Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hoisting is required

As I was talking to Whymommy on the phone tonight, I remembered that there was something I have neglected to share. Yes, we were talking about boobs. In the context of breastfeeding though. Sorry to let you all down.

Since all of my clothes still fit, I've continued exercising, and have not changed my eating habits,
I was surprised to step on the scale and find that I have already gained about four pounds.

Never one to give up against a scale, I called Guy in the bathroom. I asked him to stand behind me. Of course I always weigh myself in the buff because a cami and pair of panties probably weigh eighteen pounds.

I asked Guy to stand behind me and hold up my boobs while I got back on the scale.

Seven pounds. Those puppies weigh seven pounds.

Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but folks? A Fender Stratocaster weighs less than my boobs. A bag of sugar weighs less than my boobs. A five pound bag, that is. Two frozen chickens weigh less than my boobs. A fridge pack of Diet Cokes weighs less than my boobs.

So there you have it. I'm not fat, I'm boobalicious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

12 Weeks, take two

"I just wanted to call you, because I know you know what I'm going through."

As her voice trailed off on the voicemail, my heart tore in two. The feeling in my chest that just recently began to heal returned. The tightening returned. The clamp that only loosens when I would allow the tears to flow. Returned.

This was not the post I wanted to write. I have been writing a post in my mental Word for a little over a week. That post included the hello hugs to which we added a belly rub at the end. Our bellies rubbing. Our bellies were incubating future best friends that would enter this world about a month apart.

But today we found out that her baby stopped growning at 9 weeks. Today she was 12 weeks. Everything should have been alright, but there was no heartbeat anymore. It is no longer my story. It is our story. And I never wanted to share it like this with anyone. Especially not her.

I remember the first person that I knew who had a miscarriage. It was about seven years ago. We were about the same age, but I was so far behind her in life. I didn't have any idea what her pain was like. I had no concept of her loss. I don't remember, but I'm quite sure I did nothing for her beyond tiptoeing lightly when she returned to work. We are not close. And yet, in January, she sent chicken enchiladas and brownies and an email that said she was sorry we lost our child.

I was blown away by her kindness. I was grateful that she understood and sorry that she had reason to understand all at the same time.

Today, I baked a couple of Greek pizzas and put together a fresh salad. I set the table, and opened the door to her and her husband. We held each other and cried. We talked about trying again. Over lunch, the men changed the subject, and I found myself gingerly steering it back. It was the matter at hand, and I didn't want it overshadowed. It is important.

I said to Guy after they had gone that today was the first thing I found something positive in our loss. I am not always a good friend. Sometimes I don't understand. Sometimes I completely miss what my friends need. This is not one of those times. I get this.

And I get when she asked me to forgive her for feeling like my miscarriage helped prepare her for today. But she doesn't need to ask forgiveness. I felt that same guilt every time a woman shared her story with me and I felt comforted. I tasted it in every reassuring bite of chicken enchilada. The guilt was there everytime I felt thankful for someone commenting here, letting me know that they understood because they had been there too.

Sometimes she comes here to visit. She reads. She listens to me. You, internet land, are only part of how I got through my miscarriage. She is another big reason. She is who I called. And I felt guilty for burdening her with my pain. For a moment. She didn't let me feel that way for long. She bravely shouldered that grief with me and mourned the loss of a child that she hadn't met.

I will do that for her now, as much as she lets me. For as long as it takes.


The pressure in my head has been released. Thanks to some great washing out of the sinuses, I'm happy to report that I'm up and moving around again.

The nurse said that I could take Sudafed and Benedryl. I got the saline rinse (I couldn't find the NeilMed), and commenced to trying to flush out my head.

Can I just say that as unpleasant as it is to shoot salt water up your nose, the resulting benefits have been delightful? Ahhhhhh.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Something about a rhinoceros in my nose

Apparently I have pregnancy rhinitis. There is nothing that I am environmentally allergic to in May. Nothing. I don't have a cold.

What this feels like is an allergy attack that has lasted for 10 days. I sneeze. I cough. My eyes water. I have post nasal drip that wakes me up gagging at night even though I am sleeping almost upright. My head feels like it has been inflated to the point where it will pop at any moment.

I don't know what to do. I'm calling the doctor tomorrow to find out what I might can do. However, in October, she quickly dismissed my sinus problems as allergies. I quickly accepted this diagnosis because it was October. It's not October anymore.

When I read though, that a drug, such as Sudafed, should only be taken if the "benefits outweigh the risks," I just can't pop it in my mouth and swallow it. I just can't do it. Class C. C must stand for "Can't do it."

So here is the medical mumbo jumbo:

Nasal obstruction during pregnancy, or rhinitis of pregnancy, has been accepted as a distinct and very common pathological and clinical entity for many years. It is believed to occur in anywhere from 5-32% of pregnant women and most commonly is first noted during the end of the first trimester, and may persist up to the time of delivery or a few weeks afterward. The nasal obstruction is associated with clear rhinorrhea and physical exam shows edematous nasal mucosa. This condition is caused by a number of related factors. The generalized increase in interstitial fluid volumes seen during pregnancy also affects the nasal mucosa, and is made worse by the direct effect of estrogen on the nasal mucosa, which causes increased vascularity and mucosal edema. Electronmicrographic and histochemical studies performed by Toppozada on the respiratory epithelium of pregnant women have suggested that an overactivity of the parasympathetic system leading to increased glandular secretion and vascular congestion is responsible for the state of nasal congestion. This overactivity of the parasympathetic system may be an allergic response to placental proteins, fetal proteins or a women's own sex hormones.

The treatment of this condition is complicated by the fact that many patients seek relief from over the counter topical decongestants, leading to a superimposed rhinitis medicamentosa, and the fact that the physicians are limited in terms of the medications that are safe to use during pregnancy. While the use of antihistamines has not been linked to any increases in the rate of fetal malformations, certain antihistamines carry a warning in the PDR that they should not be used during pregnancy. Systemic decongestants, while not teratogenic, carry the theoretical risk of causing placental insufficiency due to vascular constriction, and of aggravating hypertension of pregnancy. In light of this, the physician must carefully consider the risk benefit ratio before prescribing either of these two classes of medications Antibiotics should only be administered for specific infections, such as purulent sinusitis that may develop as a result of the generalized mucosal edema. Corticosteroid nasal aerosols may be very useful in refractory rhinitis of pregnancy as well as in treating superimposed rhinitis medicamentosa. Because of the very low systemic absorption seen at therapeutic dosages, the use of nasal steroids is safe during pregnancy. Lastly, intraturbinal corticosteroid injection, while not very popular, can be very effective in severe rhinitis, and has no risks other than those inherent to the procedure, namely inadvertent embolization to the retinal artery. The rate of systemic absorption is extremely low and thus its use during pregnancy is considered safe.

So I've been shooting Flonase. I've been taking Claritin. I'm huffing Vicks. I even ate Chinese for lunch just so I could eat the spicy mustard by the spoon. It's not helping. I need a decongestant. And now? I probably need an antibiotic too, because I'm pretty darn sure this has turned into a full blown sinus infection. I have "safed" myself into a sinus infection. Whee.

