Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking control

I have been a little overwhelmed with everything I have in front of me (AKA totally freaking the hell out over every little thing. Is so much fun for Ryan). In summary:

The obvious: Bravo, the dissertation, potty train now or wait?
The subtle: price of milk, eggs, and gas, are we saving enough for retirement.
The trivial yet frustrating: maternity clothes (adjusting to living with five shirts, four pairs of pants, and one dress), the endlessly messy house we just can't stay on top of.
The existential: Will I ever have a job? Should I have a job? I feel like a huge financial leech on our family when I'm not working and agonize over buying every bag of Oreos knowing I will eat most of them and they are not a crucial food purchase.

All of this came to a head yesterday morning when I could not find anything to wear to church that I hadn't worn a million times already and that didn't make me look ridiculously frumpy. I was exhausted, having not slept well for the fourth night in a row, and this clothing issue seemed symbolic of so much that had been frustrating me (I need clothes, but earn no money because of my dissertation, so what right do I have to spend even more money on myself? OMG MY DISSERTATION PANIC PANIC PANIC, SWEAR, THROW SHOE, CRY).

My emotional state was precarious enough, but then at church they did a slide show where they showed the pictures of the babies (who to me all looked like Charlie in early nineties baby-wear) and then the corresponding senior picture while one of the seniors sang "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. And then I was a freaking disaster. No dignified tissue dabbing here. Fat hot tears, loud sniffing, little red half moons in my palms where I dug my nails in trying not to completely lose it.

But then we got home Ryan made a nice lunch and encouraged me to go look for some maternity clothes that I felt good in. I hit the jackpot at a secondhand store and came home with three shirts, a pair of shorts, a skirt, and a dress for $50 (and brought the total of times I have changed my clothes in the car this pregnancy to TWO). I went home and took a nap and then played outside with Charlie. I started to feel a little better.

Ryan was putting Charlie to bed when I decided to check airfare prices again to see if we could fly to Philadelphia to attend my cousin's committment ceremony (which I really REALLY wanted to attend). We had already decided to skip our planned vacation to New England to visit my family this summer in the name of dissertation finishing and money saving and I didn't feel like it would be right to attend the ceremony but not visit everyone when we were so close. So I went and got Charlie's puppy calendar off the wall and outlined a nice little week-long trip, beginning with the ceremony in Philadelphia and ending in Boston a week later (unfortunately we won't have time to spend in Boston like we did last summer and promised ourselves we would do this summer in lieu of living there through, what, three Nor'easters, when we decided to move to South instead).

By the time Ryan came downstairs I had an itinerary and a surprisingly affordable budget (only about 25% of our tax return/stimulus check, which was only going into general savings anyway. The other 75% will still be saved). Ryan was enthusiastic about my plan and it felt so good to talk about something that will be so enjoyable instead of ho hum "Would you buy milk on your way home?" "Does your car need gas?" pleasantries we have settled into because I have been such a grump. He sat down at the computer and researched all the options and we finalized the itinerary, called the family, and bought our tickets.

I cannot tell you the difference this decision has made in my mood. I woke up happy, thinking about seeing my cousin's ceremony and all of my family, going to my grandparents houses, how much Charlie is going to love the beach this year now that he can walk (see below), how happy both grandmas sounded on the phone when I told them we were coming. I may be working during my vacation, but at least I'll be in a pretty place with people I love.

Does not like waves
Charlie on Cape Cod last summer. Not crazy about the waves.

It's less than a month away. I can't wait.


Liz said...

First, I KNOW that kind of KRAYZEE anxiety that's only fueled by the gnarly hormones of pregnancy (I lay awake for FOUR hours last night thinking about nonsense that was of the UTMOST importance at 1am).
Secondly: you guys can use the break and it sounds like a great trip. YAY for the family of three'll always remember it as your special time, just the three of you. You'll have so many trips as a family of 4 in the years to come.
Finally: I'M SO COMPLETELY GREEN WITH ENVY that you'll be on the Cape. I grew up with my summers down there: camp, camp, friend's houses, weekends at the beach. I can smell the air and taste the saltwater just by thinking of it. *sigh*

Art Nerd said...

You're coming to PHILADELPHIA?! Do you know who lives in PHILADELPHIA?! MEEEE!

Email me soon, I know I'll have just had a baby, but I need to see you if time allows, omgz!

Anonymous said...

Our last planned trip as a family of three is over Memorial Day weekend, and I am completely stressing over the driving, the fussy toddler, and the discomfort of being pregnant. I'm so glad you are looking forward to your trip since I clearly can't stop worrying about mine.

Sarah said...

Yay for a vacation, that's for sure.

Oh my god-- potty training. Wow does that sound sucky to me. I HATE public restrooms and cannot fathom how completely terrible it is going to be going into them with a baby and Harry. That said, we've got books, dvd's, and potty (also M&Ms for bribing purposes), but my heart is not in it yet.

I am feeling you on the clothes thing (and the financial burden thing) right now. I have no clothes. None. And I don't want to buy them at this moment in my life, but everything I own makes me look/feel like a nasty frump, but I feel bad spending $$ on ME when I am making $0.

So, yeah. I know what you mean :)

Anonymous said...

You're coming to the ceremony?! I can't wait to see you and finally meet Ryan and Charlie! That's the perfect news to start my Monday off. And by the way... congrats on Bravo! Another baby boy seems like a perfect addition to your family.

Dee said...

Yeah pregnant mom changing in the car. I remember doing that oh about 15 years ago and had to smile.

Enjoy your trip

Homestead Mom said...

that is so super for you all. we go to the vineyard every aug, so i know the draw. i also can't wait to see the difference in how much the kids enjoy themselves; less eating sand and more castles.