Hey, everyone -- I was never very active here but I've been in lurk-mode for a good long while. I enjoy reading what everyone else is up to; I just haven't had much to say myself.
Here's your Debbie Downer for the week:
I'm 32 weeks now and am starting to feel big and uncomfortable.
I had AWFUL hemorrhoids recently that are close to being cleared up now (I hope!). I've been waking up around 6 most days (very early for me, especially now that my older two kids are on Christmas break!) and staying awake for a few hours, until the kids are up and then I get really tired again, just when it's too late to go back to sleep. Blah. I always carry really high and "in" in pregnancy, and now that I'm in the home stretch I have rib pain and regular shortness of breath due to the constant pressure on my diaphragm. My husband got a promotion and is working a new position now, which translates to longer hours and difficulty reaching him during the day if I need something, even by his personal cell phone. This is stressful in late pregnancy -- ugh.
There's been drama with my in-laws concerning their dog, who's shown plenty of obvious warning signs that she does NOT like small children and has some jealousy/insecurity issues whenever any company is over. In the last year since they adopted her, we've been going to their house less and less (and having much shorter visits), largely because their dog's growling and showing her teeth combined with my MIL and FIL's inability/refusal to see that she's unpredictable around the kids makes me nervous as hell, especially with my youngest, who's 18 months old. Anyway, she snapped at the baby's face when he crawled past her (missing him, thank goodness!) in mid-November when we'd been invited for dinner and that was IT for me -- my five-year-old daughter was actually bitten in the face by MY parents' friendly family dog who was ALSO never a problem, and she was hospitalized overnight and had plastic surgery. It was very ugly for all concerned and the stress and drama drug out a LONG time, long story short. So yeah -- flashbacks!!
Anyway, I handled the situation as gracefully as I could and didn't make any sort of stink, but we did leave right away and my husband got an earful on the way home and afterward. He talked to his dad about our concerns just before Thanksgiving, finally, and my FIL reluctantly agreed to hang onto the dog and take it on himself to make sure she didn't leave his side during the hour or so we would be there (or this is what my husband told me he said, at least). They couldn't put her in a room by herself or put her in her crate, he said, because she would howl and be depressed and bother everyone. And...he didn't even do the little that he said he would do. Nothing was different, the dog roamed freely, I refused to put my son down while trying to keep a smile on my face and make pleasantries with extended family, and the visit was extremely nerve-wracking for me. And I've been on my husband since then to talk to his dad AGAIN to let him know that the "plan" on Thanksgiving did not work for us, go over our concerns and stress that we're not judging them but we would be really crappy parents if we allowed history to repeat itself after there have been plenty of warning signs that their 10-year-old dog who arrived at their house set in her ways doesn't like kids and obviously gets agitated when any attention is taken away from "her" people, and we won't be able to come to their house over Christmas if they can't/won't promise us that she'll be kept away from the kids. The earlier the better, to help soften the blow to both us and them and give them some time to let this sink in. But, he really hadn't said much of anything as of yesterday. Not to any meaningful extent, at least. My MIL had something planned last night where she had hired a Santa to "pop in" and visit our kids and my niece at their house. She's done this the last few years. I had already e-mailed my MIL myself about this two weeks ago, saying we'd put it down on the calendar (as requested) and would love to make it as long as they were willing to please put the dog away while the kids were there (this message went ignored, which didn't surprise me). So yesterday my husband was out of stalling time to check with his dad about whether or not they were planning to comply with this request, and forced the issue briefly when my FIL met up with him at work (they work at the same company) to hand off the "Christmas outfits" that my MIL had bought for our kids to wear last night. Basically, my FIL was defensive and said no, they weren't willing to put the dog away in another room or kennel her at our place while we were there (we only live about two miles apart) or anything of the sort, and we were being ridiculous and exaggerating. Besides, us taking this stance is saying we don't trust them, and they take offense to that. Oh, and apparently I was accused of kicking their dog under the table on Thanksgiving, too (in other words, I'm just a mean dog-hater and this is the only reason why I'm now refusing to allow my kids to be around their dog -- realize that I've been involved in animal rescue for some nine years now and am the person who stops traffic to round up a lost dog and find its home). My husband tried talking to him on the phone last night as well, hours later, shortly before Santa's scheduled arrival at my in-laws' house. Same general result, and my MIL was also shrieking unintelligably in the background, my husband said.
Needless to say, we didn't go there last night. I'm sure the "punishment" for "ruining plans" or whatever will be a long one, and I imagine all sorts of wonderful things were said about us to extended family. My in-laws are extremely stubborn people. And we're certainly not planning to go to their house tonight for their annual Christmas Eve "thing" (which is always a HUGE deal), either. I'm hoping to drop off our gifts at my brother-in-law's house this afternoon. Extended family arrives there this weekend as well, there's also the old family friends who always come from out of state for New Year's Eve, and my husband's grandparents will be there from Florida the 26th - 3rd. These are all events we would normally be expected to be there for, to see everyone and help entertain (and forget about asking anyone to come visit our house; these are my MIL's gigs and she MUST be the hostess in charge of every last detail). It's really too bad. My husband has been in an extremely grouchy funk since last night now, too -- great. Merry Christmas!!
Despite all of these things that caused me to post this long rant here,
I really am looking forward to the baby coming. I have all the confidence in the world in my birth team and recently secured plans to have a certified doula/ recent friend be at the birth, plus there's a "new" postpartum doula in town ("new" in quotes because she practiced for years in Seattle and is getting back into it here) who's offered a free eight hours of her services to two of my midwife's homebirth clients to get her business going and get the word out...and I'm one of the lucky ones!
I'm so thrilled about that! I've spoken to her on the phone and will meet her in person in early January.
And I'm looking forward to trying my hardest to make it a GOOD DAY today and tomorrow. I plan to take the kids to a chamber choir concert of Christmas carols at a big, historic church downtown at 1:30 today. After that, it's baking cookies and Chex Mix, starting a fire in the fireplace, and watching movies and playing games as a family. We'll probably order or make pizza and maybe drink hot chocolate in our pajamas while we drive around looking at Christmas lights. I'd like to go see a movie at the theater tomorrow, too, after opening presents from Santa and having a lazy start to the day. Whatever we do, I refuse to be stressed out or cranky; I've been that way WAY too much lately. If there's one thing I've learned from this it's that you have to take control of your own situation, not rely on others to make the changes you want so things will be smoother. It's high time to create our OWN family traditions for the holidays, besides. A friend put it to me yesterday that I don't want my kids to grow up to dread the holidays and think of them as a huge source of stress every year the way I always have as an adult, do I? That really hit it home.
Anyway, that's where I'm at today.