Thursday, November 30, 2006

I tried to post pictures

But Blogger would only allow me this one. So this is the only one I'll post for now.

Sam's Cars border is up along the top. I LIKE it. I think with the other decorations the red paint disaster won't be so noticeable.

And even more importantly, Sam danced around in there and said, "It looks so cool Mom!" Never mind that my baby boy is saying these things and growing up too fast...but I'm thrilled that he likes it.

**No, he's not sleeping in there yet. In fact, he tried to pull out the old, "I might not be able to sleep in here because I might see a monster." I told him all the cars stuff would keep any monsters away. Plus, his Daddy (being the quick-thinking genius he is) told him that Shamus the cat would most likely sleep with him...and maybe one of the dogs too...so he would be perfectly safe. He seemed somewhat convinced....especially when we told him that he could always come to our room as long as he TRIED to sleep in his room. Here's hoping we're not up for too much of a fight.**



The other pictures I have yet to share include the jacuzzi tub progress and the newly installed ceiling light above the stairs (with painted walls even).

This weekend...flooring!

What it's like to be me

I got a great deal on a Christmas gift for my sister during my post-Thanksgiving shopping trip. I was so happy to have the "perfect gift" all set to give her.

So how does my happy story end?

I accidentally threw the "perfect gift" in the trash...and only realized it today when my mom asked me if I had a receipt for something else.

Crap.

Will I ever get it together again? Will my brain ever recover and function in any sort of normal manner? Ever?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm fine...no...I'm not fine at all

I have, in a lot of ways, let people off the hook. I turned this blog into a place to air my deepest darkest feelings because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone by having to listen to it. So I have only myself to blame when people want to talk at me instead of listening to me. I see the fear enter their eyes if/when my true feelings come to the forefront. They don't want to hear me...they're afraid that I'll cry...and they certainly don't want me to challenge the beliefs they have about their own lives. So if the subjects aren't avoided completely, I often find myself sitting quietly while someone pontificates on how sad THEY are, how THEY feel about grief/loss, or what THEIR beliefs in God are about. I often hear, "I can't possibly know how you feel but...(here is what I think anyway)."

I have done a good job making everyone else comfortable. I have hidden myself away and made everyone believe that I'm "ok." I've kept the angry and ugly and sad thoughts to myself. I talk about anything and everything but what I'm really thinking. Mostly, I come here and type it out. Mostly, I use this as the window into my head...and I let people choose for themselves if they want to peer in or climb on through. Very few have climbed through. That's no surprise. Given a choice, I'd choose to climb out and run away from this if I could. But the fact is that I stay inside...keep it all inside...and don't force anyone to look at me...to look at all the ugly.

Why? What am I getting from this? My resentment grows. My anger festers. The sadness builds until I unexpectedly spend the drive home sobbing like I did back in those early days...wondering if I'll crash the car because I can't see through the tears...wondering if I care that I might crash the car.

No, I'm not ok.

Maybe I should start telling people that instead of the lies I've been telling.

In the Wiggles' World


November 29, 2006 - 2:41PM

Popular children's entertainers The Wiggles will announce changes to their line-up tomorrow amid growing concerns over the health of Yellow Wiggle Greg Page.

The Wiggles have scheduled a ''major announcement'' in Perth tomorrow ahead of the start of their new national tour.

The announcement relates to ''members of the group'', said Australia's highest-earning entertainers, comprising Page, Jeff Fatt, Anthony Field and Murray Cook.

It follows reports of a mystery illness suffered by Page, 34, who has been undergoing medical examinations since June after experiencing bouts of fainting and lethargy.

Since a double hernia operation in December last year, Page has often been absent from the veteran children's supergroup, handing yellow skivvy-wearing duties to understudy Sam Moran....


The complete article can be read here.

I feel like I felt when Sesame Street's Mr. Hooper died. Of course, Greg hasn't died and could always come back. And I know I'm overly attached to a character on television just because he has been a very fond part of Sam's early childhood. But still...I can't help but feel a bit sad. Like the end of an era has come to pass.

(Thanks for the heads up Clare.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A coffee maker has been found!

My hunter-gatherer husband has successfully completed his mission to pick up a coffee maker for my office. $14.99 for a $34.99 coffee maker. Good deal. And the caffeine consumption continues without interruption. Dodged a bullet on that one.

***update***
It makes damn good coffee! Good morning!

Not going to be a Christmas Hymn, that's for sure (in which I drop the f-word multiple times)

Steve asked me the other day, "Why is it that Christmas music makes me feel angry?"

Good question. I don't have the answer, but I feel it too. Visceral anger.

Not just at Christmas music either.

I'm angry. No...I'm f***ing angry.

At everyone and everything. But most especially at God.

You've got a plan? Well I think it f***ing sucks.

You took my babies...Or...You let my babies die.

F*** you. I don't have any use for you.

Have faith? F*** you again.

Faith for what? Eternity with a creator who would kill? or turn a blind eye when someone is dying?

I didn't learn any lesson but how to hate you.

I want to thank you for my Samuel. I want to curse you for my Alex and my Travis.

I want to smash all the pretty little things I see at Christmas into a million pieces. Like my heart.

Some plan.

I bet this isn't the kind of prayer you were hoping for.

But you must exist for me to hate you. So that's something...right?

Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm stumped

I simply cannot find a light fixture to hang over my staircase.

So out of desperation, I just bought this one...not sure I like it though.

Wikipedian philosophy lessons

Philosophical paradoxes of prayer

There are a number of philosophical paradoxes involving prayer to an omnipotent God, namely:
* If a person deserves God to give him the thing he prays for, why doesn't God give it to him, even without prayer? And if a person is not deserving of it, then even if that person does pray and request it, should it be given just because of his prayer?
* Is it necessary to pray with speech? Doesn't God know the thoughts of all people?
* If God is all-knowing, then doesn't God already know what we are going to ask for before we pray?
In Christianity, this paradox is acknowledged in the discourse on ostentation, which forms part of the Sermon on the Mount.
* Do human beings actually have the ability to praise an omniscient and omnipotent God? Praising God is difficult to do without describing God, yet how can a person know anything about God's ultimate nature? This question was the subject of heated debate among many religious philosophers; one such debate took place in the 14th century between Gregory Palamas and Barlaam of Calabria.
* The prerequisite of asking for a favour is faith in the recipient of the prayer. But asking to change an aspect of creation seems to be expressing a dissatisfaction with the way things are - and hence not trusting the "plan." This means faithfully asking for divine intervention is a paradox, requiring faith and displaying a lack of faith at the same time.

