Monday, February 28, 2005
I've eluded to it in a previous post but I haven't taken the time to really celebrate an upcoming event that is of utmost importance in my life: The Phoenix U2 concert in April.
The first half of my excitement involves everything about the trip itself. I'm going somewhere WEST of the mighty Mississippi, territory I've never been before. The furthest I've ever traveled in that "to the left" direction was Michigan for the Olympics of the Mind World competition back in 7th grade. So the mere distance I will be from my home is exciting. And, it's warm there and considering we're getting yet another 12-18 inches of snow tonight, April cannot come soon enough
Coupled with that is the excitement of going and doing something just for me. Since deciding to stay at home with Bam-Bam, the me time has taken a huge hit. On one hand I'm incredibly thankful that we have been blessed enough to allow me to continue to be here with him day in and day out. But on the other hand, day in and day out is challenging and there are times in which I start forgetting who I am inside this body of mom. There used to be a time I swore I'd never be able to handle it. I've surprised myself with how I've managed but there is still that voice in there saying "Be YOU". So, for four days in April, I'm going to do just that with abandon.
The other half of my anticipation balances fully on the reason behind the trip. U2! I have been in love with them since the Boy album on through How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb-with the exception of the Zooropa (I own but never listened to) and Pop (never even bothered to buy) albums because they just walked away from who they were for a while and that just sucked.
There is at least one song on every album that just soaks into the very heart of who I am, where I've been, who I've loved, and who's loved me. I love that reality. I love knowing that I can pick an album and feel like home or a warm blanket or a strong hug.
October, The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree are the reminiscent me of really wonderful times in junior high and high school when I was loved with a depth and passion unmatched. When I was the center of his universe and he was mine in spite of what my parents thought. When all I cared about was being with him. Cheering him through his football games and singing songs in his ears at the dances. It was love both innocent and carnal. Then it came to an end. With it, a hiatus of sorts for U2 as well.
What followed was a night to forget, many more days and nights I barely remember, a wolf in valedictorian clothing and nothing to connect to.
With Rattle and Hum and Achtung Baby came a new him. Nothing like the old him although I loved him. I won't deny that I loved him, that would be foolish. But the new him was a taker and I let him take because I'm a giver. It was good, at the time, and in the middle of it all I healed from my time with the wolf and prepared myself for the album to follow. But in the middle there was Zooropa and Pop where, like the band, I walked away from who I was.
The Best Of 1980-1990 was released and with it came the Best of the Hims. He was the him with the ring and the promise and the future. He was the him with the house and the kids and the happily ever after. He's been there through the fight for the boy, the fight for us and All that You Can't Leave Behind.
Even with the Best of the Hims there was trouble and from the bottom of the rubble came How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The battles were ugly and long and painful albeit necessary. Now I think we've cut the right wire. I think we've found the comfortable place where we can live and grow and be without the fears of exploding. The place where good parents thrive, where good spouses give more than they take and where the individuals take pride in the success of the other.
As I stand at my seat in Phoenix in April, I will think of the hims and the Best of the Hims. I will reflect on my journey, where I've been and where I'm going. There will be more healing, more promise, more song, more love.
Gag me with a kibble...
The first thing I do every morning is let the dogs, Lacey a 51/2 y.o. Golden Retriever and Josey a 7 m.o. mini-Australian Shepherd, out to do the things dogs do first thing in the morning. After starting the coffee and getting Bam-Bam the manditory sippy of chocolate milk, I glanced out the new front windows to check on the dogs.
Lacey goes out on a run tied between the house and the tree near Pride Rock, a large NH granite boulder that she frequently perches atop to gaze down the road. Josey, because of the nature of her breed, stays right in the yard with Lacey so she is not hooked to anything. She has taken to running back and forth around the deck to look in the new atrium door when she's ready to come in but otherwise stays put near Lacey. In fact yesterday Tall Boy had Lacey take off on him because the door at the bottom of the stairs was inadvertantly left open. As is par for the course with her, she bounded out the door, down the driveway and hooked a sharp right towards the dead-end. There are several "friends" down that end for her to visit. Junior,a huge GR-cross, Brandi a pit bull, Princess a big booshy something and her brother the German Shepherd that has lived with her for two years and we have yet to learn his name, and Buddy the skinny Black Lab that we've discovered is afraid of Josey even though she's less than half his size.
