Halloween Twilight Zone

I'm up too late tonight because I wasn't able to fall asleep.  Eating Halloween candy an hour before bed probably wasn't helpful!  I'm looking forward to dancing tomorrow morning, then packing some more calories on with Halloween cookies I'll be making later in the day.

My Halloween plans just came together in the last couple of days.  A girlfriend is going to come hang out and meet Zoey.  She loves dogs and wants to be one of Zoey's "Aunties"(there are Uncles too) - we can't have too many of those!  We are going to combine candy stashes and hand out goodies to the little neighborhood trick-or-treaters.  Then around 7:30 or 8, I'm going to get together with my ex, S, again.

He came over last Thursday night, and we spent more time in deep conversation and locking lips.  I continue to feel a bit freaked by the whole thing.  He's definitely different, and it's clear he's worked through some things.  But... what was that phrase about, "Fool me once..."?  I don't want to be fooled again!

I will say it's very good to hear him talk about how he blocked things off in his mind.  He even used the word, "dissociated," though I don't think he meant it in a clinical sense.  He said he's really sorry for treating me the way he did, and that I didn't deserve to be in a situation where I had no access to what was going on with him.  We also talked about harsh things I said to him from an emotional place that he was unable to let go of, and we discussed an amends process; mainly focused on how his withholding/blindsiding pattern affected me but also the things that hurt him.

It feels good to be talking things through - and I'm feeling a lot of love for him and from him - but the past is still present in my mind.

p.s. I met with a potential co-parent last night.  He's a psychiatrist with a lot of money and a 7-bedroom house in Berk.eley.  It's a possibility but I'm not sure.  He's attractive and nice, so that's good.  I might have asked him about his feelings regarding sharing IVF cost (oh no you didn't!).  That might have put the kabosh on it, but I couldn't help myself.


Longish Check-In

Saturday check-in...  It's a foggy day in Oakland.  I'm trying to get some work done with these monthly reports I have to submit on my international students.  This month, there are a series of questions that must be answered by the student, school, and parents, so it's more of a pain.  The website just cut out for "maintenance," so I thought I'd blog for a while instead!

*Interesting side note:  I attended my first parent-teacher conferences yesterday as these kids "guardian" here in the States.  It was fun being in that role and discussing the kids and their school performance with the teachers; brainstorming ways to help them succeed.  This role may be the only one I ever take on in terms of parent-teacher conferences (guardian versus ever being the parent).  I'm trying thoughts like this on regularly lately...

Zoey's snoring away in her crate but will be up soon and wanting to play again.  I'm looking for some new, interesting and interactive dog toys - any of you dog moms out there have ideas for me?  I got her the Kong toy, which is great, but more interactive with herself.  It's perfect when I need a little time to check email or do something while she entertains herself.  We play fetch and rope tug.  And the training is fun - now she knows how to sit and then go down on her belly when I say, "Down," which is great.  Training is going to continue to be a fun thing between us, I think.  But even with all these things, our choices seem limited sometimes with play activities.

I think I shared about the Greater Bay Area Transition Conference we had on October 6th, didn't I?  I'm pretty proud that our committee planned and executed it successfully, and we had over 100 people when we thought we might just get 50 or 60.  I want to dig my teeth (uh oh, I've been hanging out with Zoey too much! :) into the next project to keep Transition growing in the Bay Area.  Our local neighborhood in Oakland needs to have a next Initiative meeting, also, to work on local neighborhood carbon and energy use reduction and community building stuff.  It's gratifying, and yes "meaningful," to see tangible positive impacts of my efforts.

Last but not least, this week, I spoke with my ex, S, in an effort to continue finding closure and a manageable comfort level in community circles.  Well, we got so "comfortable," we ended up kissing!  What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks!  

A big part of the reason things ended up there was that the conversation was quite open and caring, and I felt like he was able to be more honest - and hear more of my honesty - than he ever has before.  He's doing some "work" on himself, which he feels is dissipating his tendency to compartmentalize things (such as the impending visit from his ex, knowledge of which he withheld from me for several months).

Speaking of withholding, however, I also found out from him that, when she was here at Christmas, they made plans for him to visit her earlier this month (though they were not romantically involved while she was here).  The purpose being to both wrap up work stuff but also see each other, perhaps evading the ultimate "good-bye."  It's so strange: Who plans trips that far in advance!

Anyway, when we started considering getting back together in March, I think that would have been good information to reveal, right?  So basically he did the same old withholding crap he'd done before, and this apparently contributed to his decision to break up with me at that time as he didn't want to go through all the trauma of the first time he'd withheld information like that.  He also said, and truthfully I think this is more of the reason, that he had made a previous judgment that we would not work out together that he then couldn't let go of.  As mentioned, he feels the growth he's done since that time makes him less likely and less able to compartmentalize and withhold like that.    

I'll share more later, but don't want to go on and on right now.  Basically, I'm trying to figure out what I want and also what he can do to make amends for these choices he made previously, as he says he's willing to do what it takes to help me to forgive him.... so that we can reconnect as friends, which I think is all I want.  But things get confusing!


Crisis of Meaning

Sorry for not posting or commenting very regularly right now... I think it's a combination of my life shifting to a much faster track with a puppy on board (pictures and video to follow below), as well as taking a step back to sit with - and I'm aware of how dramatic this sounds - a "crisis of meaning."

