Friday, March 30, 2007

5 years

5 years ago today we stood on that ugly patterned carpet and promised to love each other for as long as we lived.
It seemed like a joke. You, the eternal bachelor and me, the odd ball mother of one odd ball daughter.
And yet, somehow, it worked.

I'll never forget seeing you by the minister looking like a statue. I don't think you blinked once. That's ok though. According to the video I blinked for both of us. In fact, my blinking on that tape has made for a great get-drunk-quick drinking game.
We both had so much to learn about what it really meant to be married and I don't think either of us can deny that the first year was awful. But we got through it and the second year tested our ability to really be there for each other.
And we were. And still.

There are days where I want to rip all my hair out because of something you've said or done that makes me bonkers.
And then you lean in to smell my hair, or you touch my hand as you pass me in the hallway, or you reach over to rub my expanding belly and somehow, I forget what I was annoyed with you about.
Because those sweet moments far outweigh the ones where you've left your wet towel on my side of the bed. Again.

When I'm upset with my sister you listen but never attack her even though I know that she's not your favorite person. You have no idea how much that means to me. Because even though we have a difficult (at best) relationship, I would feel the need to defend her if you said something awful about her. I love that you get that absolutely ridiculous side of me.

The night we met, when my sister married your brother, I knew there was something.
At that time, Breanna was wary of every man she saw (with the exception of my brother and father), but she loved you on sight. And when you spent half the reception playing on the floor with her and a bucket of ice, I knew she was right.
There was something very good and so right about you.

The best part of marrying you has been watching you be a father. It doesn't surprise me that I can't put into words here what this means to me. You already know because we've spent long nights talking about it. You already know what it has meant for Bre.
You knew the first time she called you 'Daddy'.
Happy Anniversary Joe!

I love you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Boundaries Shmoundaries

While I am rediscovering boundaries all the time, I realize that the ones I have in regards to my MIL lessen with each ever so brief contact.
I try to hold my disdain in check for my husband's sake but sometimes I find it impossible.
We went out for dinner on Sunday to celebrate my FIL's birthday. We were to meet at the restaurant at 5. We naturally assumed they would be late as it is physically impossible for my MIL to be on time for anything. We were surprised to see FIL's car pull in right as we were heading inside.
Or we were until we realized that my MIL was not with him.
She had gone to mass instead.
For the 3rd time that day.
Yes folks, she followed typical fashion of bailing out on family to put in an appearance at church (where, given my admittedly limited experience with her at church, I am fairly certain her time was well spent sleeping/ talking on her cell phone/ writing letters home). My MIL attends every mass given and confession every day. If there is no mass or confession, she has been known to simply sit there and wait for it.
This is far more important than her husband's birthday, a visit with her grandchildren, making sure that her husband got to his very important cardiologist appointment (in her defense, she did have to give a ride to a complete stranger to church instead) and so forth.
It was no surprise at all though that she called just minutes before our dinners were served and guilted someone into picking her up (because driving herself would have meant that none of us cared about her. After all, this dinner was all about her).
I know that I shouldn't be like this towards her. But it's hard not to bitter towards someone who has said and done some very cruel things to me and my family.
I've said before, I've stopped caring so much when she calls me fat (Gee, being 5 months pregnant might have an effect on my body but I could be wrong), mentioned that she didn't want her son to marry me, called me sloppy seconds, discounted my daughter and insulted my parents. But I do. Partly because I always imagined my kids having grandparents they could do things with and we're stuck. My parents would be those grandparents if they didn't live on the other side of the country and I resent that instead, they get ignored. MIL only comes over for birthday parties and holidays. They live just 20 minutes away. We don't go over there because we value the health and safety of our kids and... well.... I don't know how to explain to my MIL that penicillin has already been discovered so it would be OK to clean up now.
But it also bothers me because of how it effects my husband and my relationship with him.
Because as I heard my SIL agreeing to come and pick up my MIL I couldn't help but roll my eyes and my husband gave me that pleading look. That one that says "Please, she's my mother. Please, just accept her".
Yes. Just accept her.
No matter how much she hurts you.
I'm trying.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