If there are any of you who know what I'm talking about and have some advice, please feel free to leave it for me.

Someone give that woman a cookie

Alright. I'm a total hypocrite. I have blogged before about why I hate American Idol, and now here I am admitting that I watched bits and pieces of the last few weeks. Would you believe me if I told you it was because it came on right before "House"? It's true though. We would often catch the last 5 minutes of it, thereby learning who everyone was and deciding who we thought could really sing.

Even though I certainly wasn't vested in the program and had no favorite or anything, this clip really gets me ruffled.

Calling this girl 'obese' has got to be one of the most ludicrous things I've ever heard. Perhaps if that woman would eat a sandwich, her blood sugar would return to normal, and she wouldn't say things like that on national television.

Granted, this is Fox. Granted, they even brought her on again for a second interview where she then claimed not to said that Jordin shouldn't win the contest, which she clearly did say. Obviously she didn't get that sandwich yet.

I don't know. I just don't see her as overweight. She looks like a tall girl with a big frame to me. She looks more beautiful than skin and bones to me. I'm all for healthy eating and exercise, but with that, you have to teach healthy body image. Jordin obviously has that.

As for stick girl saying that Jordin will "drop 40 pounds" right away? I really really hope she is wrong. In my opinion, that would be a far more detrimental message to young girls.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Handing the control freak her notice

We have been on the couch all day long. Except when I've been in the bathroom. Between my stomach and my sinuses, all forces are trying hard to get me to complain, but they can bite my ass. Not going to happen. I'm too fortunate right now.

Guy and I have snuggled with each other and a couple of pups. We have watched a few movies, answered a few phone calls.

My Bro called today. He wanted to know when I was going to the doctor. June 12. June 12 will be the day of the "nurse talk" and the first ultrasound. It is the same timing as the last one. He asked me if I could call them and tell them that I was anxious and wanted to go in sooner. I could. The doctor offered that when she saw me after the miscarriage. She said I could come in early "to ease my mind."

The thing is, I'm not anxious. And I'm not being perfect either. Diet Coke with Splenda? Still on the agenda. Feta cheese? On all of my salads. Joined a prenatal yoga class? Nope. I like my old one for right now, thank you.

You see, trying to be perfect got me nowhere last time. What it got me this time was peace of mind. There are odds and chances that exist. Odds in getting pregnant. Odds in staying pregnant. Odds in healthy children.

For months, I killed myself with those odds. Playing the numbers. Losing hand after hand.

And now? I'll take my terrible sinuses and rejection of food and relax. This control freak is taking some time off.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm a sucker for a new pair of shoes

Do these really need words? Except, "yum"?

There is a new review of the lovely location where I purchased these darling shoes over at Props and Pans.

Because I don't give out enough opinions here

There is a new review up at Props and Pans. This is a review in which I gush all over TrueBlue Blueberry juice for no other reason than it is the yummiest juice I have ever had.

So if you have a moment, click on over and visit us at Props and Pans, handing out opinions like they're candy.

We might have been crashing his party

This past weekend was Artsplosure. It is an outdoor art and music festival that the city closes down a few streets around Moore Square to accommodate.

Lovely was with us last weekend, and we all went down on Saturday to look for our favorite artists, hear some music and people watch. On Sunday, we went back with Papa and even took the pups. Everyone wanted to pet Princess and said how beautiful she was. Poor little Pupstar was sort of ignored, but she was probably alright with that. She was just hoping for a short enough kid with an unguarded ice cream cone.

For that weekend, the square is bustling with people from all over. Artists come in from all over the East Coast. Street performers from all over the country are there. Activities for children are sponsored by corporations and non-profits alike. This year, a giant canvas was painted by anyone who wanted to participate with help and guidance from a quickly emerging abstract painter who just happens to live here in our city.

As we sat on the ground watching a high school jazz band perform, a man with a transistor radio and nothing else came near us. There was a stack of folding chairs to the side of the stage, unused. The man took a chair from the stack, set it up, and sat down. The crowd was thin at this point. He turned on his radio while the band was playing, and as people turned to stare at him, he looked up as if he was just noticing that we were all there.

The man turned off his radio, got up, and started taking the rest of the chairs from the pile, one by one. He set them up into rows and starting ushering women and older men who were standing around to come and sit in the chairs. As the man showed a lady with a stroller to her seat, Guy turned to me and said, "What in the world is he doing?"

I answered, "This square is his home. He is entertaining."

In that moment, I felt a little more connected with everyone who lives here in this city, not just those of us who live in houses. This man was sharing his home with all of us last weekend, and he was a gracious host.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I just got back from closing on my house. Finally. It was supposed to happen last Tuesday, but the people couldn't get their acts together. Now, 10 days later, it is rather anticlimactic. I've already been sad about the passing of my first house, and now I'm just glad it's over and done. Plus, I get to go pick up that check this afternoon, and that will take the sting off for sure.

Today, I give you (and by you, I mean KimmieRo) gratuitous pictures of my little Pupstar (not her real name - we use pseudonyms here for goodness sakes). She is 11 years old, and by all practical reasoning, I believe her to be an American Eskimo mix. She is the light of my life, and the 2 of us are completely codependent. She also loves her pink spikey football almost as much as she loves me.

She just knows Papa is going to drop some cookie dough.

Playing fetch with the pink spikey football.

That football gets really nasty with dirt, leaves, twigs, and dog slobber.

I have lost count as to how many pink spikey footballs I have purchased in the last 11 years. And they have to be pink. She will not fetch any other color.

This is where she likes to hang out while I'm teaching.

Sometimes at night, she helps me blog.

I think about this dog a lot. She has been with me since I was a senior in college. Well, the second year that I was a senior in college (save the smirks, people). As a puppy, she would accompany me into the music building to the composition lab, the practice rooms, and even to my work study in the music office. She has been the constant in my adult life. She knows when I am pregnant even before I do and makes it her job to sit or lay by the belly. She loves Guy almost as much as I do. Sometimes, I'm even jealous of the attention she gives him, but in the end, I'm delighted that she loves our family. She loves Lovely too, following her up to bed for the ritual "tucking in" with her father.

The first time my momma met Guy, she said to him in the course of their conversation, "You know that dog is going to be a problem, don't you? When she dies, Canape is going to be a wreck." She is not wrong.

Pupstar and I have been through it all. Now, I see her age showing in her eyes. I hear her age in her hips as they pop when we walk uphill. I smell her age with every bomb that dog drops after a cookie or a meal. Man, can she clear a room.

The vet says she looks great for her age. She isn't overweight, and we give her enough exercise. This dog has had her teeth cleaned more often that I have. And yet, I find myself worrying about every click in her hip, every extra sip of water that she takes, and counting how many times she has to go out a day. I want so badly to take the best care of my best friend even though she can't tell me exactly how to do that.

At the end of the day, I find myself wondering if that is at all how it feels when you are a mom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do Re Meme

Mamma tagged me. She probably thinks I'm ignoring her, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I have just been distracted. And, see #9.

