Sick as a dog

I didn’t go to work today. Instead I got diagnosed with Strep Throat, and spent the day popping antibiotics and ibuprofen while cold sweating on the couch.

LB’s cough is still pretty rank, and last week, yours truly got suckered into entering her in a photo contest. Yes, we have an appointment with a real photographer tomorrow and I am NOT missing it because I already paid my measly 10 dollar entry fee. So Strep-Throat-Single-Mama will be dragging Croupy-Cough-Runny-Nose-Toddler to what should be a quite an fun interesting time.

At this point in my life, I can only resort to maniacal laughter.

Roofie called to say they had a death in the family last night, so they couldn’t pick up LB from daycare. Last week, I would have been sad and offered my condolences. This week, I’ve become too jaded to even be shocked. Perhaps news of a multiple pregnancy or a mission to Mars is next on their agenda.

Another random thing: I got a call from my egg donation agency, informing me that a third couple is interested in my DNA. Apparently, the doctor who did the retrieval this last time personally recommended me to another couple in his office.

As flattering and exciting as that may be, I feel a little taut right now. Like I’m ready to be shot into the outer stratosphere. Like my internal organs and emotional sanity could be shredded in a second. I really just need a moment to process everything, but my throat feels like its burning a hole in my neck, and I need to get to sleep.

A sick day really isn’t a sick day when you’re living your own Oxygen Reality Show. Did I just say that? Gag.

Nite all.

Boiling Over

Its day 2 of my new job and I’m exhausted. Last night I was sicker than a dog. I have no clue why. I think I really may have IBS or an ulcer or something, because these “episodes” are getting more frequent and have brought me to a whole new level of scary. I was sweaty and chilled last night. I went to bed wrapped in my hoodie, shaky as hell. My head hurt, I had shooting pains in my gut. I felt like I was reenacting the scene from Alien, waiting for a tiny green monster to come shooting out of my belly.

At about 2 am, I refused to consider calling in to work. I was GOING TO BE BETTER BY MORNING. LB climbed into bed with me at about 5 am, so I figured I might as well get up and see if I could maintain a lucid state. I got out my morning injections and held the needle over my belly for about 5 minutes. I thought about the evil gurgling pain underneath the skin, daring me to stick a pin in it. I thought about the soon-to-be mom in California, praying that her unknown single mom donor was following directions so she could finally get a positive pregnancy test.

3 weeks to go.

I weakly managed to scrape my windshield, get the toddler dressed and fed, pack her pajamas (per Blondie’s request), drink some green tea and get to daycare before passing out at the wheel. Upon entering the office, my new boss exclaimed “Yay! We didn’t drive you off after the first day.”

I nibbled on some toast at lunch, but I’m really thinking about going home after work and taking a nap while LB is at her dad’s. I turned in my 30-day notice and last month’s rent today. Now I wait for the federal lease-break guillotine to begin. 

Of course I had to use a stove/cooking analogy in my last post, and here’s our horoscope for today:

Moon joins with Aquarius so that can make today a HIGHLY EMOTIONAL DAY! Especially if it is about community or collective energy where you have to cooperate with a group. Uranus has stressful aspects so things can come flying out of seemingly no where. In fact, this situation has been boiling and stewing for quite a bit now. It just boils OVER the pot lip today. But, fess up, haven’t you been a bit annoyed for a while already?

‘Nuff said.

My “Stove” philosophy

Today begins the smiley face of bruises half-mooning my belly button. The first round of hormones must be injected into fatty tissue, and being of the post-gestational female species, I have plenty to spare in the c-section area.*FYI the number one incoming search for this blog still alternates between “c-section scar” and “camel toe.” Friggin Awesome. The medication also causes a not-so-smiley reaction with your skin, hence the bruising.

I’ve been in a state of brain jello this weekend. After emotional highs and lows this past week, I think my mental functioning shut down about midnight on Friday evening.  I was staring at the state of my kitchen: Gift bags from my former employer (so crazy to say that now), my “new job” survival kit from my former co-workers, Flowers from my former boss, goodbye cards, and of course all the junk I’ve accumulated on my desk over the past 20 months. Top that off with the boxes I stole from the mail room, the legal files I’ve been storing in my office, the egg donation paperwork I’ve been keeping there as well, and the pile of dirty dishes, it was slightly overwhelming.

Then I thought about packing all of it, and immediately ran upstairs to hide in my bedroom.

