Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random Notes from the Family Trip

1. Cubans were not made for the cold. It's in the high 20's right now, peaking at mid-30's by 2 p.m., and seriously, it's effing COLD! With the wind chill, it feels even colder, and I'm congested, and my skin is dry - in short, this is misery.

This, however, is serving as a good wake-up call for me. When, about twice a year, I get those "time to leave Miami and head north" feelings, I can now think of this trip and slap myself back to reality. My blood is too tropical for this.

Also, we're acting like typical people who aren't used to the cold: we've had the fireplace going all day, everyday, since we got here. We turn it off only to go to sleep.

2. I hate being away from my jevo. To say that I miss him is an understatement. While my head is spinning with thoughts about late-night romantic dips in the hot tub, it's the adventures we're not sharing that I miss the most. I keep seeing and experiencing things that he and I would have had such great laughs and discussions over; and while I'm having a good time, his absence is never far from my mind.

3. At the same time, there's been enough small-scale drama here to make me think maybe it's not so bad that he's not here. To drop him into the middle of this 13-person melee when our romance is still newish -- hhhmmmm..... he might've gone running for the hills!

4. It's hit me, more than once, that this is the first time in many years that my immediate family is together like this. We do plenty of things together - parties, meals, visits - but this, so many days in one house, traveling and discovering new places, is a rare, sweet treat for us all.

5. Southern food just doesn't do it for me. It's almost-completely unappetizing to me. Blegh. (edited to add: I think it's the restaurant we lunched at yesterday. It was all Southern food, and all of it was sub-par; I felt sick afterward). I have had some amazing BBQ, though!)

6. I'm seeing first-hand how Wal-Mart comes into small towns and becomes the center of everything. Even we keep running over (and "running over," since we're quite high in the mountains, is a 20-minute drive) for things.

7. I've been able to chill out and read some, but this "vacation" has consisted mainly of me trying to corral Max and constantly issuing orders and threats. My discipline game is totally off. I realized last night that I came into this with the expectation that he would just *get* that he's supposed to be calm and cooperative all the time since this is a vacation, but yeah, that was stupid of me. He's had moments where he's been (in typical 4-year-old fashion) out of sorts, but I've failed to keep perspective on it and been a cranky nag. Not fun. I still wish very badly for some down time of my own (and alone time - I need alone time to function properly), but I'm trying to be better about this.

8. The "in"fashion in these parts is camo and any clothing item with deer all over it. Also, overalls. I'd join in, but I look hideous in overalls.

Labels: ,

Posted by Tere @ 12/29/2009   | | | links to this post

Friday, December 25, 2009

Things Can Only Get Better

This time last year, we were each very miserable, for similar reasons. If you will recall, all I wanted was to put 2008 behind me. I had a hope, though I pretty much considered it a b.s. hope, that 2009 wouldn't be as awful as 2008 had been.

And Boyfriend, I later learned, was pretty much in the same boat: not at all feeling the holidays, wishing he could make all the shit he was going through just go away. It's a feeling I know all too well. It was a feeling, actually, that would bring us together - as friends - when I wrote this epic post and he read it and was compelled to contact me.

2009 began, for both of us, with a whimper. It was crap, and only crap lay ahead. I remember very vividly how much it cost me emotionally to make it from one day to the next.

And now 2009 ends, and I feel like it's been an almost-miraculous year. I can't believe the vast difference between how this year began and how it's ending. I can't believe the emotional health I've attained, the way my son has grown, the happiness I've found. I am in awe of it all even as a part of me is a little scared, fearful of losing all these things that finally feel right.

I've never been too crazy about the holidays - I've almost always suffered from holiday blues - but I've had a beautiful Christmas. This is the first year that Max seems to *get* the whole bit about waiting for Santa and waking up to gifts under the tree, and it was a joy to watch him ("It's just what I wanted!!" he squealed every time he unwrapped a new gift) enjoy all of it. And of course, sharing this time with someone as great as my jevo is a big part of what's made this holiday season so sweet. (Also, the presents. Santa was so so so good to me!)

But, there's some sadness, too. Early this year, my family rented a cabin in the mountains for us (parents, siblings, spouses/kids) to spend this winter break. It's the first vacation we take together since I was a kid. So, off we go today till the new year. But Boyfriend's not joining us, and I'm seriously very sad about it. I know we're going to have a great time, but having him there would've made it 1,000 times funner. I spent a few weeks feeling almost panicked about this, because it's seemed extremely important, for so many reasons, that we be together to bring the new year in. There was a point where I had this knot in my stomach, convinced that if we weren't together for the new year, it was a very bad omen for us. I actually cried about it. I sound superstitious and nuts, but it's how I felt.

