Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I Hear Writing is Cathartic...

CAUTION: These are my thoughts in raw form. It's really more for me than you, in the best way possible. But, who knows, maybe some of you can relate, understand, or find comfort in these words.

This posts contains swear words, so if you're a cuss word sissy you better exit now... wink face.

Soooo, here I am. . . after a much needed break from social media, negativity, the news and, honestly, a reprieve from my usual self.

I just attended my first yoga retreat this past weekend, which I signed up for two weeks before Thanksgiving because, well, I needed to go be alone in the woods and meditate.  For those of you that know me well you're probably laughing out loud or you spit out your morning coffee. Hell, I find it weird too. All this yoga, thoughtfulness, and inward reflection is NOT who I've been all my life, or really even a year ago... But I learned a hard lesson this last year, and I'm not speaking solely about the election decision because that is only a teeny tiny piece of this jumbled puzzle. Maybe epiphany is a better word, although, that seems a bit dramatic... But, hey, I think we can all agree I have some dramatic tendencies at times.

There have been some tough personal issues going on lately, actually compounding over the last year, that have given me an abnormally heavy heart; and I realized that I have been reacting the same way to situations for about 37 years now... minus maybe the infant years, but pretty sure I was a hot tempered mess then too! Sorry Mom!
I read a quote recently that really resonated with me... I'll paraphrase because I've seen it written many different ways.

*If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done*

Holy Shit >>>> BAM... It might as well have read, WAKE THE FUCK UP MEGHAN!! For some reason, at the moment I saw this on some random IG account, while involuntarily trolling social media, it hit me... What the hell is it going to take to make a real change? I don't want my old life. I don't want to live half ass. I don't want to recover from the past anymore, and I don't want to continue a cycle of mediocrity and unresolved trauma. My family deserves better. I am not miserable, don't get me wrong, but I am not living up to my potential... as a wife, as a mother, as a worker, as a daughter, as a friend, and just as a human. 

I have always wanted to be perfect.. That's really fucking exhausting. Not to mention, what the fuck does that even mean?!? Perfect to whose standards, certainly not my own?? 37 years y'all... of trying to be great at everything and slowly realizing I'm really not that great at everything, or much at all.. because it was contrived, disingenuous really.  Because really, who is great at everything they attempt? No one. and if you're that ONE PERSON that is, I hate you. (JK, kind of)
You have to find the one or two things that make you happy and just do it, screw expectations. Because if you LOVE it, you will excel at it. I now know that, so learn from my mistakes.  All this striving for perfection, or achievements I never really wanted, well I'm over it. I am inching rather close to 40. <<deep breath>> Yowser. So why waste any more time.

So far here's how my life breaks down:
Kid years: I just wanted to play outside and draw... I was super introverted most of the time. 
Teens: Emotional roller coaster on crack. Again, trying to be who I, or others, thought I should be.
20's: HOT MESS. Anxiety attacks daily. You poured it, I drank it. You asked, I probably did it. Regrets, by the boat load.
30's: Life got on the right track, settled down. REALIZATION: That old shit isn't working anymore.

I've been thinking hard about how we repeat patterns... The comfort that exists in always reacting the same way, because it's so scary to do things a new way. How will you know the outcome?! I think we can safely say it's all about control. And when your life was once out of control your brain changes... You are rewired. It's an unnoticeable switch... It's gradual enough to just be normal.. You begin to make decisions that don't need to be made because of fear. You react instead of becoming thoughtful. You plan for the worst case instead of relishing in the possibilities of the best case [which actually sounds so much more amazing, doesn't it?!]. You are conditioned to believe that you are the only person with your best interest at heart so those almost unbreakable walls are gradually built around you. (I don't like ANY walls, clearly)

I am not religious, or spiritual, or anything really.. although, I am working on trusting energy in the universe because you can't dispute that the world is made up of energy no matter what you believe in...  But many, many let downs have taught me that this life is not mine to over control. When I say let downs, by the way, the realistic translation is that I got EVERYTHING I needed in life, but not the way I wanted it or how i had planned it in my head. Oh my gosh you guys, that's a MOFO wake up call!! 

