Almost an Apology

December 30, 2006

I know I’ve posted several rants about my MIL here, and I’m not about to take any back today. But my opinion about her has changed just a little bit. (By the way, after spending about a week with her, M and I were able to psychoanalyze her and her issues a little better. It stems from a verbally abusive father who abandoned her, etc. I sympathize with her now, which makes her a little easier to deal with–in small doses anyway.)

Last night PJ had quite a little accident. It was the first of the kind, and M and I panicked, as would be expected. Within seconds, we were starting to pack up to spend the evening in the emergency room. At the last second, M decides to call his mom first to get her opinion about whether an ER visit was necessary. His first reaction to any medical problem is to call his mom, since she is a nurse. It doesn’t hurt anything that she prides herself on her medical knowledge, so it really strokes her ego to get called for advice.

Normally, MIL is overly emotional and can’t do anything without going to extremes. That’s one of the things about her that bugs me since I have such an even disposition. Last night, though, her nursing attitude kicked in, instead of her grandma one. Over the phone she was able to talk both M and me down from our panicked states without letting us know she was at all worried either. I was and still am thoroughly impressed. She has proven to me that despite her issues, she can be a great mom, grandma, and nurse. I might just have to give her a little bit more slack the next time she bugs me.

By the way, PJ is obviously just fine. He’s got an ugly bruise on his forehead, but he doesn’t even seem to notice it’s there. The first of many, I’m sure.


Confession Thursday (A Little Late): How We Met

December 29, 2006

The story everyone knows:
We’d met online in the middle of December. Having hit it off through e-mail, we decided to start talking on the phone during our Christmas breaks. M asked me out on our first date just before the holiday, and we planned to start the year off together, at a New Year’s Eve party with his church group.

On New Year’s Eve, I drove across town where I met him at his house, although reluctantly. He drove me from there to a nearby restaurant for a pre-party dinner, and the place became our restaurant quickly. The party itself had a black-and-white theme, so I was wearing my brand-new black pants, a wonderful gift from Santa; they made me look tall (as hard to believe as that is) and made my butt look awesome. I looked great, and I knew it.

Neither M nor I is great in social situations, so after meeting his friends and pushing myself to my social limits, M and I decided to leave early. We were definitely hitting it off, and we were anxious for time alone anyway. We headed back to his house, a little less reluctantly on my part than earlier, where we rung in the new year alone. We toasted with goblets of milk–since neither of us drinks–and chocolate chip cookies. We had our first kiss at the stroke of midnight, the only time I’ve ever kissed on a first date. From there, the rest is history.

What really happened:
We did meet online and went through the usual route of e-mailing and then talking on the phone over Christmas break. Our first date was supposed to be the black-and-white church group New Year’s Eve party. Unfortunately, we hit it off over the phone much more quickly than we expected when we set the first date. M flew back from his parents’ house over Christmas break on Wednesday, December 29, and neither of us could wait a minute longer to meet.

On his way home from the airport, M called me. I was somewhat nervous about the idea, but I gave him directions to my apartment. That could have been incredibly stupid, especially since nobody but one friend knew I even might meet him earlier than the publicized first date, but everything worked out well, obviously.

I’ll never forget that moment when I opened the door and saw him for the first time. M looked exactly like he did in his pictures, but there was an electricity about him that no picture could contain. I remember standing in front of that open door, with one hand still on the doorknob, for what felt like an eternity. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I knew in that moment that I would love him, the closest I’ll come to admitting such thing as love at first sight.

Finally–really probably about two seconds later–I remembered my manners and invited him in. We decided to go eat at my favorite restaurant, but when we got there it was closed, probably for the holiday. Instead we went to the one across the street, the one that we supposedly went to on New Year’s Eve, our place.

After dinner, we went back to my apartment where we chatted for hours. Finally, we got the nerve to do what we’d both been wanting to do all night, and we kissed for the first time. It really was the only time I’d ever kissed on the first date. It was magical, and I knew without a doubt that I’d be seeing him again.

That happened the next day, and the next, and the next. We spent every free moment together from then on. We spent New Year’s Eve together, of course, but we never made it to that party. Instead, we stayed at his place and watched a rented movie. The cookies and milk and kiss at midnight happened as I tell everyone, though. Both are now a tradition between the two of us.

I wonder why I’m still so afraid to tell the real story of our meeting to everyone else. At the time, I kept it hidden because I knew how stupid I was being, and I didn’t want anybody else to tell me what I already knew. But now that everybody can see what I saw, that this thing was real from the start, why do I persist in telling the made-up version of our first date?