Many of these questions have been discussed in Jewish, Christian and Muslim writings from the medieval period onward. The 900s to 1200s saw some of the most fertile discussion on these questions, during the period of Neo-Platonic and Neo-Aristotelian philosophy. See Aristotelian view of God. Discussion of these problems never ceased entirely, but they did fall mostly from the public view for several centuries, until The Enlightenment reignited philosophical inquiry into theological issues.

All of these questions have been discussed in many Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious texts. There was much intellectual cross-fertilization between Jews, Christians and Muslims during parts of the middle-ages, and so there is much convergence among some of the rationalist philosophers of that era. Many of these texts offer proposed resolutions to some or all of these paradoxes.


I am having a particularly hard time this holiday season dealing with the prayerful. Those who believe that their lives are blessed because they pray...that you get what you deserve...that God answers prayers...that God provides and protects...you get the idea.

The implicit judgment in all of it makes me want to hit someone (I'm sure some of my more religious friends will have a field day with that one). I'm jealous. I'm sad. And yes, I'm angry. Do they believe the inverse to be true as well? That you don't get blessings if you don't pray? That you get what you deserve (and bad things happen because you deserve them)? That God answers prayers and sometimes his answer is a big old f**** you (and f*** your children)? That God provides bad things deliberately and withholds protection as punishment? That they are somehow more deserving of good things? That they are better than me and my family? Are they right?

Tis the season for guilt and self-doubt. Fa la la la la...la la la la...

But regardless...how do people answer these paradoxical questions about prayer? I am particularly interested in the last one...faith and prayer...how do you reconcile the two? And please don't tell me that people pray for anything other than intervention. Even when it is dressed up all pretty in the guise of, "pray for strength for so-and-so to make it through this difficult time," it requests mystical intervention in the very fiber of that person's character by the mere request. So if you're requesting ANYTHING of God, doesn't that show an inherent lack of faith? Interesting. Very interesting.

I'm also curious as to why and how many different cultures had polytheistic societies on many different continents. These religions were eventually displaced by monotheistic religions in the majority of those cultures. But what of history? Do we ignore the fact that the Native Americans and the Greek and the African cultures ALL worshipped multiple Gods? I find it strange that such a common thread ran around the world. A common truth, perhaps?

(You can apparently find just about anything in Wikipedia! And I apparently have too much time on my hands.)

Long live the coffee maker

The office coffee maker has given up the ghost. Actually, it won't turn off. So for safety sake, I am throwing it in the trash (I guess it is technically a coffee maker mercy killing).

And of course all the good sales are over. *sigh*

Rest in peace little $10 coffee maker from 2003. You had a good run.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christmas shopping, grief edition

"Two and a half months." She said it with a wide smile. She was, quite literally, glowing over the tiny little one in the baby carrier as she made the introduction to an old friend she obviously had not seen in a while. Two and a half months. My brain took off before I could even consider putting a stop to it...

Two and a half months. September. I wonder if that baby would have been born on the same day as Travis. Sweet little Travis...who only made it to May. How big would he be? He would probably already be out of his infant carrier...not tiny like that baby.

And then there was the mother at the register with three boys. The oldest was probably about four. The middle boy was probably three. And there was the baby in the infant carrier. Three boys. I smiled at the baby.

My mom asked if it still hurt. What could I say?

"Yes. It doesn't just go away or get better."

I've already gone overboard for this Christmas. Why? Because Sam has had another crappy year and I want to spoil him. I don't have to worry about his brothers...shopping for them is easy (and comparatively cheap). And in the back of my mind sits the thought that I won't have to worry about the expense of two in daycare at the same time. Ever.

Two and a half months. Three boys. How much do you spend on Christmas? A simple turn of a phrase and there is no stopping it. It just doesn't go away or get better.

Bah Humbug - Or - I Have Now Seen It All



Yes, in between the giant inflatable Santa Clauses, who appear to be signalling touchdowns, there is a giant inflatable nativity. There is nothing about the Christmas holiday that says faith better than a giant inflatable balloon in your snow covered front lawn, doncha think? Hell, there's nothing that says Christmas more than a giant inflatable penguin/reindeer/who-the-heck-knows-what-else on a giant inflatable merry-go-round...or a giant inflatable Santa hanging in a hammock in between two giant inflatable palm trees...or a giant inflatable snowman family in a giant inflatable snow globe. I mean, that's the stuff that magical holiday memories are made of! No? I'm wondering if this phenomenon has reached everywhere or if this is just a weird new local tradition? I'd really like to think that it's limited to just my redneck area, but I suspect the world has just gone bat-shit crazy(to borrow one of my new favorite phrases from a fellow blogger).

Speaking of strange interpretations of Christmas. Yesterday I saw an outdoor, fully decorated Christmas tree with standard red bows and red and silver ornaments. It was quite lovely. And then I realized it was sporting an American flag on top. Now, I'm no expert in all things Christmas...nor am I an expert in all things Christian...and I'm all for freedom of expression...blah, blah, blah... But I gotta say that I think that interpretation is just plain wrong. The American flag? I think there's something in that old Christmas story about a star or an angel on high or heavenly hosts...or peace. I'm pretty sure there's nothing in there about flag waving patriotism supplanting the magic of Christmas. But I could be wrong...it's been a while since I read it.

I'm trying. I'm really really really trying. But stuff like this makes it damn hard.

It all makes me laugh. Not in a, "that was funny," way...but more in a, "you have got to be kidding me," way.

Or maybe the spirit of Christmas just got lost on her way to my house. If you see her, can you send her the right direction please?

***I do apologize to anyone who may actually HAVE a giant inflatable nativity in their lawn (or any other giant inflatable for that matter). I'm sure they look very nice in YOUR lawn.***

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

Whoa boy! What a day!

It started off with a fabulous gingerbread latte from Dunkin Donuts.

Sam maintained a good mood while standing in line for AN HOUR at Circuit City.

Steve got an LCD TV and an iPod alarm clock for Christmas.

I got a new camera for Christmas. :o)

Steve and I both agree that the sparkly maternity shirt that says, "I've got the perfect gift," with an arrow pointing to the belly, is tacky even outside of our circumstance.

I left a "Merry Christmas" note on the window of the SUV that almost hit me because the driver couldn't wait five freakin seconds for me to buckle my child into his car seat. (It said, "Merry Christmas. The girl you almost hit." I hope he feels the appropriate Christmas guilt.)

We bought a curtain rod to match the two I bought the other day...and promptly walked out of the store without it.

Sam had a forty-minute temper tantrum until I screamed at him to shut up. Stellar parenting right there.

The laundry room now has vinyl flooring.

Our three old fish and our five new fish are the first residents of our new second floor addition.

