Tuesday, September 26, 2023


The new Jewish year began with Rosh Hashanah two weeks ago. Our lives have not gotten any less hectic but we're learning to manage. Or rather, we're learning our breaking points and trying to manage steering clear of them. 

We're still the primary caretakers of an adult with special needs who moved into our home. I'm working diligently to get this person out of our home and into a space of their own. Due to several factors there are limitations to the options, government programs, and opportunities available for this person. Nevertheless we are motivated to find a right fit as soon as possible. Their presence in our home is not good for our marriage, our family, my sanity, or our kids. So, working on it. 

People say things like, "Wow. You're so incredible for taking this on; so amazing for taking care of this person." No. It's not amazing. It's incredibly shitty that this was dumped on us. The only thing that I did was not drop them off at a homeless shelter when this happened. It's so incredibly unfair and so avoidable that this person ended up homeless and helpless because their parents didn't take care of basic things when they could have during their lifetime. 

It feels trite to sum up the Jewish holidays in a few sentences while there's so much stress going around in the foreground, but they did happen and it was nice enough. The kids are now almost-4 and 16 months old. They had adorable outfits, very much enjoyed the holiday meals, and were in groups at shul, though the older one didn't like the change of scenery from the regular room which they switched up to accommodate the bigger group. I was thinking back to Yom Kippur last year where the baby, at only 4 months old, was so cranky and fussy the whole day and ended up in the ER that night because of RSV. This year was thankfully much better, though fasting while taking care of little kids is no joke. 

The conversation about transferring the last embryo continues. I'm a few months away from turning 40. That in itself is only one reason I feel pressure to move forward. I don't want to keep the embryo on ice forever, and I'm not interested in waiting years before deciding. If it doesn't stick then we're done, and I can move on either way. I will be sad but I don't think I'll be devastated enough to change my mind about doing more IVF cycles. The problem is that getting to the point of a transfer means I need to psych myself up (after convincing my husband that it's a good idea) and then putting ourselves in a situation where it may not succeed. If we transfer we need to be ready for either outcome. He's not ready for another. If the roles were reversed I wouldn't want him to try to convince me. I feel like as long as there's an embryo available we should transfer it; we worked way too hard and sacrificed way too much to not transfer it. I can understand both sides of the argument, and I worry that one of us will end up permanently resentful if we don't get on the same page soon. At least the conversation continues.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Little teapot

Taking on a dependent adult with special needs has turned our entire life upside down. Doctor appointments, program scheduling, ride coordination, finances, construction on our home, setting them up a new life in a new state. All this on top of the regular chaos of the life that we actually signed up for.

I have so much anger about it. So much resentment that this adult person's parents didn't take the time to make the arrangements needed during their lifetimes. I can't take out the resentment on the individual; it's not their fault. It's also not their fault that they can't do things for themselves. I don't want it coming out on my kids or at work so it burns up the bit of energy I have to just keep it from exploding. 

I have the personality and skills to take this on but I'm resentful that I have to and that I was given no choice or say in the matter. I'm frustrated that the responsibility lies on my shoulders and since I don't do things half-assed it will get done correctly at a cost to myself or my family. There is a finite amount of my energy, resources, and time and I'm frustrated I need to spend it on this because someone else dropped the ball. I'm the glue and I'm coming apart.

It feels wrong to complain. It feels like by complaining I'm not grateful for the good parts of what's happening in our life at the same time. It feels like I'm taking for granted the good parts of life that haven't been affected by this. So I'm not sure how to vent. Or to whom.

You know how sometimes people do crazy things to their hair (get bangs) when they're feeling like they need to get some control? I left my hair alone but I got some piercings. I tried therapy but it wasn't helping. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

In the weeds

For years I took pride in not having fallen off the writing wagon, and tried to update with at least one post a month since the start of the blog. I didn't want mine to become one of those blogs that grew weeds and was rarely updated. But.... life happened. More specifically, life with some curveballs. 