Withdrawal

December 27, 2006

I’ve been going through some serious blogging withdrawal in the past week or so. I’ve hated that I’ve neglected this blog, but there has been no feasible way to blog here discreetly, without the many subjects of rants finding out, since I have been spending much time around them.

Of course, spending time with all this extended family has also provided much necessity for blogging, at that precise time when I can’t. It’s quite the paradox. Fortunately, my wonderful husband snuck my laptop into our bedroom tonight for the sole reason of letting me blog here without anybody discovering it.

Mini-rant #1: My newest SIL announced her pregnancy when she arrived at my parents’ house a week ago. This is the SIL I griped about a few weeks ago on Confession Thursday, the one I don’t particularly like. Her news didn’t exactly help matters any. She’s as self-centered as ever, and now she has tighter strings on my brother. When he discovers his mistake, if indeed he has made one, he now has the feelings of a child to consider. Not only that, but now they are dirt poor, living with her parents while they try to hide away enough cash to move out, and they need to think about providing for a baby as well. Bad planning.

Mini-rant #2: How could she get pregnant before me??!! I’m so selfish as well, and it’s driving me crazy that she comes with special Christmas news that I was so hoping to be able to bring myself. I let myself think maybe I was too while I was still there, even getting odor-induced morning sickness several days. I took a pregnancy test and everything and was still somehow surprised that it turned out negative. I should have known better. I’m just hoping now that we conceived a special Christmas baby, if we couldn’t announce the news over the holiday break.

Mini-rant #3: My in-laws are driving me nuts, especially my MIL and my grandparents-in-law. The grandparents stayed here for several days, even though it would have been more convenient for them to go to Christmas celebrations if they’d stayed at home. I believe the sole reason was to spend more time with us, namely PJ. Grandma hovered every second and never, ever shut up. She has a great heart, but after a few hours with her, I can’t wait to have alone, quiet time again. Also, she and Grandpa bicker incessantly. Grandpa is nearly deaf, so the bickering is quite loud. I hate being that close to loud arguing. Our time with them couldn’t end soon enough for all of us except for the two of them. They were eager to spend an extra night than they’d originally planned. It took some careful planning on our part to nip that in the bud without hurting any feelings.

My MIL isn’t as bad as normal this time, but it bugs the heck out of me that she won’t let me be the mom. M and I will specifically ask her not to do something when she’s with PJ, and even with us there, she will defy us. It’s a control issue, and she wants to make darn sure we know she has the last word about his care. It makes us not want to let her take care of him at all, but we know that would only make matters worse. Any helpful hints out there?

I guess I’ll leave the rants there for tonight. I may not get another chance to write anything until the weekend, but maybe my sweet hubby will steal me another chance to blog tomorrow night. I’m sure I’ll have lots to write about if so. Visits with the in-laws sure provide lots of good stories…and rants!


Failed Attempt at a Post

December 20, 2006

It’s the middle of the night again, and I’m unable to sleep. Could it have anything to do with the hour nap I took this evening? I got hit hard with an allergy attack, and no amount of medicine was helping. I gave up and let PJ’s dad and grandma watch him while I went to lie down. I surprised myself by actually sleeping. The only problem is that NOW I’m feeling better, when I should be sleeping.

I have lots and lots I want to write about. I’ve had ideas circling around my brain all week, and now I can’t find the motivation to type them all up. I’d really rather be sleeping. As much as I enjoy a change in routine, I hate that it’s keeping me from blogging. I rarely have a minute alone when I’m on vacation, and I’m usually spending those precious few moments sleeping.

I don’t really have anything interesting to say tonight after all, I suppose. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a chance to steal a few moments alone and write something with some substance.


FYI

December 17, 2006

We started our Christmas travels early, thanks to some planning on the part of M’s boss, who scheduled him for a training in the same town as my parents this week. They even pay for the mileage on our car to and from home. Nice, huh? I guess it’s the boss’s way of giving us an extra Christmas present. Anyway, because I’m not at home and will have a weird schedule, my blogging may be sporadic over the next two weeks. If anything monumental happens, I will definitely post that. Otherwise, expect more rants about the in-laws.

By the way, thanks a ton for that comment yesterday Heather. Now I can’t stop thinking about that what-if. If you’re right, it would explain a lot. But I’m afraid to hope too much for that unlikely possibility. I’d hate to be disappointed yet again. Still, I can’t help wondering why I never thought of that. I’ve heard of that happening too.


Something Still Ain’t Right

December 15, 2006

About a week ago, you may remember I let everyone know I was most definitely not pregnant as Aunt Flo made a surprise appearance about a week early. Since then, nothing in that area has gone has expected.

