Wednesday, April 30, 2008

15 again

I just got an email that took me right back to my crazy obsessed teen years. I opened Outlook to discover that I had one message. I assumed it was just another one of my junk emails that I get every morning and immediately delete, but when I opened my inbox, I see that it is from and become immediately giddy with anticipation. Then I notice that the subject line says TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT! I barely scanned the beginning of the email because I was too busy scrolling down the list to see if they were coming here. Sure enough- NKOTB will be in Chicago on Oct. 4th! I feel so silly that I'm so excited! I'm already trying to figure out how much is too much, and worrying about whether or not I'll be able to snag tickets. I'm not sure that I've been this excited about something since Ciara was born. (Not that I'm comparing the two events)
So here's my question- do we ever REALLY grow up?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Missing ME

There seem to be a lot of looming events in my life which are causing me to feel quite nostalgic lately. I must confess that I never did a terrific job of keeping up with the people that I grew up with once we left High School. In fact, there are very few people that I have had any contact with at all during the last 15 years. While I didn't necessarily have an unhappy High School experience, I think that there were definitely scars that needed to heal before I was ready to deal with the people who shared my history with me.
By the time my 10 year reunion came around most of the wounds were at least scabbed over and I was definitely curious to see what people had been up to. I did still hesitate a bit about attending the reunion, but in the end I went and had fun seeing everyone. Even though I enjoyed myself, there was still that little bit of me that was holding on to things that happened long ago and I wasn't 100% ready to let go of my insecurities.
Now another 5 years have passed and I find myself facing another reunion. This time around I am actually quite excited to catch up with everyone! In the last year or so I started MySpace and Facebook accounts and have been catching up with a few of the people who used to feature prominently in my everyday life. As I take a longer look at things it seems so odd to me that I spent so much time with these people for so many years, and now I have absolutely no idea what their lives are like. It seems like life truly is "out of sight, out of mind" sometimes! How could I go from spending nearly every waking minute with a person to not seeing them at all, and somehow never give it a second thought? It seems like my childhood simply vanished the day that I went off to college. I feel like there have been several different versions of me as I have grown up. I believe that this is true for just about everyone- after all, we are all in a constant state of flux, learning and growing and changing every day. However, I think many people bring others along with them on their journey where I seem to have a history of dropping people like a bad habit as I go. I'm really not sure why.
I think that part of it must be simply a matter of geography. As I entered my senior year of High School and began making decisions about where I wanted to go once I graduated, one of my main priorities was to get away from the people that I had known all my life. I felt misunderstood and judged, and I thought that college was my chance at a fresh start. I think that I believed that I would still stay in touch with all of my friends as well, but aside from a couple of fairly uncomfortable encounters with one of my former "best" friends, that never really happened. I did make an attempt to reestablish some connections when I transferred to a school back in my home state knowing that many of my old classmates went there as well. I saw some of them on occasion, but never really got reconnected with anyone. I met my husband shortly after my transfer and he became my focus. I was also still pretty insecure and the fact that my friends had a year and a half of shared history that I was absent from made me feel like an outsider. It wasn't long before I moved to Illinois to be with Kevin and at that point any friendships that had been maintained at all fell by the wayside.
It saddens me that I allowed this to happen. I am the type of person who is content to be on my own, but I do often feel the lack of "sisterhood" in my life. I have never really established any deep friendships here in Illinois. That's not to say that I don't have friends...I do. It's just that I don't have any friends who know me as well as I know myself. I don't have friends who can remember how absolutely insane I was when I was a teenager. No one is around to rehash the old days and laugh about them. I don't have anyone who can look at my daughter and be reminded of things that I used to do when I was her age.
I was a huge, crazy, nutball fan of New Kids on the Block as a teenager. I will admit to still harboring a major crush on Joe McIntyre (to the point that I have followed his post-New Kids career). The recent news that they are getting back together makes me want to relive that giddy 15 year old obsessive love. I hate that there is no one around who can relive my goofy antics with me.
I love my husband and daughter more than life itself, and I am pretty happy 9 days out of 10, but there is not a day that goes by when I don't long for "Home". It bothers Kevin that I still think of Maine as my home. Obviously there is no home for me without him or Ciara. The home that we have together is a nice one. However, if he weren't here with me I would leave Illinois in a nanosecond without a second thought or a look over my shoulder. Maine is where I feel the most like ME.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The worst thing about being a Mom