When the nurse handed Breanna to me for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the not only with the love I felt for this tiny pink bundle of girl, but by the responsibility I suddenly had to another human being.
Sometimes I still am.
I wonder if I'm telling her enough, if I'm teaching her enough. Will she remember all the things I've taught her? Will she remember to run and scream if a stranger tries to grab her? Will she remember to wrap herself to the stranger's legs if they should get a hold of her? Will she remember to be wary of strangers and forget the manners I've instilled in her? Will she remember the talks we've had about smoking? Alcohol? Drugs? Peer pressure and bullying? What about the little bit I've told about sex and waiting?
Mostly I wonder if I can tell her everything she needs to know while still letting her have some of that beautiful childhood naivete. It's such a fine, thin balance but I think it's important to maintain some semblance of that line for as long as I can.
I'm always aware of what I share here about her and I there are certainly plenty of things that I've wanted to talk about, but can't because it wouldn't be fair to her.
Having a family that constantly throws mistakes I made as a child back at me now, years later, I don't want these days to haunt her as an adult. It sucks and there are only so many times you can apologize for that time you left a few cubes of cheese in your room until it smelled so bad every one thought they were going to die. I was 7.
There are things going on now that I so desperately need to talk about and get feedback on but I can't.
So instead, we continue on as we are. Trying to find new solutions, new ways to deal with it.
I question my boundaries in regards to her every day. Even as I type this I am wary of the things I say. I've deleted several paragraphs because it's just too much.
Do you ever wonder if you've crossed a line when it comes to sharing either with or about your child? Even if it's not on your blog. What about with your friends or family? (And hell no, I'm not sharing any of this with my family because I'll be damned if they do to her what they do to me!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Um.... Hi?

Right. So I had this blog that I was sort of trying to keep up and then I got distracted by something bright and shiny and hey! Hi! How are you?
I'm still easily distracted, with or without the bright and shiny but um... that's not really that new. Anyone who has been reading this for any length of time (and holy crap! It just took me 5 minutes to type 'length of time' because I can't hit the right friggin' keys! Hey! What's that bright and shiny thing at my feet?) knows that I tend to get off track and ramble.
It's a gift. (no I can't return it, I lost the receipt)

I had my 'big' ultrasound today. The one where you can find out if there is or is not a penis.
Of all the parenting things there are to fight about, all the issues to stick your nose in and disagree with a person about, I had thought that maybe finding out the gender wouldn't be one of them.
I was so very, very wrong.
We don't want to know.
Or, more accurately, I don't want to know. Joe wants to know but he has a big blabbery mouth and would instantly tell his mother who is the World's Greatest National Broadcaster. It's as good as having flashed on the scoreboard at the Superbowl.
So we didn't find out.
The problem comes in when people (co-workers, family, friends, people I don't really know but come up to me in the supermarket and start demanding answers) ask what we're having.
And I reply, "Well, I'm hoping for a small chinchilla because they are just adorable but I think my husband wants a Packer's linebacker."
For some reason this answer just doesn't seem to satisfy them, but the thought of having to say (for the hundred millionth time) that we don't want to know and then hearing the inevitable gasps of horror? Meh. Not so appealing.
I've heard all the "Don't you want to be prepared?", "How can you stand not knowing", and "But it makes it so much easier for us!" that I can handle, thanks.
And what do you mean it makes it easier for you? Last time I checked, it was my ass expanding and bladder being pounded. I am also fairly certain you weren't there when this baby was made so please, why am I making this easier for you?
Preparation. OK. I guess it matters to some, but I don't really need any extra prep time. We have some neutral outfits and can easily pick up those gender specific things when we need to.
I just don't see what the big deal is. I like not knowing. Maybe that makes me strange, I don't care. I don't care if you find out what you're having. Whatever floats your boat. But please, leave my uterus and baby of unknown gender alone.
There. I almost feel better.
Maybe to be safe I should wear a warning sign, because the next person that says anything is getting kicked.
On the upside of things, the baby looks great and is here by named Java-baby. Despite my abhorrence of coffee, this kid seems to be on a permanent caffeine high. He or she couldn't hold still for 10 seconds and at one point, bared butt to the tech. I think I detected a little 'kiss this' in there but kept my mouth shut.

With the eyes over the face, playing peek-a-boo....

