Friday, August 29, 2008

Wedding, wedding, wedding!

For a full week we were completely immersed in all things wedding and family related. I think I can safely say the celebrating is over and semi-regular life is beginning again. Which means I can start to revisit my blogs again!

I have been blogging for several months over at Notes on our Nuptials and that is also where I will start doing the wedding re-caps and picture sharing, so if you're curious, please check in there once in a while. Our professional pictures should be back to us by early next week and those are the ones I'm really excited to see! We also have some great shots up that our friends took at our rehearsal dinner and our wedding/reception here in my Flickr account.

All in all, I really think it was the best day of my life. I mean, of course birthing my daughter's was amazing, but there was alot of pain involved there. The wedding? Not too much. Matt's vows made me cry, as did his sister's (my sister-in-law!) reading. Blubbering baby, I tell you. Crying all over the place. Everything was perfect, albeit rushed. The party was a blast. Having family all here was amazing. I wish I could relive the wedding, without the planning, once a year. It's making me sad to think wedding's are a once in a lifetime thing. Well, for me it will be, anyways ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just getting worse

I have blogged in the past about Eloise's sleep issues. She is seriously a horrible, awful sleeper. She has been forever. She waivers between being an okay sleeper and being a horrendous sleeper. Once in a while she surprises us as a great sleeper for a night or two. I can count on one hand how many times she has fallen asleep without needing to be nursed or snuggled up with. It's getting infuriating because the work it requires to get her to sleep is a nightly, hours-long affair. Matt and I are both at the end of our rope with her sleep issues.

We are even at the point that we would let her cry-it-out (CIO) if we thought it would work. The only night it did "work" was after we had literally been laying with her for hours and she passed out from sheer exhaustion at about midnight. Not exactly what I would call a success.

The last two times I brought Eloise in for a doctor's appointment our family doctor suggested we let her cry at night. At first I laughed it off, now I wonder, would it work? I mean, would it work eventually? Before the neighbor's called CPS on us? How do people in apartment buildings pull something like that off, especially when it would take hours upon hours every single night of ear-piercing shrieking for god knows how long? Yeah. I think we would be thrown out. We would be homeless because our daughter hates to sleep. We have let her cry at times simply because we can't tend to her sleep needs another second longer. It's a survival mechanism, letting her cry, for her survival.

It's hard because we're getting to the point where we're just so resentful of her. Of the time she needs, of how unhappy she is, of how much our relationship with each other suffers because of how intensive her sleep needs are. Every night and every nap for TWO YEARS. I am about to pull my hair out.

So what now? I have no idea. We just want a break from the madness. We want her to sleep, or at least we want to not have to deal with it for a good, oh, month. It sucks because I want to be done nursing her. I want to be done co-sleeping with her. I want to be done with everything because of how much trouble her sleep is. I can't even imagine what a better mother I would be to these girls if Eloise actually was a decent sleeper, which makes me resent her even more. Which makes me feel like somehow along the line we failed her.

See, the other side of the coin is, we've never been good at establishing healthy sleep habits. She doesn't have a consistent wake up and bed time. She doesn't have a night-time routine. We haven't tried exactly the same thing for long enough periods of time in order to see if it actually helps.

So now we're stuck with a two year old- Two!- who hates to go to sleep and who has now made our lives mostly a series of nights that are shitty and even shittier. Fun times.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Second Birthday Eloise!

Wowsers. My baby turned two today. Officially not for one hour and 13 more minutes, but you know, who's counting the minutes?

How far we have come in the last two years. It's amazing. I am having a hard time articulating at this moment, but here's some pictures to remember the last two years:

Less than 24 hours old.

On her first birthday.

Not from today, but the most recent picture we've got!



Friday, August 15, 2008

MIA around these parts

So dear blog. You've been sorely lacking in attention lately. See, it's this damn wedding. It takes up like 99% of my time lately. But you know what? Next Saturday it will all be over! Then it's just me and you again and you won't have to worry about me getting married ever again.

Seriously. Wedding planning is a sure cure for not getting divorced. I bet people who get divorced hired wedding planners. Because if they did it themselves they would do everything in their power to never to do it again.

And yes, I'm kidding.

Things are okay around here. The wedding is a week from tomorrow, which is exciting. We're on track for being ready for it, which is good. My family starts arriving in Seattle on Thursday and I can't wait to see them all!

Eloise's birthday is coming up on Sunday. I can't believe she's almost two! She still seems like such a baby to me. At two Iris seemed like a very big girl, but not Eloise. She might always be my baby. Just as I am still my mother's baby even though I'm 30, ha ha.

