Somewhere Amidst the Chaos

So I fell off the wagon. In recent weeks, my intention as mentioned previously, was to blog once a week. But then life happened. My little man, who has what I like to refer to as Peter Pan syndrome, does not want to grow up. He is fully unprepared to accept that he will be ten next month. Anyway, there was a surprise “F” on a report card. A “surprise” F? Yes. None of us knew … there was no warning. Evenings became a lot more intense with supervision over homework and then, it got better! Enter in from stage right in Alex’s Comedy of Realities … some misinformation from the dude, i.e. lies … big, fat, intentional lies. Sigh. So, a lot changed in a short period of time. Benjamin is a curiosity. His heart is delicate; he’s stuck in that awkward transitional period between momma’s boy and ten-year-old dude that is halfway to twenty. (Do yourselves a favor and casually drop into a conversation with your child that they are halfway to their doubled age, shock.) This made Ben stop in his tracks. Tears in his eyes … immediate realization that his upcoming birthday is half of twenty. Little man was shook. Haha, it was cute in a sad way, since it signified that moment of temporary acknowledgement that he has to grow up. Valid excuse, I know, but what about the evenings after the kids are in bed? Hello, Chiari Malformation migraines.

I am not entirely sure if my headaches are back for good again or not, but I do know that being under fluorescent lights and in front of monitors 40 hours a week is adding to the weight. Valid excuse number two: I do not want to look at my laptop after my work day. I hate even having to type those sentences and question my level of pain and discomfort in comparison to life before the decompression surgery. If I decide I want to sing my heart out on the karaoke machine with the kids and my niece, but then I pay for it with a migraine on top of the regular pressure headache x1000 for the next week … I guess it is safe to say yes, at this point, that a lot of my symptoms are slowly reappearing in clusters again.

The most important valid excuse is the eventual acknowledgement that my depression has been dragging me through the ringer since August of last year. I increased my visits with the psychiatrist and we worked through a series of dosage modifications, which I think we have just successfully found this month. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive and loving husband by my side through this. He has been holding my hand and supporting my every season. In holding myself accountable, I needed to retrace why August was significant to me. Other than for a couple of obvious reasons, it was actually a follow up psychiatrist appointment where I was prepared to meet my new year, with infertility on the doorstep again … and this is where I found myself battling a deeper depression than I was expecting. I knew it was at its heaviest when I did not want to write. A writer not wanting to write? Done. Fix it now.

In the grand scheme of things, I needed to focus and find my footing. I kept my bubble small and had to shut out the world for a bit. This included some of those closest to me. I did what I needed to get through the hours, the days, the weeks … just until I felt like me again. So here I am. Working in hospitality and tourism, when we have a global coronavirus pandemic … I hate germs and I have anxiety … my down swing of depression has flipped into the anxiety up. Present day, Monday the 16th of March, 2020, is technically my Sunday. Tomorrow, I head into work with a lot of uncertainty. I like the idea of maintaining routine, but there are a lot of question marks at the head of this virus. How much longer will I have a job for? Will I have a job to go back to if we are put onto some kind of lock down? Central Florida is going to dry up. 2020 is a wash.

This is chaos, it really is like nothing any of us have been through before. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Italians to choose whose life is more important? This is a serious threat. Anxiety is at a peak in the world. Wash your hands. Please … please, please, please.

Sammy and I have been putting together our business plan and new business models for two years, but never with more than a few hours at a time to dedicate to polish it off. This is kind of like, the breath of new life for entrepreneurs in this country. I ate Mesquite smoked ribs with Chef Sam housemade rub and Kansas City style housemade barbecue sauce last night … and it was the best barbecue I have ever had in my life. I am not just saying that because he is my husband, but because they were the best ribs I have ever had in my life. Period. He’s nailed it … and since the coronavirus shut down our town for two weeks … we get to make our future from ground zero. We aren’t 100% ready to unveil, but I imagine that will change soon.

I guess I could enter another valid excuse. Vote. In January 2019, I became a Naturalized Citizen of the United States of America. This is the first Presidential election that I have ever participated in. I’m nerding out over it big time. I am following campaigns, I am educating myself and find myself to be a political nerd at the moment. Sammy also introduced me to The Wire on HBO. Oh! Also, we watched the Trump docuseries on Netflix and the McMillions docuseries on HBO. Both pretty great, I do recommend. Back to the valid excuse … I am proud to be able to contribute my vote and voice to this country. Voting is not to be taken lightly, especially in this era and now with the impending financial crisis of our country … so I have been digging into that world in my spare time.

Kona, not Corona

Kona takes up a lot of time, but she is doing so well and she is still the perfect addition to our family. She fills that little void from the miscarriage too, so she’s a spoiled little puppy. We have been working on socializing Kona – she is still afraid but protective. We have had one successful and one unsuccessful trip to the dog park. Training a puppy requires dedication, which we have, but we are not sure what tools we need to teach her that other people are not a threat. She’s got a big bark for such a clumsy, lumpy pup. She’ll keep those coronavirus germs away, for sure.

Closing thoughts, I am always going to try to write … whether it’s once a day, once a week or once a month – I am not going anywhere. We are also not going to the James Arthur concert they just refunded our tickets for … in MAY. Waaaah. Anyway, I might have to blog once a day as we go through this pandemic together. Maybe I will do some sneak peak photos of some of our meats. Mmmm.