I have to start by saying that the last week or two have been a bit on the stressful side for me. Last week I managed to sneak in a few days of vacation from work. We had no plans for doing anything special, but I felt like I really needed a few days off...and our house was so unbelievably filthy that I just couldn't take it any more. Anyway, the plan was to keep Ciara at home with me on Monday and have a fun little Mommy/daughter day together, and then she was going to go to school on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could take care of the cleaning. The first glitch in the plans was that my husband came down with a nasty cold and opted to stay home from work so that he could go to the doctor. No biggie, it just meant that he was going to be requiring some of my attention. To make a long story much shorter, on the way to take Ciara to a local petting zoo my car decided to come to a complete halt in the center lane of a very busy street. We fortunately made it to the other side of the intersection we had been driving through before the car decided it was done. However, I was left sitting there staring in my rear-view mirror at the large black semi that was a little too close for comfort and wondering what exactly it was that I was supposed to do now. After a few seconds of panic I pulled myself together and managed to contact both the police and my husband. A police officer came and contacted a tow for me and made me feel considerably more safe, and then Kevin came and found us and we transferred Ciara and her carseat to his car and waited for the tow to arrive. It is very fortunate that I made the very quick decision to have the car towed back to the dealer because it turns out that my transmission died. What would normally cost about $2500 to fix is only going to cost us $750...we think because they know that a car with only 40k miles on it should not be in this condition and they don't particularly want a fight on their hands. Still...we don't exactly have an extra $750 sitting around at the moment. Plus now we're down to one car for who knows how long which is not entirely convenient. Making matters in our home all the more fun is the fact that Kevin has a pretty decent sinus infection as well as bronchitis.
I did manage to spend Tuesday and Wednesday doing some much needed Spring cleaning around the house. I absolutely can not stand cleaning, but it does make me feel so much better once it's done. It is so nice to look around and actually be able to see my floors for a change!
After spending two solid days cleaning I returned to work where I put in 20 hours in 2 I entered the weekend feeling pretty spent.
Ciara has had a touch of a cough all week which tends to send me into a bit of a panic mode. You'll need a bit of history to understand why. Ciara spent her 1st Birthday in the PICU battling a serious case of pneumonia. She spent about 60 hours on continuous nebulizer treatments and an additional day slowly reducing treatments before being released.

This is definitely not an experience I ever want to repeat! Unfortunately, I had to return to work and was not able to keep her home after the first couple of days and she spent the next several months catching bug after bug from her little germ-factory friends at school. We went through more than a year of giving nebulizer treatments every couple of hours to battle the asthma that my heretofore extremely healthy child was now saddled with. So now every time my little girl has the slightest cold I begin to worry that we're going to have to go through the whole thing all over again.
Cut back to the present...
Yesterday Ciara woke up at about 6:45am and came crawling into our bed to watch Dragon Tales. As she cuddled up to me I heard the worst possible sound- a wheeze. Here's where it gets a little tricky though because it is very difficult to decipher a true wheeze from mucous rattling around due to an upper respiratory infection...or at least it is for me. My initial instinct was to call the doctor ASAP, but after a few minutes I had talked myself out of it. She was behaving normally, wanted to eat, didn't appear to have a fever, and although her cough didn't sound so great she didn't seem to be having difficulty breathing. Flash forward to this morning when hindsight is 20/20. She's certainly not in need of a trip to the ER, but she definitely does not sound good at all...and it's Sunday. Crap. Then I thought "ok, well we'll be alright because we still have all of her nebulizer stuff from before so as long as it hasn't expired we should be all set." After a quick inventory I discover that the albuterol is good for a few more months and the pulmicort has only just expired. I'm not thrilled about using an expired medication, but I'll do what I have to and given the fact that I have zero funds at the moment the expired pulmicort is just going to have to be good enough. All this is great until I suddenly discover that I can't find the nebulizer and burst into tears. I can't believe that I have stood by and let our finances get so bad that I can't even get medicine for our daughter when she is sick, and I really can't believe that I talked myself out of taking her to the doctor yesterday. After a few minutes of self-indulgent hysteria I did manage to calm down, locate the nebulizer, and begin giving her treatments. She even did a remarkably good job at tolerating having an uncomfortable mask stuck to her face and blowing vapor at her.
Of course right now she is in her bedroom absolutely refusing to settle down and take a nap (Thank you albuterol), still has no fever, and has been eating up a storm... so I know that she is ok for now. I'm just sort of wondering how many more stressful situations I need to deal with at the moment because I'm pretty sure that I've reached my max.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Marriage Q&A

Ok Carol, since you it is.

Our names: Shannon & Kevin

1.How long have we been married? 5 years this June

2.How long did we date? Not sure that we ever really "dated", but we were together for over 8 years before making it legal.

3. How old are we? I'll be 33 in June and Kev hits the big 4-0 in September!

4. Where does he work? He does IT for GE.

5. Who is taller? Kev's got about 10 inches on me.

6. Who eats more? Depends on the meal

7. Who said I love you first? I'm pretty sure that it was him.

8. Who mows the lawn? The company the association hired.

9. Who sings better? Definitely me

10. Who does the laundry? We both do, but he only does it halfway.

11. Who does the dishes? Mostly the dishwasher, otherwise me.

12. Who pays the bills? Kevin

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Facing it or lying on it? Ummm, right now if you're talking about lying down looking up at the ceiling then I'm on the right, but we've been known to switch it up from time to time.

14. Who cooks dinner? Moi

15. Who is more stubborn? I'd say Kevin.

16. Whose parents do we see most? Mine, but we don't see either terribly often since his parents moved to Florida several years ago.

17. Who proposed? Kevin, but technically he never actually proposed.

18. Who has more siblings? This one is tricky. I have more "full" siblings, but he has more total.

19. Who has most friends? He does

20. Who wears the pants? Depends on the situation, but I think it's generally me.