Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Thing That Almost Killed Me

It was almost Christmas. It was The Very Bad, No Good Year. I was wrapping presents and wondering if the teeth on the tape roll would be sharp enough to slit my wrists.
I spent a lot of that year convincing myself of a lot of things. We would be OK, I would survive, there would someday be another baby in our home, I would not for the love of all that is good NOT miscarry again, I could make it through the day without trying to drown myself in the sink.
And then the phone rang.
It was our Doctor.
It was 8 pm.

Doctors don't call at 8 pm with good news.

That night began a rather hellish up and down journey with my husband's health. One that could have been prevented if he'd had the vaccine available to him as a child.

Suddenly, it was blood tests and a biopsy and a specialist and very expensive medicine and more blood tests.

And soul crushing worry.

Now, after spending hours crying on my bathroom floor, I would crawl into bed, exhausted and unable to sleep, thinking about what I would do if I lost him too.
I functioned on auto pilot.
I smiled and carried on with family and friends because that's just what I did.
More blood tests, more medicine.

Whispered, fervent prayers in the quiet of the night.

Smiling happy wife during the day.

David was born and the anxiety that followed me through my pregnancy, the same anxiety that crowded every corner of my being, left.

And soon Husband Anxiety moved in.

That pesky bitch has been following me for almost 5 years.

I stopped crying on the bathroom floor- but I didn't stop laying awake most of the night wondering what was next.

More blood tests, new medicine.

He started talking about a cure, hollistic medicine.

I started pacing the halls at night.

More blood tests.

He came home from his doctor's appointment convinced that he would be dead in less then 10 years because this medicine, this miracle drug wasn't working.

Inside I crumbled, ouside I called his Doctor. Miracle drug is maybe not working. Not working as fast as he'd like. We'll see. Wait 3 months.

And everything was on hold. Our plans for another child, our plans for vacation. Instead we waited and worried.

I wondered if it was possible to simply die over the worry.

More blood tests.

Miracle drug seems to be working after all. Give it time.

Time. Time is a funny thing. When things are going well and there is much to look forward too, it seems that there is never enough of it. When you are waiting to find out whether the medicine your husband is taking will save his life, or ...well... not, it is endless.

So we waited.

We went on with the business of living. We were occasionally successful in our ability to ignore the giant elephant in the room. Mostly we were not. Or more accurately, I was not.

I am a champion at the job of Worry. If Worry was an Olympic sport I could totally kick Michael Phelps ass (I cannot, however, swim worth a damn so, um, yea).

More blood tests.

He came home with a smile.

"It's gone."

It is.

All of it.

I can finally close the lid on The No Good, Very Bad Year.

And it's good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Send Help. Or Tequila. Tequila would be nice.

I hate it when my husband has to go out of town. Everytime he does, my kids choose this moment to apeshit bananas. They're all sweet and 'Aww.. We'll miss you Daddy" and then the door closes and they turn to me and.... stare. They've been working out their little plan and now it is time to rain Hell upon the Mom unit.
Sure it starts out innocently enough..
"Mom, David and I are going to go play outside.... nicely. I'll watch him."

What she means is, they are going to go outside where she will dump sand on his head and he will fling dog poo at her until I come outside and tell them to stop screaming. I will then be forced to hose them both down before they can come into the house and then lecture them about how we do not throw sand or poo at people and I cannot believewearehavingthisconversationwhatthehelliswrongwithyoupeople????

This will also be the time that David decides that he cannot eat anything that is not goldfish or poptarts and that he has NEVER liked grilled cheese because grilled cheese is yucky. Yes, I could refuse to give him anything else but then he just won't eat. At all. He will just occasionally yell that he's hungry and would please to very much liking his goldfish now PLEASE WOMAN???? And then he will continue the not eating and his ribs will stick out even further and I have a no ribs sticking out policy people.

And then there is the screaming. The endless screaming. Often for no other reason then to hear themselves screaming. I've considered running away but I think they'd follow me.

Bedtime has been earlier then usual because... do I really need to explain?

But the worst offender in the Hell on Mom plan?

The baby.

Josie is generally an easy going baby. She likes to sit back and watch the older two go at it, clapping her hands as if they're putting on a play for her when they start ramming each other in the stomach with their heads or otherwise trying to maim the other.
But when Daddy is away, Super-clingy NEEDNEEDNEED Mode begins. She doesn't care what I'm doing, so long as she has direct skin to skin contact AT ALL TIMES. All moms know how to use the bathroom while holding on to a baby. We are masters at buttoning and zipping one-handed. With a baby. A small baby. Maybe one who can't wiggle, scream, climb over you and jam her thumb in your eye while you try not to pee all over yourself.
Josie has always loved playing with her older siblings. Mostly because they can be pretty entertaining when they're trying to occupy the exact same space at the exact same time. Also because they'll both give her anything she wants. But there is no substituting once in Super-clingy NEEDNEEDNEED Mode.
I tried playing one of her favorite games- So Big.
We clap and then I say "Josie is soooo big" and she raises her arms and starts laughing. Her arms always go up when I say "Josie is....". So I thought I'd just add "sooo crazy" instead of her usual fair. No big deal right?

