Monday, February 28, 2011

What my life has been like lately

Ok this is going to be a whinefest...just warning you. I think I deserve to whine a bit after the last 2 weeks I've had.

Starting at or around Valentine's Day Maeve got sick. Sore throat, lots of crying about how her throat hurts (she always gets a sore throat when she gets sick, and she has NO tolerance for pain whatsoever. Its a joy to listen to alllll day long, lemme tell you.) Midweek Tyr also caught the same bug, presumably. Both coughing, snotty and unhappy. Adam started feeling it by the end of the week (another that has NO tolerance for discomfort, so he was not a happy camper either) and by Friday my throat was starting to be sore and by Saturday my body starting to ache.

Saturday Feb 19 we had a trip to SCICON to see the salamander migration. An annual tradition. 5 families planning on caravan-ing with us and enjoying the adventure so there was no way I was going to consider post-posting. So the Smith family trekked around the trails with 4 other families (1 couldn't make it last minute), and halfway through Maeve couldn't hike any further and Adam stayed with her at a pretty spot while I took the rest of the families. After we got back to the center of campus from that trail, both kids were exhausted (the bug was making hiking difficult for them), so Adam took our 2 kiddos back to the car in the parking lot while I took the remaining 2 families who still wanted to hike some more out another trail to find more elusive amphibians. (Disappointing trip as there were not nearly the number of the little buggers as last year). Upon returning my trail group to the parking lot, I felt like my body needed to crash for a week. The aches and tiredness had made it to my bones.

The drive back to Fresno (about 2 hours) I don't know that I moved much. I slept a lot and just couldn't move.

Sunday we all were drop-dead sick. Adam took off the first couple days of the next week as all of us were coughing up a lung and blowing noses like trumpets all over the place. Body aches and pains and general all-over weakness and exhaustion were the norm for everyone.

Maeve recovered first...early the week of Feb 21. Then she was not so fun to be around because she was whining how bored she was. Tyr appeared to be mostly better so I let the 2 of them go on Monday with my parents so that Adam and I could just sleep. The next day Tyr was worse. And he's not better yet...nearly 2 weeks later.

Maeve continued to be well though and spent most of that week of the 21st with my parents. Adam went to work for a couple days but was back home resting on Friday and the entire weekend just laying about, coughing and blowing nose.

Me, I was pretty sick last week, since I was the last to fall...Hating life, coughing up a lung, blowing my nose like crazy, tired and achy all over, dosing with nyquil and dayquil to be functional to care for Tyr, who was the only one of all of us to get a fever.

Tyr, on the other hand, manifested this virus differently...Vomiting and fever and developing a head to toe rash. He has been just miserable. Somewhere in the midst of all this he has developed a severe aversion to taking medicine. Made getting him to take something to help, darn near impossible. Crying, thrashing, demanding that he have me right there next to him at all times laying with him (with his head on my arm at all times). His fever went from 99 to 102 for days on end. Finally took him to Dr K on Friday Feb 25 since the rash was the last straw. Now not only was he coughing, snorting and lethargic and feverish but he was constantly scratching. Dr K said its not a bad cold or even the flu...but he thinks its a different virus. All 4 of us in that tiny exam room waiting for him, alternating coughing, was a real fun trip, lemme tell ya.

Now here I am on the tail end of it and I'm finally not coughing so much and my nose is tolerable...but I'm still tired all the time, and just feeling weak. I've been out on errands here and there and feel fine about that, but I just can't get my body to bounce back entirely. Probably the lack of sleep for over a week is contributing. Tyr wakes me up constantly still. He's still spiking a fever the 2nd half of the day, though he's had 3 days now of waking with no fever. First half of the past 3 days he seems to be finally on the mend then halfway through the day he crashes and wants to lay down with me and not do anything. Wants to go to sleep early too. And not eating much.

With the exception of Maeven, who's only got the lingering cough now, we all seem to keep going back and forth with this thing. We feel better then worse again. We are not even doing anything, just laying around for days on end and still we can't get our energy back. Its very frustrating! I want all of us to be fully WELL again!

And today I'm just pissy. I'm sick of the state of our house (which, I've been slowly working on as I am feeling better, but can only do short bursts of work), and of forcing my kids to sit around and not go anywhere or do anything for days on end. Sick of the inside of this house. Sick of everything. Sick of trying to scrape together meals for sick people who are even pickier eaters lately with food that is practically nonexistent and we don't even have the money to go out and buy what we need because as usual we are broker as hell. (Payday is tomorrow, but that's going to be all used up practically on our mortgage payment. Not sure how much food we'll be able to get. I need to get some more advertisers to buy us some food!)