Saturday morning, after a night of restless, panicky sleep, I went into LB’s room with a garbage bag and started sorting. My daughter is 2.6 years old. I found pacifiers and rattles from her infancy, baby socks that couldn’t fit a doll. I found every gift, every card, and every piece of artwork she created stashed in pack-rat corners of her room. I was embarrassed.

It took me most of the morning, but I managed to pack 2 boxes of her baby toys, a garbage bag full of clothes, her princess potty and her baby gates into my car. We then dropped them off at the thrift store. Ahead of me, a woman in fur-lined boots was unloading a stereo from her Lexus SUV. This town, I swear.

LB and I continued cleaning/packing/playing the rest of the day, and by 9 pm, both of us were ready to hit the sack. After she went to bed, I looked around at the tiny bit of progress we made on starting  a new venue in our lives. Talk about cathartic bliss. I can now visualize how long this move is going to take us, I can see the contents of my life fit into a set number of boxes. The questions buzzing around my brain are being answered at a tortise-like pace, but at least they are being answered! I can see the bigger pictures slowly coming together.

I used to hide from conflict, trouble, and messy-situations. I used to snort my problems up in a cloud of white powder. I was so good at denial that sometimes I would lie to people and not even consider it anything other than the truth. Now that I’ve been forced to face up to my fears, I can’t even explain how beautiful it is to feel that sense of relief after it passes. When you are too afriad to deal with the moster you’ve created in your head, nothing ever passes. There is never any relief.

I’m glad I’ve matured enough to be able to look at my war-zone of a life, realize my mental and emotional limitations, and deal with things at a realistic pace.

When Rooferman and I were together, he would get so stressed out, he wouldn’t be able to function even on a physical level. He would lay in bed, unable to even move. I told him, life is like a stove: You have 4 burners, an oven and you have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. The less important things go to the back-burner. The most important things deserve your immediate attention, and are on the front burner. You just have to decide what the most important things are in your life, and go from there.

Of course, this never did anything for Rooferman, but it made myself feel better by creating this philosophy.

I think about all the pots I have on my stove right now. A new job, which is like making chicken cordon bleu based without a recipe. A new apartment, which is like making mashed potatoes from scratch for 15 people with no electric beater; pretty straightforward, but time consuming and very labor-intensive. An egg donation, which is like making toffee candy; delicate, with detailed instructions that cannot be deviated from, and can be ruined very easily. And an impending court date, which is like trying to bake a sponge cake at high altitude; numerous attempts, hours of exhausting recipe variations, calls to seasoned professionals, and waiting to see if your efforts have paid off after watching yet another collapsed cake emerge from the oven.

Whats on your stove right now?

2 days left

Sorry I’m late on my post today. I’m working on something  for Rocky Mountain Moms blog, so that should be up soon. Kori just posted her first one too! I spent an hour on the phone with my egg donation attorney, making sure I understand the legal issues surrounding this complicated process, and damn, I forgot how insane it is! A 16-page contract on an embryo that doesn’t even exist yet.

I went to check out an apartment in town during my lunch break. Did I mention its a second floor space above a preschool? Yeah, the landlord runs her own 2-4 year old center, and could most definitely slide LB into her class if I moved in. She’s rented to single moms before and she said they were her best tenants.

She says to me, “I’m getting a really good vibe about you.” Yeah. Total hippie.

She’s also $200 cheaper than the new daycare center at my new job. What’s better than having daycare at the worksite? Being able to come home and pick your daughter up at the same time. The backyard is a playground. The apartment has a wrap-around porch. All utilities are included in the rent, even cable and internet.

I pay $757.00 for “low income housing” and it doesn’t include utilities. How much is the rent on this new place? $800 a month. I feel like someone hit me in the head with a frying pan.

The only problem: I re-signed a year lease back in November. I have an appointment to schmooze my property manager tomorrow. Maybe she will give me a break because I haven’t trashed my place. Compared to my train wreck of a next door neighbor, the domestic violence couple, and the alcoholic squaters across the way, I’m a saint of a renter.

Two more days of public education and I’m moving on up. My new boss called me today to fill out some paperwork and said, “So are you as excited as we are?”

Aw shucks.

Other than that, its full blown chaos in my office. I think people are starting to realize that my job is a whole lot more complicated than it looks. I’m exhausted, explaining things to my poor co-workers and watching the exasperation overcome their faces.

“You’re responsible for THAT TOO?” One said to me, throwing her hands up.

Maybe I’ve been too nice in my last 20 months on the job, because all my “acquired” tasks are now being distributed to other people. They aren’t happy. I wouldn’t be either.

