Catching Up.

August 29, 2012 at 9:07 am | Posted in Career angst, Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy), FET #6: deja vu (again), Mama Bear, My life | 8 Comments

I really didn’t expect to go this long between posts, I swear.

Let me get you all caught up.

Charlie Brown had a business trip last week. A short one this time, but long enough that I had to scramble to get childcare so that I could get to the clinic for a blood draw on Thursday. Was able to drop him off at daycare early and managed to get to the center on time. With 10 minutes to spare, actually.

Estrogen levels are rising nicely. I go back in this coming Sunday for a lining and progesterone check. If all goes well, they’d expect to do a transfer at some point next week, maybe.

Which, as an aside, a short vent: seriously, you want me to come in on a LONG WEEKEND for a blood draw and ultrasound? When I mentioned that we were supposed to be away to the woman who called me (not my regular nurse, of course), there was crickets. To which I replied, well I guess I will be there Sunday morning then.


Charlie got home Saturday, and since we hadn’t mowed our lawn in like 4 weeks, I sent him out to do that.

And then I left to head to a girls’ afternoon makeover party a friend was having south of Boston. I carpooled with my BFF – left my car at her house and we drove to the south shore together.

(This will become important when you read what’s next.)

At 6:30, she got a text from her husband with a message that I needed to call Charlie.

Actually, the text said this: Serenity needs to call Charlie Brown. Lucky is okay, but he got stung by three bees and had an allergic reaction. Charlie used the epi pen on him and they’re at the Emergency Room.

Of course I called Charlie immediately. He told me very calmly that he didn’t see what had happened but surmised that Lucky must have gone near a bee hive. But! Everything was fine, they went to the ER because he used the epi pen on Lucky when he got stung by the bees. He had a full body rash, according to Charlie.

It wasn’t as scary as the cashew, he said. Everything’s fine.

Fine? You used the epi pen! That’s BAD!

But there was no real time to talk about it, because two seconds into our conversation, I heard noise in the background, and Charlie said, Oh, oh – hang on. Lucky just threw up. I’ll call you back.


Honestly, I held it together only because I told myself to calm down. I reminded myself that Lucky was in the ER, where, you know, doctors could take care of him. Charlie was with him. It was under control.

There was absolutely nothing I could DO – everything was out of my control.

He called me back relatively quickly afterwards, where we decided there was nothing I could do but stay where I was and call him when we were on the way home. I didn’t want to ruin the evening by bagging early, especially when there was no real reason for me to go.

There wasn’t. If I left early, I’d sit in the ER with Charlie anyway, marking time.

But I have to tell you. Instinct is pretty STRONG. You hear your kid is sick, bad enough to go to the hospital, and it takes a LOT of breathing to get you through the urge to run like hell to be at his side.

Sure enough, we left there around 8. And I got to the ER around 9:30, with a change of clothes for Lucky and a long sleeved shirt and sandwich for Charlie. And there was a lot of waiting around.

Lucky was asleep, his face swollen and mottled.

As it turns out, he had a pretty bad reaction to the bee stings. Charlie gave him the epi pen because of the rash and the fact that his face was swelling up. He didn’t have any breathing problems like he did with the cashew, thankfully. But given how bad he looked nearly 4 hours after the whole incident? I’m glad we had an epi pen and that Charlie used it.

We got home at 1am and I spent the rest of my sleepless night checking on Lucky every couple of hours.

Sunday we were supposed to go out to my in-laws’ house so that Charlie could help my FIL split wood, because my FIL has two bad shoulders that have been surgically repaired, what, three times now? And at 9:30 that morning, my MIL called in a panic.

FIL was outside splitting wood right then.


So Charlie dropped everything to go help him, and I was at home with a tired and cranky 4 year old. All day.

So. Tired.

We did find the source of the stings – a Bee Mordor; an underground yellow jacket nest right next to the house and where Lucky loves to play baseball. We emptied two cans of poison into the opening of the nest and I swear the yellow jackets just laughed at us.



When Charlie got home on Sunday afternoon, we talked a little about the Job Situation. Charlie mentioned what we’ve been hearing for some time: his next engagement is most likely going to be in Columbus, OH. Which would require 4 days a week traveling.

So Charlie suggested, Why don’t you just take a break from work for a month or two?

And I ran some numbers. Maybe, if we were REALLY good about the money we spend in the coming months, we COULD make it work. I got excited about the idea of luxuriating with TIME.

What I could DO with that time if I had it!

But man. The money stuff. It scares me so much.

So I talked about it with my therapist on Monday.

I’m sure you all have seen this in me before, but over the past year I’m noticing that I have this OCD/obsessive/controlling tendency. It’s kind of this little black streak which pops up from time to time when I am feeling insecure about something. And I either focus it on me (I get obsessive about losing more weight and what I’m eating), my running (I get obsessive about following a training plan to a tee), parenting (I get all critical of Charlie for his parenting style)… you get the picture.