It is the 10 Things About Me mememememe. I've been trying to think of 10 things that you don't know about me, and it is difficult. I have kind of told all here. Here goes though:

1. My shoe size is 9 1/2. 9 1/2 quadruple freaking A that is.

2. I used Macs exclusively until 2001. I had never even touched a PC. Now, I love my PC, and I don't care if that associates me with the dorky PC guy on the Mac commercials.

3. I have been in one pageant. No, I will not talk about it or post pictures.

4. My older dog and I used to do agility. She would get so excited that while she had to wait her turn to do an obstacle, she would bark over and over and over again. The teacher loved it. The rest of the class, not so much.

5. I was born breech. Came out butt first and folded in half. My poor poor mother. She makes up for it by telling everyone that I came out facing the world with my rear and stayed that way.

6. I am 9 years younger than my husband.

7. I was a vegetarian for 6 years. Then I remembered that I loved steak. And bacon.

8. I am scared of house fires. This carries over from my childhood and is made worse by the fact that our home now does not have a doggie door. I worry about how my dogs would get to safety.

9. I have a terrible, terrible memory. I am that friend who you tell things to, and then I forget them. It's great if you need to unload some dirty secrets, but pretty awful for just daily friend type conversations. I'll remember them eventually, but not in time for you to have not figured out that you are jogging my memory. Again.

10. I pop zits.

I'm supposed to tag 10 people, but I'm cheating. I'm just tagging a few preggos. Fertile Mertile, Ranting Radish, Pretty Pissy, Emmakirsten, Mommy Dance, and Andria, you ladies are up. Spill what you feel like you can spill! And if I missed any incubating babes, please consider yourself tagged as well.

Pixie and the woman he loved

I have a family full of amazing women. This is something I don't take for granted. I have always tried to be grateful for the incredible examples I have had.

One of those women was my Aunt Pam. She was married to Honey's youngest brother who was a career Army man. They lived in North Carolina, and when I left Mississippi to go to college in the same town where they lived, they became like grandparents to me.

Aunt Pam grew up in England. When she was 14, she went to London, lied about her age, and signed up to be an ambulance driver. This was during WWII. She and Uncle Dadie met during the war. They got married. They had two children and lived all over the world. She lost much of her British accent, but retained a very distinctive pronunciation of certain words and always enunciated her consonants extremely clearly.

Aunt Pam smoked. A lot. When she was in her 70's, she liked to tell a story about how her doctor took a chest x-ray just to see what was there, because she smoked so much, and it was clear as a bell. She was just one of those people that could smoke, she would say. She smoked these very thin, long cigarettes, and at one time, used to put them in a holder like Cruella D'Ville.

Aunt Pam had a gin and tonic everyday at 5:00 PM. And possibly several more after that, but I don't know. It didn't matter to me. I thought she was perfect.

My freshman year of college, she had a birthday party for me. It was the same night as our winter formal, so me, my roommate, another friend of ours, and our dates, went over to Aunt Pam's and had cake. I have more pictures of the three of us (sans dates) in our pajamas. We spent the night over there, but I can't for the life of me remember the details. All I remember is that me and any of my friends were always welcome at Aunt Pam's and Uncle Dadie's.

After Uncle Dadie died, Aunt Pam got herself a little dog to keep her company. It was the ugliest and meanest little dog I have ever met. She named him Pixie, and that dog only loved her. But man, did he love her. And if you tried to love her too, you had better count your fingers before you go. He would take a couple of them if he could.

She eventually moved to Colorado to live near her daughter. She needed help, and she was alone in her town. I didn't see her after that, but we did our best to stay in touch.

One of Aunt Pam's great grandchildren was born on her birthday. She said to me, "You would think that at least a child born on my birthday could be named after me."

In our family, you name your children after who has come before them. I am a Temple, which was my great grandmother's maiden name. My father is a Junior, my brother a Third. My nephews and nieces are all named for a family member in at least one of their names. It is just what we do.

Aunt Pam wished for a child to be named after her. She deserved it. I told her a long time ago that if I ever had a little girl, I would see to it that she was named after her Great Great Aunt Pam. Her maiden name will be carried on, and I will teach my daughter about the woman for whom she was named. And I will hope that my daughter is like her. Minus the smoking.

One time, I asked my grandfather if he would just stick around long enough to meet one of my children. I wanted him to hold a baby of mine. I wanted that memory. He just laughed at me and said that I had better hurry up then. That was four years ago.

I think that is my only regret about not having children sooner. There are so many people in my family that I wished they could have known. But, hey. If everything keeps going as planned, Momma will still be around, and Daddy still has his "good days." This time last year, that is more than I thought I could ask for.

So, Aunt Pam, I'll miss you. If there is an afterlife, I hope you are getting to spend it with Dadie and that little mutt of yours. I hope you are happy, and I hope you have great knees now. I'll see you in Arlington soon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

You got questions, I got answers

Happy Monday morning. It's 11:00 AM and I'm still in my pj's. How is that for pathetic? This weekend was the big downtown art and music festival, and we spent most of the weekend down there with Lovely, Papa, and the dogs. It was loads of fun, but I cannot believe how tired I am. A quick post, and then I'm up and at 'em to get some stuff done.

Questions from the comments. Since I can't just email you back (thank you, Blogger), I'll answer them here.

Andria: Lovely is going into the 6th grade. I think I'm much more nervous than she is. There are several of her friends moving with her to their new middle school, but we all know that is no guarantee. Girls do weird things. Just because they are her friends now, doesn't mean she'll have it easy. On the other hand, she is quite easy to get along with, so maybe she is going to be just fine. As for the not ever saying anything negative . . . I must admit, the old nickname for the ex used to be "Crazy." So, I'm not innocent there. And I did delete one entire post where I vented about her. It was an honest and true post, but showed nothing but the bad of her. It didn't seem fair, so I pulled it. That's why I just don't write about her anymore. If you can't say something nice, blah blah blah.

Emmakirst: I'm due January 25 according to my LMP. And my cycles are pretty much clockwork, so I'm thinking that will be the due date. I haven't been in to see the doctor yet. I haven't even decided if I want to go back there really. We'll see.

Liz: I didn't keep it a secret for long. I forced myself to wait to test until about an hour before I gave him the present. I'm not that good - just had good timing.

MB: We have a couple of Carvel ice cream shops here in town. Guy knew about them from his days growing up in Goshen, NY. Our friend Pilot also grew up there, and he was happy about the cake as well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news though - Fudgie is now flat. The boys said that he used to be all fat and happy, but now - Fudgie is flat.

For all the hopes, prayers, "guarded optimism," and listening - thank you. I have no idea what will fall out of these fingers and onto the screen. We will have to be ready for anything I imagine.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Positive is a tricky word

Much has changed since I started blogging a year ago. When I began, it was very much a journal. Whymommy read it. My friend Bach asked if she could peek in. As far as I knew, that was about it. As I started to learn more about blogging, I discovered Sitemeter, and in that discovery found out that every once and awhile, someone from China would pop in, or someone would search for "ovarian cancer," or "nekkid yoga" and end up here. It was all very strange to me.

Now, I feel as though I have people to talk to. The writing hasn't consciously changed, because I still need it to serve the purpose of working out my emotions in words. I need to write. This is where I start sorting it all out.