This is what happened to me when I tried to PLAN the SHIT out of everything:
>> I found a great life partner, that I didn't go out seeking or quite frankly would've chosen on my own (I mean that in the most awesome way wife!!)... I got the job I needed to influence my future, that has had many obstacles, and that I did not choose. I got the most amazing child in the world, but not at all the way I wanted or expected, and who is teaching me more than I will ever teach him. We bought our first home that we never thought we would get, the perfect home for us, after numerous failed offers and disgruntled attitudes. I have friends that have been with me through it all, and I am sometimes not sure why they stuck around so long, but they are the ones I needed.
 >>>> After all those instances it still took a LONG ass time for me to get it. I GOT IT ALL!! Everything I wanted... but I was still having a pity party that it did not go the way I planned in my head. I realize now how stupid and childish that is. Not to mention the unnecessary stress!! It worked out, every damn bit of it. The comfort I now feel with that weight being gone is just heavenly (but I am still working on it, because I'm still me). 

I am slowly learning to do things differently. To be grateful. To love just a little more when it feels like it's not possible in the moment. // To ALWAYS take a breath before reacting \\ To do more small things alone, so that when I am with others I am present and not just existing

One lesson I can share, and one I now swear by, is this... YOU ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN FEELINGS. Let that sink in, because I swear to you, it relieves a shit ton of stress and takes care of the one person that matters most. YOU.  Because you are NO GOOD to anyone else unless you take care of yourself. It may feel hurtful or aggressive to others, but you are not responsible for their perceptions or brain wiring or trauma. This has alienated some friends and family at times, but at my core I know taking care of me makes every other relationship even stronger... I don't mean that you should be rude or hateful [duh]... What I mean is, set out to always have the best intentions, but if others react poorly, rudely, or misinterpret, allow them to work it out on their own. It's not your job to fix someone else. Man, it's amazing how healthy that is, yet how awkward it feels at first. Cuz really people, we aren't taught how to be healthy! We are not taught to set HEALTHY BOUNDARIES. We're taught how to make others happy first,  to sacrifice ourselves, and then get mass amounts of expensive therapy, and then be told to take care of ourselves.. Thanks, thanks for that cruel world (oops, drama flair)!

I'm oversharing today... Pretty much you can think of this as the culmination of all the days I haven't been posting on Facebook. HA. And maybe my next posting will be another blog post instead of spending my days thinking of what I can take a photo of to share on social media. .  

Thanks for reading. I hope you all had a wonderful, butter-filled Thanksgiving, as I did! Gobble Gobble

Oh, here are a few photos from my awesome yoga retreat...If you live in Cali and want a great yoga retreat, check out Sagrada in Santa Margarita!! I used to call of this stuff HOKEY... Now I call it survival.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

9 Ways to Survive the First Year as a First Time Parent

You start out as a happy thriving couple. You go to dinner, movies, friends' weddings, parties, you have sex, you make eye contact, you laugh at your spouse's jokes. Life is pretty great. So, why not make the couple into a throuple! 
"Let's have a family together"

This is the greatest thing you will ever accomplish as a team, and a potential reason for the demise of that team. Yes, I may seem like a pessimist, but I promise, I'm a realist. There are many divorces that occur because raising a person tests every amount of patience you have, and depletes your mental sanity on numerous occasions.

Adding a baby to any semi normal couple is still a jaw dropping, eye opening, cry-on-the-phone-with-your-mom kind of event. 
I was very adamant from day one that we remain a couple, and individuals, above all else. I felt that our son would be better off if we were sane, rested, and happy as humans and as a couple. So, being a bit hardcore, I set up rules that we pretty much still follow, in order to have a well rounded adult life as parents. Let me warn you, it's not easy. What is easy, is falling into the lazy, "we are just parents" trap. You are not just parents. Ever. 

1. Date night. This is most effective after the meals stop being delivered, after the parents and in-laws stop cleaning and doing the dishes, and after the initial newness wears off and you are just fucking exhausted already. So, about three weeks! This does not mean a fancy dinner that requires two hours of prep time; it means leaving the house with your spouse to have a meal. You can discuss how exhausted you are, how frustrated you get when your little angel won't sleep at night, or just sit in rare and beautiful silence while being able to eat a full meal, in one sitting.

2. Get referrals for good sitters asap! Like, I mean before your child is even born. Start asking friends for referrals and get to know the sitter. This is really critical if you don't have family nearby! Having a good sitter on standby is like skydiving with a parachute... You actually have to have it.