So I'll be back to post with something more exciting later this weekend, just wanted to stop and say hi and apologize to all of you whose blogs I have not been commenting on! I'm still reading through Bloglines, just not taking the extra time to comment. I will again soon, I promise!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It just occured to me

As I was sitting here thinking about what horrible timing it was for Benjamin to pass away it occured to me this is what happened with Lily. Lily died four weeks and a day after Eloise was born. Benjamin died four weeks to the day before our wedding. Both times were filled with enough stress and chaos that it felt/feels like the grief and grieving gets pushed to the side. Life is marching on whether your heart wants it to or not.

Yesterday I washed Benjamin's blanket and today I threw out his litter box. I really have no relics of his time with me to hold on to so it felt pretty sad to be cleaning up those two things. Hopefully soon after the wedding I will put together a photo collage of him like I did with Lily.

At Iris's school today they had a ceremony for Benjamin. Iris got to sit up on a chair and talk about him and it was so sweet. The emotion I get from her seems more like confusion over what happened than sadness at his being gone forever. Come to think of it, I just may be at that same spot right now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

My last Benjamin update

After being completely crazy out of mind about Benjamin being gone, we finally have our resolution today.

In my insistence that Benjamin was still alive and being cared for by someone, I had Matt fax fliers to area vet clinics saying our cat was stolen and that we hoped they would be on the lookout for him.

Tonight one of the clinics called me back. They told me Benjamin was taken to them on Saturday the 26th in severe respiratory distress. They called the animal shelter to see if anyone reported him missing, which we hadn't until noon the following day. The decided to euthanize him. The person who called told me some of his identifying features that we knew were his (like one of his canine's was broken off).

So now, I'm amazingly sad. I'm amazingly mad about how insistent I was about his theft. About how completely I believed the obviously bogus pet psychic. About how pissed I was about the people who left us the note even though they were acting purely out of care for Benjamin. I'm so mad at myself. I'm mad that I let myself get so wrapped in my grief that I let myself believe anything and everything but the truth about the situation.

Benjamin is gone. I'm okay with that, he was about 18 years old, after all. He had a good run. The day he walked out the front door for the last time, without any tags (stupid, stupid) he seemed as normal as ever. I will always be curious how he got so sick so fast, but you know, that's like a really small detail at this point and I won't be searching for the answer.

For what it's worth I'm sending a check to the vet clinic to thank them, along with a nice note. I am also sending along a note hoping they will forward it to the anonymous person who took him in and left us the note on the light pole.

I'm asking for forgiveness from the universe for how angry I was at the world about this, when in actuality, we were very lucky that someone helped give him a humane death. I always considered myself a loving, trusting person, but that all went out the window this past week. My dear friend Julie was helping me to be more gentle with myself, but likely that will be a work in progress.

Thank you to ALL of you who sent your well-wishes to me during this horrible time. It helped alot, it really did. Thank you.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The insane update on Benjamin

Please, if you read this, please please leave a comment about what you make of this. I would greatly appreciate ANY insight anyone has to offer.

So, if you haven't yet, go back and read the post I wrote a couple posts back about my conversation with the psychic on Friday night.

Okay. This morning Matt gets a phone call. It's a guy saying he's standing outside by our lost cat poster and says there is an envelope tacked to the pole under the poster. Matt opens the apartment door and the guy calling him is standing on the corner in front of our building. He goes and grabs the envelope and brings it upstairs and hands it to me. There is a computer-written, unsigned note inside that said exactly this:

"To Benjamin's Family

Benjamin was found near here in physical distress. He was vomiting and his breathing was not normal. He had no tag or collar, and so was thought to be a stray.

He was taken and cared for, but his condition was severe and he did not live. Please know that he was held and comforted in the most tender way, and did not die alone.

We are very sorry for your loss."

No way at all to identify who left this. Also, it was left at some point between about 11:30 last night and about 7:00 this morning.

We have run this over and over and over in our heads and it just doesn't make sense at all to us. I contacted the psychic and she told us that the person who has him wants us to stop looking for him and it doesn't feel truthful at all.

Interestingly, we ran the note by other people who don't at all believe in psychics, but absolutely think the note wasn't truthful, as well. Of course, some of our friends did think it was genuine. Most people thought the note was strange, however, and just didn't think it made sense that the person who left the note didn't call us, didn't try to contact us when our cat was found (we had flyers up within 12 hours of him going missing and he wasn't sick when he went missing). It is all so bizarre.

