Friday, January 23, 2015

Raining Bullets


1. Here are the dietary constraints my body visits upon me, please tell me what to eat for dinner.

-No fat. Biliary ducts and pancreas can't handle it.

-No sugar/carbs. Prediabetic.

-No salt. My blood pressure is very salt sensitive and I'm finding it impossible to avoid. Worse, I crave the stuff.

-No wheat. The asthma is wheat sensitive.

-Easy on the nightshades. I can handle some, but too much will cause problems with the biliary ducts and produce reactions like a raw and red eczema patch on my neck along with joint inflammation. Potatoes are okay though, except for that no carbs thing.

So yeah, you try cooking for a family with all those limitations. It's not easy. I'm down to yogurt and a Good Greens bar for breakfast and lunch in the hopes that I can then handle a heavier dinner. Actual results vary.

Invite me to your house for dinner and we'll have a super awkward conversation about all the things I can't eat. That's really fun and not at all weird.

Also, I've begun to fear tomatoes. They can do mean things to me, but I never know when it's coming.
 
2.My mammogram didn't come back clean. So I'm going in for more imaging. I'm pissed. How many things are going to go wrong? They see something, but they aren't sure if it's anything so...come back.

How long I waited for the mammogram appointment? 6 weeks.

The follow-up appointment? 48 hours.

In this case, speed does not exactly inspire confidence.

3. We are more seriously discussing adoption as a way to grow our family. I'm too old and my body is too weird for me to be pregnant again (much as I loved it).  I have tried to be satisfied with one child, but whenever we go out to eat and we sit in a booth, that one empty space  reminds me it needs to be filled.

(I'm sure that sounds silly, but for me it's a bittersweet moment.)

My family isn't done.

I don't know if adoption will work out. I'm not sure my house will pass a home study in terms of bedroom space and the mammogram thing needs to be dealt with (obv.). Also, I'd like the kiddo to be a little bit older. Maybe 8 or 9 just so she's a bit more developed and hopefully able to better handle the split in parental attention.

We would adopt here in the US, in case anyone was wondering. Don't know what age yet. Younger than the kiddo though.

4. Fucking eczema. That about sums it up. Skin stuff is a bitch. Damn. I went to the grocery store last week, and looking at the receipt, I realized 15% of my grocery money went for lotion. Sheesh. Between that and the prescriptions and the custom made lotions, I'm into it for at least $300 at this point. And nothing really works--even with using OTC steroid cream once every 3-4 days.

Aquaphor at least keeps the pool water from aggravating the kiddo's eczema. So swim team is happening if nothing else. If we can keep her skin from cracking and bleeding, she'll have a successful swim season (meaning she trained consistently, we're not doing meets yet, if ever).

I'm counting down to Spring because that's when the eczema will finally retreat. I cannot wait.

Next year, we'll start OTC steroid cream once a week in September. Maybe if we do that we can head it off.

5. Random life stuff.

Kiddo is into Egypt and we've been geeking out as a family about Cleopatra, mummies and pyramids. To my delight, my kiddo will sit and watch documentaries with rapt attention. She's reading her way through a pile of books on the subject and has memorized most of the hieroglyphs, which we didn't know until we took her to a museum program and she started translating them into letter equivalents.

My husband has fashioned a playhouse pyramid out of cardboard for her. She's been very busy decorating it with her Egyptian stencil kit, while I hover in the background, wiping proud tears from my eyes.  I love seeing her engrossed in something like this, and it is a joy to find ways for her to learn/experience more on a hot topic.

At school, we are dealing with social aggression and it's not been fun. Bullies suck and school response has sucked even more. It's been tough for all of us to navigate the issues that have come up. I hear it just gets harder which is....rather deflating.

(Side note: Is there a genetic component to bullying? We have three generations in a row that bullies have targeted. I know bullying is common, but it's interesting to me that there seems to be a familial thread. My husband and his siblings weren't bullied, but we were in my family. What makes the difference? Or is it that social skill deficits/whatever it is that triggers targeting are transferred from one generation to the next via (faulty) modeling and they can't pass down what they don't know?)

(Side note 2: To the mom who incessantly tells me no one ever bullies in her kid's school because the school is so awesome and they won't tolerate it....IF your kid has never complained of being picked on, here's a NEWSFLASH: You have to consider that YOUR child is the bully or the bystander who does nothing.  Social aggression is a universal experience. If any school had the magic formula to abolish aggressive behavior, it would be world fucking news.Please shut up. You're being a jerk.)

Writing-wise....I am bad at math. So bad you probably shouldn't trust my 15% mentioned above. So, basically, I grossed more money than ever last year from writing, far surpassing my previous Fortune 500 gig.

But.

It never once felt like I had that kind of cash flow coming in, to the point, where I thought I'd made less money.

Clearly I need to improve my accounting, which I'm putting some things in place to do that. However, even with improved tallying, I can't figure out how to harness my cash flow and allocate it properly to maximize it. I never know what I'm making from month to month.

It used to be, I knew at least the next 60 days of income. Now, I have a publisher for some of my stuff and those statements and checks are quarterly. I never know what they will be. Worse, at the moment, they're the biggest chunk of income.



And my income is objectively in the toilet at the moment, but that doesn't mean the whole year will be like that.

So...how not to suck at small business money? I don't know.

The actual writing is slow as always. The flu fubared my writing flow and I'm struggling (STILL!) to get into a groove. What do you think I'm doing here? Procrastinating. That's what.

I'm going to sign up for some art classes as I'd like to expand into other creative outlets for business and personal reasons. Business-wise, I want to learn how to illustrate children's books as well as improve my Photoshop skills. That being said, my hands are finicky arthritic things so I'm not sure if using them even more is such a fantastic idea or how great my fine motor control will even be, but I'm going to dip my toe in and see what shakes out.

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