Last night, when Guy said, "You've already told everybody. . ." I didn't know what he meant.

He meant that I had already blogged about the pregnancy test. On the one hand, I guess I did post it here because there are so many of you who have been saying your prayers and sending your good wishes. I wanted you to know. You should know. On the other hand though, it is truly something that I will need to write about. Need. to. write.

I will need to write about it because it's important to me. Obviously. I will need to write about it because I'm scared. I will need to write about it because I already feel a disconnect, like I am trying my best not to get attached - just in case. And heaven forbid, if something goes wrong again, I will need to write about that too.

Just because people are reading, doesn't mean that I don't still use this blog for it's primary purpose - a journal. A record of what I was thinking and feeling. A map of how I came through it. It is my only scrapbook.

So I got a positive. Right now, I am pregnant. I am excited. I am so very happy. I am also not calling the doctor yet. I haven't rushed off to bulletin boards and joined up with other January moms. I am not adjusting my students' contracts for next year to reflect a maternity leave. I am not telling people in person. It is simply something that I want to talk about here.

Next week, I might get a negative. Maybe it's a chemical pregnancy. Maybe it's just a sack. I don't know these things. What I know is that pregnant doesn't always equal baby. I also know though that pregnant sometimes does.

I'm hoping for the pregnant equals baby this time. Hoping beyond hope.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Guy

Happy Birthday. To this blog. That's all the fanfare the blog gets because the important birthday is Guy's. He is no longer 42, or as we liked to call is, forty-tute. Now, he is forty-three-rific. Yes, we really are that dorky.

Poor Guy. His birthday was a bit of a bust. This morning, I had to get up and take the dogs to the vet. That meant he was left in the bed all by his lonesome with no Schmoopie to snuggle.

When I got home, we decided to kick our diet to the curb and go to Big Ed's for breakfast. We had big ole fluffy carb filled biscuits. He had an omelet, and I had country ham. After that, we went around the corner and picked out a new Anna Podris painting for our living room.

I know. It's his birthday, and we are buying paintings that I have wanted. Don't feel too sorry for him (yet). This weekend is Artsplosure, and he will pick out something from one of the artists showing there.

After the gallery, we came home, and he decided that he would go play golf while I taught. He picked out a golf course, loaded up his clubs, and headed out to whack some little white balls. In about an hour, he was home again. It had started raining. The course was closed. He played no golf. This is where you start feeling sorry for him.

He came inside the house and checked the answering machine. Papa had called. His truck was broken again, so he couldn't pick Lovely up from school and get the birthday cake from Carvel. Guy went up to get Lovely. When he and Lovely tried to pick up his cake, it wasn't ready. There were plain Fudgie the Whale cakes, but not the one that I ordered to have his name on it.

Dejected and disappointed, Guy arrived home and proceeded to play golf on the xbox. It seemed to placate him somewhat. Not even the endless stream of presents I gave him seemed to cheer him up. Of course, the endless stream of presents was all stuff from the dollar store, since we are going to shop for his real present this weekend. . .

I'm sidetracked. Here are some party shots:

Did you know that Martha Stewart has written a book about running your own successful company? Is it any surprise that since her advice includes a prison sentence, that I purchased this book in the dollar store?

Speaking of Martha, and I do so want to be like Martha, I cannot. decorate. cakes. I did try to spell out the words here, since Guy was so disappointed that they didn't have his cake especially for him. As you can see, poor Fudgie has been desecrated and harpooned at that.

I also added some spray coming out of the whale hole. It turned out quite nicely. Guy's favorite touch though, were the whale pellets I added coming out of the back end. I'm classy like that. Whale dookey. That's funny.

I took entirely too much pleasure in dissecting poor Fudgie. Might I add, that I didn't grow up with Carvel ice cream stores, and I find "Fudgie the Whale" to be a really really really weird thing to name a cake. Really.

So all in all, I guess Guy had a pretty good birthday. His dad didn't get to come to dinner because of his stupid truck, but Boo and Pilot were here, and that always makes things brighter. We had some jambalaya and cornbread, watched Grey's Anatomy, and then made our brains hurt while helping Lovely with her math homework.

The End.

Kidding. Here's where the celebration started. Last night I gave him an early present.

I think he likes it!

Pink is a good color for him

In case we weren't sure about the two pink lines

And the most perfect card I've ever found in my life.

I'm leaving it at that for tonight. I mean really. What more can I say after that fantastic card?

Excuses, excuses

I have no good excuses as to my silence. I could make some up though.

1. I was giving you all time to read the 50 million posts I reposted on Monday.
2. We bought an xbox 360 elite. Yummmmm.
3. Guy bought golf for the 360. Not so yummmmm, so not really an excuse.
4. I bought Viva Pinata. It's like simcity except you are a farmer and pinatas come and live in your garden.
5. We close on my old house tomorrow, and I've been trying to clean out the shed. Except that I really just took what I could from the shed and left the rest of the crap in there for the next owner. Including 2 filing cabinets full of keyboard manuals that my ex collected. Why??????
6. I've been painting in the new house. Not what you think though. Right now, the hallway has 8 different colors on it. Yes, I have that much trouble picking out paint. For a hallway.
7. I've been dieting, so I'm too weak to type.

See? No good reason. I also have no tune for you this Thursday. You can all thank me for not making your ears bleed this week.

But tonight, I am going to give you a very special birthday post. Do come back, okay?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Nifty for me, maybe not for you

I just discovered that you can edit the day and time of your post. I'm so smart. This is something that everyone and their sister probably already knew. Ah, blogging by the seat of my pants. It's the way I go.

For those of you who have been around for the long haul (you poor dears), you probably remember the "de-blogging" incident. Because of more things I didn't know (like how linking to things actually links your blog to other blogs, and to search engines), someone found my blog who I didn't want to have found it.

I took it all down, saving each entry in a Word document, and pouted. Then I decided to put it back up under new pseudonyms. I went through stages of how anonymous it would be, finally deciding on using no real names, but that pictures would be okay. I try to be careful what I link to and what I name files and pictures, but hey. It's the internet. People are going to find you. I had nothing to hide, I just didn't want said individual lurking around if at all possible. Internet stalkers suck.

The biggest change was that I decided not to blog anything about people that I wouldn't want blogged about myself. I have followed that rule mostly I think. That has left me due a trip into HBM's basement to let off some steam probably, but that's alright.

Anyway, as I ramble on into eternity . . . the point is, when I put back up my old blog, I didn't know that I could put in the real dates of the entries.

This Thursday marks one year of blogging for me. I don't know why I find this important, but I do. So, I wanted to make all the posts fall under their real dates.

This means that if you are using a reader, I owe you a big apology here. Nothing to see. Just me editing. Sorry about that.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day, Part III

One more recycled post. I have to say though, today has been easier than I thought it would be. Guy did in fact follow Lovely's advice and buy me roses, and they are beautiful. Also, I attended a couple of the recitals from my old job and saw a bunch of old friends. Twice, I was asked about the baby, and twice, I was able to talk about it without crying. In fact, one of them asked me (when we were away from the crowds) if I was pregnant, with a very tentative question mark. I told him that I was, but am not now. He started to tell me how sorry he was, and I said something that later I thought was very interesting.