My husband's mother passed away unexpectedly in February. In addition to processing his grief at losing his last living parent so suddenly, we were also tasked with some monumental hurdles such as cleaning out his childhood home, dealing with finances, and taking on the responsibility of another adult family member with special needs. 

It's been a very difficult road. We've relied heavily on extended family members to help us bridge the gaps in our ability and capacity. 

There have been some significant internal struggles as well. Knowing our kids will never get to know my husband's parents. How unfair it is that they waited so long for grandchildren and never really got to enjoy them. How unfair it was of his parents not to make any arrangements for their finances or the special needs family member, leaving it all to us to sort out and stress over. How traumatic its been to clean out someone else's 40+ years of accumulations in a house that could have been downsized years ago. Lot of guilt. Guilt at not being present for our kids while we deal with this. Guilt of what-ifs, had we done something different would things have turned out better? There's no way to know. The truth is that no one was in a place to receive feedback even if we had the wherewithal to provide it. Guilt about asking for help when we need it. Guilt for not being better prepared for this unprecedented situation. Not saying any of the guilt is justified; just stating that it's there.

So we move forward. We're trying to make the best of the situation, or at least keeping our head above water until we get some better footing. Trying to deal with several "#1 top" priorities simultaneously. 

I'm trying to make sure our kids don't feel the brunt of the stress. I'm also trying to keep routine as much as possible, and remembering to take the time to enjoy them every day. Between the ear infections, coughs, other doctor appointments, filling out forms for childcare and camp, packing lunches and washing bottles, endless questions, tantrums, and constant laundry, there is so much love these little beings bring into our life. 

The conversation of transferring our last embryo has taken a semi-permanent back seat until things settle a little more. We're not on the same page about it, but there's no point in bringing it up when we're operating at maximum stress levels. So the conversation waits while the lil guy chills on ice for the time being.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Happy January

It's been so long that I forgot my password. I started writing this a week ago and then got side tracked and logged out again.  It's 90% freeform brain dump so there may be some inconsistencies, typos, and mild chaos. Let's go.

Winter break was adventurous. Daycare and school were closed so we had everyone home for a stretch of time. I thought it might be a good idea to take a trip using points for a couple of nights, just for a change of scenery. We were among those passengers affected by the Southwest fiasco when our flight was canceled and we were stuck out of town. Our "free" trip ended up costing a whole lot but I hope we'll get it back from Southwest. Luckily we were staying with family and weren't stranded but it was the four of us in one room and the unknown of when we're getting home was stressful. We also had some crazy weather that resulted in fallen branches, downed live wires, broken fence, and a power outage for several days. The only thing I tried to save was my very small stash of frozen milk at neighbors and the rest had to get tossed. Now to deal with the cleanup, insurance, and follow up. Adult things.

Even with the flight hiccups, I would still fly Southwest. It was our first trip ever traveling with kids and we learned a lot. Kids under two can technically ride for free as a lap child but there are so many barriers to that so it makes sense to pay for the seat if you can afford it. Flying over the holidays was mayhem. Flying after a storm was chaos because all the delayed flights were trying to also get out. Unless your lap kid is under a month old, it's hard to have them sitting and comfortable for the whole plane ride. They need a seat. A stroller in the airport is key. A double stroller in the airport is a nightmare. Travel light - buy whatever you can at your destination. If you're checking a suitcase, assume it won't arrive so you can plan accordingly, and then be pleasantly surprised if it does. Keep all the things you need for the kids in one bag, stored under the seat in front of you instead of overhead.

I'm trying to figure out how to plan a trip for passover or the summer or something. I completely understand the feeling of wanting to "get away" but I'm not looking to run away from my family - I'm trying to figure out the logistics of taking them with me, as hard as it is to travel with babies. I just need a change of scenery from the routine. I thrive on predictability and I'm pretty sure most people appreciate routine, but sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. Only a bit - too much and it's overwhelming and chaotic and I want to go home. 