I guess I've had enough time to deal with this, and either way, it is what it is, so I have to suck it up. And I will.... right after I pout some more...

The good news, though, is that I get to come home to him, and we get to enjoy 2010 together. And that's exactly what I want.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Tere @ 12/25/2009   | | | links to this post

Thursday, December 10, 2009

App Me!

Yo peeps, I need help! One of my best friends gifted me her iPhone when she upgraded to the new one, and I've been learning my way around it.

I'm a little overwhelmed by how many apps there are, though. I don't find the current set-up on iTunes efficient and am not finding much that catches my attention.

Soooo... y'all got any suggestions for me? What should I download? I already have Urbanspoon, AroundMe, Shazam and a word game that I'm quite hooked on. Also got my NPR stuff, eBay, Pandora and Target.

What am I missing? What do you enjoy? What would a busy, sometimes-scatterbrained, shoe fiend geek like myself need or enjoy? I'd be most grateful for some input!

Posted by Tere @ 12/10/2009   | | | links to this post

Monday, December 07, 2009

I Think I'm Going to Cry

I shouldn't feel this is sad and emotional right now. I finally got through my final weeks of the semester and am confident that I did pretty well. I managed to register for class, and even though very little's being offered this next semester, I'm pleased enough with my classes. Furthermore, I'm going to start working a few more hours, which will be a big help financially.

But two things are heavy on my mind, and right now - now when it's quiet and Max is asleep and I have a little while, my first while in three weeks, to think - it's all just making me really sad and achy.

Max started to get sick yesterday and woke up sicker this morning, and as the day's progressed, I've seen him get sicker and quieter and more and more unlike himself. He sat prone on the couch for a good three hours this afternoon, barely eating, before asking (which he's never done before) to go to bed. His fever vacillates between 101.5 and 103.8 but won't really go down. And of course, it always hurts to see him this way. What's more, I naturally worry about him, and while I do all I can to make him comfortable and ease his misery, I always fear that I'll mess up, or that I may miss some important clue, and the worry this causes is practically unbearable.

These feelings grow more intense as night hits. I was up most of last night monitoring him, and tonight will be no different. This means I can barely function during the day, and coupled with the fact that all last week I went to bed between 2 and 3 AM, I'm a ball of exhaustion (and ignoring what I'm pretty sure is an ear/throat infection that's killing me).

And what this all means is that the later it gets, the worse I feel. In worrying about Max and what I would do if he gets really, really sick, I feel this giant pressure on my chest - this anxiety and loneliness that almost paralyzes me, because this almost feels too big for me. I've never yet failed in an emergency, but what if...? And days like today I realize all over again that it's just him and me, and I have to have the answers and the strength and the quick thinking... and all that just feels so fucking heavy and painful right now.

On top of this is something I've been avoiding dealing with but don't think I can anymore: my house. I love this crappy little place so much, but I really don't think I can keep up with it anymore. I'm making a lot less money than I was in my old job, and between the bad job market and my entering a new field, I don't know when I'll be making that kind of money again. And while I can make ends meet and am not destitute, the fact is that my rent alone is a burden. It's draining me (my savings), and I think time is up for me. I held on and didn't make any move because I wanted a better idea of what my situation would be like. But given that jobs in my old field are very few (and I honestly would be miserable working in my old field), and that I'm trying to focus on school and on getting into a new field, and that my current job is good and flexible - it just seems to me like I can't hold on anymore without it being detrimental to me, financially speaking. Over the last week or so, it's become clear that I need to snap out of it and find a solution.

I've been dancing around this issue, unable to bear the thought of losing a house I love so much, feeling nauseous at the thought of packing all my crap up (and having to get a storage unit again). I've considered getting a roommate, but can't embrace the idea. I don't want to live with a stranger, and even with a friend... the truth is that this house is centered around Max when he's here, and it's a lot to ask someone to live with that.

I've been looking around, trying to get an idea if I could even find something decent for a lot less than what I pay now (and as it is, for a 2/2 on a double lot with a garage, in a good neighborhood, my house is a steal), and it's what I've found so far that's depressing me the most. To save $300 to $350 a month, I will go from 1,300 sq. ft. to 600 or less; from two bedrooms and baths to one each; lose the backyard, the garage, the full-size kitchen, and the little room off the living room. It's so fucking depressing that I can't help but cry. This is awful.