She went from smiling to the STARE.

Her arms stayed up, waiting for me to say the right thing.

I didn't.

She started growling. Growling! My sweet baby growled!

I still didn't say it.

She sighed... Gawd mom quit being such an asshole!

I gave in.

She laughed and started clapping.

My baby is a tyrant.

5 more days until my husband comes home.

I don't think I'm going to make it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Don't Get Out Much

Saturday was 'date night'. You know, I really hate that term 'date night' Let's call it what it is: "Get the hell away from the kids for a few hours night", "Get drunk and relive your teenage years in the backseat of the car night" (which I no longer think is so like awesome! Because one of us (not me) who I will not name (still not me) is old (not me) and cannot bend that way without hurting his old back (my back is totally fine, thanks). We don't get away very often, certainly not often enough because I'm still a pretty cheap drunk and if we did get out more often I think either I wouldn't be or maybe I'd end up getting arrested because I get loud and say stupid things when I'm drunk.
Of course, I get loud and say stupid things when I'm sober too so maybe the only difference is I when I'm drunk I don't really care about the stupid things that fall out of my mouth.
After dinner and some very potent and yummy strawberry margaritas, we headed off to our movie where Random Thought Number One Popped up and I felt compelled to share with my husband just how stupid I really am.
When I was a kid, I'd go to the dentist and he'd ask me if I'd brushed my teeth every day. I'd say 'yes'. He'd tell me that he had a tablet that would show if I'd been brushing my teeth every day or if I'd only brushed before coming in. We went through this routine at every cleaning. Sometimes the tablet showed that I'd been lying and sometimes not. I relay all this to my husband and he said "yes, I remember that! Our dentist did it too." Then I told him that it I had only recently realized that he was probably lying and there was no tablet that could magically tell if I'd actually been brushing my teeth all that time or just that day.
"When did you realize that?"
"Um... just now."
Once he finally stopped laughing, he noticed that I was staring at him.
"So there really is no magic tablet?"
"Yes. Yes, there is."

I think he's lying.


Anyway, we head into the movie. Halfway through, I lean over and point out the one really big scary looking actor with the bit part and decide to let him in on Random Thought Number Two.
When I was pregnant with Bre I had all sorts of crazy dreams. Including one that led me to sleepwalk into my closet because I had to find a shirt for my brother and fast because we were in a hurry for a very important meeting with Bullwinkle and it had to be a nice shirt. I woke up standing in my closet chosing between a minty green polo and the sweater grandma had gotten for me. The one with the pink kittens playing with yarn on the front and their furry little butts on the back. I think that one would have been the perfect thing for my brother to wear when meeting Bullwinkle. But that's kind of not the point. No. I was pointing out this actor because he was in another dream I had. We were playing basketball (and I was wearing a maternity dress while we were playing. Also, I don't play basketball.) and I body-checked Big Scary-looking actor with my big pregnant belly. I knocked him on his big scary-looking ass and he cried. I once made Erik Estrada cry in my dreams too. I'm not really sure what that says about me.
So I relay this little tidbit to my dearest darling husband and he turns to me with this look on his face and oh yes, I know this look. I have been on the receiving end of this look many many times. From many many people. It's the look that says "you are out of your mind!"
"I just thought you should know that I made him cry."
"Um. Thanks."

It was still early and the kids were fine or at least the babysitter was still alive and not threatening to sue us for mental anguish or anything so we decided to go shoot pool.

I have not done this in about 6 years.

I was not very good at it before.

First bar: Only pool table is taken. Guy at the corner table is prepared to mount his date right there. I am rushed back out the door because apparently I said this out loud. And um... loudly. And, ok, so I pointed.

Second bar: Only pool table is on it's sides with the legs, unattached, on a chair. Very drunk blonde outside is soooo going to give it up to that guy with the butter face. Am asked to please, not tell the guy he has a butter face. Again.

Third bar: Jackpot! We order our drinks and I rack 'em up. Ask husband if he's jealous that I'm playing with balls and they aren't his. Guy at next table laughs. Husband pretends not to hear.
We play a few rounds but I can't stop laughing and staring. He asks me what's going on. So I tell him. Loudly. The girl at the other table isn't wearing any underwear. He asks how I know and I want to kiss him because I can't believe he didn't notice that her pants were totally see-through and I wonder how she didn't notice but then again maybe she did know. Her date didn't seem to mind since he was constantly trying to stand behind her. Husband decides it's time to go before I tell her.