I said, "We made it 12 weeks."

That is the first time I have answered that question without a negative in the statement. The anger is waning. The sadness has begun to find its way in beside the happiness I had at being pregnant. They are starting to be able to coexist. I am thankful for the the time we had, and I have been waiting a long time to say that.

This week, I've been thinking a lot about Bon's post on Real Moms. If I never get to read another blog post, this one will have made the all the difference to me. I find comfort in it, yet it touches something so deep in me that I still can't talk about it to anyone.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading. Especially the ones who have children that we cannot see. Thank you for those words, Bon.


January 4, 2007

Dear Cleatus,

Yes, I am aware that you have a ridiculous name. For that, you can blame your uncle. We were working on a name that you would be called throughout your life, but as you can see, I'm still calling you Cleatus. Now, it reminds me of how silly-happy-giddy we were about you being created. Your whole family was excited, right down to your cousins. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to keep calling you Cleatus. It makes me smile and reminds me of how much I laughed while we were together.

Your family is home now. While we were away, cards came in the mail telling us how happy people were about you. I told lots of our friends about you in our Christmas cards. They were so glad for us. I also got your baby book in the mail. It is really nice. I won it in a raffle for Her Bad Mother's nephew and Muscular Dystrophy research. In the spirit of my often untimely and slightly inappropriate laughter, I thought to myself when I opened it, "Well this is going to be a short book."

I am sitting in your room now. In our rocker. And I miss you. I am determined not to be that mother who burdens her children with her pain. I will not ask you or your siblings to shoulder my grief. I just want you to know that I miss you. It is empty here without you.

Today, we stopped in Montreat and took Lovely to the spot where Guy and I were married this summer. It was a place I wanted to take you as well. The creek had risen and drowned out the noise my breathing made as I tried not to cry. You would have gone to kids' camps and youth conferences in Montreat. We would have rock hopped together. I bought a book in the bookstore there that was about helping women deal with grief after miscarriage. The last page said something like this:

The depth of your grief is a measure of the love you have for your child. If there was no love, there would be nothing to grieve.

If that is true than I love you more deeply than I had even thought was possible.

I don't know if I believe in heaven or not. I wish that I did now. I wish that I could imagine you somewhere that we could be together again someday. If it is true, and you are not simply just gone, then I hope you can hear me when I still talk to you. When I still play for you. You can ignore the whole crying thing though. I'm told that will subside with time, and I will be okay.

If I believe that you are not simply just gone though, then it leaves me to worry about if you are alright and if you know how much you are loved. Yes, your mother is a bit loony. Sorry about that.

The walls of your room are missing and there is no light. Part of me wants to shut the door and never open it again, another part of me wants to never leave it. I can sit in here, in the dark, and no one wants to come in. There is only our rocking chair and piles of my junk. This weekend your daddy promised to get the sheet rock up and buy me a treadmill. We are going to put it in your room. If I am going to think about you nonstop, then the least I can do is work off those milkshakes you asked for. By the way, thanks for that. You stinker.

This didn't turn out how I wanted it too. Well, I guess more than one thing applies there. Your life didn't turn out how I wanted it too, but I meant this letter. I wanted to tell you about what I had planned and dreamed for us. I wanted to tell you about what I picked out for your nursery and the Mother's Morning Out programs I had thought about so that you could make friends. I wanted to tell you about the Jeep that Guy bought me and deemed the Mommymobile. I could fit all my gear and a baby seat too. You and I were going to gigs.

Truth is though, those things are not for you now. They will be for your sibling. You did not need those things from me.

There will be a time when I can be thankful for the life we did have together. I am already, but the pain of losing you so before getting to see you and hold you is making it hard to remember how grateful I am to have had you as long as I did. I was already proud of you.

I will always be proud of you. I will always love you. You will always be my first baby. Thank you for showing me that I can love enough to be a mother.

With Love,
Your Mom


I'm turning off comments because I'm alright, and I don't want to be that friend who you always have to comfort. You all have done more than your fair share of that, and I appreciate it so very much. Thank you for all the love and care you have shown. It is what has gotten me this far.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day, Part II

Here is a recycled post about one of my two very fabulous grandmothers.


August 8, 2006

My mother's mother was called Honey. She moved to Jackson around the time I was born so that my mother could take care of her. From the moment I met her, she lived in a retirement complex called "Madonna Manor." It was a dump by the time she moved out, but pretty nice in the beginning. Of course nothing in Jackson is free from crime, and by the time I was in college, there was a woman a couple of floors down from Honey who got raped in her apartment. If I heard that now, I would be panicking to get my grandmother out of that environment. In Jackson, you just buy an extra lock for your door because you've given up on moving somewhere completely safe.

I digress. Honey was a remarkable woman. She became a single parent in the 1940's when her lovely husband walked out on her, my mother, and her older brother. Realizing quickly that she was going to have to support these children, she decided to become a nurse. With childcare help from her younger sister in Georgia, Honey managed to make it through nursing school (a feat my ex-husband couldn't do with me paying the bills and having no children), establish a home for herself and her children, and even managed to get a grand piano for my mother who somehow never missed a piano lesson no matter what food was or was not in the cupboards.

She did all this without a driver's license. Honey never drove. I don't know why she never learned to drive. It made her seem older and more frail than she was though. I remember my mother always having to drive across town and take Honey somewhere. To the doctor. Shopping. To church. To the library. Wherever Honey needed to go, my mother was there to take her. Until I turned 15 and got my driver's license that is. Then I picked up some of the responsibility. There was this time I had to take her to the podiatrist. It ended badly with me dashing from the room trying to make it to a bathroom before vomiting. From that day forward I vowed to take care of my feet and get pedicures on a regular basis from clean places.

I digress again. There are too many stories to tell about Honey. If I don't tire of typing to myself, I'm sure I'll hit on many more. The point I wanted to make today was that Honey was about my mother's age now when I was born. For all of her complaining, for the million times she said, "I'm blind and I can't see" to anyone she thought was in earshot, for all the hours I had to sit in front of her vanity and have my hair ironed into doodoo curls, I know that she was one of the most remarkable women I could have had in my life.

The endurance of that woman was incredible. She was strong, stubborn, and smart. There was no model back then for single moms. There was no child support or alimony. There was just her sheer will and determination. The things I learned from Honey could spin off into another blog altogether.

The point? My grandchild will not have these things to say about my mother. For all the praise I have for Honey, I think my mother is twice the woman with twice the smarts and twice the determination. I can only imagine what she could teach my children. And what stories will they tell if their family is gone before their memories start?

This is not the way I imagined it would be.

Honey lived to be 97. She did eventually really lose her sight and became quite dependent the last 5 years of her life. However, she also picked up and moved across the country at 92 years old. When my parents decided to move to California, Honey didn't bat an eye. She said, "When do we leave?" She made new friends, experienced new cultures, and loved to tell her stories to anyone who would sit and listen.