Intentions.

Intentions are mainly good. Right? In my case, yes. My intention, amongst many others (and yes, it is amongst, I was born and raised in Great Britain) was to post a blog once a week. Enter in reality with a swift slap to the face. Work. School. Home. Mom. Wife. ETC. This is not a complaint, this is just a statement of truth. To maintain a steady lifestyle “flow …” or semi-flow … one simply does not get to make time for blogging. CUT TO: CLUELESS 1995 CHER SHOUTING “AS IF!”

Where it would be amazing, it just is not how my life goes. Intentions and realities are fluctuating. I’m sure if we all took a moment to consider ours, it would be similar. My intention was to post once a week. My reality is less than once a month. That stings. On one level because 15 minutes ago was actually 3.5 hours ago and a year ago was actually three years ago … and because life truly does fly by, but the other level of pure disbelief that life is happening before our eyes.

I am not a religious chica, nor am I a politician – but as a 1-year-old Naturalized Citizen of this country, I am excited to exercise my right to vote for President Of The United States of America. Since when am I excited about shopping for vacuums that work well on tile AND carpet, and am excited about contributing my vote towards the leader of my country? Oh my god. I am officially an adult. I knew this fifteen years ago, actually, but for the entertainment value here, I’ll go with, wtf man, why is this all happening so quickly? It’s 2020! What is that?! Whoa boy. It is an interesting thought to quickly compare 1920 to 2020. A hundred years on a planet with development that WE think is supreme, but what do we really know? Not a damn thing.

My intentions as a blogger are one thing, but my intentions as a human are another. I am living my life as a happy, kind, forgiving, strong, solid and confident woman in her thirties. Some of my experiences have contributed to who I am, but so has my mind. My own free will and desire. My muses. My hope to be fully self-sufficient in my own entity in some way is an intention. Today is January 4, 2020 and I have no idea who I might be in January of 2030, but my intentions are to be as happy then now as I am now. My intentions are to be kind, forgiving, strong, solid and confident. With me on that journey, a tremendous partner and husband, Samuel. The beautiful Benjamin and Emma, who have recently had a combined 1M views for their reveal of Kona on Youtube between other social media outlets, and Kona Kiwi, my spirit animal. My intention is to focus on myself as a whole human being in #2020. You should too.

Surprise, Surprise, Puppy Surprise!

Well …

We did it! We kept a secret from the kids for eight weeks. Operation: Christmas Came Early! Kona Calabro was born on September 9, 2019 and was one of seven in a surprise litter with a work colleague of Sam’s. Since Roxy passed away in January, we had had two very emotional little people with us. A memory album and some “fur” kept in a little music box kept her memory very much alive every day. Ben would walk through the front door and shout, “Hi Roxy!” and comment on how the home still smelled like her. Sam and I went through the miscarriage (with the kids having absolutely no knowledge) and experienced the second loss of the year in our little family. The idea of a puppy was fleeting; we had mentioned to the kids every so often that we would “think about it,” classic parenting move. But in my spare time, was I totally scoping out a Christmas puppy? Yep. A thousand percent.

When the opportunity presented itself, we knew we had to keep it to ourselves in case something did not go according to plan. Sam and I went to visit the puppies after soccer one day. The kids were out of town and the moment to be surrounded by puppy nibbles was ridiculously emotional for me. As soon as I sat down, Kona and I became fast friends. Sam laughed at me prior to arriving after I had said that we wouldn’t pick our dog – that our dog would pick us. Blasphemy, he thought! WELL … I showed him! Kona picked us. Without a doubt.

Bringing Home Puppy

There are a lot of great puppy “reveals” out there, but we were not exactly sure how to proceed with this one. Logistics of after work and after school pick ups along with a puppy pick up … we ran with the best plan we could successfully pull off. The kids managed to convince themselves that they knew who the guest was … and I did not convince them otherwise. We had a little bit of time before Kona and Sam arrived, so the kids rushed to tidy up their rooms and the living room. Most importantly, the removal of any and all shoes. I propped up my phone and hit record about seven times before Sam opened the door. The kids were sitting on chairs facing the door and were truly not expecting a four-legged friend. Both Ben and Emma were surprised and slightly let down when Sam opened the door and they were not greeted by the friends they had anticipated were coming over for the weekend. Sam took another step back and seconds later, opened the door to bring Kona inside. Immediately, both Ben and Emma adopted high-pitch “Aw! Who’s that!?”

The Realization …

It’s no secret that Ben has been having a difficult year. From anxiety to bullying at school, paired with the loss of his beloved Roxy, Ben was struggling to enjoy the normal day-to-day moments. With a steady regiment of counseling and moving to a new classroom at school, he had finally started to feel like his old self again. However — the emotions of the year were still working their way out of him. Emma was excited, but Ben was completely overcome with emotion. When I say he sobbed for half an hour … he wailed. Following that, he would spontaneously burst into tears every fifteen minutes or so. It was HEAVY! Watching the video over again gives me all of the feelings again. Once it sunk in for the kids, that was it! They are in love. We are in love. Kona is so very loved.

For any parent considering a dog for their family … do not think twice. Kona completes the Calabro family. ❤

Boop.

This tender hearted boy was overwhelmed.