And totally pissed off. Note the legs kicking straight up. And sorry kid, but I hate olives, it just ain't happenin'.
I went with the watch. I know, it was the safer bet but what ever. I had it engraved so he can't return it which means he's just going to have to suck it up and pretend to love it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shopping For The Difficult

Our 5th wedding anniversary is coming up on March 30th and I still haven't actually bought Joe anything. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal because we don't normally make a big deal out of anniversaries. My birthday is 3 days later so usually we just have a nice dinner, no gifts, no fuss. I like it that way.
Joe is the most difficult person to buy for.
At Christmas, he returned one gift I bought because 'it wasn't as cool as he thought it would be'.
I thought I had him one year. He had been really into watching this mini-series but had to miss several of the shows because we were on vacation. So for Christmas I went to several different stores and finally found the last copy of the series. I was so excited because finally, I knew I had something he would love.
2 years later it's sitting on the shelf still in the wrapper.
This time though, I really want to get him something he'll love.
I already got my sewing machine, which I wasn't expecting and now absolutely couldn't live without. I know he has something else up his sleeve.
So I'm going to share with you some of the ideas I've come up with and then when he opens whatever I pick and smiles politely we can all pull out our hair. Or maybe just me but you'll sympathize.... right?
First up......
Harley Davidson! He loves motorcycles and has always said he wanted a Harley. Which, obviously, I can't afford but a one day rental? Maybe?
Ok, so he gave his brother his motorcycle because he never had time to ride it anymore but still. It's a Harley Davidson.
There is also this PGA Golf lessons style package that I know would be a hit. Too bad it's way out of my price range!
I think this could work because he could just pick what he wants to do, but they don't tell you what any of the options are. And what if the options suck?
With this I could possibly get him to stop doing the robot in public (it is the only dance he knows) but since we never go dancing? I'm thinking it wouldn't really be worth it. But man would I ever love to try it!
I've automatically skipped over any ideas that involve jumping out of planes or being up in the clouds for any reason. I fear he may want me to come with him and you know how I feel about planes. I think it's fairly obvious how I feel about jumping out of them, hang-gliding, or hot air suicide missions. Right.
I do have a few more practical ideas.
Like this from the Packers Pro shop. I did get him a Packer's watch at Christmas but it was more of a sports watch. One which is currently amid the Great Pile O' Packer's Things He Has Been Given But Refuses To Open. Like the mouse pad and the key chain or the light switch plate. I know. I've said it a million times, he's nuts. He knows it. But he still won't open that stuff up. But this watch? It's nice enough that he might wear it. Sometimes. Like 2 or 3 times a year?
I could buy him a few rounds of golf at his favorite course and wrap it up with a simple bag of tees, balls (golf, not his) and some other golf related item that will be completely foreign to me.
Or.... you could totally save me here and give me some ideas.
I'd rather not beg but................


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bang Head Slowly

Today was my meeting with the People at Bre's school. We went over her tests and talked and........
Is it bad that I'm disappointed that there is nothing they can do for her?
I mean, it's good news. Really. Sort of.
No, it really is.
Because she's smart. Which I knew, but she's smart in the way that she really doesn't need any help. She's actually on the high end of average on many things that surprised me (like vocabulary comprehension and memory). She knew things that I think even surprised them (like that fish can fart). She only fell below the level on one thing but it all averaged out to the fact that she's fine.
I could see her teacher's shoulders drop and hear the frustration and shock in her voice when she asked what else she could do. And I felt it too.
Something is clearly getting lost in the translation for Breanna. She does so well one-on-one but she gets in that classroom and she's just.... lost.
There is very little that we can do for her now that we aren't already doing. I guess we have to just wait and hope that she catches up. That something in her will snap in place and she'll be able to perform on paper in class the way she does at home.
In the meantime I have to make an appointment with her neurologist just to make sure that she isn't having seizures again. I haven't noticed anything but some of her fogginess could be attributed to seizures or even some residual left over from her medication. It's only been a little over a year since we stopped all meds.
It's frustrating to have hope that something will change for her and to then have it yanked away. It's not that I wanted her to have a learning disability and it's not that I'm not grateful that she's OK. It's that I am now at a loss for where to go. It's that I am now more worried than ever about what happens to her next.

When I was pregnant with Bre, we referred to her as The Lump Unknown.
She had been rather unexpected and being young and stupid, I didn't know when my LMP (last period) was. On an ultrasound I had, up in the one corner was a little notation, 'lmp umknown'.
My mother, in a rare friendly moment, laughed because she knew that I hadn't wanted to find out the gender. She pointed to that little notation and declared her future grandchild The Lump Unknown. It stuck.
With David, he was the sprout, Houdini (for his uncanny ability to run and hide every time they wanted to listen to his heartbeat- even during labor), spud, or muppet.
With this one, it has been The Worry.
I want to change that. I think this one deserves some better reference then that.