3. Go away overnight at least once before your child is 6 months old. I feel like this is where I have to resuscitate people. I know it seems overwhelming to some parents, but it probably saved my marriage. We weren't on the verge by any means, but if we went six months with no break... Well, I'd be picking out curtains for my new studio apartment. We went away over night very early. I won't say how early, because people tend to think I have no soul. I will say that my mom stayed with him and it was glorious. And if you don't have a mom/dad or mom/dad-in-law, make a pact with a friend. Two of my best friends watched our son overnight before he was even 6 months old. I'm not saying you need to be as crazy as I am, but you trust your friends... and they don't want to see you in a looney bin just because you don't have grandparents around! Us parents have to stick together! So when when they come knocking on your door raising money for their kid's sports team, DO IT.  Buy the damn candy bar. You owe them.

4. Learn to recognize your spouse's "I wanna go buy diapers and not come home" face. You will see it, I promise. I had that look when AK was about three months old, we were back to our work routine, and we had yet to figure out that he had acid reflux, eczema, and an allergy to dairy and soy. GOOD TIMES. I really thought that moment in time was a permanent condition. I was very close to losing my shit. 
So, if you see that look, tell your spouse to go nap at a quiet friend's house, or get a massage, or, hell, go sleep in the car! They will do the same when you have that look. And you will have it. 

5. Put the baby in his or her own room to sleep at night, and for naps (we waited two weeks, but that may be extreme). AK was a loud ass gremlin baby, so he had to go. Try hard. When a baby becomes comfortable with their own bed, they sleep better, and it becomes habit. So if they sleep in your bed, they will be comfortable, and it will become a habit. I don't think I need to keep going, you get it. I sure hope you do! I mean, you will have a four year old in your bed before you know it. Are you asking for a divorce? Because the small cracks do eventfully cause a rupture. 

6. Routine!!! I have found, with my whopping one kid, that babies and toddlers love routine. There is comfort in stability for them. Once we started our nighttime routine (at 3-4 weeks) of feeding, bath, snuggles, reading a book, and then into the crib, our life became semi manageable. That kiddo went to bed the same time every night since he was about one month old, whether he slept through the night, and with or without a nap. We were so strict that my own momma thought I was a lunatic (yes, she said that). Other than teething and colds, my almost two year old still goes to bed at 6:30 (ish) every single night (and I hate to say it out loud, but he consistently sleeps 12 hours). Now, maybe we got lucky. Or maybe it was the routine. If we wanted to repeat this adventure I'd place my bets on routine (but we don't).

7. Go out alone. This was really key for both Jen and I. We both love to be alone. It's almost impossible to work, raise a baby, spend time with your spouse, AND have alone time. But you have to try!! 
Go to Target by yourself. Even if you're buying huge post pregnancy pads, diapers, dog food, a nasal sucker thingy, and frozen pizza, you will feel like a new person! That will be the best 45 minute trip ever. Oh, and buy a candy bar to devour on the way home. Nothing feels better than a secret sugar fix.  *once you have a toddler this means even more to you!! (You'll see)

8. Tell your OCD side to simmer down!! Stop trying to keep a perfectly neat and tidy house 24/7. Just give it up. It will consume you. I'm happy to provide more details, but as I've hinted, I prefer to stay married. 

9. One parent always carries more of the burden (or good times) in some respect. Don't beat yourself up. And it will vary everyday. Atticus sometimes prefers Jen when he's sick. She got up with him more for the first year of his life. (I'm a comatose sleeper). He sometimes prefers playtime with me. I love to chase him, read in weird voices, and throw him in the air.  My point is, you will not be number 1 all the time. Learn to take those hits with ease... so when your 'baby' is 12 you aren't butt hurt when they don't want anything to do with you.

What's most important the first year is survival and adaptation. Just let your new life sink in, mourn your exciting old life, and fall in love with parenting. You can't do that if you tucker yourself out cleaning, feeding, crying, wiping, bathing, arguing, soothing, folding...  Take some time to do nothing, or maybe, just maybe, look at your spouse without wanting to kill them for not hearing the baby last night (personal experience). I'm pretty sure you are both doing your best. But remember, no one is their best ALL the time. So cut yourself, and your better half, some slack! 