I cried as our old and decrepit Aussie ate dinner out of his new raised dog dish...no longer losing his balance and landing with all four legs splayed out like a dog-skin rug.

There was beer with the pizza for dinner.

Steve and Sam are now installing the new TV. I plan to fall asleep while watching it.

New Holiday Tradition

Last year I was up and at Walmart at 8:30. Today I'm striving to beat that record by about an hour and a half. Yes, I'm up...WE'RE up...and we're going shopping! And there is this strange feeling surrounding the whole pending adventure. Something that hasn't visited here for a long while.

I think we're going to...dare I say it...?

Have fun?!?!

There is no sense of pending doom or disaster...no feeling like this is a chore and the holidays are something to just "get through." There is a little guilt lying in there somewhere. Like maybe I haven't given Travis appropriate respect. But I'm going to leave that for another day and go spend some money on some Christmas gifts.

Have fun today wherever you are!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Time to be thankful

I am thankful for...

~My family. Without Steve, Sam, and our menagerie I would be nothing.

~My friends...without whom I would not have survived the past (two) year(s).

~My health. I'm feeling pretty good right now...no bacteria/viruses or broken bones.

~My job. It's not glamorous and it's not going to make me rich...but I like the work and I'm good at it even when I can hardly concentrate.

~My beautiful home...that grows more beautiful with each passing day (they tell me it's only a couple more weeks...yay!).

~Thanksgiving Day parades on TV...a holiday tradition.

~Christmas shopping. I'm not too much into "the true meaning of Christmas" these days. But shopping is always welcome.

There...I did it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The day that Sam decides he doesn't need his thumbs

I knew by the tone of his voice when he said, "Ouchie...oooh...ouchie..." that something was very wrong. I flew around the back end of the van as fast as my flip flops would carry me. What I saw...his poor little left thumb closed in the closed van door...him pulling trying to get it out. I switched into emergency mode. I'm always good in emergency mode.

I opened the door ever so slightly to release his thumb but make sure not to slide the door back over his hand or any of his other fingers (that thankfully all still remain attached). It was bent, but not at any sort of unnatural angle or anything. He cried and whimpered, "Ouchie...it hurts...it hurts...it hurts." I ushered him into the house, wrapped his thumb in ice, and administered grape flavored tylenol and the Wiggles on television (not sure, but I think the Wiggles was probably the most helpful medicine).

And now, two hours later, I feel it coming...The nervous breakdown.

It's lurking and waiting to take me to that dark place where I am all too painfully aware of the riskiness of life...the potential for bad things to happen to those I love. It's whispering in my ear and telling me to cry. It's settling on my chest and making it difficult to breathe.

Sam's up and eating and seems to be feeling fine. I will not fall apart. I refuse. It's fine. He's fine. That's all that matters.

And he has learned a very valuable lesson. Mom has reasons for why she says, "Be careful," all the time. And Mom is smart when she tells you not to push on the van door from the edges. Mom likes you with your thumbs and she's trying to help you keep them.

And Mom needs you to keep your thumbs...for her own sanity. OK? OK.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time capsule

Greetings from your past. In the fall of 2005, you agreed to receive this message, which has been preserved for a year in the Forbes.com E-Mail Time Capsule. For more details, visit http://www.forbes.com/capsule

Here is the text of your message:

Steve:

I'm sending this on November 21, 2005...during the worst year of our lives. I wanted to memorialize this year somehow...while letting it go at the same time. Does that make sense?

During this year, we have been at the happiest and the saddest we have ever been. I'm so grateful to you for both. It is always a pleasure to share the happy times with you. To smile and laugh and love as though the world is perfect. And without you, I never would have had Sam or Alex to love. You have given me the greatest gift that anyone could ever have given me. You love me...and I love you and our boys.

But during the darkest hours, I am even more grateful that you are by my side. Without you I could never have made it through losing Alex. You stood by me and held me up when I felt like I was literally going to fall apart. You never uttered a single unkind word. Your unfailing love and support has been an amazing thing to receive. I will never be able to appropriately thank you.

I hope that by the time you receive this email we will have enjoyed more happiness with each other...with Sam...and with another new baby. I hope that we will have grown even stronger together through happiness and not more sadness. I hope that when you read this you are as much in love with me as I am with you today.

I know that the future is uncertain. After this year, I even hesitate to send an email like this...because I know there is always a possibility that either you or I will not even be alive one year from now. But I'm choosing today to live with a little bit of faith.

I look forward to many many years with you and our children. We will always miss our Alex...but I hope that we continue to find happiness in our lives...for however long we have each other and breath in our bodies.

I love you.

I win, I win, I win!

My email to customer service:

Back in August, I ordered and received a tub/shower faucet. My contractor cannot use it in my home addition because it is not anti-scald. Can I return it? If so, what mailing address do I ship it to?
Keep smilin'
Catherine


Customer service reponse:

Hi,

Im sorry, Return and/or exchange of merchandise must take place within 7 days of receipt of product.


My return email:

I understand that is your standard policy. However, it is in an unopened box (still even has the plastic seal on the outside) and I would think that you wouldn't have sold me something that didn't comply with building regulations. Yet, you did. I would expect you to accept return of a part that is, in essence, useless under state law.

Catherine


I win, I win, I win!

Hi,
Please ship it back to us:

Please include the packing slip and the RMA # this will ensure proper credit.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes people are so kind

A coworker of Steve's gave this to him today. She shopped for us specifically and found this statue of five people interwoven together. In the card she wrote how this is how she thinks of us...Steve, Me, Samuel, Alex, and Travis...one family.


While I don't know her but to say hello in passing, she apparently talks to Steve quite a bit (which finds him alternating between feeling the love and feeling irritated with her intrusion...he's not always in a talkative mood). She really touched both our hearts with this very thoughtful gift.

I am always amazed at the depths of good and bad that are revealed during the darkest times in our lives.

We have progress!

Window trim is up...

Tile is on the bathroom floors...

Tile is in the shower...(isn't it pretty?)

Closet doors are up on the two smaller closets...

And there is actually one bedroom door hung!

Small steps...but we're getting there. Think we'll get it all done by Christmas? I hope so, but I'm doubtful. They've still got to build a staircase, repair the ceilings that caved in, and replace the trim for the doors and windows they installed on the first floor.

Dare I say it? I'm starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel!