Even when I’ve been somewhat irregular in these past few months since PJ’s birth, I knew what to expect during that awful week itself. This time, it hasn’t followed its usual pattern. I’ve been much heavier for longer. (Sorry, I know it’s TMI.) I’m hoping it actually decides to stop tonight when it’s supposed to. (It had better. M and I leave tomorrow to spend two weeks with relatives, and we desperately need a little alone time first, if you know what I mean.)

Also, most of those possible pregnancy symptoms I was complaining about earlier haven’t gone away. I figured the crazy emotions were a result of PMS hormones, but I still tear up at anything. I found myself randomly crying while I was playing a computer game a little while ago. I wasn’t upset about anything; I just couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m never this emotional unless hormones are out of whack, and why should they be right now?

I’ve been fighting nausea badly again today. I had to warn PJ while feeding him lunch that he’d better not choke on anything if I suddenly had to run to the bathroom. I’m still surprised I managed to keep everything down. Even though the worst of the nausea is past now, it doesn’t take much for it to come back. Even thinking about it now is making me feel yucky again.

My boobs are still sore, too. Shouldn’t that have ended when I started? This is definitely not pain from breastfeeding, or weaning. It feels like they did just before I found out I was pregnant with PJ.

And I keep waking up in the middle of the night to pee. The cranberry juice isn’t helping the problem, so it’s either a really, really bad urinary tract infection or it’s not one at all.

So I have no idea what to think. Obviously there’s no way I’m pregnant, but I still feel awful. M and I keep throwing outlandish possibilities out there to explain it, mostly joking, but it’s to cover up our fears that something might be wrong. Any ideas what it could be? I’ve already decided that if things still don’t feel right, I’ll go see a doctor when we get back from our holiday trip. I’m putting it off as long as possible, though. I hate going to see a doctor, especially with such weird, non-descript symptoms.


Confession Thursday–A Mother’s Greatest Fear

December 14, 2006

As a mother, I am plagued with any number of fears about PJ and how he might develop as he grows up. I worry he might get sick, really sick, like cancer. I worry he might end up the family’s black sheep, addicted to drugs or in prison. I worry some girl is going to come along and break his heart. I worry some sick predator is going to do something much, much worse to him. I worry about car accidents, bike accidents, freak lightning, you name it.

But my biggest fear about PJ isn’t any of these. I’m terrified he’s going to be autistic. My life has intersected with autism a few too many times for me to brush it off as mere coincidence. I’m forced to wonder why so many autistic children have crossed my path, and the only conclusion I have is that I’m destined to be a mother of one of these special children.

Since it is Confession Thursday, though, I feel the need for complete honesty. I am horrible around people with special needs. I don’t know how to act and they make me uncomfortable. The time I’ve spent in the presence of autistic people was spent looking for a way to get out of their presence. I don’t have any clue how I would handle one of my own children being autistic.

The good news is that so far, PJ shows absolutely no signs of any problems whatsoever. He’s reasonably well-behaved and incredibly social. Barring unexpected acts of God, he should grow up to be an average, normal kid. I wish that reassured me, but it only does to a certain extent. I’m aware that he could start to show more signs as he grows up, as unlikely as that seems now. I’m constantly watching his behavior to make sure it’s completely normal.

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t worry about this. I know that already. I don’t let the fear keep me from enjoying my son, and only M even knows this is a fear I have. He actually has the same worries, so we console each other about it. I know that if I am destined to have an autistic child, God will give me the strength to cope with it. I just think I’d rather be weak in this area.


Rant Times Two

December 13, 2006

Okay, so I probably overreacted to that e-mail from the FIL yesterday. I don’t take back anything I said, though. My gut reaction was a response to everything my in-laws have done, not just yesterday’s experience. I managed to write a very calm e-mail back to him saying thanks for the concern, but you don’t need to worry. It helped that I vented a little to M first.

I’m hoping the thought that they might fight for custody is also an overreaction. They wouldn’t exactly have much of a legal claim if they tried. M and I take good care of him, even if we don’t do everything exactly as they would. Besides, if there was a real problem and we couldn’t take care of him properly, my parents would get custody first. They have four success stories to their credit, and they’re better off financially (which is another source of friction for my in-laws, who seem to think my parents flaunt it). M’s parents have two success stories and one son whose name they barely mention. Not exactly the kind of people I want to be taking parenting advice from. M thrived in spite of their parenting, not because of it.

Oops, I didn’t mean to go into another rant. On to a different topic. I’m totally and completely done with my Christmas shopping. That’s a first for me. I usually have to go find something during that last week before Christmas. The last few years I’ve done the majority of my shopping online, and it has streamlined my shopping considerably. The only problem now is waiting for the gifts to arrive.

