Oh, wait - you weren't out, were you? It was me.
I'm not really sure what to say. I'm not sure how to explain my long (and uncharacteristic) absence. I'm not sure how to tell you how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking without seeming like I'm trying to drum-up sympathy or advice...which I promise you, I am not trying to do.
For the first time in a long, long time...I have so very little to say. My Dad died. And I have realized that this is why they make this a "major life event" check off box on the Depression questionnaire.
So, let me tell you in a two-part post what we've been up to. Gavin, Brian and I are still the dynamic three-oh. (Oh! intended) I have been without help (except for a few hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when Miss Katja is here) for a while now.
Gavin has been doing well. He's only interested in cruising the house and pulling up on everything. And he recently started climbing ON things to get up higher to get what he wants. This is pretty huge stuff...
And Brian is still full of life and has become an even BIGGER personality.
Even though we bought a big boy bed for Brian, he still hasn't made the transition. So I took off one side of his crib and put on a side rail to create a "toddler bed." I'm now "training" him to stay in his crib/bed until I come to get him and I'm so proud of the job he's been doing. He can easily climb in and out on his own - but he waits for me every morning and at naptime before he climbs out. When I walk in his room he gets very excited that it's "time" to climb out - and we have a big 'ol party.
I'm hoping that this will carry over to his big boy bed...and we won't have any 4am wake up calls that I read about every day on some of your Facebook pages!!
(Hey - let me have my fantasy)
I spent Thanksgiving day and the day after that (and the day after that) dealing with a physically difficult miscarriage. The embryo (or embroys) that stuck after our IVF seemed to come unstuck. It was a difficult few days taking care of the kids and going through this...both emotionally and physically. I bled for three days straight...and, quite frankly, it sucked. It was a lonely Thanksgiving weekend.
At the same time, I was interviewing for a new helper. Every day the week of Thanksgiving, except Thanksgiving day, I had one or more women coming for interviews. To say that was challenging would be an understatement. The women clearly didn't get a good idea of who I am on a normal day - because I haven't been "myself" for weeks now. Plastering on a smile (especially on the days I was miscarrying) and trying to explain how fun it is around here was my Oscar worthy performance of the year. I did end up hiring someone - she will start on December 19th.
(See why I haven't written yet - I'm such a downer!!!!!!!!!)
Gavin got back into his therapy full force and has done a pretty good job. I feel this enormous responsibility to be "ok" for Gavin all the time as I know he's very sensitive to my energy - even if I'm faking it. Can you imagine that pressure? It's big. So every time he has a bummer of a therapy session, I examine myself for the cause.
It hasn't helped matters that Brian is currently going through a - hmmmm, what shall we call this - a phase? (Please, God...let it be a phase!!??!!)
He has been having tantrums...and screaming...and deliberately scaring Gavin. He'll sit there staring at Gavin and then scream very loud. Gavin jumps. Brian laughs. Gavin cries because the screaming scared him. I say something to Brian about the screaming. Brian starts crying. Gavin starts getting more upset because Brian is getting noisier with his crying. When Gavin gets more upset, he often gags and that often leads to throwing up which leads to ... a mess. All of this makes for a difficult disciplining situation. I want to avoid a situation where Gavin gets so upset that he throws up (especially if it took him close to an hour to eat his meal!!) so I end up giving in to Brian to avoid an issue. Especially if it's during one of Gavin's therapy sessions. And, to be honest, I often give in to Brian because I'm so tired. But there's also the side of me that over-analyzes everything. I think that Brian's screaming is out of frustration because he can't communicate what he wants or needs. Or that he can't communicate his ever changing feelings - or is having a hard time processing all of his feelings. I tend to have a lot of sympathy - and even if I do correct him (and trust me, I do) it always ends in a hug. I never want him to think that he'll be punished for expressing his feelings.
Not having help for so long has been nice. This month, especially, I have wanted to be alone. I'm not in the mood for small talk. I haven't been sleeping well which means I'm not in the mood to socialize. I wasn't even in the mood to write - something that is usually so therapeutic for me.
My Dad died. Everything else I would write about seems so...trite.
But not having help has been extremely challenging. It should come as no surprise that my arthritis is out of control. I'm back to feeling like I did when it first hit me after Brian was born - which is not good. I've managed to function - but it has not been easy...or fun. Especially in the morning. I feel terrible that we've barely been able to do things outside. Brian is too "busy", which is understandable. If we go out to the swing set, I can't just leave Gavin sitting in the swing to chase after Brian. So I started staggering their naps so I can put Gavin in his walker while Brian's resting...and take Brian outside or do something else with him while Gavin is resting. It's the only way right now.
We have managed to keep busy and have some fun. Brian and I spent a Sunday afternoon at Granny and Pop's house. We completely decorated the house for Christmas while Granny was still in New Hampshire staying with my sister, Meg.
(Umm...rest assured, it looks great at night from the outside - and even better inside!) Gavin, Brian and I picked her up at the airport a few days later and surprised her with a house filled with lights and a tree and glitter and wreathes.
We also headed to the mall a few times. The three of us had fun playing around the fountain - Brian especially.
Then we met Aunt Bean so we could all have a visit with Santa! Brian was especially scared of Santa last year. This year? Not so much!! And Gavin was super-cool and very smiley. As usual. Here are the professional pictures...
And here are some of mine...
And I decorated our house as well...
I'll share more tomorrow. But I just want to end with another "I'm sorry." I appreciate...so much...the notes checking up on me. The Facebook posts of concern. The blog comments (some that I didnt' even post) that were so very worried about me.
I have to be honest. I feel like so many of you see me as such a positive person - someone who can get through so much. But right now I don't feel so positive. At all. It's like all the events of the past weeks...months...years...have crashed on top of me. I feel this weird responsibility to be okay right now for all of you. And, well, I'm just not. So that's why I haven't been writing. Instead I've been surviving the days. I've been reading to the boys. I've been dancing with Gavin and doing puzzles with Brian. I've been crying a ton and going to bed at ridiculously early hours. But I've also been reading all of your emails...and Facebook posts...and letters that come to my home. I've been grateful for all the stories of your first Salvation Army donations in honor of my Dad. And I've been humbled that you noticed my absence at all.
I'll be back again tomorrow with news about our new house guest...our plans for IVF...and more.