Miscellaneous Thoughts

-------------------------------------------
The bank called. I forgot to pay the mortgage this month. I feel like a chastised child. Really. Like I committed some sort of crime. Life happens folks. Paying bills isn't necessarily the most important thing going on. You're just gonna have to deal with that.
-------------------------------------------
An actual sign outside a hotel in town:

God Bless America
Free high speed DSL
Jacuzzi


Steve and I both laughed and laughed.
-------------------------------------------
Memorable quotes from this weekend:

Sam, as he was readying himself to drop his drawers, "Prepare to be amazed."
(I think a lesson in context is necessary sooner rather than later)

Me, as we approach WalMart, "I'm as f***ing ready for Christmas as I'll ever be."
(Real nice, huh?)
-------------------------------------------
My email to customer service:

Back in August, I ordered and received a tub/shower faucet. My contractor cannot use it in my home addition because it is not anti-scald. Can I return it? If so, what mailing address do I ship it to?
Keep smilin'
Catherine


Customer service reponse:

Hi,

Im sorry, Return and/or exchange of merchandise must take place within 7 days of receipt of product.


My return email:

I understand that is your standard policy. However, it is in an unopened box (still even has the plastic seal on the outside) and I would think that you wouldn't have sold me something that didn't comply with building regulations. Yet, you did. I would expect you to accept return of a part that is, in essence, useless under state law.

Catherine


Who do you think will win this little test of wills? Place your bets.
-------------------------------------------
Feeling confident walking out of settlement talks at the courthouse...

Turn around...

Practically smack into the teeniest tiniest beautifullest baby you have ever seen...

Reduced to tears...

Have to run back to the office to cry.
-------------------------------------------
Speaking of court...

Elderly woman lives with her son. He doesn't care for her...leaves feces in her bed, etc. He interferes with care providers...vandalizes their vehicles, steals money from them, verbally assaults them. Two weeks ago, the elderly woman fell and had to push the panic button for an emergency responder...while the son slept in the next room.

We petitioned to have her admitted to a nursing home.

No brainer, right?

According to our judge...Wrong.

She's competent so let's leave her there. It would be too hard on her emotionally to have to leave.

Sometimes I just want to give up.
-------------------------------------------
Where I take a potshot at my husband publicly...

Steve...who left a hole in our pasture fence for over a year...who did not help me at all with tiling the bathroom floor because he had a headache...who broke the porch window and left it broken and held in with duct tape for at least a couple of years...that Steve...is unhappy with the rate of progress on our house. I'm having trouble understanding his double standard.

I'm sure he will have some reasonable rebuttal, like they're getting paid and he isn't, blah, blah, blah. And secretly, I don't disagree with his assessment too much. But I'm so tired of listening to the bitching and moaning about it all.

Aren't I the one that is supposed to be unhappy with the utter disaster my house is currently? And haven't I been accommodating and calm through this whole process...even when my ceiling was caving in? So what gives? Who told him he's allowed to be unhappy? He's a guy...he's not supposed to care about this stuff. I mean really...I sucked it up...so should he. :o)
-------------------------------------------
And then Steve redeemed himself by this email exchange...

Me: This guy emailed again about Rosie Posie.

What do you want to do? It's up to you. But I have to put in my opinion and say that I wouldn't mind keeping her...and I know Rory
(our black lab mix who missed Rosie all day when she was out at an adoption event and stood by the window and door waiting for her to return) and Sam feel the same way.

Love you.


Steve: I can't break a four year old's heart, let alone a thrity four year old's heart so she can stay :) I think that once the house is done you will need to work on socializing her with the rest of the dogs to the point where she can just hang with them in peace.

Love you.


See why I love that guy?

***It is important to note that Rosie has been with us for a full year and we have only had a small handful (four) inquiries on her. So we have grown rather attached while waiting. And by all rights she deserves to call our place home (and us her family) after all that time without anyone else to love her.***
-------------------------------------------
I finally gave the contractor permission to go out and buy whatever he needs to complete my bathroom tile. I have no idea what I'm buying. Me in a hardware/home improvement store...It's like sending a man into a knitting store.
-------------------------------------------
I have not been invited to join Blogger Beta. Why? Because I talk too much. Apparently, having too many posts and/or comments disqualifies you from this initial phase of things. I love it!
-------------------------------------------

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'm a knitter!

I have completed one scarf and started another. Nothing spectacular. But I'm learning how to use knitting needles without hurting myself or tying my hands into knots...so that's something.


And just look how happy Sam is...that's something too.
This one will be for me. I got Paton's Divine on sale at AC Moore yesterday. I just love the color and think it will go with my winter coat pretty well. Plus it's so soft, it's pet-able.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Some days you just don't feel like a party...some days you do

I owe Steve big for today. I did the virtually unthinkable. I sent him to a five-year-old birthday party with Sam...without me. But I had to. I just couldn't take it. Not today. Some days I just can't deal.

We went to a birthday party for one of Sam's little girlfriends about a month ago. It was like a three hour root canal. Not because I didn't like the kids. Not because I didn't like the adults (though I did have high school flashbacks when only one other mother actually talked to me during the entire three hours...but that's a whole other bitch entirely). It's just because I just don't FEEL it. Happy Birthday to you. I just can't say it with any sense of meaning anymore. Birthdays are a miracle and I'm glad you were born...really...congratulations on getting your miracle. I want to vomit. And I don't say that in a sarcastic way. I say that in the literal, the idea of celebrating birthdays sometimes makes me feel physically ill, sort of way.

And of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it's all probably psychological. I guess there is a part of me that will forever associate birth and death with one another. I have horrible images in my head. Horrible sounds and even more horrible silence.

Whatever it is deep in my unconscious, it makes it impossible for me to smile and celebrate while some spoiled child opens a zillion presents s/he probably won't even be playing with in a week. I can't do it. I can't make small talk with other mothers. I can't sing Happy Birthday and clap when they blow out the candles signifying another year of life.

I know this is my issue. I know that there are ways to cope that I could probably take advantage of. But the truth is, I'm just too tired to try today. I'll do better tomorrow. I'll take the next party, Steve. I promise.
-------------------------------
Add to this, the fact that there is an adult type party I wouldn't have minded being invited to but wasn't. My mom speculates it's because another couple and their new baby were invited. Granted, this other couple is closer with the rest of the group of people who will be there. But I can't help but feel...I don't know...a little bit hurt.

I'll get over it.

That's what I'm good at these days.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Holiday preparations, Mom style

Sam brought home his first Thanksgiving turkey art project yesterday and I darn near cried. I call this one his first because his actual first was a printed page from a coloring book with some purple crayon squiggles all over it (and I do mean ALL OVER it). His second was made of all the right colors of construction paper and was clearly the work of one of his teachers. But this one, this one has his personality stamped all over it. Blue and red paints. Feathers stuck haphazardly here and there. Crinkled up from being clutched in his fist for the ride home to proudly show me his creation.

