The word "overwhelmed" seems to resonate in my life at this point in time.
For starters, our world has been rattled by our six-month-old son over the past three weeks. What started as a double ear infection quickly turned into the realization that he is highly allergic to amoxicillen. After being referred to an allergist and watching the poor little guy endure a skin test, we learned that he's also highly (if not severely) allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. Shortly after the skin test, he got a ridiculously bizarre GI bug that spun out of control and dovetailed into another allergic reaction, resulting in one ER trip, one abdominal ultrasound, one blood test, and a total of five doctors' office visits over the course of seven days. He's fine now...but, let's be real...
My friends - the past three weeks have royally sucked.
It's hard for me to wrap my head around Teddy's allergies. Can you imagine a world without cheese? Because I can't. Cheese is a staple in my life. A life without cheese is a life without culinary joy. You may think I'm exaggerating, but you clearly haven't seen the bottom drawer of my fridge...
On a more serious note, though, moving to a more vegan lifestyle is only slightly daunting for me. We'll do what we have to at home to keep Teddy healthy. What concerns me is what happens once he leaves our house. I really don't want to be that parent who has to send their kid out in a hamster ball, but I also know that my husband and I have to fill a new role of "advocate" as well as "parent," where we monitor everything that our child comes into contact with until he's old enough to know what he can and cannot have. As for the fear of what could happen when he's out and about...I'm keeping that at bay right now. I just can't deal with it at this point in time.
This is the overriding stress in my life right now, but there are a plethora of other "little factors" that are certainly contributing to my nail biting and short temper:
(1) Abby has completely regressed in regards to potty training. We're starting over from square one. I can't really be upset with her about it - life has been very difficult for the past couple of weeks, and she's just controlling what little bit that she can. But, even though I'm not upset with her specifically, I'm so frustrated that we have to go through the pain of potty training again.
(2) Work has been wonderfully challenging and rewarding on a multitude of levels, but I continuously feel a sense of workaholic guilt. This job goes beyond the label of "job" for me. It's step one to God's greater calling for my life - a calling to ministry. I'm growing deeper into my faith and love of Christ, and I am really excited for the promising changes that we can expect to see on campus this year. I'm just trying to learn how to work at a part-time status when I want to give full-time+, all while still maintaining a healthy life-work balance.
(3) My home. My home. I hate the condition that my home is perpetually in. It seems like, no matter what I do, no matter how much I pick up during the day and perform disaster recovery when the kids go to bed, some furry, fat monster comes forward in the middle of the night and barfs up a ground-covering spew of dust, goldfish crumbs, and baby toys. It's like an every day manifestation of Martha Stewart's broken dreams.
(4) What the heck is the secret to staying fit with two small children? I eat healthy, I'm not even remotely worried about that. But getting workouts in? It's freaking laughable. "Work out when the kids nap," you say. They don't nap. Ever. And they especially don't nap at the same time. "Work out when they go to bed," you suggest. After the previously-mentioned disaster recovery, I typically fall asleep on the couch within 45 minutes. I won't even allow you to toy with the notion that I'll wake up before the children (meaning around 5-5:30 AM) to exercise. I'm still waking up two or three times a night. The thought of losing more sleep makes me want to vomit.
So, my friends, that's where I'm at in life right now. I'm hoping to experience a sense of calm in the coming month or two, but I'm not counting on it...I'm learning to operate fairly well at a decent level of chaos.