These are all just my experiences and advice. What works for my baby may not work for yours. Try it, or don't. 
But do make time for yourself and your spouse, that I can promise you is a MUST! 

Enjoy the ride y'all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Wish I was the Mom I am on Facebook

Don't you? If I only judged parenting based on Facebook or Instagram posts, then life seems dazzling with a toddler. It's easy to get sucked into THAT world. It's very easy to doubt your skills as a mom and compare yourself to the perfect moms of social media: wearing lipstick, matching clean clothes, and perfect beachy waves! Bitches!! But then I think, "oh shit, that may be me." Although, I do hate lipstick. What I mean is, we all post the best photos. So we all pretty much look our best to the outside world.

Social media makes parenting seem like buttah, nice and smooth. Well guess what, it's not. No one posts photos of themselves chugging coffee while trying to eat yogurt and swat at a screaming toddler at 6:30am: A toddler that may be issuing breakfast demands that sound like German! "Uutz Mooof momma!!" Huh?!

No one posts the photos of themselves trying to use the bathroom alone for two seconds of adult peace, while a toddler flings the door open and tries to crawl in your lap (gotta see about that door lock!) Although, maybe they do it and I dodged that photo bullet. 
Even if you post stressful 'real life' parenting photos, they aren't real.  It's just you smiling. Right before you lose your shit.
So let's call it what it is; it's how we all cope and unwind. I see your photos on Facebook, and I know you're home hollering at your spouse, wearing two day old sweats, swearing at the dog, and letting your kid eat crap food. You can pretend they eat gluten free, but I can smell the Doritos through your hashtags!! And that is A-OK. Because bribing kids with junk food works. I'll be damned if I'm gonna ruin 2 minutes of my day, when (on occasion) a bag of fruit snacks will solve it!
Remember the recent photo of the mom breastfeeding on the toilet?! Yeah, it received lots of attention and opinions. My opinion of her choice does not matter, nor do I care... However, I don't look that good on a toilet. So maybe she thought that was a rough photo of parenting in action, but it looked like a model posing with a fake kid. I couldn't reenact it if you paid me.

Of course this shit is hard! We're raising people, not gerbils. So it's not always going to look good, unless you follow us on Instagram! I joke, I joke.
Seriously, we are all human. Parenting is a huge task that no one is prepared for. It's like floating in an amazing pool with endless margaritas, and someone tosses you a bowling ball. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Just remember that don't have to get your kid on Ellen, or post a rad You Tube video that goes viral, to be a bomb ass parent!

Keep all this in mind when you see a smiling angel kid on Facebook when yours ripped you to shreds all day. No matter your parenting philosophy or style, we will all have the same meltdowns, milestones, and snuggles. If you aren't a parent yet, and you want to be, don't let the Internet fool you... Shit comes out of babies like hot lava no matter what you feed them, you'll laugh at that crazy alien newborn until you almost pee your pants, and you'll cry at things that make you feel like a complete emotional moron. And I didn't even get the hormones!!
Enjoy the ride, and give yourself a break. Eventually all our kids will know their ABC's, they will talk like everyone else, and they will like one parent more on any given day. So relax and try to enjoy the crazy ride!! (And stay off effin social media on your bad days!)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Faith: To Have or Have Not

Caution: This is a long one

I am aware that this post may cause a ruckus, although, my opinionated nature has never been a real secret. I think what's essential for each of us is to believe in whatever the hell we want, and to mind our own damn business on the topic of religion. I feel more uncomfortable when people ask about religion than I do when they ask about having a husband.
I've always been in awe of people that believe in a God of some sort and/or spirituality. Some days it might be nice to have a backup plan, but (unfortunately) I don’t work that way. I do find religion fascinating.

I've never really struggled with my faith. In all my ups and downs in life, I am satisfied with knowing that I should do the best that I can and leave some sort of legacy and impression on the world.  By world I mean my world.  I hope to leave memories and love with my family and friends, and even those that know me only briefly. It’s a very unambiguous way to think of things, knowing I have one shot at this life.  It’s a bit heavy for some to consider, I understand.  But it’s always been enough for me.