If I took time off, I KNOW that little black OCD cloud would pop up and make me focus on our budget. Because that’s the only way I could gain control over our lack of money. And I’d justify why we couldn’t travel to Florida to see our family, or spend money on Christmas presents, or our usual Boston Pops tickets every year. I’d clamp down on every expense, questioning why we spend money on something like that. I’d spend a lot of time and energy trying to squeeze more money out of our budget.

I’d become the Grinch.

And at the end of the day, really what’s become untenable is this situation – where I’m commuting into Boston 4 days a week for a job where I feel like I suck.

So yesterday, I put on my big girl panties and emailed Boss Lady. I told her that Charlie was going to be traveling this fall, and my availability was going to be less than it is now, and it seemed easier if she didn’t have anything lined up for me for me to take a couple of weeks off. But that I was open to discussing.

And wow, it was a great discussion. She was understanding, and told me that we could work something out. We talked about a couple of opportunities where I could work 3 days a week, with 1 day in Boston and the other two remotely. We talked about a couple of opportunities which are completely remote – XBRL tagging – which would give me 1-2 days a week, here and there, for work.

Basically, Boss Lady said, There are ways we can make it work so you don’t have to worry about income and can do what you need to do for your family.

Seriously, WAY more flexibility than I had anticipated.

And I realized just how much baggage I have left from my last job. Where I felt guilty for putting my family before the Company. Where there WAS no flexibility; I had to be there, all the time, or I Wasn’t Meeting Expectations. Where working from home wasn’t good enough. Where face time was really important.

This isn’t like that. Not all the time, anyway.

So you’re caught up. We’re in the middle of our frozen cycle. Lucky has a bee sting allergy. Charlie will be traveling to Columbus, OH starting in September, through the end of the year. And I have a lot more flexibility with my job than I thought I did.

So for today? Things are pretty okay.


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  1. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting…I’ve been reading…but paranoid about posting at work. Re: Job Situation. What a great alternative! More time/space in your life to figure things out with a cushion of income. I’m totally paranoid about quiting work…about not being part of the working world…about being irrelevant and un-used…about being fiscally irresponsible. Sometimes the middle place is the best we can do. And, as for those stupid bees, HOW SCARY! I totally would have wanted to be there to help Q!

  2. I somehow COMPLETELY missed that you were cycling!

    I am glad that you had the talk with your boss that brought about possible solutions that are palatable for you. Hoping it all works out in the best way.

    Poor O, poor Charlie, poor mama. I do not take for granted having a child with no allergies and applaud you both for being so aware and capable of intervening.

  3. That is great news about the job flexibility. It makes so much sense that you would approach every job thinking the work culture would be like your last job. And I’m so glad it’s different. I totally agree with you re: trying to control the budget if you weren’t working. It is exactly what I would do, and I obsess about things and try to control them when I’m feeling insecure too (we are so alike!). Sounds like a great set of options.

    Very glad Lucky is ok, and glad that Charlie has such a calm head on his shoulders.

    GOOD LUCK with this cycle!

  4. Great news about the job flexibility! But ugh, Columbus Ohio? I think I am so traumatized by all of K’s traveling, that even hearing about someone ELSE’s husband being away provokes a visceral reaction in me. At least he’ll be home on the weekends, right? And will he get frequent flyer miles? (that should help with the less income = fewer vacations problem 🙂 ).
    And the bee sting. I would’ve gone crazy, thinking that my boy was hurting and needed his mommy. But even if you’d left right then, you were an hour and a half away. So, you did what you could. i hope that is the last allergy you discover, though.

  5. SCARY!!! Somehow I have never been stung by a bee or wasp. My mom is mildly reactive, my cousin is fully allergic, and I’ve always wondered whether I might have a bad reaction. Charlie Brown handled Lucky’s reaction very well, and so did you. But now another worry!

    I’m glad you had a positive talk with Boss Lady. Managing work, family time, and income is difficult for self-employed people. You might not have an employer or company culture breathing down the back of your neck, but you want to exceed expectations whenever possible because it can feel like everything is on the line. But I’ve found most people are pretty accommodating upon request!

  6. So glad you were able to get some flexibility with your job–I think that was what you were hoping for, but you kind of got into a rut with it. Yay for Boss Lady! Boo for Bees! Yay for CB and the Epi-Pen! Boo for traveling!

  7. So glad that Lucky’s ok now. I am terrified of bees and wasps after witnessing my sister have an allergic reaction when we were kids. Also great that you have more flexibility at work, too. I second the commenter who brought up frequent flyer miles, between those and hotel chain perks for frequent guests I haven’t paid for a ‘fun’ trip in a couple of years.

  8. Yay for job flexibility, I hope that is just what you need!

    Scary stuff with the bees…big fear here, especially now that one of the twins has a peanut allergy. We’re proud owners of an EpiPen, too.

    Good luck with this cycle, I’ll be praying for you both!

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