Apr 24, 2008

A Bit of A Surprise... But All Is Well

Last Thursday, we had a routine Level II ultrasound up at the hospital. Well, it would've been routine except that it showed the baby's fluid level dropped by 50% in 2 days. And the exam showed I was pre-eclampsic. So we didn't go home and that evening, Evelyn joined us by c-section (my second).

Luckily, she appears to be in excellent shape for a preemie. (She was nearly a month early.) She did have a stay under the bili-lights for jaundice but that appears to be going away as well. A mere 6 pounds at birth (19"), she actually dropped to 5 lb 6 oz before we left the hospital. The picture with her proud big sister doesn't really show exactly how skinny (scrawny, really, poor thing) she is - all sticks - but she's doing her level best to grow though and she was 5 lb 10 oz at her first post-hospital exam two days ago.

We weren't really ready, of course, which made for a really hectic time. We were lucky though and a wonderful friend agreed to take Katie on an hour's notice as we spent the few minutes after the ultrasound trying to shuffle our lives. John spent the weekend trying to ready the house. There are still things that need to be done but we're home and, well, they'll get done when they get done.

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Apr 10, 2008

When Your Dreams Fail

Adjusting to the fact that one's best simply may not be good enough has got to be one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish.

I sing. I'm not the best but I'm a good, solid choral singer. I have excellent sight reading skills and a useful range, particularly in small choirs (where I have sung everything from Alto 2 to Soprano 1). I learn my music quickly and have little patience for "note-banging". I've sung in church choirs since I was 5, in school choirs since 2nd grade, making countless all counties, in college choir, making chamber choir, and in semi-professional (but unpaid) community choirs (Eastman Rochester Chorus, Springfield Symphony Chorus). I have, for a very long time now, wanted to "make something" of my voice.

There is a paid professional chorus (we'll call it the PPC) that I've really wanted to get into. Their director runs incredibly efficient, yet not lacking in humor, rehearsals. They sing really neat music. Both my church choir director and my voice teacher sing for them and know of my goal. I overheard after church choir rehearsal today my choir director encouraging someone to audition for the PPC. And it suddenly became clear that I have been deluding myself. I'm just not at that level and I'm not going to be. And, you know what?, this is a really, really painful discovery.

I think what makes it all worse is that singing professionally was sort of my last dream that I hadn't let go of yet. I had to let go of being a flight instructor (time and money). I had to let go of being a photography professor (grad school and I didn't get alone). My graphic design business never got out of the "struggling" stage and my jewelry creation business doesn't look like it will.

Now, some would say, "well, you're a mother, that should be good enough." Well, you know, for some it may be and I respect that; for me, it ain't. I love my daughter (though she drives me nuts) but, honestly, I'm a mediocre mother. I have no patience and lose my temper easily. I find small children deadly dull. And, even more to the point, I need to be successful in my own right not viewed through the lens of someone else's success or failure.

So now, I have a night job that I'm good at but hate and at which I get no respect (not me, personally, but the task I do), a day job that I'm lousy at (and let's not even talk about the lack of respect presented by 2 year old), and no dreams left to hold onto. All that's left is a long, empty slog to the grave as a middle-of-the-road nothing.

Man, that sucks.

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Apr 6, 2008

The First Night

My baby is growing up ... ::sniff::

She's spending her first night in her new room tonight in her new toddler bed (ok, new to her - we were just going to go with the twin mattress on the floor but a friend offered us their used toddler bed with mattress and bedding free - whee!!)

Once we get her fully moved in (the bulk of the work is done but there are a few small remaining things to do), I'll post before and after pictures of the room. The different is amazing. But for right now, the amazement is that she's old enough to be out of her crib (which she never climbed out of so we never bothered to move her before this) and into a "big girl" room. What's weirder yet is the idea that no one is sleeping in the crib. We've checked on that crib so many times in the last 2.5 years and to see it empty (albeit, God willing, only for a month) is just wild.

Now the question is what to do about the monitor. Several people have told me you can't run more than one monitor in the house (unless it's specifically made with multiple transmitters) because they interfere with each other (and, in fact, we even have trouble with our back yard neighbor's monitor). I'm just not sure I'm ready to give up on monitoring her yet, particularly since we're still potty training and she'll call for help mid-nap. But the multiple room monitors are wicked expensive and the reviews are mixed (some love 'em, some have nothing but problems).

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