“God has a plan,” “Things happen for a reason,” “It wasn’t meant to be,” “God never gives you more than you can handle,” “You have to have faith.”  I struggle with all of these. At least one of them I’ve used before, more than once. Sometimes, shit happens(!), and we say what we can to comfort people. When there are no explanations, we often go to “comfort clich├ęs.” I can’t fault anyone for that; sometimes it’s just nice to say, or hear anything, especially for situations you don’t understand. During the rocky year when I was trying to get pregnant, I kept hearing that it will happen when it’s supposed to, or to have faith... What did I expect anyone to say? It’s shitty to go through and it’s even shittier to comfort someone going through it. It (obviously) worked out. Hence the adorable ginger you see constantly on my Facebook and Instagram! But it sure wasn't on my terms. Shocker… 
It’s very hard to go through that and not have faith in something larger, believe me. It’s times like that when you rely on your own intuition and strength. It’s not easy, that I will say. 

Now add a child to the mix.

I wondered if I would change my views… all the while knowing that is not in my nature. I know people that have kids and start going to church more and becoming more active in faith organizations, or just have stronger beliefs. I can certainly understand how that happens when you have someone other than yourself to consider. Someone once asked me, “Well, what are you going to tell Atticus when someone close to him dies?”  Now THAT is a very loaded and monumental question. It didn’t take me long to answer… And I’ll tell you that answer. But first…

I don’t think it’s what you say to your kids that’s so critical (don’t read too much into that). Meaning: I don’t think it’s detrimental to your child’s mental health for you to tell them you believe in God or not, or people go to heaven, or there is no higher being. I think what we need to remember is that kids need stability, compassion, and independence.  They need a choice. And most importantly, they need to know that their parents know what they believe in and stand by it. I think indecisiveness is the murderer of independence in children.  

Don’t freak out because I put that in bold. I just feel strongly about it for myself. Children need things to be outlined for them. They need answers one way or another. Black or white.  How can they become their own people when they don’t see their parents making direct decisions or standing for something. There’s a saying (and fabulous country song) that I LOVE: “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” I agree, do it!! I get that some things will be in the middle as they get older, but when they are wee ones, they need a little assurance and decisiveness from the people they look up to.

I sure hope Atticus doesn’t just go with what Jen or I believe in. [Insert here that we do not have the exact same beliefs].  I hope he figures it out for himself, and I have no preference. If he became a priest I’d be happy (Aries: I function with extremes, mind you). I mean, I want him to be happy, intelligent, and completely his own person.  Some parts of my life were not ones I had any control over, so I made a deal with myself that I would allow Atticus to grow into his own and be in total control of his life. My only job is to love and protect him above all else. I will not live through him, I will not choose his life path, and I will not place emphasis on what I think he should do. I will just support, and step in as he requests.  I do say all of this knowing that I have the ability to change my mind. I say this mainly because I do not want him playing football.  Sorry Jen.  CONCUSSIONS!!

Okay, so back to what happens when people die. My response to that question was this:
I will tell him that when people die our memories of them become part of who we are. Those people remain with us by our choice to remember them always. I think it would be easier for me to say they went to heaven; little kids seem to accept that answer.  The problem is, I don’t believe that myself. I don’t want to give him the impression that my beliefs waiver when something bad happens. People die and they become part of the earth again, whether they are buried in the earth or their ashes are scattered into the wind. They just become part of this world again after death. That comforts me as much as death can comfort anyone, and I will share that with Atticus one day. Although, I hope it’s very far into the future.

So you can say Atheist, Agnostic, whatever…  People tend to walk farther from you if you say Atheist, so I just never really say anything. I do promise though that I don't bite, even if you disagree! I don’t put up a fuss when someone says they’re praying for me: I find it endearing actually. We share our beliefs and rituals as best we can with others, and the meaning is always what matters. If you tell me I’m going to hell for being gay I’ll probably just raise an eyebrow. I’m not 20 anymore… I won’t tell you how I used to react to that sort of thing. If you know me well, you don’t need an explanation.

I have learned that you CANNOT change someone’s beliefs easily, especially with your own opinion, or even with logic. I used to be so annoyed by that. Now I realize that is a trait I respect more than ANY OTHER. If you believe in it then by all means stick with it. If you falter, I lose my faith in who you told me you were. I don’t think we need to advertise it, but isn’t that what I’m doing right now? GUILTY.  Spewing my belief secrets for a blog post.  [shaking my head].