Baby's heart rate- 152
Blood pressure- normal

Answer for the vertigo and such- "Dehydration and could you please for the love of.... just stop worrying so much. Find some way to de-stress. Please."

Right. And I thought he knew me.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Defect Queen

Right before the Superbowl Joe decided to buy a new TV. We needed another TV almost as much as we need our own space shuttle, but he insisted that it was something we couldn't live without because this wasn't your everyday TV, oh no, this was an LCD HD TV. Is that enough letters for you? Because as soon as he said it I asked if that included the t-e-q-u-i-l-a that would be needed for him to explain this to me and that was clearly going to have to wait a few months.
He sighed and ordered his new alphabet-happy TV.
After chasing down the UPS guy to get our new TV, he was more than eager to hook 'the girl' up in our room. After 4 hours, he had it mounted, the old TV stored very conveniently in the middle of the living room (he had wanted to set down in the bathroom 'for a few minutes') and was ready to set up our new TV.
He turned it on and after 5 seconds it shut itself off.
For an hour he sat there and turned it on and watched it shut itself off.
He looked like someone just kicked his puppy.
We now, finally, have a new working alphabet-happy TV.
I recently bought David one of those Leap Frog Alphabet refrigerator thingies. When we got home he was so excited to play with his 'lebbers' that I immediately took it out of the box.
It was rather disappointing when 'D' said 'F', 'L' said 'Z', and so on.
David looked at me and just said 'No'.
We tested the next one in the store to make sure it worked. I was tempted to keep the broken one because I thought it was pretty damn funny but then I thought about David's first day of kindergarten and thought.... maybe not so much.
In 3 years we've been through 4 treadmills. It's not like they get hard use or that they are some cheap model, it's just that we seem to be magnets for the defective and broken.
I know that when we go to rent movies, we'll get at least one out of the 3 we always rent that will be scratched and end up skipping over the good parts.
I think it's just a given for us that we will know every crack in the counter at the customer service desks of many stores.
It never bothered me until I realized that I was doing it with my pregnancies too.
Because even though things have been going well enough (OK, by the standards of my last successful pregnancy which is to say, freaky but hanging in there), even though there is a heartbeat, even though I know I can feel this baby move? I don't trust it.
Even as he or she is doing flips on my bladder and pressing it's little body against my abdomen so that there is no doubt that they are alright, I don't believe it. I list all the other things it could be. Gas. Wishful thinking. A mental breakdown. Alien possession.
And I hate that. I wish I could believe it. I wish I could picture us a family of 5 and know that that is what we will be in a few months.
But I can't.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Several years ago I came across this site and have wasted many an hour laughing and groaning at every update. In the current update, though I will not tell you which one, is my own brief tale. One that is further cause for why my sister and I have such difficulty in getting along.

My appointment was cancelled this morning so I have to wait until Thursday to discuss the vertigo/migraines/maddeningly itchy legs. In the meantime, I can feel this little spawn moving and rolling.
David has taken to kissing my belly and talking to the baby. He has offered to take my belly skating and the baby can come too if she wants. He has also requested a sister, not a brother, though I believe that his older sister may have put him up to it.

Thursday morning I will be meeting with a team at Bre's school to get the results of her testing. It seems an odd thing but, I am praying that there is something. Because if there is nothing wrong with her, then what will happen to her? At the rate she's going in her education, I am afraid to contemplate that thought much further.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


You know that feeling where you are just absolutely certain that there is something very, very wrong with you? OK, I know there's something wrong with me but that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm referring to my desperate need to scratch the skin off my legs every night because the itching is just that intense. Or the massive throbbing headaches that come on with no warning. And mostly the vertigo.
Dizzy is nothing. Dizzy is a really fast teacup ride and if you just lay down and close your eyes it will all go away.
Vertigo is finding yourself curled into a ball on your bathroom floor because you think if you could just make the room stop long enough to pick your head up off the floor you may throw up. Vertigo is closing your eyes and free-falling ass over ears; spinning completely out of control and there is no end in sight.
And when it passes?
I long for morning sickness.
Doctor's appointment Tuesday if I can hang in that long.