Yesterday when she took advantage of the open door and was romping happily with her friends beyond our line of sight, Josey paced and panicked around the front yard. She ran back and forth from atop Pride Rock and back to the door, over to the propane tank and around the side where the deck used to be searching for Lacey. But she never left the yard. Love that. Lacey eventually did return after Tall Boy opened the window and gave a whistle. Loved that too.
Got up, dogs out, coffee brewing. Looking out window and Josey is FRAPping (Frantically Running and Playing) in every which direction in the front yard. She's doing circles around, over and under Lacey, really ripping up a storm. Tall Boy then passes through and heads downstairs to let them in. They come in and each eat their breakfast. In no time they are back wrestling and FRAPping. By this time the morning gathering has moved here in front of my computer. Tall Boy is in the rocker next to me as I check my e-mail and Bam-Bam is crawling all over him too. He loves his daddy.
Next thing I know, Bam-Bam yells "Oh Oh" and is b-lining it behind me in full gag, eyes watering, mouth gaping. He slows enough to point to the edge of the carpet where it meets the hardwood where the dogs have been playing. There, thankfully not at all on the hardwood, is Josey's breakfast piled up with slimy stomach juice.
Bam-Bam has inhertited Tall Boy's gag reflex. The first several months of potty training were really difficult on HIM. Every morning, while in the process of his first urine, he would gag and "choke" through the whole thing. I never figured out why or what it was that sparked it and thankfully it didn't prevent him from continuing to do it and do it well but the gag was prominent.
He did eventually overcome that particular recurring episode but the intolerence is always there. And, as I said, something he got directly from Tall Boy's DNA pattern because within seconds of Bam-Bam's fit, Tall Boy was stifling his own bout of the chokes.
At that point I didn't know whether to be pissed or thankful that even Lacey turned her nose up at the pile. She would have saved me from having to deal with it but the thought of that now, hours later, is making MY eyes water.
I ventured into the kitchen to grab the Pet Care Resolve carpet cleaner and nearly an entire roll of paper towels to take on this mess and as I approach, I start. I coughed and gagged and nearly lost my coffee. Panic started to set in a bit because I knew I was the only one that would be able to deal with the pile of doom.
I walked away for a bit and locked Tall Boy, Bam-Bam and the girls in the living room and when I had recouped enough I came to the Rescue once again. Case dismissed.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
I know what people are going to say after reading this: don't let him have it to begin with. But, I'm still excited.
I did our taxes this morning and despite us making $25,000 less last year by my staying home to raise Bam-Bam, we're getting a whopping $4000 back in taxes this year! yeeha!
This is the first time in 9 years that Tall Boy and I haven't had to PAY taxes so to get something back, finally, is grounds for celebration here at our house!
Friday, February 25, 2005
I think I figured me out
A couple of weeks ago someone on my favorite message board posted a poll asking whether we took a daily multivitamin. I didn't, at the time, but read the replies from the other wonderfully knowledgeable women I've befriended over the last four plus years as they listed everything they took each day to care for their bodies in more superior ways than I.
The woman that posted the poll replied first listing calcium, a multi, vit C as well as acidophilus. I'd never heard of that last thing before and after questioning her, discovered it's a supplement with cultures similar to those found in yogurt which aid in digestion. At the time I was intrigued but didn't make any sort of connection to what is seriously wrong with me. Until today.
As I sat on the hopper before climbing in to take my first shower in two days, I pulled out the recent First magazine and flipped to the headline article listed. Did you click that link? Did you see that headline about BELLY FAT? Did you read yesterday's post about being huge? Yeah, that's me. Huge with belly fat.
So I read the whole article and kept saying "hey that's me". If my self-diagnosis is correct, yeast has taken over my digestive system and not only contributing to the "slow midsection weight gain" but my fatigue, insomnia, constant cravings for sweets, IBS, bloating, the infections on my skin that I've been battling for over a year, the sinus problems I awake with each morning, my recurrent headache as well as my puffy face and swollen hands.
According to the article, my immune system is working hard to rid my body of this excess yeast which I continue to feed with devil dogs and donuts. If I can eliminate and control the yeast I should see a reduction in all my symptoms within the first week.
