Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rough Patch

We've been having a pretty great summer, but this past week and a bit has been anything but.  I know I've taken a step back from this place, but I really haven't had the energy or emotional reserves to process it all.

Of course we are still feeling the absence of our cat.  Even Sprout is looking for her now, questioning "Mo? Mo?" when she wakes up from her naps.  Pointing out the cats in her books and asking "Kitty?"  The Bean tells us a few times a day that he is sad because our cat is gone.  We are sad too.  My dad called yesterday afternoon and I ended up crying on the phone with him for twenty minutes.

On top of that we have been dealing with The Bean being sick.  Concernedly sick.  He seems to be on the other side of it now, thank goodness, but it was pretty awful.  I haven't written about it at length here, but he's had pretty persistent stomach issues for a good two+ years now.  At first we thought he was having a bit of a flare up --we'd been travelling.  Off our schedule.  He threw up.  We worried, but didn't worry too much.  He had started to have bad diarrhea.  We wondered if it was food related.  We booked an appointment with our pediatrician for Celiac (etc.) testing.  Then he started vomiting again. He threw up once a day for five consecutive days.  When we were out running errands.  When we was on the couch chilling out.  When he was sleeping in our bed.  He was barely eating.  He had next to no energy.  He'd wake up, go lie on the couch, and request to be covered in blankets even though it's the middle of the summer.  Jen took him to the urgent care.  They ordered more blood work and stool samples.  They took his weight and Jen noted that he'd dropped over 5lbs.  That's quite a bit percentage of body weight for a kid who just broke the 30lbs mark.  Anyway, things have been improving over the course of this week.  We still don't have any answers as to what it is/was, but I'm glad the worst of it seems to be over.

However, his  behaviour has been SO difficult.  Perhaps we were too forgiving of his moodiness and demands when he was sick.  We have had a lot of ignoring our requests the past little bit.  A lot of yelling.  Even quite a bit of kicking and flailing.  It's awful.  It's exhausting.  I've tried giving him extra attention.  Talking to him.  Listening.  Compromising.  I've tried ignoring.  Threatening.  Taking away privileges.  Nothing seems to be working consistently.  Jen and I were trying to brainstorm about what approach to take last night and after a little bit of talking I told her I was too exhausted to think about it any more.  Hopefully I'm able to gather my reserves and we can decide what we're going to do soon.  We can't let this go on.

On top of it all, it's August.  August is when I'm supposed to be thinking about starting back to work.  Only I'm not starting back.  Again.  And while we agree that me staying home with the kids and Jen working full time (gods willing) is what makes the most sense right now, it doesn't really feel like a decision.  It's more of a default.  Because truth be told there are no jobs in our city in my field that I am able to get.  I can't quite answer why that's the way it is.  I can't even get an interview with the public boards, and the job postings for the private schools are few and far between.  My fingers are perpetually crossed that something changes and I do get an amazing job at an amazing school and there is space for our kids in the daycare that we love, but it's not likely.  Which makes it hard not to think about next fall when The Bean starts kindergarten and what will happen then?  What if nothing changes on the job front between now and then?  What do we do?  Do I stay home until both kids are in school full time?  Do I apply for a job working the cash at a nearby store?  Day shift or night?  Do I take more courses?  Do I go back to school?  Again, we have no real answers here.  And honestly I find the whole thing completely overwhelming.

Anyway, that's sort of where we've been the past few weeks.  There have been some great moments to, to be sure.  And I will try to update on those before too long passes.  Concerts.  Parks.  Visits from family members.  Parties.  Play dates.  Hopefully things which stick in my memory more than some of this other stuff.  


  1. So sorry to hear you're having a hard time. And really sorry to hear the Bean hasn't been well. We're having concerns about Ian's digestive issues again too, and are seriously considering going gluten-free to see if that helps him. He doesn't vomit, but has diarrhea and his stomach starts off flat in the mornings and immediately bloats when he eats. Anyway, it sounds like the Bean is doing better now, but if you want, I can send you the name of Ian's specialist in case you want to try to get a referral for him to see her. She did Ian's colonoscopy and endoscopy and celiac testing etc. and our nephew sees her too.

    Try not to worry too much about his behaviour. It's normal for his age. Ian between 3 and 4 was honestly the biggest challenge of my life. I know it can be so frustrating and I regularly panic and decide we need to "do something" but honestly, I think it just is what it is. You just have to keep repeating yourself and trying to be consistent and hope they soak some of it in eventually. Ian is still a challenge. He loves to push buttons and see what he can get away with, and I have to keep reminding myself that he's looking for a reaction and the more I give him one, the more he will continue the behaviour. (Kim is always reminding me of this because I tend to get really upset by difficult behaviour.)

  2. I'm so sorry it's been rough. :( I'm glad the Bean is feeling better. Hopefully this recent bout was just a virus or something.

    Losing a pet is always hard.

    I'm sorry about the job situation. I know teaching is impossible in these parts. I almost think going to school and changing your career slightly might be best OR consider moving to an area where you can both land jobs? I don't know if that's even an option. I think all of southern Ontario has the teaching surplus though so it'd have to be further away. Another type of job could be good if you can work part-time or something but again, you'd be compromising your family time and time with Jen.

    Sometimes it feels like there are no good answers but later on something good will happen and it will fall into place and you'll see that it pushed you to where you needed to go. That's how I try and look at things like losing jobs, etc. Only because I have been where you were. It sucks now but hopefully there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

    Let me know if you want to get together some time. Maybe everyone over to swim/play at our house? Whatever works for you.

  3. Life is feeling heavy for me too, lately. I hope some of these worries go away soon. Especially hope The Bean heals completely and doesn't get sick like this again.

    Sometimes it's no fun being an adult and having the world rest on our shoulders. One day at a time, it'll get better.

  4. that's a lot of uncertainty to be dealing with! I'm such a planner. Uncertainty makes life challenging for me. It sounds like your family has so much going on. Hope the Bean continues to improve. I'd be so worried about all that weight loss, too!