Anyway, I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now Tyr is demanding that I feed him more food...not sure what else I can find for him...but I should go. *sigh*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

making the best of where i am

i woke up this morning after having some very vivid dreams about moving to jersey (where i spent my high school & early college years) to a fabulous old house i used to live in with lots of big rooms...that house was in a cute little town of freehold (bruce springsteen's "hometown", which isn't so small anymore)...but in my dream it was on the beach (which, as i recall, was only about a half hour away from freehold...correct me if i'm wrong, my friends-who-still-live-there). it was just a gorgeous dream. made me wake up with a strong yearning for that kind of joy: the joy of living somewhere beautiful where you are truly happy.

i have not pulled any punches about how i feel about where i am living now. i hate this city. not the people, there are some really awesome people here...but there's great people everywhere so there's nothing special about that...but just the energy here brings me down. high crime, high heat for months at a time, ugly environment nature-wise and even architecturally...this city has some of the worst air in the nation, and there's little to no nature left here in the actual city limits, which is a great sprawling city that continues to grow in leaps and bounds annually...though the economy has slowed it some recently.

i moved here after living an entire year literally in nature. no town, but out in the middle of forest land. it was a rough move that i suppose i still have not gotten completely over. when i used to visit this city during my life living in nature, i used to say that the energy here was literally palpable...dead energy...life-sucking (vs where i was living which was just full of living energy that made me feel soooo good). i could literally feel it physically. no joke. and its not just contrast of city vs nature. because i used to also visit san fran a lot during that time...and there was a vibrant energy there, despite the fact that it was also a city. i suppose its because S.F. has the beach and all the energy of so many really vibrant people there with all the wonderful architecture and things to do and see that make san francisco just tingle with life. i wouldn't want to live there, its far too expensive, but i love visiting S.F.

but this city i live in now...there's only a couple areas of town that i can feel that sort of energy, beauty and life. most of the city is just ugly and dull.

but this is where i live and where my kids are being raised. and so i do what i can to make it work for me. i dive into project after project to bring the life and energy to this city that i so desperately need in my life.

but its beating me down. i feel sometimes like i'm fighting a losing battle. its damn near impossible to get things going and sustain them. i've tried so many things. and some are successful for awhile, but they always seem to dwindle. activities, groups, classes, organizations...its so friggin hard to get them going and keep them going. it feels like a constant uphill battle. literally.

but i keep trying. i've never in my life lived in a place that i couldn't make work for me. its just taking me decades to get it to work here. i guess i've just lived in some pretty damned amazing places before. (well, living in sicily and okinawa IS pretty ding dang awesome! N.C. too.) i even liked jersey, although my parents hated it with the passion i dislike where i am now. i suspect that was because i was a teen and saw it from different eyes. i had a rockin social life back then, and my friends were my life. and honestly, jersey IS a gorgeous state. they don't call it "the garden state" for nothing.

anyway back to my topic "making the best of where i am." i have to. i find myself sinking in despair after dreams like i had this morning...knowing that i cannot find that sort of feeling here. but i must. i think perhaps the way to make this work is to move our family to the outskirts of town or into the foothills to where there is nature and beauty. my soul yearns for it. and we'd still be close enough to still have family be a part of our lives. that is what keeps me here. my whole family and my husband's whole family are all here. and that is something i missed out on growing up and i swore i wouldn't allow that with my own kids. i wouldn't change my childhood for anything but i do feel a loss from not knowing any of my extended family...my children won't have that feeling.

but getting a new house won't be happening anytime in the near future. money is a huge issue and we are having problems even with monthly bills. but we survive and we keep on keepin on. and i am determined to find a way to add to our income to the point that we are able to have some of the things that i yearn for...to live in a beautiful house in a beautiful area, to be able to travel with the kids all over the country and the world. to be able to make the world our school. oh the things that i want to show my kids and my husband! someday.

but i don't want life to be too easy either...i do believe strongly that financial struggles like we have do indeed build character. i don't want my kids growing up with everything handed to them, everything easy. i believe strongly that that is a great disservice to a child. life isn't easy so i am very open with them about how we just cannot afford to do some of the things that they want to do, or get the things that they want. and i'm ok with that. as long as its not done in a stressful way that burdens the child with worries. my attitude is now and always has been that everything will always work out somehow. it always does. even my pessimistic husband is starting to see that. :)

and so i must make the best of where we are, physically and socially and financially and psychologically. i must make my joy here. somehow. i must. yes, i will. i have it within me to do this. i just haven't figured the details all out quite yet, but i will.