It has been yet another crazy week at the Hall house. I am feeling lots better and got a good report from the plastic surgeon last Wednesday. He is happy with his work and it was encouraging to hear him say that I am healing well. I have to wear a sports bra for a few more days and am supposed to be massaging my chest to soften up the implants. I was instructed to keep up the antibiotic ointment, gauze and sports bra for another week, so minimal fuss and no tape, which is nice. My incisions are itchy and I have a little pain, but they look good. My right side is still (and not shockingly) sore, to varying degrees of discomfort. Some days it isn't too bad, but some days it hurts. I am still mostly sleeping on my back, but I can finally stand to sleep on my sides for short periods of time. I have had a little bit of insomnia the past few nights/mornings; I've woken up at 4 or 5 and can't go back to sleep until it's time to wake up. It is frustrating to still have days where I'm not feeling great; I am ready to GO GO GO, but I am also still taking things slow and easy. Most days are good and I am ecstatic that I feel like my health continues to improve.
When I woke up at 5:30 this morning, I was thinking about what I was doing this time last year, the year before, etc. It has been a pretty amazing few years with the highest of highs and really low lows. This time last year, I was plodding along. I was walking with Annabel a lot and had seen the doctor twice for the lump. I was waiting for my ultrasound appointment that was scheduled in mid-May and while it was on my mind and causing a good bit of anxiety, I might have thrown out the possibility of cancer, but I didn't know it was raging inside me. I was happy and enjoying spring weather and being a stay at home Mommmy. The year before that, I was trying to get back into the swing of work life. All I wanted to do was spend as much time as possible with my little baby. Although I was so happy to be a Mommy, I was sad about leaving my shiny new baby at daycare every day and stressed out about the amount of preparation and organization required to pull off a normal weekday. I felt like I was spending as much time (or more time) getting ready for the next day as I was spending with Annabel. I was not happy with my job and was not happy being at work. There had been a shake-up prior to my maternity leave and when I returned, I had to adjust to the new regime and my compensation plan had changed in such a way that it was unlikely that I was going to be able to hit any goals and therefore, make any bonuses or commissions. I didn't like my manager and felt that there was a huge disconnect and lack of communication with my higher-ups. I had always felt that I was recognized for a good work and work ethic, but I no longer felt that was the case. Annabel's daycare also stressed me out. We had chosen it mainly because it is so close to home, but I quickly found out that her caregivers were not very enthusiastic about breastfeeding and while they officially had an open door policy, I was not exactly welcomed to spend my lunch hour with Annabel every day to feed her. It was very difficult to leave her in the care of people who, while loving and trustworthy, did not support breastfeeding. Annabel rarely napped and frequently spent her time screaming (or so I was told). I guess I had done her a disservice by holding her for the entirety of her first three months of life. Oops! I am sure these things would have been less horrible if I had been more committed to being a working Mom, but the truth was that at the time, I probably would have lived in a tent if it meant that I could be with my child. Scott and I simply didn't think it was possible for us to survive on one income. I was also expecting a bonus owed to me from before my leave and had to put in a minimum amount of time to get the payout for money that had already been earned. The plan was that I would give it 6 months while we saved money and then we could re-evaluate our situation and see whether it would be possible for me to leave my job. Exactly 6 months later, I was laid off. While this was not my fault or my intention, I was thrilled to be thrown into unemployment so that I could stay at home with Annabel. Otherwise, I'm not sure that we would have made the leap. Year before last, I had just found out I was pregnant. I was scared and excited and adjusting to a major lifestyle change. It was the first time since Scott and I had been together where I felt that we weren't forging ahead experiencing the same thing, feeling the same thing, etc. That sounds strange, but we had been so much the same for five years, while we could share the joy of my pregnancy, he could not know what it was like to have a baby in his belly and was not required to stop drinking beer or start eating right, etc. Such began this phase of crazy changes in our lives that has gained momentum and is moving too fast for me to keep up with sometimes!
Annabel is keeping us on our toes. Understatement! She is really loving school right now, especially when she isn't there. She told me on Thursday that she wants to go again and again and again and again and again.... Prompted by driving by her school on the way home from meeting Scott for lunch. I assured her that she will DEFINITELY go to school again and again etc. and that I would surely remind her later of this enthusiasm. I get the impression that she is still quiet and reserved at school, but she's taking it all in and spewing it back out when she comes home. She is finally eating her lunch at school. I had a brilliant idea to "pack" her lunch so that she could pretend at home. Backfire! As soon as I handed her the lunchbox, she became hysterical and told us that she wanted to go to school and now. To be fair, I lost track of time and it was a little late for lunch. She was so upset that I ended up putting her to bed for her nap before she even ate. I tried, but it was no use! When she woke up, I got her lunch out of the lunchbox and she ate it without further incident. She was probably starving, though! So, you never can tell....
