now I am free to do all the surgery my little heart desires (which is exactly NONE SURGERY thanks, but apparently that's not an option if I want to breathe).  I still have a deviated septum and they're going to try to fix that on Monday too, but I'm mostly concerned about the polyps because they're the main issue here.  Obviously having weird grape-clusters of polyps is in and of itself a bit disconcerting, but I was assured they should be noncancerous.

Anyway though, it's an outpatient procedure, I'm taking the next week off work (goodbye precious PTO...I'd better enjoy the hell out of my week on the couch with a packed nose and Netflix!), and I'm no longer breastfeeding so I can take whatever painkillers they prescribe.  It sounds about as intense of getting wisdom teeth out.  And yet I am terrified.

I know I should statistically be way more terrified of getting in my car every day with Freddie -- car crashes happen all over the place, whereas you don't hear about people dying from outpatient nose surgery all the time, right?  I passed a terrible car crash the other day while coming home from a funeral where the car was flipped over and there was clearly a carseat in the car.  Cars scare the shit out of me, yet every day I get in the car, usually with my daughter, and we do what we need to do.  And sometimes I take her out when I don't even need to.  Those times when I take her places that aren't 100% necessary are the times I worry most that that day will be the time something terrible happens.

Maybe it's the routine nature of using a car (or Death Carriage, as they should really be called) that causes me to not have a total freakout every day before my commute to drop her off, then go to work.  That and the lack of alternatives -- where I live, there is no metro system, I can't bike to my job (I used to in Roanoke -- not all the time, but a fair amount of the time when weather permitted), I definitely can't walk there.  It's Death Carriage or Bust.

But surgery -- I could just not have surgery!  It's not like I *need* to do this, one part of my mind insists.  I could solve the problem of fear by eliminating the experience!  But I do need to breathe.  My all-mouth-breathing-all-the-time method over the past year+ has done a terrible number on my teeth (apparently all the mouth-breathing in my sleep has been bad for my gums).  It's done a terrible number on my ability to smell and taste things to the fullest extent.  I sound like I'm slurring words together when I talk fast, because my throat closes in on itself (or rather, the polyps move around weirdly and choke me a tiny bit, but it FEELS like my throat is closing in on itself).  I AM A DELIGHT.

So I'm having the surgery.  I'm scared to death of something catastrophic and unexpected happening -- someone fucks up somehow and suddenly my daughter doesn't have a mama (and my husband doesn't have a wife, and I don't have a life).  But I'm also scared of never being able to breathe easily again.  One of these things is worse than the other, obviously.  But action is better than inaction.  I can't live my life in fear of unlikely bad things happening.  I struggle enough fearing the rational fears I face -- Death Carriages, bathtubs, that sort of thing.  I have to just power through this and look ahead to the fun nose-packed week I have ahead of me, when at least I will be awake again, happy to be alive, in pain and eating chocolate pudding.

Bonus of this surgery: everyone in my life can heave a sigh of relief that THANK GOD, now Hayley will finally talk about something other than her sinuses!  

Friday, March 13, 2015

And then my heart grew a few sizes larger

Toddler at the library: CAN I GIVE YOU A HIGH FIVE?
Me: YES.
And then we high-fived.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Life, Taxes, Staying Put, Baby Lady Update


1.  How do I have an 8-month old?  When did that happen?!  (Today.)

2.  We were really hoping for a decent tax return this spring so we could get out of this oil-heated money-suck rental (it costs us about $100/week to heat the house over the winter and that's with low oil prices) but unfortunately, such is not the case.  On the bright side, for a while we thought we were going to owe something like $1500 and I had a big sobfest.  But we don't owe after all, which is an enormous relief after a winter of burning money to heat our home.  We don't get enough back either though.  BUT It also turns out that our lease requires not two months notice, but three in order to end the lease, because we are good at READING.  (Not, apparently.)  So, we would have been stuck either staying here another year anyway, or finding sub-leasers which NO THANKS.  So, we're staying put for another year at least.  I wouldn't mind so much except the oil heat means during the winter we can't put much away in savings, and we dip into funds saved over the summer.  We're both so very sick of moving that if we move again, it will only be to someplace we own, because we have moved WAY TOO MUCH over the past few years and it makes us want to hurl.  Patrick's student loans kick in next winter since he graduates this spring, so I hope we can save enough this summer to offset winter's oil and student loans AND save some downpayment funds.  This rental is great except for that one thing.  And that one thing is this huge thing that actively makes getting out of here harder, because it sucks our savings.  But we might pay off our cars by the fall, so that would help!  I'm trying to stay optimistic!  And if we do stay where we're at longer, we are in a good elementary school district because we are the riffraff in our neighborhood (I'm pretty sure my neighbors own a big oyster business, for example).

tl;dr  BUTTS.  But at least we don't owe money!  Slightly fewer butts!  Hooray!

3.  Baby lady Freddie is a delight.  She was totally worth it.  Things she enjoys include being read to (Kittens,  Puppies, Hop! Hop!, Tubby, and Toot are in our rotation), playing airplane, bells, swinging in our arms but not in her swing (her swing is not exciting enough), stacking cups and rings, and eating carrots and pumpkin.  Kiddo loves her orange food.  Freddie is not very interested in rattles that aren't bells, things she cannot put in her mouth, and being in her carseat (I can't blame her).  She isn't one to laugh at much (it takes EFFORT and so far, successes have been random -- a fake cough here, the dogs wrestling there, etc), but she's very generous with her smiles.  She wants to crawl but is still in the rocking back and forth/yoga poses mode, and similarly she wants to pull up but (oops) we don't have many things around the house she can pull up on if she can't crawl to them.  So for now, she's in that lovely stage of staying where I plop her down, being able to sit and entertain herself, and she isn't teething yet.  Oh!  And she can put herself to sleep!  We used The Happy Sleeper method and it worked like a charm.  HALLELU.

tl;dr she is a baby and is doing lots of baby things with her time.

4.  I really want to get my hair cut like Sara Quin:


I'm not sure if this makes me seem like a desperate want-to-be-young-again mom though.  I have two tattoos (Sindarin + JM Barrie quote) and a nose stud, would this make me look too try-hard, Internets?  I'm not actually trying to be anything, I'm just a natural badass (lol), so who cares if people think I'm too old right?  SARA QUIN IS 34!  Granted, she's a musician and they're, like, a separate category of people.  But librarians can be a little badass too right?  And I think it's pretty subtle in the grand scheme of things.  

5.  Speaking of musicians with hair, Patrick's band is being courted by an indie label!  Granted, this isn't a big game-changer since metal band albums are (I think) kind of akin to poetry books -- cool and yay recognition and effort paying off, but also probably not going to pay the bills.  But things don't have to be profitable to be worthwhile.  Money isn't the only recognition worth something.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Posi Project! Ingredients: Otters otters otters




I've had quite a few snow days lately.  I've also been in a writing funk lately.  So, in an effort to tug myself out of said funk, and think about something other than miserable terrible winter, I put together a tiny posi-project, and the end result was You Otter Know: A Book of Otterly Positive Affirmations.


So that was my latest snow day.  Yep.  Definitely not experiencing the descent into cold winter madness and delirium here!  We're all fine here now!  How are you?

*Yay Creative Commons + royalty free/commercial-use resources.  Stuff that needed credit is credited in the published work where appropriate.  :)