Today, I face the river

Today, I am a nervous wreck.

Today, I go back to work. I’m nervous. And scared. And excited.

Today, I become a person again. I’ve been just a mommy for 6 months. I have almost forgotten what it feels like to just be me. To be a functioning member of society. To talk and think and do things that aren’t baby related. And part of me feels guilty about that. I don’t want to leave my baby. I want to give 100% of my attention and time to her. I feel like she deserves that. However, I know I have to go back so that I can make money so I can get her out of this trailer park into a real house in a real neighborhood. I have to do this for her. I have to be big and brave and conquer the outside world. Or, at least, I have to try.

Today, I give up bedtime. I give up giving her her bedtime bath. I give wrapping her lil warm body in snuggly jammies and putting her in her crib and giving her her goodnight kiss. I’m going to miss reading her her bedtime story. I’m going to give up being the last face she sees before she falls asleep. I’m handing those rights over to daddy.

Today, I have had to take a lorazepam and it’s not even 11am yet. I’m not joking about having a really hard time with this.

Today, I’m going to go take a shower since she’s napping. I’m going to eat lunch. I’m going to snuggle my baby and feed her and play with her. I’m going to be responsible. I’m going to be a hot mess on the inside and confident on the outside. I’m going to go into work, work my 4 hours (yes, it’s only 4 hours, why am I being such a baby about this?), and come home.

Tomorrow, well, tomorrow is going to be the rough day. It’s an 8 hour shift, during the day, a day Josh is off too. I’m going to hate working weekends. I’m loosing time with both of my loves. But, tomorrow is tomorrow. And hopefully, today will be okay, and it will affirm that I can, in fact, do this. That I am big and brave and not scared of new things.

Today, I’m taking that giant leap – small compared to other leaps others have taken, but a huge jump for me. I just have to keep thinking of the other side of the river. The other side is beautiful and green and it’s spring over there. It’s icy on this side of the river. Its time to close my eyes and leap, because you can’t cross the river in two small steps.

Today, my mommy hat gets hung up for a few short hours, and I get to put my Amy hat back on. Let’s hope it still fits.

Birthday Bucketlist

For my 25th year, I have created a list of 25 things I want to try to do before I turn 26. Some of them are easy. Some of them hard. The point is my list isn’t something I should be able to do overnight. I want to challenge myself and push myself outside of my comfort zone. Some are fun and some are more work than fun, but I am excited about all of them. Here is my list:

25*before*26

  1.  Find a job
  2. Write at least once a week
  3. Finish Ellabelle’s baby quilt
  4. Organize the house
  5. Paint the kitchen
  6. Plant a hydrangea bush
  7. Take Ellabelle swimming
  8. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
  9. Tear out the bush in the front yard
  10. Reach my weight goal
  11. Get another tattoo
  12. Throw a dart at the map and go wherever it lands
  13. Paint pottery
  14. Run a half marathon
  15. Bowl over a 110
  16. Shot a gun
  17. Fly a kite
  18. Grow my own vegetable
  19. Go to the zoo
  20. Ride an elephant
  21. Eat at 9 new restaurants
  22. Be vegetarian for a week
  23. Go to the children’s museum
  24. Go to the ballet
  25. Take a class

Grandpa’s Puzzling Question

Ok, so the whole posting once a week thing has been a major failure. However, I’m only two weeks behind so I’m going to rectify the situation and catch up and hopefully be back on schedule.

I started writing a lot about my Grandpa Schoenig towards the end of September last year. The end of September and the beginning of October are hard times for me when it comes to him because his birthday is 9/28 and he died 10/11. That’s only 13 days apart. It makes it a rough time of the year. But thinking about him, it always makes me happy and then sad because he’s not here, but mostly happy.

See, my Grandpa was in every essence of the word a grandpa. He was what I assume most people picture of a grandpa – old and creaky, but still a big teddy bear who cracks silly jokes and always had candy around. I was fortunate enough that I got to have my grandpa for all of my childhood and into my teen years.

I remember he used to ask me questions about god. I always felt awkward when he did especially since I never had any answers for him. I remember asking my mom why he only singled me out with these questions. My mom told me it was because I was Catholic so he figured I’d be the one to be able to discuss these things with him. But, I was like 14 and green about, well, pretty much everything, but especially god and religion.

The question I remember him asking almost every time I saw him was “If God knows everything, he knows all that is and all that will be, and a person is going to go to hell anyways, why does he let that person be born? Why not just send him straight to hell?” I never had an answer. He’d try to talk through it with me, but, like I said, my fourteen years on this earth had offered very little insight into the going-ons in god’s mind.

It wasn’t until years later while I was in college that I figured out an answer to his question. The way I see it, everyone is put on this earth for a purpose. It’s totally cliche, but I believe it’s true. Even if that person is going to hell, he still might have children, and one of those kids could end up curing cancer. Or if someone sees the mistakes that the hellbound guy makes, it could cause them to change their life and put them self on the right path. The person who may have been so bad that he was going to end up in hell is part of the great cosmic puzzle – take his piece out and the puzzle no longer hits together like it should.