The biggest news of the week is that Annabel is potty training. We have had a potty and a potty seat for quite a while now and she plays with it and has occasionally made an attempt, but we are full throttle now. I am sure that this has something to do with school. No time like the present! The only other successful attempt prior to this week was one time when she pee peed on the potty for Auntie Kim. Not shockingly, Auntie Kim kicked off this whole potty initiative with a repeat performance last Monday morning before school. We took her to school in underpants and she came home with the same (dry) clothes on, but with a diaper underneath her underpants. She made an unsuccessful attempt on the potty at school, hence the diaper. I thought that was a great idea to keep things going in a positive way and her teachers told me that they thought she was ready when Kim and I picked her up. Scott kicked things in high gear by bringing home some Jelly Bellys and presenting them as the potty reward. So far we have had a good amount of successes and a small amount of "incidents". I am letting Annabel decide whether she wants to wear underpants, a diaper or nothing at all. There has been lots of streaking and I think three puddles on the floor. The biggest disaster so far has been, of course, of the number 2 variety. It is a good thing that I think poop is funny because nothing was going right when it happened. After a pee pee success, Annabel wanted to wear pajama pants with nothing underneath. She had napped and peed and was playing nicely. I looked up and noticed that she was frozen and had a panicky look on her face. There was a very small puddle at her feet, but her drawers were droopy. I calmly helped her out of her pants and held them shut as we headed to the bathroom...the door was LOCKED. Thank you, Annabel. The dogs became interested pretty quickly and as I was making my way up and down the hall trying to find something to pick the lock with, the poop dumped out in the hallway. Shocker. Anyone who has dogs can guess what happened next...right when I inevitably stepped in poop, Suki slurped some up. I got the giggles so bad that I could barely manage to get the lock picked and finish what was left of clean-up....the floor, the poopy ass, my foot and the pajama bottoms. Boy, do I love this potty training stuff! Neko and Suki (the dogs) have been waiting for an Annabel poop snack for over 2 years now. I was really worried that Neko was going to eat her stinky diapers off of her when she was a baby, so it was a monumental day for all of us. As I was typing this, we had the 2nd number two accident (thankfully not as eventful as the first; Scott said she smelled bad and it looked like she had a potato in her underpants). Looks like that is going to be a little tricky, but I am sure she will figure it out before too long. I am pretty impressed thus far, but I am tired of the jellybean pleas. I am SO proud of my baby!
I guess all of this big girlness is getting to her head because she has been living especially loud this week. She is at about 110% whenever she is awake and has been as sassy as ever. I'm sure she has said "NO" at least ten times as many times as she has said "jellybean", and that is A LOT. She is even yelling at the TV. Every time I open my mouth and say her name, she says no before I can even finish what I'm saying. She also seems to have developed a "look" that I can only describe as WTF?, but it is endless and without blinking or flinching until (I assume) she feels like her point has been made and then made very well. For example, I got THE LOOK the other night and it lasted so long that I had time to ask her why she was looking at me like that. She kept it up, but added a really slow smile to let me know that she knows she is making a point. I guess this is part of the terrible twos, but it is hard to navigate the days with all this drama. I think I am amused to a fault because I probably let it go on longer than it should sometimes. OK, most of the time. It must be hard to be such a little thing learning how to be independent. The other day, we went downtown for lunch and to get her some new shoes. We were ready to leave, but by the time I got my purse and keys, she had taken her shoes off and put them on the wrong feet. She refused my help and insisted on wearing them that way. AND wanted to wear her jacket, zipped with the "hoooot" up even though it was 80 degrees outside. To literally top things off, she grabbed one of her hats off the table on the way out the door to wear OVER the hood on her zipped up jacket. Yikes. I somehow talked her out of the extra hat when we were getting out of the car, but we walked two blocks to the store with shoes on the wrong feet and the hooded jacket. Whenever I see a kid dressed weird, I always wonder what happened between the child and his/her mother that this was the compromise. So, I was that lady. When we got to the store, there were two people helping us and the woman saw what was going on and understood right away. The guy was talking to me and stopped mid-sentence to ask Annabel whether she knew that her shoes were on the wrong feet. He got THE LOOK and the woman told him that of course she knew. I am sure that guy doesn't have kids. Annabel walked another block to lunch like that, but Scott convinced her to put her new shoes on (the right feet) as we were leaving. Oh, well. At least she is not wearing a Halloween costume or something. I saw a kid in a Halloween costume recently and it looked like it had been worn every day since last Halloween. I guess there are varying degrees of toddler madness and I feel pretty lucky most of the time in this regard. Lucky ALL the time to have such a wonderful child. She is very entertaining!