I have such mixed feelings about this. If this is what I have to do to save money, then I have to do it. I can, I suppose. I will and will cope and eventually adjust. But I also feel like it's not worth a $300-a-month saving to go through this, to lose this house and the happiness and safety we feel here, to go to some crap-ass apartment in a decrepit building, to make Max adjust to a new place, to crowd us into a small place without privacy or any real room to speak of.

But then I go back to the general uncertainty in my life: I don't know how long the recession is going to keep affecting me personally. I don't know what lies ahead, job-wise. It's enough to have gone through everything I've experienced this year: the economy kicking everyone's ass; realizing I hate my field so badly that getting laid off wasn't such an awful thing; realizing I'm 32 and in need of a new career, and the fear and uncertainty that comes with that; worrying about the son I have to provide for, and making sure I do provide for him.

So.... ugh. I have some deep thinking to do and some big decisions to make. This is an incredibly busy month for me, and I know this will be occupying space in my brain as I try to make the right decision.

But right now, I just have to get through this night with Max. His fever a while ago was 103, and I'm trying to bring it down with some cold washcloths. Let me help him get well first, and then I'll be able to face the rest.


Posted by Tere @ 12/07/2009   | | | links to this post

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Photo of the Day, Plus Another Thanksgiving Post

I received a random email from Photobucket today, regarding one of the accounts I have on the site. On their urging, I went to the site (no, I didn't click any link, just in case) and found some old pictures that I hadn't seen in ages. The one that struck me the most was this one:

The photo, according to the stats saved on Photobucket, was taken October 15, 2005. Max was a month and 4 days old. Look at how tiny my monkey is! I look at that picture and I can see him so clearly as he looked and behaved then - all these memories of a newborn Max flood my mind, memories that make me ache because he's not that baby anymore.

And then I look at myself, five weeks postpartum. Those are old clothes, and I suppose I stuffed myself in them. I still have those jeans, and that shirt is a favorite of mine that I haven't worn in a long time. My face looks so puffy, and I remember how I hated that. It seemed like it took my face forever to lose that chubbiness, but in reality, it was gone by Thanksgiving.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I had completely forgotten to mention this post I wrote for Tiki Tiki, a most awesome website community. It's about my family's Thanksgiving in 1982, and you really should go read it, now. The post was published on Thanksgiving Day, but between traveling then and not being on the computer during my vacation, I forgot to note it here.

Posted by Tere @ 12/03/2009   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Just Pray for Me that I Get Through This Week

Ooohhhhh, this is a hard fall. Five blissful days with my wonderful Jevo, only to come back to the final week of the semester, i.e., a final exam and long-ass paper that's making my brain hurt. Bleggghhhhh.....

Much to my amusement, I returned from my vacation to find a bunch of inquiring minds wanting to know, how'd it go, how'd it go??

Well, it was great! I met his dad, stepmom, youngest brother and other assorted relatives. What wonderful people. I was touched by how instantly welcoming and warm they were. They made me feel very comfortable. It was a relaxing, fun time, and I'm really just hoping they liked me as much as I liked them.

These last days have also given us a chance to get closer. It wasn't just the downtime and being away from home; we've had some really great, important conversations that only serve to reaffirm - both by their content and the way he communicates and expresses himself - that Jevo is a great match for me. I'm not sure if I can explain... I guess I've always just had an idea of how I'd like to relate to someone, how I'd like to be treated and spoken to, the kind of connection between us and how we - together and individually - treat the relationship. And Jevo fits the bill. It's astounding, really, to experience something like this. I feel both so lucky and a little freaked out, wondering how such a good person ended up in my life. I'm a bit stunned, yet I think I deserve someone like him and something as loving and healthy and fun as what we have (and believe me, he totally deserves me and my awesomeness), even as I hope and hope and hope that I can bring as much into his life as he brings into mine.

All this goodness helps on weeks like this one - I'm overwhelmed and exhausted and anxious for my son. Last night, as I started to write here, I was feeling all this stress and pretty much snapped. This post originally segwayed into a pretty ugly place, and then I realized it was pointless and would bring me problems, and basically, I've realized something: the computer is overwhelming me. I work on one, do my schoolwork on one, and then have to stay on it if I want to write. And lately, I don't want to be on the computer if it's not school or work. Max and I have too much to do. Boyfriend and I have too much to do, and when we're home, we have no interest in the computer. And I think what was made clear last night was that I can't sit here and write out of a sense of duty, without really having much to say, anymore. I need to go back to writing because I want to and not because it's been XX days since my last post.

For now, I'm going to play this by ear and write when I feel like it. Let's see how it goes.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Tere @ 12/02/2009   | | | links to this post