What is is about our kids artwork that makes us mothers all googly?

I love it.
-----------------------------------------
A toy catalog came in the mail the other day and Samuel has since been carrying it around with him wherever he goes. He has his Christmas wish list all picked out and a toy tool bench is the highest priority for Santa Claus. The more difficult decision is whether he wants the small portable one or the larger fixed placement one. He waffles on that issue enough that it's driving me batty.

I overheard him flipping through the catalog and chattering away about the things inside. Things came to a screeching halt, however, when I heard him say, "That's for girls." HUH?!?! I called him over and asked him what was for girls? He pointed to...hold onto your hats...the play kitchen set! I'm NOT kidding! At that moment I could hear all twenty of my inner voices screaming and cursing. What have I done to turn him into a sexist?!?! I wracked my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. All the while, flipping through that invisible file cabinet of useful parenting tips that I have apparently unknowingly collected over time and stored away. What do I do? What do I say?

So I went with part sarcasm, part humor, and part "imagine the fun you'll miss." I said, "Those are for girls, huh? You're crazy. Those look like great toys for boys OR girls. I bet they'd be a LOT of fun to play with."

He wasn't convinced. "No mom, those are for girls."

I sighed.

I don't know what exactly happened to change his mind, but last night he approached me with the toy catalog in hand and stated, "Mom, I've changed my mind. I think this could be a great toy for girls OR boys."

AH HA! Victory!

And then I realized I had never looked at the price.

$79 per appliance...and there are three appliances...a refrigerator, a stove, and a sink/cupboard.

WTF is WRONG with me?
-----------------------------------------
2002 Sam's first Christmas was pretty low-key. He was too young to really get it. I dressed him in a cute Santa outfit and some reindeer antlers and that was it.

2003 Sam's second Christmas he was a year and a half old and he didn't really "get it."

2004 Sam's third Christmas found him taking ALL DAY to open his presents. He would open one and have such a grand time exploring his new toy that he just didn't get around to opening the next for at least an hour. This was also, if I remember correctly, the year of the Wiggles Christmas video. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over... I start to twitch just thinking about it.

2005 Sam's fourth Christmas sucked. I was in a bad mood thinking life was bad (ha! I didn't even really know what bad was at that point)...Steve was in a bad mood...I yelled while we put up the Christmas tree...my mom stared at me completely unsure how to deal with any of us. Good times. It was the year of the Polar Express. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over... I start to twitch just thinking about it.

Sam has asked for Mickey Saves Santa this year. Just because I am determined to do better this year does not mean I have to get him this DVD. But I did. I'm already twitchy just thinking about it...and I haven't even seen it yet.
-----------------------------------------

Age and weight

I Google "stillbirth study" at least once a week. And something that continues to shock me is the incredible LACK of any sort of studies about women in my situation...women who contract bacterial and/or viral infections that result in the death of their unborn baby.

Even more disturbing are the dozens of articles I find on the relationship between age and weight and stillbirth.

Risk of stillbirth doubles in mothers over 35

Pregnancy pounds may harm newborn

Too much weight gain in pregnancy raises risks

Modest weight gain makes for a riskier second pregnancy

Weight gain between pregnancies dangerous

Weight Gain May Endanger Pregnancy


Now, I'm the first to cheer on any effort to reduce the number of stillbirths in this world. If women can effectively eliminate risk factors and take home a living baby as a result, so much the better.

BUT...

I was overweight. I am overweight. I got the disapproving looks and the lectures. My weight wasn't responsible for the death of my babies. And those who delivered those lectures never apologized for giving me the impression that it was all my fault...just for being fat.

I am high risk because I am 'older,' though I'm not quite in the 35+ set just yet. My age wasn't responsible for the death of my babies. And those who cautioned me about my age never apologized for giving me the impression that it was all my fault...for being old.

This culture that it is all controllable...that if a baby is stillborn, the mother MUST have done something to cause it...is so pervasive that I never even recognized it before now. Even the doctors and researchers look at all those things that women can control (that I am pretty sure we've already established just by common sense). Where is the work being done on the mysterious? The non-obvious? Why isn't anyone interested in getting ME an answer beyond the overly simplistic, "You're fat," or, "You're old"???

Interesting

In legend, the dragonfly was a real dragon who offended the gods and was turned into an insect. Despite this apparent setback, the dragonfly transformed herself into a gorgeous and highly capable creature. She is the only flying insect that can hover and make rapid sharp angle turns. Thus, she has become a symbol of tenacity and beauty.

How many Davids do you know?


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
6
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thank you Laura!

Would you look at the beautiful purse Laura made me?!?!


THANK YOU LAURA!

whoa

Sometimes I find myself writing things to people and I realize that what I'm actually writing is what I needed to hear...I post it here for those people who always wonder what they can possibly say to me.

I remember telling someone who son had died upon delivery that she was strong and I admired her. She looked me in the eye and said, "We have no choice."

We have no choice. You have no choice __________. Time will keep ticking and life will drag you along, kicking and screaming if need be.

It sucks and it's ugly and it makes me sad and angry for every single woman who has to go through it. It makes me sad and angry for you. But it is what it is. You can let it destroy you or you can move on with life. It's not that moving on is a bad thing...it's that you just want some time to feel this grief and process it...and you want someone to acknowledge that you have the right to decide how to process it. Yes, eventually, you will move on. You won't ever forget, but you will move on. But only YOU can decide how and when it is right for you. Only YOU can decide how is the right way to handle this.

You want permission to freak out? You've got it. Freak out. Smash dishes. Cry. Run a marathon. You want to yell and scream at somebody who will understand, I'll give you my phone number. You do whatever it is that you need to do to process this horrible awful thing that happened to you and your baby. You want to go to work and pretend like everything is fine...that's ok too. This is your call.

_________ is right though. You can't run fast enough or far enough to escape grief. It will catch up with you. And if you don't plan to deal with it at all, that is when it will beat the snot out of you.

It's not moving on. It's coping. And you have to do it. The choice you have is HOW you do it.

Your strength? Only you know how much strength you have. But those who admire your strength are doing so because they recognize the pain you are in, they know there isn't a damn thing they can do to help, and they acknowledge this battle you are fighting. It's a crappy choice of words...but the sentiment is one of love and respect. And I suspect that what they are thinking is really more along the lines of, "This sucks for you and I would do almost anything if I could take your pain away and fix this. But I know I'm helpless. And I'm so sorry you have to fight this alone. Just know that I'm here and I will say or do whatever you need me to do to make this even incrementally better...but I know my words are empty for you right now...etc."