I tried to find a way to get more fitness in my day. I even rented a peloton to try it out. I used it once before we all got violently ill with a stomach virus which knocked me out for a week. Then it was winter break. Then it was other things. Long story short I've returned the bike. My comfort zone is walking outside, specifically with a stroller. During the height of the pandemic I set a goal to walk at least half an hour daily just to get outside and get some air. The weather is still too cold to do that and I don't want to wait until spring to start. But it's also not my main issue - it's exhaustion. I'm still in the stage where if it's quiet I just go to sleep. I don't have time for hobbies; I don't prioritize chores; I rarely socialize and when I do it's incredibly planned out. When it's quiet it's time to sleep. Even a short nap makes a difference. Some nights the kids are in bed by 7:30 and I'm asleep by 7:40. When they wake up at random intervals at night, obviously not overlapped because that would be too convenient, I take whatever sleep I can get whenever I can get it. Then coffee. Then pastries because who can think clearly to make good food choices when tired. Then exhaustion. Then repeat. So when I feel like when I can get at least six uninterrupted heavenly hours of sleep in a row, that's when I'll be able to schedule in workouts too. I'll even take four in a row. 

Whenever I think of the exhaustion and this particular phase of life, I start thinking about a third and how that could ever fit in. I've never before been so conflicted about something as I am about this and as a decisive person that is an unsettling feeling. My age, my health, my sanity, my bank account are all factors. In my heart I know I'd love more but does that do justice to the ones I already have. Can I really take on more? If we have another embryo in the freezer, how can we not transfer it? Transferring doesn't equate baby so we need to be prepared for either outcome. We need to be prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, to expand the family again. If I could go back to my 2016 self and explain that it will be a rocky road along the way, but that I'll be contemplating this in 2023, I'm not sure I'd have believed it. I've gone up and down in my pros and cons about a third and every time I start spiraling down the what-if's I add more to that blog post and try to put it away. My baby is growing up so fast and I want to enjoy this time with him. There will be time to revisit this and decide somewhere down the line but in the meantime, I'll enjoy the kids as they are now and try to remember to take deep breaths every so often. 

Parenting is an incredible joy and I feel so incredibly blessed. So so thankful that we're at this point. Even with the chaos of trying to keep up with the laundry and dishes and bags to pack and lunches and pumping and sweeping so much cheerios off the floor and and worrying and appointments and more cheerios on the floor and I'm so tired and wrangling a tiny octopus into a onsie that he absolutely abhors because who needs clothes even when it's freezing outside and endless buckling in and out of carseats and drop offs and pickups and so many bottles to wash and omg is the dishwasher broken again and please finish your food before you start negotiating for more screentime and why is there cheerios on the floor I just cleaned here and cute videos circulating to the family and they're sleeping and I miss them. 

This is what I prayed for. As hard and draining as it is, it's a phase that I know I'll miss once they're grown up and don't need me as much. I'll have time for toes in the sand later. Right now I have to sweep some cheerios and enjoy some tiny toes that refuse to stay socked.

Thursday, December 8, 2022


It feels like we never settled into a new groove since the newest addition to our family joined in May. Between one virus after another, being unable to get any help due to these illnesses, and the severe sleep deprivation that has settled into a semi-permanent brain fog, I'm not feeling like myself. 

The rise in anti-semitism is scary and mentally draining. The threat feels real and ever present. 

On top of that I'm feeling a lot of financial pressure. I know we've been hearing about "inflation" and "rising costs" as buzz words in news snippets whenever I can catch them or on social media posts, but I didn't realize how much it affects us until I saw a trend in the grocery shopping. I still do most of my shopping on an app and then pick up. It not only helps me stick to a list but I save an hour or two of walking around the store. I usually buy the same items so I can easily add them to my cart in the middle of a meeting or late night feeding and fit it into my day somehow. But that means I can also easily see the price increases over the past few months and it's insane. We're not buying exotic food. Eggs, milk, cheese, fruit, and vegetables.... all skyrocketed. I'm not even buying that much. The 5 lb bag of flour is now at $6.59 -- what? Switching brands immediately. There's the option to shop around and buy the cheapest things in different stores but I'm barely holding it together so I don't know if I can handle trying to add that to my mental load. 