Cramming

I’m beat. This vacation has been totally exhausting. Here’s an update:

My egg donation is finally starting to kick into gear. I flew to San Francisco yesterday morning and went directly from the airport to my appointment at the fertility clinic. After 2 hours of ultrasounds, blood draws and general oogling of success stories framed in the lobby, I treated myself to a shopping trip to a real Victoria’s Secret. The closest one to Durango is 3 hours away. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I didn’t have time to eat lunch before my appointment, and after my blood had been sufficiently drained, I was feeling a little woozy after the 10 block walk to the nearby mall. The nurses were appalled that I was even walking alone.

“Its’ freezing out there!”

I looked out the window to the light sprinkle of rain that was falling. I wanted to say, “Honey, I just came from 3 feet of snow,” but I told her I would be fine.

The only people walking were 2 Black teenagers and an old Asian woman; and me, the backpack-toting, parka-wearing Colorado hippie. P.S. Project Merry Christmas did get me an AWESOME coat.

The mall was so crowded that I didn’t go near the food court. I made a b-line for Vickie’s Secret and power-shopped until my gift card was spent. At about 5:30 pm, I was nearing starvation. I walked around the neighborhood, hoping to find a good Chinese restaurant. Denied.

I decided I should get to the hotel. I attempted 3 cab companies before finding one that was in my area, and paid the ridiculous $25 to get to my hotel. My stomach was growling like Catwoman. I lurched to my room and went directly to the yellow pages.

After the 5th Chinese Restaurant told me they did not deliver, I gave up. It was almost 7:30 pm. I washed off the airport travel grime and went down to the hotel bar, which was rumored to serve sushi as well as drinks.

The sushi case was empty. I ordered a glass of wine and called my child to say goodnight. The bartender took pity on me and asked if I wanted to order off the regular menu, even though the restaurant was closed and he wasn’t supposed to let us eat at the bar. I ordered a shamefully priced burger and fries and another glass of wine.

The Barkeep asked me if I was working on homework. Wow do I look like a college student? I told him it was court paperwork, even MORE fun! He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the night. Eh, he looked 18 anyway.

I finished my parenting plan and was a little tipsy, even after devouring my burger and fries. I ordered another glass of wine.  I ordered Tiramisu. I was beginning to feel like Jabba the drunken Hutt.

I went up to my room and watched reality TV until I passed out.

Sometime in the dead of the night, I woke up feeling like a sack of wet cement. It was official, I had stuffed myself to the gills and I was paying the price in utter misery.

Lesson #1 learned in 2009: Just because you are starving and haven’t had a night to yourself in months, doesn’t mean you should consume a buffet and imbibe a keg. In other words, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Uncanny

I’ve been feeling a uncanny sense of peace this past week. I don’t know if its because I’ve been practicing some hippie stress relief tips (and no, its not weed smoking), or if its the comforting repetition of last year’s egg donation process.

Once again I will be lining up vials of medicine, attaching needles, drawing up solutions, numbing my rear end with frozen green chilies. Last year, I was filled with apprehension; wondering if I were administering the very expensive drugs (without any assistance other than phone instructions) correctly. Hundreds of miles away, another woman was doing the same thing, praying nightly for the careful preparation of her body and the financial investment to result in the much-desired pregnancy. 

I have no fear this time.

The counselor who conducted the Parenting Class got to watch me wig out and completely lose my s***. The kind-hearted old hippie immediately told me to drop everything and follow his “Woo woo” instructions (yeah, he actually said that). I was to take two fingers and tap firmly on 11 different “meridian” points located on different parts of my body. Standard Traditional Chinese Medicine, the same idea behind acupuncture.

 I’m about as jaded as any other kid raised on hippie voodoo. I’ve watched my mom throw the I Ching . I’ve helped my dad make Macramé owls. I’ve listened to Living with Joymeditation tapes my mom gave my 7-year-old sister to help her fall asleep. I learned how to read Tarot cards at age 12. In other words, I’ve be exposed to a lot of Artsy-fartsy, “alternative lifestyle” mumbo jumbo, which has helped mold the fabulous person I am today.

When counselor man told me to start tapping, I was thinking, my issues are more than just skin deep, this is ridiculous. But with my court date approaching, my mind was orchestrating a custodial Greek Tragedy there in front of the judge, and the anxiety surrounding that image could not be vanquished. It had been a constant presence in my life for the previous 10 months. So I started tapping.

