Monday, January 4, 2016

Oh, January...

Saturday night I got sucked into reading last year's blog posts from early January.  I had one of those flashback posts pop up in my Facebook feed, and it was from last year.  It indicated that I had been sick.  I honestly couldn't remember what ailment in particular that was, so I dug into my blog to rehash the details.  Reading those posts transported me back to a very challenging time, and looking back on it now I'm surprised I didn't totally lose my mind during the first couple weeks of January.

Mind you, we had been harboring various versions of sickness for over a month.  Colds, random viruses and fevers, my ongoing battle with pinkeye, you name it.  Carter got a stomach bug on New Year's Day night, and I had a short-lived, less violent version shortly after.  Carter spiked another fever after returning to daycare, and the next day while I was home with him, I got a call that Jacob wasn't feeling well, and sure enough, two steps out of school he puked on the sidewalk.  A couple days later, on a Sunday, he woke up with head-to-thighs hives.  Two days after that I lost my job.  Oh, and the morning after my pinkeye tried to make a comeback.  I felt awful just reading all of that again.  Good Lord.  I know it was incredibly hard and felt a little like the biblical story of Job (on a much smaller scale, but still...), but looking back I can't believe all of that happened within the first two weeks of 2015.  It's no wonder I felt extra lost after the job thing, because I never really got my footing after the holidays as it was. 

After reading that, I felt even more grateful we made it through the holidays with no major illnesses.  I had to laugh, though, that all of the "On this day" posts on Facebook either had to do with illness or snow.  Seems those two issues were really common on January 2 over the past seven years.  And, sure enough, we've dealt with some snow over the past few days, too.  First, we woke up to a good six inches of lake effect at Craig's parents' on New Year's Day.  We got stuck in the driveway, and again pulling out of their neighborhood on to the main road.  We drove out of it, as you do with lake effect, and we had green grass at home.  We had a dusting over the weekend that strangely only stuck to the concrete, and then we had an inch or so in time for the commute this morning.  Luckily roads were fine and so far not much more has fallen, but the high temp today is hanging in the teens, so that's been a rude awakening after 60s less than two weeks ago.  I must say, too, that feeling that bitter cold this morning was a major throwback to last year, when it was so freezing during all of February.  I immediately associated it with all of the emotions from that time last year.  The brain is so weird sometimes.

Of course, after spending two out of the last three winters mostly hanging out on my couch, I'll admit that this time of year really makes me want to hibernate a bit.  I find myself craving bad TLC network programming and baby cuddles, dressing in jeans and having a little time to organize and clean.  I know I wasn't super productive during maternity leave, but it's amazing what time you can take advantage of when you're physically home all day, even if you've got a baby in your arms or a toddler hanging on your leg.  As hard as maternity leave and being out of work can be, there is a certain peace with that less rushed lifestyle, no doubt.  Heck, even Carter has asked to stay home almost every morning since I've been back to work.  I don't know if he's just being difficult or if he really remembers his extra time home with me last year.  Maybe he just really loves his weekends.  It's like an unfortunate surprise every morning when he finds out he's going to daycare.  And really, he does like it there.  Apparently he just likes home more.

Please don't get me wrong--I'm so thankful to have my job.  I think I've just been tired lately and my body is craving extended rest.  And after spending two of the last three winters home like that, I think that's just where my brain is going with it.  But I can't deny that the cold and the new year and the memories of where we were last year have sucked me in a bit.  It's hard to not remember the turmoil and have some degree of fear that we could have that again.  We never expected any of it, but it happened.  It was a sobering reminder, for sure.

Adding to the mix this year, of course, is Jacob's bone cyst.  His bone specialist appointment is tomorrow morning, and I'm hoping that when we come out we will have a course of action and a timeline for getting this thing fixed.  After a few weeks of the boot, I think we're all quite eager to make some progress.  On the bright side, he gets along pretty well with it and his immediate pain in that area has subsided, so it would appear his lacrosse injury just aggravated it.  Still, the boot is destroying all of his beloved Adidas pants (polyester sports pants and Velcro are a bad combo) and the novelty of just "supporting" his lacrosse team has worn off, so we'd really like to get this show on the road and work toward a real solution.  I think we're mostly eager to find out how soon he can play lacrosse again (especially since we just got the deposit notice for spring lacrosse), and baseball is around the corner, too.  I'd also like to know what to expect in terms of pain level, recovery, and missed school.  We're just ready for progress!

I guess these days I'm finding myself hesitant to celebrate the new year.  Given our history I'm worried about illness, worried about surprises, and generally unexcited about three or more months of cold, snowy weather.  I know it should be an opportunity to make positive changes in our lives, but I'm honestly not sure where to begin.  But at least tomorrow can be a starting point for some sort of progress...I hope.

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