Honey and my mother didn't always get along so well. They loved each other dearly, but I think 30 plus years of caretaking to someone as negatively vocal as Honey could be took a toll on my mother. In the days before she died though, Honey told my mother that although she wanted to live to be 100, she was content to know that she had lived long enough to see my mother fulfill God's plan for her life. Isn't that what every child wants to hear? That their parent thinks they done good?

Honey gave that to my mom, and it meant the world to her. Momma has given that to me all along though, and it has made all the difference in my life. I'm grateful she didn't make me wait until the end to let me know that she is proud of me.

Mother's Day, Part I

I started this blog the week my momma's ovarian cancer come out of remission. She is miraculously out of remission at this point. We were told it was impossible, but luckily they were wrong.

This weekend, I'll be recycling words about motherhood.


May 17, 2006

She asked me what I wanted from their house yesterday. Of course I could think of things. The Jackson press. The green and white china. Those crazy pewter mugs that no one in their right mind would buy, but they are so cool. The tea cart that belonged to my grandmother. The watercolor of the pigs in the upstairs hallway. The piano. Her Bible.

I said, "Just you, Momma."

After careful consideration though, I have come up with the real list of things I want from my mom. Here it is:

1. The comfortable way she handles people in distress.
2. Her ability to not just speak in front of crowds, but to captivate them.
3. The gorgeous white her hair turned.
4. Her confidence.
5. The way she can let someone she loves know that she is angry while never letting them doubt that she still loves them.
6. Her faith.
7. Her knack at making pie crust from scratch.
8. Just a fraction of her wisdom.
9. Her amazing speed at completing tasks.

and number 10: I want the 30 years we will more than likely be gipped because of cancer.


Maybe I will get those 30 years. Right now, I'm just grateful for today. We are so very lucky.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Throwing words away

This week, I have spent several hours in the shed in the backyard of my old house, digging through boxes and trying to figure out what was musty, what was moisture damaged, and what was *ahem* mouse damaged.

There are things I used to save. They fit neatly into two categories: words and pictures.

Amongst the millions of photos I have kept and never organized, I found boxes of cards, some from birthdays 20+ years ago. There were letters from old friends. There was a box of journals that could cinch my inclusion in the cringe book.

It pained me to toss journal after journal into the trash, but the mice had made that particular box their little cozy den. The journals were chewed on the edges and I could just see the invisible germs that crawled all over them. The mouse poop was almost enough to make me toss the whole box without even gingerly trying to peek at what was inside.

When I saw the red and yellow flowered journal, I couldn't help but clutch in my hands and close my eyes, trying to remember to how to pray before I opened it. It was a journal I shared with a girl from my youth group. Yes, I had an ill fated stint as a Presbyterian youth director. It was a bad idea, except that the kids talked to me. A lot.

This girl was so broken, and I never knew why exactly. At 15, she was depressed, suffered from anorexia, was completely anxious about her grades - she was in so much pain. That is what she was. What she showed was a very put together, lovely young lady.

I gave her a journal. A blank book either to keep to herself or to share. She decided to share, so for several months, she and I passed this book back and forth to each other. She would cry out in her writing, and I would try and ease the pain in mine. I would confess things to her, my own flaws, my own demons, in the hope that these confessions would help her feel more normal and feel better about herself.

In the end, she flipped when I told her it was time for us to go to her parents and find her some professional help - I was just a 24 year old train wreck of my own sharing a journal with her. She never spoke to me again. She never wrote to me in a journal again.

She did write me a letter about 5 years later. It was an apology for the things she said and things she called me when I exposed her need for help. But, I was caught up in my own life and being the ass that I can be, I never wrote her back.

About a year ago, she overdosed on prescription drugs and died. She was 24. She was a nurse. She still went on mission trips with our old church. She told everyone that she had gotten her life together and was happy.

Just like when she was 15.

I sat for a little while with our words, and I wondered something strange. I wondered how things might have been different if Leigh had blogged instead of just written in a journal. I wondered if those words, the ones that I had to toss in the garbage can today, would have helped her anymore had they been read by many instead of just one.

I have had this post open for hours now. I know there is some great point I could make, and I'm just not finding it. "Throwing words away" like I did, quite literally, has just left me thinking. About Leigh. About my own writing. About blogging versus journaling. No points here, just thoughts.

More discoveries

In my first marriage, it was no secret that we would not have any children. I guess it is for this reason that I never considered myself part of the group of infertile women. It wasn't me who was infertile, it was us. It was my choice to try and adopt before going through infertility treatments. I coped by telling myself that I didn't really want to be pregnant anyway. I coped by telling myself that I knew this going into the marriage and had made my peace with it.

There was some truth to the second statement. I had made my peace with it going in. It was not my fault that my first husband couldn't have children naturally and then didn't have enough follow through to have children any other way either.

As I have connected with other women here in the blogosphere, I have met several who are going through fertility treatments. It has only recently occurred to me why I feel so deeply for them and connected to them. It has only recently occurred to me that even though the circumstances in my life have changed drastically, one thing has remained constant. I have been trying to have a baby for a very long time.

Another song from the vault today. This one was written in 1998. I was several days late. My first husband had something like a .05% chance of ever getting a woman pregnant. I had certainly not had sex with anyone else. So I thought, "Maybe." And I took the only pregnancy test of my life until last October.

And then I wrote this.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You people are awesome

From Yesterday's comments . . .

"And you, you should remember that you can be sad AND celebratory. Your loss was great. What you have is really great. Those truths can live together in your heart." HBM

I still haven't figured out why I can't respond via email to comments that are left here. Must be a Blogger thing. Or a me thing. Probably me.

This had to be answered though, and I guess I can just do it here.

So much advice, caring, and laughter has come my way because of blogging. I try not to take it for granted, and I do tuck it all into my little box of positive energy.

Every once and awhile, there is a comment though that comes my way and I have to sit down. I have to sit down and chew on it, swallow it, let it get into my system, and hope that it never goes away.

HBM's comment is that kind of comment.

The kind of comment that reminds me that this can be even more than just community. Most days it feels like friends.

Thank you. I can't stinkin' wait until BlogHer.

There are so many more links I should make in this gushy gush gush post. I apologize. I'm so tired. Fifth grade math is hard. Lovely now knows that piano I can help with, but math? Not so much.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Opinions are like . . .

Since I'm sure you don't get enough of my opinions here, I wanted to make sure that you could fill the void in your life. The latest reviews by a certain know-it-all can be found here and here. At least stop by and see the newly designed Props and Pans website. Izzy done good.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Yesterday afternoon, Guy, Lovely, and I attended a garden party at a friend's home. They have just completed the installation of a beautiful new fountain in front of their home and had a party to celebrate. We are thinking of having a similar party to celebrate our new toilets and flooring but don't want to come across as copycats.

This couple tends to have a party per season, so we have gotten to know enough of the attendees that now there are people for us to talk to and catch up with each time.

The previous party was in December. The previous party I was pregnant. Not as pregnant as the girl who was due in January, but about 9 weeks. As I passed on the wine and brie, Guy took great delight in telling the other pregnant couple that we were expecting too. She and I talked about the first trimester, finding out, telling our parents, and strange food aversions. The men talked about rubbing our feet and fetching snacks late at night. We had a good time.