Matt and I are very angry about it. We want to get to the bottom of who left this for us and I believe we will. I've started contacting people to help us and although I may get laughed at, I'm going to the police, as well.

Wish us luck. And pass alone advice or any thoughts you have. Seriously, any words of wisdom help at this point.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pet Psychic

Tonight I had an appt with a pet psychic. I am well aware that this is something most people will really roll their eyes back in their head over, but hear me out. It was amazing.

The other night I was having a panic attack over my lost cat Benjamin. I just didn't know how I could move on not knowing what happened to him. I thought, someone knows where he is, I know it, and that brought me to the idea of finding a psychic to work with. First I asked on MDC (where I ultimately found the psychic I worked with) but I also talked to my brother's girlfriend, Guin, who has done some intuitive work-- she's studying to become an energy healer. Anywho, she recruited some friends to get some readings for me and delivered their messages this morning, which was mostly that he was alive and was being cared for.

So, no surprise when I got on the phone with Terri tonight (the psychic) and she immediately tells me Benjamin is alive, safe and being taken care of. She said he was close by, in someone's home. He was sitting in the window in a pale yellow room. He had food. He had absolutely crossed the street to get to where he was (we didn't think he would have crossed the street, so this was important to know). She made specific suggestions as to how to get him back, as well. Basically it sounded like someone had him who thought he wasn't being well taken care of and they don't want to give him back. She had some very specific suggestions for me on taking care of Benjamin when he comes home, as well. I was blown away by what she said he needed because she focused on A) giving him 24 hour access to his food (this was something he didn't get because the dog eats his food) and B) helping keep him safe from the girls. These were the two biggest issues we have been having and she picked up on that without me telling her. She believes he is in a house across the street to our south, as well. Not only did she give speculation on where he was and how he was doing, but she absolutely keyed in on things that I believed she had no way of knowing other than being very intuitive. Matt is still skeptical, but you know, when we have Benjamin back, he'll eat all of those eye rolls he gave me!

Terri also had alot to say about other things, about the health of some of our family members. I won't get in to that here out of respect for those people, but it was amazing as well. She just kept talking about it and let me know that she was getting a strong message that it was important for me to have that info. She kept reminding me that everything is curable.

In addition, she asked me about our dog. I told her a few brief things about Heidi and she let me know that Heidi was our previous dog, Lily, coming back to us. I asked her if Heidi had any abandonment issues because we were her third home she's had. She said no, that Heidi was just waiting to get to us. Oh, and before that she said that she picked up on that Lily had died already and Heidi was our new dog. She had something to say about Lily's death, I don't remember what exactly, but she knew something about the events surrounding her death. She told me Lily thought it was the perfect death (or something like that) and that she knew it was really difficult for me. Gosh, I wish I could remember more clearly what she said.

Anyways, this is all I remember, or have written down. Off to bed! We need to get up early to get to work on finding our cat!

Hypnotherapy

I had a really intense day. Will do my best to document it all here for anyone interested, but I'm mostly writing it for myself to be able to look back on as I need to.

This morning I had an appt with my dear friend Julie who just completed her training to be a certified hypnotherapist. I was a little familiar with what she might do since I did some hypnotherapy when I was pregnant with Eloise in preparation for her birth. We began our session talking about how our brains work, how beliefs get formed, how hypnotherapy helps to re-program our subconscious. I brought up a few things I was interested in working on, one was my phobia/anxiety. We decided to focus on that. First she did a few things to see how suggestable I was and how well my imagination worked. She did three different little things with me that I seemed to show a good level of suggestability-- an exercise where I imagined one hand held balloons and the other held a bucket of sand, another where I clasped my hands together and she "screwed" them together without touching them, and the last where I laid back, holding a pendulum and was able to make it go whichever direction I wished only using my mind. I was very surprised that these exercises worked so well!

After that we got in to the main exercise. Basically Julie helped me deeply relax in to a suggestable state of mind. She walked me through the steps I needed to rid my subconscious mind's association of fear/pain with the issues I have my anxiety over. It was really cool. Afterwards I didn't feel that much different, but I am curious how I will react next time I am faced with the situation I have difficulty with.

We ended by doing an exercise which taught me how to put myself under a hypnotic state so that I may relax more on my own. Oh, we also talked about the importance of things like positive self-talk, and the law of like attracting like. It was a powerful session overall and I can't wait to try it again! See what else we can fix, huh?