That’s it for now y’all.  Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings as always.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anxiety: pre baby versus post baby

I like to post blogs as I have a thought or story to share.  Well, tonight is a twofer!!  It's 12:17 a.m. and I'm laying in bed with my heart racing, while staring at a baby monitor every two seconds to make sure I see signs of breathing.  This is important for me to share because I had anxiety before the baby (my whole life to exact) and now... Well, now I'm a parent. I think anxiety is part of the job, and for any mom or dad who feels bat shit crazy, don't!! I will stay up (writing and staring) until 6 a.m., or until I know he is ok, whichever comes first.
On a daily basis I am not THAT mom. I don't freak out over head bonks, germs, people's opinions, tantrums, or  any other daily parenting battle. But when my baby is sick and it's not general teething, eczema, mild fever, congestion, or diarrhea, then I am on high alert. I go from semi laid back mom (I realize this is a matter of opinion) to military attack mode in just seconds. In all thirteen months we've had quite the range of sickness.  Tonight took the cake so far. My happy little scoobs has a fever, molars, AND he vomited (three times) for the first time (other than newbie spit up)... I damn near crawled in a ball to cry with him!! All this after vaccines that I am aware are safe, but that cause side effects that I don't think I'd like to deal with... And I don't, because clearly a lot of this is their fault!

He was moaning and whine-crying. I've never heard  a more pitiful sound.  His poor face before he upchucked on his mom was the saddest thing ever.  Jen's face was priceless too, but not in the same way, obvi.
General anxiety supported me all my life: it saved me from doing anything remotely dangerous, risky, or unknown because surely I'd be caught, or DIE!!!  Unjustified fear is a funny thing. I had nothing to lose panicking just because I knew that I forgot something that I couldn't recall that I'd forgotten and surely it would catch the house on fire or the door would be unlocked for easy access by an intruder who surely wanted to kill me and I forgot to charge my phone so I couldn't call for help.  By 4 a.m. I'd know I was safe, or too intoxicated to care. Mind you, this was in my early twenties... Not last year!

Update: his belly is moving up and down. I think he is breathing. (keeping watch)

We got through the early stages without too many anxious ridden nights. He slept on his belly from 3 weeks or so, and I never sweated it... For some reason, as he gets older, I get a little nuttier. I can also say we love him more each day. Not that we didn't early on, yada yada. But he was a squishy co-dependent loud blob. No one really loves all that! Those are the exes we haul ass away from!!  Now he's our baby, our son, our teenager, our future man!! And I will be damned if I let exhaustion jeopardize me watching him sleep to make sure he's ok.  I know I will lose the battle with these drooping eyelids, but I will wake to pee in just enough time to interrogate the baby monitor.

Update: he's probably still ok because he just rolled over (you can never be too sure; keeping watch)

No vomiting in two hours, I can probably begin to increase the time between monitor interrogations.
I think the anxiety peaks  at night because I worry much less during the day... The night brings on new anxiety because I can't see his little cheeky face or snuggle  him to make sure he's  breathing  and happy.  (I suppose) I'm glad that I'm mainly a nut job on the night shift. I'm gonna need shift differential.  Because if I was this looney during the day everyone would know!!  (No one really reads my blogs enough to share that tidbit with the world). Duh.

If you are a new parent and someone tells you that you're paranoid, anxious, helicopter mom, etc. After you slap them..... Reiterate that the 'goods' you're watching over is worth more than sleep, or mental health, or the tv show that you had to pause to check for breathing. I mean, I turned off Top Model to get puked on.  I wouldn't do that for Jen (sorry babe).
A note though, if you are paranoid, anxious, or a helicopter do try to relax. At night, be a  freaked out hot mess if you must... But during waking hours you are the parent we all dream of being. Patient, non paranoid, relaxed, nurturing but not in a smothering way,  and not counting the moments until a catastrophe strikes.  It is paralyzing to live in fear or anxiety or constant panic.
I am learning to balance my motherly panic. I overcame (mostly) my general anxiety  disorder (GAD) and then I get PIA (parental induced anxiety)...
 Update: He is butt up and arms out. The occasional twitch is comforting.

I hope someone reading this suddenly feels normal and can snuggle that monitor and get some rest!

Signing off for now!  Thanks to my blog for listening (and any potential readers).