What is strange to me is that while I finally have a day here and there where I don't think, "If I were still pregnant, I would be . . ." it doesn't take much to bring it all right back to the forefront.

Admittedly, I was already a little squirmy from reading all the Mother's Day ads in the Sunday paper that morning. I remember reading that Mother's Day would be hard and thinking that was silly. I've lived through 34 Mother's Days without a problem. Pah.

When the couple walked in with their baby yesterday, it was - I don't know what it was. I cooed and awed over their son because he was a tasty little cutie. And she stared at me with my non pregnant belly and glass of champagne and said, "I like your skirt."

What else are you going to say after a good long stare at another woman's lower half?

She asked how we were and I just said, "Fine, thanks." I don't know why I didn't just say that we had lost the baby and were trying again. It ran through my head about 2 dozen times, and I know it would have been less awkward for her if I had just said it.

But I couldn't.

I think maybe I still hate hearing those words out loud. It's obviously not a secret. I would be in my third trimester now, so there is no mistaking me for a woman who just isn't showing yet.

Yesterday, before the paper, before the party, before I knew what was going to happen that day, I said to Guy, "I need you to know that I've been sad this week. I don't know what is different, and it's not a stay in the bed kind of sad, but I've been sad." I tell him this because I'm pretty sure it makes me act differently, and I want him to know that it isn't him.

Yesterday, after the paper, after the party, and after I knew I was sad, Lovely says to me, "Maybe Daddy will get you the roses that you like for Mother's Day." I open my mouth to tell her I don't really get to celebrate Mother's Day, and she continues, "Because you're my stepmom and that counts. But don't tell my mom I said that."

Yesterday, in spite of the paper, in spite of the party, and in spite of all of the sad, there was an 11 year old to remind me that I have a wonderful family. She makes it so simple some days.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The year of the peanut M'n'M's

The Year of the Dog.

Guy told me that all Molly Shannon movies are bad. I told Guy that this one would be different. It had come highly recommended by someone who knew my love of dogs. Someone who really doesn't know me very well as it turns out.

Just in case you thought you might go see this movie, I'm going to spoil it here. Fair warning.

It wasn't an awful movie. It was a pretty typical Mike White film. Slow dialogue. Long pauses. Camera shots straight on the person talking. It was an okay film. However, dogs die and they have a shelter scene that while very inaccurate, still got to me. It didn't matter that all the pretty purebred and clean dogs were in clean spacious kennels, they were still behind bars and I couldn't stomach it very well.

For me though, it was the first dog death that was absolute torture. Molly Shannon's dog dies from poisoning. An adorable beagle named Pencil. Dies. In the first part of the movie. I began to sob. Loud audible sobbing. In a movie theater with only 6 other people in it. Needless to say, I was a little obvious.

Obvious, until I dropped my peanut M'nM's on the ground. You know what the main difference is in plain and peanut (besides the peanut, smartass)? The shape. Peanut M'nM's roll better.

Dropping dozens of peanut M'nM's on the concrete downward sloping floor of a more or less empty movie theater is a great distraction from your crying. It sounded like an old fashioned pinball machine as the M'nM's bounced off of chair legs and possibly peoples' feet and rolled all the way down to the front of the theater. I'm sure it was distracting.

Distracting, until Guy started laughing so hard that it began to sound as if we were both sobbing.

Then we just went back to being the freaks in the back who were far too invested in a film. Don't know fantasy from reality. Animal loving crazies. Or at the very least, clumsy M'n'M eating morons.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What if I just let go?

This song was recorded in 2000. Yes. A full five years before I gave my first husband the boot. The funniest part about this is that my ex was in this band.

Yep. I wrote this song, and sang these words, week after week, with him sitting behind me beating away on things that went "ping."

I couldn't really believe it when I heard it again. The tape was never mixed down to completion, so I hadn't heard it in years. When Guy and I were playing with the 4 track the other day, we found it. I had forgotten how much I liked these songs. The guitar players were noodley but good. The best part about them was how well they played with each other. Their little Taylors were like twins, finishing each other's sentences and sharing each other's thoughts.

The other thing this song reminded me of was this: Throughout my first marriage, I had plenty of guy friends. It was nothing for me to meet a guy for coffee, go out to dinner, hang out at the house, just me and him. My ex was hardly ever around, so what did he care? Looking back, I realize how many of those friends were over the line. One of the guitar players in this band was that type of friend. As you can imagine, drama ensued. I had no intention of ever crossing an actual line, nor would I have ever dreamed of an affair or leaving my ex for another man. So the closeness of the friendship with this other band member? Very confusing to the situation.

It's amazing what I missed as I stood right in the middle of it all. Well, I say I missed it, but then I wrote songs like this one. I couldn't have been missing it then, could I?

Just to add a little more quirkiness to this week's Thursday Tune, Guy went back in and recorded a bass track to this song. So basically, this is me, my first husband, my last husband (five years after the original recording), a guy that does an amazing Curious George impression, and another guy that I had an inappropriate friendship with. Hooray.

Is is me, or should he have clued in when he heard this song?

If you are nekkid in the woods alone, are you really nekkid?

I know it's Thursday. Another Thursday with no tune. Guy promises me though, that the tune will be ready for posting before midnight. We found an old 4-track tape of a band I used to be in, and it is pay dirt. The last of the divorce-trilogy posts will be up complete with tune-age.

For now though, I have a question for you. When I was at Whymommy's house a couple of weeks ago, we had a little disagreement. Quite frankly, I got thrown under the truck! Now, I need some opinions. Even if they keep me right under the proverbial truck.

There are these pants. Some people call them pajama pants. Some people call them lounge pants. Some people, some really ingenious people, wear them to a yoga class and then call them yoga pants.

Do you know these pants?

Guy insists that they are not yoga pants simply because I wear them to yoga. I was hoping for (especially since I showed up at her house wearing a pair of them) that Whymommy would back up my claim that it was perfectly okay to be wearing these out in public. She said that if they had a drawstring, then they were pajama pants.



I'm being called out for a drawstring? How many other fashion disasters have you let me go through without telling me? Am I surprised now that you didn't stop me from wearing leggings and big tunic tops well into the '90's? Oh the pain.

So what do you think? If you wear a pair of solid colored knit pants that have a drawstring on them, are they always pajama pants? Even if you wear them to yoga?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why so surprised?

It wasn't only Girl's post that got me thinking about my divorce today. I sold my house. The house that I bought even though my ex said we shouldn't. Couldn't. I knew that we had to. That if I didn't make it possible for us to purchase that property, that I would have nothing. And I was correct. That little house has been the smartest thing I did in my adult life, and I'm proud of the investment and sad to see it go all at the same time.

Upon cleaning out said little house, I found a bag of letters. I used to keep things like that. Now I don't. The bag of letters was from my ex. Not wanting to read them all, I just poked through a few and started tossing them. One that I happened to open though astonished me. It was intended to be a love letter. Reading it today, almost 10 years later, I felt as though I was being pushed under water all over again.

The things he loved about me were the things that were drowning me.