I ordered one gift (actually two, from the same place) from a site I’d never tried before. It was a unique gift, however, and could only be ordered from these people. I was willing to risk it, but to make sure it got here in time, I paid extra for it to be shipped UPS. I’m kicking myself now. If I’d been thinking, I would have remembered last year’s UPS drama. We had several gifts that just barely got here in time, and then only because M had to call and threaten them. They claimed they couldn’t find our address because our neighborhood was too new. How come they delivered to our neighbors then? They returned one gift to the sender because we supposedly said it wasn’t ours when they contacted us. They never contacted us. They changed the address on another package and delivered it to someone else, again supposedly because they’d contacted us and we had told them to.

So why on earth did I think shipping anything with UPS was a good idea, especially when there was a time limit involved? This year’s package has already had problems, according to their tracking site. It will be a miracle if it gets here in time before we leave for our Christmas trip on Saturday. It was guaranteed to be here in less than a week. I can just about guarantee now that it won’t be. I’m so frustrated about this. I’m going to put in a plug now for everyone to avoid using UPS whenever possible from now on. They have awful service, and I’m boycotting them now.


More Blogging Drama

December 12, 2006

Last night I mentioned on my public blog that M was on a business trip. I knew his parents and mine would like to know that he made it okay and how I was handling it, and this seemed to be the best way. Innocent enough, right?

Nope. I got an e-mail today from my FIL concerned about me…supposedly. He says he’s worried about the random people reading my blog who might know I was home alone. “You never know,” he said.

First, I do know that nobody can find me from there. It would take an expert hacker for anybody to trace us back from my blog, and I doubt they could do that in the three days M is gone. Better yet, why would they want to? It seems like a criminal who cared that much about finding a housewife at home all alone would have more luck randomly knocking on doors than searching for somebody specific through their blog.

It sounds sweet that my FIL is so concerned about me. I know it’s a ruse, though. It’s his way to come across as the sweet father figure. If I look up to and respect him as a true father, then I will search for ways to get PJ around him. That is the final goal after all, having control over us and PJ, especially more than my parents have.

It also gave him a chance to gently criticize me for something I wrote on my blog, which is something both he and his wife just wait to be able to do. Sometimes I think blogging isn’t even worth it. It’s tough finding what to say and how to say it that won’t offend them or give them a chance to prove I’m doing something wrong. I wouldn’t put it past them to find something I wrote, twist it to make me sound like the worst mother ever, and fight to get custody of PJ. I hope that’s taking it too far, but sometimes I just don’t know. They’ve already proven they only use us as a way to get PJ. And they wonder why we hang out with my parents much more often…


More About Eggs

December 12, 2006

Wow, I didn’t think that reference from yesterday was quite that obscure. It’s from Runaway Bride. Julia Roberts’ character (sorry I don’t remember her name) lost her own identity with each new guy she dated, and the clue that revealed that problem was that she claimed her favorite way to eat eggs coincided with the guy’s favorite way to eat eggs. She rediscovers her own identity by trying eggs every conceivable way until she figures out what she really likes.

For some reason, this egg idea has stuck with me ever since I saw the movie the first time. I’ve always been concerned that I would sacrifice my own identity, my own desires, to prove to a guy that I was a perfect match for him. To some extent, I have done that. One guy was kind of a cowboy. I bought my first pair of boots and Wranglers while we were dating. I don’t wear either now. Another made a point to put religion first, much more so than the other Christians I’d dated, and I suddenly became super-religious as well. I’ll admit that wasn’t necessarily a bad change, but it happened for all the wrong reasons.

Despite making myself interested in the current boyfriend (or now husband)’s interests, I feel like I never have completely lost my own identity. I fully believe in a balance there. There is nothing wrong with exploring your mate’s interests. If you enjoy the same things, you’ll find more opportunities to bond and have better quality time together. It also shows your mate how much you care when you’re willing to try doing the things s/he finds interesting. Maybe they’ll just do the same back. As long as you don’t give up everything you consider a primary part of you, it can be a good thing.

I’ve found a good balance with M. It doesn’t hurt that we share so many interests to begin with. We have both made some sacrifices and compromises in our relationship so that sharing a life is easier. M loves technology and computer stuff. While I can’t get into it the way he is, I’ve made an effort to learn something about computers so that I at least understand what he’s talking about. We also now play video games together, a strangely bonding experience. M always tries to read my blog on a regular basis, even though I don’t think he finds it very interesting, just because he knows I pour my heart and soul into it. He has also made a point to find some books that he will read because reading is something else I’m passionate about.

I can’t believe that one random comment I made yesterday managed to turn into a full post. Sorry for the ramble, but this is one topic that I always get into, thanks to my own fears that I wouldn’t find that perfect balance. Fortunately I met the perfect man instead, and he has helped me find that balance.