So, I'm going to proceed with a modified Atkins I guess. I cannot possibly eliminate all carbs and starches all together. But, my portions of them will definitely be different with meats and proteins taking a higher role in my daily food intake. I've already elminated diet coke from my day and will now have to get rid of coffee too since I can't possibly drink that without the hazelnut cream.
I've ordered the acidophilus as well as the L-Glutemine the article suggested. Maybe between making these changes and adding my Curves routine I'll be looking better quicker than I had even anticipated. Keep your finger's crossed. Now, if I could just managed to choke down a vegetable or two, I'd be golden!
Thursday, February 24, 2005
What is it about us that allows us to turn self-improvement into selfishness in our own guilt-ridden minds so quickly? It's amazing to me, really, the lightening speed in which a wonderful thought can turn so dark, so fast.
Case in point: Three weeks ago, I joined Curves. I had to, I'm huge. Everything is huge: my face and neck, my arms, my belly, my ass. Everything except my legs. My legs don't look like they belong on my body. They look so disproportionate to the rest of my huge self that they are the only aspect of my body that give me hope actually.
I'm huge so I joined Curves. In joining, I preplanned when I'd be going for my workouts each day that would be of the minimum inconvenience to Tall Boy and Bam-Bam. See, Tall Boy drives tractor trailer for a distribution company and his delivery area is all of New England. On Monday afternoons he leaves and goes so far north into Maine that sometimes his cell service is connecting through Nova Scotia, Canada. He returns from that trip mid-morning Wednesday. We get a few hours with him then he heads back out Wednesday afternoon and does two runs, one to Connecticut and one in our area here in NH, then returns home Friday afternoons.
Bam-Bam, being three, has preschool Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:45-11:15 but other than that, he's with me. All. The. Time.
My plan was to go on Monday mornings when Tall Boy was home and not quite awake yet and while Bam-Bam is still in the wake up zone and not much work. Tuesday's I'd go when Bam-Bam is at school. Wednesdays Tall Boy is home mid-day so I'd scoot out then. Thursdays school. Fridays I was planning on dropping Bam-Bam off at Tall Boy's parents (they live between here and Curves) then go again Saturday mornings when Tall Boy is home again.
This week is school vacation and today, Thursday, was the first day I was able to get my workout in. I did hop on the elliptical for 15 minutes on Monday and Tuesday but I don't like the elliptical yet, because I'm huge, so those workouts were actually annoying to me instead of encouraging. On top of that Tall Boy took an extra run Wednesday morning and didn't come home yesterday (no workout at all yesterday) to get us some extra cash for my upcoming solo trip to Phoenix to see U2. GT (guilt trip) #1. He's also taking an extra run Friday night into Saturday for even more cash. GT #2.
Which leads me to today. Tall Boy was able to come home for a few hours and once he came in and exchanged pleasantries, I told him I needed to go work out. He hesitated a bit, because he missed us and he was home to see us, but told me to go. GT#3.
When I got in the car I felt horrible. Here he is working his ass of for something for me and I'm taking off to go workout.
But I'm huge. So I have to. So I did.
And I feel....guilty.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
HB's gonna shit....
I just handed Bam-Bam a fluffernutter sandwich.
How's that for healthy? Can you tell we're getting pretty low on food 'round here? Only two more sleeps and I can hit the grocery to restock.
But, until then, fluffernutters anyone?
One of those days
I'm having one of those days. You know the kind where the 3 year old has a hearing deficiency and suddenly acts as if they are really 13 or 23 or some other ridiculously cocky age. One where you try to be nice and try to reason all the while they are destroying the dog, not eating their dinner and throwing toys.
I'm having one of those days. And have been. For three.
I don't know what in the hell has gotten into my once unyieldingly sweet child but I've found myself truly enraged with him. Found myself wanting to spank him or put him in bed indefinitely. I've found myself screaming my bloody block off at him. And found that it's like talking to the Berlin Wall.
I need a break.
I need to leave.
I need to drive away.
I need someone to take over for a little bit. Just a tiny little bit.
I need Tall Boy to come home and save me from myself.
None of that will happen, of course, because it can't. But that's what I need.