My wife is amazing.
She takes care of her husband beyond the call of duty.
She takes care of her household impeccably.
She takes notice of others' animals in need and seeks to remedy that need.
She expresses her muse for $1 that she pays at the door.
She goes to work to help pay for the household.
She doesn't boast or brag about all of this.
She admits to nothing.
She goes the extra 10 miles.
I am overwhelmed at the amount of love she has bestowed on me.
I am her husband & the most I can offer is this linen paper & a few words to let her know how much I cherish her.
You exceed my every wish I could have had in a soul mate. Thank you for choosing life with me. You have made it very rich.

Okay. So you think this is a sweet letter? To a drowning woman it said this:

My wife is amazing.
She does everything for her husband because he can or will not do it himself.
She pays all the bills for the household because he can or will not do it himself.
She takes in stray dogs to fill the void of love she feels from the person with whom she lives and the children she does not have.
She sings her heart out at an open mic every week hoping that she will find a kindred spirit or at least someone to play music with.
She goes to work because she is the only one with a steady job.
She doesn't boast about all of this because she has no one to talk to and can't admit to the mistake she's made in getting into this marriage.
She admits to nothing because she signed on for this in a marriage ceremony and it's her own damn fault for being a moron.
She goes the extra 10 miles just to catch up from where he drug everything backwards into debt and disaster.
He can't believe she agreed to marry him.
He stole this linen paper out of her stationary drawer. It was the back piece to a monogrammed set that she loved to write her grandfather on.
She exceeds every wish because she hasn't run away yet. Life with her is very rich because she works her ass off at 3 jobs just to make sure they have enough money to get by.

Bitter much? Of course I was. I married a man with great potential. A very kind man. A man that everyone liked (except my parents). As the years moved on, I kept waiting for him to grow up, start meeting that potential, and it never happened.

I'll never forget seeing a former mutual friend of ours about a year after our split. She said, "Brian and I really got Ex straightened out. We have really helped him put together a plan and he is going to go places with his life now."

I just smiled with clenched teeth and replied, "That's great for you. You have accomplished what I couldn't touch in 13 years then. Congratulations and let me know how that works out in about 6 months." Perhaps this is another reason that I'm not still friends with that couple. You think?

What I got tired of hearing the most (read: assvice for any of you with friends going through a divorce) was, "But I thought you guys were doing fine." Well of course you did. Why on God's green earth would I go around talking about how shitty my life was and how I hated my marriage? It wasn't like I had discovered blogging yet. Ha.

Your circle of friends and acquaintances don't want for your marriage to end. It screws with their dinner parties, their game nights, their outings, whatever. No matter how unhappy you are, people will always be surprised and disappointed that you are splitting.

This is the guilt that I still carry. The guilt that I let everyone down. The guilt that I put on such a show for so long.

Then again, maybe people just weren't listening. Lord knows I wrote enough songs about it.

It's like inviting myself over for dinner

There is someone I want to suggest that you visit. I don't remember how I found her, but I'm really enjoying her blog. She has some great links for stepfamilies and some great insights on being a stepmom. I love her Bill of Rights for children of divorced parents, and the one for stepmoms is good too.

Those of you who have been here awhile know that I choose not to write about the challenges presented me as a second wife and stepmom. Guy and I do not choose to dwell on them and the way we handle most of them is to ignore them. By giving any of the stories space here, I would be giving them more thought and energy than they deserve.

Wicked Stepmom tells it like it is. We get to peek into the life of someone who is doing the best they can to help parent another woman's child. It is not an easy job. I hope you'll stop by and read a bit. And maybe drop her a "you go girl" or two.

Boot to the ego

Girl has got some raw things to say today about self-esteem. As I read, I understood, and I wondered how many others of us can relate all too well. We come together online, read and write, comment and connect, and share all the way up to our comfort level.

It is relatively safe here. I don't have to worry about the pounds I'm still trying to lose. I don't have to comb my hair. No one expects me to have pulled that flat iron out or to have shaved my legs.

Best of all, no one has ever known me as the wife of my first husband.

Divorce was the second best thing I ever decided to do in my life. Marry Guy was the first, in case you were wondering. And if those two sentences were confusing back to back, Guy is my second husband. My last husband.

As I was saying, divorce was grand. I know I'm not supposed to say that. I'm supposed to be remorseful and full of regrets and sadness at the loss and whatever. As my former best friend told me accusingly one day during the separation, "You just aren't sad enough." That statement of course had nothing to do with me and everything to do with how lovely I made her feel when I was miserable.

I was so scared to tell my parents about the split. They are by the book Presbyterians and take marriage very seriously. What I didn't expect was that they took marriage so seriously that they thought mine was a disaster and had wanted it to either turn around or end for a long time. Daddy was rooting for the end of course. His words were, "I felt like you've been treading water with an anvil around your neck for years. Now you've cut the chains and you are free to swim." God bless Daddy.

Everything about the divorce was right. We should have never been married in the first place, but that is a whole different set of blog entries. I was drowning. I was drowning and dying and it was up to me to save myself. So I did.

What took the biggest blow during all of this though, was my self esteem.

You never know how very little you can think of yourself than when you tell the man you have been with for 13 years to get out - and he does.

He packs a bag. He leaves. He puts up no fight whatsoever. He offers nothing to change your mind. He simply goes.

You might be thinking, "Shut up, crybaby. You got what you wanted," and you would not be all that wrong. I did get what I wanted. I am a lucky lucky woman. I'm just saying that it would have been easier on the ego to think that it mattered that I tried for so very long. It would have been nice to know that the extra 4 years of living hell meant something.

Instead, I learned that I could have quit many years ago, and he wouldn't have cared.

The bonus was that since I did kick him to the curb, he became the victim, and I found myself defending my actions to even the closest of my friends instead of feeling support and validation. Now, a little over two years later, there aren't really any pre-divorce friends left. At least not the ones who were friends with both me and my ex. One. One strong, faithful, and open minded friend that cared enough to let go of the image of my ex as the victim and forgive whatever discomfort our split caused in her life.

So along with the realization that the ex didn't care if we were together or not (although he did miss the house and all the stuff), the people who I thought were my friends were actually just his friends. People I had known for over a decade stopped answering when I called. They didn't return emails or voicemails. They removed me from the Christmas card list. They trashed me and supported the victim's belief that I was just too pushy.

And I was pushy. I demanded that we pay our bills before the ex bought yet another broken piece of crap electronic music gear. I demanded that we have health insurance. I demanded that once he started taking pre-requisites for nursing school on my dime and my labor, that he would finish it.

And then one day I gave up.

I gave up a lot that day. What I'm just now understanding though, is how much of my self esteem I also gave up. Failing at marriage sucks. Failing at seeing through your commitments bites. But failing to see how very little people cared about you is the hardest.

While I don't wish for the attention and *ahem* dedication of Guy's ex there was certainly room for middle ground. I suppose though, if he had been the type of man to want to fight for our marriage, we wouldn't have had the problems we had in the first place.

And if I were the kind of person that didn't get hurt by judgements and feelings of worthlessness, I wouldn't be me. I also wouldn't still be thinking about it and wondering why I wasn't worth even a little struggle. Maybe he was just as tired as I was.