Yeah. I'm a lot of fun at parties.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Baby Girl,

One year. It hardly seems like a long time. But here we are. One year has passed and it seems as though this is, as it was with your siblings, just how it has always been. I've been trying to think of what I would say to you and I realized that it's what I've been saying to you all year.

Your brother and sister were pretty easy-going babies (minus a few sleep issues with your brother). You? You are the most laid-back baby ever. You will eat anything, you fall asleep with no fuss and sleep through the night, you are content to just be. I know that this may very well be the calm before the f'n 3's, but I'll take it.

You adore your brother and sister- nearly as much as they adore you. I didn't know how your brother would react to you, but he has become your biggest fan.

You have the strangest fascination with ears. It doesn't matter who is holding you, you will reach for their ears and begin tugging, folding and poking. You used to do it just to fall asleep, now you do it for comfort. Our ears are your security blanket.

I've enjoyed watching you this year. Watching the wonder in your eyes at each new thing.

The night you were born, we were alone in the hospital room. It was late and I held you in my arms. You looked up at me, waiting for something. I promised you that night that you would never have to wonder if I loved you.
You have no idea how important that promise is to me. And for that I am glad.

If there was only one word that we could use to describe you it would be 'happy'. My ever-smiling Josie. I hope you will always be able to find the joy in life.

You love watching people, checking their reactions to you and things around them. You like to test people by smiling at them and if they smile back, you make your scrunchy face to see if they'll laugh. If they don't, you start 'talking' to them. You are determined to make those around you as happy as you are. That's a pretty awesome way to be.

I have spent 12 months counting the rolls on your legs and arms, kissing your chubby little cheeks, nibbling on your baby feet, deeply breathing in that sweet baby scent on the back of your neck and whispering in your ear as we rock to bed. I am not eager to give this up and I hope you don't mind.

Yesterday, you crawled away from me to play with your brother and sister. Squealing and clapping your hands because they included you. It made me smile, but I admit I felt a little pang at seeing you become more independent.
Then you turned and looked at me, crawled over to get a hug and returned to play.
I will always be here for hugs.

There is no doubt about where you belong. You look so much like your daddy. It's amazing to see your face just light up when he gets home from work, to see how your world is so centered in us.

For as much as we are going to teach you, I hope you know how much you have already taught us. About patience, about being positive, about the capacity to love.

Happy birthday my wonder baby. The first of many.
Love, Mommy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ready to do his duty for Rome

When we were kids, we moved into this great old house in this sweet little town where my sister and I had to share a room (this was before we regularly went apeshit on each other) and our room shared a wall with my parents' room. Due to some serious lack of thought on their part, our room also shared a wall with the headboard of their bed.

At breakfast one morning after about a week of unpacking and adjusting things 'just so', my sister announced that we had ghosts.

My dad asked her why she thought we had ghosts and she explained that she heard them screaming 'Oh God' last night again and they must really want to get into heaven and maybe we should help them.

I'd never seen my dad's face turn that shade of red before.

It's inevitable when you have kids that at some point they will hear something. You can only hope that the lock is strong enough that they won't actually see anything.

One night, I opened our door to get some water only to find one of our niblets standing there. Just staring at me.

"What are you guys doing?"

"Um.... watching a movie."

"What movie?"


I'm not sure if this is a postive endorsement of our sex lives that the sound of it could be compared to 'Gladiator' or maybe just a little frightening.

But it still beats having ghosts.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Gym: 1 Me: -2,346

I recently started working out... somewhere. At a gym. With other people.

Already I know you're saying, This is a very bad idea! Yes, I know. There is something about me that when I get around other people I end up making an ass of myself. It's a gift.

Anyway, I'm getting a tour of the gym and a little how-to on the equipment since I've never been to a gym before (see, I've always known it was a bad idea). The only machine I really know how to use is the treadmill (and I broke my toe on ours. Twice). One machine looked like it belonged in an OB/GYN office but upon encouragement, I gave it a try anyway.
Things were going well until I tried to get out of it.
It really should have been a simply thing, getting out of this contraption. Lift legs, stand, walk. All I can say in my defense is that the seat was deep and slanty and awkward. So when I got up, my leg got tangled in the machine and I fell flat on my face at my guide's feet.
I then, for inexpicable reasons, looked up and assured her that I did this kind of thing all the time. I think I made her nervous.

This is going to be fun. Really.


In other news of stupid things I did for unknown reasons- I bought heels. Really hot little shoes, I love them. Will probably end up breaking my leg but will look good doing it!