Someone once told me that other people will take my lead in how to handle this. Most people are not expecting anything. And they don't want to do anything that will be perceived as being pushy...dictating how you should heal. And she was right. Most people will listen to you about what you need and will try their damn level best to give it to you. Because they love you. Yes, there are assholes out there who won't "get it." Ignore them the best you can and worry about yourself...what you need to heal your broken heart. It's ok. This one time...in this...you get to decide.

You don't feel strong today? That's ok. There are enough people who love you who will stand beside you and prop you up until you do feel strong.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Madame Ziska goes to work

So many dreams disappear without being fully realized. All around us. Everyday.

I sat across a table from three men who had spent their whole lives building something. Something good. A few bad decisions and it was all gone forever...out of their control. This was not the way they expected it to end.

I walked past the old woman in the wheelchair in the hall. Her son can no longer care for her properly. I'm sure this was not how she imagined her life. I'm sure this was not her dream.

I painted that room a neutral color and hung a cheery ceiling fan. I don't want to have to repaint, but a ceiling fan is easy enough to remove. Next will come the question of furniture. Do we buy a guest bed even though no guests ever come to visit? Do we put up the crib even though we know no baby may ever sleep there?

I am having a hard time filtering things right now. It's the fertile time of the month and there's nothing like announcing to the internet blogosphere that you intend NOT to jump your husband because you're desperately afraid of your dreams. At the same time I keep thinking that if I give up, all I will have, for the rest of my life, is my failure and the fact that I gave up. And that necessarily leads me to wonder if I'm making good decisions or if I'm just afraid of living with failure. Can/Should ego really have a place in this?

Second guesses...third...fourth.

This isn't how I imagined it. But this is how it is. What do I want and what am I willing to pay in order to get it? Maybe the price is just too darn high. What will I be thinking when the young lady walks past me in the hallway in another 50 years?

Pass me my crystal ball please...I can't see it clearly just yet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thank you to my secret pal!

I spent, literally, the entire day in a mediation that exhausted me. The good news is, it looks like there will be a resulting settlement and I was inspired by a couple of things that I hope to write about here in the next couple of days. But I am beat. And I came home to this from my secret pal...a whole crochet kit!
~Four skeins of Red Heart Foxy yarn, Majesty color, two skeins of coordinating Red Heart Super Saver in Sierra color, and a pattern sheet with patterns for a scarf, shawl, poncho or shrug. I just may have to try my first shrug...it's so fun looking.
~One skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Lime. No idea what I'll do with it...it is so bright.
~Two No. 13 yarn needles
~One size L Crystalite crochet hook from Red Heart.

I love everything and I can't thank my secret pal enough for brightening my day. I actually have been working on my knitting for the past couple of days...so I'll have to finish up my first knitted project (a scarf my son has already claimed) and get back to crochet. Thank you again secret pal!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My white whale...the red room

Thank you all for the painting advice. We're doing ok with every single room...except the red room. We now have three coats up and I'm debating bothering with another. If I can disguise enough with borders, wallies, signs, posters and curtains then the streaky effect might add to the juvenile feel to the room. I hope. But then again, it might just be my albatross...driving me crazy every single day when I walk into that room. Hard to tell.

This is not our first adventure in interior painting. And we have pretty much broken every rule there is out there...learning by trial and error, you might say. I wish someone had been around when we first bought this house to tell me I would NOT be happy with paint over wallpaper, no matter how lazy I might be. eeks! That room will be getting a re-do...no doubt about it. lol

We are using semi-gloss because we have six dogs and matte finish paint just doesn't hold up well to the dirt and grime. Semi-gloss looks a little shiny for my taste and does show more of the flaws in the wall and the paint job, but it's worth it for the easy wash-ability factor.

After this project is over, we will have painted every single wall in our home at least once. And I can honestly tell you that we will NEVER be painting red again ourselves. Hell...we'll never be painting any of the walls again. I'll pay somebody from now on...the thrill has definitely worn off.

So here is an update after yesterday's efforts...
Yes, you can see the schizophrenia going on in our lives illustrated by this room. Neutral colors as a guest room. Bright color ceiling fan...just in case...

MY closet...

The laundry room...

So every room is painted. Now we need to do the hallways and common areas and we will be done with walls. Now we have trim to debate. We are committed to purple trim in Sam's bathroom. The rest I'm not sure of. We're installing white doors and the trim is natural wood. I'm not sure whether to stain the trim or paint it to match the doors. We have almost all white trim in the downstairs of the house, so I think maybe I should do the same upstairs. And we'll have neutral carpet in the two small bedrooms, neutral tile in the bathrooms, and wood laminate in the master bedroom and the common area and hallways. Hmmm...decisions, decisions, decision...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Yes, red paint is a pain in the ass

So you know what you do? Wallpaper border!

Along the top...5 inches tall...


Along the bottom...12 inches tall...

Now I'm looking at fan pulls...

And lamps...

And curtains...


Too much?

Friday, November 10, 2006

busy, busy, busy

Woke up this morning (always a good thing).
Did the mountain of dishes in the sink.
Got a Toys R Us coupon via email for a great toy for Sam for Christmas (a practically life-sized remote control crane)
Did one load of laundry.
Paid bills online.
Sent flowers to a friend in the hospital.
Ordered a gift for my secret pal (I know I just sent one...but I'm planning ahead...hehehe).
Met with the carpet installers.
Took Sam to lunch at McDonalds.
Sam told me I was getting on his nerves at McDonalds and made me cry.
Kissed and made up with Sam.
Went to Home Depot.
Bought a five gallon rose, regular price $20, for FIVE DOLLARS.
Sam expressed an interest in a basketball pull chain for his new ceiling fan (a great Christmas stocking stuffer idea).
Went to Walmart and bought a bunch of stuff, including new boots, a plastic storage tub, Christmas cards, and Disney's Cars.
Came home and put the groceries away.
De-cluttered the top of the refrigerator by organizing all four years worth of Sam's artwork into the new plastic tub.
Did another load of laundry.
Planted three Pardon Me Daylilies, Poppy Anemones, Neon Stonecrop (a gift from a friend), and some lavender transplanted from a co-worker's garden.
Brought the horses in from the front pasture.
Fed the horses.
Walked the dogs.
Fed the dogs.
Made hot chocolate.
Popped in Cars for the first viewing.
Wrapped a baby gift for a friend's new baby girl (a different one from a couple posts ago...lots of new babies around).
Fed the humans.
Started Cars over for the second viewing.
Took some Advil.
Ordered Cars wallpaper border for Sam's room (to hide the crappy red paint that I now hate with a fiery passion).
Addressed Christmas cards for card exchange.

I'm tired...but I feel like I accomplished a thing or two. And today I felt happy (except for the crying in McDonalds).