I'll keep plugging away, trying to maintain my composure and maturity. I'll remind myself that I am still the grown up here. Still the one in control. Still the one trying to set the example. I will hold it together, because I love him and because I have to, until Tall Boy returns.....
in two more sleeps.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
I'd managed to go a couple of nights without it. And I can tell you from experience that it's never good to have it with a three year old in the house that's going to wake me up in what will feel like minutes.
I think it's hit me tonight because I'm feeling like a shit for being bitchy about my friend forgetting my birthday after hearing the news they shared with me this morning. Man, I'm a moron. God I wish I could rewind or maybe just unwind...
Off to say a couple of prayers for my friend's friend and try to catch some winks before Bam-Bam wakes demanding chocolate milk and another game of Cariboo.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Not a hero today....
Ever have one of those days where, no matter what you think or know or believe about yourself, there will always be times where there is nothing you could do to help someone you love? I had one of those days today and they suck. Big time.
I got the IM from my friend, Special K, late this morning and it started out as normal as usual. Hey. How's it going? How was your weekend? Sounds like fun. Great. Mine was good blah blah blah. Then, somewhere after the blah blah blah, Special K tells me that someone near and dear to K that had previously been through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy has recently had new tests done. This woman that SK knows is like a mom to SK and her children and grandchildren are especially family-like to SK. Then SK tells me that the tests aren't just "not good" but they are bad. Very, very bad. The cancer has returned to this poor woman and, according to SK's father, it's "everywhere".
Special K has been down this road before. SK's friend from a second job was diagnosed with cervical cancer a couple of years ago and through treatment is in remission and, the last time I asked, pregnant. Hooray. But, the early diagnosis had SK reeling. I also remember the time very early on in our friendship when SK had to watch a relative die from cancer as well. Cancer is not SK's friend. Not that cancer is anyone's friend but SK seems particularly followed by it, haunted by it shall we say.
So, this morning, SK was incredibly upset and I was miles and hours away and without anything appropriate or valid to say. I hate that. I'm sorry is lame. I'm here if you need me...SK knows that. I felt like everything I did say or could say would sound more like the blah blah blah we had just left behind in our conversation.
Will someone PLEASE come up with something to say when really bad news is passed along to you that a. won't make you sound like a cheesy Hallmark card b. won't sound insincere c. won't sound shallow d. won't sound bumbling or e. doesn't negate or invalidate the enormity of what the receiver may be feeling? Please.
I HATE feeling inadequate.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Oh yeah, my birthday
I "celebrated" my 35th birthday yesterday without fanfare. I got calls from my family and e-mails from a couple of friends which was really just the greatest thing. I'm so thankful when people remember.
The demise of the hoopala began 8 years ago when my sister gave birth to my first nephew two days after my 27th birthday. It was an amazing "gift" for the entire family and we ogled over him and knew that we were blessed to have him join the family. Then, three years later on my 30th birthday and in the middle of a regular New England blizzard, she delivered her second son. Since then, I've been basically "sharing" my birthday with both the boys. Add to that the fact that my grandmother's sister also shares a birthday with me (yes, three of us in the family have the same birthday). She turned 89 yesterday and we're overjoyed that she's still sharing her eccentricities and silly songs with us.
So basically, there's joy for my nephew because he's the youngest and joy toward my aunt because she's the oldest and I'm kind of a blip in the middle.
When the calls started coming in yesterday, I felt tremendous happiness because for a few years there, my birthday was kind of forgotten about completely. It's nice to be back among the living. Now, if I could just get one of my dearest friends to remember, that would just send me over the top. I mean, we chat several times a week and my birthdate is in my screen name. It's not like I'm asking for it to be put on the calendar or anything. Let's just say my irritation was evident after making our way through the ER recap yesterday morning.
I did get big kudos from the ladies at Curves when I showed up to work out before we went out to dinner. I guess it was a big deal that I'm so committed. I have to be. Bridesmaids dresses are bad on a good day for a skinny girl. Putting a tent on and trying to pull it off as pretty is never a good idea. So, since signing up last Friday, I've gone 5 times and since being asked to be in the vow-renewal I've lost 12 pounds. The only real pothole came last night at Smokey Bones when I tried to order the kid's grilled chicken. The waitress talked me out of it saying it was little medallions of dry chicken. So, I opted for what resulted in a large medallion of dry sirlion and one side of mashed potatoes. I didn't finish either but the ice water was good.