I’ve tapped on my skin every night since October 8th. Then I say my prayers and ask for courage, strength, confidence, peace and justice. And guess what? I’ve managed to keep my blood pressure at a normal rate when I’m calling the Sheriff’s Office, or the Courts. I don’t get sweaty when I’m going over my statements, or typing up my legal journal, and I no longer feel like puking when I think about standing in front of a judge.

And Rooferman? Well, I think about it like this: He’s in his own little bubble, where he makes his own rules, acts the way he wants and talks in a language only he understands. As long as I picture being him enclosed by that bubble, where his words and actions never leave the atmosphere of his world, it can’t affect me. When he talks in a language I can understand, ei: with respect, the ability to negotiate, openness, and without anger and immaturity, then his words mean something to me. Everything else that happens in his bubble has no affect on my life whatsoever.

Rooferman will still be talking from that bubble when he’s in front of the judge next Thursday. He will probably live in that bubble for the rest of his life. Hopefully he will be able to communicate with the outside world, and have a relationship with his daughter. Until now, I thought it was ME who needed a protective bubble in order to be strong, but really its the opposite. He’s the one who doesn’t feel safe in the real world. As for me? I’m thriving.

I don’t know if I can credit “tapping”, blogging, reading other blogs, reading Anne Lamott, the moon, or what, but this week has been good. I hope I’m not jinxing myself.

Tidings

I’ve received many tidings of comfort and joy this week.

Kori, who would be Athena if she were a Greek Goddess, sent me two awesome books. When they arrived in my mailbox yesterday, I almost screamed with delight. The arrival of her books also magically lured my lost (since last Thursday) Netflix back to its rightful owner, so a double whammy of presents were blissfully accepted.

 I haven’t been this excited about getting mail since I won the flat iron from Ms. Single Mama. Blog buddies are the best! I seriously debated on starting each book simultaneously, reading one from each hand, but I settled for Mothers Who Think and flipped directly to the recommended story, “Mother Anger”.

Kori, I laughed so hard I cried. The post I wrote was completely validated. I no longer feel like selfish single mommy. Hell if a successful, kick-ass single mom writer has murderous thoughts about her son, I think I’m doing ok. So thanks Kori, I know I’m like 10 years behind the rest of the literary world, but I really appreciate your gift. I can’t wait to devour the rest of the book (and move on to the second one…wooo hooo!)

I’ve also been asked to contribute my writing to this website: Rm_button_2 Which would be my first “freelance” blogging/writing (hell who knows what to call it) opportunity since starting my little bloglet. The coolest thing about the site is their contract to syndicate your posts to print newspapers and magazines, so if my writing ever reaches that caliber, it could show up in a Colorado publication somewhere. 🙂

And now on to act three of joyful events:

I know this is going to be pretty out of the blue for alot of my new bloggy friends, because the last time it happened was almost one year ago (to the day), and that was before I met this amazing plethora of single parents. I really didn’t think it was going to happen again, having gone a whole year without any interest expressed in me, but once again, the unexpected has shown its true colors.

 This is the post I wrote  almost one year ago. I’ll admit, its somewhat ignorant and I have a few problems with the flippant attitude I expressed. In case people haven’t realized, I try to deflect negativity by making jokes and having “Its really not that big a deal” attitude. I really didn’t want to link that post, but I think its valuable to see how much I’ve changed and matured in the 12 months. After going through the process, I understand the seriousness, the dedication and the love these parents have for their soon-to-be child.

Liz, who would be the Greek Goddess Artemis in a parallel universe, expressed fear on blogging about relationships, wondering if she would be rejected from the “Single Mom Club.” Now I have the same fear. How must this look: A single mom, struggling in a volatile economy, suddenly presented with a 2nd opportunity to help one lucky woman experience the joy of childbirth…oh and receive substantial compensation with I’m at it.

I don’t know enough about my fellow single parent bloggers to guess their opinions on this topic, but I still stand firmly in my belief that pregnancy and childbirth are two of the most vital, life-changing experiences any woman can have, and to give that ability to another woman is incredible and just as life-changing. I cannot express the utter joy I felt last January when my couple told me their ultrasound confirmed a heartbeat. The letter of thanks I received afterwards moved me in such a way, I can only describe as religious (and this is coming from someone who has a great deal of skepticism about the topic in general).

So my dear bloggy friends, life has given me a shot of adrenaline once again. My court date is 8 days away.

The Moon is in the sign of Leo today, which means its time to show your stuff; Individual expression is key, celebrate in your own inner lion, or in my case, revel in the fact that someone thinks highly of my Piscean DNA. If you run into someone who seems eager to put on a performance (even if its a tad over-the-top), smile and be a captivated audience. Just for today.