Good friends...a beautiful home...an adorable son...a hot husband...food in our bellies...a lovable menagerie...planning for Christmas underway...

A good day for sure.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And a good time was had by all


I forgot my camera so we are going to have to make do with a cellphone camera picture.

On the way there, Sam was acting like a little prince and saying, "Take me to the Wiggles!" It was hilariously cute.

We all had a great time at the show. I cried, of course, just like I cried at the circus a couple weeks ago. It was right in the beginning of each show, when the expectation was finally realized and I felt that inevitable pang of two missing boys. But I was able to disguise it quickly and I don't think Sam even noticed. Hell, looking at his smiling face and watching him sing and dance nearly erased the sadness completely for that hour and a half of Wiggle magic.

And for the first time ever, Sam offered his unsolicited opinion on the way home, "Mommy, I had a great time tonight." I think he was particularly impressed by the fact that Greg's substitute as the yellow Wiggle was named Sam. Dreams of growing up and being a Wiggle danced in his head...and it made me and his dad smile.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

crafts and construction

I logged onto etsy.com this morning, and I was faced with a whole page of crow-related merchandise on the front page. Weird.

And then I ordered my secret pal a present (shhhh...it's a surprise).

Speaking of crafty things...I finished the baby gift for my friend's baby girl. It is a shawl/cloak/wrap thing for babies. I modified it a bit in the pattern...and I put three buttons to close it, rather than a ribbon. The buttons make the it a bit more secure (and warm, I think). You'll have to pardon the model...it's the best I've got at my house these days.

I've picked up the knitting needles again and am giving it another try (after my stunning defeat last year). I was watching a television show about knitting the other day and realized I was holding the needles all wrong and making it way harder than it had to be. I'll let you know how it goes.

I sent out a pile of mother's bracelets. I love and hate them all at the same time.

I went to Lowe's last night to buy another can of red paint for Sam's room. This will be our third can and it still looks like crap. I'm at the point where I will be making the best of it and adding wallpaper borders to hide the rest. Anyway...I placed my paint order and then walked down the aisle where the race car outlet covers and switchplates are kept. I needed three more outlet covers (there are FIVE in Sam's room...don't ask me why). I grabbed the last three from the cupboard and started browsing the curtain selections further on down that same aisle. A woman and her two kids come down the aisle, stop at the race car stuff, and I hear her say, "But they don't have any outlet covers to match, honey." And here is where I admit to my own personal mental health issues...I ran away so she wouldn't see that I had taken the last three. Like I had done something wrong. What the hell?!?!

Some of the paint is up and the lights are going in!


If you're the praying type, please say a little prayer for Kellie and her Dad as they are both facing surgery tomorrow (though for very different reasons).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Moments of kindness we would never wish for

On the day we said goodbye to Alex the workmen stood silently by during the service, waiting to bury our boy.

A couple days later we stopped by on our first official visit to our son's grave. The workmen were actually pouring the concrete for headers and footers on that day, including the header for Alex's stone. We didn't want to disturb them...and I think we were a little bit afraid of what we would see in our son's final resting place...so we stayed a good distance away. It was as we turned to leave that we met Dan.

Dan literally came running over to us to check with us and make sure the proper preparations were being made for our baby's grave...the correct header for our son's headstone. He seemed a bit uncomfortable. Then he revealed that he too had lost a baby boy, and we realized that we had found a friendly soul who truly understood our pain. Dan told us how he struggled for many years before he was able to even talk to God again. I instantaneously loved him for sharing that with me.

Dan was there on the day we buried Alex and he was there on the day we buried Travis. He silently stood in the background both times...crying tears of someone who understood what lay ahead on the path of grief for those of us crying onto the springtime earth.

When Dan found out that Travis had died, he again sought us out to tell us that we were in his prayers and that he would do whatever was necessary to "take care of" our boys...and us. He made sure to let us know that he cared.

This week, Dan called to tell us that he had personally set Travis' grave marker with the love only a father who has lost a baby could possibly have. He called to tell us that he set Travis' marker facing Alex's marker...so that we could sit between the two and see them both.

I feel such gratitude.

But I wish we had never met Dan.

I wish he didn't understand what it means to us to be able to see one gravestone, let alone two at one time.

Yay Democrats!

Welcome back to Ohio...we've missed you.

Now get busy...you've got a lot of work to do to turn this place around.

Edited to add:
Rumsfeld resigns...this is a pretty good day.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Maybe I deserve it

In those early days after losing Alex, I thought I dealt with the idea that God was punishing me for something. Over the course of the year, I thought I dealt with my anger over the idea that my child had to lose his life over some "plan" that I just wasn't going to understand until I died. I have wiggled and folded and pressed and reshaped my way of thinking about this over and over and over...all in the hopes that I will someday make enough sense out of it that I will feel some sense of peace. But today while reading through my archives I realized just how little sense it all makes. Unless...

Unless there is something to the idea that God is a punishing God.

Maybe I do deserve it. Maybe my babies deserved it. Maybe I should have known better than to accept that made-for-tv bullshit that God loves me. Maybe God is just really pissed at me for something.

I have spent so much energy clinging to this idea that God wouldn't do this to my babies just because he was angry with me. But maybe I was just wrong. Maybe God isn't all love and kindness. Maybe God is vindictive and angry.

All signs on this road seem to tell me that it's over...a dead-end...that we will never welcome another living baby into our home. We're either stubborn or stupid...because we buy crib bedding and decorate a room that my husband calls "the baby's room." And all the while, God is laughing. And it's not a joyful laugh.

I peer into the darkness every day and think of how easy it would be to give in to it...to just let go. What am I holding on for anyway? Some illusory promise of eternal life? I have no idea how to hold fast to that when the promise of God's love already seems to be an empty promise in and of itself. How many times am I expected to get hit over the head before I just let go of the white-knuckled grip I have on...whatever...my dreams...my love...my boys.

And maybe I deserve it all. As I sit here and look at this, it's all I can come up with.

Seriously?

---------------------------------------------
Dear _________________________:

While we appreciate your offer, we already have a copy of the book and
have read it through at least once cover to cover.

Thank you for your consideration.

Catherine & Stephen

---------------------------------------------
Dear Stephen & Catherine,

Thank you for considering ____________________ as your adoption professional.
Blessings to you as you seek adoption opportunities.

Warm Regards,

---------------------------------------------
Yeah...I'm not holding my breath for that "we'll keep you on file" opportunity to actually happen.
---------------------------------------------
In a refreshing moment of honesty last night, my sweet husband answered, "yes," without hesitation, when asked if he wanted to try to have another baby.