And that’s my answer, all these years later. I don’t know how he’d feel about my relationship with the god he spent his life dedicated to or how he’d feel about his great grandbaby not being baptized. But, I’d like to think he’d at least like my answer to this question. He was a very important puzzle piece in my life (I like to picture his piece as bright blue with random smiley face stickers stuck to it), but he will only be a minor, outside piece to Ellabelle. My dad will get to be her big, important grandpa piece. However, his piece of the great puzzle is just as important to her as it is to me, even if she doesn’t realize it. He’s important. Everyone’s life is important. They all link together somehow. If god sent that piece right to hell, the puzzle wouldn’t fit, it wouldn’t be complete. The pieces have to fit together.

Here’s to a new year!

Part of my bucket list for this year is to write something at least once a week. Writing is something that is important to me, and I want to start making more time for it. I’ve been slacking off majorly in this department since Ellabelle has made her arrival. That being the case, here’s a post I wrote on January 1st around 6am while everyone else was asleep. I haven’t changed it to reflect that it’s being posted 6 days later so just sit back and enjoy New Years Day for just another brief moment:

It’s the first day of 2013. I am up early because, well, I can’t sleep. I’m sitting in the living room, under a lit Christmas tree. My computer screen and the tree’s multicolor strings are my only source of light. Jericho is currently occupying the chair next to me. I feel the need to chronicle all of this because I feel like I’m on the verge of something. 

2012 was a rough year for the Hawkins family and, even more so, just for me. It was what people like to call “a learning experience”. And, not to sound cliche, but if Josh and I could make it through this, then we really can make it through anything. 

January started with me being so sick from morning sickness. I couldn’t keep anything down. All I did was sleep and vomit. I lost 20 pounds before it was all over. It was a sign of things to come. Work became a living hell for me. Josh was constantly telling me he was going to go down there and beat the crap out of people. I was mistreated because of my pregnancy. It was added (unnecessary) stress on top of my apparently fragile health.

I developed an inner and outer ear infection in May. I couldn’t drive or even walk to the living room due to the dizziness it caused. I was put on some sort of pregnancy safe antibiotics which were not strong enough to cure it. I had this until I had the baby at the end of July.

July 21st we headed to my 39 week doctors appointment. My blood pressure had risen. They started to induce me around noon. My water broke around 4am and by 7am they knew something was wrong. My doctor arrived at 8:30, and sent my straight to the operating room. Ellabelle wasn’t getting enough oxygen, and my blood had turned toxic. At 9:12am, July 22nd, my life changed forever. I don’t remember much of that day or really the next day either, but my daughter was here and that’s all that mattered. A healthy 7lbs 1oz baby girl came into this world with the cord wrapped around her neck and not a single cry in her lungs (she’s making up for lost time now). 

August was hard on all of us. Ellabelle, being a newborn, didn’t allow for much sleep around here. I was still so sick (my blood pressure may never go back to normal) so Josh to help more than I think he expected. He kept himself doped up on caffeine pills and energy drinks which scared me half to death. Ellabelle’s sleep didn’t get much better through September, but I finally started to feel like my old self. 

October was the worst month in history for us. I had left my job at the end of September when my maternity leave had ended. We couldn’t find anyone to watch Ellabelle at a price we could afford, and it made the most sense for us to have me stay home with her. So money became very tight which always puts a strain on relationships. And then we realized Jericho had lost so much weight and rushed him to the vet. They thought he may have had an obstruction in his stomach and had to keep him overnight. Luckily, his stomach was just filled with what was basically one giant hairball he couldn’t pass. He was given meds, and he has since started to gain some weight back. Then, I had to go off my antidepressant meds, cold turkey, for 3 days while I switched over to new meds. To put it lightly, I did not handle being med free very well especially since I was suffering from postpartum depression on top of my regular depression. My mom and dad came home from Myrtle Beach early, my Aunt Sandi and sister came over to watch me, and I had to be babysat for those 3 days. It was awful to feel like a prisoner of my own body. Luckily, the new meds work amazingly, and I (and the rest of us) will hopefully never have to experience any of that again. Then, Maisy got sick. She ate something she wasn’t suppose to and spent 4 days locked up, day and night, in her crate. She had to go to the vet as well and be given meds.

The end of October was a turn around for us. Ellabelle and I dressed up as bumblebees for her first Halloween. We had her first Thanksgiving, St. Nick came to visit her, and her first Christmas. She started sleeping through the night, in her own room. Jericho has gained weight. Maisy isn’t having accidents in the house anymore. 

Most of this year sucked, but it is was it is. That’s why I felt in necessary to write it all down. I can leave it behind now. We can move on to a better year. We’re on the verge of sunshine and happiness and magical dancing unicorns. Okay, maybe not, but we are starting things off with a pinch of optimism. We’re starting a budget. I’m still looking for a job. Ellabelle’s getting close to crawling. This is year is going to be full of so many new things for us. It is a fresh start. I feel like after such a crappy year, this year has to be better – it’s going to be better. We start new today, and I realize that we could’ve started new any day and that waiting until January 1st is, again, cliche, but there’s something so revitalizing by that 1/1 on the calendar. It’s makes you feel like you’ve got a shot to do something fresh and new too.  

So, here’s to 2013 – let there be more sunshine and happiness and less medical bills!

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