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Paige's Parenting Journal

Month Four
~ I am in a funk . . .

Maureen in pumpkinAnd it is making me a terrible journalist. I am coming to see that I have been in a terrible funk the past few months. I am not sure what is going on, but the funk is making it hard for me to get anything done. I am not prone to depression so am not even sure if that is what I am really feeling, but I know a rut when I am in one. I don't want to do anything, even sit and read - even that seems to require too much energy right now.

So here I sit trying to analyze what it is . . . I love my life. I love my kids and my husband. Sure money is tight right now with Michael not working full time, so we are always analyzing our budget, needs and wants. But that isn't enough to send me into this tailspin. I just don't know. There are so many things that are up in the air right now; maybe it is because I don't have any control. Not that I really have any control to begin with but only an illusion of control. We still don't know anything about Michael's job. He has interviewed twice for a job in Charlotte, NC but haven't heard a thing about it almost a month after the second interview. He is supposed to be taking a temporary position that will at least get some income coming in at a Greensboro clinic, but Virginia messed up with his NC license application so that may not happen. The hospital at Halifax is going to be increasing hours in January and it looks like he may be working for another group out of the hospital there so between the two, he may be back to full time. It will mostly be on weekends which is awful, but if it means he is home during the week, I think we could all handle it. Of course, no insurance with either job.

So the job thing is still up in the air . . . Which means moving is up in the air, which means we don't know if we are doing swim team this summer, Magnet school this summer, horse camp this summer . . . It is so hard to plan your life when you don't know what is going to be happening from week to week.

I am also in a funk over the loss of our dog Bailey. Our back gate was left open one night and since he spent so much time outside, we didn't notice that he was gone until the next morning when we went to feed him. Our neighbors had heard a dog yelping and brakes squealing early that morning and apparently they heard Bailey getting hit. He managed to crawl to our neighbor's bushes and died there, but we did not find him until the following week. The loss of this dog has been very, very hard for me. I sat with him late that night after everyone was asleep (monitors are useful for a reason) and talked to him about what a perfect dog he was for our family. We can't decide what to do about getting another dog. On one hand I would love to buy a good dog that we could use for Caitlyn to show and breed if we wanted to - something Michael and I have always been interested in. On the other hand, we have always rescued our dogs and I just don't know if I can change that. I love the idea of going to a pound and taking a dog that some one else decided they couldn't love anymore. I don't know if our 15 year old Scottie can handle another dog either. We have just discovered a lump at her armpit of her front leg and have a vet's appointment next Tuesday to deal with that. My experience with that is things like that is you have it removed and the dogs die in 6 months. You leave it alone and they die in 6 months . . . Now I am really sounding depressing aren't I?

Maureen Maureen continues to be my bright spot. She is happy, laid back, lazy, contented and blossoming. She smiles at us every chance she gets and has begun to bub, bub, bub. I love the sound. She is still not rolling over or holding herself up much, but I don't really see any signs that she is developmentally delayed. I believe that she is just such a content child, that rolling over would require way too much energy on her part. She is no longer sleeping through the night, which sort of bums me out as I was quite enjoying that. However, I haven't slept through the night in so long that I don't see that it makes that much difference in my life. I imagine that will change again at least 100 times in the next year. She is also taking bottles on a regular basis now so I am not nearly so worried when I leave her for my bible study each week. In fact, she is doing so well that I actually left her for a few hours the other day and went out totally by myself for the first time since she was born. I admit it felt pretty good to be alone for a bit.

On All Saint's Day we celebrated Maureen's birth and welcomed her into the Episcopal church by celebrating her baptism. It was the most blessed experience. I just love the service of baptism and all that it symbolizes for the Church. It is a time for us to renew our baptismal vows as well as time to receive Maureen into the Church. My dear friends Judy and Pamela agreed to be Godparents and Maureen is so blessed to have them as a part of her Christian life. As usual, Maureen stole the show by just hanging her head back and flinging her arms out as if she was truly receiving the Holy Spirit. Not a cry or a peep, just smiles of joy! The whole service must have meant something to Brigid as well since she has been "baptisming" her dolls on a regular basis since then.

The Hickey kidsI think the other kids are really enjoying her as well. Briggie is so good with her which really surprises me. With Brigid's personality I just expected her to be so jealous. Only once since Maureen was born has Briggie asked me to put Maureen down so that I could hold her. She is always reminding me to feed Maureen, pick up Maureen, change Maureen, cuddle Maureen. She never ceases to amaze me with the depth of caring that she shows towards Maureen. In fact, her Thanksgiving placement from Preschool said that she was thankful for her baby sister… Ahhhhhh!

Stuart and Caitlyn also amaze me with the depth of their love for her. They can make her laugh, cuddle her all the time and will take her anytime my arms need a break. Stuart absolutely loves to make her smile for pictures. And the way Maureen responds to him thrills him… I can just tell. Caitlyn will always hold her so that I can eat my dinner as that is still a fussy time in our house. And her favorite thing is to take a bath with her. Last night all three girls were in the tub at the same time. Talk about a time saver!

So…. My life seems to be perfect. If so, why do I still feel so in a funk? After reading this sentence for a week, and pondering and praying on it, I think that most of it has to do with lack of security about what will happen to us next. Michael has not worked full time in almost a year. As January gets closer and I look at our dwindling bank account, I realize that I have no sense of security. I spend each day wondering what we have forgotten and if some surprise like a big car bill, medical bill or tax bill is right around the corner. And I wonder how much longer we can continue to exist like this. Good thing we have always saved more than the suggested 6 months. But God forbid something terrible happen to one of the kids. I wonder what we would do. As I review the year I do realize that God has protected us so much and I still have so much for which to be grateful. But still the funk . . .

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