Since at this point, it's looking like I may never become a biological mother, what will take it's place with regard to my life's purpose and direction?

Off and on for the last several years, I have focused on trying to conceive in various ways: known donor, co-par.enting, IUIs, natural way within a relationship, and medicated IUIs.  And when I wasn't trying to conceive, in the back of my mind, I knew I would return to trying at some point.  I don't have that confidence now.

I don't know why out of six IUI attempts, non-medicated and medicated, and at least 8 months of trying naturally, I haven't become pregnant.   Other than, for whatever reason, I just can't.  Either my eggs are too old (most likely I guess), or my uterus is unfriendly for some reason as yet undetected.

Yes, if I had $15,000 right now, I would try IVF.  But that is currently out of my affordability range.  I may still try to get a loan, but I think that would likely allow a couple more medicated IUIs versus IVF.  Maybe, just maybe, international IVF.

I wish someone could tell me with certainty whether I have enough good eggs in there to warrant trying more in this way.  In any case, I'm not feeling super motivated to try and make that happen right now.

I'm tired.  I'm tired of getting my hopes up every try, just to get no results at all.   I'm tired of trying to scrape together the financing piece and living with the stress of not having as much money or financial cushion as I need.

And.  There's one other new consideration.  Some of you may laugh, but having a puppy has given me a taste of single motherhood.  And it IS hard.  At least for me.

I read some SMC blogs, and these women are rocking single motherhood and don't seem to be all that stressed.  I am definitely getting in more of a groove with Zoey, but damn, she requires a LOT of care and constant supervision, not to mention always thinking of her with every plan I make.

She needs to be let out for bathroom breaks and exercise and food.  I can't just go out for a few hours in the evening or drive off to work for the day.  Care has got to be arranged, or I need to schedule myself accordingly.  She needs vet care and baths.  I am even obsessed with the health of her poop!  lol

I'm not complaining.  I think getting Zoey was the perfect decision for me right now, and I get so much joy and love from playing and cuddling with her.  We're having fun learning new tricks, like sit, down, leave it, settle, etc.  And she is giving my life purpose and direction, that's for sure (though not equal to the meaning of motherhood of course).

But it makes me imagine taking that care to the next level for a baby and doing it all alone.  It's a little overwhelming to think about.  I do think it's "training" me in a way, and I would be better prepared going into caring for a baby.  But boy does it sound more manageable with a partner or substantial help.

So, there's that.  I don't have a settled clarity yet, but it's all rambling around in my psyche and spirit right now.  We'll see where the pieces land...

With that, I leave you with some pics and a video of my little girl, Zoey (the video I took on my iPhone is not uploading - any advice?):

Here's Zoey chilling out on a hot day in her luxury swimming pool. :)

Zoey had a sun toy from the vets that she thrashed around, chased and chewed.  The sun has now "passed on" in torn-up glory, and she has an orange bear made of similar material.  We'll see how long Mr. Bear lasts... this could get expensive.


Work Changes and Puppy News

Friday, Friday... Lot's of stuff happened this week with work; mainly, I had a conversation with
our Department Dean at the college.

I should back up and say that I had a talk with my immediate supervisor last week, and she suggested I should start transitioning out of the middle school grant, since it wasn't what I really wanted to do and now would be the best time to do that for the grant.  This was a bit of a shock.  If you recall, when we had the conversation a couple months ago about the possibility of working more hours at the college, which was very much needed at the time, she protested and said the timing was horrible and they couldn't make the necessary staffing changes. So, I agreed to stay for this school year.  I thought we both agreed to that.

Well, either she "forgot" or that isn't what she understood.  I reminded her of what I understood as our agreement.  She said she wasn't going to insist on the change but that the change would need to happen in the next few months, versus at the end of the school year, for grant timing purposes.  I said I'd need to check out whether there still might be additional hours on the college side and asked if I could let her know this week, which she agreed to.  Sooo, back to my convo with the Dean... She said she could raise my hours from six to 10 for this semester and implied possibly more after that (counselors can only work16 hours total in this district).

I'm left feeling a mixture of feelings.  Excited to hopefully begin transitioning out of middle school teaching, but worried about stability and possibly losing hours.  I was looking forward to a bump in income with the new intl. coordinator job and increased hours with the college.  This could bring me back to where I was, at least for this semester. Thanks for reading this far if you've stayed with me!  I'm going to contact my supe today, and say I'm willing to start transitiong out but would like to continue working at least half the hours until the holidays.  I'm going to trust that my college hours will increase next semester.  I'm also going to intensify my search again for another part time counseling gig and start outreach for more career counseling clients.  I've got my business cards and website, now I just need people to see them!

On the Zoey puppy front, she's growing like a weed!  I'll post more pictures soon.  My computer cord died, so I'm limited to iPhone posting right now.  Guess what?  I've taught her how to sit!  She's super smart, folks! :-) no bias here! Ha. She fetches like a champion, too, and does this cute thing when I tell her to "settle" where she relaxes in my arms with her head kind of lolled to the side. Super cute.  My life continues to feel much more full and fast-paced since I got her.  I need to write a post about some insights I've had about being authentic that relate to relationships, too.  She's teaching me stuff for sure!

I've been keeping up with blogs but have not been able to post as much due to computer sitch.  I will return to more commenting soon.  Hope you all have an awesome weekend!  Tomorr