Turning 35 is tough I guess. I don't feel old, just not as young as I should be. Probably because of my weight. I'm hopeful that turning 36 will be a blast. Only 364 days before we find out.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
It dawned on me today...
How much doing laundry is an act of love for my family. Funny, really, to think that way but it's true. Maybe it's true because it's my way of making peace with the fact that I've been plugging away at it for days and have barely made a dent but if it's what gets me through then so be it.
Honestly though, let's break it down. First, you have to get it down to the washer. No small feat in a house with three levels. Up the stairs, down the stairs, back and forth. I think I've lost 2 pounds just gathering the scattered items from their various nooks and crannies. Some in the bottom of the bathroom closet. Some beside our beds. Some already thrown to the bottom of the cellar stairs and still more in and amongst my sister's room.
Once congregated near the washer it becomes a huge pile filled with colors and whites, darks and lights, towels and socks. Since you can't just haphazardly throw them in by where they stand in rank in the pile, the next step is to carefully sort them into about 5 or 6 different piles. Towels and robes go into one, socks, white t-shirts and underwear into a second. Jeans have their own pile as well as sweatshirts, both because they are so heavy. Blankets and sheets have yet another pile on the days we strip beds.
Personally I put pajamas into their own pile to keep them rotating quickly since 5 of the 6 of us living here wear a new pair daily. Tall Boy sleeps in his underwear so thankfully he doesn't add to that pile.
Then comes the last pile of random colored items that then have to again be sorted by brightness. I mean, you can't put the bright blue superman shirt in with the light pink pub t-shirt in case the blue runs because then the t-shirt will end up tie-dyed purple.
Once you master the sorting comes the whittling process of actually washing the items from every pile. Jeans around here will run about 3 loads as well as towels. The other piles can usually be done in a load or two. Each load is then dried and folded and carted around the house to waiting drawers and closets.
But beyond the shear volume of work and labor that goes into keeping up with the laundry, all of which is one huge amount of love, lies the little details. The detergent that doesn't irritate Bam-Bam's skin. Tossing in a couple of dryer sheets that reduce that annoying static that drives my sister crazy and make the towels smell fresh. Quickly folding work shirts as soon as the dryer buzzer sounds so that Tall Boy looks put together and professional when he heads off to work. THOSE are the added nuggets of love.
There is no paycheck at the end of the week for me so it really comes down to finding tangible ways that I can repay those I love the most. Today's paycheck: Laundry.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
State of the what? I chose Larry Flint
In as much as my reasoning brain knows that I should have been glued to the tv on any major station last night at 9 o'clock to watch Bush's State of the Union Address, I wasn't. Instead, the other more irrational side that was trying to detox from an unusually busy day hit the "Guide" button once I saw what was on instead of The West Wing (is that a coincidence you think?) and scrolled up.
Up beyond all the new fancy Hi-Def channels we're paying extra for in the cable bill that were all showing the SOTU. Up past the umpteen Showtime stations that we don't subscribe to. Up into the Cinemax section where I stopped on a movie already in progress. One with only 45 minutes or so left to it.
The People Vs. Larry Flint.
I know what you're thinking and I can assure you I was thinking the same thing about myself. But I watched. I never flipped back to NBC, CBS or even Fox.
Instead I watched and wondered how Woody Harrelson (ironically an actor tremendously outspoken against our involvement in the war in Iraq) managed to do that part day in and day out with crap shoved in his mouth to make him sound like LF. Then I wondered how much the casting director that chose Courtney Love to play Althea made on that movie because playing a sex-crazed, skuzzy-ball junkie WAS NOT a stretch of talent for Miss Love. I want that kind of salary for that kind of decision. I can do that.
Believe me when I say that I completely grasp the ridiculousness surrounding my viewing choice. I do. But I have to admit, given the same crazy day leading up to the same two choices, I'd pick the King of Porn over the King of Plano (well, not exactly Plano since that's 6 hours away from Midland but you know what I'm saying) again. I just didn't want to think that hard.
God Bless America.