It keeps bringing up the idea that I need to come up with more income. We're not spenders so it's not a question of pinching somewhere. Either me or my husband or both of us need to bring in more money. It's a scary economy right now and I'm worried about leaving stable work. On the other hand I shouldn't have to transfer money from savings just to be able to afford milk or formula for my babies. Yes, formula. I'm still pumping but the use of decongestants over the summer tanked my supply and I'm stuck underproducing. That story has its own baggage of stress.

I've also been stressing out about the exorbitant cost of summer childcare. Daycare in general is so expensive but for some reason reliable, licensed, good care over the summer months is even more expensive. I'm looking at nearly $7,000 for both of them for only eight weeks and it doesn't even cover the gap weeks between school and camp. Not only is it so much money, but these programs also want you to pay in full months in advance to hold the spot. Another dip into savings??

I considered maybe traveling for part of the summer by maybe cobbling together something with points and credit card miles and stay with family. It will still cost a lot and we don't have the paid time off of work but that might be a wash considering the alternative. I want to make it work because I love the idea of taking my babies to see the world. I'm not sure if it's the financially responsible choice though.

I think the first step is to get more than 45 min of sleep. The world looks different on the other side of a good rest. I know this is a season. I know we'll get past it. I know we'll figure it all out. I just don't know the path from where we are now to where we want to be. I hear memes mention adultier adults and I feel like that's what I'm looking for - just someone to help me out of the plateau I seem to be stuck in and help me help myself. Or someone to write a check for a lot of money and tuck me in for a long nap.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


The other morning I got a message from my fertility clinic. It was an email blast sent to everyone (I guess they don't filter out inactive or past patients) about the upcoming schedule around the holidays and end of year. They're letting people know last date to start any IVF cycle before the lab closes for its annual maintenance and cleaning. 

There's a strange feeling about seeing a reminder for something that used to take up so much mental capacity in the past. There used to be anxiety related to memories of the days when we were in the height of fertility treatment, where recalling details would bring on fresh waves of pain of loss and hopelessness. 

Now, under the fog of sleepless nights for the best possible reasons and the most exhausting mental juggle that is parenthood, getting that reminder brings some comfort. And relief. And renewed sense of appreciation for the helpers that got us to this point.

What a world of difference. As overwhelmed or frustrated as I get sometimes at the lack of personal space and time these days, I'm feeling incredibly grateful for what does fill up my mental capacity these days.

Saturday, October 15, 2022


 We're talking about how it's ridiculous that the toddler isn't yet potty trained. We've tried it before (twice) and for various reasons it didn't stick. We know it's up to us to drive this wagon because he's comfortable and sees no reason to make a change. 

But it's been a time. We tried at winter break last year when I was in my second trimester. He was withholding at school so they said it was too much pressure and reassured me that he'll for sure catch on before I have the baby. Well.

Had the baby in May and since then it's been one thing after another. Ear infections. Bronchitis. Pneumonia. Whole family got covid. Then baby got RSV. Then toddler got a stomach bug. What in the world. We haven't had a full work week in months. 

I've been exhausted. My husband is exhausted. We're mentally drained. When are we supposed to also add the stress and pressure of getting a toddler  - who is lukewarm about participating, at best - to use the toilet. He's not motivated by food prizes. Stickers are not interesting. He's too smart to get bribed. I don't have the energy for it. I know it needs to happen. Just like we need to move him from a crib to a bed. I know. We don't want him to be the weirdo first grader who's still in a crib because his parents were too lazy, I get it. 

This is something we think about when we contemplate having any more. They say it's rough in the beginning, and that's true. I just want my babies to be happy and healthy. That's my wish for everyone this coming year. My goal is to have him toilet trained and in a bed by Thanksgiving. Wish me luck.


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