But that was where the refreshing part of it ended.

Me: "So does that mean you don't want to adopt?"

Him: "Why can't we do both?"

Me: "Because adoption doesn't work that way."

Him: "It would be hilarious if you showed up pregnant and said, 'I want to adopt.'"

Me: "Yeah...hilarious...do we have any advil?"
---------------------------------------------
So you see, things were better (less aggravating) left unsettled and un-talked-about. I think I'm going to retreat back into that let's-not-deal-with-it-until-the-house-is-finished truce.
---------------------------------------------

Saturday, November 04, 2006

We tried to adopt a baby but all we got was this lousy coupon

OK...I'm calm....maybe not calm...but willing to laugh...ok...maybe not laugh...willing to roll my eyes and sigh...at the latest turn of events. Really...a coupon? We won't help you realize your dream of adding to your family...but buy our book? Many words come to mind (several of which are quite profane)...unprofessional...callous...ridiculous.

Steve and I know exactly why this organization would not contract with us. We actually knew the minute we sent the application. There are serious religious undertones to this particular group...and...well...we were honest when asked about our religious affiliations. Some might say we should have just lied. But here's the thing...now that we think about it, we're not entirely comfortable with the ideas they subscribe to. They have a "foundation" which professes to help birthmothers. I poked around on their website. I really have to wonder about the whole thing. I can just hear it now...

See the error of your evil ways.
Believe and you shall be saved.
Adoption will help you advance your spiritual self (where abortion would doom your soul to hell).

As much as we want a baby to join our family, the thought of getting one this way seems somehow deceitful...coercive...dishonest.

To be honest, we are the scariest potential adoptive family you can find. We're honest about our dead children and the damage we have suffered as a result. We're not going to be politically correct and only briefly mention our losses so as to not make someone uncomfortable. They are a part of our family whether someone is comfortable with that or not.

And I'm an attorney. I'm not the stay-at-home mom type. That'd be strike number two.

My belief in God...well...I think everyone who knows me knows the internal conflict that exists concerning God. And at one point Steve said he didn't believe in God at all...and that was long before even Sam, let alone Alex and Travis.

Three strikes and you're out. We're not that morally/spiritually correct family that this organization takes on as clients. So be it.

This turn of events has inspired us to do some more talking. Who knows where we'll go from here. Everyone keeps telling us that they believe we'll expand our family...they have faith in that future for us. We're not so sure. Maybe we only get the one kid. One gorgeous, funny, loving, wonderful kid. That's more than some people get, so we consider him a miracle that blesses our lives every day.

Maybe we should give pregnancy another try. As much as I don't want to do it, I have to admit that the good news of friends has made me insanely jealous. But is there more than just selfishness there? I don't know.

Maybe we should find another adoption route. But that is apparently a lot more complicated than I imagined. I'm not sure I want any more coupons.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Maybe the answer is NO

Dear Stephen & Catherine,

Thank you for your interest in _______________’s adoption program. Based on the limited openings available in our program, we regret we are unable to contract with you at this time.

We receive and review over 250 adoptive family applications each month. We must logically weigh our ability to help each family, based on their adoption preferences, the preferences of our current families and current birthmother requests. Because of our program limitations openings at this time, it would not be fair to accept your contract fee when we would be concerned that you may not be matched with a birthmother within our two year contract term.

However, our experience has shown that opportunities can become available. With your permission, we would like to keep your application and information on file for three to six months, to see if these opportunities arise and then we can help you on a formal basis.

I would like to recommend a helpful adoption book that will provide you with the resources and knowledge to help you adopt. It will walk you through a safe adoption step-by-step, teaching you tips for completing your adoption quickly and without spending a fortune.

Included are 1,200 hand-selected adoption resources for families seeking referrals and references for adoption assistance and support. I have enclosed a special link for a $10 off coupon.

As a special gift, we'd also like to send you a CD entitled ____________________. This powerful interview with the author is an hour long and contains exclusive adoption advice you can't find anywhere else. This is a $14.95 value and we're including it with your book order with our compliments.

To learn more about __________________ or to order your copy with a $10 discount and the special gift, please order online by following this link. You may also place an order by phone at ____________________. I hope this helps you get started.

Thank you for considering ______________________ as your adoption professional. Please accept our best wishes as you seek to build your family through adoption.

Warm Regards,


There are so many things I could say about this. But I just don't have the energy anymore. I'm done.

pssst...

Go over to Kate's blog and wish her some good wishes.

Small crises

------------------------------------------
We're going to see the Wiggles next week. But they will be the Wiggles without Greg.

I have explained life and death to my son. Surely I can explain this. Right?

Cross your fingers that there will be no temper tantrum once he hears the news.

(Personally, I'm a bit disappointed. I must admit to having a little mom crush on Greg. After all, he clearly is the brains of that crew.)
------------------------------------------
I did not get my new perennials planted. Now they are sitting in the little shipment pots under a couple inches of snow. What do I do with them? Dust them off and plant them in pots for the winter? Dig a hole, plant them, and hope for the best? Help!
------------------------------------------
I need brown shoes. I have big feet, I'm cheap, and I can't find any styles I like that are well-suited for the snowbelt (and the enormous amount of salt that gets thrown around up here). Ideas?
------------------------------------------
He didn't pass and it I have now had to listen to a WEEK of complaining about it.

GAH! Leave me alone!

I don't mean to be unsympathetic...really. But let's have a little perspective, shall we? Pick yourself up...dust yourself off...and move forward. Nobody died.
------------------------------------------

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What happens when you invite amazing people to exchange socks

Thank you Shanna! I don't know what to say. The socks made me giggle. The quilt made me cry. It is beautiful and will fit in with our new bedroom decor perfectly. Thank you. You are an amazing woman and I am so lucky to be able to call you my friend.





No, the quilt didn't sprout legs and fingers...that's my darling husband standing behind there being oh-so-helpful.

Travis Leo - May 8, 2006


We love you sweet baby boy.

Thank you again Dana.

(Happy Dance)

It's snowing! It's snowing! It's snowing!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Painting...painting...and more painting

My arms ache and I need to buy more paint to complete the job.

Halloween is over. Sam was the only trick-or-treater in my parents' neighborhood (my mom says she saw others, but I question her sanity. Sam went to five houses...he counted them. At each house he announced, "Trick-or-Treat. I'm Sam!" I love that kid!

I saw my first Christmas commercial. Crest White Strips...with, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," as the music track. Crest White Strips will make my Christmas better...happier. Maybe I'll buy some.

And now...photos...because I'm too tired for anything else...

Siding almost complete (color = cypress green)

The purple bathroom (color = twinkle toes)...